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Old 06-10-2007, 04:26 PM   #421
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Originally posted by Irvine511




Darwinism isn't a scientific theory.

evolution is.

[q]The term Darwinism is often used by promotors of creationism to describe evolution, notably by leading members of the intelligent design movement.[1] In this usage, the term has connotations of atheism. For example, in Charles Hodge's book What Is Darwinism?, Hodge answers the question posed in the book's title by concluding: "It is Atheism."[2][3][4] Creationists use the term Darwinism, often pejoratively, to imply that the theory has been held as true only by Darwin and a core group of his followers, which they cast as dogmatic and inflexible in their belief. Casting evolution as a doctrine or belief bolsters religiously motivated political arguments to mandate equal time for the teaching of creationism in public schools.

However, Darwinism is also used neutrally within the scientific community to distinguish modern evolutionary theories from those first proposed by Darwin, as well as by historians to differentiate it from other evolutionary theories from around the same period. For example, Darwinism may be used to refer to Darwin's proposed mechanism of natural selection, in comparison to more recent theories such as genetic drift and gene flow. It may also refer specifically to the role of Charles Darwin as opposed to others in the history of evolutionary thought — particularly contrasting Darwin's results with those of earlier theories such as Lamarckism or later ones such as the modern synthesis. A notable example of a scientist who uses the term in a positive sense is Richard Dawkins.
[/q]

the defensiveness you see is in response to the fanatics who want to qualify it -- and only it, when it comes to scientific theories -- with conservative christian crap, called Creationism or Intelligent Design, or some other fabrication that's come from the annals of american conservative christianism.

i'm sure you do find ID lovely and comforting. you're a Christian. and if you try to poison a science curriculum with that garbage, then i'm going to fight you tooth and nail. it is no more scientific than any other religiously-based creation myth.


If it makes you feel better to call it "science" when conjecture and extrapolations are used to "fill in the gaps" of evolutionary theory, but label it "fantasy" or "conservative christian crap" in Intelligent Design theory.
Go right ahead -- it must be the white coats.

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if you want to discuss this over beers, gosh, go ahead. we can also argue about Santa Claus, Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, the exitence of Bigfood, and the UFO abdunction phenomenon. it'd be fun.

just don't pretend that there's a scientific foothold.
So have I got this straight? It's wrong to use the terms Darwinism and evolution interchangeably but, perfectly acceptable to lump Intelligent Design in with Atlantis, Big Foot, Santa Claus and UFO's.

Or, as the mentioned in your quote, Richard Dawkins says:

"It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that)."

Must be nice to write the groundrules of the debate.
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:55 PM   #422
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You can critique Darwinism or the Theory of Evolution all you want, but it is thoroughly anti-science and anti-intellectual for anything, whether it be intelligent design or not, to become a scientific theory--just because some people say so.

Nobody in the scientific community think that the Theory of Evolution is complete, mind you. There are gaps in it, much like there's gaps in astronomy or quantum theory. If science had answered every question to perfection, then there would be no need for scientists anymore. However, science is not about filling those gaps just for the hell of it.

Contrary to what some might think, the Theory of Evolution has been altered to match the evidence, just as the Theory of Gravity has changed to match the evidence, as well. This is what separates science from religion: there are no dogmatic beliefs, and anything is up for revision as long as the evidence stands up to the scrutiny.

Intelligent design, "by design," is unscientific, because it takes rather random swipes at the science of evolution--swipes that are easily dismissed by credible scientists, mind you--and then throws in the unscientific and unverifiable notion of "God" in there.

It is an absolutely ridiculous notion, particularly since the notion of "evolutionary creationism/theistic evolution" predates it by decades, and it smacks of a very desperate and backdoor attempt by fundamentalist Christians to get Christianity back into public schools.

To me, this isn't about atheism versus Christianity whatsoever. It's about intellectualism versus populism, and--I'm sorry--academia is not supposed to be about populism whatsoever.

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Must be nice to write the groundrules of the debate.
Fuck Richard Dawkins. He didn't write the "groundrules of the debate" anymore than Pope Benedict XVI dictates the groundrules of all Christianity. The "scientific method" sets the groundrules of this debate, and it predates Dawkins by several lifetimes over.
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:22 PM   #423
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Originally posted by Ormus
You can critique Darwinism or the Theory of Evolution all you want, but it is thoroughly anti-science and anti-intellectual for anything, whether it be intelligent design or not, to become a scientific theory--just because some people say so.

