Skip to main content

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.
This is a fascinating 2:32 minutes of video highlighting the damage that is being done to education, our children and our country.

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we're the world's most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, "When you're in love you want to tell the world." So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don't believe in evolution. And my response generally is "Well, why not? Really, why not?" Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.

And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.

It's just really hard a thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.

All bolding is mine.

Originally posted to Olympia on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (283+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd, tonyahky, etherealfire, gulfgal98, MadRuth, sparkysgal, Blueiz, catly, BlueJessamine, maryabein, Panacea Paola, leeleedee, LiberalVol, stunvegas, dejavu, third Party please, Brooke In Seattle, TrueBlueMajority, JeffW, Gary Norton, JanF, chloris creator, Syd of the Funny Hat, Diamond Mind, roystah, sawgrass727, ScantronPresident, kj in missouri, spooks51, elziax, howabout, Thinking Fella, alnep, mama jo, gigihopes, DRo, mbh1023, Buzzer, GreenPA, Mike Kahlow, Nica24, Hunter Huxley, Egalitare, Lost and Found, aaraujo, Hillbilly Dem, highacidity, Angie in WA State, kerflooey, blueoregon, batchick, Debby, MadMs, Nicci August, middleagedhousewife, penguins4peace, collardgreens, Crashing Vor, Chi, Milly Watt, enhydra lutris, DeathDlr73, Its a New Day, Rainefenix, citizenx, wayoutinthestix, ardyess, pixxer, hamsisu, bluesheep, jan4insight, blue jersey mom, deha, joanil, Timari, Catsy, Sylv, Cali Scribe, blueoasis, badscience, dewtx, ExStr8, Tea and Strumpets, Jake Williams, dle2GA, shaggies2009, Superskepticalman, Dobber, MeMeMeMeMe, Mr Robert, Chrislove, GMFORD, RagingGurrl, TexMex, Shockwave, 2thanks, Joe Bob, roadbear, anyname, frostieb, skyounkin, FloridaSNMOM, psnyder, gchaucer2, Ekaterin, political mutt, Devsd, gramofsam1, Khun David, NMDad, SaintC, kamarvt, Only Needs a Beat, Angela Quattrano, don mikulecky, Brown Thrasher, Molly Weasley, Joieau, bnasley, rockhound, historys mysteries, Catte Nappe, Gordon20024, Sandino, Orinoco, Statusquomustgo, Siri, tytalus, Onomastic, codairem, BlackSheep1, jadt65, Habitat Vic, cybersaur, sostos, Diogenes2008, erratic, mjbleo, camlbacker, HansScholl, chimene, kyril, Cronesense, democracy inaction, dmhlt 66, DontTaseMeBro, flatford39, thepothole, Farkletoo, Cedwyn, squarewheel, EdSF, Marjmar, Dirtandiron, Friendlystranger, Anjana, Melanie in IA, broths, Shotput8, zerelda, Jim R, cocinero, SueM1121, uciguy30, vivian darkbloom, Miss Jones, belinda ridgewood, dirkster42, prettygirlxoxoxo, Emerson, science nerd, Meteor Blades, Sanuk, Gorette, Akonitum, Esjaydee, VTCC73, Lily O Lady, Spirit of Life, kissfan, rgjdmls, AnnetteK, GeorgeXVIII, sebastianguy99, Mistral Wind, Frameshift, slowbutsure, ontheleftcoast, stormicats, slapshoe, liberalej, angry marmot, tjmorganjr, Mighty Ike, VA Breeze, murrayewv, Mathazar, BusyinCA, rapala, OldDragon, Sychotic1, FriendlyNeighbor, kevinpdx, Paul Ferguson, fhcec, biscobosco, Ice Blue, Cassandra Waites, susanala, vacantlook, Winston Sm1th, jkshaw, JD SoOR, lineatus, Temmoku, Williston Barrett, bythesea, yellowdogsal, Dumbo, Danno11, Freakinout daily, 207wickedgood, ccasas, Judge Moonbox, nomandates, terabytes, turn blue, Alumbrados, TomFromNJ, notrouble, missLotus, IndieGuy, ChocolateChris, jamess, ladybug53, Tyler R, edsbrooklyn, StonyB, Yamara, nancelot, rb608, shesaid, melfunction, NorthlandLiberal, banjolele, Kingsmeg, Lujane, Nowhere Man, OhioNatureMom, yuriwho, RosyFinch, TracieLynn, Ginny in CO, Jeffersonian Democrat, riverlover, vadasz, BethyNYC, kevin k, Seneca Doane, mamamorgaine, caryltoo, jnhobbs, YaNevaNo, French Imp, Wife of Bath, NonnyO, aseth, coppercelt, Burned, DefendOurConstitution, Stein, Old Woman, Smoh, beanbagfrog, Helpless, seefleur, OregonOak, dougymi, Kalidurga, ms scarlett leadpipe, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, TX Freethinker, Purdue219
  •  There's No Need for a Conflict; Fundamentalists (86+ / 0-)

    may still believe in their literal creation story so long as they accept that in the domain of science, the scientific facts operate.

    So when humans ask logically about creation, the answers from human science are 4 billion years and evolution. There's no reason fundamentalists need to deny this, they only need to accept that in science it works this way, and in religion and in their beliefs it's fine for them to think it works their way. They already accept that the Lord works in so many ways we can't understand.

    Christian fundamentalists though are incredibly dishonest about this, because they insist on enjoying all the benefits from the science they suppress. The Amish at least have the integrity to give up both the science and also its benefits.

    This shows that it's not really a belief system, it's a conquest operation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:38:22 AM PDT

    •  This. Just this. (44+ / 0-)

      I mean, if they can already take the Bible as the inerrant word of God and ignore the fact it contradicts itself in the first two chapters of Genesis, it should be no problem to hold the "Evolution=real world, creationism=religious world" dichotomy in their heads, too.

      Also, I heart Bill Nye with big puffy hearts.  I didn't know he'd been a student of Carl Sagan--imagine how remarkable that experience must have been!

    •  These buffoons have hijacked so much. (27+ / 0-)

          The fact that the evolution of the human species is the undisputable truth has never stood in the way of my Christianity, nor my belief in God. However, being taught at an early age that the creation story of Genesis is an allegory and shouldn't be taken as literal, could be why my outlook differs from Jerry Falwell and that Purposeful Life asshat.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:08:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've done this all my life: (6+ / 0-)

      Belief and knowledge are different things. Both matter, both are important -- and both change, according to experience and reality.

      Otherwise, you'd go bananacakes. I mean, seriously.

      Life changes or it ceases.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:48:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is wrong (17+ / 0-)
      There's No Need for a Conflict; Fundamentalists may still believe in their literal creation story so long as they accept that in the domain of science, the scientific facts operate.
      I disagree with this 1000%.  There absolutely is a conflict because religion imposes itself on the domain of science.  Religion tries to answer scientific questions with magical sky faeries and explicitly states that science gets it wrong but their human-written book of fantasy and magical faeries - written thousands of years ago before humanity had an understanding of many if not most of the scientific principles we understand today - gets it right.  Furthermore, religion brooks no dissent, it is 100% closed to critical thought and critical examination.

      I, for one, have absolutely no use for faith.  Faith is defined as belief in something that is not supported by evidence.  No rational person should have any use for faith, it should be seen for what it is - a lazy cop-out and something bad, destructive and evil that should be shunned.  Yet society at large deems it highly laudable.  Why?  Why do we hold in such high regard something that on its face is so utterly absurd?

      So when humans ask logically about creation, the answers from human science are 4 billion years and evolution. There's no reason fundamentalists need to deny this...
      There absolutely is a reason that fundamentalists must deny this, because if they don't, they invalidate their religion, as it should be, because religion is invalid.  You cannot separate religion from the scientific realm that it attempts to both explain and govern in utter ignorance of and specifically counter to actual scientific truths.  Science and religion are 100% incompatible, which is precisely why we're having this conversation.

      I'm tired of dancing around this, being "nice" and trying to accommodate religious views.  No.  No more.  I'm sorry if that's harsh - no, wait, I am not sorry at all.  If it is harsh, then it needs to be harsh.  A whole lot of people apparently need a huge dose of reality that they will never get from religion.  I no longer care how people try to rationalize away their cognitive dissonance between science and religion, I will not abide it.  And if that dissonance causes them discomfort, so be it.  I am fed up with the religious unnecessarily causing the entire world a whole lot more than discomfort, and all in the name of perpetuating their ridiculous fantasy as fact and all because religious "truths" can never be questioned, they must simply be accepted on faith.

      Embrace the natural world.  Follow the logic and reason, follow scientific truth, it leads inexorably to the truth that religion - all religion - as well as anything else supernatural is nothing more than human-concocted fantasy.  And continuing to live in a world of fantasy does no one any good.  Period.

      /rant

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:00:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SOME religion does that. (4+ / 0-)

        You are committing the illogical fallacy of assuming that if some religion does it, all religion does it.

