View Poll Results: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

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  • Yes

    38 53.52%
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    33 46.48%
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Thread: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

  1. #261
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    If you have spent any real time on this forum you're fully aware of the debate raging between those who support evolution and those who do not. There is little doubt that when examined as a whole, the majority of the scientific community overwhelmingly supports evolution as a logical explanation for the development of life. There is also little doubt that the majority of the American populace does not support evolution as explained by scientists. 78% of Americans believe God was involvement in the creation of humans either through creating us in our present form or by guiding the evolutionary process. Not surprisingly 76% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. These numbers lead to believe that since there is little evidence for a 'debate among evolutionary scientists' the debate on evolution is between scientists and the religious. Do you agree? If not then I welcome you to support your statement.

    This vote is public so vote only if you're willing to substantiate your answer.

    This is not a debate on evolution but a debate on the debate itself.
    There are lots of claims in this post without any attribution. :thumbsdown:
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Part of the problem lies in how evolution is often framed. As a scientific theory, it is normally presented as natural events that occurred with a total absence of divine guidance.

    Now, hold on a sec. I'm perfectly aware that a scientist who said "God guided evolution to produce the lifeforms that currently exist", in an official peer-reviewed thesis paper, would find himself in quite a mess with his fellow scientists. I know perfectly well that "and THEN a MIRACLE happens!" is not an acceptible corrolary to a hypothesis, or an acceptible step in solving an equation.

    The problem is that evolution has been rammed up our collective arses as a divisive line between the scientific and the religious, and both sides have engaged in their share of the ramming and the dividing.

    Many denominations, including Catholicism, have chosen to consider the Genesis account to be allegorical rather than literal, and to specify that while God was the author of Creation and it's guiding hand, that that doesn't mean that scientific theories of evolution are not themselves valid within their own context.... which is to say, the scientific realm of thought, rather than the spiritual realm of faith.

    Yet, a small but loud minority of the anti-religious have chosen to denigrate this position and disparage the moderate denominations for daring to inject God into the discussion at all. This provokes a counter-reaction that widens the divisiveness of the issue.

    I take a slightly different tack.

    The God I believe in is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and infinite. He is not bound by the laws of physics; they are merely tools in His toolbox, to be bent or broken as He wishes. Time runs backwards, forwards or sideways at His whim. All the things that science thinks took place over 4.3 billion years could have been done by Him in six "Days" easily.... think of it as a celestical "fast forward button" if you like. So the scientists could be both right and wrong... right, in that these processes would have taken 4.3 billion years from the human POV, if they occured naturally and without intervention... wrong, in that the Divine guidance they choose not to address was actually in control, and it happened at whatever pace God willed in whatever period of time he chose to percieve as "six days".

    I believe the God created the universe and everything in it. I do not know whether Genesis is intended to be taken literally, or as a symbolic/allegorical explanation that was as much as the people of that day were capable of understanding. I don't worry about it. God will fill me in on the seeming dichotomy later.

    It's a divisive issue because certain people on both sides want to make it that way. It doesn't have to be though. We could choose to live and let live. I won't criticize of you if you think it all happened through natural processes, if you'll allow me to say that I believe God was in control, whatever the details might be, without sniggering up your sleeve.
    I don't understand why God has to be brought into science all the time... No prophet came here to teach us science, so why is anybody worried about God's role in science? Many questions in science are limited to theory, and will always be... Science can give us theories on how the earth may have been created... and even if we could recreate the big bang theory in a lab, it will still remain just a theory because such a demonstration would only show it's possible. It doesn't show that that is what happened.

    I love science... it was always one of my favourite subjects as a child and still is. Nowhere did I get the message that I can't believe in both science or god. I also happen to enjoy evolutionary science.

    But it does seem that historically people haven't let the two subjects remain separate. Religious texts are not supposed to be science texts. The religious community has been offended by science before... They put Galileo on trial and almost killed him for saying the Earth moved around the sun... wtf. But Galileo said he wasn't wrong. He said he believed in God, and he didn't let his knowledge weaken his faith. He said during his trial that if the bible conflicts with science, then maybe you're interpreting the bible wrong and that's what he believed was right, that was his faith. God still existed and science wasn't bad or evil.

    Sometimes people in the science field are not atheist... but they still feel the religious community is an obstacle.
    Last edited by SheWolf; 03-06-11 at 11:16 PM.

  3. #263
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    Yes it is small and incomplete, but it is also a dead end in that it shows very little in the way of any verifiable links from say a common ancestor to a frog and an ape. We have guesses, but no proof at all.

    Now include the more recent discovery's in DNA and you have got much better evidence.
    The scientific community does not "guess" in that regard. Hypotheses are not pulled out of thin air, they are based on the already gathered evidence. There is a great deal of proof, contrary to what you think. It is just not fully conclusive... yet. A hypothesis attempts to tie the data together, and then the missing parts are investigated, and the hypothesis changes over time (evolves) so that eventually a consistent theory emerges that accounts for all the data.
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    Yes it is small and incomplete, but it is also a dead end in that it shows very little in the way of any verifiable links from say a common ancestor to a frog and an ape. We have guesses, but no proof at all.
    Whoa there. Proofs are for math. Your notion of what science is seems to be at odds with what it actually is. Science, unlike your YEC, is not set in stone. There is no "proof." There is only evidence.

