The Freaky Flower Show

June 22nd, 2010

I found a freaky flower in my neighbor’s yard.

This story and a depressing story about blue hydrangeas is up at farmhouse and garden.

I found a great site that scientifically debunks the Noah story and I have been reading through it with my kids.  Can I just tell you how excited they are to be reading a web site about Noah’s flood with their mom?!?  Yeah… they’re not.  They even used the excuse that they had to get their chores done to try and weasel away, but after we got into it, they got interested.  I can’t say that they are exactly embracing the idea that the Noah story is a myth, but they aren’t afraid to question the idea.  Ultimately, they will make up their minds for themselves, but not without getting good information that clearly demonstrates the idea that Noah’s flood is not a literal event.  It is amazing to me how firmly the story is already entrenched in their minds.  It’s weird because I didn’t teach them this story and I was always under the impression that our former church was somewhat liberal, yet my kids seem to think that Noah actually existed and that a flood really happened although the idea that it was a ‘local flood’ somehow creeped into their heads.  So I guess someone gave them that version at some point.

Comments

  • Ooh that flower is awesome!

  • You’re opening their minds to other possibilities. What could be better? Teaching them to think for themselves is a great thing.

  • I went to a fairly liberal church and if an adult asked the pastor what the churches position was on the flood they would have gotten a response that it was all a good story. Nonetheless, I remember in Sunday School getting the felt board Noah’s Ark story by a well meaning Sunday School teacher. It was one of the earliest times I remember thinking “This stuff is silly…who would believe any of this”. Most Biblical literalists I know will completely reject the idea of a ‘local flood’. If it was local then why did two of every animal need to go on the ark…they could have just walked out of the flood zone. A global flood is also necessary to make Flood Geology work (which it doesn’t)….like how the Grand Canyon was created in days or weeks.

  • LucyJoy:

    Good for you! Your boys will appreciate the time you took to express your views to them when they’re men. They’ll be able to make informed decisions about not only faith, but other tough problems that life sends their way.

    I just picked up “Letter to a Christian Nation” today. I can’t wait to delve into it!

  • Clayvessel:

    I’m just wondering about something. You say of your children that “ultimately they will make up their minds for themselves.” Nice platitude but what if ultimately, they side with faith? How will you handle that? Hopefully not the same way you are handling it with the rest of your family and Christians in general- with mocking hostility. It appears your children have faith and you are working mightily to destroy it because really, if you can’t “change their minds” will you be accepting of it?

    Rechelle, you really don’t understand what *faith* is at all. Faith doesn’t need evidence because if it had it, it wouldn’t be *faith* would it? You seem to think that reason and science and rationalism can do away with God and yet that idea is as old a religion and it hasn’t done away with Him or religion has it? Because faith doesn’t need proof.

    Just one scientific point concerning the world wide flood: there is much evidence that a flood occured and interpretation is key. If a scientist starts out with the biased position that there is no God, he won’t be considering an explanation for the “whys” of things that would correspond with the Scriptural record would he? He has already ruled that out. I have yet to read a plausible evolutionary explanation for why the fossils are found in layers of sedimentary rock that do not correspond with the evolutionary timeline. The fossils are not sorted in the layers according to evolutionary ages but are completely mixed up. Why are there sea animal fossils on the tops of mountains? How did the polystrate fossils (whole upright trees) form according to evolutionary theory? These things and many other evidences conform quite well with an understanding of a world wide flood. My faith does not stand on such things though but they serve to cause me to stand in awe of the power of God and the complexity of the world.

    If I ever have times of doubt, (and of course, who doesn’t?) all I have to do is ponder the complexity of the world, the vastness of the universe and I know without a doubt that it couldn’t have come to be without God. I think it takes more *faith* to believe in evolutionary theory (the universe started out compressed into a mass the size of a pin head) then it does to believe in creation.

    Peace.

  • Clayvessel – Where did your god come from? Why would he kill all those babies and toddlers in the flood? Were they evil too? That’s the part that sickens me. Why not have Noah and his family save all the babies? This story is absurd. The god in this story is absurd. The complexity of the universe has nothing to do with a limited god who kills babies in floods.

