Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): An Anti-Science Legislator Who Serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

In August, Todd Akin—Republican candidate for the US Senate from Missouri—got into hot water with his party and became the “laughing stock of the planet” for remarks that he made about how women who are “legitimately raped” rarely get pregnant. Akin said the following during an interview on KTVI-TV:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. . . But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Writing for Wired, Brandon Kleim said of Akin:

Aside from the sheer biological ludicrousness of Todd Akin’s ideas on female physiology, one unsettling subplot to the debacle is his presence on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

That’s right: A man who, to put it gently, ignores what science tells us about how babies are made, helps shape the future of science in America. It would be shocking, but for the fact that many of the committee’s GOP members have spent the last several years displaying comparable contempt for climate science.

Kleim also wrote about other Republicans on the committee who seem to show a contempt for science and scientists:

The committee’s chair, Ralph Hall (R-Texas), lumps “global freezing” together with global warming, which he doesn’t believe humans can significantly impact because “I don’t think we can control what God controls.” Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) thinks cutting down trees reduces levels of greenhouse gases they absorb. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) still trots out the debunked notion that a scientific consensus existed in the 1970s on “global cooling,” which he portrays as a scare concocted by scientists “in order to generate funds for their pet projects.”

‘We ought to have some believable science.’

Dan Benishek (R-Michigan) strikes that climate-scientists-as-charlatans note, dismissing contemporary research as “all baloney. I think it’s just some scheme.” Paul Broun (R-Georgia) says that “Scientists all over this world say that the idea of human-induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community.”

For the rest of this post, I’ll focus on Rep. Paul Broun, the chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Broun doesn’t just think that the “scientific community” has perpetrated a hoax about climate change—he also thinks scientists have made up lies about evolution, the age of planet Earth, the Big Bang Theory, and embryology…and that those lies come “straight from the pit of Hell.”

During a speech that Broun gave at the 2012 Sportsman’s Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia on September 27th, he said this:

God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

In his speech, Broun claimed that as a legislator he takes direction from the Bible:

And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.

He continued:

Our Constitution was written by men that believed that! And in fact, the Constitution’s written on Biblical principles — in fact, the three branches of government come right from Isaiah, Isaiah 33:22, go look it up!

From Wonkette:

In an inexorable speech that is available in full on YouTube (but which we will mercifully summarize), Broun attributes his 2007 election to the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ, shows slides of a Kodiak bear and a lion that he heroically shot, and tells a story about heroically shooting another lion in the face, explaining that “God directed that bullet, because if I’d missed, that lion would have been in the back of the truck with me and I’d have been clawed to death.” He even tells a story about his heroic deployment to Afghanistan for 31 days earlier this year as a member of the Naval Reserve, where he saw an Afghan soldier who’d been seriously injured by an IED but survived somehow. And what those awful injuries reminded him of, said Broun, was that the Bible tells us that human beings are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Broun knows this “as a physician,” and this line from Psalm 139:14 somehow proves that evolution is fake.

But did he learn that in college, or in med school? No. He was taught that

we all came from a ‘Big Bang,’ and we were trained in all this stuff about evolution…what I was taught in college and medical school and even high school that we went ‘from Goo to Zoo to You.’ And I believed that.

Phil Plait of Discover Magazine’s Bad Astronomy blog wrote in his post The US Congress Anti-Science Committee that Broun sits on the committee with other anti-science legislators—including Akin—whom “the Republican majority placed on that committee. Men who think global warming is a fantasy. Men who think women have magic vaginas. Men who think the Earth is thousands, not billions, of years old.”

Kind of scary, don’t you think, that we have legislators like Broun who have little respect for science serving on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology?

NOTE: One might think that a man who is so anti-science may not be an educated person—but that is far from the truth. Braun graduated from the University of Georgia in 1967 with a B.S. in Chemistry—and in, 1971, he received his Medical Doctor degree from the Medical College of Georgia.


Paul Broun: Evolution, Big Bang ‘Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell’ (Huffington Post)

The US Congress Anti-Science Committee (Discover Magazine)

Republican Senate Nominee: Victims Of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant (TPM 2012)

Todd Akin and the Anti-Science House Science Committee (Wired)

Video shows ‘scientist’ in Congress saying evolution is from ‘pit of Hell’ (NBC News)

Rep. Paul Broun, High Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science: Evolution, Big Bang Theory ‘Lies Straight from the Pit of Hell’ (Gawker)

Hero Rep. Paul Broun Takes Bible-Based Stand Against Hell-Spawned Lies of ‘Science’ (Wonkette)

Wingnut Watch: Paul Broun Says Progressives Trying to ‘Destroy America’ (Rolling Stone)

Members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

123 thoughts on “Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): An Anti-Science Legislator Who Serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

  1. Elaine,

    I’m really glad you choose to write about Broun and his merry gang of scientific illiterates. I was reading about him yesterday (specifically the Bad Astronomy blog). Quite honestly it made my head want to explode that the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight is filled with a bunch of zealous anti-science Luddites like these maroons.

    It’s a national embarrassment and their appointments to this committee should be reviewed immediately.

  2. Gene,

    I was having a difficult time trying to choose a topic to write about this weekend. Then I read an article on Huffington Post about Broun and that speech he gave. I knew I had to do a post about him and the House Science Committee.

    And people wonder why American kids don’t fare as well as they should on standardized science tests????? Broun and those who think as he does about science should definitely share in the blame!

  3. NOTE: One might think that a man who is so anti-science may not be an educated person—but that is far from the truth. Braun graduated from the University of Georgia in 1967 with a B.S. in Chemistry—and in, 1971, he received his Medical Doctor degree from the Medical College of Georgia.
    A study not far back revealed that the more educated neoCons are the less likely they are to believe scientific matters than conflict with their world view.

  4. Dredd,

    Could it be, perhaps, that the “more educated neocons” want to keep their constitutents ignorant of science (climate change, evolution, reproduction) for political reasons?

  5. I think of him as a wing nut rather than a neocon. Right after Obama was elected he said that Obama was going to set up a marxist dictatorship.

  6. Elaine M. 1, October 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm


    Could it be, perhaps, that the “more educated neocons” want to keep their constitutents ignorant of science (climate change, evolution, reproduction) for political reasons?
    Yes, it could be, because that would be another indicator that they are psychopaths.

  7. Therein lies the whole problem with the country. How do you deal with someone who refuses to even consider scientific evidence? Then when you add on the insanity that your way is to only way and any other way is socialism, communism, sharia, whatever and anyone who disagrees with you must be all those things and must be destroyed

    What you end up with is one party that is no longer grounded in reality and refuses to be even a small bit reasonable. The nation suffers because of morons like this & the idiots who elect them. I don’t mind that they are destroying themselves but they insist on taking us with them.

  8. Excellent job Elaine. This excuse for a doctor is not only wrong, he is not alone in his crazy ideas. If Jesus was responsible for his election then how does he explain Obamas election?

  9. Elaine, Good post. I am tired of politicians and regular people rejecting science. However, you should know this pathology is not limited to idealogues on the right. I have a friend who lives in the Bay area. She’s a pediatric intensive care doc @ Lucile Packard Stanford Hospital. Karen has a daughter who just became school age. She is shocked @ the number of supposedly intelligent, progressive people who don’t get their kids vaccinated. They have been sold junk science that has been proven fraudulent. However, they just dig their heels in and refuse to vacccinate their kids.

  10. How do morons like this get elected? Do they promise their constituents to protect them from science and knowledge at all costs and then the similarly twisted sheep clamor to the polls to put yet another Republican lunatic (please pardon the redundancy) in office? It’s more than scary. These people are dangerous to the country.

  11. Another thought:

    I don’t recall ever seeing the national Republican Party withhold or threaten to withhold campaign financial support for this guy as they did when Akins spoke what they all believe but aren’t permitted to say in public. One has to assume they send him plenty of money to continue to spew his garbage beliefs.

  12. Abraham Lincoln could have solved the problem so easily by just letting the South go its merry way. Of course, we’d have another whole set of problems to deal with.

  13. nick,

    More kids skip school shots in 8 states
    By Mike Stobbe, Associated Press

    ATLANTA – More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren’t getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.

    That growing trend among parents seeking vaccine exemptions has health officials worried about outbreaks of diseases that once were all but stamped out.

    The AP analysis found more than half of states have seen at least a slight rise in the rate of exemptions over the past five years. States with the highest exemption rates are in the West and Upper Midwest…

    Exemption seekers are often middle-class, college-educated white people, but there are often a mix of views and philosophies. Exemption hot spots like Sedona, Ariz., and rural northeast Washington have concentrations of both alternative medicine-preferring as well as government-fearing libertarians.


    I think many young parents have never seen children who have become extremely ill, suffered the aftereffects of, or died from a serious communicable disease–because most of our children have been vaccinated over the years. I lived through the polio epidemic during the 1950s. Those were scary times for parents and children. I still vividly remember getting my first polio inoculation at City Hall in the city where I grew up. Jonas Salk was a big hero in those days. He refused to apply for a patent on his vaccine. When he was asked who owned the patent, he replied, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

  14. ah, nick, vaccinations don’t prevent disease, they are a fraud. for one thing, the impurities in the vaccine are a problem, especially the mercury which is a deliberate impurity. a fairly recent outbreak of measles in the midwest hit mostly vaccinated kids. documentation has recently become available that shows that the big pharma has known for decades about the dangers of the mmr vaccine. hitting infants with up to 30 different shots w/in their first years totally screws up their natural immune system. if i had kids i’d have them on a healthy diet that would give them strong immune systems and refuse all vaccinations that would tend to destroy their natural immune system.

  15. Elaine,
    One of my earliest memories is my mother making my brother do his leg exercises because he had a mild case of polio. He recovered with no problems, but my cousin had a bad case and she is still in braces. Salk was a superhero in his day.

  16. I have my suspicions…. But, I’d bet G.W. BUSHIT appointed him to the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. Carl Sagan would die all over again, if he looked at the massive stupidity happening in current America.

  17. Zarathustra, if Carl Sagan DID die all over again, of course, Akin would say that it was an illegitimate death.

  18. Elaine, I have a cousin who was struck w/ polio. She had to wear leg braces through high school. I too remember the scares prior to the vaccine. I remember a summer where we couldn’t go swimming and were kept inside almost the entire summer. There was an outbreak of about a dozen kids getting polio in the area. I remember the vaccine and it was given almost like a sacrament in a sugar cube @ school. And like you, I remember polio being eliminated from our culture. Salk was a true hero. But, there are folks who believe charlatans. That never changes. I also loved Albert Sabin because he gave us the oral more shots!

  19. nick,

    In 2000, the CDC recommended using only Salk’s IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine).

