Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution - New York Times

Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution - New York Times: "Accepting the fact of evolution does not necessarily mean discarding a personal faith in God. But accepting intelligent design means discarding science. Much has been made of a 2004 poll showing that some 45 percent of Americans believe that the Earth - and humans with it - was created as described in the book of Genesis, and within the past 10,000 years. This isn't a triumph of faith. It's a failure of education."

Monday, August 22, 2005

BBC Education: Evolution homepage

The BBC's clearinghouse on evolution. It includes the text of Origin of the Species, a bibliography and more.

BBC Education: Evolution homepage: "'4,000 million years crammed into one website'"

Americans United: Bush Endorsement Of 'Intelligent Design' In Public Schools Is Irresponsible, Says Americans United

This organization tracks legislative issues.

Americans United: Bush Endorsement Of 'Intelligent Design' In Public Schools Is Irresponsible, Says Americans United: "President George W. Bush’s endorsement of teaching “intelligent design” in the public schools is irresponsible and undermines sound science education, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State."

The New York Times> Search> Abstract

The New York Times> Search> Abstract: "Beliefs; Eighty years after Scopes, a professor reflects on unabated opposition to evolutionists.

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Honorable mention to The Origin of the Species.

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries: "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries"

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: Open letter to Kansas School Board

Now this is a theory that deserves to be taught alongside evolution!

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: Open letter to Kansas School Board: "I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. "

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: Open letter to Kansas School Board

Now this is a theory that deserves to be taught alongside evolution!

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: Open letter to Kansas School Board: "I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. "

Christian agenda worries other faiths |

Christian agenda worries other faiths | "'I'm concerned about where it might lead. Compulsory prayer in schools, whether people might have to acknowledge a common creator -- all these things are waiting to explode, especially if they (conservatives) are successful,' said Bhattacharya, an assistant scientist who does petroleum engineering studies for the Lawrence-based Kansas Geological Survey."

AlterNet: Having Fun With Intelligent Design

AlterNet: Having Fun With Intelligent Design: "I have just three words for biology teachers who are wringing their hands as school boards from Kansas to Pennsylvania force them to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution: Get over it."

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

AlterNet: Having Fun With Intelligent Design

The reader comments at the bottom of this article are pricless.

AlterNet: Having Fun With Intelligent Design: "I have just three words for biology teachers who are wringing their hands as school boards from Kansas to Pennsylvania force them to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution: Get over it.

Here's what I think. Science teachers can comply with the requirement and still offer their students a first-rate education. If done with imagination, the new curriculum could end up stimulating more learning and excitement than their traditional explication of Darwinian theory."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

York Dispatch Online - LETTERS


York Dispatch Online - LETTERS: "Article Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 11:04:27 AM EST

Creationism a topic of philosophy

The teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public high schools does not violate the First Amendment's requirement of separation of church and state.

Students should have a full education about the theories and philosophies that exist concerning the earth's existence. However, intelligent design is not a scientific theory and therefore does not belong in the science classroom. It is a religious theory and should be treated as such; that is, taught in a philosophy or world religion class."

School Boards Want to 'Teach the Controversy.' What Controversy? - New York Times

This is a good argument by a cosmologist that discusses the history of the Big Bang theory, and why many theologians believe that the idea of creation falls outside the boundaries of science.

School Boards Want to 'Teach the Controversy.' What Controversy? - New York Times: "While this argument may seem strange, Lemaître was grasping something that is missed in the current public debates about evolution. The Big Bang is not a metaphysical theory, but a scientific one: namely one that derives from equations that have been measured to describe the universe, and that makes predictions that one can test.

It is certainly true that one can reflect on the existence of the Big Bang to validate the notion of creation, and with that the notion of God. But such a metaphysical speculation lies outside of the theory itself."

Evolution Dominates Campaign in Pa. Town

A discussion of intelligent design debate:

Evolution Dominates Campaign in Pa. Town: "By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer
May 16, 2005 0516AP-EVOLUTION-DEB

DOVER, Pa. (AP) - On opposite sides of town, two billboards for competing slates of school board candidates illustrate the deep divide here over the teaching of evolution and the origin of life.

One sign shouts, 'It's time for a new school board in Dover!'' The other describes the seven sitting board members as 'the INTELLIGENT choice'' - a reference to the board's decision last fall to require the mention of 'intelligent design'' in class." : Christian agenda worries other faiths : Christian agenda worries other faiths: "Push for intelligent design seen by some as imposing Christianity on others

By Jim Baker, Journal-World

Thursday, May 12, 2005

It is conservative Christians on the State Board of Education who are sitting today in judgment of evolution instruction in Kansas schools."

In this article some other religions get a voice in the debate.

Monday, May 09, 2005

AAAS - History and Archives

AAAS - History and Archives: "AAAS Statement on the Kansas State Board of Education Decision on the Education of Students in the Science of Evolution and Cosmology

The American Association for the Advancement of Science deplores the recent decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to remove references to evolution and cosmology from its state education standards and assessments, thereby making central principles for the scientific understanding of the universe and its history optional subjects for science education. "

AAAS - AAAS News Release

A few more articles on the topic.

AAAS - AAAS News Release: "AAAS on Monday declined an invitation from the Kansas Board of Education to appear at a May hearing on teaching evolution in public schools after concluding that the event is likely to sow confusion rather than understanding among the public."

AP Wire | 05/08/2005 | A look at hearings on evolution

A little background to the case in Kansas

AP Wire | 05/08/2005 | A look at hearings on evolution: "A look at hearings on evolution

Associated Press

THE HEARINGS: A three-member subcommittee of the State Board of Education is taking testimony on how evolution should be taught." | Columnists | Robert Leger | Kansas hearings aren't about science

Just saw this in the news and thought I would throw it up. The hearings in Kansas are a big deal as far as the public debate is concerned. | Columnists | Robert Leger | Kansas hearings aren't about science: "The hearings that began in Topeka last week to decide how evolution should be taught have nothing to do with science."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

INLS 224, Our Reflections on the Project

Michael C. Habib
Haley Hall
May 9, 2005

Overall we are very pleased with the way our project turned out. Critical to our success was our decision on a method for collaboration. Early on, we were randomly looking at resources, but we weren’t taking notes of what we found. Basically, we were at a loss as to how to begin. Haley sent an email suggesting that we each maintain a log or diary that documented our research. This would include both what we hope to share with one another and what our current plans were. We also thought that such a journal would offer us the opportunity to look back on how our research process developed over time. It was when trying to figure out the best way that this could be accomplished that Michael suggested the use of a blog. This choice of medium was ideal for a number of reasons. First, as a journal, it would be easily accessible to both parties. Second, the comment feature would allow for easy collaboration. With our busy schedules, it would have been tough to coordinate our research in another way. Essentially, there would have been a whole lot of emailing. Furthermore, there would have been no integrated product, which would make it hard to abstract any clear patterns. An additional reason that the use of a blog was appealing is that not only is it a medium for collaboration, but also a means of resource creation. It was our idea that the project could eventually grow to be a valuable reference tool for someone researching creation. Once these decisions were made, we then had to implement our idea by creating a blog.

