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Public School Money, Creationism, Evolution, and Schneider

March 24, 2013

Over the past year, I have read a number of articles regarding the use of public funds to support schools that are teaching creationism and not evolution.  In all of my reading on the topic, I have not read any articles offering a perspective similar to my own. Therefore, I have decided to weigh in on the subject.

In order for readers to properly consider my perspective, I must first offer insight into the influences that have shaped my thinking, both my own worldview as well as my own brief-yet-critical considerations of the two theories.  Finally, I will offer my view of the use of public funds for supporting the teaching of the state-endorsed theory of evolution.

Playing Well With Others: The Ground Rules

There is a risk in my revealing both myself and my reasoning on a topic that evokes strong responses from people. Thus, I will also establish some ground rules for how readers might register their responses to this post:

I welcome comments that are written in a respectful manner. Such comments need not agree with my viewpoint or the viewpoints of other commenters; however, the disagreement must not violate human dignity.  For this reason, any comments sent to my blog are made public at my discretion.

The Lens Through Which I View the World

I am a follower of Christ.  This was a conscious decision I initially made decades ago; it is the result of careful and systematic study of the teachings of Christ as offered in the bible.  I figure that if a single man has such influence that the world for millennia has used his birth to mark time, He is worth my careful consideration.  In His teachings, Christ offers an invitation to every individual in the human race to follow him; by that, He means that the individual should voluntarily submit his or her own will to Christ and enter a relationship whereby the human self is transformed via systematic surrender to reflect a Christ-likeness evidenced by these qualities: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.  Christ teaches that human beings were designed to be in relationship with a God who loves them. Man’s breaking the contract of that relationship is sin. Christ came to restore relationship.

Based upon His teachings, there is no “group” salvation, nor is there any salvation “by proxy.”  I am not a Christ follower because I belong to some church, or because I live in a “Christian” nation.  I am a Christ follower because I made a conscious decision to become one.

Nowhere is the Scriptures does Christ put anyone in a headlock and make the person cry “uncle” to get the person to follow Him.  Christ Himself respects the human will.  Christ is not a religion.  He is a loving relationship.

It troubles me that what many people promote as Christianity is nothing more than self-righteous condemnation of others. Still others tout Christianity and exploit fellow human beings, often financially.  I am sorry that such nonsense occurs. Those of us who are not involved in such foolishness are often erroneously categorized by a wary public as being frauds.  I am no fraud, I assure you.

I realize also that many view being Christian as equivalent to being one who is uneducated and who exercises no critical thought.  I have witnessed for myself these very qualities in those who call themselves Christians. However, let me put that idea to rest regarding me.  I am a thinker. In order to better understand the Scriptures, I have studied Greek and Hebrew and have a working knowledge of both. I hold a Ph.D. in probability, which will come into play soon in this discourse.

Weighing Creationism and Evolution

When I think of evolution and creationism in their most basic senses, I think of “chaos produces order” and “order produces order,” respectively.  As for chaos producing order, nowhere in my experience have I seen this modeled.  Disorder does not tend toward order.  If I do not tend my yard, it does not become kept.  If I do not discipline my students, they do not become disciplined.  If chaos could produce order, corporate reform could work.  Closing 54 schools in Chicago could produce educational improvement.   Replacing experienced teachers with inexperienced “teachers” could yield positive results for students, schools, and communities. But it does not because chaos only produces chaos.

In contrast, all around me I witness examples of order producing order.  If I cut the lawn, it looks kept.  If I discipline my students, they learn and improve both academically and personally. If I organize my teaching and plan my lessons, productivity happens in my classroom.

Order requires intention.

The creationist view notes that God spoke the world into existence.  Words are powerful, and words cannot be divorced from intention.  That is why the use of words, too, can be termed, “giving orders.”  In my blogging, I use words, and they are powerful.  They lend order to the chaos of corporate reform.  The reformers themselves use words with intention; it is their determined course to distort the purpose of words, to erase clarity from speech, thereby inciting chaos.  They say one thing and do another. They lie.  They hide and distort information.

