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Rejecting Evolution is Irrelevant December 29, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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If a religious believer rejects evolution, so what? I’ve argued on this topic with believers and it is basically an exercise in futility (from both sides, I’m sure.) But I have just decided that it doesn’t matter whether people accept scientific theories or not. What really matters is how the theory holds up under scrutiny, what the theory does for humans (its usefulness), and perhaps how the theory helps us better understand the question (in this case, how did life evolve?) The question of whether life evolved is also a source of disagreement, not surprisingly, from fundamental Christians for example, who think that life has never evolved, but that God created all life, in its current form, at its appropriate point in time on earth. But again, who cares?

When someone holds a view that disagrees with mainstream science, that is called freedom of thought – and no one can hold a persons thoughts hostage. That same person is free to think whatever they want regarding a specific scientific theory, because the thought, right or wrong, harms no one. Fortunately, the theory that most scientists support, marches forward. More evidence is discovered, and the theory gets stronger. So far, there are no competing theories based on science or the scientific method, so the ToE stands. Could the ToE be wrong? Of course it could, and scientists test the theory time after time. So far, it stands alone and is unshaken by those who don’t accept it.

There is no burden of proof required to accept a theory. Even if one is not a scientist, there is no requirement other than accepting what science is telling us for the moment. A rational person will follow the prevailing theory until it becomes a practical fact, like gravity, or until it dissolves under the weight of contradicting evidence. If one decides not to accept the prevailing theory, it is completely irrelevant. Not to mention the fact that the prevailing theory is perfectly transparent to anyone who wants to seriously test it. Go for it, there is plenty of time! πŸ™‚

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1. zebulonthered - December 29, 2009

The problem is that if a generation of students are taught that evolution is a lie by church leaders and parents, and a general disregard for science is fostered, our future could be bleak. A second Dark Age could begin. That seems like a bad thing to me… This fight against ignorance is of the utmost importance. The Myth most be put in it’s place if we are to move forward as a species.

jetson - December 29, 2009

I know there are dangerous groups actively fighting to get their creation myths inserted into public education, and we need to fight that at the legal level. So far, we have done well by simply asking for evidence, and asking for some form of proof. Sadly, it always comes to a dead end when a creator is mentioned.

So far, the judges in these cases have been smart enough to realize that gods are not science based, and are therefore unprovable in any empirical way.

I’m mainly referring to the armchair apologists and pseudo-scientific claims of people who are unwilling to accept the overwhelming evidence, and would rather make fallacious claims of designs by creators and use their personal beliefs to muddy the clear waters made by hard-working scientists who have brought untold benefits to humanity thanks to the ToE.

If only those same people could show me a single thing that ANY religion has done to help humanity, that could not have been done without the religion.

2. Dan - December 29, 2009

I’m sure the same can be said for heliocentrism. For two hundred years it was “just a theory,” and it was about three hundred and fifty years until the Catholic Church gave in and “repented.” And, to the same extent that it doesn’t much matter if people disagree with evolution, it still doesn’t much matter that some people still reject the idea that the Earth moves.

Whether it matters or not though, such views ARE appallingly ignorant.

jetson - December 29, 2009

Wow – I am literally stunned! I don’t even know what to say about the link you provided. Maybe NASA should fire that group into space and let them think about it a bit πŸ™‚

Dan - December 29, 2009

Yes, the Fixed Earth group is shocking. I don’t know if the group is still in existence – the group’s founder passed away several years ago – but they numbered some 3,000+ Americans.

3. SG - January 3, 2010

Lets clear up some things, micro evolution exists and it is here to stay, macro evolution well let’s just say it is lacking and you need lots of faith in order to agree with it. Actually, you need more, you are better of believing in God as that takes less faith than believing in macro evolution.

To not even have an origin of life but still believe in macro evolution — yep right up there with unicorns and the tooth fairy. Who cares? what? well apparently evolution does, how else would your theory hold up if you did not have a basis, or is this out of thin air too.

Okay so evolution says let’s start after the origin of life (we wouldn’t want to tackle the difficult issues — or even the ones that have been proven wrong, like life started from a simplistic ameba or parasite, which we now know that they are extremely complex), i can see patterns and things that are similar, what are we in kindergarten (which two circles look the same). Oh by the way, these are just general assumptions and theories but not like mathematical equations, because evolution doesn’t work that way it isn’t exact, its’ not there to say this or that — oh but it is unshaken, oh brother, give the guy some wine and crackers.

