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DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-20-2005 18:36

Now we're getting somewhere =)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/12/20/intelligent.design.ap/index.html

quote:
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.



My fears have been slightly soothed. Let's see what happens next...

NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 12-20-2005 18:55
quote:
My fears have been slightly soothed.

Mine also.

If the decision is appealed (don't exactly know how that would happen given election of the new board - - moot I guess,) but let's say the decision (any) is appealed... under your system, is it mandatory to first go to a federal court of appeals or could the appeal be taken directly to the supreme court?

TheRedTide
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

From:
Insane since: Dec 2005

posted posted 12-20-2005 19:13

Hello everyone, I'm new as you can clearly see. First off, I'd like to say that I am a Christian, but I ask that you don't immediately judge me for that I as won't do that to you. You may find that I am different than most Christians you know. I'd like to say that I agree that the public school room is no place for replacing evolution with intelligent design. I don't even feel that it should be forced to be taught along side it. Creationism belongs in the church, not in the school classroom. The evidence for evolution is staggering, I'll admit, and thus from a scientific point of view, evolution makes much more sense. When a person requires that God exists for his theory to work, he is no longer using science, and therefore should not be taught in the science classroom.

Sorry if this isn't what you've wanted to read right now, I see you've just gotten out some very heated debates.

WarMage
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 12-20-2005 19:40

This is a win for freedom. I am very happy to be seeing a lot of things happenning that I can be somewhat proud of.

Dan @ Code Town

bitdamaged
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 12-20-2005 19:51

The actual judges ruling is fun

quote:

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.
To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.
With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal
maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.



A side note on the activist judge part This is a Dubya appointee



.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

briggl
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: New England
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 12-21-2005 02:08
quote:
under your system, is it mandatory to first go to a federal court of appeals or could the appeal be taken directly to the supreme court?


I don't know all of the specifics, but it has to go through several levels before it would go to the Supreme Court.

Unless it's something important like appointing a president.


WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-21-2005 08:13
quote:
It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.



That sums it up nicely, in a nutshell.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 12-21-2005 08:20

On a more sour note ...

I saw this on Court TV today. They had an online poll that asked the question, "How do you feel about the ruling that 'intelligent design' cannot be taught in schools?"

The result:

Agree: 47.27%
Disagree: 52.73%



Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

posted posted 12-21-2005 10:56

I'd like a bit of clarification on this.

When I went to Secondary (high) school many moons ago, I took both, science and Religous Education.

Part of my Science class was devoted to Biology and a module of this involved the creation of the universe from the big bang, and more importantly, how life evolved.

Part of my Religous Education class was devoted to the teachings of the old testament and how Adam and Eve were created by God and I think we know the rest.

I can't remember a time when there were questions raised by myself or my school friends about these two apparently conflicting teachings, it wasn't a big deal, the classes were different Science was science and R.E. was R.E.

FYI the school I went to was a roman Catholic Comprehensive in the UK.

So really, what's the big deal about not teaching ID, or is it that in America schools or councils are trying to teach ID instead of evolution and Biology?

Cheers,

briggl
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: New England
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 12-21-2005 11:53
quote:
So really, what's the big deal about not teaching ID, or is it that in America schools or councils are trying to teach ID instead of evolution and Biology?


First, they are trying to teach ID in a science class. If you can't see the problem with that...

Second, the separation of church and state in the US says that a school supported by public dollars cannot teach religion.


WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-21-2005 12:53
quote:
Part of my Religous Education class was devoted to the teachings of the old testament and how Adam and Eve were created by God and I think we know the rest.



So...

A Muslem, Buddhist [insert non-christian regligion here) would still have to take Bible studies? And wouldn't be allowed to take studies in his/her own religion?

I think that is one of the reasons, why America got founded by ex-Europeans, and one of the reasons for the seperation of Church and State.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 12-21-2005 13:49
quote:
Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.


Gebus; finally someone with a brain. That was the real issue - not that Intelligent Design makes more sense then Evolution or not, but that they are not equivalent alternatives to one another...one cannot replace the other.

Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

posted posted 12-21-2005 15:10
quote:

briggl said:

First, they are trying to teach ID in a science class. If you can't see the problem with that...

