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(Minneapolis Star Tribune)   Columnist rejects creationism for evolution after becoming familiar with the evidence. Then blames sciences for his former ignorance   (startribune.com) divider line 129
    More: Fail, evolution, innovations  
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4292 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jul 2012 at 11:12 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 12:16:56 PM  

the_vicious_fez: I've always believed in science, but the removal of some sort of target of prayer was extremely tough.


You were always praying for yourself, to yourself. The target wasn't removed, you just stopped calling your implicit moral sense "God."
 
2012-07-24 12:17:21 PM  
the_vicious_fez: You're not going to convince anyone of anything if you constantly act superior and if you treat your opposition as a collection of uneducated idiots.

When their version of abiogenysis is that an invisible god created the world in six days, made the the first man from a handful of dirt, then yanked out one of his ribs and turned it into the first woman, how the f#ck are you supposed to act? Seriously, where is the common ground between a scientific analysis of verifiable data, and somebody credulously repeating stories they grew up hearing in church?
 
2012-07-24 12:17:32 PM  
I'd graduated high school and college with honors and continued to read widely, and yet was not adequately exposed to a key concept of science. The chief fault lies with the scientific establishment

Fta... FFA...

To be fair... its completely true that you can go through the American educational system and not learn this stuff. Parents petition the school board to change their curriculum and colleges churn out bullshiat underwater basket-weaving degrees without any broad exposure to other subjects.

In short... I don't to live on this planet anymore.
 
2012-07-24 12:19:35 PM  

CheekyMonkey: What's wrong with "idiots"? Too broad a term? Too pejorative?


not all of the group is idiots and not all idiots fall into the group
 
2012-07-24 12:19:38 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Marine1: Jim_Callahan: It's not some dark secret, religious people being wrong has been pretty much common knowledge since the Renaissance, people have just been subtler about it because of the church's whole tendency to brutally murder you for pointing it out thing.

Speaking of the Soviet era, the assertion that the church (that is, the Christian church) is somehow brutally murdering people these days for speaking out against the idea of God is ridiculous.

Read what he said again. See the problem with your refutation yet? When the Church had absolute power they did brutally murder people for daring to speak against God. You know, like some other religion that tends to have complete power still does to this day in the countries they dominate. Don't act like your religion's castration makes it a nice, peaceful religion that wouldn't hurt people.


Same goes for Anti-theism. When other alternatives to state atheism finally broke into the mainstream in Marxist countries, the brutality of the purges carried out by Anti-theists became less pronounced.

And don't equivocate today's Christianity with the past. It's not the same. Few theologians would argue that the church of the past was good. The views held by many of today's Christians aren't the same, either.
 
2012-07-24 12:22:42 PM  
I used to run training classes for a living. I tried almost every known technique to tech people various technical skills. Oral, visual, hands-on, repetition, scale modeling, and reverse engineering (my personal favorite as it required people with zero knowledge to work out all the ways that something might work until I explained how close they were or werent and how it actually works).

Finally I found that the best way to teach anyone anything. Sadly this came from the movie road trip.

Associative context.

You find something people actually give a crap about. Then you find a way to associate it to what you are trying to teach them. Although this only goes so far. You cant exactly use "Bert and Ernie" or "The Count" from "Sesame St," to teach someone that the basic tenants of chemistry are that the number of protons in an atom determines what type of atom it is and that most of chemistry is simply different ways of generating reactions that add or remove protons or electrons to change one type of atom into another or bond two different atoms together to create a molecule.

What these asshats lack is a basic understanding of science. Perhaps the solution is sacrilegious. Use the bible as a point of context to teach them basic science. The problem is that a lack of basic understanding is a critical failure when trying to teach anything more complex or technical.
 
2012-07-24 12:22:56 PM  

PonceAlyosha: the_vicious_fez: I've always believed in science, but the removal of some sort of target of prayer was extremely tough.

You were always praying for yourself, to yourself. The target wasn't removed, you just stopped calling your implicit moral sense "God."


Perhaps I misspoke. My point was that with "God", I had an actual certainty that someone always had my back. That is the teaching of the Christian church, or at least my flavor of it. Accepting the fact that you're truly alone for the first time in your life is scary.
 
