How do you reconcile your Jewish faith with evolution? I don't ascribe to the idea that the earth and all of the living beings on it were created ten thousand years ago or what have you, but I don't rule out the possibility that God had a hand in guiding evolution.
I'd love to hear the opinions of those scientists that believe God's involvement in evolution to be a possibility. It seems like you never hear their side. So science gets the label of being "anti-God" and that's really what these creation museums are a reaction against.
On an unrelated note, you may also notice that 52% of scientists identify as liberal compared to only 9% who tend to be conservative... but I'm not going to delve into that. ;-)
2) While you may think that "it seems like you never hear" the side of religious scientists, the reality is that neither atheists nor religious individual inject their theological and/or philosophical opinions into the teaching of scientific fact. This isn't to say that some of them don't express their personal views during their off-hours, be they atheists (like Richard Dawkins), agnostics (like Stephen Jay Gould), or pious believers (like Francis Collins). That said, prejudicial assumptions from the right-wing notwithstanding, the truth is that virtually all scientists keep their personal religious views out of the classroom. The reason for that is very simple - because science only deals with empirical observations and proven facts, it would be just as unprofessional for a scientist to start preaching his or her religious views as it would be for the scientist to start spouting off about art, sports, or politics. As such, the notion that it is "anti-God" for the scientific community to not infuse religion into their discipline makes about as much sense as saying that they're "anti-art" or "anti-politics" for not doing the same thing with those subjects.
Lol, If science can account for the majority of the variance in existence, then God can explain the rest. Of course, one would have to control for the Devil. Now if I could only run an ANCOVA on existence...
I'm not talking about the classroom setting. I'm talking about in society in general. I would argue that the percentage of the scientific community who does not believe in God (and uses scientific "evidence" to support that belief) is much more vocal than the religious percentage. THAT is what I meant when I said that you never hear the religious scientists' views.
How do you back up this assertion?
2) While there are plenty of outspoken atheists within the scientific community (Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris being the most obvious examples), there are just as many individuals there who openly discuss a more religious or spiritual view of their discipline (Francis Collins and Stephen Jay Gould come to mind). My suspicion is that you and other right-wingers are so focused on being angry at the former that you downplay (sometimes deliberately and other times because you're only human) the latter.
3) There are two major problems with arguing that creationist museums are an acceptable scientific counterpoint to the arguments made by scientific atheists:
i. It assumes that scientists who believe in mainstream evolutionary theory are automatically anti-religion, which is clearly not the case.
ii. It assumes that creationism is a form of science, which is flat-out wrong.
That last point is crucial. While you may disagree with the way in which Dawkins and Harris use scientific fact to back up their atheistic assertions - just as they no doubt disagree with how Collins and Gould used scientific fact to argue their points-of-view - ALL of these individuals have the right to refer to their perspectives as "scientific" because the foundation upon which they base their specific cases is solely that of science. Creationists, on the other hand, are basing their arguments primarily on religious beliefs, which they then use as a springboard for distorting and downright denying important scientific material so as to make their case. As such, these creationist museums are committing a blatant fraud when they claim that what they teach is science.
The main problem with creationists is that they are so passionate about their beliefs that they throw epistemology out the window.
@Matt- 1) In terms of scientific curriculum, no, creationism is not science and therefore shouldn't be taught in science classrooms. Religion classrooms is another matter entirely, as I'm sure you will agree. That being said, evolution should be presented neutrally as what it is: a THEORY. Scientific theories can never be definitively proven, so the minute evolution becomes an absolute truth in the classroom, then I have a problem.
2) I love your characterization of "right-wingers" as being "angry..." They're entitled to their beliefs, and we on the right are entitled to passionately disagree with them. That doesn't make us "angry." And it may be true that we're more focused on people like Dawkins, but see my proposed experiment to Christina above.
3) I never made that argument, so I assume you're just adding to your original point about creationism not being science.
I'm afraid that's it for me on this discussion. Have to finish an exegetical paper on Revelation for my New Testament class.
Dont make an assertion when you clearly have no data. Saying "my guess" supports nothing. You shouldnt present your perceptions as some kind of valid argument with no evidence to back it up. If your going to make an assertion about my field at least back it up. Cuz I could just as easily say that if I polled my colleagues, those who believe in God would probably be much more vocal in the field (by the way, how are you operationally defining vocal?) than those who dont. You cant just blurt shit out. Back it up.
2) I agree that it is acceptable for creationism to be taught in religious classrooms, although this still means that it shouldn't appear in public schools (since, after all, teaching religion there would be a blatant violation of the separation between church and state). Even so, I'm glad that you share my belief that those who want to teach creationism as a science are in error.
3) I have never heard of a situation in which the basis for evolution is presented as axiomatic rather than theoretical. That said, although you are correct in asserting that it should be presented as a theory, many creationists forget that much else of what is agreed to be scientific fact technically exists in the form of theory. For example, the idea that all of the continents once existed as a single supercontinent known as Pangaea is a theory; the Big Bang is a theory; the concept of relativity in physics is a theory. However, even though all of these things are "merely" theories, each one has been substantiated by observable phenomena to such an extent that they can warrant being taught as dependable tenets of scientific thought. The same is true of evolution.
4) My claim that creationists are "angry" is based on my own observations.
5) Regarding your proposed experiment to Christina... has it occurred to you that, even if Dawkins is more recognizable among passionate atheists than Collins is among the passionately religious, that may speak less to the question of which voice is more prominent among scientists and more to the fact that atheists are more likely to consult science when backing up their views than are the religious?
6) It is true that you never claimed creationist museums were a scientific counterpoint to those that teach evolution. That said, you did express sympathy with creationist museums ("science gets the label of being 'anti-God' and that's really what these creation museums are a reaction against"), and my position is that - because they depict themselves as being scientific when they aren't - they deserve neither sympathy nor support.
Isn't creationism just a theory as well?
The term "theory" is defined (at least when used in a scientific context) as "a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena." In short, no.
Ok, then what category does creationism fall into?
Ok then! I just wanted to be politically correct ;)