Why study evolution?

You can find this at the website of Texas Citizens for Science. Or, you can find it buried on page 47, in with all the other testimony at the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) website, in .pdf form.

Or you can just read it here:

Statement of Edwin S. Darrell
Dallas, Texas

Before the State Board of Education Textbook Hearings

Austin, Texas
July 9, 2003

My name is Ed Darrell. I represent myself and my family today. We have two kids in the Duncanville, Texas, schools, both of them science nuts.

I am a lawyer. I paid much of my way through undergraduate school working as a botanist in air pollution research. For much of a decade I staffed the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, which deals with education issues; subsequent to my service on Capitol Hill I was for a brief, wonderful time Director of Information Services at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), during the late Reagan administration; my tenure there included responsibility for the redesign of the ERIC Library system, and I had responsibility for the Education Library which includes the largest collection of historic textbooks in the U.S.

My interest in these new books is to make certain that evolution by natural and sexual selection is covered well. Evolution is one of the great concepts of western civilization. Our children need to know what it is, accurately, and how it is thought to work, accurately, in order to function in school and the world.

For much of the past 30 years I have monitored biology textbooks, both in official and unofficial capacities. I have reviewed the books proposed for acceptance before you now, and read a few of them rather deeply. Generally, these textbooks are all acceptable in terms of the material they cover. Specifically, some of these books are outstanding. The photos and illustrations are vastly improved in the past 20 years. Publishers are recruiting top-notch authors – Kenneth Miller is one of the nation’s better biology instructors, and Peter Raven, in addition to being perhaps the world’s best botanist, is a past winner of a MacArthur Foundation grant. I have had the pleasure of working with Gilbert Grosvenor and the people at the National Geographic Society, and their participation in one of these texts is quite obvious in the improvements seen in the texts.

All that said, I think that, generally, evolution needs better coverage even than it gets in these books. There are simple, four- or five-step explanations for evolution by natural selection, especially as developed by Ernst Mayr. The Glencoe book lists the four-step version, but only as captions to illustrations. It should be incorporated better into the text. None of the texts is particularly outstanding as I would like them to be about the history and biography of the people in biology. Darwin’s great genius, and his great good nature which endeared him to all who knew him, is barely on display. Science is rarely done by dull men in white lab coats, in reality, and it would be nice to know more about some of the people who do the work. One text features interviews with scientists – including Peter and Rosemary Grant of Princeton, the two who have recorded evolution in real time, and Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, the great dinosaur hunter whose use of technology to make great finds will make him legendary. This is great stuff, and there needs to be more of it.

Those criticisms are beyond the scope of the review you are allowed under the law, however. These might be classed as errors by omission, and I hope the publishers, authors and editors can find a way to fix the problems in the future.

So let me direct my most serious comments to you and this process. I suspect that most of you did not get a great education in Darwinian theory before you graduated high school, and you may have missed it in college, too. That’s the story of most Americans. The great biologist G. G. Simpson wrote an article for a journal in 1959, at the centennial of Darwin’s most famous work, titled “One Hundred Years Without Evolution is Enough.” 44 years later, it’s even more true. Especially for Texas kids, we cannot afford to give them less than the best education anymore. Knowledge of evolution is important the health and economic well-being of our state.

1. Evolution is necessary for understanding health care

Randolph Nesse at the University of Michigan has been making the case for 15 years now that evolution knowledge is essential in health care. Evolution theory aids in understanding infectious disease, not only in the development of antibiotic resistance, but also in the understanding of increases and decreases in virulence of pathogens. Defenses against infection, such as fever and immune responses, are now understood as products of an evolutionary arms race. Sexual reproduction, and all its inherent problems, is also evolutionarily informed. Genetic diseases are inherently evolution based. Evolution even informs research in diseases like atherosclerosis and myopia, which are thought to be the result of the mismatch between our environment today, and the environment in which our species evolved. This is essential knowledge for all health workers, in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and common ear infections.

2. Evolution is necessary for Texas economic development

Texas’s economy is based on evolution in large part. The Rio Grande Valley is home of the best grapefruit grown on Earth. Grapefruit, of course, is a new species that did not exist just over a century ago. The Rio Reds that are currently the largest cash crop in Texas grapefruit are the result of a sport mutation in grapefruit a half-century ago, and specifically the result of an intense, evolution-based breeding program by Texas A&M University.

