June 23, 2011

How foolish do these Miss USA contestants sound responding to the question whether evolution should be taught in schools?

This video clip is making the rounds on some lefty blogs:



These women don't seem to realize how well-established the theory of evolution is and how central it is to the study of science. Of course, it should be taught in school. The more lively present-day issue is whether intelligent design may also be taught alongside evolution, but that isn't what the women were asked. The question prompts them to think of evolution as something that perhaps ought not to be taught in schools. From the bizarre similarity of the answers, I would extrapolate standard beauty-contest advice: Look for the prompt in the question and echo it back with some embellishment that makes you sound thoughtful, caring, and respectful of diversity.

But maybe, as Nicolle Belle at Crooks and Liars says:
The way that the majority of these women express their view that there are multiple and equally scientifically valid arguments truly shows the success of the religious right to muddy the waters and dumb down the populace by introducing skepticism over scientific theory.
By the same token, these answers may show how fundamental it is in America to believe in gathering information, listening to the argument about what might be true, and developing your powers of judgment. So, to some extent, what these women are saying aligns with the scientific method.

More than anything else, however, what I hear in these answers is a deep instinct toward freedom of choice. I felt moved to transcribe Miss New Jersey's remark because it was so perfectly typical of what they all seemed to be saying:
"I think everything should be taught in schools, every single aspect of evolution and anything you can think of. I think they should have the option of learning everything that there is to learn and then kind of choose what they like to believe."
Now, there is something absurd about that.  You don't want to teach kids everything you can think of, and they shouldn't be choosing what to believe based on what they like, but there's something beautiful and quintessentially American about that commitment to the free flow of information and the freedom of belief. It's not that far from the statement on the "sifting and winnowing" plaque here at the University of Wisconsin... about which I once said:
I would like to see some "continual and fearless" judgment about who should be given the opportunity to amass the pile of material that students are assigned to sift and winnow.
That is, you don't just throw anything you can think of at the students and leave it to them to find the truth. And some things are so well-established that it's a good idea to teach them quickly and simply as facts and save the "sifting and winnowing" activity for some other set of material. That brings us back to evolution: Should schools teach it as a fact — this is the theory — or use this subject as an occasion for teaching students how to look at evidence and judge it critically? I think that is the interesting question, and it is not at all obvious which approach is more supportive of science/religion.

207 comments:

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
Robert Cook said...

It's perfectly appropriate to teach students that there is a doctrine known as "creationism" in a theology class where religious beliefs are examined; it's absolutely not appropriate to teach it in a science class, as it is not science.

TosaGuy said...

Miss New Jersey only used the word 'Like' once and she also used it properly.

KDeRosa said...

So what would one teach when there is no scientific explanation, for example, what brought life into existence when no-life existed.

the theory of evolution is silent on this issue. (There must be some life to evolve from.) And all the extant theories are as nutty as the creationism theory.

As to this point, Miss NJ might be on to something.

Michael K said...

This is not, as Crooks and Liars thinks, a consequence of the "religious Right" but as result of the culture war. Religious people were the subject of an assault by the left that began back with the school prayer decision and Roe vs Wade. They have fought back with an intensification of beliefs best left at home but, once attacked in public, had to be defended in public.

The left knows no more about science than the religious right. They are just fashionable lately.

Fen said...

Meh. This is no better or worse than the World Peace exclamations in Miss Congeniality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3st-Hai1y54&feature=related

Besides, did you really think any of these women would say what they really think after Ms California gave the "wrong" answer about gay marriage?

Fen said...

It's perfectly appropriate to teach students that there is a doctrine known as Global Warming in a theology class where religious beliefs are examined

/fixed

Hoosier Daddy said...

These are smoking hot babes, who cares what they think.

edutcher said...

Cook, of course, takes the Marx Brother's view that religion is the opiate of the masses. More like socialism is.

As for evolution, even Darwin conceded that there were plenty of holes in it and he could only hope they'd be plugged someday. That hasn't quite worked out.

The issue is, as Ann notes, that evolution is as important in the development of scientific thought as the idea the sun revolved around the earth. No one can be considered an educated person without knowing it, although the worship of it, as a faux religion, is strictly for Lefties like Cook.

In the same vein, no person can be considered literate, at least in Western culture, without a knowledge of the Bible and knowing creationism is important to understanding not only literature, but the progress of scientific thought, as well as philosohy and, yes, law.

PS There is no scholarship for the Miss USA contestants. Do the math.

Coketown said...

Perhaps if religion hadn't been banished from public schools, and were allowed to be taught as history or literature or, hey, even religion, then religious fundamentalists wouldn't be trying to shoehorn it in using science as subterfuge? Did anyone think of that?

And besides, I think in a top-ten list of stupid things kids are learning, or important things kids aren't learning, evolution/creationism doesn't even rank.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Ask them what their Zodiac sign is. Disqualify anyone who answers.

Oh, I would apply the same rule when it comes to government elections.

Since Crack's not here yet to say it: Creationism is no goofier than astrology, crystal healing, wicca, or Gaia worship; but you'll never see those attacked by most leftists.

Freeman Hunt said...

They're calling these women air-headed while they themselves take the time to tune into and critique the Miss USA pageant.

"Omigod, ya'll! Look at how bereft of intellectual content this beauty pageant is!"

pauls lane said...

Should Environmental Literacy, whatever the hell that is, be taught in public schools? Maryland Board of Education thinks so, as they just made it a requirement for graduation.

Fen said...

Crooks and Liars found the problem but blamed the wrong cause of it.

[damn thats a sloppy sentence, but I'm in a hurry]

The way that the majority of these women express their view that there are multiple and equally scientifically valid arguments truly shows the success of the religious right to muddy the waters and dumb down the populace

Who has been teaching generations that there are mulitple and equally valid positions on everything? Hint: its not the religious right.

Then there's this gem:

by introducing skepticism over scientific theory.

Its a THEORY. Skepticism is a good thing. A lack of it is unscientific. Just look at whats happened to AGW theory.

Original Mike said...

"That is, you don't just throw anything you can think of at the students and leave it to them to find the truth."

The notion of teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools is beyond absurd. It's a dereliction of duty. A science teacher and a 5th grader are not on the same level. It is the job of the teacher to teach what "science" thinks. When you get to the end of the educational ladder (college), then students can begin sifting and winnowing for themselves.

themightypuck said...

These chicks don't look that hot to me. Could be the contrived makeup, hair and speaking style though.

Prof. Althouse is right about how infuriating it is to listen to an endless stream of people not answering the question but as Fen points out it isn't surprising that they stick to a script.

Alex said...

I love this topic. It gives a chance for the Althouse fundies to expose themselves.

Freeman Hunt said...

Next up, deep analysis of the thoughts of America's Got Talent contestants on the issue of the lipid hypothesis.

Freeman Hunt said...

The most humorous aspect of this is that what you see before you is simple political correctness. It's just of the type that lefty blogs don't like.

"Everything is equal. All views are legitimately valid. Except that!"

themightypuck said...

I'm pretty sure that if kids graduated grade school with a deep and meaningful understanding of the Monty Hall problem everything else would be gravy.

Peter said...

I have to admit that most of the science I learned in public schools was of the "science says" variety.

That is, most of what we were taught was argument-from-authority: these scientists are smart and well-respected by their peers, and who are you to question their conclusions?

The evidence for biological evolution is overwhelming. I agree that it could be used as an opportunity to explore how and why scientists reach a consensus on this, or anything else.

For, truly, much science was done decades or centuries ago, and is no longer in serious dispute. Of course, this is not the science one finds in headlines.

BUT, my experience was that very few math or science teachers in public schools seemed to have the intellectual capacity to handle much more than "science says."

Original Mike said...

"Who has been teaching generations that there are mulitple and equally valid positions on everything? Hint: its not the religious right."

This.

Superdad said...

It should be taught the question is how should it be taught. Should it be taught as a Theory (which it is) or should it be taught as a settled issue (which it is not). The problem most creationists I know (including myself) is that a valid scientific theory has been unscientifically elevated to the same status as the Law of Gravity. I want the theory to be taught objectively because it has problems and it is in the study of those problems and the failure to be able to answer those problems that the Truth will ultimately be found.

Titus said...

Maryland and Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the hottest. Physically, I don't give a shit about their answers.

Idaho looked like a drag queen.

What was South Dakota wearing?

Many of these women, who are in their early 20's, look like they are in the early 40's. I think it is the hair.

Old Dad said...

As Prof. notes, who cares what they think. Is there any cultural implication? Probably not. That the young women seem to like freedom of choice is not surprising. That's very American. Since, to my knowledge, none of them are parents yet, it's not surprising that freedom of choice is not modified by parental authority. For my money, curriculums should be locally developed with, perhaps, some direction from states. Feds stay out.

My kids were taught evolution in school. I'd have taught them anyway.

Original Mike said...

"BUT, my experience was that very few math or science teachers in public schools seemed to have the intellectual capacity to handle much more than "science says.""

Yeah, that's a problem. Because what should be taught is "science says X, and here's why".

Superdad said...

It should also be pointed out that science is not democratic - thus a theory cannot become more than a theory just because lots of people agree with it.

Milwaukee said...

Well, evolution does happen. You know the score of the first basket ball game was 1-0. They used real baskets, and didn't have a ladder to retrieve the ball. Then they had a guy standing on a ladder to pull the ball out, but that got scary. So they put a hole in the bottom of the basket. After a while they thought of a net, because sometimes it looks like a basket when it wasn't, and sometimes it didn't look like a basket and it was. The net helps. Used to be couldn't dunk the ball, but then they could and then we got the 3-point line so people wouldn't clog the lane. Some evolutionary developments are just plain stupid, such as the designated hitter, but those don't seem to be going away.

