published Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Bachmann's Speech

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about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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alprova said...

Trying to watch her taped response is worse than annoying, and the woman makes up her own facts as she goes, which has come to define her.

In short, if this is the best that the Tea Pot party has to offer, then there's really nothing to see or hear that has not been offered time and again. I really don't care for parrots.

Michele Bachmann is also defined by her presumptive beliefs, obtained God only knows where.

For instance:

"Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone, we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." — Michele Bachmann, 1/26/05

"Many teenagers that come in should be paying the employer because of broken dishes or whatever occurs during that period of time. But you know what? After six months, that teenager is going to be a fabulous employee and is going to go on a trajectory where he's going to be making so much money, we'll be borrowing money from him." — Michele Bachmann, 1/26/05, explaining why teenagers should pay employers for the privilege of working instead of receiving minimum wage.

"Iran is the troublemaker trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided, that they’re going to territory, they’re...they’re going to partition Iraq and half of Iraq, the western northern portion of Iraq is going to be called, the United, uh, uh, the, the uh, oh, I’m sorry, I can’t remember the actual name of it now, but it’s going to be called, um, uh, the, the, uh, uh the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I, I’m sorry, I, I don’t have the official name, but it is meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made. They’re going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a, a terrorist free, a terrorist safe haven zone." -- Michele Bachmann, February 9, 2007

January 26, 2011 at 12:46 a.m.
librul said...

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

January 26, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Tonight, Michele Bachmann made one of the most blatantly ignorant statements I've ever heard from a public official.

She claimed that Marines managed to defeat the Japanese on Iwo Jimo "against all odds." The Marines faced 18,000 Japanese soldiers cut off from reinforcements and supply lines with no way out. The were overwhelmed by superior numbers and the Japanese defeat was inevitable. It was a bloody battle because they were determined to take as many Marines with them as they could.

She went on to gush about how the Health Care Bill will bust the budget when it will actually save us billions in the long run. Her answer is to go back to "free market solutions," and the way it was when insurance companies held your life in their balance sheet.

The one thing I did enjoy was seeing the Republican Party continue to splinter, little GOPers scurrying around trying to out-conservative each other. Maybe there's a moderate Republican out there willing to work for all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.

I think Obama elevated himself politically with his moving speech in Tucson and tonight he took another step forward. You can hate the man all you want, but tonight he looked and acted like the President.

January 26, 2011 at 1:38 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

The President of all 57 states?
Here's my response to (some of) our President's speech, about 4 minutes on youtube.

Mr President, tear down this wall !

January 26, 2011 at 2:48 a.m.
woody said...

Abe still said it best, "...stay silent and be thought a fool, or speak out and take away all doubt...."

'Nuff said, Woody

January 26, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

If I squint and hold my head to one side, Bachmann can make Palin look almost presidential.

January 26, 2011 at 7:02 a.m.
EaTn said...

This cartoon really offends me. I am strongly hoping for a Palin Bachmann third party ticket in the next election and don't want either image tarnished with factual jokes.

January 26, 2011 at 7:51 a.m.
Francis said...

another clunker from a partisan hack.

what an easy job.

January 26, 2011 at 7:54 a.m.
BobMKE said...

What about Rep. Paul Ryan’s ® WI (A possible future Presidential candidate) rebuttal speech? Things are really looking up for us here in Wisconsin with our State Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, being elected to the national chairmanship replacing Michael Steele. Priebus turned Wisconsin into a red State after the election as we elected Scott Walker as Governor, (Another future Presidential candidate) both our houses are now controlled by Republicans, we sent liberal Sen. Russ Feingold packing and elected a business owner Sen. Ron Johnson to the Senate. Sen. Herb Kohl in 2012 will be sent packing. And now the Packers are in the Super Bowl. Life is good up here. GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!!!

January 26, 2011 at 8:34 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

The presidents speech was filled with so much hot air last night it was compared to getting a Valentine from Tiger Woods!! Clay thought this to be the top subject to debate today. Go read the AP article this morning about Obama and what he said last night. Educate yourselves. The best alpo can do is from back in 2005 and bw is somewhere in the South Pacific during WWII. Very relevant to todays problems gentlemen. No wonder you are such staunch supporters of the current administration. They live somewhere in La La Land too.

January 26, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.
Livn4life said...

The Draw Boy and all you naysayers show once again the blatant disregard for any position besides the one you have already decided on. You are the funny part. I would love to see someone willing to draw that. The honest belief that the socialism direction we are headed in is best for the country IS NOT FUNNY! It is not funny at all!

January 26, 2011 at 9:01 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Just keep right on defending the extreme right and their ideas rather than admitting that their spokesperson is a loony. If the Tea Party can't put forth anyone sane, that is really telling.

People like Bachmann and O'Donnell make Republicans and Democrats look pretty good.

January 26, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Thebama gives us another speech about how the answer to our future is....

MORE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING!!!

We will out educate the rest of the world by out spending the rest of the world on education. The feds will "invest" in new technology and energy like they are the source of every worthwhile innovation throughout history. We will also cut some inefficiency in the federal government by cutting out redundancy. We will go through the millions of lines of regulations and throw out the ones that are overly burdensome to industry (read General Electric).

All the irrelevant little cartoon guy can come up with is a stab at Michele Bachmann? All you can say for clay is that he is consistent. Consistently partisan, consistently small minded, consistently of no intellectual value what so ever!

January 26, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Livn4life, the real problem isn't this Clay guy who does the drawing for the left, but the management of the TFP which doesn't try to balance its op/ed cartoons with another "right" cartoonist. You subscribers and advertisers keep pumping money in even though you obviously know by now their stance and many disagree with it. To truly be an unbiased newspaper, it needs another cartoonist with a different view. Until then, same ol same ol.

January 26, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

BobMKE, Glad to hear things are coming up roses. Perhaps it will catch on around the rest of the country. I am concerned about a few things though when it comes to sports. Michael Vick kills 2 dogs and spends 18 months in prison. Ben Roethlisberger rapes 2 women and goes to the super bowl. And to think Charlie Hustle got the boot for simply placing a bet?? Only in America!!

January 26, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

BobMKE. You got that right. 100 percent right.

January 26, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.
ibshame said...

I think a Palin/Bachmann ticket for the Republican Party in 2012 is ideal. It would give new meaning to the word "shellacked" because that is definitely what Obama would do to them in 2012. Webster's could post the campaign picture of a Palin/Bachmann ticket beside the word so even a kindergarten student would understand the meaning of the word.

January 26, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.
librul said...

Got it.

Hey Clay - Draw an elephant labeled "the Republican plan for America" stuffing his maw with a huge wad of cash instead of hay. Behind him, a huge pile of you-know-what labeled "results". Then caption it: "We're all zookeepers now".

January 26, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
Francis said...

dang, you libs really fear women who have a strong opposing opinion and are pretty.

too much to handle, huh?

so many great ideas for cartoons and he focuses on this?

his pulitzer is worth about as much as obama's nobel peace prize.

January 26, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Francis, there are plenty of strong, accomplished women in politics. Why does the Tea Party only front wackos? Does this mean that any woman with sense avoids being associated?

January 26, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.

I am sure you don't agree with Bachmann's views but don't you think you are being a bit extreme by trying to label her as a wacko?

Should we get in a tit-for-tat comparing things Bachmann has said to that of Pelosi? That could be fun!

January 26, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
acerigger said...

Bachmann holds the dubious honor of being the biggest liar in congress(factcheck.org). That's scary enough,but what's REALLY scary are the people who vote to keep her in office! Ignorance is not confined to southern states .

January 26, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: librul | On: January 26, 2011 at 9:35 a.m. "[Draw an elephant labeled "the Republican plan for America" stuffing his maw with a huge wad of cash instead of hay. Behind him, a huge pile of you-know-what labeled "results". Then caption it: "We're all zookeepers now".]"

librul, me thinks you could do a better job of conceptual design than clay. You two should get together and raise the quality of his work.

You have to admit though; your concept is a little dated. It would have been perfectly appropriate through the early 2000's but today it would be much timelier to have a huge bloated donkey stuffing his maw and dropping the results.

January 26, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Maybe Michele Bachmann would be standing back there trying to clean it all up with huge, panicked eyes.

January 26, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
mymy said...

BobMKE, glad to see all the good changes in Wisconsin, unfortunately you have a bad day coming and it shows just what the O will be up too the next 2 years. Nothing but campaigning.

"Just hours after delivering his second State of the Union address, the president heads to Wisconsin to sell the five 'pillars' of change he espoused as the foundation for the second half of his term."

January 26, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Wait a minute. I heard the speech while driving home from Atlanta. It sounded like CNN was airing the Bachmann speech. Is clay not only irrelevant but also dead wrong?

January 26, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
Francis said...

ikeithlu..........wackos to you.....shiela jackson lee, maxine waters and nancy pelosi...now those are wackos.....i'll even toss in elena kagan

i don't agree with hillary clinton on much, but she's not a wacko.

what is scary.....is obama's praise and kissing up to china...and how he accepts the world dictating to us how our economy should be run....well, the rules are changing and we just have to play along......we're not the best anymore... oh, well.......what a weenie attitude.

