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A late newsflash - Creationism being taught legally. Answered

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This just turned up in my email:

***www.NewScientist.com - NEWSFLASH***

On the 28 June, The Science Education Act was passed as law in the State of Louisiana. This piece of legislature now allows teachers in this US state to present non-scientific alternatives to evolution, global warming and cloning – including ideas related to intelligent design. Opponents fear that Louisiana teachers are now free to present evolution and other targeted topics as matters of debate rather than broadly accepted science, and could have national implications.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
http://email.newscientist.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/eBYeq0MYphT0mli0E8Po0E3

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dsman195276 (author)2008-07-10

thats interesting, why can't they just leave religion out of teachings in school? i am not really for this. it will just make the kids feel like religion is a chore.

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xACIDITYx (author)dsman1952762008-07-10

No, it would make children feel as though religion is a fact, which you must agree that it is not. Whatever is taught in schools is factual; Gravity, history, chemicals, the periodic table, Art, so it would be fine to say that if religion is taught in schools, it would make the children seem as though it is fact, which it is definitely not.

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dsman195276 (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-10

well, i would say not proven fact. i see where you are going with that. though, i never saw evolution and the big bang to be fact even though it was taught to me. but since i was Christian at the time i can see how it would be different for someone else who is not religious.

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xACIDITYx (author)dsman1952762008-07-10

But what I mean is that it's not fact. It's not even a scientifically recognized theory. Everything else taught in schools is fact or a theory generally recognized and agreed upon theory. But religion, ID, god or anything like that is not factual.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-12

Everything else taught in schools is fact or a theory generally recognized and agreed upon theory.
Schools can teach philosophy, ethics, political correctness, how you will save the planet from absolute destruction by using compact fluorescents... And art and music appreciation... Lots of things that are subjective (opinions) vs objective (facts). And lots of things that are later proven wrong, things based on personal interpretations... Schools teach far more than black and white, there is a lot of grey in there, far more than they or you care to admit.

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xACIDITYx (author)forgesmith2008-07-12

But Everyting taught in SCIENCE class is factual or at least generally agreed upon. Same in English and Algebra; all of the classes that you HAVE to take. Everything else is additional. The things you HAVE to take are all factual.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-12

The things you HAVE to take are all factual.
What, you didn't have to take any "liberal arts" classes? That's sad, makes for a well-rounded individual. I really liked the arts classes, music was good too.

Now with History, well, "facts" and "generally agreed upon" can be nebulous things open to change, and not always right. It is a fact a document exists called the Constitution of the United States of America, you may be hard pressed to find what is "generally agreed upon" within all of it, there are many interpretations of huge swatches of it, continuing debate over what the Founding Fathers generally agreed upon the words meant, and the Supreme Court can say that just about everybody is wrong about what it means anyway. Yet we still teach about it.

And we haven't even scratched what various ethnic groups and "schools of thought" think about the facts of much of history as written.

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xACIDITYx (author)forgesmith2008-07-13

And yet there is factual evidence supporting the Founding Fathers' lives and that they wrote the constitution. There is no factual evidence supporting that God exists or that he gave people messages to compile into a book. none.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-13

You place so much faith in the certainty of factual evidence and that such yields absolute undeniable truths, it seems you have little knowledge of real courtroom proceedings. And as you still cannot produce evidence that God does not or can not exist you must logically accept the possibility of the existence, absence of proof is not proof of the contrary. Besides, I exist, and I did not create myself. I have my proof beyond my own reasonable doubt.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-13

Russell's teapot.

"But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it..."
Bingo! You stop where the logic ends, the possibility exists, either way beyond that without proof is an act of faith. Since I cannot scientifically prove the existence and you cannot scientifically disprove the existence, we are both left with the possibility and nothing more scientifically. See, I knew you'd get the hang of this eventually. ;-)

Now all we need for the set is Russell's tempest...

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xACIDITYx (author)forgesmith2008-07-13

Yes, I get that. But now think about it within the mindset of possibility. It's POSSIBLE that there is an invisible leprechaun under my bed.

I can't see him, so I can't prove he doesn't exist, I wrote a book about it, and the book was the word of the Leprechaun ( he whispers in my ear while I sleep and I wake up every morning with more ideas that he gave to me) He created the universe and works every day creating every human life. However, he isn't so fast (he's a leprechaun with short legs) so he can't magically impregnate the woman every time you have sex. The Leprechaun is allergic to condoms, so that's why condoms don't make the woman pregnant. The leprechaun, way back when, got mad at all the sex and made a select few have Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Now the way they are transmitted is through his magic. The world is as old as the leprechaun, who is only about 2000 years old. The leprechaun has a possy which he says consists of an invisible unicorn, an invisible fairy, and an invisible stork. However, the leprechaun has to do the stork's job because the stork is a druggie. When we die, our souls go under my bed with the Leprechaun and his possy. Science says he can't exist, but any evidence put to go against him is put there by him to test your faith in him. He made a list, which he wrote onto a piece of paper and slid out from under the bed for me to see the next morning. The list consists of the things you can't do. However, my prophesy is not finished yet (he tells me that there is more to come) so I am not allowed to disclose the entire book to you yet.

