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(io9)   Nineteen-year-old activist makes life hell for Louisiana's creationists   (io9.com) divider line 124
    More: Hero, Zack Kopplin, Louisiana, Education Act, science books, Discovery Institute, scientific inquiry, AlterNet, Southeastern Louisiana University  
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34289 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jan 2013 at 9:27 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2013-01-15 05:01:02 PM  
14 votes:
Also good use of the hero tag.
2013-01-15 05:43:53 PM  
12 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.




Creationism isn't science. It's mythology and fan fiction.
Really really bad fan fiction.
2013-01-15 10:00:18 PM  
11 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.



We have a specific, individually enumerated right to free thought on the subject of religion. It's number 1, even. The state is specifically barred from interfering with religion at all. So, for instance, the state is barred from deciding what parts of the bible are more important than others - a job the various judeo-christian sects do NOT want the government to ever have.

Schools teaching religious dogma clearly violates that right. Not all christian sects believe in the charismatic view of creationism. The state is picking not only a particular religion to favor... it's actually picking a particular SECT of that religion. You really want to go down that road? You want Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer in charge of how christianity is passed on to your children? You catholic - you'll love it when the US government picks protestant. Protestant - then you'll love it when we officially teach catholic dogma to your kids. Oh heck, how about they go 7th day adventist and burn you all. Though we all know inside of two generations the scientolgists will have gamed the system and run the show.

So how about religion stays where the fark it's supposed to - in the CHURCH OF ITS CHOOSING. Don't attack religious liberty by teaching religious dogma in schools.
2013-01-15 04:59:23 PM  
11 votes:

Equilibrist: FARK needs a Creationist tab.


It would have to be intelligently designed.
2013-01-15 10:37:42 PM  
10 votes:
Here's the biggest issue: you want to teach your religious beliefs, please do so. In the context of them being YOUR religious beliefs, and in the church or religious institution of your choice.


Public education is exactly that: public. If you don't want to teach in a public institution, and instead wish to teach in a religious school, please do so. Trying to weasel your beliefs into being taught on the public dime is a violation of the separation of church and state. It promotes your faith over others, and thus is a greater danger to the freedom of religion that folks claim to cherish so much.


You want to teach Creationism, then do so, in a the private school of your choice. With your own dollars going to its upkeep, and the possible loss of accreditation and the possibility of not being able to be placed in many universities after graduation. Your call. Go for it.


When you take the public dollar, you are then beholden to teach folks of all faiths, and even those who don't have any. Equally. Not just teach your own faith. That means actually respecting the fact that not all faiths share your zeal for the Biblical teachings. There are places to teach this: in your own churches and synagogues and mosques and temples. Teach them at home, if you are REALLY into the idea, but understand, that they aren't held by the scientific community, and that the only REAL controversy, is that you want public dollars to teach your faith. And keep anyone else from teaching their own.


I have no problem if you want to teach the "alternatives" at home. I have no problem if you want to teach the "alternatives" in a Sunday school. Or in a summer camp. Please, do so. But knowing, that they do not coincide with good science, and that if you insist on injecting your faith over all others, it's not going to make you real popular, and it may hamper you like a Bob Jones degree may keep you from a post at a real university that has actual accreditation, as opposed to some lackadaisical standard that you pull out of your tochis.


Admit it. ID and the rest are just this, and in the words of the founder of your movement...

lh5.googleusercontent.com
2013-01-15 09:47:58 PM  
9 votes:
I've always liked the native american creation myths why can't the schools teach those?
2013-01-15 05:23:41 PM  
9 votes:
This kid's awesome.
2013-01-15 09:46:37 PM  
8 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.


Why would creationists see him as a hero?
2013-01-15 07:47:57 PM  
8 votes:
"Creationism is not science, and shouldn't be in a public school science class - it's that simple"

Yes, it really is that simple. If creationism wants to be taught in science classes, it has to play by science's rules.
2013-01-15 08:37:23 PM  
7 votes:
SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.

For years I've been petitioning my local public school system to teach that the universe is controlled by a small, yet powerful cabal of wizards rather than that crap we call "physics." They have refused to do so every year, and I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that they're actively opposing academic freedom and freedom of thought.
2013-01-15 05:18:53 PM  
7 votes:
FTFA:He also has his eyes set on vouchers. After an Alternet story came out about a school in the Louisiana voucher program teaching that the Loch Ness Monster was real and disproved evolution, Kopplin looked deeper into the program and found that this wasn't just one school, but at least 19 other schools, too.Oh. My. God......that's scary. And I'm not talking about a possible monster.
2013-01-15 05:00:23 PM  
7 votes:

phlegmmo: Equilibrist: FARK needs a Creationist tab.

It would have to be intelligently designed.



And never change over time.
2013-01-15 11:06:55 PM  
5 votes:

Tyranicle: I'm an athiest who thinks Zack is probubly Jewish with a bone to pick whithin the WASP world he did not choose to be born to in. He should probubly grow a pair and move to Israel to 'fight' the Palestinians, instead of stirring up discourse whithin the world he hates.


I'm an atheist who thinks that your post is the dumbest thing posted in this thread.

And consider upgrading to a browser with spellcheck.
2013-01-15 09:42:31 PM  
5 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


If only oppressed Christians had a place where they could meet and discuss their beliefs on how the world was made.
2013-01-15 09:01:38 PM  
5 votes:
This kid has to be worried about getting out of his car and being mowed down in a hail of Jesus' love.
2013-01-15 10:49:51 PM  
4 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


i1240.photobucket.com
2013-01-15 10:41:04 PM  
4 votes:

spidermilk:

The other day two church chicks came to my door and I thought "Ok, stay cool, don't be an asshole" and they gave me a little pamplet and told me where their church was. I said "Great, thanks! have a good one." and they didn't turn around to leave. Instead, the chick goes "Let me ask you- if you died today are you SURE-" and right there I rudely cut her off and said 'I'm an athiest so I don't believe in god." and she just said "WELL THERE IS A GOD!" and I said "ok, we all have our own beliefs- bye!"

and then I felt bad the rest of the day like I should have just said thanks and bye again instead of getting made and freaking her out.


No reason for you to feel bad about anything. She knocked on YOUR door with the intent to challenge YOUR beliefs. They're out there proselytising to sway people to join their "one true path" and if she can't handle a little atheist push back, she shouldn't be knocking on stranger's doors like that.
2013-01-15 10:38:47 PM  
4 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero. People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


SkinnyHead, you've been lied to. Probably all your life, and most likely by those closest to you. You should be pissed about that. Instead, you attack the messenger. Have you given much thought to your own motivations?

For everyone else, here's how to help:

National Center for Science Education

Freedom from Religion Foundation

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

People like SkinnyHead are expected to give 10% of their pretax income to help us all back into the Dark Ages, and quite a few of them actually live up to their commitment. Is it too much to ask that the rest of us pony up $50 every once in awhile to support organizations that, in turn, support people like Zack Kopplin?
2013-01-15 10:01:19 PM  
4 votes:
rvesco:I'm not a creationist, but I'm not prepared to label a nineteen-year-old who thinks the government should prevent any deviation from (or even supplementation of) a government-controlled curriculum a "hero."

That pesky kid! His fighting to uphold the principles of Freedom of Religion, and keep religious zealots from promoting their doctrine on impressionable students, and using it to convert them to their religion is just Government cocksucking, you know.

He's not really a hero. If only he had Jesus in his heart!

/he's not fighting to prevent deviation from a "Government-Controlled Curriculum." He's fighting to keep religion and mythology from being taught as scientific fact.
//Anyone trying to label it as anything but this is disingeniously trying to distract.
2013-01-15 09:50:47 PM  
4 votes:
images2.dailykos.com
2013-01-15 09:40:18 PM  
4 votes:
Politicians are stupid. We know this. The thing that is wrong about this is that the teachers want to teach intelligent design.
2013-01-15 08:46:19 PM  
4 votes:
My book says that there is an all powerful Force that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together. Life creates it and makes it grow. And a powerful ally it is. And unlike these other theories, I have video of it. But you don't see me trying to force it in kid's textbooks.
2013-01-16 03:22:55 PM  
3 votes:

Animatronik: Intelligent design is in fact science


No its not. It hasn't conducted any actual science yet. The Discovery Institute has done an awful lot of steps 4 and 5, but they have yet to do any of steps 1 to 3.

