Friday, April 03, 2015

James Lunney doesn't get no respect - does he deserve it?

James Lunney has quit the Conservative Party of Canada and decided not to run in the next federal election. He's upset because he doesn't believe in evolution and lots of people, including me, are pointing out the stupidity of his views. Because those views are based on religion, he interprets this to be an attack on his faith.

Here's what he says on his website [Evolution Controversy].
Maybe it’s because I am tired of seeing my faith community mocked and belittled. To not respond is to validate my accusers and worse yet, imply that I lack the courage of my convictions to stand–up for what I believe. This is not a legacy I wish to leave behind. Many of you colleagues represent constituencies beyond the ones who elected you; I hope that no member of any faith community in Canada is compelled to defend the beliefs of their community in the future.

Freedom of Religion and conscience are fundamental freedoms in Canada. Bigotry cloaked in defense of "science" is as intolerable and repugnant as bigotry from any other source.

It is contrary to our multi-racial, multicultural and multi-faith character and the tolerance for diversity that defines us as Canadians.

I know members on all sides of the house are concerned about bullying in general and cyber-bullying in particular. The government has brought in new legislative measures to address some aspects of this brutal phenomenon and there are many social actions like the pink shirt initiative that seek to shield the vulnerable.

We are living in an era where knowledge is increasing at an astounding pace; there are so many technical advances it is hard to keep up and what we refer to in general as "science" has been parsed into more and more diverse pursuits of knowledge.
I urge you to read the entire article that he posted on April 1st 2015. See if you think he deserves the respect he craves. He sounds like a kook to me.

How many times have we heard this stuff before? And how many times have we seen this style of writing?
So is "Evolution Theory or Fact?

The late Stephen Jay Gould stated: "a fact is something that is proven to the extent that to not believe it is perverse"!

That translates to: a fact is something that my friends and I believe, AKA eminence-based science. There’s a lot of that in health-care, where it’s known as eminence-based medicine as opposed to evidence- based medicine. There are people in the medical world expressing concern about the immense influence of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) with influencing public policy and decision making in directing scientific inquiry

Darwin’s brilliant and convincing construct that defined a century and a half of scientific belief, is in crisis because of astounding advances in molecular biology and it’s all about THE CELL.

You have 80-100 trillion cells, 200 cell types, all reading the same genetic library, but as different as they are, working together in specialized communities to perform astonishing synchronized manufacturing, recycling, transport, packaging and delivery functions. Twenty-five thousand miles of blood vessels if you strung them end to end; that is a trip around the world at the surface.

Every cell is worlds within worlds of nanotechnology finely tuned and regulated.

Darwin’s elaborate construct is stalled at the cell; even the simplest prokaryotic cell is infinitely beyond the odds of ever coming together by random, undirected process.
Jame Lunney is attacking evolutionary biologists and their acceptance of the scientific evidence for evolution, which happens to be their area of expertise. It seems ironic that he accuses others of bigotry and bullying.

James Lunney is a chiropractor and he has a B.Sc. (science). He says, "I have a background in Science: my credentials modest as they are, are superior on this file to many in this chamber and most of my critics."

That explains a lot.


53 comments :

  1. Boy, I wished this worked in Texas! What's your secret?

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    1. What's your secret?

      Rigid parliamentary discipline, for one. Party leaders exercise much more control over what their caucus members may say than in the US system. That has its drawbacks, of course, but it does help ensure that marginal views that deserve to be on the margins stay there.

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  2. Oh gods, he even invokes Einstein. The man's a kook, and a massive ignoramus. Reminds me of some of the stupider creationists from talk.origins. And he got elected to Parliament.

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  3. If he is courageous then why the retreat? i don't see his problem. So what if some folks attack you. The whole parliament is about attacking.
    Yes attacking creationism is attacking the Christian doctrines for many today and all in the past.
    No they would not allow like attacks upon Islam and so on.
    They would say Christianity is their heritage and open to attack. Like people on Sandwalk. Fair and square.
    he uses left wing terms.
    Canada is NOT a multi racial, multi cultural, multi faith country.
    its a country by contract anmd law that is for all citizens without other identifcations save with Indians. Also French Canadians get more identity especially in recognizing their language. if your language is not recognized then you don't exist obviously as a separate identity.
    Cyber bulling is a non issue in real life. Nerd bullying is more real and not much of that.
    I don'r get his problem.
    Is it hurt feelings? Is it that he lives by some standard that then others don;'t live by hypocritically.?
    i welcome this as it will stir heaps of uninformed creationists/Christians BUT it seems he sees the world as run by the clowns in the government, media, and the rich generally.
    people are not against insults and ridicule. They just have their lists of special identities that can't be put down.
    canada is in the middle of a oppressive left wing ethnic/sexual usurpation in the upper classes and establishment.
    This is a case that reveals it.
    Yet the majority are fine with creationism being spoken about in any place.
    This guy is a cry baby and not like any thinking creationist I ever met.
    We will rumble or at least stand quietly our ground.
    YUP . I think the clue is in his statement.
    He agreed with a strange concept of no negativity to any identity and bang got hit on his.
    Whaaaa. He sold his birthright of freedom and is not defending it.
    Professer Moran is right. Its freedom to insult. the PC crowd says its not legal and this guy agreed. He sold out to the active left wing.
    i figured it out.

