What really stopped the ID movement were the USA courts not allowing ID to be taught in the public schools under the Establishment Clause of the US constitution.
The repeated court rulings against ID being a science, but a religions belief, modeled after creationism, prohibited public school tax moneys from being spent in the classroom on ID. The penalty being sanctions, fines, court cost and attorney fees to say the least. This put the brakes on ID, and one big toilet flush. ID lost repeatedly, and could not stand against the scientific community in a court of law.
Science, in public schools, must be taught to a national standard, and then the state(s) education boards have to set a standard policy for private schools, that excludes ID as a science. Therefore, the knock out punch to ID was a double blow, where it is excluded even in private schools. However, ID is filtered into religious schools anyways, but without legal standing if a parent wants to make a legal issue out of it.
ID maybe popular in the general world where we are used to filtering all kinds of ideas, but the last I heard ID is dead as an educational subject.
All ID says is “god (no name god) did it”, that is not science not now and never has been.
All that said as to our courts and ID, I highly expect the religious community to try again in the future with some other slant to create a religious state (culture) by dummying down our youth. There is too much money in religions, so I doubt the subject will go away any time soon.
For a fast reference to ID and USA courts, go to talkorigin.com website and poke around, you will find the court rulings in detail if you are interested.
“I agree on both counts, but note that neither of those are against the laws of thought-- they are only against the laws of scientific thought. So the only "crime" is in calling it science, and that's what we have recourse to correct.”
I realize you are talking with a broad brush and I get your point, and for the most part, I agree.
However, to clean up the wording and to clarify the ID issue, it matters little what the common person thinks one way or the other. Believe in Zeus for all society cares about, Green Men from Mars, who cares. There are No laws in the USA against being silly, stupid, ignorant, or just flat-out wrong.
The ID issue becomes paramount when US tax monies are being spent on promoting religious belief(s) in our public schools, or other state/federal government (even in part) funded learning institutions. Not to mention any other government printed pamphlets, information, or being persuasive to religions in any kind of operations.
The line is drawn for example: Pres. Bush can have his privet beliefs, can talk about his beliefs and opinions, but direct government persuasions to religions using policy, regulations, taxes and direct influence is against is against the USA Constitution and State Constitutions.
A fast explanation: Crimes are codified of what the “state” (state and feds) has jurisdiction over (as murder robbery and more), where the common person does NOT get involved in the court judgments nor enforcements, other than jury(s) and personal attorney(s) as a defense. In short, only the DA (district attorney) can prosecute a crime. See your state’s “criminal codes” or state statutes.
ID v. Science, when it was taken to court, was a “civil” matter not a criminal offence, where the court (both State Supreme Courts and US Supreme Court) ruled a “Stop Order” or a “Gag Order” against ID, backed up by the Federal Marshals and/or local police powers. Civil proceedings are defined as being person v. person, or person against the state. “Person” includes corporations, and other legally organized institution.
These “Court Orders” against ID was to the pubic school board (and others that taught ID with tax monies or influence named in case) also included fines, sanctions, court cost, and attorney fees in favor of the science community. NOT to mention public embarrassments; that is why the court fines(s) were very high, attorney fees speak for themselves, and a mater of public records.
There are over a dozens major court cases where ID lost. In fact, I never heard of ID or creationism ever winning a court case. The precedent in legal proceedings against ID is so great, no school board in their in their right mind would ever teach ID, but rather stay to the facts of science and evolution as a scientific fact.
In arguments among common people (not litigating), ID v. Evolution, there are two routs to go, one being persuasive as teaching “good and valid science” and the other is “truth by authority” i.e. the USA courts, backed up by police powers. I having argued against ID unto ad nausea, as of lately, I just quote court cases and be done with it.
As they say-- money talks!These “Court Orders” against ID was to the pubic school board (and others that taught ID with tax monies or influence named in case) also included fines, sanctions, court cost, and attorney fees in favor of the science community. NOT to mention public embarrassments; that is why the court fines(s) were very high, attorney fees speak for themselves, and a mater of public records.