MadisonMan said...

Perhaps if religion hadn't been banished from public schools,

What are you talking about? There's a Bible Class taught at my kids' (public) school.

themightypuck said...

As for the lipid hypothesis, it seems a lot shakier than AGW to me (although I see similarities re how the science becomes captured by the moral imperative to respond to a calamity).

edutcher said...

Considering reciting a script is what they feel they must do in the wake of the Carrie Prejean thing, it's a miracle they're willing to open their mouths at all.

Titus said...

Kentucky was a total Miss Thang.

G Joubert said...

What's wrong with teaching students that some aspects that the *theory* of evolution are unproven and are contested, including by some on a theological basis? Seems to me we want students better informed about what's current, not less informed.

Anthony said...

Besides, did you really think any of these women would say what they really think after Ms California gave the "wrong" answer about gay marriage?

Bingo. Be as ambiguous as possible and get it over with.

Fred4Pres said...

Meh. I can't quite understand the whole controversy about evolution. I got taught it in parochial school.

But what is the interesting creation question is the bigger one: why? Think about the concept that from a singularity the size of a atom, the entire universe created itself and life sprung forth and we resulted, becoming aware. Jeez Louise, that is more miraculous than most creation myths and stories.

Titus said...

Do they all shower together before the pageant?

Is it a group shower or individual?

Could you imagine all of them in the same shower soaping on on their shaved coochies and titties?

You know all of them shave their twats.

Milwaukee said...

Actually, while the squirrels on either side of the Grand Canyon have evolved into different things, there are limits to what evolution can get you. Moths might evolve into a different shade, but they are still moths. The idea is gradual change, so what was it that preceded the eyeball? Either it works, or it doesn't. Eyeballs didn't all of a sudden appear, in working order. Or did they? We can recognize the original and early basketball games as basketballs, and those squirrels on the either rim of the Grand Canyon are squirrels. Micro-evolution, sure. Macro-evolution? No way.

Carol_Herman said...

60 years ago, Marilyn Monroe OWNED the beautiful woman category!

But here? We're not in Atlantic City anymore. And, Bert Parks is dead.

The questions, (especially the one from the magician Penn Jellette), means the judges can't quite grasp what makes a woman beautiful. (It's not dependent on her talking, at all.)

While the questions are traps.

I had wished Miss Tennessee had just said to Penn, "ya know, I didn't practice for this thing, expecting an exam. But if you brought an American Flag into a movie theater, and set it on fire, I'd know enough that I'd be breaking the law, if I yelled out "fire." So, maybe, the thing to do is yell out "I want a refund?" The "First Amendment standard, would probably let me do this.)

And, the biggest fault with the Miss America contestants ... is that there's no women in it who aren't thin as rails. There aren't short women in it, either.

So to call this an American fantasy is to go overboard.

This year they picked a Latina. The game's RIGGED, I tell ya!

People are winning based on nonsense.

Marilyn Monroe's talent, however, still lives on.

Hagar said...

Evolution occurs, and that is a fact; how is theory, and why is religion.
For the purposes of this class, we will stick to the fact and a discussion of the currently generally accepted scientific theories.
For any religious aspects, attend your religious institution of choice.

themightypuck said...

NM had the right answer but UT had the telling answer. All UT is thinking about is "what do these people want to hear? how are they trying to trap me?"

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, there's another rule, brought to you by the experts in self-esteem. Never attempt to teach a kid above the level of their curiosity.

Besides, teachers don't teach kids. Peers do.

Sigivald said...

Should schools teach it as a fact — this is the theory — or use this subject as an occasion for teaching students how to look at evidence and judge it critically?

Both at once.

It's very, very strongly evidenced [so much so that calling it "fact" is justified for all practical purpose], but the evidence is such (and there's such a history of counter-arguments, some of them even fairly subtle) that you can still use it as a great source for teaching critical thinking and evidence analysis.

(The part of the brouhaha I don't get* is why people are so insistent on teaching evolution in schools at all, when the schools can barely manage to teach English and Math.

I don't care if a semi-literate graduate has memorized that people and apes had a common god-damn ancestor; he'd be better off knowing how to read and write properly and believing some utter bloody nonsense about the Origin of Species.

Evolution just doesn't matter a lot to the vast majority of people, and is being assigned far too much importance in curricula at the High School level.

* Okay, I'm not actually confused; "evolution" is simply being used as a stick against an overstated minority of Biblical Literalists, who are themselves really a cipher for Christianity, and Religion itself.

Except the Catholics, I guess, who think evolutionary theory is fine and dandy and not even a problem.)

Skyler said...

Evolution and other religious topics are exactly why we should abolish public schools. It will instantly eliminate debate in the country about things the government has no business addressing, and at the same time, evolution will virtually disappear as a topic because people who wish their children to succeed in the world will not allow their children to not learn evolution (and it won't be controversial or probably even considered important. That's because those not learning it will fail in life. It's a win win.

Trapper Townshend said...

They want to give an answer that will please everyone, so they say "teach everything." Obviously, it didn't please everyone, but it's probably the closest they could come to doing so.

Neither conservatives nor liberals have a monopoly on people who don't understand science.

In this case, bringing up evolution at all could be said to be liberally "biased" because a lot of conservatives, generally out of a sense of victimhood, it seems, have decided to wage this silly battle against evolution.

But then there are the social "sciences," which are almost entirely a lefty project designed to make big government "work" and which reveal a complete lack of understanding of what science is.

MadisonMan said...

I really like Miss Kentucky's accent. Charming.

Too many of the contestants haven't learned to speak without inflecting up. If you're talking, and making a point, don't let your voice go up at the end of a sentence, signifying a question.

Skyler said...

And Miss Arizona is gorgeous.

I think Nicolle Belle is wrong. I think 60 years ago, every single one of the contestants would have said, "no, we should not teach evolution in schools." We have in fact made great progress. Most of the country is quite religious, and the Miss USA and Miss America pageants thrive on that wholesome, don't rock the boat, girl next door image, so they reflect the country pretty accurately, I think.

Sigivald said...

Also, contra KDeRosa, it's not so that all the theories of abiogensis are "as nutty as the creationism theory", since at least they don't require a ex nihilo entity that Just Always Was and happens to be a creator.

The theories are currently all so vague as to be mere speculation, but even at that level they're not as nutty.

(And what do you teach for things that lack an explanation? Either "We Just Don't Know Yet", or "Here Are The Guesses, Which Are Just Guesses".

In other words, you teach the truth; that we don't know, and just have guesses.)

(At some level, they do end up being "the Universe at some level Just Is", but that's not the same "Just Is" as "a sapient Creator who Just Is".

You have to grant existence at the fundamental level to something, but the simpler it is the more justified and less complex your theory is.)

Trapper Townshend said...

I agree with Sigivald that the OMG evolution! thing is a distraction when schools do a crappy job of teaching students how to read, write, and add.

Chip S. said...

What's the big deal about making sure every schoolkid is familiar with mid-19th century biology? Is it going to enable them to form more cogent opinions on health-care policy or the War Powers Act?

There's a ton of important stuff American schoolkids don't know enough about, like basic physics, math, grammar, and history. Punctuated equilibrium is of far less importance than any of those other subjects.

But at least every one of those chicks has been shown how to slip a condom over a banana. Priorities, people.

The Crack Emcee said...

I think it's hilarious that teaching critical thinking isn't even a consideration. If that were done, then I'd agree with the dingbats, that you could throw everything at the kids because they'd be armed. But, without critical thinking, you produce these dummies who don't just "sound" foolish but are.

I'd disqualify every one of them from the contest - not for defending the teaching of creative design - but for being stupid.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael K,

This is not, as Crooks and Liars thinks, a consequence of the "religious Right" but as result of the culture war. Religious people were the subject of an assault by the left that began back with the school prayer decision and Roe vs Wade. They have fought back with an intensification of beliefs best left at home but, once attacked in public, had to be defended in public.

Agreed, and very well said.

The left knows no more about science than the religious right. They are just fashionable lately.

The Crack Emcee said...

Martin L. Shoemaker,

Ask them what their Zodiac sign is. Disqualify anyone who answers.

Oh, I would apply the same rule when it comes to government elections.

Since Crack's not here yet to say it: Creationism is no goofier than astrology, crystal healing, wicca, or Gaia worship; but you'll never see those attacked by most leftists.


I'm here, and almost/kinda said it, exactly. I especially like that you led with disqualifying them for stupidity. Keep it up:

It's the wave of the future.

Skyler said...

And Miss Arkansas is barely a 6.

Original Mike said...

All the critical thinking in the world does no good if you don't know the evidence. Which is why the "science thinks this BECAUSE..." is so important.

ET1492 said...

If you explain evolution starting with fruit flies and corn and just a few generations, anyone will agree with you and see the sense in it.

Tell them man is descended from apes and you'll lose a chunk of the population, but many will still believe and understand.

Shout at them that evolution shows there is no God and that life is a cosmic accident and you've just lost 97 percent of all beauty pageant contestants.

Chip S. said...

I'd disqualify every one of them from the contest - not for defending the teaching of creative design - but for being stupid.

Aw, c'mon. Do you really want to turn the Miss USA contest into a spelling bee with a swimsuit competition?

