Episode 3.09 - Beth, Jen and Tracie are joined by Surly Amy!
5 hours ago
In 2005, a Bush-appointed judge brought the “intelligent design” movement to a halt - yet another case lost by creationists. Decidedly not an activist judge, John Jones wrote, “(t)his case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on the (Dover, Pa.) school board.”
“ ... (P)roponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false ... that evolutionary theory is antithetical to ... religion.” On the contrary, “evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and ... it in no way conflicts with ... the existence of a divine creator.” (Google Kitzmiller v. Dover for the complete text.)
Unwilling to make themselves knowledgeable about why the board’s actions were unconstitutional, good Christians sent death threats instead. Turning Christian against Christian, Pat Robertson tells Dover: “If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city.”
Thoroughly contrived, fundamentalists maintain the debate by distortion and compulsory ignorance of what evolution is, or is not. And the Dover school district paid a huge price for it ($1 million). Yet, the ignorance doesn’t have to be.
One can begin with Humes’ “Monkey Girl,” a well-written overview of the Dover trial. But, additionally, this year is the 150th publication anniversary of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” and the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. The first edition of “Origin” is a great read.
I have read the Bible; you read “Origin.” If that is too intimidating, read Quammen’s “The Reluctant Mr. Darwin.” Even this month’s Scientific American is dedicated entirely to evolution: past, present and future.
Making one’s self better informed about the inanity of this endless debate - which has less to do with God than faulty ideology - may require some reading outside the box. But, after all, can more Dovers be the answer?
W. Bennington, Polson
Vrede wrote on Jan 9, 2009 9:00 AM:
" Darwinists argue that species evolve through the natural selection of populations with advantageous mutations.
Alternatively, creationists claim that some species could only have arisen through "intelligent design." This is the 'God is a Practical Joker Theory,' since she/he left so much evidence supporting natural evolution.
I agree that any opinion, no matter how lacking in evidence, should be presented in science classes. So, I demand that my own 'Theory of Stupid Design' be taught in our schools.
Evolution would never have led to the arrival of a species that destroys its own habitat, wrecks the climate and threatens mass extinction through nuclear irradiation. This contradicts evolution's tendency towards survival and would have already led to all species' elimination.
Further, "intelligent design" could not have resulted in humanity selecting as our leaders George Bush, Pat Robertson and some of the nation’s school boards. Nor could "intelligent design" have led to the most powerful nation on earth believing that, after 1,000 years of failure, a white, Christian occupation of Iraq would work this time.
It's just common sense to realize that our planetary situation could only arise if someone really dumb were calling the shots. It's too far-fetched to be an accident. "
Lucky wrote on Jan 9, 2009 9:24 AM:
" Nice try W., but you don't really expect the whackos to actually read books do you? As to your question "...can more Dovers be the answer?". It looks like the answer is a resounding Yes. Oklahoma is trying to pass the "Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act", designed to address "scientific controversies" like evolution and Mississippi wants another stupid textbook sticker. And of course there is also the Louisiana "Academic Freedom Act" which Bobby Jindal signed into law. So,I don't really see a lot of progress since Dover.
I would also add to your list "Evolution: What the Fossils Say & Why It Matters" by Don Prothero. To everybody else: Please gather all your friends, seek out and attend local Darwin Day (Feb. 12) events. At least try to get some facts before making stupid remarks. Vigilance! "
Mulligan wrote on Jan 9, 2009 4:55 PM:
" Amen, W. The "good" Christians don't practice what they preach very often. Instead of turning the other cheek, they'd rather kill those who disagree.
I like Vrede's Theory of Stupid Design, too. That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?
I'd add that people could Google Richard Dawkin's website and find out quite a bit about evolution science. "
Gene Johnson wrote on Jan 10, 2009 11:58 AM:
" Here's another easy-to-read thin book as an introduction: WHY DARWIN MATTERS: THE CASE AGAINST INTELLIGENT DESIGN by Michael Shermer (2006).
Lucky, I agree about getting more public awareness of the Feb 12 Darwin Day. In Oregon a skeptic group makes quite an educational day of it.
I would like to see several communities (certainly Polson) have monthly discussion get-togethers on this and related topics. And then occasional larger combined meetings for interested people. There are a lot of people in Montana who think like Mr. Bennington - but very few speak out or write letters. Too bad. By default, religion just goes on and on and on. Daniel Dennett's book, BREAKING THE SPELL, gives a compelling explanation of why religion sustains so well - great book...but not one theists would enjoy. It would make a fantastic "book club" discussion. Anyone interested? "
The Missoula Area Secular Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization fostering a community of atheists, secular humanists, agnostics, skeptics, and other non-theists in and around Missoula, Montana.