Second, the separation of church and state in the US says that a school supported by public dollars cannot teach religion.

Ok I wasn't aware that Science was to hold ID lessons, that's clearly wrong.

I wasn't aware of your second point, thanks for raising it briggl, it only confirms the first point more so.

quote:

WebShaman said:

So...A Muslem, Buddhist [insert non-christian regligion here) would still have to take Bible studies? And wouldn't be allowed to take studies in his/her own religion?

Well I did say that I went to a Roman Catholic Comprehensive school, why a Muslim or other non-Christian family would send their children to a RC school without expecting their child to fulfill the curriculum is beyond me. There were, and certainly are, many alternatives in my town.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-21-2005 15:13

So, the School in question is not a Public school? More like a private school?

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

posted posted 12-21-2005 15:31

Most of the funding for the school still came from the Government, and they did accept almost anyone, but you were more favourable if you had a Roman Catholic background.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-21-2005 15:46

As a couple of people said, the big issue is that ID is being pushed as a scientific principle.

It's not a matter of learning about religion - it's a matter of religion being pushed as science.

It is important again to reiterate this: 'ID' is not the simple philosophical thought that 'God' is behind what we explain with science (as in: evolution happens because God made it so). It is a very specific ideology stating that the complexity of the universe *proves* scientifically that there must be a god.

To state that you think god is the driving force behind evolution, and to state that god is a scientific certainty are two vastly different things, and unfortunately that point gets hopelessly lost on a great many people.

Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

posted posted 12-21-2005 15:51

Yup absolutely agree, I just wanted some clarification. I feel I'm up to speed now

Zynx
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Outside Looking In
Insane since: Aug 2005

posted posted 12-22-2005 04:22
quote:
DL-44 said:As a couple of people said, the big issue is that ID is being pushed as a scientific principle. It's not a matter of learning about religion - it's a matter of religion being pushed as science.


I'd only like to add this, this per-vous way of teaching, should NOT be taught in any school. Public or private.

Keep personal religious thinking/teaching, in the home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
" The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding, and being understood. "

briggl
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: New England
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 12-23-2005 00:11
quote:
per-vous


Hmm... not sure what that means. I guess I'll interpret it as "perverse".

Don't take this as criticism, it is really meant as helpful advise. If you don't know how to spell something, look it up before you post. You'll be able to get your point across better that way.


NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 15:29

French = 'per you'

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 17:13
quote:
As a couple of people said, the big issue is that ID is being pushed as a scientific principle.

It's not a matter of learning about religion - it's a matter of religion being pushed as science.

This can also be argued the other way. From http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/view393.html#Wednesday

quote:
One could argue that in this decision the Federal Judge is in fact insisting on a Federally Established Religion: one called Scientific Reductionism, which insists that all questions can ultimately be answered by science, or as LaPlace put it to Napoleon when Napoleon asked where God fit into his reductionist schema of the universe, "I have no need for that hypothesis." And that, I put it to you, is as great an Act of Faith as is made by any advocate of Intelligent Design.

One of the definitions of faith in my Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged, "belief which is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact" goes directly to this argument.

At this point in our history, science cannot prove by fact where the Universe comes from, how life on Earth began, or any of the other Great Questions. Nor can religion. No matter which view you choose, the decision requires faith--faith that a particular Book has or will provide the answers in time, or faith that scientific methodolgy has or will provide the answers in time.

I find myself taking the next step then, and supporting the teaching and discussion of both scientific theory and religious theory with the provision that one religion isn't favored over another, and that it's placed in the cultural context--both past and present--of the theory being studied. Just as scientific theory, political theory and economic theory already are.

It just sounds fair to me. If we're teaching these theories, then the opposing ones should also be taught. To do otherwise is called indoctrination.

Indoctrination is also why (IMHO) religious teaching should not be allowed to be the exclusive realm of the Church. The end result of indoctrination is frequently the type of hard-headed intolerance we see in the US religious right, the Middle East (both sides) and, interestingly, in the atheist community.

