Evil creationism is not just in the US!

By Phil Plait | August 7, 2007 6:29 pm

Hooray! Creationist evilness is not just brainwashing children in the US, it’s in the Netherlands too!

Oh wait. That sucks. Sorry, Nederlanders.

The latest outrage from fundamentalist reality-deniers comes to us from the Evangelische Omroep, or Evangelical Broadcasters, a Dutch TV broadcaster of fundamentalist religious propaganda content. Not content to simply lie about science the way creationists do in America, they have gone on to the next (il)logical step: editing out the bits they don’t like.

David Attenborough is responsible for some of the best nature documentaries of all time. EO bought the rights to broadcast his excellent show, "Life of Mammals" (I’ve seen some of it, and, as is always the case, it’s just top of the line stuff). But of course, the documentary makes all sorts of horrifying references to evolution, so the EO decided to simply re-edit the show. They excised whole chunks, put up different titles, and basically destroyed any relevance to what the show is about: reality.

YouTube user Obdurodon has put up some great side-by-side comparisons of what the show originally was compared to what the EO did to it:

This, to me, truly atrocious. Obdurodon calls it censorship, but I think it’s worse than that: censorship is keeping people from speaking. This is far more evil: it’s changing what Attenborough said.

I guess, for creationists, the Ninth Commandment is optional.

Interestingly, the EO is a public broadcasting company, which means things must be quite different over there than they are here. Unfortunately, given current circumstances here in the States, they aren’t different enough.

I also wonder about the BBC; they must have known they were selling their show to a group of far-right fundamentalists. The EO has a long history of distorting the truth.

Somewhere down the line, when creationists actively lie and distort the truth, there must be gatekeepers to staunch the flow (or more appropriately, put their finger in the dike). Where was the BBC during this?

Remember: it’s up to us to air garbage like this out. The more people who know about these typical creationist tactics, the better off we’ll be. Creationism, like the noisome growth found under rocks, wilts in the daylight.

This story is all over the web, and I don’t have enough hats to tip right now. But you can find more here. I originally got an email about it which I have since lost (sorry, anonymous BABloggee!) from BA Blogee Stuart Lowe, and read it on Astronomy Blog, too.

Comments (82)

  1. KaiYeves

    Now that’s just sick and wrong.

  2. The Dutch Bible Belt has been getting worse and worse. Fortunately, enough people are still outraged by this that it made the national news here in Belgium.
    I blogged about this too, but the original story is here. Of course, that doesn’t help you if you don’t speak Dutch.

  3. Dan

    Yup. Fiddle lessons. My revolt begins with fiddle lessons. Then, I have to go to the DMV and change my name. And, I’ll wait in line. Oh yes. I’ll wait good and long.

    Now, does anyone know of any single zoology babes who specialize in Lions –preferably trained lions? Lions that will eat on command like normal people’s schnauzers?

    Aside from that, England? we’re talking about Sir David Attenborough. You should see this as an attack upon the Queen and empire.

  4. wright

    Well, as others have pointed out, the truth is very unkind to religious fundamentalists. So its not surprising that they should cheat, propagandize and outright lie to accomplish their goals.

    Where that behavior is explicitly forbidden by their ostensible faith, I’m sure their rationalization is something like: “Yes, it’s lying, but there are IMMORTAL SOULS in danger here!!”

    Alas for the Netherlands. If only this were a peculiarly US phenomenon. But you’re quite right, Phil. We need to stay alert and call these people on their lies.

  5. Crux Australis

    What does the ninth commandment say? I guess that’s the one about lying.

  6. I prefer the 11th commandment, Thou shalt lay the smack down.

  7. Christopher

    I know its not funny… but that video makes me laugh… its just rediculous.

  8. Stargazer

    commandment #9; thow shall not bear false witness. However, according to the RC Church, that is number 8.

  9. Fan#9192827

    BA, where’s the Netherlands: Doomed picture?

  10. Bad Albert

    So the BBC has a contract with this organization that allows them to do this? Obviously the work of some marketing genius at the BBC who was only concerned about generating income. He/she must be very proud.

  11. To Richard Wolford: From an early age it have been hammered into me that the 11th commandment is: Though shall not hollow the cheese. (When using a string cheese slicer).

  12. csrster

    Monty Python sued for less.

  13. In the 1970’s David Attenborough produced the 13 part series “Life on Earth” in which he explained the whole process of evolution from the first amino acids to homo sapiens. If you haven’t seen this series (which was a landmark one at the time and significantly raised the playing field for any future natural history programmes) then I urge you to get one.

  14. Quiet Desperation

    There’s a growing creationist movement in the Islamic world as well. I think they reject the 6000 year old Earth thing, though.

    Cite: Google is your friend

  15. Wayne

    Wright et al.,

    I’m not defending what was done in any way, but you must realize that people like this don’t see it as lying at all. In their view, the scientific consensus is mistaken, and they are only removing inaccurate statements. I’m not saying that lying doesn’t go on in Creationist circles, but I think it’s important to consider the motivation before accusing others of breaking their own rules. I don’t know if it’s better to call them delusional or reality-impaired or what, but calling someone a liar who thinks they are telling the truth is disingenuous at best.

    Having said that, I think what was done is disgusting and deserves a disclaimer on the box at the very least.

  16. AC

    Again: a little less proud to be Dutch. Happening often lately, at this rate I won’t have any pride left at the end of the year.

  17. Nigel Depledge

    Hmmm … I think the BBC (assuming they own the copyright) would actually have grounds for suing EO. I’m a bit hazy on the details, but I believe that changing the conent of copyrighted material and then disseminating it is actually a serious breach of copyright.

    And, BTW, I have HUGE respect for Sir David Attenborough. Not only did he first switch me on to nature documentaries, which influenced my education and choice of career, but he also appeared in a programme broadcast last year in the UK about ID. He, of course, made some very clear and straightforward points that indicated exactly why ID is not science.

  18. Nigel Depledge

    Ah! Curses! I meant “content” of course, not “conent”.

  19. The US is exporting that bad word deleted by The Bad Astronomer. Creationism is found in South Africa as well. No, not to blame the US, it’s been here all along, the creationists are now just importing more of the stuff from the “scientists” in the US.

    Kent Hovind to jail? That was excellent timing. He was on his way to give a talk in my town, Stellenbosch, a university town with at least two pentecostal, young earth creationist, anti-intellectual, fundamentalist churches. One of which has planted churches in e.g. London, the other is part of a big multi-national organisation so has branches all over anyway.

  20. diederick

    Fan#9192827, to day that the Netherlands are doomed because of this is a bit of an exaggeration. EO is one of many public channel content providers and the only big one with an actively religious stance. Dutch schools are in no way at risk.

  21. While I do not condone this, one should be clear about the fact that this is a Christian channel with religious undertones (ahem, that’s quiet an understatement). It isn’t even one of the big chains. If you watch this, you are already going to be a religious fundamentalist and you might already be offended by evolution and “old-earth theory”.

    I have lived for some time in Belgium (the dutch) part, and I have never met anyone that actually watched EO. Neither do anyone of my Dutch acquaintances.

