Tara Smith posted Entry 1735 on December 2, 2005 01:10 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1730

Though I’m not an MD myself, much of my research and my reading centers on medical issues, while another passion (as regular readers certainly must have noticed) is the “controversy” over evolution, and educating the public about the issues involved with that. So, in a nice convergence of these two topics, the American Medical Association has published an Op-Ed on the topic of evolution denial (with quotes from PT-ers Burt Humburg and Glenn Branch as an added bonus).

I’m afraid we live in loopy times. How else to account for the latest entries in America’s culture wars: science museum docents donning combat gloves against rival fundamentalist tour groups and evolution on trial in a Pennsylvania federal court. For those keeping score, so far this year it’s Monkeys: 0, Monkey Business: 82. That’s 82 evolution versus creationism debates in school boards or towns nationwide—this year alone.

The most important part of his piece, IMO, addresses the role of the medical community in this “controversy:”

(Continue reading at Aetiology…)

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Comment #61094

Posted by RBH on December 2, 2005 1:44 PM (e)

I’ll repeat here a comment I made on Aetiology:

On the other hand, a number of the “scientists” supporting the ID push in Ohio over the last four years have been physicians flaunting their MDs as “scientific” credentials.

RBH

Comment #61095

Posted by Russell on December 2, 2005 1:50 PM (e)

a number of the “scientists” supporting the ID push in Ohio over the last four years have been physicians flaunting their MDs as “scientific” credentials.

One of whom informed the BoE that the whole idea of mutations in animals is absurd, because we have a protein called p53, which corrects mutations whenever they happen.

[Standard disclaimer: “some of my best friends are MDs”]

Comment #61106

Posted by Troll on December 2, 2005 2:37 PM (e)

A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Science found that a majority—52 percent—believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is proven by fossil discoveries. Sixty-seven percent believe that a general agreement does exist among scientists that humans evolved over time.

True. Very depressing. :(

Comment #61110

Posted by BWE on December 2, 2005 3:00 PM (e)

Why Rational Thinkers Value the Theory of Intelligent Design

To conclude, if we posit common descent from the highest form of life that exists, we have a rational theory which is consistent with the data we have.

In any case the good news is that when circumstances force Americans to think seriously, the majority reaches the right conclusion. Namely, a November 2004 Gallup poll found, that only 13% of respondents said they believed that Intelligence had no part in the evolution or creation of human beings.

And to make matters worse, we cant call them “fundies” anymore:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/?feed=TopNews&article=UPI-1-20051202-13494800-bc-us-intelligentdesign.xml

Comment #61112

Posted by Stoffel on December 2, 2005 3:03 PM (e)

Quibble, or maybe just a misunderstanding on my part, but consider the following:

“A near majority—48 percent—do not believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is proven by fossil discoveries.”

I would count myself in that percentage. Scientific theories cannot be proven. I would say that evolution is supported by fossil discoveries, and that no such discovery has yet disproven the theory.

Is my understanding of this correct?

Comment #61121

Posted by BWE on December 2, 2005 3:42 PM (e)

Stoffel.
Yeah sort of. In the waaaaaaaaaayyyy old days, they used to think that gods hurled the thunderbolts and flooded the valleys in the spring and etc. They started finding out that there were better explanations and eventually we got science. The better explanations start being useful for understanding more things until they became the “best” explanations.

THat is the crux of the matter. When one explanation works better than another or when one doesn’t work, then we move on to the better explanations. THe “god did it” explanations for natural phenomena became the bad explanations sometime between galileo and darwin. So while you can’t “prove” evolution in so far as there could be another explanation that works better, i.e. god put it all here at some halfway point where the light had already travelled some 15 billion years of the way to where it is now, the discipline of rational investigation through experiment has demonstrated conclusively that evolution is the mechanism for speciation.

We can test this hypothosis, use it to make accurate predictions, and use it to learn other, related information which also turns out to hold up under investigation. SO in terms of what we can know, science is the best method we have for figuring out the mechanics of our universe. 2000 years ago, god was a good explanation and there was no reason to doubt that hypothosis. TOday, that is not the case.

Comment #61123

Posted by BWE on December 2, 2005 3:44 PM (e)

You are aware that I am the supreme arbiter?

Comment #61135

Posted by Gary Hurd on December 2, 2005 4:34 PM (e)

You should not bite your ar. It leaves marks.

Comment #61136

Posted by Russell on December 2, 2005 4:37 PM (e)

Stoffel is right: the question is poorly worded. Still, I suspect that the large majority of the respondents “heard” the question as “do you think Darwin was basically right or wrong?”

