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Oklahoma, Vatican Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the little-communicating-across-the-divide dept.

Censorship 1161

nizcolas writes "Notable evolutionary biologist, author, and speaker Richard Dawkins was recently invited to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma as part of the school's celebration of Charles Darwin. However, Oklahoma lawmakers are working to silence Dawkins with the passage of House Bill 1015 (RTF), which reads in part: '... the University of Oklahoma ... has invited as a public speaker on campus, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published opinions, as represented in his 2006 book "The God Delusion," and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma ...'" Pending legal action, Dawkins is set to speak tonight at 7 pm. (Luckily, we no longer live in the era of Bertrand Russell's court-ordered dismissal on moral grounds from the College of the City of New York.) And reader thms sends word of the Vatican's Darwin conference (program): "The conference, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of "The Origin of Species," has been criticized by advocates of Creationism or Intelligent Design for not inviting them. The Muslim creationist Harun Yahya, most famous for his Atlas of Creation, also complained about not being invited."

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1161 comments

Oklahoma? (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093851)

Celebrating cultural diversity? You've got to be fucking kidding me.

Re:Oklahoma? (5, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093943)

No kidding. The resolution begins:

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma is a publicly funded institution which should be open to all ideas and should train students in all disciplines of study and research and to use independent thinking and free inquiry...

By paragraph THREE it is condemning Dawkins for, and I am not making this up:

views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma

Re:Oklahoma? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094133)

If the majority of the citizens of Oklahoma believed in a vast government conspiracy to cover up the existence of extraterrestrials as a result of watching one too many episodes of The X-Files, would be it okay for them to pass legislation to squash the free speech rights of someone proving that no such conspiracy exists? C'mon, this is just completely ridiculous.

Re:Oklahoma? (4, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094297)

would be it okay for them to pass legislation to squash the free speech rights of someone ...

You know, if you actually read the bill under discussion, you'd notice that it doesn't squash anything, much less anyone's "free speech rights". All it says is that the legislature opposes his appearance. They didn't ban him, and they don't order anything to be done about it. Oh, yes, they will "order" that their opposition message be sent to the University leaders.

Re:Oklahoma? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094415)

A government taking a stance against free speech does effect someones right to free speech, and in this case it also violates freedom of Religion in the constitution.

Re:Oklahoma? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094599)

I did. Whether they are simply advocating the squashing of Dawkins' freedom of speech or are actually squashing, if the University tells Dawkins' to pack it in, the end result is the same.

Let's also not forget that First Amendment also includes the freedom to practice a religion of one's choosing. This also includes the right to practice no religion at all. IOW, Dawkins' has a Constitutional right to be an atheist and to speak about his own beliefs (or non-beliefs) as an atheist.

I'm not an atheist myself, but I will defend the rights of atheists to believe (or not believe) what they choose.

Re:Oklahoma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094377)

You can't prove a negative.

Re:Oklahoma? (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094641)

You can't prove a negative.

Prove that!

Re:Oklahoma? (-1, Troll)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094173)

Oklahoma - making the Vatican look like a leftist hellhole!

I'm amazed at the stupidity among Americans who think they can "deny" evolution. Why don't you try to deny gravity too? Fucking morons! The whole damn central USA is third world religious dump!

Re:Oklahoma? (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094413)

so tough guy, you want to write off a huge swath of real estate because of the actions of one state legislature. if you were interested in anything other than smearing anyone who doesn't live on a coast you could easily find information about the diversity of opinions throughout the country.

where do you come from, let's give someone the chance to lump you in with your neighbors.

Re:Oklahoma? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094633)

so tough guy, you want to write off a huge swath of real estate because of the actions of one state legislature.

Oh, FFS. If you want to ignore shit that's been going on in Kansas, Texas and many other states just to make your precious little point, knock yourself out. Just don't expect anyone to take your argument seriously.

Fucking parsers.

Re:Oklahoma? (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094355)

Hearing the Wingnuts for Jesus attack all who dare disagree with their dumbass superstitions as a threat it "diversity" is like hearing the thunder after seeing the lightning: fully expected random noise. Ho hum.