    Furthermore, the large fossil record does provide evidence for common descent.

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: the Scientific Case for Common Descent

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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Whoa there. Proofs are for math. Your notion of what science is seems to be at odds with what it actually is. Science, unlike your YEC, is not set in stone. There is no "proof." There is only evidence.

    Furthermore, the large fossil record does provide evidence for common descent.

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: the Scientific Case for Common Descent

    Don't join that forum. None of us are qualified to post there.
    I had a professor in college who said that real science (physics) can actually be proven while the fake sciences, farming (biology) and cooking (chemistry) cannot.
    I'm biased in that regard, too. Despite my career choice, I still consider myself a mathematician, as that is what my original grad degree is in, and that makes me prefer quantized science.
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    The scientific community does not "guess" in that regard. Hypotheses are not pulled out of thin air, they are based on the already gathered evidence. There is a great deal of proof, contrary to what you think. It is just not fully conclusive... yet. A hypothesis attempts to tie the data together, and then the missing parts are investigated, and the hypothesis changes over time (evolves) so that eventually a consistent theory emerges that accounts for all the data.
    Example: creature a is one thing. Creature b is another. creature a is similar to creature b. Creature c has similarities to a and b, so c must be the common creature.

    We have nothing else but fossilized bone and maybe skin etc to tell us anything, so I disagree.

    An educated guess, is still a guess.
    Last edited by Black Dog; 03-07-11 at 12:01 AM.
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    IMO, YECs reject the fossil record because it provides absolutely no proof for their belief. Maybe Blackdog had a really bad teacher. The basic premise of the record is something any of us can see. Hell, ask a mother of a teenage boy. The pile of clothes in his room starts with the shirt he dropped first. Therefore, he wore that shirt before the rest. Respective layers are dated much the same. To say that the Fossil Record doesn't support evolution is basically saying that the pile of dirty unwashed clothes didn't form as we all know it did. That it formed different, with the first layer actually being not the oldest.

    Can anyone name a single prediction about historical life that YEC made correctly?
    Hmm, I would like to dispute this, actually. In the book of Job it refers specifically to one of the brachiosaurs as 'behemoth' and something similar to a plesiosaur as a dragon. Job is considered one of the oldest books in the Bible given Job's great age (he is said in the last chapter to live 140 years after the events and already had many children at the beginning of the book, thus the longevity of one of the patriarchs near the time of the Abraham, as lifespans in the genealogies began steadily decreasing after the flood) lack of mention of the law or tabernacle, and various geographical/name references.

    Anyway, the references are in Job chapters 40 and 41. As someone who grew up learning about dinosaurs (I liked quizzing people on how to spell 'Pterodactyl' in grade school, for example) it always seemed striking to me some of the similarities. The Behemoth is described as a monstrous herbivore whose strength is in his stomach and whose tail moves like a cedar (huge long tree). It speaks of it lying in the shade of trees near the reeds by the water, and how it 'drinks up rivers'.

    In chapter 41, it describes the leviathan, a huge underwater creature actually said to have air-tight scales (vv. 15-17). It describes him leaving an odd wake behind him, similar to the squid (vv. 31-32). In Psalms 104:26 it was said to disturb ships. It emphasizes neck strength (v. 23). What differs from the account of dinosaurs though is the extensive mention of fire breathing (vv. 18-21) which is mentioned repeatedly to avoid leaving doubt about the meaning. Further unusual is the reference in Isaiah 27:1 suggesting it won't go extinct until the end of days.

    Anyway, those 2 chapters provide the best possibility I'm aware of of mention of dinosaurs in the Bible, both land and sea versions. They do seem to provide the possibility of definite archaic mention by what is possibly the oldest book in the Bible.

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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    The other thing to realize with some of the YECs is they don't necessarily believe the dinos went extinct. I've seen them claim the water canopy theory as a way reptiles grew larger, and that with the collapse of such a firmament, dinosaurs simply became smaller versions in the same way that humans began living shorter lives after the flood according to the Biblical genealogies. I haven't examined the theory too seriously yet myself, but I do mention it as an alternative possibility in relation to the statement previously made that YECs have no way to reconcile the fossil record with their beliefs.

    Again, with that whole parent species, microevolution stuff that Creationists believe in, they'd actually believe in faster adaptation to the environment occurring on a quicker time scale, but only within species, not between them.

    EDIT: This is just one of the many articles out there suggesting a Greenhouse Effect by such a water canopy, in relation to the mention of a firmament in Genesis not mentioned later after the flood. Basically it's hypothesis that reptiles grew larger under such a system. I never followed up on it, I just noticed it a few years ago and generally ignored it. I keep it in the back of my mind as one of the alternatives to consider, as I found the idea intriguing. Anyway, if that were true, dinosaurs wouldn't have gone extinct, just adapted to a post-flood world and grown smaller just as human lifespans decreased with the former growing conditions caused by such a canopy destroyed. Personally, I always found the possibility humorous that the Iguana in someone's cage could be descended from the fearsome dinos.
    Last edited by Jzyehoshua; 03-07-11 at 12:04 AM.

  9. #269
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    Dinosaurs didn't go extinct. They evolved into birds.
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    Re: In the US: Is the debate on evolution between scientists and the religious?

    I think there are of course exceptions, so it's hard to say "yes" so absolutely. But given the other choice is "no" so absolutely, I'd have to say yes.

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