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Evolution Battle Brews In Texas

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence dept.

Education 916

oxide7 writes "In Texas, a battle is brewing over the teaching of evolutionary theory as the Board of Education considers a new set of instructional materials to be used in science classrooms. [Two sections of the new material] deal with the origin of life. Those sections say the 'null hypothesis' is that there had to be some intelligent agency behind the appearance of living things. It is up to the scientists proposing a naturalistic explanation to prove their case."

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sad isn't it ? (5, Insightful)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060520)

that we have to spend time and effort keeping creationism from being taught as "science" in the
21st century.

Do people in this country really understand that the right wing religious nut-cases are out to make this
country a theocracy ? American taliban indeed.

Re:sad isn't it ? (4, Insightful)

vivian (156520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060552)

I went to a religious school which had no problem teaching the theory of evolution in science class AND teaching the Adam and Eve/Genesis thing in religious classes (of course we spend most of our time in religious classes colouring stuff in and generally mucking around, while we go to do experiments and other fun stuff in science lass). Why cant they just do this in Texas?

Re:sad isn't it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060802)

Did they wrongly teach that each theory is as valid as the other?

Re:sad isn't it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060850)

There isn't religious class in Texas public schools.

Re:sad isn't it ? (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060886)

Because apparently making up your own mind is not something that many people want.

And from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution [wikipedia.org]
In addition, while he was the Vatican's chief astronomer, Fr. George Coyne, issued a statement on 18 November 2005 saying that "Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Re:sad isn't it ? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060890)

They can. Religious schools are free to do whatever the fuck they want on their own dime.

Taking tax money meant for public education and using it to proselytize? No. Absolutely not. Taxes should not be used for religious purposes. Believe what you want, but pay for it yourself and keep it to yourself.

Teaching Adam and Eve along side of Darwin, implying they're equally credible or even the same subject? No. Absolutely not. That's absurd. Creationism and intelligent design are fundamentally anti-scientific. "The only way to understand any of this is to believe what we tell you" is as far from science as you can get. You may as well teach "intelligent math" in math class and teach kids that 2+2=4, but some people believe that addition is not true, and 2 and 2 will always be 2 and 2, never 4.

Already most students will never consider the evidence for and against evolution on their own, so for them, evolution is already more faith than science. There are a variety of reasons for that. I sincerely think that teaching science and religion in the same breath will confuse them even further. We'll take a giant step back from being a scientific culture, and a giant step toward ignorance.

Re:sad isn't it ? (2, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060562)

Sad, depressing, relentless. And our education system is constantly under attack.
Sigh. Maybe we should just give up and welcome the middle ages back. We live in a feudal system anyway.

Re:sad isn't it ? (4, Insightful)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060662)

It's bizarre that the US is trying to fight off the middle ages and loopy religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan, but is so eagerly rushing to it at home!

Thank [insert name of imaginary friend] we don't have that sort of barking mad fundamenatlism in Australia!

Re:sad isn't it ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060818)

The sad truth is that most Americans aren't opposed to what the Taliban are doing, but the religion the Taliban represent. Don't believe for a second that given the chance American Christians wouldn't have their own version of sharia.

Re:sad isn't it ? (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060586)

    You seem to fail to see the real problem.

    The majority of citizens have taken the word of their respective cults as reality, and fail to recognize anything factual. Factual evidence is passed off as garbage, and ancient fairy tales are the truth. Worse, they don't even cite their own fairy tales properly, and continue to spew more recent urban legends that have been adopted by the cult majority as fact.

    It is an amazingly sad state of affairs, that the majority of the population have become so complacent in following the lies, that they no longer think for themselves.

    I am now a resident of the certifiably most insane nation in the world, which unfortunately also possesses the largest quantity and most dangerous weapons in the world.

Re:sad isn't it ? (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060672)

It's mindboggling. And i'm very glad i don't have to live in that country. But surely there are still enough rational people in the US to put up a reasonable battle against the loonies? Or have all the sane people given up and retreated into apathy?

Re:sad isn't it ? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060708)

    We haven't given up, but more than 75% of the population are such cultists. Demanding logic and sanity has become much like a black man walking into a KKK meeting and demanding equal rights. What would you give his life expectancy?

Re:sad isn't it ? (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060786)

but more than 75% of the population are such cultists.

