Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Equal Time For Creationism

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the can't-say-something-nice dept.

Science 3451

Brian Berns writes "Many news sources reported on President Bush's recent semi-endorsement of 'intelligent design', the politically correct version of creationism that is currently in vogue among groups of conservative Christians in the U.S.. While Mr. Bush was reportedly reluctant to make news on this topic, he apparently felt it was an issue he could not duck. Most of those same news sources, however, missed the recent condemnation of Darwinian evolution by the Catholic cardinal archbishop of Vienna. This NY Times op-ed appears to mark a deliberate attempt to reverse the late Pope John Paul II's acceptance of evolution as 'more than just a hypothesis'."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239548)

Oh, dear God...the Intelligent Design debate rears its ugly head once again. I predict a thousand comments on this story...easy.

OK...let's get the ball rolling, shall we?

Intelligent Design is not just unproven, it is inherently unprovable. Intelligent Design is not a science in any sense, but a theology, and as such, its place is in the church/mosque/synagogue/whatever, not in the classroom.

(Note: during these debates, the issue of my own faith is always raised, so let me address that now. I am a Christian. I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ died so that we may be saved.)

HOWEVER , I do not believe that such matters of faith should be taught in schools. I know that my faith is inherently unprovable...that's pretty much the definition of 'faith'. Matters of unproven, unprovable faith belong in your chosen place of worship. Matters of proven, or at least provable fact belong in the secular classroom.

Re:Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239574)

I have to say that the world would be a better place if more Christians were like you.

Re:Here we go again... (4, Insightful)

pizen (178182) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239717)

So true. Or at least if the ones that are were more vocal. I think the people giving Christianity a bad name are in the minority among Christians but they are, unfortunately, a very vocal minority.

Two thousand (0)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239597)

By the way, prepare to get modded up from the administrators for being a Christian.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239605)

I predict a thousand comments on this story

The over/under is 1,500 comments.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239624)

Actually, I'd take issue with this.

Christian Creationism has no place in the classroom (save for perhaps a religion class).

Intelligent Design != Creationism (even though some Creationists have co-opted the term, attempting to cloak promotion of Creationism in pseudoscience).

Intelligent Design certainly has a place in the classroom.

But not the biology or science classrooms. I'd hope that we've evolved, no pun intended, to the point that we can agree that this might belong in, say, a philosophy classroom. To say that it wholesale "doesn't belong in the classroom" is, I think, a disservice to honest discussions about our existence, further complicated by Creationists who want to do away with the theory and science of evolution completely.

Re:Here we go again... (3, Informative)

timster (32400) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239683)

Intelligent Design is an invention of creationists, and its intended purpose is to seem non-religious. Evaluated as science, it is based on two fallacies.

The first fallacy is its claim that evolution is a "random" process. Evolution is not random at all, as its progress is determined by natural selection (or the selection of God, if you prefer).

From that it moves to its second fallacy, the claim that living systems are too complex to arise from a random process. However, no mathematical evaluation of the level of complexity or the amount of intelligence required is ever made. As a matter of fact, the math was done decades ago, and it turns out that evolution works.

Intelligent Design does not belong in the classroom except as an example of poor scientific reasoning.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239740)

Creationism is fine in philosophy, social studies, or religious studies as a demonstration and comparison of creation myths.

Intelligent Design has no purpose. It's an attempt to wrap Creationism in a pseudo-science shell and create the appearance of a "debate" when there is no debate.

Culture wars is right. (2, Interesting)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239650)

Just like Phillip Johnson and his Intelligent Design Movement I support placing creationism over scientific theories in science classes. But I'm just being an agent provocateur.

If the trend continues, it will no doubt bring about the fall of reason in American culture, essentially the fall of Western(that's where it's derived from I guess, of course reason can be found in the cultures of various geographic locations, not just the West) culture in America. And then the fall of America itself, which is good in my provacative stance here. Maybe then the pendulum could swing back?

It seems now the American scene is populated only by orthodox Middle Eastern culturalists. A far cry from those triumphant moments of Western culture that ushered in the United States with a liberty-promising constitution. Evangelical Christians, political Zionists and political Islamists. All would-be revolutionaries trying to use the government to bring about the dominance of their values (with the implicit violence of the state). The same Abrahamic religions, the same fundamentalist mindset and, from that, the same theocracy-aiming politics. The Middle Eastern cultural movements like Christianity have great aspects, like all cultures. Their tendency to theonomic statism isn't one of the good ones, though.

Anyway, have fun with Sharia/Noahite/Whatever theonomy. Everyone deserves freedom, but, regardless of what you deserve, you won't get it if you can't, for the most part at least, accept enlightened culture and reject nihilistic culture. The concept of free-association is the greatest political development of Western and all culture. But the public seems to have eschewed enlightenment for they have bought the heavenly promises of the confidence game played by the Middle Eastern culturalists. Why wouldn't you take heaven? All you have to do is destroy this measly little finite world. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. No one has ever came back with a complaint though! We always deliver the goods upon death.

