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The evolution of creationism - Comments

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 1 by Matt H.

Ah, but the whole point of evolution is that simple things become more complex. Intelligent design isn't more complex than creationism, it is just as stupid and just as unproven.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 10:29:00 UTC | #83834

FreeThink25's Avatar Comment 2 by FreeThink25

Want to hear something even more disturbing?

Lucy is here in Houston at the Museum of Natural Science. I went to check out the exhibit and see little Lucy with a friend who works at the museum. I noticed the word "evolution" appeared a grand total of ZERO times in the exhibit. When I asked why, I found out that museum staff are actually FORBIDDEN from using the word. FORBIDDEN?!?! It's the Museum of Natural Science! And in one of the largest cities in the US....does this depress you like it does me? Who will stand up for science and evidence when the museums that bear their name will not?

Any advice on what to do? I thought surely a letter to the Houston Chronicle was in order....

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 12:47:00 UTC | #83864

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 3 by Diacanu

Yes, it adapts, but it doesn't evolve.

It's more like the Borg.

The Borg continually adapt, and seek perfection, but not really.

If it turned out the secret to perfection required an ingredient of love, or humor, or mercy, would the Borg absorb it?

Of course not, these things have been rejected out of hand as irrelevant.

So, like creationists, the Borg have a carved in stone predetermined worldview at stake.
Everything is adapted to service that.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 12:57:00 UTC | #83866

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 4 by Roger Stanyard


Do you have a website url for the museum?

Now that it has advertised that yet again Texas is a backwater, I think the world should know and contct it.

If it can't accept evolution, then it is not a museum of natural history.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:06:00 UTC | #83868

shaunfletcher's Avatar Comment 5 by shaunfletcher

I recommend you write an EXTREMELY polite letter to the director of the museum, asking what their official policy on this matter is.

Should his reply be that this word is not to be used, I recommend a letter to the scientists/museum who actually own the skeleton, telling them about this and asking for their opinion.

If his reply is that this isnt the case, then I would write back asking him to train his staff properly.

Then whatever it all adds up to, you can write to the major newspaper/tv news for the region with the whole lot.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:33:00 UTC | #83873

shaunfletcher's Avatar Comment 6 by shaunfletcher

Their website for the lucy exhibition:

contains a section entitled What is Evolution?

which gives the standard explanations of what it is and what a theory is, and ands with a peculiar sort of 'nothing to worry about here religioes' paragraph.

Would be seriously odd for the people who put this up to stop their staff using the word.. maybe its an unnofficial idiot in lower management?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:38:00 UTC | #83875

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 7 by The Truth, the light

You have to laugh at the twists and turns that ID proponents make at trying to avoid the dreaded "G" word.

Under their theory, it's quite reasonable the Intelligent Designer could be the green men from Mars, or hyper-intelligent slugs from the Planet Zorg.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:57:00 UTC | #83878

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 8 by Matt H.

The funny thing is they can't name a single non-religious person who accepts ID, while I can name plenty of religious people who accept evolution.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 14:36:00 UTC | #83886

Macho Nachos's Avatar Comment 9 by Macho Nachos

Under their theory, it's quite reasonable the Intelligent Designer could be the green men from Mars, or hyper-intelligent slugs from the Planet Zorg.

Don't be silly. There's no way hyperintelligent slugs or green men could account for the complexity and fine-tuning of life we could see today. That could only possible come about through the intervention of a G

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 15:53:00 UTC | #83899

Satanburiedfossils's Avatar Comment 10 by Satanburiedfossils

Genetics in Genesis (KJV bible):

Genesis 30:37-39 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.

Jacob shows his sheep some colored rods so they will beget "ringstraked, speckled, and spotted" offspring.

The basis for this ancient (and unscientific) belief is explained in this excerpt from "Scientific Boo-Boos in the Bible":

The editors of The New American Bible were reputable enough to affix a frankly honest footnote to this passage:

Jacob's stratagem was based on the widespread notion among simple people that visual stimuli can have prenatal effects on the offspring of breeding animals. Thus, the rods on which Jacob had whittled stripes or bands or chevron marks were thought to cause the female goats that looked at them to bear kids with lighter-colored marks on their dark hair, while the gray ewes were thought to bear lambs with dark marks on them simply by visual crossbreeding with the dark goats.

