January 31, 2012 4 Comments
Maybe Not…Just Another WordPress.com Weblog
November 30, 2011 3 Comments
Over at Jerry Coyne’s blog ‘Why Evolution is True’ he is writing of the death of Intelligent Design (ID). It’s about time I say. Creationist Muggles have kept the stupid sham going far beyond its sell by date
“There is no longer any pretense that ID is science. It’s been reduced, as have all forms of creationism, to simpleminded criticism of evolutionary theory, without any predictions or insights of its own. Twenty years on, ID has offered us not a single insight into nature.” -Jerry Coyne
February 25, 2009 15 Comments
There is no doubt at all that evolution is a fact. That may upset you or not depending on what religious affiliation you have or don’t have. Bear with me though…I’m not talking about Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection right here. I speak of the changes to the gene pools of all species that occurs every day due to births and deaths. Members of a species do not all have the exact same DNA, which can be demonstrated easily, and sexual reproduction combines the DNA of two parents to form a little bit different combination of genes. Also, not all creatures survive to reproduce and some little bits are lost.
If you can understand and accept these facts that this is an observed, common, natural fact of life then you are understanding evolution at its basic level. This has been known and fully understood for over a hundred years, and there is NO doubt about it-at all-in the scientific community that it is working.
When you talk about the “Theory of Evolution” though, what you are talking about is the attempt to describe how and why life is doing what it is doing. You come up with the theory when you observe the facts and posit the reason behind them. When you are talking or experimenting on live things and how they came to be and what changes they have, or are, going through and you find common threads then you are talking about evolutionary things, and when large numbers of your observations show many similarities then you make a theory to cover what you are seeing.
The theory that C. Darwin proposed to cover the observations he made in his long voyage on the HMS Beagle was the most eloquent and simple theory that seemed to work…and it worked so well that here we are 150 years later and it’s still the only “theory” that has any credence and continues to explain how life worked in the past and continues to work today.
The religious right continues to attack Darwin and his work precisely because it is the one explanation for life that really works, makes sense, unlike the error filled Bible, and it has tremendous explanatory power in the areas that it is used in, and is constantly being corroborated by dozens of different scientific disciplines.
A good theory can be used to produce predictions about future findings about known facts, and the theory of evolution has proven to be able do this…over and over again for 150 years.
The religious right, the evangelical fundamentalists have a big problem in that they have to advance magic/supernatural causes to explain natural phenomena and since this is not testable in any degree it has no real explanatory power. If a naturalistic explanation is capable of totally explaining natural phenomena on earth…what need is there for some lame…my magic God did it!
Evolution is a fact of nature…just like gravity. I propose we now call it the Fact of Evolution. 🙂
February 17, 2009 2 Comments
America is not the only country that is facing the rising tide of creationist theory. England is also experiencing a flood of evangelical fundamentalists and Muslim students in sixth-form colleges (kinda’ like community colleges in the States) and universities who are trying to replace Darwin’s theory (fact) with their theory (not fact) that the earth is just 6,000 years old.
“A growing number of science students on British campuses and in sixth form colleges are challenging the theory of evolution and arguing that Darwin was wrong. Some are being failed in university exams because they quote sayings from the Bible or Qur’an as scientific fact and at one sixth form College in London most biology students are now thought to be creationists.”
“Earlier this month Muslim medical students in London distributed leaflets that dismissed Darwin’s theories as false. Evangelical Christian students are also increasingly vocal in challenging the notion of evolution.”
“There is an insidious and growing problem,” said Professor Jones, of University College London. “It’s a step back from rationality. They (the creationists) don’t have a problem with science; they have a problem with argument. And irrationality is a very infectious disease as we see from the United States.”
People from the US are apparently helping those across the pond in setting up organizations using methods and systems tested in America. Answers in Genesis have a British office and they are busy spreading the gospel of “Biblical Inerrancy” to all who would listen. Most of the kids who are questioning their teachers about Darwin’s “theory” (fact) are from homes that are following the lead of American sects such as Pentecostals and Baptists.
And then of course there are the Muslims, and they are a very strong presence in England. The Muslims are smack-dab in the middle when it comes to fundamentalist religious thought. Their Koran is different in many (most) ways than the Bible, but on matters of creation they pretty much sing the same song, and their young students in English schools are making big waves by denouncing Darwin and England’s mostly secular teaching and ways.
