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Author Topic:   Hello everyone, and my senior paper
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


(1)
Message 1 of 70 (692763)
03-07-2013 11:22 AM


Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this website doing a search for my senior paper. It looks interesting and I think a lot of you would be interested in my senior paper. I would be more than willing to post it on here when it is finished because I think a lot of people would find it valuable. Though I do intend to read on here, I will not be getting into many discussions until the end of the semester, because I should be working on my paper and not spending time in forums
I will start by telling you a little bit about myself before I get to the focus of my research
My name is Kevin. I am 26, married, with 2 kids. I was raised Christian (Lutheran,) as was my wife. My wife went to an all girl’s Catholic college and received her BS in Nursing with a minor in Theology. Our religious views, I would consider similar, but that whole God thing seems to be the difference. We both consider ourselves agnostic (we do not think one can know whether or not there is a God or higher power) but I lean more towards the atheist view, where as she leans more towards the Deist or Theist view. Both of our sons are baptized and we plan to raise them Christian. It was important to her and her family, but I could give a crap either way
Now the important stuff
I am currently a student at the University of Minnesota. I have majors in History and Religious studies, with a minor in Jewish Studies. I am formerly an Education major and an Ancient Mediterranean Studies major. I started as a pre-Kinesiology major. I have a detailed rundown on my blog Blog not found but I will just tell you about it briefly here.
I started as a Religious Studies major and then added the Ancient Mediterranean Studies major because a lot of the classes overlapped or were relevant. My original plan was to be a teacher, so I majored in Education. With the education requirements I was only 2 classes away from graduating with a history major, so I picked up a history major. Already knowing I would not graduate in 4 years, I dropped the AMS major.
What exactly do I study in those areas? I am a fan of Big History. I like getting the big picture of the history of the world. Because of that, my Edu major, and my other majors, I am very well rounded and could have a few Areas of Concentration. An AoC is defined by 4 classes in a single area. Based on that definition, I could have these AoCs
Religious Studies:
-Judaism (my minor)
-Christianity
-The Abrahamic tradition (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
-Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Judaism, Greek/Roman mythology, Near Eastern religions, Egyptian religion, Persian religions, and could be early Christianity and even Islam)
-Religion in American
-The Creationism-Evolution controversy.
History:
Ancient History
Middle Eastern History
Western/U.S. History
Modern History
Relevant to this site is my study of the Creationism-Evolution controversy. With an interest in religion and education I became especially interested in the Evolution/Creationism Controversy. I started with a class called Understanding the Evolution-Creationism Controversy. This opened up two different paths of study. It opened up the path American history and understanding the court cases related to the topic. It also led to a study of the Constitution and the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses. This led to a study of the Founding Fathers and Enlightenment Philosophy. It also opened the path to the study of the history of science.
The history of science is more important, in my opinion, than a degree in science. Most biologists have not even read Darwin’s works. Without an understanding of the origins of the things they study, how can they know what they are studying? This has led me to take literally every class the University offers on the topic. I have taken classes in many different disciplines on the topic. Here are a few of them
Religion and Ethics in Educational Policy (EDU)
Understanding the Evolution-Creationism Controversy (BIOL)
The Evolution and Biology of Sex (BIOL)
Philosophy of Religion (PHIL)
Scientific Thought (PHIL)
Philosophy of Biology (PHIL)
The Darwinian Revolution (HSCI)
Religion and US Founding (HIST)
Life on Earth: Perspectives of Biology (HSCI)
Science, Technology, and Society: Darwin and Design (PHIL)
That leads to my senior paper...
This is a very brief summary on what it will be about
The summarization of my project is quite simple. I intend to take the different editions of On the Origin of Species and The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and examine the additions and changes he made to them. Changing his editions was his way of answering critics. I intend to focus on the religious parts specifically. I will then attempt to explain the reason for these changes by comparing them to letters, his journal, and his biographies. His letters will address issues that he was talking with his friends about and his biography will talk about the religious issues he had with his wife. One claim that is made is that he tried to hide his work from his wife because of her devout religious views, and he did not want to hurt her. The religious issues that deal with his wife specifically are talked about in his biography.
What I intend to show is that Darwin was not some atheist that was trying to do away with God, but was actually religious himself and concerned about the religious implications of his work. I want to show that he struggled with the implications of his theory with no only the public, but with his wife. I also want to address the claim that he became an agnostic because of the theory. The evidence seems to suggest that the reason for his agnosticism was due to the death of his daughter, and not his theory. This will give us a valuable insight and view of Charles Darwin that is not very public and common to most people. I think it is a Charles Darwin that we need to expose and get out there because of all the issues we are still having today with his theory.
I hope many of you will find this project useful in your personal lives and I hope to talk to all of you in the forum in the near future.
-Kevin

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by NoNukes, posted 03-07-2013 11:50 AM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 4 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 12:19 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 7 by nwr, posted 03-07-2013 1:18 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 14 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-07-2013 3:22 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 30 by Jon, posted 03-07-2013 8:47 PM KevinAthans has not replied
 Message 70 by glowby, posted 03-13-2013 6:20 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 3 of 70 (692770)
03-07-2013 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by NoNukes
03-07-2013 11:50 AM


