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Thread: Evolutionary Doubt in my Bio class

  1. #1 Evolutionary Doubt in my Bio class 
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    Hi, this is my first post on this forum. I made a profile because I feel like I am under a lot of pressure. You see, in my biology 1 class, we have just recently started covering evolution. And in the next class, my classmates and I were discussing the recently explained information.(I have some same people on my 2nd and 3rd periods.) anyways, all of them were saying things like,"do y'all think that our biology teacher actually believes in evolution?". I stayed out of the conversation until they asked me what did I think about what my science teacher thought. And I simply told them the truth. I said," I think he and I share the same view that there's pretty solid evidence for it." As may be predicted in a predominately baptist community in the Bible Belt, I was then bombarded with questions which I answered to the best of my ability. I'm kind of stuck now because it's like every time I see them it's like,"hey, there's the guy that thinks we came from monkeys." It's kind of depressing. Any help at all? Anyone been in this situation? I apologize of this is not in the right section if the forum.


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    I don't know if any of us can be of much help, but I want to congratulate you for your courage in avoiding the easy way out. There will be many members here who will, perhaps silently, respect you for the stand you have taken. I've indicated my support, little as it is, by 'Liking' your post. I suggest other members who wish to express their support do the same. At the very least you know you have some distant sympathisers.

    As to the taunting about descent from monkeys, you might wish to reflect on Huxley's comments on this point. I've taken a version from this site:

    Huxley's subsequent activities in support of the theory of Evolution included a crushingly successful championship of a "scientific" and "rationalist" viewpoint over a viewpoint of "Religion", "Faith", and "Belief", as forwarded by a Bishop Wilberforce in a famous debate held under the auspices of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford on June 30th 1860.

    During the debate, Archbishop Wilberforce ridiculed evolution and asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape on his grandmother's side or his grandfather's. Whilst accounts vary as to exactly what happened next it seems that after giving a brilliant intellectual defence of Darwin's theory, Huxley pointedly commented, "I would rather be the offspring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth."


    If there are any specific questions you face, I - and several other members here - would be pleased to provide you with answers.

    Good luck. Let us know how things develop.


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  4. #3  
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    The evidence for evolution is absolutely overwhelming. It is the concept of evolution that is the logical framework that makes all of the biologic sciences make sense.
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    i'd go even further : without evolution as its central explanatory theory, biology is nothing but a set of unrelated factoids - hardly above the level of stamp collecting

    without evolution how would you give a satisfactory explanation of why the DNA of all creatures, without exception, is made of the same building blocks ? how would you explain the fact that homologies exist for all major bones in the vertebrate body ? how would you explain that the embryology of all vertebrates follow the same pathway ? how would you explain geographical distribution, with life on islands resembling the continents they're nearest to ? how would you explain the various trials that show evolution in real time on diverse organisms such as E.coli and guppies ? how would you explain evidence for evolution in real time as observed in nature (think darwin's finches and again guppies) ?

    and so on, and so on - the main thing is that the evidence for evolution is not just based on a few separate pieces of evidence, but on a vast, interlocking body of observations, experiments and explanatory theories

    just think about it : why does vaccination against flue not work very well in subsequent years ? because the flue virus evolves at such a speedy rate; why do antibiotics become ineffective over time ? because bacteria evolve to become resistant against them; why does the old medication against malaria no longer work ? because various strains of Plasmodium have evolved to become resistant; why do pesticides lose their power to keep vermin at bay ? because insects evolve to become resistant

    the evidence for evolution is all around us, and the only way it's possible not to see it is by studiously avoiding to look at the evidence
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Good for you.
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  7. #6  
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    Goodness, I don't envy you, Youngscienceguy.

    Here's something for you to keep in your back pocket. I wouldn't recommend giving these links to your friends, but they're easy watching/ listening for you and might help you keep your head straight - because they won't let up on you. You're probably aware that you'd be on a losing streak if you tried to convince the whole group that they're mistaken. Not because of the biology but because of the ordinary social dynamics.

