What do you think of the always popular debate of CREATIONISM .VS. EVOLUTION? The popular media often portrays the creation vs. evolution debate as science vs. religion, with creation being religious and evolution being scientific. Unfortunately, if you don't agree with this label, you too are labeled. Regardless of whether you're a creationist or an evolutionist, if you disagree with the stereotype, you're condemned and "exposed" as a religious fanatic who is secretly trying to pass religion off as science or, even worse, trying to disprove science in order to redeem a ridiculous, unscientific, religious worldview. The fact is neither model of origins has been established beyond a reasonable doubt (otherwise, the theory of evolution wouldn't be called the "theory" of evolution). Whether we like to admit it or not, those of us who subscribe to the theory of evolution do so by faith. And while the recognition of design in biology may have theological implications, it is not based upon religious premise - it's based upon empirical observation and logic.

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It's sad that this topic always leads to such divisive commentary. 

For those who have a literal belief in the biblical story of creation, it's really pretty irrelevant what theories scientists come up with.  Religious devotion is, by definition, a matter of faith and therefore has little to do with proof.  The whole point of faith is that it doesn't require proof.

For those of a more secular bent, scientific theories hold more sway.  Therefore, the substantial mass of scientific evidence in favor of the theory of evolution is likely to be compelling.

Neither of these positions is wrong -- they just need to be understood for what they are.  

When it comes to what is taught in schools, my own feeling is that schools must present the theory of evolution in the context of science.  Families whose faith supports the creationist approach shouldn't actually be concerned about this -- rather, they should explain to their children that their belief is a matter of faith.

Of course, there are those who try to find a middle ground.  This is fine for those who are trying to resolve their own confusion, but it doesn't change the fact that faith and science are fundamentally different. 

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For the sake of discussion, let's completely take the idea of God out of creationism. At first, it may seem impossible, but really, now, what if all creation was initiated, not by a grand omnipotent being, but instead, let's stretch our minds and say that aliens are responsible. Creatures from other galaxies visited the Milky Way eons ago, and initiated life as we know it. Even then, there remains a source of creation. There has to be a first domino in order for a domino effect to take place; moreover, there has to be a "push" in order to initiate that effect. In evolution, we seem to have a first domino (in the form of the aforementioned chemicals), but no real way of knowing who set up and "pushed" it. Pardon the extended analogy.

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In reponse to #46: So, which is more believable, in the grand scheme of things: A.) Pre-existing chemicals with no known source randomly began copying themselves and produced all creation as we know it, or B.) A grand omnipotent being created the heavens and the earth, period?

Even the most logical of minds cannot argue against the fact that all things must have a point of origin, and in the case of evolution, we have no real source to speak of. We are simply asked to assume that chemicals were already in place by some unknown happenstance.  

 "You have not given this enough thought or imagination."

Um, we are still talking about science, right? Here's an oxymoron for you: "Imaginative science." That might make a great slogan for some company out there, but in all truth, the two concepts are polar opposites of one another. Imagination and creativity are part and parcel of each other, but science prides itself in dealing with what is concrete and absolutely black-and-white factual.  

And yet, we still have this "theory" hanging out there, wagging its hypothetical nature in our faces. Granted, both creationism and evolution are theories, but by allowing ourselves the humanity to imagine, we are no longer engaging in science, but creative speculation (in both evolutionary and creationist cases).

"...but all open-minded, highly-educated people who have looked into this subject are forced to conclude...."

Subtle condescension makes poor and petty arguments. Please limit your responses to valid addresses of the topic at hand. Personal attacks serve only to discredit your stance. 

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So, here's a question included with my answer: Is it scientifically possible to believe in adaptation without believing in academically-described evolution? In other words, can one (as I do) believe that we as mortal beings alter to suit our surroundings while still believing that the idea of evolution is horribly misguided?

Here's my reasoning: In my lifetime, I have seen physical evidence of human adaptation just observing living, breathing, humans. I do not need a book or "expert" to interpret my own personal observations. However, I have no reason to believe that a biogenetic puddle suddenly sprang minute cellular structures into evental life, as evolution would have us believe. Such an assertion begs the question -- where did the "puddle" come from in the first place? Who or what made it? I have seen no concrete evidence for the verification of biogenesis, but I have seen miraculous, scientifically inexplicable works in nature itself. Such first-hand knowledge tends to make me favor creationism over evolutionism as it stands today.