Logically, you must believe in my leprechaun because he provides no more proof he exists than your so-called God. Also, since the book is the word of the leprechaun, he must exist! I am just a prophet.

Sounds crazy? Just because it has less followers doesn't make it any less logical.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-13

Yes, I get that. But now think about it within the mindset of possibility. It's POSSIBLE that there is an invisible leprechaun under my bed.

(background noise)

Logically, you must believe in my leprechaun because he provides no more proof he exists than your so-called God. Also, since the book is the word of the leprechaun, he must exist! I am just a prophet.

Dang, and you were so close to getting it... We're talking SCIENCE, we're using LOGIC. Science, by logic, stops at allowing the possibility of God. Likewise it stops at allowing the possibility of the leprechaun. My belief in God is faith, beyond science. I have decided to believe in God. I am under no obligation to believe in the leprechaun. And by science and logic, I cannot state that the leprechaun does not exist. And you still cannot state that God does not exist.

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xACIDITYx (author)forgesmith2008-07-14

Precisely. But within SCIENCE, it would be impossible for a man to be made of dirt, a woman to be made of a man's rib, or someone to resurrect after being dead for 3 days. So science doesn't leave the possibility open for a god because everything else dealing with this god would be impossible.
The creationist response?
Anything is possible in the presence of god.
And that's where the conversation starts it dismal spiral downward.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-14

Precisely. But within SCIENCE, it would be impossible for a man to be made of dirt, a woman to be made of a man's rib, or someone to resurrect after being dead for 3 days.

Granted while in my own personal reading I take that part of the creation story as metaphor, all of those are actually backed by science.

We are made of dirt, once the water is driven off you can crunch what's left into dry dirt. Heck, we eat dirt, plants grow from it, we eat either plants or what eats plants or what ate the plant eaters, etc. Even when you start with water, doesn't work unless the stuff in dirt is in the water, straight nutrient-free distilled water won't grow stuff.

You can make a woman from a man's rib. It'd be a healthy DNA sample with one X chromosome, duplicate it for two X chromosomes and you have all the DNA needed to make a woman. Just because we don't have the technology to do that ourselves just yet does not mean it's not possible.

For the last, you'll have to be specific about what "dead" is. People have been clinically dead and brought back. With hypothermia, sometimes in response to extreme trauma, the body can shut itself down so far that any normal person examining them would be certain they were dead. It's known that it can be done with certain chemicals, the "zombies" of Voodoo have a basis in fact. It can even be done by your mind, advanced yoga practitioners have been known to slow their systems down to where they didn't seem alive. I remember that from the old That's Incredible TV show, guy folded himself up into a small plastic cube which they left at the bottom of a swimming pool for an hour, amazing. Now before you start harping on "three days!" remember that Jesus, whom you seem to be referring to, was seen for only hours between the end on the cross and when placed in the tomb. Nor was it 72 hours, just before sunset to sunrise two days later, closer to 36 hours. Given what we now know about the body's amazing possible responses to trauma, considering his physical injuries, and many other things, it is well within scientific possibility he could have appeared dead when taken from the cross and placed in the tomb, no detectable breathing or heartbeat, and revived hours later.

All three things, Science says "Hey, go for it if you can!"

And for additional fun, looks like we're not too far from having powdered wine, just add water...

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xACIDITYx (author)forgesmith2008-07-14

We are made of dirt
No, actually we are not. Now I see why this conversation is going downwards, because you believe we are made of dirt. We do not eat dirt, we eat what grows from it. Yes, we can eat dirt, but it's not very healthy and it is definitely not the only thing in our diet. Does that mean we are made from it? Not be any means.

Just because we don't have the technology to do that ourselves just yet does not mean it's not possible.
So that means that it was possible to be done thousands of years ago, when they didn't even understand germs, but they were further ahead of us with biological cloning?
Your response? My bet is that it has something to do with GOD.

Given what we now know about the body's amazing possible responses to trauma, considering his physical injuries, and many other things, it is well within scientific possibility he could have appeared dead when taken from the cross and placed in the tomb, no detectable breathing or heartbeat, and revived hours later.
Then what was the miracle? Why do we celebrate Easter if he was just KOed?

And for additional fun, looks like we're not too far from having powdered wine, just add water...
That wouldn't be making wine out of water, that would be making wine out of wine concentrate and water. No miracle there.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-15

Now I see why this conversation is going downwards, because you believe we are made of dirt.
I thought it was going downward due to your steadfast refusal to accept scientific principles when they don't support your particular view of what science should say. Take human, extract water, crush large bits, the remaining pile of chemical substances is essentially dirt. We require minerals that are found in dirt, we live off of substances that other lifeforms made from what is in dirt. We eat dirt, directly and indirectly. We are made of dirt, the world was not created with biological substances ready for consumption, every bit of every cell structure, every strand of genetic material, is made from that which was extracted from rocks. That means you are made of dirt.

So that means that it was possible to be done thousands of years ago, when they didn't even understand germs, but they were further ahead of us with biological cloning?
Your response? My bet is that it has something to do with GOD.
You make me wonder why you think it made sense to even think that bit about cloning had anything to do with the original post so you had to stick it in like something I had written. Because clearly it wouldn't be cloning if you're making an original. Besides, what "they" could you be referring to when the story says Adam was the only human around? Do you think "they" were dolphins? Or was it those sneaky cows, always pretending to be so innocent and peaceful until they decide to trample you to death?

As to the rest... Bingo! As time goes on and science progresses, the true miracle will be less that something was done, but that it was done back then. And with a whole lot less equipment too...

Then what was the miracle? Why do we celebrate Easter if he was just KOed?
For the candy and chocolate, duh. Maybe the eggs too. Well, that's why we celebrate it, I and others may have other reasons.

As the arguing goes, you say something is scientifically impossible, I point out when it is possible. You're going to lose in the end anyway, as science advances that which is impossible now will be possible then. The miracle of the loaves and the fishes is easy with a working transporter. I once successfully argued the virgin birth was entirely possible if Mary was a tetragametic chimera. Very long odds, might only happen once in 10,000 years, but still possible. That which is possible, now or in the future, will always be a greater set than that which you think is impossible.

That wouldn't be making wine out of water, that would be making wine out of wine concentrate and water. No miracle there.
You spend a lot of time arguing semantics. Do you want a cup or not?

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NachoMahma (author)forgesmith2008-07-15

. Mary The Hermaphrodite? I bet that goes over real well. ROFLMAO

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forgesmith (author)NachoMahma2008-07-16

I bet that goes over real well.
Hey, go read up on it, it was one heck of a search. All internal, she wouldn't have known a thing. Hypothetical one-shot right when she was starting to mature, which, despite modern depictions of her, was marrying age then, she was just a kid. Nothing against her then going on to have her other kids "in the normal fashion."

It was real popular among the atheists who were insisting a virgin birth could never happen, as I'm sure you can imagine.

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Kiteman (author)forgesmith2008-07-15

Well, if you're going to be technical about it, we are made of air and water. We are mainly carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen - all originally fixed by plants from either water or atmospheric gases. The rest is trace minerals.

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forgesmith (author)Kiteman2008-07-15

We are mainly carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen - all originally fixed by plants from either water or atmospheric gases.

The rest is trace minerals.
Yup, that was my first thought. But then it occurred to me that the planet after forming had no atmosphere, at best some trace wisps that were lost to space or became chemically bound as the stellar matter cooled to where compounds were possible, plus trace noble gases. The atmosphere, in the quantity needed for life, was generated later. You may notice, for example, that magma is not known for its water content, but it can be generated from the cooled magma, aka rock, once both hydrogen and oxygen become available from chemical actions done to the rock.

Thus rock is the source, ground-up rock is dirt, we are made of dirt. And dirt-derived substances, if you really want to get technical about it. ;-)

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Labot2001 (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-14

Precisely. But within SCIENCE, it would be impossible for a man to be made of dirt, a woman to be made of a man's rib, or someone to resurrect after being dead for 3 days.

Actually, it would just be highly improbable. With Science, nothing is impossible.

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xACIDITYx (author)Labot20012008-07-14

With science, there are some things impossible. For example, science says that without any outside forces, dirt can not turn into a man.

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forgesmith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-15

For example, science says that without any outside forces, dirt can not turn into a man.

No outside forces, huh? Well, an omnipotent deity who exists beyond time and space as we perceive and conceive them, would certainly qualify as an outside force. Therefore science says that God qualifies as that which possibly could turn dirt into a man, provided God exists. Good point, Skate6566!

Now here's one for you. Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted between one another. By the current work of Hawking et al there are possibly a multitude of other universes besides ours, perhaps a nigh-infinite quantity of them. Where did all the matter and energy for them come from, if such cannot be created? New universes could be being generated right now. Do they draw on a fixed pool of matter and energy for their creation? Does it come from existing universes, could our universe be shrinking?