    This bloke, Peter Hadfield, is not a scientist but a science journalist who's made a sort of career out of debunking the more well-known creationists and their arguments. I do not recommend linking anyone to the originals of the Made Easy series. The bad language puts lots of people right off.

    Try these 3 first up.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w57...ldPO8PC7gDknmI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_RX...9jcxS9zhM2GPxY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rny...4HQlLImsWujwiW

    Then you can decide which of these series you might like to work your way through.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngscienceguy View Post
    Hi, this is my first post on this forum. I made a profile because I feel like I am under a lot of pressure. You see, in my biology 1 class, we have just recently started covering evolution. And in the next class, my classmates and I were discussing the recently explained information.(I have some same people on my 2nd and 3rd periods.) anyways, all of them were saying things like,"do y'all think that our biology teacher actually believes in evolution?". I stayed out of the conversation until they asked me what did I think about what my science teacher thought. And I simply told them the truth. I said," I think he and I share the same view that there's pretty solid evidence for it." As may be predicted in a predominately baptist community in the Bible Belt, I was then bombarded with questions which I answered to the best of my ability. I'm kind of stuck now because it's like every time I see them it's like,"hey, there's the guy that thinks we came from monkeys." It's kind of depressing. Any help at all? Anyone been in this situation? I apologize of this is not in the right section if the forum.
    Stick to your guns if challenged but don't make an issue of it more than you have to, would be my advice. You need someone to confide in and share your (obviously correct) views with. Where do your parents sit on this issue? Do they get it, or have they been brainwashed by fundamentalism too?

    The reason fundamentalists don't like evolution is because it implies (a) there was death in the world from millions of years ago, i.e. not only after Adam and Eve "ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil", and (b) if Man evolved from other primates, it makes him seem - superficially at least - less of an exceptional work of creation, so a bit harder to argue he was made uniquely in the image of God. This gives them trouble with their - naive- theology of the Fall and consequently of God's redemptive plan for Man, through Christ's mission on Earth. Their objections are thus theological, not scientific. Mainstream Christianity long ago realised, starting with Augustine of Hippo in 400AD (yes, really that long ago!) that you cannot take every word in the bible literally. So one has to reinterpret it in a way that does not fly in the face of science. This has of course been done for centuries, but these modern fundamentalists will have none of it, which forces them into ever more absurd positions.

    There is no scientific reason to doubt the basic principle of evloution, though of course it's a dynamic field and so new details of how it works are uncovered all the time, creating occasional controversies. Evolution is amazingly successful at accounting for the patterns we see in past and present creatures. Its mechanism of natural selection can be seen at work all around us, in such phenomena as bacterial resistance and the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy. Even more powerfully, in the last couple of decades, it has been astonishingly well corroborated by the entirely new science of molecular biology. Evolution predicts what degrees of similarity or difference we should expect to see in the DNA of different creatures. And that is just what we see now that, for the first time in history, we can make these comparisons. There are never any proofs in science but this comes about as close it as you can get.
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  9. #8  
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    I agree with exchemist's comments. Stick to your guns but don't make more of an issue of it that you need to.
    Your experience is not unique to biology and evolution. This type of thing happens in many fields. When people become fixated on concepts, whichever side of the fence they are on, you are unlikely to change their opinions by any amount of argument. In the long run, it is not worth the grief of getting into prolonged arguments about things like this.

    Consider the evidence, make your conclusion, state it once and move on.

    If it is your particular field of expertise, then you might like to take the case further, but it is always best to avoid becoming entangled in arguments with zealots of any persuasion.
    Last edited by Warron; May 7th, 2014 at 05:36 AM.
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    oh, and if ever they come up with so-called perfect adaptations as evidence for design, most of those examples fray at the edges on closer investigation, e.g. :

    the human eye is not a marvel of design but has the light sensitive part of the retina on the wrong side, with the nerves and blood vessels getting in the way of light reaching the light sensitive tissue - it's like someone tried to sell you a camera with the film the wrong way around !