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

All the critical thinking in the world does no good if you don't know the evidence.

Bullshit. Critical thinking teaches you how to think. You can then weigh evidence, without knowing a thing about it.

I don't have to understand Global Warming/Climate Change "science" to know Al Gore just bought a mansion on the coastline he insists will be flooded.

SunnyJ said...

"That is, you don't just throw anything you can think of at the students and leave it to them to find the truth."

Are you sugggesting that you put them squarely on Bloom's Taxonomy at hold them at that first level of remember and repeat? Personally, I like the "invert the process" scientific theory that says take it part to see how to put it together.

Works beautifully in neurologic physical therapy, where we know that all cognition is not accomplished in the brain. Where cell memory is available throughout the system. Where constraint of dominant cognition and body part can force the learning of an impaired process. Where we've learned that what "facts" we were taught 5 yrs ago, have been proven to be incomplete, if not completely inaccurate.

There is no settled science, it is just what is accepted today, based on what we know today.

Teach to tomorrow. Teach an algorithm of thought process, teach deductive reasoning, teach logic...for every "remember and repeat" there must be an "apply and analyze" right in the moment...at whatever level of classroom you are in.

There are no better students of physics that the smallest children. They instinctively get the universe, levers, pullys, paths of least resistance, push/pull/roll and they apply to achieve a functional goal without ever knowing, remembering or repeating one damn word!

traditionalguy said...

Evolution was the start of the revolution among educated people. It was the key that unlocked the door of the Creator God's doctrinal opinions on life. So now we are on our own. Every idiot with a theory of life can now say that it is proved by an evolutionary analysis. Problem solved! But among the experts in particle Physics and others with access to molecular microscopes, evolution based explanations are dead on arrival. They cannot explain reality at all. I blame the Hubble Space Telescope.

Chip S. said...

Critical thinking teaches you how to think. You can then weigh evidence, without knowing a thing about it.

Critical thinking involves more than just logic. It also involves evaluating the quality of the evidence to be weighed: garbage in, garbage out. The best way to learn how to do this is to look at lots of evidence, good and not so good, that's already been evaluated extensively.

Lance said...

Perhaps if religion hadn't been banished from public schools, and were allowed to be taught as history or literature or, hey, even religion, then religious fundamentalists wouldn't be trying to shoehorn it in using science as subterfuge? Did anyone think of that?

Ooh, interesting.

Here's another idea (it just came to me): how about if parents want their kids to attend a school that's different from the local public school, we refund some of their taxes? That way if they want their kids to have some religion as part of their schooling, they can have that. Or if they want to make absolutely dead-sure their kid never gets exposed to any religion whatsoever, they can have that too. Assuming, in each case, of course, they can find such a school.

Original Mike said...

"Bullshit. Critical thinking teaches you how to think. You can then weigh evidence, without knowing a thing about it."

The average 5th grader needs to know the facts. Teaching them "how to think", and then letting them come to conclusions vis-a-vis evolution vs. creation is ridiculous.

Michael K said...

It is the job of the teacher to teach what "science" thinks. When you get to the end of the educational ladder (college), then students can begin sifting and winnowing for themselves.

"Science" is at bottom, mathematics applied to the topic at hand. The science teacher can give them the basics of gravity, motion, thermodynamics but beyond that, the content of most high school science classes have far too much politics. To the present day educational establishment, recycling is as important as the electron or the chemical bond. If a teacher can explain those concepts, I would be willing to let a bit of opinion creep in.

However, I know that the number of high school science teachers who can explain the chemical bond is so small that there is no danger.

One irony, unknown to most of the combatants in the Darwin wars, is that Darwin did not understand evolution. His work was all observational. It took a monk named Mendel to explain how it worked.

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip S.,

Aw, c'mon. Do you really want to turn the Miss USA contest into a spelling bee with a swimsuit competition?

No - dude - but I want to see some women I could admire, fantasize about, dream of, etc., and - unless they're the naturally, girly, oops-I-dropped-my-bra-type - it just ain't happening.

These women are just dumb.

Original Mike said...

"The best way to learn how to do this is to look at lots of evidence, good and not so good, that's already been evaluated extensively."

Agreed.

John M Auston said...

Liberals had best not get too smug about looking down of those who reject Science when it conflicts with their cherished beliefs.

Evolution by Natural Selection provides a perfect theory, or 'how did this come about?' explanation for the data about race and IQ.

And they are very quick to dismiss it, for pretty transparent reasons.

So, as usual with humans, it all depends on whose ox is getting gored.

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip S.,

Critical thinking involves more than just logic. It also involves evaluating the quality of the evidence to be weighed: garbage in, garbage out. The best way to learn how to do this is to look at lots of evidence, good and not so good, that's already been evaluated extensively.

I never mentioned "just logic" - I said critical thinking. So we're now arguing semantics - expressing the same thing in different ways - which is stupid.

DADvocate said...

the religious right to muddy the waters and dumb down the populace by introducing skepticism over scientific theory

The left doesn't mind muddying waters and dumbing down as long as the ends suit them. Look at their views on global warming/climate change, economics, racism, ad nausem. The reason they switched from "global warming" to "climate change" was to muddy the waters and dumb down.

gerry said...

How did vision evolve?

Just wondering.

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

The average 5th grader needs to know the facts. Teaching them "how to think", and then letting them come to conclusions vis-a-vis evolution vs. creation is ridiculous.

Bullshit, again. With a grounding in critical thinking, they'll figure it out.

Chip S. said...

Crack, I agree that listening to these chicks say stupid stuff is a turn-off. So I propose not asking them about stuff they know nothing about. Instead, they should be asked about their favorite flavor of ice cream or their most memorable sexual experiences. Bonus points for lurid facial expressions during the telling.

As for "expressing the same thing in different ways," I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a way to clarify things, isn't it?

pauls lane said...

I personally believe we were abandoned on this earth by aliens and not from Mexico either. I believe a super intelligent alien race gathered us up in their huge spaceships and dropped us off here because we were no better than vermin to them but because they were super intelligent they couldn't just exterminate us because it wouldn't have been PC.
I think these aliens are related to white mice and still to this day they study us. I read about this in a poplar scientfic book years ago.

Original Mike said...

"I don't have to understand Global Warming/Climate Change "science" to know Al Gore just bought a mansion on the coastline he insists will be flooded."

You could use a little more of the critical thinking yourself, Crack. All that teaches you is that Al Gore is either stupid or a liar. It teaches you nothing about climate science.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've got to check out for 2-3 hours, but will check this as soon as I get back.

pauls lane said...

@gerry - when God said let their be light, vision evolved immediately. Without light there is no vision. Without vision there is no light. It's a chicken and egg question.

MadisonMan said...

How did vision evolve?

Just wondering.

There is a considerable advantage to being able to see.

Your eyes are most sensitive to visible light (as opposed to, say, radio waves, or ultraviolet) because of the temperature of the Sun, which controls where in the electromagnetic spectrum most of the energy is emitted. (That, is, in the visible spectrum).

Chip S. said...

All that teaches you is that Al Gore is either stupid or a liar.

I suppose this is just another form of lying, but it's possible that Al Gore is spreading fear of global warming to drive down the price of oceanfront property, then swooping in to buy at distress-sale prices.

pauls lane said...

@Chip S - but if Gore is telling the truth then there will be lots and lots of oceanfront property available; also driving down the prices.

Chip S. said...

Um, if Gore is telling the truth, it won't be just the mortgages on current oceanfront property that will be underwater.

Original Mike said...

Even Al Gore is smart enough to know he'll be gone by the time his mansion floods. So, I guess I missed the 3rd possibility; he's a selfish bastard.

Lucius said...

Philosophically, I believe teleology is valid, and so I have no intellectual prejudice against forms of 'Intelligent Design' arguments.

That said, I can much more readily believe in physical resurrection from the dead, angelic beings, or even witchcraft, than I can persuade myself that Genesis 1-3 constitute a literally correct history of the origins of our universe, planet, and species.

I assume that Evolution can never attain the status of scientific 'law' because how can you reduce its propositions to mathematical formulae? (should Biology even be allowed to have "laws"?).

But that was the sophistry I used in high school as a Pentecostal Bible-thumper. 'Ha, it's just a theory!'

Strictly speaking, physical science doesn't necessarily have a 'use' for teleology, even if it is real, so I can't justify trying to cram ID into physical science courses, even though properly speaking it may be the only way to understand the universe correctly. It certainly should be examined under the rubric of Philosophy.

TMink said...

Skepticism is NECESSARY to science. Scientists welcome it. Many people have very different reactions to critiques of their faith. For many, evoloution is a faith that must not be criticized. Global warming and progressive politics are generally treated in the same manner. But that is NOT scientific. It is religious. And weak religion at that. Strong religion tolerates unbelief quite well.

Trey

roesch-voltaire said...

It is not foolish to respond, but the question becomes how much time should be given to the discussion. This is complicated because what counts as scientific theory at any given time takes a philosophy course to unravel, but today a stronger theory is one that has questions that can be answered in the lab through testing and verification--although some theories exist only be at the math level such as string theory, they gain strength with empirical observation. Creationism has only big questions, or counter interpretations to things like carbon testing and is considered a weak theory at best because it is not testable. It does not take long for my students to look at the evidence each side presents before understanding the current state of evolution-- particularly when looking at the genetic evidence advanced by researchers such as UW's own Sean B. Carroll.

Oligonicella said...

Milwaukee --

Wow, so much wrong.

