Debate over evolution now allowed in ...

Debate over evolution now allowed in Tenn. schools

There are 170 comments on the USA Today story from Apr 11, 2012, titled Debate over evolution now allowed in Tenn. schools. In it, USA Today reports that:

A bill that encourages classroom debate over evolution will become law in Tennessee, despite a veto campaign mounted by scientists and civil libertarians who say it will reopen a decades-old controversy over teaching creationism to the state's schoolchildren.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at USA Today.

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The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#1 Apr 12, 2012
Well done Bill Haslam, you are a waste of space. Sorry to be so blunt, but...

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#2 Apr 12, 2012
What a pity. Another falsely titled and described piece of legislation. I would not have too much trouble with this if they truly debated evolution versus creation based on evidence. I saw an interview with the author of this bill this morning. By the smug look on his face he knows what he pulled off.

U.S. school teachers were, as a rule, not in the upper half of graduates. When I went to school, way too long ago, I was lucky. My math and science teachers seemed to know what they were doing. I can't say quite the same for my history teachers. I talked to a young man who was studying to become a high school science teacher specializing in physics and I was shocked when I found out there was no calculus requirement and he was not going to take any. You cannot understand physics without calculus, how can you teach a subject you don't understand?

As a result of this bill I would be willing to bet that there will be some teachers hired solely because of their belief in creationism.
Brad

Dayton, TN

#3 Apr 12, 2012
I'm mixed on this decision. First off I realize Haslam just bent over pandering to his constituency, but also to understand a subject you have to question it. That is called the "Socratic" method and it has been used for over two thousand years as an effective teaching method (including being used by Jesus) Science should be conclusions drawn by observation, the term "Creationism" or "Evolutionist" in itself is a political stance not just questioning a conclusion of how things came to be.

Viewpoints should be discussed in the classroom, to better understand the world we live in and why people think and act the way they do.

If some student stands up in Science class and states "The Earth is 6000 years old" the teacher in a non judgmental way should ask why, then when the student states it's because his interpretation of the Bible tells him so, the teacher can explain the observations made regarding geology and prove that assumption to be flawed. The same should be done with World politics, history, literature, etc.

Many in the religious and scientific community agree, it seems to be the angry fringes that cause most of the stir.

Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#4 Apr 14, 2012
>>>Brad
but also to understand a subject you have to question it. That is called the "Socratic" method and it has been used for over two thousand years as an effective teaching method (including being used by Jesus)

>>>Gillette
Are you advocating that our public school kids use the "Socratic method" in math classes to debate their teachers on whether a certain polynomial equation can lead to a true result or not? Or should they buckle down and LEARN the %$#@ material so they can graduate high school with certain basic skills?

Or is it just biology classes in which the kids are supposed to "pursue the truth"?

>>>Brad
Science should be conclusions drawn by observation,

>>>Gillette
The science taught in our biology classes IS "conclusions drawn by observation" -- conclusions drawn by millions of scientists over the last 150 years. And that, naturally enough, is what is taught in science classes.

Where does some smart-ass 15-year old pastor's kid in TN get off thinking he can take up valuable and precious class time debating his teacher on whether the Bible creation story is true or not?

Because that's what this is about -- an organized fundamentalist Christian effort to "teach the controversy" i.e. to get school science classes talking about Jesus and the Bible.

>>>Brad
the term "Creationism" or "Evolutionist" in itself is a political stance not just questioning a conclusion of how things came to be.

>>>Gillette
Thanks for admitting that the whole phony "controversy" was manufactured by you fundamentalist Christians and is a POLITICAL one, not a SCIENTIFIC one.

In the world of science, there is NO controversy over whether evolution has occurred and is currently occurring. The debate is strictly in fundamentalist Christian churches.

>>>Brad
Viewpoints should be discussed in the classroom, to better understand the world we live in and why people think and act the way they do.

>>>Gillette
That's exactly what the Discovery Institute is trying to accomplish with their infamous Wedge Strategy -- get public school science classes turned into debate arenas where fundamentalist Christianity can be discussed during class time.