    From CDC:

    Polio Vaccination

    There are two types of vaccine that protect against polio: inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and oral polio vaccine (OPV). IPV, used in the United States since 2000, is given as an injection in the leg or arm, depending on patient’s age. Polio vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. Most people should get polio vaccine when they are children. Children get 4 doses of IPV, at these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and booster dose at 4-6 years. OPV has not been used in the United States since 2000 but is still used in many parts of the world.

  20. Elaine, Thanks. I didn’t know it was polio shots only now. We didn’t know if our adopted son from Colombia had any vaccinations so the poor tyke had to get a bunch of shots. He also had giardia which meant the most God awful oral medication had to be swallowed. This was I think 10 days/3 times per, but it seemed like 10 months. He fought every dose.

  21. rafflaw,

    I had to do some research on Salk last year when I was writing a poem and brief biographical note about him for “Dare to Dream…Change the World”–a collection of children’s poems that was just published by Kane Miller.

    I learned a lot about him from biographies that I read and from the following interview:

    Jonas Salk Interview
    Developer of Polio Vaccine
    May 16, 1991
    San Diego, California

  22. Speaking of vaccinations, all you 60 year olds out there get your shingles shot! Shingles really sucks!

  23. bettykath,

    I don’t think so.

    DDT – A Brief History and Status
    Development of DDT

    DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations and for insect control in crop and livestock production, institutions, homes, and gardens. DDT’s quick success as a pesticide and broad use in the United States and other countries led to the development of resistance by many insect pest species.


    Salk Polio Vaccine Conquered Terrifying Disease
    by JOE PALCA

    Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1955, the world heard one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in medical history: Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine worked. The vaccine turned a disease that once horrified America into a memory.

    NPR’s Joe Palca looks back at the science that created a successful vaccine — and the people behind the medical milestone.

    Timeline: The Fight Against Polio

    1800s Paralytic poliomyelitis (polio) takes its toll worldwide, affecting mostly children. The disease is known as infantile paralysis.

    1894 The first known polio epidemic in the United States occurs in Vermont.

    1908 Dr. Karl Landsteiner discovers that a virus causes polio.

    1916 The first major polio epidemic strikes in the United States; 27,000 people suffer paralysis and 6,000 die. Increasing numbers of outbreaks occur each year.

    1921 Franklin D. Roosevelt is diagnosed with polio.

    1928 Iron lungs are introduced to help patients with acute polio breathe.

    1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States.

    1938 President Roosevelt founds the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP, known today as the March of Dimes).

    — At the New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Jonas Salk begins working with virologist and epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Francis Jr. on an influenza vaccine later used by the U.S. military during World War II.

    1947 The University of Pittsburgh recruits Dr. Jonas Salk to develop a virus research program. Techniques Salk picked up while working with influenza are later used to develop the polio vaccine.

    1948-49 Scientists confirm the existence of three strains of poliovirus.

    1949 Dr. John Enders, Dr. Frederick Robbins and Dr. Thomas Weller develop a way to grow poliovirus in tissue culture, a breakthrough that aided in the creation of the polio vaccine. Their work earned the three scientists the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1954.

    1952 The United States reports 57,628 polio cases — the worst U.S. epidemic on record.

    — Dr. Salk and his colleagues develop a potentially safe, injectable vaccine against polio. Nearly 15,000 Pittsburgh-area subjects, mostly children, receive the vaccine in pilot trials.

    — Salk’s former mentor, Dr. Thomas Francis, designs, directs and evaluates field trials of the polio vaccine. Unprecedented in their scope and size, the trials involve around 1.8 million children from the United States, Canada and Finland. They are among the first to use the double-blind process that has since become standard.

    1955 On April 12, Francis announces the results of the field trials, declaring that Salk’s vaccine is “safe, effective and potent.”

    1955-57 Once the vaccine becomes available, U.S. polio cases drop by 85-90 percent.


    NOTE: The use of DDT was banned in 1972.

  24. bettykath,
    DDT does not bother giving you polio. A virus does that. DDT just poisons you, and every other living thing.
    I was in the last elementary school class in which anyone got polio. We stopped getting polio because we took the Salk vaccine (oral).
    Wanna go back to the 19th century? Stop vaccinating people.
    Four words of advice:
    Take a biology course.

  25. “One might think that a man who is so anti-science may not be an educated person—but that is far from the truth. Braun graduated from the University of Georgia in 1967 with a B.S. in Chemistry—and in, 1971, he received his Medical Doctor degree from the Medical College of Georgia.”


    The Medical College of Georgia is ranked 77th of 123 U.S. medical schools by the NIH.
    I’m not surprised. Obviously the Congressman wasn’t too impressed by what they taught him there.

  26. Here we have brain trust in full swing…… Kinda like a think tank without the ability to process……

  27. Went in dumb, come out dumb too…
    Hustlin round Atlanta in their alligators shoes.

    We’re Redneck, We’re Rednecks..
    We don know an arse from hole in the ground,,
    We’re Rednecks,,,,,
    We are keeping the smart guys down.

    -Randy Newman, Good Ol Boys, album. circa 1974
    edited for moderation

  28. bettykath is General Jack Ripper’s daughter. He taught bettykath that “flouride is drying up our precious bodily fluids.” Only bettykath has taken it to a whole other level. The General and Kubrick would be proud.

  29. Thanks for censoring that, Hymee.

    He was born
    In Oklahoma
    His wife’s name’s Betty Lou Thelma Liz
    He’s not responsible for what he’s doin’
    His mother made ‘im what he is
    And it’s up against the wall, Redneck mother…
    -Ray Wylie Hubbard

  30. I remember in the not too distant past where the “global warming” hoax was exposed. The leftwingers even had to change the catch phrase to “climate change” as an attempt to differentiate between something that was shown to be fraudulent to maybe something else that isn’t now. Seems like some don’t want to let go of this mythology. Furthermore, the same group wants to label this guy an idiot. Before the liberal spinmeisters took off with his comments, I understood him to say “legitimate rape” as in cases where there was an actual rape instead of a false report. “Professing to be wise, they became fools”

  31. Here are instances of twilight zone quotes from other loonies in the neoCon party:

    Arkansas Republicans tried to distance themselves Saturday from a Republican state representative’s assertion that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all Muslims.

    The claims were made in books written, respectively, by Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and House candidate Charlie Fuqua of Batesville. Those books received attention on Internet news sites Friday.

    (News about Yahoos). Thanks Elaine M for re-focusing on the neoCon epidemic.

    They need their Civics 101 booster shot.

  32. nick spinelli 1, October 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Speaking of vaccinations, all you 60 year olds out there …
    The old folks steeped in establishment mythology need to get their meme complex vaccime to protect them against dementia.

  33. bettykath 1, October 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    ah, nick, vaccinations don’t prevent disease…
    Doesn’t it depend on the disease of the meme complex and on the vaccime developed to treat it?

    Different strokes for different meme complexes, so different vaccimes too.


  34. Bob Kauten 1, October 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm


    Take a biology course.
    A modern up-to-date microbiology class would be even better, because most of the biology textbooks will be the last to be updated with the revolution taking place in our understanding.

    For example, the concept concerning “what a human being is” has radically changed in recent years (On The New Meaning of “Human” – 2).

    That new understanding has lead to our being able to talk to the microbes within us, now that we know words in their language.

    Thus, the vaccines will now be made of microbial words rather than toxic chemicals (Microbial Hermeneutics – 2).

  35. “I remember in the not too distant past where the “global warming” hoax was exposed. The leftwingers even had to change the catch phrase to “climate change” as an attempt to differentiate between something that was shown to be fraudulent to maybe something else that isn’t now.”


    If you’re not getting paid to spread lies like this, then you have a serious learning deficit. There has been no hoax exposed because the predictions aren’t hoaxes. The CEO of EXXON-Mobil has recently admitted that the climate change phenomena is real, but he suggests the solution is simply to find other spots on the globe more conducive to farming, which I’m sure will be just fine for folks in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. The whole denial thing is only about profits and not people. If you have children or grandchildren as I do, then the your lack of concern about climate change only shows you are merely a self-centered person.

    Now it may be that you don’t care because you are expecting Jesus will return in your lifetime and make the world better. If this is the case then it only shows that you have no understanding of the Bible you read and prefer listening to hucksters pretending to be prophets, rather than think for yourself.
    By the way, though new information is lost on you, when the original models of climate change started to appear in the 50’s, the predictions were for the atmosphere to warm and then create a new “Ice Age”. In that nuclear weapon threatened era the phenomena was known as “Nuclear Winter”. Luckily people like you weren’t around in power then or the bombs would have fallen. Global Warming is only the first condition of the effects of destructive climate change. The terms have had to be changed because low-information people like yourselves couldn’t wrap themselves around the concept of global warmig and so disparaged it with the first heavy snow storm.

    All I know is that with someone like you every time you tell your kids, or your grandkids I love you, you are lying.

  36. Hubert Cumberdale 1, October 7, 2012 at 2:31 am

    I remember in the not too distant past where the “global warming” hoax was exposed. The leftwingers even had to change the catch phrase to “climate change” as an attempt to differentiate between something that was shown to be fraudulent to maybe something else that isn’t now. Seems like some don’t want to let go of this mythology. Furthermore, the same group wants to label this guy an idiot. Before the liberal spinmeisters took off with his comments, I understood him to say “legitimate rape” as in cases where there was an actual rape instead of a false report. “Professing to be wise, they became fools”
    The political use of the term “climate change” was created by a republican strategist named Frank Luntz:

    It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.

    “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.

    (The Exceptional American Denial). The scientific reality of global warming induced climate change began to emerge in the mid 1800’s.

    Denial of it began when The Marshall Institute lost its propaganda campaign for big tobacco (“smoking cigarettes does not cause cancer”) and they then were hired by big oil to deny via propaganda that oil is a green house gas generating pollutant (ibid, video).

    Indeed, “Professing to be wise, they became fools”.

  37. Calling global warming, or climate change (or impending disaster) a hoax is just garden-variety (using the word “garden” in such a quaint way) denial. It is no different from other forms of denial and no more efficient in the long-run, but the long-run is more than a generation long, and therein lies a major problem. Nobody who denies it will have to pay the price personally. They say if a dog does something you want to discourage, you have to react AT THAT EXACT MOMENT so that he sees the connection between the activity and the negative response. That’s an important principle.

    My son’s kind of an expert in this field and an environmental engineer. He tells me that the term “hundred year storm” was coined to describe a storm of such dimensions that it was expected only once in a century. We have had about a dozen of these storms in the past decade. This, in the common parlance, is an UH-OH! :!:


    excerpt of index:
    Conditions Linked to Vaccines

    BSE/Mad Cow Disease
    SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome)
    SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
    Vaccine Deaths


    Aborted Fetal Tissue
    Contamination of Vaccines
    Other vaccine ingredients

  39. Overall, a fine display that reading and comprehension are not the same thing as integrated knowledge and understanding in context.

