The Guardian –a British liberal newspaper– is following the UK trend and kissing religion’s ass. To appeal to the politically-correct masses the paper has given a theologian —Dr. Justin Thacker— column space to voice his brand of apologetics. His Holy Triteness has just written a piece titled Did Darwin Kill God? which is his scanty coverage of a debate that was just held at Westminster Abbey –Darwin’s grave site.
I would have to agree with Thacker and say no –Darwin didn’t kill God. Darwin wasn’t the type of man to fight invisible monsters. But Darwin did make the idea of God’s creation completely unnecessary. The reality Thacker avoids is that his idea of Christianity getting along with evolution is a minority view. Polling data indicates most Americans see evolution as incompatible with their Christian faith. The UK polling strongly agrees.
In the debate Thacker describes, the apologists –Lord Winston and Professor Alexander– responded to the opposition
by pointing out that the Genesis account has always been considered allegorical, and certainly long before Darwin came on the scene.
What tiny island have these jokers been stranded on? I suggest Thacker, Lord Winston, and Professor Alexander vacation somewhere other than Fantasyland. Perhaps, a few weeks in Kansas or Texas might set them straight. The UK is just not representing.
In a Newsweek opinion peice from September 27th, writer Lisa Miller, “argues against the atheists”. The column is called “Belief Watch”, and Miller’s apologetic scribblings do the vacuous nature of religious belief complete justice. She begins by arguing that atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are unfamiliar with real believers.
First, if 90-odd percent of Americans say they believe in God, it’s unhelpful to dismiss them as silly. Second, when they check that “believe in God” box, a great many people are not talking about the God the atheists rail against—a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs, who lays down inexplicable laws about sex and diet, punishes violators with the stinking fires of hell and raises the fleshly bodies of the dead.
When over fifty percent of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, what are we atheists supposed to think? If we include all Christians worldwide, particularly the ones in poorer Catholic and Eastern Orthodox nations, the percentage is probably much higher. This doesn’t take into account the non-democratic Islamic nations, where Western ideas are spat upon, and where basic education is limited to males, and where people are threatened into believing in the all-powerful Allah. So, the actual number of believers in an angry, vengeful, and intervening god is probably much much higher than even Lisa Miller cares to imagine.
Apologetics is a form of faith; it’s faith in faith. Miller finishes her paper-thin argument by hauling in the invisible sacred cow.
Submitting faith to proof is absurd. Reason defines one kind of reality (what we know); faith defines another (what we don’t know). Reasonable believers can live with both at once.
Reasonable believers? Can reason and faith coexist? And how can faith define the unknown? Isn’t the unknown, by its very definition, indefinable? Here, Miller’s mental gymnastics are Olympic quality. And most believers would likely take great offense to her reducing their unshakable faith to an algebraic X. Personally, I prefer to think of all faith simply as a Y.
Is it me or does Sarah Palin sound here like she could be George Bush’s equally dumb sister? I don’t know how to interpret her answer to Katie Couric’s question. Does Palin not read newspapers or news magazines, or does she not remember any of the titles of her favorite periodicals? Either way, it doesn’t look good on camera. Her style is more appropriate for an unctuous saleswoman than a Washington politician. I can picture her now trying to sell me an insurance policy or a time-share in Miami Beach.
If I didn’t already know her belief in creationism, then I would have guessed. It follows that Curious George, the monkey, must be a Democrat, or at least a libertarian, because ultra-conservative, Christian Republicans don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about the wide world outside their bubbles of ignorance.
P.S. Check out how defensive McCain gets when Palin’s qualifications are questioned.
Little Museum Of Canadian Horrors
According to a new poll, about 58% of Canadians accept evolution while 22% think the human race was “created in their present form within the last 10,000 years”. The rest are unsure. What’s surprising is that the frozen, bacon munchers to the north are only slightly more scientifically literate than Americans. (A previous poll indicated 53% of Americans accept evolution). That 5% difference adds up to America having a $27 million dollar creation museum while Canada has a shack. But don’t despair, both American and Canadian Creationists use the same hackneyed arguments to support their pseudo-scientific nonsense. All the money in the world can’t pollish a turd.
P.S. A visitor to the Canadian shack is quoted as actually saying, “We drove 2,000 kilometers to come see this museum.” Even if the price of a gallon of gas were 10 cents it wouldn’t have been worth it.
Do you want to wear a big ant on your chest? The first Darwin Report T-Shirt is available at CafePress.
One of the greatest, most fascinating, invertebrate animals in the world has to be the Leafcutter Ant. There are about 40 species of this social insect and all of them make their living by growing a fungus (their food) on the chewed-up remains of leaves, which they diligently harvest.
