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Suffering Suffrage!

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In 1920, after a long battle dating to before the Civil War, American women won the right to vote. Women have become an important part of the electorate, with a majority of women choosing the winner in the majority of recent US presidential elections.

Despite assertions that women care about the "SHE" issues – social security, health care, and education – there is evidence that a majority women have succumbed to the tempting blandishments of gender politics. White women seem to be abandoning the candidate who espouses positions in support of the "SHE" issues in favor of a slate which is vocal in their stance to radically eliminate public access to all three. The British satire blog The Spoof crudely puts it thusly:

But now that Obama has [slammed the] door on Hill's hopes and Johnny McC has come to their [rescue] with another vagined candidate, American dames can't get enough of forced crisis pregnancies, guns galore, Iraq till the cows come home and to hell with the poor, the immigrant and the unemployed!

I want to think that women aren't that shallow and that they can't be swayed so easily. Don't most of the American product commercials show women as knowing the right thing to do when there's a problem, rescuing their doltish men from using the wrong product? But considering that women are more like men than not, I have to surrender to the reality that women can be – and are – as shallow as men.

Far too many Good Orange County (CA) Republican men I know are in violation of their religious morality and good taste, sending me Photoshopped pictures of Gov. Palin's head atop the nude body of a comely lass. Some have expressed support for Palin generated only by gleeful, reptillian-brained lust from viewing such "art".

While not pornographic in nature, the appeal to women regarding Palin is definitely sex-based. I for one find it very ironic that women would fall for such a pitch to support a female candidate who opposes everything they value, especially representing a party which to this day continues to express support for the very values orated to oppose passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. But then, men usually ran the anti-suffrage organizations behind the scenes, secure in their ability to keep their women in their places. Palin is just a pretty woman who plays into this scenario because she loves the attention it brings her.

I don't use Conservapedia as a source very often, but they express their reasons for opposition to female suffrage rather succinctly. One would get the impression that they wish they could reinstate those conditions in the modern day. With the cooperation of today's "liberated" women voters, they just might!

But in my house, my three women voters have no use for Palin or the Republicans. I just hope that there are more like them than like those falling for the McCain campaign's pandering. To assist with this hope, I strongly recommend reading An Anti-Suffrage Monologue, presented in 1913 by a Unitarian minister named Marie Jenney Howe.

This monologue was the Vagina Monologues of its day, being widely presented to suffrage groups. In this work, she alludes to the "religious" belief that "female dependence, irrationality, and delicacy" balanced by a lust for political power prove that women can't handle the heavy responsibility of the vote. In her Second Couplet, she notes:

 

If the women were enfranchised they would vote exactly as their husbands do and only double the existing vote. Do you like that argument? If not, take this one: If the women were enfranchised they would vote against their own husbands, thus creating dissension, family quarrels, and divorce.

Howe goes on to express victory in a manner eerily echoing today's Republican Party defense against supporting social issues: "I think I have proved anti-suffrage; and I have done it in a womanly way—that is, without stooping to the use of a single fact or argument or a single statistic."

That sounds too familiar for comfort! But Back To The Future Present!

The McCain campaign is reported to be spotting their candidates on popular female shows, such as The View and The Rachel Ray Show. The GOP sharks are definitely smelling Obama's political blood in the media waters, and are circling for a kill. If Obama wasn't his own worst media enemy, I might see him surviving this assault. But given that he doesn't seem to know what is important to the American people and to take a strong stand in support, he's likely to succumb to this deadly loss.

How will the spirits of the Suffragettes take this? I don't know, but at least I can still protest with a write-in vote for Ron Paul this November!

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  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, classic realist. If I read this correctly, your current argument is that to save women from being sucked in by a genuinely liberated woman like Sarah Palin, we should all cast meaningless write-in votes for old, white and fundamentalist conservative Ron Paul?

    You’re clearly not paying much attention to the campaign. Do you understand that although she’s a Christian, Sarah Palin believes in things like separation of church and state, a principle which Ron Paul has advocated doing away with for years?

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Really? Sarah Palin favors separation of church and state?

