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What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Old 01-25-2009, 06:12 AM   #16
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

What is a theory? A scientific theory?:

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In science, an explanation or model that covers a substantial group of occurrences in nature and has been confirmed by a substantial number of experiments and observations. A theory is more general and better verified than a hypothesis.
...more

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The scientific definition of the word "theory" is different from the colloquial sense of the word. Colloquially, "theory" can mean a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation that does not have to be based on facts or make testable predictions. In science, the meaning of theory is more rigorous: a theory must be based on observed facts and make testable predictions.
What this means is that evolution is a theory that IS based on observed facts and makes testable predictions. Short of god showing up on earth declaring "I'm back bitches, let me show you what I can do" the theory of evolution is here to stay indefinitely.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:02 AM   #17
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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What this means is that evolution is a theory that IS based on observed facts and makes testable predictions. Short of god showing up on earth declaring "I'm back bitches, let me show you what I can do" the theory of evolution is here to stay indefinitely.
And the first molecule of matter evolved from nothing how? There has been evolutionary evidence of something evolving out of nothing when?

Yes, scientific theory is based on fact and evidence for explanation of certain events and is not "theory" as it is used in colloquial terms. As to the ultimate fact of whether or not there was a "creation", however, the evolutionary theory is based on the existence of something from which other things evolve. As such, there is an assumption within the theory that cannot be proven and to which the theory is inapplicable.

This is what I mean about the whole evolution v. creation being simplified into an all or nothing question. I have no problem believing man evolved from an ape like ancestor and that life in general evolved from microorganisms. Does that mean I don't believe in a creator? No, it does not. I do not, however, find the two concepts mutually exclusive.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:41 AM   #18
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

As I said earlier, both religion and science seek the truth. I must be right b/c the pope agreed with me and he is infallible:

"In his encyclical Humani Generis, my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation... Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines.

...

And to tell the truth, rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of the plural is required here—in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversity of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and, beyond that, of theology.

...

An appreciation for the different methods used in different fields of scholarship allows us to bring together two points of view which at first might seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe and measure, with ever greater precision, the many manifestations of life, and write them down along the time-line. The moment of passage into the spiritual realm is not something that can be observed in this way—although we can nevertheless discern, through experimental research, a series of very valuable signs of what is specifically human life. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-consciousness and self-awareness, of moral conscience, of liberty, or of aesthetic and religious experience—these must be analyzed through philosophical reflection, while theology seeks to clarify the ultimate meaning of the Creator's designs."


Pope John Paul II, October 22, 1996, address to the Pontifical Academy of Science. Pope John Paul II* 22 October 1996** To Pontifical Academy of Sciences
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:21 AM   #19
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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... both religion and science seek the truth...[/url]
There in lies the answer. The "truth" is different for both sides of the argument.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:58 AM   #20
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

What are the two sides of the argument which you say are opposed? As I said, I see no conflict between the general theory of evolution as proposed by Darwin and the belief in an ultimate creator.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #21
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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And the first molecule of matter evolved from nothing how? There has been evolutionary evidence of something evolving out of nothing when?

Yes, scientific theory is based on fact and evidence for explanation of certain events and is not "theory" as it is used in colloquial terms. As to the ultimate fact of whether or not there was a "creation", however, the evolutionary theory is based on the existence of something from which other things evolve. As such, there is an assumption within the theory that cannot be proven and to which the theory is inapplicable.

This is what I mean about the whole evolution v. creation being simplified into an all or nothing question. I have no problem believing man evolved from an ape like ancestor and that life in general evolved from microorganisms. Does that mean I don't believe in a creator? No, it does not. I do not, however, find the two concepts mutually exclusive.
No scientist can answer where hydrogen (matter) come from, we can however reasonably say where the rest of the elements came from (theory). I fully accept that science can not explain everything but simply saying "it must be god" is worse than the involuntary ignorance of science. The universe offer many mysteries and it's the job of science to ascertain the truth. I can not say in good conscience religion seeks the truth, the truth is already know and it's god (doctrine).

Science has many holes and flaws but it has built in mechanism to make progress and corrections to itself. Religion has holes and many flaws too but if the holy books are testaments from god how much progress can we make? In the three major religions for example "humanity spawned from Adam and Eve" and "Adam was created from mud" are religious truths. Disputing these truths is heresy and innovation in scripture is not easily accepted. There is no formal method of accepting change to doctrine. Fortunately we live in a time where you have the option of forking and creating your own religion. Unfortunately, new religions are simply base on the ones they spawned from.

Science simply says we don't have the answers, we will look for them. If a better theory than evolution comes along Darwin will simply be a giant whose shoulder were stood on. Every scientist in the field of evolutionary biology is gunning for him. That's the way it should be and that's the beauty if science.

To summarize, science is trying to put together a puzzle and the picture is unknown. Religion knows the picture and therefore doesn't bother with the puzzle.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #22
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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And to tell the truth, rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of the plural is required here—in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversity of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and, beyond that, of theology.

It seems to me the Pope is fallible. Just because you put a theory after a claim doesn't mean it's a theory, certainly not the scientific kind.

Anywho, Nova did a terrific program on the subject a while back and reductionism "theory" was brought up court.

