Akin Disproves Evolution

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s gift of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) is a gift that simply keeps on giving. Previously Akin alienated the GOP leadership and most of the known world with comments that, in cases of legitimate rape, women often do not get pregnant because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” He also claimed that doctor routinely performed abortions on women who are not pregnant. Now, at a Tea Party meeting in Jefferson City, Missouri, Akin has said that that there is no science behind evolution. Akin sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Akin’s remarks not only leave doubt about his knowledge — or ability to understand – science but also what he considers “the thing” that he is supposed to do in Washington:

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.

Of course, such comments could be used by some to disprove any evidence that we have evolved intellectually. Frankly, whenever I hear Akin speak recently I too begin to doubt evolution in the human species.

Notably, Akin sits on the committee with Rep. Paul Broun, the chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Broun made headlines this month with the following statement: 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.

As many of you know, I have shown equal disregard for both of the main parties that hold a monopoly on power in the United States. Indeed, the low quality politicians that we see in both parties is the very danger of all monopolies — once protected from competition, the quality of a product declines. The political monopoly in this country is the ultimate example of that phenomenon. What we need is a Sherman Act for politics, starting with the eradication of the electoral college and the establishment of a new rule on general elections.

As for Republicans, I have many friends from that party who are intellectual and honest. These characters are destroying the credibility of their party which often appears anti-intellectual and anti-science.

262 thoughts on “Akin Disproves Evolution

  1. “As for Republicans, I have many friends from that party who are intellectual and honest. These characters are destroying the credibility of their party which often appears anti-intellectual and anti-science.”

    The Republicans who are intellectual and honest should be speaking out against these Neanderthals! Why don’t they? They are letting the crazies lead the party.

  2. “the low quality politicians that we see in both parties”

    You may very well be right but would you care to name the Democrats that compare to the clowns you highlight in this post?

  3. Elaine, There must not be too many. The moderate republicans have been knocked out by the tea party in nearly every primary. Lugar is the most recent example.The democrats have a line-up of new women candidates that are good and some of them are even winning. Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren are ahead in their respective races.

  4. “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. ”

    The really clever part is the the devil had God create all the evidence for those things as part of a bet. I mean, it’s amazingly clever the way God puts something in a woman that looks EXACTLY like a developing embryo, but then at the last minute switches it out for the REAL child, which was grown in a pumpkin patch.

  5. Swarthmore mom,

    I’ve been getting robocalls from Karl Rove’s group GPS Crossroads that are filled with lies about Warren. I also got campaign material from the Massachusetts Republican Party the other day that is an attempt to scare senior citizens in my state into believing that Warren wants to cut billions of dollars from Medicare.

    **********

    Wall Street’s Favorite Candidate Slings Mud In Effort To Beat Elizabeth Warren
    The race for the Massachusetts Senate seat is a tale of two populists: one with the economic policy chops, the other with a pickup truck.
    By Sarah Jaffee
    October 15, 2012
    http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/wall-streets-favorite-candidate-slings-mud-effort-beat-elizabeth-warren

    The Massachusetts Senate race this year is a race between two competing populisms: Elizabeth Warren’s plain-folks explanations of real-world economic issues, versus Scott Brown’s “Look, I drive a pickup truck—don’t look at my record!” posturing…

    Warren, hardly a raving socialist, still scares the heck out of the big banks because she’s made her political name challenging them, out loud and in public. “She seems so invested in creating a narrative about how terrible corporate America is; how bad banks are … just listen to her at her convention speech,” a Wall Street lobbyist told Politico.

    Beyond rhetoric, Warren was the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the biggest victories for working people against the big banks in the last four years (and probably some time before that). “The CFPB is the first federal agency whose one and only job is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace,” Alexis Goldstein, Occupy Wall Street activist and former Wall Street professional explained. “They are empowered to ensure the biggest banks are following overdraft, credit card and mortgage rules, and to create fair rules for financial products in order protect consumers in some of the areas with the most predatory practices.”

    At Buzzfeed after the Democratic National Convention, Blake Zeff argued that you could hear the echoes of Warren in other Dems’ speeches, from Obama on down the ladder. Though populism was nowhere to be found in Obama’s first debate performance, the big money is chasing Brown in Massachusetts out of fear that Warren’s message will indeed be infectious.

    Meanwhile, Brown has to make noise (we won’t linger on the racist ” tomahawk chop” his supporters and staffers did at a Warren rally in response to questions over Warren’s Cherokee heritage) to distract from his actual record in the Senate. As the Campaign For America’s Future noted in its new Middle-Class Voter Guide , Brown has voted against such things as keeping interest rates on student loans down and against a bill that would’ve provided funding for teaching and fire and safety jobs, while supporting the Korea free trade bill that outsources more jobs. He also voted against the DISCLOSE Act, which would’ve required that groups that spend more than $10,000 on “electioneering” during an election cycle report that money to the Federal Election Commission.

  6. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those three don’t work the same.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.

  7. There are more than enough extreme views – along with a serious dose of hatred and intolerance – on both sides of the aisle. I was all set to vote for Obama until the VP debate. The hate and disrespect coming out of Biden was too disturbing for me to watch. I can not – make that will not – vote for a ticket with that kind of negative energy. Shortly after the VP debate, I burned my voter registration card and it is too late to get another one – I’m out. For the first time since the age of 18, I will not be voting.

    While I thought it would feel good, it just feels sad. With all this hate, in equal measures on both sides, and a two party system which blocks out any fresh ideas (oddly, the one area in which Democrats and Republicans seem to be able to work together these days is in rigging State primary systems, to ensure no third party could ever get a foothold). Whatever happened to working together like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill?

    Sadly, I fear for my nation. Whomever wins on November 6th – the one thing we can be sure of is nothing will change. And the Parties have ensured we have no valid choice but the “more of the same” which they are each offering. We can not survive this much longer.

  8. Elaine, when I really want to know what is going on, I always check with Jackie and Dunlap at Red State Update.

    One should never watch one of their videos with your mouth full.

  9. Eric,
    How does not voting help the situation you claim both parties are creating? Just what did Biden do that made you burn your registration card? Did he correct Rep. Ryan too often when Ryan told 24 lies in 40 minutes? You claim that Biden disrespected Ryan? Ryan disrespected millions of women by co-sponsoring a bill to redefine rape and prevent not only abortion for any reason, but contraception as well. Ryan’s party has embraced candidates that have called Obama a Kenyan, socialist, communist, non-American to quote some of the nicer names. They embraced birthers who claim that Obama was not an American citizen. Obama got compared to Boys by Romney …And you suggest Biden was disrespectful?
    Whatever happened to working together you ask? Have you checked how many filibusters have been used against the Dems by the Republicans during the Obama administration? Is that extreme? How many jobs bills do they have to not vote for before their claims that Obama is killing the economy rings hollow? They even refused to vote for the Veterans Jobs bill? I have disagreement on the primary system being rigged against 3rd party candidates, but not voting will do nothing but perpetuate that process.

  10. Eric, Rafflaw is trying to indoctrinate you to the groupthink here. Democrats are smart, caring and hard working. Republicans are stupid, heartless and lazy. Believe me Eric, pointing out the flaws in BOTH parties just isn’t acceptable here. Now, “Get your mind right…son.”

  11. Eric, You could probably still vote with you driver’s license. What extreme positions does Biden hold? He seemed quite moderate even in his discussion on abortion compared to the extremist Ryan that believes that abortion is to be outlawed even in the possible death of the mother.

  12. nick, Get specific and name the extremists in the democratic party. Seriously, no one really thinks of Biden as an extremist.

  13. nick,
    first of all, Eric can speak for himself. Secondly, the groupthink is what Eric is doing in his posting. He is claiming, without evidence, that Biden was disrespectful. I have never suggested that Republicans are stupid, heartless and lazy. It is Republicans who are suggesting that the poor are lazy, and that anyone who is on SS or Medicare is lazy and the 47% who won’t vote for Romney are not worth his time because they want to be poor and sick. Both parties do have flaws, but why don’t we discuss the evidence of the alleged flaws instead of painting with a broad brush and not telling the truth?.

  14. “There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.”

    Wait what? How on earth are microbes and humans NOT part of biological evolution?

  15. OT:

    Oh, these “family-values” guys:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/scott-desjarlais-ethics-complaint_n_1967184.html

    “Scott DesJarlais Hit With Ethics Complaint For Sex With Patient”

    “The complaint filed Monday by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argues that regardless of whether both parties wanted the relationship, it violates a state ethics law barring any sexual relations between doctors and patients. HuffPost noted the law in a story last week.

    “Tennessee law is crystal clear: Doctors are prohibited from engaging in sexual relationships with patients,” said Melanie Sloan, the head of CREW. “The only question remaining is, now that Tennessee authorities are aware of Rep. DesJarlais’ blatantly unethical and scurrilous conduct, what are they going to do about it?”

    In a letter to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, Sloan argues that the case merits an immediate investigation and sanctions, solely based on what DesJarlais has admitted.

    “It is hard to imagine behavior much more craven than a married doctor exploiting his position to conduct a sexual relationship with a patient,” Sloan said in a statement accompanying the press release about the complaint. “It is mind-boggling that when confronted with the patient/mistress’s possible pregnancy, this ardent pro-lifer urged her to have an abortion. How much hypocrisy can we stand? Where is Speaker John Boehner’s much-touted zero tolerance for unethical conduct now?”

    Boehner tapped DesJarlais to lead a pro forma session of Congress last week, but has not commented on the tawdry affair.”

  16. rafflaw, I’m aware Eric can speak for himself. I was speaking to Eric, not you. That’s quite apparent, isn’t it?

    OK, SWM, let’s start w/ partial birth abortion. The topic of abortion brings out the crazy in some folks here. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and NOT just in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. However, I and the vast majority of Americans deplore these late term abortions. I brought this topic up because it’s very apparent to people except for the extreme left. Fire way, but it is an extreme position by any standard.

  17. SWM, I missed your last comment. I don’t think Biden or Obama are extremists, I would not have given them $ in 2008 if I did. I now just think they’re failures, not extremists, just failures.

  18. nick,

    I hope that was sarcasm, because if it wasn’t I’m going to have to call bullshit. Although I disagree with Eric’s analysis of the VP debate, the essence of what he says has merit: extremism in both parties has taken a toll on the body politic albeit in different forms. Now do the GOP get called out for their extremism more than the DNC in this forum? Yes. But there is a reason for that. The extremists of the DNC tend to be self-serving and myopic, but not outright crazy. They tend to garner more “traditional” complaints. They tend to want to stick with whatever status quo appeals to their vanity and greed, namely supporting corporatist oligarchy (albeit for slightly different corporate overlords than those manipulating the GOP). They are corrupt, spineless and act just as much like sociopaths as any pol because sociopaths regardless of ideology are what our electoral funding processes attract when combined with the promise of political power. The GOP, on the other hand, has elements that have shifted so far ideologically to the right as to interpreted as directly dangerous to our civil rights and legal history as a nation (as constrasted to the indirect danger the DNC extremists pose). Some of the GOP extremists even possess (as this article illustrates) a theocratic bent that is not only a threat to the 1st and 14th Amendments, but a threat to empirical evidence and fact based governance in favor of governance based simply on belief (i.e. wishful thinking with no evidence). Both parties are to blame for the Patriot Act and for the ever growing threats to free speech and for the ever encroaching threats to the 4th Amendment, however, one party at this point has demonstrably crazier extremist elements than the other. That’s what happens when you cater to zealous theocratic minded minorities and the un- and under-educated in re civics to bolster your voting base: you’re going to eventually get some fringer crazies in office. True, there are some express partisans here, but the reality is that neither side gets a pass from the critical thinkers (even those with express partisan preferences). Nor should they. There is no ideological solidarity here other than a broad respect for critical thinking, reason and evidence. While left leaning perhaps, most of the participants of this forum come from a wide range of beliefs within the political spectrum. That spectrum encompasses a wide diversity on both sides of the left/right divide.

  19. Bron,

    “The Vlassic Pickle Stork doesnt bring babies? Say it aint so.”

    He got fired after the whole “Lambert” incident.

  20. Vote religion out of politics and science. Vote stupidity out of office. Put corruption in jail. Vote out all incumbents and install term limits.

    This would be a good start.

  21. What Akin and others who think as he does prove is that evolution is a slow process with some more evolved than others. Their view of the world is more in tune with 12th century superstition. What’s scary is the number of voters who are also at that level of evolution.

  22. Gene, Then why do I continually have to point out the horsesh!t on the left. I often agree w/ the shots taken @ the right, but see no one consistently pointing out the hypocrisy, greed or crazy views of the left. I have many times given kudos to people here who point out the hypocrisy of the current administration vis a vis Guantanamo and First amendment issues. There is consistency here on that, I agree. There are too few Democrats w/ the integrity to do that. Finally, I think Barbara Lee is more than just a little crazy, don’t you.

  23. nick spinelli 1, October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Eric, Rafflaw is trying to indoctrinate you to the groupthink here. Democrats are smart, caring and hard working. Republicans are stupid, heartless and lazy. Believe me Eric, pointing out the flaws in BOTH parties just isn’t acceptable here. Now, “Get your mind right…son.”

    *****

    nick,

    I think you know it’s not true that the “groupthink” here is that we believe all Democrats are smart, caring, and hardworking–and that all Republicans are stupid, heartless, and lazy. Do you have proof to support that accusation? Have you never read any comments made by the supposed “groupthinkers” on this blog that were critical of President Obama, any of his policies, any other Democrats?

    Rafflaw made some comments about Ryan and Biden and asked Eric some questions. You claim that Rafflaw was trying to “indoctrinate” him. You seem to perceive a certain mindset in the people who disagree with you politically through the narrow lens of your own mindset.

  24. ” I often agree w/ the shots taken @ the right, but see no one consistently pointing out the hypocrisy, greed or crazy views of the left. ”

    Then you simply aren’t paying attention, nick.

  25. nick, Aiken’s and Ryan’s beliefs on birth control and abortion are nearly identical. Aiken is not as unique in the republican party as he is being portrayed.

  26. Ryan co-sponsored a “personhood” amendment, an extreme anti-abortion measure. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and invitro fertilization.

  27. Commenting without reading comments

    As usual an idea strikes me, and I pass it on.

    Professor Turley,

    Are you not missing a big point, in fact one you mention in passing but do not develop, sir?

    How is it that idiots like those exemplified DO get elected? Or how is it that good candidates do not get elected and re-elected?

    The Electoral Commission does not effect Congressional races, or does it? In my ignorance(?) I assumed that the popular vote decided. If the EC is involved then much of my argument falls.

    However even WITH EC the good candidates should win.
    Or we do not have survival of the fittest and thus not evolution. And I don’t believe that.

    Why not? Surely a majority of the electorate is competent to separate garbage from food. (Calling into question my own example? Yes, go back to your fries.)

    Have we been in fact manipulated with such developed tools that even Todd Akin can get elected with those words hanging around his neck?

    Woe betide us, in which case.

    Save us Prof. Turley, give us back our American myths, such that MikeS took away from us. Make Akin go away.

  28. Elaine, I consistently vote Dem, Republican, and Third Party. Does that mean I have a “narrow lens”? Of course not, it means I have an open mind. Oh, I just saw another Obama Big Bird ad this morning here in Wisconsin. You continue to be much more honorable than the Obama campaign.

    You’ll appreciate this. I drove to Minnesota last Friday to visit my daughter. When I got to LaCrosse, Wi. there was a traffic jam. I figured it was an accident since it was mid afternoon and LaCrosse really doesn’t even have a rush hour. Then I saw a motorcade and realized it was Uncle Joe! My derision for him is well documented. It’s just another example of my belief that God is a ball buster.

  29. idealist, When I was in Dingle, County, Kerry, Ireland ,a fairly remote place, a woman that worked in a store was reading an Irish paper with a picture of Aiken on the front page. She said American republicans and their followers are crazy.

  30. nick,

    I wrote:
    “You seem to perceive a certain mindset in the people who disagree with you politically through the narrow lens of your own mindset.”

    I’ll repeat that again. You appear to perceive people who disagree with you politically through a narrow lens.

    Do you have proof to support your allegations about the “groupthink” on this blog?

  31. SWM, I believe Macaskill will win. However, the fact that this is still a race says more about her than Akin. I worked w/ Macaskill, she is pure politics and the folks in Missouri know that. You can’t win a statewide election in Missouri w/o getting a portion of independents. The fact that she’s still fighting for them w/ this Akin idiot should be edifying to Dems.

  32. nick,

    P.S. I have voted for Republicans in the past. The Republican Party of today is not the Republican Party that I remember from my earlier years. It seems there are few moderates left in the GOP–or maybe the moderates are afraid to speak out.

  33. Elaine, There are cliques of groupthink. There is not a collective groupthink here since obviously I’m here as are a few other independents. If I go into the clique groupthink then it will start getting personal which is never productive.

  34. In all fairness there are many factors.

    SwM, just mentioned one which encompasses mine, where I thought to say that if you tell a man what he wants to hear he will trust you. “Here’s my money, go to it.”

    Then there is of course the fact that evolution does NOT, repaet NOT means the same as advancement.

    But “bad” evolutional development are supposed to be selected out of the species.

    In spite of it all, some species disappear for different reasons. Maybe we will to because of an experiement in government which is subverted by thieves.

  35. nick S ,I am not a fan of Mccaskill ,either, but the race says more about the political leanings in Missouri these days that it does about her. Obama is not winning there either. The state is pretty red.

  36. “Shortly after the VP debate, I burned my voter registration card and it is too late to get another one – I’m out. For the first time since the age of 18, I will not be voting.” (Eric Schwarz)

    Such drama!