Since science probably won't be taught in Church in order to balance religious indoctrination, teaching the many religious theories in the schools is the only practical alternative to religious indoctrination, and it quite handily defuses the Church's argument that the schools provide scientific indoctrination.

Learning and discussion outside of an environment of indoctrination preserves the right and ability of the individual to choose, and that choice does not have to be mutually exclusive. And that statement applies to everything, not just religion and science.

Regarding the law of the United States, as a constitutionalist and libertarian, I feel the government or the courts don't belong in this decisionmaking process to begin with. "The miracle of good government comes about when diverse peoples can live together and provide rights to the powerless" (see above link, then scroll up a bit). The fight in question clearly demonstrates that the two sides involved are neither powerless nor interested in diversity. To drag the government and the courts into their little spat is just plain wrong.

NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 19:41

I can agree with much of what you're saying but the problem for me goes back to the public school issue. (Grades one - twelve) What you're talking about is comparitive religion studies and I can't see such studies, being workable in the public school system, ever. So I have no problem with the court saying '... no not in public schools.'

You'll notice tho' the courts have made no similar rulings against public universities, many of which offer MA's in comparitive religion studies... so religion is in fact being offered and studied in the 'public education' system. And I think that's about as good as it's ever going to get.

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 12-23-2005 19:51

For the love of ...

I tell you, this whole thing frustrates me to the point that I can hardly form words anymore. Will people ever get it through their disturbed heads that the theory of evolution is not an opposing view to anything?

The only ones opposing anything are those who can't accept the logical conclusions built on the physical evidence offered them because they're afraid they'll burn in hell if they do. Even trying to understand the theory of evolution would be "giving into temptation." They have it set in their wee minds that evolution is heresy, despite not understanding what it is, and ignorantly set about pushing their own beliefs as an "alternative."

No religious view on the origin of the universe is an alternative to evolution any more than a belief in a leprechaun's pot of gold is an alternative to minerology.

No one is forcing "Scientific Reductionism" on us. We're not insisting science can explain everything. We just want to be able to learn what we do know without being told, "yes, but maybe God put the bones there, ever think about that?"

Relax, people! Understanding cellular mutation and environmental adaptation won't make baby Jesus sad.

Next thing you know, they'll be suing to teach Intelligent Kinesis in physics class and Intelligent Exponents in math.

(I realize this doesn't add much to the discussion, but I've become increasingly intolerant of the voluntary ignorance of a group of people with whom I once included myself.)



(Edited by Wes on 12-23-2005 19:56)

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 21:15
quote:
(I realize this doesn't add much to the discussion, but I've become increasingly intolerant of the voluntary ignorance of a group of people with whom I once included myself.)



A-men, brother! L&C!

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 22:30
quote:
I've become increasingly intolerant of the voluntary ignorance of a group of people with whom I once included myself.

And tolerance is exactly my point here. Your response to their intolerance is, your own intolerance. It's absolutely human and I don't fault you for it, but does it make sense?

Like a good hooker, intolerance works both sides of the street and whether one side, the other or both, the neighborhood suffers for it.

I'm saying, intolerance is borne of indoctrination. Eliminate indoctrination and you go a long way towards eliminating intolerance. Since alternative (agreed, opposing was the wrong word) viewpoints are not tolerated on the one side, then they should be encouraged on the other. And not just one viewpoint--all of them.

quote:
What you're talking about is comparitive religion studies

Exactly. Include other philosopies and science as well.

quote:
and I can't see such studies, being workable in the public school system, ever

I've learned to never say never (or won't ever). Even at the height of the Cold War during all those years of being on the nuclear brink, no President of either party ever said, "Gee, I think a preventative war is a good thing." Only a slow change brought first strike from being viewed as reprehensible to being viewed as responsible.

Certainly in the current climate, teaching comparative religion/philosophy/science/etc. in the public schools is neither likely nor workable. But to say never? I disagree. If public opinion and public policy can go from "that's bad" to "that's good" when it comes to starting an undeclared war in a soverign state, then it just could happen in other areas of life too. Although I'll probably not live long enough to see it.

Constitutionally, I still maintain the federal government and judiciary don't belong in the classroom any more than they belong in the bedroom.

