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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    Yes - my mind is made up on several issues - like that the Earth is not flat, or that it is not at the center of the universe.

    I have yet to hear a shred of evidence to support ID. I'm sure nobody here can come up with one.

    Bush's open advocacy of ID, his opposition to embryonic Stem Cell research, the repubs attempting to legislatively intercede in medical/scientific decisions in the Terry Schiavo tragedy, and recreating the supreme court beginning with the Roberts appointment are all a part of the evangelical's agenda.

    I don't really have an answer though to why this is happening -- how is it that in all the western world, as societies progress and become more educated, they have almost uniformly become more tolerant and less religious. We are the exception.
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  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    Bush's open advocacy of ID, his opposition to embryonic Stem Cell research, the repubs attempting to legislatively intercede in medical/scientific decisions in the Terry Schiavo tragedy, and recreating the supreme court beginning with the Roberts appointment are all a part of the evangelical's agenda.

    I don't really have an answer though to why this is happening -- how is it that in all the western world, as societies progress and become more educated, they have almost uniformly become more tolerant and less religious. We are the exception.
    I'm not sure that becoming less religious is a good thing - that could lead down the path of amorality.

    I think the reason that we have this dichotomy is because we are the most progressive society in the world. This means rapid change in the way the society operates (at several levels - technically, socially, politically) and our moral and ethical principles can barely keep up. It is not surprising that many people turn to religion for guidance in these uncertain and rapidly changing times. It is always easier to look back to the past for simpler and (supposedly) happier times. Unfortunately the simple solutions of the past may not work in today's world - and it will take time for everyone (including the evangelicals) to realize that.
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  3. #23  
    Whoa... hold on a second. I've seen posted in this thread a couple of comments that the world is NOT flat. Just what are you all getting at?
  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkY
    Whoa... hold on a second. I've seen posted in this thread a couple of comments that the world is NOT flat. Just what are you all getting at?
    It's not flat??? Darn, I could have sworn, with my own eyes .....


    Hey - you mean Google Earth is not a videogame after all???
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  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    I'm not sure that becoming less religious is a good thing - that could lead down the path of amorality.

    I think the reason that we have this dichotomy is because we are the most progressive society in the world. This means rapid change in the way the society operates (at several levels - technically, socially, politically) and our moral and ethical principles can barely keep up. It is not surprising that many people turn to religion for guidance in these uncertain and rapidly changing times. It is always easier to look back to the past for simpler and (supposedly) happier times. Unfortunately the simple solutions of the past may not work in today's world - and it will take time for everyone (including the evangelicals) to realize that.

    we aren't unique in facing change -- europe after all, suffered upheaval and change during the last 65 years that would make our collective heads spin off.

    yet countries as diverse and historically religious as Italy, Germany, Sweden and Ireland have progressively become less and less religious, more socially tolerant, and MUCH less violent and troubled than we.
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  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    we aren't unique in facing change -- europe after all, suffered upheaval and change during the last 65 years that would make our collective heads spin off.

    yet countries as diverse and historically religious as Italy, Germany, Sweden and Ireland have progressively become less and less religious, more socially tolerant, and MUCH less violent and troubled than we.
    I mildly disagree ...
    I think we are the most open and tolerant of all societies. All of the european countries are still relatively homogenous and do not face the same kind of social or political challenges that we do. They are perhaps more senstive to some of these issues because of what has happened in the last 100 years in their own backyard (which we haven't had to experience) - but we still debate issues vigorously and openly here.
    I would venture that Italy and Ireland are still deeply religious, perhaps more so than US. Germany and Sweden never struck me as being religious to begin with (even going back to the past) so it is no surprise that they are less religious than US.
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  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    I mildly disagree ...
    I think we are the most open and tolerant of all societies. All of the european countries are still relatively homogenous and do not face the same kind of social or political challenges that we do. They are perhaps more senstive to some of these issues because of what has happened in the last 100 years in their own backyard (which we haven't had to experience) - but we still debate issues vigorously and openly here.
    I would venture that Italy and Ireland are still deeply religious, perhaps more so than US. Germany and Sweden never struck me as being religious to begin with (even going back to the past) so it is no surprise that they are less religious than US.

    church attendance and influence in all those countries is a fraction of what it had been -- or of what it is here.

    I can't now cite a referrence, but those self-identifying themselves as strongly religious is also I believe a fraction of the US.

    Half empty (or worse) cathedrals are the norm across europe.

