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Old 4th January 2007, 04:46 PM   #1
Ben
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Default Creationists and Noah's Grand Canyon

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HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).


“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”
Source: Peer.org

Ur, I know this might be opening a can of worms, but does this seem weird to anyone else? Creationism is just not an issue here or in the UK, but obviously it is huge in the US.

Alucino....
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Old 4th January 2007, 05:32 PM   #2
Rizzo La Rata
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we have a saying here "Der Klügere gibt nach!", which means "The clever one gives way"!

the proper response is "If the clever ones always give way, we are going to have the dictatorship of the stupid!"

so far we have no problems here in germany with creationists. but when i read articles like that, my toenails start to roll (i do not know how to translate that properly into english).
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Old 4th January 2007, 06:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rizzo La Rata View Post
we have a saying here "Der Klügere gibt nach!", which means "The clever one gives way"!

the proper response is "If the clever ones always give way, we are going to have the dictatorship of the stupid!"

so far we have no problems here in germany with creationists. but when i read articles like that, my toenails start to roll curl?(i do not know how to translate that properly into english).
Seems ok to offend those that don't believe in the creation then! What a state we get into trying to keep every minority happy
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Old 4th January 2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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Shocking but true. Here in the States it seems like every few months or so you hear something on the news about a school trying to ban the teaching of evolution in favor of teaching creationism. Or they at least want the two "theories" taught on the same level.

Accustomed as I am to that frequent headline, I really am surprised that the National Park Service is letting a religious belief impeed their interest in science.
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Old 4th January 2007, 08:22 PM   #5
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the National Park Service web site still looks reasonably sane. It has this on the front page for the grand canyon (my highlighting):

The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those that explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River.

Other parts of the site also talk about human artefacts more than 12,000 years old. So not much sign of the creationist influence there.

As the great Irish comedian Dave Allen used to say - May your God go with you.
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Old 4th January 2007, 11:21 PM   #6
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This really annoys me. The stories in the Bible were never meant to be taken literally. I don't think Creationism and Science are complete opposites - have you ever considered this:

God created the world in seven days, a metaphorical day meaning only a period of time. And what if we say that God used the tools of science to create it?

Day 1 - "Let there be light" - the big bang?
Day 2 - Separation of the waters - condensing of matters to form the planets and "clear the sky" (or space?).
Day 3 - The first appearance of dry ground - before this point, the Earth would have been molten lava and the oceans only steam. After sufficient cooling, the oceans and land can form.
Day 4 - The Sun and stars were to "serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years". This was obviously very important to people without GPS, but this day could have been placed anywhere after the Earth had formed.
Day 5 - "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth" - Creation of birds and fish on Earth. Although we are ignoring the dinosaurs, the fish were always there and the birds are direct descendents of dinosaurs.
Day 6 - Animals and man - made our way out of the water to evolve into the other types of creatures we are today.
Day 7 - God had finished the work He had been doing

It's a bit mixed up, but you can't take the Bible literally. Sorry to offend any devout Christians, but this is my take on things. I do believe in God, but I also believe in Science as being God's tools.
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Old 4th January 2007, 11:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Seems ok to offend those that don't believe in the creation then! What a state we get into trying to keep every minority happy
si la palabra "offence" también incluye la provocación para discutir, está bienvenido! creo que todo, minoría como majoría, deberia que saber contestar preguntas sobre sus posiciones.

hasta ahora ne he escuchado argumentos cuales saben convencerme. (lo siento si soy un ateo ignorante ). ¿es necesario que hay que ser un creyente?

for clarity the english version :
if the term "offence" also includes a provocation for discussion, it's welcome! everyone, minority as well as majority, should be able to answer questions about their position.

and so far i haven't heard any creationist arguments that convince me (sorry if i am only an ignorant atheist ). does one necessarily have to be a believer?
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Old 5th January 2007, 06:45 AM   #8
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...And what if we say that God used the tools of science to create it?
But this supposes the existance of a creator, which I find unbelieveable. The biblical version of the Earth's creation is no more than a fable that allowed ignorant minds (true meaning of "ignorant" - nothing pejorative) to grasp the immensity of the world about them. It's a pity we cannot break free from these apocryphal fetters.
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Old 5th January 2007, 06:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Source: Peer.org

Ur, I know this might be opening a can of worms, but does this seem weird to anyone else? Creationism is just not an issue here or in the UK, but obviously it is huge in the US.

Alucino....
Mind-boggling!

Yup, this is a can of worms. Any discussion on this subject is bound to become a trench war between creationists and mainstream scientists.

