Is Palin a Closet Evolutionist?

The same day Sarah Palin told Katie Couric that “science should be taught in science class,” a group of scientists … Continued

The same day Sarah Palin told Katie Couric that “science should be taught in science class,” a group of scientists were making that very point to the Texas Board of Education. Is Sarah Palin a closet evolutionist?

Hardly, but it’s difficult to peg her as the sort of strict Creationist many academics and people of faith accuse of trying to undermine the teaching of evolution. Like many people of faith, Palin seems to believe that science and religion are not necessarily incompatible and that a good education should make room for both.

Easier said than done, of course.

The Texas scientists are battling an effort to require public schools to make room for both by teaching the “weaknesses of evolution.” That, according to the scientists, is a back-door attempt, under the guise of “academic freedom,” to require schools to teach Creationism and Intelligent Design in science classes.

“Calling ‘Intelligent Design’ arguments a weakness of evolution is like calling alchemy a weakness of chemistry, or astrology a weakness of astronomy,” Sahotra Sarkar, a University of Texas biology professor, told the Texas Board of Education Tuesday.

Similar “back-door” attempts are being made in several states. In June, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law that allows teachers to introduce “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” about evolution. But other states are putting more emphasis on teaching evolution as “the organizing principle of life science,” as the Florida Department of Education ruled earlier this year.

“Principle” is the word Kouric and Palin both used in their conversation broadcast Tuesday. Kouric asked: “Do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepted scientific principle or as one of several theories?”

Palin responsed: “Oh, I think it should be taught as an accepted principle. And, as you know, I say that also as the daughter of a school teacher, a science teacher, who has really instilled in me a respect for science. It should be taught in our schools. And I won’t deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth. But that is not part of the state policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught in science class.”

That seems fairly clear. Evolution should be taught as a principle of science, not as a theory alongside others such as Creationism. This is a woman who has said that her father, a public school science teacher, did not teach Creationism in class. She hasn’t pushed the issue as governor.

But Palin clearly believes Creationism should be a part of the classroom discussion. When Palin was running for governor in 2006, she was asked during a televised debate if she thought teaching creationism in public schools was good for students. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” she said.

In a subsequent interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Palin said discussion of alternative views on the origins of life should be allowed in Alaska classrooms. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” she said.

It shouldn’t be part of her father’s science class curriculum anymore than evolution should be part of her own child’s Sunday school lessons. For many people of faith, the question isn’t whether science and religion can comfortably coexist, but how.

The best suggestion I’ve read can be found in “An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science from American Christian Clergy,” signed so far by more than 11,000 clergy across the country.

“We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist,” the letter reads in part. “We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.”

Does that seem so difficult?

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Sarah Palin’s public comments on evolution, Creationism and other religion-related matters can be found in a handy online index called Faith 2008, a site hosted by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.

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  • EnemyOfTheState

    On the surface there is nothing wrong with advocating a discussion of creationism or intelligent design should it come up in the course of teaching evolutionary science. Young people have lots of questions and don’t let their age throw you – they can ask profound questions.But having a discussion of alternative views should not be confused with teaching an approved science curriculum with evolution as the center piece. All of the evidence gathered over the last 150 years points to change over time, and speciation as a direct result of natural selection.This is not incompatible with belief in a sentient being. In fact, one would have to be in awe of a design that produces homo sapiens. Certainly seems intelligent.One World

  • Paganplace

    Not difficult, there, but she also claims she believes notions that someone found a human footprint inside a dinosaur one, and that that measn ‘young Earth’ Creationism’ is true. She’s come out for teaching Creationism in schools, therefore, if I’m not much mistaken. How she redefines ‘science’ isn’t a concern limited to education, though, ….it also has to do with what she’d be credulous about in a position of power at a time when ‘God Wants Pipelines’ may not precisely pass muster in reality for America’s immediate future.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Yea, the human footprint inside a dinosaur print is ludicrous. Any credible archeologist would dismiss that that as either a clever hoax or a misreading of the fossel record.Unfortunately, if she believes humans and dinosaurs coexisted, then she probably agrees with a majority of Americans – sad. Obviously, our science education is abysmal.

  • KevinD1

    Why wouldn’t you teach evolution in a Sunday school class? That is really where the source of the problem is. Sunday School teachers need to present the Book of Genesis’ two creation stories as just that, creation storie.And kindergarten teachers need to introduce simplified evolution concepts just as they introduce simple ideas about the solar system.

  • roblimo

    I am not against teaching alternate theories to evolution. The Flying Spaghetti Monster may have created the universe. And it’s possible that the world is supported by giant elephants who stand on the back of an even-gianted turtle. And maybe some invisible being created the whole schmear, complete with gardens of eden and talking snakes.One thing that *would* irritate me is teaching one religion’s myths and ignoring others.Also, I question the idea of “Intelligent Design.” Would an intelligent designer create appendixes? Or joints that ache so easily? I think not.Maybe the idea of a “semi-dumb” designer is what we need to teach. I can easily imagine a designer trying different ways to do things, discarding some along the way in favor of others that seem to work a little better at least in the sense that more successful organisms would find it easier to survive and reproduce. Oh, wait! That’s … evolution!

  • Thependulumswings

    If religion is going to be taught in public school, it should be taught as Evolution of Religion. That would show the relationships between religions that usually are ignored.

  • bobxyz

    “And I won’t deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth.”Why can’t Republicans talk about science education without invoking their magic fairy? They sound childish and just plain stupid when they talk about the hand of their imaginary magic man.

  • bobxyz

    KEVIND1 wrote: “And kindergarten teachers need to introduce simplified evolution concepts just as they introduce simple ideas about the solar system.”That’s an excellent idea. Young children have the right to know the scientific explanation for the diversity of life and how their species developed.Unfortunately most American children are taught the idiotic Christian magical creation myth. By the time American students take their first science class they are too brainwashed and god-soaked to understand anything.Teaching magical creation anywhere is child abuse. The creation myths should not even be taught in Sunday school because nothing is more disgusting than lying to children.Perhaps magical creation and intelligent design magic could be taught in a class called “The History of Human Stupidity”.

  • sparrow4

    Lucy- since you haven’t had many discussions with spidey2, haven’t been called many names by him on many threads, and despite the information presented, and the facts to back it up, still get called an idiot for no other reason than you don’t believe as he does, I think I am fully justified in telling you, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”Doesn’t seem quite fair does it? Perhaps you should not venture on a quest that you intend to use as an ultimate end of humiliation and embarrassment to another person of humanity.” I have never seen any indication in spidey2′s posts that he ascribes humanity to anyone who is not as fundamentalist as he is. In fact, he has often waxed loquacious over the fact that all of us non-believers (by his lights) will have horrible deaths with the coming of Christ.”Facts or points of debate are up for interpretation unless they are “undisputable facts” meaning that there is no room for personal interpretation and they have clearly proven documented substantiated evidence of their factual proof.” The discussion is whether or not ID is a science or a faith issue. No matter how many times spidey2 has been told by myself and numerous others what science means, and the tools of science, he simply refuses to accept anything other than a refusal to acknowledge what are really rather undisputable definitions of the discipline of science. He is willfully ignorant, yet universally insulting. I have never insulted his beliefs, only his refusal to treat other human beings and ideas with respect and compassion. I thank you for your protestations of ” an act of love to admonish you to a higher level as a compassionate human being caring for the good of all mankind.” but before you step onto the floor, know where you’re stepping.(Could be in meat sauce, yes, arminius?)

  • sparrow4

    Ok- I am breaking out in a rash as I say this but Palin has a good point. Why shouldn’t creationism and ID be allowed to be part of a discussion- but not part of the curriculum- if for no other reason than to point up the difference between faith and science? The free discussion of ideas is healthy and exactly the opposite of what the religious right would have us do. fundamentalists are about repression and I certainly don’t fear a good discussion about religion or science. I’m not afraid of opinions that don’t agree with mine- I am afraid of those who would prevent me from having the opinion in the first place.From what Palin responded, I don’t see where she said anything other than what Mr. waters also says. ID is not part of a science curriculum, but what better way to show the different kinds of truths by using examples of what science and faith are and are not?

