doctorow at April 2nd, 2014 23:00 — #1
jandrese at April 3rd, 2014 00:02 — #2
Yes, but it's the House. There's a reason the House can't have a pet hamster anymore.
dobby at April 3rd, 2014 00:30 — #3
Spontaneous generation of life is actually a massive pill to swallow if you even have a basic understanding of thermodynamics. It is tricky to imagine how that first spontaneous bit of DNA in the primordial soup managed to create a self reproducing functional cellular machine.
But the creation debate isn't about that at all.
I finally figured out why creationism is such a big deal for the Christians. They need the whole creation story up to the bit with Eve, the apple, and the snake to make Jesus relevant. Using their interpretation of the story it is what sets Christianity vastly apart from it's official predecessor religion and without it there is no need for a divine sacrifice in the old pagan style.
Self defined original sin needed a human/divine sacrifice, the messiah stuff is just to give him an ancient back story. Ask any Jew who was interested enough to learn and they will say that messiah is a human who is supposed to bring world peace, not be a god or have anything to do with sin other than help inspire goodness.
So fervent creationism is Christians protecting the essential bedrock of their faith, you can have functional Christianity without Moses, Abraham, King David, or pretty much any of the Jews; but you can't have modern Christianity without the story of the seduction of humans by the snake(identified by them as Satan) in Garden of Eden defined through the lens of the Church.
In the creation debate unfortunately science is used by one side as a ninja snake bomb to hide behind and to confound people who actually want to have a scientific debate.
anuran at April 3rd, 2014 00:53 — #4
The Corporatists and Theocrats have succeeded in turning us into a nation of idiots.
petzl at April 3rd, 2014 01:13 — #5
Every time I see that misstated "millions of years" claim, I wince.
It's funny that Ken Ham et al cannot even bear to correctly state their adversary's position. It's billions of years, Ken. Billions with a B.
When I hear the "millions" claim, I think of how gleeful Republicans are when they use "Democrat" as an adjective (when "Democratic" is of course the correct, non-pejorative term). I think Ham and his ilk use "millions" instead of "billions" for the same derogatory reason.
nelsie at April 3rd, 2014 02:00 — #6
I'm not sure who your two sides are. From your set-up, it seems that Christians (all of them?) comprise one side, and the other side is... all other faiths (plus atheists)? Who are only using science to bash creationism because it's a handy tool? It seems to me that you're really talking about a theological debate rather than a scientific one.
As a filthy atheist myself, I don't have view over whether the Christian creation myth is superior to, say, the Hindu one, or the Australian Aborigine one, but I would be interested in watching such a debate. Maybe a knock-out tournament, with each religion paired against another, and to the overall winner, the kudos of winning. Perhaps it could be held every year, so that different religionists could enjoy the vicarious thrill of watching their religion's position in the league rise and fall, without all that messy martyrdom.
Science has the debate about the origins of life, of course, but in the manner of science, it is debating actual science: forming hypotheses, testing them, discarding the ones that don't work so well. I'm afraid supernatural entities creating stuff by act of will alone are disqualified from scientific consideration by virtue of being, well, supernatural.
Also, a basic (mis-)understanding of thermodynamics is clearly going to mislead when one is dealing with subjects more complicated than a water-heater.
redesigned at April 3rd, 2014 03:45 — #7
Actually no it isn't, new models suggest that it is more likely to occur then not given the right fairly common basic baseline conditions, precisely because of thermodynamics and organic chemistry. The dissipation of heat leads to elements groupings that are more efficient at dissipation simply due to the way dissipation and convection moves and groups them. Of course while thermodynamics plays a huge role, we aren't talking about the second law of thermodynamics because this isn't a closed system.
here, here, i second this idea.
maybe we can call it the Dumber Games?
ashen_victor at April 3rd, 2014 03:51 — #8
I suggest a small tweak that can solve this problem:
We create two science committee: One called "House Committee of Science" and other called "Fun House Committee of Science".
-The first one will review and debate real science. Boring, dull science.
-The second one will review talking snakes claims, women birthing rabbits, frog rains, phlogistron outbursts and mole-men.
Of course, all reports from the Fun House Committee of Science will be illustrated by Ruben Bolling and published as Super Fun House Committee of Science Pax.
immutable_mike at April 3rd, 2014 04:31 — #9
Perfect Boing Boing fodder! Science and cryptozoology, walking hand-in-paw/flipper/tentacle/protuberance.
dobby at April 3rd, 2014 04:46 — #10
As for spontaneous generation of life I think it has become nearly an article of faith, mostly in the face of the creation-to-salvation agenda driven opposition, that it was perfectly natural for this to happen. I am hoping that we have a definitive reproducible(heh!) answer in my lifetime. There is just so much Goldilocks required, too much heat energy would denature the chemistry involved too little and nothing happens. What is the catalyst?
