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Old 04-28-2008, 01:09 AM   #106
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Originally posted by INDY500
Saw the movie and enjoyed it.

Unfortunately the movie only touched on eugenics which came about when proponents of scientific evolution started to push their scientific theories into social and political arenas. Except "Social Darwinism" isn't science, it's a metaphysical ideology requiring all the faith of any religion.

Doesn't eugenics (breeding a better man, eliminating the weak) kinda make sense if your worldview professes that man is NOT inherently sacred; every life special with a Divine purpose, each human possessing an eternal soul. That the universe is a cosmic accident, death is final, and all morality is manmade with no external source of authority existing above the laws of man.

Why not? After all, why attack just the idea of man being created in God's image as "dangerous,""outdated" or worse unless you have, at least in the back of your mind, thoughts of tinkering with the design?
Why does your moral god allow so many miscarriages to take place, why does your moral god inflict poor infants with deadly genetic disorders that leave a quick painful life here and ongoing suffering for families?

It isn't a leap of faith to suggest that screening embryos and selecting the ones without severely deleterious traits would minimise suffering.

Fewer Severe Birth Defects = Less Suffering.

It isn't tinkering with design, it is tinkering with an evolutionary accident. Genetic diseases in a theistic special creator world are designed elements that are part of humanity - and God is responsible for that suffering. In a materialistic world they are the products of genetic variation, which persist in the gene pool because they are neutral or confer some advantage to carriers and occasionally cause problems for unlucky offspring.

Natural selection does inform philosophy and metaphysics, it grounds speculation with real world facts and can give a firmer base to speculate on the big questions. That such a world view is unbound from an anthropomorphic God and undercuts a divine teleology may be cause for suspicion by believers; but they need to appeal to reality if they expect to be listened to.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:12 AM   #107
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Originally posted by INDY500

Why not? After all, why attack just the idea of man being created in God's image as "dangerous,""outdated" or worse unless you have, at least in the back of your mind, thoughts of tinkering with the design?

sounds like religious fundamentalism -- no gays, strict gender roles, kill the non-believers -- to me.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:18 AM   #108
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Why not? After all, why attack just the idea of man being created in God's image as "dangerous,""outdated" or worse unless you have, at least in the back of your mind, thoughts of tinkering with the design?
I knew that ID was talking about God but they pretend it isn't (hence why Dawkins point about our potential intelligent designer being an evolved alien - extraterrestrial life can exist in the universe given what we know much more easily than a supernatural deity).

Attacking the idea as outdated is fair because special creation fails to account for the diversity in the natural world for good or ill (there are some ugly parasites and infectious diseases out there; I would have serious problems with worshipping that designer).

Attacking it as dangerous is true, it is dangerous to your country; if you can't teach your kids science then America looses it's tech edge and the only people that benefit are Godless foreigners (actually it is in my interest for American theocracy, at least for a few years). Evolutionary biology is a unifying theory for the natural world, it places it all in context and biology is important - people need things like food and medicine and it would be dangerous to compromise the future development of those essentials.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:28 AM   #109
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
[B]It is not illiberal to prevent children being taught ID in public schools instead of or with evolution as ID is not on equal footing intellectually and would be teaching them religion by stealth.
Which religion does ID teach?

In truth, I don't want ID taught in mathematics, physics or chemistry class. But if the origin of the universe or life comes up in astronomy or biology class, then either discussions should be limited to observable facts or 1 or 2 days should be set aside for students to present their thoughts and ideas to the class.

Nobody gets indoctrinated and it sure beats "We don't know."

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opposing ID in public schools is a pro-freedom (in the guise of freedom of religion) position.
More in the guise of "freedom from religion" I'd say.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:39 AM   #110
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Originally posted by INDY500


Which religion does ID teach?

In truth, I don't want ID taught in mathematics, physics or chemistry class. But if the origin of the universe or life comes up in astronomy or biology class, then either discussions should be limited to observable facts or 1 or 2 days should be set aside for students to present their thoughts and ideas to the class.

Nobody gets indoctrinated and it sure beats "We don't know."



More in the guise of "freedom from religion" I'd say.
You just answered your own question; science discussions must be grounded in fact, scientific speculations and hypothesis must also take account of facts, when you say that discussion shouldn't be limited to the facts and kids should be exposed to other presumably theistic points of view it is no longer science.

Science doesn't know, yet; but at this point in time it seems to be the only system of knowledge with any chance of getting the right answers. We have hypothesis about the origin of life on earth such as RNA world and the big bang theory has supporting evidence. These hypothesis and theories take account of facts, they get taught in that context.

Just because you feel that acknowledging the reality of our ignorance isn't good enough is not a cause to substitute lies into the classroom. When a scientist says we don't know it is not a resignation to failure, it isn't saying that we will never know, it is an invitation to finding out; in the real world, not from a bronze aged revealed truth.