    I don’t think this is going to end up in schools anytime soon, which is the real problem in the US. You see, the problem is not that people want to believe in Intelligent Design and “young earth theory”, that’s just fine: You can *believe* anything you want. The problem is that these beliefs should not be taught as science.
    The EO removed reference to Evolution and the age of the earth. True, and it’s not right. They did however not make Sir Attenborough say that there is Intelligent Design at work and that the earth is only 6000 years old.

  22. wristlock

    Since people have begun to study evolution, and discover all the lies that it is based on.
    Then it is understandable that any other religion, especially creation from a god that you can’t control or interview, would make you very upset.
    I hope it makes you upset enough to quit arguing which faith gets the most votes. And use your mind to find truth.
    It’s obvious that you possess some intelligence. So put some of that to use. Don’t just scan the Bible. Study it like you do those stars. You may be surprised at what you find.
    Hammer

  23. John Phillips

    Unfortunately, as we have seen far too often recently, the BBC is no longer the great institution it once was. Nowadays sadly, it worries far, far more about ratings than integrity. Though this is probably more down to the marketing and sales arm, then again, if recent actions by the BBC are any indication, that is the department with most sway. At one time, science was relatively safe in the hands of the BBC. This is no longer the case as can be seen with the dumbing down of programs like Horizon or the recent biased Panorama garbage on electrosensitives and wi-fi.

  24. J.

    It must be to ok to lie or decieve for Jesus, followers have a high profile example …A so-called devoutly religious man who probably has done it many times since “assuming” office. He is surrounded by enablers, and disinformationists who seem to have no shame or integrity as they try to decieve the populace. A “news” channel even acts as his apologist, cheerleader and defender. Fundamentalists who support such a person obviously have no compunction about breaking a religious commandment in this country.

  25. Have yet to see the video as I am at work, but as evolution v creation is seen by some as a controversial issue, could it be that nervous TV execs did not want to incur wrath of religious people who might object to evolution being taught with out equal time?

    I seem to remember in that debacle at NASA over Deutch with his order to the web designers to always add the word Theory because NASA should not be just promoting one side of the argument, or something along those lines.

    Some execs get quite nervous of litigation and also from what I understand, Dutch people have to pay part of their taxes to the official Dutch church. That is what a Dutchman once told me in 1990. If that were the case then perhaps they are trying to avoid their perceived wrath.

    (I suspect once this is released from the spam filters everyone will have moved on and no one will respond to this post or answer my questions – Phil please can we have a resolution to that issue)

  26. J.

    wristlock,

    The Bible has about as much relevancy and depth in comparison with a universe of stars and the process of evolution as a one hour “resolve the crisis” televison drama show has to real life.

    Perhaps if you got your self-absorbed brain out of that book maybe you would be surprised what you might find…life.

  27. slang

    Over here everyone knows what kind of broadcasting association the EO is.. a tiny group of people that make annoying evangelical tv shows, and their audience is equally tiny. We all know what their agenda is, and nobody is surprised by this ‘news’.

    It’s not really a company, it’s an association with members. They’re not supposed to make a profit. The publicly funded radio and TV system was set up that way (in the sixties IIRC) so every religious or political group can have (some) access to it (provided they have the required number of members or subscribers to the broadcasting association). The EO is one of the smallest.

    As such, they use their allotted broadcasting time to air shows for their members. They have no obligation to be scientific, they just have to show what their members want to see. Asking them to teach or be honest about evolution makes no sense, they just won’t do it. Complaining to them about how bad this editing is makes little sense either, their members won’t see it, and even if they do, they won’t care.

    Ultimately I think it’s a contractual issue between the BBC and the EO, and since this has been happening for a long time I can only assume that the contracts allow it. I even kind of _hope_ so… because if they can’t show these programs (slightly edited) anymore, they may turn to a lot worse documentaries, actively advocating creation and young earth lunacy rather than passively denying evolution.

    But… it’s not all bad what happens on TV here: another broadcasting association currently airs a show that’s called “Dat willen wij ook” (“We want that too”). I understand it’s a Dutch show, not imported. Its episodes focus on some detail from nature where animals (or plants) do things better than we humans can (reptiles walking on water, eye of the fly, the surface of a lotus leaf), and explore that topic in depth. Evolutionary history and all. I really hope this TV show will be exported to other countries, I think it’s one we Dutchies can be proud of :)

  28. One Eyed Jack

    Wayne writes:

    “I’m not defending what was done in any way, but you must realize that people like this don’t see it as lying at all. In their view, the scientific consensus is mistaken, and they are only removing inaccurate statements. I’m not saying that lying doesn’t go on in Creationist circles, but I think it’s important to consider the motivation before accusing others of breaking their own rules. I don’t know if it’s better to call them delusional or reality-impaired or what, but calling someone a liar who thinks they are telling the truth is disingenuous at best.”

    I understand your point and agree with it for the most part. However, it is still intentional deception. The EO has changed Attenborough’s message.

    It is within their rights to state their viewpoint, but it is wrong to change Attenborough’s work to make it appear that he supports it. That is lying.

    OEJ

  29. J.

    While it not be “technically” lying, the point is that it is unethical and decietful to edit that documentary to selectively present what they assume is their version of “truth”. It would be better to present the whole thing then refute what they disagree with.

    To me though, something pathologicaly deeper is displayed here, denial…obstinate denial. This is something that I think is running rampant especially among fundamnentalists, politicians, consumers and others of all political persuasions in the US. It is used about Iraq among those still supporting the fiasco there. The same goes even more so for climate change and energy use. Many Americans cling to this myth of our “exceptionalism” that we have the right as Americans to be as wasteful as we choose because we are “special.”

    Denial (cogntive dissonance by another name and subject of a new book, I believe the title is “A Mistake Has been Made, But Not By Me”) is the expedient way(for the moment) to casually dismiss responsibility for our collective and personal actions. And fundamentalism can mindlessly excuse itself from caring and action because the Earth is just a “corrupted and sinful” way station till we get to the “promised land”. What fundamentalism and cognitive dissonance does is conveniently excuse our species from growing up and taking responsibility for our actions and messes.

    All we know and have for now is the Earth we live on. If our species does not come to accept that, then I feel sad for what future generations are going to be left with to deal with. A planet where the incredibly rich diversity and abundance has been diminished to the mundane and paltry. Wall Street, mindless consumers and fundamentalists are too myopic and ignorant though to see the coming tragedy that WE are ALL complicit in creating.

  30. wristlock

    # J.
    I expected a religious answer, and you gave me one.
    And the sarcasm was good to.
    Religion is what it is even if it hides behind a name like science.
    It’s almost funny to see how easily people will buy in to some out there theory as long as it claims to be scientific.
    The compounded evidence is easily overlooked. No matter how often it is found. [Such as finding and digging up the exact places that are listed in “that book”. Sodom and Gomorrah, Noahs’ Ark.] The list goes on and I believe that you know this.
    But you should also have the ability to distinguish religion from true science.
    No one has ever observed something on this or any planet as being millions, much less billions of years old. There are flawed theories such as
    Carbon dating that some people believe in. But they are all theories. And to whole-heartedly believe in them is just plain religious.
    And if you study them with an open mind, those missing links will require much more than an hour to solve the crisis.
    And more faith than all Bible based religions combined to honestly claim to believe that evolution is a science.

