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Michele Bachmann: Schools Should Teach “Intelligent Design”

Minnesota Congresswoman, and Presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann thinks that public schools should teach so-called “Intelligent Design” alongside evolution in science classrooms:

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann explained her skepticism of evolution on Friday and said students should be taught the theory of intelligent design.

Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, also proposed a major overhaul of the nation’s education system and said state administrators should be able to decide how they spend money allocated to them by the federal government.

“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”

Intelligent design suggests that the complexity of the universe cannot be explained by evolution alone, and must also be attributed to a creator or supernatural being.

“I would prefer that students have the ability to learn all aspects of an issue,” Bachmann said. “And that’s why I believe the federal government should not be involved in local education to the most minimal possible process.”

Bachmann is right about that last point, heck I’d like to see the entire Department of Education eliminated, but the idea that religious dogma disguised as psuedoscience belongs anywhere near a public school classroom is absurd, dangerous, and unconstitutional.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Just don’t call it Dominionism.

    Actually though, I think her statement is more of a straddle. She makes the evangelicals happy by saying that intelligent design is good science, but then she goes back to the more traditional libertarian side, saying the government should leave it alone.

    So, it is only really Dominionism to the extent that it is a call to get bad science, but good religion, on the high school curriculum?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. Muffler says:

    ID is not science. It has no fundamental empirical data a peer review. It is creationism repackaged so as to slip religion into the tax funded schools. The religious right are afraid of rational thought and children learning to study supporting evidence. It is not about teach the controversy…the Only controversy is evolution doesn’t care about their God (or any God) one way or another. Science isn’t about God…..it’s about proving the truth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. DC Loser says:

    Why not teach Pastafarianism in schools too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. Hey Norm says:

    Someone please explain to me “reasonable doubt on both sides”?
    Every discovery supports evolution. There is nonscientific basis for I’D. I fail to see the equivalence.
    And yet this woman is considered a serious contender for the Presidency by some.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. A voice from another precinct says:

    Personally, I question how important the origins of the universe are as part of the biology curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students. I take both sides to hold articles of faith on their respective views. The only difference being that the “scientists” get to declare which things get identified as “the truth.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  6. Brent Slensker says:

    @A voice from another precinct
    You’ve just shown your ignorance about Evolution Theory.. It has NOTHING to say about the ORIGINS of the universe. Science holds NOTHING on faith. Scientists have no “axe to grind”, there is no secret wink or handshake or impetus to discredit religion (any religion!). The volumes of scientific discovery in Organic Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics etc. ALL corroborate evolution. Read an 8th grade text book on Biology!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. J.S. Fowler says:

    The reason scientists get to postulate truth claims as “theories” and then continually pursue the validity of those theories is because science is based on observable phenomena. Religion, by its very nature, is based in explaining the unknown via personal inward revelation and spiritual enlightenment. Religious “knowing” is faith-based. Science is fact-based. Those who seek to be “right” often confuse the fact of their faith with empirical fact, but even science does not claim anything more than understanding some basic principles about the universe. Evolution is constantly being studied to gain more knowledge about how it works (and where it does not). This proves one thing-science continually searches for truth while religion continually acts on faith. Both are predicated upon assumptions. Only science is allowed to question those assumptions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    Yes, let’s get the Federal government out of education. Because it’s not at all possible that the MIchelle Bachmanns of the world can seize control of local school boards — or even state ones — and condemn vast swathes of the country to ignorance and stupidity. It’s our constitutional right to have our children taught nonsense that will keep them from competing in the world as long as this stupidity is mandated by a more local government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. john personna says:

    It would lead to an interesting dynamic, wr, as observation-based and faith-based peoples flock together.

    But hey, maybe some people want a cardiac surgeon trained by Bob Jones University.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Bernieyeball says:

    If Intelligent Design is somehow mandated by local governments (school boards) to be taught in taxpayer supported public schools by government agents (public school teachers) then Natural Selection and Evolution should be taught side by side with Genesis in all the nations Christian Sunday Schools. This would be a truly level playing field. What’s fair is fair.
    Since there is reasonable doubt on both sides, I support is putting religion on the table and letting the students decide.
    How about it Michele?
    P.S. Maybe we should mandate the teaching of the Stork Theory of human reproduction in biology class too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. mr5000 says:

    I taught science at a junior high school in 2009-2010. Science text books do not present evolution as a theory, it is presented as scientific fact. It is presented as fact in the the chapter that discusses evolution and throughout the text when referencing time or how things came about. Evolution has yet to explain the origin of the universe, in fact evolutionists are constantly changing their theories on origins, as technology disproved old ones.

    To say faith has no place in science is contradictory, when one must take a great many thing on faith when holding to evolution. An evolutionist must have faith that thousands of intermediate lifeform fossils will be discovered. He must believe that the universe brought itself into exsistance. Finally he must have faith that overwhelming odds, irriducible complexity, and apparent design are just a coincidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  12. DMan says:

    mr5000,

    Please stop teaching science to anyone until you learn what it means for something to be a scientific fact.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. Scott O. says:

    How intelligent design works:

    http://www.gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug/2005/12/10/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Aussie Kim says:

    Anyone who declares that “evolution is only a theory” should remember (or learn) that gravity is also only a theory.

    Anyone who demands that evolution should explain how the universe began is merely proof that evolution often doesn’t work particularly quickly and still has a lot of work to do.

    Evolution deniers are dumber and far less useful than amoeba.

    Anyone who claim that science is based on faith doesn’t know what science is and should either shut up, learn to read or should make themselves useful members of society for the very first time by donating their bodies to the fertiliser industry. (since they’re already so good at producing tonnes of BS every time they speak…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. DMan says:

    Here’s a great starting point for mr5000 in case he lands a job teaching physics.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int,1778/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Aussie Kim says:

    Mr5000 – you taught science? No, no you didn’t. That’s pretty obvious.

    You are obviously a fraud. I pity your students, since you’re dumber than a rock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. mr5000 says:

    If evolution is fact, how is it that bone marrow is being found in dinosaur fossils? Where are the thousands of intermediate lifeforms? How do you explain thermodynamics? Why are we weaker than our chimp ancestors?

    It is easy to propose both intelligent design and evolution as logical explanations for what exists. It is only a problem for those whose worldview does not allow for the existence of a creator or a world without.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  18. Tano says:

    To say faith has no place in science is contradictory, when one must take a great many thing on faith when holding to evolution.

    You are using the term “faith” in two very different ways here. You seem to be saying that, or example, if I do not reproduce all the experiments that led to the acceptance of the atomic theory of matter, then my acceptance of the existence of electrons and protons and neutrons, is based on “faith”. And you are then equating this sense of “faith” with religious faith

    That is a ridiculous argument. The “faith” that leads me to accept well-founded scientific facts without repeating all the experiments is not at all the same thing as religious faith. I accept scientific facts because others have repeated the experiments, because the theories have undergone thousands of cases of being tested or used in such a manner that, if they were false, it would have been made evident. This is not “faith” – it is accepting the result of a very long series of critical analyses.

    An evolutionist must have faith that thousands of intermediate lifeform fossils will be discovered.

    Hundreds of thousands have been found. We can trace the evolution of all manner of complicated body forms by looking at the fossil record. Just for one example – the three tiny little bones inside your middle ear, that help transfer sound energy to the inner ear – they are homologus with the jaw bones of fishes. You can follow, in the fossil record, the gradual emergence of new jaw bones (the ones we have), and the gradual shift of the original bones back toward the ear – in the tetrapod lineage.

    He must believe that the universe brought itself into exsistance.

    How can you expect any scientist to accept that there is some force external to the universe that could play a role in this, given that there is no, nor can there ever be any, empirical evidence for extra-universal factors. “Faith” is when you believe something for which there is no evidence. You cannot equate that with declining to believe something for which there is no evidence.

    Finally he must have faith that overwhelming odds, irriducible complexity, and apparent design are just a coincidence.

    That demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of evolution. The “apparent design” and “irreducible complexity” are the result of natural selection – which is highly NON-coincidental. Natural selection SELECTS certain forms – by their survival, and selects against other forms, by their extinction. Thus the forms that persist are, with each generation ,better adapted to their environment. They change because the change makes them more fit, not for random or coincidental reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    It has no fundamental empirical data a peer review.

    DNA shows a designer.

    The religious right are afraid of rational thought and children learning to study supporting evidence.

