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August 09, 2005

Commentaries

David Limbaugh
Faith vs. the Constitution: A false conflict

The Left's fears over Roberts' Catholic faith...proceed not from their reverence for the Constitution, but chiefly from their violent objection to a particular article of the Catholic faith: that abortion is an egregious sin.

If they believed Roberts were a pro-abortionist, they wouldn't demand his allegiance to the Constitution, as written, because Roe vs. Wade's judicial sanctioning of abortion would not have been possible by a Court remotely deferential to the Constitution. Indeed, the Left's loyalty isn't to the Constitution, but to certain policies that have been grafted into it by liberal activist judges who, in the process, have exhibited an abiding disrespect for the document.


Thomas Sowell
Trashing our history; Hiroshima

The guilt-mongers have twisted the facts of history beyond recognition in order to say that it was unnecessary to drop those atomic bombs. Japan was going to lose the war anyway, they say. What they don't say is -- at what price in American lives? Or even in Japanese lives?...

The alternative to the atomic bombs was an invasion of Japan, which was already being planned for 1946, and those plans included casualty estimates even more staggering than the deaths that have left a sea of crosses in American cemeteries at Normandy and elsewhere....

Japan's plans for defense against invasion involved mobilizing the civilian population, including women and children, for the same suicidal battle tactics. That invasion could have been the greatest bloodbath in history.


Brendan Miniter
Bush 44: Jeb for president? Don't write him off just yet

He denies he's even interested, and a long list of political analysts have already written him off with the belief that the appearance of political nepotism would be too unseemly for voters to put the brother of the current president in the Oval Office. But in politics timing is everything, and as the clock advances towards 2008, things are starting to fall into place to give Jeb Bush the momentum he needs to win the White House. And this isn't contingent on Hillary Clinton emerging as the Democrats' nominee--though if she does, the path will be all the smoother for another Bush....

Perhaps the most compelling reason why Jeb Bush shouldn't be written off just yet came Friday with the Labor Department's latest jobs numbers. With some 200,000 net new jobs created in July and some 3.5 million new jobs over the past two years, it's getting harder to deny we are now in the midst of a Bush boom. John Kerry's claims of a jobless recovery notwithstanding, every job lost after the dot-com crash and the 9/11 attacks has long since been replaced. True, the housing market may yet tumble. But the Fed keeps raising interest rates out of fear the economy will get too hot, not too cold. If we get three more years of solid economic expansion, voters may decide that keeping a Bush in the White House is good for their wallets. After all, the Bush tax cuts are now set to expire in the middle of the next president's first term.

[Mr. Miniter misses the single most important obstacle to a successful Jeb Bush Presidential campaign — Terri Schiavo. We aren't about to forget her, and what Jeb didn't do to save her life.]

Coverage: Outside the Beltway, GOP Bloggers


Roy W. Spencer, Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama
Faith-Based Evolution

Possibly the most critical distinction between the two theories (or better, "models") of origins is this: While similarities between different but "related" species have been attributed by evolutionism to common ancestry, intelligent design explains the similarities based upon common design. An Audi and a Ford each have four wheels, a transmission, an engine, a gas tank, fuel injection systems … but no one would claim that they both naturally evolved from a common ancestor.

Common ancestry requires transitional forms of life to have existed through the millions of years of supposed biological evolution. Yet the fossil record, our only source of the history of life on Earth, is almost (if not totally) devoid of transitional forms of life that would connect the supposed evolution of amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to birds, etc. This is why Stephen Jay Gould, possibly the leading evolutionist of our time, advanced his "punctuated equilibria" theory. In this theory, evolution leading to new kinds of organisms occurs over such brief periods of time that it was not captured in the fossil record. Upon reflection, one cannot help but notice that this is not arguing based upon the evidence -- but instead from the lack of evidence.

One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith. Even some evolutionists have admitted as much in their writings. Modern biology does not "fall apart" without evolution, as some will claim. Maybe the theories of the origins of forms of life fall apart, or theories of the origin of capabilities that those life forms exhibit, or the supposed ancestral relationships between them fall apart. But these are merely intellectual curiosities, serving only to stimulate discussion and teach the next generation of students the same beliefs. From a practical point of view, the intelligent design paradigm is just as useful to biology, and I believe, more satisfying from an intellectual point of view.