        I count myself among the many people who believe in the possibility of a spiritual (for want of a better word) reality ... but who are also 100% behind science.  I love science.  I myself have had years of graduate school training in a scientific field.

        It is just that I have also had many, many strange personal experiences which I can't deny -- which match those of millions of other people throughout history -- which have led me to lean toward the position that science is not the be-all-and-end-all.  

        That is, that it is a subset of human experience;  that there might well be some aspects of reality for which left-brained rationality and logic are simply the wrong tools for exploration.  (My metaphor is, like trying to use a yardstick to find something in the dark instead of a flashlight.)

        When I hear the seemingly-final-sounding assertion, "There is no scientific evidence for such-and-such!" -- my response is sometimes, "So what?"  Frankly, it often reminds me of people who use the Bible as the final authoritative word -- as if it is supposed to be taken as a given that there can be no further argument.

        Where is the evidence that science and rationality is the ONLY method for uncovering ALL aspects of reality ALL the time?  

        Where is the evidence for the materialistic worldview which underlies science;  that only what is material and concrete is real?  I have yet to see any "rational fundamentalist" (as I think of them) acknowledge that that foundation position is a philosophical one ... a belief ... a metaphysical preference.  I have yet to see any acknowledgement from them that science might be limited.  

        •  Science is just a process. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, democracy inaction

          The idea that "science might be limited" is an attempt to put that process on level with the idea of all-powerful magical beings.  It's a clash of the desire for there to be something total and perfect and the assumption that people who advocate for science over magical thinking are trying to make science be that perfect thing that those who turn to religion are looking for.

          •  Exactly, it's a process. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett
            The idea that "science might be limited" is an attempt to put that process on level with the idea of all-powerful magical beings.  
            I don't think so.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I think it's an attempt to be realistic and humble.

            Yes, science is just a process.  Exactly.  I agree 100%.  And being a human-invented process -- a human-invented method -- it's going to have limits.  There are going to be certain things it can't do.  

            Science is very good at studying and exploring the kinds of things that science is good at studying and exploring.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that that is all there is.  Why should reality be confined to, and limited by, one human-invented process?  Again, that assertion -- that if the scientific process can't find something, it doesn't exist -- is based on, at foundation, a philosophical, metaphysical belief.  

            Given the vastness and mysteriousness of reality, I have to guess that there might be other methods and processes better suited to studying and exploring other parts of reality ... processes and methods that involve other parts of our minds and brains (i.e. the parts that aren't rational, verbal, categorical, labelistic, objective, etc.).  Other cultures, have, in fact, developed just such methods, quite sophisticated ones, with consistent, predictable, replicable results.

            •  Re (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              niemann, Olympia
              Science is very good at studying and exploring the kinds of things that science is good at studying and exploring.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that that is all there is.  Why should reality be confined to, and limited by, one human-invented process?  Again, that assertion -- that if the scientific process can't find something, it doesn't exist -- is based on, at foundation, a philosophical, metaphysical belief.  
              Some things may (and probably do) exist that current science cannot detect.

              The proper thing to say about those things is 'I don't know' and for any particular fanciful idea 'without evidence, I do not have any reason to believe it is true, so I'll behave as if it isn't.'

              Otherwise, you're constantly wandering around half-believing in all kinds of things.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:28:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, "I don't know" is a good position ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, Olympia

                ... for many things.

                However, for me, many examples of personal experience of really strange phenomena -- which matches the accounts of millions of other credible, normal people, and many of which include external validation (thus removing them from the "purely subjective" category)  -- count as evidence ... even if not strictly scientific.  

                Such repeated, consistent experience leads me to lean toward the, "I don't know what it is, but there definitely does seem to be something there that science isn't getting" position.

                Some things may (and probably do) exist that current science cannot detect.
                I definitely agree ... but even your phrasing strikes me as another subtle example of the ingrained "science isn't limited" position -- this repeated qualification that "current" science can't detect something "yet."  It is as if there is an unwillingness to face that possibility that there are some things that the scientific method will never be able to detect.

                I would posit even further:  that there are things that science will never be able to detect, simply because it's not the right method for detecting those things -- sort of like searching for plastic bottles with a metal detector.

                •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  niemann
                  I definitely agree ... but even your phrasing strikes me as another subtle example of the ingrained "science isn't limited" position -- this repeated qualification that "current" science can't detect something "yet."  It is as if there is an unwillingness to face that possibility that there are some things that the scientific method will never be able to detect.
                  You are exactly correct.

                  Things that the scientific method cannot ever in principle detect are simply defined as non-existent by me and most people of a scientific bent.

                  There may be things that are too small, big, far away, or foreign for scientific instruments (that are simply amplifications of human senses) to detect.

                  However, if you could never even in principle build a device to detect something, it doesn't exist.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:06:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And as long as people realize ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Smoh
                    Things that the scientific method cannot ever in principle detect are simply defined as non-existent by me and most people of a scientific bent.
                    ... that this is a metaphysical preference and choice on their part, and not necessarily any definite, objective fact of reality -- and that it may be wrong -- I have no problem with it.
                    However, if you could never even in principle build a device to detect something, it doesn't exist.
                    What I wonder is:  What if the proper "device" to detect those subtle, slippery, foreign things is that other most subtle and slippery of things:  the "right-brained" (I use the term loosely), mostly subconscious aspects of consciousness and the mind that most people aren't even aware are going on inside of themselves 24/7, even though we definitely know that they are going on?  

                    (I know that all this can start to seem very abstract and "pie in the sky" -- but I assure you, to me these things have become very real and relevant ... again because of a lifetime of undeniable, repeated personal experience.)

                    •  Re (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kdrivel, NonnyO
                      What I wonder is:  What if the proper "device" to detect those subtle, slippery, foreign things is that other most subtle and slippery of things:  the "right-brained" (I use the term loosely), mostly subconscious aspects of consciousness and the mind that most people aren't even aware are going on inside of themselves 24/7, even though we definitely know that they are going on?  
                      Science relies on a concept called falsifiability. Your hypothesis has to be testable and in theory can be found to be false.

                      This 'detection' skill you are trying to identify has never, not once, been used to produce any information of genuine usefulness that can't be found through other methods.

                      Your response is going to be, well, it's not scientific, but that begs the question. Some influence that affects human minds should be testable and falsifiable the same as any other phenomena. If it's not falsifiable, it's just a fantasy. "A fact is just a fantasy, unless it can be checked!" -They Might Be Giants.

                      (I know that all this can start to seem very abstract and "pie in the sky" -- but I assure you, to me these things have become very real and relevant ... again because of a lifetime of undeniable, repeated personal experience.)
                      Lots of people have personal experiences of things that aren't true. Visit a mental hospital any day of the week. Those people will swear to you up and down that their delusions are true when they plainly are not. Why are you not susceptible to the same influence?

                      And how can you prove to yourself that your ideas are any more real than their delusions? Especially since those religious ideas don't help you accomplish anything in the real world, or give you any other indication that they are true other than what GE's on in your mind?

                      In science we don't have this problem. We just go where the data takes us.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:24:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thoughts (0+ / 0-)
                        Lots of people have personal experiences of things that aren't true.
                        That's true ... but lots of people also have personal experiences that are true.  The fact that lots of people have personal experiences that aren't true doesn't necessarily mean that all the strange things that people report, which science doesn't have an explanation for, aren't true.
                        And how can you prove to yourself that your ideas are any more real than their delusions? Especially since those religious ideas don't [...] give you any other indication that they are true other than what GE's on in your mind?
                        First of all, I'll repeat that they are not just "ideas."  The positions I lean toward -- (and I always say "lean toward" because I don't claim to KNOW) -- are based on real-life experience.  Some of that experience is indeed fully subjective, and I'm fully willing to admit it might be nothing more than the quirks of my brain.  

                        As I mentioned earlier, though, many other experiences, have had very, very specific external corroboration -- things I didn't know at the time of my personal experience.  For me, that puts them in a whole different category  

                        One or two of them might indeed be just monumentally odd coincidence.  When they happen over and over and over -- (and when they begin to happen over and over after I start to practice the methods of consciousness-exploring of other cultures which predict that those very things will start to happen when you practice those methods) -- then I have to assume there really something going on beneath the obvious material level of reality.  To me, that is where the data takes me.

                        I like what one FBI investigator said:  "To say that coincidence after coincidence after coincidence after coincidence is just a coincidence ... that's just plain stupid."

                        (I would be perfectly willing to write about those many experiences in detail ... but I've already tried that here before, only to have the hours of effort I put into it be completely ignored, or dismissed in an insulting one-or-two sentence, "La la la, I don't want to hear it" sort of way.)

                        And to address someone else's claim that my experiences are "anecdotal" and thus don't count as "evidence" ...