In a different vein, there is hope today that the cotton boll weevil will be eliminated from the United States in the near future, a result of careful eradication programs, based on evolutionary theory. The imported fire ant, on the other hand, still does about $1.2 billion of damage to Texas every year. Because of evolution in the species since it hit U.S. shores in the 1930s, any hope to slow or stop the spread of this nasty pest rests in an understanding of evolutionary mechanisms. The multi-queen, mega-colonies of fire ants clearly demonstrate how misunderstanding evolution can make our pests more virulent.

We should also note that the Texas oil, gas and coal extraction industries are based on a companion science, geology, which will most likely be attacked here today. Biology textbooks mention geology because that science gives us good information on the ages of fossils, formerly living things which clearly demonstrate evolution. Geology is critical to the Texas economy, and attacks on geology should not be considered acceptable.

3. Evolution is necessary for student achievement

The Advanced Placement biology examination our high school kids take is 29% based on evolution, according to the College Board. Evolution is the linking framework in all biology, and we should not be surprised. The model curriculum laid out by Education Secretary Bill Bennett in 1987 included evolution as one of the key concepts kids need to know. That is true today more than ever.

You will hear today, I predict, that there are competing ideas to evolution which should be added to the texts. I urge you to leave such intramural fights to the scientists, and to the very formal processes science has to settle such fights. Curriculum writers base their curricula on what is in the science journals, not on hopeful assertions that have not been proven in the laboratory or in the field. Our kids need to get the best information, and we should not dither on that point at all.

Finally, I want to note that you will be urged to make changes to make evolution more palatable to some religious sects. That is not in the scope of the law that brings us here today, and I would caution you that any dilution of the information our kids get, will have consequences later on. It may be that there is some error in Darwinian theory. But that error will not be found by a kid who does not have a firm understanding of what Darwinian theory is.

Evolution today protects our health and feeds our people. It is impossible to walk down the produce aisle of any supermarket and fail to see the real results of evolution and its benefits. From corn, to broccoli, to grapefruit, to Canola oil, from genetic disease to insulin treatments for diabetes, evolution theory applied in the real world makes our lives better. Let us make sure our kids know that.

Thank you.

__________________________________

Added in 2013, for indexing purposes from NewScientist.com: Five skulls belonging to some ancestors and relatives of modern humans. From left to right, the skulls are: Australopithecus africanus (3-1.8 mya); Homo habilis (or H. rudolfensis, 2.1-1.6 mya); Homo erectus (or H. ergaster, 1.8-0.3 mya, although the ergaster classification is generally recognised to mean the earlier part of this period); a modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) from the Qafzeh site in Israel, which is around 92,000 years old; and a French Cro-Magnon human from around 22,000 years ago (Image: Pascal Goetcheluck / SPL)

Added in 2013, for indexing purposes from NewScientist.com: Five skulls belonging to some ancestors and relatives of modern humans. From left to right, the skulls are: Australopithecus africanus (3-1.8 mya); Homo habilis (or H. rudolfensis, 2.1-1.6 mya); Homo erectus (or H. ergaster, 1.8-0.3 mya, although the ergaster classification is generally recognised to mean the earlier part of this period); a modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) from the Qafzeh site in Israel, which is around 92,000 years old; and a French Cro-Magnon human from around 22,000 years ago (Image: Pascal Goetcheluck / SPL)

Other testimony in TEA sources on textbook selection:

September 3, 2003, final hearing, transcript, page 460

September 3, 2003, submitted written testimony, here, page 230.

2004 testimony on health care texts, p. 102, here.

Commenters on several threads asked for information about evolution. These are a few of the excellent sites available that explain evolution:

148 Responses to Why study evolution?

  1. JamesK says:

    To quote Charity: the media and schools never tell you the evidence about creation

    Because there is none. Religious faith is not evidence.

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  2. JamesK says:

    To quote charity: TO quote: the bible says that he created the earth first

    And yet the sun is far far older then the earth. So the Bible is wrong.

    So if God wrote the Bible that means that God was wrong. Or you can admit that the Bible was written by humans and that Genesis..the story of Creation is allegory written by humans with far more limited knowledge then what we have now.

