Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Many Christians do not believe that Scripture supports the Young Earth Creationist position. This moderated forum is for good natured scholarly debate.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby Made of Stars » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:36 pm

jon_12091 wrote:
Made of Stars wrote:But the YECs are right in one thing: An old earth, with evolved life, brings the whole thing down, and so creationism is intertwined with and fundamental to Christianity's narrative.

Ahh' the adoption of the most suspect position of those you are ideologically opposed to as a means of attacking them.

You're familiar with the likes of AiG, right? There's nothing unusual in YECs thinking that an old earth and evolution threatens the entire Christian narrative. If you're in any doubt, or haven't looked for yourself, check out Sections 2 and 3 here. Not so much a 'suspect' as a 'core' position for the avid creationist, dontchathink?

jon_12091 wrote:Given your insistence on picking an interpretation of the Bible that has little historical or theological basis I suspect you might be happier here.

I'm sorry? A literal interpretation of the Bible has 'little historical or theological basis'? Perhaps we're talking across each other here... I have to hope so... You might be happy with a 'nonliteral' interpretation of the Bible, but who are you then to say what is allegory and what is not?

jon_12091 wrote:Quite frankly as far as being a 'stakeholder' in UK science education you're on a par with Byers and I suggest you might want to look up "pluralism" as well.

Nice. I've been on this forum less than ten posts and had remarks like this made on two occasions already. Classy.

I may not be in the UK, granted, but I have kids in primary schools where the local Anglicans think they've a divine right to dictate morality, amongst other things. My point is that these people are trying to inject more than cute creation and flood stories into the curriculum, and taking the position that 'we're just interested in keeping creationism out' is somewhat blinkered, if not frankly naive.

It's somewhat cute, yet disturbing, that people have headed off down rabbit holes about homosexuality/homophobia because I make a point that these guys can inject religion into a myriad of topics on which children deserve rational, evidence-based discourse from adults without a religious barrow.

As to pluralism, how far does your pluralism extend? Are you prepared to 'teach the controversy'? A cold hard reality is that some things are right, and some things are wrong. Evolutionary biology is right, creationism is wrong. What would your 'pluralistic' approach be here? Lay the comfortable lies out with the hard truths and let the little darlings choose for themselves?

jon_12091 wrote:Out of curiosity do you believe that 'God' is scientifically testable?

Define 'God', then we can chat. If said God has any interaction with the physical realm, then those interactions are testable. If not, then said God is irrelevant, if it exists at all. What's your view? Are you a happy deist?

At risk of sending someone off down a rabbit hole here, but do you think that homosexuality is 'scientifically testable', as you put it? What does science suggest should be taught in schools about homosexuality? Or is a rational, evidence-based position on this topic not important for kids to hear? Should they just get street smut, or pious pronouncements from the pulpit?

But back to the topic.

I visited this site on the understanding that it was a discussion board for a Centre for Science Education, perhaps one with some academic standing, or association with formal educational bodies. One that might be prepared to make evidence-based position statements on a range of topics in school curricula.

How disappointing.
Made of Stars
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby cathy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:54 pm

You're familiar with the likes of AiG, right? There's nothing unusual in YECs thinking that an old earth and evolution threatens the entire Christian narrative. If you're in any doubt, or haven't looked for yourself, check out Sections 2 and 3 here. Not so much a 'suspect' as a 'core' position for the avid creationist, dontchathink?

We're very, very familiar with AiG. read some of the posts about them. This is an anti creationist site. What is your point?

I may not be in the UK, granted
Unfortunately for you, this is the British Centre for Science Education. Specifically the agenda is to keep unscientific nonsense like creationism out of British schools. Any expertise here is only really relevant to British state schools, funded by taxpayers. Some state schools are faith schools, so apart from RE and an unfortunate opt out to parts of SRE they are bound by the same guidelines as non faith state schools-ie they cannot be overtly racist, homophobic or sexist. Wherever you are BCSE is a good model to adopt and adapt to your specific needs. Sounds like you need it.
It's somewhat cute, yet disturbing, that people have headed off down rabbit holes about homosexuality/homophobia because I make a point that these guys can inject religion into a myriad of topics on which children deserve rational, evidence-based discourse from adults without a religious barrow.

Partily because sexual preferences aren't an issue for genaral science. They are dealt with in SRE (sex and relationships education). Teachers cannot be overtly homophobic it is not legal, no matter how they may feel. The challenge in the UK has been tackling homophobic bullying by other children in schools.

We've recently had a new govt and so a lot of the teacher guidelines are difficult to find because they are in the process of being moved. However if your interested than the latest thing I could find on tackling homophobic bullying on our dept of education site is a speech given by Nick Gibb, one of our education ministers, to stonewall (a gay and lesbian group). Try
www.education.gov.uk/home/inthenews/a00 ... -stonewall
If the link doesn't work just try typing some of the individual words into google. To quote Nick Gibb, schools should adopt..."zero tolerance to all bullying....we need to send the message that homophobic bullying of any kind of any child is completely unacceptable...homomphobic language should be as unacceptable as racist language.."