Yet the outcome of popular elections (see Bush v Gore, c. 11/2000, et al.) are regularly contested. If 75% of people were 'cultists', as you call those who follow an organized religion (of which are not all zealots), then when it comes to politics, their brainwashed masses would pretty well dictate the political discourse with relative ease. They all drank the same Kool-Aid, right?

Re:sad isn't it ? (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060788)

>>We haven't given up, but more than 75% of the population are such cultists.

Don't confuse fundamentalists (your cultists) with mainstream religions. There's no contradiction between being a Christian and a scientist, though there certainly are problems when fundies try to become scientists.

Don't confuse cults with religions either - atheist bigotry aside, they're two very different things.

Re:sad isn't it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060848)

>>We haven't given up, but more than 75% of the population are such cultists.

Don't confuse fundamentalists (your cultists) with mainstream religions. There's no contradiction between being a Christian and a scientist, though there certainly are problems when fundies try to become scientists.

Don't confuse cults with religions either - atheist bigotry aside, they're two very different things.

There is every condradiction between being a christian and a scientist. You cant be selective with your rational thinking and the application of the scientific method. Pretty much any belief in any part of the bible is a contradicion of science and rational thinking. If you belive that jesus is the son of god (and that is what a christian is) then that makes your thinking process very flawed.

Re:sad isn't it ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060856)

The difference between cult and religion lies in the number of followers. Don't forget that Christianity began as a crazy doomsday cult.

Re:sad isn't it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060878)

>>We haven't given up, but more than 75% of the population are such cultists.

Don't confuse fundamentalists (your cultists) with mainstream religions. There's no contradiction between being a Christian and a scientist, though there certainly are problems when fundies try to become scientists.

Don't confuse cults with religions either - atheist bigotry aside, they're two very different things.

>>We haven't given up, but more than 75% of the population are such cultists.

Don't confuse fundamentalists (your cultists) with mainstream religions. There's no contradiction between being a Christian and a scientist, though there certainly are problems when fundies try to become scientists.

Don't confuse cults with religions either - atheist bigotry aside, they're two very different things.

Exactly. The thing that makes them _very_ different is that a religion is a cult with a _very_ large following.

Re:sad isn't it ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060768)

But surely there are still enough rational people in the US to put up a reasonable battle against the loonies? Or have all the sane people given up and retreated into apathy?

Fighting this involves announcing any atheistic tendencies which opens you up to many forms of the only legally allowable form of prejudice left.

Re:sad isn't it ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060588)

One of the widespread effects of Texas's decision is that they represent a large enough proportion of school book sales to influence what goes into school science books nationwide

We all have an interest in what gets decided in Texas if we want to ward off the creati-ban

Re:sad isn't it ? (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060872)

ONE person can fake up a theory that immunizations cause autism in an effort to make himself rich, and thousands will believe him. What makes you think creationism would be any different. People believe whatever they want, even when there is a total lack of evidence or even if the evidence is easily proven to be fraud. They just want someone they can blame, or someone they can sue, as long as they can make it so it isn't their own fault.

Oh dear (no) god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060536)

Someone needs to look up the definition of "burden of proof". It lies with the Creationists, not with the scientists.

Re:Oh dear (no) god (0)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060794)

Even if the burden of proof lay with the scientists, they would still win easily. The Bible would probably be considered hearsay.

False Opposites (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060538)

The whole debate is based upon a false opposite based logic matrix. Big dinosaurs can intelligently remove a species because they taste nice for example, or they are a pest by biting their necks. I think I've made my point!

The earth is round, p .05 (4, Informative)

Palmsie (1550787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060540)

Really? It sounds like someone from the board of education had a sit down with a statistician and thought it would sound cool to throw in the null because, for some reason, ID is the default explanation for the origin of species. I mean, this isn't a bad thing considering the vast amount of evidence in support of natural selection, ultimately suggesting that we can confidently reject the null.

They also may want to take a look at Jacob Cohen's classic paper, 'the world is round, p .05' for more information about the current Fisherian statistical paradigm we currently exist in and what it means to establish a null (and ultimately reject or fail to reject it).

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060684)

It is a bad thing because in the scientific world we don't use the default of "some magic being created it" if we don't understand it. Science is about study and practise in order to uncover an understanding of the truth. At no stage should any scientific baseline start with the unicorns did it.