Corporate reformers introduce chaos. The return on this investment is also chaos.

One might also conceive of chaos as being “absent structure,” or “random.” Order does not emerge from randomness; this statement summarizes the entire field of statistical probability.  A statistical test is a ratio of the likelihood of the systematic (ordered, intentional) to the unsystematic (random, or “without order”: chaotic).  And when I consider the complexity of the world around and in me, how many parts must function just so in order to both produce and sustain life (not only my life, but nature and civilization in general), the very idea that it “just happened” without intentional influence (absent the systematic) is so highly improbable that I cannot consider the entire universe as emerging from some unintentioned, spontaneous “boom.” I am simply too educated in the field of probability to buy such a theory.

I have seen a lot of things blow up, both literally and figuratively.  Never have I witnessed an explosion that produced order.

As for evolutionary concept, “survival of the fittest,” the corporate reformers are following this course.  If survival were the ultimate goal of preservation, then their selfish acts should be lauded.  After all, they (the reformers) are pursuing actions that promote their survival, the propagation of their kind.

Corporate reform makes me angry. And that leads me to issues of conscience and morality.  Where did this sense of right and wrong and of justice come from?  Not from any “boom.”  Order produces order.

The only people Christ expressed anger toward were those in leadership who were exploiting others of considerably lesser influence.  He publicly lambasted them for heaping upon people burdens that they themselves were not willing to bear.  This is exactly what the corporate reformers are doing: Applying incredible pressure to schools and communities in the hopes that the schools and communities will falter under the load so that the so-called reformers might make even more money.

I too am angry at the pervasive exploitation of the “haves” who in their greed only aspire to be “have mores” at the expense of other human beings.  Corporate reform is leeching a foundation of American democracy, the community public school, only to feed its twisted, insatiable desire for “more, more, more.”

Following Christ’s model, I have committed my time, energy, and intellect to publicly expose the exploiters for the refuse that they are.

They are chaos.  I do not like chaos.

Use of Public School Funds and Issues of the Science Curriculum

I do not believe evolution is a credible theory based upon the “chaos producing order,” the probability-defying arguments, and the issues of morality and conscience presented above. Others have weighed in on the issue; they believe the theory is credible; they believe the scientists have confirmed the theory via such methods as fossil records and carbon dating.  I think there remain significant holes despite carbon dating and fossil records.  Therefore, I consider it an impasse.  Nevertheless, I don’t need to agree with evolution in order to accept its presence in the state curriculum.

How can that be?

There are two higher-order issues here.  These two issues are what I see as most important to the discussion at hand. Before I discuss these higher-order issues, let me say that I would prefer if the state taught competing theories of the origins of man.  With the direction corporate reformers are taking in serving themselves, I think that it is possible for some so-called state “chiefs” to declare an “anything-goes,” absence of any curriculum at all.  This would truly promote chaos.  This leads to my first point:

There must be an established state curriculum.

An established curriculum at minimum establishes an order.  It is chaos to send public school money to institutions without any stipulation that such institutions, in accepting public school funds, also agree to abide by the public school curriculum.

Private schools have chosen to be private schools for the ability to teach a curriculum free of state oversight.  If these private schools accept state money, they should also teach the prescribed state curriculum.

Corporate reformers like to tell private schools that these schools retain the freedom to teach whatever they desire despite accepting state funds.  Frankly, I am wary of anyone who offers me money and tells me it has no strings.  There are always strings, and these self-styled reformers are notorious for changing the rules mid-game.  To believe that the state might not capriciously change course once the money has been awarded is naive.

In accepting state money, any and all schools should also accept the state curriculum.

