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Topic: Oklahoma Dawkins Controversy

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Subject: Oklahoma Dawkins Controversy
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2007
Posts: 4,013
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While my husband and I are not agnostics or atheists, we are pretty staunch evolutionists.  My husband is going to the ASU Origins Symposium next week and will be seeing many heavy hitters of free thought including six Nobel Laureates, Stephen Hawking & Richard Dawkins (my jealousy meter is pegging here!).  Since he's heading out there, we've been following the controversy in Oklahoma.

For quick background -- Dawkins went to speak at the University of Oklahoma.  Much anger from state legislature about "indoctrination" and what have you.  He chose to waive his fee AND donated $5000 to the science department of the university.  There were at least 2 resolutions passed by the state legislature trying to stop the lecture.

Now, there is a full on investigation into the university and anyone who may have promoted the event.  It is seriously frightening stuff.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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This is really horrific. 

I think I've said this in the Darwin thread, but I really, really do not understand this fear of evolution.  I don't understand how it would even interfere with anybody's belief in God or Jesus (The Catholic Church agrees).  I don't get it.  At all.  Until the last few years I always thought not believing in evolution was some bizarre fringe thing.  Doesn't the OK legislature realize that what they are doing is a blatant violation of the 1st Amenment?  Have they confused "upholding the laws of the United States" with "mission for God"?  So, so disturbing.  Thank you so much for posting.

As I've also stated elsewhere, the ivory tower in which I was apparently raised has rendered me sheltered.  I find all this baffling.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2007
Posts: 4,013
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It really is astounding to me, the lengths to which people will go to jam creationism into education and life in general.  I do find this particular witch hunt to be extra frightening.  It's a pretty massive abuse of the FOIA.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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Until the last few years I always thought not believing in evolution was some bizarre fringe thing. 

Me too! I thought Huckleberry (M.Huckabee)  would be laughed off stage for admitting a belief in creationism. What is happening to reason?

ETA>>>Arrgh! The typo monster!



Last Edited on: 3/26/09 10:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2007
Posts: 4,013
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I believe my husband said that in terms of industrialized nations, only Turkey has more people who believe in creationism.  It SHOULD be fringe, but it's definitely not.  I don't see how Scopes can be so long ago and we're still dealing with it today.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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I have no idea why so many find such a conflict between this and their religion, but mostly it is a massive wave of these Fundamental Christians that refuse to accept any idea or principle that doesn't mesh with their version of the Bible. These people are like cultists. While most Christians can believe that much in the Bible is a sort of parable, Jonah and the whale for instance, fundamentalists absolutely believe that this is exactly what happened. They can't wrap their heads around the fact that not only was the Bible written by men describing stories that they had heard from others, but it was also written in ancient languages and translated by other men, hundreds of times, hundreds of years later. But they see no room for anything being lost (or accidentally gained) in translation.

Now I don't mean to harsh on anyone's belief system, but I think that raising children in this sort of atmosphere of unreality is dangerous to a young mind.



Last Edited on: 3/26/09 10:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Count me in with the people who are baffled by the uproar over evolution. It's sad to say, but I actually didn't realize so many people didn't believe in evolution until I joined PBS.  I guess I lived in my own little bubble.

 



Last Edited on: 3/27/09 9:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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Yeah, I don't get it.  People are so up in arms about evolution, but accept the heliocentric universe, carbon dating, gravity and other scientific principles.  Its like admitting that everything we know about germ theory, anatomy and physiology make sense- but still believing in the four humors.

It also makes me cringe everytime I hear someone say evolution doesn't make sense and then come up with "its just a theory" or "if humans came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" or any of the numerous other ridiculously common misconceptions about evolution. 

ETA: All depressingly common misconceptions about evolution aside, what really bugs me are the anti-evolutionists who acknowledge microevolution (i.e. peppered moths where changes with the species were observed) but deny even the possibility of macroevolution.



Last Edited on: 3/27/09 10:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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Actually on the carbon dating...back when Huckabee was the gov. here, he pushed for creationism to be taught in public schools (as just another theory!!! arrugh). The RR has a big influence here financially, and some were told :

“I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD ... but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.”

http://www.arktimes.com/Articles/ArticleViewer.aspx?ArticleID=e7a0f0e1-ecfd-4fc8-bca4-b9997c912a91 link to article.