    There is ZERO evidence for evolution.

    Science isn’t about God…..it’s about proving the truth.

    lol….

    Why not teach Pastafarianism in schools too?

    why not teach the creation story for the religion of secular humanism, oh wait….

    . It’s our constitutional right to have our children taught nonsense that will keep them from competing in the world as long as this stupidity is mandated by a more local government.

    lol…

    Every discovery supports evolution.

    Nothing supports evolution except imagination , art and wishful thinking.

    You’ve just shown your ignorance about Evolution Theory.. It has NOTHING to say about the ORIGINS of the universe.

    lol evolution is based on time chance and billions of years, care to try again?

    This proves one thing-science continually searches for truth while religion continually acts on faith.

    Coming up with new theory because the last bunch you had have been disproved and shown to be completely wrong headed because you want it to be true is called blind faith.

    Only science is allowed to question those assumptions.

    lol….

    Bored with scoffers and mindless factess rules attacks.

    Ho lot of them people are dumb hick christian bigotry going on around here:)

    same old same old….immune to reason facts and logic. No humor and all about the atheist dogma.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  20. anjin-san says:

    Evolution has yet to explain the origin of the universe

    And it never will. That job belongs to other sciences, most notably physics and astronomy.

    You have to love the right’s vision for America. We will become a third rate nation of ignoramuses, but everyone will have a glow in the dark Jesus somewhere in the house. We might have more jobs though, as China and India will surpass us and start outsourcing rote/low skill tasks to Americans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Mr5000 says:

    You are using the term “faith” in two very different ways here. You seem to be saying that, or example, if I do not reproduce all the experiments that led to the acceptance of the atomic theory of matter, then my acceptance of the existence of electrons and protons and neutrons, is based on “faith”. And you are then equating this sense of “faith” with religious faith.

    I am simply saying that you are believing certain things to be true that have not been proven. A logical reason for the origin of the universe has yet to be presented, so you just sweep it aside and believe it happened somehow. Many leading revolutionary scientists are now presenting the theory that the universe is eternpal, which requires a great deal faith.
    Hundreds of thousands have been found. We can trace the evolution of all manner of complicated body forms by looking at the fossil record. Just for one example – the three tiny little bones inside your middle ear, that help transfer sound energy to the inner ear – they are homologus with the jaw bones of fishes. You can follow, in the fossil record, the gradual emergence of new jaw bones (the ones we have), and the gradual shift of the original bones back toward the ear – in the tetrapod lineage.

    Are you suggesting that because every organism shares traits with some other organism, that they intermediate? That is only acceptable to those who already believe in evolution. An intelligent design theorist would say that shows design. I am asking about the thousands of half and half creatures that must exist, like the archeoptrics bird.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Boyd says:

    Speaking as a Christian, if you are seeking for proof of God in nature, science, or anywhere else, you have a very basic misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian, and are not following the teachings of Christ. Faith based on proof isn’t faith.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Mr5001 says:

    If evolution is fact, how is it that bone marrow is being found in dinosaur fossils? Where are the thousands of intermediate lifeforms? How do you explain thermodynamics? Why are we weaker than our chimp ancestors?

    It is easy to propose both intelligent design and evolution as logical explanations for what exists. It is only a problem for those whose worldview does not allow for the existence of a creator or a world without.

    I have a magical wand that I couple with a jedi-mind hand wave both of which explain all of your questions very well (and with empirical data backing it no less!) – this should be included with the other new curriculum, my friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. DLH says:

    Every Christian should read The Language of God by Francis Collins (head of the Human Genome Project). That book was very important for me in helping to reconcile faith and science. I now see evolution as a wonderful work of the Creator, and I am always astounded by its beauty and depth (which is absent in intelligent design).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Tano says:

    A logical reason for the origin of the universe has yet to be presented, so you just sweep it aside and believe it happened somehow.

    Well, it did happen somehow. I am kinda confident of that.
    Do you doubt that the universe began?

    I agree in part with what you seem to be saying. Although there is lots of corroboration for the theory of the big bang, we have no idea of what came before that, or why it happened. Scientists freely admit that. How can you criticize them for failing to believe in some preexisting supernatural force, when we have no evidence for that, nor can we ever have evidence for what preceeded the big bang.

    . I am asking about the thousands of half and half creatures that must exist, like the archeoptrics bird.

    Archaeopteryx is a very famous form because it was the first species in the category that we now recognize as birds. Birds are very popular animals, were the subject of particular study by some famous evolutionists, and the fossil itself was quite the surprise when it was found.

    But on a deeper level, it is not of some different kind of fossil than tens of thousands of others. It shows a suite of characters that distinguish it from all other forms (thats why we recognize it as a separate species), and the nature of that character-set helps us to understand how that species is related to other forms on the “tree of life”.

    In this sense, Archaeopteryx is no different than the dozens of fossil forms that show transitional forms of the ear-bones that I discussed in my earlier comment. Each of those fossils exhibit the character in a form that was different from its ancestors, and different from forms that came later.

    An intelligent design theorist would say that shows design.

    Once again – the process of a character becoming ever more adapted to the environment, through natural selection, causes the character to appear “designed” – in the sense that with each generation, the character is better suited to fulfilling a role for the organism that helps it survive. People with bad eyesight are less successful in all manner of survival tasks. Those with good eyesight do better, and pass their genes on to the next generation at a much higher rate. Over time, the population has a greater percentage of members with good eyesight. This is a relentless process, unless the species goes off and lives in a cave (then good eyesight is no longer selected for). Over many generations, the average eyesight of the population increases enormously.

    That may look like design – in fact some scientists speak of the “creative powers” of natural selection (I personally do not like such language). But a “design theory” does more than just claim that a character “looks designed”. It proposes, out of thin air (actually out of an ancient book written by desert nomads), that there is some supernatural designer. Thats just another way of saying “its magic”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Clivesl says:

    Boyd pretty much nailed it, if you are a true Christian and have true faith, you don’t feel a need to prove it. Only those that have nagging doubts will feel the need to have their religion forced upon others through this psuedo-scientific drivel.

    By the way, saying that because you don’t understand it, therefore it must have been created by god is not science, never has been science, never will be science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. mr5000 says:

    Speaking as a Christian, if you are seeking for proof of God in nature, science, or anywhere else, you have a very basic misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian, and are not following the teachings of Christ. Faith based on proof isn’t faith.

    In the first chapter of Romans Paul said, God is evident in his creation. If we simply ignore science, professors are going to convert the great majority of Christians entering college into agnostics.

    Every Christian should read The Language of God by Francis Collins (head of the Human Genome Project). That book was very important for me in helping to reconcile faith and science. I now see evolution as a wonderful work of the Creator, and I am always astounded by its beauty and depth (which is absent in intelligent design).

    Before the fall of man there was no death, without death evolution does not work. Evolution and Christianity cannot coexist if you hold to a biblical account of creation.

    Mr5000 – you taught science? No, no you didn’t. That’s pretty obvious.

    You are obviously a fraud. I pity your students, since you’re dumber than a rock.

    Wow Kettle, call me a fraud then acknowledge my former students.

    Well, it did happen somehow. I am kinda confident of that.
    Do you doubt that the universe began?

    I agree in part with what you seem to be saying. Although there is lots of corroboration for the theory of the big bang, we have no idea of what came before that, or why it happened. Scientists freely admit that. How can you criticize them for failing to believe in some preexisting supernatural force, when we have no evidence for that, nor can we ever have evidence for what preceeded the big bang.

    It is pretty evident that the evolutionist has a problem with supernatural events being used to explain the world around us. I am simply making the argument that alternate universes rubbing on one another and giant space explosions with no known cause, takes a great deal of faith in evolutions validity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. PD Shaw says:

    Belief in intelligent design is not dominionism; if it was something like 99% of U.S. Presidents were dominionist. A vast majority of Americans would be dominionists.

    Dominionist believe in recreating Old Testament law, with the death penalty for non-believers, stoning of witchings and reducing women to property. These views are rare but exist (sometimes called reconstructionist) and they are the largest advocates of genocide in the U.S.

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  29. Tano says:

    It is pretty evident that the evolutionist has a problem with supernatural events being used to explain the world around us.

    Yes, that is true. That is what distinguishes science from religion.
    Look, you are free to invoke supernatural explanations for whatever you want to do. Just don’t try to pretend that it is “science” and don’t try to get it taught in science classes. OK?