The second higher-order issue here involves the beauty and usage of critical thought.  If I am teaching my students to think critically, I am equipping them to live dynamic, successful, engaged lives.  It is of no use for human beings to simply swallow a teaching absent critical thought, be it evolution or creationism.  It is no good for my students to passively accept what I teach simply because I, their teacher, teach it.  I want them to analyze what is taught, to dissect it, decide what they will own and what they will discard.  This is living.  This is also the food of relationship. Therefore, it is not so much the content presented as it is the means of digesting the content via critical examination.  I want my students to think, not just to bubble letters on a test like trained moneys. So let them learn of evolution, and let them learn how to approach this and all content critically. Most of all, let them arrive at their own conclusions regarding the content presented to them.  I respect the indispensable necessity of critical thought, for it feeds the dignity of the human being and is the lifeblood of a fruitful existence.

28 Comments
  1. Deborah Tonguis permalink

    “In accepting state money, any and all schools should also accept the state curriculum.” Amen, sister!

  2. What is order?

    • Order:

      Noun: The arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method.

      Verb: Give an authoritative direction or instruction to do something: “her father ordered her back home”; “the judge ordered a retrial”.

      Synonyms

      noun.

      command – sequence

      verb.

      command – ordain – arrange – enjoin – bid – prescribe

      http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=order+definition&oq=order+definition&gs_l=hp.3..0l4.1355.5603.0.6390.16.13.0.1.1.0.679.2738.3-1j1j3.5.0…0.0…1c.1.7.psy-ab.vpxHhWUglXI&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.44158598,d.b2U&fp=b957fff51f763622&biw=1024&bih=449

  3. Good. Now how exactly is it that order cannot arise out of chaos? For instance. If I drop a bag of marbles and they spill all over the floor, won’t some of them end up next to each other…in a line…perhaps arranged in.a triangle? Isn’t that inevitable? I can drop the bag over and over and never see the same arrangement, but I will see order. I would say order from chaos is inevitable, unless the chaos is trying to defy being “ordered” which would be a type of order in and of itself. “Reform” is sadly very ordered and defined in its approach, which is designed to spawn chaos and disorder through which privatizers hope to exploit and position themselves. Wars are chaotic, but from them often springs new order and civilizations that function more orderly, such as Philip of Macedonia, Alexander the Great’s father. And from these orders, such as the empire Alexander wrought, or the Roman empire, chaos (and the occasional Visigoth) eventually finds a way to exploit the orderliness.

    • When you can spill those marbles and show me that they all perfectly line up, and when you can repeat the process, call me, dahlin’. 😉

      • Repeatability is not a requirement for order, nor would it be “chaos” if it happened the same way. Nevertheless, order is possible, in fact inevitable. Chaos may be an illusion, if we understood every factor we could calculate where every marble would land.and if we hand perfect control we could make them.end up.wherever we wanted. Because we don’t, and it appears random,we call that situation chaos, however everything ends up axactly where it is supposed to.

    • Crazy – okay so now you want to further define repeatability. I am referring to repeatability in the sense of being able to recreate (create, get it?) rather than repeatability in the sense of numerous random occurrences. If order is present, then an action can be recreated on every attempt. Without order (chaos) but rather with random repetition the action cannot be “recreated” every time but might entail many attempts before repetition produces the same result on accident. Interesting conversation in that it makes one really think. Ultimately though a belief in creationism requires an element of faith (“The assured expectation of things hoped for though not beheld” ) that when absent prevents one from accepting it. Science has no element of faith, only proof and yet the re-creation of human life in the womb cannot be “repeated” scientifically from scratch outside the womb. Why would we believe it could happen randomly? Don’t know if I’ve made my point clear.

  4. Crawfish – I think the chaos you are describing is actually randomness. The results are not predictable or repetitious. The outcome cannot be controlled although whatever appearance of order say, as in the formation of a straight line, is simply that – a straight line that resulted from chaos. You cannot deny that it came out of chaos nor can you say that chaos evolved into order. It will not happen again and again. The chaos of education reform is similar in that the results are not repetitious or predictable.

