View Poll Results: Which should be taught in public schools?

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  • Evolution only

    7 19.44%
  • Creationism only

    2 5.56%
  • Both evolution and creationism on even ground, as science

    4 11.11%
  • Evolution as science, creationism as a social study alongside other myths

    17 47.22%
  • Don't know enough to have an opinion/Don't care

    2 5.56%
  • I believe they're essentially the same thing anyway

    4 11.11%
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Thread: Evolution vs Creation in public schools

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    Default Evolution vs Creation in public schools

    It appears we have a least a handful of creationists here, so it's worth asking.

    Feel free to post any related comments you might have concerning the whole debate. i.e. are both ideas equal in merit?
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    The day creationism is taught in my daughter's school is the day I start homeschooling.
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    going with slackermom on this. edit: i recall when the topic was brought up in highschool, my textbook on the topic had a short chapter about why creationism was another viewpoint etc. i don't see anything wrong with giving other points of view on the matter or acknowledging that there are groups of people who hold this opinion quite strongly. on the other hand, i really see no real reason to give it precedence over anything re: evolution. in other words, i find it would be a little ridiculous to pretend as though the pov doesn't exist. i'd rather kids make up their own minds. but i can't see presenting it as a science. so my final vote is evolution as a science, creationism as a social study.
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    I don't think both have equal merit nor do I think creationism should be taught as an alternative but, as far as I understand there seem to be flaws with evolutionary theory that aren't being addressed because evolution has become one of the pillars of science that stands in opposition the backwoods nation mentality. One such flaw was that indivudal organisms themselves could not evolve. It is now not controversial to say that individual organisms could evolve (with gene therapy for example) but, this would have been quite controversial to say in the 1970s. There are still other holdovers from the 1970s american pedagogist/1930s scopes trial advocates/19th century daerwinianism that simply do not seem to apply or are wrong in how they interpret possible genetic change in organisms. As we learn more and more about how we can alter our world we have to apply that knowledge retroactively to already accepted theories and I think that will naturally expand our view of what is possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollywoodWanderer View Post
    I don't think both have equal merit nor do I think creationism should be taught as an alternative but, as far as I understand there seem to be flaws with evolutionary theory that aren't being addressed because evolution has become one of the pillars of science that stands in opposition the backwoods nation mentality.
    I don't pretend to be an expert on evolution, but could you provide one specific example of an issue that is not being addressed by the scientific community?

    Edited for clarification. You gave the following example:

    For example, it is now not controversial to say that individual organisms could evolve (with gene therapy for example) but, this would have been quite controversial to say in the 1970s.
    If such is the case, I would argue this is evidence for scientists addressing flaws in evolutionary theory.
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    neither should be taught to children... I say let them pick it up on the streets along with socionics and sex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    neither should be taught to children... I say let them pick it up on the streets along with socionics and sex.
    Dammit. I KNEW I forgot a poll option...
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    Explanations of the evolutionary process are so accurate that it is possible for new species of bacteria to be created from a parent species in the laboratory.

    If evolution doesn't operate in the way explained by scientists, then the explanation will be rewritten in accordance with the evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    neither should be taught to children... I say let them pick it up on the streets along with socionics and sex.

    best answer yet. (;
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    I don't pretend to be an expert on evolution, but could you provide one specific example of an issue that is not being addressed by the scientific community?
    I think there is a general idea that evolution has a particular end or goal. That it is a force trying to create something. Even scientists seem to think this way when they speak about humans evolving beyond a particular restraint. Evolution from this point of view is ACTIVE. I don't think this fits in with the more deterministic view taken by modern physics. I'm not particularly an advocate of determinism (or modern physics) but, I don't think there isn't a precise understanding of how/why retrograde evolution occurs and what (if anything) that implies. Also, there seems to be no attempt to incorporate the concept of "random" quantum change into evolution which in and of itself may be a stake through the heart for evolutionary theory (sequences found as the outcomes of many random dice rolls [I am using this as an analogy for how particles behave] aren't necessarily substantiable.)