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (5, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060726)

    In a theology class, a respected Reverend said "Religion is simple mans way of explaining what he doesn't understand".

    Over the next several sessions, he covered various cultural and religious beliefs by groups from around the world.

    I had known him for years, but it wasn't until that day that I realized, he wasn't a leading member of the church to preach the word of god. He was a leading member of the church to help people who couldn't grasp the fact that there are things we don't fully understand yet. He wasn't preaching the "truth" in gospel. He was helping them from being scared of the unknown.

    Unfortunately, there are too many people who take these fairy tales that were intended to help them not be scared, and demand everyone understand it as the truth.

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (0)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060772)

>>"Religion is simple mans way of explaining what he doesn't understand".

Religion is... not that. Primitive religions, maybe, or people primitive in their thinking. (Which, to be fair, includes a lot of fundamentalist Christians.)

Atheists often try to reduce God to the God of the Gaps, which entirely ignores the code-of-ethics, -behavior, and -worship that actually makes up a religion.

Religion is not the empirical study of the world is. That's science.
Science is not the normative study of how the world should be. That's religion.

Confusing the two, on either side, leads to issues. Mengele, or Theocracy.

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060838)

Science is not the normative study of how the world should be. That's religion.

Nice concept, now seen as we are talking about what should be in a SCIENCE class, prove it!

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060858)

That's what religion was before people in charge realized they could bastardize it to fit their agendas.

Also,

Science is not the normative study of how the world should be. That's religion.

No, that's ethics.

the code-of-ethics, -behavior, and -worship that actually makes up a religion.

Tell that to the large portion of the US citizens that are religious yet have no problem supporting guns, the death penalty, and a war against people, the majority of whom are more or less indifferent to the matters of the states.

Why is it that so many religious people immediately assume atheists are cruel, heartless scumbags? You don't need to believe in a god to know right from wrong.

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060836)

I think we get it by now. You're anti-organised religion. Your awkward indentation clearly makes you an authority (who else indents?). But I don't think that's the goal of the discourse here.

Re:The earth is round, p .05 (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060832)

The problem with unicorns is that we don't always know we believe in them. Historically, the progress of Science is a shedding of preconceived notions rather than a building up of ideas from literally nothing.

It actually makes sense to label the gods (Zeus, Allah, Shiva, Yaveh etc) as the null hypothesis, or rather the mythology that defines them. From the Renaissance onwards however, Science has successfully rejected that null hypothesis to the point that it no longer makes sense to call the gods the null hypothesis today. So while eg the Christians still believe, serious people have long since moved on.

If some Texans want to call the gods the null hypothesis in schools, they should be forced to call it the discredited null hypothesis in the interest of historical accuracy.

I did the math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060846)

I did the math and the result is that the probability of the christian god, the unicorns and the flying spaghetti monster having created this world are all exactly the same. This is probably why the exclusion of other gods is one of the 10 commandments: They're all just as likely, so in the end each one of the gods is very unlikely.

Derp. (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060544)

That... That is a whole lotta derp right there, I tell you what.

Not Derp, Democracy. (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060690)

What the majority wants eventually wins. When there are no external threats, the majority will create its own scarecrows -- usually from the things they understand least. Modern science is high on that list, especially given the many "evil scientist" representations in what Wikipedia calls "modern culture".

I expect you to vote, Mr. Bond.

Re:Derp. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060724)

One submission has come from a company called International Databases, LLC. It's a one-man operation run by Stephen Sample, who says he has a degree in evolutionary biology and taught at the high school and junior college levels for 15 years. ...
Sample says [his null hypothesis] isn't stealth creationism - he says the intelligent agency might just as well be aliens. But he emphasizes that he wants students to learn to think critically, and that unlike the physical sciences, there aren't any experiments you can do to demonstrate evolutionary theory.

::facepalm::
The derp is strong with this one.

Re:Derp. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060800)

Well, his aliens are probably all grey with big eyes and have always been that way, unchanging. And never heard of bacteria or viruses.

Re:Derp. (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060840)

there aren't any experiments you can do to demonstrate evolutionary theory.

Carbon dating, anyone?

Re:Derp. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060882)

there aren't any experiments you can do to demonstrate evolutionary theory.

