This is truly the only use you see in understanding evolution?
As far as I can tell, the only way that the history of evolution would provide practical dividends for us is inspiration for genetic coding for certain characteristics. Mostly, we'd be focusing on studying modern day genotypes and phenotypes for clues as to how to code for advantageous genes - I'm no expert in agricultural sciences, but the few modifications I've read about that they made to crops were inspired from modern genes, though not always of the same species as the plant being modified. If creationists deny genetics like they deny evolution, then that's a practical concern.
Evolution is merely an example. The point is raising scientific literacy. And, of course, the techniques that we should use to do that.
If someone feels the urge to pursue knowledge of the history of evolution in the American Bible Belt, then I suspect they wouldn't want to stay there to pursue it anyway. And if they don't, I don't particularly care about inculcating them with that urge.
It doesn't. I said the fact that people hold it in higher regard does. Astrology by itself is not important. An opinion that astrology is valid, however, is harmful to growth in general. Because, you know, people matter.
How does astrology stunt the growth of knowledge in astronomy or astrophysics? Unless you would argue that they have the time, the capabilities, and the finances to achieve learning in any area and advance that body of knowledge if only they would discard the more erroneous models and assumptions, and that there are enough resources poured into the facilities for study of the stars to handle a larger influx of students, there's no positive utility to be gained from them if they stopped believing in astrology (assuming they really do). And their incorrect beliefs don't interfere with those who want to know the truth from finding it.
It also furthers the idea that people are willing to accept things without evidence as long as it makes them feel good.
Your point is valid, but it was not a part of the discussion that was raised. The "spiritual" satisfaction does nothing to advance knowledge. Using religion as a way to control people does the opposite.
My point is that people seem to find a use in worship and in belief, and also people in power probably find a use in having people believe, so it's rather short-sighted to say that religion has been useless. Maybe in your life, it's been useless. That's not the same thing as saying it's useless.
Judaism (as I remember it) actually spends a fairly small amount of time attempting to explain the how of the universe, so I don't see how it's really (perhaps only) a failed science...and not so much of the why either, it doesn't say anything about why god wanted to create the universe that I remember. It's more like the what, what you should do according to a being that claims superiority. And also what your story is as a member of the Jewish people - fabricated or not. Who the important people are, and when they were around, where they lived. I would say that religion has obviously failed a lot on the grounds of telling people what they should do, but it's also succeeded a lot, and morality isn't really something that science attempts to supply in the place of religion - because it can't. Morality is too subjective.
So I think that whoever said that religion is failed science is making an ignorant generalization, one that hinders knowledge and opposes progress in understanding since you seem to have taken it up. I wonder if I should lie and say I'm an atheist to convince him that he's wrong?
Religion is useful in that it was a stepping stone to achieve something better at acquiring knowledge. Something that not only aids in gaining knowledge, but shows us why it's correct. And I'm not ruling out the possibility that science itself may merely be a stepping stone to something better either.
As an example, it is sort of like how philosophy use to be the closest we got to physics. Philosophy is no longer used to obtain knowledge on that subject. Is it useless? In that sense, yes. In every other sense, no. Not at all. Religion is just the same. It has its uses for some people, and I'm fine with that.
The claim that it is a failed science only applies to the technique we use to obtain knowledge. It is not meant to claim that it is better to use as a moral compass, it's more spiritual, et cetera. It is merely better at helping us obtain knowledge.
That's obviously not true. For one thing, if you think evolution has any grounds, you believe that progression existed prior to the formulation of theory. Even within the context of theory, progression occurs by accident, incidental to theory. Progression also occurs in the absence of theory, in the past even sometimes unaware of an existing theory (less so now), a kind of divergent progression (I don't know if this ever occurred in the natural sciences, but it has occurred). It surely occurs when theory is supplemented and further strengthened.
Haha, sorry! Let me explain: in the world of science, to challenge a theory (until we obtain theories that hold up to scrutiny) is the only thing that helps science to progress. In reality, for those outside of the fields of science (like you or I, I assume), progression occurs in a multitude of ways. Sorry about that.
Scientific progression is very new in terms of the history of life, so there's absolutely no logical way I could state that progress only occurs when theories are challenged. Progression has occurred for nearly one hundred thousand years before science existed.
They are the same thing in the sense that they both have been used to pursue knowledge. Other than that, they are fundamentally different. That is why religion is seen as the stepping stone.
Religion is a perfect attempt at science; science, is a perfect attempt at religion. They are the same thing. And both worked pretty accurately for the longest times, until people abused the pursuit of "All" and moved towards making them more cultural facets, such as didactic rulership--until the pursuit of understanding became transformed into a method of power and powerless.
It sounds like your Sam is aiming at the body of the hostage, not the thing which took it hostage.
What route would you like to have seen these take? It seems to me that it was only natural that these methods of understanding became intertwined within our culture enough to used it as means of power.