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Judge nixes evolution textbook stickers (Page 4)
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xenu
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:41 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
I guess leaps of faith are not limited to Creationists because you have absolutely no evidence for any of what you say. It's just pure unsupported opinion.

Not to mention the fact your statements are internally contradictory. Again, either the purpose is to advance religion, or it isn't. It can't be both to advance religion, and not to advance religion simultanously. Saying that Creationists wanted to disparage evolution is to assert a religious objective -- something that the judge who looked at the evidence disagrees with.

You are basically calling the judge wrong on a factual issue based on no countervailing evidence. This is either a faith based argument, or pure bias.
Yeah right, because we all know stickers were going on physics texts, and chemistry texts, and economics texts, and ...

Creationists wanted to disparage evolution.
They tried to do so in a non-religious way.
The non-religious way was to get the school board to add stickers to the text book.

No contradictions.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion - Steven Weinberg.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 22, 2005, 07:06 AM
 
Originally posted by xenu:
Yeah right, because we all know stickers were going on physics texts, and chemistry texts, and economics texts, and ...
According to the judge's opinion, from what I make of it, this wasn't taken as proof that the people pushing for the stickers had a creationist agenda. The presumed reasoning behind it is that it serves to ward off parental outcry that the school isn't properly clarifying evolution's status as a theory.

And just for the record, I do think that's retarded.
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ebuddy
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Jan 22, 2005, 11:35 AM
 
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

Since I grossly misunderstand the above, could you please site for me verbage in the above that even hints or suggests an alternative theory? Please site for me what religion the above establishes? If we're assuming some religious litmus here and legally able to stretch our founding document in such a way, why not go all the way? The teaching of macro-evolution as fact is dogmatic and flies in the face of the "free exercise thereof..." You can tell me it's not taught as fact while many of those frequenting these sites tell me it is 100% fact. Even the judge admits it is not; "While evolution is subject to criticism, particularly with respect to the mechanism by which it occurred, the sticker misleads students regarding the significance and value of evolution in the scientific community.

Conversely; the teaching of evolution as fact misleads students regarding the significance and value of religion in society as a whole! The sticker offers balance and requests that critical examination be used on such subject matter. What exactly is the fear here, that questioning science is detrimental to it's value??? How is that scientific?!?!

The ruling was made in the spirit of separation of Church and State???? This establishes a religion???? What religion? "The school board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said. In essence the judge is really saying; "Well, they didn't mention a God, they didn't even mention the alternative theory, BUT I KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE AND I'M NOT LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS!!!" You shouldn't use the bench in such a personally defensive way. You don't rule against people, you rule for policy.

What was the policy in violation here? A portion of the "Wall" that says the state shall make no laws respecting an institution of religion. In order to use even this loose interpretation of the separation clause, there would've needed to be an example of violation here. What was the violation? Someone said I sounded cranky. I am cranky. I can't believe they are using such an elusive interpretation of the separation clause and applying it in this manner. You don't author a ruling based on the people that bring the complaint, but the validity of the complaint. This applies to homosexual marriage as well. Just because someone is gay, their case should not be dismissed based on who they are or what the 'implications' might be. The case should be weighed on it's individual merit, not the people behind the case. I more than disagree, I believe the judge has used the bench as a bully-pulpit. In light of this stretch in ruling, I'm left wondering what ideal the Separation Clause can't blanket. It seems now it can be used as precedent even when no religion or dogma is implied.

Michael Manely, an attorney for the parents who sued over the stickers. Theyre going to be permitted to learn science unadulterated by religious dogma.

In other words; "Yayy! The students are going to be allowed unfettered, unchallenged indoctrination by modern sci-dogma and we will no longer endure those who encourage the critical examination of the junk we teach!!! All Praise be to BOYA" (billions of years ago) 'Tis the end of science my friends. It is the new religion and it's God BOYA cannot be challenged because it's SCIENCE!!!
ebuddy
     
Mithras
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Jan 22, 2005, 11:46 AM
 
(looking at ebuddy, spacefreak, Simey):

Anyone who truly believes in God, rather than some particular human's interpretation thereof, should understand that both Scripture and the natural world were created by God, and thus there cannot be any contradiction between the two. One shouldn't fear the conclusions of scientific inquiry into the natural world.
( Last edited by Mithras; Jan 22, 2005 at 11:53 AM. )
     
ebuddy
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Jan 22, 2005, 12:17 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
(looking at ebuddy, spacefreak, Simey):

Anyone who truly believes in God, rather than some particular human's interpretation thereof, should understand that both Scripture and the natural world were created by God, and thus there cannot be any contradiction between the two. One shouldn't fear the conclusions of scientific inquiry into the natural world.
Conversely; one should not fear critical examination of science and attempt to squelch such scrutiny using the Separation Clause.
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SimeyTheLimey
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:06 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
(looking at ebuddy, spacefreak, Simey):

Anyone who truly believes in God, rather than some particular human's interpretation thereof, should understand that both Scripture and the natural world were created by God, and thus there cannot be any contradiction between the two. One shouldn't fear the conclusions of scientific inquiry into the natural world.
How do I fit into this, exactly? I'm an agnostic, and I happen to belieive in evolution. You don't have to be a believer in God to believe in a neutral Constitution.

People sometimes say that they will disagree with a point of view, yet will fight for the rights of people to hold to that point of view. I try to take that idea seriously, because I think it is fundamental to our way of life.
     
Mithras
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:24 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
How do I fit into this, exactly? I'm an agnostic, and I happen to belieive in evolution. You don't have to be a believer in God to believe in a neutral Constitution.
Eh, sorry. I misunderstood the motivation for your stance.
I would argue with you, however. If people have a scientific disagreement with a theory (such as evolution or plate tectonics or Special Relativity), they can take it up scientifically. I don't see any reason for them to inject this specific belief into a political and educational process.

I'm all for letting people hold whatever crackpot views they want. But they're not going to convince me that our public schools should stop teaching science because of it.
     
ebuddy
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
Eh, sorry. I misunderstood the motivation for your stance.
I would argue with you, however. If people have a scientific disagreement with a theory (such as evolution or plate tectonics or Special Relativity), they can take it up scientifically. I don't see any reason for them to inject this specific belief into a political and educational process.
I'm all for letting people hold whatever crackpot views they want. But they're not going to convince me that our public schools should stop teaching science because of it.
There's only one thing worse than a moron and that's a belligerent moron. Nobody is asking anyone to stop teaching science in school regardless of whether or not the science they're teaching is crack-pot.
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BRussell
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:50 PM
 
I lived in Cobb county for a while. Newt Gingrich was my congressman.

The idea that my local government would put warning stickers on books because of what they deem as politically incorrect - or religiously incorrect - content in the book just disgusts me.

But to be honest, I don't really see how this sticker, as pathetic as it is, violates the establishment clause. If I still lived there, I'd fight like crazy to prevent the religiously-motivated anti-evolutionists, and let's be honest that this sticker is solely motivated to appease them, from influencing my kids' education. But I think this, as a fallback position to their real goal of teaching creationism, is constructed in a way that I personally wouldn't say is unconstitutional. As much as it hurts me to say that.

In some ways, this case reminds me of the "moment of silence" cases. I don't think there's anything wrong with a moment of silence in schools, as long as teachers don't lead students in prayer. It's obviously a fallback position from people whose intent is to get organized prayer in school, just like this sticker is obviously a fallback position to the creationists' real goals. But as long as they don't step over the line into actually promoting religion, I don't see how it would be unconstitutional.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jan 22, 2005, 01:50 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
Eh, sorry. I misunderstood the motivation for your stance.
I would argue with you, however. If people have a scientific disagreement with a theory (such as evolution or plate tectonics or Special Relativity), they can take it up scientifically. I don't see any reason for them to inject this specific belief into a political and educational process.

I'm all for letting people hold whatever crackpot views they want. But they're not going to convince me that our public schools should stop teaching science because of it.
My issue is purely legal. The First Amendment (as interpreted by the courts) is supposed to be neutral. It isn't designed to protect science in any way. In fact, the only principle I can think of in the Constitution that could support such a notion would be the patent clause. So no, there is no requirement that science be shielded from all but scientific criticism. And frankly, I think it can protect itself.

While science isn't protected, freedom of religion is. That is the part of the Constitution many anti-religion zealots seem to want to read out of existance. And I use the word zealot deliberately. To me there is a striking parallel between the arguments and tactics of religious fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists. Both have a strong tendency toward intolerance and dogmatism. And in that sense, I regard them as both wrong.