    Which will it be?

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  3. JamesK says:

    Yeah, Charity, they teach evolution in the public schools..but it is a scientific theory, not religious belief. Is accepting the fact that the earth goes around the sun a religious belief or is it simply a statement of fact?

    And before you say something silly about “theory” let me remind you that gravity is a theory in science. “Theory” doesn’t mean “unproven guess” in science.

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  4. JamesK says:

    Let me give a little history lesson on why you’re wrong about religious instruction in the public schools, Charity.

    Back in 1860′s Philly the Protestant majority decided that the public schools should have religious/bible instruction required for all the students.

    A minority group objected saying that their rights to their religious beliefs was being violated. So they complained to the protestant dominated school board which naturally didn’t listen. The protestants retaliated against that minority and what was a debate became fights which became riots. And in the end two churches were burned to the ground and 30 people died. And thus the Philly Bible riots were born.

    I did purposefully neglect to mention one salient detail in that history lesson. The minority group that objected was my ancestral Catholics and it was our churches that were burned down and our people that were killed.. And the reason we objected is that the protestants were forcing our children to read from the King James Bible and we Catholics don’t even consider the KJV to be worthy of being used as toilet paper much less as a Christian bible. So you had one group of Christians burning down the churches of another group of Christians and killing members of that denomination all because the first group arrogantly thought they should get to violate the rights of the second group because they were the majority and the second group wasn’t. And you want to return to that time period? You are a perfect example of why the Wisconsin Supreme Court said in 1890: “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights. malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed.” Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board

    So where do you get off thinking you have the right to force feed your religious beliefs down the throats of everyone elses kids using the public schools and the government? Where do you get off thinking you get to violate their religious freedom that way? And make no mistake that is what you want. Oh I know you’ll say “but it’s just a bunch of nonChristians..who cares about them.” Well first off their rights are equal to your own. And secondly its not just nonChristians that oppose you here. It’s also your fellow Christians. Because the Catholic church, the lutheran church, the methodist church and the espicopalian church have all said that there is no contradiction between what Christianity teaches and what the theory of evolution says. It’s just that God used evolution as a tool…as a means to an end.

    Religion is the single most divisive thing that we humans know. And you because you fail to understand the danger of what you want are acting like a little kid playing with fire.

    If your church wants to teach creationism its perfectly entitled to it. If you want to homeschool your kids and teach them creationism instead of the theory of evolution be my guest. But your rights to your religious beliefs, Charity, don’t include the right to use the public schools to force feed your religious beliefs down the throats of other peoples children. Students in public schools are required by law to be there, they are a captive audience. And that is why religious instruction is forbidden.

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  5. JamesK says:

    TO quote: why do you believe that they do not teach evolution in schools if they did not teach evolution then why does everyone in biology and science classes learn about evolution and not intelligent design or creation.

    Answer: Because neither intelligent design nor creation are science. They are purely religious belief.

    To quote:
    do you know why they do not teach intelligent design or creation in schools?

    Answer: Because religious instruction in the public schools is an violation of the 1st amendment’s establishment clause, the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause and as they are not science they no more belong being taught in science class then one should be teaching that storks deliver babies in sex ed.

    Are you going to demand that your church teach evolution?

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Here is my less-eloquent than Judge Jones version of why we don’t teach intelligent design in public schools:

    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/intelligent-design-pigs-still-dont-fly/

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Creationism and intelligent design are religious doctrines held by a few Christian related cults. The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution and its analogs in each of the state constitutions prevent government from preaching any religious doctrine over another.

    Science is not religious doctrine. We need people who know science.

    That’s the short answer.

    There are several court cases on the topic, with the last and most clear being the Kitzmiller case in Pennsylvania in 2005.

    See that decision here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

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  8. charity says:

    why do you believe that they do not teach evolution in schools if they did not teach evolution then why does everyone in biology and science classes learn about evolution and not intelligent design or creation.
    do you know why they do not teach intelligent design or creation in schools?

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  9. JamesK says:

    Teaching creation in the public schools is a violation of the 1st amendment’s establishment clause and the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. That is why its not taught, that is why it can not be taught.

    It is not the job of the public schools to engage in religious instruction no matter how much you and yours whine that it’s not fair.

