Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 20, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... There's nothing quite as bewildering as listening to the right try to explain their hostility towards modern science.

On his radio show today, Glenn Beck pondered the significance of biology. "I don't think we came from monkeys," he told listeners. "I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that is developing into half-human?"

This got me thinking about a story President Obama told about a year ago, after he returned from a trip to Asia. He shared an anecdote about a luncheon he attended with the president of South Korea.

"I was interested in education policy -- they've grown enormously over the last 40 years," Obama said. "And I asked him, 'What are the biggest challenges in your education policy?' He said, 'The biggest challenge that I have is that my parents are too demanding.' He said, 'Even if somebody is dirt poor, they are insisting that their kids are getting the best education.' He said, 'I've had to import thousands of foreign teachers because they're all insisting that Korean children have to learn English in elementary school.' That was the biggest education challenge that he had, was an insistence, a demand from parents for excellence in the schools.

"And the same thing was true when I went to China. I was talking to the mayor of Shanghai, and I asked him about how he was doing recruiting teachers, given that they've got 25 million people in this one city. He said, 'We don't have problems recruiting teachers because teaching is so revered and the pay scales for teachers are actually comparable to doctors and other professions. '

"That gives you a sense of what's happening around the world. There is a hunger for knowledge, an insistence on excellence, a reverence for science and math and technology and learning. That used to be what we were about."

Yes, it was. Now, one of the nation's most influential media personalities tells his minions, "I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet," as part of an effort to get conservatives to continue to reject the foundation of modern biology.

We all hear talk from time to time about "American decline," but I hope people appreciate the ways in which stupidity spreads like a cancer, undermining our ability to thrive, prosper, and compete in the world.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (74)

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Comments

It's always easy to get a stupid statement from Glenn Beck. There's a reason for that.

Posted by: MattF on October 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck should take a look in the mirror. He'd get an answer to his question about evolution.

Of course some humans stopped evolving (notably on the Right), the rest of us continued to do so.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on October 20, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

And these are the same people who want to keep an enormous nuclear arsenal and put lasers in space to shoot down missiles.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: chrenson on October 20, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

In this country, and increasingly the western world, education and the quest for knowledge and understanding are not seen as ends in themeselves. They are a means to an end, the acquisition of wealth/capitol.

To the extent that it's possible to be uneducated and still become rich, people like Beck, Palin, and O'Donnel depend upon other people being ignorant.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, you did have to "force that the world was round."

What a mendacious bastard.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 20, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

What about gravitational force? Does Glenn Beck believe in gravity? Nobody has seen it with their eyes. All we know is ball comes down. Who knows, god is hanging deep below the surface of the earth and pulling things down to mess with us.

How about a fission reaction or fusion reaction? Has anyone seen it happening with their naked eye? But we know it happens. That's how we blew up Hiroshima.

These simplistic dimwits cannot understand science. As the world gets more complex, 'regular' americans are getting more simplistic. We are regressing as a nation.

Posted by: TS on October 20, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Connect the dots. Education is degraded producing uneducated people. Uneducated people become uneducated candidates who are voted into office by their uneducated peers. The country goes into a downward spiral unseen in modern times.

Sounds like life in 2010, doesn't it?

Posted by: Curmudgeon on October 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall, the quality of education in the U.S. began to drop precipitously starting with enormous Federal budget cuts to schools beginning in the early to mid 80s. You know, when the Gipper was in the White House and every public program had a target on its back.

My guess is that conservatives look back at the 60s, when intellectual college students with long hair and BO managed to join together en masse and completely change the world. This was thanks to the post-war generation enjoying unmatched public schools funded by high taxes on the rich.

Now when college students get together it's to strip down and play Beer Pong.

Posted by: chrenson on October 20, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that is developing into half-human?"

Republicans are developing into half-human.

And of course, to most teabaggers, Mexicans and ne-gros are half human.

Posted by: AndThenThere'sThat on October 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Notice how Steve doesn't actually refute Mr. Beck's point! If you can't win the argument just mock your opponent.

They also say stars were made out of space dust. There are literally THOUSANDS of stars. If they are just made of dust then why don't we still see new stars all the time?

There are some things science just can't explain!

Posted by: frdmlvr on October 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think all those Chinese teachers, instructing a young populace eager for a great education, would start poking holes in the myths that surround Chinese society and are leading to the extermination of numerous endangered species, like the rhino, tiger, and sharks.

