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May 05, 2007


Right now, PBS in NYC is airing a show called 'think tank' that provides a platform for intelligent design advocates. This is as of 9:10 am Saturday morning.

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.


Hat tip, loudGizmo

This is a troubling and difficult situation. I have an old friend---an excellent engineer, dynamic drummer, and wonderful family man---who has long been the local leader of the creationist movement. He believes, and that's it. Oh, he gives long-winded talks on creationist pseudo-science and writes articles presenting "research findings", but his bottom line is a series of selected bible quotes and his belief system. No amount of logic or scientific method will change his belief; God said this, God did this, so it must be right.
I've given up. It's like trying to teach a chicken to quack...or maybe trying to teach me to ignore scientific research and common sense and become a creationist. It ain't gonna happen.

Hey Marcy, first time posting on your site, I usually read your FDL posts. There are many in my field of yoga that also believe in intelligent design. The funnest quote I've ever heard from those backing intelligent design is, "If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?" Our friend Hitchens is also promoting his latest book and Lou Dobbs actually loved it. Hitchens being intelligent by design (pardon the pun) and Dobbs agreeing with this "un- American" view? It feels like the twilight zone, but I'll take that feeling over the deluded 'security' of intelligent design.

Arnhart does in fact appear to be a social darwinist. And while he appears to be avoiding the explicitly racist aspects of the original social darwinism, he follows the same course of taking the idea that humans have social structures because of biology, and drawing the conclusion that therefore the exact social structures we (traditionally) have are biologically based, and liberals are completely wrong to try to change them.

Needless to say, he's not a biologist; he has no biology on his resume (other than grant-funded research in his chosen specialties.) Just like the "creation science" supporters.

Personally, I'd love to see a fight between creationists and social darwinists in the GOP. With any luck, it'll be out in public, and they can compete to see who can be more wrong.

These flat-earth Republicans are unfortunately no dopier than the majority of their fellow citizens. A convoluted plurality of Americans don't believe in evolution. This level of scientific illiteracy will bring down the empire more surely than our military adventures, AND it is one hell of a threat to the planet.

The funnest quote I've ever heard from those backing intelligent design is, "If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?"

Yeah, but it does reflect a misunderstanding of evolution that is held by a much wider group than the creationists, which is the idea that evolution means that one animal changes into another, rather than that its offspring are incrementally different. This is routinely evident in cartoons, for example, where evolution is illustrated by a single cell or fish that by stages morphs into the human character (I've seen Simpsons and Family Guy episodes recently that had such a sequence, for example.) This is reinforced by the other ways we use the term "evolved," like the evolution of an idea or organization.

You and I know that's not how it really works, and certainly people who don't understand it but grasp the "millions of years" part know it's not literally true, but many of them probably believe that evolutionary changes happen within an individual creature's life, rather than between one generation and the next.

A friend of mine who had a pet beagle was fond of quoting a fellow who bred beagles for hunting, who said "if I could teach them one thing, it would be that rabbits double back." If I could teach creationist believers and those with a superficial understanding of biology one thing, it would be that organisms don't change genetically in their lifetimes, it happens from one generation to the next.

Welcome Petrocelli, just a note, Marcy din't write this post, DemfromCT did

I believe in evolution, big bang theory, and God

I don't find these beliefs to be contradictory

The Bible says God created the earth, but it don't say how

God said "let there be light"

Time and Space shook hands and parted way

there was this big bang

and 20 billion years later ...

here we are, revolving around this giant hunk of flaming space slag

maybe God didn't say "let there be light". Maybe he just sneezed, and here we are

life doesn't have meaning, it has purpose

the purpose of life is to serve life

did i mention that I kinda make it up as I go along ???

My opinion is that it is dishonest and irresponsible for people like these Congressmen to pretend ID is science: they're smart enough to know that evolution is scientifically indisputable and that dressing up religious stories to resemble science is a fraud - but they can't manage the real debate and still keep getting elected. So what if those people who remain living in Kansas or Utah might as well be living in the 1800s, fine with me.

I think the answer is obvious: teach the children.
There's very little hope for an adult to change his mind about ANYTHING, let alone a very strongly held belief.
Therefore, we must ensure that children are instructed in legitimate science. The right wing correctly sees the schools as the battleground for the next generation. All of this talk about vouchers, charter schools, etc. is mostly a smokescreen for the desire of parents to indoctrinate their children in false beliefs.

This is an amazing article. The idea that this is being discussed among a "small group of intellectuals" gives us some idea of the state of conservative intellectuals. Patricia Cohen, the writer of the article, describes some of the fruits of that brand of intellectualism. How about this line: "Some of these thinkers ... argu[e] that natural selection can provide support for many bedrock conservative ideas, like traditional social roles for men and women, free market capitalism, and governmental checks and balances."