Animatronik: Every time I hear nonscientists and junior scientists talk about teaching science, they talk about it like its teaching history. It's not. You don't include good ideas and exclude bad ones and declare success. You teach kids how to think, because its about knowledge acquisition as much as knowledge itself.


While you think you're being the noble and open-minded one with this assertion, the truth is teaching bad science would not compel kids to think anymore than teaching bad math would, and in both cases, teaching it incorrectly or teaching depricated and discarded ideas would only serve to confuse them as they would be unable to interact with the real world afterword.

If people would like to learn the history of failed scientific ideas, there is History for that. Science, like math, is what works TODAY, in the here and now. Yes, there may come a time in the future where everything we know today might be disproven, only to be replaced by some more robust theory. And at that time, we will change school curriculums to reflect the new theory. But until that happens, what we know now is the best understanding of the Universe that we have and it is the ONLY thing pertinent to be taught in science class.

You want to teach kids to think, make a mandatory Critical Thinking course.
2013-01-16 06:07:06 AM  
3 votes:

Animatronik: I see nothing wrong with challenging students to consider alternatives to evolution, whether it be Lamarckism or a fixed creation event. The key here is 'consider'.


First of all, Lamarckism was debunked over a century ago with our proper understanding of Mendelian genetics. It is not an alternative to evolution -- it is not even compatible with anything we know about microbiology today.

Secondly, science is not a Democracy. It is not there to hear "all sides" of an issue and let the people decide what's true through popular consensus, and even if it was, our schools -- where kids are first learning about these things -- are hardly the appropriate avenues to have those kinds of discussions. That's not how science works.

The correct format for introducing any valid competing theory that challenges commonly accepted scientific inquiry is a five-step process:

1) conduct experiments and/or collect data
2) publish scientific papers explaining those experiments/data
3) let that data be scrutinized and those experiments be duplicated and challenged by others (peer-review)
4) If they pass the mustard and survive harsh scrutiny they get printed up in journals and magazines for laymen
5) After about 20 years of this solid testing, experimentation and exploration backed by evidence and peer-review, the science goes for review to be inserted into high school textbooks.

THEN students can learn about it.

The main thrust of Creationists is to bypass the first four steps and insert Creationism/Intelligent Design doctrine directly into school textbooks now. Today. At once. This is not only wrong and dangerous, it is bordering on criminal.
2013-01-16 02:12:09 AM  
3 votes:
Actually, wikipedia's explanation of a scientific theory is better than mine. Here's a copy-paste.

A scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."[1][2] Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy. As with all forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and do not make apodictic propositions; instead, they aim for predictive and explanatory force.[3][4]

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, which is measured by its ability to make falsifiable predictions with respect to those phenomena. Theories are improved as more evidence is gathered, so that accuracy in prediction improves over time. Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.

Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.[3] This is significantly different from the word "theory" in common usage, which implies that something is unproven or speculative.[5]
Evolution is a scientific theory.
2013-01-15 10:54:25 PM  
3 votes:
Here's a bit of wisdom, folks:

You can never win a debate against somebody who is too stupid to realize they've been refuted.

That's why I never debate Cretinists in the real world, because it's usually one-on-one and a waste of time. On Fark, on the other hand, there's plenty of intelligent lurkers who might be swayed to the Evolution side through reasonable debate, so then it's worth the effort...
2013-01-15 10:02:59 PM  
3 votes:
This young man is a better man than 100 % of the Republicans in the House and Senate who are twice his age.
2013-01-15 09:42:20 PM  
3 votes:
Go get 'em, young man.

** Two (opposable) thumbs up **
2013-01-15 09:39:40 PM  
3 votes:
i49.tinypic.com
2013-01-15 09:38:46 PM  
3 votes:
My first thought was "Please let this kid not be an asshole." and then I read the article and he sounds like a total non-asshole. Just calmly and semi-quietly doing what he thinks is right. And not just to prove that he is smarter than him, but because he wants Louisianans to be successful.

The other day two church chicks came to my door and I thought "Ok, stay cool, don't be an asshole" and they gave me a little pamplet and told me where their church was. I said "Great, thanks! have a good one." and they didn't turn around to leave. Instead, the chick goes "Let me ask you- if you died today are you SURE-" and right there I rudely cut her off and said 'I'm an athiest so I don't believe in god." and she just said "WELL THERE IS A GOD!" and I said "ok, we all have our own beliefs- bye!"

and then I felt bad the rest of the day like I should have just said thanks and bye again instead of getting made and freaking her out.
2013-01-15 05:38:30 PM  
3 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


Finally over your post-election depression?
2013-01-15 05:32:38 PM  
3 votes:
Gah! There was supposed to be an "Oh, hush" under that quoted post.
2013-01-16 02:35:40 AM  
2 votes:
pictures.mastermarf.com
2013-01-15 11:37:54 PM  
2 votes:

Nabb1: SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


i.imgur.com

You're not fooling anyone.
2013-01-15 10:57:06 PM  
2 votes:
Zach's a good guy from a good family. He hasn't been put up to anything and he makes sense. Some of the politicians are mind numbingly stupid.
2013-01-15 10:56:49 PM  
2 votes:
As someone who IS religious AND a teacher I say good for him.

I'll sign up and subscribe to his newsletter!!!
I absolutely HATE when religion shoe-horns its way into the classroom where it doesn't belong.
Keep religion out of my science classroom, and away from my carnivorous dinosaurs who freaking ate meat ALWAYS!!
2013-01-15 10:36:35 PM  
2 votes:

veryequiped: Find any proponent of the Theory of Evolution, and they'll tell you that it's only a theory because it can't be proven.


OK, troll, I'll bite. 'Theory' to a scientist means 'best explanation we have at present'. Only to idiots with a limited education does 'theory' mean 'wild guess'. Evolution has been proven a zillion times in fossils, geologic strata, carbon-14 and other radioactivity measurements, and genetics among many other things. Do cretinists, er, creationists have any proof for the 'Divine Poof Theory'? I'll take a wild guess--hell, no.
2013-01-15 10:27:42 PM  
2 votes:
Geez, folks, why do you keep responding to the troll ShiattyHead? I can block his posts, but I can't block responses to his posts and every time I accidentally read something he wrote, I lose brain cells. Please don't feed the trolls, already!!!
2013-01-15 10:22:23 PM  
2 votes:

4seasons85!: I think there should be a separate class that teaches world beliefs. It should teach general beliefs about the major world religions and the beliefs of athiests. This way people are informed at least some what as to what others believe and they are given a choice of what to believe. It will cover creationism and why people believe it in this class. However this may be too logical and not enough Jesus for some people.


If you think there was a shiatstorm about teaching science to the kids of these people, wait until the government tries to inform their kids about other religious beliefs.
2013-01-15 10:19:01 PM  
2 votes:
I think there should be a separate class that teaches world beliefs. It should teach general beliefs about the major world religions and the beliefs of athiests. This way people are informed at least some what as to what others believe and they are given a choice of what to believe. It will cover creationism and why people believe it in this class. However this may be too logical and not enough Jesus for some people.
2013-01-15 10:06:31 PM  
2 votes:

bingo the psych-o: What is it about the Abrahamic religions that promotes such willful ignorance? Can someone explain it to me?


Jews, and Ashkenazi jews in particular, would like a word. Even if they're not smarter on average than other groups, they're certainly not willfully ignorant. You could say the same about Islam when the Muslim world was one of the bright spots in the world for learning and education, and even Christian Europe during the renaissance.

It's not the Abrahamic religions so much as it is the human nature of these fundamentalist retards who can't bear the thought of anyone else understanding anything that they don't understand (and they don't understand anything). I suspect it would play out the same with people like that even if these particular religions had never existed.

I also suspect (but don't know for sure) that you'd get similar assholes in societies that have never heard of this particular God.
2013-01-15 09:54:11 PM  
2 votes:

spidermilk: My first thought was "Please let this kid not be an asshole." and then I read the article and he sounds like a total non-asshole. Just calmly and semi-quietly doing what he thinks is right. And not just to prove that he is smarter than him, but because he wants Louisianans to be successful.

