Academic Freedom, Climate Change and Creationism

A child riding the Triceratops statue at the Creation Museum, run by Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham
A child riding the Triceratops statue at the Creation Museum, run by Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham. By John Scalzi [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Vice reports that some US States are using new academic freedom initiatives, designed to prevent climate indoctrination, to add courses about creationism to mainstream school syllabuses. The question – who has the right to decide what lessons children learn?

CLIMATE DENIAL IN SCHOOLS

A new wave of state bills could allow public schools to teach lies about climate change.

By Emmalina Glinskis on Apr 25, 2017

Legislation proposed across the country since Donald Trump’s election threatens to bring climate change denial into the classroom under the guise of “academic freedom.”

Currently, six states have legislative measures pending or already on the books that would allow anti-science rhetoric, including the rejection of global warming, to seep its way into schools’ curricula. While these types of proposals have become fairly routine in certain states, some of the most recent crop have advanced farther than in the past.

Senate Bill 393 in Oklahoma, for example, would permit teachers to paint established science on both evolution and climate change as “controversial.” The “controversy,” however, doesn’t really exist — more than 97 percent of actively publishing, accredited climate scientists agree that global warming trends over the past century are directly attributable to human activity. And some teachers might already be misleading students.

Since its initial proposal in early February, the bill passed out of the Senate and into the House, where it circumvented the House Education Committee and now heads for a full House vote.

Read more: https://news.vice.com/story/six-states-trying-to-pass-climate-denial-in-education-legislation

I believe anyone who takes a serious interest in climate science should be able to see that there are serious problems. The models don’t work, the evidence is weak, and the assurances that the science is “settled” are clearly a political construct, not a scientific conclusion.

I also believe that creationism is junk science.

The thought that creationism is being taught in mainstream schools makes me as uncomfortable as the thought that some students are being indoctrinated with climate dogma.

But plenty of people hold different views. Some people believe evolution is bogus, that creationism is a more acceptable explanation for the formation of the Earth. Some of those believers in creationism are parents.

I believe schools which teach climate dogma to students are doing those students a grave disservice.

Many people believe not teaching climate alarmism leaves students unprepared for the choices they urgently will need to make, to avoid the apocalyptic climate dystopia which looms over their future.

Yet other people think exclusively teaching evolution, not teaching creationism, leaves students with an unbalanced view of the evidence.

Some people even think children as young as seven should be comprehensively educated about all the different weird sexual preferences and “genders” prevalent in some parts of today’s world, should be educated about “gender fluidity”. I personally think confusing young children about sexuality in this way is completely insane.

Who has the right to decide what children are taught?

The answer as far as I can see, is no one group has the right to decide what children learn.

Ultimately parents have to decide what is best for their children.

If parents think the best preparation for their children’s future is a course on making voodoo dolls, or the healing power of crystals, do we really have the right to step in and demand they desist?

Freedom means having the freedom to mess up your life. Academic freedom is the freedom to mess up your children’s education.

I don’t like the choices some parents will make. I absolutely loathe the choices some parents make. I think any parent who indoctrinates their children with the idea that the world is about to end in a fiery climate catastrophe needs their head examined. I think parents who teach their kids that there is no point studying palaeontology, because god made everything just the way it is, are crippling their children’s understanding of the world.

But the alternative to having the freedom to mess up your children’s education, is giving the state the authority to mess up your children’s education.

The only sane choice is to take back power from the state, to demand and receive the right to decide what is best for our own children – however outrageous some of those choices may be. Because the only thing worse than watching other parents make bad choices for their children, is being forced to accept whatever lunacy the latest crop of government bureaucrats decide to inflict on your children.

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MarkW
April 26, 2017 8:56 am

One big difference between teaching AGW and teaching creationism is that nobody is harmed by the teaching of creationism. Sure, the kids won’t be familiar with evolution and theories about how that works, but once the leave school, how much will that impact their day to day lives?

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 9:27 am

Depends on what they do for a living. All of the biological sciences (including public health) wouldn’t be able to function without an understanding of evolution.

Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 9:29 am

Whereas the truth/untruth of creationism is irrelevant. It predicts nothing, it implies nothing beyond the existence of a sentient purposeful god (which no one needs creationism to have an opinion about).

MarkW
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:34 am

You can’t diagnose diseases without an understanding of evolution???

oeman50
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 11:16 am

MarkW:
Why do you have to get a new flu shot every year? Because the viruses mutate, which means short term evolution.

Tom O
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 11:35 am

There is nothing that requires a course in “creationism” to replace a course in evolution. The “you have to believe in one or the other” argument is as anal as the stated position on not knowing anything about biology if you were taught a course in creationism. Your position on this mirrors the problems we have about “climate change.” If you don’t believe in CO2, you are a climate denier. Creationism does not replace evolution. the concept of creation doesn’t negate the probability that mutation causes natural evolution when it is successful.
oeman50 – yes, viruses do mutate. Why do you get a flu shot every year? No, not because viruses mutate, but because you’re brainwashed into believing you need to, and perhaps have to, since your body never actually fought off the flu. It is amazing what antibodies do when they haven’t been deadened by constant vaccination.

MarkW
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 11:42 am

There are two “evolutions” in play here. Micro vs. macro.

Bryan A
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 12:17 pm

Don’t forget, without creation of some form, you would need to have a Static Universe.
Big Bang IS Creation
Man was created as a perfect being
…all perfect beings bust be able to change to meet the needs/limitations of their changing and varied environments
…all perfect beings need to be able to evolve
…we do

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Tom,
Viruses do indeed mutate and hybridize, producing new disease pathogens. So do bacterial pathogens, as in the deadly case of MRSA. Modern medicine requires a deep understanding of the fact of evolution.
Your belief, if adopted by medicine, would mean billions of deaths.
Mark,
The only difference between so-called “micro” and “macro” evolution is time. There is no barrier in a genome that stops micro from becoming macro. It was for instance a number of microevolutionary events in one lineage of lobe-finned fish which produced the macroevolutionary development of tetrapods, ie land vertebrates like us. Our fishy ancestry is visible throughout our anatomy as well as in our genes, embryological development and of course the fossil record.
Microevolution often occurs in a single generation. Macroevolution usually requires many generations. A new species of bacterium can be created instantly, such as the single point mutation which changes sugar-eating microbes into nylon-eating bacteria. But the evolution of eukaryotes from prokaryotes, which happened only once, required a number of such microevolutionary events. It took one to two billion years for eukaryotes to arise, then on the order of another billion years for multicellular organisms to evolve from unicellular eukaryotes. In the case of animals, the unicellular ancestor was a colony-forming choanoflagellate, already close to a sponge, the feeding cells of which are choanoflagellate.

MarkW
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 12:54 pm

Chimp, so you say.
Can you prove it scientifically?

Ben of Houston
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 1:14 pm

Well Tom, while they are rare, Young Earth 7-day creationists do exist, and they are loud (note the page picture, which is not a wonderful genetics engineering project but a nightmarish attempt at history). Those people DO make predictions and do create problems, not just in biology, but in everything from geology to astrophysics.
That being said, the more typical intelligent design believer will do just fine in science.
And I’ve caught the flu three or four times over the course of my life, mostly due to forgetfulness on getting the annual vaccine. It does mutate. It does change, just like the common cold. That can be seen easily and is well documented.

afonzarelli
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 1:29 pm

The thinking goes that the evidence for macro evolution isn’t in the fossil record. (some say it is and some say it ain’t) The bigger rap against evolution is how it is that a life form evolves from inert matter. Specifically, how it is that a life form evolves from inert matter without the mechanism of natural selection…

Charles Reichert
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 2:27 pm

Is that really true. i dont think so.

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 2:35 pm

MarkW April 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Of course I can show all I said to be valid, repeatedly confirmed and never shown false.. Science doesn’t do “proof”. That’s for math.
The scientific method does observation, hypothesizing, prediction making and falsification or confirmation by experiment or further observation.

JohnKnight
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 3:23 pm

” Young Earth 7-day creationists do exist, and they are loud (note the page picture, which is not a wonderful genetics engineering project but a nightmarish attempt at history). Those people DO make predictions and do create problems, not just in biology, but in everything from geology to astrophysics.”
That is special snowflake talk if ever I heard it, Ben. I now consider you a closed-minded bigot, who can’t tolerate the idea that others see things differently than yourself.
“… Create problems, not just in biology, but in everything from geology to astrophysics”? What the hell are you babbling about” ??
Are you a member of the Borg or something? Why would there be the slightest “problem” created in any of those fields because some people don’t believe this or that aspect of what YOU believe true with regard to them? It looks like you’re talking about mass indoctrination “problems”, not anything having to do with science itself.

JohnKnight
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 3:35 pm

*** Doctor Swanson, this microscope is simply not working properly . . I suspect someone in the Midwest is thinking the Earth is not billions of years old!!! *** ; )

DWR54
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 5:48 pm

afonzarelli

The bigger rap against evolution is how it is that a life form evolves from inert matter.

Evolution has nothing to do with how life formed. It explains how life, once established, evolves in response to genetic mutation and environmental forcing.

benofhouston
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:00 pm

Tom, a closed minded bigot? For thinking that anyone who thinks the world is 7,000 years old is incorrect and will have a difficult time in the sciences?
After all, if the world is only 7,000 years old, forget fossils. Essentially all geology must be a lie, as most rock formations took much longer to make, and you can’t discuss plate tectonics forming mountain ranges in less than geologic timescales.
Astrophysics won’t work either as we can see stars that are far older than that.
Perhaps we are speaking about different things.

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:03 pm

Ben,
Yes, if anything, the Bible is even more contrary to all the other sciences than it is to biology.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:21 pm

Chimp I think evolution is the best game going but it not proven, so far no one knows how DNA evolved, How we went from amino acids to DNA not a clue, even a good idea, zilch. Understand how DNA works tell us nothing about how it came about. We are basically at the level of a car mechanic that knows how to work on a modern car and understand most of it parts but has little understanding of how it all came together and why. The are to mostly in the dark about the cars multiple computers and do’t have a clue how they work, computer engineers and programmers they are not. The same for us with DNA we are just beginning to understand its programing as to how it got showed up and how it happen no. Yes evolution happens with DNA, the big question is how DNA formed, if you figure that one out you will stand with the all time greats in science. Oh by the way I figure only a fool would believe God would not use evolution if he exist, it also cuts the other way at this point and time one cannot dismiss a higher power, the more we find out the less random the universe becomes.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:36 pm

tim maguire Many people the believe in creationism have done wonderful things in biological science and public health, one does not preclude the other. To accept the function of DNA does not preclude the though DNA was created by a higher power, until that question is to answered as to how DNA evolved not that DNA can evolved the jury is still out on the question how DNA evolved. The question can living thing with DNA evolve within the framework of DNA, that answer is yes. How far and how much good question, Where DNA came from even bigger question, i strongly doubt that that question will be answer in our life times or even of children’s children’s life time.

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:38 pm

Mark Luhman April 26, 2017 at 7:21 pm
As has repeatedly been pointed out here, biological evolution says nothing about the origin of life through chemical evolution. Two different issues. The fact of evolution is observed in living things. How living things arose is another subject.
That said, we have learned so much about the origin of life that you might be amazed. It’s far from zilch. In fact, we’re closing in on it. We’re about at the stage where genetics was in the first half of the 20th century. Observing modern organisms can however shed light on the origin of life.
DNA is not made out of amino acids. It’s a polymer of nucleotides. Polypeptides and proteins are polymers of amino acids. DNA codes for protein synthesis. A gene is a stretch of DNA which does so.
DNA evolved from RNA. It forms a stable double helix rather than vulnerable single strands, due to lacking an oxygen atom in its sugar, so makes for a better repository of genetic information. RNA self-assembles spontaneously and has the wonderful property of being able both to store genetic information and act as an enzyme. Hence the RNA World hypothesis of the origin of life, in which early life forms used RNA in both replication and metabolism.
Today some viruses still use RNA for their information storehouse, and all organisms use RNA to send messages from DNA to the ribosome, where proteins are made, and to transfer building blocks there. The ribosome itself is a large transfer RNA structure, with some nonfunctional proteins attached to its surface.
We are learning more almost daily about how life arose on earth. It’s an exciting area of research, promising great practical applications.

JohnKnight
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 7:47 pm

“Astrophysics won’t work either as we can see stars that are far older than that.”
Oh, can we . . ? Actually, we can see what appear to be rather young spiral galaxies, with clear “arms”. If our concepts about basic physics are correct, they can’t be billions of years old. The varying orbital rates of objects would have long ago washed out any trace of such “arms”, just as we don’t see “arms” of planets/materials in our solar system.
(Mysterious invisible “dark matter” in vast quantities, has been summoned up to rescue the many billions of years concept though, so not to worry, Ben ; )

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 8:02 pm

John,
Wrong again.
Clearly you don’t know any more about how spiral arms form than you do about embryology.
Sorry, but you just repeat the most preposterous creationist claptrap without bothering even to think about it, let alone study up on the relevant subjects.
They form from density waves. Understanding spiral density waves requires some background in the theory of differentially rotating disks. Have you never wondered how the sun and other stars, while orbiting the barycenter of the Milky Way galaxy, can pass through spiral arms, while the arms stay where they are?

JohnKnight
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 8:20 pm

I’m talking about science, Chimp, not things merely imagined by scientists.
Of course people can endlessly propose this and that “fix” to whatever doesn’t fit the observed, but until someone actually demonstrates the fixes are valid, it ain’t science. Which don’t mean the fixes are incorrect in the ultimate sense, but it does mean we’re discussing ideas, not observed phenomena.
” Have you never wondered how the sun and other stars, while orbiting the barycenter of the Milky Way galaxy, can pass through spiral arms, while the arms stay where they are?”
Not a problem if the sun hasn’t actually done that . . beware circular reasoning, it can make just about anything seem “factual” . . honest.

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 8:28 pm

John,
The sun has and is doing exactly that right now. Just because you don’t believe a scientific fact doesn’t make it false.
Our solar system’s journey around the Milky Way is directly observable. Its orbital speed has been measured:
https://www.universetoday.com/133414/distance-speed-suns-orbit-around-galactic-centre-measured/
Why do you comment on a science site when you don’t believe in the scientific method or even observations of nature, but substitute for it faith in the Bible, in which there is no science, but a collection of clearly objectively false myths, fables and legends (until about 800 BC)? As noted, the Bible itself makes no claim of physical reality.

JohnKnight
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 9:03 pm

No one could possibly have observed the Sun doing more than moving a tiny bit around the galaxy, Chimp . . Haven’t been watching for very long. That’s the fact.

afonzarelli
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:21 pm

DWR, it has everything to do with it. Evolution cannot explain the origion of life. (in fact this is the crux of the intelligent design theory which is the counter to evolution theory) Evolution would include ALL of how life evolve from inert matter. That you are claiming otherwise is just “splitting hairs”…
(yours has got to be the dumbest reply to a comment of mine that i’ve seen in quite some time; please get off it)

afonzarelli
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:35 pm

“origion” should read “origin”

afonzarelli
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:47 pm

Chimp, very interesting comment (on the origin of life). What you’re saying still doesn’t seem to be telling us how inert matter chances into becoming a life form. The chance of inert matter becoming a life form is as remote as radio signals from deep space saying “i want pizza”. (just ain’t gonna happen)…

Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:52 pm

Chimp notes: “How living things arose is another subject.”
In the end that’s the sole question. Who or what created God?
I like to consider it from the perspective of physics, but that hasn’t really led to any answers. I have some fairly esoteric evidence there’s something called entropy (“s”) and it works to disorganize things. There something else we call “life” (no symbol in physics I’ve found yet) that works to organize things.
Life opposes entropy and so brings balance to the universe.

Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:55 pm

I wrote: “Life opposes entropy”
Young children excluded of course 🙂

Russ Wood
Reply to  tim maguire
April 27, 2017 8:17 am

A colleague of my wife has a daughter, who said “I’d like to study Marine Biology, but I can’t – because I’d have to believe in evolution”. Maybe a self-limiting problem?

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 27, 2017 4:24 pm

afonzarelli April 26, 2017 at 10:47 pm
The odds are not only shorter than you suppose, but indeed, life is probably inevitable under the right conditions.
The inanimate matter of which you speak is a selection of complex organic chemical compounds, the constituents of life, which self-assemble in aqueous solution. No mystery there. They arise spontaneously on earth from the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, iron and a few others, all abundant in the universe. They also arrived here on meteorites. The Hadean seas were rich in them and their compounds.
Getting from these constituent compounds to replicating RNA is just a series of engineering problems to be solved, many of which already have been through experimentation, such as the formation of a protocellular bilayer lipid membrane, capable of developing into prokaryotic membranes. We know that RNA functions both as a store of genetic information and as an enzyme. We’re learning how short amino acid oligomers and polymers (protein precursors) can help catalyze RNA reactions. We’re closing in on making simple living things out of “inanimate matter”.
Origin of life research is fascinating and exciting, holding great promise for improving human life.

afonzarelli
Reply to  tim maguire
April 27, 2017 6:33 pm

Chimp, that’s one helluva leap to go from organic compounds to a tiny biological machine (known as a life form). And those organic compounds would literally have to organize themselves by chance into a life form. What mechanism could there possibly be for that happening? With a life form up and running, it’s fairly easy to see how the mechanism natural selection moves the evolutionary process along. (what constant and consistent mechanism is there that moves organic compounds along until they become a life form?)…
You sound like you know a lot about this. (with a user name like “chimp”, i can see that evolution is your gig… ☺)
Is there anywhere that you can point me to on this stuff? It would be nice to read up on this in layman’s language to get a good feel for whether or not the argument being made has any merit. Thanx…

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 27, 2017 6:51 pm

A,
From large, complex compounds to tiny protocells isn’t a giant leap for a molecule. It’s a series of small steps, many of which have been discovered.
There are whole books on origin of life research, but they’re out of date before even going to press. Any link I might provide besides the latest research papers on this or that aspect of abiogenesis would also be behind the times. But i’ll offer a few suggestions, both papers and videos, old though they are. Which means before this month in this rapidly advancing field.
To keep up on the latest:
https://www.nature.com/subjects/origin-of-life
For a quick recap of some developments before 2016. Comments are also worthwhile:
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/03/researchers-may-have-solved-origin-life-conundrum
Ancient, ie five years ago, but introduces you to one of the Nobel Prize winners working on OOL research (first of three segments):

A cartoon from another lab prominent in the field:

There are so many issues under investigation, that even an entire blog post here couldn’t cover them all and cite relevant papers. The takeaway is that precursor compounds, to include short RNA oligomers, self-assemble. Getting stable, longer polymers is harder, but a number of surprising “tricks” have emerged from recent experimentation.
Bear in mind that in the Hadean seas, lakes, ponds and ice, trillions upon trillions of reactions occurred daily among these precursors, for hundreds of millions of years.

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 27, 2017 8:02 pm

John,
Clearly you aren’t familiar with facts.
The sun moves 220 kilometers per second in its orbit around the galactic center of gravity. How could that speed not be measurable?

Chimp
Reply to  tim maguire
April 30, 2017 3:05 pm

So-called Intelligent Design is not science, any more than is creationism. Its proponents had to admit under cross-ex at the Dover trial that by their definition, astrology would count as science.
Here is the judge’s ruling in the case:
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District/4:Whether_ID_Is_Science
Some relevant portions of the decision:
“Stated another way, ID posits that animals did not evolve naturally through evolutionary means but were created abruptly by a non-natural, or supernatural, designer. Defendants’ own expert witnesses acknowledged this point. (21:96-100 (Behe); P-718 at 696, 700 (“implausible that the designer is a natural entity”); 28:21-22 (Fuller) (“. . . ID’s rejection of naturalism and commitment to supernaturalism . . .”); 38:95-96 (Minnich) (ID does not exclude the possibility of a supernatural designer, including deities).
“It is notable that defense experts’ own mission, which mirrors that of the IDM itself, is to change the ground rules of science to allow supernatural causation of the natural world, which the Supreme Court in Edwards and the court in McLean correctly recognized as an inherently religious concept. Edwards, 482 U.S. at 591-92; McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1267. First, defense expert Professor Fuller agreed that ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology. (28:26 (Fuller); 21:37-42 (Behe)). Moreover, defense expert Professor Minnich acknowledged that for ID to be considered science, the ground rules of science have to be broadened to allow consideration of supernatural forces. (38:97 (Minnich)).
“Prominent IDM leaders are in agreement with the opinions expressed by defense expert witnesses that the ground rules of science must be changed for ID to take hold and prosper. William Dembski, for instance, an IDM leader, proclaims that science is ruled by methodological naturalism and argues that this rule must be overturned if ID is to prosper. (5:32-37 (Pennock)); P-341 at 224 (“Indeed, entire fields of inquiry, including especially in the human sciences, will need to be rethought from the ground up in terms of intelligent design.”). The Discovery Institute, the think tank promoting ID whose CRSC developed the Wedge Document, acknowledges as “Governing Goals” to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies” and “replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” (P-140 at 4). In addition, and as previously noted, the Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” Id. at 6. The IDM accordingly seeks nothing less than a complete scientific revolution in which ID will supplant evolutionary theory.14 Notably, every major scientific association that has taken a position on the issue of whether ID is science has concluded that ID is not, and cannot be considered as such. (1:98-99 (Miller); 14:75-78 (Alters); 37:25 (Minnich)). Initially, we note that NAS, the “most prestigious” scientific association in this country, views ID as follows: Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelation…”

daveburton
Reply to  tim maguire
May 1, 2017 8:45 am

Chimp wrote, “So-called Intelligent Design is not science, any more than is creationism…”
Actually, some of the ID work is real science (information theory), but that’s not the main problem with your line of argument, Chimp. Do not make the mistake of equating “scientific” with “rational.” In fact, it is irrational to discount “unscientific” knowledge as somehow inferior to “scientific” knowledge.
Science is a wonderful tool for investigation of many sorts of questions, but it is simply inapplicable to some problems. For instance, the central fact of your own existence is your self-awareness, yet science cannot test, affirm, or refute that fact. if you are self-aware, then strict, naturalistic atheism requires a game of make-believe: pretending the assumption that there’s nothing more than the natural, physical world, even though the central fact of your own existence, the fact which is proved to you more conclusively than any other, demonstrates that assumption is untrue.
The Judeo-Christian account of Creation gives an explanation for your self-awareness: it is the small way in which you are made to be like your Creator. Scripture says that God created you in His own image, and imparted to you His “breath of life.”
The competing, naturalist theory assumes that nothing exists except the physical. It holds that you are the sum of the matter and the chemical and electrical processes in your body, nothing else. That means you cannot be self-aware, because you cannot be in any fundamental sense unique. There’s no basis in naturalism for your consciousness to exist, let alone be lodged in a particular body.
ID does not require acceptance of the Judeo-Christian account of Creation, but it allows for it. In contrast, atheistic naturalism prohibits it, and offers no alternative.
Neither of those theories is especially scientific, but ID is the more rational of the two, because at least it isn’t falsified by facts in evidence.

vboring
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 9:28 am

Any acceptance or propagation of dogma is dangerous to civilization. People who unquestioningly accept the direction of leadership are useless at best and dangerous at worst.
Children need to be taught to think.
In controversial subjects, this can be done by reviewing the available facts and leaving off the conclusions. For evolution, the facts say that different types of life lived at different times and that genetics work. For climate change, the facts say that temperatures are changing and have always changed. The ever-increasing population of hairless apes is undoubtedly impacting the planet in many ways, including changes to the atmosphere.
If kids can’t come to their own conclusions based on the available evidence, then they need to learn to live with uncertainty. Real life is uncertain.

Jit
Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 10:17 am

One ounce of critical thinking beats a hundredweight of facts.
According to the OP, parents should decide what their children learn. But parents believe some wacky things. That’s up to them. Indoctrinating their children is another matter.
Also: our prejudices need to be challenged and that should start at school. We’ve seen where stifling certain opinions gets us.

MarkW
Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 10:35 am

“Any acceptance or propagation of dogma is dangerous to civilization. People who unquestioningly accept the direction of leadership are useless at best and dangerous at worst.”
A nice, dogmatic, claim.

Oldseadog
Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 12:04 pm

vboring:
“Children need to be taught to think”.
Got it in one.
Now convince the educationalists – or most of them anyway.
FWIW, all 3 of mine went to a school who taught their pupils to read, write, count and think. Everything else, including suggesting WHAT they MIGHT think was left to the parents.

Tom O
Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 12:37 pm

What is “dogma” depends on what you think. What YOU think might well be “dogma” to others. I’ve always said that atheism is the toughest religion to live up to, still believe that, since all things deemed “religious” in nature must not be used or sited. As for teaching children to think, I agree, but teaching them nothing to think about makes thinking a wasted talent.

Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 11:03 pm

vboring writes: “The ever-increasing population of hairless apes is undoubtedly impacting the planet in many ways, including changes to the atmosphere.”
Well, most certainly. Most especially if you’re spending lots of time in a TexMex restaurant. That will certainly change your atmosphere.

Reply to  vboring
April 26, 2017 11:07 pm

I only mention the TexMex problem because I live (once again) in California, a place where Gov. Moonbeam wants to put but filters on 4 million cattle.
I guess no one explained there were 9 billion people farting in the same atmosphere.

Brian Wilson
Reply to  vboring
April 28, 2017 12:51 pm

Quantum physics shows us that subatomic particles pop into and out existence all the time in the quantum foam. What controls that? What is its mechanism? Quantum physics experiments strongly indicate that every particle in existence “knows” the quantum state of every other particle. We are told that there possibly be an entity that is omnipresent and timeless but photons in theory satisfy that criteria. Dr. Michael Behe provides strong evidence that at the biochemical level, classic Darwinian evolution completely breaks down. Recent theoretical physics suggest that the known universe is a hologram projected from the edges of the universe. We accept all of this as possible fact but legitimizing the possibility that the universe is intelligently designed is a bridge too far? I look forward to the citations of papers documenting the successful experiments which change one higher species into a completely different and viable species

Chimp
Reply to  vboring
April 30, 2017 12:48 pm

Brian Wilson April 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm
I assume that by “higher”, you mean multicellular. Or do you mean just the “higher animals”?
Changing species of plants, animals and fungi into new species is done all the time in the lab and observed in nature. Even new genera. I’ve referred to some of these experiments and commercial processes repeatedly.
One example of the many I could cite is the use of polyploidy in breeding new plant species. Nature does this all the time, and now commercial nurseries do it, too:
https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/mcilab/publications/ranney-2006.pdf
An estimated 30 to 80% of all plant species have arisen in a single generation due to polyploidy, often whole genome duplication. It happens in other organisms, too, although less frequently in animals than plants, it appears. Nevertheless, at least two whole genome duplications occurred recently enough in human evolution to be detectable. It’s a great way to get a bunch of new genetic material for innovation via mutations, since it’s all redundant to existing needs.
Another quick and dirty evolutionary process is hybridization, which often produces daughter species unable to produce fertile offspring with one or both mother species.
But we’ve also made new species gradually in the lab the good, old-fashioned way, ie selection. Takes longer, ie more generations, to accumulate small changes, but for organisms with short generations, such as fruit flies, is possible.
For microbes, no problem. A single cosmic ray can make a new bacterial species in an instant.

Robert Stewart
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 9:33 am

Darwin was raised as a creationist, and yet he had the intellectual tools to build a logical framework around observations that puzzled him. So the impact is even less than you suggest. The religious aspects of AGW are profound, even if they aren’t linked to any coherent philosophy that might provide guidance in dealing with life’s larger issues. AGW is nothing but a mysticism that rejects and ridicules the essential aspects of scientific inquiry. Darwin prevailed against a 99.9999% consensus.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 9:41 am

I never really know what people mean when they use the term “creationism”.
Georges LeMaitre proposed the [big bang theory] back in in 1923 and he was publicly ridiculed by Fred Hoyle as a “creationist”. Well, LeMaitre’s Creationism was proven correct by Wilson and Penzias for which they got the Nobel prize in Physics in 1978. In this case, the creationist, LeMaitre, was correct.
On the other hand we know of a host of people who assert that the entire visible universe was created about 5000 BC. None of them won Nobel prizes.
So, Eric, where on this grey scale of “creationism” do you place the witness mark as junk science? Somewhere between LeMaitre’s and Kurt Wise’s? Newton-esque, or Maxwell, Edward Maunder, Alexander Vilenkin?
Good science requires a good definition of terms, rooted in science.

karllembke
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 10:41 am

My preferred definition of “creationism” is the doctrine that the laws of nature are insufficient to explain particular natural processes, and that some intelligent agent must be invoked to explain those processes.
So the origin of life is taken to be beyond the ability of the laws of physics and chemistry to explain, and so some intelligent agent must have created the first living things.
So the laws of biology are inadequate to account for “leaps” and “gaps” in the record of living things, and so some intelligent agent must have effected these changes across said “gaps”.
Yes, this does mean the term “creationism” includes “intelligent design” and is not limited to Biblical literalism, to the dismay of the “intelligent design” advocates.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 11:07 am

I think “creationism” is generally understood as “God did it”.
My feeling is that there should be a pact between schools and churches that would dictate that schools are not to teach creationism and churches will not be required to teach science. Fair and equitable.

Earl Jantzi
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 11:38 am

The Bibles story of creation is an allegory, meant to describe The Creation in terms that humans can understand in a sense of time that they can relate to. How long is a “day” to a God that is infinite? Humans can’t get their heads around that concept. If you start thinking of it that way, the whole creation story of Earth, and everything in it spans Eons, thereby giving the things He created time to “evolve”, as Darwin claims, and we know they do. If you go back and read the story with the different time frame in you head, the story almost reads like the Earth was Gods “plaything”. He created certain conditions and then when they weren’t what he liked, he changed them. All the way from the formless void, to land and water, night and day, animals, and finally humans. That’s how you get by the points where there aren’t smooth transitions in Evolution. Cataclysmic events ended the dinosaurs, and most life on Earth, and them what was left evolved again. Until you find a real link between humans and their “ancestors”, a God of creation is the logical answer. Even there, the 6-12,000 year time frame doesn’t work as we are getting into times when we find evidence and then records of civilizations that extend into current time.
These two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive, but actually work together when you get past the PC concepts embedded in each side.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 12:42 pm

“On the other hand we know of a host of people who assert that the entire visible universe was created about 5000 BC. None of them won Nobel prizes.”
This is probably the most often untruth attributed to creationists. I know many, and none of them think that the universe was created about 5000 BC. This is misconstrued because there are non-science bible zealots, with no science, making the claim.
I believe in both evolution and creationism, and find very little that conflicts.

