Thursday, 3 April 2008

Dawkins: Creationism on the rise among British children

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

Let's hope this isn't the case. Answering audience questions following a debate with the Bishop of Edinburgh earlier this week, Richard Dawkins said that he thinks there has been an increase in creationist beliefs among young people in Britain:

"It is a very worrying trend, and I think a lot of it has come over from America and Australia. I have spoken to a lot of science teachers in schools here in Britain who are finding an increasing number of students coming to them and saying they are Young Earth creationists. Now this is a belief that the Earth is only 6000 years old, and it is such a staggering mistake that it is very concerning to hear this. It is no small error – it is equivalent to someone believing, despite the evidence, that the width of North America from one coast to the other is only 7.8 yards."

Thankfully this is only based on anecdotal evidence but still, it's fairly worrying if British teachers are beginning to encounter problems with this.

5 comments:

Rob Hughes said...

Dawkins once more showing how much of a fundamentalist he is. What's so amusing is that he's worried because more and more teenagers are beginning to believe in a young earth. He should be rejoicing. Secular humanism has been responsible for more atrocities than anything religion has done. Just think of Lenin and Stalin. The problems in the world today are occurring because there are no longer any moral absolutes. Why? Because God is rejected. Without God there can be no moral absolutes.

Sean said...

Rob Hughes, are you really that ignorant? God is rejected simply because the very idea is ridiculous to anyone who gets off their knees for long enough to give it even a little thought. Dawkins is only articulating what is common knowledge, religious fundamentalism is on the rise and we need to confront it. As for your 'Without God there can be no moral absolutes' - are you serious? Your God is a monster, cross him and enjoy eternal torment, doubt him and you and your entire city will be put to the sword, make an effigy of him etc etc. I mean, really - please, spare us you ignorance and take up a new hobby - objective thought and reasoning - it will be easier on your knees...;

Rob Hughes said...

Sean,

Ignorant of what? Ignorant of why God is rejected? Actually that's easy. God is rejected because man does not wish to be accountable to Him. So he conjures up some whacked theory to appease his conscience. That's the bottom line. There are some people, however, who are willing to consider what they believe in light of the evidence all around us. I hope you are one of those people Sean.

Dawkins has a brilliant mind but he's wilfully ignorant. Loosely translated that means he is dumb on purpose. In his book "The God Delusion" he uses natural selection countless times to back up the assertions he makes. For example, he uses natural selection as the explanation for life. For a man as brilliant as Dawkins you would think that if he was determined to try and disprove creationism he would have come up with something better than that. Nobody denies that natural selection happens. But it does not explain how life came to be. It does not explain how matter came to exist, which is most necessary for life. (Bear in mind that the transition from non-living chemicals to life is impossible.) Natural selection is the process whereby the genetic material of a particular species produces varying KINDS of creatures or animals over time as a result of gene reshuffling. This of course happens naturally. A Jack Russell and a Poodle are different kinds of dogs but they are both dogs, i.e. the same species. A dog and a cat are different species and so you are not going to get a dog mating with a cat. A Poodle and a Jack Russell can breed, but only because they are the SAME SPECIES. Now, man has stepped in and has given a helping hand and has caused dogs to cross-breed, resulting in a number of different varieties, but all these different varieties are still dogs. No new information has been added. No new genetic material has arisen. It is just the result of gene reshuffling.

Sean you say that God is a monster. You are wrong. He is both a just judge and a compassionate and forgiving God. He sends people to hell because they break His law. God’s law is written on every human heart in the form of the conscience. Sean, if you have lied, stolen or blasphemed God’s name then in God’s eyes you are a liar, a thief and a blasphemer. He would be just in sending you to hell because you have sinned against the One who gave you life. He is a just judge. Yet He is also loving. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the punishment on behalf of sinners just like you and me. If you repent and put your trust in what He did He would save you. You may think this is a threat. On the contrary, it is a means for you to escape His wrath. You have sinned, just like I have. You deserve hell just like I do. Humble yourself by admitting you are a sinner, turn from your sin (repent) and put your trust in what He did and you will be saved. You can reject Him if you want. But then you will spend eternity in hell in regret that you refused to swallow your pride.

