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November 18, 2007


George, good post ..... a couple of points, though .....

It was more than just a couple of school board members ..... it was a majority of the board ..... I think it is significant that, as the litigators had their say, and the judge had his say, and the special interests from around the country had their say - the PEOPLE of Dover also had their say and, in the very next election, voted every one of the ID board members out of offfice.

The tree WAS once the image most often used to illustrate evolution, but that image gas given way over the past twenty years to the image of a bush with many converging, diverging, conflicting, complimenting branches to illustrate life's pathways.

I have to disagree with you on the questions that religion answers ..... while religion does not provide the answer to "how" questions, as it was once called upon to do, it still provides the answers to the "why" questions ..... science and religion, Stephen Gould once suggested are both valid lines of inquiry, but only into the questions for which they are best suited - what he called non overlapping magisteria.

Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted in 2006 as saying that creationism is "a kind of paganism" and "Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god." I found this very interesting, considering the source.

Les, you bring up a good point ..... when considering the advancement of science AND religion, we must not allow ourselves to be forced to choose between science OR religion (which extremists in this debate would have us do) ..... we CAN advance both ..... I think Gregor Mendel - "an Augustinian priest and scientist often called the 'father of modern genetics' for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants" (Wikipedia) - is a particularly good example.

Les, that certainly is an interesting statement considering the source -- one I wouldn't have imagined.

Jeff, anyone who chooses to seek an answer to "why" through religion should certainly be free to do so outside of school. As for advancing religion, which I assume means proselytizing, they should be equally free to do that provided they use non intrusive means.

George, no disagreement from me on that point ..... my use of the word "advancement" was not meant to infer the establishment of religion through the state (the schools) but, rather, to our own, very personal development, the my belief that one can choose to be a man of science AND a man of faith.

I'm surprised the "missing link" announcement that you refer to in your update has not been more widely publicized, George. (Or, maybe I'm just not reading as much news as I should be.) The announcement as it is presented at the link is hardly convincing (to me, at least) with the evidence being reported, but it does appear researchers are optimistic more evidence may be found in, or near, the same location.

As to Kitzmiller v. Dover, I thank you for bringing the NOVA broadcast to my attention. I haven't watched all the segments yet but reaction to the judge's decision is very revealing of our "modern" society here in the U.S. I fear we can expect a similar ordeal of the Odessa school board case, and the same public reaction.

And thanks to Jeff for additional thoughtful discussion.

Jeff, I'm grateful there are things on which we agreement. And there are probably a lot of religious scientists out there.

Les, perhaps the researchers mentioned in the article are fishing for donors as much as digging for bones. But if they can find more of that skeleton and others like it then it should be very enlightening. As for the NOVA program, maybe they will rerun it sometime soon. It was very well done.

P.S. Les, thanks for the reminder about the Odessa Bible course case.

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