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Evolution Is Unconstitutional


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http://www.therealitycheck.org/GuestColumn...akala090105.htm

 

Evolution is Unconstitutional

 

by Rudy Takala

 

On August 19th, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a prison violated an inmate’s religion by not allowing him to form a prayer group. According to the court, "Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being.”

 

It’s not the first time a court has ruled in such a way. In 1961, the Supreme Court defined “secular humanism” as a religion in Torcaso v. Watkins. In the 1965 case United States v. Seeger, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a conscientious objector who claimed that his “skepticism or disbelief in the existence of God” did “not necessarily mean lack of faith in anything whatsoever.”

 

Nonetheless, conservatives seem to have fallen in lockstep on the latest case. A senior trial attorney from the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy said, “Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion.” Shortly after, conservative pundits began to rally in decrying the Circuit’s ruling.

 

Such commentators have unfortunately missed the point. This is not, as one article argued, an issue of whether our founders were Christian men. This is an issue of reality – of what atheism really is. It is a matter of faith. It’s an unproven hypothesis that its adherents want to propagate and convince others of.

 

As such, they have no right to talk about it in government schools. Because the thought of teaching creationism in schools usually causes liberals to hyperventilate, the thought of teaching evolution or atheism should now have the same effect. What’s the real problem that liberals have with teaching creationism in schools? Do they oppose it because it’s a matter of faith, and not of science? Or do they oppose it because it isn’t their faith? We should know soon, since the predominantly atheist belief in evolution has now been defined as a religious matter.

 

Because non-religion is now a religion, the Establishment Clause of the Constitution now requires all court houses in the United States to publicly display a copy of the Ten Commandments. When religion was defined simply as a belief in God, it was unconstitutional to display religious monuments anywhere near court houses. However, the absence of God has also become a religion. At best, the amount of space in court houses filled by religious paraphernalia will have to be equal to the amount of space without any religious things.

 

Best of all, public schools are now unconstitutional. Vouchers, they told us, were wrong because, even though they worked, the government wasn’t allowed to pay Christians for educating anyone. The government could only support liberal atheists. But because liberal atheism is now a religious establishment, their government-enforced monopoly over the nation’s children can no longer be defined as Constitutional. (That’s the fifth or sixth reason public education is unconstitutional, anyway. Maybe when we get to ten, it’ll be enough to do something about it.)

 

Instead of rejecting atheists from the club of the abused, spat upon and persecuted, we should welcome them with open arms. While this may enable them to form special cliques called “prayer groups” when they’re in prison, it will prevent them from receiving special privileges from the government. They will no longer be able to oppress everyone who professes to be religious, simply on account of their faith.

 

If atheism is a religion, then we truly have attained religious equality in America. The only question left is when we’re going to appoint a judge who will enact that equality.

 

Rudy Takala is sixteen and was homeschooled for nine years; he currently spends his time taking college classes and writing a book about government education.

 

The opinions expressed in this column represent those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or philosophy of TheRealityCheck.org, Inc.

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

 

It's not really that idiotic, considering evolution's only competition was religious creationism, no one has ever considered or espoued a non-religious (not bound to any sacred text) scientific theory of creationism simply because of the stigma of religious heritage.

 

After all before the age of the earth was discovered it wasnt unscientific to believe that it was created considering the state of knowledge at the time. Not to mention what about the religions that have no contradictions or anything that would contradict the record of nature in their sacred texts? Evolution doesn't prove the falsehood of anything, unless it contradicts known facts of nature, so anything that aligns with the facts would go unnoticed.

 

Let's not forget the distinction between "naturual" and "supernatural" doesn't really exist, its abitrary and artificial, one can't even DEFINE natural or supernatural in a scientific sense, they are beliefs... one believes that the universe is a closed system, and that is philosophy any way you slice it.

 

Science was born out of philosophy and much of modern science does not function in anyway according to how people think science should operate (i.e. with strict rules). Go read some Paul Feyerabend. There are no universal universal methodological rules to determine the truth of something, as many who claim science is the answer to everything.