    Now poor ol’ Eric can’t even vote for any issues that may affect his future.

    We call that cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    I knew a woman who was a huge Bruce Springsteen fan but burned all her concert teeshitrs and CD’s when Springsteen supported Obama in 2008. She actually wanted me to feel sorry for her having been pushed to take such action. What a hoot!

    Election time really brings out the crazies.

  37. ElaineM,

    Would I be correct in guessing that Robert Taft of famed olden days is a liberal compared to today’s feeders of skit that folk want to hear?

  38. Elaine, We’ve had the discussion about the Republican Party previously and we agreed. However, there are some Republicans I could still vote for. I may cast my first ever Republican presidential vote. I’ve only voted for two Dem Presidents[Carter and Obama]. There’s certainly some symmetry there. At my core I’m a libertarian, we are SOL of late.

  39. Blouise,

    “Such drama!”

    Such poorly written, unconvincing drama.

    The first rule of story telling: you have to make people care about the characters

    You’d think that if he went to all the trouble of making a story about himself up, he’d at least make up one that puts you in a sympathetic light.

    Also, I highly recommend Springsteen’s disk “Live in Dublin” man is that a hot band he has backing him up.

  40. “In a close race, Libertarian Gary Johnson clearly makes the GOP nervous. In Iowa, the Romney campaign “ran what was effectively a surveillance operation” to monitor Johnson’s efforts to collect ballot signatures. In Pennsylvania, GOP officials “hired a private detective to investigate his ballot drive.” In Michigan, the Johnson campaign filed the necessary paperwork three minutes late, and Republicans used this to block the former governor from the state ballot.” Maddow blog

  41. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/15/bruce-springsteen-supporting-barack-obama

    “Can Bruce Springsteen do it again for Obama?”

    “Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in. Having told the New Yorker that he was going to sit this election out, Bruce Springsteen has decided to saddle up once more in support of President Barack Obama’s re-election bid. His first appearance will be alongside Bill Clinton at a rally in Parma, Ohio this Thursday. Like Clinton, whose convention speech thrilled the faithful last month, Springsteen is well-equipped to inject some emotional heat into a somewhat chilly and apologetic Obama campaign.”

  42. SWM, Missouri is more pink than red. I believe they went Dem for Carter and Clinton but have been red[slightly] the last 3 elections.

  43. groupthink /ˈgruːpθɪŋk/, n.

    :the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making

    The evidence of this forum is that anyone and everyone is challenged and that the decisions (which are left to the individual) cover the quality spectrum, ergo, there is no groupthink here. Disagreement – of which there is plenty – is not groupthink simply because one does not like what the other person thinks about a given subject.

  44. Gyges,

    Wow! Holy Shite! That banjo was out of this world! Thank you so much for that clip … it’s a keeper.

    Wouldn’t you have loved to have been up on that stage joining in?

    (Lots of redheads for Gene ;) )

    As to poor Eric, our latest self-disenfranchised voter … he dates himself pretty well with the “since I was 18 years old” gibberish.

  45. Groupthink, but with a common goal—avoiding personal risk. Seen constantly in CIA meetings, often at least 4 levels hierarchically, to decide on one man’s proffered solution, based solely on the goal to minimize the risk, to share the blame at worst, and to preferably for all to avoid it if the project should fail.

  46. Blouise,

    The whole 2 CD set’s like that. It’s phenomenal. Gave me a whole new level of respect for The Boss.

    If you think Eric knows where is voter registration card is, let alone burned it, I’ve got this great bridge I’d love to sell you. For that matter, if you think he was all set to vote for Obama, I’ve got this great cure-all, it’ll add hair where wanted, remove it where unwanted, help with everything from diaper rash to arthritis, AND makes a darn tasty marinade for pork.

  47. Gene,

    “Disagreement – of which there is plenty – is not groupthink simply because one does not like what the other person thinks about a given subject.”

    And agreement on an issue doesn’t necessarily imply groupthink. Some people appear to believe it does. We can arrive at the same/similar conclusions, positions, and opinions on issues individually.

  48. Gyges,

    Nick’s been trying to sell me that bridge for weeks. ;)

    Just ordered the CD/DVD … put my money where my mouth is.

  49. ElaineH,
    “The Republicans who are intellectual and honest should be speaking out against these Neanderthals! Why don’t they? They are letting the crazies lead the party.”

    Per my previous post, they are useful tools who provide a necessary margin of winning by attracting the “crazy” voters. Does Akins really lead? Hope not.

  50. “These characters are destroying the credibility of their party [GOP] which often appears anti-intellectual and anti-science.”

    *****************************

    Appears? Really? Sadly, your friends are the exception. Akin is positively mainstream:

    From the New York Times:

    August 22, 2011, 1:13 PM
    A Fundamental Republican Science Problem
    By ANDREW C. REVKIN
    Many efforts to gauge why most Republicans reject or doubt the science pointing to risks from unabated emissions of greenhouse gases are issue-centric. It’s fossil fuel money. It’s disinformation campaigns that spin scientific complexity and some overheated warming rhetoric into a carbon-tax conspiracy.

    Those factors are out there. But a more fundamental explanation is hinted at in polling on broader attitudes on science. The bottom line continues to be that belief, particularly religious belief, trumps data. (Keep in mind that belief sometimes trumps data for other political factions, as well, on issues like nuclear power.) [2:02 p.m. | Updated In a comment below, Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies how values shape people’s perceptions of information, adds important context, asserting that religiosity, per se, doesn’t appear to be the issue.]

    Gallup polling on evolution provides a useful lens. Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief, reviewed the group’s findings on Friday after a week in which two Republican presidential candidates clarified their starkly different stances on global warming and evolution. (Hat tip to GOP12 blog via Politico.)

    A 2007 poll asked respondents if they believed that “Evolution, that is, the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life,” is “definitely true, probably true, probably false, definitely false?” (That’s a very odd and constrained definition of evolution, of course, but responses would still provide a useful view of broader attitudes on the theory.)

    Newport said the 2007 survey found that 53 percent of Americans said this particular framing of evolution was either definitely or probably true, while 44 percent said evolution was definitely or probably not true.

    Then he wrote this about Republicans:

    Of importance to us here is the breakout among Republicans. We found in 2007 that a whopping 68 percent of Republicans did not believe in evolution when using this question wording.

  51. David Blauw 1, October 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Dredd, ….AKINOIDS !!!!!

    LMAO, How many Akinoids can fit on the head of a pin ??
    ===============================================
    I will check on that over at Red State.

  52. “Gyges
    1, October 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    “There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.”

    Wait what? How on earth are microbes and humans NOT part of biological evolution?”
    ================================

    Microbes, while biological, do not pass on genes as typically DNA creatures do.

    Similarly, social evolution is not due to mutation, apparently not part of the selection process either.

    Witness our caveman social forms and interactions systems.

  53. Elaine M.
    1, October 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    —————————————
    According to the repubs embryoes are people with rights…the mothers are simply walking wombs (with the unfortunate addition of mouths and brain matter….). Corporations, are people too! What fun, they have rights (…but are so right they are self policing) and follow different rules….Apparently, according to the righteous right, the only people that aren’t real people….are people !

  54. “Microbes, while biological, do not pass on genes as typically DNA creatures do.”

    So?

    “Similarly, social evolution is not due to mutation, apparently not part of the selection process either.”

    Behavior is absolutely selected for. What makes you think that it isn’t?

  55. GeneH,

    “Then you simply aren’t paying attention, nick.”

    Nick would not be Nick if he were not as he is. A great guy who believes wholeheartedly in Ayn Ramd and libertarianism.

    I find it simple, there is always a fight for headlines, and the Republicans are leading at this point. It is harder to be more stupid than they, and the lazy press encourages them. Eases their job.

    Competing factions, you mentioned. Perhaps, or cooperating cartels.

  56. Last time I checked, bacteria had DNA, mutated, and passed on their genes. That’s how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance.

    “Wait what? How on earth are microbes and humans NOT part of biological evolution?”
    Answer: On this earth, they are part of biological evolution. No life escapes it.

    Jus’ sayin’.

  57. I retract my previous views when comparing evolution and selection on general terms as I did.

    In fact, there are environments which are conducive to survival of avarts who depart from the general one.

    IE. Akins et al, exist in a social mileue conducive to their survival, where a science minded Dem atheist would
    survive, even if he had merits of survivability exceeding that of the other competitor.

    Where you are and when you are decides your fate in the local filter.

  58. Bob Kauten,

    I knew I would be called on that. Right you are. There ARE some forms of life who don’t have nucleii or DNA, but we don’t have much to do with them.

    Actually, if you re-read you will see that the emphasis was on social evolution. It is not the same as biological evolution. And social evolution is what we are arging about constantly.

  59. Elaine M.
    1, October 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    Woosty,

    Both Romney and Ryan believe that fertilized eggs are people with rights. Ryan even cosponsored personhood, ultrasound, and “Let Women Die” Legislation.
    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/08/18/romney-vp-pick-paul-ryan-cosponsored-personhood-ultrasound-and-let-women-die-legislation/
    ==============================
    So if I get in the path of a spilled roving sperm, I would claim the deduction right away?…should I also apply for the ballooning eggs SS card (to be issued retroactively to the moment of conception…) and maybe the best time to vaccinate the little bugger is in utero….BEFORE s/he gets contaminated by the worldly cauldron of frothily mutating germs? (Rumsfeld and Gilead would be ecstatic…) ?……..responsibly yours…..
    ps. in the future, why not register all the lil eggs BEFORE they get utilized, that would not only be pro-active but potentially fiscally illuminating as well!

  60. Woosty,

    Here’s an excerpt from a post that I wrote last year about a Republican state legislator from Georgia:

    Just yesterday, I read about State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia who is introducing legislation in his state that would require proof that a miscarriage—aka a spontaneous abortion—was the result of natural causes. If this legislation passes, there would have to be proof that a woman’s miscarriage was the result of natural causes. If a woman can’t prove that—she might face felony charges!

    From a piece in Daily Kos: “Franklin wants to create a Uterus Police to investigate miscarriages, and requires that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can’t tell how it happened, then those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it. Yup, we’ve been waiting for someone to suggest this–and Franklin has.”

    Here’s the link to Franklin’s bill:
    http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display.aspx?Legislation=31965

    There are millions and millions of American women who suffer/have suffered miscarriages through no fault of their own. Suffering a miscarriage can be an emotionally wrenching experience for a woman. Imagine losing a much wanted pregnancy–and then having to prove the miscarriage was the result of natural causes. How does a woman do that, Rep. Franklin? Can you explain to the women of Georgia how they should go about gathering evidence to prove that they haven’t committed a felony when they have a miscarriage?

    By the way, Rep. Franklin also introduced a bill to change Georgia’s criminal codes so that victims of rape, stalking, and family violence could only be referred to as “accusers” until defendants have been convicted.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/02/19/the-rights-war-on-women-continues-at-the-state-level/

  61. “Elaine M.
    1, October 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    Woosty,

    Both Romney and Ryan believe that fertilized eggs are people with rights. Ryan even cosponsored personhood, ultrasound, and “Let Women Die” Legislation.”
    ==============================

    When do they get the right to vote? Red, of course.

  62. There was a character who Rozanne Rozanne O’Dana made fun of on Saturday Night Live many years ago. “Helllooo Tooooddd!
    This guy did not grow up under a cypress tree in Swamp East Missouri but in fact lived in a huge manion in a rich suburb and went to a prep school. So, he is not of the genre of “went in dumb, come out dumb too..” He knows better and is talking this stuff for the anti woman vote. Mizzoura has a lot of Catolics and he is working that angle.

  63. FairlyBalanced, McCaskill is the catholic in the race. While Aiken draws support from the far out catholics that also like Ryan and Santorum, his main support is from evangelical christians.

  64. As long as “millionaire candidates” are the only choices offered, we will continue to get poor/mediocre representation.

    “The 2012 election offers us a stark choice between two very different approaches to economic policy. But it’s still a choice between two Harvard-educated millionaires. Even in an election that is supposed to be about the future of our economy, we don’t have a working-class option in the voting booth.

    It’s time for citizens who care about political equality to start investing in working-class candidates. We know how to do this. In 1945, the House and the Senate were each 98 percent men. In the decades since, party leaders and interest groups have deliberately recruited many female candidates, and today women make up 17 percent of Congress.

    If the old boys’ club isn’t invincible, the Millionaires Party probably isn’t, either. Changes like these aren’t rocket science. They just take a little hard work.” (NICHOLAS CARNES)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/which-millionaire-are-you-voting-for.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  65. Gyges 1, October 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Behavior is absolutely selected for. What makes you think that it isn’t?
    ======================================================
    Recent revolutionary science:

    More problematic is the reality that the human genome is still a vast catalogue of the unknown and scarcely known. The Human Genome Project’s most startling finding was that human genes, as currently defined, make up less than 2 percent of all the DNA on the genome, and that the total number of genes is relatively small. Scientists had predicted there might be 80,000 to 140,000 human genes, but the current tally is fewer than 25,000 — as one scientific paper put it, somewhere between that of a chicken and a grape. The remaining 98 percent of our DNA, once dismissed as “junk DNA,” is now taken more seriously. Researchers have focused on introns, in the gaps between the coding segments of genes, which may play a crucial role in regulating gene expression, by switching them on and off in response to environmental stimuli.

    … some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes … 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial … exchanging messages with genes inside human cells … microbes cohabitating our body outnumber human cells by a factor of 10, making us actually “superorganisms” that use our own genetic repertoire as well as those of our microbial symbionts … We just happen to look human because our human cells are much larger than bacterial cells … no matter how you look at it, it’s high time we acknowledge that part of being human is being microbial … Microbes may indeed be subtly changing our brain early on — and for what purposes we cannot yet say … the mere fact that microorganisms can shape our minds brings up many more questions about how humans develop their identity … these findings call for a complete re-examination of human physiology and immunology. Attributes that were assumed to be human traits have been shown to result from human–microbe interactions.

    (One Man’s Junk Gene Is Another Man’s Treasure Gene?). Recent research which discovered actual “molecular words” in the language of microbes also discovered that “microbes make the rules for multi-cellular development (Microbial Hermeneutics – 2). See video by Dr. Bassler to the group of scientists at the end of the post.

  66. ID, You’re correct about the press looking for sound bite headlines. You can tell the scripted lines in debates that play to that myopia.

  67. Gyges 1, October 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    “There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.”
    ———————————————————————————–
    Wait what? How on earth are microbes and humans NOT part of biological evolution?
    ======================================
    What you wrote “microbes and humans NOT part of biological evolution” is not what I wrote.

    In context please.

    Abiotic evolution is covered by cosmology (evolution of machines), microbial evolution is covered by microbiology (evolution of single cell entities), so in this context I mentioned biological evolution applies to multi-cellular biological evolution, and human social evolution is covered by sociology.

    Semantics. All of those categories of evolution are complex in and of themselves.

    The definition and therefore the application of “evolution” always needs to be examined in context:

    ev·o·lu·tion … noun

    1. any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.

    2. a product of such development; something evolved: The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.

    3. Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

    4. a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.

    5. a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.

    (Dictionary). The Akinoids habitually conflate “everything evolution” into muddy water rather than considering the unique processes and dynamics at play in the vast cosmos, as well as on the Earth and other planets.

  68. Dredd,

    Thanks. Hope theý listen. It is very complex in reality but can be explained as you do.
    Why do you need a god when you have nature, of which we know so little.

    Beddy bye, And don’t fight the microbes. You can’t live without them.

  69. idealist707 1, October 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Dredd,

    Thanks. Hope theý listen. It is very complex in reality but can be explained as you do.
    Why do you need a god when you have nature, of which we know so little.

    Beddy bye, And don’t fight the microbes. You can’t live without them.
    ======================================================
    Watch this so you can dream well:

  70. Rafflaw:

    If you read my post more carefully, you will not that I said:

    “The hate and disrespect coming out of Biden was too disturbing for me to watch.”

    This is not a statement which neither requires proof, nor which can be proved. I was not comparing Biden to Ryan, Republicans, or anyone else. I simply stated that I personally found Biden offensive on that evening. This is a personal feeling which, as is the case with all personal feelings, is unprovable. You feel what you feel, it simply is.

    For the record, I agree with many of your points. However, I believe it is neither accurate nor fair to broadly categorize all of the people in any group as “the same”. Any group is made up of individuals, each of those individuals is unique. Some will have good ideas, some will be extreme. In my opinion, there are good ideas and, rational people, on both sides of the aisle – and there folks with extreme points of view on both sides of the aisle.

    It is my feeling, again, my feeling, that Biden exhibited the level of vitriol that affects many in our country. Friends and family can not even discuss politics any more without extreme emotion. The most common way for our news channels to “discuss” an issue is to have one person from each “side” shout and talk over each other. What does that accomplish? What do we learn from that? How does that move us forward?

    In my opinion, this country is in a very dangerous place. No country with our debt to GDP levels has ever survived without a major currency crisis. The entire Western world is in a similar situation. We will need to listen to good ideas on both sides of the aisle if we are to find our way out of this.

    If we are to survive as a nation, we must improve the level of dialogue in this country and I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

    “Dialogue – Assuming the answer lies somewhere in the room and that each of us has a piece.” Through cooperation only, will we find the solutions to our very serious problems.

  71. SwM,

    The point is getting more working class into office. Would you rather have a millionaire lawyer or a millionaire businessman as President? Some choice.