  • ASTORIA

    The Texas scientists are battling an effort to require public schools to make room for both by teaching the “weaknesses of evolution.” Remove creationism altogether from the equation. Actually, teaching the weakness of evolution is not a bad idea. Scientists disagree about evolution- not for philisophical reasons, but because there is a sparsity of physical evidence to support the theory. Teaching critical thinking is a plus and positive thing. If there were young scientific minds that asked old questions that have been accepted as fact by he scientific community- but were not proven according to modern standards of research- And if it can be scientifically proven- it will be!

  • ASTORIA

    I say, quit trying to indoctrinate the kids either way-

  • Arminius

    Hi, Sparrow,Yer right, apparently Lucy has not tried to communicate with Spidey. Basically, ‘communication with Spidey’ is an oxymoron. But he is fun to goad once in a while. I had been hoping he would go for my Flying Spaghetti Monster posts, but, sadly, he has not.

  • DrWho2

    I agree whole heartedly with EnemyofTheState’s first post. We discussed spontaneous generation in my science class, and how that used to be an accepeted belief, but there is no proof to support it. If you make any subject taboo, this does science a dis-service, as a good scientist should always consider all reasonable possiblities with an open mind. The Bible should not be the focal point of Creationism or intellegent design, as that would be favoring one religion over another. Rather, only the concept of a higher power being the “designer” of creation should be used when discussing these topics. All Biblical discussions should be resigned to elective theology or divinity courses and places of worship.

  • sparrow4

    “Rather, only the concept of a higher power being the “designer” of creation should be used when discussing these topics.”- Drwho2But that is a theological question and at least at this point in time not scientifically provable. To insert a discussion of G-d into a science class is like trying to speak german in a high school spanish class. It was never within the scope of science to say if there is a G-d or not, only if it can be proven or not. It remains an openended question, like so many other things. Perhaps in the future we will have the scientific knowledge to somehow prove what most of us feel is unprovable by nature. And then, what would we feel if we did prove His existence in terms of numbers, quanta or genetics? Wouldn’t we then lose the mystery, and the majesty?

  • DrWho2

    Sparrow4 – For many a year it could not be proven if the atom existed because science did not have the technological capabilities to prove or dis-prove the existenance of the atom. There are many theories in the realm of physics (string theory being one) that science has not been able to prove yet either. By your reasoning, the concept of the atom could only be discussed in a science class in the 20th century, when technology was finally at a level to enable studies of the atom. Many of Einstiens theories could only be proven many years after he presented them, and some we are still not able to prove or dis-prove. Should they not have been aloud to have been discussed??

  • DrWho2

    BTW, I think only about 10 minutes should be alloted to the discussion of ID, as there are not a lot of facts to discuss. But never to discuss it, will leave many students with questions in their mind as they get exposed to ID outside of class, and I feel it is best to discuss subjects openly rather than say it is a taboo subject. As many people believe in it, it is a fair topic for discussion. Not many people truely believe in the Spagetti Monster, should that should be left out.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Spiderman2: The findings of archeology and paleontology from the last 150 years clearly point to animal speciation and change over time. Darwin theorized that the changes were due to natural selection, which is nothing more than an organism’s ability to adapt and exploit its environment. Nothing science has developed since comes close to explaining the fossil record so completely.The model explains, for instance, why we share more than 95% of our DNA with chimps, and why an isolated land mass like Australia can produce species seen nowhere else in the world.You don’t have to deny God to see the beauty and complexity of life reflected through evolution. Darwin didn’t give up his belief in a higher power, and most churches accept the reality of evolution. And, by the way, evolutionary theory does make present day predictions that can be observed in the laboratory: A virus and how it infects a host is a perfect example. If you’re unlucky enough to be infected by a dangerous virus that quickly mutates and adapts to treatment, you’ll want your doctor to understand evolutionary principles.Peace.

  • Carstonio

    “The Bible should not be the focal point of Creationism or intellegent design, as that would be favoring one religion over another. Rather, only the concept of a higher power being the ‘designer’ of creation should be used when discussing these topics.”That would still favor some religions over others, since many do not have higher powers or creation stories that rely on such beings. The “higher power” concept is really watered-down theism, or at least a theism-centric view of religion. That’s similar to how intelligent design was devised as a Trojan horse for Christian creationism.I propose that if the topic of creationism arises in science class, teachers can explain that many religions have creation stories, so as to avoid inadvertently treating Christian creationism as the only alternative to evolution.

  • sparrow4

    Drwho2- very good points. It’s not my intent is keep out discussion but I fear what creationists and IDers are asking for is an equating of these ideas with a scientifically based theory. However if the discussion was about how could we use science to prove or disprove these ideas from a scientific standpoint, by all means we should.Many ID peple use the word “theory” in the wrong sense. In science, theory refers to facts that can be verifiable and reproducible. It’s also a little open ended but remember, Newton, Einstein, Galileo did not suddenly come with these ideas out of nowhere. They came from questioning observable phenomena that had no good explanation at the time. This in no way means that G-d should not be discussed, but that the ideas put forth as factual by creationists and the like, Expect you to take on faith that G-d exists as a scientifically proven fact, and accept the bible is literally true. That’s faith, not science.

  • Mike542

    It is proven that life forms evolve. However, compared to the trillions of evolutionary steps required to explain the multitude and complexity of life forms we observe, would you not agree that the evidence is very paltry? Under the heading of science wouldn’t this make a good topic of discussion in our schools?Personally I think there is way, way too little evidence to explain this complexity, not to mention how the first cell spontaneously came into being, to state with any degree of certainty that the case is closed on the origin and development of life. Is that such a difficuly position to understand???

  • Lucy4

    Sparrow4, “I think I am fully justified in telling you, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”I believe that I do. However, it is your choice to believe that I do not, regardless one opinion is not lesser than the other’s. Neither you nor anyone else has proven Spidey to be wrong about his beliefs nor has Spidey proven anyone else to be wrong about their beliefs, so logic tells me that all are on an even plain.As far as your cross conversation with another blogger on this thread ” thank you for your protestations of ” an act of love to admonish you to a higher level as a compassionate human being caring for the good of all mankind.” but before you step onto the floor, know where you’re stepping. (Could be in meat sauce, yes, arminius?” regarding my comment directed to you I would say that you questioned your self assertions. Thus, felt the need to seek affirmation from another, lacking in self confidence, independent thinking, and being self-assured to secure a level of autonomy that mature adults reach that are competent with standing alone with their convictions and do not have the “need” to “seek” or “require” the affirmations of others. Consequently, your pre-judgment of my assessment of Spidey by stating “you are justified in saying that I have no idea what you’re talking about” without inquiring if I had or have been privy to Spidey’s comments. It is evident in this comment “(Could be in meat sauce, yes, arminius?)” that your coping mechanism is through a passive-aggressive method. It would behoove you to strive functioning above that level. It would improve your appeal as a person. I am sure that you have other traits that are more worthy to of noticing.

  • sparrow4

    lucy- my lord- you’re Sarah Palin.My comment to arminius is a running joke among several of us.You took me to task for taking to spidey 2 as I have and let me explain to you in very simple terms- had spidey at any time been polite and respectful to me on any of the threads we have conversed on, or even been polite to others (or is your idea of polite calling everyone idiots several times over?). Among other even more insulting comments. So I repeat my point- you have no clue. You’re perfectly free to ignore my posts – as you seem to have ignored spidey2′s- gosh. Some folk have all the luck.Instead you come off like St. Lucy of Cyberspace and failing miserably. They say pick your battles- you picked a poor one. So We can keep engaging like this if you like- I’d prefer not to waste my time, but it’s up to you.

  • Arminius

    Lucy,Sparrow’s comment “Could be in meat sauce, yes, arminius?” indirectly references a post I made (in jest) about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I’m not sure how that statement fits in here. I have traded posts with Sparrow with no problems, but I understand that she can be caustic.As to spiderman2, usually known as Spidey here. He is a very narrow minded and bigoted person, who will not answer a question, or even try to explain the largely outrageous claims he makes. He thinks he is the only real Christian here, and tells all that disagree that they are going to hell. I am Christian – and Spidey has posted things here that even I, very liberal about religious views, consider blasphemy. As far as I am concerned, it is open season on Spidey.

  • Arminius

    Sparrow,And well that you should stand up for yourself! I admire that.As for Lucy – I am puzzled by the interchange between you two, because I have never had any difficulty communicating with you. My advice to Lucy is to reply directly to Spidey and see just how far she gets.

