Subject: Legal View (This is a repost of a message I prepared as part of a debate on the m

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From: Craig Jungers Subject: Legal View (This is a re-post of a message I prepared as part of a debate on the merits of creation as a "science". I don't believe any of the proponents FOR creation ever responded to any comments in this post, come to think of it.) In an earlier post, I quoted Stephen Jay Gould, an eminent evolutionary scientist (and one who you quoted out of context to make it appear he was no longer a "believer" in evolution) who was writing in response to the debate between "scientific creation" and "eveolutionary science". Dr. Gould was called to testify for the plaintiff in a case challenging an Arkansas law mandating that "scientific creation" and "evolutionary science" be taught side-by-side in the public schools of that state. The case is an interesting one because it codifies, in Federal Court, the differences between dogma and science. The findings of the court, and the testimony of the witnesses for the defense in particular, are interesting. Remember that these are quotations taken directly from the court record. They have the weight of Federal law. You are completely at liberty to find corroborating testimony of your own to support you views, if you wish. Good luck. Notice also the parts of the record which deal with the fact that virtually the only evidence presented to support creationism is based upon testimony designed only to discredit evolution. A tactic Creationists have demonstrated on this echo. Notice that the plaintiffs - the people who are fighting the law to teach creationism and evolution side-by-side in public schools - are the Christian cults and Jewish councils of that state and the nation. First of all, the plaintiffs in the case (those who were against the law requiring creation to be taught alongside evolution) included the following individuals: Arkansas Bishops of: United Methodist Churches Episcopal Church Roman Catholic Church African Methodist Episocopal Churches The principal official of: Arkansas Presbyterian Churches other United Methodist Churches Southern Baptist Churches Presbyterian Clergy Organizations which appeared as plaintiffs in this action include: American Jewish Congress the Union of American Hebrew Congregations the American Jewish Committee the Arjkansas Education Association the National Association of Biology Teachers the National Coalition for Public Education and Religious Liberty The defendants included: the Arkansas Board of Education and its members the Director of the Department of Education the State Textbooks and Instructional Materials Selecting Committee The trial lasted for ten days commencing December 7, 1981. Here are a few interesting excerpts from the court document rendering the decision: "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." "The 'two model' approach (to teaching evolutionary science and scientific[sic] creationism side-by-side) of the creationists is simply a contrived dualism which has no scientific factual basis or legitimate educational purpose." "(Creation science[sic]) asserts a sudden creation 'from nothing.' Such a concept is not science because it depends upon a supernatural intervention which is not guided by natural law. It is not explanatory by reference to natural law, is not testable and is not falsifiable." "(The part of the law) which describes 'changes only within fixed limits of originally created "kinds" of plants and animals' fails to conform to the essential characteristics of science for several reasons. First, there is no scientific definition of 'kinds' and none of the witnesses was able to point to any scientific authority which recognized the term or know how many 'kinds' existed. One defense witness suggested there may be 100 to 10,000 different 'kinds'. Another believes there were 'about 10,000, give or take a few thousand.' Second, the assertion appears to be an effort to establish outer limits of changes within species. There is no scientific explanation for these limits which is guided by natural law and the limitations, whatever they are, cannot be explained by natural law." "The statement in (a section of the law) of 'separate ancestry of man and apes' is a bald assertion. It explains nothing and refers to no scientific fact or theory." "Creation science[sic], as defined in (a section of the law), not only fails to follow the canons defining scientific theory, it also fails to fit the more general descriptions of 'what scientists think' and 'what scientists do.'" "In efforts to establish 'evidence' in support of creation science[sic], the defendants relied upon the same false premise as the 'two model' approach contained in (a section of the law), i.e., all evidence which criticized evolutionary theory was proof in support of creation science[sic]." (Two of the defendant's witnesses, Dr. Wickramasinghe and Dr. Geisler) "testified at length in support of a theory that life on earth was 'seeded' by comets which delivered genetic material and perhaps organisms to the earth's surface." (Dr. Wickramasinghe also concluded) "that 'no rational scientist' would believe the earth's geology could be explained by reference to a worldwide flood or that the earth was less than one million years old." "The proof in support of creation science[sic] consisted almost entirely of efforts to discredit the theory of evolution through a rehash of data and theories which have been before the scientific community for decades. The arguments asserted by creationists are not based upon new scientific evidence or laboratory data which has been ignored by the scientific community." "The conclusion that creation science[sic] has no scientific merit or educational value as science has legal significance in light of the Court's previous conclusion that creation science[sic] has, as one major effect, the advancement of religion." "An injunction will be entered permanently prohibiting enforcement of Act 590 (the law requiring creation science[sic] to be taught alongside evolutionary science in Arkansas)." ------------------------- Interesting reading, wouldn't you agree? So there you have it -- both the scientific "proof" and the legal issues as they have been determined in the courts in our country. I hope this forever puts to rest your lies regarding transitional fossils and the validity of "creationism." You really should move on to another line of attack, as the one you have been using is apparently sterile.


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