    And when their church attempts to influence its flock to oppose social reforms like the right to choose an abortion, the right to same sex equity, the right to divorce, the people there invarably reject the church commands.
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  8. #28  
    Since you were asking:
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    My questions:
    1. Is Intelligent Design just a Creationism trojan horse as its critics claim?
    Yes. Old wine in new bottles.
    2. Can Intelligent Design be taught without inferences to religion?
    In principle yes. But since it totally lacks supportive evidence unless you call the Bible evidence, it makes no sense whatsoever outside of religion.
    3. Is it a theory worthy of discussion?
    In principle, yes. But since there are no data which support it, the discussion is relatively short: until you bring up supporting evidence, "intelligent design" does not reach "theory" status, it will continue to be considered as "unfounded idea" or "fantasy".
    4. Since ID/Evolution/Creationism is a topic of public debate, shouldn't the tenets of each be discussed in a biology class?
    No. Biology is about science. ID/Creationism is about religion. Would you say the the laying on of hands should be taught in medicine?
    5. Should a biology class be evolution-only?
    No, but science only, not science mixed with religious beliefs.
    6. Does it really matter what we expose ninth graders to for 2-4 weeks of their lives?
    Yes. If it doesn't matter, why would you or Bush care?


    From a European perspective, Bush supporting the teaching of ID in US schools is a good thing. It will continue to give the US a reputation of religious fundamentalism and medieval thinking, thus making it more and more easy for European universities to attract the brightest international graduate and post-graduate students, a trend which has already been strong in the past years of Bush policies:

    "The number of foreign graduate students applying to study in the United States has dropped dramatically, according to a survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) in early 2004. The precipitous decline, and reports of continuing delays in the processing of international U.S. visa applications, prompted NAFSA: Association of International Educators to issue recommendations in April calling attention to the "prospect of an impending 'reverse brain drain,' in which the United States could lose increasing numbers of gifted foreign scientists to more welcoming countries."

    The CGS survey found that more than 90 percent of U.S. graduate schools of all institutional sizes and types reported an overall decrease in international graduate student applications for fall 2004. .... Applications decreased in all major fields, but the most striking declines were in engineering and the physical and biological sciences.

    "The alarming declines in applications reported by CGS member graduate schools are in areas critical to maintaining the scientific enterprise and economic competitiveness of our country as well as the cultural and intellectual diversity that contributes to the international renown of U.S. graduate education," says Debra W. Stewart, president of CGS."

    (Source)
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    ...the "scientific community" of yesteryear was convinced that there were only four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Holden
    "Here is what we believe (religiously) and here is what the scientific community currently thinks . . . . with the aside that they also thought the earth was flat once. . . .
    Neither the idea of the four elements nor the idea of earth being flat were scientific "convictions". Science is a method which was developed starting in the 17th century and later. The examples you quoted are from ancient Greece and from the Middle Age.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10. #30  
    clulup - don't tell me you expect an "intelligent" response from the ID advocates??

    but seriously ....
    my hope is that enough sensible people can help guide those who are open-minded but confused on some of these issues. Of course this would not be in the interest of the extremist evangelicals whose agenda is to drive a deeper wedge between the people.

    And I'm perhaps more optimistic than most - we're still a vibrant democracy where even extreme opinions are heard (and even get elected), and we still have the best and brightest minds in the world. I don't have the facts - but I'm sure that, in spite of declining enrollment, we still have far more people entering our academic programs than the rest of europe combined.
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  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Science is a method which was developed starting in the 17th century and later.
    WHAT?!?!?

    So I guess the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas didn't practice science???

    I'm sure that would be news to them, since they were pretty cutting edge at the time.
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  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    I think the reason that we have this dichotomy is because we are the most progressive society in the world.
    Most progressive in what sense? Fivefold higher homicide rate, highest divorce rate, traffic death, infant mortality rate etc.?
    This means rapid change in the way the society operates (at several levels - technically, socially, politically) and our moral and ethical principles can barely keep up.
    No way the changes in the US during the past 50 or 100 years have been more profound than in Europe. Remember WWII? Germany vs. the rest of Europe/the World? Later the fall of the USSR, the integration of Eastern Europe into the EU, etc.? E.g. Berlin is the second largest Turkish city in the world. London, Paris, Madrid are home to millions of Muslims and other foreigners. 20% of the Swiss population are foreigners. I strongly doubt there was less change in Europe when compared to the US during the past decades.

    Yet religion does play a FAR smaller role in politics and everyday life. E.g. gay marriage is not something many European countries worry about. Intelligent design in schools? A laughable idea in Europe, unheard of. Most European countries are much more liberal than most states in the US. The influence of religion on politics, education, etc. is close to zero. But still, there are far less homicides, a lower divorce rate, far lower teenage pregnacy rates, lower abortion rates despite more liberal laws, etc. So no reason to assume more religion leads to "better" morals.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    WHAT?!?!?

    So I guess the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas didn't practice science???

    I'm sure that would be news to them, since they were pretty cutting edge at the time.
    All of them did practise science - but in a fragmented way. What clulup means is that the basic principles and methodology of scientific inquiry was standardized (and agreed to) across europe in the 17th century.
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  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    WHAT?!?!?

