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National Review Online ^ | 10/25/06 | David Boaz & David Kirby

Posted on 10/25/2006 11:10:46 AM PDT by Blackirish

As the Republican base fragments and Christian conservatives consider a “fast” from politics, the polling data point to a mid-term Republican thumping. Less than two weeks from now, Republicans will begin their post-mortem soul searching. And as the corpses of their House and Senate majorities grow cold, so should Karl Rove’s 2006 campaign strategy.

(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
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To: Fiddlstix
True science has "Laws". Such as the law of gravity, ohms law, etc, etc.

Let me post my own example of gravity:

A little history here:

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

“Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the line of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects.”

F=Gm1m2/r2

Where:

F equals the gravitational force between two objects
m1 equals the mass of the first object
m2 equals the mass of the second object
R equals the distance between the objects
G equals the universal constant of gravitation = (6.6726 )* 10-11 N*m2/kg2 (which is still being refined and tested today)

(BTW this is a simple form of the equation and is only applied to point sources. Usually it is expressed as a vector equation)

Even though it works well for most practical purposes, this formulation has problems.

A few of the problems are:

It shows the change is gravitational force is transmitted instantaneously (Violates C), assumes an absolute space and time (this contradicts Special Relativity), etc.

Enter Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

In 1915 Einstein developed a new theory of gravity called General Relativity.

A number of experiments showed this theory explained some of the problems with the classical Newtonian model. However, this theory like all others is still being explored and tested.

From an NSF abstract:

“As with all scientific knowledge, a theory can be refined or even replaced by an alternative theory in light of new and compelling evidence. The geocentric theory that the sun revolves around the earth was replaced by the heliocentric theory of the earth's rotation on its axis and revolution around the sun. However, ideas are not referred to as "theories" in science unless they are supported by bodies of evidence that make their subsequent abandonment very unlikely. When a theory is supported by as much evidence as evolution, it is held with a very high degree of confidence.

In science, the word "hypothesis" conveys the tentativeness inherent in the common use of the word "theory.' A hypothesis is a testable statement about the natural world. Through experiment and observation, hypotheses can be supported or rejected. At the earliest level of understanding, hypotheses can be used to construct more complex inferences and explanations. Like "theory," the word "fact" has a different meaning in science than it does in common usage. A scientific fact is an observation that has been confirmed over and over. However, observations are gathered by our senses, which can never be trusted entirely. Observations also can change with better technologies or with better ways of looking at data. For example, it was held as a scientific fact for many years that human cells have 24 pairs of chromosomes, until improved techniques of microscopy revealed that they actually have 23. Ironically, facts in science often are more susceptible to change than theories, which is one reason why the word "fact" is not much used in science.

Finally, "laws" in science are typically descriptions of how the physical world behaves under certain circumstances. For example, the laws of motion describe how objects move when subjected to certain forces. These laws can be very useful in supporting hypotheses and theories, but like all elements of science they can be altered with new information and observations.

Those who oppose the teaching of evolution often say that evolution should be taught as a "theory, not as a fact." This statement confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.

651 posted on 10/26/2006 5:03:29 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)

To: onyx
652 posted on 10/26/2006 5:04:51 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))

To: Fiddlstix

I have and I replied.

653 posted on 10/26/2006 5:05:35 PM PDT by onyx (We have two political parties: the American Party and the Anti-American Party.)

To: Jim Robinson
And I also think we can all agree that the left has long used the theory of evolution in its attempts to destroy religion. Just like the US Constitution, religion and moral society must be destroyed in order for the leftists to succeed in their long term goal of ushering in a socialist Utopia.

And more recently, IMHO, homosexualism, feminism, abortionism, global warmingism, stem cell researchism, etc, have all been added along side evolutionism to the Marxist left's tool box of isms.

I say they're "Marxist" because the modern day Marxists, ie, the socialists and liberals, the ACLU, the Democrat Party itself, and the left-leaning main stream media all use these issues not as tools of genuine and sincere science, but as POLITICAL WEAPONS against us.

And I see it as a shame and disgrace that they have so many willing accomplices on the right aiding and abetting their subversive intentions.

Of course the left will poison the well of every other subject they touch. What would you expect them to do?

But then a big chunk of the conservative movement (& Freepdom, & now apparently the management) sees this and concludes that it must be modern mainstream science itself that is inherently morally suspect. Therefore seemingly good conservatives here who defend mainstream science from the constant blizzard of lies from the passionate science-deniers must really be deep-cover crypto-communist agents & trolls who really should go back to DU where we obviously came from, yadda yadda yadda.

