What Do You Think? Should Creationism Be Taught At AgriFair?

By on September 29, 2013
Creation

Editor’s Note: Jeff Gruban and Nancy Weisz from the The Abbotsford Atheist, Skeptic, and Humanist group expressed some concern recently about the appearance of Creation Truth Ministries as an Attraction at this year’s AgriFair.

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Introduction

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Their concern was based on the fact that the group was hired as an Attraction at the publicly supported fair to the exclusion of other religious beliefs and/or philosophical points of view.

Says Jeff Gruban, “Since the City of Abbotsford paid $90,000 to support this event some of our tax dollars essentially went toward bringing Creation Truth Ministries in this year. They are an admittedly Christian organization that teaches Christian theology and doctrines. I agree they have the right to attend this event and present their ideas. This should be done at their own expense not that of the City and the taxpayers. Many of the taxpayers in Abbotsford are not Christians.

“Agrifair is a wonderful event that has been a welcome addition to the Abbotsford community for years. It seems to me that the City of Abbotsford has indirectly supported the teaching of Creationism with taxpayer funds. I think it is inappropriate for the city to support a specific religious viewpoint.*

When asked by Abbotsford Today about Gruban’s concerns, the City of Abbotsford’s City Manager, George Murray said,”The Agri fair Society received a Council approved fee for service contribution of $90,000 from the City of Abbotsford in 2013. Agri fair is an independent Society over which the City has no jurisdiction and, as with all independent organizations, the City does not participate and cannot influence any fund raising activities that Agri fair may undertake.”

While Murray is absolutely correct as it pertains to fund raising activities, such as the Exhibitors who pay to be at Agrifair, his argument may not hold up when it comes to Attractions, which are organizations paid by AgriFair to appear.

Gruban and Weisz have spoken to AgrFair about the issue and were told that the representative of Creation Truth Ministries had offered to waive his fees in order to attend but would require $1,000 in travel expenses. An unidentified individual member of the board of The Agri fair Society reportedly paid those expenses out of his own pocket.

They were also given assurances it wouldn’t happen again.

So; no taxpayer funds were actually spent on the appearance of the organization, which may have saved the City from being involved in a messy legal controversy, but Christian Truth Ministries was offered an opportunity not offered to other religious organizations or other organizations representing other points of view.

Regardless of the legalities which may or may not to let the City off the hook, the question remains whether or not it is appropriate, whether by paying them or allowing them to appear for free, for a City-supported activity to bring in one religious organization and, in effect allow it to promote itself to the exclusion of other religious or faith-based organizations.

The board member’s offer to pay for one Attraction’s travel expenses might make other attractions ask why their travel expenses were not paid.

The fact Agrifair is an agricultural event makes the religious teachings of Creation Truth Ministries stand out all the more.

We are anxious to hear your thoughts on this issue. As Abbotsford moves forward it is becoming more and more clear that a great many legal questions are being raised about the way the City has conducted its business. As more and more legal challenges to the City’s actions are raised, the possibility that the City’s focus will shift to paying for or defending past decisions rather than focusing on a difficult future may become a serious concern.

What do you think? Is it appropriate for the City government to allow a particular religious organization to appear as an Attraction at a publicly funded community event such as AgrFair.

Gerda Peachey has raised serious concerns about the appearance of girls in underwear playing football at the Abbotsford Entertainment centre (AESC) and the annual Taboo Sex Show at Tradex – both publicly-funded buildings.

Does the City need to pay more attention to what third parties are doing with taxpayer funds?

To start the discussion we have published below a column by Today Media co-owner, president of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association (ARA) and council candidate in the last municipal election.

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By Vince Dimanno. This column is in two parts. The first part is a statement I have to make about how a specific exhibitor was brought to AgriFair this year. That exhibitor, Creation Truth Ministries promotes thinking that is very dangerous to our community. The first part of this column focuses on the decision to bring them here, but the second part focuses on why this group is a threat to the success of our City.

Part One: Creationists and AgriFair

So, what is the problem with AgriFair having a booth occupied by a group that believes in Creationism? The answer is nothing. I will be the first to protect a person’s right to free speech. If I were to decry the Creationists I would also need to bar other belief systems and very quickly we would find ourselves in a situation like Quebec where their only option is to legislate prejudice.

A free society is the foundation piece upon which the words you are reading right now become possible. There are many places in this world where Mike and I would never be allowed to have a web site like this, or say the things we do.

Therefore I will protect the right to free speech on behalf of the Creation Truth Ministries.

But wait … this is different.

AgriFair is a community event that receives a huge amount of funding from the City of Abbotsford. Your tax dollars … $90,000 of them … are given to AgriFair and that means AgriFair has an obligation. That obligation is to spend that money responsibly.

The Creation Truth Ministries were not only invited to come to AgriFair (note that they are not from Abbotsford), but they were paid to do so. Likely you know that it was the personal money from member of the Board of Directors of AgriFair that put up the cash…and this fact is supposed to make it look like tax dollars weren’t used.

The problem with this is two-fold.

Firstly; the member of the Board that used his own money, is also in charge of spending your tax dollars.

Secondly; it is that connection to our money that no longer means that Creation Truth Ministries is practicing free speech. Rather they are being endorsed as credible by an organization responsible for handling your money.

If you’ve read my columns you know I don’t sit idly by when people lie to you. When those lies are funded with tax dollars then I think it is my obligation to scream the truth.

However, before I inject some actual science into this conversation, I want to make something very clear….

You can do what you want with your own personal money AgriFair Director, but supporting an organization that demands you suspend every law of physics, every law of human biology and denies the basic rules our universe operates upon, means that you are unfit to handle our tax dollars. While I can make no recommendation to City Council about future funding, I can give you some advice. All requests for funding from the City will be reviewed each time they are made. In the future, you may encounter a City Council that is truly concerned that community events contain exhibitors that are not focused on misleading people. This is really a nice friendly bit of advice. However, if it is discovered that a single penny of tax dollars was spent on bringing this exhibitor to AgriFair that same City Council may feel that you should no longer receive any funding whatsoever.

Just some friendly advice from someone who lives in the “real” world.

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Part Two: Is Creation Truth Ministries Truly Dangerous?

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This part is actually for my fellow nerds. Enjoy!

Almost every single minute of our daily lives now relies on science. Science invented everything from electricity for the light we see by, to the machines that manufacture the clothing we wear. Science created our cars, our computers, our cell phones and our TVs.

All of these inventions are possible because our universe operates by a very strict set of laws. Creation Truth Ministries asks that you deny those laws exist.

As a society, we need engineers, we need scientists, we need agro-researchers ….we need innovators who will solve the problems of deforestation, hunger, overpopulation and energy shortages and those people will all need to believe in science and the laws by which the universe is governed.

Let’s look at some of the ideas that Creation Truth Ministries promotes:

    1. Noah’s Ark is a true story – there was an estimated 2 billion species on the planet during Noah’s time….resulting in a need to collect 4 billion specimens… the size of Noah’s Ark would need to be thousands and thousands of times bigger than that described in order to accommodate that number. Further, it would have taken Noah thousands of years to collect all those specimens. Perhaps you think a miracle made it all possible? What about afterwards? When the animals left the Ark, they all seemed to know where to go. All the marsupials went to Australia. Why didn’t any of them stop and live in India or China? How come all the penguins went to the South Pole when it was just as hospitable for them at the North Pole? The reason is that they never came from the Ark. In fact, parallel evolution and differentiation as soon between Australian marsupials and similar placental animals in North America is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for Evolution available. The laws of our universe and of the natural world tell us that Noah’s Ark could never have accomplished what it claims.
    2. Dinosaurs and men walked the earth together – for this to be true you have to believe that both the fossil record is false and that carbon (radioisotope) dating is false. Commonly, it is claimed that the fossil record is incomplete…but it is not. If you would like, I can take you on a tour of the facilities that house an almost unbroken fossil record going back 50,000 years. “Almost unbroken” is a term I use for accuracy as there are moments in time for which there are no fossils, but, to put those in perspective for you, that would be the equivalent to the amount of time lost if I were to ask you to watch a clock for an hour. Each time you blink and you don’t see the clock move does not mean time has stopped. A similar amount of fossil record is “missing”. If you think fossils don’t have the answer it is because you refuse to simply go where the fossils are and look for yourself.Those fossils are dated using a method often referred to as “carbon dating”. This method of dating has been challenged by non-scientists many times. The problem here is that we have 8 methods of dating an object using half life decay rates. Let me explain that. Certain elements decay at a predictable rate. Some are very quick and you can actually watch this decay happen with your own eyes. Others take a very long time, and we use those to measure the age of something very old. You actually hear about this every single day on the news….just in reverse. When the US is talking to Iran about their nuclear “enrichment” programs, they are talking about adding neutrons to an atom thereby enriching it. That atom, over a predictable amount of time, will eject that neutron and this is the decay process I am talking about. This science is very, very simple and to deny “carbon dating” is to deny the way the elements of our universe interact with one another.
    3. The earth is only a few thousand years old – Generally, young earth creationists believe that if you add up all the ages of the people that lived through the bible that you get the age of the earth. This is about 10,000 to 12,000 years old. After reading the above, it is pretty obvious that this isn’t true. There are lots of ways to prove this. Science is even getting better at it. We used think that the earth was 4.5 billion years old, but actually it is 4.6 billion. Our methods of measuring radioisotope decay are improving and so is the accuracy of our aging of the earth.

But I started this section by saying you would have to suspend your belief in the universe in order to believe in what the Creation Truth Ministries promotes and that is dangerous to our success as a community and as a species. To illustrate that I would like to turn your attention to the stars.

When you look up, what do you see? A wondrous sight full of stars I hope. Some of the light you see coming from those other stars began its journey from more than 5 billion light years away. That means that it started its journey before the Earth actually formed. We measure the age of our universe with some pretty sophisticated instruments today (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/) and we estimate it to be 13.7 billion +-0.2 billion years old. The math that generates this estimate is pretty simple. It is an estimate but it is not an estimate where the alternative number is 12,000 years old.

So, if you believe the earth is only 12,000 years old then when you look into the night sky, you must also believe that everything you see is a lie. When those stars send us light from more than 5 billion light years away, you have to believe that God created those light photons in mid-air and that he did so to trick us. You have to believe that the four forces of the universe are a lie and that the laws of gravity, electro-magnetism and strong and weak nuclear force are all made up to fool us.

