70,000 Australian 'Scientists' speak out against ID.

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70,000 Australian 'Scientists' speak out against ID.

Postby Mr Flibble » 2005-11-07 01:32am

linky!

70,000 unite over 'intelligent design'
by PAUL LLOYD
05nov05

WHEN 70,000 scientists unite, it's heavy artillery.

Organisations representing that number of Australia's science researchers,academics and teacher last week took united aim at "intelligent design".

The 70,000 include the state's Science Teachers Association president Peter Turnbull, who said the group had "grave concerns" the theory was being presented as a valid alternative to evolution.

It's not science, the group argues.

It's more like spoon bending and astrology.

This is a new phase of a war between so-called creationists and evolutionists.

What's different is that proponents of intelligent design - ID, as it is known
- are pushing their case with unprecedented money and media-savvy. They are, in short, demanding creationism be accepted as a science.

Creationists have a classical argument for the existence of God. It says the universe is so complex that it could not possibly have come about by evolution. Evolutionists say random mutations equip some organisms to flourish better than others.

Andrew Dutney, associate professor of theology at Flinders University, likens it to "a computer virus".

Ian Plimer, University of Melbourne geology professor, goes further: "Incompetent design, as I call it, is an anti-intellectual post-modernist mechanism for snaring the ill-educated into Protestant fundamentalism."

But proponents want their views put alongside evolution in science classes. They are finding support from federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson, some church leaders and the Anglican King's School near Sydney.

At least one NSW fundamentalist Christian school has ID in the curriculum. The Campus Crusade for Christ is distributing thousands of copies of a video called Unlocking the Mystery of Life.

In front bars they're talking about archbishops and politicians "running scared" and not condemning this "Christian Wahabbism" the same way that moderate Muslim leaders don't condemn Islamic terrorists.

And all this from a simple, time-honoured creation story?

The new push for this story can be traced to the Discovery Institute. This is a conservative Christian think-tank founded in 1990 in Seattle in the U.S. It has a $5.5 million budget.

The centre opposes euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, animal rights and high taxation. Its number-one project is what it calls the Wedge.

This finances publications and DVDs (including Unlocking the Mystery of Life), research, buying academics, political lobbying and stacking school boards. The aim is to get ID taught as a science subject. By the Wedge principle, evolution can then be subverted, portrayed as a "theory in crisis", and scientists made to seem closed-minded. The kingdom of the Intelligent Designer will be nigh.

One scientist concerned is Jack da Silva, a lecturer in genetics at the University of Adelaide. He says ID is "not a scientific view. It's arguing that things happen by magic. It's also a rather silly idea to try explaining complexity by positing that there exists something even more complex."

According to Associate Professor Dutney: "As a comment about where we're up to as a Western capitalist nation, ID belongs with a host of issues being contested at the moment, including whether we are a society or an economy; the limits of the rights of the individual; the questioning of cultural diversity; and relations with other cultures, especially Islamic cultures.

"The religious right is making evolution some kind of test case for its complaints about modernity in general. It is politically tainted."

He accepts it may have some place in school curriculums, perhaps in critical thinking courses, but he says it "ought to be handled with great care".

"You don't want to import it like a computer virus that is likely to, and is probably intended to, destabilise the rest of the curriculum," he said.

This is not a question of religious faith, which such great scientists as Newton and Einstein have comfortably accepted.

And the scientists don't see it as a question of science. The IDers push it as a question of education, whether it's viral marketing or simply trying to open minds to possibilities other than evolution.

That's the Wedge.


Nice to see that we were able to get some numbers to speak out against Intelligent Design in Australia. I liked the bolded bit, partly because Ian Pilmer is coming to my uni next year, in the Geology department.

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Postby Mr Flibble » 2005-11-07 01:38am

Ghetto Edit: I put scientists in quotation marks because included in those numbers are school teachers, some of which may not actually be scientists, however 70,000 is good numbers.

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Postby mr friendly guy » 2005-11-07 01:52am

But clearly these evolutionists are so arrogant that they won't even allow an opposing view to be taught (never mind that the opposing view is bullshit and has no merit).

Its all a big push to get God out of society (never mind we have no evidence for this claim)

God will not be mocked (funny, wasn't ID supposed to be a science and not a religion?).

Unlike the US, I very much doubt ID has that strong a political force here. However the anti-science anti -intellectual morons living in Australia are continuously ranting with outdated arguments.

