Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
(link)

The Creation Museum.

I hope I don't step on anyone's toes, but I think this is super dumb. I never understand why certain religious types HAVE to not believe in evolution.

John E Gunter | December 7, 2004
Because it goes against a strict interpretation of the Bible, so therefore, they don't believe in it.

John

Scott Horowitz | December 7, 2004
hehehe, yet there is a religion called "Christian Science"..... Now that's an oxymoron. (Not being an ass here, hell, even my religion doesn't believe in evolution even though there is documented scientific proof)

Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
But it doesn't go against it, as far as I can see. I just don't see why people can't work it in. The Bible says that God created the world in 7 days, but it also says that a blink of God's eye is 1000 years to us. So why not?

John, why do you always sign your posts?

John E Gunter | December 7, 2004
But it doesn't say anywhere in the bible that God created the first single cell organisms and let them evolve. It says, God created man in his own image. What you're talking about Anna, is reading between the lines, and there are a lot of people who just refuse to read between the lines or interpret beyond what is written.

Course, that really doesn't mean they are stupid, just means that they refuse to see more than what is there. Kind of like the opposite of faith. Faith is believing in something that you can't see, so you would think that they could read beyond what is written, but that's not what they want to do.

Kind of like that fact that the Bible has been translated, and re-written. Might be stepping on others toes with that statement, but that's how it is. Plus, the Bible is God's word written by man. If you don't think that each of these people didn't put their own spin on things...

Plus, what did King James do when he wrote his version? Well, when his scribes wrote his version? So do we really know what was originally written down? You'd have to somehow find an original version, which has probably not survived from that time, to really be sure.

I can say a few things about Christian Science, but don't want to knock what anyone wants to believe in. Just like I try not to knock people's opinions unless they obviously contradict themselves or are being short sighted themselves. Doesn't mean I necessarily agree with what they are saying, but it's their right to have those viewpoints, so why knock them?

As far as signing my posts, it's a habit that I started back in the days when there were bulletin boards, and no Internet. Nothing beyond that. Plus, it puts closure on my current thoughts.

John

Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
I don't mind when people believe what they believe - but to make a museum, and present made-up stuff as fact? Well, it bothers me. The youth of this nation are already behind the rest of the world in education. There are also stickers in some textbooks that say "Evolution is a theory," which is silly because most people don't understand the real meaning of scientific theory. Evolution is not in question. It happened.

If people want to ignore that, that's their right, but I'll always think them rather ignorant for doing so.

Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
As said on metafilter.com:

"Its funny to me how they dispense with science's discoveries, but still apparently have no issue with using science for, say, air conditioning, stable structural architecture, electricity, internal combusion engine, etc. Science is wrong when it comes to evolution, but totally right when it serves their purpose?

...The point I was making was that they accept certain scientific "truths" while dismissing others (carbon-dating, fossils, etc). This isn't about the IDers, this is about a museum dedicated to the dissemination of information such as "Adam walked the earth with dinosaurs". This is so far from true that it disregards decades of scientific research."

Scott Horowitz | December 7, 2004
I like the little fish on the back of the car, with feet, that says "Darwin"

Jackie Mason | December 7, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
I HATE the "it's a theory." It's not a theory in the sense of the word people use "theory" in, speculatively. A scientific theory isn't like that. There's the theory of relativity, for example, or gravity!

I never got that either, Jackie - the incest thing. That's so gross. And if that were true, we'd all be proven to be related through out DNA, wouldn't we?

Kris Weberg | December 7, 2004
John -- I don't have a problem knocking someone else's beliefs if they're trying to force those beliefs on me. Nor do I have a problem pointing out "beliefs" that are in fact willful ignorance or overt disingenuity. Creation "science," in name alone, already qualifies. Factor in that its sole purpose is to oppose regular science -- in all honesty, what do Creationists do except attack actual scientists? -- and it is in itself already an attack on other people's beliefs. And thanks to Saul/Paul's "evangelical imperative," most of the point of this brand of Christianity is to force beliefs on others. I have no problem with the vast majority of Christians. But the vocal minority of evangelical nitwits and "Creation Scientists" and the like don't get a pass when they try to pick fights with everyone else. Their actions represent the waiver of the tolerance principle. They don't believe in tolerating different ideas, so they don't get any tolerance back. Think of it as an intellectual version of the self-defense principle.

Anna and Jackie -- My favorite bit is the segement of Christians who want to get rid of all sexual, violent, and otherwise "sinful" content out there, managing to neglect that in the first five books alone, the Bible depicts dozens of instances of murder, rape, incest, genocide, masturbation, fornication, and the like. Sure, the people who do all of that are either working for God, are destroyed by forces of good, or convert, but isn't that what happens in plenty of the non-Christian literature these folks condemn, too?

