Matt Young posted Entry 2878 on January 27, 2007 11:02 AM.
Trackback URL: http://degas.fdisk.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2868

Update, February 4, 2007. 570 churches from 50 states and 4 foreign countries are participating in Evolution Sunday. See http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/rel_evol_sun… . I will update the number here every day or so through February 11.

February 7, 2007, 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, 584 congregations.

February 8, 2007, 9 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, 598 congregations.

February 10, 2007, 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, 601 congregations.

February 11, 2007, 8 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, 611 congregations. Tomorrow, February 12, is Darwin Day; see http://www.darwinday.org/ . Click Events to find an activity in your area. I will leave this Sticky in place till midafternoon tomorrow, in case anyone wants to report on Evolution Sunday events in his or her area.

I recently received a request from Michael Zimmerman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biology at Butler University in Indiana, to help him promote Evolution Sunday, February 11, 2007. Professor Zimmerman is also the founder of The Clergy Letter Project, which you can read about here http://www.evolutionsunday.org. The Clergy Letter Project is terribly important because it counters the view that evolution is inherently atheistic, and the signers of the document are the natural allies of us who want to promote good science education and keep all species of creationism out of the public schools and indeed out of the public agenda. Beyond that, I will let Professor Zimmerman speak for himself:

The Second Annual Evolution Sunday will occur on February 11, 2007…. This date is an opportunity for congregations across the country (indeed, around the world) to join together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. Evolution Sunday is being sponsored by The Clergy Letter Project, a collection of more than 10,400 members of the Christian clergy who have signed a letter asserting that Christianity and modern evolutionary science need not be at odds with one another.

[T]hese Christian clergy members assert that they “believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests.” They go on to urge that modern evolutionary theory rather than any form of creationism or intelligent design be taught in our country’s public schools and conclude by requesting that “We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.”

One of the main goals of The Clergy Letter Project is to demonstrate to the broad spectrum of Christian believers that, unlike what is being shrilly shouted by many fundamentalist ministers, a choice does not have to be made between religion and science. Because the two are compatible, congregants should feel comfortable accepting both. Additionally, the signers of The Clergy Letter want to go on record making it clear that those fundamentalist ministers are not speaking for the majority of Christian clergy.

Last year, … The Clergy Letter Project sponsored the First Annual Evolution Sunday event, [in which] 467 congregations from every state, the District of Columbia and five countries participated…. Evolution Sunday received a great deal of very positive national publicity with articles in virtually every major newspaper in the country. Indeed, the one in the New York Times was the most e-mail[ed] article for the week it appeared. Additionally, it is clear the event hit a nerve with creationists: both the Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis issued press releases condemning Evolution Sunday.

The Second Annual Evolution Sunday event has now been scheduled for 11 February 2007. If you are a part of a congregation, please think about having it participate. It is only by broadening the base in this way that we will be able to reach out to a growing number of people and, hopefully, improve the understanding that people have about the interrelationship between science and religion….

To sign your congregation up or to sign The Clergy Letter, contact Professor Zimmerman at [Enable javascript to see this email address.]. Additionally, you may find more than 50 sermons delivered by clergy last year at http://www.evolutionsunday.org.

Please limit comments to Evolution Sunday and The Clergy Letter Project, and avoid discussion of theology or “the timeless truths of the Bible.”

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Comment #159380

Posted by vhutchison on February 3, 2007 11:41 AM (e)

Professor ‘BUTLER’?

Comment #159381

Posted by Michael Zimmerman on February 3, 2007 11:53 AM (e)

I’m delighted to note that participation for Evolution Sunday has increased to 565 congregations (as of 3 February, 12:48 Eastern Time!). This represents an increase of more than 20 percent over last year. The Clergy Letter itself has now been signed by 10,534 members of the Christian clergy. Check out The Clergy Letter Project at www.evolutionsunday.org

Indeed, religion and science need not be at war with each other.

Michael

Michael Zimmerman
Office of the Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN 46228

[Enable javascript to see this email address.]

Comment #159383

Posted by Matt Young on February 3, 2007 12:00 PM (e)

Professor ‘BUTLER’?

Fixed, thanks!

Comment #159410

Posted by AR on February 3, 2007 5:51 PM (e)

I am wondering why the Clergy Project, supported by over 10,400 Christian clergy members, seems to enjoy no visible support from any Rabbis, Imams, shamans, gurus, and lamas?

Comment #159412

Posted by Matt Young on February 3, 2007 6:26 PM (e)

The Clergy Letter, perhaps wisely, perhaps not, is directed specifically at Christian clergy:

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook….

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist….

Comment #159417

Posted by Michael Zimmerman on February 3, 2007 6:59 PM (e)

Indeed, The Clergy Letter has been limited explicitly to Christian clergy members. Since it is fundamentalist Christian ministers who have been shouting to the American people that they must choose between religion and science, it seemed reasonable to have thousands upon thousands of Christian clergy assert otherwise. One of the main goals of The Clergy Letter is to demonstrate to the vast middle ground of American Christians that religion and science can be compatible. It simply wouldn’t be very persuasive to have leaders of other religions saying to Christians that Christian fundamentalist ministers are not speaking for all Christians.

Evolution Sunday, on the other hand, is open to members of all religions and, next year, we will actively begin to recruit members of other religions to participate. This makes sense because the purpose of Evolution Sunday is broader than the purpose of The Clergy Letter itself.

Michael

Comment #159480

Posted by Frank J on February 4, 2007 7:52 AM (e)

I have just read several of the sermons by some of the participants in last year’s Evolution Sunday (on a Sunday morning, no less!).

All I can say is that, the next time you hear anyone say, or even insinuate, that these religious leaders are somehow “bullied” by “Darwinists,” make sure you let them know that that’s probably the most outrageous lie in the entire anti-evolution movement. Yet it is unabashedly repeated by creationists an “I’m not a creationist” IDers alike. Granted, many of the people who repeat that line do so innocently, but not so the movement leaders.

Furthermore, I would bet that, for every participant in Evolution Sunday or signer of the Clergy letter, there are several others who would like to do so, but are afraid that their congregation would not understand. Just like the many teachers who are afraid to teach evolution because they don’t want to deal with irate, closed-minded parents. Notice how anti-evolution activists get scarce when that happens? It should be clear who is really doing the “bullying.”

Comment #159487

Posted by FL on February 4, 2007 11:22 AM (e)

Furthermore, I would bet that, for every participant in Evolution Sunday or signer of the Clergy letter, there are several others who would like to do so, but are afraid that their congregation would not understand.

Or maybe their congregations WOULD understand what’s going on. Perhap members of their congregations ARE indeed open-minded and informed, and thus would insist on openly discussing the claim of the alleged compatibility of evolution with their Christian faith. Then those “several other” clergypersons that you refer to, would have some serious explainin’ and discussin’ to deal with.

Perhaps just perhaps, that possibility is the real reason behind those “several other” clergy not being willing to get involved with ES or CLP.

