Ohio and ID

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    [Administrator: This subject was moved from another forum at the moderator's request and edited in accordance with the policies on this board. Because the second part of the thread concerned radiocarbon dating, it has been moved to that thread here.]

    TULPJE

    The article is saying that they don't believe that life came out of nothing. They are saying that some sort of intelligent being is responsible for life, but they are not saying what or who that intelligent being is. In a public school system they can't introduce the bible in science class. It is not politically correct. Of course I KNOW who the "intelligent being" is. The Father of the Holy Trinity created life. I think that it gives credence to the biblical account even though they are not coming right out and saying it.



    ARROWMAN

    1. The basis of ID (that there are biological systems which cannot be explained by currently known natural phenomena) is dubious at best; most of the assertions made by Behe, Wells and others have been refuted over and again in the (peer-reviewed scientific) literature.

    2. The publication of assertions in books, as opposed to the peer-reviewed literature, gives ID no more credibility than the notions of Eric von Daniken.

    3. ID is not science. Even if it were true that there are some biological systems which cannot be explained by currently known natural phenomena, ID then makes the completely unscientific assertion - "...and we will never know the explanation, therefore it must be an external intelligent agent". That is not science. Call it religion, call it philosophy - it ain't science.

    4. For all their protestations, the IDers are promoting a religious idea. It's just very cleverly disguised under pseduo-science.

    5. And just one nitpick - "In a public school system they can't introduce the bible in science class. It is not politically correct." "Politically correct" is not the point; this is not a policy promulgated by latter-day liberals. It is a basic tenet of your consitution and government. You might not like it, but there it is.
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    The basis for ID is the complex specified information apparent in living organisms. It is also in the apparent irreducible complexity of life and of life’s basic reproduction process. From Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box bottom of 203- 204:

    from the next paragraph:
    There you have it. Please everyone burn that last quote into your memory. As you can see it is positive evidence, not negative, that is the basis for ID.

    What, exactly, is the positive evidence that life can originate from non-life via purely natural processes?

    One more thing- please present the peer-reviewed literature that you say allegedly refutes Behe and Wells.

    John Paul:
    Do you feel the same way about Gould & Dawkins (et al.)? Peer-reviewed literature is for essay sized articles, not books.
    BTW, Behe published his book as a challenge to scientists to get their ideas on the alleged ‘evolution’ of biochemical systems to peer-review. His point was there is (or was at the time) scant, if any, peer-reviewed literature covering the alleged ‘evolution’ of the biochemical systems he mentions in his book. But you would have known all that had you read the book.

    He also says his premise of IC would be moot if the first population(s) of organisms had all the genetic information required for the body plans and biochemical systems we observe today.

    John Paul:
    Sounds like a baseless assertion to me. ID type processes are already being used in other fields such as SETI, arson investigation, forensics, archeology and anthropology. Also if you would take the time to learn about ID you would know ID is about the evidence, not the lack of evidence for the other side. Also why is it OK to attribute some phenomenon to some phantom process? How is that scientific?

    The point of ID is not only to recognize design in living organisms but to also understand the design. In doing so perhaps we can take advantage of a little reverse engineering. It would change the way we approach biology:

    Approaching Biology from a Different Angle:
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/approachingbiology041701.htm


    As someone with a relatively strong background in encryption I understand the importance of differentiating between meaningful information and random nonsense. With the understanding the genetic code is from an intelligent source, I strongly believe it would aid us in deciphering it.

    John Paul:
    That is a blatant misrepresentation. Why is it a religious idea to observe a phenomenon and attribute it to something other than phantom natural processes? Why isn’t it a religious idea to ‘worship’ Father Time, Mother Nature and some as-yet-unknown natural process (i.e. evolutionism)?

    IDers are From Mars, ID Critics are From Venus:
    http://www.idthink.net/mars/index.htm


    and

    Heads we win, tails you lose:
    http://www.idthink.net/heads/index.htm


    John Paul:
    Hello? ID says nothing about the Bible. People are free to infer any IDer they want until the evidence says otherwise. That’s freedom of choice.