Not sure yet...I did have everything planned out, but with 2 kids, I just want to start making some money...so plans changed. Obviously I would like to do something related to my studies, but that may not happen, at least not right away. I would like to go to grad school but my wife wants to get her doctorates before I do that...Wish I had a more clear answer on my plans...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by NoNukes, posted 03-07-2013 11:50 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Percy, posted 03-07-2013 1:13 PM KevinAthans has replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 5 of 70 (692773)
03-07-2013 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 12:19 PM


Every science is different but in my area of focus, which is biology, I constantly see studies and experiments done that do not need to be. They are a waste of money and time. A lot of biologists ask questions that they would not ask if the simply understood the theory. Not everything has a purpose and we should not be asking questions like that. I mean do we really need a study to explain why a blind mole would have red hair? Do we really need to do study after study to show the purpose of the female orgasm? I think not
Edit:Why do you think there are a number of scientists that deny Darwin's theory? They cite the exact things that Darwin already addressed in his book. Darwin KNEW where his theory was weak and pointed it out...and people still point out those issues today as if he did not realize that himself.
Sorry another edit: Also, do you know how many people and scientists think that Darwin's theory is a theory of the origin of life? Darwin never said anything about the origin of life, nor did he say life all came from a single ancestor.
It also allows one to address critics and understand why modern science works. Many creationists look at science as if it is some type of religion. By being able to explain the history of scientific thought, we can show that it is not just some faith based idea. It is important to understand how the ideas came about and how they were built on each other. Newton was not just some guy sitting in isolation that came up with these ideas, nor was Darwin. Darwin’s main ideas come from an economist and a geologist, respectively.
Would you be surprised to find out that Newton was actually talking about God in the bit when he explains his theories? Newton was far more interested in God than he was physics. Understanding this bridges that gap that has arisen in between science and religion. Most of the greatest thinkers in history believed in a God. See how that relates to this website specifically? It is my opinion that one should always know the context of things and not just random facts
Edited by KevinAthans, : No reason given.
Edited by KevinAthans, : adding

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 12:19 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Percy, posted 03-07-2013 1:18 PM KevinAthans has not replied
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 2:28 PM KevinAthans has replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 9 of 70 (692791)
03-07-2013 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Percy
03-07-2013 1:13 PM


Percy-
Thanks for the advice, but we understand this. May as tell you a little more about me...We have some debt but we are alright with money. My wife works as an RN and makes over 60K a year. We recently bought a house just based on her income. On top of that I have the G.I Bill. I get paid to go to school...if you add up my GI Bill, military pay, and income from my job, I made almost 30K last year, and that is as a full time student...We own both our cars out-right and have been paying off the debt we have. Her school loans will be paid off in 5-6 years and that is when she would go back to school. I do not know if I will ever get the chance for a graduate degree, but we know where we are going...
No, I am not claiming that his views of agnosticism came only after the death of his daughter, simply that that was the biggest factor. When I intend to show is that religion did affect him and his family, and also that he was concered about the religious beliefs of other people, hence the reason he modified his book over time. I am doing a comparison of the different editions and looking for the reasons for his changes.
I did not realize the other reply was from you also, so I will mention it here. I am very familiar with the phrase you speak of...Oddly enough, that is the OPPOSITE of how most people see Darwin. More importantly, however, the phrase is not in his original. That was added in later editions. That fact and the reasons behind it are exactly the point of my research.
Edited by KevinAthans, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Percy, posted 03-07-2013 1:13 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 11 of 70 (692796)
03-07-2013 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by nwr
03-07-2013 1:18 PM


All I am going to say to that, is that view is the very reason you should study the history of science. In addition to that, I would argue that history IS science. Sure, there are varying definitions of history, but one of the revolutions in historiography was scientific reasoning. We look at history and science much in the same ways. Scientists look at rock layers and fossils the same as historians look at artifacts and ruins. They use inductive reasoning to formulate an accurate account of what took place. If you want my opinion, history is science. But if you don't share my view, I am fine with that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by nwr, posted 03-07-2013 1:18 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by nwr, posted 03-07-2013 5:34 PM KevinAthans has replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 12 of 70 (692797)
03-07-2013 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 2:28 PM


Why so hostile? There is much about this topic you do not understand...If you do not like my view, fine. But your attitude towards me and the utter disregard for what I am saying is more similar to the dogmatic views of the creationists that will not even hear the other side of the argument. Unless you want to listen to my side instead of shouting your already known truth, I have no desire to discuss things with you. Keep worshiping your science.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 2:28 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 2:55 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 32 by Jon, posted 03-07-2013 9:37 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 15 of 70 (692803)
03-07-2013 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 2:55 PM


You insulted me. I do not care if you agree with me or not. I am not thin-skinned. If you read the title to my thread you would see that I was simply saying hello and telling you all about my senior project. I wasn't trying to start an argument, just make those that are interested, aware of my project. If I wanted to debate the importance of the history of science, I would have made a thread about it. All I am going to say is that I do not agree with you and if you want to have a civil conversation about it, I will at a future date. Until then, can you just treat this as my "hello" thread?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 2:55 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 4:12 PM KevinAthans has replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 17 of 70 (692805)
03-07-2013 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Dr Adequate
03-07-2013 3:22 PM