You see, while we are told on this PT thread to “avoid discussion of theology or the timeless truths of the Bible”, that particular discussion is exactly what many clergypersons might probably have to engage within their congregations.

Within many congreations, if the clergyperson seeks to get with ES or the CLP, he or she may well wind up having to first discuss the issue with their congregation, and that might bring up those key points where Biblical historical claims and Darwinian historical claims clash with each other, and the very serious implications thereof.

All it would take is, say, a couple of older respected, conservative members willing to speak up at the appropriate time, (or maybe a couple of uppity, unafraid younger members), willing to stand up and briefly offer a few inconvenient yet supportable questions/statements/points relating to the alleged compatibility of evolution and Christianity.

Then the discussion/debate would be on, and the clergyperson might well have to actually justify his/her own views on the matter, as well as the intention to have their church as a whole become identified with either ES or the CLP. Mmmm.

********

Still, you could be right in some cases. Maybe some clergy ARE merely afraid that their “congregaton wouldn’t understand”, and that’s that.

But it’s equally likely that many clergy are afraid that members of their congregation WOULD in fact understand what’s going on, and therefore openly question his or her views and intentions, insisting on some open discussion of the issues involved. Maybe that’s the real reason.

Not because the minds of the congregation are closed—but because their minds are open and informed.

FL

Comment #159496

Posted by Gary Hurd on February 4, 2007 1:49 PM (e)

When I have given talks on science and creationism, I mainly focused on a short history of science v. religion, starting with the Bible.

It is a very effective visual to hold up a Bible by the few pages of Genesis 1 - 12, the creation through the end of the Noah myth (it is about 5 printed pages in most Bibles) and point out that creationists insist that if these 3 pieces of paper are removed, or merely not interpreted in an absurd manner, then the entire remaining 600 to 700 printed pages are meaningless. Then I read the observations of Thomas Aquinas, c.a. 1225 - 1274, and the Christian father, Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430) about the proper relation of science and the Bible.

I jam through Luther and Calvin, bounce on Ussher, Hume, and Paley and then shift over to the USA in the early to middle 1800s: the Millerites and then Ellen G. White. With the Seventh-day Adventests lined up, I then mentioned Darwin for the first time in the talk.

Why were the Adventists more worried about geology than biology? Back to the 1700s for a brief review of canal and road construction and the end of “Deluvianism.” Return to Ellen White and her “trances” recounted in her 1868 book that fixed the Adventist dogma of young earth, and flood geology. Next George McCready Price and Adventist geology up until John C. Whitcomb, and Henry M. Morris The Genesis Flood 1961 Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, which basically created “scientific creationism.” Law suits banning teaching creationism in public schools leads to a massive (and botched) rewrite of “Creation Biology” ultimately published as Of Pandas and People. This was the birth of creationism a la Intelligent Design Creationism.

Few people who have not read Ron Number’s excellent book, The Creationists (recently released in a new edition), grasp that the Seventh Day Adventists are the source of most modern creationist dogma.

Comment #159522

Posted by paul on February 4, 2007 8:16 PM (e)

Correct me if I’m wrong as I delurk, but…
Is this the same FL who was so looking forward to the showdown in Dover?

Comment #159544

Posted by Jake on February 5, 2007 12:03 AM (e)

This simply proves that Darwinism is all about religion.

Comment #159611

Posted by Frank J on February 5, 2007 5:15 AM (e)

FL wrote:

Not because the minds of the congregation are closed—but because their minds are open and informed.

If you mean “open” to postmodern “explanations” and “informed” at how to use ID bait-and-switch tactics, I agree. A lot of religious leaders & teachers do not want to get sidetracked into combating pseudoscience.

Comment #159623

Posted by TLTB on February 5, 2007 7:02 AM (e)

While I applaud the efforts of the Clergy Letter and endorse the idea of Evolution Sunday, I would point out that very few of the signatories of the letter are from evangelical or fundamentalist churches.

The position that science and faith are compatible is in fact a majority view amongst Christians world-wide and most mainline denominations endorse it. So it is no bold stance for a Lutheran, Methodist, or United Church of Christ minister to sign the document.

While I’m I’ll for this kind of teaching, I fear that in the end all Evolution Sunday accomplishes is to widen the riff in Christianity between mainline denominations and their younger evangelical cousins. What we really need are evangelical pastoral leaders that take science seriously. I think that is starting to happen thanks to the work of Francis Collins, Darrell Falk, and even Mark Noll. But it’ll likely be a while before we start hearing evangelical pastors talk about evolution from the pulpit.

Comment #159624

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 5, 2007 7:35 AM (e)

Michael Zimmerman wrote:

[N]ext year, we will actively begin to recruit members of other religions to participate. This makes sense because the purpose of Evolution Sunday is broader than the purpose of The Clergy Letter itself.

I would suggest as a first measure in that direction that you evolve the name of Evolution Sunday to Evolution Weekend - that should cover the Christian-Muslim-Jewish triad. No idea which, if any, days are considered appropiate for religious observances in other religions.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #159635

Posted by Michael Zimmerman on February 5, 2007 9:19 AM (e)

Grey Wolf’s suggestion to change the name of Evolution Sunday to Evolution Weekend is exactly what we’ve been thinking about doing. If there’s enough interest, we’ll likely do just that this coming year. Please help generate such interest.

Let me also say that The Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Sunday are not designed to change the minds of fundamentalists. Rather, our goal is to educate the vast majority of Christians who, if told they have to choose between religion and modern science, are likely to opt for religion. Our goal is to demonstrate to these people that there are thousands upon thousands of Christian clergy members who know that such a choice is unnecessary. The only voices these people are currently hearing are those of the fundamentalists who are demanding that such a choice be made.

Comment #159656

Posted by TLTB on February 5, 2007 11:26 AM (e)

I think Zimmerman’s most recent post illustrates my point well.

It states that the purpose of evolution Sunday is to educate “the vast majority of Christians who, if told they have to choose between religion and modern science, are likely to opt for religion.” But who are these Christians? In America, they are largely Christians who attend evangelical churches. And in evangelical churches, the head pastor is the ultimate authority on things biblical and spiritual. Choosing modern science for these Christians often means conflicting with that authority and often means leaving their church. Since ‘controversial’ scientific theories have little daily relevance for most people, the vast majority will choose their church.

So, I am very pessimistic about evolution sunday to have any great impact on the beliefs of any statistically significant number of Christians in this country. Potentially, I think it also could drive deeper the wedge between mainline and evangelical churches already marked by misunderstanding and paranoia. However, I do think it has value in adding a voice to the media hurrah - a media which has by and large bought into the false dichotomy between science and religion that fundamentalism has set up. As such its witness might be greater to non-Christians who use science as an excuse for unbelief than to Christians who use religion as an excuse for scientific ignorance.