    IDists do NOT want the Bible taught in science class.

    OK Arrowman, if life could not have originated from non-life via purely natural processes, what are the alternatives and why is searching for those alternatives un-scientific?

    If there is any chance at all that we are here via Divine fiat or intelligent intervention, any chance at all, to not pursue that line of research would be an injustice not only to science but to all of mankind.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    This is completely wrong. In fact, even most creationists will readily
    admit that most scientists, and the overwhelming majority of biologists,
    recognize that evolution can explain life's diversity and development.
    "Existance" is, of course a philosophical/religious question.

    Again, this is not true. As noted above scientists generally do not see
    that there are reasonable alternatives to evolutionary theory, nor do they
    see any significant "shortcomings".

    I'm not assuming the writer is lying here, but is likely unfamiliar with the
    issue.

    My guess is that this one will go the way that controversies in
    Louisiana,Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Hawaii, etc. have gone. The courts or the
    voters will put their collective foot down, and that will be that.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    This is completely wrong. In fact, even most creationists will readily
    admit that most scientists, and the overwhelming majority of biologists,
    recognize that evolution can explain life's diversity and development.
    "Existance" is, of course a philosophical/religious question.

    Again, this is not true. As noted above scientists generally do not see
    that there are reasonable alternatives to evolutionary theory, nor do they
    see any significant "shortcomings".

    I'm not assuming the writer is lying here, but is likely unfamiliar with the
    issue.

    My guess is that this one will go the way that controversies in
    Louisiana,Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Hawaii, etc. have gone. The courts or the
    voters will put their collective foot down, and that will be that.
     
  5. Administrator2

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    here's the AP article as it appeared in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27248-2002Mar14.html).

    Ohio School Board Debates Teaching 'Intelligent Design'
    By Richard N. Ostling
    AP Religion Writer
    Thursday, March 14, 2002; 12:04 PM

    Stakes were high Monday at a meeting of an Ohio Board of Education panel. Up for discussion: whether high school biology students should be told about potential problems with Darwinism and evidence that life on Earth was planned.

    About 1,500 parents, teachers and students showed up for the meeting which was moved to an auditorium to accommodate the crowd. They listened to the pros and cons of a concept known as intelligent design, which says there's evidence that some form of intelligence purposely designed nature.

    The board must revamp the state science curriculum by December, and some Ohioans want it to include intelligent design, or ID, alongside Darwin's theory of evolution in curriculum guidelines for statewide testing.

    Stephen Meyer of Seattle's Discovery Institute, the leading ID think tank, told the board that rather than making ID part of the curriculum it should merely encourage teachers to cover the disagreements about Darwinism.

    "We just want the discussion opened up, because we feel the evidence is running strongly in our favor," Meyer said after the hearing.

    Whatever the board decides, the Ohio discussion has brought new attention to the fledgling ID movement, a small academic faction but one that flexes considerable brainpower.

    Proponents say evolution is typically taught to mean life emerged on Earth spontaneously, and that only undirected natural selection produced the varied life forms. But, they contend, the best evidence indicates that scenario is fantastically unlikely.

    Intelligent design arguments touch on everything from the fine-tuned structure of the universe described by modern physics to the information encoded in DNA to make their point.

    But "intelligent design isn't science," the board was told by Lawrence Krauss, physics chairman at Case Western Reserve University.

    Another opponent, Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education, warns ID would bring religion into biology classes, even though advocates scrupulously avoid naming the intelligence they see behind the universe.

    "Look, it's God, not a little green man," Scott says. "We know that."

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press signaled ID's growing importance in January, issuing an 805-page anthology titled "Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics."

    That book title depicts ID as a variant of creationism, which reads Genesis literally and says the Earth was formed thousands of years ago rather than billions all species appeared immediately and a flood engulfed the globe.

