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Thread: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

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    German Enthusiast Member Alexanderofmacedon's Avatar
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    Default Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    I was talking with some older friends and the topic of creationism in american school systems came up. I haven't read too many articles regarding a large push of the right-wing christian conservatives to try to incorporate creationism in American schools, but I have heard that some people would want this. I'm not sure if anyone here wants to teach creationism in american (or European I guess) schools, but I wanted to hear some reasons why it would be a good idea (in their opinion).

    I fear creationism is separate for different religions and sects, so trying to implent this in academics in America would create problems with which creationism should be taught. To do that we'd have to have a state religion which is quite a strike against the 1st amendment and anti-establishment clause.


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    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Well...

    Depends, is this in terms of teaching it as a science, or in a world religions sort of class? If the latter, than sure. If the former, than NO. Creationism has no basis in science; it is, after all, religion. Do we teach kids both the heliocentric AND geocentric models of the Universe and let them "decide" which is correct? Of course not.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Try to get around Seperation of Church and State. I dare you...
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    darwinism, which is currently being taught in schools, is even more of a religion than Creationism is. darwinism is based on unproven, faith-based assumptions/speculations/imaginings.

    If religion has no place in there, then neither does darwinism which is currently in there, therefore it must be removed.

    If darwinism stays in there, then Creationism must be in there too.

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    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Navaros View Post
    darwinism, which is currently being taught in schools, is even more of a religion than Creationism is. darwinism is based on unproven, faith-based assumptions/speculations/imaginings.

    If religion has no place in there, then neither does darwinism which is currently in there, therefore it must be removed.

    If darwinism stays in there, then Creationism must be in there too.
    Dearest sir, you seem to be confused. Science is != dogma, hence evolution is != religion. Evolution and Darwinism have already been proven in several instances, this one has been provided for your enjoyment and perusal as it is the only one I remember off the top of my head.


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    Friend of Lady Luck Member Mooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Navaros View Post
    darwinism, which is currently being taught in schools, is even more of a religion than Creationism is. darwinism is based on unproven, faith-based assumptions/speculations/imaginings.

    If religion has no place in there, then neither does darwinism which is currently in there, therefore it must be removed.

    If darwinism stays in there, then Creationism must be in there too.
    I want to throw "The Selfish Gene" By Richard Dawkins at you.
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    They have never been proven.

    Drosophila - fruit fly mutants that died out due to mutations damaging them. This proves evolution doesn't happen and darwinism is wrong. Ian T. Taylor has an amazingly poignant quote about this matter in his book, "In the Minds of Men":

    Experimentation with fruit flies began in the 1920s with
    Thomas Hunt Morgan and today is still a minor "industry"
    among researchers. The stubborn fruit fly has endured
    every genetic indignity possible, but so far not one has
    ever produced anything except another fruit fly.

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    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Navaros View Post
    They have never been proven.
    Sorry, again you must be confused, I just showed you evidence that it has been proven. There are numerous other instances but my aging brain is failing me this evening.

    Drosophila - fruit fly mutants that died out due to mutations damaging them.
    You missed the point entirely. The particular article I cited shows that organisms evolve to adapt to their environments. It'd be like taking a human to the martian atmosphere and demanding they evolve immediately to compensate.

    This proves evolution doesn't happen and darwinism is wrong.
    Again incorrect, please see above. And for the record:

    Ian T. Taylor has an amazingly poignant quote about this matter in his book, "In the Minds of Men":
    Mr. Taylor is a complete and total joke and a farce, and has absolutely 0 business calling himself a scientist. I am familiar with some of his "work", and it flies (pun???) completely in the face of several proven tenants and theories. He's in the same category as Jack Chick, peddling dogma as if it were scientific fact. One final request, please don't go down the "it's just a theory" road, that's easily the most overused false cliche by creationists.

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    German Enthusiast Member Alexanderofmacedon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by seireikhaan View Post
    Well...

    Depends, is this in terms of teaching it as a science, or in a world religions sort of class? If the latter, than sure. If the former, than NO. Creationism has no basis in science; it is, after all, religion. Do we teach kids both the heliocentric AND geocentric models of the Universe and let them "decide" which is correct? Of course not.
    Then will we have to have a religion class for every religion's beliefs? If that's the case, then tax payer dollars are spent on religion in schools and churches/mosques etc. shouldn't get tax breaks?

    Just thinking, really. Trying to foster debate :)


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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Whacker View Post
    The particular article I cited shows that organisms evolve to adapt to their environments.
    That's not disputed by Creationists. And darwinism requires far more than that. darwinism requires lower forms of life to gain new genetic information which allows them to transform into completely different higher forms of life. There is no evidence of this ever having happened (because it never did) --- this is believed on faith alone, which makes darwinism a religion. The fruit flies remain fruit flies, and everything else likewise remains what it started as. Because each kind that God created reproduces only after it's own kind.