Tom O
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 12:43 pm

Paul, there is no way to “prove” the big bang theory. Never has been proven, and it never will be proven. You can have evidence that supports the concept, but unless you actually can travel back to the moment at which the universe is started – by whatever method it was – you can’t prove it. A lot of “science” is based in “absolute faith in itself.” That doesn’t mean it is truth, but it is the “best guess” available. I won’t give the big bang theory that much credence, though.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 12:57 pm

“None of them won Nobel prizes.”
As an argument, that ranks right up there with refusing to look at any papers that aren’t printed in the peer reviewed journals that are controlled by the AGW crowd.

Newminster
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 1:01 pm

I’m with you, Paul. People bandy words like “creationism” about usually as terms of abuse like “denier” or “fascist”.
There are theological proofs for the existence of God but none of them demand that we take Genesis literally. And the fact that God clicked his fingers and said “let there be light” (a helluva lot longer than 6,000 years ago!) is not in any way incompatible wifh evolution. In fact, if you look closely at the biblical story of creation you will see that the six “days” follow pretty much the evolutionary process as we now understand it.
If you don’t care to believe in God,that’s fine by me; those of us who do see no conflict between religion and evolution or between religion and science. We see no problem with teaching, in their proper context, both religion and science as long as we remember that science deals with the physical world and religion with the spiritual world. The same God made the laws that govern both so how could there be a conflict?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 1:38 pm

Newminster:
++

Chimp
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 5:59 pm

Newminster April 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm
The Six Day story, the first of two irreconcilably contradictory creation myths in Genesis 1 and 2, does not follow even remotely the order of evolutionary history. The Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2 is even worse.
Order in Genesis 1:
Day Three: Plants.
Day Four: Sun and moon.
Day Five: Sea creatures, including whales, then flying creatures.
Day Six: Cattle, creeping creatures and “beasts”, then Man.
Order in Genesis 2:
Man
Plants
Animals
Woman.
Reality:
Sun
Earth
Moon
Sea animals
Plants (evolved from green algae, ie eukaryotes with chloroplasts derived from cyanobacteria)
Land animals (arthropods first, then mollusks and vertebrates)
Flying animals (insects first, then vertebrates later)
Whales
Man

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 26, 2017 7:28 pm

karllembke “Yes, this does mean the term “creationism” includes “intelligent design” and is not limited to Biblical literalism, to the dismay of the “intelligent design” advocates.” I am a agnostic on the subject, the bible beaters do drive me nuts as do the evolution pushers, the honest answer is we are no way near understand how life came about or even that coming about was evolution, we do know life evolves. If that by design or accident no one knows at this time.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 27, 2017 12:40 am

Eric,
“A god who creates light mid-flight to make the universe appear billions of years old…”
Please consider carefully . . To whom does it appear billions of years old? You? Other yous? ; ) That’s something you’re reading into the appearance, I say. Virtually every civilization/society had a creation story of some sort, and they all thought is was young (though some got their through a cyclic model) so it can’t be considered unbiased to say it looks billions of years old . . and;
” … a theory that the speed of light changed radically over time, to give the appearance of age…”
How ’bout the light came first? You know; Let there be light ? … In the Book, the stars are for light (and “signs”) on the Earth . . for us. It’s not a story about a universe into which we happen to be placed, it’s a story about creatures placed into a universe. The story will never make sense if you insist on making inanimate matter the main character ; )
” … when the universe is actually only 5000 years old? Give me a break.”.
(He did ; ) But nothing under 6,000 years old is possible ; ) and, IF He wanted to leave sufficient room for doubt about His existence, He’d have to make the joint look amenable to what we call “naturalism”. It’s very clear to me that the Story involves people who can doubt He exists, at least in these “latter days”. The concept that He had/has an obligation to refrain from placing us in a situation wherein His existence is not obvious, even if He sees that as a beneficial step to our looong term state (His children/companions), is somewhat hard for me to . . acquiesce to.
And, He left you a communication . . and “me”s, to let you know what’s really going on . . if that Book is what it claims to be. Perhaps you can bitch because you think you know a better way to generate independently intelligent and moral entities, but I don’t know such things . . worm that I am of no account or wisdom off my own.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 27, 2017 5:47 am

There is a lot there wow.
First to Eric Worrall who extended the courtesy of a clarification and even a framework to his definition of “creationism”. Underneath my skepticism of the global CAGW movement lies a foundation of “The autonomy of the individual person”. It is a BELIEF of mine that is not shared by the world. That belief makes many things contingent on it. Schooling. The right of a couple to have children and raise them in accordance to their wills is part of natural law and exists in the absence of government, literate-ness, epoc, or status of wealth. So to that extent Eric, we are in total agreement regarding your core point. Civilization may collapse, yet people will have children and raise them as they have done for 1000’s of years.
From a logical exercise, many people are concluded to be Creationists, particularly if your framework is applied. Anyone who practices nearly any faith accepts that the natural world is contingent. Today was contingent on yesterday. My atoms are contingent on the condensation of super novae. According to the present standard model for which there is measurable evidence, all the observable universe is contingent on the big bang. Logic and science require that the big bang be contingent also. A lot of people place that event on the prime mover that exists outside the natural world [who] created EVERYTHING from NOTHING. To that extent, they are all creationists.
[Side note: the BVG Theorem is an equation of state, that is, the process is unimportant only the beginning and end matter. Vilenkin is pretty conclusive that regardless of the mechanism, multiverse, singleverse, etc, the states of enthalpy all indicate a finite beginning.]
Karlelembke and Hoyt Clagwell. In order for students to be informed, the big bang, IMAP, BVG Theorem ought to be discussed. The implications of these subjects are profound from a metaphysical standpoint. Then we have the near abandonment of incremental evolution based on SJG’s punctuated equilibrium based on the observed fossil record. How are students able to learn to move forward in life and confront these ideas if they are not permitted to explore/discuss them? Haeckel’s Embryos as evidence for recapitulation theory persisted for decades even though they are now (as of 1995) defunct. And so what. People are generally smart and I have great faith that fully informed and honest, self-critical people will come to more or less the same conclusion. Students need completely informed.
Earl Jantzi. My only addition to your comment is that the Universe is rationally intelligible. We know this because we have done such a good job in first assuming that it is describable by mathematics and physics, then executing the description. Why would anyone have assumed that the universe is rational and intelligible in the first place? It is not axiomatic that that all cultures came to that conclusion. Some culture were/are uninterested, some believed in total chaos, and a special few believed in a “divine” order. Some religious principles, the assumption of rational intelligibility for example, was essential to the birth of science.
Roy Denio. I can point to nobody in particular that holds that view of 5000 BC. I was repeating a commonly stated notion and maybe I should have been more careful.
Tom O. I think the big bang is well accepted in the standard model and is on pretty solid ground. The predicted background MW radiation, confirmed by Penzias and Wilson, is a very good proof.
MarkW. See above. I accept your criticism. I am guilty of expressing a meme. I am sorry.
Newminister. Thanks. I am called many things relative to my need to keep my mind open. I hold that CAGW is unproved. I am a blue-eyed white straight male with a German surname. Automatically that make me a hater apparently. I try to be consistent about not putting good people in pejorative baskets since it only marginalized those with whom I otherwise share a great deal. I admit to scapegoating the leftists…. I likely won’t stop anytime too soon. 
Mark Luhman. I agree with you and do keep an open mind and an eye to science for that is how we learn how or natural world works. In my mind, no scientific theory is sacrosanct. As far as those things that are outside the natural universe yet with us and confound scientific inquiry (moral judgments, aesthetics, what to do with scientific knowledge, philosophy etc), people still need to learn about them.

Michael 2
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
April 27, 2017 12:48 pm

“we know of a host of people who assert that the entire visible universe was created about 5000 BC. None of them won Nobel prizes.”
A slightly more nuanced answer is:
[http]://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/seven-nobel-laureates-in-science-who-either-supported-intelligent-design-or-attacked-darwinian-evolution/
It is unlikely that the Earth is only 7000 years old (plus or minus a few millenia), but what proof do you have that it (and thus you and I) was not created yesterday? No such proof can exist; since any such proof is part of the very same construction.
But that kind of thinking is not useful so I accept the “seemings” of great antiquity and if it turns out not to be so, well, what does it matter? It is better to accept things as they seem to be rather than to imagine an infinite variety of things not demonstrable to yourself or anyone else.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Michael 2
April 27, 2017 1:28 pm

Not all Christians believe that the earth is 7,000 years old. Those people are fringe. You can learn more at Reasons to Believe (reasons.org). A chimp would need a major re-engineering to get to a human. Talking gait, and voice box for starters,.

Ron Williams
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 9:44 am

Geez Mark, I don’t know that nobody is harmed by the teaching of creationism. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who believe the world is 6000 years old and some god created the Rocky Mts with talus in place, and they are seriously damaged on an intellectual level if not several more. Some of my own family still believe this claptrap, and they tried pushing this pseudo religion garbage down my throat, and I knew by the time I was 2 years old that the whole story was garbage and told everyone so by 3 years old. For which I was harshly punished. While they may not be evil people, they are surely deceived about how the world works. Religion is a philosophical choice, something that should be studied objectively and it should be left at that with freedom to choose what you want to believe as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others. Including your own children.
The sooner we throw all religion in the garbage heap of history the better by me. Religion is about fascism ruling over free thought and science giving us the best evidence for how the world works. Threatening little kids with eternal hell and damnation if they don’t believe the same as them, well, it just reminds me of some people who practise climate science as a religion.

MarkW
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 10:37 am

I always love it when atheists demand that everyone else be forced to join their religion.

Kalifornia Kook
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 11:58 am

+1, MarkW

MarkW
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 12:12 pm

Let me see, at the age of 2, when most kids are still trying to figure out how to speak in full sentences, you had already figured out a mystery that most adults still struggle with?
How do you know this, very few people have any memories before the age of 5. Nobody remembers back to 2 and 3.
So you are either an ignorant liar, or you are 100% delusional.
Which is it?

Bryan A
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 12:28 pm

Mark,
Most people don’t remember back to 2 or 3 but I have memories of earlier times.
My earliest memory was of a house we moved out of when I was 4 months old, probably near that moving day as there were boxes stacked around.
My next early memory was of sitting on the Living Room floor viewing President Kennedy’s funeral, Nov 1963 I was just past my first birthday.
Some people do remember farther back than 2 or 3 years old. We are few and we are rare but we do exist

Ron Williams
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 3:03 pm

It is true Mark, at age 3 and younger, I was calling the protestant minister in our church a Cow, during the sermon no less, and don’t know why I called him a cow, except I grew up on a farm with an ornery cow that my father had to milk morning and night and always kicked the milk can over for which the cats just loved. It is still a family chuckle at family gatherings. So I am not delusional or lying. Too much fire and brimstone I think and something triggered me at such a young age to speak up what I perceived at such an early age. Or maybe I was just hungry after the sermon went on until 2 Pm. Which is why I sometimes rant here about the orthodoxy of climate religion practiced by the alarmists.
Mark, I am not atheist, (I don’t think), so I am not trying to convert you to my ‘religion’. If anything, science is as close to a belief system that makes sense to me. I do have a belief concept that there is perhaps a much higher power of consciousness that exists all around, perhaps in dimensions that we don’t understand. Maybe just add water, amino acids and some dirt, and presto, you have life. That is my guess for the rest of the universe, but what do I know. It would certainly be ignorant of me to presume there is no higher conscious power on earth or in the universe, but to teach a certain belief system to kids in public school that only this particular god or that god is the only god, would be a disservice to everyone. So teaching creationism or intelligent design is really just a cover for protestant christianity to get a foot in the door for their particular brand of religion. To which I really oppose. Better to teach pure science, and perhaps a history class of religion(s).
In a few years or decades, we will probably confirm life on Mars, or perhaps the lack of any life. It will be a grand moment in the history of human kind one way or the other. If we find life, then probably confirms life is spontaneous under the right conditions and ubiquitous throughout the universe. If we find no evidence of life, then life on Earth may be a one off, and no other life in the universe could perhaps be deduced from that. And then why only Earth? I hope I live long enough to find this mystery out.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 5:37 pm

Strong correlation between creationists and ACW disbeleivers.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 26, 2017 5:46 pm

“MarkW April 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm”
I do, albeit an electric shock, but I still remember it. I was about 3.

Michael 2
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 27, 2017 1:01 pm

Ron Williams writes: “I don’t know that nobody is harmed by the teaching of creationism.”
The list of things I do not know, and the list of things that you do not know, is probably infinite.
“they are seriously damaged on an intellectual level if not several more.”
Until my teen years I believed the Earth was young. I am not damaged on an intellectual level but I am beginning to question your damage.
“by the time I was 2 years old that the whole story was garbage”
This cannot be known by 2 year olds. Instead, 2 year olds naturally rebel against their parents. But it is not “knowledge”. Did I mention questioning your own intellect?
“and told everyone so by 3 years old.”
And obviously still telling everyone. That’s the work of a preacher.
“they are surely deceived about how the world works.”
Whereas you are wise and smart (and severely punished). The world works mostly through religion; religion is that which people believe and don’t need to have proven every little or big thing.
“Religion is a philosophical choice, something that should be studied objectively”
Wrong. Religion cannot be studied objectively; only its effects can be studied. Do you study magnetism? No, it is impossible. You study its effects on nearby things! Religion is that which is NOT objective by its very nature, you cannot apply objectivity to that which is by definition not objective.
“and it should be left at that with freedom to choose what you want to believe as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others. Including your own children.”
How exactly is that to work? Where do RIGHTS come from, if not “belief”? Children do not have rights and neither do you if there is no creator of rights or defender of rights. Atheists cannot believe in rights for there is no source of authority, no source of rights. “All men are created equal” vanishes if it turns out men weren’t created in the first place; they got where they are by eliminating the competition and this stupid argument of yours is simply your DNA trying to trick others into abandoning the competition.
“The sooner we throw all religion in the garbage heap of history the better by me.”
You overestimate anyone’s concern about being “better by you”. ALL people have religion! Things they believe without explanation or proof. So you would throw “thou shalt not steal” into the garbage heap of history? “Thou shalt not kill” — that, too? Shame on you.
“Religion is about fascism ruling over free thought and science giving us the best evidence for how the world works.”
Religion is believing things without proof. You are here attempting to rule over MY free thought. The world works by people with shared values, and it is religion that establishes the sharing.
“Threatening little kids with eternal hell and damnation if they don’t believe the same as them”
I look forward to reading more of your own threats and arrogance.

