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Think Britain liberal? Guess again!

George_Washington

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If you think Britain is super liberal, think again. A recent poll by the BBC indicates that most Brits do not believe in evolution:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/1/26/104738.shtml?s=et

The poll would also suggest that 39% of Brits believe in creationism/intelligent design.

What is the cause of this? After two major wars, the rise of socialism, and the absence of nationalism, the British people are finally rebelling. They've had enough. They look at their country-they see the ancient castles, cathedrals, and lush landscape and they just feel like something is missing. They walk by Parliment and Buckingham Palace and recall their history and they need to remember. They need to feel a part of something. They yearn to be a community once again. The old British legends and heroes, from King Arthur to William the Conqueror, need to be revived in the hearts of Brits so that they will once again be whole. Indeed, the people of Britain are remembering the old days of Christianity and are returning to God.
 

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How does this prove that they're not liberal? It just proves that the general British populace is as woefully undereducated as the American populace in matters of science.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
How does this prove that they're not liberal? It just proves that the general British populace is as woefully undereducated as the American populace in matters of science.
I just used the term, "liberal," because not believing in evolution would be a "conservative" trait.

But anyway, just because you don't believe in or fully buy evolution doesn't mean you're uneducated. There are many scientists that have conjectures about evolution. I don't know all the details of it because I'm not a scientist. But I do have a friend who's working on his Phd. in chemical physics and he's told me there are aspects of evolution that he has problems with. I am not sure what they are but that's what he's told me in the past.
 

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George_Washington said:
I just used the term, "liberal," because not believing in evolution would be a "conservative" trait.

But anyway, just because you don't believe in or fully buy evolution doesn't mean you're uneducated. There are many scientists that have conjectures about evolution. I don't know all the details of it because I'm not a scientist. But I do have a friend who's working on his Phd. in chemical physics and he's told me there are aspects of evolution that he has problems with. I am not sure what they are but that's what he's told me in the past.
The only "problems" that exist in Evolution are those that deal with very specific things - the development of a certain organ, the role of a certain organism, etc. The general principle of Evolution is very, very, very well-agreed upon in the scientific community. It is one of the most well-proven theories in science, and there genuinely is no debate about its validity among scientists.

So yes, those that do not accept Evolution are either willfully ignorant or allowing their own ideology to overcome empirical evidence and the scientific method.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
The only "problems" that exist in Evolution are those that deal with very specific things - the development of a certain organ, the role of a certain organism, etc. The general principle of Evolution is very, very, very well-agreed upon in the scientific community. It is one of the most well-proven theories in science, and there genuinely is no debate about its validity among scientists.

So yes, those that do not accept Evolution are either willfully ignorant or allowing their own ideology to overcome empirical evidence and the scientific method.
I might be wrong but I think probably the biggest reason why people hold evolution to be true is because our DNA is so close that of chimpanzees.

I might see my friend this Sunday, so I might ask him his opinion on it again. I don't read that many books on science, I mostly read about history and politics. But perhaps I'll do some research on it. I do also have a friend who's working on his master's in animal science and he's told me he also has problems with it. But like I said, maybe I'll do some research on it at some point.
 

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George_Washington said:
I might be wrong but I think probably the biggest reason why people hold evolution to be true is because our DNA is so close that of chimpanzees.
And you would be wrong.

I might see my friend this Sunday, so I might ask him his opinion on it again. I don't read that many books on science, I mostly read about history and politics. But perhaps I'll do some research on it. I do also have a friend who's working on his master's in animal science and he's told me he also has problems with it. But like I said, maybe I'll do some research on it at some point.
Okay. You should, yes. The thing is, even if your individual friends have "problems" with Evolution, they are not representative of the scientific community as a whole. The bottom line is that Evolution has massive amounts of evidence, and for people to deny its validity when tens of thousands of people with Ph.D.'s who have devoted their lives to biology/chemistry have come to a singular conclusion about it is ignorant and egotistical.

That's not an attack on you, I'm simply saying that the rejection of Evolution by a layperson is based entirely on ignorance or ideological conflict.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
And you would be wrong.
Just out of curiousity, what would you say the biggest reasons are?



The bottom line is that Evolution has massive amounts of evidence, and for people to deny its validity when tens of thousands of people with Ph.D.'s who have devoted their lives to biology/chemistry have come to a singular conclusion about it is ignorant and egotistical.
I know that it is widely believed but keep in mind that it's still just a theory. We can't go back in time and observe it. I see what you're saying, don't get me wrong. I just wouldn't say though that if someone chooses not to accept it that they are ignorant, stupid, etc. At one time most scientists thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe but that turned out to be false. I just don't think people always have to go along with the majority.
 

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George_Washington said:
Just out of curiousity, what would you say the biggest reasons are?
Have fun.




