17th October 2011

“Grooming children, at a young, impressionable age, to accept as true those beliefs that can be verified only by personal revelation is quite wrong. But while it remains legal, let it be paid for wholly by the parents who demand it, not from the public purse.”

Ian Quayle

22 Responses to “17th October 2011”

  1. electrabotanical Says:

    Which is why I vociferously oppose “Intelligent design” being taught as science. That refried genesis bullcrap has no place in public education.

  2. R J Says:

    electra…BABY !!!

    give me your insights into “intelligent design.”

    i havent paid it much attention, because i always.

    thought it was just a dodge of semantics.

    am i off here ??

  3. archaeopteryx Says:

    To support electrabotanical: intelligent design theory is indeed crap. Truly intelligent designers simplify to make better. Living structures are dazzlingly overcomplicated (I think).

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    “Theistic science” is where Intelligent design proponents seek to change this fundamental basis of science by eliminating “methodological naturalism” from science and replacing it with “theistic realism” or “methodological supernaturalism”. Empirical science uses the scientific method to create a “derived from observed facts” knowledge based repeated testing of hypotheses and theories

    “Neo-creationism advocates” of intelligent design seek to keep God and the Bible out of the discussion, and present intelligent design in the language of science as though it were a scientific hypothesis.

    “Reducible complexity” has been rejected by the scientific community at large

    “Specified complexity” has been widely discredited by the scientific and mathematical communities

    A “Fine-tuned universe” cannot be tested and is therefore not science but metaphysics

    “Intelligent designer” “What designed the designer?” The assertion that the designer does not need to be explained is stupid.

  5. Rj Says:

    so sinjin…………….

    it sounds to me like i wasnt so far off. but if these

    intel. des. people are simply cloaking old crap in new

    terms, then WHAT are they trying to accomplish ??

  6. electrabotanical Says:

    They’re trying to discredit “Darwinism” by misrepresenting the evidence of evolution and claiming that life is too complex to have developed by chance. As if eons of energetic inputs from increasingly complex lifeforms is “chance”. If you think the earth is only 6000 years old, well, yes, there was no time for complexity to develop. It’s basically a bunch of fundamentalists who don’t want their kids to learn real science, because it contradicts the babble’s teaching on human’s unique creation and relationship with gawd. Buncha meddling tract-wavers if you ask me.

  7. electrabotanical Says:

    We had a home-schooled southern baptist running for school board in my town. Her motto was “christian, conservative, committed” My dad got suspicious and asked her at a candidate’s Q&A if she endorsed teaching Intelligent Design. Well, yes, in fact she did. And that exchange was published in the local paper.

    There were six candidates for three seats. She came in a distant fourth. In the end, if she would have won it would be one godbot on a schoolboard of 7. She would have only been able to waste their time and cause hassles. My fave part of this whole story was that she had a facebook page. I liked her page and posted a few “discouraging” remarks. After the loss she said “not a bad showing – came in fourth” I pointed out that it was a distant fourth, and our town is way to sensible to elect a proclaimed theist. Some of those godbots are so marinated in their own superiority complex that youj’ve got to give them an occasional reality check. We’re not all that gullible, bitch!

  8. Rj Says:

    THANK YOU E.B. !!!

  9. CaptainZero Says:

    When they could no longer teach Creation, they tried changing the name to Creation Science. When the courts made it clear that wasn’t happening either they decided to call it Intelligent Design, which the courts promptly, and decisively, (see Kitzmiller decision) unmasked for what it is: The same old creationist bull shit. So far, the courts have not been kind to the idea of using tax payer money to teach religious dogma. We’re probably pretty aware of this history.

    What you may be less aware of is the long game conservatives are playing to slowly tilt the court to the right. It’s a simple and very effective strategy. When there is a democrat in the white house, oppose all of their judicial nominees. This creates a vacuum of judges that they are only too happy to fill once they retake the white house. They did it to Clinton and now they are doing it to Obama. So much so that judges organizations are beginning to squawk about a lack of judges to hear cases. No doubt the logjam will mysteriously disappear if Romney is elected.

  10. electrabotanical Says:

    If they can’t do what’s right for the country, they’ll atleast win points for their own side. Dirty. Scoundrels.

  11. electrabotanical Says:

    Sinjin, please consider not voting for the republicans who are in bed with the religious right. That would include all of them. Just think about it.

  12. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    R J I think they are doing what they have always done and that is to spread their influence and control throughout the population. Examples: Think about the Confederates who justified their slavery with biblical passages. Just because they lost the Civil War doesn’t mean their ideas disappeared. Think about the Nazis and Adolph Hitler. Just because they lost World War II doesn’t mean their ideas about “God” being “with us: http://www.michiganatheists.org/quotes.html haven’t disappeared.

    All that losing the war meant was they would have to find another way. A back door approach. Enslaving the masses, manipulating the masses, is what it has always been: Very desirable to the ethically challenged. The end is power, control, authority.