    We can make a deal here. I won’t try to get evolution taught in Sunday schools.

    I am simply making the argument that alternate universes rubbing on one another and giant space explosions with no known cause, takes a great deal of faith in evolutions validity.

    No one claims that “alternate universes rubbing on one another” is a scientific fact. The fact that there is no understanding of what came before the big bang does not mean there is any lack of evidence that it happened. Once again, this is not a matter of faith – it is corroborated evidence supporting a coherent theory.

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  30. john personna says:

    Come on, PD. First, we weren’t talking about personal belief, we were talking about the role ID should have in public education. Second, your list of “what is Dominionist” goes to at least the “hard dominionism” extreme.

    Or, jumping to another page:

    Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Christian Reconstructionism are not the same thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Boyd says:

    mr5000:

    In the first chapter of Romans Paul said, God is evident in his creation. If we simply ignore science, professors are going to convert the great majority of Christians entering college into agnostics.

    First, this is one of the problems that often crops up in discussions: you address something that wasn’t actually said. I’ll restate it for you: if you’re looking for proof of God in nature and science, then what you have isn’t faith. Of course there’s evidence of God, the most meaningful to us being His Word, The Holy Bible.

    Secondly, I have no idea what you’re trying to say about ignoring science and agnostics. I see all those words are English words which I understand, but the way you string them together makes no sense to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. john personna says:

    @mr5000, I’m sure you’ve got your head into the conflict at this point, but put me down as another who sees conflict between science and religion as unnecessary.

    Indeed, not only is it possible to reconcile faith with the observable, it might even be our responsibility.

    At least I don’t think God wants us to make up crap to justify Him.

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  33. DLH says:

    Evolution and Christianity cannot coexist if you hold to a biblical account of creation.

    A literal view of the Creation account is not at all central to Christian doctrine. As my Old Testament prof said, you are within the realm of orthodoxy whether you say that the Creation myth (myth being used in the literary sense) is a literal description of events, or if you say that it is allegorical and symbolic. Indeed, St. Augustine and several other early Church fathers expressed that the Creation account may not be a literal telling of events.

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    Great work, mr5000, I’m just getting ready to put my son back in a public school and I discover that a moron is teaching science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. john personna says:

    A literal view of the Creation account is not at all central to Christian doctrine.

    I wonder what it’s really like to carry a literal view around. Say you pull up at a road-side marker, and it tells you that the mountain to the left last erupted as a volcano 5 million years ago. Do you scoff? And despair that the seculars are so deceived?

    Or do you keep internally a kind of duality, two parallel worldview that accept both a 6000 year old earth and a 5000000 year old volcano?

    I suspect that it’s actually the later.

    (And for what it’s worth, it’s a real stumbling block for me that God would dummy-up a 6000 year old volcano, as a trick, to make it look so much older.)

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  36. DLH says:

    (And for what it’s worth, it’s a real stumbling block for me that God would dummy-up a 6000 year old volcano, as a trick, to make it look so much older.)

    Hahaha yes. My favorite one is the idea that God created the light from distant stars so that it was already on its way to Earth. That way it wouldn’t need billions of years to get here. Have you ever heard such great science, theology, and philosophy rolled into one idea? Unfortunately, I believed this at one point in my life. I’m glad I’m finally free to see God’s beauty through science.

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  37. Ryan says:

    Despite how utterly moronic I think this lady is she is going about this in a very cunning way. If she were to say “I want to have Intelligent Design taught in the science classroom,” there would be even more people against her position. What she did was flip the argument so it hits home with her base. She has very misleadingly turned the argument into an assault on our Personal Freedom. “Why let Big Guv’ment dictate what we teach our kids? derpa derp.” She states that she wants to have both sides taught and let the students decide. The issue that I have with this is that she is trying to say that intelligent design (NOT a scientific theory) has even remotely equal footing with evolution (actual scientific theory like gravity with real evidence) and should have equal time in schools. The Christian-Right has always denied the validity of the evidence for evolution without understanding what real evidence is, or even what science actually is to begin with. What this truly represents is an assault on our children’s critical thinking skills. If students are told that a theory with no scientific evidence at all can be as valid to a theory with mountains of evidence, why is science needed at all? They know that they have no real evidence so they must attack the opposing side’s evidence, giving the finger to logic and reason. Faith, as they have come to call it is, in reality, suspension of disbelief. They have disabled their mind’s ability to filter BS from reality so they can believe something without any basis in fact. This position that she is touting, in the short term, may not appear to be a big problem but, I believe, will be immeasurably damaging to society if this is propagated over years. Imagine what kind of crazy conclusions these soon-to-be adults will have if you damage their way of examining reality at an early age. I see this having many terrible, long reaching effects.

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  38. michael reynolds says:

    jp:

    It’s simple: literalism is for stupid people who don’t think, period, let alone reconcile conflicts of that nature. Or it’s for people so weak, so scared of the world around them that they’ve performed a sort of auto-lobotomy.

    Intelligent people can believe in God. They cannot believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

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  39. anjin-san says:

    Perhaps God created science. It’s here for a reason. And ID is not science. Sorry, but a great deal of the Bible is simply things that were made up over the centuries by the church hierarchy for reason of their own.

    I am not denying the existence of God, I am open to the concept. But our trying to tell ourselves that we understand the will of God or the true nature of God is like an ant claiming to have a firm grasp of particle physics.

    Our souped-up ape’s brains have allowed us to scratch the surface of the mysteries of the universe. Some things, like evolution, we are pretty darned sure about. The scientific method does actually work pretty well, as our being here on the internets attests.

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  40. Socrates says:

    “Speaking as a Christian, if you are seeking for proof of God in nature, science, or anywhere else, you have a very basic misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian, and are not following the teachings of Christ. Faith based on proof isn’t faith.”

    See, I think this is very curious. You have faith, but, it cannot be based on any evidence (proof) and it cannot be based on what you can see and hear and observe, and so it is based on, what, exactly?

    You simply reason your way precisely to Christianity? It’s how you were raised? A preacher told you it was true? God talks to you? It just feels true? It sounds better than the other mythologies? You just know it in your heart?

    Because the Bible says so? But we already know that at least some (if not all) of the Bible is metaphor (you can’t accept all of it literally, right?) How do you know which parts to accept literally and which parts are mythology?

    Also, the idea that, if there’s any proof, then it can’t be faith – I think you’re safe with this because there’s exactly zero evidence of any kind to support Christianity (I think that in itself is very odd – you’d think there would be something!)

    But does this mean that if any proof ever does come to light that Christianity will crumble, because you can’t have faith if you have any proof?

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  41. michael reynolds says:

    People believe in God because they are afraid of responsibility and of death.

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  42. john personna says:

    FWIW Socrates, I learned that view of Faith, as spiritual, in a church.

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  43. mr5000 is the problem says:

    mr5000, please kindly do us all a favor and stop teaching. You’re what’s wrong with the American education system. You’re the reason why we have kids growing up believing that scientists believe humans came from monkeys and gorillas (false), that the only viable form of birth control is abstinence, and that things that seem too complicated must have happened due to design.

    Please kindly open up any college-level introductory biology textbook, which you probably skimmed and mostly ignored to get your degree, and educate yourself. It’s a shame that people like you are basically given the keys to our country’s future. You’re the reason why American public schools are ranked so lowly in comparison to other developed countries. Keep your stupid religious drivel out of our schools. America was NOT founded as a “Christian nation”, as much as you religious fanatics like to make it out to be. Any time someone tries to advocate ID as an acceptable “alternative explanation” to life on Earth that needs to be taught in schools NEEDS to have their teaching credentials revoked.

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  44. mr5000 says:

    mr5000, please kindly do us all a favor and stop teaching. You’re what’s wrong with the American education system. You’re the reason why we have kids growing up believing that scientists believe humans came from monkeys and gorillas (false), that the only viable form of birth control is abstinence, and that things that seem too complicated must have happened due to design.

    You seem to share the same view as most in the comments section, that I am stupid and should stop teaching science. I know how much smarter everyone here is, but please allow me to share a little secret. Teachers cannot and do not teach outside of the text they are given for the class. Each class is tested at the end of the year to gauge what the students have learned. Every teacher must spend the entire year preparing the class for the exam. If I spent the year teaching things not in the text, no student would pass the test. I was under the impression that everyone making comments on a story about someone trying to get intelligent design into the text books, understood that.