Comment #61150

Posted by Paul Flocken on December 2, 2005 6:45 PM (e)

In Comment #61121 BWE said,

“Stoffel.
Yeah sort of. In the waaaaaaaaaayyyy old days, they used to think that gods hurled the thunderbolts and flooded the valleys in the spring and etc. They started finding out that there were better explanations and eventually we got science. The better explanations start being useful for understanding more things until they became the “best” explanations.

THat is the crux of the matter. When one explanation works better than another or when one doesn’t work, then we move on to the better explanations. THe “god did it” explanations for natural phenomena became the bad explanations sometime between galileo and darwin. So while you can’t “prove” evolution in so far as there could be another explanation that works better, i.e. god put it all here at some halfway point where the light had already travelled some 15 billion years of the way to where it is now, the discipline of rational investigation through experiment has demonstrated conclusively that evolution is the mechanism for speciation.

We can test this hypothosis, use it to make accurate predictions, and use it to learn other, related information which also turns out to hold up under investigation. SO in terms of what we can know, science is the best method we have for figuring out the mechanics of our universe. 2000 years ago, god was a good explanation and there was no reason to doubt that hypothosis. TOday, that is not the case.”

Isaac Asimov wrote an essay about this subject here:
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm
Sincerely,
Paul

Comment #61153

Posted by Stoffel on December 2, 2005 7:02 PM (e)

Russell - yeah, I agree that most people would see it that way. I wonder if I would have been able to second-guess the questioner and answer “yes”.

BWE - my quibble wasn’t with whether evolution was the best scientific theory, it’s that the question asked whether evolution had been proven. From what I understood, no scientific theory can be “proven”. A theory doesn’t grow up to be a law once it accumulates enough evidence. So I was surprised to see the statement quoted there in an otherwise thoughtful editorial.

OTOH, the author was constrained to quoting the actual question as asked, and if the author had wanted to explain what I had above, the piece would have lost a great deal of impact, so the best choice was probably just to leave it as-is.

*sigh*

Comment #61194

Posted by Norman Doering on December 2, 2005 11:47 PM (e)

BWE linked:

Why Rational Thinkers Value the Theory of Intelligent Design
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=3942

It’s utter rubbish and a good example of just how pathetic our science education is in America because its author, Kazmer Ujvarosy, can not only get published but claims to be “the founder of Frontline Science, an independent think tank, based in San Francisco…. dedicated to the analysis of complex problems…”

The guy claims:

The Principle of Causality … stipulates that no cause can produce an effect superior to itself, or give more than what it has. If a cause could produce anything greater than itself, the extra part of the effect would be without a cause, and that is contrary to reason – and, by extension, to rational science.

It’s utter rubbish - no such principle exists in science or logic. The terms of the principle are completely ambiguous – what does it mean to be greater than?

If I light a match - that’s a small fire. If I touch the match to the curtains of Ujvarosy’s house would I not cause a greater fire?

Anybody going to this guy to get “analysis of complex problems” are suckers.

Comment #61200

Posted by BWE on December 3, 2005 1:06 AM (e)

and 13% is a significantly different number than posted above. Maybe that’s what happens when you analyze the complex problem of data helping your opponents case and hurting your own???

I am really sad about the second one though. they were gonna take his job if he didn’t cave. I would lose mine too I guess if I started throwing the word “fundies” around but then I’m a gov’t employee. No tenure over here at fish and wildlife. But the difference for me is that I can say “fundy” all I want outside of work and they can’t do squat.

Fundy, fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy, fundies.

Comment #61223

Posted by Converse02 on December 3, 2005 8:20 AM (e)

I would love to see the medical community issue a statement in support of science and explaining how foolish the whole notion of ID is. Medicine depends on science, especially understanding of darwinian evolution and it’s impact in designing drugs and molecular diagnostics.

Comment #61230

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 3, 2005 10:04 AM (e)

Paul,
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/Relativit…

Very interesting read.

BWE,
Fundy, fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy,fundy, fundies.

Very funny (silent/invisible d).

How many MDs support ID?
Do any of them use medicine developed from animal testing?

Comment #61238

Posted by Keith Douglas on December 3, 2005 11:05 AM (e)

Norman Doering, it is true that such a principle is not found in contemporary concerns. However, the principle you quote was actually held in the middle ages and earlier. It should not strike you as bizarre, I trust, that the creationists are stuck with obselete metaphysics. (And this is why developing a scientifically supportable metaphysics is, in part, useful: to synthesize our general views about the nature of reality. Without it the scientific enterprise is somewhat vulnerable (after a fashion) to such inanities.

