Ending the Age of Lies

Ace has a great article about how the left lies about everything – it is mostly about the Scopes Monkey Trial, which has gone down in Progressive History as the decisive conflict between Ignorant, Anti-Science Christians and Enlightened Progressives. Ace points out that this Narrative is presented in it’s most strongest form in the movie, Inherit the Wind; which is a great movie…but, also, a false story. It is, though, the story that most people know – to a large degree, the movie based on the trial is the “history” that most people believe. This is similar to how the movie The Manchurian Candidate is how most people think of the McCarthy Era. The bottom line, however, about Inherit the Wind is that it leaves out the fact that Science wasn’t cross-examined, only the Bible was…just as in The Manchurian Candidate the reality of Communist infiltration of the American government was left out (and, indeed, was turned into Right Wing infiltration…as being far more real and dangerous than those silly, old Commies). As Progressive propaganda, both movies are great – but as a way to see what happened, the gaps in their Narrative turn them into Progressive lies…and only two of ten thousand Progressive lies which have taken hold in the United States.

Lies, believed, can have a very terrible effect on a nation’s fortunes. Take a look at France – in 1914, the French simply didn’t know how to quit. No matter how bad it got (and the French defeats of the first few weeks contained the very worst losses in war suffered by any nation in a comparable period) the French just kept on fighting. In 1940, after a brief resistance (in which, to be fair, some – but not many – French forces fought with sublime courage) 1,900,000 French soldiers – still in possession of their arms and the ability to resist – voluntarily went into German captivity. What happened? Mostly it is explained by France being exhausted from WWI…but the Germans had suffered quite a bit in that war, too. Why were they so willing to have at it, again? Lost in most stories of France during the inter-war years is that French government policy was to instruct, via the public schools, the youth of France in the pointlessness of war…pacifism was the reigning orthodoxy. Prior to WWI, there wasn’t that – and, also, it was only just prior to WWI that the French government took control of education away from the Catholic Church. The 1914 generation was imbued with faith and patriotism…the 1940 generation was imbued with pacifism. That pretty much is all one needs to know – especially if you look at a situation map on May 13th, 1940 and realize that France had the forces in place to stop the German attack…and just didn’t have the spirit to launch the necessary counter-attack. People were taught a lie – that war is always bad and pointless – and they responded to that lie; by refusing to fight in what they viewed as a bad and pointless war. The truth is that war is bad, but not at all pointless…especially when you’re being invaded by a foe who wishes to reduce you to slavery.

There are plenty of lies believed in the United States. It is impossible to list them all in a blog post. Suffice it for our purposes to note that Progressives believe that the hostility of the Iranian regime towards us stems from the coup of 1953 – and President Obama is, by all appearances, one who so believes. It really isn’t hard to see – he was educated at Progressive institutions of higher education and the orthodoxy they teach is just that: we were the bad guys vis a vis Iran and anything they do against us isn’t an act of evil, but an act of self-defense. Because this lie is believed – and acted upon – we’ve now got Obama’s “Iran Deal” which will assist greatly in building up Iran’s economic and military power, including in the area of nuclear weapons. This will, in turn, put us (and the world) in an ever more dangerous situation; and a situation which may have to be paid for in blood, ours and theirs. Meanwhile, the simple fact of not having that lie (that the Coup is the key) would have led us to a rational policy regarding Iran…and, by this time, no Iranian mullah-regime (Obama really had a chance in 2009 when Iran was simmering with revolution to put an end to the whole problem).

Right now, we do have a chance to start afresh in the United States. The lies are still there – and widely believed – but we don’t have to have policies (domestic and foreign) built upon the lies. In fact, in Donald Trump we might have a vehicle (even if unwitting) to cut through the lies and actually get to rational policy. His phone call with the President of Taiwan more and more speaks to my mind on this. For all I know, they only exchanged pleasantries about the weather…but the fact that we’re no longer basing our Taiwan policy on the lie that the People’s Republic of China has a valid interest in Taiwanese affairs is like a breath of fresh air. If you’re working an equation and you start with “1 plus 1 equals 3” then you’re going to come out wrong, in the end, no matter how much correct math follows later. There is no such thing as a half-truth – there is either truth, or lie. Add a speck of lie to your argument, and you’ve got 100% lie. We’ve been working our China policy based on a lie about Taiwan…and, so, we haven’t been able to fully craft a strategic response to China’s recent aggressiveness in the area. Base our policy on the truth – that for all intents and purposes, Taiwan is an independent nation – then we can quickly put together a military system which would make any Chinese act of aggressive a fool’s errand.

And so it goes all down the line. We don’t have to make our policies based upon absurdities. Think about how nice it will be, for instance, to have education policy based upon reality rather than upon foolish lies? To have energy policy based upon what is most efficient, rather than scare-stories about global warming or some theory that setting up a bird-cuisinart is better than natural gas? Just having military policy based upon the need for the military to be prepared for war rather than proper levels of diversity will be a huge improvement. A little luck and in 10 years or so, we might be a people who go about figuring out what is true and just going with that.

