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Comments by Nordic11

Go to: Teaching science in public schools without stepping around religion

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Nordic11

Just one more thing, guys.

Please don't just go on a rant that I am wrong because theism is the "poison of humankind and no one but a delusional lunatic would believe it" or other such rhetoric. This is a site that values reason so please evalute my arguments with reason and not inflamatory rhetoric. Convince me that the belief that nothing outside the natural world exists is actually a scientific theory and not mere philosophy.

Also, I use the definition of naturalism to be the belief that nothing outside the natural world exists and not just the study of the natural world. Perhaps that will help make the discussion more clear.


Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:28:09 UTC | #949394

Go to: Teaching science in public schools without stepping around religion

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Nordic11

Hi everyone,

Alan and Steve, your reasoning is circular. You believe we should deny all supernatural claims because science cannot detect or study them, but science cannot study them because they are super-natural- apart from the natural world. Science is only equipped to study the natural world of matter and energy You believe there is no evidence for anything supernatural, but the only evidence you will except is based on the scientific method, which again is illequipped to study anything outside of matter and energy, the natural world. If you want to infer that nothing exists outside of the natural world, that is your perogative, but their are no observations, measurement or series of experiments to back up your claim so it is not based on science. Your claim is based on philosophy.

Let me use this analogy. A man scours the beach with a metal detector and brings back soda can caps, coins and jewlery. He claims he has found everything beneath the sand, but you tell him there must be other items not made of metal under the sand. If we are going to find other materials in the sand (or provide evidence that nothing else exists there) we need to use other tools aside from the metal detector.

I'm surprised I need to explain the difference between how something works and why it works. Let me use the baking a cake example that was mentioned. The recipe and its application is how a cake is baked. Science is great at studying such things (identifying and measuring ingredients, experimenting with different temperatures or proportionss, ect). Why the cake was baked is in the mind of the baker. What is the purpose of the cake? A birthday? To hide a file for a prison break? To satisfy a chochalate fetish? Science cannot study the mind of the baker. The baker must tell us why she/he baked the cake.

Physicists have successfully used science to explore the physical properties of our universe and have determined that the odds are astronomical against the universe being designed for living things. Physics explains how the universe works, but it cannot discover why it was put together the way it was. To say it was God who created it or random chance or that there is a mulitverse of universes out there are all suppositions based on theology or philosophy. They are not based on science in any way. Science cannot tell us why the universe is here, why it works they way it does or why we are here.

Thanks for the discussion gentlemen.

Enjoy a great day!

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:11:28 UTC | #949393

Go to: Teaching science in public schools without stepping around religion

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Nordic11

Hi jdbilak,

Don't confuse science with philosophy. Teach your students how effective science is when exploring how the universe works but realize the severe limitations science when trying to understand why the universe works. Statements such as "the evolution of the universe is completely random without purpose or meaning" or "the universe has no supernatural elements to it" are philosophical inferences that the scientific method is incapable of supporting or denying. In other words, stick to science in science class and leave naturalism for philosophy class.

Enjoy your day!

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 11:04:21 UTC | #949303

Go to: Leafy Sea Dragon Fish

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Nordic11

FYI: Many creationists believe in evolution as science describes it.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 16:39:03 UTC | #948852

Go to: Primary school indoctrination (UK)

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Nordic11

@ sheepcat: Is this a public school? If so, I don't understand how religious views can be taught in a public school. If it is a private shool, then can't the school invite anyone they want to speak with the students? I'm confused.


Tell me, what do YOU think the common ground might be?

Here's a few ideas. We can talk to each other with respect, patience and kindness and avoid condescending language, ridicule and mocking. Both sides need to learn this lesson (myself included). We can also keep pure science in science classes and reserve naturalism and creationism for other venues such as philosophy class.

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 21:05:50 UTC | #948734

Go to: Three Developments in British Education

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Nordic11

And is homeschooling legal in Brittain and other European countries?

Sun, 17 Jun 2012 16:57:47 UTC | #947750

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Nordic11

Hi everyone,

This is the point when commenting on this site becomes a burden. We are way off the original topic of this thread, and I'm sitting in my living room with my morning coffee offering up some ideas about different Genesis interpretations when suddenly I have multiple questions coming from several members that would require a lot more time to answer than I want to give. I enjoy chatting on this site, but I really do not want to launch into a full scale debate that would require me to yank out resources and take up most of my morning to formulate responses that would just spawn many new questions. I'm not blaming you guys; your questions and criticisms are completely fair. We're just crossing over the line of my time commitment.

