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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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Bill Nye slams creationism

Aug 27th 2012 new

This subject should not be controversial to Catholics since the Vatican has no problem with the science of evolution. As you will see from some of the comments, it is.

religion.blogs.cnn.com

"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

Aug 27th 2012 new

This bit is unfortunate:

(Quote) Peter-449116 said: We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can b...
(Quote) Peter-449116 said:

We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

--hide--


Why can't intelligent people (and I think Bill Nye is intelligent) recognize that faith does not deny reason? That belief in God does not cancel out science? I'm very sorry to read this is his opinion, because I enjoyed his shows, and the programs are still used in schools today.


Badly done, Bill... badly done.

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) Tricia-870838 said: This bit is unfortunate: Why can't intelligent people (and I think Bill ...
(Quote) Tricia-870838 said:

This bit is unfortunate:


Why can't intelligent people (and I think Bill Nye is intelligent) recognize that faith does not deny reason? That belief in God does not cancel out science? I'm very sorry to read this is his opinion, because I enjoyed his shows, and the programs are still used in schools today.


Badly done, Bill... badly done.

--hide--
I may be mistaken here, but I don't view this article as trashing mainstream religion or people of faith. I don't think he said faith denies reason, or for that matter that reason denies faith. Nye is simply lamenting the fact that we are increasingly at a disadvantage in producing students capable of competing in science and engineering on the world stage, specifically due to the teaching of Creationism. Nye may very well be an atheist as some proponents of evolution are, I have no idea. The Vatican has said there is no conflict between faith and the science of evolution. As I have discovered before here in the forums, there are Catholics who dispute the Vatican on that.

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) Peter-449116 said: Nye is simply lamenting the fact that we are increasingly at a disadvantage in producing student...
(Quote) Peter-449116 said:

Nye is simply lamenting the fact that we are increasingly at a disadvantage in producing students capable of competing in science and engineering on the world stage, specifically due to the teaching of Creationism.

--hide--

How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?

 

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science ...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?

--hide--
Good point. Rejection of evolution would compromise the study of geology in adition to anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, etc. As Nye said, it seems to be unique to the US, although there are some advocates in Great Britain. It concerns me because it is driven by Christian fundamentalists who take literal pretty much everything in the Old Testament, thereby limiting the career options of their own children.

I seem to have a talent for opening hornet's nests here on CM. You can bet I will definitely avoid discussing the Middle East again- I fully expected to see a mob outside my door with torches and pitchforks!

Sep 2nd 2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science ...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?

--hide--

Having never been in a creationism class, I admit that I'm shooting from the hip here.

In addition to biology, there will also presumably be issues with geology (holding the Earth to be about 5 billion years old), astronomy (holding the universe to be even older than that), paleontology, and archaeology (at least some aspects of that anyway)

I imagine there could also be secondary effects along the lines of discouraging use of the scientific method due to answering questions with "because God made it that way." Obviously that won't be an absolute obstacle, but I think it would be a stumbling block in some individual cases.

Sep 2nd 2012 new

(Quote) John-336509 said: Having never been in a creationism class, I admit that I'm shooting from the hip here...
(Quote) John-336509 said:

Having never been in a creationism class, I admit that I'm shooting from the hip here.

In addition to biology, there will also presumably be issues with geology (holding the Earth to be about 5 billion years old), astronomy (holding the universe to be even older than that), paleontology, and archaeology (at least some aspects of that anyway)

I imagine there could also be secondary effects along the lines of discouraging use of the scientific method due to answering questions with "because God made it that way." Obviously that won't be an absolute obstacle, but I think it would be a stumbling block in some individual cases.

--hide--


Being a "creationist" does not necessarily mean you reject the notion of Earth being 5 billion years old. There is a school of thought called Old Earth Creationism that, obviously from the name, accepts that the Earth is that old. See, for example, here: www.oldearth.org

Sep 2nd 2012 new

(Quote) Peter-449116 said: (Quote) Jerry-74383 said: How does being taught creationism put s...
(Quote) Peter-449116 said:

Quote:
Jerry-74383 said:

How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?


Good point. Rejection of evolution would compromise the study of geology in adition to anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, etc. As Nye said, it seems to be unique to the US, although there are some advocates in Great Britain. It concerns me because it is driven by Christian fundamentalists who take literal pretty much everything in the Old Testament, thereby limiting the career options of their own children.

I seem to have a talent for opening hornet's nests here on CM. You can bet I will definitely avoid discussing the Middle East again- I fully expected to see a mob outside my door with torches and pitchforks!

--hide--


I agree with what you are saying, Peter. But, as a scientist myself, I'll put it a little differently.

