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Darwin put history into science - Marx put science into history
Posted: 11 February 2008 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]
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  The Evolution Wars: Religious Reaction and Racist Oppression

Hail Charles Darwin!

If ever there were an argument against “intelligent design,” it is George Bush, an ignorant and dimwitted reactionary with state power. Almost 150 years since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, this born-again Christian president has thrown the power of his office behind Christian fundamentalism by arguing that religious fables be given equal time with evolution in science classes in America. But the irrational obscurantism of leading circles of the American ruling class should not be mistaken for an absence of purpose. Now, as at other key moments in the history of this nation founded on black chattel slavery, religion is being promoted to inculcate acquiescence to injustice. The brilliant, self-educated former slave Frederick Douglass nailed the intrinsic relationship between the pious religiosity of Southern slaveowners and the hellish reality of those they lorded over:

“I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,—a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,—a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,—and a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me…. I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.”


—Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)

 

Full: http://www.icl-fi.org/print/english/wv/854/evolution.html

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Posted: 14 February 2008 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Balak - 11 February 2008 09:11 AM

The Evolution Wars: Religious Reaction and Racist Oppression

Hail Charles Darwin!

If ever there were an argument against “intelligent design,” it is George Bush, an ignorant and dimwitted reactionary with state power. Almost 150 years since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, this born-again Christian president has thrown the power of his office behind Christian fundamentalism by arguing that religious fables be given equal time with evolution in science classes in America.

What is the evidence of Bush putting “the power of his office behind Christian fundamentalism by arguing that religious fables be given equal time with evolution in science classes in America”?

It’s much more than this:

Q I wanted to ask you about the—what seems to be a growing debate over evolution versus intelligent design. What are your personal views on that, and do you think both should be taught in public schools?

THE PRESIDENT: I think—as I said, harking back to my days as my governor—both you and Herman are doing a fine job of dragging me back to the past. (Laughter.) Then, I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught.

Q Both sides should be properly taught?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, people—so people can understand what the debate is about.

Q So the answer accepts the validity of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I’m not suggesting—you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/02/AR2005080200899_5.html

Right?

But the irrational obscurantism of leading circles of the American ruling class should not be mistaken for an absence of purpose. Now, as at other key moments in the history of this nation founded on black chattel slavery, religion is being promoted to inculcate acquiescence to injustice. The brilliant, self-educated former slave Frederick Douglass nailed the intrinsic relationship between the pious religiosity of Southern slaveowners and the hellish reality of those they lorded over:

“I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,—a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,—a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,—and a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me…. I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.”


—Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)


Full: http://www.icl-fi.org/print/english/wv/854/evolution.html

What is the current “acquiescence to injustice” you have in mind?  Encouraging free speech and inquiry concerning the notion of intelligent design?

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Posted: 14 February 2008 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Bryan - 14 February 2008 01:43 PM

THE PRESIDENT: ... I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught. ...

This is a transparent attempt to get religious ideas of creation into science class. The whole concept of “teach the controversy” comes from the same people who advocated creationism originally. There is no actual controversy over creationism in biology, anymore than there is controversy in astronomy over astrology.

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Posted: 14 February 2008 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gee, I’d think the Creationists would take the existence of George Bush as a good basis for a modification of their Hypothesis.  However, they’d have to change the name to “Stupid Design”.

Occam

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Posted: 14 February 2008 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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dougsmith - 14 February 2008 01:46 PM
Bryan - 14 February 2008 01:43 PM

THE PRESIDENT: ... I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught. ...

This is a transparent attempt to get religious ideas of creation into science class.

So the President insisted on being asked the question in order to advance the diabolical agenda?

How did his transparent attempt work out, by the way?  Did his answer to the question result in getting more religious ideas into science class (hoping for evidence if you’ve got it)?