    Hammer

  31. Darth Robo

    This has been brought up on the RD forum:

    http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=20363&p=336051&hilit=#p336051

    Apparently some have emailed the BBC, but the impression I get was the BBC were aware of the edits and were legal.

    Wristlock:

    “Don’t just scan the Bible. Study it like you do those stars. You may be surprised at what you find.”

    Uh, that research was actually done by German and French scholars (believers, by the way) to see what could be verified with historical evidence. They concluded that in no way could it be taken as a literal historical document, though some parts did have a historical basis. By the way, many Christians DO accept evolution. What makes your religious opinions any better than theirs?

  32. Darth Robo

    “Religion is what it is even if it hides behind a name like science.”

    Then perhaps you could uh, tell us what the specific “doctrines of evolution” are…

    “Noah’s Ark”

    (snicker, giggle)

    “But you should also have the ability to distinguish religion from true science. No one has ever observed something on this or any planet as being millions, much less billions of years old.”

    No one has ever observed anything being hundreds or thousands of years old, but I bet you would claim the Bible as being more than a thousand. What’s you point?

    There are flawed theories such as Carbon dating that some people believe in. But they are all theories.”

    Carbon dating is a method. But gravity is also a theory. What is religious about it?

    And just what are your credentials exactly, to enable you to critique science? And why is it exactly that EVERY single person who objects to evolution, it always comes down to the fact that it doesn’t gel with their religious beliefs?

  33. There are flawed theories such as
    Carbon dating that some people believe in. But they are all theories.

    writlock reveals his profound ignorance. Any time a Creationist says that carbon dating is flawed and does not really and truly indicate the age of the Earth is more than 6,000 years old is partly correct yet enormously stupid, because carbon dating is not used for dating objects billions of years old. Not even millions. And “just a theory” is the mantra of morons, as is “science is just another religion.” Clear indications that the speaker knows nothing about science.

    The injudicious editing of Attenborough’s film is fraud.

  34. J.

    Wristlock,

    Science may not have all the answers or all the proofs yet but is does keep open to searching and if something about evolution or radiometric dating does prove in error then it will be scientists who will discover that, not people who place their trust in archaic and irrelevant myths.

    Science is anything but a religion. Religion is rigid dogma and “mental constipation”

    Science is a sophisticated tool humans have devised through thousands of years of critical thinking to understand the universe we have found ourselves in. Critical thinkers have had to battle constantly up to today the obstinate resistance of people, perhaps like you, who live in denial of physical reality.

    Take something out of the Bible and set up an experiment and show us the “proof” of the Bible. Show us evidence of a virgin birth, of wine into water, of a six day creation, of a after death”paradise”, of a documented and a verified, repeatable involvement of a supernatural power in the affairs of humans and the universe.

    All you can “show” me is the subjective feelings that reside in your brain and others which are not transferable, verifable, repeatable by experimental proof.
    You have nothing but a vacuous faith in something you simply wish for as real, no matter how comforting such illusions are. I was a fundamentalist early in my life and now consider myself an agnostic. I know how delusional the fanaticism of Biblical fundamentalism can be. It is simply as I said before a convenient excuse to live in infantile bliss and suffocating willful ignorance.

  35. DennyMo

    Darth Robo:
    “And just what are your credentials exactly, to enable you to critique science?”

    You were doing great until this last one. That same question could be turned about on most posters here, just change the last word to “religion” or “Christianity” or…or…. While I accept the truism that “If you can’t argue the opposite case, you really don’t understand the issue,” if someone needs “credentials” to be eligible to offer criticism, well, lots of us just need to shut up (yes, including me).

    slang:
    Thanks for the lucid explanation of how EO gets on the air. Certainly refreshing to read FACTS after all the hyperventilating and handwringing of so many others.

  36. wristlock

    I’m not writing a book and I will not spend all day debating
    Your philosophical ideals.
    The thing that you have danced around so well as you try avoid the status que is.
    I admit that my religion is religion. So why are evolutionist to good to admit that they are nothing more than religious, regardless of them being christian or not.
    I went to college with a Boodist/Christian, and a Satinist, and of course some Christians.
    But only the Atheist {there was only one} tried to convince us that he was not religious.
    If you don’t understand yet,
    Then we agree to disagree.
    I’m simply out of time for now.
    I spend very little time on the web, but I will check back in a day or two.
    Hammer

  37. DrFlimmer

    I have heared that there have been some creationist at my university in Bochum, Germany, giving around some flyers. So this illness is about to come across the pond.
    Our luck is that our two christian churches are deeply entrenched here and church and “world” (politics, science) are seperated well enaugh. I guess that we won’t have such problems like some US states that our children must learn bad things about a flat 6000yrs-old earth. We have religious lessons, but they have nothing to do with science, they are more or less about interpreting the bible, not taking it literally. Also we learn about other religions and so this is more a comparison and not a “right or wrong”. On the other hand our science lessons are about science and I don’t believe that there will ever be a biology lesson dealing with an evolution theory based on the bible – maybe a comparison is possible (and as I think interesting) but not more.
    I don’t see a big chance for creationists really becoming as important as they seem to be in America.

    I am proud to say that I believe in god but also in a 13.5 billion-yrs-old universe, which can be (or is) created by god but is working with the laws we are trying to find out with our studies in physics!

  38. FrumiousBandersnark

    Bowdlerize!
    Let not the naughty bits graze your eyes,
    With the Bible science must doth harmonize,
    “Fossils are just bones in dirt, you guys!”
    So bowdlerize, bowdlerize, bowdlerize!

  39. J.

    Bowdlerize…a very applicable word. Thank you

  40. J.

    wristlock,

    My understanding of religion at least the fundamentalist type is a insistent belief in the inerrancy of dogma, of the words of a book like the Bible, which can not be critically analyzed and revised when new or contradictory information comes forth.

    cience when used as it should be is oopen to change and revision. That is why science is not a religion as you understand it I believe. You are looking for evidences to confirm ceratin conclusions you already have…that the Bible and your Christian God are the absolute truth. That is not the way science tries to operate. It starts with observations, facts, laws(like the obvious reality of gravity) and hypothesis and tries to prove or explain their reality.

    You are wanting every human endeavor to obey and conform to a predetermined supernatural conclusion. If it doesn’t you reject as evil or unreal. Science deals with only what reality as we know it presents to us by our physical senses. You are asking for science to confirm what is merely very personal, subjective feelings that are so varied and unprovable. Every person you know who is a believer may have diffrent concepts in their mind of what God is to them. How can public learning and science use such personal unverifiable beliefs to establish a common reference for us to agree on as reality?

  41. Carl

    I just feel deeply ashamed (and not just because of what I did last weekend) and glad at the same time I jumped ship (literally) some years ago. Although I do agree with one of the comments above that says that this is just one broadcasting channel with very little influance other than on their established fanbase. There’s no way there will be any serious threats or discussions about bringing creationism into classrooms and such. The pressing topics have more to do with the islamic influence on the dutch culture, integration and cultural stability. In a sense you can expect the christians to become a bit more fundamentalist and active because of that and there are for sure some very dilluted people in the Netherland’s own bible-belt. There is also a very distinct seperation between church and state. I think there are precious few people in the Netherlands that actually give any credence to creationism. That said, there is loads of other uncritical thinking going on and a whole lot of ostrichpolitics being practised. The tolerance the Dutch are famous for is actually just hypocrisy in disguise, in my opinion anyway. Not that were I live now is utopia, but where is?

