General Question

seVen's avatar

Why is Creation Science baned from schools and Evolution theory is tought as the only truth of origin? Why the bias?

Asked by seVen (3464points) January 30th, 2009 from iPhone

Why not teach both ? What on earth are Evolutionists afraid about? Why don’t they permit people to make their own minds? but are pushing one side on them as some sort of religion/ideology?!

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172 Answers

Fieryspoon's avatar

Because creationism isn’t a science.

mea05key's avatar

WHAT is creatism? anybody?

Vinifera7's avatar

It’s not. The scientific theory of evolution of species via natural selection does not address the origin of life.

shilolo's avatar

Creation science is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Creation depends on faith and faith only. There is no way to either prove or disprove the existence of a “creator”, whereas scientific principles can be tested. Moreover, in the United States, the separation clause of the U.S. Constitution precludes the teaching of religion in schools, and creationism = religion.

cage's avatar

Evolution has more proof than Creationism?
and as @Fieryspoon says, it’s not science. It’s religion.

Jack79's avatar

there is no bias. Evolution is a science. There is no “creation science”, as there is no flat earth science. Stop this stupidity! The world is laughing at you!

Yes, Galileo was right. You are wrong. Admit it.

as to why not teach both? for the same reason we don’t teach “relative mathematics” where 1+1 could be 2, or 3, or 11, or “elephant”. Why don’t they teach that? Because it’s BULLSHIT, just like the STUPID BULLSHIT that you want to call “science”. If you really believe in God, then stop making a fool out of Him by making such ridiculous statements. He gave you a brain. Use it!

bristolbaby's avatar

creationism is a fairy tale and belongs in the church. Evolution is accepted as fact and has been proven by various scientists through fossil records.

Sarah Palin believes people rode around on dinosaurs…something that is presented in the Creationism Museum. Scientists know for a fact, that people did not come along until long after the dinosaurs disappeared.

shilolo's avatar

@Jack79. Au contraire. The world is, in fact, flat.

I love that this is from an Alaskan website…

Vincentt's avatar

@shilolo – not it’s not! The world is round. Round… Like a pancake.

Gotta love Herman Finkers.

Vinifera7's avatar

Do you realize how ridiculous “teaching the controversey and letting the kids decide” sounds?

That’s like saying “2+2=4 or 5. You decide which.”

LKidKyle1985's avatar

The whole point of science is to present testable theories and hypothesis. Creation science is not testable, therefor has no place in a science classroom, except to mention that it is not testable and not a valid theory. Evolution on the other hand can be tested.

cage's avatar

@Jack79 OMFG AMAZING
Explanation for why gravity is false
Once again, picture in your mind a round world. Now imagine that there are two people on this world, one at each pole. For the person at the top of the world, (the North Pole), gravity is pulling him down, towards the South Pole. But for the person at the South Pole, shouldn’t gravity pull him down as well? What keeps our person at the South Pole from falling completely off the face of the “globe”?
in-fudging-credible.

bristolbaby's avatar

“Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.”

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

IMO the two theories could be combined. We don’t know how the materials began that formed life. We don’t know how the universe started. Therefore, it might be easier to imagine that a supreme being cast the seeds of life upon the earth.

One theory does not necessarily preclude the other. However, it’s difficult to teach about a supreme being that has never been proven to exist. Either way, religion belongs in church and not in public schools.

Likeradar's avatar

A related question- Why do some jellies continually ask questions to promote their own agenda?

miasmom's avatar

Actually @Vinifera7 it would be like teaching 2+2=4 or 1+3=4.

Fieryspoon's avatar

There is no scientific evidence for creationism. It’s based on faith, and the definition of faith is that you believe it without proof.

There are many religions, as well, and teaching one of them, as a fact, in a secular setting is insensitive. You have the freedom to practice whichever religion you choose, and forcing that religion upon people who don’t necessarily want it is irresponsible and frankly, kind of oppressive. It’s disrespectful to anyone who doesn’t believe in that faith.

There is enough proof supporting evolution to make it a theory, and not simply a hypothesis. Theory does not mean unproven. Do you believe in Gravity? Gravity isn’t a law either, but it doesn’t make any less real, any less provable, or any less of a fact of living on Earth.

As @Vinifera7 said earlier, Evolution doesn’t deal with origins, either. Evolution is the path by which those simple origins came to result in human life. Maybe your God intended for those origins to result in humans. Maybe he didn’t and you’re a happy accident. It’s your choice to believe what you want about whether or not humans are divine, but there are no two ways about it: Evolution is real and fighting against it won’t make it go away, even if it’s inconvenient for your faith.

PupnTaco's avatar

Why isn’t Holy Mitosis preached in Pentecostal churches?

PupnTaco's avatar

@Likeradar: It’s called “trolling.”

Vinifera7's avatar

@miasmom
I don’t see how that would work.

Evolution is a fact. Life does evolve. We can observe this happening right now. The theory of evolution is the model that describes how.

timeand_distance's avatar

They still plugged creationism at my school (and barely touched on the subject of evolution), but I’m from Kansas so that’s really not much of a surprise.

Jack79's avatar

btw the earth is not even round, its elliptical. And it doesn’t go around the sun in circles, but also in ellipsis. And the year is not 360 days, but something like 365.24xxx

I also don’t believe in Evolutionary Theory. But it’s the best we got so far, and we need to try and improve it and find out where it is wrong. Not say “oh this doesn’t work, so we’re probably all just made out of mud which this bearded guy in Iraq spat on 6000 years ago”. Is that the alternative? Then sorry, but I’d rather be a monkey.

I believe (and this is just my own theory) that there are a series of traits in DNA. And that every time a new child of any species is born these are combined into ever more complex patterns. So in fact, rather than the odd fluke mutation that happens every million years, I think that all species are constantly changing, ever so slightly. So that over a few thousand years, humans are slightly taller and a little less hairy on average, or that certain species branch into new ones over several million years.

Vinifera7's avatar

@Jack79
“I also don’t believe in Evolutionary Theory. But it’s the best we got so far, and we need to try and improve it and find out where it is wrong.”

That’s the purpose of science. With new evidence comes better understanding. The theories are tentative in that respect.

miasmom's avatar

@vinifera7 the reason it works is because creationism is another belief to how the world was created…

@jack79 do you believe that every living creature just happened to evolve into what it is today? I can understand that we adapt to our environment, but it is hard to fathom that every creature evolved from a single cell? How does evolutionary theory address that?

I think the complexity of ourselves and planet clearly points to a Creator.

Vinifera7's avatar

Except that would completely break down my analogy. To reiterate: “The scientific theory of evolution of species via natural selection does not address the origin of life.” Nor does it describe how Earth was formed. For that, you would have to look to the field of cosmology.

Fieryspoon's avatar

@miasmom everything evolved into what we have today in very, very small steps. Creationists commonly cite the magnificence of the eye. How amazing and complex it is—it couldn’t possibly have evolved from nothing, because it is simply too complicated.

Creationists often don’t realize, though, that 1% of an eye is an advantage over 0% of an eye. With more or less an infinite amounts of time, you can evolve to be pretty complex. No, we haven’t had infinite amounts of time to evolve, but we’re also not done evolving. How long does it take to evolve a human? 3.5 billion years.

Jack79's avatar

@miasmon yes, I do believe that. I also believe in God. What I don’t believe is that God is some child playing with clay figurines. God is far too complicated for us to even try and understand, which is why I have given up on that ages ago. Evolution is much simpler, and we have actual proof that it happened. As a matter of fact we could even recreate it, if we had a lab as big as the planet and a few million years to work on it.

There was a similar debate in linguistics several years ago. There were those who believed that languages are linguistically related, and that, for example, modern Italian and Spanish could have a common ancestor, say “Latin”. They were proven right. But others believed that it was a spiteful God’s wrath that created Italian and Spanish upon the tower of Babel.

shilolo's avatar

@miasmom. The presence of complexity in and of itself in no way proves the presence of a creator. That is the fallacy promoted by creationists and so-called intelligent design believers. In a nutshell, it says “We don’t understand this complexity, therefore, a creator must have been responsible for it.” That is an intellectual failure on the part of creationists, not a failure of evolution to explain the mechanisms of how we became what we are. Yes, there are complexities to life that we still haven’t explained. But, we have testable explanations for many biological processes (both simple and complex), which is more than can be said for creationism.

miasmom's avatar

@Vinifera7 “Evolution does not address the origin of life.” Hence there is creationism.