The whole concept of “teach the controversy” comes from the same people who advocated creationism originally. There is no actual controversy over creationism in biology, anymore than there is controversy in astronomy over astrology.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28145641_ITM

Let’s see if I understand you correctly.  It doesn’t matter to you that substantial numbers of Americans doubt evolution when it comes to teaching the subject.  It should simply be taught in science class without any acknowledgment of the popular doubt.  Is that correct?  Please provide an accurate rephrasing if I’m off target.
Perhaps if there’s no controversy “in biology” then any other controversy may be ignored?

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Posted: 14 February 2008 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Bryan - 14 February 2008 07:58 PM

It doesn’t matter to you that substantial numbers of Americans doubt evolution when it comes to teaching the subject.  It should simply be taught in science class without any acknowledgment of the popular doubt.  Is that correct?  Please provide an accurate rephrasing if I’m off target.
Perhaps if there’s no controversy “in biology” then any other controversy may be ignored?

Of course it doesn’t matter what the general US population believes when it comes to biology. Can you imagine what it would be like in math class if we relied on what the general US population believed about math? Or history, for that matter? Or engineering? Or geology? Or rocket science?

Would you prefer a house or car designed by the average American among your “substantial number”? Would you prefer to be operated on by them? Or would you prefer to get an expert?

As for Bush’s agenda, as of yet he has not been terribly successful. He did lose in the courts, after all. But given his and his backers’ theocratic aims, I fully expect they will be back to provide us crackpot pseudoscience informed by religion in the future.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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dougsmith - 14 February 2008 08:45 PM
Bryan - 14 February 2008 07:58 PM

It doesn’t matter to you that substantial numbers of Americans doubt evolution when it comes to teaching the subject.  It should simply be taught in science class without any acknowledgment of the popular doubt.  Is that correct?  Please provide an accurate rephrasing if I’m off target.
Perhaps if there’s no controversy “in biology” then any other controversy may be ignored?

Of course it doesn’t matter what the general US population believes when it comes to biology. Can you imagine what it would be like in math class if we relied on what the general US population believed about math?

Not really.  What does the U.S. population believe about math?  I think maybe you’ve missed the point by a hair.  Shouldn’t the teaching method take into account common perceptions and acknowledge them in some manner in order to facilitate the teaching process?

Or history, for that matter? Or engineering? Or geology? Or rocket science?

History, I think, is the best example to help me make my case.  Suppose that most students think that Columbus discovered the New World (maybe they think that because the schools formerly taught it!).  Isn’t it appropriate to account for that perception during the teaching process, perhaps by mentioning that it remains a popular belief and discussing how it came to be so?

Would you prefer a house or car designed by the average American among your “substantial number”?

Depends on the house or car, I think—but again I think you’ve taken the extreme view of the situation.

Would you prefer to be operated on by them? Or would you prefer to get an expert?

I think if plenty of “average joe” cars are around to choose from compared to “expert” cars that the schools should acknowledge the existence of “average joe” cars instead of ignoring their existence.

As for Bush’s agenda, as of yet he has not been terribly successful. He did lose in the courts, after all.

Did he?  Where?

But given his and his backers’ theocratic aims, I fully expect they will be back to provide us crackpot pseudoscience informed by religion in the future.

I find it amusing that we get from Bush expressing a preference for both evolution and “intelligent design” receiving attention in schools to “theocratic aims.”  He advocates exposing students to two different viewpoints.  Your position is the autocratic one, in that you would forbid public schools the ability to teach the views of the public (apparently even in passing, though I hope you’ll clarify if appropriate).

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Posted: 15 February 2008 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

Shouldn’t the teaching method take into account common perceptions and acknowledge them in some manner in order to facilitate the teaching process?

“Acknowledge them in some manner” is not the same as teaching the controversy. One can “acknowledge them in some manner” by making a passing remark about them. To “teach the controversy” involves more than simply “acknowledging them in some manner”, as I think you are aware.

And since what is at issue is a science class, and there is in fact no controversy in the relevant science, there is no controversy to teach. If the schools want to teach this controversy, it belongs in contemporary history or religion class.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

I think if plenty of “average joe” cars are around to choose from compared to “expert” cars that the schools should acknowledge the existence of “average joe” cars instead of ignoring their existence.

