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Parents, Scientists Testify in Court on Major Flaws in “Intelligent Design”


The plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the first legal challenge to teaching “intelligent design,” are expected to wrap up their case by early next week. Eleven parents filed the federal lawsuit against the Dover Area School Board arguing that presenting “intelligent design” in public school science classrooms violates students’ religious liberty. The parents are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP.


The lawsuit challenges a controversial decision made in October 2004 by the Dover Area School Board to require biology teachers to present “intelligent design” as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. “Intelligent design” is an assertion that an intelligent, supernatural entity has intervened in the history of life. Witnesses have demonstrated that such an assertion is inherently a religious argument that falls outside the realm of science.


While the trial has frequently been dubbed Scopes Two, attorneys representing the parents say comparisons to McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education and Edwards v. Aguillard are more accurate. In McLean, a federal judge ruled that “creation science” did not qualify as a scientific theory, striking down Arkansas’ law requiring equal time for “creation science” and evolution. In Edwards, the Supreme Court ruled that a law requiring that creation science be taught with evolution was unconstitutional, because the law was specifically intended to advance a particular religion.


The defense, which is led by the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian law firm, has repeatedly denied any connection between creationism and “intelligent design.” However, the testimony of Barbara Forrest, Ph.D., an expert on “intelligent design” and co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, undermined such claims. Forrest traced the development of Of Pandas and People, an “intelligent design”-focused textbook that is at the center of the Kitzmiller case. Comparing drafts of the textbook received after attorneys subpoenaed the book’s authors, Forrest showed that the publishers simply replaced the word “creationism” with the phrase “intelligent design” after the Supreme Court decision in Edwards.


“Creationism means a number of things,” Forrest testified. “First and foremost it means rejection of evolutionary theory in favor of special creation by a supernatural deity. It also involves a rejection of the established methodologies of science, and this is all for religious reason.”


Forrest also noted that “intelligent design” proponents hope to discredit evolution as part of a bigger push to give religion a more central role in American life. A strategy document written in 1999 by the Discovery Institute, the organization at the forefront of this movement, states, “Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”


Expert witness John Haught, a theology professor at Georgetown University, reinforced the religious nature of “intelligent design.”


“In my view, the way in which ‘intelligent design’ is used in the discourse that's in dispute, it does entail an essentially biblical and specifically Christian view of the world,” Haught said.


The parents who brought the lawsuit testified that they witnessed such religious motivations expressed by members of the Dover Area School Board when they voted to promote “intelligent design.” One of the parents, Beth Eveland, said, “I remember [Dover School Board member] Bill Buckingham saying, '2,000 years ago someone died on a cross. Isn't someone going to take a stand for him?'”


Casey Brown, who served on the school board with her husband, resigned after the contentious vote to adopt “intelligent design.” During her testimony, Brown said that she and her husband were called atheists for opposing the instruction of religious belief in science classes, and the board president told her she “would be going to hell.”


Ignoring such statements so far, the defense continues to assert that “intelligent design” is rooted in science, frequently citing Dr. Michael Behe’s work. However, expert witness Kenneth Miller, a biology professor at Brown University, said that Behe’s attempts to negate evolutionary theory does not demonstrate positive evidence for “intelligent design.”


“‘Intelligent design’ is not a testable theory and as such is not generally accepted by the scientific community,” said Miller.


Christy Rehm, another parent represented in the lawsuit, echoed this sentiment. “‘Intelligent design’ is not a scientific concept. It's a religious concept. And because I don't subscribe to that particular brand of religion, I feel that I and my daughter, my family, are being ridiculed, and my daughter feels the pressure,” testified Rehm. “I reserve the right to teach my child about religion. And I have faith in myself and in my husband and in my pastor to do that, not the school system.”


In addition to Forrest, Haught and Miller, expert witnesses for the plaintiffs included Robert T. Pennock , Ph.D., an associate professor of science and technology at Michigan State University; Brian Alters, Ph.D., an associate professor of education at McGill University; and Kevin Padian, Ph.D., a professor of integrative biology at University of California, Berkeley and curator of the university’s Museum of Paleontology.