    Your church should be able to do its own bloody job so I have to wonder why you stay with a church that you think is so incompetent.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Radishes and broccoli have a common ancestor, a mustard. The mustard turned into broccoli, radishes, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower — and probably a couple more I’m forgetting at the moment. Oh, yeah, rapeseed. Rapeseed is another of the same family. In fact, a sport mutation in rapeseed crops in Canada produced a seed whose oil is not poisonous (all the that family were until then), and that’s what we now call canola oil.

    A stroll down the produce aisle of any grocery store is a stroll through recent evolution. Corn (maize) came from teosinte, in just the last 5,000 years. The potatoes we buy, especially the russet Burbanks, were bred into new species radically different from the fingerling potatoes the Spanish took back to Europe from Peru. Apples, all citrus, tomatoes . . . all of that stuff is radically different from what you could have found 2,000 years ago. Some of it is subspecies of older ones — but much of the rest is speciated, and could not be bred back to the native plants.

    Bananas — there’s a big one.

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  11. JamesK says:

    To quote:
    the aurochs is still a cow
    show me something on the macro scale

    Dogs from wolves
    Humans from, among other ancestors, australopithicus afraensis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecus_afarensis

    Does that thing have a human skull?

    Our dna proves evolution, Charity. THere is no other explanation on why our dna is such a close match to the dna of primates.

    To quote: the sun it the greater light

    No actually the “great light” appears before the sun is created. And the moon isnt a light at all which God would know. And the sun is far older then the earth which again God would know.

    TO quote: the bible says that he created the earth first

    charity says:

    first of all they teach evolution in schools they do not teach creation so kids have no other choice but to believe in evolution

    Because Creation is nothing but Christian religious belief. It is not an alternative to the theory of evolution no matter how much you pretend different. And you do not have the right to have religious instruction in the public schools because its unconstitutional. Starting with the fact that its a violation of the establishment clause and ending with the fact that as not everyone in this country is Christian you would be massively violating their freedom to their religious beliefs and the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. If you were my kids teacher in their public school and you dared to teach religious instruction to them I’d have you fired. I’d sue the school if they didn’t fire you, I’d make sure you had your teachers license stripped permamently and then I’d bankrupt you with the biggest civil rights violation lawsuit you ever did see…and I’m Christian.

    It is not the job of the government to teach your religious beliefs to anyone. And if your church can’t handle its own job then that’s too bad but you don’t get to use the public schools as a proxy for your church.

    Evolution doesn’t require “belief” It is fact. It is science. And creation is not an alternative to it no matter how much you delude yourself to the contrary. And there is nothing whatsoever about the theory of evolution that is contrary to Christianity.

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  12. charity says:

    are you saying that radishes turned into broccoli

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Auruochs were not “cows.” A modern Angus, or Brahma, or Holstein, bears only a passing resemblance to aurochs — much greater diversity that that between domestic cars and servals, for example.

    That IS “macro” evolution by the way, differentiation to a new species. You’d see that particularly with the Hawaii silversword alliance, where a scrubby bush has speciated out to form ground hugging flowers, several different bushes, and trees. If you consider the differences between radishes and broccoli, you can see that speciation is quite clear, in shape and form and function of roots, in flowers, in leaves, stalks, etc.

    Or compare a Canadian thistle, or the Niger thistle from which we get seeds to feed finches, with the artichoke.

    Weiner’s book, and the book by the Grants after Weiner wrote so well about them, carefully document the step-by-step processes of evolution, observed in real time, and carefully recorded and documented in bird morphology, beak size and shape, diet, breeding habits, nesting, blood and DNA. You would do well to check into those.

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  14. charity says:

    the aurochs is still a cow
    show me something on the macro scale

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  15. Ed Darrell says:

    Those were the things they turned into; you asked for examples of evolution, not ancestors.

    Ancestors? Mustards were the foundation for broccoli, Brussels sprouts and radishes. As I noted, the aurochs was the ancestor of modern cows. Etc. (See links in my previous post for histories of several of my examples.)

    If you didn’t want examples of evolution, what was you real question?

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  16. charity says:

    the sun it the greater light
    what did all those things you listed turn into

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    the bible says that he created the earth first

    Earth first, before the Sun, in Genesis 1? Perhaps – and of course, we know that’s the incorrect order.

