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. So, in other words, since there isn’t any, schools already do teach the evidence against evolution. Cool! That was easy. What’s next?

  2. To clarify: The quote above is from the Santorum piece cited/linked by Nal.

  3. “A Zogby poll this year found that 78 percent of Americans agreed that schoolteachers ‘should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.’ ”

    And that “scientific evidence” is what, exactly? Oh, you can’t name even one single example of such SCIENTIFIC evidence? Well, this could easily explain, then, why 78% of Americans agreed with the above statement, and I would even count myself among them as this does not conflict with my support for the theory of evolution.

    If there were any SCIENTIFIC evidence to be brought against evolution, I’d be the first to ask to hear it! Please do not keep me waiting any longer!

    So far……..crickets………and more crickets……

  4. Charlie Pierce’s book _Idiot America_ has three premises which explain phenomena like Santorum and Gingrich perfectly. Here are the premises:

    First Great Premise: Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.

    The Second Great Premise: Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.

    The Third Great Premise: Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    These three ideas are the rosetta stone of modern America; think about them as you read the news. You will see how well they shed light.

  5. Dredd, and other pre-Cambrian freaks too,

    Check this out. You who linked to NG stories.

    by Zeppero a gov’t paid rocket scientist who wanted to enable solar system travel.

    The Exodus Path, My Struggle.
    Although I really did find a way to power the rockets to take
    hundreds of us throughout the solar system, the only product of my
    entire career struggle working in so-called “rocket science,” was
    that people wanted to hear the story.

    As the “Featured Evening Speaker”, again and again, they would
    keep me long after I was finished talking, asking me questions.
    What was so captivating? Was it the stories about how we can
    actually leave the Earth? Or was it just that I was telling them
    stories and entertaining them? Or was it my struggle against the
    real world and reality? I can’t tell, so I am telling the story———–

    Long ago, when people landed on the moon and when Star
    Trek inspired us, we thought we could just go there, to space, to
    the moon, to other planets like Mars or Mercury. But at every
    turn, we discovered another bad thing to stop us.
    We did not find what we needed to live, like water. Our rocket
    ships were too feeble, too huge, too expensive, and blew up too
    often. Low gravity in space would float poop, snot and vomit in
    the air, stinking up the ship and forcing us to breathe it. Low
    gravity drained our bones of calcium and disabled our lymph
    system. Space was more radioactive than sitting on pile of old
    fallout from an atomic bomb. Mars had a little bit of a poison,
    carbon monoxide, in its carbon dioxide air. Mars would be a
    poison planet.
    So, we gave up. No one even went back to the moon.
    Mother Nature only tricked me a little, but she did it again and
    again. A new problem would suddenly appear just when an old
    problem was solved.
    Mother Nature fooled me. She showed me how it seems there is
    enough water for us to start leaving Earth. She teased me to think
    we could be explorers who could inhabit what we explore.
    But, she knew I won’t get to go there. I am old already. And the
    world went broke.
    More annoying: Mama Nature told us clearly that we were the
    wrong species for space and she would not let us have the “clear
    profit” we would need to start The Exodus. She seemed to point
    to her bulging stomach, pregnant with the new species, her digisapiens
    children, cyborgs, robots, androids.
    It’s about the water

  6. Frankly, The only anti-science position I am familiar with out of the current Catholic church is their opposition to fetal stem-cell research. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Santorum self identifies as a catholic but he actually has more in common with the beliefs and instruction of the fundamentalist Christians. I really haven’t personally checked in with the church in decades but my aunt, who is a devout Catholic, won’t claim Santorum. That boy just isn’t Catholic enough. 🙂 Rome has more in common with the bible-belt fundies than workday Catholics seem to have in common with Rome these days, if the polls and pundits are to be believed. Last I had anything to do with the church it was into social justice and all that, but that was decades ago.

  7. “…And, on the Eighth Day HE created Dog.”

    Platipuss, Hmmm 8.

    Of course Ricky is annoited. Doesnt anyone fathom his last name: Santo rum. Sainted Rum. The American pronounciation was picked up at Ellis Island. That “or ummm” pronounciation. Santo = Saint

    Listen to Rickyboy. He is juiced.

  8. “The beauty of science is that it is true whether you believe it or not”
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    For a thousand years the church kept mankind in the dark ages, after 700 years of progress they want to drag us back. Rick “Ol Frothy” Scantorum wants to lead the way

  9. Rick Santorum “can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

  10. The David Icke theory I mentioned up-thread is laid out in this book.

    The basic idea is that a serpentine entity controls the world by controlling the rulership, the governments.

    Theologically the serpentine entity was once good but went bad and rebelled, ending up on the Earth.

    Icke depicts it as an alien serpentine species that interbred with early human beings, a hundred thousand years ago or something like that.

