Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ayatollah Huckabee

Thanks to Bawdyscot for pointing me at the Informed Consent blog. On it, we see this hateful piece of rhetoric from Republican candidate for president, Mike Huckabee:

' "I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

I've blogged about some of the Huckster's other egregious assaults on sanity and reason here. Huckabee is also the only remaining candidate that does not "believe" in evolution.

Atheists and theists alike should be scared of the damage that could occur if this fucker actually won and tried to implement these hare-brained schemes.

56 comments:

Al said...

Halt!

Let the partisanship begin. About as relevant as Red China Hillary dancing with Marxist Bella Abzug. I ascertain the DNC is freightened of Huck-a-Buck?

Ceroill said...

Hopefully those are not the only two choices. True, they are the ones that the Media will pay attention to the most, simply because they are so divisive and partisan.

BAWDYSCOT said...

al,

You are a relatively new poster here and I do not believe you were involved in the blog we posted on before this one was formed(the previous one was abandoned by the blog master, we posted there for awhile longer, but ended up here). If you were witness to my previous posting you would remember that I find the Democrats as reprehensible as I do Republicans. I got my blogging feet wet with, "We don't need Democrats. We don't need Republicans. We need statesmen." I find Ms. Clinton as bad a choice as Mr. Huckabee. I find Obama as wanting as Romney. Edwards would do as much irreparable damage to this country as McCain would. I find little difference between the two parties and if it wasn't for my fervent(feverish might be a better term)wish to see the most reprehensible President in American history lose in 2004, I could honestly say I had never voted for a Democrat(and look how much my shame did for me, eh?). If you are going to try to argue that any of the Republicans are the answer to our ingrained problems, you will certainly get a fiery arguement from this corner. Bring it on! Ron Paul is my guy. I realize the shortcomings and unrealistic chances of his candidacy, but I have never voted for the winner in my life previous to this and I see no reason to start now. For me there is no other choice(except for the Libertarian candidate which just might be where I will have to put my X).

Al said...

You both miss the point in a large way. This has nothing to do with either party but everything to do with Americans especially bloggers. When we must resort to childish tactics of insults, ludicrous insinuations and just bold face lies, we have become no better than the system itself. Disagreement is not enough, we have this need to tear down the person in order assassinate their character.

I hope to never refer to anyone desiring to serve public office in any way that is not accurate and which generally contributes to true discussions. Emotionalism is of no value in real and genuine discussions and the majority of bloggers are notorious for such sentiments.

BAWDYSCOT said...

al,

You missed my point in bringing Huckabee's comments(did you listen to the video, he actually said he wants to change the Constitiution to fit a religion's mold) to this blog. This leads me to believe he thinks he and his ilk are more intelligent or moral than our Founding Fathers. That is a little rich for me.

I will admit the majority of the population is Christian(though not all Christians believe the same way), but if you take all the atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Wiccans, Jews, any other religion I wouldn't want to exclude, people who like the Constiution the way it is now(this would describe myself too), people who distrust the government to get it right, and on and on, you end up with a significant amout of people. To discount a significant amount of people ain't serving the people, it is serving YOUR OWN people and that is not what this country is about, right?

csm said...

I challenge you, Al, to show me where this post resorts to "childish tactics of insults, ludicrous insinuations and just bold face lies"...

I'll guess while awaiting your response. Maybe you didn't like the use of the word "Ayatollah" in front of Huckabee's name. Well, I didn't create that, I just copied that from the link at Informed Consent. And it is an apt metaphor since people equate the moniker Ayatollah with a religious leader running a country based on religious (in this case, Muslim) dogma.

Maybe you didn't like the word "fucker"... too bad... I do.

Where was the lie? The quoted section is linked to a source - and I saw it on CNN last night, too! Huckabee said those crazy things. Really. He did. It should be his undoing. We'll see...

csm said...

And Bob, here is a thought to noodle around on. I like partisanship. It is what keeps our country from moving forward in lockstep like we did for a bit there after 9/11.

Now I don't like such extreme partisanship as we've had lately, but I think it is better than extreme "getting along" - especially when it means giving up freedoms, abandoning oversight, and supporting torture.

Al said...

Bawdyscot,

Your observations hardly make him the Ayatollah now does it? I understand your problem with his statements that was not my point. As for the constitution, we have so many interpretations that it would be difficult to ascertain which interpretation could claim real and true authenticity. That is why we have seven Supreme Court justices who do not interpret the Constitution is the same manner.