>>>Brad
If some student stands up in Science class and states "The Earth is 6000 years old" the teacher in a non judgmental way should ask why, then when the student states it's because his interpretation of the Bible tells him so, the teacher can explain the observations made regarding geology and prove that assumption to be flawed. The same should be done with World politics, history, literature, etc.

>>>Gillette
See above. You don't get to turn a public school classroom into an arena where teenage Jesus Freaks can spend hours of precious class time trying to proselytize and "save souls."

We KNOW who you guys are and what you are up to.

>>>Brad
Many in the religious and scientific community agree, it seems to be the angry fringes that cause most of the stir.

>>>Gillette
My, my, aren't YOU the thoughtful, reasonable moderate? LOL

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#5 Apr 15, 2012
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by
adding the following as a new, appropriately designated section:
(a) The general assembly finds that:
(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about
scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary
to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;
(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to,
biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human
cloning, can cause controversy; and
(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how
they should present information on such subjects.
(b) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public
elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create
an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages
students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical
thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about
controversial issues.
(c) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public- 2 - 00242666
elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist
teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses
scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students
understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths
and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being
taught.
(d) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary
school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any
public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any
teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand,
analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific
weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.
(e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not
be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination
for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination
for or against religion or non-religion.
SECTION 2. By no later than the start of the 2011-2012 school term, the department of
education shall notify all directors of schools of the provisions of this act. Each director shall
notify all employees within the director's school system of the provisions of this act.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring
it.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#6 Apr 15, 2012

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#7 Apr 15, 2012
I notice that the teachers are supposed to review the strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories. They are NOT supposed to point out the weaknesses of the non-scientific or pseudo-scientific ideas that are prevalent in our society. So, this bill is directed to supporting criticisms of existing science, NOT a development of critical thinking skills. It would be much more helpful for *that* goal to point out the problems with creationism, new-age mysticism, psychic phenomena, etc. and show the children how to recognize such ideas as the intellectual garbage that they are.

So why are these points not addressed in this legislation? Because the *goal* is to get children to disagree with science; not to think for themselves.
Brad

Hixson, TN

#8 Apr 15, 2012
Gillette wrote:
Are you advocating that our public school kids use the "Socratic method" in math classes to debate their teachers on whether a certain polynomial equation can lead to a true result or not? Or should they buckle down and LEARN the %$#@ material so they can graduate high school with certain basic skills?
Or is it just biology classes in which the kids are supposed to "pursue the truth"?

The science taught in our biology classes IS "conclusions drawn by observation" -- conclusions drawn by millions of scientists over the last 150 years. And that, naturally enough, is what is taught in science classes.
Where does some smart-ass 15-year old pastor's kid in TN get off thinking he can take up valuable and precious class time debating his teacher on whether the Bible creation story is true or not?
Because that's what this is about -- an organized fundamentalist Christian effort to "teach the controversy" i.e. to get school science classes talking about Jesus and the Bible.

Thanks for admitting that the whole phony "controversy" was manufactured by you fundamentalist Christians and is a POLITICAL one, not a SCIENTIFIC one.
In the world of science, there is NO controversy over whether evolution has occurred and is currently occurring. The debate is strictly in fundamentalist Christian churches.

That's exactly what the Discovery Institute is trying to accomplish with their infamous Wedge Strategy -- get public school science classes turned into debate arenas where fundamentalist Christianity can be discussed during class time.

See above. You don't get to turn a public school classroom into an arena where teenage Jesus Freaks can spend hours of precious class time trying to proselytize and "save souls."
We KNOW who you guys are and what you are up to.
Gillette,

By your comment You sound like exactly like the angry fringe I was referring to.

How about some other lies taught in schools currently:

Columbus Discovered America
People in the 1490's believed the earth was flat
Andrew Jackson didn't commit a Genocide
When white Indo-European people invade a land they "Discover" it, when people of darker skin do it they are "Barbarians" or "Invaders".

