Evolution survey

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    The current evolution debate seems to be centered on concepts of atheism and belief in God. That science is involved is just a way for the atheists to defend their position.

    I just don’t know how you live a life where you are the center of your own universe and that your intelligence is your own functional savior. Seems like you would be constantly letting yourself down or at least be in denial of the harm that you are doing in the world.

    Faith requires moving you from the center of everything to looking to something greater to give your life meaning. Christianity also provides a solution for sin and death that no atheist has. Even if I have lived a life that is totally delusional, then I’m sure my life philosophy will be more fruitful than most atheists.

    I found this good article by the controversial Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll that outlines a lot of this conversation:




    so House.. you appear to have thrown another gauntlet:) and you sound so reasonable, you found company:)

    Why would differing conclusions on data need to be mandated in our school systems house? At what point did the teaching of math or science or law or business become political?

    Yes, some teachers hold liberal world views. Surprisingly some also hold conservative world views. And all teachers are opinionated, to some degree.

    However, what teachers teach at anything but a graduate level is pretty much mandated by the syllabus they are handed for the class… and that is based on current information… data… and the conclusions that those actually studying those disciplines have reached based on that data.

    An academic controversy is one in which both sides must bolster their conclusions with data.

    A political controversy is that which is created when the President of the United States decides that even though the actual scientific evidence from his own government researchers indicated that global warming is not only real but humans are contributing to it.. he chose to have his administration suppress the evidence and relied on his “gut feeling”.

    This is a controversy that has been created to mask nonacademic behavior.

    At a graduate level we expect students to research and think for themselves… and to challenge any professor they think is not giving them all the available information.

    In fact, at any level, there are always students who will challenge any teacher they find opinionated.. even if they only think so because what the teacher says is not the same as what their parents believe.

    Unfortunately, we have more than one generation of students who are approaching our scientific disciplines without having been taught the difference between science and belief… between academic controversy and political controversy… and they have been taught to believe that anyone who ventures the opinion that their politically based science is not relevant to academic inquiry is discriminating against them.

    i know that one for certain, having grandchildren who believe just that.

    From your posts, i would assume that you were one of those students. I know i was. I still am. I think many who post here were.

    Yes, it is true that how our scientists (both hard science and social sciences) view data is determined by our general current interpretation of that data… but our understanding of those sciences grows because of those few students who will challenge what they have learned…

    I have no doubt house that you are capable of critical thought even though you were “indoctrinated” by our liberal school system. So again, why would we have any need to mandate that both sides of any academic issue are taught in our classrooms?

    Rhetoric aside, we would only need that law if we wanted to guarantee that any opinion labeled as science is taught… and that is politicizing the classroom.. the thing you say you want to prevent.

    We don’t need to mandate academic equality in our classrooms. The process of academic inquiry already does that quite well.




    faith and scientific or academic inquiry are two differing things. One relies on belief… and the other on data.

    Science is not just a tool for dismissing faith.

    It is the tool we use to make sense of the world we live in… and to communicate a shared sense of that world. It is the product of curiosity… and is based on shared data which can be replicated by experiment.

    I can understand data and still have belief.. and thus faith. i know, because i do:) and since belief is personal, nobody gets to decide whether my faith is real or not. They can decide that it doesn’t coincide with theirs… with or without actually talking with me… but no person gets to decide matters of faith for another.

    that works for me. It is what the religious freedom of our nation is based upon.

    You don’t actually think that all of our founders believed exactly the same things do you? Look around you at how many divisions there are just within the pentecostal Christians, let alone how many within Christianity itself… and we haven’t even begun to speak of other religions…

    all are grounded in belief.. in faith.

    choosing not to believe is just another choice.

    You and i may believe that their lives are poorer for that choice… you may believe my life is poorer because i have not made the same exact choices in faith that you do… but it is still choice.

    It is one of the greatest benefits of living in America… to be able to believe what we choose and to voice that belief in public without fear of reprisal… Censure, yes…. There has always been censure. but not reprisal.