Further, nowhere in the Constitution or in the Amendments are the words "separation of Church and State" used. Nor is even the concept discussed.

The closest you can get is the First Amendment, which begins,

quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;



It says "Congress shall make no law..." It doesn't say States or Counties or Cities or Towns or Villages or local school boards. It says Congress.

Since Congress didn't make a law saying I.D. should (or should not) be taught in school (nor in this case did anyone else make any laws), then the federal judiciary does not have jurisdiction. Plain and simple and completely agnostic towards anyone's personal theology (or absence thereof).



(Edited by brucew on 12-23-2005 22:32)

Diogenes
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Right behind you.
Insane since: May 2005

posted posted 12-23-2005 22:55

Some excellent points made above by all.

In arguing though, I believe one should differentiate between "faith" and "Faith".

Teaching comparative religion in the lower grades is definitely a non-starter.

While parents like ourselves would very likely support the practice, the religiously afflicted would more likely start speaking in tongues and rolling down the aisles of their local temples.

I am only intolerant of intolerance.

BTW Bruce, what part of the North Coast of America do you live on? Tuktoyaktuk perhaps?

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
Isaac Asimov
US science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 - 1992)

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 23:36
quote:
BTW Bruce, what part of the North Coast of America do you live on? Tuktoyaktuk perhaps?

Not quite, although judging by the weather of late one might think so. Rochester, NY is on the south shore of Lake Ontario, hence on the North Coast of America--the United States of America as opposed the to continent of North America.

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-23-2005 23:48
quote:
In arguing though, I believe one should differentiate between "faith" and "Faith".

Dragging out my Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged again, definition three reads, "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion; old pilgrims, strong in their faith" and definition five reads, "a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

No capitalization required. And funny, there's that word "doctrine" as in indoctrinate.

I quoted definition two in the above posting specifically to connect the unprovability of both religious creationism theory and of scientific creationism theory. Both field have theories on the beginning of everything. All such theories are unprovable, therefore belief in either one (or any amalgamation of them) is an expression of faith. The only difference is where you place your faith.

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 00:16

However, if you want to get technical, no science is provable. It is only disprovable. And in order to be science, it must be so. This is the reason creationism (I haven't heard of "scientific creationism theory" as opposed to "religious creationism theory") and its masked cousin Intelligent Design is not science. It is not testable, it is not disprovable. It doesn't belong in science class.

quote:
Your response to their intolerance is, your own intolerance.



I didn't say I was intolerant of their intolerance.* (I don't even recall discussing an intolerance on their side.) I said I was intolerant of their voluntary ignorance. They choose to argue against something they refuse to understand. And the simple fact that they insist ID is an "alternative" to evolution shows they don't understand what they're talking about.

I'm tolerant of people's beliefs. I've said it before -- I think it's beautiful that people can believe and practice as they wish in this country. What I will not tolerate is anyone's pushing those beliefs as scientific principle in a forum that should remain devoid of religious ideas. (On top of that, they don't seem to understand that forcing their particular beliefs on others is going to turn around and bite them in the ass the day one of the "heathen" religions comes into the majority.)


*Besides, how would being intolerant of one's intolerance be a bad thing? Racism, for example, is a form of intolerance. Of that, you bet your ass, I'm intolerant. Intolerance toward intolerance itself is admirable as far as I see it. (And before anyone tries drawing on some semantic ouroboros, think beyond the repetition of the words and realize what they convey. I can be intolerant of intolerance the same way I can hate hate.)

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 00:49
quote:

Brucew said:
And tolerance is exactly my point here. Your response to their intolerance is, your own intolerance. It's absolutely human and I don't fault you for it, but does it make sense?



The very major problem with what you are saying is exactly what I said before: this is SCIENCE class.

In science class, they teach science.

Religion is not science.

Therefore, religious rebuttals to scientific principals have no place in science class. Since there is no religious concensus on most issues, it would be necessary for a particular religion to be endorsed by the government in order to introduce religious concepts into public school science classes. That is not allowed by our constitution, and for obvious good reason.

This is not "Scientific Reductionism", and in fact the very concept of "Scientific Reductionism" is absurd.