<shrug>

654 posted on 10/26/2006 5:26:38 PM PDT by jennyp (The ennui of the short-timer)

RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)

Here's an interesting bit of comedy that I received this afternoon via FReepmail:

http://wiki.darwincentral.org/tiki-index.php?page=Coven+of+Ministers

Seems some of the "scientists" among us are really nothing more than antifreepers:

http://forum.darwincentral.org/viewforum.php?f=7&sid=4d36bbcdef98abc271c153a8bcf96e8e

LOL

655 posted on 10/26/2006 5:30:14 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: jennyp
Well, jennyp, if you hate FR so much, and seeing as how you "Darwinian Science" fanatics have your own forum, why don't you just leave FR? I guarantee you, you will not be missed.
656 posted on 10/26/2006 5:37:02 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: Jim Robinson; Fiddlstix

Darwin Central!

What a perfect name for their AFER "scientific" forum.

LOL!

657 posted on 10/26/2006 5:39:45 PM PDT by onyx (We have two political parties: the American Party and the Anti-American Party.)

Excellent post, sir. Kudos to you!

658 posted on 10/26/2006 5:42:40 PM PDT by ThinkPlease (Fortune Favors the Bold!)

To: Jim Robinson
And I see it as a shame and disgrace that they have so many willing accomplices on the right aiding and abetting their subversive intentions.

Are you suggesting that conservatives should reject the theory of evolution solely because it is misused by those on the left, regardless of its validity as science?
659 posted on 10/26/2006 5:55:47 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)

To: Dimensio

I'm suggesting you should quit working with the leftists and or doing their dirty work for them. And you should quit insulting those of us who do believe in the Creator. If you guys want to prove the theory of evolution, more power to you. But don't use it as a tool to destroy our faith in God or to destroy our political and religious freedom.

660 posted on 10/26/2006 6:10:01 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: Dimensio
But don't use it as a tool to attempt destroy our faith in God or to destroy our political and religious freedom.
661 posted on 10/26/2006 6:11:48 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: antiRepublicrat; Liberal Classic; Jim Robinson
Liberal Classic: What do you think people are going to notice when they log on to your site? They are going to remember some nut who says dinosaurs walked with humans.

antiRepublicrat: May I add a corollary? Having a high incidence of such posts also gives ammunition to those at DU and other places to defame this board as a bunch of "far-right religious nuts."

May I add a suspicion? Some of the anti-evos here are leftists "salting" FR with quotes to be "mined" later.

662 posted on 10/26/2006 6:15:07 PM PDT by Virginia-American (Don't bring a comic book to an encyclopedia fight)

To: Jim Robinson

And you should quit insulting those of us who do believe in the Creator. If you guys want to prove the theory of evolution, more power to you. But don't use it as a tool to destroy our faith in God or to destroy our political and religious freedom.

The insulting has not been one way nor evenly balanced. And science is not a tool used to destroy political or religious freedom. Science is apolitical. It has been made a political and a religious issue by those who feel is its discoveries threaten their religious beliefs. This has been going on since Galileo, and it's getting played out once again on FR in the conservative coalition. It's really sad and too bad. You've made your position clear to me and I respect that. However, I disagree.

663 posted on 10/26/2006 6:18:30 PM PDT by ml1954 (ID = Case closed....no further inquiry allowed...now move along.)

To: Virginia-American

As are some who claim to be "Evolution Scientists." We nuke the trolls when they are discovered. It happens.

664 posted on 10/26/2006 6:20:16 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: ml1954

See my aforementioned statement on fairness and bias.

665 posted on 10/26/2006 6:21:20 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: stands2reason

Surely you jest!

666 posted on 10/26/2006 6:22:27 PM PDT by nopardons

To: stands2reason
No, this most assuredly is NOT "an important thread" in any way, shape, manner, or form. A small group of people hijacked it for their own purposes and ruined it for the rest of us.
667 posted on 10/26/2006 6:24:12 PM PDT by nopardons

To: ml1954

Science is apolitical? Global warming science is apolitical? The theory of evolution is apolitical? Yeah, riiiight.

668 posted on 10/26/2006 6:25:00 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: RightWhale
...as well as eliminating the problem of bifurcation of nature. Since I view the problem of bifurcation of nature as the most serious issue facing us I am greatly impressed that Whitehead was able to get around it.

I tried Googling "bifurcation of nature" and ran head on into a bunch of philosophy using terms which I have never been exposed to before.

As such I could not on first reading make out *what* was being said.

I trust your intellect, integrity, and judgement. Could you suggest a good introductory book or website on the subject?

Cheers!

