should creationists be allowed in science?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by steeven91, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Re the OP: how come these roving creationist spammers so often and so characteristically cannot punctuate?
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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Science is not a club people can be kicked out of or allowed in, a creationist can study science, do science and be a scientist, the problem would be how could they still be a creationist without having to do some serious mental gymnastics and delusional thinking.
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The way I resolved the conflict between evolution and creation, was to look at the date associated with creationism, which is about 7000 years ago, and compare that date to an important science discovery in the same time frame. The history of ancient Mesopotamia; cradle of civilization, begins with the emergence of urban societies during the Ubaid period (ca. 5300 BC).

    Based on that, I work under the assumption the creationism represent the beginnings of the modern human mind; This is where human begins to formulate their first theories for physical, biological, and intellectual evolution. The human mind changed in a quantum way, or as creationism put it, the new man was made in God's image.

    By image, I look at this as something more like a DVD image (data image) used for burning a DVD, instead of a photographic image. The disk image (in god's image) was connected to the human brain. God was attributed with creating nature, man's disk image in God's disk image, meant man would now create all types of new things such as written language, science, economics, farming, etc. all of which will extend and often improve natural creation.
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  7. Saquist Banned Banned

    Not if you listen to some here or say...Richard Dawkins who certainly establishes his personal views within his scientific views to that they can not be distinguished from the other.

    And that's the problem with the society of science it's become a bit of a clubhouse
    for angry religious cast offs rather than the pursuit of something more.
  8. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Often in science, terms are used differently than they are in typical life. When Dawkins says evolution is a true representation of reality, he is using the colloquial definition of truth. But, scientists do not determine absolute truth. Evolution is a model that fits observation to such a degree, it would be absurd to say it was false.

    They are pursuing something more, the triumph of reason over irrational faith.
  9. Vronsurd Registered Member

    it is a lot to say that faith is irrational, because it has a straight line of logic. If one heavily examines science it always at some point must lead in a circle. THe ultimate question is: how is there order in the universe? Where did it come from? Science cannot answer it, faith can, Do creationists have a role in science? Well if there are questions they and they alone can answer then I'd say so.
  10. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Simply having an answer within your traditional mythology doesn't amount to an accurate scientific model of any phenomenon.

    The simple answer is that as the universe cools, more complex, orderly structures are able to form. And it all came from nothing.
  11. Vronsurd Registered Member

    mmhmmm, as things become colder, things become more orderly? ANd I suppose next you'll be saying that a super race thirty times more intelligent then us will be formed when the entire universe cools to absolute zero?
  12. Vronsurd Registered Member

    And it all came from nothing???? Does that even compute with you?
  13. Earthmosphere SciForums Advisor Registered Senior Member

    Ok. Lets based this from “Pros” and “Cons”.
    Lets start with “Pros” first.


    1.) Evolution is an unproven theory about the origins of life. Both creationism and evolution are faith-positions, given that both are attempts to explain the past, which is in principle beyond direct scientific examination and verification. If we are allowed to teach one, we should be allowed to teach the other.

    2.) Creationism is science. It has discovered evidence for a young earth and for the biblical flood. It has pointed to the absence from the fossil record of intermediate forms between known species. It has argued that certain species could not have evolved gradually because of their particular chemical or physical make-up. All of these discoveries and observations confirm the truth of the Genesis account of creation.

    3.) Biology can be studied in a creationist context. Looking at the way in which different organisms work shows us the beauty and perfection of God’s design. Classification is still possible, along the lines of the ‘kinds’ described in the Bible - but cladistic classification based on hypothetical ‘lines of descent’ is deeply flawed and should be rejected. Creationism helps us to understand the power, goodness and majesty of God and to see how everything is under his authority.

    4.) Schoolchildren are vulnerable and impressionable: if you teach them that Genesis is wrong, they may well believe you. This has implications for the possibility of bringing them up as believing Christians, which is of
    course the point of having faith schools in the first place, and what their parents must be presumed to want if they choose to send their children to faith schools. If a majority of Americans are creationists then the school curriculum should reflect this.

    5.) If we are allowed to teach religious studies, we should be allowed to teach all of the implications of religious belief. The idea that God created the world is central to Christian, Muslim and Jewish belief. If we allow faith schools in which children are taught about their religion from an explicitly committed perspective, if we allow (indeed encourage) religious worship in schools, it is bizarre to allow this to be contradicted in science lessons.

    6.) There is a great deal at stake in the claim that God did not create the world in seven days: the Bible says that he did; he did not, then the Bible is wrong. If the Bible is wrong on this, we cannot trust it on anything else and our entire faith, which you seem to want us to be allowed to maintain, is built on a lie - on your logic, we should not be allowed to teach our religion at all, since on your logic it is all false. For example, the Bible’s description of Jesus as a ‘second Adam’ undermined if there was no ‘first Adam’ - this would remove Jesus’ significance. Those churches which accept evolution are compromising their faith.

