Is Ron Paul an Evolution Denier? Apparently Yes.

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Remember when three Republican presidential hopefuls raised their hands to declare their disbelief in biological evolution? Well, we can now add a fourth–Ron Paul. Republicans seem anxious to prove they are the party of scientific ignoramuses. Say it ain't so Dr. No! 

One cautionary note: There is a glitch in the video which might be an edit, but it doesn't appear to change what Paul is saying.

NEXT: Trimming the Presidential Fringes

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  1. *gets some popcorn*
    HAY WARREN! WHATCHA DRINKIN?

  2. Is there no end to this stupidity? Oh well, at least he isn’t interested in creating public policy based on his ignorant beliefs.

    1. Actually, evolution is only a theory. Its true that species clearly evolve and adapt out of necessity, but apes into humans? You have put your faith into the elites of old–think about it. As a social contract, social darwinism stands in direct opposition to sovereign self government. Dr. Paul’s views are actually quite consistent. Sure, if you teach everyone in a generation that we evolved from apes, most will probably agree with you. But that doesn’t put you on the side of reason.

      1. “apes into humans?”

        How ignorant.

      2. “Actually, evolution is only a theory.”

        Like the Theory of Gravity!

  3. D’oh!

  4. Perhaps he is a Pastafarian. They are a noodly bunch. And if you are against the spaghetti monster you are anti-pasta.

  5. thanks for posting it. He does kinda weasel out of the full answer, and we all know the federalist line. still, it comes off as a bad headline

  6. Silver lining = Republican cred.

  7. And now I get to get hammered by people who know I think Paul is the best candidate, even though I’ll explain to them that his views on this are irrelevant as he wouldn’t impose them on anyone.

    Fun. I guess the other possibility is that he said it to get the support of Hucksters, but that would be even worse.

  8. I’ll explain to them that his views on this are irrelevant as he wouldn’t impose them on anyone.

    Of course it’s relevant; it tells us that he’s stupid. That’s an important factor in choosing a president.

  9. Good thing he’s not applying for a position as a biology teacher, otherwise this would be a problem.

  10. It is just a ‘theory’, and not proven. The reality is that GOD created the earth in 7 days. That is fact, NOT theory. It is in the bible, that is ALL the proof that is needed. Period, end of discussion.

    I don’t think schools should teach nonsense. They should be required by law to teach the scientific fact of creationism and NOT the ‘theory’ of evolution.

    1. You are so stupid. The Bible is not absolute, there is much more evidence of evolution.

    2. You are so stupid. The Bible is not absolute, there is much more evidence of evolution.

  11. If that comment gains a few more votes from people that otherwise wouldn’t vote for Ron then I’m ok with it. After all, he wants the government out of schools and text books.

  12. I still think Ron Paul is the best option among the candidates running.

    That’s a sad comment on the other candidates.

  13. Of course it’s relevant; it tells us that he’s stupid. That’s an important factor in choosing a president.

    Funny, when I hear him talking about his views on the economy and free markets and our role in world affairs, ‘stupid’ is not the word that comes to mind.

    This obviously won’t help him too much, but as another poster said he’s not running for science teacher. He still has my vote.

    Another way to look at it: We all knew America was screwed before Paul came along. Now we can take comfort in going back to what we know.

  14. I agree, Dr. T. Knee jerk reaction was a slight cringe – then wrote it off because there’s no way I’m voting for any of the other candidates.

  15. Of course it’s relevant; it tells us that he’s stupid. That’s an important factor in choosing a president.

    Not for a candidate who would still be light years better than anyone else out there. If he’s smart enough to veto things and attempt to disband certain government departments, he’s smart enough for me.

  16. Thoreau –

    all of ’em are below the Mendoza line. This hopefully should demonstrate that a little more.

  17. The unedited version of the video can be seen here in Quick Time format. It doesn’t change that he believes in evolution, but I think it adds good context, and makes the video far less damning then people want to make it.

  18. Bailey, WTF. Pick up the phone and call the campaign and get confirmation one way or the other if you think there’s some sort of ambiguity or confusion here.

    Or get Weigel to do it.

    Specifically, establish if Paul is a young Earth creationist, or if he accepts the physics and biology standard to science but just thinks “God” was behind it all.

  19. I realize this is making gigantic assumptions, but generally disbelief in evolution goes along with creationism in general, which includes a rejection of deep time. This requires a rejection of all of physics (speed of light, size of the universe, etc. etc.) I don’t care whether someone doesn’t think that the Federal government should be involved in teaching it, but I am a little concerned having someone as commander in chief who doesn’t believe in the science behind the hydrogen bomb. Especially once he has his hand on the ‘button’….

  20. It makes it more damning.

    tendency towards theocrat.


  21. Specifically, establish if Paul is a young Earth creationist

    The only true science.

  22. As an atheist I extend the same tolerance to those who believe in divine creation as I would hope the religious would give to me. I thought it was one of the hallmarks of this country that people could differ on spiritual matters yet come together in common government.

    As for his knowledge of science, the man has a doctorate in medicine from Duke University and performed expertly in his practice. His decision to believe in creation is probably not from an examination of his technical knowledge, but an existential belief in a Creator.

  23. Ive said many times in the past that all politicians are corrupt, lying scumbags and I fully expect any libertarians ever elected will be corrupt, lying scumbags too. Just that they will be corrupt and lying in a more positive direction.

    I dont think “good government” is possible. RP is helping prove me right. He is still the best candidate running. Have you noticed how he often tries to deflect from talking about his religious beliefs? Maybe its because he knows it will turn off some of his voters.

  24. Specifically, establish if Paul is a young Earth creationist

    I think he has specifically denied it twice.

  25. I think the important point to get here isn’t that he’s skeptical of evolution, but that he really just doesn’t care, isn’t an absolutist on the matter, and doesn’t want to push his views on the school system. I *used* to be in that camp, and I consider myself well educated. Of course, I’ve been pushed into the evolution camp due to the overwhelming genetic evidence that’s come out recently and better evolutionary experiments (for a fun one, search for tame silver fox on google and youtube – sign of convergent evolution within a human lifetime)

  26. The only true science.

    Yes, Scientology. Can I tell you about the e-meter?

  27. You mean to say he’s not perfect? Well then, fuck it. I’m voting for Hilary now.

  28. Silver lining = Republican cred.

    At the margins. And it won’t convince a Romney or a Huckabee voter to switch.

  29. I’m at work and thus was only able to read the transcript, and it really seemed from that alone that he had his foot in his mouth trying to appeal to ambiguity on this one, which is no virtue by any token I suppose, however pragmatic, which is sad, given the fact that the Republican candidates are now made to feel like they must address THIS of all things as though it’s some litmus test.

    He says on one hand that he does not accept it as a theory and believes the creator made us as we are, then says he thinks there is insufficient data on both sides to make any definitive judgment. More than making me lose affection for Paul (which it certainly does, though I could have sworn he raised his hand when asked if he believed in evolution in May) it makes me more disgusted that evolution has become a political issue period, and I blame the religious right for that.

    I still support Paul though, and am reminded of a quote from Ayn Rand regarding Barry Goldwater,

    “If he advocates the right political principles for the wrong metaphysical reasons, the contradiction is his problem, not ours.”

  30. Well, Geoff Nathan, there’s Science, and then there’s science as it pertains to certain religious beliefs. I don’t think that Ron doesn’t know the difference. Also, I think I’d rather someone with some sense of morals have his hand on that button than someone with no morals and ready to go all guns-of-the-navarone on any country that irks him / her.

  31. I think he has specifically denied it twice.

    If he does it one more time before the rooster crows, does that make Huckabee Jesus?

  32. Ive said many times in the past that all politicians are corrupt, lying scumbags and I fully expect any libertarians ever elected will be corrupt, lying scumbags too. Just that they will be corrupt and lying in a more positive direction.

    I can see the variation on The Dead Zone now: wildly popular, supposedly libertarian politician wins presidency, while hiding his hyper-religosity. Upon gaining the nuclear football he starts WW_END in order to produce The Rapture.

    Wrtten by Joe Eszterhas.

  33. I’ve never grasped how anyone trained in the sciences turns around and chucks it out the window when it comes to supernatural causation.

    For him to NOT pander on this really makes me start thinking twice about Paul.

    The proper response was “I am a Christian, but my faith and beliefs are irrelevant – I support the clear line of separation established in the Constitution.”

  34. ROBC, that’s why I think clarification should be sought.

    It seems to me like Paul figured he was in SC and talking to rednecks, so he would weasel his answer and focus on the fact that he’s not a total materialist.

    If he was tailoring the parsing of his answer to his rube audience, that’s not a particularly attractive thing either – but it’s better than thinking the Earth is 6000 years old.

    It just doesn’t make sense that he would answer one way in the debate and another way in a forum in SC, unless the real answer is “Well everyone knows the universe is immensely old and natural selection drove biology on Earth, but I think that was God’s plan the whole time so I can say I don’t totally accept evolution and these hicks won’t know the difference.” It’s how he answers NAFTA questions, after all. Maybe this is the same thing.

  35. Also, I think I’d rather someone with some sense of morals have his hand on that button than someone with no morals and ready to go all guns-of-the-navarone on any country that irks him / her.

    Er..can I take that back? I don’t mean that people who don’t believe in creation don’t have morals… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Foot, Mouth…bleh…

  36. Gosh, why do the creationists and the evolutionists argue like the fate of the free world hinges upon one theory or the other being correct? One thing that (almost?) everyone can agree upon is that the universe had a beginning. First it was not, and then it became. Nobody was around in the beginning, so in the absence of any eyewitness accounts then, we will just have to offer up theories based upon the best evidence that we have available to explain how everything came to be. Quick question to both sides; could not the Creator of the universe and of the laws of nature have operated from within these very laws in order to create the physical world? Seems plausible to me, a Believer in the risen Jesus Christ. He says he created it and I believe him. I am just grateful that he gave man an inquisitive mind that enables us to discover some of the “how” of it all. That to me is the real miracle of creation.

    Meanwhile, back to the campaign…

  37. Rule #1: The most qualified, philosophically consistent individuals do not run for public office.
    Rule #2: We are always, always left with a choice of lesser evils.
    Rule #3: Don’t vote, or hold your nose, pull the lever (in backward states) and hope for the best.

  38. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  39. Asking a brilliant man like Ron Paul his opinion about evolution is like asking a nuclear physicist his opinion about piano tuning.
    Remember that Paul, unlike the rest of the field, would do everything in his power to bring competition and choice in education.
    The only creationist who is a danger is one who believes wholly in the myth of public education.
    Besides, Hillary believes in that phantom called “universal health care,” and she intends to implement it.
    Go Ron Paul!

  40. “Evolution” is itself a pretty ambiguous term. It can mean simply that species change over time or it can mean specifically that species develop exclusively through the forces of natural selection and sexual selection.

    Science doesn’t even pretend to have a coherent explanation for the very beginnings of life (the abiogenesis). I don’t see how anyone can truthfully say that “evolution explains life on earth” without that key piece of the puzzle–especially since there should be a little more clarity as to what is meant by “evolution.”

  41. It just doesn’t make sense that he would answer one way in the debate and another way in a forum in SC, unless the real answer is “Well everyone knows the universe is immensely old and natural selection drove biology on Earth, but I think that was God’s plan the whole time so I can say I don’t totally accept evolution and these hicks won’t know the difference.” It’s how he answers NAFTA questions, after all. Maybe this is the same thing.

    And then he can claim he’s a deist, just like the founding fathers! win-win!

  42. Beth,

    I used to be a big fan of stupid for president. After all, the biggest smarties, Nixon and Carter, were pretty easy picks for two of the worst ever. Yep, I used to be a big fan of stupid for president,…until W came along.

  43. As a person who trusts Natural Selection as the theory that best explains the evolution phenomenon, I can tell you that Ron Paul’s views on the subject are totally irrelevant. He is the only pro-freedom candidate out there, the only one that advocates less government intrusion. Such a person is better for education than an interventionist who also believes in the Special Creation theory. I do not think that his belief in Special Creation makes him a dangerous person or even stupid – just wrong on that issue.

  44. Fluffy,

    the real answer is “Well everyone knows the universe is immensely old and natural selection drove biology on Earth, but I think that was God’s plan the whole time so I can say I don’t totally accept evolution and these hicks won’t know the difference.” It’s how he answers NAFTA questions, after all. Maybe this is the same thing.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Interestingly enough, mine and his thoughts on evolution/NAFTA are the same. Including the part about the hicks not knowing the difference.

  45. OMG! This is horrible! Do I vote for evolution-denier Paul, or the liberty-denier Giuliani? Oh, if only it all didn’t hinge on their opinions of irrelevant matters…

    Sob.

  46. The intelligent question that the reporter didn’t ask:
    “Given your beliefs about creationism vs. evolution, would you require that America’s children learn your favored theory to the exclusion of the other?”
    And Ron Paul’s answer would have been:
    “I would give parents the choice what curricula their children learn.”
    Paul’s views on evolution qua evolution are totally irrelevant.

  47. The silver foxes search was very interesting Egosumabbas. Thanks for the information.

  48. I could care less what Ron Paul thinks about the origin of life.

  49. “Oh my Science!”

  50. I agree wholeheartedly with markh … there are two problems with this being a big issue. If,as Beth says, Paul is “stupid”, then it throws into question everything that he espouses. Does that suddenly mean that we of libertarian bent are supposed to throw out the baby with the bath-water? On one single issue upon which reasonable people disagree?
    The other problem is this: Who the f*** cares what Paul or anyone believes about the creation and/or evolution of the universe? I mean really, come on people … unless he is suggesting that his personal scientific/religious views be imposed upon others by legal mandate, this is simply a non-issue writ large. I wouldn’t give one damn if he or any other other candidates believed that Barney created the universe in seven hours – so long as he advocated lower taxes, smaller government and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Get a life people.

