September 25, 2010

Bill Maher's second attack on Christine O'Donnell: "Evolution is a myth?!"



Okay. Fine. But who is that woman next to Maher saying "Science is a reality"? What's with her? Is she under the influence of something? I mean, it's an immense distraction from the get-Christine-O'Donnell agenda.

150 comments:

rcocean said...

Ha. There is no hard scientific evidence that we "evolved" from Monkeys. Even Darwin never made that claim.

Maher is his usual smirky and supercilious self, completely confident he knows it all, when he fact he's quite ignorant.

But since his audience is even dumber, he's on TV.

deborah said...

Althouse, attacking the guest is reaching.

Alex said...

rcocean - while anthropologists have not shown the direct links between primate ancestors and homo sapiens, it's pretty obvious when you look at the totality of the fossil record that we derive from H. Erectus.

Alex said...

BTW, if the GOP continues peddling creationism they're gonna get their asses handed to them again and again.

Martha said...

THAT woman is Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan's widow. She is not a real scientist but was once married to one.

ricpic said...

Evolution has more holes in it than a Pittsburgh* infield.


*Back in "the old days" Pittsburgh had undisputed possession of the cellar in the National League. Ah fuggedaboudit.

EDH said...

Is she under the influence of something?

As Maher pointed out earlier in the show, Druyan's on the NORML Board of Directors.

Actually, I think O'Donnell posits an interesting scientific question. In the last few million years, since humans have branched off from other primates, why haven't those other primates developed more intelligence?

William said...

OK, it's a fairly dumb statement. On the other hand, who would you trust to prepare your taxes: an industrial strength Christian who believes in creationism or a hip aesthete who believes that recreational cocaine use can only enhance life?

Chef Mojo said...

@Alex:

BTW, if the GOP continues peddling creationism they're gonna get their asses handed to them again and again.

I don't recollect the GOP peddling creationism at any time. Socons within the GOP might, but it's never been part of any party platform that I'm aware of.

Be that as it may, creationism might turn an election at the local level - meaning VERY local - but it really doesn't make much of a blip on state and national level. When it does show up at the state level, the GOP doesn't tend to get its ass handed to it. Look at Kansas and Texas.

This is because a great many people out there share O'Donnell's views on evolution, for better or for worse.

YoungHegelian said...

Oh God, here we go again with some lefty as the keeper of the flame of scientific rationalism against the moronic fundamentalist hordes.

There's just one problem: the left is every bit as as anti-scientific as the findamentalists it decries.

What did the left do with the two failed sciences of Marxism and Freudianism? They turned them into philosophical and sociological methodologies, because that's what one does with bad science, right? Turn it into philosophy!

And as for the post-modern left, there's just a world of competing discourses, and the discourse of science is just one of them. Science offers us no more of an unmediated, certain, knowledge of nature than does literature.

Derrida says "There is nothing outside the text", and that includes science, which is just as racial, gendered, and hegemonic as every other form of western intellectual discourse.

The left believes in science, all right. It just doesn't mean what the rest of us mean by that word.

Alex said...

YoungHegelian - just because the left rejects science when it comes to AGW or different IQs among races, doesn't mean they're not right about evolution. So if Hitler said the sky is blue, you'll disagree out of spite?

William said...

Why don't liberals like Bill Maher ever examine the stupidity of some of their basic assumptions? Marxism was a kind of witchcraft for intellectuals. It enabled its practitioners to believe that they not only understood the forces of history but in some way controlled them. I suppose Maher would deny being a Marxist, but my guess is that he would treat the credulous beliefs of someone like Howard Zinn with more respect and affection than those of Christine O'Donnell.

Chef Mojo said...

This conflict has never been about evolution, per se. It's about the clash between the religious and the secular. It's ongoing and will always be so.

It's funny that Maher has chosen to take this route. As Althouse points out, Druyan kind of distracts from O'Donnell, and once you know something of the context, it really becomes a non-issue.

Maher's shooting blanks, thinking he's hauled out the big guns, because the relevance to these clips is his relevance; that of an evangelical, proselytizing atheist.

Pastafarian said...

I hadn't realized that there was a vote coming up in the senate's next term to determine whether evolution should be accepted or rejected. I guess in that case we should vote against someone like O'Donnell.

Oh, what's that? They're not? OK....so why do we give a fuck what O'Donnell thinks about this non-issue?

I'm reminded of the most effective criticism of Romney from the last presidential primary season: "He's a Mormon, and they wear funny underwear." Dreamed up by the Democrats and run with by the RINO/Democrat Huckleberry (ironically, since Huckleberry's religion, Crazy Screaming Squirrelism, is so often mocked by the left).

The Democrats: Your source for jingoism and prejudice, since their inception.

Alex said...

If you read about Marx:

Karl Marx Education

He became educated in leftist radicalism before reading Engels' "The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844". He saw the working class as an instrument for revolution. Basically a means to an end. He was hardly interested in improving their working conditions for their sake alone, only how it would help foster Communism.

Synova said...

Sagan supposedly apologized near the end of his life but, truly, I attribute the *entire* rise of New Earth Creationism to Sagan and Asimov.

Yes there was push back against Darwinism, and rightly so. "Scientific thought" during the time of the Scopes Monkey Trial was that the *inheritence* of moral weakness, poverty, and other such things was science and truth and directly led to the promotion of eugenics by the elite and belief that *scientifically* some races were less evolved and less advanced than others.

What Asimov and Sagan did as physicists and science populizers was to insist on a particular hard line anti-God philosophy. A person had a binary choice between science and faith. One or the other, never both.

Darwin was misused to try to "prove" what Darwinism doesn't address but even most "fundamentalist" churches were willing to say that God could do whatever God decided to do and how He decided to do it. Quite a lot of them chose not to make statements of doctrine about science.

I don't think that Sagan ever converted. I never heard that he did. What he did do, IIRC, was apologize for insisting that everyone else had to deny the supernatural.

Both he and Asimov were massively influential and I attribute the growing cultural demand to *chose* on them. That believers would chose God when forced to chose, is not a surprise.

1jpb said...

BTW, this week he had a surprisingly con panel. Usually he has a token con, and sometimes even this token is only a so-called RINO.

This time he had Andy and Amy (i.e. Breitbart and Holmes). Holmes has a bit of a cuteness to her. But, her voice on her WaTimes radio show is very hot.

Alex said...

When watching Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series one realizes that for him the universe was his spiritual sustenance. Since he knew he was going from star matter back to star matter, that was sufficient enough. He didn't need a death-bed conversion to a primitive superstitious religion. I suspect I'll feel the same.

Chef Mojo said...

@Alex:

Since he knew he was going from star matter back to star matter, that was sufficient enough. He didn't need a death-bed conversion to a primitive superstitious religion. I suspect I'll feel the same.

Well put! That's how I look at it as well.

YoungHegelian said...

@Alex,

I'm not sure I understand your objection.

My point is that the philosophical foundations of classical and post modern leftism are hostile to science as it's commonly understood: i.e. the most certain method to comprehend physical phenomena.

If the left occasionally or often agrees with some finding of science has no bearing on my major point.

Hagar said...

I think that I'm with Deborah (and Althouse?).

10-12 years ago, when she apparently was a regular on his program, she was supposed to be the ditzy one and say things Maher and his oh-so sophisticated guests could smirk at and appear superior to. It was a role, and there is no guarantee O'Donnell believed these things even then, and certainly not that she still does.

Maybe she really was ditzy, and it wasn't an act, and maybe she still is, but then she surely will soon reveal it in her campaign appearances. So far, she does not appear to be scripted, and I don't think she has made any serious missteps that I can trll.

marklewin said...

It could be argued that O'Donnell, herself, is the strongest evidence yet in support of evolutionary theory.

Cedarford said...

Macro picture, more baggage for O'Donnell. Yes, someones views on denial of evolution, mice with functioning human brains, dabbling in witchcraft, and fiscal management disaster in their personal lives are not relevant to "voting as Mitch McConnell would direct."

The problem is that Delaware is not a giant white evangelical megachurch or an Alabama catfish fry and bass boat auction fairground.

75% of the state is non-Republican. Moderate on many issues, not Christian Fundie, but heavily Catholic. Who if they want to vote Republican, they want someone "like them". Christine O'Donnell is not "like them". Mike Castle is.

O'Donnell is dead meat.

EDH said...

William said...
OK, it's a fairly dumb statement.

Actually, O'Donnell asked a question challenging the prevailing orthodoxy, which Fugelsang elided by saying "it takes a long time."

With that rebuttal, however, who's compressing the actual span of natural history into that of recorded human history?

It's been millions of years since humans branched off from other primates, and yet no evolution of the other primate's intelligence.

While I'm not sure of the answer, I hardly think it's a "dumb" question to ask of evolutionsists.

Notably, no panelist answered it on Maher's program.

1jpb said...

Maher also showed the audience a 3D model of the ten commandments that he received as a gift from O'Donnell back in the PI days. He seemed completely serious when he said that he's had it on his desk ever since--he keeps it displayed ironically, since he thinks it's stupid.

