Carl Sagan Day

Today, the 9th of November is Carl Sagan’s birthday.  He would be 77 years old.

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) Carl was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Sagan is best known  for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote and for his popular science books.  The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. Sagan wrote the novel Contact, which was the basis for a excellent 1997 film of the same name, staring Jody Foster.

Intelligent Design, again raises it’s head…Go away

Instead of answering Mr. Parsons’s comment to my previous post about “Intelligent Design…Baaad Science” in the comment box, I will make a post to reply to it. I feel the principle behind my objections to ‘ID’ in schools is too important to bury in comments.

You wrote: >>>The aforementioned entities represent a shutout; the court’s criteria leave little latitude for divine intervention or the miraculous and, hence, any creationist views on the origins of man and the universe.<<<

I Answer. This is as it should be. I do not want someone else’s evangelical religion forced on my children. I especially don’t want it somehow passed off as science. This is pure lying.

You wrote:>>>The ruling of the court was summary: since creation science is neither associated with nor performed by court-accepted scientific entities, creation science is not science but religion and religion, as determined by the Supreme Court, may not be taught in the public schools.<<<

I answer: This is true.

You wrote; >>>The barring of creation science, however, is not irreconcilable. The high court left open the possibility that any views on origins, be it creation or otherwise, may be taught if established on sound scientific principles. Therefore, if creation science (Intelligent Design) were founded on a scientific basis, drawing from a continuum of defensible, established truths, it would be justly qualified as science and science may be taught in the public classrooms. <<<

I answer: Intelligent Design does not qualify under these terms. ID depends on magic. No qualified science has been found to confirm ID. It is improvable by real science.

You wrote: >>>Although evolutionists seized the moment, finding favor with a sympathetic judiciary, the battle for the minds and souls of the innocents in the classrooms is far from conclusive.<<<

I answer: Yes, leave my innocents alone. Your religion is not mine. Why do you want to pollute every young mind with your evangelical….stuff..? I have a right to have a school that separates church and state. Start your own schools and send your children to be indoctrinated and left out of the real world. Freedom of religion does not mean you, or anybody, has the right to indoctrinate my children with your religion. The sympathetic judiciary you mention is interpreting the law properly and correctly.

You wrote:>>>Fielding the issue once again, the definition of science, “that which scientists are generally associated with and perform,” is re-evaluated in The Quest for Right, a series of 7 textbooks created for the public schools, so as to determine if said definition is arguably correspondent or else gravely overstated.<<<

I answer: I prefer Wikipedia’s explanation for science. Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Wikipedia
I suspect that explanations such as Wikipedia’ will be used to identify whether your book is science or religion.
I want to be plain about something. I do not object to your book at all, I’m sure you will find a market. What I’m going to object to is any attempt to place it in America’s schools. That is imposing a view that I don’t want my children or my children’s children exposed to. It is brainwashing to the Nth. Degree. You have NO inherent right to impose your religious views on my children. By the way, most science does not require quantum mechanic’s to be observable or true.

You wrote:>>>Bear in mind that the backbone of obstructionism is not evolution per se, but “electronic interpretation,” the tenet that all physical, chemical, and biological processes result from a change in the electron structure of the atom which, in turn, may be deciphered through the orderly application of mathematics, as outlined in quantum mechanics. Again, the philosophy rejects any divine intervention. Therefore, let the philosophy of obstructionism be judged on these specifics: (1) “electron interpretation” and 2) “quantum mechanics.” Conversely, the view of Christians that God is both responsible for and rules all the phenomena of the universe will stand or fall when the facts are applied. The view, however, will not be tested by the definition of science, as before determined by the court, but by the weightier principle of verifiable truths.<<<

I answer: Huh….the only part of that I can answer is the end. ‘The weightier principle of verifiable truths’

I posit that you have no verifiable truths (verifiable by science) for your position.

Can you imagine a farmer speaking to his county agricultural extension agent and asking why his crop that year wasn’t very good? “Well Clem, maybe you didn’t pray hard enough, or God has put a pox on your tribe.”

Some problems in science are very hard to answer or explain, but we don’t give up and say that it’s magic. God did it we can’t solve it. That was done in the Dark Ages, when religion ruled. We humans never want that to happen again.

Religion has shown again and again that it cannot be trusted, and the reason is that MAN is the one responsible for any using of it’s precept’s, and man cannot be trusted in matters of applying religious doctrine correctly, because they keep changing it. They make assertions or interpretations and adherents break away from time to time and interpret things differently. It has been that way since religion was invented about 1200-1500 BCE, and it will never change because of the character of men.

I have no doubt that in a few hundred years; your evangelical interpretation of the Bible will fade away to be replaced by another. Remember the Catholic’s ruled western society for over a thousand year’s; look at the mess they made. I literally shudder if I imagine theist’s ruling the Earth.

