Re: Are the schools really neutral?

From: Susan B (
Date: Mon Jan 10 2000 - 22:13:31 EST

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    >>I think the reason I didn't get your point is because your point
    >>was a tad thin.
    >There is nothing thin about my point. I demonstrate that
    >it is false that the schools are neutral with regards to religion.

    what's thin about your point is that you seem to be saying that if some
    religion happens to have a tenet that doesn't conflict with some feature of
    science as it is taught in public schools today then the U.S. Government is
    promoting that religion. It's an argument that's about a molecule thick.

    >>You are sidestepping my point instead of dealing with it. But as
    >>for science documenting anything, may I remind you that scientists
    >>believe that cellular life forms existed that were once much simpler
    >>and much more messy than that which has been documented to
    >>exist? Should I also point out that science has never documented
    >>the existence of such simple, messy cells. So why isn't it also
    >>probably a myth?

    Simpler cells? or simpler life forms. I'm not sure where you're getting
    "messy," but there certainly is evidence of simpler life forms than exist
    today. As for simpler cells, there is evidence of those as well. There are
    fossilized prokaryotes.

    >>There's no evidence at all which supports any important feature of
    >>the first two books of Genesis.

    >Who was talking about the first two books of Genesis?
    >Me? No. Sorry, Susan, but anti-creationist arguments
    >have no effect on someone who is not a creationist.

    oh, sorry. You seemed to be annoyed that science requires some kind of
    evidence to support its claims. I'm not exactly sure what is supposed to be
    the correct substitute for that nasty "methodological naturalism."

    >Nope, cells much simpler than bacteria are just as real
    >as talking snakes. I don't believe in either mythical
    >creature. You apparently reject one, but embrace another.

    viruses are simpler than bacteria. And yes, I 'll believe a talking snake
    when I see one. (:-) following in the footsteps of my ancestoress!)

    >American schools are NOT "saturated with Christianity." As a
    >product of the public school system, I can certainly attest to this.
    >After all, I graduated from a large high school in Ohio,

    Oklahoma schools are saturated with guess what.

    >>>And *anybody* with good ideas backed up by careful research and good data
    >>>is welcome at the table of science. If ID ever comes up with anything
    >>>besides "it looks designed to *me*" then IDers will be welcome at that
    >>>table also.
    >I wish you would make up your mind. Above you wrote:
    >"Science simply can't address religious issues (like design or purpose)."
    >If science cannot address design, it matters not whether ID people
    >can come up with "anything."

    in my opinion design is definitely a religious issue and is only propaganda.
    It's a Trojan horse for creationism. However, if it wants to be a real
    science--which I don't think IDers give 2 cents about--then the path to
    acceptance is clear: evidence and documentation of its claims. So far ID
    hasn't really tried to make any testable claims, but it's in the realm of
    possibility that it could.

    >But science excludes explanations that violate methodological
    >naturalism. This trumps any "good evidence."

    no it doesn't. Non-naturalistic explanations don't go anywhere. They don't
    lead to new knowledge. So it's true that you can't just say "not gravity,
    but an angel is holding you onto the ground" but it's remotely possible that
    you could come up with solid evidence for the existence of angels.

    >>It's happened many times in the past. Darwin had to back his theory
    >>with many years of careful research
    >>and he had to present that research to a body of his peers. The same was
    >>true of genetic research. The same was true with geology and the tectonic
    >>plate theory.
    >None of these violate MN, thus these examples are irrelevant. In fact,
    >genetic research, geology, and tectonic plate theory are even more
    >irrelevant because they do not directly involve issues of biotic
    >origins (which happen to involve the largest metaphysical

    uh . . . all of the above are absolutely necessary to the theory of
    evolution. They provide vital supporting evidence. You don't really realize
    how much all the sciences interlock do you?

    >As for Darwin, what peer-reviewed journals did
    >he publish in and what government grants did he obtain to conduct
    >his research?

    I don't have the journals he published in at my fingertips, but I have a
    couple of Darwin's biographies that list them. He was rich and financed all
    his own research except for the actual voyage of the Beatle. Even there, I'm
    not sure he actually recieved any pay for his work other than room and board.

    >>if Intelligent design (supernatural intervention) can come up with
    >>*anything* that can be backed up with solid evidence it will eventually be
    >>accepted. Even I would insist on it.
    >I see, so you would insist that religion and science should be mixed
    >if the ID people can come up with ANYTHING that was backed up
    >with "solid evidence."

    if it ended up back with solid evidence it would begin to leave the realm of
    religion. Or perhaps it would help drag religion into the realm of reality.
    I am well aware that Christianity, pretty much alone of all the religions,
    insists that its dogmas be actually true like physics or chemistry are true.

    >But you said, " Science simply can't address
    >religious issues (like design or purpose)." Please make up your mind
    >and choose a position. Oh, and that phrase 'solid evidence' sounds
    >slippery to me. Why not spell out what data you would concede
    >as 'solid evidence' of ID?

    how the heck would I know? I'm trying to concede that it is, however
    remotely, possible that you actually have a stand. If design *does* have a
    leg to stand on, I'd like to see it. As I said to Stephen, a pre-Cambrian
    rabbit would falsify evolution. To know that, we first must know what
    evolution is. I've never heard a definition of design that could be
    falsified or refuted.

    >>>perhaps you can explain why it matters to biblical literalists that life is
    >>>found on other planets.
    >>Since I am not a biblical literalist, why are you asking me?
    >>you possibly know about the issue than I do. You hang out with those guys,
    >>you read their stuff. I don't. I still haven't figured it out.

    >Oh, but I don't hang out with those guys and read their stuff.
    >You tell me lots about yourself in making these claims
    >about me (and it ain't good).

    ok. Well, maybe I can pry an answer out of Stephen some time. The idea of
    life on other planets seems to upset him, and other of his co-religionists
    that I have read.

    Peace is not the absence of conflict--it is the presence of justice.
    --Martin Luther King, Jr.
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