Wednesday, October 20, 2010

American Law Is Very Confusing

 
Just when I thought I was beginning to understand, along comes a Republican candidate for the US Senate who tells me that it's okay for local school boards to permit teaching of Intelligent Design Creationism. The US Constitution allows this. I assume she must know what she's talking about since I haven't seen any prominent Republicans pointing out that she is mistaken.




44 comments :

  1. Christine O'Donnell: officially dumber than a sack of Sarah Palins.

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  2. Coons couldn't name the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    What makes asking where in the Constitution "separation of Church and State" occurs any dumber?

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  3. As an aside:

    Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.

    Did this happen because our resident loony, DM, became personally abusive?

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  4. WOW. That has to be an all time record for being wrong.

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  5. Boy, am I glad that these people can't be elected in my country. Although it would be easy if they openly showed how dumb they are. Then you don't get any unpleasant surprises after the election, when it's too late to change anything for the next few years.

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  6. Christine O'Donnell is very confused.

    I'll give her some credit, though. When she is completely ignorant of the topic at hand, she is rather better at bullshitting than is Sarah Palin.

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  7. Does anyone know the state of separation of church and state (or province?) in Canada?

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  8. I hate politicians. She cuts him off, and turns an intellectual issue into a philosophical one. Then nags.

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  9. along comes a Republican candidate for the US Senate who tells me that it's okay for local school boards to permit teaching of Intelligent Design Creationism. The US Constitution allows this.

    Uh, yeah, it's known as "States Rights." You know, the Tenth Amendment? But hey, Lar, maybe you could clear it all up and cite for me where the Constitution explicitly outlines a "separation of church and state?" All I can find in the First Amendment is a prohibition of the establishment of a state religion immediately followed by the unambiguous right of individuals to exercise one.

    Nowhere does it indicate when and where one can and cannot exercise his/her religion. Even a fourth grader can see a clear conflict with the "free exercise clause" if a "separation of church and state" was explicitly enumerated.

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  10. Saying that O'Donnell doesn't know what she is talking about is a gross understatement. She is the "scientists have embedded human brains in mice" woman.

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  11. Holy Christ, jcc, you are a fucking ignorant slut.

    Schools can't teach creationism because of the 14th Amendment's incorporation clause, meaning that lower governments have to recognize the superiority of the US Constitution. A state, nor a school district can't establish a religious doctrine as government entities, and because of the 1st amendment's establishment clause the 10th is irrelevant to teaching creationism.

    School boards are not individuals, and so are not protected by the free exercise clause.

    It's not so hard to study this stuff, but you really need to keep up.

    What amazes me is that school boards actually want to lie to kids just to protect religious dogma.

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  12. Even a fourth grader can see a clear conflict with the "free exercise clause" if a "separation of church and state" was explicitly enumerated.

    The Constitution most often enumerates the limits on the government's power. Nowhere does the Constitution say that all expressions of religion are outlawed; it just says the government can't endorse any, which teaching ID in the public schools does.

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  13. Well, even after the constitution and the bill of rights were ratified, at least one state (Connecticut) had established state churches.

    The bill of rights, at the time of its ratification, was intended to limit the federal power, not the power of the states. Hence, the tenth amendment.

    It wasn't until the 14th amendment, ratified in the wake of the South's rebellion, that the equal protection clause came into being and extended the bill of rights to the actions of the states.

    Later constitutional court cases held that religious indoctrination in the public schools was not kosher, but that's due to the constitutional penumbra extended by the courts, not by the explicit letter of the constitution as amended.

    That said, I've given money to Ms. O'Donnell's opponent gladly, and would very much prefer the schools (and government at all levels) to be most thoroughly secular.

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  14. jcc writes: But hey, Lar, maybe you could clear it all up and cite for me where the Constitution explicitly outlines a "separation of church and state?" All I can find in the First Amendment is a prohibition of the establishment of a state religion

    So it's an intellectual leap too far for you that people have traditionally described the prohibition on state establishment of religion as a separation of church and state? Because if the government could establish a state religion, that would make church and state pretty much non-separate, y'know?

    Even a fourth grader can see a clear conflict with the "free exercise clause" if a "separation of church and state" was explicitly enumerated.

    Maybe it's because I went past the fourth grade that I see absolutely no conflict between the individual's right to freely exercise his/her religion (or absence of same) and prohibiting the government from establishing an official religion for the nation. Do you really not see how the two go hand in hand - the government not forcing a particular religion on you, and your individual right to exercise the religion (or lack of same) of your choice?

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  15. "cite for me where the Constitution explicitly outlines a "separation of church and state?"

    http://acandidworld.com/2010/10/20/inexplicit-commands-separation-of-church-and-state/

    Hope that helps.