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #23
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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To summarize, science is trying to put together a puzzle and the picture is unknown. Religion knows the picture and therefore doesn't bother with the puzzle.
I would disagree with your characterization of religion not seeking truth. The ultimate truth that God is the ultimate creator is accepted by religion. The how's and why's of his creation, however, will always be sought after. Your view of religion as an either/or proposition simplifies thousands of years of theology.

Most ancient religions are still around b/c they are open to change and to seeing each scientific discovery as a further glimpse into the mind of the creator. Reconciling scientific theories to long held religious beliefs without sacrificing the factual truth is what keeps spirituality vibrant and alive. In many respects, science is the starting point for spiritual thought: How can the existence of a single creator be reconciled to the infinity of space? Who/what was "Adam" (which most religions now use as an allegory for the transition from animal to what we now consider human)? What does it mean to be "human" in light of the discovery that more and more creatures are found to be self aware?

Yes, religion (as John Paul summarizes above) has accepted certain fundamental truths (in Christianity, these can be found in the Nicene Creed). True sprituality attempts to reconcile these truths to the scientifically discovered truths with an intent to view the truly unknown through the resulting prism.

Rather than say that religion knows what the puzzle looks like, I would suggest religion accepts that it doesn't know what the puzzle looks like but, rather, knows that something created the puzzle. Further, spirituality hopes that, through studying the known puzzle parts, we may learn something of the creator's purpose and, using these insights, guess as to what the unknown pieces may look like. As with science, when factual truth subsequently disproves those guesses, the insights must be rethought.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #24
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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It seems to me the Pope is fallible. Just because you put a theory after a claim doesn't mean it's a theory, certainly not the scientific kind.
Please understand that the "infallible" comment was for irony.

Ultimately, at this point, no scientific theory of wihich I am aware describes the creation of matter.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:00 PM   #25
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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To summarize, science is trying to put together a puzzle and the picture is unknown. Religion knows the picture and therefore doesn't bother with the puzzle.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:36 AM   #26
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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There in lies the answer. The "truth" is different for both sides of the argument.

When I'm not in a huge hurry, I'll fini.

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:26 PM   #27
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Science simply says we don't have the answers, we will look for them. If a better theory than evolution comes along Darwin will simply be a giant whose shoulder were stood on. Every scientist in the field of evolutionary biology is gunning for him. That's the way it should be and that's the beauty if science.
I 100% agree that this is how science should be.

But what these organizations in question are proposing is not at all what you describe. It seems more like: "we don't really want to debate the merits of this anymore, so we'll act like we can explain more than we actually can, and then treat the opposing viewpoints as common ignorance."

Which, in my opinion and perhaps other, is an inherent problem. Because these organizations are representing the entire field of scientific discovery, they are embarrassing not only themselves, but the very things they have dedicated their lives to.

And obviously, just because an academic has membership in an organization doesn't mean that they are necessarily committing these faults. Good science can occur in and amongst poor scientific practice, I believe. But I think what we're seeing in the last five or so years is far more of the latter than the former, and that these organizations need: 1) new leadership 2) new philosophies and 3) a more open, clear doctrine, before I personally can take them seriously in the future.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #28
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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It seems to me the Pope is fallible. Just because you put a theory after a claim doesn't mean it's a theory, certainly not the scientific kind.
Omigod! Religious leaders agree with saden1. Can Armaggedon be far away?

"Church teaching holds that Catholicism and evolutionary theory are not necessarily at odds. But the Vatican's position became somewhat confused in recent years, in part because of a 2005 New York Times op-ed piece written by a close Benedict collaborator, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.

In the piece, Schoenborn seemed to reject traditional church teaching and back intelligent design, the view that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone, and that a higher power has had a hand in changes among species over time.

Vatican officials later made clear they did not believe intelligent design was science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in school classrooms only created confusion."

Vatican official: Atheist theories 'absurd' - The Vatican- msnbc.com
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:12 PM   #29
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Solid discussion.

Probably reading too much into it, but interesting that you titled the thread anti-religious bigotry as opposed to religious bigotry.
I see. Sort of like "a little small" or "gay homosexual".

Anyway this was a big issue near my town. If any of you guys recall the Marrieta, Georgia incident at Lassiter high school. Ironically I got to play them in high school for 3 years in a row. Classy bunch to as they vandalized our stadium before the game though I guess I'm getting a little off topic.



Long story short, the school board refused to teach creationism but required all science textbooks regarding evolution to have a sticker stating that evolution is only a theory, even though the context of what constitutes a widely accepted scientific theory is overlooked.

I guess everyone has heard this rationalization but I agree with the fact that Creationism has not passed the criteria needed to qualify it as a scientific theory. Instead it's really a backdoor way of getting religion in the classroom. Discrimination was probably the wrong word for the guy in the quote to use, but you can't try to pass something off as science when you have only very circumstational evidence to begin with. It reminds me of a quote I heard from somewhere where someone said "Gravity is also a theory, but when jump from the top of a building, well sudenly gravity becomes very real."

If anything I think there should be a religous studies/philosophy class allowed in school that exposes students to all faiths and methods of critical thinking but of course for some thats out of the question. Then again I learned about budhism and Islam in a history class (public school) so I guess it's started.

The funny thing is living in the Bible belt I haven't met a whole lot of Christians that believe in creationism. In fact most Christians I know believe that God brought it along.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:58 PM   #30
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

I've always held the view that if I were to ever become a Christian I would become a Catholic.
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