Acceptance of evolution a marker in political/cultural tribal disputes

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican congressman from Savannah, deserves credit for venturing into “unfriendly territory” on Bill Maher’s HBO show. In the show taped live Friday night, Kingston and the host got into a debate about evolution. Kingston denied the existence of evolution

“I don’t believe that a creature crawled out of the sea and became a human being one day,” Kingston says. Of course, nobody else does either — the process was a little more complicated than that. At one point, Kingston turns to fellow conservative Will Cain, of National Review, asking for a little support. Cain declines, explaining that he accepts evolution.

Last month, Gallup released its latest numbers on the debate, showing how little things have “evolved” on that front over the last three decades. There’s movement in the data, but not a lot of movement.

evolve

Gallup also breaks down the numbers by political affiliation, religious conviction and level. Personally, I was surprised to see that 22 percent of those with postgraduate degrees dismiss evolution and instead believe that God created human beings within the past 10,000 years. That’s about the same percentage of postgrads (25%) who accept evolution and say God played no role in the process.

The debate about evolution popped up on the Maher show as part of a larger discussion about global warming, and the topics do share similarities. As with global warming, public opinion about evolution has hardened and become largely immune to scientific evidence and argument. It is now a cultural marker, another way to distinguish “us” from “them.”
– Jay Bookman

398 comments Add your comment

The Donald

January 31st, 2011
11:44 am

Who said I evolved?

jm

January 31st, 2011
11:44 am

… well this is too easy

“There’s movement in the data, but not a lot of movement.” Evolution generally happens slowly….

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
11:45 am

“I don’t believe that a creature crawled out of the sea and became a human being one day,” Kingston says. Of course, nobody else does either — the process was a little more complicated than that.

Why, what an insightful conclusion to draw from this.

jm

January 31st, 2011
11:46 am

BTW, from what I hear down “South”, Kingston is a pretty good guy. Maybe not the brightest bulb in the room, but not the dimmest either. There are far worse in Congress than Kingston.

RB from Gwinnett

January 31st, 2011
11:46 am

Let the Christian bashing begin!!!!

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
11:47 am

AmVet

January 31st, 2011
11:48 am

Finally! Jay’s thrown us some red meat!

I may sit back and just enjoy the awesome intellectual discourse that is sure to be on display here shortly…

Kamchak

January 31st, 2011
11:48 am

Let the Christian bashing persecution complex begin!!!!

Fixed that for you.

Matti

January 31st, 2011
11:49 am

Personally, I don’t buy into the delusions of moral superiority that some people foster in their refusal to acknowledge science. To be fair, though, I can look around and see plenty of people who simply are not evolving. Bacteria have more sense than they do.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
11:49 am

“Let the Christian bashing begin!!!!”

Are you trying to say that ALL Christians are evolution deniers?

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
11:51 am

Are you trying to say that ALL Christians are evolution deniers?

new here, are you?

Normal

January 31st, 2011
11:52 am

I think that Kingston, being a politician, is just kowtowing to the Religious Right.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

January 31st, 2011
11:52 am

Unrest in Egypt. Unemployment still out of control.

The best you can come up with is this? Very sad.

CT’s Bush bashing today and you’re on Repub evolution bashing.

You two have to crank it up a notch.

Stonethrower

January 31st, 2011
11:58 am

Somewhere it says that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years. I’m just curious as to how Noah got those dinosaurs into the ark!

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
11:59 am

“I’m just curious as to how Noah got those dinosaurs into the ark!”

Didn’t you know? You can work miracles with a shoe-horn and some grease!

Normal

January 31st, 2011
12:01 pm

When you think about it, it makes sense that we evolved from the sea…what with the Great
Flood and all…

Normal

January 31st, 2011
12:03 pm

Either we evolved or we are all in-bred, cousin marrying, cosmic trash…

ty webb

January 31st, 2011
12:04 pm

yeah, because “real time with bill maher’ is the perfect venue to “kowtow” to the “religious right”

Midori

January 31st, 2011
12:04 pm

I watched that show Friday night. It was a hoot. :)

larry

January 31st, 2011
12:05 pm

Its funny how diseases and infections are evolving to the point antibiotics are not working against them. But there is no such thing as evolution.