Nelsie, if you have ever watched a creation vs evolution debate it is almost always a Christian using sciencey sounding words to irritate their opponent and mask their agenda which is actually missionary activity and not science at all, though I also think it is mostly for the sport. Obviously to the scientific minded people the real science side wins hands down and we are embarrassed by the tap dancing BS creationist, but they win the moment they are allowed onto the stage. I have never seen a Hindu, Australian native, or Rabbi who cared enough to show up for a creation debate or more importantly let it influence their public policy.
cservant at April 3rd, 2014 04:48 — #11
This is awesome.
Can I second this?
jasonsrobot at April 3rd, 2014 05:47 — #12
The Catholic Church has found a way for evolution and their faith to not conflict and accepts and teaches scientific evolution in it's schools.
I'm not sure how that works into your concept but that's a huge faction of Christians who don't fit it.
simonize at April 3rd, 2014 06:00 — #13
This is all just a big misunderstanding. The science committee isn't supposed to PROMOTE sceince any more than the House Un-American Activities Committee from the 50s was supposed to promote Communists.
knoxblox at April 3rd, 2014 06:01 — #14
I'm really surprised there aren't more representatives from Kansas on this committee.
mikethebard at April 3rd, 2014 06:50 — #15
I'm not sure who your two sides are. From your set-up, it seems that Christians (all of them?) comprise one side, and the other side is... all other faiths (plus atheists)?
One side is the Abrahamist (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, et al.) view, and the other is, yes, everyone else. These are people who, by definition, believe that they are the chosen favorites of the one and only true god and keepers of the one and only true book.
It's more or less impossible for that view not to create two opposing sides.
And for the record, no, I do not distinguish between the varying denomonations of Abrahamism.
nelsie at April 3rd, 2014 06:54 — #16
Ah, I see where you're coming from with the "snake bomb" remark now. It wasn't clear to me that you were talking about Creationists misusing science.
As to the origins of life, whatever explanation science comes up with, it's bound to be perfectly natural; it wouldn't work as an explanation otherwise. For myself, I doubt that we'll make a lot of progress soon; it's just too deep in time for us to be able to make out much detail. Maybe when we've examined a few more planets.
boundegar at April 3rd, 2014 07:08 — #17
Wait, I thought the collective of dunces was "a confederacy?"
dobby at April 3rd, 2014 07:44 — #18
Nelsie, Ah, I see the error, must have been thinking too much about snakes.
Ninja smoke bomb, Foosh
MiketheBard, Interestingly for the Jews the chosen concept is found most starkly in Christian bible stories like Jesus telling the Gentile woman wanting to hear about God a parable of not throwing the food(word of God?) intended for the master's(God) children(Jews) to the dogs(gentiles), but rather letting the dogs(again gentiles) eat the leftover scraps, and you wander why there were constant pograms in Christendom. Even the concept of dividing the world into Jews and Gentiles, a bizarre concept if you think of it, is Christian, it would be an alien concept to an Iraqi, Japanese or Indian person. Jewish scripture mostly talks about Israel and other nations depending on whether they were good or bad, for instance there was a Persian king called a Messiah of God.
I assume that the scriptural inferiority complex was probably officially incorporated as part of the early imperial Roman church post council of Nicea as making a strong divorce from whatever the beliefs of the many diverse proto-Christianities and messianic claimants of that era especially the ones with more historically normative views about what qualified as a Jewish messiah.
So I accept that even today there is massive diversity in Christendom compared to most religions but with creationism you really run into the true Scotsman paradox where the creationists would instantly decertify a non-creationist.
But now qualifying all of my previous statements as referring to Christian-creationists it seems to be the one unalterable story of original really evil knowledge fruit eating sticky-through-generations sin which must be true for them to need a literal divine human sacrifice, which is why they are such fanatics over that particular story over all others. 'Other' Christians in addition to disbelieving a strict 24/7 creation also don't seem so terrorized over sin and hell or legalistic justification of their religion and just appear to like meeting their friends for inspiration on Sundays or helping people as a corporate group.
ygret at April 3rd, 2014 07:45 — #19
These dolts are just dying to bring on a new dark ages. Their ignorance astounds me. They are massive beneficiaries of science in countless ways, from healthcare to the cars they so love, to the safety they fetishize. They are truly stupid and ignorant, ugly people, and if we don't take our nation back from them the future will indeed be very dark.
mike_isacson at April 3rd, 2014 08:56 — #20
The question, as ever, is what spontaneously created God?
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