The use of Blogger software was chosen for a number of reasons. First, due to our lack of familiarity with blogs, it was by far one of the easiest to get up and running. A basic template was chosen, and Michael worked to customize it for the purposes of the project. This has been an ongoing project as it has taken a considerable amount of time to understand what all of the possible settings mean. Some technical difficulties arose throughout the course of the project. At one point, the sidebar was displaying at the very bottom of the blog, below the entries, in Internet Explorer. This appeared to be due to a flaw in Internet Explorer, as this problem did not occur in standards based browsers. The other reason Blogger was chosen is because of our goal of resource creation. We thought that because Google owns Blogger, our resource would be indexed better by Google and thus accessible to a wider audience. Blogger also allows the option of building a Google search bar into the blog, thus allowing for local search. We thought this feature would greatly expand the functionality of our blog as a reference resource. The RSS feed for the blog has been turned on. This will allow a regular reader to get updates as new posts are created. We thought this would be an important feature for a researcher.

Now that the project is finished, Blogger will also make it very easy to incorporate new members while maintaining administrative control. Hopefully, researchers and hobbyists will begin to become involved in adding new entries. While we have not yet done extensive Internet research on our topic, it appears that most, though not all, existing resources are heavily biased towards one side of the creationist vs. evolutionist debate. This blog should offer a well-rounded alternative to researchers who are either not concerned with that debate, or hope to look at the debate from a variety of perspectives.

One of our initial hopes was that we would be able to abstract from our work patterns of research that developed over time. One particular area we look back on is how we used this medium to collaborate. At first, we didn’t use the comment feature very much. Instead, we added comments to new posts. Because of the reverse chronological order of the entries, this method worked well when we only had a few entries. However, as the blog began to grow, we began to use the comment feature much more extensively because it would have been very confusing to follow our strands of thought and research otherwise. Furthermore, the commenting feature made it very easy to build upon what was already created. Many of our later comments were also used as a way of cross-referencing earlier posts to later posts. As the blog grows, this cross-referencing will make it much easier for a researcher to locate quickly all posts related to one strand of research.

Another thing that we noticed is that we each began by stating our backgrounds with the topic. This proved very useful for understanding each others approach to the project. This medium made it particularly easy to share our backgrounds because it was very easy to point to outside articles and websites that demonstrated what we are already familiar with.

One last point we think is particularly interesting is our writing styles. Haley maintained a relatively casual style throughout the project. On the other hand, Michael gradually became more formal as the project progressed. He did this for two reasons. First, during the course of the project, Michael became increasingly concerned with the way that blogs are preventing people from getting and maintaining jobs. This definitely effected how much opinion went into his later posts. The other reason that he became more formal is the recent debate within the library and information science community over the legitimacy of blogs as a tool of the trade. This debate came to the forefront of the community’s attention with the publication of an editorial by the President-elect of the American Library Association Michael Gorman. This opinion piece was highly critical of blogs and the people that make them. By becoming more formal in citations and writing style, it was Michael Habib’s hope that this project could help demonstrate the value of this medium as a tool of the library profession.

By focusing primarily on reference sources, we have developed a good understanding of what disciplines creation is studied in and in what way it enters the discourse of these various disciplines.
This should lay a solid foundation for a more in depth analysis of the topic. Eventually, it was determined that in many ways, the topic of creation is only marginally covered by many disciplines in the social sciences. The aforementioned debate between Creationists and Evolutionists has caused the majority of the discourse to focus on a Christian Fundamentalist view of creation. By determining this, we have been able to set a clear direction for future work, and lay a solid foundation for the continued development of this reference tool.

To conclude, we would like to mention one feature that we would eventually like to incorporate into the resource.
Many blogs have a feature where posters can add descriptive tags to each post. We are not sure if this feature is available in Blogger, but, if possible, this would add a much more robust human indexing system to the tool. Such a method would also be much less time intensive than the current method of cross-referencing through the comments. Other future directions of collection development are written into the blog.

The Blog is Now Public

It has been added to Blogger's entries and the Google search bar has been returned. The blog isn't indexed yet, however it is only a matter of time because Google owns Blogger. Hopefully, this resource can continue to grow. Once the course is over, I am going to open it to additional posters. So that anyone who wants to work on the project can be included.

What next?

I am thinking one of the main areas we have largely missed up to this point in the project is artwork depicting creation. The LoC exhibit is a good start, but their are possibly some good texts out there on that. I think Haley's earlier comment that looking at individual cultures and their creation accounts would be one of the main ways that we could get more depth and really start to get a historical perspective on things. As the blog continues to grow, hopefully more contributors will become involved. Expanding the search outside of Davis reference is also a good next move. The databases are a good place to accumulate citations. Many have an export feature where, like in the entry about Education Full Text, whole bibliographies from across the disciplines can be formed. I think that might be my next addition before tackling the artwork.

Disappointing Findings in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Texts

I am really disappointed. You would think Tolkien's theories would at least be mentioned in most of the books on fantasy, but alas they are not. Entries on Tolkien mention his theories, but only a few have entries devoted to any of his concepts. Otherwise, cosmology, creation, etc. don't appear to be mentioned at all. One notable exception from the Science Fiction books is the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Call Number: PN3433.4 .E53 1993). This text has an extensive entry on cosmology. This entry discusses the use of alternative cosmologies in science fiction writing. It gives numerous examples and tracks the history of cosmology in science fiction (p. 267-268). It would probably be one of the more useful places to start looking at creation in literature.

I Couldn't Quite Pull Myself Away From the Q's

Chronology of Science: From Stonehenge to the Human Genome Project Call Number: Q125 .C482 2002

One mention of creationism: In 1898 the french nauralist Antonio Snider-Pellegrini published Creation and its Mysteries Unveiled in which he explained the formation of the continents using the biblical account of creation (p. 165).