Comment #159678

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 5, 2007 12:45 PM (e)

So, I am very pessimistic about evolution Sunday to have any great impact on the beliefs of any statistically significant number of Christians in this country

I agree with this statement. I belong to a church that endorses the beliefs of Answers in Genesis ministries. I noticed this statement from Ken Ham on the featured article today:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0205let…

You already know that the culture war is only heating up. And that it is really a war between two worldviews: Christianity versus secular humanism. At a foundational level, the debate is between these two factions: those who accept God as the Creator of life versus those who believe that natural processes are responsible for life. Either man is created in the image of God—and accountable to his Creator, or man is an animal—and answerable to no one but himself.

Can’t see evolution Sunday having any impact on Abbots Cross Presbyterian Church. In fact,many of the evangelical churches in NI would be hostile to the idea, and most (if not all) would agree with ken Ham’s sentiments above.

Comment #159705

Posted by Chinchillazilla on February 5, 2007 2:16 PM (e)

Kentucky has fewer signatures than KANSAS.

*hangs head in shame*

Comment #159708

Posted by vhutchison on February 5, 2007 2:31 PM (e)

Does the Presbyterian church mentioned belong to The Presbyterian Church of the U.S. ? If so, it has official resolutions supporting evolution, as do many other mainstream denominations. The statements of these churches in support of evolution can be found at the NCSE web site (http://www.ncseweb.org/) under the ‘Resources” tab and then the ‘Voices for Evolution’ tab.

Also, one needs to be careful in using ‘evangelical.’ It is not the same as ‘fundamentalist.’ Most mainstream denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, etc.)are evangelical, but are not among the far-right groups we usually associate with the term ‘fundamentalist.’

Comment #159719

Posted by David B. Benson on February 5, 2007 3:25 PM (e)

vhutchinson — far-wrong, not far-right!

Comment #159750

Posted by Donald M on February 5, 2007 6:17 PM (e)

One of the main goals of The Clergy Letter Project is to demonstrate to the broad spectrum of Christian believers that, unlike what is being shrilly shouted by many fundamentalist ministers, a choice does not have to be made between religion and science. Because the two are compatible, congregants should feel comfortable accepting both. Additionally, the signers of The Clergy Letter want to go on record making it clear that those fundamentalist ministers are not speaking for the majority of Christian clergy.

Which “fundamentalist” ministers would that be, specifically? Is there a list being kept somewhere? If so, please make it available. I’d especially like to know what these ministers have to be “shrilly” shouting in order to earn the label “fundamentalist”. And why is it automatically assumed (which is precisely what all this means) that anyone, especially a minister, who has the audacity to question or otherwise criticize any aspect of evolutionary theory must be a “fundamentalist”? Since I know several Christians, both lay and clergy who are most definetely not fundamentalists, but still question and critique evolutionary theory and see much merit to ID, there doesn’t seem to be much bite to the “fundamentalist” charge…its more a loud bark.

This Clergy Letter Project is an excercise in disingenuousness. Science and Religion are compatible, by these rules, as long as Science gets to call all the shots. This is little more than Science trying to dictate to Religion where the boundaries are. So much for Non-Overlapping Magesterium. I wonder how the science community would react if a bunch of ministers created a “Scientists Letter Project” proclaiming the compatibility of Science and Religion and requesting an ID Monday in their labs and classrooms to bring awareness that Scientists (and by extension students) and Science have nothing to fear from Religion and requesting that ID be taught alongside evolution.

After all we’re only asking “that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.” Complementary, that is, as long as Science gets to call all the shots, thus making it anything BUT complementary. “It is only by broadening the base in this way that we will be able to reach out to a growing number of people and, hopefully, improve the understanding that people have about the interrelationship between science and religion….” Code for “As long as science can dictate to Religion where the boundaries are, we’ll all just get along fine, and we expect you fine church-going folk to just go along with it…after all you wouldn’t want us calling you fundamentalists, now would you!!”

This project is a ruse! I wholeheartedly endorse the DI for condemning this charade.

Comment #159753

Posted by Donald M on February 5, 2007 6:30 PM (e)

It states that the purpose of evolution Sunday is to educate “the vast majority of Christians who, if told they have to choose between religion and modern science, are likely to opt for religion.” But who are these Christians? In America, they are largely Christians who attend evangelical churches. And in evangelical churches, the head pastor is the ultimate authority on things biblical and spiritual. Choosing modern science for these Christians often means conflicting with that authority and often means leaving their church. Since ‘controversial’ scientific theories have little daily relevance for most people, the vast majority will choose their church.

There seems to be serious misunderstanding of what happens in evangelical churches. I’ve been attending evangelical churches all my life and I have never had a pastor who thought he/she was the ultimate authority on things Biblical and spiritual. If I ever had one like that, I’d leave in a flash. I also know many evangelical pastors across the USA, and not a one of them fits that description. I also know many evangelicals, and I don’t know any who see their pastor in that light. Rather, this is a common myth that seems to get oft repeated.
But a myth it is. Evangelical pastors do not dictate to their congregations what they are to think, nor do evangelical congregations just accept, uncritically, what their pastors tell them. If you don’t believe that, attend a church council meeting some time and see how “blindly” the members follow their pastor!

Comment #159755

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 5, 2007 6:58 PM (e)

Ah, Donald M again, swinging by in his smog-spewing bucket of bolts. Must be that time of month again.

Honest, M, if this monthly problem is all that irritating, you should consult your physician. Usually there are hormone preparations that offer serious relief.

Comment #159758

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 5, 2007 7:36 PM (e)

This is little more than Science trying to dictate to Religion where the boundaries are. So much for Non-Overlapping Magesterium. I wonder how the science community would react if a bunch of ministers created a “Scientists Letter Project” proclaiming the compatibility of Science and Religion and requesting an ID Monday in their labs and classrooms to bring awareness that Scientists (and by extension students) and Science have nothing to fear from Religion and requesting that ID be taught alongside evolution.

First, I doubt you’d get 10,000 scientists to sign such a petition. The latest count for the DI’s petition is, what, 400? Second, the vast majority of scientists would think it absurd, just as a perhaps smaller percentage of clergy hold the Clergy Project and Evolution Sunday absurd. Lastly, the word “request” applies to Evolution Sunday; the attempts to create “ID Monday,” OTOH, have thus far been found in legislatures and school boards, where the word “request” is usually not to be found.

And as far as respecting boundaries, the concept of NOMA was put forth by a scientist. Science has a history of respecting the boundaries it sets for itself. Religion does not.

Comment #159803

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on February 6, 2007 12:08 AM (e)

Gary Hurd,
The reason creationists do not think that the rest of the Bible remains intact when you remove the early passages of Genesis or interpret it to be merely a meaningful mythical story of some kind, is because they see that if you somehow do not believe in a real space time (that is Historical) fall to humanity, then there is no need for an historical space time resurrection of Christ. Thus, they see that the story of Christ’s death and resurrection changes from an real event which reversed some actual ontological status which humanity recieved at the fall, to just a good example of a man dying to unjust hands. This is why it is so serious to them. It is not just Mary Baker Eddy and YEC that drives many many Christians to see that a “God-breathed” Genesis is necessary to the entire metaphysical structure of the Christian worldview.