  • sparrow4

    arminius, you should go over to the Wolpe thread. It’s very interesting.

  • spidermean2

    sparrow wrote “Knowledge has practical purpose.”I want to know what is that specific knowledge about evolution that can be use for practical purpose. What device has been made from it. I want to know coz Im an engineer and I want to make use of that knowledge. Engineers build from the knowledge they get. Evolution has NOTHING to show. IT’S ALL IN YOUR MIND. It has nothing for any engineering work.

  • Arminius

    Lucy,If you’re still here, try engaging Spidey in a conversation. Good luck. Note that he claims to be an engineer – he is lying. He will not say what kind of engineer he claims to be. I have known dozens of engineers, and each and every one, when asks what they do for a living, answer “I am [this kind of] engineer. Beware.

  • sparrow4

    spidey2- so what? Does knowing how to eat pizza have to relate to you being an engineer? Knowledge is practical but who says it has to be for you? Jeesh- get some logic here willya?Paleontology is practical for finding oil reserves, geographic formations, history- so what’s your point? You can’t stick a fossil in your car so it’s not science? I am so not wasting my time on you any longer. If you feel like remaining steeped in ignorance I leave you to it.

  • spidermean2

    Sparrow wrote “Paleontology is practical for finding oil reserves, geographic formations, history-”Well and good. It should stick to that field and not wander on more complex issues like DNA transformations.

  • omarlatiri

    While I have no problem with students learning about alternative explanantions in science class (remember we’re taught both Ptolemy and Copernicus), I do have a question about *which* Creationist theory should be discussed about in class. The Judeo-Christian one? The Hindu one? The various Native American ones? African? Australian Aboriginal? All? While that would be nice, there just wouldn’t be enough time to cover actual science in science class.In addition, the constant referral to evolution as “just a theory” does not accurately reflect what a scientific theory is. There are various theories about the nature of gravity, but no one can deny its existence. It’s the same with evolution.Darwin didn’t have all the answers, but neither did Galileo, Newton, or Einstein. Darwin had his doubts, as did Einstein, but the fundamental aspect we should take away from these doubters is that even though they were guessers, their guesses were educated, mathematical, and eventually scientifically backed up with observable evidence.

  • Arminius

    Spidey should define ‘engineer’ and give three examples.But he won’t.Because he is a liar and an idiot.

  • sparrow4

    arminius- not only does spidey not understand what science, evolution, and paleontology are, but he doesn’t understand how science works, the meaning of applied science or the difference between knowledge and ignorance or knowledge and faith. How sad a life he has, to be so rigid and repressed.How strong can his faith be if he is so afraid of a little knowledge? I know lots of people who believe in evolution and G-d, and they seem at peace with it.

  • Arminius

    Sparrow,I am quite comfortable with evolution and God. When I was young, I knew an Episcopal priest who was also a nuclear engineer. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This goes for faith. Note that the core meaning of jihad is struggle, meaning an internal struggle with belief. I have a Christian jihad in my soul, and it makes my faith stronger.Spidey does not have faith – he has been programmed. He is the saddest, most misdirected person I have ever encountered.

  • spidermean2

    Galileo, Newton, or Einstein “theories” can be tested in the lab and can be repeated again and again. That is science.Evolution has NOTHING TO SHOW. It’s just a dream. Dream on idiots.

  • spidermean2

    Sparrow wrote “I know lots of people who believe in evolution and G-d, and they seem at peace with it.”At peace because they are clueless and idiots. Many people were at peace with how Wall Street works until the meltdown simply because of stupidity.What they did with that bailout was a stop gap measure. It didn’t cure the problem. There were three factors that I mentioned earlier that should be dealt with. One of which is the interest rate. I hope this massive bailout would address that.Another problem was the housing market. Those foreclosed houses should have been returned to their owner at a restructured payment so the housing glut would be solved.There should also be a law that would insure its price stabilization.Short selling should be dealt with also.I think, none of which was addressed. If these four factors will come into play again, we would be back on square one – another meltdown.

  • spidermean2

    Sparrow wrote “I know lots of people who believe in evolution and G-d, and they seem at peace with it.”At peace because they are clueless and idiots. Many people were at peace with how Wall Street works until the meltdown, simply because of stupidity.What they did with that bailout was a stop gap measure. It didn’t cure the problem. There were three factors that I mentioned earlier that should be dealt with. One of which is the interest rate. I hope this massive bailout would address that.Another problem was the housing market. Those foreclosed houses should have been returned to their owner at a restructured payment so the housing glut would be solved.There should also be a law that would insure OIL price stabilization.Short selling should be dealt with also.I think, none of which was addressed. If these four factors will come into play again, we would be back on square one – another meltdown.

  • Arminius

    Sparrow,You will notice at once that Spidey answered no questions, but merely made an accusation and tried to change the subject.I rest my case.

  • sparrow4

    astoria- having studied paleontology I can tell you there is no sparsity of evidence to back up the theory. But the place for alternative ideas about evolution, if they are not based in scientific method, belong in a history class or a sociology class- never a science class.spidermean2- great contribution to the thread. I am, as always, impressed with the clarity of your thinking and your apt turn of phrase. And the use of the word “idiots” is brilliant. You put us in our place, all right. fer shure, ya.

  • spidermean2

    sparrow wrote ” I can tell you there is no sparsity of evidence to back up the theory.”VERY FUNNY. Show the evidence in the lab then. Repeat it again and again like a true science fact. I still have to see a single device or invention using the theories gotten from evolution. There is none. NOT A SINGLE ONE. It’s all in your dreams. Dream on idiots.

  • sparrow4

    spidey2- you obviously have never heard of a paleontology lab, have you? Are you some kind of luddite or hermit locked away in a cave for the last 50 years? Ever hear of spectographs? Isotopes? Carbon 14?- to name only a few, and these are only the older scientific instruments. today, the science is far more sophisticated and accurate. the real problem is you are so close minded and blind you refuse to even consider the science. You don’t win an argument by denying facts or points of debate. It makes you look like an ignorant fool. Nice reuse of the word “idiot” again, although you lost points on lack of originality and repetition. Still, it adds a bit of consistency to your otherwise discombobulated post. I hope this is no indication of your true mental state- they have pills for your problem you know :-)

  • spidermean2

    Sparrow wrote “you obviously have never heard of a paleontology lab, have you? “VERY FUNNY. What have your labs produced that can be usable for science? What have you discovered in that lab that can be used for practical purposes? NONE. Monkeys will still be monkeys and humans will still be humans. That’s the reality. If you think your grandparents were monkeys, then dream on. Use your mind power. Mind over matter. It might become true if you meditate harder.

  • sparrow4

    No- actually after reading your arguments (or blathering actually) spidey2, I have more respect for monkeys and their intelligence than I have for yours. FYI- Darwin never said we are descended from monkeys, just that at some point there was a common ancestor and studies of DNA – you do know what that is, right?-show both how close and how far apart we are genetically. Of course, you’ll simply deny genetics so I have no idea why I persist in holding a discussion with you.My guess is that you reject every piece of evidence I present in the name of science because you have neither the education or the mental capacity to understand what I’m talking about. In fact, you’re incapability really implies you couldn’t hold a candle to a monkey.

  • sparrow4

    “What have you discovered in that lab that can be used for practical purposes? “Knowledge has practical purpose.

  • Arminius

    So-called ‘intelligent design’ has been roundly defeated by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Obviously an intelligent designer would have done a better job. Now, the FSM is very smart, but our world has imperfections because His Noodliness was drunk when He created it. Have you been touched by His noodley appendage?

  • Notsogreatscot

    Not that there is any point to this, but Spidey wrote: “I want to know what is that specific knowledge about evolution that can be use for practical purpose. “Every time you get a flu shot you are putting practical knowledge about evolution to a practical purpose.

  • Arminius

    Notsogreatscot,Well done, sir, well done. Thank you.BTW, don’t bother with Spidey. What is left of his mind is welded shut. He will not discuss, nor even answer a question. He is a true internet troll.

  • sparrow4

    notsogreatscot – let me add my thanks to arminius’- I can’t always clearly state the scientific principles and I let spidey draw me into his wierdness too often. I was so flabbergasted that one would even question the need for knowledge it rendered me …er, at a loss for words. (and arminius can tell you how rare that is :-)!