Re:Culture wars is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239679)

What is intelligent design if it does not imply creationism?

Re:Here we go again... (0, Troll)

sebFlyte (844277) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239657)

I agree wholeheartedly.

Creationism *does* have a place in schools, but in the context of philosophical and religious education, not in the context of science.

It is worse than disingenuous to suggest that both creationism and evolution are theories and should hence be given equal weight. It is also deeply misleading to suggest that it has support from a large section of the scientific community as a scientific theory... you simply need to look at the number of papers published on the topic in peer-reviewed journals to see that.

Creationism is just as valid a theory as that of the Great Green Arkleseizure, and has as much place next to evolution as the Coming of The Great White Handkerchief next to the Big Crunch.

Philosophy and independent critical thought should be taught and actively encouraged in schools but hokum should be kept out of the science classroom.

MOD DOWN KNOWN TROLL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239661)

It should be noted that TripMaster Monkey is a known karma whore troll. If you check his posting history, he always tries to get First Post (which is associated with trolling).

Yesterday, I managed to catch him in a lie. I said he never used SuSE Professional and then he told me he just installed SuSE (non-professional) on his laptop, exposing his comments as BS and lies.

If you don't believe me, check out his comments. He wants your attention by modding him up and lavishing him with praise. Don't reward this kind of behavior, it decreases the signal to noise ratio on Slashdot.

Re:Here we go again... (1, Interesting)

Eslyjah (245320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239685)

I also don't think faith should be taught in schools, and I also think that Intelligent Design is unprovable. However, I think you're making a leap of logic.

Intelligent Design is a collection of holes in evolutionary theory. It is very much scientific. It's not possible to prove that these holes add up to a Designer, but that doesn't mean they have no value. The rational response from those in the evolutionary camp is to poke around at the holes and see if they can't be resolved. Do science! In all likelihood, many of the holes will be filled by new discoveries and the better understanding of our world that comes with time.

Teach the critique of evolution. Teach that we don't know how some things work. In a science class, don't teach that these mean there must be a Designer. Is this unreasonable?

Re:Here we go again... (2, Insightful)

Billy the Impaler (886238) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239698)

The way I see it, though I am an evolutionist, the kids in school should at least be told that there is an opposing view. I'm sure most of them already know there is debate in this field but it is the most sensible thing to do. Share the facts and let the individuals make their own decisions.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239706)

I disagree on one point: I think religious matters, including faith, should be discussed in classes that deal with theology and the theories of religion (think philosophy programs). These can be secular classes.

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239709)

So you believe the bible do you?

If the bible is the word of God (and it is), then it should be provable through scientific methods (and it is). People who say that they think creationism or intellegent design is based on faith have never really looked at what is taught through intelligent design.

BTW. If your god did not create the heaven and the earth then your god is not the God of the bible no matter if you call your false god jesus or not. Read the gospel of John chapter 1 and know that the Word is Jesus Christ not evolution.

Thank you,
Richard Easterling

Re:Here we go again... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239713)

Remember its also a matter of culture. I believe I was taught many things about many cultures in my Social Studies classes. So saying these cultural things don't belong in school is absolutly wrong. Saying they don't belong in biology class (outside of a casual mention) is absolutly correct.

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239718)

Intelligent design ?? does this means Aliens created us.

Film at 1100 A.D. (3, Insightful)

XorNand (517466) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239549)

Sooo... a leader of the Catholic Church favors the teachings of the Bible over science? This isn't even news over at the 700 Club; it's certainly not 'news for nerds'. Guess Zonk just felt like fanning a religious flame war this morning.

Re:Film at 1100 A.D. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239728)

RTFA. It was not a leader of the Church, but
the President of these United States that wants
equal time for nut jobs in the classroom. (I
suppose we can cut back on math to make time for

I guess you got a +3 funny because people are
laughing AT you, and not at what you wrote.

Intelligent debate (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239551)

While I fully acknowledge that there are Creationists out there who quite literally believe the Bible's version of the creation of the Earth and our species, and indeed the universe, reject evolution out-of-hand, and ignorantly stand steadfastly against science, there is an actual place for philosophical debate about why we're here.

"Intelligent design", not in a form that has been co-opted by anti-evolution Creationists and people who think pi should be equal to exactly 3, has a place in this debate.

Does it have a place in a biology class? No.

Does it have a place in a philosophy class? Absolutely.

I rather liked this sequence from Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which Patrick Stewart elegantly sums up my, and likely many others', thoughts on this matter.

DATA: I have a question, sir. What is death?

PICARD: Oh, is that all?

You've picked probably the most difficult of all questions, Data.

[There is the beginning of a twinkle in Picard's eyes again. It is the sort of question that his mind loves.]

Some explain it by inventing gods wearing their own form...and argue that the purpose of the entire universe is to maintain themselves in their present form in an Earth-like garden which will give them pleasure through all eternity. And at the other extreme, assuming that is an "extreme," are those who prefer the idea of our blinking into nothingness with all our experiences, hopes and dreams only an illusion.

