Political Science?? I respectfully disagree.

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Political Science?? I respectfully disagree.

Unread postby katonr1 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:14 pm

Mr. Goldberg,

First let me say that I am a huge fan and have been since I read ‘Bias’. And not because you have reformed from your previous liberal ways. In fact, I find it intellectually lazy when people grant reformists some special reverence or consideration simply because they have arrived at their conclusions having changed their minds at some point. This certainly doesn’t grant people an intellectual supremacy. I find that I connect and relate to the way that you write in much the same way I related to the way Rush Limbaugh commentated on the radio many, many years ago. You seem to have a pulse on what I am already thinking and somehow make very compelling cases out of it.

Although I don’t agree with you on all issues, as if any two people really do, I find that in most cases, I can say that I respect your point of view even when I disagree. Like Bill O’Reilly, I am often heard to be saying “you make a good point”. So the fact that you and I weren’t always on the same page has never detracted from my experiences with your books. That is until I read the chapter ‘Political Science’ in your latest book.

Before you write me off as a fundamentalist Christian, please hear my point. You see, it really isn’t so much that you believe in evolution or that you believe that it should be the established curriculum for schoolchildren that bothers me. Like any other opposing opinion, I would agree to disagree. What troubles me over your writings on this matter is that, like Al Gore, you simply have declared that the scientific debate has ended. In a way, I suppose this is true, but only in a sense that existing science cannot prove or disprove evolution any further than it already has. But I would certainly hope that you would agree that there are significant gaps in the theory of evolution. The purpose of my post isn’t so much to go into what they are (although I can), it is to challenge you over the fact that the ‘theory’ of evolution was called such because there were significant elements that could not be explained or required a lapse of known scientific realities. What most conservatives seek is only an acknowledgment that not all of the theory can be scientifically explained away and that some people believe that a higher power was involved. That’s it!

Of course, there are those on the religious fringe that would call for religion class in public schools with a full excoriation of evolution and dissertation on creationism, but none of the conservatives that I know, (and I know a lot), are calling for this. We seek only an acknowledgment that there are gaps in the theory and that some people feel it is due to the work of a higher power. In fact, I don’t hear this often enough, but Christians don’t need evolution to be false to bolster their religious suppositions. Evolution and creationism do not necessarily contradict each other.

Having a simple acknowledgment of these scientific gaps would not expunge evolution as a viable explanation, nor would it violate the supposed separation between church and state. And as you know, conservatives have recently taken a page out of the 1960’s liberal playbook, which is to always push for more than you’re willing to accept. But this is it for me and my ilk. I think this is reasonable and I certainly believe that discussing gaps of scientific theory belong in science class even if (and perhaps especially if) it contradicts the cultural teachings of over half the population. And no, I don’t believe the scientific debate on evolution is over, there just isn’t any new information at this time. But as a man of faith, evolution doesn’t unnerve me, but I think the secular educational system has used this as end-around for far too long and what we need is more reasoned, rational discussion about what we know and what we don’t. We shouldn’t be afraid to teach kids this.

Regards,

Robert Katon
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Political Science?? I respectfully disagree.

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Intelligent design - Support Katonr 1, Different Angle

Unread postby jdncrzy » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:58 pm

First let me say that I am a Republican, I am black, and I am not religious (respectful, but not religious). I am a libertarian. I am currently reading your book about Crazies and Wimps. And, I agree with most of your statements/assertions/conclusions in that book. There is one I am troubled by.

It seems to me, having looked at the issue of intelligent design, that it is not merely "creationism." In as much as the basic premise of evolution is that through random mutation we have gotten first biological organisms (life) and increasing complexity in the forms of life we see, the basic premise of intelligent design is that biological organisms, in fact nothing in the physical world, has occurred randomly, but that there is a principle/force (akin to a gravitational force) that is measurable, that drives that which might happen to actually "work" -- to be purposeful. So, even if things have come about through a series of mutations, if you will, those mutations were mutations that happened at once as mutiple mutations that had to by "intelligent" principle lead to a workable organism with respect to the issue of the origins of life and species. That is my understanding of intelligent design. It does lead to scientific exploration as does the theory of evolution. The "science" (and I prefer theory) of intelligent design is still in the detection phase as is the theory of evolution.