I know that it is widely believed but keep in mind that it's still just a theory.
Proving my point exactly. The statement "just a theory" is a meaningless one in the realm of science. You know what things are also theories? Atomic Theory, The Theory of Relativity.

Stephen J. Gould said:
In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.


We can't go back in time and observe it. I see what you're saying, don't get me wrong. I just wouldn't say though that if someone chooses not to accept it that they are ignorant, stupid, etc.
Yes, they are. Can someone "choose" to not accept germ theory and not be ignorant? No, and it's not going to stop them from dying of a staph infection. You cannot pick and choose what scientific theories you accept when you're talking about something like Evolution that has massive amounts of evidence.

At one time most scientists thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe but that turned out to be false. I just don't think people always have to go along with the majority.
That's not true. Science was not even invented at the time that the geocentric model existed, and no good scientist would make the assertion that the Earth was the center of the universe without proof - which there is none of.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
That's not true. Science was not even invented at the time that the geocentric model existed, and no good scientist would make the assertion that the Earth was the center of the universe without proof - which there is none of.
Huh? How was science not invented back then? Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences there are, along with pharmacology. Even when Copernicus has postulated the heliocentric theory, even then, science was different than it is today. But they were all still scientists in the definition of the word, nonetheless.
 
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The real question should be, is just how many Britains are actually taking biology classes in their senior levels of high school.

Secondly the poll does not ask whether the repsondents had been taught evolutionary biology or not.

Now if the vast majority of the respondents had been taught evolutionary biology, and out of that population 39% said that they believed in creationisn, then I would sit up and take notice.

Lastly disagreement on one issue does not suddenly make you a liberal or conservative. :mrgreen:
 

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George_Washington said:
Huh? How was science not invented back then? Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences there are, along with pharmacology. Even when Copernicus has postulated the heliocentric theory, even then, science was different than it is today. But they were all still scientists in the definition of the word, nonetheless.
We're talking about actual organized empirical science. Sure, Copernicus et al were "scientists" in a sense, but there was no scientific community or peer-review system - just a bunch of noblemen who had enough free time to go do experiments or observations.

And, like I said, no good scientist would have, at any point in time, made the assertion that the Earth is the center of the universe - there is simply no evidence for this.

Your original point though, "Well science was wrong once, it could be wrong again!" is irrelevant. Sure, it could be, but is that justification for discarding huge amounts of evidence?
 

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Engimo said:
We're talking about actual organized empirical science. Sure, Copernicus et al were "scientists" in a sense, but there was no scientific community or peer-review system - just a bunch of noblemen who had enough free time to go do experiments or observations.

And, like I said, no good scientist would have, at any point in time, made the assertion that the Earth is the center of the universe - there is simply no evidence for this.

Your original point though, "Well science was wrong once, it could be wrong again!" is irrelevant. Sure, it could be, but is that justification for discarding huge amounts of evidence?
Ok but your comparison with evolution to things like the theory of germs or relativity isn't really valid because there is far more actual, observable evidence to support those theories than there is with microevolution and certainly than macroevolution. I would still say that DNA is a large part of microevolution. And with those other two theories, we're talking about things that are occuring in our current time frame. Evolution is something that happened over millions and millions of years. Keep in mind also that the homo sapien species of man has only been around for about 10,000 years. What exactly caused this change in the previous evolutionary cycle? Can we truly know what caused mammals to walk upright? Why did the ape evolve more so than the other animals? I'll look over the website you gave but I'm just not convinced that evolution is really something as concrete as you claim. Do I personally believe in micro and macro evolution? I would say yes...but not quite possibly to the extent that some people do.
 

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George_Washington said:
Ok but your comparison with evolution to things like the theory of germs or relativity isn't really valid because there is far more actual, observable evidence to support those theories than there is with microevolution and certainly than macroevolution. I would still say that DNA is a large part of microevolution.
There is no such thing as macroevolution. Really. It's a construct that has been entirely invented so that creationists can go "Oh yes, bacteria evolve, but it's only microevolution.", even though it is the same exact process.

Saying that you only accept microevolution is exactly like saying you only accept microarithmetic.

I believe in micro arithmetic. I've seen 4 things combined with 5 things to make nine things! I don't believe in macro atrimetic though. That's just crazy! No one has ever been able to see 1 billion things before and they certainly haven't seen 1 billion things combine with 3 billion things to make 4 billion things! They haven't proved anything!

1+1=2 is micro arithmetic which i believe in
1 billion + 1 billion = 2 billion is macro arithmetic which is just silly!