    the recurrent pharyngeal nerve makes a straight route from the head to the gills in fish, but for reasons of embryological development it makes a detour from the head to the heart and then back to the larynx in humans and all tetrapods, which in the case of the giraffe becomes a ridiculous detour of several feet (Richard Dawkins demonstrates laryngeal nerve of the giraffe - YouTube)

    and you can use Darwin's own words about his disbelief that a benevolent creator could plan to introduce such wanton cruelty into the world like the ichneumon wasps who paralyse their prey, lay eggs in it following which the prey (often a caterpillar, but sometimes tarantulas, depending on the species of wasp) gets eaten from the inside whilst still alive

    here's the great man's own words ; "I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Also note that there is no need for there to be a conflict between religion and evolution. The official position of the world's major religions (when they have an official position) is to accept science, and hence evolution, as another way of exploring God's work.

    For example:
    What is Evolutionary Creation?

    The view that all life on earth came about by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes in creation.
    BioLogos: Science and faith in harmony
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    The only advice I can give you is to be true to yourself. Don't put aside an idea which compels you simply because those around you may pressure you to do so. If you find something interesting or fascinating in regards to evolution, pursue it. If your friends have intelligent questions about it, address those concerns. Doing so will help you build your knowledge even more. If all they have is criticism, I suggest you ignore it.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngscienceguy View Post
    As may be predicted in a predominately baptist community in the Bible Belt, I was then bombarded with questions which I answered to the best of my ability. I'm kind of stuck now because it's like every time I see them it's like,"hey, there's the guy that thinks we came from monkeys." It's kind of depressing. Any help at all? Anyone been in this situation? I apologize of this is not in the right section if the forum.
    To put it reasonably politely but bluntly: screw 'em. Their opinions don't matter. They won't be marking your exams, will they.

    If you have any questions, then sure - go ahead; read about evolution; ask in forums; etc.
    If they have any questions, they can ask their teacher.

    As for help dealing with their bullying - that is a complex situation where each case is different.
    But, as a general guide, find someone who is on your side. Talk to them. Don't suffer in silence.
    Bullying is depressingly common - but you can get through it.

    But debating with bullies is not going to get you anywhere. They are a lost cause.

    Best wishes.
    RP.
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    also think about it : for creationism to be true, we would have throw out everything we thought we learned about astronomy (and the big bang), chemistry (e.g. how proteins and amino-acids operate), radioactivity (and all the radiometric clocks), geology (including sea floor spreading which has actually been measured by satellites) and many other fields of science that are usually accepted as being valid by the common man

    ask yourself the question : how many geologists use the tenets of flood geology in order to find oil or gas ? my guess is none, since if they did they wouldn't last long in the job - not because of some in-built prejudice in the petrochemical industry, but because flood geology doesn't have anything to say about how to find oil or gas
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    the world is falling into chaos. the predictions in the famous intellectual documentary 'Idiocracy' are being played out.
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  16. #15  
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    I found this video very good




    (one thing Im not sure about, is why Endogenous RetroVirus are presented as appearing in an entire population, where I would assume that if a member of a species is infected most of the population is not until many generations pass, I assume its a simplification that talks about many generations after the introduction of the retro virus.)
    Last edited by icewendigo; May 7th, 2014 at 10:37 AM.
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    Laugh out loud. Tell them Jesus was a vampire zombie. He drank blood and ate flesh, did he not? Haha, no do not do that. You can always highlight the inaccuracies found int the bible to emphasise why evolution is truly concrete. I also love Ice's post. Show them that! Good luck, so far I have my mum believe in both, creation and evolution. I simply pointed out the false information in the bible and explained out why it it is false.

    Who ever said we came from monkeys anyway?
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    If you would know GOD, study god's gifts. study life and science.
    Use science as a tool in your quest to know the physical aspects of god's gifts.

    Look at the recent DNA studies into modern man, neanderthals, denisovans. See the hand of god in the picking of the genes to be shared in strengthening us as we progressed into the people we are today and were in biblical times.

    Stand in your adversaries shoes and see their perspective. From there, lead them into loving science as part of loving GOD.