Road Scholar

January 31st, 2011
12:06 pm

Some on these blogs are still under a rock….

larry

January 31st, 2011
12:06 pm

We either came from the sea or we came from a grain of sand.

Interesting choces , aren’t they.

ChuckD

January 31st, 2011
12:07 pm

I thought I would/should be amazed at the percentage of people who deny/decry science in this country. Sadly, though, I am not.

AmVet

January 31st, 2011
12:07 pm

Unrest in Egypt… The best you can come up with is this? Very sad.

Yum Yum are you even trying to pay attention here?

Take a really wild guess about what five of JB’s last nine topics (not counting FNM) have been about?

I still laugh when I think back on that mortifying moment during the 2008 GOP Presidential “Debates”, when that question was asked… To his credit, at least the eventual nominee didn’t look like a clueless goofball…

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 31st, 2011
12:08 pm

I watched the show live and I was stunned by his response. To me this is all a part of the conservative’s movement to not trust science at all or at least to trust only the scientists they’re told to trust. As was stated this discussion grew out of the global climate change discussion they were having and Kingston said that the science on this was ’still out’ for interpretation. He wanted to have everyone just come together and agree on the science. The problem I see is that this has been attempted and the conservative side just will not listen to anyone other than the scientists they agree with – period. I’ve yet to hear a leader on the conservative side say that they could take some of what the climatologists put forward. This goes along with evolution as well. Kingston said that it wasn’t evolution but adaptation, so germs didn’t evolve in response to our medicines, they just adapted.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:08 pm

“Its funny how diseases and infections are evolving to the point antibiotics are not working against them. But there is no such thing as evolution”

Sorry, that’s not evolution. That’s adaptation. In a biological sense evolution is when a population divides and at some point it is no longer possible for them to interbreed and produce fertile offspring. When that happens, there is the “evolution” of a new species.

jm

January 31st, 2011
12:11 pm

Interesting insight into the maneuverings the White House is having to contend with on Egypt.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/48467.html

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
12:11 pm

Wonder what Mr. Hitchens thinks of our current Egypt dilemma?

As for evolution, well, we already know what he thinks of that one. :)

Ah, here he is:

One of Francis Fukuyama’s better observations, drawing on his study of Hegel and Nietzsche, was that history shows people just as prepared to fight for honor and recognition as they are for less abstract concepts like food or territory.
http://www.slate.com/id/2283168/

jm

January 31st, 2011
12:11 pm

AmVet 11:48 – disappointed?

cha cha cha

January 31st, 2011
12:14 pm

Genetic testing has confirmed that human civilization came from Africa. Of course the Garden of Eden was supposed to be in Africa as well. Humans have definitely evolved but I think the argument is centered on what we started out as.

Misty Fyed

January 31st, 2011
12:14 pm

I have read the science on both sides. I believe in creation. The details of it I’m not so sure on. I will say that even if you throw out the existence of God, I wouldn’t accept the evolution theory. There are way too many assumptions that stand opposed to natural physical laws. Too many gaping holes in the time lines. Too many valid alternate explanations for evolution claims. But that’s me…I don’t care so much about where we came from as where we are going.

What is telling is how eager you libs are at declaring evolution as fact when every 6 months some scientist finds an artifact that “rewrites what we know about human evolution”. How many times do your theories need to be proven wrong before you admit that you may not have all the answers?

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 31st, 2011
12:14 pm

Doggone – are you sure? When organisms change at the biological level in response to an outside force such as medicines wouldn’t that be considered evolutionary? I’m not sure how a germ adapts to an antibotic without making some evolutionary change.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:15 pm

“but I think the argument is centered on what we started out as.”

A twinkle in God’s eye?

jm

January 31st, 2011
12:16 pm

Ok. Jon Huntsman for President? This guy is going to have to contend with all kinds of “Manchurian Candidate” issues. Is his allegiance to the US, or China? What is his reason for running. I don’t think he’s a bad candidate. But he has some challenges…. but a decent kick in the teeth for Obama….