It has been awhile since I’ve read Numbers’ fantastic history of creationism but I believe that this is covered quite well in there.

MS

PS: I think it is great that evolutionary theory has become celebrated in so religious a manner.

Comment #159822

Posted by Frank J on February 6, 2007 5:17 AM (e)

Donald M wrote:

This Clergy Letter Project is an excercise in disingenuousness. Science and Religion are compatible, by these rules, as long as Science gets to call all the shots….

This project is a ruse! I wholeheartedly endorse the DI for condemning this charade.

The DI claims to be on the “science side,” not the “religion side.” So you must be OK with science calling the shots, as long as it the DI’s (pseudo)science.

You might want to consult the DI for pointers on how to better disguise your double standard.

Comment #159853

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 6, 2007 8:07 AM (e)

Mark wrote:

The reason creationists do not think that the rest of the Bible remains intact when you remove the early passages of Genesis or interpret it to be merely a meaningful mythical story of some kind, is because they see that if you somehow do not believe in a real space time (that is Historical) fall to humanity, then there is no need for an historical space time resurrection of Christ. Thus, they see that the story of Christ’s death and resurrection changes from an real event which reversed some actual ontological status which humanity received at the fall, to just a good example of a man dying to unjust hands. This is why it is so serious to them.

That is a correct assessment Mark. In one encounter with a creationist (YEC) friend I was told (by his wife) that if I believed the early chapters of Genesis to be symbolic then I might believe that the Resurrection was only symbolic as well. If I couldn’t accept a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 then how could I believe in John 3:16 ?

Comment #159855

Posted by FL on February 6, 2007 8:27 AM (e)

Just a stray thought from atheist Austin Cline:

“In fact, I suspect that if a person is truly going to take Christianity seriously, then perhaps they cannot simultaneously accept the Theory of Evolution.

Although I rarely credit Christian fundamentalists with sensible, reasonable arguments, I suspect that they may hold a stronger position than most liberal Christians in the matter.”

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/evo/blfaq_…

Comment #159858

Posted by Donald M on February 6, 2007 8:47 AM (e)

Bill G writes:

First, I doubt you’d get 10,000 scientists to sign such a petition. The latest count for the DI’s petition is, what, 400? Second, the vast majority of scientists would think it absurd, just as a perhaps smaller percentage of clergy hold the Clergy Project and Evolution Sunday absurd. Lastly, the word “request” applies to Evolution Sunday; the attempts to create “ID Monday,” OTOH, have thus far been found in legislatures and school boards, where the word “request” is usually not to be found.

And as far as respecting boundaries, the concept of NOMA was put forth by a scientist. Science has a history of respecting the boundaries it sets for itself. Religion does not.

The absurdity of it was precisely my point which I was I used an absurdity to demonstrate one. Yes, NOMA was put forth by a scientist, but that doesn’t make it sacro-sanct or above critque. NOMA is self-defeating precisely because it violates its own premise. It’s a non-starter as arguments go. And I quite disagree that “science has of respecting the boundaries it sets for itself”. The whole point of NOMA was to dictate to Religion where its boundaries were thus violating the very idea of NOMA. Secondly, when Eugenie Scott goes to great lengths to tell science teachers how they can discuss “religion” in their science classes, she is also violating the principle. As I said, as long as science gets to call the shots, NOMA is just fine and dandy.

Comment #159859

Posted by Donald M on February 6, 2007 8:56 AM (e)

Frank J:

The DI claims to be on the “science side,” not the “religion side.” So you must be OK with science calling the shots, as long as it the DI’s (pseudo)science.

You might want to consult the DI for pointers on how to better disguise your double standard.

I have no double standard at all because I reject NOMA outright. It’s a self-defeating argument and serves no useful purpose.
To see that, consider: Is NOMA a principle of Science or Religion? If Science, then why is it okay for Science to dictate to Religion where the boundaries of its magesteria are? Same thing in reverse if it is a principle of Religion. Or, is NOMA a principle of some other over-arching philosophy that dicatates to both science and religion? If so, what philosophy would that be and from where does it get the authority to tell either where their boundaries are? Since there is no good way to answer the question without getting into deeper philosophical weeds, NOMA falls flat on its face.

Comment #159867

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 6, 2007 9:47 AM (e)

OK, Donald M, let’s get to the point: What boundary could religion set for itself and stick to? Do you even acknowledge that there is or could be a boundary to religion?

“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.”
Richard Lederer, “Anguished English”

Comment #159878

Posted by Raging Bee on February 6, 2007 10:03 AM (e)

Is NOMA a principle of Science or Religion?

It’s a principle of common sense based on centuries of observation and experience, by religious and non-religious people alike: science most effectively explains phenomena of the physical Universe – matter, energy, space, time, life-forms and all that; while religion most effectively describes the spiritual Universe – gods, beliefs, priorities, meaning, morality, etc.

Serious, damaging and embarrassing mistakes are made when this boundary is violated, especially by religion trying to second-guess science. The Catholic Church, among others, learned this the hard way, when they took 400 years to admit that quote-mining the Bible does not trump a proper scientific proof that the Earth orbits the Sun.

Would you like me to dig up that quote by St. Augustine, which may have been the first articulation of NOMA in the Christian era?

Comment #159882

Posted by Darth Robo on February 6, 2007 10:11 AM (e)

“I have no double standard at all because I reject NOMA outright.”

You reject common sense outright. But I digress. You’re not happy about science “calling the shots” as you say it, but you’d be happy in a science class where religion would be “calling the shots”. THAT’s your double-standard. Perhaps you could also tell us why the only people who have problems with evolution do so because of their religious objections? And what exactly are the “merits of ID” you mentioned?

See ya in another month, or are you waiting for Lenny?

Comment #159883

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 6, 2007 10:11 AM (e)

The Donald:

is NOMA a principle of some other over-arching philosophy that dicatates to both science and religion? If so, what philosophy would that be and from where does it get the authority to tell either where their boundaries are?

Always this scared-wittle-kid authority hang-up!

Science attempts–always provisionally, of course–to fit itself into the frame of underlying reality, an endlessly surprising and mysterious realm, in which reliable father-figures are hard to pin down in the crunch, and life demands continuous nimble adaptation.

(Some) religions and (some) religions would rather turn their backs on inconvenient evidence, privileging not what is, but what “must” be for their solace or other psychic salvage.

Of course, if somewhere in this wannabe self-reflective psychic construct, this “intelligent design,” there glimmers a speck of gold, and reality is attributable to a supernatural being, it’s that very being’s reality they’ve chosen to wrench askew to fit their fantasies.

Since this is civility month around here, let me just say, “Good luck with that.”

Comment #159898

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 6, 2007 11:18 AM (e)

Raging Bee wrote:

Would you like me to dig up that quote by St. Augustine, which may have been the first articulation of NOMA in the Christian era?