  51. “Stupid” isn’t the right word for young-earth creationists, by and large. It is a pig-headedness, or a refusal to face uncomfortable information. Willful nescience is not poor reasoning, an inability to think – but an unwillingness to.

    As everyone does that more than they would like to admit, picking on the creationists as a particularly bad example has some flavor of “your refusals to confront reality are worse than mine.” The other stray comments that critics drop when skewering the creationists betray that they have additional fish to fry in this discussion. Prejudices tangential to the political discussion are leaking out all over here.

    So much for patting yourselves on the back for being so much more enlightened than they.

  52. Ken Shultz | December 28, 2007, 4:14pm | #
    I could care less what Ron Paul thinks about the origin of life.

    I am with you there. So long as he doesn’t attempt to force his opinion on me by legal mandate, I don’t give a fuck if the president thinks the earth was shat out by an angel.

    There are many sticking points for me with regard to RP being the “perfect libertarian president”, this just isn’t one of them. Though I understand how his religious beliefs have affected his judgment of libertarian stances (eg. life at conception, abortion, etc.) I just can’t get worked up about a man admitting to what he believes in.

    I’d rather a honest man be the president than one who lies to get in the office.

  53. It is not an irrelevant issue.

    If I thought Paul believed in a 6000 year old Earth, or that fossil evidence was planted by the devil to test our faith, I would have to seriously consider not voting for him.

    Some things are just too stupid to be accepted.

    He’s not running for biology teacher, but in order to be a Young Earth creationist you have to be able to wilfully ignore evidence that does not fit your world-construct, and you have to do it in a host of different areas.

    I can also acknowledge that ideologues [like myself, and like Paul] are particularly vulnerable to the character flaw of wilful blindness to evidence when it doesn’t “fit”, and have to guard against it constantly. That means that any evidence that Paul suffers from it has to give you a lot of pause.

    I can accept a candidate who is a deist. I can even accept a candidate who thinks, “The Judeo-Christian God created the universe, and later on intervened in evolution to give us souls.” But it’s real, real hard to accept a candidate who thinks “Cavemen used to ride around on triceratops and joust each other”. Whether that has any direct impact on governance or not.

  54. I would vote for a Creationist over a “skeptic” like Paul. The former doesn’t tell me a thing about how he would behave on science questions, and the latter does.

    If you ask me how the wine turns into the blood of Christ but still has the attributes of wine, I’m not going to give you some bullshit about scientists not really being able to prove that it’s wine.

    I don’t mind if someone believes in something other than objective physical reality. I do. I just don’t like people being dishonest with themselves or others about it.

    I believe that the eucharist becomes the body and blood of Christ, and that the outward manifestations remain the same, but not the basic nature. I’m not going to go after scientists to support this belief, or misstate the science. It’s two different things. Science is about objective physical reality. The Bible can’t pull rank on scientific questions.

    This fake, self-serving, selective skepticism about science coming from the right is no good good for anything.

  55. This proves once again that Ron Paul is a wingnut.

    An anti-choice, anti-civil rights, evolution-denying wingnut.

  56. Serious question: Did Mitt evolve (read flip-flop) from believing in evolution to not believing in evolution? Anyone?

  57. —“Specifically, establish if Paul is a young Earth creationist, or if he accepts the physics and biology standard to science but just thinks “God” was behind it all.”—

    Exactly.

  58. Stupid? Not necessarily. I have a degree in engineering, and there is no way I would use the theory of evolution as the basis for any work involving real life calculations. It is just too freaking full of holes and circular logic.

    I believe in laws. I believe in trigonometry and geometry and the 2nd law of thermodynamics (which, by the way, pretty well refutes evolution and is the reason a large number of engineers don’t believe in evolution.

    I don’t believe in “young earth” creationism because it is easily disprovable (the earth on opposite sides of the sun is 180,000,000 million miles apart, with this base we can easily PROVE (as opposed to theorize) that we can see stars that are more than 6000 light years away. Therefore, the light has been traveling more than 6000 years. Hubble seems to have found galaxies 14 billion light years away, and if we can see them, they at least were 14 billion years old (they may well be gone now, but if so, we will never know it).

    And we will never know how life originated, or how species were differeniated, because evolution doesn’t explain anything. The more we learn about DNA, the less likely evolution becomes. I do not claim to have the answers, but the evolutionists are worse to me than the young earthers.

    I would say science has failed the creationists, and they have quite naturally turned to literal intrepretations of the Bible as they have discovered the line of bullshit they were taught in school is just that, bullshit.

  59. The first thing I did when I saw this linked from the HuffPost is a) notice the edit, b) try to find an unedited version.

    Apparently Ronald Bailey figured that only the first was necessary.

    (This post is only to suggest running a tigher ship around here.)

  60. Why is this news to anyone? He’s been an open theist as far as I can remember. Even if this lowered my opinion of Ron Paul, he’s still infinitely better than all the other candidates and is close enough to being right on the important issues. IOW, he still has my vote.

  61. I was going to write a lengthy post on this, but Fluffy already said everything I want to say.

  62. “Cavemen used to ride around on triceratops and joust each other”

    I’d like to believe that, because it sounds AWESOME.

  63. Fluffy . . . you are entitled to your opinion, and I even understand a tiny
    bit of where you are coming from. But it is undeniably snooty and sickeningly elitist. If this is reason enough to disqualify someone, then I fear that you are subject to a somewhat unbalanced view of the world. You were the snotty smart kid that everyone hated in school because he felt he had the corner on all truth and acted like a total d**k to anyone who didn’t buy into his world-view. Once again … get a life!

  64. x,y: Theist=/= young earth creationist.

  65. The rest of you are monkeys walking erect, but I am the motherfucking special creation of God. That’s my opinion of evolution.

  66. One other comment: the ad hominem crap that gets thrown around here is really tiresome. It contributes nothing to the discussion, and really ought to be embarrassing to the person posting it. This isn’t junior high, and there’s no need to add “you idiot!” to any statement of one’s views.

  67. Tim,

    There’s a lot wrong with what you are saying. First of all scientific “laws” are a misnomer. Anything that is a “law” is really a scientific theory under a quaint name. I.e. a really well tested notion that predicts reality extremely well. A scientific theory in the formal sense is a very strong framework which people usually confuse with the colloquial usage of “theory” to mean “hypothesis” or “conjecture”. The phrase “just a theory” when applied to scientific theories conflates these connotations in order to discredit real work.
    Quantum theory is “just a theory” but everything you do with a computer depends on it .

    Second, the statement that the 2nd law of thermo precludes evolution. The 2nd law refers to a tendency of an overall closed system over time. It says nothing about local decreases in entropy or about systems with inputs. So sure, the overall entropy may tend inexorably toward infinity in the overall universe, but that does not prevent local regions from having decreased entropy. If that were the case you’d have no stars, solar systems, etc.

    “The more we learn about DNA, the less likely evolution becomes”. And why is that exactly? You must be reading different papers then I am.

  68. “Cavemen used to ride around on triceratops and joust each other”

    I’d like to believe that, because it sounds AWESOME.

    mk,

    Let me introduce you to Jack Chick.

  69. CC,

    I’m new to these Internets. Do you mean “not equal to”? If so, I agree. All I mean is that Paul, for as long as I and probably anyone else can remember, believes in the existence of a creator of sorts. This is not news.

    Also, I’m troubled by the false dichotomy set-up and willingly followed by so many: evolution or creationism. There are too many variants on each, some so much that the original words may not have much meaning left.

  70. Watching them presidential candidates, I can see where Ron Paul has become an evolution denier.

  71. This obviously won’t help him too much, but as another poster said he’s not running for science teacher. He still has my vote.

    Ummm, he said it because he thought it would help him in the Southern states, and specifically in the one with the upcoming primary. If Ron Paul had said this in Massachusetts before a crowd of biology teachers, then it wouldn’t be pandering. He’s deliberately pissing off some of his core libertarian rationalist voters to reach out to the broader audience of Republican primary voters.

    As I pointed out in an earlier thread, listen carefully to how Ron Paul winds up this clip with some weasel words that would allow him to recast this statement to mean lots of things. He’s basically trying to straddle several mutually irreconciliable worldviews via strategic vagueness.

    Don’t care for this, but it’s a sight better than to pull a Huckabee and remove all doubt that you’re an ignorant science-denier who intends to impose that view upon legislation.

  72. STFU creation deniers.

  73. People who claim evolution is some flakey “theory” need to go back to 3rd grade (and maybe attend a school with an actual science curriculum) and look up the difference between

    1) Common Theory
    2) Scientific Theory
    3) Scientific Law

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory

    Because there is a huge difference between the “theory” of common language and that of a “scientific theory”. Every time I hear someone decry evolution as some whacky “theory” I wonder how such an uninformed person is able to survive in the modern world. I sure hope they don’t use any antibiotics, nor any of the other benefits of modern biology (of which evolution is the basis).

  74. The more we learn about DNA, the less likely evolution becomes.

    Interesting, I’m an engineer, and it’s BECAUSE of DNA research that I’ve become firmly entrenched in the evolution camp. The fact that decades of evolutionary research based only on fossils has been supported by recent DNA studies sealed the deal for me. Now whether or not DNA spontaneously came into existence due to a divine force is another question entirely. Until they can come up with an experiment that can create DNA out of a chemical soup, or that RNA somehow became DNA, I’m on the fence on this one.

    Remember, evolution simply describes evolution or progression, not prime causes.

    Also, we have to draw a distinction between Evolution and Natural Selection. Evolution is a testable phenomenon, whereas Natural Selection is the theory that explains why it happens. There are other competing scientific theories as to why it happens, and you can invoke the Flying Spaghetti Monster if you’d like. There’s a difference between how and why.

  75. One other comment: the ad hominem crap that gets thrown around here is really tiresome. It contributes nothing to the discussion, and really ought to be embarrassing to the person posting it. This isn’t junior high, and there’s no need to add “you idiot!” to any statement of one’s views.

    Agreed, but the trolls can get annoying. There’s only so much idiocy a man can take.

  76. I think Dr. Paul’s response was appropriate, ESPECIALLY considering the Christian Right vote is the main vote he is lacking and which he needs to become President. He already has the anti-war vote, the internet-freedom vote, the anti-drug-war vote, the economic literacy vote, and libertarian vote.

    Paul is also absolutely correct in stating that Darwinian evolution is a theory, just like Einsteinian relativity. The theory of evolution, while logical and true, is incomplete in terms of explaining the existence of life, intelligence and beauty. And while ‘intelligent design’ is a catch-phrase co-opted by Creationists and monotheists, I would bet most scientists have a spiritual side and do not doubt the tremendously mysterious aspects of time and space.
    Speaking of EVOLUTION; we are, after all, when it comes to scientific understanding, infants. We just started a few centuries ago and hopefully we will have many more centuries in which to grow.

    Vote Ron Paul!
    It’s the only ‘natural selection’!

  77. De Stijl,

    I used to collect Jack Chick tracts and other Christian prostelyzing paraphernalia as a teen.

    One of my favorite bits were a collection of cards that people used to hand out to kids at Heavy Metal concerts. They were printed with great Christian screeds that incorporated the names of the songs of the band you were seeing.

  78. Of course it’s relevant; it tells us that he’s stupid.

    Ummm, it tells us either:

    1) He’s ignorant on this one topic, which is NOT the same as stupid on all topics

    OR (the far more likely answer)

    2) He’s a far slicker and more calculating politician than most Reasonoids have assumed in their first blush of infatuation, and is pandering to Southern voters because he thinks he has a chance of actually winning this damn race, but has the foresight to use weasel words so he can tack back to the center for the general election.

    I.e., he’s pulling a Romney.

  79. Funny, when I hear him talking about his views on the economy and free markets and our role in world affairs, ‘stupid’ is not the word that comes to mind.

    I’ll go with clueless.

  80. We really don’t know his complete views on the subject… it could well be that he believes — as do most pro-evolutionist Americans — that God was responsible for evolution itself. The problem is that the fundy base cannot begin to consider such an explanation as in any way satisfactory. A “yes” is tantamount to disbelief in God. The only answer for a Repub Politician is a “no” even if his honest answer is very much qualified.

    Full disclosure. I am a pro-evolution, there is no God, human secularist, libertarian-anarchist, pro-Ron Paul individual. And I’ll vote.

  81. I dont think “good government” is possible. RP is helping prove me right. He is still the best candidate running. Have you noticed how he often tries to deflect from talking about his religious beliefs? Maybe its because he knows it will turn off some of his voters.

    I really wish he would have said, “Is this any of your business?”

  82. I’ll go with clueless.

    But what how would you describe Ron Paul’s views?

  83. Prolefeed:

    If that’s the case, hey – I can live with that.

    But the campaign has to throw us a bone. A wink and a nudge. Something.

    Paul obviously knows that his libertarian base skews less fundamentalist than the general population and you can’t fuck with your base like that.

  84. I’m still unclear on why I should be skeptical of scientists telling me the earth is undergoing anthropogenic warming but fully accepting of scientists telling me Darwin was right. (I’ll acknowledge that I know very little about biology, but I do have a master’s degree in atmospheric science, for what it’s worth…)

  85. Ron Paul is not a ‘young earth creationist’, he would’ve said so.

    Check his position on stem cell research.