DATA: Which do you believe?

PICARD: Considering the marvelous complexity of our universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that... matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, pattern, I believe our existence must mean more than a meaningless illusion. I prefer to believe that my and your existence goes beyond Euclidian and other "practical" measuring systems... and that, in ways we cannot yet fathom, our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.

It's unfortunate that rabid anti-science Creationists have bastardized this debate, so that we can't really have a frank discussion about the science and theory of evolution on a backdrop of philosophical questions about how and why we're here.

In my 7th grade biology class, I'll never forget a kid raising his hand during the section on evolution and asking, "What about the Bible?" After a pause, the teacher replied, quite simply, "Well, some might say the Bible tells what God did, and science explains how he did it." Whether or not you agree fundamentally with religion in any form, it was a concise, non-confrontational answer to an honest question.

I do find it interesting the links that the submitter chose. For instance, a link of a center attempting to discredit Darwinian evolution was picked for "Intelligent Design" (in an obvious attempt to elicit a certain reaction), while the Wikipedia link was picked for Creationism. Why not pick the Wikipedia link for Intelligent Design [wikipedia.org] , too, which describes in a pretty unbiased fashion what it generally is? Intelligent Design might not be science, but it certainly has a place in philosophy. And further, Intelligent Design and Creationism are NOT the same thing. That some Creationists have co-opted the term is unfortunate, but still doesn't make Creationism equal to Intelligent Design.

And is it any surprise that an agent of the Catholic Church condemns evolution? I mean, come on, people...is this really news? Why don't we have a front page slashdot story about what the Muslim Brotherhood believes?

Intelligent Design, at its most basic level, asks that with all the beauty, wonder, and astounding perfection that make up the physical world around us, and indeed the science itself which proves it to be more and more elegant as time goes on, might there possibly be a force that surpasses our understanding that has allowed for, or caused, its, and our, creation? Is this provable? Nope. Is it a scientific theory? Nope. Will it ever be? Nope.

Does it hopefully have a place in humanity's honest questions about why we're here? I'd hope so.

But, to reiterate: does it have a place in a BIOLOGY or SCIENCE class? Other than a passing mention if a question is asked, no. Does it have a place somewhere in the curriculum? In an effective, broadly based course of study, I'd hope a wide range of ideas would be considered.

Re:Intelligent debate (2)

Netsensei (838071) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239616)

Does it have a place in a biology class? No.

Does it have a place in a philosophy class? Absolutely.
So. This is the point i'm totally behind. There isn't much more to be said. Either that, or they should teach Boedishm or satanism in Biology class too!

Re:Intelligent debate (1)

DigitumDei (578031) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239674)

The question is, if we added a class to US schools where religions were taught, would the people pushing for intelligent design and creationism accept buddhism, taoism and paganism in its various forms (plus many others).

Maybe they would, but I doubt it. These people want THEIR religion taught, not ALL religions taught. Which makes it a bit more of a problem in my eyes.

Re:Intelligent debate (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239622)

It's unfortunate that rabid anti-science Creationists have bastardized this debate, so that we can't really have a frank discussion about the science and theory of evolution on a backdrop of philosophical questions about how and why we're here.

It's unfortunate that the President of a developed country who is in direct charge of some of the most powerful and awesome technologies created by scientists continues to push an agenda that is anti-science.

Let's keep the Government's representatives' religious beliefs and traditions out of our personal lives please.

Re:Intelligent debate (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239739)

It's unfortunate that the President of a developed country who is in direct charge of some of the most powerful and awesome technologies created by scientists continues to push an agenda that is anti-science.

I agree.

But what does this have to do with anything I said?

I'm glad you're so righteously smug in your ethical beliefs regarding what can and can't be done with embryos, since that is almost certainly to what you're referring.

Personally, speaking as someone whose training has been almost exclusively in medical science, I fully support embryonic stem cell research. We have embryos that are and will continue to be destroyed today, that could absolutely be harvested for research. However, to ignore any ethical debate on such issues is just as ignorant as you'd paint the opposition. Scientifically, an embryo is, strictly speaking "human life"; so, when and why is it ok to end such life, regardless of the state it may be in? Why should we not examine the important ethical questions? There is absolutely no doubt that significant scientific benefit could come from cloning or farming of humans in more developed forms. So should we push forward with things such as that, full force? Or should we ask important questions that define our very humanity?

On this closely related topic: I am also not anti-abortion. But abortion is not only a "medical procedure", and not only about a "woman's choice". A life is ended. I am willing to concede that it ultimately be better, societally, for unwanted children to not be born. It does somewhat fly in the face of the concept that actions have consequences, but indeed, the action of forcing someone to have a baby they don't want itself has consequences. Consequences that will be manifestly negative. However, the assertion that abortion is only about "life" or "choice" are equally disingenuous. It's about both.

Re:Intelligent debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239626)

The Intelligent Design movement was created by anti-evolutionist creationist AIDS-denier Philip Johnson.