The Founders wisely gave us a way out of this through government neutrality and mutual tolerance. That is what I would uphold. And here, I am afraid, it looks to me like it is the secular side that is doing the attacking, and being intolerant.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jan 22, 2005 at 01:55 PM. )
     
Mithras
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Jan 22, 2005, 02:00 PM
 
I guess I fail to see how teaching a particular, peculiar religious idea in public schools isn't establishment of religion, or how it upholds the free expression of religion. Or how the mandate in many state constitutions for a sound basic education is upheld by teaching something that isn't science in science class.

Moreover, in the social sphere, I stand by my beliefs in the post above (derived from this book by a Christian geologist, see my synopsis here): if God made the world, then you have nothing to fear from understanding that world as best you can. If that understanding challenges one of your theological interpretations, then you must adjust that interpretation, because God wouldn't lie to you in fossils any more than he would in words.
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BRussell
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Jan 22, 2005, 03:05 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
I guess I fail to see how teaching a particular, peculiar religious idea in public schools isn't establishment of religion, or how it upholds the free expression of religion. Or how the mandate in many state constitutions for a sound basic education is upheld by teaching something that isn't science in science class.

Moreover, in the social sphere, I stand by my beliefs in the post above (derived from this book by a Christian geologist, see my synopsis here): if God made the world, then you have nothing to fear from understanding that world as best you can. If that understanding challenges one of your theological interpretations, then you must adjust that interpretation, because God wouldn't lie to you in fossils any more than he would in words.
But they're not teaching creationism. They just put a sticker on a book saying that evolution is just a theory to be approached with an open mind blah blah. It didn't even say anything about creationism. It's pathetic and slimy and its intent is to appease wackos, but let's not overstate what it does.

And of course you're right that religion isn't inconsistent with evolution, and every single Christian denomination that I've seen that has published an official statement on it agrees with you. Creationism is neither supported by science NOR religious institutions, despite what the creationists believe.
     
zigzag
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Jan 22, 2005, 04:17 PM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
But they're not teaching creationism. They just put a sticker on a book saying that evolution is just a theory to be approached with an open mind blah blah. It didn't even say anything about creationism. It's pathetic and slimy and its intent is to appease wackos, but let's not overstate what it does.
That's where the "effects" test, which the judge was required to apply, comes in. Whether the sticker actually mentions Creationism or not, when considered in context does it have the effect of creating an express or implied endorsement of religious doctrine? What do you think of when you see it? What questions does it actually raise, in context? The judge is basically saying that anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows exactly what the sticker is for - to get religious doctrine's foot in the door of the science classroom - and that that's over the line. I think it's reasonably debatable whether it reaches the level of unconstitutionality - it may just reach the level of a bad idea - but as you might expect, I agree with the judge and hope the ruling stands.
     
BRussell
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Jan 22, 2005, 05:00 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
That's where the "effects" test, which the judge was required to apply, comes in. Whether the sticker actually mentions Creationism or not, when considered in context does it have the effect of creating an express or implied endorsement of religious doctrine? What do you think of when you see it? What questions does it actually raise, in context? The judge is basically saying that anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows exactly what the sticker is for - to get religious doctrine's foot in the door of the science classroom - and that that's over the line. I think it's reasonably debatable whether it reaches the level of unconstitutionality - it may just reach the level of a bad idea - but as you might expect, I agree with the judge and hope the ruling stands.
Because the sticker singles out evolution out of all the different concepts in the text, I'd know for sure that it was designed to appease creationists, and I know that creationists are religiously motivated (however misguided their belief that their religion demands that they oppose evolution).

But here's a thought - would these young students really know that? Would the "reasonable person" in the community? We debate this kind of stuff all the time. We know all the angles that these groups take. But I actually doubt that these young students would necessarily know that, and I'm not sure if even the regular citizens would know it. Many Americans, unfortunately almost half, believe that biological evolution is a big lie being perpetrated on the public. A scientific fraud. They probably wouldn't see the sticker as religiously motivated, they'd see it as this school board correcting a big lie. In a way, the bizarre beliefs of the community protect them from the "effect" prong of the Lemon test. I guess it's just hard to find a "reasonable person" in America when it comes to evolution.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 22, 2005, 05:20 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

Since I grossly misunderstand the above, could you please site for me verbage in the above that even hints or suggests an alternative theory? Please site for me what religion the above establishes?
I think I've already said this, but the phrase "Evolution is a theory, not a fact" is very closely associated with creationism. It's a huge bit of misinformation (stemming from a misunderstanding of the word "theory") that would not be included if the notice had purely scientific accuracy in mind. You can argue that it doesn't explicitly endorse a religion, but then you can also argue that "Heil Hitler" doesn't explicitly endorse the Third Reich (after all, he's not the only Hitler who ever lived, and it doesn't specify which one).

Originally posted by ebuddy:
The teaching of macro-evolution as fact is dogmatic and flies in the face of the "free exercise thereof..." You can tell me it's not taught as fact while many of those frequenting these sites tell me it is 100% fact.
You have said the difference between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" is that the latter adds information. Someone in this thread offered an example in which it's happened, and you even (grudgingly) conceded the point. I don't see how you can still be arguing this.

Anyway, it's still accepted as fact by almost every biologist in the world. So even if Joe SomeGuyOnAMessageBoard disagrees with it, in a biology class, I think it is pretty appropriate to teach it as fact.

Originally posted by ebuddy:
Conversely; the teaching of evolution as fact misleads students regarding the significance and value of religion in society as a whole!


Originally posted by ebuddy:
In other words; "Yayy! The students are going to be allowed unfettered, unchallenged indoctrination by modern sci-dogma and we will no longer endure those who encourage the critical examination of the junk we teach!!! All Praise be to BOYA" (billions of years ago) 'Tis the end of science my friends. It is the new religion and it's God BOYA cannot be challenged because it's SCIENCE!!!
Yeah, that's what it means to get rid of a blatantly deceptive sticker in a textbook. Well spotted.
Chuck
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deej5871
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Jan 22, 2005, 05:39 PM
 
Originally posted by mikellanes:
I haven't seen him make this supposition? You sound cranky...
It's implied:
Originally posted by zerostar:
*Do you mean the conference held 1980? I can't find anything about this outside creationists sites. Perhaps you could post a link?
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Originally posted by zerostar:
Show me what Links you asked for and I will GLADLY provide them.
He asked:
Originally posted by ebuddy:
I'd have to say for the sake of debate; the transitional would have to be a smidgen more gradual than the above. I'm curious though, if you could-provide me a link or article that discusses this mud slider with legs, as an inquisitive person I'd be most appreciative.
     
zigzag
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Jan 22, 2005, 06:21 PM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
Because the sticker singles out evolution out of all the different concepts in the text, I'd know for sure that it was designed to appease creationists, and I know that creationists are religiously motivated (however misguided their belief that their religion demands that they oppose evolution).

But here's a thought - would these young students really know that? Would the "reasonable person" in the community? We debate this kind of stuff all the time. We know all the angles that these groups take. But I actually doubt that these young students would necessarily know that, and I'm not sure if even the regular citizens would know it. Many Americans, unfortunately almost half, believe that biological evolution is a big lie being perpetrated on the public. A scientific fraud. They probably wouldn't see the sticker as religiously motivated, they'd see it as this school board correcting a big lie. In a way, the bizarre beliefs of the community protect them from the "effect" prong of the Lemon test. I guess it's just hard to find a "reasonable person" in America when it comes to evolution.
That's the subjective aspect that Simey complained of (at least I think that's what he was getting at), and I agree that it's tricky. But that's part of a judge's job: to make judgments that aren't always clearcut. That a significant part of the public, if not necessarily a majority, could infer from the sticker that the state was favoring religious doctrine, appeared to be enough for this judge.

It's worth noting that the judge pointed out that no evidence had been presented that any particular person had, for example, been indoctrinated by the stickers. But where the First Amendment is concerned, it's the principle that controls, not necessarily proof of injury.

Endless arguments about a textbook sticker. What a country.
     
BRussell
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Jan 22, 2005, 06:58 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
It's worth noting that the judge pointed out that no evidence had been presented that any particular person had, for example, been indoctrinated by the stickers. But where the First Amendment is concerned, it's the principle that controls, not necessarily proof of injury.
I didn't know that. I thought there always had to be some kind of "injury" for a case even to get heard. Could I sue on a First Amendment issue on something that has no effect on me?
     
xenu
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Jan 22, 2005, 07:34 PM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
According to the judge's opinion, from what I make of it, this wasn't taken as proof that the people pushing for the stickers had a creationist agenda. The presumed reasoning behind it is that it serves to ward off parental outcry that the school isn't properly clarifying evolution's status as a theory.

And just for the record, I do think that's retarded.
The judge has to be very careful about what he writes. We, the armchair judges, can point fingers.

There is only one reason for singling out evolution. There is only one group who would be offended by evolution.

