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Creationism for Teachers

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Last month, the state director of science curriculum in Texas Chris Comer resigned under pressure after forwarding an e-mail from a Texas professor who opposes teaching creationism in public schools. Now word comes from The Dallas Morning News that a master’s in science education that supports creationism has been approved preliminarily by a state advisory board. Developed by the Institute for Creation Research, the online curriculum for future science teacher includes instruction in the use of lab equipment as well as “advanced studies in creationism.”

After visiting ICR’s campus and meeting with faculty, the advisory board found the school’s curriculum sufficient preparation for state licensure exams, according to Glenda Barron, an associate commissioner of the board. Responding to the brouhaha over the school’s support of creationism, Baron said, “The master’s in science education, we see those frequently … what’s got everybody’s attention—is the name of the institution.”

ICR’s Web site, however, suggests a different story: It’s more than just about the name of the institution. ICR’s mission statement makes their purpose undeniably clear: “The Institute for Creation Research equips believers with evidences of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will make the final determination next month over whether to approve ICR's teacher curriculum.

51 Comments

Let them be...truth always makes itself known...we were not called to defend Darwin any more than we are to defend James Watson. I say leave them alone.

This whole topic really needs some definition. Evolution remains a "theory," and should be taught as such. Creationism does not always have to relate to the Bible, although that's the context it is usually associated with. But creationism provides some explanation of how something came from nothing, although it does not provide any answers that you can take a picture of. Until one of these moves off the theory page, why can't they exist together?

If Creation means teaching ONE religion, then that's a problem.

Isn't it amazing that our students have been taught evolution in public schools for decades? Wouldn't they be better prepared for making decisions in their adult lives if we gave them several theories and allowed them to decide what they believe?

What we have here is the ancient debate between scientific truth and Absolute truth. This debate predates Christianity.
In science, all truth is tentative, based on the available scientific evidence--which changes (evolves?) overtime. Every scientific conclusion is a theory.
In Creationism all truth is absolute and doesn't change. All new evidence must be made to conform to the established truth. No creationist conclusion is a theory.
Absolute truth is antithicalto science. It is, in fact, anti-science. To teach this as science is falacious.
It has no place in a science curriculum.

Students need to know alternate theories that make much more sense than "random" and "accidental." Religion can be totally left out of the discussion, but believing that the intricate nature of our world was actually planned should be offered as an alternate theory.

"In Creationism all truth is absolute and doesn't change."

"No creationist conclusion is a theory."

I would take exception to both these statements as offered. Ironically, they are presented as absolutes: that ALL creationists are absolutists. Creationism is based on the belief that our world was created by an intelligent force outside of the categories of time and space that we are familiar with. I think it's unfair not to let students know that there are other possibilities. To me, the idea that all that is came from nothing doesn't work, and that since all that is is temporal, it doesn't seem that it could be eternal.

I'm perfectly open to being convinced otherwise, but until then, I think we have to at least give Creationism a hearing.

Creationism IS NOT SCIENCE!!!!! There is no real science to support it. Any science that claims to support Creationism has not followed the rules of the scientific process. Most likely, this teaches science by not collecting data in an impartial manner. Clearly these guys, like the Bushies, manipulate scientific data for their own agenda.

As we commonly see people (except for some posters above) do not understand science. Since a theory is as good as it gets in science evolution theory is as good as it gets for a scientific argument. There are NO scientific arguments against evolution, period. Creationism is not science, never has been and never will be as it (as was stated above) is faith. Anyone who thinks creationism is an alternative "scientific" argument to evolution is an idiot. You can teach it in comparative religion classes or maybe social studies classes, but not as science in ANY class. The thought that people may earn degrees in "creation science" is quite sad, and yet again other countries are laughing at us for our ridiculous ways. Does anyone remember the laughing stock that Kansas was when their board passed the "no evolution" rule? Yikes........

Truth is truth whether scientific or absolute. Is it not the intent of science to find the truth? Why be selective? If the Creationist wishes to debate the truth of an intelligent design, so be it. There is scientific evidence for an intelligent design. Let it come forth. To keep this perspective behind a door does not enable truth to come to the front but to suppress truth. Half the facts does not lead to truth.