Magic Universe: the Oxford Guide to Modern Science Call Number: Q125 .C275 2003

This one talks about the debate and explicately states that "neo-Darwinists" have largely hijacked evolution as an atheist concept by oversimplifying the theory to natural selection, thus framing the debate as either or. This is by far the most concise and to the point article that I have yet found stating this one of the major problems evolution as a theory faces. It is good to see it mentioned so clearly (p. 274-275).

Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience: From Alien Abduction to Zone Therapy Call Number: Q157 .E57 2000

Includes entries for Cosmologies, variant; Creation Research Society (mentioned in almost all I have looked at); Creation Science; Creative Evolution; and so on...

"Cosmologies, variant" discusses creation myths. It gives a brief overview of some of the characteristics similar to most creation accounts and mentions some of the key variations and then concludes with a discussion of sciences slow entry into the study of cosmology. It doesn't state an opinion, but just the facts. (p. 60-61)

"Creative evolution" is discussed in the entry on Henri Bergson as that is the title of a book where he challenged the ability of "natural selection" to be the only driving force in evolution. It then says that scientists have debunked his theories and that "natural selection" is in fact king. The authors of this entry should have looked at the Magic Universe, because that certainly tells a different story. (p. 30)

Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery v.7 (1950-Present) Call Number: Q175.46 S35 2000 v.7

The entry us titled "Evolution and Creationism in American Public Schools." I wonder if the volumes covering early time periods mention in more detail some of the historical debates uncovered in the chronologies above. In the future, that might be worth looking into. (p. 80-83)

Social Issues in Science and Technology Call Number: Q 175.5 N49 1999

Only has an entry on "Creationism" and discusses the same old political stuff (p. 48-51).

Creation/Teaching Descriptor in Education Full Text - first 100 citations

HW Wilson Results: "

Cook, G. Evolution or intelligent design? Science and faith meet school policy. The American School Board Journal v. 192 no. 4 (April 2005) p. 8, 10-11

Phillips, S. Darwin in danger of extinction. The Times Educational Supplement no. 4626 (March 18 2005) p. 20

Klein, J.G., et. al., Rigid and Dogmatic [Discussion of 'One nation, under the designer,' by Mark Terry]. Phi Delta Kappan v. 86 no. 7 (March 2005) p. 559-61"

CQ Researcher article on "Evolution vs. Creationism"

CiteNow!: "Masci, D. (1997, August 22). Evolution vs. creationism. The CQ Researcher Online, 7. Retrieved May 8, 2005, from Document ID: cqresrre1997082200."

This article has an a good bibliography and strives to cover both sides of the issues. I figured that I might as well find a few articles that are from an outright political perspective.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

encyclopedia of cosmology

The subtitle pretty much says it - "historical,philosophical, and scientific foundations of modern cosmology". It includes entries for all modes of thought that have played a role in creating our current cosmological (how the universe is ordered) understanding. For example, there are entries for greek and egyptian cosmologies.

This resource is scientific in nature and a lot less mythical/religious, but it does explain how older cultures scientifically perceived the universe and how it was ordered.

Related entries are under Entries listed under anthropic principle, cosmology, cosmogony, creator, creation, and creation in cosmology.

encyclopedia of science and religion

Entries to follow in this resource are listed under creation, creationism, creation science, design, design argument, divine action, god, intelligent design, scopes trial, scriptural interpretation, darwin.

A lead one could follow to begin research on teaching intelligent design vs. evolution in schools is the Scopes Trial. This is the definitive trial that made the decision to teach evolution in schools.

This would be a good source to find key issues and further reference sources.

Another good aspect is that it includes the view of creationism from other cultures.

sociologically disappointing

Having been through the sociology section and finding nothing relevant to our topic, I am a little disappointed. After finding nothing, my first thought was to take a step back and look for terms such as god, religion, big bang, evolution, supernatural, mythology, intelligent design and spiritual. But none of these worked either. They weren't really entries that weren't specifically related to our subject matter. As a result, I believe the best route would be to look at the bibliographies and references made in other reference works from the religion, mythology, folklore, and philosophy sections.

A More Promising Approach in a Scientific Work

The McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Call Number Q121 .M3 1997 has neither an entry for creation or evolution, but does have an entry on "Cosmology". In this way, they focus strictly on what science has to say about the begginings of the world.

"Intelligent Design" Suspiciously Absent from Scientific Critique

It just occurred to me that all of these scientific texts have been talking about "Creationism" and "Creation Science" and completely ignoring the use of the term "Intelligent Design" which the fundamentalists have been using themselves. This is the opposite of the proponents of "Intelligent Design" who adamantly try to frame evolution as just another "theory" that is no more justified by science than their own. This is very similar to the usage of language in the debate over abortion. Pro-choice advocates refer to themselves as "Pro-choice" and their opponents as "Anti-choice", while Pro-life advocates refer to themselves as "Pro-life" or "Anti-abortion" and their opponents as "Pro-abortion" or "Murderers". While not quite so blatant, a similar subtle use of language in the debate over evolution and creation is clearly apparent. Language is a very powerful tool in political discourse.

The Beginnings of Our Research


here's a little info i got yesterday about our topic. It's mostly preliminary ish, like finding words/phrases that work and publications that have some leading info in them.

Some related words -
creationism, mythology, cosmology, cosmogony, cosmogenesis, mythosgenesis

People mentioned -
Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell

Publications -
Encyclopedia of Religion
} These have had the most so far in my search Mythology of All Races Key Ideas in Human Thought Dictionary of Ethics, Theology, and Society Dictionary of Ideas

It's not the most detailed info I could sent you but it's a start.


Our Full Initial Proposal For the Project

Creation myths in society, Thu 3/3/2005 7:46 PM
Fellow classmates and Dr. Carr,

Haley and I will be studying the topic of creation across the social sciences and humanities. At this point, we plan to begin with a two pronged approach. First we will be exploring the idea of creation from the perspective of religion, mythology, philosophy and literature; and second we will be exploring the place of creation theory in social and political discourse. It is our hope that these strands will cross one another frequently as the religious theory adapts to outside pressures. By following this method we hope to see the development, and possibly evolution, of creation theory throughout human history. For example, the recent push to teach theories of “intelligent design” as alternatives to the theory of evolution demonstrates how the language of creation has changed in accord with the political and social climate. Thus, one clue we will be observant for is changes in the language of creation. Looking at different cultures may also uncover important clues as we compare the symbols and metaphors used by different cultures. Of course, as we pursue this study, what we discover may be different from our initial assumptions. At least at first, we will be working exclusively with the print reference collections in Davis, to avoid getting too lost in a single discipline. However, as promising patterns emerge, and as time allows, we may expand our search further. Any ideas or suggestions would be most appreciated. We apologize for the tardiness of our topic, but have been working towards developing a common theme to frame our study. So far, we have been determining useful terms (creationism, mythology, cosmology, cosmogony, cosmogenesis, mythosgenesis, etc.) and individual works (Encyclopedia of Religion) to begin with.