    What you are describing, and all darwinists are ever able to describe with evidence, are either examples of loss of genetic information, or activation of previously-dormant yet already-existing genetic information. It in no way makes the case for common ancestry or that an amoeba 'evolved' into all life that exists.

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    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexanderofmacedon View Post
    Then will we have to have a religion class for every religion's beliefs? If that's the case, then tax payer dollars are spent on religion in schools and churches/mosques etc. shouldn't get tax breaks?

    Just thinking, really. Trying to foster debate :)
    I meant more in terms of a singular, general "World Religions" class. I know there's one at most high schools in my area, and there's one at UNI as well. Not really complicated.
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    German Enthusiast Member Alexanderofmacedon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Navaros View Post
    That's not disputed by Creationists. And darwinism requires far more than that. darwinism requires lower forms of life to gain new genetic information which allows them to transform into completely different higher forms of life. There is no evidence of this ever having happened (because it never did) --- this is believed on faith alone, which makes darwinism a religion. The fruit flies remain fruit flies, and everything else likewise remains what it started as. Because each kind that God created reproduces only after it's own kind.

    What you are describing, and all darwinists are ever able to describe with evidence, are either examples of loss of genetic information, or activation of previously-dormant yet already-existing genetic information. It in no way makes the case for common ancestry or that an amoeba 'evolved' into all life that exists.
    Uhh....there is plenty of evidence of organisms evolving into higher forms of life.


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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Teaching Creationism is a possibility.

    However, if you teach Creationism, you must also teach the Greek Mythological Model of Universal Creation, i.e. The Eternal Supergod Chaos fathering the heavens and the earth Gaia, then having sex (presumably) with his/her daughter in order to produce a plethora of gods who had sex with their siblings and declared war on their children, and fought an epic battle which shook the earth, (their mother), who has been shouldered since the beginning of time on the back of Atlas, even though he is an ancestor of Gaia. You must also teach about Zeus' numerous and graphic sexual conquests, including mating with animals.

    Let's not forget to include the Roman models, perhaps other pagan deities as well, Norse mythology, animism, shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Native American folklore, African mysticism, Emperor worship, Ancestor worship, cannibalism and human sacrifice.

    After all, why include only one belief system? If you teach one, you should teach them all. Including Scientology and Mormonism, as well as belief systems which have not been outlawed that are still referred to as cults.

    And if we are going to present all of this as the viable alternative to current scientific findings about the rational nature of the universe, we must teach all of them as science as well, thereby negating the concept of the separation between rational thought and irrational belief.




    I say it's a brilliant idea, and I wholeheartedly support it, because nothing would make me happier than to openly and publicly defy each and every nonscientific theory in a debate sponsored by a school system. The rational mind begs for the chance to challenge this nonsense in front of the impressionable children they might otherwise have claimed as their own.
    Last edited by Askthepizzaguy; 12-24-2008 at 07:29.
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Since the US has chosen to be secular, I suppose it is obliged to teach what we think we know about the formation of the universe from our scientific studies. However, there needs to be a lot more respect shown to Christians in schools, I was brought up presuming God didn't exist because of militaristic atheist parents, teachers, and classmates; now I'm annoyed I dismissed God for so long because of them.
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    Dragonslayer Emeritus Senior Member Sigurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    I am with the pizzaguy on this one.

    Even if we should just take the Christian creationism, there would be several models. Which is the right one?
    If the Christian world would agree on a single model and a single manuscript, then we could discuss this. Right now with the 38 000 Christian denominations out there, they don’t even agree on the text used as the source of this concept. What they have agreed on is that the text doesn’t really exist. They base their authority, their priesthood, their teaching on something that does not exist in its original form which to me is problematic at best.
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    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    However, there needs to be a lot more respect shown to Christians in schools
    No, not at all.

    I will say this under the pretext of you being an American citizen, even though I know you are not. I absolutely respect your right to believe as you wish (provided you do not infringe on other's rights in exercising your belief structure), that to me is a fundamental freedom that we enjoy and I would die fighting for it if need be. However, I absolutely do NOT 1. respect your religion or belief or 2. am even required to recognize your beliefs as an individual, nor am I required by law to do either 1 or 2, and that's absolutely the way it should be.

    Religion is and should be a private matter for individuals, that said bringing it to the marketplace of ideas is a great and normal thing to do. The problem is when overzealous types try to force it into situations where it has zero bearing or place being. School is about education; math, grammar spelling and language ( ), physics, biology, etc. Dogma and belief are not fact and absolutely should not and will not be taught in schools, nor even recognized. That's something for folks to teach their children in the privacy of their own homes or religious gathering places, which ARE the proper venues.