A theory is testable; faith is not. Therefore, any faith-based idea such as creationism, intelligent design, etc., is not a theory, and not science. Thus, creationism in its many guises cannot be taught as science, and is not science, period. Any statements to the contrary show a complete lack of knowledge about the nature of science, and the nature of faith.

Science is the study of observable data. Creationism is not observable data. Evolution has observable data. If you want to teach philosophy, fine, but don't call it science.

This is ludicrous. People talk about examining other 'theories' in conjunction with evolution. Creationism is not theory, it is a set of beliefs.

Perhaps it is time to remind ourselves what a Theory is:

'A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.'

Creationism has NO scientific ground to stand on. It cannot be tested, it has no fossil record that can be examined.

IT IS NOT SCIENCE and therefore should not be taught as such!

Keep an open mind. Remember, we are teachers, people who facilitate the process where students consider a range of information---then are allowed to make up their own minds.

Never been a conservative, but the strong resistance posted to even the idea of teaching the views of creationist gives new meaning to the fear of dictatorial secularism.

About time! Evolution has been espoused as "scientific fact" far too long, when in reality it is "theory and opinion." A shallow mind is one that does not INVESTIGATE viable alternatives; once investigated, belief in God of the Bible makes sense!

Shouldn't theory flow from observation? For that matter, isn't theory itself a way of attempting to explain what we observe? The question shouldn't be whether we teach a theory simply because its available, but whether what's available has any demonstrable utility in explaining what it is we observe. Anyone seen God lately?

I think it's sad that we have so little faith in the intelligence of our students and their families that groups insist that personal matters, such as religion, belong in classes that are not connected to religion. There was once a time (when I was a child a few years ago) when families and individiduals were asked to make sense for themselves of the complicated connection between scientific findings and personal beliefs. These two concepts need not be separate, but can work together to create a cohesive sense of the world and a unique worldview if the individual has enough critical thinking ability to make sense of it all at the same time. We can hold religion and science in the same thought, but it is up to the individual, with the help of families and spiritual advisors as needed, and not the school to do so.

It concerns me that evolution is taught as the ONLY possible way that life could have began. There is not enough emphasis put on the the fact that evolution is just a THEORY. Is there no room for other possibilities to be introduced? It would certainly be better for the students to compare and contrast different trains of thought and then to come up with their own conclusions than to be spoon-fed information.

The real issue is not so much that we teach creationism or evolution, but that we teach it as FACT and not theory. Scientific method and the understanding of THEORY - of what that MEANS, is glossed over frequently, even at the college level! We need to make sure that we're equipping our young people with the ability to initiate scientific inquiry. Once we have done this, then proposing alternative ideas no matter how ridiculous they seem becomes an exercise in using those skills in scientific inquiry.

Where is the proof for evolution? Where are the thousands of transitional forms? Where are all these benificial mutations? Since when does life come from non-living materials? If there are other theories why not teach them the debate will only serve to strengthen the better of the theories. Or is that what you are afraid of?

I have to say that I'm simply shocked by the comments that have been left here. The strange thing is that everyone acts as if there is some grand scientific conspiracy to support evolution and shut all alternatives out of their minds. Anyone who believes this doesn't understand how science works.

Scientists LOVE debate. They love considering alternatives. And more than anything, they love using evidence to support or disprove these alternatives.

Historically, the scientific community has continuously looked at the evidence and judged whether Darwin's theory explains the evidence better or worse than any creationist theory. Darwin has won, hands-down, every time. That is why Darwinism is so prevalent among the scientific community. It is not a dogma.

The trouble is that you have to study the evidence before it becomes obvious that Darwin was right. Most people haven't taken the time to actually read the evidence. I suspect that most of the creationists writing here have just swallowed sound bites from some anti-evolution crusader, like the "evolution is just a theory" line.