If Huck’s Constitutional endeavors make him the Ayatollah would that make Hillary’s socialized medicine endeavors make her Lenin? This is where the ridiculous assertions come and make discussions almost impossible. We should, as Americans, be able to disagree with out throwing around ridiculous labels. I believe all the candidates truly desire the best for America, love America and not hell bent on turning our nation toward Communism or some Muslim or even some Christian theocracy.

G said...

In this particular situation, I think Huckabee deserves a word in his defense. Please don't misinterpret this defense as meaning that I am a supporter of his (I plan to vote for a different candidate in the primary. In the general election, it will depend on the choices).

I believe that when Mr. Huckabee made that statement, he was specifically speaking of the definition of marriage (and possibly the abortion issue). It was not intended to be a blanket statement. Also, keep in mind that the president as absolutely zero power when it comes to changing the constitution.

I know that presidents really have no authority to make the changes that 99% of their campaign promises entail, but there is always the possibility of lobbying and deal-making. When it comes to the constitution, it just isn't going to happen. He has more power as a governor in that respect.

As for his views on evolution... who cares? What does a politician's view of biological processes have to do with anything?

csm said...

"If Huck’s Constitutional endeavors make him the Ayatollah would that make Hillary’s socialized medicine endeavors make her Lenin?"

No.

"Also, keep in mind that the president as absolutely zero power when it comes to changing the constitution."

True, but he appoints SCOTUS justices, and they interpret the Constitution. And he would have the "bully pulpit" to work on trying to get his crazy notions implemented.

"As for his views on evolution... who cares? What does a politician's view of biological processes have to do with anything?"

It goes to his ability to make informed decision based on reason and evidence. It shows he lacks this ability.

BAWDYSCOT said...

al,

I never called Huckabee Ayatollah, Julian Cope did. This doesn't make his(Huckabee's)comments any less scary to strict Constitutionalists like myself. And since I have not involved myself in name calling let us stop talking as if I had and discuss the issue at hand which was my reasoning for bringing this up in the first place. As far as interpretations of the Constitution, in many respects you are correct, that there can be variations, but when it comes to forming a Constitutional state religion the Constitution is pretty clear.

As an aside, right now I am in the middle of Thomas Jefferson's autobiography, a fascinating read BTW, and he was adamant about his side to this issue, even to the point of listing the other world class religions(Hindoo, for example)which should not be disenfranchised or extricated from the national debate on national issues.

g,

Huckabee may have been speaking in the context of gay marriage and abortion, but my contention is these should be state issues in the first place and have nothing to do with the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment is the most trampled upon amendment we have in the Bill of Rights. I have posted before on how we could solve the gay marriage question and make everybody happy. Huckabee is just as guilty as any of the Democratic candidates in his desire to see more and more power and money end up in D.C. This is one of the reasons many conservatives, especially fiscal conservatives, find Huckabee lacking. I just happen to have more reasons than most.

G said...

csm,

Yes, the president can appoint judges who have the responsibility of interpreting the constitution (although a nominee's performance sometimes turns out to be different than the president expected). However, congress still has to approve them. They won't blindly rubber-stamp a nominee (e.g. Harriet Meiers). Even with the judicial nominees, the president still has no power to change the constitution. Huckabee's power in the White House to make those changes would be no more or less than any other president who strongly supports the pro-life and traditional marriage positions.

"It goes to his ability to make informed decision based on reason and evidence. It shows he lacks this ability."

This view just isn't true. There are many people in the world today who look at the theory of evolution and have determined, based on evidence and reason, that it is untenable.

Evolutionary theory is simply an interpretation of data that happens to be held by the majority of scientists today. Its occurence has never been observed (on the macro scale), and it has never been duplicated in a laboratory setting.

Now, if he held to a belief that has been clearly proven to be false by direct observation or experimentation (like the earth resting on the back of a giant turtle), then I would tend to agree with you. But that isn't the case here.

bawdy,

I don't know if you remember this from the FP blog, but I am with you on states' rights. In fact, I believe that abortion is one of the issues where the 10th amendment has been most blatantly overrun (usually in the court's rejection of a state's desire to place even small restrictions on abortion).

I previously stated (in the other blog) my belief that the only way to put the abortion debate to rest once and for all is for a determination to be made (either by a Supreme Court decision or a constitutional amendment) as to exactly when life begins... because once that life begins, he/she is entitled to all the protections of federal and state law.