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@36 My my my... you really don't like jokes, do you Linda? And repeatedly saying, "I can't take the naughty man seriously cos he made a funny on his bio" is rather tiresome. Just for the record Linda, I'm not really a baboon, honest. (I share 98% genetic similarity with a baboon though)

Evolution is not speculation. Your 'Discovery Institute' may say it is, but they are fooling you. Along with stuff about boats on mountains and middle eastern archaeology. The psuedo-scientific sources you quote are shunned by the scientific community as charlatans whose aim is to prove the Bible is correct. Unfortunately for these websites, they can't do that, it's impossible, so they distort the scientific facts (up to and including changing the speed of light, the most fundamental constant of universal physics, they just give it a quick tinker and Hey Presto! You can prove the earth is 4000 years old.) This IMMEDIATELY excludes them from serious scientific discussion. If you took the time to read some independent publications, you would quickly find out you are being misled. There is solid evidence for evolution. There is (literally) mountains of it. I swear to you, you have been tricked by people who know you are not very good at science and take advantage of that.

(Just for fun Linda... which came first, the chicken or the egg? and, yes, there is an answer, evolution has even answered this parlour-game paradox.)

I'm tired of jousting with you. Sure, I like jokes as much as anybody else. What I don't like is a pseudointellectual who can't stand the fact that lots of people disagree with him.

As for the chicken and the egg, why don't you tell me? You seem to think you know everything.

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No, evolution is still speculation. There is no solid evidence that one creature turned into another creature.

Again, given your cynicism about your own biography, how can anyone take you seriously?

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I think that schools should be able to teach different theories and let the students make up their own mind, but when there is solid evidence of one of theories, that should be taught.  I am sorry, evidence will always rule over belief.

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 In reply to #16 replying to #13:

 You're Welcome! 

 lotsa good it did........:|  As they say in debate school, let's agree to disagree and not be disagreeable.

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Was not Darwin--who only published his theory of evolution when he learned that someone else who came up with it after he did was going to--a very religious man?  Remember that he planned to become a minister before he sailed to the Galapagos Islands.

Why, then, do people insist upon reading atheism into evolution?  I understand the Fundamentalists's point of view/Creationsim will not work, but what about other Christians's views?

Exactly! That is what Intelligent Design is all about.

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 The author of the above-mentioned book is Josh McDowell.

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"I thank you for allowing others to see your anger and how lost you are. Come into the light, Frizzyperm."

Come into the brain removal center more like. Yes! I'm lost. It is human nature to be scared and worried and uncertain. The world is a dangerous cold place full of terrible things. You're lost too. But you've taken on a 100% delusion in order to feel safe, loved and 'special'. You're still lost. And more so than me. 

I refuse to hypnotise myself with a load of mumbo-jumbo just so I can slap a half-dazed smile on my face. I'm emotionally mature enough to recognise my own desire to foist responsibilities onto a Eternal Celestial Mommy. AND YET I DON'T.

Hurricanes and cancer are not good. It is you who should 'come into the light' because you are clearly having problems seeing what is obvious.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. If you don't believe in it, why does it make you so angry? Amy wrote to you in a calm, reasonable manner. Why do you have to attack her?

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"I thank you for allowing others to see your anger and how lost you are. Come into the light, Frizzyperm."

Come into the brain removal center more like. Yes! I'm lost. It is human nature to be scared and worried and uncertain. The world is a dangerous cold place full of terrible things. You're lost too. But you've taken on a 100% delusion in order to feel safe, loved and 'special'. You're still lost. And more so than me. 

I refuse to hypnotise myself with a load of mumbo-jumbo just so I can slap a half-dazed smile on my face. I'm emotionally mature enough to recognise my own desire to foist responsibilities onto a Eternal Celestial Mommy. AND YET I DON'T.

Hurricanes and cancer are not good. It is you who should 'come into the light' because you are clearly having problems seeing what is obvious.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. If you don't believe in it, why does it make you so angry? Amy wrote to you in a calm, reasonable manner. Why do you have to attack her?

I too thank God that "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Christ's "entry" (no, not a Starman!) to the Planet and his historical existence, isn't that a good example of God's intervention into the affairs of man?

But I see your reasoning  process "(no.26)and  that you lack and want empirical evidence. Why not read Evidence Demands a Verdict written by another non-compromising truth-seeker out for proof He is really there?

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Let's just make sure to keep all conversations civil on eNotes. People have different opinions but most of all we're here to learn and to teach. Our conversations are read by students and let's keep them informative. Thanks guys.

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Was not Darwin--who only published his theory of evolution when he learned that someone else who came up with it after he did was going to--a very religious man?  Remember that he planned to become a minister before he sailed to the Galapagos Islands.

Why, then, do people insist upon reading atheism into evolution?  I understand the Fundamentalists's point of view/Creationsim will not work, but what about other Christians's views?

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I do thank you for this conversation.  I thank you for allowing others to see your anger and how lost you are.  Come into the light, Frizzyperm.  Did you check out www.anchorstone.com?  You will find your proof there.  There is a God.  He does care for us.  Even you, who deny Him.  Don't wait too late...join others like C.S. Lewis before you. 