John E Gunter | December 7, 2004
I only have a problem with someone trying to force their beliefs on anyone who isn't interested in listening in those beliefs. If you want me to listen to what you have to say, at least have the common decency to listen to what I have to say. If you aren't interested in my point of view, then don't share your point of view with me, no matter how right you think your point of view is.

That's the reason why I don't try to force my views on someone else, if I do, then I'm no better than those same people I dislike, which are people who refuse to acknowledge that just maybe what they think is right, isn't.

Theories are great, when proven right, but some people are so blind to their own beliefs that they ignore anything else but what they believe in. What was it that most people used to believe? Something about the world being the center of the universe and that it was flat? :-)

John

Anna Gregoline | December 7, 2004
"I only have a problem with someone trying to force their beliefs on anyone who isn't interested in listening in those beliefs."

I think the very use of the word "force" means that people aren't wanting to listen in the examples.

Robert Phillips | December 7, 2004
I have been so busy since my mother lost her house to Charley that I have not even been keeping up on any of these discussions, but this particular discussion is near and dear to my heart.

As a rationalist I have to be ready to accept that when someone calls evolution a theory I have to be ready to say yes you are correct. I am even willing to go the route of having my science book say as much. As a strict rule of thumb and philosophical stance, evolution is really only a theory. In science there is no higher proposition of reality than to say something is a theory. Facts are those things that are used to support our theory. For example...one can say that carbon dating of this wood indicates that the wood was alive 50,000 years ago. This is a fact...One can not however say as a fact that the person who used this tool 50,000 years ago was a neanderthal. If enough facts add up we have a strong theory.

We have to be careful to avoid moving science into a realm where it becomes religion. The hallmark and guiding force in science is change. There are many many competing theories about the specifics of evolution as opposed to strict darwinism. Steven Gould suggests that evolution happened in small inconsistant steps with quick change and slow change. Evolution is by no means completely without its mysteries and intriguing possibilities. Those holes are the very thing that allow creationists to step inside and propose competing theories. The problem of course with their brand of "science" is that there are not enough facts in the universe to convince them that they are wrong about anything. Even beloved Einstein had his religious issues with physics as it was developing during the early 1900's. The competing theories at the time were between Einstein and his "classical" physics where the future and past of something can be determined exclusively by having enough information about its present state, and quantum physics where there is no such thing as strict determinism because you could never know too much about something because once you started looking too closely at one aspect of the object other aspects blurred out. Einstein declared that "God does not play dice" in arguments with Niels Bohr when discussing the wave functions and the Heisenburg uncertainty principle. It was really only late in his life that Einstein accepted quantum mechanics at all even though the experimental evidence was beginning to build to the point of irrefutability. So even Einstein is not immune to making science religion. The main difference with evengelicals and Einstein is that Einstein simply needed a huge amount of convincing, he always held out hope that there would be better explanations, but no amount of convincing would change the mind of a strict bible thumper. It is faith that logic is fighting against. No hope of winning that one. Faith has been known to knock down mountains change the course of rivers and allow Moses to part the Red Sea. Faith will surely be able to create all those evolutionary facts just to misguide us in our search for the truth.

John E Gunter | December 8, 2004
I don't see anything wrong with faith, as long as it's not blind faith. You can have faith in evolution, i.e. a strong belief, but you can also have faith in creationism. As long as you are not blind in your beliefs, then you should be able to find the truth in something.

John

Scott Horowitz | December 8, 2004
I agree, John. I like what Selma Hayek said in Dogma. "When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up. " It's important to believe in something.

Anna Gregoline | December 8, 2004
I was with you, Robert, until you said that "Faith has been known to knock down mountains change the course of rivers and allow Moses to part the Red Sea. Faith will surely be able to create all those evolutionary facts just to misguide us in our search for the truth."

Cause I don't believe faith did any of those things, since there is no proof.

I never liked being told as a child that I should accept certain things on faith. It's the opposite of trying to think for yourself and learn about the world using facts - so often we're told to just accept something on faith. Why, because whoever told me so? I am not able to accept that.

But...of course, that's why I'm a Neo-Pagan and not a Christian.

Anna Gregoline | December 8, 2004
P.S. I also believe that the reason people in this country believe everything that comes out of Bush Jr.'s mouth is because of a too-strict adherence to the faith principle.