Plain old creationism is at least more honest.

Re:Intelligent debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239694)

In my 7th grade biology class, I'll never forget a kid raising his hand during the section on evolution and asking, "What about the Bible?" After a pause, the teacher replied, quite simply, "Well, some might say the Bible tells what God did, and science explains how he did it."

But evolution is nothing remotely like "somebody made a man out of dirt and then a woman from the man's rib, and all people are descended from them".

Genesis is fundamentally incompatible with evolution. It seems to me that the only people who claim otherwise are Christians who cannot accept that something they have believed in their whole life contradicts something that is increasingly obviously true. This is commonly known as "cognitive dissonance".

And don't give me any "metaphor" bullshit. If you can pick and choose which bits of the Bible are meant to be metaphor depending on whether or not it make sense, then I declare the bits about a god and heaven and hell to be metaphors, in which case the Bible's just a work of fiction like any other.

Transhumanism (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239556)

This is likely going to be more important than abortion in the far future. We transhumanists will be seeing how we can transform to what is next. I myself think that Christians could be included--but hardline creationists will probably want to ban transhumanism.

If you seek to engineer yourself, you'll need to recognize why you are so faulty in the first place. Creationism is just a dead end that will go nowhere and lead to no progress.

I don't think religion is a problem (despite the knee-jerk reactions by intelligent people). We can work around it. Post-transhuman life will be much like the Christian heaven anyway. Vastly expanded lifespan. Living among the stars.

Evolution... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239559)

It's strange to see Mr. Bush support intelligent design when he so clearly shows the link between man and monkey by his mere existance.

I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (-1, Flamebait)

aborchers (471342) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239560)

Really, this is nothing but provocation. There is no news value here...

Re:I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (5, Insightful)

Knome_fan (898727) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239603)

Really? The US president endorsing something like intelligent design isn't even newsworthy in your opinion?
That's scary.

Rest assured, for someone from Europe like me this whole debate looks really surreal and scary, but it's definately newsworthy.

Re:I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (2, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239649)

it's definately newsworthy.

Newsworthy? Yes.
Should it be discussed somewhere? Yes.
Should that discussion take place on Slashdot? Hell no.

The submission is nothing but a troll...Everyone read this site knows it will amount to over 1,000 posters screaming at each other.

Re:I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (1)

failure-man (870605) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239682)

Yeah, but a good flame war can be a marvelous thing. 1000+ comments of psychotics vs idealistic scientists.

Makes a great show for those of us too cynical to see it as a battle worth fighting anymore.

Re:I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239733)

The submission is nothing but a troll...Everyone read this site knows it will amount to over 1,000 posters screaming at each other.

I have read some of the most interesting discussions on the topic in times past when this debate was brought up.

Individuals that have a deep background in technologies, science, as well as religion are the ones to talk to when the ID/Creationism vs. Evolution debate come up.

It is interesting to learn how people w/a Slashdotter background is able to successfully ignore their technology/science roots to accept their religious ones. I am able to understand and relate to intelligent comments from people that have a similar background to me than to listen to a conservative religious leader with vested interests in "spreading the good word."

Perhaps you shouldn't jump to such a ridiculous conclusion just because people are arguing.

Re:I moderate this story -1 Flamebait (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239686)

The other person who replied to you gets it. My point is that there is no value in posting this material on Slashdot and that it will serve no purpose but to agitate the true believers on each side of this issue to start in on each other again.

I demand equal time for MY theory (2, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239566)

By which the future me went back in time and ejaculated into the primordial ooze, spawning life somehow. The details don't matter. In fact, the details create a ton of contradictions and other impossibilities, but hey, who cares about silly things like "evidence" when you have faith in my theory.

Not your theory! Family Guy had it first! (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239711)

Obligatory Family Guy Quote:

... arrested for "teaching the evolutionary theory that Gil Gerard used a time machine, went back and ejaculated into the primordial ooze" ...


Intelligence Scale (-1, Troll)

ModemRat (701119) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239571)

Below Normal Retarded Creationsists

My 2ps worth. (1, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239573)

Well, I do believe in life was intelligently designed, just not by God. What many theists don't understand is that inherit-randomness in a system often improves the quality of the decision making process. For example, There are algorithms that run faster if they make random decisions. Free market economics is very good at allocating resources where they are needed precisely because the of the random noise in the market. The speed at which DNA is "unziped" is determined by the imposed randomness present due to the Heisenburg uncertainty principle. It is optimised to use this randomness to reduce errors.

Intelligent design is not a scientific theory because in principle it can't be falsified. Say a creationist said: "ah ha, evolution can not explain how this particular thing evolved therefore it must be designed". Then the scientists found an explanation of said thing evolved, the creationist would just retreat to the next scientific mystery.

Intelligent design is no different from the ancients saying Thor created lightening, or Mars was the god of war. For some reason, the ID crowd have a real problem with saying: "you know what, I don't actually know the answer!" - they need to be taught that there is nothing wrong in not having the answer to everything.


