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My Turn: It’s time for creationists to open minds to science

Despite the assertions of the creationists, we know that the universe came out of nothing or something 13.8 billion years ago (the hand of God?).

We know that this planet coalesced into an uninhabitable molten mass 4.5 billion years ago.

We know that the most primitive life forms on this planet emerged approximately 3.5 billion years ago.

Dinosaurs appeared 235 million years ago and ruled the planet for 134 million years until a wayward asteroid wiped out three-quarters of the life on this planet, including Godzilla’s ancestors.

And, no, humans never coexisted with dinosaurs. Modern humans emerged around 200,000 years ago.

It was a mere 12,000 years ago that we learned how to cultivate plants.

We mastered machines little more than two centuries ago. Think about that.

Jet and rocket engines, leading us into space, little more than a half-century ago.

The availability of 0’s and 1’s to the masses, only now. Consider that. The internet and iPads are so ubiquitous they seem to have been around forever, when, in fact, desktop computers appeared only three decades ago.

Given that time line, consider where this mastery of 0’s and 1’s may lead us.

If you think that mathematics is an obscure science reserved for intellectuals, consider that your iPhone could not exist without those math nerds. The base two boolean logic that led to our computers is all math-based. If you are among those who reject science in favor of creationism, toss your cell phone, throw your car keys into the lake, do not ask us for medical help, go live in the forest dressed in animal skins and kill your food with sharpened wooden sticks, for that is where you would be without science.

Science is not a buffet from which you get to pick and choose.

Science is about discovering truth, wherever it leads, whether it fits your belief structure or not. Given the changes that machines brought to humans in this ever so tiny sliver of time, one can only ponder the effect that these 0’s and 1’s will have.

(Jeff Field lives in Loudon.)

It’s no surprise to see two of the leading right-wing cranks on this site attacking the theory of evolution here. Their attacks on science,logic, and facts in general are on regular display. I’m sure they’ll be sharing their opinion on Katy Burns’ piece on climate change with us soon. To see what Christian fundamentalists think of education, see this piece from a recovering student of Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), a fundamentalist curriculum founded in Texas in 1970. http://www.alternet.org/belief/33-jaw-droppingly-stupid-multiple-choice-questions-christian-education-curriculum Started as a program for private Christian day schools, it is now widely used by conservative Christian homeschoolers in the U.S and other countries. Alarmingly, it’s also used in tax-payer funded voucher programs in several states, and if NH’s business tax credit for education is ruled constitutional, then the same will be true here. ACE’s founder has written that “Fundamentalism is intellectually sound. It has always prevailed in periods of great intellectual enlightenment. It is the only sound and logical solution to the existence of the universe… I am a fundamentalist. If I can be any more fundamental than fundamental, that is what I want to be.” Elsewhere, he’s written that: “We do  not build Christian schools primarily to give a child the best education  nor to teach him how to make a good living. Teaching him how to live and to love and serve God are our primary tasks.” Here are two of the challenging 9th grade test questions: (Gregor Mendel, Adolf Hitler, Charles Darwin, Charles Mendel) formulated the theory of evolution. Darwin’s well-known book was called a) Top Banana in the Jungle b) The Origin of Species [sic] c) No One Is Going to Make a Monkey Out of Me Other claims the curriculum makes include: the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution, the sun does does not generate its energy by fusion, that human footprints have been found beside dinosaur tracks, and that the transition from fish to reptile has no basis in fact. The author of this piece on ACE, Jonny Scaramanga, writes: “I went to an ACE school for almost four years. By the time I left, I was certain that it was against God's will for governments to provide healthcare, evolution was a conspiracy to destroy Christianity, parents were morally required to spank their children, and science could prove that homosexuality was wrong.”

We observe and learn.

Is this letter was worth the paper it was scribbled on. Was it necessary to publish consider limited resources at the CM. It is simply not even in the top 100 things real Americans are concerned about. 300 girls kidnapped - 300+/- miner killed and the CM is silent.

there's an awful lot of news on the net, surely you can find something worth reading there somewhere? I'm sure the CM presumes that the major stories are getting appropriate coverage elsewhere, they do in fact have limited resources

why do liberals find it necessary to tell others how to think

Because if people were to comply, it would be easier to cram their agenda down out throats. Oh, they also see themselves as more enlightened and smarter.

Far from it. However, there are many posts on this site--most from a certain clique of TP/Grok/Bircher types, that could be used as examples in a "how to" manual on not thinking too well--replete with errors of fact and logic, and an inability to tell fact from opinion.

Great piece! Fav. line "Science is not a buffet from which you get to pick and choose."