    Yet ID actually insists on none of that. And while creationists are mostly conservative Protestants, ID theorists come from a wider range of faiths and some are nonreligious.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled creationism is too biblical for public schools, and ID proponents sought to distinguish themselves from that label in a long Utah Law Journal article arguing that ID is fit for public schools.

    University of Wisconsin historian Ronald L. Numbers, an ID opponent and author of "The Creationists," agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID movement. But, he adds, its "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design."

    Most ID thinkers cluster around the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, founded in 1996, and the Access Research Network, established at Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1990.

    But similar ideas came as early as 1983 from eminent British physicist Sir Fred Hoyle, who was not conventionally religious.

    Hoyle wrote that a blindfolded person working the Rubik's Cube puzzle at one move per second would need 1,350 billion years to align the 54 squares. He calculated similar odds that even one protein formed on Earth through blind chance.

    Since that's hundreds of times the age of the planet, he said, the odds against this happening with all the proteins in nature are "almost unimaginably vast."

    That sort of argument is escalated by mathematician-philosopher William A. Dembski of Baylor University, a Roman Catholic turned Protestant, who began doubting Darwinism in the late 1980s.

    His January book "No Free Lunch" (Rowman & Littlefield) employs ample doses of symbolic logic to argue that intelligent design is legitimate science, because biologists can reliably detect the effects of design and distinguish these from random results, just as archeologists or crime scene investigators do.

    The book is too new for scholarly critiques, but Wesley Elsberry of Texas A&M University says Dembski's previous work has failed to rule out Darwin's natural selection as the cause behind what might appear to be design.

    Another leading ID theorist is Lehigh University microbiologist Michael J. Behe. His "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution" (1996) examines intricate processes such as blood clotting and the motion of the bacterial flagellum.

    Darwinism cannot explain such things, he argues, because interrelated parts that are useless by themselves must appear and function together. He calls this "irreducible complexity."

    ID differs not only from creationism but a third option, theistic evolution, which says God employed the Darwinian process. Behe says that concept is "no threat to Christian beliefs" and he once agreed with it, but it isn't supported by the biological evidence.

    Like Behe, Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller is a churchgoing Roman Catholic who believes in "a reality that transcends the material."

    But Miller, who testified Monday, also is a Darwinist who calls Behe's approach "factually wrong" because supposedly useless "bits and pieces" of biology can have other uses. ID is a collection of "half-truths that don't amount to a coherent theory," Miller says.

    Miller also raises a theological objection. If God purposely designed 30 horse species that later disappeared, he asserts, then God's primary attribute is incompetence. "He can't make it right the first time. I don't think the Almighty works that way."

    Though opponents like Scott contend that ID is too inherently religious for science classes, Alvin Plantinga, a noted Protestant philosopher at the University of Notre Dame, turns the tables. Plantinga says evolution is presented with built-in godless assumptions so it's unfair for public schools "to teach one set of religious beliefs as opposed to another."

    Behe says "the problem is not religious people trying to push design, but scientific people pushing their heads into the sand to avoid design because it has religious implications."
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    Pat:
    This is completely wrong. In fact, even most creationists will readily
    admit that most scientists, and the overwhelming majority of biologists,
    recognize that evolution can explain life's diversity and development.
    "Existance" is, of course a philosophical/religious question.


    John Paul:
    True. The debate isn’t over whether or not evolution, as in the change in allele frequency over time, can explain the diversity of life. The debate is over from what did today’s diversity evolve. One organism? One population of organisms? Two, three, several, many, how many, which type, what genetic make-up- these are the types of things that are under debate. Or rather, trying to be resolved.

    Also the mechanism is under debate. It used to be the weight of variation lay with copying errors (i.e. point mutations). Even in the recently released PBS series Evolution that is what was said to be the driving force behind the alleged “great transformations”. However I have been told the weight lies with recombination, duplication, insertions, etc. The biggie is duplication followed by other mutations that would give the duplicated gene some new function that may benefit the organism. However these are complex processes and it is still not known how they ‘evolved’. Also at issue with that idea is will the duplicated gene be selected for if at any time it loses functionality?