Not all opinions are of equal value (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239576)

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists: "Not all opinions are of equal value, and we need to teach science - not religion -- in our science classes. We wouldn't teach astrology in astronomy courses, or give flat-earth teachings 'equal time' in the geography class."

Re:Not all opinions are of equal value (3, Funny)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239658)

"....We wouldn't teach astrology in astronomy courses, or give flat-earth teachings 'equal time' in the geography class."

Give it time, give it time.

Re:Not all opinions are of equal value (5, Informative)

falzer (224563) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239704)

The American Geophysical Union also weighs in [agu.org] on this recent news.


"Scientific theories, like evolution, relativity and plate tectonics, are based on hypotheses that have survived extensive testing and repeated verification," Spilhaus says. "The President has unfortunately confused the difference between science and belief. It is essential that students understand that a scientific theory is not a belief, hunch, or untested hypothesis."

Religion is mind rotting shit. (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239578)

The churches have to fight science. Every time science helps uncloud a mind they lose one of their sheep.

And don't tell me about some scientists that are religious, real ones aren't. A scientist uses logic and methods throughout their entire lives. If you can take off the lab coat at 5:00, turn off your rational mind and believe in invisible spirits then you aren't a scientist, you're a part-time lab worker, part-time delusional kook.

Re:Religion is mind rotting shit. (2, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239634)

I know a lot of scientists that will disagree with you. Really your post is just pure flamebait.

Re:Religion is mind rotting shit. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239676)

Just because a post makes you uncomfortable does not make it flamebait.

what is your definition of 'religious'? (1)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239737)

Real ones aren't? I guess that depends on your meaning of 'religious scientists'. Do you mean scientists who belong to a specific religion? Or do you mean scientists who feel that there just might be some higher intelligence, which they base on their research and discovery of complexity of universtal laws and biological life?

Albert Einstein comes to mind. Isaac Newton. While not religious in the traditional sense, both had belief in God (not that certain about Einstein, but for sure Newton).

Or what about Galileo?

ah yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239581)

say goodbye to US prosperity in 50 years or so if we continue to let fundies run the country. no one will fucking know how to make the simplest modern contraption.

Pshaw. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239582)

It's already got the amount of time it deserves in schools, though if they want to add another mythology course, far be it from me to object.

Tell 'em to call back when they can add some facts to their "theory", though theory is too robust a word to apply to such twaddle.

Re:Pshaw. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239632)

It's already got the amount of time it deserves in schools

It has too much time in the class, even one minute is excessive. People go to school to learn facts. People go to religious shrines to delude themselves. Stories about invisible men and other rubbish should not be stuffed into young, impressionable minds.

Obligatory timecube (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239584)

Re:Obligatory timecube (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239712)

A fellow believer!
As far as I'm concerned kids are being educated stupid anyway, so who cares what they learn in their worthless classrooms?

Bush and his neo-con science book burners (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239591)

are freaking idiots.

Yeah, right. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239598)

> While Mr. Bush was reportedly reluctant to make news on this topic, he apparently felt it was an issue he could not duck.

Like we need Presidents' opinions on what makes good science. Does anyone care what Clinton thought about string theory? Should anyone care?

This is nothing more than a way of appealing to the votes of social conservatives.

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

yecrom2 (461240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239660)

Does anyone care what Clinton thought about string theory?

he's an expert in g-string theory!


Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the eggplant.

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239662)

Mentioning President Bush and the string theory in the same paragraph - that really defies common sense !

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239723)

While I agree with your sentiments about Presidents opinions on science, I'd like to know what position, exactly, you think Mr. Bush is planning to run for that he'd need votes from anyone.

Don't worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239601)

...this will blow up in his face and then he'll distance himself from it, just like with the whole Terri Schiavo thing.

Equal Time (2, Informative)

helix400 (558178) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239608)

The article said nothing about Bush supporting "Equal Time". Also, why lump Bush with other religious leaders who condemn evolution? This whole summary smacks of Slashdot sensationalism.

Darwinian Evolution (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239611)

The Church has no problems with evolution but they do with Darwins version. Darwin's version is done without God. It occurs by pure chance. The Church states that God is the source of all things. Also Darwin version states that things evolved slowly and when we look at the evolutionary picture we see that it is not true. Look at how the horse evolved. The traditional view does not fit the what really happened.

Re:Darwinian Evolution (1)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239667)

Evoltion isn't random -- mutations might be.

Give me a break... (1)

oscast (653817) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239617)

"creationism that is currently in vogue among groups of conservative Christians in the U.S." Ya, its in vogue... its just a trendy thing that just recently happened... and oh ya, its a belief that only happens here in the U.S. Sigh...

No comment. (1)

raidient (751898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239618)

I do not get involved in arguments with religious fanatics.

