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Old 02-11-2005, 09:01 PM   #136
nite_moccasin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxifrage
Evil, that is some silly shit right there.
Easy... don't get all worked up.

Quote:
Taking over the thread, never thought that
This implies it:

Quote:
You may try as you like to steer the conversation the way you want
When you posted that, you indicated that you felt that I was trying to "steer" your thread off topic. Maybe you meant to type something else. This is the definition of steer:

steer >verb 1 guide or control the movement of

Quote:
As far as hostile, Harry Potter is far from hostile. It is a statement of the way I feel about the topic.
Incorrect. I never said a fictional character was hostile. I said your comment that had Harry Potter included was chellenging Shmitty's beliefs. Please take time and re-read the post. I think you might be posting without thinking of the meaning of what I wrote.

Quote:
nobody will stop you from being a schmuck
When you type the word "schmuck" you defeat the purpose of sarcasm and thus turns it into an insult. Surely an English Mastermind like yourself knows so much more than I.


Quote:
that wasn't hostile, just sarcastic, learn the difference and you will go far
Please read your last post again slowly, because you sound like a "schmuck" when you don't know what you are talking about. But that's why I love America too.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:56 PM   #137
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If God had intended that man endure such discussions, He wouldn't have given him the capacity to yawn.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:02 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Smartypants
If God had intended that man endure such discussions, He wouldn't have given him the capacity to yawn.
*yawn*
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:23 PM   #139
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There Is No Tomorrow
By Bill Moyers
The Star Tribune


Sunday 30 January 2005


One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.

Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.

Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first secretary of the interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."

Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across the country. They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true - one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate. In this past election several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in the rapture index.

That's right - the rapture index. Google it and you will find that the best-selling books in America today are the 12 volumes of the "Left Behind" series written by the Christian fundamentalist and religious-right warrior Timothy LaHaye. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans.

Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre (the British writer George Monbiot recently did a brilliant dissection of it and I am indebted to him for adding to my own understanding): Once Israel has occupied the rest of its "biblical lands," legions of the antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon.

As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to Heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow.

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed - an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 - just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.

So what does this mean for public policy and the environment? Go to Grist to read a remarkable work of reporting by the journalist Glenn Scherer - "The Road to Environmental Apocalypse." Read it and you will see how millions of Christian fundamentalists may believe that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed - even hastened - as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

As Grist makes clear, we're not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. Nearly half the U.S. Congress before the recent election - 231 legislators in total and more since the election - are backed by the religious right.

Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian right advocacy groups. They include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Conference Chair Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Policy Chair Jon Kyl of Arizona, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Roy Blunt. The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who recently quoted from the biblical book of Amos on the Senate floor: "The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land." He seemed to be relishing the thought.

And why not? There's a constituency for it. A 2002 Time-CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the book of Revelations are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks. Drive across the country with your radio tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations, or in the motel turn on some of the 250 Christian TV stations, and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, "to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth, when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same God who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

Because these people believe that until Christ does return, the Lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school history book, "America's Providential History." You'll find there these words: "The secular or socialist has a limited-resource mentality and views the world as a pie ... that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece." However, "[t]he Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's earth ... while many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people."

No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling that militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." He turned out millions of the foot soldiers on Nov. 2, including many who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in modern American politics.

It is hard for the journalist to report a story like this with any credibility. So let me put it on a personal level. I myself don't know how to be in this world without expecting a confident future and getting up every morning to do what I can to bring it about. So I have always been an optimist. Now, however, I think of my friend on Wall Street whom I once
asked: "What do you think of the market?"I'm optimistic," he answered. "Then why do you look so worried?" And he answered: "Because I am not sure my optimism is justified."

I'm not, either. Once upon a time I agreed with Eric Chivian and the Center for Health and the Global Environment that people will protect the natural environment when they realize its importance to their health and to the health and lives of their children. Now I am not so sure. It's not that I don't want to believe that - it's just that I read the news and connect the dots.