Science works by disproving things, not proving them. People have tried over and over and over to disprove evolution and they have failed. If someone had succeeded in disproving evolution, he or she would have won the Nobel Prize. On the other hand, evidence (from fossils, genetics, animal behavior, etc.) has disproven every version of creationism that is specific enough to be tested. Teaching our children anything other than evolution is teaching them something which has been demonstrated, over and over, to be (at best) extremely vague or (at worst) utterly false.

I'm a physicist, and at my university there are many excellent experimentalists who are still actively looking for deviations from Newton's law of gravity. We don’t accept it as a dogma; we continue to explore its truth. Similarly, there are still biologists who are looking for deviations from Darwin's position. In both cases, we've found some small deviations (general relativity and the "neo-Darwinist" position) but no big ones.

Of course, there are still open questions in both cases. There are excellent questions to be asked about gravity at very small distances and about the origin of life (“abiogenesis,” not “evolution”). But we don’t gain anything by throwing up our hands and saying, “There are open questions, and we don’t understand everything, so let’s abandon what we already know about gravity and evolution.”

I understand that many of you are very attached to the creationist perspective, but I hope that you will be open-minded enough to examine the evidence for yourselves. A good place to start for a nonspecialist is:

http://www.talkorigins.org/

Science and scientists are no "purer" or "less biased" than other pursuits or humans. Anyone who has taken college science courses or worked with university science instructors can attest to their own "politics" and censorship of politically incorrect ideas. (Note here the "scientists" want to silence the creationists...but the creationists just want their ideas to be heard along with Darwin). Who's afraid of who and why? The scietists' club of self-worshippers (check out Darwin's own documented atheistic, agnostic biases predating his Origins book! To believe the plausibility of a "big bang" life-source or evolution takes more faith in slim chance than to believe in a being more intelligent and powerful...yes even more Divine...than man. Many researchers and scholarly works do not support Darwin's theory of evolution. Check out America's newest Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. State of the art. Scholarly. Plausible. Supported by physical evidence. Why would some scientists protest, unless they were biased, themselves...or too lazy to consider new evidence & alternate conclusions, theories & explanations! www.answersingenesis.org

Two things: one, the phrase 'just a theory' implies that a theory is no more than a guess about why something happens. As others have stated, a theory has been tested over and over, and has empirical evidence for its existence. If you 'it's just a theory', and then talk abou the 'theory of gravity', you can see what I mean. I haven't seen anyone 'fall up' lately. Those of you who keep saying 'it's just a theory' are not students of science and do not understand what a theory is in the scientific community. Educate yourselves and learn! The word theory is not a casual expression in science the way it is in colloquial English. Two, from most of the things I have seen written here, those who complain the loudest do not have any idea what the theory of evolution says. The idea about 'thousand of transitional fossils', for example, demonstrates that the writer has no clue about geological time and the conditions necessary for fossil formation. I had a student once who was a Bible literalist; he believed that 6 days were 6 days. However, he also said that he studied the science of evolution in order to 'know the other side' in a debate such as this. I think that he was very wise, and recommend his approach to you all.

Many of the above comments take the form of "Creationism is not science," or "science is about observations and Creationism is not," or "science can be tested and Creation cannot." Unfortunately, evolution is not testable just as Creation is not testable. Nobody can can actually go back to the past and watch it happen.

What about observations? Do we directly observe certain types of organisms evolving into completely different types of organisms? The answer is obviously, "No we don't." Therefore, evolution, when taken in its entirety, is no more scientific than Creationism. Both are, in fact, worldviews. One person views the world through the lenses of billions of years and decent with modification...another person looks at the world through the lenses of special creation. Both are untestable and therefore articles of faith.

The evidence is all the same. We all have the same DNA to look at, the same Grand Canyon to look at, the same fossils, etc...The interpretation of this evidence is what is in question, not the evidence itself. There is plenty of evidence for a young earth and for the creation of specific kinds of organisms that have changed within their kinds...but not changed into different kinds.

I commend the ICR for putting this together and making an effort for SACS accreditation. It would do this country good to have science teachers teaching science through the lenses of creation rather than the lenses of evolution.