Comment #61245

Posted by bwe on December 3, 2005 12:03 PM (e)

My aunt is a pathologist. SHe is clueless about just aboat anything other than specifically pathology. it is a little amazing. another friend of mine i went to college with is now a researcher for am major university hospital and he and the other “phD” routinely poke fun at the md’s for being clueless. I am not in any way advocating this practice, but it does make me wonder if the MD community might have fissures within it. I couldn’t comment because I know precious few md’s. ANy Doctors care to comment? Is there a lot of ignorance outside the mechanical aspects of medicine or are they typically well rounded?

Comment #61269

Posted by Norman Doering on December 3, 2005 1:48 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #61272

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on December 3, 2005 1:55 PM (e)

Can anyone explain how the concept of common descent among multicellular animals aids medicine in a concrete way? I am not talking about drug-resistant bacteria nor common ancestry among viral strains, so please don’t cite those examples. And if macroevolution is important, why don’t medical schools ever teach it? Do they know something we don’t?

Comment #61274

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 3, 2005 2:05 PM (e)

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on December 3, 2005 01:55 PM (e) (s)

Can anyone explain how the concept of common descent among multicellular animals aids medicine in a concrete way? I am not talking about drug-resistant bacteria nor common ancestry among viral strains, so please don’t cite those examples. And if macroevolution is important, why don’t medical schools ever teach it? Do they know something we don’t?

Without common descent, why would testing medicines on other creatures; have any bearing on what effect we could expect said medicine to have on humans?

Comment #61275

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 3, 2005 2:29 PM (e)

Can anyone explain how the concept of common descent among multicellular animals aids medicine in a concrete way?

It’s why we test new drugs on monkeys instead of on petunias.

And if macroevolution is important, why don’t medical schools ever teach it? Do they know something we don’t?

If heliocentrism is so important, why don’t flight schools ever teach it? Do they know something we don’t?

Are creationists really this dumb? Really and truly?

Comment #61277

Posted by Tara Smith on December 3, 2005 2:58 PM (e)

And if macroevolution is important, why don’t medical schools ever teach it? Do they know something we don’t?

It’s assumed they already know it–a requirement for getting into med school is (at least) a year of college-level biology.

Comment #61278

Posted by Anton Mates on December 3, 2005 3:10 PM (e)

It’s why we test new drugs on monkeys instead of on petunias.

And why we worry more about viral diseases from other apes spreading to humans, than viral diseases from, say, sowbugs.

And why it’s harder to find human-safe antibiotics for eukaryotic pathogens than for prokaryotic pathogens.

Comment #61279

Posted by Norman Doering on December 3, 2005 3:12 PM (e)

Keith Douglas wrote:

It should not strike you as bizarre, I trust, that the creationists are stuck with obselete metaphysics.

Well, the rule there is if science and experiment contradicts your metaphysics, then it’s your metaphysics that’s wrong.

(And this is why developing a scientifically supportable metaphysics is, in part, useful: to synthesize our general views about the nature of reality. Without it the scientific enterprise is somewhat vulnerable (after a fashion) to such inanities.

That is the assumption mistake IDers make: that all we “evil-lutionists” share a metaphysics similar to Dawkins. The metaphysics is, by definition, beyond physics… beyond science. We don’t have to share a metaphysics, you just have to be willing to give up your metaphysics when science can demonstrate that it’s wrong.

Comment #61281

Posted by Norman Doering on December 3, 2005 3:14 PM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

And why we worry more about viral diseases from other apes spreading to humans, than viral diseases from, say, sowbugs.

How about a flu from birds? They’re not even mammals.

Comment #61283

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 3, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

Posted by Norman Doering on December 3, 2005 03:14 PM (e) (s)

How about a flu from birds? They’re not even mammals.

I may be wrong here, but as far as I am aware; avian flu is not easily contractible by humans atm…What people are worried about is what will happen when the flu mutates (evolves).

Comment #61320

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on December 3, 2005 6:00 PM (e)

RBH astutely Pointed out:

On the other hand, a number of the “scientists” supporting the ID push in Ohio over the last four years have been physicians flaunting their MDs as “scientific” credentials.

And some other happy facts.

Dr. Bill Frist, Harvard MD, US Senate Majority leader is sympathetic to ID.

And well, what about the past president of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS):

Robert J. Cihak, M.D., was born in Yankton, South Dakota. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he studied under the philosopher Eric Voegelin. He earned an M.D. degree at Harvard Medical School (1962-66), and did postgraduate medical training and academic work as a surgical intern at Stanford Medical Center (1966-67), diagnostic radiology resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston (1967-70) and Assistant Professor of Radiology, U. New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque, (1970-71). He then practiced diagnostic radiology in Aberdeen Washington until his retirement in 1994.