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31 thoughts on “Ending the Age of Lies

  1. Cluster December 5, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Some of my favorite progressive lies over the last 8 years; ISIS is the JV team, Al Qaeda is on the run, the average family will save $2,500/yr on their premiums, we have stopped Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, our border is more secure than it has ever been. I could say that Obama has acted “stupidly” over the last 8 years but then I would have to have a beer summit and I just don’t want to go there.

    Re: Bob’s absence from the blog, I think this confirms our suspicions of his being a progressive in disguise. I just hope he has enough safety pins to get him through this difficult time.

    A few of the progressive pundits on MSNBC this morning are actually reacting positively to the Taiwan call. Greg Halperin noted that China has been taking advantage of our weakness’s for a long time and that just one phone call has them worried now, which is a good thing. Of course to be fair and balanced, others are questioning the “break from protocol” and the dangers therein, but that notion requires a belief that our current protocol is effective and I think we all know the answer to that. Isn’t it odd that progressive Democrats seem to want everyone in the world to like them with the exception of middle America? Who they bash constantly.

    I am with you Mark, I believe (and hope) that a Trump administration will shine a bright light on all the lies of agenda driven policies and political correctness, expose the truth and bring about common sense, America first solutions.

    Oh and one bit of advice for President elect Trump – please keep Sarah Palin and Jon Huntsman far away from any position of power. Thank you

  2. Amazona December 5, 2016 / 10:29 am

    It’s not as if Obama and his sanctuary cities are soft on crime, or ignoring scofflaws. At least one federal agency is hard-nosed and ruthless when it comes to defending—-well, not people, but rats.

    Fish and Wildlife Service agents trapped Rocky, a pet cat to Spencer Slate, a Key Largo businessman who runs a scuba diving center. According to Slate, the traps “were all about 50 feet from [his] property” when Rocky was lured in one night. As a result, Slate said that “Rocky’s face was so bloodied by the trap’s spring-shut door that he did not recognize his pet.”

    Slate discovered this after a Fish and Wildlife Service agent showed up at his business to serve him with a written citation threatening jail time for allegedly allowing Rocky to enter federal land. When delivering the citation, the agent neglected to return the captive kitten, instead depositing Rocky at an animal shelter nearly 15 miles away.

    No jail time for entering the country illegally, and often not even for breaking other laws. No jail time for posting offers to pay for the assassination of a white man, posted by a black organization. No jail time for looters in protests riots over police activities. No jail time for calling for the murder of law enforcement officers. No jail time for exposing sensitive and even classified information in an effort to hide shifty activities while in a position of trust and power as Secretary of State of the United States.

    But let a rodent population be threatened and boy, those feds are on the job, going onto private property and setting baited traps to trap and injure pets, and threatening their owners with jail time if those pets wander across some boundaries.

    BTW, I have used live traps for years to catch and relocate raccoons who were destroying my property, and have trapped my own cats several times in the process, and I never used or even saw a “spring-shut door” in a live trap. These feds mean BUSINESS !!!

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/30/federal-agents-threaten-pet-owners-with-a-war-on-cats

  3. Cluster December 5, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Following the deaths at the VA in Phoenix, Obama said that he would be “laser focused” on holding people accountable and correcting this issue so that Vets would get the care they deserved. Well,

    A few days after we learned that a dentist infected hundreds of patients with HIV at the VA facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, we have a disturbing report that maggots were found in a veteran’s wound in a separate VA clinic in Oklahoma.

    It’s a shock that voters decided to go a different direction.

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2016/12/05/oklahoma-va-n2255206

    • Amazona December 5, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      So what’s your point, you homophobic species-centric larvae-hater?

      As an aside—if the maggots were present due to lack of care and oversight, that is terrible. Heads should roll. If they were there as part of treatment—-maggots and leaches are now part of treatment of various wounds and conditions, and as maggots only eat dead flesh they are used, as they were in the old days, to clean up wound sites and get down to healthy tissue—then there is just a misunderstanding. I have a feeling the former is the case, and the maggots signaled lack of care, not care itself.

      • rustybrown2014 December 5, 2016 / 3:55 pm

        I’ve always been fascinated by the use of maggots in wound care. For some reason, something that should be gross doesn’t seem gross at all given the efficacy of its utilization. Those gross maggots turn into benign helpers of humanity in the proper circumstance. There are some interesting (and slightly gross) clips on youtube about this. For my next third degree burn–bring on the maggots!

      • Amazona December 6, 2016 / 1:58 am

        I read a comment by someone who had maggots placed on the necrotic tissue on his leg wound to clean it up and he said there was no pain but he could hear them munching on him and it freaked him out. But he also ended up with every last bit of dead tissue removed better and cleaner than a doctor could have done, and maggots work pretty cheap. No anesthetic and its aftereffects to deal with, either.