What the school board did was retarded, and they should resign.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion - Steven Weinberg.
     
zigzag
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Jan 22, 2005, 08:03 PM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
I didn't know that. I thought there always had to be some kind of "injury" for a case even to get heard. Could I sue on a First Amendment issue on something that has no effect on me?
I was imprecise. You have to show an injury, but in this case it's implicit in being subject to the constitutional violation. What I was getting at is that you don't have to show that your kid has actually been affected psychologically by the constitutional violation, or even that the kid construed the sticker in an objectionable way. Similarly, the guy who sued over the Pledge of Allegiance didn't have to prove that his daughter had been converted into a raving fundamentalist as a result of reciting the Pledge - he only had to show that she was subject to a First Amendment violation. That's what I meant by saying that the constitutional principle is more important than proof of a particular injury.

This is in contrast to tort cases, where you normally have to show some physical or emotional injury. For example, someone could make a defamatory statement about you, but if you couldn't show that your reputation was actually damaged as a result (either everyone already thought you were a twit, or they weren't influenced by the statement), you'd have no case.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jan 22, 2005, 08:07 PM
 
Originally posted by xenu:
The judge has to be very careful about what he writes. We, the armchair judges, can point fingers.
What on Earth makes you think that? Judges' opinions are intended to be clear expositions of their rationale in reaching decisions. They aren't intended to be disingenous or pretextual. Indeed, a consciously dishonest opinion could be grounds for reversal, even potentially discipline.

A Federal judge's opinion is especially protected and thus the judge is free to be completely honest about what caused him to reach his decision. Federal judges have life tenure, and their salaries are protected from being reduced. A federal judge can only be removed from office by impeachment, which is very, very, rare. Federal judges are not subject to reelection.

In addition, the judge is absolutely immune from suit for his judicial decisions. No matter how annoyed a party might be by his decision, that party has no personal recourse against the judge. You cannot sue a judge.

So for all these reasons, a judge has no need to "be very careful about what he writes" -- quite the contrary.

However, a professional judge will decide according to the facts, and not simply by prejudged opinion. As much as I disagree with his decision, that's where this judge differs from the way you seem to be deciding the matter.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jan 22, 2005, 08:57 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
I was imprecise. You have to show an injury, but in this case it's implicit in being subject to the constitutional violation. What I was getting at is that you don't have to show that your kid has actually been affected psychologically by the constitutional violation, or even that the kid construed the sticker in an objectionable way. Similarly, the guy who sued over the Pledge of Allegiance didn't have to prove that his daughter had been converted into a raving fundamentalist as a result of reciting the Pledge - he only had to show that she was subject to a First Amendment violation. That's what I meant by saying that the constitutional principle is more important than proof of a particular injury.

This is in contrast to tort cases, where you normally have to show some physical or emotional injury. For example, someone could make a defamatory statement about you, but if you couldn't show that your reputation was actually damaged as a result (either everyone already thought you were a twit, or they weren't influenced by the statement), you'd have no case.
Not to nitpick, but it seems to me that what BRussell is driving at is standing, of which injury in fact is a component. The mere allegation of a Constitutional violation isn't enough by itself to grant the right to sue.

The Newdow case you reference (the Pledge case) is a good illustration. Both the District Court and the Supreme Court held that Newdow could not sue. He didn't have standing and as part of that holding, he failed to show he was injured. Case on Findlaw

I agree that in the case we are talking about here, standing isn't an issue because the suit was filed by parents. However, the various amicus groups who didn't have that injury in fact connection could not have independently sued, and I think perhaps that is what BRussell was driving at.
     
zigzag
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Jan 22, 2005, 09:29 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Not to nitpick, but it seems to me that what BRussell is driving at is standing, of which injury in fact is a component. The mere allegation of a Constitutional violation isn't enough by itself to grant the right to sue.

The Newdow case you reference (the Pledge case) is a good illustration. Both the District Court and the Supreme Court held that Newdow could not sue. He didn't have standing and as part of that holding, he failed to show he was injured. Case on Findlaw

I agree that in the case we are talking about here, standing isn't an issue because the suit was filed by parents. However, the various amicus groups who didn't have that injury in fact connection could not have independently sued, and I think perhaps that is what BRussell was driving at.
Yes, standing is necessary, and injury is an element of standing - I was just trying to focus on what's required in the way of injury.
     
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Jan 23, 2005, 09:07 PM
 
My priest summed up the evolution vs. creationism debate this way to me:

Creation is faith that god created the universe; science is trying to figure out how he did it"
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Jan 23, 2005, 09:41 PM
 
Originally posted by MacGorilla:
My priest summed up the evolution vs. creationism debate this way to me:

Creation is faith that god created the universe; science is trying to figure out how he did it"
That's a religious position on the issue that I can respect.
     
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Jan 24, 2005, 01:14 AM
 
Reader's Digest February 2005; The human body and the complex systems that regulate it, such as metabolism and digestion, evolved during millions of years when hunger was commonplace...
Without critical examination you might think the above was fact.
Take just about any popular form of media from your morning newspaper, through children's books, encyclopedia, scholastic text, etc... and never will you find any statement made eluding back to the definition of 'theory' in regards to science and particulary evolution. Statements (sometimes even known laughable suppositions like the one above) are made in a conclusive and factual manner. The sticker reminds them of what makes up a scientific theory and what constitutes scrutiny and it's paramount importance to the field. If you don't see how this drives research, then you misunderstand what science aims to do and by discouraging the reminder of critical examination, you encourage intellectual laziness in future scientists. I only hope we're not barking up the same inconclusive tree of life 20 years from now, but it's going to require more open minds. A trend I see waning unfortunately. Oh well, things are cyclical. I'm patient enough.
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Jan 24, 2005, 01:36 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Reader's Digest February 2005; The human body and the complex systems that regulate it, such as metabolism and digestion, evolved during millions of years when hunger was commonplace...
Without critical examination you might think the above was fact.
Take just about any popular form of media from your morning newspaper, through children's books, encyclopedia, scholastic text, etc... and never will you find any statement made eluding back to the definition of 'theory' in regards to science and particulary evolution. Statements (sometimes even known laughable suppositions like the one above) are made in a conclusive and factual manner. The sticker reminds them of what makes up a scientific theory and what constitutes scrutiny and it's paramount importance to the field. If you don't see how this drives research, then you misunderstand what science aims to do and by discouraging the reminder of critical examination, you encourage intellectual laziness in future scientists. I only hope we're not barking up the same inconclusive tree of life 20 years from now, but it's going to require more open minds. A trend I see waning unfortunately. Oh well, things are cyclical. I'm patient enough.
I tend to agree. Science is reported very badly in the media. The media tends to report every little published study as the new fact that has been discovered. I think it makes people distrustful of science. The media probably thinks that people can't handle uncertainty, and maybe they're right. But they ought to take responsibility and try.

Recently my wife (a registered dietitian) and I had conversation with my brother-in-law about nutrition, and he was saying that the fact that theories changes is evidence that there's something wrong with the science. Basically, he think that researchers are liars, and he believes that because he hears reports that contradict other reports.

I think the specific statement you cited, that the human body evolved over millions of years, is general enough to be acceptable though. How else could it possibly have come about? In a couple of months? If they had been more specific, citing a particular theory of how digestion evolved, it would be best to say something like "scientists believe..." and then explain the theory. It is Reader's Digest though...
     
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Jan 24, 2005, 05:10 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Reader's Digest February 2005; The human body and the complex systems that regulate it, such as metabolism and digestion, evolved during millions of years when hunger was commonplace...
Without critical examination you might think the above was fact.


Without critical examination, anything can be construed as fact. Why single out statements which have to do with evolution?

Take just about any popular form of media from your morning newspaper, through children's books, encyclopedia, scholastic text, etc... and never will you find any statement made eluding back to the definition of 'theory' in regards to science and particulary evolution. Statements (sometimes even known laughable suppositions like the one above) are made in a conclusive and factual manner.


The same laughable suppositions are made in regards to everything...especially when religion is involved. "Homosexuality is a choice," for example. This statement is clearly open to debate. You may not think so, but just because it's reported as fact in some magazine or other non-scientific source doesn't mean I get worried that there's some kind of indoctrination going on.

The sticker reminds them of what makes up a scientific theory and what constitutes scrutiny and it's paramount importance to the field. If you don't see how this drives research, then you misunderstand what science aims to do and by discouraging the reminder of critical examination, you encourage intellectual laziness in future scientists. I only hope we're not barking up the same inconclusive tree of life 20 years from now, but it's going to require more open minds. A trend I see waning unfortunately. Oh well, things are cyclical. I'm patient enough.
Students learn critical thinking from good teachers, not from stickers on a textbook that were certainly not put there to encourage it. There is a clear ulterior motive in the singling-out of evolution theory by these stickers. Refer to other posts which suggested non-specific messages on scientific theory, but of course, those stickers wouldn't accomplish the back-door doubt of modern evolutionary theory as the current ones clearly suggest.