PS It'll be on the "to be read pile" for now--I just started Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Michener's Alaska, too.

Cheers!

669 posted on 10/26/2006 6:27:32 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

To: Jim Robinson

A tolerant bunch there, huh?

670 posted on 10/26/2006 6:28:38 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)

To: Coyoteman
I know the difference between the two--but since, as you (correctly) pointed out, radiocarbon only goes back to 50,000 years, and some of the earlier hominid fossils date much older than that, I jumped to a wishful thinking conclusion and assumed you had done both. Sorry!

Thanks for the info on the tree rings, btw. It's always good to have multiple, independent, concurring evidence.

BTW, here's another question (tee hee).

For radiometric dating, recall that one of the crevo threads recently posted an article about a naturally occurring uranium-based chain reaction in Africa...this by definition would screw up isotope ratios in the immediate vicinity of the reaction, as well as any places to which the fission by-products or matrix got washed downstream.

How common an occurrence is that? Is it enough to worry about dating of any fossils or local geographical strata?

Cheers!

671 posted on 10/26/2006 6:32:03 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

To: Jim Robinson
I'm suggesting you should quit working with the leftists and or doing their dirty work for them. And you should quit insulting those of us who do believe in the Creator. If you guys want to prove the theory of evolution, more power to you. But don't use it as a tool to destroy our faith in God or to destroy our political and religious freedom.

The thing is that we aren't. The last ten years to fifteen years I worked in both geo-sciences (oil exploration) and in biology (DNA sequencing). Both of these fields were connected to the theoretical and applied sciences. The vast majority of people I worked had some measure of religious faith. Many of them were church (or synagoge) going people.

You are laying down friendly fire, because most scientists and engineers are conservative by nature. They are typically cautious, not prone to accepting a change without good reason, and desire results. They are patriotic people, generally pro-free enterprise people, many of them veterans too. They are *not* far-out Moveon atheist types that you would think they are from reading FR. The liberal arts may be filled with those types, but the physical sciences and engineering disciplines are not.

I generally had no problem talking politics with them, but they didn't want to vote Republican, because they perceived (wrongly or rightly, which seems to be the topic of this flamewar) that the GOP is filled with anti-science kooks.

Imagine yourself trying to talk to you coworker under these conditions, only to have him point you to a conservative site where scientists are labeled as maxist homosexuals. Boom. You lost him.

672 posted on 10/26/2006 6:32:57 PM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)

To: Jim Robinson
The theory of evolution is apolitical? Yeah, riiiight.

Sure it is. People who prospect for oil use geology and micropaleontology to understand the conditions under which petroleum is produced. The oil companies don't care what party you are, they care about dry holes.

673 posted on 10/26/2006 6:38:09 PM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)

To: Jim Robinson
Well, jennyp, if you hate FR so much, and seeing as how you "Darwinian Science" fanatics have your own forum, why don't you just leave FR? I guarantee you, you will not be missed.

What I don't understand is, why do you suffer us evos to "live" here in the first place if we're so obviously Marxist tools who are helping get Democrats elected by our very presence here?

674 posted on 10/26/2006 6:43:02 PM PDT by jennyp (The ennui of the short-timer)

To: Jim Robinson
Global warming hypotheses are very recent and are not well established and accepted science. No doubt the DIMs are politicizing it. I'm with you there.

OTOH, some on the right seem to want to politicize the Theory of Evolution. The Theory of Evolution is 150 years old and it is well established and accepted science supported by 99+% of the scientific community based on converging scientific evidence and investigation in many areas. But because some think is conflicts with their religious beliefs it, it is attacked with the most vile and vicious accusations imaginable.

We are just rerunning the same discussions I have seen innumerable times here on FR. There's no point continuing it. Hopefully, we have enough common ground to hold together a majority conservative coalition.

675 posted on 10/26/2006 6:43:13 PM PDT by ml1954 (ID = Case closed....no further inquiry allowed...now move along.)

To: Liberal Classic
"The thing is that we aren't."

If that were true, we wouldn't be having this discussion today. The fact is, your people are seizing upon this issue to belittle and insult (see link to Darwin Central posted above) believers in God and to use so-called "apolitical science" as a means to deprive us of the truths we hold to be self-evident, ie, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And, yes, this is an organized long term effort led by the ACLU, the liberal/socialist Democrat Party, the leftist main stream media and now joined by a minority of well meaning (I'm sure) but misdirected would be conservatives. You can't be a conservative if you fall in league with the Marxist ACLU and the socialist Democrat Party. Sorry.

676 posted on 10/26/2006 6:49:30 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: grey_whiskers
BTW, here's another question (tee hee).