Of course 1+1+1+1....+1 two billion times is the summation of lots of micro arithmetic which is the SAME EXACT THING as macro arithmetic. Small changes can add up to huge differences.
Also, the comparison to other theories is entirely valid. Evolution has evidence, just like any other scientific theory. Being able to set up a specific laboratory experiment that can disprove a theory is not necessarily a requirement for a theory to be proven - even though we can do exactly this when we're talking about Evolution.
And with those other two theories, we're talking about things that are occuring in our current time frame. Evolution is something that happened over millions and millions of years. Keep in mind also that the homo sapien species of man has only been around for about 10,000 years. What exactly caused this change in the previous evolutionary cycle? Can we truly know what caused mammals to walk upright? Why did the ape evolve more so than the other animals? I'll look over the website you gave but I'm just not convinced that evolution is really something as concrete as you claim. Do I personally believe in micro and macro evolution? I would say yes...but not quite possibly to the extent that some people do.
It's not a matter of "belief", it's a matter of "acceptance". Listen, I'm not going to argue the minutae of Evolution with you - the theory is valid.
 

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1. The proportion of people who say they believe in evolution does not imply that a certain proportion of people believe in creationism. This is a false dichotomy, and ignores the vast segment of Britons who simply don't know enough about science to comment on evolution but definitely reject creationism.

2. This has nothing to do with Britain being liberal or conservative. But your premise seems a bit strange. Who falsely considers Britain to be "super liberal"? That's not even a stereotype.

3. Britain is certainly not returning to Christianity, and probably never will again. I suggest you visit Britain if you disagree. The lack of piety is obvious.
 

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Im British, and I can say that Kandahar is correct on all counts.

I have studied biology up to degree level, and I can say..
Regarding evolution, if you dont accept, you are basically flying in the face of a ridiculously huge body of scientific evidence. In the whole history of biology, in which tens of thousands of people have produced possibly millions of scientific papers, not a single piece of evidence has been found that proves evolution wrong. (note that the natures of science is that something can never be proved RIGHT, which is why things stay as a 'theory' regardless of how well-established they are, they can only be proved wrong by testing - and this has never happened. When a huge amount of study has been carried out - as is the case with evolution - and no evidence refuting the theory is found - which is also the case with evolution - but instead all the available evidence is supportive of the theory, then it comes as close as is possible to becoming fact in the scientific world - but it is still described as a theory. And evolution is as widely accepted as any other theory in any field of science. You will not find a single scientist with any credibility - ie any that isnt a christian fundamentalist - expressing otherwise.)
 

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I've never thought Britain to be a liberal country, it's liberal compared to America. But in the European mainstream of things Britain is a moderate conservative country.

To say the British are starting to turn to Christainity instead of is ludicrous.

Here's an article based on a British poll done in Christmas 2004 on the question "Do beleive in God?" I so as not be bias, this is a CHRISTAIN newsletter.

http://www.christiantoday.com/news/society/british.passion.for.religion.becoming.weary/158.htm

The poll began by asking the simple question, "Do you believe in God?" In 1968 figures show that 77% said that they did, however that figure has fallen to just 44% in the most recent poll. The numbers expressly saying that they do not believe in God has risen sharply also from 11% in 1968 to a staggering 35% today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So 32% don't beleive in evolution and 44% believe in a God in the UK. Hmm I would expect that.
Also its worth nothing that "intelligent design" hasn't got a foothold in this country at all.
 

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thank the lord! (sorry bad choice of words).

if I was a decent conservative Id be pretty gutted that medieval-style ignorance was being equated as synonymous with my political beliefs...
 

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Touchmaster said:
Im British, and I can say that Kandahar is correct on all counts.

I have studied biology up to degree level, and I can say..
Regarding evolution, if you dont accept, you are basically flying in the face of a ridiculously huge body of scientific evidence. In the whole history of biology, in which tens of thousands of people have produced possibly millions of scientific papers, not a single piece of evidence has been found that proves evolution wrong. (note that the natures of science is that something can never be proved RIGHT, which is why things stay as a 'theory' regardless of how well-established they are, they can only be proved wrong by testing - and this has never happened. When a huge amount of study has been carried out - as is the case with evolution - and no evidence refuting the theory is found - which is also the case with evolution - but instead all the available evidence is supportive of the theory, then it comes as close as is possible to becoming fact in the scientific world - but it is still described as a theory. And evolution is as widely accepted as any other theory in any field of science. You will not find a single scientist with any credibility - ie any that isnt a christian fundamentalist - expressing otherwise.)
Thank you! Like I said, not accepting Evolution can only be chalked up to willful ignorance or an egoism that allows someone to believe that they know better than people who have devoted a cumulative millenium to the study of Evolution.
 

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George_Washington said:
If you think Britain is super liberal, think again. A recent poll by the BBC indicates that most Brits do not believe in evolution:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/1/26/104738.shtml?s=et

The poll would also suggest that 39% of Brits believe in creationism/intelligent design.
The article is correct, I am surprised, as I believe a lot of people would be, that the statistics are that high, but your explanations for this are somewhat hard to believe...