First off, I am a college educated, middle aged man who is NOT a political evangelical Christian. I am a pragmatist and a cynic who see's inconsiderate responses from people like you and understands even more that "Evolutionists" are motivated by the same goals as "Creationists" are. Power. Neither should be rewarded for their bad behavior.

It is the Politically charged religious ones "Knowing" they are correct that causes them to blow themselves up in city squares, just the same as it is the politically charged Scientists "Knowing" they are right that causes them to do heartless experiments on innocents during the Holocaust and on Blacks in the 30s ad 40s. Or to design chemical, nuclear or mechanical weapons designed to kill.

I do not deny Micro Evolution (change, adaptation, natural selection) happens every day, but as a pragmatist I cannot accept that 4 billion years ago on a molten planet with a surface temperature of thousands of degrees trillions of organisms managed to somehow survive (even though science proves it couldn't) and then randomly create the diversity of life we have on this planet currently.

I have no political agenda to further, but we have all seen Science before that had to correct itself after new evidence was presented. No one has ever observed a Tree eventually turn into a Cat, or a Fish turn into a Bird. There is no fossil evidence of it, so when I read bullshit creatively woven into good science I step back from fully embracing it, just as I step back from religious freaks who say theirs is a religion of peace, yet cause more bloodshed, hatred and warfare in the name of religion.

So Gillette, you can further entrench yourself, or understand the need of open context.

Brad

Hixson, TN

#9 Apr 15, 2012
Gillette,

By your comment You sound like exactly like the angry fringe I was referring to.

How about some other lies taught in schools currently:

Columbus Discovered America
People in the 1490's believed the earth was flat
Andrew Jackson didn't commit a Genocide
When white Indo-European people invade a land they "Discover" it, when people of darker skin do it they are "Barbarians" or "Invaders".

First off, I am a college educated, middle aged man who is NOT a political evangelical Christian. I am a pragmatist and a cynic who see's inconsiderate responses from people like you and understands even more that "Evolutionists" are motivated by the same goals as "Creationists" are. Power. Neither should be rewarded for their bad behavior.

It is the Politically charged religious ones "Knowing" they are correct that causes them to blow themselves up in city squares, just the same as it is the politically charged Scientists "Knowing" they are right that causes them to do heartless experiments on innocents during the Holocaust and on Blacks in the 30s ad 40s. Or to design chemical, nuclear or mechanical weapons designed to kill.

I do not deny Micro Evolution (change, adaptation, natural selection) happens every day, but as a pragmatist I cannot accept that 4 billion years ago on a molten planet with a surface temperature of thousands of degrees trillions of organisms managed to somehow survive (even though science proves it couldn't) and then randomly create the diversity of life we have on this planet currently.

I have no political agenda to further, but we have all seen Science before that had to correct itself after new evidence was presented. No one has ever observed a Tree eventually turn into a Cat, or a Fish turn into a Bird. There is no fossil evidence of it, so when I read bullshit creatively woven into good science I step back from fully embracing it, just as I step back from religious freaks who say theirs is a religion of peace, yet cause more bloodshed, hatred and warfare in the name of religion.

So Gillette, you can further entrench yourself, or understand the need of open context.

“CO2 is Gaseous Love”

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#10 Apr 15, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
I notice that the teachers are supposed to review the strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories. They are NOT supposed to point out the weaknesses of the non-scientific or pseudo-scientific ideas that are prevalent in our society. So, this bill is directed to supporting criticisms of existing science, NOT a development of critical thinking skills. It would be much more helpful for *that* goal to point out the problems with creationism, new-age mysticism, psychic phenomena, etc. and show the children how to recognize such ideas as the intellectual garbage that they are.
So why are these points not addressed in this legislation? Because the *goal* is to get children to disagree with science; not to think for themselves.
I didn't notice that, I read the opposite:

"Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students
understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#11 Apr 15, 2012
>>>Brad
By your comment You sound like exactly like the angry fringe I was referring to.

>>>Gillette
Nothing "angry" or "fringe" about me pointing out the PUBLICLY STATED agenda of the evangelical Christian groups that oppose the science behind evolution. It isn't Hindus or Muslims or atheists who are "pointing out the lies of evolution" in our schools.