  • stephanemot

    Back then, Palin already used canned answers to dodge the key issues : “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum”If you look at the core of the proposition, it means : stop making this teaching illegal, leave it up to the teacher.Palin is not a closet evolutionist : she is a hardcore theocon, but a careful one. After the publication of the Discovery Institute’s Wedge document, no politician can promote ID without risking his/her career.Palin perfectly illustrate the new creationist agenda : we have taken into account the failure of our Intelligent Design imposture, and we understand that we cannot be too pushy these days, but our priority is to make sure some door is somewhat opened for the next waves.The only evolution Palin will ever accept is from democracy to theocracy.

  • DuckPhup

    ARMINIUS wrote: ” I have known dozens of engineers, and each and every one, when asks what they do for a living, answer “I am [this kind of] engineer.”I’m thikin’ that if Spidey is an engineer, then it must be the kind that drives choo-choo trains.

  • Arminius

    DuckPhup,Among other eccentricities, I am a big railroad fan. The job of an engineer driving a train is – believe me – not a trivial task. So please do not insult an honorable profession by associating Spidey with it!Arminius

  • sparrow4

    I noticed. His entire life is so irrevocably invested in anger and hate and fear. He’s like a terrified child locked in a dark closet. The only thing I think of when he calls those who believe in evolution and G-d, clueless and idiots is “o ye of little faith.”

  • ksmb2

    You see, the kids in Japan, China, India, South Korea (never mind all of Western Europe and Scandinavia) who are ahead of ours in math and science don’t have these kinds of farcical intellectual burdens. American middle-school children currently rank 24th in math and science behind all those countries and then some. Tohse other countries don’t have school boards like those in Texas and Kansas trying to shove a religious view of science down the public’s throat, with nary a care as to what is going to happen to this country’s competitiveness in science over the next 25 years, as the EU and China and India emerge as the dominant powers on the globe.Intelligent Design does not have a scientific leg to stand on. That some scientists believe that All This could not have happened without a Supreme Being is fine. It is also something they cannot prove and will never be able to prove – that’s the difference between Darwin’s and Einstein’s work and the Creationists.This country needs to remember that the attempt to insert religious orthodoxy in classrooms, courtrooms, etc., is the first warning signs of fascism.Creationists can homeschool their children and tell them any nonsense they want about how we all got here and when. When those children go out into the world and find out they can’t compete with others who were taught REAL sciecne in first-rate labs, their parents can explain why. But they need to keep their bloody religious nonsense out of my child’s science classrooms.

  • SHeriger

    Although I’m a Christian, I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, when asked about the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools, said he was against it, calling it a “category mistake.” I thought that described the issue perfectly. He went on to ask why anyone of faith would want to introduce God into an environment where He is reduced to an unknowable, untestable theory. Good point. As an agnostic science teacher in a largely Christian community told his students, “I don’t need for you to believe in evolution, but I need for you to understand it.” On the other hand, I have to smile at the smugness of those who insist that the Universe and everything in it is the result of natural causes. That’s a theory as well, folks, and quite a few agnostic cosmologists and astronomers have pointed it out (Jastrow, Smoots, and others). Whatever caused or created the deterministic laws of matter isn’t something that can be studied by Science.There is currently no way of proving that the Universe had a natural cause behind it. Whatever mystery lies on the other side of the singularity we know as the Big Bang, it’s unknowable and untestable. Any claim that the Universe and its processes are the result of naturalism are based upon faith that they are, not facts. That’s a fact. As one scientist commented referring to the mystery of the origin of the cosmos: It’s an indefinable element in an undefined space, and therefore cannot be tested or proven by science. Of course this doesn’t prove the existence of God, but simply points out that the naturalist worldview cannot be proven true. If you insist that being able to observe and quantify the natural world is proof of naturalism, you’re indirectly making the claim that you know what a designed Universe would look like. Seeing as how we have a model of one to study, and we don’t know what brought it into being, you can’t possibly make that claim. So in the long run, all the argument about evolution is rather pointless. If the Universe can be shown to have come into existence through natural causes, then we can safely assume evolution is a purely natural process. Currently, we have no idea what set everything into play, which leaves open the idea that all the “natural processes” we see could have been the act of a Mind, and therefore have purpose and intent behind them. Until someone can conclusively prove that the Universe came to be through natural causes, we’re all —agnostic or believer—moving forward on faith. God, it turns out, becomes a very viable write-in candidate.

  • Dorothy1

    You have selectively omitted Palin’s response to the question when posed by the Anchorage Daily News in the run up to the Alaska Gubernatorial election. In that response Palin said both should be “taught”. She was either lying then to get votes or lying now to get votes. You do the public a disservice by letting Palin off the hook for her previous statements. You do the public a disservice by publishing her talking points instead of demanding an unscripted interview.

  • khote14

    SHeriger, you’re arguing conclusions, this is not the ID vs Evolution argument.Evolution is a scientific principle, ID is a religious principle attempting to disguise itself.The conclusions reached by the study and experimentation in the science of evolution are reached by the use of the scientific method, by understanding what falsifiability is, and so on.Also, evolution does not attempt to explain how “it all started”, that question is asked by the cosmologist, not the evolutionary biologist.

  • monel7191

    Mr Waters, your statement, “Evolution should be taught as a principle of science, not as a theory alongside others such as Creationism” displays enormous ignorance on your part in discussing whatever Mrs. Palin’s convoluted ideas on evolution are. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory. One that conforms to the processes used in the scientific method of experimentation and investigation. It is based on testable methodologies, the gathering of evidence and across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Creationism, on the other hand, is nothing more than the twisted interpretations of biblical text by some who wish to force their religious beliefs on impressionable children. Mrs. Palin is trying to use the same offhand method used by bush to persuade the American public that she is not a religious fanatic; you first act like a moderate intelligent politician until you get elected, then you shed your skin and reveal your true self.

  • Carstonio

    SHeriger,”the smugness of those who insist that the Universe and everything in it is the result of natural causes”That sounds like a straw man – I’ve never heard of any scientist making such a flat declaration of certainty. It would be more accurate to say that natural causes are more likely than “supernatural” ones. That’s because the latter involves assumptive leaps. Of course science doesn’t know everything about the origin of the universe. The issue is that science, unlike creationist religion, doesn’t claim to know. True uncertainty versus false certainty. “Whatever caused or created the deterministic laws of matter”That falsely assumes that physical laws have actual existence. Those laws are really human-created ways of classifying the order observed in the universe.”Currently, we have no idea what set everything into play, which leaves open the idea that all the ‘natural processes’ we see could have been the act of a Mind, and therefore have purpose and intent behind them.”The objective of theorizing is to explain observations. A Mind-type theory makes assumptions about a Mind’s existence and motives. That greatly reduces the likelihood of the theory being true, because it collapses without the assumptions. We have no evidence for such a Mind, so any theories about it amount to baseless speculation.”God, it turns out, becomes a very viable write-in candidate. “The point is that we don’t need a write-in candidate at all. When confronted with an unexplainable event, it’s intellectually irresponsible to make baseless assumptions about causes. That suggests that there is some desperate need to have an answer. It’s like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle by filling in the missing pieces with putty. There’s nothing wrong with having no explanation at all for the universe’s existence.

  • Carstonio

    The problem with the “both sides” concept is that it falsely treats one religion’s creation story as the only alternative to evolution. It amounts to a disguised favoritism toward one religion at the expense of others, something that no religion should have in public schools.

  • jaho

    McCain/Hagee ’08

  • Yankee_Lady

    If we are going to teach Christian creationism in the academic environment “alongside evolution” then we need to remove Native American “Mythology” from the English classroom and teach it alongside as well. We can add to this list once we get going.

  • kengelhart

    “the Universe and everything in it is the result of natural causes”That sounds like a God attribution to me. Or is it “mother” nature? Every explanation we have for natural causes ends up in the supernatural realm. Do scientists stop theorizing about black holes, quarks and string because these things are beyond the evidence available to us. No. We extrapolate from the evidence we have to what is missing in order to unify the whole. The problem with conventional religion is that it no longer has any connection to the available evidence. History tells us these kind of beliefs atrophy after a while. In the present case, a long while, and the conservatives become increasingly militant as their way of life disappears over generations.