    Does a duplicated gene in and of itself convey any benefit to the organism?

    quote:

    It is how - or if - to teach the theory's suggested alternatives and
    shortcomings that is creating controversy for the Ohio Board of Education.

    Pat:
    Again, this is not true. As noted above scientists generally do not see
    that there are reasonable alternatives to evolutionary theory, nor do they
    see any significant "shortcomings".


    John Paul:
    Then what you allege they see is directly opposed to reality. You want us to believe we got ‘here’ from ‘there’ but we don’t know where ‘there’ was and there isn’t an objective way to test for it. Correct, in any scenario. What we can do is to make our best inference by studying the evidence (research grants help too). And as Behe so eloquently put it:

    Pat:
    I'm not assuming the writer is lying here, but is likely unfamiliar with the
    issue.


    John Paul:
    Funny you should say that. By the petitions circulating about this issue (one, that I signed, yup as John Paul, states the issue is about teaching ‘ID Creationism’ in science class. Blatantly deceitful.

    Check out the petition:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/idno/

    While there, check out signature # 1413. I sent the author an email also. No response yet.

    John Paul:
    All that means is money will have to be spent educating the masses of what ID is and what it isn’t. I have no doubt that once people see it in the real light they will come to realize it’s how they felt all along.
    Just by reading most of the comments is evidence the propaganda campaign against ID is working. Where’s My Cousin Vinnie when you need him? I love watching him take apart a ‘house of cards’ (which is all the propaganda is) one card at a time.

    I just sent the following Letter to the Editor to a widely distributed New England newspaper. The rule is I had to say my piece in 250 words or less. Please feel free to copy it and send to your local, regional and national newspapers:

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    JOE MEERT

    In reading the article I was struck by these comments:

    JM: So ID is NOT religious

    JM: So ID is religious? I don't get it, is ID have a religious base or
    not? What percentage of those who study ID think the ID'er is
    something/one other than God?

    Cheers

    Joe Meert
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    Joe Meert:
    In reading the article I was struck by these comments:


    JM: So ID is NOT religious

    John Paul:
    That would be true. ID cares only about the design, not the designer. There is nothing to worship. Nothing to pray to and no church services…

    But I guess it would all depend on the definition of “religious”. After all, the United States Supreme Court has labeled secular humanism as a religion.

    JM: So ID is religious?

    John Paul:
    Taken in context, it would appear ID is no more religious than the theory of evolution.

    So there you have it. Remove the ToE or include ID and even Creation model.

    Joe Meert:
    I don't get it, is ID have a religious base or not?


    John Paul:
    What do IDists worship? If, as the article states, IDists are from varying faiths, what religion is it? ID has no more of a religious base than the ToE does.

    Joe Meert:
    What percentage of those who study ID think the ID'er is
    something/one other than God?


    John Paul:
    That is irrelevant. ID concerns itself with the design, not the designer. Who or what people infer as the designer is of little consequence to the evidence for design in living organisms.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    HELEN

    Joe, the foundation of ID is that there is a possibility that all things in
    the natural world do not have a material, natural cause. In other words,
    its foundation is actually a denial of the naturalistic materialism declared
    by evolution to be the cause of all natural effects. This is not a
    religious statement on the part of ID, but a challenge to what is
    essentially a religious statement by evolution.
    The implications of ID lead to the theological door, but do not cross it.

    The foundation of an idea and its possible consequences should not be
    confused with each other.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    Alvin Plantinga, a noted Protestant philosopher at the University of
    Notre Dame, turns the tables. Plantinga says evolution is presented with
    built-in godless assumptions so it's unfair for public schools "to teach one
    set of religious beliefs as opposed to another."