    With that point made, you all must be implying that anyone who has faith is stupid and should not be allowed to teach. Secondly, if I were to teach something as controversial as intelligent design in the classroom I would more than likely be sued and/or fired. For these reasons Bachmann is wanting intelligent design presented alongside evolution. Please save me any further insults, unless you are willing to do so with the label of a bigot.

    Please kindly open up any college-level introductory biology textbook, which you probably skimmed and mostly ignored to get your degree, and educate yourself. It’s a shame that people like you are basically given the keys to our country’s future. You’re the reason why American public schools are ranked so lowly in comparison to other developed countries. Keep your stupid religious drivel out of our schools. America was NOT founded as a “Christian nation”, as much as you religious fanatics like to make it out to be. Any time someone tries to advocate ID as an acceptable “alternative explanation” to life on Earth that needs to be taught in schools NEEDS to have their teaching credentials revoked.

    I seriously doubt that you yourself have been to college because “skimming” will not earn a passing mark in a division 1 college. The reason we are ranked so low has more to do with the method used to educate the country. It is up to teachers to present what they are given in a meaningful and inspiring way. But again you need to look elsewhere to cast insults about what is given.

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  45. Socrates says:

    “FWIW Socrates, I learned that view of Faith, as spiritual, in a church.”

    In other words, someone, or some group of people, told you Christianity is true.

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  46. Socrates says:

    “Please save me any further insults, unless you are willing to do so with the label of a bigot.”

    This one often gets pulled out pretty quickly whenever one questions the truth claims of Christianity.

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  47. PD Shaw says:

    jp, your definition of dominionism means approximately 80% of Americans are “soft” dominionist, who don’t believe only evolution should be taught in public schools. The “soft” modifier is a recent invention, sort of like realizing that you are offending people by calling them NAZIs and calling them “soft” NAZIs instead. People opposed to affirmative action are “soft” Klan members. Muslims are “soft” jihadists.

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  48. PD Shaw says:

    My link and definition of dominionism is from the religious tolerance website. Not a friend of dominionist sor intolerance, but also not a friend of misuing labels in order to sew intolerance.

    Dominionism, Dominion Theology, Christian Reconstructionism, Theocratic Dominionism, Kingdom Now theology, and Theonomy are interrelated Christian belief systems that are followed by members from a wide range of conservative Protestant denominations. They are not in themselves denominations or faith groups.

    These belief systems find a voice in Christian Reconstructionism — a political movement to convert the United States — and eventually the entire earth — into a theocracy in which dissenters, adulterers, sexually active homosexuals, some sexually active bisexuals, witches, sorcerers, etc. would be exterminated.

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  49. Boyd says:

    Socrates, if you think evidence is proof, then you’re not the great philosopher I thought you were.

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  50. Mr5000 says:

    “This one often gets pulled out pretty quickly whenever one questions the truth claims of Christianity.”

    Did you read my post?

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  51. Mr5000isaSham says:

    People teaching evolution like Mr5000 here is why many children don’t understand what the theory of evolution is supposed to explain. The fact that he thinks it’s a theory to explain the origin of life just goes to show he doesn’t even read the books he uses to “teach” children.

    All he is doing is responding to the myriad of insults towards him instead of just admitting that he doesn’t understand 1) What “theory” means, 2) What evolution explains and, 3) Why ID isn’t science.

    What a joke. Piss-poor teacher if I’ve ever seen one.

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  52. Socrates says:

    “Socrates, if you think evidence is proof, then you’re not the great philosopher I thought you were.”

    Here is the definition of “evidence” from dictionary.com:

    1.
    that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
    2.
    something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
    3.
    Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

    Here is one from define.com:

    1. That which makes evident or manifest; that which furnishes, or tends to furnish, proof; any mode of proof; the ground of belief or judgement; as, the evidence of our senses; evidence of the truth or falsehood of a statement.

    I think you’ll find that this is the accepted definition of evidence. There might be some little sliver of difference between “proof” and “evidence”, but they are essentially equivalent. Certainly they are not two entirely different things.

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  53. george says:

    I’d be okay with them teaching Intelligent Design in science class, so long as they also taught Intelligent Falling along with Newton’s Gravity (why should the Newtonists religion be the only one taught), as well as Intelligent Stuff along with chemistry (ie if you’re going to brain wash kids about there being atoms and the like, you should give them the alternative that water is just water all the way down), and if you do teach elements, there should be equal time given to the theory that everything is made up of just four elements – water, air, fire and earth.

    If the people pushing Intelligent Design were consistent about teaching every possible alternative in all the sciences I’d take them seriously. As it is, they’re just another special interest group who want their particular theory taught, but don’t want to make room for Aristotle’s physics, or old Egyptian theories of fire etc.

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  54. Ben Wolf says:

    “The reason we are ranked so low has more to do with the method used to educate the country. It is up to teachers to present what they are given in a meaningful and inspiring way.”

    This is why education in the United States is of such poor quality. What the above quote really means is something I heard repeated ad nauseam when I was a teacher, that it doesn’t matter what a teacher actually knows, it only matters how they teach.

    This is orthodoxy in the world of public education, and it is exactly why Mr5000 sounds like he has no understanding of science. Only his teaching methods are important; understanding is irrelevant and unnecessary. You all may be surprised to learn that becoming a science teacher does not require a degree in the sciences, it requires a degree in education.

    An education degree is entirely about pedagogy, while wisdom and knowledge of a given area are barely touched upon.

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  55. Boyd says:

    In that case, if I’m ever wrongly accused of a crime, I sure hope you’re not on the jury.

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  56. george says:

    How do you explain thermodynamics?

    The question proves you don’t teach science (or shouldn’t). If you go back to your 2nd year university physics texts, you’ll find that the increase in entropy occurs in a closed system – ie one in which no matter or energy enter or leave. In the case of the earth, that closed system includes the sun. And the entropy production (as well as energy production) of the sun is many, many orders of magnitude greater than any decrease of entropy related to life on the earth … the closed system is running a huge entropy surplus. This is about as uncontroversial as it gets – its on the level of F=ma (or F=dp/dt for you as a science teacher).

    But of course you knew that, because you teach science.

    Look, if you’re going to make up qualifications, at least make it sound plausible. Would you take me seriously if I claimed to a Biblical scholar but claimed I’d never heard of the Trinity?

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  57. Mr5000 says:

    The theory of Evolution would require that, for the present universe to exist as it is today, the First Law of thermodynamic would have to operate it the exact opposite direction in the past. In other words, over time all systems produced more energy than they lost. In practical terms, this would mean that stars fuelled themselves to burn, spiral galaxies wound themselves up before unwinding, and life started as highly complex and thereafter began to deteriorate. Matter, and therefore energy, would have had to simply appear, without an origin.

    The theory of the ‘Big Bang’ origin of the universe also flies in the face of this Law of Conservation of energy, because it postulates that (without any supernatural help) the entire universe appeared from nowhere and literally exploded into its present shape! Logically, if matter and energy can appear like this in the past, it could happen at any other time, in the present, anywhere, but of course it never has been seen to happen because today the Law of Conservation of energy is accepted as operating reliably everywhere. The energy/mass of the present universe is the sum total of all the mass/energy. A ‘Big Bang’ would produce nothing but chaos, and it would totally contradict the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    The second Law of Thermodynamics states that all processes go towards a condition of greater probability. (Known as entropy). This means, in practical terms, that all complex things are gradually breaking down into simpler things, energy is being lost as heat, and the whole universe is moving inexorably towards a point when there will be no more useful energy left to do work. This is called the ‘Heat Death’ of the universe.

    Comets disintegrate, satellite orbits slow down, (i.e. the rings of Saturn, and the planetary moons are gradually collapsing inwards or spiraling away), the fuel in the stars burns up, stars explode and disintegrate, radioactive substances lose particles until they are reduced to their most basic level, living things gradually age and finally die. Entropy increases all the time in an open system.

    The whole universe is subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Yet the evolutionary theory claims that, in the past, everything went the other way. It is claimed that simple life gained more and more genetic information and became more complex. Despite the fact that everything decays and ages and dies, evolutionists insist that in the past things went the other way. They claim that mutations and natural selection actually produced bigger, better, and stronger forms of life, despite the fact that mutations are almost always harmful, and natural selection has never done a thing for genetics except weed out the weaker life forms from the stronger.