The past president of the AAPS, Chihak, is now on the board of directors of the Discovery Institute.

I don’t think it wouldn’t exactly be a unanimous reaction from the community of physicians to support the advance of evolutionary theory. That op ed probably ruffled a lot of feathers…..

Comment #61325

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 3, 2005 6:08 PM (e)

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on December 3, 2005 06:00 PM (e) (s)

The past president of the AAPS, Chihak, is now on the board of directors of the Discovery Institute.

I don’t think it wouldn’t exactly be a unanimous reaction from the community of physicians to support the advance of evolutionary theory. That op ed probably ruffled a lot of feathers…..

What repeatable scientific experiments has the Disco Institude done that supports ID?

Comment #61326

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 3, 2005 6:10 PM (e)

Meant to say *Disco institute* Not institude.

Comment #61327

Posted by BlastfromthePast on December 3, 2005 6:22 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

Dr. Bill Frist, Harvard MD, US Senate Majority leader is sympathetic to ID.

Well, he obviously didn’t take his “year of college-level biology.”

Comment #61329

Posted by Anton Mates on December 3, 2005 6:31 PM (e)

Norman Doering wrote:

Anton Mates wrote:

And why we worry more about viral diseases from other apes spreading to humans, than viral diseases from, say, sowbugs.

How about a flu from birds? They’re not even mammals.

Sure, but they’re a lot closer to us than sowbugs are. And human poultry-farming practices practically hang out a “please adapt to infect our species” sign for a lot of avian diseases.

Comment #61331

Posted by Anton Mates on December 3, 2005 6:36 PM (e)

BlastfromthePast wrote:

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

Dr. Bill Frist, Harvard MD, US Senate Majority leader is sympathetic to ID.

Well, he obviously didn’t take his “year of college-level biology.”

Given Frist’s stellar medical performance in the Schiavo case, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t. Anyway, who’s got time to go to class when there’s cats to kill?

Comment #61332

Posted by Russell on December 3, 2005 6:40 PM (e)

Dr. Bill Frist, Harvard MD, US Senate Majority leader is sympathetic to ID.

Dr. Bill Frist is sympathetic to the idea of advancing his political career. Endorsing ID and making videotape diagnoses of Terri Schiavo when the fundies look like the wave of the GOP future; splitting with Dubya over stem cells when they look like a liability. The man does not have my respect, to put it gently.

Comment #61338

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 3, 2005 6:49 PM (e)

Well, he obviously didn’t take his “year of college-level biology.”

Or, like Blast, he was too dumb to understand any of it.

Think Frist knows what _Caudipteryx_ is, Blast?

Comment #61339

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 3, 2005 6:50 PM (e)

Hey Sal, since you’re here cheerleading for ID and all, perhaps you’d care to answer some questions for me:

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

I want all the lurkers to see what an evasive dishonest coward you are, Sal.

Comment #61397

Posted by Lou on December 4, 2005 4:25 AM (e)

Rev. Dr. Flank:

Mission Accomplished.

Lou

Comment #61412

Posted by Chip Poirot on December 4, 2005 8:41 AM (e)

I wonder how many physicians accept evolution as valid science. I would hazard to guess that a substantial number of physicians in my area do not.

Very few of the pre-med majors coming through my University will get any kind of systematic view of evolution, or of its real significance. Of course, it is sometimes there in the background-but that is the point. My sense is that most physicians concentrate on “how” explanations in functional biology and chemistry and seek to apply that knowledge in specific circumstances. They probably view evolution as either useful background knowledge or as irrelevant to their concerns.

Of course, for those who do research in the spread of disease and other areas, the situation is no doubt different.

Comment #61500

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on December 4, 2005 6:27 PM (e)

Chip asked:

I wonder how many physicians accept evolution as valid science. I would hazard to guess that a substantial number of physicians in my area do not.

http://www.hcdi.net/polls/J5776/

1.Frist is an MD

2. 18% of physicians believe in Adam and Eve
3. 42% of physician believe in God Guided evolution

4. When the question was phrased in terms of ID vs. Evolution (not exactly a fair question), 34% responded in favor of ID

5. 42% of the physicians belive ID is a legitimate scientific speculation, including 2% of the atheists who believe ID is a legitimate scientific speculation.

Comment #61504

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 4, 2005 6:37 PM (e)

Sal,

Why do you answer the question about the polled opinions of MDs (lies, bloody lies and statistics, remember) and not Lenny’s far more important, on topic and fundamental questions about the “theory” you are trying to defend? Do you even have some kind of rationalization for not answering them, or do you actually privately accept there is no theory of ID and are afraid to admit it? You do, of course, realize that anyone reading any of these topics will immediately associate your reluctance to answer the most basic of questions with an admittance of ignorance?