  • @Clayvessel: You have obviously been listening to all the right Creationist messages…because it’s all stuff I’ve heard before. Your idea that there is evidence to suggest a world wide flood, if only the evidence is ‘interpreted’ correctly, and also that a scientist must not start out from a biased position of ‘there is no god(s)’ in order to do science correctly shows that you don’t have the first clue about how science is conducted. The reason that science has advanced as fast as it has in the last couple hundred years is because the scientific method encourages scientists to see the evidence for what it is and follow wherever it leads without interpreting it and without biases getting in the way (biases for supernaturalism or against).

    No. There is no evidence to suggest a global flood, no matter how you ‘interpret’ it. There is evidence to suggest that there has been flooding in a lot of places, but not all at the same time in a Noachian sort of way.

    The theory of evolution doesn’t explain why there are sea animal fossils on the tops of mountains. That would be the theory of plate tectonics. Same with polystrate (aka upright) fossils.

    I have absolutely no ‘faith’ in the theory of evolution, the theory of plate tectonics, the theory of gravity, or germ theory. If there’s a part of it I don’t understand, then I don’t accept it on faith…I figure it out.

    I would have no sense of awe believing that everything in creation was snapped into existence by someone who has the power to just as easily snap it out of existence. I can understand how you can’t understand how a non-theist can see creation that way… If so, watch this clip of Neil DeGrass Tyson talking about it, he’s more poetic than me… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjW5-4IiSc.

  • Kathy J:

    Strangely we can even measure the movement of the plates and we can measure the changes in gene frequency that are needed to support evolution, but mere facts never convince anyone.

    On the subject of sea fossils found in strange places – you realize you can spend a jolly afternoon collecting them in the road cuts between your house and mine – if you are lucky you will find some sharks teeth, I only found a bunch of little shell fossils and coral like animal fossils the last time I went digging in the dirt.

    Glad I don’t have to swim with the sharks just to get a shark tooth!!

  • Clayvessel:

    Rechelle, you bypassed my most important questions in my first paragraph to vent your hostility against Christianity.

    @Cat’s Staff- there is evidence and there are plenty of scientists debating all of this in lots of places. Not hard to find any of them. I won’t take the time here for it. I also do not accept your assertion that there is no faith involved in the acceptance of evolutionary theory (which is a THEORY though often taught and accepted as fact.) How are you going to “figure out” the origin of the universe? Do you accept the evolutionary theory of that? Since there is no proof, it is only a theory, if someone asserts it as true it has to be done with some faith. Semantics. It takes faith to accept that a strand of DNA could assemble itself, over and over again (before the countless number of other life processes could even begin) because this cannot be proven. So everyone chooses what they will believe. I don’t attack evolutionists with name calling and mockery in public places.

    • Clayvessel – Did I? Gosh! Maybe I just have a thing for venting hostility against Christianity! Because! Because! BECAUSE! Christianity turns people into zombies who can’t think anymore! Who blindly accept ludicrous ideas and refuse to EVEN contemplate opposing viewpoints! Who homeschool their children to keep them safe and away from the world of brilliant scientific thought so that they can learn dead languages like Latin and repeat creeds that by heart that have nothing to do with reality. A religion that worships a tyrannical god that at worst behaves like a two year old and at best acts like a hormone engorged fourteen year old boy. A god who kills himself to save us from sins that he cursed us with to start with. A completely idiotic and deranged god that was invented by deluded psychopaths and used for centuries to control people and gain power. Power that I am sure you have too. Power over your kid’s minds, your husbands’ behavior, power you abuse to keep people acting the way you prefer. You play the god card. Most Xian homeschooling moms do. It’s why they love religion and homeschooling so much. It gives them power and control.

    • Clayvessel – gravity is also a theory. Do you accept that one? Do you think the world is flat too? The bible says it is you know. I know you think that vaccines are of the devil as you have sent me videos showing absurd ideas about vaccines. You do realize that the same scientific method that has led to the cure of horrible diseases also has led to the theory of evolution. You don’t need faith when there is evidence. With evolution – the evidence grows continually. And this makes all the creationist whackos desperate and causes them to lie, to distort facts, and to deceive people like you who are gullible and narrow minded.

  • ddr:

    Clayvessel

    Yep. Evolution is a theory. But have you ever taken a college level music class? You know what the first few classes are called?

    Music Theory.

    Does that mean that music does not really exist? That all the songs we have heard are not real somehow?