As for ID as a viable alternative, I've said it time and again... The assumption or assertion that God or any other supernatural, unprovable being does not belong in a science classroom. We have philosophy classes and churches for that. It's not because science is hostile to God. It's because science can't even begin to define him.
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Jan 24, 2005, 06:59 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Reader's Digest February 2005; The human body and the complex systems that regulate it, such as metabolism and digestion, evolved during millions of years when hunger was commonplace...
Without critical examination you might think the above was fact.
Take just about any popular form of media from your morning newspaper, through children's books, encyclopedia, scholastic text, etc... and never will you find any statement made eluding back to the definition of 'theory' in regards to science and particulary evolution. Statements (sometimes even known laughable suppositions like the one above) are made in a conclusive and factual manner.
That's because the definition of "theory" in regards to science does not preclude factuality, and this statement is about as close to factual as "The earth is an imperfect sphere orbited by a satellite that is not made of cheese." Yes, some people may argue that the world is flat or that the Moon is made of cheese, but I feel pretty confident saying they're flat wrong, and I don't think this makes me unscientific.
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Jan 24, 2005, 10:37 AM
 
Originally posted by UNTiMac:
Without critical examination, anything can be construed as fact. Why single out statements which have to do with evolution?[/b]
Because evolution as it's currently being taught, attempts to draw conclusions regarding the ancestory of humankind that are simply unfounded and unobserved. Okay kids, you are the result of billions of years of evolution, you're ancestors could be anything from pygmy chimps to sea urchins. Those of you seeing psychologists, I strongly recommend completing your homework BEFORE your appointment and before you've had your daily dose of ridilin. By the way, you're very valuable and life really is meaningful.
The same laughable suppositions are made in regards to everything...especially when religion is involved. "Homosexuality is a choice," for example. This statement is clearly open to debate.
I'd have to say in knowing several homosexuals, one of which went through 8 years of counseling because he didn't want to be gay that it's probably not a choice in most cases. That said; I've not heard a Pastor, Minister, or otherwise suggest it was a choice without saying first "I believe" or "evidence suggests". If you could site an example as I have, perhaps your point would have more merit here. I'm not an adversary to science, you may think so, but it's just not the truth. You, on the other hand seem quick to indict religion in particular for the fallacies of mankind.
You may not think so, but just because it's reported as fact in some magazine or other non-scientific source doesn't mean I get worried that there's some kind of indoctrination going on.
I disagree. Had you read 'Homosexuality is a choice" in Reader's Digest, Time Magazine, Dr. Seuss books, National Geographic, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scholastic texts I think you'd be a little more concerned.
Students learn critical thinking from good teachers, not from stickers on a textbook that were certainly not put there to encourage it.
With no reference to Christianity and no reference to ID, the sticker is cerebral and calls for critical examination of evolution. Science should not fear this. That said; the public school system is given a curriculum. They are expected to adhere to the curriculum and the texts that support the curriculum. There is little room for personal reflection and critical analysis. Especially at $20k per year in salary. Of the 12 teacher's you've had-maybe one or two were exceptional.
There is a clear ulterior motive in the singling-out of evolution theory by these stickers.
Only to the hyper-sensitive with eyes moving to and fro looking to be offended by something. The stickers are cerebral. They make no mention of religion, not by any stretch. They don't even make mention of the numerous examples of evolution theory's woeful lacking. It is taught as fact, it's precepts and methods for conclusion remain unquestioned and encourage intellectual laziness. I hope some of these kids become hobbyists and find the answers on their own. Unfortunately, most do not. The rest will defend their dogma to the end of time.
Refer to other posts which suggested non-specific messages on scientific theory, but of course, those stickers wouldn't accomplish the back-door doubt of modern evolutionary theory as the current ones clearly suggest.
critical examination is 'backdoor doubt'??? Is there a problem with doubting or is science now only for the faithful? I sometimes wonder how you would've approached science in the early 1900's and how vehemently you would've defended conventional wisdom of that time.
As for ID as a viable alternative, I've said it time and again... The assumption or assertion that God or any other supernatural, unprovable being does not belong in a science classroom.
and neither does the supposition that all we know exists happened by purely natural phenomenon. We have atheist blogs and books for that. BTW; the sticker nor any current movement I'm aware of is attempting to teach ID in school.
It's not because science is hostile to God.
Darwin may have disagreed with you on this.
It's because science can't even begin to define him.
Depending upon how you look at it, science has absolutely begun to define Him. They just don't know it's Him they're defining. In many cases their defining their new god, BOYA. Now, they're defending and disseminating this god with as much dogma and evangelism as any other religion to date. Generally not the scientists themselves, their debating will continue because the very nature of their work calls for critical examination. The "I'm sick of Christians" crowd on the other hand, leaps to speculation and mistakenly uses the scientist's life-work to support and disseminate thier dogma, discourage the critical examination of it, and defend it with more fervor than the average Pentacostal Minister.
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Jan 24, 2005, 11:26 AM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
I tend to agree. Science is reported very badly in the media. The media tends to report every little published study as the new fact that has been discovered. I think it makes people distrustful of science. The media probably thinks that people can't handle uncertainty, and maybe they're right. But they ought to take responsibility and try.
I dare say your brother-in-law may be one who misunderstands what 'theory' means in scientific terms. I don't throw this accusation around too liberally because I know that it's generally the same accusation thrown at me. Unfortunately, most misunderstand what it is I'm trying to say. I believe critical examination is key to either the establishing of credibility for a theory, or the debunking of it. I don't like the supposition that a theory is somehow a closed case and evidence against it is only the result of Pentacostal ministers trying to prove gays are bad.
I think the specific statement you cited, that the human body evolved over millions of years, is general enough to be acceptable though. How else could it possibly have come about? In a couple of months?
The fossil record basically shows humans as we know them today, (as well as most other species in known existence today) as having 'exploded' onto the scene. You can say months if you wish. We just don't know for certain. This is what science and the critical examination of it will eventually bring, void of dogmatic suppositions disseminated by the "I'm sick of Christians" crowd.
If they had been more specific, citing a particular theory of how digestion evolved, it would be best to say something like "scientists believe..." and then explain the theory. It is Reader's Digest though...
I agree, but it's more than Reader's Digest. I've given numerous examples of factual assumptions made regarding this particular theory and it's less-than-conclusive evidences, in children's books on up the scale to popular media.
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Jan 24, 2005, 01:45 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Because evolution as it's currently being taught, attempts to draw conclusions regarding the ancestory of humankind that are simply unfounded and unobserved. Okay kids, you are the result of billions of years of evolution, you're ancestors could be anything from pygmy chimps to sea urchins. Those of you seeing psychologists, I strongly recommend completing your homework BEFORE your appointment and before you've had your daily dose of ridilin.


We could debate the validity of modern evolutionary theory's conclusions 'till we're blue in the face much like others have here and not get anywhere. What jumped out at me in this paragraph though was this:

By the way, you're very valuable and life really is meaningful.


As many have said before, this is not a question science needs to address. Science deals only with what is observable and testable in the natural world and then draws freely challengable conclusions from those observations. Again, leave the "meaning" and "value" of it all to philosophy and theology.

I'd have to say in knowing several homosexuals, one of which went through 8 years of counseling because he didn't want to be gay that it's probably not a choice in most cases. That said; I've not heard a Pastor, Minister, or otherwise suggest it was a choice without saying first "I believe" or "evidence suggests". If you could site an example as I have, perhaps your point would have more merit here. I'm not an adversary to science, you may think so, but it's just not the truth. You, on the other hand seem quick to indict religion in particular for the fallacies of mankind.


To indict religion for many of the fallacies of mankind is hardly a rare or incorrect thing to do. Faith has been responsible for much of the resistance to what is now common knowledge. Gallileo and the Catholic Church is the most obvious example.

I don't think you're necessarily an adversary to science. I do think you try to entangle religion and science too readily. In order for science to be good science, you must remove all statements of "faith" from the equation. Church is the "why." Science is the "how." The two shouldn't mix lest they start degrade the validity of one or the other. For example, if science were to try to disprove God, it would be bad science because it's impossible since the concept of God is not based on anything we can physically observe. Religion should not try to disprove strong scientific theory (on religious grounds that is) because they are challenging the very concept of faith in the first place. If someone says, I believe God exists and I can prove it!" then their faith is not very genuine IMO.

I disagree. Had you read 'Homosexuality is a choice" in Reader's Digest, Time Magazine, Dr. Seuss books, National Geographic, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scholastic texts I think you'd be a little more concerned.