Evolution is obsolete- upgrade w/ 'new biology' (4, Informative)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239619)

from: Bush Urges Schools to Dump Old Evolution Curriculum for 'New Biology' [ridiculopathy.com]

CRAWFORD, TEXAS- For decades the United States has been lagging behind other countries when it comes to education, particularly in the sciences. Mainly this has been blamed on a lack of funding and national attention, but some pedagogical experts like President George W. Bush feel that other factors might be at work. For example, the President says that biology textbooks are horribly out of date, based on the 19th century writings of a man who wasn't even an American citizen.

If the US is to remain competitive in the world market, its young people are going to need an updated understanding of the world around them. To this end, the President today proposed a federal funding mechanism to encourage local schools to replace the antiquated notions of evolution and cosmology with the a origination theory making waves in Internet-based think tanks all over Middle America: Intelligent Design.

Re:Evolution is obsolete- upgrade w/ 'new biology' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239732)

Then they should...and make the students read "Evolution in Four Dimensions" and other such syntheses that go beyond Darwinian evolution. Then they will be able to see how stupid ID really is when confronted with the actual evidence.

Intelligent Design? Which one? (1)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239625)

I'm not really against teaching "Intelligent Design" in schools. I mean, no one said it had to be Christian intelligent design.
What, would the fundies be opposed to me teaching their children the earth is carried by an elephant which rides on the backs of four turtles? Dare they say that their version of "intelligent design" is the one true myth? Blasphemy!

(I cannot take credit for the "teaching multiple intelligent designs" idea. See this [randi.org] .)

Ahhh shit here we go (0)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239627)

Creationism and Evolution are both theories that cannot be 100% proven or disproven. For that reason, both should be given equal class time.

Wrong (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239688)

Creationnism is not even a theory. It offer no testable hypothesis nor any falsifiable claims. It is therefore nothing more than an idea. Evolution DOES offer testable hypothesis (Like "random mutations occur and are passed on to the next generation") and falsifiable positions (if we found a fully-evolved human skeleton 100,000 years old that would certainly throw a wrench in it..).

Re:Ahhh shit here we go (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239705)

Intelligent Design is not even close to a theory by the scientfici use of the term, and it can't be proven at all, nor can any valid evidence be given for it. Evolution is a sicentific Law, the Darwinian mechanism for it is a theory. There are piles of well documented evidence for the mechanism.

Re:Ahhh shit here we go (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239708)

Evolution is based on SCIENCE. Creationism is based on FAITH (the lack of evidence). Creationism should NOT be taught in schools, or given any more time in classrooms than my personal theory of Tom Cruise actually being a human manifestation of God. It's complete and utter bullshit, and it should, in no way, be taught, or even debated in scientific circles. Leave Creationism to theology classes where it belongs.

Oh Joy... (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239630)

Let the rehashed arguments begin. Let me summarize 90% of the forthcoming posts...

25%: Creationists are stupid idiots who are basically Luddite Talibans without the beards.

40%: Creationists are wrong for x y z reasons.

10%: Defending particular versions of creationism that are basically compatible with the non-metaphysical aspects of evolution.

15%: We went to Iraq for the oil. And people in Kansas are stupid.

So how about we just skip the posting on this article, and move on to the next? The repetitious was the Slashdot community deals with posts regarding evolution is boring.

Re:Oh Joy... (5, Funny)

Schroedinger (141945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239736)

You fogot the .1% of posts predicting the percentage of each category of post. Not to mention the % in the category of posts pointing out that you forgot the former category.

Arrogance of intelligent design advocates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239631)

What pisses me off is that people who advocate intelligent design are so sure that life is just so complex that God/gods must have been involved. Most of them also misunderstand evolution, mistaking it for some mysterious force that actively effects change. Evolution is the name of the phenomenon that results from "survival of the fittest," i.e. random variations in organisms are preserved (by reproduction) if they are beneficial; they are extinguished if they are harmful.

The Arguement (5, Insightful)

thoolie (442789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239635)

The arguement that the "Intellegent Design" folks put forth is that, "It's impossible to have a system as complex as human beings WITHOUT someone doing the desiging...the odds of it happening are just too small"

I find that if people look at simple statistics, they would see that not only is it possible, but we HAVE to be here (atleast if you subscribe to Hawkings POV), that is, if the universe is infinite, and time is infinite, then, no matter how small the statistical probability is (e.g. there is only a .00000000001% chance that evolution could work), that in an infinite system, it will STILL HAVE TO HAPPEN, no matter how small.

SO, if you say, "It can't happen because statistically, it is too small...", you are still leaving the door open to it happening, and in an infinite universe, it will HAVE to happen.

Yea, pretty simple.

Think of it as the chance is .0000000000001% * X, if X->inf, then we get, eventually, 1.

Let the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239641)

...flame wars begin!

All wrong (0)

leandrod (17766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239642)

This is wrong in so many levels and fundamental issues.

Intelligent design is just a philosophical addition to biological evolution. It pressuposes biological evolution, but then adds that philosophically there is still something missing, and that would be intelligent design. It is not creationism, as it rejects six-days creation; it is, you may say, a form of guided evolution.