It's a small group of religiously motivated fundamentalist Christians, mostly in the South. As I said to you above, we KNOW who you are and we KNOW what you are up to.

>>>Brad
I am a pragmatist and a cynic who see's inconsiderate responses from people like you and understands even more that "Evolutionists" are motivated by the same goals as "Creationists" are. Power. Neither should be rewarded for their bad behavior.

>>>Gillette
I disagreed with you. That's not "inconsiderate behavior" on an Evolution Debate board.

And we are not "evolutionists," we are SCIENTISTS and science teachers, etc. There is NO debate in the world of science as to whether evolution occurs and now occurs, and so no need to refer to us as "evolutionists," any more than we can be referred to as "gravitationalists" because we accept and work with the laws of gravity.

And scientists are motivated in this case by the desire for the accepted findings of science to be taught in science classes, not your religious beliefs (thinly sugar-coated as pseudo-science).

>>>Brad
I do not deny Micro Evolution (change, adaptation, natural selection) happens every day, but as a pragmatist I cannot accept that 4 billion years ago on a molten planet with a surface temperature of thousands of degrees trillions of organisms managed to somehow survive (even though science proves it couldn't) and then randomly create the diversity of life we have on this planet currently.

>>>Gillette
There is NO KNOWN BARRIER between what you call "micro-evolution" and full-on (i.e. "macro") evolution. If you know of one, please let us know and promptly collect your Nobel Prize and worldwide fame. Think of the worldwide publicity you guys would gain for Jesus if you actually did the scientific work and PROVED the wild things you propose!

>>>Brad
I have no political agenda to further, but we have all seen Science before that had to correct itself after new evidence was presented.

>>>Gillette
That's a strength, not a weakness. Science keeps learning things and is constantly open to new and deeper evidence. Why does that bother you Christians so much?

Evolution was codified 150 years ago by Darwin and since then we have discovered millions of tons of fossils AND the DNA genome, ALL OF WHICH point squarely in the direction of evolution, NONE of it pointing AWAY from evolution.

>>>Brad
No one has ever observed a Tree eventually turn into a Cat, or a Fish turn into a Bird. There is no fossil evidence of it,

>>>>Gillette
Not SHOULD there be fossil evidence of it, because nothing in science claims such things can happen.

Hadn't you better crack open a book and LEARN what it is you are supposed to be refuting? LOL

>>>Brad
so when I read bullshit creatively woven into good science I step back from fully embracing it,

>>>Gillette
Ironic you saying this, as you've just quoted from the bizarre, fundamentalist Christian CARTOON VERSION of evolution.

>>>Brad
So Gillette, you can further entrench yourself, or understand the need of open context.

>>>Gillette
And Brad, you can DE-intrench yourself from fundamentalist Christian cliches and do some reading about this thing you have been programmed to think you disagree with.
Brad

Hixson, TN

#12 Apr 15, 2012
Gillette,

Why do you imply I'm some crazy fundamentalist, when I clearly am telling you I'm not. That is the inconsiderate and bad behavior I'm referring to. And if you are lobbying the legislature to reduce the first amendment rights of other citizens, then yes "evolutionists" are just another political movement.

You should be the one freshening up on your Macro-evolution also. The "accepted" theory is that ALL life has a common ancestor that it evolved from (Plants, bacteria, animals, everything) This is not a cartoon, this is accepted "Fact". What is interesting is the common ancestor is a mystery. I've even had a scientist say it could have come from a comet or Alien race (not joking)

The "Strength" you refer to of being quick to call something fact then retract later baffles me. Fact is fact, theory is theory. It stops being science when you fill in the blanks with self serving philosophy or opinion that furthers your groups agenda. No different than "Creationists" are trying to do.