    There are similarities in the two theories, with the usual variations showing up in the details.

    This addresses the radical doctrines in scriptures which make “moderate” theologians blush, and likewise makes politicians go into gloss mode on steroids.

  11. Otteray Scribe 1, March 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
    ― Michael Crichton, MD
    The same thing can be said of any ideology. False science, religion, false religion, history, false history.

    Crichton made a meaningless, rhetorical statement.

  12. Santorum projects a notion that is 98% gloss over.

    Various biblical scholarly theologians point out verses which hold to interpretations not unlike David Icke. That is, the governments of this world are serpentine:

    “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus,
    and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up
    the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast
    been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy
    covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl,
    the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the
    carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
    thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
    created.” (Ezekiel 28:12-13)

    Here we have a being, called the king of Tyrus, who is full
    of wisdom, perfect in beauty, who has been in the Garden of
    Eden, and who was created! As far as I am concerned, there
    can be no denying who this is talking about:

    “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field
    which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,
    Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the
    garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

    To confirm this even further, consider what we are told next
    about this king of Tyrus:

    “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set
    thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast
    walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou
    wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast
    created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
    (Ezekiel 28:14-15)

    (ETP net). This Old Testament text influenced the New Testament text:

    Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    (Religious Source …). Truth be known, there are as many variations in evolution and cosmology as there are in religion.

    There is also lots of consensus on fundamentals in both religion and science.

    Anyone who studies the history of both of them know they have been all over the board over the years. That is one reason textbook companies do so well. You can’t write either science or religions books in stone, because the information is quite fluid, dynamic, and changing, sometimes depending on the politics of the moment.

  13. Top Ten Catholic Teachings Santorum Rejects While Obsessing About Birth Control
    by Juan Cole, University of Michigan
    February 14, 2012

    The right wing Republican politicians who have been denouncing the requirement that female employees have access to birth control as part of their health benefits as an attack on religious freedom completely ignore the church teachings they don’t agree with. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are both Catholics, and wear their faith on their sleeves, but they are hypocritical in picking and choosing when they wish to listen to the bishops.

    1. So for instance, Pope John Paul II was against anyone going to war against Iraq I think you’ll find that Rick Santorum managed to ignore that Catholic teaching.

    2.The Conference of Catholic Bishops requires that health care be provided to all Americans. I.e., Rick Santorum’s opposition to universal health care is a betrayal of the Catholic faith he is always trumpeting.

    3. The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty for criminals in almost all situations. (Santorum largely supports executions.)

    4. The US Conference of Bishops has urged that the federal minimum wage be increased, for the working poor. Santorum in the Senate repeatedly voted against the minimum wage.

    5. The bishops want welfare for all needy families, saying “We reiterate our call for a minimum national welfare benefit that will permit children and their parents to live in dignity. A decent society will not balance its budget on the backs of poor children.” Santorum is a critic of welfare.

    6. The US bishops say that “the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…”. Santorum, who used to be supportive of unions in the 1990s, has now, predictably, turned against them.

    7. Catholic bishops demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. Rick Santorum denies that there are any Palestinians, so I guess he doesn’t agree with the bishops on that one.

    8. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops ripped into Arizona’s law on treatment of immigrants, Cardinal Roger Mahony characterized Arizona’s S.B. 1070 as “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” saying it is based on “totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources.” He even suggested that the law is a harbinger of an American Nazism! Santorum attacks ‘anchor babies’ or the provision of any services to children of illegal immigrants born and brought up in the US.

    9. The Bishops have urged that illegal immigrants not be treated as criminals and that their contribution to this country be recognized.

    10. The US Conference of Bishops has denounced, as has the Pope, the Bush idea of ‘preventive war’, and has come out against an attack on Iran in the absence of a real and present threat of an Iranian assault on the US. In contrast, Santorum wants to play Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove and ride the rocket down on Isfahan himself.

  14. Bishop Santorum will always do well where ignorance is considered a virtue! As you notice, the Bishop has done well in the South! Evolution is a FACT, but faces in the United States, such as Tenn., the counterculture religious right assault. While there maybe scientific discussions of the specifics, I trust Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show On Earth” statement that the evidence for evolution is clear and proven! Evolution is a theory in the same way as the Heliocentric Theory of the Solar System, a hypothesis that has been scientifically confirmed by observation and experiment! Period!

  15. The sweater wearing running on a shoe string budget candidate has followers,so I guess he’s not alone in his thinking.

    I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the show “Scare Tactics” and the person who is the victim of the prank is asked are you scared and the person is out of their wits and then is told “you should be,you are on Scare Tactics and the person says what ?,you’ve got be to be kidding and every one laughs .Mr Santorum is real and the more votes he gets the farther out he is going on the proverbial limb.

  16. “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
    ― Michael Crichton, MD

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