Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain's Running Mate is a Creationist

Sarah Palin, John McCain's choice for Vice President, made the following statement about the evolution/creation controversey:

"Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."

Should we teach flat earth 'theory' along with round earth theory too? I have refrained from posting about my political opinions up unto this point, but I now feel the urge to say that this woman does not belong in office. Teaching creationism in public schools is immoral, illegal, and irresponsible. It is immoral because creationism is not true and rests on major fallacies in thought and science. It is illegal because it violates separation of church and state. And it is irresponsible because we cannot teach future doctors and scientists such an unuseful and unscientific idea. You would be wasting these children's time teaching them creationism when we could teach them the unifying idea of biology: Evolution. This is something that actually has application: Estimating the odds of viri and bacterium evolving immunity to an antibiotic (or combination of antibiotics). What will the future scientists of America do with the "theory" of creationism? Look at the amount of sin going on to determine if God will create a new infectious disease?

7 comments:

Admin said...

"What will the future scientists of America do with the "theory" of creationism? Look at the amount of sin going on to determine if God will create a new infectious disease?"

This is hilarious.

alcari said...

"What will the future scientists of America do with the "theory" of creationism? Look at the amount of sin going on to determine if God will create a new infectious disease?"

According to some christians...yes.
And they're serious.

Andy Einstein said...

Since she is a big fan of debate, and wants creationism taught in schools, is it safe to assume she would also have no problem with evolution being taught in church or Sunday school? For the sake of debate, of course.

Darren said...

Should we teach flat earth 'theory' along with round earth theory too?

There is no such thing as a round earth theory. We can scientifically and mathematically prove that the Earth is oblate.

Teaching creationism in public schools is immoral, illegal, and irresponsible.

Intelligent Design Theory is not a religion. Teaching Genesis would be, however, ID theory is an alternative with its own scientific backing, and therefore belongs in the classroom.

It is irresponsible because we cannot teach future doctors and scientists such an unuseful and unscientific idea.

I would personally much rather have a doctor who believed in the sanctity of life than one who felt that survival of the fittest was a good alternative.

You would be wasting these children's time teaching them creationism when we could teach them the unifying idea of biology: Evolution.

Nobody is suggesting that we don't teach them evolution. It is also a viable theory and belongs in the classroom. I personally believe in a Creator, but that would not stop me discussing evolution. In fact I believed evolution unquestioningly for over 90% of my life. I still believe in micro-evolution [See next section]

This is something that actually has application: Estimating the odds of viri and bacterium evolving immunity to an antibiotic

Here I have to draw your attention to the difference between Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution. Micro-Evolution is where changes in genetic information causes change(s) in the animals characteristics. These characteristics can include things such as resistance to antibiotics and the colours of moths' wings. Micro-Evolution is proven fact. Macro-Evolution is still a theory, because we have not witnessed it happening, nor do we have sufficient evidence to prove that it ever has happened. If we had, there would be very few creationists, because we are not all ignorant.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Darren,

If ID is to be taught in classrooms, they need to first win over a substantial percentage of biological scientists. This is the way all ideas, including evolution, have made their way into classrooms.

They can do this by:
1) Demonstrating that their theory has more explanatory power than Evolution.

2) Generating falsifiable scientific predictions and subsequently verifying them.

In both cases, they have failed. The predictions which ID makes have been falsified. For example, the contention that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve:

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/AcidTest.html

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/the_politically_10.html

Jonathan Wells even made a prediction based on ID that has now been falsified:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/08/yah_boo_jonathan_wells.php

On the other hand, Darwin's predictions have been beautifully confirmed. Here is just one example:

Charles Darwin predicted that since we are anatomically most similar to the great apes of Africa, it was most likely that we evolved in Africa*, and therefore intermediate fossils (between a small brained knuckle walking ape and homo sapiens) would be found in Africa. Sure enough, this prediction has been proven true.

Here are some of the skulls which have been found:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/images/fossil_hominin_cranial_capacity_lg_v1-2.png

* The simplest explanation is that the common ancestor of chimps, gorillas, and humans lived in Africa, and that some humans wondered off, rather than the common ancestor living somewhere else and the gorillas and chimps migrating to Africa.

Feel free to drop by the blog again sometime, you are obviously intelligent and capable of civil discussion, which I always encourage here.

AIGBusted said...

Oops! The website addresses I gave you got cut off. I am going to make a post in which I include the addresses.

Cousin Ricky said...

Darren wrote: “Intelligent Design Theory is not a religion. Teaching Genesis would be, however, ID theory is an alternative with its own scientific backing, and therefore belongs in the classroom.”

No, ID is all religion and no science, regardless of what the lying scum tell you.

You might want to check out Nova’s “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” about the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial. You’ll see how the defense could provide no scientific theory, no scientific evidence, and no scientific backing of any kind for its ideas, and how the hypothesis is based on ignorance. You’ll also see how ID’s model textbook, Of Pandas and People, is nothing more than a re-badged creationist textbook with global search and replace applied. Badly applied.

You may also be shaken at how dishonest to the core the ID movement is. Even I, an atheist with no illusions about Christians, was shocked. So was the presiding judge, a conservative Christian who I imagine was miffed at what these lying scum did in the name of his religion.

It appears that Governor Sarah Palin knows as much about science as her running mate knows about the Constitution.

Darren wrote: “I would personally much rather have a doctor who believed in the sanctity of life than one who felt that survival of the fittest was a good alternative.”

You are grossly misusing the science. Evolution, like all science, is descriptive, not prescriptive. It tells us how things are. It does not tell us what to do with that information. The theory of gravity does not tell engineers to throw you off a bridge. Likewise, the theory of natural selection does not tell doctors to devalue the lives of the ill.

Medicine is best served when we see things as they are, not as we wish they were. A doctor’s belief in the sanctity of life will get you nowhere if the doctor doesn’t know what makes life tick. Only If we know where we are can we get where we want to be.