To be redundant: there is no hard evidence of evolution as a fact. We have isolated. for example, this thing called gravity. We don't know what it is made of but we can manipulate the physical world through our understanding of it. There are no understandings like this with respect to evolution, nothing instrumental about the theory whatsoever other than a branch of biological inquiry that employs people. We have never been given a concrete -- real -- example of how one species changed into another.

Furthermore, there is strong scientific evidence that evolution can not explain the origins of life. This evidence involves mathematical probability, significant and conclusive gaps in the fossil record, and the fact that unlike any other scientific theory, evolution has not even remotely been shown to be a real physical phenomenon through laboratory experiment; e.g., mutations tend to weaken organisms not make them more likely to survive. Evolution is no more "science" in and of itself than "intelligent design." It is an interesting theory, that I agree deserves inquiry. But in that same vein, I submit that so too does the theory of "intelligent design." Oh, the math and scientific methodology that kids could learn exploring these two THEORIES.

Nonetheless, would you say that the problem with intelligent design is not the theory itself, but that the theory can be used to support religious beliefs and so suffers more from association than from its own inherent weakness as a competing theory? And this is not to mean any offense to the God-fearing out there, but a question of political reality.
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Sorry guys - ID is bunk

Unread postby banjobkp » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:55 am

Defining GOD as an interested spectator is really what ID is about.

I would say that lay people like ourselves often find it too convenient to make statements that the theory of evolution has gaps, and to fill those gaps we can insert GOD.

First lets not redefine what theory means, this is the definition.

• a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
• hypothesis: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"

So theory is much more than a hypothesis, which ID proponents are trying to redefine the theory of evolution.

Secondly, do not ignore that evolution is rapid and in plain site today. The simple fact that diseases become drug resistant or that insects that become pesticide resistant can become the dominant form for a species. (remember DDT?)

Ultimately I have no problem living in a world without god or religion. What's your deal that you have to rationalize science you don't like into something you find more palatable?

I really don't understand why GOD has to be the Interested Manipulating Creator? Maybe God just is. And Evolution is as well. They don't have to collide at all.
...speaking of a plague that consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money...-- yet a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect - Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
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Political Science

Unread postby TheodoreB » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:03 am

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie;

Your section on Political Science demonstrates that you haven’t totally recovered from your liberal bias and that you may need further therapy. You approached this section in exactly the same way that you accused liberals of dominating the global warming issue.

Whether the universe formed by natural happenstance or came about by intelligent design is a vital scientific question which should be reasoned openly in any scientific forum. Who or what that intelligent designer may be is a religious question and I agree that this should not be taught in the public school science class.

As with the global warming debate there is no scientific consensus on this issue. There are many great and notable scientists from every field of study who have come to the conclusion that there must be intelligent design. The more we learn about the universe, from the smallest particles and the functions of the tiniest cells, to the workings of the furthest galaxy, the more complex we find it to be, and the more evidence accumulates that it could not be happenstance.

Observation is the first step in the scientific method. I find it interesting that evolution from a lower form of life to higher form has never been observed. Evolutionists say that is because it takes millions of years and we haven’t been around long enough. However, there are millions and millions of species so we should observe some examples of it every year, but we don’t. The commonality of the species is greater evidence for a common designer than it is for a common parent.

Bernie, before you reject out of hand the scientific evidence for intelligent design in the universe I would suggest that you investigate the evidence from the scientists who support it. It will be good therapy for you.

Theodore Brandley
Newnan, GA
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Political Sciencez- Intelligent Design

Unread postby Bethany » Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:27 pm

Bernie:
Let me tell you that I think you have more common sense than most journalists today on either side of the issues.

HOWEVER, you are not thinking things through when it comes to teaching Evolution as fact and leaving Intelligent Design out of the science curriculum. First of all, there are so many theories about how Evolution could have occurred that if you put a group of scientists in a room, you would never have a concensus. Just like the topic of Global Warming, there are other logical issues to consider and you have scientists who bring up valid points on both sides of the issue.

