Louisiana Private Schools Teach Loch Ness Monster Is Real To Disprove Evolution

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by AlwaysAttend, Jun 25, 2012.

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  1. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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  3. Missteacherlady

    Missteacherlady Rookie

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    Crazies Everywhere

    First of all, I have trouble believing that this is true. But even if it is, there are crazies everywhere- Christian, atheist, non-religious-whatever. Most Christians acknowledge the reality evolution- it is pretty scientifically evident that it happens. This is not a Christian thing - this is a people being ignorant thing.
     
  4. Peregrin5

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    Most Christians do believe in evolution, but there is a significant population who are still young-earth creationists.

    I do not have trouble believing this is true, since I come from a family that would have probably believed the same thing. In addition, churches have gotten enough funding to open up ridiculous creationist museums and publish textbooks that are used widely in private schools and homeschooling to teach students that evolution is "only a theory".

    On another note:

    O_O The American Political Religious Right has become a specialized field of research?
     
  5. hbcaligirl1985

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    Wow...just wow...I would SO fail that class because I'm the type of kid who would question everything and point blank tell me teacher they were liars.

    Let's not forget the people who want to teach kids that Adam and Eve lived with the dinosaurs some 5,000 years ago.
     
  6. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Young-Earth creationists? What does this mean?

    And you mentioned many Christians believe in evolution...to what extent?
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Young-Earthers believe that Earth is 6,000 years old (I forget the exact number, and I don't feel like Googling it); they get there, following the bishop of Armagh, by counting the Biblical generations back from Jesus Christ to Adam.

    Many Christians (including doctors, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, and professionals in computer science) have no difficulty reconciling evolution with their faith - in part because they understand that faith and science operate in different realms.
     
  8. Cerek

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    Young-Earth creationists refers to who believe the Holy Bible is the literal Word of God. Adam and Eve mark the "beginning" of creation (including the Earth itself, since the Bible says it was formed in less than 6 days). If you follow the chronology of the Bible from Adam and Eve to Jesus (who died approximately 2012 years ago), the the "Earth" itself has only been around for about 6,000 years. Scientific and geological evidence refutes this theory pretty soundly, but some still insist the Earth cannot possibly be "millions of years old", hence they think the Earth is still "Young".

    To what extent do Christians believe in evolution? That varies from one individual to the next. Some (as above) insist that, since evolution is just a "theory", it has NOT been scientifically "proven" as accurate. This, of course, just reflects their lack of knowledge regarding the definition of "scientific theory".

    Others (myself included) acknowledge evolution exists and has occurred in most species to some degree. We believe evolution can explain many changes in the species and in life, but do not believe evolution explains the origin of species and life.

    I question this personally from an analytical viewpoint moreso than a religious one. While there is substantial evidence of evolutionary changes within different species and within very similar species, the evidence for evolution between different species is far more scarce and rare. Some "transitional fossils" have been found that tend to suggest cross-species evolution, but the evidence is far from conclusive, in my opinion.

    I still find it rather unfathomable that a fish could evolve into either an ant or an elephant, let alone into both (depending on which evolutionary trail you follow). So I agree evolution exists within a species but still strongly question the idea that evolution can explain the origin of a species.

    As for the article itself, I don't completely understand why the thought of early Man existing with dinosaurs is incompatible from a scientific perspective. That is something that would require further exploration and explanation for me to understand. Even so, I don't see how the existence of Nessie (if she were real) could possibly debunk evolution.

    I do agree (from a religious perspective) that the similarities between different species could be due to them having a common Creator rather than a common ancestor, but that is about the only credibility I could give to the article and that would only be acceptable in a religious school. Even then, I feel I would be compelled to point out that science and religion are neither mutually exclusive nor incompatible. We CAN acknowledge scientific evidence of evolution without being completely incompatible with religion.