January 26, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/25/sotu.response.bachmann/

I just watched this, wondering if I had missed something, and I did not experience a single gag reflex! Thebama’s speech was something altogether different; vomit welled nearly every time the socialist POTUS took a breath. I for one think our POTUS is the wacko.

January 26, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

brp, do you even read what stands Bachmann takes on issues? It's not that she's conservative, it's that she believes the weirdest things. I want my politicians to have a better grasp of reality than hers, conservative or liberal.

January 26, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
EaTn said...

Francis wrote "dang, you libs really fear women who have a strong opposing opinion and are pretty"

Well, one third of that statement I can agree with.

January 26, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.

I have to admit I have not followed her all that closely. I don't have any specific memories of "wacko" beliefs.

What would be a good example of a wacko belief?

January 26, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

I must confess my political ears have been set on cruise control lately, which means that unless a politician is discussing his/her solutions for problems like joblessness, the healthcare crisis, infrastructure repairs, and the twin wars in the Middle East, I simply don’t hear them.

As such, and needless to say, I haven’t heard anything that Michelle Bachman has said in quite some time now. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I heard her voice. This visual reference to Bachman in Clay’s toon today is a bit of shock, but looks I haven’t missed much – same old Bachman with the same old weird mean spirited messages.

January 26, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
ibshame said...

Francis wrote: "what is scary.....is obama's praise and kissing up to china...and how he accepts the world dictating to us how our economy should be run....well, the rules are changing and we just have to play along......we're not the best anymore... oh, well.......what a weenie attitude."

The world has changed and the U.S. is no longer in the same place it was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. China can shut us down at any moment because of the debt we owe them. Obama was not the President when that tab was run up like drunken sailors at a bar on two for one night. No, he's not to blame for the fact millions of jobs were shipped out to India, Mexico, and China long before he took the oath of office in 2009. Nor is he to blame for a war that was started in Iraq which was never included in the budget but was paid for with borrowed money from China and other countries. The people who are to blame for these debacles have gotten off with nothing more than a tsk, tsk and a "let's not live in the past" declaration. You know the ones who claim to have heard the message from the American people and have pledged they are going to do better now they have been given another chance to run things. Sadly, the first order of business for this same group (supposedly so concerned about the deficit) was to do nothing to create jobs unless the rich got their tax cuts in the final hours of a lame duck session. They were willing to allow millions to lose their unemployment checks so the rich could have their tax cuts. Tax cuts enacted long before Obama became President. Obama should have allowed them to expire and then let the chips fall where they would but I suppose the "weenie" side of him could not see allowing people to go hungry or lose the roof over their heads just so he could say no one is going to dictate to him. The world has changed and it will continue to change. The people who don't recognize the change are living in a fantasy world. They are still clinging to a past which doesn't exist anymore instead of preparing for a better future which can make the past as obsolete as the Dark Ages.

January 26, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

I hear Republicans carping all the time about the "failed economic policies of President Obama, so I decided to see for myself.

From economist Robert Shapiro, August 10, 2010:

"From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs."

That isn't what Republicans are "reporting." I never rely on one source, so I looked a little farther.

"The Private Sector Has Added Jobs Every Month Since December 2009. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the private sector shed 83,000 jobs in December 2009. Since then, the lowest monthly job gain was 16,000 in January 2010, and the highest was 241,000 in April 2010."

Yikes. Maybe the Stimulus wasn't a complete and total bust. But what about the defecit? Surely Obama is to blame for our skyrocketing debt. Right?

Well, the CBO reported the following as a way to project our growing financial crisis:

"Congressional Budget Office data show that the tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits in recent years. Legislation enacted since 2001 added about $3.0 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2007, with nearly half of this deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and about a sixth to increases in domestic spending)."

Come to think of it, if I were a Republican with THAT dismal financial history, I'd try to blame somebody else, too.

January 26, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

""There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, Oct. 2006" "I don't know where they're going to get all this money because we're running out of rich people in this country." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, accusing the Obama administration of plotting to divert money from Republican to Democratic districts and planning to tax the wealthy to fund the windfalls, Feb. 2009 There is a video of her saying that the founding fathers were responsible for ending slavery. Her grasp of history leaves a lot to be desired. She also believes that the earth is 6000 years old. More later if you want it-gotta attend a meeting.

January 26, 2011 at 12:55 p.m.
canarysong said...

The video that Ikeithlu probably is referring to is an excellent story by Anderson Cooper done on CNN on Monday. It includes several minutes of her speech to a group called Iowans for Tax Relief and can be viewed on uTube; SuchisLifeVideos. Well worth a view!

January 26, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.

While the rest of the world is disecting and debating the SOTU address from the leader of the Union... Claydo is fixated elsewhere.

Yet another "swing and a miss" for Bennett.

January 26, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.

A Palin-Bachmann ticket is impossible. According to the constitution, the President and Vice-President cannot hail from the same state. (They both reside in the state of Confusion.)

January 26, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 12:55 p.m. ""There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, Oct. 2006"

I hate starting those posts that branch out on multiple subjects so I am going to ask about your first quote. If you want to talk about another please let me know.

I am no expert on intelligent design, but isn't it a way to explain a world where God had a hand in creation of the universe and life on this planet and evolution, or parts of the theories of evolution, have continued to mold life on the planet? Surely there are hundreds and hundreds of scientists that are Christians. Is it all that crazy to think that those Christian scientists could believe that God had a hand in creation while simultaneously believing in the forces of evolution? Isn’t that intelligent design? I am not sure if Bachmann’s statement is strictly accurate or not, but it is easy to see how it might be shared by many Christians who are struggling with the apparent conflicts between creationism and evolution.

January 26, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.
pmcauley said...

BRP: I seldom make categorical statements but here goes. NO CREDIBLE scientist endorses the "intelligent design" theory. Certainly no scientist with a Nobel Prize endorses it, where their Nobel Prize was in the hard sciences. I can’t tell you if any specialist in Economics holds that fantasy-filled opinion, for example. Being Christian and rejecting the ‘Intelligent’ design theory is not mutually exclusive. (Sneer marks intentional).

Don't get me started!! :) pm

January 26, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

BRP, intelligent design is a political effort to get creationism taught as science in public schools. There is no Intelligent Design research programs, no lab work, no institutions. It is not supported by any empirical evidence. It is not science. That's not the same as scientists that are Christian believing in God and his having a hand in life. But most scientists reject ID as a dishonest scam meant to inject religion into school. What she said is not true. This is only one example of how she lets reality take a back seat to her religious views.

January 26, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Want more? Go here: http://politifact.com/search/?q=Bachmann People are allowed to make mistakes, but when a politician makes this many she is either ignorant or dishonest. Not someone that the Tea Party should champion if they want to be taken seriously.

January 26, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

BRP, you make a valid point. Yeah, we seem be to swinging way off target, but I thought I'd follow up on your 2:01 post.

In The National Center for Science Education, Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch wrote the following published in 2002.

"Intelligent Design parallels but is not identical to creation science, the view that there is scientific evidence to support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth and of life.

"ID and creation science share the belief that the mainstream scientific discipline of evolution is largely incorrect. Both involve an intervening deity, but ID is more vague about what happened and when.

"Indeed, ID proponents are tactically silent on an alternative to common descent. Teachers exhorted to teach ID, then, are left with little to teach other than 'evolution didn't happen.'"

"...The two major innovations in ID have been Michael Behe's concept of "irreducible complexity," presented in Darwin's Black Box in 1996, and William Dembski's "design inference," presented in Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology in 1999.

"Dembski contends that he has developed an algorithm — an "explanatory filter" — that can distinguish the products of "intelligent design" from the workings of natural law and chance. Behe proposes that there are certain biochemical structures that, being "irreducibly complex," cannot have arisen through unguided natural processes.

"Neither Dembski's design inference nor Behe's irreducible complexity has fared well in the scholarly world, however.

"ID has been called an 'argument from ignorance,' as it relies upon a lack of knowledge for its conclusion: Lacking a natural explanation, we assume intelligent cause.

"Most scientists would reply that unexplained is not unexplainable, and that 'we don't know yet' is a more appropriate response than invoking a cause outside of science.

"Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution, published in 2000, claims that biology textbooks promote fraudulent and inaccurate science. Although the reviews of Wells' book by scientists have unanimously regarded it as dishonest and devoid of scientific or educational value, it is being widely circulated among creationists and cited at school board meetings around the country.

"Courts repeatedly have held that the public school classroom must be religiously neutral and that schools must not advocate religious views. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in the public schools is unconstitutional.

"ID proponents may argue that a neutral-sounding 'intelligence' is responsible for design, but it is clear from the 'cultural renewal' aspect of ID that a deity — in particular, God as He is conceived of by certain conservative Christians — is envisioned as the agent of design."

So there it is. You believe one thing. I believe the other. We each have reasons for reaching our conclusions, but isn't it better to argue facts than opinions?

January 26, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

in December 2005 a conservative, Bush appointed judge found intelligent design to indeed be creationism and religious, and ruled it unconstitutional to teach as science. (Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District) His decision: http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

January 26, 2011 at 2:44 p.m.
acerigger said...

