By the way… Is It Illegal to Follow Evidence No Matter Where It Leads?

According to an article on upi.com last week, it’s now illegal for public schools in the UK to teach Creationism as a valid alternative to evolution when it comes to the origins of the universe. I’ll leave you to the article itself, but I want to make sure you see one very interesting line in it.

The funding agreement notes that the discussion of beliefs about the origin of the Earth including creationism are permitted in religious education “as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.”

What that means is that what is considered the established scientific theory cannot even be questioned, no matter what evidence there may be in favor of other theories such as Creationism. This is nothing less than policing thought and illegitimate indoctrination. “Only one theory is allowed,” the UK government is now saying, “ours or nothing at all.”

How long until the US follows suit?

Here’s the article.

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6 thoughts on “By the way… Is It Illegal to Follow Evidence No Matter Where It Leads?

    • I completely agree with you that belief isn’t evidence. The mistake, though, is the atheists’ belief that theists are trusting in some sort of blind faith.

      Here are some questions to consider before accusing proponents of creationism of believing without reason or evidence:
      1. Why is there something here instead of nothing? Nothing cannot turn itself into everything. Since scientists have all but proven that the universe had a beginning, something or someone had to have begun it.
      2. If there was no intelligence behind creation, how is it that life came from non-life?
      3. If Darwinian Evolution is true, why do we see no transitional forms at all?
      4. If Darwinian Evolution is true and humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes in the world?

      The evidence for creationism is much more abundant and compelling than the evidence for Darwinian Evolution. It is much more reasonable to believe that something or someone created everything than to believe that nothing turned itself into everything. It takes way too much faith to believe the claims of Darwinian Evolutionists.

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      • I can’t really speak for atheists. I’ve always been both a believer in God and a scientist, and I don’t accept that those two things are in conflict. I’m a university graduate, but I never heard the term “Darwinian Evolution” spoken in school. I think that’s because the scientific and academic communities moved on from viewing evolution exclusively through Darwin about 80 years ago, much like psychology has moved far beyond Freud. There’s “evolution”, and a variety of people who proposed hypotheses about how it works, the specific mechanisms. Darwin was one of the earliest, but his work didn’t account for mutation and a number of other aspects we have been able to observe and measure since then. Stopping at Darwin and calling that “evolution” would be like stopping after the book of Genesis and saying you’ve read the whole Bible.

        I can address a few of your questions in short, but to have complete, accurate answers would require you to take some college-level courses. I understand that people form opinions with very little study. I am as guilty of that as the next person. Discussions of large important subjects on blogs are enjoyable, but it’s unrealistic to believe they settle important questions. So with that caveat, I’ll offer a few reactions:

        Why is there something here instead of nothing? It depends entirely what you mean by “something”. We know a lot about how some plant and animal species got started, but very little about others. There’s a wide variety of life forms on Earth, and the study of fossils and the procedures for accurately dating very old things is a recent development, historically speaking. We only began sequencing complete genomes a couple of decades ago. As new data is acquired and analyzed, the explanations of what “is” and how things began changes.

        How is it that life came from non-life? We haven’t decided whether or not it did. Some schools of thought believe life and time exists not in a linear, but a cyclical fashion, like a mobius strip – having no beginning or end. It’s a branch of Quantum Physics. Again, much depends on the boundaries of what you define as “life”. The Cherokee believe there’s just as much spirit in the stone of mountains as there is in humans. Most modern people define life based on combinations of theories of mechanical function, and what constitutes consciousness. How did the first living cell come to be (if there was a first cell)? Nobody knows. You can believe God started it, and that’s valid as belief, but not the same thing as a factual certainty. To scientists, it’s a matter still under study.

        I believe God is the source of original creation, but I don’t KNOW that it’s true. I’m hoping to learn the truth after I die, but I don’t even know if consciousness continues after physical death. It’s also not a matter of much concern to me, compared to the importance of understanding more about the life I am living now. Faith is a useful thing for psychological well-being, but it isn’t a practical method for proving things. Proof requires measurement and experimentation. God isn’t currently very cooperative about standing still for photos or stepping on the scales.

        Questions 3 and 4 are a bit easier. Scientists believe many of the species of plants and animals that exist ARE transitional forms. They constitute direct evidence of how simple forms adapt (slowly, over long time periods) and become more complex (or sometimes just change) as the advantages of their qualities allow them to survive and reproduce more. But more complex (or different) life forms do not always replace simpler ones. The new ones co-exist with the old ones, as long as both species are adapted sufficiently to both continue living. More successful adaptations just increase in number over time. The reason apes and humans both exist is really because some humans decided to prevent their complete extermination through acts of environmentalism. Otherwise there’s not much doubt that endangered species (mountain gorillas for example) would be gone, once we used up or destroyed enough of their habitat.

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        • Thanks again for your reply, and a very thoughtful one at that. We have another point of complete agreement in that belief in God and science are not antithetical.