@Tyler Since you and I started this discussion, I wanted to give you some quick answers. I used the high end estimate for the universe's age (somehow I knew you would comment on that number); I've read the Selfish Gene years ago and last year, and I just finsihed the Greatest Show on Earth (which I found disappointing actually).

also, just a reminder of what an allegory is. It is a story representing spiritual truths without the details of the story being literally true. The parables of Jesus are an example. There is a difference of opinion about Genesis 3 (literal or allegorial), but original sin is the theme of the chapter. You're right that without original sin there is no need for Christ's redemptive work. I believe in both.

Sorry I left so many questions unanswered, but once my coffee is done, I've got a lot of other things to do.

Cheers everyone and enjoy a great weekend!

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:25:25 UTC | #947550

Go to: Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Nordic11

The statistic would not surprise me, but the question is misleading (which was aluded to by Zengardener in comment 5). I've been a devout Christian for nearly 40 years, and I'll probably have times this coming week when I doubt God's existence. I don't believe you can have true faith without a good dose of daily doubt. Statistics about the percentage of youths raised in devoutly religious homes that completely abandon their faiths would be more compelling.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 22:02:21 UTC | #947485

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Nordic11

I got both answers right, but my "trick detector" was on becaue of the article's topic. My students are always bringing me these things.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 21:55:31 UTC | #947481

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Nordic11

There is the thorny issue of original sin that Tyler mentioned. I've read many of the arguments explaining good, evil, altruism, and other components of morality from a strict evolutionary view, and I find them lacking, and many of them are placed on flimsy scientific branches. I'm sure you would disagree, but here is another place where we are split by our convictions. As for other issues coming out of Genesis 1-11, my views are similar to my views on human evolution. There are some broad conconclusions I can concur with, but much of what I read is conjecture and inference based on scant evidence. They are interesting ideas, but I'll wait and see if they hold up. Ideas out of Genesis 1-11 are the same. When did Adan live, exactly how did he get a soul, were there many Adams (as the text suggests), if so, did they all fall? There are many interesting ideas about these and other questions, but I cannot be dogmatic about them with so little information to go on.

There are many people far more competent than I that could explain all this much better, but that is my hack job on the subject in the time I have. For better or worse, you're stuck with me on this site. (Also, please forgive the spelling errors in the previous comment; I forgot to check it).

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 21:46:03 UTC | #947477

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by Nordic11

@ achromat666 and Tyler

Sorry I'm late responding guys. See my comment above for the reason.

I don't have tons of time, but let me try and answer some of your questions. 1600 years ago, Augustine was the first major church father to take an allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 because of the contradictions a literal interpretation presented. Since then, a minority of Biblical scholars also held this view, but many held to a literal view because of the common belief in a young earth. Isaac Newton believed in a young earth, but I'm certain he would change his mind today if presented with modern evidence with an old earth. Ironically, some of the first evidence for an old earth was presented by Scottish geologists who were also Christians. Many were thown out of their churches for their contributions to science.

In Hebrew, Genesis 1 and 2 have a completely different literary structure that is poetical in nature. Remember the original audience for this text - enslaved Hebrews from a nomadic and story telling culture. Many scholars believe and I concur that these chapters were written to reintorduce the Hebrews to their God while also showing why the Eygprain and Babylonian gods (the most influencial civilizations of the day) were false. Genesis was not written for a high scientific twenty first century audience. It was also not written to explain how God created the universe. Less than 100 verses are devoted to the topic. Nor was it written to explain the events of pre-history. Just eleven chapters are used to get from the moment of creation some 17 billion years ago to Abraham. It is similar to human evolution. The fossil evidence for millions of years of human evolution could probably fit in a couple of filing cabinents, and most scientists avoid getting too specific or dogmatic about their hypotheses becasue the evidence is scant.

I'm having a little trouble with my laptop here. Please continue to the next comment. Sorry about that.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 21:29:40 UTC | #947472

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 77 by Nordic11

Hi everyone,

Sorry I'm so late in responding. I've needed to do my 3 month hospital visit, and it's always quite an ordeal in terms of time and helath (ironically, the visit makes me sick, and I'm just kind of coming out of that now).