Fact Checking Rep. Bachmann's "Tea Party Response" To The State Of The Union http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/201101250021

Y'all will love this!

January 26, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Despite overwhelming evidence of the fact of evolution in field and laboratory studies, Bachmann claims that “evolution has never been proven.” 5 During a radio interview on the KKMS radio program “Talk The Walk”, Senator Bachmann made the following statements about evolution:

1) (Evolution) is a theory that has never been proved, one way or the other.

2) Evolution is a belief; evolution is not a fact.

3) A grain of wheat plus a starfish does not equal a dog, and that this was what evolutionists were teaching in our schools.

4) Senator Bachmann charged that the State of Minnesota would compel students to prove that evolution is “true”, and at the same time prohibit students from bringing in evidence to the contrary. 6. (The State of Minnesota does not do in fact do this.)

Explaining her views on the origin of life and the school curriculum, Bachmann cited the work of Michael Behe, one of the chief spokesmen for Intelligent Design Theory, as an acceptable alternative to the theory of evolution. After that article appeared, Bachmann personally submitted to the editor of the Stillwater Gazette several books that presented the case for Intelligent Design. The books were by authors Phillip E. Johnson, J.P. Moreland, and Charles B. Thaxton; all prominent creationists and ID advocates.

http://www.thebachmannrecord.com/thebachmannrecoc.html

If a politician knows little about a subject, they should defer to those that are actively and professionally involved in the field. She is woefully ignorant about science, but seems inclined to act on that ignorance.

January 26, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.
canarysong said...

Intelligent Design (ID) is a theory of the gaps. Since science is steadily filling those gaps, ID is destined for failure. True, science may never be able to answer all of our questions, but the theory of evolution is based on evidence, lots of it. ID's foundation rests solely upon the premise that the competing theory does not present an unbroken chain of fossil record.

If ID proponents want to claim that they are presenting a scientific "theory", they need to base that claim on at least some real evidence, not just a rejection of one that they feel threatens their own world-view. That is not science.

January 26, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 2:18 p.m. "BRP, intelligent design is a political effort to get creationism taught as science in public schools. There is no Intelligent Design research programs, no lab work, no institutions. It is not supported by any empirical evidence. It is not science. That's not the same as scientists that are Christian believing in God and his having a hand in life. But most scientists reject ID as a dishonest scam meant to inject religion into school. What she said is not true. This is only one example of how she lets reality take a back seat to her religious views."

I remember reading about ID some time ago. The article I read dealt with the theory and not the politics. I found the article interesting and the ideas worth considering. Much of what we learn is through a filter with a political agenda (Global Warming comes to mind). Maybe ID has picked up a lot if this baggage but the concepts at the core of it contain ideas that warrant consideration.

It seems as though a majority in this country have some time for at least part of the ID concept. According to one CBS poll I just found, 51% believe in pure creationism, ~30% say that human’s evolved with God’s guidance and just 15% say humans evolved without God’s involvement.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml With numbers like that, Bachmann’s comment sounds more credible than many here would give her credit for. Maybe most scientists look at ID as a political scam, I don’t know, but even if they did it would not make Bachmann a wacko by any measure except maybe in the eyes of someone who was already politically biased against her.

January 26, 2011 at 4:14 p.m.
steve_smith_tn said...

Politicians pandering to independent angst are nearly as sickening as the journalists who marginalize it.

January 26, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: canarysong | On: January 26, 2011 at 4:12 p.m. “ID's foundation rests solely upon the premise that the competing theory does not present an unbroken chain of fossil record.”

I just spent the better part of an hour reeducating myself on ID and can say with quite a bit of confidence that you have completely missed the base premise of ID. It is more about how life’s systems are so complex and components are interdependent in ways that they could not have evolved independently. If you ignore the popular oversimplifications you will find concepts that are intellectually stimulating, unlike a clay bennett cartoon.

January 26, 2011 at 4:23 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"According to one CBS poll I just found, 51% believe in pure creationism, ~30% say that human’s evolved with God’s guidance and just 15% say humans evolved without God’s involvement. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/2..."

What Americans believe does not change anything. Large numbers of Americans believe in things for which there is no evidence: that Astrology is scientific, that BigFoot exists, that the Loch Ness Monster exists, that Elvis is still alive, that the POTUS is a foreign-born muslim, as well as clairvoyance, ESP, telekinesis, vaccines causing autism, the list goes on. I use acceptance of reality as a litmus test: if a politician insists on denying an area of reality that is as well documented as the age of the earth, plate tectonics, common descent and evolution, (or at least keep their goofy ideas to themselves and out of their governance) then they have no business being in an elected position.

That may be a narrow view, but if they have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality in this area, they have problems in all areas.

January 26, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"I just spent the better part of an hour reeducating myself on ID and can say with quite a bit of confidence that you have completely missed the base premise of ID"

BRP, I just spent the better part of 6 years educating myself on this topic, (from a background in Chemistry and Geology) and you are simply wrong. ID is not a valid scientific endeavor. Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information, all of it is ungrounded in any empirical studies, perpetrated by religious groups trying to bypass the establishment clause of the constitution. No politician should promote it.

January 26, 2011 at 4:33 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 3:33 p.m. “During a radio interview on the KKMS radio program “Talk The Walk”, Senator Bachmann made the following statements about evolution:...”

Do you have a link to the transcript of that interview? I tried to find it to no avail. All I could find were some of your quotes contained in sites that obviously had an agenda. Your own link was one of these sites. I’d like to read the interview in full context and judge for myself.

January 26, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 4:33 p.m. “BRP, I just spent the better part of 6 years educating myself on this topic, (from a background in Chemistry and Geology) and you are simply wrong. ID is not a valid scientific endeavor. Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information, all of it is ungrounded in any empirical studies, perpetrated by religious groups trying to bypass the establishment clause of the constitution. No politician should promote it.”

lkeithlu, I am not trying to argue that ID is right or wrong or that it is a valid scientific endeavor. I think some of the ideas are interesting and, clearly, many people have misconceptions about what ID means. Some (or all) of the base ideas contained in ID have broad support among US citizens. Are you sure you want to be in the role of arguing that these ideas should be excluded from political discourse? Maybe the question should be …ideas packaged together as ID should be excluded from political discourse? That is starting to sound like an elite minority trying to impose their beliefs on the public at large through intellectual censorship.

January 26, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

BRP, after reading up on ID, concluded, "It is more about how life’s systems are so complex and components are interdependent in ways that they could not have evolved independently."

Fair enough, but you are just saying that whatever you don't understand proves the existence of God. That's what they said in 567 A.D., in 1324 A.D., and 1984.

Do you think gravity is proof of God's existence? DNA? Super novas and black holes? Einstein discovered that the 'big bang theory' was valid by trying to prove it wasn't.

Not every mystery is proof of a Supreme Being, and creationism, at its core, is just a story.

January 26, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"I am not trying to argue that ID is right or wrong or that it is a valid scientific endeavor."

Yet you excuse Bachmann for pushing it in schools, in violation of the Establishment Clause.

"I think some of the ideas are interesting and, clearly, many people have misconceptions about what ID means. Some (or all) of the base ideas contained in ID have broad support among US citizens."

Just because US citizens don't educate themselves doesn't mean it is valid. As a philosophy ID is fine, but it is not in the least scientific, and should not be dealt with on that level.

"Are you sure you want to be in the role of arguing that these ideas should be excluded from political discourse?"

Yes. ID is dishonest, and it should not be promoted as a scientific alternative to evolution. Anyone who does this, including Ms. Bachmann, is wrong, regardless of what some Americans "believe". And we wonder why the US ranks so low in math and science...

I'll try to find the original source of that interview this evening.

January 26, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

I saw this Bachmann video on CNN's website after watching the President's State of the Union address.

Best Zombie Eye Makeup of 2011.

As Chris Matthews asked her in a recent interview, "Are you hypnotized?"

I have never seen anything quite like this; and, it was prepared in advance. Amazing.

It's newsworthy in that it shows just how poorly the Republican Party's "Tea Party" franchise is prepared to do much of anything. As I watch Representative Bachmann speak, she does offer an intellectual challenge: keeping track of her obvious errors. Most of the time, politicians will make sins of omission; in Representative Bachmann's case, trying to list and remember and refute all of the errors requires intellectual acumen. I have to break out the note-taking materials and make a list.

Compare this to conservatives on CSPAN panels, for instance. The entire Republican party is not this vapid. Representative Bachmann herself has a law degree, and served for some years as a tax attorney: she must be capable of some kind of elementary reasoning. Is she playing down her intellect to less than half of what it must be in order to appeal to people? Is this a deliberate attempt to appear dumb to cozy up to voters? Some of her statements sound like they would flunk a junior high school Social Studies class.

While I disagree with many of our Republican Representatives and Senators, at least they seem to be prepared and thoughtful in their arguments. We're blessed that they are not embarrassing us to quite the extent Representative Bachmann is making her constituency appear sub-par.

Between this video, and Sarah Palin's Katie Couric interview, I'd say the Republican party hasn't fielded anyone who has the intellectual problem solving skills we expect from a President of the United States.