    Because no new information is ever added by natural selection, no species can ever be anything but what it is. Information may be lost, but never gained – for example the many dog breeds demonstrate the potential locked in the genes for variety, but no new kind of animals has ever emerged because that would require a mass of new genetic information, which never occurs.

    So, because of these two Laws, Conservation of Energy and Entropy, the theory of evolution is the exact opposite to what is acknowledged today as correct science.

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  58. Christian says:

    G.A. Phillips: “There is ZERO evidence for evolution.”

    Go back to church and leave science for the open minded. What an absurd statement. The evidence for evolution is infinite compared to the evidence of god. Shut up.

    George: “2nd year university physics texts, you’ll find that the increase in entropy occurs in a closed system”

    Are you f**king kidding? I think you must have have had too much wine (sorry blood of christ to you). You might want to go back an read up. And no- haha, the sun and earth are not a closed system. You’re insane. A closed system means there would be no light, heat, radiation, or gravity entering or affecting our solar system- which is obvisously stupid. You’re stupid. Seriously, you are not smart enough to be on the internet. Pack up your computer and send it back.

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  59. Scott O. says:

    The theory of intelligent design would require that we believe the designer intended about a third of fertilized human eggs to fail to implant in the womb, about a quarter of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth, and about a third of all children to die of childhood diseases before age ten (before those “scientists” messed up the plan with their vaccines).

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  60. Aussie Kim says:

    “Scott O. says:
    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 20:43″

    If most religions are to be believed, God is a murdering psychopath with self-esteem problems and a severe god-complex. God may or may not exist, but religion is is utter rubbish that should be openly ridiculed. Religion encourages dictators, helps the stupid stay stupid, helps brainless sheep stick together and encourages ignorance, violence and evil.

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  61. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    Oh, for gosh sake. Not the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” argument again. How many PhD’s telling you creationists that you’re wrong will it take to make you stop insisting that your understanding of the SLT is right while everyone else who actually studies physics and gets ALL CAP Latin letters after their names is wrong?

    Anway, Mr5000, please read these articles on the “Thermodynamics, Evolution and Creationism” web page at TalkOrigins, which dispensed with your line of argument a decade and half ago.

    Seriously, if you won’t believe physics PhDs, then who can you possibly cite to support your claim?

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  62. john personna says:

    PD, it is a craven technique to take a wikipedia reference and answer it “by your definition.”

    But beyond that you new claim is that most Americans want ID in schools?

    Poll?

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  63. john personna says:

    (I see an Ohio, non-national poll, with around 80%)

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  64. george says:

    Are you f**king kidding? I think you must have have had too much wine (sorry blood of christ to you). You might want to go back an read up. And no- haha, the sun and earth are not a closed system. You’re insane. A closed system means there would be no light, heat, radiation, or gravity entering or affecting our solar system- which is obvisously stupid. You’re stupid. Seriously, you are not smart enough to be on the internet. Pack up your computer and send it back.

    Take a deep breath, and re-read what I wrote, and then what I wrote. The argument from creationists is that life breaks the 2nd law of Thermodynamics. The reason that argument doesn’t hold is because the 2nd law only is true for closed systems. There are of course no completely closed systems, but the solar system (including the Kuniper belt, the Oort cloud and so on) is about as good a one as we’re going to get including the earth, which is what is needed if we’re talking about evolution. In this system, the 2nd law states that entropy should be increasing – which in fact it is, because the sun’s entropy production is orders of magnitude larger than any increase or decease on the earth. The bottom line is that the 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn’t preclude life, either today or its evolution. As a creationist you might wish it were otherwise, but the math is pretty straightforward … and you’ll find even most of your creationist colleagues concede that point.

    BTW, resorting to insults really doesn’t help your case.

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  65. When observing someone like Michele Bachmann; it is hard to believe that evolution or intelligence exists at all.

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  66. sam says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker

    Anyway, Mr5000, please read these articles on the “Thermodynamics, Evolution and Creationism” web page at TalkOrigins, which dispensed with your line of argument a decade and half ago.

    Alas, Eric, according the Fourth Law of Thermodynamics (just minted), exogenous energy (contradicting information) will not be allowed into a closed mental system.

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  67. Socrates says:

    Getting back to Ms. Bachmann, and other supporters of creationism – I always want to ask, what century is this? How is it that America, which has lead the world in science for the past 100 years or more, could be debating whether to teach ancient mythology as science in public schools?

    How is that Ms. Bachmann is taken at all seriously by any educated person?

    After the recent Republican Presidential debate, I saw people like Gloria Borger and David Gergen praising Bachmann’s performance. They’ve been to college, yes? But they never bring up the fact that Bachmann is a theocratic whack and her husband “cures” gays.

    How did the most prosperous nation, with the most highly respected universities in the world, a country that landed spacecraft on the moon decades ago, how did America get to this place where dimwits and theocrats and anti-science extremists are not only taken seriously; they seem to be controlling the debate.

    How have we come to to this place? How did this happen???

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  68. David says:

    I thought I would give creationism a look again. Opened up the Bible and started reading. Got a quick question, which creation story Is true? There are two, and they are not consistent.

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  69. boom+time=life. says:

    With the exception of 1 or 2 posters, every comment is pro evolution. Surely someone here can explain to me how an explosion can result in order. Evolution claims that an explosion given enough time, can result in people. Where is an example of an explosion in nature, resulting in a more ordered state than it started? Furthermore how is it logical that all the energy in the universe gets confined to one spot and then suddenly explodes?

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  70. john personna says:

    Surely someone here can explain to me how an explosion can result in order.

    I think you are looking at local order, as opposed to average order. A daisy may grow. Separately, a star may explode.

    For average order to be increasing, the universe would have to be over-filling with life.

    We don’t see that.

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  71. Aussie Kim says:

    …how an explosion can result in order.”

    Works every time for US foreign policy, doesn’t it?

    Read. Our. Lips. You mental pygmy – evolution DOES NOT PURPORT TO EXPLAIN HOW THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE.

    GUESS WHAT? you CAN believe in God AND evolution at the SAME TIME. God hopes desperately that humanity will make its best attempt to NOT BE DRIBBLING AMERICANS, er, SIMPLETONS and also hopes that we don’t reduce god to some unimaginative, lazy schmuck who only worked for less than a week.

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  72. lunaticllama says:

    Why do you want the DOE eliminated? Do you not believe that the gov’t should help the lower and middle classes attend undergraduate and graduate programs? Do you believe that only those of means should go to school? (Sorry, banks aren’t going to lend tens of thousands of dollars to young people w/ no credit history to attend school w/ the possibility of one day getting paid back)

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  73. Aussie Kim says:

    Why should banks lend ANYTHING to most Americans – they only earn $3 an hour and have to beg like monkeys for tips. It’s uncivilised. Join the 21st century, America and introduce decent wages, civilised healthcare and everything else the modern world has. (and hell, we’ll throw the metric system in for free if you call now!)

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  74. john personna says:

    Don’t be such a dag.

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  75. boom+time=life says:

    Read. Our. Lips. You mental pygmy – evolution DOES NOT PURPORT TO EXPLAIN HOW THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE.

    Good answer, what is it that pro evolutionists call those that hold to intelligent design with no proof of God’s role in the creation of the universe, disillusion?

    But hey this is science, let some other field worry about the tiny details, like why or how the universe came about all by itself. With this line of logic, I can reason that when an airplane crashes into a junkyard and I find a Rolex, the plane crash must be responsible for the watch.

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  76. john personna says:

    Good answer, what is it that pro evolutionists call those that hold to intelligent design with no proof of God’s role in the creation of the universe, disillusion?

    You misunderstand your fellow Americans. Actually a large number think that God and evolution are compatible.

    At last count, 38 percent think humans evolved, with God guiding

    Atheist-Evolutionists are the minority, at 16%.

    Thus, it’s a bit misleading to always claim that evolutionists are the atheists.

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  77. john personna says:

    (I think there are some churches that misinform their members a bit, telling them that the two choices are ID and God, or evolution and atheism.)