  40. Dredd,
    Thanks. Yes, I over-simplified. To deeply understand the effects of DDT, and the mechanisms behind vaccination, one would need courses in general biology, microbiology, immunology, pathology, toxicology, and virology, perhaps more. Those courses probably helped in my understanding. We usually need a biology course before tackling microbiology or the rest.
    I realized, immediately after writing my comment, that I had over-simplified.
    However, even a general biology course, with labs, could offer an opportunity to develop judgement regarding biological issues. As in, “C’mon, that doesn’t sound very likely. I should look that up in an authoritative source.”
    “Authoritative” does not include most blogs. It includes sources that provide citations to legitimate research. If we can teach people to question and verify, we’ll lose a lot of our mythology. But verification is more work than most of us are up to.

  41. Bob,

    “Authoritative” does not include most blogs. It includes sources that provide citations to legitimate research. If we can teach people to question and verify, we’ll lose a lot of our mythology. But verification is more work than most of us are up to.


    I agree. While there may be lots of good information available on the Internet–there’s also a ton of misinformation. When I’m looking for medical information, I usually go to sites like NIH, Mayo Clinic, CDC.

  42. bettykath,
    Thank you for the comic relief. The course description which you cite includes a start date which is, tragically, in the past.
    I would truly be interested in taking a course that guarantees “You will end up knowing more than 99.99999% of doctors on this planet.”
    How many doctors would that be? Would there be any difference between, say, 99.99999%, and 100%?
    I see a 2010 estimate of 8,747,790 doctors, worldwide.
    That means I’d end up knowing more than all but 0.87 doctors. So there’s 0.87 doctors on the planet that already know all this? Would an educated person speak of “99.99999% of doctors”?

    I also note that the page includes autism as a hazard of vaccination. The research that panicked thousands was discredited years ago.
    Vaccinations don’t really work? Did we wish away smallpox and polio? Just a coincidence that people were vaccinated before these diseases were conquered?
    I confess to a bias. When I see ‘holistic’ or ‘homeopathy,’ I question the judgement of a person who self-associates with the practice of magic.

  43. I didn’t do a blind search for the links I posted. I have known the person who maintains the website for several years. She has spent many years studying homeopathy, including years in England. She is well qualified to teach. She has also been studying the vaccine scene for many years and knows that arguments pro and con. Most of those advocating vaccines are tied to the pharmaceutical companies one way or another ($$$$$) or they are people who just believe what they are told.

    I have used homeopathy for some time now. Have had no need for mds who believe the big pharma propaganda and the sales reps who peddle pills and vaccines that have not had true independent double blind tests and that are approved by corporate hacks who have moved to the FDA for the purposes of approving their poisons.

    I’ve been through some rough times health-wise and it wasn’t until I started using homeopathic remedies for acute difficulties and nutrition to improve my immune system that I began to get healthy again.

    When I was caring for my mother the best advise from within the so-called medical profession from the nurse practitioner. Her advice kept my mother out of the hospital.

    Haven’t had the flu since I stopped getting the flu shots. Anecdotal but it works for me.

  44. The medical profession is a lot like the legal profession.

    We read a lot about bad examples in the legal field on this blog, but it is difficult to find such Earth shaking revelations at “NIH, Mayo Clinic, CDC” … surprize …

    You will have to go to Dredd Blog for some of that medical shock:

    What would you think and feel if you were told that an organized group within the United States killed 424,000 Americans each year, and maimed millions more?

    Is it al Queda, Inc. or Taliban LLC, or Right Wing Hate, Corp. we are talking about here?

    The real haters of America would jump and shout for “joy” to be able to kill 424,000 of their enemy would they not?

    A Dredd Blog article several months ago reported this shocking detail …

    (Terrorism We Can Believe In?, on JAMA article). The American Dream Trance prevents lots of folks from constructive criticism.

  45. From Huff post article this guy has o opposition in the coming election. Why in the world do the dems not have someone in this race?

  46. My son was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 2005. Apparently, he had it for 11 years by the time a doctor named it, although my son was in the group of people, demographically, most likely to get it. We hit the books fast and found that establishment medicine had no cure, but could provide medications that handled pain, decreased inflammation, and subjected the patient to a greatly increased risk of CANCER. Ugh.

    My son researched homeopathic responses and rejected almost all of them quickly. Then he found that one set of treatments seemed feasible, because of its ability to make sense with his knowledge of what the body was doing to misbehave in a fashion that constituted AS. He started it off with a diet program which, although rigorous and discouraging (“Mom, nothing on my diet is actually FOOD!”), made 80% of his pain vanish in two weeks. THEN he had 11 different providers, including many holistic and three establishment providers, including two MDs and a DO. (He also had two mental health providers, an acupuncturist, a nutritionist, an exercise physiologist, a massage therapist/advisor, an NP, and a couple of others I can’t even remember.) He still has not effected a “cure” although he has reversed or managed (to the point of not noticing them as long as he keeps up his daily programs) all of his symptoms and now does not say he has AS. He says, instead, “I have a diagnosis of AS.” But he does rock climbing, kayaking, and leads an outdoor adventure club. He looks like a million bucks and has beautiful posture.

    Neither of us “believes” in homeopathic medicine or “believes in” establishment medicine. We USE them, both at times, one rather than the other at times, and neither at times. That seems to work. If we had to declare a party and vote, we might both abstain.

  47. What does “AS” mean? I haven’t been to a doctor in years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  48. I sometimes wonder how far from totally ubiquitous anti-scientific thought patterns actually happen to be.

    I happen to have posted some comments that are based on theoretical biology and which have been rigorously tested using null-hypothesis/alternate-hypothesis methods, the field work findings are the result of very diligent ethnographic approaches to minimizing socially conventional forms of bias traditionally regarded as not biased, only to find some of the brightest folks on the Turley blog rejecting the science on what seems to me to be a-priori prejudice.

    However, science marches on, prejudice notwithstanding.

    On February 1, 2011, Daubert became law in Wisconsin, such that someone, no matter how sincere, who is not demonstrably competent in my field of bioengineering is presumably no longer properly able to refute the science of my work on the socio-neurology of hatred as a trauma response to child abuse that is mandated by not-quite universal established socialization traditions.

    Daubert along did not provide me with what I deemed sufficient legal standing to bring to unambiguous public attention what I have found to be the innermost core of what drives child abuse in, as best I have been able to discern, all extant forms.

    What has given me standing that I regard as sufficient to start going very public with my research is the Engineers Section of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services having effectively validated my work as properly that of professional engineering through having essentially responded, “without objection” to my indicating that the interactive (classroom-like) professional development continuing education hours appropriate for my 2014 license renewal need to be ones which have PDH hour credit for psychologists and psychiatrists.

    For those who previously have rejected my bioengineering research into the cause, purpose, cure, and prevention of mental illness, mental illness stems from child abuse of a nature heretofore commonly regarded as intrinsic to human nature and not, as I have found, that mental illness is the consequence of child abuse which has been defined by social consensus as not being abuse.

    What is the abuse that my work has unriddled? It is teaching a child that the child made a mistake that the child could have avoided making, and teaching this with enough repeated coercive authoritarian tyrannical abuse that a child finds it wiser to internalize deception than retain the inborn sense of right and wrong of the innate conscience that develops in utero.

    I recognize that all scientific theories are properly subject to unending scrutiny and are forever subject to being refuted if actually false. Therefore, the main finding of my work, the one that undermines some of the core doctrines of the adversarial system of law and jurisprudence, is falsifiable if false; and I will welcome its being falsified, should that occur.

    However, no scientist, and I have consulted some of the best, has yet been able to find any significant error in the methods or results of my work. One of the possibly most relevant of the results of my work is a null-hypothesis/alternate-hypothesis based refutation of the validity of the adversarial system notion that avoidable mistake ever happen.

    Perhaps the contrast between the adversarial system and scientific biology is simply that the adversarial legal system has legal doctrines and scientific biology does not have have biological doctrines.

    Stare decisis, dicta, and holdings also are not aspects of scientific biology. Neither are rules established by tradition that are not subject to challenge from new scientific discoveries.

    So, the news, if it be news, is that theoretical physicist, Walter Elsasser (1987 National Medal of Science in the U.S.A recipient), in his privately printed book, “Biological Theory on a Holistic Basis, Second Edition,” 1982, posited that biology is the pinnacle science.

    Holism is a word I understand was coined by Jan Christiaan Smuts, and was a key idea in his book, “Holism and Evolution,” Macmillan, London, 1926. Holism is, to me, the functional antithesis of analytical reductionism.

    My work is based on holism, and is reductionist only with respect to proper subsets of holistic phenomena.

    I state without deception that I have never found anyone who can truthfully describe a mistake, such as an accident, actually made and also truthfully describe any achievable process through the mistake, or accident could actually have been avoided.

    In science, and therefore in the science of biology, hypotheticals are merely theories espoused so that the such theories, as hypotheticals, can be properly, scientifically tested.

    No decently trained and usefully qualified scientist with whom I have communicated has ever, to the best of my understanding, treated a hypothetical as though it were a fact.

    So, I recall a story about someone with a beam in his eye attempting to remove a speck from the eye of someone else. But then, that is a mere hypothetical, of course.

    Nothing in genuine science is ever so because a judge says it is so.

    “Because I said so,” is, to me the absolute opposite of anything I have ever understood to be scientific as scientific reasoning as a reason for anything.

    When a judge in a circuit court ruled that I was guilty of a violation based on a citation in which a police officer, while lying about me, used, as evidence, my having accomplished an absolute impossibility, and the judge, apparently based on that citation, which was never entered as evidence at trial, and no witness at trial said that the violation had occurred, how is that distinguishable from Braun, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” as nonsense and non-science?

    In my research, “because i said so,” is at the core of all forms of child abuse…

  49. Perhaps “his views” are more a reflection of his constituents (=alternate reality types, I assume? Ditto for Romney, below), and therefore Broun is just playing a game for votes? Just like Romney is now doing by his recently revamped views on “the issues.”

  50. It’s amazing to think that this man is not only a member of Congress but has a M.D., but knows so little about science. Not only are scientists wrong, but they are stating lies from the pitt of hell? I would call this the rantings of some homeless guy on a corner, but that wouldn’t be fair to homeless guys.

  51. From having worked at Cook County Children’s Hospital (now torn down), the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospital (now replaced), the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research, with a variety of physicians, some of whom were superbly trained scientists, ordinary clinical medicine is a technician-level occupation, in which a physician template-matches clinical signs in the mind of the clinician (not actual patient internal symptoms) onto a dichotomous taxonomic key to obtain the label of a recipe for the palliation of identified-by-the-clinician clinical signs.

