back to article 'I can see dinosaurs from my back porch'

GOP Veep candidate Sarah Palin's belief in creationism brings the evolution of a crank's outlook into an asset in US public life into plain view. It's simply the rock-like belief that if science isn't convenient to a very personal value or notion, then it constitutes an attack on such and is to be set aside. Kevin Phillips, a …

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re: careless whispers

Strange.

"Couldn't care less" is the same (as far as being able to tell the difference between none and so little it can't be less) and doesn't require you to fill in missing words.

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@Ben, @Mark & @Non-creationist christians

@Ben

"in England we never Mix Faith with politics."

Shouldn't that be: "In England we have no faith in politics"?

@Mark

"However, I don't think there are any creationists who AREN'T Christian."

Apart from all of those Jewish folk and all of those Muslim folk, in fact, I can't think of a single religion that doesn't have a creation story (and I've studied a lot of religions, a vast amount).

@Non-creationist christians

Anyone who claims to be a christian who isn't a creationist has no basis to claim they are a christian as it's obvious they don't believe the Bible. You can't cherry pick this shit (though I'm sure you'll claim you can), you either believe or you don't believe. Maybe you should choose another "religion" that ticks all of the boxes but doesn't require you to be a moron: try Humanism, I think you'd like it, it's all the good stuff about treating people right and having good social values without any of the bollocks about trolls, fairies and gods.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We'd love to, but your politics is pretty much everyone's politics, isn't it?

Maybe so, insomuch as we've somehow been nominated to Police the World, but we don't tell you who to elect over there.

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Happy

@NukEvil

This would be funny if you weren't serious:

"Not saying that gravity itself doesn't exist, I'm saying our understanding of it is wrong. Here, to prove my point, I'll insert a seemingly random equation: F = GMm/r^2."

I'm afraid your physics is about a century out of date; the formula you quote is from Newton's theory of gravitational attraction, whereas gravitational lensing is actually predicted and explained by the Einstien's Theory of Relativity (heard of it?).

This is a good example of the scientific process; an accepted theory that works under most conditions is replaced by a theory that works under a wider range of conditions. No-one has to fight about it, no-one is killed in the name of Newton or Einstein and we can continue to use Newtonian mechanics where mass and velocity are relatively low (no pun intended) without having to deny that Einstein has a "better" theory.

Also photons do have mass (and momentum), but have zero rest mass. I know the Bible hasn't changed in a thousand years (apart from all the translations Hebrew-Greek-Latin-English; no chance of any misunderstandings there eh?), but science is moving forward all the time to try to keep up.

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Happy

Re:Re: Maybe this will help clear the air

@ Sarah Bee: I was simply trying to refute claims that Christians hate/are intolerant of science.

And the blog that I was referring to (it's in my opening paragraph) is the Dick Destiny blog authored by George Smith. http://www.dickdestiny.com/blog/dickdestiny.html

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re:Re: Maybe this will help clear the air

Oh yes. That's OK then.

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@Nathan

Uh Christians DO hate/are intolerant of science.

Not all of them, to be sure, but the ones that hate science or are intolerant of it are highly religious and are in the main christians.

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@Paul Buxton

Jesuits are completely on the side of Evolution.

I haven't heard from ANY muslim about how evolution is wrong and creationism is right. Nor Bhuddist, Pastafarian, NLRA or any other whacko organisation.

Christians?

Lots.

Maybe not a large number, but the majority by noise volume.

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Unhappy

Disasterous feedback loop!

A large part of this stems from the "separation of church and state" bit of the US constitution.

This was/is an excellent idea, but it was disaterously applied to the tax code.

Churches go tax free, this status has turned relifion into a cash cow which has attracted many and various unsrupulous operators.

Churches use this free cash is to pomote themselves and thier views. Hence drawing more suckers^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbeleivers and even more tax free cash.

A large amount of this cash is spent ensuring that only religion friendly polititians get elected.

Palin seems to sharp an operator to really beleive in palin-toligy, I think she just felt if she agreed with the creationists she would get an easier ride into the governors office.

The big problem is that the younger generations who have been taught superstion rather than science wont be equipped to make such descisions.

A real separation of church and state would tax churches the same as any other business!