    Now please find the words 'assault rifle', 'stem cell', 'abortion' or 'Jesus' in there.

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  16. "Even a fourth grader can see a clear conflict with'

    Yes ... if you'd like to operate above a fourth grade level, you'd easily be able to learn what the framers were trying to avoid, and how two centuries of precedent has interpreted and implemented it.

    And, of course, that the real agenda of the creationists is not 'to teach another scientific theory, intelligent design', but to get their religious beliefs, and only their religious beliefs, onto the curriculum.

    That's the issue. That one religion - in this case, one branch of one tradition of one religion - and only one religion is given state sanction.

    (That's also why fundamentalists promote the self-negating statement that 'atheism is a religion' or that Darwinism is. That's a key reason why accomodationism is dangerous - it cedes the idea that atheism is a religious belief.)

    It's simple enough to explain the visceral reaction Americans who understand Constitutional law have when people like O'Donnell come along: 'Fine, we'll teach one religion in public schools: Islam. Kids will be required to pray towards Mecca numerous times during the day. No? Scientology, then.'

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  17. jcc asks,

    But hey, Lar, maybe you could clear it all up and cite for me where the Constitution explicitly outlines a "separation of church and state?"

    No, I can't do that. I really don't give a damn about what's in the American Constitution. All I know is that there have been lots of court cases where the courts have ruled against teaching creationism in public schools. I'm told that's because it violates the constitution.

    Now along comes a bunch of Republicans who say that's not really what the law says. They say it's perfectly legal to teach creationism if the local schools boards want to do t.

    That's very confusing. It almost looks as though people who are anti-science are idiots. I can't think of any other logical explanation.

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  18. William wrote:
    Does anyone know the state of separation of church and state (or province?) in Canada?

    There is no formalised separation like there is in the US - we have the right to freedom of religion and conscience, but the constitution does not place a formal separation between state and religion. In some ways, the state and religion are deeply intertwined; for example, many provinces provide an "alternate" schoolboard for the minority form of Christianity in that province (i.e. proistanism vs. catholisism). For example, in Alberta (where I grew up) the public board was the formerly protistant school system (now secular), while the secondary schoolboard remained catholic.

    That said, our right to religious freedom, eschewed in our constitution, has had an effect similar to formal separation - laws which are based on one religion (i.e. forcing stores to stay closed on Sundays) are considered unconstitutional, and the funding of religious organisational must be done on equal footing with all other types of organisations (religious or otherwise).

    Its far from perfect, although in my experience the separation is generally greater here than in the US.

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  19. "They say it's perfectly legal to teach creationism if the local schools boards want to do t."

    O'Donnell's an idiot, but her answer goes far further than the usual creationist. She was asked 'is evolution a myth?' and waffled and then said that the answer to *that* question was up to the local school board.

    Scientific truth is what your local school board says. Well done, O'Donnell, you came up with something more anti-science than creationism itself.

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  20. The debate is, however disguised, basically 'is the United States a Christian country?'.

    For the purposes of this, Christians put aside their differences and Catholics, Protestants, Mormons and who knows what else all consider themselves 'the same religion'.

    This by itself, of course, ought to be enough to get the bullshit-o-meter needle quivering.

    For the purposes of this argument, suddenly the 'oh, silly you, I'm not the same as those creationists, I think Darwin was right, he just missed out the bit about God guiding it' Christians are suddenly shoulder to shoulder with the 'it's all true, even the bits that aren't true' lot.

    If you look at facts, history and so on, the people who drew up the Constitution were a diverse group of people who didn't agree on much ... but most of them were strikingly irreligious, non-religious, only vaguely religious or outright atheists. Most took the view that God had only been the prime mover - Deism. This is not Christianity. The language of the Constitution reflects that - no Jesus, no God, just 'the creator'.

    The Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights glaringly omit Christianity. The letters of the framers make it clear that's because they're not interested in a 'Christian nation'.

    The Treaty of Tripoli, 1797, ratified by the Senate, signed by President John Adams, says "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion".

    Creationism is basically a wedge issue, to allow religion to be taught in schools. Specifically Christianity, specifically the lie that America was founded as a Christian nation.

    The joke being that the UK, a country where the head of state was appointed by God and leads the state religion, has a population 91% of whom won't attend a religious service this year. Half of the 9% aren't Church of England.

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  21. There is no requirement that a political nominee have a competent understanding of the U.S. Constitution. And she does not. She is completely ignorant of the document as are several of the commenters here. The 14th and 1st Amendments make the separation of church and state one of the most strongly textually-supported aspects of the Constitution. Why do conservative loonies only ever read the 2nd and 10th Amendments?