Carbon dating, anyone?

There are many experiments to demonstrate evolutionary theory. Selective breeding such as dogs, livestock or plants? Experiments involving evolutionary mutations witnessed in bacteria deprived of their usual nutrients but in the presence of alternative nutrients that they cannot yet process shows evolution on a macro scale quite nicely?

Null hypothesis my ass (4, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060546)

We scientifically-minded people have had a perfectly reasonable naturalistic explanation for the origin of life for a long time. No sir, the ball is in YOUR court to show that there is evidence for your intelligent design theory.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060604)

      Just to play their side (don't flame me for it)...

    "But, it's in the bible. The bible is the only truth. The bible says you are wrong."

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (3, Funny)

tgtanman (728257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060626)

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060640)

Can't you use this as a null hypothesis for everything?

Gravity? Our null hypothesis is God wills things to fall.
Earthquakes? Our null hypothesis is God wills the ground to shake.
Tides? The tide goes in, the tide goes out. Never a miscommunication.

If you can use it for everything, I think it is a pretty good sign that something is illogical about this way of thinking.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060666)

It's not illogical. The logic is simple: God is omnipotent; God made it so; therefore it is.

It's not scientific, because there is no credible evidence for those conjectures.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (3, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060682)

The fact there's currently no credible evidence for those conjectures isn't what makes them non-scientific, it's that there can't ever be.

Even if the conjectures were true, there's no way to test them. THAT's what makes them non-scientific.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060816)

You are correct. Thank you for calling me on it. :)

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

Filip22012005 (852281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060696)

No, it's not scientific because it can't be falsified.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060806)

Why not? I can falsify an existence of God, and falsify evidence that some of things mentioned above are actually false. It's not even hard, religions falsified "acts of God" since times before our history with things that naturally occur in nature and are predictable, like solar eclipses.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (4, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060812)

It's not illogical. The logic is simple: God is omnipotent; God made it so; therefore it is.

No, omnipotence is entirely illogical. For example, can God create a rock so heavy that even He could not lift it? If He can, then He's not omnipotent because there's a rock He can't lift. If He cannot, then He's not omnipotent because there's a rock He can't create.

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060876)

Simple: God uses his omnipotence to suspend logic and then does both at the same time :)

Re:Null hypothesis my ass (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060796)

Reasonable does not mean the position is correct. A creationist postion is also reasonable. The problem with both positions is that regarding the origin of life, neither can be proven because neither can be directly observed (short of a time machine). Strong empiricism bites both evolution and creation hard in the ass every time. Even if you could reproduce the "primordial soup" in a lab and successfully observe the genesis of life, that would fail to prove that a similar event actually took place in the distant past. It would certainly be a strong argument for the likelihood of the evolutionary origins theory, but it would fail to prove it. Likewise, unless you accept the validity of a given creation account, you're no closer to actually proving that the accepted account is correct. We should keep both evolution and creationism out of primary education all together and treat it where it belongs, at the higher levels of education where speculation, conjecture and the like are expected and encouraged to begin with.

Short, simple explanation: (4, Funny)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060558)

Creationists hate and fear anything different from what they were told to believe. They also breed and vote a lot.

Re:Short, simple explanation: (3, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060568)

They also breed and vote a lot.

But presumably they don't evolve?

Re:Short, simple explanation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060598)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Brilliant!

Re:Short, simple explanation: (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060624)

    When the family tree doesn't have any branches, it's hard to find useful evolutionary traits.

Re:Short, simple explanation: (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060852)

With a few billion people on the face of the Earth, even with high local population densities, the human race's family tree is a tangled mess of branches. There's bound to be a few evolutionary traits in there somewhere. Melanin comes to mind.

My null hypothesis ... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060570)

Those sections say the 'null hypothesis' is that there had to be some intelligent agency behind the appearance of living things.

... is that the phrase "intelligent agency" doesn't apply to the Texas Board of Ed. I might concede the possibility of divine intervention to cover the bases of what isn't known, but "had to be" is a bit much. Just my $.02. In related news, I thank my parents for not raising me in Texas.

This is not ok (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060572)

Democracy can only work with good education. The people voting are supposed to be able to make intelligent decisions.

This kind of thing is going to undermine our ability to govern ourselves and I cannot imagine something more insidious than corrupting children toward that end.