@alan The Word of God comment was really meant to be part serious and part joke. I did not mean to drop it as an inteelctual bomb and run away from the fall out, but this goes along with my previous comment about avoiding endless debates on topics will never agree on. I do not have the time nor inclination to do that. I've spent lots of time (off an on for years actually) studying both the traditional view and higher criticism view, and I'm comfortable with my view but don't want to debate it. I would like to stick to the themes of the threads we're on.

@ roleren And We've had far less science education then the US..

Really? Could you elaborate? We are always told that endless tests reveal that the Nordic countries kick our butts in science.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 20:59:57 UTC | #947463

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by Nordic11


Really? You, a science teacher, think the Judeo-Christian bible is the word of a god (Yahweh)?!

Why would a god, your god, get the process of photosynthesis assbackwards (Genesis 1:11 versus Genesis 1:14-19)? Plants before sunlight - try teaching that in science class, see how far you get.

As a science teacher, you must know that our sun existed for approx 300 million years before Earth, yet Genesis (1.1 v 1.16) has the Earth formed before the Sun, which is not only incorrect, but cosmologically impossible.

And what of Revelation 8:10, which states "and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters" - as a science teacher, you must realise a star is a sun, and if such an event ever happened, Earth would be destroyed.

Tyler, you've hit the fundy problem square on the head. These passages you quote (Genesis 1 and Revelation) are not literal passages.Genesis 1 is clearly poetry and all of Revelation is allegory. Fundys take these passages literally and creat all kinds of nonsense to support these literal interpreptations. When Professor Dawkins or others on this site refer to creationists, this is the brand of creationism they are referring to, but it does not represent how all Christians think. I know you think I'm crazy for believing in the Scriptures, but at least realize the distinctions between different types of creationists.

@other members who have commented about my comments. If you are going to be rude and call me stupid and crazy, then I'll just ignore your statement. If we can't be civil, I'll not participate in the discussion. If you don't want a christian participating in your discussions, feel free to tell me and I'll go away. I enjoy participating in this site because of your unique knowledge base and perspectives, but when you get nasty, it is not worth my time responding. I'm also not going to enter endless arguments about the historicity of Scripture (which we know we have different views about) or other useless arguments. They are simply a waste of time (my time anyway) because of our different views. We often get lost on those topics instead of the topic of the thread we're discussing. Thanks.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:52:53 UTC | #947186

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Nordic11



The whole point being that it isn't....not even a wee bit of it.

And around the mulberry bush we go.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:06:23 UTC | #947110

Go to: Three Developments in British Education

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Nordic11

As an American, I don't understand the difference between free schools and academies. Are both of these private? If so, is the Bristish government allowed to legislate to private schools what they teach? I'm a bit confused.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:18:09 UTC | #947102

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Nordic11

Hey Tyler

Nordic, did you ever ask yourself how fundies ever became so, er, fundamentalist in the first place?

I honestly don't know. I've wondered that for a long time.

I'm not saying your kids are on that path... but, well, if they ever do, we'll know who's responsible.

I'll take full responsibility.

@all about meme Take that fucking book and throw it in the garbage.

Yeah, I don't think so, it being God's Word and all.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:14:58 UTC | #947101

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by Nordic11

All about meme

And while you're busy enjoying the best of both worlds, we atheists have to suffer the fundamentalist fools your precious "faith" is providing the perfect cover for.

I know, I know... they aren't really Christians.

It's not my place to judge who is a Christian or not, and all I can do is my little part. I can't be responsible for millions of fundies.

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 13:01:19 UTC | #946855

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Nordic11


The US position is somewhat atypical, where I live in England the polls show quite different trends. Children in UK schools are also now taught basic science, from a young age.

Interesting. In the US, science is suspect because so many of us are Christians, and church leaders have espoused scientific creationists' nonsense for so long pitting science against the Bible (or rather the first two chapters of the Bible). This is a false battle that has been waged in America since Darwin and has led to a deep distrust and ignorance of science by Christian Americans. This is why these surveys remain the same. The real battle line is between creationism (the belief God created everything however He did it) and naturalism. Here is where you and I have deep differences, but they are more metaphysical or philosophical. Believers and nonbelievers could have so much common ground in the sciences alleviating much of the distrust and animosity between us, but ignorance in the church has too strong a grasp right now.

On a lighter note, it seems like your father designed a childhood similar to what I am trying to do with my boys. Next week, we leave for the Florida keys on a snorkeling expedition of seven excellent coral reef sights. This will be the second time our family does an in depth study of the reef ecosystem.