    This video is reason #458 that this woman will lose by 20+ points to a guy nobody ever heard of before. She is not a serious candidate for statewide office. She is good for filling a lot of air on television news networks, and ,apparently, science blogs.

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  22. Lar said:

    No, I can't do that.

    Wow! An actual moment of candor!

    I really don't give a damn about what's in the American Constitution.

    Yeah, you, 4.5 Supreme Court Justices and a gazillion liberal activist Federal judges… But, given that you apparently choose to behave as a “typical liberal Canuck,” I’m really not surprised by that claim.

    All I know is that there have been lots of court cases where the courts have ruled against teaching creationism in public schools.

    And apparently, “all you know” isn’t very much. Taking a page from your playbook, the Theory of Intelligent Design is absolutely NOT creationism. Really, Lar, being such a bright guy, I’d have thought you were aware of that distinction (but then again, I suppose choosing to be a “typical liberal Canuck” apparently disables the portion of the brain responsible for that kind of reasoning).

    I'm told that's because it violates the constitution.

    Told by who? Other “typical liberal Canucks,” or the gazillion liberal, activist judges who’ve purposefully misread the Constitution?—besides, I thought you “really don't give a damn about what's in the American Constitution,” so what’s up with that?

    Now along comes a bunch of Republicans who say that's not really what the law says.

    Sorry to have to break this to you Lar, but that “bunch” have been saying that’s not what the law says since the late fifties.

    They say it's perfectly legal to teach creationism if the local schools boards want to do t.

    Uh, no, they say it’s perfectly legal to teach the Theory of Intelligent Design if the local school boards want to.

    That's very confusing.

    Given what you write here, that’s exactly the kind of confession I’d expect from you.

    It almost looks as though people who are anti-science are idiots.

    Really Lar, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself there.

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  23. "Uh, no, they say it’s perfectly legal to teach the Theory of Intelligent Design if the local school boards want to."

    ... and if Intelligent Design was not inherently religious in nature.

    Simple question: name five important ways Intelligent Design theory disagrees with creationism.

    When you're done, name five people who've advocated ID be taught in public schools or written an American ID textbook who aren't fundamentalist Christians or who haven't cashed a check from one.

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  24. jcc says,

    And apparently, “all you know” isn’t very much. Taking a page from your playbook, the Theory of Intelligent Design is absolutely NOT creationism. Really, Lar, being such a bright guy, I’d have thought you were aware of that distinction (but then again, I suppose choosing to be a “typical liberal Canuck” apparently disables the portion of the brain responsible for that kind of reasoning).

    There's a big conference on science and faith taking place in Texas this weekend. Only Christians are invited.

    According to their website, the usual suspects from Disco are planning to attend: Stephen Meyer, Bill Dembski, Doug Axe, Richard Sternberg, Paul Nelson, Jack Collins, Walter Bradley, Bruce Gordon, and Ray Bohlin.

    They're going to be defending their new video called God and Evolution. All this seems a bit strange since proponents of intelligent design have been telling us for years that their "scientific" hypothesis has nothing to do with religion and it isn't a form of creationism. It's not about God, they say, and even if it were, it certainly doesn't have anything to do with God creating things.

    It all seems very confusing to this ignorant Canuck. I wonder if the Disco fellows are supporters of Christine O'Donnell because she sure seems to be a fan of Intelligent Design Creationism?

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  25. anonymous says,

    The debate is, however disguised, basically 'is the United States a Christian country?'.

    Of course it's a Christian country.

    A bunch of intellectuals who lived 225 years ago may not have wanted it to become a Christian country but that's irrelevant. They failed.

    Don't you listen to American politicians? With very few exceptions, they fall all over themselves proclaiming that they are Christians and that they adhere to Christian values. The vast majority of Americans are devout Christians and the country is currently engaged in two wars against Muslims.

    Don't you watch FOX News—the most popular cable newwork—and listen to radio talk shows?

    What "debate" are you talking about?

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  26. jcc writes: Taking a page from your playbook, the Theory of Intelligent Design is absolutely NOT creationism. Really, Lar, being such a bright guy, I’d have thought you were aware of that distinction...."

    That's absolutely right, IDiots are not creationists, they are, as the text they want to teach from [Of Pandas and People] says, "cdesign proponentsists."

    In case the derivation of the term in quotes is at all puzzling, I'll explain it: ID supporters took a creationism textbook, pasted "intelligent design" wherever the textbook said "creationism," "design proponents" wherever it said "creationists," etc. "Cdesign proponentsists" was the result of a botched replacement of "creationists" with "design proponents."

    Not one letter or punctuation mark of the "creationist" textbook was changed to make it an "intelligent design" textbook other than these substitutions. So that is how much, substantively, Intelligent Design differs from creationism - not at all, not by one letter, comma or period.