2012-07-24 12:25:29 PM  

Millennium: That doesn't happen anymore. Claims are dismissed as derp, or denial, or any of a number of psychological phenomena indicative of a malfunctioning mind, and those dismissals are not said in jest. Until that stops, every issue will continue to be a battle zone. Why wouldn't they, when the very idea that you have a working mind is called into question at every turn?


To be fair though, religious extremism is a form of mental illness, and those practicing it should be medicated, not venerated.


/if I'm wrong, convince me
 
2012-07-24 12:26:59 PM  

Barricaded Gunman: the_vicious_fez: You're not going to convince anyone of anything if you constantly act superior and if you treat your opposition as a collection of uneducated idiots.

When their version of abiogenysis is that an invisible god created the world in six days, made the the first man from a handful of dirt, then yanked out one of his ribs and turned it into the first woman, how the f#ck are you supposed to act? Seriously, where is the common ground between a scientific analysis of verifiable data, and somebody credulously repeating stories they grew up hearing in church?


The common ground is not abiogenysis. The common ground is stuff that's relatively uncontentious, like the fact that ice floats in water, even though they're made of the same stuff. Weird, huh? That's where you start discussing science.

Physics, rather than biology, is more likely to be much less contentious. (I'm just guessing here)
 
2012-07-24 12:27:26 PM  

Marine1: And don't equivocate today's Christianity with the past. It's not the same. Few theologians would argue that the church of the past was good. The views held by many of today's Christians aren't the same, either.


The Church, and by that when there was solely the church and not what we have now, was a corruption of what it was founded on and a system of power an enrichment of those who were in control of it, and a betrayal of those who had a faith in it.
 
2012-07-24 12:28:49 PM  

Rent Party: loonatic112358: Thorak: odd for Christians, because Jesus freaking LOVED speaking in parables.

to be honest a lot of folks miss damn near everything he did

we need to find a more accurate term then Christian for those sort of folks

religious traditionalists makes it sound, well better then it is

maybe American dominionists

Paulists, or Bible worshipers. Biblical literalists practice an ironic form of idolatry. The book actually separates them from God.

Jesus left his ministry in the hands of Peter, not Paul. Those two had a rather famous falling out, and went their separate ways. Yet the folks that canonized the Bible left us primarily with the epistles of Paul, not Peter. Why would they do this?


Paulists is a great term. Applies not just to fundamentalists, but to the whole sweep of the soi-disant Christian conservatives. Paul was proud of pointing out that he was a Roman citizen, so it's easy to see his views on righteousness were enthusiastically embraced by the Roman religious bureaucrats who took over the church after the Donation of Constantine. It's fascinating reading how these folks decided what was going to be in the Bible and what wasn't. It was all political then, as it is now.
 
2012-07-24 12:29:39 PM  

HighZoolander: To be fair though, religious extremism is a form of mental illness, and those practicing it should be medicated, not venerated./if I'm wrong, convince me


extremism of any sort is usually a mental illness, though medicating someone will likely not cure them of that
 
2012-07-24 12:30:39 PM  

loonatic112358: Marine1: And don't equivocate today's Christianity with the past. It's not the same. Few theologians would argue that the church of the past was good. The views held by many of today's Christians aren't the same, either.

The Church, and by that when there was solely the church and not what we have now, was a corruption of what it was founded on and a system of power an enrichment of those who were in control of it, and a betrayal of those who had a faith in it.


Agreed. You can more or less pinpoint the moment that transformation took place as well: Constantine's endorsement of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman empire. More of a power-play for him than a real "endorsement" of the gift of salvation, but that's the details and not the main issue.

Religion tends to get corrupted when endorsed by the state. I like them separated.
 
2012-07-24 12:32:14 PM  

HighZoolander: Millennium: That doesn't happen anymore. Claims are dismissed as derp, or denial, or any of a number of psychological phenomena indicative of a malfunctioning mind, and those dismissals are not said in jest. Until that stops, every issue will continue to be a battle zone. Why wouldn't they, when the very idea that you have a working mind is called into question at every turn?

To be fair though, religious extremism is a form of mental illness, and those practicing it should be medicated, not venerated.


/if I'm wrong, convince me


Is it the same or different as political extremism? Should the founding fathers have also been medicated?