Well perhaps it was a bad example because you're right, I would be concerned. That statement is far more debateable than evolutionary theory because we're still just beginning to research it in real depth. Evolutionary theory is the best scientific explanation we have and parts of it are changing all the time but the central concepts have been reinforced with each new discovery. Again, we could debate that until we're blue in the face and get as far as anyone else. See my reasoning as to why ID is not a viable alternative and we can agree to disagree I think.

With no reference to Christianity and no reference to ID, the sticker is cerebral and calls for critical examination of evolution. Science should not fear this. That said; the public school system is given a curriculum. They are expected to adhere to the curriculum and the texts that support the curriculum. There is little room for personal reflection and critical analysis. Especially at $20k per year in salary. Of the 12 teacher's you've had-maybe one or two were exceptional.


Science certainly doesn't fear critical examination but that examination must be grounded in good science itself. The stickers did single out evolution and were put there by people intending to cast doubt on something they disagree with on religious grounds. The inference is easy to make unless you're reluctant to make just because you might agree with the supposition.

Just because you think teachers won't give students the ability to critically think doesn't mean that religiously motivated doubt should be cast for them by external groups.

Only to the hyper-sensitive with eyes moving to and fro looking to be offended by something. The stickers are cerebral. They make no mention of religion, not by any stretch. They don't even make mention of the numerous examples of evolution theory's woeful lacking. It is taught as fact, it's precepts and methods for conclusion remain unquestioned and encourage intellectual laziness. I hope some of these kids become hobbyists and find the answers on their own. Unfortunately, most do not. The rest will defend their dogma to the end of time.
See above. I'm not looking to be offended. The motive behind the stickers is clear given the people who pushed to have them added. While I think the judge may have overstepped his bounds, I agree with his reasoning.

critical examination is 'backdoor doubt'??? Is there a problem with doubting or is science now only for the faithful? I sometimes wonder how you would've approached science in the early 1900's and how vehemently you would've defended conventional wisdom of that time.

and neither does the supposition that all we know exists happened by purely natural phenomenon. We have atheist blogs and books for that. BTW; the sticker nor any current movement I'm aware of is attempting to teach ID in school.


Clever reversal but it doesn't work. You seem to place religious dogma and science on the same level but the fact is, science works with provable methods and is constantly changing to fit new evidence. Religion, by its very nature, is unchangeable and unprovable. No value judgements on either side need to be made unless one intrudes on the other's territory.

Darwin may have disagreed with you on this.


Can you elaborate?

Depending upon how you look at it, science has absolutely begun to define Him. They just don't know it's Him they're defining. In many cases their defining their new god, BOYA. Now, they're defending and disseminating this god with as much dogma and evangelism as any other religion to date. Generally not the scientists themselves, their debating will continue because the very nature of their work calls for critical examination. The "I'm sick of Christians" crowd on the other hand, leaps to speculation and mistakenly uses the scientist's life-work to support and disseminate thier dogma, discourage the critical examination of it, and defend it with more fervor than the average Pentacostal Minister.
Even if science is definding God or His work, it doesn't matter to the scientist. Again (again I say!) science is NOT concerned with God or faith. You also generalize about christian-hater crowd out there and I don't doubt they exist, yet it's clear there's a concerted effort to replace well-tested theory with religious dogma. There are middles on both sides and I think you and I are two of them but I won't bend on my observations of how hostile much of this country is to the idea of darwinian evolution but do not understand the science behind it. This sticker is just another example IMO.
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Jan 24, 2005, 07:55 PM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
That's because the definition of "theory" in regards to science does not preclude factuality, and this statement is about as close to factual as "The earth is an imperfect sphere orbited by a satellite that is not made of cheese." Yes, some people may argue that the world is flat or that the Moon is made of cheese, but I feel pretty confident saying they're flat wrong, and I don't think this makes me unscientific.
I've seen this argument about a million times in this thread alone, and it is really getting annoying. All these analogies to some really obvious thing to make a little psychological ploy that "Ooh, this is obvious so evolution should be obvious too, and if you think evolution is wrong you must be dumb enough to think that the other part of my analogy is right."

Have we seen that the earth is a sphere? Yes, we sent space shuttles into space and have seen it. I don't see how you can get any closer to factual than that (unless you want to get into "all we know for sure is that nothing is sure"). Have we seen evolution happen? No, not in the same sense. So no, disagreeing with evolution, or calling it what it is, a theory, is not even close to calling the earth flat. Nor does is mean that the person automatically doesn't believe anything scientific, and they must be some kind of moron.

Newton's original theory of gravity wasn't completely correct, even though everyone at the time thought it was (here). Everyone here is forgetting that theories change with time, and that's why you can't call it a fact.
     
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Jan 25, 2005, 12:02 PM
 
Originally posted by deej5871:
I've seen this argument about a million times in this thread alone, and it is really getting annoying. All these analogies to some really obvious thing to make a little psychological ploy that "Ooh, this is obvious so evolution should be obvious too, and if you think evolution is wrong you must be dumb enough to think that the other part of my analogy is right."

Have we seen that the earth is a sphere? Yes, we sent space shuttles into space and have seen it. I don't see how you can get any closer to factual than that (unless you want to get into "all we know for sure is that nothing is sure"). Have we seen evolution happen? No, not in the same sense. So no, disagreeing with evolution, or calling it what it is, a theory, is not even close to calling the earth flat. Nor does is mean that the person automatically doesn't believe anything scientific, and they must be some kind of moron.

Newton's original theory of gravity wasn't completely correct, even though everyone at the time thought it was (here). Everyone here is forgetting that theories change with time, and that's why you can't call it a fact.
It is however a very good explanation for what we have seen. Everything in science is about drawing conclusions from the available evidence. We didn't physically see the earth as round until the mid-20th century yet we knew it was round for 500 years beforehand. We knew it was round because the "theory" that it was round was tested time and again through observation of the sky and the horizon. Someone might help me elaborate on this but I think Newton came up with the weight and size of the earth very early on and was only off by a small margin.

The fact that theories change with time doesn't mean that we can wholly debunk them just because we don't like the idea they present. You must use good science to do it.
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Jan 25, 2005, 02:14 PM
 
Originally posted by deej5871:
I've seen this argument about a million times in this thread alone, and it is really getting annoying. All these analogies to some really obvious thing to make a little psychological ploy that "Ooh, this is obvious so evolution should be obvious too, and if you think evolution is wrong you must be dumb enough to think that the other part of my analogy is right."
I wasn't even arguing in favor of evolution, so I don't see how you could possibly read that in.

ebuddy suggested that because some people dispute evolution's accuracy, the scientific community should tiptoe around their doubts even on facts where there is a huge consensus (like that humans have evolved, and that humans once had to fight against the rest of the animal kingdom for food). I was saying that a small minority of disagreement is pretty insignificant and isn't reason to act as though we aren't sure of things that we are. The point was not that evolution is right or wrong I was just shooting down a bad argument.
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Jan 25, 2005, 05:42 PM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
I wasn't even arguing in favor of evolution, so I don't see how you could possibly read that in.
True enough. However as I said, that same idea has been used many times before in this thread and I was basically talking to everyone in general. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound so personal.

The point was not that evolution is right or wrong I was just shooting down a bad argument.
But how could evolution be wrong by your viewpoint? You said "That's because the definition of 'theory' in regards to science does not preclude factuality, and this statement is about as close to factual as [the earth is round]". The statement that was so close to factual was one about evolution, so you were saying that evolution is essentially factual. I don't see how that isn't an argument for evolution (not that I even necessarily disagree with this viewpoint, but you did say evolution is a fact).
     
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Jan 26, 2005, 02:46 AM
 
Originally posted by UNTiMac:
We could debate the validity of modern evolutionary theory's conclusions 'till we're blue in the face much like others have here and not get anywhere. What jumped out at me in this paragraph though was this:[/b]
First of all UNTiMac; it's been a pleasure discussing these things with you. Let me see, how can I address the above without getting too theological on you. Christians believe in the Holy Spirit. When we read the Bible we become aware (among other things) of a spiritual battle of sorts. Ideals disseminated as fact, whether for good or bad have implications. It doesn't matter if you call it science or scientism. Theories that are elevated and taught unequivocally as fact from children's books up using 'evidence' that is highly debateable in the scientific community to me-equates to an ideal and a growing philosophy. Ideals and philosophies have considerations and implications in society just as any other popular ideal or philosophy. In other words; there's more to this than you may see. It may be hard to know if an ideal or philosophy is "truth", but you might find out by examining it's benefit to society. Before you consider that however, consider the ideal.