    The BIG question for all:

    Do you think we should permit our government to keep on killing people in other countries in maintenance of the U.S. empire? (Not to mention its real threat to the fate of OUR future)

    Well, do you?

    If you answer is a definite NO, then your easiest action to tell the elitist oligarchy running this country to stop is to support Ron Paul.

    If you think other issues stack up to this one, please explain why.

    If you have a better solution at hand, please tell us about it.

  86. All your base are belong to Paul.

  87. x,y: You’re right, of course, about the non-binary nature of beliefs about role of of god (or lack thereof) in the creation of man and the universe. It does seem as though a lot of people assume that anyone who believes in any sort of god is a young-earth creationist. I assumed that was what you were getting at. Clearly, I was wrong. Sorry about that.
    Personally, I don’t care whether or not Paul is a theist. But if he is a creationist, I would have a harder time voting for him.

  88. There’s a reason I don’t believe chance led to the evolution of homo sapiens, and that’s because at the extremes improbability is indistinguishable with impossibility. If you think several trillion monkeys at typewriters could eventually type out Hamlet, or that chance alone accounts our origins, you need to check out the math: The Mathematics of Monkeys and Shakespeare.

  89. Second, the statement that the 2nd law of thermo precludes evolution. The 2nd law refers to a tendency of an overall closed system over time. It says nothing about local decreases in entropy or about systems with inputs. So sure, the overall entropy may tend inexorably toward infinity in the overall universe, but that does not prevent local regions from having decreased entropy. If that were the case you’d have no stars, solar systems, etc.

    The creationists like the tornado in a junk yard analogy when it is really a tornado in a magnet factory.

  90. Hmm…don’t know how to respond to this one…I am a left winger who hates creationists but likes Ron Paul…Whatever??!!

  91. As I pointed out in an earlier thread, listen carefully to how Ron Paul winds up this clip with some weasel words that would allow him to recast this statement to mean lots of things. He’s basically trying to straddle several mutually irreconciliable worldviews via strategic vagueness.

    So Ron is just another weasel. Yep.

  92. Well,I’m the only one on this board who has ever run as a fellow GOP Congressional nominee with Ron Paul (1974)…..and I can say without fear of contradiction,that as a practicing gynecologist,Ron Paul never laid down on the job

  93. Ron Just lost some of the Catholic vote on that one. The Church is in the evolution camp.

  94. Of course it’s relevant; it tells us that he’s stupid.

    One thing I’ve learned is that information is not really relevant to making a decision unless it creates a distinction. In the Presidential primary, being “stupid” is a universal condition; ergo, Ron Paul is not distinctive in his stupidity, so this won’t change anybody’s mind.

  95. Wait, he does not believe in evolution but he is for the gold standard?

    Now, more than ever, NOBODY needs to make up stuff, like that Nazi crap, about Dr. Paul. The truth will work just fine. There is already a word for this: Fairbanksing.

  96. In a country of religious idiocy I doubt this will hurt Paul much…in some sense I wish I was wrong.

  97. Darwin was a devout Christian. He saw in evolution the order created by God. I think in, the end, we’ll find Ron Paul THERE.

    And yes, Ron Paul was elected to congress 10X, to accomplish this, you have to, at the very least, express yourself with nuance from time to time.

    Reminds me of the joke:

    Did you hear abut the agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac?

  98. Can someone explain to me the relevance of the evolution – creation debate in the presidential race? Come to think of it, can anyone explain to me the relevance of the evolution – creation debate, period? I.e. if one or the other were suddenly proven true, would anything of significance in the world change?

  99. There’s a reason I don’t believe chance led to the evolution of homo sapiens, and that’s because at the extremes improbability is indistinguishable with impossibility.

    This is a strange argument to make regarding the character of our universe, as it is the only universe we have direct experience of. There are bound to be some very low-probability things that occur in any individual universe; hey, if you roll a die that has 1,000,000,000 sides, one of the sides is going to come up, even though the odds of it doing so were a billion to one against.

    Now if you could show me that there were a thousand universes, and that in every one of those universes the same nearly-impossible event had occurred, THAT would make me think about the possibility of a divine hand.

  100. You are all forgetting one important point. He is going to try to get rid of the NEA and and the US Department of Education. This means he believes in the separation of education and state. Why do his beliefs matter?

    But, just in case you still think his beliefs matter let’s clear something else up…

    A “theory” in science is an explanation of the observations. They have proven evolution to be “fact” through this line of reasoning…

    Fruit flies changing generation to generation is an observation of generational organism change.

    Organisms changing generation to generation is called evolution.

    Evolution is a “fact”.

    Therefore, evolution is both “theory” and “fact”. This is the same logic used for the Theory of Gravity and Ron Paul agrees with this.

    What Dr. Paul is REALLY talking about is how this universe came to be. This is a totally different subject and has yet to be proven through “theory” or “fact”. I don’t even think we CAN prove it. Therefore, believing in “God” creating the universe or the universe popping out of nowhere is blind faith.

    We haven’t even decided if the universe began. Is it Big Bang, Steady State, or Pulsating? We’re still studying String Theory and the Theory of Everything. No one knows the origins of the universe or how DNA came to be or how everything works. Many have theories that have not been proven as fact.

    This does not mean you are stupid for believing in one of these theories, although, you are stupid if you believe one of these theories is a “fact”.

  101. Brandybuck,

    But producing Shakespeare at random is far different from a physical chemical process with a competitive, selection based flow. And in microscopic processes there are an awful lot of monkeys.

    Comparing physical processes to a monkey at a typewriter is a bit silly. How about I start with 1000000 monkeys and keep shooting all the dumbest ones and letting the smartest ones breed. Wanna bet after 1000000 years I’ll at least have a Dan Brown in the bunch? No, how about 1000000000 years?

  102. How about I start with 1000000 monkeys and keep shooting all the dumbest ones and letting the smartest ones breed.
    stoneymonster

    That would not be natural selection. That would be stoneymonster selection (you selected the survivors).

  103. Einstein was a bad with politics (he was a socialist) yet good with science. Why can’t the opposite be true? If in any way his science would get in the way of his politics, well then that’s a part of his politics. For example, a person who wants nothing but to teach creationism and remove evolution from schools is not a good policy maker! In Paul’s case, the chances of this are diminutive.

  104. …That would not be natural selection. That would be stoneymonster selection (you selected the survivors).

    That is a form of intelligent design actually. Assuming stoneymonster is intelligent.

  105. I don’t know to be happy or sad…sad in which i like to think everyone thinks what i think…but happy to know that this will probably help him get elected.

  106. “Paul is dead man … miss him, miss him.”

    The Beatles – White Album – the Ringo/John gibberish backwards masking at the end of “I’m So Tired”.

  107. So what? I am an atheist and obviously a non-believer in creationism. His personal belief does not affect me.

    Thing is: there are issues much more important facing us than creationism/evolution. People like myself who may disagree with Ron Paul on things like this basically approach the campaign from a “triage” standpoint. Things like war and the economy are more critical than evolution.

    It’s a non issue to me.

  108. “Comparing physical processes to a monkey at a typewriter is a bit silly. How about I start with 1000000 monkeys and keep shooting all the dumbest ones and letting the smartest ones breed. Wanna bet after 1000000 years I’ll at least have a Dan Brown in the bunch? No, how about 1000000000 years?”

    To insert a little literary snark, I suspect that zoos around the country already have monkeys of Dan Brown writing ability. No need to wait on any selective breeding or natural selection for that to happen.

  109. Dear M. Simon,

    I am happy to hear you believe that local decreases in entropy are possible. I happen to have a perpetual motion machine for sale, I think you might be interested…….

    Stoneymonster,

    Um, no laws are LAWS, which are provable using mathematical proofs. Trig is based on such laws, and deriving the proofs is part of a real education, as opposed to what most people get over in the education or liberal arts departments. All the rest is theory, and in many cases is very probable, but still theory. In some cases, you can treat the theory as fact and get away with it (when working out chemical reactions, atoms can be treated as indivisible without screwing up the results, until the day you manage to chemically separate out 5 or 6 kgs of U235 and store it all in one place. At that point, the old indivisible atom theory is going meet reality rather painfully.

    As far as DNA, I really don’t see how anyone could believe you could get the billions of bits of information necessary to get a human being without some sort of guidance.

  110. Why do a President’s views on evolution matter? Because even the most self-declared libertarian President at some point WILL be required to invoke the authority of government to respond to a matter of urgent importance to the country. And when that time comes, we NEED to have a President who is able to review the evidence of the situation and come to the best possible conclusion based on clear-minded and rational reason.

    Anybody who rejects evolution in favor of creation myths of any kind prove themselves to be incapable to reaching good conclusions based on the evidence presented to them, and they show serious signs of placing “faith” over evidence in their general decision-making process. Bush has already shown us how badly a guy who relies on “beliefs” more than he “evidence” to reach a conclusion can really muck things up.

    If I was certain that Paul was perfectly rational on every topic EXCEPT for evolution, then I would give him a pass. However, I have no way of knowing that, so I can’t. As such, he goes into the “wacko bin” category on my ballot, and that’s a group that I will never vote for … even if they are more libertarian on the surface than their opponents.

    I’m not against people having religion — that’s cool. I’m just against people using religion in place of reason to make important decisions that impact ME. I ain’t in the mood to roll the dice on getting a President who’s itchin’ to initiate The Rapture anytime soon … and as soon as we get rid of the current President (who is still making me nervous on that front), I want to upgrade in that respect.

  111. As far as DNA, I really don’t see how anyone could believe you could get the billions of bits of information necessary to get a human being without some sort of guidance.

    Hey, if you can show me some evidence of this “guidance,” I’m totally with you.

  112. As far as DNA, I really don’t see how anyone could believe you could get the billions of bits of information necessary to get a human being without some sort of guidance.

    Will 5 billion years of patience do?

  113. Tim,
    For this experiment, you start with a sugar solution in a jar with a string suspended in the middle of the sugar solution. As the experiment proceeds, the sugar crystallizes onto the string and clarifies the water. Within the confines of the jar during the duration of the experiment, which do you have?:
    a) local decrease in entropy
    b) no change in entropy
    c) increase in entropy
    d) all of the above

  114. You people are nuts.

  115. I believe GOD created the heavens and earth in 6 24 hour days. I believe he is our creator, and no one or nothing else. I am not part of some lie that I evolved from something other than GOD creation. If people have a problem with that, so be it. I don’t have a problem with them believing any lie that want. For proof, just read and study the Bible. It’s all in there, if people want to believe it or not. I just happen to have read and studied the Bible for 20 years and can not find one mistake or error in the great book. Jesus lives, that isn’t something you can say about Darwin.

  116. If that comment gains a few more votes from people that otherwise wouldn’t vote for Ron then I’m ok with it.

    I think these people are too busy copulating with their own sisters to bother voting much.

  117. Anomdebus,

    Sorry, you failed to provide enough information to answer the question.
    What is the starting and ending temperature of the fluid the sugar is in solution in?
    Is the medium the sugar is in solution in water or some other fluid?
    Is solution the right term for what you are describing, keeping in mind that “solution” has a very specific meaning when we are talking about chemistry?
    Is the solution in a state of supersaturation, and if so, how did you get it to the state of supersaturation?
    How are you isolating the contents of the jar, and is the isolation perfect?

    When you provide answers to the above questions, I can provide answers to your questions. Uh, be careful not to include any impossbiblities.

  118. I had planned to take issue with the Stupid remark but it’s been done and done well.

    So, Brad, what rational presidential candidate will you vote for instead of that wingnut Ron Paul? Which candidate has proved that he/she is able to review the evidence of the situation and come to the best possible conclusion based on clear-minded and rational reaon.

    Who, exactly, would that be? Mitt Romney? Ghouliani? St Hill?

    Get outta town.

  119. There’s no getting around the fact that I find this all embarrassing, especially for someone who gets spontaneous order as it relates to economics but not, apparently, as it relates to biology. Fortunately, I’m not voting for Biologist In Chief. And fortunately for Ron Paul, this doesn’t fit into a larger narrative for him in the way it does for Huckabee, who is basing his entire campaign on his interpretation of Southern Baptist theology. Paul, meanwhile, bases his campaign on his interpretation of the Constitution, which, from my reading, doesn’t address biology at all.

  120. Kudos to Reason for reporting this.

  121. hey, if you roll a die that has 1,000,000,000 sides, one of the sides is going to come up, even though the odds of it doing so were a billion to one against.

    A billion to one odds is nothing. When it comes to monkeys and Shakespeare, however, you’re going to need more than a billion of those billions. The odds are so incredibly enormously against it that the number won’t fit in your calculator. Did you read the paper I linked to? It’s not religous in the least, so don’t be afraid of it. But it does have some heavy duty math in it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe the Earth is less than a million years old. But neither do I believe that a sufficiently large number of monkeys can type out Hamlet. At the extremes, some statistics are so mind bogglingly improbable that they are impossible. Talking about the number of monkeys necessary to produce Hamlet is like talking about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

  122. Apparently, you like to put your own spin on Paul’s words. Yes, that seems apparent to me. Do they pay you to do this?

  123. TWC: Whoever rises to the top of the folks who have not yet declared that they don’t “believe in” evolution. I haven’t made a final selection yet, but Paul is pretty much removed from consideration, along with Huckabee.

  124. Brad,

    There is SO much wrong with your comment…

    #1 – I ain’t in the mood to roll the dice on getting a President who’s itchin’ to initiate The Rapture anytime soon…

    First of all, “I ain’t”? Second, how the hell would he “initiate” the rapture and what does that have to do with the origins of the universe?