I read that the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared the election a mandate for President Bush on the environment. This for an administration:
  • That wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act protecting rare plant and animal species and their habitats, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to judge beforehand whether actions might damage natural resources.
  • That wants to relax pollution limits for ozone; eliminate vehicle tailpipe inspections, and ease pollution standards for cars, sport-utility vehicles and diesel-powered big trucks and heavy equipment.
  • That wants a new international audit law to allow corporations to keep certain information about environmental problems secret from the public.
  • That wants to drop all its new-source review suits against polluting, coal-fired power plants and weaken consent decrees reached earlier with coal companies.
  • That wants to open the Arctic [National] Wildlife Refuge to drilling and increase drilling in Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world and the last great coastal wild land in America.


[CONTINUED NEXT POST]
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:24 PM   #140
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[MOYERS - CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST]

I read the news just this week and learned how the Environmental Protection Agency had planned to spend $9 million - $2 million of it from the administration's friends at the American Chemistry Council - to pay poor families to continue to use pesticides in their homes. These pesticides have been linked to neurological damage in children, but instead of ordering an end to their use, the government and the industry were going to offer the families $970 each, as well as a camcorder and children's clothing, to serve as guinea pigs for the study.

I read all this in the news.

I read the news just last night and learned that the administration's friends at the International Policy Network, which is supported by Exxon Mobil and others of like mind, have issued a new report that climate change is "a myth, sea levels are not rising" [and] scientists who believe catastrophe is possible are "an embarrassment."

I not only read the news but the fine print of the recent appropriations bill passed by Congress, with the obscure (and obscene) riders attached to
it: a clause removing all endangered species protections from pesticides; language prohibiting judicial review for a forest in Oregon; a waiver of environmental review for grazing permits on public lands; a rider pressed by developers to weaken protection for crucial habitats in California.

I read all this and look up at the pictures on my desk, next to the computer - pictures of my grandchildren. I see the future looking back at me from those photographs and I say, "Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do." And then I am stopped short by the thought: "That's not right. We do know what we are doing. We are stealing their future. Betraying their trust. Despoiling their world."

And I ask myself: Why? Is it because we don't care? Because we are greedy? Because we have lost our capacity for outrage, our ability to sustain indignation at injustice?

What has happened to our moral imagination?

On the heath Lear asks Gloucester: "How do you see the world?" And Gloucester, who is blind, answers: "I see it feelingly.'"

I see it feelingly.

The news is not good these days. I can tell you, though, that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free - not only to feel but to fight for the future we want. And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me from those photographs on my desk. What we need is what the ancient Israelites called hochma - the science of the heart ... the capacity to see, to feel and then to act as if the future depended on you.

Believe me, it does.


-------
Bill Moyers was host until recently of the weekly public affairs series "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS. This article is adapted from AlterNet, where it first appeared. The text is taken from Moyers' remarks upon receiving the Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:18 PM   #141
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I'm sure because the great Bill Moyer wrote it and it was published that it must be fact. Why else would it be printed. I know why it was published. Without controversy, many people still wouldn't be where they are today. It's really not about supplying the world with facts- it's more about the sale papers, books, magazines, ideas and ratings with fabricated "facts". Fox news is notorious about this. Being a writer, I know this all too well. The truth is often too boring for the average reader. You need to spice it up- not only to keep it interesting, but so you can keep the job that pays your bills. The best lies are based on facts. They are so much harder to prove and before they are, the excitement has already died down with little or no recoil. Not too long ago, even a few people at 60 minutes were fired for being caught doing just that. So really, this article is just another story provided by just another reporter who loves his job and you in return believe what he wrote because a newspaper printed it and it was accepted by the editor who by the way is just trying to sell papers too. How can anyone try to back an opinion with an article based on a obviously biased reporters story?

