Ron Paul Evolution Denial Update

Last week, I posted a link to a video clip in which Ron Paul appeared to reject biological evolution as merely a "theory." I noted at the time that there was a glitch that could be an edit. Before I blogged it, I searched through at least a score of youtube postings to see if I could find an unedited version and did not. Happily several reason.tv commenters found one and sent it along to me. My reason.tv update is below. So go over to reason.tv for a link to the full video.

Update: The video glitch that I noted in my original post was indeed an edit. Many reason.tv commenters have kindly (some not so kindly) now pointed me in the direction of the unedited video. That link is here.

Some reason.tv commenters have also suggested that the full video somehow vindicates Paul, but he undeniably still says, "I think it's a theory, the theory of evolution and I don't accept it as a theory." In addition, Paul says that he thought it was an inappropriate question. I disagree. Teaching intelligent design in public school science classes is a political issue; one that was decided by a federal judge in one famous case. Keep in mind that the president nominates federal judges.

As a principled libertarian, Paul could have answered the question by saying that he would allow school choice. That way some parents could decide to send their children to schools that teach superstition and others could opt to send their kids to schools that teach science. Instead Paul expressed his disbelief in biological evolution. Of course, there are no perfect candidates and reasonable people can certainly decide that all of Paul's other positions and qualities outweigh this unfortunate bit of ignorance.

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  • ||

    For heaven's freaking sake! I don't care the fuck what you think the origins of the universe are. I do care whether you are going to force those views on me. Ron Paul has made clear he won't. So no, Mr Bailey, *it does not matter* from a libertarian standpoint that he believes in intelligent design.

    Since the evolution view --sans opposing questions-- is being taught with my taxpayer money, I have no problems with opposing views being elucidated too.

    This is a silly, silly distraction, and you have in no way made clear how it relates to politics or libertarianism. Until Ron Paul adovcates ID, evolution, or any other theory or dogma as public policy, it should not matter.

  • ||

    I'd rather have Paul reject evolution yet not force it on me, rather than a Romney or a Giuliani who jerk off to the idea of forcing their opinions on people...

  • ||

    I don't like that Paul appears to be a Creationist (presumably of the Young Earth/Universe variety), but, given that he doesn't want government in education in the first place, that position causes me no undue distress.

  • ||

    unless you are living on the moon you do realize that, a. the majority of the people in this country believe in some form of Intelligent Design, and b. their tax money is being extracted from them to teach something to which they are opposed. As an anarchist that profoundly disturbs my little soul, and if you have any, any libertarian inklings, it should yours too.

  • C.K.H.||

    I find it more a satisfying and just means allowing them to do good by counteracting, albeit unintentionally, the harm they do to society through the perpetuation of delusion. School is for teaching real things. Sometimes the information might deviate from reality a bit, but it's generally on track for the right idea. Regardless of what taxpayers believe, kids are taught real math. If intelligent design and its make-believe ilk are allowed to be offered as an equal and alleged alternative description of reality to evolution, then so must Grimm's Fairy Tales be offered as an alternative view of history. Schools should teach the truth. Who cares what fantasies 150-some million lunatics cling to.

  • ||

    ditto PL

  • ||

    Since the evolution view --sans opposing questions-- is being taught with my taxpayer money, I have no problems with opposing views being elucidated too

    Whoa there! You act like there are any other scientific theories competing with evolution, and as far as science class goes, there aren't.

    "Opposing views" might be relevant in a religious studies class or some other elective, but to say taxes should go to teaching these bullshit evolution alternatives, I say fie upon you sir. Fie!

    And as Bailey points out, this issue came down to federal judges who are appointed by the Prez. If it isn't any more relevant, than what is?

  • ||

    Duh-o! Failing to close the People's Tag strikes again!

  • ||

    Dude, I really could give a damn about evolution.

    If he gets rid of the IRS, I go along with that the earth is as old as anyone wants it to be.

    I would agree to donate to a Satan worshiping school if it would get school choice.

  • ||

    their tax money is being extracted from them to teach something to which they are opposed.

    So if I decide to stop believing in gravity, should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?

  • LarryA||

    It does really tick me off, though, when a candidate dodges an awkward question by declaring it "inappropriate." If it's really inappropriate, say why.

  • ||

    The biggest problem with the Ron Paul's candidacy is that he would probably appoint big time Jesuser judges. He would look for strict constructionists who, surprise!, are mostly Jesus freaks. There wouldn't be any judges to stop hick towns from using government money to push the gospels. Big problem.

  • penxv||

    I think that he displays a much greater interest in where we are headed rather than where we came from.

    He said it was an inappropriate question and to him... it was. Because he didn't want to talk about it.

    I think that if he put his mind to it, he'd probably come to a more reasonable conclusion... but he has better things to do right now.

  • ||

    So if I decide to stop believing in gravity, should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?

    At the federal level, if Mike Huckabee were president and agreed that you were held to Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet, you would most definitely be taught that in school. If Ron Paul were president and he agreed that you were held to Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet, you would be subject to your state's opinion on the matter, but would not necessarily be taught that in school. How you could go about picking a supreme court judge who would mandate that such a thing be taught I don't know.

  • ||

    Considering our views of gravity are not very advanced at the moment, does a Jesus-magnet theory account for more phenomena than the weights-in-space Einsteinian view? If so, we may have a scientific breakthrough on our hands.

    On a more serious note, the point that federal judges engaged in legal regulation at all raises some tricky constitutional points. I can let that slide, as under our legal system precedent is very important, but the simple fact is that in doing so the courts increased the power of the federal government at the cost of the local, which no matter what the intentions or the results (think about that for a second) is inherently going to lead to a more powerful federal government at the expense of us all.

  • ||

    No one should cast a vote with the expectation that the IRS is actually going anywhere ...

  • Episiarch||

    I would agree to donate to a Satan worshiping school if it would get school choice.

    I would donate to Satan himself if he promised to abolish the IRS, DHS, and more. Thank you, Satan!

  • robc||

    Pro Lib,

    Im pretty sure Paul's other comments (from previous debates) on the issue makes it clear he is not a young Earther.

    Then again, what does it matter. Here is what we clearly know:

    1. Paul is running for president, not governor
    2. Paul wants to end the dept of education
    3. At that point, as president, he will have no say in what is taught in public schools.
    4. Outside of schools, this issue affects nothing policy-wise that I can think of.

  • ||

    Commenters say Ron Paul doesn't want the government involved in schools, so it doesn't matter what he thinks about evolution.

    Ron Paul doesn't want Congress to hand out earmarks, either, but he's shown himself to be quite the pragmatist on that matter, willing to work within the system until the state withers away.

    News Flash: we're going to have public schools throughout the 2-term Paul presidency.

  • ||

    Teaching intelligent design in public school science classes is a political issue; one that was decided by a federal judge in one famous case. Keep in mind that the president nominates federal judges.

    Do you seriously believe Ron Paul would appoint federal judges based on whether they thought evolution should be taught in public schools?

  • ||

    "So if I decide to stop believing in gravity, should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?"

    Holy shit that was funny! It's premature for a thread that is bound to get 300+ posts (Ron Paul AND evolution by Jove), but what the hell, Taktix takes the thread!

  • ||

    The question is inappropriate unless the candidate believes in Federal control over education.

  • Ali||

    For heaven's freaking sake! I don't care the fuck what you think the origins of the universe are. I do care whether you are going to force those views on me. Ron Paul has made clear he won't. So no, Mr Bailey, *it does not matter* from a libertarian standpoint that he believes in intelligent design.

    Ditto!

    Evolution or no evolution, can libertarians evolve into a bunch of people who can actually vote for a winner (or one closely so) for once? Will they remain like the apes that they seem to be?

  • ||

    Do you seriously believe Ron Paul would appoint federal judges based on whether they thought evolution should be taught in public schools?

    I seriously think Ron Paul would appoint judges based on their willingness to "respect local autonomy" and on their traditionalist orientation on culture war matters.

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    You just wanted to type big, underground Jesus magnet a bunch of times, huh?

    It's OK. It's fun...

    Big, underground Jesus magnet!

  • ||

    I don't think anyone cares that Dr. Paul does not accept evolutionary theory. I think people are shocked that he manned up and admitted this, despite the ridicule he might endure.
    People love it when Ron Paul speaks his mind and takes their side in a debate displaying character and honesty not seen in 200 years...but when he acts the same about something they don't agree with, the names come a flyin'. You can't have it both ways, people.

    And as has been said, why does anyone give a damn about his reply as he likely wouldn't even staff the DOE if elected. No subsidies for any schools, or any researchers of any stripe--sounds great!

    Anyone willing to leave me alone and abolish our horribly abusive tax system will get my money, support and vote, regardless of their religious or scientific views.

  • robc||

    Considering our views of gravity are not very advanced at the moment

    Ive thought we are taking a lot on faith in the current views of gravity. I may be a bit out of date, so if any physicists would like to correct me, feel free.

    We have these, as yet undetected, particles, "gravitons", that are exchanged between every body in the universe and move at, as far as we can tell, infinite speeds. Putting one big body in between two others, doesnt seem to affect the interaction of the outside bodies in any way, the gravitions arent blocked.

    Have I got my "theory of gravity" roughly right? I may be switching to the Jesus magnet side.

  • ||

    I think I believe whatever the Chinese believe. Do I make myself clear?

  • ||

    Also, Bailey, the question wasn't "Do you think ID or evolution should be taught in public schools", it was "Do you believe in evolution?" They are clearly NOT the same question, as it's conceivable that a person could answer yes/yes, yes/no, no/yes, or no/no (ie, the questions are independent of each other).

    So, the question he was actually asked was inappropriate, regardless of whether the question he wasn't asked was appropriate.

  • ||

    So if I decide to stop believing in gravity, should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?

    Personally I would like for the parents to decide what their kids are taught in school, not some bureaucrat.

    If I personally had kids, and were picking where to send them, I would consider sending them to a catholic school, even though I am not a catholic, as long as critical thinking is taught.

    I would not like to send them to a school where some judge decides that evolution is real and all the modern science is real, but after graduation my kids will not know how to read,

    I would also like to not send them to a school that teaches the statist bullshit that I was taught.

  • ||

    Epi
    The Devil may promise to get rid of the IRS, but since, according to the SNL skit with Will Ferrell and Garth Brooks, he can't even write a decent song he certainly will not be able to deliver on such a promise...

    http://www.unquality.com/?p=234

  • ||

    Taktix -
    looks like you have me figured out ;)

  • ||

    "I would also like to not send them to a school that teaches the statist bullshit that I was taught."

    Yeah, no bullshit in Catholic schools!

    Bullshit comes in many non-Statist varieties...

  • ||

    Who gives a shit? I don't give a damn whether Paul believes Clowns dropped us out of their spaceship 4 eons ago. Look at the man's track record to know how he would govern. To make this a big deal in regard to Ron Paul is laughable. If Edwards or McCain were addressing this topic then it would be of concern b/c we don't know how they would handle something like this. But Paul follows the constitution better than anyone in all of congress. Again, the people making a big deal of this in regards to Paul shows they don't know a damn thing about the man's record.

  • ||

    "I think people are shocked that he manned up and admitted this, despite the ridicule he might endure."

    Yeah, he'll get ridicule from most intelligent folks, but remember the guy is running in a REPUBLICAN contest. You play to your audience.

  • ||

    "Bullshit comes in many non-Statist varieties..."

    Yes, but Statist Bullshit (SBS) doesn't.

    Hmmm... SBS... sounds like an exotic disease.

  • ||

    Home schooling should be for religious wackos, not people who think science is properly taught separately from religion.

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Technically, yes, the question was inappropriate in the strictest sense of definition.

    However, in the context of a campaign, any question takes on a "what's your policy" implication, even questions regarding ice cream flavor preference.

    OK, maybe Ice Cream is neutral, but you get the idea...

  • ||

    Paul is so much more wrong on the immigration thing that he is on this, no matter what his belief on this really is.

    Joe, I know you are specially in love with public sort of statism, but haven't the last few years taught you that your like minded guys might not always be in charge?

    The choice is not between forcing education that you see fit, and freedom of education. The choice may well be between forcing education that is abominable to you and free choice.

    You might want to go with freedom, even if it means some hick in rednecksville will chose wrong.

  • R C Dean||

    Lets try a hypothetical:

    Even if RP said he would push to have ID taught in the schools, how much does that really weigh in the scale of all the issues?

    I mean, geez, people, get some perspective.

    I seriously think Ron Paul would appoint judges based on their willingness to "respect local autonomy" and on their traditionalist orientation on culture war matters.

    Sounds like a feature, not a bug, to me. Howsabout you, joe?

  • ||

    robc,

    Gravitons don't travel at infinite speed according to general relativity; they are bound by the 186,000 mi/s speed limit everything else is. Thus, if the sun somehow vanished, the Earth would continue its orbit for eight minutes afterward, before heading off in a straight line! I'm not sure if this particular prediction of gen rel has been confirmed by experiment, though, and that's always the ultimate arbiter in physics.

    It doesn't help that individual gravitons have never been detected, but this might be due to the fact that when you're looking at a small enough scale to detect individual particles, everything is so "light" that there wouldn't be that many gravitons around anyway. The best place to look for them would be near a black hole, I presume, but that presents its own difficulties...

  • Brian Middleton||

    uhmm this category falls under "who gives a crap"

    The biggest issue I have is that somehow because evolution has been taught to most of us, millions of dollars pounded into this theory, majority of scientists depend on this theory (or they look silly), reputations depend on this theory, political and religious motivations depends on this theory, we will not geta reasonable discussion on it or even get to challenge it.

    I personally reject both biblical creationism and evolution the way is has been set forth. But again, who gives a crap.

  • ||

    "Home schooling should be for religious wackos, not people who think science is properly taught separately from religion."

    Or... for people who want to actually teach their kids, instead of letting them go to school to learn how to do well on SOL tests.

    "No Child Left Behind" has destroyed the modern educational curriculum, at least at the middle school level. I know! I live with a teacher! I hear about this all the time!