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #61506

Posted by RBH on December 4, 2005 6:48 PM (e)

Sal wrote

5. 42% of the physicians belive ID is a legitimate scientific speculation, including 2% of the atheists who believe ID is a legitimate scientific speculation.

I wonder how many of those respondents actually knew what (if anything) ID is. In an Ohio poll a couple of years ago, 84% of general (lay) respondents said “no” when asked “Do you happen to know anything about the concept of ‘intelligent design’?” 14% said “yes”; and the rest (2%) were “not sure”. My strong bet is that the numbers are not much different for physicians, if not worse. Most of them don’t know any more about ID than the huge majority of lay people.

In an email poll done at the same time (same URL), just 4% of science faculty members in Ohio responded “yes” to the question “Are you aware of any scientifically valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution?” In response to the question “2. The concept of “Intelligent Design” is that life and the universe are too complex to have developed without the intervention of a purposeful being or force to guide the development of life. Which of the following do you think best describes “Intelligent Design”?”, 2% answered “strongly supported” and 5% said “partly supported.” My bet is that physicians are not very similar to scientists in those respects. (Note that the poll of science faculty members included those at religiously-affiliated institutions.)

RBH

Comment #61507

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on December 4, 2005 6:53 PM (e)

Hey Flank,

Care to take me on one-on-one? Call your buds off, I doubt you can handle it with just me….

I finally have little time to waste on you. C’mon Flank. Defend your worthless theories, I show the superiority of mine over yours.

If you back down Flank, and I won’t let you forget.

Salvador Cordova vs. Lenny Flank

Comment #61508

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 4, 2005 6:59 PM (e)

Hey Flank,

Care to take me on one-on-one?

Glad to, Sal. Heat is starting to get yto you, huh, Sal.

*ahem*

Hey Sal, the last dozen or so times you were here, you ran away without answering four simple questions I’ve asked of you. So I’ll ask again. And again and again and again and again, every time you show up here, until you either answer or run away. I want every lurker who comes in here to see that you are nothing but an evasive dishonest coward.

(1) what is the scientific theory of creation (or intelligent design) and how can we test it using the scientific method?

I do *NOT* want you to respond with a long laundry list of (mostly inaccurate) criticisms of evolutionary biology. They are completely irrelevant to a scientific theory of creation or intelligent design. I want to see the scientific alternative that you are proposing—- the one you want taught in public school science classes, the one that creationists and intelligent design “theorists” testified under oath in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and elsewhere is SCIENCE and is NOT based on religious doctrine. Let’s assume for the purposes of
this discussion that evolutionary biology is indeed absolutely completely totally irretrievable unalterably irrevocably 100% dead wrong. Fine. Show me your scientific alternative. Show me how your scientific theory explains things better than evolutionary biology does. Let’s see this superior “science” of yours.

Any testible scientific theory of creation should be able to provide answers to several questions: (1) how did life begin, (3) how did the current diversity of life appear, and (3) what mechanisms were used in these processes and where can we see these mechanisms today.

Any testible scientific theory of intelligent design should be able to give testible answers to other questions: (1) what exactly did the Intelligent Designer(s) do, (2) what mechanisms did the Designer(s) use to do whatever it is you think it did, (3) where can we see these mechanisms in action today, and (4) what objective criteria can we use to determine what entities are “intelligently
designed” and what entities aren’t (please illustrate this by pointing to something that you think IS designed, something you think is NOT designed, and explain how to tell the difference).

If your, uh, “scientific theory” isn’t able to answer any of these questions yet, then please feel free to tell me how you propose to scientifically answer them. What experiments or tests can we perform, in principle, to answer these questions.

Also, since one of the criteria of “science” is falsifiability, I’d like you to tell me how your scientific theory, whatever it is, can be falsified. What experimental results or observations would conclusively prove that creation/intelligent design did not happen.

Another part of the scientific method is direct testing. One does not establish “B” simply by demonstrating that “A” did not happen. I want you to demonstrate “B” directly. So don’t give me any “there are only two choices, evolution or creation, and evolution is wrong so creation must be right” baloney. I will repeat that I do NOT want a big long laundry list of “why evolution is wrong”. I don’t care why evolution is wrong. I want to know what your alternative is, and
how it explains data better than evolution does.

I’d also like to know two specific things about this “alternative scientific theory”: How old does “intelligent design/creationism theory” determine the universe to be. Is it millions of years old, or thousands of years old. And does ‘intelligent design/creationism theory’ determine that humans have descended from apelike primates, or does it determine that they have not.