      • Amazona December 6, 2016 / 2:02 am

        Leaches are cool, too. Their saliva inhibits blood clotting, and they are being used again in cases such as the reattachment of severed fingers because their saliva keeps the newly attached blood vessels open so circulation is not impeded.

        And next spring I will be ordering something like a thousand weevils, of two species, to attack my puncturevine, also known as goatheads. There are two kinds, each of which feeds exclusively on puncturevine, one burrowing into the soft green seeds (stickers) to lay their eggs, effectively killing them, and one eating the stems.

        So far no known use for mice or mosquitoes.

  4. rustybrown2014 December 5, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    Mark,

    I fail to see how ‘Inherit The Wind’ can be seen as a “progressive lie”. Fine, maybe the trial was somewhat of a setup, but it was a setup designed to strike down a substantially flawed and damaging law, the Butler act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in state funded schools. The movie doesn’t leave out the fact that science wasn’t cross-examined as you claim, it highlights that such cross-examination was not allowed by a biased, religious judge, so the defense had to pursue other tactics.

    Does the movie rely on artistic license to make it’s point? Sure. Is the overall point of the movie in line with the most salient points of the case? Yes again. Where is the “great lie” here?

    • M. Noonan December 6, 2016 / 12:33 am

      Because it works from a viewpoint that Christians are anti-science…when, of course, Christians are the people who invented the scientific method…it took the arrival of a theology which held the world to be a place created by a rational Being to start the process of learning about the world via observation of experiment. Until people like St Thomas came along, no one was working along those lines…

      • rustybrown2014 December 6, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        Well for one thing, in the particular case of the scopes trial that we’re discussing Christians were being anti-science and the film reflects that. That’s literally what the case was all about.

        For another thing, the fact that Christianity was a dominant social system at the place and time of some of the early developments of the scientific method in no way proves that Christianity was necessary to the development of the scientific method. That would be like saying just because the dawn of science occurred under a monarchy the monarchy was needed to create science as opposed to say, a representative democracy. No causal link need be applied. Without religion man’s insatiably curiosity of the natural world and our subsequent discoveries would have flourished all the same, maybe faster.

      • M. Noonan December 6, 2016 / 1:14 pm

        Nope: Han China, Antonine Rome, Gupta India…it’s about as far as you get without Christianity. After the arrival of Christianity, the high civilizations outside Christendom were Islam, Ming China and Mughal India…which were all splendid civilizations, but not in any significant way advanced over the Han, Antonines or Guptas. But some how or another, the Christians – who 5 or 600 years prior to Islam, Ming and Mughals were a backwards, impoverished, uncivilized people not only caught up with Islam, Ming and Mughals, but rapidly surpassed them…we’re talking night and day differences here. Of course, a huge number of factors fed into the rapid Christian dominance…but most of those factors also affected everyone else outside the Americas (none of which civilizations had even got to the Han, Antonine or Gupta level); for instance, the “Black Death” is credited with making labor temporarily scarce in Europe, thus leading to more demand for machines to take the place of manual labor…but such shortage of labor was also temporarily prevalent in the rest of the world affected by the “Black Death”. There was something different going on – and something no one else quite had.

      • rustybrown2014 December 6, 2016 / 4:47 pm

        Well, we could truly argue this back and forth forever but I’ll repeat that you have not shown a causal link which clearly shows Christianity was necessary for scientific advancement and therefore you should not infer one. Plenty of historians disagree with you and you yourself recognize the myriad complexities related to the rise of the west and the advancement of science throughout millennia. Heck, the mid 20th century onward has seen a steady decline in religiosity concurring with an acceleration in scientific advance–shall I be able to say that the trend of secularism in modern scientists is responsible for our latest, greatest discoveries advancing at a breakneck pace? Of course not. Science and religion are separate enterprises and always have been in the most meaningful practical sense.

        I’ll also repeat, getting back to our original point, that in the Scopes trial it was indeed the Christians who were being anti-science and ‘Inherit The Wind’ did a pretty fair and entertaining job at reflecting that. Side note: I think ‘inherit the wind’ is a pretty good euphemism for when someone smells someone else’s passed gas. “Oh dear, I just inherited the wind!”

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2016 / 11:56 am

        The particular law at stake was out-of-date…but take a look at Bryan’s testimony: Darrow isn’t defending Science, he’s attacking Religion. Holding it up to ridicule. If the purpose was to defend Science, then the course of action was to seek a legislative change to allow for the teaching of Evolution in the schools…but that is not what Darrow did. What he did was find a man – Scopes – who was willing to go through this process which was intended from start to finish as an attack on Religion. Scopes wasn’t even sure that he had ever taught Evolution and, in fact, wasn’t a biology teacher. The whole thing was a set-up so that scamps like Darrow and Mencken could make fun of Religion in service of a larger, Progressive goal of tearing down the belief system of the American people.