    The 1973 paper by David Rosenhan, in the American Association for the Adancement of Science journal, “Science,” “On Being Sane in Insane Places” led to tightening the diagnostic criteria for mental illness labels so that various clinicians will tend to give sufficiently similar labels for particular clusters of overt patient conduct as to make labeling patients sufficiently consistent that scientific errors in understanding human behavior become difficult to detect because the diagnostic system has been made statistically reliable regardless of its biological errors.

    I observed that it is easy to get an M.D. degree merely by regurgitating medical school course content. Actually demonstrated scientific competence is not a requirement for successful practice of clinical medicine any more than it is required for being elected to the Congress, or, for that matter, to any pubic office.

    I have invested years of as scientific a study as I have been able to make in understanding the role of deception in human society. The biology of deception is quite curious.

    I observe that any person who has been, and remains, deceived, is necessarily not consciously aware of being deceived, and this is so merely because being consciously aware of being deceived is indistinguishable from being not-deceived. Deception, including self-deception, in order to persist, needs to be unconscious.

    So I have learned.

  52. Oops, got distracted by a cat, bumped some keys, and did not notice that…

    I have invested years of as scientific a study as I have been able to make in understanding the role of deception in human society. The biology of deception is quite curious.

    Was intended to be:

    I have invested years of effort as scientific a study…

    Actually unavoidable mistakes simply do not happen.

    Not realizing that “effort” had disappeared, I did not make the effort needed for realizing that it had disappeared until after posting the comment.


    So I have learned.

  53. “Deception, including self-deception, in order to persist, needs to be unconscious.”


    I quite agree with the above, as well as your characterization of much of current physician training. This applies very much to the specialization that has taken place in the field. Many specialists in a given area have little remembrance of their initial training when it comes to areas outside their specialty.

    At one point suffering from Cardio-Myopathy I was being treated by a Cardiologist with excellent credentials. Around that time my Internist, during a routine yearly sonogram of my body detected that I had a diseased Gall
    Bladder that needed to be removed. I went to a surgeon who concurred with the need to remove it and he scheduled me for a Laporoscopic surgery. As a matter of routine he contacted my Cardiologist who was enraged that I had scheduled the surgery before contacting him. He told me that because of my heart condition such a surgery would kill me. I said to him that I had been told that if my gall bladder wasn’t removed that would kill me too. I told him he needed to speak directly to my surgeon to understand what was at stake and what were the dangers. Two hours later my Cardiologist called back apologetically and began to describe the dangers to me from a diseased gall bladder. His description was in the exact words I had on my PC at the WEB.MD site and I suspected he was reading it from there. He gave his approval, but with the proviso I stay overnight in the Cardiac Intensive Care Ward.

    I came through the surgery in less than two hours, had a quick recovery from the sedation and was pain free. My vitals were fine and my EKG was normal. Because of my Cardiologist saving face though, I had to stay overnight in the CIC. The night nurse making rounds came to my bed happy and grinning. When I asked him why he told me: “You’ll be my easiest patient tonight, no one can even understand why they didn’t let you go home after the operation”. When I went home the next day I fired my Cardiologist and found a new one.

    That Cardiologist after six months told me that the condition I had was going to deteriorate and not get better. No other Cardiologist that I had, had been that truthful with me. He advised me to get on the Heart Transplant waiting list. four months later I was accepted on the list. My condition deteriorated rapidly after that, with many hospitalizations and me on the verge of death. Four months after being placed on the list I received a heart transplant.

    Doctors today are over-specialized to the point of having their vision of the patient before them limited. It is therefore easy to see how someone like Congressman Broun can be an MD and yet be so ignorant. I pity those who were his patients.

  54. Add this fellow to the list of batsh*t crazy Republicans:

    Charlie Fuqua, Arkansas Legislative Candidate, Endorses Death Penalty For Rebellious Children In Book
    The Huffington Post
    By John Celock

    Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who called for expelling Muslims from the United States in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for “rebellious children.”

    In “God’s Law,” Fuqua’s 2012 book, the candidate wrote that while parents love their children, a process could be set up to allow for the institution of the death penalty for “rebellious children,” according to the Arkansas Times. Fuqua, who is anti-abortion, points out that the course of action involved in sentencing a child to death is described in the Bible and would involve judicial approval. While it is unlikely that many parents would seek to have their children killed by the government, Fuqua wrote, such power would serve as a way to stop rebellious children.
    According to the Arkansas Times, Fuqua wrote:

    “The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:

    “This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children. They must follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children. I cannot think of one instance in the Scripture where parents had their child put to death. Why is this so? Other than the love Christ has for us, there is no greater love then [sic] that of a parent for their child. The last people who would want to see a child put to death would be the parents of the child. Even so, the Scrpture provides a safe guard to protect children from parents who would wrongly exercise the death penalty against them. Parents are required to bring their children to the gate of the city. The gate of the city was the place where the elders of the city met and made judicial pronouncements. In other words, the parents were required to take their children to a court of law and lay out their case before the proper judicial authority, and let the judicial authority determine if the child should be put to death. I know of many cases of rebellious children, however, I cannot think of one case where I believe that a parent had given up on their child to the point that they would have taken their child to a court of law and asked the court to rule that the child be put to death. Even though this procedure would rarely be used, if it were the law of land, it would give parents authority. Children would know that their parents had authority and it would be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.”

  55. Elaine,
    I am almost speechless after reading about this lunatic running for office in Arkansas. This guy is certifiable. If I was the authorities in Arkansas, I would look very closely at this nutjob to see if any kids around him have gone missing. So Christ like to kill kids, isn’t it??

  56. rafflaw,

    Here’s more on Fuqua:

    God according to Charlie Fuqua
    Posted by Max Brantley on Fri, Oct 5, 2012


    The minimum wage should be set at zero. It is simply a lie that raising the minimum wage helps people at the low end of the pay scale.

    KILL ‘EM

    We cannot continue to sustain the percentage of our population that is in prison. No prison term should be longer than two years. Prison should be unpleasant and rehabilitative. Anyone that cannot be rehabilitated in two years should be executed.


    Education is inherently religious activity. Some religion will be taught in schools. Because God has been banned from public schools by our court system, the religion taught in public schools is secularism. If we decide to continue to fund education with public funds, the only way to have an educational system that gives parents the freedom to have their children taught the religion they desire is to have a voucher system that enables the parents to select the school the parents desire.


    I see no solution to the Muslim problem short of expelling all followers of the religion from the United States.

  57. “in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for “rebellious children.” In “God’s Law,” Fuqua’s 2012 book, the candidate wrote that while parents love their children, a process could be set up to allow for the institution of the death penalty for “rebellious children,”

    Will anyone please tell me again why there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats?

  58. “STARVE ‘EM The minimum wage should be set at zero. It is simply a lie that raising the minimum wage helps people at the low end of the pay scale. KILL ‘EM We cannot continue to sustain the percentage of our population that is in prison. No prison term should be longer than two years. Prison should be unpleasant and rehabilitative. Anyone that cannot be rehabilitated in two years should be executed.”

    So what exactly are the differences between this man and Hitler? Perhaps it was that Hitler was born a Catholic and became a Theosophist. Whereas this guy is probably just “born again”.

  59. Mike S, Didn’t you the meme of many of the bloggers here? There is no difference between the r’s and the d’s. I have had that said to me over and over again on this blog. By the way Romney is ahead in the reputable Pew Poll. I am hearing people talking about leaving the country again. Even Chomsky has said to vote for Obama in swing states.

  60. Elaine,
    The hits just keep on coming. Where in his Bible does it state that prisoners only get two years or death? This guy needs some serious psychiatric help.

  61. Well, I tried to go to sleep but technical difficulties intervened. I thought, “Maybe I’ll read a little news and Internet waiting for my OTC sleep aid to kick in.” This? This is what I read first:

    “Knowing that both Akin and Broun are Prayer Caucus members as well as being members of the House Science Committee, I decided to look at the make-up of the Science Committee, and here’s what I found:

    Eleven members of the Science Committee are also members of Randy Forbes’s Prayer Caucus. This is disturbing since we’re talking about people who reject science being on a Science Committee, but the number is not out of proportion. Nearly a quarter of the members of our House of Representatives now belong to the Prayer Caucus (OK, that’s disturbing enough in itself), but the House Science Committee has forty members, making eleven Prayer Caucus members about a quarter of that committee.

    But then I looked at the subcommittees of the Science Committee, and that’s where things get really disturbing. Five of the twelve members of the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education are Prayer Caucus members. This is the subcommittee that has “legislative jurisdiction and general oversight and investigative authority on all matters relating to science policy and science education.” It also has jurisdiction over research and development relating to health and biomedical programs. So, what we’ve got here is a subcommittee with jurisdiction over the very issues and programs where religious beliefs are most likely to clash with science being disproportionately packed with the people most likely to go with religion over science.

    The biggest disproportion of all? Of the 105 members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, only four are Democrats (3.8%), but two of the four Democrats (50%) on the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education are Prayer Caucus members.”

    From an editorial by Chris Rodda at Huff Po.

    Yep. My reaction was certainly at the intersection of “WTF!” and “We’re doomed.” Looks like its going to be one of those long nights.

    I sure hope those pills work as advertised.

    The Congressional Prayer Caucus. The scary thing is if someone or an organization could find a nexus for standing and sued to break up the group as an impermissible endorsement and promotion of excessive entanglement in religion with government? You know these zealots would just move under ground.

    Somewhere, in the distance, there is a sound of bone against wood. Pay no attention. It’s just Jefferson and Madison rolling over. Rapidly and repeatedly.

  62. AS refers to Ankylosing Spondylitis (“bone-forming inflammation of the spine”). It is a rare autoimmune disorder, a form of rheumatoid arthritis, in which the spine eventually fuses. It is an illness that is essentially made of pain and the damage it does is irreversible, so there is treatment or management available, but not “cure” per se.

    The combination of treatments my son used are his own discoveries/invention put together from the expertise of more than 11 professionals and dozens of lay-persons and his own guesswork and imagination and his careful experimentation. Half of it is “naturopathic” or “holistic.” Some of it is just plain indescribable. But it works. I personally believe that my late, beloved grandwhippet was part of the formula that helped him restore his health. But is a dog “naturopathic”? :???:

  63. Gene,

    Congressional Prayer Caucus asks for ‘correction’ to ‘E pluribus unum’
    By David Edwards
    January 3, 2011

    Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus wrote to President Barack Obama last month to ask that he correct speeches they say disregard the nation’s religious heritage.

    The members took specific exception to a speech the president gave in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 10, 2010, where he referred to the US motto as E pluribus unum.

    The words are Latin, meaning “Out of many, one.”

    “E pluribus unum is not our national motto,” the letter (.pdf) said. “In 1956, Congress passed and President Eisenhower approved the law establishing ‘In God We Trust’ as the official national motto of the United States.”

    Obama used the term E pluribus unum in his speech to illustrate that in America, like other nations, “hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag.”