    In the creation story told in Job, Earth is there again, but no order of creation is distinguished between Earth and our star.

    Earth/Sun creation not mentioned in the creation story in Genesis 2.

    So, perhaps we should do what the theologians did in the early 19th century, and assume that God doesn’t screw up, and God doesn’t tell lies — and that creation is a second testament, an infallible testament, direct from the hand of God (as opposed to scripture, which is not from the hand of God at any point) — if nature shows the Sun came first, that must be what happened.

    That was the almost-universal Christian view before Darby.

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Can anyone give me one example of evolution?

    Broccoli
    Red grapefruit. Grapefruit.
    Radishes
    Modern beef (from the now-extinct-from-poaching aurochs)
    Lesser black-backed gull/herring gull (ring species) (commentary on continuing evolution in our time)
    San Fernando or California salamander complex (ring species)
    Hawaiian silversword complex
    American apple maggot
    artichokes
    Greenish warblers in the Himalayan region (ring species)
    Vagus nerve in giraffes (and giraffes)
    Speed of the pronghorn antelope (and the prediction of an ancient American cheetah)

    No, can’t give you just one. Too many really great examples.

    Broaden the question to examples of natural selection, and we get a few thousand more, including peppered moths.

    See a summary of Mayr’s explanation of the steps of Darwinian evolution, here. (I tried to keep it non-technical, and in easy-to-read English.)

    (check back; I may add links here with more time)

    Update! Oops, left off the sticklebacks, a really solid case, since it was observed in real time in the wild, and then it was repeated in a lab!

    Plus, the evolution of DDT resistance in mosquitoes (not to speciation yet, but a clear example of natural selection pushing that way). Weiner’s book is a must-read for any non-scientist seeking to understand evolution.

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    You get ‘em every Sunday in church, no? My experience is the creationist parents are quite wily in their attempts to subvert their child’s science education. Most education really happens at home around the dinner table.

    It’s a miracle that any kids escape ill-informed parents, but many do. Truth is powerful.

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  20. charity says:

    can anyone give me one example of evolution

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  21. charity says:

    the bible says that he created the earth first

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  22. charity says:

    first of all they teach evolution in schools they do not teach creation so kids have no other choice but to believe in evolution

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  23. JamesK says:

    Charity, which is older? The sun or the earth?

    And which does the Bible say is older?

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  24. jsojourner says:

    Charity,

    As the holy Fathers of the Church have said…as the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches have said…and as the Protestant Reformers said…no one today knows how long a “day” was when Genesis was written six thousand years ago.

    You say you believe the Bible. It says that a “day” with the Lord is as a thousand years. And a thousand years as a day.

    Why don’t you believe the Bible?

    Jim

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  25. JamesK says:

    And let me make this clear. The story in Genesis doesn’t explain how God did things and as a priest once said..those who think the Bible is a science textbook are doing a disservice to both science and Christianity.

    Genesis says who and why, it does not remotely attempt to explain when, where and how. It was written by humans with limited human understanding. The Creation account is allegory, it is not meant literally. And creationism is nothing but an heretical interpretation of the Creation account that says God is a sociopathic liar.

    So yes it’s quite easy as a Christian to both believe that God created everything and accept evolution for what it is..one of the tools that God used.

    That you think otherwise, Charity, is only indicative that your faith in God isn’t as strong as you think it is.

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  26. JamesK says:

    Charity, do you want the creation stories of every other religion taught as fact in the public schools?

    Because the second you teach creationism in the public schools you are going to have to teach every other creation story by every other religion on the planet to even remotely be close to being constitutional.

    It is not the job of the public schools to engage in religious instruction. It isn’t the job of the public schools or the government to force feed your religious beliefs down the throats of other people’s children.

    And there is no conflict between the theory of evolution and Christianity no matter how much you pretend otherwise.

    If you have such a problem with the theory of evolution then put your money where your mouth is and never go see a doctor for anything ever again. Because the theory of evolution forms the entire foundation for modern medicine.

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  27. JamesK says:

    To quote: if god says that he created the heaven in 6 days then it was 6 days
    god can do anything he could have created things in one day if he wanted to but he wanted to set an example for us

    God didn’t write the bible, humans did. And I say that as a lifelong Christian. To claim that the Bible was written by God is to say God is either an incompetent idiot, or a sociopathic liar.