    “The working class is the backbone of our society, a majority of our labor force and 90 million people strong. If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up roughly 3 percent of American families. … in government, almost no one with personal experience in working-class jobs has a seat at the table. Their absence … has real consequences. Former businesspeople in government tend to think like businesspeople, former lawyers tend to think like lawyers, and the few former blue-collar workers tend to think like blue-collar workers. Social safety net programs are stingier, business regulations are flimsier, tax policies are more regressive, and protections for workers are weaker than they would be if our lawmakers came from the same mix of classes as the people they represent.”

  72. “so in this context I mentioned biological evolution applies to multi-cellular biological evolution, and human social evolution is covered by sociology.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. Microbes evolving are part of biological evolution as is anything involving human evolution. I know this because evolutionary biologists study microbes AND humans.

    If you’re going to keep asserting they should be separated out, it’d sure help your credibility if you explained what the difference is and why it matters. Your hand wavy pseudo-science babble is unconvincing.

  73. Blouise, You have a point but just because one is from the working class does not mean that he or she favors policies that are favorable to the working class. I have found the opposite to be true on many occasions. Sarah Palin and Joe the plumber come to mind

  74. blouise, In Texas many white working class are very hostile to the exact policies that could be beneficial to them.

  75. Eric Schwarz 1, October 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Rafflaw:

    If you read my post more carefully, you will not that I said:

    “The hate and disrespect coming out of Biden was too disturbing for me to watch.”

    This is not a statement which neither requires proof, nor which can be proved. I was not comparing Biden to Ryan, Republicans, or anyone else. I simply stated that I personally found Biden offensive on that evening. This is a personal feeling which, as is the case with all personal feelings, is unprovable. You feel what you feel, it simply is.
    ===========================================
    Not so.

    It is quite common in criminal trials, where the utmost evidence is requited, to prove hate.

    Otherwise there could be no hate crime convictions.

  76. Gyges 1, October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    “so in this context I mentioned biological evolution applies to multi-cellular biological evolution, and human social evolution is covered by sociology.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. Microbes evolving are part of biological evolution as is anything involving human evolution. I know this because evolutionary biologists study microbes AND humans.

    If you’re going to keep asserting they should be separated out, it’d sure help your credibility if you explained what the difference is and why it matters. Your hand wavy pseudo-science babble is unconvincing.
    ===========================================
    You are a semantics freak who has utterly no concept of modern science.

    You are smarter in your own mind, like other Akinoids, than the world recognized scientists I quote.

  77. Dredd,

    Where exactly did you quote a scientist who said there was a difference between microbial evolution and biological? But hey, if we want to have dueling science quotes, here’s one that explicitly says that both human and microbial evolution fall under the blanket of biological evolution:

    “Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed biology, the science of life, from many disparate subjects into a single subject, which accounts for its profound significance. Instead of becoming a zooplankton ecologist, I therefor became a all-purpose evolutionist as a graduate student and have been studying the entire tangled bank ever since– from microbes to humans.”

    From The Neighborhood Project: using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time , by David Sloan Wilson. Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Birmingham University.

    Now, would you care to explain what this well known and respected evolutionary biologist gets wrong, and please provide some evidence other than your say-so.

  78. Off Topic:

    Tea Party Group Launches Racist ‘Obama Phone’ Ad
    By Ian Millhiser
    Oct 15, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/15/1015701/tea-party-group-launches-racist-obamaphone-ad/

    Late last month, conservative media lit up with a video of an African-American woman excitedly praising President Barack Obama because he supposedly gave racial minorities in Cleveland free telephones. The video received prominent placement on the pro-Romney Drudge Report and spawned a popular #Obamaphone hashtag on Twitter. Although there is indeed a federal program which provides low-income people with free or reduced-cost cell phones, it began in 2008 under President George W. Bush. The idea of providing subsidized phone service to low-income individuals originated with a program started under President Ronald Reagan.

    Now, the “Obamaphone” woman is the star of an ad sponsored by the Tea Party Victory Fund suggesting President Obama’s policies have “enslaved Americans“:

    It’s difficult to view this ad as anything other that an appeal to the visceral reaction its very enthusiastic star is likely to inspire in a certain kind of voter. The ad will run in three Ohio counties — Lucas, Summit, and Mahoning — all of which are predominantly white.

  79. More from the Tea Party:

    Tea Party Leader In Mississippi Suggests ‘Our Country Might Have Been Better Off’ If Women Still Couldn’t Vote

    The President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, a woman named Janis Lane, believes that women are too “mean, hateful” and “diabolical” to vote, and likely should not have been given the right. In an interview with the Jackson Free Press, Lane told the interviewer, “I’m really going to set you back here. Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote.” She went on: “Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/15/1010941/mississippi-women-vote/

  80. Gyges 1, October 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Dredd,

    Where exactly did you quote a scientist who said there was a difference between microbial evolution and biological?
    ====================================
    Like I said, you are a semantics freak. You could use that quote to argue against specialization or to no longer use the terms microbiology or cosmology.

    It is akin to saying “I wanted to be a big lawyer so I gave up calling myself a criminal lawyer, corporate lawyer, civil lawyer, or appellate lawyer, and decided to call myself “a jack of all lawyering.”

    Use you intellect because I don’t play silly word games.

    You used your own authority with no citations to a scientist until after I pointed that out.

    I cited scientists several times while you were fumbling over words in your own myopic context that engendered a false comment about what I had written.

    You have not challenged the scientists, who are specialists in their respective fields, that I cited to. There were about ten of them or so.

    I have no desire to interact in the manner you are, that is for Akinoids.

    Akinoids have evolved, but I would not cite that evolution as an example of biological evolution, it is a product of social evolution, and it is very dangerous (The Most Dangerous Moment in Recorded History).

  81. Elaine,

    “And agreement on an issue doesn’t necessarily imply groupthink. Some people appear to believe it does. We can arrive at the same/similar conclusions, positions, and opinions on issues individually.”

    And people can be in agreement and have reached their conclusion by different lines of reasoning as well.

    *******************

    Gyges,

    It may have been while you were otherwise occupied, but on the “does Dredd actually understand what he reads when he reads biology” question, Tony C and I have already (rather vigorously) tried to explain to him that no he does not understand what he reads on that subject. Because he doesn’t understand biology and microbiology in proper context, he often regurgitates a rather ridiculous form of Mitichlorian worship as if it were actual science when if fact it’s just science he completely doesn’t understand. A 21st Century fairy tale he tells himself (and others) where he’s used misunderstood science in place of magic to explain away certain things about the world he find unpalatable. You are fighting a losing battle. He’ll even try to tell you microbes practice science and religion if you ask him. Really. I’m not kidding in the slightest. He apparently saw the word “culture” and really got the wrong idea. The differences between microbes and complex multicellular life are lost on him. I finally just stopped reading any post of his that mentions biology in any form. Of course, feel free to explore the depths of his misconceptions as you are want but forewarning is the least I could do since we’ve previously discussion evolution and biology and I’ve always found you an reasonable actor properly informed on the subject.

  82. The Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden Was Right to Laugh
    By Matt Taibbi
    October 12, 2012
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012

    I’ve never thought much of Joe Biden. But man, did he get it right in last night’s debate, and not just because he walloped sniveling little Paul Ryan on the facts. What he got absolutely right, despite what you might read this morning (many outlets are criticizing Biden’s dramatic excesses), was his tone. Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms.

    But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called “objective” news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, “Come back when you’re serious.”

    The load of balls that both Romney and Ryan have been pushing out there for this whole election season is simply not intellectually serious. Most of their platform isn’t even a real platform, it’s a fourth-rate parlor trick designed to paper over the real agenda – cutting taxes even more for super-rich dickheads like Mitt Romney, and getting everyone else to pay the bill.

    The essence of the whole campaign for me was crystalized in the debate exchange over Romney’s 20 percent tax-cut plan. ABC’s Martha Raddatz turned the questioning to Ryan:

    MS. RADDATZ: Well, let’s talk about this 20 percent.

    VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well – (chuckles) –

    MS. RADDATZ: You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it, and that’s why you won’t tell voters?

    Here Ryan is presented with a simple yes-or-no answer. Since he doesn’t have the answer, he immediately starts slithering and equivocating:

    REP. RYAN: Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. You see, I understand the –

    “We want to have bipartisan agreements?” This coming from a Republican congressman? These guys would stall a bill to name a post office after Shirley Temple. Biden, absolutely properly, chuckled and said, “That’d be a first for a Republican congress.” Then Raddatz did exactly what any self-respecting journalist should do in that situation: she objected to being lied to, and yanked on the leash, forcing Ryan back to the question.

    I’m convinced Raddatz wouldn’t have pounced on Ryan if he hadn’t trotted out this preposterous line about bipartisanism. Where does Ryan think we’ve all been living, Mars? It’s one thing to pull that on some crowd of unsuspecting voters that hasn’t followed politics that much and doesn’t know the history. But any professional political journalist knows enough to know the abject comedy of that line. Still, Ryan was banking on the moderator not getting in the way and just letting him dump his trash on audiences. Instead, she aggressively grabbed Ryan by his puppy-scruff and pushed him back into the mess of his own proposal:

    MS. RADDATZ: Do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you know exactly what you’re doing?

    So now the ball is in Ryan’s court. The answer he gives is astounding:

    REP. RYAN: Look – look at what Mitt – look at what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did. They worked together out of a framework to lower tax rates and broaden the base, and they worked together to fix that. What we’re saying is here’s our framework: Lower tax rates 20 percent – we raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. We forgo about 1.1 trillion [dollars] in loopholes and deductions. And so what we’re saying is deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation –

    Three things about this answer:

    1) Ryan again here refuses to answer Raddatz’s yes-or-no question about specifics. So now we know the answer: there are no specifics.

    2) In lieu of those nonexistent specifics, what Ryan basically says is that he and Romney will set the framework – “Lower taxes by 20 percent” – and then they’ll work out the specifics of how to get there with the Democrats in bipartisan fashion.

    3) So essentially, Ryan has just admitted on national television that the Romney tax plan will be worked out after the election with the same Democrats from whom they are now, before the election, hiding any and all details.

    So then, after that, there’s this exchange.

    VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can I translate?

    REP. RYAN: – so we can lower tax rates across the board. Now, here’s why I’m saying this. What we’re saying is here’s a framework –

    VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I hope I’m going to get time to respond to this.

    REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress –

    MS. RADDATZ: I – you’ll get time.

    REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress on how best to achieve this. That means successful – look –

    MS. RADDATZ: No specifics, yeah.

    Raddatz did exactly the right thing. She asked a yes-or-no question, had a politician try to run the lamest kind of game on her – and when he was done, she called him on it, coming right back to the question and translating for viewers: “No specifics.”

    Think about what that means. Mitt Romney is running for president – for president! – promising an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without offering any details about how that’s going to be paid for. Forget being battered by the press, he and his little sidekick Ryan should both be tossed off the playing field for even trying something like that. This race for the White House, this isn’t some frat prank. This is serious. This is for grownups, for God’s sake.

    If you’re going to offer an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without explaining how it’s getting paid for, hell, why stop there? Why not just offer everyone over 18 a 1965 Mustang? Why not promise every child a Zagnut and an Xbox, or compatible mates for every lonely single person?

    Sometimes in journalism I think we take the objectivity thing too far. We think being fair means giving equal weight to both sides of every argument. But sometimes in the zeal to be objective, reporters get confused. You can’t report the Obama tax plan and the Romney tax plan in the same way, because only one of them is really a plan, while the other is actually not a plan at all, but an electoral gambit.

    The Romney/Ryan ticket decided, with incredible cynicism, that that they were going to promise this massive tax break, not explain how to pay for it, and then just hang on until election day, knowing that most of the political press would let it skate, or at least not take a dump all over it when explaining it to the public. Unchallenged, and treated in print and on the air as though it were the same thing as a real plan, a 20 percent tax cut sounds pretty good to most Americans. Hell, it sounds good to me.

    The proper way to report such a tactic is to bring to your coverage exactly the feeling that Biden brought to the debate last night: contempt and amazement. We in the press should be offended by what Romney and Ryan are doing – we should take professional offense that any politician would try to whisk such a gigantic lie past us to our audiences, and we should take patriotic offense that anyone is trying to seize the White House using such transparently childish and dishonest tactics.

    I’ve never been a Joe Biden fan. After four years, I’m not the biggest Barack Obama fan, either (and I’ll get into why on that score later). But they’re at least credible as big-league politicians. So much of the Romney/Ryan plan is so absurdly junior league, it’s so far off-Broadway, it’s practically in New Jersey.

    Paul Ryan, a leader in the most aggressively and mindlessly partisan Congress in history, preaching bipartisanship? A private-equity parasite, Mitt Romney, who wants to enact a massive tax cut and pay for it without touching his own personal fortune-guaranteeing deduction, the carried-interest tax break – which keeps his own taxes below 15 percent despite incomes above $20 million?

    The Romney/Ryan platform makes sense, and is not laughable, in only one context: if you’re a multi-millionaire and you recognize that this is the only way to sell your agenda to mass audiences. But if you’re not one of those rooting gazillionaires, you should laugh, you should roll your eyes, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the Vice President or an ABC reporter or a toll operator. You should laugh, because this stuff is a joke, and we shouldn’t take it seriously.

  83. Dredd,

    I guess I didn’t know I needed a quote to prove that both humans and microbes are alive and studied by biologists. I would’ve thought that anyone pontificating on biology would know those two facts. Consider me chastened for my baseless assumptions of competency.

    So, now that I’ve established that at least one evolutionary biologist considers that studying the evolution of either humans and microbes to fall under the heading of “biological evolution,” where did you quote a scientist who said there was a difference between microbial evolution and biological? You can either copy and paste the quote, or alternately link to comment. Either would be less work than insulting me.

    Consider this one last plea for an honest and direct answer. An answer that doesn’t try and put the burden of proof on the skeptic. One that doesn’t try and misdirect without answering. One that doesn’t serve as an excuse to try and drive traffic to your blog (hey I can hope).

    But hey, if you want to keep telling me that I’m not worthy of reading your genius (while at the same time shamelessly linking to your blog), I guess that I can’t really stop you. I just would really like to know what on earth you think the distinction between evolution involving microbes and humans (both of which are alive and studied by biologists of all sorts, not just the evolutionary ones) isn’t the same thing as biological evolution (or evolution that involves living things).

  84. SWM, May I translate your comment, thanks I will. “Those poor, white trash, crackers are too stupid to understand there is a free lunch.”

    Eric, Trying to reply to some of these questions which are loaded and ludicrous is impossible. “Resistance is futile.” Get w/ the program. There are people who are run off by the bullies here. A Freud guy is a recent example. Be prepared to run the gauntlet of bullies, or just walk away. A wise dude helped me understand the pathology here. I’m just paying it forward. Since you hate the duopoly as I do, I’m sympatico.

  85. SwM,

    ” … but just because one is from the working class does not mean that he or she favors policies that are favorable to the working class.”

    I’m talking about a whole new class of politicians who aren’t interested in appealing to the millionaire mind set that at this point in time runs the screening process. Politicians who actually live with people who struggle without health insurance and who, perhaps never had good health insurance until they won office. I’m talking about politicians who were brick layers or office clerks or nurses or teachers or steel workers. I’m talking about politicians who come directly from the middle/middle or lower/middle class and are truly interested in and very familiar with the actual people they represent and the problems those people deal with on a daily basis.

    Look … The Millionaire’s Party like the Ol’ Boy’s Party have had their run. It’s time for party leaders and interests groups to start recruiting from the working class … they’ll do it if we demand it … they’ll do it if they want to survive.

  86. The fallacy of the appeal to emotion(s) – specifically appeals to spite and flattery. You don’t see that from the trollish very often. Not.

  87. Akinoids conflated practically everything having to do with evolution together to the point they understand practically nothing about it.

    McEvolution is the silly result.

    Cosmology and physics deal with the early evolutionary dynamics explained via various hypotheses and theories:

    “Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial.” Professor Lithgow said.

    These are generally placed within the many hypotheses and theories in Big Bang Cosmology.

    There is a distinction in such evolutionary ideology where non-life, that is, the machines Professor Lithgow mentioned, become something more:

    Dr Clarke said: “There are a lot of fundamental questions about the origins of life and many people think they are questions about biology. But for life to have evolved, you have to have a moment when non-living things become living – everything up to that point is chemistry.”

    (Putting A Face On Machine Mutation). An atom or a molecule do not represent life of themselves, they are chemical, not biological, and thus cosmology is the discipline that specializes in big bang chemistry and/or physics.

    Thus there is cosmological machine evolution from elements to molecules then onward and upward into planets, stars, and galaxies.

    Distinct from any such evolution in terms of process, are life forms evolution which microbiologists deal with, i.e. the microbial world of proto-cells and microbes, as well as that great chasm between machines and life.

    First comes single cell life which microbiologists specialize in, life that was on the Earth for perhaps billions of years prior to multi-cellular life.

    The reason that microbiological evolution needs to be separate from multi-cellular biological evolution, is the machine – microbe gap that is not a concern of multi-cellular biological evolution.

    They don’t do non-living machines, they only do living cells (bio means life or living things only).

    Specialization into the different types of evolution works great, because they have discovered that single celled microbes “design” or “make the rules for” the multi-cellular realm (Microbial Hermeneutics – 2, at 15:20).

    Professor Dr. Bassler expounds:

  88. nick spinelli

    SWM, May I translate your comment, thanks I will. “Those poor, white trash, crackers are too stupid to understand there is a free lunch.”

    ———————————————————–

    Da*n, I missed that comment … where was it?

  89. Gene H.

    To be clear, I wasn’t addressing you Blouise.

    ———————————-

    Harrumph … are you accusing me of not being a good troll?!