January 26, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: blackwater48 | On: January 26, 2011 at 5:06 p.m. “Fair enough, but you are just saying that whatever you don't understand proves the existence of God. That's what they said in 567 A.D., in 1324 A.D., and 1984.”

I may have said that, trying to explain the premise (probably poorly) of ID. Are you saying that there is not a God? If there is a God and he did have a hand in creation would it be a good idea to be a champion of denying his existence? Is he the type of God that would hold that against you?

Human Beings seem to have an almost universal need to believe in a God. Otherwise it would be pretty hard to explain how religion seems to independently crop up whenever you have a group of people living together. Religion helps to explain the unexplainable and give people a sense of purpose. Let’s suppose that ID is completely wrong and there is no God. Is society ready to accept that? Do Humans NEED some of the things religion has to offer in order to be at peace? If so, who has the right to say in a country where something like 80% of the population believes in a God that had a role in creation that it is a good idea to try to discredit or suppress their belief? Such a plan sounds like a great way to create civil unrest like you have never seen before.

January 26, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Hey bw, I don't know about super novas but today is National Bossa Nova Day. Go make yourself a refreshing beverage of choice and give it a listen! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d8y4H...

January 26, 2011 at 6:09 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 26, 2011 at 5:57 p.m "ID is dishonest, and it should not be promoted as a scientific alternative to evolution. Anyone who does this, including Ms. Bachmann, is wrong, regardless of what some Americans "believe". And we wonder why the US ranks so low in math and science...”

I don’t think so. I think it is an honest attempt for religious people who believe in a creator to find a way to resolve the apparent conflicts between creationism and evolution. It seems to me that trying to package a sincere intellectual quest like that as purely political is a way to avoid having to confront ID supporters directly about their beliefs. It is also pretty condescending, dismissing their struggles as not worthy of debate. See my post to blackwater to see how it might even be counterproductive.

“I'll try to find the original source of that interview this evening.”

Thanks!

January 26, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.
fairmon said...

Obama and Ryan both showed they are master politicians. The requirement of talking at length and saying nothing was perfected by both. When some of those follow up comments were being made I began to suspect my TV was bad but the TV service man assured me it wasn't. The speeches were a lot like hearing the roar of the cannon but never seeing a hole in the target. How did Backman get involved? She must think or assumes she is chairman of a party that does not exist. There are various groups across the country that label themselves "tea party" with similar basic beliefs and concepts about government. As far as I know there is no national chairman or steering committee, no dues or central financial process. I bet they have the same distribution of idiots, radicals and geniuses as the two parties.

Pelosi's wig looked bad, it has to be a wig, surely her real hair wouldn't be that ugly. Her make up almost broke when she tried to over do the plastic smile. Piggy Pelosi, Batty Backmon, Walrus Waters, Pigeon Palin all make me sick. I don't think Hilary likes any of them either, Hilary is OK in my book.

Obama nor one member of congress has the nerve to say we are going to tax the hell out of all of you in some way and we are going to quit supporting you and fulfilling your every need or want. We have got to quit acting rich because we aren't. We are dead broke and need to start paying our debts. If one of them or a candiate has the gonads to say that they may only get two votes, theirs and mine.

Tax the heck out of those corporations so they can add it to the price of their goods or service. That will make sure those with lower incomes pay the same percent as the rich. The favored few should lose the "loop holes" they use to pay little or no taxes. Take away all deductions and leave the tax rate at 35 cents of every dollar of profit. Bernanke wants inflation that will give him more than he may want.

January 26, 2011 at 6:17 p.m.
canarysong said...

BRP;

Let me repeat; scientific theory is based on evidence, not opinion and not upon the fact that we do not yet understand all of the complexities of the natural world.

In response to your earlier question (2:01 post) about whether some scientists might believe that God had a hand in creating the universe:

A study reported in Science (Larson & Witham, 1998) found that among scientists (in the physical sciences) who were members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, only 7% professed belief in a personal God; among those in the biological sciences it fell to 4%. 72.2% had a personal disbelief in a personal God, and 20.8% described themselves as having doubt or being agnostic on the issue.

Similarly, a study (Beit-Hallahmi, 1988) of Nobel Prize Laureates in the sciences found them to be "markedly irreligious".

This does not suggest that there are no top scientists that may believe in a more deist idea of a god that simply set things in motion and then walked away (as Thomas Jefferson believed) or in an even looser concept of "god" (as Spinoza and Einstein believed). It does, however, suggest that even these numbers would be small in comparison to the general population.

As lkeithlu pointed out in the 4:28 post, scientific truth is not dependent upon popular belief.

No one is trying to prevent you from believing in God, but please don't try to pass off your theology as "science" and teach it to our children in public schools.

January 26, 2011 at 6:25 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: canarysong | On: January 26, 2011 at 6:25 p.m. “No one is trying to prevent you from believing in God, but please don't try to pass off your theology as "science" and teach it to our children in public schools.”

You all are starting to solidify an opinion for me. According to the CBS poll I posted earlier, for some 80% of those surveyed, God does exist. In what world is it right for the 15% that does not believe in a God to suppress an idea like ID for the rest? What would you accomplish if you were successful?

January 26, 2011 at 6:36 p.m.
tderng said...

boy,the Godless hordes are screaming here today! Just because someone chooses to believe in a higher power doesn't make them a moron. It makes them human. It is normal for people to want to believe there is a reason for their being here.It gives some meaning to their life,and the unbelievers had dang sure better hope that there isn't a God because if there is, they are s%$t out of luck!Wonder what was going on before the big bang?What caused the big bang?where is the science that explains that?Something caused it,so where is the science that tell us what went on before the big bang?Where?Could it be that the big bang was caused by this higher power and has let things go from there?I don't know but it bears thinking about "in my opinion".

In another viewpoint,I have to wonder how much respect that President Obama gets from his own party.He asked for a toning down of rhetoric and his own party has thumbed their noses at him.They are still using the same or even worse rhetoric than before the "memorial"speech in Tuscon.This makes me wonder if he has any real respect from his democratic party members.I personally believe that Ms. Bachmann is not a good representative of her party but she is entitled to her opinion.As are each of you here on this forum. To personally attack someone for their moral or religious beliefs shows only pettiness and personal insecurity.People who believe in God are just entitled to their beliefs as an athiest,and to personally attack them for that belief only serves to show how narrow-minded some people are.

January 26, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.
Clara said...

What must be the intellectual level of the constituancy that elected this woman? What did she promise? Who were her backers? where are the restraints that let this happen?

January 26, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
canarysong said...

BRP; on your statement that people have a need to believe in God:

I understand what you are saying, but simply needing to believe something doesn't make it true either. I really "need" to believe that the future will be better, that my family will be happy, safe, healthy, and financially secure. Is that the truth of what will happen? I can't know; a reality that won't change simply because I "need" it to be otherwise.

Re your 6:36 post;

I'm not advocating the suppression of an idea at all, I'm merely opposed to opinion or theology being presented as "scientific" theory and then taught in public school science classes. Move such discussion to philosophy where they would be more subject to appropriate examination and I would have no problem.

January 26, 2011 at 6:57 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: canarysong | On: January 26, 2011 at 6:57 p.m. “I’m not advocating the suppression of an idea at all, I'm merely opposed to opinion or theology being presented as "scientific" theory and then taught in public school science classes. Move such discussion to philosophy where they would be more subject to appropriate examination and I would have no problem.”

What would it hurt to offer a possible explanation for the apparent conflict between creationism and evolution in the public schools? Is it healthy to challenge a student’s core religious beliefs with some sterile scientific theory and absolutely avoid any references to how their core beliefs might coexist with said theory? Does the state come between a child and their parent when it boldly assumes such a role? Does a parent loose moral authority when their parent’s message of creationism is offhandedly dismissed as unworthy of discussion by a public school teacher? Who is responsible then for the loss of a moral compass in this country? I know the educators like to complain about the parents, but let’s not forget that those same parents are also a product of an educational system that repeatedly and forcefully contradicted the religious foundation that was laid by their parents before them.

Have we finally reaped what we sown?

January 26, 2011 at 7:16 p.m.
canarysong said...

tderng;

What screaming? What personal attacks? Who here called anyone a moron based on their religious beliefs? Are you reading something completely different or are you mistaking a rational discussion for a personal affront?

January 26, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

The truth has set someone in Washington free. News Flash, Social Security can't pay it's own bills. Now tell me all you faithful supporters of our taxes aren't going to rise, these are just Republican projections among other rhetoric from the party of everyone else is an idiot. Does this happen to change anything in your head or is it a lie??? They have borrowed for the last 10 months to meet their obligations. Sorry woody. The train may be derailed. Perhaps a TTFN or something witty from you would be in order right about now!! So much for that perfect serene world.

January 26, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Politicians like Bachman are not good candidates to promote the concept of intelligent design. It's clear they do the cause more harm than good. Each and every time Bachman, for example, opens her mouth she becomes all the proof needed to prove there can be no such thing.