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Alert

"I can see dinosaurs from my back porch"

Regards the poster who questioned the validity of the title "I can see dinosaurs from my back porch" as a quote...

1. the register often paraphrases or summarises it's stories into a headline like that for comic effect. See almost any other article on thye site! :)

2. I suspect they're referencing the Saturday Night Live sketch where Tina Fey's "Palin" makes the comment on international relations "I can see Russia from my house!"

It's clearly comic, not a direct quotation!

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@AC (aren't they all!)

"some people go nuts about creationists because they are frightened of being held accountable to a higher power for their actions"

Not really. I'd much rather be nice* to people on the 'do as you would be done by' principle, than because I thought I was going to be punished if I wasn't. As for an afterlife, I certainly don't want to be surrounded for eternity by fundamentalists of any description. All the virgins will have gone by time I get there, anyway...

*For you, I'll make an exception.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I can see dinosaurs from my back porch"

Good for you. On a clear day, I can just about see France. Wanna swap?

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Flame

Re: Creationists Are Exactly Who You Should Elect

"As evidence, consider all the people who sought to create a society based on "scientific" principles: Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot -- 200 million dead in the last 100 years as a result of their evolutionary views."

Aside from the fact that the ideologies of the above dictators had nothing to do with science, it's historical fact that all of the above frequently promoted pseudo-scientific policy instead of scientific policy, leading to disastrous unintended consequences (for example, widespread famine and environmental damage in the Soviet Union and China) as well as bizarre Indiana Jones-style expeditions (Nazis heading off to Antarctica looking for magical oases). If any science got done, it was actually despite the respective regimes in numerous cases, although I don't doubt that people in all kinds of professions looked the other way in furthering their careers and not considering the applications of their work.

Of course, I don't expect anything better than the despicable mud-slinging as quoted above from creationists in their treatment of science and their lack of insight into what science is and what pseudo-science is. Meanwhile, it might be best to disregard things like film footage of priests blessing various Axis armoured vehicles during the Second World War, might it not?

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NT
Flame

@ Everyone

@ AC "Facts and hypocrisy":

<< Evolution is a theory with holes in it. These holes may be resolved over time but I'm sick of it being thrust on us as a fact, which it is not. >>

Again, it *is* a fact - and it's a fact that's been recognised as such for centuries. The *theory* deals with *how evolution works*, not whether or not it happens.

@ Jonathan Tate:

<< So great one El Reg. Go after Palin, the VP choice of the republican party... >>

Focusing on Palin means that they get chance to keep throwing the 'fundie Christian' element into the mix, which is guaranteed to generate a huge amount of comments as atheist and religionist go through the tired, ever-repeating mutual bashing routine they love so much.

@ Simon:

<< If you go to church you must be a "Creationist" if you dont you must an "Evolutionist". The same way you are either "Religious" or "Atheist". >>

People like stereotyping because it's easy. It gives them the excuse they need to indulge their fear of people who're different, and it means they don't have to think very hard. People like not having to think. Thinking is difficult. People don't like challenges to their preconceptions - especially when they're forced to challenge them themselves.

@ Chad H:

<< The more I read about Palin, the more I honest to goodness hate the woman. Her fast and loose attitudes towards open government, and the truth. >>

Obviously you're in a privileged position. Speaking personally, I have no real idea what the woman believes and what she doesn't. I haven't yet found an information source that isn't consciously trying to big her up or do her down.

@ Paul Murphy

<< I don't mind people believing whatever they want (not even the FSM) but why must I share my planet with them! >>

Because, your arrogance notwithstanding, you're no better than the rest of us. "Religion should have died out in the Middle Ages"? "Should"? Come on, then, oh high and mighty rationalist: tell me according to whose schedule you make such a firm claim? Or do you simply presume that history is bound to conform to your expectations?

(Incidentally, people who 'believe' in the FSM have entirely missed the point of it. As has anyone who uses it as a way to mock other religions.)

*sigh*

What's the point? The Reg know very well that if they bring religion into it, they'll get all the comments they can eat. And they're right: everyone's so desperate to prove their own superiority that they'll take any opportunity. I'd be interested to see the stats for articles with a religious element here on El Reg, and how the comment numbers stack up against the other political items, the entertainment items, the totalitarian-police-state items... or, gods *forbid*, the IT-related items - 'cos there are still one or two. I just wonder for how long.