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  27. Anonymous said:

    ... and if Intelligent Design was not inherently religious in nature.

    No more so than atheism is.

    name five important ways Intelligent Design theory disagrees with creationism.

    Don’t need five when one is sufficient: whereas creationism argues from a religious authority (e.g. the Bible, Koran, etc.), the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design.

    name five people who've advocated ID be taught in public schools or written an American ID textbook who aren't fundamentalist Christians.

    Obviously, you’ve never heard of David Berlinski; not to worry, there’s an entire website devoted to a whole cadre of such people: http://icon-rids.blogspot.com/

    Next question please.

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  28. " But hey, Lar, maybe you could clear it all up and cite for me where the Constitution explicitly outlines a "separation of church and state?"


    Or maybe you could just read the writings of Jefferson or Madison on the issue to see what the intent was?

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  29. Lar said:

    There's a big conference on science and faith taking place in Texas this weekend. Only Christians are invited.

    Oh, and like you’ve never been invited to a believers-in-non-belief-only conflab before? Really, Lar, is it that hard to cloak your atheistic hypocrisy?

    According to their website, the usual suspects … are planning to attend…

    I know! I’m dying to attend myself, but have prior commitments. Bummer.

    All this seems a bit strange since proponents of intelligent design have been telling us for years that their "scientific" hypothesis has nothing to do with religion…

    Geeze, Lar, are you really that clueless, or are ya just playing coy with the new guy?

    The video demonstrates the logical fallacies and internal inconsistencies of embracing both beliefs—which has absolutely nothing to do with ID.

    It all seems very confusing to this ignorant Canuck.

    That’s it, Lar! Keep up the good work, confession is good for the soul!

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  30. Berlinski is, no doubt, a smart fella, and the website that JCC points to is interesting (icon-rids.blogspot.com), but I don't see a "whole cadre" of non-religious ID proponents there, only Berlinski and the blog's author, William Brookfield. I'm not one to question if they are hiding their religious beliefs for strategic purposes (I don't think they are) but in any event their views on evolutionary theory and processes is more than poor. It's always interesting to me the most vocal opponents of evolution from the secular/science side of things are the folks who have NO training in evolutionary biology. Their latest strategy seems to involve hijacking information theory and hoping that the oracle of the creator is written into biological information, but only they--as trained scientists--can tease out the true meaning of the data and provide just enough obfuscation of the issues (with fancy equations that don't relate to any evolutionary process) to convince the hoi polloi of their righteousness. It's bad science in the academic realm and disingenuous in the public one.

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  31. Hey Anon,

    Or maybe you could just read the writings of Jefferson or Madison on the issue to see what the intent was?

    Or, maybe I have... And maybe I have sense enough to give them (Madison, the ardent Presbyterian, in particular) the full credit they deserve for having understood the difference between a democratic republic and a theocracy—and above all else, for their deep, abiding comprehension of just how utterly dependent the long-term viability of said republic is on its populace adhering to Judeo-Christian principles and its transcendent, immutable code of morality.

    P.S.
    Also, need I explain the difference between intent and final result?

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  32. Hi rich,

    their views on evolutionary theory and processes is more than poor.

    Their views are "poor?" Then perhaps you can direct me to a Darwinist (or Darwinists) with rich views?—you know, ones who've actually verified the core claim of Darwinism by producing a morphologically distinct (i.e. exhibiting a major body-plan modification) and reproductively isolated new species via controlled experimentation?

    And while you're at it, could you list for me exactly which "evolutionary processes" have been experimentally verified (you know, scientifically shown to produce non-lethal, beneficial body-plan modifications) as well?

    the most vocal opponents of evolution from the secular/science side of things are the folks who have NO training in evolutionary biology.

    ...and am I to assume that your training consisted of designing, conducting and observing firsthand, an experimentally controlled speciation event?

    Their latest strategy seems to involve hijacking information theory and hoping that the oracle of the creator is written into biological information, but only they--as trained scientists--can tease out the true meaning of the data

    Really? So, can you give me a more plausible explanation of what probabilistic resources (that don't exceed that of this universe) are required to randomly assemble a nucleotide sequence for a minimal functioning protein of say, just a hundred amino acids?

    May I suggest you reconsider what you regard as "bad science?"

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  33. Re David Berlinski

    David Berlinski is a man who has lied about his scientific credentials. He used to imply that he had a PhD in mathematics from Princeton, actually, his PhD is in philosophy. AFAIK, he has never published a single paper in any peer reviewed mathematical journal.

    Richard Dawkins best summed up Berlinski after listening to one of his lectures. "One who denies the theory of evolution is either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked (but he didn't want to consider that). Berlinski is neither ignorant, stupid, or insane."