An open post for all Chinese teachers: please instruct your students that potions and food made from exotic animals is not going to increase sexual desire or potency. What it will do is deprive future generations of some beautiful wild animals.

Posted by: Jaxter on October 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK
If they are just made of dust then why don't we still see new stars all the time?

In particular, why aren't there whole galaxies' worth of new stars forming under my bed?

Posted by: noncarborundum on October 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Too many Americans: "So what if other people have spent a lifetime studying the subject of x, I didn't, and I don't understand it, therefore it must not be true."

How ridiculous. And disrespectful.

(I sure hope that Glenn Beck doesn't use modern medicine. That would be hypocritical of him.)

And meanwhile, the USA falls further and further behind in educating our kids, and further ahead in the stupid.

Posted by: Hannah on October 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

"I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop?"-Beck

You're right, Glenn, that is ridiculous. Everyone knows a bearded white guy living in the sky formed some clay and blew life into it.

Posted by: Oh my on October 20, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"God, Schmod. I want my monkey man!"

Posted by: Kevin Ray on October 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Beck's observation about half'n'half leads me to breathlessly await his take on the whole Talking Snake thing. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

This story practically had me weeping for my country.

For what might have been.

And yes, chrenson and Curmudgeon, you have it exactly right. This is not an accident. This is a planned and deliberate attack on the American populace by the plutocracy who want dimwitted subjects to fight their colonial wars and vote them their unregulated tax-free utopia.

Posted by: Gummo on October 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe the cowards in the blogosphere who refused to fisk this statement, WHEN IT'S SO OBVIOUS AND IT WILL GET HIM OFF THE AIR FOREVER.

(that sound you heard was Professor Frink's sarcasm detector breaking)

Posted by: norbizness on October 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The US worries that a rag-tag bunch of foreigners is going to bring the country down. The real threat is stupidity and for some reason it is both encouraged and revered in this country. When Jay Leno does his jaywalking and asks passersby simple questions about science or politics, or when candidates for political office cannot answer grade 9 civics questions, or when big buck capitalists co-opt religion in order to muddy the waters of science in the interests of profits, you wonder if the US is still going to be a world leader 20 or 30 years down the road. While the US rolls back science, denigrates intelligence, and elevates plumbers to philosophers, the rest of the world is quietly producing a more and more well educated populace. The threat to America is not Al Quaeda, it is the internal rise of stupidity and ignorance fostered by an elite that would rather have a compliant and malleable population to manipulate while they plunder the coffers. The combination of stupidity and nuclear weapons is too chilling to think about.

Posted by: Shivas on October 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

frdmlvr:There are some things science just can't explain!

Science cannot explain everything. So let's believe in virgin birth and all the rest of hocus-pocus that Glenn Beck types are ready to believe without a shred of evidence!!! What a convincing argument.

If you can't explain a thing, just say God did it. Why have universities for research? Let's all go back to 12th century..

Posted by: TS on October 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Quit being so negative about everything. Look on the bright side. Americans excel at stupidity.

Posted by: Tim H on October 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

From an old, old song my dad used to sing:

"Got myself a razor
Got myself a gun
Gonna cut you if you stand there
Gonna shoot you if you run

Evolution momma
Evolution momma
Don't you make a monkey out of me."

Posted by: chrenson on October 20, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have a problem with research or universities but scientists need to admit when they can't answer a question. For example, you expose your anti-Christian bias by mocking the Virgin Birth. But can you prove that Jesus wasn't born to the Virgin Mary 2000 years ago?

Science can't disprove Christianity so they mock it as we are seeing here!

Posted by: frdmlvr on October 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

God is it painfull listening to Beck. I don't even know where to begin with the jibberish that idiot spewed on that radio show. I will say one thing it would certainly be much easier to make sense out of the communication that would take place in a room full of chimpanzees.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

"In this country, and increasingly the western world, education and the quest for knowledge and understanding are not seen as ends in themeselves. They are a means to an end, the acquisition of wealth/capitol."

Luckily, educating one's children at Sidwell may put a stop to this horrible behavior...

Posted by: Bored of Ed on October 20, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that frdmlvr's first post was snark. I take that back.

And, no, we can't prove that Jesus wasn't born to the (so called) Virgin Mary. Can you prove that He even existed? Second hand hearsay, visions, and stigmata don't count.

(Any astrophysicist can show you stars being born all the time.)