    I wish it worked better some of the time… but i am glad that framework exists. We wouldn’t have these conversations without it.



    Findlay, I’m a little taken aback by your arrogance in thinking you have the superior belief as opposed to a belief, but I’ll go ahead and bite anyway. I have no idea how fruity you are or aren’t but I do enjoy a life of giving and thinking of other people. I do not think I am the center of anything but my pets’ lives. In fact I am often appalled by the actions of some christians as they believe they have dominion over all things. Sure, you’ll say god gave you instructions to “take care” of every creature, but as the believers are the majority, I don’t see that going so well. I do not think I am above all else, I think I’m beside and a part of everything. In that way, I hope I participate in protecting and caring for all, whether they be human, animal, the land or what have you. Because I don’t believe in disneyland in the sky, I feel we need to take a lot of responsibility for what we have. And I don’t need a solution for your sin, I need punishment for crimes committed.

    And to JoB and all the other Christians out their that understand your religion and beliefs are just that, yours, thank-you. As I’ve stated before, I have the utmost respect for your right to have those choices and I appreciate the return respect.



    Findlay, your attitude here is partly why people are annoyed with or even hostile about organized Christianity. It even annoys me, and my atheist days are mostly behind me.

    You assume that all people are like you in their spiritual make-up, which doesn’t honor that we are all different and are entitled to different spiritual journeys (or to have no journey at all, or to change journeys midstream.)

    It’s insulting to say to an agnostic or atheist, “Wow, your life must be empty and meaningless compared to my ‘fruitful’ one.” And it probably doesn’t win many converts.



    So, Findlay and others out there I have a question.

    Religion has always puzzled me and when I converse with people grounded in their religion they typically state that it is not based on scientific studies or tangible proof, rather it is based upon “faith”.

    My response to that is that faith cannot be considered logical.

    If you state that you have “faith” in your spouse not cheating on you, that is not really faith. That’s the scientific method…you have known Spouse A for X amount of time and they have not cheated on you in X ammount of time. Snce Spouse A has not cheated on you in X ammount of time, you “trust” that they are not going to cheat. Therefore, Spouse A has “proven” that they will not cheat. If Spouse “A” actually cheats on you and you find out, then you have proven that Spouse “A” cannot be trusted.

    If I state that I have “faith” that I will wake up and land on my two feet in the morning b/c of gravity rather than float away, this again is not “faith”. Rather, it’s the fact that I have proven 12,775 other days that I will land on my two feet so it’s safe to assume that I will again tomorrow….once again proven method of determing something.

    So, I see “faith” as belief in something that you cannot actually prove exists or has existed.

    If you have “faith” in religion, what other aspects of your life to you practice faith?

    The closest example of “faith” to me would be standing at one end of I-5 at 3pm and running straight across without looking. You can deem this as stupidity, but it would be blind “faith” believing that you would make it to the other side unharmed. Odds are that you’d be killed or injured, but if you did make it across you would call it “divine intervention” and I would call it “dumb ass luck”.

    New Slogan for Mars Hill Church “Our beliefs are out of this world”!!



    Re the link to Charlatan Mark Driscoll.

    I have tried several times to write a polite rebuttal.

    It cannot be done. At least not by me.

    Science does not seek to disprove religion. In the marketplace of ideas, religion does not get some sort of magic pass when it attempts to intrude where it does not belong. When religion tries to replace science or pretend it is science, it is examined and found to have no evidence at all..

    Driscol reminds me of another authoritarian with a similar response to this question.

    Everybody who has the right kind of feeling for his country is solemnly bound, each within his own denomination, to see to it that he is not constantly talking about the Will of God merely from the lips but that in actual fact he fulfils the Will of God and does not allow God’s handiwork to be debased. For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work wages war against God’s Creation and God’s Will.

    Should the same renunciation not be possible if this injunction is replaced by the admonition finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created?

    From where do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump, as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today.

    — A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925

    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens

    With the stupid, the Gods themselves fight in vain



    house.. glad to see you are equal opportunity…

    you have faith. You just don’t call it that.