OTOH, the Cardinal isn't reversing the late Pope acceptance of biological evolution, just clarifying that it does not imply a negation of God's role in it; in other words, it states that biological evolution can't be used as a base for atheism, and is compatible with intelligent design.

Plunging back in time... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239643)

Ah, Christian Fundamentalists, America's Taliban.

Religious fundamentalism is the kiss of death for a creative society. These right-wing extremists would have fit right into Pol Pot's vision of an agrarian society devoid of intellectuals and teachers.

If they are going to dictate what is taught in schools then I expect the government then should have the right to regulate churches. They should then enforce equal access laws forcing churches to accommodate Jews, Muslims, etc.

God, science and the creation of man. (3, Insightful)

Saggi (462624) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239645)

In my beliefs I have a very short version of the relation between God and Science, especially in regards to the creation.

Let's put it like a question:

"If you should create mankind, and do it really smart. How would you do it?"


"Snap you fingers! Make the big bang, set the fundamental laws in motion and wait a couple of billion years."

If you are God, time doesn't really matter, do it? Billions of years or some days would be the same.

In regards to the laws of energy, matter etc. everyone realize that the construction of the universe is brilliant. Today we even recognize physical laws by the way they look. If they are mathematically nice and simple, they are usually right.

But the one answer Science always fails is; What (or who) started it all? The creator is still a fully plausible explanation.

In my opinion, anyone who disregards the scientific laws, disregards the creation it self. If the laws that rules this world is brilliant, why settle for something less brilliant. Some ideas made by man. 7 days or whatever...

A lot of people believe that the bible is to be taken literal. I my opinion they could not be more wrong, for several reasons. It all comes down to the fact that the book I written by man! Some may argue that it was inspired by God (and I might even agree) but it's still a manmade text. The written language (in any form) will in my opinion always fail to explain the divine. The God I believe in is too big for letters and text. The creation he (or she?) made and the method he used to make it, is too big for any of us to fully understand, much less write down in text.

An other fundamental reason where the bible fails (still because it was written by man) is the fact that God, even if he dictated the words could not describe the fabric of space 2000 years ago. Humans simply could not understand it. We might have a better chance today (even thou some parts still eludes even the best scientists). Therefore God would describe only the parts that could be understood by man back then, and simplify the rest. Creation was simplified into a story about the 7 days. What else could God say to the poor human that should write it down? Should he start explaining about energies and matter? Even the words we use today are manmade. I bet God didn't call it a "proton" back when he made it. (Wonder what the divine word really is?)

So if God is brilliant, he made a brilliant world. Science shows us a brilliant world, the bible doesn't. The bible shows us a dictated world. A world that just is! Period! No arguing, no fanciness! But that is not the world I see. I see a world of possibilities... of brilliance. My God is a brilliant God.

I don't understand why so much effort is spent on (2, Insightful)

Mothra the III (631161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239652)

This debate when schools are not even able to effectively teach basic skills such as math and reading. Most kids will graduate without any real grasp on history, geography or science and their lives will not be really affected by which way they believe Man got to his present state.

Next up... Astronomy (1)

Borealis (84417) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239653)

In a breaking story, President Bush has endorsed the "Centrist" viewpoint that the Earth is the center of the universe. Contrary to observation, accepted "science" and basic physics, President Bush stated that all views that the Earth isn't the center of the universe are "Obviously incorrect because they don't explain Biblical accounts, which of course must be true".

Article also equates Linux with communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239654)

I think Slashdot should add a page with pictures of bikini clad girls, alien abductions and elvis sightings because they are barely any better than the tabloid rags some housefrau might read.

Just a theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239666)

Gravity is just a theory. I want equal time for the theory of an Intelligent Dropper.

Politically Correct??? (1)

wasimmer (515964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239668)

How can you create a politically correct version of a theory/story based upon religion...which, in turn, has no place in politics what so ever!?!

A good quote about evolution to live by: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239670)

"It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.

The controversies about evolution lie in the realm of the relative importance of various forces in molding evolution."
- R. C. Lewontin

tired of it.. (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239671)

All these people want to do is to promote THEIR idea of how they think we were created.

in my opinion, this could be very bad for Religions.. The great thing about keeping religion OUT of schools, is saving the religious view from being criticized.. think about it.. depending on the teacher of course, the religious view of creationism will be in serious danger of being much more criticized when in a equal comparison of evolution..

if they wanna promote their religious beliefs, do it another way! these fundies and faith groups have so much fuckin money.. let them promote their view themselves!! NOT USING MY TAX DOLLARS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.. i'll teach MY kids that shit myself if I want them to know about it..