Of course moral absolutes are found in God! Come on Sean, think. Who decides what’s right? Do I decide what’s right? Do you? Does Gordon Brown? No, we are all imperfect. We need a perfect law giver. We need someone who sets the standard and is free from corruption. You call God a monster. However, do you want murderers and rapists to go free? No, you want them punished. Your conscience demands it. But God will not stop there. All liars will have their part in the lake of fire. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. Evolution makes man God. That is why since evolution has been pushed into education morality has taken a massive dive and society today is worse than it has ever been. If just the Ten Commandments were taught in schools morality would improve. There are many Christians in the UK who understand what I am saying and are determined to speak the truth so that this nation can turn from decadence and debauchery to holiness and godliness. Confront us if you must but know that it is better to take refuge in God than to put trust in man. Our trust is in God.

InGodWeRust said...

Hi Rob,
Good of you to respond - perhaps there is hope for you yet - see below for my comments.

Rgds,

Sean,

Ignorant of what? Ignorant of why God is rejected? Actually that's easy. God is rejected because man does not wish to be accountable to Him. So he conjures up some whacked theory to appease his conscience. That's the bottom line. There are some people, however, who are willing to consider what they believe in light of the evidence all around us. I hope you are one of those people Sean.


This is your argument? I reject god because it's clearly a ridiculous idea, i have nothing to be accountable to anyone for - certainly not to people unable to think for themselves, who have managed to conjure up a savage, iron-age fantasy. What 'whacked theory' are you talking about specifically? What evidence are you referring to that is 'all around us' - you would think i would have noticed this. Your arguments (if you want to call them that) are childish.



Dawkins has a brilliant mind but he's wilfully ignorant. Loosely translated that means he is dumb on purpose. In his book "The God Delusion" he uses natural selection countless times to back up the assertions he makes. For example, he uses natural selection as the explanation for life.


No, he does not. Dawkins would never offer an explanation of life - only how life evolves once started. If you read a little more than the bible you would see that natural selection certainly does not offer an explanation for life, or for the origins of life. There can be no doubt that he is correct - there is real evidence to back him up. Unlike religion it's not enough to speak of evidence, you actually have to present the data to your peers.


For a man as brilliant as Dawkins you would think that if he was determined to try and disprove creationism he would have come up with something better than that


Oh dear, i think you will find that he didn't come up with natural selection - perhaps you have heard of the man who did? Did you mention creationism - now i pity you. You realise that there was a talking snake in the Garden of Eden? Creationism is the product of empty, vacuous minds and a result of generations of stupid, ignorant dogma that stupefies anyone who believes it.


. Nobody denies that natural selection happens. But it does not explain how life came to be. It does not explain how matter came to exist, which is most necessary for life. (Bear in mind that the transition from non-living chemicals to life is impossible.)


Firstly see my comments above, i am a little alarmed that you seem arrogant enough to know what is impossible, there isn't a scientist alive that would claim anything is impossible.

Natural selection is the process whereby the genetic material of a particular species produces varying KINDS of creatures or animals over time as a result of gene reshuffling. This of course happens naturally. A Jack Russell and a Poodle are different kinds of dogs but they are both dogs, i.e. the same species. A dog and a cat are different species and so you are not going to get a dog mating with a cat. A Poodle and a Jack Russell can breed, but only because they are the SAME SPECIES. Now, man has stepped in and has given a helping hand and has caused dogs to cross-breed, resulting in a number of different varieties, but all these different varieties are still dogs. No new information has been added. No new genetic material has arisen. It is just the result of gene reshuffling.


The same old ridiculous arguments from creationists and religious apologists - natural selection does not do anything of the kind - please read up on it because i don't have the time to explain it.Naturral selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift, please at least attempt to understand a subject you claim to be all knowing on. I do not fully understand it, but at least i am not deliberately ignorant of it.