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/48454.html

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 31st, 2011
12:17 pm

Misty Fyed – that’s the point of science – To challenge and test. Without it all you have is dogma. Sorta like when religion ruled in Western civilization.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:18 pm

“When organisms change at the biological level in response to an outside force such as medicines wouldn’t that be considered evolutionary? ”

Yes, I’m sure. An organism adapting to a particular substance is not evolution. It is simply an adapatation and a developement of resistence. Just as a personal example, I used to be able to take aspirin and now I can’t…because I developed an intolerance to it. The adaptation of germs to antibiotics is, for example, the same sort of reaction only on the other side of the coin: they develop a tolerance for it that makes it no longer effective to use to kill them.

jt

January 31st, 2011
12:19 pm

When I LOOK AT and CONSIDER the intelligence of a progressive (someone like Steny Hoyer),,

I think that maybe evolution is possible,

with monkies evolving from us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlhV1YDDs8c

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
12:19 pm

Misty Fyed: “What is telling is how eager you libs are at declaring evolution as fact when every 6 months some scientist finds an artifact that “rewrites what we know about human evolution”.”

Syllogism alert.

Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. Do you see how?

The statement (”new discovery rewrites everything we know about human evolution”) is based on a misconception. Sure, each new discovery “rewrites” it, but only from within the explanatory framework of evolution itself! In other words, it ends up reinforcing evolution as a theory, not overthrowing it.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:20 pm

“How many times do your theories need to be proven wrong before you admit that you may not have all the answers?”

Never. Science NEVER has all the answers. That is the essence of the scientific discipline. You evaluate the evidence you have now, you formulate a theory that seems to explain that evidence…but if new evidence is found you then adjust your theory to include that new evidence. Sometimes that new evidence changes the theory, sometimes it reinforces it…but it always changes it also.

Bruno

January 31st, 2011
12:21 pm

Personally, I don’t buy into the delusions of moral superiority that some people foster in their refusal to acknowledge science.

Matti–The reality is that there are different levels of certainty regarding various scientific theories. Macro-evolution based on random genetic mutations is far from a slam dunk. Ditto for anthropogenic global warming. While some of the critics of these theories reject them due to a pre-determined religious bias, many others, like myself, reject them because the evidence/proof is weak. Despite this, many liberals like Jay like to lump all critics into one file drawer and slap the “Stupid” label on them.

Misty Fyed

January 31st, 2011
12:23 pm

Fly…None of the laws of physics or chemistry have changed a bit. That can be taught as fact….

When you teach my kids that evolution is fact…Which is what is being done…you are lying to them. It is a theory and a poor one at that.

RB from Gwinnett

January 31st, 2011
12:24 pm

“Its funny how diseases and infections are evolving to the point antibiotics are not working against them. But there is no such thing as evolution.”

Larry, don’t make the mistake of confusing changes in a species. As an example, if you breed a great dane with a poodle, you’ll get a litter that looks like neither, but genetically, it’s still a dog. For evolution to occur, the DNA string must change and in that case it doesn’t.

In fact, for evolution to occur, there must be a random positive addition to the DNA string; something that has NEVER been observed by science. Negative mutations give us birth defects, etc, but there has never been an observed positive addition the DNA string. Yet you believe it happens with such regularity you became human from a single celled amoeba that magically sprang to life??? That would seem to take quite a bit of faith to me.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 31st, 2011
12:24 pm

Well, you won’t catch me calling a monkey or ape a distant relation. I beleive every word of the Bible. It says God created the first man and the first woman and that’s good enough for me. Only thing it don’t talk about is how Adam’s kids got wifes if there was just one man and one woman to start with. Maybe there’s a little bit of redneck in them and it don’t talk about other kids they had. And how did Those People get here if Adam and Eve were both white?

So there’s lots of Mystery. But I’m not going to doubt the Bible. They’d kick me out of the Republican Party if I did that.

Have a good p.m. everybody.

buck@gon

January 31st, 2011
12:25 pm

“As with global warming, public opinion about evolution has hardened and become largely immune to scientific evidence and argument.”

Ummmm.. ….

Note well: we are talking about evolution and conservatives “misunderstandings” after the biggest butt-kicking in national elections in the last 80 years. We are discussing American cultural issues during the President’s feckless handling of the Egypt revolution/protests.

If a liberal asks a conservative about the theory of evolution, and the conservative rejects that theory, then the liberal has an unending field-day opportunity to invite guests to shame and embarass said conservative. This is political theater and nothing more.