These people believe in Young Earth "science', and I am afraid that next we will be dealing with a society where far too few of it's members are willing to accept empirical evidence if it somehow, in their twisted logic ,conflicts with their faith. I think we are regressing, and I can all too easily imagine a time when flat-earth *cough* theory *cough* is taught in our schools and things like eclipses are considered "miracles".

 



Last Edited on: 4/5/09 1:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Amy
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I think the problem most creationists have with evolution is that they see it as a reason for us being.. or how we were created.

What they fail to realize is that evolution does not answer the question of where we came from, but how we got to where we are once we were here.

If creationists really want to argue with a scientific theory that is contrary to what they believe, they should look into abogenesis.

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,665
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It is frightening just how much of our country is run not on facts or reason, but on religious ideology.  Science and truth are being supressed, and the religious right are using their tax free dollars to coordinate efforts to do it.  It isn't right.  Not only does it show a weakness in their faith, but it weakens us as a country. 

There have been times where I have considered homeschooling my children because of the heavy religious influence of the public schools.  My son will be going to middle school in two years, and do you know what one of his elective choices is?  Bible Studies.  Explain to me how this is educationally relevant for middle school students and should be paid for state tax dollars.  It's not even world religion....it's Bible Studies.  Isn't that what church is for?

When people talk about the dumbing down of America, I absolutely agree.  When we refuse to allow children to learn because it intereferes with religion, then we become very dumb indeed.

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2007
Posts: 4,013
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Looks like some of these creationist types are really getting bold.

They're knocking down videos from Rational Responders & James Randi Educational Foundation.  Apparently reporting the material as copyrighted.

Frightening stuff.  And what is astounding to me is how short-sighted these folks are.

Edited to add/fix links.



Last Edited on: 3/31/09 9:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/31/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2007
Posts: 4,013
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Last Edited on: 3/31/09 9:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/9/2009 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
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It IS Oklahoma.  Where in the first 30 days I lived here I was asked countless times "have you found a church home?"  We're firmly in the Bible Belt here and anything that goes against the fundamental Christian beliefs is perceived as a threat.

 

Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
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It is really sad to see that America seems to be going backward in terms of presenting scientific thought in education. In my middle school bio class we were studying evolution. At the end of one lecture the teacher said: "I am obligated to tell you that some people do not believe in evolution. They believe a mystical being made the earth and everything on it in six days. If you want to learn about this notion more go to church."  His tone made it pretty clear that he did not believe that a public school was the place to be talking about such codswallop, and I remember being astonished that he even had to make this statement about creationism. That was in WV in 1988.  

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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My parents moved to Oklahoma a while back, and my mother told me that everyone they met immediately asked them about their church.  I said "See, that's why I could never stand to live there!"

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
Posts: 2,317
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I had friends who moved to OK temporarily to do some legal work there.  They are both lawyers and were living together though were not married at the time.  They schlepped their boxes into the little apartment one evening.  The next morning they were woken at 6:00 A.M. by a young (teenage) woman who wanted to "welcome" them to the neighborhood  She very perkily said, "Even though I know y'all are goin' ta heyull, I just wanted to give you God's word."  Or something along those lines.  She left them some religious tracts, and bounced back off the porch.  I'm not sure what convinced her they were going to hell (unless that's where all lawyers go). 

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
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Eeeek....sounds like Oklahoma IS Hell!

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 161
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I'm from OKC and while we are the buckle of the bible belt, I would'nt call it hell ( I never thought I would be defending my state 0-o)

The hard-core fundamentals are a loud, big bunch here. But I have heard that they are that way everywhere. They bunch up and run in packs for safety.

I am happy that things are being stirred up here. I feel bad for those that are undergoing investigation, but this is war.

 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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I think I've said this in the Darwin thread, but I really, really do not understand this fear of evolution.  I don't understand how it would even interfere with anybody's belief in God or Jesus (The Catholic Church agrees).

I'm with you, I don't think evolution necessarily conflicts with many religions. But I think Fundamentalist Christians are working with a different set of philosophical presuppositions than Catholic Christians. The latter are very open to the idea of God acting/working through secondary causes, the former much less so.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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The hard-core fundamentals are a loud, big bunch here. But I have heard that they are that way everywhere.

I've never heard a peep out of a Christian fundamentalist.  I suppose we must have some, but I've never seen one in the wild. 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 161
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I've never heard a peep out of a Christian fundamentalist.  I suppose we must have some, but I've never seen one in the wild.

Perhaps we should tag them and them we can follow their migratory patterns.  ;0)

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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They both summer and winter here in Arkansas, lol.

Resident birds that annoy...kinda like starlings.