    #2 – Anybody who rejects evolution in favor of creation myths of any kind prove themselves to be incapable TO reaching good conclusions…

    There is no such thing as bad conclusions. There is only conclusions, saying good is pointless.

    He did not “reject evolution” he simply said he believed God created the universe and the origin of the universe is questionable. Only .3% of America is atheist, so expecting a candidate to not believe in God is ridiculous. Even if an atheist ran, they more than likely would not be elected.

    #3 – I’m not against people having religion…

    People do not “have religion” but, obviously you are against a president “having religion”. You are saying that ANY candidate who believes that “God” created the universe is incapable of being a good president and lacks the ability to separate their beliefs from The Constitution. There is no logic behind this line of reasoning.

    This is the silliest reason to NOT vote for Paul. ALL the candidates believe in God creating the universe. ALL the candidates read the old testament and go to church. What are you proposing we do? Not vote until an agnostic or atheist runs under the libertarian ticket? I’m sorry, but I can’t wait that long for freedom to come back to America and to be perfectly honest, I think Ron Paul would open up the door to the possibility of an Atheist-Libertarian being president.

    This story is just another failed attempt to make Ron Paul look bad to the Ron Paul supporters.

  125. And for those who keep saying that it doesn’t matter what he think about evolution, because he’s so disciplined by his Constitutional beliefs that it wouldn’t impact us, have you read this blurb that he wrote:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul148.html

    Is anybody ready to sign up with a guy who states that “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.”

    Sure, he adheres to HIS interpretation of the Constitution. No shit. So does everybody else. The devil is in HOW he interprets the Constitution. And a guy who doesn’t care for that whole Jeffersonian church/state separation thing is not much of a libertarian in my book.

  126. Tim:

    The Earth is not a closed system, so if temperature change invalidates the jar as a test of entropy, the Earth can’t be such a test either. The sun adds energy to the system in massive amounts every day.

    Also, evolution isn’t really comparable to mathematics – it’s more comparable to history. I can’t give you a mathematical proof like those in geometry or trigonometry that Ronald Reagan was once President of the United States – but anyone who says that it’s not “proven” that Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States is a moron.

    The obtuse positivism of some math types is really annoying.

    You may not think that the historical evidence of evolution is on a par with the historical evidence that Ronald Reagan was President of the United States – but as these things are measured it’s not really that far off. Certainly the age of the universe and the general tectonic history of the Earth is as well attested as any individual event in US history, including the ones we have photographic evidence for.

  127. Awwwwwwww crap.

    I’m still voting for him. But I think he just lost $1,250

  128. Shayrah: Excellent response to my post. You correctly caught one intentional use of the word “ain’t” as well as identified my use of “good conclusion” and “bad conclusion” in ways that could probably be better worded as “conclusions based on rational thought” and “conclusions based on belief in magic.”

    However, neither of those detracts from the points I made, nor do they indicate any “wrong” with my post other than some minor semantics that don’t impact the content of the post.

    Please explain the logic behind your assertion that a guy who publicly refutes evolution AND speaks against the separation of church and state is somehow a conduit to the potential of one day having an openly agnostic President? How does that make any sense at all?

    Yes, yes, I know that Paul has a cult following of people who see him as some of visionary of change, but I’m just not seeing it.

    My first requirement in a President is that they can make good decisions (better semantics for you there?) and reach conclusions that make sense based on reason and rational thought. Policies (which generally don’t get implemented anyway) come after that. Paul fails the first test for me.

  129. Tim,

    As far as DNA, I really don’t see how anyone could believe you could get the billions of bits of information necessary to get a human being without some sort of guidance.

    What you’ve said here is: “I’m an engineer and [standard Intelligent Design argument].” Until you explain the actual reason for your claim that knowledge about DNA produces evidence against the theory of evolution, that’s just a fallacious appeal plus something we’ve all seen before.

  130. “Can someone explain to me the relevance of the evolution – creation debate in the presidential race? ”

    Well, if Ron Paul were to succeed in his stated intention to remove the federal government’s involvement in schools, then it would of course be moot.

    The real issue is that as long as there’s a monopoly schooling cartel, just what’s going to be taught at the taxpayer’s expense is going to be something for people to fight over. The solution is trivial: 100% tax credits for private school tuition.

    -jcr

  131. Brad,

    The separation of church and state put forth in the constitution has to do with making laws against a religion. The public display of religious parifanalia and prayer in certain places is an entirely different subject.

    For example:

    President “Separation of Church and State” (Thomas Jefferson) himself said before Congress…

    “I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

  132. Will 5 billion years of patience do?

    Maybe. But your asking me to accept that somehow, out of nothing, a few stray amino acids washed up on the beach out of some primordal stew and during the ensuing five billion years acquired the knowledge and taste to create great wine.

    OTOH, I’m watching five kids this afternoon (ages 2-11) and I’m pretty sure at least two of them offer hard evidence that evolution is fact (even though they haven’t evolved very dam far).

  133. Tim,
    I hope you are not just trying to be annoyingly precise in order to throw me. I believe you could have answered the question with what you believe to be a reasonable assumptions. If you chose different assumptions, then it would be incumbent upon me to clarify what my assumptions were.

    I am talking about an experiment conducted in your kitchen, and so you can assume you will have the sort of things most people have in their kitchens: air, gravity, heat, etc..
    Regarding temperature, lets say that the ingredients have come to an equilibrium temperature with the surroundings.
    I would assume that for a time, the solution would increase in temperature due to the sugar moving toward a less energetic state. The heat to eventually transfer from the liquid to the surroundings and re-equilibrates.
    I said the water becomes clearer, so I’ll go with water.
    Solution n 1a A homogeneous mixture of two or more substances, which may be solids, liquids, gases, or a combination of these.
    I think you are familiar with the experiment I am talking about. I don’t believe supersaturation is required, though it may take a long time.
    The jar is not at all isolated. The point isn’t about isolation, its about how to show that everything must not exclusively increase in entropy, only as a whole will entropy increase.

    If you want a simpler example. You buy a bag of legos and dump them on the floor. Even before dumping them, they were out of order. You take the time to order them in a straight line. The legos have had their entropy decreased at the cost of increased entropy in yourself (lower energy level). Overall, entropy increased, but the legos don’t reflect this.

    You have a genesis problem no matter what. God either always existed, in which case so might have some form of life. Or God didn’t always exist and you have the same problem as abiogenesis.

  134. ” It is in the bible, that is ALL the proof that is needed. Period, end of discussion.”

    Thanks for illustrating so clearly the fact that you bible-thumpers are incapable of reason.

    -jcr

  135. “Anybody who rejects evolution in favor of creation myths of any kind prove themselves to be incapable to reaching good conclusions based on the evidence presented to them, and they show serious signs of placing “faith” over evidence in their general decision-making process.”

    Brad, that would mean that all non-evolutionists are unfit for the presidency, a difficult proposition to buy into. Further, it does not exclude any evolutionists that happen to be legitimately unfit for the presidency, meaning that somebody has to dream up additional qualifying rules. I still maintain that the evolution – creation question is not relevant to the presidential race.

  136. How do we know how old something we find in the ground is? We check the layer in which it was found.

    How do we know how what era a layer in the ground is? We check to see what items have been found in it.

  137. Has any Presidential candidate stated his or her belief in the “theory of evolution” as indisputable scientific fact?

    I’m betting No.

  138. I don’t believe in God. I believe that evolution is the most probable theory we have on the origin of the species. We may find evidence in the future that there are other things in play as well, especially considering all of the unanswered questions the theory raises. Paul said evolution is a theory. Evolution is a theory. Real science deals in probabilities not absolutes. When someone says something is an absolute truth (like evolution) and there can’t possibly be any other explanations or contributing factors and that any who is skeptical is an idiot, that viewpoint is not scientific in nature, it is dogmatic (religious). Additionally, I really fail to see how his opinion on this would impact his presidency, especially given the fact that he’s the only candidate that believes the federal government should stay out of the classroom. Also, 95% of the people on the planet believe in some sort of creation story. While it would be nice if one of the 5% of the smarter people would run for president, it hasn’t happened before, and I wouldn’t look for it to happen anytime soon. I have my issues with Paul, but this certainly isn’t one of them. It’s a nice media gotcha question for the GOP candidates though. I don’t see to many of those gotcha questions being asked of the democrats.

  139. If I was certain that Paul was perfectly rational on every topic EXCEPT for evolution, then I would give him a pass. However, I have no way of knowing that, so I can’t. As such, he goes into the “wacko bin” category on my ballot, and that’s a group that I will never vote for … even if they are more libertarian on the surface than their opponents.

    I personally consider the following to be “whacko bin” material: “Stealing from some people to give a portion to others while systematically removing their choices on everything from what mileage their car can get to what lightbulbs they can buy will make everyone’s lives better”.

    By this test, everyone other than Ron Paul running in the major parties is a major whackjob who can’t be trusted with power. I am willing to forgive Paul for either pandering or being a bit thick on the somewhat irrelevant topic at hand so long as he’s clearheaded about the big picture of how to increase liberty.

    Fluffy — I’m sure you can find someone running in the Libertarian Party primary who holds rational views on evolution and believes in freedom. They don’t hold a snowballs chance in hell of winning, but I would certainly understand if you felt you had to do that.

  140. YEC,

    That sounds like geomorphology.

  141. Shayrah: To return your proof-reading favor … first of all, “parifanalia?” Although I don’t expect you did that with ironic intent like I did with my use of the word “ain’t.”

    Anyway … what’s that post prove? Nothing. Yes, leaders can reference religion in speeches … that has nothing to do with making sure that government does not promote (a) religion, including Paul’s silly blurb on the Fox News “War on Christmas” bullshit.

    If you can find Jefferson stating someplace that the government should sponsor religious events with taxpayer money, then quote it. But simply quoting something where he makes reference to the Deistic notions of “providence” don’t do much to rebut the whole separation of church and state that is supported by the First Amendment.

  142. I don’t believe in God. I believe that evolution is the most probable theory we have on the origin of the species. We may find evidence in the future that there are other things in play as well…

    Such as a God?

  143. But Brad, Jeff owned slaves and he favored tax paid education. On top of that there was that Pirate thing and he bought New Orleans with tax money.

    And your pissed at RP for disbelieving evolution?

  144. rpu28: Why is that a difficult proposition to buy into?

    Would you agree that anybody who publicly declared that they literally and truly believed that we were all created as it is told in the story of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is unfit to be President?

    Of course I think that anybody who literally believes that Genesis in nonfiction and an accurate history of our world is unfit to be President.

    And, for the most part, the only people who don’t accept the theory of evolution are those who are motivated by their literal belief in the creation myth of some religion (even if they water it down for public appearance purposes and call it “intelligent design” or something similar).

  145. Despite this, Dr. Paul is still easily the most scientifically literate pres candidate including all the Dems. And we may be assured that Dr Paul will never use the force of government to push creationism (I doubt he believes in that either) or anything like it.

  146. Such as a God?

    Yeah, or half a dozen gods. Or aliens. Or prion-like proto-life that predates the planet itself. Or wizards. Given that the only criterion is “factors we haven’t yet observed to influence the development of life,” why not just sit down, have a glass of gin and go crazy with imagination?

  147. Brad,

    I guess I believe an atheist would have more of a possiblity to run for president after Paul getting there because, when the people are free of tyranny and regulation, they can flourish and become educated which, as history has shown, leads to enlightenment and scientific discovery, which would destroy most religious fallacies leading to more atheists and increasing the possiblity of an atheist running for president.

  148. TWC: If you are now trying to start a discussion about how Thomas Jefferson was not perfect, you will find little resistance from me. But I find little relevance to that in anything we have been talking about.

    I’m not pissed at RP for anything.

    I just won’t vote for him because I don’t think he’d be a good President.

    Strange how that sort of thing almost offends the “true believers” (on so many levels).

  149. Shayrah: Uh huh. And exactly how will a President who doesn’t even belief that government and church should be kept separate usher in a modern Age of Enlightenment?

    What specific policies do you see him advocating that would encourage people to become more educated, enlightened and less religious?

  150. Such as God?

    No such evidence exists. I’m certainly not holding my breath that we’ll have any such evidence anytime soon. As David Hume said, to paraphrase slightly, “the most that can be claimed is that the degree of order evidenced by the universe could possibly be the manifestation of something remotely analogous to a designing intelligence. But that is a far cry from proof of the existence of a personal God, the God of the Christians or the Jews. And feelings of certainty are not knowledge.” All I’m saying that no discussion should ever be closed, because you just never know what the next hundred or thousand years from now. It’s funny to me how we all pretend to believe we have it all figured out, and all those generations before us were so stupid. New evidence, perhaps coming from the exciting new field of genetics, may further fill the gaps in the theory of evolution and make it stronger or it may prove the whole process much more complex then we ever thought. We may never know the full answer with anything close to 100% certainty and that’s ok.

  151. Brad, I’m mostly being flippant but….I just thought it odd that you seem quite willing to cut Jeff some slack (as I am) but don’t seem to be able to get past the whole evolution thing. I find that interesting because, except for the LP candidates, you aren’t likely to find anyone who comes reasonably close to having a meaningful libertarian outlook.

    Yes, I am a true believer, that’s why I’d never consider voting for anyone running for office except RP and any other LP candidate. Since i’m not going to get what I want anyway I am certainly not going to waste my vote on the likes of [insert name of any candidate you want here].

