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Creation Versus Evolution

rynner2 said:

But, as Dr House once said: "If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." :rofl:

A. Doctor House is a fictional atheist and misanthropic type character, in an American series, which has a very ambiguous relationship with religious belief, faith and the power of miracles, for entertainment purposes.

B. Massive generalisations are usually both inaccurate and unscientific.

Pietro_Mercurios said:
Massive generalisations are usually both inaccurate and unscientific.
Surely the Guardian wouldn't print something like that! :shock:
rynner2 said:
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Massive generalisations are usually both inaccurate and unscientific.
Surely the Guardian wouldn't print something like that! :shock:
How little you know. That's what comes of spending too much time on the likes of the Daily Mail website.

Even the Guardian has feet of clay, these days. :(
Creationists say this petroglyph in Utah is proof dinosaurs and humans co-existed. But is it just a mud stain?
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:59 PM on 28th March 2011

It certainly looks like a dinosaur. Then again, it also looks like a mud stain.
Either way, this apparent ancient cave drawing high on a rock formation in Utah has ignited a firestorm.

Creationists are claiming the famous dinosaur petroglyph at the Kachina Bridge formation in Natural Bridges Natural Monument in south-eastern Utah is proof that dinosaurs and humans co-existed.
The image looks very much like a hand-drawn, plant-eating dinosaur - a diplodocus, perhaps.
But scientists say that is impossible.

Now a new research paper is stirring up the controversy with the claim that the petroglyph is in fact a drawing of a snake. The 'legs' of the dinosaur are nothing more than mud stains, according to the paper published in Palaeontologia Electronica.
The paper was co-authored by biology professor Phil Senter, at Fayetteville State University.
He hiked the region with his fianceé in 2009 - and when he came upon the famous image, he said, 'I couldn't believe it.
'It looked just like a sauropod,' he told Discovery News.

Curious, he contacted archaeologist Sally Cole, considered an expert in petrogylphs, which are common throughout parts of Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
The images are usually found on cave walls or rock faces, drawn several thousand years ago by Native Americans.
Usually they depict deer and other animals. The one at Kachina Bridge was different - as are a few others scattered around the area.

Cole examined the drawing and came to the conclusion that it was actually a composite of two separate drawings.
One is a snake or a serpent. The 'legs' of the 'dinosaur', she said, were actually just stains from minerals or mud.
The result, the paper claimed, was a kind of 'paraeidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving significance in vague or random stimuli, e.g., seeing animals in clouds or the face of a religious figure in a food item.'

Officials at the Creationist Museum, one of several creationist organisations featuring the petroglyph, quickly criticised the report and Cole.
David Menton, a biologist at the museum, told Discovery News that Cole's findings had to be disregarded as she examined the petroglyph from a distance with binoculars - not close up.
He said he was prepared to accept it was a dinosaur - or even some other creature. But, he was quoted as saying, 'I'm not prepared to accept... that the artist climbed up there but the authors didn't climb up.'
Cole's paper claimed the area was too rugged for a ladder.
Menton said the image looked like a sauropod and rejected the theory that it has no meaning at all. He said he wished Senter and Cole had provided other possibilities for what the drawing might be.
Several other drawings at Kachina Bridge appear to be of dinosaurs also, including one apparently of a triceratops and another of a monoclonius.

But Senter and Cole claimed in their paper that those images, also, are either composites or do not resemble any four-legged animal they can identify.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z1JgeESw1X

The petroglyphs aren't even mentioned in Wki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Br ... l_Monument

But they are mentioned on various Creationist sites - eg:
Dinosaur Petroglyph on Kachina Bridge

The highlight for me was seeing Kachina Bridge in Natural Bridges National Monument. This natural bridge of rock has been formed by water gouging out the softer rock beneath. It is 210 feet (64.0 meters) high and spans 206 feet (62.8 meters). We hiked down to the bottom of the valley to see it close up, and sure enough, there were a number of fading-but-still-visible petroglyphs including one of a sauropod dinosaur. The dinosaur image was in the same style as all the other petroglyphs on the rock near Kachina bridge.

