Senate Creationism (Now Discussing: Creation Museum)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    @Jarren_Lee-Saber, if your point is that the Big Bang follows pre-modern thinking, then why is it that the Big Bang followed conclusions from physics, rather having an axiomic source, like creationism simply saying it was stated in the Bible? The idea was explored within only barely more than the last 100 years and the history of it being established isn't hidden.
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  2. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    I've never understood how anyone can be so blinkered to simple scientific method and it's ability for anyone to prove/disprove based up on testing and evidence rather than hearsay.

    I'm not a "scientist" now, but my educational background was based around biology (marine at university to be specific) and I've also never understood how people are unable to follow the concept of evolution especially when it is shown in a tree style diagram.

    [IMG]


    Don't get me wrong, this is a HUGELY simplified version of evolution but it gives a broad strokes overview of how OVER TIME a species can slowly diverge from one Phylum (Species family) to another. It does not suggest that miraculously a horse became a bat or that a cat became a tree but it shows that over time a living organism from a few hundred thousand or even million years ago had a common ancestor.

    Now as the earth is a few billions years old rather than 6000 an evolution is perfectly feasible considering the numbers involved but again I have a feeling that people struggle with the time element of it. 6 million is a lot and 6 billion is more but most people don't actually get exactly how much more a billion is over a million. For most it's one or two zero's (US vs UK maths) but either way it is actually a HELL of a lot of time when this is actually thought about.

    [IMG]

    This type of image is well known but gives a quite striking reference as to when we actually occurred as well as an attempt to give an understanding of how insignificant we really are when considered against the overall span of time the earth has had so far.
    I suspect (but have no evidence for aside from anecdotal evidence) that the religious people I know struggle with the idea that humanity is the be all and end all to life rather than being just one part of the overall tapestry of life.



    I understand that people don't necessarily understand the how of evolution, it may go over the heads of some, but there are fantastic summaries out there that explain these things in simple terms (See Ender's video) that can explain why the "Theory" of Evolution is actually FACT (Read about scientific theory for more detail on this word as THEORY means different things to different people depending on CONTEXT).


    If however, you are that entrenched in your religious beliefs that evolution is always going to be wrong as far as your scripture goes then I can kind of get with that, It does make you very blinkered and blind to reality but if reams and reams of scientific data does nothing to prove to you that there is nothing that even suggests that evolution is clearly an accurate summation of how life has diversified over the last few million/billion years and that the words of people from 2000 years ago apparently explain the hows and why's of things then there is nothing that the modern world and education can do for you and we really should leave you in your factually vacant life.

    Don't get me wrong, not accepting Evolution as being real is not going to mean the end of your life but if you're going to accept the words of Bronze age man over and above that of modern science makes you amazingly vacant IMO. You wouldn't use a Bronze age doctor to treat ANTHING but the fact that their tribal understanding of the world and the universe is clearly enough to steer you towards Creationism make me worry about any future where scripture is taken as factual over scientific theory.
  3. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    So as you can see people, we are all descended from a common pacman monster ancestor.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Jan 10, 2014
  4. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Leave Binky alone!
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  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    That explains why I ate cyber pellets for dinner.
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  6. Moviefan2k4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2009
    star 4
    Genesis describes the works of a common Creator, not ancestor. Every creature reproduces after its own kind, not a shared one.
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  7. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    And I guess that proves Genesis is wrong, then.
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  8. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    This is related to the creationism thing, and I'd be interested in input on this, as it was a thought I had driving home the other day and trying to write code in my head at the same time. The whole thing is the claim of intelligent design, right? But the design itself seems, well, dumb. If we look at just the number of phyla, between the plant and animal kingdoms, there's 47 different phyla. Bacteria have 29 more. And of course, there's huge numbers of divisions to be made there.

    So I was thinking what would really be intelligent design? If you had to address a problem, like, say, graphing a whole bunch of files, you could go through and graph each file individually, tailoring your work to just that one before you move on to the next. However, if you wanted to approach it intelligently, you'd program something to do the work for you, so that while there would be more work in creating that framework, after that everything would be able to proceed without direct involvement. From that, it seems, to me, like if you had to compare individually creating somewhere between tens of thousands and millions of 'kinds' that creationists consider god to have made, that would fit with the 'dumb' way of doing things by not thinking in a general framework. An intelligent designer of life would come up with a self-sustaining and developing solution, much as exactly what natural selection does.