  42. Gary Ansorge

    Dennymo,wristlock,wayne,et.al.,
    As far as knowledge of religious texts is concerned, you should all read the work of Joseph Campbell. He has no bones to pick, but does know his subjects. I understand the very human need to develop mythologies to define our human relationship with the universe. I was raised Lutheran by a Catholic mother and naturally became an agnostic. Why? Because I studied the old and new testaments and found them quite lacking in knowledge of Reality. The Quran is just as bad in its appreciation of realism though Mohammed was an obvious high level genius. He even understood the consequences of close inbreeding and tried to regulate the Arab proclivity for marrying close relationships to second cousins. Unfortunately for the Arabs, politics and economics won that argument, so Arabs are allowed by their religion to marry First cousins and as a consequence they have a high level of genetic defectives.

    New mythological allegories are being created as we speak. They are sometimes a reversion to older, extinct religions that had a much closer relationship to mother earth, are usually more hedonic and thus life affirming, but they are also(mostly) just as woo-woo as christianity, Judaism and Islam. There is only one new mythology I know of that has real potential. I leave it to you to discover what that one is(hint: It Ain’t scientology,,,)

    Science means knowledge, acquired by a particular methodology(the scientific method). It has nothing to say about personal faith. It has a very great deal to say about reality. Those who defend their faith by lies and subterfuge know they’re on a down hill run. They’re grabbing at whatever straw men they can find to save their world view. I feel really sorry for them but I will do whatever it takes to disseminate a factual appreciation of reality, even if it hurts.
    Only thus may we progress and save ourselves from extinction.( and a few tens of millions of other species as well).

    Gary 7

  43. Carl

    Oh and Wristlock, since you post comments on this site, did you ever bother to read the articles? Maybe you can stop throwing around strawmen like “Religion is what it is even if it hides behind a name like science.”
    Science is a practise, a method, not a dogma.
    If a theory has been formulated after gathering immense amounts of evidence and logical structures, and contrary evidence turns up, than the theory gets changed. If by means of said theory predictions can be made that can be duplicated without fail, time after time after time, one can safely assume the theory is true. But mind you there is not a person in the world following the scientific method whose mind can not be changed by strong contradictory evidence.
    How does that relate to a dogmatic system that relies on scriptures and is utterly unwilling to accept in the face of overwhelming evidence, that mabye the scriptures are false?

  44. But only the Atheist {there was only one} tried to convince us that he was not religious.

    There is a good reason for that no matter how much you choose to ignore it.

  45. Edo

    wristlock:
    It might be useful for you to pick up a dictionary and lookup theory. You are mixing up theory with hypothesis. A common mistake for people that don’t understand sciences.

  46. FrumiousBandersnark

    Wristlock:

    Boodist? Satinist?

    Perhaps in your off-line time you might try acquainting yourself with a dictionary, or at least a spell-checking program?

  47. Darth Robo

    DennyMo:

    “You were doing great until this last one. That same question could be turned about on most posters here, just change the last word to “religion” or “Christianity” or…or…. While I accept the truism that “If you can’t argue the opposite case, you really don’t understand the issue,” if someone needs “credentials” to be eligible to offer criticism, well, lots of us just need to shut up (yes, including me).”

    Fair enough. On the other hand, I don’t tend to have a go at people for their religious beliefs. I don’t have a problem with religion. My beef with people is when they try and force their religious opinions onto others. I wouldn’t question my GP’s credentials, for example. In general, most people trust their own doctor. If their not happy, they will see someone else, but they would have to be unlucky to keep getting a doctor they would be unsatisfied with. But the point is, that fundies keep calling evolution nonsense because it goes against their religious beliefs. Despite the fact that the arguments they use have been debunked for 40 odd years, and despite the fact that the scientists who work in the field are far more qualified in it than they are. But it doesn’t stop them. So, if I come across as a bit peeved sometimes, or if I could have phrased things a bit better, then I apologize. But I won’t apologize for telling a fundie that they’re talking nonsense.

    Hammer:

    “So why are evolutionist to good to admit that they are nothing more than religious, regardless of them being christian or not.
    I went to college with a Boodist/Christian, and a Satinist, and of course some Christians.
    But only the Atheist {there was only one} tried to convince us that he was not religious.”

    Because atheists don’t hold to any particular religious doctrines, or rituals. They simply LACK a belief in a god. I know it’s hard for you to grasp, but it is possible for someone to NOT be religious.

  48. Shalamar

    For those that say ‘Its JUST a theory!’

    http://www.notjustatheory.com/index.html

  49. KJ

    It isn’t possible for a human being to NOT be religious. While some have what you would call “Strange” or “stupid” religions, YOU have Darwinism.
    Still an -ism, still a religious idea, an idea that tried to teach where humanity came from and failed miserably. We know more today about the Earth’s evolutionary process than Darwin did, and we keep finding more interesting tidbits. We get one step closer with each passing decade, but the Darwinists hold it back with their Cell-as-God and Monkey-To-Man religion.

    “Reality” is only half-found in “Science” today, and when “Science” ignores “Religion”… (Ancient “science” teachings, catered to the populace of the time) then science becomes nothing but an ineffective wank-off for pseudo-intellectuals, most of whom have IQs in the average to slightly above range. To think you know everything based on other people’s research, dated research from a person who turned against his own theory with each newer discovery, is akin to complete ignorance. This site is good; the message is bad.
    “Be stupid, don’t listen to anything but what modern science tells you” should be the motto. “Do not research” should be a rule for the religion of Darwinism and the cult offshoot, “Bad Astronomy” as well as other cultists of the same ideals with their “Skeptic” sites.

    You are all religious; you’re just unable to research anything enough to get to the point of realization. It is fact – all humans, even the “Atheist,” is religious, and seeks the same answers all “evolved” cultures sought.

    Atheists and their Lord, Modern Science, are worse than most of the Earth’s religions. Atheists claim to have no God, yet worship it daily, even to the point of becoming evangelists for their “Science God of the 1800s-2000s.” Sure, they aren’t blowing up abortion clinics, stealing money from poor people in an effort to ease the minds of the God-fearers who need more care and mental reworking than someone telling them “god exists; give us money”…and the Atheist isn’t out telling anyone to blow themselves up to get to the land of plenty.

    What Atheists DO is refuse to believe anything not in a textbook, many of them won’t even accept new findings in Physics, yet they prance around like the Best Squirrel Ever, the one with all the little flowers from the graves, putting them in their nests, and showing off to the other stealing squirrels. There is nothing more of substance in Atheism than in “organized religion” – in fact, Atheism is the youngest religion in the World today.