    Or tell them: "Hey, I don't know the answers, I'm a student just like you, and we're just learning how to formulate better questions."
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    The key to making a good argument is to NOT attack their viewpoint. You know it is illogical and unsupported so you cannot achieve anything by pointing that out. Stick to explaining the strengths (and admitting the shortcomings) of scientific understanding.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Ask your classmates if they believe in gravity. That's just a theory, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Ask your classmates if they believe in gravity...
    ...and then push them over?
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmbettencourt View Post
    Who ever said we came from monkeys anyway?
    but we did - we are apes, and apes descended from monkeys by losing their tail
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Thanks guys for all the inquiry I appreciate it. I (unlike many people who believe in evolution where I'm from) do in fact believe in God. But just because I do doesn't mean I hold science back. I feel as though I have a very scientific mindset because I hardly take anything for fact until I think about it for myself(again,unlike many where I'm from). I hold science very dearly to my heart and mind. This is why I have a "mixed" belief in God who subsequently created the universe...(sounds creationist I know but I kinda am). Here's the thing. This may seem naive to y'all (and people on the other end of the spectrum that believe in a six literal day creation). But...but I (personally) think that the Big Bang and evolution (both of which we here obviously believe to be true)was...well merely God's tools. This may seem strange but for me personally it is a happy medium that satisfies me. I think it allows me to be unhindered in that great quest to expand our knowledge and help others while discovering new,amazing things. To me that is what science is about, regardless of whether you believe a being is behind it or not. It is(to me) ground that allows for the advancement of science on both fronts. (Real science...not a literal six day science.) I hope you all understand my mindset a little better. Again thanks so much for the input I appreciate it.
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  24. #23  
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    Ask your classmates to come with a single empirical evidence which confirms the existence of a god.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Ask your classmates to come with a single empirical evidence which confirms the existence of a god.
    What do you mean by "empirical evidence"? Looking at the definition in Wikipedia:
    Empirical evidence (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge, or the a posteriori) is a source of knowledge acquired by means ofobservation or experimentation.[1] The term comes from the Greek word for experience, Εμπειρία (empeiría).
    Empirical evidence is information that justifies a belief in the truth or falsity of an empirical claim. In the empiricist view, one can claim to have knowledge only when one has a true belief based on empirical evidence. This stands in contrast to the rationalist view under which reason or reflection alone is considered to be evidence for the truth or falsity of some propositions.[2] The senses are the primary source of empirical evidence. Although other sources of evidence, such asmemory, and the testimony of others ultimately trace back to some sensory experience, they are considered to be secondary, or indirect.[2]
    What does that do for your argument? It could be argued that a vision would then be "empirical" for it certainly isn't the result of reason or reflection and it is in your senses, for it is seen in your brain.
    Are you thinking more of physical evidence? Define empirical evidence as the type you would hope for?
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    It's not enough to just "disprove" evolution. You also have to dispove the creation stories of every single other religion ever, and then you STILL need to prove the creation story of your own religion, whichever one of the dozens of other religions you follow.

    Disproving evolution doesn't automatically make Christian creationism true, or even make it the only other option.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Ask your classmates to come with a single empirical evidence which confirms the existence of a god.
    This is totally irrelevant. Whether there is evidence for God or not (or even whether there is a God or not) doesn't change the evidence for evolution. In fact, if there is a God, he is probably a bit pissed off that people are denying one of his neatest inventions...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngscienceguy View Post
    Thanks guys for all the inquiry I appreciate it. I (unlike many people who believe in evolution where I'm from) do in fact believe in God. But just because I do doesn't mean I hold science back. I feel as though I have a very scientific mindset because I hardly take anything for fact until I think about it for myself(again,unlike many where I'm from). I hold science very dearly to my heart and mind. This is why I have a "mixed" belief in God who subsequently created the universe...(sounds creationist I know but I kinda am). Here's the thing. This may seem naive to y'all (and people on the other end of the spectrum that believe in a six literal day creation). But...but I (personally) think that the Big Bang and evolution (both of which we here obviously believe to be true)was...well merely God's tools. This may seem strange but for me personally it is a happy medium that satisfies me. I think it allows me to be unhindered in that great quest to expand our knowledge and help others while discovering new,amazing things. To me that is what science is about, regardless of whether you believe a being is behind it or not. It is(to me) ground that allows for the advancement of science on both fronts. (Real science...not a literal six day science.) I hope you all understand my mindset a little better. Again thanks so much for the input I appreciate it.
    You are in excellent company! The idea of the order in the universe being God's tools for creation is a fairly mainstream Christian view. And, I may say, a lot more subtle and reasonable than blind biblical literalism. Have a look at Strange's post, for the link to Biologos: I think you'll find it s pretty close to the way you are thinking.
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    The OP made it clear he isn't dealing with some generic Christian mainview with its partial acceptance of evolution, but with a Southern Baptist community; one that still denies evolution, thinks creationism should be taught in schools and has to a large degree cast those that support evolution as akin to evil.
    Southern Baptist Convention > Resolution On Scientific Creationism
    Southern Baptist Series: Evolution and the Problem of Evil | The BioLogos Forum