This must be stopped.

Re:This is not ok (5, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060762)

Education has never worked particularly well. For example, there was a huge effort in the second half of the 20th century to educate people and wean them off superstitions in the Soviet bloc. Since religions were largely suppressed officially, and high-school education with emphasis on physics and math was compulsory, it should have worked reasonably well. However, public education could not overcome superstitions, and there has been a steady presence of various magicians in public life -- from people who would heal you with magic, to politicians who would solve political problems or build nanotech industry with magic. Currently most if not all ex-Eastern bloc experience some sort of revival of religion, especially as a badge to counter the "Islamic threat".

And I doubt if education has worked very well in the US in the past 50 years as well -- IMHO the advances of science in the US were mostly due to brain drain, when the best brains from all over the world moved there to enjoy the rich life post WWII, and by the bias towards making better killing machinery that gave the said brains a little more money than is customary in the typical human society.

But when the knowledge is so much and so advanced that it is too hard to even grasp the basics without spending 10 years in higher education doing hard work and producing nothing obviously "valuable", it is no surprise that most people will find a simplified model of reality that helps them go on with their lives. It is even less surprising when they choose a model that is, on the face, largely compatible with the world they see every day and their way of thinking is deeply rooted in their past.

You Gotta Be Kidding Me (2)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060574)

Really?
I grew up in a religious household and I respect people for their views on creationism (although I do not agree, no matter how long you believe a "day" is), but evolution is just as plausible if not more so, because they have some evidence, not none(well besides an old book re-written a million times and re-worded just as many times).

From the article: "In 2009 the Texas Board of Education said that students should be taught "all sides" of current scientific theories."

but creationism isn't allowed because it's religious. I'm so confused.


Sorry Texas but stop your backwards ideas/views and join the real world

Re:You Gotta Be Kidding Me (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060688)

From the article: "In 2009 the Texas Board of Education said that students should be taught "all sides" of current scientific theories."

but creationism isn't allowed because it's religious. I'm so confused.

    That would imply that all theories, regardless of any evidence or factual basis, should be taught.

    Use of a book, commonly referenced to as "The Bible", which there are currently 190 modern versions of that I'm aware of, which all rooted from various oral traditions handed down over years, noted down, translated, re-translated (repeat ad nauseum), to which ever of the 190 modern versions you may have read an ancient fairy tale in.

    If it's truly necessary to discuss every unsubstantiated creation theory, all sides of the story should be taught. Not just all 190 versions from the "bible", but all creation legends according to all religions and cultures.

    Or we could stick with teaching substantiated facts. Nah, that would make way too much sense.

Re:You Gotta Be Kidding Me (1)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060830)

Isn't this where the Flying Spaghetti Monster came from? Created to point out that to teach all (possible non-scientific) theories is just ridiculous?

Re:You Gotta Be Kidding Me (0)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060870)

>> Use of a book, commonly referenced to as "The Bible", which there are currently 190 modern versions of that I'm aware of, which all rooted from various oral traditions handed down over years, noted down, translated, re-translated (repeat ad nauseum), to which ever of the 190 modern versions you may have read an ancient fairy tale in.

You make it sound like they are 190 different books. They're not.

Your statement was a common claim among atheists... until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Your argument is now 60 years out of date. The Isaiah scroll from Qumran was over 95% word-for-word identical to our modern texts (the earliest dating from 980AD), with the remaining 5% obvious typos or slips of the pen.

When people create a new English translation, they don't look at older English translations (except by way of comparison), as that would introduce a copy-of-a-copy problem. They look at the oldest available sources and retranslate it anew into contemporary language.

You are free to believe it is a book of fairy tales, but as an atheist you shouldn't believe such obvious factual falsehoods.

Re:You Gotta Be Kidding Me (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060716)

It's supposed to be confusing. The legal treatment of creationism always has to involve jumping through a few hoops and slight deception in order to wriggle around the first amendment and court precidents. The primary lie is to claim that creationism is a scientific theory and isn't religious at all, in order to avoid openly endorsing a religion. Intelligent Design was created for exactly that purpose - a varient of Creationism that didn't refer to God, but instead to some form of mysterious superintelligent near-omnipotent creator entity that may or may not be God, but certainly looked a lot like him.