Can of worms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27093861)

3, 2, 1, commence comments.

Re:Can of worms... (5, Funny)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094251)

Can of worms? With the Vatican, we get a Diet of Worms!

Dumb Summary (4, Informative)

Liselle (684663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093893)

Summary is stupid. The reading of this resolution just looks like it "condemns" Dawkins, it's not going to "silence" him or boot him out of the state or any other such nonsense.

Re:Dumb Summary (5, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093947)

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.
THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories which is the approach that a public institution should be engaged in and which represents the desire and interest of the citizens of Oklahoma."

The OK House is clearly encouraging the University not to allow him to speak. Quite strongly.

Re:Dumb Summary (2, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094167)

Strongly encouraging does not equate to legislating. I highly doubt that the Oklahoma State government would hold back funding from the university next year if they went ignored.

Re:Dumb Summary (0, Flamebait)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094309)

Forcing students out of this state looks like a definite plus for their education.

Re:Dumb Summary (3, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094645)

We had something vaguely similar happen over in Virginia last year. The college president refused to censor a controversial event, and also refused to allow religious icons to be displayed in public rooms that weren't being used for religious services.

The budget didn't get cut*, though a few administrators lost their jobs shortly afterward for "undisclosed reasons."

(*Actually, the budget did get cut, and by a substantial amount. However, this was because the state's currently broke)

Hasn't sopped them from floating ass-backward legislation again. There's a bill currently before the senate to cap out-of-state enrollment at 20%, which would either drive most of the state's universities into insolvency, or raise tuition to absurd ($60k+) levels.

Fun times all around! I can't wait to graduate, and move the hell away from here.

Re:Dumb Summary (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094177)

Not to mention that it probably won't stop there.

If they can intimidate and/or legislate pro-evolution and/or anti-religion out of the state then you can expect OK to plunge into the dark ages and other states will try and follow suit.

Disingenuous BS (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094279)

...the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories...

This, and the bit about cultural diversity is BS pure and simple. If they didn't have a problem with scientific theories then Dawkins wouldn't be a problem to them.

Re:Dumb Summary (4, Insightful)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094451)

Include the next 2 paragraphs though and you can see what this actually has them doing.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories which is the approach that a public institution should be engaged in and which represents the desire and interest of the citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the University of Oklahoma, the Dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Oklahoma, and the Chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.

(bolding is mine)
They're sending a strongly worded letter. That's it. This is a complete non-story and the sort of symbolic political crap that pols do so they can send out fund raising letters to the fundies saying how they fought the darwinists without actually having to do anything. If they're preventing him from speaking that's an issue but there's nothing here that at all suggests that.

Re:Dumb Summary (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093957)

Still stupid. Not like they don't have real problems they could be trying to solve, rather than trying to condemn a guy for saying mean things about their imaginary friend.

When you're more conservative than the Vatican, there is a problem.

Re:Dumb Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094003)

Oh yeah, like passing a state bill condemning a guy for the Theory of Evolution instead of the correct thing (Flying Spaghetti Monster) is some "such nonsense". Do you even think before you post?

I'm only posting as AC because of your marvelous sig.

Re:Dumb Summary (3, Interesting)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094005)

Yes, the bill is simply to send a nasty letter to the university president, nothing more. There is no "legal action".

Re:Dumb Summary (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094085)

The full resolution asked for Dawkins invitation be rescinded. Moreover, Note that they are unhappy because Dawkins views are "offensive". Furthermore, this is the watered down resolution. The original draft included language attacking the the university's "one-sided indoctrination of an unproven and unpopular theory" among other fun statements. See http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/03/the_first_draft_of_ok_legislat.php [scienceblogs.com] To me the most disturbing thing is the repeated emphasis in both the original draft and the passed version on the lack of popular support for evolution. These people really don't understand how either science or government should work.