One of these savants is quoted extensively, one Larry Arnhart, a professor of political science at some directional college in Illinois: "The intellectual vitality of conservatism in the 21st century will depend on the success of consevatives in appealing to [Darwinism] as confirming conservative thought." This insight shows us conservative thought in a nutshell: answer first, then we do the study.

Just to show I play well with others, I'll stick with the narrow theme of this thread and point out that in the West - North America above the Mexican US border and Europe from the western shores east through Austria and south to the Balkins, possibly excluding Portugal and parts of Spain, plus Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and parts of China - the US stands in a virtual TIE with TURKEY for crying out loud as having the largest percentage of citizens inclined to reject modern Darwinian evolution "theory" as a fact.


Is it any wonder that even the morally relativist FRENCH feel secure in concluding that the US is dominated by armed morons? I mean, when it's a PROVEN FACT?

If one of the three who raised their hands wins, I'm planning on converting to some mindless belief system based on Magic Bunny Rabbits and asking the Big Bunny to take me now, please, take me now.

Okay, dues paid, now onto David Brooks and his "good buddy" Mark Shields on yesterday's weekly rap on Lehrer's news hour.

The two talking heads agreed

[tho I'm starting to think part of Shields' toleration of Brooks has to do with his concern that Brooks might throw himself off a building from despair over the failure of Bushism]

on who won the GOP presidential candidates debate on Thursday -


by his remarkably shrewd strategy of not going, not declaring, and not having to explain his reconciliation of a virtual Iowa cornfield of impossibly irreconciable positions

and by doing the best job of not destroying the illusion of that he might be the most likely Rub to hold a successful sceance with Ron Reagan.

Oh PLEASE - let this be so - let the Retrograde Enraptured Puerile Utterly Prehistoric Lying Incompetent Clownish Amoral Neanderthal Party nominate this pinhead as their candidate for next King!

Just extrapolating from the DCCC's latest ad designed on the opening to Law & Order is enough to put the boots to Fred's only claim to fame - that's he a slightly more credible actor than Ronnie, albeit in a far narrower range than that of the only thespian to span a range from Bonzo's choice to read him a bedtime story and turning one of the four most intriguingly disturbed players in the history of MLB, Grover Cleveland Alexander into just some fella who suffered occasionally from dizzy spells

[Cobb is still #1, with Tommy Lee Jones' take on him topping Anthony Perkin's odd take on the Red Sox' Jimmy Piersall for All Time Mentally Disturbed Ballplayers - although there's still a couple of pretty good potential stories out there on folks like Ed Delahanty - and Curt Flood is still out there for the taking, but I expect we'll have to wait some time before anyone is able to produce a truly objective piece on the only other candidate than Babe Ruth for most talented ball player - Barry Bonds.].

I'm sure others here watched Bill Moyers' Frontline last night. Obviously the brief interview with the author of Collusion holds particular interest for those who prefer to post here,

but I'm referring now to Bill's interview with Jonathon Miller and his take on why so many in the Muslim world either hate the West or at least tolerate and more likely harbor approval for Muslim attacks on The West - resentment of those who succeed on the merits.

Doesn't that also capture the rationale for Karl Rove's notorious "Base" as well?

I mean, if you were part of the 30-40% of the country have been seething since junior high over the inexplicable success of those who are open- and broad-minded, well-educated, tolerant, areligious, non-mysognymistic, thoughtful, innovative, and fact-based, ALL TO YOUR GENERAL [PERCEIVED] DISADVANTAGE,

wouldn't you too support with mindless enthusiam the candidate who best embodies your resentment and if all he [It's almost invariably a "he", but I suspect we'll see a US Thatcher at some point.] accomplishes is just to FUCK THE LIBERALS, because if nothing else at least it makes you FEEL a little better?

I've felt for some time that the American Conservative movement has been taken over by those who share DNA with bin Laden.

FWIW Miller admitted to being puzzled over why Africa, a region with so much more cause to resent Western abuse than the Middle East, has not spawned the same degree of resentment embodied in Qutub-inspired Salafist Jihadism. I suggest two reasons: [1] the leading Islamic preacher in Africa was Bamba, someone so gentle he could give Christ lessons in forebearance, and [2] it lacks a recent historical memory of world dominion, such as Islam has in the Ottoman Empire.

In closing - was it just me, or did it really appear that Senator McCain wanted to hedge on his vote in favour of believing in evolution once he saw Romney keep his hand down?

Guiliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson. Gawd, it's enough to make one wistfull for Dan Quayle.

Funny you mention Turkey, LabD. Turkish anti-evolution fundamentalists have advised the right wingers in this country.
As I recall, they were associated with the Dover case, and also the Discovery Institute.

Here's the question though, what are the candidates who do not believe in evolution plan to do about it? As long as evolution is still taught in schools and intelligent design is not, I could care less what one man, even if that man if running for president, thinks. I just hope they plan to stay out of the debate and keep their personal beliefs to themselves.


well we are agreed to agree for a change.

I belive in God too.

Nothing cute intended there.
Just a slip.

Should be ~believe~

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