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@Evolution isn't science, it's reading from a book

Mark

I've told you before - MRSA isn't Evolution. It is still a virus.

Martin

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@NT

No, Evolution isn't a fact, it's never been observed and no one can demonstrate it. It is an idea, beloved of those who dislike the though of a God, which doesn't actually work when you test it.

You are right about one thing, The Register is stirring it - the headline makes that obvious, using the discredited concept of dinosaurs being birds.

Martin

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Boffin

Yee Haw!

Nothing like a friendly debate on issues that don't mean much ;-)

To all the evolutionists - give up. Reason is fundamentally incompatible with faith.

To all the creationists - give up. Faith is fundamentally incompatible with reason.

To all the America bashers - give up. I have lived and travelled abroad, and as bad as things are in the US, they are much worse almost everywhere else. To paraphrase a former British PM, "a democratic republic is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

I assume that RE refers to "Religious Education" or some similar phrase. No such thing in the US public schools due to the Separation of Church and State. This is also why the Creationists, now known as "intelligent Design proponents" have been trying to get the creation myth taught in science class.

I have no problem with the study of old, discredited "theories". When I was in college we studied Ptolemy, Phlogiston, and the "action at a distance" theories in addition to Copernicus, Priestly, and Maxwell. However, they had actual theories to study. When there is a theory of Intelligent Design, with hypotheses, experiments, and formulae (especially formulae. If it doesn't have any math in it, it ain't science), then I would welcome it, too, in a science class. Until then, it isn't worth consideration.

Also, regarding the could/couldn't care less debate. Anyone ever heard of sarcasm? When you say "I could care less," it is supposed to be spoken in a voice dripping with sarcasm, to convey the exact opposite meaning. By that token, it is much more disdainful than the nearly indifferent "I couldn't care less."

-Chris

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@Martin Yirrell

'No, Evolution isn't a fact, it's never been observed and no one can demonstrate it. It is an idea, beloved of those who dislike the though of a God, which doesn't actually work when you test it'

It has been tested and proven many many times. It does work although I wouldn't expect someone like you to actually look at the research and give the results the due credit they deserve as they would fly in the face of your beliefs and you obviously couldn't cope with that.

'using the discredited concept of dinosaurs being birds.'

Discredited how? Where is your evidence to back that statement up? I can point you at evidence that proves that statement false. Archaeopteryx and Cryptovolans are prime examples as has been stated above, but they don't fit into your world view and can safely be ignored.

And yes there are gaps in the fossil record, but given the geological movement and the powerful destructive force that is nature, combined with the incredibly long periods of time involved it's amazing that any fossils have survived at all. There is no doubt that there are countless species who have long since disappeared that we will never find out about as all evidence they existed has long since been destroyed.

Please note that this comment is not trying to question the existence of God, merely that the evidence really does not support the bible version of events. Feel free to insert any religious text about the creation of man you choose as none of them fit with the evidence.

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NT

@ Martin Yirrell and Chris

@ Martin Yirrell:

<< No, Evolution isn't a fact, it's never been observed and no one can demonstrate it. >>

That'll come as a great relief to the medical profession, then. At least they won't have to worry about the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics any more.

@ Chris:

<< To all the evolutionists - give up. Reason is fundamentally incompatible with faith. >>

And does this statement equal empirical, objective fact? Or does it, as is often the case with the statements of religion-bashers, apply only to a narrow perception of what constitutes 'faith'?

<< To all the America bashers - give up. I have lived and travelled abroad, and as bad as things are in the US, they are much worse almost everywhere else. >>

The trouble is, as Sarah Bee rightly pointed out, that America is, for the moment at least, the world's most powerful and influential nation. That means that every other country on Earth HAS to take a keen interest in what America does, and we ALL have a stake. We just don't get a vote. Claims that everyone else should just butt out and leave American affairs to Americans would be fine - the world has no problem, for example, leaving Paraguay to its own devices, or Uganda. But do you really expect us to overlook the fact that the USA has enough firepower to scorch civilisation off the planet? Why should the world NOT be concerned at the prospects for American leadership?