"There is only one kind of person, Phædrus said, who accepts or rejects the mythos in which he lives. And the definition of that person, when he has rejected the mythos, Phædrus said, is "insane." To go outside the mythos is to become insane. --Robert Pirsig
 
2012-07-24 12:33:28 PM  

the_vicious_fez: HighZoolander: Millennium: That doesn't happen anymore. Claims are dismissed as derp, or denial, or any of a number of psychological phenomena indicative of a malfunctioning mind, and those dismissals are not said in jest. Until that stops, every issue will continue to be a battle zone. Why wouldn't they, when the very idea that you have a working mind is called into question at every turn?

To be fair though, religious extremism is a form of mental illness, and those practicing it should be medicated, not venerated.


/if I'm wrong, convince me

Is it the same or different as political extremism? Should the founding fathers have also been medicated?

"There is only one kind of person, Phædrus said, who accepts or rejects the mythos in which he lives. And the definition of that person, when he has rejected the mythos, Phædrus said, is "insane." To go outside the mythos is to become insane. --Robert Pirsig


More context here: Link (Pops)
 
2012-07-24 12:35:22 PM  

zorgon: Paulists is a great term. Applies not just to fundamentalists, but to the whole sweep of the soi-disant Christian conservatives. Paul was proud of pointing out that he was a Roman citizen, so it's easy to see his views on righteousness were enthusiastically embraced by the Roman religious bureaucrats who took over the church after the Donation of Constantine. It's fascinating reading how these folks decided what was going to be in the Bible and what wasn't. It was all political then, as it is now.


even then, they ignore Paul's message of it being by faith, but your faith will come out through you

instead it seems to be a reversion of the acts i perform will get me into good graces
 
2012-07-24 12:36:55 PM  

the_vicious_fez: I had an actual certainty that someone always had my back.


That's still true. It just so happens that someone is you.
 
2012-07-24 12:38:18 PM  

Marine1: Religion tends to get corrupted when endorsed by the state. I like them separated.


me too, i fear what would happen if the fools that want one in the US got their way.

Nehemiah Scudder would be jealous
 
2012-07-24 12:38:46 PM  

Thorak: FTFA: "it gradually dawned on me that I no longer accepted my initial premise; I did not believe the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis were a literal chronicle of how the Earth and its life forms originated. "

Look, not even reasonable Christian theologians believe the Book of Genesis, or any of the rest of the bible, is a "literal chronicle" of anything. Literalism is what happens when people are too ignorant to grasp concepts like "metaphor" and "parable", which is especially odd for Christians, because Jesus freaking LOVED speaking in parables.

I'm all for people coming to the realization that faith does not trump science, but literalism is the refuge of people who don't even understand or know their own religion.


A million times this. I've been saying it for years, though not quite as concisely as you have.


Theaetetus: Lack of science education Sticking your fingers in your ears in science class and going "lalala" is the tin foil hat used by creationists to keep knowledge out of their brainwaves.


FTFY
 
2012-07-24 12:39:19 PM  

zorgon:

Paulists is a great term. Applies not just to fundamentalists, but to the whole sweep of the soi-disant Christian conservatives. Paul was proud of pointing out that he was a Roman citizen, so it's easy to see his views on righteousness were enthusiastically embraced by the Roman religious bureaucrats who took over the church after the Donation of Constantine. It's fascinating reading how these folks decided what was going to be in the Bible and what wasn't. It was all political then, as it is now.


That's precisely it. Paul was not just a Roman citizen, but an authoritarian Roman citizen as well. All of his epistles focus on themes of obedience and servitude. It should come as no surprise that people trying to garner power would select those passages over more of that "meek shall inherit the Earth" crap.

You wouldn't want the peasants getting those kinds of crazy ideas in their noggins.
 
2012-07-24 12:41:03 PM  

PonceAlyosha: the_vicious_fez: I had an actual certainty that someone always had my back.

That's still true. It just so happens that someone is you.


Right. I know that now, but that sort of mental shift takes time, and generally it helps if you're not running a high fever while trying to make it happen.
 
2012-07-24 12:46:46 PM  

Marine1: Religion tends to get corrupted when endorsed by the state. I like them separated.


Not necessarilly. Many European countries have a state religion, with taxation supporting their respective denomination (or denominations like in the case of Germany), yet those state religions are far more neutered and politically irrelevant than they are in the U.S. The religious institutions there serve as figureheads and are ceremonially important, but have religious dogma receives little veneration. Nominally religious holidays are publicly accepted by the largely agnostic/atheistic populations for their historical and cultural value (i.e., non-Christians don't get bent out of shape about public Christmas celebrations [vice "winter holiday season" celebrations], and the academic & court terms in England retain their traditional Christian names like Michaelmas and Easter), but church attendance is de minimus.
 