"Actually, while the squirrels on either side of the Grand Canyon have evolved into different things, there are limits to what evolution can get you. Moths might evolve into a different shade, but they are still moths."

Uh no.... Moths, skippers and true butterflies are divergent from the same stock.

"The idea is gradual change, so what was it that preceded the eyeball? Either it works, or it doesn't. Eyeballs didn't all of a sudden appear, in working order. Or did they?"

Quick in geological terms is still gradual. But to address your point about eyes.

No they did not appear suddenly. Eyes have evolved over a dozen times in Earth's history. There has (for instance) been a great study on the evolution of trilobite eyes. They range from little more than opsin deposits to very complex, multi-faceted eyes like modern insects (but internally different). Oddly enough, those forms correspond to the age of the fossil.

Interestingly, insects have the same pattern (and accompanying diversity over time).

Same for vertebrates. You're aware that some of the more primitive vertebrates have a third eye (parietal eye)? It's even well developed in some (tuatara), usually light-sensitive and associated with the pineal gland, which we still retain.


"Macro-evolution? No way."

Macro-evolution is accumulated micro-evolution.

Drew said...

You know what's really absurd? That they'd even be asked about their views on evolution. WTF does evolution have to do with being Miss USA? It's almost like the judges are trying to make sure they don't get any of those squicky creationists.

gerry said...

MadisonMan: I understand how vision is a tremendous benefit for a species. It is the complexity of vision that amazes me as a product of evolution. The brain must be ready before the eye begins to transmit information to it, or the benefit of evolving the eye cannot exist.

If perception isn't possible, why have the eye?

If perception is possible, but the organ, the eye, does not yet exist, how will external forces select for development of the eye? The brain may lose the ability to use the eye before it can connect to it.

See what I mean?

DADvocate said...

Lucius. Is that short for "Lucifer?"

Milwaukee said...

Since Darwin despised Christianity, and wrote his Evolution of the species as a way to disparage the teachings of the church, I think we can consider it a "religion". Especially since large chunks require faith. There are no pieces which explain large evolutionary jumps. A pigeons might "evolve" to have different colorings, or slightly longer wings, but pigeons, through selective breeding, will never be falcons.

Scientists are finding that many dissimilar animals have strings of similar genetic material, it's just that some is active in one species and not in another. Evolution exists, yes, remember those North Rim and South Rim squirrels. But evolution is only feasible for micro-changes. How the heck did mammary glands on whales and dolphins evolve so the young could nurse? If not perfect from the get-go, the young die. Do you hate baby whales?

Bender said...

Should a THEORY be taught as fact?

From a science standpoint, as opposed to a political standpoint, the question answers itself, doesn't it?

As THEORY, it should be taught, including teaching all of the limitations of that theory, that is, all of the things that evolution does not explain or account for. For example, evolution does not explain the origin of life, how inanimate matter became animated, and it does not explain the origin of the universe. Moreover, the FACT that the theory of evolution has gaps in the historical timeline should also be taught -- humans have "evolved" much faster than the relatively short amount of time would account for.

In the interests of SCIENCE, other possible hypotheses and theories that seek to answer those questions should also be taught.

Close-mindedness on the matter of the origin and development of life, including human life, is not science, it is arbitrary ideology.

Hagar said...

I have read, maybe by the much despised Stephen Jay Gould, that the theory is that a very long time ago, some gobs of jelly-like things floating in the primeval ocean developed some congregations of light sensitive cells on their top sides, which gave them a slight advantage in distinguishing up from down and gaging how deep they were in the water, etc., and then this proceeded in the evolutionary way for a gadzillion years until some creatures had something that actually could be called "eyes."

KDeRosa said...

@Sigivald -- "nutty" as in "not established science."

Milwaukee said...

If a thing that is going to become an eyeball isn't working, how will it know how to modify itself so that it will work? Why would it want to modify itself so that it could become an eyeball? Lots of little steps do not equal a really big step.

I saw an evolutionary argument for menopause that seems plausible. Before written language knowledge was retained in the wise-heads of the village. If older women were dying in childbearing, then the village would lose their wisdom. Presumably villages with more wisdom do better than villages with less. Thus those things which allow a village to retain more wisdom would last, like menopause. I agree: sounds like evolution at work to me. However, the whole "these cells some how become a vagina and a womb and those cells become a testicles, and most women have functioning vaginas and most men have functioning penises", seems to be right back at the eyeball, staring at us. (You can pick: do you want an eyeball, vagina or penis staring at you.)If they didn't work perfectly the first time, how would they ever evolve into something that works?

Oligonicella said...

gerry --

"How did vision evolve?"

Cliff Notes of the Cliff Notes.

Opsins are pigments that change shape and valence when struck by light. Different opsins, different wavelengths.

A patch of opsins create a stimulus in the skin when struck.

If the spots are located at, say, the front, the organism can travel to or away from light.

If the spots become cup shaped, there is a slight directional discernment.

If the cup becomes spherical, direction determination becomes better.

If the capsule becomes almost enclosed, it allows filtering and focus.

If the capsule becomes entirely enclosed, the delicate opsin/nerve apparatus is more protected *and* the transparent covering can become a lens system.

Different phyla, different structures to accomplish same.

We have living examples of that entire series on the world today. They correspond from primitive to advance forms.

Carol_Herman said...

It's not a beauty contest, unless the contestants can gambol about in the nude.

And, the first winner would need to be a bit "zaftig." Like in a Rubens painting.

Skinny women wouldn't even make the short list. (And, Rubens could stare all day at his nudes. He painted them. He wasn't using them to climb on top.)

As to this Miss America thing? I think it's TV. And, after Bert Parks died there's nobody left to say "There she is. Our new Miss America."

The whole setup works only when you realize all the judges are gay.

Even the evening gowns no longer seem so outstanding.

And, this year's winner was having a bad hair day.

MadisonMan said...

The brain must be ready before the eye begins to transmit information to it, or the benefit of evolving the eye cannot exist.

You appear to assume that the eye/brain combination is not evolving together.

See also the comment at 1:12.

William said...

Their area of expertise is looking good and making the most out of their good looks. They are far better at this than most science teachers are at being smart. Also, it should be noted that most good looking women have a greater intuitive understanding of the forces of evolution than do smart men. Further, part of looking good is the ability to give a gentle answer to a contentious question.....As a companion piece to this, there should be a listing of all the dumb fuck Nobel Prize winners who thought Marx was the scientist of history and economics and Freud had discovered the science of the mind. The mistakes of smart people have, over time, proven to be much more destructive than the mistakes of those just trying to get by..... I believe in evolution, but it has as much to do with my happiness and success in this world as my belief in string theory or quantum physics. If these girls wish to believe in creationism, where's the harm?

Carol_Herman said...

How come no one ever wins who wears glasses?

If it's a vision thing ... plenty of gorgeous women are as blind as bats without putting their glasses on.

Including Marilyn Monroe.

It's a wonder they don't have to supply Seeing-Eye dogs ... for these women to use ... as they walk down the runway.

What was the year one of the contestants fell off?

What was the year Bert Parks died?

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old RPM Daddy said...

Freeman Hunt kind of beat me to it, but "I weep for the future" is kind a pretentious stretch. It's just a beauty contest, after all. Maybe folks enjoy exposing beauty contestants as shallow and stupid, without realizing how petty it makes them look.

Reminds me of a Nickelodeon show my youngest daughter watches, called iCarly, about some Seattle teens who run a web-based variety show (it's better than it sounds). In one episode, one of the characters enters a beauty contest, and as part of the competition is asked for her opinion on Global Warming. Her reply (as far as I can remember): "My opinion is that nobody knows chizz [her word] about it. So let's solve World Hunger. FOR THE CHILDREN!!!" I don't think the sarcasm was lost on even the youngest viewers.

Carol_Herman said...

Freud just found the antidote to confessing your sins to priests.

He asked you to believe he was your mother, sitting there behind the couch and listening.

If it was your mother, though, she would have been knitting.

Bender said...

Moreover, it should also be taught that science has posited the possible existence of extraterrestrial life, including non-corporeal life. Science has also posited the possible existence of other planes of reality, other "dimensions," which transcend our universe.

How it suddenly becomes unscientific when one connects the dots and calls such a transcendent non-corporeal being "God," is beyond me, as well as beyond reason.

Chip Ahoy said...

How did vision evolve?

I think, I'm not sure about this, but I think, it began as a specific collection of organelles that together formed cells that that could faintly detect light vs dark, a passing shadow detector as it were, a trait that appeared in more than one organism and proved very useful for survival, then it was all uphill from there, cells to organ that could be termed eyes. Eyes of various number and utility and features.

Oligonicella said...

Bender --

Link please. My guess is those were 'posits' from theoretical-math guys. Not exactly science. Easy to do when you don't have to back anything up with more than 'suppose'.

jamboree said...

Really? I see a deep desire to pander to the RR for the win and yet avoid the Carrie Prejean situation.

I don't think there's anymore actual thinking going on than at an interview or a college essay question where the reader can screw your pooch big time.

Hagar said...

Milwaukee,

According to Darwin, he eventually became an agnostic, but he by no means "despised religion," nor did he deny the existence of God any more than Einstein did.

Jess said...

"All that teaches you is that Al Gore is either stupid or a liar."

Don't sell Al short. He could be both!

WV: glytr. Al will perform glytr rock in his next career move.

Chuck66 said...

Why are they asked this question? It's almost as bad as forcing them to make a statement on gay marriage.