A better question might be, “is our educational system better now that we ‘know’ the truth about evolution?”, or “what is the significance of the ‘truth’ of evolution?”

For liberals it is a cornerstone for outright rejection of The Bible starting at page 1. For conservatives, it is reaction to that public threat wherein government officials (or their ‘educators’) attempt to mess with faith “or the free exercise thereof,” a no-no by constitutional standards.

You see that the miscommunication about evolution goes two ways. Both sides are talking past each other.

As to the THEORY of evolution, it is theory for two reasons: it is very incomplete. We don’t know, nor will we ever probably know the answers to at least three major questions concerning the evolution of species:
1) Where and how did life originate?
2) What is the origin of the universe?
3) How did humans gain the ability to imagine, create and think abstractly?
4) What EXACTLY is the path of evolution of the human species (eg., where is the “missing link”?) –personally, I think it’s Joe Biden.

Until these questions are answered (and they won’t be) people like Jay Bookman will continue to cut their teeth on the argument without resolution. Note also that their purpose is not to resolve the argument (which can’t be done). JB’s job, while collecting good money to make bad copy, is character assination, which is the job of “good” liberal columnists everywhere, especially when liberal politicians are seen as such national screw-ups.

Maximum

January 31st, 2011
12:25 pm

The following helps clarify the essential significance of evolution:
http://www.framestore.com/#/Commercials%20London/Guinness,noitulovE

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:25 pm

“them because the evidence/proof is weak”

and the evidence for both is far from “weak” – but if you don’t bother to read and UNDERSTAND the science behind them, that’s your problem Your level of disbelief is not proof that either one is wrong, or even weak.

buck@gon

January 31st, 2011
12:25 pm

If anything has become immune to argument it’s “global warming” after the East Anglia University scandal!

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:27 pm

“Which is what is being done…you are lying to them. It is a theory and a poor one at that.”

No, you are not lieing to them. You are teaching them a SCIENTIFIC theory, which is FAR different from a “theory” in the vernacular.

Bruno

January 31st, 2011
12:30 pm

An organism adapting to a particular substance is not evolution. It is simply an adapatation and a developement of resistence.

Doggone–The central debate regarding “evolution” is whether such change over time is teleologically driven (i.e. purposeful), or whether it is driven through some random mechanism such as genetic mutation. The fact that bacteria develop resistance to new drugs in a relatively short time suggests to me that the adaptation is specific and intelligent, and not the result of some happy accident. The biological mechanism by which this is directed is via the epigenomes, which are the link between our genes and the outside world. Science is just now scratching the surface as to how this occurs. Yet, despite the fact that we are still in the beginning stages of understanding epigenomes, Jay wants to vilify anyone who takes a “wait-and-see” attitude.

Peadawg

January 31st, 2011
12:31 pm

Have human evolved over the years? Absolutely. Did we evolve from a single cell billions of years ago? Very hard to believe. Did the entire universe explode from a single star? Seriously doubt it. Everything’s too perfect to be so random.

@@

January 31st, 2011
12:31 pm

Entered a dead thread downstairs so I’ll drag it up from the ooze.

From the horse’s mouth, jay? Don’t you mean from the horse’s ass? That you would kiss the same lips that kissed Bush’s ass is very telling. A marriage of convenience perhaps? Do kiss and tell, won’t you.

Although an Egyptian human rights defender Saad Eddin Ibrahim may have lamented Bush’s pull back, he, at least gave credit for Bush’s early attempts.

“George W. Bush is missed by activists in Cairo and elsewhere who, despite possible misgivings about his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, benefited from his firm stance of democratic progress. During the time he kept up pressure on dictators, there were openings for a democratic opposition to flourish. The current Obama policy seems weak and inconsistent by contrast.”

And there you have it! The contrast about which I spoke/typed.

Two years in office and what has Obama done to call out the Mubarak regime? Nothing. He was too damn busy with Obamacare, all the while ignoring the simmering fuse in Egypt.

I swear….Obama can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

On this topic? Count me among those Christians who believe that evolution was part of God’s plan. It was the spark of conscience in mankind that was his ultimate goal. Should we partake of sin or reject it?

Free to do what we will or His will.