2012-07-24 12:48:28 PM  

Lanadapter: To be fair the article is right. I can't tell you how many creationists tell me evolution isn't valid because "it's just a theory".


Lern 2 terminology bettr


Huh. Coincidentally from this Sunday's paper:
Definition of aTheory hint, it's not synonyms with hypothesis.
 
2012-07-24 12:52:58 PM  
TFA: All too often those who reject Darwin and his successors are considered ignorant rubes by the cognitive elite.

You just finished telling us about the "knowledge divide", and how your previous worldview was founded entirely in ignorance. "[T]hose who reject Darwin and his successors" are, then, by your own definition, "ignorant rubes."
 
2012-07-24 01:03:17 PM  
I did, however, support a self-righteous contempt for the scientific community

Aw, that's OK, us in the scientific community feel the same about you.

The chief fault lies with the scientific establishment.

...and it's shiat like this that made us feel that way. A few paragraphs ago, this walking, talking anus was telling us about how he ignored facts and evidence presented to him. Now, he has the giant brass balls to tell us that's scientists' fault.

I hope he one day gains the self-awareness to realize what a farking moron he is.
 
2012-07-24 01:08:02 PM  
I know creationists that are intelligent; some have legitimate-from-a-respected-university PhD even. This supports the author's contention, although in practice it boggles my mind. They just focus their brainpower on other pursuits, leaving the "politically sensitive" scientific topics to whatever their preacher says. Young earth, no evolution, no climate change, etc... the opposite of whatever liberals believe.

But then there are people so ignorant that they're actually worried about demons and such. This leads them to impugn completely non-theistic practices like hypnotherapy and exercise yoga. WTF? You're a better man that I am if you can convince those folks about how science works differently than what they perceive from the bible. I mean they start off by just making up monstrous philosophical barriers; who has time for that?
 
2012-07-24 01:10:41 PM  

the_vicious_fez:
As this is a debate about science, let's do it right. Can your provide proof of this?



This one regards intelligence. There has been a few studies and statistics negatively correlating advanced education and religiosity, and there is other data that seems to support that notion, like the fact that about 90% of member scientists of the National Academy of Sciences are not religious. And it is pretty obvious that creationist opinion leaders, at least, do not understand the theory of evolution in depth, it is common to hear things happened "by accident." This is not through but we can draw some inferences from it nonetheless. Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not believe they share 99 percent of their genes with chimps, that in itself shows a degree of ignorance of evolution by a majority of Americans as a whole, and considering evolution clashes with creationist beliefs the most it is reasonable to assume a majority of creationists lack substantial knowledge on the subject.

As far as education in general is concerned, Gallup seems to support the notion that people with advanced degrees are much less likely to believe in creationism. Data is mixed in this, however studies mention that this could be caused by factors such as misinformation due to time period, overall conservatism among older adults, and a bit of a loose definition of creationism. Again, this is not because they're idiots in most cases, but simply because they may have not been exposed to the information and never found it necessary to seek it out.
 
2012-07-24 01:13:40 PM  
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov
 
2012-07-24 01:16:58 PM  
One of the problems I've seen is people that believe that the Bible is 100% true are afraid of what it would mean if it weren't. To quote a friend of mines dad, "The Bible HAS to be the infallible word of God, or else it becomes just another book."

Most people don't want to face the idea that a big part of their lives isn't based on reality.
 
2012-07-24 01:23:20 PM  

thurstonxhowell: I did, however, support a self-righteous contempt for the scientific community

Aw, that's OK, us in the scientific community feel the same about you.

The chief fault lies with the scientific establishment.

...and it's shiat like this that made us feel that way. A few paragraphs ago, this walking, talking anus was telling us about how he ignored facts and evidence presented to him. Now, he has the giant brass balls to tell us that's scientists' fault.


i.telegraph.co.uk

But you did not persuade him, Thurston...
 
2012-07-24 01:26:15 PM  

JorgiX: the_vicious_fez:
As this is a debate about science, let's do it right. Can your provide proof of this?