  • deanmorris_nyc

    PALIN: “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. “Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”sure, talk! debate! both sides! healthy! but only because your agenda is the underdog. discussions about abortion, contraception, homosexuals, or other issues outside the far-right should be stonewalled or destroyed.and if she says that others do that and shouldn’t, then she and i agree!

  • kengelhart

    “Are there schools with government minders rapping students on the head with knockers when they deviate from the prescribed dogma?”Maybe not. You have to be very careful how you treat students. The same is not true of teachers. For decades teachers have be subjected to extreme restrictions in their content and “style.” Teachers who do not conform to these restrictions can no longer be found in the education system anywhere. They say this is due to “liberal” fanatics in the school system, but this is not liberal behavior. It is tyrannical conservative behavior by those whose ideas are trapped in the past and who are afraid of the bureaucratic forces around them. This is why education is in the sorry state it is in and continues to deteriorate.

  • Jihm

    Perhaps if Palin were to see an image of Charles Darwin on a burnt tortilla?

  • jamesmoylan

    Creationists are fools.”There is a block of individuals who have proven to have superior survival skills- wouldn’t their children, display in numbers, some of these skills? Or their children’s children?”My God (deliberate irony) but there are some idiots in this world. If you want to argue against a theory then, please please please, at least take the time to understand what you are arguing about.For several decades during the century before last there was a heated argument about “the inheritance of acquired traits”Last century several hundred thousand experiments by several hundred thousand scientists put this matter to bed.Because these critics are not really interested in science at all they will grasp at any straw and argue any argument up to and including “God made it so”.I don’t bother trying to argue against these silly straw man arguments anymore. The people who are advancing them have no interest in my answer – only in enslaving me within a medieval mind set that they would like to see imposed upon every member of our species.PS – it’s pretty much only in America that this argument is being made. Most other parts of the world have entered the 21st century.

  • ravitchn

    Evolution is the product of scientific thinking. Creationism is the product of a diseased Semitic primitive mind. Take your choice.

  • MGT2

    To jamesmoylan:Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were creationists…were they fools?

  • jamesmoylan

    “Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were creationists…were they fools?”Both are well known biologists!The answer – if they believed that “God made it so” then yes – they are fools.But they didn’t – this is just another piece of BS.Isaac Newton? Well it’s a bit difficult to believe in a theory that hasn’t been quantified or put forward yet. As for Einstein? Best use his own words.Einstein: “the man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events — provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equality for social or moral religion.” (As quoted in Jammer 1999:80)So let’s not have any more of this BS eh?

  • jrubin1

    I am curious how the principals of Intelligent Design plays to the principals of conception?My problem is in the word itself, in other words, what is conception. Is it when the Sperm breaks the Egg? Is it when the cells start dividing? Is it when the cell division attaches itself to the womb? Is it when the cells finally start creating a form that looks like us?See the problem with the word conception is that there is no real definition to the word for most who profess it. For if there was they would not be able to describe it in scientific form because they belief only in Intelligent Design which does not have a definition.Ironic isn’t it?

  • MGT2

    To Jamesmoylan:Yes, let Einstein speak: “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”However, it would also seem that Einstein was not an atheist, since he also complained about being put into that camp: “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” “I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”Here are some other famous scientists who mattered and who also believed:Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)Would you like to hear them speak as well? Or are they all fools?

  • jamesmoylan

    “Here are some other famous scientists who mattered and who also believed:Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)As for your list (above) i still don’t see your point. More than half of those indicated lived and died before the theory of evolution was coherently formulated. (And yes – Mendel and Planck were fools. They got almost everything wrong!)I note that every scientist that you mention is long dead and died many years before evolution was an accepted scientific fact. Put up some names of scientists from the modern era if you want to be taken seriously.I say that evolution is a fact because it can be proven in much the same way as gravity can be proven. We call it ‘the theory of gravity’ because that is a requirement of the scientific method. The ‘theory of evolution’ is as solid a reality as gravity.

  • MGT2

    To Jamesmoylan:Just in case you did not read (or understand)the quote, here is a portion: “The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.” Notice his standard for “even the most intelligent human being toward God.” Notice also that that very standard implies, as Einstein believed, that someone must be responsible. He was very much aware of the theory of evolution.As for the other scientists, if it were not for them, who knows where science would be today? They matter.

  • 1950democrat

    I will be glad when Palin learns or chooses to express herself a little more succinctly and clearly. Perhaps she could ask her father the science teacher, to summarize his policies of teaching evolution in science class and allowing some discussion of other views — or, more likely, discussion of the view that most religious people hold, that evolution is the mechanism but God has a hand in it.Or maybe she needs to write her own summary at leisure and post it on her own site, instead of relying on interviewers to quote her correctly.

  • MGT2

    Jamesmoylan,Thanks for that thesis. My point was never whether creationism is science…I do not believe that it is. This is an unnecessary debate that too often devolve into ad hominems. Folks are not “fools” just because they do not share our views. Like Einstein, there are credible scientists today who believe in the principles of science and also believe in God.

  • agolembe

    What Palin believes is that she must say anything to win this election.

  • jamesmoylan

    “Folks are not “fools” just because they do not share our views.”

  • ravitchn

    The Bible needs to be taught, but according to the standards of scientific history, not sectarian belief. Were the Bible taught according to the standards of biblical scholarship it would be clear that most of it is myth.

  • fzdybel

    Forget Creationism. Forget Mumble Design. Instead, teach the HS Seniors a survey course in current research on evolutionary theory. The so-called weaknesses are what scientists regard as current topics of research. The course would have to be somewhat a “culture” course, i.e. a watered-down version of the 80 proof seminar courses served up at university. After all , it has to be taught by the teachers we’ve got. But there is no doubt that suitable curriculum could be prepared to treat the “weaknesses” in Evolution’s current models. It should include accounts of what open questions about evolution are being pursued, by whom, and how.Of course, you’ll need to teach the kids a little more math than what we currently seem to regard as adequate. That would certainly be all to the good! Students aren’t up to it? Balderdash. Ask and they’ll give. What was I hearing about the bigotry of low expectations?

  • spidermean2

    Truths are easily understood because they can be tested. Evolution has existed for 150 years already and yet scientists are still divided about it. WHY? Because it’s an IDIOTIC doctrine.Only IDIOTS believe in evolution. The best way to know if a person is a fool or not is to ask if he/she believes in evolution. If he/she answers YES, there’s no doubt about it. That person is a GENUINE IDIOT. Don’t you guys know that no evolutionist can make a seed of any kind even if you give them the complete array of elements found in the periodic table? Don’t you guys know that not a single seed found in nature can evolve into another seed?IDIOTS!!

  • jafrasch

    To be fair then, Sunday school teachers must also teach evolution. The priest in his Sunday sermon must also say that Jesus the son of God evolved from the ape that got the forgiveness gene and not the selfish gene. The priest will have to explain that the physiology of spiritual insemination could provide difficulties for preventative sex education because should we produce a plethora of holy and sanctified girls (read virgins), these girls will by Republican leadership be forced to hide the fact that they had sex and got impregnated by God should the occasion arise—lest they be found guilty of blasphemy (I suppose then we will have to burn them at the stake). In fact a holy mother would provide a serious problem for the religious because the entire beliefs of Christ were counter to the teachings of Judaism and thus Mary could easily have been killed for failing to deny God—God’s right to inseminate whoever and whenever is probably not part of legal studies at our Universities either but since we have to have creation in biology—“Kids Chicks come from the rib bone of Adam then at Yale and Harvard law it will be necessary to deal with rape verse divine intercourse—in preparatory for the outcome of sexual encounter between a mortal woman and the Lord Almighty—in case she claims “rape” and demands legal action be taken and just imagine the judge—will the defendant please take the stand—would make a good play if you have a thing for the absurd.

  • spidermean2

    Fairy tales are interesting to hear especially for kids. I recommend that evolution be taught in kindergarten classes side by side with Humpty Dumpty and Jack n Jill. Zoos are found around the world but even if you wait for a million years those tigers would still be tigers and those monkeys would still be monkeys. Evolve? Evolve your idiotic brains.

  • Arminius

    A fool is one who does not accept evolution as fact. But it gets worse. Such a person is imprisoned in a box, and thinks that he has God imprisoned with him. He is too stupid to know that God is not contained, God cannot be contained. That poor individual thinks that God will throw bombs for him, and does not know that God is love, and loves all His children. Please pray for him.