    Coulda fooled me.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Daniel Miller

    Realist,

    But in my house, my three women voters have no use for Palin or the Republicans (emphasis added). Gracious me.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Lee Richards

    Re #1:

    Iraq war is “God’s will” for America but she believes in separation of church and state?

    Creationism is science to her and should be taught in schools but she believes in separation of church and state?

    Does she favor a wall of separation, or does she prefer prayer in schools and 10 commandments on every public wall?

    Does she advocate freedom from religion for those so inclined? How about freedom of conscience?

    Does her fundamentalist base love her so much because she’s four-square behind separation of church and state?

    You can put lipstick on a true-believer, but she’s still gonna be a true-believer.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    As a Vagina-American (as Samantha Bee so wonderfully puts it) I am voting for Barack Obama because I can vote for whomever I wish and don’t have to vote for another Vagina-American just because she is one, too:)

  • Clavos

    So there…

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I do believe that a number of women are switching their allegience from Obama to McCain simply because of Palin. And in many of these cases, it is simply because she is a woman. There is no ideology involved. That is unfortunate, but they are certainly free to do so.

    If any of these women believe strongly in the freedom of choice and much of the feminist agenda, to turn and cast their vote for Palin/McCain is not in their best interest. If they are ambivalent in that regard – more middle of the road, as it were, then if they find the Republican ticket more in keeping with their beliefs, then so be it. But, the former scenario is disappointing at best. One can only hope that time will work in favor of giving these women time to think and reconsider their knee jerk reaction.

    B

  • bliffle

    Baritone, are you suggesting that Palin is a Judas-woman? Shame on you!

    “If any of these women believe strongly in the freedom of choice and much of the feminist agenda, to turn and cast their vote for Palin/McCain is not in their best interest.”

  • Zedd

    Baritone,

    I haven’t heard about women switching to Palin in droves. There have been a few, very few. Many women are offended by her. She is no Ferraro and certainly no Hillary, just as Clarance Thomas is no Thurgood Marshall. The Reps just seem to get it wrong. Perhaps its because they just don’t get it, or don’t care to get it. “They want a Black in the Supreme Court, okay, we’ll give’m one”. “They want a woman, we’ll give’m one”. sheesh!

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Blif,

    It has less to do with her than with the women who are stampeding to Palin in their mindless glee thrilled to cast their “lipstick” vote.

    B

  • bliffle

    But do you think McCain selected her to serve as a Judas-vagina?

  • Clavos

    I haven’t heard about women switching to Palin in droves.

    Well, now you have:

    “Reports ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer: “From 50-42 percent in Obama’s favor before the conventions to 53-41 percent for McCain now, a 20-point shift that’s one of the single biggest post-convention changes in voter preferences.”

    Among white women, 67 percent view Palin favorably; 58 percent say her selection makes them more confident in McCain’s decision-making.

    Among those with children, Palin does even better than that.”

    But, of course, being Black, you can’t know how White women think…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Iraq war is “God’s will” for America but she believes in separation of church and state?

    Check the quote, Lee. That’s not actually what she said. She said that she hopes that if we’re at war it’s God’s will. Not the same thing.

    Creationism is science to her and should be taught in schools but she believes in separation of church and state?

    Again, stop believing the BS being handed out by the left. She doesn’t say that creationism should be taught in schools. She thinks there ought to be a free exchange of ideas and debate on the subject, without changing the curriculum. She’s been very specific that evolution should still be taught.

    Does she favor a wall of separation, or does she prefer prayer in schools and 10 commandments on every public wall?

    She has never endorsed either.

    Does she advocate freedom from religion for those so inclined? How about freedom of conscience?

    She’s never endorsed state religion, that’s about all one can hope for, really.

    Does her fundamentalist base love her so much because she’s four-square behind separation of church and state?

    I question that her base is fundamentalist. I think that they find her appealing, but so do a lot of other people for equally valid reasons.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    “She’s been very specific that evolution should still be taught.”

    How generous of her!

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I want to think that women aren’t that shallow and that they can’t be swayed so easily. Don’t most of the American product commercials show women as knowing the right thing to do when there’s a problem, rescuing their doltish men from using the wrong product? But considering that women are more like men than not, I have to surrender to the reality that women can be – and are – as shallow as men.