This one regards intelligence. There has been a few studies and statistics negatively correlating advanced education and religiosity, and there is other data that seems to support that notion, like the fact that about 90% of member scientists of the National Academy of Sciences are not religious. And it is pretty obvious that creationist opinion leaders, at least, do not understand the theory of evolution in depth, it is common to hear things happened "by accident." This is not through but we can draw some inferences from it nonetheless. Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not believe they share 99 percent of their genes with chimps, that in itself shows a degree of ignorance of evolution by a majority of Americans as a whole, and considering evolution clashes with creationist beliefs the most it is reasonable to assume a majority of creationists lack substantial knowledge on the subject.

As far as education in general is concerned, Gallup seems to support the notion that people with advanced degrees are much less likely to believe in creationism. Data is mixed in this, however studies mention that this could be caused by factors such as misinformation due to time period, overall conservatism among older adults, and a bit of a loose definition of creationism. Again, this is not because they're idiots in most cases, but simply because they may have not been exposed to the information and never found it necessary to seek it out.


These are great sources. Thanks!

I will quibble with the part of your post I bolded above: That is trivia, and I would argue that knowing the exact percentage of genomic overlap between humans and chimps is not a reliable indicator of understanding or accepting the premises of evolution.

Now, onto more productive matters (and then back to work).

In your Boobies, you said: "the main problem is not that the information/evidence is not available but that some people just choose not to believe it "

There is a difference between information being available and information being consumed. This is why we have schools: to encourage information consumption. I agree more with your previous statements. Education is a huge problem and we need to do more. Incidentally, one of your links pointed out that barring creationism from being taught in schools at all politicizes the issue more. I wonder if one of the myriad of standardized tests in this country should include a writing sample contrasting evolution and creationism from a factual perspective.

/Not really. That would be a terrible idea.
 
2012-07-24 01:35:22 PM  

the_vicious_fez: Barricaded Gunman: the_vicious_fez: You're not going to convince anyone of anything if you constantly act superior and if you treat your opposition as a collection of uneducated idiots.

When their version of abiogenysis is that an invisible god created the world in six days, made the the first man from a handful of dirt, then yanked out one of his ribs and turned it into the first woman, how the f#ck are you supposed to act? Seriously, where is the common ground between a scientific analysis of verifiable data, and somebody credulously repeating stories they grew up hearing in church?

The common ground is not abiogenysis. The common ground is stuff that's relatively uncontentious, like the fact that ice floats in water, even though they're made of the same stuff. Weird, huh? That's where you start discussing science.

Physics, rather than biology, is more likely to be much less contentious. (I'm just guessing here)


Depends who you're talking to. I spent the weekend trying to convince a "newage-er" that the car that runs on water is a myth and that you can't just magically remove toxins from water using "specific frequencies of sound waves."
 
2012-07-24 01:36:08 PM  

Thorak: Look, not even reasonable Christian theologians believe the Book of Genesis, or any of the rest of the bible, is a "literal chronicle" of anything.


Yes, but there aren't many of those and even fewer in the ranks.

"The 46% of Americans who today believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years is little changed from the 44% who believed this 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question."

Link
 
2012-07-24 01:38:27 PM  

the_vicious_fez: There is a difference between information being available and information being consumed. This is why we have schools: to encourage information consumption. I agree more with your previous statements. Education is a huge problem and we need to do more. Incidentally, one of your links pointed out that barring creationism from being taught in schools at all politicizes the issue more. I wonder if one of the myriad of standardized tests in this country should include a writing sample contrasting evolution and creationism from a factual perspective.


i think a comparative religions & philosophies should be required for High School class, and with an elective of the history there of them.

maybe it'll cut down on some of the bullshiat coming from those who don't bother learning squat bout any world view but their own, or it'll be pearls fed to swines
 
2012-07-24 01:41:17 PM  
It is possible to be a creationist and believe in evolution at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.
 
2012-07-24 01:41:51 PM  

StrangeQ: Depends who you're talking to. I spent the weekend trying to convince a "newage-er" that the car that runs on water is a myth and that you can't just magically remove toxins from water using "specific frequencies of sound waves."


You mean "Black Moon Rising" isn't a documentary?
 