Uh huh. And just which cars are you able to buy that are designed by non-experts? Even the kit-cars involve engines that are expert-designed, I believe.

Perhaps you would prefer to buy a car designed by your accountant?

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

As for Bush’s agenda, as of yet he has not been terribly successful. He did lose in the courts, after all.

Did he?  Where?

As you well know, in the Kitzmiller case. You are going to claim that this isn’t Bush’s case; however that is a sophistical argument, as it is clearly a case that he would support.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

I find it amusing that we get from Bush expressing a preference for both evolution and “intelligent design” receiving attention in schools to “theocratic aims.”  He advocates exposing students to two different viewpoints.  Your position is the autocratic one, in that you would forbid public schools the ability to teach the views of the public (apparently even in passing, though I hope you’ll clarify if appropriate).

Sophistry. You know quite well the history behind this, and that the only reason for putting both viewpoints into the science class is that one of those viewpoints is religiously-based pseudoscience. There is also Hindu creationism, BTW. I assume you’d be in favor of teaching that in class as well. And native american creationism.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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dougsmith - 15 February 2008 07:56 AM
Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

Shouldn’t the teaching method take into account common perceptions and acknowledge them in some manner in order to facilitate the teaching process?

“Acknowledge them in some manner” is not the same as teaching the controversy. One can “acknowledge them in some manner” by making a passing remark about them. To “teach the controversy” involves more than simply “acknowledging them in some manner”, as I think you are aware.

I’m not sure why you’re insisting on the phrase “teach the controversy” with respect to Bush’s comment, for that isn’t what he said.  The interviewer, you’ll note, talked of a growing debate as the premise of the question.

And since what is at issue is a science class, and there is in fact no controversy in the relevant science, there is no controversy to teach. If the schools want to teach this controversy, it belongs in contemporary history or religion class.

Why is science class at issue?  Because you say so?  I don’t see anything about science class in Bush’s statements.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

I think if plenty of “average joe” cars are around to choose from compared to “expert” cars that the schools should acknowledge the existence of “average joe” cars instead of ignoring their existence.

Uh huh. And just which cars are you able to buy that are designed by non-experts? Even the kit-cars involve engines that are expert-designed, I believe.

So you’re saying that your example was a sham from the start since there is no such thing as a car designed by a non-expert?  Please clarify if I’m not understanding you correctly.

Perhaps you would prefer to buy a car designed by your accountant?

It would depend on the car, like I said earlier.  But I guess if you can twist what Bush says you can ignore what I say just as easily.  wink

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

As for Bush’s agenda, as of yet he has not been terribly successful. He did lose in the courts, after all.

Did he?  Where?

As you well know, in the Kitzmiller case. You are going to claim that this isn’t Bush’s case; however that is a sophistical argument, as it is clearly a case that he would support.

If that’s a case that he would support, then shouldn’t we expect his administration to file an amicus brief or something to make that clear?
Bush’s active support for ID in the science class appears to be an article of blind faith with you.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:39 AM

I find it amusing that we get from Bush expressing a preference for both evolution and “intelligent design” receiving attention in schools to “theocratic aims.”  He advocates exposing students to two different viewpoints.  Your position is the autocratic one, in that you would forbid public schools the ability to teach the views of the public (apparently even in passing, though I hope you’ll clarify if appropriate).

Sophistry.

Are you describing your technique of putting words and court cases into Bush’s mouth or what?

You know quite well the history behind this, and that the only reason for putting both viewpoints into the science class is that one of those viewpoints is religiously-based pseudoscience.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/wood200508090808.asp

There is also Hindu creationism, BTW. I assume you’d be in favor of teaching that in class as well. And native american creationism.

Can’t I assume that any of the above is either Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Design?

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Posted: 15 February 2008 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

I’m not sure why you’re insisting on the phrase “teach the controversy” with respect to Bush’s comment, for that isn’t what he said.  The interviewer, you’ll note, talked of a growing debate as the premise of the question.