Michael and Haley

The e-mail that gave us the idea to collaborate using a blog

Wed 3/9/2005 11:59 AM


I have an idea about how we can turn our project in for 224. It would basically be like a log or diary (for lack of a better term) about our experience while looking through resources. It would be done day by day, or an entry for each time we did some work for the project. Documented would be our experiences, what questions came up, our thoughts and so on... Also, there could be information about what either of us wanted to show or explain to the other, what we found together, and why we think something we found is important or relevant to our subject. Experiences could be documented separately and together making it so we don't always have to be in ref at the same time. And as a supplement, we could turn in the database melissa sent out over the listserv. What do you think??


A local example from before the blog was up

From: Don Wood
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 11:50:16 -0500
Subject: [IFACTION:9974] An article from The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News

Church-state lesson learned
School admits it crossed line. By KRISTIN COLLINS, Staff Writer

A fifth-grader's family is suing the Cumberland County school
system because her teacher used a Christian text that preached
creationism and encouraged children to proselytize for Jesus.

For the complete story ...

Copyright The News & Observer Publishing Co., Raleigh, NC
This article should not be printed or distributed for anything except
personal use.

Feedback is welcome at

mythology and religion definitions

Okay, so here are the definitions for mythology and religion.

- from a new dictionary of religions
Mythology - ...they are used to refer to the use of stories and the interpretation of stories and events as employed in religions to convey truths or truths that vernacular forms of spech cannot alwys convey. ...Myths are believed to 'make up a body of "assumed knowledge" about the universe, the natural and supernatural worlds, and ma's place in the totality.

In essence what this means is that mythology is used to describe events placed in a religious context such as the crucifixion of Jesus interpreted as a divine act of salvation.

-from a new dictionary of religions
Religion - A general term used in most modern European languages to designate all concepts concerning the belief in God(s) and Goddess(es) as well as other spiritual beings or transcendental ultimate concerns.

There is a heck of a lot more in the entry for relgion. Interestingly enough, what it has really made me aware of is that there is already an existing debate on how to define religion and how to classify different spiritual practices from different cultures. I suppose this could be another angle to approach creationism. How and why differnt thoughts of creation are treated as myth or relgion.

Yet Again Creationism is the only Mention of Creation

After realizing how most books only mention fundamentalist Christian versions of Creation I am starting to see just why they are so effective in getting people to believe in there version of creation. Even scientists write like that is the only version out there. You would think that scientists, many of whom believe creation and evolution are not mutually exclusive, would take a more even handed approach when writing about creation. Certainly, you would think that they would at least mention, if not highlight, that the current debate is only between one specific view of the world creation and that other views do not necessarily discount evolution. This constant focus on creationism and creation science of fundamentalists frames the entire debate in terms of either/or. I wonder if Ruse performed an examination of how scientists frame the debate when he was writing his The Evolution-Creation Struggle. As I go through the various entries in different science encyclopedias, I am starting to see where he has a very strong argument that it is the scientific community itself that is prolonging the argument by largely framing the discussion as creation or evolution. I wonder if the only scientists who care enough about the debate are those who are adamantly against all creation accounts and not just fundamentalism. Those that see no disagreeing between creation and evolution might be the ones writing the articles. Ideally creation shouldn't be in science books at all, and most scientists who believe that they are not mutually exclusive also believe that they belong in two separate places. For example in the Catholic view evolution is a matter of the body, while biblical creation is a matter of the soul, thus outside of the sphere of science. If creation is going to be included in most scientific texts, then a well rounded perspective should be presented and not just the fundamentalist.

Creation in the LC Q's (Science)

The Encyclopedia of Bioethics Call Number: QH332 .E52 1995

Creationism is a see reference to Evolution -->

Evolution entry has a subheading "Evolution versus fundementalism and "creation science":

Again, this entry focuses exclusively on the one version of creation that has set itself in political opposition to evolution. In fact, the political and legal controversy over the teaching of evolution in American public schools is the only thing discussed. No other accounts are mentioned at all accept for in a discussion of a court case where it was mentioned that fundementalist "creation science" was only one particular religions view on the creation of the world. Apart from this aside however, this article certainly fails to recognize creation as existing outide of this particular debate.

religion vs. mythology

Another issue that continues to manifest in my mind is the way our reference collection treats the major religions as opposed to smaller modes of spiritual thought, referred to otherwise as mythology. Where is the line between mythology and religion? What puts one mode of thought in the religion category and another in the mythology category? The reason I pose this question is because something being classified as a religion gives it validity, and something being classified as a mythology makes it seem to be only stories created by lesser intelligent people. No sources that i have found treat any of the major religions as mythologies. Perhaps I should consult a dictionary to see what the defined difference is.

In my mind, the distinction comes from what is commonly viewed and accepted as the dominant religion or mode of spiritual thought. The collection and the people who write or contribute to the books are likely to be created by someone who is more familiar/accepting of the major religions. We understandably have a huuuuuuge section on several aspects of christianity as a result of being in the bible belt and christianity being one of the most influential religions in the country. I just feel that we should view all concepts of spiritual beliefs from the same angle. It's ok to have more of one subect than another, but we should be careful about how and why we categorize something as mythology.

Comparing Creationism Entries in Two Encyclopedias of Evolution

From a scientific perspective:
Encyclopedia of Evolution Call Number QH360.2 .E54 2002

The entry on Creationism focuses on whether Creationism is neccessarily opposed to the scientific evidence in support of evolution. It discusses creationism only as it occurs in the Bible or Koran. It points out that believers in "Quick Creation" are opposed to science, but that proponents of "Progressive Creation" and "Gradual Creation" have no conflict with evololution. The article includes a bulleted list of scienctific evidence and frames the conversation around those. Clearly from a scientific perspective.

From an anthopological perspective (Haley showed this one to me)
Encyclopedia of Evolution: Humanities Search for Its Origins Call Number GN281. M53 1990

The entry "Creationism: History of Belief" is entirely focused on Christian creationism. It discusses the variant forms brielfy, but focuses on the Fundementalist version of Creationism, fixity of species and "Quick Creation", and its conflict with evolutionists.