Whether you want to believe it or not science and religion can coexist.

Fieryspoon's avatar

@miasmom I think that was exactly @Vinifera7‘s point.

Vinifera7's avatar

@Fieryspoon
Not 1% of an eye, but a more simplistic “eye”. We can chart the evolution of the eye as we know it for humans, but not every species has complex eyes like humans and other mammals and predatory birds do. Species of sea stars and limpets have primitive “eyes” that are merely patches of photosensitive cells.

@miasmom
I’m trying to be polite, but you just don’t get it. If they don’t address the same thing, what is the point of comparing the two other than to determine which is factual?

miasmom's avatar

was that your point? If so, I’m sorry I didn’t catch it in the beginning!

TaoSan's avatar

I really have no issues with people needing something like “faith” to lean on, or a sense of coming from something, being meaningful what have you.

But wanting to teach children that the divine being cut a rib from Adam to make Eve, and Abraham’s 700 year old children rode the dinosaurs just blows my lid off. I can’t even write a serious answer to that.

Just when the better part of Christianity is coming to their senses labeling the Bible as “metaphorical”, which I can live with, creationists appear on the scene showing once again why the concept of religion is so flawed.

PupnTaco's avatar

The fact that seVen posts these questions and then doesn’t participate in the discussion indicates trolling to me. Like someone yelling “fire” in a theater and laughing while everyone panics and tramples each other.

TaoSan's avatar

@miasmom

I understand your last comment to the effect that you’d then agree the christian God created a single-cell carbon based organism as the first life?

Boy, what does that do to created in his image? :)

Vinifera7's avatar

@PupnTaco
I think it’s useful discussion. I have no problem with this if it is indeed trolling.

miasmom's avatar

I am not a science teacher, so I don’t know, but do the schools teach evolution as the answer to where we came from or do they say, we understand that we evolve, but we don’t know the origin of life? I just think we should be really careful what we teach children and I am in no way saying we should teach creationism, I think that should be addressed at home and church, and I’m not keen on teaching evolution if it doesn’t acknowledge its unknowns.

@TaoSan I believe God created Adam and Eve, I don’t believe we evolved from apes. I do believe that we are evolving…getting taller etc. So in that way evolution works, but not as the origin of life.

augustlan's avatar

Has Seven ever participated in a question they’ve asked?

The questions do lead to some interesting discussions though.

TaoSan's avatar

@miasmom

I’m not trying to be combative or mean, or to belittle your faith or anything like that. But how do you explain Neanderthals and Cro Magnons and their DNA being very accurately placeable between some apes and humans?

Did Adam and Eve coexist with those? They aren’t mentioned in ANY scripture, yet we KNOW they were there. How does a person of faith explain that?

Vinifera7's avatar

@miasmom
I understand where you’re coming from, but teaching all of the “unknowns” regarding Evolution Theory is a bit impractical even for an undergraduate level biology course. At the basic level, the simplified version of the theory is explained. In my experience it doesn’t go into much detail beyond that.

dynamicduo's avatar

No. Seven never participates in their threads, or rarely does so. It’s a bit insulting, or would be if I cared any amount. Which I don’t.

laureth's avatar

Science class should teach science, just like math class teaches math and English class teaches English. There is no room for religion in a science class.

There is room for religion and the Creation story in school, though. It should be taught in a Religion class, with other Creation stories, such as the Norse myth about the cow that licked the first giants out of the Big Ice, the Great Spirit collecting dust from the four directions in order to create the Comanche people, and the six skies above and six worlds below where dwelled Gods, demons, and animals, accoring to the Ainu.

Oh, you thought one religious creation story was better than the others? Let the kids decide!

dynamicduo's avatar

miasmom, you might be interested in reading about natural selection. Richard Dawkins explains it very eloquently in one of his books. Even the most complex items, like our eyes, are products of millions of very tiny differences over thousands of generations. It really is a work of art.

suzyq2463's avatar

I always find it troublesome that those who believe in creation science claim a literal reading of Genesis 1. But a literal reading of Genesis 1 results in the following scenario: 1. Before God begins creating light, there are several things already in existence: the earth (formless and void = dry and barren), a watery deep, darkness, and the spirit, breath wind of God. 2. Light is created on day 1, but the sun is created on day 4. Obviously the writer did not believe that light originated from the sun. Odd. 3. On the second day, God separates the waters with a dome. In the Hebrew “dome” refers to a solid object, hammered out. That solid dome is what keeps the waters above from falling back down (as they do in the flood). Why do you think ancient people believed the sky was blue? Because there was water above the solid dome. The ancient Semites believed the earth was flat, that the solid sky dome was held up by the pillars of the earth (Psalms) and that the sun moved (Joshua). They understood their world as best they could through the powers of observation. If you take Genesis 1 “literally,” then, you must believe that the earth is flat and the sky is a solid dome.

Those who try to make Genesis 1 science fail to understand the genre of literature. This is literary piece and probably represents liturgy (a piece that was spoken and enacted in worship). It is highly structured—notice that creation is expressed in terms of a sacred week culminating in the Sabbath. Did the writer (who was likely a priest) really believe the world was created in six days, or did he present creation through the literary device of the sacred week?

Genesis 1 is not science, it is theology presented through an ancient Semitic worldview. Most people, even creationists, do not hold to a flat earth view or believe that the sun moves. So why do they try to make Genesis 1 into a 21st century science? You can reject the ancient semitic worldview (which, in addition to flat earth included belief in polygamy and slavery) and still adopt the theology: that God is creator. Genesis 1 is a religious statement about God. As such, it is a piece that should be celebrated in church and appreciated for its theology. But it should not be taught as science.

fireside's avatar

Evolution is still identified as a “theory” so I think it is a perfectly reasonable discussion to have in school without having the full and complete details.

The fact that it is taught in schools, while the bible is taught at home and in sunday school hasn’t stopped people from believing in creationism. So I don’t see what the need would be to add it to an already poorly structured school curriculum.

If Creationism were to be added, would it be acceptable to add in some study on Shakti and Shiva in order to better understand the balance between the yin and the yang so as to harmonize our inner being?

I would rather see more Math and Science taught in fresh ways that can engage the students over just adding in too many alternate theories.

mote's avatar

@miasmom. No offense, but this quote (“I believe God created Adam and Eve, I don’t believe we evolved from apes.”) is perhaps part of why you aren’t a science teacher…

fireside's avatar

wow, i think 5 people posted just while i was writing that last post
laureth, you owe me a drink, or the other way around

Fieryspoon's avatar

Maybe Adam and Eve are figurative for two different sides of the chemical reaction that started life. Maybe God is an anthropomorphic way of looking at the environment and physical world, and so, in a way, “He” did create Adam and Eve.

laureth's avatar

@fireside: A theory means something different in Science than it does in pop culture. In normal conversation, “theory” means something like “an idea that might be right or wrong, we should look into it.” In science, that’s more the definition of “hypothesis.” For scientists, a Theory is a hypothesis that has been put to the test and stands strong.

fireside's avatar

@laureth – shhh, i was trying to placate

TaoSan's avatar

We are all minions of the Devil trying to seduce the truly faithful to fall from the path of righteousness by seducing them with our honeysweet oh so reasonable sounding arguments cause that is how the devil gets you!!!!!

HAHA there you have it, we’re all DEMONS I say!

(Which explains the OPs motivation to participate in his own thread, he’s merely avoiding the zest-pool)

Vinifera7's avatar

That’s correct @laureth. In science, a theory is the highest degree of knowledge. That’s why in real science, there aren’t “alternate theories”, only conflicting hypotheses.