“Teach the controversy” is the phrase made up by the Discovery Institute to promote theocratic indoctrination in science class. See, e.g., HERE.

I also direct your eye to this passage in the wiki page:

As a measure of their success in this effort, on 1 August 2005, during a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, President Bush said that he believes schools should discuss intelligent design alongside evolution when teaching students about the origin of life. Bush, a conservative Christian, declined to go into detail on his personal views of the origin of life, but advocated the Teach the Controversy approach - “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought… you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.” Christian conservatives, a substantial part of Bush’s voting base, have been central in promoting the Teach the Controversy campaign.

QED.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

Why is science class at issue?  Because you say so?  I don’t see anything about science class in Bush’s statements.

I don’t think you read your own quote. It’s right here:

Q So the answer accepts the validity of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I’m not suggesting—you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.

It is clear from this context that Bush was talking about controversies in science class, biology in particular. He wasn’t talking about the controversies in Home Economics.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

So you’re saying that your example was a sham from the start since there is no such thing as a car designed by a non-expert?  Please clarify if I’m not understanding you correctly.

You can’t make the examples go away by willfully misinterpreting them, you know. The point was that we should not rely on what the average (scientifically illiterate) American believes about science to influence how it is taught in the schools. That would be equivalent to relying on the average american to design your car for you.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

If that’s a case that he would support, then shouldn’t we expect his administration to file an amicus brief or something to make that clear?
Bush’s active support for ID in the science class appears to be an article of blind faith with you.

Blind faith? You just quoted Bush supporting the Discovery Institute’s program. Did you not read what you quoted, above?

“I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught. ... so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

There is also Hindu creationism, BTW. I assume you’d be in favor of teaching that in class as well. And native american creationism.

Can’t I assume that any of the above is either Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Design?

Sorry? Are you in favor of teaching Hindu creationism in science class? Or is it only the Christian sort you favor?

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Posted: 15 February 2008 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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dougsmith - 15 February 2008 10:04 AM
Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

I’m not sure why you’re insisting on the phrase “teach the controversy” with respect to Bush’s comment, for that isn’t what he said.  The interviewer, you’ll note, talked of a growing debate as the premise of the question.

“Teach the controversy” is the phrase made up by the Discovery Institute to promote theocratic indoctrination in science class. See, e.g., HERE.

OK, so you’re using the phrase to tie Bush to the DI regardless of what he actually said.

I also direct your eye to this passage in the wiki page:

As a measure of their success in this effort, on 1 August 2005, during a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, President Bush said that he believes schools should discuss intelligent design alongside evolution when teaching students about the origin of life. Bush, a conservative Christian, declined to go into detail on his personal views of the origin of life, but advocated the Teach the Controversy approach - “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought… you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.” Christian conservatives, a substantial part of Bush’s voting base, have been central in promoting the Teach the Controversy campaign.

QED.

Let’s be serious for a moment.  The Aug. 1 interview is the same one for which I provided the transcript.  You want to go with somebody’s Wiki entry interpretation instead of the original account?
I can understand a self-interested motivation in doing so, but that’s not how one gets to the truth of the matter.  To get to the truth you go to the source.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

Why is science class at issue?  Because you say so?  I don’t see anything about science class in Bush’s statements.

I don’t think you read your own quote. It’s right here:

Q So the answer accepts the validity of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I’m not suggesting—you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.

It is clear from this context that Bush was talking about controversies in science class, biology in particular. He wasn’t talking about the controversies in Home Economics.

OK, so you’re tacitly admitting that I’m exactly right about Bush saying nothing about science class while insisting that’s what he must have meant.  Apparently you didn’t read the quotation very closely.  It appears to me that Bush affirmed that he was not recommending ID as a theory on equal footing with evolution (“I’m not suggesting ...” thus denying the question posed by the journalist), and he clarified his intent with the subsequent statement, characterized as the answer to the journalist’s original question.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

So you’re saying that your example was a sham from the start since there is no such thing as a car designed by a non-expert?  Please clarify if I’m not understanding you correctly.