    Wikipedia lists E pluribus unum as one of the mottoes of the United States and notes that it was the de facto motto until 1956, when “In God We Trust” was officially adopted.

    “Additionally, during three separate events this fall, when quoting from the Declaration of Independence, you mentioned that we have inalienable rights, but consistently failed to mention the source of the rights. The Declaration of Independence definitively recognizes God, our Creator, as the source of our rights. Omitting the word ‘Creator’ once was a mistake; but twice establishes a pattern,” the group complained.

    “As members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bi-partisan group of 68 Members of the United States House of Representatives, we are dedicated to preserving America’s religious heritage and protecting our religious liberty,” they continued. “We respectively request that you issue a correction to the speech you gave, as it does not accurately reflect America and serves to undercut an important part of our history.”

    Writing for conservative opinion outlet World Net Daily in late November, Chuck Norris also complained that Obama had dissed the almighty. “I discovered actually seven presidential ‘Creator’ omissions in just the past few months!” he wrote.

  64. Raucous Caucus: Rep. Forbes’ Seeks To Spread ‘Prayer’ Affiliates To All 50 States
    Jun 16, 2010
    by Sandhya Bathija in Wall of Separation

    U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) is on a crusade against church-state separation.

    Forbes founded and co-chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus – a group of 64 members of Congress who recognize “prayer as a fundamental and enduring feature of American life” and want to “use the legislative process – both through sponsorship of affirmative legislation and through opposition to detrimental legislation – to assist the nation and its people in continuing to draw upon and benefit from this essential source of our strength and well-being.”

    When you cut through the pious rhetoric, that means Forbes and Co. want to pass laws to promote their theocratic vision of America. That’s directly counter to the vision of our nation’s Founders who gave us the First Amendment and forbade Congress to make any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

    For example, Forbes has introduced two resolutions in the House in defense of the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer, after a federal district court rightfully struck down the government-sponsored religious day as unconstitutional.

    Now Forbes has set up a nonprofit Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation to raise money to franchise the prayer-caucus concept to state legislatures. These affiliates will exist to monitor and oppose legislation, agency rulings and court opinions that uphold church-state separation. Mississippi has already signed on, and Virginia and Florida are working on it.

    Forbes discussed his plans with James Dobson on Friday’s Family Talk broadcast, Dobson’s radio show. (Dobson founded the Religious Right powerhouse Focus on the Family, but now seems to be building a new broadcasting empire.)

    “The country is in a great deal of trouble and I just felt like we needed to do something about it,” said Dobson, who suggested that there is a growing assault on Christianity in America. Forbes, of course, agreed, claiming these state prayer caucuses will be a way to deal with these “attacks.”

    It’s the same sad song the Religious Right always sings.

    But we all know better. Forbes and Dobson aren’t concerned with threats to religion; they’re concerned with finding ways to impose their faith on others.

    And we at Americans United are just as determined to see that they don’t succeed. Keep an eye on your state legislature. Forbes and his Religious Right forces are on the move.

  65. Because I regard quotations without context, the essence of proof-texting, to be fraught with possible misunderstandings, I glommed onto a Kindle download of Charles Fuqua’s book, the better to find out what is actually in it, in its full as-published context.

    When I engage in the theatrical role of “critical analysis,” I find it useful to pursue accuracy of interpretation to the maximum I can attain.

    I find, as a Wisconsin Registered Professional Engineer who successfully earned a B.S. degree (High Honors) in Engineering, Bioengineering Major, from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (1970) and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1997), that Fuqua’s interpretation of Christianity, as written in his book, “God’s Law,” is, for me (if also for no one else) traumatizing unintelligible neurological child-abuse gibberish.

    Yeah, I glommed a Kindle copy about an hour ago, and have read through it, though I would not claim to have yet fully studied it.

    From the “Bio” section of Fuqua/s “Press Kit” web site,I find that Fuqua has described his competency partly as:

    “Research Biologist; Chemistry, Physics, and Biology Teacher”

    Well, I began studying biology, using college level resources in my parents’ library, near the beginning of third grade. I never took high school biology, for it never occurred to me that I would learn anything useful in such a class. However, had someone with beliefs akin to those I find Fuqua promotes taught a high school biology class that I took, I have a wild guess that I would have been, as a high school student, been readily able to grind his biological notion-absurdities into as-though dissipating-to-oblivion sub-atomic particle dust.

    I find that I am an incorrigible believer in proof-texting as being a technique that is near the outermost limit of attainable intellectual dishonesty.

    In accord with my understanding of copyright fair use, a quotation out of context, from the Kindle edition of “God’s Law”:

    “The central doctrine of the Christian religion is that every member of the human race is born with a sin nature. We are all born self centered, selfish, demanding, and believing that everyone around us has the obligation of satisfying our every desire. If we do not have a sin nature, then there is good in us that can redeem us from our sinful actions. If this is the case, then we do not need a savior, and the death of Jesus on the cross was unnecessary. Anyone that rejects the doctrine of the sin nature of man rejects their need for a savior. Those who desire to conserve our Christian heritage accept this central premise of the Christian faith. Liberals reject it. In fact, the difference between a conservative and a liberal is that a conservative is inherently wicked and totally depraved, and knows it. A liberal, on the other hand, is inherently wicked and totally depraved, but does not know it. People who do not believe that all people have this sin nature accept the premise that man is basically good.”

    {Fuqua, Charles (2012-04-23). God’s Law (Kindle Locations 112-119). American Book Publishing. Kindle Edition.}

    What a pity, that I do not “believe in” silly lawsuits, or I might ponder suing Fuqua for defamation of character.

    Alas, I find that there are definitions-in-use of “liberals” that happen to include me. And I, personally, find his description of “liberals” to be stupidly defamatory.

    Let me snatch the two sentences, much more out of context, from the prior Fuqua quotation:

    ” In fact, the difference between a conservative and a liberal is that a conservative is inherently wicked and totally depraved, and knows it. A liberal, on the other hand, is inherently wicked and totally depraved, but does not know it.”

    I am quite content to accept Fuqua’s “definition” of a conservative, as a person who is “inherently wicked and totally depraved.” Does it not take one to know one?

    I am comparably content to accept Fuqua’s “definition” of liberals as a definition that truly is “inherently wicked and totally depraved.” Does it not take one to know one?

    Is it not to be expected that a person who believes that she,it, or he is (as a psychotic fantasy?) fact, that he, she, or it, is inherently wicked and totally depraved, will diligently promote wickedness and depravity as self-imago projection as a core psychological defense?

    Perhaps the problem folks who greatly share Fuqua’s religious perspective may have with me is my having read “The Bible,” and read it in a variety of translations. I regard the bible as a useful record of aspects of the evolution of human society, and, as such, a useful scientific treatise written in profoundly pre-scientific language.

    To perhaps better illustrate the foibles of proof-texting, and to clarify why I categorically reject using it as though proof-texting can ever be a reliable way of making viable sense of anything, perhaps a different proof-text illustration from the longest of the quotations I have use from Fuqua may illumine:

    Proof text 1, from Fuqua:

    “A liberal, on the other hand, is inherently wicked and totally depraved, but does not know it. People who do not believe that all people have this sin nature accept the premise that man is basically good.:

    Contradictory proof text from the King James Version, from the “Sermon on the Mount,” Matthew 7:1, to wit:

    “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

    Fuqua is not the only person who claims to be Christian.

    I have read many “religious texts,” among which is Matthew Fox, “Original Blessing,” Fox is, so I understand, verifiably Christian, as he is an Episcopal priest.

    If Fuqua were to be a Christian other than through vacuous dogmatic espousal, would he be able to judge “liberals” as being “inherently wicked and totally depraved”?

    Matthew Fox, on his web site, reviewed Rupert Sheldrake’s book, “Science Set Free” (titled, in England, “The Science Delusion?), an excerpt (a quotation with incomplete context) from which is:

    “Meister Eckhart offers the following prayer: “I pray God to rid me of God,” a challenge that deserves to be flung before every churchgoer and theist whether by a mystic like Eckhart or an atheist of conscience (of which there are plenty). Sheldrake is not arguing for theism; he is just making clear that an entire world view of materialistic science is reductionistic and rests on unproven assumptions. Why believe the unbelievable and/or at least the unproven? Why teach that the mind is limited to what goes on in the cranium? Why make that the basis of education and the basis of grant-giving and the basis of culture itself? Especially when that culture is so often revealing a less than dignified direction and preaches despair and pessimism so readily? For the record, I do not consider myself a theist but a panentheist. They are not the same thing. All mystics are panentheists.”

    For book review purposes, an excerpt, in two sections, from “Science Set Free”:

    “The facts of science are real enough; so are the techniques that scientists use, and the technologies based on them. But the belief system that governs conventional scientific thinking is an act of faith, grounded in a nineteenth-century ideology. This book is pro-science. I want the sciences to be less dogmatic and more scientific. I believe that the sciences will be regenerated when they are liberated from the dogmas that constrict them. The scientific creed Here are the ten core beliefs that most scientists take for granted.     1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, “lumbering robots,” in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically programmed computers.     2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.     3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared).”

    Sheldrake, Rupert (2012-09-04). Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery (p. 7). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

    “4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they will stay the same forever.     5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.     6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other material structures.     7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree, the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your brain.     8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.     9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory. 10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.”

    Sheldrake, Rupert (2012-09-04). Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery (pp. 7-8). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

    No theoretical biologist I find to be even remotely competent accepts analytical reductionism as a viable way to accurately understand biology. Among those, alive and deceased theoretical biologists whose understanding is relational-holistic, are Walter Elsasser, Robert Rosen, Franscisco Varela, and A. H. Louie, and for a starter listing.

    Care for an prototype of a relational holistic theory of biology? How about,

    “Existence is comprised of two observable biological aspects, organisms and their substrates. Absent needed substrates, organisms do not exist. For any given, specific organism, all else that exists is the given organism’s substrate. Thus, the totality of existence is not only life itself, it is necessarily more than life itself, being so because the existence of the evolution of existence requires that all that exists necessarily contains itself as a proper subset. Existence, to exist at all, is necessarily accurately modeled only as an open system which may itself be of the overall form of a singularity.”

    Being a conservatively liberal member of the panenthiest community, I reject with formidable skeptcism any and every dogma and doctrine which cannot be demonstrated to be “scientifically true.” However, being demonstrated to be “scientifically true” necessarily and sufficiently extracts whatever is demonstrated to be “scientifically true’ from the realm of dogma and doctrine.

    Dogmatically doctrinaire analytical materialism is, as I observe, not one whit less superstitious than is any other belief system not grounded in accurately verifiable demonstration of its actual reality.

    In my study of the history of science, superstitions are the basis for the development of testable, refutable-if-false, hypotheses. Thus, in my bioengineering work superstition is an essential aspect of the process of scientific “discovery.”