Tibore said...

So far, only Hagar seems to have spotted the flaw in the Professor's post: The actual fact here is that biological change occurs. Evolution is the explanation of that change. So no offense to the professor, but teaching it as "fact" is doing it wrong. Evolution should be taught as an explanation that has multiple, converging lines of support (fossil examinations, and DNA evidence, and physiology/morphology changes including anatomical vestiges, ontogeny, etc., and evolutionary opportunism, etc.) and so far has stood up as being by far the best explanation best fitting the known evidence and best allowing accurate predictions to be made and further tests of it to be developed. That gets the point across that it's actually not static, and continuously in development, but at the same time not so much an unfinished product as it is simply our best explanation given the totality of knowledge that currently exists.

And no, it doesn't mean that it's "just a theory", that competing explanations automatically merit consideration simply on some notion of intellectual "fairness". That misunderstands what a "theory" really is. "Theories" are explanations ideally supported by evidence or at minimum observation. But they are not all equal; the more support, the better the theory. The less, the worse. And the fact of the matter is, evolution has been so accurate and so supported by unrelated lines of research that anything overturning it would have to do so from a very, very fundamental and profound perspective, akin to how modern physics "overturned" Newton's theories (they didn't, really, but it would take too much text to explain the notion of deeper, underlying physics and Newtonian ones being excellent approximations in a limited observational frame, so I'll leave it at "overturned" for now).

Yes, evolution is a "theory". But it's one that's managed to survive and even evolve (heh) as information accrued. In contrast, look at Lamarckism in biology, or luminiferous ether in physics for stuff that sounded logical, even had a base level of support in the beginning, yet in the end failed due to accumulation of evidence. If an instructor gets that across, then the instructor did something right.

Bender said...

Oligonicella --

Try reading Hawking or quantum mechanics or any number of cosmologists.

NitneLiun said...

It's astonishing to see how many of them don't understand the difference between a scientific theory and speculation.

Chuck66 said...

I think a better question to ask is what they think about public employees (and private for that matter) getting a guaranteed benefit retirement plan, vs a contribution plan.

Oligonicella said...

Bender --

"Try reading Hawking or quantum mechanics or any number of cosmologists."

I have, many. Math guys. Exactly what I said. Supposition, not hypothesis.

Marshal said...

This is the most ridiculously over hyped "issue" ever. Science teachers can say some people believe in a theological initiation of the evolutionary process. End of story.

It's absurd discussing this somehow subverts science. These alarmists are trying to excise any learning which does not contribute to their own indoctrination goals.

gerry said...

You appear to assume that the eye/brain combination is not evolving together.

Why would they?

Oligonicella, thank you for the Cliff Notes of the Cliff Notes.

I am nevertheless amazed at the faith deposited in coincidence as the source of development.

It makes coincidence god-like, you know?

Revenant said...

If kids were capable of reliably distinguishing between good ideas and bad ideas, they wouldn't be kids. They would be adults.

The free flow of information is a wonderful thing, but kids need guidance and direction. There are lots of ideas that sound appealing at first but don't actually work in reality -- creationism, communism, extended warranties, etc.

Writ Small said...

Let's get a bunch of lefty bloggers together and ask them questions on grooming, personal hygiene and staying beautiful.

Then the beauty pageant contestant bloggers can have at them.

gerry said...

What I now want to know is, is cosmetology a science?

Tibore said...

And Crack's also got it dead-on: There's not enough emphasis on critical thinking. Which is why we see the tragedy of otherwise well educated professionals in pertinent fields falling for such dumb crap as antivaccine movements (think Andrew Wakefield for that topic. Or in a different one, Peter Duesberg and AIDS denial), 9/11 Truther "controlled demolition" theories (Richard Gage, architect, and Gordon Ross, physicist), etc. Those well educated people simply have no ability to actually apply critical thinking properly in the very intellectual discipline they're a part of, and because of this they fall for insanities that should be obvious to them but get overridden because the fantasies fit a broader, more amorphous social or political mindset that's more appealing than the cold, boring truth does.

It's dumb, but there it is. Without critical thinking, genius has the potential to go badly awry. Time and time again, I'm astounded by the effort people put into pseudoscience or falsified stuff simply because it pleases them. And we're talking things that can be easily, and in some cases trivially falsified, Andrea A. Rossi and "e-cat" cold fusion being one great example of this. Steven Jones and thermite-mediated demolition being another. Wakefield and mercury-vaccination-autism links being a third. Two of those are actual professionals in proper fields (Jones is a physicist, Wakefield was a medical doctor). It's flabbergasting, but again, there it is. Critical thinking is the discipline that allows intellect to properly function. Sort of like various sports disciplines that allow athletes to excel; it's a good comparison.

------

Word verification: clibedo. Something to do with libedo gone horribly, horribly wrong. :-S

Jess said...

As long as we're asking science questions of contestants, I have a few myself for the next political debate amongst those seeking high office. They would be put together in the last five minutes before the debate, and would be along the lines of:

What does it mean to be NP-complete?

What is the significance of a red shift vs a blue shift?

Please trisect this angle for us, using a compass and a straight edge.

I'd pay money to see that debate.

Oligonicella said...

gerry --

You appear to assume that the eye/brain combination is not evolving together.

"Why would they?"

One good reason would be that the eye is actually an evagination of the brain. Another would be that the brain already has billions of nerves connected with the largest organ of the body, the skin.

"It makes coincidence god-like, you know?"

Only if you require personal, visual confirmation of everything.

Oligonicella said...

Jess --

"Please trisect this angle for us, using a compass and a straight edge."

Correct response, "After you."

Chuck66 said...

I am an orthedox Christian. I know many other traditional Christians. Pretty much all believe in evolution.

It's kind of like the birther thing....the left likes to bring this up, and paint the entire conservative movement as holding these beliefs.

Even the most pro-choice people I know are a little uncomfortable with using abortion for sex selection or for racial reasons (fund abortions specifically for blacks, for instance), but the comparison would be if pro-life crowd would constantly talk about abortion used for sex selection or to keep the Black population down.

Bruce Hayden said...

It's perfectly appropriate to teach students that there is a doctrine known as "creationism" in a theology class where religious beliefs are examined; it's absolutely not appropriate to teach it in a science class, as it is not science.

I would suggest that there is a bit of intentional misdirection going on there - the question was about teaching intelligent design alongside evolution. Not creationism. Big difference, that I would suggest was intentionally obscured.

My view is that evolution, per se, is fairly well established. We can see where a single mutation has resulted in a genetic change, and in many cases, estimate approximately when the change occurred, as well as providing a statistical probability of how often they occur.

But, the problem is that there are genetic jumps in our evolution of maybe a dozen or so mutations that have happened without any trace in the middle. They are (barely) within plausible statistical probability. So, they may have resulted from pure evolution.

But, they may not have. And that is where intelligent design comes in - an invisible hand pushing evolution in a certain direction. Until we can pare down these genetic mutational jumps a bit, then it can be neither proved or disproved.

ken in sc said...

One year I taught seventh grade science. One of my colleagues and supposedly my official mentor, said the she did not teach evolution because she did not believe in it. I taught what was in the book because the students needed that knowledge to to pass standardized tests. When students challenged me, and they did because it was in rural South Carolina, I quoted from the Bible verses that said that God's time was not the same as human time and that his thoughts were not our thoughts. I explained that God could use evolution to carry out creation and take as long as he wanted to do it. Because I was familiar with the Bible they respected me and accepted my teaching. I hope they were better for it.

Oligonicella said...

Jess --

What does it mean to be NP-complete?

"Like, I believe I'm as close to nearly-perfectly complete as I think a girl can get."

What is the significance of a red shift vs a blue shift?

"If you're in a red shift, you're saying your aggressive. The blue shift indicates calm and receptive."

Please trisect this angle for us, using a compass and a straight edge.

"Now, that's a totally bogus question. You should know full well that only a small percentage of angles can be trisected with just a straight-edge and ruler. What do you take me for?"

Bender said...

Cosmology, not cosmetology.

As for all being math guys, what you are saying then, Oligonicella, is that they are not religious nuts who hypothesize such things.

MadisonMan said...

He asked you to believe he was your mother, sitting there behind the couch and listening.

Sigmund Freud,
he had an unfurnished house.
He was a very nosy fellow, so it seems.
He had no chairs,
So he made all his friends stand around all day,
And tell him all their secrets
and their dreams.
Well, while they stood there talking 'till they got fallen arches,
They yelled, "My feet are killing me.
Ouch!"
I said, "Sigmund, don't you realize you've got a gold mine here.
Go out and buy yourself a leather couch."

Allan Sherman said it best.

Oligonicella said...

Bruce Hayden --

"But, the problem is that there are genetic jumps in our evolution of maybe a dozen or so mutations that have happened without any trace in the middle."

Please point some out, I don't believe you're correct.

Carol_Herman said...

Before the BIG BANG there was foreplay.

People just want answers to stuff without being put through the rigors of a scientific quest.

There had to be foreplay. Without it, you never get to the BIG BANG.

Oligonicella said...

Bender --

"As for all being math guys, what you are saying then, Oligonicella, is that they are not religious nuts who hypothesize such things."

Yep. Hypothetical parlor talk requiring no testability. Not science.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

First of all Miss USA is a ridiculous and outmoded office/title. It means nothing, has no power, no influence.

Second: why are they even asking this idiotic question. WHO CARES! The title is awarded for looking good, just like a prize heifer at a 4H meeting. No one give a shit what Miss USA thinks about anything.