    As for proof of evolution…tell me..why do we humans share 95% of the same dna as the primates?

    Oh..and no..the theory of evolution doesn’t say we’re descended from apes…it says we descended from a common ancestor.

    If God is God then God used evolution as a tool.

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  28. Ed Darrell says:

    Nowhere in the Bible is God quoted as saying He created the Earth in 6 days. Don’t attribute to God scriptures written by other people. God-dictated — or more correctly, angel-dictated on command from God — scriptures are found in Islam and Mormonism, but not in mainstream Christianity; by the way, Mormons don’t preach against evolution, and Islam doesn’t, formally.

    Who told you God said? Didn’t they read the scripture?

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  29. Ed Darrell says:

    Grapefruit. Radishes. Herring gull/lesser black-backed gull complex. American apple maggot. Mosquito resistance to DDT. Beef (from the ancient, and unfortunately extinct aurochs). The vegus nerve of the giraffe (or any mammal), showing the path of evolution from our “inner fish.”

    There are several dozen well-documented and well-established examples of evolution recorded in human history, and a few thousand more during human existence, but not so well recorded.

    Who failed to tell you about these before?

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  30. charity says:

    if god says that he created the heaven in 6 days then it was 6 days
    god can do anything he could have created things in one day if he wanted to but he wanted to set an example for us

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  31. charity says:

    where is your proof of evolution
    just give me one example

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  32. JamesK says:

    To quote: this is the problem
    everyone in the schools have been brainwashed and now believe in evolution. many Christians believe in Christ as their lord and savior but they don’t believe the true story of creation.

    First off, evolution is a scientific theory, it needs to be taught in science classes.

    Genesis is not a scientific theory, it has no place in science classes. And if you think the theory of evolution and Christianity are in opposition to each other, Charity, then it’s because you have a weak faith..not because they are in opposition to each other.

    Evolution is merely one of the tools that God used. What problem do you have with that concept?

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  33. jsojourner says:

    Charity,

    Hi there! I don’t discount Genesis at all. Did you even read my post? Did you understand it?

    Are you familiar with the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds? There is nothing in them about a literal, six-day creation. Why? Why in Heaven’s name would you elevate such a peripheral debate to the level of dogma?

    The Creeds tell us what is necessary for salvation, and in so doing, they reflect the Scriptures. So one can be a devout and pious Christian and believe God created the universe using tinker toys if he or she wanted to. It wouldn’t have the slightest bearing on whether or not that person was welcomed into God’s embrace.

    That said, Jesus instructed us to love God with all our minds. Our minds are guided by Scripture, Tradition, Reason and — for our Wesleyan friends — Experience. Nothing in Scripture contradicts the theory of evolution. As far as Tradition is concerned, it would surprise you to discover how the Church Fathers understood the creation story. St. Augustine clearly rejected the notion of a literal, six-day creation. St. Cyprian posited a seven thousand year creation. But St. Clement of Alexandria probably sums the matter most effectively…

    “And how could creation take place in time, seeing time was born along with things which exist? . . . That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: ‘This is the book of the generation, also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth’ [Gen. 2:4]. For the expression ‘when they were created’ intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression ‘in the day that God made them,’ that is, in and by which God made ‘all things,’ and ‘without which not even one thing was made,’ points out the activity exerted by the Son” (Miscellanies 6:16 [A.D. 208])

    Fundamentalism is bad for the mind, Charity. And worse for the heart. I invite you to open both.

    Peace,

    Jim

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  34. Ed Darrell says:

    Which creation story in Genesis do you think is the right one, Charity? Why do you discount the creation story God told in Job?

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  35. charity says:

    this is the problem
    everyone in the schools have been brainwashed and now believe in evolution. many Christians believe in Christ as their lord and savior but they don’t believe the true story of creation.

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  36. charity says:

    are you ignoring the book of genesis jsojourner

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  37. jsojourner says:

    Hi Charity!

    I not only believe the Bible, I preach it on a regular basis. I graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a degree in Biblical Studies and from Nashotah House Theological Seminary with a Masters in Ministry. I’ll be ordained to the priesthood, Lord willing, next summer. I hope to do post-grad work in either theology or Church History.

