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Religion and Creation Theory in the Evolution Forum

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It's evident that "Religion vs Athiesm" and Creation vs Evolution debates are beginning to run rampant on SFN, and although I am not directly opposed to these debates, I fear SFN is in a bit of danger of becoming known to the science forum community for the amount of topics with this debate becoming a footnote of their closed threads. Then again this could be said about almost every other science forum.

 

But that's not really what I am concerned about. My concern is that this debate not only exists in the religion forum (where I believe it belongs, as it is not a debate about science, but about theology, as Creation has yet to be proven as science, and religion debates are a no-brainer) but has spilled over into the evolution forum repeatedly.

 

I'm wondering if a new rule prohibiting discussion or debate on the subject of creation in the evolution thread might be prudent. I believe the discussion of evolution needs to be based around the merits of the theory alone. Debates about Creation vs Evolution usually degrade into one-shot exchanges on rhetoric and semantics anyway and rarely yield any new ideas. I doubt that promotes healthy scientific debate, and just don't think it has a place in the evolution forum.

 

I realise it's not uncommon or harmful to discuss two or more subjects of science in a topic that relates them directly; I want to emphasise that Creation theory is unscientific, and its inclusion in the evolution forum has impeded scientific debate in some cases.

 

I would like to iterate that I do not oppose the discussion of religion or creation in the religion forum, or even oppose the discussion of religion in regards to evolution, as that is an important topic to many people. I just don't think Creation has a place in the evolution forum.

 

I'm curious to read the views of the moderators.

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I would go for that. although personally i am sick of the debate, the amount of people i see ignoring the mountains of evidence to follow a book that was turned into a propaganda message by the roman empire.

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I'm curious to read the views of the moderators.
We have stickied this thread in both Evolution, Morphology and Exobiology forum and Religion and Philosophy. It basically states that if you're just going to bring up the same old same old then don't bother. We've been lax in enforcing it due to the fact that we want to encourage new insights and understanding, but I haven't seen anything new crop up.

 

If you see a post or a thread in Evolution, Morphology and Exobiology that you feel violates the spirit fo the forum, please report it using the little red triangle at the bottom left of the offensive post. It will be reviewed and possibly removed.

 

My personal take on the religious debates are that it can be fun to discuss, but some people get too passionate. Beliefs tend to be that way, so we have to have certain rules of behavior. No one wants to censor or be too authoritarian but the Staff really gets tired of breaking up fights and leading preachers off the stage.

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I personally would like them to stay in the Religion forum. Religion stays in the religion forum, and we discuss evolution and science where they belong.

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Well, of the mods I'm probably the least willing to give creationism any sort of consideration (and I tend to be quite ban-happy and delete-happy on the topic). Personally, what I've been doing is one of the following things:

 

If a thread is just about creationism *anywhere*, I dump it in the 'Speculations' section. The faith involved no more warrants consideration than someone claiming that God gave them the blueprints of a perpetual motion machine. If it's a real question (rather than creationist trolling), I (or someone else) answers it. If it's just a question in a thread, and it might derail the thread, I split it out.

 

However, post or thread, if it's just "Here's why evolution is wrong", I delete it without a second thought. Trolling is trolling.

 

Last but not least, if someone shows up posting creationist drek, and I look though their post history and see no actual science posts, they're gone. Those who actually contribute in worthwhile ways will be told, in no uncertain terms, that this is a board for serious science.

 

Personally, I do my best to keep creationism and such crap from overrunning the forum, and a heavy hand is often necessary for that. However, I doubt they'll be missed.

 

Mokele

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Yeh, I read it - but I feel that even having that thread in the EvMEx forum kindof promotes discussion about Creation in that forum. I know the guidelines are to meant to prevent the irrationality and false logic that enevitably rear their ugly heads when a creationist involves himself with evolution, I don't think the title "Welcome, creationists, to Science Forums and Debate!" quite rams the concept home. ;)

Yah, I'm slowly changing my mind on wanting to allow religious bents into the EvMEx forum. An issue concerning the acceptance of evolution as a religious person is a philisophical issue, not one of evolution.