<< I assume that RE refers to "Religious Education" or some similar phrase. No such thing in the US public schools due to the Separation of Church and State. >>

Correct re the meaning. But a better term for modern RE would perhaps be 'Comparative Religion'. It's not indoctrination of one specific faith: it's education about something that, rightly or wrongly, has a considerable influence in the world. With that in mind, it doesn't hurt to learn about it - and if, as I assume is the case from your comments, America doesn't provide such education, it's a little easier to see why it's such a fiery issue over there.

<< Also, regarding the could/couldn't care less debate. Anyone ever heard of sarcasm? >>

Yes, and I've heard that excuse for the phrase, too. It doesn't hold any water, in my view. "I could care less" still implies that one only cares a little. A sarcastic intent would be better served by suggesting that you care deeply about whatever it is. I suspect that "I could care less" is just a mistaken usage that's been widely adopted.

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Thumb Up

"Invisible Friends"

LOL

I prefer: "Invisible Sky Daddy"

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Boffin

Chosen People

Let's say magic beans work for the moment

a)God created Universe

b)God's WORD

c) Creationist DENIES (a) because of a misreading of (b)

Given that (a) and (b) are products of (g) and thus perfect and inviolable what is the degree of error of (c) and based on E(c) what punishment will be (M)eted out by (g)

E=M(c)^2

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Boffin

Evolution is a fact (@Martin Yirrell's Post @NT)

Martin Yirrell posted on Monday 29th September 2008 18:07 GMT:

"No, Evolution isn't a fact, it's never been observed and no one can demonstrate it. It is an idea, beloved of those who dislike the though of a God, which doesn't actually work when you test it."

Evolution *has* been observed very many times; it *is* a fact; it *has* been thoroughly tested and survived all the tests (i.e., it does "work" as a theory wherever it has been applied). I recommend:

"Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body" by Neil Shubin, Allen Lane (2008), £20, pp229

This book shows how anatomical features of the human body can be traced back through ancestral species all the way to fish and even farther. Shubin and his team of scientists earned fame recently for their discovery of the fossil Tiktaalik, a link between fish and land animals, with fins that have been partially modified to enable the animal to move about on land.

The fossil record is only a part of the evidence for evolution. The genetic basis of mutation is now well understood and mutations can be observed in the laboratory and in the wild. The 'flu virus is just one example of an organism that evolves in front of our eyes. Profound changes to larger organisms under the influence of natural selection take much longer than a human lifetime, so cannot be observed as they occur, although the results can be studied. For example, horses and donkeys share a common ancestor in prehistory which we can no longer observe other than as fossils, but the modern animals have not diverged so far that they cannot interbreed. However, the mules that are the offspring of their unions are sterile, so that an intermediate mule population is not viable, and horses and donkeys are classified as separate species.

A theory that has been as thoroughly tested as the theory of evolution and passed all of its tests is entitled to be regarded as a fact. The evidence for it is so overwhelming that no rational person seriously doubts it, any more than they would doubt that the Earth is round.

Evolution is not an idea "beloved of those who dislike the thought of a God". In fact, a lot of people who do believe in God also accept that evolution occurs and that it explains the variety of species that we find in the world. For example, the Catholic and Anglican churches officially accept evolution. For those (like me) who *do* "dislike the thought of a God", however, it disposes of the "argument from design" as a justification for belief in the supernatural.

Martin Yirrell continues:

"You are right about one thing, The Register is stirring it - the headline makes that obvious, using the discredited concept of dinosaurs being birds."

No scientist has ever said that dinosaurs were birds; such a "concept" was never around to be discredited. However, it is well-established (from intermediate forms in the fossil record) that birds are descended from some types of dinosaur. According to the latest theory (well supported by fossil evidence), some carnivorous bipedal species of theropod dinosaur evolved feathers through a series of intermediate steps. The initial advantage conferred by such mutations may have been more effective body temperature control. Later, species arose which used their feathers to assist flight, and eventually these evolved into birds. See:

"Which Came First, the Feather or the Bird?" by Richard O. Prum and Alan H. Bush, Scientific American, March 2003, pp60-69.