Re:You Gotta Be Kidding Me (2)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060820)

creationism isn't allowed because it's religious. I'm so confused.

Why are you confused? You said it yourself: creationism is religious, which means it's not scientific, which means it's not a scientific theory, no matter how much creationists try to dress it up as one.

Reminder (4, Informative)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060592)

Evolutionary theory has fuck-all to do with abiogenisis.

Intelligent agency is the central question? (1)

kurthr (30155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060610)

It is patently absurd to think that an omniscient omnipotent creator could just 'evolve'.
Obviously, it was created by a multi-threaded Flying Spaghetti Monster... and the hypothesis in Null.
Only Null Pointers to the uninitialized FSM can be safely de-referenced, all others are void hypotheses .

Oh, wait... you meant hairless monkeys?
Most of them aren't intelligent enough to realize a self-inconsistent tautology when they see it.

Re:Intelligent agency is the central question? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060698)

The interesting part is now they have opened the door to "some intelligent agency", a lot of people are going to want some time and school book sales for their "intelligent agency".
Impressionable young people will face many charming people with persuasive ideas all under this new legal "intelligent agency" opening.
One God, one good God, one evil God, many Gods, fallen God, trapped God, ancestors, critters, demigods .. teachings of a cult hero.. teachings in "accepted" books are all of value now :)

naturalist need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060614)

naturalist need to provide proof? hello! pot calling kettle black here. How about one shed of proof for "intelligent" design?
Just because life is complex doesn't mean someone has to be behind it. Numerous evolutionary branches were not successful in creating man.. We are the product of success/failure of our predecessors.

I often wonder if "survival of the fittest" often applies to people some dumb, so ignorant they have to cloud their mind with useless mythology.
Sure, there could be an intelligent presence that shaped the world.. Is it likely? NO!

I can't imagine how this somehow bleed into schools. Especially in countries like usa.
This is dangerous. I wish someone would finish this argument and say, you can't have it both ways. If you don't want us meddling in religion you need to stay the !@#%%^ out of our schools. pure and simple. Spreading this type of ignorance is dangerous and counter productive to a decent, moral society

heh... (1)

cranil (1983560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060622)

Funny how this also has a explanation through evolution.

Hypocritical (1)

Stonz (2125850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060630)

How backwards is it that science's 'theory' is nothing more then that until is with out a doubt proven. Yet Creationism is apparently fact

still laughing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060632)

i remember years back when religious groups were against sex education. when asked how would their kids learn the B/B said they can watch the farm animals.

and i am still amazed religion has so many followers. laughing but amazed.

American Taliban (0)

caius112 (1385067) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060642)

Always nice to see the American Taliban hard at work...

Re:American Taliban (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060702)

Where's the like button on this goddam site???

they grok falsifiability! (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060646)

Hurray, they finally understand that their claims aren't falsifiable. Unfortunately, they still miss the point.

America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060650)

This is why America is dying

Evolution theory seems to be an excellent tool ... (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060652)

... to measure stupidity in general and religion-induced stupidity in particular.

The question remains why Texas seems to have such an unusually high percentage of religion-induced stupid people?

Fucking Luddites (2, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060656)

As far back as I can remember, I couldn't wait for the future to arrive and dreamed every night that I would wake up in the 23rd century. So here I am decades later, living in the 19th.

Does it matter? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060664)

Would there be any real loss to our public educational system if we just declined to teach anything about how the universe came to exist? The kids are going to believe whatever their parents tell them to believe for the most part anyway, and any of them that pursue careers where an accurate understanding of this subject is required will undoubtedly find it's covered in their higher education.

I say we refuse to let the public school system be used as a platform for any group's agenda by removing the material entirely.

I agree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060760)

Teachers will just do a fast, half ass job teaching evolution or intelligent design. The students won't be tested agressively, and the students will ignore it. Nothing will change.

Yes. It does matter. (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060782)

"I say we refuse to let the public school system be used as a platform for any group's agenda by removing the material entirely."

I don't think a "let's keep them ignorant for now" approach is the way to go here. The one thing creationists would love even more than teaching intelligent design is *not* teaching evolution.

monkeys... stupid one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060692)

Stupid monkeys...

3
2
1 ...and now they will cry about the monkey part!

retards! (1)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060700)

You atheists are absolute retards!