Scientists like Albert Einstein, on the other, are good candiates to promote the concept of intelligent design. Although he didn’t believe in a personal God, Einstein did express his belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.” [Encyclopedia Britannica]

January 26, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I just realized I missed a chance to make a plug for one of my favorite themes. If it is somehow reprehensible to teach evolution in a light that does not contradict a parent’s religious teaching can we at least give said parents the money back that has been taken from them for education so that they can afford to find a school that will not undermine their moral authority?

January 26, 2011 at 7:56 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Or, would that leave 15% of the student population in public schools and the rest in (schools that are not teaching objectionable things to their children)! :)

January 26, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

From Einstein’s letter to Rabbi Solomon during an era of widespread anti-Semitism:

“. . . A man who is convinced of the truth of his religion is indeed never tolerant, and he is unable to be tolerant. At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful. However, hatred leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it. . . "

January 26, 2011 at 8:17 p.m.
canarysong said...

BRP;

I respect your sincerity and your concern for societal morality.

It is simply not necessary to lower the standards for scientific inquiry in order to have a moral society. A lack of belief in God does not spell societal disintegration. Some of the most irreligious countries in the world (Holland, Scandinavian countries, Germany) are among the most safe, stable and high in reported levels of happiness.

Nor is the teaching of ID in public schools necessary to allow parents to teach their faith to THEIR OWN children. Faith needs to be a personal matter, otherwise we risk slipping into theocracy. In Islamic regimes we have seen the result of faith adopted as public policy.

I want to share a favorite quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.". (letter to Peter Carr, 1787)

January 26, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
tderng said...

canarysong,my apologies for sounding strident.It just seems to me from reading these posts almost every day that some people here have the opinion that religion is completely bogus and if you believe you must be ignorant or stupid.This is just my take on some posters here.I can certianly see why some people have no faith in religion because you have to take a lot on "faith".That is what religion is all about.If someone chooses not to believe,thats o.k. with me.I have certianly had my doubts during some of the trials that have been my life.I can see where someone can look at only science to explain their being here,I sure have at times lost confidence in religion myself.As I grow older and look around and see the wonder and beauty that is nature it only reaffirms my belief that there must be a God. I don't spend any time as do other posters here looking for links that "prove"my opinions.If you look hard enough you can find links that will agree with your opinion,no matter what it is.Having said that I must say that science sure is fascinating and wonderful too! I enjoy reading and watching documentaries about the big bang and other scientific theories and research.I find the string theory,quantum mechanics,and the multiverse theories absolutely fascinating and thought provoking.The sciences are the best thing to happen to our species!It has helped to open great frontiers in medicine and our knowledge of the universe,but,it isn't the answer to all questions about our existance.Scientific theories are routinely being proven wrong and replaced with new theories.Thats only my opinion of course and I realize that some will agree and others will not.Most people who know me would probably be surprised at my religious viewpoints because I don't shout them from the rooftops and don't agree with people who try to push "their" beliefs on me and will usually push back hard.When I was a young "hippie" I got into many an argument with bible thumpers who didn't like my long hair and told me how I was going to hell because of it.Many religious people are way too pushy about their beliefs but so are the athiests with their seemingly dismissive attitude.Oops sorry,got back on my soapbox there for a minute.Climbing down now.:)

January 26, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

BRP Here is another source: http://www.stillwatergazette.com/articles/2003/10/02/export160.txt

The radio archives don't appear to go back to 2003.

"Human Beings seem to have an almost universal need to believe in a God. Otherwise it would be pretty hard to explain how religion seems to independently crop up whenever you have a group of people living together. Religion helps to explain the unexplainable and give people a sense of purpose. Let’s suppose that ID is completely wrong and there is no God. Is society ready to accept that? Do Humans NEED some of the things religion has to offer in order to be at peace? If so, who has the right to say in a country where something like 80% of the population believes in a God that had a role in creation that it is a good idea to try to discredit or suppress their belief?"

Accepting evolution does not mean that one has to reject the possibility of God. (Seems I have been through this before on this blog). Many, many scientists are religious. What they don't do is try to twist science to provide "proof" that their god exists and intervenes in physical phenomenon. The conflict I see between accepting evidence-based science such as geology (4.6 billion year old earth and moving continents) and biology (common descent, genome similarities, evolution of humans, fossil record) and a silly notion of a literally interpreted religious text is astounding. MOST religious traditions do not expect followers to believe that the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs were contemporary with humans, and a garden with a talking snake. There is NO evidence to support these things. NONE. ZIP. Therefore they cannot be scientific. Most Christians accept the idea of God, and accept the bible as symbolic, not historical in all detail.

Evolution is not an issue with most religious faiths-only with a select few fundamentalist churches that happen to represent a large number of Americans. (Church of Christ, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists) These churches feel that any detail in the bible, should it not be accurate, undermines the entire religion. It's a pity, because the bible is full of inaccuracies. You would have to live in complete ignorance of your surroundings to avoid them. Sad, and totally unnecessary.

January 26, 2011 at 8:52 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"I just realized I missed a chance to make a plug for one of my favorite themes. If it is somehow reprehensible to teach evolution in a light that does not contradict a parent’s religious teaching can we at least give said parents the money back that has been taken from them for education so that they can afford to find a school that will not undermine their moral authority?"

Is it not reprehensible to lie to children? If you deny evidence based science (yes, including evolution) that is exactly what you are doing. Just like teaching them the earth is flat or the sun revolves around the earth. Morality does not require ignorance.

If a parent wants to teach their kids at home about fairies, stars painted on the sky, leprechauns, pixie dust, sea monsters, and pi = 3.00 (yep-that one is in the bible); they have that freedom. They can teach ID (also known as "God of the Gaps) However, they should not protest when the best universities refuse to admit them when they can't meet admissions standards for science. AND they should not be surprised when the kids take their first real science classes and discover that they have been lied to, and as science progresses and closes those gaps, there is no longer room for God. Then they reject God and religion altogether. (yes, it happens all the time. If there is a tragedy here, that is it.)

January 26, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.
Clara said...

I posted a short message. I received the note it had been accepted, but it never appeared.

Let me see if I can remember the gist of it.

I wonder about the intellectual level of Bachmann's constituancy that got her into office? Isn't there a reasonable test to qualify a person for office. I'm not talking about higher education. I've known PHDs that were complete losers. Perhaps ALL the candidates should be psychoanalysed and tested for honesty, intelligence, thoughtfullness for the welfare of others, leadership qualities, thinkers, etc.

January 26, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.
canarysong said...

tderng;

Thank you for your 8:48 post. I'm not very good at finding links either, but I read a lot of books and have accumulated a decent collection. One of my favorite subjects has always been religion, all types. If your faith brings you that peace and comfort that we all would like to have, then I am happy for you.

January 26, 2011 at 9:23 p.m.
yaffay said...

Bachmann in an interview with talk show host Sue Jeffers in April, 2009. She was discussing her opposition to a bill expanding the Americorps program.

"I believe when it's all said and done, this service that -- I believe that there's a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums. It's very concerning. It appears that there's a philosophical agenda behind all of this, and especially if young people are mandated to go into this. As a parent, I would have a very, very difficult time seeing my children do this. Again, a huge power-grab, at a cost of billions of dollars."

January 26, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.
Clara said...

I guess it has made many people uncomfortable to find themselves so closely related to the apes (I think it is now orangutans though).

Evolution is funny. It has also been proven that those chickens we so love fried, roasted, baked, broiled etc. and their eggs have descended from the earlier dinosaurs.

Just look at that chicken running around your yard and picture it as a dinosaur. (pterodactyls I guess) Or think about it while you are dropping an egg into that frying pan, or the other miriad things you can do with an egg. It only took a few million years, which I learned as a child were but a millisecond to God...which hasn't been proven yet, but it's a comfortable thought.

January 26, 2011 at 9:48 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tdermg said: "When I was a young "hippie" I got into many an argument with bible thumpers who didn't like my long hair and told me how I was going to hell because of it."

Your post reminded me of incident that I observed a few years ago at Lake Winnie. It was raining and a groups or people were huddled inside one of the buildings. A man who said he was a Baptist preacher started a conversation with another man. At some point, the preacher asked the man what church he attended. The man said he didn’t belong to a church or belong to any particular denomination, but he believed in good deeds. The Baptist preacher told him that his good deeds were worthless, and he was going to Hell unless the man asked God to save him.

January 26, 2011 at 9:56 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"I believe when it's all said and done, this service that -- I believe that there's a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums. It's very concerning. It appears that there's a philosophical agenda behind all of this, and especially if young people are mandated to go into this. As a parent, I would have a very, very difficult time seeing my children do this. Again, a huge power-grab, at a cost of billions of dollars."

She clearly knows nothing about Americorps.

January 26, 2011 at 10:07 p.m.
tderng said...

mountainlaurel:

I also do not belong to a church or specific denomination. When I am asked what religion I am I tell them I am a Christian. They usually ask "what kind" and I say the kind that believes in Christ.I do not believe that any denomination has the corner on the market for what is the correct belief. My beliefs are a combination of the many different denominations that I have wandered through in my life.I would say that the "preacher" at lake winnie will have a hard time when his judgement day comes.I would never tell someone that they will go to hell for his beliefs no matter what they were.I would not presume to know who is right and who is wrong that is not for me to decide.I have to believe that it is what is in a persons heart that matters,not what church they attend.I have never been a big proponent of organised religion because they are often very intolerant of any tenets other than their own.I have never trusted anyone who thought they had the only "right" answers.I have often been misjudged because of the way I look or the recreations that I enjoy.It often amuses me when someone begins to talk religion around me and finds out that I know the bible fairly well or that I am even religious.I find most religions are quite interesting and try to learn more of non-christian beliefs.Hinduism,Buddhism,Islamism are all quite interesting and all have something to offer.