I agree with you that this is currently a state-by-state issue. But at the same time, if an amendment is made to the constitution (which I doubt will ever happen), then the 10th amendment will no longer apply.

csm said...

"There are many people in the world today who look at the theory of evolution and have determined, based on evidence and reason, that it is untenable."

That just isn't true. Oh, yes, there are a lot of people who do not "believe" evolution to be true. But they have not really "looked" at it in a scientific manner. Creationist apologists (not saying that necessarily is you) are always citing people who do not "believe" in evolution. But there are no credible biologists with that "opinion" at all.

Al said...

Bawdyscot,

I guess Cope is the one I refer since I realize you only posted the link but my point still stands,

As for evolutionary theory being a prerequisite for the presidency that is complete hogwash. First, define evolution before making such an assertion. Is this God centered evolution or happenstance evolution? There is a big difference. Second, check out the USA Today Poll titled "“belief in evolution, creationism". About 50% of Americans are not buying.
We are not looking for biologist for the presidency; we should be looking for a leader. Have you seen the movie coming out next month concerning this subject matter?
I could care less how knowledgeable they are in microbiology or even anthropology. Frankly, I like a leader who is willing to think for themselves. So CSM, which form of evolution must they believe in order to obtain the presidency? Maybe we should find out there views on black holes and anti-matter?

G said...

csm,

What exactly makes them not credible? If it is because of their views on evolution, then it is a meaningless circular argument. Is it because the majority of the science establishment rejects them? Well, you could say the same thing about many scientists from the past who have brought in a new (and correct) way of thinking.

And saying that they haven't looked into it in a "scientific" manner is absurd (speaking of scientists). Have you actually read their analyses and considered the aspects of evolutionary theory that they dispute?

I previously mentioned Dr. Wilder-Smith. You can stream or download some of his lectures for free. Or try reading "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution" or "The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory."

When you've done so, I doubt that you'll be able to complain that he hasn't looked at the issue in a "scientific" manner. And he is just one of a number of authors.

But again, in the case of Mike Huckabee (or any politician), I doubt that he has dug into the scientific details that argue for and against the theory. He probably has done what most people do... listen to a few arguments, in laymen's terms, for and against, and made his decision.

csm said...

Yes, g, I have read much of it. Enough to know that it is absurd to read any more of it until, and unless, scientific evidence is presented. (That said, I still intend to look at Wilder-Smith... only briefly perused it as of now.) AS for evidence, how about something like human fossils in the pre-Cambian maybe.

And if that is all Huckabee has done, then he is not qualified to render a judgement. And again, to me, this disqualifies him on yet additional grounds, to be president.

csm said...

And Bawdy, I think you have confused the former lead singer of the Teardrop Explodes with Juan Cole.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let’s elect another ignorant, opinionated President.

Ceroill said...

Salon has an interesting bit on Huckabee

http://www.salon.com/opinion/
conason/2008/01/18/huckabee/

G said...

csm,

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but an inconsistency like that in the fossil record wouldn't prove anything. The record already has inconsistencies, but they don't sway those who are dogmatically attached to evolution.

Evolutionary theory, as a historical science, can be neither proven nor disproven. The fossil record provides us with a certain amount of data, but the data (fossilized organisms) doesn't tell us what processes occurred (if any) to link the data points.

As for the election, it seems that you're just giving an excuse to not vote for a candidate that you never would have voted for anyway. If you apply the test you just mentioned, I seriously doubt that ANY politician would ever be worthy of your vote. Seriously, one's understanding of the details of biology are totally irrelevant in the political realm.

But I want to reiterate that I have no intention to vote for Mike Huckabee in the primary. I just think the reaction to this statement is overblown.

Al said...

Again csm God directed evolution or happenstance evolution? Which must he believe to be qualified in your mind?

I will say it again. You seem to be a Hillary supporter. Why would someone like you want to vote for a woman who suffers delsions and worships some mythical being?

Seems a delsioned individual would be no more qualified than one who doesn't believe in your chosen version of evolution.

BAWDYSCOT said...

csm,

Ya got me, tis Juan Cope. How do I get this music thing out of me head?

I always get glassed over eyes when reading the he said, she said story between evolution and creationism, prompting me to say, "why can't we all get along"(R.King)or "man, I wish we could keep personal beliefs personal"(Bawdyscot). The main point of this to me is that we have a candidate who feels the need to make deep structural changes to our Founding Document which would only reflect the thoughts of a segment(though admittedly a majority, though maybe not if only considering the Evangelicals) of the total population.