God says...
Fish observing name unseemly insolently rash unpermitted
counsel repress quoth denies rehearse pear plain teaching
hung knots wishes unceasing acquired thought scourged
lists

Abolish government schooling. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060710)

This issue will remain for as long as it is possible for anyone to dictate to anyone else what their children will be taught in schools. It's not just science versus superstition, it's also history versus propaganda.

-jcr

Re:Abolish government schooling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060774)

Wintertime go the fuck back to freerepublic.com

Confusion here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060718)

There's a confusion here between the what is being considered, effectively we a pitting the origin of species against the origin of life which it doesn't address, you can't fail a theory because it doesn't attempts to explain beyond its stated bounds:

Evolution is a theory on the 'origin of species'
against
'the default hypothesis for life's origin has to be that there was an intelligent agency involved"

Another problem is that in Science you can't just say that it happened by magic lalalalalalala, you have to attempt to explain the mechanisms that god used to create life otherwise the theory is not scientific because it is not reproducible,

The factual inaccuracies are a problem too, Amino acids have been created in many varying conditions as they have been found on both Meteor's and Jupiters satellites. Evolution is observable however given the time it takes to run the experiments - only in species that have a short life cycle (smaller subjects such as fruit flies or even better bacteria)

I think we have to continue to only teach Scientific theories in science class not 'it happened by magic'.

The null hypothesis is that we were always there (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060720)

Why wouldn't the null hypothesis be "people have always been basically the same as they are today"? Surely that was the null hypothesis that both evolution and creationism attempted to supplant?

Yes, it fails because of all the reasons we know life wasn't always here throughout an infinite history and that time is not cyclical over the timescale of human existence. That's why it's the null hypothesis that the theory of evolution disproves and supercedes. Creationism also seeks to supplant it by positing some creative event that put into place the current ecosystem, whose basis comes from, essentially, old books and traditions, with maybe the occasional misunderstanding of probability and the absolutely grand scales of time and space involved.

Re:The null hypothesis is that we were always ther (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060844)

except you're wrong because this intelligent agency was intelligent enough to fabricate an entire universe of evidence to test our faith.

It must be falsifiable (5, Informative)

Kjellander (163404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060736)

A null hypothesis must be falsifiable, and therefor "it must be a wizard that did it" cannot be the null hypothesis.

Q.E.D.

Stupid! (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060750)

there had to be some intelligent agency behind the appearance of living things

Ok, so what intelligent agency created them, and who created them, and who created them, ...

How did the first "intelligent agency" come to be, because there had to be one before them, but there couldn't be because they were the first.

This is a stupid theory that invalidates itself.

Re:Stupid! (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060804)

Yes, the aspect of something else being the cause of our universe really isn't more stupid than, say, the theory of eternal inflation where new bubble universes are created from old ones ad infinitum. The stupidity is in refusing to admit that our current universe could have created itself from nothing (or alternatively existed forever) while claiming that the earlier thing that is the cause of our current universe, i.e. a Creator, did create itself from nothing (or alternatively existed forever). That is extremely inconsistent.

ID can't be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060752)

as anything Intelligent wouldn't have allowed Creationists to exist ;-)

I'm no Richard Dawkins, so... (5, Interesting)

ndogg (158021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060754)

More like the Samuel L Jackson version of Dawkins (although, I'll admit I'm not nearly as cool as either.) And yes, I'm just letting of some steam here.

What?!

What the fuck?!

Those sections say the "null hypothesis" is that there had to be some intelligent agency behind the appearance of living things. It is up to the scientists proposing a naturalistic explanation to prove their case.

Since motherfucking when? I'll tell you, motherfucking never. How much more fucking evidence must scientists throw before your motherfucking ugly fucking face before you fucking get it?

Sample says the "null hypothesis" is such because the old experiments that attempted to produce "building blocks" of amino acids failed to do so. In addition later experiments that produced other precursor chemicals, such as DNA and RNA, required very specific conditions in a lab, and aren't he said. Necessarily reflective of what the early Earth was like. Therefore, he said, the odds of making life from non-life seem too small for a naturalistic hypothesis to work.