                        Yes, they are anecdotal.  But when my anecdotes match the anecdotes of hundreds, thousands, millions of other people who independently tell  very similar-to-nearly identical anecdotes ... to me, that starts to carry some weight.  There are many kinds of evidence, not just the kind arrived at by strict scientific experimentation.  Otherwise we'd have to throw out huge amounts of human knowledge.  (Heck, we'd have to throw out all the polls on the front page of Daily Kos -- it's just a bunch of people anecdotally reporting their subjective feelings.  Where's the validity in that?)

                        Especially since those religious ideas don't help you accomplish anything in the real world, or give you any other indication that they are true other than what GE's on in your mind?
                        I've already addressed that some do indeed give me a pretty strong indication that they are true other than what's in my mind:  When there turns out to be very specific, repeated external corroboration -- (and in one case, when physical objects have actually started to defy the laws of physics, as witnessed by me and other people ... and when that impossible occurrence just coincidentally happened to relate very specifically to a powerful dream I had had the night before ... and when both my dream and that impossible occurance also related very specifically to a  recent strange experience of a friend if mine two states away -- who also just happened to have appeared in that dream -- which I didn't even know at the time) ...  That indicates to me it's not just in my mind.

                        But this one really grates on me:  

                        Especially since those religious ideas don't help you accomplish anything in the real world
                        How do you know they don't help me accomplish anything in the real world?  You know absolutely nothing about me and what I've done in the real world.  Making a huge unwarranted assumption based on your own belief system, are you?
                        This 'detection' skill you are trying to identify has never, not once, been used to produce any information of genuine usefulness that can't be found through other methods.
                        Um ... yes, it has.  I have used it as such.  And it's worked for me.  On multiple occasions.  

                        The methods and worldview I've learned from studying and practicing various types of Buddhism, and the Native American shamanistic worldview, have helped me on an enormous practical real-world level ... just as much -- or more -- than the scientific methods I learned in graduate school.

                        If you haven't personally practiced and studied the sophisticated, consciousness-focused methods of other cultures, in-depth, over time, then you have no right to express an opinion, yet alone declare a "fact" on the matter.

                        When I have lived according to those methods -- (which involve turning off rationality and thinking and analysis, and trusting the inner subjective intuitions and images that come) -- that has led to some of the greatest practical accomplishments in my life -- including things that have been enormously healing for other people.  

                        Those incidents include some with the external corroborations I mentioned.  When I've trusted those methods, the strange "coincidences" start to happen more and more, far more than the "one or two in a person's lifetime" that Carl Sagan alluded to.  If I had ignored those "illusory subjective" things, as rationalists would have had me do, some wonderful things wouldn't have been accomplished.

                        I hold these "ideas" because I've had numerous indications that it's not all in my head;  and because they seem to lead to practical results in real life.  If they didn't, I wouldn't bother.  What is the explanation for them?  I don't have a clue.  But I've found they work.

              •  "one answer fits all" is never a comfortable (0+ / 0-)

                position.  I don't know is indeed a reasonable response To things we don't know.  It is not the only response for all people.

                Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

                by Smoh on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:28:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
              Why should reality be confined to, and limited by, one human-invented process?
              Because there are no other processes that work as reliably.  I, for one, would be open to exploring other processes but we have yet to find any others that actually work.  Religion utterly fails this test.
              Other cultures, have, in fact, developed just such methods, quite sophisticated ones, with consistent, predictable, replicable results.
              Show your work, show us the evidence to support your claim.  Oh wait, never mind:
              Given the vastness and mysteriousness of reality, I have to guess that there might be other methods and processes better suited to studying and exploring other parts of reality ... processes and methods that involve other parts of our minds and brains (i.e. the parts that aren't rational, verbal, categorical, labelistic, objective, etc.).
              If you have to guess, then what you declare in the previous claim cannot be a "fact" as you assert.
              Again, that assertion -- that if the scientific process can't find something, it doesn't exist -- is based on, at foundation, a philosophical, metaphysical belief.
              Who is making that assertion?  That is a strawman.  Just because we can't find an answer to something today via the scientific process does not mean that a valid answer cannot be found via the scientific process at some point in the future as technology continues to progress.

              There is nothing at all wrong with saying that we don't know the answer today.  And just because we don't know the answer today, inserting a sky faery as the "answer" is not a valid conclusion.  It is, in fact, a lazy cop-out.  Because if a sky faery did it, what reason do we have to look further?

              I watched a program the other day on Mendeleev and the work he did to identify the foundation of the periodic table.  He knew that there were missing parts, that there were gaps that he could not explain with the knowledge he had of the elements at that time.  So he put in place holders for those gaps.  He didn't try to answer all the questions and explain all the gaps because he knew he couldn't at that time.  That, however, did not invalidate what he did know.  And we have, since then as technology has advanced, been able to explain and properly fill those gaps.  It was entirely valid for him to say at the time "I don't know" just as it is entirely valid for us to say the same today for the questions we cannot, at this point in time, answer via science.

              It would have been the height of scientific fraud for Mendeleev to declare at the time that since he didn't know the answers, that sky faeries must be involved.  Yet that's precisely what religious arguments - arguments that you are mimicking here - presuppose.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:36:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The type of religion that doesn't do that is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          niemann

          already not demanding of its adherents to believe in creationism. This type of religion can indeed be reconciled with science. But Bill Nye was talking about smth completely different.

          •  Yes, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            I have no problem with Bill Nye and fully agree with his comments.  

            I think he's wonderful, and I do I understand that he was talking about a certain specific kind of immature, fundamentalist religion (which I despise as well).

            •  You may (0+ / 0-)

              claim to despise other religions but as long as you believe in the supernatural, however less fundamentalist your religious beliefs may be, as long as you hold any religious beliefs you enable the very worst of the fundamentalist religions.

              The supernatural cannot be challenged, it cannot be tested.  And as a result, there is no ultimate authority to determine whose supernatural beliefs are the correct supernatural beliefs.  There is nothing to say that the fundamentalist beliefs are any more or less correct than your beliefs because they all rely on faith - i.e. the belief in that which is not supported by evidence.

              It is the quintessential slippery slope; as soon as we accept the premise that evidence is not required for belief, it opens the door to any and all beliefs that are not supported by evidence and in that way, your faith, however moderate, enables the most extremist fundamentalist faith.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:56:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)
            This type of religion can indeed be reconciled with science.
            No religion that demands of its adherents to believe in the supernatural - like that we have an everlasting soul of that there is an all-powerful sky faery - can be reconciled with science.  None of them.  Even the vaguest deist religions cannot be reconciled with science, which is an inescapable conclusion if we follow logic, reason and scientific truth.

            Bill Nye is, himself, an atheist and that is not a coincidence.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:45:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kdrivel, NonnyO

          ALL religion - which is to say any and all religion that teaches the supernatural - does that.  Just because you have a more deist view of religion than a theist view does not make your religious views any more valid.

          It is just that I have also had many, many strange personal experiences which I can't deny -- which match those of millions of other people throughout history -- which have led me to lean toward the position that science is not the be-all-and-end-all.
          Anecdotal evidence is not valid evidence.  Read Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain for more on this.
          That is, that it is a subset of human experience;  that there might well be some aspects of reality for which left-brained rationality and logic are simply the wrong tools for exploration.
          Show me the evidence to support your assertion.
          When I hear the seemingly-final-sounding assertion, "There is no scientific evidence for such-and-such!" -- my response is sometimes, "So what?"
          This is not consistent with this:
          I love science.
          You are betraying your contempt for science.
          Where is the evidence that science and rationality is the ONLY method for uncovering ALL aspects of reality ALL the time?
          Where is the evidence that there is any valid method other than science, logic and reason for understanding reality?  Keep in mind that your anecdotal "evidence" does not count (see above).
          I have yet to see any acknowledgement from them that science might be limited.
          That's because it isn't, only imperfect humans are limited.  Just because we are not able to explain all aspects of our natural universe today through science does not mean that we will not be able to understand them at some point in the future as science and technology continue to progress.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:59:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You primarily describe the characteristics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett

        of monotheistic faiths here (Christianity, Judaism, Islam). The "one truth" and "one law" religious impulse proceeds directly from the fundamental worldview that there is one and only one all powerful being that created everything and is the law.

        If there is one total power, and that power has spoken, then anything that contradicts it must be false.

        This is not so true of polytheistic faiths (Hinduism, for example), animistic faiths (Native American religions), or rationalistic faiths (Confucianism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, etc.)

        Note that the mankind's history of large-scale warfare is basically a history of monotheistic cultures battling one another. For the same reason.

        If there is one God, and you are God's population and reflect his will and values, then anyone that is different from you is contrary to God, and anyone that challenges you is challenging God.

        It is monotheism much more than other faith groups that are a pox on humanity and history.