    Rather than lambast people whose weltanschauung is, to me, profoundly, psychotically, superstitious, I am grateful to them for their lives, and their beliefs, and the sharing of their beliefs.

    To me, ignorance is absolutely identical in every aspect and detail with opportunity for learning. Thus, I do not decry ignorance or stupidity or any other purported human foible.

    Why? Because I may actually, for real, be pro-life to such an extent as to be an affirming advocate for the whole of life, all of it, with nothing of the whole of life wisely to be despised or rejected.

    What better way to demonstrate the tragedy of divisiveness as the core organizing principle of human society than through the views overtly espoused in Fuqua’s “God’s Law”?

    The mathematics of relational holism is, as I name it, “high-dimension-space, complex-variable, relational tensor calculus.”

    Relational, as described by Walter Elsasser, means that it is not amenable to analytical number-crunched solutions, this being because what happens in a single living cell for a mere one second is so complex as to be unfathomably transcomputational, even using a binary digital computer mechanism comprised of every particle in the observable universe.

    However, high-dimensional space, complex-variable relational tensor calculus is an ordinary aspect of the everyday life of every living person; it is the form of procedural brain innately-intuitive mathematics a baseball player uses when catching a baseball that, if not caught, would have bounced off the top edge of the outfield fence and given the win to the other team.

    Divisiveness as the human society central organizing principle appears to me to be tragically and profoundly demonstrating its unbounded destructiveness, as it divides people internally, and as internally divided people divide humanity into nihilistic nihilism.

    Child abuse, the social phenomenon that has inspired my efforts directed toward unriddling the processes of child abuse well enough that child abuse will be removed from the human condition, is the problem that is the focus of my bioengineering research work.

    I have a simple view of what a problem is. A problem is a solution striving to find itself. If it is a problem, a solution to the problem is a future event. If no future event, in the form of a solution is possible, there is no problem.

    Because I experienced terrible abuse in pubic schools, from teachers, administrators, and other students, I cannot elude understanding child abuse as being a problem.

    I experienced terrible abuse in public schools? Marshall School, Eureka California, second grade, the principal often paddled me as punishment for not lying, stopping the paddling only when I broke into a form of agitated catatonia. Sturgeon Bay High School, physical education class, the gym teacher ridiculed me so severely that another student sexually molested me; as I deemed that student to be no less an object of child abuse than I was, I never reported the molestation to anyone other than my parents, who decided to move to another state, halfway through my sophomore year, where there was a gym teacher who would not ridicule me.

    What is the basis of my regarding “The Bible” as a useful scientific treatise, written in pre-scientific language, about the evolution of human society?

    When people treated me abusively, no matter what the abuse, no matter how intense the abuse, I have always forgiven them instantly, because of being fully consciously aware that people who treated me abusively as a child were only informing me,to the best of their practicable ability, of the child abuse they had experienced which they had been unable to resolve into events already actually fully completed.

    It has never occurred to me that my retaliating for any abuse directed toward me would accomplish anything other than tragic perpetuation of child abuse. All that remains for me to do is to tell of my life experiences as best I am able to tell of them.

    How to effectively not-retaliate in response to child abuse experiences, regardless of their form or intensity, and thereby, how to actually avoid perpetuation of child abuse, may yet become the essence of my life story.

    The future is of what has not yet happened.

    Finding fault with child abusers for telling of their own child abuse in the most effective way actually achievable, which has historically been predominantly through acting it out toward innocent children, so that innocent children become abused children who grow into child abusing adults, is a catastrophically contagious and atrociously addictive social-neurological child-abuse perpetuating mechanism.

    With all due apologies, I am unable to distinguish, in terms of abusiveness, between the irrational beliefs espoused by Charles Fuqua and the irrational beliefs of those who decry the overt results of his childhood abuse as brought forth in the “scientific gibberish” that I find he espouses as what may be his final recourse for averting his personal failure to survive the abuse he experienced as a child.

    Perhaps the most social-convention-despicable findings of my bioengineering research is, among the people with whom I have interacted in my field work research, a population that meets well the common research criteria for being a random sample, 98 percent of those people are functionally profoundly psychotic with regard to an accurate temporal understanding of procedural learning experiences.

    That profound psychosis takes the form of believing that some event which actually happened, having actually happened as it actually happened, could actually have happened other than as it actually happened.

    In Erik H.Erikson’s epigenetric chart of psychosocial developmental crises, that is of the first stage, the resolution of trust versus mistrust, such that trust, especially self-trust, is the result of, and results in, a valid temporal sense; where as mistrust, and especially self-mistrust, is the result of time-confusion which results in mistrust that is the direct consequence of unresolved, severely dissociation generating, child abuse, of form and function traditionally (and, in my view, utterly. tragically, and erroneously) deemed essential to the safety of human society.

    I do not accept, and have never accepted, Fuqua’s stated belief to the effect that people are actually “inherently wicked and totally depraved,” because I never internalized self-mistrust, and therefore, never developed time confusion.

    My having never developed time confusion is, methinks, what led me to be so severely abused as a child as to “inspire” me to investigate time-confusion, and its effects, in other people, doing so recently as a Wisconsin-licensed bioengineer.

    If my work turns out to be of scientific validity, a testable hypothesis to me, my best guess for now is that it may usefully help bring about the end of human warfare.

    For myself, though Dr. Abraham Low may have been correct in in observing that people have, or appear to have, dual personalities and divided wills,intensive and extensive psychodynamic psychoanalytic work over many years has yet to reveal any division of will in my life or inner life experiences.

    The final stage of Erikson’s epigenetic chart is,”Integrity versus despair.” Never having deemed despair a worthy outcome for my life, despair being the result of sufficient, sufficiently long, mistrust, I have never deemed mistrust welcome within my actual inner life.

    Authoritarianism is, to me, the epitome of child abuse. Authoritarianism, as a parenting style, denies the integrity of the child.

    At the limit I have found to describe with words the nature of authoritarian parenting as I have been able to understand it, the final step of authoritarianism is the person in the parent role given as the ultimate reason, one or another form of, “Because I said so!”

    I have talked with many children in psychiatric hospital settings, some years ago, I did volunteer work in a state hospital children’s unit. As a composite what abused children have shared with me, the internal experience of authoritarian-parent-abused children is equivalent to being commanded, enhanced-interrogation-style, “Don’t do what I tell you do do, or else; and if you disobey me, I will make you suffer until you learn to do as you were told.”

    The effects of authoritarian parenting, in terms of physical brain trauma in authoritarian-abused children, have been well-described in the published work of psychologist Peter A. Levine and the published work of neurologist Robert C. Scare, among others.

    In my work Charles Fuqua might be a reasonable candidate for being “poster-adult” regarding the effects in adulthood of devastatingly mandated authoritarianism-based child abuse.

    Whereas, I can find no fault with Charles Fuqua, Esq, as a person; with respect to the results of his childhood abuse on his adult public-espoused belief system; were I to find fault with anything whatsoever, I cannot imagine ever getting to the bottom of the immensity of fault I would find with his espoused religious beliefs.

    The late psychologist Alice Miller,in “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of The Child,” Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum,tr., New American Library, 1984, has a list of Twenty-one Points, on pages 314-315. The first point stated is,”The child is always innocent.”

    At the time of my writing this comment, the list all Twenty-one Points may be found on the Internet, at:

    I needed to read, “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware,” to understand how Alice Miller arrived at the view that the child is always innocent.

    In terms of my understanding of “Christianity,” every person is a child of God, and, as a such a child, is always innocent, regardless of chronological age.

    I will seriously consider adopting Fuqua’s notions of “real” Christianity, upon being given a scientifically credible demonstration of one, or more, actually avoidable mistake(s) that were actually avoidable.

    The personally expressed belief that an actually avoidable mistake actually happened is about the strongest evidence I have ever yet found to identify a person who has been met with serious-to-severe child abuse which has not yet been adequately resolved as a past experience that is fully completed, such that it exists only as a memory of something wisely avoided in the future, would constitute a convincing-to-me demonstration.

    I do make mistakes, and apologize for any overlooked typographical finger blunders…

  66. Indecent Proposal: Another ‘Religious Supremacy’ Amendment Surfaces In The U.S. House
    Sep 28, 2012
    by Simon Brown in Wall of Separation

    As part of a continuing effort to use religion as a way of excluding many Americans, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives recently proposed a resolution that “reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens.”

    Introduced Sept. 19 by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), the resolution includes a number of statements that are offensive to anyone who supports church-state separation or isn’t Christian.

    The resolution says that Judeo-Christian heritage “has played a strong role in the development of the United States and in the lives of many of the Nation’s citizens” and that the House “rejects efforts to remove evidence of Judeo-Christian heritage and references to God from public structures and resources.”

    A long list of “evidence” is also offered to support the claim that religion is important to people in the U.S.

    One claim is that the “first act of Congress in 1774 was a prayer.” That is pretty meaningless because that wasn’t the U.S. Congress. Not only did that First Continental Congress meet for just a few weeks, it didn’t include representatives of all 13 colonies. America hadn’t even declared independence yet from Britain, so to say the Congress in 1774 set the precedent for the United States is just not accurate.

    Another meaningless claim intended to support the resolution is that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. So what? The Bible has been available for centuries and is sold worldwide. That doesn’t prove anything about the importance of religion to people in the United States.

  67. Dr. Harris, you say: Authoritarianism is, to me, the epitome of child abuse. Authoritarianism, as a parenting style, denies the integrity of the child.

    There you have it. Being authoritative helps the child figure things out so that he can make his way without making the kinds of mistakes (like running across the street without looking both ways first) that are dangerous or harmful. Being authoritarian destroys part of the child’s growth potential.

    I have a grown kid who insists I’m the best mother he’s ever seen or known, although I never did much. All I did was NOT to do much. I didn’t interfere with his own doing of as much as he could do. I basically shared any authority I had if I was asked to and other than that, fed and clothed him until he got his land legs under him and he did the rest himself. The few times I noticed myself getting in his way, I apologized and he quickly forgave and forgot! Plenty of times he also apologized to me for things that we understood were “faux pas” against me as a co-existing human.

    This goon’s idea about “rebellious children” is about as fascist as anyone can get, and the fact that there is a political party willing to let him on their ticket is a disgrace. I shudder to ask: Does he have children?

  68. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks. Your link led me to the following Salon article:

    Least scientific members of the House Science Committee
    Paul Broun’s not the only GOP member of the House Science Committee who’s a bit iffy on the whole science thing
    By Jillian Rayfield

    “Wait, he’s on the House Science Committee?”

    That was many people’s reaction to comments by Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., that came to light last week: ”All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet recently. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

    But Broun’s not the only Republican on the committee who has a tenuous-at-best relationship with science:

    Let’s start with the chairman himself, Ralph Hall of Texas. Though he was once a Democrat, Hall was behind a 2010 effort by Republicans to cut off billions in funding for scientific research and math and science education. He did this by rather cannily tacking onto a bill a provision that would have forced Democrats to vote in favor of letting federal employees view pornography while on the job. Hall also once said of climate change: “I’m really more fearful of freezing. And I don’t have any science to prove that. But we have a lot of science that tells us they’re not basing it on real scientific facts.”