To argue that excluding religion from science class is actually endorsing science as a religion is, quite frankly, pure idiocy.

(dsiclaimer: I did not read all of the posts after the post I quoted above, I merely skimmed. I will read them more thoroughly however.)

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 04:09

Wes: Sorry for reading more into your statement than what you put there.

DL: I agree. It shouldn't be taught in science class, any more than math should be taught in English class. But I feel there is a place for it. In Philosophy or Humanities perhaps.

The reason I feel it should be taught, somewhere and on a much larger and inclusive basis, is my belief that schooling should prepare children for dealing with the realities of life. The three R's, add Rhetoric for a fourth one, science since it's the foundation of technology, and philosphy and the humanities; all this prepares one for what lies ahead in dealing with life, the world, other people, our own psychology and the inevitable problems and conflicts.

One of the best things I learned in seven years of working for a lawyer was that if you can't convincingly argue (win) from either side of an issue, then you don't really understand it. (And understanding it doesn't mean agreeing with it.) Failing to educate on either science or religion then means that one doesn't have the knowledge or the tools to understand them and therefore cannot make an informed choice among them.

As for scientific reductionism being absurd, reductionism is the very core of scientific methodology. We examine the macroscopic world by reducing it to its constituent parts. People are made of cells which are made of molecules which are made of atoms which are made of bosons and fermions which are made of quarks... Working from the complex to the simple--that's reductionism.

quote:
I haven't heard of "scientific creationism theory" as opposed to "religious creationism theory"

Then what would one call the big-bang theory, the colliding branes theory or string theory or the Origin of Species? All these are theories of beginnings, originations or, gasp!, creations. It's all just semantics. The meanings are the same. I borrowed the jargon of one set of theories to illustrate the similarities in another set of theories.

What seems to happen in discussions which are usually titled "Science vs. Religion" or some variation, is that only the differences are highlighted, which are generally closely-held beliefs. When it's felt that these are attacked, by either side, the whole thing degenerates into either "I'm right and you're wrong" or "My God can beat up your God." That's not really helpful.

By highlighting the similarities--we all agree the Universe, life on Earth, etc, began somehow and something, be it a higher power or the laws of chemical bonding, causes it to continue--it defuses the emotion which make for a more rational discussion. As if any discussion of what humans do or believe can be called rational...

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 04:26
quote:
However, if you want to get technical, no science is provable. It is only disprovable. And in order to be science, it must be so.

I'll admit to needing help on this one. I've read a few pieces on it and don't understand it.

Let's take the common high school science experiment of electrolysis of water. How does one go about disproving that when you pass a current between two electrodes immersed in water you get hydrogen and oxygen bubbling up from the electrodes? Since I can't disprove it, does that mean it's not science? Then what is it? And if, since it can't be disproven, it's not science, then why is it being taught in science class?

I'm not being argumentative, I'm asking for enlightenment on the topic because I seem to be stuck on that point.

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 04:29

I need to clarify: when you say "The reason I feel it should be taught", are you talking about ID?

If that's the case, then I have to disagree with you still.

Why? Again, go back to my earlier post. ID is not simply 'philosophy'. It promotes itself as science. It is presented as a scientific explanation of god, essentially. But it is absolutely wrong scientifically. It does not stand to teach something of that nature, except perhaps as a footnote in which its errors are explained.

If you meant religion in general, that's a different story, and I don't entirely disagree - a lot of kinks to figure out in that regard though

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 04:34

You snuck another one in while I was typing

quote:
How does one go about disproving that when you pass a current between two electrodes immersed in water you get hydrogen and oxygen bubbling up from the electrodes? Since I can't disprove it, does that mean it's not science?



You are looking at this one a little skewed.

You would attempt to disprove the electrolysis of water by doing it.

If the expected results don't happen, under the prescribed circumstances, it has been disproven.

You can't disprove something that is true. But the process is an observable, measureable, testable one that can disprove those things that are wrong.

The poing being made above, which you quoted part of, is that religious assertions cannot be tested in this way and therefore have no scientific basis.

