There Is NO Controversy

Dr. Joshua Swamidass, “a Christian and career scientist,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal  last week:

“First, the age of the Earth and the rejection of evolution aren’t core Christian beliefs. Neither appears in the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed. Nor did Jesus teach them. Historical Christianity has not focused on how God created the universe, but on how God saves humanity through Jesus’ death and resurrection. . . .

…there is simply NO controversy in the scientific world about the age of the Earth or evolution. Evidence points to a 4.5 billion-year-old planet.

The evidence for evolution is just as strong. In the past, evolution rested on ambiguous fossil evidence, but now it rests on much clearer DNA evidence that increases exponentially every month. Fully appreciating this evidence takes a lot of time, reading and patience. And it is not appropriate to “teach the controversy” in science class because there is NO ongoing debate in the scientific community comparable to the theological debate.

The evolution debate is NOT a scientific controversy, but a theological controversy about a non-central Christian doctrine.”

(My emphasis throughout)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324469304578141673721798486.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

YEC’s just need to get their logic and good-sense on.  Think…we (science) have actual real evidence…you are fighting a loosing battle

Treatment of Evolution in Public Schools

Map showing how evolution is taught across the USA

Baylor University and Evolution

Baylor University in Waco, Texas is the largest Baptist University in the world, and has a pretty good science department.  I always thought the Baptists were creationists/fundamentalists…

From the Biology Department at Baylor University:

Statement on Evolution
“Evolution, a foundational principle of modern biology, is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and is accepted by the vast majority of scientists. Because it is fundamental to the understanding of modern biology, the faculty in the Biology Department at Baylor University, Waco, TX, teaches evolution throughout the biology curriculum. We are in accordance with the American Association for Advancement of Science’s statement on evolution. We are a science department, so we do not teach alternative hypotheses or philosophically deduced theories that cannot be tested rigorously.”  http://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php…


From the Baylor University Geology Department:

“Whether biological evolution occurs has NOT been a matter of scientific debate for more than a century. It is considered a PROVEN fact. The specific mechanisms of biological change over time continue to be a topic of active research, and include mechanisms proposed by Charles Darwin as well as more recently developed ideas based on our growing knowledge of genetics and molecular biology. Using the methods of modern science, our knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of life has grown enormously since the initial characterization of the role of DNA in reproduction, inheritance and evolution in the mid-1950s.”   My emphasis http://www.baylor.edu/geology/index.php…

DOWNLOAD the 1 MB PDF file Evolution and the Fossil Record by Pojeta and Springer.
http://www.agiweb.org/news/evolution.pdf

Should Religion Be Exempt From Criticism

“I look forward to the day when violence done under the influence of religious passion is considered more dishonorable, more shameful, than crimes of avarice, and is punished accordingly, and religious leaders who incite such acts are regarded with the same contempt that we reserve for bartenders who send dangerously disabled people out onto the highways.

I also look forward to the day when pastors who abuse the authority of their pulpits by misinforming their congregations about science, about public health, about global warming, about evolution must answer to the charge of dishonesty. Telling pious lies to trusting children is a form of abuse, plain and simple. If quacks and bunko artists can be convicted of fraud for selling worthless cures, why not clergy for making their living off unsupported claims of miracle cures and the efficacy of prayer?”
Daniel C. Dennett Co-director, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University

And the Catholic Church keeps asking for free speech to be censored.  And the Republican religious right wants to put people in jail for blasphemy and other religious/church crimes.  The future is indeed going to be interesting…and maybe deadly.

Happy Darwin Day

Tomorrow is ‘Darwin Day’

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.   Charles Darwin was born  in 1809 and first published his ‘On the Origin of Species’  on November 24, 1859

Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution.

Today the Theory of Evolution still stands very strong…despite all the lying rhetoric constantly thrown at  it by religious creationist types.

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Evolution…150 Years And Still Going Strong

“Any theory that can stand up to 150 years of continuous testing is a pretty darn good theory. We use evolution to develop drugs. We use evolution to develop vaccines. We use evolution to manage wildlife. We use evolution to interpret our own genome. Every one of these uses of evolution is a test, because if the use turns out to be inadequate, we would then go back and question the very idea of evolution itself. But evolution has turned out to be such a powerful, productive, and hardworking theory that it’s survived that test of time.”  “Dr. Kenneth Miller for Nova on PBS.  He is a professor of biology at Brown University and coauthor (with Joe Levine) of the standard high-school textbook ‘Biology’, Miller testified at the Dover trial as an expert witness for the plaintiffs…”
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/defense-evolution.html


Further:
http://ncse.com/evolution/science/evolution-primers
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php

Personally I think it ought to be called the ‘Fact of Evolution’ now

There Was No Moment of Creation

One of the many problems modern science poses for Christianity is the question of how to understand original sin. The traditional teaching, which holds that Adam and Eve were the only humans on the planet when they were created on day six of Creation Week, that the ground was cursed and they were expelled from Eden as a result of a specific sin they committed, and that this corrupted state was in some way passed down to all future human beings, is no longer tenable. A variety of lines of evidence make it clear that the human population has always numbered in the thousands and certainly never dipped down to two. Moreover, evolution makes clear that humans arose through eons of natural selection. There was no moment of creation, and there was no state of primordial perfection for them to sully. Jason Rosenhouse, The Evolution Blog http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2011/09/what_does_original_sin_mean_in.php?utm_source=nytwidget
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Jesus is a Hoax

Jesus is a hoax.  How can I say that? Pretty easily it turns out.  I can say that because I follow a chain of logic from a known fact.