        Darrow didn’t testify – he said that he would, and he didn’t. Because for each hole you can try to drive through religious belief, there’s a dozen to be driven through the theory of Evolution. We all, for instance, accept that both the Polar Bear and the Black Bear are descended from the same pre-cursor species. Ok. Fine. Did that pre-cursor species have black hair, or white hair? If it had black hair, how did it adapt, slowly by random changes, to be white-haired as a Polar Bear and thus suitable to an arctic environment? If it had white hair, how did it adapt, slowly by random changes, to be black haired and thus suitable to a forest environment? Was it multi-colored? How would being multi-colored make it able to adapt, slowly by random changes, into both a white haired and a black haired animal living in starkly different environments? You can’t explain it – all the Science in the world can’t explain how a bear species became both polar bears and black bears. It makes sense, on a certain level, that it happened but you can’t find a mechanism which would slowly change hair color…and slow is all you got; it can’t be, under evolutionary theory, that a black bear wandered into the arctic and gave off white haired offspring. A mutation had to happen…on some black bear in some distant era, a white hair appeared…and then the bear slowly moved north and found other bears with a white hair or two and eventually they became white as they moved north? Give me a break – the chances of that happening by random chance are so small as makes no odds…there was something else going on. Now, we believes know precisely what was going on – God had ordered it to be so that we would have polar bears and black bears and by whatever means God saw fit, we got them…it is irrelevant to Christian belief whether or no they were “poof” just there or slowly changed over time from one thing to another. It affects a Christian not at all to believe or disbelieve in Evolution – on the other hand, an atheist can’t afford to have anything unexplained…and, so, atheists tend to make explanations which they think covers all ground, but which actually leaves a lot of holes. And, Darrow knew this – and thus chickened out from cross-examination. He was fully willing to use a false idea of Science to make fun of a religion he despised, but he didn’t have an ounce of courage to defend his own beliefs.

      • rustybrown2014 December 7, 2016 / 5:13 pm

        Darrow wasn’t attacking religion, he was COUNTER-attacking religion. The parties guilty of offense were those religionists who wrote and upheld the Butler Act, that coercive religious law. Big difference there Mark. In other words, attacking religion and defending science are not mutually exclusive concepts when you’re responding to religion’s desire to undermine science. Cutting to the chase, do you favor the Butler Act? Do you feel it was a sensible law that shouldn’t have been challenged? If no to both, what’s the problem here? That religion was mocked? Keep religion out of the law books and public schools and it won’t get such a bloody nose. Pass laws like the Butler Act and you’re looking for trouble.

        The alleged Polar Bear conundrum is not nearly so mysterious as you make it out to be. We don’t know everything about the evolution of the polar bear but it’s widely assumed based on evidence that the Polar Bear descended from the Brown Bear (not the Black Bear) so the precursor was brown. Mutation coupled with a shifting environment and roving migratory populations likely took care of the rest. Here’s a nice snippet which nicely conforms to our current biological and geographical understanding of the natural world:

        Relying on the fossil record and DNA analysis, scientists have been able to arrive at a clearer picture of the polar bear’s evolutionary path over the millennia. Some 200,000 years ago, when glaciers covered much of Eurasia, the Arctic Ocean was completely frozen. It was during this challenging period that brown bears began to wander in search of food. Approximately 125,000 years ago a population of brown bears in the far north of their range was likely split off from their brown bear ancestors, perhaps because of competition for food. The population likely became isolated by massive glaciers and, while most died in the harsh environment, those bears with an evolutionary advantage — ideal coat color and thickness for extreme cold — survived and bred. Over thousands of years, this population of bears underwent further evolutionary change, adapting even more specialized traits for surviving the harsh polar environment. When life in the North demanded teeth better shaped for ripping apart seals than munching berries, the polar bear’s molar teeth changed significantly from those of the brown bear. The bears also grew white fur, which camouflaged them in their snow-covered surroundings and gave them a hunting advantage. Scientists believe that at first these bears scavenged seal carcasses that had washed ashore, and gradually began to hunt the seals by waiting at the water’s edge as the seals surfaced to breathe. This is believed to be an important step in the evolution of a new subspecies of bear — Ursus maritimus or the polar bear.

        http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/arctic-bears-how-grizzlies-evolved-into-polar-bears/777/

        You say: “It affects a Christian not at all to believe or disbelieve in Evolution – on the other hand, an atheist can’t afford to have anything unexplained…and, so, atheists tend to make explanations which they think covers all ground, but which actually leaves a lot of holes.”

        First of all, evolution used to affect Christians quite a bit and still does to this day in some circles (in fact, that may be why we’re discussing it right now). Evolution tore asunder the shaky anthropocentric view of the world that Christians held dear.

        Second, rather that your notion that atheists cringe from uncertainty, in reality the central tenet of intellectually honest atheism is that there are fundamental mysteries of life which are not explained, and we’re fine with that. The “holes” that you allude to are not fatal gaps in our reasoning and theories but merely questions we haven’t discovered the answers to yet.