The trial has sparked a national debate prompting school districts, elected officials, academics and religious leaders to publicly oppose teaching “intelligent design” in the science classroom. In a recent statement, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell said that the introduction of “intelligent design” in natural science courses “would be a blow to the integrity of education in California.” Similarly, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said the governor believes that “intelligent design” should not be taught in science classes in public schools.


Kitzmiller v. Dover is being argued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The defense is expected to start its case early next week. The trial is scheduled to end on November 4. For more information on the case, visit www.aclu.org/evolution.

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Guest Gavin Smith

I am a firm believer in God and Christ and the general doctorine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. However, I am also a firm believer in fact and reason. There is proof that evolution does occur. It is self evident that creatures adapt to their surroundings and it is obvious that natural selection does occur. Whether or not man evolved from lesser apes (as man by definition is a specy of ape) is debatable.


The theory of evolution is just that a theory. The evolutionary sequence declaired by Darwin and his followers is highly debatable, but it can be tested and studied. Inteligent Design is not really an issue that can be concidered a science. When Christians make noise about ID they seem to be digging themselves a deeper whole as evolution is becoming more and more evident every day.


To reiterate I firmly believe that my God, the father of Christ, created the universe; I would, however, never attempt to prove this to another living soul as I cannot physically prove it. Furthermore, if I were to prove that God was the ultimate creator it would defeat the doctorine of the Lutheran Church to a large extent...


ID does not belong in schools. Social Sciences, however, should incorporate studies of various popular religions into their courses.

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Guest LAW

The Kansas State Board of Education approved a proposal to teach intelligent design along with evolution as a scientific explanation of how life began.


By a vote of 6 to 4, the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday adopted new science teaching guidelines, under which evolutionary concepts must be presented to students alongside theories that life could have had divine origins.


Supporters of the new standards insist that their effort has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with Darwin, saying that science classes present Darwin's theories as fact when plenty of questions exist about his findings.


The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association have refused to grant copyright permission to the Kansas State Board of Education to make use of publications by the two organizations in the state's science education standards. According to a statement from the two groups, the new Kansas standards are improved, but as currently written, they overemphasize controversy in the theory of evolution and distort the definition of science. NAS and NSTA offered to work with the board to resolve these issues so the state standards could use text from the National Research Council's "National Science Education Standards" and NSTA's "Pathways to Science Standards."


Kansas State Board of Education Contact Information


Learning Services

Science Standards:

Receive report from external

Approve science standards



Mrs. Janet Waugh

916 S. 57th Terr. Kansas City, KS 66106

913-287-5165 (h)

913-299-6910 (FAX)




Mrs. Sue Gamble

17724 W. 67th

Shawnee, KS 66217

(913) 631-8663 (h)

(913) 488-8663 (w)

FAX same as home phone




Mr. John W. Bacon

14183 W 157th

Olathe, KS 66062

(913) 829-4213 (h)

FAX same as home phone




Dr. Bill Wagnon

4036 NE Kimball Road

Topeka, KS 66617-1567

(785) 286-3254 (h)

(785) 231-1084 (FAX)




Mrs. Connie Morris

Rt. 1 Box 436

St. Francis, KS 67756

(785) 332-2424 (home)

FAX same as home phone




Mrs. Kathy Martin

859 Valleyview Road

Clay Center, KS 67432

(785) 463-5463 (h)




Mr. Kenneth Willard

1725 W. 4th Avenue

Hutchinson, KS 67501

(620) 669-0498 (home)

(620) 669-0276 (FAX)




Ms. Carol Rupe

1110 N. Cypress Court

Wichita, KS 67206

(316) 636-5436 (h)

(316) 973-5173 (FAX)




Mrs. Iris Van Meter

3800 120th Road

Thayer, KS 66776

(620) 839-5612 (home)