Well, what the fuck do you call this [wikipedia.org] ? And very specific lab conditions? Well, guess what motherfucker, the early Earth have very specific conditions [wikipedia.org] that resemble nothing like what we have today, so yes, those conditions have to be specific in the laboratory. This doesn't even touch the fact that the early Earth was a much bigger fucking laboratory than some fucking room at a university.

Sample says it isn't stealth creationism - he says the intelligent agency might just as well be aliens. But he emphasizes that he wants students to learn to think critically, and that unlike the physical sciences, there aren't any experiments you can do to demonstrate evolutionary theory.

Firstly, observational evidence that can be repeatably confirmed is just as valid as repeatable experiments with observation in a laboratory. And this is yet another case of "What the fuck do you call this [talkorigins.org] ?":

While studying the genetics of the evening primrose, Oenothera lamarckiana, de Vries (1905) found an unusual variant among his plants. O. lamarckiana has a chromosome number of 2N = 14. The variant had a chromosome number of 2N = 28. He found that he was unable to breed this variant with O. lamarckiana. He named this new species O. gigas.

Do you see what year is in there? 1905! Speciation was observed in nineteen o'fucking five. That's 23 fucking years after Darwin's death. Can't fucking demonstrate evolution in the lab my ass.

To paraphrase [youtube.com] :

Does the idea that there might be knowledge frighten you?
Does the idea that one afternoon on Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you frighten you?
Does the idea that there might not be a supernatural so blow your Christian noodle that you'd rather stand there in the fog of your inability to Google?
Isn’t this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable, NATURAL world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?

(Watch the rest, you won't regret it, promise.)

I get the idea that it's scary to think that this is all we have, but that's not an excuse to just start making things up to make yourself feel comfortable. If we truly want immortality, the only thing that can possibly deliver on that is science. And we can't continue to be held back by people whose only goal is to advance their favorite fairy tales in spite of the consequences. And yes, science can answer questions about morality [youtube.com] , and we do not have to worry about losing ourselves if we lose religion.

We'll be fine, I promise. Living in reality is not that scary.

Re:I'm no Richard Dawkins, so... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060862)

Can't fucking demonstrate evolution in the lab my ass.

Okay, so you've got speciation. How do you get from there to evolution?

Re:I'm no Richard Dawkins, so... (0)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060892)

This.

Why force it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060776)

Even if you were a religious person, why would you want a science teacher to make a half-hearted attempted at explaining it? I would think that this would more poison kids against religion rather than lure them into it.

Intelligent design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060792)

Just one word to disprove Intelligent Design: Platypus.

Go on, explain that god-lovers. You can't can you! As a missing link it makes sense. As a finished product it does not.

Oh and god lovers, next time you have sex with your sister, wonder why your god put the entertainment center and the sewage work next to each other. Intelligent? Well, I suppose it depends on how you define intelligent. Texas probably has other standards. Texas IQ test: If you don't choke while eating the test, you pass.

Hang on a second... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060808)

Whether or not the "intelligent design" argument is true shouldn't even matter, really. God cannot be studied empirically, so the whole thing's technically outside the realm of science. It could fit in theology or philosophy, but science is limited to that which can be observed and studied.

How is this a problem? (1, Informative)

Mick R (932337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060814)

If Evolutionists can't provide sufficient evidence to disprove the null hypothesis then why should should Evolutionism itself not be considered just as much a matter of faith as Intelligent Design? Arguing that the existence of a process proves the non-existence of the process engineer is no better than saying we were all created as we are in an instant. Neither argument carries any logical validity and can only be considered as statements of "faith".

separating church and state (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36060842)

Last time I checked, public schools were state-run institutions. General subject matter includes: Math, Science, History, Grammar and Literature. Theology is left out for good reason. Matters are just too complicated. As far as I know, Creation isnt a scientific idea; rather it's a theological idea within the Christian community. The issue with theology is that there are far too many angles to cover. If schools were to start teaching it they couldn't solely focus on Christianity, because Judaism, Hinduism and, i'm sure i'm forgetting another major religion, all exist. Hence, separation of church and state.

Wait, im lying....i did learn about religions in 9th grade history. Lessons were fairly straight forward though. Practitioners of $religion worship $deity and read from $sacred_text that preaches $rules_to_live_by. It was little more than stuff we needed to regurgitate for a test and be done with.

Inigo Montoya said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36060894)

He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

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