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  4. Yes, his website demonstrates that he is certainly comprehensive in his fundamentalism.

    In a day when ISIL is destroying the ancient Chaldean Christian community, beheading Christians and other minorities; women and girls raped and sold into sex slavery. When desperate refugees are being welcomed into Canada, what message are we sending when they see public campaigns mocking beliefs they share?

    The message being sent is one every rational person should hope hits home, but it doesn't because all of society is soaked in religion and thus never notices or admits that it is the root cause of many problems.

    The famous philosopher Homer Simpson once said: 'To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.'

    In religious terms, this Mobius strip kind of thinking is the problem with faith, in a nutshell.

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    1. ... if only the average religious person was as self-aware as Homer Simpson.

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  5. This post of his is the speech that Lunney started to read in Parliament the other day before he was cut off by the speaker (See Larry's previous post).

    As a (now) independent MP he will have little opportunity to speak in Parliament, but he was allowed this opportunity to raise a point of personal privilege. However, that has specific and narrow purposes and is only supposed to be used to address issues pertaining to the running of Parliament or the conduct of MP's. Lunney, instead, tried to abuse this privilege to make a speech promoting he personal religious and pseudoscientific views, and so was rightly told,(albeit in polite terms) to sit down and shut up.

    Just typical of the dishonesty we've come to expect from creationists,

    Oh, apparently the guy's an anti-vaxxer, as well.

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    1. I was thinking as I was reading his post, that these are likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his 'strongly-held beliefs'.

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    2. I'll bet he's a climate change denier too.

      By the way, what is it with chiropractors in the Canadian Parliament? That's at least 2, the other being, of course, Gary Goodyear.

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    3. I'll bet he's a climate change denier too.

      Yup. He hits the trifecta:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/20/jamey-lunney-climate-change_n_5515326.html

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    4. And, predictably, he has a record of trying to fight autism by taking preventive action agains vaccines. Is there a word for this triadic pattern of science denial?

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    5. Oopss, Lutesuite has already mentioned the anti-vax business.

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    6. This is what bothers me. People speaking out about vaccines as if they knew everything about it. Science has to be right even if it is wrong. Many of you here have no idea how the pharmaceutical industry works so let me enlighten you-- it works on profits, profits and more profits. They--the big Pham-- have many, many politicians in their pockets, so don't tell me anit-vaxxers don't know it. You you just happen to ignore it for one reason or another.

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    7. Science has to be right even if it is wrong.

      Pest, you are confusing corporate culture with science. Every one knows that it is the goal of industry to make money and they will do so unethically if they can. This is why, in the pharmaceutical industry for example, regulatory oversight using science-based testing for efficacy and safety is so important. But which political ideology is almost always calling for less regulatory oversight to the benefit of corporations? Which political ideology frequently attempts to muzzle the opinions of its own federal scientists? Hopefully you are as active in opposing that ideology as you are in opposing other things.

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    8. Re lutesuite

      Hey, it's Canada, the hat trick from hockey is more appropriate then the trifecta from horse racing.

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    9. Pest, please do not tell us about corporate profits. Tell us directly:

      1. Do vaccines cause autism or have significant permanent negative consequences?

      2. Who is your authority on that?

      3. How many creationists are anti-vaxxers?

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    10. And, predictably, he has a record of trying to fight autism by taking preventive action agains vaccines. Is there a word for this triadic pattern of science denial?

      My favorite descriptive phrase, from Orac at Respectful Insolence, is "crank magnetism."

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    11. Sensuous Curmudgeon coined the phrase, "Vindication of all Cranks." If scientists are wrong about vaccines, why, they're wrong about global warming too!

