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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 26th 2013, 11:03 PM

Bill Nye (The Science Guy) once said; "Creationism is bad for children!" How does this statement make you feel? Do you agree, or disagree? Why or why not?

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 27th 2013, 12:21 AM

Define creationism


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 27th 2013, 01:26 AM

For the nature of my question: taking the Biblical account of creation in Genesis literally, as Nye clarified that was his definition of creationism.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 27th 2013, 12:37 PM

Hm... See, my problem with creationism is that there is just SO MUCH scientific evidence to suggest that the world didn't start with humans (dinosaurs) and there are factors of evolution (which creationism rejects) and all of that. It's the rejection of scientific evidence that I find frustrating when it comes to creationism and it doesn't take into account only the things that "actually" happened. Maybe God really did create the world a few billion years back, I don't even believe in God in that way but yeah... I believe that you need to factor in change and all that other sciency stuff creation.... I think that the idea of creationism doesn't necessarily need to be rejected, it was written to explain how the world was created before people knew the other stuff to explain stuff like how the world was around before humans existed and stuff although you'll get those people who refuse to believe it could possibly have been like that but this is more or less what I think and other people are free to their own opinions... So point is creationism was the beginning of the answer of "why is everything here and how did it get here" pretty much every religion has some kind of story about how things came to exist and I see nothing wrong with that... I think it's good to know about it... But I think people need to recognize that you can't take the Biblical accounts literally because it's obviously not literal, it's when people choose creationism over biology/chemistry/evolution etc that I'm like "no, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Don't get me wrong, I love religion (academically) and I do not reject other people's beliefs, it's just that i get frustrated by people who reject science as some how being "false" or "fake" because it isn't exactly in line with the Bible... I'm not even saying a God couldn't of created the world if a god exists at all, but it's just that the exact orgiins in the moment of creation are questionable at best and i prefer to rely on science because evolution and all that is just more "there"... I don't think that teaching kids about what creationism is vs. science and why people believe it, teach about different creation stories etc is NOT harmful, it never hurt anyone to know about it... It's when kids are taught to rely on it and logical scientific evidence is rejected as "heresay" that it's a problem




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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 27th 2013, 03:43 PM

Exactly. My personal opinion is that it is very wrong to teach creationism alongside science in schools, and it's very wrong for parents to teach their children literal creation eg; bats are birds, the moon creates it's own light, earth is only 6,000 years old, people and dinosaurs lived together, etc.

It's a very bad view, because we realize it's incorrect. Teaching people something incorrect as fact is very, very: stupid.

I'm not against the idea of "God". I find it very easy to believe that perhaps there is some greater force making the gears of the world turn. However, when "God" interferes with fact, when faith interferes with fact, it is "bad" and it is very harmful.

I'm against literal creation being taught to children, because they don't have the ability to distinguish fact from fiction, especially when the information is being presented in a certain way. More than anything, I think creation stories SHOULD be shared, because they're apart of cultural heritage, I don't believe they should be presented as factual, historical accounts of how we came to be, because they aren't.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 04:24 AM

Creationism is not bad for children. It may be bad for some children, but certainly not all. And that is up to the parents to decide, in my opinion. If the child believes that something else is correct, then let them decide that, even if it is later in their life.

On the account of evolution, this is what I wonder: why do us Christians reject evolution so blatantly? There are certainly things that could be used as evidence one way or another, such as how there are fossils and fossils of modern day animals in the Grand Canyon, supporting an idea of a Great Flood and rejecting evolution (why aren't missing link fossils in there); or how the animals on the Galápagos Islands or New Guinea support evolution--whatever. I don't think that evolution should be forced upon students, such as it is, but creationism shouldn't be as well. This is as far as my opinion goes, because the segregation of these two ideas in school could result badly. I personally know that atheists can be RUDE towards Christians, calling us stupid for believing in something we can't see. I also know that Christians can be RUDE to atheists. I wanted to share these thoughts

My final opinion, supported by the Bible--God does not view time as we do. Our idea of time isn't pure because we are confined to what we have experienced, which is not much on a cosmological scale. Perhaps, instead of 1 day of creation = 1 day, it may be 1 day of creation = 1,000,000 years or so? In that time, perhaps God, instead of snapping His fingers, shaped animals and guided the paths of evolution? I think so. I am not so quick to deny science, but that being said, I will look at facts that either benefit or corrupt my cause, something evolutionists and creationists are guilty of not doing.