Posted by: DAY on October 20, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I believe frdmlvr is trolling for reactions, poking the hornets' nest.

Better trolls please - or maybe he's pretending to be a troll. The 'THOUSANDS' of stars thing should have given it away.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on October 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

We all hear talk from time to time about "American decline," but I hope people appreciate the ways in which stupidity spreads like a cancer, undermining our ability to thrive, prosper, and compete in the world.

Actually it's ignorance that spreads, stupidity is inherited. What's bad about it is that ignorance is preventable. It's also why reducing funding to schools because people think teachers are overpaid and because they want lower taxes is so terrible - they are promoting the spread of ignorance.

Posted by: MichMan on October 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

frdmlvr:

There is a lot more empirical evidence available to show that virgin women cannot conceive a child than there is evidence that God impregnated a young virgin 2,000 years ago in order to save humanity. I can show you a lot of evidence against the possibility of virgin birth. Can you point to any scientific evidence that the Jesus of the New Testament did exist?

This is precisely why faith and science will always be at odds. Faith is, by definition, the belief in a concept without the benefit of any direct proof of it being reality. That doesn't mean that everything the faithful believe is false. But it does mean that the burden of verifiable proof is on the shoulders of the faithful.

And the faithful, by nature, are seldom interested in hard evidence.

Posted by: chrenson on October 20, 2010 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that is developing into half-human?"

Hmmmm...We do have mice with fully developed human brains though.

This man is as stupid a human that I have ever seen/heard.
Nauseating...

Posted by: stevio on October 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

--God is it painfull listening to Beck. I don't even know where to begin with the jibberish that idiot spewed on that radio show. I will say one thing it would certainly be much easier to make sense out of the communication that would take place in a room full of chimpanzees.--

Then don't listen to him. I know that turning off the radio is tough, but you can do it!

Posted by: Off Switch on October 20, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking magnets, how do they work?

The battle of ignorance vs education is one battle in the war between right and left that seems to be going very badly. John McCain hailed Palin as America's greatest energy expert when she is actually a very stupid human being whose only skill is in stirring base emotions. In an advanced society, driveling yahoos like Paladino, Angle, Paul, Allen West, et-fucking-alia would be objects of universal scorn, not candidates for high office. Common sense has gone from being merely over-rated to being enshrined as the answer to all problems, no matter how complex. These clownish right-wing candidates vow to go to Washington to "shake things up," as if any damaged thing has ever in history been restored by a vigorous shaking.
Oh well. America's century was the 20th, not this one. I just hope we don't have the military power to "shake things up" when we start looking for someone else to blame once our willful ignorance turns us into a 3rd-rate nation.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on October 20, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I will probably wait in vain forever for some influential Christian preacher to take "The love of money is the root of all evil" as his text. Why do people who certainly know better put Beck on the air to sabotage our country this way? Money. I could go on....

Posted by: karen on October 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Without a hint of irony he slings shit at his enemies. Amazing. Maybe he should thump his chest and show his canine teeth when he does this.

Posted by: Sparko on October 20, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Christian zealots want to put bible on equal footing with science. Theory of evolution is part of science. why do they want creationism on an equal footing. The scientific community has provided as much proof as they can using carbon dating technology. They have proved earth is billions of years old. But creationists say earth is only 6,000 years old and humans and dinosaurs coexisted. Have creationists provided any proof?

The sad part is these religious zealots use all the benefits of modern research (including carbon dating technology which is based on radioactive decay) but continue to deny things which prove that Bible is not literally true. They believe and want us to believe that bible is true word for word.

This has been going on for 2,000 years. To the sceptics of evolution, why did the church persecute Copernicus? Were the priests also scientists? Did they disprove what Copernicus proposed based on equations? No

Science and Christianity are two completely different things. Please don't mix them, freedom lover.

Science cannot explain everything today. That's why we continue to study. It is called progress. A high school senior today, if he/she studies diligently, knows much more math and science today than the best scientist of 16th century. Slowly but surely we are increasing our understanding of the earth and universe. We don't stop teaching science or learning science just because we cannot explain everything today and just because what we find does not agree with the bible.

Posted by: TS on October 20, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Without a hint of irony he slings shit at his enemies. Amazing. Maybe he should thump his chest and show his canine teeth when he does this."

Seems to work...

Posted by: Domesticus on October 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

MobiusKlein, (cough) I have no idea what you are talking about....