I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”. Unless of course you don’t HAVE any and are just lying to us when you claim to.

(2) According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

(3) What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine. Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or “divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all. Ever. Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic (oops, I mean, “materialistic” and “naturalistic” —- we don’t want any judges to think ID’s railing against “materialism” has any RELIGIOUS purpose, do we)?

I have yet, in all my 44 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.” I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”. Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic (oops, sorry, I meant to say “materialistic” and “naturalistic” — we don’t want any judges to know that it is “atheism” we are actually waging a religious crusade against, do we)?

How about medicine. When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease? Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation, and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch? Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?

(4) The most militant of the Ayatollah-wanna-be’s are the members of the “Reconstructionist” movement. The Reconstructionists were founded by Rouas J. Rushdoony, a militant fundamentalist who was instrumental in getting Henry Morris’s book The Genesis Flood published in 1961. According to Rushdoony’s view, the United States should be directly transformed into a theocracy in which the fundamentalists would rule directly according to the will of God. “There can be no separation of Church and State,” Rushdoony declares. (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 51) “Christians,” a Reconstructionist pamphlet declares, “are called upon by God to exercise dominion.” (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 50) The Reconstructionists propose doing away with the US Constitution and laws, and instead ruling directly according to the laws of God as set out in the Bible—they advocate a return to judicial punishment for religious crimes such as blasphemy or violating the Sabbath, as well as a return to such Biblically-approved punishments as stoning.

According to Rushdoony, the Second Coming of Christ can only happen after the “Godly” have taken over the earth and constructed the Kingdom of Heaven here: “The dominion that Adam first received and then lost by his Fall will be restored to redeemed Man. God’s People will then have a long reign over the entire earth, after which, when all enemies have been put under Christ’s feet, the end shall come.” (cited in Diamond, 1989, p. 139) “Christian Reconstructionism,” another pamphlet says, “is a call to the Church to awaken to its Biblical responsibility to subdue the earth for the glory of God … Christian Reconstructionism therefore looks for and works for the rebuilding of the institutions of society according to a Biblical blueprint.” (cited in Diamond 1989, p. 136) In the Reconstructionist view, evolution is one of the “enemies” which must be “put under Christ’s feet” if the godly are to subdue the earth for the glory of God.

In effect, the Reconstructionists are the “Christian” equivilent of the Taliban.

While some members of both the fundamentalist and creationist movements view the Reconstructionists as somewhat kooky, many of them have had nice things to say about Rushdoony and his followers. ICR has had close ties with Reconstructionists. Rushdoony was one of the financial backers for Henry Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, and Morris’s son John was a co-signer of several documents produced by the Coalition On Revival, a reconstructionist coalition founded in 1984. ICR star debater Duane Gish was a member of COR’s Steering Committee, as was Richard Bliss, who served as ICR’s “curriculum director” until his death. Gish and Bliss were both co-signers of the COR documents “A Manifesto for the Christian Church” (COR, July 1986), and the “Forty-Two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian Worldview” (COR,1989), which declares, “We affirm that the laws of man must be based upon the laws of God. We deny that the laws of man have any inherent authority of their own or that their ultimate authority is rightly derived from or created by man.” (“Forty-Two Essentials, 1989, p. 8). P>The Discovery Institute, the chief cheerleader for “intelligent design theory”, is particularly cozy with the Reconstructionists. The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory” (other branches of Discovery Institute are focused on areas like urban transportation, Social Security “reform”, and (anti) environmentalist organizing).

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist who was long associated with Rushdooney, and who sat with him on the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation – a major Reconstructionist think-tank – for over 20 years, and donated over $700,000 to the Reconstructionists. Just as Rushdooney was a prime moving force behind Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, intelligent design “theorist” Phillip Johnson dedicated his book “Defeating Darwinism” to “Howard and Roberta” – Ahmanson and his wife. Ahmanson was quoted in newspaper accounts as saying, “My purpose is total integration of Biblical law into our lives.”

Ahmanson has given several million dollars over the past few years to anti-evolution groups (including Discovery Institute), as well as anti-gay groups, “Christian” political candidates, and funding efforts to split the Episcopalian Church over its willingness to ordain gay ministers and to other groups which oppose the minimum wage. He was also a major funder of the recent “recall” effort in California which led to the election of Terminator Arnie. Ahmanson is also a major funder of the effort for computerized voting, and he and several other prominent Reconstructionists have close ties with Diebold, the company that manufactures the computerized voting machines used. There has been some criticism of Diebold because it refuses to make the source code of its voting machine software available for scrutiny, and its software does not allow anyone to track voting after it is done (no way to confirm accuracy of the machine).