The other day two church chicks came to my door and I thought "Ok, stay cool, don't be an asshole" and they gave me a little pamplet and told me where their church was. I said "Great, thanks! have a good one." and they didn't turn around to leave. Instead, the chick goes "Let me ask you- if you died today are you SURE-" and right there I rudely cut her off and said 'I'm an athiest so I don't believe in god." and she just said "WELL THERE IS A GOD!" and I said "ok, we all have our own beliefs- bye!"

and then I felt bad the rest of the day like I should have just said thanks and bye again instead of getting made and freaking her out.


...then you lost the argument that you didn't even know you were having. If you're not willing to hurt feelings, you're not willing to change the world. This kid, at the very least, knows he's going to be fighting people who feel he's hurting them. He has to not care about that. Whether he does it calmly or whether he shouts it from the mountaintops is his choice. Neither make him an "asshole" any more than they make Richard Dawkins (Who is just as calm as this kid is, though far more outspoken) an "asshole". In fact, the only real difference between the "assholes" and the "good guys" on this issue is their volume.
2013-01-15 09:52:18 PM  
2 votes:
I sincerely hope this kid is banging all kinds of hot rebellious hippy chicks.
2013-01-15 09:48:11 PM  
2 votes:
Hero tag is appropriate.
2013-01-15 09:46:51 PM  
2 votes:
doyner: Just think how poor of a job those teachers were doing all along if they've always been itching to teach that crap.

but it's not just them, it's everybody around them. Their friends, family, teachers, peers...hell, society has failed them. They've been allowed to make it to the point where they find it appropriate to pass on their idiocy. I accept partial responsibility.
2013-01-15 09:45:38 PM  
2 votes:
I would think life as a Creationist is already Hell. Convincing yourself that snakes can talk must be f*cking hard work.
2013-01-15 09:42:17 PM  
2 votes:
Just think how poor of a job those teachers were doing all along if they've always been itching to teach that crap.
2013-01-15 09:42:05 PM  
2 votes:
I enjoy how they said he caused Hurricane Katrina. It's how you can tell you're dealing with scholars.
2013-01-15 09:35:34 PM  
2 votes:
Do they really believe that Noah was 600 years old when God told him to build the ark? And that Noah lived for 350 years after the flood? AND that the world is only 6000 years old? The math boggles my mind. But at least they are sticking it to those liberals who are brainwashing kids at colleges.
2013-01-15 09:29:00 PM  
2 votes:

BunkoSquad: This kid's awesome.


He is also devastatingly handsome. God bless him.
2013-01-15 09:13:17 PM  
2 votes:
I'll keep reporting this until Louisiana wises up:  Link
2013-01-15 09:09:43 PM  
2 votes:

BunkoSquad: This kid's awesome.

2013-01-15 05:45:25 PM  
2 votes:
It's a never ending source of sadness to see the absolute ignorance of many of our elected "leaders" on display.
2013-01-15 05:19:42 PM  
2 votes:
I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.
2013-01-15 05:09:56 PM  
2 votes:
I can't imagine that would be a difficult thing to do.  First, they're creationists.  Second, they're in the South.
2013-01-15 04:58:05 PM  
2 votes:
FARK needs a Creationist tab.
2013-01-19 12:32:45 AM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: Jesus is also proof of God's existence. Even his enemies of the time wrote about the things He was doing and did not deny the miracles He performed. Why would His enemies confirm His activities?


They didn't. There are no contemporary sources of Jesus' life or ministry. Everything written about him has come two generations after he died, and of all the official sources that mention anything about him, the only one who mentions anything was Tacitus, and all he mentioned was that there was a cult of Khristos, and that it's leader/founder was tried for sedition and crucified during the reign of Tiberius on orders by Pontius Pilate. That's it.

Seutonius and Josephus also mention the Christ cult but they were likely getting their info from Tacitus. None of them mention Jesus specifically.

Jesus' life is a complete mystery. We have no evidence, no confirmation, no firsthand accounts or sources, and no objective verification that anything he did in his life actually happened. The nativity, the sermons, the miracles... all are completely specious and unfounded. We do know he existed, and we know he was a rabbi with a following who was crucified, but that's as far as any corroborative evidence can tell us.

The general consensus among the first generation of Christians in the 1st century was that Jesus was going to return within their lifetimes. It was only when they got old and most of them started dying off that they realized it might not actually happen so they started bickering about what to do and before long the upstart religion had about a dozen denominations and schisms. Each of them scrambled to write down what they could remember about Jesus. These writings became the gospels.

There were over 50 gospels in the Christian Church at one point, some of them not very flattering about the life of Jesus. Only four of them made it into New Testament canon - the most exalted ones that affirmed each other and affirmed the selected dogma of Jesus being God. Some others were semi-canonical or apocryphal, but nearly all of them were eventually destroyed, discredited, censored or branded as heresy by the Nicene Creed (Catholicism wiped out all the other sects). Some formed the basis for other early schisms of Christianity (Gnosticism, Christianic Judaism, Marcionism/Arianism). Only about a dozen exist as complete works today. Others exist partially or as surviving fragments. Over half are completely lost to time and mystery.

So even if you think you know everything about Jesus... you don't know anything about Jesus.
2013-01-19 12:24:20 AM  
1 votes:

Farking Canuck: Keizer_Ghidorah: I'm also curious as to what prophecies Jesus supposedly fulfilled, since there's still sin and most of humanity is still sentenced to eternal indescribable torture.

This is a good point.

It seems to me that Odin promised to protect us from the Ice Giants and he has been very, very successful.

If I ever decide that magic is real I am definitely going to sign up for the Norse religion.

/Loki is only mischievous ... not truly evil like the devil. Win-win for everyone.


Was Lucifer really evil? Looking through God's resume, he seems to be the truly evil one of the story. Lucifer didn't curse creation because two humans ate figs and became intelligent (and God wanted them to stay stupid so they would always worship him), didn't try to destroy creation with a flood because a few thousand humans didn't kowtow to him, didn't send ten plagues on Egypt, ruin Job's life, order an old man to sacrifice his son as a test of loyalty, or the multitude of other horrors described in the Bible. All Lucifer did was challenge God's idea of how to do things.
2013-01-18 09:06:27 PM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: Well, the Bible does tell about people like you and others who just cannot believe in God. I don't have to have a reason that can be put into words that will convince you. I can only live my life and try to reflect God's love and pray that others will come to know Him. While it's baffling to you that I believe what I believe, it is equally baffling to me that others refuse to acknowledge the existence of God. I see the evidence of God every day. In His creation. The trees, flowers, insects, animals.....it all works too well together to NOT be designed to work that way.


Ah yes, the Argument From Trees. Humans see patterns and beauty in things, therefore a human-centric God that invented patterns and beauty exists so that humans can recognize patterns and beauty in things....like sunsets. And double rainbows and snowflakes and galaxy clusters and frozen waterfalls and sand dunes and rain forests and anything in the Universe that literally has your jaw hanging down in utter awe at the striking magnificence. How can there not be a God with all this impressive beauty all around us?

Have you ever watched with fascination a really long turd come out of a dog? Or a smiling child with a bilateral cleft lip and palate? Have you ever squeezed and popped an epidermoid cyst? How about the slow growth of foot fungus? Do you know anyone who knows anyone who had epidermolysis bullosa, a rare disorder that affects 1 in 50,000 live births which causes acute and severe blistering on the skin and is ultimately fatal? Most babies with this condition do not live to see their first birthday. It's an event every bit as magical and beautiful as the sunrise. Or how about viruses and parasites and predators and pestilence. Or wildfires or volcanoes or hurricanes or earthquakes or avalanches. Or floods or droughts or storms. Or prickle bushes or poisonous venom or tooth decay or acne or diarrhea or prostate cancer or menstruation or aging or paraplegia or miscarriages. Or howabout pollution, noxious fumes, hazardous radiation, corrosive acids, radioactive elements, oxidizing agents.

And let's not forget the human ailments: aphasia, epilepsy, agnosia, stroke, schizophrenia, dysarthria, multiple sclerosis, apraxia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, meningitis, autism, encephalitis, cerebral palsy, Bell's palsy, Tourette's syndrome, central pontine myelinolysis, dementia, hydrocephalus, psychosis, neuritis, vertigo, phenylketonuria, porphyrias, neoplasms, synesthesia, hypertensive encephalopathy, paracusia, mania, and tons of other neurological dysfunctions. These are just the mental ones. Let's not forget the blood ones: hemophilia, leukemia, anemia, lymphoma, myeloma, sepsis and blood poisoning, purpura and vasculitis, neutropenia, cholemia, iron deficiencies and a ridiculous number of other disorders that are neither caused by nor the result of infection or the environment - they just happen. I won't go into the rest of the diseases and disorders or else this post would be ten times longer.