El Pollo Real said...

What does Chris Coons have to say about this smear?

1jpb said...

"What does Chris Coons have to say about this smear?"

He's too busy shaving his Marxist beard.

chr1 said...

Young Hegelian:

I would point out that I could think of person of leftist political views who also happened to be a respected scientist by his peers. it's hubris to think it follows that scientific knowledge will produce other forms of knowledge without the use of philosophy (or a political philosophy) or the synthesis of important thinkers in these fields.

1. There is potentially a preponderance of scientists who think climate change is happening, and is caused by our activity. Challenge the Leftists, green religionists, Statists, commies and Gaia worshippers with proper skepticism. My position is: don't ignore the argument altogether and don't throw out skepticism.

2. Historicism (as Leo Strauss defines it), the Social Sciences as model for public policy and lawmaking, the anti-theists, the use of the arts as vehicles for "social change" the growth of psychology for use of secular purposes of forgiveness and evading the free will problem (why lawyers love psychologists)...the fusion of popular music and the arts with its often postemodern roots (Nietzsche, the Romantics, French Theory)

...are all still very much with us

Lincolntf said...

"The problem is that Delaware is not a giant white evangelical megachurch or an Alabama catfish fry and bass boat auction fairground."

Unfortunately, you're stereotype rings partially true. The conservative base is more likely to go to church and enjoy the outdoors.
The liberal base, on the other hand, is largely concentrated in urban mega-slums where ignorance, violence and drug abuse are the formative influences.


wv: tries

The Crack Emcee said...

Creationism?

Bill Maher hangs with that cultist, Arianna Huffington, and believes in NewAge self-healing bullshit - "You're all looking at me as though I'm crazy" - so who's he to talk?

edutcher said...

Bad choice of words for O'Donnell, but she seems to know more about evolution than Maher. Even Darwin conceded that there were holes aplenty in his theory (and that's what she was really trying to say - it's a theory, not established principle) and he hoped science would fill those holes some day.

So far, it's pretty spotty, from what I've seen.

But Maher and his friend are taking the "science is settled" attitude, which is probably more brain-dead, scientifically speaking.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think that because evolution does not account for everything, we should discard it as the weaker theory.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, I think O'Donnell posits an interesting scientific question. In the last few million years, since humans have branched off from other primates, why haven't those other primates developed more intelligence?

Because there are attributes other than intelligence that can make an organism well suited to its niche.

I actually ignored this the first time, but after seeing you rephrase the question in a later comment, felt an obligation to reiterate basic high school biology for the benefit of my fellow citizen.

It really shouldn't require science to make the basic observation that attributes other than intelligence can make an organism well suited to its environment. If that were the case, we might argue that plants should be evolving huge brains, or trilobites. Or insects.

Skyler said...

I don't care what she believes. All religions are irrational. I only care if she believes in freedom and the Constitution and cutting the grasp of the government into my life.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, it looks like EDH gave the second blow on it. I'm mixing up my Eds.

I love the use of forms such as "evolutionist", as if it were an ideology. I'm not sure that my resistance to spontaneously floating upward in the air is due to the "gravitationists", but I suppose I should consider that.

Why is there always such a strong, bizarre push in America to view science through the lens of theological modalities?

Jason (the commenter) said...

O'Donnell is ignorant of biology. From that clip though, it was obvious that Maher and his guest were, too.

But can O'Donnell cut enough spending so we have a surplus and can she cut enough regulations so more Americans can go back to work?

I know her opponent wont. In fact, they'd do the opposite.

When it's a choice between an idiot who can balance a check book and an idiot who can't balance a check book there's only one way to vote.

yashu said...

On the one hand, I kind of agree with Alex-- the lingering association of the right with creationism is one of the things that I (a political convert from center-left to libertarian right) find, honestly, embarrassing. (Of course, I think that association is vastly overstated by the left.)

But this is more than counterbalanced by the AGW hysteria on the left. And brings me to a variant of William's point: which party's misuse/ abuse/ confusion/ ignorance of science is more dangerous, has more direct and far-reaching consequences on our lives?

I would rather vote for someone who might be a "creationist" (as long as they're not idiotic enough to want to translate this belief into some sort of legislation, e.g. interference in education) than someone who clings to the tenets of socialism, or wants to impose a radical & dramatic transformation of the world economy because of their belief in AGW.

Another way to put it. My main problem with creationists isn't so much that I think their theory is "wrong" or "false" as a matter of science, but much more fundamental: they're talking about something in scientific terms that has nothing to do with science at all, that is out of the domain of the scientific (i.e. the empirical). They're making a category error. Once you bring anything like divine causality into things, you are by definition no longer in the realm of scientific investigation. You are, for lack of a better word, in the realm of the metaphysical (or theological). To say creationism (of any kind) is by definition not scientific, is not to say that the idea behind it cannot be "true"-- but just that it can't be experimentally tested, proved or disproved, verified or refuted as a scientific hypothesis or theory-- if true, it would have to be (and always remain) a "metaphysical" truth, not a scientific one. So my problem with creationists is their conflation and confusion of science & metaphysics (or theology).

But precisely because I see creationism as a matter of metaphysical or theological belief, the fact that a political figure might be a creationist is not, in itself, threatening to me. Especially when this appears in the vague guise of the "skeptic" of evolution. Yes, I do tend to judge such persons negatively-- because I think they have an unfortunate misunderstanding of science, like I said above (i.e. it's not that they misunderstand scientific facts, but misunderstand the category of science itself as a discourse and endeavor). But hey, this is not the worst thing in the world. No worse than many varieties of New Age nonsense trafficked in by supposedly "sophisticated" people on the left.

Much more threatening to me are certain scientisms on the left: wrong-headed, arrogantly certain convictions on manifestly worldly matters that carry the apparent imprimatur of "science", clung to as impervious to refutation as any religious dogma, which claim to explain-- and thereby give us (that is, our wise governors) the power (and thus, it follows, the duty) to control-- certain chains of causality in the material world. (See: Marxist economics, AGW, etc.) That is much scarier to me in a politician than some fuzzy-headed creationism.

HDHouse said...

There perhaps is nothing as intellectually offensive on this planet than the "no hard science" crowd. I have that horrible feeling that we are back with Galileo in front of the the meatheads.

Hey right wing?!?!?!? can't you do something about nominating idiots?

Anglelyne said...

EDH: It's been millions of years since humans branched off from other primates, and yet no evolution of the other primate's intelligence.

While I'm not sure of the answer, I hardly think it's a "dumb" question to ask of evolutionsists.


It's not a dumb question in itself, but it does indicate a lack of understanding of or exposure to some basics. Note Maher's (and that other guy's) response - he's making fun of O'Donnell but it's apparent he doesn't understand why her statement is dumb.

First, there is nothing inherent to natural selection that requires that, if one group of primates (say, the line to Homo) developed larger brains, then another group (say, the line to Pan) would, over time, also end up with as-big brains. This is a "mystery" right up there with "well, if we evolved from monkeys how come chimps are still around, huh, HUH?!" (There's no mystery here, just a bunch of people whose lack of understanding of basic evolutionary biology is probably not the fault of creationists on the school board.)

Second, as a matter of fact other primates did, um, undergo selection for bigger brains and intelligence. Some (most? all?) modern apes and monkeys do have larger brains than their ancestors. Africa and Eurasia are littered with the remains of extinct primates of the hominid persuasion who most certainly developed larger and larger brains, but who got out-competed in the big-brain niche by our ancestors.

Notably, no panelist answered it on Maher's program.

I think we can safely conclude that Maher and the rest of the panelists have an understanding of the subject about as sophisticated as O'Donnell's, and are in no position to be flinging feces.

Charlie said...

God, I hate that "Family Guy" guy. What a D-bag.

Anglelyne said...

Alex: When watching Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series one realizes that for him the universe was his spiritual sustenance. Since he knew he was going from star matter back to star matter, that was sufficient enough.

"The universe is my spiritual sustenance!" "It is sufficient to me to be star matter going back to star matter!" Paging Deepak and Oprah...

As an atheist, I'm sometimes embarrassed by the observation that the capacity for utter banality of mind (or, more charitably, of expression) seems to be as tightly correlated with atheism as it is with mega-church evangelism.

murgatroyd666 said...

Isn't it strange that a belief in Biological Creationism is regarded by leftists as a marker for stupidity, but a belief in Economic Creationism is regarded as a sign that one is a member of the wise, clear-thinking elite who ought to be running society?

It's been millions of years since humans branched off from other primates, and yet no evolution of the other primate's intelligence.

Sorry EDH, but your question assumes a false premise. It's been millions of years since the ancestors of humans, extinct hominids, and great apes branched off from the ancestors of today's monkeys. All of the critters on "our" branch -- it's called a clade in evolutionary biology -- evolved higher intelligence. And we'd see other creatures smarter than apes but dumber than we are (i.e., those extinct hominids such as Homo erectus and Australopithecus) if we hadn't out-competed them within the past million years or so.

jimspice said...