    So, whether your pro-evolution or anti-evolution, you should most definitely be anti-DoE. When all you care about are test returns, all you get are students who can test. You don't get critical thinkers, you don't get innovators, and you sure as heck don't get decent leaders.

    You DO get a whoooole lotta bureaucrats-in-training.

  • ||

    Yeah, he'll get ridicule from most intelligent folks, but remember the guy is running in a REPUBLICAN contest. You play to your audience.

    ZING!

    Actually, I would amend this to include most Americans. It reminds me of this quote:

    "Senator, you'll have the vote of every thinking person in America!" - Woman in crowd
    "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority." -Adlai Stevenson

  • Sam Grove||

    Do you think Ron Paul would support the appointment of Napolitano to the SCotUS?

  • ||

    While we are talking, what do the following handles refer to:
    Taktix
    Reinmoose
    Episiarch
    ?
    I've always wondered.

    I've also been confused by "joe" but my hunch is it refers to a fellow named "joe" or to one of the throngs of faceless mankind crying out against inevitable non-existence and an affirmation of individuality while recognizing its denial, in an existential sense...

    My handle refers to a guy who acts in a kind fashion...

  • ||

    Bullshit comes in many non-Statist varieties...

    Undoubtedly, but as capitalism has taught us, individual free choice produces the best product over time.

    I am not endorsing Catholic school, I just used that as an example. I would rather not send my kids to Catholic schools. I would rather send them to a school without any religion theme. But I would rather it be my choice where to send them.

  • ||

    @crimethink:

    Aren't black holes a theoretical construct put in place to balance the mathematical side of gravitational equations? Isn't "dark matter" essentially the same thing? So, if we have a black hole around, are we leaning away from the existence of dark matter, or am I behind on these developments?

  • ||

    Reinmoose
    That has always been one of my favorite political quotes!

  • ||

    I seriously think Ron Paul would appoint judges based on their willingness to "respect local autonomy" and on their traditionalist orientation on culture war matters.

    Something tells me that if the shoe were on the other foot, and you had a federal judiciary forcing Massachusetts schools to teach ID instead of evolution, joe would be in love with local autonomy.

  • Sam Grove||

    I can't see RP using a religious litmus test for supreme court nominees. IAC, how many current justices are up for death in the next four years anyhow?

  • ||

    should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?


    IT"S A FREAKING Satan magnet for crying out loud! If it weren't for Satan holding onto our worldly bodies, our souls would be free to fly up to Heaven.

  • Episiarch||

    MNG, click my handle to see what it is.

    joe is indeed joe's name, seeing as his link is his email address. Can't speak for the rest.

  • ||

    kwais,

    Students sitting in "Science class" while being lectured on religion in Warren G. Harding Middle School are not "free" to choose anything whatsoever.

    You and Ron Paul wishing there were no public schools doesn't change this fact. Kids are going to be taught science in public schools.

  • jtuf||

    Ron Paul lost my support, because he opposes birth right citizenship. I also believe in evolution. However, I have no problem with his response to the evolution question. He said right out that it is not something the president should decide. He would probably nominate federal judges that let the states decide. After all, he doesn't think education is with in federal jurisdiction. If ID is wrong, states that teach ID will have less technological advances, leading to a slower economy, leading to fewer people choosing to live in those states. If ID is right, states that don't teach ID will face the designer's rath, leading to fewer people choosing to live in those states. Which ever belief is right will prevail. Any application of force is not only morally indefensible, but also pointless.

  • ||

    It concerns me only becasue I enjoy philosphical consistancy, however... I agree that he won't force his view upon the people, and I wholeheartedly agree that Taktix's comment is hilarious and I simply cannot wait to steal it and use it against someone. It almost makes me want to Troll around some random religious forum... but then I'd have to read and read and read about how Jesus saves and whatnot... Man, my eyes are bleeding already.

  • ||

    kwais
    I agree that statist bullshit can be worse because you sometimes can't walk away from it...I just point out that not all bullshit is statist, and when it comes to Catholic Schools, I would advise you to walk away from that (and for centuries the Catholic Church worked to make sure that you could not walk away btw [not so much more than any other religion that gets a modicum of state power I guess]).

  • ||

    IAC, how many current justices are up for death in the next four years anyhow?

    Nine, and much sooner than that, probably around January 19, 2009.

  • jtuf||

    I just pictured the designer's rath. It was horrible. Day glow orange and fuschia everywhere.

  • ||

    For heaven's freaking sake! I don't care the fuck what you think the origins of the universe are. I do care whether you are going to force those views on me. Ron Paul has made clear he won't. So no, Mr Bailey, *it does not matter* from a libertarian standpoint that he believes in intelligent design.

    I am not sure what biological evolution has to do with the "origins of the universe," but I would say that Paul's answer shows a disturbing habit of mind: a willingness to ignore mountains of evidence.

    It certainly explains his take on immigration.

  • ||

    I disagree with the article's presumption that a libertarian-minded politician SHOULDN'T believe in alternatives to evolution. It's true that most Americans DO believe in alternatives (to Evolution with a big E, as in full-blown Darwinian Macro-Evolution) even though most do understand Micro-evolution (changes within a species). The point is that it should always be a parent's choice, not the government's choice. That is fully libertarian.

  • robc||

    Kids are going to be taught science in public schools.

    Really? Why start now?

  • Anthony||

    Oh come on, not again. Are you seriously that hung up on this? Why?

    I would have hoped that at Reason the marketplace of ideas would be more open than anywhere, but apparently all answers to the origins of the universe, origins of life, and origins and development of species have been answered with such brutal and simple finality that there can be no room for any dissent, even here. How dogmatic.

    I'm really surprised that after just 27 responses Dr. Paul has yet to be called 'stupid.'

  • VM||

    "a willingness to ignore mountains of evidence."

    that's why, Anthony.

  • ||

    Ethan,

    Maybe some day Ron Paul will be as smart and clear-minded as you. I'm sure it's his lifelong ambition. ;-)

    I think Lovecraft was right about this much: if we weren't in the habit of ignoring evidence, we'd either go insane or lie down and starve to death.

  • ||

    Some of the irony of all this is that the basic theory of the theory of evolution keeps, well, evolving as new evidence is discovered. If Dr. Paul had believed the version that first came out, clinging to it as the final answer, we'd be calling him a dinosaur, hopelessly retrograde, right now. And if he took the theory in its current form, whatever that happens to be (I'm not a scientist, so it isn't cutting-edge for me) and held onto it against all comers as his opponents apparently hope for him to do, he'd be ridiculously obsolete in ten years, maybe less.

  • ||

    Why not find a real issue to debate? One that matters??

  • ||

    The fact that the theory of evolution keeps being refined as more evidence come is how we know it is real science.

    And Paul didn't just reject some version of evoution, but the "theory of evolution" itself.

  • robc||

    jtuf

    Ron Paul lost my support, because he opposes birth right citizenship.

    Really? Is birth right citizenship that important an issue to you? I dont understand the pro-war paleo-cons who wont support RP just because of Iraq either. I dont think there is any one issue important enough to keep me from voting for someone. (There may be, but there has never been a candidate who help that view that didnt also hold 100 other things that I opposed - its hard to be a socialist in just one area, for example).

  • Thomist Physicist||

    if I decide to stop believing in gravity, should I be taught in school that I'm held to the Earth by a big, underground Jesus magnet?

    It's just a question of terminology. Gravity is the "how"; the divine magnet is the "what" - Sheesh!

  • ||

    DrEast,

    The theories of the basic driving forces of evolution -- that is, mutation and natural selection -- have remained unchanged for more than a century and have been borne out by experiment countless times. The "updates" to the theory have pretty much involved sanding off a couple of rough edges, not massive paradigm shifts.

    Keep in mind, ID denies the existence or efficacy of natural selection, so it contradicts experimental results.

  • ||

    Epi
    Cool. Sounds like an interesting series...I stopped reading Sci Fi a while back, but a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula is nothing to sneeze at...

    "I would have hoped that at Reason the marketplace of ideas would be more open than anywhere, but apparently all answers to the origins of the universe, origins of life, and origins and development of species have been answered with such brutal and simple finality that there can be no room for any dissent, even here. How dogmatic."

    Anthony
    What I think is often missed by evolution critics is that evolution was not only not the accepted dogma in the scientific community say, a century or two ago, it was in fact intelligent design and creationism that was. Your career and social life could be in serious jeopardy for questioning it (in fact in the US you could be arrested for that in some states if you were a teacher). ID and creationism had the mass of institutional power behind it. However, slowly but surely, that institutional position gave way to mountains of evidence for evolution and the increasing obviousness of the theory. It was a hard struggle because the bias in favor of ID/creationism came from religion which notoriously is slow to accept that it is wrong about something, but by modern times there were few disinterested honest scientists who had much doubts.

    It's not that evolutionists are yelling "you can't question this" it's that they spend hundreds of years coming to the consensus we have reached (and that consensus is by no means what you may think it is, an officially imposed "line") and they've heard all the opposing arguments, and seen them refuted, over and over and over. They realize that if there was not a religious value involved there would in fact be about as much discussion about this as there is about whether the earth is really old...

  • ||

    how many current justices are up for death in the next four years anyhow?


    ...the liberal ones...gins

    In order of age (oldest to youngest)
    Stevens (87)
    Ginsberg(74)
    Scalia (71)
    Kennedy (71)
    Breyer (69)
    Souter (68)
    Thomas (59)
    Alito (57)
    Roberts (52)

  • ||

    c[_]

  • ||

    Wow, I must've missed it. Was the missing-link apeman finally found so that the theory can be validated?

  • ||

    Care Cup is empty.

    Srsly, who cares?

  • Bingo||

    Calling it right now, longest thread today.

  • iowan||

    I keep thinking back to the comment from Tucker Carlson's article on Ron. (paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to look it up) Ron is as square as he can possibly be, but he fully supports your right to be as unsquare as you want.

    Ron seems to be a walking contradiction in that he clearly is a old-time, southern christian conservative, yet he also has devoted his career to maximizing personal freedom from government intrusion.

    I really cringe every time I hear one of his anti-immigration commercials. And I don't understand how a doctor can reject evolution. But I am still a precinct caption for Ron, and I will definitely be caucusing for him tomorrow night.

  • ||

    Bingo,

    Only if there are no abortion threads, or Doneric Dero-ay threads later on.

  • ||

    I would have hoped that at Reason the marketplace of ideas would be more open than anywhere,

    Drink!

  • ||

    "The fact that the theory of evolution keeps being refined as more evidence come is how we know it is real science."

    So, the fact that it's demonstrably not true makes it science? A complete turn-around from the standard version of the American mind, which believes Science to be the arbiter of absolute truth.

    Doesn't mean I disagree with you, of course. Just that people have made a religion of science, which is just as bad as making a science of religion.

    "And Paul didn't just reject some version of evoution, but the "theory of evolution" itself."

    My own personal view is that the entire theory of Darwinian (or semi-Darwinian, as I guess it would be called today) evolution is contained in Genesis 1:2, where "the waters," "the void" are words used by the ancients to describe a chaotic state (such as is necessary at all for the theory to exist), and the "spirit of God" hovering over them is describing an intelligent directive (God's) governing the chaotic process. (By that logic, the following commands for each God-ordained species to "reproduce after its own kind" are specific commands ending the evolutionary process, and it makes the man-naming-animals job make a heck of a lot more sense.)

    All that is to say that I, too, disagree with Paul, but I don't find that to matter much at all, since I'm pretty sure that mine is not the common view.

  • M||

    Episiarch | January 2, 2008, 11:22am | #
    MNG, click my handle to see what it is.



    But you are aware of what it means, aren't you?

  • Episiarch||

    Wow, I must've missed it. Was the missing-link apeman finally found so that the theory can be validated?

    Ever heard of Australopithecus afarensis?

  • M||

    Hint: It gives another meaning to "click my handle."

  • ||

    refined = "demonstrably not true?"

    Quite the handle on the scientific method you've got there.

  • ||

    I hear this "religion of science" stuff all the time and am puzzled. I've always though religion referred to a system of thought that allowed or encouraged supernatural explanations and ideas. I'm guessing most of the people you refer to as in a "religion of science" are people who explicitly rule out supernatural explanations and ideas, so I don't see the two as being easily analogized...

  • Episiarch||

    But you are aware of what it means, aren't you?

    Are you referring to the force of will part or the probability part?

  • ||

    "refined = "demonstrably not true?"

    Quite the handle on the scientific method you've got there."

    By such refinements as how long the process took, under what methods it spontaneously arose, and the ordering of the appearance and extinction of various species? In other words... fundamental changes to the entire theory?

    The only thing that seems to have remained the same is "sometimes animals have changed to different animals." Not exactly the pinnacle of human achievement, that.

  • ||

    If by "religion of science" you envision masses of people insisting, amybe even fanatically, that explanations for phenomena refer to empirical, verifiable data, then I can say "Halleluia, Praise Science!"

  • Episiarch||

    DrEast,

    You're knocking evolutionary theory, but not putting anything up for a replacement. Unless that stuff about Genesis was your replacement.

  • M||

    I gotta run, so I'll spill the, uh, beans:

    epision is Greek for "pubic region," and arkhon is Greek for "ruler," so episiarch would be...

  • ||

    Im with JJ.. who really gives a shit?

  • Episiarch||

    epision is Greek for "pubic region," and arkhon is Greek for "ruler," so episiarch would be...

    You're too late; joe cracked that joke some time back, or a variant of it.

  • Bingo||

    DrEast:

    As a libertarian, surely you understand the concept of an emergent system where simple rules can result in complex and diverse behavior.

  • ||

    I realize libertarians these days don't care if nuns who believe in a flat earth are the only people available to teach our children, but I for one think we can at least have a president who believes in science. No more faith-based policymaking. That means no more blind faith in the free market.

  • ||

    Taktix technically evolution and gravity are both theories. A "fact" in science is an observation. A "theory" in science is an explanation of the observations. Since it has gotten down to arguing semantics.