FAX same as home phone




Dr. Steve E. Abrams

6964 W. 252nd Road

Arkansas City, KS 67005

(620) 442-7960 (h)

(620) 442-8803 (FAX)

FAX also a phone

e-mail: sabrams@hit.net

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Guest n peters
I recently graduated high school and have some points that Ive always wondered. I dont completely beleive in the big bang theory and evolution but I dont completely believe the religious side. I have come to an understanding of both. I believe humans evolved just like the evidence suggests but still where did WE come from? I believe there is some higher being, Im not sure what it is yet because no church and completely proved to teach the word of god as it is in the bible. Anyway my question to many of you is, Do you think it is possible for both of these theories to coexist? Maybe there is a higher being that planned to created mankind but did it by making us evolve.


See I am on neither side. I went to church for many years until high school but no preacher or teacher could teach the bible for what it is. Ive read many scripture and found many things contradicting and nobody could answer my questions, than the church gets mad because Im questioning god. No Im trying to understand because you say you cant believe in evolution because it doesnt explain how we got here. How did god get here or where did he come from? People say well god is just there, he is infinite and humans dont understand the concept. That is as believable as the big bang theory. Im just curious to know why they cant teach them to coexist because IT is possible. Right?

Some things cannot be explained to our complete satisfaction. Such as how do we hear? Yes, a membrane within the ear vibrates, and the sensation is hearing. What is sound? How does vibration then become speech or music? How is it that a dog will differentiate from all the vibrations and learn the word "cookie"?


Some things can only be understood from the concept of Faith. Either you have faith, or you don't want faith. Science can exchange the word "theory" for the word "faith" because even science cannot prove what is not observable.

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Guest LAW

n peters,

I totally agree with you. But, our government was created to acknowledge the seperation of Church and State. There is no seperation of Science and State.

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Guest DMR
If all life on earth evolved then how did life originate?

That is one question that no one could ever really answer for me satisfactorily speaking of those who do not believe in intelligent design. I have to believe in intelligent design because part of my personal belief as a part of my faith is that God always existed. No I cannot prove it. Therefore it is not science. But my answer is "So what?". When science can prove that something evolved from nothing or that something other than God always existed and therefore evolved into something else and they can prove it, then I will listen. If they cannot , then the basis of what they believe is not science. ;) Why can't we call Intelligent Design "Philosophy" and get on with it.

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Guest 26

if humans are the only living things that can think independently for themselves, and we presumably evolved from simple bacteria, then there must have been some outside force behind it

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Guest Soldier of God

Why don't we call Darwinism a Philosphy as well. Science and Faith are like the Earth and Air. One you can touch the other touches you.

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A friend sent this to me from National Center for Science Education




Two antievolution bills in Alabama


On January 10, 2005, two identical bills -- House Bill 106 and Senate Bill 45 -- were introduced in the Alabama legislature, under the rubric of "The Academic Freedom Act," and referred to the Committees on Education of their respective chambers.


These identical bills purport to protect the right of teachers to "present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views in any curricula or course of learning" and the right of students not to be "penalized in any way because he or she may subscribe to a particular position on any views."


In language reminiscent of the Santorum language removed from the No Child Left Behind Act, they specify that "[t]he rights and privileges contained in this act apply when topics are taught that may generate controversy, such as biological or chemical origins." Presumably attempting to avert the charge that their provisions would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the bills also provide, "[N]othing in this act shall be construed as promoting any religious doctrine, promoting discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promoting discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."





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Guest Dutch student

But how does Intelligent Design stands in relation to the Evolution theory and how is it in relation to American High Schools? Can someone please answer this? I have to make a scription about it.