2012-07-24 01:42:21 PM  

factoryconnection: I know creationists that are intelligent; some have legitimate-from-a-respected-university PhD even. This supports the author's contention, although in practice it boggles my mind. They just focus their brainpower on other pursuits, leaving the "politically sensitive" scientific topics to whatever their preacher says. Young earth, no evolution, no climate change, etc... the opposite of whatever liberals believe.


Thank you. I know how you feel, trust me. This interview with someone as smart as Dr. Jason Lisle really made me cringe when he talked about the overlap between science and scripture...
 
2012-07-24 01:53:22 PM  

wmoonfox: TFA: All too often those who reject Darwin and his successors are considered ignorant rubes by the cognitive elite.

You just finished telling us about the "knowledge divide", and how your previous worldview was founded entirely in ignorance. "[T]hose who reject Darwin and his successors" are, then, by your own definition, "ignorant rubes."


Good point.
 
2012-07-24 01:56:46 PM  

loonatic112358: StrangeQ: Depends who you're talking to. I spent the weekend trying to convince a "newage-er" that the car that runs on water is a myth and that you can't just magically remove toxins from water using "specific frequencies of sound waves."

You mean "Black Moon Rising" isn't a documentary?


Huh, had to google that...Tommy Lee Jones in his younger years, might have to check it out. So what was on the cassette? It's funny that you would reference that though, since after I realized that I wasn't going to get anywhere without a full-on remedial physics lecture, I settled back on "don't you think that if someone invented a car that runs on air, sunshine and unicorn farts, they would be making millions of dollars working on a government contract?" I saw the lights start to come on after that, but it was short lived and then I became distracted by my margarita.
 
2012-07-24 01:59:57 PM  
I realize that I will probably restate a lot of what has already been said, but this shiat gets my goose, especially this tidbit--

From article: "and because those in the scientific community have failed to effectively share the knowledge they've gleaned."

I appreciate that the author had the courage to attempt a new level of self-awareness, but I think this is horseshiat. As much as I would love to have scientific advances as celebrated as a holiday sale at Macy's, all I can say is really? The author even said: "I had never seriously studied evolution and the facts supporting it."

Well there is your problem, mister. "Not sharing knowledge" is not equal to "I didn't bother to read." But wait, it wasn't HIS fault. It wasn't HIS fault that he never bothered to crack open and actually read his biology textbooks during school, where he would have been able to see how much knowledge IS being shared on the topic of evolution. Evolution being, among other theories, one that is integral to understanding biology.

And then he blames his never-serious-studying on the scientific community for actin like "arrogant materialists". Wat? Understanding science and its major concepts has nothing to do with having stuff. I am by no means living the high life, and never have had the burning desire to aquire the very next iThing, but I am confident that I could explain evolution and how evidence is observed and gathered. I came to understand in and out of the classroom because I was CURIOUS. And I was taught to exercise that curiosity.

Unfortunately, curiosity is anathema to today's religions who promote "scientific creationism". What drives science and understanding has all to do with how much you allow your CURIOSITY to guide your search for knowledge, which is where, again, the author had a problem. Curiosity in its believers would be the death of believing in such biblical nonsense, which the author is a case in point. Science today is failing to inspire students because the curiosity that drives it is being squelched by those who want to teach non-scientific crap like intelligent design in science classes. It's not so much that "[a]ll too often those who reject Darwin and his successors are considered ignorant rubes by the cognitive elite," it's that people in megachurches around the nation are actively ENCOURAGED from the pulpit and on radio waves to remain as ignorant rubes and get PISSED OFF enough to demand freaking warning labels on textbooks. If ONLY the scientific community could be as petty, putting the shoe on the other foot with warning labels on bibles saying that they are not to be taken as scientific literature. THEN the science-minded folk would be getting the message out, right?

/c'mon, challenge accepted?
 
2012-07-24 02:05:15 PM  

natazha: Thorak: Look, not even reasonable Christian theologians believe the Book of Genesis, or any of the rest of the bible, is a "literal chronicle" of anything.

Yes, but there aren't many of those and even fewer in the ranks.

"The 46% of Americans who today believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years is little changed from the 44% who believed this 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question."

Link


Well, if there aren't very many of those in the ranks, I must ask (with no sense of snark)... why is the number that believe in young-earth creationism is less than 50%?
 