Bender said...

Silly me. And here I thought that math was science.

Dewave said...

It's impossible to hold a meaningful discussion of 'evolution' without first knowing exactly what people mean by it.

If evolution is meant as an explanation for the origin of life, then it's pure nonsense no more deserving of being taught in a science class than is creationism.

If by evolution we mean "the process by which variations arrive within species" then sure, scientifically sound.

If by evolution we mean "the process by which one species changes into a different species" then it's a pure theory: we have never observed it happen a single time. It is a non falsifiable conjecture.

Skepticism of scientific theories is not only not bad, it is good. That's how science is supposed to work.

Far too many people view science as just another religion, where everyone silently accepts the edicts handed down by the high priests (scientists) and no one is allowed to question it.

That's a ridiculous perversion of the scientific method.

I'm far more worried about people who misuse science to try to make it prove things that aren't so (AGW, for example) or coopt it for political ends than I am about people who are unduly skeptical of science in general. And mind you, the former contributes greatly to the latter.

Many people seem to use the evolution question as a proxy for determining if someone is a crazy religious person or a cool, rational atheist. This is also silly, as if you believe in a God who created the world, there is no reason he couldn't have done so through the process of evolution. A lot of people seem to think if evolution is true, then there is no God, and so the two are mutually incompatible and lead to violent culture wars. But this is a false understanding.

write_effort said...

Didn't Miss CA win? Read that she is recently from New Jersey. This is like politicians who represent one state then switch to another ala Harold Ford, Jr., who so sincerely wanted to represent the people of Tenn. in the Senate that when he lost he moved to NY.

Oligonicella said...

Bender --

Not in the sense of the physical sciences, no. Even Webster's separates the meanings.

How, for instance, would you set up testability for the existence of branes? Or maybe micro-dimensions? Or perhaps the conundrum of the first supposed second of the BB?

Just because you can make a formula don't mean it describes anything real.

gerry said...

Just one question, Oligonicella: what's wrong with Sphodromantis?

bagoh20 said...

A lot of people, with ample justification, don't trust the education establishment to be teaching the truth. That doesn't mean they never do, but when you are lied to enough, you start grasping at straws.

I have never understood the asking of these question of these women. It's often embarrassing, and what should a judge do in a beauty contest if the most beautiful girl is dumb. We don't hold back academic scholarships or spelling bee titles if the winner is ugly, do we?

Oligonicella said...

Dewave said...

"If by evolution we mean "the process by which one species changes into a different species" then it's a pure theory: we have never observed it happen a single time. It is a non falsifiable conjecture."

Absolutely incorrect. We've observed it on a number of occasions.

"A lot of people seem to think if evolution is true, then there is no God, and so the two are mutually incompatible and lead to violent culture wars."

One helluva lot more believe in both. The concepts are not incompatible.

Oligonicella said...

gerry -

"Just one question, Oligonicella: what's wrong with Sphodromantis?"

Which one?

Oligonicella said...

I happen to like lineola, which, by the way, is one mean son-of-a-bitch of a species. Only one of two species I've raised that drew blood without biting.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dewave said...

We've observed it on a number of occasions.


Such as?

Oligonicella said...

gerry -

All in all, I've reared some two hundred plus species spanning maybe fifty genera.

If I were to pick something 'wrong' with Sphodro, it would be the size and strength. That blood was from a female grabbing my thumb and then slowly applying pressure until her spines punched through my thumb skin. Friggin' hurt. Especially as I didn't want to hurt her.

Otherwise, nothing.

gerry said...

Oligonicella, lineola looks beautiful, but since it drew blood without biting, I suppose Sphodromantis is not one of some geni you'd be dreaming of?

Sorry.

roesch-voltaire said...

T critical thinking in science can be tainted. Look at the treatment of Fleisschmann and Pons, cold fusion researchers, by researchers at MIT who dismissed their work with false data because they wanted government money for "hot fusion" science.

Oligonicella said...

Dewave -

A quickie:

"Three species of wildflowers called goatsbeards were introduced to the United States from Europe shortly after the turn of the century. Within a few decades their populations expanded and began to encounter one another in the American West. Whenever mixed populations occurred, the specied interbred (hybridizing) producing sterile hybrid offspring. Suddenly, in the late forties two new species of goatsbeard appeared near Pullman, Washington. Although the new species were similar in appearance to the hybrids, they produced fertile offspring. The evolutionary process had created a separate species that could reproduce but not mate with the goatsbeard plants from which it had evolved."

Article from Scientific American, 02/89.

Trooper York said...

You do realize that Caroline Manzo of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" was one of the judges?

She thinks intelligent design comes from IKEA.

Trooper York said...

The criteria for selection is all screwed up. We all know who should win the Miss USA contest.

The one with the nicest tits.

Oligonicella said...

gerry --

"Oligonicella, lineola looks beautiful, but since it drew blood without biting, I suppose Sphodromantis is not one of some geni you'd be dreaming of?

Sorry."

Nope. The ones I dream of are Voos, Vilsia and Sala, in that order. Sniede would be second, except that she wasn't actually a djinni.

Never apologize for bringing up djinnis.

Trooper York said...

How did this contest and this thread go so far off track?

Oligonicella said...

Troop, I would guess that the side threads are more interesting than the contest?

Original Mike said...

"Silly me. And here I thought that math was science."

It is not. You can't do science without math, but that does not make them the same thing.

Trooper York said...

Well let's change the subject to which is better: the evolution of tits or the intelligent design.

I personally like the evolution rather than the intelligent design that requires silicone or saline. Just sayn'

Original Mike said...

"How did this contest and this thread go so far off track?"

Hoosier explained it a long time ago: "These are smoking hot babes, who cares what they think."

gerry said...

Troop, how does that go, when someone brings up tits or Nazis, the thread has jumped the shark?

CachorroQuente said...


It's a wonder they don't have to supply Seeing-Eye dogs ... for these women to use ... as they walk down the runway.


Yeah, and all those dogs could be sticking their cold, wet noses where they don't belong.

Yes! I'd watch that.

Dewave said...

New species arising from interbreeding (which is what happened there) is not the evolutionary process.

Otherwise, all the proof of evolution we'd need would be the common mule.

And it sounds like we didn't even get a new higher species from a favorable mutation carrying new genetic information here: we got existing copies of an old species that differed only in their ability to reproduce.

Anyway, I'm only interested in examples from the animal kingdom.

Original Mike said...

Rev said: "If kids were capable of reliably distinguishing between good ideas and bad ideas, they wouldn't be kids. They would be adults."

Exactly.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@Gerry: Troop, how does that go, when someone brings up tits or Nazis, the thread has jumped the shark?

I think it's Godwin's Law for the Nazis. For the boobage it's what, Titus' Law?

I'd like to suggest that Titus and Trooper York be appointed as color commentators for the next Miss America pageant.

bagoh20 said...

I don't see why people can't accept God using evolution. I mean take tits, or the whole human female body for that matter. A miracle, but clearly designed. You don't get that by accident. This is also why we know God is a man. The long curvy lines, the soft skin, delicate form, and then these prominent boobs just yell at you: come here, touch me. It's a funny design, but clearly intelligent and only a man would abandon subtlety halfway through like that.

Michael McNeil said...

Should it be taught as a Theory (which it is) or should it be taught as a settled issue (which it is not). The problem most creationists I know (including myself) is that a valid scientific theory has been unscientifically elevated to the same status as the Law of Gravity.

Guess what? There is no “law” of gravity. There are only theories of gravity — or of anything else in science. “Law” is simply a term that was applied to what were then believed to be relatively well established theories back in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Even the seemingly rock-solid “law (theory) of gravity” (Newton's theory) was so very well established that about a century ago it was completely tossed out on its ear and replaced in toto by Einstein's theory of gravity.

Einstein's gravity in turn has been enormously successful — but nonetheless we have no proof that gravity as such won't cease working in the next millisecond, and we all then float off into outer space.

There is no “proof” at all in science — outside to realm of abstract mathematics, that is — all the rest of real empirical science consists nothing but theories.

Scientific theories, moreover, are far more than the idle speculation that so many laypersons imagine. Theories, including evolution, are generally far stronger, in fact, than the individual datums of experience that we term “fact”

Michael McNeil said...

.

Trooper York said...

I would agree that most times changing the discourse to tits would be a thread killer.

Except that this is about the Miss USA contest.

If not tits now...then when?

Trooper York said...

I think JFK said that to Elke Sommer when he visited the Berlin Wall.

Oligonicella said...

Dewave --

"New species arising from interbreeding (which is what happened there) is not the evolutionary process."

It most certainly is. Evolution is simply the changing of genes through time. No more, no less. If you think otherwise, you do not understand evolution.


"Otherwise, all the proof of evolution we'd need would be the common mule."

Modern cattle, dogs and other livestock as well. You're catching on.


"And it sounds like we didn't even get a new higher species from a favorable mutation carrying new genetic information here: we got existing copies of an old species that differed only in their ability to reproduce."

Again, you don't understand what evolution is. There's no such thing as a "higher species".

"Anyway, I'm only interested in examples from the animal kingdom."

Convenient. Fine.


"Rapid speciation of the Faeroe Island house mouse, which occurred in less than 250 years after man brought the creature to the island."

W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979.


"Formation of five new species of cichlid fishes which formed since they were isolated less than 4000 years ago from the parent stock, Lake Nagubago."

Harvard University, 1970.

