One Of Us
Is Saying The Truth,
But Which One?
Rabia

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Rabia"
Subject: Re: can you help?
Date: September 23, 2001 8:59 PM

Almost all scientists agree that evolution is a fact. It forms the basis of several major branches of science. Religious people don't like to hear this, but that's what science says.

In America we have a big problem because the creationists have discovered that writing about creationism is a money-making business: American Christians just don't want to hear that they evolved from other animals, so they pay phony scientists to make elaborate criticisms of evolution. (Does criticizing your opponent's theory shows yours to be correct? No, it does not!)

Religious people have launched many assaults against science over the years, and evolution is just one of their victims. In America, it was once illegal to try to give a woman anaesthetic during childbirth because of a passage in Genesis 3 which told the woman that she must bear children in pain. Today, nobody thinks like that any more. Perhaps some day, nobody will be a creationist any more.

Europe does not have a creationism problem, only America and a few Islamic sects. America is about 40 percent creationist whereas I would guess that Europe is about four percent creationist, if that much.

Almost none of the creationists have had their work published in regular scientific journals. In order to get published, they have formed their own journals, but the rest of the scientists do not recognize those journals as playing by the strict rules that regular science demands. Most of what the creationists have said to "prove" their point has been shown to be either invalid or false. If you have any questions or challenges, I might be able to help you, but remember, I am on the side of science, and have nothing good to say about the practice of determining truth by reading ancient mythology.

If you wish to discover what the scientists are saying, feel free to look around on the web sites we have recommended in the Science section of our Web Guide.

This page of our Web Guide is dedicated to science, including creation and evolution, the flat Earth (these people exist!), medical quackery, and other science frauds. As an atheist, science is the only source of information I have: I cannot look to gods to tell me what's happening.

The National Academy of Sciences has a great primer on evolution.

The NAS is the most prestigious group of scientists in the United States, and perhaps the world. Another one that's kind of fun is the "300 Creationist Lies Index."

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: From: "Rabia"
Subject: Re: can you help?
Date: September 26, 2001 12:35 AM

I am sorry that the education system in Turkey appears to be no superior to that of the primary education system in the United States. We have numerous religious fundamentalists who make no secret about their intention of overthrowing our Constitution, and part of their plan is to set precedents for violating our Religious Liberty provisions. They do this by trying to get the public schools to teach or endorse religion and by trying to get other elements of the public (government) arena to endorse religion, which is a violation of our Constitution. It is for this reason that they teach that evolution is falsehood. I'd be interested in knowing why they teach it is falsehood in Turkey: what are their motives for doing this?

We have only three options that I know of:

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1. Supernatural Creation:

A supernatural deity or group of deities of some sort created the universe and either designed it to eventually bring forth live and ultimately humankind (the Anthropic Principle) or directly created life and humans, either by aiding an evolutionary process (Creative Evolution) or by creating all life forms as they are (Direct Creation).
 

Objections:

a) No such deity has been detected in a manner whereby all who use the method for detecting this deity experience pretty much the same results.

b) Although all Creationist systems purport to answer the question, "Where did we come from?" and all assume that our existence cannot be explained as coming about via natural means, few if any of the known creationist systems address the question, "Where did the deity come from?" If life and the Universe are so vast and complex that their existence needs to be explained by positing a Creator, then we must explain the existence of an even more vast and even more complex Creator. To explain the existence of a Creator, being that much more complex than we are, is harder than to explain the existence of our Universe and ourselves.

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2. Natural Creation:

Life as we know it is the result of experiments conducted by an advanced race of extraterrestrials (Raél's "Extraterrestrial Intelligent Design" ["ETID"] or Timothy Leary's "Starseed").
 

Objections (similar to those against Supernatural Creation):

a) No such extraterrestrials have been detected in a manner whereby all who use the method for detecting these extraterrestrials experience pretty much the same results.

b) Although both ETID systems purport to answer the question, "Where did we come from?" and both assume that our existence cannot be explained as coming about strictly via natural means, neither of the ETID systems address the question, "Where did the ETs come from?" If life is so complex that its existence needs to be explained by positing an intelligent creator-race, then we must explain the existence of an even more complex creator-race: where did they come from? were they created? if so, by whom? did they evolve? if so, then what's stop ping us from saying that we evolved, too -- considering that only one person claims to have met the ETs and one other has claimed to have communicated with them telepathically.

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3. Naturalistic Big Bang and Evolution:

The Universe began as a quantum fluctuation containing zero energy to produce a Universe which itself contains a sum of approximately zero energy, violating no known laws of physics. Life began in an open system consisting of Earth which receives energy from the Sun. The self-replicating molecules which make up life contain common elements which naturally tend to combine into compounds. Natural selection allowed random mutations which tended to be beneficial to the organism's prospects for survival to remain, while those which impaired its prospects for survival were never given an opportunity to spread to the rest of the gene pool.
 

Objections:

Many objections have been raised against certain specific details, usually ideas that are not common to Evolution but are specific to certain details attempting to explain how Evolution occurred. But I still have yet to encounter an objection to the overall idea of Evolution itself which would force me to accept either of the first two explanations as likelier than this one.

Evolution is the dominant explanation in scientific circles. Evolution has been such a revolutionary discovery that many scientists would place Charles Darwin with Isaac Newton as the two scientists from the past millennium who will be remembered for millennia to come. See the summary of my interview with Dr. M. Reza Ghadiri, a molecular biologist who has perfected a human-made self-replicating molecule, for his reasoning behind this statement.

Much of the mystery of biology and zoology becomes clear in light of the Theory of Evolution's explanatory powers. It is this explanatory power which makes a theory viable. Creationism explains nothing.

If Evolution did not happen, the critics will need to do better than simply criticize the various factions within Evolutionary circles, such as the punctuated equilibrium versus steady state debate; since both sides agree that Evolution happened, their disagreement as to how it happened is not a valid objection. They will need to attack Evolution itself and demonstrate that Evolution is not possible or that it did not happen (or at least that it is highly unlikely -- much less likely than the new theory with which they plan to replace Evolution). Furthermore, they will need to show Evolution's explanatory powers to be false as well, and will need to show the superiority of their own theory's explanatory powers (and Evolution's explanatory powers are, as I explained above, quite remarkable as theories go). Finally, they will need to replace the Theory of Evolution with a theory which better explains the existence of the various species of life on Earth.

Even if this new theory is discovered tomorrow, it will need to go through the same grueling processes of verification that Evolution itself went through, as well as all other theories which have ever been granted the position of dominant paradigm. In short, the new theory will need to overthrow the Theory of Evolution, and this will need to be accepted by most of the scientific community.

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Conclusion: Of the three possibilities that humankind has been able to think of, the Theory of Evolution is the only one which comes close (and it not only comes close, it does a very good job at explaining the existence of life). If a Creator had done this, you'd think that She or He or It would have revealed Her or His or Its existence to us by now. As I mentioned above, no method for contacting or detecting any of the alleged Creators has produced anything like systematic results when practiced by a wide variety of people. Evolution not only does a good job at explaining, none of the other explanations are even close to being satisfactory.

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