    You didn’t need to stretch so far as to running across I-5 in the morning to demonstrate faith. (although that was pretty dismissive of the rest of us) How about just getting up in the morning and having faith that this day will be something you can handle just as all others have been.

    Just because you get up every day, doesn’t mean it is logical to assume that you always will. In fact.. one day you won’t. And just because your days have always more or less worked out for you doesn’t mean they always will.

    I hiked the lava tubes on Mt St Helen’s and climbed it’s flanks in the summertime with little equipment before anyone really thought much about whether that was an active volcano. Was it logical to assume that i would always be able to? Apparantly not.

    How about faith in yourself?

    We of faith have faith in ourselves.. we just believe there is something greater than us at the core of that faith.

    I have never called it logical. Faith is about belief, not about science house.. and if you can’t measure science by faith.. you can’t measure faith by science.

    You would be amazed how many perfectly rational people choose to believe in something greater than themselves. It isn’t logical. It isn’t supposed to be.

    Faith itself is the biggest miracle.



    “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

    –Mark Twain, (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, in Following the Equator, 1897)



    Logic doesn’t mandate a consistent outcome. I assume I will get out of bed everyday until or unless an event such as illness, accident, or death occurs. And…science is beginning to measure faith. They are finding a region in the brain that corresponds to religious experience. Scientist have been able to stimulate the area and create a “religious experience”, suggesting faith is hardwired. One might say that is a part of god’s design while I might say it serves an evolutionary purpose that is slowly becoming obsolete, since more and more people seem to be lacking this response.

    What really matters to me is how this belief or lack of belief is used. Can we respect each other and avoid imposing our chosen position onto others? I feel no need to “recruit” atheists. Why do some christians fell they need to recruit me? Because it’s for my own good? Can I please make that choice for myself.

    Besides, I’m fragile right now. My faith has been shaken by discovering more than once that I agree with TheHouse.



    oh JT.. it’s time for an intervention. can i take you out for ice cream? chocolate ice cream? Your soul is obviously in crisis:)

    Yes, faith is hardwired… in some very inexplicable ways. The brain is amazing. I could tell you more about what the brain responds to.. but that would be another topic;-)

    It is not necessarily logical to decide that the portion of the brain that responds is or was essential to survival. Watched any animals lately? not everything they do can be traced to survival:) So why should we be different?

    I think science is finally catching up with the notion that things are far more complex than we once thought:) Just because we can find some way to explain things away doesn’t mean that we are right.

    I think we can agree that not everything can be understood… anywhere there is room for any mystery, there is room for religion.

    as for our numbers dwindling… church attendance isn’t doing so well, but have you seen the bookstore sections that deal with faith and mystery? they are selling well. Faith in one from or another is alive and well.

    I find that it is generally those who are not secure in their faith who spend so much time condemning others. Those who are truly secure have love for and curiosity about others… they truly want to know what you think and why.

    that doesn’t mean they won’t try to make you see that you might be missing something:) But probably only if you ask questions back….

    when you start asking questions, you will know you should have turned down the chocolate and run ;-)



    You know, House, I’m not even sure if what I have can be called faith. I think what I have is hope—hope that there is another life beyond this one where I can see my loved ones again, hope that the forces of love and peace sometimes transcend the forces of hate, hope that there are things greater than I am ….

    And a spiritual connection to a God I grew up praying to and to the Native American concepts of spirits in all things, treating yourself and others and the earth with respect, etc.

    None of this is about logic, reason, or anything analytical…I can’t explain it in those terms because they don’t exist in those terms.



    on a somewhat lighter note…..


    This gentleman will be appearing at Seattle Town Hall (8th and Seneca) on Wednesday, 2/20/08 at 7:30pm…..I’m sure his lecture and “entertainment” will be enlightening, whatever your beliefs…



    entertaining and educational:)


    WOW! Where to begin? Would it be wrong of me to assume there’s a bit of an anti-christian, anti-religous whirlwind here??? I’m not perfect, nor do I profess to be the most knowledgable when compared to my own shadow, but maybe some of you have over-analized everything. It’s your right, and I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. Would I love for all of you to understand Christians and get to know my God? Yeah, but I ain’t stupid either.