It should be noted that, traditionally, it is religion and politics that should not be discussed during a polite dinner. Science doesn't make the list. Science should not be a left/right issue. In theory at least, we start from a few givens, and the conclusions should naturally flow. Unfortunately, whereas the old right had viewed science through religious spectacles (witness evolution), the new right has in addition adopted political filters through which it screens scientific matters (AGW is apropos here).

This would be as silly as politicizing geometry. Can you imagine a left/right schism based upon whether two points form a line, or each point on a circle defines a unique tangent?

I'm convinced this phenomenon is based on new conservatism's focus on anti-intellectualism. "Common sense" trumps reason. Bugaboo are thinkers in the media, academia, and science.

Of course, my side isn't immune. The anti-vax movement springs to mind. But I don't see the same anti-intellectual fervor here, but more a new-agey desperation.

My take on the totality, please live your life to its least common denominator fullest, but please do not legislate it, as there are those of us out here who can see beyond today.

Pastafarian said...

Ritzy said: "Why is there always such a strong, bizarre push in America to view science through the lens of theological modalities?"

I think you meant "ideological" here rather than "theological" -- otherwise it doesn't fit in with the rest of your comment.

And politicizing science has been done primarily by the left since Al Gore lost to Bush and started his new trillion-dollar hobby, the modern-day Piltdown Man that is the Church of AGW.

My take on O'Donnell: How does this belief of hers affect how she'll vote on the budget?

Alex said...

BTW - among the left it's a truism that if you are skeptical of AGW, that you're in with the Creationists and Flat Earthers. It's much easier to just lump all enemies in that way.

marklewin said...

William said...
OK, it's a fairly dumb statement. On the other hand, who would you trust to prepare your taxes: an industrial strength Christian who believes in creationism or a hip aesthete who believes that recreational cocaine use can only enhance life?

Actually, I am having a tough time answering William's question. Last time I checked far more inmates in our prison system claim to be Christian than atheist.

Alex said...

As an atheist, I'm sometimes embarrassed by the observation that the capacity for utter banality of mind (or, more charitably, of expression) seems to be as tightly correlated with atheism as it is with mega-church evangelism.

I don't see the idea of dust to dust as being banal at all, but quite profound. Why the need to insert Jesus into that?

Cedarford said...

I wouldn't waste much more effort on O'Donnell. She started 15 points behind since her nomination and now is 16 points behind.

I really don't care if she is perky and loves freedom and hates satanic mice with functioning human brains that God never intended when he created all the creatures and Earth itself 6,000 years ago.

She's toast.

More interesting are the races between the hated Harry Reid and his lame "spunky" misspeaking Tea Party conservative foe, Sharron Angle. That race is still possible to go to Republicans.
And the "stupidest person in the Senate", Barbara Boxer, is opening up a lead on ex-CEO Fiorina who has been successfully branded as the offshoring, lady jobs killer from HP.

You want to send money to any flawed Palin wannabe, send it to Angle. She still has a shot, despite herself.
Or Fiorina, whose Indian call centers need a few more rupees

Crimso said...

"I have that horrible feeling that we are back with Galileo in front of the the meatheads."

You are quite correct. Consider Hansen's call for trials of those skeptical of AGW...

marklewin said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I love the use of forms such as "evolutionist", as if it were
Why is there always such a strong, bizarre push in America to view science through the lens of theological modalities?

As explanations go, I am partial to Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". An Oldie, but a Goodie.

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

There perhaps is nothing as intellectually offensive on this planet than the "no hard science" crowd. I have that horrible feeling that we are back with Galileo in front of the the meatheads.

At least as offensive (and probably more so) is the "hard science based on phony data" crowd.

Hey right wing?!?!?!? can't you do something about nominating idiots?

We will when you will; after all, you started it.

jimspice said...

"...among the left it's a truism that if you are skeptical of AGW, that you're in with the Creationists and Flat Earthers."

Sorry Alex. Apparently you are not a scientist. The role of the scientist IS to be skeptical. You set up your testable hypotheses and then set out to disprove them. Only when they survive repeated attempts, are they given serious weight.

And why I bother to try, since most will discount this out of hand, those of us that look at the SCIENCE of AGW, couldn't care less about Al Gore. Sure, there are those on my side that take the word of Gore as proof positive, just as you have your Inhofe groupies. I'd rather utilize degreed scientists as my bellwether.

T J Sawyer said...

OK. If the senate votes on an evolution resolution (nice cadence to that!)in the next few years, this might be a problem.

Not likely to happen.

I wonder why it doesn't concern Maher that there are people in the senate that don't believe raising the minimum wage will cause unemployment? Or that raising taxes will cause recession?

Being a liberal requires about as much faith as being a literalist Christian.

Lincolntf said...

One doesn't need to be a scientist to understand why people manufacture results and hide data.

marklewin said...

Hey right wing?!?!?!? can't you do something about nominating idiots?

We will when you will; after all, you started it

Hold on....I thought God started it....or was it started with the emergence of a single primitive cell coming to life in some soup somewhere. Better yet, maybe God created conservatives and liberals are a product of evolution.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyone who, in 2010 America, has fundamental problems with evolution as a theory, is either ignorant of concepts required for graduating high school or impaired in their capacity for reason.

If you want to hold your nose and look the other way while saying, "at least she knows how to balance a checkbook" (which is debatable given her own financial woes), that's nice.

So is that the consensus, then? No high school level knowledge and capacity for reason should be necessary in a public servant? Just the ability to act the role of an accountant?

(Let's nevermind the fact that every GOP budget proposal - including, one presumes, those which O'Donnell would sign off on - keeps at least 3/4ths of the budget fully intact).

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Better yet, maybe God created conservatives and liberals are a product of evolution.

The idea is that liberals believe in humanity's capacity to use reason in order to improve its lot. And conservatives, perhaps the original and perpetual contrarians, have a problem with that proposition.

They have a point, of course. But one that they hardly seem to realize is as limited as any legitimate reservations they may have with evolution, among other things.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
restful said...

Maher`s bias toward people of faith is well understood.The poor man has know understanding of a relationship with the GOD of the bible.He had a religious lintage, religion is not the God of the bible. God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I love Altie's follow-up to her title describing Maher's "attack" on O'Donnell for believing evolution to be a myth:

"Okay. Fine."

Wow. So glad to know the artist-lawyer agrees.

Anything else requiring approval?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Eh. Who needs all this needless bickering today anyway? Just listen to my boombox and forget about it.

Paddy O said...

Nacho: I'm a little concerned right now. About... your salvation and stuff. How come you have not been baptized?

Esqueleto: Because I never got around to it ok? I dunno why you always have to be judging me because I only believe in science.

marklewin said...

I love Altie's follow-up to her title describing Maher's "attack" on O'Donnell for believing evolution to be a myth:

"Okay. Fine. But who is that woman next to Maher saying "Science is a reality"? What's with her?"

Altie wouldn't be Altie unless she had a divergent take. That's what artist-lawyer-bloggers do.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Ritmo Brasileiro: So is that the consensus, then? No high school level knowledge and capacity for reason should be necessary in a public servant? Just the ability to act the role of an accountant?

Even the supposedly smart people on that show didn't know what they were talking about when it came to evolution.

Math is the important subject here, not biology.

Maguro said...

Sorry Alex. Apparently you are not a scientist. The role of the scientist IS to be skeptical. You set up your testable hypotheses and then set out to disprove them. Only when they survive repeated attempts, are they given serious weight.

Oh yeah? Then please clue me in on which scientific tests the AGW hypothesis has passed. The warmist computer models have an unblemished record of failure thus far.

Regarding O'Donnell, who cares? The few people who are shocked and appalled when someone questions Darwinism are voting Democrat anyway.

Robert Cook said...

"Ha. There is no hard scientific evidence that we "evolved" from Monkeys."

Evolutionary theory does not posit that we evolved from monkeys. It posits that humans and non-human primates evolved from common ancestors.

jimspice said...

Maguro says:

"The warmist computer models have an unblemished record of failure thus far."

Your statement is simply false. Someone who would suggest such clearly has only read the material which supports his or her pre-ordained conclusions. I have no desire desire to debate you or educate you as your worldview is quite obviously well defended against cognitive dissonance. It would be pointless.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"What did the left do with the two failed sciences of Marxism and Freudianism? They turned them into philosophical and sociological methodologies, because that's what one does with bad science, right? Turn it into philosophy!"

Marxism isn't science, it is political theory.

Freud's theories purported to be scientific but aren't. What they are is a rather poetic way of explaining observed behavior and self-confessed emotional and mental conflicts.

Robert Cook said...

"Science offers us no more of an unmediated, certain, knowledge of nature than does literature."

Science is not assumed to provide absolute certainty of knowledge, as all accepted ideas about the physical universe are subject to revision as new data enlarge or change understanding. However, I think it's safe to say science does offer us a better understanding of the physical workings of the universe than literature does.

El Pollo Real said...

It posits that humans and non-human primates evolved from common ancestors.

Those models were rolled out so long ago it's hard to tell which came first.

Maguro said...

I have no desire desire to debate you or educate you as your worldview is quite obviously well defended against cognitive dissonance. It would be pointless.