[sarcasm]Maybe tomorrow I will write a story for the Californian to publish in order to prove my rebuttal concerning this topic. Matter of fact, give me a week and I'll have some friends do the same and then without doubt I will prove that I am more right than you.[/sarcasm]

By now you should have guessed that I am a man of faith. Ask me specific questions, one at a time and I'll answer them to the best of my understanding, but only if you want to try to better yourself by understand other's culture and beliefs. I don't want to waste my time trying to argue an article. I'm will try to "convert" you, but extend your knowledge on Christianity because I can see from some of your posts that you are truly lacking in knowledge concerning this area.

Stan

[Edit] Here is a link to further discuss the Christian faith. [/Edit]
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:17 PM   #142
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Blah, blah, blah, blickety blah. You are projecting the anger you feel upon me, it's allright. Don't be mad because you have no point, you will give yourself a heart attack. Now read this again veeeeeery slowly so you understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nite_moccasin
Easy... don't get all worked up.



This implies it:



When you posted that, you indicated that you felt that I was trying to "steer" your thread off topic. Maybe you meant to type something else. This is the definition of steer:

steer >verb 1 guide or control the movement of



Incorrect. I never said a fictional character was hostile. I said your comment that had Harry Potter included was chellenging Shmitty's beliefs. Please take time and re-read the post. I think you might be posting without thinking of the meaning of what I wrote.



When you type the word "schmuck" you defeat the purpose of sarcasm and thus turns it into an insult. Surely an English Mastermind like yourself knows so much more than I.




Please read your last post again slowly, because you sound like a "schmuck" when you don't know what you are talking about. But that's why I love America too.
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:22 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Saxifrage
Blah, blah, blah, blickety blah. You are projecting the anger you feel upon me, it's allright.
No, I'm not upset with you for being unable to respond intelligently. Do you need a hug?

Quote:
you have no point
Maybe you don't possess the intellect to comprehend the point I presented to you? That's perfectly all right. I like you anyway. Can't we still be friends?
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Old 02-16-2005, 02:18 PM   #144
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Nite Moccasin:
You arenít debating anything. Simply playing with individual sentences within each reply to you, allows you to ignore the point of the discussion. Your casual dismissal of the person to whom you are replying, comes across as a lack of ability to debate the issue at hand.

You asked us to convince you that Human Evolution occurred. Well, since this is a debate, why donít you try to convince us that it didnít? We have some evidence, which you may or may not believe, and many of us have offered it. Do you have anything to offer for the purpose of debate? Perhaps, since you donít believe in God or human evolution, you could tell us what, if anything, you do believe in.
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:46 PM   #145
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February 16, 2005

Oldest Remains of Modern Humans Are Identified
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 2:54 p.m. ET


NEW YORK (AP) -- A new analysis of bones unearthed nearly 40 years ago in Ethiopia has pushed the fossil record of modern humans back to nearly 200,000 years ago -- perhaps close to the dawn of the species.

Researchers determined that the specimens are around 195,000 years old. Previously, the oldest known fossils of Homo sapiens were Ethiopian skulls dated to about 160,000 years ago.

Genetic studies estimate that Homo sapiens arose about 200,000 years ago, so the new research brings the fossil record more in line with that, said John Fleagle of Stony Brook University in New York, an author of the study.

The fossils were found in 1967 near the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia. One location yielded Omo I, which includes part of a skull plus skeletal bones. Another site produced Omo II, which has more of a skull but no skeletal bones. Neither specimen has a complete face.

Although Omo II shows more primitive characteristics than Omo I, scientists called both specimens Homo sapiens and assigned a tentative age of 130,000 years.

Now, after visiting the discovery sites, analyzing their geology and testing rock samples with more modern dating techniques, Fleagle and colleagues report in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature that both specimens are 195,000 years old, give or take 5,000 years.

Fleagle said the more primitive traits of Omo II may mean the two specimens came from different but overlapping Homo sapiens populations, or that they just represent natural variation within a single population.

To find the age of the skulls, the researchers determined that volcanic rock lying just below the sediment that contained the fossils was about 196,000 years old. They then found evidence that the fossil-bearing sediment was deposited soon after that time.

Paul Renne, director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center, which specializes in dating rocks, said the researchers made ``a reasonably good argument'' to support their dating of the fossils.