    I don't envy you Youngscienceguy. I dare say turning the opinions of a community of superstitious peers isn't going to happen--and reasoning isn't likely to work either no matter how well you learn your arguments. You can learn about evolution without making yourself a social pariah and I recommend you do so.
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    I had to stop here:

    These theodicies or defenses to the problem of evil, however, normally presuppose the standard view of divine creation. Were one to propose creation by means of theistic evolution, some of the presuppositions for these responses to the problem of evil no longer function. Therefore, advocating some form of theistic evolution poses problems for standard explanations of the problem of evil.


    Essentially, they're suggesting that some are of the opinion that because some new idea throws a monkey wrench into our old view, we must scrutinize the new idea whilst maintaining our old viewpoints.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I find it really hard to read things like those articles you posted. I do it anyways, because I have to make some attempt to understand this conflicting viewpoint (especially since it holds such sway here in the States), but I find it so stubborn and crass that it actually upsets me. I cannot imagine being in the middle of such a discussion and having to defend against this kind of "logic". I have to echo Lynx's sentiment in that I do not envy you, Youngscienceguy.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; May 8th, 2014 at 08:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I had to stop here:

    These theodicies or defenses to the problem of evil, however, normally presuppose the standard view of divine creation. Were one to propose creation by means of theistic evolution, some of the presuppositions for these responses to the problem of evil no longer function. Therefore, advocating some form of theistic evolution poses problems for standard explanations of the problem of evil.


    Essentially, they're suggesting that some are of the opinion that because some new idea throws a monkey wrench into our old view, we must scrutinize the new idea whilst maintaining our old viewpoints.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I find it really hard to read things like those articles you posted. I do it anyways, because I have to make some attempt to understand this conflicting viewpoint (especially since it holds such sway here in the States), but I find it stubborn and crass that it actually upsets me. I cannot imagine being in the middle of such a discussion and having to defend against this kind of "logic". I have to echo Lynx's sentiment in that I do not envy you, Youngscienceguy.
    Snap! I read it too and thought the same thing.

    The trouble with these Baptist guys is that they have their theology off so pat, at the expense of brushing aside all the messy reality - and shades of grey - of the world. But the issue of evil in the world is not neatly disposed of by ANY theology that is really thoughtful. It is a perennial topic of debate in the theology departments of major Western universities and this has been so for centuries.

    Similarly I notice this link confirms exactly what I was saying about the problem these people have with the Fall and evolution, due to the presence of death in the world before Man arose. I see the writer thinks the Fall is incompatible with evolution. That strikes me as clinging to a childishly naive view of the Fall. He doesn't seem to talk to his more enlightened co-religionists. The Fall is a wonderful allegory of the double-edged nature of knowledge. Adam and Eve are said to have eaten the forbidden fruit of the tree of "knowledge of good and evil". Why give the tree that name unless it means something? Purely from a literary viewpoint, surely it is obvious this is saying that being able to discriminate between right and wrong implies a loss of innocence, ushering in a new and arduous moral responsibility - which of course Man often fails to live up to. To most Christians this is fully compatible with the idea of Man acquiring, during his evolution, a much more sophisticated understanding of morality than the rest of the animal kingdom - and then often not living up to the ideals this implies. As for this about death entering the world at the Fall, most Christians today interpret that to mean a spiritual death, arising from the sinfulness that only Man is capable of, because only Man, among all the animals, knows the difference between right and wrong in a way that makes him morally accountable for his decisions. The theme of loss of innocence is one all of us are familiar with. As we grow from childhood to adulthood we all feel it - it must be one of the most ancient tropes in literature.

