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A Split Emerges as Conservatives Discuss Darwin
New York Times ^ | 5 May 2007 | Patricia Cohen

Posted on 05/05/2007 6:10:09 AM PDT by shrinkermd

...On one level the debate can be seen as a polite discussion of political theory among the members of a small group of intellectuals. But the argument also exposes tensions within the Republicans’ “big tent,” as could be seen Thursday night when the party’s 10 candidates for president were asked during their first debate whether they believed in evolution. Three — Senator Sam Brownback; Mike Huckabee; and Tom Tancredo of Colorado — indicated they did not.

...The reference to stem cells suggests just how wide the split is. “The current debate is not primarily about religious fundamentalism,” Mr. West, the author of “Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest” (2006), said at Thursday’s conference. “Nor is it simply an irrelevant rehashing...Darwinian reductionism has become culturally pervasive and inextricably intertwined with contemporary conflicts over traditional morality, personal responsibility, sex and family, and bioethics.”

The technocrats, he charged, wanted to grab control from “ordinary citizens ...so that they alone could make decisions over “controversial issues such as sex education, partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and global warming.”

For some conservatives, accepting Darwin undercuts religious faith and produces an amoral, materialistic worldview that easily embraces abortion, embryonic stem cell research and other practices they abhor. As an alternative to Darwin, many advocate intelligent design...

Some of these thinkers have gone one step further, arguing that Darwin’s scientific theories about the evolution of species can be applied to today’s patterns of human behavior, and that natural selection can provide support for many bedrock conservative ideas, like traditional social roles for men and women, free-market capitalism and governmental checks and balances.

...“The intellectual vitality of conservatism in the 21st century will depend on the success of conservatives in appealing to advances in the biology of human nature as confirming conservative thought.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: darwin; elections; evolution; fsmdidit; gop; nyslimes; republican; split; wedge
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Those that are "logical positivists" reject creationism in any form. Their essential beiefs are as follows:

...a general philosophical position, also called logical empiricism, developed by members of the Vienna Circle on the basis of traditional empirical thought and the development of modern logic. Logical positivism confined knowledge to science and used verificationism to reject metaphysics not as false but as meaningless. The importance of science led leading logical positivists to study scientific method and to explore the logic of confirmation theory. www.filosofia.net/materiales/rec/glosaen.htm

Positivism was a school of thought which originated in the 1920s and 1930s which essentially held that all propositions, whether metaphysical or physical, are meaningless unless they can be empirically verified (the verification principle ). However, the idea was a self-refuting proposition since it could not be empirically verified itself - ie logical positivism , like other propositions, could not pass the test of empirical verification. www.apologetics.org/glossary.html

The philosophy of the Vienna Circle, according to which any purported statement of fact, if not a verbal truism, is meaningless unless certain conceivable observations would serve to confirm or deny it. highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/076742011x/student_view0/chapter13/glossary.html

positivism: the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation) wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Logical positivism (later referred to as logical empiricism) holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. Philosophy should provide strict criteria for judging sentences true, false and meaningless. en.wikipedia

1 posted on 05/05/2007 6:10:11 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd
Three — Senator Sam Brownback; Mike Huckabee; and Tom Tancredo of Colorado — indicated they did not.

Man, where are all the "DUNCAN HUNTER IS A RINO!!!!" threads then?

2 posted on 05/05/2007 6:13:46 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: shrinkermd
Positivism... taken to the extreme, embraces atheism. And I reject it.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 05/05/2007 6:13:46 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

I don’t want to get into flame wars again, but evolution is scientifically unsound (macroevolution, not microevolution), there are many legitimate scientists that reject it, and its fruit has produced nothing but evil in our society.


4 posted on 05/05/2007 6:16:58 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; metmom; Knitting A Conundrum

you might be interested in this. I don’t know if you still have the pinglist or not


5 posted on 05/05/2007 6:17:56 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
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To: shrinkermd

Evolution has no bearing on Constitutional governance. This is all meant cast conservative candidates under the wheels of PC denigration.


6 posted on 05/05/2007 6:19:44 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (ought)
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To: Mom MD

That apparently only three of the candidates apparently claimed to be creationists, and all were marginal and irrelevant figures, gives me hope for the Republican Party, actually.