    The article also mentioned that one textbook gives the KKK a somewhat favorable view. While the assertion that the KKK fought against "a decline in morality" is questionable at best (and more ludicrous than anything), it IS true that the KKK did achieve a certain level of respectability in some communities and worked with the politicians of those communities. That doesn't validate the beliefs or existence of the KKK, though. Rather it is just provides a condemning testimony of those communities in which the KKK achieved any level of "respectability".
     
  9. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Really briefly, there is a ~60 million year gap in the fossil and geologic record between humans and dinosaurs.

    The dinosaurs were already fragile when a meteorite impact helped finish them off, but when Spinosaurus et al were clomping around, mammals did not have very good survival odds. The period after the dinosaurs is known as the age of mammals as they began to thrive and could compete effectively in their environments. Prior to this, most mammals were very small and usually burrowers, which helped them survive the meteorite impact and subsequent extinction events.

    Mammals grew larger and more diverse: the first horses, primates, and whales appeared.

    The genus homo appeared ~2 MA during the Pleistocene, and then at the boundary between that and the Holocene (our current epoch), the giant mammals like the mammoths went extinct.

    okay, so maybe not really brief, but I tried! :lol:
     
  10. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I don't think there is a 60 million year gap in the fossil record. I agree that there are some gaps but these are getting smaller every year as more fossils come to light. There are fossil records of the horse, for instance, that span about 20 mllion years and clearly show how the creature evolved.
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I think you misinterpreted what I wrote. There is a gap of ~60 MA between dinosaurs and hominids. That doesn't mean there was nothing else...

    I mentioned horses and the other mammals that rose to prominence after the K/Y boundary.
     
  12. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have heard (I need to look up his name again) studies from a Christian Scientist that used facts to demonstrate the "youth" of the Earth. Stating that it is not necessarily millions of years old. I don't recall all of the facts and details (again I need to look him up as this was from a couple years ago), but the information was quite interesting.
    I have always had a hard time believing that the earth is millions of years old. Any time there is a section in books that describe something as that old I have preface that with "some scientists believe."
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Have you been to the Grand Canyon?

    Zircons from Jack Hills Australia have been dated to over 4Ga. There are ancient gneisses from Canada that are also billions of years old. These have all been dated using uranium-lead dating, a technique that is very well accepted.

    There is an enormous wealth of evidence supporting an Earth age of ~4.6 Ga. I don't know of any scientist who would state otherwise. Some may call themselves scientists, but I'm not sure how that is compatible with rejecting basic tenets of chemistry and physics, especially since that would cause an entire domino effect of things not to "believe," including things like nuclear power.

    Of course, with all dating techniques there is a margin of error, but heavy isotope dating is pretty well-constrained and is not considered at all controversial.
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Yes, I have been to the Grand Canyon, I live in Arizona. The Grand Canyon has always been one of my biggest examples. I don't understand why it is so hard to believe that if God created this earth, why he didn't create the mountains, lakes, rivers, and canyons that came with it. I understand there is erosion and weathering, but that doesn't mean that those things are responsible for every non flat surface on this planet. As intelligent and creative as God is, I found it hard to believe He created all land to be flat.
    As for the age of the earth, I'm not saying I know how old it is, but at the same time, I don't think anyone else really does know either.
     
  15. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Who created the agents of change such as weathering, erosion, etc?
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

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    A counter to callmebob's version that he might find more convincing is this: A God who would create the Grand Canyon exactly as it is is like someone whose idea of playing pool is to grab the 2 ball and roll it into the pocket. You can do that on a pool table, all right, but it's not elegant. A real pool player knows the properties of the materials and the table: move the cue just right, and what results - bang, bang, bounce, bang, swoosh! - is magic by rules.

    A God who's God enough to make an entire universe is certainly God enough to set the whole thing in motion with the Big Bang and know that when a chunk of real estate with the right geologic properties undergoes the right amount of uplift and then is traversed by the right sort of river, one result millions of years later is that a composer, awestruck, can be inspired by it to write the Grand Canyon Suite, though only if people including but by no means limited to the composer have made the right choices en route.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    TG, I have seen some very eloquent writing by you here and there...but this takes the cake. Beautiful.
     