    Edit: And yes, scientists do correct themselves slowly over time but, like all people who have become entrenched in a particular culture their adoption of new language outside of their field of reference is slow going (they tend to put everything into terms that they are already comfortable/familiar with). I think that this is why it took so long for neuroscience to begin to truely thrive for example (because traditionally science/reason has been seen as in opposition to emotion/feeling/etc).
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollywoodWanderer View Post
    I think there is a general idea that evolution has a particular end or goal. That it is a force trying to create something. Even scientists seem to think this way when they speak about humans evolving beyond a particular restraint.
    I would largely disagree. From our own example here on Earth, there is indeed a tendency to assume a trend towards higher complexity. However, this is not necessarily a truth. Consider first the evolutionary stagnation (relatively speaking) of prokaryotes during the Archean, over 2.5 billion years ago. Then consider the numerous mass extinctions that have occured, essentially resetting the evolutionary clock. Depending on criteria, one could argue there have been several evolutionary ends within the history of the Earth. Even if you take the long view and assume that present-day human intelligence is an 'end', there is nothing to suggest evolution was destined to result in homo sapiens or that we are the culmination of evolution's path on Earth. Because indeed, it has not stopped.

    Evolution from this point of view is ACTIVE. I don't think this fits in with the more deterministic view taken by modern physics. I'm not particularly an advocate of determinism (or modern physics) but, I don't think there isn't a precise understanding of how/why retrograde evolution occurs and what (if anything) that implies.
    Not quite sure what you're getting at here, or how you're using the term deterministic. I wouldn't have considered modern day physics deterministic, but perhaps I'm lacking some important info.

    One case of retrograde evolution could occur because the changes benefit the individuals, but we are tricked into deeming the change 'bad', especially ignoring a potential environmental change. Another case could be reliant on a resource suplus, for example. Do you have a specific one in mind?


    Also, there seems to be no attempt to incorporate the concept of "random" quantum change into evolution which in and of itself may be a stake through the heart for evolutionary theory (sequences found as the outcomes of many random dice rolls [I am using this as an analogy for how particles behave] aren't necessarily substantiable.)
    I don't think you're talking about physics, but if you are, why would a field of of cellular-level biology take special care to worry about subatomic-level physics? I don't see the connection. Moving a rock from Winnipeg to Kansas City doesn't affect plate tectonics and the shape of North America.

    Not so say for sure it isn't a factor. I suppose one could stretch an idea to include Brownian motion, something which if I'm not mistaken does indeed play a role. But it's also well understood.

    Edit: And yes, scientists do correct themselves slowly over time but, like all people who have become entrenched in a particular culture their adoption of new language outside of their field of reference is slow going (they tend to put everything into terms that they are already comfortable/familiar with). I think that this is why it took so long for neuroscience to begin to truely thrive for example (because traditionally science/reason has been seen as in opposition to emotion/feeling/etc).
    You're probably not a creationist, but inherent to the scientific method is this evolution of thinking, based on critical examination. This does not happen in any religion to which I've been exposed, and certainly doesn't occur in creationism.
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    I don't think creationism belongs in school or that it is a valid "theory" of anything. It seems the only reason to include it would be to somehow accommodate those who "don't believe in" evolution, which is really ridiculous. "Creationism" is not an alternative theory, it isn't even a theory. It can be taught in the World Religions class (if there is one) alongside all the other creation stories from other religions. It does not belong in any science class because it is NOT science. As for the theory of evolution it is that, a theory... it's not even on the same plane as "Creationism." It is not a claim of truth; it is a theory built off of available evidence. Theories are always subject to change (if new evidence is presented). It is simply science. It astonishes me that it has the power to offend anyone. Getting offended over it and saying that Creationism should be taught with it or instead of it seems to be taking the whole thing out of context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    neither should be taught to children... I say let them pick it up on the streets along with socionics and sex.
    Actually, I would prefer that to what I voted. I believe Creation to be correct (and therefore that Evolution has no place), but I am weary of the debate. I see Evolution as useless, and Creation only seems to be useful for theology (hence the terrible religious attack posed by Evolution), so there doesn't seem to be much need for either being taught in schools. This reaises the question of what should be taught in schools, and in fact I am mildly against the entire school system. However, there seem to be a few things with no opposition (i.e. reading and arithmetic), and the school system is an efficient way to teach those (provided the teacher fits the student). Perhaps the school system should just go back to being optional, not merely in the sense that homeschooling is allowed, but also in the sense that homeschoolers do not have to pay for public school.