Perhaps you mean this one.

Comment #159908

Posted by Frank J on February 6, 2007 12:02 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

I have no double standard at all because I reject NOMA outright.

Nice try, but a 1 out of 10 on the DI’s evasion technique scale. The double standard has nothing to do with NOMA, only with who gets to call the shots as science. And you appear to make an exception for the DI.

Comment #159909

Posted by Henry J on February 6, 2007 12:02 PM (e)

Re (Frank J’s reply to Donald M) “You might want to consult the DI for pointers on how to better disguise your double standard.”

Cause the DI has been so successful at that so far?

Henry

Comment #159913

Posted by AC on February 6, 2007 12:22 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

I’d especially like to know what these ministers have to be “shrilly” shouting in order to earn the label “fundamentalist”.

Things like “The BYE-BULL is 100% true, and if you don’t believe it you’re damned to HAY-ULL!” Or do you prefer the term “literalist”?

And why is it automatically assumed (which is precisely what all this means) that anyone, especially a minister, who has the audacity to question or otherwise criticize any aspect of evolutionary theory must be a “fundamentalist”?

I see. True, that in and of itself doesn’t make them fundamentalist, just ignorant and/or arrogant - like these “several Christians” you know who are ignorant/arrogant enough to “question and critique evolutionary theory and see much merit to ID”. However, considering that all fundamentalists exhibit this behavior, I’m sure you see how easy it is to get things backward.

This Clergy Letter Project is an excercise in disingenuousness. Science and Religion are compatible, by these rules, as long as Science gets to call all the shots. This is little more than Science trying to dictate to Religion where the boundaries are. So much for Non-Overlapping Magesterium.

Indeed, so much for such a lame idea. What you fail to see is that science doesn’t call shots - reality does. Science “merely” studies them. Religion makes the mistake of attempting to compete with reality in the business of shot-calling. It cannot but lose this contest. And so an image of reality is formed in the minds of believers - an image not constrained by the rules of reality. It is when religion tries to overlay this image onto reality that the problems start.

Your map doesn’t match the Territory, Donald. Follow it into the weeds if you like, but leave us to our own path.

Ken Ham wrote:

Either man is created in the image of God—and accountable to his Creator, or man is an animal—and answerable to no one but himself.

In other words, if man is accountable to his Creator, we don’t have to think too hard about justice, ethics, etc. God will sort it out, so why bother? On the other hand, if man is answerable to no one but himself, we might be held accountable for our actions by people who don’t understand that everything we do is sanctioned by God!

Comment #159916

Posted by Raging Bee on February 6, 2007 12:43 PM (e)

Yes, Bill, that’s the one. Thanks for the help there.

Now let’s see how “the Donald” responds to the wisdom – indeed, the testable and proven hypotheses – of a fellow Christian.

Comment #159924

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 6, 2007 1:26 PM (e)

Now let’s see how “the Donald” responds to the wisdom – indeed, the testable and proven hypotheses – of a fellow Christian.

I anticipate a roaring silence.

Comment #159946

Posted by Frank J on February 6, 2007 3:10 PM (e)

Henry J wrote:

Cause the DI has been so successful at that so far?

C’mon, you know that they have been more successful at fooling their target audience than classic creationists ever dreamed of. But they know they can’t fool mainstream science or mainstream religion, so they don’t even try.

Comment #159965

Posted by sam on February 6, 2007 5:45 PM (e)

Science only gets to call the shots as to what science is. Thankfully, science has a hugely successful method, quite clearly defined, to make that determination. Absolutely anything outside of that method, religion can have, and frequently appropriates.

It’s because science has this hard and fast definition that it is able to say to ID “You’re not science, you’re a man behind a curtian pulling the levers of the gullible” It’s because of this hard and fast definition that it can point to some of the things that religion has appropriated and say, “actually, turns out you’re wrong about that - sorry, but really, that’s what you get when you try and explain things by just making stuff up”. As scientific knowledge grows, inevitably it will tread on religion’s toes - but science never changes its basis in what it, of itself, is - the results of its methodical application.

Comment #159974

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on February 6, 2007 6:32 PM (e)

Raging Bee and Bill Gascoyne,
the quote you linked to, and the suggestion that St. Augustine was or would be a proponent of NOMA is in error. For Augustine and pretty much all thinkers during the middle ages would not understand the world as being something that could possibly be understood in two different, and conflicting ways which both retained actual meaning. That is, the scientia or knowledge concerning the natural world prescribed by religious texts or “scientific” texts understood by both pagan (read: non-Christian) and Christians alike could not at the same time be true and conflicting. They understood that if religion made pronouncements about the natural world (the universe came into being from the nonphysical properties of God’s omnipotence at some point in the past, Genesis 1:1) that science couldn’t make conflicting pronouncements (the universe is eternal, Aristotle, Proclus)and the both of them be true. Religion made pronouncements that scientia would either support or contradict. When scientia contradicted religion (as in the example parenthised above) the religious thinkers were suspect that the scientia was wrong and would later come to support the religious view. All this to say that Gould’s NOMA is invalid if religion makes claims concerning the natural world. Of course it does, the great scientists of the past understood this. Guys like Augustine, and later John Philoponus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton would find NOMA unthinkable. Today, we have had the tendency to separate Science from religion on this point because if we place Religion in a subjective, spiritual only box, then it really doesn’t mean anything. This results from our current epistemological paradigm and dare I say it, our scientism. Thus many of us so called moderns have told ourselves that religion doesn’t even claim to explain or even comment on physical reality to any however small degree.

MS

Comment #159975

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on February 6, 2007 6:38 PM (e)

sam said:
“science has a hugely successful method, quite clearly defined,”
“science never changes its basis in what it, of itself, is - the results of its methodical application.”

Whomever thinks this statement right needs to study the history and philosophy of science for at least an hour. Then they will see how dubious an assertion this is.

MS

Comment #159980

Posted by Anton Mates on February 6, 2007 7:23 PM (e)

sam wrote:

Science only gets to call the shots as to what science is. Thankfully, science has a hugely successful method, quite clearly defined, to make that determination. Absolutely anything outside of that method, religion can have, and frequently appropriates.

I don’t think religion has an automatic claim to the areas covered by aesthetics, ethics and philosophy. Though certainly some people integrate those areas into their religion successfully.

Comment #159985

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 6, 2007 8:31 PM (e)

But it’s equally likely that many clergy are afraid that members of their congregation WOULD in fact understand what’s going on, and therefore openly question his or her views and intentions, insisting on some open discussion of the issues involved. Maybe that’s the real reason.

Not because the minds of the congregation are closed—but because their minds are open and informed.

actually, what you mean to say is that their minds are “washed”, not “open”….and why is it that it is such a common pattern that right after FL spews, Donald M inevitably follows to lick it up and spew more?

this must have gotten to some notification list both of these nutters subscribe to. Or was it on the DI’s hitlist recently?

