Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Creation vs. Evolution

Last year I had to write an extra final paper in a class to ensure an "A" and I did a lot of research on the Scopes Trial. If you don't know it was a trial testing the Butler Act in Tennessee that disallowed the teaching of any theory in contradiction of the Bible's theory of human creation. You can read a nice write up on Wikipedia Scopes_Trial.

After doing a lot of research, I decided to write about a topic that I know better and that was how and where St. Thomas Aquinas 'borrowed' his five proofs for the existence of God from Aristotle's writings. You can read my paper "Aquinas' Five Ways".
However, continuing with creationism, it has a long history in our legal system of which I was unaware. You can find a nice list here: Creationism-related_court_cases
The one that made the biggest impression on me was not the most recent; (at the writing of this the Kansas evolution hearings were the most recent)
It was the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.

Before reading the Wikipedia write up, I watched the NOVA documentary (on PBS) on this trial and was amazed. Watch it if you have time. I've always been a skeptic about most things. In my formative years, my father always had a saying that captured the lesson in every bad choice of mine; some were original some borrowed. For instance, "If it sounds too good to be true; it isn't," and one of the one's I heard the most was, "I'm from Missouri; show me." That one I heard when I was trying to tell him about the theory of Quarks from particle physics. Well, I couldn't and can't. Hell, I tried to become a physicist in college and couldn't hack the math.

Anyway, the science presented in the NOVA documentary is incredibly detailed, effectively proving the theory of evolution; for me, it was the equivalent of 'being shown' . Check it out for yourself and then see if a book rewritten several times and translated into several languages is proof enough for you.
Believing is nice; it is comforting, but I want the truth. Believing in magic is cute, but don't bet your life on it; you will be disappointed.
I will acknowledge the possibility that what science has discovered could be the work and plan of a God. The old watch winder that set this whole process of evolution in motion. We okay? We cool like Fonzie?
Well, if that still works for you, complicating the idea to save your precious little ego, then check out a little idea called Ockham's Razor.

Back to the reason for addressing this topic, recently a movie was produced called "Expelled." It is the creationist (now called Intelligent Design or ID for short) view of 'it all'. I heard about this movie on one of my favorite podcasts called "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe" (Podcast #140 3/26/2008) the hosts interviewed Eugenie Scott and she told a story of some very non-Christian treatments from the movie's representatives in asking her for interviews. She asked that people link to this site http://www.expelledexposed.com/
as a way to get the word out. When people search for the movie this site will be ranked highly.
Hypocrisy pisses me off. If you call yourself a Christian then act like one; don't use the cop-out of forgiveness or that non-Christians don't deserve Christian treatment (chicken pox blankets ring a bell?). You should be good, honest, and respectful now and to all (or shove it and go to Hell).
Oh and did I mention that Ben Stein (once considered an intelligent person) is involved with the movie. Sigh...
Poor guy...

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