Tag Archives: Republican

Shouting ‘Baby Killer’ In Congress

To the person who shouted ‘Baby Killer’ in the US House Of Representatives at Congressman Stupak from Michigan. Unless you come forward and own your outburst, you are a COWARD of the highest order.

And the shouter comes forward, sort of.  It’s Rep. Randy Neugebauer from Texas. But his backbone’s jelly-like consistency prevents him from standing up fully.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5AAon-TpWI&feature=sub

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The Discovery Institute’s Hoopla Machine

Casey Luskin insists the Discovery Institute is a secular think tank. And he says it with a straight face.

What is it about the spreading of pseudo-science that makes reasonable people cringe and gag? One characteristic is surely the introduction of religious / political thinking into discussions of fact. The natural world simply is. If it upsets our human sensibilities, too freaking bad for us. When a bull shark bites a potential food item (a human leg, perhaps), it is being neither good nor evil; it’s simply hungry and inquisitive. It’s nothing personal. Thus, describing the natural world is best accomplished through observations of what is, not through contemplation of how things should be. Blaming Darwinism for the Holocaust, communism, capitalism, rock ‘n roll music, abortion, racism, moral relativism, and the general decay of Western society is irrelevant to the scientific question of whether or not evolution by natural selection is a valid explanation for observed evolutionary change on planet Earth. What is and what ought to be are two distinct questions.

But throw a rock at the Discovery Institute and you’re more likely to hit a lobbyist or a lawyer than an actual scientist. For example, Casey Luskin, an attorney with the DI, blogs to his fellow intelligent designers about the “it’s just a theory” argument.

Darwinists love to bash Darwin-skeptics who call evolution “just a theory, not a fact.” The truth is that I rarely, if ever, hear people who are closely involved with the ID movement using this line to oppose evolution. The “evolution is just a theory, not a fact” phrase tends to come from the vox populi—intelligent people who studied this issue in their biology class or perhaps have read books like Darwin’s Black Box, Icons of Evolution, or Darwin on Trial, but otherwise don’t follow the issue very closely.

But most creationists do use the argument, endlessly. They also use the “intelligent designer” and “irreducible complexity” arguments. The fact is that intelligent design creationists are a small minority. Polls indicate that most American creationists are of the Old Earth variety. And I think the Discovery Institute knows this full well. Isn’t it really all about talking points, ones the DI can easily disseminate, and ones the general public can easily digest and regurgitate, regardless of the scientific facts?

Casey Luskins also lists his scientific qualifications:

Having taken over a dozen courses covering evolutionary biology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I’m a scientific skeptic of neo-Darwinism.

Fine, be a skeptic, Luskin. But are you as skeptical about intelligent design? Have you taken a dozen courses covering intelligent design at the undergraduate and graduate level? No, because intelligent design isn’t a science, and it can be pretty well summed up in a single 15 minute lecture. ID is a vague conclusion, not an explanation. The only thing propping it up is a propaganda machine. And all the whining in the world about “morals”, “culture”, and “academic freedom” isn’t going to polish the ID turd. The Discovery Institute calls itself the “Center for Science and Culture”. But it really should choose one or the other, “science” or “culture”, not both. Let “ought” and “is” be distinct; life works so much better when our desires don’t cloud our judgment of reality.

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Filed under Culture Warfare, Intelligent Design, Politics

Defeating Darwinism In 4 Easy Steps… Not

I enjoy reading PZ Myers’ blog Pharyngula, because he digs up the worst right-wing religious nutbars. And I get to comment on them, too. He found Bryan Fischer, a truly deluded fool. And hungry for more creationist foolery, I sifted through Fischer’s garbage – I mean archive – and went straight for his article on Deafeating Darwinism in 4 Easy Steps. Prepare to gag on the smell:

What follows is a straightforward, 4-step refutation of the theory of evolution. They’re easy to remember, and make a nice little cadence when spoken with a little rhythm: First Law, Second Law, Fossils and Genes. Armed with this truth, go forth and conquer.