In this, I find assumptions made that simply do not hold up. The ages of stalagmites and stalagtites having formed over billions of years when I can watch one form in a couple of years in my parking garage at work. The assumption that layers in ice represent years instead of simply; warming and cooling which can occur several times in one year. I see a circular geological column supposition in which the sediment is dated by the fossiles found within it and the fossiles are dated by their location in the sediment. We can calculate the rate of sun growth, population growth, the rate of desertification...all do not point to billions of years. Enter critical examination. What do we rely on? Current dating techniques that are staggeringly accurate to a few thousand years. Beyond that is questionable and methods and the actual written conclusions are interesting in these studies. I see conjecture regarding the ancestory of man yet cannot be adequately desribed as such by the fossile record. We're classifying species while debating speciation and finding new species every year. You're absolutely right, issues can in fact be debated 'til we're blue in the face and the crux of the argument will always be the difference between micro evolution and macro evolution. Is the mechanism of micro-evolution sufficient to account for the variety of species we see and does observable evidence confirm our suppositions or do we morph the age of things to fit plausibility. Fossilized remains of a calf and foot in a cowboy boot exists, but you might not know it. Fossilized remains of Tyrannosaur with spears in it's side exist, but you have not seen it. Fossilized remains of human footprints exist inside that of fossilized dinosaur footprints and all are observable, but you wouldn't know it. Evidence of a world-wide flood exists on virtually every continent on our globe, but this might mean the Bible was right, so...you wouldn't know this. Evidence of rocks dated millions of years old with crudely-crafted human tools found inside exist, but you may not know it. You are not privvy to evidence that might challenge conventional wisdom regarding evolution. This is the result of discouraging critical examination. You can say critical examination is a bad thing, I disagree. I don't first consider the source, then make a conclusion. I consider first the evidence, then determine the validity and verification of that evidence as it stands on it's own merit and conclude on that. IMHO if the verifiable, valid, and most tangible evidence flies in the face of the most prominent, yet highly illogical, modern scientific naturalist theory...oh well. It's science and this kind of thing happens all the time. To some however, it's as if their god has been taken away. You can say it's cerebral, logical, and scientific but I've seen too many making a religion of it and they're more prominent than those who proselytize at your doorstep. When it becomes a central belief and defended as such, it will likely fly in the face of another societal force. In this case it's the Christian, the Muslim, and many other scientists from taxonomy, astro-physics, geology, botany, through to biology and all other associated fields.

Theologically, (while you may say evolution as it's being taught does not address philosophy or idealism, I tell you I believe it most definitely does.)Does the teaching of this theory as fact separate man from God? If it does, the fruits of that implication should be painfully clear. At it's inception, it is irrefutable that it separated Darwin from God. When he read a popular book at the time regarding natural processes manipulating all that we know and using Geology as the tool for knowledge, Darwin was profoundly converted to a new religion. Naturalism. The philosophy of naturalism's roots can be found as early as ancient Greece and the intent is to find plausible, natural means in which God does not exist, but are they plausible? Science has uncovered ideals that are more than plausible, they are observable. The suppositions regarding vast divergence against all known laws of entropy and mutational rate suggested by 'punctuated equillibrum' are not. Enter dogma with motive. The current popular thought among adherents to these sciences is that the Christian and Bible believer are archaic, ignorant, and naive. Ironically, Christians and others are saying the same things of them. How did this happen? Did evolution and nature put itself squarely in the way of God or has man? Well maybe a little of both, but I'd like to illustrate some statements made by Darwin that may speak more of the latter;
Darwin wrote, 'I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos or the beliefs of any barbarian'.

'I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine'.

Darwin has even supposed that perhaps his theory is questionable as it relies solely on a record that continuously refutes it, but how much more absurd it would be to believe in a God. This shows me that the major proponents of it are in fact opposed to the possibility of ID and their suppositions are motivated by that opposition. This does not necessarily include the scientists themselves, but you might know one's work is in vain if not published. Enter agenda.
You might say, scientific advancement to the Christian might seem unfortunate because the truth is leading them away from God. The problem with this is that there are enough problems with the theory as it's currently being taught without even talking about a deity. Yet the most basic problems remain unchallenged because of the direct discouragement of critical examination using ALL evidence. Not simply evidence that passes the "theory filter".
As many have said before, this is not a question science needs to address. Science deals only with what is observable and testable in the natural world and then draws freely challengable conclusions from those observations. Again, leave the "meaning" and "value" of it all to philosophy and theology.
I'm telling you that for many, theory has become philosophy and theology which puts it at direct odds with competing theologies and philosophies.
To indict religion for many of the fallacies of mankind is hardly a rare or incorrect thing to do. Faith has been responsible for much of the resistance to what is now common knowledge. Gallileo and the Catholic Church is the most obvious example.
Galileo, a fundamentalist to the endth degree vs dogma and doctrine and the establishment of the time. We see this today ironically. Fundamentals vs the Establishment.
I don't think you're necessarily an adversary to science. I do think you try to entangle religion and science too readily. In order for science to be good science, you must remove all statements of "faith" from the equation. Church is the "why." Science is the "how."
I understand your point at it's surface UNTiMac, but one philosophy is saying there is no "why", only "how". You might then say science is about the what, not the who. I say, when the "how" does not adequately explain the "what", you're coming dangerously close to a "who" or an "anti-who". This is the struggle we see.
The two shouldn't mix lest they start degrade the validity of one or the other. For example, if science were to try to disprove God, it would be bad science because it's impossible since the concept of God is not based on anything we can physically observe.
The two have quietly mixed every day for centuries UNTiMac. They cannot be split. That's just it. The only way they split is through struggle. The struggle I mentioned above.
I disagree. Religion should not try to disprove strong scientific theory
It shouldn't, you're correct. In fact, you might expect much agreement as we find evidence that affirms our faith. Micro-evolution accounts for speciation after the flood. Macro-evolution does not account for ancestoral bonding, shifting or otherwise from see to land, from reptile to bird.
(on religious grounds that is) because they are challenging the very concept of faith in the first place. If someone says, I believe God exists and I can prove it!" then their faith is not very genuine IMO.
What if they used our current knowledge of the incredibly complex make up of even the simplest of cells as evidence. Nope, didn't happen. What if this God gave us a tangible word in the form of prophecy or otherwise that proved true before we would've known these things to be true. Issues like "the circle of the earth" or descriptions of the hydrologic cycle, or that the planets "hang suspended", etc...
See my reasoning as to why ID is not a viable alternative and we can agree to disagree I think.
I think we disagree on what constitutes 'evidence'.
Science certainly doesn't fear critical examination but that examination must be grounded in good science itself.
Conversely, the science must itself first be grounded in good science. Like I said, we don't even have to talk about deities.
The stickers did single out evolution and were put there by people intending to cast doubt on something they disagree with on religious grounds.
I wholly disagree. The arguments offered by those behind the movement are comprised of extremely knowledgeable men, who happen also to be Christian, and have real problems with the delivery of scientific theory to impressionable minds.
Just because you think teachers won't give students the ability to critically think doesn't mean that religiously motivated doubt should be cast for them by external groups.
Why do you insist on making science adversarial to religion when it doesn't exist. It certainly does not exist in the stickers. I've said it a billion times and I'll say it a billion more; the current delivery of scientific theory has reached the realm of dogma, idealism, and philosophy and as such has put itself in direct conflict with religion. This is what zealots do. Religion didn't choose this battle, but it exists none the less. Realizing we live in a secular society for very good reasons, you have to conduct your arguments in a cerebral way. The "people behind the movement" played by the rules. The judge did not. At least not any known rules. You don't make judgements based on the people that present the case, but the merit of the case. In this case, the judge used a loose interpretation of the separation clause when no attempt to proselytize existed. Critical examination is crucial to good science. A young budding scientist would do very well to be reminded of this.
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roberto blanco
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Jan 26, 2005, 09:35 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
...Fossilized remains of Tyrannosaur with spears in it's side exist, but you have not seen it. Fossilized remains of human footprints exist inside that of fossilized dinosaur footprints and all are observable, but you wouldn't know it...
please post one single internationally credible source that backs this up.

life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators - r. dawkins
     
ebuddy
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Jan 26, 2005, 11:28 AM
 
Originally posted by roberto blanco:
please post one single internationally credible source that backs this up.
This is what I'm trying to tell you Blanco, Internationally credible evidence by it's nature needs to be published. If it's not published, it cannot be deemed Internationally credible.
Bernifal Cave, one of many caverns in France that is renowned for Neanderthal artifacts in which a carving depicts a dinosaur fighting back a mammoth. The cave has been closed to the public. Science News was given the opportunity to publish these remarkable findings, but declined. There are literally countless pictographs showing dinosaurs and exceedingly similar animals, but amazingly, do not make it to mainstream media. There are Creationist museums in both California and Texas that house remarkable findings, among others like the Edmontosaurus discovered in 2002, that supposedly comprised a bird-ancestor. Well, a couple of interesting things were found in this strata. Remarkably preserved skin establishing proof that no feathers or even feather-like structures were possible on this animal. Animals were found among this Edmontosaurus that defy the evolutionary model such as garfish and turtles. Haven't heard of it? Not a shocker.