Seeing a few of the above comments, especially C. Graham and Ryan S.- makes me scared for the children in their classrooms (if they indeed have any). Creationism/Intelligent Design is defined by reasonable persons (including at least one Federal Judge) as Religion. Religion has no place in a science classroom. Period, end of transmission.

I'm a molecular biologist, and not a specialist in evolution, but I'm familiar with the theory. There are transitional fossils. There is abundant evidence that the earth is more than 6,000 years old. And the theory is testable, despite the fact that we haven't been observing for a million years. Theories allow us to make predictions, and that allows us to develop experiments.

There is evidence for so-called "microevolution", or directional mutational change over a short period of time in organisms such as bacteria and viruses. For "actual" evolution, we have examples such as squirrel species on opposite sides of the Grand Canyon, as well as the "classic" examples of Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers. Beneficial mutations exist, but what is "beneficial" is often subject to debate - for example the mutation that arose in northern Europeans that didn't turn off the lactase gene in childhood, leading to "lactose tolerance" as an adult - the "normal" situation in mammals is lactose intolerance, but keeping the expression allowed those "mutants" to live in colder climates with domesticated mammals.

NO ONE "believes" in evolution - belief is the acceptance of something without evidence. Science demands that nothing be accepted without evidence, and that's why scientists don't consider creationism science (whereas an important part of Judeo-Christian religion, as it's been explained to me, is the importance of belief without proof of a God, as well as the importance of "mystery" as a part of the religions). Sure, creationism's a "theory" - in the general parlance of English, but it's not a scientific theory. Since a common goal of college science courses is to stress the use of the scientific method and the ability to discriminate science from pseudoscience, creationism cannot be taught as science (and if it is, we'll have to teach Astrology as fact, as well). I talk about creationism in my college-level non-majors science classes, but at that point in education students are ready to do some independent research and draw conclusions. In K-12 education I'd stay away from it, as most things in K-12 are taught as "facts", although I know a part of the curriculum is distinguishing "fact" from "opinion", but I doubt creationists will be happy seeing creationism in the curriculum here.

When we teach cell theory (all cells are created from pre-existing cells, and all living organisms are cellular), that's "just a theory", too, as is atomic theory. I think of the "laws" (there is debate over whether laws are really just theories) as having more evidence, and would include the law of gravity, the gas laws, and conservation of matter in that category. But as was pointed out previously, none of these is without *any* exception. "Facts" change (as they are supposed to) with new evidence.

Actually, the theory of evolution makes many predictions that can be, and have been tested. In 160 years of research, there has yet to be one paper in a peer-reviewed research journal that refutes the central concepts of evolution. By stark contrast, there are NO studies in peer-reviewed journals that support the central tenets of creation science. If you would like a review of some of the most recent ways in which predictions made by evolution have been borne out, or how arguments posited by the ID movement have been rejected, I strongly encourage you to watch the Nova program, "Intelligent Design on Trial", particularly chapters 6, 7, and 8. It is available on line free here.

Evolution is a foundational idea in Biology, and to quote Dobzhansky, "Nothing in Biology makes sense, except in light of evolution". I am seriously concerned by the attempts to undermine quality science education by proposing alternate ideas with no scientific research or basis behind them as on equal footing with a theory that is supported by evidence that grows exponentially each year. Our nation is being outperformed in math and science, and this disparity grows yearly. As educators, we need to defend quality programs in science education by speaking out against programs like this one. Creationism and ID are not science, and they have no place in a science classroom.

As a Christian who believes in the creation of the universe by God and a science teacher who teaches evolution as the mechanism by which living organisms are able to change over time, I am concerned by arguments on both sides of the debate that to believe in the creation story negates one's ability to accept the scientific evidence for evolution. The account of creation in the Christian Bible is not a scientific document nor do I believe that God intends for it to be so. The Bible is intended to instruct us about the nature of the Creator of the universe.

I stand in awe of this mighty universe that God has created and I consider it is a privilege for me to share how it works with my students. Being from the Deep South, it is difficult to ignore the tension that exists between religion and the theory of evolution. The first time I taught evolution to high school students, I was shocked by a girl who sat in the back row with her fingers plugging her ears. The next day I received a not so nice letter from her mother informing me that her daughter should not be made to listen to the filth that I was teaching. So now when I teach evolution to my students, I tell my students that I am a theistic evolutionist and that this is the extent to which we will discuss religion in the classroom. My declaration of faith and my adherence to presenting only scientific evidence for evolution makes it possible for students of all ideologies to listen to what I have to teach.