    What I absolutely LOVE about this thread is that some of you were so quick to tear down the few Christian posts and their thoughts that you forgot to look in the mirror. You see, I’m also not your ordinary Christian – yeah, you all have stereotypes…we all do. I’m not your conservative, right-wing, pro-life, evangalical, republican, caucasian Christian. After being around some lifers, I’m very glad that I’m not either because they’re as jaded as some of you. Evolution or creation? Ask me if I care. Chicken or the egg; Really people, which came first??? I want to continue, but I suspect this was enough to stir the hornet’s nest.

    * Anyway, to be a little more direct, Kayleigh, you were so quick to rip on someone else’s post and then cry foul. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! REALLY??

    * How about some accountability, people? What I get from the bible is that we’re asked to be accountable not just to others, but to ourselves. We each have our own boundaries though, so you got me there.

    * Christians think they’re better than you or holier than thou? Some do, but they’re the extremists…some of your counterparts, if you will. If you ask me, I don’t believe I’m either of those over anyone. What I can tell you is that Christians are called upon to be humble and to be servants of Christ. Believe me, calling myself a Christian isn’t something said so easily. Try living up to your own claims. Personally, I think that’s where many people part ways…Christians or not. Yes, you and Brother X can say and claim that you can be humble and be a servant, but the proof is how you live your life. Believe me, I’m not saying non-Christians don’t do these things. However, God uses EVERYONE in His way and carries out His will at His time. Again, this is what I believe.

    * You think God is a myth or some irrational belief? Ask yourself that when you reach bottom and He’s there to pick you up. Just remember, it’s not His responsibility to do it for you. If there’s one thing that’s clear in my mind and heart, it’s that God gives us the CHOICE to go to Him.

    Where’s your tolerance, people? Haven’t we giggled at one another’s posts, discussed politics and other things good and dumb??

    As for me, I want to represent someone who wants to badly be worthy of being called a Christian. Do I? Nope, because I’m human, but I’m striving for it. I don’t do that by making enemies or being your excuse as to why you’re not a Christian. Live your lives, and maybe one day we’ll look back together at this conversation.

    As a final thought, I say to those who ARE curious about Christ and religion and read these boards, there’s no perfect formula, but we can work together toward redefining all of these false impressions that separate us.



    well said!



    I did not start this thread to discuss religion.

    Religion seems to be involved because it is pretty much only the subset of christianist who think the literal interpretation of genesis and other tales from the Bible should trump not only paleontology and biology but geology, cosmology, astronomy, genetics and a hundred other fields of study, who also seek the political power to ram that insanity down the throats of the rest of is.


    If you want to experiment with the living conditions inside a whale, be my guest.


    If you want to attempt to breed animals of various coloration by controlling what they see when they drink water, go for it and the best of luck to you.


    But if you expect sane humans to allow the idiots among us to control the education of public school children in a way that denies all reason and rationality, all measurable evidence and observable interaction, and tries to equate astronomy with astrology, then we shall have a fight for the future.

    Children can recover from the fairy tales of youth as long as they are allowed to think and learn.

    They may not recover from dogma taught as science.

    Now mainstream Christians seem to get upset when I point out the ugly side of the Fundamentalist Bibliolatry. I can only assume it to be for one reason. Your particular sect or denomination has been slowly poisoned by the same heresy. The worship of the Bible rather than the Deity.


    Science and especially Evolution has nothing to say concerning the origins of the universe or matters of faith. But it torments those who would use peoples spiritual nature as a means to control them, and enslave their God given minds and intelligence.

    “If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interests.”

    — Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d’Holbach (1723 – 1789)



    Prayingman’s comments are exactly why it’s frustrating and futile to discuss religion. The friendly I’m just stating my opinion routine is a fallacy. There is no mutual respect for my choices. In the end, you still turn your “opinions” into a sermon and an attempt to recruit. You still choose to not accept my beliefs by stating you know god works through EVERYONE. Really? That insults me. Keep your god to yourself or to those that ask. It’s not like there is a living, breathing person that hasn’t been made aware of religion.