    So I guess the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas didn't practice science???
    Galileo Galilei is generally considered to be one of the founders of scientific method of measuring, creating hypotheses, falsifying or verifying them, etc. While others were creative and resourceful before that time, and some of them came to very valid conclusions, they did not use the modern scientific method in a strict sense.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Galileo Galilei is generally considered to be one of the founders of scientific method of measuring, creating hypotheses, falsifying or verifying them, etc. While others were creative and resourceful before that time, and some of them came to very valid conclusions, they did not use the modern scientific method in a strict sense.
    Maybe not, but I have a hard time declaring that these advanced societies were not practicing science when they invented higher mathematics like geometry and trigonometry, started scientific disciplines like philosophy, psychology, biology, and medicine, and built incredibly complex structures like the pyramids, the Parthenon, the Sphinx, and Stonehenge with simple tools.

    Maybe "modern science" would've been a better choice of terms.
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  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Most progressive in what sense? Fivefold higher homicide rate, highest divorce rate, traffic death, infant mortality rate etc.?No way the changes in the US during the past 50 or 100 years have been more profound than in Europe. Remember WWII? Germany vs. the rest of Europe/the World? Later the fall of the USSR, the integration of Eastern Europe into the EU, etc.? E.g. Berlin is the second largest Turkish city in the world. London, Paris, Madrid are home to millions of Muslims and other foreigners. 20% of the Swiss population are foreigners. I strongly doubt there was less change in Europe when compared to the US during the past decades.

    Yet religion does play a FAR smaller role in politics and everyday life. E.g. gay marriage is not something many European countries worry about. Intelligent design in schools? A laughable idea in Europe, unheard of. Most European countries are much more liberal than most states in the US. The influence of religion on politics, education, etc. is close to zero. But still, there are far less homicides, a lower divorce rate, far lower teenage pregnacy rates, lower abortion rates despite more liberal laws, etc. So no reason to assume more religion leads to "better" morals.
    Actually you bring up my point exactly. Europe has a lot baggage from the past - the anti-semitism, the ethnic rivalries, relgious factionalism, extreme political turbulence etc. going back centuries. Being a land of immigrants, these issues don't have the same weight here in the US. We are a true melting pot though there are periods of "adjustment". Also, with each wave of immigrants comes new energy, ideas, cultures, that are assimilated. Yet, those who choose to cling to their way of belief are free to do so (e.g the Amish). I doubt that immigrants in european countries are as assimilated as here.

    I could give you numerous positive examples of progress we have made, compared to the rest of the world. In just a couple hundred years we have emerged as the superpower economically, technically, militarily, etc. and we are the most humanitarian and charitable country. Could we do better? of course - but it is still the best place to be. Why else would 90% of the world want to emigrate here?

    I agree that the religious issues that have cropped up here are really annoying and distracting - but that is the price you pay for a truly open and democratic society - everyone, even a minority, gets a say.
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  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    ...the anti-semitism, the ethnic rivalries, relgious factionalism...
    All are quite alive and well in Europe today. It's not like any of these haven't reared their ugly heads since WWII, they're all still taking place.
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  18. #38  
    Group Seeks Ban of Twentieth Century from Kansas School Textbooks

    A political action group in the state of Kansas is applying pressure on the Kansas State Board of Education to ban any and all references to the twentieth century from school textbooks, a spokesman for the group confirmed today.

    The move to ban the twentieth century came up in a series of contentious school board hearings this week as the group loudly complained that the state’s current textbooks are rife with references to the controversial century, which they say may or may not have happened.

    “These textbooks state unequivocally that the twentieth century occurred, as if that were a proven historic fact,” said Gordon Lavalier, the group’s leader and spokesman. “The simple truth is, the twentieth century is and has always been nothing but a theory.”

    If the group gets its way, starting in the fall of 2005 Kansas students would be taught from newly reconstituted history books that end in the year 1899.

    Among students at Kansas City’s John F. Kennedy High School, which the group has demanded be renamed William Jennings Bryan High School, reaction to the ban on the twentieth century was mixed.

    “If the twentieth century didn’t happen, does that mean I have to give up my iPod?” asked junior Carolynn Bevins, 17.

    But sophomore Zach Golloway, 16, was more upbeat about the news: “If it means that we have to learn a hundred less years of history, that would rule!”

    Elsewhere, President Bush called the jailing of a New York Times reporter “a positive step,” but warned that many other reporters were still at large.
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  19. #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    Group Seeks Ban of Twentieth Century from Kansas School Textbooks...
    I didn't even know where to start with this, and then I got to the last paragraph. That's pretty funny.
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  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    I didn't even know where to start with this, and then I got to the last paragraph. That's pretty funny.
    i guess this is what you would call "fair and balanced" satire?
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