Nobody in the scientific community think that the Theory of Evolution is complete, mind you. There are gaps in it, much like there's gaps in astronomy or quantum theory. If science had answered every question to perfection, then there would be no need for scientists anymore. However, science is not about filling those gaps just for the hell of it.

Contrary to what some might think, the Theory of Evolution has been altered to match the evidence, just as the Theory of Gravity has changed to match the evidence, as well. This is what separates science from religion: there are no dogmatic beliefs, and anything is up for revision as long as the evidence stands up to the scrutiny.

Intelligent design, "by design," is unscientific, because it takes rather random swipes at the science of evolution--swipes that are easily dismissed by credible scientists, mind you--and then throws in the unscientific and unverifiable notion of "God" in there.

It is an absolutely ridiculous notion, particularly since the notion of "evolutionary creationism/theistic evolution" predates it by decades, and it smacks of a very desperate and backdoor attempt by fundamentalist Christians to get Christianity back into public schools.

To me, this isn't about atheism versus Christianity whatsoever. It's about intellectualism versus populism, and--I'm sorry--academia is not supposed to be about populism whatsoever.



Fuck Richard Dawkins. He didn't write the "groundrules of the debate" anymore than Pope Benedict XVI dictates the groundrules of all Christianity. The "scientific method" sets the groundrules of this debate, and it predates Dawkins by several lifetimes over.
That sums it up neatly. Very well said.
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:31 PM   #424
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Originally posted by Ormus
This is what separates science from religion: there are no dogmatic beliefs, and anything is up for revision as long as the evidence stands up to the scrutiny.


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Old 06-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #425
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What I find interesting is the complete misapprehension of what constitutes a scientific theory (which by definition explains the evidence better than other explanations) and ignoring the biological and geological evidence that makes evolution practical (deep time + modifiable developmental pathways).
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:40 PM   #426
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That sums it up neatly. Very well said.
Agreed.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:19 PM   #427
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Originally posted by Ormus
You can critique Darwinism or the Theory of Evolution all you want, but it is thoroughly anti-science and anti-intellectual for anything, whether it be intelligent design or not, to become a scientific theory--just because some people say so.

But when that person is the Almighty Himself, telling us through his Word, that He created Man in His image, a Christian makes a note of that. And shouldn't jettison it for a materialist explanation that isn't supported by fossil studies, laboratory science or even the discovery of DNA. In other words, no more observable than the our supernatural explanation.

The Bible doesn't pretend to be a science book and those that use it as one are only asking for ridicule. But philosophy masquerading as science isn't pretty either.
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Intelligent design, "by design," is unscientific, because it takes rather random swipes at the science of evolution--swipes that are easily dismissed by credible scientists, mind you--and then throws in the unscientific and unverifiable notion of "God" in there.

It is an absolutely ridiculous notion, particularly since the notion of "evolutionary creationism/theistic evolution" predates it by decades, and it smacks of a very desperate and backdoor attempt by fundamentalist Christians to get Christianity back into public schools.

To me, this isn't about atheism versus Christianity whatsoever. It's about intellectualism versus populism, and--I'm sorry--academia is not supposed to be about populism whatsoever.
Christians don't need evolution to be false, but atheists most certainly need for it to be true.

I say science should march on; continue to study and explore and increase our knowledge of life and the universe as if all supernatural causes don't exist.

I believe it our purpose, why we have intellect that the animals lack. But as for some of you, looking to science to disprove the existence of God -- I quote Dr Zaius:

"You may not like what you find."
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:37 PM   #428
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But when that person is the Almighty Himself, telling us through his Word, that He created Man in His image, a Christian makes a note of that. And shouldn't jettison it for a materialist explanation that isn't supported by fossil studies, laboratory science or even the discovery of DNA. In other words, no more observable than the our supernatural explanation.
I am involved with the study of fossils, evolution is the best model for the evidence. It's true that we don't see living populations in the fossil record but we get a fragmentary picture over time, and given the biological changes observed correlated to environmental changes (survial taxon assemblages, foram coiling reversals, shifts in predatory birds from woodland to desert forms which all make sense in the context of a dynamic world and evolving biosphere). Evo-devo gives a recognition of how macroevolutionary mechanisms can act on organisms and punctated equilibrium and system dynamics can describe how populations can have morphological stability punctuated by rapid change. You rail against the gaps in evolution (which are gaps in what we know - not things that disprove the theory) but don't seem to revise this picture to take into account new evidence. Intelligent Design was undone by the evidence, it's irreducable complexity was undone by new discoveries charting out the development of biomechanical features like flagellum, explanations based on the genetic evidence that supported an evolutionary hypothesis and not instantaneous creation.