ID hopefully amount to much, then I can write a letter telling these morons to suck it up since ID won't be accepted into the public school curriculum.
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Postby wautd » 2005-11-07 03:11am

"Incompetent design, as I call it, is an anti-intellectual post-modernist mechanism for snaring the ill-educated into Protestant fundamentalism."


Lovely definition of ID :)

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Postby Ford Prefect » 2005-11-07 03:32am

mr friendly guy wrote:ID hopefully amount to much, then I can write a letter telling these morons to suck it up since ID won't be accepted into the public school curriculum.


As far as I know, it is highly unlikely that it would even get into a Catholic school in this country. At least Tasmania any way, and I don't think we're intrinsically that superior to you mainlanders.
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Postby thejester » 2005-11-07 04:05am

Ford Prefect wrote:As far as I know, it is highly unlikely that it would even get into a Catholic school in this country. At least Tasmania any way, and I don't think we're intrinsically that superior to you mainlanders.


*coughs loudly*

Tasmanian superior to a mainlander? Ain't gonna happen, buddy.... :lol:
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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2005-11-07 07:15am

I wonder how many of them are named Steve.

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Postby Lusankya » 2005-11-07 08:33am

It's strange. Growing up, I thought that the only religious people in Australia were old people. I even met one girl who only found out who the hell this "God" character was when she went to boarding school. She'd grown up on a station where everybody was atheist, so as far as she knew, "God" was just a curse word.
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Postby Haruko » 2005-11-07 04:23pm

wautd wrote:
"Incompetent design, as I call it, is an anti-intellectual post-modernist mechanism for snaring the ill-educated into Protestant fundamentalism."


Lovely definition of ID :)


Agreed, but the word "mechanism" being applied when talking about Inherently Dumb almost made me cringe, even though I understand the context to be other than that by which should make me cringe.
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Postby Adrian Laguna » 2005-11-07 04:35pm

Lusankya wrote:It's strange. Growing up, I thought that the only religious people in Australia were old people. I even met one girl who only found out who the hell this "God" character was when she went to boarding school. She'd grown up on a station where everybody was atheist, so as far as she knew, "God" was just a curse word.


I can just hear the shrieks of terror that would come from deep witihin any fundie that found out about this.

It's nice that so many people are coming out against creationism in a clown suit.

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Postby Stark » 2005-11-07 07:21pm

No I've had a similar experience. There must be some kind of support for fundies in Australia, but I think I've met perhaps a dozen people who are religious beyond lip-service.

Then again, near Garbs there is an 'American style' church, full of power-of-god-feeling and rabble-rousing etc, so there has to be hundreds of them. Still, noone seems to ADMIT to giving a shit about this sort of thing.

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Postby Big Phil » 2005-11-07 07:27pm

One scientist for every 287 people (based on a population of ~20,100,000)... is that a lot, and might that explain why they're so vocal about it?
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Postby Zor » 2005-11-07 08:03pm

Admiral Valdemar wrote:I wonder how many of them are named Steve.


Seventeen Thousand, Four hundred Twenty. Including Two Hundred and Five woman and Two Wraiths (one Female) :P

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Postby Neko_Oni » 2005-11-09 03:21am

Hopefully ID doesn't get too much backing here. Otherwise between ID, Anti-terrorism laws and Industrial Reform I might have to go elsewhere.

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Postby defanatic » 2005-11-09 04:00am

Stark wrote:Then again, near Garbs there is an 'American style' church, full of power-of-god-feeling and rabble-rousing etc, so there has to be hundreds of them. Still, noone seems to ADMIT to giving a shit about this sort of thing.


Co incidentally (I also live in Australia), there is a place called Garden City near where I live (nicknamed Garbo for some reason or other), and right next to that there is a fundamentalist church and youth group. They're also starting a new one for people under twelve. Urgh. I went there a few times, to meet some people.
One youth pastor actually quoted Kent Hovind. :evil:
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Postby Spyder » 2005-11-09 04:26am

Australia does get it right sometimes :D
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Postby mr friendly guy » 2005-11-09 04:34am

Lusankya wrote:It's strange. Growing up, I thought that the only religious people in Australia were old people. I even met one girl who only found out who the hell this "God" character was when she went to boarding school. She'd grown up on a station where everybody was atheist, so as far as she knew, "God" was just a curse word.