    Refrain from spreading the word about your God “Science” to everyone within earshot. You are worse than Robert Tilton. If your 8th grade Biology Textbook required you to speak in tongues, you would.
    People that claim to have no God yet worship one every day are the most unintelligent people on the Earth. Worse than Muslim extremists, worse than Christian gun-toters, worse than Witch-Killers and God’s Knights. The root of this problem lies in the family structure, the structure that makes a child a ward of the state through public education, the structure that puts a mother and father at an eight to ten hour job a day with no regard to their child’s upbringing.
    It is this death of parental responsibility that came in modern times that resulted in the wave of stupidity currently sweeping the Scientific Community (what’s left of it.)

    We now have in all fields of Science, little children with no minds, waiting to have information pumped into their heads like little cyborgs, with no regard to the fulfillment gained through personal research.

    I hope this finds you.

  50. I’m an atheist. I have faith. I even have religion. I just don’t believe in the supernatural. There is no god. People who believe in gods have to spin themselves into cocoons to try to rationalize just about everything.

    Being an atheist doesn’t mean not believing in anything.

  51. Gary Ansorge

    A small side note:
    If a person says they hear “voices” in their head telling them they must “kill mommy and daddy”, we know they’re psychotic.
    However,,,if they claim to be hearing the voice of “god” telling them they must do all they can to to defeat the “non-believers” in their particular faith, we call them “woo woos”.

    That’s way too kind. Let us be frank. The latter are just as nuts as the former.

    A recent pol of members of AARP said that 73% were firm believers in a god. Most claim to have seen something in their lives they could ascribe to the “miraculous”. From data such as this, I fear we must arrive at the conclusion that most humans (not just Americans) are “unsane”. Meaning, they’re not able to accept reality as it is, cloaking it in myriad illusions. On the up side, apparently 27% choose to face reality as what it is, not what they wish it to be. From that, I conclude,,,, there is hope that humanity may eventually outgrow its dependence on magical sky fairies, like Santa Clause,,,and become sane.

    Gary 7
    PS: If George Bush says he has regular “conversations” with God, doesn’t that qualify him for removal from office, because he’s really, really SICK?

  52. Boodist: A member of the fanbase of an opposing sports team; often heard “booing” when an unfavorable call is made to their own team.

    Satinist: An expert in fine linens, esp. when concerned with bed sheets and draperies.

  53. “If George Bush says he has regular “conversations” with God, doesn’t that qualify him for removal from office, because he’s really, really SICK?”

    Yeah, that’s nuts. My cat and I talk about this all the time.

  54. Irishman

    wristlock said:
    > Religion is what it is even if it hides behind a name like science.

    I think you’re thinking of Scientology. Or perhaps Christian Scientist. Those are religious hiding behind the name “science”.

    > It’s almost funny to see how easily people will buy in to some out there theory as long as it claims to be scientific.

    Yes. Fighting psuedoscience is one of the purposes of this blog.

    > The compounded evidence is easily overlooked. No matter how often it is found. [Such as finding and digging up the exact places that are listed in “that book”. Sodom and Gomorrah, Noahs’ Ark.]

    Despite claims to the contrary, Noah’s Ark has not been found. I am not aware of specific findings of Sodom and Gomorrah, but even if they have been discovered, that is still irrelevant. Yes, the Bible does include actual locations in the Middle East. It also does record some factual happenings. Finding sites such as Sodom and Gamorrah no more confirms the biblical description of the cause of their destruction any more than finding the lost city of Troy confirms that the Greek Gods were real.

    > There are flawed theories such as Carbon dating that some people believe in. But they are all theories. And to whole-heartedly believe in them is just plain religious.

    Butchering of terminology does not suit your cause. Carbon dating is accepted because the theory upon which it stands is evidentiarally validated. Isotope decay is well established, confirmed by lots of experiments, and solidly understood. Carbon dating has been verified by corresponding to ice cores, coral reefs, and tree cores – all of which provide unbroken records for centuries. Your dismissal of carbon dating is unsound. There’s no faith component to carbon dating, and carbon dating is not a ritual, nor is it worshipped. So your description of it being “religious” is incorrect.

    > And more faith than all Bible based religions combined to honestly claim to believe that evolution is a science.

    Evolution is not “a science”. Evolution is a description for biological processes, part of the science of biology. Evolution is a scientific description, because it relates to observations and occurrences in nature – facts. Modern evolutionary theory is the combined effort of a couple of centuries of study into biological processes. The essence of “Evolution” is the concept of descent from common ancestry and change over time. Both are obvious concepts in biology, demonstrated by even a basic knowledge of farming, breeding livestock, or herbiculture.

    > I admit that my religion is religion. So why are evolutionist to good to admit that they are nothing more than religious, regardless of them being christian or not.

    Your insisting it is the case does not make it true.

    > I went to college with a Boodist/Christian, and a Satinist, and of course some Christians.
    But only the Atheist {there was only one} tried to convince us that he was not religious.
    If you don’t understand yet,
    Then we agree to disagree.

    The problem may be one of terminology, specifically in the definiton of “religion” and “religious”. Religion is typically understood to be a system of belief about a worldview, and a set of practices associated with that worldview. Typically the worldview concerns matters of “spirituality”, which can be described to involve a deity or deities and concern the nature of afterlife. Atheism is specifically not a religion, because it is not a system of belief and it does not contain any practices. The only element of atheism that could be considered in the religious realm at all is that there is a specific worldview, a worldview of naturalism. However, without a belief structure around that worldview, and without rituals and worship associated with that worldview, it is not a religion. An analogy: atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    Furthermore, you seem to be associating evolution with atheism, as if the two are the same thing, or are components of the same thing. They are not, though the history of understanding Evolution certainly contributed to that impression. Evolution makes no statement about the existence of God. It does not preclude or prevent God. There are plenty of religious people including christians who also accept Evolution.

  55. SCR

    Gary observed : “PS: If George Bush says he has regular “conversations” with God, doesn’t that qualify him for removal from office, because he’s really, really SICK?”

    YES!!!! Abso-frak’n-lootly!

    The really big question is : Why hasn’t that mad fool been impeached long ago?

    As for the Netherlands Creationists .. well, I could just say they’ve obviously been smoking a bit too much ogf their land’s big claim to fame.

    Drug-related jokes aside, I think by-&-large the Netherlands gets it right … Comparing their society to that of others in terms of tolerance,governance and culture, I’d still have to rate them as being well ahead of most places on Earth – including my country (Oz if it matters) & the good ole US of A. We could – generally speaking again – learn a lot from them & benefit from copying much of their principles and policies.

    This is just one unfortunate abberration – an exception that is limited and just goes to prove the rule – along with demonstrating the extent to which freedom of expression in Holland allows even repugnant views an airing.

    However, it also does show that the toxic meme of extremist intolerant religious fundamentalism is spreading dangerously in its Christian as well as Wahhabist Islamic strains.

    The remedy? Better education, better understanding from more people, more willingness to discuss and tolerate others as neighbours / fellow human & less acceptance of bigotry, reality blindness & blowing-up (or lying) for “God” …

  56. Stark

    KJ,

    You show me one religion that ever changed one of it’s base tenets. Just one.

    I’m waiting….