    Music Theory, like evolution theory, has nothing to do with it being real or not. They both just mean we don’t understand everything there is to know about them yet. We are still working out the details. But both are real.

  • Clayvessel, I’m sure you don’t accept the idea of understanding something without faith and I’m trying to explain my mindset. If anything I have faith that the Universe works in predictable, understandable ways. If there is something we don’t understand now, then we should have no problems saying so and waiting for the evidence to show up that helps us explain it. If the Universe wasn’t predictable and understandable, then a lot of modern science would be out the window.

    You’re right, the theory of evolution is a theory. Just like the theory of gravity, germ theory, atomic theory, the theory of periodicity, etc, etc, etc. A theory is an explanation for a collection of facts. For example, if you drop something from 10 foot it falls in a certain way (speed, acceleration, time, etc.). That is a fact. If you drop something from twice as high it also falls in a certain way. Does it take twice as long to hit the ground? No. If you drop something enough times and measure it you will find that it accelerates at 32.2 feet per second per second. All of those facts added together could help you create a theory of gravity (at least for how objects fall on Earth). If new facts come along (how objects fall on the Moon, or how celestial bodies ‘fall’ around a larger object in space) then you can’t toss out the old facts and make a theory of gravity that only includes the new ones. The new theory must take into account all the existing evidence. So Einstein’s theory of gravity had to take into account Newton’s theory of gravity. I use that example because I have heard Creationists talk about overturning the existing theory of evolution. That’s not how it works. If you find new evidence that doesn’t fit into the existing theory you are free to change the theory to help explain the new evidence as long as it takes into account all the existing evidence. There is no way around that. You can’t leave evidence out because it conflicts with your theory. You’re more than welcome to try to find evidence that doesn’t fit and then change the theory. If you do, I’ll pay for your ticket to Stockholm when you get your Nobel prize.

    As far as “figuring out” the origin of the Universe goes… We look for evidence. Astronomers figured out that things were moving apart from one another in the early 1900′s. That led people to speculate that everything started at a point. Several hypotheses were formed to explain this, and predictions were made based on those hypotheses. One was that we should still see microwave energy left over from the big bang. We were recently able to send up satellites that could take measurements…and it was there, in exactly the way it was predicted. Also based on predictions about the hot big bang theory are things that they hope to confirm with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. If you can find any fact about the Universe that is not predictable with current theories, especially if it would result in the altering of those theories to accommodate a 6000 year old Universe…you can go pick up your Nobel prize for that too. It won’t be covered up by secular scientists if it works. If it works, they want to know about it because it will help them understand other things. Granted, that’s for explaining things since the big bang. There are people working on theories to explain things before that. The evidence is hard to come by at this point, but there is more and more all the time. If we don’t know, we can just say ‘we don’t know’.

    It doesn’t take faith to accept that DNA works the way we predict. We can do it in the lab, in controlled conditions. It’s done everyday. Craig Venter just made some with a computer, even putting message into the DNA.

    I’m not trying to attack anyone…just trying to explain where I’m coming from so you can better understand. If nothing else you should be glad…I’m explaining what it would take for me to change my mind. What would it take for you to change yours?

  • Brian V.:

    Clayvessel, get fired, then come talk to this Baptard preacher’s boy.

  • Rechelle, although my personal experience is that many homeschoolers I know are similar to the ones you describe… I also know some atheists who homeschool their kids because they want to make sure they get exposed to more then the public school will expose them too (some places dumb down science to avoid conflict). I also know someone who homeschools because her kid has extreme food allergies and can’t risk having him exposed to something at school that would kill him.

    What’s wrong with Latin… How else am I supposed to write things like ‘A furore Christianos libera nos domine’…otherwise it’s pretty silly.

    • Cat’s Staff – I try to denote the difference by using the phrase ‘christian homeschoolers’ most of the time. Sorry if I forgot on this one. I do realize a difference between one type of homeschooling based on paranoia and religious whackery and another based on much more sane reasons. I figure if you are going to go to the trouble of teaching a child a foreign language, why not teach them one they can actually use. The ‘classical Christian curriculum’ which is very popular among homeschoolers insists that Latin be taught for no other reason other than it used to be taught when America was a much more religious nation.

  • Clayvessel, nooo…don’t get fired…income is good.

  • Clayvessel:

    Ah, Rechelle. The question is– if your children “make up their own minds” and choose religion and faith, will you accept that? Will you love and support a child that worships the God you so clearly reject?