Focus on Christian creation almost entirely. It appears that both entries were written as a direct result of political pressures brough on by the Fundementalist attack on evolution. It would have been nice had either one pointed out how many creation accounts from various cultures are related to theories of evolution. Surprisingly, the scientific encyclopedia gave a much more well rounded discussion than the anthopological one.

Chronologies of World History Ignore the True Beginnings

I just spent some time looking through about a dozen chronologies of world history and all of them begin discussions of world history with the emergence of man. This does two disservices to the study of history that I see:

1. By focusing on human history, it ignores the big picture and makes it hard for a history scholar to step back and see the intracicies relationship with his world. There is a small but growing trend to study "Big History" which looks at history from an all inclusive perspective. A book I read recently Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land by Denis Wood, argued for just such a reorientation of the way we study history. Notice he started with 5 billion years ago, while the chronologies of world history in Davis only looked at 250,000 at the most.

2. By starting histories of the world by mentioning the earliest human fossils and artifacts that have been found, an even greater disservice is done in ignoring how these peoples and most of the world's current population view their histories. A recent survey pointed out that in American alone, over half of students entering college still believe that man was formed in more or less his present form about 9,000 years ago. Even if history were a science, which it is not, it chronologies such as these ignore a great deal of human history as it has been understood until the breakthroughs of Darwin and modern science. Wood's book mentions that as a history, he is telling a story and he starts his explicetly from the beggining with the Big Bang. He mentions that his is the account of the world from a scientific perspective and that there are of course alternates.

The chronologies in question are located between LC Call Numbers D9-D11

another angle or avenue

Another angle that a person could come from to search for information on creationsm is the roles and purposes of specific heroes and archetypes in creation myths. The folklore section would be a great place to go for that. For example, the source called "Folklore" has an entry under cosmology that also refers the reader to culture hero; myth.

An issue??

So here's an issue about creationism that I came across that may help someone with their search. There are "true" creation myths and just regular creation myths. A true creation myth deals with the belief that a higher form created the universe and all that is in it out of nothing. As opposed to creation myths that deal with how the universe is ordered. For example, there are peoples that consider this reality to be a rebuilt version of a reality that existed before. That idea should be considered when searching for information. What kind of creation myth are you looking for?? (I know, dangling participle)

personal vs. project interests

So my personal interests are in the different myths of how things were created and the recurring archetypes that exist cross-culturally. A book I've been trying to read on that subject is called Hamlet's Mill, but that's beside the point. The question I end up asking when looking at different creation myths and the recurring archetypes is "why do these images and meanings continue to appear in cultures that have had no contact?", "Does the explanation have to do with the human psyche or some common origin?", and "If there is one common origin, what is it and what other vestiges has it left?". Or I will ask myself "If many of the symbols and archetypes are similar is it possible that they mostly recount similar events from different perspectives?". With that being said, I found a couple of references that may add to my own deeper interests and with an avenue the subject matter of creationism may take. They are:

Motif - Index of Folk Literature (this is several several volumes)

Type and Motif-Index of the Folktales of England and North America (this too is several volumes)

Folklife Sourcebook - (this may help me in my further adventures after library school. I'm interested in becoming affiliated with a cultural institution that deals with folklore and mythology)

meandering minds in the davis reference area

Okay, so here's how i start out when perusing the reference area in davis. First, I lookat the lc subject lists Dr, Carr has posted to his website. Then i methodically go through a subject area and write down books that I feel may have some relevant information. Then with the best intentions, I go into the stacks to search for what i have written down. As I start to make my way to where I think i should start, something will catch my eye before I even get to my predeterminded destination. And so i set my list down and go "Wow, what's this? This looks cool and relevant", and just completely forget about what I have written down. And then I begin to start thinking about my own interests which is somewhat relevant to the subject matter of this project, but not directly related. That is a bit frustrating, yet still amusing every time it happens. It is definately hard tostay on task when there is so much information and you have a curious or wandering mind.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hit and Run - Libertarians blog about Sundays BC comic strip

Hit and Run: "God Made Man, But A Monkey Supplied the Glue

You'll be relieved to learn that Sunday's B.C., which took on Charles Darwin in some of the most arrythmic rhyming verse ever carved in stone, was not dropped by any of the comic strip's 1,200 client newspapers. 'Anyone who runs 'B.C.' at this point knows Johnny Hart's philosophy, so I don't think anyone was surprised,' Creators Syndicate president Rick Newcombe tells Editor And Publisher. Complaints about the strip have been few and far between."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

encyclopedia of creation myths

A pretty straight forward encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Creation Myths spans a wide range of peoples many of whom I have never heard. A unique aspect of this encyclopeda is that it explains what a creation myth is. No other source I have seen at this point has done that. That in itself makes this a commendable source. It shouldn't be assumed that a person knows why certain stories of certain cultures are included and why others are not.

woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets

I really like this one because it speaks to my interests. The entries of gods, saints, and ideas (among other things) are not only explained, but their archetypal imagery is also explained. It also relates ancient mythologies to their more recent manifestations in judeo-christian beliefs. Of course one can tell from the title that this is mostly from the perspective of women and their importance mythological thought. Something I would like to own and see more recent versions of. Though it seems to be alittle anti-christian, it is still a cool source.

legends of the earth sea and sky

This book has an entry on creation myths, explaining how they vary from culture to culture. Only older civiliztions are dealt with in this source. There aren't any entries related to current events. The entry for creation myths isn't too stunning, but it does suggest terms that I hadn't before considered such as "primordial sea". That term may be a good lead when dealing with symbolism or comparisons of creation myths.

cool, world mythology!