  • spidermean2

    A fact is something that can be tested. What is it in evolution that was tested? NONE, IDIOTS! It’s all a “MAYBE” science. Maybe we come from monkeys because some people look like monkeys. Maybe we come from monkeys because people like Arminius think like a monkey.Maybe we come from monkeys because some Ape bones look similar to humans. Maybe, maybe , maybe. Now where are the LAB TESTS, IDIOTS?It’s the LACK OF TESTING that this theory remains the FAIRY TALE of all time beating the tale of Santa Claus.

  • spidermean2

    Doomsday is a sure thing to happen. I think it would be a silly thing if God creates something but these “somethings” act like idiots continually. They are “defective items” and naturally, any intelligent being won’t allow a defective item to be roaming around spreading its stupidity. It’s a natural thing for them to be discarded. Im sorry guys but it’s a sure thing that you folks are DOOMED.In a few years, all of you evolutionists will evolve into DUST. The FAIRY TALE WILL BE OVER SOON.

  • Arminius

    Plaza04433,You have just had a lesson on the idiocy and bigotry that is Spidey. Note that he did not answer your question – he never does, he just comes back with a hate-filled accusation and tries to change the subject.Note that I am Christian. Spidey claims to be one, but he knows nothing about the Prince of Peace. He thinks that Christianity is “Who would Jesus bomb?”.

  • spidermean2

    plaza04433, what is it in that e-coli experiment, that you present as proof, has something to do with apes and humans? The e-coli were still e-coli in that experiment. Of course they can change into another strain but they are still e-coli, idiot.What is it in the “law of segregation” which proves evolution? Heredity is a proof of creation and not evolution, idiot.Arminius, stay there. I might be convince that reverse evolution is possible. That is when humans turn to apes. You are exhibit A.

  • ScottChallenger

    Gosh, ignorance is amazing. For those having trouble with their bunson burners, religion is taught at home or in church. Creationism or intelligent design whateverr other cute or clever name disguise they use, it’s no more factual than the exitence of the toogh fairy.Evolution is by far the truest account of the human species. For those who dare the open their eyes, it is perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the history of western civilization.But that’s the problem. The brains in most religious folk tend to explode when faced with the contradiction of fact to the fantasy-based intelligent design nonsense. Just go inside the church, get taught whatever you want, and believe what they brainwash you with. Go ahead. But leave running the country and the real-world to those with actual, fact based intelligence.

  • fzdybel

    Ooooh goody, another fulminator. What about the E Coli? Well if E Coli can evolve into another strain of E Coli, then Homo Erectus can evolve into another strain of primate. That is to say, Homo Erectus can evolve into *us*.Get it? As for the zebras and the tigers in the zoo, their remote ancestors didn’t look much like them either. Don’t fret, you’re not the only one who is hampered in comprehending the effect of running the same program for hundreds of millions of years.After all, it’s only been a short time now that human beings have been able to compete for survival based on their ability to reason. Your remote descendants will do better at it.

  • FH123

    “A virus and how it infects a host is a perfect example. If you’re unlucky enough to be infected by a dangerous virus that quickly mutates and adapts to treatment, you’ll want your doctor to understand evolutionary principles.”The small changes that virus’ undergo to fight antibiotics in virtually every case make the virus weaker and the virus usually does not embrace these changes…it generally tries to return to its original more robust form. Mutations make organisms weaker in almost every instance and are a poor explanation for the diversity of life.Saying that, however, does not change the fact that based on the evidence at hand, Evolution is simply the best explanation available to us, and should be taught in our schools. Until intelligent design proponents can give us a testible model, it can’t be considered viable as science.

  • bevjims1

    ravitchn wrote: “Were the Bible taught according to the standards of biblical scholarship it would be clear that most of it is myth.”And that is why when you meet an atheist they will usually say they were brought up with religious teachings, not just attending services, but biblical studies.

  • Carstonio

    “Were the Bible taught according to the standards of biblical scholarship it would be clear that most of it is myth.”Can you offer some examples of that scholarship? My first thought was of Bart Ehrman, but I’m not sure he counts because he’s now an agnostic.”And that is why when you meet an atheist they will usually say they were brought up with religious teachings, not just attending services, but biblical studies.”Really? My own position of skepticism is somewhere between agnosticism and true atheism, and I had almost no religious upbringing – just a short time in Lutheran Sunday School.

  • fre94

    stephanemot : If you look at the core of the proposition, it means : stop making this teaching illegal, leave it up to the teacher.Palin is not a closet evolutionist : she is a hardcore theocon, but a careful one. After the publication of the Discovery Institute’s Wedge document, no politician can promote ID without risking his/her career.Palin perfectly illustrate the new creationist agenda : we have taken into account the failure of our Intelligent Design imposture, and we understand that we cannot be too pushy these days, but our priority is to make sure some door is somewhat opened for the next waves.The only evolution Palin will ever accept is from democracy to theocracy. October 4, 2008 8:23 PMBrakes tapered with, statetrooper report completed, keep building my case, thanks

  • kert1

    I don’t understand why we are talking so much about Creationism. Most people understand that Creationism is more of a scientific view of Creation. There is some science in it but is more of a religious belief.The argument that most people are having is about Intelligent Design. This is purely scientific and does not deal with any religion or personal belief system directly. This theory can comfortable be taught as an alternative theory to Evolution. How you do that is a different story.I am amazed that most people are still stuck on Creationism in sciece since most of it’s proponents have moved on. I think people still harp on Creationism because they know Intelligent Design is an argument they can’t win. Let’s remind people that Intelligent Design is theories have plenty of Science behind them and we don’t need to teach Creationism.

  • jimmykraktov

    You guys are well above my pay grade on this. I read an article about a year (maybe longer) ago in the NYTimes that said that there has never been proven that there is a link between home erectus and homo sapien. That was the first that I, an avid reader of 58 years, had heard that would challenge ‘evolution’. Comment?

  • fre94

    stephanemot : “Back then, Palin already used canned answers to dodge the key issues : “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum”If you look at the core of the proposition, it means : stop making this teaching illegal, leave it up to the teacher.Palin is not a closet evolutionist : she is a hardcore theocon, but a careful one. After the publication of the Discovery Institute’s Wedge document, no politician can promote ID without risking his/her career.Palin perfectly illustrate the new creationist agenda : we have taken into account the failure of our Intelligent Design imposture, and we understand that we cannot be too pushy these days, but our priority is to make sure some door is somewhat opened for the next waves.The only evolution Palin will ever accept is from democracy to theocracy.” October 4, 2008 8:23 PMBrakes tapered with, statetrooper report completed, keep building my case, thanks

  • spidermean2

    fzdybel wrote ” Silly spidey, the ants are cellular automata. The issue of intelligence doesn’t even arise. “I hope we can have a simple experiment here. Let’s put a tiny piece of bread somewhere in a given area. Use your “cellular automata” and try to compete with the ants to search for that bread. Arminius, idiots flock together and whoever you ally yourself with, Im sure that guy is an idiot. It’s understandable that you like fzdybel very well.

  • timscanlon

    Creationists better be careful what they wish for. If they manage to cram their ludicrous fiction into science classes, the rest of us will insist that our made up stories get taught too. We’ll have a good time with equally stupid fictional beliefs.

  • spidermean2

    Which one sound more like fiction?a) God created the universe.b) The universe just formed itself. The “dusty universe” formed all intelligent beings from plants to animals and humans. In other words, a loud explosion (the big bang) was responsible for creating man. The “no-brain” created the “brain”.IDIOTS!!

  • persiflage

    Kert – please list your proofs of Intelligent Design & do not include initial conditions and/or universal constants. These do not constitute proof of ID. While it is true that tolerances for these primal elements is very close indeed, this again does not constitute ‘proof’ of a creative intelligence at work – while there may be, but there is certainly nothing that constitutes empirical proof by scientific standards. This is exactly why there are currently no credible astro-physicists supporting Intelligent Design in their cosmological preferences. ID is also different from the anthropic view of cosmology, which attributes purpose to the cosmos without specifying a creative intelligence or design. Even this position is widely disputed as being teleological – attributing purpose after the fact. Nevertheless, some physicists do hold to this ‘weak’ anthropic position.