    7.) If we are descended from animals then the specialness of humanity, as the only creature uniquely created in the image of God, is denied. There is nothing to separate us from the beasts, and no moral basis for feeling ‘special’ and acting differently from them.

    8.) There is no need to draw a sharp distinction between academic subjects in which creationism may and may not be mentioned, particularly if you hold, as Christians and other religious people do, that the truth is unified and beautiful. is acceptable to talk about creationism’s religious, cultural and historical significance - as it should be - then it is acceptable to talk about its scientific legitimacy. We believe that it is scientifically legitimate - more so, indeed, than
    evolution - and we intend to defend that claim in science classes.

    9.) US-SPECIFIC ARGUMENT: It is true that the promotion of religion is constitutionally not allowed in schools: however, scientific creationism, while it has religious implications, is legitimate science - if teaching creationism implies the truth of the Christian position (which it does not necessarily, as some Muslims and Jews would support it) then that simply reflects the fact that the Christian position on this is correct.


    1.) Evolution is not a theory about the origins of life at all. It is a theory about the development of life. All scientific theories are necessarily unproven - that’s what ‘theory’ means. If we only taught those areas of science which were
    entirely ‘proved’ there would be little or no science teaching at all. The theory of evolution is, however, supported by overwhelming evidence, and is therefore not a ‘faith-position’ whereas the ‘evidence’ for creationism is discredited. fact that much (not all - evolution is a continuing process) of the evidence relates to the past is not a problem: all sciences (and indeed history as an academic discipline) make what are, in effect, predictions about the past which are then
    confirmed or disconfirmed by evidence such as, in this case, the fossil record.

    2.) Creationism is not science. It takes the Genesis account (actually there are two Genesis accounts, in Gen 1.1-2.3 Gen 2.4-3.24, but let’s not get into that) as true in every particular, and bends the evidence to fit that so-called
    ‘hypothesis’ - in fact it is not a hypothesis at all, since it is in principle unalterable for the creationists. Meanwhile, evolutionists come up with hypotheses which they test, modify and, where necessary, abandon as appropriate.

    3.) Evolution should be a central part of the science curriculum, because the rest of biology is dependent on it. Understanding how and why different organisms work as they do requires a knowledge of mutation, natural selection adaptation, which are rejected by creationism. For creationism, the classification of living things based on lines of descent and chronological speciation makes no sense. Furthermore, understanding how evolution works as a theory teach students about the nature of scientific method - a matter on which creationists are notoriously shaky.

    4.) Schoolchildren are vulnerable and impressionable: if you teach them the literal truth of Genesis as science, theymay well believe you. Since you are wrong, this is not to be welcomed, particularly since what your teaching
    involves is a wilful misunderstanding of the nature of scientific method, with implications for their understanding of science in general for the rest of their lives. The fact that more than half of all Americans believe that the world
    was created by God in seven days is a testament to political pressure from Christians to water down the science curriculum, and it is harmful - because it is wrong. We may allow children to be sent to faith schools, but we do not
    allow those schools to teach them whatever they like.

    5.) The belief that God creates and sustains the world is not the same as the belief that God created the world in seven days a few thousand years ago. The former is a theological position which implies the goodness and sovereignty of God, and his continuing involvement with his creation, not a scientific claim. The latter is an empirically testable claim which
    has been empirically tested and found to be false. We should not allow schools to teach our children things that are just
    plain wrong, and known to be wrong. This is distinct from allowing the teaching of religion, which is culturally and historically significant and which involves beliefs which are in principle distinct from science.

    6.) On this question, the Bible just is wrong, and if you insist on holding a literalistic approach to Scripture then the implications you claim do indeed follow. However, there is no theological need to do this. The Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, for example, have accepted the truth of evolution and they still hold what is a recognisably and distinctively Christian faith. Assuming that the writers of the Bible meant their creation stories to be understood as literally true makes them look stupid – we should do them the justice of allowing that they wrote stories designed to
    account for the world as they knew it, not scientific accounts.

    7.) This is just nonsense. Evolution has no implications for morality: it describes what has happened, making no judgement about whether what has happened is good. Non-religious ethicists are perfectly capable of making moral judgements, and they regularly do so.

    8.) There is nothing wrong with teaching the creation myths of Christianity, and indeed of other religions and cultures, religious studies, history or language classes, because of their historical and cultural importance - they may even make good starting-point to evolution courses as a point of contrast to show that there is little to choose between non-scientific
    creation myths, but that Darwin’s revolution transformed our understanding of the development of life by positing a scientifically testable theory in place of myths. Teaching creationism as science, however, is wrong.