World Mythology, An Annotated Guide to Collections and Anthologies is definately a source I would use when looking for sources concerned with creation myths. There's a huuge entry in the index for creation myths. This book includes bibliographies of sources that deal with the subject of mythology and in those bibliographies are explanations of each source. Very, very cool.

encyclopedia of relgion and society

Booring! Yet another entry on the conflict between science and religion. At least the user is referred to another entry under "social science and religion". A name that is beginning to crop up repeatedly is Emile Durkheim. I remember his name from my undergraduate anthropology classes, but I can't quite remember why he is important as far as religion and creationism are concerned. The social science and religion entry also mentions some other names that may be worthy of exploration.

encyclopedia of the american religious experience

Yet another source with a sizeable section on the conflict between relgion and science. The conflict between evolutionism and creationism seems to be a matter widely researched. That would be an obvious path to send a student down, even though it's probably been done so much that it wouldn't be very exciting. On a side note, I was a bit confused at first while I was trying to figure out how to use the source. Eventually, I figured out that the index is in the last volume. That could be a slight issue for the unsuspecting library patron.

encyclopedia of unbelief

If one is researching theories and varying aspects of creation, I suppose it would be natural for one to explore the disbelief of the involvement of higher powers in the creation of all things. And so, here enters the Encyclopedia of Unbelief. This encyclopedia has a substantial entry under "evolution and unbelief". This entry starts from the classical period where early speculations of evolution begins. It then proceeds to cover the ways evolution has been explored up to the present. It is curious however that at the end of the entry, the encyclopedia doesn't champion either side of the debate. That is definately sign of a good source to use. It simply presents the facts and not opinion. At the end is also a reference to another entry under "Universe, Origin of the, and Unbelief".

political terms and approaches

Terms to look for when attempting to search for creationism and politics?

prayer in school
scopes trial
relgion and science
evolution being taught in school
religion and evolution

excluded works

For the sake of this project, I believe excluding dictionaries would be a wise move. They rarely go into depth and mostly give a definition that plainly means "the belief that the world's creation can be attributed to a higher power". Or if it is a dictionary of a certain religion, it would only be useful when comparing the cut and dry of how each religion views how the world was created. For this exercise this would be too gruelling. I would refer a student who was intending to do a research paper on a certain religion and creationism to a dictionary, but it would only be a starting point to begin formulating terms and ideas.

realizations of angles

As I am going through reference sections, I am beginning to see more and more angles that can be used to approach the subject of creationism. One could lookat it from a political and historical view, a mythological view from older religions/myths (though I'm still not quite sure where the line is between religion and mythology), individual relgions, symbolism in creationsim, comparisons of symbolism in different religions, etc. etc. It's crazy there's so much here to consider. The amount of information is almost overwhelming.

Boston Globe article via Arts & Letters Daily

In this article, the theories put forth by Ruse in his new book The Evolution-Creation Struggle are discussed. The crux of it seems to be that Evolutionists have largely framed evolutionary science in a broader social context that forces challenge by creationists. The article points out that, though valid in many ways, Ruse's argument does tend to ignore some of the underlying religious beliefs that fuel the debate.

Evolutionary war

"In the ongoing struggle between evolution and creationism, says philosopher of science Michael Ruse, Darwinians may be their own worst enemy

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

encyclopedia of religion vs. mythology of all races

The Encyclopedia of Religion is almost the antithesis of the Mythology of All Races. It is in one volume and was published in 2005 as opposed to the Mythology of All Races that is 13 volumes and last published in 1932. Included in the entries for mythology and creation in the Encyclopedia of Religion are entries under cosmogony and cosmology. The Encyclopedia of Religion divides cosmology into different ethnic understandings of creation, including a scientific entry. Another good aspect of this book is the fact that it gives an explanation of the books it includes in its bibliographies. For instance, it explains what a book in the bibliography would be relevant to and for what it is useful. Also included are newly published sources that would be relevant. It would be a good source to use in order to compare authoritative understandings of the past and present of other culture's ideas on creationism.

Where to start?

The natural places to begin with a question of this sort are the religion and mythology sections. One source that automatically jumps out is the Mythology of All Races. This is a 13 volume set that includes hoardes of information on countless cultures and peoples. It's easy to tell from the title what the book is about, so it would be an obvious choice to pick up and thumb through. However, I would have to warn the user that the information in this source is not current with the last one being published in 1932. Even with that being said, this is not a dead source. This huuuge source can be used to compare our older understandings of ideas and concepts of different cultures to newer ones that can be found elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

References by classmates

While talking to several classmates about our subject, I was referred to look into Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung for some interesting information. Though I know who Carl Jung is, I'm not exactly sure how his research is connected to creationism. And I have no idea who Joseph Campbell is. Two very interesting leads...


Here are other words i found that may help in the search for information on creationism.

mythology, cosmology, cosmogony, cosmos, cosmogenisis, mythosynthesis, creation myths

Such a broad question...

The question we are posting is rather broad for a reason. Having worked at several reference desks, I have come to accept the fact that people will often come to the desk with really broad questions and not know that the question has to be refined to be researched. And once they are made aware of the broadness of their question, they are not sure how to refine it. I can imagine someone coming to the desk asking for information on creationism alone. You would have to probe into the question trying to get the patron to think about and refine this question into something that approaches creationism from a particular angle such as: creationism in certain cultures, symbolism in creationism, creationism vs. evolution, similarities and differences in creationism and evolution, etc. So, understanding these sources and how they treat creationism would allow the knowledgeable reference librarian to help the patron refine their question and identify useable sources.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Why creation??

Ok, so here's my reasoning for choosing this topic for our project. First I should let it be known that my undergrad is in anthropology, so I'm always interested in how and why people understand and behave the way they do. I was probably always interested in stories and ideas of creation when I was young because those stories provided some sort of magic, possibility, and otherness to life. As I matured from the young kid reading Greek and Roman myths to the young adult probing for answers to life, I began to intellectualize and understand the importance of stories of creation. I now understand how they provide continuity and purpose while serving as a sort of reference point for a given culture. I also now understand that stories of creation often contain some traceable truth to them, which also plays into my interest into prehistory.

Just as I learned in undergrad, my intention is to approach this topic as objectively as possible. The point here will be to simply find and understand information on the topic of creationism and how it is treated in different areas of social science, not to prove one idea over another. However, if there was a student whose intention was to find information that leans toward one idea related to creationism, the sources discussed here should be of some value to him/her.

This blog has been created with the intention of discussing social science reference books related to the idea of creationism found in Davis library.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Not Intelligent, and Surely Not Science

I just noticed a link to this L.A. Times article on Arts & Letters Daily.

Not Intelligent, and Surely Not Science: "In fact, invoking intelligent design as God's place-filler can only result in the naturalization of the deity. God becomes just another part of the natural world, and thereby loses the transcendent mystery and divinity that define the boundary between religion and science."

Current plans

When I get a chance, I am going to run through the various accounts from the LoC site and the Wikipedia entry, and try to assemble a brief list of texts describing creation for these various accounts. I think it will be useful to have a list of primary sources. Many of these accounts are not related to written texts, but there still may be a name for the story.