(P.S.: most creationists don't believe humans came before dinosaurs )



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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 04:46 AM

ColeF: I've done several essays on how a literal creation story is foolish, and can be dis-proven using only Biblical evidence. I agree with your last paragraph.

However, something you said that troubles me is, and I quote:

"I don't think that evolution should be forced upon students,"

Could you give me a good reason as to why not? Why do we "force" the times tables upon students? And why do we "force" students to learn grammar? Because, teaching truth is what we do within schools, and if someone isn't comfortable with learning fact, they should re-evaluate their beliefs.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 07:53 AM

Exactly. We teach truth in schools, and truth is established by facts, and facts are founded by evidence; I'm sure you know all this. There is not enough evidence to prove evolution. Scientists say there should be much more evidence of it, should it be true. There is certainly a possibility that evolution is true, but for now it is a theory.

Evolution was proposed by Darwin about 150 years ago. That's how much time we've had to study it. There are many hypotheses formulated in order to support this theory; only some were found to be factual, and they weren't very strong. Enough to be indoctrinated to children via the public school system, but not enough to climb out of that fretful term, "the theory of evolution."

My reason is the same as yours--the world would be ignorant if we stopped teaching facts, so they are taught. However, to teach something as if it is fact when it is not is wrong.

Still, I'm not saying that we should be completely annihilating it from the curriculum, which I should have been more clear of in my first post. I believe that students should study it if they want to.

Just to be clear; I'm not saying it's not true, but I am saying it is not a fact, or even a universally accepted theorem.



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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 08:37 AM

I love people who say there isn't enough evidence for evolution, like that would somehow automatically "prove" creationism.

Well, it doesn't.
And for the record, evolution is only a theory in the same way that gravity is.

Whilst, as it is the (incorrect, I believe) view of many, it should be taught in Religious Education, in the way it is in the UK.

To even consider teaching creationism, a religious concept in a science lesson is, I believe, damaging and incorrect.

The sheer lack of evidence is reason enough.


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 09:06 AM

If you had read my initial reply, you would have seen my views on evolution. Which is consistent with my second reply, and it will be consistent all replies thereafter from me.

Well, no, evolution is not a theory in the same way gravity is. Gravity is a theory in the sense of why things attract with one another; gravity is a law in the fact that two things attract with one another and the descriptions of how gravity works. The theory of gravity has also only had positive changes since the end of the 20th century, evidence that does not disprove it. Evolution is a theory that has much evidence to disprove it, whether you want to see it or not.

Also, I agree creationism should not be taught as science; I have yet to meet an atheist who is also a creationist Creationism should be taught in religious education, and only to those who want to learn it.

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The sheer lack of evidence is reason enough.
My point for not forcing evolution in schools.



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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 11:43 AM

But .. there's a lot of evidence for evolution. Sure, it's not conclusive, but neither is evidence for gravity. The way animals adapt can be seen around us every day. Fossils showing the adaptation and therefore survival of the fittest have been found all over the world. Whereas, the only evidence for creationism is a book. One book, written a long time ago, but many different authors, with no evidence in real life to support it. Religion is not science. The two should not be mixed.

I personally like what my school does. We are taught evolution, but we are taught it as 'this is the theory, and this is the tonne of evidence that supports it, oh, and here's the people that discovered it and summaries of their life stories'. We are also taught 'here is creationism, and here are the arguments over it and why it is not included in the national curriculum.'

That said, because creationism is religion, we are taught it in religious studies (see the difference?). Whilst we're taught it's a theory, we are also taught arguments both for and against it. Sure, I don't believe it, and I don't think it's fact or should be taught as such. But, I can still argue for it, like the fact that the word that was translated at 'day' ('iom') actually means period of time, so Genesis could match up with scientific theories, or irreducible complexity. And because I know the arguments in favour of creationism, I'm educated to make my own choices about what to believe, to form my own opinion based on all the evidence.


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 01:02 PM

In my opinion the scientific "creation narrative" is much more intriguing and powerful than that in Genesis. I prefer to think that we are one product of a billion year struggle for survival than simply beings that appeared out of nowhere on the sixth day. As for the ethics of teaching creationism to children, there are several "lessons" in the biblical creation narrative that I believe to be harmful.