Well' date=' of the mods I'm probably the least willing to give creationism any sort of consideration (and I tend to be quite ban-happy and delete-happy on the topic). Personally, what I've been doing is one of the following things:

 

If a thread is just about creationism *anywhere*, I dump it in the 'Speculations' section. The faith involved no more warrants consideration than someone claiming that God gave them the blueprints of a perpetual motion machine. If it's a real question (rather than creationist trolling), I (or someone else) answers it. If it's just a question in a thread, and it might derail the thread, I split it out.

 

However, post or thread, if it's just "Here's why evolution is wrong", I delete it without a second thought. Trolling is trolling.

 

Last but not least, if someone shows up posting creationist drek, and I look though their post history and see no actual science posts, they're gone. Those who actually contribute in worthwhile ways will be told, in no uncertain terms, that this is a board for serious science.

 

Personally, I do my best to keep creationism and such crap from overrunning the forum, and a heavy hand is often necessary for that. However, I doubt they'll be missed.

[/quote']

And I thank you for your efforts :) The problem as I see it though, is that creationist commentary really has no place in the EvMEx forum, but still arises. I have no doubt that you work hard to keep it scientific in the science forums, but I think a more visible hard-line stance on the issue might help.

 

Perhaps an entire forum (a sub-forum of General Science maybe) devoted to logic and critical thinking, perhaps even scientific method as a whole, would be helpful. It may even bring a few Creationists over from the dark side, as I'm sure such a forum would help them see the world through a much more analytical light.

 

I know it would be a big help to some, but would it be used enough to justify itself...

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I don't think the title "Welcome, creationists, to Science Forums and Debate!" quite rams the concept home.

 

Well, I wanted to call it something else, but it's generally inappropriate to have post titles which are logically congruent with a sub-title of "Relax: it'll only hurt for a moment..."

 

The problem as I see it though, is that creationist commentary really has no place in the EvMEx forum, but still arises. I have no doubt that you work hard to keep it scientific in the science forums, but I think a more visible hard-line stance on the issue might help.

 

Well, there's only so many hands; Posts get cleaned up, either deleted or sorted to other forums, with the few that ask legitimate questions left behind.

 

The only thing more hard-line I can think of would be deleting any and all creationist threads, which might be less effective. Deleting may be read as "we're silencing you", while sending threads/posts into a forum about Yeti and Perpetual Motion Machines sends the message of "We think your ideas only have value as humor".

 

Perhaps an entire forum (a sub-forum of General Science maybe) devoted to logic and critical thinking, perhaps even scientific method as a whole, would be helpful. It may even bring a few Creationists over from the dark side, as I'm sure such a forum would help them see the world through a much more analytical light.

 

You mean something like a 'Skepticism' forum? On one hand, I can see the use, as a place to put threads about whether or not X or Y is true. On the other hand, given that this is a science forum, shouldn't we expect logical and critical thinking in *all* the forums?

 

Mokele

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Well' date=' I wanted to call it something else, but it's generally inappropriate to have post titles which are logically congruent with a sub-title of "Relax: it'll only hurt for a moment..."

[/quote']

Haha. No, it's not the actual title I have a beef with. The message itself seems to lend to the idea that creationist viewpoints were welcome in that forum, provided that they were presented in a logical manner. Obviously that makes no sense, but a Creationist thinks his belief is logical. I think we should teach him it isn't. The hard-line I was referring to was a verbal one - "Creationism is crap, so don't post it here." Or something along those lines.

 

Well, there's only so many hands; Posts get cleaned up, either deleted or sorted to other forums, with the few that ask legitimate questions left behind.