Some observers say this is a global trend: orthodox religion is on the rise in many different parts of the world (a move towards orthodox Islam in countries like Indonesia; the increase of orthodox Judaism in Israel, etc. ) But I think it's true that it's always been strong in some parts of the US (especially the South). I remember driving through Virginia and seeing religious billboards with Bible quotes everywhere. One particular billboard even warned people against traveling!
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Old 5th January 2007, 07:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
But this supposes the existance of a creator, which I find unbelieveable. The biblical version of the Earth's creation is no more than a fable that allowed ignorant minds (true meaning of "ignorant" - nothing pejorative) to grasp the immensity of the world about them. It's a pity we cannot break free from these apocryphal fetters.
I'm also an atheist but people are entitled to their own beliefs. And like Alan says, some scientists do believe in some kind of supreme being without sacrificing their scientific objectivity.

What really worries me is that people of an orthodox bent have a tendency to impose their belief system on others, questioning the separation between Church and State.
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Old 5th January 2007, 07:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Edith View Post
I'm also an atheist but people are entitled to their own beliefs. And like Alan says, some scientists do believe in some kind of supreme being without sacrificing their scientific objectivity.

What really worries me is that people of an orthodox bent have a tendency to impose their belief system on others, questioning the separation between Church and State.
Indeed! Darwin wanted his theories to demonstrate the God's power. But as a sort of geologist and part time philosopher I see the power of nature explained by physical laws and no proof for enlightened design. As a student of religions from an atheist viewpoint I understand why people need some form of expanation. I just wish they would look to science and not to the storybook.

And I totally agreed that it is wrong to impose one's views on another. You will appreciate that many of my colleagues have an axe to grind. I am not sure quite what you mean by "questioning the separation between church and state". For me they are distinct. One is public and the other kept private. Apart from obvious moral guidelines, religion should have nothing to do with our secular societies.
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Old 5th January 2007, 08:17 AM   #12
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wow, nice to see so many of like minds, very satisfying. i am really offended by the park service and the government doing this, i thought there was supposed to be separation of church and state, what the heck?
they really have been pushing the creationist and Intelligent Design b.s. lately, i think they want to go back to the time when religion was used as a fear factor for the peasants to keep in line (or has that been the case all along?). is this what they mean by progress?
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Old 5th January 2007, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
[...]
I am not sure quite what you mean by "questioning the separation between church and state". For me they are distinct. One is public and the other kept private. Apart from obvious moral guidelines, religion should have nothing to do with our secular societies.
I think that in times (not so?) long ago things were different (at least in europe). the kings of austria, germany, the kings of spain and france were all catholics. Not to mention the influence of the church on the people via its priests and their sermons. It has been a long struggle from inquisition, where church and state had the same rights, to nowadays situation.

however i am not shure whether religion and society can truly be seperated?? when you enter your office, nobody expects you to switch into "pure tecnocrat"-mode. i think as long as a religion exists, we won't be able to truly seperate. what frightens me more is when people of one side start bootlicking each other. when certians actions are forced by law, thats one point, but doing them voluntarily and in advance, thats something else!
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Old 5th January 2007, 09:09 AM   #14
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Richard Dawkins is an interesting guy to watch on the question of science, religion and atheism. See this video on youtube

and this interview
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Old 5th January 2007, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizzo La Rata View Post
I think that in times (not so?) long ago things were different (at least in europe). the kings of austria, germany, the kings of spain and france were all catholics. Not to mention the influence of the church on the people via its priests and their sermons. It has been a long struggle from inquisition, where church and state had the same rights, to nowadays situation.

However i am not shure whether religion and society can truly be seperated?? when you enter your office, nobody expects you to switch into "pure tecnocrat"-mode. i think as long as a religion exists, we won't be able to truly seperate. what frightens me more is when people of one side start bootlicking each other. when certians actions are forced by law, thats one point, but doing them voluntarily and in advance, thats something else!
But nowadays in Islamic states the situation is exactly as in the days of the inquisition in Europe. People are executed for their beliefs just as Canmer and Jean D'arc were. It's what fuels the flames, lit by fanatical preachers, of the fight between sunnis and shias in Iran, moslems and Christians in Lebenon and Arab states and Israel. Just this morning I was listening to a song by the Colonial Cousins, an Indian pop duo, called "Krishna" where one of the lines is, "Religion is the reason the world has gone to pieces". How true.

And here, in the middle east, laws are based firmly on religious beliefs as was discussed in another thread. But I tell everyone that when they enter our camp, all religions must be left outside. I have seen at first hand, (and much too close), what happens when religious fervour gets out of hand.

Oh imagine, as John Lennon sang, a world with no religion and no hatred. I firmly think to two go hand in hand.

Last edited by richardksa; 5th January 2007 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 5th January 2007, 12:44 PM   #16
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Well, hey, no-one is supporting the other side of the God/Science arguments, but here goes.

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Originally Posted by Rizzo La Rata View Post
but when i read articles like that, my toenails start to roll (i do not know how to translate that properly into english).
My toenails start to curl, too, at suppressed freedom of speech, but for different reasons.