January 26, 2011 at 10:35 p.m.
acerigger said...

Clara, from what I can gather, Bachmann's constituency are mostly religious fundamentalists who feel like they're doing their part by electing her to help "save this God-less nation"! All I can say is "God help us".

January 26, 2011 at 10:41 p.m.
hambone said...

Having a discussion about ID and Bachmann at the same time just seems odd to me.

January 26, 2011 at 11:41 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tderng said: "I would say that the "preacher" at lake winnie will have a hard time when his judgement day comes.I would never tell someone that they will go to hell for his beliefs no matter what they were."

Yes, it was one those quirky little life things that one doesn’t forget. I’ve witnessed a number of preachers who've crossed the line so to speak by telling people they were going to hell for various reasons, but it was the first time that I had ever heard a preacher claim that good deeds were worthless. Granted, some people do good deeds because they want to be praised, but I sensed this guy wasn’t like this. I felt he was simply someone with a good heart who believed in doing good deeds for others – someone who could have taught the preacher something.

January 27, 2011 at 12:17 a.m.
canarysong said...

tderng;

Like you, I also have found that Buddhism has something to offer. I doubt that I will ever call myself a Buddhist, or anything else. But studying Buddism's code for ethical living (the eight-fold path), and its systematic method for understanding and training the mind have been a great help to me through some very tough times. In Buddhism the question of first cause is considered irrelevant and faith, for that matter, is a non-issue as well. Emphasis is placed instead on living a life that reduces suffering for others and for oneself. For me it is a way to acknowledge the sacred without having to believe the fantastic. And although many agnostic scientists do not find Buddhism incompatible with science, I don't think that it should be taught in public schools either.

January 27, 2011 at 12:52 a.m.
fairmon said...

Perhaps it is time to have no public schools. State and local tax payer funded schools are dismal failures. Parents pass their responsibility to the schools, school boards and politicians. As radical as it may sound the results would be no worse and much less political than the money vacuum we now have.

January 27, 2011 at 6:49 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Interesting thought, harp. Should parents have the option of not educating their kids?

January 27, 2011 at 7:13 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Clara offered this comment. "I wonder about the intellectual level of Bachmann's constituancy that got her into office? Isn't there a reasonable test to qualify a person for office. I'm not talking about higher education. I've known PHDs that were complete losers. Perhaps ALL the candidates should be psychoanalysed and tested for honesty, intelligence, thoughtfullness for the welfare of others, leadership qualities, thinkers, etc."

This comment and others like it seem to insinuate that this women and her state are the only ones who have these values. You have to look no further than your own front door. We live in the most entrenched radical christian part of the USA. Brownsville rattlesnake slingers have nothing on the BIBLE BELT. Our local elected government officials and school board reps are much more radical and misinformed than any of the political canidates and members of congress you so demonize. This area with it's blinders on makes "Fruit Loops In A Can" sound like a good idea. As to the people here who don't profess a certain belief but when ask adopt the CHRISTIAN moniker, it is the easy way out. If you tell these sheeple what you really believe they run you off on a rail. Of all the ideas kicked around here harp has the right idea. Close public schools and let the cream rise to the top. People will actually need one another again. Community will become more than just a word. The radical fundamentalist christian front will have to realize they are not controlling the world and we can once again as Americans connect with our neighbors. Now wouldn't that be nice!!!

January 27, 2011 at 8:23 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

lkeithlu made the comment, "Interesting thought, harp. Should parents have the option of not educating their kids?"

Well interestingly enough when children do not perform in the public schools the "Highly Qualified Educators" claim in UNISON it is the PARENTS fault. So according to this failed cash cow called Public Education this practice is already in place and everyone seems to be just fine with the results. And when government wants to know what is wrong with public education who do they ask??? The teachers, administrators and unions or associations. It's time to stop talking. This 20 year experiment called fixing public education has been a huge failure to the taxpayer, the students and the parents. This is the only case I can think of where nothing would be better than something. Lets give it a try. It won't be more than a few years that students will not be able to afford the debt associated with a college education anyway. Oh wait, that is the case already. Just ask a college grad that is paying the price for their college education and can't find a job. At least if you lose your job and have a catastrophic illness the debt can be forgiven. Try that with a student loan. They will hunt you to the ends of the earth and well past the days of your death. College is no longer a dream for many, it's a NIGHTMARE!!! And the conversation is about Intelligent Design??? Try Intelligent Demise!!!

January 27, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

canarysong and lkeithlu,

You both seem to be stridently opposed to even acknowledging in a public classroom that there is a competing theory to the theories offered by evolution which attempt to explain the origins of life. The origins of life parts of evolution are certainly the weakest part of evolutionary theory.

And you do know, (don’t you?) that all of the scientific theories about origins of life are just theories. You seem to be arguing that they must be taught in school as facts while we must not even mention ID as a theory.

You would force your minority opinions on the majority population and wrap your justifications in politics and "truth".

I submit that having a position specifically against religion is identical to having a position specifically supporting a religion and you cannot claim a constitutional basis for your position. There is no intellectually honest argument for refusing to acknowledge the theories espoused in Intellectual Design. What do you have to fear? Put all of the theories out there and let the students sort them out. THAT kind of education will produce great, creative thinkers and help propel the US back towards a position of leadership. This structured, only present the politically correct and “universally accepted” version of reality is killing our ability to THINK FOR OURSELVES! It is also the worst kind of intolerance as it is being taught to our children in contradiction to a parent’s beliefs.

We are told that we need to spend more money on education. I say that is Bull! We need to teach in a way that acknowledges options and encourages exploration and free thought. The rigid dogma you seem to want taught in the classroom only shuts down young minds.

I must be in a foul mood this morning…

January 27, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
Francis said...

john quincy adams was not technically a founding father...but he very much did fight to end slavery..as did many in the early history of this country...

he is part of our founding.......you can't wait to call her stupid..or any other woman who is conservative...

what michelle bachman said is not even in the same ballpark as some of the stupid things democrats and obama have said...sorry, but to say 57 states is mindboggling....

you libs have no perspective......we look back on slavery and think how appalling and what a black eye it was on our society and humanity..and it was...it's beyond belief.....but to think in 200 years people will not look back on abortion and not think the same thing is pretty arrogant.........you're so indignant and high and mighty in your crticism of the founding of this country........blacks were viewed as inferior and less than human..no soul... just as the unborn are viewed now.

you don't give this country any credit for righting itself, for overcoming its flaws and achieving great ness.......the fact is the founding fathers set up a system in which the very thing that helped them to profit, at least the ones who owned slaves, would be eliminated....they aknowledged it was immoral and it would have to change even though they were caught up in it.

you libs are the ultimate monday morning quarterbacks when it comes to history.

January 27, 2011 at 9:02 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

"You both seem to be stridently opposed to even acknowledging in a public classroom that there is a competing theory to the theories offered by evolution which attempt to explain the origins of life. The origins of life parts of evolution are certainly the weakest part of evolutionary theory."

Evolution does not address the origins or life. That is called Biogenesis and is not addressed in Evolutionary Theory.

"And you do know, (don’t you?) that all of the scientific theories about origins of life are just theories. You seem to be arguing that they must be taught in school as facts while we must not even mention ID as a theory."

You clearly don't understand what a scientific theory is. It is not a guess, conjecture or opinion. It is an explanation for evidence. That evolution happened is a fact. The theory explains what happened and how it happened. Like any theory it is being modified as new evidence is collected.

Evolutionary Theory is robust, backed by 150 years of evidence collected by countless scientists in many areas of science. Intelligent Design has no explanation, no mechanisms, no predictive value. All it can say is "we don't know therefore design", where science says "we don't know yet, but we have confidence that an explanation will be found."

There are no competing theories to evolution. To compete, a theory must explain all the evidence better than the existing theory. ID isn't even scientific (by definition, science must limit itself to physical causes, operating under existing physical laws). To be science, ID must conform to the rules. To be taught as science, it must be scientific.

Children in primary and secondary schools don't have the background to "weigh the evidence and choose the best theory". There is no other theory.

January 27, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 27, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.

Oh boy. Here we go.

I don’t understand why you are so insistent on this idea that ID not be discussed. You keep repeatedly declaring evolution as ROBUST THEORY (your words) but do not justify exclusion of other thoughts. Even if evolution is robust theory it still has to have an origin. Now that you have separated the origin from evolution and called it Biogenesis… Is Biogenesis taught in schools? How strong is this theory and how does it trump ID? Me thinks you are splitting hairs. Biogenesis sounds like a political answer to weaknesses surrounding the origins of evolution which compartmentalizes the weak parts so you can use arguments about the strengths of evolution against ID without having to deal with the origin problem.