If this is so then every sight you see, the force holding you firmly on the ground, and every single molecule in your universe is a lie.

Folks, the universe doesn’t lie to you. Only people do that. Abbotsford Today is founded on the idea that we will bring you the truth, the whole truth … no matter how uncomfortable it may be. We won’t let politicians lie to you and we apply that effort to any corner of our community where your best interests are not being protected by your civic leaders.

Go back outside and look up at the night sky again. God created a wonderful universe for us. To ensure we appreciate it, He connected us all together by making us out of stardust. Some particles in your body may actually have one day existed as part of one of the stars you see when you look up. That wonderful truth is based on the laws of our universe being true. Thinking that dinosaurs lived at the same time as men doesn’t even make for a good movie.

If you would like more columns on science topics, please leave a comment below.

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Background:

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*From Church, State, and Charter:Canada’s Hidden Establishment Clause by Jeremy Patrick

Government neutrality in religious affairs is a recurring concern. For
example, three judges of the Supreme Court of Canada recently wrote that:

[I]t is no longer the state’s place to give active support to any
one particular religion . . . The state must respect a variety of
faiths whose values are not always easily reconciled. . . . As a
general rule, the state refrains from acting in matters relating to
religion. It is limited to setting up a social and legal framework
in which beliefs are respected and members of the various
denominations are able to associate freely in order to exercise
their freedom of worship . . . In this context, the principle of
neutrality must be taken into account in assessing the duty of
public entities, such as municipalities, to actively help religious
groups.113

Similarly, lower court judges have stated that “Canada is a secular state,
with freedom of religion,”114 that “[t]o prefer one religion over another . . .
contravenes the provisions of the Charter relating to freedom of conscience and
religion,”115 that the Charter “would certainly prevent any instrument of the
State from establishing an official religion or discriminating against a particular
religion,”116 and that “[t]he separation of church and state is a fundamental
principle of our Canadian democracy and our constitutional law.”117

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74 Comments

  1. meghanncoughlan

    September 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    What does creationism have to do with agriculture? But then again, what does the abuse of animals have to do with entertainment?

    I’m not trying to offend anyone, but in my opinion creationism and rodeos are equally archaic and I’m not surprised the two ideals have found an opportunity to be together.

    • Gerda Peachey

      October 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Meghann: What does creation have to do with agriculture? Probably everything.

  2. Karli

    September 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Why the inflammatory headline?
    Straining at gnats and making stuff up.
    Why the fear?
    Why are you making mountains out of molehills?

    Let’s start with the headline.
    No one taught creationism at agrifair.
    They had a booth. Does that qualify as an attraction? Where is the evidence they made a public presentation?
    Please correct your headline.
    Do you really want to become like Gawker or National Enquirer?

    The intro claims the atheists were concerned “…the group was hired as an Attraction .” They are further quoted as as claiming further down your article “It seems to me that the City of Abbotsford has indirectly supported the teaching of Creationism with taxpayer funds.”
    The quotes from agrifair and the City manager show that neither of these claims were accurate.

    So no Taxpayer funds were spent.
    Where is the example of public endorsement?
    No where does the participation imply endorsement.
    FYI Other religious organizations were present.

    The board member’s decision to pay for expenses is a red herring. If other organizations can get board members to pay their travel expenses, then all power to them. Supporting a group with private funds is not only legal but encouraged.

    I am a big believer on freedom of speech and in the presentation of ideas in the marketplace.
    The atheists group is free to sign up for a booth and present their ideas.
    Let’s let people examine all the facts around the origin of the earth. No need to be afraid of the truth.
    Truth suppression is so 1930’s

    And for the editor to say “The fact Agrifair is an agricultural event makes the religious teachings of Creation Truth Ministries stand out all the more.” is also bogus.
    Firstly, there was no teaching!
    Secondly, he obviously hasn’t been to the trade show component where makeup vendors (who by the way aren’t selling makeup for livestock) are cheek by jowl with vacuum salespeople (who also aren’t selling to the flora and fauna).
    The editor’s last statement is also disingenuous.
    As clearly denied by agrifair and the city manager, in this case no third parties or even second parties used taxpayer funds

    • Karli

      September 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Now let’s look at Mr. dimanno’s points.
      He confirms that the organization was an exhibitor.
      He implies they were paid to come by agrifair and that has been debunked.
      Mr. dimmanno’s claims “this fact is supposed to make it look like tax dollars weren’t used..” They weren’t!

      Read the quotes – NO TAX DOLLARS WERE USED.

      Agrifair in no way endorsed the booth. No ads, no announcements, no public presentations NADA

      Nowhere are board members prohibited from privately supporting organizations who they may agree with.

      Mr dimmanno says “supporting an organization that demands you suspend every law of physics, etc … means that you are unfit to handle our tax dollars.
      To state that personal support of a private organization is an indicator that the person involved is unfit to decide how to spend public money strains anyone’s credulity.
      Would you then include global warming deniers, pro fracking supporters or PETA supporters as people unfit to decide what happens to taxpayer funds?
      Where do you draw the line?

      Firstly most major budget decisions are made as a group (board) and those made by the administrators are not under review in this case.

      Secondly mr dimmanno repeats an untruth. he says “When those lies are funded with tax dollars then I think it is my obligation to scream the truth.

      No “lies” were funded by tax dollars.

      No tax dollars were spent in the promotion of the group’s booth.

      Repeating untruths is not “screaming truth”

      As far as the science or lack of it is concerned, I’ll let others tackle that.

  3. The Editor

    September 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Worth mentioning?

    a) Regarding Karli’s insistence that no taxpayer funds were spent – without the expenditure of $90,000 in taxpayer funds which allows AgriFair to operate, the Board would have had nothing to offer to Creation Truth Ministries.

    b) Creation Truth Ministries were invited to come to Agrifair as an Attraction, not as an Exhibitor. Exhibitors pay. Attractions get paid.

    c) Regarding the statement that AgriFair didn’t endorse the group over other religions or beliefs – inviting them and secretly paying their travel expenses sounds a lot like an endorsement unless all other religions and groups had the same invitation and travel expense offer made to them

    If the $1,000 payment was legitimate, why didn’t AgriFair make it?

    Thoughts?

    • Jeff

      September 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Karli, it seems as though it is the responsibility of the board to bring in attractions and entertainment that will enhance the event for all attendees. I would suggest however, when the potential attraction deals with content that is political or religious in nature they must take a secular and non partisan position. It creates very bad optics for the board to seem to endorse a particular viewpoint on those areas when it should be acting in the best interest of the entire community. It is a fact that a board member sought out this group, solicited their participation in the event and another board member funded their involvement. At the very least this is a conflict of interest and at the most illegal. If you read Jeremy Patricks paper you will see how the Supreme Court of Canada rules in these types of cases. We live in a secular country and all levels of government should be acting in a secular manner. The city can’t divorce itself of its responsibility they have to the taxpayer when they spend our money.

      • Nancy

        September 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

        Karli,

        I admire your passion and your eloquent arguments defending your point of view but, respectfully, you do not seem to understand the real issue of concern. First and foremost, there is a significant difference between an exhibit and an attraction. Yes, you are right, we have free speech and, if we qualify according to Agrifair rules, have the cost of the booth money and something that the general public will enjoy, we can be a part of the fair. No problem. All exhibitors are equal in that we can pay a fee for the privilege of having a booth and presenting products, ideas and or points of view.
        That’s as it should be.

        The Agrifair Board classified Creation Truth Ministries’ presentation as an attraction.This means that they sponsored and endorsed them to be a part of the Fair.The Board also went out of its way to make sure their shortfall of $1000. was paid. Exhibitors do not get this preferred treatment, Karli. If you or I do not have the funds and cannot raise them- we do not become exhibitors until we can- period.

        The Board, however, decided to help Creation Truth Ministries by a private donation to ensure their participation. The Board did not spend tax payer money directly- but their financial involvement is indisputable.

        Why is this wrong, Karli? Because:

        . It is public endorsement. An attraction has a special designation that says it is something that the Board approves of and wants the public to see. An attraction is elevated to star status. At fairs and festivals attractions are usually musical acts, reviews, and/ or some kind of family entertainment. Our Agrifair Board decided to endorse and support a religious organization that promotes one religious view above all others. It makes no difference what that point of view is. It could have been Buddhist Jewish, Sikh etc.
        The point is that in the diverse community that we have, the Agrifair Board, in essence, gave Christian Truth Ministries special standing in a public arena and used taxpayer facilities to do so.

        The exhibit did teach everyone who visited it.

        For children, it taught a view of creation that , while entertaining, may have conflicted with the facts they are learning in school or from their own religious backgrounds. An Agrifair is not the place for sponsored religious proselytizing .

        For adults from all religious and non religious backgrounds the exhibit taught that the city of Abbotsford feels free to promote one religion over all the others by making it an attraction instead of an exhibit.

        I think the Board must have realized at some point that the use of taxpayer money to bring Creation Truth Ministries to the Agrifair was a gray area and that the direct use of tax payer money was wrong. Instead of giving them pause about bringing them here under their auspices, they chose to find a private way to fund them. This was clearly the wrong thing to do.

        For the Agrifair Board, I hope this is a lesson learned about the necessary separation of secular events and religious favouritism. Abbotsford is a great city made up of people who are free to practice both their faiths and non- faiths if they choose.
        The concern we raised was not making a mountain out of a molehill Kari,- it was a call to make sure that when we all pay our taxes we can expect our money to fund projects and events that reflect and respect both our diversity and our equality.

  4. meghanncoughlan

    September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    The fact remains that this is still Abbotsford.

    Last year, my child’s teacher informed the class that ‘homosexuals have their right ears pierced’. The teacher later retracted the statement but the damage was obviously done.

    My children were constantly bullied about their non-beliefs and told they were stupid and going to hell by other children. When reported, there was no intervention.

    Driving by Abby Christian last year, one of the student’s pick up trucks was flying a full-sized rebel flag in their box.

    My children brought home permission slips for New Testaments from PUBLIC SCHOOL.

    Omnivorous teachers would often joke to my vegetarian children about all the pigs and baby cows they ate the night before.

    This is Abbotsford. It’s come a long way, with our Pride Parade and all, but we still have a long way to go. Our town is filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of Karlis all willing to go to bat to defend this ridiculousness. Majority rules and unfortunately this is what the majority supports. If people really want change, they’ll vote out our current council and vote in a variety of different people from different walks of life who will adequately represent the diversity that is crying for some representation in this city.