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Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Case No. 04cv2688, was the first direct challenge brought in United States federal courts against a public school district that required the presentation of "Intelligent Design" as an alternative to evolution as an "explanation of the origin of life". The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy thus violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Eleven parents of students in Dover, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, sued the Dover Area School District over a statement that the school board required to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution was taught. The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and Pepper Hamilton LLP. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) acted as consultants for the plaintiffs. The defendants were represented by the Thomas More Law Center. The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, publisher of a textbook advocating intelligent design titled Of Pandas and People, tried to join the lawsuit as a defendant but was denied.


The suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking injunctive relief. Since it sought an equitable remedy there was no right to a jury trial; the Seventh Amendment did not apply. It was tried in a bench trial from September 26, 2005 to November 4, 2005 before Judge John E. Jones III. On December 20, 2005 Judge Jones issued his 139-page findings of fact and decision, ruling that the Dover mandate was unconstitutional, and barred intelligent design from being taught in public school science classrooms. The eight Dover school board members who voted for the intelligent design requirement were all defeated in a November 8, 2005 election by challengers who opposed the teaching of intelligent design in a science class, and the current school board president stated that the board does not intend to appeal the ruling.

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Guest Spread the Word

For most Americans, the Bible is a source of divine inspiration, moral guidance, and the foundation of Western civilization.


But for an influential group of academic, government and media elites, it's the source of most of the evil in the world today.


Everywhere one turns -- from television, to mainstream news magazines, to the current avalanche of best-selling atheist tracts -- the Bible that millions revere as holy is ridiculed and condemned. The critics say the Bible is full of fables masquerading as history, and that it has regularly incited people to violence and immorality.


In The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Bible, award-winning journalist Robert J. Hutchinson turns the latest historical scholarship against the mockers, skeptics and deniers to show that not only is the Bible true -- but it is also the source of Western ideas of charity, justice, reason, science, and democracy.

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Guest LAW_*

The Florida Senate's pre-K-through-12 education committee approved a bill Wednesday that protects teachers who include theories questioning evolution in their coverage of the much-debated topic.


Legislators voted 4-1 to advance the "Academic Freedom Act," or SB2692, which provides "public school teachers with a right to present scientific information relevant to the full range of views" on evolution.


Florida Senate - 2008 SB 2692

10-03403A-08 20082692__


1 A bill to be entitled

2 An act relating to teaching chemical and biological

3 evolution; providing a short title; providing

4 legislative intent; providing public school teachers

5 with a right to present scientific information relevant

6 to the full range of views on biological and chemical

7 origins; prohibiting a teacher from being discriminated

8 against for presenting such information; prohibiting

9 students from being penalized for subscribing to a

10 particular position on evolution; clarifying that the

11 act does not require any change in state curriculum

12 standards or promote any religious position; providing

13 an effective date.


15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


17 Section 1. (1) This section may be cited as the "Academic

18 Freedom Act."

19 (2) The Legislature finds that current law does not

20 expressly protect the right of teachers to objectively present

21 scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific

22 views regarding chemical and biological evolution. The

23 Legislature finds that in many instances educators have

24 experienced or feared discipline, discrimination, or other

25 adverse consequences as a result of presenting the full range of

26 scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution. The

27 Legislature further finds that existing law does not expressly

28 protect students from discrimination due to their positions or

29 views regarding biological or chemical evolution. The Legislature

30 finds that the topic of biological and chemical evolution has

31 generated intense controversy about the rights of teachers and

32 students to hold differing views on those subjects. It is

33 therefore the intent of the Legislature that this section

34 expressly protects those rights.

35 (3) Every public school teacher in the state's K-12 school

36 system shall have the affirmative right and freedom to

37 objectively present scientific information relevant to the full

38 range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical

39 evolution in connection with teaching any prescribed curriculum

40 regarding chemical or biological origins.

41 (4) A public school teacher in the state's K-12 school

42 system may not be disciplined, denied tenure, terminated, or

43 otherwise discriminated against for objectively presenting

44 scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific

45 views regarding biological or chemical evolution in connection

46 with teaching any prescribed curriculum regarding chemical or

47 biological origins.

