Is It Legal?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Murray
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Is It Legal?

#1

Post by Murray » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:58 am

My oceanography teacher recently taught us about 3 theorys of how life origonated

1) extra terrestrial life

2)life appearing from non-living matter

3) and three to my surprise was creationism.

And he seemed to discount #1 by saying it moves the problem elsewhere and that #2 is highly unlikely and has never come close to being scientifically proven. So didn't he almost just break the law by even discussing creationism and then criticize 2 accepted scientific theory's? ( he also said evolution is "just a theory" and should not impact our religious beliefs)

This seems like if a child complained to his parents the parent could go crazy and start a ruckus from it
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Re: Is It Legal?

#2

Post by DannyM » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:10 am

Murray,
Murray wrote:1) extra terrestrial life

2)life appearing from non-living matter

2 accepted scientific theory's
Are these two postulations accepted as scientific theories in the schools and colleges of America?
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Re: Is It Legal?

#3

Post by Murray » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:13 am

indeed
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Re: Is It Legal?

#4

Post by DannyM » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:10 am

Talk about modernity and foolish philosophies... :shakehead:
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Re: Is It Legal?

#5

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:54 pm

Wow, very interesting that he would have the guts to even suggest that in the public system. Good for him for speaking, you know, as close to the truth as he could get :P
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Is It Legal?

#6

Post by Ivellious » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:28 pm

Well, he didn't break the law by just saying it was out there. Now if he tried to convert you, then yes, he probably broke the law. You cannot, in the public school system, try to force students to accept your religious philosophies as truth. And at least the second theory of life forming is very much accepted in the US (and world) academic community.

I will admit, however, that he obviously isn't much of a scientist. "Just a theory" are words that me as a scientist shudder, because only someone who is completely uneducated on the topic could use them. A theory in science is an idea that has been rigorously and thoroughly tested, experimented on, refined, and criticized. after this process within the scientific community, and only when a) no other potential reasoning can be found, and b) when it is fully tested/criticized and afterward accepted by the scientific community, a hypothesis can be called a theory.

By comparison, evolution is literally on the same level of science as the theory of gravity. You won't find anyone arguing that gravity is "just a theory." Essentially both theories had to undergo the same variety of criticism and scrutiny before being accepted as theories.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#7

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:39 am

Welcome, Ivellious. I'm curious as to how you would define and express how one "tries to convert"?
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Is It Legal?

#8

Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:53 am

Well, I'm using the term loosely here. By that, I mean if you as a teacher/prof at a public school were to present religious ideology as fact instead of as an area for conversation, you are violating each student's right to believe what they want. Allowing it to be out there and discussed and debated civilly is great, but when you start presenting your faith as truth, then you cross out of intelligent and academic discussion and into preaching and forcing your religion onto your students, which at a public school at least is not legal.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#9

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:03 pm

Isn't presenting an equally contentious theory like evolution to explain the existence of our universe and how it has come to be what it is now equally forcing what one believes upon another? There are many teachers who do this, as well, but they are not reprimanded.
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Is It Legal?

#10

Post by Murray » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:02 pm

Ivellious wrote:
I will admit, however, that he obviously isn't much of a scientist. "Just a theory" are words that me as a scientist shudder, because only someone who is completely uneducated on the topic could use them. .

He holds a masters in biology :/
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Re: Is It Legal?

#11

Post by jlay » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:00 pm

My daughter had a similar experience. Her science teacher had them watch a film, and he would stop the film at times and correct baseless evolutionary claims. I was pleasantly surprised.
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"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Is It Legal?

#12

Post by jlay » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:03 pm

Well, I'm using the term loosely here. By that, I mean if you as a teacher/prof at a public school were to present religious ideology as fact instead of as an area for conversation, you are violating each student's right to believe what they want. Allowing it to be out there and discussed and debated civilly is great, but when you start presenting your faith as truth, then you cross out of intelligent and academic discussion and into preaching and forcing your religion onto your students, which at a public school at least is not legal.
Please spare me. Religion wasn't mentioned here. Evolution is a religion. The myth that molecules to man evolution (and that is what we are ultimately talking about) is a 'fact,' is a lie propagated by anti-religious people who veil themselves in the holy robes of the day, lab coats.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Is It Legal?