  18. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Without doubt! That was the concept I had in mind, but TG, that was brilliant.
     
  19. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I never stated that He made it exactly as it is today, but I don't think it was flat either. Some erosion and weathering, yes. But overall, to say that He didn't create any mountains or canyons is to me, downgrading God's ability.
     
  20. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Speculate as much as you want, but how logical is it to completely ignore geologists and geochemists who have spent their lives developing advanced radiometric age dating techniques in order to place the earth at 4.5 billion years old?

    Faith is one thing, but to me it seems sort of counterproductive to ignore modern science in favor of text written thousands of years ago when nobody knew anything about anything.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    4.5 billion years old. Because I am going to rely on that to be accurate. If you want to believe that, go right ahead. How old we believe the earth is, does not really have any influence on us today. To each his own.
     
  22. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Just for fun I have to ask, would you mark this correct if a student used it on a test? ;)
     
  23. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Depends on the question.
     
  24. MikeTeachesMath

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    It's been asked on previous New York Earth Science state exams. "Approximately how old is the Earth?"
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If it were multiple choice, I would be forced to pick, but if I HAD to give that question to students on an exam I created, I would leave it open ended.
    I took earth science in high school, I took Geology in college, I enjoyed those classes, but the dating of the material, that part I didn't buy.
     
  26. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    So how old do you think the earth is?
     
  27. callmebob

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    As I said, I don't know an exact answer and I don't believe anyone here on earth has an exact answer to it either. But I do not believe it to be billions of years old.
     
  28. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    On what basis do you believe the earth to not be billions of years old?
     
  29. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I had a feeling that was the next comment.
    It doesn't seem realistic. I know that God's time and our time are not exactly the same so the "earth was made in 6 days" doesn't necessarily mean 6 of our days, but I don't think it has to mean millions of years either. I think there is some middle ground.
    I wrote to the friend who supplied the scientific information regarding this and am waiting to hear back.
     
  30. Cerek

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    Aristotle. Socrates. Plato. Archimedes. Euclid. Pythagoras.

    None of these men knew anything about anything. :dizzy:

    The ancient Greek philosopher, Anaximander, postulated the development of life from non-life and the evolutionary descent of man from animal thousands of years before Charles Darwin brought the theory to scientific prominence by adding the mechanism of natural selection.

    What a shame Anaximander and his peers didn't know anything about anything. :whistle:


    One last thought. Unless you've verified the findings of various geologists and geochemists with your own radiometric age dating techniques, you are also accepting what has been written by others on faith. ;)
     
  31. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I actually am a trained geochemist with experience using dating techniques, though most of my research projects concerned the chemical composition of certain titanium rich basalts.

    I've also published a paper through the American Geophysics Union (as lead author) on how the volume of ocean crust has changed thought Earth history. This obviously involved a great deal of modeling and research on the subject of age/dating and sea floor creation.

    I trust in my training, my mentors and my own work.
     
  32. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    So you completely disregard scientific research (based on reality) just because it doesn't seem "realistic"?

    I'm not trying to pick I fight, I swear. I just think that since we've made progress in dating the earth using science and the scientific method, it seems a little silly to disagree just because it's doesn't seem realistic.

    Do I think two black holes colliding and stopping time in their cores is realistic? No. That's absolutely mind-blowing and I can't fathom that. But I'm not about to disagree with Neil DeGrasse Tyson just because it's beyond my comprehension. (NOT saying that the earth's age is beyond your comprehension)

    No, no, no, no, no. You took what I wrote way too literally and I KNEW my vague wording was going to come back and bite me.

    I'm not accepting science on faith. I'm accepting science because scientists have proved it using the scientific method using proven methods.

    :thumb: Stuff like that absolutely fascinates me. I loved Earth Science; it was my favorite out of all the science I took in high school (ES, bio, chem, physics).
     