    Re William Dumbski

    Prof. Dumbski has now admitted that his ID views are based on his religious convictions. What a surprise.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/10/it_must_be_obvious_day.php

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  34. >>... and if Intelligent Design
    >> was not inherently religious
    >> in nature.

    > No more so than atheism is.

    Nice try. We were discussing 'evolution', not 'atheism'. If evolution was inherently religious in nature, you'd be wanking over it, not running so shit scared.

    >> name five important ways
    >> Intelligent Design theory
    >> disagrees with creationism.

    > Don’t need five

    You do to answer the question, actually.

    Biblical authority, eh? The Bible says bats are a type of bird. Do you agree?

    So ... 0 out of 2 so far.

    >> name five people who've
    >> advocated ID be taught in
    >> public schools or written an
    >> American ID textbook who
    >> aren't fundamentalist
    >> Christians.

    > Obviously, you’ve never heard of > David Berlinski

    And ... that's one person, not five. And you had to cut off the last bit of what I was asking for - someone who isn't getting fat checks from fundies. Berlinski has realized there's gold in them there morons, that he'll get a lot more cash from the Discovery Institute than from an actual institute, and that the way to do it is to write books that have 'Darwin' and 'Wrong' in the title.

    Zero out of three.

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  35. Hi JCC,

    No offense but your response to my post is proof of my overall point: you, and I assume by extension, other ID proponents have a poor grasp of evolutionary theory. And you also have a very narrow idea of what science is.

    There is NO reason any biologist would ever pursue your ridiculous challenge. I assure you there is not a biological laboratory out there whose research statement reads: "Welcome to the Smith Lab. Our goal is to scour the internet for silly challenges by ID proponents in an effort to prove evolution versus creationism"

    Evolutionary biologists do not design experiments in order to derive new body plans during speciation. This is because speciation does not work that way. No evolutionary biologist thinks that, overnight, a starfish (a radially symmetrical animal) gave birth to a porcupine (a bilaterally symmetrical animal).

    Your challenge amounts some schoolyard gibberish along the lines of "Yeah, well if there is a theory of glucose metabolism then show me some experimentally-derived and replicable evidence for a Snickers Bar turning into an apple tree...huh? Ya can't. Gotchya!"

    The above example, like your own challenge, induces feelings of exasperation and "oh boy...where do we start...?" You can understand why evolutionary biologists do not spend time trying to refute such misguided claims. I realize that it is important for ID proponents/creationists to keep the battle "in the trenches" and remain on the offensive. That is, you all need to keep making challenges that operate in the data realm, using (poorly understood) words and concepts from evolutionary biology to derive ridiculous challenges and childish hypotheticals about the mechanics and plausibility of evolution. It is your only alternative. Biologists don't feel the need to address these challenges simply because they emanate out of dogmatic ignorance, not legitimacy. I can almost envision you furiously thumbing through the pages of Behe's book in order to find another poorly articulated challenge to evolution. To me, the debate needs to rise above the plausibility of evolutionary change (as an aside, almost every single evolutionary process has been experimentally or empirically verified via deduction...just check any evolutionary biology textbook) and get at the heart of the matter: how do you explain reality? do you believe in objective reality? what is your political agenda? do you think climate change is a liberal myth? do you think Sarah Palin is intelligent? do you feel uncomfortable taking public transportation? do gays threaten your livelihood? To me, getting at the honest answers to these questions will reveal more about your desire to disprove evolution than any silly and ignorant challenges you come up with. To me, this debate is political, not scientific. That you all continue to try to make it scientific is a bad strategy. If you keep it at the scientific level you'll need to prove to me that god made protein sequences, porcupines, and Sarah Palin. And you'll fail.

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  36. Anonymous:

    Nice try. We were discussing 'evolution', not 'atheism'.

    In the context of the discussion, “evolution” and “atheism” are interchangeable. People like you embrace them religiously—both are factually unsubstantiated and require articles of blind faith in order to adhere to their tenets. You get defensive when they’re criticized on their merits (or lack thereof); and instead of responding directly to that criticism, you return fire with ad hominem invective on the critic. So, no. That’s one for one.

    If evolution was inherently religious in nature, you'd be wanking over it, not running so shit scared.

    Not gonna dignify that first assertion with a reply. And since you’re either incapable of comprehending my posts or just haven’t been paying attention, the last thing I am is “scared” of an archaic, fantasy-filled, 19th century “theory” that has not and cannot be scientifically verified simply because it’s flat-out wrong.

    That’s two for two.

    You do to answer the question, actually.

    Uh, no. That would’ve only validated the nature of your question (which was purposefully designed to try to trip me up). The distinction between the two that I articulated is sufficient.