Matti

January 31st, 2011
12:31 pm

Bruno,

I don’t disagree with what you say about science, although I haven’t seen the evidence to support what you say about Mr. Bookman. The fact is, men who study science are always proving their predecessors wrong. There are things many scientifically-minded people currently “don’t believe in” that will someday (I believe) be explained scientifically, rendering the beliefs of the intellectuals of our generation to be labeled completely ignorant.

I have always believed that Neanderthal genes survived and exist in modern humans, (genetic memory, perhaps?), but only recently did scientists say that it’s likely, reversing decades of dogma to the contrary. Nevertheless, what we think matters little to nothing in the big scheme of things. The human race will bring about our own destruction, and I just don’t see that as any great tragedy.

TrickleDownStupid

January 31st, 2011
12:31 pm

These are the same people who get upset when you say Happy Holidays; instead of Merry Christmas.

Maximum

January 31st, 2011
12:32 pm

If Christian churches will agree to routinely present opposing religious views (such as Islam) as fact during their Sunday services, then perhaps biologists will agree to present Creationist faith alongside reason in science classes.

Bruno

January 31st, 2011
12:33 pm

but if you don’t bother to read and UNDERSTAND the science behind them, that’s your problem

Doggone–I’ll gladly stack my scientific literacy up against yours or anyone else’s on the blog here.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:34 pm

“Negative mutations give us birth defects, etc, but there has never been an observed positive addition the DNA string.”

Don’t confuse developmental mutations with inheritable genetic mutations. DNA changes occur often, but whether they are positive or negative isn’t necessarily observable in real time. A developmental mutation IS observable in real time, but that doesn’t mean it is inheritable.

Peadawg

January 31st, 2011
12:36 pm

“Are you trying to say that ALL Christians are evolution deniers?” – If you don’t believe in Creationism I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian.

pn

January 31st, 2011
12:36 pm

The average IQ is 100. That explains a lot, including a reason to think that the human race is doomed by it’s stupidity.

ty webb

January 31st, 2011
12:36 pm

“I have always believed that Neanderthal genes survived and exist in modern humans,…”

That reminds me, has Olbermann found a new job yet?

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:36 pm

“The fact that bacteria develop resistance to new drugs in a relatively short time suggests to me that the adaptation is specific and intelligent, and not the result of some happy accident”

GREAT! Just what I wanted to hear! Can you teach me how to reverse my sensitivity to aspirin? Surely you can, since it ought – by your THEORY – be subject to my intelligent choice to change.

Jay

January 31st, 2011
12:37 pm

Bruno writes:

“Despite this, many liberals like Jay like to lump all critics into one file drawer and slap the “Stupid” label on them.”

and

“Yet, despite the fact that we are still in the beginning stages of understanding epigenomes, Jay wants to vilify anyone who takes a “wait-and-see” attitude.”

Bruno, if you’re going to make such repeated charges, back them up. When did I call people stupid? When did I vilify those who do not accept evolution?

I certainly disagree with them, but you did not accuse me of disagreeing with them. You have accused me of villifying them and calling them stupid.

When did that occur?

Citizen of the World

January 31st, 2011
12:37 pm

Everybody is a-wondering what and where we all come from
Everybody is a-worrying ’bout where we’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done
No one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me
Think I’ll just let the mystery be.
– Iris Dement

Unlike Iris, I guess the politicized religious right profess to know where we came from *and* where we’re going. All that faith in something for which there is no evidence, and no faith in that for which there is. That this same lack of logic is reflected in their governing policy is the really scary part.

andygrdzki

January 31st, 2011
12:38 pm

About 55 years ago or so, I asked my parents where I came from…. Ma and Pa told me that I came from them because they loved each other…
Ma and Pa are both gone now, and guess what, I still believe what they told me and I guess I always will…. I think we told our two boys the same thing…..
Ya think maybe it is a little bit of both, we evolved and we came from God; or we came from God and we have evolved..
However, looking at man’s inhumanity to man, have to wonder how much we have evolved…..
Just saying……..

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:39 pm

“If you don’t believe in Creationism I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian.”

Luckily, that is not a decision that has been given to you to make.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
12:43 pm

“If you don’t believe in Creationism I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian.”