Some of Ahmanson’s donations are channeled through the Fieldstead Foundation, which is a subspecies of the Ahmanson foundation “Fieldstead” is Ahmanson’s middle name). The Fieldstead Foundation funds many of the travelling and speaking expenses of the DI’s shining stars.

Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other poilitically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. Howard Ahamnson, Jr sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Since then, as his views have become more widely known, Ahmanson has tried to backpeddle and present a kinder, gentler image of himself. However, his views are still so extremist that politicians have returned campaign contributions from Ahmanson once they learned who he was.

So it’s no wonder that the Discovery Institute is reluctant to talk about the funding source for its Intelligent Design campaign. Apparently, they are not very anxious to have the public know that most of its money comes from just one whacko billionnaire who has long advocated a political program that is very similar to that of the Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

Oh, and your latest round of blithering about “anti-God” and “anti-religion” prompts yet another question, Sal (whcih, of course, you also will not answer).

(5) Sal, you must KNOW that your ID heroes are in court right now trying to argue that creationism/ID is SCIENCE and has NO RELIGIOUS PURPOSE OR AIM. You must KNOW that if the courts rule that creationism/ID is NOT science and IS nothing but religious doctrine, then your ID crap will never see the inside of a science classroom. So you must KNOW that every time you blither to us that creationism/ID is all about God and faith and the Bible and all that, you are
UNDERMINING YOUR OWN HEROES by demonstrating, right here in public, that your heroes are just lying under oath when they claim that creationism/ID has NO religious purpose or aims.

So why the heck do you do it ANYWAY? Why the heck are you in here yammering about religion when your own leaders are trying so desperately to argue that ID/creationism is NOT about religion? Are you really THAT stupid? Really and truly?

Why are you in here arguing that ID/creationism is all about God and the Bible, while Discovery Institute and other creationists are currently in Kansas and Dover arguing that ID/creationism is NOT all about God and the Bible?

Why are you **undercutting your own side**????????

I really truly want to know.

Comment #61509

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 4, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

Sal,

No need to move the discussion elsewhere. I am sure that to answer such an easy question of just *what* is that theory you keep talking about you needn’t change forums. Particularly not to one where I would have to hand in personal information to people I don’t trust prior to posting.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf, who will believe there is a theory of ID when he sees it explained, and not a moment sooner.

Comment #61510

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 4, 2005 7:09 PM (e)

I finally have little time to waste on you. C’mon Flank.

It’s “Mr Flank” to you, Sal.

Defend your worthless theories, I show the superiority of mine over yours.

If you back down Flank, and I won’t let you forget.

(yawn) How old are you, Sal. Four?

I’d prefer that we, uh, “debate” right here, in front of everyone. So I’d like to request one of the moderators to start a thread here for our very own, and post my standard oft-repeated list of five simple questions that Sal has repeatedly run away from for almost a year now. I want every lurker who comes here, to see, firsthand, that Sal and his ilk are all evasive dishonest cowards.

Comment #61515

Posted by KiwiInOz on December 4, 2005 7:25 PM (e)

I have a feeling that someone is using Sal’s name in vain - he’s normally more well mannered in his diatribes. Unless he really has popped his fufu valve this time.

But I’ll bite, too. Sometimes I need the exercise.

Sal, feel fee to debate here. Put up your scientific theories of ID. Don’t worry that they’ll be deleted - we aren’t afraid of being challenged. I for one would love to see you demonstrate the superiority of your ideas.

Hang on. Hasn’t Lenny invited you over and over and over and over and over ….….. to do just this. But you never take up the offer. Why? Surely it can’t have anything to do with the vacuity of your position?!

Superior theories my Aunt Fanny!

We’d have more respect for you if you just said that you believed that God did it - you don’t know how, but he did it. And leave it at that. Don’t try and squeeze your belief system into a scientific framework. It ain’t going to fit!

Comment #61525

Posted by RBH on December 4, 2005 9:09 PM (e)

Greywolf wrote

No need to move the discussion elsewhere. I am sure that to answer such an easy question of just *what* is that theory you keep talking about you needn’t change forums. Particularly not to one where I would have to hand in personal information to people I don’t trust prior to posting.

antievolution.org is run by Wes Elsberry, GW.

RBH

Comment #61543

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 4, 2005 10:22 PM (e)

I have a feeling that someone is using Sal’s name in vain - he’s normally more well mannered in his diatribes.

I’m beginning to agree. Sal isn’t usually this illiterate or childish.

I suspect DaveScott, who *is* both illiterate and childish.

But then, I don’t care if it’s Jesus Christ Himself come down from Heaven — I still want answers to my simple questions.