    Then there’s Todd Akin. In the course of his campaign for Missouri Senate, Akin made the following comments about rape: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

    Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett had a similar take on pregnancies resulting from rape: “There are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”

    Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer is best known for yelling out, “It’s a baby killer!” during the House debate on Obama’s healthcare reform bill. But did you know he also drafted a resolution for Americans to ”join together in prayer to humbly seek fair weather conditions” after a series of destructive tornadoes and droughts?

    In 2007, Congress held a hearing on a report that found global warming to be “unequivocal.” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, who has no truck with man-made global warming, was skeptical about testimony regarding a period 55 million years ago when similar dramatic climate change occurred: “We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows?”

    Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is a renowned climate change skeptic who has alternately decried ”scientific fascism” and described research on climate change as an “international conspiracy.”

    Allen West-backed Sandy Adams lost her Florida primary this year, but she still managed to serve on the committee while bad-mouthing evolution. “I’m Christian. I believe in the biblical terms of how we came about,” she once said. Adams also voted in favor of a bill to have teachers “teach theories that contradict the theory of evolution.”

  69. Bill Nye: Paul Broun ‘Unqualified To Make Decisions About Science, Space, And Technology’
    The Huffington Post
    By David Freeman
    Posted: 10/08/2012

    For someone who sits on a key congressional science advisory committee, Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) seems to take a pretty dim view of science.

    In videotaped remarks made Sept. 27 before a church group, Broun called what he had been taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory “all lies straight from the pit of Hell,” adding that the lies were intended to “keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

    The remarks seemed to resonate with the audience, with several voices calling out their assent. But along with many others who viewed the video, the well-known science educator Bill Nye heaped scorn on Broun, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

    “Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun’s views are not in the national interest,” Nye told The Huffington Post in an email. “For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old,” he continued, contradicting a remark made by Broun later in the video. “He is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology.”

  70. Malisha contributed:
    “Darren S, if he had his way you’d be on your way to the gallows for blasphemy, having said that.”

    If only I had the opportunity to bellow it out two inches from his face. :)

  71. Malisha (and others),

    Yes, to me, authoritarian parenting and authoritative parenting are approximately polar opposites, to me.

    My wife and I adopted an eleven year old boy who was available for adoption because his parents had been found to have severely neglected him and his six siblings. Not long after the adoption was completed, a daughter was born to us.

    The contrast between our two children was astonishing, and, eventually tragic. However, just over a month before the car our son and his wife were taking to her job in a nearby town, their car exploded and they were killed. The car exploded in large measure because of seriously defective (not fully fused welds, or,as such welds are sometimes called, “crystallized welds”.

    We used authoritative parenting methods; our children were encouraged to ask us to clarify any suggestions we made, the better for our children to learn the ways of “evidence-based decision-making.” A few weeks before that car exploded, our son said to his wife, their children, my wife and me, and others, “you were the only real parents i ever had.”

    I am of the view that the present “sociopolitical malaise” is of long-standing development, having evolved over thousands of years. I have studied the history of science with what I hold to be a sustained, decent effort. One scientist whose work I have found to have been uncommonly relevant to the human social predicament was Herbert A. Bloch, a sociologist whose work was focused on aspects of social and personal disorganization.

    The earliest of Bloch’s books in my library is, “The Concept of Our Changing Loyalties,” originally published in 1934. Bloch’s “Disorganization: Personal and Social” (1952) was my second semester introductory sociology text.

    Bloch and Melvin Prince authored, “Social Crisis & Deviance: Theoretical Foundations (1967), which was published after Bloch’s death. Forty-five years ago, Bloch and Prince wrote, as the opening two paragraphs of Chapter I, in Social Crisis and Deviance:

    “Today’s students have never known the fruits of social stability and peace. They have made their adaptations to the contemporary scene during periods of international threat and counterthreat, tactical crisis, limited ‘hot’ wars, domestic civil rights turmoil, and economic dislocations of workers and entire industries. It is this unsettled world that the youth of today may soon be called upon again to ‘settle’ with their lives. Upon this generation will ultimately devolve the responsibility of forging those instruments, technical and social, that may satisfy the enduring hope of mankind for a just and orderly world. One response to these unsettled and tense conditions has been the proliferation of student activist movements on campuses across the nation.

    Other evidences of a world in malaise are overwhelming. The statistical pointer-signs—indicators, in the professional terminology of the sociologist—are so diverse that it is difficult to piece together the general pattern of disorder. Universities, research foundations, and social agencies are producing an enormous mass of detailed statistical data indicating he gravity of domestic and international social disorder. They provide ample testimony for the conclusion that it maybe considerably ‘later than we think..’ ”

    My sharing of my research methods and results has tended to result in remarkably intense variations of the Stockholm Effect, as a response to my research, from people who I find regard themselves as exceptionally successful in adapting to contemporary society. I have found those intense responses remarkably similar in form and function to post-traumatic stress disorder flashbacks.

    As I have been able to study biographical research about political despots, as, for example, through the works of Alice Miller, the correlation between despotism and authoritarian parenting is about as good as social science correlations ever seem, to me, to be.

    However, i my work the correlations between authoritarian parenting and child abuse and destructive human conduct appear to be “effectively perfect.”

    The late psychoanalyst, Martin Cooperman, wrote to the effect that, in a psychoanalytic dyad, reciprocal retaliation is a defeating process. To me, reciprocal retaliation is a defeating process wherever it is in use.

    And,, to me, escalating reciprocal retaliation is an annihilating/exterminating process,

    Sorry to say, but Braun and Fuqua remind me, perhaps more than anything else, of Daleks in the Dr. Who television programs.

    Daleks, “You will obey! You will obey! Exterminate! Exterminate!”

    What better model than Daleks for the astonishing-to-me notion of imposing the death penalty onto children who wisely, and for cause, rebel against authoritarian parental abuse?

    I admonished and implored my children to rebel against anything about me that troubled them enough that rebelling made sense to them; the better for me to be able to elude authoritarian parenting abuses.

    And the effect of that? Comments from schoolteachers, to the effect that, if every student were like our daughter, schoolteaching would be the most perfectly beautiful vocation in the whole world.

    Starting at birth, if not before, I taught my wife’s and my daughter to truthfully respect herself, and, thereby, to comparably respect other people.

    From a system dynamics perspective, the seeming escalation of social disorganization may be the hallmark of soon to arrive improvement in the human condition.

    The future has yet to happen, what it will bring is not yet here.

    The present “malaise” has been forming for many more years than I have lived; hence my searching through “out of date” books for their historical contents value.

    Given my druthers, I prefer to not be abysmally ignorant of relevant-to-today human history.

    Sorry, Attorney Fuqua, I find your interpretation of “scripture” to be characteristic of some form of abysmal ignorance of recent work in the biology field of neurology regarding trauma.

    I am unable to find any conjecture other than trauma-induced brain damage that can usefully account for the expressed views about biology and “rebellious children” of Atty. Fuqua.

    Claiming to be a research scientist, or having worked in a job that is labeled, “Research Scientist,” does not guarantee scientific competence in a field or sub-field in which actual competence is absent in the one making the claim.

  72. Arkansas State Rep: ‘If Slavery Were So God-Awful, Why Didn’t Jesus Or Paul Condemn It?’
    By Aviva Shen on Oct 9, 2012

    After Arkansas Republicans disavowed a book by state representative Jon Hubbard (R-AR) claiming slavery was “a blessing in disguise” for African Americans, Hubbard’s colleague, state Rep. Loy Mauch (R-AR) has been outed by the Arkansas Times for his pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy letters to the editor over the past decade. Mauch’s run for reelection this year is backed by the Arkansas Republican Party.

    In letters to the Democrat-Gazette, Mauch vehemently defended slavery and repeatedly suggested Jesus condoned it:

    If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?
    The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity.

    His other letters call Abraham Lincoln a Marxist and celebrate the Confederate flag as “a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.” He also organized a conference in 2004 praising John Wilkes Booth and calling for the removal of an Abraham Lincoln statue. Mauch has been supported mainly by contributions from the Republican Party and other Arkansas candidates. Now, the state GOP is pulling all funds from Mauch, Hubbard and another state legislative candidate, Charlie Fuqua, who wants to expel all Muslims from the country and thinks rebellious children should receive the death penalty.

  73. jbrianharrisphd 1, October 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Malisha (and others),

    Yes, to me, authoritarian parenting and authoritative parenting are approximately polar opposites, to me.

    My wife and I adopted an eleven year old boy who was available for adoption because his parents had been found to have severely neglected him and his six siblings. Not long after the adoption was completed, a daughter was born to us.

    The contrast between our two children was astonishing, and, eventually tragic. However, just over a month before the car our son and his wife were taking to her job in a nearby town, their car exploded and they were killed. The car exploded in large measure because of seriously defective (not fully fused welds, or,as such welds are sometimes called, “crystallized welds”.
    Sounds like you’re full of sti!.

  74. Science From Hell
    By Seth Shostak.Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute

    Here’s an idea you probably haven’t considered. Astronomer Edwin Hubble, who first discovered the expansion of the universe, was part of a devilish plan. Measurements of nearby galaxies suggesting that the cosmos began with an explosive event — what we now call the Big Bang — were a conspiracy to ensure that you don’t yearn for spiritual salvation.


    No, really. This is the claim of Paul Broun, a Republican representative from Georgia. According to the Associated Press, the Congressman recently made a banquet speech in which he said “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

    The skeptical representative went on to say that the Earth is less than 10 thousand years old, and was formed in six days. A lot of planetary scientists are clearly barking up the wrong tree.

    Well, the approval rating of Congress is an anemic 10 percent these days, and these bizarre statements might just be another reason to be unhappy with those representing your interests under the Capitol dome. But here’s the zinger: Broun sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

    No doubt this reassures you about the chances that this country will continue to be in the forefront of groundbreaking research.

    It’s enough to make you alternately laugh and cry. But this daffy performance speaks to a problem even larger than Broun’s dreadful ignorance. Why is this gentleman in Congress at all?

    Does the Georgia electorate think that Broun simply has a right to his opinions, and — since much of science’s teachings are merely “theory” — you can’t fault him for harkening to the beat of a different drum?

    Well, that rationalization has a faintly Jeffersonian ring to it. Unfettered speech, freedom of religion, and structures ensuring that government won’t inevitably dictate what’s right and wrong all hit a resonance with Americans.

    So yes, you’re entitled to believe what you want — including the existence of leprechauns and the Wicked Witch of the East. But since the Renaissance, a concept called “progress” has been baked into our society. Progress — founded on an accumulation of knowledge through experience (and in the case of science, through experiment). To build on the past, rather than endlessly relive it. That’s what separates us from the beasts.