For radiometric dating, recall that one of the crevo threads recently posted an article about a naturally occurring uranium-based chain reaction in Africa...this by definition would screw up isotope ratios in the immediate vicinity of the reaction, as well as any places to which the fission by-products or matrix got washed downstream.

How common an occurrence is that? Is it enough to worry about dating of any fossils or local geographical strata?

This is not my specialty, so my answer will not be as precise nor necessarily as correct as for radiocarbon dating.

The materials they date in Africa are not the fossils themselves but the volcanic layers which are often found above or below the fossil-bearing layers. Volcanic layers are suitable for dating by the various forms of radiometric dating. I believe I remember that the uranium problem does not occur in those volcanic layers, but this is far from my area of specialty.

As an additional source of dating, the fossil-bearing layers usually contain animal and plant fossils as well. Some of the species are unique to certain layers, and once those layers are dated in one location, those relative dates can be applied to other locations.

Hope this helps.

677 posted on 10/26/2006 6:51:00 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)

To: Liberal Classic

Don't fool yourself. There's nothing more political than science. Any science, at any level.

678 posted on 10/26/2006 6:52:08 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: Liberal Classic

"because most scientists and engineers are conservative by nature."

"but they didn't want to vote Republican,"

Then they aren't conservative.

679 posted on 10/26/2006 6:52:40 PM PDT by little jeremiah

To: ml1954

Just like the "science" of global warming, the "science" of the theory of evolution started out as a political issue, still is, and always will be as long as there is a God in Heaven and religious people on Earth. You people should quit lying to yourselves. It's a political issue!

680 posted on 10/26/2006 6:58:38 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: jennyp
Well, jennyp, if you hate FR so much,

BTW, "hate" is far from the word. Just disappointed & fed up. It was a good thing while it lasted.

681 posted on 10/26/2006 7:02:33 PM PDT by jennyp (The ennui of the short-timer)

To: Fiddlstix

Oh my gosh,it really plays the song.I am just trying to keep up with all this.

682 posted on 10/26/2006 7:03:00 PM PDT by fatima

To: Jim Robinson
I'm suggesting you should quit working with the leftists and or doing their dirty work for them.

How, exactly, am I doing this?

And you should quit insulting those of us who do believe in the Creator.

I do not believe that I have insulted anyone specifically for that reason. In fact, many who accept the theory of evolution as valid science hold belief in a Creator. Your response appears to be a non-sequitur.

If you guys want to prove the theory of evolution, more power to you.

No theory in science has ever been nor will ever be "proven".

But don't use it as a tool to attempt destroy our faith in God or to destroy our political and religious freedom.

I do not believe that anyone here has made such an attempt. Do you have a reference to someone on Freerepublic attempting to use the theory of evolution to accomplish such a goal?
683 posted on 10/26/2006 7:12:29 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)

To: Jim Robinson
Everything can be made political in a democracy. That doesn't change reality and science.

This issue is larger than the US. The voters in the US have a limited influence on what the rest of the world does where science is concerned. If tomorrow the entire population of the US votes to reject the Theory of Evolution, scientific investigation in this area will go on and it will progress in the rest of the world. Some in the US may assert this is all a waste of time and effort. Based on the history of scientific and technological progress in the past few hundred years, and the track record of the ever present opposition to it, I wouldn't bet they'd be right.
684 posted on 10/26/2006 7:14:56 PM PDT by ml1954 (ID = Case closed....no further inquiry allowed...now move along.)

To: ml1954
Yeah, well now we see the truth beginning to come out. It is a "worldwide" political issue isn't it?
685 posted on 10/26/2006 7:23:23 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: ml1954
I agree that trying to hold to Biblical literalism of the strictest kind, with full knowledge of the scientific data, and not making any concession to the knowledge of discrepancies, *would* be nuts.

In other words, so far as that goes, we agree: except that I am aware that many people who dispute evolution do it in ignorance of the scientific data. And many of the others do it because they implicitly allow for the possibility of supernatural interference, or miracles.

But it sure looked like, from your choice of words, that any mention of miracles or the supernatural, was nuts. And in particular, that miracles are a sort of last-ditch attempt to defend something which has long been discredited or disproven. And it is *THAT* which I was objecting to.

Cheers!

686 posted on 10/26/2006 7:30:09 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

To: Jim Robinson

I guess we have an irreconcilable difference here. I think science is ultimately apolitical. You seem to think it is just another part of an all encompassing and pervasive political process. Oh, well. Too bad we can't meet up in a couple of hundred years, compare notes, and see who's right. Then again, maybe we can.