  90. Shanda,

    Your posts are well reasoned and I’ve never noticed you being particularly fond of logical fallacies so, yes, I’d have to say you are a terrible troll. In the best way possible.

  91. Blouise, Read SWM’s 5:22pm comment. Those poor folks just don’t know what’s good for them! I know you won’t agree, but it’s dripping w/ maternalism.

  92. And, consistent w/ the pathology here, the Barney Fife troll deputy has his one bullet ready to fire. This is sometimes like the flick, Groundhog Day. Only that was somewhat entertaining.

    When the great White Sox organist, Nancy Faust, saw a visiting teams 7th reliever come out to try and stem the flood she played, Send In The Clowns. That’s the next chapter here.

  93. nick, Distrust of government and misplaced faith in being able to do things for themselves keeps many working class people from making some voting decisions that might be beneficial for them and their families.. This seems especially true in the south. I am not speaking of teachers and other public employees.

  94. Gene,

    Sage advice, I think I’ll take it. I’m in the middle of that book I quoted. It’s a great read; I think my time may be better spent somewhere else.

    Speaking of Sage here’s my advice:

    Cut up some tart apples (I got these early season cider apples from my CSA this year, they’re like magic for this kind of thing) and bruise a handful of sage. Stick it in some sort of lidded container together.Take some whiskey (I like Bulleit bourbon for this, it’s very good for the price without being so good I feel guilty), and poor it over the apples and sage.

    Wait a few weeks.

    Taste it

    Wait another week or two.

    Filter out the sage and apple bits (the apple bits are now all bourbony and great)

    Enjoy.

  95. Dredd,
    “The reason that microbiological evolution needs to be separate from multi-cellular biological evolution, is the machine – microbe gap that is not a concern of multi-cellular biological evolution.”
    ========================================================
    There’s no “machine-microbe gap” in any sort of Theory of Evolution.
    You’re distorting the definition. You can discuss the origin of life, that is, how molecules somehow assembled to produce a living cell. But that’s not included in the Theory of Evolution.
    Mr. Akin, and other science deniers, are referring to the Theory of Evolution. The Theory of Evolution, proposed by Darwin and many others, concerns the continuing process by which species arose on this planet. Hence “The Origin of Species.”
    The Theory of Evolution does not concern itself with the origin of life. Microbes, or single-celled organisms, evolved in many branches, producing evolved microbes, multi-celled organisms, plants, animals, humans, all of it. There is no dividing line between evolution of microbes and humans. It’s the same mechanism. It’s all biological.
    Redefining evolution just muddies the discussion. Don’t refer to the origin of life as evolution.

  96. nick, Do you really think Rick Perry has the working class’s best interests in mind? He certainly doesn’t have the teachers backs or any other person that has a middle class job. Perry grew up middle class.

  97. Consistent with your pathology, you can’t respond with reasoned counterarguments based in evidence but instead resort to insult. Such as “Blouise, Read SWM’s 5:22pm comment. Those poor folks just don’t know what’s good for them! I know you won’t agree, but it’s dripping w/ maternalism.” That’s not a counterargument. That’s simply being a, oh, what’s that word that rhymes with “nick”? And how about saying the subject of a story isn’t “the mother of the year” to rationalize he abuse at the hands of a cop and then going mental when it is pointed out that her mothering skills were irrelevant to the incident? That’s not counter argument either.

    If you don’t like having your rather weak and pathetic troll tactics pointed out? Stop using them. Your primary problem is you aren’t nearly as smart or good at manipulating people as you think you are so when you get called on it, you predictably resort to bluster. You chum the waters and chum the waters and fail to realize that you aren’t really catching what you want but rather you end up getting “photo bombed” by the shark.

    Now come on and tell us you planned it all.

    It’s funny when the monkey thinks he’s the grinder.

  98. Bob Kauten 1, October 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Dredd,
    “The reason that microbiological evolution needs to be separate from multi-cellular biological evolution, is the machine – microbe gap that is not a concern of multi-cellular biological evolution.”
    —————————————————————-
    There’s no “machine-microbe gap” in any sort of Theory of Evolution.
    You’re distorting the definition. You can discuss the origin of life, that is, how molecules somehow assembled to produce a living cell. But that’s not included in the Theory of Evolution.
    =====================================
    Watch out that you don’t catch Akinoid infection:

    “Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial.” Professor Lithgow said.

    “François Jacob described evolution as a tinkerer, cobbling together proteins of one function to yield more complex machines capable of new functions.” Professor Lithgow said.

    “Our work describes a perfect example of Jacob’s proposition, and shows that Darwin’s theory of evolution beautifully explains how molecular machines came to be.”

    (Putting a Face On Machine Mutation, cited above). McEvolution by Akinoids, gotta luv it.

    Get your flu shots bro.

  99. Blouise, I am old enough to remember when George Wallace and Spiro Agnew tried to paint the democrats as elitists.

  100. nick,

    Is this the one?

    “Blouise, You have a point but just because one is from the working class does not mean that he or she favors policies that are favorable to the working class. I have found the opposite to be true on many occasions. Sarah Palin and Joe the plumber come to mind”

    She knows Joe the Plumber is running in my district so using him as an example was a smart move in countering my position forcing me to step back and restate my idea. It was a good debating tactic.

  101. What should scare the h*ll out of all of us is that these Akinoids are in power and they most certainly can kill us all:

    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    (The Most Dangerous Moment In Recorded History). Robert F. Kennedy realms released 50 year old documentation that shows how very close it came.

    Others quoted showed that we bombed two Japanese cities with nuclear weapons which was not at all necessary because they were already ready to surrender, according to McArthur, Eisenhower, and a host of others who strongly recommended against using those weapons.

    Americans believe what they want to believe, including the trance like state of mind that thinks if they believe it then it axiomatically becomes true.

    When these Akinoids get to the pearly gates they are going to tell Saint Peter to move aside, exceptional people coming on board.

    Or at least that is what they believe.

  102. Gene,

    Yes, the stuff that comes pre-mixed in Brandy. E&J XO would probably work well (it’s my eggnog brandy). May want to add some other herbs with the sage then though.

    If you’re set on using vodka, a middle shelf potato vodka would probably be a good bet, They tend to be good buys. You may want to add a simple syrup to the mix, although it might not be a bad idea to crush the sage with sugar like you do to mint when making a mojito.

  103. Gyges and Gene,

    Use a small melon baller on a watermelon making several balls. Cover with Amaretto and freeze … take from freezer and serve immediately as light dessert or appetizer or between course palate refresher.

  104. Oh, and something that just struck me… with the right gin (and it would have to be the exact perfect gin for this) it would be sublime.

    You’d almost want something that was too strongly medicinal and herby to drink on its own. Not the nice refined martini gins, but those other ones. Not the low quality super rough ones, but assertive and flavorful. I’m sure there’s a name for the style, but gin’s sort of a weak spot for me knowledge wise.

    You could probably do a nice mid shelf rum to.

  105. Gene, Bringing up Leila Tarantino from months ago shows you really can’t let things go. Unlike you, I’ve been following her case on Pacer. Not stewing about it, reading about it. Her attorney, who seems to be a buffoon, just filed a reply to a motion to dismiss. In the defendants motion to dismiss the defense tacitly admitted there was a form of strip search @ the scene. That was somewhat surprising to me and tells me the plaintiff will probably survive this motion. You see you are prepared to anoit Leila Tarantino a victim, I just search for the facts. So, who’s the shoot from the hip guy..Gino? Who’s “blustering”?

    Again, I implore you to get some therapy. What really frosts your ass is you’re all theory w/ virtually no real world experience or examples. Your a bully. It won’t work w/ me. I’ve seen you run people off of here but I’ll follow you to your grave. And, if you don’t do something to handle your anger and resentment it might be sooner than you think. That comment by SWM is condescension and maternalism personified. Nothing needs to be said. I call people on horsesh!t.

    Finally, the” monkey grinder” Italian slur shows who and what you really are. Let this one go, Gino. You still have one foot you haven’t shot.

  106. Blouise, Yes that’s the one. Putting all working class people into one box is just plain wrong and maternalistic.

    SWM, “Misplaced faith in being able to do things for themselves”!!! My God, wanting to do things for yourself is what this country is all about. It’s why my 4 immigrant grandparents came to this county. It is not misplaced..it is noble and righteous.

  107. Dredd,
    What, exactly, has what this Professor Lithgow said, have to do with what I said?
    I read the pop-science articles that you took your quotes from.
    I see no connection.
    And you’re citing your own blog.

  108. “Gene, Bringing up Leila Tarantino from months ago shows you really can’t let things go.”

    No, it shows I have a memory. Especially a memory for evidence that trolls act like trolls.

    Also, don’t try to change the subject when the purpose of bringing up that case was to illustrate nothing more than your inability to argue worth a damn. Which you are again illustrating by trying to change the subject.

    As to your exhortations to “get therapy”? What really frosts your ass is you have to resort to that. You continually mistake what I say as being angry Also, you calling anyone a bully, Mr. I’m A Tough Guy So You Better Not Challenge Me is laughable.

    As to running people off? If people cannot take having their views and/or assertions exposed to critical scrutiny (much like yourself), then this is simply the wrong forum for them. The choice to leave is theirs.

    You don’t know anything about my experiences so your supposition is meaningless. I have superior arguments. You have little if any. That’s the only relevant point, Mr. I’ve Been A Bigshot Investigator (In My Own Mind). I wouldn’t hire you to do a credit check.

    Also, your statement ” I’ll follow you to your grave” could be constituted as a statement that you are stalking me. Which is a felony and could very well get you banned from this blog should you continue to act that way so I suggest you tread down that path very very carefully and at your own risk.

    Finally, I didn’t mention Italians at all. Any problem you have with that image about illusory control is entirely your problem, Monkey Boy. If you’re that hypersensitive about your ancestors and think I’m biased against Italians? Ask Mark Espisito about the subject. He’s known me for many years and he’s not only twice the man you are, he’s twice the Italian you are.

    Now run along until you can come close to a cogent argument instead of simply attacking me for pointing out your shit troll tactics, amateur.

  109. Using organ grinder and monkey is an Italian slur. There are thousands of other examples you could have used. Gene, you not only shot yourself in the other foot but jumped the shark accusing me of felony stalking. Read what you’ve said after calming down a bit. You’re hurting yourself, not me. That’s what resentment is, Gene. It’s holding grudges and wanting to harm someone by taking the poison yourself. I have disagreements w/ others here but for the most part we all let it go and move on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be done. As I’ve said to you previously, it’s just not healthy the way you let your emotions fester.

  110. Malisha, still laughing :o) I’m sure Aquinas disapproves.

    Dredd, thank you for your investigative attempt, sorry you got kicked out.
    PS, ….. I imagined you “somewhat less youthful” :o)

  111. Again, I didn’t mention Italians, nick.

    You should learn to read or, better yet, learn to understand.

    Also, don’t mistake to think you’re even capable of making me angry.

    You simply aren’t that good.

    As for you taking exception to my memory? It is long and always has been. I’ll not make myself forgetful to convenience your stupidity and bad actions past being swept away in the name of “getting along”. If that is a problem for you, I suggest it is entirely your problem. I don’t have to get along with you, agree with you or even like you. And I don’t have to forget when you act like a troll just because you don’t like your crap argumentation/trolling techniques exposed. If that offends or inconveniences you? I really don’t care.

  112. Gene, Gene, Gene, I need to watch some baseball and football. I have no thoughts we’ll ever “get along” and I have the same lack of desire as do you for that. I’m talking about simple civility. Calling me “monkey boy” and “stupid” and being a felonious stalker is not even in the same time zone as civility. Everything is very personal and nasty w/ you. Have your last word..that’s very important to you, and get a good nights sleep. Ciao, Gino.

  113. nick,

    Firstly, I treat you with all the respect you treat others including me, douche bag. I apply the Golden Rule, just not in the way you may like it. If you didn’t behave like a childish unintelligent troll, I wouldn’t treat you like one.

    Secondly, I didn’t say you were a felon stalker. I said what you said could be construed as stalking behavior and cautioned you about proceeding down that path.

    I’m sorry you can’t make your case any better than that and you keep insisting on trying to make exposing your troll tactics (i.e. persistent logical fallacies, lack of evidence and lack of logic in dealing with the statements of others) about me, nick. That kind of Rovian smear won’t work either. If you don’t like having your logical fallacies, lack of evidence and general irrationality in counterarguments pointed out? Then maybe you should learn to think and argue better. Because you suck. There is nothing more civil than honesty. Speaking of which . . .

    Perhaps your time is best spent elsewhere like watching baseball or football.

    It would certainly be a better use of other’s time.

    Ciao, putz.

  114. If you bedlieve in God and are a Christian and believe some of the gander in the Bible then you can not believe in evolution. If you review how mankind has fought war after war for the past one hundred fifty years then you can not say they we have evolved upward or with any progress. We are a bunch of dumb schmucks who might kill ourselves off with nuclear bombs.

  115. FairlyBalanced,

    You might want to consider expanding your time frames for evolutionary processes. A hundred and fifty years is barely a little more than seven generations in the Western world. Unless we experience a period of punctured equilibrium as a species, that’s not nearly enough time for the kind of change (losing tribal aggression in favor of cooperation) that your statement implies.

  116. Gene, I do believe that it was even more generations since Cain whacked Abel with a blunt object. Our evolution has been in the direction of building bigger, better and faster ways to whack people we disagree with.

  117. OS,

    In many ways an accurate statement, but we’ve also been evolving in other ways as well. The arc of ethical history, albeit acting like a wave, has tended to grow toward the humanist rather than away from the humanist. Consider that slavery was once a universally accepted practice and is now universally a crime. Consider that killing those that were different was once considered just (think burning witches) and now in many countries (especially in the West) it takes an evidenced adversarial argument of narrowly defined capital crimes before the death penalty is even considered. Consider the move away from the death penalty in recent years. Consider the evidence that we as a species are experiencing an aggregate growth in IQ.

    We always seem to be moving two steps forward and one, sometimes three, steps back. Evolutionarily speaking, we are still infants entering into adolescence. Whether we survive adolescence to become the humanistic rational non-aggressive star faring species we have the potential to become? We’ll never be not inherently dangerous nor should we even try. Violence in the name of defense is simply a good option considering that there is a high probability that any advanced alien space faring species we encounter is also likely evolved from predators themselves. Will we survive to find out?

    Well that’s the $64,000 question.

    Our technical abilities are outstripping our social (and physical) evolution at such a rate they threaten to destroy us in the cradle that is Earth. We’re like teenagers. And I don’t have to tell you how dangerous puberty can be. As a father and a scientist (and former sufferer of the condition yourself), you know the risks all too well to need me to elaborate on the metaphor.

  118. Gene,
    Right you are, but have you noticed that it takes challenges in order for any species, including ourselves, to evolve. Many years ago I read a science fiction story about a colony of space travelers settling on a planet that was almost too good to be true. The place was a veritable Garden of Eden. The settlers soon realized the planet itself was sentient and liked having the human dwellers living on it. The planet was rewarding them by providing all they could ever hope for to make a comfortable place to live. After some time, the skipper of the expedition realized the people in his charge were becoming soft and indolent from lack of challenge. One day he proclaimed, “Let there be tigers.” A moment later, the people heard the roar of a tiger coming from the woods. The title of the story was, IIRC, “Here there be tygers.” I think it was by Frank Herbert.

    It is no accident that the time of greatest acceleration of invention has been in time of war. Both for good and bad.

  119. Nick,

    “There are cliques of groupthink.”

    This is a metaset that leaves me confused as Irving Janis’ coining in 1972 of the word “groupthink” was defined as:

    “[A] mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

    What a fool Janis was to not see the clique divisions of the, “cohesive in-group[s].”

  120. Gyges,

    Thank you for the sage advice.

    Gene,

    Take a goodly amount of stems in a clear container and immerse them in vodka (Absolut by personal preference). Leave the container in the sunlight for two weeks and gently shake it every day or so. Remove the stems and chill the liquid in the freezer. Take three packets of lime flavored gelatin and 4 packets of unflavored gelatin and mix them in a 9 1/2″ x 14″ pan. Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a hard boil and pour into the pan (the more spread out the gelatin the better and pour the boiling water directly on as much of it as possible). Wait 30 seconds to a minute and stir with a whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chilled vodka, whisk briefly and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Use your favorite Escher tiling of the plane to cut into individual pieces.

    Enjoy.

    pete9999,

    I love “The Stainless Steel Rat” series. His “Bob, The Galactic Hero” books are worth a read as well…

  121. Human social “evolution” needs to be considered separately from human biological evolution, because it seems to be a non sequitur, i.e. not is compliance with a direction of survival.

    Impending self destruction is much more of an apparent direction than survival of the species is.

    And that seems to violate Dollo’s Law, in which case it should be relegated back to theory or even lower, back to a hypothesis.

    The thrust of Dollo’s “law” is that reversal, i.e. devolution back to a prior state is not allowed, only forward progress onward and upward toward survival is allowed once a mutation or adaption has taken place.

    The human species destroys as many as 200 other species a day, or 73,000 species a year, in what scientists call The Sixth Mass Extinction, brought to us by “human civilization.”

    And we are on the hair trigger edge from time to time for the nuclear winter of extinction of the human and who knows how many other species (The Most Dangerous Moment in Recorded History). It does not follow that we are the most evolved species on the planet in terms of survival.

    Microbes are much more likely to survive, if anything does.

  122. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those don’t work in the same way at all.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.

    I mentioned human social evolution in my previous comment above, so in this post I will mention abiotic evolution.