Conceptual domains (1, Interesting)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094193)

The theory of evolution is the natural product of the application of the scientific method. That doesn't make it true. It just makes it the product of the scientific method. When you want to talk about products of the scientific method, evolution is on the menu.

The theory of creation is the natural product of theological studies of specific scriptures. That doesn't make it true. It just makes it the product of theological studies of specific scriptures. When you want to talk about products of theological studies of specific scriptures, the theory of creation is on the menu.

So what's the big deal? Someone holds that the products of the scientific method are facts whereas the products of theological studies of specific scriptures are myths? Well that opinion precedes any discussion of the products of these methods. We can intelligently discuss both of them while reserving any statements about our more foundational metaphysical assumptions.

But, sadly, most people just aren't broad-minded enough to recognize the relationship between metaphysical assumptions, belief systems, and truth. So they get all intimidated whenever they talk to anyone who has a different metaphysical assumption, and to stupid stuff like this.

Maybe someday the majority will grow out of this habit. But I doubt it will be any day soon.

Re:Conceptual domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094571)

It is indeed a fact the both evolutionary theory and creationism are the products of their own schools of thought. And although we can say that this fact does not automatically make either one true, there is one crucial difference between these two ideas.

When both ideas are subjected to a reality test, creationism falls flat on its face. Evolution by natural selection does not.

Sadly, some people are not broad-minded enough to know that while keeping an open mind is an admirable trait, one should not keep it so open that one's brain falls out.

OU Student Here (5, Insightful)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093897)

OMFG! This is after we had to put up with giant anti-abortion posters on campus during the presidential election week that just happened to have horrid pictures of late-term abortions that are already illegal everywhere as far as I know anyway. WTF. It's been a given for a long time that I'm leaving after graduating, but OK continues to find ways to make me worry less about what I leave behind.

Re:OU Student Here (-1, Flamebait)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094007)

Correct me if I am wrong, but are you saying that you were offended by posters of late term abortions, but are actually for the act itself? If the poster offends you, how can the act NOT offend you. That would be like saying you are offended by goatse but are A-O.K. with gay marriage.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094087)

I really, really hope parent was satire.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094109)

Reading comprehension. Obtaining some may help in not looking quite utterly retarded.

Re:OU Student Here (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094111)

I don't think he is, and I'm having trouble working out where you got that idea from.

Unless US English has some _very_ different meanings for some of those words to English English?

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094115)

It can't be that hard to read and comprehend the OPs post, can it?

Re:OU Student Here (1)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094131)

I'm against wasting people's appetite for engaging important issues by disgusting them with something that's irrelevant, especially in the context of Oklahoma law, where such abortions are undoubtedly illegal. When people go on being angry about something after it's already addressed, it's like their only purpose from the beginning was to be angry and they just needed something to latch onto.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094145)

Are you in favor of medical surgery? If so, are you comfortable being unpredictably confronted in public with graphic images of it?

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094245)

Yes, and no.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094269)

Congrats on trivialising such a big debate into "agree or disagree". That's no different to calling war protesters unpatriotic because they "dont support" troops.

We live in shades of grey, not black or white.

Consider where your tolerance (luma?) level hits your personal threshold. I hedge that it differs greatly between people who are easy to emotionally charge and those who think things through and come to their own conclusions.

I fear for those who have their own opinions hijacked and forcefully molded into black and white - whether by a family or religious system alike. ... but hey, I'm not American. In Europe we teach awareness of pretty everything. Even... *gasp*... religion: practice, principles and beliefs.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094369)

He's saying that using pictures of late term abortions to outlaw short term abortions is disingenuous.
    Stop trying to speculate on his beliefs in order to discredit him. Just because he finds it dishonest to use those posters against a different degree of abortion doesn't mean he's for what's happening in those posters.
    Some people do believe in truth you know.

Re:OU Student Here (5, Insightful)

xutopia (469129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094447)

Anti-abortionist take an unreasonable approach to limit abortion. They feel as though a bunch of cells that cannot possibly have a consciousness yet have the same human value as a late term fetus. I'm pro-choice up until the point where the fetus develops a conscious brain. When anti-abortionists put up pictures of late term abortions they build a straw man and misrepresent me. It's disingenuous and offends me.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094515)

late term abortion is only legal if the mother's life is in danger. which do you like better, dead fetuses or dead mothers?