ID posits an intelligent designer, this codeword for God does not absolve it of it's religious origin - it is talking about a supernatural entity (otherwise they would acknowledge that aliens are the most likely intelligent designers). The ID hypothesis is positing design as an answer for the origin of life but does not answer the origin of the designer. It is not really an answer to any question and it lacks the power of evolutionary biology (by power I mean the capacity to incorporate new facts, anticipate new discoveries and explain the world around us in a consistent fashion). If we play along and pretend that it is a scientific hypothesis (as proponents insist; while also saying that astrology is a legitimate hypothesis, see Michael Behe in the courtroom) it is nowhere near as good as Darwinian evolution. It is simply not deserving of attention in the science curriculum of any reasonable school because it is a weak hypothesis (not a fleshed out theory).

Freedom from religion is just as much a part of the first amendment as freedom of religion. You cannot have the state subsidising religious indoctrination even if it is in the context of an open discussion in the taxpayer funded classroom.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:20 AM   #111
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
- extraterrestrial life can exist in the universe given what we know much more easily than a supernatural deity).

No, that is only how you interpret what we know. That is a metaphysical statement. It is beyond physics and observable science. It is your opinion and is just a theory. Fine, so is ID. Even though absolutely no credible evidence has turned up on this planet, through telescopes, from our limited space exploration, or by SETI, it would be sheer speculation for me to discount any possibility of extraterrestrial life. I'm glad we're looking.

Maybe evidence of alien worlds surrounds us and we just lack the tools or knowledge to discover it. Of coarse the same might be said of a Creator or a Design.

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Attacking it as dangerous is true, it is dangerous to your country; if you can't teach your kids science then America looses it's tech edge and the only people that benefit are Godless foreigners
Our "tech edge"?
Using your "religious people shun science" theory, how did the most religious country in the Western world ever develop a "tech edge" in the first place? The Clinton Enlightenment of the 90's?
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Evolutionary biology is a unifying theory for the natural world, it places it all in context and biology is important - people need things like food and medicine and it would be dangerous to compromise the future development of those essentials.
Social Darwinism. Rid ourselves of religion -- put all our faith in science -- or famine and pestilence will surely lay waste to the earth.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:42 AM   #112
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Originally posted by INDY500
No, that is only how you interpret what we know. That is a metaphysical statement. It is beyond physics and observable science. It is your opinion and is just a theory. Fine, so is ID. Even though absolutely no credible evidence has turned up on this planet, through telescopes, from our limited space exploration, or by SETI, it would be sheer speculation for me to discount any possibility of extraterrestrial life. I'm glad we're looking.
Wrong, we can detect extrasolar planets which tells us that there are other potential places where life could exist. We can analyse the atmospheres of some of those planets and detect organic molecules, free oxygen etc. cues that may suggest life. Life on other planets is possible, we have one point of reference which is Life on Earth and there is nothing intrinsically divine about it, there is no reason to suppose it can't happen on other planets.
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Maybe evidence of alien worlds surrounds us and we just lack the tools or knowledge to discover it. Of coarse the same might be said of a Creator or a Design.
We have the basic tools, they just need to be refined. Life on Earth obeys the laws of physics, there is nothing prohibiting it forming on other planets (the rapid origin of life on Earth recorded by chemical fossils in the geological record is even suggestive that life was either formed rapidly or introduced to Earth via panspermia). It is not the same as supposing a creator God for which there is no point of reference and no evidence to suppose. We know that life exists in the universe and obeys the laws of physics and evolution is a consequence of organic replication; we can't say the same about God, there is no reason to suppose God exists, we can say that life exists.
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Our "tech edge"?
Using your "religious people shun science" theory, how did the most religious country in the Western world ever develop a "tech edge" in the first place? The Clinton Enlightenment of the 90's?
Crypto-atheist Jews of course, with their disproportionate contributions across the board. My point was a simple one which is that biology makes no sense without evolution. That if you are downplaying it's role in the classroom in high school then it makes it that extra bit harder to get talented scientists in those fields. If you are producing fewer scientists your countries capacity for innovation will suffer, and that gap will be taken up by other countries.
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Social Darwinism. Rid ourselves of religion -- put all our faith in science -- or famine and pestilence will surely lay waste to the earth.
Yeah, it is pure religion; the God of science will smite people for their ignorance.

Rejecting the encroachment of religious belief into the secular education system is not unbridled scientism or Social Darwinism.