I recommend Francis Collins book "The Language of God" for those who question the ability of a person to believe in the God of Creation and evolution simultaneously.

Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

There is no real conflict between science and religion, in my opinion. Why do we want to create one? Science is factual discoveries, while religion is faith based theology. There is a place for both in human understanding, but they are not in oposition to each other. Only those who somehow want to strike a wedge between the two narrow the thinking. Religion is not taught in school, unless it is a private religious school. Science must be taught for education to be complete. Religion can take over where science has no answers. Man can use science to understand the how and why of things, but man's religions bring comfort about the unknown. They serve different purposes in life. We need not try to pit one against the other.

This is a very scary situation in Texas. Do people really believe that evolution is "just a theory" and as a consequence any idea (theory) is equally valid regardless of evidence? Evolution is a scientific theory, held up by the rigors of scientific testing. Creationism is untestable, has NO evidence to support it, is dangerous and ironically can be explained by evolution (in terms of why it may have been advantagous to believe in a God in the first place). It simply amazes me that people who literally believe this rubbish can not/ will not take the time to understand what evolution is and the mechanisms by which it works. To say that evolution has no proof is simply shockingly ignorant. The plethora of evidence supporting evolution is exhaustive, we watch it occur EVERYDAY. For those of you who believe evolution is this enigmatic, mysterious process, do a little experiment; next time your doctor prescribes antibiotics, only take half of the prescribed course, and see what happens. I'm absolutely amazed at the extent of ignorance in this country. Also, understand what you're arguing against before you rant. Is it evolution, speciation or abiogenisis. They are very different topics.

I do not understand why this is an issue where people feel the need to be on one side or the other. The fact is that there is no DEFINITE answer either way. I was taught in school there were three top theories for the beginning of man; Evolution, Creation, and Big Bang. The word "theory" is key. No one theory should be taught as fact at this point, and we are doing a disservice to children by not exposing them to ALL of the possible answers to a question. -Not just the one we happen to like or agree with the most. We are to educate kids and teach them to be thinkers, not spoon feed them the "most likely" scenario. Shame on them!! Let's expose the children to possibilites and not teach them to conform in order to please the masses.

With all do respect KP, I highly doubt you were taught that the big bang was a theory for the beginnig of man. I think you are mixing up the orgin of man with the origin of the universe. Again, scientific theory is much different than a laypersons use of the word. The theory of evolution is supported by observable and experiment based FACTS, not a "gut" feeling as is creationism. Are you suggesting that any rubbish that someone comes up with should be presented to our children? I certainly hope not.

This is quite scary. The moment this religious propaganda becomes standard educational fare will be the moment I leave this profession forever. That moment will likely be the same in which I leave this country forever. Anyone know the name of the secret island people are running to in order to escape the 'anit-intellecutualism' being pushed by this generation of politicians? Sign me up.

“[Evolution] is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforth bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow – this is what evolution is.” –Teilhard de Chardin

I find that kind of statement to be completely religious and without scientific basis. This was stated at Theodosius Dobhansky's funeral if my memory serves me correctly.

It is this kind of dogmatism that is in question. As of right now, only one set of beliefs-that's right a set of beliefs: uniformitarianism, naturalism, etc...-is allowed to be taught in public schools.

Posts above speak of the great array of speciation that has occurred...no Creationist has a problem with speciation. In fact, certain examples of what might be termed "macroevolution" are in complete agreeance with Creation. Take dogs for example. Clearly domesticated dogs, wolves, jackals, etc. are of different genera, and clearly they can all interbreed and produce fertile offspring. I don't think anyone has a problem with that type of "macroevolution."