Some dry stuff for ya;
Given the short 14C half-life of 5730 years, organic materials purportedly older than 250,000 years, corresponding to 43.6 half-lives, should contain absolutely no detectable 14C. (One gram of modern carbon contains about 6 x 10 10 14C atoms, and 43.6 half-lives should reduce that number by a factor of 7.3 x 10 -14.) An astonishing discovery made over the past twenty years is that, almost without exception, when tested by highly sensitive accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) methods, organic samples from every portion of the Phanerozoic record show detectable amounts of 14C! 14C/C ratios from all but the youngest Phanerozoic samples appear to be clustered in the range 0.1-0.5 pmc (percent modern carbon), regardless of geological age. A straightforward conclusion that can be drawn from these observations is that all but the very youngest Phanerozoic organic material was buried contemporaneously much less than 250,000 years ago.
But have you heard this?

In other words, Darwin and many other hobbyists didn't have International credibility 'til much later and neither do many other hobbyists. I continue to watch with an open mind to both and believe critical examination is key to research and discovery.
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Jan 26, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Does the teaching of this theory as fact separate man from God? If it does, the fruits of that implication should be painfully clear. At it's inception, it is irrefutable that it separated Darwin from God . . . This shows me that the major proponents of it are in fact opposed to the possibility of ID and their suppositions are motivated by that opposition. This does not necessarily include the scientists themselves, but you might know one's work is in vain if not published. Enter agenda.

. . . you might expect much agreement as we find evidence that affirms our faith . . . What if this God gave us a tangible word in the form of prophecy or otherwise that proved true before we would've known these things to be true

. . . the current delivery of scientific theory has reached the realm of dogma, idealism, and philosophy and as such has put itself in direct conflict with religion.
And so the real motive behind the stickers keeps revealing itself in your posts: evolutionary theory is dangerous because it separates us from God and conflicts with religious doctrine. This, again, belongs in a social/religious studies class, not a science textbook. Fortunately, the judge wasn't fooled.

The "people behind the movement" played by the rules. The judge did not. At least not any known rules.
No. Whether or not his decision will stand, the judge played by well-established legal rules. Why do you persist in making patently false statements like this?

The "people behind the movement" played by the rules of politics, not science. They basically said, "If you don't use these stickers, we're gonna make a fuss and have you voted off the school board." If they really wanted to "follow the rules," they would demonstrate in a scientifically sound way that their theories are valid. This they have not done. Maybe they'll do so with time, but they don't get a special pass just because they have the weight of Christian theology behind them. They have to compete in the markeplace of scientific ideas like everyone else.

Do you think Creationists and ID advocates are the only people whose theories haven't been accepted by the scientific establishment? I suggest that you talk to some actual scientists.
     
ebuddy
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Jan 27, 2005, 10:20 AM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
And so the real motive behind the stickers keeps revealing itself in your posts: evolutionary theory is dangerous because it separates us from God and conflicts with religious doctrine. This, again, belongs in a social/religious studies class, not a science textbook. Fortunately, the judge wasn't fooled.
My personal convictions have nothing to do with cerebral stickers calling for critical examination of theory. This particular theory has become philosophy and theology which puts it at direct odds with competing theologies and philosophies. When the "how" does not adequately explain the "what", you've created a "who". In this case, it's the god; Billions of Years Ago.
No. Whether or not his decision will stand, the judge played by well-established legal rules.
There is nothing well-established about his use of the Separation Clause Zig. In fact, he agreed with the problematic nature of the theory in the mechanism by which it supposedly occurred. Remarkably, he was unable to make the last connection. There is nothing in text, verbiage, or otherwise to suggest that evolution is a theory. It is taught as fact and as such has put itself squarely in opposition to competing religions.
Why do you persist in making patently false statements like this?
While I disagree with what constitutes "false statements" I understand your problem with it. Thankfully, in this forum we're allowed to challenge alleged "false statements".
The "people behind the movement" played by the rules of politics, not science. They basically said, "If you don't use these stickers, we're gonna make a fuss and have you voted off the school board." If they really wanted to "follow the rules," they would demonstrate in a scientifically sound way that their theories are valid.
They don't have to Zig. They've already established not one theory over another, but real problems with the current, most prominent naturalist theory of today and want to remind students of the scientific definition of 'theory'. The theory of evolution is an excellent opportunity to remind them of this fact because there are real problems with the theory. It's not simply a couple of Creationist quacks who feel this way Zig and this is where your argument fails. There are conferences that end in heated debate in the scientific community regarding the exact same problems. Instead, they will have remembered that humans have gill slits and because they were taught this "fact" in a public school system, it becomes indocrination and dogma. What's worse, most students will not continue to pursue the field and will conduct their lives believing in naturalist nonsense.
This they have not done. Maybe they'll do so with time, but they don't get a special pass just because they have the weight of Christian theology behind them. They have to compete in the markeplace of scientific ideas like everyone else.
Conversely, teaching a feeble theory as fact, places it in the realm of philosophy and theology as defined; naturalism. This is theology and as such must compete in the marketplace of theological ideas which unfortunately excludes the public school system. The movement has made it's way into the school system so, in this case critical examination of it should follow.
Do you think Creationists and ID advocates are the only people whose theories haven't been accepted by the scientific establishment? I suggest that you talk to some actual scientists.
Do you think it's ONLY Creationists and ID advocates who have a problem with evolution???
What theory were the stickers advocating? What religion did the sticker site? What religion did the sticker establish? You do not rule in opposition to people, you rule based on the merit of a case or complaint. Trust me, you'd want it no other way.
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Jan 27, 2005, 10:42 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
There is nothing well-established about his use of the Separation Clause Zig.
No, zigzag is right about this. The judge applied the test which he is required to apply by Supreme Court precedent. The Lemon Test is the established test for establishment clause cases. A district court judge has no authority to disregard that test or apply a different one. If he did, he would certainly be reversed on appeal for disregarding binding precedent.
     
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Jan 27, 2005, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
No, zigzag is right about this. The judge applied the test which he is required to apply by Supreme Court precedent. The Lemon Test is the established test for establishment clause cases. A district court judge has no authority to disregard that test or apply a different one. If he did, he would certainly be reversed on appeal for disregarding binding precedent.
Well, there's also Lynch and Lee.
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This and all my other posts are hereby in the public domain. I am a lawyer. But I'm not your lawyer, and this isn't legal advice.
     
ebuddy
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Jan 27, 2005, 11:14 AM
 
Good point Simey, but let's look at the Lemon Test real quick;
First of all, the test gets it's name and precedent from the 1971; Lemon v Kurtzmen case regarding the attempt of the State to author a program of providing aid to religious elementary and secondary schools. This involves the use of atheists and agnostics tax dollars on religious institutions. The concern here is certainly more obvious than a sticker calling for the critical examination of theology cloaked as science. In short, the judge severely abused this test, but to demonstrate just how absurdly abused it was, let's critically examine the test;

The test is broken down into three basic questions;
1) Does the case have secular merit?
answer; yes, the sticker has secular merit as it is based on no theology, nor religion. It is wholly cerebral and only calls for the critical examination of a scientific theory mistakenly taught as fact.

2) Does the action inhibit or advance a religion?
Answer; no. The action is wholly cerebral and calls for the critical examination of science mistakenly taught as fact. Evolution as it is currently being taught however, does inhibit religious ideals by replacing it's god for a different one.

3) Does the action excessively entangle religion and government?
Answer; no. the action does not excessively entangle anything other than critical thinking and logic in government. The action in essence, is beneficial to secular society, inhibits nor advances any religion, and does not excessively entangle anything. So...if the Lemon Test was truly the litmus this judge used for his ruling, he's being disingenuous at best. Scared to death of challenging dogma at worst.
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ebuddy
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Jan 27, 2005, 11:22 AM
 
Quotes from those much more knowledgeable than I and they range from embry-biologists, paleontologists, through Creationists and Evolutionists;

"There is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form._ This theory can be called the "general theory of evolution," and the evidence which supports this is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis."
(Dr. G. A. Kerkut evolutionist)

"Perhaps generations of students of human evolution, including myself, have been flailing about in the dark; that our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able to mold our theories._ Rather the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about the past._ Paleontology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about, but that is heresy."_
(Dr. David Pilbeam, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, American Scientist, vol 66, p.379, June 1978)

"For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation._ The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality._ We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom."
(Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means)

"I suppose the reason we leaped at the origin of species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores."
(Sir Julian Huxley, President of the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO).)