Not even an encouragement to read a book or two? Just memorize these 4 things and regurgatate them at anyone who accepts evolution? Sadly, there’s more:

[E]volution teaches that everything that exists is the product of the random collision of atoms, this logically includes the thoughts I am thinking about evolution.

Ah. The ubiquitous “evolution is random argument”, reduced now to the atomic level. Does Fischer even know the difference between biology and physics? Now Fischer’s 4 steps in brief:

First Law of Thermodynamics.This law (note: not a theory but a scientific law) teaches us that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed…. What this means, then, is that science simply has no explanation for the most basic question that could possibly be asked: why is there something rather than nothing? Intelligent Design advocates have an answer to this question; evolutionists do not.

Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law (note: not a theory but a law) teaches us that in every chemical or heat reaction, there is a loss of energy that never again is available for another heat reaction… This law teaches us, then, that the universe is headed toward increasing randomness and decay… But what does the theory of evolution teach us? The exact opposite, that the universe is headed toward increasing complexity and order. You put up a theory against my law, I’m going to settle for the law, thank you very much.

Fossils. What the fossil record teaches us, in contrast to the theory of evolution, is that increasingly complex life forms appear fully formed in the fossil record, just as if they were put there by a Creator…. Evolutionists are at a total loss to explain the Pre-Cambrian Explosion… Thus the fossil record is a powerful argument for the existence of an Intelligent Designer while at the same time being fatal for the theory of evolution…. Intelligent Design theory has an explanation for the fossil record; evolution does not.

Genes. The only mechanism — don’t miss this — the only mechanism evolutionists have to explain the development of increasingly complex life forms is genetic mutation… The problem: naturally occurring genetic mutations are invariably harmful if not fatal to the organism.

Bryan Fischer repeatedly makes a distinction between a “law” and a “theory”, as he sees it. He thinks a law is somehow superior. He then contradicts himself by proclaiming the power of “Intelligent Design theory”. ID isn’t even worthy of the title of theory. If it is, then every marijuana induced epiphany is a law.

The 1st law of thermodynamics seems to contradict a creator. If matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, then how did a creator create them? How does ID answer this question? Magic? Anyway, it has nothing at all to do with Darwinian Evolution. But in Fischer’s mind there seems to be a connection.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics is an old creationist argument, easily disposed of. Basically, the earth is not a closed system. It receives energy from the sun. And no biologist ever said that the universe is becoming more complex. Fischer is just pulling arguments out of his ass, or someone else’s ass.

What Fischer doesn’t know about the fossil record wouldn’t fit in the Grand Canyon. Creationists never actually discuss the fossil record, they only discuss what they think the fossil record is. The two are light-years apart. Their fossil record is a caricature. Enough said.

Finally, most mutations are completely neutral, not harmful. Except for the ones Fischer’s mother accumulated prior to his birth.

I really do believe that creationist nutbars like Bryan Fischer are deeply afraid of science. It’s the only explanation for their complete ignorance. They stay so far away from it that not even a kernel of truth rubs off on them.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Contempt For Huckabee The False Prophet

Here’s the most contemptible behavior yet from a presidential candidate – Mike Huckabee dialogues with god on his cell phone. 

If Huckabee had professed to speak to god directly, some people would have been put off. But by cloaking his godliness in a tongue-in-cheek comedy routine he manipulates the crowd into thinking he is close to god without him being too pious about it.     

If politicians continue to behave in this manner, they really should dress up as pastors or priests. Such antics obliterate the line between church and state, which is probably their goal.  

We’re are reminded of a saying by the Ancient Roman philosopher, Seneca.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the ruler as useful”   

The important word here being USEFUL

While listening to his little god talk we felt as if we were watching an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neigborhood or Romper Room. We actually forget for a moment that he was speaking to an audience of adults. Could Huckabee have been more condescending to the American people?

Perhaps it is naive of us to think that good leaders should elevate the people instead of keeping them down.

If there is a Hell, we hope you rot in it, Huckabee.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Creationist Stabs Young Scientist To Death

blood.jpg

Here’s a picture of real human blood from a real crime scene (not related to this story), so we can all better imagine the murder of a human being.