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Paris Hilton

Crying into my beer over the possibilty this idiot might be president

Good Bavarian stuff though, as I'm an overseas employee of the US Military-Industrial Complex...

Those of you who wonder if we have large groups of insane right-wingers who troll the Internets for any mention of themselves or their mascots: yep. Look at any slightly left-leaning (by American standards) blog that allows comments.

I was back home in Texas for two weeks this month. I had to suppress bemusement at hearing complaints about Obama's "radical leftist agenda". He would slot in nicely with Germany's center-right Christian Democrats, maybe towards the left side of that party, but still not social enough to make the Social Democratic cut, and certainly nowhere near the actual socialists of the Left Party.

However, this all leaves me with the convenience of being called a "liberal" on both sides of the pond.

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Unhappy

Darwin - God - Who Cares?

Really, who gives a shit whether we are descended from amoeba or from some creator or other? There are more important things in this shitty life and on this shitty planet that we should be concerned about. I really don't think that the tens of thousands of children dying of disease and malnutrition everyday really give a shit, do you?

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I've told you before - MRSA isn't Evolution. It is still a virus.

And Humans are still animals. Like apes.

So where's your problem with the descent of man from ape?

Mindless parroting by a fuckwit strikes again.

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NT

I'll shut up after this one, I promise...

@ Seán

<< a)God created Universe; b)God's WORD >>

It's worth mentioning that a) doesn't always require belief in b). In fact, believing in b) is a very specific thing and quite different from believing in a).

@ "Darwin - God - Who Cares?"

<< I really don't think that the tens of thousands of children dying of disease and malnutrition everyday really give a shit, do you? >>

You don't think that the tens of thousands of children (I assume it's only *children* affected? Or is it just that children traditionally have more emotive value in arguments?) dying from disease could benefit from a detailed scientific understanding of the biology of the diseases that are killing them? Even I will happily admit that such an understanding won't come from religion (although I won't support the implication that religion inevitably *prevents* such understanding).

@ Peter Mellor:

<< ...as a justification for belief in the supernatural. >>

For what it's worth, and pedantic though it may sound, as a religious person I hold no belief in the supernatural. What exists is natural. What isn't natural doesn't exist. But it's putting cart before horse to dismiss something *because* it's thought of as supernatural. Lack of evidence? Fine: that's a more sensible reason to dismiss something - as long as you're adhering to those articles of faith that tell us that 1) the cosmos is basically comprehensible and 2) that we have the potential and capability to understand it completely.

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Paris Hilton

Creationism is the least of her problems

I don't care if she believes in ID and creationism, it's not a problem, stupid and misguided but not a problem.

That she is blessed in church against the action of witches, by someone who hounded a poor woman out of town as a witch is more than a bit of a problem.

I fully expect the president to declare Iran, home of the devil, evil and witches, and promptly go to war with Iraq probably in late October.

Palin could be in charge of nukula weapons, God (should he/she exist) help us.

Paris, 'cos at leash she knows she don't know.

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Silver badge

Then teach all creation stories

I was quite impressed by the greek one I discovered yesterday while looking up the origin of the name Milky Way. It seems the galaxy was in fact squirted out of Hera's chest according to them.

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@Martin Yirrell 29th September 2008 18:01 GMT

Sorry to piss on your chips old boy, but MRSA is a bacterium. Unlike a virus, bacteria are considered to be living.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRSA_(Mersa)--Methicillin_Resistant_Staph_Aureus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus_(biology)

Evolution = Scientific Theory = Science Class

Creationism = Religious Theory = RE / Theology Class

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Happy

Caring

>When you say "I could care less," it is supposed to be spoken in a voice dripping with sarcasm, to convey the exact opposite meaning

Sarcasm and irony? In America? Who knew?

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Flame

@Martin Yirrell

"No, Evolution isn't a fact, it's never been observed and no one can demonstrate it."

I suppose given the private Yirrell definitions of most words, we have to cover quite a few bases with the above sentence:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901_1.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html

Knock yourself out on all the other material if the words aren't too big for you. It's not exactly "Answers from Genesis", I know, but I can't be bothered actually spelling this stuff out any more. There's only so much time in the day to respond to Yirrell pantomime-level argumentation.

Mark says, "Mindless parroting by a fuckwit strikes again."