  • webg

    Someone here wrote, “Which one sounds more like fiction? a) God created the universe, b) The universe just formed itself. The dusty universe formed all intelligent beings from plants to animals and humans…”Well, the ability of stellar matter obeying physical laws to organize itself into increasingly complex structures (lifeforms) through mutation and natural selection is pretty well established, and we’re learning the chemical and biological mechanisms by which this happens. Creationism (as opposed to evolution) is bust.What’s amazing though is that the universe exists at all, and also that our brains are conscious and able to experience qualitative sensations (“pain hurts”). If anything demonstrates God’s existence it’s not the evolution of life from inanimate matter. It’s the fact that the universe and its physical laws exist at all, and that we are conscious. Science is not equipped to answer these questions. They lie in the realm of philosophy and religion. This particular philosopher believes that all these factors indicate the existence of a creative transcendent force, like God. To dispute this is a legitimate philosophical position, but not a scientific one.

  • akula

    Dear FretMy objection applies to ID as well. If ‘designer’ introduced complexity into the world, who produced complexity in the designer? Why do you call this explanation for the emergence of complexity rather than hiding from the question?

  • akula

    Sry the preceding post is addressed to Kert1

  • knivesanddemons

    You forget, Spidermean, that Jesus was an idiot too. Dude was raised in a desert and thought he was the son of God. So the guy who created the universe had a son so he could kill the son so he could be nicer? You are no Einstein yourself there, bucko.

  • lohengrin

    I am surprised that Mr. Waters took that one line comment of Palin seriously. She was just babbling talking points. In fact, I would be surprised if Palin has spent more than 30 minutes in her entire life thinking about this issue. She exhibits an incurious mind that never gave any thought to the major governing issues of the day, even though she is a politician. The attempt to infer deep philosophic principles from her one line of talking point reminds of me the medieval theologians spending their lives trying to compute the number of angels sitting on a needle point from the Bible.

  • brunodosca

    “two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.” “Does that seem so difficult?”Yes, if one form of true say the world is 13.7 billion years old and the other form says it is 6 thousand years old. Seems difficult to complement…

  • brunodosca

    It seems that when we are in danger even the creationists accept evolution. When the avian flu crisis why Bush and many others made comments about how fast the virus mutate to become resistant, etc instead of saying “woow, how well design is this virus!”Is there any creationist who can answer this: Did God created/designed the avian flu virus?May be as a punishment for the chiken sinners!

  • jamesmoylan

    Persiflage -You are entirely correct but unfortunately you are preaching to the choir because a fool like spidey just won’t understand what you are talking about. In a reply to a similar article several months ago I tried to explain the concept that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny but all I got was drooling idiocy in reply.In my opinion the best thing is to only reply to genuine requests for information and then keep the simple and provide it patiently. Remember a lot of these people have been brainwashed with a load of tripe for most of their lives.

  • jamesmoylan

    kert1:I don’t understand why we are talking so much about Creationism. Most people understand that Creationism is more of a scientific view of Creation. There is some science in it but is more of a religious belief.The argument that most people are having is about Intelligent Design. This is purely scientific and does not deal with any religion or personal belief system directly. This theory can comfortable be taught as an alternative theory to Evolution. How you do that is a different story.I am amazed that most people are still stuck on Creationism in sciece (sic) since most of it’s proponents have moved on. I think people still harp on Creationism because they know Intelligent Design is an argument they can’t win. Let’s remind people that Intelligent Design is theories have plenty of Science behind them and we don’t need to teach Creationism.

  • lgaide

    I would have no problem with Creationism being taught in school. I think the perfect class would be “Comparative Creation Myths”. This would be a class which teaches the creation myths of many religions, Christianity, Hinduisn, Islam, Shintoism, Budhism, etc., etc., etc.The idea that God created the heavens and the earth can be taught right alongside the belief that the earth exists on the back of a giant turtle, swimming through the universe.

  • Arminius

    jamesmoylan said,”ID is a crock of sh**.My reply: Bingo, 10 points, move to the head of the class. ID is the wolf of creationism in sheep’s clothing. Loved your comment on the methodology – reminds me of that sad pseudo-religion, astrology.By the way, I am a believer – a liberal one.

  • southpaugh

    Scientific tenets classified as truth are based on verifiable, repeatable facts proven by the scientific method and subsequently challenged by the peer review process. Scientific facts are verified as true. Religious tenets are the product of tradition and rely on faith for their authority. Faith is a belief that is not based on proof. Belief without proof is merely opinion. Evolution is verified scientific fact which enjoys continuing evidentiary verification. Creationism and Intelligent Design are not and shall never be verifiable fact. For all its virtues, any religious tenet is no more than opinion. The number of people who hold an opinion is immaterial to its actual status as truth. Teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design as if they were similar to scientific thought proves a fundamental ignorance of what science is all about.“We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different… forms of” thought.

  • Notsogreatscot

    Hi Astoria – several responses follow.Astoria wrote: “Now, this has occurred to me before-Why haven’t mutations and handicaps not been bred out? I mean- why is the scientific assumption that the variations and selections be positive?” Reread the observation – “beneficial characteristics” in this context are those that help the organism to survive long enough to reproduce. Characteristics that prevent an organism from surviving to reproduce obviously don’t get passed on to offspring. Astoria also wrote: “Shouldn’t there be some observable trends in 150 years to support this theory? If the beneficial traits are passed on- why don’t we see a spike in the intelligence levels of people?”This assumes that intelligence is the only factor that influences whether or not we survive to reproduce. As a scientist – I am all for the “nerds are sexy” argument, but realistically there are other factors that come into play.

  • spidermean2

    webg wrote “Well, the ability of stellar matter obeying physical laws to organize itself into increasingly complex structures (lifeforms) through mutation and natural selection is pretty well established, and we’re learning the chemical and biological mechanisms by which this happens. Creationism (as opposed to evolution) is bust.”Well, that statement is clearly an idiotic claim. If that is true, man will live forever and there’s no more death. The idiocy of these evolutionists are surprising. Their stupidity seems infinite.

  • ASTORIA

    NOTSOGREATSCOTT- So, if we are strengthening these survior (as a side note)When I look at George Bush 43- I wonder if there is a correlating de-evolution process. :) JAMES MOYLAN- well thanks for your apology- they are rare here, sweetpotatopie- but I have no interest in rhetorical questions- and dislike the sneakiness of their placement- but, I have to say- I am not going to do your homework for you to prove your own point to myself- your statement- This is exactly my complaint about the explanations about evolution.

  • spidermean2

    fzdybel “Well if E Coli can evolve into another strain of E Coli, then Homo Erectus can evolve into another strain of primate.”Who said so? In science and engineering, you don’t make such a lousy conclusion.you said “After all, it’s only been a short time now that human beings have been able to compete for survival based on their ability to reason.”Oh really? Humans still eat fruits, meat and vegetables. What kind of reason is needed to do such a very simple task? Rationalizing how to plant a tree or climb a tree? Or is it how to eat using our teeth? Only idiots have that kind of problem. Have you figured it out already how ants find their food? In a given area, i’ll bet that ants would find a small piece of bread faster than you would. Now who’s more intelligent if that’s the case? idiot.

  • spidermean2

    fzdybel wrote “Well if E Coli can evolve into another strain of E Coli, then Homo Erectus can evolve into another strain of primate.”Who said so? In science and engineering, you don’t make such a lousy conclusion.you said “After all, it’s only been a short time now that human beings have been able to compete for survival based on their ability to reason.”Oh really? Humans still eat fruits, meat and vegetables. What kind of reason is needed to do such a very simple task? Rationalizing how to plant a tree or climb a tree? Or is it how to eat using our teeth? Only idiots have that kind of problem. Have you figured it out already how ants find their food? In a given area, i’ll bet that ants would find a small piece of bread faster than you would. Now who’s more intelligent if that’s the case? idiot.

  • fzdybel

    Silly spidey, the ants are cellular automata. The issue of intelligence doesn’t even arise.And while primates have been killing each other since times primeval, only lately do they employ such sophisticated means as require, for example, to support the entirely abstract penetration of Quantum Mechanics. That is what I mean. Increasingly, our survival will depend on our ability to reason about what is quite beyond our direct experience or comprehension. You can chart the rise of this with the development of the first algebras.Cheerio, silly little name-caller. Or should I say: “idiot?”