  33. Peregrin5

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    To refute the idea of an old earth you would need to disprove all of the following evidence:

    Dendrochronology
    Human Y-chromosomal ancestry
    Oxidizable Carbon Ratio dating
    Rock varnish
    Thermoluminescence dating
    Coral
    Fission track dating
    Ice layering
    Lack of DNA in fossils
    Permafrost
    Weathering rinds
    Amino acid racemization
    Baptistina asteroid family
    Continental drift
    Cosmogenic nuclide dating
    Erosion
    Geomagnetic reversals
    Impact craters
    Iron-manganese nodules
    Length of the prehistoric day
    Naica megacrystals
    Nitrogen in diamonds
    Petrified wood
    Relativistic jets
    Sedimentary varves
    Stalactites
    Space weathering
    Distant starlight
    Helioseismology
    Lunar retreat
    Radioactive decay

    The Earth:
    Yes, it really is 4.5 billion years old.
     
  34. callmebob

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    Mike, there are some things on this Earth that I do not believe are explainable beyond God. I understand that scientists feel the need to put a tangible proof to everything, but in a world created by God it doesn't ALWAYS work that easy.
     
  35. Mathemagician

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    PLEASE DON'T TEACH SCIENCE EVER! Not to be rude, but first you tell your kids Pluto is a planet, and then this. Sorry callmebob, but I would not want my kids to learn science from you..."Young Earth Creationism" is not a use of scientific facts. It is distortion to push an agenda. You will do less harm by allowing the kids to miss a year of science instruction.
     
  36. Cerek

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    Thank you molly, I appreciate your input. However, my comment was directed to Mike more than you.

    I understand you are trained in geochemistry and have conducted age-dating yourself, so it is natural that you trust others in your field to have the same level of training and integrity as yourself.

    Likewise, I've examined my own beliefs and teachings of the Bible rather exhaustively and have found them to be true in my personal experience. I understand others don't agree with this view and will question it. That's perfectly fine. I believe religion and science should both be questioned extensively and should actually welcome such questioning. We should always question what we are told to determine the validity of it for ourselves.
     
  37. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    That's a great list! I also include things like nuclear power because they depend on atomic physics and many of the same principles used to date ancient rocks.
     
  38. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    By the way, I have the utmost respect for everyone's beliefs, but I just am very opposed to ignoring one of the most important wedges of human existence and rationality, and close your mind to it, because you think you have the answer to it without finding it out yourself.

    Cerek, there is a lot I take for granted from the words of scientists before me, but mostly that is just to understand the concepts they were putting forth. One of the great things about being a science teacher is that you are able to find ways to test their theories, and analyze in detail, the experiments they conducted to find out this information, and reproduce them yourself. =] We are actually reproducing a lot of the experiments that led scientists to understand that electrons have a mass and their exact charge, and beginning to understand a lot of theories prevalent in astrophysics today for this PD opportunity I'm in.

    The best skill a science teacher can leave to his student is the ability to analyze evidence, judge it discerningly, and come up with their own conclusion about it.
     
  39. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have no problem admitting that I do not know what all of those things are. I do know some of them and I don't believe they have to be dis-proven. Some of those (I say some because I don't them all) occur on this earth, but who is to say that God didn't make some of what we have on earth today the way it is from the beginning. The perception could be that it is older, but He simply made it that way. I don't believe that God just made a basic sphere with just water, rocks, and dirt with nothing special about the land at the time.
     
  40. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    And that's fine. Despite what some may think, I do respect beliefs different than my own (within reason).

    The difference between you and I is that I don't believe in God, and thus the universe was not created by him. Do I believe math and science can explain everything that happens in the universe? Maybe. A lot of our unanswered questions are just beyond our abilities right now, including how the universe was formed, but I do think that at some point, we'll figure it out. :)
     
  41. Peregrin5

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    Jun 26, 2012

    I'm not saying it's not possible that God made it. I'm just saying the Earth is old.
     
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