48 (5) Public school students in the state's K-12 school

49 system may be evaluated based upon their understanding of course

50 materials, but may not be penalized in any way because he or she

51 subscribes to a particular position or view regarding biological

52 or chemical evolution.

53 (6) The rights and privileges contained in this section

54 apply when the subject of biological or chemical origins is part

55 of the curriculum. The provisions of this section do not require

56 or encourage any change in the state curriculum standards for the

57 K-12 public school system.

58 (7) This section shall not be construed to promote any

59 religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a

60 particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination

61 for or against religion or nonreligion.

62 Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2008.

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Guest Genesis

Macroevolution: Basically, this is the idea that simple creatures, say bacteria, have developed into increasingly complex creatures such as man. In this interview segment, Dr. Dembski calls it "this grand evolutionary claim." Other equivalents of this term are "the tree of life" or "common ancestry." One problem is the abundance of missing links which create gaping holes in the idea.

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Guest J. Hogue

It is not be enough merely to "believe" something. People will feel the first stirrings of wanting "to know" something is true, first hand, about themselves, their world, and the mystery of existence.

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Guest NCSE

A recent survey among Eastern Orthodox laity in the United States provides interesting data on their attitudes toward creationism and evolution. According to the report (PDF), published as Alexei D. Krindatch, The Orthodox Church Today (Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, 2008), the survey was conducted from September 2007 to May 2008. Information was gathered by a mail survey of a nationally representative sample of lay members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America (GOA) and the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the two largest Orthodox denominations in the United States. There were nearly 1000 respondents from 103 parishes.


Two relevant questions were included in the survey. First, respondents were asked, "Would you generally favor or oppose teaching creationism instead of evolution in public schools?" Krindatch writes, "American Orthodox laity (GOA and OCA alike) are divided in three almost equal groups: those who favor teaching creationism instead of evolution in American public schools (33%), those who reject this idea (35%) and those who are unable to take one or [another] stand on this matter (32%)" (p. 151). College graduates and those who described their theological stance as "moderate" or "liberal" (as opposed to "traditional" or "conservative") were more likely to oppose teaching creationism instead of evolution.


Second, respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "Evolutionary theory is compatible with the idea of God as Creator." Krindatch writes, "the American Orthodox laity are deeply divided among themselves in their approach to the compatibility of evolutionism and creationism. Almost equal proportions of our respondents either agreed (41%) or disagreed (38%) with the statement ... Further, more than one-fifth (21%) of parishioners were unable to evaluate this statement and said that they are '[n]eutral or unsure'" (p. 152). College graduates, converts to Orthodoxy, and those who described their theological stance as "moderate" or "liberal" (as opposed to "traditional" or "conservative") were more likely to agree.



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Guest GJ

The debate between evolution and intelligent design seems to close the door on the possibility that it could be something else or that it could be a combination of the two. Darwins theory is logical enough to explain the strentghs and weknesses in species and how the strong survive. They even explain to a certain extent how they adapt and evolve within the species genes.


But to suggest that humans came from fish or anything else to me sounds rather bizarre. Darwins theory does not provide proof of where that single cell actually came from. Did it just appear from nowhere? A single cell requires 250 different proteins. ONe evolutionary scientist hints at the possibility that the cell came from the backs of crystals but fails to explain where how the cell got there.


I read a good analogy about the comparison s between the two theories. If you took a bag with all parts of a watch taken apart and shook it for 30 seconds, would the watch randomly put itself back together again?


I am not a proponent per se for intelligent design, nor am I in complete opposition to Darwins theory. I think there should be vigorous debate and study of both theories and ID should not be shunned. Watch a documentary called Exposed by Ben Stein about the debate and then do your own research.

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Guest R. Keynes

Scientist tend to forget how to translate complex issues that they have researched for years to people that are interested in just the general concepts. Gene expression studies in embryos often provide insights into evolutionary relationships across phyla. In genetics gene expression is the most fundamental level at which genotype (inherited structure) gives rise to the phenotype (observable appearance). The genetic code is "interpreted" by gene expression, and the properties of the expression products give rise to the organism's phenotype.