Sun, 10 Jun 2012 13:05:41 UTC | #946728

Go to: Louisiana lunacy: tens of millions to be spent on faith-based education

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Nordic11

Sad. This is a true blow against excellent education (although Louisana is always at the bottom of the states for quality education). Of course, if there are quality private schools that are helped out by this in areas where public schools are poor, then it is a help, but those instances will be rare I'm afraid.

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 12:45:58 UTC | #946726

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Nordic11

Hi alan,

There is of course cognitive dissonance involved, as reality kicks those who refuse to accept it in practical situations.

I don't think this happens very often. We live in a world of technology, not science. I can learn to fix a computer without needing to know any of the physics that lays the groundwork for how the computer works. I f you are a nature person, then you are coming into direct contact with actual science, but in our world of technology, nature people are becoming more rare.

They are clueless, obstructive passengers, in a modern scientifically driven world

Its not just fundys. This describes most people. And again, our daily world is really driven by technology and not science. People come in direct contact with technology (and they do not understand how that technology works), but they are several steps removed from the science that led to that technology.

This takes us back to our original discussion about belief in a young earth. Having a scientist tell people the earth is old is still several steps away from the actual science that proves an old earth. Some of those steps are scientific and some are theological, and the average overworked insurance salesman or businessperson does not have the time or inclination to take that journey backward. This is why the survey results on these topics remain the same for decades.

I blame the church. We do not honestly educate our members on these issues resulting in narrow mindedness, confusion, and unnecessary conflict with the secular world.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 11:21:53 UTC | #946553

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Nordic11

Thanks AULhall

Unfortunately, school is all about test performance these days and not higher order thinking skills.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 11:00:53 UTC | #946550

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Nordic11

Hi SueBlue

My father was a mining engineer (my mother was the "do it or be damned" christian), and as kids we were exposed to a lot of geology in conversations with Dad and by living where we did - the mountains of Colorado. Geology was laid out before us like a picture book,

Your situation was unique. In most homes, science is not that important nor is it part of family life. I am a science teacher so science is discussed all the time in my home. Just yesterday, my youngest son was playing with blocks and marbles, and we had an impromptu experiment about potential and kinetic energy, but in most homes, there is little to no exposure to science aside from an occasional Discovery channel documentary.

My mother tried to tell us it was all because of the Flood, but I wasn't buying it. - just get away from the oppressive religious atmosphere so I could feel free to learn what I wanted

I had a similar experience growing up in a fundy church. In high school youth group, I was taught scientific creationism and flood geology, and I knew that was a load of crap. Unfortunately, there was no one around to provide alternatives. I've had to figure it out for myself over the years, and I was able to accept the tenants of modern science without rejecting my faith. I feel like I have the best from both worlds.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 10:57:54 UTC | #946549

Go to: Dawkins calls for 'Catholic' honesty

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 96 by Nordic11

I won't hold back the ridicule.

There's that word again- ridicule. Now professor Dawkins is sounding like a middle school student. Why doesn't he just trash his friends on Facebook and gossip about the uncool people at the lunch table while he's at it? Exactly how is this ridicule strategy going to work? You meet me on the hiking trail with my boys, strike up a conversation about faith, and then mock me out of the woods? While you're harassing me, why not bring your kids along, and they can bully my kids? The professor is not living in the real world where courtesy, manners, kindness and tolerance are valued.

Interesting Dawkins chooses transubstantiation- an outdated doctrine from the Middle Ages that the majority of the world's Christians would never consider. If you want a litmus test for Christians, ask if they believe Christ died and rose from the grave to pardon their sins. That is the Biblical definition of a Christian. And every generation has a vast number of believers who are lukewarm to the faith. Read the book of judges; the Israelites could never remain faithful. Paul laments about horrible behavior in his churches and questions the validity of the faith of many church members. Discovering that many members of the faith are not sure about their beliefs is like telling me that many people in public service are actually out to serve themselves. There's no revelation here, and if you think you are going to ridicule devout believers into unbelief, then you are not just not using a whole lot of reason and logic.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 10:38:20 UTC | #946547

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Nordic11

The reason 46% of American adults believe in a young earth and instantaneous creation of humans has less to do with their lack of science education and more to do with their insufficient theological education. The majority of evangelical churches in America teach that Genesis 1 should be interpreted strictly literally even though the structure, format and literal inconsistencies of the passage have led Biblical scholars since Augustine to view the passage as poetry or allegory. When you are taught that the Word of God says the earth was created in 4000 BC (instead of being told that this view is only one interpretive choice) then the science does not matter. When I sit down with Christian friends who are committed to a young earth interpretation and explain the theological and scientific reasons for adhering to current scientific theories, many (but certainly not all) are more than ready to reevaluate their view.