    Three for three.

    Biblical authority, eh? The Bible says bats are a type of bird. Do you agree?

    Now that’s a “nice try.” Sorry, where did I say I was a “creationist” here?

    someone who isn't getting fat checks from fundies.

    Oh dear. Here’s
    a list of over 700 Ph.D’s who don’t buy your Darwinist claptrap. I’m almost positive you’ll find more than five who aren’t getting checks from “fundies.”

    Next question please.

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  37. Hi JCC,

    Thanks for the link to the 700 (constituting about 0.0000001% of scientists) Ph.D.s who doubt neo-Darwinism. I looked over the list and also the links on that site.

    On the whole, their arguments and views are pretty otiose. Their major claim "we are skeptical of random mutation and natural selection to explain the complexity of life" is purposely vague. But is also somewhat ironic.

    If any of these folks had an inkling of scientific understanding they'd realize that they are signing onto a list that is generally in agreement with the spirit of science.

    Science RUNS on systematic skepticism. All scientists subject hypotheses to rigorous scrutiny--scientists by nature are skeptics. And sorry to tell you, the only hypothesis that has stood the test of time in the face of literally 10000000+ tests is evolution by natural selection. So much so that it is now given theory status.

    But it's clear that these scientists have a different agenda. They are not just trying to voice healthy scientific skepticism (science will always correct itself in the face of overwhelming new data/tests), they are simply disingenuous folks who are using their intelligence to hide their conservative and/or religious agenda.

    The rest of those links on that site that purport to be objective about evolutionary change are very poorly done. They have the typical mix of quote-mining, uncontexualized prose, and--surprise, surprise, NO alternative hypotheses. Amateur stuff, seriously.

    As these 700 scientists know, they will NEVER find robust evidence for an alternative to Darwinian evolution (assuming they actually come forward and propose a strong alternative hypothesis that can't be reconciled with evolutionary processes). But that's not their concern is it? It's not about convincing other scientists, it's about convincing school boards and politicians. So sad.

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  38. rich lawler:

    Due to the length of my reply, I have to break it into two separate posts because Larry’s little web server only allows 4K replies.

    No offense but your response to my post is proof of my overall point: you, and I assume by extension, other ID proponents have a poor grasp of evolutionary theory.

    Oh, none taken. Your clichéd response was quite predictable. The only aspect I can never anticipate is the degree of rancor and ignorant, personal contempt atheists will lower themselves to in doing so. If only I had a dime for every time an atheist has accused me of having a “poor grasp of evolutionary theory” while knowing virtually nothing about what I actually do know.

    And of course, no response would be complete without the obligatory:

    you also have a very narrow idea of what science is.

    Yep, that’s right. Us “fundies” are nuthin but a bunch of semi-literate rubes lacking our full complement of teeth. Really, rich I was hoping at least you could break the stereotype. Alas, another apparent “victim of his DNA.”

    There is NO reason any biologist would ever pursue your ridiculous challenge.

    Oh of course not! Quaint, fanciful 19th century theories are accepted wholesale by the mainstream “scientific” community without experimental verification all the time! And how convenient to embrace a theory that, apparently by definition, is exempt from verification.

    Evolutionary biologists do not design experiments in order to derive new body plans during speciation.

    Well of course not! Darwinists just take that claim of the theory on faith!

    No evolutionary biologist thinks that, overnight, a starfish … gave birth to a porcupine

    Would you mind pointing out where I said that—or anything remotely close to that?

    Your challenge amounts some schoolyard gibberish…

    “No offense” rich, but you seem to have difficulty distinguishing between objective reality and what you wish to be true.

    [Yadda, yadda, yadda]…using (poorly understood) words and concepts from evolutionary biology to derive ridiculous challenges and childish hypotheticals about the mechanics and plausibility of evolution…[Yadda, yadda, yadda]…

    Hey rich, either your theory does, or it doesn’t claim to explain how new body plans evolve from pre-existing ones. If it does, then any reasonably objective scientist—following the scientific method— would be compelled to test it by experimentation before staking his/her reputation on it. It should be quite easy to do. There are tons of short-lived single-celled organisms that make ideal candidates for such an endeavor. But alas, either I have a “narrow idea of what science is,” or all we ever seem to end up with are sick, unchanged or dead candidates.

    Biologists don't feel the need to address these challenges simply because they emanate out of dogmatic ignorance, not legitimacy.

    Again, what a convenient theory to espouse. Every Darwinist simply takes Darwin at his word—because there is no peer pressure to actually verify the status quo. And yes again, I’m the one with a “narrow idea of what science is…”

    I can almost envision you furiously thumbing through the pages of Behe's book in order to find another poorly articulated challenge to evolution.