        -9.63, 0.00
        I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

        by nobody at all on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:43:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kdrivel, NonnyO
          You primarily describe the characteristics of monotheistic faiths here (Christianity, Judaism, Islam).
          No, I am describing any and all faiths, I am describing any and all religions that teach the supernatural or use the supernatural to explain the natural.  I am describing any and all religions that believe in sky faeries, or even in the case of religions like Buddhism, that believe in the supernatural like reincarnation.

          Any religion that explains the natural by way of the supernatural is just as bad as any other because all of them must rely on faith and cannot withstand critical examination.  It may be delusion of degrees but delusion is delusion.  Belief in sky faeries is belief in sky faeries.  Belief in the supernatural is invalid.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:06:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            democracy inaction
            Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
            Then he is not omnipotent.
            Is he able, but not willing?
            Then he is malevolent.
            Is he both able and willing?
            Then whence cometh evil?
            Is he neither able nor willing?
            Then why call him God?

            Epicurus, Greek philosopher, 341-270 BCE

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:42:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're weakening your own argument (0+ / 0-)

            by drawing the discussion into territory that is black and white and not representative of the facts.

            You argued that religion and science are incompatible at the fundamental level, but that is not always the case. You will find that many of the non-monotheistic faiths don't maintain the either/or duality between supernatural and natural to the extent that monotheism does, and there is a broad spectrum.

            Many rationalistic/spiritual belief systems don't even have an account of the supernatural, and you'll find that amongst animistic belief systems, for example, there is often no sense of an incompatibility between science and faith; fluid dynamics can be the "spirit of the river" in a very real sense, and a spiritual edification can thus be felt in the intellectual and scientific knowledge of the physics that govern the water.

            The particular meaning of a supernatural that stands in opposition to the rational proceeds precisely from the highly monotheistic culture in which you are embedded.

            I'm an atheist and have argued here against organized religion often, and for a variety of reasons, but your continued use of caricatures ("sky faeries" and so on) and equivalence between all religious families as though they have equivalent metaphysics, beliefs, and practices is—frankly—unscientific (based in a disregard for empirical facts) and thus doesn't further your argument on behalf of science.

            -9.63, 0.00
            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

            by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:52:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
              Many rationalistic/spiritual belief systems don't even have an account of the supernatural...
              "Spiritual" belief is belief in the supernatural, i.e., belief in that which is not supported by evidence.  Do you not recognize that "spirits" are supernatural and are wholly unsupported by evidence?  There is nothing "rationalistic" about believing in spirits.
              I'm an atheist...
              If you're an atheist that believes in "spirits," then you are not a very good atheist.
              but your continued use of...equivalence between all religious families as though they have equivalent metaphysics, beliefs, and practices...
              I recognize a strawman when I see one and that is not what I have said, nor is it what I have implied.  All religions do share one thing, which is "faith," i.e. belief in something that is not supported by evidence.  That does not, however, mean that different religions believe the same unprovable things as your caricature of my argument implies.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:12:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And no, what I am telling you is that (0+ / 0-)

                you are wrong, they do not all share "faith" in this sense. You are empirically wrong.

                They share practice. For some religions, faith is a part of that practice, for others it is not. That is not the same thing as faith.

                And your use of "spiritual" is relatively narrow and again, heavily evocative of monotheistic culture.

                Many well-used senses of "spiritual," including in social-scientific discourse (i.e. history, etc.) traffic in the "human spirit" or the "spirit of the law," etc. and mean nothing supernatural by it, but rather evoke the same meaning complex as zeitgeist (spirit of the time), i.e. the collective tendency or the collective intention.

                There is no straw man. You have just drawn a massive equivalence ("they all share faith") and then said that you didn't.

                -9.63, 0.00
                I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:04:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Show your work (0+ / 0-)
                  And no, what I am telling you is that you are wrong, they do not all share "faith" in this sense. You are empirically wrong.
                  If I am empirically wrong, there there must be empirical evidence that proves it.  You have not produced any.  Show me a religion that does not rely, at least to some degree, on faith (i.e. the belief in something that is not supported by evidence).  Just because you say such things exist is not empiric evidence.  If a religion does not rely at least to some degree on faith, it would not be a religion.
                  For some religions, faith is a part of that practice, for others it is not.
                  Name one for which it is not.
                  And your use of "spiritual" is relatively narrow and again, heavily evocative of monotheistic culture.

                  Many well-used senses of "spiritual," including in social-scientific discourse (i.e. history, etc.) traffic in the "human spirit" or the "spirit of the law," etc. and mean nothing supernatural by it, but rather evoke the same meaning complex as zeitgeist (spirit of the time), i.e. the collective tendency or the collective intention.

                  You are making a false equivalence here between "spirit" and "spiritual."  I agree that there is more than one definition for the word "spirit" that is unrelated to the supernatural.  That is not the case with respect to the word "spiritual," which, in the context of religion as we are discussing here, is entirely associated with the supernatural, mostly (but not exclusively) with the concept of an everlasting soul, which is an article of faith.

                  And yes, your response to me was a strawman.  You mischaracterized my argument as something different than what I said so that it was easier for you to knock it down.  That is how "strawman" is defined.  Again, just because you say it isn't doesn't make it so.

                  Show your work.

                  Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                  by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:07:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Easy case: (0+ / 0-)

                    Confucianism in some of its strains significantly complicates the picture (and meanings of spiritualism and rationalism) that you have so easily painted.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                    http://www.philtar.ac.uk/...
                    http://www.tandfonline.com/...

                    And as you ought to know as an advocate of science, if a single effective falsifying case is found, a hypothesis must be seen as inadequate to empirical reality, subject to either discarding or refinement.

                    Not to mention that the your basic ontology of religious practice shows the same monotheistic cultural bias as the rest of your argument. The uniform, textual religion in which the practicing population can be characterized as a single "faith" and in which practices tend to be shared and uniform and codified is precisely a monotheistic tendency, though there are other examples (but even these are in general less hierarchical and textual than monotheistic faiths). So the range of animistic or rationalistic practices and epistemic regimes is far greater across populations than tends to be true for monotheistic faiths.

                    But again, it is wrong to overgeneralize. Suffice it to say that there are practitioners across—for example—eastern nontheist/rationalistic religions that have no belief in the supernatural, that are perfectly happy with Enlightenment-style empiricism and epistemology, etc. These also exist in monotheism but the problem is that the largest blocs of monotheism include as a dogmatic tenet the notion of a single "correct" interpretation or understanding of foundational texts, meaning that it is possible to argue that those that are outliers in terms of belief or practice are "not typical of Christians." But the same level of uniformity and the same possibility of framing practice with respect to a consistent internal reference system that is relatively stable and encoded is much less seen in many other practice communities.

                    Good science is never needlessly reductive; it is articulative and elaborative, even in typification or abstraction for theoretical purposes. There is a vast body of literature on religion and religious practice in anthropology, sociology, and social policy.

                    Before you advocate for science, you ought to ensure that your positions align with the findings of the research done by the scientists on whose behalf you wish to advocate. Your reductive and oversimplistic assertions (i.e. that all religions are about faith-based belief) contradict, very simply, the academic literature in the social sciences.

                    And in case you were going to do the "but social science isn't real science" rant, beware that this also undermines your argument, as the social sciences are legitimized by the same knowledge infrastructure that recognizes and is recognized by the natural sciences, and proceeds from the same Enlightenment project and impulse, seeking to employ the same methods. Even the professonalizations (the professoriate, the peer-reviewed journal, the conference, the monograph, the method of variable-correlation hypothesis building and testing followed by theoretical generalization, etc.) are the same, as is the primary center of professional practice (the research university).

                    Science is not about ideology or the separation of "truth" from "falsehood." It is about the description and understanding of empirical cases in all of their detail and nuance in order to be able to carry out instrumentally rational human activity in studied contexts. And there is a great deal of nuance in all empirical cases, whether we are talking the error margins of Newtonian mechanics at extreme scales or religious practice as a social phenomenon.

                    Again, it's fine to assert that which can be empirically supported, but to advocate for science when operating ideologically gives rise to the common accusation that science, too, is a religion, merely faith-based. It depends on how you do it—good science is not faith-based. But there is an ideological, faith-based version, and you are close to it.

                    -9.63, 0.00
                    I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                    by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:47:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From one of your links (0+ / 0-)

                      emphasis added:

                      Neo-Confucianism is a moral, ethical, and metaphysical Chinese philosophy...
                      "Philosophy" does not equal "religion," which supports what I said:
                      If a religion does not rely at least to some degree on faith, it would not be a religion.
                      Try again.
                      Again, it's fine to assert that which can be empirically supported, but to advocate for science when operating ideologically gives rise to the common accusation that science, too, is a religion, merely faith-based. It depends on how you do it—good science is not faith-based.
                      Show me where I am "operating ideologically" or injecting faith into science.  Here is a hint: I am not in either case.  And you're right, science has absolutely nothing to do with "faith" or it wouldn't be science, just as religion that does not rely at least to some degree on faith is not religion.
                      But there is an ideological, faith-based version [of science], and you are close to it.
                      Again, no there is not.  Science is wholly incompatible with faith.  There can be no "faith-based version" of science or it would not be science.