    It is mere illusion to imagine that any of the candidates will offer anything but more of the same nonsense that has permeated the political arena since I have been alive. Yet the actual true believers look at the ccandidates presented and actually believe that one or another of them offers something meaningful. Bottom line never changes though. More taxes, more interventions, more loss of liberty. Take that to the bank. Hasn’t changed in the last 50 years.

    RP has a track record of voting no on everything to come down the pike. What kind of track record do the rest of the candidates have? Every one has voted for shit I hate bad. Every one. So tell me why I would help any one of them get elected?

  152. Brad, one man’s faith is another man’s folly. You seem to have as much faith that creationism is false as others do that creationism is true – fact is, no one knows enough to certainly reject or accept either evolution or creation. All you can do is “believe” (sometimes faithfully) in one theory or the other. This is different from, say, the abortion litmus test because abortion is tangible.

  153. Note that our own thoreau PhD, one of H&Rs most precious treasures (just send me the $250 via Paypal, thoreau), is a libertarian physicist and a believing Catholic as well.

    (Full disclosure- I’m a non-believer in any manner of Gods)

  154. Speaking of politicians and other parasites, the “Russian Tame Fox” youtube video falsely calls dog the first domestic animal, that benign mutant RP being a blessed exception.

  155. FWIW, I consider myself a spiritual person, but not a religious person. I’ve been inside a church maybe three times in the last fifteen years, and that was for a Christmas service, a wedding, and a funeral. For the first eighteen years of my life I was in church every Sunday. Every Sunday, and I’m making up for that by sleeping in now.

    It seems like hitting the easy button, but I don’t think it’s contradictory to theorize that God created creatures that could evolve. I believe in God because I feel his presence throughout my daily life. I thank him constantly for everything, from making sure the shitter is empty when I’ve gotta go at work, to keeping my kids healthy, to keeping my parents from becoming destitute, to making the truck driver see me before trying to change lanes on I-5.

    Paul’s comments here, if they are what he believes, don’t change that he is right about most of the other stuff. And that’s why he still has my vote.

  156. Dammit, you all, we’re in the matrix and nothing is real anyhow. All your perceptions are being fed to you by the matrix and it all began 57 years ago.

    Now, prove it ain’t so.

  157. Isn’t the whole point that Ron Paul would make the Presidency a safe(r) office for cosmologists of any or no stripe to occupy? Isn’t that the point? Isn’t it? That’s the point. That’s what it is.

  158. rpu28: Yeah, I’ve heard that theory more than a few times in these arguments … it’s a common rhetorical device used by the creationist crowd.

    When there is zero evidence of any kind to support a theory (such as creationsim), it is not a matter of “faith” to not believe that such a theory has merit.

    So no, that argument holds no water. I don’t base my lack of “belief” in creationism in “faith” of any kind. I base my unwillingness to believe in something that has zero evidence to support it as simply a function of common sense.

    Until such time as someone discovers evidence to support their views of creationism, it will hold exactly as much validity in my mind as the Greek and Roman and Native American and Egyptian creation myths.

  159. (just send me the $250 via Paypal, thoreau), is a libertarian physicist and a believing Catholic as well.

    Was that a petition for a Paypal Indulgence?

  160. TWC: I didn’t cut Jeff any slack … I was just speaking well of his one position (that being his church/state position).

    I totally agree that there is no candidate that isn’t without flaws. I honestly don’t really like any of them in their entirety. And each of us just has to decide how to weight the negatives of each.

    To me, personally, a question as essential as the evolution/creation and church/state thing is a biggie, and one that I prioritize highly. I will take some silly social programs (which would happen regardless, most likely) over a guy whose words run counter to a virtue of the Constitution that I hold to be very important.

    We each just have to pick our poison, and unless Paul has a conversation of reason in the near future, he’s not the one for me.

  161. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”

    Ron Paul won’t impose his views on us…and he has wide support because, as he says, freedom is popular.

  162. Pakistan’s interior ministry said Friday that Benazir Bhutto died from hitting her vehicle’s sunroof when she tried to duck after a suicide attack, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found in her.

    Who does this guy think he is…Arlen Spector?

  163. The Matrix is Marxist propaganda!!!

  164. I’m rather inclined to think that Paul disagrees with Darwinism, more so than evolution. Though, I really don’t know. I would imagine though that he would have plenty on his platter politically, and whatever his belief probably hasn’t really researched it.

  165. Brad,

    Jefferson said that in front of Congress (State) promoting God (Church). He was the one who wrote a letter to the Danbury baptists that coined the famous phrase “Separation of Church and State”.

    Why does the president put his hand on a bible when he is sworn in? Why do they pray in congress? Why is there crosses all over our historical state objects?

    If there were an absolute separation of church and state, these things would not exist in our country and the author of it would not go against it.

    Since this has ALWAYS been this way in America, even during our enlightenment era, how would that be a problem for elightenment today?

    That is how freedom works, we don’t impose any laws or regulations against religion, even if you, Brad, don’t like it.

    Also, you said…anybody who literally believes that Genesis in nonfiction and an accurate history of our world is unfit to be President.

    When did Ron Paul say this, or do you just automatically assume all religious people think like this and, therefore, all religious people are unfit to be president?

    I, personally, am agnostic and would prefer a candidate who said “I don’t know how it happend and I don’t claim to know how it happend.” But, if Ron Paul said this, I would be turned off by him since he is openly Christian and goes to church and celebrates Christmas. He, obviously, believes in God so, it isn’t surprising to hear he believes in intelligent design.

    Would you prefer he contradict himself and his beiefs to appeal to .3% of the population?

  166. Brad,

    So, basically, YOU don’t seperate church and state and believe the government has a role in dictating to the people what they can and can’t practice religiously.

    You would vote for a horrible politician who will make it illegal to pray in school over a politician who believes in God that won’t enforce anything on the people pertaining to religion.

    You are anti-religion. Plain and simple.

  167. …he believes in intelligent design.

    Were does he say this?

  168. “Were does he say this?”

    OK, maybe he didn’t use the words “Intelligent Design” but, he did say “the creator I know created us and created the universe” and Intelligent Design is the belief that an intelligent being created the universe and living things so, logically, I can to the conclusion he believes in Intelligent Design…

  169. I want to know what Paul thinks about the theory of relativity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Only then can we determine if he is rational enough for public office. Further, has anyone asked Romney (or R Paul or the others) where he stands on the question of God living on or around the planet Kolob.

    This is all real important for constitutional democracy, especially the pressing Kolob question.

  170. he did say “the creator I know created us and created the universe” and Intelligent Design is the belief that an intelligent being created the universe and living things so, logically, I can to the conclusion he believes in Intelligent Design…

    They are not the same. Darwin believed the universe was created by God, the creator. His research led him to conclude that evolution was an aspect of the creation.

    The Catholic church has accepted evolution, yet holds god as the ultimate source of all existence, even of evolution.

  171. An easier example of a local decrease in entropy is when you sort your socks after doing the laundry. If your system includes only the laundry, then the entropy of the laundry did, in fact, decrease. If you include the person doing the sorting and the energy expended (and all the biochemical reactions that enabled it), then the overall entropy increased.

    The same is true for the sun/earth system. If you include only the earth in your system, then evolution is indeed a decrease in entropy. However, the entropy increase that occurred due to the sun burning bright for 5 billion years outweighs it by far, so the entropy of the universe still increased.

  172. The BIG question still is:

    Do you think we should permit our government to keep on killing people in other countries in maintenance of the U.S. empire? (Not to mention its real threat to the fate of OUR future)

    Well, do you?

    If you answer is a definite NO, then your easiest action to tell the elitist oligarchy running this country to stop is to support Ron Paul.

    If you think other issues stack up to this one, please explain why.

    If you have a better solution at hand, please tell us about it.

    If the General election were between Ron Paul and a credible, electable candidate even closer to my views, I would vote accordingly.

    The choice we’re going to get is between a Democrat or a Republican.

    GOT THAT!

  173. …by the way, does anyone really believe that any of the presidential candidates that will admit to believing in evolution, believes that because he/she examined the evidence and came to that conclusion (i.e. used his/her intelligence). More likely it was a “this is what my crowd expects me to believe” conclusion?

  174. a) Who cares what he thinks? He’s running for President of the US of A, not the RA of S.

    b) As a Dr. (and I have spoken to many of them that do not accept evolution as the origin of human life), he probably understands what’s going on better than 99% of the people that post here. I mean, don’t you have to have some Chemistry and Biology training to be an M.D.? Last I checked you do.

  175. The choice we’re going to get is between a Democrat or a Republican.

    Wrong.

    There will be other parties on the ballot as well.

  176. They are not the same. Darwin believed the universe was created by God, the creator. His research led him to conclude that evolution was an aspect of the creation.

    The Catholic church has accepted evolution, yet holds god as the ultimate source of all existence, even of evolution.

    That means Darwin and Catholics are Theological Evolutionists. Ron Paul does not believe in evolution but, is open to discussion. That means, until he says he believes in evolution, he believes in Intelligent Design.

  177. There will be other parties on the ballot as well.

    Well, duh! But do any of them show up in ANY poll? NO!

    What we’re going to get after the election is over is a Republican or a Democrat.

    So who do you want?

  178. [quote]Brad,

    So, basically, YOU don’t seperate church and state and believe the government has a role in dictating to the people what they can and can’t practice religiously.

    You would vote for a horrible politician who will make it illegal to pray in school over a politician who believes in God that won’t enforce anything on the people pertaining to religion.

    You are anti-religion. Plain and simple.[/quote]

    Now you’re getting desperate … and completely making shit up.

    I have NEVER stated that government should dictate what people can or cannot practice religiously. In fact, I am EXACTLY the opposite of that. How on earth did you manufacture that absurd statement from anything I said?

    And no, I would not vote for anyone who banned prayer anywhere in any circumstance. That’s a completely incorrect statement. If a person wants to pray, let them pray. I don’t give a shit. That’s called FREEDOM, and I totally support that. And there has NEVER been anyone that I am aware of who actually has tried to ban prayer in schools, so this is the biggest straw man argument I’ve seen today. If little Johnny wants to bow his head and pray that he can remember what 2+2 is before his big math test, any teacher who tried to stop him would be rightly fired on the spot.

    Let me explain this to you again, so that you might absord some of the truth and reality of this issue, particularly in terms of my opinions on the subject, as you really fucking sucked in your attempt to serve as my spokesperson.

    I am in favor of the separation of church and state, meaning that the government MAY NOT either advocate/endorse any religion NOR may the government INFRINGE upon a person’s decision to practice whatever religion they want.

    It’s really simple if you listen to what I am saying and think about it as opposed to manufacturing stuff that I never even suggested.

    I don’t know why, but intellectual dishonesty like what you posted to me really pisses me off … sorry for the rant.

    Carry on.

  179. I think he’s just pointed out that strict Darwinism is likely not sufficient to as be omnicausative. Hope this helps.

  180. I’ve known lots of great people who believe the same. As long as he isn’t insisting that this be taught in public schools at my expense then he’s still got my vote.

    I use to know a libertarian woman who was raised evangelical and literally believed that Satan and his minions would follow people around and lead them astray. Since she was raised in communist Romania, she had a deep distrust of government, but she also had a deep distrust of reason when it came to spiritual matters.

  181. That means, until he says he believes in evolution, he believes in Intelligent Design.

    Shayrah:

    Yeah, everything about this stinks.

    The question to RP was ‘Do you believe in evolution?’. This question is loaded with the false premise that the theory of evolution (as goes for any other scientific theory) is something to be believed or disbelieved, rather than something to be proposed, understood, examined, rebutted, re-examined, tuned, and tested.

    RP’s answer stunk, but so did the question, especially in the context where the word ‘believe’ has a different meaning when applied to science than it does when applied to religion. In a scientific discussion to say “I believe” is equal to “I am convinced”. In a religious discussion, beliefs are axioms.

  182. Wow! Just wow.

    The sane-minded folk from the ‘Fascism’ Jonah Goldberg thread came over here and went insane doing back-flips trying to prove that Dr. Pauls wacky ideas don’t really mean anything. This is totally bizarro day. On the other thread the loones are the ones trying to deny their National Socialist roots. Here it is the people refuting that crazy notion, attempting to support a crazy candidate.

    In other news:
    An agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac entered a bar and the bartender asked “is this a joke?”

  183. Actually, I can sort of identify with dr. Paul. I don’t believe in gravity any more. I believe in that curved space Einstein thingie.

  184. I don’t believe in gravity any more. I believe in that curved space Einstein thingie.

    So you are a denier of quantum gravity and stringy thingies.

  185. There is no gravity. The earth sucks.

    sort of dating mice elf there, eh?

  186. It has been said that it doesn’t matter if Paul believes in nonsense about evolution because he doesn’t believe in government schools. In fact Paul said that he has never campaigned for the abolition of government schools and that to say he did is a smear and a falsehood. He has backtracked on that position like he has on the immigration platform from his last presidential campaign.

    In 1988 he said he would never support imposing his beliefs on the society as a whole. But he introduced legislation to define life as beginning at conception and tried to enshrine that in the federal Constitution. So when he said he wouldn’t impose that on others he clearly didn’t mean it or change his mind. So why wouldn’t he change his mind again? He’s very flexible on such things.

  187. He laid awake at night wondering if there really was a dog.

  188. Hillary or Rudy
    Barak or Huckabee

    What’s it gonna be?

  189. But he introduced legislation to define life as beginning at conception and tried to enshrine that in the federal Constitution.