Secondly, it takes just as much faith (maybe more) for you to believe that everything comes from nothing as it does for me to believe everything comes from a Divine Being. Technically, it all needs to be taught in the religion class.

I don't see why you think that Intelligent Design can't be taught in the science class as theory along with all of the other theories of Evolution? There are ideas in the theories of Evolution that cannot be proven scientifically. Why don't you have some of your staff (or you) do some research on all the paradoxes in the theories of Evolution? Hopefully then you will see that Evolution theories can no more be treated as absolute fact than Intelligent Design or whatever other theories people have.

Respectfully,
Bethany Bowman, Cleveland TN
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Re: Political Sciencez- Intelligent Design

Unread postby Cortese » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:12 pm

Bethany wrote:Secondly, it takes just as much faith (maybe more) for you to believe that everything comes from nothing as it does for me to believe everything comes from a Divine Being.


Couldn't have said it better myself!
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Unread postby MrSinatra » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:28 pm

origin of the universe and origin of species are not one and the same.
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steve1633 wrote:if you havent realized yet that pp posts offer little in the way of intelligent discourse then youre dumber than i suspected, if its just easier to argue with someone like her then ya go ahead keep it up.
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Political Science

Unread postby andersgt » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:42 pm

Mr. Goldberg,
I have just finished reading (i.e. listening to) your book "Crazies..." and, yes, I too must disagree with you on your view that evolution must be taught in the science classroom and creationism or ID the religious classroom. In the spirit of full disclosure I am a conservative, white Christian and see evolution for what it is, an explanation of humankind's origin. But, in a way, I'm used to that way of thinking. My father was our high school biology teacher when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. He always spoke about "nature" and found it amusing that some of his students might believe that evolution was not true, which was rare. He never took them to task about it mind you; that was not Dad. Just a kind of quiet bemusement. So I grew up absorbing evolution as fundamental and self-evident. Years later he was himself taking a biology class to stay accredited as principal and the authors of the text he was using put a disclaimer at the back disavowing the evolutionary views they had formally presented in the body of the book. Again, a rather novel idea to him when he showed me the book.
Since then I have come to believe that evolution is too simple. "Atheism", wrote C.S. Lewis, "is a boy's philosophy." I've now come to realize that evolution is too. Over the years since my Dad's biology class I have observed something curious about how evolution is regarded by its true believers. I found it increasingly odd how scientists would pride themselves in always being so careful to observe the scientific method, not rushing to judgement, always avoiding being categorical. Their papers, books and articles always had the most cautionary language in any explanation and documentation of observed phenomenon: "...it appears likely...","...the evidence is consistent with the view that...", "...observable trends seem to favor..." and so on. And this on top of a wealth of data and tight reasoning to back it up. Except where it applied to biology and humanity's origin. Scientists speak about the "arrow of time". Someone else has spoken about the "stream of entropy", our universe's inexorable flow toward more and more disorder and how this applies to everything, everywhere...except in biology. In the "so-called" (sorry Mr. Goldberg) "science" classroom that stream of entropy reverses itself. There we are taught that given only matter plus time plus chance science can explain how we've gone from soup to mankind. The "particles-to-philosophers" form of evolution explains (or will explain) it all.This is true without question. And, I might add, to even question this view is to put you on the outside of the debate as unreasonable, fanatical and certainly not worth taking seriously. You have just been marginalized. This is science?
Evolutionary theory may have some utility in explaining our world, to a point. But when scientists (and those wielding authority in lofty circles) spout off about how that is the only explanation without question, then we have a form of (forgive me again, Mr. Goldberg) trickle-down scientific bigotry. When scientists disagree about a set of data that's fine. Their views are in conflict as they struggle to interpret the data. Scientists call the results of their discussion a THEORY. But when a subset of influential, media-savvy scientists make overarching claims that go way beyond the data and make claims to certainty, we are no longer in the science classroom. We are in the philosophy classroom.
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