    @ddr- you have some very odd logic. Theory is not about whether something is real or not but the speculation about how something works. Evolutionary theory doesn’t show how the universe is *real* but speculates how it works.

    @ Cat’s Staff- the scientific method that you describe requires that for something to be accepted as fact it must be repeatable and observable. That is what you described with your examples of gravity, etc. Evolutionary theory and the origin of the universe are not repeatable nor observable. And you missed my point about DNA. I meant that it takes *acceptance* aka *faith* that DNA, in the evolutionary formation of the universe, could form of itself –simply a mathematical impossibility. Venter did not make DNA from a primordial soup and he knew ahead of time what DNA should be. He manipulated the formation. Also, you could call him the designer couldn’t you? Also, I was not accusing you of attacking anyone.

    According to the Law of Thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Matter also (the law of conservation of mass). So if you consider the mass and energy of our earth, our sun, our solar system, Beetle Juice, the UNIVERSE….and that all that matter and energy has always existed…..where did it come from? Rechelle wants to know where God came from. An unanswerable question. Why, Rechelle, can you accept the unanswerable question of where did all the matter in the universe come from but you can’t accept the unanswerable question of where God came from?

    • Clayvessel – There are no unanswerable questions, only lazy minds.

  • Brian V.:

    @cat’sstaff, homeschooling is the natural way of things but not many folk have the kahunna’s to attempt it. It is used for the best and worst of reasons. After moving toward homeschooling and then falling headlong into unschooling, I wonder how it is that I ever, ever, ever chose to send my children off to a public scruel…. I can tell the answer: DENIAL. I was in denial. My kids paid the price for several years.

  • Clayvessel:

    Rechelle, you have me confused with someone else. I have never sent you nor anyone else videos!

    I am amazed that you are an expert on Christian homeschoolers. I’ve been homeschooling for twenty years because the government schools graduate illiterates and gives ritalin to bright children who are bored.

  • Clayvessel, the scientific method doesn’t require that we ‘repeat’ the big bang in order to show that the big bang happened. It requires that the evidence by repeatable. And it is. You can tune an old fashion analog TV into an empty channel were all you get is static…and about 1% of that static is radiation from the cosmic microwave background left over from the big bang…you can repeat it at home. If you want to repeat tests of evolution at home you can do that too…have a kid…see, science is fun.

    I didn’t realize you were talking about abiogenesis. I don’t know what math you are doing to figure out that the formation of DNA is an impossibility. Given enough time and the right ingredients, wouldn’t it be more and more unlikely that it didn’t form?

    The first law of thermodynamics (dU=?Q–?W), says “The change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added by heating the system minus the amount lost as a result of the work done by the system on its surroundings.” In a system like our solar system there is energy being added to the Earth of about 1,000 watts per square meter at noon on a cloudless day from the Sun. That energy is being created in the Sun by the fusion of matter. Eventually it will run out of energy and the good times will be over. By then maybe we will have moved on to a younger solar system…

  • Hmmm…lowercase delta works on my end…but looks like a ? in the comment how about this… δ as in dU=δQ-δW …I don’t know if that will work either.

  • Ahhh. it works… I ♥ HTML entities… ☮

  • Clayvessel:

    Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.

    Cat’s Staff, you said, “eventually it (energy) will run out and the good times will be over”. Why, if we are in an evolutionary process would this happen? Are things evolving or DEvolving?

    Two well known scientists* calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000th that life could have originated by random trials.

    It is generally agreed by mathematicians that statistically, any odds beyond 1 in 10 to the 50th have a zero probability of ever happening

    *Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24, 150, 30, 31

  • LucyJoy:

    Cat’s Staff: Will you be my friend? You’d be a blast to have at dinner parties! I love your explanations – they’re so easy to understand & I LOVE science! :o)

  • Heidi:

    Clayvessel -
    Just as you are frustrated with what you think are Rechelle’s generalizations about Christianity and homeschooling; so am I frustrated by your generalization about “government schools.”
    My childre are far from illiterate and they are PUBLIC school students. Perhaps you would further your cause better (and appear less judgmen tal) if you said “in my opinion…” or “our experience has been…” or simply “It is best for our family….” The judgmental attitude of some Christian homeschoolers really goes against what I think is the foundation of the Christian faith. Regardless of what you may think of children like mine, let me assure you they have been taught tolerance and acceptance. They have been taught to accept others’ choices and refrain from judging them simply because they choose to live their lives differently from us. In other words, they have been taught to love people where they are and not give off the appearance of arrogance and self righteousness.