    A human life does begin at the moment of conception. Human embryos should be able to drive cars, join the marines, vote, start a business, be taxed for their biological waste, voice their opinion, and stand trial. But only as long as they don’t smoke cigarettes, eat too much fatty food, or gamble at unauthorized betting venues.

  190. If,as Beth says, Paul is “stupid”, then it throws into question everything that he espouses. Does that suddenly mean that we of libertarian bent are supposed to throw out the baby with the bath-water?

    Yes, exactly, it throws into question his ability to reason. It’s not just about whether he’ll interfere in school curricula, but about his relationship to science, to the data and evidence involved in all sorts of decision-making. Don’t think that because he’s libertarian he won’t wield immense power.

    Paul’s going to have to sway more than just those of libertarian bent. If this answer was a pander to the evangelicals, then I’m just as turned off by it, and him.

  191. Yes, exactly, it throws into question his ability to reason.

    Beth,

    Based on your posts I’d rather you be president over Ron Paul, but you’re not running. I think that the ability to apply reason in addressing the issues the POTUS faces is essential. So, among those who are running, who do you figure has the best ability to reason?

  192. Brad –

    Your position on the Constitutional separation of church and state isn’t that different from Paul’s, then.

    He opposes the theory of that separation that seeks to expunge even private expressions of religion from public spaces and schools.

    The legislation he has introduced on this matter aims simply to assert that private individuals have as much right to engage in religious speech on public property as they have to engage in political speech on public property. They currently don’t.

  193. tim, please give me the name of whomever “taught” you thermodynamics so i can thump him. or at least try to get his teaching credential lifted if he actually gave you a passing grade. i certainly hope that you’re not a chemical engineer or in any field that requires you to actually understand classical thermo. if one of my students had ever said the astoundingly incorrect things you did after taking the course from me, i’d have retired from teaching immediately.

    joe, you made an interesting and testable claim. after eating the cookie and drinking the jesus juice, we can make you puke, then examine the vomit for human dna not your own that shows an “odd” mixture of parents.

  194. Darwin believed the universe was created by God, the creator. His research led him to conclude that evolution was an aspect of the creation.

    Nope.
    I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic. (Darwin’s autobiography).

  195. If this answer was a pander to the evangelicals, then I’m just as turned off by it, and him.

    I have to agree. It’s bad if he’s not pandering, it’s worse, if he is. I cannot believe that he will gain any significant number of voters by denying evolution – given his positions on school choice he’d get them anyway if they were in agreement with the rest of his platform. He will push away many fed up independents, Democrats, and secular libertarians with this, though. He just gave his critics a huge club to bash him with.

    Since I changed my registration to R, I’ll still vote for him in the primary, but whatever positive notions I had about his campaign are gone.

  196. Paul’s going to have to sway more than just those of libertarian bent. If this answer was a pander to the evangelicals, then I’m just as turned off by it, and him.

    Somehow, I suspect anyone who’s all that put-out over this wasn’t very interested in him to begin with. A certain degree of pandering comes with the territory.

    Although this is almost certainly a pander, keep in mind this wasn’t a policy question. He isn’t being vague about anything he actually wants to do. It was a question about his personal beliefs, concerning a matter that isn’t really anybody’s business but his.

    This was a no-win kind of question. No matter what he answered, he’d piss off somebody, and it has nothing to do with anything actually germane to being president. Under the circumstances, I can’t really blame him for being vague.

  197. Wow, the 200 posts tell me this is a big deal of some sort. Why again? First, anybody that claims to “know” about issues like this with absolute certainty one way or the other probably doesn’t know a thing. Evolution seems most reasonable to me, but I will never claim that my belief is the only possible answer.

    Second, he was probably pandering to the audience. Noble? Of course not, but he’s a freaking politician. Just because the guy holds a lot of libertarian views doesn’t mean he’s some savior that is 100% infallible. Bottom line, he’s the best option out there for those of us that agree with limited government and personal liberty.

  198. After reading a few more posts is jumps out at me that some of the “Science Squad” is just as bad as the “God Squad.” Calling into question the man’s ability to reason simply because he may not agree with you? Have you heard his reasoning on foreign policy? Sounds like his logic is pretty firm right there. And yes, I understand the science behind it all and agree with you evolutionists, but that is not the point. Some here come off no better than the holier than thou Bible thumpers that claim their way is the only way. Get over yourselves and open your mind to the possibility that your views might be *GASP* wrong regardless of how unlikely it may seem.

  199. Dr Paul believes that God created the universe, but that he has a non-interventionist foreign policy towards it.

    OK, so shut up and support Dr Ron Paul 2008!

  200. I wish I had seen this sooner, because it really, really blows.

    Acceptable answer: “I agree with and accept the basic premises of the theory of evolution but indisputable evidence of humankind’s evolutionary path has yet to be presented and independently verified.” An honest and ACCURATE answer.

    Here’s how this should go:
    Q: Do you believe the world was created in seven literal days?
    A: No, absolutely not. The idea is preposterous.

    Q: Do you believe in evolution?
    A: Are you asking me if I believe in the theory of evolution which states that species change over time, or if I believe that humankind evolved from some sort of apelike ancestor?
    Q: Both.
    A: Yes to the former, and I am open to the veracity of the latter idea.

    It’s not that fucking hard to answer that question in a way that’s not going to make people smack their foreheads. Yes, it’s true that both of those questions are usually what is meant by asking someone if they “believe” in evolution. It’s important to make the distinction in the answer.

    BAD DR. PAUL. BAD BAD BAD.

  201. Somehow, I suspect anyone who’s all that put-out over this wasn’t very interested in him to begin with.

    Bingo.

    Yes, exactly, it throws into question his ability to reason.

    Or maybe it points out that some reasonable people do not come to the same conclusions as others.

    An ample illustration of small minded arrogance is the automatic assumption that anyone who objects to evolution, either in part, or in whole is some kind of a New Earth religious fanatic out to put a Bible in every classroom in the land.

    I know several people who don’t buy evolution. None of them are stupid or religious.

  202. Dr Paul believes that God created the universe

    A concept no less preposterous than the idea that a Big Bang created the universe that was once quite the rage in the scientific community.

  203. Jim Bob, agreed, that would have been a better answer, but unfortunately RP isn’t always “ON”. I’ve seen him in great form but sometimes, particularly when the pressure is on, he stumbles. That won’t play well later (assuming there is a later) because he is going to get hammered over this, the Nazi money, & the racist remarks that the Daily Kos keeps circulating. And when the assault comes, he’ll need clear, concise, stand-up responses, and if he falters, it won’t go well for him.

  204. God created the universe

    That begs the question: What is this God?

    Personally, I think the religious should open up to alternate definitions of God. I mean other than some variation on the Zeus legend.

    “All that groks is god”

  205. But the much more immediate concern is a political reformation rather than a theological reformation.

    You should ask the question of Hillary, et al.
    Do you believe in God. ALL of them will answer in the affirmative.

    So a lot of you are willing to have your productive effort contribute to killing more people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibly Pakistan and Iran.

    Is that what you are saying?

    You are willing to continue giving your support to an imperialist government empire?

    Come on now, is that what you are saying?

  206. After all, many Ron Paul supporters have said that they don’t agree with him on all points, even on actual policy issues, but they want to see an end to the occupation of Iraq and they don’t want to support the U.S. empire any longer.

    So what are you people saying here?

    A non-policy issue that he has been vague about is more important than reining in the empire and having your wealth pay for same?

    Sorry, I don’t get it.

  207. is that what you are saying?

    Good question, Sam, because it appears that some folks are quite willing to settle on someone they agree with 20% of the time rather than someone the agree with 80% of the time who has promised to:

    end the war
    abolish the IRS
    respect the constitution
    reform socialist security
    honor amendement 2A
    get us out of the UN
    stands for true free trade
    get the feds out of the medical business
    cut taxes

    and has a long track record of voting no on everything (goes to keeping promises)

    But they’ll vote for someone else because RP doesn’t believe in evolution. He’s stupid, remember?

    I find that baffling.

  208. Ron Paul is evidence of evolution.

  209. Agreed, TWC. And, I, personally, couldn’t care less what Dr. Paul thinks about evolution; it’s just that I can see this sort of blunt answer biting him in the ass. I know he’s not perfect but he’s getting into the big time and he needs to practice answers to this sort of question.

  210. addendum

    What’s more, it doesn’t seem rational.

  211. You all have this backwards. If Paul made a public statement that he believed in evolution, he would lose the general election, and likely the primary. If you won’t vote for a candidate unless he states publicly that he believes in evolution, you won’t be voting in this election, so you really don’t matter much to either side. Ofcourse democrats don’t have to worry about being asked this question.
    It’s unlikely that libertarians make up much of Pauls base, especialy not Libertarians. If it were libertarians who made up his base, he would not have gotten this far.
    If you don’t want a politician to be your next president, I think you’re out of luck.
    Ron Paul is not the stupid one in this discussion.
    I am not a christian, by the way.

  212. …the snotty smart kid that everyone hated in school because he felt he had the corner on all truth and acted like a total d**k to anyone who didn’t buy into his world-view.

    W0W!–the PERFECT description of your typical Paulian!

  213. Everyone go watch the atheist South Park episode and think hard. Mabye Ron Paul isn’t doubting the particular points of “how” but perhaps “why”?

  214. And OMFG people, have you EVER voted for someone who believes in the flying spaghetti monster?!?!?!?!

    Because if you have voted in your lifetime you probably have. DEAL WITH IT.

  215. he’s getting into the big time and he needs to practice answers to this sort of question.

    JB, Couldn’t agree more, not sure if you saw my response (December 29, 2007, 11:13am) to your comment, but you were right on the money. Here they are again-sorry guys ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jim Bob, agreed, that would have been a better answer, but unfortunately RP isn’t always “ON”. I’ve seen him in great form but sometimes, particularly when the pressure is on, he stumbles. That won’t play well later (assuming there is a later) because he is going to get hammered over this, the Nazi money, & the racist remarks that the Daily Kos keeps circulating. And when the assault comes, he’ll need clear, concise, stand-up responses, and if he falters, it won’t go well for him.

  216. Tinian: I was at a Ron Paul town hall meeting in Iowa and I think I met a pig farmer and the girlfriend of a marine serving in Iraq. I saw some people who looked like old hippys. Most people looked pretty blue collar type to me.
    There was lots of hand clapping and other positive noise whenever Paul talked about the IRS and the 2nd amendment.
    I’m a proud high school dropout and I didn’t have that much to do with the studious types in school.
    I mostly hang with folks with callused hands and red necks and who don’t really give a goddam. I’m the only person I know that reads Reason magazine.
    I don’t think you have one clue about who a Ron Paul supporter is.

  217. Ron Just lost some of the Catholic vote on that one. The Church is in the evolution camp.

    No, *Catholics* tend to be in the evolution camp, but the *Church* is simply not in the anti-evolutionist camp. The Church doesn’t get into the question of the specific mechanism of how life developed, because that’s a scientific question, not a religious one. If you are a Catholic, you are perfectly free to disbelieve in evolution, but you can’t claim that your Catholicism requires that disbelief.

  218. Hmmm. I realize I expressed myself in an ambiguous manner. When I said that “The Church simply isn’t in the anti-evolutionist camp,” I meant that in the sense that “All you can say about the Church on this subject is that it isn’t in the anti-evolutionist camp,” not that “The Church is most decidedly not in the anti-evolutionist camp.”

  219. “One cautionary note: There is a glitch in the video which might be an edit, but it doesn’t appear to change what Paul is saying.”

    Yes, that glitch is an obvious edit, which probably does change what Paul is saying. See where it occurs:

    “… and I don’t accept it, as a theory, but I think the Creator that created us …” It looks pretty clear that Paul qualified his ‘non-acceptance’ in some way, and that the purveyor of this video had his own reasons for editing that qualification out.

  220. Sorry for the double post. In the last one I put the word GLITCH in angle brackets, and it didn’t appear. Here’s what I meant to write:

    “One cautionary note: There is a glitch in the video which might be an edit, but it doesn’t appear to change what Paul is saying.”

    Yes, that glitch is an obvious edit, which probably does change what Paul is saying. See where it occurs:

    “… and I don’t accept it, as a theory, but I think GLITCH the Creator that created us …” It looks pretty clear that Paul qualified his ‘non-acceptance’ in some way, and that the purveyor of this video had his own reasons for editing that qualification out.

  221. It’s a bad answer in all sorts of ways. He could have said “I’m not running for biology teacher in chief.” He could have said “science is never a closed book, and speaking as an MD I know better than to say that anything’s definitive.” Hell, he could have said “Boxers” and it would have made more sense.

    Someone tell me if there’s a candidate who acts on evidence as well as principle.

  222. None of you Atheists or Nazis are getting your Ron Paul contributions back. He isn’t campaigning for your ideas, you contributed to his.

  223. Good thing he’s not applying for a position as a biology teacher, otherwise this would be a problem.

    Right. Or as a physician. Oh, wait . . .

    As for his knowledge of science, the man has a doctorate in medicine from Duke University and performed expertly in his practice.

    Well, since we all know for a fact that no one who harbors doubts about evolution can be regarded as intelligent, much less intelligent enough to earn a medical degree, it’s obvious that Paul must have obtained his degree by cheating. He should have that degree and his medicdal license revoked.

  224. Or maybe it points out that some reasonable people do not come to the same conclusions as others.

    TWC, that’s all well and good, but if you’re going to come to a different conclusion on a topic that has a veritable mountain of evidence supporting a particular model you better be prepared to explain your evidence and it better be pretty damn extraordinary to overturn what is meticulously well documented support for what you oppose. In the absence of such extraordinary evidence, opposing as well-supported a theory as evolution is, and ought to be regarded as, crack-pottery. It’s one thing to show where Newtonian mechanics goes wrong by offering relativity theory, not so much by offering your belief in a perpetual motion machine.