There are others, look those up yourself. But first, go read and come to an understanding of what evolution is.

Trooper York said...

And you know what President Reagan used to say to Nancy when they were alone upstairs in the White House.

"Mrs Reagan Let Down those Tits."

(They were kinda droopy)

Trooper York said...

JFK also said "Ask not what her tits can do for you but ask what can you do to her tits."

Original Mike said...

Yes. The phrase "the theory of evolution" is unfortunate. It's accurate, but only in the sense that everything in science is a theory.

Trooper York said...

Our greatest President said "Breasts divided against themselves can's stand."

Well stand firm but you know what he means.

Plus he was gay so what did he know?

William said...

Do I have this right? Darwin took to his bed and stayed there as the result of some kind of hysterical illness. These girls, when they take to their beds, do not do so as a result of a hysterical illness. More often it is a tactic in their grand stategy of marrying up. From this we can say that while Darwin invented the theory of evolution, these women practiced and perfected it.

Joe said...

Proof again that Miss USA is a beauty contest.

I actually worked with two women who competed in local Miss America pageants and they gave me a behind-the-scenes view. To no big suprise, it's basically a rigged game that favors the most dedicated pageant moms. Second, this is a socially conservative organization and in some states very conservative.

Trooper York said...

James Lawrence one of the early naval heros of our glorious nation was a very clingy child and wouldn't leave his mothers side. Very unusal for such a hero.

His first recorded words to his mother when she tried to wean him away from her was "I will not give up the tit."

Roy Lofquist said...

Wanna know what Intelligent Design is? Start here.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Intelligent_design

Fair warning - I will take you many days to follow the links.

Penny said...

"Why are we here"?

To learn basic English and basic math.

AND! The sooner you do that, the sooner you can go on to learn all the "fun" stuff.

Dewave said...

Evolution is simply the changing of genes through time.

And now you are contradicting yourself about what evolution actually is.

Do you see what I meant about arguing evolution invariably turning into a dispute about the meaning of the term?

Now, regarding both your examples, neither represents a new species arising frome evolution.

The cichlid case in particular is laughable. My wife actually breeds cichlids. You can get many new breeds of cichlids by crossing others. They are also discovering new breeds of cichlids in the wild all the time. I find it highly dubious that thes 'new' species they talk of are actually new, so much as undiscovered. Even if they were, and arose from something other than crossing existing cichlids...they are still cichlids.

So there is not a single example of humans observing one species mutating into another higher species. (If you say there is no such thing as a higher species, then you are disagreeing strenuously with my old school biology textbook, which lends credence to my view that much of what is taught as 'science' is hogwash). Higher simply means more evolved, higher up along the tree of evolution.

You will reply that of course we wouldn't see that, as one species mutating into another requires a time frame vastly greater than the total sum of human recorded history. To which I respond, your theory in that case stinks, my original objection still holds, we have not observed it happening a single time. Also, it is non falsifiable.

If it's not falsifiable, it's not a scientific law. It's a religious belief. You can't conduct a scientific experiment to prove there is no God. You can't conduct a scientific experiment to prove evolution is false.

This is one thing that annoys me about the AGW zealots. Listening to them, record warm weather is proof that global warming is happening. But record cold weather is *also* proof that global warming is happening. In short, everything that happens is proof they are right, no weather or climate phenomenon is proof they are wrong. They will twist anything to fit into their framework...intead of re-adjusting their hypothesis to account for new facts. If it's not falsifiable, it's not science.

And at least AGW is an important discussion to have becuase there are important policy decisions to be made. If humans are going to seriously harm the earths environment through excessive carbon use, we should undertake a series of expensive and costly steps to mitigate this damage. On the other hand if this is not happening, then asking us to give up more of our liberties and earnings is a very bad idea.

Whether evolution is 'true' or not as an explanation for the origin of life/species is much less important. It's all about the past. I'm much more concerned about the future. If it's proven completely true or completely false tomorrow I don't really think anything changes. It doesn't even really figure into religious vs non religious discussions. If one believes in an all powerful God that created earth, it is entirely plausible that he did so using all the scientific laws we observe in the world around us. You can't realy prove God doesn't exist using science. But some people think you can, which causes some to reach too far when discussing the scientific basis behind evolution, or what it means, and others to reach too far when being skeptical of science. Instead of realizing that science has boundaries, they'll try to argue that really science can't tell you anything and you should never trust it: which is a shame, because the scientific method is a wonderful, wonderful tool to help us understand the world around us.

I will say anyone who says "It's science! Stop questioning it!" is someone you should distrust immediately. That attitude is antithetical to the essence of science, which is a free ranging and methodical spirit of inquiry.

Dewave said...

In my opinion, there is no real difference between these two :

"I am the high priest! You must listen to me. Don't question me, this is the word of God!"

"I am the chief researcher! You must listen to me. Don't question me, this is the settled science!"

Science does not try to suppress skepticism or questions. Science welcomes further scrutiny and answers it. If it's really a valid scientific hypothesis, it will only be stronger for the experience.

I feel scientists, or more accurately, those who masquerade as scientists, need to get their act together. I find the rising surge of anti-science / anti- intellectual / anti-elite feeling rather worrisome: however, the educated community has brought it upon themselves.

I think it's hard to emphasis how much faith has been lost in scientists by the whole AGW mess. From there it's one step to ignoring scientists when it comes to vaccinations, and deciding not to vaccinate your kid: which can have dire consequences. But when 'scientists' are so willing to lie and manipulate the data or issue non peer reviewed patently false assertions as 'peer reviewed science' people have no choice but to pay no attention to what peer reviewed science says.

That's a really bad position to be in.

Jeremy said...

Most of them sound like they've never taken a science course in their entire life.

Embarrassing.

Jeremy said...

Trooper is obviously still a tad behind the evolutionary curve.

And you'll never catch up.

jimspice said...

Evolution says nothing about the "genesis" of life. Completely different theories. God, I love when fundies try to talk science.

Carol_Herman said...

Most people can't identify their relatives three generations back!

School subjects are really no topic that's necessary in deciding who is prettier than another.

How come the gals aren't asked if they wear pads in their bras?

You can't stage this to come out stupider.

Is this how bar fights start?

SGT Ted said...

I am more worried about scientists propping up unscientific garbage, like AGW, in order to make money or be famous or to go along to get along, than religious people questioning evolution.

I am more worried about scientists acting like priests when questioned by skeptics than priests making arguments skeptical of science.

Synova said...

True enough that it's inappropriate to just "teach kids everything" and expect them to sort it out.

Still, I have no sympathy, because that was the general demands made in opposition to home-schooling starting when I started paying attention in the late 80's and early 90's. And the origins people were right there on top of it insisting that parents ought to be expected to sort it all out at home, and don't come crying if they couldn't. And the public school only people were right there insisting that if you didn't have the votes to get your way over curriculum then too bad so sad, get over it. Majority rules!

And at it's heart it was people who felt entitled to remove children from the culture and belief systems of their parents by pretending this Virtue of children deciding between all the different ideas given them by authority. It was given as the Most Important Element of Education to give kids all those different points of view and let THEM sort it out.

It's hardly a new notion.

The basis of this whole "public school science" brouhaha is that *I* am right, therefore I have the Right to compel and coerce.

If we lose our right to be wrong, we've lost liberty entirely.

Saying, oh, this is *science* and that makes it a special case, is making excuses, and self-serving excuses because what is science in importance compared to, oh, the state of one's soul? What error is easier to allow? The one that means maybe you won't be a break through PhD bio-geneticist someday, which maybe a grand total of 4 people out of the whole world population will do in your lifetime? Or the error that damns your eternal soul?

Saying that MY truth is so very important that I have a right to impose and coerce and force it on others for their own good is a dangerous conviction. And we seem able to see that in relation to religion. The impulse to control and coerce doesn't change it's nature, however, when the subject is something other than religion. It's the same beast.

And just as soon as someone makes an excuse in order to justify controlling the thoughts, ideas, and information that *must* be put into other people's children's heads and which thoughts, ideas, and information they have to be protected from, they've accepted that being Right means you get to DO THAT.

The battle field only exists because we have a system of compulsory public education only slightly softened by privately funded alternatives. The Right to coerce is the law of the land, the battle lines are drawn over our children's minds and souls.

Let parents chose on a level playing field... or admit you feel justified in trying to force people into what you want them to be and want them to think.

David R. Graham said...

Science and religion do not conflict because they do not intersect. Nor are they congruent. One includes the other but not vice-versa.

Science addresses objects, religion is subject. Each is free to operate without interference from the other.

Scientists have made an issue of religion. Theologians have never made an issue of science, except as scientists make an issue of religion.

Science is the narrower endeavor, religion the more inclusive.

Modern science is a gift of a Franciscan Friar.

Synova said...

"Evolution says nothing about the "genesis" of life. Completely different theories. God, I love when fundies try to talk science."

Are you being sarcastic? Or are you pretending that "science" doesn't dabble with the notion of origins and generally put any number of social theories into a lab-coat in an effort to make sure that our children all think properly about mother gaia?

Phil 3:14 said...

Well at least they didn't ask:
"Do you support gay marriage?"

We know how that ended.

Phil 3:14 said...

From an audit of the Tucson United School Systems Mexican American curriculum.

From a teacher focus group:

“I see a big difference because from the ethnic studies classes you’re getting both
perspectives of the history. In the regular studies like English or social studies,
you’re just getting the one perspective that’s in the book. In the MAS you’re
getting what’s in the book but you’re also getting background information on
how other places contributed to it.”