You do know that I am not proposing that evolution and biogenesis not be taught in schools, right? I happen to believe in evolution and am interested in seeing developments in biogenesis (I am not sure there is enough there to really believe in at this point). I see no constructive purpose in suppressing ID however. A good teacher might think it is a good idea to present it knowing that the bright student will recognize it as a waning belief. The concept of the evolution of human understanding would be reinforced by such an exercise. Students that are not ready to make that leap could hold on to the ideas that evolution and creation and God can coexist and not have to worry about their religious dogma being destroyed and having to deal with life and death questions without that framework.

Oh yes, “Children in primary and secondary schools don't have the background to ‘weigh the evidence and choose the best theory"? Wow do you underestimate our children. Me and my son were having these conversations long before he went into high school. Do you have any children?

January 27, 2011 at 10:25 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

BRP, you aren't getting it. Science class is not the place to discuss philosophy, life and death, afterlife, etc. It's science. Those topics belong in comparative religion or philosophy. ID is fine if it is discussed as a philosophy. IT IS NOT SCIENCE.

Biogenesis is not generally taught in high school, as it is a area still being developed. Scientists cannot go back and see it, and the event itself left little to no evidence, as it was a chemical process that may have happened multiple times.

"Wow do you underestimate our children. Me and my son were having these conversations long before he went into high school" Do you, as an adult, know much about the evidence for evolution? Do you and your son know the basics of Geology, Paleontology, Genetics, BioChemistry, and Embryology? Neither laypeople nor children know enough to judge evolutionary theory on its merits.

I am a teacher-my students ask really good questions about what we are studying. However, there are times when I can't give them a full explanation of phenomena because it would take a much deeper grasp of the underlying concept (sort of 3rd year college level) to really understand the answer. I have to tell them a more simplified version, and they have to trust that I am being both accurate and truthful. We all must do this in areas of science we are not educated in.

Yes, I have children. All grown, one a cleric. Of course, I have respect for religious beliefs. I don't however excuse people to believe in fairy tales that reality contradicts. The divinity of Jesus, the existence of God, etc can be taken on faith as there is no evidence to refute them. But a worldwide flood, co-existence of dinosaurs and humans, and a 6000 year old earth are all refuted by empirical evidence.

January 27, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 27, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.

I am getting it just fine. You support teaching an incomplete theory without thinking about needs of (many?) students to have answers to questions about life and death that your incomplete theory will erode. Your need for everyone to join your belief system comes before the emotional health of your students. You would rather have young people living in terror of death after you stumble through their belief system with your partial understanding of the cosmos!

AGAIN, I believe in evolution and am getting somewhat annoyed at you for suggesting that my grasp of these concepts is not strong enough for me to have valid opinions that disagree with yours.

Some kids can deal just fine with your one size fits all approach to the world. Some kids are thrown into a tailspin by it.

I am sure you also do not support giving parents control of the money that is confiscated from them in the name of education, or should I say, indoctrination! I am sure you think that would be “abusive” to the young mind as they would not have the benefit of being exposed to your enlightened opinions. Oh yeah, I forgot, kids taken out of the public school system consistently outperform the poor sheep that are left there!

January 27, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

No, BRP, you don't get it at all. Pity. Either that or you simply are not reading my posts. I never said these issues cannot be discussed with students. JUST NOT AS SCIENCE.

January 27, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oh, and I never said I taught public school. I teach in a private, church-run school. Whoda thunk.

January 27, 2011 at 11:53 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: January 27, 2011 at 11:51 a.m. "No, BRP, you don't get it at all. Pity. Either that or you simply are not reading my posts. I never said these issues cannot be discussed with students. JUST NOT AS SCIENCE."

Now you are starting to make some sense. I do not appreciate the difference between discussing and teaching though, unless you are specifically discrediting the idea to dismiss it as a taught idea. Are you telling me that you, as a “Church run School Teacher” would endorse teaching evolution, faithfully mentioning the ideas behind ID, and then disqualifying the ID concept by declaring it a religious belief and not science? Is that how it is done in your church run school? I guess I cannot take anything for granted… Is your church run school a Christian church run school? Scientology maybe?

lkeithlu, Religion, Science and Politics have competed for the minds of man for a very long time. Scientists have been wrong almost as much as politicians as we wade through the process of understanding our world. It seems to me that in order for a society to be harmonious one of these three legs cannot assume that it rules the others. As science moves forward I think it is dangerous to assume that religion can adapt at whatever pace is set and not lose all credibility and relevance. You might think that religion is moving too slowly, or is getting in the way of scientific enlightenment and Michele Bachmann might think that politics are moving too fast when they assume that citizens are prepared to abandon religious dogma as fast as scientists can come up with new theories. I don’t know.

I have read all of your posts carefully. From a purely scientific perspective you are absolutely correct in everything that you say. There is more to the world than science ilkeithlu. If you step back and look at the bigger picture, the human condition in general, you might see that you are underappreciating religion’s role in the orchestra of life and pick your battles more carefully.

January 27, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

First, I never claimed that science is the only thing that students should learn or that should be taught. If you can find where I said that, good luck.

Second, I never belittled religion's role in human society. It has an important role to play, has great value, and addresses those deep, searching questions that science never can answer. Science has nothing whatever to say about the existence of God, an afterlife, or spirits, etc.

Third, I specifically criticized Bachmann for proposing that ID be taught in science classes; her reason being that evolution is a "belief" system and "only a theory". That shows a) Bachmann knows nothing about science, including evolution and b) she is willing to act out of that ignorance, most likely in the face of opposition from scientists and educators in the state who she should have consulted. Her reasons were religious.

Finally, in my "church run school", we teach only science in science classes. No creation, no ID, no fairy tales, no young earth. Our Geology students learn about plate tectonics and fossils, our physics students about radioactive decay, our biology students about natural selection and genetics. ID is not even mentioned because it is not science. ID is also not mentioned in religion class (other than Paley's ideas) because the modern ID movement is bad theology. It is not a Scientology school (that's a cult)

I pick this particular battle because the injection of woo in science classes and the resistance to learning geology and biology by religious fundamentalists has dumbed down science education in this country. It is a worthwhile battle.

January 27, 2011 at 3:14 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

oh lkeithlu,

Science with no context? I guess that is why the Renaissance man is dead and gone. We are training a nation of “technicians”.

I wonder if I could find anything that would capture my interest in a modern day classroom.

January 27, 2011 at 4:51 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I never said science with no context, BRP. Where do you get these ideas? You are determined to pick a fight or simply re-define science to suit your own needs. I am not making this stuff up.

Science is full of wonder, beauty and mystery. But it cannot address the supernatural. Religion does not really want it to. The supernatural cannot be either proven nor refuted by science. But I suspect the some religions would rather not have scientists dragged into this-skeptics have taken on religious claims in the past and used the scientific method to show that there was no evidence to back them.

Science teachers don't stand in front of students and say "God doesn't exist". But no scientist is going to say that there is empirical evidence to support the basic beliefs of any religious group. To do so is inappropriate and dishonest. There is a problem, however, with some specific claims made by biblical literalists. (which is why I entered this conversation in the first place, although I am growing a bit impatient with some of this nonsense). If a religious person says that according to their text a bat is the same as a bird (the bible says this) or that placental wolves and marsupial wolves are the same "kind" (they are completely different) or that Koalas made it from Mt. Ararat to Australia, or that the Grand Canyon was carved in a global flood they'd be wrong. If, on the other hand a religious person said that Jesus was his savior, there is absolutely nothing whatever science can say about it.

January 27, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
sd said...

BRP, with all due respect, you're slinging a lot of fallacies around today.

Whenever I find myself distorting someone's argument, I try to ask myself why and I usually find an emotional connection to the topic at hand. Obviously you have an emotional connection to the idea that intelligent design should be presented in a classroom.

Why? Does public school curriculum need to reinforce faith? If, for example, ID was being taught by a Muslim teacher who credited Allah with ID, would that be acceptable in a science class? Or--since they've already come up--what if a Scientologist taught a variant of ID induced by Xenu? What if a teacher who believes the Earth was "seeded" by extraterrestrials introduced that theory in the classroom as a competing theory to evolution?

Please don't think that I'm equating Scientology or UFOlogy concepts with Christianity, because I'm not, but I'm trying to think of examples of other belief systems that could incorporate ID in a similar way. My point is that ID can easily be used to accommodate a variety of faiths or beliefs that have no place with scientific curriculum. Do you favor the teaching of ID in this instance simply because it compliments your personal faith?

January 27, 2011 at 7:14 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Although this is about Palin, not Bachmann, it concerns science education (or the lack thereof):

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/27/939263/-Palin-completely-misunderstands-what-Sputnik-Moment-means

January 27, 2011 at 8:46 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I am kind of worn out on this subject but realized something as I stepped away from the computer last time. I've never heard the well thought out explanation of how the core ideas of ID are stupid, irrelevant, not worth considering. In fact, it seems as though ID is kind of like reverse heresy!

Since the core of your argument is that ID is not science, it probably would have been useful to pursue that explanation.

Cheers

January 28, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.