TaoSan's avatar

@Vinifera7

Theoretically, that is :)

Vinifera7's avatar

That’s not very punny.

Fieryspoon's avatar

@Vinifera7 I thought that was a Law?

shilolo's avatar

@TaoSan You might like this shirt then…

TaoSan's avatar

@shilolo

oh goodness I GOTTA HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!

So awesome lol

TaoSan's avatar

@Vinifera7

no fun intended ;)

Vinifera7's avatar

@Fieryspoon
I could be wrong, but don’t Laws deal with Physics/Mathematics?

TaoSan's avatar

@Vinifera7

Chemistry too I think

Fieryspoon's avatar

@Vinifera7 Oh, maybe. I’m a CS guy and I don’t know what I’m talking about. :-)

bristolbaby's avatar

, “I don’t believe we evolved from apes”

evolution does not say we evolved from apes….it says that apes and humans shared a common arboreal ancestor. We are cousins, so to speak.

scamp's avatar

Without getting into this unsolvable argument once again, the reason why it isn’t taughthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state in the public school system can be found here

btko's avatar

Ummm a lot of people above have said “Evolution is a science.” It’s not. The scientific method can be applied when proving the existence of evolution. Chemistry is a science, Physics is a science, see a patter? Evolution isn’t a science.

As for the original question. Evolution isn’t a theory, it’s proven. But, just because evolution exists doesn’t mean that a “creation” didn’t take place. Maybe a creator set evolution in motion? That isn’t going to be answered anytime soon.

Should creationism be taught in schools? I think so, it’s a part of humanity’s culture. Even the Big Bang Theory is a type creationist story.

Vinifera7's avatar

@btko
Your first point is just a minor contention with semantics. No, evolution is not science, but what we know about evolution has been achieved through science.

Evolution is a fact. The theory is the model that describes how it works.

There is a difference between “teaching Creationism” and “teaching about Creationism”. Public schools do not exist to teach unfounded ideas as scientific theory. Also the poorly named Big Bang theory is not a creation story either. It models how all of the matter and energy in the Universe was at one time consolidated to a single point. Nothing is being created in that explanation.

tonedef's avatar

Just go ahead and flag this answer from the outset.

seVen, I don’t like any of the questions you ask, because you just try to incite people. If you stopped, I wouldn’t be very sad.

critter1982's avatar

In my mind, the problem is not that schools don’t teach both creationism and evolution. I could care less that schools don’t teach creationism. I’m a Christian and I don’t think creationism should be taught in science class because it’s not science. Perhaps if creationism had its own class or was part of another “religion” class then maybe. The issue I have is that science teachers teach human evolution from apes as truth.

Siren's avatar

@laureth: As a former woman of science, your definition of “theory” is wrong.

In science, there is either proven (ie tested) facts, or unproven (tested/untested) theories.

Therefore, the theory of evolution has not been proven. I believe the key phrase here is “missing link”, which is why the concept of evolution is still considered a theory, scientifically. The missing link, of course, is direct genetic evidence, via an actual corpse, tissue or other biological fragment that links DNA from an ape to man. That has not been found yet. There are a couple of grissly contenders found recently, but again, no missing link.

Aethelwine's avatar

I think creationism should at least be an elective in high school. My parents had issues with religion and did not attend church. I visited a mormon church with my best friend growing up, but that was my only experience with religion. Why not teach both, as an elective, so children like myself could have the opportunity to learn what others think.

laureth's avatar

@Siren – Has gravity been proven, or is that still a ‘theory’ as well?

Also, like @bristolbaby says up there, we didn’t evolve from apes. We’re cousins who have a common ancestor.

critter1982's avatar

There are several people in this thread who have pointed out that evolution has been proven to be true. I would first like to point out that evolution has not been “proven”. If you believe in evolution you believe that beyond any statistical refute that we evolved from non-living matter. Evolution in it’s simplest form states that energy + nonliving matter = life. If we are so sure evolution is the “truth” why have we been incapable over the past 100 years of reproducing this phenomenon?

I’m not arguing that things don’t evolve because I agree they do. I’m discusing abiogenesis and the beginning of our ancestors time.

Aethelwine's avatar

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was afforded the opportunity to discuss this in a class that they chose to take.

Siren's avatar

@laureth: I don’t know. You seem to be the expert here. You tell me ;)

Who is your cousin who is the ape, by the way?

Siren's avatar

Going back to the question, I don’t necessarily prescribe to teaching creationism in school myself, unless it’s within the context of discussing the theory of evolution in science class, and contrasting it with the theory which incidentally, includes where man came from, and opposes the viewpoint of there being an Adam and Eve

TaoSan's avatar

@all_those_trying_to_debunk_our_ape_ancestors

I highly recommend medical study PMID: 1924367, UI: 92020989 for some night-reading before posting that again.

IJdo JW, Baldini A, Ward DC, Reeders ST, Wells RA, Origin of human chromosome 2: an ancestral telomere-telomere fusion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1991 Oct 15;88(20):9051–5

Abstract:
We have identified two allelic genomic cosmids from human chromosome 2, c8.1 and c29B, each containing two inverted arrays of the vertebrate telomeric repeat in a head-to-head arrangement, 5’(TTAGGG)n-(CCCTAA)m3’. Sequences flanking this telomeric repeat are characteristic of present-day human pretelomeres. BAL-31 nuclease experiments with yeast artificial chromosome clones of human telomeres and fluorescence in situ hybridization reveal that sequences flanking these inverted repeats hybridize both to band 2q13 and to different, but overlapping, subsets of human chromosome ends. We conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B is the relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2.

PMID: 1924367, UI: 92020989

Not that I’m a biology crack or something, but human chromosome 2 has long been believed to be fused from two ape chromosomes.

sndfreQ's avatar

Evolution: science
Creationism: creative writing

fireside's avatar

@TaoSan – It is interesting how you use the phrase “long been believed” in your proof.

TaoSan's avatar

@fireside

as in “has long been believed” even before this study….

Siren's avatar

@TaoSan: From all that jargon, doesn’t sound like a breakthrough to me.

We conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B is the relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2.

I bet there were people in the scientific community who took objection to that statement. Furthermore, until proven otherwise, some members of the scientific community will use the theory of evolution as a basis for comparison, since there isn’t any other scientific theory out there right now. the earth is flat, let’s go with it

In all fairness, I must concede that there are both atheists and those who believe in a higher power in our scientific circles, and the battle rages on between the two behind closed doors. Like other areas of practise, human beings cannot fully be dispassionate about their work and everyone has a bias. It’s just who we are.

On that note, I applaud those who prescribe evolution to man for at least trying to rationalize how we got here, and similarly, respect people like myself who believe in a higher being because of the strength of our convictions, and desire to follow some kind of law not created by mankind (hopefully).

TaoSan's avatar

@Siren

If

a) you look at the two pertaining ape chromosomes, that look virtually identical to the two halves of the human chromosome 2

b) You consider the telomere heads showing clear signs of fusing

and

c) still insist on the higher power idea

then I conclude that the higher power used a big part of it’s “Human 1.0” model (apes), making us human 3.0 via Neander and Cro Magnon

Sloane2024's avatar

@seVen: I completely and totally agree. I know that the evolutionist theory is taught because it has more “tangible” evidence, but students should be aware of alternate sources so they aren’t denied the truth. just thought I’d throw that out there, considering you haven’t received a lot of support in this thread

critter1982's avatar

@TaoSan: Since nobody has yet to “PROVE” the truth then yes I would agree with Sloane2024 in that students are not necessarily being presented the truth even though that’s how some science teachers do present it.

TaoSan's avatar

@critter1982

Evolution isn’t a proven truth???

I’m bewildered…..

critter1982's avatar

I’m amazed that you think it to be proven? What about the missing link for starters? What about the fact that over the past 100 years we have been incapable of reproducing this phenomenon. It’s not proven unless your 100% sure without reasonable doubt. There is plenty of reasonable doubt.

TaoSan's avatar

@critter1982

Sorry, but the “missing link”, which Darwin himself decried, became debunked when it became apparent and proven that evolution isn’t linear but branched.