But to me, that defense falls victim to being labeled totalitarian. You end up with guerrila war instead of pitched battles (where else have I seen that problem lately?) I'd rather just ask the other person to describe what they think science is, and then you have them either way. Either ID will not live up to their own definition of what science is, or their definition will have obvious oversights that you can point out much more easily without attacking any religious beliefs.In arguments among common people (not litigating), ID v. Evolution, there are two routs to go, one being persuasive as teaching “good and valid science” and the other is “truth by authority” i.e. the USA courts, backed up by police powers. I having argued against ID unto ad nausea, as of lately, I just quote court cases and be done with it.
ID also falls into the "God of the Gaps" fallacy so it's theological merits are flawed as well. Besides with the Anthropic Cosmological Principal we don't need it.
The problems in persuasion to evolution and to valid science, other than in court, are many. Primarily good old fashion hand waving and denial.
The ID people think nothing about lying, being intellectually dishonest, unfounded slants, expressing opinions as fact, claim making, misquoting, appeal to emotions, changing definitions, truth by authority, attacking the person, monetary gains, and any other low-down and dirty tactic.
That is not to say scientists are totally guided by internal moral fortitude that is beyond reproach.
I have a standard high school biology textbook, 9X11 and two inches tick. I would venture to say most ID and creationist could not get past the introduction. Asking them to read Copi, a 1948 high school text, on logic would be an impossibility.
In a society that cherishes (with legal backing) “free Speech”, with some limitations, I do not expect the religious arguments to go away any time soon. Once you pull the king pin out from under the religious argument there is no place for theist to run. You attack their social structure, religious society, the fear of being temporal, rituals, and every other religious cultural norm, and child hood teaching, do not expect to win an argument on the validity of Evolution.
In fact, scientist, nor I, of reasonable study, can say there is not a god of some kind, only that of the gods studied they do not exist. That does not cause a god “to exist”, (not showing one), but rather ignorance is only proof of ignorance and nothing more.
Being more directed as to the validity of Evolution over ID, there is more at stake than intellectual honesty, but rather and entire economic system of the religious that is in the billions to say the least. It is common for ID people rejecting science and logic, but then will place these demands on their doctor, attorney, and every other professional they higher, save for the priest.
So it can be established that man is hypocritical, what else is new?
As far as I am concerned, the only valid argument against ID is the legal argument. Just as in criminal law, as in civil proceedings, this is an on going function of society. Briefly, you have a civil case if you can show damages, contract law, a matter of constitutional law, or estoppels (to stop a proceeding or return to a former state), that is not silly to a judge If your claim is made properly.
Other than that, I as any other, have to find away to exist in an overly religious world where suiside for god gets you 70 virgins. How do you fight that argument, other than a legal charge of insanity, and being a danger to oneself and/or to others. In addition, even still, in some cases, religious beliefs are defense for the court to show mercy on.
Moreover, I am going to argue, without legal authority, to these ID people and be persuasive? Not a chance in hell.
Indeed, and it is also not a "crime" to be hypocritical. The best we can do is establish the hypocrisy of calling ID science. It is much easier to convince someone they are being hypocritical than that they are wrong.So it can be established that man is hypocritical, what else is new?
But the problem with that is, it relies on a relatively obscure aspect of the Constitution, which could have easily not been present. What then? Surely there would still need to be a way to carry this debate to its fruitful completion even without separation of church and state (as in countries outside the US, which, ironically, have less of a problem with ID proponents).As far as I am concerned, the only valid argument against ID is the legal argument.
Again, this is still a necessary thing to be able to do, and I do not see it as futile if the right stance is taken. After all, the issue is, who do you need to convince? The answer is, as always, the moderates, who will not part with their beliefs but are willing to be educated about what science is, and isn't.Moreover, I am going to argue, without legal authority, to these ID people and be persuasive?