If you think the history of how science came to be, and the religious involvement, isn't important, fine. I am not sure why you are under the impression that there is science vs theology...Thoughout much of history they were the same thing...
okay, so you can look in a microscope without reading Darwin, but I bet you cannot explain to people the history of the creationism-evolution controversy. You may say, so what? Well it is quite simple...The way we get rid of this controversy is to educate people about it. Of course you will never convince the creationists of one thing or another, but you can explain the facts to those that are ignorant on the topic. A scientist arguing science, and a creationist arguing theology accomplishes nothing. One is arguing apples, the other oranges. They will simply not agree, period. But if people understand the history of the debate, the population can understand it and make the correct decisions.
Edited by KevinAthans, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-07-2013 3:22 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-07-2013 9:44 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 18 of 70 (692807)
03-07-2013 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 4:12 PM


Well it was these that got me specifically...
"OMG, sooo suprised! Guess what: I can still calculate the velocity of a ball from the derivative of its position with respect to time both before and after knowing that. So why did it matter at all?"
I simply brought up a point and you respond with "OMG, sooo suprised." Does that seem more friendly to you or more insulting and arrogant? Like I said, I was only looking tell about my paper, not discuss why you think history is irrelevant.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 4:12 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:01 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 29 by Theodoric, posted 03-07-2013 5:40 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 19 of 70 (692809)
03-07-2013 4:31 PM


Would it make you all happy if I said the history of science is more important to non-scientists than a science class is? I still think a biologist should read Darwin, but to your average person, I still think A history of science course does a lot more than a biology course...

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Genomicus, posted 03-07-2013 4:36 PM KevinAthans has not replied
 Message 36 by PaulK, posted 03-08-2013 1:28 AM KevinAthans has not replied
 Message 64 by Taq, posted 03-12-2013 5:46 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 23 of 70 (692814)
03-07-2013 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Genomicus
03-07-2013 4:42 PM


Fair enough. I tried to keep my intro as short as possible...I thought I had said too much already...I just kind of glossed over that because it wasn't a major point in my project...but I will explain...
In reference to the creation-evolution controversy, specifically, or let’s say the credibility of science, an understanding of the history of science is far more important to people. I have taken biology classes, I have taken history classes, and I have taken philosophy classes. As far as this debate goes, I find the history of science to be far more valuable. I have also found a class in scientific reasoning to be more valuable. There are a lot of bad studies out there that are statistically irrelevant. If a scientific study does not use proper procedure, a representative sample, a large enough sample, ect, the study is pointless. Studies that tell us nothing and fraud in science creates issues. Many people see science as a tool used by a group of people to persuade others of their views. The creationists, specifically, see science as a similar line of thinking as is used in theology. This is obviously incorrect. Scientific thought dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks and has evolved and changed over time. It was once intertwined with theology, it then started to pull away and has become what it is today. If people understand how and why this happened, understood the history and the context of it, as well as the social implications, one can make a better argument for why science is legitimate and not something that is faith based.
Yes, if we are working with a strain of bacteria, do sciencebut
making someone, which either does not believe in science, or is unsure of it, take classes in it is pointless for the most part. Some people will accept evolution because of a biology class they took, but I find history much more persuasive
Better?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Genomicus, posted 03-07-2013 4:42 PM Genomicus has not replied

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KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 24 of 70 (692815)
03-07-2013 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 5:01 PM


It looks like we have some agreement. Sorry if I did get a little butt-hurt.
I do have one question though...What do you mean by this?
"I think you might have been mislead on how big of a controversy there really is."
Do you mean I am underestimating it, overestimating it, or are you talking in the scientific field?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:01 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:13 PM KevinAthans has replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 26 of 70 (692818)
03-07-2013 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 5:13 PM


Oh, okay. Thanks for the quote info.
I do not know if I am overestimating it. Something like 50% of Americans do not believe in evolution. There are also constantly court cases about it. Look at the mess Kansas is in with their board of education. I know most Christians do not have a problem with evolution, but I do not think this is a small problem, nor do I think it is going away any time soon.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:13 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:28 PM KevinAthans has replied
 Message 57 by onifre, posted 03-08-2013 7:30 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


(1)
Message 34 of 70 (692855)
03-08-2013 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 5:28 PM


I understand your points. I would argue that the 50% that deny evolution are not included in your theological evolutionists. The question is about acceptance of evolution, not whether or not it is a mechanism of God.
I think the lack of our science skills (as a country) shows the problem. Here in Minnesota, one of the better states for education, about 20% of students are never taught evolution in high school even though it is mandated. That is too many IMO.
I know Creationists will never change their mind...I am focused on the education of the younger generations.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-07-2013 5:28 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

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KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4145 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 35 of 70 (692856)
03-08-2013 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by nwr
03-07-2013 5:34 PM


Well we will simply have to agree to disagree...

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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