Highway patrol steps in after Rep Hickey argued with atheist group

From the Capitol Journal, it appears that things got lively on the Capitol rotunda floor yesterday:

Talk that started out sounding friendly ended with raised voices and a lawmaker who said he was “insulted” by one of the secular humanists/freethinkers who spent several hours Friday in the Capitol Rotunda talking about their concerns.

Capital security, in the person of a state Highway Patrol trooper and a state public safety official checked in with members of the group after the legislator, Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, told the officers as he was leaving that he had been insulted.


Hickey said Tomlinson insulted him.

“He said I should take a high school science class. I said, ‘Are you questioning my education?’ He said yes.”

Tomlinson corroborated Hickey’s account, except that he thought the lawmaker seemed thin-skinned over the sharp exchange. “I said, ‘Educate yourself.’”

Read the entire story here.

Did the highway patrol need to get involved? What are your thoughts?

64 thoughts on “Highway patrol steps in after Rep Hickey argued with atheist group”

  1. My gosh, I’m surprised the Sioux Falls SWAT team was not summoned to the Capitol. How dare people have discussions and disagreements with raised voices!! The people of this state are never going to wake up and see the Legislature for what it is: a circus with a bunch of elected clowns.

  2. If Hickey asked for the cops because someone insulted him he should resign immediately!!! This is on par with crybaby Russ Olson!!!

  3. Never raised my voice and walked away. For the next ten plus steps a few up them raised their voices to tell me I’m an imbecile. Never seen an interest group with a display booth in the rotunda heckle a legislator. I’d think it’s against the rules. State patrol friends were at the door when walked out and we talked about what happened. They agreed the groups have to be reap

    1. Whoops – here’s the rest

      groups have to be respectful. After I left they obviously went back in to talk to them. Later I learned the reporter from the Capitol Journal saw the whole thing. If he wasn’t there no one would have ever heard about it. It was no big deal.

      1. Against the rules or against the law? You whined to your ‘friend’ the cop and he decided to back you up and try to intimidate those who you claim heckled you. You are an elected representative and are fair game at being heckled or ridiculed. Don’t like it? Don’t put your name on the ballot.

        1. I thought it was odd that the nutty group was there but why did you even waste your time talking to them?

      2. Rep. Hickey:

        You reap what you sow. When you do the bidding of the likes of Corey Heildelberger and his cult of personality, this is the inevitable result. The same hubris of “you’re stupid” when you disagree with them is the same foundation for the humanists and atheists and Darwinistas.

        If you think that Heildelberger and the Madvile crowd respect you in any way, wake up. They pity you, and laugh at you for your ability to be deceived.

        And YES, you should continue to stand up to them–their hate and bigotry have no place in SD let alone our political system.

        I hope this incident is a wake-up call for you.

    2. thanks for your side of the story sir. a lot of people are unjustifiably proud of their own level of education, it seems, while acting out in a way that tells a different story.

  4. I think any citizen should express any opinion they have to the hired help.Being one of the hired help is not the same as preaching to the choir, If the hired can’t ignore it and go about their job they should not stay on as hired help.

  5. You have the right to express an opinion not the right to be a jerk without being confronted. During my years as a legislator I took a lot of crap I wouldn’t have otherwise taken personally but I drew the line at personal insults.

      1. why? do you keep detailed records of when lobbyists are total jerks, so you can check out stories like this?

  6. This is great PR to go after Chuck Brennan and his pay day lenders. Evidently he’s not the only one Rep. Hickey knows who needs to be reigned in. Maybe it’s time to look into the mirror?

  7. “You have the right to express an opinion not the right to be a jerk without being confronted.”— Anybody can confront anybody and anybody can be as jerky as they choose, if they break the law they should be arrested. Saying to somebody “‘Educate yourself.’” and using a schoolyard name in a “raised voice” is not against the law

  8. (I’m using my name so as to not be vilified for claiming I’m a former legislator while posting as anonymous). This is the State Capitol where everyone should be on their best behavior. If this group was granted their request for a booth in the Rotunda they need to behave and be respectful. It’s not surprising that the group proud to be atheists/humanists would call legislators “imbeciles”. They don’t want to believe in God since they think they are smarter than any “god”, and don’t need him. “Freethinkers” maybe means they’re free of morality/accountability.