I realize the position in question does not have the authority do do this on there own, but the fact he is an Evangelical, which happens to be the fastest growing religious population in the country, would and should scare the bejeesus out of anyone not in the said group, because of the changes he would like to see and the effect they would have on everyone else. And again, this is not what this country is all about. This is not a "change"(Everyone(candidates)wants to fucking change things when the bones of what we already have accomplished are in no need of overblown change for change's sake)this country as a whole could benefit from. The Founding Fathers knew this over two hundred years ago and any citizen who realizes this is a Republic of Free States and not a true democracy knows this. Again, the thought that a candidate for President, whose job is to UPHOLD the Constitution, would see the need to disenfranchise a significant portion of the citizenry for religious reasons should be called out and chastised by the citizenry and the press(where the fuck are they in this, probably complicit).

csm said...

Huzzah, Bawdy!

csm said...

And al, there is no science called "god-directed evolution" so I shall ignore any blathering that would imply I might be interested in such a thing.

Al said...

Sorry CSM, Theistic evolution and yes many good, credible and published scientist who believe in a superior being follow this belief. Let me help you with a link,

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html

My apologies for not presenting this question in a more correct scientific manner. You repeatedly refuse to address the question and so I have drawn the appropriate conclusion.

Last I checked the president, who is limited in power, can follow legislative and judicial paths to amend the constitution in any way he deems necessary. This doesn't mean it will pass, unless a majority agrees with him. The founders put in the system of checks and balances for just that reason. You read way too much into his comments.

Ceroill said...

Ok, I'll hazard my own thoughts about evolution and divine influence (if any). If one happens to be both a biologist and religious, I can understand, and have no problem with said person being of the belief that divine influence is involved in the processes of evolution. The same thing of course can easily be said about geology, cosmology, etc. However, to me this does not become a separate science. It is just how that particular scientist views things. It would, to my mind, be just as valid for someone who is a devotee of the old Norse gods to hold the position that Thor is the ultimate source of thunder, lightning, and stormy weather in general. This person could still be a rigorous and logical meteorologist, and would probably realize that working his religious certainties into the evening forecast for his tv station would be counterproductive.
Many other corollaries can be drawn, but I guess my own thought is that while religion does not necessarily interfere or obstruct science, by the very ineffable nature of the divine (if any), it cannot truly inform science.
Again, these are only my own thoughts, and I make no claims to how correct they might be.

csm said...

Nice link, Al. Go read that entire site, there is a lot there for creationists to learn; particularly useful is this index and this comprehensive index refuting creationist claims.

And again, theistic evolution (or whatever you want to call it) is NOT science. Evolution is science, and as Bob so nicely wrote, a scientist can have religious beliefs about what set things in motion, but that doesn't make that belief into science.

And g, anyone can make claims about inconsistency in the fossil record without citing refernces or providing evidence. I'm sure, whatever you think has been uncovered, has been explained scientifically.

Al said...

Thanks CSM but I am not a creationist. But I do recognize that there is a big difference in athiestic and thiestic evolution especially when the propabilties of such events taking place comes to the forefront of the discussion and then there is always the diest point of view. The propabilities or even the origin and complex timing of the Big Bang are difficult concepts to deal with when you only have chance on your side.
How can people with such delusions being reliable scientist?

csm said...

Glad to hear you aren't a creationist, Al. The problem with your statements/questions is that you assume people have a point of view about things that they do not have to have.

Theistic evolution? What does it even mean other than someone thinking that there musta been a god to guide it (or some such nonsense). Theism introduces more problems and falls at the hand of Occam.

Personally, I embrace science and what it can tell me at this point in our history. Philosophy is interesting and entertaining, but it does not inform my knowledge base other than, perhaps, to get the creative juices flowing. Religion? Uselsss.

Regarding the Big Bang... yes, it is a difficult concept to get one's mind around. I am not sure that we can ever know what came before the Big Bang - that is, what started it - since, by definition, its cuase is outside the universe. But this could just be a shortcoming of mine and some brilliant scientist, or group of scientists, may some day come up with something to do just that.

And where does this mantra of "just chance" come from? Anyone who has studied evolutionary biology knows that crediting "just chance" is erroneous. So what are you trying to say? I'm genuinely interested, because it is not clear at all.