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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Seems ok to offend those that don't believe in the creation then! What a state we get into trying to keep every minority happy
To the contrary, a poll shows that as recently as a few years ago, American believers in creationism are not in the minority.

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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
...you can't take the Bible literally. Sorry to offend any devout Christians, but this is my take on things. I do believe in God, but I also believe in Science as being God's tools.
I agree about Science being God's tools, Alan. I would say, though, that the Bible is written in many genre, including many literal historical accounts, but allegory does play a great role in many accounts. Yes, in many places, the Bible is meant to be interpreted literally, just as it is also meant to be interpreted figuratively.

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Originally Posted by Edith View Post
I'm also an atheist but people are entitled to their own beliefs. And like Alan says, some scientists do believe in some kind of supreme being without sacrificing their scientific objectivity.
I read an interesting article in Time Magazine this summer about a new wave of scientists who are recognizing a reconciliation between God and science. It was quite fascinating stuff. Here's one of them.

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Indeed! Darwin wanted his theories to demonstrate the God's power. But as a sort of geologist and part time philosopher I see the power of nature explained by physical laws and no proof for enlightened design.
Really? I would think that a scientist would be awed by the sheer complexity of our world, considering the improbable odds that a world such as ours could exist with just the right conditions for intelligent life.

To be honest, I find it harder to believe that we really evolved from an energised blob of goo or a hairy chimpanzee.

I think this quote from my afore-mentioned article sums it up quite well:

In America's ongoing and sometimes rancorous discussion about science and God, some stock characters have evolved. There are the vocal proponents of creationism and intelligent design who storm school boards in hopes that either science or local government will conform to their beliefs. Then there are academic atheists who claim increasingly aggressively that science is in the process of proving religion a delusion.

But few of the polemicists have the authority to preach beyond their own choirs. Most believers don't care to listen to an atheistic scientist calling the idea of God a mythology created to explain what humans don't understand, and academic atheists are just as uninterested in scientific lectures from Bible literalists.

That is to say- there are extremes on both ends, tirelessly preaching their views, and the truth is that everybody else has made up their minds, and the extremes will never convince them otherwise.
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Old 5th January 2007, 12:58 PM   #17
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I agree that science is also seriously flawed in it's idea of our origins - the big bang idea for example calls for us to have a concept of a ball of matter that was floating in nothing... I have a hard time with the philosophical concept of nothingness and other metaphysical mind twisters such as what lies beyond the universe... more nothing? What does it look like? etc... So personally there are aspects of science that don't cut it. Science remember is just another paradigm that didn't even really exist a few hundred years ago. Before that people only believed in their gods. Now some believe in science. At the end of the day it is all just about different ways for people to explain their place in the world - the great comfort blanket most of us need. But what will come next? Another philosophical revolution will occur one day leaving all the foundations of science in doubt. So, the point is that we might as well believe, or not, in whatever we want.

However, the danger lies, in my eyes, and as has been pointed out, in the mixture of religion and politics and law. See the first Dawkins video I cite above for more on that. The creationists are not alone here, most fundamentalists believe that religion should dictate the lives of themselves and others, and when the local or national governments play along, the trouble starts... as we all know only too well.
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Old 5th January 2007, 01:17 PM   #18
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But science is at least looking for answers. Sometimes it only has theories and has to admit it does not have the solution yet. I prefer that to an irrational "God did it. He moves in mysterious ways and we should not try to fathom his eternal plan".
I have no problem with us being decsended from protoplasmal goo, and I see plenty that haven't yet progressed beyond the monkey stage of development!
As Richard Dawkins said, "you cannot disprove non-existance", so creationists and atheists will always have to agree to disagree. I have no problem with those who have thought about it and come up with valid reasoning either way. It's the blind faith believers that annoy me.
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Old 5th January 2007, 01:34 PM   #19
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The creationists are not alone here, most fundamentalists believe that religion should dictate the lives of themselves and others, and when the local or national governments play along, the trouble starts... as we all know only too well.
I know a lot of people that might be placed in the "fundamentalist" worldview, and I would say that most of them do not ascribe to such a belief. They want government out of they spiritual journey just as much as secular folk want religion out of their government.

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I prefer that to an irrational "God did it. He moves in mysterious ways and we should not try to fathom his eternal plan".

It's the blind faith believers that annoy me.
I would respond that most religious people that I know would not ascribe to the "we should not try to fathom...." part of it. I'm personally all for scientific research and discovery. It's improved our lives greatly.

I know what you mean. Closed-minded people are annoying, whether they're blind-faith believers or scientists who deny the possibility that a supreme Being having orchestrated it all in a very scientific manner.
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Old 5th January 2007, 02:59 PM   #20
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Bumper Stickers:

- "God ! Save me from your fan club"

- "It's not God I have a problem with, it's his fan club/s that cause me grief"



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