You can’t make the examples go away by willfully misinterpreting them, you know.

Apparently you can.  wink

The point was that we should not rely on what the average (scientifically illiterate) American believes about science to influence how it is taught in the schools. That would be equivalent to relying on the average american to design your car for you.

Only with an extreme and straw-manny version of “rely on what the average ... American believes.”  It is foolish to fail to take into account existing beliefs and knowledge while trying to teach something, IMHO.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

If that’s a case that he would support, then shouldn’t we expect his administration to file an amicus brief or something to make that clear?
Bush’s active support for ID in the science class appears to be an article of blind faith with you.

Blind faith? You just quoted Bush supporting the Discovery Institute’s program. Did you not read what you quoted, above?

“I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught. ... so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Back it up there a sec.  You’re basing Bush’s supposed support for the DI program on the equivalency you drew between Bush’s statement and “Teach the Controversy.” With proof that thin you require blind faith.
And you might consider answering my question about how the Kitzmiller case could be Bush’s without any mention or even as much as an amicus brief.  Failing that, you seem to be a mythmaker.  You seem eager to turn Bush’s statement of opinion, given in response to a journalist’s question, the status of an active program to establish ID in the public school curriculum.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 09:12 AM

There is also Hindu creationism, BTW. I assume you’d be in favor of teaching that in class as well. And native american creationism.

Can’t I assume that any of the above is either Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Design?

Sorry? Are you in favor of teaching Hindu creationism in science class? Or is it only the Christian sort you favor?

Vishnu spoke to his servant: ‘It is time to begin.’ Brahma bowed. Vishnu commanded: ‘Create the world.’
http://www.painsley.org.uk/re/signposts/y8/1-1creationandenvironment/c-hindu.htm

Sounds like you’re peddling a false dilemma.  The Hindu creation story sounds like ID, in essence.  Maybe you should take another stab at answering my question.

[ Edited: 15 February 2008 01:28 PM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 15 February 2008 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Bryan’s various evasions and contortions are of little interest in themselves, but the very persistence highlights something about the Marxist perspective that I wanted to raise from the original article.

Regarding the warfare between science and religion over Darwinian evolution, the eminent British scientist and Marxist J.D. Bernal wrote:

“The very persistence of the struggle, despite the successive victories won by materialist science, shows that it is not essentially a philosophic or a scientific one, but a reflection of political struggles in scientific terms. At every stage idealist philosophy has been invoked to pretend that present discontents are illusory and to justify an existing state of affairs. At every stage materialist philosophy has relied on the practical test of reality and on the necessity of change.”
—Science and History (1954)

I don’t personally get into debates with fundamentalist christians, neocons or bushites, because I don’t find them interesting. One of the things that has always struck me about the skeptic movement - perhaps both a strength and weakness - is the skeptic’s readiness to engage with every comer, patiently walking their opponents through the basic elements of the scientific method, critical thinking, the principles of biology, genetics, paleontology, geology etc in hopes of revealing to them the error of their convictions. The strength of this kind of patience is obvious when it comes to winning over anyone who is prepared to think. No one can dispute that figures like Gould, Sagan and other great champions of science in public life reached and moved large audiences toward a scientific worldview.

But there also seems to be a ‘blind side’ to this method, i.e. political naivete expressed in the inability or unwillingness to perceive that, when push comes to shove, the other side hasn’t got the slightest interest in establishing the truth. I often run into earnest defenders of science expressing astonishment at how creationists, after being forced to acknowledge that one or another argument has been refuted and revealed to be worthless, will then proceed in the next debate to raise exactly the same argument as if they had just discovered it yesterday? No matter what scientific arguments the defenders of reason use, the next day the ‘debate’ has always mysteriously returned to square one! (No one familiar with the Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document” should be surprised at this - the other side is interested in nothing less than overthrowing the scientific worldview , including through the dodge of putting their religious arguments in ‘scientific sounding’ terms.)