Michael 2
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 27, 2017 2:07 pm

Global warming activism: If you KNOW that the earth is going to become uninhabitable if people continue to burn coal and oil, what are you willing to do to prevent this disaster? How much effort would you make to advise everyone of this future and how to avoid it?
Christianity (of some flavors): If you KNOW that all souls will spent eternity suffering horrible pain and anguish unless they do something very simple, borderline trivial actually, how much effort would you make to advise everyone of their future and how to avoid it?
The parallel ought to be obvious. Neither future can be known with certainty; but either can be believed with usually a great deal of certainty.
But you have chosen to deprecate those who worry about your soul; in their minds they are doing you a huge service and what thanks do they get? Not much.
As to early memories, I have several from the age of 2, and because “false memories” can seem quite real I have also returned to essentially all of my early memory places to see that it is as I remember. I have not created false memories but I have discovered a few “merged” memories; things that seem to be a single memory of a single place turn out to be two, maybe three different places enough alike they merged in my mind.
I remember the day that my “young earth” sense was challenged. I was raised with no religion and yet in the 1960’s you could not escape its cultural effect, not that I was trying, I really didn’t know or care. But one day in the mountains hiking I sat on a rock to rest and noticed that the rock was composed almost entirely of long narrow cone shells (about 1.5 inches long each) embedded in black rock. These are “sea shells” at about 7,000 feet elevation.
At this point a person will usually make some sort of decision. For me it was “this rock is OLD”. I mean, really, really, millions of years old. Did I suddenly disbelieve God? No, I simply recognize that he’s kind of a hands-off God; and so it says in the bible: “The Earth brought forth life and God saw that it was good.”
It also means my life is in my hands; it is not predestined. I have freedom of choice.

Ron Williams
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 27, 2017 5:56 pm

Michael 2 April 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm
“Christianity (of some flavors): If you KNOW that all souls will spent eternity suffering horrible pain and anguish unless they do something very simple, borderline trivial actually, how much effort would you make to advise everyone of their future and how to avoid it?”
Translation: Believe like me, or you will spend eternal damnation roasting in hell. Unfortunately, in my very early youth, I was tortured at a bible camp with real fire as way of being told this is how it will feel for ever unless you believe everything we tell you. You say children have no rights… and I know what you probably do to children.
Michael, if you believe this claptrap crap, then you are a very sick dangerous puppy capable of the most heinous evil. It is people that think like this that will justify anything to dominate their world view. This is the original evil, the original sin that plagues humanity. The christian taliban… Just like the ecoterrorism prevalent against anyone who opposes their world view.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Ron Williams
April 27, 2017 8:35 pm

Actually no, God does not send people to hell, they send their selves. Hell is just the absence of God

Tom in Florida
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 10:04 am

Emotional harm is still harm. I was brought up as a Catholic, was indoctrinated in that religion and it took well into my 20’s to rid myself of the guilt and fear of god for even thinking about questioning that indoctrination.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 26, 2017 10:39 am

Every religion has it’s extremists. Look at the damage being done to children by a lot of the new age stuff. Or the vegans who end up killing their kids by forcing a vegan diet on infants.
Or even atheists who over flow with intolerance towards anyone who religious views differ from their own, such as Ron above.

Kalifornia Kook
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 11:56 am

Another big difference is that on one in the US is required to pay the various churches anything. However, AGW imposes taxes, fines, etc. on almost everyone (rounds to 100%). In Europe, you can opt out of supporting the church by claiming to be atheist or some such. No such opt out in the US. You must pay for to the AGW religion.

seaice1
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 4:02 pm

Nobody? What about the children? Are they not entitled to a good education?

gnomish
Reply to  seaice1
April 27, 2017 1:17 pm

a person is entitled to what he pays for.
so the answer is NO.
i will also add that rationality is not an entitlement either and must be paid for. (not in cash, obviously; the currency for this is virtue)
i will also add that belief in the supernatural is called mysticism and is the antithesis of science (empiricism)
and ONLY the owners of the child have any rights regarding that child.
and just to spook the mystics- milo loves his childhood priest. how bow dah?

Michael 2
Reply to  seaice1
April 27, 2017 2:09 pm

“What about the children? Are they not entitled to a good education?”
Yes, they (and you) are not entitled to anything made or produced by anyone else. You can trade for things possessed by others.

seaice1
Reply to  seaice1
April 27, 2017 3:18 pm

“a person is entitled to what he pays for.
so the answer is NO.”
This is a logically valid view, but most people do not believe it because it allows parents to let their children starve to death without interference. Some die-hard libertarians say they do believe this should be allowed to happen, but most people do not.

gnomish
Reply to  seaice1
April 27, 2017 3:39 pm

cool that you respect logic.
any ethical matter can be resolved on the basis of ownership and damage, btw.
‘public property’ is oxymoron, so that’s why it’s a quagmire concept.

Bruce Cobb
April 26, 2017 9:03 am

“A new wave of state bills could allow public schools to teach lies about climate change.”
Wait, they already do that.

J Mac
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 26, 2017 9:14 am

Just so, Bruce!
Same thought hit me, when I read that sentence….

Walt D.
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 26, 2017 10:47 am

+10

April 26, 2017 9:05 am

God is another word for “the Unknown”. Creationism is strange because the next question is: “who did create this creator?”

BallBounces
Reply to  David
April 26, 2017 9:12 am

This question has been adequately addressed. The universe is finite and contingent; its cause (God) is not. That which begins to exist requires a cause; that which is eternal does not. So, the real choice is to choose one’s eternality — the material universe, or God.

BCBill
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 11:20 am

The material universe that you see or feel every single moment of your life or god who has no tangible manifestation because it moves in “mysterious ways”.

BCBill
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 3:08 pm

MarkW- I try really hard not to believe as I am trying to be a scientist. On religious matters as on all matters, I try to be agnostic but that is a hard path to follow. Above, I was making the point that there is a big qualitative difference between the universe we see and an imagined concept like god. I can imagine all sorts of fantastical things (like string theory- well in reality I can’t even imagine that), but simply imagining a complex alternate reality which defies testing is not a difficult thing. We do it as children. There is lot of satisfaction in just accepting that the world is what you see and that it is wonderfully complex, sometimes unknowable.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  David
April 26, 2017 9:20 am

Completely agree that God is an “unknown,” in fact most organized religions acknowledge as much. But the next question is not that strange, if you look at any “hypothesis” about the creation of the universe you still end up with the infinite recursion regarding the origins of the necessary and sufficient conditions for each event. Matter could not have formed out of nothing, on it’s own, if it did that’s magic, at least in our understanding of the physics, and if it’s magic wouldn’t that require a God?
Further, creationism and other explanations are not always mutually exclusive or incompatible, but that would take several thousand pages to even get a start on that topic.

BCBill
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 11:23 am

Nevertheless, the universe is there for all to see and alas, the Jabberwock remains unknown.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 12:34 pm

But Mark, Big Bang is the creation of matter out of nothing but Hot Empty Space

MarkW
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 12:58 pm

BCBill demonstrates for all to see that his mind is closed to anything that runs counter to what he wants to believe.

benofhouston
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 1:28 pm

Bryan, even in the Big Bang theory, strings (matter and energy combined) are still conserved. Note the “HOT” part of hot empty space.
And Mark. The answer is simple. We can see the universe. It’s there. Where it came from we don’t know, as we have no laws that can don’t conserve strings.This is why physics breaks down at the Big Bang. Even as far as wild theories know, it’s a known incomplete, and anyone familiar with the theory acknoweldges that.
On the other hand, we don’t see any omnipotent creator being, much less your specific creator being (whether that’s Jehovah, Vishnu, Odin, or Tiamat). The evidence is purely speculative, and many different competing theories as to this creator’s identity have not real decisive superiority as far I can tell as they are all equally unprovable.
Saying you don’t know the answer is a valid statement.

BCBill
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 3:10 pm

Sorry, put this in the wrong space
MarkW- I try really hard not to believe as I am trying to be a scientist. On religious matters as on all matters, I try to be agnostic but that is a hard path to follow. Above, I was making the point that there is a big qualitative difference between the universe we see and an imagined concept like god. I can imagine all sorts of fantastical things (like string theory- well in reality I can’t even imagine that), but simply imagining a complex alternate reality which defies testing is not a difficult thing. We do it as children. There is lot of satisfaction in just accepting that the world is what you see and that it is wonderfully complex, sometimes unknowable.

jclarke341
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 3:13 pm

If you lived in a 2-dimensional world, a three dimensional pencil intersecting the 2-dimensional world will always appear to be a circle. There is no way to measure or observe the circle in the 2-dimensional world that would reveal a 3-dimensional pencil. In such a world, ‘proving’ the existence of ‘pencil’ would be impossible, even though the manifestation of the pencil in the 2-D world was right there all along!
Likewise, I find the argument that there is no God because we cannot measure God in the physical universe, very unimpressive and short sighted. Particularly when countless millions of people through the ages have had spiritual experiences and interactions with non-physical consciousness. These non-physical experiences can never be ‘proven’ in the physical world, much like a 3-d pencil cannot be proven in a 2-d world.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
― Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers

benofhouston
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 7:07 pm

JClarke. Proving the pencil isn’t impossible. Even if you can only see the pencil in two dimensions, other forces will act in 3 dimensions. Most notably, gravity. If you measure the gravitational force, you will find something odd. It won’t relate to distance in a linear fashion, as it would if it was truly 2-dimensions. It would fall by a square of distance, based on the area of a sphere. Don’t forget that physics is based on geometrical facts. This is how we know that if there are other dimensions, they must be tiny, so as not to affect the scaling of known forces. In fact, that distortion of forces to distance ratio at miniscule distances is one of the ways that we might be able to prove string theory.

Chimp
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Calling what isn’t known yet “God” isn’t science.
It could be that mass and energy are simply products of spacetime. Indeed, something along those lines is likely to reflect reality.
In any case, as I told my fundamentalist students (literalists as opposed to inerrantists, which is the correct formulation, allowing for interpretation), you can inject your concept of God into the observed universe, whether evolution or expansion, at any point that makes sense to you.
But going by the supposed Word of God rather than His actual Works (if you believe in some version of Him) verges, IMO, on insanity.

MarkW
Reply to  David
April 26, 2017 10:40 am

The whole concept of before etc, is dependent upon our space time continuum.
Since God by definition is outside of space and time, then such questions aren’t relevant.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 11:21 am

Did a burning bush tell you that space time one or did you make it up on your own 😉

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 11:44 am

Scientists did.

gnomish
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2017 1:21 pm

ha ha ha.
i have to cheer markW on this.
who do you think put all the chaos and confusion on earth- vast impersonal forces or something?
no- it’s got to be goddess!
hail eris!

Marty
Reply to  David
April 26, 2017 10:41 am

It really isn’t that strange David. Consider the following. String theory requires eleven dimensions for the mathematics to work. Now of course neither you or I or anyone else can imagine eleven dimensions. We can do the math (I can’t), but we can’t really visualize in our head what eleven dimensions are like. Now I’m not arguing whether string theory is correct or not. But many really smart people believe it is correct. Now consider this. If you can’t imagine eleven dimensions, then how can you reasonably expect to imagine a God who created eleven dimensions?

BCBill
Reply to  Marty
April 26, 2017 11:51 am

If you can imagine a system where angels sit on the head of a pin, you can imagine how to calculate how many will fit. A purely imagined reality like string theory can still be elegant and complex but it may not have anything to do with reality, just as god may be wonderful and complex and completely imagined.

Tom O
Reply to  Marty
April 26, 2017 12:55 pm

String theory is another of those avenues that “science” is traveling in its efforts to replace god. That is the whole issue, really. Those who have chosen to not wish to believe in a god have chosen to believe in the infallibility of man and science to take god’s place. Doesn’t mean you can’t study science and work in the field and are required to be atheistic, but it does make understanding the dogma of atheism easier to understand. Just an attackable thought.

Reply to  David
April 26, 2017 1:58 pm

Bryan, hot empty space is a bit of an oxymoron. Heat is the energy of motion in the atoms or photons maybe. Empty means “nothingness”. Space implies time, and also extent. Even totally empty, infinite space, which begs the question, How did it come to be?

Mike Graebner
Reply to  David
April 27, 2017 5:57 am

God by definition is not created but eternal. No I can not explain that. see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6VZnmohw8E

Michael 2
Reply to  David
April 27, 2017 2:14 pm

“who did create this creator?”
His creator (father) before him.
Analysis: [http]://biblehub.com/john/5-19.htm “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
So what did the Son (Jesus) see and do? Father was himself at one time a son, died and was resurrected. For it were not so, then this statement is incorrect (which is of course possible).
As to who, what or when the universe was created, nothing seems to be said. The bible starts with the Earth already existing, but “void”. It is a story of this planet, not any other planet.

BallBounces
April 26, 2017 9:09 am

Keep in mind that “creationism” is a smear, like “denier”, that covers anyone who believe that the scientific evidence points towards design and intention in creation. Materialistic scientists believe they can detect intelligence when it comes to alien life in the universe, but go all wooly and weird when it comes to using the same criteria and methods to infer intelligence and intentionality in creation. In fact, the evidence for undirected, mindless, purposeless evolution is not as strong as its advocates insist, and is getting weaker by the year — especially when origin of life is thrown into the mix.

April 26, 2017 9:09 am

Creationism cannot be taught in US public schools. It would be a First Amendment violation. The attempted creationist end run via pseudoscientific ‘intelligent design’ in Delaware was also ruled a violation. The first amendment does not, however, apply to private Church run schools.

BallBounces
Reply to  ristvan
April 26, 2017 9:15 am

Intelligent design does not posit who or what the intelligence behind the universe is. It remains within the domain of materialistic science using a principle espoused by Darwin of inference to the best explanation. Many/most advocates are theists. However, some are agnostics, perhaps some are atheists.

Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 9:23 am

As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.
–Freeman Dyson, 1986

MikeP
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 9:26 am

Either one is studying evolution or one is studying the interesting patterns that were left for us to find. Under both interpretations, the science is essentially the same. So from a scientific point of view, evolution vs creationism doesn’t matter. The issue is a philosophical one.

Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 9:31 am

Nevertheless, creationism is necessarily theistic–it flows from a Judeo-Christian understanding of god.

Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 9:49 am

As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.
Well no, all it seems like is that we are the product of a universe that we are capable of inhabiting, duh.
And it looks like its made for us, because it IS made for us. By our own minds. Its no use seeing the universe as a bacterium sees it. We are not single bacteria.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 11:12 am

Intelligent Design is nothing more than Creationism dressed in “drag”.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 11:37 am

I like to use the definition that the man who coined the term “Intelligent design” used when he created it. He said it is a place holder of sorts where design is implied and when no existing scientific evidence explains. Behe never suggested a specific designer, rather he said that a designer is implied by irreducibly complex structures and systems. Science my fill the gap by providing the “design” mechanism. But not one has been demonstrated since in the inception of the Journal of Evolutionary Microbiology~~1994??
Other people use his term less specifically and have used it in books to replace a deity.
I would suggest that even Leonard Susskind is far more open minded about the basis of the cosmological constant exteme precision yielding an anthropic universe. Which are in his words: 1) “God” 2) “Chance” 3) “we’ll never know” 4) “Maybe someday we’ll know”.

MarkW
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 11:46 am

Samuel, why do you insist on making definitive pronouncements on a subject you quite clearly know nothing about.
And apparently don’t want to know anything about.
For some, anything about God, goes into one big bucket. Doesn’t matter that there are many differences, they can only handle God, not God.

RWturner
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 12:16 pm

It seems to me that the universe itself is trying to figure itself out through our intellect.