The news story is from New South Wales, Australia, where an irrational creationist (as if there were any other kind) decided to stab to death a young biomedical student with whom he had been arguing about evolution. The Christian Fundamentalist, Alexander York, aged 33, had been engaged in a heated debate with the scientist, Rudi Boa, aged 28, and his girlfriend, Gillian Brown.

You always know you’ve won an argument when the other side picks up a weapon. The only problem is that they now want to hurt you.

Some scientists, like Richard Dawkins, don’t see any value in debating creationists. I guess they don’t want to debate creationists for the same reason they don’t want to debate rabid monkeys.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Planet Of The Egotistical Apes

Tarzan, Jane, and Son

By the power invested in me by the natural world, I now pronounce you man and ape. You may kiss the bride. Smootchie! Smootchie! Enjoy the honeymoon.

(According to a recent study chimps are better than humans at short term memory recall.)

Of course, the evolutionary link between human and ape is a major thorn in the ass of creationists. Some are known to actually proclaim, “I ain’t descended from no monkey”. Darwinians reflexively respond with the DNA evidence, which indicates a 98.89% genetic similarity between humans and chimps. Creationists scoff. But I think part of the problem is a lack of perspective on the part of creationists. In chapter 6 of his book, “The Descent of Man”, Charles Darwin wrote about the classification of humans as special. He said:

“If man had not been his own classifier, he would never have thought of founding a separate order for his own reception”

Would space aliens find humans so morphologically and behaviorally distinct from apes? The anatomists of the 19th century, long before the availability of genetic analysis, saw a staggering number of similarities between the greater apes and man. Anatomist T.H. Huxley wrote extensively on the “resemblances and differences in the structure and the development of the brain in man and apes”. He noted:

“[T]hat the difference between the brain of the chimpanzee and of man is almost insignificant, when compared with that between the chimpanzee brain and that of the Lemur [the lower apes].”

The sheer weight of all the evidence, not just one portion of it, drew most 19th century investigators to conclude that man and apes share a common ancestor. But the creationist modus operandi is to isolate and mangle specific data, and to ignore the big picture. However, by posing a ‘what if’ argument we can see that the objections proffered by creationists are emotionally based and ego driven. For instance, would creationists hate evolution as much IF it showed that apes descended from humans instead of the other way round? Under such a scenario the relationship of humans to apes doesn’t sound as objectionable. Human dignity is preserved. Humans remain at the top of creation. Unfortunately, for creationists it ain’t true.

Also, how can the human species be defined objectively? Darwin noted that a distinct classification point would be difficult to establish:

“In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some-ape like creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point when the term ‘man’ ought to be used”

We can see that only by narrowly construing the evidence and ignoring valuable biological comparisons can the creationist perspective survive.

Editor-

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Abort The Babies, Abort Them All

Now, before your outrage at our title reaches apoplectic levels, please consider for a moment what we have to say. We chose a deliberately provocative title for two reasons, to grab your attention, and to make a serious point. Our point is that emotion has no place in determining scientific truth. A scientific theory is valid regardless of human emotions.

Some of the same bible thumping people who object to evolution also object to sex education in the public schools. The morning after pill is one major point of dispute. The pill (actually a series of pills) is a post-sex option for women who don’t want to get pregnant, but were irresponsible in not using contraception during the sex act. It is affective up to 36 hours after. The problem is that many anti-abortion groups call the morning after pill an abortion pill. It is not.

Just like when creationists make up lies about evolution, anti-abortionists have made up this whopping lie about the morning after pill. The fact is that sperm take up to 3 days to reach to the egg. Conception is not instantaneous. Sex is not like sinking a putt on a golf course. The morning after pill prevents conception. It doe not abort a fertilized egg. The pill is useless after 36 hours.

The real issue in both cases, anti-evolution and anti-abortion, is an atmosphere of anti-intellectualism spurred on by adherence to irrational religious beliefs. People are welcome to have their own opinions, to have their own religious beliefs, but not to make up their own facts. That is where the conflict occurs. When parents prevent their children from receiving sex education or biology education our whole society suffers. Those ignorant children grow up to be ignorant adults and uniformed voters. Reality is not evil, it just is. It’s what we do with reality which is evil.

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