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

It's the Christian Apologist's favorite pastime to argue that evolution is a belief and atheism is a religion. If they are right, then Atheist should be able to start private schools with state support, and start Atheist Churches with government financial support. Fair should be fair.

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I'm just throroughly amused by the fact that people who refute evolution obviously don't understand it -- they see it as a discreet phenomenon that stops and starts when we're not looking, not as an ongoing process. I think that's pretty much the only hangup people can't get over. And, obviously, since they can't see it now (because it evidently stopped when humans came to be right, surely we aren't evolving, they say) they assume that our logical deduction is simply a matter we take on faith because it's the only explanation we seem to be able to muster that doesn't require a god. If you take that point of view I can see how you'd think that we were a religion, with our own belief system. That's just their ignorance showing. But seriously, we are very likely to understand their religion, while they have no idea about the ideas we use to justify our lack of one. If they did, they might not be so silly. I often run into people who don't feel like arguing with me about whether or not there is a god, and that's ok, because I've had the discussion one too many times with a few screw loose fundies, and I've pretty much had my fill of it. Usually we end on some note like "well, if you die and there turns out to be a god, then you're screwed, if I died and there wasn't one, then technically I'm no worse off." I say, "well that's an awful silly thing to expect a god who commands your respect and devotion would reward you for a belief 'just in case he exists.' And besides, what about all that wasted effort and all those unjustified donations to the church? I'd say you wasted a good portion of the only life you had if you're wrong." Then a shrug, and we all laugh at the strange relatively non-confrontational logic I used, and their strange willingness to just overlook it out of fear. I try not to start fights about it, because it doesn't do me much good, even though at the end, they know I'm at least not stupid.

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they see it as a discreet phenomenon that stops and starts when we're not looking, not as an ongoing process. I think that's pretty much the only hangup people can't get over

 

Those who dispute it also tend to be binary thinkers. They reason that because there are still missing peices in the theory that the entire theory must be thrown out with the wash. They make the same logical errors in other fields as well; to the point that it is quite comical at times.

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Go read some Paul Feyerabend.

 

What would be a good book specifically to read by him or any author on this subject? :D

 

It's not really that idiotic, considering evolution's only competition was religious creationism, no one has ever considered or espoued a non-religious (not bound to any sacred text) scientific theory of creationism simply because of the stigma of religious heritage.

True, but a scientific theory could be created with creationism. I don't believe it would be fullproof or it would have any sort of true evidence. However the concept would still be in play and if it was accepted as a scientific theory then the Christian right could win on a technicality.

 

Creationism should always be taught at sunday school. If people want their kids to learn about their view on history, then it should ALWAYS be at the church.

 

This is just my two cents though

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

It's the Christian Apologist's favorite pastime to argue that evolution is a belief and atheism is a religion. If they are right, then Atheist should be able to start private schools with state support, and start Atheist Churches with government financial support. Fair should be fair.

 

We should be able to get money for faith based intiatives too! :woohoo: Ex-Christian could be government funded! Dave should look into that.

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

 

I see it all the time. I'm not sure if they actually believe what they say or whether they just realize the value of making evolution appear to be a religion. You see, modern creationism evolves in response to any advances evolution makes. It's an arms race just like in nature. It's latest species, Intelligent Design, evolved out of the need to have something so stripped down that it would pass constitutional muster. It worked on schoolboards packed to the gills with fundies, but our beloved Judge Jones saw right through all the bs. He could see that ID was just mutated creationsm and could never hide its roots. He also realized, through research of the Discovery Institute, that Intelligent Design, itself, had been intelligently designed as a wedge and a trojan horse.

 

Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

It's the Christian Apologist's favorite pastime to argue that evolution is a belief and atheism is a religion. If they are right, then Atheist should be able to start private schools with state support, and start Atheist Churches with government financial support. Fair should be fair.