    None of this is to say anyone but a Christian should see it this way, but not to be aware that this type of thought has been part of the Christian tradition for over a century seems to indicate the author is a Christian minister of religion content to live out his life in a little bubble of parochial ignorance.
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    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
    Very good. But I once came across an even more stunningly obtuse one: "There is no scientific evidence for evolution, because no scientist has been to create life in a test tube."

    Where do you even start prising apart the layers of wilful confusion and mischaracterisation in that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
    Very good. But I once came across an even more stunningly obtuse one: "There is no scientific evidence for evolution, because no scientist has been to create life in a test tube."

    Where do you even start prising apart the layers of wilful confusion and mischaracterisation in that?
    the willful ignorance here in the USA really depresses me sometimes. and it is not just about the Theory of Evolution. it is almost as if the plot of the silly movie 'Idiocracy' is being played out here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBvIweCIgwk
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
    Very good. But I once came across an even more stunningly obtuse one: "There is no scientific evidence for evolution, because no scientist has been to create life in a test tube."

    Where do you even start prising apart the layers of wilful confusion and mischaracterisation in that?

    willful confusion and mischaracterisation
    seem common in these forums also
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
    Very good. But I once came across an even more stunningly obtuse one: "There is no scientific evidence for evolution, because no scientist has been to create life in a test tube."

    Where do you even start prising apart the layers of wilful confusion and mischaracterisation in that?
    the willful ignorance here in the USA really depresses me sometimes. and it is not just about the Theory of Evolution. it is almost as if the plot of the silly movie 'Idiocracy' is being played out here.

    Idiocracy - Trailer - YouTube
    In Private Eye in the 1970s Auberon Waugh advanced (slightly tongue in cheek, as usual) his hypothesis of the "Stupid Society", brought into being by the emancipation of the thick. I've often thought there was a germ of truth in this idea. In many ways it could be said to have come to pass, as the purchasing power of people with low IQ has increased and as channels of communication - and consequently the tenor of political discourse - cater increasingly for their tastes (Fox anyone?). Perhaps creationism is another manifestation. As is the proliferation of junk ideas on the internet. But maybe these things were there all the time and in the past we just didn't come to be aware of them as we do in the interconnected world of today. I don't know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    But maybe these things were there all the time and in the past we just didn't come to be aware of them as we do in the interconnected world of today. I don't know.
    sometimes i think that this may be the case -- it has always been so. but seeing the poor math and reading skills of current high school grads in the USA make me think that this is something newer. it is no wonder a high school diploma is practically worthless on its own. as a ticket to college it may still be worth a bit. i really do not know either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.
    My standard retort is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If Americans are descended from Europeans then why are there still Europeans?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.

    My favorite anti-evolution rant is the good ol' Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.

    My favorite anti-evolution rant is the good ol' Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.
    yes sir. i have read that a time or two (too many).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If Americans are descended from Europeans then why are there still Europeans?
    good one. thanks. i will file that response away.
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    and of course the ubiquitous: 'it is only a theory'.

    i wish science had a different word other than 'theory' to use for the scientific method usage. the word 'theory' also has its common speech usage which confuses those not versed in the scientific theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.

    My favorite anti-evolution rant is the good ol' Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.
    The second law of thermodynamics also disproves that a sperm and an egg can grow into an adult human being able to create more spems, or more eggs...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.