    Creationists absolutely have the right the express their beliefs without persecution. The Agrifair is not the venue in which to do it.

    • Jeff

      September 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Karli,

      The headline does not need to be corrected. You however you do need to be corrected.

      You asked ” Where is the example of public endorsement?”

      You added ” Agrifair in no way endorsed the booth. No ads, no announcements, no public presentations NADA”

      Wouldn’t you say including Creation Truth Ministries in the Agrifair promotion video constitutes endorsement?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrfKoI7jnX0

      The Agrifair also listed Creation Truth Ministries under the Attraction link on their website.

      http://www.agrifair.ca/attractions.html

      Having a booth does not qualify for an attraction. Being listed on the website under the attraction portion of the website does though. Including them in the promotional video does also. If they truly were an exibitor they would have paid the fee like the other exhibitors which they clearly did not do. This is another way in which they were supported by the Agrifair.

    • Karli

      October 1, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Mr. Archer
      The city funds a part of Agrifair because of the tax revenue it generates and because it probably reduce rental payments.
      The board of Agrifair has the autonomy to spend those dollars as they see fit.

      Your logic however is still faulty.
      Major Premise The city funds Agrifair.
      Minor Premise Agrifair hosts the creation group
      Conclusion Therefore the City funds the creation group
      To quote the eminent Mr. Spock “NOT LOGICAL”
      ergo a logical fallacy.

      Once again, neither the City nor Agrifair paid any taxpayer funds directly to the Creation group “attraction.”

      The Agrifair Society didn’t make ANY secret travel expenses to the group.
      No Agrifair Society check nor City check was given to the group.
      A Board member supported the group PRIVATELY.

      The city “funds” a wide range of religious and charitable organizations by reducing or eliminating property taxes.
      Is the city thus endorsing Buddhism, Sikhism, Catholicism etc? I think not.

      The city sees the value these organizations contribute to the cultural warp and woof of Abbotsford. Many of these organizations meet the needs of the citizenry the city is either unwilling or unable to meet.
      It really saves the city money to reduce the taxes of these charitable organizations.

      Because of the city financial mismanagement even fewer services are now available to the citizens.

      Reducing taxes on the Ledgeview Golf Course, in contrast, does not save the city money. It’s the “bailout” model for friends and family of many past and present city fathers and their cronies. The same with the Heat contract – spending taxpayer funds to enrich private citizens.
      It’s time to replace all those city council carpetbaggers.

      By the way Mr. Archer, the payment by a board member was not “secret”. Perhaps not trumpeted from the housetops but surely not secret.
      If it were, we wouldn’t be talking about it.

      Prudence dictated that the Agrifair Society not pay the travel expenses of the group in order not to have this kind of brouhaha.

      • Karli

        October 1, 2013 at 1:19 am

        Jeff and Nancy

        Let’s talk endorsement.
        Does the Agrifair Society endorse cruelty to animals?
        Ms. Coughlan seems to think so.

        So in this case “animal abuse” is used, to use your quote, to “enhance the event for all attendees.”
        Why limit your concerns to content that is “political or religious in nature?”

        Further to your comment ” It creates very bad optics for the board to seem to endorse a particular viewpoint on(sic) those areas when it should be acting in the best interest of the entire community.

        Is supporting, endorsing and promoting the rodeo as a major attraction and revenue source “in the best interest of the entire community?” Not.
        Some members of our community disagree.

        There is no conflict of interest in a board member soliciting participation of any group. This happens at all levels of government as we write.

        Just because you may not agree with their viewpoint, the group caters to a significant segment of the Abbotsford community in the same way the rodeo caters to a segment of the community.

        Furthermore, all segments of government do not act in a secular manner.

        Wishful thinking but not borne out in fact.

        This is clearly evidenced by Quebec, the federal government, and the other provinces and the cities by funding a wide range of cultural and ethnic events that are run by religious societies.

        Most participants do not see these as governmental endorsement of their religious beliefs.

        Nancy you keep bringing up the canard that “The Board” 1. “went out of its way to make sure their shortfall of $1000. was paid.” and “however, decided to help Creation Truth Ministries by a private donation to ensure their participation.”
        Wrong again.

        Please don’t confuse the actual decisions of the board of directors of Agrifair as evidenced by their minutes and their financial participation with the INDIVIDUAL actions of two board members.

        Further to your assertion that this was a public endorsement and religious favoritism, I beg to differ. As mentione governments at all levels do this in various forms.

        Do you really think the average fairgoer saw the booth and thought “Oh this is an attraction and therefore it is endorsed by the Agrifair Board.”
        I think not.

        For supporters or detractors, interaction with the group became a “teachable moment” something most parents should be looking forward to.

        I agree with you that “Abbotsford is a great city made up of people who are free to practice both their faiths and non- faiths if they choose.”

        Thanks for keeping this a civil dialogue.

      • meghanncoughlan

        October 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

        For the love of everything good in this world do not bring Mr. Spock in to this.

        If you must, try the phrase ‘highly illogical’.

        Karli – that awkward moment when you mention Mr. Spock in a conversation about creationism.

    • Gerda Peachey

      October 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Meghann: Richard just retired from District 34. Once while talking about the things children tell their parents, a colleague said he tells parents this,…..”You may believe everything your children say about me, –– if I can believe everything your children tell me about you.”

  5. The Editor

    October 1, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Worth Considering?
    I think if we turned this on its head and were discussing a board member of Agrifair who had facilitated an Islamic Attraction from Toronto teaching Sharia Law or a radical Atheist Attraction from Montreal teaching the ‘untruth’ of the Bible, the argument would take on an entirely different tone.

    Which is why governments are required by law to remain secular and cannot promote one religious viewpoint over others.

    • Frankly

      October 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

      In reference to the creation truth ministries: Snake Oil Salesmen have always been attracted to fairs.

      • Karli

        October 1, 2013 at 10:15 am

        Mr. Archer
        I don’t believe the tone would change significantly.

        Dr. Redekkop recently wrote a clear, concise and civil column on these pages about why we should not institute sharia courts.

        No fire and brimstone. Just a reasoned, calm presentation without hyperbole, bile or inflammatory prose.

        I do believe Dr. Redekkop represents a sector of the Abbotsford community that many would like to paint as radical.

        To put your concerns to rest, I too agree that governments should remain secular.

        I personally decry each and every example of governments of all stripe pandering to various religious and ethnic groups – in this city and in all levels of government.

        In this discussion, I have not endorsed government promotion of a particular religious viewpoint.

        I have clearly pointed out repeatedly, contrary to multiple erroneous assertions, NO TAXPAYER FUNDS were used to “support” this group and that creationism was NOT TAUGHT at Agrifair.

        • Jeff

          October 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

          Karli,

          How loudly you say something or how many times you repeat it does not make it so.

          The assertion that the city indirectly supported Creation Truth Ministries is not a logical fallacy. If so, please explain which one it is and why.

          It is a basic form of deductive reasoning. The premises are valid and it has logical form. Te conclusion is valid.

          If the $90,000 the city gave the city was ear marked specifically for one event, say the rodeo, one could conclude that no city funds went to support anything but the rodeo. This didn’t happen.

          The fact that the city did not charge Creation Truth Ministries to exhibit is another indirect form of financial support.

          You sad there was no endorsement or ads. Can you please respond to the links I had in my last post? Were those not ads? Was that not endorsement?

          You made several comments about governments.

          ” ..government do not act in a secular manner”

          “..city “funds” a wide range of religious and charitable organizations ”

          Just because a city does something does not make it right. That is why I took issue in the first place. As someone who believes a city should be secular I am surprised you did not support us on this.

          Regarding your rodeo and cruelty to animals question that is a different subject. I was making one point, on one issue. It was not an assessment of the entire Agrifair. You feel free to discuss that if you like.

          Based on everything you have said and the defensive posture you are taking it is clear you are if not a board member someone closely linked to the Agrifair.

          We also were never told the $1000 was for travel expenses we just assumed. Thanks for confirming that.

          You said ” Prudence dictated that the Agrifair Society not pay the travel expenses of the group ”

          I think you knew it was inappropriate.

          • Nancy

            October 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

            Karli,
            I hope I understand your position correctly As I see it, you are opposed to endorsement and think that the Board did not endorse or support CTM Correct? If so, why did they bring them here as an attraction rather than an exhibitor?
            I can address your position once I know exactly what it is.
            Regarding tax payer money, We are on agreement. No direct tax money was used. But, and you knew a but was coming (lol),A Board that deals with public funds must scrupulously avoid even the appearance of impropriety. It may have been private funds but when contributed by Board members it raises questions. Putting the wisdom of having them an attraction on the first place, the members of the Board should have told C TM to raise the funds from private sources not connected to the Board. The Board created this problem and should be held responsible so it does not happen again.

          • Karli

            October 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

            Jeff
            Are you forgetting about how you were cited???

            Your quote “We also were never told the $1000 was for travel expenses we just assumed. Thanks for confirming that.”

            The comment about travel expenses came from the beginning of this article where it reads “Gruban and Weisz have spoken to AgrFair about the issue and were told that the representative of Creation Truth Ministries had offered to waive his fees in order to attend but would require $1,000 in travel expenses.”

          • Karli

            October 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

            Jeff
            You seem to think that listing of attractions constitutes an endorsement.
            Is information about an event or attraction an endorsement. I think not. You do.
            I can’t agree with you because then we would both be wrong.

        • mittmartin

          October 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

          Yeah totally, the fact that no one raised any objections to a fear mongering straw man argument that makes racist generalizations about Muslims shows that this community is a-okay.

          If this had been about a fundamentalist Muslim attraction at Agrifair people would be losing their minds over it.

          Also, SOME CAPS, and “scare quotes” so that you’ll be dazzled by the persuasiveness of my points.

          • mittmartin

            October 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

            Well whoops. I meant my comment to be directed at Karli’s point about Dr. Redekkop, but it wound up all the way down here.

            I’ll try to do better next time.

          • Jeff

            October 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm

            Karli,

            It seems you not only need to read up on logical fallacies and deductive reasoning but you should open up your dictionary.

            Endorse – declare ones public approval or support

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrfKoI7jnX0

            Please rewatch the promotional video the Agrifair put out and explain to me how this is not support for , approval of or endorsement for the Creation Truth Ministries.

            If not explain why the Agifair includes in their promotional video a group they do not support or approve of.