    And some of those “bright children who are bored” may not need Ritalin but simply some good discipline and lessons on self control.

    Rechelle – I think your boys have the Noah story so embedded in their minds already because it has become quite a “commercial” story. Besides the Nativity Story (and it is only highlighted at Christmas) it is the one we see most represented in stores, home decor, nursery themes, etc. Not that this thought matters one bit to this discussion but thought I’d throw it out there any way.

  • Hey Rechelle – I stumbled on this and it made me think of you…enjoy!

    http://atheists.org/wiki/images/a/a4/Certificate_of_De-Baptism.jpg

    sasha

  • Clayvessel, You seem to misunderstand the basics of the laws of thermodynamics…I don’t blame you most people haven’t been exposed to much detail about it. I wish I could find a video of the Flanders and Swann video about it, but only the audio exists and other people have had to make their own video to go with it. They have a song called First and Second Law (it’s a cheesy WoW video, but you can handle it). It only covers the 1st and 2nd law not the zeroth and 3rd. It says energy can neither be created nor destroyed…that’s true…but it can move around… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTHiIwxcexI

    On the other hand… matter can be destroyed. Burn a lump of coal and you get a lot of energy in the form of heat. Many years ago the sun shone down on some plants and stored some energy, then those plants turned into coal, then when you dig it out of the ground you can burn it for energy. Some of it stays around as matter. If you want to figure out how much energy you could get out of matter, think of E=mc^2. I’m sure you have done the standard homeschool science experiment of microwaving chocolate (or buttered bread) to find the value for c.

    It is also possible to take energy and make matter, sort of. In high energy particle accelerators they can make a very very small amount of matter, but it’s not even a whole atom at a time, just atomic particles. That does help us to understand how the energy that existed at the time of the big bang turned into matter, but there is still a lot we need to find out about that. Maybe the LHC will help, or we might have to wait for a bigger higher energy collider.

    All that to deal with the first line of your comment… Now then, when you’re talking about evolving or DEvolving you seem to be confusing a lot of things. Biological evolution has nothing to do with when the Sun will become a red giant.

    As far as the odds argument, I’ve heard that exact argument quoted before. There are numerous problems with it. Mainly it’s calculating the odds of something happening at a particular time and place, not anytime/place. What are the odds of you winning the lotto by buying one ticket this week? 1 in 195.25 million for the PowerBall. But obviously someone wins it. And not only does someone win it, sometimes it happens every week and sometimes multiple people win it. BTW: if the PowerBall amount get’s up high enough, and you know someone with access to $195.25 million…I know how you could be guaranteed to win…hopefully no else wins that week, otherwise you have to split the winnings. A friend and I once calculated how long it would take for the printer to print out ALL the possible combinations. It would take too long, don’t try it. Just go down to the lotto headquarters, give them $195.25 million and tell them you really want to be a lotto winner. Here’s a better break down of the issue. ☮

  • LucyJoy: Sure I’ll be anyones friend, especially if food is involved.

  • Clayvessel:

    Is it not correct to say that when a lump of coal is burned it turns into gases, energy and other matter? It doesn’t cease to exist it just takes another form. You said it yourself. It’s the LAW of thermodynamics and I don’t believe I am misunderstanding it or misusing it.

    I also find it interesting that commenters have used the LAW of gravity as an example to compare to the THEORY of evolution. There is a lot of misinformation here in the comments.

    Heidi- do government schools ever graduate illiterates? Do they ever medicate bright kids that don’t need it? My statement is true. Don’t take it so personally.

  • Clayvessel, that’s exactly what I said. When you burn coal (or oil or wood or a candle) you are converting it to energy and there is still some of the original matter left over. The energy in this case is expressed as heat and light. The matter that is left over is mostly CO2 and other impurities like sulfur. These days when we burn coal we have processes for capturing most of the particulates and gases that would have gone up the smoke stack in the past, but there is still a lot of CO2. In 1952, 12,000 people died in London from the Great Smog of 1952 in 5 days because of they were burning low grade coal (they were exporting the high grade stuff to the US to repay us for helping them out in WWII), and a freak bit of weather that kept all the sulfur dioxide from dissipating. So the coal ceases to exist, but the carbon, sulphur, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and whatever else is in there, react when burned. Some of the stuff left over is nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide (which causes acid rain). Also, soot (particulates in the air), ash and clinker (which can have heavy metals in them which if dumped improperly can get into water supplies) The reaction causes matter to be destroyed and heat to be created. The net amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant, but one can become the other.