G said...

csm,

I'm not going to spend hours of my time debating an issue that is never going to be settled or putting together a list of references to inconsistencies you should already be aware of if you have, in fact, studied the evolution debate as you claim. Everyone is well aware of the inconsistencies (e.g. polystrate tree fossils, inverted strata, etc.). And note that I didn't say that they are "proof," just inconsistencies.

You are correct that evolutionists have provided explanations for the inconsistencies. That is exactly the point I am making. You asked for a specific inconsistency as proof, but ANY inconsistency will quickly bring about a new explanation from those who are dogmatically attached to evolutionary theory.

Whatever one's view might be, it is strictly an interpretation of the data available. Interpretations are not proof. As I mentioned before, this a historical science. What actually happened will never be proven. None of us were there, and they didn't have video recording at the time. So the best we will ever be able to do is prove that something "could have" occurred.

Al said...

g

You are correct. The fossil record is very much incomplete but most of life does not become fossilized.


CSM w/o a supreme being to guide anything, everything becomes just chance. Have you ever looked into the mathematical probability of big bang ever taking place successfully w/o imploding or fizzling out? It is quite staggering. I’m not sure if there is a website that deals with this phenomenon.

And what does posing the question “Do you believe in evolution?” Are they suppose to answer they believe it is a legitimate theory, it is fact or that it has not answered the question to this point? Such an open ended question.

csm said...

Not surprising. Not going to "debate" anything but just make comments that are unsubstantiable and then leave. Fine by me...

csm said...

And, Al, given that most of life does not become fossilized the record that we do have is amazing in that it contains ZERO evidence to refute evolution.

And what created the "supreme being" of which you speak? Let's see, according to you, it would have been just chance that created him/her/it.

Yes, I've read about the probablities of life evolving and the big bang, and such. If you are really interested in a reasoned discussion of theism and the big bang, try this article or how about this one... if you want to move past the big bang and into abiogenesis, then try this one. Bottom line here, your opinions are no match for decades and decades of scientific research. That said, you are, of course, entitled to whatever opinions you wish to hold.

Regarding the question “Do you believe in evolution?” I would like to have given each candidate as much as 5 minutes to discuss their point of view on the topic. No need for them to be overtly scientific or to cite reams of research. An answer like "I trust the evolutionary biologists to get the science right and all of the evidence to this point supports that life evolved over the billions of years that our planet has been in existence." OK, so maybe all they'd really need is 1 minute, but I've never known politicians to be succinct.

csm said...

RE: Historical Science

Since some folks posting here obviously do not understand historical science, here is a primer.

If you choose to doubt historical sciences, please read Are the historical sciences sciences? from Skeptical Inquirer (July-August 2005) by Massimo Pigliucci.

For those who don't choose to follow that link, here are a few highlights: Pigliucci discusses predictive science versus postdicitve science. A predictive science deals with "the underdetermination of the future by the localized present," while a postdictive science is characterized by "the overdetermination of the past by the localized present." Because of the asymmetry in the determination of causes and effects, postdiction is actually much more powerful than prediction, which serves to invalidate the view of historical sciences as "inferior." If this interests you, read the article at the above link.

Ceroill said...

Also, as I've seen pointed out elsewhere, evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life, or with the origins of the universe, only with how life changes and develops over time. I wonder if next we'll be handed the old canard of 'it's ONLY a theory'.

G said...

csm,

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but trying to debate an issue that can't be proven with a person whose mind is already closed in the matter is a waste of time. Life is short. If I have made any comments that are incorrect, feel free to point them out so I can address them.

As for historical sciences, let's just look at the article you linked to yourself:

"What is still common to all science as a human activity aimed at understanding the natural world is that all scientific disciplines rely on some type of empirically based hypothesis testing. One may have to specify strict conditions for prediction, or abandon prediction entirely in favor of postdiction, but there have to be ways to test either the predictions or the postdictions by using empirically (i.e., either experimentally or observationally) obtained data. If one cannot do this, then one is not engaging in science..."

Ironic isn't it? This guy's argument against ID as a science actually refutes evolution (on a macro scale) as a science as well. It has NEVER been duplicated in a lab, even with strict controls. And the actual mechanism of one kind evolving into another has NEVER been observed.

And please understand that my point wasn't that a historical science isn't science, or even that evolution isn't a science. My point was that the mechanism simply can't be proven. The best anyone can do is to prove that a particular mechanism COULD have brought about an evolutionary change. That's why whenever we hear a report of some evolutionary link, we find it loaded with expressions like "may have," "could have," etc.