MarkW
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 1:01 pm

RW, reminds me of the wag who declared that Gaia was getting worried about all the plants suffering because so much CO2 had been removed from the air.
So she invented men to return some retrieve some of it for her.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  BallBounces
April 26, 2017 7:03 pm

If you teach evolution you get to the conclusion that there are too many examples of “not so intelligent design,” oops extinction or survival in what appears to be poor engineering. I was in Louisiana when we had one of these sort of laws come up, kind of a joke, although in one case it would have made biology illegal to teach. It would help if some evolutionists, like Dawkins, come down from the pulpit a little. Good principles don’t need preaching or any special protection. Let the teachers and parents decide. Like the speed of light keep trying to disprove it, so far there always have been deeper truths. Circa 1900 they thought science had found it, sounds similar today.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  BallBounces
April 27, 2017 6:13 am

MarkW – April 26, 2017 at 11:46 am

Samuel, why do you insist on making definitive pronouncements on a subject you quite clearly know nothing about.
And apparently don’t want to know anything about.

Now MarkW, just because my posted commentary incites your mental state to becoming highly irritated and extremely defensive, …….. which is usually always “triggered” by one’s own realization that their long-time beliefs (Religious, love, friendship, etc.) are utterly bogus, false, untrue, etc.
In other words, MarkW, ….. the realization that one’s long-time beliefs have no basis in fact.
Anyway, MarkW, ….. I can assure you that I have surely forgotten more about Gods, Goddesses, Sky Pixies, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, Biblical history, the origin & history of Multitheism of yesteryear and the Monotheism of today …….. than you have ever known.
And I am also well educated in the Biological and Physical Sciences and have been an avid student and learner of the “natural world” around me …… beginning in my early childhood of 70 years ago.
So MarkW, it is you, …… not I, …… that clearly doesn’t know very much about the world around you that you live in/on …… and your accusing me of being poorly nurtured and seriously miseducated …… doesn’t alter your “learned knowledge status” one iota.
But iffen you read the following, it might, to wit:
We are what our environment nurtures us to be.
Upon gaining their freedom from their enslavers, small groups of the now human population wandered off in all directions to fend for themselves. And in doing so, these now isolated groups were dependent upon their new environments to nurture them with the means to survive. As they learned new and better survival traits from their environments they became quite successful as hunter-gathers at finding sufficient food resources for their survival.
As the population of these groups increased the need for social rules and guidance became necessary for their survival. Thus a leader was either chosen or the strongest member of the group took control and rules of social conduct were established by proxy or by the individual leaders themselves. In the latter situation the rules of conduct could change each time a new leader took control.
A need for religious beliefs arises.
As the individuals within these groups became more intelligent and knowledgeable of their environment they began to question those things they were subjected to that they didn’t understand, including thunder, lightning, the seasons and their own origins. And when such questions arise in social groups of humans their leader(s) were queried for an answer to them. But their leaders no longer had any memories of, or the access to any of the alien explorers that originally created humans, to nurture them on their origins, or any historical records that would explain things to them. Therefore the leaders and/or oldest members of these isolated groups were forced to use their imagination to create acceptable “reasons” for said origins in order to appease the curiosity of the individuals in said group.
Thus Gods and Goddesses were thought up to “explain the unexplainable”. And the isolation of the different groups of humans resulted in differences in their imagined “reasons”, otherwise known as “religious beliefs”. Our knowledge of said religious beliefs are recorded in both the archeological and historical records of past cultural groups, of which some are the root source of most all present day Religions.
A per say, ….. Religious belief decent with modifications, ….. from the polytheism worshipping of the past to the monotheism worshipping of the present.

Cheers

Reply to  ristvan
April 26, 2017 9:20 am

Irrespective of court rulings, the teaching of creationism would only violate the First Amendment if a specific religion’s version was taught.
That said, creationism can’t be taught as science because it can’t be falsified.

Sheri
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 9:28 am

Neither can a lot of things called science, but we teach them anyway. How do you falsify evolution?

Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 9:33 am

The discovery of fossils that were inconsistent with the theory would falsify it.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 9:47 am

How could any fossil discovery falsify the hypothesis of evolution? We already know that there is no principal that forces evolution to go only from less complex to more complex. Wales, for example, seem to have gone from sea to land and back to sea.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 26, 2017 9:58 am

Evolution is an extremely robust scientific theory. Its two main pillars are:
1. Direct observation and empirical testing of genetics.
2. Correlative evidence from the fossil record which is consistent with an evolution of past species into modern species, through genetic mutation and natural selection.
The first pillar is falsifiable in several ways.

Consequently any of the following would destroy the theory:
If it could be shown that organisms with identical DNA have different genetic traits.
If it could be shown that mutations do not occur.
If it could be shown that when mutations do occur, they are not passed down through the generations.
If it could be shown that although mutations are passed down, no mutation could produce the sort of phenotypic changes that drive natural selection.
If it could be shown that selection or environmental pressures do not favor the reproductive success of better adapted individuals.
If it could be shown that even though selection or environmental pressures favor the reproductive success of better adapted individuals, “better adapted individuals” (at any one time) are not shown to change into other species.

This would take down the entire theory. While the likelihood of any of these things is extremely minuscule, they are possible.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Falsifiability_of_evolution
The discovery of an entire sequence of fossils which were inconsistent with the theory (large land mammals in the Devonian) would falsify the second pillar. Or at least force a major restructuring of the theory.

Sheri
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 10:24 am

David Middleton: Not all mutations are passed down through generations, are they? At least that was what I was taught. Even DNA mutations may not be passed on or may be passed on in unique ways.
I have read that finding sequences of fossils in the “wrong” geologic layer is explained by migration of the fossils to another layer or other such mechanisms. It doesn’t disprove the theory. Unless many, many examples are found. Then maybe.
My experience has been that any such “problems” in evolution are dismissed in much the same way inaccurate climate models are dismissed concerning how far they miss. The misses are anomalies and don’t count. Or the models all show increasing temperatures and that’s all that matters.
We have changed the way dino skeletons are put together, debated whether they were reptiles or birds, and whether they were warm or cold-blooded. There are so many things that are unknown, yet the theory is regarded as accurate. I will further study the criteria for disproving the theory, but I’m very skeptical that anything would be allowed to disprove the theory.

Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 10:38 am

I have read that finding sequences of fossils in the “wrong” geologic layer is explained by migration of the fossils to another layer or other such mechanisms.

Fossils don’t “migrate.” But they can be out of proper stratigraphic position due to quite a few geologic processes. Generally speaking, when this occurs, it’s fairly obvious that the section has been deformed or disturbed.
Finding Miocene foram’s in a Pleistocene section near a salt dome wouldn’t be inconsistent with evolution. Because the Jurassic-aged salt tends to drag up older rocks when it intrudes into younger rocks and sediments.
The fossil inconsistency would have to consist of entire sequences of fossils that were totally out of place. Large land mammal fossils in the Devonian would be an example.
The strength of the theory of evolution lies in the fact that it would be very difficult to falsify.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 10:45 am

I’m having trouble imagining a fossil that would falsify evolution.
All that would be needed is to declare that the fossil is the first member found of a previously unknown genera.

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 10:53 am

Mark, what gets called “evolution” is descent with modification. What would falsify the system would be an organism that, lets say, did not use the common DNA/RNA coding for amino acids. As far as I know, all organisms use the same arbitrary coding scheme in DNA/RNA coding, and any beastie useing a different system would be something that falsifies “evolution”.

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 10:55 am

The discovery of large mammal fossils in the Devonian would totally upend the theory of evolution:comment imagecomment image

skorrent1
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 11:12 am

DM: The idea of evolution as genetic-directed adaptation to environmental stresses and changes is both robust and of scientific utility. The insistence that random events are the source of life and that random genetic mutation is the only source of life-form changes is speculative, logically falsifiable, and not of scientific value.
I have encouraged my granddaughters to be skeptical of a dogmatic Darwinist unless he could list the sequence of individual genetic mutations, each of which contributes to species survival, that would constitute the “evolution” of metamorphosis. They do not need to offer an alternative theory.

Reply to  skorrent1
April 26, 2017 11:34 am

I generally agree that evolution appears to be a directed adaptation process. I also think that the fossil record is strongly supportive of punctuated equilibrium rather than slow genetic drift.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 11:17 am

Mark, what gets called “evolution” is descent with modification. What would falsify the system would be an organism that, lets say, did not use the common DNA/RNA coding for amino acids. As far as I know, all organisms use the same arbitrary coding scheme in DNA/RNA coding, and any beastie useing a different system would be something that falsifies “evolution”.
No Tom, it would just be proof of aliens. /sort of sarc?/

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
April 26, 2017 11:29 am

Sort of. It would require aliens, but there is no good “intelligent design” reason for the common coding, as digestion mostly breaks proteins down to amino acids, so common amino acids would not show common descent.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 11:47 am

Tom, we don’t have DNA from the vast majority of fossils.

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 12:01 pm

Mark, it is different argument. Occam’s razor is not really provable, but a practical principle. Special creation of each lineage is not testable for fossils, so the argument is that structurally similar beasties that can be tested have the same DNA. There are tests that could be done to demonstrate special creation, but all have thus far failed. Of course, as this is science, the next one. …

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 12:49 pm

David Middleton – April 26, 2017 at 10:55 am

The discovery of large mammal fossils in the Devonian would totally upend the theory of evolution:

Now get serious, David M.
Me thinks the Theory of Evolution preceded the designations of Geologic “Fossil” Periods.
Such a find in/of fossils would surely and totally “upend” a lot of people beliefs, attitudes and actions …… but I hardly think it would affect the theory.
And there is no proof or evidence that large mammals didn’t exist during or even prior to the Devonian Period. And don’tya be forgettin that for 95% of earth’s geologic history (non-Interglacial Periods) with an ocean environment ….. sea levels were 200+- meters or 600+- feet lower than they currently are …. and no one knows what fossils may lie hidden there.
And nothing says that “mountain building” out of fossil laded “seafloor” had to contain fossils of all animals that had evolved up to the time said “uplifting” commenced. And nothing says that a “Cambrian Explosion” didn’t or couldn’t have happened twice.
Even the evolutionary “path” of Homo sapiens sapiens is still being ‘hotly’ debated simply because there has been no fossil evidence found that directly “links” humans with another extant species of the Family of Great Apes.
There are “close” connections of fossils ……… but “close” only counts in the game of Horseshoes.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 1:02 pm

David, upon finding such a mammal fossil, would they declare evolution over turned? Or would they declare that the evolutionary line for mammals extends further into the past than previously known?

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 1:24 pm

The evolution of mammals can be traced through the evolution of the jaw bones of synapsids…
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/images/evograms/mammal_evo.jpg
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_05
If fossils with opossum-like jaw bones were found in the Devonian, it would upend the theory.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/images/evograms/joints.gif
Dimetrodons do not appear in the fossil record before the Permian Period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimetrodon
The discovery of fossils substantially inconsistent with the theory of evolution is highly unlikely. The theory has been highly predictive of subsequent fossil species discoveries.
One of the hallmarks of a scientific theory is its predictive power.

Chimp
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 3:08 pm

Samuel C Cogar April 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm
You are mistaken. The geologic column was worked out on geologic principles. In so doing, geologists noted that each layer had characteristic fossils, which could then be used to place newly studied strata in the proper order.
By 1858, when Darwin and Wallace proposed the origin of species via natural selection, much of the geologic column was already named, although not always with the same terminology as today.
Darwin himself, as a just-graduated Cambridge divinity Bachelor degree holder, worked with Sedgwick in Wales to delineate what became the Cambrian, Silurian and eventually Ordovician (between the other two) Periods. In the 1830s, a dispute called the Devonian Controversy arose among geologists, including Sedgwick, over the geology of that period, named for the English county. The Carboniferous was then called the “Coal Measures”. The Permian, last period of the Paleozoic Era, was described by Murchison, one of the Devonian controversialists, during his Russian expedition in 1841. The Triassic, first period of the Mesozoic Era, was named in 1834. The term “Jurassic” dates from 1795 and “Cretaceous” from 1822.
The startling lack of fossils from the early Triassic led some to conclude that there had been a whole new creation after the end-Permian mass extinction event.
The older terms Primary for the Paleozoic Era and Secondary for the Mesozoic have been abandoned, but the Tertiary and Quaternary (both Cenozoic) are still used (although replaced by Paleogene and Neogene Periods). The Tertiary is the oldest period in the Cenozoic Era, while the Quaternary is the youngest. The current era names are based upon the kind of life found in rocks of those ages, ie Old Life, Middle Life and Recent Life.
So Darwin was able to use the advancements in geologic knowledge by 1858 to help make his case for descent with modification via natural selection and other “transmutational” processes.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  David Middleton
April 27, 2017 4:11 am

Chimp – April 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Samuel C Cogar April 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm
You are mistaken. The geologic column was worked out on geologic principles.
By 1858, when Darwin and Wallace proposed the origin of species via natural selection, much of the geologic column was already named,

Chimp, I assume your “mistaken” claim was in reference to this statement, to wit: ….. “Me thinks the Theory of Evolution preceded the designations of Geologic “Fossil” Periods.
Well now, Chimp, ….. I won’t engage in a “peeing contest” to determine who is correct, ….. but, to wit:

History of evolutionary thought ……. Evolutionary thought, the conception that species change over time, has roots in antiquity – in the ideas of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese as well as in medieval Islamic science. With the beginnings of modern biological taxonomy in the late 17th century, two opposed ideas influenced Western biological thinking: essentialism, the belief that every species has essential characteristics that are unalterable, a concept which had developed from medieval Aristotelian metaphysics, and that fit well with natural theology; and the development of the new anti-Aristotelian approach to modern science: as the Enlightenment progressed, evolutionary cosmology and the mechanical philosophy spread from the physical sciences to natural history. Naturalists began to focus on the variability of species; the emergence of paleontology with the concept of extinction further undermined static views of nature. In the early 19th century Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744 – 1829) proposed his theory of the transmutation of species, the first fully formed theory of evolution.
In 1858 Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace published a new evolutionary theory, explained in detail in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859).

Read more @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_evolutionary_thought

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  David Middleton
April 27, 2017 4:46 am

David Middleton – April 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm

The evolution of mammals can be traced through the evolution of the jaw bones of synapsids…
If fossils with opossum-like jaw bones were found in the Devonian, it would upend the theory.

David, the “Theory of Evolution” …….. and the physical attribute that defines the “evolution of mammals” …… are essentially two different matters of discussion.
Thus, a newly found Devonian era opossum-like jaw bone would likely upend the presently accepted criteria that defines the “origin Period for the evolution of mammals” ……. but nothing else.
David, newly found fossil “species” are noninfrequently screwing up the established taxonomy of the Animal Kingdom …….. and it has to be “re-adjusted” to include the new finds.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  David Middleton
April 27, 2017 6:01 am

see reasons.org they have developed a “testable” creation model. also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6VZnmohw8E

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  ristvan
April 26, 2017 9:27 am

Totally disagree that it can’t be taught. If it’s positioned as one of several philosophical perspectives on the origins of the universe it does not run afoul of separation arguments. It only gets into trouble when it’s taught in isolation as “the truth” After all science eventually reduces to nothing more than philosophical arguments. The other practical problem is that it’s probably pretty hard for a typical junior high teacher to maintain a more distanced and objective view of the arguments between the views.