  • ||

    "The standard version of the American mind, which believes Science to be the arbiter of absolute truth."

    Science is the "arbiter of truth"? I thought it was just the best explanation given the evidence we have, but hey, why nitpick?

    Seriously, "truth" is what you get when you ask a Jesus freak to lick his bobo tea. Well, not so seriously.

  • ||

    "I hear this "religion of science" stuff all the time and am puzzled. I've always though religion referred to a system of thought that allowed or encouraged supernatural explanations and ideas. I'm guessing most of the people you refer to as in a "religion of science" are people who explicitly rule out supernatural explanations and ideas, so I don't see the two as being easily analogized..."

    The supernatural is not necessary for a religion... in fact, people who make a science of religion are guilty of this side of the problem. The "God of the gap", in which someone attempts to prove the existence of God by the absence of scientific knowledge of a phenomenon, is a lazy religious answer to serious epistemological questions.

    But no, the supernatural is not required for a religion. Ask any Unitarian.

    A religion, in my knee-jerk definition, is a body of thought that holds to an absolute truth. Science can't hold to absolute truths, but a lot of people don't understand this. Now, make of that what you will.

  • ||

    joe,

    While a President Paul would indeed inherit a government-run education system, given his past behavior in government, I doubt seriously that he'd do anything to impose his Creationist views on the country. He'd likely spend his political energies on getting the federal government out of local education, not on continuing to play the curriculum game.

    Of course, if he read my Libertarian Top 100, then he'd purge the Cabinet via Thunderdome.

    To return to bashing Young Earthiers, just remember that, in addition to biology, cosmology, geology, physics, and a host of other sciences and sub-sciences are wrong if the universe isn't aged in the billions--not thousands--of years. If you want to posit that the universe is designed to deceive us or that we are brains in vats/men in caves, well, that's fine, but that line of reasoning begs the question of how you got your information. Incidentally, I don't have a problem with people wanting God to be in the process--as prime mover unmoved or in a more active role--but if we can't use observation and science to prove it, it doesn't extend beyond faith.

  • ||

    If a scientific theory were demonstrated false (e.g., its conclusions are negated by its facts), then it would cease to be a theory or would be refined to account for such facts. What is this "demonstrably false" garbage?

  • M||

    Epi, not being versed in science fiction, I genuinely believed that was your intended denotation, and am glad for the enlightenment. I will confess to being a tad disappointed, though in greater measure I'm relieved, since the world seems sufficiently populated by men whose episioi think, let alone rule, for them. And at a magazine called "reason"... :-)

  • ||

    None of those are fundamental challenges to the basic elements of evolutionary theory.

    A theory you don't seem to know very well, if you think it deals only with "animals" and limits itself to observing that they change.

  • ||

    What I care is if Ron's belief is going to affect school policy. Since Ron wants to eliminate the Dept. of Education, the answer is a RESOUNDING NO. That's what the media and people who don't understand Ron Paul don't get.

    A Huckabee type candidate would advocate federal govt money to school districts who would offer both sides of the "argument".

    That's how Ron Paul differs. Ron's beliefs do not enter into forcing anyone to teach anything.

  • ||

    MNG -
    I don't really know. It's a word my sister used one day and I just kinda liked it. I've had this handle since about the 2nd year of free web-based email on the Internet, but I'm just about ready to give it up for a new one.

  • ||

    Replies to a couple people:

    I'm not knocking evolutionary theory at all. For a theory, it is exactly what it should be. I will take a moment to bash the public school system's method of teaching it, however, since they tend to a) lag behind actual science by a few decades and b) teach their version as "this is what happened," even when it is already known that this is not, in fact, the case, which leads to a generally warped view of science in general. My explanation of my own personal views shows me to be a theistic evolutionist (and, as a plus in my mind, it doesn't make me interpret "day" as millions of years, which is just silly).

    More than as a libertarian, as a mathematician I'm well aware that simple systems can lead to complex (and, to humans, unpredictable) behavior. I would hold that God is a higher order being than humanity, of course, so laws that apply well to our own perception and ordering of events wouldn't apply equally well to His.

    Now, it should be fairly evident that Ron Paul's views on evolutionary theory are important, at least to Ron Paul. But the fundamental question here is: Are they going to actually effect his decision-making process as president negatively enough to make him a worse candidate than, say, Huckabee? Or Giuliani? Or Romney? A quick look at these fellow's bios would have me accuse myself of setting up straw-men, here, except that these are actually the top-tier candidates on the Republican side.

  • ||

    Oh, now I remember. It had something to do with a flying moose

  • Episiarch||

    since the world seems sufficiently populated by men whose episioi think, let alone rule, for them

    Well, mine does rule, just not over me ;-)

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    I agree that Paul wouldn't "impose" his views on evolution on students.

    What he would do is allow local tyrants to impose their religion on those students in science class.

    One of the geniuses of our system of government is the way it uses competing levels and types of government to check each other. Local school boards who would abuse their power by lying about science in order to push a religious agenda are in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, and Ron Paul's statements about evolution and local control add up to a statement that he will decline to check this particular abuse of government power.

  • ||

    What DrEast said about scientific theories being "demonstrably false" is actually true. The idea, of course, is that they get less and less false as time goes on. I think what he's talking about with the "religion of science" is when people take an incomplete theory and set it in stone (the early 20th century is replete with examples of physicists refusing to believe relativity and quantum mechanics even after they were confirmed by experiment). Not that that's what's preventing ID from gaining acceptance -- that has more to do with the fact that the few testable predictions made by IDers which differ from those made by evolution have been contradicted by experiment time and time again.

  • .||

    Gravitons don't travel at infinite speed according to general relativity; they are bound by the 186,000 mi/s speed limit everything else is. Thus, if the sun somehow vanished, the Earth would continue its orbit for eight minutes afterward, before heading off in a straight line! I'm not sure if this particular prediction of gen rel has been confirmed by experiment, though, and that's always the ultimate arbiter in physics.

    It has been confirmed -- I am not going to be able to explain the details -- I'm sure its on the internet somewhere, actually, here it is:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3232-first-speed-of-gravity-measurement-revealed.html

    Difference between Relativity and the Jesus Magnet? Relativity can be used to make accurate predictions about a fact of nature that we don't know -- IE the speed of the propagation of gravity. A Jesus Magnet theory would likely be shaped around facts that we already know -- not able to predict things we do not know -- and will be adjusted when proven wrong. That's why it should be taught in religion class and gravity should be taught in science class.

  • ||

    (with tongue firmly in cheek)

    Titus 2:7
    ...in doctrine uncorruptness, gravity,sincerity.
    1timothy 3:4
    ...having his children in subjection, with all gravity.

    There's your giant jesus magnet proof!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Reinmoose - I always thought it was a play on reindeer.

  • Anthony||

    "That means no more blind faith in the free market."

    As opposed to blind faith in the time-tested and historically proven effectiveness of government manipulation?

    This illustrates something that always strikes me odd, when people rail against the "free market." You *want* some one from the government to *force* you to buy and sell things in a certain manner (or conversely, not buy and sell things in a certain manner)? Do you really want that?

    I mean, the choices are clear...an economy can become either more free or less free. On one end of a spectrum we have a complete command economy, everything that is produced and consumed is done so at the direction of government. On the other end of the spectrum we have an economy completely free of all government intrusion (note, there would be no legal corporations, partnerships, LLCs, etc, as those are all creatures of government creation). In reality, all economies fall somewhere in between those two extreme examples.

    Today, in the US, we have a pretext of a 'free market' economy, but it is by no means an accurate description. The US government has made massive intrusions into the workings of the economy through the Fed Reserve and the money supply, laws, industry regulations, etc.. The current volatile housing market can to a great extent be labelled as a result of such government interference in an otherwise "free" market.

    But make no mistake, I don't support "free markets" because they are more efficient (which incidentally is supported by both the mathematical theories and the hisorical record), but because they are, in fact, MORE FREE. If the free market were horribly inefficient, I would still support it, because humans have the inalienable right to live their lives as they see fit, and one of the most fundamental rights is to interact with other humans in a manner to which they both consent. And at its core this includes buying, selling or trading each others property and labor.

  • ||

    Haven't they had a theory of sub-atomic particles exchanging information faster than the speed of light for a while now? Something to do with matched pairs, if I remember correctly.

  • iowan||

    One of the geniuses of our system of government is the way it uses competing levels and types of government to check each other. Local school boards who would abuse their power by lying about science in order to push a religious agenda are in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, and Ron Paul's statements about evolution and local control add up to a statement that he will decline to check this particular abuse of government power.

    I think that religious conservatives who push Intelligent Design are idiots. That being said, I don't want the federal government involved in the matter. It can and should be sorted out at the local level (school boards), hopefully, without judicial intervention.

  • ||

    My own personal view is that the entire theory of Darwinian (or semi-Darwinian, as I guess it would be called today) evolution is contained in Genesis 1:2, where "the waters," "the void" are words used by the ancients to describe a chaotic state (such as is necessary at all for the theory to exist), and the "spirit of God" hovering over them is describing an intelligent directive (God's) governing the chaotic process.

    I really, really hate it when people try to contort biblical passages to fit scientific observations that were plainly not known to the person who wrote that passage. As a believing Christian myself, I paraphrase St Augustine: the Bible is intended to teach Christianity, not biology.

    (By that logic, the following commands for each God-ordained species to "reproduce after its own kind" are specific commands ending the evolutionary process, and it makes the man-naming-animals job make a heck of a lot more sense.)

    The evolutionary process has not ended; it's still observable in microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, which mutate far more frequently and thus evolve far more quickly. The reason we don't see macroscopic creatures evolving is because of the relative rareness of significant mutations in those creatures, which causes them to evolve much more slowly.

  • ||

    Local school boards who would abuse their power by lying about science in order to push a religious agenda are in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause,

    ...and what about the argument that forcing a teaching of evolution amounts to establishment of a secular religion.

  • R C Dean||

    Big, underground Jesus magnet!

    In interweb shorthand, that becomes BUJM.

    Pronounced "boojum".

    The fun never stops.

  • ||

    joe,

    But that's not his decision to make. The federal courts can still rule on First Amendment issues. It's not the Department of Education that prevents Creationism from being taught, after all. Paul might like to roll back that sort of thing, too--I don't really know--but that's the situation right now. I suppose he could appoint a bunch of religious-minded judges and justices, but I don't think that's likely, nor would such appointees get far in the Senate.

  • M||

    mine does rule, just not over me ;-)



    I unsuccessfully try to, uh, conceive that, and fail, Gunga Din.

    And now I really gotta go.

  • ||

    "I really, really hate it when people try to contort biblical passages to fit scientific observations that were plainly not known to the person who wrote that passage. As a believing Christian myself, I paraphrase St Augustine: the Bible is intended to teach Christianity, not biology."

    I would challenge you to come up with the Darwinian theory from Genesis 1:2. I'm simply saying that there's a lot of room in there to allow for more than one ("ex nihilo") interpretation of the creation of the species.

  • ||

    The BUJM is doubly spectacular in that, unlike every other known magnet, it attracts everything, not just metallic objects!

    I think I must apply for a federal grant to conduct further research into the BUJM. $10 million ought to be enough to start up.

  • iowan||

    ...and what about the argument that forcing a teaching of evolution amounts to establishment of a secular religion.

    How I address people that push ID:

    The Pope said the evolution was a true description of the way the world works. Since the Pope said, it must be true. And I really wish you protestant heretics would stop trying to push the devil's agenda into the public school system.

    This generally results in an extended pause in the discussion.

  • ||

    I would challenge you to come up with the Darwinian theory from Genesis 1:2.

    I'm not going to try, since, as I said above, I don't think Genesis 1 is intended to be a biology textbook, just like I don't think that passage in 1 Kings about the circular pot measuring "30 cubits around and 10 cubits across" forces me to believe that pi = 3.00.

    The fact that God created the universe is important to the Faith, as is the story of the Fall. How exactly the current diversity of life came to be, not so much.

  • ||

    "The fact that God created the universe is important to the Faith, as is the story of the Fall. How exactly the current diversity of life came to be, not so much."

    Um... exactly. But it might matter, in fact, to teachers who are trying to teach it and students who are trying to learn it according to the scientific theory of the day, which happens to be Darwinian.

    And there ain't much actual learning going on when the entire purpose of the educational process is doing well on a single multiple-choice test every year.

  • ||

    While we are talking, what do the following handles refer to:

    Mine is a dumbed-down spelling of "tactics" which I had used a DJ name when I thought I was going to be the next bug Drum N Bass artist.

    Those tables are just collecting dust now, but the name has stuck for internet/gaming handles.

    The trademark? I did that because I can...

  • ||

    Haven't they had a theory of sub-atomic particles exchanging information faster than the speed of light for a while now? Something to do with matched pairs, if I remember correctly.

    You're referring to quantum entanglement, and it is very weird. But this doesn't contradict the theory of relativity, it just shows that the entanglement can't be due to "communication" between the particles, which can travel no faster than light speed.

  • ||

    iowan,

    Should the federal government, which is bound by the 14th Amendment to defend the rights of persons against violations of their rights by state and local governments, do nothing if a school board directs its biology teachers to explain that Jesus is Lord, and all other gods are false?

    L-I-T,

    The word "religion" has an actual meaning, and "the best explaination of natural phenomena based on experimentation and observation" is not included therein. If schools were actually teaching a "religion of secularism," I would object to that, too, but accurately describing the science of evolution is doing no such thing.

    Pro Lib, as I said, it's the appointment of the federal judiciary where I am concerned Paul's anti-science religious traditionalism would show itself.

  • ||

    ...next big Drum...

    They should add a preview button.

  • .||

    Does the sun also have an even larger Jesus magnet? Or perhaps other gods are at work? The Giant Inter-sol Ra Magnet (GISAM, pronounced GEE-SAM) maybe?

  • stuartl||

    The BUJM is doubly spectacular in that, unlike every other known magnet, it attracts everything, not just metallic objects!