At risk of sending someone off down a rabbit hole here, but do you think that homosexuality is 'scientifically testable', as you put it? What does science suggest should be taught in schools about homosexuality? Or is a rational, evidence-based position on this topic not important for kids to hear? Should they just get street smut, or pious pronouncements from the pulpit?

Not quite sure what you mean by scientifically tested? Sex and reproduction are dealt with partly in biology (the mechanics etc) and partly in SRE-the emotional side, risks of pregnancy, STIs, sexual orientation etc. Schools cannot really be homophobic. However with the best will in the world nobody can legislate against what kids hear from their parents or their churches. They are outside the jurisdiction of state education. All schools can do is ensure bullying attitudes gained from other areas are corrected.

Centre for Science Education, perhaps one with some academic standing, or association with formal educational bodies. One that might be prepared to make evidence-based position statements on a range of topics in school curricula.

How disappointing.
You clearly haven't read much, the name of the organisation for a start which says BRITISH centre for science education. Or are you are expecting it to deal with issues in wherever it is you come from. Nobody here is going to have the slightest idea how Anglicans work in your country. Nor would such an international organisation be possible unless on a massive scale.

If homophobia and creationism are issues in your country you really need to deal with them as fast as possible. But nobody here knows how your state education system works so it needs to be done by people like you who have that specific knowledge. However the organisers here could probably give you loads of advice on how to set up and stonewall would, I'm sure give you ideas about tackling homophobia specifically as that also seems to be a major issue. As regards british education, you don't really seem to have much of a clue. I suggest background reading before criticising.
cathy
 
Posts: 3662
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby Dagsannr » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:52 pm

Made of Stars wrote:Are you prepared to 'teach the controversy'?.


What controversy?

There is no controversy in science about evolution and what non-scientists think doesn't come into what qualifies as a controversy. Otherwise we'd still be arguing about the stork theory of reproduction and if homeopathy really works.
There are 2 types of people in the world:

Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
User avatar
Dagsannr
 
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:57 pm
Location: Carlisle

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby jon_12091 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:35 pm

Made of Stars wrote:I'm sorry? A literal interpretation of the Bible has 'little historical or theological basis'?

So you would agree with the contents and conclusions of this document for example?
Made of Stars wrote:
jon_12091 wrote:Out of curiosity do you believe that 'God' is scientifically testable?

If said God has any interaction with the physical realm, then those interactions are testable.

*facepalm*
'If I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists'
Miners against fascism.
Hywel Francis
User avatar
jon_12091
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby Made of Stars » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:27 am

jon_12091 wrote:
Made of Stars wrote:I'm sorry? A literal interpretation of the Bible has 'little historical or theological basis'?

So you would agree with the contents and conclusions of this document for example?

Er, no, character assassination is never pretty, but what's the relevance? The question is about biblical literalism, which is NOT unusual, as you seem to think it is. You seem intent in finding rabbit holes of your own making, mate.

jon_12091 wrote:
Made of Stars wrote:
jon_12091 wrote:Out of curiosity do you believe that 'God' is scientifically testable?

If said God has any interaction with the physical realm, then those interactions are testable.

*facepalm*

I suspect *comprehension fail* is the fitting response here, but will give you the benefit of the doubt. Do you think that manipulation of the material world is not measurable, generally speaking?
Made of Stars
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby Made of Stars » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:31 am

Natman wrote:
Made of Stars wrote:Are you prepared to 'teach the controversy'?.

What controversy?

There is no controversy in science about evolution and what non-scientists think doesn't come into what qualifies as a controversy. Otherwise we'd still be arguing about the stork theory of reproduction and if homeopathy really works.

I agree with you, but the question was in response to Jon's comment on pluralism, in which he suggested (my reading) that it's a good thing. If that's the case, then perhaps Jon is saying that teaching intelligent design creationism alongside evolutionary theory is a good thing.
Last edited by Made of Stars on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Made of Stars
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby Made of Stars » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:42 am

cathy wrote:
You're familiar with the likes of AiG, right? There's nothing unusual in YECs thinking that an old earth and evolution threatens the entire Christian narrative. If you're in any doubt, or haven't looked for yourself, check out Sections 2 and 3 here. Not so much a 'suspect' as a 'core' position for the avid creationist, dontchathink?

We're very, very familiar with AiG. read some of the posts about them. This is an anti creationist site. What is your point?

I suggest you read my post again, carefully this time. My point was the YECs take the threat of an old earth to the whole Christian narrative very seriously. I don't know Jon, but he seems to disagree that an old earth threatens the gospel. If this is the case, then he might be a liberal Christian who's content with cherrypicking which parts of the Bible they'll believe, and which they won't. As I was.