 

The only thing more hard-line I can think of would be deleting any and all creationist threads, which might be less effective. Deleting may be read as "we're silencing you", while sending threads/posts into a forum about Yeti and Perpetual Motion Machines sends the message of "We think your ideas only have value as humor".

Again, it's a plainly visible, literal hard-line I was referring to. [edit] Like you say, taking it further in this way would prove to be destructive.

 

You mean something like a 'Skepticism' forum? On one hand, I can see the use, as a place to put threads about whether or not X or Y is true. On the other hand, given that this is a science forum, shouldn't we expect logical and critical thinking in *all* the forums?

Of course, but a forum on the topic of developing or using these skills would be beneficial in promoting them too, no? Besides, those of us still struggling with circular logic and the like would have a place to ask what's what from what, rather than just being told off and served a link. There isn't really a problem with that, but alone it doesn't change the fact that the particular offender still can't sort his arse from his elbow.

 

Like I said, it's hard to predict whether it would be used properly, but some other address of the specific issue could be helpful.

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There shouldn't be a discussion of gods in a scientific setting because the philosophy of science as it stands now can't be applied to them. That's easy enough to police, and I think it is within the evolution forum. The problem isn't that people advocate creationist theories, it's the repetitive criticisms of evolution. It seems fine at first glance to allow apparently scientific criticism, but the problem is that the same criticism is often posted many times, so that by the second or fourteenth glance it becomes simply tiresome. There have been a few attempts to solve this problem, such as FAQs and the SciWiki site. The problem is that the bulk of the people are posting the criticisms as an end in themselves, rather than a means to find answers. There's a legal concept that you should let ten guilty men go free rather than imprison one innocent. I think we have a greater than 10:1 ratio though...

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I would go for that. although personally i am sick of the debate, the amount of people i see ignoring the mountains of evidence to follow a book that was turned into a propaganda message by the roman empire.

 

Don't you think that that sort of statement might be the root of the problem? If people like you didn't post this sort of crap doen't you think the debates would be a bit more constructive?

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Don't you think that that sort of statement might be the root of the problem? If people like you didn't post this sort of crap doen't you think the debates would be a bit more constructive?

 

I'd be inclined to think that way if I had ever seen a creationist argument that wasn't based on the appeal to incredulity fallacy.

 

Are there any arguments for creationism which don't stem from a human inability to explain the exact course of events which occured in the development of life, and using a non-sequitur to conclude that "God did it"?

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There are certainly people on both sides who are contributing to the problem - some with violent anti-evolution standpoints (and fallacies to back them up) and some with anti-religion standpoints (and more fallacies to back them up). We have to treat both sides of the problem for anything to work.

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at the very least, ID/creationism science belongs in religion or perhaps pseudoscience, maybe even speculations, depending on how it's presented.

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Are there any arguments for creationism which don't stem from a human inability to explain the exact course of events which occured in the development of life' date=' and using a non-sequitur to conclude that "God did it"?[/quote']

 

I don't think so... the whole idea of creationism/Id is based off the fact that science can't prove every insignificant detail about everything.

 

Until science can prove everything perfectly, religion will claim science is 'faulty' and can't be trusted due to 'gaps i nthe knowledge.'

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Thoughts on the forum devoted to logic and critical thinking? Would it be beneficial? Would it help this particular problem?

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^ it'd be cool.

 

at least with the creationist posts, it increases the chance that someone, googling for info on a particular piece of creationist BS, might stumble upon a scientific rebuttal.

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at least with the creationist posts, it increases the chance that someone, googling for info on a particular piece of creationist BS, might stumble upon a scientific rebuttal.

 

Well, somehow I doubt individual SFN posts will be high up that list. Other sites, such as Talk.Origins do a much better job of that, anyway.

 

The problem is that creationism is an unending tide of idiocy; such posts multiply *very* fast, consume the poster's efforts which are best spent on *real* science, and clog the forum with drivel. As noble as rebutting them may be, it would significantly impede the functionality of the board.

 

Mokele

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