Evolution is a fact.  Lots of people in America want to ignore this, and many choose to try and disprove it by using junk science and holding on to beliefs that were long ago discredited.  There are those who denounce and scream that it cannot be true because it removes the need for a God and His dogma, something they just know is right and true, despite the lack of any proof whatsoever.

You don’t get to vote on evolution…which a lot of evangelical Christians think they can do and make it go away. Evolution is real science and is not really a “theory” anymore, though the title ‘Theory of Evolution’ will remain because that’s the way science works.  The fundamentalist Christians attempts to discredit evolution and teach their phony alternatives, “Creation Science” or “Intelligent Design”, in schools is a total failure and it is recognized by most intelligent people as just religious doctrine posing as science.

Science moves forward on the basis of testable, repeatable, and reviewable evidence, religion however has no evidence behind it and depends wholly on the non-questioning faith of its adherents.  Any teacher who tries to teach faith-based dogma in a science class is clearly not suited to be a teacher. Our leadership in science and technology cannot be subservient to anyone’s religious persuasions.

Evolution today presents a major conundrum to Christianity and it’s dominate dogma of original sin and the blood atonement of Jesus.  Just believe in Jesus and your ‘sins’ are washed away.  Well that Jesus may or may not be reality.  We know that evolution could not produce a single parent couple through which we all descended; this is predictable from the way we know evolution works.  Additionally there is the DNA and archaeological evidence totally backing this up.

This is what gets the ball rolling.  These simple proofs that there was NO Adam and Eve is what gives lie to the whole Bible. If there is NO Adam and Eve, as described in the Bible and this is surely fact, then there is surely NO fall and the subsequent original sin, and it is original sin that the whole Christian shtick is based on.  If there were NO original sin then there is no need for redemption; if there is NO need for redemption then there is no need for Jesus, If there is no need for Jesus…what use is the story of a crucifixion and resurrection?  Besides lacking any contemporaneous proofs at all, the whole story reeks of Bronze Age myth.  Are we still to believe in gods that demand blood sacrifice?  Haven’t we grown past this medieval, dark ages reasoning?  I know I have.

Religions problems with science are many and varied. Evolution tells us the earth, biosphere, animals, and humans evolved in a certain way and on a schedule of sorts. It makes predictions of what is to be found and how things will work.  Genesis has stories that conflict with known science.  We know in fair detail how and when the universe came into being, how and when our earth came into existence, and how and when humans came to inhabit our planet.

If you claim to be an intelligent member of modern society do you still believe in magic and demons, witches, devils, imps, goblins, incubuses, succubus’s, wraiths, unicorns, etc.?  Christians do, and of course in the dark ages the churches killed people who they thought were witches or devils and such and those who denied some of the Bibles more egregious blunders.

The primal reason Evolution is giving Christians so much grief is of course that evolution says the Christian creation story is just flat wrong…it never happened that way and the first two chapters of Genesis are totally wrong…the story is not factual in any way.  We know how dinosaurs and other land animals, plants, insects, birds, fish, humans, etc. came into being and we know it was not by ex-nihilo creation by some Bronze Age god.

Evolution could not, did not, produce a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. And with this now known to be fact the Christians have to really rethink their beliefs and decide where they are to go from here on. There is no voting on this…we do not get to choose what we want to be reality.  What is real and true is truth, no matter what some goat herders wrote a few thousand years ago.

John Schneider, former teacher of theology at Calvin College in Michigan says it’s time to face facts:

“There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence. Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost. So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”

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Ice Core Says No Noah’s Flood

“Recently an ice core nearly two miles long has been extracted from the Greenland ice sheet. The first 110,000 annual layers of snow in that ice core (GISP2) have been visually counted and corroborated by two to three different and independent methods as well as by correlation with volcanic eruptions and other datable events. Since the ice sheet would have floated away in the event of a global flood, the ice core is strong evidence that there was no global flood any time in the last 110,000 years.” Paul H. Seely

Paper can be found at:  http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12-03Seely.pdf

The above link is to a Christian site for God believing scientists.  

Just one more hole in the Christian Bibles myths.

“Geology, paleontology, zoology, botany, comparative anatomy, molecular biology, population genetics, biogeography, embryology, and others–all independently converge to the same conclusion: evolution happened.” –Michael Shermer–Skeptic Magazine

Vandalize Cars If Displaying Darwin Symbol

Apparently religious zealots have decided that biology teachers at the University of Florida needed to be humbled and shown that religion, not evolution, rules in Gainesville, Florida.   Of course Christians have doing this kind of crap for many, many years.  Our US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who happen to be atheist (yes there are atheists in foxholes) have been beaten up and denied advancement.  I haven’t heard about any deaths yet, but it probably will happen at some point.

“Letters, nails, and vehicular sabotage haven’t kept two University of Florida biology professors from expressing their belief in evolution.  In a string of events occurring over the past four months, the professors’ cars, which were parked in the Bartram-Carr Hall parking lot, were vandalized.

First, religious letters were left on the cars, and then pro-evolution bumper stickers and Darwin-fish emblems were scraped and torn from the vehicles. Most recently, nails were put into the tires.”   Independent Florida Alligator:

Yeah those God Lovin’ Christians just can’t stand someone who doesn’t agree with their magical sky-God.  And they keep that falsehood going about how nice and loving their religion is…not like the Muslims.  Thing is when Christianity ruled the Western world it was every bit as bad as Islam is now…don’t look now, but the Christian right (Republicans) are trying to re-establish Biblical rule
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