        I think three of the most beautiful words in the English language are “I don’t know”. That phrase embraces the the vast and inescapable mystery of the human condition while sacrificing nothing. Four words, even more beautiful, are “I don’t know…yet.”

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2016 / 7:26 pm

        LOL – ok; you hold that there is the unexplained but you won’t admit that there are facts which are inexplicable in evolution. Gotcha.

        But read the transcript – Darrow wasn’t defending anything. How on Earth could he? He wasn’t a scientist. He might not have ever even read Darwin’s works; thing is, I’ll bet 99% of the people who stoutly defend evolution have never read Darwin…but it’d be the rarest of Christians who hadn’t cracked open a Bible.

        What gets me is that your side doesn’t admit the miraculous – it was miraculous that a bear, of whatever color, could drift over to being all white, or all black. It isn’t possible, in logic and common sense, that such a thing could happen entirely by random chance…suppose your brown bear did get a tuft of white hair…excellent step on the way to being a polar bear but if it didn’t help him survive (and it wouldn’t, because he’s a brown bear and thus his brown fur is what helps him at the moment) then that mutation would have been a biological dead end…he’d have to become at least mostly white right at the time he showed up in the snowy wastes (or that his climate shifted to snowy wastes) or it wouldn’t work. The neat trick of getting white fur right when it’s necessary is not quite as miraculous as the Holy Spirit making God Incarnate, but it’s right up there.

        As an aside, Darrow makes fun of the sun standing still miracle in the Bible – but, just to let you know, I am firmly convinced that in far more recent times, the sun danced in the sky.

      • rustybrown2014 December 7, 2016 / 9:17 pm

        “ok; you hold that there is the unexplained but you won’t admit that there are facts which are inexplicable in evolution. Gotcha.”

        What facts are inexplicable in evolution? What doesn’t make sense?

        “it was miraculous that a bear, of whatever color, could drift over to being all white, or all black.”

        No it’s not. Have you ever heard of albinism? Have you ever seen a litter of pups where one was substantially different from its kin? What if that difference led to an advantage in hunting, eating and mating? Do you think that difference might then be passed down and emphasized in the progeny? That’s called natural selection.

        Given enough time I could breed you an unending race of snow white mice from brown ancestors. That’s called artificial selection. Different means, same result. No miracles.

        And we’re not talking about a “tuft of white hair”. We’re talking about a genetic mutation that results in an overall fur color which is beneficial to a shifting, harsh environment at the time. Animals are not automatically born in complete accordance with their environment. Frequently (very frequently) the environment shifts and then wipes out a species but sometimes in that occurrence (rarely) a genetic mutation allows that species to survive in the new environment.

        Look–MOST off these isolated, wandering Brown Bears cut off from their native lands DIED. The few pockets of genetic winners hung on and prospered to become the modern Polar Bear. They found a niche. In an alternative universe those bears might not have gotten the genetic luck and the environmental circumstance that enabled them to adapt and survive, and in that world we would have no Polar Bears. Can you imagine how many species have perished or not developed in similar circumstances throughout time? The number is literally incalculable. But one survives (among many) and you call it a miracle? Where is the miracle? It’s called evolution.

        You’re thinking about this way too literally and biblically. I recommend Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution Is True”, an absorbing book.

        And no, the sun did not dance in the sky at Fatima.

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2016 / 11:39 pm

        You – a conscious actor – can do all sorts of things…random chance, little different. You see, it’s not just that a brown bear had to be born albino, it had to be born albino in the suddenly changed condition where being albino would give it a better survival chance. The chances of the random event (albinism) showing up just when it’s needed are fantastically small…and that is for it to happen once. For random chance to be the explanation of all the diversity in life is just not mathematically tenable.

        And as for the sun dancing in the sky at Fatima – you make an entirely unsupported assertion…you weren’t there. You don’t know, first hand, what happened…but people who were there say it did happen. The evidence we have is all against you – and yet you make absolute assertion that it didn’t happen. This is where it gets odd in talking to people determined to disbelieve in the miraculous…you demand a greater miracle than the biggest mystic…that we take your unsupported assertion as positive proof. People say they saw it – and they wrote it down. People also say they saw Jesus alive after the crucifixion, and they wrote it down. You never saw a brown bear turn into a species of white bears – no one has. Ever. And yet you believe it happened…

      • rustybrown2014 December 8, 2016 / 1:22 pm

        “You see, it’s not just that a brown bear had to be born albino, it had to be born albino in the suddenly changed condition where being albino would give it a better survival chance. The chances of the random event (albinism) showing up just when it’s needed are fantastically small”

        No, no, no. You’re willfully disregarding or not considering what I’ve already posted along with all of the much more eloquent literature on the subject that’s out there. There is a very reasonable scenario above that doesn’t involve the miraculous appearance of a mutant snow white bear in a “suddenly changed” environment; the scenario above involves no miracles or fantastic odds, only the slow adaptation of a species to its environment exactly as we’ve observed in countless other species, Darwin’s Finches for example. Do you think all of those beak variations occurred under fantastic odds too? You either didn’t read the scenario above it or you didn’t understand it. Either way, I guess we’re at an impasse because I simply don’t know how to penetrate your thorough misunderstanding of the topic at this point. Let’s let it go, although I still enthusiastically encourage you to read the book I recommended about the process of evolution.