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    12. Diogenes,

      ”Pest, please do not tell us about corporate profits. Tell us directly:

      1. Do vaccines cause autism or have significant permanent negative consequences?”


      I neither have proof that vaccines cause autism nor that they don’t. I have not formed an educated opinion yet. There is a correlation between kids receiving vaccines and developing autism, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many studies done to refute it. The drastic increase of autism cases in countries where ALL VACCINES are available and administered often several at the same time, made a lot of people nervous. I look at it this way: If you don’t know where the problem may be, follow the money. I did.

      2. Who is your authority on that?

      I certainly do not trust “science” that does what is “the best for the majority” and not what is the best for ALL. Science can influenced by governments and big pharma or both to keep the majority satisfied and not to cause panic, public outrage and massive class-action lawsuits.

      3. How many creationists are anti-vaxxers

      What’s this have anything to do with the issue? If one day from now it’s is going to be proven that vaccines in one way or another contribute to autism or even cause it, will creationists be vindicated? Where are you going to be?

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    13. There is a correlation between kids receiving vaccines and developing autism, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many studies done to refute it.

      So the more frequently it is factually demonstrated in the real world there is no link, the more fervently you believe the opposite. *There's* a logical strategy. :eyeroll:

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    14. No. But you can't ignore the parents of autistic kids; many of them are scientists that question the validity of the scientific results. You don't get it because it didn't effect you personally. Neither do I, but at least I try to sympathize.

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    15. You can't ignore the parents of kids that are too young to vaccinate or have compromised immune systems and are needlessly put at risk by idiots like you who irresponsibly promulgate invidious bullshit of this sort.

      You don't get it because it doesn't affect you personally.

      Neither do I, but at least I try to sympathize.

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    16. Steve Oberski ,

      I perceive you don't comprehend the least what's being talked about here, so why don't you withdraw to the no comprehension land that is your area of comport without a doubt. When you get there, stay there with Robert Byers because that's where you evidently belong.

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    17. Here's the thing Pest ot WItton or Quest or whatever sock puppet trollish moniker you are hiding behind these days, compared to you Robert Byers is a paragon of honesty, integrity and rationality and I would "comport" with Mr. Byers any day of the week before wallowing in your delusional slime pit.

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    18. The possible correlation between autism and vaccinations is a testable hypothesis. Testing it would take examining thorough medical records of thousands of children. In many countries, such records are available. Not surprisingly, this hypothesis has been tested.

      (Before a computer meltdown, I had copies of about a dozen such studies. Sorry I don't have the references at hand, but surely you can find them if you're really interested in becoming informed.)

      Conclusions? Vaccinations aren't causing autism. Children tend to develop autism at an age when they are still receiving certain vaccinations, but vaccination doesn't cause autism (and autism doesn't cause vaccination either, though no one thought it did).

      There's no particular reason to believe me about this, but you can look up well designed, large scale studies and find out for yourself.

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    19. You don't get it because it didn't effect you personally.

      That's the second consecutive time in this thread that the more certain you were, the more wrong you were.

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    20. Steve Oberski,

      It seems you accuse everyone of being someone's sock puppets each time someone points out you are clueless on the theme. I guess it makes you feel like a scientist.

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    21. bwilson295,

      Most boys develop symptoms of autism within few weeks of being vaccinated no matter at what age they receive the load of vaccines. In North America kids receive them at about 18 months. Many boys didn't receive them until much later in life and still developed autism symptoms within few weeks of vaccination.

      The issue here is possibly the amount of vaccines given each time not the vaccines themselves.

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    22. Judmarc,

      Its time YOU present evidence, instead of baseless arguments.

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    23. Its time YOU present evidence, instead of baseless arguments.

      Of course you'll simply ignore any evidence when presented, but it's nice of you to admit you've just been putting forward baseless arguments.

      The biggest studies, involving well over a million children between them, were conducted in Denmark and California. (I'm not going to bother doing your Googling for you - they're easy enough to find.) These found exactly zero, zilch, nada linkage between vaccines and autism - nothing from the individual vaccines, and nothing from the "too many too soon" nonsense that it seems denialists always try to fall back on once arguments about specific vaccines are demolished.

      Regarding "too many too soon" - The load on the immune system from all vaccines ever received in your lifetime is some tiny fraction of what occurs at birth, when eating a meal, or in a day spent playing in the park. The usefulness of vaccines is not the load, which is small, but the specificity, alerting the immune system to react to particular antigens.

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    24. Nobody so far has explained why there is such a drastic increase of autism cases in parts of the world where ALL VACCINES are readily available in comparison to countries where they are not and why when people immigrate from country with lack of vaccines to countries with loads of vaccines the increase of autism among the children of the immigrants is observed in the first generation.