    Sounds like dark matter. I guess since dark energy is pushing everything apart it is caused by Satan. And Satan is winning!

    I think I must apply for a federal grant to conduct further research into the BUJM. $10 million ought to be enough to start up.

    Not nearly enough, they won't take you seriously. I suggest at least $500 million to start. I'll help you spend it.

  • ||

    I always thought it was a play on reindeer

    That's precisely it, BP. But exactly what the play was or what the reference is I don't really recall.

  • ||

    A major point that is often forgotten in the evolution vs intelligent design debate is that those of us who oppose the teaching of intelligent design in Science classrooms oppose it not because it is false, but because it is not science. The idea being that subjects taught in a science class must be a product of the scientific method, which the theory of evolution is and intelligent design is not. This is not a judgment of right verses wrong, it is a judgment of science vs. not science.

    Understanding the debate in this light strengthens the position which many people here have already stated: that which explanation a candidate favors should have little influence on whether or not we think he or she is a good candidate. What is important is whether or not the candidate will let personal beliefs such as this dictate policy. Any candidate who uses personal beliefs to dictate policy is a poor choice. And Ron Paul is the only candidate who I think will truly follow the rule of law rather than bend to subject beliefs or influences.

  • ||

    I seem to recall that quantum entanglement does not allow information to be transmitted at FTL speeds. I'm sure that can be stated more correctly by our local physicists.

  • iowan||

    . . . do nothing if a school board directs its biology teachers to explain that Jesus is Lord, and all other gods are false?

    That clearly crosses the line.

    ID is really, really, really bad science. But, it does not directly promote any specific religion.

  • ||

    Should the federal government, which is bound by the 14th Amendment to defend the rights of persons against violations of their rights by state and local governments, do nothing if a school board directs its biology teachers to explain that Jesus is Lord, and all other gods are false?

    joe, I think your comment here evolved from a straw-ape.

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    I recommend the cognomen "Techno Viking". It would continue the possible confusion between you and the Viking Moose, as well as being cool, in a Nordic kind of way.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Had to do an item on Taktix®'s discovery of the Big Underground Jesus Magnet, along with visual proof of it.

  • stoneymonster||

    And there ain't much actual learning going on when the entire purpose of the educational process is doing well on a single multiple-choice test every year.

    I think you've made that abundantly clear.

    By the way, a cursory search of Wikipedia would answer most of your misconceptions and misremeberings of physical phenomena and theories. Just what sort of Dr. are you anyway?

    Just what

  • ||

    iowan, crimethink,

    OK, good. I wanted to get to the point where we were all acknowledging that the federal government is, in fact, required by the Constitution to bring the hammer down on local governments that violate the Establishment Clause by teaching religious doctrine in biology class.

    The question then becomes, does teaching ID in biology class count as "teaching religious doctrine?"

    The judge in the recent case - a federal judge - ruled that it was, that ID was not just an alternate scientific theory but a Trojan Horse for religion. If you read through the record, including the statements the IDers made in and out of court, it is pretty clear that even those who claim to view it as science admit, in their more honest moments, that it is not.

  • ||

    Pro Lib,

    The idea is that you separate the entangled particles by a long distance (say 30 meters) without measuring their spin states, and then measure them "simultaneously", forcing them to "decide" which state they were in all along. If you know that the measurements must have been made no more than 0.00000001 seconds apart, then any communication from one to the other in between measurements must have been traveling at ten times the speed of light, which is a no-no.

    Yet, when these experiments are done, the entangled particles appear to "know" which state the other particle "chose".

  • iowan||

    The judge in the recent case - a federal judge - ruled that it was, that ID was not just an alternate scientific theory but a Trojan Horse for religion. If you read through the record, including the statements the IDers made in and out of court, it is pretty clear that even those who claim to view it as science admit, in their more honest moments, that it is not.

    I said "handled at the local level, preferably without judicial action".

    No doubt that ID is a trojan horse for a fundamentalist christian view of the world. However, that trojan horse can easily be torched in an academic setting without actually worrying about what is inside it.

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Fortunately, I communicate faster than light through mental telepathy, which obeys no physical laws.

  • ||

    Its just more evidence that Ron Paul is not an evidence-based thinker and is an absurd choice for president. We didn't need his comments on evolution to tell us that, but it does fit a longstanding pattern of views held by Ron Paul. All of his views are completely ideologically driven and bear no consideration of reality and no semblance of pragmatism. He is simply an ideologue and a day dreamer.

  • ||

    joe,

    I guess where we disagree is the question of how bald-faced a religious doctrine has to be in order for its teaching to violate the Establishment Clause. For instance, the idea that rape is wrong is a doctrine promoted by many religions, but does that mean that it cannot be taught in public schools? No, so long as the teaching of this idea is done in a nonreligious context (ie, you don't use the story of Dinah from Genesis to back it up). If ID can be taught in a nonreligious context, I don't see where it violates the Establishment Clause, however much it might violate truth-in-labeling to call it a science class.

  • thoreau||

    Wow, lots of comments here. No time to reply to them all, but just let me say that the absence of experimental evidence for gravitons does not invalidate most aspects of gravitational theory. We have a gravitational theory that says (in a nutshell) that if you've got some objects in space you can calculate the forces between them (and even the way that they bend the propagation of light, in general relativity). The calculations match up with experiment pretty well. In that sense, gravitational theory is already very well-supported by experiment.

    Now, if you add quantum mechanics to gravity you get the prediction of gravitons, and that prediction hasn't been validated. So that is still an unsupported hypothesis. However, the basic phenomenon of gravity, and most of the main theories describing it, is well-supported by experimental data.

  • ||

    iowan,

    I don't think the school board members in question are going to care very much about how ID fares "in an academic setting," and I don't think the power- and knowledge- differential between the school board and the biology teacher, or the biology teacher and the students, is going to allow for the instruction going on in that classroom to benefit from rigorous scientific challenge.

  • ||

    crimethink,

    I agree, it's more complicated than "nothing mentioned in the Bible can be taught in school."

  • ||

    Jeff,

    I dunno, he seems pretty evidence-based on his opinions of the causes of 9/11, the wisdom of staying in Iraq, etc.

    Of course, continuing to argue with trolls makes it look like I'm not very evidence-based myself.

  • ||

    joe,

    OK, so on what basis do you criticize Paul for his remarks?

  • ||

    thoreau,

    So, you deny the validity of the Taktixian/Penguinian BUJM Theory?

  • .||

    Pro Liberate -- explain how the magnet works (ie, how it pulls more than just metals & I am sold). Actually, at that point the only difference between "giant magnet" and "gravitons" is the visualization. Neither has been confirmed true thus far.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate | January 2, 2008, 12:52pm | #

    thoreau,

    So, you deny the validity of the Taktixian/Penguinian BUJM Theory?

    I saw it in this here computer! So it gots to be true.

  • ||

    May I suggest the opinion of many that post here as an explanation of the BUJM attracting everything?

    Religion sucks?

  • ||

    I've answered that question in detail already, crimethink.

    The semi-defense you raised about ID doesn't sway me. As I've already explained as nauseum, ID is still a trojan horse for religion, and Paul would do nothing to stop fanatics at the local level from slipping it in.

  • robc||

    I don't think Genesis 1 is intended to be a biology textbook, just like I don't think that passage in 1 Kings about the circular pot measuring "30 cubits around and 10 cubits across" forces me to believe that pi = 3.00.


    Of course not. 30 cubits and 10 cubits only have 1 significant digit, so it only forces you to believe that pi = 3, which it is.

    Prediction: Someone reading this thread isnt going to get my comment.

  • ||

    Well, gravitons are a necessary part of a larger collection of theories (quantum mechanics) which have been confirmed over and over by experiment. So, while the existence of gravitons hasn't been independently confirmed, the idea gets a fair amount of credibility from the success of quantum mechanics of which it is an integral part, especially in view of the incredible difficulty that would be expected in detecting a graviton.

  • ||

    ID doesn't appear in the Bible, crimethink. That's not what makes it a religious doctrine.

    The decision in the recent ID case lays out what makes it so very clearly and convincingly.

  • ||

    Ron Paul may still be the best man running, but this is far from his only gaffe. He also opposes all abortion (which is contrary to the "states' rights" LP platform position), and it may be on religious grounds. His notorious Christmas letter rant about how "secularists" are destroying the nation shows how far he is from the true LP - Secularism is the only position a politician should take on religion while operating in government. And the "denounced remarks" that appeared on his behalf regarding racial stereotyping in violent crime... we'll, let's just stop while we're ahead, shall we? I started out on the Paul bandwagon, but these are VERY troubling indicators that Ron Paul is more traditional Christian theocrat than Constitution-defending libertarian savior.

  • ||

    May I suggest the opinion of many that post here as an explanation of the BUJM attracting everything?

    Religion sucks?

    Ah, but you're forgetting the fact that religion also blows!

  • ||

    Although classical physics covers most BUJM observations, messiatrons are the quantum explanation for certain deviations from the General Religitivity model.

  • ||

    crimethink:

    Yes, I agree, but he is only correct on these points because this is a case where his ideology happens to fit the situation. The problem is that his views even on that are not derived from observation, but rather from ideology. I mean, there are points of agreement between certain aspects of Communism and reality, as well as Nazism and reality, as well as Islam, Hinduism, Wicca, etc., and reality, but when people simply blindly follow these ideology in deference to reality, that is the problem. This is what Ron Paul does. Yea, maybe 10% or even 25% of the time this results in being right about something, but this is little better than any other ideology. Even a blind squirrel gets an acorn every now and again.

    He couldn't be more wrong in his ideas about banking, monetary policy, "the Constitution", religion, abortion, the application of state's rights, taxation, etc.

    The guy is a supporter of all kinds of banal conspiracy theories. He's a xenophobic protectionist. He advocates a return on the gold-standard for "Christ's sake". Do you know how absurd the gold-standard is? No serious economist would even consider such a return. Do you know how much a disaster the American banking system was prior to the Federal Reserve? The guy is living in a fantasy world. Yeah, I do agree with him on his comments about 9/11 and Iraq, totally. But I also disagree with just about everything else.

  • ||

    RogerX,

    Ron Paul's differences with the LP are a feature, not a bug. Sorry if he doesn't want to blow up the UN building, refuse to get a drivers license, and support strapping prisoners to their beds until their muscles atrophy.

    Crap, I voted for that guy last time. But anyway...

  • ||

    So, you deny the validity of the Taktixian/Penguinian BUJM Theory?

    The main difference between these two schools of thought is that Taktixian BUJM theory supposes that people, objects, and other like things are held in place by what we call a Big Underground Jesus Magnet, or BUJM, whereas Penguinian BUJM contends that the aforementioned BUJM holds down things, such as people and objects and things.

    Clearly Taktixian BUJM makes more sense...

  • robc||

    Religion sucks?

    Ah, but you're forgetting the fact that religion also blows!


    BUJM has both a strong force and a weak force.

  • ||

    He couldn't be more wrong in his ideas about banking, monetary policy, "the Constitution", religion, abortion, the application of state's rights, taxation, etc.

    As an evidence-based thinker yourself, you have evidence that he's wrong about all these things, right?

  • robc||

    Do you know how absurd the gold-standard is? No serious economist would even consider such a return. Do you know how much a disaster the American banking system was prior to the Federal Reserve?

    Ignoring the fact that Paul hasnt called fro a return to the gold standard:

    http://www.gold-eagle.com/greenspan011098.html

  • ||

    Oh God. I love how people geek out when you call evolution a theory. What is it then? Is it a law?

    Ron Paul is just too damned smart to say silly garbage like "I believe in evolution" or "I don't believe". If you say one of those you are dumb too. Read Thomas Kuhn, Sir Karl Popper, or W.V. Quine...the greatest philosophers of science. They'll all say the same thing that Paul said:

    Everything is a theory.

  • ||

    Greg,

    The problem isn't that Paul called evolution a theory.

    It was the next words out of his mouth - "I don't accept it as a theory."

  • ||

    joe,

    That depends on the definition of "as". ;-)

  • ||

    In other words, he might be saying that he himself isn't a theory, so he can't accept it "as a theory".

  • BakedPenguin||

    Taktix® - that's a slight distortion of my BUJM theory, which is evolving as more evidence is gathered. Along with Pro Libertate, I agree about the existence of messiatrons, and their anti-particles, lucifrinos.

    It's not so much that I think BUJM holds down things as that the messiatrons use Jesus's love to attract all things.

  • ||

    Taktix®,

    You're right. What Classic Penguinism fails to understand is that it's The Man who is holding us down. However, I understand that a new theory is in the works at the Baked Penguin Labs.

    If I ever become an Evil Overlord, I'm going to force every kid to learn that the universe is actually solipsistic, with myself at the center. Yes, I know that makes no sense--that's what makes my plan so Evil®.

  • ||

    Ethan,

    Maybe some day Ron Paul will be as smart and clear-minded as you. I'm sure it's his lifelong ambition. ;-)


    I am not running for President, so the comparison gets us nowhere. Also, Mr Paul doesn't know me. That said, his denial of evolution is no less rational than a denial of the theory of continental drift. If a candidate said, "I don't buy this whole tectonic plates garbage," would you consider him a thoughtful person?

    I think Lovecraft was right about this much: if we weren't in the habit of ignoring evidence, we'd either go insane or lie down and starve to death.

    He was indeed right about that. In our daily lives we need to bracket much to the side, just to live. But when faced with a direct question we don't need to ignore evidence, at least not when the question is, "Is biological diversity the result of variation and selection?"

    If you and I are in the habit of ignoring evidence, things probably will turn out okay anyway. When the President does it, well, not so much. I submit the last 7 years as Exhibit A.

  • ||

    Fact: It is a scientific THEORY, not law.

    Fact: I believe in that theory to a large degree.

    Fact: I believe in evolution, but I also know that I (and you) do not know how complicated organisms evolved from nothingness to the higher life forms in existence today.