“But to me, that defense falls victim to being labeled totalitarian. You end up with guerrila war instead of pitched battles (where else have I seen that problem lately?) I'd rather just ask the other person to describe what they think science is, and then you have them either way. Either ID will not live up to their own definition of what science is, or their definition will have obvious oversights that you can point out much more easily without attacking any religious beliefs.”
Yes, I can see where one might think that court rulings would be totalitarian, but "constitutional law with enforcement", would be more adequate, not quite as brutal in phrasing. We base our entire country on a written document (constitution) as with any thinking has to be based on something. No thought stands alone spontaneously created from a vacuum.
The entire idea of “police authority” to support the constitution, as ruled on by a judge (with or without appeals) is to prevent civil rebellion. An example: The National Guard was called out in the 60’s over a civil rights court ruling to enforce a court order, and to prevent open rebellion. As such, blacks are not discriminated against to this date, at least what cannot be prosecuted in court with proper evidence.
However, at that time, open rebellion was on the streets and need to be contained by brute force. Same thing regarding the Whisky Rebellion, and the armed forces lead by President George Washington to collect a valid tax, valid as ruled on by a court as legitimate, but later rescinded, so all those that died in the enforcement, died in vain, but police powers were clearly established in the USA from the start.
So goes the idea anyways, court rulings without police powers are meaningless. This seems to work for our USA culture.
The point being, in a constitutional society, primarily, the person’s actions are paramount NOT what they believe. Therefore, teachers can believe whatever they want, but they better not teach ID in the classroom, and teach valid science as known and accepted by the scientific community.
Suppose the teacher’s Union openly rebel and reject the court order and teach ID, then call out the Federal Marshals, even the National Guard, and have them arrested. Do not think it cannot happen, police powers are very real.
Science, as shown in all of human history to date, is on a direct collision course with religions, as many early scientists were burned alive, hung, for even observing a natural human birth and explaining the blood circuitry system. NEVERTHELESS, we live in a country of laws, and court rulings, where these disputes are to be handled in a more humanitarian method with greater reasoning, so we think anyways.
That is why it is so clear that religion must be defined and science must be defined, and we will not mix religions with police authority, we have separation of church and state, as shown in our constitution, both state and federal, backed up by police powers.
ID is clearly a religion, as ruled on by the courts and not a science, and on the courts I base my argument as the final and complete say in the matter.
We do not disagree on much Ken, a pleasure talking to you.
I agree, the argument (pro con) in ID v. Science, there is much to be gained. It is not always a step forward in common communication to say, “The court rule, so end of argument, go argue with the US Supreme Court if you want to continue.”
There is time and place for that stead fast, closed mindedness, where a determination is paramount to life and limb. Normally these situations do not exist in common life. They do not exist because we have the over bearing weight of authority i.e. the courts. If the argument is of value, we that are pro science, or involved in litigation, have the tools we need to win the argument, and end the dispute once and for all, or see you court where it counts.
However, many people have been caught up in religious cult worship and cultic teachings, and they have a head filled with bogus science not necessarily to a fault of their own. They are repeating what they have been taught, bumper sticker mentality, and if you think the time is well spent, teach and argue with them as to what is valid science other than what a court ruled.
I would not expect any message board “conversions”, but many religious people should hear the details of what makes valid science and what makes religions and ID is not a Science.
I, having spent thousands of hours in argument with theist on the subject, I have run out of patience. If they want truth by authority, as that is the king pin of their argument, other than reasoning, I can give it to them all the way to the US Supreme Court with police powers as back up, and they can’t match that, not in reality.
I would certainly encourage you to talk to these ID, creationist, and religious folks. Most, I assume, have never heard the argument against ID but they have plenty of propaganda. Theists make a determination on “they must have a god”, and not on the scientific facts, and ID fits well with them. So be it.