Yes, all these things are evidence of God's praise and worship. If he exists, he is an asshole.

The truth is, if you really want to take everything into account, nature is populated by an enormous number of contrasts and juxtapositions, only a sliver of which I would consider remotely beautiful and perfect and by design. Everything else is a mangled bag of failure just struggling to survive.


But the REAL problem with saying God is behind these things is that it's not really a satisfactory answer. Answering a question in science always leads to more questions, in much the same way that cutting up a piece of fruit will lead to more pieces of fruit. Eating some of those pieces - obtaining knowledge through observation and experimentation - means less fruit will be lying around even though there are more (smaller) pieces. Using a God-of-the-gaps argument (or in this case, God of the remaining pieces) for some of life's more evocative questions isn't consuming fruit, it's just cutting it up into more and more pieces and you're still hungry with twice as many questions. How did God make the sunrise? Why did God make the sunrise? Why couldn't it be God's cousin or somebody else? What was the process that went into sunrise making? How long did it take to make it? Can it be reproduced? Do all sunrises need transparent atmospheres to scatter light? Do all animals see sunrises the same way?

(yes, the fruit analogy was deliberate)

Reverting to a theological "God did it" position brings up hows, whys, whens, what fors and other annoying questions that cannot be resolved without further circular reasoning. It may be useful as a stopgap for insufficient data, but it's ultimately inadequate as far as explaining the bigger picture.

When someone asks me what I see when I look at a sunrise, I tell them the truth: An optical illusion brought on by the sun's rays passing through the earth's atmosphere at a severe angle resulting in a great deal of atmospheric refraction with the solar light being scattered by the air molecules producing a wide spectrum of gradient colors. That's not to say that I can't - or don't - appreciate it, just that I recognize what it is I'm seeing.

It is pretty, after all.
2013-01-18 08:59:11 PM  
1 votes:

Ishkur: peeledpeas: I'm not really sure why you are all spending so much time trying to educate me

Because fighting ignorance might very well be the most noble pursuit in all of humanity.


QFT.

Peeled Peas, you are correct that Humanity is arrogant. The recognition of that fact alone should be all the sway you'll ever need to dismiss creationism.
2013-01-18 08:46:03 PM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: I'm not really sure why you are all spending so much time trying to educate me


Because fighting ignorance might very well be the most noble pursuit in all of humanity.

peeledpeas: It's not that I don't believe any of the evidence you all have presented. I am simply open to the fact the human intellect is limited. There have been a great many times in humanities past where we THOUGHT we knew something that turned out to be totally false (flat-earth, anyone?) Those people in the past had overwhelming evidence to support their false claims. What makes you think it's any different today? "We're more sciency now!" Eh, no. We are arrogant.


Yes. This is certainly true.

It is possible that we may be completely wrong about everything. We do not possess the ability to jump outside our skulls - outside human perception, reasoning, and comprehension of the natural world and its faculties - and truly observe the Universe on a completely impartial level. Everything we know comes to us through biased human filters. Even things we think are universal absolutes, like logic, math and physics - they're all human constructs: Human tools created by humans and used by humans to understand human perceptions of the Universe in human terms that humans can understand, for the benefit of humanity. We may be way off with all of this and never know it. The true answers may never be knowable, but that's okay because our current observations are the best guesses we got.

Just because we can't count to infinity is no reason to stop counting.

The very worst thing you can do is turn your back on this conceit and claim that the true answers are already knowable...... in a book..... written by desert campfire cultures thousands of years ago. Because the moment you do that is the moment you stop counting and claim "this number is high enough. We have no reason to count any higher."

There is ALWAYS a reason to count higher, even if that reason is only to see what the next number is. And that old dusty tome written thousands of years ago will only let you count so high.
2013-01-18 07:57:46 PM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: You know exactly how and why the Universe formed? This is interesting since no one else in the world knows this information. You should share.


Okay, but first I need to clarify why your assertion is malformed as it's invoking the First Cause fallacy (ie: "something cannot come from nothing").

The First Cause fallacy is wrong because it's relying not on the actual laws of physics but on the philosophical laws of causality.

The laws of causality aren't actual physics laws. They're only used in philosophy and they are predicated on an absolute temporal constant. But we know that time is not absolute or constant; it is relative and predicated on velocity. So asserting cause and effect is a meaningless conjecture. Even still, if you want to use the laws of causality to describe the origin of the Universe, you still run into two philosophical problems:

1) The laws of causality do not apply to the quantum level, so somethings can come from nothings.
2) The laws of causality only apply to somethings, not nothings (everything that has a cause is a Something coming from another Something, not a Nothing*). We don't have any examples of nothing so we cannot verify whether something can come from it.

But when we're talking about the beginning of the Universe, which is where you want to assert the First Cause fallacy, all that exists is at the quantum level therefore we must use quantum laws to describe what's happening. There is no macro level to describe or even quantify the Universe at that stage so please throw out all notions of causality and stop insisting that nothing became everything at once for no reason. That is simply the wrong way to describe what's happened with the Universe.

Now for the quantum mechanics (and cosmologists have mathematically proven this so stop insisting that no one knows): The sum total of everything that exists in the Universe - including forces, light, energy, matter, and even the hypothesized dark stuff - is zero. That is, the cumulative positive mass-energy content of the Universe is balanced by the negative mass-energy content of the Universe, or that the "something" is counterbalanced by the "minus-something" that it exists in.

There's only one way to have nothing and that's to have zero entropy and zero mass-energy. But if the total mass-energy of everything in the Universe is apparently zero, and since nothing means no space-time and thus no time to keep everything from happening at once, the inherent tendency is for nothing to instantly become everything. Because nothing cannot be nothing forever, especially at the quantum level.

QED: The Universe exists because it's impossible for it not to exist.

* It's hard to talk about nothing or even describe it as a quantitative value since its very nature negates any attempt to conceptualize it. As soon as you identify nothing, you automatically attribute qualities to it that make it a something which by its very nature it cannot be. The concept of "nothing", like "infinity", cannot be conceptualized or explained except through mathematics. The philosophical First Cause argument falls apart principally for this reason.
2013-01-18 06:26:32 PM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: The evidence I cite is something that you people will explain away as, "it just happened that way". I believe the sideways tilt of the planet Uranus is an indicator that something supernatural exists (big comet knocked it sideways? Really?). Also, the precise placement of the Earth in orbit. A slight variation in either direction and we fry or freeze. The complexity of the Earths ecosystem could not have happened by chance. And, the very idea that the entire Universe appeared out of no where, in a "big bang", for no reason other than, "we say it happened" is stupid. Where I see proof, you see "it just happened".


Ah yes, the fine-tuning argument.

Okay, obviously you think that the Universe has been fine-tuned for life by an intelligent being. I have some questions:

First of all, why would an all-powerful being need to fine-tune anything? Why is it that we can only survive on some of this planet's surface for only a fraction of its history and not everywhere in the Universe that we'd like to go? Because everywhere else will kill us and even most environments here on Earth will kill us.

So what would a Universe not fine-tuned by an intelligent designer look like? Would we be able to go anywhere and do anything and if so wouldn't that make it better than this one? So God actually made things worse for us? Without a standard of comparison, how can we be sure whether we're really living in the fine-tuned Universe or not? Because while arguments can be made whether our world is mostly ordered or chaotic (or both), there's nothing in it that suggests perfection.

What would a supreme being want perfection for? Why would He prefer patterned order over random chaos and what difference would it make to Him? And how could anyone justify making such a claim on His behalf?

See, understand that order and chaos are anthropocentric judgment calls that we humans use as labels for pattern recognition. So how can we use that same standard for an entity that is outside humanity? We think a supreme being wants an ordered, patterned fine-tuned Universe only because we humans want an ordered, patterned fine-tuned Universe but there is no indication that this is the case (that the Universe is patterned order or that a supreme being wants patterned order).

Neither the Universe nor God is under any obligation to validate our anthropocentric views of how things are (or how we perceive them to be). Insofar as order and chaos is concerned, all reality contains ample amounts of both in varying quantities depending on what you're observing.