    That is the realm that covers “time” or the sequence of events from before, during, and after the Big Bang up to the time “bio” first happened, i.e. when the very first biological life appeared (perhaps protoproteins).

    Ultimate survival of the most advanced abiotic planets, stars, and galaxies as well as biological species does not appear to be an ultimate consideration in the processes of cosmology, contrasting to the utmost with the biological theories of evolutionary survival.

    In terms of cosmology, survival of the human species, indeed all species on the Earth, is obviously very iffy:

    Earth’s fate is precarious. As a red giant, the Sun will have a maximum radius beyond the Earth’s current orbit, 1 AU (1.5×1011 m), 250 times the present radius of the Sun. However, by the time it is an asymptotic giant branch star, the Sun will have lost roughly 30% of its present mass due to a stellar wind, so the orbits of the planets will move outward. If it were only for this, Earth would probably be spared, but new research suggests that Earth will be swallowed by the Sun owing to tidal interactions. Even if Earth would escape incineration in the Sun, still all its water will be boiled away and most of its atmosphere would escape into space.

    (Tenet One Basics, quoting Wikipedia, Astronomy Today, and PBS, emphasis added). There are radically different processes at work, with seemingly contrasting directions, in the various types of evolution taking place.

    Even when ultimate cosmic destruction is not being considered, even the superficial study of Cosmology and Astronomy show that survival of biological life forms is not a powerful, compelling consideration:

    The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction, which wiped out the dinosaurs and more than half of species on Earth, was caused by an asteroid colliding with Earth and not massive volcanic activity, according to a comprehensive review of all the available evidence, published in the journal Science.

    A panel of 41 international experts, including UK researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, University College London and the Open University, reviewed 20 years’ worth of research to determine the cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which happened around 65 million years ago.

    The extinction wiped out more than half of all species on the planet, including the dinosaurs, bird-like pterosaurs and large marine reptiles, clearing the way for mammals to become the dominant species on Earth.

    The new review of the evidence shows that the extinction was caused by a massive asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub (pronounced chick-shoo-loob) in Mexico.

    The asteroid, which was around 15 kilometres wide, is believed to have hit Earth with a force one billion times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

    (Science Daily). At a random time cosmological evolution put an end to biological evolution to a high degree, thus the two are not in sync or harmony.

    Had there been a most advanced human civilization at that time, it would have ceased to exist even though it had evolved to its apex.

    Therefore the process of cosmological evolution is inapposite to biological survival of species unless one considers species migration throughout the cosmos, moving from star system to star system as the star looses stability.

  123. The people of Mizzoura might deserve this phony baloney Todd but the rest of us do not deserve him tipping the balance of votes in the Senate. If you have any relatives in that SEC state please call them and discuss this dufuss and see if they can get off the sofa and vote for Claire.

  124. I used to live in Missery, if it is possible, Claire is a bigger dufuss in her own way than Aikin is. One talks of legitimate rape and the other is just full of crap.

    What a choice for the people of Missouri, they deserve better, so vote for the independent. Unless of course he is a commie or an evangelical Christian.

  125. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those don’t work in the same way at all.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.

    Modern science recognizes a difference in microbiological evolution compared with multicellular evolution.

    One difference between microbial evolution and mult-cellular evolution is Endosymbiosis:

    Lynn’s enduring place in science was earned soon thereafter, with the publication of her theory of endosymbiosis [Margulis, Lynn, 1970, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-01353-1] … Lynn was right: the eukaryotic cell is a committee, built through evolution by the merger of distinct genomes. To many biologists, this remarkable view of eukaryotic cell evolution stands as one of the great advances in 20th century science.

    (PNAS, Lynn Margulis, 1938–2011). Dr. Margulis was ridiculed for years by status quo evolutionists, refusing to publish her work, but finally when the evidence came in she was shown to be overwhelmingly correct.

  126. Gene, you are correct. Ray Bradbury, 1951. Oh well. It was very late and I was too tired to look it up. I was working strictly from memory. After sixty-one years, one tends to forget exactly who the author of a short story might have been.

  127. gbk, The clique groupthink is not really a metaset but a subspecies. It has a parasitic relationship w/ its host, a diverse and fairly normal species. This subspecies has a leader who has serious anger issues and almost no social skills. His academic records show him to be very bright but teachers consistently noted he “doesn’t play well w/ others.” His only extracurricular activity was chess club. To date, this mutation of sorts is indigenous to this forum. A social science group including psychologists, anthropologists, and curiously a lion tamer and shark expert recently applied for a Federal grant. They’re awaiting approval.

    Pete999, Thanks for the Fonzie jump the shark clip.

  128. Nick, Dredd, and Bob:

    Nick – Thanks for the moral support.

    Dredd – I agree with you that proof of “hate” is required in hate crimes trials. This is because, necessarily, the facts of a particular matter need to be compared to a legal standard, as defined by the law, in order for a just verdict to be rendered – beyond a reasonable doubt.

    However, I was not comparing Biden’s behavior to any standard. I simply stated that it was sufficient for me that I chose not to watch the remainder of the debate, and to conclude that I personally could no longer support a ticket with his name on it. That is a purely subjective decision which can not be “proved”.

    Bob – while it may appear to you that I have “given up”, for the past few years, I have been dutifully voting for the “lesser evil”. I have not “given up”, I have concluded that I no longer want to play the “my guy is less bad than your guy” game. In fact, I would argue that, at their very core — what they actually do vs. what they say they are going to do, both parties are essentially the same.

    Did you notice that it took Obama until just before the election to say he supports gay marriage? Did you notice how long it took him to eliminate “don’t as don’t tell” in the military even though, as Commander & Chief he could have eliminated the ban on openly gay soldiers with a simple order on day one. Have you heard that Al Gore has made over $100 million investing in green energy companies that the Obama administration has supported.

    $100 million from investments funded by our tax dollars — still think the Republicans are the party of the rich?

    In both parties, deceit, hypocrisy, and corruption run very deep and, in my opinion, in equal measures.

    As stated by Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  129. If that’s what Akin is dumb enough to believe, then he should be denied science-based medical care if he’s ever sick or hurt. If, for example, his car crashed and he suffered a gaping, blood-gushing wound, he would only be allowed to have prayer healing, no gauze, sutures or transfusions.

    Make him stand up for and live by what he claims to believe. It may not be for very long, but let him show how certain he is of his convictions.

  130. Eric,
    Don’t misunderstand me. I congratulated you on giving up. I don’t know why that offended you. You told us you were giving up. If you see no difference between the candidates, you’re not perceptive enough to vote. Please don’t.

  131. Dredd,

    “Modern science recognizes a difference in microbiological evolution compared with multicellular evolution.”
    =====================================================
    No, it doesn’t. Endosymbiosis, often used to explain the presence of mitochondria and chloroplasts in eukaryotic cells, does not separate “microbial evolution” (a fabricated division of the Theory of Evolution) from “multicellular evolution” (another fabricated division of the Theory of Evolution).
    The terms, “abiotic evolution,” and “human social evolution,” have nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. No matter how many times you repeat it.

  132. Bob,

    “The terms, “abiotic evolution,” and “human social evolution,” have nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. No matter how many times you repeat it.”

    Hey, who are you going to believe, evolutionary scientists or a guy who uses quotes that have nothing to do with what he’s talking about?

    The timing of this is a little funny to me, because as noted above, I’m actually reading a book about an evolutionary biologist who’s working on creating social institutions that account for our evolutionary history. The first chapter of the book is a warning about thinking about human society as separate from evolutionary forces.

    So I’m literally faced with that decision. Guess who I’m going with?

  133. OS,

    No worries. I just happened to have recently read a Bradbury collection when he passed away and that story was in it. Also I have to second pete’s recommendation of Harry Harrison’s Deathworld and Stainless Steel Rat stories. Fun stuff, especially the Rat stories. Jim DiGriz is one of the best anti-heroes in science fiction and certainly one of the funnier ones. He was Han Solo before Han Solo was Han Solo.

    **************

    nick,

    You are probably the worst amateur psychologist I’ve ever seen. Dredd is a better amateur biologist then you are amateur psychologist and he doesn’t know what the Hell he’s talking about. You seem to perpetually mistake a low tolerance for fools and/or trolls as anger. I wonder why that might be? (That was a rhetorical question.)

    Also, I was never in chess club.

  134. Slarti,

    Speaking of Escher tiling of the plane, I recently saw a photo of where someone had custom wood tiles made of Escher’s lizards. It was taken part way through installation in a hallway. It was beautiful. I’d love to see some pics then the floor is finished (the tiles looked to be still raw wood).

  135. “For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.” Really gives me a what the hell moment??????

    The Eugenics movement both in the UK and the US was widely backed by a variety of socialists (Fabian), academics, feminist groups, and less, much less so “right-winger” religiously challenged types like Akin. Two of my favorite writers, Shaw and Wells, were Eugenicists, and hardly fit in the Akin mold. Since most people continue to use that stupid left-right dichotomy, I will only use it to say Wells and Shaw were hardly righties. Sanger in the US was a Eugenicist. Some people’s favorite economist, Keynes, was a Eugenicist. Wikipedia is fairly accurate on this so please look up “Eugenics” and the movements in the UK and US. Anyone like Akin isn’t even a footnote in that movement. In fact, it was the religious that overwhelmingly rejected Eugenics and please don’t give me Coughlin to prove otherwise.

    The Eugenics movement was driven by highly educated people of the time drawn to a belief that they could improve mankind by deciding whose genes should be passed on, usually based on their own biases and prejudices (Gould goes into this in “he Mismeasure of MaTn”. Progressives of the time could easily be Eugenicists. The New Communist Man and The Aryan Superman have similar underpinnings, and it can’t be blamed on Nietzsche.

    As for Social Darwinism, same issue of taking a scientific and limited concept and turning it into a social movement and even an ideology, though Eugenics may require a reverse order.

    Highly educated people can believe in really dangerous and stupid things, and use their authority to push those ideas. I wouldn’t typify them using Akin. It seems so, well, bigoted (obligatory disclaimer: bigoted doesn’t make you a racist or a sexist, or any ‘ist, just a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, add ahistoricity and it becomes alarming.)

    Now, off this but related in only how someone can be so wrong: Einstein’s “doesn’t roll dice” was a response to quantum mechanics. Man was he wrong.

  136. Gyges, this “The first chapter of the book is a warning about thinking about human society as separate from evolutionary forces” would actually give me warning about the book.

    The question isn’t “separate” but “how dependent”, a very difficult to answer question of difference.

    Consciousness really screws with evolution.

  137. “Consciousness really screws with evolution.”

    Not really. Unless it is applied to directed evolution, i.e. eugenics. And that’s a decision. A very bad one as you yourself indicated. We are all dependent upon the forces of evolution. Not even the interventions of modern medicine affects that in the long term. We kill off one virus, another crops up to take its place. We beat down a bacteria with anti-biotics? They adapt. We find a way to address a genetic disorder? New ones will crop up due to random mutation induced by natural causes or as industrial by-products. We are not separate from the forces of natural selection and the process of evolution. Even genetic engineering won’t change that. We may be on the verge of being able to reshape humanity in some ways, but we will always be subject to the changes environments inflicts upon us. Evolution is a process that results from the interactions of organisms with other organisms and the environment. There is no escape from it. Consciousness is not special. It’s a natural consequence of neural network complexity. It’s not supernatural.

    As to the damage on society done in the name of eugenics? You look to place blame in the wrong place if you are looking at misguided academics. Their mistaken beliefs were taken by politicians like Reinhardt Heydrich and put into motion by fascist (a syncretic form of extreme right wing governance) demagogues like Hitler for their own benefit as a rationale for industrialized genocide. Embracing a bad idea does not carry the same ethical weight as putting a bad idea into action.

    You also discount the fact that both Eugenics and Nietzsche directly influenced the Third Reich. As for the Communists, they didn’t need Nietzsche or eugenics, relying instead on Lenin and Marx. The New Soviet Man was a focus on an ideological and societal shift, not literally rearranging the gene pool. The Cultural Revolution under Mao had more in common with the New Soviet Man than with eugenic rationalized genocide as practiced by the Nazis. It was an ideological/social movement unrelated to eugenics. Pol Pot, on the other hand, practiced democide to enforce his radical agrarian form of Communism and cater to his personal paranoia but it also had nothing to do with eugenics and everything to do with him being a madman.

    Your style is known as argumentum verbosium (a form of logical fallacy), but your content is pure anti-evolutionary, anti-intellectual and pro-religion. Your logic is facile. Your history is distorted and incomplete. Your legal theory and political science terms are cherry picked when they are not simply manifestly wrong.

    Religion is next to economics the leading cause of warfare in human history. The damage it has done to civilization is an order of magnitude greater than even the atrocities of the Nazis.

    Highly educated people can adopt dangerous ideas.

    The evil and the crazy can too.

    Ultimately you’ve made the error of the fallacy of the excluded middle, a form of false choice based on your begging the question (also a fallacy) that those to blame for eugenics were the intellectuals and not the men building the camps and firing the ovens thus compounding your false dilemma with a false ethical dichotomy.

    But there is also something else about highly educated people. They can also spot illogical fallacious argument built on weak evidence from a mile away. Logical fallacies are more than just errors in thinking. They are a way for people with an agenda to give what they say a thin veneer of reasonableness based on erroneous information and bad logic. Also your mention of Einstein in relation to quantum mechanics was argument by non-sequitur, another logical fallacy.

    I’ll have to say you’re better than some of the propaganda trolls we’ve had recently, but your methods are the same nonetheless.

  138. And, Gyges, a few things:

    1. Evolutionary biology is only about species changing over time, whatever the mechanism. It also includes both microbial and multi-cellular, Bob’s right that these are fabricated divisions. People may specialize in study, but the division is a fabrication. Origin of Life is a separate category. Which leads to:

    2. abiotic evolution doesn’t exist; it’s a very bad misnomer. Abiotic references the chemical synthesis of precursors necessary for life to develop, amino acids for example. It isn’t Evolution (Evolutionary biology) because Evolution is strictly change in species. It is Origin of Life, but that is different from Evolution. And still very much clouded.

    3. You can’t even put Human Social Evolution in the same category as Evolution. It may have some dependence, which would be a good book of hypothesizing, on Evolution, but it isn’t Evolution. Evolutionary biologists do not study Human Social Evolution. Of course, evolutionary can be tacked on to anything to make you an evolutionary scientist.

    Finally, really, I googled all this in about 15 seconds to refresh my memory. The search strings are embedded in all these comments. I didn’t ask anyone to do this for me.

  139. ” have shown equal disregard for both of the main parties that hold a monopoly on power in the United States. Indeed, the low quality politicians that we see in both parties is the very danger of all monopolies — once protected from competition, the quality of a product declines.”

    Really, Mr. Turley? I will put up a Senator Bernie Sanders (a very high-quality politician) against anyone the Republicans can muster.

  140. Dredd,

    Law and Theory aren’t some linear string where you can downgrade Law into Theory. A Law in science is what is but not why it is; a Theory has to have why but also usually includes is (is usually comes before why). Think of Newton and Einstein. (yeah I hedged with usually because it’s likely that somewhere out there why was the same moment as is).

    As an aside, one of the funniest moments regarding Evolution I have ever heard was on Medved’s show. He’s an ID proponent and had a Creationist/ID’er with a curator of a Natural History Museum (biologist, not an evolutionary biologist). I forget the exact things Medved and the C/ID’er said, but it had something to do with no observational positive mutations. The curator said one word “nylonase” and went silent. Both went “what” and then he explained: nylon is completely artificial, there is no polymer in nature close to nylon, yet this bacterium through a mutation of an enzyme could digest, poorly, nylon; furthermore, given the rapid rate of generations of bacteria, the ability improved (the enzyme became more effective). Dead silence and change of subject. My sides split. More on this: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/apr04.html

    And no microbial and multicellular are not separate. It is all one. Species are species, mechanisms may differ.

  141. Ariel,

    Personally, I don’t think that “law” is a good term to use for any scientific theory as it generally has a connotation of absolute truth—something that just doesn’t happen when describing the universe with mathematics. Theories are hypotheses that are incredibly unlikely to be falsified in the regiems where they are valid, which, scientifically speaking, is the best that you can do. Any scientific hypothesis is subject to empirical falsification—find an apple that can be made to rise repeatedly and Newton’s “Law” of gravity goes down or a single true chimera and it’s curtains for the Theory of Evolution…

  142. “Species are species, mechanisms may differ.”

    Apparently nobody actually teaches biology or math in this country any more.

    Speciation is a process that happens in any life form, but the key to understanding the differenced between microbial life and multicellular life is complexity. Although the mechanisms of speciation remain the same (cladogenesis [extra-lineal or a split lineage] and anagenesis [intra-lineal] as impacted by generic drift and the physical geographic effects of allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation), the effects and possible variants differ by orders of magnitude according to scale of complexity of both the organism and its environment. There is also the possibility of speciation by human intervention (husbandry) or through genetic transposition. These processes have been defined in the years since Darwin by studying what is called The Species Problem. In Darwin’s day, what mechanisms caused speciation was the question. Subsequent study revealed those afore described mechanisms and they do not “differ”. Some may apply due to environmental constraints and some may not, but the mechanisms remain the same. Today studying The Species Problem is an entirely different issue and one Gould was heavily involved in. Today’s Species Problem is more philosophical (mostly nominalists and realists – Gould’s camp) and semantic (mostly monists and pluarists) and concerned with how we define discrete species.

    Species are not species – that is an open argument – but the mechanisms of speciation remain the same as they have been studied and understood since Darwin first proposed natural selection. And systemic complexity of both organism and environment are directly reflected in biodiversity.