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There is a simple explanation.  God has to send powerful lessons through powerful and yes, sometimes destructive means, because we humans don't pay attention to the study guide.  We completely and utterly disregard the "easy" way because we think we know better.  Re-read your Adam and Eve.

I thank God for everything.  How many families have learned to appreciate one another more and not take each other for granted because of a cancer survivor...or perhaps a void in their lives by a cancer victim?  It take so little effort to be more postive and share a smile and love than it does to spread dissention and bitterness.  Scientifically, it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown. 

Three years ago my mother lost her job.  We all thought it was a horrible thing that she went an entire year without income or insurance.  However, when I spoke with her, her take was that she got to spend every minute of every day with my dad that year instead of leaving him daily to go to work and other menial tasks.  They did everything together.  That was the last year my father had on this earth.  Instead of looking at that year as one of hardship, she saw it as a gift.  A blessing of time and memories created that otherwise wouldn't have been. 

I thank God for our conversation...through this thread, many more people than we have been touched.  More will be led to God and His love, patience, and grace, or at least be intrigued enough to go in search of what's right for them. 

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Don't be sorry for me.  I am perfectly grounded and enlightened. And, yes, cancer works wonderfully.  The rapidity with which cancer cells grow and devour healthy ones is fascinating while at the same time disturbing.  I should know--our family has been personally touched by cancer.  Perhaps yours has, too.  If so, I offer my condolences.   The workings of the world in which we live don't have to be a positive to work well.  Remember Darwin's Survival of the Fittest?  The weak are extinguished to make room for the strong to thrive.  However, don't let those words fool you.  What you might deem "weak" may not be at all.  Your new-born gazelle may survive or it may not.  Drought might occur, or it might not.  Things are not always "good" by our definition, but they teach us to appreciate what we have and not long for what we don't.  It is not wishful thinking.  It is reality.  We humans are full of avarice and hubris.  This is and will always be our downfall.  The creator sends us lessons from which to learn--take Katrina, for instance.  That hurricane killed many and displaced millions of people.  The monetary loss from that storm is staggering.  Through the hardship, we evolve and learn about humanity--both positive and negative things in our nature--as well as about levys and building codes, emergency response systems, and what to do differently next time.  The universe is balanced with good and bad, but it is not hinged upon one or the other. 

The same is true for attitude.  We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control our responses to it.  If you lose someone you love from cancer or some other terminal illness, you can choose to be bitter and angry until that kills you, or you can choose to find some silver lining in the message. That is part of what having a highly-developed brain allows us to do--make rational choices rather than act on instinct.  I choose to be happy even in the midst of illness, natural disasters, and the present weakened state of the worldwide economy.  That is what faith in a creator gives to me.  I will pray He gives you what you need as well.

Well said, Amy.

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Don't be sorry for me.  I am perfectly grounded and enlightened. And, yes, cancer works wonderfully.  The rapidity with which cancer cells grow and devour healthy ones is fascinating while at the same time disturbing.  I should know--our family has been personally touched by cancer.  Perhaps yours has, too.  If so, I offer my condolences.   The workings of the world in which we live don't have to be a positive to work well.  Remember Darwin's Survival of the Fittest?  The weak are extinguished to make room for the strong to thrive.  However, don't let those words fool you.  What you might deem "weak" may not be at all.  Your new-born gazelle may survive or it may not.  Drought might occur, or it might not.  Things are not always "good" by our definition, but they teach us to appreciate what we have and not long for what we don't.  It is not wishful thinking.  It is reality.  We humans are full of avarice and hubris.  This is and will always be our downfall.  The creator sends us lessons from which to learn--take Katrina, for instance.  That hurricane killed many and displaced millions of people.  The monetary loss from that storm is staggering.  Through the hardship, we evolve and learn about humanity--both positive and negative things in our nature--as well as about levys and building codes, emergency response systems, and what to do differently next time.  The universe is balanced with good and bad, but it is not hinged upon one or the other. 

The same is true for attitude.  We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control our responses to it.  If you lose someone you love from cancer or some other terminal illness, you can choose to be bitter and angry until that kills you, or you can choose to find some silver lining in the message. That is part of what having a highly-developed brain allows us to do--make rational choices rather than act on instinct.  I choose to be happy even in the midst of illness, natural disasters, and the present weakened state of the worldwide economy.  That is what faith in a creator gives to me.  I will pray He gives you what you need as well.

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Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."

Founded in 1987, the ECFR is the world's leading institution of evangelical physics, a branch of physics based on literal interpretation of the Bible.

According to the ECFR paper published simultaneously this week in the International Journal Of Science and the adolescent magazine God's Word For Teens!, there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by secular gravity alone, including such mysteries as how angels fly, how Jesus ascended into Heaven, and how Satan fell when cast out of Paradise.

The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision."

"We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said.

More at http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

Just the right note of comic relief for a conversation that was getting too heated. Thanks!!