Al said...

I have found on this question that either side or sides if you will, is willing to give credence to differing opinions. There is this quick desire to discredit the other as quickly as possible. The real truth is if we have trouble figuring out what is before us now, the past is just a best approximation. This is why many bright scientists have differing opinions. I think it is great because shouting down differing opinions is bad for human advancement. I follow evolution because it is the best answer for the moment but hardly my gospel. The many assumptions to determine past conditions are just that, assumptions.

A century from now I have no doubt a new theory will be in place and Darwinism will be in the scrap heap.

Ceroill said...

Nicely put, Al. I agree that evolution is the best model we have of how things work. Not infallible or perfect, but pretty darned good as far as I can tell.

Ceroill said...

Nicely put, Al. I agree that evolution is the best model we have of how things work. Not infallible or perfect, but pretty darned good as far as I can tell.

csm said...

Gee, G, you're not going to debate me because my "mind is closed" but you'll address anything I point out. Could you be any more confusing?

I think it is time for a "Bah!"

Al said...

Ceroill thank you. Isn't it time to stop pretending that it is absolutely correct and that everyone else is wrong? That seems to be the general consensus of some. g actually makes some valid points.

Speaking of wrong, how about the Obama & Hillary feud? What a debacle! Debates should be a pay per view event.

G said...

csm,

The primary reason that I have no interest in debating evolution vs. creation is that neither one can be proven, which I have tried to explain. To do so with someone who dogmatically holds to evolutionary theory makes it even less productive. I could certainly be wrong about your mind being closed on the issue. But that's the impression I get from statements like, "there are no credible biologists with that 'opinion' at all" and "it is absurd to read any more of it until..."

I think I've made my points clearly, but I am always willing to reexamine any thoughts that might be incorrect, or to rephrase something that I haven't properly communicated.

Ceroill said...

Of the two, I put my bet on evolution, if only because there actually is a vast array of evidence in its favor. The fact that it's not perfect, in my mind, is not a detriment. No current scientific theory is absolutely perfect, but the prevalent ones are by far the best we've been able to put together so far from the evidence we've found, and we're always finding out more, to make the models more complete and accurate. Ok, I'll shut up now.

csm said...

"This guy's argument against ID as a science actually refutes evolution (on a macro scale) as a science as well."

It does nothing of the sort. I guess discussing science with chimps produces nothing but idle chatter. Oh well...

csm said...

"My point was that the mechanism simply can't be proven."

Then your point is ridiculous. Science is not about proofs. It is about theories that match evidence (and those that do not). And when a theory has mountains and mountains of evidence in its favor, as does evolution, then real scientists embrace it as "fact" (that is, as close to "fact" as we get). And every real scientist is open to revising theories, or indeed, rejecting them, when evidence shows this to be the proper course.

G said...

csm,

After those last two posts, it shouldn't be a surprise that I don't want to get involved in that debate.

The point I was making from the words of the author that YOU linked to is that true science involves TESTING of the theory (i.e. verification by experiment or actual observation of the process taking place). The author uses it to argue against ID, but evolutionary theory's validity has never been demonstrated through that testing process either.

csm said...

No, I am not surprised you do not want to get involved. But probably for different reasons that you think.

And read the article again if you really want to understand what you are saying that is incorrect. My guess is, you will not because you do not think you misunderstand.

Al said...

g,

You are correct that macroevolution cannot be tested but obviously microevolution can be. On that note, no form of creationism can be tested either. The best science can do is make the assumption that microevolution can make the logical progression to macroevolution. The evidence csm refers to does not disprove creationism; it just supports macroevolution for now. I guess it is a matter of which leap of faith one wants to make

Once again it’s not my gospel as its is for some, its just we can do with the short time we have here.

Al said...

This link might be helpful to understand Massimo's mindset. He is a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/dembski.html

csm said...

'nuff said.

How anyone can actually read the material on the page you link to, and then come away with the notion that Massimo Pigliucci is a conspiracy theorist is utterly confounding.

The critique is of a book review. Yes. A book review. And the person critiquing Pigliucci comes right out and says that the book being reviewed is "too far over my head for me to make any assessment of it." Furthermore, the same reviewer, on that same page, lauds Pigliucci's "fine career of an impressive mind."

Utterly amazing...

csm said...

Oh, and don't think that the weak-minded macro and micro evolution argument will go unchallenged.