    9.) US-SPECIFIC ARGUMENT: This is a smuggling of religious teaching into the state school curriculum, which is against the First Amendment of the Constitution. The government is not allowed to promote, mandate or enforce
    particular religious doctrines. Creationism is a religious, not a scientific, doctrine, and government money should not fund its promotion.

    Now, I have compared them with “Pros” and “Cons”.
  14. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    No, that could happen much sooner than that. It's not that the development of order exactly corresponds to the coldness of the universe, but we can see the difference between what can happen in a star and what can happen far enough away from the star that chemistry can occur. The early universe was very, very hot and didn't allow for complex chemistry. All that had to happen to make that possible was that it cooled.

    Yes. Matter/energy is almost exactly balanced by gravitational potential energy, which means the universe did not require any external inputs of energy. Science often reveals things that are counter-intuitive.
  15. Saquist Banned Banned

    Are you kidding me?
    Understand that the Creationism model is just a theory and it's barely supported. Faith isn't for answering scientific questions.

    Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the EVIDENT demonstration of things not beheld. Hope is rational, and basing that hope on Demonstrated truth is also rational.

    But the error is apply faith to science. That is irrational. The assumption that all faith is irrational is an illogical statement.
  16. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Faith with rationality isn't faith, it's a hypothesis, a tentative intellectual position open to correction.
  17. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Although evolution is well supported by science, one of the problems that evolution does face in school, is evolution is not something that is common to everyday experience. Unlike gravity, where one can demonstrate this with a falling apple, you can not demonstrate evolution directly in the class room. I am not saying we can't find examples, but only that we can not demonstrate it in front of the students, like the apple and gravity. The student needs to rely on faith that we are telling the truth. Seeing evolution in real time would help bridge the gap of faith.

    An interesting experiment, a teacher can do, which might confuse a student's faith in the book of evolution, that can generate hard real time data, can be done with plants. We can take cuttings off a plant and get them to root. They all have the exact same DNA. Based on altering the growth conditions (light, soil, water nutrients, and pH, etc.) be can get a wide distribution of cutting plant size and vigor. You can even get color changes and leaf curling due to nutrient deficiencies.

    Next, we ask which would of these dozen plants would have selective advantage in this occurred in nature. They will pick the biggest one. We then tell them they all have the same DNA, so how can that be? The answer is, the environment will not only impacts selective advantage, but it can also impact development.

    This experiment can be done in real time over a few weeks for the students to observe, making it appear like environmental development of the DNA is a demonstrable source of evolution. It does not need faith but can be demonstrated in real time. This, however, is not part of the main theory, so they will need to go back to faith and ignire what their eyes see
  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    There is no "gap of faith". Science proceeds through indirect as well as direct observation. Your example is not an example of evolution.

    You can easily show the evolution of something like the horse, through the use of fossils.

    How old are you may I ask?
  19. Saquist Banned Banned

    faith is synonymous with trust.
  20. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    That is not how I interpret religious faith. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, and even in spite of contradictory evidence. Scientists often place a tentative trust in one hypothesis or another, but they are open to correction.
  21. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    This is the "God of the Gaps" argument. If there is something we do not know, then God is the answer. God fills the gap in our knowledge.

    The flaw in that logic is that a gap in our knowledge may have numerous possible explanations. While you can argue that a deity is one possible explanation, you cannot argue that it is the only possible one.

    A good scientist is comfortable with gaps in knowledge. If he/she sees a gap, then that good scientist will accept the gap without jumping to ridiculous conclusions. The hope is always that further work will close the gap, not with a deity assumption, but with something that really works (is a good model).
  22. Parmenides Registered Senior Member

    I think Creationists are entitled to exercise their democratic right to free speech and should be able to publish their ideas if they want. But as is well know, their theories don't stand up to the accepted canons of reasoning in science. By all means creationism should be a matter of public debate, but it is not science and has no place in the science classroom.
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    That is exactly my own view. Faith and science are different ways of encountering the world as human beings. They don't need to be compatible.

    The problem comes when creationists try to take the role of scientists,
    (Added) or when scientists seek to supplant religion.
    One tactic of scientific creationists is try to undermine a very well supported scientific theory by picking holes in it. It makes religious faith look ridiculous.
    By doing so they are doing Christianity no favours.

    Worse, there are scientists who codge together a pseudo-scientific theory, so that the Bible becomes a supposed scientific account of creation. Explaining fossils by mud laid down in the flood etc.

    I'm surprised I'm agreeing with you so much.
    I haven't misunderstood you have I?

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

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