MarkW
Reply to  ristvan
April 26, 2017 10:43 am

If we ban everything that has an religious/philosophical connotations from the public schools, then the kids will spend the majority of their school days just staring at the wall.
Regardless, your argument is a good one for getting rid of public schools, because everyone is going to fight to have their beliefs mandatory and everyone else’s banned. Much as you are doing here.

Reply to  ristvan
April 26, 2017 2:17 pm

“Creationism cannot be taught in US public schools. It would be a First Amendment violation.”
ristvan,
That is incorrect. The separation of State and Church is a creation of the SCOTUS, not the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t separate Church and State: it is a one way separation to keep the state out of the church, not the other way around. And it is only a restriction on the Federal government, not the states.
In fact when the Constitution was written several states did have state religions.
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire – Congregational Church
Georgia, New North Carolina, Maryland and others – Church of England
Separation of Church and State is a construct of the SCOTUS and the left.

Reply to  Roy Denio
April 26, 2017 3:25 pm

It’s worth noting that SCOTUS was quoting Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists:

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
Gentlemen
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html
The State of Connecticut, was treating Freedom of Religion as a favor to be granted, rather than a constitutionally protected right. The Danbury Baptists were reaching out the Pres. Jefferson,
The “wall of separation between Church & State” was to protect religion from government. SCOTUS reversed that when they inserted an out-of-context quote into their ruling.

Resourceguy
April 26, 2017 9:12 am

Just focus on the mathematics of science.

Reply to  Resourceguy
April 26, 2017 9:16 am

+[∞]

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 11:52 am

A protein made of 160 amino acids would take how long to randomly assemble? This question has a mathematical solution. Since you like math, (referring to +[∞] ) how long do you think it would take to assemble the protein? I agree that math has an answer.

benofhouston
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 1:33 pm

Paul, if you assume its completely random, nearly infinite. Given the demonstrable fact that they are constructed out of other smaller processes, thats not calculable.

Phil Cartier
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 7:42 pm

benofhouston- it’s only on the order of 2.44 billion times the age of the earth. A mere snap of the fingers in an infinity.

Chimp
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 7:54 pm

Paul,
Proteins don’t self-assemble randomly. Their synthesis is catalyzed.
The origin of life also was facilitated by catalysts. One of the goals of origin of life research is to decide which of the many candidate catalysts actually did the deed.
For instance, in a major breakthrough just reported, it was discovered that short peptides, ie amino acid polymers, can help ribozymes, ie RNA enzymes, conduct processes essential in the origin of life. Thus it appears that amino acids and nucleotides may have always cooperated.
The oceans of Hadean earth were rich in both sorts of complex organic compounds, and others, of course. Origin of life research is under-reported in the popular press, but is the most exciting science being conducted right now, IMO.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Resourceguy
April 26, 2017 9:29 am

Yes, a much more socially productive approach.

Resourceguy
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 26, 2017 10:35 am

and educationally productive

Reply to  Resourceguy
April 26, 2017 10:39 am

YES .
You can either teach physics or you can teach Al Gore Warming ; you can’t do both .

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
April 26, 2017 9:13 am

The constant drip feed of linking or equating climate scepticism to creationism is a particularly pernicious piece of rank dishonesty and one that has to be fought. But in the U.K. religious studies textbooks unashamedly state global warming is caused by humans and that stewardship of the planet should result in us doing something about. (Bit short usually on the detail of what exactly.)
I agree with your conclusion Eric that ultimately it is parents who must have the last say, even though it may result in some unfortunate examples.

April 26, 2017 9:13 am

You got it–the State messes them up worse.
See the book “The Wisdom of Growds” by James Surowiecki for an in-depth discussion of the advances that can happen when large groups of people have the freedom to make independent decisions. It is one of the most important books ever written.
As to Creationism, I found the resolution on this matter when I websearched Samaritan Torah and found a word-by-word translation from the Hebrew. Genesis chapter One does NOT say G-d made (past tense) the world in six literal days in the order stated. It says He IS MAKING each of the items and it-is-becoming Evening and it-is-becoming Day. This is much more in accord with Modern Physics.
The Western European Churches were known for burning scientists at the stake. The Eastern Orthodox Church always had a more sensible attitude. They said: We know the Bible is True (this is a Church, remember) and Science is a search for the truth. Therefore if they appear to conflict, it means that one or the other has been misunderstood and further research will clear it up.
The conflict is now resolved for me. “In Him we live and move and have our being,” an idea which science cannot ever prove or disprove. Science investigates the physical world. It draws lots of wrong conclusions along the way, and further research corrects them.

Reply to  ladylifegrows
April 26, 2017 9:21 am

The real problem with creationism is that it doesn’t explain anything. It has no implications. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. And, for that matter, it can coexist quite happily with Darwinism.
Only a literal translation of the bible conflicts with science. And a literal translation of the bible would be historically illiterate, it would have no meaning to the people who wrote it. They looked at history very differently than we do and didn’t care in the least about fact for fact accuracy.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 9:57 am

“The bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”
Cesare Baronio, Roman Catholic Cardinal

Reply to  ladylifegrows
April 26, 2017 9:52 am

“The Tao is that which exists through itself”
If you peer deep enough into the mysteries you end up in the same places. What causes causality? What is existence?
Etc.

Steve Case
April 26, 2017 9:14 am

I believe anyone who takes a serious interest in climate science should be able to see that there are serious problems. The models don’t work, the evidence is weak, and the assurances that the science is “settled” are clearly a political construct, not a scientific conclusion.
I also believe that creationism is junk science.

The creationists aren’t coming after your money.
They don’t have the force of government behind them.
You can opt out.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 26, 2017 9:17 am

That’s not really true–as this article itself points out, many school boards are trying to add creationism to science classes, when it should be taught, if at all, in religion class.

April 26, 2017 9:15 am

Curriculum decisions should be made by communities, not state governments.
That said, this press release brings up yet another problem with the politicization of science by global warming alarmists–by relentlessly pushing their pseudoscience and demonizing those who believe in the scientific method, they undercut arguments against other forms of pseudoscience such as creationism.

MarkW
Reply to  tim maguire
April 26, 2017 10:50 am

Local governments rather than state or national governments.
Still governments.
BTW, I love it when people try to claim that only their religion is real and all others have to be excuded.

Editor
April 26, 2017 9:15 am

Science classes in grade school should be focused on teaching the scientific method.

Brian Pratt
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 9:58 am

The Ministry of Education of Saskatchewan is revising the high school science curriculum, and it considers ‘traditional knowledge’ on an equal footing as scientific knowledge in the life sciences, physical sciences and earth and space sciences.

Ron Williams
Reply to  Brian Pratt
April 26, 2017 11:29 am

I think that includes aboriginal studies since ‘First Nations’ in Canada are trying to get their foot in the door with regards to curriculum in a predominantly Eurocentric vision. I wouldn’t be opposed to that as long as the class being taught is labeled as a religious or history class of some sort and not in a science class like physics or chemistry. Perhaps all the worlds religions and nativism should be taught as a history class, so as we have an un-indoctrinated introduction to all the worlds belief systems. You don’t have to believe any of it, but I think it would assist a lot of people in understanding people that are different from them selves. And where humanity has come from in a philosophical sense. Hopefully people would then learn that no one religious belief system is superior to any other, and while they all have many messages of understanding, they are our collective history of why we are and where we came from.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 10:43 am

Which cannot be don’t without experimental experiential quantiative tests of the computable abstractions of physics .

Jim Masterson
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 11:04 am

>>
Science classes in grade school should be focused on teaching the scientific method.
<<
Let’s make science as boring as possible so no one wants to enter the field. What excited me about science was knowing how things work, and who made those discoveries. I loved science until they started teaching me the basics by teachers who probably knew less science than I did. At least they didn’t kill my love for learning science–not that they weren’t tying.
Jim

Reply to  Jim Masterson
April 26, 2017 11:06 am

The scientific method is how you learn how things work.

Jim Masterson
Reply to  Jim Masterson
April 26, 2017 2:38 pm

>>
The scientific method is how you learn how things work.
<<
Nonsense. Studying laws and theories is the way to find out how things work. The scientific method is only a means to an end–in other words: boring. It’s a necessary part of science, but it’s still boring.
Jim

Reply to  Jim Masterson
April 26, 2017 3:28 pm

This is how you learn how things work:

What is the “scientific method”?
The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.
http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html

Jim Masterson
Reply to  Jim Masterson
April 27, 2017 12:55 am

>>
This is how you learn how things work:
<<
I see nothing there that tells me how a computer works, how to fly an airplane, how to plot a course, how to compute a Hohmann transfer orbit, how the genetic code of mitochondria differs from the standard genetic code, how to use the Laws of Thermodynamics, how to use Laplace transforms, how to use Kirchhoff’s voltage and current laws, how to use the resistor color code, how stars have different spectral classes, how many known satellites Pluto has, and so on.
Jim

Sheri
Reply to  David Middleton
April 26, 2017 5:26 pm

Agreed. Later, the philosophy of science can be taught and the older students can argue over whether the philosophy of religion or the philosophy of science makes more sense, can co-exist, etc. Many of the ideas discussed here are probably university level.

April 26, 2017 9:21 am

The left is at least consistent in trying to make education consistent with indoctrination in their belief systems.
A push around WWI in the US tried to make the teaching of evolution, especially in elementary schools, illegal.Despite the later development of creationism, the push was by William Jennings Bryan, a repeated losing Democratic Party candidate for president, and a non-Marxist leftist. What Jennings objected to was eugenics and Social Darwinism, and he was too ignorant of science to be able to distinguish those themes from biology in general.
As the left still wants indoctrination, they still use the same tactics of suppressing any discussion of the larger issue, as knowledge tends to get in the way of the political message.

Joe - the nonscientist
April 26, 2017 9:21 am

Creationism – should really be taught as one of the early scientific theories on the orgin of the universe and evolution.
Most all early societies and religions had some form of a story or theory on the creation of the world. Considering the level of scientific knowledge circa 6,000 – 2,000 BC, it is surprising how much of the learned minds of that era got right. Start with the big bang theory, creationism got that right except the earth and sun were in the wrong order. Creationism includes the theory of evolution, first starting with the creation of fish, small animals, and working through larger animals until the last day when god made man.
Ignore the anti religious bias and the literal interpretation.
If someone had come up with a simliar concept in 1,000 ad – 1700ad, they would have been considered an ultimate genius.

Chimp
Reply to  Joe - the nonscientist
April 26, 2017 1:57 pm

Genesis got nothing right, not just making the earth before the sun. The order of appearance of plants and animals is also wrong in both of the two creation myths in Genesis 1 & 2, which are irreconcilably contradictory. The two stories are wrong in different ways. The second really blows it by having man made first, then plants, then animals, then woman.
But you are correct that evolution can easily be read into the first myth, much more so than modern astronomy, geology, meteorology or any other science can be interpreted out of the Bible.
And the special creation of species lasted a surprisingly long time as a serious explanation for what was called in the early 19th century “development”, the obvious change in species from older geological layers to younger. Darwin’s own geology mentor, Sedgwick, an Anglican priest, advocated serial creation. Before his voyage on Beagle, Darwin traipsed over Wales working out for Sedgwick the geologic formations which came to be labelled with Welsh names the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian Periods.

Joe - the nonscientist
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 2:01 pm

Chimp – you are letting anti-religious bias creep in. Of course, there are errors in the theory, virtually no theory survices the first couple of drafts. Bear in mind, the theory of creation in the bible was developed circa 2,000BC when the overall scientific knowledge was quite limited. Given the knowledge circa 2,000Bc, they got a lot right. You might say they guessed right on many of the basic concepts. Try to not get hung up on various specifics out of order.

Chimp
Reply to  Joe - the nonscientist
April 26, 2017 2:05 pm

Joe,
My first reply got lost in cyberspace again. If it should reenter our spacetime continuum, please forgive the double posting.
Genesis got nothing right, not just making the earth and day and night before the sun. Saying “Let there be light” is not the same as the Big Bang. There were already waters for the spirit to move over before the light. To be accurate, the story would have to have said that before God started the expansion, everything was concentrated in a space smaller than the smallest mustard seed, or some such language comprehensible to people of 3000 years ago.
The order of appearance of plants and animals is also wrong in both of the two creation myths in Genesis 1 & 2, which are irreconcilably contradictory. The two stories are wrong in different ways. The second really blows it by having man made first, then plants, then animals, then woman.
But you are correct that evolution can easily be read into the first myth, much more so than modern astronomy, geology, meteorology or any other science can be interpreted out of the Bible. You’re also right that myths and legends are what pre-scientific people had in lieu of science, which began around 600 BC in Greece, and with astronomical observations in various regions before that.
And the special creation of species lasted a surprisingly long time as a serious explanation for what was called in the early 19th century “development”, the obvious change in species from older geological layers to younger. Darwin’s own geology mentor, Sedgwick, an Anglican priest, advocated serial creation. Before his voyage on Beagle, Darwin traipsed over Wales working out for Sedgwick the geologic formations which came to be labelled with Welsh names the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian Periods.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 1:19 pm

Chimp, you are reading it in English. In order to understand it you need it to read it in the original Hebrew. What many people do not understand is that there are about 3,000 words in Hebrew and over a half a million in English. The Hebrew word for day (yom, I believe) can have multiple meanings depending on the context. Watch the following video for a good explanation, or better yet, read the book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSq4KLjMSlI

Chimp
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 1:27 pm

Mike,
The Hebrew word for “day” has the same range of connotations as it does in English. But even if, as the Bible says, a day is to the Lord as a thousand years to us, that still leaves only 6000 normal years for God to poof everything into existence before taking a breather for another millennium.
It also doesn’t explain how the earth, day and night and plants could exist before the sun, for example.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 2:24 pm

The Hebrew word for day can mean1) part of the daylight hours, 2) all of the daylight hours, 3) a 24 hour day or 4) a long but finite period of time. Again you are reading it to literally. Context is very important. I am not a biblical scholar but I know people who are. This video explains it very well. Watch it if you dare.

gnomish
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 2:43 pm

oh, chimp –
you have to read it in sanskrit!
the ineffable is way more effable and impressive when it comes straight from the lips of a medieval goat herder.
wuwt had become infested with mystics and worse- people who can’t distinguish between supernatural and rational.
and also people who type ‘per say’ … one of the lower rungs of hell is reserved for that..
the lowest rung is reserved for those who think they will go there if they don’t believe…lol
what a lot of mystics infest wuwt these days, eh?
yeah, i’m just trolling. all a mystic is really good for is wringing out the schadenfreude.
there is no other reasonable way to deal with the insane

Chimp
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Mike,
The Day-Age excuse is old as the hills and has only gotten more ludicrous with time. The only daring involved is the shamelessness of people purporting to be scientists who spread this errant drivel.
Even if you make each “day” last over seven hundred million years, you can’t make Genesis comport to reality. Please explain how plants came to exist before the sun. How about day and night without the sun?
It is to laugh.
Gnomish,
Mysticism has its place as a way of knowing. What doesn’t have a place is confusing science with religious belief. They are two separate categories. There is no science anywhere in the Bible, nor does any book in any version of it make the claim that there is. It’s an entirely pre-scientific collection of often redundant ancient story-telling, a mix of myth, legend, fiction and spun history.
I’ve generally found that fundamentalist rarely have actually read the Bible to find out what it really says, if they’re read it at all rather than just swallowing hook, line and sinker the lies that professional liars tell about it.

gnomish
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 3:00 pm

nope.
this is your pons asinorum
anything true can be proven.
popper was a mystic.
my mistake- i thought you weren’t.
now i know.