Didn't you grow up in Adelaide the City of Churches? When I first came to Adelaide every other kid went to Sunday school and our primary school teacher made us say grace before lunch.
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Postby Xon » 2005-11-09 04:57am

Neko_Oni wrote:Hopefully ID doesn't get too much backing here. Otherwise between ID, Anti-terrorism laws and Industrial Reform I might have to go elsewhere.

In Australia creationism was laughed out of parliament when it was brought up a while ago. The states, the federal opposition and everyone who matters in government (The Prime Minister & Treasurer , and maybe one or 2 others) are completely opposed against that garbage.

It would be a complete 180 degree change.

Also due to how education is setup, the States & the federal government manage the education together. The Federal government can not strong arm them on this(even if it wanted too).
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Postby Stark » 2005-11-09 05:28am

defanatic wrote:Co incidentally (I also live in Australia), there is a place called Garden City near where I live (nicknamed Garbo for some reason or other), and right next to that there is a fundamentalist church and youth group. They're also starting a new one for people under twelve. Urgh. I went there a few times, to meet some people.
One youth pastor actually quoted Kent Hovind. :evil:


Yeah, I know: I went to highschool across the highway from Garbs way back last century. We are speaking of the SAME nutbar 'praise the LAWD' church here! :) I didn't know they were expanding: I went there once for the christening of a friends child, and it was freaky seeing all that televangelist garbage right there. Sorry guys, holding your hand up and claiming to feel 'the LAWDS power' is really, really fucked up.

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Postby Gandalf » 2005-11-09 05:50am

defanatic wrote:Co incidentally (I also live in Australia), there is a place called Garden City near where I live (nicknamed Garbo for some reason or other), and right next to that there is a fundamentalist church and youth group. They're also starting a new one for people under twelve. Urgh. I went there a few times, to meet some people.
One youth pastor actually quoted Kent Hovind. :evil:


Garden City, Kotara?

If that is the correct GC, where is that school relative to the centre? I don't recall seeing it, and might get a peek this weekend.
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Postby Lusankya » 2005-11-09 06:19am

mr friendly guy wrote:
Lusankya wrote:It's strange. Growing up, I thought that the only religious people in Australia were old people. I even met one girl who only found out who the hell this "God" character was when she went to boarding school. She'd grown up on a station where everybody was atheist, so as far as she knew, "God" was just a curse word.


Didn't you grow up in Adelaide the City of Churches? When I first came to Adelaide every other kid went to Sunday school and our primary school teacher made us say grace before lunch.


Not the people I knew. You must have been in a pretty weird part of Adelaide. With a wacky teacher as well. The only reason I ever had say prayer at school was because I went to a private school, and as you know, there's almost no such thing as a secular private school. Mine, being "non-denominational" was about as close as it got without having some kind of special focus.

Besides, when Adelaide was being built, we built at least one bar or bordello for every church that we erected!
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Postby Stark » 2005-11-09 06:26am

Gandalf wrote:
defanatic wrote:Co incidentally (I also live in Australia), there is a place called Garden City near where I live (nicknamed Garbo for some reason or other), and right next to that there is a fundamentalist church and youth group. They're also starting a new one for people under twelve. Urgh. I went there a few times, to meet some people.
One youth pastor actually quoted Kent Hovind. :evil:


Garden City, Kotara?

If that is the correct GC, where is that school relative to the centre? I don't recall seeing it, and might get a peek this weekend.


Unless there's a massive cultural coincidence at work, he's talking about Garden City the shopping mall in Mt Gravatt, Brisbane. But hey, my hometown (Christchurch) is 'The Garden City', so who knows?

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Postby Gandalf » 2005-11-09 06:30am

Stark wrote:Unless there's a massive cultural coincidence at work, he's talking about Garden City the shopping mall in Mt Gravatt, Brisbane. But hey, my hometown (Christchurch) is 'The Garden City', so who knows?


There's a GC shopping centre in Kotara, a suburb of Newcastle. I thought that might have been it. :oops:
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Postby Xon » 2005-11-09 10:07am

Dont worry, there is a "Garden City" shopping in Perth too!
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Postby mr friendly guy » 2005-11-09 09:16pm

Lusankya wrote:Not the people I knew. You must have been in a pretty weird part of Adelaide. With a wacky teacher as well.


Glenelg, which seems a pretty lively place at least when I went back earlier this year.

Come to think of it, no other teacher in that school or any other Adelaide school that I went to ever made us pray. They just made us sing the national anthem without teaching us the damn words. :lol:
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