I think it would be just as plausible to say the same of socialism.

knowalittle

January 31st, 2011
12:46 pm

Those who accept theory as fact are just as lost as those who dismiss the science because of their religious belief structure. Our arrogance as human beings has us thinking that we have an understanding of this complex ecosystem and planet. Boy are we wrong as usual but let’s frame economic policies (Laffer Curve anyone) using theory and see how it works out right? Why isn’t water vapor a ‘greenhouse gas’ again?

It looks like the know-it-alls are out today to defend their side. Ex is a has been and a spurt is a drop of p**s (any liquid) under pressure. Nuff said.

Mick

January 31st, 2011
12:48 pm

I saw the whole show the other night and I have to say kingston came off OK. He had only good comments about obama and bill maher kept badgering him about evolution while letting his special guest, D.L. Hugely off the hook even though he didn’t believe in evolution either.

@@

January 31st, 2011
12:48 pm

However, looking at man’s inhumanity to man, have to wonder how much we have evolved…..

Me too! Especially when taking into consideration the “inhumanity” surrounding abortion.

Let’s all go out and have sex…..then destroy any evidence of our weakness.

AmVet

January 31st, 2011
12:49 pm

There are two components to this aspect of this argument.

Those, like Bruno, who have spent a great deal of time and effort to formulate their opinions, which are based on a deep and strong working knowledge of science, math and other related disciplines. Who understand the strengths and weaknesses of these theories. And who has a deep appreciation for the scientific method.

Then there are those like Kingston whose denials are premised, it would seem, on two criteria only – their ideology/politics and/or their religion. And who have virtually no depth of working knowledge of those areas of study referenced above…

While I greatly respect the former, as it drives the science to become better, I refudiate (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck) the latter, as it is the very antithesis of improving human knowledge…

Normal

January 31st, 2011
12:49 pm

“If you don’t believe in Creationism I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian.”

I was going to say “Oh my freaking God”, but I’ve decided to just shake my head in mute disbelief…

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:49 pm

Gravity is just a theory

Del

January 31st, 2011
12:51 pm

Some movement in the data but not a lot of movement. The chart looks fairly accurate, about 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Looks like a logical mix of those who believe God created humans in their present form and those who believe God employed some form of evolution. Non-believers about 15% of Americans from many polls would choose the theory of evolution because that would essentially be their only choice. We’re still very much from our roots a Christian country even though there does exist varying degrees of faith and how deeply it’s practiced.

Bruno

January 31st, 2011
12:53 pm

I haven’t seen the evidence to support what you say about Mr. Bookman.

Bruno, if you’re going to make such repeated charges, back them up. When did I call people stupid? When did I vilify those who do not accept evolution?

Jay–Then praytell what you mean by your paragraph above:

“The debate about evolution popped up on the Maher show as part of a larger discussion about global warming, and the topics do share similarities. As with global warming, public opinion about evolution has hardened and become largely immune to scientific evidence and argument. It is now a cultural marker, another way to distinguish “us” from “them.”

By phrasing things this way, you are also creating an “us” and “them”–”Us” being the “smart” people who are NOT “immune to scientific evidence and argument”, “them” being the Bush Bible-thumpers who are somehow anti-Science. A false dichotomy if I ever saw one.

I’ll grant you that many of the folks who don’t accept Darwinian Evolution or anthropogenic global warming probably do so for the wrong reasons, but I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are uncomfotable with said theories on an intuitive level, though they may lack the ability to articulate why in strictly scientific terms.

Do you deny that you have repeatedly insulted those who don’t accept anthropogenic global warming?? To my recollection, you have run column after column loaded with insults in the past.

Terry Bradshaw

January 31st, 2011
12:54 pm

Jay, I, me, us, is, was, am living proof of evolution theory!

Matti

January 31st, 2011
12:55 pm

Dust in the wind.

AmVet

January 31st, 2011
12:56 pm

Doggone, the most unqualified have no clue regarding the difference in the definition of that word as used in conventional discourse, versus how the term is defined in scientific discourse…

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
12:56 pm

“the most unqualified have no clue regarding the difference in the definition of that word as used in conventional discourse, versus how the term is defined in scientific discourse”

Yes, I know that…but it’s fun to point it out anyway!

Normal

January 31st, 2011
12:57 pm

As most of you here know, I am no Christian (insert shameless grin here0, but on the otherhand
I have no problem see the “Big Bang” starting with a clap of hands and I have no problem that Evolution started with a snap of fingers.