          ‘Darwinian Evolution’ is a term that’s been used to describe macroevolution or the General Theory of Evolution (living things changing from one type to another, like fish becoming apes becoming humans), mainly to distinguish it from microevolution (changes within types of living things, like finch beak sizes and the colors of peppered moths). With microevolution, which I believe is indisputable, the finch remains a finch and the moth is still a moth.

          I don’t believe that all living things started out as one original living thing that evolved into the variety of life we have today (macroevolution). There seem to be way too many problems with that theory.

          “Why is there something here instead of nothing?” What I meant by the question is not “How did different animal and plant species get started, or how did any specific thing begin to exist?” What I mean is “Why is there a universe? Why does anything exist at all?” Einstein’s Theory of Relativity suggests, according to Einstein anyway, that the universe had a beginning. Astrophysics has given further evidence to this with a lot of things I’ve read but don’t understand. I understand their conclusion, but the science escapes me, I’ll admit. But they say that there is clear evidence of a Big Bang about 14 billion years ago.

          My question is, “What caused the Big Bang?” Stephen Hawking, in his book The Grand Design, claims that the laws of physics were sufficient to cause the Big Bang. But that seems absurd to me. Without anything physical existing, how can there be laws of physics? Another theory I’ve heard is that there were tiny ‘things’ floating around that finally crashed into each other and BANG, the universe! The problem with either of these theories is (1) there’s no explanation of where the laws of physics or the tiny ‘things’ came from, and (2) there’s no evidence that they existed at all.

          Regarding your explanation of species that adapt slowly, over long periods, how would you explain irreducible complexity? The biggest example of this is the human circulatory system. If adaptation evolved bit by bit over a long period of time, which evolved first, the heart or the lungs? Neither has any benefit to life without the other, not to mention the rest of the system of arteries, veins, wind pipe, etc., plus the muscle tissue to make it all work. There’s no piece that can be removed without completely disabling the entire system. How is it that the human circulatory system evolved bit by bit?

          One more question for you. Why do you believe God exists? Is there evidence that you see that would point to the existence of any non-material being that we would describe as God? Or would you say that your belief in God is purely faith-based, meaning blind faith?

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  1. I hadn’t followed the controversy over the theory of “irreducible complexity” before, since my core fields are physics, radiation, acoustics and wave form theory, not biology. I haven’t had time to read the entire books arguing for and against this concept. My quick reaction, and I may be inadequately informed, is that Behe may be confusing irreducibility with redundancy in complex systems. It’s not entirely accurate that the body can’t be simplified and still work. Function is greatly improved if there are extra tissues and structures “just in case”. Lots of people are living with one lung, partially dead hearts, aneurysm clips, coronary bypasses, no spleen, partial livers, resected colons, one kidney, and some even with half a brain (Rep. Giffords). It’s also not true that removing a piece that would cause cascading organ failure and death means the system can’t have been built bit by bit. If you remove the keystone from an arch, it may collapse, yet we are able to create them one stone at a time.

    The current “hot” theory covering the topic in the peer-reviewed journals seems to be “facilitated variation”, a better way of explaining the function of mutation, which Darwin missed entirely. Here’s just a glimpse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facilitated_variation

    My own belief in God is currently based on a mutable balance between scripture, tradition and reason. God’s existence is inferred even though unproven and possibly unprovable. I accept it on kind of an Occam’s Razor basis, because I have no simpler, better explanation. However, I know little about how God specifically operates, and the older I get, the less that seems to matter to me. Mysteries and contradictions that drove me nuts in my twenties are easy to live with now that I’m 60. I have plenty to do just helping doctors diagnose patients through medical imaging.

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    • Thanks for the link. As science is not my field at all, I’m not familiar with Facilitated Variation. While I’m sure I don’t know all the facts, it seems to me like another theory brought about to explain how things can be the way they are without an intelligent designer.

      I agree that people can live with compromised organs and organ systems, but that doesn’t address the issue as it applies to macroevolution. In the wild, if an animal is injured to such a degree that their organ systems are compromised, they quickly become food for some other healthy animal; they don’t go on to add to the evolutionary process. The only reason people can live relatively well today with compromised systems is because of the civilized and advanced culture we enjoy today. They are protected from the evolutionary law of Survival of the Fittest.

      I think you have a very good point about the reason for your belief in the existence of God. The Occam’s Razor test fully applies here, in my opinion. There is no better explanation for the existence of the universe, and why things are they way they are. It’s this and the other arguments I’ve given that I believe provide very good evidence for Creationism. Some have said that these things are logical arguments and arguments from reason and therefore can’t be measured, weighed, etc. But neither can the very philosophy on which science itself relies. The philosophy of science cannot stand up under the empirical test of science. What I’m saying by that is that empiricism cannot be the only measurement of truth. If it was, then science itself wouldn’t even hold up.

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