#13

Post by sandy_mcd » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:18 pm

StMonicaGuideMe wrote:Isn't presenting an equally contentious theory like evolution to explain the existence of our universe and how it has come to be what it is now equally forcing what one believes upon another? There are many teachers who do this, as well, but they are not reprimanded.
jlay wrote: Evolution is a religion. The myth that molecules to man evolution (and that is what we are ultimately talking about) is a 'fact,' is a lie propagated by anti-religious people who veil themselves in the holy robes of the day, lab coats.
If the teacher were to say that evolution disproves the existence of God, then that would (in my opinion) be against the law. But currently evolution is not legally considered to be a religion. In fact there are many Christians who do not have any problems with the material aspects of evolution. For example, many/most Catholic high schools/colleges teach evolution. Evolution is certainly a contentious topic in society as a whole but not among biologists.

A similar situation exists concerning the age of the earth. Those who believe in a thousands-of-years old earth have the same complaints with geology and physics. However, as long as an old earth is what scientists believe, then that is what should be taught in science classes. Again, teachers should not be allowed to say that an old earth disproves the existence of God.

Also, being exposed to such topics in school does not mean that the students have to believe it; they just have to be able to learn the material.
Two examples of young earth scientists in conventional science are:
1) Dr John Baumgardner, whose day work at Los Alamos involves modelling an old earth but who personally believes in a young earth: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/ar ... ardner.asp
2) Dr Marcus Ross, Assistant Professor of Geology at Liberty University, who also teaches a young earth but whose PhD thesis was written from an old earth perspective.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#14

Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:38 pm

Well, there's quite a bit to cover here...

First, it is really overblown on Fox News and such that evolution is considered controversial in science. I repeat that to be given the title of "theory" a hypothesis requires years of making sure all reasonable scientific criticism is dealt with and no other hypothesis rivals it in plausibility. It took nearly a hundred years, but in time the scientific community as a whole came to see that with testing, experimenting and critical analysis, evolution by natural selection was the reality of biology.

Also, it might interest you to know that practically every research lab in the country dedicated to biology or medicine uses evolution as the backbone of its research. Modern biology is either derived or completely integrated with evolution so that if you take away evolution, much of our understanding of life no longer makes sense. In essence, the medicines and treatments and genetic marvels we have coming out of research today don't happen without an understanding of evolution. There are groundbreaking genetic disease treatments I'm learning about right now that are only being thought up because evolutionary theory says it's legit, and they certainly are the next wave of modern medicine.

Baseless evolutionary claims are hard to make unless the video is from the 40s or they simply have no idea what they are talking about. I'd need more concrete examples to try to argue those points in question.

Having a masters degree does not certify you as an expert in anything (though some people with masters degrees are, it's not a requirement). For instance, I could go to a Catholic school and get a masters in biology, though my understanding of biology would be significantly different than one who goes to a public research university. There are people with doctorates that work at the Discovery Institute and places like that which I consider to be pseudoscience, but that doesn't change the fact that their school's criteria gave them a degree.

and to jlay's points...First of all, yes, religion was mentioned in the oceanography class that started this post. Creationism is a Christian design, which is religion. End of story. I disagree that evolution is religion, and the only reason one could make a claim like that is not knowing anything about evolution in the first place. Religion is faith-based, as in without concrete evidence to suggest that the belief is true, but rather it is more primal and personal. Science utilizes observation and experimentation to support hypotheses, and evolution is no exception. The only conspiracy I'm aware of is that which damns scientists for having an agenda (see: Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, the Discovery Institute, Concerned Women for America, etc.). These organizations and people continually repeat lines without factual basis to distract their audiences from the arguments the scientists have to say.

In short, I once again challenge anyone to actually bring a legitimate point, argument, or flaw against evolution rather than ignorant inflammatory comments that serve no purpose.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#15

Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:46 pm

Sandy_MCD: I agree, it would likely be illegal to say that evolution disproves God. However, in my college courses we learned about evolution and it's main "competitor" in the mainstream, Intelligent Design. We were taught that this was a false concept riddled with errors and flaws and a general lack of scientific credibility. However, our professors used legitimate science and reason to support their claims, and the claims of their peers across the country, to demonstrate evolution's place compared to ID. That is legal because ID has been repeatedly shot down in court as a false hypothesis without basis.

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