Somebody mentioned that they continue to teach the cell theory. That's great! But do we also teach one of the few LAWS in biology...the law of biogenesis? Direct observation shows us that living things only come from preexisting living things, but taking evolution philosophy to backward far enough necessitates that abiogenesis occurred...clearly a violation of a well establish law.

Let me finish with a bit on transitional fossils. Someone mentioned that we should be seeing thousands of transitional fossils. Someone else rebuked that person by stating they obviously didn't know about the necessities of geologic time or fossil formation. I would dare say that there should easily be more transitional fossils than there are completely formed fossils. Clearly the fossil record debunks gradualism. How about some Gould? "Even though we have no direct evidence for smooth transitions, can we invent a reasonable sequence of intermediate forms, that is, viable, functioning organisms, between ancestors and descendants? Of what possible use are the imperfect incipient stages of useful structures? What good is half a jaw or half a wing?"

Indeed! Hence the need for punctuated equilibrium, yes? But is it directly observable? No. Does the fossil record bear it out? No.

Ben,

What are the facts that support evolution of, say, a singled celled organism to a human?

Creationism is a religious viewpoint not a scientific one. If schools in Texas or Kansas want to teach Creationism they are setting up their students for rejection in every other state in the Union. They will have to stay in Texas or Kansas for their B.S. and M.S. degrees not to mention no one will hire them after they spend all that money on degrees.

Fundamentalism in any form, whether it be Muslim Fundamentalism or Christian Fundamentalism is dangerous.

If they are going to teach intelligent design will they include Flying Spaghetti Monsterism?!? www.venganza.org

Coachpill, is that you? First of all, with respect to Teilhard de Chardin's quote...I don't know the context in which it was stated so therefore can't draw absolute conclusions. But I can assume a few things. He was probably trying to illuminate the fact that nothing in biology makes sense without viewing it through the lens of evolution, whereupon everything about the natural world makes sense. He was probably trying to show how powerful of a theory it is and that anyone who doesn't truly understand how it works is missing the boat about the beautiful and complex world we live in. This of course is simply my guess as I wasn't there at the time these words were spoken, nor does it really matter or have any affect on whether evolution occurs or not.

I really don't see why that statemnet is necessarily religous at all??

Evolution certainly isn't simply a set of beliefs. You yourself said you don't deny it. Should we teach any belief just because SOMEBODY believes it? This is our future do we really want to ignore all of the facts and evidence and give equal time to "theories" that have not scientific basis?

As a group creationists don't believe in microevolution much less speciation. Are you kidding me? This is what the argument is about!! With respect to the genus Canis, how do you accept these ideas but apparently can't accept the fact that we share our genus with chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla? Can't have it both ways.

With respect to biogenesis vs. abiogenesis this is completely independent of evolution and is part of a different argument. By the way, there are no Laws in biology as the word theory has essentially filled that gap. This is all semantics anyway.

"I should dare say that there should easily be more transitional fossils than completely formed fossils" Huh???? I don't get your point here, transitional vs. completely formed? Elaborate please.

Both gradualistic and punctuated equillibrium changes have clearly occured. Besides, whether it was one or the other doesn't really matter, the mechanism works, makes sense, is observed everyday, and is fact.

The genus argument...

Dogs are all the same kind of animal. Dogs beget dogs. That is what is observed. Chimps and gorillas are not the same kind of animal. Chimps only beget chimps and gorillas only beget gorillas as far as I know...and we all know that humans only beget humans. Therefore, I can accept that all dogs, regardless of their classification category in which we place them, came from a pair of preexisting dogs. That is directly observable and testable by crossing different species/genera of dogs.

Chimps are not observed to produce gorillas or humans, nor can they produce anything when crossed as far as I know. Therefore, chimps, gorillas, and humans are completely different kinds of organisms not capable of producing anything other than their own kind. Again, this is observable.

As far as microevolution and speciation goes...

I do not know of one creation scientist that denies speciation or microevolution, so I will have to completely disagree with you there. Let me explain why this is NOT the argument.

Microevolution and speciation would involve changes and variations that occur within the "kind" of animal. This has never been a problem for a creationist. In fact, this is quite observable. The problems come into play when evolutionists speak of changes occurring at much higher taxonomic levels...for example, the class or phylum.