In away it is a good social compromise. A person can have their god beliefs, what ever they want, but keep it out of our tax-supported schools. Our children will know what is valid science, and evolution is a scientific fact, as we agree.
Dons, I think now would be the time to point out that there are literally millions of people who both consider themselves religious and accept the factual basis of evolution. For one, it's the current stance of the Catholic church. And my own, though I'm not Catholic. Not everyone has a deity that feels the need to intervene in every step of the way.
"Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"
"You can't erase icing."
"I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"
But this solution will certainly stick in a lot of people's craws until they realize the difference between science and religion, just as the beliefs held by most people stick in the craws of most scientists, until those scientists do the same.That is why it is so clear that religion must be defined and science must be defined, and we will not mix religions with police authority, we have separation of church and state, as shown in our constitution, both state and federal, backed up by police powers.
I have lived and worked with the "believing scientists" that Gillianren describes - IMO this is almost a more dangerous population than the flat-out ignorant, as they have just enough credibility (the "scientist/engineer" tag) to be mistaken for authoritative by the gullible. There will be no conversion of the faithful - but for my money, I'd rather package my science and go after the "undecideds" and see what happens.
Last edited by PuckishOne; 2007-Feb-06 at 10:05 PM. Reason: fixing persnickety quote tag
Ken it seems that you are looking for one method of persuasion against ID, that if you show a path of better reasoning that theist will take it. Not hardly.
There are always exceptions but for the most part, evolution will never replace a god believe and ID, though in error, is a better belief than a fundamentalist “the bible is never wrong” stand. Therefore, I welcome every small step that society takes towards being rational in science.
Where is the social intercourse with evolution to induce pity, empathy, love, and hate? None. Sing praises to Darwin in old time gospel tunes for an emotional high? NO. Is there any eternal life or heaven with evolution? No. Not even a fiery hell to suck more donations out of the repentant. Now what do you do?
You mean to tell me that a frog turned into a horse, that turned into a chicken, that turned into to a human is science? Even though evolution never said that, never even implied that, but that is the religious propaganda and paranoia that you are contending against. Dump human pride in the mix as, "My parents were not monkeys maybe yours were." and evolution falls on its face, though it is all a lie and not relevant.
For the common person evolution is from Mars, an other stupid idea, and has no bearing on day to day life, (till the theist needs a doctor), but god controls every thing, and don’t up set the apple cart by being logical much less with facts. Never ask too many questions as your faith will be destroyed, then you will comit crimes and go to hell, even lust after a woman. In addition, you must be gay as not to believe in a god. Where is the morality in evolution—there is none.
Will evolution keep a wife in line so she does not play around? Well God can. Will evolution keep your teenager sober? NO but god can.
You see Ken, evolution has a no win stance over religion, and ID just proves there is a god, so the bible is correct. Science requires very intricate, systematic logical progression with physical evidence as verification, where in religion we get to make these massive logical leaps and bounds over grand canyons, superman faith, so religion is better.
How do you argue with this Ken? You cannot. I forget who said it, but it is not that one idea is persuasive over a generation to change thinking, but that one generation dies out and another generation with a more open mind takes its place.
You are forgetting that the argument for a flat earth, and spontaneous generation lasted for hundreds of years, and you think man has really changed that much? Not hardly. Given the right argument, 80% of the people would think the earth is flat.
The very best we can hope for is education, education, and more education, fair and honest laws. So by all means keep religions and ID out of our schools and the only way to do that is by the rule of law with teeth. We might be able to gleam a few out of the religious community, but do not count on more than that.
Go for it Ken, by all means, persuade all you can. For myself, it is far easer to convince there is not any god shown, rather than argue for evolution. After all, though I am an atheist, evolution is a belief, and clarified as a scientific fact, no god needed.
If the god goes out the window so does ID, and it will be a great day on earth when that happens.