 

Oh yes, and me, as an Atheist preacher, should be living tax free! Do you realize who much money I'd save? But, of course, that would be the fundies putting their money where their mouths are! It's not going to happen. They will only call us a religion for as long as they realize it's not going to be official. Can you imagine the outrage? Do they really want this? lol...

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Has everyone ever seen a rebuttel that evolution is a scientific theory? It must be the argument brought up in courts or I'm missing something in the articles. It's idiotic that people keep viewing evolution as a religious belief over theory.

 

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA610.html

 

Claim CA610:

 

Evolution is a religion because it encompasses views of values and ultimate meanings.

 

Source:

 

Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 196-200.

 

Response:

 

1.Evolution merely describes part of nature. The fact that that part of nature is important to many people does not make evolution a religion. Consider some attributes of religion and how evolution compares:

*Religions explain ultimate reality. Evolution stops with the development of life (it does not even include the origins of life).

*Religions describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality. Evolution describes only our biological background relative to present and recent human environments.

*Religions almost always include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers. Evolution does not.

*Religions have a social structure built around their beliefs. Although science as a whole has a social structure, no such structure is particular to evolutionary biologists, and one does not have to participate in that structure to be a scientist.

*Religions impose moral prescriptions on their members. Evolution does not. Evolution has been used (and misused) as a basis for morals and values by some people, such as Thomas Henry Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and E. O. Wilson (Ruse 2000), but their view, although based on evolution, is not the science of evolution; it goes beyond that.

*Religions include rituals and sacraments. With the possible exception of college graduation ceremonies, there is nothing comparable in evolutionary studies.

*Religious ideas are highly static; they change primarily by splitting off new religions. Ideas in evolutionary biology change rapidly as new evidence is found.

 

2. How can a religion not have any adherents? When asked their religion, many, perhaps most, people who believe in evolution will call themselves members of mainstream religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. None identify their religion as evolution. If evolution is a religion, it is the only religion that is rejected by all its members.

 

3. Evolution may be considered a religion under the metaphorical definition of something pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion. This, however, could also apply to stamp collecting, watering plants, or practically any other activity. Calling evolution a religion makes religion effectively meaningless.

 

4. Evolutionary theory has been used as a basis for studying and speculating about the biological basis for morals and religious attitudes (Sober and Wilson 1998). Studying religion, though, does not make the study a religion. Using evolution to study the origins of religious attitudes does not make evolution a religion any more than using archaeology to study the origins of biblical texts makes archaeology a religion.

 

5. Evolution as religion has been rejected by the courts:

 

Assuming for the purposes of argument, however, that evolution is a religion or religious tenet, the remedy is to stop the teaching of evolution, not establish another religion in opposition to it. Yet it is clearly established in the case law, and perhaps also in common sense, that evolution is not a religion and that teaching evolution does not violate the Establishment Clause.

 

The court cases Epperson v. Arkansas, Willoughby v. Stever, and Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist. are cited as precedent (McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1982).

 

Links:

 

VonRoeschlaub, Warren Kurt. 1998. God and evolution. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html

 

References:

 

McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education. 1982. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mclean-v-arkansas.html

Ruse, Michael. 2000. Creationists correct?: Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics. National Post, 13 May 2000. http://www.members.shaw.ca/mschindler/A/eyring_2_2.htm

Sober, Elliott and David Sloan Wilson. 1998. Unto Others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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So is plate tectonics a religion too?

 

According to many Christains, it only takes a belief to make a religion. This puts them in a funny situation, though. How many religions does a Christian, then, belong to? Well, for starters, all the religions they believe to be false: those would be religions, too! The belief that world is round? Religion! The belief evolution is false? Religion! The belief that Atheists are wrong? Religion! What you believe you'll have for dinner? That's a religion! Yeah, I'm a spaghettiest. Nice to meet you.

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So how can I become ordained as an atheist minister so I can start my own atheist church? Or would this be called a minister being that a minister is someone who is closer to gawd? Anyways just curious.