    Religion has never been about authenticity, it has always been a lie. From the days of clans of cave dwellers, nomadic tribes wandering the desert, hunter gatherers as far back as Neanderthals, the bipedal hominids have had an instinct about scaring each other. As children we all played silly games where we’d startle each other. We have all had friends we’d maybe pick on because they were more gullible than others. That instinct has been honed over thousands of years and its manifestations have evolved in complexity.

    This is the macro view, on the micro level it is precisely what Electra says about discrediting Darwinism. The fact that people honestly support a believing lifestyle, that people ignore their inner doubts and questions about the legitimacy, speaks volumes to our human ability to instill fear in others. That you can possibly influence a Mother to encourage her child to live a believing and obedient lifestyle, in the face of her inner voice telling her the priest might molest her child, is a frightening fallibility of human kind.

    Thank the good inherent in better humans like Electra’s dad for doing work we should all be doing. Thank the goodness passed on from Electra’s father that motivates Electra to dole out “reality checks” to the “godbots”.

    Unfortunately, as Cap’n has detailed, the Republican Party is at best a shell of the great progressive movement it once was. I come from a long line of Republicans who are all the classic Northeastern progressive with a sense of minding the budget. The takeover of the party by the Southern Democrat is nearly complete. The voices of real Republicans are nearly silent. It is likely only a matter of time before the Republican Party changes its name to the Confederate party: A grotesque rebuke of Abraham Lincoln and his Union aggression.

    Electra I am considering my vote I assure you. The only two Republican candidates I can tolerate are Paul and Huntsman. The flavor of the day Cain and his flat tax plan are just rehashed Steve Forbes businessman flat tax gibberish. Rick Perry, Michele Bachman, and Rick Santorum are dangerous ideologues.

    As for Ron Paul he is not perfect, no one is perfect, but he is at least more coherent and intelligent than the other candidates and consistent too. Despite what the media try’s to do to discount him he still looks better than the rest. Jon Huntsman needs to speak a little louder for me to pay attention.

    http://www.republicansforobama.org is making a pretty good case for voting for the President. Fundamentally I do not believe the Democrats represent anything better than the Republicans do. Democrats rushed us into all the military conflicts of the last century, dropped the bomb on innocent men, women, and children, and squandered American manufacturing superiority by kow-towing to unions, propping up American business with tariffs and trade restrictions, and a whole host of other undesirable things.

    Not that my Republicans have no dirt on their hands, but the Democrats had a tremendous amount of political control in the last century. They should have done better.

    I wish the President would have realized the promise of medical science with his plans for health reform. The problem has never been with the uninsured, or doctors and hospitals charging too much, or insurance companies not being regulated enough. This is naive and immature. His plans bloat and already bloated bureaucracy well beyond reason and lay the groundwork for the collapse of care in America. At the very best his plan is fraudulent and destructive.

    I think if you criticize you should also have an alternative that people can speak to and I have a better idea. Last century medical science essentially cured 82 diseases. The resulting decline in health care costs allowed medical science to expand care to more people. The human life expectancy from 1900 to 2000 nearly doubled. What should the President have done? Invest in medical science.

    Three diseases sit atop the CDC websites list of what kills people. These three kill more than the next 27 combined. Want to reform healthcare cure these diseases. Not easy? Neither was building the bomb, or getting a man on the moon, but the direct and residual benefits obtained in these efforts define life in the modern era.

    So think about a Manhattan Project to cure Cancer? Diabetes? Heart Disease? Think about the cost to diagnose, treat and manage the care of the afflicted? Think about the lost productivity?

    When you consider the cost to society of these three diseases it becomes inescapable to anyone that curing disease is health reform.

    Imagine a world without cancer? The money saved in the US alone could cover the cost of health insurance for every living person on Earth.

    This is the time! Before we surrender any further advantage to cultures, we must stand up for We The People.

    Thank you Electra!

  13. Jeff Says:

    Dear Mr. Smythe,

    While I appreciate what you are saying, as one of the 47 million without health insurance in the country, I have to ask you a question.

    Is your money really worth that much more than my life?

    According to the NEJOM, the current prime determinate of life expectancy in America is insurance status. For every year that one remains uninsured, the mortality rate rises 3% above that of the insured population. Since 1/6th of all Americans are uninsured, that means that if in a given year of life my average chances of dying are 1%, then my personal chances of dying in that year are actually 1.05%. Doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it is cumulative. I did the calculation, and my current chances of reaching my biblical three score and ten are just slightly better than 50%.

    Now, you ask, then why don’t you just go get health insurance? I would, except that the last quoted cost that I had for the same coverage that Medicare would provide for $121 per month is $3996 per month. That’s not including a drug plan. My wife and I currently spend over $400 per month on drugs.

    Your plan is great, and it will truly save a bunch of money in the long run. There’s only one minor problem – I’ll be worm food before it pays off.

    Sorry – I can’t accept that answer. If you can, Mr. Spock, then you need to check your human side, ’cause the Vulcan is in full control.

  14. CaptainZero Says:

    You know, Electra-B, I really dislike the notion that conservative = religious but I have to concede that in America today, it is entirely true. I have major disagreements with liberal orthodoxy but I have no choice but to ally myself with the left as long as voting right means voting for creationist, anti-science, anti-choice, anti-poor, anti-education, anti-environment bigots. I wish that weren’t the case but where is the republican candidate that can survive a primary and still make rational, evidence based decisions on fiscal matters while leaving aside the hysterical dog whistle issues of the typical republican primary voter? Rarer than Bigfoot.