1) "Be fruitful and multiply": Not exactly relevant for a world with pop. 7 billion
2) "Let man rule over the wild animals": Also not a healthy attitude for ethical reasons, cultivates an attitude of superiority
3) Original sin, Adam and Eve: This was probably originally used to subdue people living under monarchy or theocracy, also gives interesting explanations for pain and suffering.
4) Man in God's image, Earth-centricity: "He also made the stars." Oh, ok. No big deal. If we are made in God's image, why is the human form so woefully inefficient and prone to disease? Also, why are we so similar to the myriad other creatures roaming the Earth? Why did it take God four days to create the Earth and only one to make the rest of the universe? It all makes sense if you see the narrative as what it is: A myth created by ancient, superstitious peoples who needed to explain the heavens, animals, mysteries, etc.



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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 05:04 PM

It's counter-intuitive for children to be taught to believe in magic. It removes the necessity of a curious mind to advance society. It teaches children to be content with fallacious arguments, horrible logic, and eliminates the scientific method. The scientific method is one of the only methods we have to establish certainty and truth. Creationist teach it's okay to trust the scientific method ONLY if it doesn't go against their superstitious beliefs. And on the merits of what? Faith. Not logic. Not reason. Not evidence. But, faith. Without the scientific method we wouldn't have medicines to cure people. We would still be praying for god to heal people, rather than use medicine. And guess what? There are still people who believe that they should trust god and not use modern advances in medicine and technology. This results in a lot of fatalities.

I would say it's not bad to teach children of the possibility of a deity, but to remind them that just because a deity exists doesn't mean they should rule out reason and science. That is, there is a possibility of a god existing (though the evidence is insurmountably against that idea), but that IF god exists, that doesn't mean you should have the attitude that, "God created everything so science doesn't matter." Rather, approach the idea of god with the attitude that, "God established laws of nature which created everything naturally, not magically." Reason, science, and evidence should overrule faith because faith is grounded on nothing factual. It isn't falsifiable. Why should we teach children to go back to the dark ages? Rather, we should encourage them to be rational.


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 28th 2013, 06:36 PM

ColeF: I don't want this to be a "beat up the creationist" thread, but saying "evolution is just a theory" is ridiculous. As people have pointed out, so is gravity.

We have ideas, which are simply that. An idea turns into a hypothesis, which is our best ideas. A hypothesis with an abundance of evidence becomes a theory. Once we have an equation for a theory, it becomes a law. If evolution were only a hypothesis, I would agree with you, but it's a theory, a status only reached by "several examples and an abundance of evidence."

More than anything, the story's timeline from the Bible doesn't add up. How did several days pass BEFORE the sun was made? How did plants grow and survive, if they were made before the sun? Genisis later claims Adam witnessed the growing of the plants, when the first few verses says he was created after plants. The word for "day" used in the original Hebrew Bible was also used for "birthday" "daylight" "anniversary" or "time in general".

Of Mike and Men: Rather than "God is not greater than science", I instead would tell children that "God is not greater than fact." I agree with you, that there's ultimately no way to prove or disprove the idea of God, and the idea itself isn't totally ridiculous, but we SHOULDN'T be telling children creation stories about though they are historically accurate factual accounts, because they're not. I can appreciate the imagination in creationism, and I think they have some historical merit, but only as fictional documents, just as the stories of King Arthur have historical merit, despite being fiction "based on" a possible truth. Stephen Hawking had a very interesting quote "[my work] doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary." and I think that idea is shared by the scientific community at large. Scientists are not God-hating at all, they're simply trying to understand the universe around them, be it created by a God, or not.




To summarize: Evolution is just a theory, "literal creation" is a myth, and intelligent design is a hypothesis.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 29th 2013, 07:27 AM

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Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Of Mike and Men: Rather than "God is not greater than science", I instead would tell children that "God is not greater than fact."
I view science and fact as going hand in hand. Science is the pursuit of discovering evidence in order to support theories which are essentially facts. The difference is, however, that science is falsifiable. We have no way of determining fact without science. I don't see these two as separate. While science may be wrong, it is constantly reforming itself to understand the world and discover laws as facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
I agree with you, that there's ultimately no way to prove or disprove the idea of God, and the idea itself isn't totally ridiculous, but we SHOULDN'T be telling children creation stories about though they are historically accurate factual accounts, because they're not.
I never said we should be telling children creation stories. I, in fact, said the opposite. Teaching children that faith is fact doesn't progress society.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
To summarize: Evolution is just a theory, "literal creation" is a myth, and intelligent design is a hypothesis.
Evolution is as much a theory as gravity is a theory. And to quote Dawkins, if you don't believe in gravity, you're welcome to go jump off a cliff.