  9. Senator Begalka,

    We had a terrific experience in the Capitol yesterday. South Dakota CoR went to discuss a number of proposed bills that affect State / Church separation, science education, and LGBT rights. Between committees & sessions a number of legislators, all Republican, came to discuss the issues. It is unfortunate that there was a trivial dust-up with Representative Hickey. He said that evolution, the cornerstone theory of all known biology, was racist & that understandably got a rise out of someone. Highway Patrol stopped by for mere seconds to make sure there was no issue,and there clearly wasn’t.

    Rep Scott & his guest Josh Duggar even stayed & talked with all 10 of us from Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Brookings, & Pierre. Session was dismissed & everyone was on their way out, but they were nice enough to stay for half an hour & chat about all kinds of issues in the Rotunda.

    You don’t have to be disagreeable to disagree with people. It certainly doesn’t help when talking about substantive issues like science education and gay rights.

    1. merriam webster online defines “theory” as: an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true. with regards to the biological sciences, chemical processes neccessary for the spontaneous origin of life and the evolution of that life have not been reproduced in the lab by anyone ever, so “evolution theory” remains a theory under the above definition.
      there’s a totally unjustified hubris in the shared intellectual osmosis-thought of the left, and an irony in the way they use this presumed superiority as a club with which to smash republicans over the head baby-seal-style, for injecting reasonable doubt or common sense in a science debate.
      the blind presumption that the theory of evolution is so proven as to be a solid cornerstone of scientific knowledge, is troubling for those who know better. it’s troubling for a free people who need free speculation and free debate to remain free. it’s troubling that so many self-proclaimed smart people snap into a pose of bullying and shushing those who simply question the vaunted authorities who are so blindly and quickly accepted on the left.
      you’re not so smart, and you evidently don’t want or need the knowledge that would actually help you, the simple knowledge of manners.

      1. two things – 1. i’m a believer in gay rights, and human rights in general. 2. i recognize that recent discoveries about d-n-a show that buried in the rich gene code are various choosing-devices, or switches, which can activate due to environmental factors and result in mutations and genetic changes in succeeding generations, which is technically a form of ‘evolution.’ however, i don’t think the switches can make an overstressed lab rat into an advanced higher-rat worthy of a new genus. life is provably adaptable, but the large-scale presumption that evolution of species into other species has been ‘settled’ has a few holes in it.

        1. finally: regarding evolution theory as “racist” – – the cardinal sin of republicans seems to be the inability to express complex debates and ideas in brief phrases. the conclusion that evolution theory is “racist” is the end result of a long debate about the abandonment of christian theology in the 19th century and the rise of atheistic philosophers, laying the cornerstones of though which some think gave rise to the eugenics movement, the nazi movement, and the holocaust. but it’s a long detailed historic discussion, and to simply sum it up by saying “evolution is racist” doesn’t do it justice.

        2. i have a lot of complex ideas and i’m horrible at short phrases, that’s why i wrote so much. sorry.

      2. I don’t why you think calling evolution a “theory” is so damning. That’s the point— it’s falsifiable and therefore has a place in a science classroom. I’m not sure why this amounts to a “gotcha, shitlibs” moment rather than the exact opposite.

  10. Wow enquirer, you cherry picked a dictionary definition of what a theory is. It would be more relevant to understand what theory means in the sciences. http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/howscienceworks_19

    I’m not sure why you demand a lab experiment to show evolution occurs since evolution describes what occurs in nature. Regardless, there are respected lab experiments concerning evolution, including this one that followed bacteria over 58,000 generations. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/01/06/evolution-hidden-in-plain-sight/

    You also seem to be confusing the facts of evolution with the explanation of how evolution works. This is not uncommon for the general public (that gravity exists vs. theory of gravity, that germs exists vs. germ theory) But it’s worth educating yourself on this. Evolution is a cornerstone of biology and not controversial. http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2011/08/evolution-is-fact-and-theory.html

    Steve Hickey thinks evolution is racist, counter-scientific, and faith-based. He is also fine with teachers providing the same bad information that enquirer stated above. This seems to be clear evidence that Hickey should educate himself about science.