    I say that only to establish the fact that if I didn’t believe in the Bible, I would certainly not have spent years studying it.

    The people of Israel wrote the Old Testament under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit. But you seem to be thinking in purely linear terms. Something can be completely true without having happened as my 21st century mind understands it. Do you take every word of the Bible as literal fact?

    If so, you must believe Jesus was a gate. Not a metaphorical gate, a literal one! Or you must believe he was a vine. Not a figurative vine, an actual one. Of course, you and I both know that when Jesus said he was a gate and that he was a vine (or bread, or light or whatever) he was being figurative. He was using an illustration to explain some more pressing eternal truth.

    The ancient Hebrews were, of all people, a story-telling race. How else would God communicate with them but through story? Of course, God *could have* created the earth in six, 24 hour days. He’s God. Omnipotence goes with the job description! I believe he could have created the universe and everything in it in six nanoseconds. Forget days! But he didn’t. He inspired the writer of the Genesis account to explain the creation in a way this ancient people could understand. They weren’t equipped to comprehend, test or recognize things like evolution. So being the generous and compassionate God he is, he told them a story.

    Is it true? Of course it is. God created the universe. But what tools did he use? Hammer and chisel? Maybe. His own hands? Possibly? Or something as wondrous and humanly inconceivable as time? Possibly billions and billions of years…not because he couldn’t do it in six days…but because he is God. And because he holds even time in his mighty hand.

    Science tells us evolution is fact. This has, sadly I would argue, persuaded some people that the Bible is a lie and God does not exist. But why should we leap to such a conclusion? To argue for a literal six day creation is like saying, “God is incapable of doing it any other way”. I don’t believe that. And I suspect you don’t.

    You’re right, by the way, that some archaelogical discoveries bear out some biblical stories. Many things in the Bible ARE history. Many things are not. But because something is not history does not mean it is false. It is true, you see, that Jesus is the “true vine”. But he is not, I don’t think, green and leafy.

    I suspect God is all about awe, wonder and even play. I have a feeling something as important as creation is something he would savor, not something he would rush through in six days.

    You might want to check out this web site: http://thankgodforevolution.com/

    And remember, Jesus died to take away your sins. Not your mind.

    Jim

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  38. charity says:

    if you believe in god then why do you think that evolution is true?
    have you even read the bible on the first page it says in the beginning god mad the heavens and the earth
    if god made the bible his holy book why would he start with a story that is not true
    HE WOULD NOT

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  39. charity says:

    the media and schools never tell you the evidence about creation
    this is because they don’t want to believe the bible
    examples of evidence
    dead sea scrolls
    these are scrolls that are the bible written word for word exactly like our bible and these were written many years ago when everything was written by hand this means that the true father took special care to make sure that his word is keep the same
    chariot wheels in the red sea
    when Moses crossed the red sea the Egyptians were in full pursuit of him and God’s people the Israelites
    when Moses lifted his hands God parted the red sea so that they could cross Moses put his hands down when he reached the other side closing the water on the Egyptians
    chariot wheels and bones were found at the bottom of the red sea right near the place that would be the easiest place to cross

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  40. jsojourner says:

    Correction and mea culpa: The third sentence in my prior post is quite poorly worded. I am not a scientist. (Heaven forefend!) I meant to say that scientists almost all believe in evolution, as do I.

    Apologies!

    J

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  41. jsojourner says:

    Hi there, Charity!

    I have looked at the evidence. As have scientists the world over, nearly all of whom believe evolution has occurred. Many of them, like me, are theistic evolutionists. We believe God used evolution in the creation. Others reject this or remain agnostic, which is certainly their right.

    I am curious. What evidence have you looked at?

    If your objection is religious, I would encourage you to interact with the science faculty at any one of dozens of Christian colleges and universities — both Catholic and Evangelical — where evolution is essentially taught as fact. Or, you might want to acquaint yourself with Dr. Francis Collins, formerly the head of the Human Genome Project. Dr. Collins is a committed Evangelical Christian and an emphatic supporter of teaching evolution as fact.

    If your objection is not religious, but is rooted somewhere else, I would suspect that another reader of this blog may be of more help to you than I. And hopefully — after you have shared the evidence you have come across — they can be of help to you.