Correct..science is a belief in the ignorance of the experts.

and a belief in the expertise of the ignorant

Hey G-Dub and Johnny99 . . . I just saw Jesus Christ ride by on the back of a T-Rex which was pulling a tanker truck filled with starving Ethiopians . . . did I just BLOW YER MIND or WHAT?!?!?

First let me state that while I believe in creation, I am not a creationist as the Biblical account of creation simply states that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, leaving open the possibility that this "Beginning" was billions of years ago. To make statements that "We know" that events happened billions of years ago- such as an asteroid wiping out the Dinosaurs is Dogmatic and is the same method used by many major religions over the course of history whenever their view was questioned. A number of years ago a study was conducted by scientist and biologist to create the basic proteins and enzymes necessary for life as we know it- out of a primordial soup. After failing repeatedly it was determined by Mathematicians that the odds of even the most basic enzymes that make up the most basic proteins coming about by accident were so astronomically high (even if you figure in billions of years) that they are considered a mathematical impossibility. It is also worth noting that when the teachings of the main stream Church were questioned (Think Galileo) the church would always discredit the radical teaching by stating that all educated minds belief what is being taught by the church Sounds like some scientist believe this is the best way to discredit those who have a very deep knowledge and education of the sciences and can only come to the conclusion that the is evidence of Intelligent Design.

Excellent response. To assume that there is not anything bigger than ourselves is arrogant. This column is based on athiest ideas and mindset. Our brains can't conceive the Universe being created out of nothingness. The Big Bang might have happened but what came before nothingness and how did nothingness turn into the Big Bang. I read the research on using the primordial soup to create life and they found that it could not have happened in that way. I do not believe in the Biblical, 10,000 year old earth but I do believe that we are not here by a mistake of nature either. How sad it is for athiests to have no belief in anything but themselves. There have been many famous athiest including, Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Stalin are in the Rogues Gallery of athiests and then modern day athiests (all pompous), Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, Harris. To believe that we are a colossal mistake and that there is nothing bigger than ourselves is silly.

ask them when time started and when does time end - ask them where distance started and where does distance end....then ask them how we measure atom ....debate ends quickly

HERE we go: "while I believe in creation, I am not a creationist" !!! AND we're off to the races - doublethinking down dbojarsky's moebius path of twisted logic. Ya gotta love it - why not "while I believe in Christ I'm not a christian" ; "While I believe in capitalism, I am not a capitalist" "I may have broken the law but I'm not a criminal" and, I can't resist, "I may be Richard Nixon but I am not a crook" . Etc. Pretty convincing logic, eh? So what's the definition of a creationist? hands? uhhhh - a person who believes in creation? Right off the bat he wants to distance himself just enough from the obvious absurdity of creationism by denying what he is. This guy wants us to buy into his version of what he thinks of as science, and his sense of his own intellect, but you see what happens when the dogmatic religious mind denies itself and attempts to grasp and rationalize just enough of his remanufactured junk science to shore up a view that is anything BUT real science. Notice how he uses the word dogma in a preemptive strike against science itself, in order to fend off criticism of religious dogma. Science is "dogmatic". Dinosaur fossils are dogmatic. Did you know fossils were put into the ground by the devil to test us? No lie, people really say that. Uh huh. People like this will desperately seek out ANYTHING they can get their hands on to use as ammunition for their argument, and in this as in many cases he dug up a scientist, a biologist, and a mathematician (a scientist, a biologist, and a mathematician walked into a bar, and they disappeared because the bartender didn't believe in science bada boom). This guy doesn't have a clue how to interpret scientific research, he hasn't got his facts straight, and he misrepresents what he does know in order to shore up his position. We all know science is inexact. In science there exists a tenet "you can't prove a negative" , as in you can't prove it is mathematically impossible for life to evolve elsewhere. The universe is unfathomably vast and infinite. It's absurd to think that you can mathematically compute the possibility of life with any practical and meaningful results. There is a monumental and near infinite body of science upon which everything we do, everything that sustains us, 24 hours a day, is built. It works, all of it. "Dogma". Yep. So, the things that "we know" like the events which have happened over the eons, can be proved, and have been proved, continue to be proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, .What we have In the case of dbojarsky is UNREASONABLE doubt, which is OK for him and the climate deniers and the Obama birthers and the flat earth society, and the guys who think the Moon landing was faked, etc., but trying to sell it to rational people is, frankly, absurd. There is a reason why we have separation of church and state - imagine if dbojarsky managed to get a teaching job where he could peddle this mush to impressionable minds. Scary, isn't it? Pass the primordial soup please, thank you

It's WAY PAST TIME For that Jeff. Still, I'm not gonna hold my breath waiting . . .

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