          • meghanncoughlan

            October 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

            ^ and reply of the day goes to…

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Frankly: I hope you can rise above mindless insults to give intelligent thought to the debate.
        Evolution is the ruling paradigm, not because the data validates the claims, but because there is a religious ferocity and determination to suppress all knowledge of our Creator.
        This link will show 700 men and women holding degrees and positions in chemistry, bacteriology, astrophysics, mathematics, geophysics, microbiology,cellular biology, physics, radiology, biology, biomedical engineering, and so on, who do not buy into the contrived consensus.
        Many more scientists just keep their opinions to private conversations, because the cost of dissent can be very harsh.
        So have a look. I hope this can be a journey of discovery for you.
        http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660

        • Frankly

          October 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          Ms Peachy shows over and over again why having groups like the Creation Truth Ministries at a public place where they are NOT expected to be is not ok.
          Any and all thoughts that differ from these beliefs get “debated” into the ground.
          An open mind is one thing, but you do not come across as having one. Snake oil Salesmen have no place at fairs, and I for one, would like to know why the Creation Truth Ministries thought it was appropriate for them to be there.

    • Gerda Peachey

      October 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Mike: I just noticed that when I ‘reply’ to someone, it does not necessarily show in that specific place. So my response to ‘Frankly’ makes less sense because it pops up under a Meghann comment.

      Anyway thanks for the forum. Gerda

      • The Editor

        October 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        I’ll test it using this reply and see what happens to it. If we are having issues with replies we will fix them. Thanks everybody for the lively conversation.
        MIke

  6. Gerda Peachey

    October 3, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Hello Vince: You are not very smart in your science, and according to God, you are a fool.
    I was also surprised to see the Creation display at AgriFair. But considering that twice a year a sizeable chunk of Abbotsford is given over to the Sikhs for religious parades, for the better part of those days,…..and considering that we give a generous portion of school time over to native indian prayers, drums and dances, as we also do for Sikh religious displays in schools,…..well what a pleasant surprise to see Biblical Christianity given a bit part at the fair.
    Vince, your claim to understand science is flimsy. Carbon dating is good for a maximum of 50,000 years, – far short of the multiple millions that evolution needs.
    Your scenario about Noah’s Ark is complete nonsense. The created KINDS of Genesis are not the multiple SPECIES that we have today.
    Yes, all of the original kinds fit easily on that ark of deliverance from the wrath of God against the sin mankind had descended into.
    The geology of this world amply gives proof of violent catastrophism. The earth is 75% sedimentary rock and the other 25% shows evidence of glaciation scouring away the overburden.
    The fossils do not show a continual transformation of simple to complex life. The fossil record is one of sudden death and burial in a massive watery matrix. Fossils show an organism caught in the midst of vibrant life and slammed into a cementing slurry.
    To quote from a letter I sent Pete McMartin:But I would like you to consider this,…..in order for you to think and type your insults at the Creator and those who believe in him, this is what was happening. Billions and billions of neurons and hundred of billions of interconnections were going on in your brain.

    Cascades of electrochemical events, all requiring every other part to be fully functioning were at work while you tapped out your words of derision towards God your creator.

    The most complex man-made computers on earth combined in one super computer would be a clumsy piece of junk, compared to you.

    No computer, no building, no car, no piano, no wheelbarrow comes about by mere natural forces. We recognize these were created by intelligent designers.

    You, who are so vastly superior to any of these, did not get here by the process of accidental mutations and natural selection, over millions of years. God created you in his own image.

    • Jeff

      October 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Gerda,

      I appreciate your clarification regarding carbon dating. Scientist’s use of that technology would be more accurately referred to as radiometric dating. I am sure you are aware there are several isotopes which are used to date materials with different ages based on their rates of decay. Dinosaur fossils are commonly dated using potassium argon method which has a half-life of 1,248,000,000 years.
      This is actually one of my primary concerns with the Creation Truth Ministries presentation. They try to discredit radiometric dating ( and by extension the 4.5 billion year old scientific consensus of the age of the earth ) by suggesting carbon dating doesn’t work and therefore the dating methods don’t work. This is disingenuous. Vance Nelson knows this yet continues to misrepresent the information. I assume you would support my point of view here.
      I would caution you however from using the word fool to describe others scientific knowledge. You should know your position on creationism is in the overwhelming minority when it comes to the scientific community.
      The level of support for biological evolution by scientists is in the high 90 percentile by most studies. Of the small number of scientists who dispute evolution many are not even biologists or geologists. They are mathematicians or computer scientists etc. Look at the fellows at The Discovery Institute and their areas of study.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution
      There are many more resources I could make available to you if you like to further this point.
      Your strongest argument against evolution is that life is so complex how could this occur naturally. You can only ask that question Gerda if you are not familiar with all the evidence that answers that question.
      The amount of information supporting evolution is so vast it is no longer something debated in the scientific community. There certainly are debates regarding some of the mechanisms and detail of the history but evolution is considered a fact in the scientific community. It is supported by research and evidence from the fields of biology, geology, chemistry, physics, biogeography and genetics just to name a few. The thing that is most compelling is that data and findings from these different fields corroborate each other.
      You could not be more wrong about the evidence of the geologic and fossil records. They in no way support the young earth flood model. Rock is laid down in layers as you go through time. This creates what is called the Geologic Column. The lower the layer the older the layer is. When you look for fossils what you find is the older they are and lower in the geologic column the more simple they are. This is seen throughout the earth. This is consistent with the theory of evolution. Please let me know if you would like this explained.

      • Jeff

        October 3, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Kenneth Miller is an evolutionary biologist and author of several books including many high school biology text books. Some of his text books are used in our Grade 11 and 12 biology curriculum in Abbotsford.
        He was called as an expert witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in 2004.
        The Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania changed its biology teaching curriculum to require that intelligent design be presented as an alternative to evolutionary theory. The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy constituted an establishment of religion and violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
        There is a link available on you tube where Dr. Miller explains the entire case but here is an interesting and concise explanation of some very strong evidence for human evolution and our common ancestry with chimpanzees that completely refutes creationism.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXCmeSpcpTY
        Kenneth Miller is a Roman Catholic.
        I am a strong supporter of the scientific method and the overwhelming acceptance of evolution in the scientific community. I have even stronger feelings towards what the Creation Truth Ministries presents as scientific information. As much as I disagree with their claims, I have no problem with them presenting their information as the story in Genesis. When they wrap this theology in a veneer of science they are being deceitful.

        • HJ

          October 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

          Jeff, Creation Truth Ministries is willing to publicly debate anyone of your choosing. A science only debate on the origin of life and the fossil record. Come on Jeff ! Time to Put Up or Shut ! Let the good people of Abbotsford see the A-theists and Evilutions for the Fools they are !
          Jeff it’s funny how A-theists likes to bad mouth the young earth creationists, but are never willing to debate them publicly. Surely you can find some Prof. from UBC willing to debate.
          If we are as naive as you thing we are. It should be a cake walk. Right Jeff!
          I would think you would be more than willing to see a young earth creationist get a public humiliation with your so called facts.
          Don’t feel bad, your hero Dick Dawkins won’t publicly debate either.
          bvcsm@telus.net p.s. everything from nothing ! really Jeff ! how naive.

          • mittmartin

            October 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm

            Sentences in my words the wrong order, [inappropriaté punctuation}

          • Jeff

            October 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm

            His name is Richard Dawkins and he is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of evolutionary biology. You are free to disagree with him but the disrespect you show him speaks only to the lack of substance in your arguments.
            Richard Dawkins is a highly respected scientist whose time is in great demand. It would be ludicrous to expect him to respond to debate challenges from every wing nut with an internet connection.
            I personally have no interest in wasting the time of any credentialed scientists by encouraging them to debate Vance Nelson.
            There are two main reasons for this.
            I am very familiar with the information Vance Nelson presents. I have seen his website, watched several of his online video presentations and attended a presentation he gave at Olivet Church in Abbotsford.
            He does not have any evidence to support his claims of creation. All his information attempts to suggest that evolution is not true or the earth is not old. He assumes that this by extension is proof for creation. This is a false dichotomy. . Even if he was able to make the case evolution was false that does not make the case for creation.
            This is reason number one. He has no evidence or theories or mechanisms to support his affirmative case for creation. He does not present one peer reviewed article supporting his position. There is nothing there. There is nothing to debate.
            The second and more compelling reason is his dishonesty and misrepresentation of information.
            Here are just 2 examples.
            He refers to a colleague of his who submitted dinosaur bones to the geology lab at the University of Arizona for testing to determine their age. They concealed the fact that they were dinosaur bones and the lab used Carbon 14 dating to determine the age. Had the lab known they were dinosaur bones they would have used a more appropriate method of testing like Potassium-Argon. Scientists do not use Carbon 14 to date anything older than 50,000 years.
            The results were not wrong because radiometric dating doesn’t work, they were wrong because they used the wrong dating method. They used the wrong method because they were misled.
            I brought this to Vance’s attention and he does not dispute this problem. Despite his awareness of these facts he continues to misrepresent these findings as a case to discredit radiometric dating which it in no way does. This is disingenuous.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-RaN8oZTKk Vance presents this misinformation at 8:00.
            The second example is his misrepresentation of Mary Schweitzer’s research and her scientific opinions.
            In 2006 she and her team discovered a T-Rex dinosaur that seemed to have soft tissue still remaining. Creationists like Vance were quick to jump on this as evidence that dinosaurs were not that old.
            In 2010 a paper was published explaining the”influence of Microbial Biofilms on the Preservation of Primary Soft Tissue in Fossils”. This paper explains how soft tissues could be preserved in fossilized bone millions of years old.
            http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013334
            Incidentally, this is an example of a peer reviewed journal. It is where scientific discoveries go to be verified and confirmed. It is where you will not find papers on creation or intelligent design.
            Mary Schweitzer is a paleontologist from North Carolina State University who believes in the theory of evolution.
            Vance misrepresents her and her findings as supporting creationism which they do not. When I asked him directly if he was aware of this, he said he was. I asked him why he did not clarify this in his presentation; he said it is all public information available on the internet. He knowing misled his audience. He also told me he should think about updating his presentation to include this information.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-RaN8oZTKk Vance presents this misinformation at 10:30
            If Gerda or HJ or Vance have any science to discuss I may be interested in continuing this discussion. Please ensure it is peer reviewed published work from a reputable scientific journal.
            Thanks

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        Hello Jeff: All models used in the attempt to date fossils depend on the assumptions we make about the past. The methods are not the neat, accurate ‘science’ you want to believe. The models are man-made.