On that assessment of the miraculous Martin Yirrell I couldn't agree more.

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Flame

Re: Darwin - God - Who Cares?

Anonymous Coward posted on Tuesday 30th September 2008 08:55 GMT:

"Really, who gives a shit whether we are descended from amoeba or from some creator or other? There are more important things in this shitty life and on this shitty planet that we should be concerned about. I really don't think that the tens of thousands of children dying of disease and malnutrition everyday really give a shit, do you?"

Anyone who cares about the future of humanity and what we can rationally do about it, that's who "gives a shit". Anyone who would prefer the choices that now face us about climate change, overpopulation, Palestine, etc., etc., to be made by people with a reasonable understanding of reality, rather than by superstitious fuckwits.

The book "Hunting Deer with Jesus", that I recommended in my earlier posting, confirms that a high proportion of working class evangelical Christians in the USA are happy to let this Earth go to hell in a handcart because God is going to create a new one, just for them, after they have been removed from the surface of the Earth in the "rapture" and all of us "unsaved" sinners have perished in the battle of Armageddon. Add to this the beliefs of Zionist Jews that Jahweh "gave" them the land of Israel 3000 years ago, and of Iranian Shi'ite theocrats that the time is nigh when the "Hidden Imam" will reappear for the Islamic version of Armageddon. Then reflect that these various troglodytes have (or will soon have) nuclear weapons, and you might begin to appreciate the scale of the problems that ignorance can cause.

It *matters* that the best available scientific understanding of the world is taught in schools, and not supernatural fairy-tales.

I don't see any constructive suggestion from you as to what to do about the "tens of thousands of children dying of disease and malnutrition everyday". Obviously someone starving right now is preoccupied by where their next meal is coming from, to the exclusion of philosophical and scientific debate, but since you have the time and equipment to go blogging, I guess that the most important concern preoccupying your shitty brain is where to have lunch.

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@peter Mellor

"The evidence for it is so overwhelming that no rational person seriously doubts it, any more than they would doubt that the Earth is round."

Here you have hit upon the nub of the problem. Yirrel is a fuckwit. He's irrational. Either because he's the sort of christian that give christians a bad name, or he's just a fuckwit troll.

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Alert

Re: wow

"I think that a few people might have forgotten this is a UK centric website, in England we never Mix Faith with politics."

Quite the Royston Vasey view this one, given that the last prime minister (assuming Gordo hasn't stepped down since I last checked the BBC Web site) was quite open about God judging him for his actions, all pious and "I'm so offended by your accusations" while pulling a "sad puppy" face. Not, say, a court of mere mortals judging him for his illegal war.

It also doesn't help that Blair and company managed to pull quite a few strings (and maybe pull in a few bribes, too, if the cash for honours business went right to the top) to let various types run their own "faith-based" schools, meaning that money is actually siphoned off from proper education in favour of evangelists who propagate the sort of creationist idiocy on display in this very forum and, I grant you, throughout the United States.

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Dead Vulture

Two things

1) What an awful first sentence. Hang your head in shame!

2) I didn't know this many people read El Reg!

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Silver badge
Happy

RE: Ben

"....in England we never Mix Faith with politics...." Erm.... actually, we created a whole new branch of Christianity just so King Henry could fulfill his political requirment of siring a male heir. This involved divorcing and killing several wives, which upset the Catholics of the day, hence the need to create a new Church of England so Henry could retain his "divine right to rule" whilst shopping around for more mating material. Eddie Izzard has a perfect summary on the Church of England's creation at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ope-1Zb5t-k&feature=related (which, incidently, was sent to me by a Catholic friend from Atlanta who thought it was hilarious).

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@Badger

>http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901.html<

Another way of saying no one has ever seen Evolution happen - without actually admitting it.

>http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901_1.html<

Basically saying "you can't demonstrate that there is a limit to variability. However it is clear that scientists do find a limit to variability - note the concerns to save genetic information that are behind such as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. You may also consider what happens when pedigree dogs are over bred. I recall recently a suggestion that the restriction on marriage between relatives be widened, due to the increasing genetic load in the human genome. If you can't see a limit to genetic variability then the reason is that you don't want to.