                      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                      by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Furthermore (0+ / 0-)
                      Suffice it to say that there are practitioners across—for example—eastern nontheist/rationalistic religions that have no belief in the supernatural, that are perfectly happy with Enlightenment-style empiricism and epistemology, etc.
                      There are no "eastern nontheist/rationalistic religions" though there are eastern nontheist/rationalistic philosophies.  And again, "philosophy" does not equal "religion."  You are making the mistake of conflating the two.

                      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                      by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 10:32:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sorry, but again (0+ / 0-)

                        you are contrary to all literature and working in precisely the moral dichotomies characteristic of monotheistic religions. Do a search for "confucianism" and "religion" on Google of all places (no need to get scholarly here) and note that major governments (including our own) recognize confucianism as a religion. Ask yourself why.

                        By your conception only a narrow spectrum of behavior essentially congruent to monotheism and a few others qualifies as that religion. That makes your original argument tautological for any practical purpose.

                        But a categorization of your kind is not empirical; is  based on assertions of the groups in question and/or assertions by third parties (i.e. you) about the appropriate definition of "religion" rather than on empirical evidence and observation. To define the phenomenon a priori without research is precisely ideological, rather than scientific.

                        Empirical behavior evidences  a spectrum from things that have been schematized as religious to those that have been schematized as nonreligious based on cross-cultural and comparative research, but it is clear that a great deal of behavior qualifies as "religious" in nature, i.e. the practices and behaviors associated with one case can be observed in another (group attendance and self-identification, normative and prescriptive doctrine, shared meaning and ritual that is asserted to be important in a moral, rather than practical sense, evidence of a collective cosmology, even if that cosmology is rationalistic or scientific, systems of explanation that associate normative behavior/tests with social sanction, and the relation of all of this to purposiveness in life choices, etc.)

                        There is no "mistake of conflating the two" because there are not two. There are infinitely many.

                        But we can say that religious behavior is in evidence across a wide spectrum of social configurations, that some of them are rationalistic in nature, that the ones that are informed by a monotheistic dogma tend to reify categories and traffic in schematic mutual exclusivities, etc. and the ones that don't are on the whole less likely to do these things.

                        But again, you are advocating for "science" ideologically, dismissing at the same time precisely what the scientists that study religion in society actually say, and without having read any of them. In essence, you attachment to science is dogmatic, and while advocating for science, you behave essentially in what might be characterized as monotheistic-affinitive speech and assertion patterns.

                        This will be my last post in this exchange, as I think I've made all the case that I need to make and we're now just going in circles; other readers can make their own determinations.

                        -9.63, 0.00
                        I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                        by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 11:14:29 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                          Do a search for "confucianism" and "religion" on Google of all places (no need to get scholarly here) and note that major governments (including our own) recognize confucianism as a religion.
                          So what matters is not how Confucianism defines itself (i.e. specifically as a philosophy and not a religion), what matters is how our government and Google define it.  Got it.  [rolls eyes]
                          There is no "mistake of conflating the two" because there are not two. There are infinitely many.
                          That doesn't even make sense!  You are specifically conflating "religion" with "philosophy," those are the "two" I am referring to that you are conflating.  In this context, there are only two things we are discussing, "religion" and "philosophy."  You say there are not two but there are many.  WTF?  Now you are having problems with the very basic concept of counting to two.

                          You like to use a lot of big words but you are using them to muddy the water rather than to provide clarity.  Ask yourself why.  This is pretty simple, it is not nearly as complex as you are (I think purposefully) trying to make it.

                          I have no desire to debate the finer points of various philosophies.  The bottom line here is that religion is not compatible with science because religion - all religion - requires belief in something that is not supported by evidence.  Whether that's a sky faery, or in the case or religions like Buddhism, belief in an everlasting soul that can be reincarnated from one being to another, it makes no difference.  No faith is valid.

                          If a religion does not require faith, then it is not a religion, at least not for the purposes of this discussion.

                          There is no need to get any more scholarly than that.

                          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                          by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:08:15 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your use of "religion" is, quite simply, (0+ / 0-)

                            tautological. If you define religion to be "that which requires non-scientific epistemology," which is what you have effectively done, then yes, your statement is self-consistent, though certainly not logically necessary: "Religion is contrary to science because religion is that which is non-scientific."

                            But this is not the definition of religion used by the scientists that actually study religion and its influence in society because very large populations consider, e.g. Confucianism to be their religion, and societies and social institutions generally recognize and acknowledge these claims and protect the given practices under religious freedom doctrines.

                            Because you talk about science while contradicting what the scientists in this area say, your argument is not just tautological, but also nominally unscientific by any conventional use of the word "scientific," and thus, self-defeating.

                            Is that simple enough for you?

                            And yes, I am a social scientist, and yes, your definition of religion is heavily influenced precisely by that which you claim to be against.

                            -9.63, 0.00
                            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                            by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:48:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I had a feeling (0+ / 0-)

                            that this wasn't going to hold up:

                            This will be my last post in this exchange, as I think I've made all the case that I need to make and we're now just going in circles; other readers can make their own determinations.
                            Let's cut to the chase; do you find belief in something that is not supported by evidence, and in many cases is flatly contradicted by evidence, to be in any way a valid belief?

                            That's a simple "yes" or "no" question that is central to my point (FYI - my answer is no).  It does not require a twelve paragraph answer exploring what "science" or "religion" really means vs. how I am defining it here.  It really is just that simple, you don't need to continue trying to make it more complex than it is or needs to be.

                            I ask because I suspect that despite semantics, we are more than likely on the same page here and if that's the case, there really isn't much point in continuing to fight over the semantics.

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:00:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Certainly not, which was my point in the first (0+ / 0-)

                            place: by conflating religion and what amounts to theistic belief systems, particularly monotheistic ones, the argument is lost.

                            It does a disservice to religious practice that is precisely rational (again, much of eastern non-mysticist faith, which has hundreds of millions of adherents), while at the same time missing the thrust of the argument (that it is the nature of the belief, not merely the nature of the practice or its very fact) that is at issue.

                            I don't disagree on the epistemic claim, so long as it is made in a logically self-consistent way. But I do believe that words matter; if we are ever to legitimate science and undermine the "science is just another religion" arguments, we can't advocate for science and against other belief systems in ways that repeat precisely what we are trying to critique—assertion without empirical observation or without clear definitions and nuanced understandings of what is actually going on in the real world.

                            -9.63, 0.00
                            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                            by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:49:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And, by the way, (0+ / 0-)

                            my entire critique goes away if you just remember my original point and state, instead and more simply, not that you are against religion because it is inherently anti-science (which is a difficult claim to make for the reasons I've outlined) but rather that you are against belief systems that are not scientific.

                            That way you don't find yourself having to make the case that all forms of social behavior commonly recognized by science and policy to be religious are subject to this assessment, which is a difficult case to make and requires that you essentially reject the scientific establishment to do so.

                            -9.63, 0.00
                            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                            by nobody at all on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:15:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It looks to me (0+ / 0-)

                            like we're saying pretty much the same thing.

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:10:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  heh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Olympia

        Photobucket

        Maybe the Ice Giants called him a sky fairy, too

      •  Wish I could Rec 1000 times! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        democracy inaction

        Thank you!  You said that much better than I did.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:23:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure it works that way (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia, VTCC73, Yamara, Paul Rogers

      People who are religious do seem to have a certain talent for holding multiple conflicting beliefs in their heads at the same time (in Christianity, to varying degrees: Jesus is the Son of God and also God but not his own father, who is himself distinct from the Holy Spirit, and thus there are three distinct entities who are all a single entity; God is all-knowing and all-loving and also willing to consign his own children to an eternity of torture for failing to believe in/worship him in the correct manner; we have free will, but God is omniscient and omnipotent; abortion is murder, but I personally am not a murderer.)

      That said, there does seem to be a limit. Conflicting metaphysical/moral beliefs seem to be OK, but conflicting beliefs about actual concrete reality don't seem to work so well. We just don't see YECs doing good science. OECs are fine, lots of solid OEC scientists in history, but YECs haven't been able to operate since we started figuring out the geological timeline.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:23:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Creationists don't want to do science, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat

      Most evolutionists could come up with a lab experiment that would prove their theories, but don't even apply for a grant because of time, money, and in some cases morality. (Can you imagine experimental historians shepherding whole nations into the lab to test their theories about the cause of war?) They can take their hypotheses and see if Mother Nature had conduced such experiments in her own sweet time.

      Creationists couldn't come up with a testable hypotesis if their lives depended on it. They don't want to do the science. They just want to get the Good Sciencekeeping Seal of Approval without having done the work.

      Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? -Paul Krugman

      by Judge Moonbox on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:32:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not dishonesty, just idiocy. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, zett, susanala, NonnyO

      I know some people like this very well.