        I call Vince Dimano a fool because that is what God the creator of us all calls everyone who denies Him. Nor can we say we do believe, then set about to rewrite God’s revealed word to humanity. In Genesis one and two, the Lord tells us what he did – in the beginning.

        When you suggest there is no debate about origins you are simply not informed. Men and women of science pay a harsh price for even expressing the doubts their own field of expertise present to them.
        So most keep quiet. There are mortgages, housing and education to consider when risking the loss of position.

        To reel of all the disciplines and claim consensus is to say nothing of substance. If you are interested in listening to the courageous voices within the scientific community, I invite you to my website where Dr. Jerry Bergman writes about the danger of ‘consensus science’.

        Instead of making grandiose claims about overwhelming consensus, give us just one unambiguous example of proof that molecules to man evolution is true…… in any of the disciplines.

        There is not a single dating method to corroborate the supposed age of the universe, there is only blind repetition of these purported dates. Astronomer Danny Faulkner, to give one resource.

        The neat ‘geologic column’ is not so tidy in reality. When index fossils are ‘in the wrong place’, they are then ‘anomalies’. You see evolution is magic. It explains absolutely every and all piece of data by invoking jibberish. Real science is about data that is testable, repeatable, falsifiable, evolution is none of those, nor is a belief in God the Creator.

        These are questions about a long ago historic event in time. God, as he has told us, some at most 10,000 years ago or evolution, a mythical process that demands millions and billions of years. But no amount of mythical time could ever produce the design, order, beauty, utility, predictability of our earth and our universe.

        Mathematically evolution is dead.

        I would love to meet with you on the subject of fossils, a topic I particularly enjoy, but this response is already too long.

        • mittmartin

          October 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

          Gerda, I’d stop throwing the word ‘fool’ around at this point.

          Easy example of evolution: drug-resistant bacteria (they didn’t start out drug resistant, and I’m hoping God didn’t intervene on behalf of gonorrhea). http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/relevance/IA1antibiotics.shtml

          Easy example of the age of the universe: stars (you can see the light they emit, and when we know how far away they are we can figure out their age based on how long its taken the light to get here) http://www.aip.org/history/curie/age-of-earth.htm

          Also, what the hell are you talking about with consensus? Is there still a raging debate that things fall down when you drop them, that the earth revolves around the sun, and that oxygen is a useful thing to have around? Occasionally science proves things through repeatable experiments. Its kind of the point.

      • HJ

        October 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        Jeff, Evolutionism is not a fact. Your above statements are filled with axioms, assumptions and presumptions. Jeff maybe in all your so called wisdom you would like to set up an Origins Debate only using Empirical Science and leaving the beliefs off the table. Then we can let the good citizens of Abbotsford see which Faith Fits the Facts and which Faith Fails the Facts. Jeff how do you know when someone is lying to you. It’s easy ! When you know the Truth ! Jeff evilutionism is a LIE !

        • Gerda Peachey

          October 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm

          HJ: “an Origins Debate only using Empirical Science” is a really worth-while suggestion. Evolutionists tend to avoid such offers because below the bluster there is very little hard science to back up the contrived fairy tales.
          Rent a room at Legal Grounds, place some ads and allow people to engage in a scholarly debate. Origins is not merely an intellectual discussion. God is real, the Bible is His revealed word to humanity.
          There is nothing on earth of more importance than to know our creator and live in the light of His truths.

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Hi Jeff: Just to clarify again, there is no ambiguity about ‘fool’. That is not me suggesting you can insult folks if you think their science is faulty. God tells us, “The fool says in his heart, there is no god.”
        Christians try to compromise the theory of evolution with Biblical teaching to their own hurt. The two are diametrically opposed. Either life somehow, someway got going and got bigger, better and more complex by mere mechanistic, unguided processes, or a Divine, all-powerful Intelligence spoke the universe and all of life into existence.

        There is no marriage of the two possible. Look carefully at every aspect, and you will see they are polar opposites. One is true – the other is not.
        You cannot explain away the incredible complexity of life and the universe with a wave of the hand. Your hand alone would require volumes of text books to explain the billions of actions involved in that activity. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    • Nancy

      October 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Hi Gerda,
      You are a formidable voice in our community and it’s a pleasure to be able to respond to your point of view.
      Like Karli, I’ll leave the scientific debate to others and respond only to your opening statements.

      It’s wonderful that we have so many groups in Abbotsford that celebrate their events, faiths and special occasions and often do so publicly.

      Schools recognize that children come from various cultures and and give them the chance to show off so that they feel both special and included. Children need that in order to grow up as adults who understand and respect those from every background. It’s what is supposed to happen in every free society.

      If any of our diverse Abbotsford groups want to have an event and or parade in public, they have to apply for the required permits, rent, facilities etc. Each group must be treated equally and public access given to those who qualify and will conduct themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner. City business as usual, no problem.

      The problem, Gerda, is this. When you have almost all of the city’s power base run by one dominant group, they tend to see things from one perspective and assume every one else who matters sees things the same way.

      Decisions are then made with diversity blinders firmly in place. That is exactly what happened with the Agrifair Board. They assumed that because so many people in this community share the same faith based values that it was OK to endorse and support a faith based attraction that catered to that population and that population only.

      The Board, in essence, said this faith is ‘better than’. They don’t have to pay for access or be a part of the diversity of the fair- they can rise above it and we will help them.

      Can you see that this is clearly wrong?

      We can hold our own personal beliefs and share them with like minded others. Beliefs should shape our lives to be better individuals and help build a better society.
      When one set of beliefs dominate the thinking of a community to the point that the leaders promote one over the other we marginalize entire segments of our city and further separate us by our differences rather than pull us together by our similarities.

      Equality under the law and in our thinking about others in a democratic society is a fundamental right to be maintained and protected. When it is violated, it must be brought to light and eliminated. That is what is happening here.

      Gerda, I’m glad that your faith is important you and that guides you in your daily life. I too have an ethical stance that guides me. Can we now agree that we do not want anyone to presume which one is better?

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        Hi Nancy: Thanks for your really pleasant comment.

        Richard helped out at Vance Nelson’s display, but not till I went to volunteer at the pro-life booth did I realize the creation booth had been invited to come.

        Having watched local politics for a lot of years, I have to wonder why anyone thinks our council is somehow dominated by Christian beliefs.

        Have you noticed the events hosted at our publicly-owned facilities – approved by our mayor and councillors?

        Celebrating our diverse cultures is fine, but taking over a huge section of Abbotsford, twice yearly, for religious celebrations is what we allow the Sikh community to do, and at great inconvenience to residents who can’t get out and drive on our public streets for many hours. I expect there is a significant cost to the tax-payers besides the fees collected.

        So to be fair about this, would you challenge that massive religious observance, – in the same way you protest a creation display at Agrifair?

        I would not want to live in a theocracy. No matter what the title of a system, when power and money are to be had, bad people will worm their way in. So any form of coercion is wrong. Democracy has its defects, but this is the best system of governance in the world.

        No one should impose their religion on others, but I know there is only one God and Lord of us all. His handiwork is all around us. He alone is worthy of our worship and love. He alone gives ultimate meaning to our transient lives on earth.

        Christians must not force their faith. They need to show by their actions who God is and what He requires of his people. That’s where we are dismal failures a lot of the time.

        The theory of evolution is the polar opposite of creation ex-nihlo, but public money routinely helps spread those ‘just-so’ stories. Despite the massive amounts poured into the brain-washing of the public mind, some 50% reject goo to you, by way of the zoo. We see astounding design and worship the Designer.

        So should a creation display be allowed at Agri-fair? If the answer is no, then neither should evolution indoctrination ever tap into the public purse, and the Sikh parade should not be allowed to take over public roads.

        • Nancy

          October 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

          HI, Gerda,
          It is good to have a pleasant and rational discussion on a topic that we approach from different perspectives. We agree on much. No imposition of religion, not wanting to live in a theocracy, beliefs are more important when they translate into humane action and that celebrating our diverse cultures is fine. Who would have thought that we are so similar?
          Ok, so here’s where we still have room for discussion. The Sikhs celebrate on city streets but so do other groups- the Canada Day Parade, , neighbourhoods that pride themselves on Christmas decorations, the Raspberry Festival, The Pride Parade etc. Sure they take up time and space but those of us who live in those areas may enjoy looking forward to those events or plan around them. The city issues permits and plenty of notice. This is true in most cities around the world. We have the opportunity to observe, join in or ignore. All legal groups can have their turn. They do not actively ask us to believe as they do- just permit them the use of city streets and facilities. You may object to a little inconvenience but not their right to do so, correct?
          Christians have equal access if any church or organization wants to stage an event, agreed?
          Yes, a creation display should be allowed along with evolution, gorilla glue, John Deere tractors, Gerda and Nancy Debating Society and anyone else who wants to exhibit and hope to attract visitors. We have equal access to being exhibitors and to using the public roads.
          The public purse should not be opened to, in your words, ‘force their faith’ and that’s exactly what the Agrifair Board did by elevating a display in to an attraction.

          I’m glad we are in accord on some of the basics, Gerda, and hope that eventually you may come to agree with us on this one.

          • Gerda Peachey

            October 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

            “Gerda and Nancy Debating Society”………now that appeals to me a lot.
            ….at McDonalds, the Highwayman, along the dyke….?

          • Karli

            October 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

            Hi Nancy

            Thanks again for your courteous and considerate approach to this discussion.

            Sadly, I need to take you to task once again for a mis-statement.

            You stated in a different arrangement of words that in your comment above “…the Agrifair Board… opened…the public purse.. to force their faith…” on the citizens of Abbotsford. That was my understanding of your arrangement of words.

            Once again, no public purse was opened.

            As a matter of fact in an earlier comment you agreed “The Board did not spend tax payer money directly-…”

            How would you characterize those mental gymnastics?

            On a different note, Gerda raised the issue of public funds being used in our public schools to display and promote a range of religious beliefs.

            Your response? “Schools recognize that children come from various cultures and and give them the chance to show off so that they feel both special and included. Children need that in order to grow up as adults who understand and respect those from every background. It’s what is supposed to happen in every free society.”

            You sidestepped that by by saying that “children come from various cultures.”

            I’m not letting you off the hook that easily.