Before I do this however, I want to finish up recording my background with this topic. J.R.R. Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories" and his book The Silmarillion. are a literary theory partially based in the idea of creation, and an implementation of this theory. The Silmarillion is one of the most in depth stories of creation written in recent history. The Silmarillion is available at any decent library, and "On Fairy Stories" can be found in The Tolkien Reader:

Title : The Tolkien reader, by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Author : Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973.
Publisher : New York, Ballantine Books [1966]
Edition : [1st ed.]
Description : 1 v. (various pagings) illus. 18 cm.
Contents : Tolkien's magic ring [by P. Beagle]--The Homecoming of Beorhtaoth,
Beorhthelm's son.--Tree and leaf.--Farmer Giles of Ham.--The adventures of Tom Bombadil.
OCLC No. : 00309963
Location : Davis, Call Number : PR6039.O32 T6
Location : UL, Call Number : PR6039.O32 T6

The day Joan taught class, I looked these topics up in the MLA and some other databases. The best hits came from the MLA. Some of those appear below:

The search: silmarillion and creation in the database(s) MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02, MLA Bibliography 1981-1993, MLA Bibliography 1963-1980 returned 7 records

Those records that appear relevant to the topic of creation are:

Record 1 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: 'Ainulindale': Tolkien's Commitment to an Aesthetic Ontology
AU: Collins,-Robert-A.
SO: Journal-of-the-Fantastic-in-the-Arts (JFA). 2000; 11(3 (43)): 257-65
AN: 2001270091

Record 2 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Tolkien's Creation Myth in The Silmarillion: Northern or Not?
AU: Gough,-John
SO: Children'-s-Literature-in-Education (CLE). 1999 Mar; 30(1): 1-8
AN: 1999028365

Record 3 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: The Mythology of the 'Ainulindale': Tolkien's Creation of Hope
AU: Whittingham,-Elizabeth-A.
SO: Journal-of-the-Fantastic-in-the-Arts (JFA). 1998; 9(3 (35)): 212-28
AN: 1998005915

Record 4 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Augustine and the Ainulindale
AU: Houghton,-John
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and
-the-Genres-of-Myth-and-Fantasy-Stu (Mythlore). 1995 Summer; 21(1 (79)): 4-8
AN: 1995032236

Record 5 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1981-1993
TI: Tolkien's World-Creation: Degenerative Recurrence
AU: Evans,-Robley
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and
-the-Genres-of-Myth-and-Fantasy-Stu (Mythlore). 1987 Autumn; 14(1 (51)): 5-8, 47
AN: 1989023130

Record 7 of 7 in MLA Bibliography 1981-1993
TI: The Ainulindale: Music of Creation
AU: Davis,-Howard
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and
-the-Genres-of-Myth-and-Fantasy-Stu (Mythlore). 1982 Summer; 9(2 (32)): 6-8
AN: 1982027747

The search: On-Fairy-Stories in DE in the database(s) MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02, MLA Bibliography 1981-1993, MLA Bibliography 1963-1980 returned 23 records

Those records that appear relevant to the topic of creation are:

Record 3 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Magic vs. Enchantment
AU: Curry,-Patrick
SO: Mallorn:-The-Journal-of-the-Tolkien-Society (Mallorn). 2001 Jan; 38: 5-10
AN: 2001701754

Record 4 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Is Man a Myth? Mere Christian Perspectives on the Human
AU: Williams,-Donald-T.
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and-Mythopoeic-Literature (MythloreJ). 2000 Summer-Fall; 23(1 (87)): 4-19
AN: 2000025648

Record 5 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Meeting Morgan le Fay: J. R. R. Tolkien's Theory of Subcreation and the Secondary World of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
AU: Adderley,-C.-M.
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and -Mythopoeic-Literature (MythloreJ). 2000 Spring; 22(4 (86)): 48-58
AN: 2000004924

Record 6 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Fantasy and Reality: J. R. R. Tolkien's World and the Fairy-Story Essay
AU: Flieger,-Verlyn
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and -Mythopoeic-Literature (MythloreJ). 1999 Winter; 22(3 (85)): 4-13
AN: 2000004902

Record 7 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: 'Leaf by Niggle': The Worth of the Work
AU: Manganiello,-Dominic
SO: English-Studies-in-Canada (ESC). 1998 June; 24(2): 121-37
AN: 1999059396

Record 11 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Sub-Creation in William Golding's The Inheritors
AU: Timmons,-Daniel
SO: English-Studies-in-Canada (ESC). 1996 Dec; 22(4): 399-412
AN: 1996068002

Record 12 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1994-2005/02
TI: Quid Hinieldus cum Christo? New Perspectives on Tolkien's Theological Dilemma and His Sub-Creation Theory
AU: Agoy,-Nils-Ivar
SO: Mythlore:-A-Journal-of-J.-R.-R.-Tolkien,-C.-S.-Lewis,-Charles-Williams,-and-the-Genres-of-Myth-and-Fantasy-Stu (Mythlore). 1996 Winter; (1995); 21; 33(2(80)): 31-38
AN: 1996027398

Record 18 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1981-1993
TI: Dynamic Metahistory and the Model of Christopher Dawson
AU: Ryan,-J.-S.
SO: Minas-Tirith-Evening-Star:-Journal-of-the-American-Tolkien-Society. 1989 Fall; 18(3): 10-14
AN: 1990025953

Record 23 of 23 in MLA Bibliography 1981-1993
TI: Folktale, Fairy Tale, and the Creation of a Story
AU: Ryan,-J.-S.
PB: 19-39 IN Isaacs,-Neil-D. (ed.); Zimbardo,-Rose-A. (ed.). Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives. Lexington : UP of Kentucky, 1981. vii, 175 pp.
AN: 1981000655

George Moses Horton, 1798?-ca. 1880. The Hope of Liberty. Containing a Number of Poetical Pieces

Another poem about creation from the texts in docsouth. There were a few other hits for creation on docsouth, but most of them simply were refering to God as the Creator, and not discussing creation itelf.
George Moses Horton, 1798?-ca. 1880. The Hope of Liberty. Containing a Number of Poetical Pieces: "PRAISE OF CREATION.

Creation fires my tongue!
Nature thy anthems raise;
And spread the universal song
Of thy Creator's praise! (p. 5)"

James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938, Aaron Douglas, Illustrated by, and C. B. Falls (Charles Buckles), 1874-1960, Illustrated by. God's Trombones. Seven N

I began reviewing the various creation accounts from the LoC Exihibit I mentioned in my first post. Off a hunch I looked for this one on docsouth, and there it was.