Um, yeah...that is pretty much what I expected you to come back with.

Just scream "Heretic!" and run away.

You're quite the rational skeptic.

Maguro said...

jimspice - By the way, what the fuck does "cognitive dissonance" have to do with anything?

Robert Cook said...

"There is potentially a preponderance of scientists who think climate change is happening, and is caused by our activity."

Climate change is occurring and is always occurring...it's part of the unending geological cycle of global warming and cooling.

Our activity isn't "causing" this change, but it is posited that our behavior is accelerating these natural processes and the rate of change.

It's odd that so many people with zero knowledge of the subject can object with fervent certainty to the idea of human behavior as contributing to the rate of change in our global climate. This certainty is in the nature of a theological belief. Why is this?

I think it's because entities who have a vested interest in objecting to the idea--entities whose manufacturing and business practices result in emissions into the climate that are considered as contributing agents of this change, and who are fearful of regulations requiring them to limit or cease such activities for the benefit of humankind (but to the detriment of their profit margins)--have succeeded in getting their propaganda out into the world, have succeeded in convincing people that climate change scientists and groups are leftist, anti-business charlatans whose only interest is in harming the agents of the free market.

Robert Cook said...

Yashu said,

"I would rather vote for someone who might be a 'creationist' (as long as they're not idiotic enough to want to translate this belief into some sort of legislation, e.g. interference in education)...."

But that's just the point: people with such beliefs do often want to translate them into legislation and do try to interfere with education. Look at Texas right now as an illustration of this.

More broadly, in our industrial/technological world, much legislation and many budget decisions do turn on the understanding of the legislators in the long term positive or negative results of their decisions. Without a basic understanding of science, or at least a trust in the knowledge provided by those who do, one cannot know whether one is voting against something that seems frivolous now but which may reap great scientific, medical, or financial rewards in the future, or whether one is voting for something that will prevent such advances or even cause active harm, (such as changes in school textbooks in Texas that will retard the education of the state's students.)

Carl Sagan has come up on this thread. His last book THE DEMON HAUNTED WORLD is a wonderful examination in the ways unfounded beliefs--in phantasms of spirits and junk science--cause us harm.

jr565 said...

I've always wondered that about evolution.why does it seem that we don't see the evidence of evolution in existing species. Granted it should take a long time for evolution to occur, but why do we assume that all species would evolve at the same time or rate. Take chimpanzees. Not all chimps live in the same type of environment or have babies with the exact same chimps so each member of the species would evolve individually. So then, why wouldn't we still see chimps, over the course of our historical record give birth to something other than chimps (like a hairless chimp or a human)? We've had thousands of years to look at chimps and yet they always produce more chimps.
Unless the argument is that every member of the species evolves at once, but that would suggest that evolution does t o cur based on environmental factors but rather based on some external occurrence. And why haven't we seen babies in humans that evolve beyond humans. There are probably some environments humans live in that would be more livable were they to grow wings. Why haven't they?
Also, the cicely of us makes no sense. Why would it be beneficial for fish to be able to breathe oxygen (if they can't) and how would they know? Suppose a fish gets pulled out of his environment and is flopping around cashing for air. How is t determining that it should be able to live in that environment and not simply avoi that environment and how are it's genes able to create lungs based on what has to be extremely limited access to a hostile environment. If that were so we'd have gills, wings etc. But that doesn't occur.
And when e find a fossilized remains with different features than ahat we expect for that species why is it assumed that it's somehow an evolved form rather than another genus of Species that has simply become extinct.
When they show the ape evolving to the upright human why is each stage not simply a different animal with similar characteristics.
We haven't been on the planet that long as a species. It would seem that if evolution were an extremely gradual process that we simply haven't been on the planet long enough to evolve from single celled organisms to primates to humans and everything in between.
This doesn't mean that therefore the bible is the gospel truth either.

The Crack Emcee said...

Robert Cook,

It's odd that so many people with zero knowledge of the subject can object with fervent certainty to the idea of human behavior as contributing to the rate of change in our global climate. This certainty is in the nature of a theological belief. Why is this?

This atheist will leave science out of it and start simple - I've flown around the world in an airplane. The difference between the size of this planet and it's inhabitants (plus our fume-spewing contraptions) makes it impossible for me to think we can have any effect on the thing. I see it as evidence of the environmentalist's well-established arrogance that they would even posit such a dumb idea.

Plus it fits with all their other wrong-headed ideas about me and the planet - that it's a living being, or cares about us, or (the worst) that I should "care" about it when I know it will kill me in a flood, tornado, tsunami, lightning storm, whatever.

And, finally, there's the scam aspect. Scientists need people, like James Randi, to stop them from believing scams all the time. AGW has all the hallmarks of a classic - do this, now, to "save the planet" later - sure:

And I've got a perfectly wrapped box - which I tell you contains a brand new stereo - that you discover contains nothing but bricks only when you get it home.

I could go on but, the truth is, I find my knowledge of scams more convincing than the people who currently are in charge of science. They're all ex-hippies (or at the least Boomers) and, thus, as suspect as any of our current politicians.

Can't trust any of 'em.

traditionalguy said...

I am not trying to start an argument about origins, Revenant style. However, I have made up my mind that as convenient and suspicious as the accounts of Adam's creation by God in Genesis may be...and it needs a lot of explaining added in, that the concept of natural selection leading to the complexity and diversity of life on earth is 1000 times as more unbelievable. Incidentally the earth is 6 billion years old, and the Genesis 1:2 to Genesis 1:2 explanation works. Oh my God, I just bought a Genesis.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Math is the important subject here, not biology.

Even most accountants are educated well enough to know that evolution is the most legitimate and best founded explanation for the origin of species.

Your anti-masturbation crusader was questioning the entire legitimacy of evolution, not just a single point that she didn't (couldn't?) understand.

jimspice said...

Maguro says: "By the way, what the f*** does "cognitive dissonance" have to do with anything? "


Nope. I'll stick with my original statement.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Cook FTW 4:19.

The Crack Emcee said...

Your anti-masturbation crusader was questioning the entire legitimacy of evolution, not just a single point that she didn't (couldn't?) understand.

And I gave you a link showing horndog Bill Maher questioning well-established concepts in medicine.

So what's your point?

Mine is, you'll turn your hostility on the formally-unknown Christian, but don't have one word - now or in the past - for the extremely-popular person who (like Oprah) has promoted quackery, cultism (through his friendship with, and promotion of, Arianna Huffington) and outright political lies (about Bush, say) to the Left on television, for a decade, which has done us much more harm than anything Christine O'Donnell has said or done.

Why - and why not?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It seems there is a sense of confusion on this thread between skepticism and personal incredulity.

restful said...

To the uniformed the law of entropy is in force today conclusion the sun is wasting energy in a therodynamic system. The earth in no way can be billions of years old. The suns mass can be measured if the earth were billions of years old it would have been consumed because the sun would have been much larger then it is now.Its a young earth friends

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I gave you a link showing horndog Bill Maher questioning well-established concepts in medicine.

So what's your point?


Since you're the one trying to make a point here, what exactly is it? That Maher has done more damage to the cause of universal vaccination or eating fast food than O'Donnell and her friends have done to our understanding of what science is in the first place?

You're nuts, dude. Obviously you are so obsessed with long-forgotten phenomena like hippies and "new age" that you can't even see the obscene blight that is this country's ignorance of science, courtesy of the right-wing agenda.

We can't get enough engineers and doctors from India and China and you're bitching about the damage done to us by hippies and new age? What are you smoking and where can I get some?

Maguro said...

Nope. I'll stick with my original statement.

Of course you will. Because you really don't understand how cognitive dissonance applies, you're just throwing out some fancy academic terms around to hide the fact that you don't know what you're talking about.

You might say there's some cognitive dissonance going on when Al Gore flies around the planet on carbon-spewing private jets to preach his warmist doomsday religion. But that would hardly apply to a non-believer like me.

BTW, you were the one who said that real science was based on "testable hypotheses".

So you should easily be able to tell us which scientific testing has validated the AGW hypothesis.

Right?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Evolutionary theory does not posit that we evolved from monkeys. It posits that humans and non-human primates evolved from common ancestors.


Isn't it also possible that we have always been humans and that any resemblence to other primates is simply superficial? That is we share similiarities and have some DNA in common (which is true of many animals - a hippo are very similar in their DNA structure) but that we have always been human and they have always been chimps? Then there wouldn't be any missing link species that we find. They would simply be a separate species of primate we find that died out like the dinosaurs and countless other animals which became extinct, which has similar DNA structure to existing primates. That doesn't mean that one animal came from the other though, and there is very little evidence suggesting that any animal evolved from other animals based on evolution. Animals have adapted to their environments. But have they changed because of their environment in any fundamental way that couldn't simply be a variation of DNA in an animal. That is, humans will vary in characteristics based on DNA. Some will be tall some will be small some will be blonde and some brunette. But those changes still fall within the perameters of what a human can be, and despite the fact that such changes appear limitless they are in fact limited to what DNA can produce for each animal. Thus humans will look different but will still retain the same DNA and could never be anything other than human. There is no process wherby a human could ever grow wings based on external environmental pressures or situations. So then where is the evidence that an animal we see has ever been anything other than what it is now? A duck a thousand years ago would still be a duck. And if we found a fossil of an animal that was similar to a duck, it would simply mean that there was, at some point, an animal similar to a duck that existed, but not that a duck was first this earlier animal but became a duck over time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Isn't it also possible that...