...I think their is retained a sense of national pride in the UK (partly due to some of the socialist policies you dismiss). But quite how we link our castles, our cathedrals, our once mighty empire (can anyone else hear 'Rule Britannia' in the background at this point?) to the question of evolution boggles me. When pressed to answer these questions I cannot see any Britians considering these things, and deciding then to show their nationalism by expressing some scepticism over evolution.

Incidentally...

George_Washington said:
The old British legends and heroes, from King Arthur to William the Conqueror, need to be revived in the hearts of Brits so that they will once again be whole.
I assure you, the last thing any Britian wants is to remember the last time the French smacked us around on our own turf. :mrgreen:

George_Washington said:
Indeed, the people of Britain are remembering the old days of Christianity and are returning to God.
Bit late for that, what with the legalisation of gay civil unions, the theory of evolution with no intelligent design on the curriculum and the (hopefully) soon to be expulsion of the clergy from the House of Lords.
 

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Plain old me said:
I assure you, the last thing any Britian wants is to remember the last time the French smacked us around on our own turf. :mrgreen:
LOL I missed that bit... William the Conqueror a British Hero lol.
 

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GarzaUK said:
LOL I missed that bit... William the Conqueror a British Hero lol.
You know the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings has been suggested as a possible 'British Day'?
 

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Engimo said:
It's not a matter of "belief", it's a matter of "acceptance". Listen, I'm not going to argue the minutae of Evolution with you - the theory is valid.
Riiight. The difference between microevolution and macroevolution are so miniscule is that why so many scientists challenge it? I have been to college and I've known people who are in science programs that have expressed their questions on the subject. The website you even gave me said it is something that has been, "vigorously challenged." But hey, you're free to believe whatever you want. But that doesn't give you a right to, "point your finger" at people who don't accept the theory, especially not at people who have Phd.'s in a biology or physics related field.
 

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George_Washington said:
Riiight. The difference between microevolution and macroevolution are so miniscule is that why so many scientists challenge it?
That would be a valid point if it were true. I'll repeat it, macroevolution and microevolution are the exact same thing. The differentiation between them is an artificial one created by those with a vested interest in discrediting Evolution.
I have been to college and I've known people who are in science programs that have expressed their questions on the subject. The website you even gave me said it is something that has been, "vigorously challenged." But hey, you're free to believe whatever you want. But that doesn't give you a right to, "point your finger" at people who don't accept the theory, especially not at people who have Phd.'s in a biology or physics related field.
Like who? There are no credible biologists anywhere that genuinely have a problem with the fundamental thesis of Evolution. Yes, I damned well can point my finger at people who don't accept the theory, because tens if not hundreds of thousands of academic papers published by those who have devoted their lives to studying biology and chemistry have agreed on the validity of Evolution.
 

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Did we sleep through our own history class? William I was the first King of England from the Norman Line and had united the country like no one before his time. Remember the Battle of Hastings? If it wasn't for William, the Norse tribes, the old Danish Kings, and a slew of other European forces might have fully engufled England! But you know, it's alright. We have lousy interpretations of history over on this side of the Atlantic, too. Look at what your own Britannia Encyclopedia has to say about him:

" The arrival and conquest of William and the Normans radically altered the course of English history. Rather than attempt a wholesale replacement of Anglo-Saxon law, William fused continental practices with native custom. By disenfranchising Anglo-Saxon landowners, he instituted a brand of feudalism in England that strengthened the monarchy. Villages and manors were given a large degree of autonomy in local affairs in return for military service and monetary payments. The Anglo-Saxon office of sheriff was greatly enhanced: sheriffs arbitrated legal cases in the shire courts on behalf of the king, extracted tax payments and were generally responsible for keeping the peace. "The Domesday Book" was commissioned in 1085 as a survey of land ownership to assess property and establish a tax base. Within the regions covered by the Domesday survey, the dominance of the Norman king and his nobility are revealed: only two Anglo-Saxon barons that held lands before 1066 retained those lands twenty years later. All landowners were summoned to pay homage to William in 1086. William imported an Italian, Lanfranc, to take the position of Archbishop of Canterbury; Lanfranc reorganized the English Church, establishing separate Church courts to deal with infractions of Canon law. Although he began the invasion with papal support, William refused to let the church dictate policy within English and Norman borders."

http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon22.html

You guys, Garza, this is just silly. The idea that William the Conquerer is not a heroic icon in British is as laughable as saying George Washington isn't one in our history. Maybe according to, "Fake Liberal Moronic Twisted History 101" but not to reputable history professors.

Pretty soon you guys will say something, "Queen Elizabeth I was actually a man and I have proof..."
 
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Never the less, William was a bastard...
 
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