Keep your religion to yourself. Preach it, or witness it, in your churches or to your neighbors, but keep it out of public schools. I strenuously object to that.

Peace to all…

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Intelligent Design or Creationism

“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” – Mark Twain

Aha, the challenge is taken up. I just love arguments like this. It’s what makes the Internet great. More he said, he said.

He Said: With many years experience as a biologist, creationist, ex-evolutionist, and teacher, I wonder what special knowledge that …name deleted…. And thewordofme have for making such irresponsible statements.

Well sir, I have no special knowledge. I’m semi-literate, as I admit to on my blog’s About page. My claim to knowledge about this subject is that I am a voracious reader. For over 45 years these subjects of creation, religion, God myths, and lately the rise of the Young Earth Creationists, and it’s offshoots Intelligent Design and The Discovery Institute. In matters of science I tend to believe scientists over preachers. In matters of a magic creature, I tend to believe in scientists…i.e…no such thing.

He said: If either of you had any conviction in the veracity of the myth of evolution, you would be unafraid to have it exposed and scrutinized in the classroom f or fear of it being exposed as the fraud that it remains.

Certainly sir, I have no fear about that, but there’s a problem….most of the scientists are busy sciencing, and have probably gone through this many times, and are too busy to go through it again. Having said that, there have been many debates on the subject and I expect there will be more. Science always wins because religion has to fall back on ‘magic’ and that’s not allowed in science.

He said: A sure sign of the desperation of evolutionists is typified by statements like yours that make blatant, unsubstantiated claims as if saying so makes it right. Your ploy is “When all else fails, then deny”.

I admit nothing I deny nothing. Get that rubber hose away from me. Boy, you talk about ‘unsubstantiated claims’.

He said: What is especially shameful is that you would deny students the rare opportunity to become active participants in an important contemporary controversy and allowing them participation in the scientific process of weighing the evidence and drawing their own conclusions. It is not only unscrupulous and unconscionable, but terribly bad science.

I really have to think you are kidding in this paragraph. If, in fact you are a teacher, you will/would realize the inanity of what you are saying. First of all this is not ‘an important contemporary controversy’… it has been settled many times. Secondly: the ‘terrible bad science’ you mention, would come from you. Thirdly: the unscrupulousness would be coming from you.

Science class in school is for science subjects. I would NOT like your religion pushed upon my kids. I sure you would feel the same about mine.

Religion classes belong in church or a separate, elective class in school. The constitution alludes to this.

For someone to preach to our young kids in school that the Earth is only 6,000 to 8,000 years old and men were roaming the land with dinosaurs, and that the whole Earth was flooded at one time when God was angry with us is pure foolishness. The evidence is right in front of us and it is NOT what you believe on faith.

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Intelligent Design not True?

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and
accepting both of them.
George Orwell

Interesting response to last nights post

He wrote: Splitting hairs by trying to categorize some science as religious and some as fact to support evolution is shameful.

I think the splitting of the hair was called for. I think that ‘Religious Science’ is an oxymoron, kinda like ‘military intelligence’. Evangelical Christians controls the ‘science’ emanating from the Discovery Institute. What they espouse is purely ‘magic’.

They pretend that they want equal time for their ‘scientific’ views, when in fact they are pushing the supernatural….this is disingenuous at the least; at most, it is a studied, willful deceit upon trusting people.

He said: Students should be taught science in the science classroom not predetermined, censored, pre-filtered information to proselytize one view over another. Teach science and let the weight of the evidence be the determinant as to the outcome.

That would be unfair to you, don’t you think? After all, the science comes from hundreds of thousands of real scientists, from all over the world. The ‘Religious Science’ is filtered through, at most, a few thousand leaders in the US evangelical world. I might add that most of the flack comes almost exclusively from the US

He said: Evolutionists are so concerned that their mythical hypothesis will come unraveled, that censorship seems the best way to combat exposure to the truth. Teach both and see which one can stand the test of scrutiny!!

You see, one point creationists and ID proponents refuse to accept is that teaching science is not censorship of truth. It…IS…the truth.

I think the evangelical believers are now at the point where the Catholic Church was in the Dark Ages. Back then they could not accept the fact that the earth revolved around the Sun, and they basically killed anyone that disagreed. Religion tends to be this way. You better believe or you’re toast friend.

You know, that ‘mythical hypothesis’ has already, with few changes , survived 150+ years of hard scrutiny by some hardcore evangelical evangelizers. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that 🙂

Another thing the religious right tends to do is repeat the same questions over and over again. They get answered, and a few months later someone else is asking the same thing. All the questions have been answered by those much smarter than I.

Peace to all.
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