    1. evolution is the cornerstone to the way that the biological sciences are being taught and that’s more of a conscious choice of the educators rather than something dictated by science.
      i understand your concern about “cherry picking” on the definition of ‘theory.’ i thought it was more important to understand that a ‘theory’ is a set of assumptions, rather than using the circular-logic definition declaring ‘theory’ to be the set of facts used to prove a theory. i was striving for accuracy.
      exploring how something happened by direct experimentation is the chief way of proving or disproving that it actually happened. it was good enough for “mythbusters” and it’s good enough for me.
      denature, thanks so much for your lengthy attempt to shush me, and give me your quick thumbnail guide on how to quickly shut up and get in line with the higher-evolved ‘smart’ people. i always appreciate it. you are more informative than you can know.

      1. i think i explained that there are in fact processes which change and mutate through generations via the adaptability of dna. it’s on the list of established facts, and would easily be of the larger set of processes needed in the evolution model. the prime presumptions of evolution are not proved, first that life erupted from non-life due to primordeal chemical reactions or some yet-unknown process, and second that lower species evolve upward into more advanced species. if i find anything in your links that absolutely prove me wrong, i will come back and post a big mea culpa.

        1. denature, i read all of the linked information you supplied. it was a delightful review of all the complex sophistry and circular logic from which is derived the ‘fact’ of evolution. (imperfect fact, it is called in one place because of the lack of definitive evidence among the circumstantial evidence.) i had to note a few things – first, in the e.coli article, no matter how many natural, stress-induced, and artificial dna changes are induced, it is a maximum forced adaptation of e.coli, and not the creation of a wholly new species. second, in the “what is a theory” primer and the “fact and theory” essay, there is much dependence on using sophistry to smother the obvious questions that would arise from the most simple logical examination of what is presented.
          i appreciated the links, and the chance to read the information. i don’t have a mea culpa for you though.

      2. A theory is a set of facts used to prove a hypothesis, isnt it? Trying to keep my vocab straight over here.

        ”Dammit, Jim, I’m an writer, not a doctor!” 🙂

        1. it’s a set of facts used to support a large-scale explanation of a described phenomenon. and in the philosophical sense it’s the larger set of ideas and logic which support a school of thought, as in the theory of football, or the theory of fly-fishing.

    2. In regards to your NatGeo link: the story was about MUTATIONS, not evolution.

      “The scientists found that around generation 31,500, a microbe that was copying its DNA in order to divide made a big mistake. It accidentally made an extra copy of a segment of DNA. That segment, it just so happened, contained citT. The microbe inserted the copy next to the original one, so that one of its daughter cells now had two copies of citT.”

      Any educated person would understand that mutations are NOT evolution.

      Please cite one new species the evolved from an antecedent species, that human have observed occurring.

    3. Yep I do think all that and more. I actually marvel that with a straight face we actually teach kids today things get better, in fact miracles happen, if you just add more zeros. It’s entirely faith-based. And silly. And deadly. Out of one side of our mouths we teach kids survival of the fittest is the rule of life and out the other side we say bullying and bombs are wrong.

      My daughter jumped into a comment string on one of my evolution posts yesterday. Thought her sentiments were worth repeating here:

      If natural selection allows the strong to live and the weak to die, then weakness is being weeded out. Weakness includes a lot of people and the disabled are just a few. Death is celebrated in Darwinism, its seen as progress. My God is a God of life. But my problems with evolution go far beyond that. Darwinism is racist at its core. Certainly some took it farther than Darwin ever anticipated but that does not mean Darwin didn’t promote racism in his theory. He used racism to demonstrate the bridge between primates and humans. He believed in superior races, and called the others the “lowest savages”. He completely devalues human life. In the Introduction of the Descent of Man, Darwin states one goal of his book was to show “the value of the differences between the so called races of man.” His followers hoped to play a part in speeding up natural selection and they promoted eugenics. Please go read the works of his followers or even Darwin himself. They paint a much darker picture than the typical science book.
      I love to learn and understand how other people think, so I’m hoping you can shed some light on why you believe you need Jesus. It would seem to me that if you believe in evolution, you don’t need the book of Genesis and if you don’t need Genesis then you don’t need Jesus. Why do I need a savior if I’m the result of a genetic variation rather than uniquely created in the image of God? Why do I need redemption if natural selection will eventually rid the world of evil?
      If evolution isn’t just a theory and Darwin was correct all along then world is a very dark and sad place. I don’t want to be apart of a competitive animalistic world where the weak are tossed aside. I thought I was called to love and care for the weak because each holds value. Evolution doesn’t just bother me because of my religious convictions, I don’t like any theory that belittles my disabled Grandparents, my homosexual friends, my native American neighbors, or any other minority groups that differs from Darwin’s standards.

  11. See there’s a funny way to look at the theory of evolution, because for a theory to be proven the results have to be reproduced.
    There have been five super-dooper mass extinctions on earth with different results every time.
    This suggests that somebody is actually trying to reproduce the results, like a lab tech sterilizing a fresh batch of agar in an effort to grow the same bacteria over again, but each time he gets something different.

    Perhaps the Freethinkers can start thinking freely enough to consider the possibility we are all living on a Petri dish.

  12. The smug “freethinkers” don’t need our opinions as much as they need our prayers. Once their judgment day arrives, they will then fully realize that they weren’t as smart as they thought they were, and that their “theories” were deeply flawed.

  13. “Separation of Church and State”, “evolution”, and “gay rights” are the three things they proudly stood for. Seems like an odd eclectic trio, right? Not really, all three are contrary to the Bible and contrary to our US Constitution.

  14. When I read this entire thread, I am generally comfortable with everything.

    1) Two people with divergent and in some ways incompatible views had a heated exchange.

    2) Such exchange is out of the ordinary both probably contributed to the “out of ordinary” exchange because the views are so strongly held and divergent.

    3) Those in charge of security investigated to make sure lines weren’t crossed.

    4) The involved parties and security deem nothing occurred that required additional investigation or action. Life sometimes gets messy.

    Does anyone think

  15. Holy moving goal posts. You asked for a lab experiment showing evolution. I provided an example of bacteria evolving a novel trait. The response is to change the standard. This is what is wrong with SB 114. Rather than accept the scientific definition of evolution, you want teachers to make up their own definition based on pre-existing prejudices. It’s also disingenuous to accept that significant genetic changes do occur but deny that eventually leads to speciation without providing any barrier to that process.

    Would you apply your standard of proof of evolution to other fields of study? Would you deny what we know about the evolution of stars because we haven’t directly observed it from start to finish? Or because we haven’t seen a new language evolve in our lifetime, it’s never happened? By this standard no one would ever be convicted in a courtroom absent eyewitness testimony. Education in our schools should be based from experts in fields of study.

    Even performing an experiment to your standards—putting a dog population in the lab, waiting 200,000 years, and showing they no longer breed with anything else—would fail to satisfy you. You’d claim they still look like dogs, they can’t interbreed because of mutation. Mutation is not evolution. Moving goalposts and redefining terms.

    Back to the E. coli experiment. Perhaps you could define what a bacterial species actually is. Apparently, genetics is insufficient for this task. How would you detect a new species? Keep in mind your species definition must be robust enough to separate which Neisseria species will cause gonorrhea.

    If you really want examples of observable evolution, you can look at bread wheat—incapable of breeding with ancestors, the events that led to speciation can be mimicked in the lab. This is not uncommon for plants. The Welsh groundsel is a new species that arose in the 1900s. We know its origin. Mimulus is a similar example from Britain. Goatsbeard was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1900s. By 1950, due to hybridization, there were new species that could not interbreed with their ancestors. There are a number of other examples in plants. Because they are capable of becoming reproductively isolated more rapidly than animals, these events can be observed in a person’s lifetime. You can also observe the beginnings of speciation in animals. It’s been done with fruit flies in the lab and apple maggot flies in the field. And there are other examples.