2012-07-24 02:10:55 PM  
From my observations, I'd have to at least say there's a serious disconnect between scientists and the general population. My sister and I were talking about science, a while ago, and she told me she was taught, in school, the Earth's gravity is caused by its rotation. I couldn't believe it. Of course, it's possible she's remembering it incorrectly, and they didn't teach her that, but I'm still amazed she made it through high school with that understanding of gravity.

Who's to blame for that? I guess I don't know. My initial impulse is, in fact, to blame scientists, but I could be wrong. I do believe we need to find the source of the problem and deal with it, though, because we sure seem to have a lot of ignorant people in this country.
 
2012-07-24 02:18:39 PM  

the_vicious_fez: I don't see a lot of compassion from many of the more vocal atheists about this issue. Overthrowing your belief system is not something to be taken lightly, nor does it happen on a whim. Expecting people who have placed their faith in a deity and built their lives around the values that said deity preaches to immediately throw it all away after being exposed to a different viewpoint is completely unrealistic.


I don't know a single person who follows the Bible. Everyone I know pretty much does whatever the heck they want and cherry picks Bible verses to justify their actions and when inconvenient ignores Biblical doctrine completely. Decent people cherry pick the nice teachings and bad people cherry pick the bad teachings, but it's always the same.

Also with respect to "overthrowing your belief system is not something to be taken likely." That's bupkis. If I ran around saying I could telepathically communicate with the dead that they would grant me wishes I'd be dismissed immediately. I call it praying to Jesus and suddenly I deserve some sort of respect? Sorry, not buying it. Peoples' minds won't really be changed. The only real course of action is to shun bad behavior and wait a few generations. It's how we've dealt with racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.. all of which are in various stages of success. A long way to go on each of those to be sure, but minds were never changed with rational discussions. They're changed by shouting down the deviants and then waiting for them to die.
 
2012-07-24 02:18:41 PM  

LooseLips: Well there is your problem, mister. "Not sharing knowledge" is not equal to "I didn't bother to read." But wait, it wasn't HIS fault. It wasn't HIS fault that he never bothered to crack open and actually read his biology textbooks during school, where he would have been able to see how much knowledge IS being shared on the topic of evolution. Evolution being, among other theories, one that is integral to understanding biology.


Let's talk a moment about how messages get out and what influences people to accept them. I know a good number of scientists that work in scientific fields and produce research articles and all sorts of good things like that. They're connected to their work, and often they thrive on it. But do you know what they're often VERY BAD at doing? Communicating it to "lay people" such as myself; I'm just an engineer with an interest in science. But you know what? That doesn't bother them because they have enough work on their hands just cracking the next great problem. Perhaps it is a lack of charisma, a lack of motivation, or a lack of communications skill.

But on the other hand, consider what groups have the opposite qualities in spades: politicians and preachers. They have captive audiences, recurring attendance and attention, as well as access to the media... and they SELL IT. It is sad that I know the names of more televangelists than I do mainstream advocates of science from the scientific community. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye (the engineer) can only do so much, but at least they understand the desperate need to engage the common man with their love of scientific understanding and discovery.

So while it may piss you off that Luddites don't feel engaged by the scientific world, remember that the anti-scientific world is actively, constantly, and thoroughly engaging people every day the best way they can figure out how to. Their response isn't "read this impenetrable, 400-page textbook and get a clue moron!" it is singing and lights and sound and beautifully-crafted and delivered homilies about something safe and applicable to their lives.

So I see the author's point.
 
2012-07-24 02:20:41 PM  

Dadoo: Who's to blame for that? I guess I don't know. My initial impulse is, in fact, to blame scientists, but I could be wrong. I do believe we need to find the source of the problem and deal with it, though, because we sure seem to have a lot of ignorant people in this country.


If we're comfortable blaming peoples' warped concept of Christianity on the preachers that came up with it, then it seems fair to consider the scientific professionals to be the caretakers of their own message.
 
2012-07-24 02:21:24 PM  

Dadoo: From my observations, I'd have to at least say there's a serious disconnect between scientists and the general population. My sister and I were talking about science, a while ago, and she told me she was taught, in school, the Earth's gravity is caused by its rotation. I couldn't believe it. Of course, it's possible she's remembering it incorrectly, and they didn't teach her that, but I'm still amazed she made it through high school with that understanding of gravity.

Who's to blame for that? I guess I don't know. My initial impulse is, in fact, to blame scientists, but I could be wrong. I do believe we need to find the source of the problem and deal with it, though, because we sure seem to have a lot of ignorant people in this country.


