PZ Myers posted Entry 3156 on May 31, 2007 11:20 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3146

Sam Brownback has an op-ed in the NY Times today, in which he explains with much straining at gnats why he was one of the Republicans who did not believe in evolution. Short summary: he reveals his own misconceptions about the biology, and mainly pounds the drum on how important Faith and Religion and God are. It will be persuasive to people who are already convinced that God is the most important thing in the universe, right down to what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but it underscores my conviction that faith is the enemy, the source of many of our problems…such as the promotion of incompetent politicians to positions of power on the fuel of the ethereal Spirit.

Get ready. It's a whole succession of reiterated platitudes about how important faith is, with no evidence that it actually is — we are, apparently, supposed to take that on faith.

Continue reading "Sam Brownback, defender of the faith" (on Pharyngula)

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Comment #180636

Posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2007 12:28 PM (e)

Here are a few better questions: why won’t PC2 read the answers to his questions? Why is PC2 still allowed to post on Pandasthumb?

Comment #180637

Posted by Raging Bee on May 31, 2007 12:33 PM (e)

I tell you what, YOU can silence all the critics of ID/creationism just by showing a miracle in a lab – anything that would demonstrate the process of supernatural design and creation of complex life. Surely this would be simple for you since you are such an expert on supernatural agency. Until you produce this proof of poof you have no right to rail against differing views!

Comment #180639

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 31, 2007 12:37 PM (e)

To me it seems you absolutely need for evolution to be true for personal reasons, since if we did not evolve naturally that would only leave one option which seems to be unthinkable to you.

No, there are an infinite number of options if science doesn’t converge on one answer, you stupid git. That’s the whole point of science, to get away from the endless “possibilities” which are obtainable through speculation, and to something that is finite and usable.

These questions are serious yet you dare ridicule anyone who dares question evolution and then you say they don’t understand science.

No they aren’t, dog, they’ve been answered so many times that I have no interest in telling you to do anything but to go off and learn like an honest person would do (at least before telling your stale lies), for instance at TalkOrigins.

Well, that’s PC2, witting or unwitting troll.

What’s unfortunate is that anyone spouting equally mindless inanity is running for president, no matter how dark a horse he is.

Of course faith and reason aren’t complementary. Neither, however, are they necessarily in conflict, as PZ makes them out to be. Faith may be a harmless bit of speculation or acceptance of another’s speculation, where science has no answers yet.

You’d think that we could never get from the “age of faith” to the “age of reason”, if PZ’s characterization were correct. And you’d be right.

Glen D

Comment #180646

Posted by Raging Bee on May 31, 2007 12:59 PM (e)

And more lies and distortions from The Anti Atheist.

What happened to all those grownup creationists? Did they suddenly get a sense of shame and vanish? If so, they still need to discipline their kids, send them back to school, and make sure they do their homework before going all Beavis and Butthead on Teh Intarweb and embarrassing their parents.

Comment #180806

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on June 1, 2007 2:42 AM (e)

[Un]Reasonable Belief wrote:

Senator Brownback is among a tiny handful

[Creationist conversation level, ie Beavis and Nutthead]

- Uhu-uh-huhuhuh-uh… He said ‘Brownback’… Uhu-uh-huhuhuh-uh
- Cool… and tiny handful… What a buttnugget!
- Uhu-uh-huhuhuh-uh…

[/Creationist conversation level]

Comment #181047

Posted by Bob Cornwall on June 1, 2007 5:49 PM (e)

I did find Brownback’s understanding of evolution to be quite problematic. As a Christian pastor who accepts evolution – in both kinds – it was good to hear that he doesn’t accept a younger earth position, but to insist that the choices are micro-evolution or atheism is simply untenable. Many are there in the church who affirm common descent without either being atheists or diminishing the human person.

Comment #181253

Posted by Unsympathetic reader on June 2, 2007 10:57 AM (e)

Bob Cornwall: “…but to insist that the choices are micro-evolution or atheism is simply untenable.

I had the exact same response: Brownback presents us with a textbook example of the “Black-or-white” fallacy.

He also managed to do is weasel out of saying exactly what he thinks about the historical origins of species. I do hope reports try to nail him about specifics.

Comment #181476

Posted by Frank J on June 3, 2007 6:30 AM (e)

If Brownback is fooled by Intelligent Design and Intelligent Falling, surely he’d be just as easily fooled by Intelligent Electron “Theory”.

Comment #181477

Posted by Frank J on June 3, 2007 6:48 AM (e)

unsympathetic reader wrote:

He also managed to do is weasel out of saying exactly what he thinks about the historical origins of species. I do hope reports try to nail him about specifics.

If you mean the age of the earth and life, and common descent, count on him to do as much as possible to evade the question. Most politicians these days are being coached by “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID activists, not YEC or OEC groups.

Politicians like John McCain, who are trying to reach the center as well as the far-right, have nothing to lose by saying “I personally accept evolution, but students should learn ‘both sides’,” but those like Brownback, who play strictly to the far right, usually avoid saying anything that would alienate committed YECs or OECs. Even if they, through scientific illiteracy or compartmentalization, actually believe one of those mutually contradictory and thoroughly discredited historical accounts.