      They will log on to their late model computer connected to the internet and use it to post things like "Science just flat out doesn't work. There's no evidence that it works. All these 'papers' out there and not one of them has led to anything."

      They'll tell me that God invented computers "through men," in order to do "God's work" and that "there's not a human alive that actually understands how or why they work, despite what they claim."

      This is in the domain of Bill Nye's worry here. Their level of education is so poor, and their ideological poisoning so high, that they are a lost cause. They don't have the tools to understand anything in science, so they don't have the tools to understand why we can claim that it works.

      I still remember very well a sermon in (a Mormon) church when I was a little kid (I'm not Mormon, but portions of my family are; this would have been when I was about 10) in which the speaker went on and on about how all of this "mathematics" and "physics" was just a bunch of nonsense. "It's all just squiggly pencil lines on paper that mean nothing. If you've ever seen them, you know instantly it's just nonsense; it's not even words! Your 'algebra' and your 'relativity' and such—it's just gibberish, as anyone that looks at it can see! All of you know very well there's no way to get from that to nuclear power and electricity. One is pencil lines. The others are the mysterious and infinite power of God. It's just nonsense to suggest, as scientists do, that that an explosion at what amounts to the office supply factory somehow created the universe, life, and all of what humans vainly call 'technology.' It didn't. It takes the hand of God to do the miraculous, not squiggly lines on paper."

      I was a precocious kid that was learning computer programming and the basics of electrical engineering at the time (though I didn't end up doing that in college), and I can remember squirming in my seat and turning red in the face.

      What makes me squirm now is that these people vote, and get voted into office in local elections, including for things like educational policy and administration.

      -9.63, 0.00
      I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

      by nobody at all on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:39:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Science is not a "belief" system... (0+ / 0-)

      With science, one must deal with facts, with proving or disproving hypotheses, noting observable facts.

      Religion is a belief system, believing something exists when there's no scientific theories or set of known facts one can test to prove or disprove the existence of a magical being.  When I was taking philosophy and logic in college, the profs said we could write on anything, but if we used an appeal to authority in our essays, we could not base anything on religious belief "because god cannot be proved or disproved."

      Sorry, but this is when language counts.  It always amuses me to hear the religious question from the far right who "believe in" their version of creationism: "Do you believe in evolution?"

      No..., I don't "believe in evolution."  I think there are a set of observations about physical objects (skeletal remains, for instance, or tools our forebears left behind) or other observable fossil and other remains that one can put in categories to determine what has changed over millions of years to arrive at a point some 150,000 years ago somewhere in Africa when mitochondrial DNA came into being and we can then skeletally, and sometimes genetically, map our common origins to an original "Eve" figure (since mtDNA passes unchanged from mother to child; yDNA is now being worked with, but that's a different category).

      I think there will be other skeletal remains found at some point in time to aid scientists to map skeletal changes in our very ancient ancestors, but that's not a "belief" system.  That's based on past observations and the fact that archaeologists and anthropologists are always looking for more clues to fit in the timeline of our very ancient ancestors and note observable changes in the evolution of primate species as well as other species.

      Based on lots of reading I've done for many, many decades, I do think those individuals who were our ancient ancestors who could adapt to changing situations and living conditions are the reason we are here today, and based on skeletal remains and DNA, that process started millions of years ago, but is in a recognizable form with the "original Mitochondrial Eve" and her descendants.

      Of course, the fact that the reichwingnuts do not want to "believe in evolution" has a great deal to do with the fact that they don't want to be descended from anyone who had dark skin.  That crosses their heresy boundaries.
      The Real Eve (Discovery Channel)
      This is the kind of thing that makes creationists' heads explode....!

      :-D

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:17:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. This. (28+ / 0-)

    I love this guy, always have. And as usual he's absolutely right.

    Thanks very much for the diary, T&R'd.

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

    by Hammerhand on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:42:54 AM PDT

  •  It really is such a sad statement about our (24+ / 0-)

    country that an ignorant minority gets such a large pulpit.

     I still have to wonder how these people got through school and how they expect their children pass courses in biology, physics, or chemistry. These can't really be understood without relating the facts and principles to how they describe, create, and drive the world in which they live.

    Was it Texas that wanted to outlaw evolution in schools because it would lead their children to become critical thinkers??

    "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats ..." - Kenneth Grahame -

    by RonK on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:48:35 AM PDT

  •  We studied evolution in Catholic school (30+ / 0-)

      When I mentioned this to a Republican co-worker once, he looked at me like I had three heads.

      That was during the Vatican II Spring; don't know if they've regressed in this department since. But there's no reason there should be a conflict between religion and evolution.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Is this true? (7+ / 0-)
    Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.
       What about fundamentalist Islamic countries?

       

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:01:14 AM PDT

  •  Bill Nye the Science Guy! SCIENCE RULES!!! (16+ / 0-)

    BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!



    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:02:16 AM PDT

  •  I agree, Bill Nye is a treasure! (15+ / 0-)

    I used to watch his Saturday morning TV show with my grandkids.

    Every show I would think: This is what we should be teaching kids.

    He was entertaining and a bit silly at times because he knew his audience, but this grandmother loved his show as much as the kids.

    •  Bill Nye is today CEO of The Planetary Society (4+ / 0-)

      where he is currently leading the charge to stop the budget cuts that are crippling NASA -- not to mention the scientific advances we all derive from NASA's work.

      I applaud him.

      He's right about the US' peerless ability to give credence to factless claims, too.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:00:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks. Just shared the video on FB. (nt) (4+ / 0-)
  •  Bill Nye looks so sad! (14+ / 0-)

    He brought tears to my eyes. It's truly sad that the republicans want to shut down critical thinking.

    They don't care if white people are smart or not just so the white population is growing. In fact smart white people, that aren't rich or racist, are voting for President Obama. Only the stupid or rich whites are voting for Romney.

    You can't stop progress!

    by gigihopes on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:06:34 AM PDT

    •  I thought he was going to lose it.... (5+ / 0-)

      ....on CNN a few weeks ago talking about the Higgs Boson. No time to find the link, but that was one unhappy science guy.

      "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:29:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what I've been thinking lately. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      I live in deep red suburban Houston (Tom DeLay's old district). My kids' high school is pretty diverse; about 40% white, 20% each black, Hispanic, Asian (mostly Indian).  It is undeniably true that the Asian kids are taking life seriously.  They are at the top of the class, in leadership positions, and in advanced classes.  They take extra A/P classes over the summer.  It just seems that the white kids are not that serious.  They are more likely to be potheads, take a little lighter class load, have sexual relationships...the Indian kids aren't allowed to do that stuff.  They're too busy studying ...my daughter said, "the white kids join all the extracurricular clubs, but the Indian kids START the clubs.".

      I know I shouldn't extrapolate from my microcosm of suburban high school to larger American society, but these white kids are almost all from very religious, conservative families.  Seems to me that white folks these days are just NOT SERIOUS PEOPLE.  The religion and the politics are making them stupid.  The Indian kids are too busy inventing things to worry about what Rush said about evolution.

      I must note that of course I am generalizing, and I have not addressed the black & Hispanic kids' place in this school society.  I wonder if other parents have made any similar observations, though?

  •  I made a cake. (5+ / 0-)

    NO YOU DIDN'T YOU USED AN OVEN!

    I made mankind.

    NO YOU DIDN'T YOU USED EVOLUTION!

    Try to find the logical flaw in these statements.

    •  Let's see, in the first case it is alleged that a (0+ / 0-)

      person didn't complete a process because the process involved machinery. This is some sort of non-sequitur.

      In the second case, somebody appears to be arguing with a mythologocailfigure and asserting that it used the e-mail, scheduling and calendar software package that is distributed with Ubuntu.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:47:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I always used to say I made the apple pie from (0+ / 0-)

      scratch, but God made the apple tree and the wheat for the flour too... you can carry the analogy as far as you want but it always goes back to
      The Source.

  •  Hallie julia! (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this.

  •  Listening, wingnuts? Nah, didn't think so. (5+ / 0-)

    I feel so sorry for those poor kids who're being led down the wrong path to the future by their bible-thumping, creationist, women-as-chattel parents.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:21:19 AM PDT

  •  I believe in evolution, and I'm a tongue-talker (13+ / 0-)

    The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that I have to think other countries laugh at how much clout the creationists have.

    You want to teach creation?  Fine.  Just don't call it science.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:28:21 AM PDT

  •  As the kids say (6+ / 0-)

    quoted for fucking truth:

    Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution.
    Perfectly stated.

    Herman [Cain] makes my arse wanna dip snuff. ~ Pinto Pony

    by MeMeMeMeMe on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:43:33 AM PDT

  •  Discussing creationism in school is fine (8+ / 0-)

    if you're discussing it in a philosophy class, perhaps in a unit on comparing how different cultures view the world -- every culture has their own myths about how we got here.