You can repeat talking points about how speciation can't be observed when it has been observed in the recent past with domestication of animals from wild stocks and in the lab with the trusty drosophilla. Every animal is a transitional form (except for those that go extinct without leaving any progeny) but there are whales with legs and fish with feet (as well as fish with lungs alive today). Keep the gaps in knowledge big and the denials are sound to you even though they don't stand up to scrutiny.

Atheists don't need evolution to be true for one simple reason; aliens did it and prove me wrong (it would be a natural cause for whatever was zapping new creatures into existence). Even if evolution was disproved that doesnt show that there is a God or no God (unless of course that new theory rested on evidence that proved God). Evolution provides an explanation for the diversity of life that doesn't require supernatural intervention or magic appearance of new animals at certain times .
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:50 PM   #429
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Originally posted by INDY500

But when that person is the Almighty Himself, telling us through his Word, that He created Man in His image, a Christian makes a note of that. And shouldn't jettison it for a materialist explanation that isn't supported by fossil studies, laboratory science or even the discovery of DNA. In other words, no more observable than the our supernatural explanation.
The problem with this statement is that it's a false dichotomy. Science and faith are not mutually incompatible, except to those who insist upon it.

So God "created us in His image." What image would that be? God the Father, meaning that women need not apply, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit, some amorphous entity of unknown substance? At some point, subjective human definitions of that "image" come to play, and as far as I'm concerned, evolution doesn't make us any less in "His image."

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But philosophy masquerading as science isn't pretty either.
Sounds like an apt description of "intelligent design" to me.

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Christians don't need evolution to be false, but atheists most certainly need for it to be true.

I say science should march on; continue to study and explore and increase our knowledge of life and the universe as if all supernatural causes don't exist.

I believe it our purpose, why we have intellect that the animals lack. But as for some of you, looking to science to free mankind from the chains of religious anti-intellectualism -- I quote Dr Zaius:

"You may not like what you find."
Much of this is complete babble, as far as I'm concerned. Atheists don't need for evolution to be true; but don't expect them to change their minds based on the untestable and unverifiable. If scientific theory, someday, supplants the Theory of Evolution with a wholly new model, atheists would certainly embrace that model.

But again, this isn't about atheism versus Christianity.

As for the rest, the implication is that we should be contented with ignorance over truth is ridiculous. As someone who believes that the objective laws of science, physics and mathematics are "evidence" of the magnificence of God (an idea that originated in medieval Christianity, mind you), I look forward to further uncovering the mysteries of Creation.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:34 PM   #430
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I am involved with the study of fossils, evolution is the best model for the evidence.

I'll bow to your superior knowledge on fossils then, but I'm telling you, something is getting lost in the dissemination of information then because a lot of people like me, who have no problem whatsoever with scientific explanations of nature and the universe, are just not seeing it.
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You can repeat talking points about how speciation can't be observed when it has been observed in the recent past with domestication of animals from wild stocks and in the lab with the trusty drosophilla.
Intelligent design, no?
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Atheists don't need evolution to be true for one simple reason; aliens did it and prove me wrong (it would be a natural cause for whatever was zapping new creatures into existence). Even if evolution was disproved that doesnt show that there is a God or no God (unless of course that new theory rested on evidence that proved God). Evolution provides an explanation for the diversity of life that doesn't require supernatural intervention or magic appearance of new animals at certain times .
Of coarse, more than one proponent of evolution has floated the idea that life originated here on earth from an extraterrestrial source. In an effort, of coarse, to explain the rather embarrassing fact that we still can't reproduce it's origin in a test tube or account for the astronomical odds of it occurring by chance alone.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:38 PM   #431
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Originally posted by Ormus


The problem with this statement is that it's a false dichotomy. Science and faith are not mutually incompatible, except to those who insist upon it.