Just because we can invent stories how different phyla could have evolved from completely different body plans, doesn't make it so. And there is no direct evidence of it occurring.

As far as laws and theories...

As far as I know, there are still laws and theories. The laws are the observable, measurable, repeatable phenomena that occur. The theories explain those laws. Cell theory helps to explain the law of biogenesis for example.

Transitional fossils...

The fossil record does not show transition between body plans. The body plans appear in the fossil record with no transitions of how they got there. That should be clear.

I would state again that I believe you are misinformed when you state that "creationists don't believe in microevolution much less speciation" and that "This is what the argument is about."

I would suggest to you that Dobzhansky's statement that "Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" is actually what the argument is about. It is this dogmatic adherence to evolution that is the argument.

It's my understanding that microevolution IS a problem for several types of creationists - if God created the creatures they should be "fixed" and immutable. If I'm wrong about that please let me know, as one of my issues with creationism is that there are so many variations to it it's hard to find the points of common belief, other than "evolution is nonsense".

"And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good"

You are absolutely not correct when you state that 'the fossil record does not show transition between body plans'. You need to do some research in scholarly journals before you make such statements. And what do you know about Hox genes? If you knew something, you would not make the statements you have been making. Again, if you don't know the science, you can't argue against it. Do some research. Support your position with citations from scholarly journals!

Because evolution means; a change in the allele frequency of a species over time, and creationists say that they don't believe in evolution it only follows that if they don't believe in allele frequency changes to the gene pool of particular species, they certainly wouldn't believe in large scale phenotypic changes that produce new species (speciation, which by the way is macroevolution).

So you are arguing that creationists don't have a problem with man sharing recent common ancestory with chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, neanderthals, Homo erectus, Homo habilus etc. because all of these organisms belong to the same family and some of them the same genus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this is precisely the problem creationists have with evolution.

If evolution only meant “change in allele frequency…over time,” then I would not have any problems with evolution. In fact, changing allele frequencies are directly observable within the context of a specific "kind" or "type" of organism. However, this changing allele frequency has not been observed to produce a different "kind" or "type" of organism.

You jumped from "change in allele frequency...over time" to "sharing recent common ancestory." These are two different things. One can even measure changing allele frequencies within the context of a species. However, one cannot observe and measure recent ancestry between humans, chimps, bonobos, etc., it is assumed to have happened.

I would argue that in regards to observational science, there has not been an example of one “type” of organism changing into another different “type” of organism.

Cite your argument. You are just making personal statements.

In regards to Hox genes...

"Control genes like homeotic genes may be the target of mutations that would conceivably change phenotypes, but one must remember that, the more central one makes changes in a complex system, the more severe the peripheral consequences become. … Homeotic changes induced in Drosophila genes have led only to monstrosities, and most experimenters do not expect to see a bee arise from their Drosophila constructs." (Mini Review: Schwabe, C., 1994. Theoretical limitations of molecular phylogenetics and the evolution of relaxins. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.107B:167–177).

Hox genes, in my limited knowledge, are useful only for either turning off structure development (for example Ubx, a Hox gene that suppresses leg development in flies), or in controlling where certain structures are formed. The Pax-6 controls the development of eyes. Abnormal expression of this Pax-6 could result in a fly with an eye located in any of various locations (Halder, G, Callaerts, P, Gehring WJ. Science 267:1788-92 1995).

At any rate, these Hox genes do not ADD information that isn't already present; they don't add new genes. These genes have not the ability to develop novel structures.

I am a born-again Christian who sees absolutely no conflict between creation and evolution. For this 2000-year-old basis of faith, it has only been in the last couple hundred years that folks have been getting all up in arms over the Bible's literal translation. Up until that time -- and farther back into the Old Testament -- the Bible was treated as the Living Word of God, presenting new insights and truths over the ages.

Then in the mid 1800s began a deluge of scientific discovery in biology, anthropology, geology, astronomy, as well as scholarship of the origins of the Scriptures themselves. Reason and observable facts began to whittle away at people's faith, and so reason and observable facts were simply tuned out by a consensus among conservatives to say things like, "Well, if the Bible says it took seven days, then it took seven days. I don't even need to listen to your so-called facts!"