The petroglyph of a sauropod dinosaur clearly has important implications—indicating that dinosaurs were indeed known to men after the Flood until they eventually died out and became (apparently) extinct. Two of each kind of dinosaur would have been taken aboard the Ark and then multiplied in the post-Flood world until the environment and man eventually wiped them out. There is other evidence of large creatures similar to dinosaurs living with man (such as what is etched on Bishop Bell's 15th-century tomb in Carlisle Cathedral). This evidence of dinosaurs with man in relatively recent times is indirect evidence of the Flood, as it shows the fallacy of millions of years of gradual geological change being responsible for the rock record. The Flood explains the rocks and the fossil dinosaurs much better, and the Bible's history explains the existence of men and dinosaurs at the same time.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... atastrophe
'Death Anxiety' Prompts People to Believe in Intelligent Design, Reject Evolution, Study Suggests
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 192201.htm

ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) — Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) have found that people's 'death anxiety' can influence them to support theories of intelligent design and reject evolutionary theory.

Existential anxiety also prompted people to report increased liking for Michael Behe, intelligent design's main proponent, and increased disliking for evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

The lead author is UBC Psychology Asst. Prof. Jessica Tracy with co-authors Joshua Hart, assistant professor of psychology at Union College, and UBC psychology PhD student Jason Martens.

Published in the March 30 issue of the journal PLoS ONE, their paper is the first to examine the implicit psychological motives that underpin one of the most heated debates in North America. Despite scientific consensus that intelligent design theory is inherently unscientific, 25 per cent of high school biology teachers in the U.S. devote at least some class time to the topic of intelligent design. And in Canada, for example, Alberta passed a law in 2009 that may allow parents to remove children from courses covering evolution.

British evolutionary biologist Prof. Dawkins, like the majority of scientists, argues that life's origins are best explained by Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. However, intelligent design advocates such as Prof. Behe, a U.S. author and biochemist, assert that complex biochemical and cellular structures are too complex to be explained by evolutionary mechanisms and should be attributed to a supernatural creator.

"Our results suggest that when confronted with existential concerns, people respond by searching for a sense of meaning and purpose in life," says Tracy. "For many, it appears that evolutionary theory doesn't offer enough of a compelling answer to deal with these big questions."

The researchers carried out five studies with 1,674 U.S. and Canadian participants of different ages and a broad range of educational, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.

In each study, participants were asked to imagine their own death and write about their subsequent thoughts and feelings, or they were assigned to a control condition: imagining dental pain and writing about that.

The participants were then asked to read two similarly styled, 174-word excerpts from the writings of Behe and Dawkins, which make no mention of religion or belief, but describe the scientific and empirical support for their respective positions.

After going through these steps, participants who imagined their own death showed greater support for intelligent design and greater liking for Behe, or a rejection of evolution theory coupled with disliking for Dawkins, compared to participants in the control condition.

However, the research team saw reversed effects during the fourth study which had a new condition. Along with writings by Behe and Dawkins, there was an additional passage by Carl Sagan. A cosmologist and science writer, Sagan argues that naturalism -- the scientific approach that underlies evolution, but not intelligent design -- can also provide a sense of meaning. In response, these participants showed reduced belief in intelligent design after being reminded of their own mortality.

Tracy says, "These findings suggest that individuals can come to see evolution as a meaningful solution to existential concerns, but may need to be explicitly taught that taking a naturalistic approach to understanding life can be highly meaningful."

Similar results emerged in the fifth study, carried out entirely with natural science students at graduate and undergraduate levels. After thinking about death, these participants also showed greater support for the theory of evolution and liking of Dawkins, compared to control participants.
The researchers say these findings indicate a possible means of encouraging students to accept evolution and reject intelligent design.

"Natural science students have been taught to view evolutionary theory as compatible with the desire to find a greater sense of meaning in life," says Tracy. "Presumably, they already attain a sense of existential meaning from evolution."

The study received support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of British Columbia.

Journal Reference:
Jessica L. Tracy, Joshua Hart, Jason P. Martens. Death and Science: The Existential Underpinnings of Belief in Intelligent Design and Discomfort with Evolution. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (3): e17349 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017349
Almost Like a Whale by Steve Jones – book review
With a cool assurance that should persuade the open-minded and thrill the converted, Steve Jones tackles the arguments Creationists routinely level against Darwin
Tim Radford guardian.co.uk, Friday 27 May 2011 07.59 BST

Like a one-man tribute band, Steve Jones plays Darwin's greatest hits. Unlike most tribute bands, he delivers a surer performance than the original. He is a more natural raconteur than Darwin and he knows a great deal more about Darwinian descent with modification.

Neither statement reflects on Darwin's greatness. The first is simply an observation about contemporary taste, and the second is a reminder of the nature of science, which builds upon, overtakes and redirects even the greatest achievements of the past. But Almost Like a Whale is a tribute, all the same: Jones uses the same chapter titles as On the Origin of Species, follows the same sequence of themes, and punctuates his own improvisations with telltale riffs and licks sampled from the master.

The performance is so elegantly composed, so deftly performed and so consummately timed that, at various points it is possible to confuse Jones with Darwin himself, who indeed is quoted both directly and openly, and subtly and without warning, in every chapter. Anyone who embarks on this book is in danger of double vision: I began reading it by itself, but soon had the Origin open for cross reference at parallel chapters, so fascinated had I become in the ways that the style of the very unVictorian Jones would modulate itself to incorporate graceful lines directly from Darwin.

When the book first appeared in 1999, it was warmly welcomed, although at least one critic wondered why Jones lumbered himself with the scaffolding first erected by Darwin: why didn't he give us the full Jones-alone version of evolutionary thinking? I thought he already had, if indirectly, in books before and since. The value of choosing the Origin as a roadmap is that Jones could stick to Darwin's story but at the same time begin to discuss in the light of 20th century scholarship all those things Darwin could not have known, or felt troubled by.

Roughly 100 years after the publication of Origin, two complete, unexpected and once-unimaginable scientific revolutions independently reinforced the brilliance of Darwin's insights. One of them is the revolution in genetics delivered by the identification of the double helix of DNA. The other is confirmation of a dynamic Earth, complete with oceans that open and close, mountains that grow and collapse, and continents, "great arks of rock that wander the globe and, now and again, collide."

The first of these provides the machinery Darwin could not have known about, nor even guess at, for the tiny changes upon which natural selection would act. The second could account for so much of the unexplained biogeography of evolution that puzzled the great man and his peers.

But, besides completely new science, there is now a huge body of confirmatory evidence painstakingly won from the older sciences of palaeontology, geology, botany, zoology, oceanography, anthropology, microbiology, epidemiology and medicine, all of which were directly stimulated by Darwin's theories: the sage of Down House gave the natural scientists a set of precise questions, and new answers began to emerge everywhere. So, there is a lot to be said for an attempt to update and annotate the first sacred text of evolutionary biology.

But there is a second reason, one that quietly insists on its own validity all the way through this book. To the Creationists, Darwin is the great Satan. They do not feel that they have to prove that Steve Jones, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and Edward O Wilson are wrong, or Haldane, Huxley and a hundred other natural historians. All they have to do is demonstrate that Darwin is unproven, or fundamentally flawed, or that he had delivered "only a theory". That is why so many of them keep producing arguments that Darwin, with the evidence available to him at the time, could not satisfactorily address. Almost Like a Whale addresses them, and it does so with a cool assurance that should persuade the open-minded, and thrill the already converted.

The latter, of course, will read it for the headlong pleasure of the accumulated biological intricacies and subtleties and unresolved questions that exist within the confirmation of Darwin's great idea; and for the clever parallels within the exposition of the human-imposed notion of species and variety (what, for example, is a German? Who fits the 1913 definition of "German blood?" Before 1870, were the Rhinelanders German?)

This is a subject that can choose its instances and analogies from all history and geography, and marvels appear on almost every page. The humpback whale can carry 1,000 lbs of barnacles: to challenge these tiny parasites its skin grows at a rate 300 times faster than human hide. Poppies can leave 30,000 seeds in a square yard of soil: of course they began to bloom when grazing stopped and the Flanders Fields were cultivated by swords, shells and blood after 1914. A bomb that hit the Natural History Museum caused a fire that was quelled by hoses and in the warmth and the flood a mimosa seed collected in China in 1713 germinated and began to flower: a strange awakening that illustrates life's tenacity, and at the same time its fragility.

Jones is terrific, too, on the geological record and its caprices. The rocks have yielded 165 species of extinct elephant; only two species roam the planet today. Nine billion passenger pigeons once blackened the skies of America; the last perished in 1914, but fossil evidence for the creature's existence has never been found. Without a written record, no one now would ever know it had been there.

Throughout, where possible, Jones glosses, expands or enriches Darwin's themes using Darwin's examples – pigeons, dogs, farm creatures, bees, Galápagos finches – but with fresh observation and research. The whole story is told with the focus, energy and occasional droll asides that might be the Jones trademark.

I wanted to hear just a little more about his own youthful collecting mania (cheese labels?) and my favourite of many throwaway Jones lines, involving the life cycle of the sea squirt that "after an active life, settles on the sea floor and, like a professor given tenure, absorbs its brain." 8)

I began by suggesting that Jones's tribute is in some ways more far-reaching than Darwin's Origin, and with a better view of its subject: but that too is less treasonable than it might sound. Not only does Jones stand, to play with Newton's metaphor, on a giant's shoulders; the real reward of this book is to remind us, once again, what a colossus Charles Darwin really was.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/ ... teve-jones
I've just read that review, too. Excellent! Made me want to go straight out and find a copy of the book.

It also reminded me that there's no clearer indicator of the enormous distances over geological time, from the age of the dinosaurs to us, than Continental Drift.

Steve Jones is on this radio prog:

The Infinite Monkey Cage - Series 4 - 1. What Don't We Know?

"What Don't We Know?" Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince return for a new series of the witty, irreverent science/comedy show. This week the Infinite Monkeys will be asking what don't we know, do we know what we don't know, does science know what it doesn't know, and are there some things that science will never be able to know? Joining them on stage for this brain twister and to discuss whether any of us actually know anything at all, are the comedian Paul Foot, biologist Professor Steve Jones and cosmologist and science writer Marcus Chown.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... t_We_Know/
This is timely for me, as I'm currently reading Steve Jones 'Almost like a whale', an updated account of Darwinian evolution:

Can religious teachings prove evolution to be true?
Matt Walker | 16:38 UK time, Tuesday, 5 July 2011

It is one of the great questions of the past 150 years.
Did God or evolution drive the emergence of life in all its resplendent variety?

This blog, the US education system, and even American politics have to a degree all become dominated by the debate at various times, which goes to the heart of our world view and our ideas of where we, and all other forms of life, came from.

But I’ve just come across an intriguing piece of research that may, to coin a phrase, put an evolutionary cat among the believing flock of creation scientists, many of whom believe in the literal account of Genesis.

One scientist has decided to use creation science to test the validity of evolution.
Because, he says, if it turns out that creation science proves evolution, then by its own logic, it will have to reject its own canon of research that previously denied it.
It’s a clever idea, because it once again puts evidence, rather than faith, at the centre of the debate.

Science cannot prove that God doesn’t exist, or that God may have once put in place all known physical laws and processes that shaped the universe and everything in it.
Science cannot challenge faith, which by its very nature, does not require evidence (many scientists are religious people who see no contradiction between their faith and work and many people of faith see no contradiction with what science can explain).

But science does require evidence, and this evidence allows us to explain, with increasing accuracy, how the world around us works.
The power of this evidence-based approach may explain the rise of creation science, which to briefly summarise, seeks evidence supporting the literal interpretation of the biblical book of Genesis.

Such research is then published in journals such as Journal of Creation and Creation Research Society Quarterly, and these technical reports are then cited in a vast, growing body of populist creationist literature that conflicts with, and undermines the teaching of evolution.

Today, more than 20% of the British public and the majority of US citizens, either tentatively or explicitly reject evolution, according to surveys published in the journal Science.
So it’s crucial that the debate is had, and that it is the evidence that is debated, rather than any faith-based position, which cannot be argued.

Which brings me back to the use of creation science to test the validity of evolution.
Biologist Phil Senter of the Fayette State University in North Carolina, US, has published the second of two papers that uses creation science techniques to examine the fossil record.
In the first, published in 2010, he used a technique called classic multidimensional scaling (CMDS) to evaluate the appearance of coelurosaurian dinosaurs over geological time.
That long, detailed paper was published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and you can read the abstract.

CMDS is derived from a branch of creation science called baraminology, which classifies organisms according to a creationist framework. Animals fall into types, or baramins, which were created independently, but have diversified since.
So cats, for example, are a single baramin or type of animal, that was created once by God, and have since diversified into those we see today (including lions, tigers, house cats etc).

Baraminologists trawl the fossil record for evidence that this is true. They identify “morphological gaps” in the record (for example, whether fossils of cats exist, but not cat-like animals) and use those to argue that such animal types (cats) are unique and created separately, from say dogs.

CMDS mathematically maps the occurrence of these morphological gaps, and baraminologists have used it to point out there are significant morphological gaps between modern and extinct whales, between arthropods and the worm-like annelids and arthropods and molluscs. And that, they say, is evidence that each group was created independently, and could not have evolved into the other.

Dr Senter has no real issue with the methodology – as he points out in the 2010 paper, mathematics has no creed.
But he argues that if CMDS shows that dinosaurs do show transitional forms, and are in fact genetically related to each other, then creationists are in a bit of a bind.
Either they must accept that to be true, and therefore contradict their own position that these groups appeared without evolution. Or they must throw out the assertion, but also reject their own methodology, which they have used to validate their creationist claims. :twisted:

Dr Senter’s 2010 study, did of course, show that coelurosaurian dinosaurs are related, in particular that tyrannosaurs (to which T. rex belongs) form a continuous group with other dinosaurs belonging to a group called the Compsognathidae.
It also showed that one of the most famous animal fossils of all, Archaeopteryx, which has the appearance of a transitional form between birds and reptiles, is also morphologically closely related to other dinosaurs.

Now Dr Senter has done it again.
In a study published this week in the Journal of Evolution, he shows how another creationist science method, a baraminological technique called taxon correlation, also shows enough morphological continuity between dinosaurs to prove, by creationist standards, that dinosaurs are genetically related.

If you read that abstract, it shows that a continuous morphological spectrum unites the basal members of a range of dinosaur groups including the Saurischia, Theropoda, Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia and Thyreophora.
Within these groups are the dinosaurs familiar to most of us: the huge sauropods, the bird-like theropods such as Velicoraptor depicted in Jurassic Park and so-called bird-hipped dinosaurs such as the three-horned Triceratops.

The full paper is 20 pages long, and its conclusions will make for uncomfortable reading for creationists embracing an evidence-based approach to make their case.

Even some of Dr Senter’s results, which at first glance, may give succour to creationists, actually create new problems for them, he says.
For example, it shows that dinosaurs can be grouped into eight kinds, or baramins.
That is helpful to creationists. Many creationist scholars answered the problem of how so many pairs of gigantic dinosaurs fitted onto Noah’s Ark by saying there were only 50 “kinds”, and therefore only 100 animals were carried on the Ark. If only eight “kinds” existed, then there’s even more room on the Ark for all the other life forms that needed sanctuary.

But if just eight “kinds” of dinosaur existed, then that means that ever more types of dinosaur have to fit into each group, or baramin, that creationists believe was directly created by God. Which means of course, that somehow, in just a few thousand years, each “kind” of dinosaur begat the huge variation in fossils we see today.
It is reminiscent of evolution, just even faster paced.

Dr Senter points out that creationists' room for manoeuvre, when citing the evidence, continues to diminish.
Since 1990, Dr Senter says that at least 13 transitional fossils have been found that do bridge the morphological gaps between groups of dinosaurs that creationists once held were independently created.
The debate will no doubt continue.

Dr Senter’s research, which is more sophisticated than I can represent here, and this blog, pass no comment on any individual’s belief.
But his work, and my reporting of it, will hopefully take the discussion forward about what evidence is gathered and how, and what that evidence tells us.
So let the discussion evolve.

Will any creationists consider the idea that even some of their own evidence-gathering techniques may point to the veracity of evolution?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wondermonkey ... crea.shtml
South Korea surrenders to creationist demands
http://www.nature.com/news/south-korea- ... ds-1.10773
Publishers set to remove examples of evolution from high-school textbooks.

Soo Bin Park
05 June 2012

The evolution of Archaeopteryx will be excluded from some South Korean high-school textbooks after a creationist campaign.

Mention creationism, and many scientists think of the United States, where efforts to limit the teaching of evolution have made headway in a couple of states1. But the successes are modest compared with those in South Korea, where the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science.

A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.

The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which aims to delete the “error” of evolution from textbooks to “correct” students’ views of the world, according to the society’s website. The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers.

The STR is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To back its campaign, the group highlights recent discoveries that Archaeopteryx is one of many feathered dinosaurs, and not necessarily an ancestor of all birds2. Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.

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The STR is an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR), according to KACR spokesman Jungyeol Han. Thanks in part to the KACR’s efforts, creation science — which seeks to provide evidence in support of the creation myth described in the Book of Genesis — has had a growing influence in South Korea, although the STR itself has distanced itself from such doctrines. In early 2008, the KACR scored a hit with a successful exhibition at Seoul Land, one of the country’s leading amusement parks. According to the group, the exhibition attracted more than 116,000 visitors in three months, and the park is now in talks to create a year-long exhibition.

Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus. “The exhibition was set up by scientists who believed in creation science back in 1993,” says Gab-duk Jang, a pastor of the campus church. The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds.

Antipathy to evolution
In a 2009 survey conducted for the South Korean documentary The Era of God and Darwin, almost one-third of the respondents didn’t believe in evolution. Of those, 41% said that there was insufficient scientific evidence to support it; 39% said that it contradicted their religious beliefs; and 17% did not understand the theory. The numbers approach those in the United States, where a survey by the research firm Gallup has shown that around 40% of Americans do not believe that humans evolved from less advanced forms of life.

“The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.”
The roots of the South Korean antipathy to evolution are unclear, although Jeon suggests that they are partly “due to strong Christianity in the country”. About half of South Korea’s citizens practice a religion, mostly split between Christianity and Buddhism.

However, a survey of trainee teachers in the country concluded that religious belief was not a strong determinant of their acceptance of evolution3. It also found that 40% of biology teachers agreed with the statement that “much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs”; and half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”.

Until now, says Dayk Jang, the scientific community has done little to combat the anti-evolution sentiment. “The biggest problem is that there are only 5–10 evolutionary scientists in the country who teach the theory of evolution in undergraduate and graduate schools,” he says. Having seen the fierce debates over evolution in the United States, he adds, some scientists also worry that engaging with creationists might give creationist views more credibility among the public.

Silence is not the answer, says Dayk Jang. He is now organizing a group of experts, including evolutionary scientists and theologians who believe in evolution, to counter the SRT’s campaign by working to improve the teaching of evolution in the classroom, and in broader public life.

Nature 486, 14 (07 June 2012) doi:10.1038/486014a

Thompson, H. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature.2012.10423 (2012).
Show context
Xu, X., You, H., Du, K. & Han, F. Nature 475, 465–470 (2011).
Show context
Kim, S. Y. & Nehm, R. H. Int. J. Sci. Edu. 33, 197–227 (2011).

Related stories and links
From nature.com
Tennessee ‘monkey bill’ becomes law
11 April 2012
If you want to win the game, you must join in
07 December 2011
Science and society: A Pacific divide
22 September 2010
Back to basics by way of evolution
12 May 2010
What a shoddy piece of work is man
03 May 2010
Nature’s 15 evolutionary gems (PDF)
Nature special: Darwin 200

From elsewhere
Society for Textbook Revise
a survey of trainee teachers in [South Korea} concluded that religious belief was not a strong determinant of their acceptance of evolution. It also found that 40% of biology teachers agreed with the statement that “much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs”; and half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”.

Come friendly asteroids and fall on Earth - there is no intelligent life here. :(
Good news!

Science wins over creationism in South Korea
Government asks publishers to retain examples of evolution in science textbooks.
http://www.nature.com/news/science-wins ... ea-1.11377

Soo Bin Park
06 September 2012

Archaeopteryx will once again grace the pages of Korean science textbooks.

South Korea’s government has urged textbook publishers to ignore calls to remove two examples of evolution from high-school textbooks.

The move follows a campaign earlier this year by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which argued that details about the evolution of the horse and of the avian ancestor Archaeopteryx should be removed from the books (see ‘South Korea surrenders to creationist demands’).

The STR, an offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research, says that students should learn “various” theories about the development of life on Earth. It argued that the textbooks used flawed examples of evolution that are under debate by evolutionary scientists.

In May, news emerged that publishers were planning to drop the offending sections, sparking outrage among some scientists. The resulting furore led the government to set up an 11-member panel, led by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and including five experts on evolution and fossils, to oversee science-textbook revisions (see ‘Expert panel to guide science-textbook revisions in South Korea’).

On 5 September, the panel concluded that Archaeopteryx must be included in Korean science textbooks, and it reaffirmed that the theory of evolution is an essential part of modern science that all students must learn in school.

The panel emphasized that ongoing scientific debate about whether Archaeopteryx gave rise to all birds or is just one example of a feathered dinosaur does not undermine the theory of evolution itself. Indeed, the panel says, it is important to mention the existence of many ornithological fossils that could be intermediate species between dinosaurs and birds.

The panel accepted that the textbooks' explanation of the evolution of the horse was too simplistic and should be revised or replaced with a different example, such as the evolution of whales. The government has backed the panel’s conclusions, and textbook publishers will be asked to report on how they have implemented these revisions before the new books are rolled out to schools in 2013.

The STR responded to the news by claiming that the government showed bias in excluding STR members from the expert panel, and says that it will keep fighting for “better” science textbooks.

Duckhwan Lee, president of the Basic Science Council and the panel leader, says he hopes that the panel's guidance will eventually improve the public’s understanding of evolution. In July, a survey by Gallup Korea, a research firm based in Seoul, found that of 613 respondents, 45% believed in evolution and 32% believed in creationism.

Lee says that he is glad that the STR’s campaign has provided an opportunity to improve science textbooks. “We welcome any petition in the future,” he says, “if it is regarding flaws in the evolution parts of science textbooks. But we do not want to waste our time if it has any religious implication.”

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2012.11377

Related stories and links

From nature.com

South Korea surrenders to creationist demands
05 June 2012
Expert panel to guide science-textbook revisions in South Korea

From elsewhere

Conspiracy Road Trip - 2. Creationism

Comedian Andrew Maxwell takes five British creationists to the west coast of America to try to convince them that evolution rather than creationism explains how we all got here. Stuck on a bus across 2,000 miles of dustbowl roads with these passionate believers, Maxwell tackles some firmly held beliefs - could the Earth be only 6,000 years old, and did humans and T-Rex really live side by side? It's a bumpy ride as he's confronted with some lively debates along the way, but by the end could he possibly win over any of these believers with what he regards as hard scientific fact?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... eationism/

60 minutes

Available until
3:29AM Mon, 22 Oct 2012
If the five creationists convinced him that he's wrong would they show it? Just being mischievous!
I was sort of watching it the other day and it was amazing how fixed they all were and how unwilling they were to even listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them. There was one man in the group that was very intimidating and trying to manipulate the group against the film crew. Scary.
I saw this and was interested to see their reactions to the evidence put before them. The guy who tried to become master of the team kept asking why there were no contributions from Creationist scientists (because that's an oxymoron) and when a Christian palaeontologist tried to tell them they were barking up the wrong tree, they dismissed this and concentrated on debating his disturbing lack of faith instead.

As you'd expect from a busload of fundamentalists, it all turned nasty when the word 'gay' was mentioned.

It was an interesting programme that shone the light on the Creationist willingness to embrace ignorance but wasn't deep enough to challenge the preconceptions of those who ridicule the mindset.

However, it was worth watching for a street interview with some protesting US fundamentalists who apparently would have some difficulty choosing between an atheist and Satan himself in an election.

God help America.
The whole episode is up on YouTube where I could watch it - but I am not really sure it was worth the hour I spent on it.
Of Creationists it can truly be said, 'Wilful ignorance is next to Godliness'. :lol:
Pietro_Mercurios said:
With Creationists it can truly be said, 'Wilful ignorance is next to Godliness'. :lol:

Well, yes, but I didn't see the angle where he really tried to unhinge them. He just trotted out the usual arguments - and the Creationists trotted out their one argument: "God made a miracle".

Utterly predictable on both sides.
I've probably mentioned it before. My Grandfather was both a devout Christian and an ex-miner. He had absolutely no trouble reconciling his beliefs with the facts of science as revealed by modern theories of evolution, geology and palaeontology. He'd seen it all for himself, a mile, or two, underground.

I had long theological arguments with him when I was a lot younger and there were certainly areas of ideas where he would not stray because of his beliefs. However, he still believed that getting at the truth was absolutely vital. Many of these creationists insist on the Bible as literally true, not because it's the truth, but because it's a means to an end, to exercise control over their flocks. Quite often they even insist that only the King James VI version of the Bible is the authentic one and the King James version still exudes a particular sort of Seventeenth century, pre-Enlightenment, mindset. If you can get people to believe implicitly in only your narrow version of reality, then you have a great deal of power over them. The Bible reduced to a set of idealogical blinkers that restrict the believer's World-view in thought and deed.
One of my favourite movies ever is Bill Murray's vanity project 'The Razor's Edge' based on the novel by somerset Maugham. Apart from being the price paid for his appearance in Ghostbusters 2, it's an epic about someone seeking enlightenment and he starts by being lectured on theo/philosophy by a miner. (Played by Peter Vaughn if memory serves).

On release, the movie bombed as the audience expected more goofball but Murray, I believe, was interested in the work of the Gurdjieff movement and this strain of belief came to the full fruition of the theme in Groundhog Day.
Couldn't find a creationism thread in the religion forum, but feel free to move this, mods:

Basically a creationist "scientist" wants to help himself to rocks from the Grand Canyon to prove some madcap theory or other (it's not clear), and the authority refused. Now he's suing them for religious discrimination. In a sane world he would be laughed out of court, but I'm not sure this is a sane world.