I also like how you skirted the essence of my earlier post to paint a caricature of me as some crazy religious zealot. JUST STOP ASSUMING. I mentioned Jesus in my very first post to let people know that he used a teaching method first popularized by a Greek teacher (Socrates) often criticized by evangelical Christians.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#13 Apr 15, 2012
Brian_G wrote:
<quoted text>I didn't notice that, I read the opposite:
"Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students
understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."
Exactly. No similar treatment is made for non-scientific theories like creationism.
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#14 Apr 15, 2012
>>>Brad
And if you are lobbying the legislature to reduce the first amendment rights of other citizens, then yes "evolutionists" are just another political movement.

>>>Gillette
Not a question of free speech but of separation of church and state. There have been a dozen or so court rulings, from Supreme Court on down, that forbid the teaching of creationism and its stealth cousin, so-called Intelligent Design, in public schools because they have been ruled to be forms of Christian religious instruction, not science.

So the current attempt to get around this by our "friends" is to say "let's just teach the controversy," cleverly forgetting to tell you that there IS no controversy about evolution in the world of science.

This bill forbids the teacher from teaching creationism or ID, but apparently does NOT forbid students from starting discussion along the line of "Well, the BIBLE says every animal is a separate KIND, so how can evolution claim that .....etc."

So a clever, motivated student (coached by parents and pastors, etc.) can easily turn the class discussion into a Bible lesson, even while claiming not to.

And your state legislator knows this full well and INTENDS for this to happen in public school classrooms. It's dishonest and may well lead to court challenges that the state will surely LOSE, as they have every other attempt to sneak fundamentalist Christianity into science classes.

Can a motivated and well-educaed teacher rebut every criticism of evolution made by these teenagers in class? Of course, but the class STILL gets turned into a Bible discussion, even if not initiated by the teacher.

And in many parts of the Bible Belt and elsewhere (i.e. Tennessee, surely) many of the science teachers will themselves be fundamentalist Christians who disapprove of evolution on religious grounds, so how rigorous do you think THEY will be in defending the science behind it against determined fellow Christians who they are likely to see in church every Sunday?

>>>Brad
You should be the one freshening up on your Macro-evolution also. The "accepted" theory is that ALL life has a common ancestor that it evolved from (Plants, bacteria, animals, everything) This is not a cartoon, this is accepted "Fact".

>>>Gillette
The "cartoon" is your laughable assertion that evolution somehow claims or involves "a Tree eventually turning into a Cat, or a Fish turn into a Bird."

>>>Brad
What is interesting is the common ancestor is a mystery.

>>>Gillette
The first life probably came together by chemical laws on the microbial level billions of years ago on the early earth. Not shocking that it's still a bit of a mystery.

And as the decades pass and we find more and more fossils and dig deeper and deeper into the DNA genome, etc. we come closer to finding answers for what happened back then.

Not sure what the problem here is for you. Science is fine with saying "While we don't know for sure yet, this is what we think happened based on all the available evidence, etc."

However life originally began on earth, it subsequently EVOLVED and continues to evolve. Of that there is NO doubt in science.
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#15 Apr 15, 2012
>>>Brad
I've even had a scientist say it could have come from a comet or Alien race (not joking)

>>>Gillette
We KNOW that comets and other extraterrestrial bodies contain some of the proteins that probably came together in early life on earth. So it's quite possible that the original elements that eventually formed life came to earth during the millions of years during which it was bombarded by untold millions of comets and asteroids, etc.

>>>Brad
The "Strength" you refer to of being quick to call something fact then retract later baffles me. Fact is fact, theory is theory.

>>>Gillette
You're "baffled" because you don't understand even the basics of science.

You are confused as to what facts and theories are. A theory does not grow up to be a fact. It always remains a theory and facts always remain facts.

Theories do not become facts. Theories EXPLAIN facts. Your statement makes it sound like once a theory has enough evidence, it becomes a fact. Not the way it works. Evolution consists of facts, theories, and hypotheses.

Here's a fact: A fossilized bone fragment, K/Ar dated to this age with a margin of error of this much was found at this GPS location on this date. That's a fact. It's not a theory. It's simply a fact.

A theory explains the relationship between groups of facts.

In scientific terms, a "theory" is not a conjecture or a vague guess. It is a complete, detailed unifying explanation of a large set of facts. "Theory" is as high as it gets in science.

