Unreliable Darwin


Should I trust Darwin?

The following debate took place on Channel 4:

August 2008:

flamin nora said:

Tonight I let my 6 year old son stay up and watch "the genius of charles darwin" and even though this is what I believe, I had a sense of unease about allowing him to watch it.

my son he believes anything he is told (father christmas, tooth fairy, god) and I worry that unraveling the myths of god that are so ingrained into our society may only give him problems (especially at school). But I dont want him to continue to believe something that isnt true

should 6 year olds believe in god?
should they be taught evolution as fact?
is he too young to even be thinking about this?
if so, how do I answer his questions about god?

Omrow said:

Kids believe in God unless brainwashed otherwise.

So, it is natural to believe in God.

Just because some men have dug up a few bones, in no way proves that God did not create them.

Even Dawkins himself says we cannot rule out that there is absolutely no God whatsoever.

So why on earth did you give your child wrong information.

Did you know scientists have discoverd a "God Spot" in our brains?

If you have full faith in Dawkins then thats your right.

Many other scientists do not accept Evolution as FACT.

Some of the world's greatest scientists actually believe in the existence of God.

So, by you telling your kid that there is no God, you have potentially led him astray.

Programming, or "brainshwashing" children either way is not a nice thing to do, especially for a mother.

Its best simply to teach the child things that have no disagreement whatsoever, and have been established as FACT beyond all doubt.

Evolution does NOT yet fall into the FACT catagory.

I hope that helps.

gfere said:

wow, who'd have thought channel 4 would be a hotbed of creationism. its like peering throgh a lens back to the dark ages or something looking at the comments here. sooo atavistic. cool!

"Kids believe in God unless brainwashed otherwise.

So, it is natural to believe in God. "

sweeping statement. i never believed in 'god'- whatever that is. i had a neutral upbringing and was simply interested in nature. found nature contradicted 'woo/superstition' and moved on. didnt need to grow up to be taught those things were obviously human failings of perception and intellect, unlike some. thats your first proposition proven wrong then. lets see whats next. oh, sorry forgot. if it IS natural for kids, doesnt that make it rather childish anyway. hmmm

"Just because some men have dug up a few bones in no way proves that God did not create them."

actually, its the FACT those bones change through the strata that proves evolution. lets call it 'change'. some strata even have completely different remains, that also alter through the layers. evolution remains proven (pesky satans tricks accepted)

"Even Dawkins himself says we cannot rule out that there is absolutely no God whatsoever."

like he can't totally rule out the invisible underwater kingdom of jeebus and his friend the magic purple starfish. and millions of other magic unfalsifiable things (due to their invisibility and ineffible magic properties). wanna defend all the things i can make up - cos they are in the same category as 'god' - whatever that is.

"So why on earth did you give your child wrong information."

maybe in your little world of magic. but not the REAL world of *Reality*.

"Did you know scientists have discoverd a "God Spot" in our brains?"

thanks. it proves god idea it is just a material effect of neurons, - probably as a side effect of a useful purpose, or maybe useful in itself, like 'gayness' improves the reproduction of sisters and therefore the gene for gayness, even though it is negative to the individuals reproduction. but why is god spots turned off in huge numbers of individuals if its soooo useful. youd think it would be useful for god to talk to everyone, not just nutte, er ahem i mean theists. if its not an altogether useful thing, maybe it being selected out by NS, like the little toe is getting smaller. whatever, its not universal.

"If you have full faith in Dawkins than thats your right."

i dont have faith in dawkins. i like him cos he stands up for naturalism, the only intellectually honest worldview, and seems a decent straight talking person. i had my ideas (almost the same cos based on reason) long before i read a dawkins book. he just clarified some issues. i'm sure you would share his views on many a bulshi te idea that you'd dispute too, ie doctrine of islam, reincarnation, alien visitations etc etc. its just he's got the intellectual integrity to come out and say its all bullshi, not arbrarily pick and choose random bits as true, defending them to death in spite of all evidence. you do not have this ability (like most) and therefore cant claim any integrity.

"Many other scientists do not accept Evolution as FACT."

99.9% of biologists DO accept evolution as true. and biologists are the only ones that matter. but in fact most other scientists do accept it too, apart from a tiny minority that have a over riding emotional religious agenda. your point?