In other words: A fine-tuned Universe created by God would look exactly the same as a non fine-tuned Universe ordained by physics. Because everything we know right now about how the Universe works points us in the same direction, to the same origins. Things are the way they are because they can't NOT be the way they are, whether God was involved or not.

Understand?

/oh, and the Universe did not just "appear out of nowhere for no reason". I'll be happy to explain what really happened if you're still around in the thread
2013-01-18 03:21:40 PM  
1 votes:
I get really tired of people equating atheism with belief in the big bang theory, abiogenesis, and/or evolution.

There is no connection between atheism and these scientific theories and the position that these theories are correct is not exclusive to atheists. There are plenty of religious people who believe in some or all of the above theories.

That is not to say that atheists do tend to gravitate towards scientific explanations. But this is not required to be an atheist.
2013-01-18 02:30:37 PM  
1 votes:
I would like to add another thing.

The big bang is simply an explanation for the measurable and observable evidence. It is not treated as gospel. Any scientist will tell you that we don't know for sure. The same is true about how life formed on this planet. The scientific theories are simply the best explanation for what is measurable and observable. Any scientist will tell you that we don't know for sure.

The fact is nobody knows for sure how the universe was created or how life started on this planet. All we can do is go by what we can measure and observe. The reason why people are so confident that you are wrong is because it's so insanely transparent that your belief system is based things that you can not possibly know.
2013-01-18 02:18:34 PM  
1 votes:

Robert Farker:


Let's say theoretically I agree that the complexity I see in the earth ecosystem indicates it was created by a form of intelligence. I still don't see how that explains religion. If intelligent design were a scientific theory it would incorporate evolution into it and strive to figure out how the intelligence that created us developed the process of evolution.

What you are asking us to believe is completely different. You are asking us not only to believe in intelligent design but also that the intelligence is known and that it is named God. If you are Christian you are also asking us to believe that the Bible is the word of this God. You are asking us to trust in the Bible 100% over all other holy books with no evidence that God has even existed at any point in human history.


He's really asking us to believe some nitwit's interpretation of the bible instead of the scientific evidence that evolution is happening (which everyone can see/verify/question for themselves), all because "whoah, complexity"

peeledpeas: The evidence I cite is something that you people will explain away as, "it just happened that way". I believe the sideways tilt of the planet Uranus is an indicator that something supernatural exists (big comet knocked it sideways? Really?). Also, the precise placement of the Earth in orbit. A slight variation in either direction and we fry or freeze. The complexity of the Earths ecosystem could not have happened by chance. And, the very idea that the entire Universe appeared out of no where, in a "big bang", for no reason other than, "we say it happened" is stupid. Where I see proof, you see "it just happened".

Also, I am not a female and I have posted since 2005.


Where you see people saying 'it just happened' the rest of us see people making reasoned arguments based on observations and *gasp* evidence.

It's very strange to me that you see 'proof' in the absence of evidence, but not in its presence. It's like you'll happily jump off a cliff but are scared to step off the sidewalk because it's too high. Makes no sense to me.
2013-01-16 05:03:41 PM  
1 votes:

Farking Canuck: Scientific theories are never proven


It's more apropos to say "Science doesn't prove certainties, only high probabilities". While your statement is correct, it causes a lot of confusion and misunderstanding so its generally not a good idea to say that. Creationists even use it as a talking point.
2013-01-16 04:40:29 PM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: "Science" can only come up with one theory of many. Please note the word "theory" in the previous sentence. The common "scientific" belief about the origins of existence is a theory. Something that is not proven.


The above passage is the core of your lack of understanding of science. Taking it one point at a time:

- "Science" can only come up with one theory of many

No, science comes up with many competing theories. They come and go as evidence is presented. The theories that stay around are the ones that have not been disproved by all the available evidence.

Please note the word "theory" in the previous sentence.

In this context the word 'theory' is referring to a scientific theory. This is very different than the "I have an idea" usage of the word. To become a scientific theory an idea must follow very specific rules including being disprovable ... ID does not follow any of the rules so it is not a scientific theory (and therefore does not belong anywhere near a science class).

Something that is not proven

Scientific theories are never proven. The value of a theory depends on the amount or "weight" of evidence in support of it. Something like evolution has so much evidence supporting it that it is doubted only by people who are blinded by preconceived notions or are dishonest.

The scientific theory of gravity has far, far less understanding or evidence than the theory of evolution (not necessarily on its existence but on how it works). But nobody trying to push Intelligent FallingTM in science classes.

It is very simple ... religion does not belong in science class. If you teach children that religion can be considered science then they will not be able to understand what science is. All of their time in science class will be wasted and any hope they have to become scientists will be greatly reduced.
2013-01-16 02:54:11 PM  
1 votes:

Animatronik: The whole point of understanding Lamarckism and 6000 year creation myth is the process if debunking them


You want people to learn failed theories so they can understand why they were wrong? ...that would be an incredible waste of time for one, and usually the reasons are no so special and deductive and illuminating but just due to a lack of understanding or knowledge. As our knowledge of a subject grew, the theories changed.

And there's all sorts of them.

Like phlogiston, the scientific theory that all matter contains a base component called phlogiston that was released when you set fire to it. Of course, once people figured out oxidation and combustion this theory didn't work anymore.

There's also physiognomy, the scientific theory that human behavior could be determined by physical appearances (ie: ugly people are inherently evil and beautiful people are inherently good), and phrenology, the scientific theory that human behavior could be determined by measuring the lumps on people's heads. Of course, once neuroscience and modern psychology came into practice these theories didn't work anymore.

There's also was spontaneous generation, the scientific theory that life could spring automatically from non-living matter. Of course, once biogenesis was formalized this theory didn't work anymore.

There's also was luminiferous æther, the scientific theory that light and electromagnetic radiation propagates through an invisible medium in space. Of course, once special relativity and quantum mechanics came about this theory didn't work anymore.

There's also was miasma, the scientific theory that diseases like the Black Death, malaria and cholera are caused by miasma, a noxious form of bad air. For awhile it went hand in hand with the fermentation theory that diseases come from a process not unlike fermentation. Of course, once germs were discovered giving rise to germ theory and bacteriology, these theories didn't work anymore.

There's also contact electrification, the scientific theory that electric power could be generated by touching two different materials together (which is sort of half right but their conclusions were wrong). Of course, once electricity and electrochemistry was properly understood, this theory didn't work anymore.
Then there was the caloric theory of heat, a scientific theory that all heat consists of a substance called caloric that moves from hot to cold. Of course, once the mechanical laws of thermodynamics were finalized this theory didn't work anymore.

There's also humorism, the scientific theory that the human body is composed of four basic substances, the humors. Of course, once modern biology and medical science was established, this theory didn't work anymore.

And, of course, geocentrism, the scientific theory that the Earth is fixed at the center of the solar system and the sun, moon, and the rest of the planets revolve around it. Of course, this theory was laid to rest with the explanation of orbital mechanics and the laws of motion. And then we went to space and saw for ourselves.

All these subjects are fascinating to learn, but aren't really appropriate for a scientific curriculum. Maybe a separate "history of science and technology" course, but not science proper. The science curriculum is too full and is busy teaching students actual science that works. It's not beneficial teaching failed science that never worked.

Once again: Science is not a democracy. You don't get to choose what theory makes the most sense to you. You can only accept the one that is actually applicable to actual reality.
2013-01-16 10:10:47 AM  
1 votes:
I cannot take seriously anyone who even considers the possibility that Intelligent Design is anything other than completely unscientific, religious bunk masquerading as a viable alternative to reality. Anyone who tries to insist it's actually science immediately goes on my "too dumb to live, not worth talking to" list. Good for this kid for publicly challenging this nonsense.
2013-01-16 09:35:03 AM  
1 votes:

the_chief: Begoggle: the_chief: EvolutionISM is just another religion.

Allow me to enhance your otherwise mundane troll.

I think it's a fine twist on a classic.


Thanks for the verification chief ... welcome to ignore.

/no time for boring, sad little trolls
2013-01-16 09:31:07 AM  
1 votes:

Animatronik: Keizer_Ghidorah: Animatronik: This business of forcing teachers to stick to a particular curriculum and banning supplementary materials is a tricky. I believe that teachers should be given significant latitude in how they teach. Obviously, evolution should be introduced at the high school level and 99% of 'creation science' is garbage. That doesn't mean that we should react by dictating to the last detail, through state intervention, what should be taught as science.