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skunkbait (author)forgesmith2008-07-13

Good explanation! Although I was kinda excited about Skate's leprechaun.

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Kiteman (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-12

I agree with teaching "RE" (which my school now calls "Beliefs and Values"), because that is par of learning how other cultures think and why.

I also don't mind Creationism being taught in school science lessons, if the science is taught honestly. I encourage my classes to be sceptical - I have a standing rule that they can challenge me to prove anything I say in lessons, with evidence if necessary. I can also challenge them to do the same.

Creationism gets the occasional mention, as part of the historical context of studying evolution or cosmology, but even my most gullible children are quick to poke holes in theism-based claims.

What I object to are the people who knowingly misuse science to try and put creationism on an equally-credible footing as evolution or BB. They use semantic trickery like evolution is "only a theory" (which is a bit like saying Earth is "only a planet"), and replace evidence and objectivity with mind-games and deception.

Try a test - ask a science teacher to quickly summarise the evidence for evolution. Then ask a Creationist preacher to quickly summarise the evidence for the Christian version of Creation.

I'd be willing to lay money that the scientist will give examples of the evidence you ask for, and not mention God at all. The preacher, however, will talk around the houses, use placebos like "it's obvious" or "just loo around you", and will also probably try an argument that runs along the lines of:

Evolution says X, which is obviously wrong because either it contradicts the Bible or because evolutionists are atheists, and if that was wrong then the Bible must be right.

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Kiteman (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-12

"Religious Education", also known in the past as "Religious Knowledge" and before that "Scripture Studies".

Each name-change has moved it away from religious preaching and towards a general understanding of other cultures.

The latest version ("Beliefs and Values") allows for the examination of general attitudes, and discussion of right and wrong etc.

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PKM (author)Kiteman2008-07-12

It was Religious Studies at my brother's school, Religious Instruction at my dad's, RE at mine.

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Weissensteinburg (author)2008-07-09

I think that Bobby Henderson needs to write somebody a letter.

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I already sent an email to Bobby.

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Kiteman (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-15

Have you had a reply yet?

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xACIDITYx (author)Kiteman2008-07-15
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Labot2001 (author)2008-07-14

I think that when the Theory of Evolution is being taught, students and teachers should be free to discuss Creationism. But it should NOT be taught as a science, even alongside evolution.

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xACIDITYx (author)Labot20012008-07-15

Well I Disagree completely except about the last part.

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jessyratfink (author)2008-07-14

Haha!! Yes, it wasn't Kentucky! ...though we do still have the Creation Museum. :( I knew it would happen at some point. I can't really say I'm surprised. Now we just need to find out if anyone is trying to reverse the decision and try to help them. :D

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Tool Using Animal (author)2008-07-10

Meh, at least they'll be teaching something, there's no education going on in schools anymore. They exist as nothing but "pre-prisons". "Line up on the yellow line, hands at your side, No Talking!" "You will wear your uniform at all times" "Lockdown, you will remain in your seats, you will not be allowed to go to the bathroom, you will not be allowed to get a drink of water, this is for your safety". "All backpacks must be school approved clear plastic models"

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OMG! Really??

>Rendered speechless<

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skunkbait (author)Kiteman2008-07-13

Really. That's why we homeschool our kids. That's why our kids test scores are about 40 % better than their public-schooled counterparts. That's why I abandoned the thought of going into public education. I did teach high-school History at a private school for a year (and really enjoyed it), but the compensation was inadequate. Our public schools have been in steady decline for at least 20 years.

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Bran (author)Kiteman2008-07-10

It's terrible. My neighboring county, which is a gang-filled county, is like this. My county though isn't that strict.

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DJ Radio (author)2008-07-13

WHY LA? WHY??????????????????????????????????????????

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NachoMahma (author)2008-07-09
. It's just Louisiana. Even we Arkansas hillbillies make fun of Louisiana. They are infamous for corrupt politics. They are not an indication of how the rest of the country believes.

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Big Bwana (author)NachoMahma2008-07-11

Oh come on, they are great people, who else am I going to sell the 12 foot ice fishing auger extensions to when they come for holidays in Canada's frozen North ....

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NachoMahma (author)Big Bwana2008-07-13

. I'll take your word for it. My knowledge of Canada is pretty much limited to what I learned from the McKenzie brothers. <snicker>

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Gjdj3 (author)2008-07-11

I wonder what type of creationism they teach though. Did you know that there is more than one theory of creation?

The Churh of FSM

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Kiteman (author)Gjdj32008-07-11

Oh, there are loads, but as far as the people who drew this law up are concerned, there is only one - the "right" one.

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