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Frizzyperm,   Gracious!  I respectfully disagree your posts.  If by "creationists" you mean "Christians," how do you explain all the stories of how the world came to be from all over the world--both Christian and non-Christian groups?  There are so many unrelated examples, one can not assert that it is mere coincidence.  They don't all come from "Genesis".  The Eskimos, Native Americans, Central Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans all have similar creation stories.

How also, do you explain the existence of scientists who are also Christians?  I doubt that they would subscribe to your idea of propaganda-spreading.  Indeed, one of the most famous atheists of all-time, C. S. Lewis, saught to disprove a belief in God and Creationism, only to be convinced himself of the opposite opinion.  Read his book, Mere Christianity, for his argument.  Isaac Newton was a Christian.  There are many out there...check out the link below for Harvard scientists. Belief in God does not disregard science, nor vice versa.  I love science--it's fun and amazing.  It only reinforces my belief in God.

In response to your "proof" statement, what do you need? Something you can see, feel, or touch? You can't "see" love, honor, justice, and liberty, either.  However, I would bet that you don't argue they exist.  Faith is something you feel.  Either you have it or you don't.  Do you put your faith in science? Something else?  It is the same with love, jealousy, grief, happiness.  You can't see them.  You just know they are there or they are not.

As far as a higher power in our midst, the evidence is all around us.  I often wonder at those who can exist in the midst of the beauty of nature and deny the hand of a higher power.  It's too perfect to have just happened.  There is no luck or "happy accidents".  The math is too exact.  Every leaf, blade of grass, every single element of the ecosystems that we study and are in awe of work too well. Take the human body, for instance.  What an amazing creation!  How can you possibly disbelieve in the creator? 

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/6562/

http://www.hereamisendme.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=1

http://www.grisda.org/origins/01052.htm

http://atheism.about.com/od/cslewisnarnia/a/faithnaturalism.htm

http://anchorstone.com/  This site will give you "proof" of biblical archeology in a scientific medium.

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And futher more...

This debate is 150 years old! It is appalling it still isn't settled. The facts are simple. The facts are observable. The facts are repeatedly provable. They are credible.

However, God is incredible, unobservable, unmeasureable. If you want to include God in a scientific experiment you must show repeatable, measurable proof of his influence on that experiment. Until then, respect the gap between theology and science. Respect the fact The Bible is not a valid scientific text.

Creationists 'window dress' Genesis as science when it is clearly not.  Think of this...

The Earth is about 4,500,000,000 old

Creationists insist it is about 4000 years old

Creationtist's scientific estimate is wrong by a factor of ONE MILLION!!! As a comparison, if I asked, "How many cents are in one dollar, Would you say, "There are 100,000,000 cents in a dollar." and THEN demand Wall Street gives your opinion respect!!!

All the measurable facts contradict Genesis. You can't make the facts fit the 'Creation Myth'. Genesis is provably wrong.

If Science proves The Bible contains errors, then Christians fundamentalists must deal with that. Because science has proved the Bible is wrong. It wasn't an 'attack' on Christianity, it was merely a discovery of the truth. Can you handle the truth that the Bible is wrong?

So your thoughts are opinion, but mine are propaganda. Hmmm. As I said before, it's very difficult to take you seriously.

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Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."

Founded in 1987, the ECFR is the world's leading institution of evangelical physics, a branch of physics based on literal interpretation of the Bible.

According to the ECFR paper published simultaneously this week in the International Journal Of Science and the adolescent magazine God's Word For Teens!, there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by secular gravity alone, including such mysteries as how angels fly, how Jesus ascended into Heaven, and how Satan fell when cast out of Paradise.

The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision."

"We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said.

More at http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

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Hi Linda. :-) In response to you offering a link to the Discovery Institute....

"In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Discovery Institute pursues "demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions" and the institute's manifesto, the Wedge strategy, describes a religious goal: to "reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

You are spreading propaganda. The Discovery Institue has been repeatedly shown to be intellectually dishonest and has no scientific credibility.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_institute

 

And you're not spreading propaganda? Until someone can prove that there is no God, I'll have to stick with my team.

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I believe in Intelligent Design, which allows for evolution but also recognizes that some higher power directed the evolutionary changes. For me, that higher power is God.

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There is a major difference in the way the word "theory" is used when you look at the two. Anyone can have a theory about anything; the difference is in the level of support in evidence. A scientific theory has to account for all known facts in that area. If something new is discovered that is in conflict with an accepted scientific theory, the theory either is modified, or the "fact" may turn out to be not really a fact. Creationism doesn't do this--it picks and chooses from available information that happens to not disprove creationism, and ignores the rest. I could have a theory that everything in the world is green, and if I only look at plant leaves and Granny Smith apples, I have proved my theory with the same level of rigor as creationism. And THAT is why religion should be left to churches to teach, and science to the schools.

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