Anything's possible.

Not everything is as likely.

You might as well get used to it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh my. So much that's known is unknown to so many.

But those changes still fall within the perameters of what a human can be, and despite the fact that such changes appear limitless they are in fact limited to what DNA can produce for each animal. Thus humans will look different but will still retain the same DNA and could never be anything other than human.

A human, genetically speaking, is someone who can breed fertile offspring with another human.

Where in Hades did all this lack of knowledge come from?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

A duck a thousand years ago would still be a duck. And if we found a fossil of an animal that was similar to a duck, it would simply mean that there was, at some point, an animal similar to a duck that existed, but not that a duck was first this earlier animal but became a duck over time.

Biology isn't concerned with what happens over thousands of years because that's usually not long enough for widespread, visible changes to happen.

However, if you go back hundreds of millions of years, you don't find ducks. You do, however, find things like this.

The Crack Emcee said...

Since you're the one trying to make a point here, what exactly is it? That Maher has done more damage to the cause of universal vaccination or eating fast food than O'Donnell and her friends have done to our understanding of what science is in the first place?

Sure, I'll go with that. She just came on the scene - Bill Maher has been spreading lies for over 10 years and not a word out of you - why not?

You're nuts, dude. Obviously you are so obsessed with long-forgotten phenomena like hippies and "new age" that you can't even see the obscene blight that is this country's ignorance of science, courtesy of the right-wing agenda.

"Long-forgotten phenomena like hippies and "new age""? Really? (You do know Oprah - the most popular television personality in the history of television - is a NewAger, right? So is Camille Paglia - you know that, right? Or have you "forgotten" them?) Those "long-forgotten" hippies are now running the government. And NewAge is now the stuff of our movies, putting innocent men in prison, and killing countless people all over the world, daily - you do know this, right?

Oh, I get it - you just don't make the connection between believing in hippie spirituality and not understanding science - right?

Well, then, you can't be that smart.

We can't get enough engineers and doctors from India and China and you're bitching about the damage done to us by hippies and new age? What are you smoking and where can I get some?

Maybe, if fewer of our citizens were looking to India or China for the "Eastern" beliefs those countries are abandoning, we'd do better in science - what do you think?

I think so. We've been lost in this nonsense for decades.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Evolutionary theory does not posit that we evolved from monkeys. It posits that humans and non-human primates evolved from common ancestors.


Isn't it also possible that we have always been humans and that any resemblence to other primates is simply superficial? That is we share similiarities and have some DNA in common (which is true of many animals - a hippo are very similar in their DNA structure) but that we have always been human and they have always been chimps? Then there wouldn't be any missing link species that we find. They would simply be a separate species of primate we find that died out like the dinosaurs and countless other animals which became extinct, which has similar DNA structure to existing primates. That doesn't mean that one animal came from the other though, and there is very little evidence suggesting that any animal evolved from other animals based on evolution. Animals have adapted to their environments. But have they changed because of their environment in any fundamental way that couldn't simply be a variation of DNA in an animal. That is, humans will vary in characteristics based on DNA. Some will be tall some will be small some will be blonde and some brunette. But those changes still fall within the perameters of what a human can be, and despite the fact that such changes appear limitless they are in fact limited to what DNA can produce for each animal. Thus humans will look different but will still retain the same DNA and could never be anything other than human. There is no process wherby a human could ever grow wings based on external environmental pressures or situations. So then where is the evidence that an animal we see has ever been anything other than what it is now? A duck a thousand years ago would still be a duck. And if we found a fossil of an animal that was similar to a duck, it would simply mean that there was, at some point, an animal similar to a duck that existed, but not that a duck was first this earlier animal but became a duck over time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Sure, I'll go with that. She just came on the scene - Bill Maher has been spreading lies for over 10 years and not a word out of you - why not?

Which lies? Again, his opposition to fast food or opposition to vaccinating against diseases of low or often negligible mortality, such as chicken pox and flu?

You're the one making the assertion, Bob.

"Long-forgotten phenomena like hippies and "new age""? Really? (You do know Oprah - the most popular television personality in the history of television - is a NewAger, right? So is Camille Paglia - you know that, right? Or have you "forgotten" them?) Those "long-forgotten" hippies are now running the government. And NewAge is now the stuff of our movies, putting innocent men in prison, and killing countless people all over the world, daily - you do know this, right?

Only a conspiracy theorist could link together Oprah Winfrey, Camille Paglia, wrongful imprisonment and senseless killing. To respond as if you were capable of putting something vaguely, even accidentally coherent together here just wouldn't be worth it.

So when's the next meeting?

Oh, I get it - you just don't make the connection between believing in hippie spirituality and not understanding science - right?

Hippies are not promoting, let alone effectuating widespread policy changes that have the effect of making us stupidly challenge rational things on bases which have been long ago debunked.

In fact, I haven't seen a hippie in at least ten years or so.

Well, then, you can't be that smart.

Maybe I should go for my PhD from Crack University.

"We can't get enough engineers and doctors from India and China and you're bitching about the damage done to us by hippies and new age? What are you smoking and where can I get some?"

Maybe, if fewer of our citizens were looking to India or China for the "Eastern" beliefs those countries are abandoning, we'd do better in science - what do you think?

I think it takes Phineas Gage level of intellect to confuse an interest in Eastern spirituality with a disinterest in Western science. Which has become a universal phenomenon anyway.

I think so. We've been lost in this nonsense for decades.

Keep on keepin' on, Crack. And let the Chinese know you're onto their scam of having "pretended" to invented gunpowder, corrective lenses and compasses thousands of years ago.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

jr565, please don't take this as rude, but you do not understand a lot of what evolution is about (not, of course, that I understand nearly all of it), so your premises are wrong in a lot of ways (more than I can go through here and now). I wish I could recommend a really great book for you to read on it, but I don't know one. What I really wish is that you could sit through my incredible H.S. biology class, but the great John Byrd is long retired now.

Suffice it to say, though, that scientists have witnessed and tracked some evolution in the field and lab. They've tracked what is called "speciesization" (I'm not spelling that correctly), or the change from one species to another. These are not necessarily big changes- for example, they observed two populations of certain types of mice, separated, over time, diverge into two separate species, still mice, but different types. (Recalling your duck example- note that "a duck" is not one single type of animal, there are many types of ducks.) In other words, it is still happening, and will continue, but in increments so tiny that we can only barely see.

You sound like you've thought about it, so I'd urge you to do some studying. I think that most of your questions would be answered.

- Lyssa

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:

Biology isn't concerned with what happens over thousands of years because that's usually not long enough for widespread, visible changes to happen.

However, if you go back hundreds of millions of years, you don't find ducks. You do, however, find things like this.


All that means is that ducks share a superficial resemblence to other animals that existed at one time, not that one became the other. THis similarity is true even with animals that are clearly not related, as all animals have DNA. And even animals that are not considered to be linked still have much of the same DNA.
And while evolutionary proponents always say it would take too long to see evolutionary changes, that presumes that all members of a species would evolve at the same rate. So you should still see signs of evolution in any animals simply based on the fact that millions of that animal are breeding and producing minute changes. Somewhere in that pool, you'd find an animal that would produce a different organism that was a missing link. And it doesn't happen. Humans keep producing humans whether they live in deserts or in the mountains or in hot climates or cold climates. Yes, there are variations in humans (ie,skin tone and hair type etc) but they are always minute variations. Humans will still produce humans.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

A new species is considered a new species because it no longer produces fertile offspring with members of other species.

This is probably an incidental change, and one that happens after a population has been separated long enough from other populations in the ancestral species for there to no longer be any interest in maintaining the ability to breed successfully with it.

What causes species to separate comes after changes, either environmental or phenotypical or both, that first cause one population to separate from other populations in the ancestral species.

You can choose to protest this as long as you want, or keep questioning it, but I'm not sure where you think it will get you.

Lincolntf said...

Everyone should read at least one of Stephen Jay Gould's collections of essays. Dinosaur In A Haystack, Eight Little Piggies, etc.
Layperson accessible scientific articles covering all aspects of natural history, evolution, natural selection, etc.
He's not the end all be all of science writers, but he easily conveys the essential facts, and questions, regarding evolution, natural selection, etc.

The Crack Emcee said...

Which lies? Again, his opposition to fast food or opposition to vaccinating against diseases of low or often negligible mortality, such as chicken pox and flu?

Both - and, of course, Bush - don't forget Bush.

Only a conspiracy theorist could link together Oprah Winfrey, Camille Paglia, wrongful imprisonment and senseless killing.