  • Arminius

    fzdybe,Calling Spidey ‘Idiot’ does him credit. He is filled with hatred and bigotry, and walks in darkness. In a long life, I have never run across a more ignorant person.

  • fzdybel

    “We could combine the Science of Economics, World Religions (VooDoo), American Free to Me Market Capitalism, and Sex Education into a great 21st Century Cultural Survey course.”Look for it in the high schools as an American History unit for Sophomores by 2090 at the latest, if we make it that far. The post-grads will get it much earlier than that, like any year now, and from there it will “trickle down.” At that far remove when this stuff is taught in HS, there will be much amusement when the etymology of that fine phrase is explained, I predict. The kids probably won’t get much more out of it than the present day lot get out of studying the Medieval Era.

  • ASTORIA

    Spiderman- That is my theory of the evolution of cats. SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH!

  • spidermean2

    EUREKA !!!, I FOUND IT !!I always think that evolutionists are stupid. As an engineer, Im puzzled to think how dogs and cats evolved from “lower” forms of animals. First how do they classify a “lower form” of animal? Is the mosquito lower than the dog? I’ve seen mosquitos feeding off from dogs by sipping their blood. Which one among the two ranks higher then from the evolutionists’ point of view?This is a very simple question but I hope evolutionists should also start working on this one. How did dogs and cats evolved? Did they evolved from rats? I hope they can make a diagram similar to how they made drawings how man evolved from apes. Also please figure out how dogs started to bark? What is the evolution of their barking?Im sure they don’t have an asnwer for these questions. Who should we blame then? Their ape ancestors ? How did it happen that the so called “common ancestor” produced a talking descendant (human) and at the same time another descendant which cannot speak (apes) ? Was the “common ancestor” mumbling like a 1 year old baby (babakawabongga) ? Which one is dumber , the ape or the “common ancestor? You know what? Just by asking these simple questions, I think I’ve discovered the “common ancestors”. They are supposed to be the link between man and ape. They are dumber than man but smarter than apes. The “common ancestors” are the EVOLUTIONISTS. They are unusually DUMBER than the average thinking man and slightly more intelligent than apes. EUREKA !!!, I FOUND IT !!

  • persiflage

    Astoria/Victoria – you seem doubtful about the reality of the evolutionary process. Here’s my two cents concerning the presence of genetic anomalies and failure to resist microrganisms. I’m no expert and not even a hobbiest when it comes to genetics. Nature does not by intent create super-races that evolve super-resistent auto-immune systems free from these flaws -looks like we’ll have to do that ourselves (not anytime soon, we hope). Over the next million years this could happen though – if we survive our psychic flaws (another matter altogether). Micro-organisms mutate at a rate far beyond our systems’s capacity to effectively resist by typically slow biologically adaptive processes. However, our auto-immune systems do very well indeed, if we keep our white count up (and we get our innoculations and flu shots). One big danger is when our own AI response turns on it’s owner (you and me). We know those malevolent syndromes well. Serious genetic anomalies that are associated with chromosomal defects affecting reproductive capacity are by and large fairly rare in large populations (some very rare indeed). Many with serious genetic flaws do not reproduce, and are statistically insignifant numbers-wise in terms of tainting gene pools – just my uneducated guess as a non-geneticist. These genetic abberations don’t disappear because they don’t much matter to the survival of our species (which at 6 billion strong, is growing geometically apace, if my distant memories of Malthusian theory serves me right). It would seem that modern man has not changed externally/structurally all that much since homo sapiens sapiens made his appearance over 100,000 years ago – the quality of cognition and consciousness may have changed, as we see in the evolution of human culture itself – and that is probably a co-mutual process. For an interesting theorem of critical cognitive change processes and emerging self-awareness see Julian Jaynes – ‘The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind’. This huge development could have happened within the last 5000 years, according to Jaynes. Anyway, we could all be wrong about this stuff…..Astoria, do you have other ideas that would replace or enhance evolutionary theory and natural selection? Spidey – read a book….or don’t engineers with your job specifications ever do any light reading just for fun and personal enlightenment? By the way, what are your job specifications??regards -

  • spidermean2

    persiflage wrote “Nature does not by intent create super-races that evolve super-resistent auto-immune systems free from these flaws -looks like we’ll have to do that ourselves (not anytime soon, we hope). Over the next million years this could happen though.Are you a magician? What is your basis for that MILLION YEARS forecast? You’re a funny man. Are you a comedian?

  • spidermean2

    BAN SHORTSELLING !! The stock market is shooting downward. Naturally, everybody should be saddened. But NO, not everyone. Who are these people? Who are they who profit from this downturn. It’s the SHORTSELLERS. The government should realize that shortselling DEFIES NATURAL SCIENCE. It is an ABNORMALITY. Nobody should be allowed to sell things that are not theirs. THIS IS THE CANCER THAT IS PLAGUING the stock market. It defies science and anything that defies science is HARMFUL. We are now reaping the bad fruits which SHORTSELLING sowed.When a house is burning, everybody should grieve. If you see somebody who’s overjoyed, Im sure HE/SHE IS THE ARSONIST. Shortsellers are the only people who are overjoyed now. For as long as the “arsonists” are at large, people’s money are NOT safe. LOCK THEM (shortsellers) UP BEFORE MORE HOUSES WOULD BURN. For as long as they are around, our money will not be safe in the bank. LOCK THEM UP SOON OR THE FIRE WON’T STOP.These bailouts cannot continue forever. These water hoses would soon dry up. Stop the fire from it’s source — the SHORTSELLERS.

  • spidermean2

    LET THEM BECOME USELESS (Taliban’s rifles and land mines)Obama was complaining why our military were air-raiding the vilages infested with Taliban and suggest that they do the raid by foot.NO WONDER WE HAVE RISING AMERICAN CASUALTIES IN AFGHANISTAN. Obama and Bush should be held accountable for the rising American casualties.More Americans could die in Afghanistan if Obama becomes president. Like George Bush, this man is an AMATEUR. The life of an American soldier is more precious than a hundred taliban sympathizers. The talibans’ shoulder weapons and mines are useless in the face of an air-raid. LET THEM BECOME USELESS. Don’t send foot soldiers. ONLY PLANES.

  • persiflage

    Astoria/Victoria – how well I remember the Twilight Zone. Never missed it. Interesting how that genre of programming has made a re-appearance in a big way, but with more psychic and horror sci fi twists. I watch TV but not with the same enthusiasm of 40 years ago – much less the transcendent joy of the early days back in the 50′s! TZ host/producer Rod Serling was one of a kind but alas, smoked one too many cigarettes….which is what got him in the end. I was always glad to have been young at that time in history – being young today invokes no envy from this old timer! PS. I always enjoy other people’s cats……

  • ASTORIA

    GreatScott- so evolution has outlived it’s usefulness? Agentorange- Thanks for the effort (I guess). This Estimate of the Mutation Rate on Nucloetides in Humans- While certainly impressive- I don’t know what the frenchy french the charts signify- or what impact it has anyway. It said we should see a large decrease in the relative fitness in some form, and then goes on to say that from this study a deiterious mutation is likely. What is NS? “The details is where the logical explanations arise though. OK by me- what are they? Logical explanation I can live with. Modern humans and backwards- that seems the logical step to work backwards from modern man. This nylon eating bacteria- are you suggesting that nature is evolving and adapting to modern inventions and intrusions on its environment? Please speak to me as if you were speaking to a very very simpleminded child.

  • agentorange20

    Astoria,”Has anyone her actually read Darwin’s The Origin of the Species?”Yes, and on audio books (which is free BTW), apparently you’ve not read it though.Even Charles himself prefaces his own work with doubting questions, and points out his own weaknesses in his own theories thoughout the work.”Ugggggh. Darwin, like all good scientists thought it would make sense to list and define the most objectionable reasons how one could refute his theory of evolution via natural selection. Having doubts is natural, he’s being skeptical about his own view and draws out how one could refute his theory. Part of this outlining of objections was to then deliver the solution to such objections, one instance is with reference to the evolution of the eye. He in the beginning begged how it seemed entirely impossible….unless, the eye were to evolve along short and successive changes. It was like a figurative sucker punchSo far, 150 years later, it’s still going strong. And FYI, Einstein and plenty of other well reputable scientists have at times doubted their own ideas.