"All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere._ We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet._ It is just that life's complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did."
(Dr. Harold Urey, Nobel Prize winner)

"The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs."
(Dr. Pierre-Paul Grasse of the University of Paris and past-president of the French Academy of Science)

"Evolution is unproved and improvable, we believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable."
(Sir Arthur Keith, a militant anti-Christian physical anthropologist)

"Hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts....These classical evolutionary theories are a gross over-simplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they are swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest."
(Sir Ernst Chan, Nobel Prize winner for developing penicillin)

"If I knew of any Evolutionary transitional's, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them in my book,_ 'Evolution' "_
(Dr. Colin Patterson, evolutionist and senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, which houses 60 million fossils)

"Meanwhile, their unproven theories will continue to be accepted by the learned and the illiterate alike as absolute truth, and will be defended with a frantic intolerance that has a parallel only in the bigotry of the darkest Middle Ages._ If one does not accept evolution as an infallible dogma, implicitly and without question, one is regarded as an unenlightened ignoramus or is merely ignored as an obscurantist or a naive, uncritical fundamentalist."
(Dr. Alfred Rehwinkel)

"The explanation value of the evolutionary hypothesis of common origin is nil!_ Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, it seems to convey anti-knowledge._ How could I work on evolution ten years and learn nothing from it?_ Most of you in this room will have to admit that in the last ten years we have seen the basis of evolution go from fact to faith!_ It does seem that the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow._ We know it ought not be taught in high school, and that's all we know about it."
(Dr. Colin Patterson, evolutionist and senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History)

"I shall discuss the broad patterns of hominoid evolution, an exercise made enjoyable by the need to integrate diverse kinds of information, and use that as a vehicle to speculate about hominoid origins, an event for which there is no recognized fossil record._ Hence, an opportunity to exercise some imagination."
(Dr. David Pilbeam)

"The universe and the Laws of Physics seem to have been specifically designed for us._ If any one of about 40 physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist: Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn't combine into molecules, or the stars wouldn't form heavier elements, or the universe would collapse before life could develop, and so on..."
(Stephen Hawking, considered the best known scientist since Albert Einstein, Austin American-Statesmen, October 19, 1997)
ebuddy
     
ebuddy
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Jan 27, 2005, 11:26 AM
 
More;

"In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to "bend" their observations to fit in with it."
(H.S. Lipson, Physicist Looks at Evolution, Physics Bulletin 31 (1980), p. 138)

The evolutionary establishment fears creation science, because evolution itself crumbles when challenged by evidence._ In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of public debates were arranged between evolutionary scientists and creation scientists._ The latter scored resounding victories, with the result that, today, few evolutionists will debate._ Isaac Asimov, Stephen Jay Gould, and the late Carl Sagan, while highly critical of creationism, all declined to debate."
(Dr. James Perloff, Tornado in a Junkyard (1999), p. 241)

"I doubt if there is any single individual within the scientific community who could cope with the full range of_ [creationist] arguments without the help of an army of consultants in special fields."
(David M. Raup, "Geology and Creation," Bulletin of the Field Museum of Natural History, Vol. 54, March 1983, p. 18)

"Human DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopedia Britannica._ If the full text of the encyclopedia were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence._ But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces."
(George Sim Johnson "Did Darwin Get it Right?" The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 1999)

"Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?"
(Sir John Templeton, "The Humble Approach: Scientists Discover God," page 19)

"The great cosmologic myth of the twentieth century."
(Dr. Michael Denton, molecular biochemist, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.)

"9/10 of the talk of evolution is sheer nonsense not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by fact._ This Museum is full of proof of the utter falsity of their view."
(Dr. Ethredge, British Museum of Science.)

"We have now the remarkable spectacle that just when many scientific men are agreed that there is no part of the Darwinian system that is of any great influence, and that, as a whole, the theory is not only unproved, but impossible, the ignorant, half-educated masses have acquired the idea that it is to be accepted as a fundamental fact."
(Dr. Thomas Dwight, famed professor at Harvard University)

"The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based upon faith alone; exactly the same sort of faith which is necessary to have when one encounters the great mysteries of religion....The only alternative is the doctrine of special creation, which may be true, but irrational."
(Dr. Louis T. More, professor of paleontology at Princeton University)

"Evolution is faith, a religion."
(Dr. Louist T. More, professor of paleontology at Princeton University)

"I could prove God statistically; take the human body alone; the chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen, is a statistical monstrosity."
(George Gallup, the famous statistician)
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ebuddy
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Jan 27, 2005, 11:28 AM
 
Lastly;

"The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence._Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world." (Charles Darwin, 1881, 3 July, "Life and Letters of Darwin, vol. 1, 316")

"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world." _(Charles Darwin, The descent of Man, Chap. vi)
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SimeyTheLimey
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Jan 27, 2005, 11:29 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Good point Simey, but let's look at the Lemon Test real quick;
First of all, the test gets it's name and precedent from the 1971; Lemon v Kurtzmen case regarding the attempt of the State to author a program of providing aid to religious elementary and secondary schools. This involves the use of atheists and agnostics tax dollars on religious institutions. The concern here is certainly more obvious than a sticker calling for the critical examination of theology cloaked as science. In short, the judge severely abused this test, but to demonstrate just how absurdly abused it was, let's critically examine the test;

The test is broken down into three basic questions;
1) Does the case have secular merit?
answer; yes, the sticker has secular merit as it is based on no theology, nor religion. It is wholly cerebral and only calls for the critical examination of a scientific theory mistakenly taught as fact.

2) Does the action inhibit or advance a religion?
Answer; no. The action is wholly cerebral and calls for the critical examination of science mistakenly taught as fact. Evolution as it is currently being taught however, does inhibit religious ideals by replacing it's god for a different one.

3) Does the action excessively entangle religion and government?
Answer; no. the action does not excessively entangle anything other than critical thinking and logic in government. The action in essence, is beneficial to secular society, inhibits nor advances any religion, and does not excessively entangle anything. So...if the Lemon Test was truly the litmus this judge used for his ruling, he's being disingenuous at best. Scared to death of challenging dogma at worst.
If you read the judge's opinion in this case, you will see that the Lemon test has been applied in his circuit slightly differently from the original Lemon case. They collapsed the second and third prongs. Without doing extensive research, I'd say that he applied the test correctly according to the precedent that is binding upon him. Even if his circuit's precedent is wrong, he still isn't in a position to reverse it. Either the circuit, or the supreme court has to do that.

That doesn't mean you can't criticize how he came out on the test -- I certainly do. But he applied the right test in the way it was intended to be applied.

Cpt Kangarooski: I don't know that Lee would be too helpful, but Lynch could be -- at least in terms of dictum. The problem is that I don't think it really supplies a clearly applicable holding or a test to apply here, and it doesn't overrule Lemon. At best it is gloss that perhaps could have been cited by the judge if he had wanted to be a bit less doctrinaire in his application of the effects prong in his Lemon analysis. As I said above, I disagree with how he came out on that issue. I think he was a little too keen to erect the kind of strict wall that the Court criticized in Lynch.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jan 27, 2005 at 11:35 AM. )
     
Busemann
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Jan 27, 2005, 12:39 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
Fossilized remains of Tyrannosaur with spears in it's side exist
LOL! Even Fred Flintstones wouldn't be foolish enough to attack a T-REX with a spear. By looking at the last presidential election, is it that hard to see humans stem from the apes?
     
zigzag
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Jan 27, 2005, 01:04 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
There is nothing well-established about his use of the Separation Clause Zig.
This is simply incorrect, and my exasperation stems from the fact that you keep repeating the idea that the judge "didn't follow any known rules," that the judge acted capriciously, etc., which is clearly untrue. You're free to disagree with the opinion, but there's no need to mischaracterize it.

Reasonable minds can differ in these cases. That's why we have nine Supreme Court justices instead of only one, and why their opinions are often split. The judge here set forth the legal precedents (which he was required to follow) in great detail; one can follow his reasoning even if one disagrees with it. He might even be reversed, but that doesn't mean he acted capriciously. He did not just make it up as he went along, as you keep suggesting.

Do you think it's ONLY Creationists and ID advocates who have a problem with evolution???
Of course not - no one is suggesting that evolution has all the answers. There are aspects of it that continue to be explored and debated - that's the nature of science. But the basic theory has been validated as well as any theory can be - the question is how far the theory can be extended and applied.

To the extent that any person has a problem with evolutionary thoery, the question is: why do they have a problem with it? What is their motive? Is it to further the cause of science, or to further/protect a particular religious belief? The problem with the stickers is that, when considered in context, it's the latter, which is why a constitutional question has been raised.

The rest of your points have been addressed elsewhere, for better or worse, so I'm not going to rehash all of it.
     
 
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