    Fact: The Big Underground Jesus Magnet does not exist, every thinking man knows that we are held to the earth by the noodly appendages of the FSM

  • ||

    Oh, one last thing -

    Fact: This is a non-issue. RP's personal beliefs are just that and they don't sway me one bit after looking at his voting record. He answered a personal question in a public interview when every other politician would have responded with a non-answer.

  • ||

    In our daily lives we need to bracket much to the side, just to live. But when faced with a direct question we don't need to ignore evidence

    That's not what I meant. I meant, stare evidence in the face, accept it into your sensory memory, process it, and say "no". If people didn't have this capability, they'd come to the inevitable conclusion that there is no reason to do anything, and the sooner this pointless life is over, the better.

  • BakedPenguin||

    BUJM has both a strong force and a weak force.



    robc - yes, but developing a theory of Boojum chromodynamics is going to be hindered by the Taktixian / Penguinian split.

    CyVaquero - VikingMoose proposed the same heretical theory earlier over at Urkobold. We scoff at him, and you.

  • ||

    Hey Jeff,

    You need to take a look at current events in the Economy.

    Records on the "Bad Side OF Things" are happening regularly. The System you so vehemently protect has created not just a bump in business cycle but a Wave unlike any time before has seen. The wave has not yet crested. Europe is bracing for their collapse. The system is Crashing.

    You may also want to peruse the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) reports as well. Things are not as happy as you would think.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that I would trust my money and my family's safety with. Core Character Counts.

    I Vote For Virtue; I Vote For Ron Paul !!!

  • ||

    It's not so much that I think BUJM holds down things as that the messiatrons use Jesus's love to attract all things.

    See, that's where Penguinian BUJM fails, because:

    A: Jesus's love doesn't attract things, it just makes them really heavy (hence the "heavy-hearted") so they fall to the ground.

    B: These so called "lucifrinos" attract things as well, such as my car to that fire hydrant or anybody to Dondero, which disproves the whole "messiatrons attract things, blah blah blah" theory.

  • ||

    Oh, and Jeff, you might want to look at this graph of gold price vs. Dow index. Note how the wild oscillations in the real value of the Dow index (ie, really big booms and busts) start AFTER the creation of the Fed Res.

  • ||

    "religion of science"

    The scientific method does make certain assumptions. I think that it would be a mistake to call this "faith," or "religion," however. Basically, science presumes that (1) there is a way the world is, (2) at least a significant part of the way the world is can be truthfully expressed in some form available to us, and (3) these truths can be discovered, at least in principle, by a careful, thorough, open, thoughtful approach. Notice that these assumptions are not more than what is needed to have any inquiry into anything at all.

    Consider, by contrast, the tenets of Christianity:
    (1) 3 = 1
    (2) Everything was created by a god who is still around and loves us
    (3) This god became a man and lived a life here on Earth but we didn't treat him so well but because of this terrible rejection we will all live forever if we accept that "this god became a man and lived a life here on Earth but we didn't treat him so well but because of this terrible rejection we will all live forever if we accept that "this god became a man and lived a life here on Earth but we didn't treat him so well but because of this terrible rejection we will all live forever if we accept that "this god became a man and lived a life here on Earth but we didn't treat him so well but because of this terrible rejection we will all live forever if we accept that this god.....

    I for one detect a difference between the two approaches. Let's face it, only the latter deserves the term "religion."

  • ||

    The Dow Jones is not the economy.

    In an economy that has more stable foundations, investors would feel (and actually be) more secure, which would liberate them to behave in a more dynamic manner.

  • .||

    I propose an alternative to the two current competing theories. We can call it DotBUJM.

    Perhaps Jesus magnets do not only exist in the Earth. Perhaps there is a Jesus Magnet in each and every one of us. Perhaps this Jesus Magnet, which can be either messiatronic or lucifrino in terms of polarity, is what attracts and divides us all. However, we all stick to the Earth due to the Earth's BUJM, which is bipolar.

  • ||

    That's not what I meant. I meant, stare evidence in the face, accept it into your sensory memory, process it, and say "no". If people didn't have this capability, they'd come to the inevitable conclusion that there is no reason to do anything, and the sooner this pointless life is over, the better.

    Fair enough (although one would suspect that if this is true that evolutionary biologists would have higher depression/suicide rates than the general population as they are NOT ignoring the evidence. Do they?), but how does this absolve Mr Paul? A presidential candidate gets to ignore science because science makes him sad?

  • ||

    Just remember, Evolution IS a theory...

  • ||

    Joe

    You and Ron Paul wishing there were no public schools doesn't change this fact. Kids are going to be taught science in public schools.

    Voting for Ron Paul because he will not allow the government to force what the prevailing government wisdom of truth is.

    You should seriously consider that the alternative might not be a Hillary that would force the teaching of what you agree with, but a Huckabee that would force the teaching of something you despise.

    Vote for freedom and choice dude. Vote to diminish the federal governments ability to intervene in your personal choice.

    At least consider that you might want to allow MA to set its own agenda, as in the event that the federal govt is doing it, in the future it might be TN setting the national curriculum, not MA.

  • .||

    At least consider that you might want to allow MA to set its own agenda

    I don't live in MA, but I, personally, do not see how the assholes running my state would do any better than assholes in Washington at deciding what the curriculum should be (they would likely do much worse). The only difference is that there would be 50 screwed up curricula instead of 1. Nor do I see how this is anymore libertarian than a federal curriculum.

  • ||

    . ,

    The Foundation for the Advancement of Relative Taktixian BUJM, or FART, will consider this theory after further testing.

    Our labs are much better than those Penguinians, as we have the latest models of Jesupolaritometers.

  • .||

    note that my comment seems to think that the federal government currently decides the curriculum, which is not true. I worded that poorly. I meant it in general, as in, I don't think a state or the federal government is inherently any better at doing that sort of thing.

  • ||

    On top of it all, every big ID stumper I've seen look like pedophiles...

  • ||

    For crying out loud! Nobody who dwells on Ron Paul's personal beliefs regarding evolution or creationism could possibly be thinking as a libertarian. Given his repeated message that government needs to butt out of education the point is wholly moot. Move on!

  • ||

    "Just remember, Evolution IS a theory..."

    Evolution is fact backed up by data just as gravity is fact backed up by data. Both evolution and gravity are also scientific theories of which we explain the world.

  • ||

    Evolution is fact backed up by data just as gravity is fact backed up by data. Both evolution and gravity are also scientific theories of which we explain the world.

    For those of you playing at home, the BUJM started as a parody exemplifying this point.

    We're not really crazy...

  • ||

    If you read anything that Dr. Paul has said, and I suggest you visit his website and look at his issues section

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/education/

    you will see that Dr. Paul is the champion of choice in education. He has said this so many times that he likely assumed his listeners understood that as a given with his basic libertarian goals.

    BTW, as an atheist myself, I believe that evolution does indeed explain how animals and plants change over time, but I still have seen no evidence that explains how the first living cells arose. I suspect they evolved from earlier bacteria, but that just pushes the question back further, how did bacteria arise.

    How did DNA come to be. Maybe by clay, as some theorize (hint, to make a theory) such as in the book "The seven clues to the origin of life" by A. G. Cairns-Smith. And besides, the point is that Dr. Ron Paul has stated many times that he will not force his theories on anyone else, as he said in this unedited video.

    Dr. Paul has also stated that he does not like absolutes, and that means that he is open to changing his beliefs if new information becomes available. Now that's someone I would like to see in the White House!

  • ||

    I prefer Paul's candor. When asked about evolution - not education policy - he answered honestly. And that is why he didn't give the desired reply.

    Some seem to prefer the slick candidates who you can't be sure what they will do because they never say anything that isn't 50.0% grey.

    I prefer my mechanic to perfectly understand autos, and don't care what his views on most other subjects are, at least not as it pertains to repairing or maintaining my car.

    As politics is ultimately about the use of violence by the state, honor and integrity are needed, along with the right views.

    I'm not sure a dictator that said he would be a tyrant would be as bad as what we have now - the utterly dishonest little tyrants.

  • ||

    "Fact: I believe in evolution, but I also know that I (and you) do not know how complicated organisms evolved from nothingness to the higher life forms in existence today."

    Through genetic mutations and natural selection.

    The origin of life is another issue. There are different theories, but nothing definite has been established.

  • Jay D||

    I seriously think Ron Paul would appoint judges based on their willingness to "respect local autonomy" and on their traditionalist orientation on culture war matters.
    joe


    Libertarians against autonomy.

  • ||

    kwais,

    I already answered you, and you just repeated yourself.

    Why do you insist on pretending that "forcing" biology teachers to teach biology and "forcing" them to teach religion as if it were biology are equivalent?

    Why do you insist on pretending that the school board in Kansas was any less involved in "forcing" biology teachers to teach "government-approved" ideas about biology than the previous school board?

    Why do you insist on pretending that the president is "forcing" a biology curriculum on anyone, when that is the exclusive realm of the local school board?

    And why are you pretending that there is a "national curriculum" being set regarding evolution?

  • ||

    Jay D,

    I'm not a libertarian, but a liberal.

    Perhaps that's why I put the individual rights of students not to undergo government-mandated religious instruction above the group/state rights of schools to force them to undergo that instruction.

    I guess if I were a better lover of liberty, I'd be more willing to see the government have the "autonomy" to instruct school children about religion.

  • iowan||

    Why do you insist on pretending that the president is "forcing" a biology curriculum on anyone, when that is the exclusive realm of the local school board?

    The greatest risk is not that Ron Paul may nominate some federal judges that allow local districts to require the teaching of ID.

    The greatest risk is that Mike Huckabee, with a republican congress, will attach a federal mandate to some spending bill that requires all local districts to allow the teaching of ID or face loss of federal funding.

  • ||

    "... no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (U.S. Constitution, Art VI Cl 3)

    It's certainly ironic to see those who most loudly promote the idea of "separation of church and state" (which I support, BTW) trying to impose a religious test on the only Constitutionalist candidate.

  • thoreau||

    We're at the 200 post point now, and it's still early.

    I second Mr. Nice Guy's prediction of 300. 350 if Edward shows up. 400 if URKOBOLD takes notice of Edward.

  • iowan||

    Perhaps that's why I put the individual rights of students not to undergo government-mandated religious instruction above the group/state rights of schools to force them to undergo that instruction.

    The proponents of ID/Creationism are a very small, very vocal minority of the population that occasionally take control of a local school district when the local population is too lazy or distracted to pay attention to the local school elections.

    This is usually followed by an "oh shit" response and the nutjobs are removed from office. It is a temporary problem that should resolve itself without federal intervention. In the unlikely case that consecutive elections go by where the nutjobs remain in power, then the courts are a resonable way to clear up the problem.

    The president of the united states should never have a reason to get involved.

  • ||

    iowan,

    Don't get me wrong - I'll take Paul over Huckabee in a heartbeat, for exactly the reason you provide.

  • Gnostic||

    Does the sun also have an even larger Jesus magnet?

    It did, until its poles reversed in the first century, which sent Him to earth to incarnate.

    You think I'm kidding? I'm not.

  • Red Phillips||

    "send their children to schools that teach superstition and others could opt to send their kids to schools that teach science"

    Superstition? So Christians who believe that God had a hand in our origins are guilty of "superstition" equivalent to say believing that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck?

    And then the naturalistic and materialistic evolutionary dogmatists scratch their head when accused of hostility to Christianity.

    The only superstition in all this is the self-evidently absurd assertion that complex life arose from random chance. Sure it did.

  • ||

    Evidence is not enough.

  • ||

    I send my kid to a Catholic school. They teach her lots of what some might call "superstition."

    They also teach their students factually accurate things in biology class. It's not that hard - you really have to go out of your way to smoosh the two together.

  • .||

    The only superstition in all this is the self-evidently absurd assertion that complex life arose from random chance. Sure it did.

    I'm not inherently against Christianity or any religion. I generally contend that is entirely possible for their to be a god or some other sort of supernatural thing and evolution. However, according to natural selection, complex life did not come from random chance. Natural Selection is inherently not random. The organisms that survive, mutate, and reproduce do so for very specific reasons.

  • ||

    If your vote is decided on fossils then you deserve the Patriot Act. RON PAUL is an honest politician and not afraid to DEBATE the ISSUES. Voting for Ron Paul would send the only message that can change the direction of this country and politics.
    Enough WAR! Enough FEAR Enough CORPORATISM Enough IMPERIALISM

    Dr Paul: The true minority is the individual!

  • ||

    I guess I don't really care if Dr. Paul believes in evolution or not, but I'm not really clear what he is saying - does he not believe in Darwinian theory of how evolution occurs (about which there could, plausibly, be some debate) or does he doubt that evolution itself occurs? There really is no rational debate as to the reality of evolution. It happens. It has happened undeniably all throughout the history of life on the planet and it is happening now. It would take divine intervention to prevent evolution from happening. It is nonsense to suppose that genetic pools don't change over vast expanses of time and that new species don't develop from existing ones - either replacing the original of developing beside it. You couldn't stop it from happening if you wanted to - unless, of course you were God. Not to mention that just two of every kind of insect in the world would sink Noah's arc.

  • ||

    I send my kid to a Catholic school. They teach her lots of what some might call "superstition."

    I went to Catholic school as well, and they didn't ram ID or anything else down my throat. I think they even touched on evolution a little, but I forget, as biology was my least favorite of the sciences.

    The problem, generally, is that Catholic schools tend only to exist in larger cities, when historically Catholic minorities were large enough to support said institution. And from my experience, Catholics tend not to ignore the world around them (see the Pope argument above).

    But the ID movement in these backwater towns is more about resisting modernization, what with all it's internet porn and drug-filled video games, than it is about religion.

    Or at least, that's how it seems to me...

  • ||

    "The only superstition in all this is the self-evidently absurd assertion that complex life arose from random chance. Sure it did."

    When genes mutate, a change is made in the offspring. If the change is beneficial, the organism will live long enough to reproduce other offspring which will in turn also pass the change off their offspring. This is what we call natural selection and has been going on for hundreds of millions of years which IS enough time to bring about all the different species. It is hardly random.