    Randomness means different things in various fields. Commonly, it means lack of pattern or predictability in events.
    The Oxford English Dictionary defines “random” as “Having no definite aim or purpose; not sent or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc., without method or conscious choice; haphazard.” This concept of randomness suggests a non-order or non-coherence in a sequence of symbols or steps, such that there is no intelligible pattern or combination.
    Applied usage in science, mathematics and statistics recognizes a lack of predictability when referring to randomness, but admits regularities in the occurrences of events whose outcomes are not certain. For example, when throwing two dice and counting the total, we can say that a sum of 7 will randomly occur twice as often as 4. This view, where randomness simply refers to situations where the certainty of the outcome is at issue, applies to concepts of chance, probability, and information entropy. In these situations, randomness implies a measure of uncertainty, and notions of haphazardness are irrelevant.
    The fields of mathematics, probability, and statistics use formal definitions of randomness. In statistics, a random variable is an assignment of a numerical value to each possible outcome of an event space. This association facilitates the identification and the calculation of probabilities of the events. A random process is a sequence of random variables describing a process whose outcomes do not follow a deterministic pattern, but follow an evolution described by probability distributions. These and other constructs are extremely useful in probability theory.
    Randomness is often used in statistics to signify well-defined statistical properties. Monte Carlo methods, which rely on random input, are important techniques in science, as, for instance, in computational science.[1]
    Random selection is a method of selecting items (oftentimes called units) from a population where the probability of choosing a specific item is the proportion of those items in the population. For example, if we have a bowl of 100 marbles with 10 red (and any red marble is indistinguishable from any other red marble) and 90 blue (and any blue marble is indistinguishable from any other blue marble), a random selection mechanism would choose a red marble with probability 1/10. Note that a random selection mechanism that selected 10 marbles from this bowl would not necessarily result in 1 red and 9 blue. In situations where a population consists of items that are distinguishable, a random selection mechanism requires equal probabilities for any item to be chosen. That is, if the section process is such that each member of a population, of say research subjects, has the same probability of being chosen then we can say the selection process is random. Random selection can be an official method to resolve tied elections in some jurisdictions[2] and is even an ancient method of divination, as in tarot, the I Ching, and bibliomancy. Its use in politics is very old, as office holders in Ancient Athens were chosen by lot, there being no voting.

  5. Perhaps we should define chaos? 🙂

    However even die rolls only appear “random” because we can’t control the outcome, but the outcome is exactly what it should be based on how hard we roll the die, how far it rolls, how we are holding it when we release it, etc. Randomness is how we describe and account for things we can’t predict, which is not the same thing as being.unpredictable. unweighted dice shaken.sufficiently appear unpredictable, but palm them in a certain position or put some weights in them and they become more so.

  6. How rude, Mercedes. 😛 See if I comment on your site again.

    Incidentally I covered this topic and invited people to drop by and discuss. My take is a little different, but not altogether different than yours. I have a couple of guys who like to drop in and discuss whenever anyone else drops by. . .

    http://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/creationism-vs-evolution-vs-intelligent-design-lets-solve-this/

    I am concerned with your core argument that seems to be the only reasons voucher schools should not teach creationism in Science class is that it is not part of the State school Curriculum. As we’ve seen in Texas, what then happens is Creationists get elected to the Board that chooses the textbooks and they change to currculum to suit their agenda. I would rather see people refute this idea on it’s merits, or rather lack thereof, than because the current curriculum does not include it. Curricula can get changed and then we’d be in a worse state in the worst State.

    I would have thought a teacher would have enjoyed such an orderly discussion more? Go figure.😦

    • Hey, Toots. I am writing yet another post. The keyboard never sleeps.

      Well, actually, the keyboardist is getting ready to sleep.🙂

      I had already had quite a bit of back-and-forth on this post behind the scenes (email), so by the time you posted, I was tuckered.