The so-called missing link was merely the question why there aren’t “intermediate” fossils showing “transitional” stages of evolution, which was answered when branching of lineages was discovered.

It is and has been grossly exaggerated.

Further, in the meantime, transitional fossils have been found, e.g. the Archaeopteryx being a transition between dinosaur and bird was found only two years after Darwin’s bemoaning of missing transitionals.

However, creationists love to point to it.

laureth's avatar

What is this “missing link” that people keep talking about? It’s not like the line goes ape-ape-ape-ape-?-person. There’s a pretty good line showing fine gradation from one step to the next. That doesn’t stop people from wishing for more and better fossils, but implying that there’s a “missing link” implies that there’s two populations, never the twain shall meet.

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

The “missing link” is rooted in Darwin’s own bemoaning of a lack of transitional fossils. In early Darwinism, it was believed that a species would evolve “linear” from single-cell organism to human for example. Thus, there would have to be a “fossil record” of all evolutionary stages.

Kind of like that typical Darwin drawing crawling thing – to ape – to neander – to human

Thus, in those days they reasoned that there would have to be “intermediate” fossils, showing transitional life-forms, say, an amoeba with an eye, or a fish with hands.

The whole issue is considered debunked though as:

a) in the meantime many transitional fossils have been found, but there was merely never much publicity around them. I mean c’mon, who wants to read about paleontology in the morning papers

and

b) we have gained knowledge that we evolve in a branched, not linear manner. e.g. human/ape, where the ancestral line splits roughly 7 million years ago, but both lines still exist and evolve

Basically the “missing link” is a myth often picked up by creationists that don’t really bother to read up on it in its entirety.

critter1982's avatar

@TaoSan: What about the beginning of the universe? Did everything come from nothing? Or how life somehow evolved from non-living matter? Or how simple life forms evolved into more complex lifeforms ie. macroevolution? There is no natural law that allows this to happen. There is plenty of scientific argument against evolution ie. the fossil record, the cambrian explosion

Science now knows that many of the pillars of Darwinian theory are either false or misleading. Yet biology texts continue to present them as factual evidence of evolution. What does this imply about their scientific standards?

TaoSan's avatar

@critter1982

Before I start typing, or rather copy/pasting the complete fossil record of the horse, which funnily is a close relative to the rhinoceros, can you quote any empirically proven study/fact that shows any part of Darwinism to be wrong/false/misleading?

The origins of life are indeed still a mystery. Why this weird organic/chemical reaction occurred I don’t know and I can’t explain. What I do believe to know though is that the first form of life was a single-cell organism, simply because there is enough empirically proven, undebunkable scientific evidence for it.

Now, I’m willing to discuss the possibility of some abstract higher power kicking off this “first form of life”, but I’ll not even honor the “man walked the earth 6000 years ago together with the dinosaurs” fairytale with a discussion. Because that is what creationism is.

critter1982's avatar

Even George Gaylord Simpson, one of the high priests of evolution stated, “In spite of the examples, it remains true that most new species, genera and families appear in the record suddenly, and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”

I’m not arguing against evolution, I’m simply arguing the fact that much of the scientific analysis puported is debateable.

TaoSan's avatar

I beg to differ:

I don’t want to undermine Simpson’s authority in the field. But please take note that the man was born in 1902, meaning he was at his prime in a time where modern information exchange and genome projects were plain science fiction. Heck, in his era even access to a gas-chromatograph was pure bliss.

I doubt he’d make the same statement in this day and age.

laureth's avatar

@TaoSan – I’m with you on the “missing link” thing. I just said it differently.

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

Yes, going back to your post you have very eloquently put it into “a nutshell” :)

That’s really exactly what the “missing link” theme is.

Siren's avatar

@TaoSan: But the equation y=53~32/18A +3.0 via Neander and Cro Magnon just doesn’t compute. Do you hear what I’m saying, brother?

Siren's avatar

@TaoSan: Dabnabbit! Why the heck does it still exist as theory only?

Please, address the scientific community as well in your answer.

Siren's avatar

@laureth: Actually, the theory of evolution did stop at Darwin, and ended with him. The missing link is physical proof, beyond any argument that such an intermediate being existed, closing the skepticism that from ape to man there was a natural progression, or should I say evolution.

You can do what you want in a test tube TaoSan…you can’t bring the Geico ape dude back.

TaoSan's avatar

@Siren

I am afraid I do not understand what you are trying to say. “The theory of Evolution ended with Darwin” ??????????

Are you aware that I’m saying “there is no missing link”, as in “nothing is missing”?

TaoSan's avatar

No one could answer the theory semantics game picked up by so many creationists better than Douglas J. Futuyma:

A few words need to be said about the “theory of evolution,” which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, “theory” often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, “theory” means “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors—the historical reality of evolution—is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved “facthood” as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century.

- Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15

To add my 2 cents:

Evolution is an empirically proven fact, merely the mechanics are still under debate.
You wouldn’t try to debunk the “Atomic theory” or dismiss it as “only a theory” because it took over a hundred years to find out that there are indeed sub-atomic particles as neutrinos?

Or you you wouldn’t assume that tomorrow apples will start to be suspended in mid-air because Newton’s is ~“only” a theory?

Just as much as it is a fact that in human history creationists would rather burn really smart people for pointing to “facts” such as “nope the earth ain’t flat”. Pious creationists do have their own – historical fact – history of dealing with every bit of new knowledge that further puts their worldview in the realm of fairy tales. Thank the powers that be that they have “evolved” from burning at stakes to semantic squarrels :)

laureth's avatar

@TaoSan – but… but… @Siren is a former woman of science and she already debunked that definition of “theory!”

In science, there is either proven (ie tested) facts, or unproven (tested/untested) theories.

See?

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

LOL. I noticed that but wanted to be politely oblivious to it :)

It always amazes me. Particularly their lovechild term “Creationist Science”, sounds the same to me as “Church of Scientology”.

TaoSan's avatar

@critter1982

I have completely neglected this nugget:

Evolution in it’s simplest form states that energy + nonliving matter = life.

Absolutely not, just like astronomy, the science of biological evolution never laid claim to know the “alchemist stone” of the initial spark. As opposed to creationists, none of both ever laid claim to have knowledge of the “origins”, but merely from a certain marker in time on forward. For astronomers, it is the big bang. Every responsible and credible scientist in this field will tell you that anything before the “big bang” is speculation. Nevertheless, the bang itself is irrefutable and empirically proven. The one constant law in the universe is gravity, its kinks and quirks are explained/solved by relativity.

Equally, no evolutionist will ever lay claim to have knowledge of what sparked the initial organic chemistry soon to become what we call life. For an evolutionist, the single-cell organism is the big bang. We never claimed there is no god, we merely say if there is, his/her/its beta version of life was an amoeba. How is that for “in his image”?

That is the big difference between scientists and creationists. Scientists know when to say “I don’t know”.

fireside's avatar

@TaoSanWe never claimed there is no god, we merely say if there is, his/her/its beta version of life was an amoeba. How is that for “in his image”?

Don’t forget that even in the creation myth, the creatures were made first.

TaoSan's avatar

@fireside

Ah! Almost forgot! Very true! I quite scripture in my teens already, so sometimes I need a crutch there.

shilolo's avatar

Anyone who truly doubts the presence of evolution in action need only read this disturbing article in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 60 short years, we have, through the heavy use of antibiotics, caused the evolution of superbugs that are now fully resistant to all known antibiotics. This issue is not in dispute. How has this occured? Simply, through natural selection of bugs in the face of potent antibiotics. Alternatively, it might be the devil’s work…? Yes, of course.

Response moderated
Siren's avatar

Yikes! I didn’t even say anything nasty! I guess I can’t repeat it, huh?