    Go ahead and look up The Species Problem.

  143. Hi, Gene H.,

    Actually, my phrase “consciousness really screws with evolution” is only directed at us and about us. It has nothing to do with bacterial or viral responses to our consciousness. Or crops, insects, or my damn dogs. It’s a non-sequitur., you missed the point.

    We do not respond to a need to fit an environmental niche, by mutations over time, we change the niche instead. We’ve been doing it at least since agriculture, but it may go back further depending on the strategies we used to modify our environment prior. I don’t fit the environment, it fits me. That screws with evolution. Hate to tell you, I never wrote or even implied that consciousness is supernatural. I’m a strong advocate of a bullet not only ends brain but mind. You really shouldn’t pull these things from other than my exact words, otherwise you’re pulling them from an area infested with e. coli.

    As an aside, are there human mutations, positive ones? Sure, I can think of one in Italy: at least two villages have very few people with any heart disease, a real anomaly. Geneticists (forensic?) were able to trace the gene to a man circa 14th-15th Century (doing this from memory, seem to remember it was tied to one of the plague waves). They don’t get arterial plaque because of his mutation. Really nice mutation. Didn’t say evolution ended with consciousness, but that consciousness screws with it.

    Now, Eugenics. The movement in the US started around the time Heydrich was two,although its antecedents are 19th century, and was in full blossom during Ellis Island making Heydrich around 8 maybe. It’s why I directed readers to Gould’s (Evolutionist, atheist, maybe agnostic, and a good writer) “The Mismeasure of Man”. The Eugenics movement in the US and the UK wasn’t comprised of misguided academics (such a transparently dismissive and misdirective phrase), it was comprised of people that effected social change and immigration policies, it was a movement that had force. We were still following Eugenics to about 1972 with the forced sterilization of Indian (NA) women.

    Now this: “You also discount the fact that both Eugenics and Nietzsche directly influenced the Third Reich.” With the first, no I don’t, the Eugenics movement was much earlier, obviously before the Beer Hall Putsch of ’21 when Hitler had not clearly formulated his ideology, and was mostly, even strongly, a Progressive movement which is certainly different, if only by group, than the Nazis. That the Nazi’s drew from the much earlier Eugenics movement has some evidence, especially the US Eugenics movement. And that’s not a case of ergo hoc, prompter hoc.

    Now, Nietzsche, have you read him for god’s sake? The Nazi’s stole from him, they cherry-picked, they hi-jacked. The guy was an anti-statist, he considered the state a monster, a cold monster, and a liar, a cold liar. He used the term Ubermensch (umlaut over the U) about the individual, but never gave any real indication, advocation, of Eugenics or the totalitarian state. It was triumph of the will, another term stolen, though Riefenstahl is magnificent. Really, you had just as well blame Einstein for moral relativism. However, Nietzsche is an easy blame for the conservative and religious cherry-pickers. It’s a real big argument for the for them, given his “god is dead”, and I paraphrase them “see, it led to the Nazis, just like Darwin”.

    Now, let’s go to the Fascists. Mussolini was a major luminary in the Italian Communist movement (prior to Lenin the terms Socialist or Communist were more geographical than ideological). Let me repeat that, major. The Italian Communist movement had a schism over WWI, split over nationalism and internationalism (the former wanting to be in the war). From that schism rose Fascism, a bundling of government, union, and corporation (and obviously the people). It rose from disaffected Socialists/Communists (no not Marxist-Leninists). That was the ideology of Mussolini and Franco, and overall it was cogent at the start. Nazism was derivative if you want to call it Fascism, but it was unique. Nazism may have been Fascism, but Fascism wasn’t Naziism. Nazism was the extreme, wasn’t cogent, and best described as “extremes from the middle”. Look at what the Nazis stood for, from religion to Eugenics. The Fascists no more embraced industrial genocide than the Eugenics or the Colonial Powers, but the Nazis did.

    I didn’t use the term “the New Soviet Man” because Marxist-Leninism meant nothing before 1917, nothing. The term soviet did not exist in the time period I was addressing. The term was New Communist Man, and extended beyond class, the morons and feeble couldn’t make the cut either. Oh, and Pol Pot or Mao are real non-sequiturs.

    “Ultimately you’ve made the error of the fallacy of the excluded middle, a form of false choice based on your begging the question (also a fallacy) that those to blame for eugenics were the intellectuals and not the men building the camps and firing the ovens thus compounding your false dilemma with a false ethical dichotomy.” Now the whole problem with this argument is I was talking about the Eugenics Movement in the UK and the US that predates even the Beer Hall Putsch. Arguing by history isn’t any one of those fallacies so you need to go back and either learn history or fallacies, or better yet both. Or simply understand that 1912 isn’t 1933.

    As for “anti-evolutionary, anti-intellectual and pro-religion”, leaping to conclusions can cause pain. I’m an atheist but not anti-intellectual except the wild-ass dumb statements made by people preening as intellectuals. As for pro-religion, nope, I just can’t make pure crap up about them either. Something about intellectual integrity and the resultant necessary perspective. Anti-evolutionary? Just your version. I consider the mainstream version a fact.

    “But there is also something else about highly educated people. They can also spot illogical fallacious argument built on weak evidence from a mile away. Logical fallacies are more than just errors in thinking. “, and this is a moment of being hoisted by your own petard done solely by your self.

    If this was too complex for you, I wouldn’t recommend argumentum verbosum as a fall back, I’d recommend reading. Because you don’t know crap about the early 20th Century and it’s Movements.

    “Now, off this but related in only how someone can be so wrong: Einstein’s “doesn’t roll dice” was a response to quantum mechanics. Man was he wrong.” Non-sequitur? Really? I even set it up so someone might understand it was an illustration, and only that, of how a highly intelligent man can be so wrong about something by way of prejudice. You missed it?

    You really need to put that book of fallacies down. Put it down and back away.

    BTW, my comment you labeled argumentum verbosum was much shorter than yours, and less disjointed. There is an irony there. The other irony is of course how long this one is but that’s on me (double entendre to help you along).

  144. “Apparently nobody actually teaches biology or math in this country any more.”

    Now that was just nasty. And I was just using shorthand regarding “microbial evolution” as one form of evolution versus “multicellular evolution” being another, and the implied substantial difference. Context.

    Made my peace earlier.

  145. Gene H, you say “Speaking of Escher tiling of the plane, I recently saw a photo of where someone had custom wood tiles made of Escher’s lizards. It was taken part way through installation in a hallway. It was beautiful. I’d love to see some pics then the floor is finished (the tiles looked to be still raw wood).”

    OMG where is that picture, is it online? I can’t imagine how beautiful that must be, I would LOVE to be able to find it! OMG — now I know what to wish I could afford to give my kid for his next birthday!! :twisted:

  146. Ariel:

    that was well done.

    Gene will now say you are a troll, are full of it and that he “won” because of your use of the various fallacies.

    Your posts are a breath of fresh air.

  147. One of the first presents I bought for my husband was a book of Escher drawings and and sketches. He really liked them. I wonder if we still have the book.

  148. Ariel,

    “Consciousness really screws with evolution.”

    Why would you say that? It might add a few things to be selected for or against, and remove a few others, but so does any adaptation. Variation and selection still happen.

    To your enumerated points:

    1. Which was entirely my point. You’re mistaken in who’s advocating what here.

    2. Seriously, Dredd’s the one who you should be addressing this too, and he absolutely is full of it.

    It IS worth noting that people have been using evolutionary strategy to optimize designs for 60 some odd years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_computation.

    3. Did I mention that I just got through reading a book by an evolutionary biologist who was in fact studying human society in his role as an evolutionary biologist? It’s chocked full of him going to conferences where he meets other people (including evolutionary biologists) who study human society as evolutionary biologists.

    You’ll have to forgive me if I assume the guy (his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Sloan_Wilson ) knows what he does and doesn’t study as part of his research better then you do.

  149. “It’s a non-sequitur.”

    Then I didn’t miss the point, you didn’t make the point you intended (or so you claim). Trying to cover the deficiencies of your earlier argument by pointing out humans impact the environment is simply more specious reasoning. All fauna impact the environment. Don’t believe that? I’ve got two words for you: beaver dam. The interaction between fauna and the environment (and flora for that matter) is reciprocal. That some of that impact is directed and some is not is immaterial. Your non-sequitur is truly that.

    “Now, Nietzsche, have you read him for god’s sake? The Nazi’s stole from him, they cherry-picked, they hi-jacked. The guy was an anti-statist, he considered the state a monster, a cold monster, and a liar, a cold liar. He used the term Ubermensch (umlaut over the U) about the individual, but never gave any real indication, advocation, of Eugenics or the totalitarian state. It was triumph of the will, another term stolen, though Riefenstahl is magnificent.”

    The Nazis cherry picked Nietzsche? No shit? Well I guess that means he did influence the ideals that they later took to combine with the ideals eugenics cherry picks from Darwin to rationalize their extermination of the Jews, Roma, homosexuals and handicapped.

    “Really, you had just as well blame Einstein for moral relativism.”

    I said no such thing. I said your use of Einstein’s position on quantum mechanics as an illustration was a non-sequitur. One just as bad as the one you just made now. But we’ll get back to that in a bit.

    “However, Nietzsche is an easy blame for the conservative and religious cherry-pickers. It’s a real big argument for the for them, given his “god is dead”, and I paraphrase them “see, it led to the Nazis, just like Darwin”.”

    You can’t have it both ways. Either Nietzsche led to the Nazis or he didn’t. Also, it is salient to point out that not all ideas are created equal. Evolution and natural selection are good ideas because over the years much data has proven them to be truthful observations about the way nature works. Nietzsche on the other hand was a bad idea to start with. So to complete you incomplete thought: Smart (or evil or crazy) people can adopt bad ideas and do terrible things with them but they can also adopt good ideas and distort them to their ends as well.

    “Now, let’s go to the Fascists. Mussolini was a major luminary in the Italian Communist movement (prior to Lenin the terms Socialist or Communist were more geographical than ideological). Let me repeat that, major. The Italian Communist movement had a schism over WWI, split over nationalism and internationalism (the former wanting to be in the war). From that schism rose Fascism, a bundling of government, union, and corporation (and obviously the people). It rose from disaffected Socialists/Communists (no not Marxist-Leninists). That was the ideology of Mussolini and Franco, and overall it was cogent at the start. Nazism was derivative if you want to call it Fascism, but it was unique. Nazism may have been Fascism, but Fascism wasn’t Naziism. Nazism was the extreme, wasn’t cogent, and best described as “extremes from the middle”. Look at what the Nazis stood for, from religion to Eugenics.”

    First, what Nazism primarily drew from Italian Fascism was their economic model. It was not a derivative of Italian Fascism. You are partially correct. Secondly, your rambling narrative on fascism is a red herring. I wasn’t talking about Italian Fascism proper. I was talking about Nazi fascism which really came into bloom after the Night of the Long Knives pushed the true socialist elements in the Nazi party out as they posed a threat and a hindrance to the more radical right within the party. The position of fascism on the political spectrum is a contentious question in part because it is a syncretic ideology. This does not detract that fascism as practiced by the Nazis was at the far right wing of the spectrum as were all of their beliefs and practices.

    “The Fascists no more embraced industrial genocide than the Eugenics or the Colonial Powers, but the Nazis did.”

    Really. Then I guess the approximately 7,500 Jews killed in Italy (approximately 17% of Italy’s pre-war Jewish population of around 44,500) were imagining things.

    “I didn’t use the term “the New Soviet Man” because Marxist-Leninism meant nothing before 1917, nothing. The term soviet did not exist in the time period I was addressing. The term was New Communist Man, and extended beyond class, the morons and feeble couldn’t make the cut either.”

    The terms are equivalent. You say Pepsi, I say Coke, both are colas. However as a point of ideology, when the Communists killed “the morons and the feeble” it was because of exceptionally bad men being in charge like Stalin and Pol Pot.

    “Oh, and Pol Pot or Mao are real non-sequiturs.”

    As practioners of communism, no they were not. Your lack of understanding notwithstanding.

    “’Ultimately you’ve made the error of the fallacy of the excluded middle, a form of false choice based on your begging the question (also a fallacy) that those to blame for eugenics were the intellectuals and not the men building the camps and firing the ovens thus compounding your false dilemma with a false ethical dichotomy.’

    Now the whole problem with this argument is I was talking about the Eugenics Movement in the UK and the US that predates even the Beer Hall Putsch. Arguing by history isn’t any one of those fallacies so you need to go back and either learn history or fallacies, or better yet both. Or simply understand that 1912 isn’t 1933.”

    Cherry pick much? Because that’s how you were arguing history. The original statement stands. I was being kind earlier and not pointing out every single fallacy you made. But now that you point that one out, I feel obliged to note it too.

    “As for “anti-evolutionary, anti-intellectual and pro-religion”, leaping to conclusions can cause pain. I’m an atheist but not anti-intellectual except the wild-ass dumb statements made by people preening as intellectuals.”

    That’s funny coming from someone talking out of her ass about biology and history.

    “As for pro-religion, nope, I just can’t make pure crap up about them either.”

    No one is making up anything about Akin or his ilk. They’re on record for their anti-intellectual/anti-science positions. So why are you defending them if you are not pro-religion?

    “Something about intellectual integrity and the resultant necessary perspective. Anti-evolutionary? Just your version. I consider the mainstream version a fact.”

    Mainstream. Really. Then how come you said, “Species are species, mechanisms may differ.”? The mainstream view about The Species Problem was as I stated and even a cursory investigation proves this. As to the mechanisms of speciation may “differ”? That’s simply a statement revealing your ignorance about how speaciation works. The mechanisms are the mechanisms and they may or may not apply and the effects and possible variants differ by orders of magnitude according to scale of complexity of both the organism and its environment, but the mechanisms are constant.

    “But there is also something else about highly educated people. They can also spot illogical fallacious argument built on weak evidence from a mile away. Logical fallacies are more than just errors in thinking. “, and this is a moment of being hoisted by your own petard done solely by your self.

    And this is the moment your comments are revealed as little more than bluster to cover your incompetence in the subject matters of biology, math and history and your total lack of cogent logic free from fallacious and factual error.

    “If this was too complex for you, I wouldn’t recommend argumentum verbosum as a fall back, I’d recommend reading. Because you don’t know crap about the early 20th Century and it’s Movements.”

    Right back at you, windbag.

    “Now, off this but related in only how someone can be so wrong: Einstein’s “doesn’t roll dice” was a response to quantum mechanics. Man was he wrong.”

    Non-sequitur? Really? I even set it up so someone might understand it was an illustration, and only that, of how a highly intelligent man can be so wrong about something by way of prejudice. You missed it?”

    No, I simply know a non-seqitur when I see one. Einstein being wrong about QM is not the ethical equivalent of the abused idea of eugenics as put into practice. Those currying the idea of eugenics academically took a good idea to a bad conclusion later used by evil men as a rationale for evil acts. Einstein not acknowledging the implications of his own work simply led to the Copenhagen (and various other) interpretations of quantum mechanics – more good ideas. And like biology and history, I’m betting my knowledge of physics and quantum mechanics is greater than yours as well if you want to jump down that rabbit hole.

    “You really need to put that book of fallacies down. Put it down and back away.”

    You really need to pick up a book. Any book. Read it too. Better yet, understand it, Ms. Factually Wrong and Riddled With Logical Fallacies and Factual Errors.

    “BTW, my comment you labeled argumentum verbosum was much shorter than yours, and less disjointed.”

    And unlike mine, completely full of fallacies and factual errors. As to disjointed? Well, your obvious problems with reading comprehension are not my burden to bear.

    Also, pointing out your ignorance in biology and math (and I’m going to add history and logic to that list) isn’t mean.

    It’s a statement of fact.

  150. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those don’t work in the same way at all.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.
    —————————————————
    From the Journal Nature:

    The origin of life on Earth remains one of the great unsolved mysteries. A new study suggests that cooperation among molecules could have contributed to the transition from inanimate chemistry to biology.

    (Nature, 10/17/12). Abiotic evolution is very different from microbial, biological, and human social evolution types.

    Each has its own required specialization.

    A jack of all evolution who believes in “allie samie” is an incompetent.

    How molecules could cooperate is distinct from microbial symbiosis a.k.a. microbial cooperation, and different from human-microbe symbiosis as well.

    For example, molecules do not have genes or DNA, and neither do atoms that molecules are composed of.

  151. Ooo. Mystically conscious molecules capable of forming the requisite intent to cooperate.

    How very exciting.

    George Lucas is on line one.