I also need to address another point that I passed over -

A court of law, or a debate class, is far different from the scientific environment. The point is not argue the issue from whichever side you are given. The point is not to convince someone that you are right.

The point is to find what is right.

Could I argue *for* ID, scientifically?

No.

Why? Because it is a fundamentally flawed theory that does not withstand scientific scrutiny.

Could I debate it in an environment of argumentation and competition? Sure. I understand its presentation well enough to do so. I sure would feel like an ass though



(Edited by DL-44 on 12-24-2005 04:39)

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 07:07

Yeah, I seem to have introduced several topics to the thread, perhaps muddying things as a result.

So, back to the original topic of the federal court dictating what can and what cannot be taught in public schools, I stand by the Constitution and say no. It is not in their jurisdiction.

On personal opinions of introduced topics:

Should science be taught? Yes. It is the basis for technology on which our culture is dependent--whether it's baking a cake or building a cyclotron.

That it takes faith to accept any belief system, be it based on science or religion or UFOs or avocadoes, I stand by my Webster's and say, yes. Which, in the spirit of fair play, leads to...

Should comparative religion be taught with no preference or priority given to any particular one? Yes, for that is what enables one to debate issues, not just parrot doctrine, but not in science class. The moment one starts promoting one over another, I refer you back to Church.

Intelligent Design? I don't know enough about it to say. From the very little I've read, the objection seems to be that it's religion masquerading as science. If so, certainly not in science class, and I'm on the fence with regard to comparative religion courses. If it's a case of "Science is the means by which we discover God's hand at work", there's room for it, but again, not in science class.

That something needs to be disproven in order for it to be science? Perhaps I'm hung up on language. If the statement means that one must be able to construct experiments that would disprove a theory if it's wrong, then I would be cool with that, but I think someone needs to consult their Webster's to find a phrase other than "needs to be disprovable" in order to clarify the statement.

That the big-bang theory, Origin of Species, and other scientific theories are scientific creationist theory? Yes. Just as surely as Genesis and the Earth riding on the back of a giant turtle are religious creationist theories. All are theories of where the Universe (or Multiverse) and life on Earth came from.

Since we have no witnesses we can interview ("Dude, you should have seen that singularity blow!" or "Dude, when God made the heavens it was awesome. First there's nothin', then, bing! Stars everywhere!") or direct physical evidence we can test, all they can be is theory. Pick one, or the things you like from several, and be happy. I'll be happy for you. Just don't tell me my choices are wrong because they're not the same ones you made.

NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 08:59

I was going to post this as a 'chuckle' but it just seems to fit here rather nicely and could very well end this argument once and for all. =)

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm exam.
Bonus Question:
Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endodermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed or some variant). One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that, if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates being as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order* for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately- as souls are added.

* This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.
The corollary of this theory is that since Hell is frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is, therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a Divine Being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A".

=)

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Elizabethtown, KY
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 10:09

Oh that did give me quite a chuckle... Thanks for sharing, really =).

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 15:08
quote:
That the big-bang theory, Origin of Species, and other scientific theories are scientific creationist theory? Yes. Just as surely as Genesis and the Earth riding on the back of a giant turtle are religious creationist theories. All are theories of where the Universe (or Multiverse) and life on Earth came from.

Since we have no witnesses we can interview ("Dude, you should have seen that singularity blow!" or "Dude, when God made the heavens it was awesome. First there's nothin', then, bing! Stars everywhere!") or direct physical evidence we can test, all they can be is theory. Pick one, or the things you like from several, and be happy. I'll be happy for you. Just don't tell me my choices are wrong because they're not the same ones you made.



Again, a couple of problems (call them quibbles even).

1) most of our scientific theories on the creation of our existence *are* based on physical evidence, and use scientific principles and methods. Obviously all of them are lacking in any direct, substantial proof, and I don't think that will change any time soon.

2) our scientific theories do *not* so far attempt to explain the beginning. The big bang theory does not say how matter was created - only how it came to be in its current state.

3) the 'faith' required to beleive our scientific faith does indeed vary quite greatly from the faith involved in most religious examples.