Comment #159987

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 6, 2007 8:37 PM (e)

I’ve been attending evangelical churches all my life and I have never had a pastor who thought he/she was the ultimate authority on things Biblical and spiritual. If I ever had one like that, I’d leave in a flash.

of course you would, because that would challenge your authoritah!

I’m sure you spend lots of time correcting your pastor in your spare time, just like you play authority figure here.

I wonder if he laughs at you like we do?

you better investigate, pronto!

Comment #159995

Posted by Sam on February 6, 2007 10:03 PM (e)

Whomever thinks this statement right needs to study the history and philosophy of science for at least an hour. Then they will see how dubious an assertion this is.

I know what you’re saying here, but I still think “hugely successful” is appropriate. And while science could be said have changed its spots in certain respects, the means by which they changed (though occasionally two steps forward and one step back) were by and large through the correct application of the scientific method. Unless you’re thinking of something specific….

Comment #160035

Posted by TLTB on February 7, 2007 7:02 AM (e)

Just a clarification on the term “evangelical.” It gets thrown around alot, but there are two main and important uses.

One is theological - a focus on personal conversion and sharing of the Gospel. In this use of the term, vhutchinson is right in calling many mainline denominations evangelical.

But the second use of Evangelical (capital E) refers to a wide range and large number of smaller denominations that formed in the US under specific historical circumstances beginning in the early 1800s (up into the late 1800s), in particular within the religious culture created by the Great Awakening. These church movements not only emphasized personal conversion and evangelism, but defined themselves by it. Large denominations like the Assemblies of God, Church of God, etc. are evangelical in this sense as well as many independent churches, including many of the ‘mega-churches’ we find in the US today.

With regards to accepting evolution, historically the Evangelical churches had no problem accepting it. B.B. Warfield, one of the fathers of the movement, is famous for stating this position, for instance. But in the 1910s through the 1930s something changed as a wave of fundamentalism swept through evangelical churches. In my mind, it can largely be seen as a reaction to liberal theology, also making its impact in those times - in particular in the mainline denominations. Liberal theology emphasized historical over theological understanding, Jesus’ teachings over his supernatural acts, and personal action over personal conversion. To many it appeared that liberal theology represented as erosion of traditional Christian belief (as indeed it did), yet it was gaining ground - particularly in academic institutions. The fundamentalist reaction to this within the Evangelical churches was a retreat to a strict literalist and biblicist theological position that persists today.

I think knowing a bit of this history is helpful on both sides of the evolution “debate” - Evangelicals should know that even Evangelicals have not always been so anti-evolution and Darwinists should know that not all Evangelicals are fundmentalists with their heads in the sand.

Comment #160057

Posted by Raging Bee on February 7, 2007 10:03 AM (e)

So, I am very pessimistic about evolution sunday to have any great impact…

If we try, we might fail. If we DON’T try, we WILL fail.

Evolution Sunday, of course, is not the whole effort by any stretch, and no one in his right mind expects it to turn any tides on its own. This is just a publicity stunt to draw attention to the issue, and flash a message that not all Christians sbuscribe to the simpleminded fundie worldview.

(Besides, if Evolution Sunday is not expected to have any impact, then why are so many Christians going out of their way to disparage and discourage it? Have we thrown them into damage-control mode already?)

Comment #160058

Posted by Raging Bee on February 7, 2007 10:09 AM (e)

Thanks, TLTB, for the history. This can be very helpful, in a know-your-enemy kind of way.

Comment #160064

Posted by Raging Bee on February 7, 2007 10:28 AM (e)

They understood that if religion made pronouncements about the natural world (the universe came into being from the nonphysical properties of God’s omnipotence at some point in the past, Genesis 1:1) that science couldn’t make conflicting pronouncements (the universe is eternal, Aristotle, Proclus)and the both of them be true.

That is almost the exact opposite of what Augustine said in the above-cited quote. Also, in his time, the claim about the Universe being eternal was, for all practical purposes, a religious belief, just like the Genesis story, since neither could be tested at the time. The tone of Augustine’s quote makes me pretty sure that if a knowledgeable scientist, Pagan or Christian, were to show him a scientific proof regarding the origin of the Universe, Augustine would have re-interpreted his own doctrine as necessary to accomodate the new information. For him, the #1 priority was Man’s salvation through Jesus; and he would not have wanted to lose credibility bickering over off-message issues like how old the Universe was.

All this [is?] to say that Gould’s NOMA is invalid if religion makes claims concerning the natural world.

Rubbish – NOMA is valid, and means that religious-based claims about the natural world are suspect.

Today, we have had the tendency to separate Science from religion on this point because if we place Religion in a subjective, spiritual only box, then it really doesn’t mean anything.

Wrong again – “subjective” and “spiritual only” is not the same as “doesn’t mean anything.” Religion still makes claims about spiritual, personal, moral and philosophical issues.

Comment #160067

Posted by TLTB on February 7, 2007 10:55 AM (e)

A word about NOMA. It is valid in the sense that scientific claims cannot be based upon religious beliefs, but it should not be taken (in my opinion) to justify a compartmentalization of religion. To say that science and religion have completely separate domains of explanation is to reduce religion to custom and tradition.

Religion’s “purpose” is not just to explain certain kinds of things, but to give a meaningful explanation to everything, including science. Science’s magisterium is thus a proper subset of religion’s (science being limited to the natural world and religion going beyond that). Science’s findings (though they can only be validated or invalidated on the basis of scientific methodology) are properly interpreted in a larger religious context. This is as true for Christians as it is for those of atheist or agnostic belief systems.

For most religions, God is the creator of all that is. Therefore, anything discovered by science is pertinent information about God and God’s creation. Where we (religious people) err is when we impose our preconceptions (often based on specific textual interpretations of our holy books) of what that information should look like on the scientific process. In a very real sense, what we are doing there is making God into our own image.

Also, thanks for linking to the St. Augustine quote. I agree that it doesn’t represent quite the same view as NOMA. But what it does represent is this: Augustine was aware that humans knew very little about the physical origins of the earth and the life on it; and he was prescient enough to realize that one day we might - that though there was currently nothing to challenge orthodox thinking about Genesis, one day there might be. What he knew was that God is not a God-of-the-gaps: God does not only exist in what we do not know (something we hear these days from Dawkins and others), and that therefore we shouldn’t hang our theological hats on theories about things we know little about.

Comment #160068

Posted by Raging Bee on February 7, 2007 11:21 AM (e)

Religion’s “purpose” is not just to explain certain kinds of things, but to give a meaningful explanation to everything, including science. Science’s magisterium is thus a proper subset of religion’s (science being limited to the natural world and religion going beyond that). Science’s findings (though they can only be validated or invalidated on the basis of scientific methodology) are properly interpreted in a larger religious context. This is as true for Christians as it is for those of atheist or agnostic belief systems.