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    25. More bullshit from Pest.

      There is no evidence of a true increase in ASD.

      The hypothesis of a higher prevalence among immigrants or particular ethnic groups has not been supported by a proper statistical analysis of the results so far.

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    26. Nobody so far has explained why there is such a drastic increase of autism cases in parts of the world where ALL VACCINES are readily available in comparison to countries where they are not and why when people immigrate from country with lack of vaccines to countries with loads of vaccines the increase of autism among the children of the immigrants is observed in the first generation.

      Increased exposure to Big Mac's?

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    27. One real effect is from the tendency toward later marriage in wealthier nations. The ages of both parents are implicated as a factor in autism (as they get older, particularly the father, the probability increases; the same pattern occurs in schizophrenia).

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    28. Interesting, there is a correlation between maternal age and the incidence of down's syndrome as well.

      As an anecdotal aside, I recall from my youth that a significant number of my catholic friends came from families that had a child with down's syndrome.

      This appears to be backed up by at least one study:

      Turning to religious affiliation, just over a quarter of the mothers of the children with Down's syndrome were Roman Catholic compared with only one mother in the control group.

      And speaking of catholics and down's syndrome, a catholic bishop recently compared being gay to being afflicted with down's syndrome.

      Now I admit to a slight anti-catholic bias but I just could not make up stuff as vile as comes out of the mouth of actual catholics.

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    29. I mentioned paternal age and schizophrenia because folks are all over possible effects from various maternal factors, but paternal factors are often overlooked, thus leading to various anti-vaccine groups failing to be cognizant of it.

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    30. And speaking of catholics and down's syndrome, a catholic bishop recently compared being gay to being afflicted with down's syndrome.

      From that article:

      Speaking in the run-up to the spring meeting of Ireland's Catholic bishops, the Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran implied that being gay was a disability, when asked whether he believed being born gay could be what God intended.


      "That would be to suggest that if some people are born with Down's syndrome or Spina Bifida, that that was what God intended either," he told NewsTalk Breakfast radio.


      What exactly is the bishop saying there? That people with Down Syndrome or spina bifida are not creatures of God? Are the spawn of Satan or something? Does he believe, as with homosexuality, that these people are "disordered" and "sinful" and should not be allowed to marry?

      I don't think just homosexuals should be offended by the words of this bigot in a white collar.

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    31. I'm thinking that the "bigot in a white collar" is just dancing around the problem of evil, how could a benevolent god create children with Down's Syndrome or Spina Bifida would be the next question asked should he admit that this was the case.

      But of course this is what he actually believes, although he is too cowardly to say it out loud.

      And in fact he does say this when he claims that abortion for any reason is wrong as in his view the rights of the fetus supercede those of the mother.

      Which if followed to it's logical conclusion implies that he considers women to be less than fully human.

      I'm so confused, can we get a theologian to explain all this ?

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    32. And you are probably not to far off the mark when you ask if people with Down Syndrome or spina bifida are not creatures of God?

      Not too big on consistency are they ?

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    33. Considering the source, I was somewhat surprised to find that there is research finding unexpectedly high rates of autism spectrum disorder (equal to the rates among U.S. whites) in Somali immigrant communities in Minnesota and Sweden. Rates are thought to be higher than in Somalia itself, though baseline data is lacking. Particularly concerning, the Minnesota Somali has a high rate of very severe autism.

      Cause is unknown, with speculation involving maternal stress, vitamin D deficiency, the psychological make-up of Somali men willing to emigrate, past inbreeding in the Somali community, genetics in general, vaccinations, and statistical artifacts. The cause, if there is just one cause, may be something else entirely.

      To the extent they are known, autism rates vary among immigrant groups (e.g. Somali, Hmong, Mexican) and among regions within one group (e.g. Somalis in different areas) but less is known about this than we might wish.

      Popular reporting (which was most of what I got in the short time I was willing to spend looking up information) is beset with over generalization (e.g. Somali = all African = all immigrant) and careless reporting (e.g. autism reported as rising faster among American blacks than whites, although there's good evidence the change results from improving rates of diagnosis for blacks, not higher rates of autism itself).

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    34. It is kind of hilarious when "the science people" attack A religion to justify the lack of evidence, especially the real scientific evidence. What's the name for it? It can't be BS can it?

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    35. bwilso295,

      "I was somewhat surprised to find that there is research finding unexpectedly high rates of autism spectrum disorder (equal to the rates among U.S. whites) in Somali immigrant communities in Minnesota and Sweden."

      Have you ever come across a study involving identical twins receiving vaccines at different times in their life who developed autism? You would be more than surprised.