Police powers to enforce court rulings are here to stay, they are a fact of daily life, and contempt of court (as ignoring a court order) will land a person in jail, including fines, as a mater of fact. Not only that a bench warrant, at least, will be placed for the offenders arrest.
It is not a matter if the advertising will give social recognition to a cause or not, but a matter of law, jurisdiction, and court order; no one will thumb their nose at the courts. I would not advise it to anyone, for any reason.
One thing to be sure of, any such teacher that teaches ID will loose their job, from that point the problem is solved. In the face of millions of dollars of litigation it would take a very stupid, and blind, school board to allow ID to be taught, and they would deserve all the fines, and attorney cost they get.
One more thing not to be redundant, in the light of the dozens of court ruling banning creationism and ID from the public schools: a well-written letter of demand, and a full investigation by the school administrators, more than likely, would solve the problem.
In real life this where the weight and authority of the courts come into full play to solve a social problem. It is NOT a mater of opinion if ID or Evolution is right, but a mater of the rule of law and that of police authority as backing.
I know of two local instances on this subject that were solved without litigation. The teachers received a kind reprimand, mostly some correcting and training, they were young teachers and needed to learn, no big deal, and that was the end of that, everyone went home happy.
That is the way things should work.
You can not say to the class, “I’m not supposed to teach ID in science class, even though it is more valid than science, in my opinion.” NO, NO… do not do that. You stay to the science subject without the innuendoes. Religion and ID is not a topic in science class, you can refer the student to their parents if they have religious questions.
In a Comparative Religion class, where the broad spectrum of religions are shown it is Ok to mention ID, however in a different class.
Also beliefs are not engraved in stone for life and a person should generally feel they have the right to change their beliefs, so I think. Believe in god on Monday, believe in Allah on Tuesday, and no god on Wednesday, and study for the rest of the week, who cares?
You will not find me complaining. Though I may have crossed over the line with my personal opionions, I was carefull to stay focused on the rule of law and the ban on teaching religion (ID) in tax supported leaning institutions.
From that, in legal terms, the problem is solved. However, in the open field of idea, science is called a religion, evolution is called a religion, and a scientific theory is nothing more than a lame idea, and that is simply not the case.
These terms, and many more, were examined by the highest court in the land, arguments were made over weeks, with legal appeals, and these definitions were hammered out with million of bucks, the integrity of law, and the future of science on the line.
The courts made a determination, by the definition of words and evidence, in the light of the Establishment Clause that ID is a religion, a spin of creationism that was also ruled as a religion. That even the inserted flyer in the science text by the public school had to be removed that said evolution is an untested theory.
Go to talkorigin.com and see the cases. I think it is far more valid to base an opinion on legal case precedent than on radio propaganda.
By the way, if any one violates your religious right to the point where you can show material damages, or verified emotional damages, or infringes on your parental rights to instruct your child in religion as you see fitting,óget an attorney and take them to court.
You will find that many atheist attorneys will fight like hell, a junkyard dog, for your religious freedoms and religious rights to be unmolested and unspoiled. The cases, and laws, are overwhelming in your favor.
My apologies then Ken and I stand corrected. You do OK, and no fault found from me.
“Again, this is still a necessary thing to be able to do, and I do not see it as futile if the right stance is taken. After all, the issue is, who do you need to convince? The answer is, as always, the moderates, who will not part with their beliefs but are willing to be educated about what science is, and isn't.”
Whom do I intend to convince? The judge, and or the jury. as the bottom line and nothing more. Then once you have the favorable ruling we look to police powers, of various sorts, to “force” compliance by any legal means. From incarceration to heavy monetary damages of various sorts, or return to the former state i.e. put those property lines back where they were, or pull those flyers out of the science text books that are ambiguous and confusing, and a flat out lie.