Sean you say that God is a monster. You are wrong. He is both a just judge and a compassionate and forgiving God. He sends people to hell because they break His law. God's law is written on every human heart in the form of the conscience. Sean, if you have lied, stolen or blasphemed God's name then in God's eyes you are a liar, a thief and a blasphemer. He would be just in sending you to hell because you have sinned against the One who gave you life. He is a just judge. Yet He is also loving. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the punishment on behalf of sinners just like you and me. If you repent and put your trust in what He did He would save you. You may think this is a threat. On the contrary, it is a means for you to escape His wrath. You have sinned, just like I have. You deserve hell just like I do. Humble yourself by admitting you are a sinner, turn from your sin (repent) and put your trust in what He did and you will be saved. You can reject Him if you want. But then you will spend eternity in hell in regret that you refused to swallow your pride.


I truly feel sorry for the empty life you appear to espouse. I am an Atheist and proud of it, i fear no time in hell and need no compassion from figments of your imagination. You obviously have not read the bible either old or new testaments if you consider your god compassionate - follow my rules or else seems to be the crux of it. It is insulting to anyone what half a brain. He is ever loving, and a just-judge - do you not see how ridiculous this is, stay away from quoting doctrine to me because it is all (and unlike you i have no doubt) absolute rubbish. It belittles our species and holds us back. Religion keeps us ignorant and self-centered and desperately reaching ideas that we should all leave behind with faeries and the man in the moon.



Of course moral absolutes are found in God! Come on Sean, think. Who decides what's right? Do I decide what's right? Do you? Does Gordon Brown? No, we are all imperfect. We need a perfect law giver. We need someone who sets the standard and is free from corruption. You call God a monster. However, do you want murderers and rapists to go free? No, you want them punished. Your conscience demands it. But God will not stop there. All liars will have their part in the lake of fire. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. Evolution makes man God. That is why since evolution has been pushed into education morality has taken a massive dive and society today is worse than it has ever been. If just the Ten Commandments were taught in schools morality would improve. There are many Christians in the UK who understand what I am saying and are determined to speak the truth so that this nation can turn from decadence and debauchery to holiness and godliness. Confront us if you must but know that it is better to take refuge in God than to put trust in man. Our trust is in God.


You are a fool, an ignorant, indoctrinated fool who cannot speak or think for yourself. Who are you to tell me that i need a man in the clouds to tell me how to be moral - the arrogance of the religious staggers me - we know the word of god, you must do this, or he will do that. I decide what is right, i have no guidance from anyone else or anything else and i need nothing else, we are each capable of morality it comes with the free mind. I am sorry that you lack the assurance that i have. I can only be glad that my children will be raised without the fear of god and will be blessed with an open mind which will allow them to live a full, free life in this life, not in the next which is what you and your ilk seem to desire most of all.

Apologies for the tone of this but religious intolerance and ignorance in general angers me. Please take the time in this life to live, there will be no next life for you, it's a wonderful time to be alive. Why waste it on a fantasy, read some books, really question what you have written here and live a little.

Regards,

Sean

Anonymous said...

"Ignorant of what? Ignorant of why God is rejected? "

rob, I expect you reject various gods, such as thor, ra etc. We atheists reject your god because the objective evidence requires us to do so, however unlike you if objective evidence is presented to us that a god does exist we will change our ideas and adapt - that is why we are not fundamentalists.. Frankly your god is about as probable as faeries, or thor for matter.... Can you prove that faeries or thor do not exist? Or do you think that they probably do not exist and so you are an a-faerist in the same way we are atheists.
Accepting something without objective evidence (i.e. blind faith) is not rational, no matter what some terrorist, that has been dead for 2000 years, apparently said.
You are happy with the false, mundane explanations that your "holy" book has to offer fair enough, but this has no place in our school science curriculum.

Sean
"Apologies for the tone of this but religious intolerance and ignorance in general angers me."

I think that you have nothing to apologise for. Religion does not deserve respect, respect has to be earned and the method for gathering respect is rationally standing up to criticism and the ability to present evidence to back up ones claims. In the past Sean, these people murdered people like you and me for not sharing their beliefs - if we do not want to go backwards and find ourselves in such a position again it is necessary that we stand our ground, our weapons are rational thought and evidence - lets not let them poison the minds of our children...