Robert Phillips | December 8, 2004
Anna..I was being facetious with the faith thing. There is nothing wrong with faith except when it obviously leads us to believe something that is clearly not correct. I put my faith in objectivity where possible. There is a huge amount of room for religion and faith beyond those things that we can touch and see. What about intelligent design. Science has nothing to really say about this subject except that we see chaos organize itself in nature all of the time. It happens with snowflakes and supercondictivity. It is not a good scientific argument to say that things are too complex and beautiful to be created by nature. However science can not refute that argument beyond saying that complexity and organization happen all of the time naturally...We can not see and sense ANY sort of Godly intervention, but with faith we do not need to sense it.

Robert Phillips | December 8, 2004
I will also say that those who exclude everything except what can be seen and and touched are just as bad as those who keep faith when objective evidence clearly disagrees. Just because something can not be sensed does not mean there is no truth to it.

Anna Gregoline | December 8, 2004
That's not me either, thanks.

Kris Weberg | December 8, 2004
Actually, bad translation allowed Moses to part the Red Sea. It's been pretty well-demonstrated that pre-Latin texts claim that he parted and crossed the "Sea of Reeds," a shallow marshy area. And, geographically, this makes a lot more sense.

Steve West | December 8, 2004
Maybe, except when you factor in that when the sea closed it swallowed and drowned all of Pharoah's army. Kinda hard to do that in a "shallow marshy area".

Scott Horowitz | December 9, 2004
And don't forget that the only reason he parted the sea was because he was being mugged at the time.

David Mitzman | December 9, 2004
Remember this, he wouldn't have been able to even start parting the Red Sea if Jesus wasn't fighting off the Pharoe's army with a machine gun.

Erik Bates | December 9, 2004
[hidden by request]

David Mitzman | December 9, 2004
Exactly. Also, recall how when Mel Brooks came down with the fifteen... TEN! I mean TEN commandments, Charlton Heston wandered in, saw Mel, took him out with his AK-47 and proceeded to take on the role of Moses as we know it.

Anna Gregoline | December 9, 2004
Hey Kris, tell me more about that - I never heard historical points regarding the Red Sea crossing story.

Erik Bates | December 9, 2004
[hidden by request]

Erik Bates | December 9, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | December 9, 2004
I mean, it DOES sound like it makes sense regarding the region. I'm SO interested in mis-translations like that. Kris, if you could come up with something, I'd love to see it.

Jackie Mason | December 9, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | December 9, 2004
There IS a LOT of hate in the Bible, you're right.

"(i.e. myths...if other cultures have such stories that are cpassed off as myths, how come Judeo-Christian ones are all 100% real?)"

I always think that too, Jackie. Especially when people laugh at religions like Hinduism, which has nothing any more weird than Christian beliefs.

Kris Weberg | December 10, 2004
Erik -- Ah, but the Bible we have today is one that's already gne through at least two prior translations. Going back to the Hebrew, we find tha, for "Red Sea," they say "yam suph." "Suph," in Hebrew, means "reeds." "Yam" means sea. "Yam suph" probably isn't a proper name in the original, but it sure isn't the Red Sea, which back then meant most of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Arabia and had a proper name. The idea that it was the Red Sea doesn't show up until the Greek Septuagint, quite a few centuries later, and the New Testament, written by folks who were familiar with SCripture throught the Septuagint, follows suit. The basic problem with the Red Sea account is that the Israelites would have had to turn sharply north, go far out of their way, and cross a 150 mile distance in the single night the miracle supposedly happened in. Some have argued that the area was a canal allegedly built by one of the pharoahs near the modern Suez Canal, but it doesn't appear that canal was ever actually built from other archaeological information, and the other problems remain -- this was 17 mile distance, so it's believable on that front, but the rest is historically shaky if not fictitious.

Jackie -- The Old Testament is largely the story of a group of people who sometimes killed their enemies and took their land, sometimes lost to them and lost their land, and explained things by charting it as God's favor or His wrath. You may recall Pat Roberston and Jerry Fallwell explaining 9/11 in much the same way and getting themselves into trouble, so I doubt the same thing would fly today even if it were true.

Anna -- Hindus sometimes resisted Christian conversion on the grounds that they were vegetarians, and therefore couldn't participate in the Eucharist.

Anna Gregoline | December 10, 2004
On that last comment? I find that awfully sweet for some reason.

Scott Hardie | December 16, 2004
To Anna's original comment at the top of the discussion: There's nothing really wrong with it in principle. If you're speaking of certain Christians' need to denounce evolution because it makes them feel insecure, I suspect that's not what is really going on here. Let's turn it around: Imagine that nearly everyone around you believed in Creation, and more were believing in it every day. You believe evolution is fact, and important fact at that, so don't you want to do what you can to put the word out? Like you, I believe that evolution is fact (what I know about the human genome project confirms it irrefutably), but when we isolate the ideas from their foundations in empirical science and unprovable faith, it's not hard at all to understand.