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  78. john personna says:

    This is interesting … that link I gave above shows the atheist slice increasing since about 2000. I’m not sure that is a trend which will continue, but looking around, I see this paragraph by “Rev. BigDumbChip” is good:

    I find this to be a poor examination. Yes The DaVinci Code and other books like it are, as he says mumbo-jumbo. But I think the backlash is more directed at the rise of fundamentalism and the war of science and reason more than a backlash against fictional books. His point is way off the mark and lessens the importance the books questioning the actual mumbo-jumbo of religion.

    If that’s true, the hard-line “evolution is not compatible with faith” fundamentalists are creating a battle they are also losing.

    It would be a stronger position, and better for Christianity, to make peace with the fossil record.

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  79. Scott O. says:

    Whenever I find a Rolex in a junkyard after a plane crash I conclude that it was created by an invisible being.

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  80. Tano says:

    Whenever I find a Rolex in a junkyard after a plane crash I conclude that it was worn by someone in the crash.

    Actually, that is not too bad of an analogy (not so great, either….)

    The universe pre-big bang is considered to be totally unordered. But the disorder of the universe is relative to the its size. Compared to the size of the universe now, the pre-big bang universe was highly ordered.

    Imagine for example, a small box filled with hydrogen. Within the box, the gas is maximally disordered – it has maximum entropy – it is evenly distributed within the box. But if you open the box in a large room, then suddenly the gas is highly ordered – it is all packed away in one small area within the room. Of course, it then proceeds to disperse – and gain in entropy again. Now open the room to the outside world, and the gas is once again highly ordered – confined to one small room in the universe – until it starts to disperse again..

    The universe is always expanding. It is always “chasing” the maximal entropy that one would expect, given the 2nd law of thermodynamics There are enormous areas of relative order that exist as a function of how the universe expands, areas that then proceed to move toward disorder.

    The plane crashes. The ordered microcosm of the watch survives. For a while – it is, of course, on its own path of deterioration. Our sun, on which all life depends, is also a tiny little island of order – matter confined to a small space – but in the process of burning itself out, which it will eventually do, and end all life in this solar system.

    In the meantime, some of the energy being emitted just disperses randomly, some of it orders matter into certain configurations for a while, and then those deteriorate as well (thats life, baby….)

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  81. john personna says:

    “The universe pre-big bang is considered to be totally unordered.”

    It’s actually a trick question. Before the big bang, there was no before.

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  82. boom+time=life says:

    Maybe if I ask one question at a time, I can get an answer. Where in nature does an explosion result in a more ordered state, than what existed pre-explosion?

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  83. Socrates says:

    Oh come on!

    The origin of everything is mysterious to science and religion alike. “Why is there something rather than nothing” is a question no one can answer.

    Evolution/Natural Selection have nothing to do with the origin of the universe. Nothing. Nothing to do with the Big Bang, explosions, pre-explosions, etc. It’s a ridiculous straw man. Stop it.

    Show at least a smidgen of intellectual integrity, for Pete’s sake.

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  84. Ben Wolf says:

    Maybe if I ask one question at a time, I can get an answer. Where in nature does an explosion result in a more ordered state, than what existed pre-explosion?

    Your question has been answered twice, but we can try again.

    The explosion doesn’t create more order, it represents a step toward greater disorder. With a bomb that transition is over in a period of minutes or seconds. In terms of our particular universe, that transition has been playing out for roughly ten billion years and will do so probably for a few trillion more.

    We’re going from the highly ordered quantum fluctuation of the Big Bang to the maximally disordered Big Freeze when the universe goes cold and dark.

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  85. boom+time=life says:

    Your question has been answered twice, but we can try again.

    The explosion doesn’t create more order, it represents a step toward greater disorder. With a bomb that transition is over in a period of minutes or seconds. In terms of our particular universe, that transition has been playing out for roughly ten billion years and will do so probably for a few trillion more.

    We’re going from the highly ordered quantum fluctuation of the Big Bang to the maximally disordered Big Freeze when the universe goes cold and dark.

    So, you are saying that because of the great amount of time involved, there is no way to reproduce the big bang on even the tiniest scale? 10 billion, I missed the part where you got that number. Is it 10 billion because of some measurable process, or is it 10 billion because the more we learn about the universe the more complex we find it to be?

    Let me present my line of thinking in a different way. The evolutionist believes that the universe and all life on earth is the result of an uncaused eternal source of energy and matter, that exploded for no apparent reason and arranged itself into humans, purely by chance. Those that hold to an intelligent designer believe the universe and all life on earth was brought into existence by an uncaused eternal being. From a child’s perspective both of these scenarios seem like fiction but evolution is accepted as science, while intelligent design is magic.

    Please spare me, the creator uses evolution theory. I want to here from someone who leaves magic, out of the equation.

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  86. Ben Wolf says:

    You didn’t ask about reproduction, you asked how an explosion could create order. I (and others) have informed you that the Big Bang did not “create” more order. We have informed you that order can increase locally (stars, planets, galaxies) so long as the overall net effect of the entire system is toward disorder.

    P.S.

    If you don’t know where the 10 billion year figure comes from, you don’t follow the science very closely.

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  87. boom+time=life says:

    You didn’t ask about reproduction, you asked how an explosion could create order. I (and others) have informed you that the Big Bang did not “create” more order.

    Where is an example of an explosion in nature, resulting in a more ordered state than it started?

    I didn’t ask about reproduction? Your reading comprehension is not so good, me thinks.

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  88. Tano says:

    From a child’s perspective both of these scenarios seem like fiction but evolution is accepted as science, while intelligent design is magic.

    Chemical evolution, leading to life, and then biological evolution, leading to the life-forms we see today, is fundamentally different from magic.

    We understand an awful lot about the properties of chemicals and their reactions. The formation of complex molecules from simpler ones, with a sufficient injection of energy, of course (energy which is in the process of being dissipated – hence consistent with the 2nd law) is a straightforward process. It has been replicated in the lab.

    The formation of lipid layers into membranes is also a straightforward process of basic chemistry. All of these processes are far less “magical” once you actually study them in detail, as scientists have been doing now for hundreds of years.

    Sane with biological evolution. The very complexity of large molecules, especially DNA, means that there is a large scope for variation, and thus lots of new forms and arrangements that can end up surviving better than previous forms.

    I would strongly urge you to take some time and really study these subjects. It is endlessly fascinating, and there is enormous amount of knowledge that has been learned over these centuries.

    Trying to learn science from preachers or political activists however is a fools errand. .These people have huge agendas – they are not really interested in knowledge, but rather they want to push their religion or ideology. You wouldn’t ask a scientist to explain the Bible to you – you shouldn’t expect any valuable scientific knowledge from preachers or politicians.

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  89. Ben Wolf says:

    @boom

    boom+time=life says:
    Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 13:24
    Maybe if I ask one question at a time, I can get an answer. Where in nature does an explosion result in a more ordered state, than what existed pre-explosion?

    Go ahead tough guy. Deny that was your comment. I don’t see a question about reproducibility in there.

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  90. Ben Wolf says:

    @Tano

    I would strongly urge you to take some time and really study these subjects.

    Unfortunately, there’s a sizeable chunk of the electorate which sees its ignorance as equal to your education.

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  91. george says:

    Maybe if I ask one question at a time, I can get an answer. Where in nature does an explosion result in a more ordered state, than what existed pre-explosion?

    Actually it happens on a local scale in every nuclear explosion (the sun for instance). There is more order in having a single helium nucleus than in having four hydrogen nuclei. Of course, the liberation of energy means that for the system as a whole, the disorder has increased. That does not mean that the disorder is uniformly increased – the difference between average and individual values, if that helps you visualize it.

    The misconception of people who haven’t studied thermodynamics in university is that entropy has to increase at all times at every location at all scales. That definition would make even a simple gasoline engine impossible, or a star (ie fusion). The key concept is that of a closed system – the 2nd law doesn’t in general hold for open systems.

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  92. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    The evolutionist believes that the universe and all life on earth is the result of an uncaused eternal source of energy and matter, that exploded for no apparent reason and arranged itself into humans, purely by chance.

    As has been pointed out time and again: No they don’t. While a lot of “evolutionists” believe in Big Bang theory that is not the result of them being “evolutionists”.

    I am convinced by evolution theory and I like blue dress shirts. But I do not like blue dress shirts because I believe in evolution.

    If you like you can continue to discuss the beginnings of the universe but it has sqat-all to do with evolution. Even if you assume that the universe was created by god, that would still not rule out evolution as a mechanism of biological and chemical change in nature.

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  93. Ben Wolf says:

    @george,

    Yours is the fourth attempt to explain this.