      Happy to say that no one required time out today from playing in Schneider’s sandbox.🙂

      –M

  7. On the importance of words: Gospel of John, “In the beginning…was Wisdom…” The Greeks had two words, Logos and Sophia, the church chose Logos. I can provide sources, but there’s a realistic possibility that this passage is much older, and was originally an invocation in Aramaic. Go back to the Council of Nicaea; the canons were decided by the church fathers; any reference to a feminine aspect of deity was purged. How convenient, then, that the ultimate source of authority rested not in wisdom (Sophia), but in the written word (Logos).

  8. With all due respect (not just saying that, I mean it), and as a fellow believer (struggled with this same issue for years), I don’t think you understand evolutionary theory. Random mutations (chaos) cause slight differences in individuals. Sometimes, those differences result in a biological advantage that makes certain individuals more effective reproducers. The offspring of these more effective reproducers will be more populous and more likely to carry the advantageous feature of the parent, which means they will survive at increasingly high rates. Another random mutation starts the cycle again. That’s basically it. I can’t imagine any serious evolutionist thinking that what we have arrived at here and now is “order” and what existed a few million years ago was “disorder.”

    I would think as someone who appreciates probability, you would be especially open to the likelihood that the God in whose image you were made might have spun into existence a situation where he might find delight in the possibilities and enjoy the variation brought about by chance.

    Blessings.

    • Evolution discounts God. It states that randomness produced order, not a being that existed prior to.

      • Lafayette Ann permalink

        Evolutionary theory has no prediction or statement about order. Evolutionary theory does predict that random mutation can be acted on by selection. A mutation in genetic material leads to a physical change in an organism, which can be ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘neutral’. Based on the organisms survival conditions, it experiences selection. More fit individuals survive to reproduce and pass on traits.

        The generation of mutation – ie. the pool of changes – is random.
        The selective pressure is not random.

        Example: If an environment is getting rapidly colder year by year (ice age coming on, say) then an elephant individual that had a mutation leading to thicker hair would be selected for. In an environment where is was getting rapidly hotter, that elephant with the mutation for thicker hair would be selected against.

        There is no intelligent force or designer required for this process of biological evolution to work. The mutations in the genetic code are random. They are typographical errors. Whether that typo “makes sense”, ie, confers fitness or lack-of-fitness, is due to the selective conditions the organism experiences.

        There is no planning or ordering. What happened to that elephant simply depended on existing conditions.

  9. Josh Harris permalink

    I agree with where you eventually got to, but not with how you got there.
    I would like to disagree with you on a few points here, but mostly around your discussion and conception of “order.”

    First, “Order requires intention.”
    No it doesn’t. In fact, most human definitions of order are easier to achieve without free will which is a sibling to intent. On a most basic physical level, order only requires gravity. Release the bag of marbles from the above comment into space and at first they will spread out, but on a long enough timeline, absent the gravity of other bodies they will draw together and form a mass. Extend that timeline even farther and other particles of dust will start to be drawn to them. As the mass increases, they will form a larger and larger body with a mostly spherical shape, not because they had the intent to, but because that’s just how it works, gravity exerts in all directions and that forms spheres. They arrange themselves in relation to the rest of the universe, as per your definition in the comment above. There was no intention on the part of the marbles of forming that arrangement.
    On a most basic biological level, order only requires instinct. Worker bees don’t wake up (I admit I’m assuming they sleep at some point in the day) and “decide” whether or not to be worker bees, nor do soldier ants in an ant colony. That is all determined by hormonal secretions during their larval phases. There is no intent, there is simply biological drive based on complex chemical reactions. However, those insects do live in a recognizable order.