    Meanwhile science does so on a fraily regualr basis – take physics for example. We went for the base idea of aether as the medium of the universe to general relativity, followed closely by special realitivity and now quantum mechanics. It’s likely that some current lines of research will replace QM soon enough as well. This, in religious terms, would be equla to Christianity stopping worshipping Jesus and switching to Buddha. (or Booda if you prefer)

    So how, exactly, is science the same as a religion now? Keep in mind that religion does not encourage, and many times makes it a crime to do so, questioning the base teachings… while science demands that you do exactly that.

    If you need examples of religions making it a crime to question their tenets then you aren’t paying attention. Think excommunication on the friendly side of things and public torture and beheadings (in a soccer stadium not so long ago even) on the not so friendly side.

  57. Darth Robo

    KJ

    “It isn’t possible for a human being to NOT be religious.”

    If you say so. (shrug)

    “If science ignores religion then science becomes nothing but an ineffective wank-off for pseudo-intellectuals”

    If you say so. I could say the same about the rest of your post. (shrug)

    ” “Be stupid, don’t listen to anything but what modern science tells you” should be the motto. “Do not research” should be a rule for the religion of Darwinism and the cult offshoot, “Bad Astronomy” as well as other cultists of the same ideals with their “Skeptic” sites.”

    Science IS about research. Oh and by the way, few people call evolution “Darwinism” anymore. It’s come a long way since then. So sorry that no-one pays attention to your religious opinions.

  58. Gary Ansorge

    It seems that one of the major objections fundies have to science is that it ISN”T dogmatic and unchanging, like their good old time religion. Just when the undereducated think we have things nailed down, we go and change it. Someday, they may begin to really understand, we live in a chaotic, ever changing universe and our knowledge must be in accord with that.

    GAry 7

  59. SCR

    Incidentally, let there be no confusion that :

    “.. less acceptance of bigotry, reality blindness & blowing-up (or lying) for “God” …”

    Applies to ‘shock & awe’ terrorising, aerial bombardment, using overwhelming brutal military force against outmatched third-world nations and occupying and bullying other countries for dubious politico-economic ends

    _every last bit_ as much as it does to suicide bmobing zealots or Muslim terrorists willing to blow up everything around them including inniocnet men , women and children of their own faith to gain their 72 raisins in heaven. (Or as they think virgins – a Koranic misunderstanding of classic if tragic proportions!)

    Fundamentalist Islam & fundamentalist Christianity are mirrors of each other – equally extreme, equally intolerant, equally bad. Bush and Osama bin Laden both think they’re talking to the same Abrahamic “God” – but each is only listening to their own biased & seriously disturbed brain. As too, do those fundamentalist extremist (arguably?) highly racist* Israeli settlers who, arguably created the whole modern West vs Islam mess in the first place … (Indeed, going back far enough their ancestors sparked this whole 1-god tri-split cult nonsense.) :-(

    Sooner all sides realise this truism & reject that intolerant pre-medieval image of a tribal sky-father rewarding and punishing different tribes onside with some but not all his supposed peoples the better.
    —–
    * Ie. One tribe – or ten – is “Gods Chosen mob” & has a divine right to a “Promised Land.” Any and all jews anywhere can emigrate to Israel but dispossessed Palestineans kicked out by Jewish force can’t return totheir homeland and those still there exist as second-class citizens in their own country. Moreover, Israel boasts it has no capital punishment but then extrajudically assasinates Palestinean political opposition & resistence leaders plus any hapless by-standers incl. women, children and peace-activists unlucky enough to be there at the time. Then collectively punishes their relatives for the grave sin of … er ..just being their relatives or families.

    C’mon if Isreal and its Jewish theocracy isn’t as racist as South Africa or 1930’s Germany then it surely isn’t by much!

    (& saying so ain’t doing anything other than pointing to the naked emperors nudity either!)

    Now I’m going to see if the 3 hr hold on the ‘Endeavour’ shuttle launch has started moving again … very early / late morn here in Adelaide. (3 am)

  60. SCR

    Apologies to modern South Africa – I meant :

    “C’mon if Israel and its Jewish theocracy isn’t as racist as *_Apartheid-era_* South Africa or 1930’s Germany then it surely isn’t by much!
    (& saying so ain’t doing anything other than pointing to the naked emperors nudity either!)”

    of course.

    Please, Phil Plait, Mr Bad Astronomer sir, please, please, please; lets get some sort of editing cpacaity added here! It’ll make life so much better (&, more pertinently, our posts so much more presentable) for everyone.
    ———-

    Remember folks, Palestineans are Semites too!
    (Ironically making Israel the last & worst anti-Semitic land on the globe.)

  61. GP

    KJ:
    “It isn’t possible for a human being to NOT be religious”

    Here we are…usual problem…playing with words…
    There is a difference between “religion” and “unknown”. I believe in “creation” because I exist. I am here, I am. What does that mean I do not know, and yes I would like to find out. If I say that looking at the sky full of stars makes me feel…religious…(in a lack of better word(s) ) I am not saying that I surrender my scientific believes, I am just fascinated with existence, and I would like to know. I would like to research and explain. Reading a Bible (or Kuran) or any other (religious) book might be an interesting insight in human histroy or society, but they do not provide me with the explanation of existence. Scientific theory on the other hand tries to EXPLAIN things, does not require me to blindly belive. The fact we are not “smart” enough (yet?) does not push me towards the curch doors or dicourage me from my “scientific religion” (yes I am sarcastic)
    “Institutional religion” and “scientific religion” (that feeling of unknow when you look at the night sky-yes I am romantic :) ) should not be put in the same sentence.

  62. Irishman

    KJ said:
    > It isn’t possible for a human being to NOT be religious.

    Please define what you mean by “religious”.

    > While some have what you would call “Strange” or “stupid” religions, YOU have Darwinism.

    Only Creationists call it “Darwinism”. Odd, that. But it makes sense. Creationists tend to have a particular mindset in how they approach the world, and they naturally apply that mindset to how others approach the world. For a Creationist, the issue is about God, and for the christian variety, Jesus. They focus on the central figure and what he means. So naturally they think this is how everyone else approaches everything. So of course they project Evolution to be “Darwinism”, because they define it as a cult of personality of Darwin. Admittedly there are a few trends that help feed that misperception, such as the “Darwin Fish”. But most science advocates don’t look on Darwin as a mythical figure, don’t worship him as a holy symbol. Admiration is given to Darwin for what he discovered and explained, in the same way that Newton is given admiration for describing gravity and motion (and optics and calculus and fluid behavior and …) and that Pasteur and Sammelweis are praised for the Germ Theory, and that the Wright Brothers are admired for their engineering accomplishment of powered heavier-than-air flight. In science, when terms like “Newtonian” are thrown around, they are used as a shorthand for a particular aspect of that person’s research, a way to briefly describe a set of assumptions (for instance a Newtonian fluid is an incompressible fluid that behaves with certain characteristics). It by no means grants that person any sort of holy or special status beyond that of “person who came up with this”. So if we were to describe Evolution as “Darwinian”, it would only be to the point of characterizing modern Evolution as common descent rather than an alternative such as Lamarckianism – where traits acquired by the parent are passed along to the offspring.