    People like to use the line “you’re just anti-christian” to excuse their constantly bad behavior. It’s rude to try and sell something to those who aren’t interested in buying. I can’t believe how many times a discussion has turned into someone listing bible verses on how to get saved. Would it be ok to turn every new sponsor thread into a personal pitch for Amway and Mary Kay? I’m really surprised this is such a hard concept to comprehend.

    Sorry Ken. Can I start a new thread for you to get back on topic?


    Sorry, Ken, but this conversation has gone a different direction, and points were brought into it in spite of you or I. I will not sit by and allow JT and others to be the only influence around here. Either way, from my standpoint, I addressed my opinion about evolution / creation. I will say to you, Ken, that the idiots walking amongst us are as much *Christian* as they are ANYONE ELSE! No corners the market on being a hypocrite or anything else of the sort, even if that’s how some may wish it to be. Again, Ken, this is bigger than you or I and ultimately, we all stand to win or lose because of it.

    Whether this matters to you at all I cannot say, but I try not to lump you into any one label because I do not know you. Can you carry this conversation by doing the same? What about my statements do you not understand? Here it is again, one paint brush stroke doesn’t paint an entire wall.

    What I see in your words is fear that perhaps who you thought were bible-thumping people that you seem to dispise may not actually be true. Believe it.

    I hear some of you say that Christians are close-minded folks. Guess what? You’re right there with me. Fairy tales? Okay, if that’s what you think. But I bet you have your own. Try living life by loving people and attempting to get along with them.

    I certainly do not have whatever fears you think I have. Sorry to disappoint.


    “Prayingman’s comments are exactly why it’s frustrating and futile to discuss religion.”

    It’s only futile because you make it so. You’re the one who is closing off to it, not I. Where I’d like to find common ground with you, you’re opposed to it for only reasons you know.

    “The friendly I’m just stating my opinion routine is a fallacy. There is no mutual respect for my choices.”

    There’s mutual respect, certainly. Does it mean you’re right for it? Nope. Does it mean I’m going to hold you to the fire for it? Nope! You know, JT, there used to be rumors of molestors who wanted the right to be able to love young male kids. Let me guess, you respect them and their right to want to do so, right?

    “In the end, you still turn your “opinions” into a sermon and an attempt to recruit. You still choose to not accept my beliefs by stating you know god works through EVERYONE. Really? That insults me. Keep your god to yourself or to those that ask. It’s not like there is a living, breathing person that hasn’t been made aware of religion.”

    You mean like the sermon you responded with? Again, I will voice my opinions as much as you or anyone else will. Accept your beliefs? What might those be exactly, JT? I’m listening. And if you don’t believe in *my* God, that’s for you to deal with, but don’t be so insulted by somehting / someone that doesn’t exist. Welcome to the real world, JT. Intolerance hurts, doesn’t it? And, if you don’t want to hear about it, don’t bring it up or give me reason to post specifically about religion or God. Think about it the next time you say His name in vein. Like it or not, I bet you say it, don’t you? Just remember, that saying is in reference to God.

    “People like to use the line “you’re just anti-christian” to excuse their constantly bad behavior.”

    JT – I feel for you, if that’s what you got from my other post. Do yourself a favor and read it over, so that you can see you’ve got me pegged totally wrong. But if you insist, go on, tell me my constant bad behavior. Jaded, jaded, jaded, are you, JT.

    “It’s rude to try and sell something to those who aren’t interested in buying. I can’t believe how many times a discussion has turned into someone listing bible verses on how to get saved.”

    You’re 100% right. It’s just as rude for others to respond the way they do. How about something along the lines of what Jan might say? She differs in her views but at least has the decency to be polite and cordial about it. Give a punch, take a punch!

    “Would it be ok to turn every new sponsor thread into a personal pitch for Amway and Mary Kay? I’m really surprised this is such a hard concept to comprehend.”