(Translation: Sometimes "my truth" is better for me than yours)

The Crack Emcee said...

ChipS,

As for "expressing the same thing in different ways," I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a way to clarify things, isn't it?

Sure, but there are limits to when it's useful. You, locking me into "just logic," was uncalled for.

Original Mike,

You could use a little more of the critical thinking yourself, Crack. All that teaches you is that Al Gore is either stupid, or a liar. It teaches you nothing about climate science.

Sure, if that's all a critical thinker would go on, but it's the accumulation of evidence - starting with if it's public spokesman is stupid, a liar, or a selfish bastard - that would help in validating other claims. You really must think I'm stupid, OM. I approach science as a skeptic, with a focus on beliefs, delusion, and fraud - something scientists are awful at, because they think (by applying the scientific method) they are beyond that. Which, btw, is how self-delusion "works."

TMink,

Skepticism is NECESSARY to science. Scientists welcome it. Many people have very different reactions to critiques of their faith. For many, evoloution is a faith that must not be criticized. Global warming and progressive politics are generally treated in the same manner. But that is NOT scientific. It is religious. And weak religion at that. Strong religion tolerates unbelief quite well.

Exactly. That's part of the reason why I don't lay into the Abrahamic religions as hard as I do other phenomena: some have been quite open to what I'm saying (especially Jews) appreciate I take the spiritual plane seriously (unlike a lot of atheists) and can answer questions about atheism openly and without ridicule. NewAgers rely on handed-down talking points (AGW) extreme hostility (AGW) and, finally, destroying all lines of communication (for instance, Al Gore refuses to debate anybody). I'm disliked because I know all the theories, beliefs, identifying catch phrases, and how the network is assembled (like "the psychic mafia"). Even those who think they're on "my side" can't get away.

Drew,

You know what's really absurd? That they'd even be asked about their views on evolution. WTF does evolution have to do with being Miss USA? It's almost like the judges are trying to make sure they don't get any of those squicky creationists.

While I think it's weird, I also think it's fair because she's supposed to represent us, and unlike most countries, we in "The New World" truly evolve over time, so it would seem a requirement to define what we think. the question is what do we think? Does the candidate lose a point for rejecting creationism? That's what I need to know.

Milwaukee,

Since Darwin despised Christianity, and wrote his Evolution of the species as a way to disparage the teachings of the church, I think we can consider it a "religion". Especially since large chunks require faith. There are no pieces which explain large evolutionary jumps. A pigeons might "evolve" to have different colorings, or slightly longer wings, but pigeons, through selective breeding, will never be falcons.

You don't understand the science of evolution. As i said about critical thinking, it's the accumulation of evidence that leads to the answer. You don't have to have every piece to reach the right conclusion. And in the case of evolution, the missing pieces (when found) fill in the blanks quite elegantly.

You find the same thing with people who fall for quackery ("well science doesn't know everything") when A) science never claimed to and B) for it to be wrong, we'd have to throw away biology, which we already know is correct - even without knowing everything.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Robert Cook,

It's perfectly appropriate to teach students that there is a doctrine known as "creationism" in a theology class where religious beliefs are examined; it's absolutely not appropriate to teach it in a science class, as it is not science.

We didn't cover creationism in my middle- and high-school biology classes (lo those many years ago), but that was where I first heard of spontaneous generation (e.g., maggots just appearing in a dead animal, or mice in a pile of rags), Lamarckism, and Lysenkoism.

None of these, obviously, are "science"; the first two are previous explanations discredited by science; the last, deliberately falsified science. Did they belong in biology class? (Did Piltdown Man, for that matter?)

Apologies if someone else pounced on this. It's not often that I find myself burning to reply to the first comment in a thread.

bagoh20 said...

Is gay a higher species? Because it had come second.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty a few days ago were promoting a web page that played "Porn Star or News Anchor," where you had to guess which one each picture was of; they were getting 50% wrong, ie you can't tell from the pictures.

Add beauty contestant, probably.

Beauty went wrong when it got stylized.

Beauty pageants are watched by women, not men. They celebrate women's attractiveness to men.

Given a chance in a campus contest, men will enter farm animals to make a statement about that.

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

Rev said: "If kids were capable of reliably distinguishing between good ideas and bad ideas, they wouldn't be kids. They would be adults."

No, they'd be smarter kids, still falling for some things but not as often.

n.n said...

Since we are incapable of demonstrating continuity, the theory of evolution is an article of faith. While the process is interesting and applicable in a limited frame of reference, it should not be taught as a scientific concept simply because there is a consensus to its veracity.

Allison said...

The religious right, eh?

How about the religious Left? Do "proper thinking" Leftist atheists not realize how many religious folk are on the Left?

The Theory of Evolution is several theories, actually, including such pieces as natural selection and genetic drift. Yes, it's "only" a theory, much like the theory of gravitation or the theory of quantum mechanics. We teach those theories in science classes, too.

What I want to know is why we've ruined beauty contests making the ladies feel they must tell everyone what they want to hear. Can't they just be pretty?

n.n said...

Allison:

You're right.

The significant difference between scientific theories and philosophical speculation (e.g., articles of faith) is that science is intended to be a utility to elevate the human condition. Whether our theories describing physical phenomenon are true or not is irrelevant. What matters is that there exists a high correlation with our observed frame of reference and that we can derive utility from those models.

Synova said...

Science is meant to explain the universe. Engineering is meant to elevate the human condition. ;-)

Milwaukee said...

Crack: Maybe you don't know anything about evolution or Darwin.

You're so smart, explain it.

Those gaps you speak of aren't tinsy little things, like the product of inner breeding between similar species. Where is the bird from which the pigeon and falcon originated? We've had it explained about all the complicated bits that make up an eye. How is that they are arranged their deveolopment at just the right time so men have vision? Do tell us more. The gaps are too big and too numerous. Darwin was interested in proposing a theory to counter the teachings of Christianity.

The Crack Emcee said...

Milwaukee,

Crack: Maybe you don't know anything about evolution or Darwin.

You're so smart, explain it.


I told you what was relevant. What I think is even more relevant is you're hung up on one sentence:

Darwin was interested in proposing a theory to counter the teachings of Christianity.

To which I - an atheist - say, so what? I know you've already said that, to you, this means it's a religion but guess what? You don't get to define the world. Just because you "think" something is a certain way, or means a certain thing, doesn't make it so. I don't worship at the alter of Darwin, evolution, or science, so there goes your theory out the door. How do you like them apples?

And let's say you're right - Darwin was interested in proposing a theory to counter the teachings of Christianity - what do you think that means? Does it necessarily mean that's what we - you and me 100 years later - have to use it for? You seem awful threatened by the idea of what you think Darwin set out to do, and the question I have is, in the year 2011, why? I've never considered Darwin's theory as a bludgeon against religion, but you seem incapable of seeing it as anything else - whether it's true or not -so isn't that more of a failing on your part than anything else? (You ARE basically, and repeatedly, confessing you can't think outside that parameter.) You need to get off that shit because, honestly, as a modern man I know more care what Darwin thought his theory was, in relation to religion, than what some fanatical devotee of Islam thinks of Jesus. It's not part of my worldview - and your insistence that it is, because that's what Darwin used (or planned) it for, isn't going to change that.

I think you need to sort yourself out a little more.

Oligonicella said...

Dewave --

"And now you are contradicting yourself about what evolution actually is."

How so? A bland assertion is only that.


Synova --

"Evolution says nothing about the "genesis" of life. Completely different theories. God, I love when fundies try to talk science."

"Are you being sarcastic? Or are you pretending that "science" doesn't dabble with the notion of origins and generally put any number of social theories into a lab-coat in an effort to make sure that our children all think properly about mother gaia?"


Actually, it's hard to figure out if your statement is humor or not. As for his, no, the statement is completely accurate.

Science studies the origins of life under the name of abiogenisis. Evolution is the change in alleles over time. Gotta already have life to start having evolution.

Milwaukee --

"Where is the bird from which the pigeon and falcon originated?"

Dead and fossilized from at least the Cretaceous.

"How is that they are arranged their deveolopment at just the right time so men have vision?"

Eyes were around looong before men. You've got your horse and cart confused.

"Do tell us more. The gaps are too big and too numerous."

I'm sure to some they appear so.

Oligonicella said...

Dewave -

"I find it highly dubious that thes 'new' species they talk of are actually new, so much as undiscovered."

That's what they meant by new. And yes, they arose exactly through the crossing of cichlids in a stranded lake, which allowed mutations to pool.

"they are still cichlids."

That is a fairly meaningless statement as there are over a thousand cichlid species described, all of which are still cichlids.

"(If you say there is no such thing as a higher species, then you are disagreeing strenuously with my old school biology textbook, which lends credence to my view that much of what is taught as 'science' is hogwash)."

Middle school texts are not known for their strenuous accuracy or attention to nomenclature.

"Higher simply means more evolved, higher up along the tree of evolution."

Really? So the highly evolved tapeworm is a 'higher' organism? Or perhaps the bird wing louse? Maybe the sulfur digesting bacteria in the sea vents?

What exactly does 'higher up along the tree of evolution' mean? For that matter 'more evolved'.

Oligonicella said...

n.n --

"Since we are incapable of demonstrating continuity, the theory of evolution is an article of faith."

Since we can, it isn't.

Revenant said...

Where is the bird from which the pigeon and falcon originated?

Long dead, I would assume.

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