As for the rest of your post, xenophobia on this topic is stupid, and "large international organisations" are possible using something called 'the internet'. The challenges that creationists are making in schools are happening around the world. One would assume that people from different countries would benefit from sharing similarities, difference and experiences. I'm in Australia, BTW, a country not too dissimilar from your own, just with better weather and more spiders.
Made of Stars
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby cathy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:54 am

I suggest you read my post again, carefully this time. My point was the YECs take the threat of an old earth to the whole Christian narrative very seriously. I don't know Jon, but he seems to disagree that an old earth threatens the gospel. If this is the case, then he might be a liberal Christian who's content with cherrypicking which parts of the Bible they'll believe, and which they won't. As I was.

YECs also make claims about the earth being created in 6 days 6000 years ago. They are hardly credible sources on anything. If you want to argue that all christians should believe that you're on a hiding to nothing cos a great many don't. Including the catholic church.

As for the rest of your post, xenophobia on this topic is stupid, and "large international organisations" are possible using something called 'the internet'. The challenges that creationists are making in schools are happening around the world.
Not sure where the xenophobia came from. You were the one claiming homophobia was rife in your schools not me. Creationists are getting into schools via the internet etc. Thats why we have them in the UK and are fighting them. Sharing information about there ideas and tactics is useful. However the education systems, and indeed the cultures, in different countries are not the same, hence the tactics used by creationists to gain entry will have to differ as will the ways of combatting them. Hence what is relevant in schools in the UK will not be in schools in Australia-and what is happening within your education system differs from what is happening in our.. However as I recall your post was mainly about homophobia in education and science education.

Homophobia is not allowed in schools in England. There are specific organisations dealing with that issue that have way more expertise. Moreover homophobia is a threat to civil rights and liberties rather than science and is fought on that platform. This site deals more specifically with threats to science education. Creationists undoubtedly will be homophobes as well but to date they wouldn't dare be openly so. Nor would they dare try to sneak it into British schools. If they got their evil way then I suppose it would be the next step, however the easiest thing to do is to keep them out at the first creationist stage..

Yes we do have religious extremists claiming they are being discrimintated against by not being allowed to discriminate against others (a nasty fact they refuse to acknowledge) eg christian owners of a B&B (a type of cheap hotel) who refused access to a gay couple or catholic adoption agencies. They are rightly and openly being fought in court. They are still not an issue for education generally and science education specifically. So I really am not sure what your gripe was about.

I agree with you, but the question was in response to Jon's comment on pluralism, in which he suggested (my reading) that it's a good thing. If that's the case, then perhaps Jon is saying that teaching intelligent design creationism alongside evolutionary theory is a good thing.
Don't know where you got that idea from. Intelligent design is creationism. Nobody that supports bcse supports any form of creationism (young earth, old earth, ID or anythng else). The aim is only science is taught in science, not made up religious controversies or ID bullshit. And in addition a new aim has had to be adopted to reflect new creationist tactics. That is that religion is NOT taught as science in religious lessons. Which are for learning about what various peoples believe because of their faith NOT because it has any scientific validity. Those are the aims. Nothing more nothing less.
cathy
 
Posts: 3662
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Michael Ruse on evolution and Catholicism

Postby jon_12091 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:40 pm

cathy wrote:
I agree with you, but the question was in response to Jon's comment on pluralism, in which he suggested (my reading) that it's a good thing. If that's the case, then perhaps Jon is saying that teaching intelligent design creationism alongside evolutionary theory is a good thing.
Don't know where you got that idea from. Intelligent design is creationism. Nobody that supports bcse supports any form of creationism (young earth, old earth, ID or anythng else). The aim is only science is taught in science, not made up religious controversies or ID bullshit. And in addition a new aim has had to be adopted to reflect new creationist tactics. That is that religion is NOT taught as science in religious lessons. Which are for learning about what various peoples believe because of their faith NOT because it has any scientific validity. Those are the aims. Nothing more nothing less.


I think I was being misinterpreted - anyway pluralism as defined in a social context has zip to do with science:
"A social system based on mutual respect for each other's cultures among various groups that make up a society, wherein subordinate groups do not have to forsake their lifestyle and traditions but, rather, can express their culture and participate in the larger society free of prejudice."
I am perfectly happy for creationists to express their 'cultural traditions'!

As for literalism being rampant of the 40,000 plus churches in the UK the best information we currently have get suggests that only somewhere in the order of 500 churches actively promote creationism. As for churches that accept an inherent reading of scripture - that's a different matter.

I'd love to see the methodological protocol for determining whether or not there has been divine interference with the material world - oh wait creationists have tried, but their hypotheses are demonstrably wrong or untestable, which by definition means they ain't science, or both.
'If I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists'
Miners against fascism.
Hywel Francis
User avatar
jon_12091
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Previous

Return to Scripture Debate

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron