http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/02/cr...

debuts tonite.  just set my DVR,  it's about Creationism.  

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halfway thru.  the juxtaposition of Darwin's words vs. the banality of creationist rhetoric is a powerful device.  

Just as HBO's Questioning Darwinism is starting on my TV, I'm entering A/N and see this discussion.

An inner compulsion orders me to visit. Perhaps because in 1947 after two years in a Jesuit high school in Ohio my dad, a two-year-younger brother and I are driving to Florida. We stop in a Dayton Tennessee restaurant for lunch and hear a waitress excitedly tell us "Mr. Darrow sat there and Mr. Bryan sat here."

Twenty two years had elapsed since the Scopes trial and she was still excited.

My first conclusion about evolution came ten years later when, while an engineering student at the University of Florida, I visit the natural history museum and see the bone structure similarities between many animal species and human beings.

Despite remembering not one word about evolution during twelve years in Catholic schools, I was stunned. I asked myself "How can we not be related?"

You're right, matthew; those juxtaposed quotes in the middle of the program are powerful.

The believers: so much innocence, so much need. So little belief in themselves.

When religion lets people grow self esteem, religion will die.

their delusion is so deep:

“If somewhere in the Bible I were to find a passage that says two plus two equals five,” the pastor states plainly, “I wouldn’t question what I’m reading in the Bible. I would believe it—accept it as true and then do my best to work it out and to understand it.”

makes no sense to debate someone who espouses these views. 

I did really like how, for the most part, HBO let Darwin's words cut the creation arguments into ribbons.  as great as some of the new atheists are at talking about evolution no one did it better than Darwin himself. 

Matthew,

That's exactly why they want to teach the controversy. It's the best way for them to elevate their beliefs in the public eye and claim legitimacy. They know they can't win a war based on logic and evidence. The creationists have only two tools in their belt, a hammer and an awl. The hammer is a blunt instrument with which they seek to spread fear. The awl is used in an attempt to poke holes in established scientific theories. Unfortunately, where we see those holes as areas for improvement, they use them as a reason to discard not just the theory but the method used to develop the theory.

I'm not in favor of censorship as it is antithetical to a free society. I also think that we, collectively and individually, have a responsibility to guard against misguided belief in things for which we have no evidence. To facilitate progress, that responsibility has to include providing room for discussion and experiment of novel and possibly counter-intuitive concepts. If evidence can be gathered to support weak but potentially meaningful theories, they should probably be included for consideration at an appropriate educational level.

As much as we might want to play nice, this is one area where hard decisions have to be made. The only reasonable response to demands that creationism be taught in our school system is a resounding "NO".

I do agree with Phil Plaitt in this blog that scientists should be doing a better job of making their case with the public. They can either say simply "I wrote a book about it. Look it up" and we are all left to live with this festering sore or we can accept this battle that cannot be ignored. If we choose the latter, the evidence must be pushed upon the public, loudly and repeatedly, until the opposition has no credibility at all.

I'm not saying an evidenced based argument will trump the fantasy you quoted. I suspect that is a willfully ignorant person who will never be persuaded. I have no idea why they might believe as they do but I suspect it has nothing to do with either personal experience or logic. It may however sway those on the fence or people who, for whatever reasonm might want to believe creationism but are receptive to logic. Sometimes people just need to be shown how foolish they look to begin changing their minds. I don't think evolution necessarily needs to be linked to atheism but it does share some similarities. Some people will not consider either until they see a large number of others giving it respect. It's faulty reasoning but it does work.

  That "two plus two equals five".  Wasn't that just the worst?  And, it went so far to explain how theist can make themselves believe anything. 

exactly.  was almost sickening. 

...a passage that says two plus two equals five.

That's much like what a teacher said during my two years in a Jesuit-taught Catholic high school. He told the class that if his order's leader says "Black is white", he will accept that black is white. His willingness to obey surprised me. I didn't see it as a need to obey.

For years I found it difficult to accept that adults were so submissive, but during several years that I met and spoke with people in the BDSM community I came around. I now like and occasionally use the terms that BDSM folk use: "tops" for dominants and "bottoms" for submissives.

So the 2+2=5 pastor in the story both topped and bottomed.

Be wary, however, of folk who bottom from the top (accept leadership positions and are unable to make decisions), or who top from the bottom (avoid leadership positions and complain when others don't obey).

The problem is, Tom, that religion relies, indeed almost completely DEPENDS on its followers' LACK of self-esteem.  If it didn't, it wouldn't talk about sin, about being separate from god, or the massive machinations required to gain their god's favor and forgiveness.  As Hitch himself said, it wants to allege that we are "created sick, then commanded to be well," using a process which in no way assures that the end will ever be achieved.

Religion doesn't want members.  It wants DEPENDENTS.

Loren, that so many animal species package their young in eggs persuaded me that the egg came before the chicken.

You now have me wondering whether religion or lack of self-esteem came first.

I might not sleep well tonight.

Feel guilty.

More than likely, Tom, eggs came before any of us did.  Live birth is a far rarer occurrence in the overall scheme of things.

And do us both a favor: don't feel guilty.  That's religion's trip.  Better to be ANGRY; it's a more honest motivator.  On your question, it's pretty obvious that lack of knowledge antedates both religion and self-esteem, but of those two, I'd bet that it was the first that gave rise to the second.  After all, happy, self-possessed people feel no need to worship an angry, dangerous god.

Have it recording. Will watch it tonight. Thanks for the 'head up' on this, matthew.

I haven't watched this yet, but somebody needs to let us all know if it favors the christian side or the atheist side. I do see more and more movies and tv shows that seem to favor the idea that "there is no god." I take this that they are getting the point across very subtlely.

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