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View Diary: Creationism Now Playing in the Science Classes of Louisiana (74 comments)

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  •  OK, now you've set me on fire. This really pisses (7+ / 0-)

    me off.

    (welcome to those of you who know how mild, calm, and polite I am)

    Someone has to be clever enough to ask these open-minded, critical-thinking people what advances the society by teaching children to have an open mind for...

    ...wait for it...

    ...wait for it...

    A "theory" that is a dead end.

    Every theory ever proposed did not always lead to a concrete conclusion: We were able to take advantage of the formulae and "theories" of Isaac Newton for hundreds of years before we found out why his mere "theories" worked, and then even after we found out that his "law" of gravity is only a law here on earth, and that his laws only work for large bodies and fall completely to the floor in the areas of quantum mechanics (high speeds and small distances).

    Albert Einstien proved why Newton's laws do the things they do, and yet no one berated him or condemned him for making Sir Isaac look inadequate.

    In fact, we still use Newton's laws today...hmmm.

    Religious zealots always tell me that science never answers "why' we are here or gives us purpose. Well my purpose is to learn as much as I can and spread that knowledge - and I came up with that purpose all by myself. They seem to want not to give me a purpose, but take away the one I have. That's an odd thought in a free society. I'm only interested in learning things that give me more information, and not teach me to throw my hands in the air and say, "Mankind cannot know these things! I give up! Find me a higher power who I cannot see or talk to so that I may ask him silently these questions that he still won't answer!"

    I found my own purpose, and how tragic the surrender is of those who claim I cant' have one unless the find it in a book, their book. (Ask the ID crowd how thrilled they would be that you have become a devout Muslim - they have a creator) I have purpose, and even if it's not the same as a religious believer, I will not allow them to take it away from me or declare my purpose to be any less legitimate simply because it does not agree with theirs.

    That would be antithetical to the purpose of a free society, wouldn't it?

    Now - "Intelligent Design" advocates tell us that "evolution has flaws, and we must teach our children to be aware of these flaws and "gaps".

    What this does is teach our children to have suspicion for science and reason. It teaches children to have suspicion and contempt for something that makes the very comfort and convenience of their modern lives possible.

    There is a giant difference between being skeptical and being contemptuous. Make no mistake, the last thing an ID promoter wants you to be is a skeptic. Just try your newfound skepticism the moment you step into any church that claims to know who the creator is - and see how fast you get kicked back out.

    It teaches children to act derisively to their fellow students who are still willing to believe a "theory" that has brought great benefit and advancement to their lives. When they get a flue shot it's not from a guy sitting in a chapel with a rosary who asked "G"od what to make this year; it's a researcher who focuses on genetics. Those very same genes who say that evolution is a fact, not a theory.

    Have you read the book of Leviticus lately? I often say that for all the passages in Leviticus that tell the faithful what makes them "unclean" and what to do about it, not one remedy "G"od ever prescribed for being unclean ever included a recipe for soap. Oh, how those who died in the great plagues would have like to have that little nugget of information. But then God would not have been able to receive so much credit for that level of death and misery. We all know now that surely those people deserved it, right?

    Sadly, we had to wait for great minds like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister, who got their ideas in a lab, not a chapel.

    If anyone has information that Pasteur and Lister were divinely inspired and used no critical thinking, experimentation and validation - or that they never made any mistakes in the process, but corrected them -  please correct me.

    When people get any type of medical image, be it a simple X-ray, CT Scan, MRI or PET scan, do they deny that it was men like William Roentgen and others who made those advances possible. Although there was much to learn about consequences of X-rays, it was further experimentation that brought us further to understand the consequences and how to still make effective use of the technology, and that also was not learned from any religious text. Sitting quietly asking the creator for an answer would still leave us guessing at the problem. When people get tested for certain things based on the hereditary likelyhood that they will inheret something from their elders, that's not because we believe "G"od cursed their family, it's because there are genes at work; because the doctor who gives them the answer got it from gene research, not a chat with higher powers.

    So I want to ask all those who say that "intelligent design" is teaching kids to be skeptical and have an open mind, where they plan to advance science after they declare that an intelligent being made us. What have we gained by surrendering that we're not smart enough to know the answer?

    All we know from there is that

    a.) you've just admitted to your kid that humans are too feeble minded to achieve certain levels of understanding - and we could have done that two thousand years ago and thereby forfeited all scientific advancement gathered since. Ask them if they want to forego their polio immunization, or if they want to believe that organ transplants that keep their parents or grandparents or great-grandparents alive are all the work of the devil.

    Come on, God says we shouldn't even wear clothing woven of two different materials.

    and

    b.) each child who succumbs, - all right, 'subscribes' to intellegent design - should be asked at what level of modern investigation into scientific thought that we should have accepted this limitation. Giordano Bruno was burned alive for not recanting before the Inquisition, luckily Copernicu and Keppler and Tycho Brahe fared better and with some exception so did Galileo. Galileo was still forced to write a fictional tale to promote his ideas, and then was confined to "house arrest" for his remaining years.

    So Intelligent Design is NOT a way to promote an open mind, it is a way to teach children (who are at that age perhaps not well armed enough with the intellectual chops to see the gaping hole in the lack of logic) that humans have limitations.

    I just want someone from the Discovery Institute to give me a year - just pick a year in history - that mankind should have adopted this theory, and then we shall set about the business of surrendering all scientific knowledge gathered since that date.

    And when they find themselves transported back in time and great plagues start to ravage the Earth again and they have no cell phones, satellite TV, or even electricity or modern plumbing in the house, the "Intelligent Design" crowd can explain to them why that level of misery and fear is the wonderful and advantageous result of having an "open mind".

    God, save me from your followers.

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 10:10:03 AM PST

    •  Ignorance of the meaning of "theory" (5+ / 0-)

      The "just a theory" canard shows a fundamental ignorance of the language of science and math.

      "Theory" to a scientist doesn't mean "some random unproven idea".

      Ideas start as conjectures - untested and unproven. The ones that stand initial inspection, that have been somewhat tested and not failed, but not yet proven, become hypotheses. It is only when something is accepted as proven that it graduates to "theory". In math, that proof is a hard proof. In the sciences, it's slightly softer in that the range of applicability might be unknown and later reduced, as in the case of Newton's theory of gravitation turning out only to apply in the absence of highly dense objects and when the relative velocity of all components in the system being much less than the speed of light.

      I challenge the ID idiots to find me a single example where Pythagoras' theory doesn't apply. After all, that's "just a theory" too. In fact that'd be great, they could spend all eternity looking for a "gap", and not find one, because it's proven for all possible cases in a Euclidean geometry, and I'm pretty convinced that not a single one of them have the slightest idea what a non-Euclidean geometry is or how to construct one.

      We know the mechanism for heredity. We know the mechanism for mutations, and the mutation rates. Given those mechanisms, evolution is a statistical inevitability, just like the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But then, I just discovered recently that there are religidiots who don't believe in entropy, either... I challenge those fools to record me a video of dye spontaneously separating from water.

      I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
      -5.38, -6.41

      by sullivanst on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 10:34:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're preaching to the choir, sully. I'm on your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ardyess

        side on this one, and in complete support of everything you said.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 06:54:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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