``It's more likely than not,'' he said, calling the work ``very exciting and important.''

Rick Potts, director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he considered the case for the new fossil ages ``very strong.'' The work suggests that ``we're right on the cusp of where the genetic evidence says the origin of modern humans ... should be,'' he said.

G. Philip Rightmire, a paleoanthropologist at Binghamton University in New York, said he believes the Omo fossils show Homo sapiens plus a more primitive ancestor. The find appears to represent the aftermath of the birth of Homo sapiens, when it was still living alongside its ancestral species, he said.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:21 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nite_moccasin
No, I'm not upset with you for being unable to respond intelligently. Do you need a hug?


Maybe you don't possess the intellect to comprehend the point I presented to you? That's perfectly all right. I like you anyway. Can't we still be friends?
You have no point and debate with you apparently is wasted effort. You profess to have neither belief and demand to be convinced while refusing to accept any information backing evolution. There must be two sides to a debate, if there aren't then it is a lecture. I for one have no interest in lecturing anyone, especially a belligerent audience, I'll leave that to stand up comedians. Also I have made no accusation of mental inferiority in anyone here whether I agree with them or not. If it makes you feel better about yourself then feel free.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:39 PM   #147
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Ah. That be bebating.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:30 PM   #148
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Battle on Teaching Evolution Sharpens

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 14, 2005; Page A01


WICHITA Ė Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America's political right, a battle is intensifying across the nation over how students are taught about the origins of life. Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution.

The proposals typically stop short of overturning evolution or introducing biblical accounts. Instead, they are calculated pleas to teach what advocates consider gaps in long-accepted Darwinian theory, with many relying on the idea of intelligent design, which posits the central role of a creator.


Jeffrey Selman is a Cobb County, Ga., parent who filed a lawsuit challenging a sticker on science textbooks that said, "Evolution is a theory, not a fact."

The growing trend has alarmed scientists and educators who consider it a masked effort to replace science with theology. But 80 years after the Scopes "monkey" trial -- in which a Tennessee man was prosecuted for violating state law by teaching evolution -- it is the anti-evolutionary scientists and Christian activists who say they are the ones being persecuted, by a liberal establishment.

They are acting now because they feel emboldened by the country's conservative currents and by President Bush, who angered many scientists and teachers by declaring that the jury is still out on evolution. Sharing strong convictions, deep pockets and impressive political credentials -- if not always the same goals -- the activists are building a sizable network.

In Seattle, the nonprofit Discovery Institute spends more than $1 million a year for research, polls and media pieces supporting intelligent design. In Fort Lauderdale, Christian evangelist James Kennedy established a Creation Studies Institute. In Virginia, Liberty University is sponsoring the Creation Mega Conference with a Kentucky group called Answers in Genesis, which raised $9 million in 2003.

At the state and local level, from South Carolina to California, these advocates are using lawsuits and school board debates to counter evolutionary theory. Alabama and Georgia legislators recently introduced bills to allow teachers to challenge evolutionary theory in the classroom. Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have approved new rules allowing that. And a school board member in a Tennessee county wants stickers pasted on textbooks that say evolution remains unproven.

A prominent effort is underway in Kansas, where the state Board of Education intends to revise teaching standards. That would be progress, Southern Baptist minister Terry Fox said, because "most people in Kansas don't think we came from monkeys."

The movement is "steadily growing," said Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution. "The energy level is new. The religious right has had an effect nationally. Now, by golly, they want to call in the chits."

Not Science, Politics

Polls show that a large majority of Americans believe God alone created man or had a guiding hand. Advocates invoke the First Amendment and say the current campaigns are partly about respect for those beliefs.

"It's an academic freedom proposal. What we would like to foment is a civil discussion about science. That falls right down the middle of the fairway of American pluralism," said the Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer, who believes evolution alone cannot explain life's unfurling. "We are interested in seeing that spread state by state across the country."