The problem with Fundamentalism, or Creationism understood as the literal interpretation off the Genesis creation stories, is that it teaches us to deny our own senses. It teaches us that knowledge that has been passed down to us by word of mouth for thousands of years is more true than what we can observe, measure and test with our experiements.

Such a philosophy is anathema to Science, because science is all about NOT accepting a premise just because someone said so, but going out into nature and observing with your own eyes and testing each hypothesis with experiment. A good scientist takes nothing for granted as revealed truth but tests each hypothesis against the reality of nature. Only when practically observed results confirm or reject various hypetheses does he then construct theories. And, a good scientist is ever ready to change or discard the therories when more data comes to light, shifting our understanding by what we have observed. A scientist is a slave to the data, not the idea. He lets the facts shape the idea, rather than letting the idea distort the facts.

Ultimately, good science is about seeking the truth, but it rejects the idea that we can just accept as fact a statement because somebody said so; it must be practically testable or it is not scientific truth. Thus, a person who is taught to reject observable, experimentally testable facts is fundamentally unprepared for a career as a scientist.

Of course, some Truth is not, so far, testable. These truths can be taken on faith. Science has nothing valid to say about those truths: the spiritual truths. But, once something is within our ability to test, then to reject the evidence of our eyes to hold on to old notions is, well, foolish. A person who would reject evidence because of preconceived notions, even religious ones, would have no credibility among the community of scientists. Bringing up your kids that way just sets them back.

Of course, as an adult, a person can learn to open his mind to reality and overcome such an upbringing, but he or she is starting out life with a parent-given handicap. An example of someone who overcame it was William H. Welch, first head of Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and leader of the American scientific revolution around 1900. His valadictorian speech at Yale was all about revealed truth, but he later learned to open his eyes and embrace experimentally testable truth...and revolutionized medical practice in the process.

Sep 2nd 2012 new

(Quote) Gerald-283546 said: I agree with what you are saying, Peter. But, as a scientist myself, I'll put it a l...
(Quote) Gerald-283546 said:



I agree with what you are saying, Peter. But, as a scientist myself, I'll put it a little differently.

The problem with Fundamentalism, or Creationism understood as the literal interpretation off the Genesis creation stories, is that it teaches us to deny our own senses. It teaches us that knowledge that has been passed down to us by word of mouth for thousands of years is more true than what we can observe, measure and test with our experiements.

Such a philosophy is anathema to Science, because science is all about NOT accepting a premise just because someone said so, but going out into nature and observing with your own eyes and testing each hypothesis with experiment. A good scientist takes nothing for granted as revealed truth but tests each hypothesis against the reality of nature. Only when practically observed results confirm or reject various hypetheses does he then construct theories. And, a good scientist is ever ready to change or discard the therories when more data comes to light, shifting our understanding by what we have observed. A scientist is a slave to the data, not the idea. He lets the facts shape the idea, rather than letting the idea distort the facts.

Ultimately, good science is about seeking the truth, but it rejects the idea that we can just accept as fact a statement because somebody said so; it must be practically testable or it is not scientific truth. Thus, a person who is taught to reject observable, experimentally testable facts is fundamentally unprepared for a career as a scientist.

Of course, some Truth is not, so far, testable. These truths can be taken on faith. Science has nothing valid to say about those truths: the spiritual truths. But, once something is within our ability to test, then to reject the evidence of our eyes to hold on to old notions is, well, foolish. A person who would reject evidence because of preconceived notions, even religious ones, would have no credibility among the community of scientists. Bringing up your kids that way just sets them back.

Of course, as an adult, a person can learn to open his mind to reality and overcome such an upbringing, but he or she is starting out life with a parent-given handicap. An example of someone who overcame it was William H. Welch, first head of Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and leader of the American scientific revolution around 1900. His valadictorian speech at Yale was all about revealed truth, but he later learned to open his eyes and embrace experimentally testable truth...and revolutionized medical practice in the process.

--hide--
I have no formal education beyond a few college courses and military schools, so I'm certainly no scientist. I am an advocate though with a grandson in college and a granddaughter a few years away! Thank you for your informative post Gerald, I appreciate it! Sometimes we oversimplify arguments- I certainly have been guilty of that.

Sep 2nd 2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science ...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?

--hide--

Not even for most of the biological sciences. The only disadvantage that any form of creationism puts one in is in the field of evolutionary biology.

If you look at, for example, the discovery of antibiotics and ask if Darwinism made any difference in the research, the answer, from those involved, is no. In fact, even in biology, most can conduct their work without any particular reference to Darwinian ideas.

www.discovery.org

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