Why? Does Oprah spread The Secret? That's NewAge. Camille Paglia said she was a NewAger. "Recovered Memory" (which put the men in prison)? That's NewAge. And the quack killings? All NewAge.

And I love how you shifted from NewAge is "long-forgotten" to it's damageon society is a conspiracy theory - yea, a conspiracy theory I gave you links to.

Hippies are not promoting, let alone effectuating widespread policy changes that have the effect of making us stupidly challenge rational things on bases which have been long ago debunked.

You're kidding, right? You've got to be kidding. Or else, you just don't know who you're talking to - Dude, I'll run circles around you on this topic.

Maybe I should go for my PhD from Crack University.

Naw, you'll only get smoked.

I think it takes Phineas Gage level of intellect to confuse an interest in Eastern spirituality with a disinterest in Western science.

And I say you don't understand the first thing about how spirituality works.

Let the Chinese know you're onto their scam of having "pretended" to invented gunpowder, corrective lenses and compasses thousands of years ago.

Will do, as soon as we get them off killing innocent people, pseudoscience, U.F.O.s, and other crazy ideas.

And I'll be sure to tell them Ritmo sent me - if you look at my links, that is, so you know I'm not trying to sell them a conspiracy theory.

The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's official. Quack, I mean, Crack, has lost whatever there was of his mind.

BTW, nice job impersonating new age thinking, Crack. I almost couldn't tell the difference.

traditionalguy said...

The honest scientists not aiming just to end God thinking among us all have non-Darwinian views. The Chinese are passing us in biology because they allow free thought in biology, while our Established Religion in academia does not. The only view of creation of human life that has any potential for further study now is a Visitation from space visitors who generously encoded all of the codes need for the life that we live, and then left. The scriptures call that event The Word of God creating man with his spoken word.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Thanks TradGuy. I'll remember to use antibiotics as un-judiciously as possible knowing full well that it is not the selection pressure of indiscriminate antibiotic usage that is causing bacteria to become resistant to them but an invisible hand from Heaven making them that way.

Please don't be a part of all this malarkey. It really is a big contributor to all that which is making our nation stupid.

The Crack Emcee said...

Which lies? Again, his opposition to fast food or opposition to vaccinating against diseases of low or often negligible mortality, such as chicken pox and flu?

Both - and, of course, Bush - don't forget Bush.

Only a conspiracy theorist could link together Oprah Winfrey, Camille Paglia, wrongful imprisonment and senseless killing.

Why? Does Oprah spread The Secret? That's NewAge. Camille Paglia said she was a NewAger. "Recovered Memory" (which put the men in prison)? That's NewAge. And the quack killings? All NewAge.

And I love how you shifted from NewAge is "long-forgotten" to it's damageon society is a conspiracy theory - yea, a conspiracy theory I gave you links to.

Hippies are not promoting, let alone effectuating widespread policy changes that have the effect of making us stupidly challenge rational things on bases which have been long ago debunked.

You're kidding, right? You've got to be kidding. Or else, you just don't know who you're talking to - Dude, I'll run circles around you on this topic.

Maybe I should go for my PhD from Crack University.

Naw, you'll only get smoked.

I think it takes Phineas Gage level of intellect to confuse an interest in Eastern spirituality with a disinterest in Western science.

And I say you don't understand the first thing about how spirituality works.

Let the Chinese know you're onto their scam of having "pretended" to invented gunpowder, corrective lenses and compasses thousands of years ago.

Will do, as soon as we get them off killing innocent people, pseudoscience, U.F.O.s, and other crazy ideas.

And I'll be sure to tell them Ritmo sent me - if you look at my links, that is, so you know I'm not trying to sell them a conspiracy theory.

The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

I reposted that because blogger's acting up again.

The Crack Emcee said...

Nice job impersonating new age thinking, Crack. I almost couldn't tell the difference.

Considering the way most of your proclamations are received, here, I'm not surprised.

jr565 said...

lyssalovelyredhead wrote:
They've tracked what is called "speciesization" (I'm not spelling that correctly), or the change from one species to another. These are not necessarily big changes- for example, they observed two populations of certain types of mice, separated, over time, diverge into two separate species, still mice, but different types.


How is that different than whites breeding with blacks and producing mulattos or interracial babies? Does that mean that therefore humans evolved from a lower type primate, or that human DNA allows for an almost endless subtle variations within the race that is known as human. But how do you get from a single celled organism to multi celled organisms?
Human DNA will always be human DNA and thus will always produce a human. It's just that, due to the variation allowed in DNA, that could produce an almost infinite variation of physical characteristics, but those characteristics would still stay within the confines of what is allowed by human DNA.
By the way you're talking about speciation. One problem though is that scientists are still debating on how to define a species.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem
If we are having trouble defining what in fact makes a species, then determining how species are linked over time is even more problematic.And there is no actual evidence that the animal they found a fossil of that lived a million years ago which has some similar characteristics to a modern duck is in fact an earlier version of the same species which evolved to what is now a duck. It could simply be a species that is similar to a duck, just as a chimp is similar to a human. That there is a superficial similarity in no way proves that one evolved into another. There is no way to prove it. Yet, evolutionists always suggest that any new fossil that has similarities to an existing species must therfore be a precursor to that species, thus proving evolution. But how are they proving that?
Jody Hey, and others all recognize the species problem and he says ""The species problem is the long-standing failure of biologists to agree on how we should identify species and how we should define the word 'species'."
So if scientists can't really define a species with any certainty then all they are doing is looking at a fossil and saying, hmmm this animals has many characteristics of this other animal (based on the criterion set up by the scientist) therefore, based on evolutionary theory the animals must be related and and linked by evolution. When it could just as likely be that there was an animal that had some superficial similarity to a duck that existed millions of years ago which died out over time.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wow - it disappeared again!

Crazy.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Crack has nightmares of Oprah and Camille Paglia and hippies, all waiting to bust down his door so that they can light patchouli insense with him and make him listen to records of Ravi Shankar, while millions of Chinese soldiers amass outside, patiently awaiting the orders to nuke his country and drag him into a gulag.

You are nuts, Crack. Completely nuts. Creative and strange and apparently full of too many magic mushrooms and bad acid trips.

BTW, it wasn't Blogger that ate your posts. It was a bunch of Chinese led by a hippie, with Oprah at the helm.

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...The day a bacteria becomes a mature mammal because of antibiotics, let me know. Then we can see if the evolved bacteria are as smart and fluent with words as you are. Trust me, you are definitely created by God. There is no way your communication skills are an accident.

The Crack Emcee said...

No, Ritmo, I have nightmares of my ex-wife killing people - she was a NewAger who killed three people - all the rest is what's happening when I'm awake, and you're making jokes - you know:

People dying while others are spreading misinformation so many more can.

It's kind of like how liberals voted for Barack Obama because Oprah said he was "The One" only to bankrupt the country.

Actually, it's just like that.

Now go ahead: make another joke.

The Crack Emcee said...

Trust me, you are definitely created by God.

Not this guy, Tg:

Trust me on this one.

Jon said...

On the one hand, I kind of agree with Alex-- the lingering association of the right with creationism is one of the things that I (a political convert from center-left to libertarian right) find, honestly, embarrassing. (Of course, I think that association is vastly overstated by the left.)

Also, the left doesn't mind receiving the votes of African-Americans, who disbelieve in evolution more than any other group.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Life is a serial combination of accidents and choices, TG.

It is a choice to believe that intelligence is the only trait which would make a being well adapted to its environment. Or that intelligence is the only trait which can't be selected for by a non-supernatural force.

But thanks for the compliment, anyway. Back at ya ;-)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Not this guy, Tg:

Trust me on this one.


Great. Someone who goes on a rampage against non-traditional religions because his wife was nuts (and a sociopath) apparently believes I'm the spawn of the devil.

Given his statement regarding my origins and his wife, I think Charles Manson must have created Crack Emcee.

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
What causes species to separate comes after changes, either environmental or phenotypical or both, that first cause one population to separate from other populations in the ancestral species.

Only there is no real evidence that said species separated in the first place. They could have been two species that share superficial resemblances to one another. Finding a fossil that has superficial resemblence to a duck in no way proves that it was a precursor to a duck and there is no way for a scientist to look at a fossil and prove that linkage.

The Crack Emcee said...

I think Charles Manson must have created Crack Emcee.

That's probably the first intelligent thing you've ever said on this blog.

Unfortunately, it was by accident,...

jimspice said...

Maguro, why don't you just get jr565's email address and the two of you can reinforce one another to your heart's content.

jr565 said...

The problem with fossils is that they are remnants of the historical record millions of years old, that are taken out of the context from their history from millions of years ago.
If we find a fossil of a lifeform that is different than what we know, it's immediate proof of evolution for some reason, even though there is no proof within the fossil that it's some intermediary life form. It may look different than a modern animal, but that could be explained by simply acknowledging that a new animal was found, one that we were previously unaware of. Thse animals though are not biologically deficient. They are sufficiently complex and fully fomred. They don't have half wings or missing eyes or combinations of different animal types.
And by the same token, what about fossil records of animals that exist today that are virtually identical as fossils? Did evolution skip these animals?