Since creationism and intelligent design aren't science, those are out. What other types of science are you suggesting we teach along with the science already being taught?

Intelligent design is in fact science, its just flawed science based on a flawed premise. Its useful to teach concepts lik Lamarckism along with evolution.

Every time I hear nonscientists and junior scientists talk about teaching science, they talk about it like its teaching history. It's not. You don't include good ideas and exclude bad ones and declare success. You teach kids how to think, because its about knowledge acquisition as much as knowledge itself.

You don't seem to grasp this idea to well




I'm going to repost this, because the founder of ID seems to have a different opinion...

lh5.googleusercontent.com
2013-01-16 08:17:35 AM  
1 votes:

bemused outsider: the other is essentially unobservable (ever see a fly mutate into an alligator?) in any human time-frame.


So... wait. You work in a scientific research lab, and yet you're capable of saying something as stupid as this?

fark, no wonder our country is doomed if even the scientists are stupid.
2013-01-16 08:09:25 AM  
1 votes:

Divinegrace: Days 3 & 4)
{Elements make up planets (Earth) and Stars (Sun), First life on earth is plants}

(And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. and the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


Sounds to me like you're trying to claim that grass and trees and fruit were all in place before the sun was even formed. Your conclusion is severely flawed.
2013-01-16 03:34:15 AM  
1 votes:

Ishkur: Cpl.D: The wife was Ashera. And the husband? Yahweh. Or YHWH in the spellings of the time.

Actually, the male head of the pantheon of the Canaanites was El, as in Elohim (which is in the Bible as one of God's names, however it is plural -- it actually means "group of gods"). El means god in just about every semitic language we know about (as in all the angel names ending in -el to mean "of god"), so there's a lot of overlap. But there's no indication that the Canaanites ever called their king of the gods Yahweh.

Just saying.


Correct. I clarified that in a later post when I went back to check on my work. Thank you for double checking up on me all the same ;)
2013-01-16 03:32:26 AM  
1 votes:

Cpl.D: The wife was Ashera. And the husband? Yahweh. Or YHWH in the spellings of the time.


Actually, the male head of the pantheon of the Canaanites was El, as in Elohim (which is in the Bible as one of God's names, however it is plural -- it actually means "group of gods"). El means god in just about every semitic language we know about (as in all the angel names ending in -el to mean "of god"), so there's a lot of overlap. But there's no indication that the Canaanites ever called their king of the gods Yahweh.

Just saying.
2013-01-16 02:51:03 AM  
1 votes:

JSam21: I'll bite... freedom of thought and academic freedom are fine and dandy. Then teach both sides of it. The teaching creationism as the SOLE curriculum is irresponsible as it has yet to be proven in any real or tangible way. Where as evolution has been proven. You can present creationism as a theory but to teach it as this is how it is and evolution is bunk is not only wrong it is irresponsible as an educator.


Except there aren't two sides. Creationism, a.k.a. "Intelligent design" is not a scientific theory, or even a scientific hypothesis. It's theology. Theology does not belong in science class anymore than automotive repair and internal detailing belongs in sunday school. The next time your pastor wants the local schools to "teach both sides", ask him what day would be a good time to have a scientist come in to sunday school to explain evolution, the scientific method, and critical thinking skills.

There is no "debate".
2013-01-16 02:30:21 AM  
1 votes:
Christianity is just another form of atheism.
2013-01-16 02:25:13 AM  
1 votes:

ladyfortuna: In other news, Cpl. D, welcome to the favorites list. I was unaware of the Caananite link, thanks.


I've done a little digging, primarily to refresh myself with the material. I've gotten things messed up, I suppose. The Ugratic's god was referred to as El or Elohim, which is also what Yahweh was referred to in the older books. There are modern lingering references in christianity to the council of gods, however, and it seems ol' Yahweh wasn't even the chief!

Deuteronomy 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Sounds like some bigger chief splitting up the people of earth to various gods. There's other references to other gods in the bible as well:

1 kings 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
(Who is the host?)

Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
(Other gods?)

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(Note the OUR)

Christianity is rife with material from other religions, usually parted out a la carte or taken whole. I imagine that the majority of this was done to make conversion of folks from the host religion easier. But it did surprise me to learn that even the head banana was lifted from another faith.
2013-01-16 02:16:55 AM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: Mock26: the_chief: Evolution is just another religion.

There is at least evidence to support the theory of evolution. There is no evidence to support the existence of any divinity.

Eh,there is plenty of evidence. Some people simply refuse to see it.


Care to give some evidence that is not only credible but can also be verified?
2013-01-16 02:10:18 AM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: Mock26: the_chief: Evolution is just another religion.

There is at least evidence to support the theory of evolution. There is no evidence to support the existence of any divinity.

Eh,there is plenty of evidence. Some people simply refuse to see it.


I've got a great test for the existence or non-existence of a deity. It's actually one of the things that helped me get past Christianity. Unfortunately, about 99% of believers out there aren't gutsy enough to try it--instead, they'll just spew out the usual cop-outs about how "thou shallt not test thy god". I'll offer it anyways...

If you believe that God speaks to you, not necessarily in a Hebrew-accented voice, but in your thought patterns or inspiration or in some sort of spiritual way, here's a test. Simply ask God to tell you something you don't know, but can easily verify. If you don't know the first 50 digits of Pi, have God dictate them to you and write them down. Then go online and look up the digits of Pi. Or have God tell you the first name and phone number you'll see when you open a telephone directory to a random page. Or just have God give you the first verse you see when you open a Bible to a random page.

If God can't give you a simple, commonplace answer like a name or telephone number, how can you trust 'him' giving you profound spiritual truths? How then, do you know that the voice of 'god' in your head was just put there by all the hundreds of hours you spent in church over your lifetime?

I'll bet that no more than 1-2% of the Farker True Believers out there who read this post will actually attempt this test. I, Psycat the Great, profound prognosticator and know-it-all, predict that if any True Believer actually responds to this post, there's a 99% likelihood that they'll play the "thou shallt not test thy god" card or give a tired tenth-hand account of somebody somewhere far away and long ago getting some message from some god...
2013-01-16 02:01:07 AM  
1 votes:

peeledpeas: I'm not really sure why people fear alternate theories regarding the origins of existence. "Science" can only come up with one theory of many. Please note the word "theory" in the previous sentence. The common "scientific" belief about the origins of existence is a theory. Something that is not proven. With any theory, there are assumptions in order to make the theory "work". The theory of evolution has many, many assumptions. This theory cannot be proven and should therefore be taught as such alongside other theories about the origins of existence.

Just because a majority of people have been brow-beaten into believing a specific theory, doesn't make it right and certainly does not mean that all other theories must be kept out of the class room.

When I was in school, the topic was presented as, "this is commonly what scientists THINK happened". Now, it is presented as fact and if you don't believe it, you're just plain wrong. I do not fear allowing my children to learn about evolution. I will simply inform them of more than a single possible theory. Evolution is a theory. THEORY, not fact. Creationism is also a theory. To fear alternate lines of thinking is being closed minded.


You have fallen victim to the usual theological misdirection of using the common english definition of "theory" with a scientific theory. I'll elaborate.


theory

the·o·ry
[thee-uh-ree, theer-ee] Show IPA
noun, plural the·o·ries.
1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.

2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification, corroboration, substantiation.

There's definitions three through five also, which don't apply in this case. A guess in science isn't a theory, it's a hypothesis. Even so there's a difference between a scientific guess (hypothesis) and just a guess. A scientific hypothesis is testable. Which means that there are ways of determining whether or not a guess is true or not. This is the heart of the scientific method, and is the primary reason for science's successes.

I'll try to explain further. The scientific method's "theory" is actually a collection of laws working together. If the theory were a car engine, the scientific laws would be the manifold, the cylinders, the fuel injection system, the radiator, et cetera. The reason scientists treat theories as fact is because they are. A theory isn't perfect, because it describes how those laws interact. Sometimes science finds a new component of that engine that causes them to have to reconsider how the parts interact within that engine. The engine itself isn't a guess or a lie, it's a descriptor, one that best fits what we see, and is subject to change as we learn more.