Posted by: frdmlvr on October 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

School teachers have always been poorly paid in America, first because it was considered "women's work," and later just because, well, most Americans don't value education highly -- not as an end in itself. Enough education to have a skill that makes money, well, that's prized. But fuzzy-headed stuff like evolution, not so much. It has always been thus for the masses.

Posted by: Bat of Moon on October 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

@frdmlvr - "There are literally THOUSANDS of stars."

Need I say more?

Posted by: mmw on October 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

If they are just made of dust then why don't we still see new stars all the time?
In particular, why aren't there whole galaxies' worth of new stars forming under my bed?

Actually, as old stars are dying, new stars are being formed continually...whoops,there I go with that ol' devil science again!

Posted by: jackything on October 20, 2010 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I thought I was tipping my hand right off the bat with that one.

My next post would have had a link to answersingenesis... what a waste!

Posted by: frdmlvr on October 20, 2010 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

There's a pretty compelling arguement that Creationism is a consequence-free "badge belief" that these people can use to help define the "Other." It doesn't matter what the "belief" is, or even if they actually believe it. What matters is that it isn't widely held. http://secweb.infidels.org/article821.html

Glenn Beck doesn't believe this crap. It's the intellectual equivalent of commisserating about your sports team: content-free blather whose sole purpose is to create a connection.

Posted by: Jay on October 20, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"around the world [...] there is a hunger for knowledge, an insistence on excellence, a reverence for science and math and technology and learning. That used to be what we were about."

When was that, this golden era of enlightenment in the US?

Posted by: flubber on October 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I have always wondered why fossil fools get to use fossil fuels.

Beck's quote is dangerous in that he is saying that evolution is bunk.

Pray tell then what anti-biotic resistant bacteria are?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 20, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Brawndo - Its got electrolytes.

Posted by: john R on October 20, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding comments by Obama, Steve and various commenters about that earlier golden age:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal testing program, began in 1971. It tests students at three age levels (9, 13, 17) in reading and math. It is uniformly referred to as "the gold standard" of American testing.

Since 1971, scores in both math and reading are up for white students. Scores are way up for black and Hispanic students. Those are the facts, as best they exist, fond dreams of a past golden age to the side.

Beck doesn't believe in evolution. Given current societal narratives, almost no one ever discusses these basic, unchallenged facts.

Posted by: bob somerby on October 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

One more point: Data from the NAEP are uniformly used by educational researchers. If we decide we don't like those data, no other real data exist, except the pseudo-data we drag around in our subjective minds.

Posted by: bob somerby on October 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

At least we can agree that it is ridiculous to think that humans came from monkeys.

I don't believe in evolution because my neighbor's cat isn't my mother.

Posted by: apm on October 20, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, people like Beck and Limbaugh could be used to support both evolution and creationism.

Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest remind me of the creatures from "Animal Farm". They may have begun their lives as humble barn yard creatures (a pig, a cow and a skunk, respectively), but once they began walking on two legs ("Four legs good, two legs better") they began taking on a few (not many) human characteristics. We could be witnessing evolution unfold right before our eyes. Wouldn't Christine O'Donnell be pleased?

As for creationism, God might have created humanity in His image, but the Bible isn't specific about which part of the Almighty's anatomy we resemble. If you look at Beck or Limbaugh in just the right light, you can almost imagine that you have been blessed with a vision of the Lord's backside-particularly if he hasn't been working out for a while.

Some may see signs of God's presence in weeping statues and strangly-shaped stains on walls, others peer into the butt-shaped faces of republican radio personalities and see the hand of the Almighty at work.

Posted by: broken arrow on October 20, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans need for voters to be ignorant and misinformed.

Posted by: kc on October 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Last time I was at the zoo, at the chimp enclosure, I overheard something similar. "They say we evolved from this," he told his child disapprovingly. Of course evolutionary biologists say no such thing, but I held my tongue.

The religious Right is fighting a straw man, and winning, insomuch as science education in this country is poor, something like 35-40th place.

Posted by: Half Elf on October 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Beck believes in Evolution.

If he didn't, he couldn't come up with such a stupid argument against it.

Other species are 'happy' being what they are. None of them are 'trying' to evolve into humans, if for no other reason than the fact that humans are presently filling our ecological niche.

Now if we wipe ourselves out with some form of germ warfare, all bets are off.

But my money would be on rats.