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  6. These wing-nuts use ISIL attacks on Christians in other countries as analogous to the criticism of the views of some Christians in Canada.

    Nobody here is suggesting that their religion should be banned. And very few are suggesting that religious tax breaks should be revoked (although I think they should). But when they insist that their religious beliefs should have the force of law, they should be criticized. Should we sit back and not criticize the Westboro Baptists because their hatred is based on their interpretation of the bible?

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  7. If creationism is a subject for the nation then its a subject for parliament.
    Attacking creationists, as some posters here are, and saying they should not be allowed this or that makes it a issuye of government.
    YOU PROVE HE HAS A POINT.
    Yet he doesn't.
    His statement about letting in refuges, using the word WELCOMING, is evidence again that he consented to a moral poltical rule in the country from the left wing.
    Then he was skrewed by it, or rather they broke contract, and attacked creationism after saying no one else could be attacked.
    Indeed the test is CHANGE THE NAMES and see if its not punished by the establishment.
    He is not really a conservative but a liberal with some conservative opinions.
    I welcome the dust up and its a great teach to many demographics in the country normally disinterested in affairs.
    We don't ove these foreigners refugee status in my country. We have no moral obligation but only they be preserved.
    They can go to iMNdia or china ot Sweden. Its our moral right to decide. he is saying it isn't as a good left winger.
    He is left wing and not a right wing conservative. they attacked one of their own .
    now a true conservative should run in his place.
    I would do it but I like the humidity in Ontario.

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    1. Many of your comments make no sense. This is one of them. Please stop posting gibberish on my blog.

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    2. It's true that Robert Byers rarely makes sense, but I sort of like his posts, especially when compared to those of Quest and his ilk. Byers posts less often, is rarely as nasty, does respond to the topic being discussed (in his own peculiar way), and doesn't just post the same IDiot dogma we read over and over again. For example, his almost hypothesis of whales evolving almost instantly from their artiodactyl ancestors after the Ark landed isn't a standard ID statement and neatly (if nonsensically) tied together various threads of the discussion. I value the occasional (repeat, occasional!) Byers post as light entertainment.

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    3. Byers admits ID is a type of creationism. He's golden because he says what creationists really believe but are too dishonest to say out loud-- like his racist resentment of immigrants, etc.-- the stuff that ID sophists like Casey Luskin esq. go to great lengths to conceal with obfuscatory sophistry.

      I'll take Byers over a lying weasel like Luskin esquire any day. May his freak flag long flutter.

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    4. Byers continues to believe English Protestants were the first nations in Canada:

      "We don't ove these foreigners refugee status in my country. We have no moral obligation but only they be preserved.
      They can go to iMNdia or china ot Sweden. Its our moral right to decide. "


      Good thing the Native Americans had that attitude.

      Oh wait...

      See that's what I'm talking about, the good old fashioned creationist racism that the Discovery Institute now tries to blame on Darwin.

      Hey Byers: what exactly makes white Protestant Canadians better than:

      1. Native Americans

      2. French Catholics

      3. Caribbean immigrants

      4. Asian immigrants

      Why are you (pl.) better than the above peoples?

      Watch now, Byers will tell us what he really believes and who he really dislikes. Ken Ham won't. The Discovery Institute won't.

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    5. I'm also curious as to whether Robert Byers gets banned from places like Uncommon Descent when he expounds on some of his, shall we say, theories about race.

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  8. Byers speaks a tiny bit of sense regarding political labels. When I was a child, the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow, and a republican sent the army to enforce school integration. He also warned about crony capitalism and the military industrial complex. I have ever since been unable to partake of tribal politics.

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    1. It seems tribalism, whether political, religious, or nationalistic, is at root the cause of most strife in this world.

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    2. SRM
      I agree with you. It is , greatly, tribalism. yet tribes do have good points about rights and boundaries. yet also wrong ones.
      Identity is the most important thing in classifying people incuding being a human being.
      Then there is trespassing.
      The attack on this guy, if meant to be effective in stopping him talking, is breaking contract in a free society.
      His strange retreat shows me he thinks there are other contracts about not putting down other identities. There is no such contract.
      Everyone can put down everyone and if malice kicks in then society opposes that extreme.
      Its not malice to ridicule creationism. It is censorship if he is told to be quiet by political parties, the press, or the public.
      .

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  9. Byers speaks a tiny bit of sense regarding political labels. When I was a child, the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow, and a republican sent the army to enforce school integration. He also warned about crony capitalism and the military industrial complex. I have ever since been unable to partake of tribal politics.

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