I agree. Another way to put it is to say that science tells us what we can and cannot do; and religion (and moral/spiritual beliefs in general) tells us what we should and should not do.

Comment #160069

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 7, 2007 11:22 AM (e)

If I may venture an opinion on the meaning of Augustine’s words, I think he basically doesn’t give a rat’s ass about truth derived from reason, he’s most worried about scaring away potential converts.

“The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scriptures are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinion about our books, how are they going to believe these books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?”

Now, if one wishes to interpret this as “render unto science the things that are of the physical world, and render unto God the above mentioned ‘matters concerning’,” and that that basically is NOMA, I think that’s a fair interpretation. One might also assume that Augustine is saying, “Let’s convert them first, and then convince them that the spiritual perspective is more valid, and if the two disagree, we’re right,” but that’s not what I read here. It sounds to me like Augustine is saying, “Let ‘em have all that physical-world nonsense, we know it’s all moot anyway.”

From what I’ve seen of the ID crowd, I’d say Augustine has them pretty well nailed.

Comment #160097

Posted by Sam on February 7, 2007 4:11 PM (e)

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Comment #160109

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on February 7, 2007 6:18 PM (e)

Gary Hurd writes:

the Seventh Day Adventists are the source of most modern creationist dogma.

Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

Comment #160111

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 7, 2007 6:28 PM (e)

Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

and of course Slaveador is completely incapable of seeing the irony in that statement.

Comment #160113

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on February 7, 2007 6:36 PM (e)

Michael Zimmerman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biology at Butler University in Indiana

Dr. Zimmerman,

It seems to me that your position regarding religion is at variance with that of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and PZ Myers.

If my perception is correct, then I salute you for not giving in to their desire to eradicate the world of the Christian faith.

I hope you’ll set Dawkins and PZ Myers straight on their errors regarding religion and science, and that evolution Sunday will make a statement that it is irresponsible of people like them to use Darwin’s theories as an engine for their desire to shove atheism down the throats of children.

I hope you’ll continue to point out that its people like Dawkins and Myers who give evolution a bad name in the eyes of Christians. I think Michael Ruse was right to say Dawkins has been a disaster for the furtherance of evolutionary ideas in the world of Christendom.

Comment #160114

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on February 7, 2007 7:04 PM (e)

I wrote:
Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

Sir T responded:

and of course Slaveador is completely incapable of seeing the irony in that statement [regarding adventists]

Sir_Toejam fails to understand what I was saying. Not surprinsing.

1. Creationist Dogma coming from Adventists (circa 1831)? There is creationist theology, and it would be pretty hard to argue it came from the Adventists since it appeared in churches prior to the arrival of adventists (for example Bishop Usher 1650).

I was referring to the science developed in Adventist institutions, not their supposed dogma or theology.

Comment #160115

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 7, 2007 7:05 PM (e)

I hope you’ll set Dawkins and PZ Myers straight on their errors regarding religion and science, and that evolution Sunday will make a statement that it is irresponsible of people like them to use Darwin’s theories as an engine for their desire to shove atheism down the throats of children.

strawmen and projection, Sal.

nicely done.

Comment #160116

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 7, 2007 7:08 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam fails to understand what I was saying. Not surprinsing.

no sal, everyone uderstands what you are pointing at, it’s just that you constantly use gibberish in order to describe it.

but, don’t let that stand in your way.

you’ve truly become a beacon of stupidity we can always point to as a shining example.

Comment #160118

Posted by GuyeFaux on February 7, 2007 7:12 PM (e)

I think Michael Ruse was right to say Dawkins has been a disaster for the furtherance of evolutionary ideas in the world of Christendom.

A point with which Dawkins himself agrees (to a degree; I don’t think he’d call it a disaster). He believes that intellectual honesty ought to trump political expediency.

From my lurking on threads where you’ve posted, Sal, I gather that you subscribe to the converse.

And in case you fail to notice the irony in

Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

I’ll spoil the punchline: If we’re really talking about a scientific research institute, then why does the religion of its fellows matter?

Comment #160122

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 7, 2007 8:22 PM (e)

Hey, Sal, as long as you’ve reappeared here, however incoherently–

Aren’t we still waiting for your answers to Lenny’s simple, easy, little list of questions?

You know, like what the heck IS the “theory” of Intelligent Design in the first frickin’ place?

And, while we’re at it, where oh where, anywhere in the world, are there any ID-espousing scientists who are actually working in labs or the field to “test” any of ID’s hypotheses, whatever they are?

Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath for you to trip all over yourself being honest, articulate, and forthcoming with, ahem, answers to any of these obvious and seemingly easy-to-answer-if-only-ID-were-science questions.

Comment #160131

Posted by Matt Young on February 7, 2007 9:38 PM (e)

Please excuse me, but if the discussion degenerates any further into baiting and name calling, I will cut off comments.

Comment #160133

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 7, 2007 9:48 PM (e)

Surely wittle ol’ Mr. Pinhead isn’t being accused of “baiting” and “name-calling” just for asking Big Sal a few pointed but pertinent questions.

Heaven forfend!

Ah, well, it is past pizza time, so I’m off for a while anyway…

Comment #160154

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 8, 2007 1:48 AM (e)

To Donald M and other assembled creationists.

Let us assume that God exists and the whole Universe was created by God. Which do you consider the greatest of God’s creations, the Universe, the Earth, mankind or the bible (or something else)?

Now what would be the best way for discovering God’s plan/actions etc. The Bible or studying reality around us?

Creationists seem to me to worship the Bible rather than marvel at the reality that they claim God made.

Comment #160179

Posted by Raging Bee on February 8, 2007 8:09 AM (e)

Salvador T. “Wormtongue” Cordova wrote:

I was referring to the science developed in Adventist institutions, not their supposed dogma or theology.

Instead of just referring to it, perhaps you’d like to tell us what spectacular scientific breakthroughs have come from these institutions. You know, like maybe some peer-reviewed work supporting ID?

Comment #160181

Posted by Raging Bee on February 8, 2007 8:14 AM (e)

Another thing, Sal: if those “Adventist instututions” have done such great scientific work, why aren’t you discussing that work in more detail, instead of trying to blame “Darwinists” for some alleged surgical mutilation of children (the facts of which you grossly misstated, BTW)?

I’m no big fan of Dawkins either, but you calling him a “disaster” is as hypocritical as it is laughable.

Comment #160184

Posted by Henry J on February 8, 2007 10:06 AM (e)

Re “Which do you consider the greatest of God’s creations, the Universe, the Earth, mankind or the bible (or something else)?”

Pizza!

Comment #160186

Posted by paul flocken on February 8, 2007 10:12 AM (e)

Raging Bee wrote in Comment #159878 Posted on February 6, 2007 10:03 AM

while religion most effectively describes the spiritual Universe – gods, beliefs, priorities, meaning, morality, etc.

Which means that it most effectively describes nothing at all. Thank you RB for that clarification.