Some evolution opponents are trying to use Bush's No Child Left Behind law, saying it creates an opening for states to set new teaching standards. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a Christian who draws on Discovery Institute material, drafted language accompanying the law that said students should be exposed to "the full range of scientific views that exist."



Meyer said he and Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman devised the compromise strategy in March 2002 when they realized a dispute over intelligent design was complicating efforts to challenge evolution in the classroom. They settled on the current approach that stresses open debate and evolution's ostensible weakness, but does not require students to study design.

The idea was to sow doubt about Darwin and buy time for the 40-plus scientists affiliated with the institute to perfect the theory, Meyer said. Also, by deferring a debate about whether God was the intelligent designer, the strategy avoids the defeats suffered by creationists who tried to oust evolution from the classroom and ran afoul of the Constitution.

"Our goal is to not remove evolution. Good lord, it's incredible how much this is misunderstood," said William Harris, a professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City medical school. "Kids need to understand it, but they need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the data, how much of it is a guess, how much of it is extrapolation."

Harris does not favor teaching intelligent design, although he believes there is more to the story than evolution.

"To say God did not play a role is arrogant," Harris said. "It's far beyond the data."

Harris teamed up with John H. Calvert, a retired corporate lawyer who calls the debate over the origins of life "the most fundamental issue facing the culture." They formed Intelligent Design Network Inc., which draws interested legislators and activists to an annual Darwin, Design and Democracy conference.

The 2001 conference presented its Wedge of Truth award to members of the 1999 Kansas Board of Education that played down evolution and allowed local boards to decide what students would learn. A board elected in 2001 overturned that decision, but a fresh batch of conservatives won office in November, when Bush swamped his Democratic opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), here by 62 to 37 percent.

"The thing that excites me is we really are in a revolution of scientific thought," Calvert said. He described offering advice in such places as Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Cobb County, Ga., where a federal court recently halted an attempt to affix a sticker to science textbooks saying evolution is theory, not fact.

'Liberalism Will Die'

Despite some disagreement, Calvert, Harris and the Discovery Institute collectively favor efforts to change state teaching standards. Bypassing the work of a 26-member science standards committee that rejected revisions, the Kansas board's conservative majority recently announced a series of "scientific hearings" to discuss evolution and its critics.

The board's chairman, Steve Abrams, said he is seeking space for students to "critically analyze" the evidence.

That approach appeals to Cindy Duckett, a Wichita mother who believes public school leaves many religious children feeling shut out. Teaching doubts about evolution, she said, is "more inclusive. I think the more options, the better."

"If students only have one thing to consider, one option, that's really more brainwashing," said Duckett, who sent her children to Christian schools because of her frustration. Students should be exposed to the Big Bang, evolution, intelligent design "and, beyond that, any other belief that a kid in class has. It should all be okay."

Fox -- pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Midwest, drawing 6,000 worshipers a week to his Wichita church -- said the compromise is an important tactic. "The strategy this time is not to go for the whole enchilada. We're trying to be a little more subtle," he said.

To fundamentalist Christians, Fox said, the fight to teach God's role in creation is becoming the essential front in America's culture war. The issue is on the agenda at every meeting of pastors he attends. If evolution's boosters can be forced to back down, he said, the Christian right's agenda will advance.

"If you believe God created that baby, it makes it a whole lot harder to get rid of that baby," Fox said. "If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die."

Like Meyer, Fox is glad to make common cause with people who do not entirely agree.

"Creationism's going to be our big battle. We're hoping that Kansas will be the model, and we're in it for the long haul," Fox said. He added that it does not matter "who gets the credit, as long as we win."

Special correspondent Kari Lydersen in Chicago contributed to this report.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...13.html?sub=AR
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:38 PM   #149
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Idiots.
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:00 PM   #150
craig johnston
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i know they are doing it for the wrong reason, but i have to
agree to the extent that evolution is a theory, as is relativity,
quantum mechanics and all other scientific stepping stones on
our road to enlightenment.
please let them say that christianity is a theory too, far less
proven by any method than evolution.
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