Discussion Board

Topic: Creationism.

From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England
Date: 09/23/2009

Last Saturday evening (19th September), a friend dragged me along to a Creationist Meeting in Northampton. I went along, extremely reluctantly, just to please him.
The speaker at the meeting was a Dr Farid Abou-Rahme, a civil engineer. He spoke about how the appendix, the tonsils, the coccyx (which he pronounced 'cockicks'), etc., were not vestigial organs, but all had some sort of function, and were proof that Darwin had got it all wrong, and we weren't descended from apes. Ernst Haeckel's theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny was based on fraudulent science.
At the question and answer session, he got on to the age of the Earth. 'God's word' in Genesis 1 insisted that the Universe and the Earth were created in six days (six periods of 24 hours - I checked that that was he meant) 6,000 years ago. The geologists had got it all wrong. Radiocarbon dating was wrong; so was uranium-lead dating, and rubidium-strontium, and all other radiometric dating methods. I told the man he was talking nonsense; he told me that, because I disbelieved what the Bible said, I was destined for the eternal flames of Hell-fire.
I said I was in good company, and that I would prefer to go to hell with Stephen Hawking than to paradise with him; I'm afraid I also told him where he could put his Bible, which was rather rude of me (not to say blasphemous, probably). I then left the meeting, before I lost my temper completely and thumped the man (or before he thumped me!).
I'm afraid the friend is now an ex-friend, but it's no great loss. I shouldn't have gone to the meeting in the first place, but I was willing to listen to the arguments of the creationists.
I now realise that they don't actually have any - all they have are irrational, closed-minded beliefs, which are deaf and blind to reason and evidence. They are enemies of science, and enemies of reason, and they need to be opposed root and branch, particularly in the US, where - unfortunately - they are so powerful, as witnessed by the fact that a new film about Charles Darwin, starring Paul Bettany as Darwin, shown at the Toronto Film Festival recently, may not even find a distributor there. Their influence on school boards, in particular, has to be defeated.

Re: Creationism.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/23/2009

I suspect the DARWIN film will get released here and do well enough. Charles was a charming fellow, after all--much more charming than any Creationist I know of, and a far better writer, as well. And Paul Bettany is a terrific actor. And if there are picket lines and people shouting YOU LIE on camera, how can that hurt ticket sales?

Re: Creationism.

From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England
Date: 09/24/2009

Let's hope so. The London 'Daily Telegraph' film critic was told by the film's makers that they were having problems finding a US distributor, precisely because of the subject-matter being allegedly too 'controversial' for the market.
I just love the idea of people yelling 'YOU LIE' at picket lines outside cinemas showing it, though. Charles Darwin and Barack Obama - what a combination!

Re: Creationism.

From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/25/2009

I'd pay to see a biography of Bishop Ussher if Jennifer Connelly was in it (her design may not have been intelligent, but it sure makes one feel...creative).

Re: Creationism.

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 09/26/2009

I can't see religion...or at least judeo-christian religion of any sort or stripe making a come-back - and it would be a come-back!

Now, having said that, there are more and more people with tattoos, who are poly-amorous, etc, etc....who are christian!

What the fuck (just needed the emphasis) does that say? I could give much wild speculation, as I'm sure ya all could...but, that would go counter to the spirit of the theme in this topic, eh?

Re: Creationism.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/26/2009

"Mrs Darwin, we are needed..."

Re: Creationism.

From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England
Date: 10/03/2009

It's nice to know you're a fellow 'Avengers' fan, Greg! (Diana Rigg used to look amazing in those cat-suits!) Of course, Mrs Darwin had a hard time accepting what Charles was saying - she was a very religious woman. (Charles had originally intended to become an Anglican priest after completing his Cambridge degree, ironically enough.)
I was wondering if you had any comments to make about the recent _Ardipithecus ramidus_ find. I'd say that it was yet another nail in the creationist coffin, if creationists could ever be persuaded by facts and reasoned argument, that is.

Re: Creationism.

From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA
Date: 10/13/2009

In the sixties, when I was a child, I was taught many things by Creationists. Lemmings commit mass-suicide by jumping off cliffs, and ostriches hide their heads in the sand when danger threatens, to name a couple. I was taught a LOT of things by Creationists, but the one thing I was NEVER taught by them was logic.

And of course, simple logic refutes the examples I mentioned above, but when you are a child and it is presented as fact, it takes some time before you begin to question such things, if ever. It took me many years to dig myself out of the morass of misinformation I was taught by Creationists.

These days, I have to wonder how ANYONE can believe what they say, but then temper that by remembering how thoroughly I was sucked in. Logic seems to be the enemy of religion. Go ahead and be spiritual, but the moment you start thinking "My religion is right, and his is wrong," YOU are the one who is wrong, and you need to take a step back, and say instead "To each his own, live and let live." Religious beliefs are not something people should die over.

Re: Creationism.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/14/2009

Ardi is certainly cute. Lucy is getting jealous.

Re: Creationism.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/14/2009

Apparently, Walt Disney's nature films unit helped contribute to the lemmings legend, and how many cartoons showed ostriches sticking their heads in the sand? Cartoon science is a little explored discipline! Not just the physics, but the biology...

Re: Creationism.

From: Jeff Easterling
Location: Florida
Date: 11/02/2009

Maybe I'm in an extreme minority here, but I always wonder why there is a need for such division in regards to this subject. I myself am a Christian, and am also a science teacher (and huge sci-fi enthusiast). For me, the joy in exploring creation is in the evidence left behind, and that evidence is very often not "popular" with most of the religious community. My students need to be given all the information, and make the decision for themselves. Force-feeding any one viewpoint down their throats not only isn't fair to them, but also potentially robs the scientific community of future researchers and thinkers who might have been inspired to explore if it weren't for the brow beatings.

My guess is that most Christians are so worried that science might uncover something that will prove that "God doesn't exist", or will shatter their faith in God for reason. In all honesty, if your faith can't withstand questioning and evidence, you might want to start believing in someone else!

I DO believe that God created everything. Just exactly HOW He did is what science is for! Who's to say He didn't set things in motion with the Big Bang umpteen billion years ago? Who's to say He didn't do it last week and our "history" and "memories" are all just given to us for convenience? (I don't really think that one is true, for the record!) The point is that for me personally, I simply love looking for the evidence that is around to find the answers. Sometimes I don't quite understand, or have to rethink my original ideas, but that's LIFE! We have gotten plenty of things "wrong" throughout the millennia in science; it's a constant adjustment of what we understand shaped by the way the evidence changes (or more often the way we decode it) around us.

The "evidence" might have shown us that a magical bunny left neon eggs filled with candy in secret places around our yard as children, but as adults, we begin to look at the "evidence" with new eyes, and new info. So it is with science. I for one am simply happy with the journey. I am content to believe that there is a God, and if he wants things to evolve, then dang it, Darwin was a smart cookie. I think if more Christians would just relax and enjoy the exploration of science, things would be so much easier...

So sorry for the wall of text; it's been on my mind, lol. Thanks so much for your work, Greg. I love it. I can't friggin' wait to see what you do with the Halo Forerunner Trilogy.

Best regards to you and all your readers,
Jeff

Re: Creationism.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/05/2009

I once expressed the idea that we can imagine the "fingers" of God working in the laws of science. The problem with creationism is that it lowers the status of God to a scientific observable, which I think is wrong-headed and demeaning. Christians should not be worried about any scientific threat to their beliefs--Dawkins and others to the contrary. On the other hand, scientific "proof" of God will be equally elusive! On November 18, I'll be talking about this and other issues in a speech called "What Would Darwin Do?" at San Diego State University, around 2 pm.

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