Hat tip: HyScience

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 9, 2005 08:35 AM

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Comments

RE: Evolution v. Intelligent Design

It's good to know that a Meteorologist has so much to say about evolution.

There is another 'critical distinction' between evolution and ID that Spencer fails to mention, viz. that evolution is a science and ID isn't.

Science is not an open-ended search for truth. It is, rather, a commitment to a certain kind of search--i.e. one based on the scientific method. Whether this commitment is right or wrong is beside the point. In a "science" class, one studies "science." Science follows the scientific method.

Does evolutionary theory follow the scientific method? Certainly. It makes an observation, develops an hypothesis, makes predictions, and tests the predictions to see if the hypothesis is valid.

For example:

A scientist observes great variety in species that are genetically very different. The scientist comes up with a hypothesis: the great variety resulted because of specific conditions and natural selection. The scientist makes a prediction: if I put a bunch of guppies with different-sized spots in a pond with fine gravel and predators and put similar guppies in a pond with coarse gravel and predators, in a few generations the guppy population in the fine gravel pond will have small spots that help them avoid predators by blending in and the guppy population in the coarse gravel will have big spots that help them avoid predators. (Click here for the actual experiment). The scientist tests her prediction, and low and behold, it turns out just the way she predicted.

Intelligent Design, on the other hand, does not follow the scientific method, and is therefore not science and does not belong in a science classroom. ID makes no predictions and has no tests for its hypothesis.

At best proponents of ID are simply testing some of the "predictions" of evolution (specifically that all evolution occurs by gradually adding parts and therefore complexity--which is actually not a prediction of evolution). The test fails to demonstrate the "prediction" of evolution, so the ID proponent makes a hypothesis: some cells were intelligently designed. So, now that they have a hypothesis, you would think they would make predictions and test the predictions, but no, that is not what happens. They make no predictions and they use no tests. Intelligent Design is not science, it is philosophy.

Do I think ID should be discussed in schools? Sure, but not in science classes. Science classes specifically deal with the scientific method. Students are learning how to apply the scientific method to problems. It is completely inappropriate to abandon the scientific method in a "science" class.

A philosophy class, however, is open-ended. In that class, one can not only discuss a non-scientific theory like ID, but can also discuss whether or not the scientific method is capable of answering the questions of the origins of the species.

Personally, I don't think that ID will fare very well in a philosophy class either, but at least it is a more appropriate venue.

Posted by: wes at August 9, 2005 09:41 AM

RE: Evolution v. Intelligent Design

It's good to know that a Meteorologist has so much to say about evolution.

A research scientist with a PhD in meteorology, who also has worked for NASA in their Space Science and Engineering Center. Believe it or not the investigation of earth and space science would put someone in a perfect position to know and understand the facts about that aspect of the theories of origins.

Y'know you Evolutionist zealots can sure sound like morons when you start trying to belittle anyone and everyone who dares disagree with your religion.

There is another 'critical distinction' between evolution and ID that Spencer fails to mention, viz. that evolution is a science and ID isn't.

And one of the most important rules about science is that repeatedly asserting something, doesn't make it true.

Science is not an open-ended search for truth. It is, rather, a commitment to a certain kind of search--i.e. one based on the scientific method. Whether this commitment is right or wrong is beside the point. In a "science" class, one studies "science." Science follows the scientific method.

What would that have to do with Evolution?

Does evolutionary theory follow the scientific method? Certainly. It makes an observation, develops an hypothesis, makes predictions, and tests the predictions to see if the hypothesis is valid.

Wrong. Evolutionists interpret data based on what they believe, not what has been tested. Would Evolutionists dare allow an open test of material of known age? Nope, they consistently refuse to do so, because they know that radiometric testing methods would fail drastically.