I do not care about what god a person believes in or not, he/she could change their mind next week for all I care. To reach into a person’s mind and think you can change their beliefs is just not a possibility. Humans change from day to day and what I seek is performance, be it from the state, institutions, or another individual. None is so big, from any corporation to the President that they will not bow to the rule of law—none what so ever.
Everyone is entitled to a defense, so be it, may the best legal argument win, or in the case of Nixon just resign.
What we hope for is that people will be reasonable, and in law, it is common to use the “reasonable person” theory as in pre-court settlement, or in court to a judge. However, what is reasonable is not engraved in stone but rather a mater intellect, culture, socialization, education, a long list of fears, beliefs of all kinds, and even greed, to say the least.
What we hope for after persuasion is then performances to our liking, but willful performance because “it is the right thing to do” is a rare happening, or the adverse situation would have never developed in the first place. Fortunately, in most situations, persuasion works, people do what is right even if they do not like it and the big guns are not needed.
Not everything is a mater of coercion, and I just cannot tell who is a moderate or not. We all have an addenda, mine is to see the betterment of the human race and an over all raise in intellect, so the god thingy has to go by by. My method to those ends is the rule law that if a person will not act out of good reasoning for good things, then let them act because they are forced to, and I really do not care how they feel about it.
What puzzles me about ID is that we all know it is a smokescreen for them to get a toe-hold in the serious academic door and put forward an idea that will allow them to justify their literal interpretation of biblical texts.
In which case why does everyone keep coming back to Darwin???
If you wish to dismiss the literal interpretation of the bible there are plenty of other ways to do it besides bringing evolution into the debate.
Surely you start with the basic fact that we can see objects which are more than 6,000 light years away from us which demonstrates that the universe has to be more than 6,000 years old. The only way that can be challenged is if you "monkey about" with the speed of light but if you do that a whole host of other physical theories as well as real life practical applications such as Radar and GPS fall apart.
Then you can get started on geology continental drift and the reversal of the earth's magnetic poles to mention just a few factors and before you know it there is a whole mass of physical evidence that is difficult to square with the first book of scripture.
In that respect Evolution and Darwin are just the "cherry on a very big cake" that rounds everthing off. During which you can make reference to the evolution of new forms through mutation citing examples from HIV AIDS through to H5N1 avian flu.
One should not try and fight the ID crowd on their terms by just dueling with swords over the subject of Darwinian evolution. Instead we should clobber them with the whole scientific arsenal, the artillery and cavalry of Astronomy, Physics Geology etc.
This is because the best scientific approach to the development of life is best explained by him through his natural selection and branching ideas. [ID trys to demonstrate his ideas do not apply to every case.] Besides, it doesnít hurt to have an outstanding figurehead, too.In which case why does everyone keep coming back to Darwin???
Yes, but you are arguing against YEC and not ID. There are also other literal interpretations, one at least, of the Bible that are compatible with scienceSurely you start with the basic fact that we can see objects which are more than 6,000 light years away from us which demonstrates that the universe has to be more than 6,000 years old. The only way that can be challenged is if you "monkey about" with the speed of light but if you do that a whole host of other physical theories as well as real life practical applications such as Radar and GPS fall apart.
We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.
But for some people, saying "It's in the Bible" is equivalent to saying "2 + 2 = 4." Court rulings and counter-evidence don't dissuade them any more than they would if a judge suddenly ruled that two plus two equals whatever works best for you. For years many people in our society have had it drummed into their heads that A) the Bible's contents are enshrouded in divinity and special wisdom, B) disagreeing with the Bible's contents is a one-way ticket to God's disfavor, and C) if you are persecuted for your beliefs (by mocking or court rulings against you) then that's a good thing, because persecution is a virtue.
To a Creationist, believing in Darwinian natural selection requires them to adopt beliefs that run completely counter to their life-long worldview. Suddenly they have to believe we are just trumped-up animals, not special creatures with a soul that can commune with God. They have to believe that there is no such thing as Original Sin, which means there never was a paradise with perfect human beings living in harmony, and that therefore we will never be able to get back to that perfect sinless state. That also means that the death of Jesus was pointless and that we're all doomed to die an ignomious death.