Oh and by pseudo-scientific scientists you mean Einstein? E=MC2 — points back to the Big Bang theory, ya you know external causal agent. God believing scientist.

So the ToE stands on what? quicksand as it pertains to macro evolution, unless your approach is by faith.

Oh by the way didn’t get the thing about religion — i don’t believe in religion, this is where man has injected their own traditions where they did not belong. So i can’t disagree with your comment but i can rephrase:

Followers of Christ have helped out communities, the poor, the needy and anyone needing spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. Actually, it has been churches that have brought about, nursing, salvation army, the 12 steps of AA and many more things.

Would you care to name some organizations from your personal fellow atheist organization? What did your atheist organization do for humanity this last year? How much money or time was donated?

How about:
Build clean water wells for living water — opps couldn’t be this one, this is a CHRISTIAN organization. Takes donations and donated man hours to build wells in third world countries.

Feed any Children — It couldn’t of been feed the children, again a CHRISTIAN ministry.

How about St. Jude — nope couldn’t be this either, this is yet another CHRISTIAN hospital that helps out parents of children with all types of cancer, they do not turn people away.

We can’t say that atheists are leading the charge in helping out humanity or are creating these new wonderful charitable organizations.

What we can say is that atheists want to keep prayer out of school, ya let’s tackle the real issues — great cause there? Or God didn’t create the world, even though they can’t state with a 100% certainty that God does not exist. And evolution can’t state that the origin of life. Maybe there is real comfort in saying nothing about nothing.

jetson - January 3, 2010

Just a reminder, this is what I wrote above about helping humanity:

If only those same people could show me a single thing that ANY religion has done to help humanity, that could not have been done without the religion.

Regardless of whether the charity is religious or secular, are you prepared to argue that religious charities are better than secular charities?

I wrote nothing at all about the popularity of religious charities, nor did I condemn religious charities. I simply said that they cannot do anything that secular charities cannot also do.

4. jetson - January 3, 2010

You’re not clearing anything up by asserting things that the majority in the scientific community already agree on. What science has concluded so far within the ToE is not up for debate unless you have some real evidence that changes the assumptions.

So, not knowing how life started should preclude us from discovering how life evolves? Brilliant! We can throw away all of the benefits based on the ToE since we apparently created a theory “out of thin air.”

If you’d like, I can share some Einstein quotes on God – let me know, because they would be embarrassing if you insist on calling him a believer.

Atheism and science are not one in the same. If science makes discoveries that help humanity, such as the ToE and it’s contributions to the biomedical industries that have saved or helped millions of humans, it has NOTHING to do with religious or god beliefs. It is just science. It just so happens that I can see and measure the untold lives saved by scientific discovery. I see nothing from God but promises of heaven, or threats of hell. How, exactly, do those promises and threats help someone with a deadly virus?

5. SG - January 3, 2010

I see you carefully avoided to point out any of the organizations started by atheists. Not that they have really contributed in the same magnitude… i primarily see that they like to complaint about it, but when it comes to doing….well enough said, they just talk about what religion doesn’t do right.

From your first paragraph, it is not up to debate — unless you want to be ignorant then i say you just go with the flow and go forward with all your faith in ToE, sad but very true.

It should not preclude us from knowing how life evolve but we shouldn’t be ignorant about it. If enough time and enough random chances with enough mutations and we let trillions of years pass by then magically it evolves, brilliant, wow (except that we don’t have trillions of years)….like i said embrace it by faith, you’ll need it. I never said throw away…all the benefits of micro evolution, again you are just cherry picking at what you want to be the correct perception of ToE.

Again, i didn’t say what type of follower Einstein was just that he believed that there was a creator, a God. He was certainly not an atheist. Especially after the results of Edwin Hummble confirmed that the universe was expanding.

You are right about atheism and science, one requires faith and it ain’t science my dear Jetson.

Again your last statement shows your ignorance as to what is the purpose of God. You just want God according to you.

jetson - January 3, 2010

I wrote the blog to point out that no matter what one believes, the ToE stands as the most widely accepted theory on how life evolves, and directly contributes to society in positive ways. It doesn’t even attempt to undermine one’s religious beliefs. And since you believe there is a creator, then you are free to believe the creator kicked off life, and that humans finally figured out the creators intent with evolution.

Either way, your personal beliefs cannot tear down the theory. They just stand as personal beliefs, unprovable, and without merit in the scientific community.

In the end, you can spend a lifetime denouncing the theory, but it will not matter.


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