    Teaching it in actual science curriculum -- not so much.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:46:43 AM PDT

  •  meh: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roadbear, Olympia
    There's no evidence for it.
    That is no bar to anything. In fact, the vast majority of US residents claim to hold beliefs for which there is no evidence.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:48:56 AM PDT

  •  Given the overlap in the creationist and drill (5+ / 0-)

    baby drill crowd in the republican party I have to wonder how they explain fossil fuels. I'd love to ask Inhofe, for instance, how oil and coal deposits he studies so intently were created in 6000 years. If the creation was a one time event then wouldn't conservation of these miracles be paramount to a Christian with an eye to future generations. Or maybe he knows that it takes millions of years and is just cynically manipulating the heartfelt beliefs of others as he pockets oil company contributions.

  •  Once you don't believe in evolution science... (4+ / 0-)

    ...it is easier to become a denier of global warming science.

    And this is also unique to the US.

    We are the country that does not believe in evolution or human causes of global warming.

    Our future is bleak unless we change soon.

    Then again these guys probably believe in The Rapture and the 2nd Coming of Jesus.  So they will blame global warming catastrophes on our sins and they will celebrate the disastrous future coming.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:54:42 AM PDT

    •  It's also easier to believe oil will not run out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia

      if you believe it didn't take millions of years to form the oil we see today.  Seeing it as a nonrenewable resource requires understanding that it took so long to make it that it may as well take infinite time as far as our little lives are concerned.

  •  The Old Earth is, I think, a fundamental barrier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, Tam in CA, Dirtandiron

    for people who cannot accept evolution as a fact.

    Once you accept that the Earth has existed for billions of years, once you can wrap your head around the enormity of that amount of time and the amount of change for which it allows, you can easily accept the idea that life as we know it now evolved from something very different.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:20:38 PM PDT

  •  Funny he should mention Geology (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, BlackSheep1, Dirtandiron

    and Tectonic Plates... a lot of fundies don't believe in those either. Why, it was Noah's flood that separated Pangea into the 7 continents. (But how all the animals on the Ark got to all those 7 continents... must have been God's Will or something).

    •  Years ago someone here told a story (6+ / 0-)

      about the time she asked a quetion in Sunday school about Noah and the ark.  It was...so where are all the bodies, what did they do with all those bodies? The question was not welcomed.

      Newt Gingrich: Believes marriage is between one man and a series of ever younger women. Wife #1 born ~ 1936, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #2 born ~1947, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #3 born ~1966.

      by trillian on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:23:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's basically anything that supports an old earth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia, nuclear winter solstice

      Old earth = not specially created in its current form.

      Old earth = if there is a deliberate sentient creator, human beings were clearly not the reason it made the earth, since on the timescale of the old earth, humanity's time on the planet nearly rounds down to zero.

      Old earth = time for evolution to occur exists.

      This is why some of the fundies are also against geology.  Geology proves the age of the earth, which is the playing field on which Evolution can happen.

      There are some fundies that are old-earth creationists, who accept the old age of the earth but deny that evolution can cause speciation even in that much time.  But they're just trying to find that compromise of cognitive dissonance to allow them to hold their beliefs in the face of contrary evidence.

  •  compared to my co-workers i am at the low end (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, BlackSheep1, zett

    of the curve for sheer IQ horsepower and there's two who i'm pretty sure would literally fall into the 'genius' category.  however, a few of these really smart people tie themselves in knots defending or adhering to creationism.  i don't get it.  i just don't get it.  especially with the science & engineering background they've got.

    •  engineers are more likely to be creationists than (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      scientists.  BOTH are still less than 50%, thankfully, but engineers have a much larger minority of creationists than scientists do.

      I think this has to do with the way their job works.  A scientist is in the business of discovering facts about how the universe functions that were already true before humans came along.  An engineer is in the business of deliberately designing things to function a certain way.

      One discovers mechanisms, the other creates them.

      The one who spends all day creating mechanisms to do things is more likely to see the world as the object of deliberate creation than one who spends all day discovering emergent mechanisms that were unplanned.

      •  As an engineer, I find this insulting! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        donkeyhoetee, bnasley

        An engineer must appreciate and understand the science upon which their art depends. If not, we end up with buildings and bridges that fall down.

        When the F**K are we going to wake up and do something about this mess?

        by keyscritter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:36:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then you don't understand my point. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanala, bnasley

          It's your job to use science knowledge.  It's not your job to add to that knowledge.

          Scientist:  Here's a thing about the universe that already works.  I need to work out how it works and how it got that way.

          Engineer: There isn't a thing  that works yet.  I have to make it.

          One of those is a lot more likely to fall into the trap of thinking "a thing cannot work unless it was deliberately made that way."

          Engineers make new things that work.  Scientists examine things that already work to find out how.

          Basically scientists reverse engineer the universe.

  •  Thank you Olympia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, BlackSheep1

    And thank you, thank you, Bill Nye.

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:33:45 PM PDT

  •  What Nye doesn't acknowledge (6+ / 0-)

    Is that science and technology have become so successful in the US that the majority of the population can expect and enjoy its products without taking the slightest effort to understand it.

    Imagine if there were real, personal consequences for the science-deniers?  Imagine if publicly supporting that position prohibited you from using and/or benefiting from the inventions created by research which accepted ideas you rejected?  In other words, if you had to honestly follow up on the implications of your position and go Amish?

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:39:44 PM PDT

    •  C.P. Snow warned us about this in 1959 (5+ / 0-)

      In his famous "Two Cultures" lecture

      http://sociology.morrisville.edu/...

      The very success of science can lead to a kind of autonomous status where the non scientists don't even expect to understand it.  As long as it keeps "magically" producing Viagra and iPhones. . .

      Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

      by Fatherflot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:57:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this has often been a plot in sci-fi novels (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenPA, Dirtandiron, Olympia, Fatherflot, zett

        the civilization that forgets how to operate the machinery of civilization and substitutes mythology instead.

        kind of like what's happening now.

        big badda boom : GRB 080913

        by squarewheel on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:20:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Olympia, zett

          It's the magic thinking that allows, without irony, the promulgation of views that would have seemed shocking to educated Europeans of 1400 via cutting edge 21st technologies.

          And of course, this is an inevitable effect of the consumerization of high tech.  As Sherry Turkle writes, the "transparent" used to mean, that one could see the workings of a technology.  Now in the Apple/Google world, the virtue of "transparency" is all about HIDING the evidence of technology, putting it behind a "user-friendly" interface that any moron can use and abuse.  Not only do you not need to program to use a computer, you need not ever trouble yourself with any thought about the underlying logic or functioning.

          It's at this point when it becomes impossible to make a distinction between using a technology and being used by it.  Does Facebook serve you or are you a free digital worker imputting demographic data to mined and monetized by Facebook?

          Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

          by Fatherflot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:35:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  with respect to your comment (7+ / 0-)
            make a distinction between using a technology and being used by it.
            I got a real laugh out of this.  I remember as a child sitting in the sun porch with my grandpa and some cousins and he was telling us one of his yarns.  Grandma was out at the time.  The phone started ringing but Grandpa made no move to answer it.  When one of the cousins said Grandpa aren't you going to answer the phone, his response was 'that phone was put there for my convenience and right now it is not convenient'.
            •  Nice story (3+ / 0-)

              We'v largely lost that wisdom and perspective.  We've been trained so intensively to respond to the 5,000 daily demands to answer our phones, voice mails, emails, text messages, tweets, postings, etc. etc.

              I work with college students and it blows their minds to be reminded that it is always their CHOICE whether they make themselves available 24-7 to others and their digital agents.

              Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

              by Fatherflot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:59:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The ability to deliberately ignore a ringing phone (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Olympia

              went the way of the ability to eat one potato chip.
              "I can't believe I ate the whoooole thing. The Devil Made Me Do It." We gave up self-control for convenience and comfort in the 70s as I saw it.

            •  Unavailable. (0+ / 0-)

              Just today I saw the caller ID on the ringing phone said, "Unavailable".  When I read that out loud, my mom replied.  "Then we're unavailable too."

    •  you mean like if they started dying from diseases (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenPA, Dirtandiron

      that were preventable by vaccination ?

      those kinds of consequences ?

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:19:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the problem is (3+ / 0-)

        The problem is that our culture makes it easy to invent new excuses to take all the benefits of science without showing it the least respect.  They'll vaccinate their kids because they'll be told from the pulpits (media especially) how to rationalize it.  Just like the way they take Social Security, Medicare, federal student loans, etc. etc. all while denouncing the federal government as a tyrannical ponzi scheme.

        Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

        by Fatherflot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:54:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They don't "believe" in science (5+ / 0-)

    Rational, thinking people understand and accept science as being based on direct observation of the physical world. That’s often not the case with Christian Fundamentalists and Biblical literalists. Their whole life is framed in terms of a belief system, so things that exist contrary to their beliefs are understood in the same frame, i.e.: science is just another belief system.