Re:OU Student Here (0, Troll)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094045)

Indeed! It seems that OK goes out of its way to become more backwards, more stupid, and more poor (by "inviting" smart people out) every time you look at it. What can I tell you... they seem to deserve their condition.

Re:OU Student Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094361)

Not all of us are right wing redneck morons but sadly, most are. I cringe every time I see Tom Coburn on CNN. Oh, and OSU rules! We'll let Dawkins give his speech here. :)

Re:OU Student Here (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094103)

horrid pictures of late-term abortions that are already illegal everywhere as far as I know anyway

By what reasoning? Child snuff porn?

Re:OU Student Here (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094305)

Unless you were being sarcastic, I'm pretty sure he was talking about the late term abortion procedure being illegal, not the photos of the results being illegal . . .

Re:OU Student Here (0, Flamebait)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094381)

First the facts insofar as I am able to find, then my opinion.

Although 36 of 50 states have bans on late-term abortions they are still performed routinely. We must concede that any such attempt to put a number on this is fraught with statistical peril due to the fact that abortions are covered under privacy laws. However, just to get a general feel - Wikipedia cites that the CDC believes that some 1.4% of all abortions are performed late term or after 20 weeks. If this is accurate then the best estimates would indicate that some 700,000 late-term abortions have been performed in the US since roe v. wade.

Now my opinion: The 700,000 figure is based on nearly 50 million abortions performed since Roe v. Wade. Although this exact figure is disputed heavily by both left and right wing sides of the argument they both generally agree that some 25 - 33 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. If you consider that 11 million people died in the Holocaust the math necessitates ought give even the coldest of individuals pause to consider at what point an embryo is a baby - i.e. a human being. Such inquiry is the same sort of foolishness that slave traders were guilty of, namely, marginalizing the humanity of a people group they don't understand.

So, my opinion, put bluntly. It's murder - it is always murder. Concerning the posters: be offended by the pictures, that's the point. It may seem tasteless but it is done for the reason that we remember the Holocaust. The difference in this case is that the conflict is not obscured by history or geography, but imminent.

The University versus the legislature (1)

Doublejaay (1309121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093911)

The University is a bit more liberal than most of the state. But the legislature is simply the largest collection of morons outside of the District of Columbia.

Re:The University versus the legislature (5, Funny)

kenj0418 (230916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094135)

Really, what do you expect from the Oklahoma legislature anyway -- they're all descended from a bunch of apes anyway.

Creationism was created as a childish response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27093915)

The Muslim creationist Harun Yahya, most famous for his Atlas of Creation, also complained about not being invited.

The only reason creationism came about was as a knee-jerk reaction to the origin of species anyway. The difference of course is there's no science behind it whatsoever, instead trying to apply scientific fact from stories a thousand years old.

Re:Creationism was created as a childish response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27093953)

Saying it as "there's no science behind it whatsoever" is an insult to science. There's not a single brain cell behind it.

Re:Creationism was created as a childish response (-1, Troll)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094169)

And technically speaking, Dawkins supports the idea of creationism, so long as lifeforms myseriously grew on the back of a fucking crystal, or an intergalactic bukkake fertilized the planet.

Re:Creationism was created as a childish response (4, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094289)

Dawkins supports the idea of creationism, so long as lifeforms myseriously grew on the back of a fucking crystal, or an intergalactic bukkake fertilized the planet.

Um... no.

