'Year of Evolution' had genesis in culture war

  • Article by: JON HURDLE , New York Times
  • Updated: June 28, 2008 - 5:22 PM

The aim of Philadelphia's citywide event is to increase understanding of evolution and science, at a time when polls show most Americans believe God created man as he is.

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mark49Jun. 28, 08 6:44 PM

Darwin was a believer until his discovery of evolution. Anyone that doesn't see the contradictions between evolution and religion is ignorant. Religion is the refuge of those that allow temselves to be brainwashed. The demise of religion in intellectual circles will in time spread to the masses. It is good that Philly is doing something to enlighten those that refuse to break the spell of religion and ignorance.

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boogawoogaJun. 28, 08 7:48 PM

says--"Religion is the refuge of those that allow temselves to be brainwashed." I'm not sure brainwashing is the correct term. Most people were pulled 'into the fold' as children and had/have religion as part of their life structure. That's not brainwashing. Brainwashing is when you try to dillute or erase a person's previous knowledge and replace it with something else be it factual or false. With that, one can argue that science is "brainwashing" the faith communities. This is where science and relgion must part ways in order to be mutually succesfull. I believe that is what the court reasoned too. What bothers ME is that ADULTS in a world of incredible learning possibilities and collective knowledge being shared worldwide, are still unable to accept both the virtues of science as scientific and the virtues of religion as religious. It's this all or nothing attitude that's the cause of strife around this issue.

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kristianjlJun. 28, 08 8:20 PM

All the Christians I know have no problem reconciling evolution with their faith. But then we have a lower per capita of creationist whackos up here. Sorry to be a name-caller, but the truth is the truth. At least the Catholic church finally admitted the sun doesn't revolve around the earth like the Bible says. But they locked up Galileo for saying so. Found this little nugget in a Nov. 1, 1992 article from the NYTimes Vatican Science Panel Told By Pope: Galileo Was Right Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun. John Paul said the theologians who condemned Galileo did not recognize the formal distinction between the Bible and its interpretation. "This led them unduly to transpose into the realm of the doctrine of the faith, a question which in fact pertained to scientific investigation." Though the Pope acknowledged that the Church had done Galileo a wrong, he said the 17th-century theologians were working with the knowledge available to them at the time. END So there you have it... its the same with evolution. Its just that creationists are a little slower to admit they should not be in the science business.

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atomicfxJun. 28, 08 9:02 PM

Wow kristianjl! Your clear reasoning and insightful comments have convinced me! The Bible is mythology, God is dead, and evolution is true after all! Thanks for setting things straight!

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atomicfxJun. 28, 08 9:07 PM

"The intent of the event...is to increase public understanding of evolution and science in general at a time when polls show that A MAJORITY of Americans BELIEVE GOD CREATED MAN in his present form and that the number of people who accept the evolutionary model of human origins is DECLINING." They've been spoon-feeding us evolutionist garbage for our entire lives, and yet we "wackos" just keep on believing in God and the Bible - in even greater numbers than before! If it just doesn't put a smile on my face! ( :-) <- like that kinda)

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thcas915Jun. 28, 0810:17 PM

This theory doesn't fully stand up to the scientific method. I find it more difficult to believe that just simple by chance and by time that a male human being was formed as we know it today by sheer luck; and by coincedence, at the very same time (and in multiple instances I might add) a female was formed by premordial sludge-fish-salamander...human and that we were the ONLY creature to evolve into a highly inteligent, reasoning animal (don't know the last time I saw a dolphin erect a building). Wouldn't it stand to reason that somewhere along the pipeline of time that another creature would evolve with the same skill sets as humans. Let alone that a male and a female both evolved in order to propogate the species and that we are not all a-sexual creatures. I would think that type of coincedence would be astronomically impractical to believe. If evolution were possible than why haven't we witnessed some sort of evolutionary leap from another creature?

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gregladenJun. 28, 0811:08 PM

Thcas915: You do not need to believe that simple chance or luck formed a male human being as we know it, or any other form of life. That is not, in fact, what the "theory of evolution" claims. And no, it does not stand to reason that more than one creature would closely resemble any other one creature (including humans) in any way in particular. You arguments, like so many creationist arguments, are based on not really knowing about the topic of evolution. If we each argued against the veracity of each subject we knew very little about, we would spend all of our time making unfounded comments and little time learning new things and being productive.

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reconcile20Jun. 29, 0812:21 AM

Immunizations you receive for numerous illnesses are the direct result of evolutionary biological research. HIV, AIDS, the Flu. All examples of pathogens that evolve rapidly. Approximately 10% of human DNA is made up of endogynous retroviruses, without which we wouldn't be able to reproduce or survive. Creationists that reject evolutionary theory should at least strive to be consistent and reject the benefits of its applications. No immunizations, strong antibiotics, or gene therapies. Use only penicillin, which most malicious bacteria have long since grown to resist through evolved adaptation over generations and generations. To clarify the point about a single male and female creating the human species, the origin of Homo Sapien can be traced to a single female line 150,000 years ago, and a single male line 60,000 years ago when our species nearly died out.

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bobxxxxJun. 29, 08 2:22 AM

This is from the National Academy of Sciences: "Scientists no longer question the basic facts of evolution as a process. The concept has withstood extensive testing by tens of thousands of specialists in biology, medicine, anthropology, geology, chemistry, and other fields. Discoveries in different fields have reinforced one another, and evidence for evolution has continued to accumulate for 150 years." The creationists don't know what they're missing. The science of evolution is thousands of times more interesting than the idea that a magical sky fairy poofed creatures into existence. The New York Times article said "polls show that a majority of Americans believe God created man in his present form." The polls I have seen show that about half of Americans reject evolution, and most of the other half invoke God to guide evolution. Only about 14% of Americans accept evolution without invoking supernatural magic to explain it. In the scientific community the acceptance of evolution is virtually 100%, and they don't invoke God to guide it. If creationists made an honest effort to study evolution, they would no longer be creationists. The newer evidence from molecular biology is too powerful to deny. Perhaps the Christians could hide their god-of-the-gaps somewhere else. It's not necessary to invoke God to explain the diversity of life.

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complexfieldJun. 29, 08 6:38 AM

@thcas715: you wrote, "Wouldn't it stand to reason that somewhere along the pipeline of time that another creature would evolve with the same skill sets as humans. " That is not how it works. There are several examples of different human species co-inhabiting. One is the fact that homo habilis and homo erectus lived side-by-side. Yes, there is evidence. Look it up. They had nearly identical skill sets, but one out-competed the other. Another is the contemporaneous existence of neanderthal and cromagnon man. Again, they had nearly identical skill sets, but one out-competed the other. Eventually, if we live long enough, our species will diverge into two or more species with the same skill sets. One or more will out-compete the others. That is how it works.

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