The literal belief of Genesis though, is just too much for me to take. One of our bloggers said you can’t be a Christian without believing in Creationism. I refute that. By definition, being a Christian means believing in Christ as the Son of God, no more, no less.

As I understand it, Genesis is Old Testament and not about Christ.

Granny Godzilla

January 31st, 2011
12:58 pm

Me and the Pope – both Christians – agree “Evolution is Compatible with Christian faith”

Some Christians however do have compatability issues.

Peadawg

January 31st, 2011
12:58 pm

“I was going to say “Oh my freaking God”, but I’ve decided to just shake my head in mute disbelief…” – Shake your head all you want (NOT) Normal…doesn’t bother me one bit.

Normal

January 31st, 2011
12:59 pm

Some of you might find this interesting…

http://noetic.org/

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 31st, 2011
1:00 pm

Good afternoon. I perceive deception here, as I think nobody on this site believes in evolution as articulated by Charles Darwin. You should recall that Darwin cited the intellectual differences between Africans and Europeans as the ultimate proof of his theory. That first generation of Darwinists gave us the Eugenics vogue – “three generations of imbeciles are enough – to justify sterilization of the lesser peoples of our world. The National Socialists found their own version of Darwinism to purify society.

My guess is most “evolutionists” on this blog do not subscribe to any theory of evolution that has more substance than “things change.”

Peadawg

January 31st, 2011
1:00 pm

“Evolution is Compatible with Christian faith” – I would love hear how the theory that humans evolved from a single cell billions of years ago is “compatible with Christian faith”. Please explain.

Del

January 31st, 2011
1:01 pm

Christians believe in the Trilogy, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Christ is God.

Fred

January 31st, 2011
1:02 pm

Funny Jay how you say:

As with global warming, public opinion about evolution has hardened and become largely immune to scientific evidence and argument. It is now a cultural marker, another way to distinguish “us” from “them.”

Yet in both cases the scientific evidence ISN’T there. In both cases there are INDICATORS but indicators aren’t PROOF.

You also mention the “us and them” syndrome, yet I get a sense from reading you that you are totally closed minded on both subjects as well and look down on those who don’t believe as you do. Noticed I used the word BELIEVE. Evolution is as much a belief as creationism. There is no definitive proof for either one, and looked at in a logical light, one is just as improbable (or probable) as the other. No one really knows. Same with global warming. Man caused or not man caused? No one knows. There for every argument, there is a counter.

You speak of “science.” The science I learned has a “Law of Conservation of Mass.” Simply, matter is neither created nor destroyed. It simply exists. That alone would “debunk” evolution and the big bang theory. All using science. But it’s not that cut and dried is it? Perhaps one day scientists will find a new “law” or theory that will explain how all this came to be out of nothingness. Perhaps they won’t.

I don’t really care. I AM and that’s all that I can know. I think therefore I am? I don’t think that anyone but zealots (both for and AGAINST) religion really care. I call it a “God question.” If what I believe is true, I will one day die and stand in front of God. I’ll ask him then how evolution and creationism fit together. If what I believe is NOT true, I won’t be able to ask God, but since I’ll be nothing at that point, it won’t matter.

(I use the same theory for homosexuality ans the Bible BTW. I want to ask God how come if it’s a mortal sin that he made people that way. Sounds like a dirty trick if you ask me.)

Richard

January 31st, 2011
1:03 pm

Misty Fyed: “I have read the science on both sides. I believe in creation.”

What BS! You have not read the science on both sides because creationism doesn’t have any science associated with it.

You’ve been caught lying. Now sit in the corner and leave the grown-ups to their conversation.

John Birch

January 31st, 2011
1:06 pm

Origin of Species is clearly much closer to fact than the extremely fictional (particularly the Old testament) Bible. However, that doesn’t resolve the bigger question, which is the origin of the universe. It seems to me that either something came from nothing (Big Bang?) or soemthing always was and forever shall be (god?), and both are incomprehensible to the mind of man.

Granny Godzilla

January 31st, 2011
1:07 pm

Peadawg

I suspect you could find Benedict’s e-mail address for your self…..

Or just google the 2009 Vatican Conference on Christianity and Evolution.