            These presentations are not just cultural but are in fact religious.

            Isn’t that using public funds to endorse a religious viewpoint?

            I might agree with your statement if that applied to all religious, cultural and non-religious groups equally.

            But it doesn’t!

            Once again, however the anti-Christian politically correct “truth squad” is in full force because they have removed almost all references to Christmas and Easter.

            Most non-Christians aren’t offended by the reference to Christmas – or Easter.

            Christmas and Easter have become dominant cultural artifacts and have lost much of their religious significance.

            It seems that the “people in authority” – those people who supposed hold a monolithic and pervasive clutch on our cultural and religious expressions are the ones who dictate and prohibit the use of Christmas and Easter.

            Christmas is now a Winter Festival or some such similar nonsense.

            And what about the public expression of the Christian faith in our public schools?

            I also have not heard of any Abbotsford public school allowing Christian kids to publicly present and demonstrate their beliefs in the same way that “native prayers” and other groups do.

            When was the last time an Anglican or United Church minister was asked to come in and explain communion or the meaning of Easter/Christmas?

            Has the Atheist group ever been invited to a public school in Abbotsford to explain their “non-belief? Why not? Should’t your viewpoint have an equal opportunity?

            In a previous comment I wrote,
            “I personally decry each and every example of governments of all stripe pandering to various religious and ethnic groups – in this city and in all levels of government.

            In this discussion, I have not endorsed government promotion of a particular religious viewpoint.”

            It is deeply troubling to hear how Meghann’s children were treated to offensive and inappropriate comments about their beliefs.

            Even though Meghann thinks I defend ridiculousness, I am really defending her demand that her children be treated with consideration , courtesy and kindness.

          • mittmartin

            October 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

            Karli:

            Religious beliefs aren’t displayed and promoted in schools. They just really aren’t. Field trips or events or whatever that include a discussion of First Nations culture, or a cultural performance aren’t religious and they aren’t promoting anything. That’s just ignorant.

            I think Nancy’s point is the key here: its a problem when public money is used to support a religious group that asks us to believe as they do (even if its only by trying to point out how foolish we are, as Gerda is attempting to do). That’s what Creation Truth Ministries was doing, and as they were an attraction, public money was used to support them.

            Also, we stopped calling ourselves the Anti-Christian Truth Squad years ago. The proper term is now the Abbotsford Heathen Society, and we are most definitely not affiliated with any similarly named organizations in Norway. I can get you a business card if you’d like.

    • mittmartin

      October 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      So evolution needs “multiple millions” of years, but the 47 kinds of animals Noah had have changed into a couple billion species since the flood. It makes perfect sense if you’re a hyper-intelligent wheelbarrow.

      Also, whatever you do Gerda, don’t look up bonobos. If God actually meant to let them on the ark this whole thing falls apart.

      • HJ

        October 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        Hey Mitt. Why don’t you come play with the big boys ! Leave your lollypop at home and get us a venue for a Debate or don’t you have enough Faith in your Faith !

      • Karli

        October 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        I would love to see the
        Gerda and Nancy Ultimate Debating Challenge or the
        Nancy and Gerda Ultimate Debating Challenge.
        They both have a nice ring.

        • Nancy

          October 5, 2013 at 1:06 am

          Hi, Karli,
          You are right I am on the hook for that statement and you should take me to task for it. I used the words ‘public purse’ to respond to Gerda’s statement but failed to make myself as clear as possible. No mental gymnastics intended Hope I can explain and lift myself gently off the hook and into your good graces again.
          I meant that while no tax money was given to CTM directly they were given the benefits of the public purse. As exhibitors they would have had to pay for their display but the Board, wanting the creationists to be part of the fair, gave them free access and use of public facilities as well as free advertising. Am I off the hook,please?
          As to your question about the school children , my understanding is that the children are given the opportunity to show and tell about their cultures without promotion or endorsement.
          Although you bring up many topics worthy of discussion, they go too far afield from our current debate so, I respectfully decline to engage with them for now but look forward to tackling them with you another time.

        • Gerda Peachey

          October 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

          Debates and lectures are really worthwhile. But so is this format taking place here. This discussion could easily move to Legal Grounds some evening, – giving everyone an equal time frame to state their position, similar to the format at all-candidates meetings.
          As for Nancy and Gerda, I’d enjoy any casual conversations in any context because no other topic is as vital for time and eternity.
          If God is really our creator, sustainer, saviour and ultimate judge, we have everything to gain by getting to know him better, and everything to lose by rejecting him.

          • Jeff

            October 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

            Gerda,
            I am not sure where to start. Your comments were somewhat disjointed so I will try to respond to the various statements you made as they came up.
            You referred to 700 scientists who do not support evolutionary theory. You seem to be impressed by that number of “scientists” who support your position. Do you know how many scientists support evolution? A recent study estimated 480,000 in the US alone. Your 700 Discovery institute fellows make up about 1% of US scientists. A 1991 Gallup poll was kinder and reported 5% of American scientists to be creationists. Pointing to these 700 does not strengthen your position, it weakens it.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution
            You said to Frankly –
            “ …700 men and women holding degrees and positions in chemistry, bacteriology, astrophysics, mathematics, geophysics, microbiology, cellular biology, physics, radiology, biology, biomedical engineering, and so on”
            I will answer that with your own words –
            “To reel of all the disciplines and claim consensus is to say nothing of substance” – Gerda Peachy
            There is not enough space here to explain to you why and how current dating methods are reliable. My suspicion is your mind is made up and you have no interest in educating yourself on the current accepted science for dating the age of the earth. If I’m wrong you can go to this link for a great explanation on radiometric dating and the geological column.
            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html
            To paraphrase the conclusion of this article, age calculations of samples are only estimates and a few decades ago those estimates varied by 20-30%, as data sets increase variances are getting smaller, rarely approaching 5%.” If something was wrong with the current geological time scale one would expect inconsistencies to grow in number and severity but they do not”
            Dalrymple tested 100’s of meteorite samples using various dating methods and all came back agreeing on a 4.2 – 4.5 billion year old earth. If these methods were untrustworthy or based on assumptions which would invalidate them why do they all agree? Shouldn’t they just be random or inconsistent?
            Dalrymple, G. Brent, 1991. The Age of the Earth, California, Stanford University Press. 474 pp. ISBN 0-8047-1569-6
            I will refer briefly to the bible because you referenced Genesis 1 and 2 as the explanation for creation. Why do you attempt to critically evaluate scientific claims but suspend your critical faculties when it comes to the bible? You questioned the validity of radiometric dating methods because they are “not the neat, accurate science”. Tell me why we should be more confident in the detailed explanation of creation in Genesis? Please explain why there are two contradictory accounts of creation in Genesis?
            Genesis 1 tells us the order of creation is heaven and earth first, then animals then man. Genesis 2 says heaven and earth, man then animals. Wouldn’t this contradiction concern us about the reliability of this document?
            I said there was no debate in the scientific community about the fact of evolution. If you disagree please state a peer reviewed scientific paper that refutes evolution and points to this debate. Perhaps you could provide a link to any discussion with credible scientists disputing evolution. I will reiterate the Discovery Institute has had none of their ideas accepted by the scientific community through the process of peer review. None of Behe’s work on irreducible complexity or Dembski’s specified complexity has been accepted. They masquerade as science but all amounts to your theory of “it’s all just to amazing to have happened all by chance” The fact that you don’t understand how something happened is not evidence to support it could not have happened. I refer you to the link above listing the scientific organizations that support evolution.
            You may not agree with the consensus Gerda, but it is not grandiose, it’s a fact. Your request for “one unambiguous example of proof that “molecules to man evolution is true” is ridiculous. Molecules to man took 3 billion years. I can give you hundreds of evidences that build that case but you will not hear them. I presented an excellent link to Kenneth Millers explanation of why we know for a fact chimpanzees and humans are descended from a common ancestor by looking at our DNA and comparing our chromosomes. If you can respond to that evidence I will be happy to provide you with more examples.
            You suggested there is a scientific conspiracy to suppress evidences and silence critics to deny god. Let’s examine this idea. If you go back through history most scientists believed in god. Look at Copernicus, Bacon, Galileo, Newton and even Darwin in the beginning. These men all started out with a belief in god. Some kept that belief even after their discoveries others lost it. They had no agenda other than finding the truth and following the evidence.
            I am not sure there is anything that I can respond to in the balance of your comment as you resorted to unsubstantiated claims and ridicule. As well as moving off topic by introducing theology.
            Gerda makes a common mistake made by Creationists. They try to create a false dichotomy by suggesting if they can disprove evolution it validates biblical creation theory. Even if evolution was completely wrong, one would still need to advance a compelling case and present evidence for creation. This has never been done.
            I would be happy to discuss these things with you one on one or in a forma debate format. You can reach me through the editor.

          • Jeff

            October 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

            HJ,

            Unsubstantiated claims are meaningless.

            There is nothing for me to respond to.

          • Jeff

            October 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

            Correction – 700 represents approx. 0.1% of US scientists

  7. Gerda Peachey

    October 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Jeff: I am making the assumption that genuine communication between us is possible.
    I’m grateful to Mike Archer for allowing this discussion to take place.
    There are many grandiose statements and claims made, and almost all of them would require a masters degree to answer, but I think these discussions are of tremendous value.
    Where it stands now is comparable to a 303 blast with hundreds of little buckshots, each of which demand a level of academia above my level, and from your answers, I suspect above your level as well.
    So ignoring the mindless and banal of some of these posts, I want to take each serious point and attempt to give an answer.
    To do that I will of necessity have to draw on those who have a degree of expertise on a given subject. I’ll post those feeble attempts of mine on my web-site, as I go along, and if Mike so choses he might post them on Abbotsford Today.
    I will here speak to the 700. Jeff you say there are 480,000 scientists in the US who believe in evolution, so you assume only a tiny, insignificant sliver believe the Biblical account of creation.
    I would be very interested in seeing 379,300 men and women of science declare their unwavering conviction that microbes transformed over vast ages into microbiologists.
    No scientific achievements in any field of study relied on the just-so stories of nothing becoming something, infinitesimally small, which without an intelligence to guide it, by pure mechanistic processes, somehow, MIRACULOUSLY transformed into ever greater complexity, astounding design and beauty.
    This is complete nonsense and real science does not corroborate this fairy tale. Evolution demands the silence of those learned men and women who see that the emperor evolution is naked.
    No empirical science depends on evolution for real, tangible, testable, repeatable, falsifiable and useful data.
    Evolution is based on dogma, brainwashing, coercion, and most of all uncritical acceptance of the all-over the map stories.