    Correlatively, you appear to assert there is some human higher-order in nature. Even your own analogies (the lawn, student discipline, etc,) point to a conception of order which is based around human activity. The only higher-order in nature, especially that which matches the definition you posted earlier in the comments is all man-made, or superimposed by human thought. Even the so-called “laws of physics,” as understood by humans are a human construction. Humans didn’t intentionally create those laws and thereby an orderly universe, they reverse engineered a description of them by repeated observation and scientific experiment. Order must be maintained (the lawn, student discipline, etc,). Absent that maintenance by humans, the world reverts to a state that could easil be described as chaos. There are no physics police; no one is enforcing the rules of nature, it’s just the way the world is. Absent the human energy to maintain order, the kind of order you’re talking about, it goes away. What nature and the natural world do absent human-imposed order is incredibly complex to the point of looking chaotic.

    Third, you seem, as so many people do, to be conflating Big Bang Theory with evolution science. It is understandable; it happens so often in our popular discussion on either that I think most people don’t realize that they are not parts of a unified central idea. From the time Darwin first published to even the current state, evolution science (which has itself evolved over time as new evidence emerges) has, in and of itself, not ever sought to explain the entirety of cosmological existence. Evolution science merely explains (not creates) the myriad number of factors that go into explaining biodiversity and explaining why and how some species succeed and others go extinct. In fact Darwin published in 1859 and what has come to be known as the “Big Bang” theory didn’t really exist until the early-mid 20th century. These two things also get conflated because this theory of universal origin allowed for a much older universe, and therefore older earth, and early evolution science suggested life changes slowly; more current evolution science, with the aid of genetics, shows that beneficial (and injurious) mutation also has a great part in species success.
    However, people who are going to attempt to discredit either need to be clear that these are distinct and separate areas of scientific understanding, even if, like so many other areas of knowledge, one lends to the understanding in the other. Attacking one doesn’t automatically discredit the other, especially when the attack can be summarized as “it’s too messy to be right.” Lastly neither evolution science, nor Big Bang theory ever discuss “God,” nor discredit or discount the idea of “God” as you mention in the comments. As far as I can tell that’s humans on either side of the argument, not the science, who do that.

  10. poohcornerpens permalink

    Mercedes – I STRONGLY share your views and for most of the same reasons. I’m a retired K-12 math/science teacher and as my Christian views became sharper in the late 70’s/80’s, so did my teaching of the origin of humans. I taught evolution, creationism (with my own materials and some from the Institute for Creation Research) and intelligent (also with my own materials and some from the ICR). I had little opposition from parents, students or administrators, since my position was I was including materials that enhanced the standards, while totally teaching the state/district standards.

    I structured my exams based on the standards. If I included additional questions I made those extra credit. With middle and HS students I provided the opportunity for them to research and write a short paper, where they argued their view in a debate format.

    Remarkably, 80+% of my students claimed that they tended to believe that ID/Creationism of some sort was more likely than Evolution. Of the remaining small group, they were just the typical “I don’t know” adolescents who weren’t yet ready to give things a good think. It was quite good that I could do both math/science units and use the time to discuss probability theory.

    I did my best to steer clear of philosophical/metaphysical debates. During the times I taught these units I invited students to come in after school, with their written parental permission of course, to discuss any and all things they would like in this area. Mostly I didn’t directly answer all questions although I would give them my opinions, but I wanted my students to know why they believed one way or the other.

    So in short, what I’m saying is that if Christian educators, teaching in public schools have a mind to, God can open some doors and windows. However, educators have to be well prepared and know their rights according to the law, and not allow themselves to be bullied into giving up teaching information that will give their students some intellectual challenge.

    As for the whole Creationism/ID vs Evolution debate, I was on the Evolutionary side at one time, but even before I came to Christ in 1976 I had some doubts about the messiness of Evolutionary theory. I read a few books, one in particular by A.E. Wilder-Smith, “Man’s Origins: Man’s Destiny” (which is still in print) in 1975 while on submarine patrol (Navy nuclear sub). It presented some very strong arguments on both sides of the coin, and Dr. W-S, really tied it together well making an excellent case for special creation.