Hope I helped.
2013-01-16 01:51:46 AM  
1 votes:
I'm not really sure why people fear alternate theories regarding the origins of existence. "Science" can only come up with one theory of many. Please note the word "theory" in the previous sentence. The common "scientific" belief about the origins of existence is a theory. Something that is not proven. With any theory, there are assumptions in order to make the theory "work". The theory of evolution has many, many assumptions. This theory cannot be proven and should therefore be taught as such alongside other theories about the origins of existence.

Just because a majority of people have been brow-beaten into believing a specific theory, doesn't make it right and certainly does not mean that all other theories must be kept out of the class room.

When I was in school, the topic was presented as, "this is commonly what scientists THINK happened". Now, it is presented as fact and if you don't believe it, you're just plain wrong. I do not fear allowing my children to learn about evolution. I will simply inform them of more than a single possible theory. Evolution is a theory. THEORY, not fact. Creationism is also a theory. To fear alternate lines of thinking is being closed minded.
2013-01-16 01:46:40 AM  
1 votes:

the_chief: Evolution is just another religion.


There is at least evidence to support the theory of evolution. There is no evidence to support the existence of any divinity.
2013-01-16 12:46:24 AM  
1 votes:

Psycat: veryequiped: Find any proponent of the Theory of Evolution, and they'll tell you that it's only a theory because it can't be proven.

OK, troll, I'll bite. 'Theory' to a scientist means 'best explanation we have at present'. Only to idiots with a limited education does 'theory' mean 'wild guess'. Evolution has been proven a zillion times in fossils, geologic strata, carbon-14 and other radioactivity measurements, and genetics among many other things. Do cretinists, er, creationists have any proof for the 'Divine Poof Theory'? I'll take a wild guess--hell, no.


This is the standard rant of YouTuber AronRa whenever anyone tells him "evolution is just a theory":

It is a fact that evolution happens; that biodiversity and complexity do increase, that both occur naturally according to the laws of population genetics amid environmental dynamics.
It is a fact that alleles vary with increasing distinction in reproductive populations, and that these are accelerated in genetically isolated groups.
It is a fact that natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift have all been proven to have predictable effect in guiding this variance both in scientific literature and in practical application.
It is a fact that significant beneficial mutations do occur and are inherited by descendant groups, and that several independent sets of biological markers do exist which trace these lineages backwards over myriad generations.
It is a fact that birds are a subset of dinosaurs, in the same way that ducks are a subset of birds, and that humans are a subset of apes in exactly the same way that lions are a subset of cats.
It is a fact that the collective genome of all animals has been traced to its most basal form through reverse-sequencing, and that those forms are also indicated by comparative morphology, physiology, and embryological development, as well as through chronologically correct placement of successive stages revealed in the geologic column.
It is a fact that every animal on earth has obvious relatives either living nearby or evident in the fossil record, and that the fossil record holds hundreds of clearly transitional species even according to the strictest definition of that term.
It is a fact that both microevolution and macroevolution have been directly-observed and documented dozens of times, both in the lab and in naturally-controlled conditions in the field, and that these instances have all withstood critical analysis in peer-review.
It is also a fact that evolution is the only explanation of biodiversity with either evidentiary support or measurable validity, and that no would-be alternate notion has ever met even one of the criteria required of a scientific theory.
2013-01-16 12:30:51 AM  
1 votes:

Psycat: saturn badger: Psycat: Geez, folks, why do you keep responding to the troll ShiattyHead? I can block his posts, but I can't block responses to his posts and every time I accidentally read something he wrote, I lose brain cells. Please don't feed the trolls, already!!!

welcometofark.jpg

/had to be done

I've already blocked ShiattyHead. I'd hate to block everybody who responds to him because some of those Farkers might have something intelligent to contribute...


I just use a mental block. I don't have any cyber ones here. Works for me.
2013-01-16 12:15:41 AM  
1 votes:
I enjoyed the video of State Senator Julie Quinn insisting, as a lawyer, insisting on an answer. Saying she'd listened patiently to all these people with the little letters after their names.

Now that right there was some weapons grade stupidity. Even Kopplin's counsel, who didn't appear to be all that bright herself, saw the opening and proceeded to biatch slap the Senator by reading the credentials of the groups who had testified. You just know the good ol' boys over at the Rotary Club were going to have a good chuckle over Senator Quinn's discomfort. She certainly didn't look too happy and tried to walk it back but it was too late. And she is supposed to be one of the best senators in the state.
2013-01-15 11:55:16 PM  
1 votes:

the_chief: Evolution is just another religion.


You're just another uninspired troll.
2013-01-15 11:31:09 PM  
1 votes:
Young man, you make me very proud. Carry on with your bad self!
2013-01-15 11:29:28 PM  
1 votes:

4seasons85!: It should teach general beliefs about the major world religions and the beliefs of athiests. that there are those who do not accept any of these beliefs (called atheists).


FIFY

Not accepting someone's claim is not 'a belief'.
2013-01-15 11:12:16 PM  
1 votes:

Animatronik: I think he needs to take a little constitutional history. Allowing religious schools to use voucher money is NOT unconstitutional in any way.

First of all, a govt entering into a contract with a private religious organization is not the same as making laws establishing a religion.

Second, even if such a restriction existed, allowing people to use the tax money for the school of their choice is analogous to getting a tax deduction for charitable giving: its individuals who are exercising choice.


Wait, so you're saying that it's ok for my tax dollars to go to a religious school?

Because that's basically what these voucher programs do.

Animatronik: Yes we know that liberals and Democrats hate it when ppl exercise choices. They want a locked down buttoned up world where curricula are dictated by the grand Pooh Bah.


There's that projection again. Wake me up when Texas stops rewriting their curriculum because it's "too liberal" to them.
2013-01-15 11:09:36 PM  
1 votes:

Vangor: Psycat: You can never win a debate against somebody who is too stupid to realize they've been refuted.

I never intend to win a debate but rather inform an audience and help inoculate them against the bullsh*t being spewed opposite me. Answer an accusation or question in such a manner you are never defensive but correcting egregious mistakes for the sake of those listening or reading, leaving no question to the ignorance of the opposition.


Agreed. The only time to debate any fanatic or ignoramus is in a public forum like Fark because the ultimate goal is to win converts from the pool of undecided lurkers...
2013-01-15 11:06:37 PM  
1 votes:

Psycat: You can never win a debate against somebody who is too stupid to realize they've been refuted.


I never intend to win a debate but rather inform an audience and help inoculate them against the bullsh*t being spewed opposite me. Answer an accusation or question in such a manner you are never defensive but correcting egregious mistakes for the sake of those listening or reading, leaving no question to the ignorance of the opposition.
2013-01-15 11:06:16 PM  
1 votes:

Shirley Ujest: This young man is a better man than 100 % of the Republicans in the House and Senate who are twice his age.


You mean four times, right?
2013-01-15 11:05:19 PM  
1 votes:

Psycat: Here's a bit of wisdom, folks:

You can never win a debate against somebody who is too stupid to realize they've been refuted.

That's why I never debate Cretinists in the real world, because it's usually one-on-one and a waste of time. On Fark, on the other hand, there's plenty of intelligent lurkers who might be swayed to the Evolution side through reasonable debate, so then it's worth the effort...


Mark Twain said it better...



1.bp.blogspot.com
2013-01-15 11:00:09 PM  
1 votes:

Tyranicle: I'm an athiest who thinks Zack is probubly Jewish with a bone to pick whithin the WASP world he did not choose to be born to in. He should probubly grow a pair and move to Israel to 'fight' the Palestinians, instead of stirring up discourse whithin the world he hates.


You know who else blamed the Jews?
2013-01-15 10:49:16 PM  
1 votes:

Charlie Chingas: Seriously, WTF is wrong with you "Christians"? Isn't mankind old enough NOT to believe in fairy tales anymore?