    • Gerda Peachey

      October 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      … and though I cannot claim a knowledge of my own to sufficiently answer the vast array of topics touched on above, yes, it would be a privilege and a pleasure to meet with you any time.
      My email address is gerdapeachey@gmail.com

      • Jeff

        October 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

        Gerda,

        I am not sure genuine communication is possible Gerda.

        You ask me for examples , I provide them but you do not respond to them. You resort to insults.

        You make claims about science and the validity of evolution then state you do not have the formal education to properly discuss the topic.

        You are not making sense.

      • Jeff

        October 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        Excerpt from Christopher Hitchens on the Sean Hannity Show 2008

        Sean Hannity

        “To be an atheist you have to believe that it is possible, which I think is a far greater leap of faith, that something that can be created out of nothing … when you look at the majesty and sophistication and the intricacy of the universe that we do know and comprehend, you have to believe that this energy existed on its own and I do not believe that that is, that to me is a leap of faith “

        Christopher Hitchens

        “You give me the awful impression I hate to have to say it, of someone who hasn’t read any of the arguments against your position ever.

        • Gerda Peachey

          October 7, 2013 at 2:13 am

          Hello Jeff: You have made some sweeping pronouncements in some of these comments that are more bluff and boast than empirical science.
          Perhaps you have a science degree or work in the field, but that is not obvious from your writing here…………
          “The level of support for biological evolution by scientists is in the high 90 percentile by most studies. Of the small number of scientists who dispute evolution many are not even biologists or geologists. They are mathematicians or computer scientists etc.
          …..Your strongest argument against evolution is that life is so complex how could this occur naturally. You can only ask that question Gerda if you are not familiar with all the evidence that answers that question.
          The amount of information supporting evolution is so vast it is no longer something debated in the scientific community. There certainly are debates regarding some of the mechanisms and detail of the history but evolution is considered a fact in the scientific community. It is supported by research and evidence from the fields of biology, geology, chemistry, physics, biogeography and genetics just to name a few. The thing that is most compelling is that data and findings from these different fields corroborate each other.”
          The claim to ” in the high 90 percentile” is grand. Now kindly give us a tangible list of scientists who have proven that molecules to man evolution is something they have proven in their own research.
          To your dismissive,”Of the small number of scientists who dispute evolution many are not even biologists or geologists. [a blatant untruth by the way]. They are mathematicians or computer scientists etc.”
          I gave you a link to 700 accredited scientists who have the courage of their convictions, willing to take the flax, and sometimes pay a terribly high price for their stand, and your response is to appeal to your “90 percentile”. That would be the vast army of men and women who work in their special field, and bring home a paycheck. Most science is done for practical purposes, and has tangible results. Most science has absolutely nothing to do with the theory of evolution. That is done with research grants and for endless discussion at the academic level. No plane flies because of a faith in the theory of evolution. No research in medicine, physics, astronomy is advanced by the latest thinking of evolutionists. In fact the religious belief that simple life somehow organizes itself and transforms into higher life forms, given enough time, retards scientific research. We do not succeed in putting satellites into orbit by faith in evolution. On the contrary, real, tangible success is ours because we live in an incredibly designed world of order and predictability, not the chaos and hopeful monster world of evolution’s wishful thinking.
          To my pointing out the amazing design and complexity seen with our own eyes, or through a microscope, or telescope you provide this,…….
          “You can only ask that question Gerda if you are not familiar with all the evidence that answers that question.
          The amount of information supporting evolution is so vast it is no longer something debated in the scientific community. There certainly are debates regarding some of the mechanisms and detail of the history but evolution is considered a fact in the scientific community.”
          Debates regarding the mechanisms and the detail is the soft underbelly of the ruling paradigm of evolution. The devil is in those details. Those details are all over the map. The only genuine consensus is that ‘evolution happened’ as to the factual, empirical, provable, repeatable, falsifiable data, …..the naked Emperor Evolution has the faithful hard at their task. Suppress all dissenting voices.
          By the way, I read and enjoyed Christopher Hitchens. I don’t believe he was a scientist. Neither am I. My thinking is informed by reading and listening to others who are, and I suspect that is also true of you.

          • mittmartin

            October 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

            *headdesk*

            I’m starting to think it must be self-loathing that keeps me coming back here to read this. Its the only reasonable explanation.

          • Frankly

            October 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

            I would still like to know why the Creation Truth Ministries thought it was appropriate for them to be at the Agrifair? As HJ seems to be representing them, maybe HJ would like to enlighten us ( no pun intended)

          • Kevin Francis

            October 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

            Commendations to Jeff for putting out informed replies and for Nancy for elevating and keeping the discourse to a civilized level. As for Ms Peachey’s comments, they make me scratch my head. I have to agree with Jeff, she hasn’t replied to his comments and stubbornly demands evidence to substantiate undisputed claims in the scientific community; it would be funny considering that her position is one of faith, the antithesis of evidence based facts. Fact is that we now know more about evolution than electricity, yet I don’t see you disputing electricity and it’s place in history.
            Evolution doesn’t require faith, thus no need to “believe” in it for launching satellites or for planes to fly although the Wright brothers did try to mimic bird flight at first; funny as we know so much about the evolution of the entire family of our winged friends.
            Complexity is not evidence of design or a designer.
            And yes medicine has advanced too by understanding the evolution of viruses and bacteria.
            The whole idea that a Kabbala of scientists are falsifying data to disprove creationism is laughable and worthy of the “tin foil hat” award since science is out there to find truth, not disprove religion.
            Although he hasn’t provided the impossible proof you are asking for( like asking hundred of thousands of scientists in different fields to sign off for your benefit), Jeff has supported his claims, which is much more than you have when you claim one true God and Lord of us all. At the end of the day, your opinion still rests of evidence free fairy tales, conspiracies theories, and blind gullibility (faith) made into a virtue. An empty sac.

  8. Gerda Peachey

    October 9, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Hello Kevin: If Mike will allow a rather long post, I’ll offer some comments from scientists you may respect………“A long-standing issue in evolutionary biology is whether the processes observable in extant populations and species (microevolution) are sufficient to account for the larger-scale changes evident over longer periods of life’s history (macroevolution). Outsiders to this rich literature may be surprised that there is no consensus on this issue, and that strong viewpoints are held at both ends of the spectrum, with many undecided.”

    — Sean B. Carroll, genetics professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (“The big picture,” Nature 409:669, 2001).

    MUTATIONS DON’T HELP EVOLUTION!

    “. . . I am still not convinced there is a single, crystal-clear example of a known mutation which unambiguously created information. There are certainly many mutations which have been described as ‘beneficial’, but most of these beneficial mutations have not created information, but have rather destroyed it. For illustration, some of us (like me) would view a broken car alarm as ‘beneficial’. However, such random changes, although they might be found to be ‘desirable’, still represent a breakdown — not the creation of a new functional feature. Information decreases. This is the actual case, for example, in chromosomal mutations for antibiotic resistances in bacteria, where cell functions are routinely lost. The resistant bacterium has not evolved — in fact it has digressed genetically and is defective.”

    — John Sanford, genetics professor and researcher in plant genetic engineering, Cornell University (Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome. Lima, NY: Elim Publishing, 2005, p. 17).

    WHY STUDENTS BELIEVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE ABOUT ORIGINS . . .

    “If the students that we studied are taken as representative of college-educated nonscientists, then it appears that a majority of people on both sides of the evolution-creation debate do not understand the process of natural selection or its role in evolution. One result of this lack of knowledge is that the debate is reduced to, as creationists argue, a dispute between two different kinds of faith. Most students who believed in the truth of evolution apparently based their beliefs more on acceptance of the power and prestige of science than on an understanding of the reasoning that had led scientists to their conclusions.”

    — Beth A. Bishop and Charles W. Anderson (“Student Conceptions of Natural Selection and its Role in Evolution.” Journal of Research in Science Teaching 127[5]:426, 1990). The subjects in this study were 110 college students, mostly in third or fourth year, enrolled in a non-majors’ introductory biology course, which included instruction in evolution and natural selection.

    MISSING LINKS — BETWEEN ALL MAJOR GROUPS OF ORGANISMS!

    “Major transitions in biological evolution . . . do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin’s proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla.

    “In each of these pivotal nexuses in life’s history, the principal ‘types’ seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate ‘grades’ or intermediate forms between different types are detectable.”

    — Eugene V. Koonin, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A. (“The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution.” Biology Direct 2007, 2:21 ).

    ONLY TWO ALTERNATIVES: BOTH WITH RELIGIOUS IMPLICATIONS

    “From the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophers and scientists contemplating origins have recognized two alternatives: Either the various species were specially created in some way, or they evolved from pre-existing species. The former view tends to stress the importance of a divine creator, while the latter de-emphasizes or eliminates a creator. Both views have religious implications.”

    — Edward J. Larson, historian of science and law, University of Georgia (“The Courtship of Charles Darwin.” Science & Spirit 16[5]:32, 2005).

    AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS: NOT MUCH AGREEMENT!

    “When discussing organic evolution, the only point of agreement seems to be: ‘It happened.’ “

    — Simon Conway Morris, paleontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (“Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold.” Cell 100:1 [Jan. 7, 2000]). Note: This statement was the first sentence of the first article of the first issue of the prestigious science journal Cell in the new millennium!

    EVOLUTION: NOT QUITE A “HARD SCIENCE”!

    “Evolutionists have ‘Physics Envy.’ They tell the public that the science behind evolution is the same science that sent people to the moon and cures diseases. It’s not. The science behind evolution is not empirical, but forensic. Because evolution took place in history, its scientific investigations are after the fact — no observations, no testing, no repeatability, no falsification, nothing at all like physics. They are like the people on CSI, only the crime scene is much older. I think this is what the public discerns — that evolution is just a bunch of just-so stories disguised as legitimate science.”

    — John Chaikowsky (Letter, “Geology v. physics.” Geotimes 50[4]:6, 2005).

    NO LONGER THE WORLD’S LEADING ATHEIST! HERE’S WHY

    “What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together. . . . It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence. . . .

    “Although I was once sharply critical of the argument to design, I have come to see that, when correctly formulated, this argument constitutes a persuasive case for the existence of God.”