Myself, I'm logical by nature. Once I get past the cognitive dissonance, I can't disbelieve something when I see facts proving it. (Again about the "stolen" elections: I'm merely awaiting reasonable proof before I believe it.) That's what makes this creation vs. evolution debate difficult for me to understand: How can someone go on having faith in God's creation of man when there is dependable evidence, and a voluminous supply of it, to the contrary? Anyway, I guess it's not the "how" that matters (denial works if nothing else), it's the "why." I don't mean this as an attack on faith at all, but an open-minded inquiry. I regret it if it sounds hostile.

John E Gunter | December 16, 2004
That's assuming some "all powerful" intelligence didn't start the ball rolling as it were with evolution. What I don't understand is why can't there be some intelligence behind the whole start of evolution? God's creation of man would be just as valid if He started the evolutionary process, wouldn't it?

John

Anna Gregoline | December 16, 2004
That's my thinking too, John. I don't see why belief in god precludes a belief in evolution. Can't it be both? Evolution doesn't disprove God, necessarily.

Man, I don't know if I used precludes right, but I think you get what I mean.

John E Gunter | December 16, 2004
Right! Belief in God doesn't have to preclude evolution, or at least doesn't necessarily preclude evolution! ;-)

At least not in my interpretation it doesn’t.

Oh and looks like you used preclude right to me.

John

Anna Gregoline | December 16, 2004
Whew! Ok.

John E Gunter | December 16, 2004
Anna, here's a link I go to to make sure I'm spelling/using words correctly... ;-)

(link)

Makes me feel more comfortable if I'm not sure about a word I'm using in a post. Heck, I usually run my posts through Microsoft Word to make sure my grammar and spelling are ok. :-D

John

Anna Gregoline | December 16, 2004
I did use it right, yay!

I'm not quite that picky about it, but it's a refreshing thing to hear from a poster on the internet! Usually the things you encounter on the internet are so poorly spelled I am frightened for our educational system.

Scott Hardie | December 19, 2004
If I may nitpick: It's not a belief in God that precludes the acceptance of evolution, it's a belief in the Bible. Those who don't interpret the Bible as literal dogma are free to accept alternative information, but then again, I suppose they take their chances with eternal salvation. :-\

Jackie Mason | December 30, 2004
[hidden by request]

Robert Phillips | January 3, 2005
Pascal's Wager...

Kris Weberg | January 3, 2005
Ah, but Pascal's Wager requires you to weigh both sides as if they had an even chance of being true. In a utilitarian calculus, a lifetme of self-denial and self-regulation is "worth it" for the possibility of eternal happines only if you feel that there's a genuine 50/50 chance. Pascal also fails to consider the problem of monotheistic exclusivity -- what if you pick the wrong religion? This destroys the dilemma element that makes Pascal's argument he work at all.

I submit that just about everyone on either side of the faith issue weights the two sides very differently than 50/50 in probability. And the notion in most religions that not just disbelief, but faulty belief condemn you makes the wager anything but a simple atheism/theism split. Pascal's argument really only works if you're predisposed to accept an even-or-better probability of one particular model of the afterlife, and to assume that only one religious option exists.

Robert Phillips | January 4, 2005
I was referring to Jackie's conjecture that they did not want to "risk pissing God off". Of course Pascal did not consider the possiblity that Hinduism, or Buddhism were or are correct. For Pascal it was all about avoiding Hell...

Robert Phillips | January 4, 2005
Pascal's Wager of course predisposes an individual to assume that they can simply make a decsion to believe something. In my mind impossible...

Kris Weberg | January 4, 2005
You always make a decision to believe in something -- it's just that Pascal assumes it's a rational decision when it's really an emotional or irrational choice.


Want to participate? Please create an account a new account or log in.


Other Discussions Started by Anna Gregoline

Mike was Right

I think Mike was right. (link) Go »

Sales Tax

Should sales tax be removed from groceries and other necessities? Go »

10 Questions About Election 2004

Interesting set of questions about the election. I liked the analogies here, that's all. (link) Go »

Savant for a Day

Would you undergo transcranial magnetic stimulation, as this guy did, if it could make you temporarily smart/different/whatever, as a way to see things differently? Go »

Strike That

Should government employees such as police officers and fire fighters have the right to strike? Go »

Limb Lengthening

I thought that this link was amazing, and I'd just like to share it. Go »