Sincerely,
Paul Flocken

Comment #160187

Posted by apollo230 on February 8, 2007 10:27 AM (e)

Dr. Zimmerman states in the opening post: “religion and science need not be at war with each other”.

And yet, it appears that evolutionary biology has forcefully ruled out any role for God in evolutionary history.

And in a further strike at religious views of life, evolutionary biologists assert that life arose, un-aided, from non-living matter.

Gone is God the Creator and God the Steward of that creation. Given this state of affairs, where does Dr. Zimmerman get the idea that religion and science can make a realistic peace concerning evolution-when evolution is given such blatantly atheistic underpinnings?

Comment #160188

Posted by Flint on February 8, 2007 10:42 AM (e)

I can understand how someone might come to the conclusion that meaning is “nothing at all” after too much exposure to Sal.

Comment #160191

Posted by GuyeFaux on February 8, 2007 11:04 AM (e)

And yet, it appears that evolutionary biology has forcefully ruled out any role for God in evolutionary history.

Clearly not, as Evolution Sunday demonstrates. There are some heathens who obviously agree with you about evolutionary theory’s exclusion of God, but they’re in a minority.

To be clear, science cannot even phrase any questions about God, so it has not ruled Him out, per se. It has ruled Him out a priori in its method, so there’s no way it has reached any conclusions about Him.

Comment #160192

Posted by paul flocken on February 8, 2007 11:05 AM (e)

Salvador wrote in Comment #160109 Posted on February 7, 2007 6:18 PM

Gary Hurd writes:

the Seventh Day Adventists are the source of most modern creationist dogma.

Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

To which STJ replied in Comment #160111 Posted on February 7, 2007 6:28 PM

Salvador wrote:
Whether that is true or not, the Adventists have the finest creationist organization in the world in Loma Linda University and GeoScience Research Institute. (I say that as Presbyterian.)

and of course Slaveador is completely incapable of seeing the irony in that statement.

Well considering the quality of creationist science the bar is exceptionally low so the adjective “finest” is probably not inappropriate.

Paul Flocken

Comment #160194

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 8, 2007 11:32 AM (e)

This article by Ken Ham on evolution Sunday appeared on the AiG website today:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0208evo…

Comment #160203

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 8, 2007 1:29 PM (e)

Gone is God the Creator and God the Steward of that creation. Given this state of affairs, where does Dr. Zimmerman get the idea that religion and science can make a realistic peace concerning evolution-when evolution is given such blatantly atheistic underpinnings?

I don’t know, where does he get the idea that chemistry, which has no role for God either, is no threat to religion?

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #160204

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 8, 2007 2:07 PM (e)

Hmmm. I see that after my modest reminder of all the unanswered questions Sal has left trailing along behind him (rather like a long piece of toilet paper stuck to one’s shoe, following one out of the restroom…)–

–that Sal seems to have, er, disappeared.

Gosh, what a surprise!

Comment #160206

Posted by Flint on February 8, 2007 2:24 PM (e)

And in a further strike at religious views of life, evolutionary biologists assert that life arose, un-aided, from non-living matter.

Fascinating, really. Science can’t rule out supernatural intervention in any aspect of reality at any time. What science can do is restrict the mechanisms by which any alleged supernatural actor may have operated. So POOF has been shown unlikely as the cause of biological evolution. It might even be shown unlikely as the cause of life itself. But for those religiously inclined, science is certainly not ruling out any gods, science is instead discovering the (very indirect) methods chosen by the gods.

Science may be able to demonstrate that life can arise, according to physical and chemical principles well understood, from non-living matter. Science can never hope to establish that this process was unaided. Supernatural aid is something science is not equipped to investigate.

All we can say for sure from scientific knowledge is that, IF there are any gods, the gods are not simpletons with magic wands. Rather, the gods work indirectly, using basic primary forces as their tools, over eons. Science DOES strike at a simpleton god, but so what? Who would want to believe in the gods as doddering old fools with magic wands, POOFING things into existence for grits and shins, without any use for any underlying reality? Presumably, the gods *created* that reality. Why would they then turn around and violate it?

Comment #160257

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 9, 2007 4:46 AM (e)

From the AiG link:

Thankfully, even though thousands of clergy have compromised, there are thousands who have “not bowed the knee to Baal.

I think Ham and Looy are definitely loosing it ! What on Earth has the acceptance of conventional science got to do with an ancient mythical God ???

Comment #160258

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 9, 2007 6:11 AM (e)

More thoughts from Ken Ham on Evolution Sunday:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/aroundtheworld…

Comment #160296

Posted by Henry J on February 9, 2007 3:35 PM (e)

Re “I think Ham and Looy are definitely loosing it !”

Can somebody lose something they didn’t have to start with? ;)

Comment #160331

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 9, 2007 8:36 PM (e)

More thoughts from Ken Ham on Evolution Sunday:

uh, I must have missed it. What were his thoughts again? the only thing I saw was basically a notification of the event.

I guess you could ascribe the one sentence:

However, Michael Zimmerman did agree if one takes Genesis as literal history as we do at AiG, then one cannot fit this with Darwinian evolution.

as really his only “thought” on the issue.

probably smart, on his part, not to elaborate further.

Comment #160391

Posted by Peter Henderson on February 10, 2007 9:06 AM (e)

He (Mr.Ham) did seem somewhat happier than the day before:

“The number of churches is really not that large (an average of 12 per state)”.

Comment #160392

Posted by steve s on February 10, 2007 9:35 AM (e)

Cosmic Log: Happy Darwin Day

Comment #160465

Posted by Bob Cornwall on February 10, 2007 6:15 PM (e)

As a participant in Evolution Sunday I share a link to my essay: “Darwin Matters” published today at SoMA Review – http://www.somareview.com/darwinmatters.cfm. I believe that with the more than 600 congregations observing this event tomorrow we’re beginning to make our mark.

Comment #160473

Posted by aaa on February 10, 2007 7:38 PM (e)

Is evolution theory actually also a theological theory, or what is the reason why there is “evolution sunday”?

The “timeless truths of the Bible”-project sounds not like traditional christian theology. What are the real purposes of the project? It seems not to be only about evolution, but also about theological questions. Is the purpose of the project also to chance the christian theology?

Comment #160509

Posted by Matthew on February 11, 2007 3:26 AM (e)

I don’t know guys. I was readin this thing called the bible, and it kind of includes adam(obviously now an imaginary character) as being related by Blood to king david, and joseph, Jesus’s father. Some how I think someone decided not to believe that part.

23Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat….
….….
….….
….….the son of Kenan, 38the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.
-luke 3:23-38

….whatever, long live evolution sunday huh.

Comment #160662

Posted by Just Bob on February 12, 2007 1:57 PM (e)

He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,…

I reckon that makes the Bible wrong about who his father really was. He was either the natural son of Joseph or of God. Can’t be both.

Maybe the “so it was thought” is right: that’s what was thought, but it was wrong. So what else might scripture writers have “thought” was right, but turns out was wrong?