To me the interesting question is the underlying politics which drive the struggle between science and its opponents, nicely summarized by the Bernal quote above. The article from the Workers Vanguard centrally addresses the common ideological roots or Creationism, Jim Crow and KKK terror in the South… This is an obvious and glaring point, so why is the racism/creationism link never raised by humanists and skeptics? Unlike most defenders of science, the creationist bigots know what the fight is really about, and - also unlike the liberal muddleheads - will do whatever they feel is necessary to win.

[ Edited: 15 February 2008 05:19 PM by Balak ]
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Posted: 15 February 2008 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Re. Bush’s “I’m not suggesting ...”, it’s useless to speculate about what he might have said when he didn’t say it. So that’s a red herring. All the rest of his statement is entirely in concord with the Discovery Institute.

Bryan, I have to assume you’re just arguing for the point of arguing, since I don’t believe you’re so naïve as to think that Bush didn’t support ID in his statement to the Texas press corps. You do know how political speech works, right? How it is that politicians speak in ways that are dead obvious to their supporters, but with enough weasel room such that not terribly bright middle-of-the-roaders can persist in the fiction that they weren’t really saying what they appeared to all their supporters to be saying.

I should add that trolling is against the rules.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dougsmith - 15 February 2008 04:35 PM

Re. Bush’s “I’m not suggesting ...”, it’s useless to speculate about what he might have said when he didn’t say it. So that’s a red herring. All the rest of his statement is entirely in concord with the Discovery Institute.

In the context of the statement, Bush specifically offered the meaning of his earlier comment in answer to it was good to teach different views, not whether he saw .

Bryan, I have to assume you’re just arguing for the point of arguing, since I don’t believe you’re so naïve as to think that Bush didn’t support ID in his statement to the Texas press corps.

Of course his statement supports ID.  It’s simply light-years from representing an administration effort to put ID policies into effect.

“But given his and his backers’ theocratic aims, I fully expect they will be back to provide us crackpot pseudoscience informed by religion in the future.”

It’s been seven years already, Doug.  Where is the beef?

You do know how political speech works, right? How it is that politicians speak in ways that are dead obvious to their supporters, but with enough weasel room such that not terribly bright middle-of-the-roaders can persist in the fiction that they weren’t really saying what they appeared to all their supporters to be saying.

Ah, yes.  And we all know what a brilliant speaker Bush is.  He simply ties people in knots with that silver tongue of his.  He probably had the round-table event entirely scripted.

Why do you suppose that this was such an isolated incident, by the way?  Shouldn’t Bush send out the message more than once every eight years just to keep the constituency in line?

I should add that trolling is against the rules.

I’m quite sincere in my argument.  Does the CFI definition of “troll” encompass sincere argumentation?
Or were you referring to Balak’s mini-essay?

“Trolling” or posting derogatory or inflammatory messages on sensitive topics with the intent to bait members into responding is not allowed.

Derogatory?  I don’t see that in my post—no more so than the one to which I responded, anyway.
Inflammatory?  I don’t see it.  Maybe you can explain it.
Bait members into responding?  Again, I don’t see it.  I’m simply responding on-topic to what others have written but from a different point of view.

Edit to add:
From the quotation in the opening post:

”... this born-again Christian president has thrown the power of his office behind Christian fundamentalism by arguing that religious fables be given equal time with evolution in science classes in America.”

That appears to be a lie.  But I suppose I shouldn’t question it.

[ Edited: 15 February 2008 08:18 PM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 15 February 2008 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

Of course his statement supports ID.  It’s simply light-years from representing an administration effort to put ID policies into effect.

Ah. OK. So we’re in agreement then that Bush’s statement is in support of ID. Then what precisely is the argument you are concerned to make?

Due to the strenuous efforts of people in the sciences, along with moderate politicians and organizations like CFI, it has so far been impossible for the administration to put ID policies into effect nationwide. Of that we are in agreement. But it could only be a matter of time.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

Why do you suppose that this was such an isolated incident, by the way?  Shouldn’t Bush send out the message more than once every eight years just to keep the constituency in line?