How about this for fluther moderators: This thread holds my interest no more…adieu,

adieu, adieu….

sndfreQ's avatar

[mod says] be respectful of others’ contributions even if they differ from your own. Thanks

Siren's avatar

Oh, okay. thanks sndfreQ. I did mention how….well, never mind. :)

But there was no name calling, profanity or insults…more how I felt.

sndfreQ's avatar

@Siren-no problem-it was a message directed at the group FWIW

EmpressPixie's avatar

Since no one has mentioned this yet, I will say: Because it was taken to the Supreme Court and the official opinion of the right-leaning Court was that Intelligent Design is Creation Science is Creationism and we do not teach religion in school. Whereas evolution is officially a scientific theory. Now, when we talk science “theory” doesn’t mean “this idea I came up with” like it does in layterms. It means “this idea that we know is actually quite true and has been through rigorous testing”.

Vinifera7's avatar

Actually, I’m sure that most people already know that, but thanks for the layman’s recap.

After Creation Science was banned, it was relabeled Intelligent Design, which is still trying to be inserted into the curriculum. It’s the exact same thing, except they took out “God” and inserted “Intelligent Designer”.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes, but I was also trying to point out Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case..

Which, in retrospect my post is a mess and I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention when I wrote it, so a total do-over:
1. In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled no Creationism as science.
2. We’ve now got legal precedent via Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District that ID is Creationism.

Sorry for being such a mess this morning.

shilolo's avatar

Its also funny that no one ever argues about their “belief” in gravity, or Newtonian physics, or quantum mechanics. Are those also non-existent too? Evolution is as much a part of the fundamentals of science as the tenants of physics and chemistry. (Though, I imagine part of it is that most people don’t have a clue what gravity or quantum mechanics mean, but even the most uneducated can say “I’m no ape!”)

What I fail to understand is why those who want to believe in a Creator can’t just accept that their deity of choice endowed the Earth with a biologic process known as evolution. It is that simple.

fireside's avatar

I can live with that.

shilolo's avatar

@fireside. With all due respect, yours does not appear to be the majority opinion.

fireside's avatar

@shilolo – I can live with that too. I’m comfortable with my beliefs.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

from what i know, there’s little science to creation. evolution is a scientific theory, not a religious theory. i do think that the origin of religion should be taught (not as an entire class in grade school just as evolution (usually) doesn’t have it’s own class) though, because it’s a pretty major part of life, and there is a lot of history to it.

fireside's avatar

That’s actually a great idea!

Show maps of the various religion’s origins and possibly influences.
Give it a week and go through a religion a day.

That would be a constructive way to add religion to the classroom and would help to provide a foundation for a more understanding society.

shilolo's avatar

@fireside Sorry, but I disagree. There is no place for religious instruction in public school. Period. The majority always has a way of swaying things in their favor, which is wrong.

fireside's avatar

Not even social studies?

When I was in school, we spent three weeks on the Native American tribes and learned about their religion. We learned about the Inuits and their religion. Religion colors so many parts of history, why shouldn’t there be a week or more dedicated to learning about all religions?

I know you’re right and people would pull their kids out of class those days, but I still thikn it is a good idea.

critter1982's avatar

@Shilolo: Why don’t you think religious studies would serve a purpose in the classroom?

PupnTaco's avatar

In a religious studies or sociology class, fine. In fact, my kids learn about world religions in their high school sociology classes.

But in science class? WTF?

fireside's avatar

Yeah, I would agree with that, but nothing wrong with offering the perspective in another class.

TaoSan's avatar

@critter1982

First of all, because most teachers “qualified” to “teach” religious studies, would most likely be “religious” people. Most world religions hold “converting” the unbelieving in high esteem.

You wouldn’t want a military recruiter as school teacher either, would you?

thegodfather's avatar

I’ve got nothing against teaching creation in schools. But I do have a problem with singling out one framework and neglecting other viable ones. And to teach creationism would necessarily neglect many other theories of creation. You open a can of worms. For instance, the concept that earth was created by some force begs the question, “What do you mean by force?” and that leads to assumptions about monotheism vs. polytheism, male vs. female, religion vs. science, Judeo-Christian vs. “native” religions, and so forth. Talk of creation creates a binary, one of creator/created, and builds a hierarchy between them, with creator being privileged. Once you do that, you inherently advance a monotheistic worldview—even if you leave God out of the discussion.

But, discussing evolution as a theory for the origin of species also is terrible and a product of colonization. There is scientific proof for the evolution of species—but as the definitive explanation for the origin of species, the verdict is still out. To use Darwinian concepts to advance only one concept of the origin of species as science neglects literally thousands of concepts from other human beings. What of native African concepts of the origins of species? Are they not as qualified as scientists because they didn’t go to school? But, culturally speaking, they are probably closer to the origins of species in terms of genealogy than anybody else. Shouldn’t they have a voice too? Or only dead white guys get to teach our kids because it conforms to one acceptable secular epistemology? What of Australian aborigines? Or South American colorados in the Amazon? Or, what of sacred feminine theories of the origin of species? Don’t we all have a mother, didn’t each of us come out of a womb? Then why do women get shunned as viable speakers for the origin of life?

I’m not listing these to troll, or to gripe, but sincerely to offer what I have found to be important questions in our (post)colonial world. And Western epistemologies of science have far too much sway in our schools if you ask me. We could learn a thing or two from the subaltern, if we gave them a voice, even though such may not be immediately verifiable. But that would require some incredibly open minds, that, perhaps, kids aren’t ready for.

TaoSan's avatar

@thegodfather

Excellent quip….Lurve

laureth's avatar

The way I see it, it’s that “verifiable” part that makes it valid, not the person doing the speaking.

Ask three people how to get to Chicago. The first one says, “All roads lead to Chicago, and you will only get to Chicago if you set out on the path with a clear and willing heart.” The second one says, “Is Chicago really Chicago? Perhaps you only think you want to go to Chicago, and you really need to be in Hong Kong. Here’s some plane tickets to Hong Kong.” The third says, “Yo, I grew up there and I know some good restaurants. Here’s a map. You take 94 West until you get to the loop. Get off at this exit.” Now, which one do you believe? All of them are people who have heard of Chicago, so all of their opinions are valid, right? And you could learn something from all three of them, true. But only one of them is going to get you to Chicago, and it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, or purple.

thegodfather's avatar

@laureth I don’t mean to wax overly postmodern here, but to assume that only one of them is going to get you to Chicago assumes much. “Ask three people how to get to Chicago” assumes that what you are asking is something geographical. But can’t you see how this still relies on one acceptable definition of “how to get to” somewhere? Such an assumption is rooted in Western epistemology. Other world peoples don’t necessarily think in this way, and that does not make their answers any less viable or verifiable. That’s my point in my earlier comment. But I recognize that these are heavily debated topics, and I’m not advancing any of this as proof text for anything. In fact, I’m advancing quite the opposite. I’m advancing insecurity over security, productive ambivalence, recognition that we don’t necessarily know anything even if it’s “verifiable” following modern/Western protocols of knowledge.

If what I’m suggesting is of any worth, then I think it relates to the greater question at large regarding advancing a particular theory for the origin of life as definitive and acceptable, and assuming that others are not or that others cross the line. What I favor is giving voice to several ideas, and advancing them as just that, ideas, and then allowing students to work through their ambivalence to find meaning for themselves. But, in a 5th grade science class? No way. This is an exercise that I think might work among high schoolers, but more appropriately at the college level. Therefore, we shouldn’t be too dogmatic either about creationism or Darwinian concepts of the origin of species in public schools or in public debate. I hope for a healthy recognition of the variety of ideas that give meaning to very diverse people, especially on the question of “Where did we come from?” This, I believe, propels the human race forward, giving us powerful questions to approach and debate, as well as meaning for human life and experience.

laureth's avatar

@thegodfather – Is every answer to any given question a valid answer? I maintain that while people are free to answer in any way they wish, that not all answers are true. And to narrow it down even further, not all answers carry the information that the questioner is seeking, whether or not the answer is true.

thegodfather's avatar

@laureth We can discuss the implications of my comments elsewhere if you’d like; I prefer that particulars not clog up the relevant comments for the question at hand. But I recognize what sorts of topics I’m bringing up and would be happy to discuss them in more length off-thread.