It comes down to this, for me: in accepting the big bang theory, I essentially agree that the concept works, that it is plausible, that it can explain, scientifically - as in, based on the physical, measurable, observable evidence that can be tested, modeled, etc - how the universe got to the state it is currently in.
By accepting the big bang theory as a plausible explanation, I am not stating that it is absolute fact. I am not claiming that accepting so means my eternal soul is better off than yours. I am not claiming that failure to accept the big bang theory will cause you to burn in hell.

The differences really pile up once you start comparing religious approaches and scientific approaches.

*another disclaimer: yes, I realize there are those who treat science in a religious manner. those people fall under the religious category, not the scientific.
Science is most *certainly* not a competing religion. It is, and must remain, separate from religion altogether.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-24-2005 17:52
quote:

DL-44 said:

quote:That the big-bang theory, Origin of Species, and other scientific theories are scientific creationist theory? Yes. Just as surely as Genesis and the Earth riding on the back of a giant turtle are religious creationist theories. All are theories of where the Universe (or Multiverse) and life on Earth came from.Since we have no witnesses we can interview ("Dude, you should have seen that singularity blow!" or "Dude, when God made the heavens it was awesome. First there's nothin', then, bing! Stars everywhere!") or direct physical evidence we can test, all they can be is theory. Pick one, or the things you like from several, and be happy. I'll be happy for you. Just don't tell me my choices are wrong because they're not the same ones you made.Again, a couple of problems (call them quibbles even).1) most of our scientific theories on the creation of our existence *are* based on physical evidence, and use scientific principles and methods. Obviously all of them are lacking in any direct, substantial proof, and I don't think that will change any time soon.2) our scientific theories do *not* so far attempt to explain the beginning. The big bang theory does not say how matter was created - only how it came to be in its current state.3) the 'faith' required to beleive our scientific faith does indeed vary quite greatly from the faith involved in most religious examples. It comes down to this, for me: in accepting the big bang theory, I essentially agree that the concept works, that it is plausible, that it can explain, scientifically - as in, based on the physical, measurable, observable evidence that can be tested, modeled, etc - how the universe got to the state it is currently in.By accepting the big bang theory as a plausible explanation, I am not stating that it is absolute fact. I am not claiming that accepting so means my eternal soul is better off than yours. I am not claiming that failure to accept the big bang theory will cause you to burn in hell.The differences really pile up once you start comparing religious approaches and scientific approaches.*another disclaimer: yes, I realize there are those who treat science in a religious manner. those people fall under the religious category, not the scientific. Science is most *certainly* not a competing religion. It is, and must remain, separate from religion altogether.




Amen. Very nice post, DL.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 12-24-2005 18:54

I think this may have already been explained, but I'll stick it in here anyway, if maybe just for the skimmers. DL's post explained much more, but for anyone still stuck on the concept of disprovability, maybe this will help a little.

quote:
That something needs to be disproven in order for it to be science?



Something does not need to be disproven to be science. It needs to be disprovable. It must be testable, or at least able to be measured against existing evidence.

To clarify on the latter: We cannot recreate, for example, the Big Bang, but we can observe the behaviors of celestial bodies and see if they coincide with what would be the expected reaction to a "big bang." It's possible to discover behaviors that do not coincide, and therefore disprove the theory.

Attempting to disprove a theory is essentially how one tests it. By methodical experimentation, one measures a theory up against its expected outcome. Does the theory of gravity hold up? Drop a bowling ball from your roof and see. If it falls to the ground -- the expected outcome -- then the experiment supports the theory. It does not prove the theory and no experiment ever can. That bowling ball may, for whatever reason, hover in the air one day. There's no way to know. In such a case, the theory may be disproven. Gravity is testable and, therefore, disprovable.

In the case of something like ID, however, there is no way to test if God was the guiding force behind the development of the hydrangea. There is no way to disprove it. That doesn't mean it's true, it doesn't mean it's untrue. But there is no way to test it, there is no way to observe behaviors or traits that would support it (being complicated, despite what the ID supporters think, is not enough) and, again, is therefore not in any way disprovable. And, therefore, it is not science.

Hope that helped.



(Edited by Wes on 12-24-2005 18:57)

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