The whole story is HERE From Guardian.co.uk
The evangelical fundamentalists of religion are trying every diabolical, backhanded, cunning, and fiendish tricks they can to try and teach religion-as-science in schools, and of course their final goal would be to kick science out of school altogether. You see they want “their” religion to rule everyone and everything…and of course the Muslims want the same thing…going to be an interesting war.
Fitna – Documentary about Islam – Watch more
January 12, 2009 Leave a comment
Most people in the US are aware that there is an amazing diversity of religious beliefs and forms and observances not only in our country, but all over the world. Religions come and go over time and their continuity depends mostly on how ardent they are, and how strongly they proselytize their beliefs to others.
Most of us also know that Christianity and Islam are the top religions. Christianity leads the pack with an estimated 2.1 Billion adherents, followed closely by Islam with an estimated 1.5 Billion believers. What may surprise some though is that Secular Humanists, Agnostic, Atheists as a group fall in third place with an estimated 1.1 Billion people professing that they believe there is no God. Hinduism follows in forth place with about 900,000 to 1 Billion faithful. What surprised me was that Judaism is in 12th place with only about 14 Million believers.
Another thing that continuously amazes me is each of the primary religions splits into many, sometimes hundreds, of smaller groups with different practices, and each one of them believes with every fiber of their being that theirs is the only ‘True’ belief and expression of that belief. Past beliefs or religions now tend to be labeled ‘Myths’ although at the time of their heyday many of those people would swear theirs was the only ‘True’ belief.
One thing we do know though by logic alone…only one or none could be true. That is true for the whole of religious beliefs…now or in the past. Christianity now has the upper hand in the United States, but Muslims are increasingly poking their heads up and asking for recognition and for consideration of their religious views and practices. Not too many people know that Muslims are reproducing at a rate at least double of that of Christians.* and if we can refrain from killing each other off, Muslims will surpass Christianity as the largest religious body in the world probably in this century.
England is already experiencing problems with their high percentage of Islamic followers. They are asking for their own court system and want to be the ones who dole out justice to their Muslim brethren for a number of offences such as wife beating and intolerance of homosexuality. How England will deal with this problem is up in the air at this time, but one needs to remember that as the population grows, these people will be able to elect their own into the political body now in power.
Now I am not writing this to knock the Muslims, I am only using them as an example of religious ambition to political control. They think (know?) that theirs is the only true and real religion on earth…and they want everyone to acknowledge and bow to their God. Connected to this recognition is following their religions laws and practices. How should we as a country deal with this problem when it finally hits us (and it will)?
When this country was forged our founders had the good sense to separate the church and state in political affairs…this has benefited this country more than most people know. Think back to your history classes in school and remember what life was like under religious state control in Europe in the Dark Ages. The churches, Catholic and Protestant and Muslim made miserable leaders, and the worst of what they have done isn’t even well known…except to scholars.
The religious right in this country (Evangelical Fundamentalists Protestants) has taken over the Republican Party and although they no longer control the White House (soon) they control many local, state, and national political positions. This in itself is not a problem with me, what bothers me is that they are slowly using their power to move us closer to their own outmoded or just flat wrong religious interpretations of law. Since most of these people believe that the Bible is totally inerrant they think everybody should live and think ‘their way.’
Does this not sound creepily similar to the Islamic way of thinking? The Christians are already doing in our country what the Muslim’s are trying to do in England and meanwhile the US population of Muslim’s continues to grow…and they proselytize their faith just as much as Christians do…or maybe more.
No religion of today has arguments which are unequivocally superior to any other. None of them have any supporting empirical evidence which is stronger than any other. I was brought up in a Christian environment so I tend to follow a Christian ethic, with all the baggage that entails. People that are brought up in different religions are going to follow their own ethic, with all that entails. Problem is that Christians and Muslims don’t see eye to eye on anything and there is a long-long-history of conflict (killing each other).
Is the solution to the coming problem to let one side rule over the other? We all know how well that works in the Middle East. Perhaps a better, more civil and less deadly answer would be to keep ALL religion out of politics. Is that even possible?
When we look at the many diverse religions we should notice that they are all incompatible. To put it bluntly; they can’t all be true, but they can all be false.
*In 1997 futurist John Gary stated that Islam is the fastest-growing of the major world religions. This is mostly driven by the higher birth rates in the third world. 1-22-09 corrected typo