My guess is she confused centripetal force with gravity. And actually, were she talking about some space station that spun to keep people walking upright, she'd be right. I wouldn't blame the schools that much on that one. It seems like something she might have misremembered.

As for the supposed disconnect between scientists and the public (or, more specifically, the religious public), there definitely seems to be one. Part of it is we're now in an era where science can explain things that are pretty far above the heads of most people... so they don't learn it. Quantum physics is a bit of an extreme example, but it does work. Another part is snobbery on the part of the scientific community. I don't want to pick on Dawkins too much, but he's the perfect example. He takes a scientific premise that's pretty sound on its own (evolution), then stretches it to cover a much wider set of ideas. If you agree with evolution but not the rest of his ideas (such as belief in a higher power), he and his acolytes are more likely to call you a delusional idiot than consider that maybe belief in evolution and a higher power can be things that intertwine. Then people get offended, turn to sources that are more likely to agree with their thoughts on the whole (religion, culture, government, what have you) and throw the original idea (evolution) out with the bathwater.
 
2012-07-24 02:31:27 PM  

the_geek:

Also with respect to "overthrowing your belief system is not something to be taken likely." That's bupkis. If I ran around saying I could telepathically communicate with the dead that they would grant me wishes I'd be dismissed immediately. I call it praying to Jesus and suddenly I deserve some sort of respect? Sorry, not buying it.


Your psychic necromancy theory may not deserve any sort of intellectual respect, but you as an individual deserve compassion, as does anyone you debate. If you have no respect or compassion or empathy for your opponent, debating him will be a waste of both your times.
 
2012-07-24 02:33:53 PM  

Marine1: Dadoo: From my observations, I'd have to at least say there's a serious disconnect between scientists and the general population. My sister and I were talking about science, a while ago, and she told me she was taught, in school, the Earth's gravity is caused by its rotation. I couldn't believe it. Of course, it's possible she's remembering it incorrectly, and they didn't teach her that, but I'm still amazed she made it through high school with that understanding of gravity.

Who's to blame for that? I guess I don't know. My initial impulse is, in fact, to blame scientists, but I could be wrong. I do believe we need to find the source of the problem and deal with it, though, because we sure seem to have a lot of ignorant people in this country.

My guess is she confused centripetal force with gravity. And actually, were she talking about some space station that spun to keep people walking upright, she'd be right. I wouldn't blame the schools that much on that one. It seems like something she might have misremembered.


No, I made sure of that. The whole discussion started because I was talking to my boss, who's an ultra-conservative who doesn't trust scientists. He pointed out that one of the reasons is that he was taught the very same thing. (Don't ask. I'm constantly amazed by some of the things that come out of his mouth.) Again, I couldn't believe it. So I asked my parents. They also said that's what they were taught. I finally asked my sister because she's younger than me, and I thought things would have changed after all that time. Apparently not.
 
2012-07-24 02:53:12 PM  

Dadoo: No, I made sure of that. The whole discussion started because I was talking to my boss, who's an ultra-conservative who doesn't trust scientists. He pointed out that one of the reasons is that he was taught the very same thing. (Don't ask. I'm constantly amazed by some of the things that come out of his mouth.) Again, I couldn't believe it. So I asked my parents. They also said that's what they were taught. I finally asked my sister because she's younger than me, and I thought things would have changed after all that time. Apparently not.


the hell would that work even?

I don't recall specifics about how gravity was taught in my youth, but I sure as hell think teaching that it came from the spinning of the earth would just make things confusing.

Unless we're all on a giant map of the earth on a ringwrld, then spinning does help some
 
2012-07-24 02:55:47 PM  

the_vicious_fez: the_geek:

Also with respect to "overthrowing your belief system is not something to be taken likely." That's bupkis. If I ran around saying I could telepathically communicate with the dead that they would grant me wishes I'd be dismissed immediately. I call it praying to Jesus and suddenly I deserve some sort of respect? Sorry, not buying it.

Your psychic necromancy theory may not deserve any sort of intellectual respect, but you as an individual deserve compassion, as does anyone you debate. If you have no respect or compassion or empathy for your opponent, debating him will be a waste of both your times.


This.

Besides, personal beliefs on prayer can vary. That's something a lot of debunkers often forget.
 
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