    When you look at science that way, it’s much easier to reject its findings. When rational people accept a scientific theory it’s because they understand that theories are tested by direct observation and are found consistent with what we can observe about the physical world. To a fundamentalist, a scientific theory is just an assertion with no greater weight than their own beliefs.

    The saddest part is that the advancement of science just feeds and reinforces anti-science, fundamentalist beliefs. When new knowledge discredits a formerly accepted theory, rational people acknowledge that we had imperfect knowledge previously and we revise our understanding. To a fundamentalist – all you did was change your mind; which is further evidence that science is something you believe, not something that is proven.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:49:51 PM PDT

  •  It's odd, because 15 years ago I remember a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, nuclear winter solstice

    pro baseball player came out against evolution and everyone called him nuts...Now all of the sudden, it's exploded into part of a party platform, basically. Starnge, strange world we live in.

  •  7 days vs 13 billion years... (3+ / 0-)

    God's time or humans' time?

    As William Blake put it, "Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    and eternity in an hour"...

    Why are we arguing? Let science do its work while faith and poetry ponder the mystery of time...

    What is 'time', really?

    Lol!

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:48:02 PM PDT

  •  The "creationists" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia

    base their "7 day" theory on literal reading of the scriptures. According to their theory, "God created the universe in 6 days (and rested on the 7th since He had a bad back-heh heh)."

    Well, how in the world did that happen, considering that "7 earth days" are possible only on earth with earth making a full turn around itself times 7. So God based His timing of creating the whole kit and kaboodle on earth days while creating the earth and the solar system itself?

    Idiots

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:56:57 PM PDT

  •  I don't have a problem with creationism per se. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, nuclear winter solstice

    I suspect creationism is symptomatic of acquiring a stumbling grasp of science later in life, but I don't think it's even the most serious manifestation of scientific and mathematical illiteracy. After reading this series of diaries by Serpent's Choice, I'd worry more about the public's diminishing capacity to distinguish between proper and junk science on more immediate matters than what did or didn't happen 10,000 years ago.

  •  Creationism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, nuclear winter solstice

    Creationism is just a excuse for far right bs.  

  •  Nye nails it... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, Olympia, susanala

    His comments remind me of something I was reading this morning re RW ideologues, a comment to the effect that "they might be able to use a telephone, but they'd never be able to invent the telephone."

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:27:19 PM PDT

  •  So many people are willing to believe (0+ / 0-)

    religious gobbledygook rather than proven science - like DNA strands made of millions of nucleotides might slowly mutate over long periods of times to make the abundant diversity of life on this planet.  Speaking of Carl Sagan, his book "The Demon Haunted World" is one of my favorites explaining this whole phenomena of human magical thinking vs. reality.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 05:24:50 PM PDT

  •  I do not like Bill Bye, but on this topic I agree (0+ / 0-)

    and I'm glad he said so. He gets a lot of eyeballs, and is completely on the money in this video.

    Cheers Bill

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:21:53 PM PDT

  •  Does the Tea Party care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonK

    that we fall behind.  I used to think so, but--in the face of overwhelming evidence--I have changed my opinion.  I now believe that the Tea Party is so cowardly and fearful of change that they would rather become a third world nation than to give up their fantasies and join the world.  It takes courage to admit you are wrong.  The Tea Party doesn't have it.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:32:03 AM PDT

    •  Sorry to say but I think you are correct about the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia

      teabaggers. They are simply unable to think critically and see teh long term implications of their rediculous stands.

      "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats ..." - Kenneth Grahame -

      by RonK on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:04:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is the thing: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonK

    According to the scripture, God created the solar system (since the world cannot exist without it) and the entire universe, which means essentially, God created the "earthly time."All is well up to this point but here things get warped in terms of logic when perceived literally as many Christian fundamentalists do:

    "He did that in 7 days." ??

    Meaning God's creation of "earthly time" took "earthly time"?

    I cannot know for sure of course but I think some mushy brained busybody mistranslated the original meaning of the scriptures maybe? It would make more sense to me if it said, for example, God created the universe and the days and the nights so that we could tell the time. How long it took? Heh...Ask William Blake. Poets know these things best...;)

    Any input?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:34:18 AM PDT

  •  it's not unique to the US, sadly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonK

    Several fundamentalist Muslim countries teach a version of creation "science" in their schools.

    There are also fairly large creationist movements in Australia and the UK, though they get a lot of their money from creationist groups in the US.

Meteor Blades, JD SoOR, Thumb, Alumbrados, Superskepticalman, Angie in WA State, Sylv, chrississippi, dwellscho, Mogolori, MadRuth, Catsy, daninoah, Cali Scribe, abarefootboy, TrueBlueMajority, Danno11, mimi, Emerson, Debby, Shockwave, KateG, bookbear, JLFinch, kissfan, Christian Dem in NC, missLotus, TracieLynn, ScantronPresident, highacidity, mikidee, LeftofArizona, pedrito, taonow, FriendlyNeighbor, Cedwyn, k9disc, ninothemindboggler, psnyder, Miss Jones, Noodles, kdrivel, kj in missouri, mnguitar, flatford39, Sychotic1, Catte Nappe, Buzzer, Timbuk3, riverlover, zerelda, Hillbilly Dem, JayDean, Wife of Bath, vacantlook, sebastianguy99, Blueiz, environmentalist, sawgrass727, ExStr8, historys mysteries, case, Jeffersonian Democrat, yuriwho, LisaZ, chimene, democracy inaction, Alice Venturi, mike101, ccasas, citizenx, dewtx, i m bobo, Brooke In Seattle, Dobber, Gary Norton, GreenPA, aaraujo, Gordon20024, Burned, skyounkin, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, Yamara, Savvy813, Shotput8, Ekaterin, JanF, jbfunk, fhcec, Jim R, third Party please, Sanuk, Orinoco, Milly Watt, cybersaur, MeMeMeMeMe, Themistoclea, tonyahky, Gorette, Yellow Canary, seefleur, kestrel9000, deha, jenthor, blueoasis, erratic, philipmerrill, middleagedhousewife, vivian darkbloom, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, MadMs, Statusquomustgo, jkshaw, Temmoku, OHdog, NonnyO, Thinking Fella, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, camlbacker, leema, EdSF, edsbrooklyn, rgjdmls, terabytes, shesaid, bnasley, RosyFinch, mbh1023, Seneca Doane, GMFORD, jnhobbs, gchaucer2, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, madgranny, aseth, Mighty Ike, JeffW, TX Freethinker, ChocolateChris, wayoutinthestix, chakadog, ms scarlett leadpipe, BethyNYC, zerone, bythesea, lineatus, Akonitum, beanbagfrog, Lujane, TomFromNJ, Cassandra Waites, Jake Williams, catly, alnep, codairem, kallen808, Nica24, tristan57, dmhlt 66, Diogenes2008, statsone, squarewheel, 207wickedgood, Old Woman, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, DontTaseMeBro, don mikulecky, banjolele, Carol in San Antonio, CanyonWren, maryabein, Zotz, CamillesDad1, DefendOurConstitution, elziax, dskoe, COwoman, kevinpdx, I teach music, Keith Pickering, vadasz, astral66, French Imp, collardgreens, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, NMDad, roadbear, gramofsam1, Tea and Strumpets, catwho, eb23, yellowdogsal, Lost and Found, mjbleo, plankbob, womankind, batchick, gulfgal98, pixxer, melfunction, Johnny Q, Rainefenix, roystah, joelal, cocinero, science nerd, txcatlin, kerflooey, mama jo, spooks51, slowbutsure, sostos, anyname, Amayi, iowacaucus, firemage, BlueJessamine, ardyess, Mistral Wind, OhioNatureMom, kevin k, Nicci August, marleycat, Hohenzollern, susanala, badscience, IllanoyGal, Angela Quattrano, dle2GA, bitpyr8, SueM1121, floridablue, enhydra lutris, MinistryOfTruth, sound of progress, Friendlystranger, jadt65, DRo, caryltoo, Auriandra, thepothole, Mathazar, YaNevaNo, IowaBiologist, AnnetteK, Only Needs a Beat, stormicats, OldDragon, StonyB, angry marmot, Williston Barrett, Chrislove, Siri, IndieGuy, LefseBlue, joanil, Joieau, Farkletoo, FloridaSNMOM, exatc, Horace Boothroyd III, Mr Robert, Tyler R, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, BusyinCA, MartyM, LiberalVol, Brown Thrasher, Margd, tytalus, etherealfire, Kinak, Spirit of Life, Marjmar, Melanie in IA, RonK, Hammerhand, Sue B, Lily O Lady, ForestLake, nomandates, Panacea Paola, 6ZONite, broths, Aunt Pat, Bugsydarlin, MarEng, howabout, Icicle68, Smoh, Syd of the Funny Hat, Diamond Mind, ET3117, Timari, Gary of Austin, sparkysgal, CalDemMom

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site