    My favorite anti-evolution rant is the good ol' Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.
    The second law of thermodynamics also disproves that a sperm and an egg can grow into an adult human being able to create more spems, or more eggs...
    if only those uneducated willfully ignorant fools were to have the sense to include the sun and the entire solar system in the 'box' then they would see that entropy does indeed increase, validating the 2nd Law of Thermo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    my favorite anti-evolution rant is: 'if we supposedly descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys today?' the willful ignorance in that question is overwhelming.

    My favorite anti-evolution rant is the good ol' Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.
    The second law of thermodynamics also disproves that a sperm and an egg can grow into an adult human being able to create more spems, or more eggs...
    Spot on! It is in fact the growth of an individual from its gametes where the major increase in order takes place. Any further increase from one generation to the next is infinitesimal by comparison. But they overlook that of course.
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    I would consider bouncing back at them by mocking there ridiculous belief that women were made from a rib and men were made from dust. Just start a heated discussion and they will be embarrassed considering you have the knowledge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I would consider bouncing back at them by mocking there ridiculous belief ...
    Please don't do that. Let's try to be the mature ones and maintain our integrity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I would consider bouncing back at them by mocking there ridiculous belief that women were made from a rib and men were made from dust. Just start a heated discussion and they will be embarrassed considering you have the knowledge.
    It's not ridiculous to believe something that has been force-fed to you as a child. However it is ridiculous to force any ideal or belief on your children, or any other person. So forcing them to believe you, actually does the same thing.

    Al we can do, is provide information, and truth, and make them do the thinking, or not. Ignorance is also ridiculous.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Al we can do, is provide information, and truth, and make them do the thinking, or not. Ignorance is also ridiculous.

    I cannot agree with the latter claim.
    Ignorance (a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education) itself is not something that should be mocked, as we are all ignorant to a certain extent.
    However, seeking comfort in not knowing can sometimes be seen as ridiculous.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I would consider bouncing back at them by mocking there ridiculous belief that women were made from a rib and men were made from dust. Just start a heated discussion and they will be embarrassed considering you have the knowledge.
    It's not ridiculous to believe something that has been force-fed to you as a child. However it is ridiculous to force any ideal or belief on your children, or any other person. So forcing them to believe you, actually does the same thing.

    Al we can do, is provide information, and truth, and make them do the thinking, or not. Ignorance is also ridiculous.
    Then the discussion would be highly unnecessary, being that creationists will not listen to any reason and they will mock you for accepting the fact of evolution. So what's the point? You can tell them where to find the facts, the evidence and what makes it validated but they will not listen...
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    I distinctly remember the day in seventh grade when out of the blue, my chemistry teacher asked how many students believed in evolution. Without thinking about it, I put my hand up. It was a lonely moment when I realized that out of a class of 25 or so, I was the only one with my hand up. To his credit, the teacher didn't try to change my mind, though he clearly held the majority opinion that evolution was nonsense. I was fairly steeped in the love of science at that age, and was pretty shocked to find that so many of my fellow students did not believe in a concept as basic as evolution. Perhaps even more shocked that the teacher felt that way -- he was actually a good chemistry teacher.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    I distinctly remember the day in seventh grade when out of the blue, my chemistry teacher asked how many students believed in evolution. Without thinking about it, I put my hand up. It was a lonely moment when I realized that out of a class of 25 or so, I was the only one with my hand up. To his credit, the teacher didn't try to change my mind, though he clearly held the majority opinion that evolution was nonsense. I was fairly steeped in the love of science at that age, and was pretty shocked to find that so many of my fellow students did not believe in a concept as basic as evolution. Perhaps even more shocked that the teacher felt that way -- he was actually a good chemistry teacher.
    How grotesque. Where was this, if you don't mind me asking?