Let's head off the most common arguments right now (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239678)

  1. Evolution is not "just a theory," because in scientific usage, "theory" does not mean "unproven guess" as it does in common usage; it means "hypothesis which has stood up to rigorous testing against the best available evidence." In this sense, evolution is "just a theory" the same way gravity is "just a theory."
  2. In a similar vein, "law" in a scientific sense means "theory which has stood up so well and so long that although it's possible to disprove it, that doesn't look likely to happen." Evolution in this sense is a "law" to the same degree as Newton's laws of motion (suitably modified by Einstein) or the laws of thermodynamics.
  3. Those who oppose teaching creationism in schools are not "afraid of teaching the controversy." There is no controversy among biologists about whether evolution happens, although there may well be controversy about the specific details, any more than there is controversy among historians over whether the Holocaust happened or controversy among geographers over whether the Earth is round or flat.
  4. If we are to include Judeo-Christian-Islamic creation myths (both "young Earth" and "Intelligent Design" varieties) in science classes, why stop there? Let's throw in the Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Jainist, etc. creation myths too. "Teach the controversy," right?
  5. There is no inherent conflict between religious belief and the scientific method, unless believers make it so. Many scientists are religious. Scientists do not "hate religion" or "hate God." When religion makes specific, testable claims about the nature of reality, then it is putting itself into science's realm, and faces the same risks of disproof that any other set of demonstrably wrong ideas does. As long as it sticks to matters of morality and spirituality, it can go its merry way.
There you go, folks. Now, enjoy your regularly scheduled flamewar.

Keep mythology out of science class. (1)

Luke (7869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239680)

If schools want to teach theology with time given to several different religions and their associated creation myths, then hey, do it. But keep the religious mythology out of science classrooms.

DUPE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239687)

Original article posted here [slashdot.org] a few months ago!

Category (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239692)

Why is this under Science? Shouldn't it be under something more relevant, such as Humo(u)r?

Touched by His Noodly Appendage (5, Funny)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239697)

In Kansas, we intelligently design all the time.

My favorite current theory is the Flying Spaghetti Monster [venganza.org] . Please note how it also explains global warming with the decline of the world's pirate population.

From the founder's open letter to the Kansas Board of Education, which is considering re-writing the state's science standards to have none: "I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."

Paradoxically enough... (0, Flamebait)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239699)

Bush himself seems to be living proof of mankind's evolutionary connection with apes.

Bush vs. "Intelligent Design" (1)

mbaudis (585035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239701)

I think, here we find living proof that "Intelligent Design" is just a really weird idea...

Pop Quiz (1)

EulerX07 (314098) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239702)

Class these countries from the most religiously fanatical states to the least: Unites States of America, Sweden, Iraq Circa 1985, Iran, Russia.


Brilliant (1)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239703)

The slashdot editors have found a way to generate more clicks than ever before! Expect topics on abortion soon as well!

Look around you (1)

LividBlivet (898817) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239715)

What do you see that is the result of superstition? What do you see that is the result of science?

How far to slide for equal time.. (2, Insightful)

modi123 (750470) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239716)

Here's a thought for the creationism side... How far do you want to go with "equal time". Why must it be divided amongst only "creationists" and "scientists". As an individual with a Native American Studies minor I will chime in for their cause - I want equal time for tribal creation stories - ALL of them (and yes there are MANY varients). Additionally I have friends that would appreciate Wiccan or nature based creation stories. Oh, don't forget the Norse (the non-white supremacist kind) they want their share. Additionally I guess I can toss in Hindu, the plethora of Eastern views, and possibly the Jewish variant.

The problem with the creationist side is this isn't always a battle of who is right, it's a battle of time. Do we really want schools to de-evolve (joke intended) into 7.5 hours of creation stories, 0.5 hours of math, reading, grammar, and so forth?

Kombya my lord (1)

Eugene Webby (891781) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239720)

Kombya... Ugh. The pope said this, that cardinal said that. Ever stop to think that there is more then one religion in the world? So the united states adheres to christianity exclusively why? Forgot about the people who don't believe in god, what about the people who believe in god differently? Nobody is suggesting teaching biology in churches, so keep religion there. If you want to teach kids (your) religion (which is the only one, and the only correct thing)in school at best you could lobby for theology classes to be opened and students going on a voluntary bases. Sheesh.

ID is not a theory at all (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239722)

When I see Intelligent Design called a theory by the popular press, it drives me a little nuts. They are equating two separate definitions of the word theory. General Relativity is a theory. Darwin's theory of evolution is a theory. Scientific theories tend to incorporate facts, laws, and verifyable hypothesis, but generally fall short of becoming scientific law.

ID is not a theory in the scientific sense, because it does not incorporate any of the above. It's a conjecture -- in a scientific sense, nothing more than a hypothesis. I would not have a problem with ID being taught from a standpoint of world religion. It belongs there, but these ideals have no place in a scientific curriculum. It's not science, and teaching ID as such erodes at the definition and understanding of what science is and how it is to be performed.

Humbug (3, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239725)

Equal time for Creationism == Equal time for religious nonsense.

You're stupid (1)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 9 years ago | (#13239727)

"Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of "chance and necessity" are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence." The church here is basically saying to the scientific community not only is what you're studying not science, but you're an idiot for even studying it.

W Bush Proves Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13239734)

W = Missing Link!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?