Alas, it appears that I won’t be getting any. Coherent ones, anyway.

Comment #61549

Posted by k.e. on December 4, 2005 11:33 PM (e)

Sal can I be so bold as to answer “Flanks” for you ?

The theory of ID is …….

A Mad scientist’s DREAM….d’oh

sorry

A Mad Engineers nightmare ??…d’oh

sorry sorry

A Mad Biologists day dream…..dang

sorry sorry sorry

A Mad Mathematicians error……blast

sorry sorry so sorry

A stupid Jounalist’s draw full of press clippings…Oh

A Shock Jocks mouth full of hog droppings….D’oh

What’s that rumbing Sal ……an Apocolyse in the here and now perhaps?…..the end of “Madness”…indeed one of “mans timeless tales”

Now remember what one wise poster put on PT earlier ?

Old Chinese Proverb Say (=>)

“Don’t wrestle with pigs, you only get dirty and they love it”

Look up Hog Mythology there are Sh*t loads of it.

Comment #61550

Posted by KiwiInOz on December 5, 2005 1:15 AM (e)

Will the real Salvador T. Cordova please stand up.

Comment #61569

Posted by AC on December 5, 2005 3:51 PM (e)

I stopped reading the “Sal vs. Lenny” thread after Sal (presumedly he) cited Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as evidence for ID. He even used the “delta-x times delta-p” equation form!

I stopped reading because I was laughing too hard. Seriously, if you think there’s the slightest thing mystical about quantum uncertainty, you merely have no clue what it means.

Comment #61586

Posted by BWE on December 5, 2005 5:09 PM (e)

So, I wonder how IDists (Ha ha, I didn’t see that pun until I typed it. It’s probably old news to you all) explain the magnetic reversals on the seafloor spreading out from the ridges. I can see that that could be intelligently designed. They make a pretty pattern. Also, what about the ostrich and the emu? THey used to live together in gondwanaland but when it split up the ostriches went one way and the emu went the other. I can see the mad dash. Holy shit frank, the earth is splitting open. Better get on that side of the chasm so we can be with all the others. Same for crocs and gators. Same for lots and lots and lots and lots of things.

I could start a new series of books. I’d call it “left behind: the dislexic ostrich’s last stand.” Or isn’t a croc and a gator sufficient speciation. I suppose that it isn’t. It’s not like a dog squirted out a kitten

Comment #61727

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 6, 2005 9:07 PM (e)

I stopped reading the “Sal vs. Lenny” thread

You didn’t miss a thing.

after Sal (presumedly he) cited Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as evidence for ID. He even used the “delta-x times delta-p” equation form!

I stopped reading because I was laughing too hard. Seriously, if you think there’s the slightest thing mystical about quantum uncertainty, you merely have no clue what it means.

Near as I can tell, the Sal-imposter’s QM argument seems to be something along the lines of (1) quantum mechanics says nothing exists without an observer, and (2) observers effect both the future and past of a system, therefore (3) God (the observer) is necessary to bring the universe into existence.

I’ve already asked the Sal Imposter what observer he thinks collapses the *Designer’s* wavefunction and brings *it* into existence – Wigner’s Superfriend?

But then, the Sal Imposter seems never to have heard of “decoherence” (and no, I’m not referring to his half-literate syntax).

Anyway, as soon as it became obvious that the Sal-Imposter wasn’t going to answer any questions, I decided to just have some fun yanking his chain to see how loud I could get him to bark. So y’all aren’t missing anything. (shrug)

Comment #61742

Posted by AC on December 6, 2005 11:30 PM (e)

If that’s his argument, then I’m not missing anything due to those being common misunderstandings of QM.

QM says not that existence requires observation, only that interaction causes decoherence. Observation involves interaction, but interaction hardly requires a conscious - much less human - observer. An atom’s electrons, for example, are at the very least constantly interacting with its nuclear protons. And superpositions, though a somewhat exotic concept, exist; otherwise, what is decohering when a wavefunction collapses?

Granted, 20th-century science has blurred a lot of lines long held to be completely (even divinely) distinct, but digging up Berkeley in response to quantum mechanics does no more good than digging up Paley in response to the modern synthesis.

Comment #61962

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 7, 2005 8:02 PM (e)

If that’s his argument, then I’m not missing anything due to those being common misunderstandings of QM.

I’m pretty sure that he and I are the only ones still there.

Since his primary aim (whoever he is) seems to be simply to wave his dick in front of me, I figure if I just keep him entertained over there off in the corner, at least he won’t be coming in HERE to be a nuisance to everyone else.

(sigh) The things I have to do for PT.

Someone owes me a beer for this.