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 30th 2013, 08:57 AM

I don't believe in unsubstantiated bullshit. And I don't condone exploiting the vulnerability of young minds in schools to brainwash them into believing in something like creationism, just to fulfil someone's fucking religious agenda of "good deeds" (by their definition). It's exploitative and selfish.

I don't have a problem with Christianity. I don't even have a problem with creationism. But like I said, I have a problem with people exploiting other people's vulnerabilities. Especially adults exploiting kids. That's what this is to me. It doesn't mean to say that someone isn't at the same time exploiting the adults, or exploited them in the past to draw them into blindly believing in creationism in the first place.

I think kids should be "educated" on the topic of creationism though, for the sake of teaching kids tolerance of other people's religions. It'l be just as fucked up if a Christian kid turns up to school and gets bullied for being Christian.

Educate the kids objectively on all topics so that when they're older, they can make their own informed, objective decisions. It's a teacher's job to inspire kids to think for themselves, no? Creationism vs. evolution. List whatever facts associated with both, (there ARE facts associated with both in one way or another), and let them come to their own conclusions. Good teachers are hard to find, which is a shame. I think it's one of the most important things in society.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - April 30th 2013, 05:33 PM

Of Mike and Men: You mis-read me, I was entirely agreeing with your points. The final sentence you quoted was pointing out that although evolution is JUST a theory, and not a law, it's still much more reasonable than anything else we have at this point.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - May 1st 2013, 04:16 PM

Quote:
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Of Mike and Men: You mis-read me, I was entirely agreeing with your points. The final sentence you quoted was pointing out that although evolution is JUST a theory, and not a law, it's still much more reasonable than anything else we have at this point.

- Justin
I misunderstood, then. However, a theory is just as relevant as a law. The only difference is a law is explained through math, a theory is backed by evidence. As aforementioned, evolution is as much a theory as gravity is. There is simply no denying it anymore unless it is from pure ignorance and/or faith without reason.


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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - May 1st 2013, 05:09 PM

Of Mike and Men: Exactly. A law, is logically "worth more" than a theory, simply because we have an unchanging equation for it, however theories are just as relevant, because they are something proven through various tests and examples, which is a lot more than the idea of literal creationism has going for it.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - May 1st 2013, 05:18 PM

Seriously, anybody that says, "Evolution is just a theory" needs to learn a little bit more about science. A scientific theory is something that has to be validated numerous times in hundreds of different ways. A theory isn't simply a "guess" as some people tend to view it as, nor does a theory become a law once it has enough evidence.

Scientific "Laws" and "Theories" are completely different things. A theory has explanatory power about how specific things in the world work. Evolution via natural selection has been under scrutiny for the last 150 years and it has passed with flying colours. Not only that, but the application evolutionary theory is absolutely necessary for 90% of modern medicine.

I know that some people would like you to think that there is some controversy surrounding evolutionary theory, and whether or not it is accurate, but there isn't. Evolution has been observed and recreated in a laboratory setting, including to the point of speciation.

The only REAL controversies in the scientific community regarding the theory of evolution has to do with very specific instances, or timelines of evolution and not whether or not it's true.

I mean, I don't want you to accept evolution simply because I say it's real. Go do the research yourself. Seriously though, learn to science.


Edit: Justin, actually a theory is worth more because it has more explanatory power. A law is descriptive in nature.
   
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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - May 1st 2013, 06:57 PM

Honestly, I greatly appreciate the responses this thread has gotten, because I enjoy hearing other people rationalize their thoughts, opinions and ideas.

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Re: A question about the ethics of creationism. Opinions will follow. - May 1st 2013, 08:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Of Mike and Men: Exactly. A law, is logically "worth more" than a theory, simply because we have an unchanging equation for it, however theories are just as relevant, because they are something proven through various tests and examples, which is a lot more than the idea of literal creationism has going for it.

- Justin
Not necessarily. They're both two completely different things. Not to stray off topic. A law and a theory are both equally as valid, one is not better than the other or more accurate. You can't really compare the two. Apples and oranges. It's not like a theory ever graduates to a law. They both serve two separate purposes. A law explains what will happen, whereas a theory explains how it happens. A law is by no means "worth more."


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