    Evolutionary theory makes sense of biology. Why do we and primates carry a non-functional gene for vitamin C yet rats have a working one? It only makes sense through common ancestry. Claiming an alien or deity put the exact same mutation only in animals we also seem to share the most recent ancestry with doesn’t make sense and shouldn’t be taught in schools. We also share the remnants of many viruses that have inserted in our genomes, many with a shared location in primates. Some virus got stuck in the exact same spot of the genome of multiple species or common ancestry?

    1. my point is that the e.coli story is about pushing a particular genetically definable species to the fullest expression of the dna adaptation of that species, which is mutation and not really evolution as the term ‘evolution’ is understood in the classic debate between that and creationism.
      holy moving goalposts indeed. holy changed standards indeed. i now think that you, denature, don’t really understand the term evolution as it has been understood since darwin. a long line of evolutionists from darwin forward have asserted that the origin of life on the earth is in its present state because the current complex forms evolved from earlier, simpler ancestors over eons of time. extrapolating backward, each of them were sure that humans evolved from upright apes, the australopithecenes and homo habilis – through neanderthal to cro-magnon to modern man. same for the horse series. they were sure that extrapolating back via processes to the primal moment, 3-4 billion years ago, would bring them to the moment of the first organism ever.
      what we used to understand as adaptation and mutation in a species, is what you now call ‘evolution.’ that’s the confusing part. we are talking past each other and actually i don’t think you are able to fully appreciate steve hickey’s views on the subject. you’re too busy accusing us of confusing the issue. someone is confused alright.

    2. denature to recap – i now understand that you’re calling the obvious and provable changes from mutation and genetic drift “evolution.” and maybe that’s what modern evolution scientists are calling “evolution” nowadays. please understand that the people you argue with, are arguing against the larger hypothesis that higher species evolved upward over eons from lower, simpler species (which is how the lay person generally understands evolution in its contrast with biblical creationism). since we’re arguing about two different things, we obviously don’t think the factual processes that you present are false. of course genetic drift happens, of course adaptation mutations happen, of course there is differentiation due to genetic drift. of course the homo sapiens genome can be traced back to “mitochondrial eve,” a common female ancestor 150,000 years ago in africa. the most recent genetic research on neanderthals shows they were human, and that neanderthal dna can be found in many people living today. of course. this is science, and while evolution lays claim to it all, it is science that is also compatible with creationism or intelligent design. learn a little history.

        1. i assume you are referring to the standard understanding of falsifiability as a philosophical test for scientific validity, i.e. a statement is more valid if it is falsifiable, in that it is a more true fact if it can be contradicted at a future time by a new fact. metaphysical things like religion are not able to be refuted, contradicted or falsified by material or absolute means and so are not science. under that logic, evolution in its classic sense is an inverse falsifiable theory because today’s lab experiment can fail to show life springing from non life, but tomorrow’s new experiment may contradict that and prove life springing from non life. does getting the ‘falsifiable’ logic sequence backward negate it?

          1. You’re conflating two things. Evolution explains the advancement of life, not its beginning. The only thing Darwin said re: creation was ‘Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some primordial form, into which life was first breathed’. Evolution does not seek to explain where we all came from, don’t let “The origin of species” title fool you. But even if I accepted your unstated premise, simple logic undermines your “inverse” statement.

            If A -> B does not have the same logical value as If B->A as you seem to be asserting here. In order for them to, you would have to negate both A and B. So, the axiom goes like this:

            1) If A then B; then
            2) If not B, then not A.

            This little exercise is irrelevant anyway, as the power of evolution (and science in this context) is that it produces a theory regarding creation (i.e. the big bang) and continues to search for more evidence to explain the beginning. This is the antithesis of faith. Faith accepts god and does not require more evidence because it sees everything around it as confirmation of the already held belief.