Toward the end of his interview with me, Stein asked whether I could think of any circumstances whatsoever under which intelligent design might have occurred. It's the kind of challenge I relish, and I set myself the task of imagining the most plausible scenario I could. I wanted to give ID its best shot, however poor that best shot might be. I must have been feeling magnanimous that day, because I was aware that the leading advocates of Intelligent Design are very fond of protesting that they are not talking about God as the designer, but about some unnamed and unspecified intelligence, which might even be an alien from another planet. Indeed, this is the only way they differentiate themselves from fundamentalist creationists, and they do it only when they need to, in order to weasel their way around church/state separation laws. So, bending over backwards to accommodate the IDiots ("oh NOOOOO, of course we aren't talking about God, this is SCIENCE") and bending over backwards to make the best case I could for intelligent design, I constructed a science fiction scenario. Like Michael Ruse (as I surmise) I still hadn't rumbled Stein, and I was charitable enough to think he was an honestly stupid man, sincerely seeking enlightenment from a scientist. I patiently explained to him that life could conceivably have been seeded on Earth by an alien intelligence from another planet (Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel suggested something similar -- semi tongue-in-cheek). The conclusion I was heading towards was that, even in the highly unlikely event that some such 'Directed Panspermia' was responsible for designing life on this planet, the alien beings would THEMSELVES have to have evolved, if not by Darwinian selection, by some equivalent 'crane' (to quote Dan Dennett). My point here was that design can never be an ULTIMATE explanation for organized complexity. Even if life on Earth was seeded by intelligent designers on another planet, and even if the alien life form was itself seeded four billion years earlier, the regress must ultimately be terminated (and we have only some 13 billion years to play with because of the finite age of the universe). Organized complexity cannot just spontaneously happen. That, for goodness sake, is the creationists' whole point, when they bang on about eyes and bacterial flagella! Evolution by natural selection is the only known process whereby organized complexity can ultimately come into being. Organized complexity -- and that includes everything capable of designing anything intelligently -- comes LATE into the universe. It cannot exist at the beginning, as I have explained again and again in my writings. [richarddawkins.net]

Re:Creationism was created as a childish response (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094375)

I wish i had mod points today so I could rate your post up, and the one you were responding to down...

Wow. Just wow. (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093945)

Has anyone in the Oklahoma heard of the First Amendment? Cultural diversity? WTF does cultural diversity have to to do with science, anyway? Free speech was intended to protect offensive speech. This should apply especially when said offensive speech is based on solid scientific evidence.

Re:Wow. Just wow. (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094039)

ok let me tell you one thing, these people that are putting this threw are politicians if they can stop one man from speaking then they can slowly tweak it to shut up anyone that's not a part of the government. It doesnt matter what the item is, its just the start of a landslide.

Re:Wow. Just wow. (1)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094083)

To answer your question, yes, there probably are a few folks in the Bible Belt states who embrace intellectual thought, diversity, etc. The noisy, white, fundamentalist faction, however, does not want to even think about those things. Alas, they have the ear of enough elected officials to make a mess of things, miring government with stupid, dogma-driven debate and laws.

Re:Wow. Just wow. (2, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094353)

Has anyone in the Oklahoma heard of the First Amendment? Cultural diversity? WTF does cultural diversity have to to do with science, anyway?.

That's a nice buzzword to make people who oppose their actions appear intolerant and narrow minded. Ignorance is now part of that vast cultural diversity that we must all respect.

Of course, the legislature ignores that Catholic teachings allow for the coexistence of evolution and creation; after all we can not fathom how God accomplishes his goals. One is faith, the other science and neither need be exclusive.

Of course, many of those same legislators might not consider Catholics Christian (and no, that's not sarcasm but experience).

They Have A Point (-1, Troll)

Hubec (28321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093959)

Richard Dawkins does "demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking". I see him as the atheist's Rush Limbaugh.

Re:They Have A Point (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094047)

And why is Rush Limbaugh (or any other controversial figure) allowed to have a radio show? Because of a little thing called 'The First Amendment', which protects his right to speak his own views, no matter whether you agree with them or not.

Re:They Have A Point (0)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094155)

And why is Rush Limbaugh (or any other controversial figure) allowed to have a radio show? Because of a little thing called 'The First Amendment', which protects his right to speak his own views, no matter whether you agree with them or not.