Maguro said...

Maguro, why don't you just get jr565's email address and the two of you can reinforce one another to your heart's content.

Pretty pathetic effort, dude. Try to do better next time.

One piece of advice: Maybe you should look up fancy phrases like "cognitive dissonance" before you attempt to use them in conversation.

Just trying to help.

Synova said...

And you know... this is why an atheist like Crack gets my respect while other atheists like, oh, Ritmo earn my scorn.

It's always about how the wrong *beliefs* about science are dangerous and then a finger pointing at Christians when there are NO policies presented by Christians related to the big bugbear "Creationism" that affect policy with the exception of parents not wanting their faith ridiculed to their small children by official agents of the State.

Outrageous I know!

But if someone is asked to come up with some reason why it's *dangerous* for Christian children to have wrong ideas about evolution it's always *always* about microbiology and disease being misunderstood.

Nevermind the fact that even the staunchest New Earthers don't dispute that viruses mutate or that infections become resistant to antibiotics.

Since we're talking about *science* here we'll just set those pesky facts to the side.

And then Crack brings up groups who actively, aggressively, push an anti-science agenda that really does do those things... (and some crazy Christian groups and individuals do too, but not because of Creationism, but because they have bought into the same "natural" foods/healing/lifestyle bull sh*t as the New Agers have done. No vaccinations for your kids! A real distrust and even hostility to traditional (meaning *technological* and *unnatural*) medicine...

And people buy into this and they *die*.

And policies are made by those in power taking those fashionable ideas and apply them to the poor for their own good, but it's not good.

And someone can point out these data and still, STILL, it's the dangerous anti-science Christians that need to be worried over and as for those New Age anti-science ideas well... they just aren't important because... look over there! A Christian! Eeeiiiii!!!

jr565 said...

Synova wrote:
No vaccinations for your kids!


Wasn't Bill Maher involved with some controversy about warning against vaccines?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB5DLf1Qt78&feature=player_embedded

HEre he is telling Frist, the so called anti science conservative and pregnant women not to get a vaccine for swine flu despite the consensus of the medical community. He gets schooled by Frist over vaccines in particular the Swine Flu vaccine. For all the talk of non believers in evolution being fools, he comes across as pretty ignorant and anti science.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

To the nutcase above:

Evidence that I'm an atheist?

Synova said...

My bad, Ritmo.

Just a Christian hating, New Age lover then?

Or did I really not just watch you go on about how horrible the creationist sorts were and how politically irrelevant are the new age superstitions?

Palladian said...

"To the nutcase above:

Evidence that I'm an atheist?"

Because if there was a God, He'd have struck you the fuck down by now.

Synova said...

"Since you're the one trying to make a point here, what exactly is it? That Maher has done more damage to the cause of universal vaccination or eating fast food than O'Donnell and her friends have done to our understanding of what science is in the first place?"

Maher *and his friends* have done more damage to our understanding of what science is than O'Donnel *and her friends* have done.

Citing people like Oprah, who is widely respected and almost entirely unquestioned for her low-grade pseudo scientific and feel-good power of thought crusading is absolutely legitimate. She and Maher and whoever the heck it was who got after Brook Sheilds for taking meds for depression... it all adds up and it has real impact on people's lives, and their acceptance of irrational belief systems.

Anti-science, anti-medicine, anti-technology... the gaia worshipers who crawl into zoo cages to hug polar bears. Irrationality and the consequences.

What has O'Donnell "and her friends" done? Continued the confusion over evolution and evolutionary origins? Suggested that sometimes scientists might be wrong? Given people the template to have the *gall* to doubt the wisdom of blindly following whatever someone announces is the "scientific consensus" as if "consensus" is an integral part of the scientific process?

Yes, scientific understanding in this country sucks. But people still like to self-identify as siding with science, so they do that... mostly without question.

After all... science is truth.

We can save our questioning natures for other matters. They guy in the lab coat said something and all we have to do is say "yes".

What is more dangerous? The push not to question the universal and unquestionable truth of science that opens the doors for anything that *sounds* scientific, such as homeopathy or organic foods (and raw milk, I guess is the latest thing) or the healing power of our own brains? Or belief that God made the world, one way or another, and we don't understand it yet.

Joan said...

Palladian FTW!

Revenant said...

Ha. There is no hard scientific evidence that we "evolved" from Monkeys.

Well, sure, because we didn't evolve from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys.

Revenant said...

The day a bacteria becomes a mature mammal because of antibiotics, let me know.

The day a bacteria becomes a mature mammal because of antibiotics, the theory of evolution will be conclusively proven to be false.

Cyruspinkerton said...

But who is that woman next to Maher saying "Science is a reality"?

That's not what she said. Try listening again. She says: "Science is about reality."

What's with her? Is she under the influence of something?

Were you working on a box of wine when you watched that video?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

jr565, just do some studying, man. Like I said, I'm no expert; most of my understanding is based on H.S. Biology, which was great (I had a fantastic class), but it's been a few years and I'm not the best person to get the nitty gritty from.

While you're right that we can never know for absolute certain (about much of anything), the contexts have been explored a lot more than you are giving credit for. For example, you mentioned several time that there could be older species that died out- that is pretty much what evolution is about, older species die out when newer ones out-compete them.

Just do some reading; I'm sure that your concerns will be addressed. You might still not be convinced (and that's not my goal- I just want people to understand what they are arguing), but I think you'll understand that the questions you are raising aren't really arguments against it, either.

- Lyssa

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

My bad, Ritmo.

Just a Christian hating, New Age lover then?


Evidence that I'm a "Christian hating, New Age lover"?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Because if there was a God, He'd have struck you the fuck down by now.

Confusion between my beliefs and your beliefs aside, this is exactly what your political allies say about YOU, asshole.

Nice job allowing hateful, unhinged, theocratic rhetoric to infect your own apparently intemperate mind. I always suspected that the veneer of respect you pretend to have for civilization wasn't all that durable. And thanks for demonstrating why you're unemployable.

I was waiting for you to have an epiphany before I'd buy your sketches. Because, as interesting as they are, I don't do business with assholes. Thanks for proving that I was right to hold off on the "welfare for unemployable (and nasty) libertarians" program.

I don't know if there is a God (of the conventional type) or not. But I can definitely say that you seem to reaping your own rewards in the here and now. And through no fault other than your own, as your behavior clearly shows.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Maher *and his friends* have done more damage to our understanding of what science is than O'Donnel *and her friends* have done.

I'd like evidence on what damage to our understanding of science Maher has done.

Maher rails on about how we contribute to our own diseases of affluence.

I don't see how that does damage to our understanding of science.

He's not all that much a fan of vaccination for diseases of low or typically negligible mortality. And while that goes against mainstream medical consensus, I hardly see how that, in itself, has caused widespread damage to our understanding of science.

In either event, he's really only arguing for changes in behaviors. O'Donnell's questions and protests indicate that she has a problem understanding how science even works, and that's a bigger problem.

The day Maher decides to get up on a platform and say that trials or studies were illegitimate on grounds that anyone can show are bogus objections, that's the day I'll say that Maher is doing as much damage to our understanding of science as O'Donnell is doing.

murgatroyd666 said...

jr565 wrote:

The problem with fossils is that they are remnants of the historical record millions of years old, that are taken out of the context from their history from millions of years ago.

Well, at least you aren't trying to get us to believe that garbage about the universe being less than ten thousand years old.

Synova said...

I notice you narrowed it back down, Ritmo.

O'Donnell gets tarred with all of her "friends" and fellow travelers,... you get abusive over Crack's inclusions of New Age as a group, and Oprah and his whole general "thing"... but now it's just Maher.

So... just O'Donnell. Has she done anything at all offensive to anyone at all or changed the way we think about science?

No. She hasn't. Why don't you show that she has?

You can't without broadening the focus to people around her, to larger amorphous supposed movements that have somehow done... something.

But they haven't.

"I believe science" has resulted in more unquestioning idiocy than an insistence that God created the world ever did. "Creation" may have given us the notion that some people have souls and others don't... "Science" gave us Eugenics. "Science" supports quackery in a way that faith and religion do not, because religion explicitly identifies the supernatural while the most dangerous quackery presents itself as based firmly in the natural world. Ask how homeopathy works. Ask someone why raw milk is better than pasteurized. Ask someone about food that is preserved with irradiation or grain that's "genetically" engineered.

Anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-medicine.

Anti-nuke.

If you disagree, show why you think I'm wrong that the most influential anti-science force in the world is the superstitious left.

I realize that it's important to point at the "right" as influenced by the "religious right," as anti-science, but it's simply not true. Someone who *trusts* science, sees technology as a boon, and isn't invested in demonizing "man made" pharmaceuticals and medicine, is far far more likely to be coming from a conservative-right or conservative-libertarian point of view than from anything remotely "left".

In the end it actually rests on the question... are people the solution or are people the problem?

People do science, create things, build things... You can't be pro-science without being pro-person.

The "left" is far far more likely than the "right" to see people, and *all* their activities, as the problem that needs solving. Filthy human babies.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Crack is irrelevant to this conversation, as is Oprah Winfrey.