    Keep trying JT, you’ll get it. No, it wouldn’t ok.

    “Sorry Ken. Can I start a new thread for you to get back on topic? “

    And next, you’ll want to preface it with, “Christians Not Welcome”. Again, if you want to stay on topic, at least be cordial about it. Just don’t expect for me to be quiet when you open up this topic. Read my posts, JT and Ken, and you’ll see that I’m as interested in our community and what’s going on as much as anyone else. Not everything has to be about religion or God for many reasons, but mainly out of RESPECT for others views.



    people really get touchy with the religion thing, whether you label yourself “christian” or not. Ken, one can’t have a discussion about evolution, I don’t think, without a little religion creeping in. It’s bound to happen.

    To those who went off the path a little…we all must be a little more tolerant. I respect everyone’s right to believe what they want to believe. What I don’t appreciate is for people to assume that I don’t have my own personal beliefs, that they HAVE to tell me about theirs, and how much better off I’d be if I felt the same. That’s hogwash…I’m not you…and you’re not me. I would never, ever tell you that you’d be better off believing how I believe, because it’s personal to me, it has nothing to do with you.

    I once had a close friend sit in my home and tell me that if I wasn’t “born again” I was going straight to hell. She was never invited back to my home again, because I found it so offensive.She had no idea what was or what wasn’t in my heart, just that I didn’t wear it on my sleeve as she did. Respect? She certainly had none for me.

    Now…back to topic at hand…evolution. So many things have evolved…where was the beginning? Who knows. Who created the original? Who knows. Big Bang? Maybe? God (or whatever you call a higher being in your life)? Perhaps. I studied the body, it’s systems, it’s intricacies, the way things work amazingly together, when I was in massage school. Now, there’s something that can’t be just random, it’s so beautiful how it all goes together.Yes…evolution…we are not as we once were. But, hey…ya gotta wonder where the plan came from……ok, those are just random thoughts :)



    I like to think that believing in God as Creator and believing in the science of evolution are not mutually exclusive. Couldn’t God the Creator be creative in going about the act of creation? Who am I to suggest that there is only one way or only one date or number of days that our universe came into being. Would my concept of 24 hours in a day naturally be God’s concept as well? Rather godlike of me to think so, don’t you think? I look around me and have no doubt that a loving Creator God designed and blew life into our amazing and ever changing world/universe. I believe this down deep in my core in my soul. I guess this belief is called faith.



    I see the same beauty you do. I am in awe that our systems work as well as they do. I just see how that came to be, differently. I believe we are in a constant state of change. An evolutionary trial and error. I don’t see the state we are in now, as proof of creation or intelligent design. We seem so magnificent in comparison to what? At the present time we’re not privy to alternative systems that might make what we have look like child’s play.

    If I had never seen or heard of a car or computer, I would not comprehend how they came to be. The intricacies under the hood are just as mysterious and beautiful to me in how they work. And as much as I marvel at them and see them as complete in their design and function, I know a better model will eventually exist.

    We are afraid to question the design quality of living things. We’re taught not to. Yet if we did, we’d see all kinds of flaws that could use improving. For example….when a rabbit doesn’t absorb all the nutrients in his food, it is diverted for further fermentation. He then excretes this in the usual manner and eats it again. This time absorbing the rest of the nutrients. This is effective, but is it really optimal to eat your own —-?

    Living things are amazing. That in and of itself does not suggest creation over evolution.

    Evolution is observable. That fact can’t be negated. Faith is the belief in what you want to be true, and all that includes. Nothing wrong with having some of that. But I agree, it doesn’t belong in the science classroom.



    WSmom’s comment concerning relative time frames reminded me of a joke I read somewhere on the net:

    ” Lord, ” said the man, ” how long is a million years to you?”

    ” In heaven a million years is like a minute.”

    ” Lord, how much is a million dollars to you?”

    ” To me, a million dollars is like penny.”

    ” Let’s see, Lord, could you give me a penny?”

    ” Yes, my son, in a minute!”


    Pretty funny, Ken. :-)

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