How sad, and well, small of them. God gave us our senses and our reason as gifts. To reject His gifts is to reject Him. For me, anywhere I can give shape to that which is knowable gives a clearer picture of the voids that faith must fill.

Evolution, to be perfectly frank, is not a theory to be disputed... it is a fact, which can then be in turn explained by theories (go to science class much?!). The self-appointed Spin Doctors for the Lord in this country (and pretty ONLY this country world-wide) have propagated this anti-evolution nonsense about "teaching to the controversy" because reason and observable facts are so, well, damning to their point of view.

Now, natural selection IS a theory that explains evolution. Literalists could take that on as the controversy, but they would have to do it in scientific terms (and I mean REAL scientific methodology, not all that malarky about how wondrously magical an eyeball is, and oh that couldn't have occurred through natural selection).

Wow, so I'm all over the road here. The point is that kids in science class should learn science. Creationism just isn't science. Science is the uniquely human tool by which God allows us to attain all that is knowable in His creation. Faith is the uniquely human tool by which God allows us attain all that is knowable about Himself. One is great for public schools, and one is absolutely not.

YOU CAN NOT MANDATE FAITH. Every individual must work out their own faith in fear and trembling. It is the job of the Church to help people along in that endeavor, as well as personal witnessing. It has nothing to do with public schools.

Our kids go to science class to learn critical thinking, to develop reasonable hypotheses to explain the knowable world around them, and how to employ the scientific method to test, prove and ultimately own that world for themselves. There just isn't any science out there that can justify interjecting matters of faith into this endeavor.

If you are among those campaigning to make science teachers teach creation, please search your heart and determine whether God really does need or want your kind of help. I believe that the Bible can stand up for itself just fine, without spin-doctoring, misdirection and all this irrational drama.

It is quite clear that death is required for evolution to occur.

The Bible is extremely clear that death is the result of sin, which occurred after the creation.

These two statements do not jive.

As one grows in his/her Biblical knowledge, one will have to come to grips with the first two statements made above.

So which creation story do I give equal time to? Mayan? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Algonquin? Bantu? Norse? Greek? Inuit? Which of the thousands of creation stories out there are the kids supposed to learn about? Or perhaps the creationists won't really want anything taught but their view of creation as found in the Bible. Once we do this we are supporting one religion over all the others. This issue is not about how life began on earth, but about pushing Christianity on children. It is a shallow, deceptive form of proselytizing by fundamentalists christians who want their brand of literalism taught in schools. Ask them if other creation stories should be taught with their biblical story and you will see their true colors.

Teach whatever creation theory explains the evidence that we all see.

If we find a large turtle propping up the earth, then we should probably teach that. However, if we don't, then maybe we shouldn't teach it.

Biogenesis, natural selection within a "type" of organism, and a young earth are all supported by the evidence.

Gradualism is not supported well, uniformitarianism is not supported well, natural selection as a means of producing novel body plans is supported well, mutations producing novel body plans is not supported well.

I have a degree in science, I am a teacher and I also believe in God. But Creationism has no place in our science
classrooms.

Everything has its place and Science classrooms are to learn the scientific method, to learn the body of scientific knowledge that has been developed by scientist over centuries, to build upon that knowledge and contribute to it, by using the scientific method.

To learn religious alternatives to the creation of the world and life, go to your local church or register on some theology course in a college or university.

The evidence for the Adam & Eve Theory is one page. The evidence for the Evolution Theory is an entire library.

Is seems ironic that a subject about the history and development of nature based on a theory of evolution--not capable of being fully proven but--based on scientific research is supposedly more scientific than than seeking to substantiate a belief-also very unlikely to be proven--by empirical scientific research. Because evolution seeks to prove origins of life by historically based on scientific evidence, it is automatically limited in its capability to explain the ultimate source of origins. Few scientists deny evolutionary processes, they do deny they adequately explain the origins of life and nature. Like it or not, what science cannot explain creationism does.

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