Gay Marriage, Swine Flu, and Dissension in the Ranks of Evolution Supporters

Gay Marriage, Swine Flu, and Dissension in the Ranks of Evolution Supporters

Gay Marriage
Iowa has become the third state to legalize Gay Marriage, and as a supporter of Gay Marriage that’s good news to me. I don’t however see a tidal wave of states rushing to adopt similar legislation, most will go for Civil union instead. That’s problematic in it’s own right due to federal code that prevents SSI and other benefits from going to children of gay parents, which doesn’t seem too “pro family” to me. It would be good if the sections defining benefits as going only to married heterosexuals were extended to permit that, otherwise there will be no compromise in states proposing civil union as opposed to marriage.
I like the idea of this controversial social issue working at state level with the sole exception of that benefits question. Given time and test social issues are best initially solved state by state: because in a legislative labratory of fifty states eventually someone will hit on method that’s best for everyone and then it will become adopted in widespread manner. I dislike the contentious and hysterical people trying to decide this issue yesterday at both ends of that spectrum.

Flu Outbreak
A good article at Pajamas Media goes into the panic attack over the flu outbreak, and states that some might be profitting from the panic. I agree; it’s the flu, and people die every year from variations of it. The panic posts might get hits, but it’s sliding into yellow journalistic ground to artificially inflate panic by not comparing to the flu outbreaks we have every year:

With the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, there always has to be something to say. You need excitement. “We’re all gonna die!” sells papers and gets people talking. What’s missing is a sense of proportion. Somehow, the way these things get blown up is never a big story — and hardly anyone is appropriately horrified.

Evolution, Pragmatism or Agnosticism?

In the Evolution discussion Richard Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb dissents from the Coyne/PZ Meyers view. I’m in agreement with Hoppe, but it’s not pragmatism alone that makes it so.

The pragmatism goes like this: Since we hope to convince more conservatives that teaching religion in science class is a bad thing, then we shouldn’t hand out the big smackdown to religion by essentially agreeing with Discovery Institute’s dichotomous view that to be a good Christian you must be opposed to science, since the Coyne/Meyers version of that is just the obverse wedge: If you support science then you must automatically deny G-d.

One is philosophy, the other religion – neither wedge should be allowed in science. Ayn Rand said “Politics is philosophy in action.” If we allow the teaching of a politics in science that denies G-D, then not only are we diminishing Science and being unpragmatic, we are also proselityzing a philosophy.

That’s probably just as unconstitutional as teaching religion as science, and as you will see below it’s not scientific. If the rabid atheists  must have that view taught then like religion it belongs in history, philosophy, and social classes, but not in science classes.

One of my heroes in this ongoing political struggle is Genie Scott and she explains this much better than I in the video below.

Even as a child I did not have faith, and PZ in many ways is like an ex-smoker in that he had faith and changed his mind – now he wants everyone else to. So he’s taking a hardline and saying that Evolution’s defenders should go on offense in his reply to Hoope here.

7 Replies to “Gay Marriage, Swine Flu, and Dissension in the Ranks of Evolution Supporters”

  1. Not a common thing to hear from prominent evolutionist, but he indeed said it:
    “Creationists will have to speak louder. I continue to support those who would like to have their voices heard in biology classes. I encourage the effort to limit the teaching of evolutionary biology until such time as evolutionists encourage a more inclusive participation of students. The very idea of the American Civil Liberties Union conspiring with evolutionary biologists to limit the free speech of the majority of the high school students in this county is grotesque. Darwinism, Design and Public Education (2003) p.511 — William Provine

  2. Oh pish. Go away with the crapola, you are wasting your time because I’m a backwater blog with zip for readership, and the people who do come here are intelligent enough not to fall for Discovery Institute agitprop. Provine’s an atheist, I think he even debated Philip Johnson iirc. The quote comes from an old anthology book Discovery Institute tries to portray as peer reviewed, but it’s not really. 19 out of 25 or so authors were associated with DI. Nice try.
    Also note that Provine is a bio teacher who teaches “Evolution for Non Biology students” and he’s been paid for debates by DI.

  3. Here it is, found it at Wiki:

    Darwinism, Design and Public Education is a 2003 anthology, consisting largely of rewritten versions of essays from a 1998 issue of Michigan State University Press’s journal, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, edited by intelligent design activists John Angus Campbell (who serves on the journal’s editorial board) and Stephen C. Meyer, neither of whom are scientists.[1] The book is promoted as being a “peer-reviewed science book”,[2] however in reviewing it Barbara Forrest notes that:[1]
    “ Nineteen of the twenty-seven essays are by ID creationists and their supporters, not one of whom is a working evolutionary biologist. Among the eight pro-evolution essays, only four are by scientists. Of those, only two are by evolutionary biologists. There is a preponderance of humanities scholars; some, like rhetorician John Angus Campbell, are ID proponents while others are pro-evolution. ”

    The book purports to address the question of “[s]hould public school science teachers be free to teach the controversies over biological origins” and promotes the Discovery Institute’s “teach the controversy” political action plan, whilst claiming “not to advocate the theory of ID.”[3] This denial is later undercut by claiming that an understanding of ID is needed “to understand Darwin’s argument, to say nothing of the contemporary controversy that it continues to generate”.[1]

  4. So far, neither evolution nor creationalism has been proven. Scientists
    and theologists will argue this to their graves. All religions have some
    sort of life after death theory, such as heaven, hell, reincarnation etc..
    But so far no one has ever come back to really appear before a
    Congressional comittee to tell their story. Perhaps there is a certain
    amount of truth in both, but there is a lot of guess work and of course
    the “fairy tales” of some religions that people take for fact…

  5. Evolution has been proven. How the universe started hasn’t but that’s cosmology, not evolution. How life started hasn’t but that’s biogenesis, not evolution.

    The latest proof of evolution is the new swine flu, I hope you stay healthy and don’t catch it.

    I picked up a new rib rack that I might try out btw. I holds the ribs up diagonally so they can get more smoke.

  6. Evolution proven? Where’s the “missing link?” Bring the rack down and
    we’ll road tested with the rack of ribs I have….

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