        As for the rest of it, you believe the sun danced around the sky and the dead came back to life but assert I’m the one making an unsupported assertion when I point to a mundane evolutionary camouflage change in a species. Got it.

      • M. Noonan December 8, 2016 / 7:43 pm

        Never fear, I’ll be back at this…but very under the weather today and so it’ll have to wait…

      • Amazona December 8, 2016 / 4:43 pm

        For someone sometimes criticized for being too rigid, an absolutist, (that would be me), on the topic of evolution I have no problem whatsoever with the concept. Any animal born with a condition that helps it survive is more likely to reproduce and therefore pass that condition on to its descendants, while animals without that condition are more likely to die off. We do it artificially right now. We take a cow with little horns and breed it to a bull with little horns, and continue selecting animals with increasingly smaller horns until we have, for all intents and purposes, hornless cows. If something were to happen in nature to make having horns dangerous, this would happen naturally as well, as horned cows would have less chance of survival. Mammals from really cold climates have smaller ears, because so much body heat is lost through the ears, while animals in hotter climates have bigger ears to enable cooling. In a situation of very rapid cooling, as the earth has experienced in the past, big-eared critters are going to be in trouble, and those with smaller ears of this type are more likely to last long enough to make smaller-eared babies.

        The younger the age of reproduction, the faster the adaptation process. Bears reproduce at three or four years of age, I believe, and often have multiple births, so if a bear is born very light-colored as the climate changes and the earth is covered with snow, it is less visible to predators and more likely to reproduce. “Brown” bears are often black, near-black, or even blonde, and are sometimes mistaken for “black bears” because of this—-the identification depends on more than hair color. The range of color intensity in the brown bear is quite large, and some are mistaken for grizzlies because they are light in color with a lot of grey in the hair. Of its offspring, the lighter colored ones are less likely to be killed off, and within a few generations most bears in this particular climate will be light colored, probably getting lighter as the selection process goes on. A brown bear born albino in a temperate climate is going to be easier to spot by whatever its natural enemies might be, including man, and therefore has less chance of passing on its genes. It’s silly to argue that natural processes are not at work, and proven.

        Where I differ from Rusty is my belief in intelligent design. I don’t think the original animal of a species just happened. I think it was created. From that point on, it mutated (evolved) as different members of that species had to deal with different environments. It seems to me, if you believe in God and divine creation of the earth and what lives here, it is not hard to believe in a creative process that creates a more primitive form than we see now, and lets it develop naturally along the lines dictated by environment.

        As for believing in miracles, well, Mark, you might as well give up. There is literally nothing you can say that would ever convince Rusty of things that you, personally, believe in. Ain’t gonna happen. This is a matter of faith, and if he has none this is a concept that he cannot and will not accept. If a time traveler had been able to video the sun dancing, Rusty and his fellow atheists would find reasons to deny the validity of the recording, because it would lie outside their chosen boundaries of understanding or acceptance. We all have made decisions about what to believe and what to dismiss. You have chosen to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was a crack shot who was the only shooter in the JFK assassination, and there is abundant evidence that neither of these things is true—-yet these are fundamental beliefs for you and I, at least, have not been able to shake them even after citing evidence to the contrary. Why is this any different than Rusty’s convictions, especially when you can only cite eyewitness accounts of many decades past?

        Just remember, very very few people of faith become atheists, but many atheists discover faith, including scientists.

      • rustybrown2014 December 9, 2016 / 12:19 pm

        Sorry you’re under the weather Mark, feel better soon.

        Ama, you say, “I don’t think the original animal of a species just happened. I think it was created”, but that’s not what the fossil record or genetics show us. I take it your argument is akin to “there are many different types of bears, but a bear is still a bear, etc.” While this is true it denies the fact of speciation, one species turning into another. We see this very vividly in whales which evolved from terrestrial mammals. I know you’re very familiar with the evolution of the horse so surely you agree that the extinct Eohippus is a completely different species from it’s present day progeny, the modern horse.

        “There is literally nothing you can say that would ever convince Rusty of things that you, personally, believe in…If a time traveler had been able to video the sun dancing, Rusty and his fellow atheists would find reasons to deny the validity of the recording, because it would lie outside their chosen boundaries of understanding or acceptance”

        This isn’t true. You’re right that I will not accept matters based solely on faith or flimsy evidence but I’m extremely responsive to new and compelling evidence. That’s the primary difference between a faith based view of life and a scientific, logical one. If video evidence existed of the Fatima “miracle” we could add that to the evidence of it’s occurrence and evaluate it, but as it stands the Fatima story has gaps of reasoning you could drive a truck through.