  152. I am still waiting to see (in this country in which on has a right to religious freedom, and ideas) whats the holly-buloo? I agree with almost all accounts shared by Senator Akins. The book of Revelations does say that during the final days that one will be attacked for one’s religious beliefs.
    God made the earth, and all the contents therein. He rested on the 7th day. The scientists have always been in a competition with God, always trying to debunk his authority, and it is in-fact these same fools who are unable to decipher the collective signs & wonders prophesied so long ago, that are daily manifested, ARE UNABLE TO SEE THE THORNS FROM THE WHEAT!
    Why are the bees dying? (wordwide)? Why can’t they find their way home? Why are the fish (of all kind) (world-wide) beaching themselves in droves? Why are the birds falling from the sky? (world-wide)? Why THE INCREASED aLIEN SIGHTINGS? IS THE EARTH ACTUALLY CRYING? ARE WE IN THE BIRTH-PAINS?
    Why is there such lawlessness within the American Judicial system? By day the Supreme Court members are angels in Black robes, parading in strident if not arrogant dances announcing their cerebral capacities (they have forgotten that it was not brian cells but political maneuverings which got them placed)…people like Scalia wants to confound & confuse, he wants you to believe he is intelligent. I find him to be a stupid bore!
    Remember all institutions in America are suffering from immorality and ineptness, but I believe that is because they have been contacted by members of the judiciary to become involve in corruption and they have gone along to get along…to save jobs etc.
    This is the one institution that is busy at work corrupting and denigrating the Constitution and the American people: IT IS OPPOSITE OF ROBIN-HOOD…THE MAFIO-HOOD! Social disintegration is most pronounced and profound here! There is a break down of Law an Order: This is manifested via the cruelties and inhumanities greeted us nightly via the news…but you see, the originator has been in the Courts: There is no-longer a civilized society, (anarchy is slowing making its way here): Have you seen the millions of coffins and CONCENTRATION CAMPS ALL WITH ELECTROFIED BARBED WIRES AND HIGH COMMAND POSTS IN ALL 50 STATES? HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRAINS AND TRAIN-TRACKS WAITING? THE GAS CHAMBERS THINK THOSE OF GERMANY WERE THE LAST? YOUR FREE SOCIETY IS PLANNING TO DEBUNK YOUR MYTH WHILE MANY SLEEP: And thats why the interested is particularly pointed here?
    Right now on Plum island “research” is ongoing as human beings are growing wings and fangs… and then disposed of! Think Hitler was bad? YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL AND FREEDOM LOVING GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWING THE SCIENTIST TO “CHALLENGE” GOD!
    Animals are being sacrificed in horrific ways as well! ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE, AND THEIR RACE TO CHALLENGE GOD! Do not get me wrong, I do believe that we have gained tremendously from scientific advances, and this has aided us, and prevented great suffering: It is in-fact, the race to dispel God’s creation. The book of Daniel tells us that:

    “�to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).

    http://powerpointparadise.com/endworld/signs/knowledge.htm

    Clearly, clearly the book of Genesis tells us how God created the earth. No man-made theory can ever alter the{f]acts! Just as no MAN can ever, ever, ever, represent Jesus and the father on earth!

    NEVER! AND ALL SUCH REPRESENATATIVES ARE HERETICS! ARE ARE SEEN FOR THE PAGAN ROOTS FROM WHENCE THEY COMETH!

    So did I stray from the topic? No, I just naturally extended the logic! Todays scientist and wordly thinking (in league with Satan) seek to chastise those with morals and great ethical leanings as to right, and wrong: Indeed these people are very confuse as everythig is “relevant” and their are no moral absolutes!
    Many of us (and the major themes of Senator Akins’s) agree in the rights and wrongs that can never ever be changed, and that will always stand the test of time!

  153. “The book of Revelations does say that during the final days that one will be attacked for one’s religious beliefs.”

    The 1st Amendment guarantees you can practice the religion of your choice although there are some limitations on that practice such as you cannot perform human sacrifices, etc. No one is saying you cannot believe what you choose or in general practice it how you like. However, attacking irrationality and scientific ignorance is fair game as is criticism of your chosen beliefs under the Free Speech clause of that very same 1st Amendment that protects your right to Free Exercise. Also, the Establishment Clause prohibits you from using the mechanisms of government to force your beliefs on others. Ours is a specifically secular form of government and any law or regulation relating to religion must have a valid secular purpose, not act primarily to advance or prohibit any one religion and must not promote excessive entanglement. For example, murder is against the 10 Commandments, but there is a valid secular purpose for making it illegal (deterrence, punishment so to remove the temptation of self-help on the part of survivors and/or family, the general promotion of justice as required by the Constitution), making murder illegal doesn’t advance or promote any one religion (many religious traditions hold murder as a sin or evil or unethical generally unacceptable act) and it does not promote excessive entanglement.

    The problem with Akin is he wants to impose his religion upon others using the mechanisms of law. That is prime facie unconstitutional. Not only does this make him not fit for office, his unscientific views make him unsuitable to be on any committee dealing with science simply as a matter of logic but also to prevent him from again making policy decisions and influencing law based on his religion instead of doing the job he’s supposed to be doing.

    Enjoy.

  154. Ladies and Gentlemen: Burt Bacharach

    Which has just as much to do with anything as anything else that’s been said recently.

  155. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those don’t work in the same way at all.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics.
    —————————————————
    For example, abiotic evolution precedes microbial evolution because before there can be organic anything, carbon atoms must first exist.

    The hot universe of energy became a big bang universe expanding out and cooling until sub-atomic entities and atoms formed:

    … the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state. According to the most recent measurements and observations, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.75 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the Universe. After its initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. While protons and neutrons combined to form the first atomic nuclei only a few minutes after the Big Bang, it would take thousands of years for electrons to combine with them and create electrically neutral atoms. The first element produced was hydrogen, along with traces of helium and lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements would coalesce through gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements would be synthesized either within stars or during supernovae.

    (Wikipedia, Big Bang, emphasis added). Carbon was not formed, i.e. it did not evolve, until after stars evolved, so entire careers are spent just studying and researching how stars formed, then how carbon formed within them.

    It is an essential requirement of abiotic evolution to explain how carbon forms, because organic molecules are those based on carbon.

    Thus abiotic evolution / cosmology deals, among other things, with the difficult task of research concerning the formation of carbon:

    The stellar origin of carbon became clear with the discovery of the Triple Alpha reaction … But in which type of starts was carbon formed? … Although considerable progress has been made in these respects, there are still very severe remaining uncertainties. Also as regards observed carbon abundances for stars and planetary nebulae the uncertainties have been, and are still, considerable which makes checks of the theoretical results, as well as more direct empirical approaches, difficult.

    (The Origin of Carbon, emphasis added). An incredible amount of difficult evolutionary science is required well before considering any organic evolution, because without carbon there are no organic compounds that can evolve.

    The science of stellar evolution involves chemistry and physics, not organics, genetics, nor any type of biological evolution.

  156. Gene H. 1, October 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Ooo. Mystically conscious molecules capable of forming the requisite intent to cooperate.

    How very exciting.

    George Lucas is on line one.
    ===================================
    Molecular cooperation is a term of art chemists use in their branch of science, evolutionary chemistry, i.e. abiotic evolution.

    It is utterly distinct from cooperating microbes or cooperating multi-cellular biological entities, and even more distinct from what mature adults do as studied in human social evolution.

    That is why I caution about catching the Akinoid infection by muddled conflation of things that are not the same.

  157. “That is why I caution about catching the Akinoid infection by muddled conflation of things that are not the same.”

    Said the guy who thinks microbes practice religion and science.

    Yeah, I know the difference, thanks. I’m kinda surprised you do though. I was making fun of you and your conscious microbes again.

  158. Gene H. 1, October 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “That is why I caution about catching the Akinoid infection by muddled conflation of things that are not the same.”

    Said the guy who thinks microbes practice religion and science.

    Yeah, I know the difference, thanks. I’m kinda surprised you do though. I was making fun of you and your conscious microbes again.
    ======================================
    That is what all Akinoids say.

    “Said the guy who thinks microbes practice religion and science.”

    That is a deceptive misrepresentation by someone who does not quite understand the difference between primitive beginnings compared to ultimate evolved states.

    Akinoids are not quite as smart as fifth graders, so they use deception and bullying which does not work well, but it does work on fellow Akinoids.

  159. However, it is not a misrepresentation that you have in the past claimed that microbes do practice both science and religion. Repeatedly. I just don’t care enough about your ridiculous arguments to go back and look them up even when you want to back track now. Which brings up an interesting question, Dreddful. Why the backtracking and false accusations? Did someone finally explain to you how utterly full of crap you were when you said that?

  160. Gene H. 1, October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    pssst!

    That was a rhetorical question.
    ==================================
    So is this.

    Hey propaganda boy, check out propaganda too!

    Get your fella Akinoids on that and this right away (NeoCon Planet: Magic Teflon Vagina Juice) cause you are a big blog Akinoid empire now.

    Evolution is impossible unless there is a process from primitive to fully evolved.

    Religion has primitive beginnings, as does propaganda, as does science, as does anything that can evolve.

    Even fifth graders know that, so to recoil at the notion of very primitive social activity is not very evolved.

  161. And Dredd says . . .

    “Religion has primitive beginnings, as does propaganda, as does science, as does anything that can evolve.”

    Yes, they do have primitive beginnings and none of them are microbial. Analogous behaviors are comparisons, not direct or indirect causal connections or equivalences. Correlation is not causation.

    But please do continue to dance every time I push the bacteriological button.

    I think it’s hysterical.

  162. There is abiotic evolution, microbial evolution, biological evolution, and human social evolution.

    Those don’t work in the same way at all.

    So, the unique processes in each of those evolutionary realms throws a lot of Akinoid people off track.

    Especially when they think “one size fits all”, i.e. that one and only one grandiose process is prevalent in each of those four types of evolution.

    For example, those Akinoid kinds of mistakes gave us Social Darwinism and Eugenics
    —————————————————————
    World English Dictionary:

    symbiosis — n

    1. a close and usually obligatory association of two organisms of different species that live together, often to their mutual benefit [the primitive]

    2. a similar relationship between interdependent persons or groups [the fully evolved]

    [C19: via New Latin from Greek: a living together; see symbiont]

    (Dictionary). The primitive:

    Margulis spent much of the rest of the 1960s honing her argument that symbiosis (see figure, below) was an unrecognized but major force in the evolution of cells. In 1970 she published her argument in The Origin of Eukaryotic Cells.

    (History of Evolutionary Thought). Dr. Margulis’ theory was rejected for decades because it departed from allie samie evolution, distinguishing microbial evolution from biological evolution.

    Human “interdependent persons or groups” in symbiotic relationships does not preclude primitive existence of this social phenomenon.

  163. Repeating what you don’t properly understand (to be clear, that would be the net impact of symbiosis on natural selection) only further illustrates how poorly you understand evolution in general including natural selection and speciation. Yours is an extremist view of the evolutionary process that is fringe all the way. It’s as bad as the hardcore genetic determinism camp. Evolution is a confluence of forces, but no one force is dominant: not genes, not environment, not symbiosis. All three work together as inputs for the evolutionary process of natural selection. This is the mainstream view, but it’s the mainstream view because it is correct, not correct because it is the mainstream view. Anyone who claims evolution is dominated by one input – be it nature (genes), nurture (environment) or biological symbiosis – is someone missing the complete picture off the actual dynamic. They are taking comfort in a state of perpetual oversimplification (a logical fallacy, btw).

    And microbes still don’t practice religion or science even if they do display highly simplified (and often tenuously) analogous behaviors. Get back to me when a microbe formulates a theological doctrine or a scientific theory.

    Carry on.

  164. Part I

    There are so many religions, with many likenesses and differences, that it is difficult to grasp an aspect of religion that can be taken back to its primitive origin, but altruism may be one:

    Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of ‘others’ toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.

    (Wikipedia, emphasis added). The origin of altruism has biological validity, because many microbes and multi-cellular organisms exhibit altruistic behaviors:

    In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself. The costs and benefits are measured in terms of reproductive fitness, or expected number of offspring. So by behaving altruistically, an organism reduces the number of offspring it is likely to produce itself, but boosts the number that other organisms are likely to produce. This biological notion of altruism is not identical to the everyday concept. In everyday parlance, an action would only be called ‘altruistic’ if it was done with the conscious intention of helping another. But in the biological sense there is no such requirement. Indeed, some of the most interesting examples of biological altruism are found among creatures that are (presumably) not capable of conscious thought at all, e.g. insects. For the biologist, it is the consequences of an action for reproductive fitness that determine whether the action counts as altruistic, not the intentions, if any, with which the action is performed.

    (Stanford). The primitive form of anything is not replete with the bells and whistles of the fully evolved form, thus one should not expect primitive forms of altruism to be equal to fully evolved forms of human religious altruism.

    It is also possible that human social evolution engendered altruism separately and distinctly from the primitive biological forms.

  165. Part II
    A famous evolutionist is in hot water because he has advocated a notion of altruism evolution not based on kinship, the current consensus theory of altruism:

    In 1975 Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson published Sociobiology, perhaps the most powerful refinement of evolutionary theory since On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory of natural selection postulated a brutal world in which individuals vied for dominance. Wilson promoted a new perspective: Social behaviors were often genetically programmed into species to help them survive, he said, with altruism—
self-destructive behavior performed for the benefit of others—bred into their bones.

    According to this way of thinking, “altruistic” individuals could emerge victorious because the genes that they share with kin would be passed on. Since the whole clan is included in the genetic victory of a few, the phenomenon of beneficial altruism came to be known as “inclusive fitness.” By the 1990s it had become a core concept of biology, sociology, even pop psychology.

    So the scientific world quaked last August when Wilson renounced the theory that he had made famous.

    (Discover). Neither Wilson nor the scientific establishment rejects altruism as an evolutionary biological reality, but Wilson did reject his own theory that made him famous, i.e., altruism biologically is only done for kinship purposes, helping ones family as it were.

  166. Primitive social behavior does not have the bells and whistles of fully evolved human social behavior, however, evolutionists recognize social behavior in the oldest life forms:

    It is an extremely exciting time for researchers interested in the social behaviour of microbes. Microorganisms exhibit a stunning array of social behaviours …

    Our main findings include:

    We have shown that Quorum sensing is a cooperative social behaviour, which can be exploited by cheats and that a potential solution to this problem is cooperation between relatives (kin selection) – both in test tubes (Diggle et al. 2007 Nature) and mice (Rumbaugh et al. 2009 Current Biology). Our mice work also allowed us to examine the virulence consequences of social interactions.

    We have reviewed how social evolution theory applies to microbes (West et al. 2006 Nature Reviews Microbiology). We hope that the semantic debates which have wasted time in the evolutionary literature will not reoccur in the microbiology literature (West et al. 2007 J. Evol. Biol.). See also the primer on altruism.
    We have demonstrated, both theoretically (West & Buckling 2003 Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. B), and empirically (Griffin et al. 2004 Nature; Ross-Gillespie et al. 2007 Am. Nat; Kümmerli et al. 2009 Evolution; Kümmerli et al. 2009 JEB), how kin selection influences selection on the production of public goods, such as iron scavenging siderophore molecules.
    We have shown that bacteriocin production is a spiteful behaviour, whose selection is influenced by kin selection (Gardner et al. 2004 Proc. Roy. Soc.; Gardner & West 2006 Current Biology).
    We have shown that cooperation by microbial symbionts can be selected for if their hosts preferentially reward partners who cooperate or punish partners that do not cooperate (West et al. 2002 Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. B). We have also shown that such sanctions occur in the legume-rhizobia mutualism (Kiers et al. 2003 Nature). Soybeans penalise rhizobia that fail to fix Nitrogen inside their root nodules, by decreasing Oxygen supply, which results in huge fitness costs to the rhizobia (Kiers et al. 2003 Nature).

    The siderophore work is led by Ashleigh Griffin (Oxford, UK), and involves collaboration with Steve Diggle (Nottingham, UK), Angus Buckling (Oxford, UK) and Kendra Rumbaugh (Texas, USA). The theory involves collaboration with Andy Gardner. The rhizobia work involved collaboration with Toby Kiers (Amsterdam, Holland) and Ford Denison (Minnesota, USA).

    (Social Evolution In Microbes). Social behavior … its not just for human socialists anymore … it is for primitive socialists too.

    And one professor / research micro-biologist indicates that microbes make the rules for multi-cellular development (@15:20 in the following video):

  167. Please don’t do it Gyges!

    Think of the children!

    Besides, if TonyC and I are to fight for Gene’s amusement on another thread, I should at least get to enjoy Gene pummeling Dredd like a speed bag here…

  168. The video above, concerning microbial languages, was given by Dr. Bonnie Bassler:

    Bonnie Lynn Bassler (born 1962) is an American molecular biologist. She has been a professor at Princeton University since 1994.

    Born in Chicago and raised in Danville, California, Bassler received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University. She made key insights into the mechanism by which bacteria communicate, known as quorum sensing. In 2002 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Bassler was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.

    Bassler has been nominated by the American Society for Microbiology to be one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty Speakers who will speak about her work and career to middle and high school students in October 2010. Bonnie Bassler is a member of the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty, a collection of the most influential scientists and engineers in the United States that are dedicated to reinvigorating the interest of young people in science and engineering.

    (Wikipedia). I am sure she begs our forgiveness for being so scientifically unaware of what is happening in evolutionary microbiology.

  169. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve seen Bonnie’s talk before. She’s not the problem. Your understanding of her is the problem. You should beg forgiveness for not understanding analogies and causal connectivity.

  170. WOW! The woman even has a lab: Bonnie’s Laboratory … and she says she is into microbes “for understanding how higher organisms and sophisticated organisms evolved. We think all those secrets are in the bacteria.”

    Eat your heart out Akinoids, she knows more than you think you know.

  171. “[U]nderstanding how higher organisms and sophisticated organisms evolved” means she is seeking to understand mechanisms of evolution better – which does not do anything to substantively prove your previous assertions about microbial life practicing science and/or religion. If her works leads to a more refined understanding of speciation? Fantastic. If it leads to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cladogenesis and anagenesis? Outstanding.

    However, her knowing what she is talking about and you not understanding what she is talking about and using it to draw erroneous conclusions are two separate matters.

    You’re appealing to authority, Dredd, but unlike the classical informal fallacy you aren’t appealing to her improperly as an improper authority but rather as an authority you think backs one of your erroneous conclusions, i.e. you seek to bolster your imaginary authority with her actual authority on the subject matter. You aren’t technically committing the fallacy because of this difference, but you are doing a fine job of illustrating that you don’t understand what she says in context of or in the full scope of biology.