So... just O'Donnell. Has she done anything at all offensive to anyone at all or changed the way we think about science?

No. She hasn't. Why don't you show that she has?


I'm going to go ahead and offer my own personal offense. Some of us find certain ideas so lazy and demonstrably bad that the amount of energy O'Donnell etc. gives to defending them becomes offensive to the idea of humans as thinking beings.

I realize that's not a common ground for claiming offense. But I'm going to go ahead right now and do it.

"I believe science" has resulted in more unquestioning idiocy than an insistence that God created the world ever did.

How are you going to quantify that? How are you going to quantify the effect of discouraging interest in the wisdom given to us by Greek and Roman philosophers for thousands of years?

"Creation" may have given us the notion that some people have souls and others don't... "Science" gave us Eugenics.

Obviously the non-scientific role of racist thinking in eugenics (brought to you courtesy of the racist assumptions held by society) is not one you'd like to consider. Even though that's a considerable one.

Science was wrong to collude with it, but I don't think it would have had they not been such commonly held ideas.

Which, of course, I'm sure you'd like to deny.

"Science" supports quackery in a way that faith and religion do not, because religion explicitly identifies the supernatural while the most dangerous quackery presents itself as based firmly in the natural world.

Examples?

Ask how homeopathy works.

Not scientific.

Ask someone why raw milk is better than pasteurized.

Why don't you? I haven't heard that it is.

Ask someone about food that is preserved with irradiation or grain that's "genetically" engineered.

Single-strain crops are always less hardy and more prone to disease than others. This has been known since the dawn of agriculture.

As for messing with the ecosystem, I won't touch that one as I'm sure you find the entire concept of an "ecosystem" suspect.

But farmers whose crops border those propagated by Monsanto's Terminator seeds might beg to differ.

I don't see why it's worth it to address the rest of your diatribe given that the only concrete examples you've provided I've already addressed. There's no reason to seek a devolution of this into a right-versus-left thing when we can address each example one by one.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I note, for the record, the irony of someone railing against eugenics while extolling the virtues of genetically engineering food crops, which is essentially a glorified eugenics program for plants on a mass scale.

Maguro said...

I note, for the record, the irony of someone railing against eugenics while extolling the virtues of genetically engineering food crops, which is essentially a glorified eugenics program for plants on a mass scale.

Ha, "eugenics for plants", what a phrase. It would actually be a better descriptor for traditional agriculture, which is nothing more than selective breeding through many generations.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Traditional agriculture didn't select for anything on a gene-by-gene basis, but on a phenotypic basis that didn't disregard issues like crop diversity or the viability of other plant life.

Maguro said...

Eugenics didn't involve selection on a gene-by-gene basis either, of course.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Like eugenics, genetic engineering in general has no regard for diversity or the viability of other life. Concepts essential to not only good agriculture but much more.

And when we talk about the aggressive programs undertaken by Monsanto in particular, we have the added element of making every farmer, even those who are uninterested in commercial use of their product, dependent on that company, every season, for life. Or at least until Monsanto quits polluting America's crops with single-season seed and demanding a royalty regardless of how much effort each farmer took to isolate their crops from it.

I hope these problems concern you. But if they don't, I take it you are enamored of heavily marketed, uniform crops as they appeal to commercialization and purity for their own sake, rather than for the good (or ill) that they actually bring.

jr565 said...

lyssalovelyredhead wrote:

While you're right that we can never know for absolute certain (about much of anything), the contexts have been explored a lot more than you are giving credit for. For example, you mentioned several time that there could be older species that died out- that is pretty much what evolution is about, older species die out when newer ones out-compete them.


Ok, but that doesn't prove evolution. It only proves that a lot of species became extinct. The fossil record is plainly not on the side of the evolutionists, and clearly not the Darwinists. There have been millions of fossils drawn from the earth and not show intermediary species. Darwin said that the fossil record should show an abundance of them if they are true.
Even the ones that are initially purported to be missing links turn out to be something else. For example the premise is that apes began to walk upright and brought out Lucy which supposedly proved this. Australopithacus species are now extinct but it was claimed that they walked upright like humans (thus showing them to be evolving to becoming more human. Except, it was later proved that Australopithacus did not in fact walk upright.
Lord Zuckerman an evolutionist concluded that australopithecines were only an ordinary species of ape, and not bipedal and Charles Oxnard said that the skeletal structure was close to that of modern orangutans.
Then there was the Homo Habillas. To get from Australopithacus to Human would require an intermediary form, so they thought Homo Habilas was that intermediary species. ONly later research showed that Homo Habilas was very similar to Australopithacus and not a transitionary form at all and was unequivocably an ape (and not a man as the "homo" tag would suggest.
Evolutionary antrhopologists said the following:
More recently, fossil species have been assigned to Homo on the basis of absolute brain size, inferences about language ability and hand function, and retrodictions about their ability to fashion stone tools. With only a few exceptions, the definition and use of the genus within human evolution, and the demarcation of Homo, have been treated as if they are unproblematic. But ... recent data, fresh interpretations of the existing evidence, and the limitations of the paleoanthropological record invalidate existing criteria for attributing taxa to Homo....in practice fossil hominin species are assigned to Homo on the basis of one or more out of four criteria. ... It is now evident, however, that none of these criteria is satisfactory. The Cerebral Rubicon is problematic because absolute cranial capacity is of questionable biological significance. Likewise, there is compelling evidence that language function cannot be reliably inferred from the gross appearance of the brain, and that the language-related parts of the brain are not as well localized as earlier studies had implied......

...In other words, with the hypodigms of H. habilis and H. rudolfensis assigned to it, the genus Homo is not a good genus. Thus, H. habilis and H. rudolfensis (or Homo habilis sensu lato for those who do not subscribe to the taxonomic subdivision of "early Homo") should be removed from Homo. "

All the so called transitional apes we supposedly come from are or should be recarachterized as Australopithecus, or apes.
Evolutionists have to recognize, and some have been honest about it that the fossil record thus found has not really proved their theory. Darwin said that we would find transitional forms all throughout the fossilezed record yet that hasn't really borne out. What has been borne out is that the vast majority of fossils found are existing animals, fully evolved that look exactly the same as a fossil from millions of years ago as they would today.

jr565 said...

That should say,
"Evolutionary antrhopologists Bernard Wood and Mark Collard who published their research in 1999 in Science said the following:

Oligonicella said...

jr565 --

"I've always wondered that about evolution.why does it seem that we don't see the evidence of evolution in existing species."

We have.

"Granted it should take a long time for evolution to occur, but why do we assume that all species would evolve at the same time or rate."

It doesn't have to take a long time and science assumes no such thing as you build of straw.

Avoid AnswersInGenisis for a while and read some texts.

Synova said...

Ritmo, there are people who would rather see humans starve, and they use pseudo-scientific scare tactics... it's not that mono-culture has particular environmental impacts or that genetically engineered crops... like all hybrid crops... have to be planted fresh every year from new seed rather than saved... it's that we don't *know* that they are *safe* to eat. Haven't you been paying attention?

Also... I've done farm work. I know *exactly* how much labor people blithely volunteer other people to do in order to have their pastoral perfection. If everyone did that next season, and used open pollinated crops to destroy the agri-business giants in a single year... half the world's population if not *more* would starve to death.

The Crack Emcee said...

Liberals are something else:

Crack is irrelevant to this conversation, as is Oprah Winfrey.

Funny thing, that, considering I started it with you.

jr565 said...

Oligonicella wrote:
"I've always wondered that about evolution.why does it seem that we don't see the evidence of evolution in existing species."

We have.

"Granted it should take a long time for evolution to occur, but why do we assume that all species would evolve at the same time or rate."

It doesn't have to take a long time and science assumes no such thing as you build of straw.

Avoid AnswersInGenisis for a while and read some texts.


The fact that it only took thirty years when evolutionists say it should take millions might mean that there is something else going on other than evolution. But, These italian wall lizards were genetically identical to the other italian wall lizards whch didn't have secal valves, meaning that within the italian wall lizard there is a potential for secal valves, and the genes can be passed on or not passed on, or can be dependent on environment or dominant or recessive. Genetic coding determines what can or cannot occur in an organism. Nothing was added to the genes of these italian wall lizards. Both groups are genetically indistiguishable. Organisms can express or not express various genes at various times. But no new genes were added or changed in these lizards. Which means that it is within the DNA of this lizard to have or not have secal valves.
Which is why I wrote: Human DNA will always be human DNA and thus will always produce a human. It's just that, due to the variation allowed in DNA, that could produce an almost infinite variation of physical characteristics, but those characteristics would still stay within the confines of what is allowed by human DNA.
Human DNA allows for a lot of variance. You can find two parents with brown hair that have a blond haired child, you can have traits which skip generations. My aunt had a circulatory system that was completely backwards. (ie everything was on the opposite side). Variance is not an example of evolution. My aunts dna was indistinguishable from other humans. If these lizards had some new genetic material added to their DNA then you could argue that they've evolved, but that is not the case. And hasn't been the case.