Del

January 31st, 2011
1:07 pm

I’m sure there will be considerable debate but my wife wants me to evolve on to some other missions. Later

Mike O'Risal

January 31st, 2011
1:07 pm

Any change over time in the frequency of alleles in a population of any organisms is evolution. Note that only populations evolve, not individuals.

No idea what Bruno is talking about with “epigenomes.” I’m a working evolutionary biologist, and what we actually see is spontaneous mutation that occasionally confers a benefit in particular environmental circumstances to some members of a population. That benefit means they breed faster, which means that the beneficial mutation (i.e., new allele) becomes increasingly common in one population but not others. If a number of new alleles become fixed in a population (i.e., overtake prior alleles preserved in other populations), speciation occurs. I study a family of enzymes in my own work, and I can trace the relationships between species, genera, families, phyla, and even entire kingdoms backwards through time by tracking such changes. Epigenetics is the study of factors that control the expression of existing genes; nothing in an organism’s genetics changes the underlying genes, only how and when they are ultimately translated into gene products (such as proteins). There’s no such thing as an “epigenome,” just a genome, in which there are some genes under epigenetic control through such mechanisms as alternative methylation, etc.

It’s really not all that complicated, and if you look at the data, what you can even puzzle out is which alleles confer long-term selective benefit and which ones increase extinction rates across wide swaths of phylogeny. The data is interpreted mathematically, by the way, not according to the personal biases of some sequestered scientist.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
1:08 pm

“I would love hear how the theory that humans evolved from a single cell billions of years ago is “compatible with Christian faith”. Please explain”

I guess you’ll have to take it up with the Pope.

Keep up the good fight!

January 31st, 2011
1:10 pm

The theory and evidence of evolution does not disprove God but the theory and evidence does disprove the literal claim made by some in the Bible and thereby logically challenges a number of claims in the bible as “literal evidence” of God. .

Jay

January 31st, 2011
1:14 pm

Bruno, if such comments by me exist, Google stands at your service. However, if you think that the comments you just quoted amount to vilification and calling people stupid — well, you’re too smart to actually believe that, and I hope too honest to argue that.

I’m curious though. Having dismissed evolution, you are apparently of the opinion that the chimpanzee has no relationship to the bonobo, and the red-winged blackbirds have no relationship to, say, the starling. In fact, if I understand correctly, red-wing blackbirds and every other currently existing species must have existed for time immemorial, back to the days of the dinosaurs, even though no fossil record exists to support that claim.

Because otherwise — if every living species today did NOT exist from the beginning — you’d have to suggest some mechanism by which those species came into being at some later date. What would that process be?

GodisanAtheist

January 31st, 2011
1:14 pm

There is a lot of evidence supporting the theory of evolution, but no evidence supporting the theory of god!

Mick

January 31st, 2011
1:16 pm

john birch @ 1:06

I would have to agree with your assessment..

Mick

January 31st, 2011
1:20 pm

I’m out – questions like this tend to give me a headache. I’m here, I’m conscious but more importantly, what should I have for dinner?

Keep up the good fight!

January 31st, 2011
1:21 pm

Atheist, I dont disagree at least when it comes to the Bible. The Bible is a nice written history with a viewpoint. There are others including those that the Bible seems to have derived certain stories from. There is evidence to show that some of the historical events in the bible took place, that does not mean that the conclusion that they were an “act of God” is supported.

Evolution does not disprove whether there is a greater God, whether it be Gaia or even universal God, who created the rules of the universes and evolution and matter itself. That God only bears some semblence to the God of the Bible.

Peadawg

January 31st, 2011
1:22 pm

Alright Granny and Doggone, I googled some stuff and here’s my conclusion…the Pope is nuttier than a fruit cake. After reading I still don’t understand how the theory that we evolved over billions of years is compatible with Christianity. Anyone else care to chime in?

John Birch

January 31st, 2011
1:23 pm

Mick – Yeah, it’s consistent with the theory that man created god in his own image, rather than vice versa. That is, god was the explanation for the unexplained. When we didn’t understand the nature of the solar system the sun and/or moon were gods!

Lord Help Us

January 31st, 2011
1:24 pm

‘Anyone else care to chime in?’

I believe the short answer is…the Vatican could no longer deny evolution and had to rationalize…