This is about much more than where dinosaurs came from...it's about accepting a worldview that completely contradicts that which helps them muster through life's ongoing struggles. When a Creationist sees a paleontologist hold up a fossil of an ancient fish with proto-legs ('weird appendages' to use Ann Coulter's dismissing phrase), they don't see what most of us would think is either cool or else convincing evidence of natural selection. They see a non-Christian Jesus-hater gloating, "See, suckers? God doesn't care about you one whit, just like we've been trying to tell you all along!"
And by gum, if it takes underhanded tactics like suppressing your true views until you get onto public school boards where you can then vote in the curriculum that you "know" is the truth, then they will do it.
(Disclaimer: I acknowledge that many Christians accept evolution--they just think it was God's decision for one particular bug to eat another or one bacteria to magically grow a flagella. Those sorts of people are definitely not Young-Earth Creationists.)
I think the recent posts have underscored in dramatic fashion the basic points I'm trying to raise:
1) you can't legislate belief
2) science, like a screwdriver, only "works" for those willing to learn its function and choose to use it
3) the central issue in all this is not who is "right", for that will forever be a subjective issue of opinion, but rather: what is good science. If that remains the focus of all aspects of ID debate, all will be fine. Science is not threatened by those who choose to disregard it in their belief system, but it is threatened by lack of understanding of what it is and what it does, and that goes for both camps in the debate.
If you have any understanding of science transcending the level of knowledge, needed to use your daily tech-gizmos, you can't but doubt a literal interpretation of Scripture. So simply spread scientific knowledge and hope for the best!
On the other side are there, alas, far to few (scientificly) enlightend people around, who would grasp as jamesbrown does ....
....the cultural impact-potential Darwinism still carries.To a Creationist, believing in Darwinian natural selection requires them to adopt beliefs that run completely counter to their life-long worldview. Suddenly they have to believe we are just trumped-up animals, not special creatures with a soul that can commune with God. They have to believe that there is no such thing as Original Sin, which means there never was a paradise with perfect human beings living in harmony, and that therefore we will never be able to get back to that perfect sinless state. That also means that the death of Jesus was pointless and that we're all doomed to die an ignomious death.
But note that this is the fallacy of the false dichotomy. There are many people who have already found ways to make Darwinism and faith compatible, the fact that some do not have a sufficiently sophisticated understanding of either is a current problem but not a fundamental problem. The belief in the false dichotomy is a far more pervasive problem than that.
The reason that I understand the underlying fear and panic when Creationists see evolution taking over is that I used to be a Young Earth Creationist. When a college roommate (a Christian, no less) sat me down and forced me to examine the rudimentary evidence of evolution for myself, I went through a harrowing period. I felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under me and that I had nothing substantial to cling to. It was one of those stereotypical "Everything I've been told is a LIE!" moments and I entered into a mild depression for a long while.
Of course, I found equilibrium a bit later by declaring that evolution was simply the method that God used to create the world, a position adopted by many religious believers today. I felt that with that idea I could have my cake and eat it too. I no longer believe that position anymore. But I well remember and understand why Creationists fight so hard. This is much, much more than, say, two scientists arguing with their calculations about a star's orbit or a fossil's ancestor. To the YECs, if we don't stop teaching the lies of evolution, then someday God is going to smack us down with disaster, and innocent people are going to suffer and die.
Thanks for that personal insight, as such it carries great weight. Note also that it underscores the fact that a compatible approach is possible, and it also shows that understanding is an ongoing process with peaks and valleys, and "I no longer think that way"s. That process never ends, it's not like "now I know the truth and will never change my views even though I have in the past", it's "here's where I am on this right now". This is the hallmark of a subjective thought process, and underscores the need to understand the limitations of the concept of absolute truth.