    A question I have for you, Red, is how can an entity without a physical brain and physical hands create anything? That seems like the more absurd assertion to me.

  • ||

    I agree with Taktix.

    When I was in Catholic High School, that anti-life secularist who taught us AP Biology not only went into evolution, but into the difference between religion and science.

    And if you think she was any less of an anti-life secularist because she was an ordained nun in the Sisters of Mercy order, well, that just shows how little you understand the athiest menace that threatens us all.

  • ||

    Look at the neat, regular, highly ordered ridges of sand on the floor of the ocean.

    It isn't just possible that they are continually remade in that ordered state by the unthinking processes of nature; given the wholly-unintelligent inputs of sun, sand, moon, earth, and water, it is inevitable that that worder will spontaneously arise.

  • Red Phillips||

    DWCarkuff,

    "There really is no rational debate as to the reality of evolution. It happens. It has happened undeniably all throughout the history of life on the planet and it is happening now."

    This is a common canard of the evolutionists. NO ONE denies this. Not even the most ardent young earth creationist denies this. But the fact that that happens and is happening does not prove unguided molecule to man evolution.

    When the average person is asked about "evolution" they do not think bacteria developing drug resistance. They think molecule to man "evolution" without any Divine help. You may protest. You may wish it was not so, but it is. I am certain Ron Paul was not denying the phenomenon of drug resistance or whatever. He was rejecting the wholly un-Christian idea that God played no part in our origins, which as a Christian he should.

  • ||

    "Superstition? So Christians who believe that God had a hand in our origins are guilty of "superstition" equivalent to say believing that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck?"

    Wikipedia's definition of "superstion": Superstition is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.

    Doesn't this describe religion?

  • ||

    I agree that Ron Paul could have said: the government has no business running schools, in the first place.

    There is a connection, however, between Ron Pauls (implied) rejection of Darwinian Evolutionary theory as Fact, and his consistent opposition to the ever expanding Welfare & Warfare 'almighty state'.

    May I explain ?

    First, I take comfort in the fact he shows his independence from the status quo by questioning the 'theory of evolution', as fact, and identifying it, correctly, as a mere theory.

    In fact, it's more accurately described as 'Darwinian Myth', and actually forms the biological basis for the 'Almighty State'.

    It's poor philosophy masquerading as sound science.

    One should be highly suspicious when you consider that our Declaration & US Constitution both set forth the premise of God given rights, citing the "Laws of Nature, and of Nature's God" (which is both general & special revelation, vis a vis the Founding Fathers).

    Then we look at the prevailing "Almighty State" acting the role of God, and, not surprisingly, officially denying His existance.

    Gee, I wonder if big government statists (whether explicitly or implicitly) think that if citizens recognize that they're created by God who endows them with essential rights, and has Laws by which he expects man to operate, form a greater force to resist an overreaching tyranny ?

    Like, say, for example, America's Founding Fathers, resisting the usurpations King George ?

    Simply put:
    Creation + God's Law = Unalienable, secure Natural & Constitutional Rights

    Evolution + Random Chance = state granted, revocable rights + state tyranny

    I simply ask:

    Which premise was America founded upon ?

    Which premise forms the intellectual & moral basis of the Declaration of Independene & Constitution ?

    Which view holds sway today ?

    He who set's the premise, wins the debate.

    Ron Paul is the man who, wisely, understand the premise of the 'almighty state' - and questions it.

    He's thinking deeper than all of his opponnents and many of his supporters are, clearly.

    All I can say is: Godspeed Ron Paul Go Get 'Em !

    President Paul in 2008 !

    www.TheAmericanView.com
    www.LewRockwell.com

  • Jeff||

    Brad: I'm no defender of the status quo by any means, but the gold-standard make no sense at all, and most anti-central bank rhetoric is noting but ideological nonsense.

    Monetary theory is quite simple really. For every net unit of value produced in an economy an equal unit of currency should be produced. Thus if I produce $10 worth of new goods today then $10 should be printed up to correspond to those new goods.

    Gold has nothing to do with anything, its just arbitrary. The only reason the gold standard worked at all was because there was a massive untapped gold reserve in America that was brought to market during the gold rushes of the 19th century which just happened to be more than enough to handle our monetary needs, and the America economy was relatively small. The economy has now so far outpaced gold supplies that such a standard is nonsense. Furthermore, gold is just another fiat. What makes gold so special? Nothing, just that it doesn't rust, but its value is no different than the value of paper money, it also is really arbitrary. You say its value is market driven, but so is the value of any currency. Yeah, we can print too much, true, and the market value will go down, as the American currency currently is going down for many reasons.

    In order to truly back American currency with gold that means you have to have an amount go gold equal to the value of everything else in the economy. This is nonsense. General economic production has nothing to do with gold production, the two are completely unrelated. The gold standard is just a fantasy. Its just appears to make things simpler, but in reality it does nothing of use and hinders economic expansion. Now instead of money being tied to the value of economic production it is tied to the value of a single commodity, which itself can fluctuate based on things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the general economy. I am reminded of what happened in the 1890s when a ship carrying a load of gold from California to the banks in New York sank and the gold was all lost. It caused a depression due to the restrictions on the money supply. I'm reminded of what was it, Black Monday or Black Friday, I forget, in the 1800s, when gold price manipulation damn near ruined the banking system and the nation went into a panic. The current banking system isn't perfect, but the gold standard is ridiculous and so are most of Ron Paul's other ideas.

    All Ron Paul has going for his is simplistic propaganda. Its easy to stand up and shot "liberty, freedom, rah, rah, rah!", sure great message. There is a huge difference between rhetoric and application however, and Ron Paul's ideas are just idealistic nonsense which have no practical merit.

  • Jeff||

    My point with this gold-sandard discussion is that, like on everything else, Ron Paul tends towards simplistic ideas and simplistic anwsers.

    Ron paul portrays everything as simple, and that is why people like his message. "Its all simple, just follow the Constitution," "Its all simple, just abolish the IRS," "Its all simple, God created the world".

    His views on evolution don't surprise me at all, because he displays a tendency to view everything in the most simplistic and unrealistic ways.

  • ||

    "One should be highly suspicious when you consider that our Declaration & US Constitution both set forth the premise of God given rights, citing the "Laws of Nature, and of Nature's God" (which is both general & special revelation, vis a vis the Founding Fathers)."

    David, I'm afraid your emphasis is on God and not on rights. Our Founding Fathers emphasized rights, not God. Thomas Jefferson was a deist and believed that our rights were endowed by our creator. He didn't believe in the deity of Jesus and did believe in the separation of church and state. That doesn't mean he was opposed to religion. He just believed the two should be separate. Forcing the teaching of an intelligent designer in public schools when science can tell us nothing of the existence of God does seem to be a violation of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

  • ||

    Red, If you find it impossible to believe that man evolved from lower forms - well I'm not going to argue with you. It is evident from the fossil records that every other species evolved from previously existing species. Why you would think it is different for man I have no idea. You state your faith as a fact - but faith is just exactly what the word implies - believing things without any particular evidence for believing them. If there was evidence there would be no need for faith. There is, on the other hand, abundant evidence for the descent of existing species from previously existing species and plenty of fossil and bone evidence for previously existing species of man. You may choose to discount it and that's fine, but it's not science.

  • ||

    I thought we were done with this last year, but obviously, I'll have to restate that:

    RON PAUL DOES NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO THE GOLD STANDARD.

    RON PAUL SIMPLY WANTS TO OPEN GOLD RESERVES TO THE MARKET.

    A jeweler can take a pound of gold and multiply its value exponentially. That's called creating wealth.

    This in no way has anything to do with going to the gold standard.

    Thank you, good night...

  • ||

    We're not really crazy...

    Well...

    Um

    We do have Eric Dondero
    And Edward,
    and Dave W,
    as regulars here.

    And now we have a Neo Nazi pedophile.

  • ||

    "It is evident from the fossil records that every other species evolved from previously existing species. Why you would think it is different for man I have no idea."

    Also, it is very clear from the DNA evidence that man and chimpanzees must have a common ancestor from the standpoint that our DNA is about 99% identical.

  • ||

    It doesn't take a lot of pushing to get people who claim to be only interested in the quality of the science to start talking about how the existence of evolution threatens their religiously-based view of humans' meaning and place in the universe.

  • ||

    David - Evolution is not a theory. Darwin developed a theory to describe how evolution occurs - natural selection. Darwin's theory is clearly the most plausible explanation for the development of new species (which do undeniably develop and old one undeniably go extinct). There is not one reputable biologist or serious scientist that doubts the reality of evolution - though there may be some who disagree with Darwin on the particulars. The closest thing I have seen to an argument against evolution is that Darwin didn't seem to explain everything down to the last detail - which is no argument at all. Look, a person either believes science or they don't. No, scientist don't know everything, but they certainly know more than anyone else about their fields of study. It, frankly, strikes me as absurd and desperate for people to cling to their conceits as layman because they offer comfort in the face of the vast knowledge accumulated by people who have dedicated their lives to learning the truth of our existence and often in the face of ignorance and disdain by those who have done none of the work or even care to learn the truth of things. I don't begrudge anyone their faith, but for God's sake, don't pretend it has anything to do with science. Just try and remember Copernicus and what the defenders of faith did to him when all he was trying to do was learn and tell the truth. The world is not flat and the sun does not revolve around it.

  • ||

    Once upon a time, "Show me the half-bird/half-dinosaur" was the big Creationist conversation ender.

    Not so much anymore.

  • robc||

    Wikipedia's definition of "superstion": Superstition is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.

    Doesn't this describe religion?


    Nope. My religion is based on reason and knowledge. While it isnt superstition, it also isnt science. I make no claims of any ability to repeat or prove or the falsifiability of any of my religious beliefs.

    Then again, all those other false religions are probably just superstitions. :)

  • Edward||

    The great irony is that the Mexican illegals and their American-born children that Ron Paul wants to expel would be the most likely to buy his primitive theology. He's both stupid and unwise. But who cares? He's gonna lose big anyway. Send more money, fuckwits.

  • Edward||

    By the way, why didn't the sneaky little dork raise his hand when the question was asked in the debate? Is he a crypto-fundamentalist?

  • ||

    Taktix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Ron_Paul#Inflation_and_the_Federal_Reserve

    Ron Paul supports some form of gold standardish implementation. Multiple competing private currencies is nonsense. We had that in America in the 1800s. You know what, everyone hated banking then, which is why the Fed was created in the first place. The private currency system was a disaster, so much so that many people didn't even use currency, they used barter and raw gold because the currency system was a nightmare. The only thing that currency production needs to be linked to is the GDP, or actually a more accurate measure of economic production. I agree that unregulated money printing is bad, so does everyone. The funny thing is that the reason the monetary policy of the Fed is somewhat inflationary is party because it is a private bank and it makes money by "making money". The solution isn't more private banks or a gold backed system, the solution is to de-privatize the Fed. But of course that goes against his libertarian ideology, so he can't propose such a solution.

  • ||

    Joe,

    Re- your "why are you pretending" post.

    The argument was not about evolution vs religion, it was about who gets to chose.

    Iowan maybe made my point better than I did.

    Something about the decision being better made at the lower level. Better state than Fed, better parents than state.

    And that even for you, Paul is not just better than Huckabee, Paul is better than Hillary too, for who knows who will come after Hillary. Handing over power to the government is bad.

    Well if you don't get the point, maybe you won't and we are just talking past eachother.

  • ||

    Is the Federal Reserve even constitutional?

    I don't see how it could be. It seems to me like it is a wholly unaccountable branch of govt. It is unaccountable because it is nominally a private bank. But no competition is allowed, and they can get people arrested and laws passed, so it is not really a private company.

  • Jeff||

    kwais:

    Government is not inherently bad, and lower level decision making is not necessarily better. This is the same ideological nonsense as Ron Paul and typical libertarians. Your claims are driven by ideology, not evidence, not practicality, and not reality.

    Yeah, someone bad could get into government and screw us all, that's what democracy and guns are for, in the mean time, some stuff is best regulated by government and some stuff is best implemented at the highest levels, even "globally", that big bad boogie man of libertarianism.

    Guess what, some parents are idiots, and granting absolute power to parents effectively revokes the rights of children. Society has a role to play in raising every child, not just the parent, and government is the means by which that occurs.

    Every child has the right to an honest, factual, and full education. Many parents would deny this right to their children, and have done so throughout history, and no parent has that right. Every decision is not best left up to the states, as standardization has huge beneficial effects for efficiency and this standardization only comes from federal law making. If all decisions were left up to the states we may still have slavery in America for that matter.

    Why stop at evolution? Why not let parents in the South decide that they don't want their children to ever learn that Southerners ever owned slaves? Why not let the German parents in Wisconsin avoid teaching their kids about the holocaust? Why not let the fundies in the Bible belt teach their kids that the earth is flat? Why not let parents say that they don't want their kids to learn math? There are some really stupid parents out there, and parents who don't care about their kids, as well as parents who are motivated by ideology to lie to their kids or shield them from many facts about the world. Sorry, parents don't have the right to absolutely control every aspect of their child's life. Society has a right and a duty to ensure that children receive a full and honest education, and no parent, no matter how well meaning, has the right to take that away.

  • Neu Mejican||

    All I can say is: Godspeed Ron Paul Go Get 'Em !

    Or, uhm...

    Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

  • Red Phillips||

    Rattlesnake Jake,

    "Wikipedia's definition of "superstion": Superstition is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.

    Doesn't this describe religion?"

    Thanks for showing your hand. Christianity, which is the foundation of Western Civilization and is embraced (to a greater or lesser degree) by the vast majority of Americans is nothing but a superstition? Keep it up. You prove my point of the inherently anti-Christian bias of the evolutionary dogmatists.

    Edward,

    "primitive theology"?

    I'll call that exhibit two.