I’m going to assume you’re being serious here. There is a large portion of the Republican party who are pro-science and not particularly Christian. Many of them are very wealthy, and more interested in libertarian tax policy than theocracy. They are not terribly in favor of Bush’s pro-ID stance.

But for that segment of the conservative electorate that cares passionately about theocracy, they only need to hear it once (and not hear any counterevidence) to take Bush seriously. Of course, if it were politically possible, Bush would be discussing this more actively—just the same as we would be hearing more about the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage if that were politically apt. Bush is certainly in favor of it, at any rate.

Do you have any evidence that Bush is in favor of evolution? That is, do you have any evidence that those in favor of ID among his constituency should have any concern at all about Bush’s ongoing political support of their cause? I’d love to hear it.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

I’m quite sincere in my argument.  Does the CFI definition of “troll” encompass sincere argumentation?

Trolling encompasses argumentation that is simply done in order to annoy rather than to advance discussion. We are very happy to have a variety of different opinions represented on this site, including those of political conservatives, religious believers, et cetera, even if we may not personally agree with them. So long as arguments are sincere and constructive, there’s nothing wrong with them.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 15 February 2008 07:44 PM
Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

Of course his statement supports ID.  It’s simply light-years from representing an administration effort to put ID policies into effect.

Ah. OK. So we’re in agreement then that Bush’s statement is in support of ID. Then what precisely is the argument you are concerned to make?

The one I emphasized by re-posting the relevant piece of the opening post.  See the post above yours, right near the end.

Due to the strenuous efforts of people in the sciences, along with moderate politicians and organizations like CFI, it has so far been impossible for the administration to put ID policies into effect nationwide. Of that we are in agreement. But it could only be a matter of time.

Because you have some evidence of Bush administration initiatives that you haven’t shared with me yet?

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

Why do you suppose that this was such an isolated incident, by the way?  Shouldn’t Bush send out the message more than once every eight years just to keep the constituency in line?

I’m going to assume you’re being serious here. There is a large portion of the Republican party who are pro-science and not particularly Christian. Many of them are very wealthy, and more interested in libertarian tax policy than theocracy. They are not terribly in favor of Bush’s pro-ID stance.

So even though it may only be a matter of time, a large portion of the president’s own party doesn’t support it.
So can you explain why you’d be worried about presidential action on this issue, given these circumstances?

But for that segment of the conservative electorate that cares passionately about theocracy, they only need to hear it once (and not hear any counterevidence) to take Bush seriously. Of course, if it were politically possible, Bush would be discussing this more actively—just the same as we would be hearing more about the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage if that were politically apt. Bush is certainly in favor of it, at any rate.

Same question.

Do you have any evidence that Bush is in favor of evolution?

Of course.  He advocated teaching evolution in the quotation we discussed.  Where were you?

That is, do you have any evidence that those in favor of ID among his constituency should have any concern at all about Bush’s ongoing political support of their cause? I’d love to hear it.

What “ongoing political support of their cause”?
That’s what I asked you about and you cited the Kitzmiller case that Bush (as far as I can tell) had absolutely no hand in.  Now you want me to use what you were supposed to support with evidence as the premise for a question back at me?  Sorry, but I can’t make sense of your question without some evidence of the supposed “ongoing political support.”  Feel free to rephrase the question.

Bryan - 15 February 2008 07:22 PM

I’m quite sincere in my argument.  Does the CFI definition of “troll” encompass sincere argumentation?

Trolling encompasses argumentation that is simply done in order to annoy rather than to advance discussion. We are very happy to have a variety of different opinions represented on this site, including those of political conservatives, religious believers, et cetera, even if we may not personally agree with them. So long as arguments are sincere and constructive, there’s nothing wrong with them.

I’m making every effort to stay within that guideline and I don’t see that I’ve strayed beyond.  I think I’ve seen posts by others that are less constructive and more inflammatory than mine.

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