    > Still an -ism, still a religious idea,…

    Now you fail semantics. Just because something is an “-ism” does not make it inherently a religious practice. “-ism” is a suffix added to words to make them a noun that describes a belief or system of belief. While religions are systems of belief, not all systems of belief are religions. Example: individualism, abolitionism, expansionism, formalism, literalism, nationalism, pacifism, fancy-pantsism (the belief that wearing fancy-pants makes you cool).

    > … an idea that tried to teach where humanity came from and failed miserably. We know more today about the Earth’s evolutionary process than Darwin did, and we keep finding more interesting tidbits.

    This comment is strangely ironic, because it appears to be supporting evolution and findings of science but claims to be refuting them.

    > We get one step closer with each passing decade, but the Darwinists hold it back with their Cell-as-God and Monkey-To-Man religion.

    What a strange perception and characterization. See my description above about mindset.

    >“Reality” is only half-found in “Science” today, and when “Science” ignores “Religion”… (Ancient “science” teachings, catered to the populace of the time)…

    AHA! Philosophically, there is some justification to look at the similarity of function of religion and science. Each serves to answer questions about reality and life. The ultimate purpose of both could be said to be the same, to find answers. But only in such a generic sense can the two be equated. Religion is more than “Ancient ‘science'”. It is true that ancient cultures imbued their discoveries about how the world works with spirituality and mysticism, and it is true that religious practices incorporated wisdom and knowledge about the world in the everyday rituals and practices as well as sometimes in the moral codes. But the means and mechanisms of religion are different than those of modern science, because the goals are different. Plus, “Religion” is so much more than just a set of answers about how the universe works. It is a worldview (basis of understanding of the world), a system of belief wrapped around that worldview (a structure of deities and spiritual planes and souls and afterlifes and whatnot), a set of rituals and practices related to that system of belief (how to deal with the deities, how to prepare souls, how to affect the spiritual aspects of the world around us, etc), and also typically a moral code derived from the ideas of the belief system combined with practical cultural needs. Because there are so many different aspects of Religion, it goes far beyond being a collection of understandings of reality.

    Science is a particular tool, aimed at a much smaller subset of purpose than “Religion”. Science deals with physical reality. Now there is a philosophical ground for arguing the possibility that reality is larger than physical reality, that spiritual notions exist and affect our lives, and there’s more to be considered. But science focuses on the objective reality – that is what it does.

    >… then science becomes nothing but an ineffective wank-off for pseudo-intellectuals, most of whom have IQs in the average to slightly above range.

    Amusing turn of phrase. One question, does that make Religion an intellectual wank-off for anti-intellectuals, most of whom have average to slightly below average range?

    (NOTE: Most people have IQ’s in the just below to just above average range. So if one pool of people are skewed up, then their counterparts are skewed down.)

    Science studies what science studies. It is very good at what it does. The technological age we live in is testament to the success of science. (HINT: technology is the result of engineering which is applied science.) If that does not answer the questions that you want answered, then you are free to pursue methods that answer those questions. But it hardly makes sense to fault science for failing to do what it does not attempt to do. Kind of like blaming calculus because you can’t paint a portrait.

    > To think you know everything based on other people’s research, … is akin to complete ignorance.

    Everyone has to function in life. We all have a set of knowledge we require to get around and stay alive. We all have more knowledge that lets us do other things, like have entertainment, or make our lives easier, or do more complex things than chase a rat till we catch it, eat it raw, then start looking for another rat. In the end, the amount of knowledge out there vastly surpasses the amount of knowledge any one person can possibly know in a lifetime. Every one of us has some region of information where we take action and make decisions based upon something other than firsthand knowledge. It’s called life.

    The interesting thing about science is that it allows us to pool knowledge. What one person does, others can study. So we build knowledge upon what someone before us found out. Again, this is life. This is the same thing as learning how to weave a basket because our mother taught us, or how to track prey through the woods, or how to recognize what foods are edible and which are toxic. Accummulated knowledge is the gift of language. Written language allows teachings to go farther and last longer than the spoken word and direct instruction.

    By the way, everything you know about Jesus comes from other people’s research.

    >…dated research from a person who turned against his own theory …

    If you are referring to Darwin, this is false. Darwin never refuted his Natural Selection. The story of his “death bed conversion” is a lie told by a religious relative and promoted by religious believers to try to undermine Evolution. But it has been shown to be a lie.

    > You are all religious; you’re just unable to research anything enough to get to the point of realization. It is fact – all humans, even the “Atheist,” is religious, and seeks the same answers all “evolved” cultures sought.

    Once again, I ask you to clarify what you mean by “religious”. There are any number of philosophical questions that most people confront in their lives: Where did I come from? What is humanity? How did life begin? What is the purpose of life? Etc. Finding answers to these questions is often deemed to be “religion”, but religion is a subset of philosophy. Some people find philosophical answers that do not require belief in a soul, a deity, an afterlife, or anything supernatural. These people do not have a belief system, though you could say they have a worldview. A religion is more than a worldview. Therefore, these people do not have a religion. Typically we call these people “atheists” – without a deity. There are other terms with other subtleties that aren’t relevant to the point.

    > Atheists and their Lord, Modern Science, are worse than most of the Earth’s religions.

    Once again, we see the distorted perspective that atheists must worship someone or something, so therefore it is “Modern Science”. This is that mind set of the certain type of religious person who cannot perceive someone experiencing life differently than they do.

    > Atheists claim to have no God, yet worship it daily, even to the point of becoming evangelists for their “Science God of the 1800s-2000s.”

    Please define what constitutes “worship” in this sense. And again, the word choice displays the characteristic mindset – evangelists for Science God. As opposed to a science advocate? A science enthusiast? Someone who wants clear thinking and rational behavior?

    > What Atheists DO is refuse to believe anything not in a textbook, many of them won’t even accept new findings in Physics, yet they prance around like the Best Squirrel Ever, the one with all the little flowers from the graves, putting them in their nests, and showing off to the other stealing squirrels. There is nothing more of substance in Atheism than in “organized religion” – in fact, Atheism is the youngest religion in the World today.

    I see assertions but no supporting evidence. The fact is atheists don’t believe in only things in textbooks, nor do they believe in things because they are in textbooks. Textbooks are tools, but hardly the end-all/be-all. “New findings in Physics” covers a broad range of topics, from Quantum Mechanics and Relativity to String Theory and Brane Theory. Some of these “findings” are on stronger ground than others, being subjected to more or less evidence and testing. The point of science is to scrutinize findings, so blind acceptance is bad. But wasn’t that what you were accusing atheists of, blind acceptance? So which is it? Atheists blindly accept science findings, or atheists refuse to accept some science findings?

    As for their being nothing of substance in Atheism, of course not. Atheism is the lack of something. There’s no substance in “not stamp collecting” or “not eating pudding” or “not reading the Koran”.

    > Refrain from spreading the word about your God “Science” to everyone within earshot.

    Nobody forced you to read this blog. If you don’t want to hear about science, don’t come here, to a science advocacy blog.

  63. Irishman

    CafeenMan said:
    > I’m an atheist. I have faith. I even have religion. I just don’t believe in the supernatural. There is no god.

    I’m curious for further explanation. What “religion” do you have? How do you mean “faith”?

    Stark said:
    > You show me one religion that ever changed one of it’s base tenets. Just one.

