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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For atheists and theists alike who want to better understand evolution

I just got my monthly copy of Scientific American in the mail. This one is a special issue about evolution that has this on the cover:

Evolution at work: How doctors, police and others use it on their job

The evolution of evolution: How Darwin's theory survives, thrives, and reshapes the world

The future of human evolution

Molecular proof of natural selection

How life invents complex traits

Creationist's Latest Tricks

Then inside all of this is broken down into different articles. When you browse the index, lets say at the grocery store or *cough* the library where you can read it for free *cough* the articles are not titled the same as the cover states, just so you know. They are still there, just read the descriptions of the articles to find what you are looking for.

Also, page 74 has an article entitled 'Four Fallacies of Evolutionary Pop Psychology' that looks interesting.

For bonus points mosey on over to SciAm.com and check out the short article entitled Why Everyone Should Learn the Theory of Evolution. Personally, I thought it was so short it was almost more like an extended blurb than an article, but check out the comments.

Here's one:

woundeddog2 at 12:32 PM on 12/15/08

Romans 1:22
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

That's it. As if someone who read the article would say to themselves 'Hey, I never believed the creation story before but I'm convinced now!' Trolls are everywhere.

But then there are the more reasonable Christians who leave comments like this:

mlyyski at 12:45 PM on 12/15/08

The creationist/evolutionist debate is maddening. When I was about 9 years old I was given a Bible, and the books "The World of Science" and "The Sea Around Us". It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that God created, and science explains creation. I am a Christian who absolutely believes in evolution. The creationists who sat down and dreamed up their theory, though they probably thought they were defending God (another absurd idea), actually did a huge disservice to Christianity. Most disappointing are the science savvy 'intellectuals' who say creationists got it wrong, so God could not be responsible for creation, even though they haven't the slightest clue as to the origion of the universe. In fact, I have yet to see any theory as plausable as a 9 year old's assesment after nearly 50 years, just a lot of stne throwing and name calling on both sides. Mike Lyyski

After reading that last comment I have a sliver more hope for humanity that tells me maybe one day Christians will at least accept evolution more on the terms that Mr. Lyyski stated. Hey, it's not the whole kit'n caboodle but it's better than what we have now.


  1. Are you "coughing" at me because I read magazines for free at the library? My taxes help support that library, nonmagic. Of course, they also have all the Left Behind books as well. But no Ray Comfort.

  2. LOL Rufus, no, I'm coughing at you because I'm very much in favor pf people reading anything they can get their hands on at the library instead of us just cutting down more trees.

    But I can't do it. I have a germ phobia and I can barely check out library books at all because of it. Sad, but true.

    Have you read that Left Behind series? I once knew someone who read it and they converted to fundamental Christianity afterward.
    I think it was a fear based conversion, though.

  3. Romans 1:22
    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    That sounds like someone we know...

  4. Wow. Not being able to check out books from the library. I think that would kill me. It also reminds me of David Puddy, Elaine's boyfriend on Seinfeld being a "germ a phobe".

    I tried to read the very first Left Behind, but the writing was so bad I couldn't do it. I forced myself to read the last one, The Glorious Appearing, to see how they described the final battle and Jesus' return. Still very bad writing, and they really have a hard on for all that blood and guts stuff. I can just imagine Christians reading that book and getting all hard and wet when Jesus starts kicking ass. I bet Ray knocked the bottom out of it that night. They are so looking forward to all of us heathens and atheists and homosexuals and Muslims et al, getting our just rewards. And if Jesus is late for another two thousand years, well, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have provided well for several generations to come. Unless they want to follow Jesus' economic advice and sell all they have and give to the poor. Let's not hold our breath.

  5. If you want to read the Left Behind books AND have fun go to this website: slacktivist

    It's very funny, plus there is a video starring Kirk.

  6. I can just imagine Christians reading that book and getting all hard and wet when Jesus starts kicking ass. I bet Ray knocked the bottom out of it that night.

    LMFAOOOOO!!! I don't know if I could stand to read it. Maybe one day I might try. Maybe. Probably not!

    Yeah, I've got an OCD that's been with me since childhood. I used to LOVE going to the library to check out books, but the past few years it's been tough. I now buy almost every book I want to read, which got me into creating my own library, which triggered another obsession with owning books. OY!!!

    I did go to the library last Saturday, though. I got coughed on by a homeless person and nearly freaked out right there in front of everyone. I did stay long enough to get one book. I read it in the living room and put it under the coffee table on a little shelf that's under there until I'm ready to look at it again. I don't take it near the kitchen or bedroom, and I wash my hands after I touch it.

    I also have this thing, that has no logic or truth to it whatsoever, that certain types of books have more germs on them than others. I once had to read a book on pedophilia and I nearly had to put gloves on just to touch the thing.

    But hey! It's better right now than it has been in awhile.

  7. Obviously, the best thing about the Left Behind books are the names; Rayford Steele, Buck Williams, Chloe. Are those great porn star names or what?

  8. nm you might find this guy interesting at Atheist Nexus.

    He has OCD and says that OCD led him into fundie christianity and that the lack of compassion there then drove him out.

    He now councels in OCD, and as he is gay, finds much irony in the situations where he has to advise heteros on sexual relationships.

    I reckon everyone has OCD to one degree or another, ranging from fretting over whther the gas or iron has been left on (even tho you KNOW you turned it off) thru to the wire brush and dettol rituals. (Hellish for the gums you know)

  9. Thanks, Stew! I'll check him out.

    I think a lot of people have a form of neurosis about things like leaving the iron on and such. My OCD however, is so way beyond anything like that and it seems to have a pattern of flaring up at certain times more than others. I've had it since the 3rd grade and I've been treated for it since it has, on numerous occasions, become a complete disruption to my daily life. But I just gotta keep on keepin' on, ya know?

    If it ever leads me to fundyism, though, someone please have me commited !!

  10. Rufus this is for you since you cant get through Left Behind.


    This is a liberal christian covering the books in order. So far he has gone through the first book and is now covering the movie. It really is a good read as he is bashing the writing and theology.

    To start at the beginning you need to go to the back page and read in reverse order. He covers a few pages every Friday. This is just the Friday Left Behind stuff.

  11. She echoes my opinions about religion and theists in general: the vast majority are quiet & respectful, and are being "slandered" by the minority who feel the need to wage war in God's name.

    As for the reaction of the scientists (ie. Creationism sucks, therefore God has nothing to do with it), I only agree with the commenter to a minimal extent.

    Fundamentalists are driving the debate, while moderate theists are sitting and watching. If all you see are assaults on rationality, you're going to eventually conclude that anyone associated with those doing the assaulting - sucks.

    If theists want a more moderate reaction from those being attacked, they need to speak up more often. Distance themselves from the idiots, and explain what their theology is really about. In the absence of that, they should be blaming themselves for the current state of the "discussion"

  12. Ubfortunately WEM, it is in the nature of moderates to not be militant. That's why they are moderates. So they are less motivated to get involved in the debates. It is unfortunately inevitable that the debate is almost entireley between fundies and us, the militant realists.

  13. they really have a hard on for all that blood and guts stuff... They are so looking forward to all of us heathens and atheists and homosexuals and Muslims et al, getting our just rewards.

    That really is their chief motivation. Despite all of their claims that they "love" us and want to get us saved - there are literally millions of them who anticipate eagerly spending eternity watching billions of the rest of frying in hell. Everything else is secondary.


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