    Gravity is a theory…I know people sometimes use the term “the law of gravity”, that’s a colloquialism. Maybe you’re thinking of Newton’s law of universal gravitation, which is simply F=G(m1m2/r2). Or his 3 laws of motion…1. Mass is lazy, 2. You get what you pay for, 3. The floor is hard… Laws explain little parts of what’s going on, but they are not an all encompassing explanation. For that you need a theory. Gravity is also described as one of the 4 fundamental forces of the Universe…No…not Earth, Wind, Fire, and Gravity… The gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. The last two involve things going on at the atomic scale. ☮

  • I have to correct myself on one point that I have gotten wrong a few times. When burning things like hydrocarbons, although energy is created from the chemical reaction, the mass does not get destroyed or disappear. It turns into other things. I think that’s what you were thinking of, Clayvessel. If you could burn it in a closed system the total of whatever solid is left over, and the weight of the gases would be the same. There are ways mass can be converted into energy, but this isn’t a good example of it.

  • Action Squirrel:

    Somewhat off-topic but the basic argument here of plan vs. no plan reminded me of this: I’ve been reading a very interesting book on and off lately called a Course in Miracles. It’s an absolute trip. It’s also quite thick writing, done in the style of biblical verse, so I’ve only gotten through the first few chapters so far, and read some of the meditations.

    It’s described as a message from Jesus that arrived via automatic writing in the 70s (hey, that’s no crazier than the Bible being written by god) and it’s actually really fascinating reading because it absolutely attacks some of the very basic behaviors of many very religious folks & outlines the necessity of totally rejecting an ego-based life, clinging to weird notions and views, judgment, etc.

    I started it expecting to see much crackpottery but it turns out to be the sanest & kindest interpretation of Christian ideals & philosophy I’ve ever heard of, framed as a sort of nihilist Zen course in meditation and detachment from the ego and materialism. Fascinating.

  • amy:

    @cat staff: I’m enjoying your explanations–it’s apparent that Clayvessel hasn’t learned the scientific definition of “theory.”

    I will throw this out there, though: I’ve never spent much time worrying about the creation vs. evolution argument with christians. It seems slightly tangential to me. Even if you were to grant christians the scientifically unsound idea of creation–it proves nothing about Jesus.

    How christians think that the idea that there was an intelligent creator of the universe proves ANYTHING about what that intelligent being is, I don’t know. It could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, or aliens or Satan, for goodness sake.

    I would ask Clayvessel if she knows anything about the origins and the history of the bible that she hasn’t been taught in a church-sponsored book or class. Why is the bible any more true than any other holy text?

  • Christine from Canada:

    Clayvessel: We’ve got one of your “kind” where I live. He writes into the newspapers all the time and has quite a reputation for believing, to the letter, everything written in the scriptures. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I found him downtown, wearing one of those sandwhich boards, ringing a bell, shouting “Repent!”, ya know?

    Please, please stop while you can. It’s, frankly, embarrassing.

  • Action Squirrel:

    Amy, I think people choose to believe things hook line and sinker in the modern world as part of their ongoing self-imposed test of faith, in which their personal battle of belief is the most important thing about the universe, god, the world around them, etc. They say it’s about being saved, but really it’s ego. And it’s cheaper than just buying a fancier car than what your neighbor has.

    The more unlikely things they believe, and the more value they place on being someone who thoroughly believes these unlikely things, the better people they believe they are.

  • p:

    I’m in the habit of stealing and recycling the Watchtower and Awake magazines from the laundromat (it’s the only sect of any religion I have a grudge against), but the other week I flipped through one. A sidebar in Awake (which is the “lifestyle” magazine, not the preachy one. I mean, they’re both preachy, but Awake focuses on living life in as it relates to Christianity) went into an Indonesian (or similar “savage” culture) flood story. As I read it, I was thinking “How very open minded of them, to put this here”. It was all there – flood, word of god, building boats (with a bit of 3 little pigs thrown in, where the bad brother made his out of rocks or something and died and the good brother made his out of wood), getting the animals on board, and then the incest.