  15. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Well Jeff of course the answer is no, my money is not worth more than your life. If I led you to believe that was a position I was advocating I apologize, after reviewing my last I don’t see it, but I apologize just the same. It is not what I’m advocating.

    While I acknowledge that they uninsured and underinsured do face challenges that insured Americans don’t I don’t think you can point to a statistic that suggests the nations uninsured are dropping like flies or that there is reason to believe that in the foreseeable future they will approach the numbers of people dying from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Keeping in mind of course that uninsured and underinsured people die of these three too. So “life expectancy” is a fair point but clearly it is subordinate to the sheer number of people who die each year from these deaths.

    I also have not asked why you haven’t got health insurance. That almost sounds like a high brow put down and as I like you, and reading your comments, I would never make such a dastardly insult to you or any of the people I enjoy on this forum. I fully understand the difficulties people are having securing affordable insurance but having insurance isn’t a magic bullet for what ails ya.

    Nearly 2 million people die each year from the three diseases I’m speaking of and with or without health insurance it gets you.

    As for the “worm food” I’m not so sure. Complex scientific challenges have been resolved in relative short order when the full force of the US government has been brought to bear on the task. Both the Manhattan project and getting a man to the moon happened in a relatively short period of time.

    As for floating health insurance for the uninsured the money committed will run out and in less than 5 or 6 years and then what? I don’t know how old you are, how serious your health problems are, or how long you might live, but I do know that the President’s plan does nothing to curb the rising costs. I fear, and particularly for the great growing masses of uninsured and underinsured people that the future might be one in which only the richest 1% can afford quality care while we become a society of worker bees that we just push aside when they expire. This can’t be allowed to happen.

    My plan addresses the people dying today and unless you are dying today your need is not as great, you can wait. I don’t want you to wait, but the fact is you can.

    If as I say we cure cancer in 10 years, and you manage to make it, we will have tipped the playing field back in your favor, and in the favor of everyone.

    We, as a nation, are collapsing financially, if we don’t fix that, it won’t matter. None of us will have healthcare. If we cure cancer or heart disease or diabetes we will all be better off in terms of health, insurance, and finances.

    Cap’n as per your usual you strike at the heart of the matter. I really dislike the notion that conservative = religious too. I know plenty of self-professed Democrats, Liberals, Republicans Progressives, and Independents that are fiscally conservative. I don’t however know any socially conservative people that are not also religious.

  16. electrabotanical Says:

    I look forward to a third fourth and fifth party that grows out of the 99% movement. Perhaps there would be someone there we could comfortably support.

  17. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    I think you are right Electra, the two parties we have now are simply owned lock, stock, and barrel by giant corporations and their lobbies.

    We need a citizens lobby united on the basis of what benefits the 99%.

  18. electrabotanical Says:

    As opposed to a Citizens United lobby. We already have that.

  19. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Citizens United is a conservative non-profit organization.

    I was thinking of something inclusive of Liberal and Progressive thought. We don’t have that.

    That the orientation not be right left, but American.

  20. CaptainZero Says:

    Our problems (and my apologies to readers who are not in the U.S.) distill down to a mismatch of demographics and priorities. You could be forgiven for thinking the U.S. is a banana republic from the public debate but the fact of the matter it is still the richest country in the world. We have plenty of money but we seem to allocate it poorly.

    First, is there a good reason why the U.S. needs to outspend the rest of the entire world for our military? The word excessive doesn’t quite do it justice. Second, we have a baby boom generation about to reach a peak of cost for their retirement and healthcare needs. Throw in there that we’ve rewarded the ‘job creators’ with historically low tax rates (while they continue their prodigious non-creation of jobs) and what you have is a crisis of BOTH revenue AND spending. One side refuses to even acknowledge the former. This intransigence is what lies are the heart of our inability to fix the situation.

    Until there is sacrifice from both the spenders and the earners, expect the same stalemate and a general worsening of our prospects.

  21. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Well said Cap’n. I’m former military and as you know Republican but I can’t for the life of me understand why we spend so much on the military.

    In my experience we so outclass all the other militaries of the world that we can well afford to pare down our forces. Then add to that the silent military, the enormous body of legal gun owning citizens of the US and it becomes hard to imagine anyone invading the US.

    All the crazy criticisms Republicans have for wasteful spending on social programs ring hollow when you consider the hard earned cash that is frankly wasted on military spending.

    Ron Paul speaks of getting us out of Korea, Vietnam, Japan in addition to Afganistan and Iraq and I think he is right. We have no need to be there.

    I’m all for helping oppresssed peoples escape tyrany but who are we saving now?

    Chop the military budget by 2/3rds and pay for Jeff’s health insurance while we find that cure for cancer.

  22. reetBob Says:

    I’m not American but, simply put, the emotional rationale for your big military is to save American lives. Why is it so difficult for the same argument to justify increased medical spending?