>http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html<

Speciation is not Evolution since it is but the application of existing genetic variability in the genome.

Incidentally, talkorigins is somewhat below the level of Wikipedia in the reliability stakes.

Mark has clearly run out of arguments since all he can use is vulgarities.

Martin

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@Jon

>MRSA is a bacterium<

OOPs, thanks for the correction - however it still hasn't evolved and is still a bacterium. Interestingly most of the 'resistance' to drugs et al found in life is actually caused by loss of information. Much like the loss of information in sickle cell anaemia provides resistance to malaria.

As to Evolution being science, it's actually more a philosophy - hence all the steam coming out of collars. <G>

Martin

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Anonymous Coward

Yirral goin' ta hell

"Basically saying "you can't demonstrate that there is a limit to variability. "

Go on. Demonstrate.

Then demonstrate God.

You never HAD an argument.

"The Bible Proves God Exists". Which bible? "THE BIBLE! You didn't read the bible!!!"

"My FAITH Proves God Exists". No.

"It Just IS, M'Kay". No.

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PS yirrel

It isn't a relapse to vulgarity. It's just an evident truth: you ARE a fuckwit.

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Joke

Sarah Palin - post turtle

Best description for the brain-dead cow I've yet seen......

A doctor was stitching up a U.S farmer's hand when the farmer referred to Sarah Palin as a post turtle. The doc asked what he meant.

"Well, you're driving along a country road and you sometimes see a turtle balanced on a fence post. You know it don't belong up there, you dunno how it came to be there, it sure as hell ain't got a clue what to do whilst it's up there and you really gotta wonder about the kinda dumbass that put it up there in the first place".

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NT

Post Turtles

<< A doctor was stitching up a U.S farmer's hand when the farmer referred to Sarah Palin as a post turtle. The doc asked what he meant. >>

He meant the same as he meant when he described Obama as one not long ago. Or George Bush a few years back. Or Bill Clinton. Or Al Gore. Or Ronald Reagan. Or any of the huge plethora of politicians and slebs who've been the butt of that joke over the years.

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NT
Unhappy

Sorry

*sigh*

Re the post turtles. I admit my sense of humour's taken a battering today...

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Boffin

MRSA has evolved, along with other stuff (@Jon and @Badger by Martin Yirrel)

Martin Yirrell posted on Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:46 GMT:

<quote>

>MRSA is a bacterium<

OOPs, thanks for the correction - however it still hasn't evolved and is still a bacterium. Interestingly most of the 'resistance' to drugs et al found in life is actually caused by loss of information. Much like the loss of information in sickle cell anaemia provides resistance to malaria.

<unquote>

I haven't the faintest idea what you mean by "loss of information", but for your information, read on.

Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a species of bacterium which often colonises one's nose or skin without ill effects, but can cause boils, abscesses, and other nasty symptoms if it enters the body through broken skin. Such infections were, until recently, easily treated with antibiotics, but in the late 1990s cases of SA infection were seen which did not respond to the commonly used antibiotics. These were found to be due to a new type of SA which was named MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

See:

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=252

"MRSA is a resistant variation of the common bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It has evolved an ability to survive treatment with beta-lactamase resistant beta-lactam antibiotics, including methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, and oxacillin."

(Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus)

Note: "It has EVOLVED ..." It has undergone a genetic mutation which gives it greater resistance compared to the original type of SA. The mutation arose at random, but the mutated strain reproduces true to type, and survives in preference to the original type, in the presence of increasing amounts of antibiotic drugs in its environment, hence the increasing number of cases reported.

Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited genetic defect, caused by a recessive gene (a gene that must be inherited from both parents for an individual to develop the condition). Researchers had been puzzled as to how such a destructive gene came to be so prevalent, until it was discovered that inheriting the gene from only ONE parent conferred on the individual an improved degree of immunity against malaria. Sure enough, sickle cell is endemic among populations who originate from areas where malaria is also endemic.

A couple of comments on @Badger by Martin Yirrell, posted Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:38 GMT:

"Another way of saying no one has ever seen Evolution happen - without actually admitting it."

MRSA is a classic example of evolution happening right under our noses. Antibiotics became widely used from the 1940s on. MRSA evolved its resistance in the 1990s (and is not the first species of bacterium to have evolved resistance to at least some antibiotics).