Which I am not saying. What I am saying is;

--life exhibits evidence of design--

Both in it's complexity and in known fossil records. One should not be subject to ridicule simply for pointing that observation out.
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Much of this is complete babble, as far as I'm concerned. Atheists don't need for evolution to be true; but don't expect them to change their minds based on the untestable and unverifiable.
But a Christian should?
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If scientific theory, someday, supplants the Theory of Evolution with a wholly new model, atheists would certainly embrace that model.
As long as it doesn't require a creator I'm guessing. Of coarse, to accept that would make them an ex-atheist wouldn't it?

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As for the rest, the implication is that we should be contented with ignorance over truth is ridiculous. As someone who believes that the objective laws of science, physics and mathematics are "evidence" of the magnificence of God (an idea that originated in medieval Christianity, mind you), I look forward to further uncovering the mysteries of Creation.
Sounds like an apt description of "intelligent design" to me.

I am more than willing to follow the evidence where it leads because I believe man is endowed by God with senses and reason to understand His created order. Perhaps one day it will become clearer to both of us.
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:06 PM   #432
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Originally posted by INDY500
Which I am not saying. What I am saying is;

--life exhibits evidence of design--

Both in it's complexity and in known fossil records. One should not be subject to ridicule simply for pointing that observation out.
And science explicitly disagrees with that contention, and has thoroughly disproven all the claims propositioned by intelligent design proponents as a poor understanding of the Theory of Evolution.

As far as I'm concerned, that contention of "design" and the extrapolation that it *must* be evidence of God violates Occam's Razor--ironically created by a 14th century Christian monk.

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But a Christian should?
There's massive amounts of evidence that supports the Theory of Evolution, and if it wasn't testable or verifiable, by scientific standards, it would never have reached the importance that it has today, and, instead, would be as forgotten as Lamarckism.

The fact that many Christians refuse to accept evolution is a matter of stubborn pride, as far as I'm concerned. It would require acknowledging that all the fearmongering about evolution from the time of Darwin to the Scopes Trial in the 1920s to the controversies of today were foolish.

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As long as it doesn't require a creator I'm guessing. Of coarse, to accept that would make them an ex-atheist wouldn't it?
Many Christians like to say that faith is something that cannot be proven, and in the gospels, St. Thomas is chastised by Jesus for not believing without seeing for himself.

And, yet, here you are expecting that God can be scientifically proven. This is not the realm of science!

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Sounds like an apt description of "intelligent design" to me.
Wrong. I suggest you read this to get a larger view of my theological views on evolution:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

ID partly emulates this stance, but, in contrast to "evolutionary creationism/theistic evolution," it haphazardly rejects large portions of science and injects a bunch of theological fallacies that remind me of an incoherent papal encyclical. "Theistic evolution," instead, accepts science in its entirety and credits it to God. It's really very simple, as I see it.

Frankly, the only reason I even see ID existing in light of "evolutionary creationism" is because fundamentalist Christians don't want to adopt a theology largely embraced by Roman Catholics (in where many key Vatican officials have come out to condemn "intelligent design" as "unscientific," comparing it, historically, to when the Church "severed its links with reason and became prey to fundamentalism" to condemn Galileo) and scientists with personal, theistic beliefs.

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I am more than willing to follow the evidence where it leads because I believe man is endowed by God with senses and reason to understand His created order. Perhaps one day it will become clearer to both of us.
At the very least, I do appreciate the thought that you have put into this subject, and I, as well, do hope that it can become clearer in the future.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:41 AM   #433
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Intelligent design, no?
Artificial selection, replicating processes that occur naturally.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:02 PM   #434
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interesting poll results, here

not too surprising

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Most Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution

A new Gallup survey finds that 41% of Americans believe that creationism -- "the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" -- is true while 28% believe evolution -- "the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life" -- is true. Meanwhile, another 24% believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the two theories.

Among Democrats, 57% believe in evolution, while 40% do not.

Among Republicans, 30% believe in evolution, while 68% do not.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:16 PM   #435
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Wow, who are all those evolution-doubting Democrats gonna vote for?
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