  • The Atheist Jew||

    Ron Paul has decided to look past mounds and mounds of evidence in order to reject evolution.
    The troubling part is he is a doctor.
    To me, when one puts his faith ahead of evidence, that persons judgment must constantly be questioned.
    Ron Paul should not have power of veto.

  • Snarkmeister||

    "Ron Paul is a Christian, he makes no excuses for that. ...he probably sincerely believes in the value of the words of Jesus of Nazareth. ...

    After obtaining a baccalaureate in biology and doctorate in medicine, ... He thus understands clearly the arguments for and against evolutionary theory. ... well enough read to know that some of the finest minds in contemporary science have doubts about the theory of evolution's ability to fully explain the origin of higher mammalian life.

    

It is different thing to not believe that the evolutionary process occurs ... and to not believe in the theory of evolution as the sole explanation for origin of intelligence. Likewise, believing in Biblical creationism ... and believing in the possibility of intelligent design is also not the same thing.

    

Science only ever offers theories. It is theology that purports to have answers. Paul is the scientist. The "theologian" is the other guy, the one from Arkansas who lied about having a theology degree.

    More on The Snark's Review ( http://snarksreview.com/ )

  • ||

    This isn't religion versus non-religion. Quite a few religious people are perfectly okay with evolution, cosmology, etc. A religion gets in trouble when it decides to buck science and observed phenomena. Science also runs into a brick wall when the discussion runs into metaphysical matters. Give unto Newton what is Newton's. . . . :)

  • Neu Mejican (authentico)||

    For all the comments with a variation of this...

    I agree that he won't force his view upon the people

    I disagree.
    Ron Paul is tactical in his use of state power.
    He wants to win the culture war through state level power.

    Ron Paul works against federal policies that protect the individual against the tyranny of state governments. He wants to weaken the judiciary so that it can not protect individuals from state and local governments.

    He may not want the feds pushing individuals around...but he supports, actively, state level policies that have the same results. He takes direct action as a federal legislator to undermine federal protections against certain policies that protect individual rights.

    See his campaign website: "I have taken direct action to restore protection for the unborn."

  • ||

    It's fine to lament that the best choice those who believe in reason and free markets have had in a long time doesn't accept popular notion of the evolution hypothesis and all it's finer points.

    It is quite another to claim that reason has anything to do with trying to undermine this best choice based on such a silly litmus test.

    And to attempt to do so with a mashed up video is unconscionable. I guess we have to take the author's word for it that this was an oversight. Well, no we don't, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, even though the author isn't.

    If you are using total acceptance of evolution as a wholesale proxy for science, then to me, that says you understand neither.

    The man is a doctor for God's sake. Does he really not understand science as much as all the lawyers we have as alternatives? Ridiculous.

    And that is granting you that this is even a relevant issue. Which it is not.

    Even if he, as a worst case scenario, installs judges giving them the sole duty to reinstate Christian education, all we have to do is demand school choice.

    If someone can explain how evolution is not a theory, they get a gold star.

    If someone can explain why evolution is important for 99.9% or so of the children who do not become anthropologists, comparative biologists, or Democrat politicians, they get a smiley face.

    If someone can explain how a Doctor can get through Duke medical school without having more of an appreciation of these things than you do, you get to go to the head of the class.

    If you can explain why such a contentious issue of science should be decided for us by politicians, you get the dunce cap.

  • Neu Mejican||

    If someone can explain how a Doctor can get through Duke medical school without having more of an appreciation of these things than you do, you get to go to the head of the class.

    Well, since I work with doctors daily, and know that their education would have only the most cursory coverage of the topic, I think the how is that he didn't pay attention that DAY.

  • ||

    Here's a point to ponder: How has religion done when it's ventured into establishing scientific truths in the past? Should the Church have burned Galileo after all? I'm betting that religion bats pretty low when it decides to run counter to observed phenomena.

  • ||

    Consider this.

    Let's say you had cancer. You found the best doctor with the skill to remove the cancer and retain the vital function of the diseased organ. Then you ask him if he believes in evolution.

    He doesn't just give a glib yes or no answer. He answers in a way that tells you he has thought about it. He says, "I think it's an inappropriate question. But if you must know, evolution is a theory, and I don't accept is as such. But if being a doctor depended on believing the popularly accepted notions of evolution, I probably wouldn't be a doctor."

    Will you be willing to reject that doctor, even if he is considered the best one for the procedure, based on that answer?

    Further, now consider that there are no alternative doctors available with ANY experience removing that kind of cancer or any record of understanding of how the vital organ is really supposed to work.

    Now, would rejecting the doctor be reasonable?

  • ||

    Neu Mejican gets the gold star, or the smiley face.

    He's essentially saying that yes, even to doctors, the pinnacle of science and practicality in the interest of human biology, evolution is not important. So irrelevant in fact, that maybe it gets one day's worth of instruction over 3 to 8 years or more of training.

  • Jeff||

    "If someone can explain why evolution is important for 99.9% or so of the children who do not become anthropologists, comparative biologists, or Democrat politicians,"

    Umm... I guess that you are going to mandate career choices for children starting in grade school so that we can avoid teaching "unnecessary evolution" to the millions who won't occupy these fields?

    So, pray tell, how do we decide who not to educate in grade school because they won't need the education later?

    As if it even mattered anyway, since your argument is bogus anyhow. The benefits of a well rounded education are not only testified to by the evidence, but they are indeed a right of children and necessarily for addressing many of the most meaningful questions that we face and are interested in. If the subject of evolution, and its implications, were not of interest then so many people wouldn't be so opposed to it in the first place. People are opposed to it because it does matter and it does change our view of the world, and it is for that very reason that every child should have the opportunity, regardless of what their oppressive parents may want, to hear the evidence and learn about the science. As a parent you have every right to engage your child in challenging the ideas of evolution, but you have no right to completely shield them from them.

  • ||

    How 'bout this.

    Let's NOT elect Ron Paul to teach 8th grade science!

    Agreed?

    Oh, and let's NOT elect an 8th grade science teachers to have the power to destroy the economy, launch wars, drive Federal legislation, choose between rolling back or expanding executive powers, oversee domestic spying operations, write executive signing statements, and yes, nominate judges that have jurisdiction over everything nowadays.

    And let's NOT elect lawyer/lifetime politicians to pass judgment on questions of science.

  • ||

    Jeff,

    I'm not going to get into all the non sequiturs and strawmen of your response. The fact is that even if evolution is important, which you claim it is, and I claim it's not, it is quite possibly one of the least important topics.

    And, whatever people believe about it has very little bearing on their everyday lives. Even for doctors, and especially for Presidents.

    Like one person said about medical marijuana. The only problem with it is that they put you in jail for it.

    The only problem with believing whatever you want about evolution (for the vast majority) is that the evolution nazis will stone you for it.

  • What\'s the frequency, Kenneth||

    Of all the things to get hung up on! His view is perfectly clear: The Federal Government does not belong in education. Thus, it doesn't matter what he thinks as long as he's consistent with the libertarian position of keeping government out of business it shouldn't be in.

    Read my lips: It's not an issue.

  • ||

    Whats the two major powers the President will have????? Well lets make it 3.

    1. Commander and Chief (Ending the IRAQ Farce.)
    2. Power of Veto, Veto anything that is not constitutional or won't get the budget back in line.
    3. Can Revoke rediculous past Executive Orders The Bush Administration has created.

    I think Ron Paul would use these powers appropriatly and will accomplish these 3 goals. Anything else is just butter. The other candidates probably won't achieve any of these things that this country needs now.

  • highnumber||

    It's certainly ironic to see those who most loudly promote the idea of "separation of church and state" (which I support, BTW) trying to impose a religious test on the only Constitutionalist candidate.

    It seems ironic only if you don't understand that intention of the split is to keep the state out of religion. It doesn't imply that a candidate's religious views are any more off limits than their social views.

  • ||

    I have to add, I have been a big Ron Paul supporter since way back when he ran as a Libertarian and continue to be. I have donated more money than I can afford to the campaign because I absolutely believe in liberty and that Dr. Paul is giant among politicians and most everyone else. What he believes personally about this means nothing to me. I care that he doesn't want to run my life and he doesn't think we owe the government the fruits of our hard labors.

  • .||

    If someone can explain how evolution is not a theory, they get a gold star.

    It is most definitely a theory. In fact, so is general relativity. And yet, without general relativity, GPS would not work. Yes -- when something is a scientific theory, any real world applications of that theory will work as the theory predicts they will. Evolution may be incomplete, as may be the case with everything in science, but it is not wrong.

    If someone can explain why evolution is important for 99.9% or so of the children who do not become anthropologists, comparative biologists, or Democrat politicians, they get a smiley face.

    Why is it important that the children who will be ditch diggers be taught how to read, then? Or do math? People lived for thousands of years without being capable of explicitly doing those things, so they aren't a requirement. Also -- how does one decide to be an evolutionary biologist if they are never taught what evolution or biology is?

    If someone can explain how a Doctor can get through Duke medical school without having more of an appreciation of these things than you do, you get to go to the head of the class.

    Doctors have proven that, while they may be capable doctors, they aren't immune from being stupid and illogical.

    If you can explain why such a contentious issue of science should be decided for us by politicians, you get the dunce cap.

    I'm pretty sure scientists have already concluded "Evolution happens".

  • ||

    And to the "oppressive parents" argument. I've heard that before. I think it's ridiculous. Here is why.

    Let's just accept for the sake of argument that evolution is a nice, no, in fact absolutely necessary component of a well-rounded education for absolutely every last child. Let's also accept that "we" have a stake in this. For now, I'll accept that you and society have a right to tell my child what they should learn. I'll set aside my strong belief in un-schooling and allow you the conceit that "the people" through the government can and should decide what is the best way to indoctrinate, excuse me, I mean educate my child.

    To further accept that parents are oppressive, one must accept that overall and in general, the State has a greater interest in providing a well-rounded education that will benefit the child in the long run than the parents do.

    Now, it is quite possible that some, maybe even a large absolute number of parents have less concern for their child's education well-being than the State bureaucracy. But I think that to accept that for the vast majority percentage of parents and concerning all subjects is downright laughable. How could the majority lack concern and then force concern on the bureaucracy under majority rule? It could not happen.

    You place a very high priority on evolution education. Maybe that's fine for you. Now consider the opportunity costs of teaching a subject like evolution, or any subject for that matter. To spend time there requires taking time from something else. Who are you to say that we should take time from anything to teach evolution? Why is your opinion more important than mine? I would say it is, for your kid. You are by default claiming that our opinions are equal, because you want it resolved through the bureaucracy.

    You are basically supporting the idea that to fall on the sword of making sure evolution is taught to all children, we parents should be willing to relinquish control over quality, timing, and priority of every other subject available. Not to mention, we should readily accept putting our children in schools that remind me a lot of prisons, where are kids are housed desk-to-desk with other kids who may not have the same interests, or seriousness towards education as they do.

    I unequivocally reject your position.

  • John Uma||

    Does he believe in big bang? black hole? parallel universes?

  • ||

    This is critical!

    Does Dr. Paul believe string theory?

    I don't want my kids being taught string theory!!!

  • ||

    "It is most definitely a theory."

    That's funny, because there are people claiming it's not a theory, and others who attack those who claim it is a theory. You get a gold star, but I guess you can't be President.

    More importantly, the people who don't really know what the terminology really means think they are qualified to define the curriculum for my kids.
    See here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation-evolution_controversy#Definitions

    "Why is it important that the children who will be ditch diggers be taught how to read, then? Or do math?"

    Hmmm, now that's a real discussion. We do not attempt to teach current ditch diggers reading or math. Therefore, it must be that we teach future ditch diggers math and reading because we cannot tell who will be ditch diggers. What if we could? Further, should we teach them even less pertinent topics like evolution at the expense of reading and basic math? Should we take scarce resources away from future Einsteins to teach ditch diggers evolution? These are the useful debates. We are not having them because we are discussing evolution. Maybe interesting, but not very reasonable and rational.

    "Also -- how does one decide to be an evolutionary biologist if they are never taught what evolution or biology is?"

    There is a difference between providing exposure and making something a core curriculum.

    "Doctors have proven that, while they may be capable doctors, they aren't immune from being stupid and illogical."

    It's true that doctors on occasion can be stupid and illogical, although this seems laughable to imply generally. And specifically claiming this of Ron Paul is pretty stupid and illogical.

    I'm pretty sure scientists have already concluded "Evolution happens".

    Now, if we had scientists and engineers, say maybe allowing retired ones, to teach kids science and engineering, I'd be all for that. Again, another real debate. But to get their we have to get out of the evolution debate red herring and the state-controlled monopoly on education that this issue engenders. But, you know what, with YouTube, DVDs, the internet, etc. We will have master teachers sooner or later, and I won't even have to convince you folks. It will happen, and you won't even recognize it. You'll still be debating evolution.

  • ||

    Every so often I enter a debate like this to remind myself why it so much higher return on investment to get about teaching your own kids than to try to convince anyone else what should be taught.

    It is just so obvious to me that politics is just not the realm for issues concerning science or education.

    It's a general principle. Political society should be kept to the minimum that we can achieve general agreement on. This goes for science, education, starting wars, and everything else.

    Maybe (maybe) providing a basic education is within this realm. Now, (1) whether evolution or anything else constitutes part of a basic education for doctors and ditch diggers is separate from the argument that, (2) "well the State is already controlling all primary ed, so we HAVE to fight over it until we can break their monopoly on it."

    Ron Paul has nothing to say about (1) and a lot to say about (2).

  • ||

    Paul is all about choice, so this question is moot. But I find it humorous that Bailey continues to act as if evolution is science when it is so far from science, it's pathetic. There are more holes in this theory than there are in a little league baseball infield.

  • highnumber||

    GH23,
    What about the holes in the Bible?
    Hell, that thing's holier than, than, than...Aw, Jesus m-f-ing Christ, I can't go on. It's just too goddamn much for this ape-cousin to deal with. I'll just sit here quietly and think about what I've done.