      • Amazona December 9, 2016 / 1:07 pm

        Rusty, which “terrestial mammals” evolved into ocean-going mammals (whales)?

        You say “…the extinct Eohippus is a completely different species from it’s (sic) present day progeny, the modern horse…” yet there is evidence that shows the progression from the early to latest example of equine development. The multiple digits grew together and the individual nails or claws grew together, to form a single foot and a single hoof. There is a sequence of changes which can be tracked.

        If certain genes are passed on because they have contributed to the survival and therefore reproduction of a species, over time the existence of the inherited genes and the extinction of the genes of the individuals that did not reproduce will, in effect, create a new species—but the continuing genetic profile will show the relationship and the pattern of development. So with Eohippus, the gene that dictated the formation of individual phalanges will be gone, replaced with the gene that allowed those digits to develop over time into a single digit. The genes that developed individual nails or claws for each individual digit will have been replaced by the genes that call for a single large nail covering the single large foot.

        The basic concept of evolution is that what doesn’t work becomes extinct and what does work gets passed on. So when many-toed Eohippi were easier to catch and eat than those with larger toes that functioned as one foot, the genetic makeup of the larger-toed critters was passed on. Smaller Eohippi were easier to catch and eat, while bigger ones were more likely to escape, therefore leading to a larger animal. There is a reason the Eohippus is considered the ancestor of the modern equine. The evolutionary trail is there.

        It’s not as if Eohippus evolved into a sparrowhawk. No, the little primitive ancestor of the horse developed into today’s equine—the horse, the pony, the donkey, the zebra. There is a continuum, just as there is a continuum of whatever “terrestial mammal” you cite to the modern whale. That “terrestial mammal” did not become a cow, or an eagle, or a panther. It moved along an evolutionary pathway dictated by its physiology and its environment, which included what it ate and where it was most comfortable and where it was safest from its enemies. Certainly as that “terrestial mammal” grew, for whatever reason, it became too large to be landlocked and bouyancy became more and more important. Then, in the water, it got even bigger, till it could no longer support itself on land even for short periods of time. Its legs became vestigal because they were no longer used, or morphed into different forms to adapt to the needs of swimming instead of walking. Over many many millenia it lost its similarity to its ancestor, but the evolutionary path is there, and traceable.

        I am not a genetics expert. I don’t know what is required to consider closely related species as separate. But if a terrestial mammal that used to swim eventually became a marine mammal with only vestigal legs no longer functional, I don’t see that as proof that there was no intelligent design of the original mammal.

        As a believer in Intelligent Design I don’t assume the ability to determine how far back in evolutionary history any given species was created. I don’t see it excluding the branching of an original species as one family ends up living in a climate where its food is in the water, so it learns to swim, and another is in a climate where its food lives in burrows so its phalanges develop into digging claws instead of fins. I’m not saying I know of such a genetic family, but only that the existence of one would not disprove the belief that the origin of all of its descendants was created, not just springing randomly from an inert ooze.

        My point is that I don’t find Intelligent Design and evolution to be mutually contradictory. The only point of argument I find is that atheists and people of faith have a different idea of the point of origin. And I think that logic leans toward an intelligence of some sort, even if you don’t want to call it God as we think of God in our culture, more than the spontaneous development of organic life from inorganic material. Personally, I think of allegiance to the Big Bang theory of spontaneous random creation of life from the lifeless is more prompted by resistance to the idea of a deity or vast superior being or intellect than to serious science. An open mind, even one in someone without faith in a Higher Being, would at least be open to the possibility of Intelligent Design, and I find most proponents of random development of life itself to be so ardently and rigidly resistant to the idea of that superior being or intellect that they need to find an alternative.

      • rustybrown2014 December 9, 2016 / 3:05 pm

        Pakicetus is one terrestrial ancestor of the whale.

        “So with Eohippus, the gene that dictated the formation of individual phalanges will be gone, replaced with the gene that allowed those digits to develop over time into a single digit.”

        That’s not entirely true, if by “gone” you mean vanished. Many genes still exist in a species but remain dormant, they’re “switched off” at a certain stage of embryonic development but they’re still in the genome and can be identified. Embryology is another very strong line of evidence for the theory of evolution and speciation. Many embryos are remarkably similar at the start and grow into different creatures by the activation and dormancy of different genes.

        “The genes that developed individual nails or claws for each individual digit will have been replaced by the genes that call for a single large nail covering the single large foot.”

        More accurate to say “The genes that developed individual nails or claws for each individual digit will have been switched off and the genes that call for a single large nail covering the single large foot remain and mutated.

        Could be I’m being pedantic here. Maybe you know and mean all of this anyway but I thought I would expand a bit on the genetics and embryology here because I find that part very interesting. Most people think the evidence for evolution lies almost exclusively with the fossil record but our understanding of genetics, unknown to Darwin, is at least as compelling.