All organisms possess segmental organization during their development is no coincidence. Segmentation is an important developmental strategy with which to build and diversify different body regions. This is where you should start your research. Good luck!

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Guest Greg

"The ontological claim is that the universe shows signs of design, which is fundamentally distinct from chance and necessity." However, it has not proved that design as perceived by humans is not itself a product of chance.

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Guest He Rose

If one considers the odds involved with accidentally evolving ideal conditions for life on our planet, compiled with maintaining those ideal enough conditions for a long enough period of time to have not extinguished all life, then one is forced to bet on the fact that these odds are simply to great to have occurred and endured randomly. Therefore implicitly, our Earth and our universe must have been created, and is indeed still being created.

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Guest Widow's Son



Hawking says that M-theory, a form of string theory, will achieve the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find."


Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," Hawking writes. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.




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Dr. Hawking,

I am thankful that the Creator has given me the gift of awareness of great minds like yours. I humbly wish to follow a similar path that benefits all. Knowledge is our Virgil to better understanding existence.


I do not claim to a physicist. But, I do love good stories. I love people like Rudy Rucker, who backs each of his tales with an equation. I am also a person of nostalgia that takes times to smell the roses and follow traditions. I watch "Its a Wonderful Life" every year and listen to the wisdom of seniors.


I do believe that we can create anchor points to different points in space. The question for you is whether we can go back in time. At this point I believe we can view it, but not travel to it. The Hopi believes each individual has their own time and space they are actually living in.


When you move away from one point of the stream, you become part of another. There are times when you can hop back and fourth between starting and finishing points. But, as you distance yourself there is only the trail of media that you see.


I think some points want to be connected to everything. And there are points that do not like to observed and stay in isolation. The power between these points is always equal.


When points follow the same direction, the stream becomes wider. Points at the edge some time take other directions.


The question is whether these points are truly disconnected. The understanding of Creation and Dealth are disconnections of reality. Embracing them is truly a leap of Faith. Some view them both as an equation. Big Bang and Black Holes. Einstein's theory that connects them. Your theory endlessly divides them.



I believe that my Creator is the Alpha and Omega. My Creator is mover and the moved. My Creator is the Architect that designed a Creation of Laws and Chaos to Better itself. Evolution of the physical and conceptual realities are not always by chance.


There are many ideas of Beauty and Love, Peace and Harmony, Morals and Ethics, Justice and Judgment for individuals to follow.


I have a general understanding for the methods you take to come to your conclusion, that there is not Creator to Creation. But, I do question your motivation.


Are you looking for God?

Or are you looking for Nothing?

Something other than God.?


Many look for the grail that brings everything to existence. Many do not understand the risk of Faust. The Atomic Age of self without responsibility.


Is it in our DNA to want glory?

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Guest Dark Knight

When it comes to this topic one must ask themselves 'why?'


why must the religious have a problem with 'facts' that have been staring us in the face since long before human history was recorded.


The truth from what I have seen is very easy: they want nothing that could shake the very foundation of their church and their god. you see this by Christians through out time since they became a strong power in the world.


Christians thought the world was flat and in 1492 it was proven it wasn't flat and the man who discovered it the inquisitors wanted him to deny it and they threated him because he didn't.


also Christians thought the earth was the center of the universe and it was proven otherwise.


this is just the same thing and like all the other times there is way too much evidence to back up Darwin whom is also backed up by nature.


in the end the church just wants to set the world back to where they had firm control over the people which they no longer have and every bit of proof washes away their foundation of their power and of their god.


now don't get me wrong I do believe there are beings of enormous power as I believe in the holy mother also known as nature who watched over us as we evolved and given us the genetic tools to help us grow and evolve into what we are today.


I however also don't believe we came from apes but from some different branch of the great tree of life which branched away long before the ape branch.

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