The Precambrian Rabbit In The Room

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

In a recent op-ed, entitled The Elephant in the Room, Rick Santorum, Republican candidate for President, decided to take on evolution and claimed that “the scientific consensus becomes an ideology that trumps the pursuit of truth.” According to Santorum, the “High Priests of Darwinism” challenged his amendment that suggested there is controversy surrounding evolution

Santorum cites a Gallup poll that suggests that only 14 percent of Americans agreed with evolution that “humans developed over millions of years.” This is an example of the logical fallacy: Appeal to Belief. The number of people not believing a claim is not, in general, evidence that the claim is false.

One of the scientific controversies in modern evolution theory is how processes such as mutation and natural selection and genetic drift contribute to speciation. This is probably not the controversy Santorum is talking about. Santorum’s “controversy” is strictly manufactured and religious in origin.

Santorum claims that the “pursuit of truth” is being trumped. If the “truth” is that evolution is false, where’s the evidence? In response to a question, biologist J.B.S. Haldane (1892–1964) reportedly said that the discovery of a fossil rabbit in Precambrian rocks would be enough to destroy his belief in evolution. Evolution is easily falsifiable and there are plenty of eager media outlets willing to spread the good news. However, there has not been one shred of evidence that falsifies evolution. On the contrary, every new discovery from multiple diverse fields of study add to the growing list of supportive evidence for evolution.

If this were the 17th century, Santorum would be supporting the geocentrists and writing about the “High Priests of Galileoism.” The evidence for evolution is as strong as the evidence for heliocentrism. Perhaps Santorum wants to teach the controversy surrounding heliocentrism. In an example of one of life’s little  ironies, the “evils of Copernicanism” crowd is too crazy even for the creationists.

H/T: Steven Dutch, Understanding Evolution, Scripture Catholic, Larry Moran.

28 thoughts on “The Precambrian Rabbit In The Room”

  1. The Central theme of belief is that it affords security , assistance & protection & this idea of final salvation . It is a cotterpin glossy image that even our revolution was inspired & triumphed because of divinely inspired principals , supported thsly up in the halls of heaven . Which led later the march westward on the wings of manifest destiny ….across the great divide , from sea to shining sea . Finally the true freedom for men to rise up thru their own efforts to own property & be an equal soul in “Gods Kingdom” that could live rightly for his salvation by the new prescribed motifs of the Protestant ,Puritan ethic , without interference .

    Yet right from the start Religion & that free thinking Naturalism were in conflict as the true motives for that revolution were multilayered yet in some ways joined & overlapped by economics . Certainly the Freethinkers enjoyed their rum over apple jack & rarely we found George Washington far from a poker game & those two just mentioned in his cup nightly . Always thought it funny to note the Boston Tea Party had more to do with the anger toward Brits cutting off the sugar supply for making rum from the West Indies , than it had to with tea & taxes , though the latter is what most are taught . It is noteworthy their were two serious religiously inspired Prohibition movemements in the US the one we know commonly in the last century & th one right after the Revolutionary War ends .

    One can see these conflicts from blind faith/ built up belief in the Supernatural vs Naturalism going all the way back starting in earnest with Spinoza . And we all know the dynamics of belief/religion/gods as a function of governing which Greeks & Romans were understanding of thoroughly in antiquity after 1000yrs of growing observation of the variety of African , Persian & Egyptian/ Middle Eastern diversities of belief in Gods & worship . That pragmatic approach led later of the Romans to rule with some large leeway to a tolerance of all these religions even at their leisure dabbling seriously in their practice as a diversion .

    If one looks back with all these observations in mind , including those Greek philosophers towards the 5th-3rd centuries who began to finally realize , the great realization that Nature in effect was a machine in causual effect in perpetual perfection …and “God or Gods” were merely our own projection . In every way one looks at this with eyes open one see’s Religion base modality providing Unity, Protection, Law , Security , Cohesiveness , Conformity , Rule ,Hierarchy , Cooperation which except for the Afterlife all have their firmest base & largest explanation in Naturalism . Nothing could be more natural in an evolved species & thoughtful monkey than the rise of such embodied symbols rituals & myths . One notes in Islam around 1000ace that iron Mullahs clamp down harshly & pitilessly on all Greek philosophy which towards the end was beginning to see the beginning of the dawning in man’s own awareness , there were no Gods it was always just us projecting these forms fro our own psyches upon the landscape of an unfeeling unthinking yet eleagnatly organized Universe,

    There is hope though….there is US .

  2. Science by definition can be abandoned and/or replaced.
    Religion is belief, faith, part of us. Now who would abandon theirselves.

    You are by self portrayal silly or stupid, or both.

    ATTACK, I am attacked. Shock. Alarm bells, Hormones rise in defense.

    Got it?

    Now think, if you can overcome your shocked self.

  3. I do not believe your science can ever trump my religion. But, keep trying, it energizes my base.

  4. Lotta – please point out any place I singled out the Catholic Church as the source of the new dark ages?

    Heck I would not single them out even on the issue of pedophilia, where they have done outstanding work to ensure they are head and shoulders behind the others, because its only a matter of degree.

  5. Consensus isn’t science? Just how do scientific communities select among competing theories without it? Ideally the answer would be pick the one that best fits the facts (and by the way, theories are by definition not facts) . But what if the available data supports more than one theory? People compare the theories and select one based on things like simplicity, elegance or usefulness. Over time a consensus is reached and one theory becomes dominant (but the other theories don’t go away completely — see for instance catastrophism and uniformitarianism.)

  6. Santorum:

    “Why? Well, maybe because Americans don’t like being told what to believe. Maybe because we have learned to be skeptical of “scientific” claims, particularly those at war with our common sense – like the Darwinists’ telling us for decades that we are just a slightly higher form of life than a bacterium that is here purely by chance, or the Environmental Protection Agency’s informing us last week that man-made carbon dioxide – a gas that humans exhale and plants need to live, a gas that represents less than 0.1 percent of the atmosphere – is a dangerous pollutant threatening to overheat the world.”

    Ronald Regan (Presidential candidate, 1979):

    “The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA [and] charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted… The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees.”

    I love Republicans when they talk science.

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