Saying "evolution is just a theory" is like saying "Bill Gates is just a multi-billionaire."

>>>Brad
It stops being science when you fill in the blanks with self serving philosophy or opinion that furthers your groups agenda. No different than "Creationists" are trying to do.

>>>Gillette
Again, you don't seem to understand NEARLY enough about the subject to form a cogent opinion about whether scientists are doing real science here or not, etc.

The people who criticize the science behind evolution are, almost WITHOUT EXCEPTION, American Protestant fundamentalist Christians (with one or two conservative Catholics and one Muslim loon in Turkey. And they criticize it SOLELY and COMPLETELY because they feel it threatens their religious beliefs.
Brad

Hixson, TN

#16 Apr 15, 2012
You are hilarious dude.

"Almost WITHOUT EXCEPTION" (What does that mean?)

"Theory is as high as it gets in Science" (wrong, observable indisputable fact is)

Saying "evolution is just a theory" is like saying "Bill Gates is just a multi-billionaire." (not even close, one is Theoretical Science, the other would be applied science as it is a number you can observe and count)

Listen. Here is what it comes down to for me. If you can take "Non-life" and create "Life" and then take that "life" and synthesize the complexities and variety that we see in the fossil record of the Cambrian explosion simply through mating and the rare mutated progeny, fine, I'll buy it. Otherwise to swallow the entire 5 pound pill that you are trying to shovel, and doing it in a condescending, aloof manner will continue to be hard to handle for the majority.

I could care less what Southern Protestant Christians think, they are still burning crosses in the front yards of Black people and getting their followers riled up over social issues so they can inconspicuously clean out their pockets. I can't say either that I care what Catholics think, as many of the higher ups are trying to dig their way out of sex abuse scandals through slick TV commercials these days. Muslims are so divided on their beliefs that when they aren't killing Jews, Americans or Sassy Women, they are blowing themselves up in the public square.

I have a desire to understand, and when the best explanation of how life began is ".....uh, maybe a comet or some other Alien life brought it here" That doesn't explain anything. It also doesn't help when you have Atheist Jackasses like you throwing their self proclaimed 'expertise' around like they wrote the book on "Unified Field Theory".

Get off the pedestal you have built for yourself and realize that the majority are people like me, who understand a good deal of information but are humble enough to know we don't (and can't) know everything.

“That's just MY opinion...”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#17 Apr 15, 2012
Brad wrote:
Get off the pedestal you have built for yourself and realize that the majority are people like me, who understand a good deal of information but are humble enough to know we don't (and can't) know everything.
You seem to understand little or nothing of Evolutionary Theory and seem determined to stay that way.

The evidence supporting that Theory is really fascinating. You should look into it. Until you do, your opinions on the subject will remain inconsequential.
imaginaryfriend

Sterling Heights, MI

#18 Apr 15, 2012
When in Tennessee, ask the locals about the theory of gravity. Where's the proof?? Me, I'll bypass this Stupid state!! They probably believe that evolution means that we're descended from apes. It does NOT!
Ask a scientist.
LowellGuy