"Some of the world's greatest scientists actually believe in the existence of God."

so, they are only human. its the science they do that matters. if they cannot make a rational account for their personal belief then it is as irrelevant as in a layman like yourself.

"So, by you telling your kid there is no God, have potentially led him astray."

not if its a false proposition.

"Prpgramming or "brainshwashing" children either way is not a nice thing to do, especially for a mother."

i agree. dont do it to your kids. stick with facts we know like gravity/evolution/hitting your head with a brick hurts etc

"Its best to simply teach him things that have no disagreement whatsoever, and have been established as FACT beyond all doubt. "

and also things that have been proven true by science but contradict religious myths. they will then learn an important thing about people - they are mostly idiots that lie to themselves for all sorts of spurious reasons that dont have any connection with a humble interest in accepting what is true.

"Evolution does NOT yet fall into that FACT catagory."

...cos its not mentioned in your bronze age magic book, and upsets the future agenda you think you would prefer.

"I hope that helps."

it doesnt. its the very antithises of help. and all thats good, decent and honest. a display of mendacity that one would not expect from a mature adult who had a proper and complete education.

"Let's all stick to common sense"

you start !

its a woo eat woo world

Omrow said:

Some scientists are a complete disgrace to science.

They twist research and present it to the public as if it were a FACT.

Like any other organisation, scientific community also contains many liars who fake their finding and pretend to know advance science.

Great scientists can turn out to be a fakers.

Mr Whizz said:

And they get outed - bad science fails the peer review or repeatability processes that are built into the scientific method. The scientists that try to pull the wool over the scientific community's eyes never succeed for long. Anyone wanting to dupe the world with bad science can't succeed. The scientific method is inherently self-regulating. Again, the links you point to simply highlight that - I am puzzled yet again by why you feel comfortable linking to them given that they undermine your own point.

Omrow said:

Why not.

There is black sheep in every community.

Scientific community also is not immune from having idiots, fanatics, terrorists, fundemantalists, and so on.

Just take a look at Dawkins; how he twists science to suit his whims.

Others scientists scoff his methods.

Billy Bumbly said:


You think the Sun is a good newspaper (actualy think it is a newspaper).

You think CERN will end the world.

And your a creationist.


Also common sense is a right load of tosh. So lets not stick to it.

Omrow said:

Billy Bumbly.

What has the sun newspaper got do with Dick Dawkins?

We are here discussing whether or not one should trust men who say they are monkeys.

Please stick to the topic at hand.

Greenjack said:

"Kids believe in God unless brainwashed otherwise. So, it is natural to believe in God."

utter rubbish
kids know nothing of god (or any other imaginary being) untill they are introduced to the concept by others, usually their parents. This is when the brainwashing starts!!


Geowizard said:

Hello everyone, many people would consider Darwinism as the answer to the how and not the why. For instance some scientists still believe in god by drawing on observation and evidence i.e. with the Miller-Urey experiment could god not have been the bolt of lightning and that’s it?

I personally believe in Rudolf Clausius's First Law of Thermodynamics. I would probably be considered an atheist by most but I do not, as I don't limit myself to what can be proven with modern science. We know practically nothing about our universe, there are endless possibilities in our universe and for any group on either side to say they have the answers or that either is wrong defies logic.

Darwinism is FACT, in that fact is a theory backed up by substantial and overwhelming evidence that is so likely it is accepted as basically true. The FACT is that there has been absolutely no substantial evidence to counter Darwinism, there is not one peer reviewed paper to counter Darwin, in fact there is not one qualified evolutionary scientist that counters Darwinism. The people who oppose Darwinism usually have absolutely no experience or education in the area and simply replying to every argument with "god put it there" does not equate to evidence. Having worked with the fossil records on a daily basis for the last decade a child could see the logical evolution and adaption to environment. One such species which shows the emergence, evolution and extinction of a species was the trilobite. We see in the records how they began as soft bodied creatures (soft sediment trace fossils), then evolved into hard shelled creatures, then began to specialise with many unique morphological features developing (elevated eyes etc.), and then there eventual inability to adapt and extinction.