    P.S. I had an excellent physics teacher who didn't believe in molecules!! He was a bit bonkers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    How grotesque. Where was this, if you don't mind me asking?
    Pensacola, Florida, USA. The date is perhaps relevant, this was about 1973.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    How grotesque. Where was this, if you don't mind me asking?
    Pensacola, Florida, USA. The date is perhaps relevant, this was about 1973.
    Golly! I have never thought of Florida as being in the Bible Belt. I grew up in an Anglican/Catholic environment in London in the 1960s and the validity of evolution was never in question for a moment - everyone knew Genesis should be seen as allegorical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    How grotesque. Where was this, if you don't mind me asking?
    Pensacola, Florida, USA. The date is perhaps relevant, this was about 1973.
    Golly! I have never thought of Florida as being in the Bible Belt. I grew up in an Anglican/Catholic environment in London in the 1960s and the validity of evolution was never in question for a moment - everyone knew Genesis should be seen as allegorical.
    Pensacola is only technically in Florida, it is at the tip of the panhandle. Culturally, it really shares more with Alabama than the rest of Florida, most of my high school friends went to the University of Alabama. There is a running joke among Pensacola residents, they are said to live in LA -- lower Alabama. It's very much in the bible belt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Pensacola is only technically in Florida, it is at the tip of the panhandle. Culturally, it really shares more with Alabama than the rest of Florida, most of my high school friends went to the University of Alabama. There is a running joke among Pensacola residents, they are said to live in LA -- lower Alabama. It's very much in the bible belt.
    Ah, interesting. Just shows my geography is a bit weak about the Southern USA.
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    For perspective, I was taught evolution in by the Nuns in a Catholic high school in Springfield Massachusetts, in 1963! Granted the High School had high accademic standards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    For perspective, I was taught evolution in by the Nuns in a Catholic high school in Springfield Massachusetts, in 1963! Granted the High School had high accademic standards.
    That's what I'd have expected. (Though I know Lynx Fox was taught by some Catholic backwoodsmen in Canada who hadn't yet got their heads round evolution.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Pensacola is only technically in Florida, it is at the tip of the panhandle. Culturally, it really shares more with Alabama than the rest of Florida, most of my high school friends went to the University of Alabama. There is a running joke among Pensacola residents, they are said to live in LA -- lower Alabama. It's very much in the bible belt.
    Ah, interesting. Just shows my geography is a bit weak about the Southern USA.
    A rather common saying about Florida is the further North you go the more Southern it is.
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    Young, tell your class mates, that religion is a survival instinct in itself. Religion is not about seeing Creation as it actually is, but how we need it to be in order to keep on trying.

    The colossal paradox is, that this theme is actually represented in the Book of Genesis. In that fable about eating off that damn fruit tree:

    When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
    - Genesis, 3:6-7, New International Version.
    If one couples that a bit with the contemporary scientific consensus and psychology, this can actually be seen as a fable about Homo sapiens becoming fully intelligent perhaps some 150.000 years ago (science actually talks about "the mitochondrial Adam and Eve", using that literary reference). Somebody was actually really bright 5000 years ago, when that fable was thought up by some bipedal ape in the Middle East. When the text say "naked", it can be interpreted as humans gaining self awareness ... and ever since then our lives have been crap, since then we haven't been in the blissful paradise of ignorance. The paradox is that intelligence allows us to grasp our place in Creation ... and that's seriously depressing, 'cause Creation don't care about us. We are just another random product of its physical processes. The creational force in the Cosmos is not some being similar to ourselves, with a behavior similar to our own. In that context, humans created God in our own image, not vice versa. Nobody watches over us in the vastness of space. We are alone, only responsible towards each other. And that's so much scarier than any random predator from our biological reality. Once we understood that, we created religious stories that tells us the exact opposite of that horrible reality, as a survival instinct, as an odd side effect to intelligence, as a reassuring fable, as a beautiful lie. Religion is the adult version of Santa Claus.

    I also said to myself, "As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
    - Ecclesiastes, 3:18-21, New International Version.
    Truthful words are not beautiful;
    Beautiful words are not truthful.
    Good words are not persuasive;
    Persuasive words are not good.
    He who knows has no wide learning;
    He who has wide learning does not know.
    - Dao De Jing, ch. 81, Lau translation.
    Maybe that'll be a comfort for your class mates, being these well meaning, devout tribal apes. Tell them religion ain't going nowhere just because we're an animal, too.
    Last edited by CEngelbrecht; May 26th, 2014 at 06:09 PM.
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