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  94. Aussie Kim says:

    This is HILARIOUS!

    Anyone who asks “so when does an explosion lead to ordered, tidy existence” are quite obviously childless and quite probably VIRGINS!

    You’ve outed yourselves! HAHAHA!

    (Because who wants to have sex with idiots?)

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  95. Aussie Kim says:

    Oh, and by the way – volcanic explosions lead to fabulously fertile soil.

    Also, assuming the THEORY of gravity is true, after the Big Bang the stuff in the universe was ALWAYS going to clump together in some way or other. In what way is this _difficult_ to comprehend? So there was an explosion – so what? Given 14 BILLION YEARS, most stuff will settle down to some kind of order. If you don’t understand this it’s because you don’t WANT to and are REFUSING to. Please – if God exists, God gave you a brain. Mint-condition brains aren’t worth anything, so please try using the one you were given and stop insulting God by deliberately learning nothing, ever.

    Religion is a cop-out and a fraud. Religion makes simple people stupid. Religion makes lazy people dangerous. Religion is why America is going down the toilet.

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  96. Aussie Kim says:

    Creationists: Proof that there is more than 1 universe, that they exist in the same space simultaneously & yet cannot be crossed, certainly not by information.

    Why do I always manage to get into these arguments with creationists, instead of just avoiding them and saving so much time and effort? Arguing with creationists is no different to banging one’s head against a concrete wall – the wall is still there, unchanged, unbending and all you have managed to do is give yourself a massive headache.

    Creationists – we can’t educate you. No one can. You cling to the words of your uneducated preachers and assume everything they say is correct. (so do Islamic terrorists, by the way – you should remember that. Oh the Irony.) So I reckon, let America teach “Intelligent” “Design” in its schools. In fact, let Christianity take over EVERYTHING in America (as if they haven’t already) BUT… let us build a huge wall around you and impose a no-fly zone around you so that we never have to deal with you again. We will cut our ties with you, chop through your internet cables, etc, and just ignore you until you come to your senses. Grow your own food (for the 1 billion people you will soon have, due to a complete lack of education and contraception), burn your books to stay warm and live and die like little worker ants. Please – the world does not respect and does not NEED your Special Brand of Ignorance. WE call it mental retardation. YOU call it Christianity. American Christianity is a scourge that needs to be expunged from the face of the earth. If we can’t, we need to isolate you like North Korea until you wise-the-f*ck-up or disappear entirely…

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  97. Boyd says:

    If Aussie Kim’s rant isn’t ad hominem, I’m not sure what would qualify.

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  98. Aussie Kim says:

    Depends if you class creationists as human. Humans evolved like the rest of the Animal Kingdom. Where did Creationists come from?

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  99. Aussie Kim says:

    Suck it up, princess – just because most of the rest of the world is too polite to say it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said. Truth hurts.

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  100. Boyd says:

    Heh. You actually think you hurt my feelings. Sweet!

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  101. Aussie Kim says:

    Heh? You actually carry on like this? Sheeeet!

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  102. Ben Wolf says:

    @Aussie Kim

    You might want to tone it down a little, as some of your comments are coming close to the banning boundary, and the editors at OTB have been more vigilant lately about that sort of thing.

    Unless you don’t care, of course. Just FYI.

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  103. Aussie Kim says:

    Ben – no probs, that’s as strong as I would bother getting, anyway. I just find it endlessly frustrating that in an era when we are no longer supposed to be ignorant, ignorance is gaining pace and interfering in modern life more and more these days and it’s quite pathetic.

    I like to laugh at the deliberately ignorant and I certainly like to point at those who encourage ignorance and ridicule them. They don’t deserve my respect and I’m not sure they deserve anyone else’s, either.

    The reason America is going down the tubes is because ignorance has been deemed equal to education and knowledge; giving “equal time” to ignoramuses and those intent on obfuscation has meant (for example) that cigarette companies have been far too powerful for far too long and scientists for almost 50 years have been ignored when they told us that climate change is real and borne out in ALL the REAL RESEARCH.

    The other reason is because NO ONE in America is brave enough to stand up against your virulent Far-Right Wing Christians, or any OTHER group of insane extremists. That idiot who predicted Jesus making a comeback on May 21 – why hasn’t he been _arrested_? He has caused mayhem and pain and poverty for his vulnerable (mentally under-developed) sheep and he needs to be imprisoned and sued.

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  104. An Interested Party says:

    The other reason is because NO ONE in America is brave enough to stand up against your virulent Far-Right Wing Christians…

    If that were truly the case, than “Intelligent Design” would already be taught in America’s public schools…

    That idiot who predicted Jesus making a comeback on May 21 – why hasn’t he been _arrested_?

    Probably because most people were too busy laughing at him…

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  105. Aussie Kim says:

    The other reason is because NO ONE in America is brave enough to stand up against your virulent Far-Right Wing Christians…

    If that were truly the case, than “Intelligent Design” would already be taught in America’s public schools…

    Fair enough. Next on the list – close down the Creationism Museum. It’s in the US, but built by an Aussie. I’m embarrassed. I’ll help fund the campaign to get it closed down. (and then re-opened as a comedy show.)

    That idiot who predicted Jesus making a comeback on May 21 – why hasn’t he been _arrested_?

    Probably because most people were too busy laughing at him…

    Yes, well we were wetting ourselves over here, that’s for sure. I think the US should introduce compulsory insurance for anyone who joins a cult, so in case of idiocy-induced unemployment and poverty, they can fund their own recovery.

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  106. boom+time=life. says:

    Dear Aussie Kim

    Your looking glass is as damaged as the creationist, you so thoroughly despise. No matter what evidence I could produce for the authenticity of the bible or exsistance of a creators signature in creation, your worldview would likely remain constant. The Intelligent design theorists, have the same problem.

    How can anyone ever accept something which their worldview does not allow for. It is well known that the majority of Christians and atheists are raised by like minded parents. The question is why not let an agnostic make up his own mind by giving him all the possibilities?

    We can continue to argue about who is right and who is wrong but it will not change anyone’s worldview. One simple fact remains, no matter how wrong you think they are, the overwhelming majority of the world believes in a higher power.

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  107. Aussie Kim says:

    Your looking glass is as damaged as the creationist, you so thoroughly despise. No matter what evidence I could produce for the authenticity of the bible or exsistance of a creators signature in creation, your worldview would likely remain constant. The Intelligent design theorists, have the same problem.

    -The Bible has a few historic facts and people in if. The rest is interpretation.
    -I never said I was an atheist. I’m not. There may or may not be a god or gods – I wish people could reject religion and simply be decent (or evil) all on their own. Good people do NOT need religion – they’ll be good anyway. Evil/bad/sick people use religion as yet another method of being evil/bad/sick. Religion in their case is merely another weapon. Hence – get rid of religion and people will have to be educated by people who KNOW STUFF like FACTS and INFORMATION, people will have to learn ethics and about human rights and such, there will be at least one less reason for people to Do Evil and people will have to grow spines and NOT be sheep.

    How can anyone ever accept something which their worldview does not allow for. It is well known that the majority of Christians and atheists are raised by like minded parents. The question is why not let an agnostic make up his own mind by giving him all the possibilities?

    -Because you know full well that we are not discussing the types of DECENT religious people who are happy for others to make their own choices. We are talking about ‘Christian” extremists who are trying to force religion into science classes. If you can’t see the difference between religion, myths and science, then I am not the one with the problem.

    We can continue to argue about who is right and who is wrong but it will not change anyone’s worldview. One simple fact remains, no matter how wrong you think they are, the overwhelming majority of the world believes in a higher power.

    -So what? The majority of the world also believe that US foreign policy is one of the most evil regimes on earth, but no one’s going to fix that any time soon, are they?

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  108. george says:

    How can anyone ever accept something which their worldview does not allow for. It is well known that the majority of Christians and atheists are raised by like minded parents. The question is why not let an agnostic make up his own mind by giving him all the possibilities?

    Sure, but its a question of what you teach in school. There have been hundreds of theories of why objects fall, some religious, some scientific. Should schools teach all the possibilities, and then leave it up to each student to make up their own mind?

    Teaching Intelligent Design in religious studies in school could be a good idea – religion is a huge element in human history, and all religions should be studied by all students. Teaching all possibilities in science class means you’re going to have high school graduates who still haven’t gotten to F=ma because there are thousands of alternative explanations.