We know today that the color characteristics of animals is purely a matter of genetics, so a modern, scientifically-educated person would never write anything as obviously superstitious as this tale of Jacob's prosperity. The Genesis writer(s), however, knew nothing about the science of genetics, so to him the story undoubtedly made good sense.
Imagine if advocates wanted to teach this nonsense in schools as an alternate "theory" to Genetics. Of course, a scientific experiment could be devised to test the veracity of this "theory" (what a novel approach! -- actually producing evidence before calling something a theory), but the same advocates would probably blame a negative result on a lack of faith.*

* Scapegoating the devil works, too.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 16:50:00 UTC | #83915

Crazymalc's Avatar Comment 11 by Crazymalc

Eugenie Scott has some fascinating things to say about this topic. Her talk "Who took out the stake" is very interesting.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 17:39:00 UTC | #83922

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 12 by The Truth, the light

Macho Nachos wrote:

Don't be silly. There's no way hyperintelligent slugs or green men could account for the complexity and fine-tuning of life we could see today. That could only possible come about through the intervention of a G

I see you mispelt invention as intervention ;-)

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 19:35:00 UTC | #83933

Eratosthenes's Avatar Comment 13 by Eratosthenes

I was at the Lucy exhibit a couple months back while in Houston. The exhibit very clearly showed the ancestry of humans from the Australopithecines on up. Also, in the exhibit Ethiopia is referred to as the Cradle of Mankind which implies it is where man evolved. I wasn't hunting for the word evolution but it was quite evident that exhibit was not shying away from the theory. FYI the majority of the exhibit is actually dedicated to the history of Ethiopia over the past several thousand years, Lucy is only a part.

Note that the exhibit was created in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Exhibition Coordinating Committee. These groups may be behind the fact that the word evolution is not used in the exhibit, if this is in fact the case.

I can report that all the standard evolution books from the Origin of Species to the latest (such as Evolution for Everyone) are available in the museam's bookstore. Don't recall seeing any of Behe's of Well's stuff there on the shelve.

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 23:27:00 UTC | #83957

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 14 by Roger Stanyard


I am aware of one IDer who is basically not religious. He is Steve Fuller at Warwick University and he has claimed to be an agnostic.

Roger Stanyard, British Centre for Science Education

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 00:47:00 UTC | #83962

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 15 by Matt H.

How can he be agnostic yet believe in an intelligent creator? That makes him theistic or deistic, right? And don't tell me he falls for the whole alien thing either...

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 03:50:00 UTC | #83978

FreeThink25's Avatar Comment 16 by FreeThink25

Yes, I didn't mean to say that the museum itself is against evolution. But they have, in fact, told their employees that they are not to use the word. Which just heightens the silliness....they can show an exhibit that is based on evolution, but are scared of ruffling feathers by simply speaking its name.

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 05:40:00 UTC | #83992

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 17 by Roger Stanyard


You're quite right to point out the discrepancy in Steve Fuller's position but he uses post-modernist language so all is solved!!!

I've seen Fuller speak and have not understood his main arguments. They just sound like post-modernist rhetoric.

He also denies that his is a port-modernist but, at the same time, claims we are living in a post-Darwinist world.

What the heck does that mean?

(Send answers on a post-card to Warwick University's department of sociology, please.)

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 06:09:00 UTC | #83993

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 18 by Bonzai

If I understand correctly Steve Fuller is not an ID-er, he doesn't believe in anything. He argues for ID being taught in school as a post modernist. For him ID is just as good or as bad as evolution so both should be taught in school or neither. He doesn't care which is true because there is no truth according to his relativistic world view, science is just another "story".

P.S. I am not sure whether Pomo believes that there is no truth or that there may be truth but it will always elude us because all human ways of knowing are equally biased and tainted; there is no preferred way of knowing, only stories. In practice it comes down to the same thing.

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 06:15:00 UTC | #83995

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 19 by phasmagigas

im sure many of you watched 'judgement day' on th enova show last night, ie the dover trial events. ignoring the technicalities of the case its very illuminating that some of pro ID bunch burned art work and lied under oath (hell for them it seems) and then the judge and at least one of the parents opposed to ID in schools received death threats. A just what is it with that Phillip E. Johnson, that guy just gives me the creeps, ok so thats got nothing to do with his love of the wedge but he reminds me of the guy in poltergeist 2:

sometimes i do listen to my gut.

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 06:16:00 UTC | #83996

Yaweh's Avatar Comment 20 by Yaweh

Frankly, I'd prefer that someone create a fake Lucy identical to the real thing and send that on tour as the actual Lucy, while leaving the precious original in a bomb-worthy safe.

Some kook will try to blow up those old bones one day, believing he's ridding the world of Satan's lies.

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 08:27:00 UTC | #84341

Noodly's Avatar Comment 21 by Noodly

Comment #87886 by The Truth, the light:

"Under their theory, it's quite reasonable the Intelligent Designer could be the green men from Mars, or hyper-intelligent slugs from the Planet Zorg."

Very good point, why don't we "scientists" state that "ID" is more likely to be the result of a committee than an individual - bearing in mind that committees are never perfect and this correlates directly to the observable results of "ID".

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 18:53:00 UTC | #84431

Dirk's Avatar Comment 22 by Dirk

I read with great interest the statement that the term "evolution" does not appear in the Lucy exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I would like to point that it does, both in the room where Lucy is on display, as well as in the preceding room. Moreover, as others have already indicated, there are references on the museum's website.


Dirk Van Tuerenhout

Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:04:00 UTC | #84900