            If you cannot see how creationism is fundamentally not science, then this debate is kinda pointless. I feel like you are conflating

            1) Whether creationism is possibly correct


            2) Whether or not it is science.

            They are not the same thing, and these interesting little thought exercises you pose do nothing to change that.

      1. on a final note – christians don’t agree much on the interpretation of the bible story of creation, or whether it’s a re-creation, or how long any of it took. what christians do have is a recognition of scientific fact, and a desire to reconcile that fact with the teachings of the faith, in order to fully see and know god. would it offend you to find christians ultimately embracing a fact-based evolution as also being a bulwark of their faith? that’s where intelligent design is headed and i suppose the danger in it is that i.d. will force evolutionists to have to come up with the answer to the question of life springing from non-life and precisely how that could happen.

    3. “You asked for a lab experiment showing evolution. I provided an example of bacteria evolving a novel trait. ”

      A bacterium mutating IS NOT EVOLUTION!

      Even acquiring a “novel trait” is NOT EVOLUTION.

      No one is moving the goalposts–we’re just expecting that you use the goalposts Darwin erected.

      Do you understand what evolution means?

  16. Steve Hickey: Evolutionary theory describes the world as it is. We should not allow schools to redefine science. Evolution has nothing to say about the strong being superior to the weak. Prey species are just as evolved as predator species that kill them, sometimes in horrific ways. Adaptation can be advantageous yes, but why is this controversial?

    Darwin never uses the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’.

    The science of evolution is well beyond Darwin, but despite being often quoted out of context, he also recognized that we evolved into social creatures.

    “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.”

    But really, Darwin’s view on race (a sociological construct rather than a biological one) is as relevant to modern society as his contemporary Abraham Lincoln, who said many a cringeworthy thing on the subject.

    Darwinism is not a real word. Social Darwinism is but is unsupported by science.

    While you are blaming Darwin for devaluing human life, perhaps you could explain to Stephen Fry why God created all the misery (cancer in children, insects blinding people by burrowing into their eyes; see video on youtube). You can’t blame evolution for horrible atrocities in the world but let God off the hook for creating them in the first place. Unless you do the handwaving.

    That racism existed well before Darwin should be enough to falsify his connection to it. Darwin described natural selection. Eugenics is a form of artificial selection. Animal and plant breeding were happening millennia before Darwin. People picking the traits they think are important rather than nature is not natural selection. Eugenics was opposed by many clear thinking scientists. It’s a horrible part of our history, but it was also supported by Christians at the time (you may have seen an apology online from the Methodist church apologizing for their role).

    Biology doesn’t recognize race as a legitimate concept. Evolution doesn’t qualify species by superiority.

    1. “Evolutionary theory describes the world as it is”

      Not quite.

      Evolutionary theory in ONE theory that attempts to describe the world as it is.

      Evolutionary theory/Darwinism is in conflict with realities such as human philanthropy and hospitals and selflessness..

      Evolutionary theory is at odds with the birth rates of human beings.

      ” Darwin’s view on race (a sociological construct rather than a biological one)”

      That most certainly was NOT Darwin’s view on race.

      “one can hardly make oneself believe that they are fellow creatures”–Darwin in meeting native Terra-del-Fuegians

      I don’t care if you wish to adhere to some near-religious worship of Darwin, but at least be honest about it.

    2. “Darwin described natural selection. Eugenics is a form of artificial selection.”

      Eugenics was indeed a form of artificial selection, that was used by the enlightened scientists, sociologists, and politicians to BLUNT natural selection!

      See, eugenics was a predictable and inevitable outgrowth of Darwinism; it existed because the enlightened BELIEVED in Darwinism. While Darwin’s “natural selection” predicted that those in a position to breed would do so, post industrial US & UK were subsidizing the poor and curing diseases and so on. Scientists could see all around them that the poor were breeding at too high rates (while the upper classes were much more “measured” in their reproduction). This was unacceptable if “natural selection” were the law, and the fittest (i.e., the enlightened) were to thrive. Thus, they had to come up with a way to counter what was going on with the poor and lower classes and all the kids they were having, and which were burdening the enlightened, and the entitled upper class who were SUPPOSED to excel according to Darwin Voila! Eugenics!