7 posted on 05/05/2007 6:20:36 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: shrinkermd

For Presidential candidates, the emphasis should be that it is not the Federal government’s place to be involved in medical research of any kind. If the candidates are conservative, that is ...


8 posted on 05/05/2007 6:24:56 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("And he had turned the Prime Minister's teacup into a gerbil.")
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To: Strategerist

And what might that hope be? that they’re looking more and more like Democraps ???


9 posted on 05/05/2007 6:25:27 AM PDT by Obie Wan
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To: shrinkermd
At least the Republican Party tolerates intellectual diversity of opinion unlike the Lockstep Liberal Socialist America hating Dems who can only hold one belief or be excluded from their society ala Lieberman.
10 posted on 05/05/2007 6:26:01 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: Strategerist

it makes me quite sad. We can agree to disagree, but evolutionism only validates our culture of death and amorality.
If we were not created, then owe nothing to a creator, and have no rules to follow. Anyone’s morals or lack thereof are equally valid, as they all evolved from the same system. Hence abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research and the like are not morally depraved choices, but just continuing evolution. This leads to moral decline and eventually the death of our society.


11 posted on 05/05/2007 6:26:32 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
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To: Coyoteman; RadioAstronomer
"Split Emerges as Conservatives Discuss Darwin" Like, only 8 or 9 months after the fact, right? :-(

NO cheers, unfortunately...

12 posted on 05/05/2007 6:28:55 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: shrinkermd
I find it interesting that the question was "do you believe in evolution?"

Would the question ever be, "do you believe in gravity?"
13 posted on 05/05/2007 6:29:36 AM PDT by chickadee
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To: Coyoteman

Popcorn thread


14 posted on 05/05/2007 6:32:23 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Pray for the deliberately ignorant.)
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To: chickadee

Oh I can prove gravity to you real quick,my question is can you prove evolution to me !!!


15 posted on 05/05/2007 6:32:45 AM PDT by Obie Wan
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To: chickadee
Yes, that is a very good point—”believe in evolution” structurally is not that different than “believe in God.”

It points to the dilemma all face—so much of our thoughts and actions are based on the unknowable. Nietzsche had it right when he pointed out their were two basic types of thought--things that we can verify and things that are abstractions. He also was an atheist, but when he said "God is dead" he meant God was dead in the hearts of the elites and the consequences would be a series of dictatorships and ruinous wars. He proved prescient in this respect.

Darwinism and Creationism are abstractions.

16 posted on 05/05/2007 6:35:34 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: Mom MD
“evolution is scientifically unsound “

This is true. I guess enough people will think you are a kook if you believe in ID. I’m quite shocked that Romney has not rejected darwinism. Mormons are firm in the belief that life was created/designed. Also the more I read about the Universe as a whole (e.g. “Privileged Planet” by Gonzalez and Richards) the more convinced I am that the whole thing was designed.

17 posted on 05/05/2007 6:37:27 AM PDT by razzle
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To: Obie Wan

Exactly my point.

The Theory of Evolution has many flaws, but the scientific community is unwilling to allow the consideration of other ideas. And I am not including creationism in this criticism, just alternative scientific theory.


18 posted on 05/05/2007 6:37:35 AM PDT by chickadee
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To: Obie Wan
“can you prove evolution to me”

Of course they can not. darwinism is a feeling and has nothing to do with any scientific fact.

19 posted on 05/05/2007 6:40:18 AM PDT by razzle
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To: chickadee
Would the question ever be, "do you believe in gravity?"

Not a good comparison except among fanatical Darwinists. There are too many "yes-buts" in the theory of evolution. I would have said "yes, but...etc".

20 posted on 05/05/2007 6:44:59 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: shrinkermd

Whom would you rather have as a leader?

A man who believes in the Almighty Creator, to whom he is ETERNALLY accountable for ALL his actions?

Or a man who is his own god?

Atheists really aren’t atheists, they are their own gods, deciding for themselves what is good and what is evil.

Atheists have no External, Objective, Transcendent Truth to which they can turn for guidance. They have only their opionions.