As for atheism extreme atheists can be almost as bad an ultra conservative religious people. The fact is that there have been many attempts to create an atheist society usually forcefully and all failed. The simple fact is that most people on the planet are not educated and to them the only way to distinguish right and wrong is by their religious rules. With greater education comes more questions and with more questions becomes a better understanding of the benefits of doing the right thing.

As for your child, children will take their parents word as gospel (excuse the pun) so with that you take on a great responsibility to provide accurate information while encouraging them to answer their own questions. The fact that your son seems interested in the answers is a great sign for his future development. The idea that humans naturally have a higher being instinct has been shown before in excluded people behavioural experiments (sorry don't have a reference, just remember reading about it). Humans have this instinct but Darwinism can to some extinct show that this feeling is a part of our survival and communal instincts. The belief in a higher being is an inevitable part of sentience. While I am not opposed to people believing in a higher being I am strongly opposed to organised religion. Living your life by a set of dogmatic rules laid down 2000 years ago is totally counter active to human social and overall evolution. The "why" is what makes our species so unique; Humans will only pull themselves out of current turmoil and begin the road to an evolved and enlightened species by asking "why" again and again. If humans keep following the current religious dogma without ever using our sentience then humans can never hope to continue social evolution. Religion can be dangerous for a child as living your life as a good person for fear of reprisals is not living. For now he is only 6 so I would just let him be a kid for another while and let him make his own mind up.

Full disclosure: I would just like to point out in case Omrow decides to challenge my knowledge on the subject as I am a firm believer in full disclosure. I have advanced degrees in Geology, Geophysics, Palaeobiology, Paleoclimatology and Computer Science; I also have minors in Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Asian Languages, Biology and Chemistry. I also have a master in Paleoclimatology and Geology. All from the University College Dublin and I have my name on 2 geological papers and 1 paleoclimatological paper.

Omrow said:

Geowizard claims to have advanced degrees in Geology, Geophysics, Palaeobiology, Paleoclimatology, Computer Science, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Asian Languages, Biology and Chemistry.

Wow. All that education from Dublin.

Irish degrees. That says it.

He forgot to add to the list his degree in Advanced Brainlessness. But he did not need to. We can all see that already. He is naturally qualified in that department.

It seems that the Atheists need a bit more evolving.

Give Atheists a few more million years and perhaps they might become use to logic a bit better.

Athiests seems to be still incapable of using their brain properly.

Even Dawkins makes a mess of reason.
He uses poor arguments in a desperate bid
to try to convert everybody to his absurd supersitions.

Its sad to see a "Professor" make a mockery of himself.

GPB said:

at least geowizard is trying to understand the world which at the moment appears to be more than you can claim. i'd put my lot in with those qualifications over your... what do you have again? and whats more obsurd, species of animals evolving from older ones or someone rising from the dead after being crucified and speared? hmm, difficult to choose.

as for the evolving crack i'd say watch it. it may seem hippocritical for me to say this after what i've just posted but i'll say it anyway, petty cheapshots prove and decide nothing.

Greenjack said:

It clearly shows desperation when people resort to personal abuse. How sad ! Is this the best you can reply with [Omrow] ?


Mycor said:

I don't think there is a need to 'teach' religion to give children a moral compass. I think children can be brought up to value society, to show respect and compassion for others, to respect the laws of the land and society, to respect other people's property, to share for the common good, to respect and value animals and nature, and all the things which most people would consider as moral without the need for religion. Young children mostly learn by copying their parents so if parents at in a moral way then the children will most likely do so. No need for God.

rabbitinburrow said:

[replying to flamin nora]

I grew up without any belief in God? And I am convinced that it is much healthier for the mind.
In fact is kind of a brainwash to teach your child to believe in God and since it happens so early in the development it will be hard to drop the belief later...
Let him find out for himself, when he is old enough to think for himself.

malcom and monica said:

I am embarased to say that I have only just stumbled upon this thread,and am humbled by some of the elequence esp. by the learned prof,when set against the ignorent uncalledfor abuse from Omrow.Very sad.This particular gent,on another thread,places great faith in his participation with many vergins in paradise.It is my hope that by allowing such folk to mouth off, will eventually bring about the downfall of religion in general.


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