What you bring up is at the heart of my critique of Western epistemology. Westerners and their science assume such a thing as “truth” and seek to uncover it wherever possible. I’m questioning that assumption and pointing out that human diversity brings out much more than “truth” or fact, and meaning isn’t restricted to fact/truth alone. Is every answer to a given question a valid answer? Well, clearly to a Westerner the answer is no. Within the epistemology you work with, you’re right. I’m not criticizing your conclusions; I’m bringing up the fact that they’re embedded in Western modes of discourse and epistemology. And, relating to the topic here, this necessarily excludes many more meaningful ideas of many other human beings on this planet. I see some inherent inconsistency in this: “We should not teach creationism in school because it’s not science and is not rooted in observed reality” says the Western scientist; but the whole epistemology itself is prone to contradiction (this opens up a can of worms; I suggest the debates posed by Enlightenment philosophers as a reference to how epistemology itself is heavily debated and not on sure footing).

Critter38's avatar

@thegodfather

“Westerners and their science assume such a thing as “truth” and seek to uncover it wherever possible.”

First, yes science assumes that there is truth which we attempt to approximate as closely as possible. But to claim that this is only an assumption is to posit a worldview which is pointless. I simply do not believe that you think that the statement “The world is flat” is factually equivalent to “The world is spherical”. If you accept that distinction, then you too accept that there is such a thing as “truth”. As such I fail to see any basis for suggesting that truth is some normative construct with a validity limited to the west.

Second, examine the history of science and you will find that that the development and refinement of scientific methods is not western, but universal, with significant and substantial formative contributions from the east.

Which brings me to what I think is the fundamental issue, confusion of the context of discovery with the context of justification.

For instance, middle eastern universities have produced a great deal of scientific output in the field of desalination. Now is their context of discovery normative? Yes. There are multiple geographic, cultural, and resource contexts which influence the types of questions they ask and attempt to answer. But that does not negate the factual basis of their findings in relation to desalination. The outcomes are not normative, but factual, despite the normative nature of what influences which questions are asked. A desalination plant developed using the science of the Saudis will function just as well for the Chinese or the Australians.

And this point raises the context of justification. If the science is done correctly, the truth of the claim will be universal, not normative. Science is a global commons. The scientific process purposely targets normative bias and tries to remove it, if not from the context of discovery, absolutely from the context of justification.

So in the context of discovery, evolutionary theory was first posited by white men from Europe (Darwin and Wallace amongst others). But evolution is taught in science classes all over the world today, not because of its context of discovery, but because of its context of justification. Evolution is justifiably factual because it is based on 150 years of repeated and supportive global scientific contribution (from men and women I might add), which has repeatedly verified its core hypotheses and confirmed its core predictions whilst continually refining its position in line with discoveries in plate tectonics, genetics, biogegraphy, organic chemistry, geological history, etc…

Now none of this support for the scientific method as the most efficient means the world has of discovery represents any obstacle whatsoever to also teaching the myths and normative values of the worlds diverse cultures. No one has suggested that such things shouldn’t be taught, nor that the teaching of such views and values are uninformative. Perfectly fine to teach that some subcultures believe that the earth is less than 10000 years old, as it is to teach that some subcultures think putting a grasshopper under your hat cures headaches. But don’t teach such things as factual, and don’t pretend it belongs in science class.

To do so is to purposely obscure the line between the factual and the normative, and this can only harm students, not help them.

thegodfather's avatar

@Critter38

I think you misunderstand what I mean when I say Western. I’m not confining it to a geographic or cultural definition. Colonization as been so prolific that the whole world has been affected by Europeanization. The university institution is heavily Westernized, no matter where it appears in the world, and Asian universities are just as colonizing as are non-Asian ones. What I’m getting at are the assumptions based in Western epistemology, and scientific method is completely steeped in such an epistemology. I’m not going to debate this, because science itself acknowledges this on its own terms. And, I’m not putting out an argument either; that’s a Western protocol for discourse. No, I’m making observations and simply putting them out there. I’m responding here only to guide my observations away from an overly Western premise, which I didn’t intend, nor do I believe it’s completely escapable.

Realize that my postcolonial critique here is heavily nuanced; I don’t expect anyone to adopt it, especially those that embrace Western science and the scientific method. I only call for an epistemological humility, meaning, we ought to be more open minded toward valid expressions of reality from more than just science. Science does not occupy a monopoly on expressing what is real, though it certainly is helpful and effective at approaching the most challenging questions regarding such. Writers like Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Spivak, Yegenoglu, and others can help with articulating the implications of postcolonial critique, and making solid cases for why Western epistemology really has little foundation to stand on, so I won’t go into that here. But to use science to critique my own observations is too simplistic, in my mind, though I don’t think it really matters when I’m only suggesting an alternative way of looking at “truth.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Why not teach both? Because one of them is not science. We can teach controversial issues about evolution like gradualism versus a punctuated equilibrium.

We can’t teach both “the Earth is flat” and “the Sun revolves around it” and the teachings of Galilei. We can teach about various competing theories of dark matter. But we can’t teach dark matter is a potion created by Harry Potter.

mattbrowne's avatar

@shilolo – Yes, I favor teaching the controversy, but not in a biology class. Maybe in sociology or psychology or philosophy some related subject.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Science has an objective process and rules which can be tested and measured whereas religion is all about interpreting ancient texts and theoretical maybes.

Religion is for church. Science is for school.

plethora's avatar

I would take issue with the assertion that Creationism is not a science. Just for example, Dr Hugh Ross is a Christian Astrophysicist who has no problem explaining the scientific basis for Creationsim

mote's avatar

@plethora Your comment is illogical. You assert that since Hugh Ross is a “scientist”, and since he attempts to rectify science with creationism, that therefore creationism is a science. One person’s opinion (even if he is a “scientist”) does not make the subject scientific.

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora@mote is completely right about this. Creationism is apologetics, not a science. The fact is that creationism finds a way to fit the facts to the predetermined conclusion. That’s the opposite of science.

The funny thing about the book that you post to is that it seems to be about showing how the creation story is only problematic if we take it as literally as possible. The reviews seem to indicate that there’s a problem in understanding “day” to mean “24 hours.” That’s not unreasonable – but, in the end, it’s not “science” but trying to reconcile observation of the natural world with what is stated in the Bible (again….apologetics – a rhetorical strategy for the most part).

The only problem with creationism is if it’s based on Biblical inerrancy, or literalism, or fundamentalism. Evolution as a theory, in the end, does not negate creation. It does negate a literal interpretation of the creationist claims.

plethora's avatar

@mote You assert that since Hugh Ross is a “scientist”, and since he attempts to rectify science with creationism, that therefore creationism is a science. One person’s opinion (even if he is a “scientist”) does not make the subject scientific.

I don’t believe you understood what I said, so:
There is no question about Dr Hugh Ross being an astrophysicist (and a former atheist)
Dr. Ross is also a creationist, as are many other scientists.
There is also no doubt (and I gave you the references) about Dr Ross making a strong case for the physical evidence of the universe strongly supporting creationism. Note that I said “physical evidence”, not the Bible, not faith, not superstition, not anything but overwhelming physical evidence.

You are not required to believe that, but while you are refuting it, take a look at Why The Universe Is The Way It Is by Dr. Ross.

We here on Fluther.com do examine the evidence, do we not?

mote's avatar

@plethora First, there are very few scientists that are creationists. There are likely some scientists that practice religion, but that doesn’t mean they believe in biblical creation. Furthermore, “the physical evidence” is overwhelmingly NOT in favor of the biblical story. I’ll take Richard Hawkins over “Dr.” Ross any day.

In any event, how does one know that the biblical creation story is the “right one”, and not one of the multitude of other creation stories (including many that were told long before the advent of Judaism).

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora@mote‘s criticism is quite right again. The issue is not whether Dr. Ross is a scientist, or whether there are scientists that support creationism…but rather, whether creationism is scientific.