Chimp
Reply to  Joe - the nonscientist
April 26, 2017 2:37 pm

Joe,
My first and second replies got lost in cyberspace again. If they should ever reenter our spacetime continuum, please forgive the triple posting. This will be my last attmept.
Genesis got nothing right, not just making the earth and day and night before the sun. Saying “Let there be light” is not the same as the Big Bang. There were already waters for the spirit to move over before the light. To be accurate, the story would have to have said that before God started the expansion, everything was concentrated in a space smaller than the smallest mustard seed, or some such language comprehensible to people of 3000 years ago.
The order of appearance of plants and animals is also wrong in both of the two creation myths in Genesis 1 & 2, which are irreconcilably contradictory. The two stories are wrong in different ways. The second really blows it by having man made first, then plants, then animals, then woman.
But you are correct that evolution can easily be read into the first myth, much more so than modern astronomy, geology, meteorology or any other science can be interpreted out of the Bible. You’re also right that myths and legends are what pre-scientific people had in lieu of science, which began around 600 BC in Greece, and with astronomical observations in various regions before that.

Sheri
Reply to  Joe - the nonscientist
April 26, 2017 5:29 pm

That’s an interesting idea. I like it. Kind of a teaching of natural history, as religion reigned and was then superceded by science. Discuss the pros and cons of both positions type exercise.

joe
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Sheri – Most all ancient societies had some form of deities to explain what was beyond their scientific understanding. The greeks, romans, egyptians had multiple gods to explain the unknown. They used “religion” or “the Gods” to explain the unknown – essentially scientific theories. Basically, the story of creation in Genesis was an early scientific theory on the creation of the universe and evolution.

Sheri
Reply to  Sheri
April 27, 2017 9:22 am

Joe—I doubt some people would appreciate having the story of creation in Genesis called a “theory”. Again, people label things to suit their world view, irrespective of the reality of that view. Does it bother you when people call evolution “just a theory”?

Joe - the nonscientist
Reply to  Sheri
April 27, 2017 1:53 pm

Sheri – “I doubt some people would appreciate having the story of creation in Genesis called a “theory”. ”
I think on the religious zealots and the anti religious zealots dislike the characterization of the story. Those that are willing to step back from their religious biases, should be able to recognize genesis as early theory for both the big bang and evolution.
Again, people label things to suit their world view, irrespective of the reality of that view. Does it bother you when people call evolution “just a theory”?
No it doesnt bother me. Evolution, while parts remain a theory, there are a lot of confirmed links between species, a lot of unexplained gaps, a lot of unknowns, but there have a lot of confirmed links,

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 27, 2017 2:35 pm

Joe,
Except that neither myth in the first two chapters of Genesis bears any relationship whatsoever to the Big Bang Theory or the fact of evolution. As I said, however, it’s easier to read evolution into the words of Genesis 1 than it is to find any semblance of modern astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology or any other scientific discipline in the Bible, which is from start to finish a flat earth text, complete with talking animals, rabbits chewing cud, stars falling to earth, the sun racing across the sky, then returning to the place of his rising and God walking on the solid dome of heaven, operating the levers of the storehouses of rain, snow and hail.
The Mesopotamian myths from which those stories derive were indeed however what the ancient Near East had instead of science. The problem was that by the time of the New Testament, pagan Greek and Roman science had advanced, but even in the NT the earth remains flat. This created problems for attracting converts, so Augustine argued that the propagation of the faith was more important than maintaining the biblical flat earth, as had his Early Church Father predecessors.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 7:51 pm

So sad, so much hate. I actually think you are making up all up. I have given you links to refute what you are saying about Genesis and science, but if is obvious your worldview will not allow you to see the truth.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 27, 2017 2:39 pm

Heliocentrism, universal gravitation, atomic matter, disease germs, relativity and quantum mechanics also remain theories, in just the same way as evolution. That is, they are bodies of theory attempting to explain observations. In the case of the theory of evolution, it’s the fact of evolution. The theory of universal gravitation has the same semantic ambiguity, as do the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. The facts, ie observation, to be explained and the explanations use the same word, ie gravity, evolution, relativity and quantum.
Evolution is much better understood than is gravity.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 27, 2017 7:58 pm

Mike Graebner April 27, 2017 at 7:51 pm
You gave me nothing. As I told you, the Day-Age excuse is ancient and ludicrous. It refutes nothing. Linking to professional liars is not evidence of anything.
Now please do as I ask and explain how, in your alternate universe, plants managed to exist without the sun, and how day and night happen without the sun.
The hatred is all on the fundamentalist side. You hate not only the truth but anyone who points it out to you. You don’t even have a clue about the theology of your own ostensible religion.
It’s pointless to try to educate those who refuse to see, than whom no one is more blind.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 8:44 pm

Plants did not exist before the sun.It refers to the atmosphere becoming more transparent over time. Hey i tried. You have your worldview and really will not intrude . You discount the links I gave you, Hugh Ross is an astronomer BTW. John Lennox is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. he has debated Dawkins and because of John Lennox, Dawkins will not debate anymore. Got tired of losing I guess.

Janice Moore
April 26, 2017 9:22 am

The 97% lie has been soundly and repeatedly refuted:
1.

“From the Hockey Schtick: ‘The 97% “Consensus” is only 76 Self-Selected Climatologists — … close examination of the source of the claimed 97% consensus reveals that it comes from a non-peer reviewed article describing an online poll in which a total of only 79 climate scientists chose to participate. Of the 79 self-selected climate scientists, 76 agreed with the notion of AGW. … ‘“

(http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/02/scientific-consensus-on-global-warming-sample-size-79/
2.
galileonardo: “I just wrote about this at The Guardian the other day: … {link}

I hear the 97% figure thrown around a lot, … I dug a bit and found the one-page report that was published in Eos January … .
Here are the two relevant questions that were asked in the survey:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

Here are the results:

In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97. 4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2. ….

The first question is irrelevant. We have been rebounding from the Little Ice Age for over 200 years! …,
{Re:] the second question …. Why do you think it was phrased in that manner? Why didn’t they use a less ambiguous statement more in line with the IPCC consensus claims? How does one quantify a ‘significant contributing factor?’ ….”
(http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/02/scientific-consensus-on-global-warming-sample-size-79/#comment-446148 )

3.

The following is a list of 97 articles that refute Cook’s … 97% consensus study: … [list]
Compiled by populartechnology.net and reproduced here with permission.”

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/19/97-articles-refuting-the-97-consensus-on-global-warming/ )

stan stendera
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 26, 2017 11:03 am

notrickszone has a list of two thousand peer reviewed papers from the last TWO years which refute the CO2 caused global warming nonsense.

Janice Moore
Reply to  stan stendera
April 26, 2017 12:11 pm

Pierre Gosselin’s site is, indeed a good one, Stan! 🙂 (hope all is well with you)
Here is the page for articles from 2016 (there are hundreds more, for prior years — see No Tricks Zone):

…. in 2016 alone, 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in scholarly journals seriously question just how settled the “consensus” science really is that says anthropogenic or CO2 forcing now dominates weather and climate changes …..

( http://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2016/#sthash.Y1YArMEI.dpbs )

Mark Lee
April 26, 2017 9:24 am

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle…on a lot of topics. With regards to climate science, yes humans are responsible for an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. However, that doesn’t mean CO2 has caused temperatures to rise, or that a rise in temperature has been caused by humans, etc. There is a big gap there.
I believe that God created the universe and the earth, and the life thereon. However, I don’t believe that it was done a few thousand years ago and I don’t have a problem that his creation can evolve and change. Pure evolutionists have to make some mighty leaps to explain a lot of things from a purely accidental and evolutionary framework. Just as creationists do when they contend that dinosaurs didn’t exist, or died off a couple thousand years ago, or fossils were planted by Satan to deceive. There is room to offer both, though creationism that adheres to a particular religion should not be taught. As a theory that a creator (unspecified) is the logical (not scientific) answer to highly complex organisms and the complexities of the universe, creationism is acceptable as a possibility. At this point, it can’t be proven. Neither can the theory of evolution (not scientifically). It also depends on logic and showing a fossil progression. There is nothing wrong with saying there are things we don’t know and still try to establish a framework that explains what we observe. The fact that our theories regarding the origin of the universe, black holes, dark matter and energy, etc. are changing on a regular basis is exhilarating. It means we haven’t stopped thinking, exploring and challenging old concepts. Science is never “settled”, or it isn’t science.

Sheri
Reply to  Mark Lee
April 26, 2017 9:47 am

I agree. Evolution cannot ever be proven, other than “things change”. That’s not something most biologists accept and generally results in individuals calling the speaker a “creationist” or a “religious nut”. Just as in climate science, ridicule and name-calling is common. It’s nearly impossible to have an actual discussion on the short-comings. I have no desire to remove all teaching of evolution from science, only to be honest about the short-comings and limits thereof. Just as skeptics demand from climate science. As you say, science is never settled.

MarkW
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 10:53 am

I’ve always found it fascinating how some evolutionists get angry, almost to the point of violence when I bring up the possibility that evolution might have been guided rather than pure, 100% random chance.
The truth is, neither can be proven.
It doesn’t bother me that they don’t believe in a God, why should they get all bent out of shape when they learn that I do?

rwoollaston
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 11:00 am

The point is that the theory of evolution is not a belief system – it is a theoretical framework developed by Darwin (and subsequently others) based on observation. No scientific theory can be completely provemn, as in order for it to be scientific it has, in principle, to be falsifiable. The theory of evolution and its elements is falsifiable – that is we can imagine observations which it cannot account for or which contradict it.

MarkW
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 11:50 am

Is the belief that all the mutations that bring about evolution are the result of random chance, falsifiable?

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 12:28 pm

The fact of evolution doesn’t need to be “proven”, which is not even a scientific concept. It has been repeatedly observed, makes falsifiable predictions which are confirmed over and over.
Please study a subject before presuming to comment upon it.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 12:34 pm

Mark,
As I keep pointing out, it’s unscientific to conjecture about possible divinely inspired mutations without presenting any evidence in support of that assertion. Of course you’re free to imagine that this has happened, but for it to be science, you need to show which mutations did in fact result from direct divine intervention in the development of life.
In science, the null hypothesis is that the processes we observe occur naturally, without divine intervention. That’s why we look for natural explanations. Thus it is not incumbent upon biologists to demonstrate that every mutation occurred naturally rather than supernaturally. It’s incumbent upon you to show that this or that mutation could not have happened naturally.
No one has ever been able to do that. Until that happens, then the unsupported conjecture of supernatural mutations will remain a religious belief, not science. No development in the history of the evolution of life on earth requires a supernatural explanation.

MarkW
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 1:06 pm

Chimp, in other words, you just assume on blind faith that God could not have been involved.
You ask me to prove what cannot be proven, at the same time relieving yourself of the same burden.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 1:44 pm

Mark,
No, I assume nothing on blind faith. You keep misunderstanding me.
I keep stating that there is no evidence for God’s being involved in the creation of new species or mutations. It’s possible (although highly unlikely), but a scientific hypothesis requires evidence. You have none. It’s just a religious belief on your part.
Why should I imagine a supernatural explanation for what is fully explained by entirely natural phenomena? There is no need. Not just the scientific method but even basic philosophy supports this view, as in Occam’s Razor.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 1:46 pm

MarkW April 26, 2017 at 11:50 am
There has never been an instance of an unexplained mutation requiring divine intervention, so the hypothesis that all mutations are natural, not supernatural, has never been falsified, but repeatedly confirmed.

Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 8:14 pm

Chimp- ” the processes we observe occur naturally, without divine intervention….”
The universe was created by God, making all natural processes products of divine intervention.
Science is part of the universe and by definition isn’t suitable to ascertain the cause of the universe. It can’t eat its own tail, sso to speak.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 8:23 pm

Philo,
It is your religious belief, shared by the majority of Americans, that the universe was created by God. However that’s not a scientific conclusion, since the God hypothesis can’t be shown false or confirmed by testing predictions made upon it. Hence, it is a faith-based belief rather than a scientific statement.
But, yes, so far science can’t conclude that God doesn’t exist and didn’t make the universe. Neither however is their evidence that He did. Some scientists have tried to falsify the God hypothesis, but so far their results aren’t persuasive.
Evolution might be God’s tool, but demonstrably it arises naturally from the processes of reproduction, without any sign of proximate or even ultimate intervention.

Janice Moore
April 26, 2017 9:26 am

Over 31,000 scientists say, “No” to AGW:
Oregon Petition Project

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

( http://www.oism.org/pproject/ )

rwoollaston
April 26, 2017 9:27 am

The battle is between belief and reason. The confrontation between Science and Religion was won by science when Darwin was confronted over his theory of evolutiuon by the established church and won. Belief systems cannot win against reason, ergo we need to teach kids how to think rather than a particular version of ‘the truth’ – there is no such thing as ‘the truth’ in science.
Belief systems lead to conflict, prejudice, dogma, intolerance and reduce prosperity.
The Western world needs to bravely characterise itself as pro-reason, and not retreat into belief systems, however politically convenient they may be.

Sheri
Reply to  rwoollaston
April 26, 2017 9:53 am

Evolution is a belief system in many ways. However, it may be your belief system so you want to characterize it as “science”, not a belief system.
(Isn’t Darwin “beating” the church an appeal to a legal outcome or authority? Darwin “won” a legal battle. Also, science and religion are two very different things so I’m not sure how one “wins” out over the other. Science can be a religion to many people. People with “conventional” religions can believe in science. The criteria for the beliefs, however, are very, very different.)

Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 10:27 am

If Charles Darwin’s original description “descent with modification” had been used, the model in biology would be rather more clear. What gets conflated with evolution is progressive tendencies over time, or the origins of life in general. Layered onto those is the tendency of some militant atheist to use biology as a preaching tool.
The issue is just how much the advocates can use politics, in other words, force, to shut up the other side. I will argue that creationists and CAGW advocates have both been guilty of trying to tell the other side to shut up or else.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 12:22 pm

Evolution is not a belief system. It is a scientific fact, observed everywhere every day.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 12:26 pm

Tom,
Those who conflate evolution with abiogenesis have never studied either. Clearly, our schools failed them, or they chose willfully not to grasp the simple distinction between the origin of living things and their development after the origin.
Not that the origin of life is an intractable problem, as once thought. Hypotheses concerning the many ways in which it might have happened on earth are currently being tested.

Sheri
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 5:39 pm

Chimp: Progressive changes are observed, based on various factors. So, please tell me which animals will go extinct in the next 50 years. The theory should tell you how to answer that if it’s scientific.

MarkW
Reply to  rwoollaston
April 26, 2017 10:55 am

Religion doesn’t believe in reason?
Funny how ignorant those who know nothing about religion are.

rwoollaston
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 11:04 am

A very broad statement. Some religions do accept reason, others don’t. Religious belief, spirituality and the like are essentially personal questions rather that attempts to explain the universe objectively. They depend on faith. This is not wrong, it is just not scientific. I know several scientists who are also deeply religious – but their beliefs do not affect their science.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 11:51 am

“A very broad statement. ”
As was the comment I was responding to.