    I know several people who don’t buy evolution. None of them are stupid or religious.

    Sorry, but I don’t really buy this. Maybe they aren’t religious in the traditional sense, but unless they have offered the level of evidence stated above for opposing evolution, then on what grounds do they oppose it? Without any evidence, it is religious in everything but name to say “I just don’t buy evolution.” Next time, perhaps you can ask them to elaborate on just what part of the theory they object to and why.

    It is perfectly reasonable for different people to come to different conclusions on questions where the available evidence lends reasonable support to various views. It is not reasonable to simply say “I don’t buy it” in the face of overwhelming evidence without being able to offer any of your own.

  225. …the snotty smart kid that everyone hated in school because he felt he had the corner on all truth and acted like a total d**k to anyone who didn’t buy into his world-view.

    W0W!–the PERFECT description of your typical Paulian!

    …who obviously want so much to override others’ self-determination.

  226. I think I have some more appropriate questions to evaluate his science creds:

    What is the difference between a viral and bacterial infections?

    What treatment would you prescribe for each?

    What policy do you support regarding stem cell research?

    What policy do you support regarding reduction to reduce the risks associated with multiple births?
    _________________________

    For the rest of you, if he were to answer these questions to your satisfaction, would that alleviate your concern over what you think he believes about evolution?

    Personally, from watching that video, I don’t KNOW what his thoughts are on evolution.

  227. IAC, we still have the big question which none of you RP skeptics have troubled yourselves to answer: Do you support the U.S. imperial empire, in spirit as well as in fact?

    Are you satisfied with current U.S. foreign policy?

  228. Funny, Ron Paul said in that Lew Rockwell piece…”The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.”

    And you say…

    Is anybody ready to sign up with a guy who states that “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.,/i>

    You have this to say about it…

    Sure, he adheres to HIS interpretation of the Constitution. No shit. So does everybody else. The devil is in HOW he interprets the Constitution. And a guy who doesn’t care for that whole Jeffersonian church/state separation thing is not much of a libertarian in my book.

    Then I explain what the “Jeffersonian church/separation thing” is all about by showing Jefferson himself went in front of congress and said a bunch of churchy god crap and I stated that you are obviously just anti-religion if you believe that the Constitution advocates the total abolishment of ALL things religious from ALL things government. You had this to say after that…

    I am in favor of the separation of church and state, meaning that the government MAY NOT either advocate/endorse any religion NOR may the government INFRINGE upon a person’s decision to practice whatever religion they want.

    Here is what our Bill of Rights says…

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    Where does it say ANYTHING about advocation or endorsement? If anybody is interpreting the document incorrectly and putting words into it, it is YOU. Why would you do this? My automatic conclusion was, you must be anti-religion ESPECIALLY since you also stated that believers in Creationism are unfit for presidency.

    I’m sorry this upsets you but the truth hurts.

  229. I’m not sure if the tame silver fox is a problem for creationists. They recognize the fox and domestic dog as being from the same kind. It seems that the “tameness genes” in domestic dogs and tame foxes could have been selected out of this originally common gene pool in similar ways.

    More study (may have been done already, but I don’t have time to look it up) could prove or disprove whether new genes were created in this experiment.

  230. MCW:

    An anti-choice, anti-civil rights, evolution-denying wingnut [sic].

    This is pure slander: Mr. Paul is NOT anti-choice, he is just against abortion; however, he is also a federal mandate on the issue, defending the position that such questions are better handled at the local level – that is NOT being anti-choice.

    Second, saying he is anti-civil rights just because he opposes the Civil Rights Act is ludicrous: He is against the FedGov’s encroachment of private property by way of the CRA. The CRA is a badly written piece of “let’s do something” legislation that was needless.

  231. Kudos to Reason for reporting this.

    And suddenly I realized that not only did I agree with him wholeheartedely, but that Edward was the only one in this crowded, noisy room speaking what I was thinking!

    Well shit..

  232. Yeck, YEC, your bullshit stinks. Fossiliferous layers are found between layers of other types of rock beds (e.g. volcanic rock) composed of materials that can be independently dated using a variety of methods relying essentially on these things called decay constants. You may have heard of (and ignored) such catchphrases as ‘potassium-argon dating,’ for example? If a fossil is above rocks 40 million years old, and under rocks 30 million years old, you start to get an idea. Now find that fossil 100 times between beds of slightly different ages and you develop a reasonable, though not perfect, picture of when an organism was around.

  233. This is pure slander: Mr. Paul is NOT anti-choice, he is just against abortion; however, he is also a federal mandate on the issue, defending the position that such questions are better handled at the local level – that is NOT being anti-choice.

    It’s NOT being terribly libertarian, either. A libertarian wouldn’t agree with a government ban, whether it was on a federal or state level.

  234. Brian, much as I respect you, Ron Bailey, and the others on this bb, it is the proponent’s job to present the evidence. If I say, black is white, it is my job to prove it. If you say evolution is fact, it is your job to prove it. Although there is some compelling evidence, I think the jury is still out. Perhaps not on natural selection as it applies to specific species, but dogs is still dogs, be they poodles or shepards.

    The fact that millions of people believe something is irrelevant. Just a few short decades ago science was convinced that environment trumped genetics and that eggs caused high cholesterol. Like good Catholics who now can eat fish on Fridays, science has moved on.

    Sixty years ago medical science claimed that it was an indisputable fact that human beings were alloted a certain number of heartbeats per life time and that exercise after a heart attack was suicidal.

    And, for the record, I have not come to a different conclusion, I am saying that there isn’t enough evidence to convince me today. The odds of left handed amino acids evolving into sentient beings who can hang Christmas lights is astronomical. That is enough to give anyone pause.

    Perhaps you are correct, perhaps not, but I remain agnostic on evolution.

    And that, is also irrelevant in the overall scheme of things. Because one’s take on evolution shouldn’t and doesn’t have any bearing on a free society other than idle speculation over drinks in front of the fire amongst friends. Don’t mean top imply that scientific inquiry is unimportant.

  235. For me, evolution is confirmed by human behaviors. Specifically those behaviors that indicate tribal instincts which are replicated in many social species.

    Certain behaviors that have been ascribed to original sin are quite illuminating when viewed as survival and reproductive strategies within the context of tribal environments.

    But what has that to do with who you would like to see chosen in the 2008 election?

  236. it is the proponent’s job to present the evidence.

    there’s about 150 years of peer-reviewed scientific literature which does exactly that.

    have you read ernst mayr’s excellent texts? they do a good job of summarizing the evidence and constructing the modern version of natural selection; unlike most popular writers, mayr was a major figure in the primary literature.

    your “dogs remain dogs” comment suggests that you need to understand the massive fossil evidence of transitional forms between genera. one accessible review (though now dated, there’s much, much more) is roger cuffey’s “paleontologic evidence and organic evolution,” journal of the american scientific affiliation vol 24, nr 4 (dec 1972).

  237. I don’t know which is worse…, the fundamentalist obscurantist who insists on a “creation date” of 4,000-6,000 BC, or the equally prejudiced pompous ass of a materialist who insists that ” ‘evolution’ is peer reviewed proven science”

    The fact that living things change over time, and that adaptations occur has very little to do with the materialist dogmatist who dresses himself up as the defender of “science” and launches into a tirade of academic pretentiousness when the heretics show up.

    There is a pronounced and definite dishonesty in the “debate” when the proponents of “evolution” do a bait and switch in front of the TV cameras and innocently bleat that the meaning of “evolution” is simply “change over time.” Get them away from the politicians and TV, and you get a switch back to “a wholly empirical schema and explanation for the present state of life in the universe.” It is this endless and dishonest game of “now you see it and now you don’t” that frustrates critics of “evolution.”

    Of course, many empirical clergymen are simply too damned stupid to discern that they are even playing this semantic shell game, and cannot quite understand the charges that they are pressing a theology/philosophy of science, rather than science itself. Press them on it, and you get a boatload of vituperation with silly rejoinders like “I guess we should just abandon empirical methodology and pray in the results, eh Father?” These goobs will tell you with at straight face that true science DEMANDS that science operates with a presupposition of empiricism. It is like a fish pronouncing “Water? What is this ‘water’ of which you speak? This is the only conceivable environment.”

    Until these intellectual powerhouses learn to distinguish academic methodology from philosophical presuppositions, and figure out that one does NOT lead to the other, we will continue to have sneering practitioners of philosophy who cluck in disdain over the ignorant rubes who just won’t accept the proven results of science. It will make an interesting paragraph on the history of science for future generations.

  238. Even if RP is so dumb as to believe in creation, he still gets my vote for several reasons:
    1. Most importantly, he is not the incumbent. Entrenched politicians, corrupted by the great opportunities for theft that present themselves, leach away at the life blood of the country. The only way to prevent that is to prevent entrenchment. ALWAYS vote anti-incumbent.
    2. Secondly, he is a libertarian although he pretends to be a Republican. ALWAYS vote to break the two-party oligopoly.

    If Paul wins this election, I will vote against him in four years.

  239. the equally prejudiced pompous ass of a materialist who insists that ” ‘evolution’ is peer reviewed proven science”

    unfortunately for your argument, it is. so is natural selection. all it takes is one actual experimental result to contradict it, but after 150 years, that result has yet to show itself.

    and my ass is not pompous. i’ve been told that it’s quite cute.

  240. There are no “experimental results” which verify any schema of development. There are only deductive conclusions derived from observed speciation and fossil results. These, by definition, are not experiments and not subject to inductive reasoning.

    To pronounce that the evidence leads to no other conceivable deductive conclusions is, simply, idiotic. The history of science is replete with one paradigm which supercedes another, the previous paradigm having been the only conceivable milieu of ideas until some smart guy/gal came up with another one.

    Again, if you are going to substitute a philosophical presupposition of empiricism of science for science itself, please have the temerity to understand and admit that this is what you are doing. Otherwise, you are just another huckster switching shells on a corner in Central Park, whether you have an advanced degree or no.

  241. you might want to actually review the literature before saying such astonishingly incorrect things. i’ve given you a pretty good secondary source to start with (mayr), which will also allow you to understand the primary literature.

    biologists will be rather surprised that you deny that they do experiments. i’d recommend a tour of a biology department of whatever major university is near you.

  242. >>biologists will be rather surprised that you deny that they do experiments. i’d recommend a tour of a biology department of whatever major university is near you.

    I will be sure to run right over and take the “tour for the cognitively limited idiot” at Alphonso State Junior Collge…… (all them test tubes and bright flashing lights fascinate single digit IQ cretins like me, ya know), as soon as you can prove to me you can parse an English sentence in a manner that does not twist it to make it say what I did not in fact, say.

    So, are you
    a) so dense that you did not understand that I was not denying that biologists did experiments that related to evolution, but that their primary sources of knowledge (observation of species and the fossil record) are not open to observable, reproducible and controllable experiments; or
    b) bright enough to grasp that this is what I meant but chose to dishonestly represent it as saying “biologists don’t do experiments”; or
    c) operating from some other background of interpretation or raw prejudice that you are bringing e which caused you to twist what I said into something I never meant?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  243. fossils are not the only way of observing the evolutionary process. you’ve asserted that several times, though it’s incorrect.

    convenient strawman, though.

    seriously, try actually reading and understanding the literature. if you’ve got substantive scientific arguments based on experimental or observational data, journals are happy to publish them.

  244. >>>>fossils are not the only way of observing the evolutionary process. you’ve asserted that several times, though it’s incorrect.

    Actually, I have not. It is kind of like your statement that “biolgists don’t do experiments”

    What I am stating is that the mechanisms of “evolution” (depending on which shell you have the meaning of the word under a the present time….., should I guess one, two or three?) are by definition not reproducible, as they are historical events.
    Therefore, ALL experimentation is limited to a deductive process, i.e., you are attempting to reproduce the mechanisms you think probably occurred in the journey from optically specific amino acids to an organism which can argue about those specific enantiomerically specific compounds.

    I do thank you for your suggestion that I try and stuff a few items of hard science into BOTH of my irregularly firing synapses. I will make a heroic attempt to do so, as soon as I can figure out how to stop frantically chanting scripture verses to inoculate myself against rational thought.

    Might I return the favor by suggesting to you that you figure out the difference between science and philosophy? Most universities offer courses that may help you. It may surprise you to find that there are actually persons both within and without outside the scientific academic community who have commented on this phenomenon.

    Of course, it is much easier to poke fun at Ken Hovind or some other fundy, and saves valuable thinking time in the process.

  245. Why, pray tell, is this site so enraptured with all things evolution? WHAT DOES IT MATTER? I never can understand why people get so wrapped up in this, wanting to cram evolution/creationism down school children’s throats, when said children can barely read or work simple math, or even recognize a logically valid argument form.

    I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on this site over the past 12 months or so…a trend towards elitist atheism. Those who don’t climb on board are, as the ever graceful ‘beth’ set forth above, “stupid.” Even those men and women who provide ample evidence of their intelligence receive this label for not ascribing to a determined set of beliefs.

    Are we not all here for the same purpose? Do we not all pursue the same goals of increasing liberty and protecting individual rights? Then why the constant focus on something that does not offer any aid toward these goals, but rather that which will divide us and alienate us from one another?