    But the theory of evolution, like all science, makes no assumptions about
    the presence or absence of a creator. Why doesn't Plantinga know this
    elementary fact about it? Does he really believe all those Christians and
    Jews and Muslims and Hindus and whatever doing science are assuming that no
    God exists?
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    Alvin Plantinga, a noted Protestant philosopher at the University of
    Notre Dame, turns the tables. Plantinga says evolution is presented with
    built-in godless assumptions so it's unfair for public schools "to teach one
    set of religious beliefs as opposed to another."


    John Paul:
    That is not what was said. He says evolution is presented with built-in godless assumptions. What that means it is the presentation and not the science that makes the assumptions.

    Do you understand the difference?

    John Paul:
    Why don’t you understand what was actually stated?

    John Paul:
    It doesn’t matter what people doing the science are assuming. It does matter what the people doing the presenting of the theory assume (or imply).

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    JOE MEERT

    JM: The last sentence appears to be hypocritical. For example, I could argue exactly the
    same thing about evolution. "The foundation of an idea and its possible
    consequences should not be confused with each other". This confusion between evolution and its
    religious consequences has been the focus creationists for years. If creationists followed the advice you give in your final sentence, then they would stop complaining about
    the perceived religious implications of evolution. Or is the assertion in your last sentence meant to be applied unilaterally (i.e. applicable to ID, but not to evolution)?
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    The assertion that evolution is presented as godless is also false.
    I happen to teach science, and know a lot of science teachers. None of them
    present evolution as ruling out God.
    We do see many news reports about the occasional science teacher who feels a
    misguided responsiblity to inject God into a science class. And surely
    there must somewhere be a similarly misguided science teacher who tells his
    or her class that evolution disproves God. But that's not how the vast
    majority of teachers present it.

    I think Plantinga has convinced himself that we teach that evolution is
    godless, because his case depends on it being true. But it's demonstrably
    false. And a slander (even if inadvertant) on science teachers.
     
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    EARL DETRA

    Sorry to jump in here Pat, but I need some clarification from John Paul.

    John Paul quotes:
    "Alvin Plantinga, a noted Protestant philosopher at the University of
    Notre Dame, turns the tables. Plantinga says evolution is presented with
    built-in godless assumptions so it's unfair for public schools "to teach one
    set of religious beliefs as opposed to another."

    Pat:
    But the theory of evolution, like all science, makes no assumptions about
    the presence or absence of a creator.

    John Paul:
    That is not what was said. He says evolution is presented with built-in godless assumptions. What that means it is the presentation and not the science that makes the assumptions.

    Do you understand the difference?


    E: You know, I hate to sound flippant (oh well, I guess it's just ingrained), but I wonder what Plantinga thinks about algebra or economics... I also wonder what the godless assumptions are regarding theories on tornado formation or volcanic eruptions.

    Pat:
    Does he really believe all those Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus and whatever doing science are assuming that no God exists?

    John Paul:
    It doesn’t matter what people doing the science are assuming. It does matter what the people doing the presenting of the theory assume (or imply).


    E: Okay, does he really believe that all of those Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims teaching science assume that no god exists?
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    Totally unbelievable. This is the actual statement that was made:

    Note he does NOT say that evolution is presented as godless.

    John Paul:
    You teach what, 7th or 8th grade? How would you know what other teachers do unless you sat in on every one of their classes that presented evolution? That is every, or at least a majority, of the evolution teachers throughout the world. Their word won’t do. Prisons are full of people who will give you their word they didn’t do the crime for which they were convicted.

    John Paul:
    And just how do you know that? And why would there be many news reports on something that happens occasionally? Must have been a slow news day.

    Also anyone who has read Dawkins’ tripe would know that he definitely pushes the godless brand of evolution.

    My experience is biology classrooms tell me that Plantinga’s premise is true. Not what you think is his premise, but what he actually states.