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 20:58:58 UTC | #946420

Go to: Dawkins calls for 'Catholic' honesty

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Nordic11

Blockquote I'm amazed anyone ever thought otherwise. Even in the Biblical text it is quite clearly an allegorical symbolism of remembrance. Nowhere does it say it is literally 'the body of Christ'. It's just another example of how the Catholic Church has tacked on a whole bunch of extra crap......transubstantiation, 'saints', worshipping the virgin Mary, etc etc that the founders of the church would not have recognised.

Thank you, Schrodinger's Cat. This is why we had the Reformation 500 years ago.

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 20:44:05 UTC | #946414

Go to: Does Religious Liberty Equal Freedom to Discriminate?

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Nordic11

Good article. You make some very good points that I would agree with.

Personally, I believe countries should be free to define marriage as it has been traditionally defined for all these centuries, but in a secular society, I am in favor of a civil union for gays to accord them the rights of citizens without turning the concept of marriage on its head.

Thu, 31 May 2012 18:19:15 UTC | #944797

Go to: Inspirational atheism

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Nordic11

I don't find our inevitable personal annihilation particularly inspiring.

Mon, 21 May 2012 01:00:06 UTC | #942536

Go to: So what's the goal with theism?

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 97 by Nordic11

Excellent discussion. Thank you for initiating it Dapperdontastic!

Perhaps you would appreciate a Chrsitian's point of view. If not, just inore this comment.

As for the eventual irradiaction of theism, my premise, obviouly, is that God and Christ are real so the irradication of theism is impossible.

if your premise that God and the supernatural do not exist is true, I believe you will still never e irridcate theism. Nonbelief has been around for thousands of years, and who knows, maybe since the dawn of humanity. David wrote of nonbelievers (Psalm 14:1), and great thinkers have consistently predicted the death of theism, but even if God does not exist, there is obviously a powerful evolutionary advanage for humans to believe in supernatural beings and places beyound this material universe. I think this is deeply biological and not just cultural.

As for "what to do with theists," you probably want to wait unil you have a majority before you devise your plans. There are 5 billion theists on the planet afterall. If you do achieve a majority, I would hope that you practice what you preach on this site about democracy and equal rights for all, including theists. For many theists, comments like Comment 16 by VrijVlinder

Comment 15 by Floyd I had to laugh when OP mentioned prisons and mental hospitals for theists! Nobody is suggesting anything like that

I would suggest it. Not to throw away the keys but to subject them to a crash course in scientific discovery and somehow deprogram them so they can chose voluntarily to give up the imaginary friend.

are just proof of what happens when atheists control government and they ruthlessly purge religion.

As for the RDFRS mission statement , I would also like to see it accomplished. I want scientific creationism, religiously motivated bigotry and other fundementalist ills gone.

Last, concerning the "indoctrination" of children, I unapologetically teach my children Christianity, it is the truth afterall, but I also talk with them about the problems with our faith and the need for them to choose their path as adults. This site has been very helpful with giving me the opportunity to crystalize the major doubts and objections to Christianity and present these issues to my children.

To sum up, if atheists keep their militant title, then your conversations with theists will not be very profitable.

Sun, 20 May 2012 14:47:35 UTC | #942445

Go to: Norway abolishes state sponsored Church of Norway

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Nordic11

Great idea! Separation of church and state are always a good thing.

Those countries top constantly the classifications on quality of living, education and, lately, also in the happiness report released by the UN.

I believe this has more to do with their homogenous society than atheistic tendencies.

Tue, 15 May 2012 16:47:47 UTC | #941625

Go to: "Our Lady of Sorrows (Ariz.) baseball team forfeits state title rather than play against team with a girl"

Nordic11's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Nordic11

Yet another extreme story about the religious fringe instead of focusing on the tens of millions of believers in the mainstream.

I guess a story featuring some of the millions of kids playing normal sports for religious schools would just be too boring.

Mon, 14 May 2012 00:05:37 UTC | #941325