    Any thoughts on why this isn't considered an acceptable approach? Or is it just that this would invalidate the whole concept of people being special?
  9. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    You're kind of describing a designer/creator with a generative formula. Apart from negating the idea of special creation for humans (which is of prime importance to the hard of thinking) it also fails to solve the problem of regression. It's also plausible that nature alone could provide the formula without any need for supernatural intervention.

    A god that sets up the spreadsheet formulae might not have had humans in mind as its ultimate expression. The fact that evolution hasn't stopped for us seems to be a strong indication that we're not specially created in His image (unless His image is one that constantly evolves too?).

    The 'Elite' game franchise uses generative formulae to create its universe(s) from very small, very efficient code. The distribution and names of stars, planets, ships and people, etc is (almost) all generated. I think the original game had 8 galaxies of 256 planets each, with infinite numbers of ships, etc, using just 48k. That's certainly intelligent design, the developers also dipped in to tweak certain elements of it (creating special star systems and deleting profanity, for example). I don't think we've spotted anything in our universe that suggests cosmic tinkering on that, or any other level.

    That we exist in an environment fairly well suited to us (at least very very locally speaking) does not suggest that the universe was made for us. The fine tuning argument is simple arrogance. Douglas Adams' puddle analogy ridicules it very nicely.

    Your analogy is among the least implausible of the ID models, but it suits deist models better than theist - and that's not good enough for those seeking to rationalise their relationships with imaginary friends!
  10. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, deist still is a subset of theist. And I'm well aware that it's a method that doesn't require any gods, but more that my point is that what is called intelligent design isn't.
  11. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    At a guess it's not considered acceptable by Creationists because it notionally pushes God back from direct involvement in the process of creation, which leads to paranoia about a God of the Gaps argument being made - "Either God is in all of the process, or none of it." A self-sustaining, developing solution - as evolution would imply - also implies a God content to make **** up as he goes, as opposed to the divine plan comprehensible to mortals in substance, revealed and constantly taking place according to divine revelation and prophecy. No; the God who clicks the "OK" button and goes off to make a cup of tea while DarwinShop renders out a species is insufficiently involved with creation at large, not to mention that it begs the question -- "If he can go and nick off while evolution was running, what else did he nick off for? The Great Flood? The Crusades? The rise of Tammy Bakker?" Plus, a God who leaves his creation to evolve itself while he waits around for the program to complete is also rather close to Teilhard du Chardin's theory about the Singularity, which fundamentalist Christianity can't stomach because it implies we'll get to God via our own development rather than solely via Christ.

    P.S. "Elite" was awesome. I'm not sure if the game generated its entire universe in one hit with 48k or rather generated ships for each system when you jumped to it -- a sort of Heisenbergian universe, as it were -- but yes, 8 galaxies, 256 stars each. Although I never got to Teorge, more's the pity.
    Last edited by Saintheart, Jan 17, 2014
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  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Actually I think if there is a Supreme Being out there, that's exactly how he or she operates.

    Lets **** happen then goes off to have a cup of tea and play Minecraft.

    There is too much chaos to indicate a divine plan, and too much terrible **** happening (out of human control so the "humans are sinful" explanation doesn't work) to indicate a plan orchestrated by a divine being who isn't a complete ***hole.
  13. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    The trouble is that "kind" is not a well defined term. It's uselessly vague in order for Creationists to have to actually take a position and allow them to continuously move the goalposts.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I'm sorry, are you making this argument to a group of people who cite the human eye as proof of an intelligent designer?
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  15. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Goalpost shifting is a common practice among Creationists. This is not a new development. But it is still very tiresome.
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  16. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Male Donkeys + Female Horses = Mules

    Also "kinds" is a thing.
    Last edited by Lord Vivec, Jan 19, 2014
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  17. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    A funny and sad example of this was during the "Intelligent Design" Dover trial when Michael Behe (the star "expert" on ID) was basically forced to concede that according to his definition of what constitutes a 'scientific theory' then "astrology" would be considered science and therefore would have a place in school science classes. Astrology.
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    As Dan Simmons said -- it's because ID or Creationists want "science" to be defined as "any internally consistent system of logical thought", not "principles derived from the gathering of empirical evidence". By the former definition, astrology qualifies as "science".
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  19. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Are mormons creationist or are they more like catholics and moderate protestants where they accept evolution but either dont think too closely about genesis or have elaborate "allegory" or "6 days = ???? years" explanations for how it meshes?
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Ram that creationism down their throats

    This is what voucher programs are actually for. They get kids out of public schools and into schools where they can get away with workbooks that say this:

    Over the years, the theory of evolution has been through an evolutionary struggle of its own. The original theories have been explored, modified, rejected, confirmed, or replaced with new ideas. Still the basic theory of evolution has survived in the discussion. In fact, evolution—which is, after all, an unproved theory—has been treated as fact. It has reached the level of dogma, widely accepted, but unproven and changing school of thought that is treated as though it were fact.