James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938, Aaron Douglas, Illustrated by, and C. B. Falls (Charles Buckles), 1874-1960, Illustrated by. God's Trombones. Seven Negro Sermons in Verse: "The Creation

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely --
I'll make me a world. (p. 17)"

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Creation belief - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The regular Wikipedia also has an extensive article. It contains blurbs on about a dozen different belief systems as well.

Creation belief - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Many creation beliefs share broadly similar themes. Common motifs include the fractionation of the things of the world from a primordial chaos; the separation of the mother and father gods; land emerging from an infinite and timeless ocean; and so on."

Creationism - CreationWiki

There is a whole wiki devoted to creatonism. Who would have thought?

I guess there are two types of creationism. I had come up against the young earth terminology before, but I never new what it meant. This is a fairly straightforward distinction and clears up a lot of what I was confused about. I was never quite sure why someone could be denied the title creationist if they believed the Big Bang was an act of creation. According to this distinction, that could fall under "Old Earth" creationism. My guess is that this is a term mostly used by the "Young Earth" creationists.

Creationism - CreationWiki: " There are two broad perspectives of creationism known as young earth, and old-earth.

* The Young earth creationism (YEC) perspective results from a literal interpretation of the history of the early earth in Genesis, and the Islamic Qur'an, which both contain nearly parallel accounts of a six-day creation, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and Noah's flood.

* The Old earth creationism (OEC) perspective accepts the secular scientific community's assessment of the age of the earth and universe, and assumes the creation periods were undefined lengths of time or there were large gaps of history in Genesis"

Open Directory - Society: Religion and Spirituality: Christianity: Perspectives: Origins and Creation

A human indexed directory on creation:

Open Directory - Society: Religion and Spirituality: Christianity: Perspectives: Origins and Creation

While it only seems to cover Christianity, it is interesting to look at the number of sites devoted to different issues. Books: Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology

This book edited by Louis P. Pojman has some of the main essays arguing for or against the teleological argument from Paley and Hume to the current day. I took a Philosophy of Religion course that used this book, which led me to make the earlier statement that this argument has not progressed in any significant ways. Books: Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology: "Product Description:
The most comprehensive text in its field, this anthology includes over 70 articles in 10 areas of philosophy of religion: Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God, Religious Experience, The Problem of Evil, The Attributes of God, Miracles and Revelation, Death and Immortality, Faith and Reason, Religious Pluralism, and Ethics and Religion. "

The current pseudo-debate among scientists

As promised here are some links to the current discussion. This is a piece I read last semester that I had a little trouble tracking down. It is a lively debate between the leading proponents on either side of the issue. Each expert offers a mini-bibliography of important sources to read.

Intelligent Design? A Special Report from Natural History Magazine: "evolution: science and belief
Intelligent Design?
a special report reprinted from
Natural History magazine"

I saw one of these creation proponents, Michael J. Behe, speak at Boston College when he was on a book tour in 1998 or 1999. At that talk, he was relatively unsuccesful in his attempts to convince a room full of Catholic Priests that his argument is scientificly valid. You could tell that some of them wanted to believe, but just couldn't because the science was so weak. Books: DARWINS BLACK BOX: THE BIOCHEMICAL CHALLENGE TO EVOLUTION: "But he thinks that the essential randomness of this process can explain evolutionary development only at the macro level, not at the micro level of his expertise. Within the biochemistry of living cells, he argues, life is 'irreducibly complex.'"

The origins of Intelligent Design in the Teleological Argument

This first link is the original formulation of the teleological argument from William Paley's Natural Theology, 1800. This passage is the famous one concerning the "Clockmaker God". David Hume quickly responded with his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, which is covered in the second link. It always surprises me that this argument is still coming up in both pop-culture and academia. In pop-culture, the debate in the schools is a good example. Academics proposing the argument are now rogue biologists instead of philosophers. The argument still exists in Philosophy, but, in my opinion it has not progressed. I will discuss them in my next post. Right now, I am primarily working to research:

1. The current dialogue within society.
2. My background in philosophy.
3. How these too strands relate and demonstrate the evolution of how creation is discussed.

I am considering all of this background research. Before I pursue new directions, I feel it is important to articulate my current perspective.

Paley's formulation of the teleological argument:
Paley's formulation of the teleological argument: "But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that for anything I knew the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone?"

David Hume on the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments
David Hume on the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments: "The Dialogues are considered by many to have provided a definitive critique of the argument from design."

Online NewsHour: Teachers, Parents Grapple with Evolution-Creationism Debate -- March 28, 2005

This video clip interviews leading proponents on either side of the Intelligent design/evolution argument:

Online NewsHour: Teachers, Parents Grapple with Evolution-Creationism Debate -- March 28, 2005: "CREATION CONFLICT IN SCHOOLS

March 28, 2005

Correspondent Jeffrey Brown investigates how some biology teachers are handling the hot button debate over the theory of evolution, creationism and intelligent design."

THE SPEAKING TREE: Rites of passage and beyond - The Times of India

At least one other world religion's creation myth is in the news.

THE SPEAKING TREE: Rites of passage and beyond - The Times of India: "The Creation story narrates how Mahavishnu stayed afloat on a banyan leaf after the Great Deluge. He was the only survivor, and hence is known as Seshan. He then created Brahmn to help him recreate the 86,000 species inclu-ding humans. Srishti-karta Narayanan is known as the protector of all species.

Teens & creation/evolution: Most see God's handiwork - (BP)

This is one report on an article I sent to you a couple weeks back.

Teens & creation/evolution: Most see God's handiwork - (BP): "The poll of 1,028 teenagers ages 13-17 found that 38 percent don't believe in evolution, believing instead that 'God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.' Another 43 percent believe that humans 'developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided' the process. All total, 81 percent believe that God was somehow involved."

I have also noticed that the IMAX film about Volcanoes is, after much debate, going to be shown in Charlotte.

Charlotte Observer

The Observer | International | Creationists take their fight to the really big screen

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Censorship in the Science Museums

This is an editorial about an article that I noticed a few weeks back:

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Censorship in the Science Museums

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Creation Accounts and Descriptions at the Library of Congress

I was looking for an image that could be used for the blog and through google images I discovered this exhibit at the the Library of Congress:

It is part of an exhibit on beginnings through World Treasures of the Library of Congress. It covers every major world religion and some not so major.


This is just a test to see if this works. I will post some comments about what we are trying to accomplish later. There will also be comments about ref books I've found relevant to our topic of creation.