Sickle cell anaemia provides an example of how an understanding of the process of natural selection can yield insight into otherwise puzzling aspects of a disease that affects many thousands of people.

"Speciation is not Evolution since it is but the application of existing genetic variability in the genome."

Speciation arises from evolution. Different populations of the same original species can evolve into different species when geographically separated (and so prevented from interbreeding) and subjected to different environments (and so to different types of natural selection) for a long period.

If by "existing genetic variability in the genome" you mean the differences between the genomes of individuals of the same species, then the resulting minor differences in phenotype are exactly what natural selection acts upon to favour particular genotypes, so driving evolution.

If you would learn a bit of basic science, you would waste less of the time of El Reg readers in attempting to correct your confused diatribes (assuming we can make sense of them in the first place).

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@MRSA has evolved, along with other stuff

Peter

>I haven't the faintest idea what you mean by "loss of information",<

Genetic material is effectively information on the variable features of the form of life encoded in a highly efficient manner. Mutation is the result of damage to the material and is the loss of genetic information.

>Note: "It has EVOLVED ..."<

No, actually it hasn't evolved, it is "a resistant variation of the common bacterium Staphylococcus aureus". Just as people vary, so bacterium vary. Some people have genetic illnesses, some people have red hair, it is not evolution it is variation.

>MRSA is a classic example of evolution happening right under our noses. Antibiotics became widely used from the 1940s on. MRSA evolved its resistance in the 1990s (and is not the first species of bacterium to have evolved resistance to at least some antibiotics).<

Now I'm not sure about MRSA but I do know that bacteria resistant to modern antibiotics were found in the frozen corpses of members of an ill fated polar exploration. Selection occurs without Evolution occurring.

>Speciation arises from evolution<

No, speciation is quite different from Evolution and occurs when variation arises from the selection of information already existing in the genome. It is noteworthy that domestic dogs are considered one species despite a range of variation that, had it occurred naturally, would have resulted in a number of 'species'. Evolution, on the other hand requires the generation of new genetic features that did not previously exist - limbs for example from a form without limbs. Evolution has never been observed.

Martin

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@Yirral goin' ta hell

AC

>Then demonstrate God.<

Was your computer designed and built or did it just evolve?

Martin

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NT
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@ Martin Yirrell

<< Was your computer designed and built or did it just evolve? >>

Is that the long-deceased Watchmaker Argument you're trying to resurrect there?

The computer was created by humans. Just like the watch was in the original form of this fallacy. Humans, which are considerably more complicated than a watch or a computer, must therefore have been created as well - right? That's the claim, I believe? Creationists tend to trot the Second Law of Thermodynamics out as a prelude to this, and claim - wrongly - that it says simplicity can't give rise to complexity.

Still, their argument inevitably leads to the point that, if God (the implied or stated creator of humans) is more complex still, then God, too, must have had a creator. Which violates the Fundamentalist view of God as the Prime Cause. That God's creator must also have had a creator violates it again. And it's ripped into even tinier little pieces by the fact that the creator's creator's creator must also have have a creator.

The only way for the Fundamentalist to get around this infinite regress is to posit a God that either appeared out of nothing or that has simply always existed. In either case, He must be considered an effect without a cause. And if God can be an uncaused effect then so, in principle, could the universe itself - along with the laws that allowed the natural evolution of the human species (and, by extension, the appearance of the computers and the watches that they build). The Watchmaker Argument destroys itself and the Creationist is forced either to have the cake or eat it.

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Gates Horns

Yirrals a different species

"No, speciation is quite different from Evolution"

Speciation is a result of evolution.

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@Yirral GITM

God is NOT in the machine.

Was God designed or did he just evolve? Did he just appear? If he did, why can nothing else?

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Jobs Horns

Yirrals a different species

"Genetic material is effectively information on the variable features of the form of life encoded in a highly efficient manner. "

Nope. If it were, why is there so much junk DNA?

If we aren't evolved from apes why do we have one less DNA strand and the one we have different is the same as two from chimps fused together AND has telomeres (which occur only at the ends of DNA stretches) in the middle.

Either

a) Weird design

b) two DNA strands merged

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