Tell that to the Democratic Congressman who are trying to bring back the so-called "Fairness Doctrine"

Re:They Have A Point (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094467)

Actually, I think the Democrats in Congress voted with the Republicans 89-11 to prevent the FCC from re-instating the Fairness Doctrine. However, they're planning on forcing radio stations toward local minority ownership (read 'Democrat supporters'). Once they've forced the radios to sell to Democrat friendly owners, the decision to cut Limbaugh and Hannity became a 'business decision' instead of government censorship.

Re:They Have A Point (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094165)

I don't recall Dawkins ever being out-and-out insulting to theists in general.

Maybe he was and he did it with such class that I missed it.

Re:They Have A Point (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094231)

The small exposure I've had to him (a documentary he did supposedly on Darwinism) portrayed him as a fundamentalist nutbar intent on dismissing and arguing with people who are trying to have a reasonable conversation.

Were I an impartial viewer, I'd have come away seeing the Church as the more reasonable and rational movement, and this fervent 'darwinism' as quite worrying and deluded.

So I've not seen him being particularly insulting to theists, I suppose, but he's hardly doing anything for atheism.

Re:They Have A Point (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094179)

Agreed, being a militant atheist (one who aggressively attacks people's beliefs as well as the people themselves) is no better than being a militant creationist (one who aggressively attacks people's beliefs as well as the people themselves).

Re:They Have A Point (5, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094183)

Indeed. Such intolerance for "diversity in thinking" could quickly lead us down the slippery slope to fact-based reasoning. This would be devastating to many a philosophy, religion, stereotype, and political stance. Must. Stop. Use. of. Scientific. Method. Yesterday.

Re:They Have A Point (2, Interesting)

damagemanual (1072736) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094293)

I totally agree with you. I just finished watching Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed last night. As an atheist, I was embarrassed after watching the final interview with him. He came off as pompous and ignorant.

Re:They Have A Point (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094365)

Richard Dawkins does "demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking". I see him as the atheist's Rush Limbaugh.

Apart from his pro-atheist writings, speeches and such, Dr. Dawkins actually does do real scientific research. He has published numerous papers, as well as a number of rather good easy-to-understand books on evolution.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. He isn't even a real politician.

So how is it exactly you can equate Limbaugh and Dawkins?

Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27093967)

I do believe the popular opinion has been proven wrong many times before. Why are we so adamant on enforcing it when in of itself it provides no proof except the idea existing. While other ideas provide ample proof of at least partial validity.
"demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma" couldn't this be considered intolerance as well? You are stopping a person from at least I'd think freedom of speech.
But hell I'm just being reasonable.

The forces of darkness (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093983)

The forces of darkness are conspiring to bring about a new dark age for the Humanity. Those people shall never be allowed to succeed; they shall be opposed by the mot vehement means possible. If religious people are so fond of discriminating against the non-religious, we, the enlightened atheists shall have no remorse in discriminating against the religious, and making it known publicly.

Re:The forces of darkness (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094295)

Please don't forget that it is a subset of "religious people" who are fighting to discredit science and impose their beliefs via government and laws. There are plenty of religious people who don't support those more extreme views. Belief in God and a respect and enthusiasm for science are not mutually exclusive. Maybe you should try to be more careful about making that distinction when using your vehement means.

I guess the question is, are you fighting against anyone who believes in God, or are you fighting against people who use their beliefs to justify controlling other people? If it's the latter, then myself and many other people who believe in God will support you. If it's the former, then you're turning us into enemies.

Re:The forces of darkness (3, Insightful)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094339)

enlightened atheists shall have no remorse in discriminating against the religious, and making it known
That word, I don't think it means what you think it means. And if you were so truly enlightened you recognize how two wrongs do not make a right, or the irony of your dogmatic discrimination against those who disagree with you.

Evolution isn't the issue with Dawkins (5, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27093987)

Evolution or no evolution, I think Dawkins is unlikely to speak at the Vatican any time soon. His being an atheist and an advocate for atheism is the main reason. They'd sooner invite Lucifer; at least he believes in God.