Lowell, MA

#19 Apr 15, 2012
Brad wrote:
<quoted text>
Gillette,
By your comment You sound like exactly like the angry fringe I was referring to.
How about some other lies taught in schools currently:
Columbus Discovered America
People in the 1490's believed the earth was flat
Andrew Jackson didn't commit a Genocide
When white Indo-European people invade a land they "Discover" it, when people of darker skin do it they are "Barbarians" or "Invaders".
First off, I am a college educated, middle aged man who is NOT a political evangelical Christian. I am a pragmatist and a cynic who see's inconsiderate responses from people like you and understands even more that "Evolutionists" are motivated by the same goals as "Creationists" are. Power. Neither should be rewarded for their bad behavior.
It is the Politically charged religious ones "Knowing" they are correct that causes them to blow themselves up in city squares, just the same as it is the politically charged Scientists "Knowing" they are right that causes them to do heartless experiments on innocents during the Holocaust and on Blacks in the 30s ad 40s. Or to design chemical, nuclear or mechanical weapons designed to kill.
I do not deny Micro Evolution (change, adaptation, natural selection) happens every day, but as a pragmatist I cannot accept that 4 billion years ago on a molten planet with a surface temperature of thousands of degrees trillions of organisms managed to somehow survive (even though science proves it couldn't) and then randomly create the diversity of life we have on this planet currently.
I have no political agenda to further, but we have all seen Science before that had to correct itself after new evidence was presented. No one has ever observed a Tree eventually turn into a Cat, or a Fish turn into a Bird. There is no fossil evidence of it, so when I read bullshit creatively woven into good science I step back from fully embracing it, just as I step back from religious freaks who say theirs is a religion of peace, yet cause more bloodshed, hatred and warfare in the name of religion.
So Gillette, you can further entrench yourself, or understand the need of open context.
Oh, I see. Your scientific ignorance proves all modern scientific understandings of reality to be false.
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#20 Apr 16, 2012
>>>Brad
"Almost WITHOUT EXCEPTION" (What does that mean?)

>>>Gillette
I was very clear what it meant. Virtually ALL of the organized political opposition to teaching evolution comes from certain Protestant fundamentalists who think that acceptance of evolution means negating a literal interpretation of the Bible and thus threatens the foundation of their beliefs.

You don't see evolution in school science classes being resisted and debated by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Hindus, by Jews or mainstream Christians, etc. It's just one group causing all the fuss.

>>>Brad
"Theory is as high as it gets in Science" (wrong, observable indisputable fact is)

>>>Gillette
No YOU'RE wrong. With regard to "theory versus fact," I was quoting the ideas of Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard paleontologist and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, president of the Paleontological Society and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Who are YOU again, Mr. Science Expert? LOL

>>>Brad
Saying "evolution is just a theory" is like saying "Bill Gates is just a multi-billionaire." (not even close, one is Theoretical Science, the other would be applied science as it is a number you can observe and count)

>>>Gillette
No, you flat out don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Educated in Tennessee. The Gates thing is a humuorous ANALOGY. LOL

In science, a "theory" does not mean an "unproven or unsupported guess." It means a "grand unifying explanation for a large number of facts that has predictive power," etc.

>>>Brad
Listen. Here is what it comes down to for me. If you can take "Non-life" and create "Life" and then take that "life" and synthesize the complexities and variety that we see in the fossil record of the Cambrian explosion simply through mating and the rare mutated progeny, fine, I'll buy it.

>>>Gillette
Gettin' real close:

"Scientists Close to Reconstructing First Living Cell
Researchers get genetic material to copy itself in a recreation of a simple protocell that could have existed eons ago"
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm...

"Scientists create tiny RNA molecule with big implications for life's origins"
http://www.physorg.com/news186071435.html

And the veracity of the Theory of Evolution does not rest on how life originally began on earth. That is a separate field of scientific study known as Abiogenesis.

HOWEVER life began, it subsequently evolved and continues to do so.

>>>Brad
I have a desire to understand, and when the best explanation of how life began is ".....uh, maybe a comet or some other Alien life brought it here" That doesn't explain anything.

>>>Gillette
If you think that's the best explanation science has for the origin of life, I don't know what to tell you, except that you need to do some real reading.

"I heard somewhere that some scientist said it may have come from aliens" is hardly demonstrating that you have a genuine, intelligent "desire to understand."

>>>Brad
It also doesn't help when you have Atheist Jackasses like you throwing their self proclaimed 'expertise' around like they wrote the book on "Unified Field Theory".

>>>Gillette
I'm not an atheist, and I'm willing to let others reading along decide who here is the "jackass." :)

>>>Brad
Get off the pedestal you have built for yourself and realize that the majority are people like me, who understand a good deal of information but are humble enough to know we don't (and can't) know everything.

>>>Gillette
Fair enough. But when people who ARE trained or much better informed about certain scientific subjects than you tell you to read up on those subjects because you are making absurdly uninformed comments, get off your OWN pedestal and crack open a book or do some Googling at the very least, rather than accusing everyone else of being arrogant, etc.

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