    — Antony Flew, professor of philosophy (retired), Oxford University; leading proponent of atheism for over 50 years (There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperCollins, 2007, pp. 75, 95).

    ON THE FINE ART OF BEING AN EVOLUTIONIST

    “Evolutionary scenarios are an artform. They usefully exercise the brain, causing us to look at old data in new ways and stimulating us to collect new data. They do not have to be true!”

    — W. Ford Doolittle, leading theorist on the (alleged) evolutionary origins of basic types of organisms, Dalhousie University (Reviewer’s report 1, in Eugene V. Koonin, Tatiana G. Senkevich, and Valerian V. Dolja, “The ancient Virus World and evolution of cells.” Biology Direct 2006, 1:29 ).

    WHY WOULD THIS QUESTION BE SO DIFFICULT TO ANSWER??

    “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing . . . that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said ‘I do know one thing — it ought not to be taught in high school.’ “

    — Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist, British Natural History Museum; author of the museum’s general text on evolution (speech given at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, Nov. 5, 1981. As cited in Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, 2nd edition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993, p. 10).

    EVOLUTIONISTS’ A PRIORI COMMITMENT TO MATERIALISM

    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    — Richard Lewontin, leading evolutionary geneticist, Harvard University (“Billions and Billions of Demons.” The New York Review of Books 44[1]:31, Jan. 9, 1997).

    IS EVOLUTION SO CENTRAL A CONCEPT?

    “While the great majority [of] biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. ‘Evolution’ would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.

    “Yet, the marginality of evolutionary biology may be changing. . . .”

    — A. S. Wilkins, editor of BioEssays (“Evolutionary processes: a special issue.” BioEssays 22[12]:1051, 2000

    • Kevin Francis

      October 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Ms Peachey
      I admire the tenacity of your argument and the research done to support it. There are however a few problems, if I may, point out:

      I can find thousands of quotes supporting evolution and counter the ones you made (Jeff’s 0.1% figure still stands)
      These opinions reflect the perceived incompleteness of the theory, they are not refuting it really(some are asking questions)

      But it would all be for nothing because it is a red herring (as Jeff tried patiently to point out).

      The question is – should creationism be allowed to be taught with public funds. We are not debating the merits of Darwin’s theory. It takes a fantastic warped sense of logic to point to perhaps incomplete knowledge and automatically credit it to the supernatural.

      We don’t understand all there is to about lightening, yet I don’t see you claiming that the gaps in our knowledge point to Zeus being the architect (of lightening) and the controversy should be taught.

      It is likely that one day, the theory of evolution will be discarded and replaced. But it will not be replaced by ancient scripture from the big book of Jewish fairy tales but by better science.

      When basic psychology failed to answer all the questions, we didn’t revert back to explaining it by curses and demons tormenting the sick; we researched and found more plausible answers to explain the phenomena. The evolution( no pun intended) of psychology is ongoing as is all good science.

      Religion was our first attempt to explain things, it now belongs in our past.

      To influence the next generation with pseudo- intellectual reasoning emerging of Bronze Age literature because there are some gaps not fully explained in our understanding is doing ourselves an immense disservice.

      In the winter of my years, I would rather have an attending physician with a curious skeptical mindset about germ theory instead of one with the resigned certitude that prayer or spirits will help.

      Even if I granted everything in the biblical story accounts as verifiable, birth of a virgin, resurrection, etc …, it still wouldn’t prove anything about the veracity of the claims. It still doesn’t prove divine paternity, design or intervention. You are still left with an empty sac; lots of distractions and fireworks but an empty sac nonetheless

      • Jeff

        October 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        Kevin,

        You may want to retract the admiration you showed Gerda for her research.

        Her entire post was cut and pasted frm this link.

        http://www.creationbc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=59

        This is a link to the Creation Science of BC website. I always laugh when I hear those two words together in one sentence.

        Two quick thoughts –

        It looks as though this page at least was created by a Richard Peachy. Not sure if there is any relation there

        The second thought is about the first quote by Sean B. Carroll. I know you have not read any of his work. I suspect you didnt even read the quote you used in your post. He is a wonderful researcher who has done some great work. You should read his book Making of the Fittest. It has a great explanation of fossil genes and how they are wonderful evidence of evolution by natural selection. A theory he supports. Just because scientists argue about the detail does not mean they disagree with the main thrust of the theory.

        • Jeff

          October 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

          Gerda, in the spirit of a serious scientific discussion can you please do us all one favor.

          Please explain the theory of creation to us. How did it happen?

          Don’t explain how evolution if false. Lets say I agree. Fine youve convinced me with your cutting and pasting.

          Tell me how it really happened.

          Explain to me the theory of creation.

          • Gerda Peachey

            October 10, 2013 at 4:04 am

            Hi Jeff: You ask, “Gerda, in the spirit of a serious scientific discussion can you please do us all one favor.
            Please explain the theory of creation to us. How did it happen?
            Don’t explain how evolution if false. Lets say I agree. Fine youve convinced me with your cutting and pasting.
            Tell me how it really happened.
            Explain to me the theory of creation.”
            I am happy to tell you the answer you seek is in the Word of God. Jesus tells you, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

          • Gerda Peachey

            October 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

            To give an answer from science, you may wish to look at this article,……..http://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/positive-scientific-evidence-for-creation/

        • Gerda Peachey

          October 10, 2013 at 2:36 am

          Hello Jeff: I’m happy to give you laughter to raise your endorphin level.

          Rich and I have lived in Abbotsford for three decades. Wherever we go, people know who Richard Peachey is. Mike Archer knows both of us as well, so I’m a bit puzzled at what it is that annoys you.

          I did on several occasions clearly state that I am not a scientist and while I’ve taken college courses over the years, I don’t claim to be an academic. I do have a god-given mind, as you do. He wants us all to use our brains. Evolution is ridiculous. It fails on every level. Evolution is an affront to my intellect.

          We are not hiding, and never have. Both of us speak and write a lot about the paucity of this theory. Evolution is not real science.

          Rich is the academic. I, though nowhere close to his intellect, read a lot, and enjoy listening to debates and lectures, but Richard has not been part of the above discussion here. He’s too busy doing the things he wants to do with his brand new retirement.

          Rich has held lectures all over the province, debated at the invitation of the BC Sceptics, set up displays at UFV. Richard paid the Cascade to print a series of his articles, which one of the students said generated a lot of heated debate. And both of us have written letters to newspapers for years. We are certainly not hiding despite your odd suggestion to Kevin.

          My webpage has a lot of my thoughts on this foundational issue, but initially I wanted the website so I could post articles Richard has written over the years. I’m glad to see the interest in those from around the world.

          Either God created the universe or the billions of years of slow evolving is true. Both cannot be true. But this is a matter of eternal importance.

    • Jeff

      October 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      I ony took a few minutes to go over this list of quotes you cut and pasted from the creationist website and this is what I found.

      These 16 scientists do not believe in creation or intelligent design or any such nonsense.

      Carroll – geneticist
      Koonin – investigator
      Simon Conway Morris – paleontologist
      Doolittle – biochemist
      Colin Patterson -senior palaeontologist
      Richard Lewontin – evolutionary geneticist
      Mark Pagel – evolutionary Biologist
      Kenneth Miller – evolutionary Biologist
      Francis Crick – geneticist
      Michael Ruse – philosopher
      Will Provine – historian
      John S. Mattick -biochemist
      Richard Dawkins – evolutionary biologist
      Stephen Jay Gould – palaeontologist
      Stefan Bengtsonp – palaeontologist
      Michael J. Disney – astrophysicist

      They all agree with the current concensus on evolution, a 4.5 billion year old earh and 14 billion year old universe.

      This is why nobody take people like you and your husband seriously. You misrepresent the facts.

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 10, 2013 at 1:13 am

        Jeff: Did you actually read what those evolutionists wrote? I just posted a link to my web showing our ads in the Coffee News. Richard makes it crystal clear these are people who believe in evolution.
        The quotes that annoy you provide precise information as to where you can find each quote, eg:. — Richard Lewontin, leading evolutionary geneticist, Harvard University (“Billions and Billions of Demons.” The New York Review of Books 44[1]:31, Jan. 9, 1997).
        There is no hiding the source or who the author is.
        Richard has lectured on the creation/evolution controversy for some 20 years. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone to match the rigorous scholarly standards he sets for his material.

      • Gerda Peachey

        October 10, 2013 at 3:24 am

        Jeff: A mere few hours ago you wrote this to Kevin: “It looks as though this page at least was created by a Richard Peachy. Not sure if there is any relation there.” Just one hour later you assert with confidence, “This is why nobody take people like you and your husband seriously.”
        Being a realist, I expect you might be right about how insignificant we are, but I am quite impressed that you went from apparently not knowing Rich and me at all,…… to now knowing everyone who does know us ––, and –– that all of those folk have all given you their (negative) opinion of us in that one hour span. Quite a feat!
        The comments throughout this are all my thoughts. Richard’s would have been more interesting.

      • Kevin Francis

        October 10, 2013 at 6:34 am

        WHAM! Check and mate! Point match: Jeff
        Congratulations Sir!
        🙂

  9. Gerda Peachey

    October 10, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Hello Kevin: Thanks for this honest concession,…”It is likely that one day, the theory of evolution will be discarded and replaced.”
    But evolutionists demand that this be taught as factual, proven, irrefutable truth in schools. Evolution is none of the above.
    Thanks to Mike for posting the lengthy quotes above, though being himself, I think, on the side of evolution.
    Richard has done many lectures over the past 20 years, and the quotes are primarily from scientists who, though not creationist, nonetheless reveal to us that this is not the sewed up pat story we are supposed to accept.
    We paid for some ‘Coffee News’ ads using primarily evolutionists in order to challenge the dogma being spewed out by mindless media headlines. Rarely are the refutations and corrections even printed in those same papers, and certainly not as headlines.
    You’re right that I have not answered Jeff publicly, though we do communicate a bit by email. I am not a scientist, so I can provide links to specific articles. But this discussion is enormous in scope and demands lengthy treatises from scientists who specialize in those particular fields.
    When the scientist is a creationist, you folk tend to sneer at his credentials. Stephen Jay Gould, while convinced that evolution did happen, was refreshingly candid about the paucity of proof to authenticate this faith position.
    Anyway if you’re interested here’s the Coffee News ads, again using primarily the words of evolutionary scientists……..

    http://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/the-coffee-news-ads/

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