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True, but a scientific theory could be created with creationism. I don't believe it would be fullproof or it would have any sort of true evidence. However the concept would still be in play and if it was accepted as a scientific theory then the Christian right could win on a technicality.

 

Creationism should always be taught at sunday school. If people want their kids to learn about their view on history, then it should ALWAYS be at the church.

 

This is just my two cents though

 

 

Scientific theories are based on empirical evidence....so how exactly can you have a scientific theory WITHOUT evidence?

 

The fact that fundies think that they can have a theory without evidence is proof enough that they don't have an idea what rational thought is. If there is not way to test it, it can never be more than a hypothesis

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According to many Christains, it only takes a belief to make a religion. This puts them in a funny situation, though. How many religions does a Christian, then, belong to? Well, for starters, all the religions they believe to be false: those would be religions, too! The belief that world is round? Religion! The belief evolution is false? Religion! The belief that Atheists are wrong? Religion! What you believe you'll have for dinner? That's a religion! Yeah, I'm a spaghettiest. Nice to meet you.

 

 

Yeah, your right, my thoughts exactly. How do define a religion because, claiming that a scientific theory is a religion can make anything a religion. Which just hurts them more because, what makes Christianity any more special then Spaghettiestism or Grativianity?

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So how can I become ordained as an atheist minister so I can start my own atheist church? Or would this be called a minister being that a minister is someone who is closer to gawd? Anyways just curious.

 

Like lots of folks here, I'm ordained through the Universal Life Church... and I'm an atheist. I reckon that makes me an atheist minister. It only takes a couple minutes on their website.

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So how can I become ordained as an atheist minister so I can start my own atheist church? Or would this be called a minister being that a minister is someone who is closer to gawd? Anyways just curious.

 

Like lots of folks here, I'm ordained through the Universal Life Church... and I'm an atheist. I reckon that makes me an atheist minister. It only takes a couple minutes on their website.

 

Yeah, and you'll even get a nifty little print out to hang up -- and frame if you so desire. :)

 

According to many Christains, it only takes a belief to make a religion. This puts them in a funny situation, though. How many religions does a Christian, then, belong to? Well, for starters, all the religions they believe to be false: those would be religions, too! The belief that world is round? Religion! The belief evolution is false? Religion! The belief that Atheists are wrong? Religion! What you believe you'll have for dinner? That's a religion! Yeah, I'm a spaghettiest. Nice to meet you.

 

 

Yeah, your right, my thoughts exactly. How do define a religion because, claiming that a scientific theory is a religion can make anything a religion. Which just hurts them more because, what makes Christianity any more special then Spaghettiestism or Grativianity?

 

Well, to them, it being true. But to everyone else, it just clutters the field and devalues their religion by an unimaginably huge number. It makes them seem rather blasphemous, too, as with every belief, positive or negative, they hold a religion! How hard would it be to go to a church for all of them? lol...

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I had a atheist friend in highschool who used his ULC thing to perform marriages! Haha.

 

Really? Don't you have to get state approval or something? How is it done? I'd marry Atheist couples. That'd be awesome. :)

 

It varies by state. I know that you can do it in Nevada, Georgia and South Carolina, at the very least. The wording of the law in these states is vague, and basically says that if your "religious institution" recoginzes your authority to marry someone, then you can perform the civil ceremony as well. The definition of "religious institution" is quite broad in several states, and ULC counts in more cases than you'd think.

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I had a atheist friend in highschool who used his ULC thing to perform marriages! Haha.

 

Really? Don't you have to get state approval or something? How is it done? I'd marry Atheist couples. That'd be awesome. :)

 

It varies by state. I know that you can do it in Nevada, Georgia and South Carolina, at the very least. The wording of the law in these states is vague, and basically says that if your "religious institution" recoginzes your authority to marry someone, then you can perform the civil ceremony as well. The definition of "religious institution" is quite broad in several states, and ULC counts in more cases than you'd think.

 

 

Wow, that's really cool! I should really check more into this.

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