The issues isn't believing in fairy tales, it's that fairy tales are being taught as science. If people want to believe that a benevolent force created the universe and cares about each and every human being out there, who cares? Teaching highschool science students that the rules and processes that govern the universe and its components can only be found in an infallible 2000 year old book is the real issue. The technology and sciences that drive our civilization (and our economies) forward is based on those governing rules; teaching students that the scientific method, arguably the most powerful thing humans have created, can be replaced by reading a book that basically says "A wizard did it" undermines future discovery, growth and progress.
2013-01-15 10:45:56 PM  
1 votes:
I don't give a shiat about creation and/or evolution, religion nor politics, but I find this amusing FTA:

"Kopplin, who is studying history at Rice University, had good reason to be upset after"

...he will be flipping burgers soon.
2013-01-15 10:37:10 PM  
1 votes:
Seriously, WTF is wrong with you "Christians"? Isn't mankind old enough NOT to believe in fairy tales anymore?
2013-01-15 10:21:34 PM  
1 votes:
Brought to you by the state that is ranked one of the lowest in the nation for education.
2013-01-15 10:20:26 PM  
1 votes:
I think the Hero tag is well deserved in this case.

Without an understanding of evolution, we wouldn't have modern agriculture, domestic pets, vaccines, disinfection, epidemiology, pest control, etc.

You can make up whatever rules you want in religion, politics or other social constructs, but science is a cruel mistress and you can't conduct modern biological research without knowing evolution any more than you can revoke the law of gravity.
2013-01-15 10:19:17 PM  
1 votes:

ModernLuddite: As a (former) Floridian, I genuinely hope - FERVENTLY - for a hurricane of such magnitude to hit the gulf of Mexico that it just destroys the south. Completely. No survivors. Raze the Earth.

Luckily, retarded policy decisions may be helping this scenario along. So drill, baby, drill, I guess.


Yeah, I support anyone who wants complete eradication of life in regions that they don't like! What if I don't like the Middle East? Do I get a Hurricane too? Or is it just your prejudice that gets sky support?
2013-01-15 10:14:20 PM  
1 votes:
Cool, good on him. And he's cute too.
2013-01-15 10:13:15 PM  
1 votes:
Fark yeah, kid! Go get 'em!
TWX
2013-01-15 10:12:47 PM  
1 votes:

bingo the psych-o: What is it about the Abrahamic religions that promotes such willful ignorance? Can someone explain it to me?


Well, as I see it, Abrahamic religions look to the past. These religions use chronicles of events that are purported to have happened centuries or millennia ago as evidence of how one should behave today, how the world functions (both societally and physically) and this guide, for some, becomes sacrosanct. The problems come about when these old documented events come into conflict with modern realities, either societal realities or physical or scientific realities.

This isn't to say that all adherents are intolerant, obviously there are many progressive adherents, but those in positions of authority that aren't able to tolerate differences, change, or definitive proof that the world isn't what they got from their book have a disproportionate influence on events and policies.
2013-01-15 10:05:33 PM  
1 votes:
So how do we start raising money for this kid on the FarkUs tab? Does he have a group we can donate to?
2013-01-15 10:05:32 PM  
1 votes:
The gal trots out her Esquire and then denigrates people that are specialists in the field that is actually being debated for having credentials.

WHAT A COUNTRY!
2013-01-15 10:01:44 PM  
1 votes:

unchellmatt: BronyMedic: SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.

And now it's time for a blast from the past!

[img716.imageshack.us image 594x372]

WAIT wait wait wait. Just... just wait. Did he really post that seriously? I mean... He meant that? That's the single most amusing thing I've read all day!



You must be new here.
2013-01-15 10:01:12 PM  
1 votes:

Kevin72: Do they really believe that Noah was 600 years old when God told him to build the ark? And that Noah lived for 350 years after the flood? AND that the world is only 6000 years old? The math boggles my mind. But at least they are sticking it to those liberals who are brainwashing kids at colleges.


Even if you ignore the math, there's the logistics and mechanics to consider: an old man and his three sons building a wooden ship as long and tall as a football stadium and half as wide; the seaworthiness of such a vessel; the four of them and their respective wives herding two of every land animal on Earth into that ship, including animals that probably didn't live within walking distance of their house, such as penguins, Komodo dragons and ocelots; a few months' worth of food for the lot of them, including ants for the anteaters; 40 days and 40 nights of non-stop rainfall, followed by several weeks or months of waiting for the rain waters to recede; and repopulation of the various species, which would have some serious inbreeding going on for the first few generations.

A more thorough deconstruction was in a Fark thread a few weeks ago. I can't be arsed to look it up right now, but there was detailed discussion on the rainfall, the ship and the menagerie.

_____________________________

LazerFish: Politicians are stupid. We know this. The thing that is wrong about this is that the teachers want to teach intelligent design.


And the politicians passed legislation allowing it.
2013-01-15 10:00:14 PM  
1 votes:

Insatiable Jesus: [images2.dailykos.com image 450x300]


"Daily weblog with political analysis on US current events from a liberal perspective."


We would never skew our data, no siree!


I have a hard time believing that democrats are part of the birther movement.
2013-01-15 09:57:40 PM  
1 votes:
Teaching your kid creationism is like teach your kid Santa Claus is real.
2013-01-15 09:52:58 PM  
1 votes:

Insatiable Jesus: Sherman was an asshole for not finishing the job on the hateful hillbillies in the South.


It causes you great pain to think, doesn't it? That's why you stereotype and act hypocritical, right?
2013-01-15 09:51:34 PM  
1 votes:
What is it about the Abrahamic religions that promotes such willful ignorance? Can someone explain it to me?
2013-01-15 09:46:51 PM  
1 votes:

spidermilk: My first thought was "Please let this kid not be an asshole." and then I read the article and he sounds like a total non-asshole. Just calmly and semi-quietly doing what he thinks is right. And not just to prove that he is smarter than him, but because he wants Louisianans to be successful.

The other day two church chicks came to my door and I thought "Ok, stay cool, don't be an asshole" and they gave me a little pamplet and told me where their church was. I said "Great, thanks! have a good one." and they didn't turn around to leave. Instead, the chick goes "Let me ask you- if you died today are you SURE-" and right there I rudely cut her off and said 'I'm an athiest so I don't believe in god." and she just said "WELL THERE IS A GOD!" and I said "ok, we all have our own beliefs- bye!"

and then I felt bad the rest of the day like I should have just said thanks and bye again instead of getting made and freaking her out.



Sounds like they got off easy. I don't answer the door anymore unless I know who is knocking.
2013-01-15 09:45:49 PM  
1 votes:
Sherman was an asshole for not finishing the job on the hateful hillbillies in the South.
2013-01-15 09:39:07 PM  
1 votes:

Mugato: My book says that there is an all powerful Force that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together. Life creates it and makes it grow. And a powerful ally it is. And unlike these other theories, I have video of it. But you don't see me trying to force it in kid's textbooks.


Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
2013-01-15 09:30:42 PM  
1 votes:
SkinnyHead: They don't take you seriously because you're not being serious.

No...

dahmers love zombie: It's obviously the work of the reptilians who have taken human form. Wizards? Bah.

...that's not being serious. And even if it is I'll be damned if adherents to Lizardism can their foot in our educational system's door.
2013-01-15 09:26:27 PM  
1 votes:

SkinnyHead: They don't take you seriously because you're not being serious.


At least he's obviously joking.
2013-01-15 09:06:21 PM  
1 votes:
I think he's a farker.
2013-01-15 08:23:52 PM  
1 votes:

MrBallou: Nabb1: Gah! There was supposed to be an "Oh, hush" under that quoted post.

I thought it was more elegant without.


Needed more Torg with just the quote.
2013-01-15 05:47:44 PM  
1 votes:

what_now: Raharu: SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.

Creationism isn't science. It's mythology and fan fiction.
Really really bad fan fiction.

As opposed to the GOOD fan fic, where Snape and Malfoy talk about Russian literature before doin' it?



I'll be in my bunk.
2013-01-15 05:46:11 PM  
1 votes:

Raharu: SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.

Creationism isn't science. It's mythology and fan fiction.
Really really bad fan fiction.


As opposed to the GOOD fan fic, where Snape and Malfoy talk about Russian literature before doin' it?
2013-01-15 05:38:50 PM  
1 votes:

SkinnyHead: I guess people who oppose academic freedom and support censorship would see this young man as a hero.  People who support academic freedom and freedom of thought probably don't.


More deep thoughts by SkinnyHead?


/The EARTH IS FLAT!
2013-01-15 05:07:58 PM  
1 votes:

Raharu: phlegmmo: Equilibrist: FARK needs a Creationist tab.

It would have to be intelligently designed.


And never change over time.


Over time there would probably be schism ( Then what)?
 
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