    Examples are legion, and most familiar in medicine, which today is very much entwined with the principles of evolution and embryology that Broun finds so heretical. A particularly lucid demonstration of how evolution interacts with pharmaceutical research is the effort to maintain an arsenal of effective antibiotics to stave off lethal infections.

    But rather than become embroiled in specific rebuttals to goofy indictments of major intellectual ideas, I ask again the larger question: Why is science’s blood pressure in this country so low that someone with Broun’s opinions could be considered suitable to guide our research priorities?

    It’s not just a “rural Georgia” problem, and it’s not just a problem with the literal interpretation of biblical texts favored by fundamentalists. The problem is cultural and it’s deep. America’s popular heroes have seldom been its great thinkers, and even less its scientists. The success of TV’s Big Bang Theory, which seems to give the lie to this claim, is more the exception that proves the rule. Typically, only about 2 percent of the American populace tunes in to PBS’s Nova series — the most successful science show on the tube. Survivor and X Factor get twice the ratings.

    Everyone talks about science literacy, and how it’s essential if we wish to remain an important player on the world stage. And yes, moving the needle is hard. But one thing we don’t need is a crazy fox in the chicken coop.

  75. Rep. Broun Spox: Comments Decrying Science As Satanic Lie Were ‘Off Record’

    Now a spokeswoman for Broun, Meredith Griffanti tells CNN Broun will not comment on his remarks. But she added that they weren’t meant for public consumption and that Broun was “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” The church group posted a publicly available video of his full speech on YouTube after the event.

  76. Nal,

    Broun’s comments were off the record–and he’s off his rocker!


    Atheist facepalm! U.S. House Representative Paul Broun from Georgia.
    by Don Lacey on Oct. 09, 2012

    Here is another incredulous entry from Jim Wilson:

    Americans display disinterest, distrust, or illiteracy when it comes to science. They enjoy their smart phones and the other toys and conveniences science produces, but few delve further than that. Many felt a sense of nationalistic pride with the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars in August but these moments seem all too infrequent. On a given day, there is more interest in sports or celebrities than scientific issues. Too many in this country reject scientific thinking in favor of new age superstition or ancient religious nonsense.

    Today’s case in point is US House Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia; he recently told an audience at Liberty Baptist Church that:

    God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.

    In other words, we have a superstitious, religious zealot in our government who rejects all scientific findings that contradict his favorite story book. The theories he rejects as being conspiracies from Satan himself are the cornerstones of our understanding of the universe. Evolutionary biology, old Earth geology, and the big bang cosmology are consistent with all existing evidence and are contradicted by none of it. The universe we live in makes no sense without these theories. Scientific literacy requires knowledge of these theories. Representative Broun rejects them in favor of willful ignorance.

    Can you believe that this superstitious ignoramus is on the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology which has jurisdiction over NASA, the Department of Energy, EPA, ATSDR, NSF, FAA, NOAA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, FEMA, the U.S. Fire Administration, and United States Geological Survey as well as over federally funded scientific research and development that is not military-related? He shares this position with Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, who recently made news because of his incorrect belief that pregnancies are not likely to result from rape. There is certainly disagreement, among freethinkers about what role government should have in the sciences, but nearly all will agree that if we are to have a science committee the last people on it should scientific illiterates like Broun and Akin.

    There are quite a few problems with Broun’s claims that the Bible is a good source of information on how to run society or a family. It is silent on many important issues like Nuclear proliferation, space travel, vaccinations, fossil fuel usage, and television to name a few. The New Testament’s main political instruction is to be obedient to earthly authorities: The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves (Romans 13:1). The Bible’s instructions on family life are completely insane. For example, it prescribes killing rebellious young people as well as family members who suggest you join other religions. Jesus himself was surprisingly anti-family when he said: If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.(Luke 14:26)

    Unfortunately, as of the time of writing Representative Broun is running unopposed. We need to free our government from the influence of superstitious crackpots and scientific illiterates who cling to Bronze Age mythology. Science has endless potential for improving our lives and our understanding of the universe we live in. We need law makers who understand this, rather than ones who want to base policy on primitive stories and outdated belief systems.

  77. Congressman draws fire for calling evolution, Big Bang ‘lies from the pit of hell’
    By Dan Gilgoff, Religion Editor

    Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

    In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.

    For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution. Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

    The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans’ views on creation and evolution for 30 years. In June, it released its latest findings, which showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

  78. Fact Check: What a 9,000-year-old Earth really looked like
    By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer

    Creationist beliefs

    Broun is far from the only believer in a literal, or Biblical, creation. According to a Gallup poll conducted in June, 46 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, a creationist belief. Only 15 percent said they believed in evolution without God’s hand, while 32 percent said they believed in evolution guided by God.

    That survey did not ask adults how old they believed Earth to be, but estimates based on literal interpretation of the Bible normally range from 6,000 to 8,000 years. (It’s not clear why Broun believes in a 9,000-year-old Earth.)

    The most popular 6,000-year-old figure comes from James Ussher, a 16th-century Irish clergyman. Ussher, whose position as Archbishop of Armagh made him head of the church in Ireland, published two works in the 1650s using genealogies from the Bible to date the creation of the world to Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]

    Other estimates differ based on the use of different Bible translations and whether biblical scholars take the Bible’s six-day creation period literally or assume the “days” to be longer periods of time.

  79. leejcaroll 1, October 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Gotta love these guys: Its off the record so it doesn;t count?
    Your punctuation is incorrect. What exactly does “off the record” mean?


    (Also: Who gets their annual check-ups from Broun? Are they still living? Has he healed them with snakes?)

    A little context: Broun is on the committee that oversees the National Science Foundation and also sincerely believes “the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old.” He says he has evidence for that, and it must be pretty awesome evidence if it refutes 4,499,991,000 years of the Earth’s 4,500,000,000-year history. Potential explanation: A 13th apostle, Camcorder.

    This leads us to the second assertion from Griffanti, which is that Broun was speaking about “his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” Religious issues, of course, have somehow moved past “this wine is actually blood that you should drink” and become “the study of fetal development is the work of the devil, and my invisible friend should dictate all public policy decisions.”

    A guy that we have put in charge of real things is standing up and saying that true things are not true. That’s not a “religious issue,” that’s a learning disability.

    It’s like saying the Moon is made of cheese and calling it a “dairy issue” — evidence that the Moon is made of Moon and not of gouda might be inconvenient for gouda enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean we’re being rude to the goudists by pointing out they’re being dumb.

    It doesn’t matter though, because this is a democracy, which means if you can get enough goudists into one congressional district, it doesn’t matter what the Moon is made of — the government says it’s cheese, and that Broun is so good at his job.

  81. leejcaroll,
    you are so right that when the policians say that “you” weren’t supposed to hear that so it didn’t really happen. It is like a little kid who thinks you can’t see him or her when the child closes their own eyes!

  82. Wait, wait, since Hubbard thinks slavery’s OK but others seem to think it’s not, we should just let HIM have it and nobody else. So he can be a slave and nobody else will be. I particularly don’t want to own him (I think it’s kinky and besides I don’t want to give him a lifetime supply of cornmeal) but others may.

  83. Paul Broun and What the Democrats Cannot Do
    By Charles P. Pierce

    Congressman Doctor Paul Broun is running for re-election and he is unopposed.

    The Democratic Party in his home district couldn’t find a single person to stand up and offer the voters in that district a chance not to be represented in Congress by an obvious crackpot. No local assistant DA. No ambitious college professor; the University of Georgia is in this district. Nobody wants to stand up and make the argument that it is better for all concerned that your congresscritter not be a nut. Nobody?

    “You’re the third person to ask me this question over the last few days,” said Joe Wisenbaker, the Democratic Party chairman in Clarke County, a piece of which also is part of Broun’s district, when I spoke to him just now. “The last one was a Republican woman who was very, very angry that we don’t have a candidate. So here’s what I tell everyone who asks: We do everything we can to encourage people to engage politically and to run as Democrats. Last time, we had a good candidate, a lawyer named Russell Edwards, and he went to work full-time to run against Paul Broun, and he got a third of the vote.”

    Since then, the district’s gotten sliced and diced good and proper, but, if we’re ever going to get out of the god-enfeebled fever swamp into which the radicalized Republican Party is pushing the nation, sooner or later, there has to be organized, relentless push back at the ballot boxes everywhere in every election, whether that turns out to be ultimately futile or not. (Of all the things about which Howard Dean was right, this is the most important.) To his everlasting credit, an Army veteran named Stephen Simpson primaried Broun last August, and that was a good thing, even though Simpson got beaten pretty badly. If the Republicans could come up with a candidate to a least raise the question of why we should have frothing loons in our national legislature, the Democrats should do their part as well.

    “I’ve got a great number of people telling me that they don’t want to be represented in Congress by a nut,” says Wisenbaker. “I mean, we’re all embarrassed here.”

    Dammit, do something about it, then. Find an unemployed UGA grad who can give a speech. At the very least, voters should hear somebody on a platform calling Paul Broun out instead of leaving it at a distance to impotent media snark.

  84. Malisha 1, October 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Wait, wait, since Hubbard thinks slavery’s OK but others seem to think it’s not, we should just let HIM have it and nobody else. So he can be a slave and nobody else will be. I particularly don’t want to own him (I think it’s kinky and besides I don’t want to give him a lifetime supply of cornmeal) but others may.
    Corn syrup, or maybe it’s corn starch. Dent corn.

  85. Raff said:
    you are so right that when the policians say that “you” weren’t supposed to hear that so it didn’t really happen. It is like a little kid who thinks you can’t see him or her when the child closes their own eyes!
    Think thats what Romney thght when talking to his monied friends, hey that 47% line, no one will know outside of these guys so i can then say I am concerned about “100%” of the population

  86. Todd Akin: No ‘Science’ Behind Evolution
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle
    Oct 12, 2012

    Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) has had trouble with facts about reproduction. He said in August that women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” And in 2008, Akin claimed that it is “common practice” for women “who are not actually pregnant” to get abortions.

    Now, the GOP Senate candidate who’s running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said Thursday at a Tea Party meeting in Jefferson City, Missouri, that there’s no science behind evolution:

    AKIN: I don’t see it as even a matter of science because I don’t know that you can prove one or the other. That’s one of those things. We can talk about theology and all of those other things but I’m basically concerned about, you’ve got a choice between Claire McCaskill and myself. My job is to make the thing there. If we want to do theoretical stuff, we can do that, but I think I better stay on topic.

    Akin is far from the first member of his party to doubt the scientific evidence behind evolution. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a physician who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, last week said that “evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory” are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” During the GOP presidential primary, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) similarly argued that schools should teach students the creationist theory of intelligent design.

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