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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Ian T. Taylor

    Ian bloody T. Taylor what a joke
    Why not make it a better joke and use Adnan Oktar instead
    Cretinistsabsolutely clueless .
    Then again it does disprove the theory of evolution , if it is selection of the fittest then cretinists would be extinct because they are too dumb to survive .

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    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    Since the US has chosen to be secular, I suppose it is obliged to teach what we think we know about the formation of the universe from our scientific studies.
    Yes. Children can be taught about creationism at home or in Church if they like.

    However, there needs to be a lot more respect shown to Christians in schools, I was brought up presuming God didn't exist because of militaristic atheist parents, teachers, and classmates; now I'm annoyed I dismissed God for so long because of them.
    This is also true, but it really needs to start with the students. Teachers, from my experience, generally do not speak about religion often. The difference with them is that if you criticize Christianity it is perfectly fine, but if you criticize another religion, like Islam, there go the fireworks.

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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Darwinism is only one form of evolutionary theory, it requires random mutation in order for one species to change into another. It is quite correct that we have not observed this in nature or in the lab.

    The only things ever produced from fruit flies are fruit flies.

    This does not make evolution wrong as a concept, in fact I would say that the evidence for an evolutionary process is overwhelming. I would also say that we don't really know how the process operates, and that Darwinism looks increasingly insufficient to expalin it. This means that the current theory is open to attack, which has resulted in increasingly antagonistic behaviour from many biologists.

    Case in point, Dr. Dawkins. This man has done a great deal to damage Science, because he offers you are binary choice; religion or numbers. Increasingly people are dissatisfied with the numbers and are rejecting them for the comfort of fundamentalist religion.

    So, back we go to the Dark Ages.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    Darwinism is only one form of evolutionary theory, it requires random mutation in order for one species to change into another. It is quite correct that we have not observed this in nature or in the lab.

    The only things ever produced from fruit flies are fruit flies.

    This does not make evolution wrong as a concept, in fact I would say that the evidence for an evolutionary process is overwhelming. I would also say that we don't really know how the process operates, and that Darwinism looks increasingly insufficient to expalin it. This means that the current theory is open to attack, which has resulted in increasingly antagonistic behaviour from many biologists.

    Case in point, Dr. Dawkins. This man has done a great deal to damage Science, because he offers you are binary choice; religion or numbers. Increasingly people are dissatisfied with the numbers and are rejecting them for the comfort of fundamentalist religion.

    So, back we go to the Dark Ages.
    The mechanics of evolution are measured in generations. With each generation, there may be a slight mutation, not always one that can be measured, and not always one that is visibly applicable to the process of evolution. However, slight mutations there are, because of the imperfection of DNA reproduction, and a competitive selection process there is, both in logic and in evidence. If there is a trend towards a certain direction, these distinctive products can be called subspecies. Scientists have set a high bar, however, for the definition of species, which is something which can reproduce with itself, but not with another different species. Given the short history of the scientific process, is it surprising that we have not yet observed, under laboratory conditions, something which takes so long to happen?

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    Ice stink there for a ham. Member Mystery Science Torture 3000 Champion, Mini Putt 3 Champion, Super Hacky Sack Champion, Pencak Champion, Sperm Wars Champion, Monkey Diving Champion Yoyoma1910's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Selective breeding, mutations and evolution are used everyday in agriculture, and have been for centuries. To say they are a farce is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.


    Do you think we would have any current breed of standard consumed livestock or crop with these?
    Last edited by Yoyoma1910; 12-24-2008 at 21:52.

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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Wasn't the Religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster created to reverse the rulings in Kansas schools that creationism was to be taught? Since the Religion does have legal legitimacy in Kansas, their views would also need to have been taught.. which were insane and absurd, but no less than Creationism.

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by CountArach View Post
    Try to get around Seperation of Church and State. I dare you...
    Perhaps you could point out where that is in the constitution, hmm? The state should not interfere with religion, but religious people should have an equal opportunity to influence the state.

    Anyways, creationism shouldn't be in schools except religious theory class or whatever. Same goes for 'intelligent design'. But they shouldn't be taught as science or in science classes.

    However, this should not preclude schools from teaching that darwinian evolution isn't a perfect theory, and going over some of the scientific gaps or contradictions in the theory.

    Dearest sir, you seem to be confused. Science is != dogma
    Ideally, yes, but you need to take a look at the global warming thread...
    Anyways, that's why I added that last paragraph above - we can't teach dogmatic acceptation of darwinian evolution.