    Really rich, such callow, ego-stroking digressions are most unbecoming.

    …almost every single evolutionary process has been experimentally or empirically verified via deduction...

    “Via deduction?” You let your entire faith in a theory hang on deduction?

    …get at the heart of the matter: how do you explain reality?

    You know how I do (or you should). The real question is how do you materialists?

    ReplyDelete
  39. rich:

    (Part 2):

    do you believe in objective reality?

    Now, that’s a nonsequitur, especially coming from a postmodern materialist.

    what is your political agenda?

    Asked as if you don’t know—but why don’t you own-up to what your own agenda consists of?

    do you think climate change is a liberal myth?

    Oh, of course not. Surely you noticed the abnormal intensity of this year's hurricane season and how nearly all the Arctic sea ice is gone…

    And the pièce de résistance, the question you’ve been dying to ask from the very beginning:

    do you think Sarah Palin is intelligent?

    About as intelligent as you think Barack “Inhalator” Uh-bama is.

    do you feel uncomfortable taking public transportation?

    Well, of course—I'm no different than every other paranoid schizophrenic.

    do gays threaten your livelihood?

    Huh? How can someone who chooses to engage in unnatural and unhealthy behaviors threaten how I make a living? Does my very existence threaten yours?

    To me, this debate is political, not scientific.

    YOU DON’T SAY!!

    That you all continue to try to make it scientific is a bad strategy.

    Hey thanks for the advice. It’s always good to know what tactic threatens one’s adversary the most.

    you'll need to prove to me that god made protein sequences,

    Perhaps I need to repeat my last “challenge:”

    what probabilistic resources (that don't exceed that of this universe) are required to randomly assemble a nucleotide sequence for a minimal functioning protein of say, just a hundred amino acids?

    Gee rich, did you really think taking the usual, condescendingly smug, elitist, smarter-than-everybody-else-in-the-room approach would make me cower in the corner?

    Maybe next time you won't make quite so many erroneous assumptions about who you think you're "intellectually destroying."

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  40. "People like you embrace them religiously—both are factually unsubstantiated and require articles of blind faith in order to adhere to their tenets."

    My absolute favorite nutjob fundie debating tactic is when they go 'well ... you're religious, too, so you're just as crazy as I am'.

    ReplyDelete
  41. rich lawler:

    Sorry, I had to break my reply into 2 parts because Larry’s little web server only allows 4K replies, and apparently, my first part ended up in the bit bucket. It may have been too big too, so I'll try again with part 1a and 1b.

    Here's 1a:

    No offense but your response to my post is proof of my overall point: you, and I assume by extension, other ID proponents have a poor grasp of evolutionary theory.

    Oh, none taken. Your clichéd response was quite predictable. The only thing aspect of it I can never anticipate is the degree of rancor and ignorant, personal contempt atheists will lower themselves to in doing so. If only I had a dime for every time an atheist has accused me of having a “poor grasp of evolutionary theory” while knowing virtually nothing about what I actually do know.

    And of course, no response would be complete without the obligatory:

    you also have a very narrow idea of what science is.

    Yep, that’s right. Us “fundies” are nuthin but a bunch of semi-literate rubes lacking our full complement of teeth. Really, rich I was hoping at least you could break the stereotype. Alas, another apparent “victim of his DNA.”

    There is NO reason any biologist would ever pursue your ridiculous challenge.

    Oh of course not! Quaint, fanciful 19th century theories are accepted wholesale by the mainstream “scientific” community without experimental verification all the time! And how convenient to embrace a theory that, apparently by definition, is exempt from verification.

    Evolutionary biologists do not design experiments in order to derive new body plans during speciation.

    Well of course not! Darwinists just take that claim of the theory on faith!

    No evolutionary biologist thinks that, overnight, a starfish … gave birth to a porcupine

    Would you mind pointing out where I said that—or anything remotely close to that?

    Your challenge amounts some schoolyard gibberish…

    “No offense” rich, but you seem to have difficulty distinguishing between objective reality and what you wish to be true.

    ReplyDelete
  42. No offense but your response to my post is proof of my overall point: you, and I assume by extension, other ID proponents have a poor grasp of evolutionary theory.

    Oh, none taken. Your clichéd response was quite predictable. The only thing aspect of it I can never anticipate is the degree of rancor and ignorant, personal contempt atheists will lower themselves to in doing so. If only I had a dime for every time an atheist has accused me of having a “poor grasp of evolutionary theory” while knowing virtually nothing about what I actually do know.

    And of course, no response would be complete without the obligatory:

    you also have a very narrow idea of what science is.