Evolutionism as ANTI-Christ, becuase to be an evolutionist, you must believe that DEATH is a good thing, as it drives natural selection.

But the Bible says that “the wages of [penalty for] sin is DEATH”. But Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and His resurrection conquer Sin and Death!

If Death was the engine God designed to promote natural selection and thereby the improvement of all species, including mankind, then Christ’s sacrifice is meaningless.


21 posted on 05/05/2007 6:45:42 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it!)
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To: shrinkermd

What many may miss, if the fireproof pajamas take over here, is how deep into the debate the slimes has to go to “find” a (candidate) rift...and they still have to sell it as such.

Chris Matthews’ questions, including this subject, were often intended to nothing more than goad one republican into slamming another one.

“Do you believe in evolution” is an insufficiently supported question for that setting...unless of course you knew that the definitions necessary (macro vs. micro, etc.) help play into the sensationalist’s hands.

Someone (Gilmore did it once) needed to put Chrissy in his place.


22 posted on 05/05/2007 6:50:41 AM PDT by sayfer bullets (Go Pokes!)
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To: Westbrook
“Whom would you rather have as a leader?”

I’d be more than happy to have a leader that looks at facts (such as darwinism, global warming, embryonic stem cells, and other liberal "truths") and is not afraid to go with the evidence not the liberal politically correct consensus.

23 posted on 05/05/2007 6:54:28 AM PDT by razzle
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To: grey_whiskers

RA was one of the purged scientists, but he’s been notified.


24 posted on 05/05/2007 6:58:44 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Pray for the deliberately ignorant.)
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To: goldstategop

It’s kind of like ‘pro choice’ instead of anti abortion: “Logical” sounds good, and “Positivist” sounds good. The self-importance of ‘empiricism’ and ‘science’ holding one above the rif-raf in credibility battles is inherently constant.

This is how the liberals do it as well. Control the verbiage and language of the debate.


25 posted on 05/05/2007 6:59:01 AM PDT by sayfer bullets (Go Pokes!)
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To: grey_whiskers

RadioAstronomer has been banned again.

mm


26 posted on 05/05/2007 7:00:47 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Mom MD

Thanks for the ping. Be back later.


27 posted on 05/05/2007 7:03:03 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: sayfer bullets

I agree, but basically the problem is that any person
running for president these days cannot be the master
of all knowledge. To pick out a specific area like that
is kinda unfair...

Ask Hillary what here exact military
strategy would be to protect the U.S., or ask her how
to run our military forces and see what kind of “duh”
response you would get...

Hey Hillary, is the West Coast offense, or Power I
the better offense? Uh, duh....

What has better promise for finding the cure for cancer,
stem cells, or genetics, or biochemistry? Uh, duhhhhh...

Should government computers run on RISC chips, CISC chips,
and have multithreading operations? What about Silicon on
a Chip designs? Uhhh...duh....


28 posted on 05/05/2007 7:07:22 AM PDT by Getready (Truth and wisdom are more elusive, and valuable, than gold and diamonds)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: Mom MD
there are many legitimate scientists that reject it,

Who are these legitimate scientists?

30 posted on 05/05/2007 7:27:14 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Pray for the deliberately ignorant.)
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To: ASA Vet

“there are many legitimate scientists that reject it,”

Heard from a former student who just got her masters in marine biology from the U. of Miami.

She said the majority of the department (Jewish/atheist) were ID, but none dared do research or publish.


31 posted on 05/05/2007 7:36:31 AM PDT by Mrs.Z
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To: Westbrook

Whom would you rather have as a leader?

Someone who is willing to look clearly at the evidence and choose a position based on scientific facts, not what his religion tells him is the scientific fact. Religion should influence his morals, not his perception of science.

Such thinking could mean many different "sciences" for many different religions. What if Jehovah's witnesses decided to teach that blood transfusions (which they oppose) didn't really help? There is plenty of scientific evidence that transfusions don't help in many circumstances where it seems they should. And for years people were transfused in situations where doctors now wouldn't transfuse. So shall their religion dictate our science?

