Dave’s Strange and Unusual World

May 1, 2008

So, You Say You Want An Evolution?

Filed under: Politics — dangrdave @ 9:37 pm

Well, well, well. According to Fox News, it appears as though Florida, Michigan, Louisiana, Alabama and Missouri are debating “academic freedom” bills that call for “‘critical analyses of evolution.” Evolutionary pundits, of course, are in no wise pleased with these bills and are labeling them attempts to bring religion into the classroom…even though they merely call for the theory of evolution to receive its due scrutiny.

And, in a blatant attempt to promote free thinking and discussion, Alabama and Michigan, according to the same article, actually passed “non-harassment” bills to protect students and teachers who question or challenge the ideas of evolution. Now, it seems a bit funny to me that there needs to be a bill to protect free thought and discussion, especially concerning this particular issue, because I seem to remember the media and others stating that there was no movement afoot to stifle dissenting ideas.

I, for one, am glad that people are beginning to question things like evolution and global warming. Now, before I get shot down, I would like to state that I believe that anything worth its weight needs to be thoroughly scrutinized. If there is validity in evolution or global warming, then this scrutiny should help to bring it out that validity; however, there exists the possibility that we may find, upon close examination, flaws. Rest assured, by opening up the debate we will benefit science and ourselves by separating the fact from the fiction.

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6 Comments »

  1. The Arizona legislature is looking at a bill that would ban “un-American” teaching. Now I never taught another system as being better than that of America, I believe only through accepting all ideas do we truly progress as a species. Teaching the beauties of a free market system is impossible without compare and contrast to a centrally planned economic system. I’d rather have our government looking at bills that make bright line distinctions and leave the slippery slope legislation to states and municipalities.

    “The sum of human wisdom is not contained in any one language.”
    -Ezra Pound

    Comment by unastronaut. — May 1, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

  2. It is a backdoor for inserting creationism into public schools. If there were no votes to be had in Sunday School, this would not be happening.

    Comment by Stacy — May 2, 2008 @ 4:17 am

  3. I have nothing against evolution being held under a critical light. It should well be examined with an eye towards discerning whether the theory has the evidence it needs to withstand scrutiny.

    However, that has *absolutely nothing* to do with intelligent design, or creationism. If it turns out that evolution of the human species from elsewhere was impossible, it does NOT lend credence to either hypothesis, and they still do not belong in a serious scientific debate.

    Nice try, though.

    Comment by Ghosty — May 2, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  4. Great blog, Dave. It all has to start somewhere…and that’s well worth the investigation and speculation, especially in education. (Evolution over the species — I mean, come on…if that’s the case, why are the monkeys not still evolving?) I’ve given my speculation over to faith, which every believing person has to do eventually, no matter what you believe in…you’ll have faith in something. And, in saying that, a lot of it comes back to the question, “Do you believe in absolute truth?” Which, I do. The Bible represents that truth… So, in spending so much time and energy trying to figure out where we came from (all of the readers), I challenge you also to consider where you are going, after this life ends. If there is life after death, what kind of gamble are you making by not believing Jesus is the way (not a way), the truth, and the life? Great food for thought…especially since it affects an eternity, your eternity.

    Comment by Amber — May 2, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  5. Dave, do you ever get your news from somewhere other than Fox News? I don’t trust most “news” from them since they feature car chases and other sensationalist stories while burying actual news.. well, unless it’s anti-Democrat and then they’ll feature that. It helps your credibility as a blogger if you quote reputable news sources or at least provide 1 in addition to your beloved Fox. As for the actual subject I have no problem with anyone questioning evolution. The problem is there is no way to question the “alternative” option of creationism that these laws are actually trying to push. Evolution is based on science which you can question. Creationism is based on faith which there is no way to question (other than by challenging someone to look for proof before choosing to believe in something of course).

    @Amber: “…which every believing person has to do eventually, no matter what you believe in…you’ll have faith in something.”

    Maybe true for you, but that’s not true for everyone. Some of us chose to believe in facts and things we can prove. Faith is believing in something that you have absolutely no reason to believe in and no way to prove and some of us demand actual proof first. What’s sadly ironic to me is that Christians will believe in God, heaven, hell, sin, etc. all on faith with no evidence, but when presented with scientific evidence of evolution, global warming or anything that contradicts their unfounded beliefs, they refuse to believe it.

    Comment by Thomas — May 2, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

  6. “Now, it seems a bit funny to me that there needs to be a bill to protect free thought and discussion, especially concerning this particular issue, because I seem to remember the media and others stating that there was no movement afoot to stifle dissenting ideas.”

    It seems a bit funny to you because it’s not true. You are perfectly free to pretend that science is lit crit, with “arguments” and “critiques” and beard-stroking, while I am free to point out that science is about generating new knowledge by testing hypotheses, but no one in the entire ID movement has ever done such a thing by testing an ID hypothesis. Apparently they lack sufficient faith to do so.

    “I, for one, am glad that people are beginning to question things like evolution and global warming.”

    Both are jokes unless the questioners generate new evidence instead of bloviating.

    “Now, before I get shot down, I would like to state that I believe that anything worth its weight needs to be thoroughly scrutinized.”

    But science isn’t about scrutinizing anything but your OWN hypothesis. You scrutinize it so that you can devise empirical tests for its predictions (here my hypothesis predicts that you’ll ignore “empirical”). Whaddaya got, Dave?

    “If there is validity in evolution or global warming, then this scrutiny should help to bring it out that validity;…”

    No, Dave, it’s about the evidence. In each case, one side produces new evidence, while the other produces nothing but hot air.

    “… however, there exists the possibility that we may find, upon close examination, flaws.”

    In real science, we don’t progress by scrutinizing for alleged flaws. We simply produce new evidence.

    “Rest assured, by opening up the debate we will benefit science and ourselves by separating the fact from the fiction.*”

    No, Dave, scientific debates aren’t the high-school debate team. We settle things with new evidence. Got any?

    Comment by john — May 2, 2008 @ 11:56 pm


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