Re:Evolution isn't the issue with Dawkins (5, Funny)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094065)

Unfortunately, however, Lucifer's social calendar is jammed solid, and he is unlikely to respond to any speaking engagement requests.

Re:Evolution isn't the issue with Dawkins (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094317)

Is belief in God still a requirement of Catholicism?

Re:Evolution isn't the issue with Dawkins (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094479)

Is belief in God still a requirement of Catholicism?

Yes, but not Church of England.

1st Amendment... (0, Troll)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094013)

...Right to free speech?
Why would the government of Oklahoma want to silence an individual on his beliefs or his views of Evolution? It sounds like to me that they are trying to stuff a sock into his mouth to keep him quiet regarding this.

I believe that everybody should have a right to speak on whatever subject they want to speak on. Makes no sense to me...

Funny misreading (0)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094019)

I read that as "Oklahoma, Vulcan Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution".

Re:Funny misreading (1)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094153)

I read it without the comma, as in "Oklahoma Vatican..."

The Vatican: now with a convenient location near you!

Awesome (0, Troll)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094023)

This is how it ideally should be in society. Scientists shouldn't be afraid of exploring faith, Theologians shouldn't be afraid of science. Banning Dawkins is horrible, but I understand why people don't like him.

His science has become his religion, which ticks off people who's religion has become their science.

Re:Awesome (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094455)

"His science has become his religion, ..."
That makes no damn sense.

Re:Awesome (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094557)

The Catholic Church currently has a pretty open minded view of science. It's interesting to see them hosting a conference like this because on the surface it flies in the face of religious belief. Too often it's cast as an either/or scenario when there's no real reason for science and faith to conflict - if you look at it the right way. I've heard of scientists taking the view that science is merely a way to explore God's creation. The method still works regardless of how you ground it.

All too often people cite science to trump religion which seems just as intolerant as hard-core creationism. How long after they found out that Santa Claus wasn't really just a guy in a red suit did they realize that God wasn't just a bearded dude in a robe?

I wonder... (1)

HCLogo (1077495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094159)

What are the odds that these various religions representatives will invite Mr. Dawkins to speak at their events? Not a chance? Well, doesn't that "demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking"?

Mars (2, Funny)

ezwip (974076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094239)

Everyone knows we came here after we destroyed Mars.

Vatican. (4, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094241)

Not surprised by the latter one. Catholic teaching has leaned hard towards "Science is 'what' and 'how.' God is 'why.'" for a long time now.

Re:Vatican. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094385)

There is quite a bit of "what" and "how" in the Bible.

Re:Vatican. (1)

Ann O'Nymous-Coward (460094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094439)

Pity so much of it is wrong.

Re:Vatican. (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094581)

What are you trying to say?

The Catholic Church doesn't take entire Bible literally. Compared to American Christianity as a whole, the Church is pretty centrist for the most part.

My only problem with Dawkins is.. (3, Insightful)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094247)

I admire his works and his point of view, but I find a lot of the time he can be callously disrespectful and religiously athiest. I'm an athiest myself but I find his pushy nature to be a bit much soemtimes.

I feel the way he handles some questions and situations doesn't help his cause.

Re:My only problem with Dawkins is.. (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094485)

I find a lot of the time he can be callously disrespectful and religiously atheist.

Having seen him many times, the only offense he may have committed is *not* entertaining the rediculous notion that a god exists without any proof.

It is very hard for people to accept atheists simply because we DON'T believe. That is not being religious at all.

I don't have to be tolerant of the belief in Zeus. I can see flat out, it is bunk. There is no god Zeus, and no one will be offended.

If I say, there is no god and I will not entertain any such nonsense, people are irrational. They will say I am intolerant. I submet it is they who are intolerant as they don't have any credible evidence to even support their nonsense. I'm just calling it as I see it, and they are expecting special treatment for their own neurosis.

Re:My only problem with Dawkins is.. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094527)

I think his 'pushy' nature is much needed to get the truth about what an atheist is. i.e. a regular person with ethics.