You seem to feel that there is always faith in people and that science involves just as much faith as religion. I reject that notion, on the basis that the assumptions that underpin the scientific method are consistently scrutinised both within and without and that the system is self-correcting; ideas can be junked if they don't hold up. While like any human being I function under the illusions given by common sense I try to scrutinise them when I can and am more than willing to let go of what feels right because my brain says so and what is actually the case (e.g. if I imagine weights of different masses dropping in a vacuum my brain intuitively goes for the wrong answer, we cannot trust what feels right if it isn't verified).
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:49 AM   #113
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
[B]
Just because you feel that acknowledging the reality of our ignorance isn't good enough is not a cause to substitute lies into the classroom.
And you just answered when I might support ID being taught in schools. When textbooks and teachers start expressing this terribly condescending attitude towards people of faith.
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Freedom from religion is just as much a part of the first amendment as freedom of religion. You cannot have the state subsidising religious indoctrination
Neither should schools or public education work to undermine a students faith.
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:04 AM   #114
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And you just answered when I might support ID being taught in schools. When textbooks and teachers start expressing this terribly condescending attitude towards people of faith.
I am not a teacher in a public school, I am not talking to a student while being on a public payroll, I have no obligation to respect religious belief - if I was teaching a high school class I don't think it would be professional or even allowed within policy to belittle a students religious beliefs and call them a moron. One can teach evolutionary biology without referencing religion beyond the historical context. Explaining how rival explanations for the diversity of life on earth included things like William Paley's special creation and neo-platonic idealism may have a place in the classroom, even those explanations were not correct (even though they were puported by leading scientists of the day such such as Richard Owen who is one of the finest comparative anatomists ever).

I have no obligation to respect belief when it isn't in my self-interest because it doesn't make the answer any less right or wrong. Civility in discourse may be agreeable and desirable but it is never a given.
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Neither should schools or public education work to undermine a students faith.
Not at the expense of standards in education. The implications of Darwin extend to the metaphysical, it doesn't need to be spelled out to people but if they pause to think they realise it. It would be wrong abuse students merely because they have a strong belief in a creator but teaching them evolution and leaving them to draw their own conclusions about the metaphysics is perfectly reasonable (especially at high school level). Evolutionary biology is the way the world works regardless of a person being a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Taoist or Atheist and teaching them how it works is not attacking their right to believe.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:59 AM   #115
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Care to give a citation for this?
tell us you're joking..

please.

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Old 04-28-2008, 10:15 AM   #116
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it's also no secret that the Catholics and Nazis shared despise for the Jews, although Catholics do not subscribe to Darwinism Eugenics nor mass mudering of the Jewish ppl, those 3 traits fall at the feet of Nazis.
Most all Christians did in this era, not just Catholics. Anti-Semitism in Europe was as old as the Roman Empire itself. It likely had to do with prejudices arising out of the fact that the Jewish Roman province was in frequent rebellion, and, from a Greco-Roman POV, many of their practices were seen as primitive/barbaric (i.e., circumcision & polygamy). Over time, obviously, it got much worse.

Eugenics, while indefensible, cannot be cited as an origin for anti-Semitism. And it should be very much remembered that eugenics and Darwinism are separate concepts. After all, the vast, vast majority of those who ascribe to evolution very much refute eugenics (you'll always find a fringe that supports anything, so that's why you can't say "all"), and eugenics has no bearing at all on evolutionary science. It is a complete non sequitor.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:15 AM   #117
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tell us you're joking..

please.

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From a great biography that I just finished reading Darwin didn't support a selective breeding registry for Englands best and brightest.

That simply because natural selection has an intellectual heritage with Malthus doesn't make it identical. Implicating Darwin as some sort of instigator of illiberal social policy is dishonest. If you make the charge back it up.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:24 AM   #118
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tell us you're joking..

please.

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Actually he's not, and if you were to actually read the full context of what Darwin wrote, you would find that he was against the type of thinking that would lead to eugenics.

The movie only quotes this:
Quote:
"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick, thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”
But what it omits is Darwin's next conclusion on this:
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“The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.
Hardly the argument for eugenics represented in the movie.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:28 AM   #119
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Eugenics, while indefensible, cannot be cited as an origin for anti-Semitism. And it should be very much remembered that eugenics and Darwinism are separate concepts. After all, the vast, vast majority of those who ascribe to evolution very much refute eugenics (you'll always find a fringe that supports anything, so that's why you can't say "all"), and eugenics has no bearing at all on evolutionary science. It is a complete non sequitor.
Not neccessarily, the move towards selection of embryos and designer babies is a form of eugenics, in some ways positive eugenics. It is not indefensible and it must be separated from state sponsered discrimination and coercion. A separate argument from natural selection to be sure but one that does exist.

If you gave people a hypothetical where their potential offspring had a strong likelihood of a genetic disease and they were given a option of selecting a healthy embryo I think most people would take it up. If those types of decisons start getting made throughout society on a regular basis then eugenics is taking place and I don't think that is an intrinsically bad thing.

These questions are not clear cut, the ethics of eugenics is not to be found in Nazi pseudo-science and it is demanding and will continue to demand informed discussion to make the right ethical decisions.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:40 PM   #120
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