Posted by: Lance on October 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Off Switch you fucking moron I neever turn on Beck on the Radio or TV. I listened to the clip that came with this blog. Jesus you have the awareness of a houseplant.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 20, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Does anybody think Chinese doctors make what American doctors do?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 20, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Off Switch you fucking moron I neever turn on Beck on the Radio or TV. I listened to the clip that came with this blog. Jesus you have the awareness of a houseplant."

I don't believe you. That's how you people operate. Watch, listen (and/or post video on website) and whine...

Posted by: Off Switch on October 20, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

One more time for all the ignoramuses: man did not evolve from monkeys. Evolution says we share a common ancestor, that’s all (look at a monkey's hand, not too mention his DNA, and tell me that is not true). Evolution doesn't predict monkeys will evolve into humans, it predicts monkeys will evolve into better monkeys.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on October 20, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

hey Off Switch here's how I roll-GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!!

Posted by: Gandalf on October 20, 2010 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Beck's quote is dangerous in that he is saying that evolution is bunk.

Pray tell then what anti-biotic resistant bacteria are?

Everyone knows your so-called germs are really just tiny demons from Satan which cause illness when they possess us. Unless you're a scientologist and then you know they're really engrams from planet Xenu which cause illness when they possess us.

Posted by: GringoNoraca on October 20, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Beck said: "There's no other species that is developing into half-human?"

Glenn Beck himself is half-human.

And half corporation.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, frdmlvr, for once again demonstrating the truth of Poe's Law.

Posted by: Gregory on October 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is not accident, folks.

Go back in history and look at how the moneyed and powerful fought against free public education.

Then look at how, after realizing they couldn't stop it, they molded it so that it taught kids how to be good little worker bees -- it did little to impart actual knowledge.

It wasn't until a few decades later that it focused on teaching in a way that imparted knowledge -- sadly, that was killed with No Child Left Behind, as conservatives found a way to de-fund districts in primarily lower-class and/or minority areas.

So it's pretty much come full circle: The rich enjoyed a nation in which millions were intentionally kept illiterate and uninformed ... then ensured any knowledge was pre-approved by them and their masters ... and are now once again ensuring and encouraging willful ignorance.

It's all intentional, and all an incredible danger not just to our society, but the future of our species.

Posted by: Mark D on October 20, 2010 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Of course we see evolution right before our very eyes. We see it every day. Have none of these people heard of the mutation of viruses and bacteria to become drug resistant or just more virulent?

Posted by: Mimikatz on October 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Beck evolves every day, from jackass to snake to dung beatle, to... well you get the idea.
(mimikatz said all the important stuff on this.And "Half human, half corporation" was very funny!)

Posted by: robert on October 20, 2010 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Just in case anyone was interested in seeing pictures of stars being created out of star dust:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070218.html

http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/e4b/a7d/e4ba7dee-fe33-4118-bbe6-5a3d7b9342d1

Kind of helps clense away some of the stench of teh stoop'd for a few minutes.


Posted by: Another Steve on October 20, 2010 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

As one of those foreigners recruited to teach in South Korean schools, I have to say it's true that South Korean parents are obsessed with education. You don't see work-study programs in high schools or kids leaving school for the afternoon to work at Pizza Hut. Kids go to after-school private education academies to study more math and English. Parents often spend Sunday morning drilling kids on math problems. Families regularly spend up to 30% of their monthly income on education. Teachers are forced to move schools every two-three years so the best teachers are spread around.

The Korean education system has its own problems, but its strength is overwhelming public support for public education. The best illustration I can think of: on the day of the university entrance exam (its given only once a year), businesses open two hours late so there won't be heavy traffic impeding the students' route to the test sites. Even airline flight paths are changed so planes won't fly overhead during the listening portion of the language test.

I don't think there could be a starker difference in cultural attitudes between South Korea and the US.

Posted by: MAB on October 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom lover:

OK, it seems, from one of your posts, that you were not serious with the below quotes. At least I hope you weren't for your sake.

"I don't have a problem with research or universities but scientists need to admit when they can't answer a question. For example, you expose your anti-Christian bias by mocking the Virgin Birth. But can you prove that Jesus wasn't born to the Virgin Mary 2000 years ago?"

The whole essence of science and the scientific method is admitting that "they can't answer a question". Scientists are constantly seeking answers to questions. They don't always succeed in finding answers, and most of them admit this.

