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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 20
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4289 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 11:27:37 AM
5 votes:
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.
2012-07-25 09:07:20 AM
2 votes:
I'll just leave this here...

img840.imageshack.us

// And yes, the answer is yes.
2012-07-24 01:13:40 PM
2 votes:
"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 11:42:35 AM
2 votes:

Marine1: Farking Canuck: Wait until the author actually reads the bible and realizes how much of a violent, sexist, vile POS it is. He's going to be an atheists in no time.

For what it's worth, the opinion of Richard Dawkins and other Antitheists regarding the religious (even those of moderate stripes) isn't much more enlightening than the Old Testament.


Um... why would you expect knowing that someone is wrong to be enlightening? 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.
2012-07-24 11:33:43 AM
2 votes:

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
2012-07-24 11:33:34 AM
2 votes:
Wait until the author actually reads the bible and realizes how much of a violent, sexist, vile POS it is. He's going to be an atheists in no time.
2012-07-24 04:02:34 PM
1 votes:

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.


You could be and you are very wrong. Blaming scientific illiteracy on scientists is like blaming actual illiteracy on authors.
2012-07-24 01:23:20 PM
1 votes:

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 12:22:42 PM
1 votes:
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 12:13:46 PM
1 votes:

Ed Grubermann: the_vicious_fez: [T]he reason it's important to listen to your opposition, even if you think they're dead wrong, is because they won't listen to you if you're not answering their questions. Then you think they're idiots, they think the same about you, and nothing gets solved. That's not debate, that's just aural masturbation.

I have listened. I have gone to great lengths to explain evolution and the scientific method to the best of my abilities. I have directed them to books, web pages, YouTube videos, etc... that tackle the topics in respectful, honest, easy to digest chunks. And still they flail about and try to use the failure of Lammarkianism to try and disprove the modern theory of evolution. They argue against ideas that science has rejected for decades, if not centuries. They tell me I only beleive in evolution because I hate God and want to live a sinful life and not pay the eternal price for my evil ways.

I'm sorry. I'm done trying to be nice to these assbags.


Fair enough. Debate takes multiple people committed to the cause and it sounds like your opponents were not.

I will say this: for ethical reasons, I do not ever debate religion/science with anyone religious. I don't care if others do, but I will not. The reason being that I have renounced two religions and both times it was traumatic. It left scars. I've always believed in science, but the removal of some sort of target of prayer was extremely tough.

These shifts of thought happened when I was 13 and 20, roughly, and the first time I got sick after turning atheist was also the first time I got sick far away from home, on the other side of the country. It was absolutely miserable because I hadn't recalibrated my ability to hope yet. Instead of faith in a higher being, I needed to have faith in time, and instead of a night of praying to something to make it all better, I had to accept that I was on my own. I was lonely and miserable and scared.

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.
2012-07-24 12:09:57 PM
1 votes:

the_vicious_fez: I do like his points about polarization. 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.


That's the real problem with general discourse in America today: on almost any imaginable topic, both sides have ceased to acknowledge that their opponents think. Even those long famous for championing the idea that there is no One True Way have fallen into this trap, claiming that their opponents are not merely mistaken or misguided, but actually blind and unthinking, or even actually insane. Certainly the opposition is held to be unfit to debate: a group beyond help, that should be grateful just to be pitied, then shepherded along their poor, deprived lives in silence.

That's a fairly new concept. Discourse remains as gentle, in the general sense, as it has always been, which is to say not at all. But before some 50 years ago, sides generally agreed that everyone involved was at least in possession, and engagement, of a full set of mental faculties. Some groups went to far as to claim that their opponents' use of thought and reason was the whole problem -the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages provides the most infamous example of that- but implicit even in such a claim is an acknowledgment that your opponents have working minds.

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?
2012-07-24 12:08:46 PM
1 votes:
Author explains that he was once an ignorant ass who didnt listen to anyone, then blames others for not telling him sooner...

...soo nothing has changed.
2012-07-24 12:01:40 PM
1 votes:

Jim_Callahan: Marine1: Farking Canuck: Wait until the author actually reads the bible and realizes how much of a violent, sexist, vile POS it is. He's going to be an atheists in no time.

For what it's worth, the opinion of Richard Dawkins and other Antitheists regarding the religious (even those of moderate stripes) isn't much more enlightening than the Old Testament.

Um... why would you expect knowing that someone is wrong to be enlightening? 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.


Religious people being wrong.

I love how we take the idea that someone believes in a higher power and then automatically translate that to being wrong. My girlfriend is Jewish; I'm Christian. I don't see her as "wrong". She has a different point of view.

Now, when it comes to evolution, I agree... it farking happened and it's ridiculous that some of my religious kin can't accept that. However, that seems to be the rallying cry to dismantle all religion, on the basis that all religious people are backwards and dogmatic. It's not true, and a lot of the things guys like Dawkins say smacks of the Soviet-era anti-religious propaganda that advocated throwing the religious in mental hospitals. It throws out the whole of individuals for the fact that they believe in God to even the smallest extent. It's fundamentalism of a different stripe.

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. Dawkins isn't dead, you aren't dead, and Hitch died of what was most likely tobacco and drinking-induced cancer. Opponents of religion that held government positions worldwide during the 20th century did much more damage to the humanity (intellectuals, especially) than Christianity did.

/feeling weird this morning, so sorry if my argument doesn't flow... light headed, almost
2012-07-24 11:50:59 AM
1 votes:
Keep your damn fairy tales out of state funded education.

Simple. You want to brainwash children? Do it on your own dollar.
2012-07-24 11:46:41 AM
1 votes:

Jim_Callahan: As someone who used to teach high school students, let me point out that:

(a) creationism is usually something that happens outside of or even after schooling, the correct information is in fact presented at some point (typically several times) over the course of several bio classes


I went to high school in the early 1980's. While they never taught "creationism", my biology teachers had to bend over backwards to accommodate these willfully ignorant puddenheads every time evolution was mentioned. You'd have thought that it was a viable alternate theory if you weren't paying attention, or were one of these aforementioned puddenheads. What backwater hick state did I go to high school in? California.
2012-07-24 11:45:52 AM
1 votes:

the_vicious_fez: He laments not studying evolution thoroughly in school, but he doesn't mention the fact that religious lobbies work very hard to bar evolution from being taught at all.

I do like his points about polarization. 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.


There's not too much that can be done to help the willfully ignorant.
2012-07-24 11:45:22 AM
1 votes:

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.


To quote Robert Bakker, paleontologist, dual PhD and ordained minister, to take a literal interpretation of the Bible is to rob it of its eternal message. Sadly that kind of thinking doesn't jive well with the "God just went *click*" crowd.
2012-07-24 11:40:27 AM
1 votes:

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?
2012-07-24 11:36:51 AM
1 votes:
As someone who used to teach high school students, let me point out that:

(a) creationism is usually something that happens outside of or even after schooling, the correct information is in fact presented at some point (typically several times) over the course of several bio classes

and

(b) one of the running problems you have to face as an educator is that you can alleviate ignorance but there's simply no fixing stupid. Especially if it's stupid externally reinforced by another party. All you can do is present the truth, but if the kid's parents and community insist vehemently on a lie you've got about as much chance as convincing him to stay off drugs when his best friend is a dealer.

What I'm saying here is that the dude may be mixing up secular education and religion again. It's the priests that claim to have access to miracles that violate the laws of physics/sociology/etc, teachers admit that they're human and cant magically reshape the world by the power of will alone.
2012-07-24 11:19:50 AM
1 votes:
Lack of science education is the tin foil hat used by creationists to keep knowledge out of their brainwaves.
 
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