When I was 12 years old, I visited one of the pyramids in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. And on the grassy field surrounding the pyramid, I spotted a long narrow path cut through the grass; it was only three or four inches wide. Curious I walked toward the strange sight and saw what appeared to be a fleet of tiny green sails traveling along the path like boats on a river. Upon closer inspection I saw that the green sails were actually sections of cut leaves, which were being carried along by a streaming army of ants. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
Searching the web for creationism is sometimes like sifting through trash and finding the occasional humorous but, completely worthless, object. You feel darn conflicted. You’re dirty from the trash but the “prize” makes the whole ordeal somehow worthwhile. Behold, the rotten fruit of my labors.
It actually says “Science From Dumbies”
. This ironic work of art is from a website called Evolving Minds
, but they’re selling them on eBay, too. Their “mission” statement is:
We are a new ministry dedicated to the fight against the theory of Evolution. We think it is important to defend ourselves against the falsehood of Evolution and the lies that are associated with it… Our mission is to reach out to the lost, mainly those who believe in Evolution. We hope to change their thinking and challenge their faith in the theory of Evolution. Our goal is to fully equip anyone who has the drive to debate this topic. We are in this fight together and want to offer our resources to help destroy the work of the devil.
The back of this devil fighting t-shirt has a popular misquote from Charles Darwin’s Origin Of Species.
It’s on the origin of the eye, and Talk Origins
explains the details of their mistake. Also, the EvolvingMind’s links page
contains both Kent Hovind (DrDino) and Ben Stein (Expelled: The Movie). I guess the Young Earth Creationists operating this ministry didn’t read the memo about Intelligent Design ostensibly being a secular theory, or see the news about Kent Hovind’s imprisonment on tax fraud. Wait… I’m still laughing hard at the shirt.
Chuck Norris has written his own review, of sorts, of Expelled: the Movie. It’s actually more of an endorsement than a review, since he really doesn’t describe the movie in any detail. He just makes a sucking noise as he presses his lips up against Ben Stein’s ass. On to the comedy… I mean review.
I saw it last weekend, and I liked it. I think it will wake up many people to the truth. What truth? That educational arenas have become limited learning environments because of biases against God, the Bible and creationism.
Wow! It’s like wading through a cesspool of ignorance. The bias you speak of, Chuck, is toward evidence. If God would only make himself more available for interviews, creationists could offer something more than cheap unsubstantiated conclusions, ones which lead science nowhere. If biologists suddenly acknowledged God’s invisible hand in creation how would it further their work? Something that cannot be measured or analyzed or observed isn’t useful one bit to science. More now from Chuck:
Stein is correct in saying that passionate antagonism and hostility (that parallels any fundamentalist extremism) equally exists in naturalist and Neo-Darwinian camps. Proof of their avid bias easily can be seen in some evolutionists’ reviews of this film. Many are loaded with as much inflammatory language, intolerance and bigotry as any hate-filled group.
Inflammatory language? Who’s the one comparing scientists to Nazis? Ben Stein declared that “Darwinism leads to Social-Darwinism” and that Charles Darwin’s writings inspired the Holocaust. How more inflammatory and hate-filled can one get than by playing the Hitler card? Negative reviews of Expelled criticize Ben Stein for his inaccuracy and his ignorance of science, not for his tenuous connection to a genocidal militaristic mad man. But leave it to creationist liars to be the ultimate hypocrites.
Chuck ends his “review” with a plug for religious freedom and for teaching the Bible in public schools… as a textbook. Freedom of religion is great. We can agree on that. But I just wonder how open Chuck would be to the teaching of religions other than Christianity? Is it really about freedom or about maintaining a Christian monopoly?
P.S. I do like the title of Chuck’s review, “Win Ben Stein’s Monkey”. It’s clever.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rejected the Institute for Creation Research’s bid ” to offer an online master’s degree in science education”. Basically, the ICR’s credit is no good, and teachers who only have an ICR degree are not qualified to teach in public schools.
The Dallas Morning News
Citing the group’s teaching of creationism rather than evolution in its science curriculum, Dr. Paredes said it was clear the school [ICR] would not adequately prepare its graduates to teach the scientific principles now required in Texas public schools.
“Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it [evolution] the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science,” he said.
“Religious belief is not science. Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”
How beautifully honest is that language? Raymund A. Paredes is the commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most often government officials tap dance around evolution and creationism with soft appeasing words, so as not to offend anyone. An example is John McCain and his stupid fence sitting answer at last year’s Republican Debate. So I have to applaud Raymund for getting to the crux of the matter.
Credit also has to go to the Texas Citizens for Science.
Before the vote, the board heard comment from several persons, most of whom urged rejection of the proposal. Among them was Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, who said the ICR was a Christian ministry rather than a science organization that was primarily interested in promoting pseudoscience.
Pseudoscience doesn’t spread when good people do something.