    Yep, that’s right. Us “fundies” are nuthin but a bunch of semi-literate rubes lacking our full complement of teeth. Really, rich I was hoping at least you could break the stereotype. Alas, another apparent “victim of his DNA.”

    There is NO reason any biologist would ever pursue your ridiculous challenge.

    Oh of course not! Quaint, fanciful 19th century theories are accepted wholesale by the mainstream “scientific” community without experimental verification all the time! And how convenient to embrace a theory that, apparently by definition, is exempt from verification.

    Evolutionary biologists do not design experiments in order to derive new body plans during speciation.

    Well of course not! Darwinists just take that claim of the theory on faith!

    No evolutionary biologist thinks that, overnight, a starfish … gave birth to a porcupine

    Would you mind pointing out where I said that—or anything remotely close to that?

    Your challenge amounts some schoolyard gibberish…

    “No offense” rich, but you seem to have difficulty distinguishing between objective reality and what you wish to be true.

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  43. rich:

    And here's part 1b:

    [Yadda, yadda, yadda]…using (poorly understood) words and concepts from evolutionary biology to derive ridiculous challenges and childish hypotheticals about the mechanics and plausibility of evolution…[Yadda, yadda, yadda]…

    Hey rich, either your theory does, or it doesn’t claim to explain how new body plans evolve from pre-existing ones. If it does, then any reasonably objective scientist—following the scientific method— would be compelled to test it by experimentation before staking his/her reputation on it. It should be quite easy to do. There are tons of short-lived single-celled organisms that make ideal candidates for such an endeavor. But alas, either I have a “narrow idea of what science is,” or all we ever seem to end up with are sick, unchanged or dead candidates.

    Biologists don't feel the need to address these challenges simply because they emanate out of dogmatic ignorance, not legitimacy.

    Again, what a convenient theory to espouse. Every Darwinist simply takes Darwin at his word—because there is no peer pressure to actually verify the status quo. And yes again, I’m the one with a “narrow idea of what science is…”

    I can almost envision you furiously thumbing through the pages of Behe's book in order to find another poorly articulated challenge to evolution.

    Really rich, such callow, ego-stroking digressions are most unbecoming.

    …almost every single evolutionary process has been experimentally or empirically verified via deduction...

    “Via deduction?” You let your entire faith in a theory hang on deduction?

    …get at the heart of the matter: how do you explain reality?

    You know how I do (or you should). The real question is how do you materialists?

    ReplyDelete
  44. JCC, this is getting downright fun.

    Thanks for your responses to my questions. Some of them almost sound as if you're one of those homophobic, show-me-the-birth-certificate types. If true, then I've clearly given you more credit than you deserve.

    But your general response is equally predictable:

    --You pose some questions here that manifest an ignorance of evolutionary biology.

    --I tell you that you are manifesting an ignorance in evolutionary biology

    --You cry foul and accuse me of being a smug elitist who is filled with condescension.

    Don't take this so personally JCC. I'm not saying your ignorant in all realms, only that the questions you posed here manifest an ignorance of evolutionary biology. You're probably much smarter than I in most things (how's that for me acting "smarter than everyone else in the room"?...oh wait, now I just appear to be condescending...gosh I feel so pushed into a corner myself...) But you don't appear--at least in this forum--to understand what are the proper questions to ask about evolutionary mechanisms.

    The answer to your question:
    what probabilistic resources (that don't exceed that of this universe) are required to randomly assemble a nucleotide sequence for a minimal functioning protein of say, just a hundred amino acids?

    is, again, that this is the wrong question to ask. That you are I are arguing on this forum is proof-positive that at some point in the past nucleotides assembled into functional proteins. These proteins allow you to type furiously at your keyboard and also allow you to think that gays are "unhealthy." That life arose from non-life--complexity from non-complexity--is not the issue. The issue is whether one chooses to explain the complexity problem by invoking either natural processes (in which case, you'd be a scientist) or supernatural processes (in which case, you'd be ID proponent, creationist, biblical literalist, etc.). At present, there is simply no evidence that a supernatural creator has directed nucleotides to assemble into a fully functional protein. There is growing evidence that natural processes have (do a google scholar search). I have no problem with the fact that you take the supernatural route, but it just speaks to my broader point that you furnish your reality not with evidence but with faith. I'm not threatened by that (or you, for that matter); I just think you are misguided.

    But alas, life calls. And like you I've got better things to do. I'm not going to continue this repartee any further, despite the fact that it's both fun and funny. Feel free to craft a detailed response with the strategic use of italics and bold face terms. You can interpret my lack of response as cowardice or victory. I don't care. Nor likely do the 1000 other readers of this blog--which incidentally is 300 more than your exiguous list of ID-based scientists from across the world.

    ReplyDelete