      Eugenics was invented and promoted and carried out by SCIENTISTS–MAINSTREAM scientists who believed that they were doing what evolutionary theory/Darwinism mandated them to do..

      Sorry, I won’t bow to scientists..

  17. Time to put on your big boy pants. Denature is in the building. Good to read you again friend. Long time no see.

  18. i just read sb114. it sets up a straw-man argument that science teachers shouldn’t teach classic evolution, like spontaneous eruption of life from non-living chemicals, survival of the fittest, or linear evolution of simple forms into higher forms. i don’t think they do teach those metaphysical aspects of classic evoution, they teach facts born of research. scientists are doing fantastic and important research spurred by the central questions raised by evolution theory, and unfortunately the facts and truths they unearth are pulled into the same tent where the incendiary issues of unexplained initial cause of life and unprovable linear upward evolution still reside. i don’t think sb114 is a good way to settle this impasse. it would only cause more confusion.

    1. the falsifiability question raised by dicta would be a great addition to any classroom, if it includes an examination of what parts of larger evolution theory are falsifiable, and which still are not. but under falsifiability of course, theological debates aren’t for the science classroom.

        1. no, your post and a half dozen other things made me do a bunch of reading before posting yesterday. thanks for the input, much appreciated!!

  19. I’m with Troy – some folks got into a discussion that got a bit strident. Fair enough. Happens. Security looked into it, to see if lines were crossed. Apparently not. Pretty much it. Security is supposed to look into such things. Looking into them doesn’t mean lines were crossed.

    As for the evolution/creationism discussion, it’s all rather dull.

    I concur with the likes of R. F. Baum (DARWIN, MARX, and FREUD: DOCTORS OF MODERNITY) and Al Plantinga (WHERE THE CONFLICT REALLY LIES) in that a strictly materialist understanding of the world, including materialist evolution, mitigates against all truth claims. That is, the theory does not admit of claiming something is true, only that believing a given proposition is (or is not) conducive to species survival. This would apply to the theory of evolution as well, then. What may be ascertained is not truth or falsehood of the claim, but only whether it fits with species survival. It is conceivable that certain falsehoods may have as much merit regarding that point as would truth. Philosophical materialism, however, doesn’t admit of a method for discerning which is which.

    I also concur with numerous apologists, scientists, philosophers, and theologians who assert there is no essential conflict between believing God created all that is, and that he did it through some process which may have stretched out over many, many years. I do not find the case for a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 sustainable. The assumption that being scientific and reasonable must entail rejecting the Bible is simply false on its face. So also is the assumption that believing the Bible must require a rejection of certain key scientific findings.

    For those who are serious about understanding the limitations of materialist science and the claim to truth, I highly recommend both of the above books. Al Plantinga in particular has done stellar work in this field over many years and almost anything he has written is worth the trouble of reading – and be assured, you will have to read him carefully. He does not write light vacation fare, but serious, careful philosophical apologetics.

    1. PNR,

      You stated “I do not find the case for a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 sustainable.” Why?

  20. Oh boy…this makes me imagine an argument over the discovery of a fresh baked apple pie in the kitchen.
    The creationist says “oooh, Mom baked a pie!”
    The scientist says “the evidence is circumstantial, maybe it came from the neighbors, or the bakery, and we don’t know what’s in it” the scientist then studies the DNA of the apples to figure out which tree they came from.
    And while he is doing that, the creationist eats the pie, and thanks Mom for it, thereby ensuring that the supply of pie, whatever its origin, will continue.

    1. Anne, while I generally find you both obtuse and annoying, your post on apple pie made me smile.

  21. much appreciated. whatever you can say about the evolution v creation debate, the fact is that scientists spurred by the evolution side of the debate have made amazing discoveries over the last century. and any creationist who is certain that god made it all, should be interested in all these facts and discoveries because it’s evidently part of what god wants to show you.

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