    I was just tickled pink that they would add this until I reached the bottom where it claimed that while this Flood Myth was totally fake and a made up legend, it showed that other cultures were aware of the Noah story, which is backed up with an accurately recorded historical document – the Bible.

  • Kristy:

    Cat’s Staff: “I also know someone who homeschools because her kid has extreme food allergies and can’t risk having him exposed to something at school that would kill him”

    Tee hee – apparently you aren’t familiar with Rechelle’s opinion of children with allergies being treated differently than others.

    Just sayin’ . . .

  • @amy: It’s true that intelligent design wouldn’t prove anything about Jesus, but that’s why someone like Clayvessel almost certainly doesn’t support ID. If she likes the idea of a global flood happen 4000 years ago, then she’s probably a young earth creationist. In that case there are no vague aspects like “Somewhere at the beginning, something supernatural happened”. It’s all very clearly laid out in Genesis. If you like that sort of certainty, Genesis is a good way to go (Last Thursdayism isn’t bad either). Michael Behe, the inventor of the modern idea of ID, has admitted that not only is ID not a theory, it’s not even a hypothesis. When he was on the stand at the Dover trail he also said that for ID to be treated as science the definition of science would need to be changed such that astrology was also considered science. The push to promote ID had nothing to do with what they really believed, it was simply an attempt to get around the Edwards vs. Aguillard decision that said they couldn’t teach young earth creationism in school as science. After Kitzmiller vs. Dover said ID wasn’t science either, they have started to focus on attacking science, rather then promoting their alternative.

  • @Kristy (and Rechelle)… I don’t like the idea of kids with allergies being treated differently, but there are a few people in the world who have extreme allergies. Not the ‘if you eat something with peanuts you will break out itching’ type, but the ‘if that food was handled by someone who handled something you were allergic to your throat can swell up in and you will suffocate in a few minutes’ kind. They tried public school for a while, but had some close calls. That’s not something to play around with, especially when the kid is very young and trusts that all the adults around are looking out for them. When the kid is older and understands what’s going on maybe they can go back to school. Fortunately, they have made great advances regarding allergies lately.

  • Kristy:

    Cat’s Staff – I completely agree with you. Rechelle, on the other hand . . .

  • @p: The Watchtower likes to do that for some reason. I suppose since they control the information that members have access to, they just assume they will never be able to look up the details to critically analyze anything. Jehovah’s Witnesses are only supposed to read approved Watchtower material. So if they come to the door and I try to push my Norse Sagas and Thor comics on them explaining that it makes more sense to believe in Odin and His son Thor, and if they don’t they won’t get into Valhalla…they problem won’t take them. There loss if they miss out on Ragnarök.

    There have been flood stories from cultures all over the world. Mainly because there have been floods all over the world (at different times and in different ways). In the last few months I remember hearing about flooding in several place in the US, flooding in China (happens every year), and a few other places. TalkOrigins has an interesting archive of flood stories.

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Just thought I’d pop this in: The Large Hadron Collider Rap. Prepare to have some science dropped on you, yo!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM

  • Kay in KCMO:

    And I forgot to add that I want Cat’s Staff to be my BFF.

  • Kathy J:

    I am late to the party but one tiny thing that needs to be said is that the term THEORY has a different meaning in science than it does in common parlance. A scientific theory is a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been tested and found to be robust enough to “graduate” to the level of a theory. Theories can still be disproved – that is the hallmark of science. Hypotheses need to be formulated in a way that can be proved or disproved. The beauty of science is that when new evidence is found that contradicts all or part of an accepted hypothesis or theory then we must modify it.

    The term theory in common usage is more like this is my best guess, in science it is the result of many best guesses being born out by experimentation.

    Also on the whole law of thermodynamics thing – you need to make sure you are defining your system. The earth as a system does not follow the laws of thermodynamics because it is obtaining energy from outside the system – the sun. My physics students have problems with this concept so I am not surprised many people do.

    Yes, I teach in the godless public schools, don’t dumb down the curriculum, AND teach the homeschool kids that venture to the public school to learn languages, advanced science, and advanced math.