I've been learning a bit more about Christianity recently. This is the first of a set of posts on and around the topic.
Steve dobbed me in to a friend of his the other night, telling him I was interested in things like evolution. Asked about whether he believed in creationism, the friend said, 'what people seem to forget is that evolution is just a theory'. I was largely saved from having to argue this by the phone ringing, but it echoes things I have heard christian creationists say on various websites and blogs.
I wrote in a previous post about how many creationists dismiss the theory of evolution because they don't understand what a scientific theory means. Many of the other creationist criticisms that I have seen or heard seem to be based on a misunderstanding of the theory. (It's easier to knock down a straw man). Just because I felt like it, here is my explanation of the current theory of evolution in a nutshell.
Present both sides of the argument and let people make up their own minds. That sounds like a very fair and rational thing to say, doesn't it?
Factually maybe, but philosophically no.
Tonight the Large Hadron Collider had a beam all the way around for the first time. Some nutjobs are apparently afraid that this might destroy the world. But someone has conveniently put up a web site to let you check: http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com/ The LHC is the world's largest particle accelerator. Buried under the Franco-Swiss border, at 27km long, it is the largest machine in the world. The plan is to have beams of protons (a type of hadron) or lead nuclei splat into each other at very high speeds (99.999999% of the speed of light) and with very high energies. This allows physicists to test various aspects of the Standard Model of particle physics, including hopefully observing the predicted Higgs boson for the first time. Stephen Hawking has apparently bet $100 that we won't see a Higgs boson using the LHC.