    At any rate, it’s a delight to have you here and I hope you’ll be back.

    Jim

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  42. Ellie says:

    Dear Charity,

    H ! E . H n ?

    You appear to have lost these. I found them for you.

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  43. charity says:

    hey evolution is definitely not real have you looked at the evidece

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  44. [...] Bu metin “Evolution is necessary for Texas economic development” başlığından çevrilmiştir. http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/why-study-evolution/ [...]

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  45. Ed Darrell says:

    Be careful. What’s your definition of “jack ass?” (No, don’t answer.)

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  46. JamesK says:

    I’m not usually one for censorship..but can that jackass please be blocked?

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  47. Ed Darrell says:

    Dear WarWithoutEnd,

    Your physician may have some things to tell you about your ideas, if you will take a few minutes to talk with him or her.

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  48. Want to understand the god's sadistic pathology??:::The gods made bondage up to black Americans with the KKK:::100 years of protection from this wicked white punishment known as the USA. says:

    Describing a person or action that is perverted or extremely wrong in a moral sense.
    There was a very real perception that bi-racial was much worse for the white than it was for the person of color. The liberal culture screamed racism when there is a very reasonable explanation for this reality::::
    In this white punishment known as the United States the person of color has already adopted the disfavors/temptations intended for another race. But by associating/mating with a person of color the white is newly adopting the disfavors of another culture.
    And this is the reason why people of color are not welcome in the United States. The gods control everything:::The perception they want to create, the thoughts they want you to have.
    People of color can’t recover from absorbing the temptations from two cultures. And why they become more and more like so many blacks in America:::Veterans at absorbing the temptations of two cultures.
    To further illustrate this is why California’s educational system/funding was ranked #1 when California was white:::Education being the basis of the affluent economic system. Now even public higher education has become unaffordable.

    The gods placed us all into our own corners of the globe. As such for thousands of years we spent time and reproduced with out own kind.
    This is why mobilty/travel, biracial unions/offspring and partaking of other cultures is a sin::::
    Each has it’s own elements of disfavor, and by experiencing other cultures you are being exposed to these disfavors, which if people may adopt will make their state even worse than prior.
    The United States has been considered a “melting pot” where rejects from around the world were sent when kicked out of their motherland.
    Remember, this concept of cultural diversity is an element of the liberal platform the gods used to promote societal decay, revealed on the map with the “beast” that is the SanFranciscoBayArea and the spread of social deterioration that spread to the rest of the country and eventually to the entire globe.

    As with some things in this life “less is more”. Sex is one of those things. They used the liberal age to promote casual “free” sex intentionally::Combined with “women’s lib” and their initiation into the “trenches” of the workplace as well as other issues like alcohol consumption the people experienced a mass masculinization of the females.
    The gods use sex as temptation. This is why the most disfavored among us are preoccupied with it. While some may feel being well-endowed is a sign of favor the truth is just the opposite. And often the result is misogyny, a belittling of the favored gender, and stagnation of the people as a whole.
    Less is more. When young women experience passing thoughts which say you’re doing something wrong instead of fighting or dismissing the thought you should heed the warning. Sadly in today’s world too many experience prolonged periods of promiscuity in their lives, whereas if married by 15 like throughout human history this disfavor was avoided.
    Don’t forget:::It is children who ascend into heaven, and the absence of sexual activity is one reason. Their general innocence is another, which should help you see the destructive nature of adult life in today’s society.

    Ronald Reagan spent the communist block into submission with defense buildup, and in the process increased the National debt from $1 trillion in 1980 to $6 trillion when he left office.
    W charged both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the national debt, honest numbers to come.
    The gods used W to initiate the “Great Recession” with deliberate legislation/regulation changes, allowing the sub-prime fiasco and corporate irresponsibility/criminal behavior which led to the multi-trillion dollar stimulous package, pocketted by Republican friends and donors::::$5 trillion charged to the National credit card.
    This corruption is one element of evil in the party of good. War mongering is another.
    Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t::::With the Democrats you subscribe to social decay via liberlism, which WILL lead to the Apocalypse. Republicans are being used by the gods to bankrupt the United States, ultimately motivating people to the point of “desperation prayer” once anarchy presides::::Punishment designed to correct your behavior.

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