Microevolution and macroevolution are different things, but they involve mostly the same processes. Microevolution is defined as the change of allele frequencies (that is, genetic variation due to processes such as selection, mutation, genetic drift, or even migration) within a population. There is no argument that microevolution happens (although some creationists, such as Wallace, deny that mutations happen). Macroevolution is defined as evolutionary change at the species level or higher, that is, the formation of new species, new genera, and so forth. Speciation has also been observed.

Creationists have created another category for which they use the word "macroevolution." They have no technical definition of it, but in practice they use it to mean evolution to an extent great enough that it has not been observed yet. (Some creationists talk about macroevolution being the emergence of new features, but it is not clear what they mean by this. Taking it literally, gradually changing a feature from fish fin to tetrapod limb to bird wing would not be macroevolution, but a mole on your skin which neither of your parents have would be.) I will call this category supermacroevolution to avoid confusing it with real macroevolution.

Speciation is distinct from microevolution in that speciation usually requires an isolating factor to keep the new species distinct. The isolating factor need not be biological; a new mountain range or the changed course of a river can qualify. Other than that, speciation requires no processes other than microevolution. Some processes such as disruptive selection (natural selection that drives two states of the same feature further apart) and polyploidy (a mutation that creates copies of the entire genome), may be involved more often in speciation, but they are not substantively different from microevolution.

Supermacroevolution is harder to observe directly. However, there is not the slightest bit of evidence that it requires anything but microevolution. Sudden large changes probably do occur rarely, but they are not the only source of large change. There is no reason to think that small changes over time cannot add up to large changes, and every reason to believe they can. Creationists claim that microevolution and supermacroevolution are distinct, but they have never provided an iota of evidence to support their claim.

There is evidence for supermacroevolution in the form of progressive changes in the fossil record and in the pattern of similarities among living things showing an absence of distinct "kinds." This evidence caused evolution in some form to be accepted even before Darwin proposed his theory.

More on the topic at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.html

Al said...

I can swim across an Olympic size pool but the logical conclusion I can swim the Atlantic by the use of those same small strokes would be faulty. Small changes within a species do not necessarily lead to the conclusion that changes across species will necessarily occur. It is a very large jump, we cannot observe it we can only make assumptions and draw conclusions. The article even admits to the fact which is why we have the two camps.

I welcome ID, I think the debate is great for science and only leads to new discoveries and more accountability. Then again, evolution is not the gospel for me. Also note that macro and micro ARE used in the biology textbooks. It is not a creationist conspiracy csm.

csm said...

(sarcasm on) Yes, yes, your analogy makes so much sense, Al! How very scientific! (sarcasm off)

And the reason we have two camps is purely religious. Introducing a designer does nothing but complicate things unnecessarily (Hello, Mr. Occam) because the designer needs a designer. The only folks who embrace it are those who already "believe" in a god who has no creator, so it is an easier leap for them than those who do not "believe" such fairy tales.

So, evolution (micro and macro), is the only theory which is supported by ALL of the evidence we have gathered up to this point. It is therefore the only thing worth "believing" in.

G said...

Yes, it's good to see that your mind is so open on the matter.

I didn't misunderstand the intent of the article, but I did read through it again just to make sure. But my comment was only meant to point out the irony of the author's statements in that last paragraph.

At the same time, the author's argument isn't a very good one. Both of his analogies fall short because they are dealing with things that can be observed and duplicated through testing.

On the subject of macro/micro, I agree that there is a lot of confusion. To start with, there isn't complete agreement (even among evolutionary biologists) as to the precise definition of the various classifications in the animal kingdom. And of course, it doesn't help that the classifications are typically based on believed evolutionary links at some level. Also, the fact that "macro" can mean different things to different people makes it difficult to understand exactly what someone is saying.

I appreciate your attempt to clarify by using "supermacro." I tried to be a little more clear by using the word "kind." I guess that was still too general (not being a specific scientific classification).

Al said...

Ugh! its like pointing out errors in the Bible to a Methodist. I think you found your gospel. I can see from you comments that you have little grasp of what ID proposes so no need to go any further. Listening to other opiions has become a lost art in the US. Obviuosly some have evolved more than others.

csm said...

Opinions are entirely fucking useless when it comes to science. Come back with some evidence or a scientifically valid theory, and I'll listen. As would the entire scientific community. Until then, curl up with your buy-bull and enjoy your fairy tales.