Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Live and Let Live

Believe and let Believe, Worship and let Worship

Boundary Patrols of the Eschatological Type

I don’t understand the truth surrounding the world. All religions should be given freedom to worship, and all should leave science classes to science.

Hardly any of the right wing Christians understand the truth about the scriptures. Genesis and Deuteronomy for example have been taken out of context many times, particularly in the Creation vs. Evolution debate that seems to be quite serious in the US, they continually treat them literally, and where they are repeated elsewhere in the scriptures.

It is clear from the evidence of such authors as Margaret Barker1 and Robert Dunn2, that the Deuteronomists were responsible for many changes in the scriptures, including the monotheist beliefs that are promoted by creeds all over the Judeo-Christian world, not to mention Islam.

Science has proceeded since the ”The Enlightenment” on various levels to extend our knowledge of the natural world, and this has indicated an ancient Earth where all life is related, where many different fields of science have confirmed what Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace first proposed, represented by On the Origin of Species by Natural Select, published in 1859, it created a stir then and now. The Modern Synthesis, Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Development, Genetics, and many others confirm Evolutionary Theory as it is now understood and progresses to a better understanding of the natural World.

Yet we find a large number of the Western population hanging on an old interpretation of the Holy Scriptures that causes them to believe the account in Genesis is a literal interpretation of how the Earth and the Universe was put together rather than the Foundation Myth it seems to be. This also includes the idea of a Great Flood should be extended to a concept of a Universal Flood. Science has shown none of these events occurred as described and interpreted, not only that, there is no evidence to support a 7000 year Erath and a Universal Flood about 4000 years ago. Yet they continue with pseudo-science explanations for these events conducting various campaigns, writing books and lecturing, debating, etc. In all this they are seriously presenting these arguments, they believe them, and will go to many lengths not exactly honest to present them and get them accepted by society, particularly in the US.

The most recent is the Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District, Dover Pennsylvania Federal Case, Judge John E Jones III, presiding. Here the defendants were shown to be liars and motivated by religion in their attempt to introduce a non-science tract into the Year 8 Biology Class. The Science Teachers themselves had refused to participate and it appears the only conspirators were those on the school board, named in the court case and their supporters. They disgraced their cause, their religions and made the whole Intelligent Design movement appear to be liars and cheats and on top of that, cowards in battle (the Discovery Institute pulled out before the trial started).

Yet, despite this embarrassing loss, the guns are still firing as previously mentioned in an earlier posts, Never a Dull Moment 2, Never a Dull Moment 3, Florida, people are loosing their jobs for supporting science in a science education position, and Intelligent Design advocates are losing their jobs for refusing to do what they were contracted to do, conduct research into evolutionary effects. And a graduate Ms SA Smith found some serious plagiarism3 and unattributed material at a presentation by William Dembski, a scion of the Discovery Institute. I would have thought, that being honest and truthful in your dealings with your fellow humans is an essential part of Christianity and many other religions, as well as atheism as it is practiced. Why aren’t these fellows held accountable? I guess Ms SA Smith is right when she says she is not a Harvard lawyer, neither am I.

All we can do is point out these flaws in their arguments to anyone that will listen, some feel this is futile, indeed the great Stephen Jay Gould recommended that these creationist/ID proponents be not debated, because they always set up the environment in their favor, only when an outside forum (a federal court fro example) can the truth come out.

Meanwhile I heard Christopher Hitchens speculate that perhaps the concept of Noma has its benefits, referring the SJ Goulds, Non-overlapping Magisteria concept. So perhaps we should all confine ourselves to what we are representing and give up on misrepresenting subjects we know nothing about.


1 Flock of Dodos by Randy Olson.

2. Judgment Day, Intelligent Design on Trial, PBS NOVA Special on the Kitzmiller vs. Dover School Board.

3. PBS Airs False Facts in it’s “Inherit The Wind” Version of the Kitzmiller Trial. A criticism of the PBS documentary above from the Discovery Institute.

4. Margaret Barker

5. Robert Dunn

6. Ms SA Smith posted to Panda’s Thumb in November a post DI Expelled for Plagiarism, showing false claims using plagiarized material which was unattributed to it’s original authors. It is well worth visiting to see the perfidy of the ID proponents, in this case William Dembski who didn’t appear at the Dover trial.

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