  • ||

    Has anyone here made the following point?:

    Paul only said he doesn't accept the validity of the theory of evolution. I think equally important, however, is what he HASN'T said: He does not tell us what he does indeed believe, so his statement doesn't mean he has rejected science in general.

    Until he does say what he believes, there's no way to know if his beliefs on this subject are science-based, or religion-based.

    Can't a scientific theory be rejected because you don't think it holds water on a wholly scientific basis? As far as I can see, this is all Paul has done.

  • Phi1618||

    .618

  • Neu Mejican||

    Josh M,

    Can't a scientific theory be rejected because you don't think it holds water on a wholly scientific basis? As far as I can see, this is all Paul has done.

    Sure.
    Ron Paul does not have such a scientific basis for rejecting evolution.

    He doesn't know anywhere near enough about the topic to comment intelligently (my assumption is subject to disproof...his being a medical doctor who studied basic biology in the middle of the 20th century is not evidence that he knows squat about what he is commenting on).

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ron Paul's scientific expertise is limited to a single publication in a medical journal in 1969.

    http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/34/2/235

    Please note that the topic has nothing to do with evolution, genetics...also note that this means he knows something about science as method, but provides no evidence that he has kept up with the content learned in the intervening years using that method.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That should be "experience" not "expertise."

    Ooops

  • ||

    kwais,

    Whether to use the state to promote religion is not something any government in America should be able to choose, regardless of what level we're talking about.

    I get the point about local control, but there are red lines in the Constitution.

  • ||

    It's certainly ironic to see those who most loudly promote the idea of "separation of church and state" (which I support, BTW) trying to impose a religious test on the only Constitutionalist candidate.

    Questions about evolution are a religious test?

    I think you just gave away the game there, old bean.

  • ||

    Now Neu Mejican implies that scientific experience is limited to the number and timing of publications one has.

    New Mejican, how many publications do you have?

  • ||

    the logic and reason here is lacking.

    Ron Paul is not commenting on evolution, he is commenting on why he is NOT commenting on it.

    How can this not be clear?

  • ||

    Very few people have scientific publications.

    Even fewer need to know anything about evolution to achieve this rarity.

    Even one publication in 1969 is more than most doctors have, I suspect.

    MDs are not academics. They are applicationists. For Dr. Paul to have published shows a great deal of initiative.

    Publishing is not a requirement for MDs and actually, contrary to the commenter's point, shows some scientific initiative for Dr. Paul.

    There isn't the incentive for MDs to "publish or perish" as for academics.

    Besides, how many publications do the other candidates have? (I'm talking scientific here, I'm not counting neocon thinktank propaganda rags).

    He's not competing with some academic's ideal. He is competing with the other alternative candidates.

  • ||

    If you claim that evolution is not a theory, then why does it undergo so many updates?

    What a non-story here. Move along...

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    scientific experience is limited to the number and timing of publications one has...how many publications do you have?

    Many more than Paul, but, of course your point is a good one.

    Experience in science and publications are different things.

    The evidence we have of Paul's experience, however, is a single publication.

    Any scientist that is good at what they do will publish regularly. I can't imagine that Paul did anything more than write up his thesis or something. Hardly evidence of initiative.

    The point of pointing out his publication, however, was to show that his experience in science, his experience as a doctor, etc...don't have much to say about his knowledge of evolutionary theory.

    Just like I wouldn't have much to say about the standard model in physics, Ron Paul's scientific experience is irrelevant to the topic of evolutionary theory.

    He was talking out of his ass.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    Of course you don't comment on the main thrust of the issue.

    Ron Paul may be a doctor and may have published a scientific paper over 30 years ago.

    That does not say anything about his knowledge of current science. A well read layman can comment intelligently on many subjects. People's education does not stop when they graduate and is not limited to their area of professional expertise.

    Ron Paul's comment demonstrates that he doesn't know what he is talking about. He was pandering...pure unadulterated political bullshit. Doesn't make him worse than the other candidates, for sure. But I have grown tired of the "honest Dr. No" bull that swirls around the guy.

    He is as slimy as the next politician.
    His statement on evolution is emblematic of his duplicitousness.

  • ||

    Neu Mejican,

    Many more publicans than Paul:

    Congratulations. Are you running for President?

    But seriously, just from that, I can predict with high probability that you are a professor or other academic.

    This is because your statement "Any scientist that is good at what they do will publish regularly. " is not true. The people who publish regularly are those with an economic incentive to...academics.

    MDs do not publish regularly. Scientists and engineers working in the private sector sometimes publish, but that is the exception, not the rule.

    In fact, the fact that people wouldn't publish without the artificial incentive provided by academia is the very reason why economists will claim we need academia as a public good. Academia and science are not synonomous either.

    Unless I'm mistaken, MDs don't have to write a thesis. And if they have one, they don't have to publish. That is the point. They don't have to, so to do so exemplifies more initiative than an academic who DOES have to.

    And certainly more scientific initiative than a typical politician, and far more than the crop of alternative presidential candidates.

    Of course he is not qualified to comment on evolution. Which is why he answered the question explaining why the question was inappropriate for a presidential candidate and why it is irrelevant to his campaign!

    Now you are getting it!

  • ||

    Neu Mejican,

    Calm down. It's okay to be wrong.

    First, what part of what Ron Paul said shows he has no idea? Quote it please.

    Second, he was not pandering. I can say this because if he were pandering, would he have responded to someone asking a question that their question is inappropriate? No.

    Also, being in the Republican primary, he will pay NO price for totally bashing evolution. He would be rewarded for it. He is not running for NEA chairmen. Right now he is running for the Republican primary. Have you seen ANY of the debates? You lose all credibility if you claim Ron Paul is pandering to the "likely voters" in the Republican primary.

    He did not bash evolution (except in the ears of the evolution nazis). In fact, he left the door wide open to it. That is, if you watch the whole, non-edited, mashed up, smear video.

    To pander, he might have said "No! I don't believe in evolution and it shouldn't be taught to our kids by these atheist ideologues!"

    This is not what he said at all.

  • ||

    For Ron Paul to "pander" he'd back the Iraq war. He'd put crosses all over his ads (and not imply to do so hints at fascism). He would

    This is not to say that he is not politically pragmatic. But, the fact is, he has chosen the more difficult path of bringing in new voters and obviously not pandering to the existing Republican establishment base.

    To believe that this issue is relevant, one has to first believe that evolution is relevant to the Presidency.

    One must believe that a candidate's views on "evolution" bear on his overall opinion of science as a proxy.

    One must believe that the particular candidate's opinion of science will result in policy that impacts science positively or negatively.

    One must believe that this candidate has extreme views on this proxy for science compared to his competition.

    One must believe that the other candidate's views are more reasonable and relevent than this one's.

    One must believe that the candidate's that you agree more with are less or equally likely to tell you what you want to hear than this one.

    Paul says what he thinks, not what he thinks others want to hear. I think Paul's views are not extreme. I think evolution is pretty irrelevant to the important issues. I believe that a government policy can only positively impact science by getting out of the way. This is pretty much Ron Paul's policy on most everything else.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    MD's and engineers are not scientists.

    Using the products of science is not the same as doing science.

    Part of science is replication and the exchange of information, data, and ideas. The purpose of publications is to facilitate the scientific process.

    I would disagree with your assessment that scientists in the private sector do not, as a rule, publish their work. The private sector benefits greatly from the scientific process and actively engages the resources of the academic/scientific community. Publication is one route for this type of engagement.

    Calm down. It's okay to be wrong.

    I am very calm.
    You seem to be the one that is agitated by others who see Ron Paul's statement as an important indicator of his character, and as such, a factor in their decision regarding his qualifications for the presidency.

    As for the rest of your 10:19 post.

    I will just say that it is good that you recognize that it is okay to be wrong...you might try looking up the word "must" as you don't seem to understand its use very well.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    First, what part of what Ron Paul said shows he has no idea? Quote it please.

    Well the key phrase is included in the post, but I'll quote it for you if it helps...

    Ron Paul: "I think it's a theory, the theory of evolution and I don't accept it as a theory."

    The statement demonstrates that Ron Paul is either pandering, or uninformed on the topic.

    Your choice.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    Paul says what he thinks, not what he thinks others want to hear.

    I see that you are a mind reader.
    I think Paul says what he thinks others want to hear... to just as great an extent as his rivals for the nomination.

    I think Paul's views are not extreme.

    Depends on which views. Be specific. He hold many extreme views. Some pretty mundane ones...

    I think evolution is pretty irrelevant to the important issues.

    You have made that clear. Others disagree with your assessment.

    I believe that a government policy can only positively impact science by getting out of the way.

    You are wrong.

    This is pretty much Ron Paul's policy on most everything else.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Please note that I gave you the last word.

  • ||

    This should be a non-issue, unfortunately the web is having its way with Mr. Ron Paul. Should it really be campaign question at all. Should we ask them next whether they believe in string theory?

    "Dr. Paul is physician and believes in evolution."

    See the email response from campaign committee to this site's author: http://www.shanktified.com/archives/ron-paul-campaign-on-evolution/

  • ||

    Those who watch the unedited video will find it obvious he is not pandering nor trying to make himself out to be an expert on evolution nor is he criticizing evolution.

    He say "It's a theory, the theory of evolution, and I don't accept it, you know, as a theory."

    He may have meant that he doesn't accept all the implications of the evolution hard liners based on the popularized notions of the theory of evolution. But I won't mind read, I'll wait for clarification.

    And just because the audienced liked his answer doesn't mean he was pandering.

  • Thedog||

    A theory is just that, a theory.

    Perhaps Paul just disagrees with the current theory and not the whole notion of evolution.

    I favor Lamarck over Darwin. Does that mean I don't give credence to evolution at all?

    The silly American season has begun once again.

    Soon Americans will want to know if their candidates favor the missionary style or doggy style and base their vote on the answer.

  • CrankyAtheist||

    I have trouble taking anyone who doesn't believe in the fact of evolution seriously. Particularly someone who has a degree in medicine.

  • ||

    An innappropriate question' FOR A PRESEDENTIAL CANDIDATE'. Which is what he said and he is absolutley correct.

    He does NOT say he rejects the theory,it's just not the only explanation he accepts.And maybe the other candidates may or may not reject evolution,but it does not matter because it is their choice to do so. They however have no right to force these views on the rest of us,if they do come into office.And this is what Ron Paul is about.

    Oh and FYI, the Catholic church has already embraced evolution.

  • Jeff||

    No one is saying "off with his head", we are simply saying that his views on evolution reflect a lack of understanding and acceptance of reality, and/or pandering to religious conservatives as the other Republicans do. Either option is not good. Sorry, I would never vote for a candidate that demonstrates such "faith based" thinking, and Ron Paul does that in spades, whether its his religious faith in the "invisible hand" of "free markets" or the "invisible hand" of God in "designing life", its the same blind faith, and the same set of reasons not to support this quack.

    Does not accepting evolution absolutely disqualify you for president in my book? Yes it does. I would never vote for any candidate that doesn't accept the theory of evolution as the best explanation for the development of life on earth. Just the same, I would never vote for a candidate that thought the earth was flat, that believed in alien abductions, etc. A certian level of credulity is unacceptable for holding the most powerful position in the world...

  • ||

    What if he also does not accept Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem?
    HOLY CRAP.It would be the END OF AMERICA if he then became president.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Andrew,

    Those who watch the unedited video will find it obvious he is not pandering nor trying to make himself out to be an expert on evolution nor is he criticizing evolution.

    Andrew watched the unedited video and concluded that...

    Please do not assume that conclusions will be shared by all reasonable observers.

  • ||

    What a moron. Ron Paul does not think we should have Public Schools. And even so, he does not think the Federal government should have a hand in education anyway, a position any real libertarian should respect, therefore making the question of Evolution silly and irrelevant.

    But all this is moot, I'm sure you're not a real libertarian anyway, for you certainly don't understand federalism.

  • ||

    Tempest in a teapot.

  • ||

    For those that apparently do not know this, evolution says nothing whatever about the origin of the universe or of the earth. It doesn't even mandate how life began on this planet. But it does say how life developed, one species evolving from another. Evolution has been utterly vindicated. So called micro- and macro-evolution are a FACT. There is some disagreement about precise methods of variation and so on but the evidence is incontrovertible that evolution is true.

  • ||

    A real libertarian does not believe it is up to the state or local community whether I can exercise my rights and choices in peace or not. Ron Paul would leave many questions up to the state I happen to reside in. This is not good enough. Neither the Feds or the state should have any say whatsoever in what drugs I do or do not use, who I do or do not have sex with, whether I do or do not get an abortion and so on.

    Why does getting the feds out of education make whether the President is honest and intelligent enough to see and state the truth unimportant?

  • Prince Buster||

    To all of you bickering over whether it matters that Ron Paul believes in evolution or not, I offer you this: Of course it matters if he believes in evolution, it informs us of his ability to think logically about evidence and derive the correct conclusion.

    By claiming that he rejects evolution as a viable theory he is stating that he has examined all the evidence, weighed it in his mind, and still believes that there are other more likely explanations for how things came to be. I, for one, would like to know what are those other more likely possibilities Mr. Paul has in mind.

    There is no debate in the scientific community about whether evolution is the best explanation for how the diversity of species across this planet came to be. No one who has looked at the evidence logically can say otherwise.

    Is this the kind of man you want making decisions? About anything? Can you trust his thought processes when the critical moment arrives? I think not.

  • stephen||

    "outweigh this unfortunate bit of ignorance." and thus you reveal your own bias.

    Have you got the same scientific credentials as he has (MD from Duke)? Just because he disagrees with you on a scientific theory people want him blacklisted. The same people, ironically, probably disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming.

    Science is rarely objective, almost always subjective. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with evolutionary theory (on varying levels) but I'm sure there are even more who are 'in the closet' (like GW deniers).

    The scientific community is an unforgiving fraternity that will chew you up and spit you out for a grant.

  • Smoke TNT||

    Oh noes!! He denies evolution. He also denies government as a religion, unlike the thousands of assholes in power that this article isn't about.

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