    @Loki: As presented in school, Evolution is in fact a claim of truth. If theories were presented in schools as not necessarily true, many children would probably refuse to believe them on that ground alone.

    Creation was derived from a historical text, and as such has just as much validity as a theory made up in modern times - depending, of course, on the validity of said text. A fair compromise might be to ignore all mention of "God" and add up the genealogies.



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    A historical text can never be direct evidence of anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    Actually, I would prefer that to what I voted. I believe Creation to be correct (and therefore that Evolution has no place), but I am weary of the debate. I see Evolution as useless, and Creation only seems to be useful for theology (hence the terrible religious attack posed by Evolution), so there doesn't seem to be much need for either being taught in schools. This reaises the question of what should be taught in schools, and in fact I am mildly against the entire school system. However, there seem to be a few things with no opposition (i.e. reading and arithmetic), and the school system is an efficient way to teach those (provided the teacher fits the student). Perhaps the school system should just go back to being optional, not merely in the sense that homeschooling is allowed, but also in the sense that homeschoolers do not have to pay for public school.

    @Loki: As presented in school, Evolution is in fact a claim of truth. If theories were presented in schools as not necessarily true, many children would probably refuse to believe them on that ground alone.

    Creation was derived from a historical text, and as such has just as much validity as a theory made up in modern times - depending, of course, on the validity of said text. A fair compromise might be to ignore all mention of "God" and add up the genealogies.
    There are beliefs and there are facts. The fact is, a diety did not descend from heaven 6,000 years ago and create the first human couple, nor was the earth made in seven days. Science class teaches fact and the theory behind them.

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    i homeschool my kids so they may decide for themselves what makes sense to them, to think for themselves. i give my kids many viewpoints on a variety of things and why people believe in each of them and then ask them what makes sense to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    I see Evolution as useless, and Creation only seems to be useful for theology (hence the terrible religious attack posed by Evolution), so there doesn't seem to be much need for either being taught in schools.
    Useless? That's an absurd statement if I ever heard one.

    @Loki: As presented in school, Evolution is in fact a claim of truth. If theories were presented in schools as not necessarily true, many children would probably refuse to believe them on that ground alone.
    Disclaimers cannot be attached to every statement made in school, otherwise children would never learn anything except, as you noted, reading and arithmetic. This idea may be attractive to you, but thousands of kids even less equipped with scientific knowledge than they are now would be a terrible outcome.

    And besides, evolution doesn't need the disclaimer anyway. Many children - yourself likely included - reject evolution on account of their parents' religious beliefs in the first place.

    Creation was derived from a historical text, and as such has just as much validity as a theory made up in modern times - depending, of course, on the validity of said text. A fair compromise might be to ignore all mention of "God" and add up the genealogies.
    By this reasoning, any account of creation beyond the Judeo-Christian version is also valid and on equal footing. Clearly you do not believe this, so by what criteria do you believe your particular brand of creationism should be taught in school over another?
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    I honestly don't see whats wrong with teaching the theory of intelligent design. I'm agnostic, I'm not religious or anything; but I mean intelligent design is a theory just like anything else. Denying someone a chance to learn things like that is denying someone to make a decision about something on their own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    There are beliefs and there are facts. The fact is, a diety did not descend from heaven 6,000 years ago and create the first human couple, nor was the earth made in seven days. Science class teaches fact and the theory behind them.
    Theory of intelligent design has nothing to do with Christianity. And while I think its a fallacy to believe that just because things seem strange to us of how they ended up, that a god had to have done it; its a theory just like anything else.