        As for the rest of it, sounds to me like you’re fully on board with the concept of evolution and speciation. Glad to hear it. When I was religious as a boy I never understood why the concepts of evolution and a creator had to be mutually exclusive either, and still don’t at a fundamental level. When it comes to creation of life, or abiogenesis to use the fancy term, we’re all ultimately agnostic, although unlike you I think science leans toward the more likely logical direction. I fail to see the wisdom in creating a prime mover.

        When it comes to the existence of God, likewise we’re all agnostic. Nobody knows. I call myself an atheist because there are two main questions about the existence of God: Does he exist? and Do you believe he exists? The first is a question of knowledge and fact and as I’ve said, we’re all agnostic to that one. The second is a question of belief and it’s that answer which I feel is more defining as to whether one’s an atheist, religious, etc.

        “if a terrestial (sic) mammal that used to swim eventually became a marine mammal with only vestigal (sic) legs no longer functional, I don’t see that as proof that there was no intelligent design of the original mammal.

        I don’t either, but I also don’t see any proof of an intelligent designer. To believe in an intelligent designer is to assume something not in evidence; it’s a leap; it’s faith.

      • M. Noonan December 9, 2016 / 11:38 pm

        We think it is an ancestor of the whale…just as we think we’ve identified the ancestors of the modern horse. We don’t know. You can’t know – you weren’t there to observe. Plus it’s pretty interesting that it took a mere 15 million years to get from rat-like mammal to Eohippus, then 47 million years to get from Eohippus to Equus…slowed down a lot, huh? There certainly have been a lot of animal species over the ages and some of the extinct bear striking resemblances to some alive…on the other hand, some species are unchanged in quiet an eon or two…like the sturgeon, which is apparently pretty much as it was 145 million years ago…so, no mutations or environmental changes to go thru, huh?

      • Amazona December 10, 2016 / 2:23 am

        Rusty, no problem with you being a little pedantic. I understand, appreciate and agree with your correction.

        I agree that belief in a Higher Power as the source of an original organism which then evolved and mutated is a matter of faith—but so is spontaneous life erupting from inert material.

        As for some changes taking place quickly, in geological terms, and some taking a long time, I don’t think that proves anything one way or another. To quote you, Mark, you weren’t there so you don’t know.

        Rusty, you said Ama, you say, “I don’t think the original animal of a species just happened. I think it was created”, but that’s not what the fossil record or genetics show us. True. And the fossil record does not show us that any of these species started off as inert minerals that suddenly and spontaneously underwent such a radical change that they became alive and capable of reproduction. Nor does the study of genetics prove this theory, any more than it “shows us” an original creature that was created instead of just happening, somehow.

        There is nothing definitive to support with absolute certainty either belief, and both are pretty much based in the bias that accompanies either faith or lack of faith.

      • Amazona December 10, 2016 / 2:25 am

        Mark, have you ever seen a yak? They look like I would imagine a prehistoric cow would look.

    • rustybrown2014 December 10, 2016 / 12:32 am

      Please Mark, can you spare me the “we weren’t there so we can’t know” argument? If we use that standard we can throw out 90% of our scientific understanding. Plate tectonics? Did you see it?

      By its very nature the fossil record is going to be immensely incomplete. Only an incredibly small sample of organic life is fossilized while most vanish with the sands of time. It’s actually a pretty incredible sequence of events that allow us to have any particular fossils at all–but we do have them and from them we can deduce how life evolved on this planet.

      If you question the fossil record, keep in mind that any slight variation would completely falsify Darwin’s theory of evolution, a rabbit fossil in the Cambrian strata I think was David Gould’s example. The century and a half of paleontological exploration after Darwin has only strengthened his theory, as has the emergent studies of embryology, genetics, ecodiversity, etc.

      The sturgeon, the lungfish, the shark, crocodiles, jellyfish and many others are among the grand prize winners of evolution: They’ve been around for eons and are tough and supremely adaptable to shifting environments. Hats off to them. If a species can survive and prosper in its present form there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason why it should change. How could it be otherwise?

    • Amazona December 7, 2016 / 11:03 am

      Here is an article that illustrates what happens when Leftist elites live in that bubble.

      http://dailysignal.com/2016/12/06/what-obamas-decision-to-send-someone-to-castros-funeral-but-not-thatchers-says/

      Thatcher once said:

      “[Nations] that have gone for equality, like communism, have neither freedom nor justice nor equality, they’ve the greatest inequalities of all, the privileges of the politicians are far greater compared with the ordinary folk than in any other country. The nations that have gone for freedom, justice, and independence of people have still freedom and justice, and they have far more equality between their people, far more respect for each individual than the other nations.”

      This is not a message appreciated by the Left, which has bent over backwards to praise the man responsible for, as the article put it, “… the very picture of this despotism based on a false “equality,” as Thatcher described.”

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2016 / 11:34 am

        It’s been well put: under Capitalism, the rich get powerful…under Socialism, the powerful get rich. Castro died somewhere close to being a billionaire…

      • tiredoflibbs December 7, 2016 / 1:02 pm

        The same can be said for Hugo Chavez….

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