    I’ve long since come to the conclusion that the staunch and radical Evolutionists worship at the altar of Atheism or Agnosticism, which they use as a crutch for continuing their unbelief. Just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart into not letting Israel leave from captivity, and hardened Israel’s (the nation) heart in not believing Christ’s gospel (for the good of us Gentiles), so He has hardened the unbelieving scientists to continue banging their heads against heaven. Some get the glimmer of truth and then through work, prayer and God’s calling by His Holy Spirit, they turn from the lie to the truth.

    Of course it doesn’t end there, does it? We have the in-betweeners, that hold to a Theistic Evolutionary process, with a more or less approach that God used the chaos of Evolution to “create”. Seems a bit messy to me still.

    And we have the young earth versus old earth creationism debate. Even among us believers there is not one camp, is there?

    Continue to beat on the doors of unbelief Mercedes, in education, science and every human endeavor. Although I didn’t comment on your “evolution” of the CCC, your presentation was very enlightening and I can only imagine the piles of research you had to sift through. Is that a case of order coming out of chaos? Probably not eh? Oh, you have nice looking toes too🙂

    Bless ya my Sister in Jesus and keep up the good fight.

    Jim Sanders
    retired teacher and military/government
    Tucson AZ
    poohcornerpens@hotmail.com, should anyone care to comment personally, but feel free to blog it.

  11. poohcornerpens permalink

    I meant to say “I taught evolution, creationism (with my own materials and some from the Institute for Creation Research) and intelligent DESIGN”. Sorry about that little boo-boo. You’d think after 2 MEds, and 3/4 of a PhD, I could write something, huh?
    Jim

  12. I am a kindergarten teacher in Newark, NJ and am really enjoying your blog which I began following recently. You are very smart and very credible. And your heart is in the right place. Great combination!

    • Kinder, thank you so much for your encouraging words.

      May I continue to do right by you and my other readers.

      Regards–

      –Mercedes

  13. Mercedes: You are wonderfully forthright here. I admire it. I enjoy following your blog by email. Your two most recent posts will their wealth of documents are particularly admirable.

    On the specific question of evolution, I wonder whether you know any of the work of the Santa Fe Institute which has been investigating “chaos theory” and “complexity” and its mathematics (which I am not equipped to understand) since the 70’s. If I understand them (in mere words), they argue that order (however defined) CAN emerge out of chaos (however they define it) and discuss phenomena from economics to weather, including sexual selection by environments in evolution.

    Where the universe came from, I don’t know, but I do not find it incredible (or disturbing) that the human mind came into being through purely natural biological and cultural processes usually included by the term “evolution.” Nor do I think it inconceivable that the universe could exist perfectly well without humans, whose existence on earth here I estimate is purely accidental.

    I think we are indeed “modified monkeys” but my interest is more in the nature of the modifications, especially language, culture, and dreams, than in how they came about.

  14. Joe permalink

    Sorry, but creationism and intelligent design are not science, they are myths and false stories. I’ll stick with real science, evolution. Creationism and I.D. have no place in public schools or science classes. We don’t teach astrology side by side with astronomy or alchemy side by side with chemistry.

    • If you want to use your intelligence to argue that you did not originate from intelligence, who am I to stand in the way? Enjoy your willfully chosen, non-intelligent origin. Nevertheless, it is with great sadness that I add that my intelligence will not follow you. Rest assured, however, that many agree with you. And whereas agreement can be accomplished in the absence of intelligence, you will likely never be alone. Congratulations.

      • Harlan Underhill permalink

        Joe: My belief is that climate change is also not science, but it has a number of “scientists” having pretty high faith in it. Where do you stand on climate change?

  15. What a remarkable blog. My professor spoke highly of your book and I am so glad you have a blog. I couldn’t agree more with your arguments presented above. Your argument about order is irrefutable. Some talk about randomness, probability and so forth but imagine if I were to wake up with a “foot” as my “ear”. I have been trained in physics so I know what is scientific but aside from that your insight about educational issues is superb. My goal is to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – the One that possesses and disperses intelligence generously.

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