I am not a fundamentalist, a religious conservative, a theological liberal, an agnostic, or an atheist. But with all the talk about "science proves this but not that," there doesn't seem to be any scientific evidence or proof presented either way. There are only claims to be in the majority or to not be as stupid, rigid, or uninformed as someone else.

Many times, people in positions of public influence (teachers, politicians, preachers) proclaim their views as "fact" or "scientific," and simply slap the label "unscientific" or "fairy tale" on any views that challenge their opinions. This is a way of marginalizing your opponents so that you never have to prove your opinions to the captive audience in place of influence. It is not a frontal assault. It allows you to appear objective and neutral while it privileges your own position.

In philosophy, we call this using a tautology - constructing the argument so that it isn't falsifiable. If a theory is beyond the possibility of being falsified, it is no longer a scientific theory or a fact. It is only a philosophical position poorly stated. It is used by fundamentalists and by those who disagree with them.

How is this for a theory: BOTH fundamentalists or religious conservatives(those who find agnostics or religious liberals uninformed or reprehensible) AND agnostics or religious liberals (those who find fundamentalists or religious conservatives uninformed or reprehensible) are two sides of the same coin.

Both embrace an out-dated version of modernity. They both claim that they occupy the middle, but each camp feeds itself off of resentment toward the other camp. (They won't acknowledge it, but they DEPEND ON the statements of the other in order to rally support for their cause.) They both claim to employ pure reason and to embrace absolute, objective truth. They then make bold declarations about "irrefutable" facts. It's a dead end.

It is a sociological theory, therefore it can't be proven in a laboratory. Speaking of which, maybe there is more than one way to know things. If "science" (natural science or natural philosophy) is enthroned as the only way of obtaining knowledge about reality with absolute certainty, it has become a religion or a philosophical worldview, held with every bit as much faith and unquestioning commitment as many religious worldviews. Such authority attributed to science is what made "scientific racism" and "social darwinism" seem so credible one hundred years ago. (See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.)

In the blogosphere, science and faith are simply self-vindicating labels.

January 28, 2011 at 2:46 p.m.

Not having television service, I have no idea what Michelle Bachman looks like, but at a first glance of the cartoon, I thought it was Nancy Pelosi. From what I gather from this blog, they have a lot more in common than either would care to admit.

Okay, a few other clarifications are in order.

Both sides seem to suggest that religion's most significant value is that it provides peace and comfort to those who are religious. This view is widely held, but as applied to Christianity, it is unhistorical, patronizing, watered-down, "tamed," socially acceptable, and therapeutic. That is, a distinctly American understanding. Christianity - at least according to Jesus, the apostles, martyrs, and church fathers - is anything but tame. It is subversive and that is one of its primary benefits to society. "Against the world for the world." Bonhoeffer is a good place to start reading about the significance of this idea in the modern world.

lkeithlu claims that most Christians accept the Bible as symbolic and not historical. This is just as simplistic and inaccurate a view as literalism. Ancient literature must be read and interpreted on its own terms, in light of the genre of literature, the historical context, and the document's reliability. If you define truth as mathematical precision, the Bible fails the test. Writing it off as simply symbolic or metaphorical is sloppy literary analysis (though it does contain both of those literary devices).

Historically, once it penetrates a society, Christianity provides cultural cohesion and challenge. Therefore, I think Clara is wrong that our civilization can survive a significant rejection of it or its moral premises. Your arguments (and all arguments in this forum) are laced with those premises. Atheism and agnosticism borrow heavily from Christian assumptions about the nature of reality. It is a self-critical religion, and as such, it provided the basis for the scientific revolution in the west and many other positive historical achievements here and elsewhere. see "As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God: Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem" in the London Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article5400568.ece

Rejecting, pacifying, or limiting it to the private realm spells the end of much that we value. So said the insightful atheist, Frederick Nietzsche. On that one, he was right.

And as it turns out, the irreligious can be quite superstitious themselves: Look Who's Irrational Now http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html

January 28, 2011 at 3:29 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

All of these are philosophical points. If anyone has a scientific point about ID to make, do so. As long as ID is not considered scientific, it, like Creation, cannot be taught in high school science classes.

January 28, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

My points all relate to logical consistency and specificity in criticism. They have cross-disciplinary applications.

You are still only throwing around labels and boundaries. What is your scientific, empirical evidence for evolution? What specific claims made by ID scientists do you reject? Which scientists reject ID? what are the credentials of scientists on both sides? What are your sources?

Theses are "factual" sorts of questions. You are applying guilt by association involving sloppy definitions and caricatures.

January 28, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.

lkeithlu said "All of these are philosophical points."

I'm not sure how these questions fit into your classification schema, but: Where is the majority that believes that the Bible is merely symbolic? What is your evidence?

That was my specific criticism of your comments.

January 28, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

what's:

The evidence for evolution fills many volumes. I would be happy to suggest books, but you might try starting with a basic biology text. After that books on specific areas of evolution, or specific organisms will help. A basic book in Historical Geology is also useful. I learned a lot when working on my MS.

ID "scientists" (there is only a few, the rest are mathematicians, attorneys, philosophers) make no specific claims other than "we don't know therefore design". They will not articulate what the theory is, make testable predictions, propose mechanisms, or set up research.

"You are applying guilt by association involving sloppy definitions and caricatures."

Just because you don't understand science does not make my points sloppy or unclear.

Want more info? Ask a more specific question. The evidence for evolution is way too extensive to try to address it in a few sentences.

January 28, 2011 at 6:39 p.m.
  1. What is the source for your statement that most Christians accept the bible as symbolic?

  2. And provide one scholarly source that compares Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Just one. That's all.

January 28, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.

And maybe exclude a high school textbook as the scholarly source.

January 28, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

There will not be a "scholarly text" that specifically compares these two. However, for a broad description (well described and extensively cited) Dawkin's "Greatest Show on Earth" is one of the very best for laypeople. (I count myself among laypeople) Another is also by Dawkins called The Blind Watchmaker.

As far as accepting the bible as symbolic, most people do not use the bible as historical and scientific text. If symbolic is not the right word (allegorical perhaps?) then I apologize. Only literalists really believe that a flood covered the entire earth, and all the animals and people on earth are descended from those on an ark. There is some historical connections-people, places, events are described that actually existed (King Herod comes to mind) But the earth is far older than 6000 years and there never was a real Adam and Eve.

January 28, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

A helpful critique of intelligent design:

http://www.talkdesign.org/cs/

One of the best general sites for evolution, creation, ID, age of earth, etc. Took me almost a year to get through it but it was very well cited, and it's where I located many books to read.

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs.html

January 28, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You want specific organisms or areas? Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish, which is a well written book on body plans, embryological development and HOX genes. Carl Zimmerman's By the Water's Edge; great description of what is known (up to a couple of years ago; there are some more recent finds) about Cetacean and Pinniped evolution in the Cenozoic.

Of course, you will not be able to answer quickly-these are dense, detail-packed reads, which of course are based on primary literature which you will want to also read if you have access to it. Some are public, some are not. I've been doing this for awhile; if you don't have a background in geology it helps to know a little, which is why I suggested a text book.

January 28, 2011 at 8:38 p.m.

Thank you for the clarifications. I heartily agree that reading the Bible as a history or science textbook does a dis-service to the Biblical text. However, the external corroboration of the Bible's historical claims is much more extensive than the existence of Herod. The literary genres are not limited to allegory or symbolism. The genres are, in fact, pretty diverse.

Absent a better understanding of Ancient Near Eastern history and literature, the literalists and skeptics butt heads without acknowledging legitimate alternatives.

Young earthers are far from being the only critics of Darwinism. For lay introduction to scholarly challenges, I recommend Alister McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion.

There are many articles published by ID scientists in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Honestly, I haven't read them and haven't followed the debate very closely, but I would challenge those who claim that they don't exist. They are listed (of course) on their website. http://www.discovery.org/a/2640

This links to a list of scientists who dissent from Darwinism (many of them are not Christians): http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660

These are articles by theologians and historians that explain some of the sources of fundamentalist errors about creation and evolution:

Karl Giberson, “Adventist Origins of Young Earth Creationism,” (http://biologos.org/uploads/static-content/Giberson-scholarly-essay-1.pdf)

Mark Noll , Evangelicals, Creation, and Scripture: An Overview (http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Noll_scholarly_essay.pdf)

These articles explain how science has taken on the characteristics of a religious worldview:

Karl Giberson , Scientific Fundamentalism and Its Cultural Impact (http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Giberson_white_paper.pdf )

Jacques Barzun, "Science and Scientism" (http://books.google.com/books?id=55-g9AsNqrIC&lpg=PA93&ots=KzV0VmFpBo&dq=Barzun%20Scientism&lr=&pg=PA49#v=onepage&q=scientism&f=false)

My main point is help keep the debate honest, charitable, and civil. The fact that these topics are politicized (in more than one direction) is a barrier to that sort of dialogue.

Thanks for the exchange.

January 28, 2011 at 9:10 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Likewise.

January 28, 2011 at 9:13 p.m.

A good lay-level introduction to the "relativists and fundamentalists as strange bedfellows" thesis is In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic by sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld

January 28, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.
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