    And while I'm not discounting the idea that one day "facts" could exist, they don't seem to exist to me now. Everything can be debated because we can't see the whole picture. Its a human fallacy to assume something without understanding everything about it; and it seems like there is always something else to know about something. Perception is reality, well at least for us it is. We really have no inherent idea of what reality is(in absolute fact), or whether or not it even exists. In the end, we may or may not be stuck in a box.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki
    I don't think creationism belongs in school or that it is a valid "theory" of anything. It seems the only reason to include it would be to somehow accommodate those who "don't believe in" evolution, which is really ridiculous. "Creationism" is not an alternative theory, it isn't even a theory. It can be taught in the World Religions class (if there is one) alongside all the other creation stories from other religions. It does not belong in any science class because it is NOT science. As for the theory of evolution it is that, a theory... it's not even on the same plane as "Creationism." It is not a claim of truth; it is a theory built off of available evidence. Theories are always subject to change (if new evidence is presented). It is simply science. It astonishes me that it has the power to offend anyone. Getting offended over it and saying that Creationism should be taught with it or instead of it seems to be taking the whole thing out of context.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand
    Creation was derived from a historical text, and as such has just as much validity as a theory made up in modern times - depending, of course, on the validity of said text. A fair compromise might be to ignore all mention of "God" and add up the genealogies.
    The theory of evolution was not merely "made up"; it was derived from extensive observation and research. The bible is made up, so it does not have as much validity as evolution, because it has no logical basis. I seriously cannot believe you just said that lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by hitta
    I honestly don't see whats wrong with teaching the theory of intelligent design. I'm agnostic, I'm not religious or anything; but I mean intelligent design is a theory just like anything else. Denying someone a chance to learn things like that is denying someone to make a decision about something on their own.
    Yes, people should be free to choose their beliefs. But we shouldn't teach creationism in the same way as evolution, because they are in entirely different contexts and one is more scientifically valid than the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by hitta
    And while I'm not discounting the idea that one day "facts" could exist, they don't seem to exist to me now. Everything can be debated because we can't see the whole picture. Its a human fallacy to assume something without understanding everything about it; and it seems like there is always something else to know about something. Perception is reality, well at least for us it is. We really have no inherent idea of what reality is(in absolute fact), or whether or not it even exists. In the end, we may or may not be stuck in a box.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    Theory of intelligent design has nothing to do with Christianity. And while I think its a fallacy to believe that just because things seem strange to us of how they ended up, that a god had to have done it; its a theory just like anything else.

    And while I'm not discounting the idea that one day "facts" could exist, they don't seem to exist to me now. Everything can be debated because we can't see the whole picture. Its a human fallacy to assume something without understanding everything about it; and it seems like there is always something else to know about something. Perception is reality, well at least for us it is. We really have no inherent idea of what reality is(in absolute fact), or whether or not it even exists. In the end, we may or may not be stuck in a box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta
    And while I'm not discounting the idea that one day "facts" could exist, they don't seem to exist to me now. Everything can be debated because we can't see the whole picture. Its a human fallacy to assume something without understanding everything about it; and it seems like there is always something else to know about something. Perception is reality, well at least for us it is. We really have no inherent idea of what reality is(in absolute fact), or whether or not it even exists. In the end, we may or may not be stuck in a box.
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    Quote Originally Posted by strrrng View Post
    Isn't duality great? lol
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    There should be an option for "Both Evolution and Creationism equally as theories." I would have voted for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calenwen View Post
    There should be an option for "Both Evolution and Creationism equally as theories." I would have voted for that.
    exactly