     
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    EARL DETRA

    quote:
    Though opponents like Scott contend that ID is too inherently religious for science classes, Alvin Plantinga, a noted Protestant philosopher at the University of Notre Dame, turns the tables. Plantinga says evolution is presented with built-in godless assumptions so it's unfair for public schools "to teach one set of religious beliefs as opposed to another."

    John Paul: Note he does NOT say that evolution is presented as godless.


    Earl: Aren't we getting a bit picky here, John Paul? Most people would think that having godless assumptions would also mean being godless and that being presented with godless assumptions also means being presented as godless.

    quote:
    Pat:
    I happen to teach science, and know a lot of science teachers. None of them
    present evolution as ruling out God.

    John Paul:
    You teach what, 7th or 8th grade? How would you know what other teachers do unless you sat in on every one of their classes that presented evolution? That is every, or at least a majority, of the evolution teachers throughout the world. Their word won’t do. Prisons are full of people who will give you their word they didn’t do the crime for which they were convicted.


    Earl: I'm afraid I have to go along with Pat on this one. The teachers that I have heard about around here are very careful not to offend anyones religious beliefs. I think you are being a bit absolutist in suggesting that Pat has to sit in on every biology class of every biology teachet he knows in order to know what they teach.

    John Paul:
    ...
    Also anyone who has read Dawkins’ tripe would know that he definitely pushes the godless brand of evolution.


    Earl: Anecdotal information, John Paul. Do you want us to bring up Kent Hovind as a mainstream creationist example?
     
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    HELEN

    The simple fact that a mention of God can lead to a teacher being
    disciplined, transferred, or even fired might be just a wee bit of
    evidence that evolution presented in the classroom is presented as
    making a deity of any sort absolutely unnecessary and more of a 'refuge'
    for the 'ignorant' than anything else. The kids get the message loudly
    and clearly: evolution means God is either not real or so marginalized
    He might as well not be real. He certainly is not the God of the Bible
    or of any religion believing in a Creator God!

    And as loudly as the theistic evolutionists holler, the fact of the
    matter is that if their god is relegated to a sort of divine spark at
    the beginning who had nothing further to do but watch an almost endless
    parade of death and suffering while men were evolving, then their god is
    not a god that anyone who takes the Bible or the Q'ran or even the Vedas seriously
    would accept. The kids recognize this, too. Evolution means no
    god. Evolution means time, chance, mutations, and natural selection.
    Evolution means they are cosmic accidents of no intrinsic value.
    Evolution means there is no reason for any standard of behavior other
    than that which they choose to adopt for any given time in their lives.

    They are not dummies. They understand very clearly what it all means.
    It does not matter how much protest they hear from "authorities" in the
    matter. Logic is logic and the students are perfectly capable of going
    from point A to point B.

    They know evolution, as it is presented, is not only godless, but ranges
    anywhere from "indicates" to "requires" godlessness.
     
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    JOE MEERT

    JM: Gee, Helen I am an atheist and I discuss God in my classroom all the
    time. I've never been fired, disciplined or transferred yet! I also
    don't agree with your assertion that God is marginalized or trivialized
    during education. In Science, the subject of God is brought up from
    time to time in my course and I always point out that ones religious
    beliefs are a personal choice and it is not my business to alter ones
    religious beliefs. I also tell them that an honest approach to science
    means that God is left out of the discussion, not because he does not
    exist or does exist, but because science is about a naturalistic
    explanation for how things work. Many, many many scientists are deeply
    religious (in fact, I suspect they clearly outnumber atheists) and I
    don't know of any of them who think that an old earth on which evolution
    happens either marginalizes or trivializes their God. In fact, I heard
    one the other night say that evolution shows that God is constantly
    creating. It is the young earth creationists who argue that he did it
    once and is just sitting back now.
     
  19. Administrator2

    Administrator2
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    Prof. Kenneth Miller of Brown University has a rather interesting summary of
    his participation in the recent Ohio ID debate on his web site at:

    http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/debate.html

    One passage that I found particularly illuminating regarding the tactics of
    ID defenders:

     

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