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vejlin

Happy Darwin Day!!!

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One thing that has always struck me odd about the Creation/ID vs Evolution argument is that many of the hard-core, "it was written that way" Creationists don't even want to consider the implications of evolution in a positive way. After all, a god who can design a system like evolution to create higher life forms from lesser ones seems to indicate a far more powerful and wonderous god to me than a god who formed all the species as if from lumps of clay.

 

As part of a project I've been working on, I've been reading various books on the science of life (as it pertains to writing about beleivable aliens). It seems to me from my reading that life itself (at least single cell types) should be rather easy to spark off under the right conditions. The key there is "under the right conditions." How broad are those conditions? Is Earth a one in a billion (or greater) chance? Or are the conditions broad enough that we'll find them on even other planets in our solar system? There are around 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, countless more in other galaxies. Even with absurdly high odds, the chances of life life randomly appearing on at least one planet somewhere among all that are pretty good, especially given the time frames involved. Even more amazing is if you happen to be the planet in question.

 

I was lucky enough to have a very religious english teacher in high school that opened my eyes to fact that religion and the ToE can co-exist. I took her class - The Bible as Literature - specifically because I was looking for a fight - I honestly felt that I could get a good grade out of her class by throwing her religion back in her face, figuring that my viewpoints and hers would clash enough I could claim to be a victim - you know, seperation of church and state, and all that. I actually wound up liking her AND the class, because not only did I have to think to challenge what I thought were her beliefs, but I got good grades because of it and she actually encouraged me to keep challenging them. I began to look at the bible in a whole new light since then.

 

That's been one of my big points of discussion with a few hard core bible thumpers I know. You can still accept the word of the bible AND accept the science of the ToE - you just have to bend a bit in your perception of the bible, view it from the perspective of the era's it was written in. It's not wrong so much as it's the equivilent of re-writing a college level texbook so that kindergartners can understand the concepts within.

 

The other thing I find odd is the outright dismissal of the "circumstantial evidence" of evolution. There are literally hundreds of examples in nature you can look at, and make a circumstantial connection between - my favorite is the sea lion - it looks like what you'd get if a dog and dolphin were able to breed. That doesn't make it very hard for me to see how the sea lion could be descended from the same animal the dog descended from. But I digress - one thing I know from years of troubleshooting things is that while circumstantial evidence doesn't prove anything, enough of it taken together can often point you in the right direction. Seeing as how there is so much circumstantial evidence of evolution, I don't see why we should feel we aren't on the right track, even if there is no "proof". Either we are, or we have a creator who's looking to mislead us for his own reasons.

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1. The statement: that "God made man in His own image." What does that mean? Really mean?

 

This falls a little more into the area of my experience. I certainly am no scientist, my educational background is theology. The above statement from a Biblical perspective is that we are a tri-partite being. We have a physical body, a soul (mind, will, emotions) and a spirit. The two everlasting components are the soul and the spirit.

 

The issue that people typically have with evolution is that it "waters" down the Bible. i.e if the first chapter isn't true how can the rest of it be? Additionally I think there are facets of our education system that have a very humanist agenda. I do think there is a balance between Faith and Science however. The reason I give credence to the Bible is two-fold; I've had a number of experiential(sp?) situations that give credence to what is written, and a literary study also shows a number of scientific facts that were way ahead of there time when they were penned but have been proven to be fact.

 

So what do I think personally? I believe that God, a supernatural being, spoke the world into existence. However, if one does a critical study of the first few chapters of Genesis and parts of Ezekial you can make a very strong case that there was a pre Ademic race. I think the Genesis account details when the world was recreated (the literal translation in Genesis 1:1 of the word created). The context of the original Hebrew used in those verses also lends one to believe that there was a time gap between 1:1 and the rest of the chapter. So I do think some race of some sort occupied the world prior to Adam but Adam was the first Human Being made "in God's image" i.e having an eternal soul.

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Now, philosophically, there's huge arguments to be made for all sorts of cases, and that's fine; that's what philosophy is there for. However, in a Science classroom, I think it should just be science that's taught.

 

Yes. This is a philosophical position. However, how knowledge is acquired is an important part of our approach to knowledge and I am asserting that it IS discussed as such, but rarely directly, and that a direct discussion of it, even in a separate class, is desirable. Not to promote an agenda but to assess how knowledge is obtained! How many people leave highschool with the ability to construct or even recognise a logical argument? This is a skill that can be taught, but we're too sh**scared of the historical contribution of the pagan Greeks and the tonsured Catholic friars to ever sit down and examine the structured approach to knowledge itself that has seen the scientific method valued in our society since medieval times!

 

My definitions of Science have nothing to do with ID or Creationism, they're a straightforward and IMO effective attempt to describe actual phenomena. Do you think I'm wrong? In my humble opinion this whole scrap boils down to a sloppy blurring of ascertainable fact with abstract philosophy. And much of the hysteria boils down to media BS. For example, I can't remember the last time I read a mainstream media article on stem cell research that actually stated whether it was discussing embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells. It's just "religious folks hate Stem Cells but Scientists like them"; total garbage. Meaningless garbage. We're awash in it and it drives me nuts.

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