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    Creationism is not a theory; it is a mythos. If you think that creationism is as equally as valid of a theory as evolution, then I will be requesting that schools teach the Enuma Elish as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    Theory of intelligent design has nothing to do with Christianity. And while I think its a fallacy to believe that just because things seem strange to us of how they ended up, that a god had to have done it; its a theory just like anything else.
    It absolutely does. Read the development of intelligent design. It stems from fundamentalist Christians trying to get creationism accepted into public schools as a "valid theory of science" along side evolution. Furthermore, theories are technically not stab-in-the-dark speculations - do not confuse a hypothesis with a theory - but must be grounded in well-reasoned facts and arguments before they can even be considered as theory.
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    I think one of the things I was trying to say is that... when I was introduced to the theory of evolution I didn't see it really in the context of something to "believe" or "disbelieve," but more that it is the current scientific understanding of something. I would have the same attitude in astronomy class. It's a matter of 'we have some evidence, and these are the places it leads to, the conclusions that we can draw based on what is available.'

    So in this way it is not about "believing in it" or not. I think that the matter of what we believe is important and it would be good in a philosophy class. In such a class you could bring up scientific theories, intelligent design, creationism, mountain trolls, and really anything you want. This would be a context about what we believe (which is not the context I see in a science class). Science is seeking truth in a sense, but it's seeking truth off of evidence... it can't be subjected to the realm of what we want to believe or don't want to believe because that would destroy it. Logical conclusions based on evidence are just that, and they can't be warped to make allowances for what people like and don't like about them... otherwise it will grow weak and sag and fall apart and not be science anymore.

    Anyway, this brings my thoughts to ethics, which is something that does need to have a place somewhere with science... because just because we find we can do something doesn't always mean we should. I guess why I brought this up is because I'm not saying that scientific progress should be paramount to *everything else*. Though I can understand the attitude that it should be. Questions of this nature are why ethics are important when it comes to science. And philosophy is important too. It's just that Creationism travels into the realm of "what we believe" and enters spirituality. Science does not exist in that realm necessarily and should not have to answer to it in any way.

    You could say maybe one day science and spirituality will meet more. But when things meet they must be allowed to be as they truly are, not phased out compromises that have no identity of their own.

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    * cut to 6000 years in the future*



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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    Creationism is not a theory; it is a mythos. If you think that creationism is as equally as valid of a theory as evolution, then I will be requesting that schools teach the Enuma Elish as well.
    TO ME, everything is valid on one level or another...the point of socionics and other theories like it, to understand all aspects to the human psyche and ways of processing and organizing information. everyone does it differently and they are each valid in their own way. to say one is superior to another is saying that the whole of the theory is wrong. when anyone says their way is "better" than another, they aren't truly taking the point of learning about this kind of theory into account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmmama
    what type is hitta?
    INTj lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by calenwen
    There should be an option for "Both Evolution and Creationism equally as theories." I would have voted for that.
    Except that creationism isn't a theory; it's a fiction story that people made up to account for something they couldn't explain. Evolution is based off of logic and evidence; big difference between the two.

    Theory: a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena.

    A novel story written in some book hardly falls under this definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by strrrng View Post
    INTj lol.
    but since i'm not ESE, that would make us more like identicals since i dont NEED him to tell me what i already think about things. lol i was just agreeing with him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmmama
    TO ME, everything is valid on one level or another...the point of socionics and other theories like it, to understand all aspects to the human psyche and ways of processing and organizing information. everyone does it differently and they are each valid in their own way. to say one is superior to another is saying that the whole of the theory is wrong. when anyone says their way is "better" than another, they aren't truly taking the point of learning about this kind of theory into account.
    This is utter nonsense. Not everything is valid; some opinions/ideas are more logical and comprehensive than others.