The problem is that we need to first determine what we are talking about when we discuss creationism (e.g., evolution does not account for the creation of life, so does not negate a creationist concept of life). Second, we also need to determine whether the theory of creationism is experimental or predictive, or merely showing how evidence doesn’t contradict its assertions. If it’s the latter, it’s not competing with evolution.

laureth's avatar

Whenever I see people using “science” to support creationism, it’s usually poorly applied or misunderstood science, something like this.

plethora's avatar

@mote @iamthemob I’ve cited the references. If you are a Richard Hawkins disciple then don’t bother with them. You’ve already sealed your biases.

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora – I’m anything but a Dawkins (that’s what you meant I assume?) disciple. I think he’s kind of a jackass, and does a good amount of damage publicly for all the good he does scientifically.

My criticism is not based on a bias of any sort. I don’t see evolution as negating the concept of creation, and don’t think that it wholly occupies the territory of what life means – in fact, I think it is separate from that question. It informs it in that it defines how life works, but it deals with a separate question directly.

So, when we talk about creationism, it is of no importance that someone who is a scientist believes in creationism, any more than it is of any import that one is not a scientist but believes in the theory of dark matter. Rather, what matters is if the type of creationism they believe in is compatible with basic scientific principles of observation, testing, and negation of a priori assessments to every degree possible.

I have never seen a Biblically based concept of creationism that didn’t presuppose the reasons for the outcome. In all cases, it makes the data fit the assertions of the already-held belief. Although some say evolution does the same thing, the theory of evolution is like that of gravity. Unlike a Biblical assertion of how life came to be and develop, which never changes, the theory of gravity is almost unrecognizable now from the one that was held in Newton’s era. That doesn’t mean that, because we’ve changed the theory, there is no gravity, or that it lends credence to a non-falsifiable claim about what gravity is and how it works, but rather that we don’t know everything we need to, and we’re working towards a best explanation. Evolution is the same way. Both adjust the assertions, and abandon the ones that are wrong, with the more information we have.

If you have an example of creationist science that doesn’t set out to prove creationism as it’s already understood, I’d love to hear it. I assert that if creationism is at all scientific, it would essentially agree with everything in the theory of evolution, but simply go further in stating that (1) there may be, but we don’t assume that there is, an aspect or aspects of life’s development that we may not be able to explain because God had a direct hand in it…but we have yet to see it, and (2) the starting point, whether it be the beginning of life or the beginning of the universe, was due to a creative will…and the mechanism God uses for creation is evolution, which we can only see at work in slow motion.

mote's avatar

@plethora What “references”? You cite the opinion of one man. There is no verifiable, scientific basis for creationism. There is not one shred of empirical evidence. To used a favored biologic quote “There is no mechanism” except one that presumes the hand of God. Show me ONE, LEGITIMATE scientific EXPERIMENT that demonstrates creation as a mechanism of life. You won’t be able to because it doesn’t exist.
BTW, how does favoring a physics genius make me “bad”?

plethora's avatar

@mote There are no experiments that prove creation or evolution. Neither process is repeatable….or even observable.

The “Big Bang Theory” gives a reasonable theory for the process by which the universe might have come into existence. It calls upon neither creationism or evolution to validate the process.

As for the “opinions” of one man, read the book before you comment. I did not suggest the book offered conclusions. Simply observations, and quite a number of them. Believe who you will, just make sure your beliefs not are based on your predispositions…which yours seem to be.

mote's avatar

You clearly don’t understand science. Evolution is both observable and repeatable. DNA evidence combined with phylogenetic evidence strongly supports evolution as the primary mechanism of the development of a variety of species. Evolution can be observed and experimented on in the lab (and in the real world), which is something that one cannot say about creation. In any event, you mix two issues. How the Earth was created and how living species developed are two entirely different things. Take a few biology classes before commenting again.

plethora's avatar

@mote My opinion is that you are dramatically biased on this topic.

mote's avatar

If bias = having real knowledge about science rather than mythology, then I am guilty as charged.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
mote's avatar

How many scientific citations would you like? 10, 100, 1000? Would that appease you? Would you even understand them? I doubt it. Your lack of fundamental scientific understanding borders on criminal.

Again, I ask, for just ONE real EXPERIMENT testing the hypothesis of creation or intelligent design published in a reputable journal. Is ONE so hard to provide? Go figure…

plethora's avatar

@mote I gave you a resource. I do not intend to read it for you. At this point, you have presented yourself as such an all-knowing person and one who simply trumpets his own perceived knowledge that I do trust you to approach any subject without disabling bias.

MODS…can you take this guy out? I’m sick of him.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off, please. No need to make this personal.

mote's avatar

@plethora So, a book citation amounts to evidence because it is a “resource”?

Please, enlighten me on how creation “scientists” explain genetic diversity in humans? What is the “intelligent design” behind genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis? Why do they occur? How do creation “scientists” explain the greater than 99% identity between humans and chimpanzees at the genetic level? How do creation “scientists” explain the rapid development of antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria exposed to new antibiotics? I could go on, but I think if you can present a cogent, creationist hypothesis that has been scientifically tested to explain those phenomena, I will be impressed. I fear I will be waiting quite a long time…...

plethora's avatar

@mote I am not your tutor

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora

That cannot be your response, unfortunately, to @mote on this issue. If you truly do believe that creationism is a scientific endeavor, then it is in an unfortunate position of having to prove itself constantly. It MUST always show how it stands up to criticism without reference to the problems of the other side. If it cannot, then the problem with creationism is clear. If it can, only then will it get the respect you argue it deserves.

Creationism, or ID, always works from a proposition that x is the cause and works backward. Evolution may do the very same thing – however, the difference is that we do not lock onto one specific definition of how evolution works or what it is – the concept of evolution on the grander scale (e.g., over the age of the earth) is always changing.

It is the same as with gravity. We know of gravity as a fact, but the Newtonian concept of gravity is completely different from what we think of the theory of gravity now. The idea of a “graviton” is unproven in any sense – but we still hold it as a theory, and we still know of gravity as a fact.

The problem with creationism and ID, on the other hand, is that they hold onto an idea that does not change, it seems, but rather changes the observations that we come across or the facts that we know in order to fit the original concept.

So, anything that you would like to contribute would be appreciated and, unfortunately, is also necessary if we are to argue that creationism is a science, and particularly if it is one equal or parallel to evolution.

plethora's avatar

@iamthemob That was my answer to @mote and it stands. Read his entire silly contribution to the thread.

The are two equal and opposite errors made in discussions of evolution and creationism. The first is to ignore the fact that evolution does not address “First Cause” and then focus on scientific evidence for evolution. Of what use is endless scientific evidence if the beginning is not addressed?

The other is to assume that because creationism addresses “First Cause” that studies of all that follows could not be scientific. “First Cause” ends within a nanosecond. What about the 17 billion years of development since then?

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora

(1) Evolution cannot answer the question of a first cause. That’s not a criticism of it in any manner, because as a theory it emerges from biological sciences.

Of course, the fact that it does not answer or even address any questions of a first cause is why it leaves plenty of room for belief in a creator. The problem with demanding that “endless scientific evidence” need address the beginning is that it ignores that, in many ways, that’s part of the pursuit (either we will be able to show the beginning or not), but even if it fails or we are unable to fully address first causes, it helps us understand current issues better (e.g., disease heredity).

(2) The scientific issue with creationism has little to do with the assumption of a first cause. In fact, where creationism as a concept is most coherent and compatible with evolution is when it simply assumes the first cause, and then doesn’t address anything further about the “how.”

In many ways, I think that part of the mistake about the criticism of creationism has to do with people thinking that the criticism is about the idea of a “first cause.” It is the same misunderstanding that leads many to think that somehow evolution is an atheistic theory of life – because evolution ignores the first cause, in fact, it says very little about god.