Atheists need to stop letting other people force their beliefs on us, all the time. I can't see how to do that and not be perceived as 'pushy'.

Re:My only problem with Dawkins is.. (1)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094629)

Perhaps, I just find that when people push their ideas onto me I reject them even more, so I think some of his methods would be ignored by religious folk just because of his method.

Re:My only problem with Dawkins is.. (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094545)

What's disrespectful about his point of view? Does he make fun of religious people? Pointing out that their beliefs are ludicrous is one thing. He's not calling them stupid or retarded when doing so. I offend smokers when I tell them they are smoking in a spot they aren't allowed to. Is it my intention to offend them? No. It's their fault for smoking there in the first place.

Re:My only problem with Dawkins is.. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094639)

Well yes, but that wasn't mentioned in the resolution. It was purely an attempt to regulate what science is discussed openly.

Now consider that the two leading Republicans in contention for the next presidential election support teaching of ID or Creationism.

The Earth is Flat (0)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094319)

The publicly perceived "intolerance" demonstrated by Dawkins is simply a misinterpretation. From Dawkins' point of view, the belief in a god is analogous to a stubborn belief that the world is flat. Continuing the analogy, which, in my opinion, is VERY representative, why would any *SCHOOL* condemn someone for speaking on behalf of their very logical, objective arguments against a flat world? Their reason for doing so is that they encourage "free thinking".

The hypocrisy is quite literally boggling my mind, but the framers of such a bill would most likely fail to accept such a logical idea as hypocrisy.

Meh. (4, Insightful)

nukeade (583009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094341)

On the plus side, the resolution isn't forbidding that Dawkins speak. Unfortunately, it is a thinly veiled threat to the president of the university that funding or job could be on the line if he lets Dawkins speak.

"Whereas the University of Oklahoma is a publicly funded university..."

I read that the US has lost 650,000 jobs in the last month. Maybe enough bad debt, cold and hunger will finally get people to realize that real science can be a vehicle to productive jobs and accept that their 6000 year old Earth hypothesis doesn't hold water.

~Ben

Re:Meh. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094561)

r they will keep there mouths shut because religious people are assholes who see any behavior that furthers their views as ok an so getting a atheist fired is "The Right Thing To Do".

Pastafarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27094475)

I for one welcome our new noodly master and inquire why he didn't have a representative invited as well ;)

Let the idiot speak (0, Troll)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094489)

He doesn't deserve all the free publicity your giving him.

Obligatory FSM (2, Funny)

headkase (533448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27094591)

Ok, assuming that his Flying Spaghettiness Herself didn't just create the Universe 30 seconds ago with our memories of anything beyond that being created as well... Either that or we are "memories" in the FSM and She has been too lazy to create the Universe yet. Yeah, or something like that. But anyway!, Consider Evolution: all it says is things that change over time tend to change like "this" whether you're talking about a particular species or a mountain-range. Think of the moment our Universe first condensed from pure energy. This was "Eden", a purity of representation - just hydrogen which went on to fuel the first stars and the fusion reactions within them later on created the "crusty" stuff in the Universe: all the other elements. Everything you can see except hydrogen was once in a star. Evolution is a selection process, according to the laws of our Universe's constants some things will be more reproductive than others and the same constants allow for lower energy-states to create higher-ones with there always being a little net energy that slipped through the molecules radiating off everything. The Evolution of our Universe has taken thirteen billion years to produce us. Big number. Um, no, think of how many billions of years are ahead for our Universe (not necessarily including us). There is a lot more Evolution left to go. Consider the far future: say another twenty billion years. If you or I were to be transplanted through time to that distance we would probably be eaten by the first grasshopper to come along. Things will get more efficient. It has to to make up for the overall increase in Entropy. Now consider that if our Universe will have an end wouldn't that final state define a "calculation" it was performing? And if you want to get metaphysical then you could say that maybe God was there waiting for our Universe to tell Him what it was. The End of time is "Judgment Day" and its predators-against-prey to decide the final representation of our Universe.
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