Another example is pain relief for women in labor. Many women don't need it, but some clearly do. Yet there was a point where many religious leaders and physicians fought against obstetrical anethesia or pain relief because the bible says, "in pain you shall bring forth children." I don't hear much about that now, though.

If you want India and China to be the preeminent powers in the world, keep teaching kids that science is whatever one's religion says is correct.

32 posted on 05/05/2007 7:42:35 AM PDT by retMD
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To: chickadee
The Theory of Evolution has many flaws, but the scientific community is unwilling to allow the consideration of other ideas. And I am not including creationism in this criticism, just alternative scientific theory.

What other ideas are you speaking of? Can you name one competing theory that is being denied adequate consideration?

Don't bother bringing up ID. There is no scientific evidence to support that idea at all. It is entirely religious in nature. That was pretty much admitted in the Wedge Strategy. If there was scientific evidence supporting ID, the subversive PR campaign that the Wedge document lays out would not have been necessary.

33 posted on 05/05/2007 7:56:31 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: shrinkermd
" - - - 10 candidates for president were asked during their first debate whether they believed in evolution."

It seems to me that a more appropriate question (rather than "do you believe in evolution?") would be, "do you understand evolution?"

34 posted on 05/05/2007 8:19:03 AM PDT by FairWitness
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To: Coyoteman

I have no idea what alternative scientific theories may be out there as the science community and its bully squad, of which you appear to be a member, don’t allow discussion of anything but evolution. I did not raise intelligent design or creationism as alternatives - you did.

In poll after poll, here and in other countries, science has not sold evolution to the majority of the people.

BTW, what is science’s Theory of Creation? After creation, there is evolution or adaptability, perhaps, but, it’s a pretty big stretch to expect people to believe that inert chemicals just decided to become living entities. There is absolutely no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that non-living material can suddenly become living material. Even with a Frankenstein-like blast of energy.


35 posted on 05/05/2007 8:28:38 AM PDT by chickadee
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To: shrinkermd

Frankly, I don’t think a presidential debate is the place to settle the issue of Darwinism. If (entirely contrary to fact) I had been one of the candidates, I probably would have dodged the issue.

Or perhaps I would have said briefly what I really believe: That I have no religious problems with evolution, as such, but that I have considerable scientific and rational problems with a purely materialist theory of general evolution. Also that when Darwinism turns into what has been called Social Darwinism, which in fact it has recurrently done for 150 years, then it becomes dangerous.

“Survival of the fittest” all too easily becomes “exterminate the weak, the lesser races, the handicapped, the useless eaters.” We saw that with the nineteenth century racists, we saw it with the Nazis, and we see it with today’s eugenists and family planners.

But those are pretty complicated ideas to put forward in a debate mainly concerned about other issues. So it might be easier just to dodge the issue and say something noncommital.


36 posted on 05/05/2007 8:35:28 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Strategerist

For me, this is more background that indicates strongly that religious, social conservatives should form their own caucus within the Republican Party. In the long run, it is best to know the size and impact of social conservative support within the party. It’s best for the party to know and it’s best for the social conservatives to know.


37 posted on 05/05/2007 8:40:44 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

No, it means people want to know if presidential candidates suffer from anti-science superstition to the detriment of medical research funding, which is often at the discretion of the executive.


38 posted on 05/05/2007 8:42:29 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: chickadee
You wrote:

The Theory of Evolution has many flaws, but the scientific community is unwilling to allow the consideration of other ideas. And I am not including creationism in this criticism, just alternative scientific theory.

Now you admit:

I have no idea what alternative scientific theories may be out there as the science community and its bully squad, of which you appear to be a member, don’t allow discussion of anything but evolution.

The reason science sticks with the theory of evolution is because it very useful for explaining millions of data points (facts). No other explanatory tool has shown even remotely the degree of explanatory power as has the theory of evolution.

But back to your statement that you believe that a scientific "bully squad" is suppressing many good ideas. Shouldn't you at least be able to name a few of those ideas? That's the way science works: one must back up one's claims with evidence.

39 posted on 05/05/2007 8:47:22 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
But back to your statement that you believe that a scientific "bully squad" is suppressing many good ideas. Shouldn't you at least be able to name a few of those ideas? That's the way science works: one must back up one's claims with evidence.