For example:

A scientist observes great variety in species that are genetically very different. The scientist comes up with a hypothesis: the great variety resulted because of specific conditions and natural selection. The scientist makes a prediction: if I put a bunch of guppies with different-sized spots in a pond with fine gravel and predators and put similar guppies in a pond with coarse gravel and predators, in a few generations the guppy population in the fine gravel pond will have small spots that help them avoid predators by blending in and the guppy population in the coarse gravel will have big spots that help them avoid predators. (Click here for the actual experiment). The scientist tests her prediction, and low and behold, it turns out just the way she predicted.

Are you serious? That kind of idiocy is why the religion of Evolution is crippling science today. There are two theories: Theory one --different species emerged from genetic changes made to adapt to the environment; theory two -- within a species organisms are capable or significant change to adapt to their environment. Those are the two competing theories. Evolutions claims new species emerge. ID claims no new species emerge, but within each species is an adaptability with produces significant change. Both start with the observation that organisms are capable of genetic change in order to adapt to their environment. The Berkley test was done by idiots for idiots, and proved nothing other than the basic observations both theories had already acknowledged.

Intelligent Design, on the other hand, does not follow the scientific method, and is therefore not science and does not belong in a science classroom. ID makes no predictions and has no tests for its hypothesis.

You've illustrated that even Evolution can't stand up to your criteria. You want a double standard so your religion can be forcibly taught as fact. ID presents a concept as theory -- Evolutionists on the other hand want their religion accepted as fact.

At best proponents of ID are simply testing some of the "predictions" of evolution (specifically that all evolution occurs by gradually adding parts and therefore complexity--which is actually not a prediction of evolution). The test fails to demonstrate the "prediction" of evolution, so the ID proponent makes a hypothesis: some cells were intelligently designed. So, now that they have a hypothesis, you would think they would make predictions and test the predictions, but no, that is not what happens. They make no predictions and they use no tests. Intelligent Design is not science, it is philosophy.

Evolutionists have failed to prove their religion, therefore they redefine their terms, to match their failure, but insist on a higher standard for opposing concepts. The best test of Evolution you could come up with is something 5th graders learn as a flawed scientific test (on par with the old light/dark moth hoax). ID is needed if not for any other reason, than to illustrate that dogmatic adherence to a theory (Evolution) to the point of closed-minded ignorance, as is illustrated by Evolutionist zealot, is not science. But more than that, ID is needed because the idea of being open to other ideas is an essential part of the scientific process.

Do I think ID should be discussed in schools? Sure, but not in science classes. Science classes specifically deal with the scientific method. Students are learning how to apply the scientific method to problems. It is completely inappropriate to abandon the scientific method in a "science" class.

The religion of Evolution is forced on kids in government schools. Teaching a scientific theory such as ID would be a refreshing break from forced procelyzation.

A philosophy class, however, is open-ended. In that class, one can not only discuss a non-scientific theory like ID, but can also discuss whether or not the scientific method is capable of answering the questions of the origins of the species.

That would be where the religion of Evolution would belong, were it not so laughable even as philosophy.

Personally, I don't think that ID will fare very well in a philosophy class either, but at least it is a more appropriate venue.

In the end you've simply shown that the closed-minded dogmatism that the religion of Evolution has produced is a serious danger to the intellectual growth of our culture. Dismissing a valid theory solely because it offends your personal views of religion is silly. But that is what we see Evolutionists doing.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 9, 2005 01:40 PM

Wes,we've only just met, but my advice is to give up now. Danny is impervious to logic and science.

He knows too little about the subject to see that Spencer is misinterpreting punctuated equilibria and is dead wrong on transitional fossils. It's typical creationist lies; lies which Danny is more than happy to endorse.

That Danny refuses to even understand the subject he is arguing against should tell you something about his intellectual honesty, or lack thereof.

Posted by: andy at August 9, 2005 07:36 PM

It's always the same argument, "You don't understand it or you wouldn't disagree." No explanation, no actual defense of the flaws in Evolutions, just an unanswerable claim that opponents just "don't understand." That's what much of what's falsely called "science" these days boils down to, ignorant people refusing to argue and claiming anyone who disagrees just "doesn't understand."

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 10, 2005 01:11 PM

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