The problem is with the first cause of creation being the sudden creation of “life as it is.” Or, the idea that certain aspects can only be understood as being designed. So, when we talk about creationism as different from evolution, we are talking about a type of creationism that is incompatible with evolutionary theory.

mote's avatar

@plethora You are indeed not my tutor, nor could you ever be (considering that I already have a PhD in a biologic discipline). I assumed you realized those were rhetorical questions that creationism has no answer for. In contrast to your willful ignorance, I am actually capable of providing scientifically tested and testable answers to each of those questions that utilize the framework of evolution. For instance:

1. How do creation “scientists” explain genetic diversity in humans?
They can’t. However, evolutionary theories predict that random genetic mutations are constantly occurring, and that over time (long periods of time), polymorphisms that enhance an organism’s fitness will accumulate and those that do not will gradually disappear. The current “normal” human genome is just a snapshot and likely will be significantly different 100,000 years from now, assuming the human race is around then.

2. What is the “intelligent design” behind genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis? Why do they occur?
Hey! Who is the genius behind Tay-Sachs Disease?!! That doesn’t seem too “intelligent”.

Genetic diseases occur because of the random mutations described above. Some are beneficial, others detrimental. Some persist, like sickle cell trait because of a selective advantage to a carrier against malaria. In Africa, those homozygous for wild type hemoglobin are more susceptible to malaria and may die younger. Those homozygous for sickle hemoglobin likely die from sickle cell anemia. However, heterozygotes are protected from malaria, with new research now suggesting it is due to production of carbon monoxide gas.

3. How do creation “scientists” explain the greater than 99% identity between humans and chimpanzees at the genetic level? We are not monkeys! Actually, we pretty much are, but over several millions years, our DNA has drifted away from a shared common ancestor’s DNA.

4. How do creation “scientists” explain the rapid development of antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria exposed to new antibiotics? Hmmm, tricky. This is an obvious evolutionary event observed right in front of us. Selective pressure in the form of potentially lethal antibiotics select against the majority of bacteria that cannot survive, However, a rare organism is resistant to the effects of the antibiotic, and is able to grow.

Thus endeth the lesson….

mote's avatar

BTW, the beginnings of life is an entirely separate field from the study of evolution. The former deals with the chemical nature of early Earth and the conditions required to initiate development of the first replicon. The later deals with the theories behind how the first replicons evolved to become cells, single cells to early multicellular organisms, multicellular organisms to animals, and so on. This “trick” to combine the two is clearly meant to obfuscate the inherent weaknesses in the creation argument. There is no proof for creation (onset), and creation cannot explain diversity (evolution) except through voodoo magic.

plethora's avatar

@mote I understand that the beginnings of life is an entirely separate field from the study of evolution. I also believe that creation is an entirely separate field from the study of the development of organisms and that the two should not be confused (as many religious based creationists do). I also believe that what one believes about the beginnings of life is bound to affect the theories behind how the first replicons evolved to become cells, single cells to early multicellular organisms, multicellular organisms to animals, and so on.

There can be no proof for creation. Nor can there be any proof for any other conjecture about how the whole process got started, although I would assume that evolutionists believe they might do that. (And BTW, I do not use the term “evolutionists” as an invective).

It truly does come down to the philosophical question of whether or not there is a God and whether that God “could” create a universe. If the answer is no, then evolution makes a lot more sense, since one must believe that the universe was self started.

If one believes that there is a God who could create a universe, then one must examine the development of life from a different perspective….and not voodoo magic.

It’s the philosophical question that drives the whole argument, not the scientific one…..or so it seems to me.

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora – there are clearly important philosophical questions involved. But we’re talking about “creation science,” which unless it follows basic scientific principles is a misnomer.

Science is the study of the natural, material world, with as few assumptions as possible. The concept of creation is one of those questions without an answer, most likely (at least in terms of academic study).

Therefore, it’s not proper that it be considered a parallel theory with evolution, as it addresses totally different, and universally it seems non-falsifiable, claims and concepts.

mote's avatar

@plethora The difference is that creationism presupposes the answer (there is a creator that created all things as they are today) and then builds an argument to try to support the answer (though, many of the arguments are simply things like “the eye is too complex to have developed via evolution”). In contrast, science presupposes nothing and uses discovery tools to formulate and test hypotheses. These undergo constant and rigorous testing and fine tuning. If Darwin really were wrong, then after so many years and tens of thousands of scientific studies, we would know it. Thus, a creationist says “I know God created all things, so let me pull random facts to “prove” it” whereas a scientist asks “How did humans develop?” and then uses observation and experimentation to build an explanation (which is then tested and revised over time).

In any event, the original question asked about teaching creationism in school as an alternative to evolution? I say, which creation myth? The one from Norse mythology, Native Americans, the Hindu creation story, or the Egyptian creation story? Shouldn’t creation “scientists” (as so called scientists) be testing the validity of all of these stories? How do we know the Biblical creation story is the right one? This is yet another way the creation argument falls apart, because creationists (and they are almost uniformly Christians) simply need to assert their faith as proof, rather than any evidence (since it doesn’t exist).

plethora's avatar

@iamthemob @mote Let me make a couple of comments to clarify, based on both of your comments above. The term “creation science” for our purposes is a misnomer. Creation deals with a possible miraculous event that occurred prior to the beginning of time. It has nothing to do with anything that occurred afterward except that it may affect one’s perspective on the development of the universe and life.

I have not asserted, nor do I believe, that to posit creation presupposes that all things were created as they are today….on the contrary. Creation could have formed a very different universe than we see today. Creation may have put into effect all the natural laws that we now see operating, but the beginning may have been very different from what we see today, in fact, nothing else makes any sense.

This certainly leaves the door wide open for the theories of evolution, but not an evolution that makes the assumption (and assumption is the only thing it can be) that God does not exist or that creation did not occur. These are philosophical matters, not scientific.

Great good is derived from use of the scientific method. But not all truth is derived from use of the scientific method.

iamthemob's avatar

@plethora – I believe I was very careful to limit my discussion to “creation science.” The type of creation that you reference is not in any way the “creationism” that is the concern in the academic and education communities.

Further, when it comes to evolution as it works in research and as it is taught in school, it doesn’t comment at all on the existence of God. Many who study evolutionary theory are led to question their belief in God – but I’d wager that much of that is because many people in religious circles seem to demand that you deny God if you find evolution to be the best explanation for the diversity of life on earth.

The idea of a creator does nothing to undermine evolution, and evolution leaves all the room in the world for the existence of a creator.

But since you seem to understand that already, it must also be clear that “creation science” as it puts forward a Biblical explanation for life on earth and the origin of species (e.g., they were always here) is a dangerous step back in our education standards.

mote's avatar

@plethora Great! It seems we agree. Creationism is a religious concept that can be taught in religious schools and at home to (potentially) explain how the world and all its inhabitants came to be. However, in public schools (where there is a clear cut separation of church and state), creationism cannot be taught because it injects religion and faith into schoolwork. Science classes where physics and biology principles are taught are no place for creationism for there is no science to creationism. Glad we settled that.

plethora's avatar

@iamthemob @mote In spite of the fact that I believe that God exists and that He created the universe (both of which are philosophical positions, not scientific) I would be as opposed as you to the teaching of “creation science” as it is commonly conceived. Most creation science advocates have no concept of the universe being 15–17 billion years old. To them, that is heresy. But for me, it is the scientific evidence that persuades me that the universe is that old, not a religious belief.

iamthemob's avatar

And what you just described, @plethora, is what I believe to be a good example of how one can have a well-reasoned approach to faith.

Science and faith can work fantastically well together, and we’d see more of it if people would stop assuming a whole bunch of BS about what the other side is thinking, arguing, and trying to do.

Although you and I disagree on many points, @plethora – ironically, many of them I believe stemming from different religious interpretations or reactions to religious communities – on this point I think you are a fantastic model that I wish more religious people and groups would follow.

plethora's avatar

@iamthemob Well, thanks very much. I would note that being able to discuss at length on Fluther helps me clarify my own views as well as those of others, and you @iamthemob are most helpful in that process. Disagreement is not an issue to me if understanding of the differences is clearly understood.

Dutchess_III's avatar

” Why isn’t Holy Mitosis preached in Pentecostal churches?” LOLLL!

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