Take your pick of any signing the IPCC report.

40 posted on 05/05/2007 8:56:18 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: shrinkermd
Zounds!

It seems the New York Times is trying to drive wedges between conservative Republicans...

Whodda thunk it!!??

41 posted on 05/05/2007 8:57:37 AM PDT by Gritty (The NY Times' perversion of intellect and morality stain the soul and honor of the nation-Vanderleun)
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To: shrinkermd
Logical positivism (later referred to as logical empiricism) holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. Philosophy should provide strict criteria for judging sentences true, false and meaningless.

Sounds good to me. Sign me up.
42 posted on 05/05/2007 9:17:33 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Mom MD

“”it makes me quite sad. We can agree to disagree, but evolutionism only validates our culture of death and amorality.
If we were not created, then owe nothing to a creator, and have no rules to follow. Anyone’s morals or lack thereof are equally valid, as they all evolved from the same system. Hence abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research and the like are not morally depraved choices, but just continuing evolution. This leads to moral decline and eventually the death of our society.””

Totally in agreement with you! Thanks for stating this so well!!


43 posted on 05/05/2007 9:17:50 AM PDT by upsdriver (DUNCAN HUNTER FOR PRESIDENT!!!!)
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To: shrinkermd

It might be noted that Goedel destroyed the basis of Logical Positivism and Bertram Russell later admitted it is bunk.


44 posted on 05/05/2007 9:20:10 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: shrinkermd
I think is the more important story here is NYTimes tries to split Conservatives.
45 posted on 05/05/2007 9:21:41 AM PDT by ThomasThomas
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To: Obie Wan
Oh I can prove gravity to you real quick,my question is can you prove evolution to me !!!

Sure, just take a five year old flu shot or use the same exact pesticide year after year and see how far that gets you

46 posted on 05/05/2007 9:22:26 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop

The technocrats, he charged, wanted to grab control from “ordinary citizens ...so that they alone could make decisions over “controversial issues such as sex education, partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and global warming.” ... For some conservatives, accepting Darwin undercuts religious faith and produces an amoral, materialistic worldview that easily embraces abortion, embryonic stem cell research and other practices they abhor. As an alternative to Darwin, many advocate intelligent design...
***Hi AG and BB. I don’t like to admit it, but the NY times expresses how I view this issue quite well. Would you two care to chime in?

Oh, and don’t let me pass up this opportunity to plug your book.

Announcing a New Book by Alamo-Girl and betty boop [Update at #329]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1738139/posts


47 posted on 05/05/2007 9:32:46 AM PDT by Kevmo (Duncan Hunter just needs one Rudy G Campaign Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVBtPIrEleM)
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To: upsdriver
If we were not created, then owe nothing to a creator, and have no rules to follow. Anyone’s morals or lack thereof are equally valid, as they all evolved from the same system. Hence abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research and the like are not morally depraved choices, but just continuing evolution. This leads to moral decline and eventually the death of our society.””

But, under that theory, there is no moral decline, just changing morals, so you have violated the initial premise.
48 posted on 05/05/2007 9:32:49 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Evolution SHOULD have no bearing on Constitutional governance.

But since governments, federal, state, and local, control education, at least at the 2ndary level, and through funding, much of the university level too--AND, since government is so involved in the funding of science, evolution has a huge bearing on our governance--and societal assumptions in all areas.

The problem is, we don't have, and haven't had for a very long time, true Constitutional governance.

49 posted on 05/05/2007 9:34:57 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Obie Wan

Scientific “laws” like the Newtonian Laws of physics are just another word for “Observations”. Theories are constructs that are floated to explain laws. So can you “Prove” the theory of gravity? Can you even point to one theory of gravity that is widely or universally accepted? We all know about the law/observation of gravity, but can you prove the THEORY of gravity. If you can, you’ll get a Nobel prize, because no one else can. Do you “believe” in this amazing theory of gravity that you have so much confidence in?


50 posted on 05/05/2007 9:37:50 AM PDT by Kevmo (Duncan Hunter just needs one Rudy G Campaign Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVBtPIrEleM)
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