    If Ron Paul has taught us anything, it is that his message of Freedom attracts people from a broad spectrum of beliefs and backgrounds. And that is how it should be. I hope that the fine people at Reason, as well as many of the posters in this thread, can realize that in order to achieve the goals of increased freedom and liberty, we must continue to reach more people, and not drive them away for ascribing to irrelevant beliefs.

    Montani Semper Liberi

  246. There are no “experimental results” which verify any schema of development. There are only deductive conclusions derived from observed speciation and fossil results.

    their primary sources of knowledge (observation of species and the fossil record)

    it might help to explain what you mean by the rather amorphous term “observation of species.”

    dan dennett will be delighted at your suggestion that people who understand the place of evolution via natural selection don’t understand the difference between science and philosophy.

    WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

    what matters is that (disappointingly) dr. paul didn’t answer the question by saying, “if you want to give biology quizzes, give them to a biologisty. are there any questions relating to politics, government, and the presidency?”

  247. if you want to give biology quizzes, give them to a biologisty. are there any questions relating to politics, government, and the presidency?”

    Perfect.

    Even better answer than Jim Bobs. Please email him about this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    He will get hammered, again and again, and he needs a coherent answer delivered without hesitation or stutter. Gonna need one for the Nazi money, too.

  248. Anthony:

    I agree with your sentiments. I am against rigid orthodoxy of thought in the marketplace of ideas. That is why I take such umbrage with the “religious right,” in America, which seems to be fixated on grabbing the power of the fed to impose a philosophical system of thought on the populace.

    I am also against a philosophical uniformitarian empiricism which attempts to silence its critics by

    1) doing a Mau Mau chant of “all the smart people believe like we do” (hint:they don’t) so any other schema are absurd (or “not science”)
    2) dressing up the philosophical prejudices of academicians as “science” and announcing that it is therefore “proved” (whatever the hell that means)
    2) excluding competing ideas from the marketplace of ideas. For example, I believe that Marxism is NOT a system of economics, but rather a religious ideology in drag. It fails as an economic system and fails as an ideology. THAT IS ALL THE MORE REASON TO INTRODUCE IT.

    Academicians who preen behind a pretext of “not confusing the poor little halfwits any more” by excluding all but what the gatekeepers call “pure science” are simply ideological despots who smell far more of fear and doctrinal heresy councils than folks interested in truth.

    Both groups depend on statism, centralized power, and the dumbass insistence that “state boards of education” and a federal education department function as ideological proctors,

    Ron Paul announces what he thinks about evolution not because he wants to line up with some faction seeking to control what is taught, but because he understands that the Federal Government has not place at all in this debate. Neither do the individual states (if they are wise. Issues like this are best left at the local level).

    My only objection is to either the empiricists or the fundies insisting that one of these is heterodox and should be excluded, and that we should insist on going “further up the ladder” to seek the power to enforce our ideological hobby horses.

  249. what matters is that (disappointingly) dr. paul didn’t answer the question by saying, “if you want to give biology quizzes, give them to a biologisty. are there any questions relating to politics, government, and the presidency?”

    On this issue, at least, we are united. The issue has implications for education, and the newsies are interested in “who gets the power to enforce their views.” I wish that Dr. Paul had simply stated that he is not running for national pastor, or educator in chief, and that these two areas properly belong in some other sphere than the Fed.

  250. as soon as you can prove to me you can parse an English sentence in a manner that does not twist it to make it say what I did not in fact, say.

    It sure is bad form to comment on someone’s English with a grotesquely out-of-place comma jammed into the climax of your own sentence.

    Also, I’d like to know what point you were trying to get at when you brought up induction vs. deduction. An “experiment” can be designed to allow one form of conclusion or the other, and historical observation can also lead to either form, depending on the evidence available for review.

    the mechanisms of “evolution” […] are by definition not reproducible, as they are historical events.

    Why is a historical process not reproducible?

    Note that in the above excerpt, you have conflated “the mechanisms” (which for some reason you’re also referring to as a “schema”) of evolution with particular “historical events” of evolution. An event is clearly not a mechanism (which is the very distinction that leads many physicists to look down on biologists). No physicist in the foreseeable future will be creating a new star, much less creating a star under the exact conditions of any historical star birth, but we all recognize that the replication of this particular historical event is not required before the physics community can decide it has determined the mechanisms of star birth to its general satisfaction. Meteorologists are not likely to generate their own actual weather anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t discern the mechanisms underlying the various historical instances they see, or that they can’t perform other forms of experiments that reproducibly and verifiably elucidate the mechanisms behind weather events.

  251. So there I was gutting the deer I shot this fall, up to my arm-pits in blood and gore, when I stop to notice this magnificent animal that I am disassembling was really, really well thought out. It was built well, too well to have been built by accident.

    I am not the most religious person on the planet, I absolutely don’t think the world was made in 7 days, but, if you are telling me that life was *spontaneous* and that all that is living was spawned from one cell that magically appeared… I cry bullshit.

    Sorry, you will find me banging no bibles, but I can’t deny what I see as the only logical answer.

  252. “What specific policies do you see [Dr. Paul] advocating that would encourage people to become more educated, enlightened and less religious?”

    You got me there. I can see Dr. Paul enlightening people and inspiring them to become more educated (preferable through private education), but I don’t see him encouraging atheism/agnosticism (which is what you seem to mean by your remark about making people “less religious”).

    If you want to vote for a candidate who promotes atheism, I suggest you vote for Huckabee, who could well create atheists if people come to equate his views with Christianity.

  253. Assuming that Dr. Paul has irrational views on human origins:

    It is perfectly possible for a person to be reasonable in one area and not in others.

    J.B.S. Haldane and J.D. Bernal were great scientists, yet both of them belonged to the British Communist Party – not to one of the cool splinter sects (like Hitchens’ Trotskyites), but the Commies who attached themselves to Stalin’s Soviet Union. Klaus Fuchs was a scientist, though maybe not a great one, yet he gave atomic secrets to Stalin’s Soviet regime while working in England.

    So we have three people who had great intelligence in one area (their scientific specialities) but they all had evil, false and dangerous political views (and religious views, too, since Communists – by a curious coincidence – tend to be atheists).

    Even if we stick to science, Sir Francis Crick, a co-discoverer of the double helical structure of DNA and a proud atheist, wrote a book which discussed – with seriousness and respect – the possibility that life on Earth originated when aliens seeded the primordial soup with organic matter. (see http://tinyurl.com/2l8odp)

    Under the guilt-by-association theories being advanced here, Crick’s willingness to take this weird theory seriously should discredit his DNA discoveries.

  254. Even if we assume for the purposes of discussion that Dr. Paul’s scientific views are just as wrong as Haldane, et. al.’s political views (or Crick’s views on aliens), then I would still vote for the good Doctor, especially since none of Dr. Paul’s opponents can even approach Haldane, etc. in the area of scientific literacy.

  255. “In 1988 he said he would never support imposing his beliefs on the society as a whole. But he introduced legislation to define life as beginning at conception and tried to enshrine that in the federal Constitution. So when he said he wouldn’t impose that on others he clearly didn’t mean it or change his mind. So why wouldn’t he change his mind again? He’s very flexible on such things.”

    Unless you’re an anarchist, you have to take a position on when the government should start to protect human life. If you think there are some human lives not worthy of protection, or that some members of the species homo sapiens aren’t human (and hence entitled to human rights) because they’re still in the womb, and if you support a public policy reflecting that view, then guess what? You’re imposing your views on others. If the destruction of human embryos isn’t murder, then businesses engaging in such destruction are entitled to the same protection as other businesses, meaning police protection, fire department protection, and other things even a minarchist supports. Those who don’t want to pay for police and fire protection of these businesses will be forced to pay – you will be imposing your views.

    Dr. Paul simply takes a different position than you do on when government should protect human life.

  256. “Has any Presidential candidate stated his or her belief in the “theory of evolution” as indisputable scientific fact?”

    “Has any Presidential candidate stated his or her belief in the “theory of evolution” as indisputable scientific fact?”

    If that happened -say, if Hillary or Rudy said that evolution was scientifically true – what would it prove? Do you think for a moment that the pro-evolution politicians hold their views because they objectively considered the evidence and arrived at a conclusion? Do you think that if Hillary or Rudy thought they could only get elected by adopting creationism, they would hesitate to do so?

    Do you think Hillary was expressing her faith in science when she communed with the spirit of Eleanore Roosevelt?

    http://tinyurl.com/3ct5jp

    Sounds more like s?ance than science to me.

    Do you think that Rudy deserted his family because his careful research persuaded him that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage was scientifically questionable?

  257. Tim: that animal appeared “well thought out” because the versions that weren’t as successful died off and/or weren’t as successful at reproduction, analogous to engineers discarding prototypes that don’t work as well as other versions of a device.

    Also, feel free to have an opinion, but don’t try to use your perceived scientific authority as an engineer to bolster your credibility. It is clear that you haven’t actually studied evolutionary theory, your understanding of the philosophy of science is weak, and your understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics is similarly weak. You’re an engineer, evolution is outside your area of expertise. Most biologists take several courses in chemistry and physics to earn their bachelor’s degrees. Most physical scientists only take 1 or 2 courses in biology.

    As others have pointed out, the 2nd law applied to a closed system. The Earth isn’t a closed system, so evolution isn’t in violation of the 2nd law.

    It’s obvious to anyone who thinks about it that anomdebus destroyed your claim that local decreases in entropy can’t occur, and that you tried to weasel, instead of admitted that you were wrong.

    Ron Paul’s statement is disappointing, but he’s still the best candidate.

  258. Sir Francis Crick, a co-discoverer of the double helical structure of DNA

    Rosalind Franklin produced x-ray crystallography data indicating a double helix structure for DNA. Crick and Watson published this conclusion after being shown it by colleagues of Franklin’s. In their initial publication, they contributed their own insights about atomic spacings, but much of their brief article was spent rebutting other researchers’ proposed DNA structures and they shuffled Franklin’s crucial evidence out of a place of emphasis in the article to make their proposal’s basis on her evidence less obvious. There is a range of verbs one might apply to Watson and Crick’s ‘discovery’ of DNA’s structure, from stole to scooped to collaborated.

    Franklin was working in a world that was not friendly to women, essentially developed empirical proof for a ‘discovery’ attributed to a couple of other people, and was never credited as a co-discoverer. Franklin died before the Nobel Prize was given for the discovery, and as Nobel rules proscribe posthumous awards, only Watson and Crick were eligible to share the award and the last major opportunity for recognizing her contribution to the discovery was gone. It still boggles me that in the intervening half century the general community has not gone to the trouble of colloquially recognizing Franklin as a co-discoverer (at the least) such that in general speech she stands as a member of the discovery trio (with W and C).

  259. Ventifact,

    I never mentioned any of Crick’s co-discoverers. I didn’t mention Watson, either. I just said Crick was in on it.

    Just because I didn’t take the time to make out a list of other discoverers, doesn’t mean I was intending any slight against Franklin, or against Watson, either.

    So sensitive!

  260. and that all that is living was spawned from one cell that magically appeared… I cry bullshit.

    as well you should. magic has nothing to do with it.

    mm, make sure you mention the other max, too (perutz).

  261. How entropy can produce local gain.

    Hydraulic ram pump

  262. Watch it!

  263. Ah sorry Max, I didn’t mean that to be a tirade against you and I didn’t mean it as a rebuttal to anything you didn’t in fact say. I was just spewing as I do from time to time. I suppose I consider Crick a discoverer of the DNA double helix with an asterisk, as in he was a discoverer*, and I was just supplying the asterisk. Nothing against you or your post.

    * Crucial evidence for the idea and possibly the idea itself which he co-published originated with another researcher who was not credited as a co-discoverer.

  264. MR. RUSSERT: You say you’re a strict constructionist of the Constitution, and yet you want to amend the Constitution to say that children born here should not automatically be U.S. citizens.

    REP. PAUL: Well, amending the Constitution is constitutional. What’s a–what’s the contradiction there?

    MR. RUSSERT: So in the Constitution as written, you want to amend?

    REP. PAUL: Well, that’s constitutional, to do it. Besides, it was the 14th Amendment. It wasn’t in the original Constitution.

    ici

  265. I posted this in a newer thread but it is fitting that George Smith, author of The Case Against God, offers an amusing qualified endorsement of Ron Paul.

  266. Well,

    Asking a brilliant man like Ron Paul his opinion about evolution is like asking a nuclear physicist his opinion about piano tuning.

    Since RP got his college degree in biology, it is more like asking someone with a physics degree about inertia.

    Rick Barton…
    The most scientifically literate presidential candidate running is Ron Paul? Really?

    That is the scariest thought I have read all day.

    Luckily I am pretty sure it just ain’t true…

  267. Someone who wrote a book called *The Case Against God* has endorsed Paul?

    I pray this is some kind of reverse-psychology thing. If not, I hope that the guy has a dramatic change of heart and starts posting here as a “disillusioned Paul supporter.”

    Wait – that vacancy has been filled.

  268. Vent,

    Everything’s cool. It’s just that I want to be able to list Crick as one of the discoverers. You see, I’m writing some rap lyrics about DNA, and I want to be able to work in the line “I hog the credit like Sir Francis Crick.” Only problem is that I can’t seem to think of a rhyme.

  269. “Rule #2: We are always, always left with a choice of lesser evils.”

    You’re eight years late on this one, friend.

  270. I don’t know if it’s of interest, but I noticed there were no comprehensive lists of what the Republican candidates say about evolution and climate. So I compiled one, along with various quotes, videos, sources, etc.

    http://www.lukesci.com/2011/09…..evolution/

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