687 posted on 10/26/2006 7:32:51 PM PDT by ml1954 (ID = Case closed....no further inquiry allowed...now move along.)

To: Jim Robinson; ml1954
Yeah, well now we see the truth beginning to come out. It is a "worldwide" political issue isn't it?

No, he's saying that *science* and research into it will go on in the rest of the world, and leave the US behind, if some short-sighted people in the US with a political or religious axe to grind against science wield them to damage science education, or public respect for science, in this country.

Science should not be used as a weapon against political positions or religious views, granted. But neither should political positions or religious views be used as grounds for attacking science. You incorrectly accuse us of doing the former, but it's the latter we have been concerned about during our time at FreeRepublic -- we've been trying to stop science itself from being undermined by those with politically or religiously motivated grudges against science, its methods, or its findings, especially when it's attacked with false claims, false accusations, or misleading propaganda.

Those don't have any place in the conservative movement. Leave the lies to the liberals, we're better than that. Or at least we should be.

688 posted on 10/26/2006 7:34:02 PM PDT by Ichneumon (Ignorance is curable, but the afflicted has to want to be cured.)

689 posted on 10/26/2006 7:35:36 PM PDT by fatima

To: Jim Robinson
The reason we're having this discussion is because of the friction between religious and secular conservatives, much along the lines of the National Review article.

I am not a "you people" I am a freeper and have been for a long time.

...are seizing upon this issue to belittle and insult believers in God...

No. I do not belittle and insult Christians just for being Christians. I do not mock faith. I have long argued that faith and science are not in conflict. I have traded barbs with those people who call me an idolater, a nazi, etc. A lot of those kinds of people, frankly, don't belong in polite company. That's what I've been trying to tell you: you have more than just a few nuts.

...and to use so-called "apolitical science" as a means to deprive us of the truths we hold to be self-evident, ie, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We're back to the Goldwater quote I posted upthread. The men and women who "strive to cure disease, subdue and make fruitful our natural environment" have done nothing of the sort. People who study evolutionary science help make the flu shots every year. People who study micropaleontology help find oil to keep the country running. The "inventive engines of production, science, and technology" add to our lives, liberty, and happiness in measurable ways every day, and have made this nation the envy of the world.

690 posted on 10/26/2006 7:38:09 PM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)

To: Ichneumon

Yeah, well maybe your people should leave the trashing of religious conservatives and our right to freedom of religion to the evolutionists on the left.

691 posted on 10/26/2006 7:38:35 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: ml1954

Uh, I believe the Everlasting Life goes on well beyond two hundred years.

692 posted on 10/26/2006 7:41:06 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: Liberal Classic

Well, I'm very happy for you.

693 posted on 10/26/2006 7:43:12 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

To: Coyoteman
Yes, it helped. It's just that I only heard of the natural atomic piles last week, so it was new to *me*.

I therefore jumped to the conclusion that nobody else had thought about it either :-)

Cheers!

694 posted on 10/26/2006 7:48:01 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

To: jennyp
Therefore seemingly good conservatives here who defend mainstream science from the constant blizzard of lies from the passionate science-deniers

Oh you mean like Ann Coulter?

695 posted on 10/26/2006 7:55:53 PM PDT by AndrewC

To: AndrewC
Oh you mean like Ann Coulter?

I would agree that Ann Coulter is a passionate science denier, as is evidenced by the content of her most recent book.
696 posted on 10/26/2006 8:02:25 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)

To: Dimensio
I would agree that Ann Coulter is a passionate science denier, as is evidenced by the content of her most recent book.

Therein lies your problem. You conflate science and Darwinism(IMHO).

697 posted on 10/26/2006 8:07:36 PM PDT by AndrewC

To: AndrewC; Dimensio; jennyp

Ms. Coulter destroyed her credibility with her idiotic statements about science (yes, evolution is a study within the science of biology). I no longer feel confident quoting any claims from her previous books unless I have researched them myself. I seriously doubt I will ever buy another one of her books.

698 posted on 10/26/2006 8:19:43 PM PDT by Virginia-American (Don't bring a comic book to an encyclopedia fight)

To: Virginia-American; Liberal Classic; All

Ahem. Weren't we just talking about your people ("Evolution Scientists") trashing religious conservatives on this forum? And didn't one of yours deny that this was happening? I think it was just a few posts back. The ink's not even dry on the pixels yet.

699 posted on 10/26/2006 8:39:37 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

"Second Law of Thermal Documents" placemark

DING DING DING DING DING DING!

NO more calls, please. We have a winner.

Cheers!

700 posted on 10/26/2006 8:41:29 PM PDT by grey_whiskers