Re the virgin birth: I'm an Episcopalian and I don't believe in the virgin birth either. Can I prove absolutely that it didn't happen? No, absent time travel. But here's something to ponder if one does believe in the virgin birth. Jesus is often described as being descended from David. Joseph was of that lineage; Mary was not. It would seem that Jesus got that lineage from Joseph, then.

You see, for me, a virgin birth isn't necessary to believe that Jesus was divine or a son of God, but then I believe that we all contain a spark of the divine and are children of God.

BTW, for anyone who does not believe in the above, I respect fully your right to NOT believe. I believe it is the height of arrogance to attempt to force my beliefs on others. We all have our own paths, or lack thereof.

"Science can't disprove Christianity so they mock it as we are seeing here!"

True, scientists can't disprove Christianity. And quite a lot of them are, indeed, Christians, or Jewish, etc. And most of them aren't attempting to disprove Christianity or any other faith system. People like Dawkins get all the press but there really aren't many like him.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on October 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Afraid to say it, but we've come to the point that the masses ARE asses. Hate to disrespect the country but it seems to be coming to that.

Posted by: joeb on October 20, 2010 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't think we came from monkeys," he told listeners. "I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that is developing into half-human?"

What is so utterly pathetic about this quote is that no one has ever suggested that humans evolved from monkeys. Maybe Beck knows this, maybe not. But his listeners are so profoundly STUPID that they think he's really hitting the Evilooshunists some big blows.

Posted by: Varecia on October 21, 2010 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! The ad hominem invective of some of these posts is pretty extreme.

Among the many diverse species of fish, why do we not observe at least a few with developing leg-like appendages and proto-lung organs, struggling to crawl out upon the seashore?

This is a weakness of evolutionary theory - the intermediate species are missing in active organisms. There are pretty big gaps in the fossil record, too.

Posted by: MKS on October 21, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

The most telling thing about your post, the President of South Korea...note his constituents are "DEMANDING" (or insisting) HE provide teh best education" they apparently still have to listen to the citizens to some degree there.

I'm hesitent to call it a conspiracy, not sure if it is just the fallout from or by design, but the dumbing down of the US is almost complete now. Critical thinking is almost unheard of (or politicians would be held to much higher standards. The dumbest "logic" and reasoning I have ever heard is passing for actual debate these days. Also, drop classes like civics 101...so people don't understand our rights as provided in the constitution and bill of rights. They don't understand the reasoning, the consequences of losing or abuse of those rights..

Until it is too late. The inability to think out consequences of actions.

We are primed for a huge fall...

Posted by: Tom Joad on October 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

MKS, you couldn't be more wrong if were actually trying to be. I suppose you might be trying, who can tell.

EVERY species is potentially an intermediate form, and in fact every individual who has offspring could potentially be THE intermediate form between what eventually are two distinct species.

Simple example: Imagine a matrilineal line of some animal, for example ... a songbird of species "A". Picture a daughter (1st gen), and next to her, her mother (2nd gen), and next to HER, the first gen's grandmother (3rd gen), and so on, going back hundreds of thousands of generations. Each of the individuals is the same species as her daughter, species "A" ... but at some point as we look "back in time" taxonomists will draw a line and say that the birds in line are now of Species B. Why? Because such distinctions are useful, and likely because a male from the 1st gen and a female from the 198,000th gen probably could not successfully mate. Do you understand how, by choosing a different "daughter" at some point in this matrilineal history and following HER decendants forward, we could end up with a different species in Gen 1? We would then have TWO different species, descended from a common ancestor. There's no missing "intermediate species" but rather an overwhelming amount of them.

Posted by: freeulysses on October 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure I've seen a half-human, half-monkey. It looked a lot like Glenn Beck.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on October 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Just a comment about the antievolutionists. They seem to be in a continuous Kevin James moment since they throw out talking points that they've been given, that they don't understand, and that have been shot down repeatedly. Just once I would like to hear one try to explain their talking point in the light of reality.

There's a guy, Dembski, who makes his living writing books that "prove mathematically" that evolution is impossible. Each one gets shot down for erroneous mathematical calculations, but he then comes out with another book that supposedly corrects his errors, but actually adds more errors to his record. It's maddening.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on October 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

MKS, sorry, I am the resident pseudo-troll on this thread. If you want to feign ignorance you'll need to do it elsewhere. I hear Matt Yglesias has a post up about global warming; if you get there quickly I'm sure you can claim it. Good Luck!

Posted by: frdmlvr on October 21, 2010 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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