    CR
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Perhaps you could point out where that is in the constitution, hmm? The state should not interfere with religion, but religious people should have an equal opportunity to influence the state.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", they need to be nuetral. You have the right to practice your religon to your hearts content, but state sponsered insitutions shouldn't be used as a veicahal . Thats not to say they can't be taught in a religon class. It just can't be taught as science, something which is based on quantifiable proving of hypotheises.
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    The mechanics of evolution are measured in generations. With each generation, there may be a slight mutation, not always one that can be measured, and not always one that is visibly applicable to the process of evolution. However, slight mutations there are, because of the imperfection of DNA reproduction, and a competitive selection process there is, both in logic and in evidence. If there is a trend towards a certain direction, these distinctive products can be called subspecies. Scientists have set a high bar, however, for the definition of species, which is something which can reproduce with itself, but not with another different species. Given the short history of the scientific process, is it surprising that we have not yet observed, under laboratory conditions, something which takes so long to happen?
    None of this has actually been proven. I don't dissagree in principle but there is no proof. All we have seen are changes within species, and most of those involve breeding for already existing recessive traits. I don't know of a single instnace where we have evidence of, for example, a fly growing a sting like a bee.

    I also don't know of any studies that have demonstrated actual mutations in the wild, only the accumulation of existing traits through selective breeding.

    My problem is not with evolution but with puritanical Darwinism, I think that the possibility that the genetic code might be altered by outside influences, e.g. a virus, are also things that need to be considered. What I'm talking about is the much decried Lamarkism.

    Darwinism is rapidly turning into Dawkinism and it's becoming inflexable, just like a fundamentalist religion.
    Last edited by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus; 12-24-2008 at 22:16.
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    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Hence the creation of the 9th Circuit Court; religious matters and schools tend to butt heads severely when something gets involved in 9th Circuit, especially because it's entire foundation is to uphold the Separation of Church and State.

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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post

    None of this has actually been proven. I don't dissagree in principle but there is no proof. All we have seen are changes within species, and most of those involve breeding for already existing recessive traits. I don't know of a single instnace where we have evidence of, for example, a fly growing a sting like a bee.
    At the same time, there's evidence of mutations in bacteria and viruses were they start to resist the previous treatments that we have. And then there's the fossil record too which gives evidence.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Perhaps you could point out where that is in the constitution, hmm? The state should not interfere with religion, but religious people should have an equal opportunity to influence the state.

    Anyways, creationism shouldn't be in schools except religious theory class or whatever. Same goes for 'intelligent design'. But they shouldn't be taught as science or in science classes.

    However, this should not preclude schools from teaching that darwinian evolution isn't a perfect theory, and going over some of the scientific gaps or contradictions in the theory.

    Ideally, yes, but you need to take a look at the global warming thread...
    Anyways, that's why I added that last paragraph above - we can't teach dogmatic acceptation of darwinian evolution.

    CR
    The various flavours of selection in evolution are probably too subtle for high schoolers to understand. Better to teach them the basics, which is the Darwinian explanation of evolution, then those who want to specialise can learn about its inadequacies in college or university. Darwinian theory gets one through life quite adequately, without the need to go into detailed genetics, sexual selection, and other explorations of his ideas. Similarly, Newtonian physics is inadequate once one gets past a certain point, but his basic theories will get one through everyday life, and those who want to specialise can learn about Einsteinian physics and others at higher levels.

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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Just for the sake of accuracy I thought I would mention that bacteria also get new DNA through plasmids in addition to internal mutations.

    Also, some(or maybe all, I don't remember) viruses contain only RNA and have no DNA. That is why they are able to mutate so quickly.

    By the way, the wild horse(Mongolian) has 2 more chromosomes than the modern, domesticated version of itself. If you can change the number of chromosomes then you can make pretty much any changes within a kingdom. I still don't know how plants->animals would work because some plants have a trinity of chromosomes instead of pairs like animals. However, I'm only a high school senior, so I'm sure the answer is out there somewhere.

    Creationism can be taught in a humanities class when the religion in question is discussed. It has no place in a science class.
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arguments for and against Creationism in American schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    The various flavours of selection in evolution are probably too subtle for high schoolers to understand. Better to teach them the basics, which is the Darwinian explanation of evolution, then those who want to specialise can learn about its inadequacies in college or university. Darwinian theory gets one through life quite adequately, without the need to go into detailed genetics, sexual selection, and other explorations of his ideas. Similarly, Newtonian physics is inadequate once one gets past a certain point, but his basic theories will get one through everyday life, and those who want to specialise can learn about Einsteinian physics and others at higher levels.
    I don't buy into this form of educational practice for contentious subjects, some admission of holes is necessary at least. If you use this approach with religion you invariably get an atheistic backlash from the student. I submit that papering over the cracks in Darwinism is behind the rise in Creationism.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

    [IMG]https://img197.imageshack.us/img197/4917/logoromans23pd.jpg[/IMG]

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