    But at least you just reaffirmed how you're ESFj lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmmama View Post
    TO ME, everything is valid on one level or another...the point of socionics and other theories like it, to understand all aspects to the human psyche and ways of processing and organizing information. everyone does it differently and they are each valid in their own way. to say one is superior to another is saying that the whole of the theory is wrong. when anyone says their way is "better" than another, they aren't truly taking the point of learning about this kind of theory into account.
    This is terribly wrong. This is not a 4H Club or a knitting circle. We are not talking about opinions here, but scientific fact. The idea that the universe was created by a giant invisible space loaded baked potato is not as equally valid of a theory as evolution. There is miscontructed science in intelligent design. It is not as equally valid of a theory as evolution. But I will play your game: in what way is creationism or intelligent design as equally valid as evolution?
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    I believe in Creationism, but I am not sure that I would call it a science. I just kind of wish they wouldn't try to force evolution down our throat and never point out the things that are disagreed upon or the things they haven't quite figured out. I guess I will vote for the both as science one since that is closest to what I would want, but I think the both as theories would be best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmmama View Post
    TO ME, everything is valid on one level or another...
    This may be true if your 'levels' account for different things. For example, the ideas expressed in creationism may provide comfort to those who are religious, and within their particular paradigm, can easily see the idea as 'valid'. However, that differs from the scientific method - creationism is not internally consistent and does not fit with the observable facts. In my program I have yet to run across any evidence that the Earth is 6,000 years old, but a lot of evidence to suggest otherwise.

    (Should anyone such as Director Abbie want to debate me on the specifics, I would happily oblige.)

    'Creation science', as it is so-named, is also not falsifiable because it is religion disguised as science. Most ideas include supernatural causation. Why is this a problem? Because you can't 'disprove' God. People having been turning religious arguments into hash for hundreds of years, yet the idea is still about because 'God works in mysterious ways'. People want to believe, so no amount of physical evidence against their wishes is going to change their mind.

    Science is concerned with empirical evidence, and religion is not. Because creationism is essentially religion in disguise, it is not concerned with the scientific method although it is adept in pretending to do so, and often fools those who are not interested in science, or who don't know much about the method.

    And despite what hitta says, the intelligent design/creationist push in the West largely comes from conservative Christians. You can bet Palin was not advocating teaching the Norse version of creation... made from the rib-bone of the cow Ymir, or some such nonsense...
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    i agree this seems like pretty good evidence for dbmmama as ESE. i'm having a hard time trying to remember why i thought she was EIE at one point.


    partly because i don't really pay attention to her because she's virtually irrelevant to anything that goes on intellectually on this forum, this is moving slowly, but i still sort of am at a stage where i'm not sure i understand anything else.

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    Genesis 1:1-2:4a is recycled and streamlined ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian creationism. The most famous discovered copy of the Enuma Elish, also known as the Babylonian Epic of Creation, has been dated to around 7th century BCE. The Enuma Elish is believed to be linked to liturgical celebrations by the Babylonian priests to Marduk, due to the listing of names of Marduk that forms the end of the epic as well as the importance of the creation of time (via sun, moon, and stars) as a means to establish a liturgical calendar. The seven day creation account is believed to be linked as well with the seven-day Festival of Weeks/Shavunot/Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). But there are numerous similarities that can be found between the Enuma Elish and the Genesis Creation. One of the most noteworthy ones is Marduk shaping the world from the recently slain husk of Tiamat, a monstrous primeval goddess who was the mother of the gods and who is often linked to sea waters. In Genesis 1, when Elohim is above the abyss or deep, the word used can be transliterated as THM (tehom). This Hebrew root is believed to be linked as a cognate with Tiamat (THMT translitered from Babylonian).

    The creation account in Genesis 1:1-2:4a is linked to the Priestly (P) source that forms the outline and structure of the Primeval History (Gen 1-11). While the age of the material in the P source is often debated, the Primeval History portion of the P material is believed to Post-Exilic and dated to within the Persian Period (537-330 BCE) , due to the Table of Nations, which is in Genesis 10, describing the geopolitical nations of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (minus Yehud/Judah).

    In short, to pretend that 7th century BCE mythology is somehow as equally valid of an explanation for the diversity of species as evolution is simply ludicrous.

    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    Youtube Video Here
    Those are great videos.
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