  21. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    It's interesting that according to text, the progression of intellectual credibility seems to be idea < theory < fact < dogma.

    Idiocy, and not the least because it's just echoing the same old pre-modern thinking.

    The quickest-available dictionary definition of "dogma" is "a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true."

    The intellectual mesa of "dogma", according to the article, is something "wide acceptance, unproven, changing, and treated as though fact". That's the very opposite of dogma.
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  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, Texas is doing that the hard way, as going on at the same time in Louisiana, there's an ACLU lawsuit out that is alleging that they've been teaching creationism in a school district there. It's tied to a whole lot more beyond that beyond the scope of this, but it's certainly not a Texas-only thing.
  23. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    This is an interesting article in the Chicago Sun-Times. The authors' idea is that debating creationism is worthless, because anti-intellectual religion is just a symptom of a larger problem: working-class terror of being disenfranchised by elites. According to the article, we would be better off addressing underlying political and economic problems rather than debating questions of religion directly.

    Unfortunately, the article doesn't really spell out what the political and economic problems are, other than to say that the beliefs of climate change deniers are in line with their economic interests. (Duh.)

    I will say that working-class people have had a hell of a time during the last few decades. I don't have any stats that show that Christian fundamentalism increases as the American middle and working classes founder, but I can tell you that evangelical Protestant churches are the poorest of predominantly-white churches. True, the white fundamentalist demographic is partly complicit in its own economic plight due to its voting Republican since Nixon, but the fact that this group is partly to blame for its own problems doesn't change the fact that its distress is very real.

    Unfortunately it's hard to really help these folks, considering that they keep voting for tax cuts for the rich and cutbacks to social programs. It's not like you can just hold free classes to educate them on what they're doing to themselves, the way you can with some groups of the poor. They think it's presumptuous to assume they need education. (Even though they do.)

    Maybe, if debating religion is a waste of time and education is unwanted, we could just, like, make more frequent donations to local food pantries and say nice things to them. Fundamentalists seem to like people speaking well of them. All the Republicans do is talk them up as "real America" and then pick their pockets, and that buys undying brand loyalty.

    But anyway . . . I thought that the premise that the "creationism debate" has its true roots in economics had some merit to it.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Insofar as creationism ultimately derives from fundamentalism, I tend to agree. However, Karen Armstrong's survey of the history of fundamentalism - in both the Islamic and Christian traditions - suggests that fundamentalism tends to crop up when a group within a religion perceives itself or the religion to be under threat from an outside source.

    When that happens, the group becomes steadily more insular and steadily more extreme in its views, since there is invariably in fundamentalism an adherence to an absolute truth as revealed which drives that group to the margins of society. Any attempt at contextualisation of a sacred text, or suggesting at least an alternative translation, becomes not just an affront to that sect but rather an affront to the absolute truth with the text in its uncontextualised form reveals, and makes the suggester an agent of untruth, if not outright evil.

    It's also common that fundamentalists don't always come from the poor benighted rural natives; many of the 9/11 terrorists were globetrotters and Osama bin Laden himself a scion of one of the richest families on the planet. What fundamentalism does provide is the illusion of clear choice without the requirement to examine one's own conscience. And most interestingly, bar perhaps the little friars under St. Francis to my knowledge, fundamentalism seems to draw ever further and further away from orthopraxy and draws cloer and closer to orthodoxy as its driving force.
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  25. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    I don't disagree with you there, and I should add that I don't think economic stresses are the only thing that drives groups of people into the arms of religious fundamentalism. There are multiple causes, but I think that much of what causes a fundamentalist's sense of desperation is fear of a devastating drop in socioeconomic status. "Devastating" is a relative term--for some it might mean losing the extra $20 a week that allows the kids to buy hot lunch at school. For others, it could mean collapse of a family dynasty, or subversion of a social order that places the fundamentalist in a privileged category. In some cases, the threat might be only perceived--such as the fear that illegal immigrants are going to come over en masse and take prime American jobs.

    I think in all cases though, insecurity and fear lie at the bottom of a retreat from mainstream society.

    As such, the implied question in the Chicago Sun-Times article still stands, what can we do about the roots of religious fundamentalism? Endless bickering about whether God did or did not say X doesn't seem to be helping.