Chimp
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 12:22 pm

There is reason involved in some religions, but it is applied to beliefs not supported by evidence but taken on faith.
Christianity has a large body of theological reasoning, some of it quite profound, but the rational analyses are of things unseen.

Bruce Russell
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 2:40 pm

Mark, isn’t it more productive to argue forward from the resurrection of Jesus to the New Creation? After all, if one believes that, isn’t easy that the world was created with apparent age, stars in place millions of light years away, etc?

Mike Graebner
Reply to  rwoollaston
April 27, 2017 6:18 am

did Darwin really win? “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?
[To William Graham 3 July 1881]”
― Charles Darwin

April 26, 2017 9:29 am

I think evolution is appropriate in schools and church/state issues push creationists doubts outside the school environment. In that area I am aligned with many that I don’t line up so well with on the issue of renewables. It seems to me on evolution no one try’s to shut down the dialogue outside of the public schools. In the area of climate and renewables it seems they want to shut down the dialogue everywhere.

MarkW
Reply to  aplanningengineer
April 26, 2017 10:57 am

Should we use government to require the teaching of things to children, that the parents disagree with?
If so, who gets to decide and how far do we take it?
If your answer boils down to we teach those things that I agree with, then you are no different than the creationists in that regard.

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 12:25 pm

That’s not my take, you’ve put words in my mouth. The only reference I made to what should be taught in school was to include evolution and exclude items driven by creationism (a religious ideology). Some misconstrue secular as some kind of awe full word, but in its proper understanding I say schools should limit themselves to secular subjects . Evolution has a long place in science and is overwhelmingly accepted by our major universities and a powerful theory and perspective.
While I have my doubts about the quality of climate science in our universities-I do not argue against teaching climate or advocate that parts of the curriculum should refer to the questions raised by so called “deniers”. Schools should try to teach our best collective understandings. I do wish it was not so proselytizing. If schools touch on renewables-i wish they would get informations from non-ideologues.
You will find parents who disagree with most everything. Vaccines, round earth, birth control, history…

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 12:29 pm

To make it clear-I think schools should teach our best public understandings, but I don’t always agree with our best public understandings.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 1:07 pm

Who gets to determine what this “best understanding” is?
Once you decide that it is the role of the government to decide what is and isn’t proper to teach, you open the door to all of the rest, regardless of whether that is your intent or not.

Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 1:46 pm

Are you serious? Certainly the “government” must make those sorts of calls. People are elected, make appointments and exercise oversight. They are not free to be dictators but within parameters they exercise judgement. Curriculums are developed. Their are balance like courts and constitution. Been going on a long time. Otherwise what?

Sheri
Reply to  MarkW
April 26, 2017 5:48 pm

aplanningengineer: Suppose the elected party is Muslim and wants only Muslim doctrine taught. Suppose the Democrats are running the show and only want global warming taught. Suppose Wiccans are elected and only want their beliefs taught. Yes, it has been going on for a long time, but that doesn’t make it the best choice anymore than a 97% consensus makes global warming true. As David Middleton says, teach scientific method. It won’t please everyone. That’s a case of allowing private and home schools. That worked for many years before the government took over all education. The US started with small, local schools.

Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2017 4:42 am

Sheri-if you think small town America didn’t teach religion when it was just small local schools you are very naive. They continued to do so for some as and after the “guvmemt” took over. My junior high principal was quoted in the local paper saying “nine old men in black robes are not going to tell me how to run my schools”. The same courts that limit (your?) Christian beliefs from being imposed also should work to limit majority Muslim and Wiccan beliefs being imposed where they attain majorities. It’s not just the scientific method as if anything could be that simple, Was the “new deal” helpful or harmful? Who are characterized as aggressors in the wars? …. Politics will impact curriculum and majorities will impact influence. Appeals to standards you think are objective based on how you see it (but actually there is a lot of variance). is not a standard that has ever been successfully implemented or ever will be,

Sheri
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2017 9:30 am

aplanning: YOU are the person inserting the idea that local schools did not teach religion. My comment was local schools can teach what they want. That worked for many years before the government took over all education/propaganda. Local areas chose what they wanted taught, not a Federal Government. It’s a state’s right/individual freedom case. Religious areas can teach religion. It’s THEIR choice—they pay for the schools and hire the teachers. The federal government needs to stay out. It’s how America began and it worked fine.

Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2017 1:40 pm

Sheri- If you are a serious federalist – I can respect that. If you feel the same way about a 60% Christian majority pushing their ideas on the other 40% that you do for 60% Muslim or Wiccan district, I’m not going to critique, criticize or suggest you change. I tend towards Favoring some national standards in the USA, but I see that there are benefits in local control and using different areas as experiments. I’d much rather live in an area where the schools are pushing our best common nonreligous ideas. But good luck to those who see it different and if we can learn from them all the better.
Now if you just favor Christianity but not the others – I get who you are and I’m done with this one.

Dave_G
April 26, 2017 9:31 am

If they simply taught ‘critical thinking using the facts’ then the students could make their OWN minds up on BOTH subjects. But lower school tends to teach by rote rather than thought. It’s how ALL religions get a hold of the young.

April 26, 2017 9:33 am

My kids went to a religious school. They were taught creationism and evolution side by side. They learned about the pros and cons of each. Importanlty, they learned that both are not true science. And that belief in one or the another really does not impact the march of science. They also know both theories better than any public school kid.

Sheri
Reply to  klimisch
April 26, 2017 9:54 am

That’s good to hear. Teaching the pros and cons of each.

nn
Reply to  klimisch
April 26, 2017 10:03 am

That’s a proper perspective: separation of logical domains. Each theory of creationism has its value, separately, and together. The conflict is not in the chaotic process (e.g. human life from conception to death), where intimate knowledge and experience establish our frame of reference; but in the theory of origin. Divine creationists attribute origin to an extra-universal source, while evolutionary creationists attribute it to spontaneous conception (e.g. legerdemain, viability).

Mark Lee
Reply to  klimisch
April 26, 2017 11:24 am

Excellent. Teach theories, explain that a theory isn’t a proven fact, it is an argument and explanation that seeks to rationally organize evidence and make sense of it. Allowing “creationism” or “intelligent design” without a religious component offers a competing theory and emphasizes that the science isn’t settled. It is still being explored. Teach the theory. Teach the supports for those theories. Let the student decide which one makes the most sense, or an amalgam between the two. We know that a particular species can deviate into separate lines that become too far apart to breed, or in some cases, still can. I believe it was on this site a couple of days ago that there was an article finding that polar bears interbred with brown/grizzly bears, and that those bears interbred with other bear species such that polar bear DNA found its way to bear species that had no contact with polar bears. We know that horses and donkeys can breed and the offspring is a mule. In most cases, horses and donkeys are too far apart for the mule to be fertile, but in rare examples, there have been fertile mules. These two examples argue the veracity of evolution. On the other hand, there are very complex organs, limbs, etc. that are non-functional and actually a detriment to the animal until their developed state is achieved. The proposed evolutionary pathway requires that the organ develop over a long period of time, acquiring beneficial mutations that simply progress the development, but don’t do anything in the interim and somehow, over thousands and millions of years, eventually a functional, useful organ results. Creation/Intelligent Design would say that the animal was created with the functional organ, or that it’s development was done with purpose, the way we breed dogs, plants, etc. with the characteristics and functions we desire.

Chimp
Reply to  Mark Lee
April 26, 2017 12:17 pm

Creationism/ID are not scientific theories or hypotheses, hence cannot be taught in public schools. The only new idea in ID was “irreducible complexity”, which is an anti-scientific concept, since it says it’s impossible to figure out a structure evolved. No more anti-scientific attitude is possible than to throw up your arms and declare, “There’s no way I can explain that observation!”
Behe’s example was bacterial flagella. The first time I saw one under a microscope, I laughed out because it looked so machine-like. Yet instead of trying to understand how it evolved, so that we could use that information to develop new antibacterial drugs against the numerous flagellated pathogens, Behe said, “Aha! Proof of ID!”
Sadly for him, real scientists have since worked out how bacterial flagella did evolve. Another “proof” gone “poof”!
Under cross-examination at the Dover trial, even Behe, who hatched the ID scheme to get around the constitution, had to admit that evolution is a fact.

Sheri
Reply to  Mark Lee
April 26, 2017 5:52 pm

Chimp: Climate change is THE current theory. It’s scientific according to many, many people. Therefore, it should be taught and no others. According to the government until the current administration, all theories opposing it were NOT scientific and many still feel that way.

Chimp
Reply to  Mark Lee
April 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Sheri,
Although a court let stand the false EPA finding that CO2 is a pollutant, no US court has ever found that CACA is science and climate skepticism isn’t. Too many scientists would object.
But every federal court ruling on creationism has rightly found it not to be science, hence it’s unconstitutional to teach it as science rather than religion.

Chimp
Reply to  klimisch
April 26, 2017 12:20 pm

Then they weren’t taught science and you should sue for your money back
There are no pros for creationism. It is not science, since not based upon facts, ie observations, upon which hypotheses are formed and tested by predictions subject to being shown false.
Evolution is scientific fact. Creationism is a religious belief based upon nothing but blind faith, without a single shred of supporting fact.

Sheri
Reply to  Chimp
April 26, 2017 5:52 pm

So is global warming caused by humans according to many, many people.

Mike Graebner
Reply to  Chimp
April 27, 2017 6:27 am

really! Tell that to Francis Collins. At Reasons to Believe (reasons.org) they have a testable creation model. also see lecture by Dr. John Lennox, professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyc_MyjLDks

TA
Reply to  klimisch
April 26, 2017 12:39 pm

“My kids went to a religious school. They were taught creationism and evolution side by side.”
That’s the way I would do it. Give everyone all the information available and allow them to make up their own minds about things.
A debate like this one here on WUWT would be a good example of giving all sides of the story. The truth will set us free, if we can figure out what the truth is, and we will be farther along the path to doing that by absorbing all the information available from all sides.

Hats off...
April 26, 2017 9:36 am

Why should pupils be forced to learn any hypotheses? I have always thought a good teacher teaches pupils how to learn for themselves: to give them the basic tools, provide the motivation and let the students build their own store of knowledge and experience. I guess I’m dreaming again.

TonyL
Reply to  Hats off...
April 26, 2017 10:30 am

You are dreaming. Wake Up!
Education as a voyage of discovery is a metaphor, not a teaching technique.
If we have our students “discovering” everything, once every few hundred years one of them will discover calculus. With calculus in hand, the orbital motion of the planets will soon be discovered.
Better, I think, to set forth the knowledge and have the kids learn it. Saves time.
As an aside:
In the US, a popular education theory developed in the 1980s, was the idea that the kids “discover” the knowledge. The kids would teach themselves and each other. (the Student Workgroup concept) As far as I could see, it was a dodge to hide the fact that new teachers coming out of the university Education programs did not know a damn thing.
US History: Could not tell you who fought in the Civil War, much less who won.
Geography: Could not identify Canada and Mexico as US neighbors, even with a map.
Math: YouGottaBeKiddingMe.
Science: Dirty Word, Foul Language.

commieBob
April 26, 2017 9:36 am

… actively publishing, accredited climate scientists …

Generally speaking, the longer your title is, the less important you are in an organization.
In this case, the more modifiers they have to apply, the weaker their case.

dmacleo
April 26, 2017 9:39 am

usually creationism teaching has as much time spent teaching evolution.
both are theories.
mans role (full blame) in climate change is not offset by other teachings.
so far.

Sheri
Reply to  dmacleo
April 26, 2017 9:56 am

Isn’t climate change a theory?

Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 10:03 am

Climate change is an observation.
Anthropogenic climate change is a weak hypothesis.
Catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is a falsified hypothesis.

Michael Darby
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:09 pm

Catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is a strawman and not a part of science. There is no “catastropic” in the scientific literature. There is no “catastrophic” in AGW. The strawman was constructed such that it can be knocked down (falsified.)

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:14 pm

Michael Darby April 26, 2017 at 7:09 pm
Wrong,
It should be obvious that if AGW is beneficial, as Arrhenius and Callendar believed, then there is no reason to shut down industrial society to combat it.
Obama called it “dangerous”. Hansen speaks of the “Venus Express” and oceans boiling.
Where have you been? Don’t you read what alarmists write and say?

Michael Darby
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:19 pm

Chimp, show me in the scientific literature where exactly the “catastrophic” is demonstrated. Obama wasn’t a scientist, so please don’t bring him up. Please post a link to a published study of the “catastrophe” you are talking about.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:23 pm

I already gave you Hansen. What more could you possibly want?
Try reading his book. Nothing but catastrophism of the most overheated kind.

Chimp
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:26 pm

Or don’t read his book. Instead, how about these “studies” from just last year which also claim catastrophic effects from man-made global warming:
http://fortune.com/2016/03/22/james-hansen-study-global-warming/

Michael Darby
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Hey Chimp, thanks for the link to “Fortune.” Now, if you went to the actual paper ( http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/ ) that the Fortune article was referencing, you would see the title the words ” could be dangerous ”

..
Now, if you read the abstract for that paper, outside of the title, there is no mention of “catastrophe” nor is there any mention of “danger.” You need something better Chimp….because that paper is pretty dry, lays out what the model runs show.

Here’s the abstract:
..
“Abstract. We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth’s energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean’s surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration. We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10–40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response. The feedbacks, including subsurface ocean warming, help explain paleoclimate data and point to a dominant Southern Ocean role in controlling atmospheric CO2, which in turn exercised tight control on global temperature and sea level. The millennial (500–2000-year) timescale of deep-ocean ventilation affects the timescale for natural CO2 change and thus the timescale for paleo-global climate, ice sheet, and sea level changes, but this paleo-millennial timescale should not be misinterpreted as the timescale for ice sheet response to a rapid, large, human-made climate forcing. These climate feedbacks aid interpretation of events late in the prior interglacial, when sea level rose to +6–9 m with evidence of extreme storms while Earth was less than 1 °C warmer than today. Ice melt cooling of the North Atlantic and Southern oceans increases atmospheric temperature gradients, eddy kinetic energy and baroclinicity, thus driving more powerful storms. The modeling, paleoclimate evidence, and ongoing observations together imply that 2 °C global warming above the preindustrial level could be dangerous. Continued high fossil fuel emissions this century are predicted to yield (1) cooling of the Southern Ocean, especially in the Western Hemisphere; (2) slowing of the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, warming of the ice shelves, and growing ice sheet mass loss; (3) slowdown and eventual shutdown of the Atlantic overturning circulation with cooling of the North Atlantic region; (4) increasingly powerful storms; and (5) nonlinearly growing sea level rise, reaching several meters over a timescale of 50–150 years. These predictions, especially the cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic with markedly reduced warming or even cooling in Europe, differ fundamentally from existing climate change assessments. We discuss observations and modeling studies needed to refute or clarify these assertions.”
.
.
.
I don’t see where they assert anything that resembles “danger” or “catastrophe.” Looks to me like you got sucked in by the interpretation of the results of the study by the journalist at Fortune.

Michael Darby
Reply to  Sheri
April 26, 2017 7:50 pm

In other words Chimp….. COULD BE is different than IS