    She might as well be using magical language like “abracadabra” for your purposes.

  172. Bonnie, Dredd, and other microbiologists say:

    … some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes … 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial … exchanging messages with genes inside human cells … microbes cohabitating our body outnumber human cells by a factor of 10, making us actually “superorganisms” that use our own genetic repertoire as well as those of our microbial symbionts … We just happen to look human because our human cells are much larger than bacterial cells … no matter how you look at it, it’s high time we acknowledge that part of being human is being microbial …

    Microbes may indeed be subtly changing our brain early on — and for what purposes we cannot yet say … the mere fact that microorganisms can shape our minds brings up many more questions about how humans develop their identity … these findings call for a complete re-examination of human physiology and immunology. Attributes that were assumed to be human traits have been shown to result from human–microbe interactions.

    (The Human Microbiome Congress). The H gene says “abracadabra, I just make this stuff up cause GygesATater thinks I am cute.”

    You didn’t know any of this until I brought it up on JT’s blog, and the way you Akinoids are going you never will know it.

  173. Presume much, Dreddful? The only thing you’ve ever taught me is that you don’t understand how evolution works as a whole because you’re too busy engaged in your microbe worship. That you want to obsess on microbial symbiosis and fixate on it as the dominate force in evolution is not some special knowledge that you are imparting on to the heathens. It’s a representation that you’re a science fringer who simply doesn’t understand evolution as a holistic process and never will as long as you persist in your delusions about the importance of microbial symbiosis. Yeah, it’s a part of the evolutionary process, but it isn’t the alpha and omega of it. It’s the flip side of genetic determinism and just as wrong. Evolution is a multifaceted dynamic process with multiple inputs that is much more complex and elegant than your simplistic beliefs based on misunderstood science.

  174. Joe Walsh joins the Akinoids:

    Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, running against Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, told reporters Thursday night that there should be no abortion exception for the “life of the mother” because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a woman would actually die, according to a radio station. Walsh, of course, is flat wrong.

    (No Exception For ‘Life Of The Mother’ Thanks To ‘Advances In Science And Technology’ ).

  175. Joe Walsh, another one of those folks that love the blastocyte but begrudges the child. This guy is not only a deadbeat dad but stupid to the point of malice. This douche had the nerve to try to kerry his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, by saying “real heroes” never, ever talk about their service? As if her loss of both legs wasn’t enough to warrant that title.

    Thanx for the link Dredd.

  176. Joe Walsh is simply one of those people who is so impressed with himself that once he says something, he believes it is true. Thus he never needs to study a problem; just make a stupid pronouncement about it and suddenly, it is solved: IF ONLY PEOPLE LISTEN TO HIM.

    Of course our government is filled with the likes of Joe Walsh. I wish they would all go somewhere and become real heroes.

  177. Gene H, I was thinking the other day, that in a few hundred generations, humans will have tiny little pointy finger-ends like styluses so they can punch the itsy bitsy keys on their eensy beensy cell-phone-computer-thingies. I’m a typist and I have worked as a secretary for decades and I cannot even text; I can’t put an address into a GPS device. I’m a dinosaur! :oops:

  178. In the ~200,000 years of humanoid life, out of 3.8 billion years of organic life on Earth, humanoids have been here about 0.0053% of the time, or ~half of 1% of the time.

    What is the bigger picture?

    Should we see things in terms of microbial evolution which has been inhabiting 99.9947% of that time, or should we conceive of ~half of 1% of that time as the bigger picture?

  179. The only thing you’ve ever taught me is that you don’t understand how evolution works as a whole because you’re too busy engaged in your microbe worship.”

    Microbe study is microbe worship now.

    Some people can’t be taught because they can’t learn.

    Akinoids cannot be educated beyond their point of defiance of scientific reality.

  180. “Microbe study is microbe worship now.”

    It is when you join the “symbiosis is everything!” crowd. That you cannot understand that your position is as extreme and wrong headed as that of the genetic determinism crowd is your intellectual failing. It’s also part and parcel of why you don’t properly understand evolution holistically and in context.

    “Some people can’t be taught because they can’t learn.”

    A principle you demonstrate every time you say things like microbes practice religion and science or preach out the dominance of microbes in evolutionary process.

    Also your weak ass guilt by association tactic is really getting old. Try a new troll tactic for a change since you’re apparently going to persist in using them. Variety is the spice of life. Put that in your Akinoid and smoke it.

  181. E.O. Wilson on evolutionary heresy:

    The sociobiology wars that began in the ’70s are over. The biological approach has prevailed. Yet, I totally misjudged the ignorance of the reaction that I was going to get from social scientists and political ideologues on the left on the publication of my book Sociobiology in 1975. It started a real controversy and revealed the very widespread—in fact, in places almost universal—belief in the blank slate mind: that is, a mind unaffected by genetic factors or biological processes that might predispose social behavior, especially, to develop in one direction or another. That view, that the mind was fully developed by learning, by experience, and by the contingencies of history was virtual dogma in the social sciences.

    It was also dogma among the far left, who held the position taken by the Marxists and by the late Soviet Union. In the 1920s the Soviet Union dropped eugenics, a kind of prerunner of sociobiology, and switched to blank slate dogma. That was a formidable political and academic establishment on American campuses and among American intelligentsia in the 1950s, but it seems amazing to me now, looking back on the past quarter of a century, that what I wrote could be regarded as heresy. When you read Sociobiology now it looks like a fairly mild foreshadowing of what was to come.

    Whatever elements of the blank slate there were in evolutionary biology and psychology vanished, or began to shrink substantially, and that’s been the tendency ever since. If there are blank slaters in the social sciences and humanities today—and I suppose there still are—it’s very hard to see how they could hold a discussion that would include anything that we actually know about how the brain works, and how child development proceeds. We’ve had a fair amount of success in many areas of interpreting human nature in evolutionary terms. They would just have to reject the science outright in the manner of religious dogmatists.

    (A United Biology, emphasis added). Scientists and religionists can become fanatical when their dogmas and doctrines are challenged, whether they are on the right or on the left, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Akinoid.

  182. E.O. Wilson continued:

    “Jim and I … can put those things together in discussion now, and this will be a very interesting conversation. I hope. At the very least it’s symbolic of how much has happened in this half-century in biology since we started here in the department at Harvard as adversaries.

    At the same time, however, biology is very far from being a fully mature science. A mature science would be one in which we thoroughly understand the following big, open topics:

    [1] the nature of consciousness and of mind …

    [2] the assembly and maintenance of ecosystems …

    [3] proteomics. This relates to the question of how, after elementary transcription and formation of the proteins, genes are turned on and off …

    [4] biological diversity, which is one of my major concerns now. We probably know, and in the most elementary manner, no more than ten percent of the species of plants, animals, and microorganisms sufficiently well enough to give the species a scientific name. Ninety percent remain unknown, particularly if you throw in the bacteria and other similar, simple organisms called archaeons … the fundamental bacterial elements of ecosystems, the very primitive but elementary organisms that form a large part of the base of the ecosystem. Right now we don’t even know what the majority of organisms are doing.

    The way that this can be accomplished is to open the eyes of the scientific community, the government, and non-governmental supporting organizations to the tremendous cost-effectiveness and potential benefits of pulling off a full inventory of species-level diversity.”

    (A United Biology, emphasis added).

  183. Dredd, I had never heard of the “blank-slaters” and I’ll have to read up on it. But it reminded me of something that happened over 30 years back. I was being evaluated by a child psychiatrist to see if I was a “fit” mother to keep custody of my then 2-year-old son. He wanted me to describe my whole life, starting at earliest memory. In the first session I traveled through early childhood and at one point said that my brother, who was 3 years older than me, had polio. (Two years before the vaccine came out.) I said that our parents told us that he had contracted the disease because a little girl in his class at school was playing with marbles and put one in her mouth, and then my brother played marbles with her and got the germs. I had been at first horrified (“How do they know?”) and then very upset (“They shouldn’t blame the little girl; how did SHE know?”).

    When narrating this to the psychiatrist, I said it shocked me. He asked a pointed question: “What do you think they were telling your brother?” I answered, “It’s dangerous to play with girls.” He then asked, “How about: school is a scary place?” I agreed. (My brother did very well in school, though; he was phobic, however, and had social anxiety.)

    My brother wasn’t created from whole cloth at the moment he heard this story; he had a huge history and an ongoing biological presence by that time, including polio. In fact, had he BEEN a blank slate the news of the dreadful and fateful marbles game would not have particularly damaged him, since he would be able to avoid games of marbles from that time forward. We are not only what we eat, but what we experience, what we think we experience, and what we already are.

    Except Akin. He’s just as dumb as a stump so nothing in here applies to him.

  184. Hi, Bron,
    “Ariel:
    that was well done.
    Gene will now say you are a troll, are full of it and that he “won” because of your use of the various fallacies.
    Your posts are a breath of fresh air.”

    Thank you for that. Occasional praise is heartening. However, Gene H. said you’re a troll so you must be as am I. I have a feeling it has more to do with disagreeing with him, or anyone he agrees with, than any actual trollishness

    Just for your enjoyment, one of the definitions of “excluded middle” is “only extreme views are valid”, notice Gene H. and his description of me ” anti-evolutionary, anti-intellectual and pro-religion”. Oddly, I’ve been an atheist for 48 years (atheists have only one thing in common “no gods”), believe “change in species over time” is a Law (change is an is, mechanism is why), and I neither hate nor embrace religion (consider it experiential, therefore it does have some wisdom; the haters think it was devised predominately for subjugation). I think there is certainly middle-ground on intellectualism (lest one’s brains fall out on the ground) as well religion. I am more absolutist on evolution, which makes his argument about me using “excluded middle fallacy” just a sweet moment of irony. If others would swat him, I would flagellate myself for schadenfreude. But then Gene H. would think I am an adherent of a 13th Century nonsense.

  185. Hi, Slartibartfast, like your moniker though it makes me so depressed I don’t know how I can go on.

    “Personally, I don’t think that “law” is a good term to use for any scientific theory as it generally has a connotation of absolute truth—something that just doesn’t happen when describing the universe with mathematics.”

    Well, it’s because a Law isn’t a Theory. Newton’s Laws hold up mathematically, but only in a very narrow way (think boundaries). They’re Laws because they describe what is and no exception has been found except that: They are a subset of Einsteinian physics (still Theory but getting there I presume), and fall out quite handily and fit our particular velocities.

    BTW, architects now of very tall buildings use Newton and Einstein calculations.

    Again, a Law and a Theory are not the same thing.

  186. Ariel,

    I was pretty clear that I was giving my opinion, but Newton’s laws don’t “hold up mathematically”. Ever.

    Consider this hypothetical: Jason Verlander is riding in a parade at 10 mph (something not inconceivable in the near future… ;-) ) and throws a 100 mph heater in the same direction (something that will very probably happen in the near future, if not at the same time…). Newton’s laws say that someone in the path of the ball (let’s say he’s throwing some chin music) sees the ball headed towards them at 110 mph while, according to relativity, the true speed is about 110 / (1 + 1 / 4.5 x 10^14) mph, which, while the difference is beyond detection, is not, mathematically speaking, the same.

    In science, “laws” and “theories” are equally strong—both refer to the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge. (from the Wiki entry on “scientific theory”). Again, it’s just my opinion, but, as a scientist, I think that the distinction is neither functional nor useful.

  187. Hi, Gyges,
    ““Consciousness really screws with evolution.”

    Why would you say that? It might add a few things to be selected for or against, and remove a few others, but so does any adaptation. Variation and selection still happen.”

    Uh, because consciousness is a level above the rest of life on this planet. And it leads to an artificial social structure (human social structures are artificial) that makes decisions and requires a direction above just fitting into an environmental niche over long periods. Human social structures like marriage do not exist elsewhere. Please don’t compare monogamous animals with “marriage”. The complexity is substantially different. In fact, human society is at least a magnitude or greater in complexity than the rest of the animal world. And all from the evolution where are species reached “consciousness” (I expect pain over this).

    I have two children alive only because of our “Consciousness”, without it they would have died at puberty (I’ll let you guess on that one). They will live, but what price evolution?

    As for you and Dredd, my apologies.

  188. Ariel said:

    Uh, because consciousness is a level above the rest of life on this planet.

    Really? Exactly when did our ancestors become conscious? How do you know that no species besides homo sapiens sapiens is conscious?

    And it leads to an artificial social structure (human social structures are artificial)

    Why is human social structure “artificial” as opposed to the social structure of, say, gorillas or a wolfpack or dolphins or bees or ants?

    that makes decisions and requires a direction above just fitting into an environmental niche over long periods.

    How do human social structures “require a direction above just fitting into an environmental niche over long periods”?

    Human social structures like marriage do not exist elsewhere.

    Are you implying that the social structure of other species don’t contain their own unique elements?

    Please don’t compare monogamous animals with “marriage”.

    Hey, look, it’s a pre-emptive straw man!

    The complexity is substantially different.

    What, exactly, does that have to do with anything?

    In fact, human society is at least a magnitude or greater in complexity than the rest of the animal world.

    Do you even understand what you are trying to say here? How do you measure the complexity of a society? (You brought up the term magnitude, which implies measurement, by the way…)

    And all from the evolution where are species reached “consciousness”

    Again, exactly when did this happen and how do we tell “conscious” species from “non-conscious” species.

    (I expect pain over this).

    Then the wise thing to have done would have been not to post it—unless, of course, you are a masochist, in which case: you’re welcome.

  189. Hi, Slartibartfast,

    “I was pretty clear that I was giving my opinion, but Newton’s laws don’t “hold up mathematically”. Ever.” Opinions are fine, and over this issue, our opinions have trans-disciplinary issues. You can’t measure either speeds accurately enough to call in Einsteining physics, and then make a calculation to show that Einstein holds. 110 mph plus or minus what, 10 mph plus or minus what? The negligible part of the equation is swamped by the error in measuring. I do agree with you, but Newton still drops out if you drop the Einstein part of the equation, and at low speeds and heights, the error of measuring swamps anything Einstein adds.

    Now the rest (liking that bold as it makes it easier):

    “Really? Exactly when did our ancestors become conscious? How do you know that no species besides homo sapiens sapiens is conscious?” Who knows, and I don’t. But you’re ignoring degree as to the latter, and degree makes all the difference. Otherwise, Einstein who? I’m conflating consciousness with intelligence intra-species. Would you like to argue otherwise?

    “Why is human social structure “artificial” as opposed to the social structure of, say, gorillas or a wolfpack or dolphins or bees or ants?” Well, because it’s definitional? Artificial means “Humanely contrived or man-made”, it has no other meaning, and neither you nor I should play Humpty Dumpty on that word. Bonobos, chimps, gorillas, dolphins or wolfs, have a great possibility of some degree of consciousness. Ants or bees, too much evidence otherwise, a social structure is not proof of consciousness, nor in this case even raises a question without an episode of “The Outer Limits” as a starting point.

    “How do human social structures “require a direction above just fitting into an environmental niche over long periods”? ” Okay, you got me as direction is a human thing, direction being neither positive or negative regarding an environmental niche, but just human. If we don’t like the niche, we’ll build canals and flood it.

    “Are you implying that the social structure of other species don’t contain their own unique elements?” Certainly not, but don’t confuse unique elements with complexity, a word which is not an either-or. A bee hive, or ant colony, is certainly complex in terms of your understanding. You ignore that complexity has degrees, so would you really want to argue that an ant colony is equal to the complexity of Manhattan Island? And that is just a small part of the complexity that is human. Humans have their unique elements, just go to the mines past Superior towards Winkleman. No ants.

    Okay, I may have gotten off track with which bold applies to which of my arguments, but this: “Hey, look, it’s a pre-emptive straw man!” Okay, read it, and back on track. “Please don’t compare monogamous animals with “marriage” was my quote. Really, are the wolf police going after a wayward wolf for not paying child support? If that was a straw-man, damn I need more.

    “What, exactly, does that have to do with anything?” from my “the complexity is substantially different”. Nothing and everything. If you view complexity as something you have to work at understanding, such as an ant colony, while ignoring all the human complexity around you, then you are right. Has nothing to do with anything you can see.

    “Do you even understand what you are trying to say here? How do you measure the complexity of a society? (You brought up the term magnitude, which implies measurement, by the way…)”. If there is no way to measure complexity, then there is no way to measure an ant colony versus anything else. So the words complexity and “ant colony” have no meaning when juxtaposed. As for “magnitude” (10 times), you need to have more interaction with laypeople. It’s as much a qualitative phrase as a quantitative, and in this domain strictly qualitative. I was being conservative, I thought 2 or more magnitudes, but went with one. Given, by your words, there is no possible way of measuring complexity of a society, ant, bee, or human, then, hell, my evaluation is as good as yours. Maybe better because I understand complexity isn’t a zero or a one.

    “Then the wise thing to have done would have been not to post it—unless, of course, you are a masochist, in which case: you’re welcome.” to my (I expect pain over this). No, I’m not a masochist, but I do understand and expect other people’s sadism. People are people.

    It was fun, and you did make me think. I appreciate both.

  190. 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.
    ————————————————-
    Is he the savior? Doubt it.

  191. Hey do scholars all HAVE TO KNOW HEBREW? HOW COME?

    (Does this apply to Icelandic scholars? Those in the Southern Hemisphere?)

    :razz:

    (Of course, I’m safe home, I used to tutor Hebrew. Gut Genug?)

  192. Hi, Gene H.,
    Damn, I forgot the Yupriks, nor did I mention the Aleuts as well the Tlingits (actually Lingit). Unfortunately, I have a daughter that needs the computer for homework. I’ll come back later.

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