    Having said that, I think Aussie Kim is a troll.

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  109. Aussie Kim says:

    Sure – teach “Intelligent” “design” – in RELIGIOUS CLASSES.

    “Having said that, I think Aussie Kim is a troll.”

    Yeah? Wanna buy a bridge?

    I think creationists are mindless trolls. I, however, am merely stating what is bleeding obvious to anyone with a discernible IQ. (which is why creationists don’t get it.)

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  110. boom+time=life. says:

    I am not a scientist and do not claim to be. I am a normal guy but regardless of what evidence there is for or against evolution, it has one huge problem to overcome. Where did the material needed for a universe come from and why did it start. I agree that because you can’t explain every piece of the puzzle, that’s no reason to disregard evolution. An uncaused being outside of time, makes as much since to me as an uncaused eternal universe, accidentally resulting in life.

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  111. george says:

    I am not a scientist and do not claim to be. I am a normal guy but regardless of what evidence there is for or against evolution, it has one huge problem to overcome. Where did the material needed for a universe come from and why did it start. I agree that because you can’t explain every piece of the puzzle, that’s no reason to disregard evolution. An uncaused being outside of time, makes as much since to me as an uncaused eternal universe, accidentally resulting in life.

    That problem exists for any theory. For instance, in the case of Intelligent Design, the question becomes “where did the creator come from?” Defining it away isn’t satisfying (ie the material was always there, or the creator was always there), but there doesn’t seem to be any other option. This is the “its turtles all the way down” problem (generalized from Bertrand Russell).

    However, though the question of where the material came from is interesting, and relevant for cosmology, it doesn’t play a role in evolution. Evolution just attempts to describe what happens with the material, not how it got there – which is the same as theories of gravity, which only describe how matter acts, not how matter got there. If we can only teach in science topics which we understand back to the beginnings we can’t even start, because we don’t know how anything got started.

    Moreover, if we can only teach theories which are proven we’ll teach nothing, because nothing in science is proven (math and logic have proofs, science is inductive and so there are never proofs). And even the lower bar of limiting it to things we understand well means we teach nothing, because there’s nothing we understand well – something you learn when you do a Phd in science. The closer we examine anything, the clearer the holes in our theories become. We either teach our best theories to date, or nothing.

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  112. george says:

    I should add, there is no contradiction between believing in God and evolution – many scientists believe God started the universe and created its laws, and that the process of evolution is as much part of God’s design as gravity. The conflict is purely between a literal interpretation of some religions’ holy books and our current theories.

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  113. boom+time=life. says:

    Many scientists may believe that God started started it all, but evolutionary textbooks and college professors don’t teach that. A child is raised to believe in a God from whatever religion, but when they get to college, they are told that life does not need God’s help. Most 20 somethings coming out of college believe in nothing.

    I don’t see any point in talking about the possibility of God using evolution. If you can believe God uses evolution, why is it so hard to accept the possibility that he didn’t.

    So many people are getting Hung up on telling me that evolution does not claim to explain the beginning and I understand that. My point is this, I can’t take evolution seriously because it is such are far stretch to believe that life and the universe came about from nothing for no reason.

    God does not have this problem to overcome. If God is a creator he created time, therefore he is outside of it. He does not need to explain his beginning because he does not have one. Evolution must account for a beginning regardless of what field handles it. I realize this is an exercise in philosophy but it is fundamental to both theorys.

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  114. george says:

    God does not have this problem to overcome. If God is a creator he created time, therefore he is outside of it. He does not need to explain his beginning because he does not have one. Evolution must account for a beginning regardless of what field handles it. I realize this is an exercise in philosophy but it is fundamental to both theorys.

    Actually the God explanation does have the same problem. If everything has a beginning, so must God. If everything doesn’t have to have a beginning, when why does the universe? You’re trying to define away the problem by including the quality (no beginning) as part of the definition of God, but that is word play, not an explanation.

    Evolution no more has to account for its beginnings than gravity does – its just not part of the theory. Now if you’re saying we shouldn’t be teaching gravity, or F=ma, or chemistry etc in school then I understand your point, though I think the end result would be America turning into a third world country as we fell behind in science. Sometimes I think that’s what many of the Intelligent Design people want – they ask for alternatives to scientific explanations. Which means alternatives to evolution, alternatives to quantum mechanics, alternatives to Newtonian mechanics, alternatives to physical chemistry. Suppose we spend just half the time on those modern theories, and spend the other half on religious alternatives (and there are some for each of those theories) – now our children have half the effective science education as other countries. How is that going to turn out?

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  115. Randy says:

    Just what we need, some tongue talking, snake passing, witch believing miracle worker as president. What ever happened to sanity in elected politics?

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  116. boom+time=life says:

    Actually the God explanation does have the same problem. If everything has a beginning, so must God. If everything doesn’t have to have a beginning, when why does the universe? You’re trying to define away the problem by including the quality (no beginning) as part of the definition of God, but that is word play, not an explanation.

    The only written definition I am familiar with is the Biblical one, and that definition describes God as the uncaused cause.

    Evolution no more has to account for its beginnings than gravity does – its just not part of the theory. Now if you’re saying we shouldn’t be teaching gravity, or F=ma, or chemistry etc in school then I understand your point, though I think the end result would be America turning into a third world country as we fell behind in science. Sometimes I think that’s what many of the Intelligent Design people want – they ask for alternatives to scientific explanations. Which means alternatives to evolution, alternatives to quantum mechanics, alternatives to Newtonian mechanics, alternatives to physical chemistry.

    No, intelligent design people want room for God in science. Evolution is the only theory that leaves no room for God, therefore most people of faith have a problem with it. Saying that God uses evolution, is simply a way for the religious to be friends with mainstream science. The are geologists, physicists, and astronomers that hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible. There are no evolutionists that hold to a literal interpretation, because the Biblical account does not allow for it. The scientific community seems to say to would be scientists, you can come to our party as long as you hold to evolution.

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  117. george says:

    Evolution is the only theory that leaves no room for God, therefore most people of faith have a problem with it. Saying that God uses evolution, is simply a way for the religious to be friends with mainstream science.

    So how do you feel about the Intelligent Falling theory, which says there is no gravity, but that God causes objects to fall. Is saying there is a force called gravity taking away room for God … ie there is either gravity or there is God, but there cannot be both?

    If there is room for both God and gravity (ie God working through gravity), why wouldn’t there also be room for God and evolution? Or God and quantum mechanics? Or God and Maxwell’s Equations? It seems to me that if God works through physical laws, then there is no problem with saying God works through evolution, which is theorized as just another physical process. If on the other hand God does not work through physical processes, then the theory of gravity (and every other scientific theory) is just as guilty of removing God.

    In a nutshell, if God works through physical laws, then there’s no conflict between believing in God and believing in evolution. If God doesn’t work through physical laws, then there’s a conflict between believing in God and believing in gravity, quantum mechanics, chemistry, and everything else in today’s science.

    I think the oddest thing to me is how inconsistent the religious claims against evolution are: I’d understand if evolutions religious critics wanted to ban the teaching of all science as being against God. But to single out evolution sounds like they have no idea of what the theory actually says … its a physical theory, like every other theory we have. It might be right, it might be wrong (just as every scientific theory might be right or might be wrong), but its completely physical, and has the same relation to belief in God as every other physical theory.

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  118. pillowbugg says:

    “Let the students decide?” Lets also teach the stork theory of human reproduction (health class), alchemy (chemistry class), astrology (astronomy class), rain dancing (meteorology class), flat earth theory (geography class), breathatarianism (economics class), exercism ( health class), greek mythology (civics class) and let the students decide what they want to believe.

    If Michele wants to think that 2 + 2 equals 3 then she is more than happy to think that, but don’t come anywhere near my children’s education with those mythological fantasies and try to pass them as fact.

    Christians have had 2000 years to acquire evidence for their “beliefs”, and have managed to present none. I’ll stick with the evidence and so will my children.

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  119. G.A.Phillips says:

    Go back to church and leave science for the open minded. What an absurd statement. The evidence for evolution is infinite compared to the evidence of god. Shut up.

    lol, why don’t make me, truly.

    There is ZERO evidence for evolution. no logic, no evidence. Nothing. Zip.

    Your mind is controlled by and filled with fantasy and crappy art, it is not open, like most who have commented here.

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