    Admittedly religions are not known for their flexibility. Indeed, some pride themselves on their universality, their constancy. But it is inaccurate to say they do not change. Religions show marked adaptation and reinterpretation through the ages to change to fit the cultural needs and understandings of the time. Certainly adherents to religious trends are able to break from the past and forge their own understandings. Otherwise Protestantism would never have occurred. So I think this demand is a bit of a straw man and poorly constructed.

    SCR said:
    > As too, do those fundamentalist extremist (arguably?) highly racist* Israeli settlers who, arguably created the whole modern West vs Islam mess in the first place … (Indeed, going back far enough their ancestors sparked this whole 1-god tri-split cult nonsense.)

    I think it a bit tacky to blame Israelis for the actions of people 2000 years ago. I also think it a bit incorrect to blame the modern West/Muslim split on Israelis. That has been going on for a long time – see The Crusades. Even if you mean the 20th Century aspects, I would suggest that much of that comes from the British Empire carving up the Islamic lands and the partitioning off that occurred as the British ceded the land.

  64. Jacco

    Well, at least here in the Netherlandse we have a minister of Education, Science and Culture who is both an outspoken atheist and scientist. I cannot imagine this happening in the US for the next few hundred years….

  65. jessu

    Who in the world had told you that Bible teaches a 6000 year old Earth? It just shows your ignorance of Bible.

  66. Stark

    Irishman,

    You are correct, it was poorly worded as I was in a hurry – not a good excuse I know.

    The details of a particular religion can certainly change. For example, the Catholic Church moved away from Latin for its language of choice – thus opening their religious writings to a larger audience (certainly a major shift!)… However, the base tenet of Christianity is still the same. Christ came, via virgin birth, he taught, he died for mankind’s sins and was resurrected. This core belief is universal to all Christians – regardless of denomination and is unchanged since antiquity. The same thing is true for every other religion. They may arrange the tune differently over time but it is still the same tune.

    I guess what I’m saying is this: religions all have a single, central, immutable base from which they extend. This is the source of dogma – the one unquestionable tenet. For Christianity that source is the resurrection, for Islam its Muhammad, etc. etc. ad nauseaum.

    Science does not have this. The closest it comes is the directive to believe only what you can verify. There are no holy theories or untouchable hypothesis. Even the methods of verifying knowledge have changed – because new and better ones were found over the centuries. This is how science is so vastly different from religion – it actively questions everything, including itself.

  67. TheBlackCat

    “Who in the world had told you that Bible teaches a 6000 year old Earth?”

    Uh, every Christian scholar up to the early 1800’s. If you follow the genealogies, and many people did, that is what you come up with. There is some disagreement, but it only amounts to a few thousand year margin of error. That is far from the 4.5 billion year margin of error that it would need. Those numbers only started changing when conclusive evidence for an ancient Earth was found. But when people only looked at the Bible, ignoring any outside evidence (besides some historical data filling in a few genealogical holes) that is the conclusion they came to.

  68. Patrick

    WOW! What an honest and completely unbiassed article. Have you even tried to consider the other end of the story?

  69. Crux Australis

    Whatever could the “other side of the story” be I wonder? “We need to get our voice heard, but we have no evidence to back up our vacuous claims. Let’s butcher a documentary by a well-known and respected *real* scientist to make it look like s/he supports us”?

    What an underhanded tactic. That’s worse than quote-fishing.

  70. MIKE

    These obvious and repugnent Creationist tactics are not all that concern me. Here in Australia we are gearing up for a Federal Election and both major parties are heavily and publicly courting the ” Christian Vote “. The only growing Christian demographic that they could be chasing in this country is young Evangelicals. I feel uncomforable about this. This is normal from what I can see in the US – especially re the GOP – but it is not something I have noticed before in the 20 years I have been voting over here. In addition, some of the Christian groups that are now popping up have spokespersons who sound very Jerry Falwell/Moral Majority to me. Then the news update tonight on one of the major networks here just had their talking head say in reference to the new Homo Habilis/Erectus finds that they were, ” the discovery that has challenged the theory of evolution.” I know it’s probably just typical careless journalism(?), but they just don’t care enough to get it right. I think I’ll stop here. The last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about anti-science and anti-intellectualism and spending way too much time reading Skepchick, Bad Astronomy, etc and I think I may have overdosed. I’m starting to feel the big wave of stupidity crash over all our heads.

  71. robhoofd

    Fact is that the EO isn’t really that big of a channel. It only gets so much hours a day, and as a public channel (there are three) it doesn’t really get that much attention, outside of the news.
    I am, however, appalled. I have almost every series by Sir David Attenborough on DVD, and this twisting of his words is disgusting. I don’t believe that this doesn’t somehow break any laws.
    I have watched the entire “The Life of Mammals” series twice or thrice, and I know that any censorship in any of these documentaries could only take away from the truth, and therefore adding to a lie.

    the EO is known for its nocturnal ‘HelpDesk’ show, where people can call in about their problems, to have them magically poofed away by their God. It’s a shame that such drivel should be allowed on public television. It’s a good thing commercial channels never touch the subject (they’re concerned with other, more harmless kinds of drivel).

  72. URGENT!!!!!!!!
    I think you are talking about 8th Commandment.
    I posted my opinion in my blog:

    http://manuelcarrizosa.blogspot.com/2007/08/simios-con-zapatos.html

    is not as big as yours, but i’m trying to share this crime against true in spanish.

  73. Lurchgs

    I was going to jump in with a few words about commandments and how what EO has done fit right in to breaking one of them. But I see others have done this for me.

    I very strongly disagree with the Beeb’s stance on this. Sure, there are inadvertent changes made whenever something is translated (note: Thou shalt not kill, when the original hebrew and greek, I’m told are more specific with “thou shalt not commit murder”. a VERY significant difference)… but this is not an inadvertent change – it’s calculated and deliberate evisceration of science.

    If EO had any honesty in their bones at all, they could have shown the uncut version, providing disclaimers here and there. They could even have dropped the 10th chapter. This kind of treatment, though, is intolerable.

    I don’t know the laws in the EU, so I don’t know if the Beeb can sue EO. One thing I strongly encourage them to do in the future,though, is to refuse to sell them any content whatsoever. IF the EO market is as small as is indicated, the Beeb won’t be losing much money anyway.

    Maybe the EO should change their name to Evolutie Oppositie

  74. Mick

    I am FROM the Netherlands. And well… this IS a country where 44% of the people have no religious affiliation. There may be fundies, but most people don’t take them seriously. Well as they shouldn’t. Many people are not even aware of what the fundies might fume over. I mean I know *I* never watch the EO!

    Still there are times where I question my belief in religious freedom and start wondering if maybe state enforced atheism isn’t a better alternative. That also would be a nice blow against the radical muslims here. And I wonder if it can be done… Democracy without religion. I mean… you can have democracy and forbid drugs. Maybe you can have democracy and forbid religion. It does just as much damage.

  75. Darth Robo

    “Still there are times where I question my belief in religious freedom and start wondering if maybe state enforced atheism isn’t a better alternative.”

    Bad idea, in my opinion. But I do think that radicals of any religion do deserve a good smack round the head.

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