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2009/05/28 Evolution 7 parter on Nova and "creationism"
π 2009-05-28 01:01 in Public
I just finished watching an older Nova series on Evolution, from how Darwin came up with Evolution back in his day. It was a very interesting series, which explained some things I didn't even know like how evolution obviously applies to virii and bacteria, and how they recently found out that after the AIDS virus becomes resistent to new drugs, they're actually better off stopping all drugs, letting the drug resistant virus be taken over by the non drug resistant one because it can spread quicker in a drug free environment, and then try to kill that one again with drugs.

Anyway, the low point of the show was when they had to address how effectively we're no better now with regards to science vs christians who still feel very threatened by evolution since it obviously contradicts Adam and Eve, than we were 200 years ago.

The part I didn't know was how the church leaders knowing that they can't get so called "creationism" (nice word that makes it sound like science) into classrooms if it's not science, to do anything they can to pass it for science even there is obviously not a whole lot to back it up.

The pretty despicable part was the very careful and misleading statements that they had fed to school children so that the children themselves went to the school board and asked stuff like

  • "we want special creation to be taught the facts, we should be be able to know about both scientific views" -> There is nothing scientific "creationism", it's just a story from a book.
  • "because creationism is not religion" -> right, throwing away gobs of scientific evidence and reproducable experiments for a story from the bible has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. But they have to pretend that since you can't teach religion in public schools.
  • "there are facts we don't have" -> right, a story from a 2000 year old book with nothing to back it up is absolutely a fact
  • "I grew up in a church, where god created everything, that's how it's always been and how it'll ever be" -> Yes. If any other evidence shows up, just dig a deeper hole in the sand, put your head in it and chant la-la-la-la-la.
  • But the part that was more worrying was the flat out brainwashing they were doing in some churches where they were teaching all their churchgoers how to deny and push back evolution without giving any critical though into it of course. They also had cute evil little songs that were teaching the little drones how to respond. Scary, really.

    And all this because some people can't admit that maybe some stories in the bible may just be stories, or they may have been simplified to something that people at the time could understand. Neither case should invalidate faith in general or the existence of a god. Even if you push evolution all the way back to the big bang (and while I'll defend evolution all day long, I'm the first to say that the big bang is really a lot more of a best guess theory and just the best we can come up with without current knowledge), there is still nothing wrong with whoever your favourite god is, to have created the big bang, or the universe.
    But no, conservative Christians can't deal with such a happy medium because it contracticts the bible, and the bible must be right everywhere, or many feel their whole life would have been a lie, and they can't have that.
    Now, the good news is that they are only a portion of Christians out there, many others don't have a problem taking the bible with a grain of salt with regards to taking its general message, but giving details like how long creation took (like a day being a metaphor for 1000 years or somesuch), some leeway. Whether you agree with that or not, at least they have a belief that makes sense, and don't have to feel threatened by scientific discoveries or theories.

    It's too bad that for so many other people however, church and critical thinking are incompatible. I suppose many of the critical thinkers just become "spiritual, but not religious", which I can understand a lot more easily. Of course, I'm going to guess that some of the church leaders don't want that to happen since they can't quite control the "spiritual but not religious", nor get money from them, so it sure looks like they suppress critical thinking as much as possible to stay in control.

    But eh, if they insist, I think it's only fair to also teach about the_tons, and how X_enu came with his spaceship and dropped all the bad souls in a volcano on earth, which in turn created us. I mean, that sounds like a perfectly good explanation. That's called scien_tology and there is even "science" in the name, so it must be true. I think it's only fair that this be taught in schools side by side with evolution.

    Anyway, carry on, I just had to rant a bit. Thank you for indulging me :)

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