    Go to a bar in St. Paul on Friday night (or a Conservative or Reform synagague on singles’ nights) and you’ll discover just how shallow women can be, Realist, if you don’t already know. I was single for a while in Minnesota and boy, did I have to learn fast! You gotta be awful lucky – or guided by G-d – to find Ms. Right….

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Yeah, Clavos… All White Women are not Sheep!:) With out without lipstick. God, this thing has gotten so damned stupid.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Comment 9 says – “They want a Black in the Supreme Court, okay, we’ll give’m one”. “They want a woman, we’ll give’m one”. sheesh!

    I love this…I guess Clarence Thomas isn’t black ENOUGH for you…he doesn’t follow your liberal line so somehow, that means he’s not black. Same thing with Palin, she doesn’t follow your LIBERAL line, so you find her offensive.

    sheesh is right!

    I can’t wait until November so I can see you type here at BC that we’re all racists because your candidate, who IS apparently black enough for you, even though he’s half white, doesn’t make it to the white house.

    Talk about not getting it!

  • Doug Hunter

    “I love this…I guess Clarence Thomas isn’t black ENOUGH for you…he doesn’t follow your liberal line so somehow, that means he’s not black. Same thing with Palin, she doesn’t follow your LIBERAL line, so you find her offensive.”

    Indeed. The liberal line of thinking requires people to view themselves as victims so they don’t feel guilty for getting special government handouts and treatment. Women, blacks, or gays that don’t mope around about how bad they have it and further the liberal cause are bashed as Judas’s, Uncle Tom’s, etc.

    The one point lib’s have is about the “best interest” they offer, it is in everyone’s best interest that THEY get special treatment and handouts. However, it is bad policy for the country. It’s much harder to get people to vote republican for some idealist notion of fairness than it is to get someone to vote based on the promise of free handouts and pandering to their victimhood.

  • http://booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    By equating creationism and evolution as equivalent (i.e. teaching both in a biology class), are you not embedding religious instruction in science?

    I’m all for teaching creationism in the education system – in religious studies classes, mythology classes, possibly even in antropology and social studies as social phenonomea but granting creationism and intelligent design equal footing to evolution in SCIENCE?

    Give it a rest.

    Rather then repeat the over-quoted lipstick-pig metaphore, I’ll use one I’ve used here before – please stop trying to put a fresh coat of paint on horseshit.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Look. I’m the last person to advocate teaching creationism anywhere. But my point is that Palin isn’t trying to christianize the schools. As in most of these things, her position is moderate. It’s even relatively moderate on abortion, though you’ll never hear it from the left. Unlike REAL religious right extremists she supports not just abstinence education, but also contraceptive education. She also believes that contraception is desirable AND she doesn’t oppose abortion if the mother’s life is in danger. Compared to the real hardcore lifers that’s pretty advanced.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    All White Women are not Sheep!

    You didn’t get the reference, because you’re new here…but Zedd (to whom the point was directed), did; however much she might deny it.

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    The question that comes to my mind: Who are these “pollsters” and why haven’t they contacted ME? I’m itching to give someone a piece of my mind.

    “write-in vote for Ron Paul this November!”

    I just might write in somebody all right. The current political circus is getting to be a bit much. It might not be Ron Paul, but it’s looking more and more like being SOMEONE else.

  • Lee Richards

    Dave,

    Follow me now:

    Creationism is religion, based on the belief in and actions of a Creator–obviously to christians, their God. She wants it taught as science in schools, as a competitor with real science. That is not moderate nor compatible with separation of church and state, as you claim.

    Her actual quote about Iraq is: “Our national leaders are sending them out[troops]on a task that is from God.” That’s separation of religion and policy to you, maybe;to me, it’s more than a hint of militant theism.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Lee, that’s not exactly what she said. She said she wants open debate in the schools, which doesn’t necessarily mean teaching it as science.

    And that’s not the complete quote on the troops. The quote is from part of a prayer said in church, and here it is in more complete form:

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

    So as you can see, she’s not saying that the war is god’s plan, she’s praying that our leaders are not being foolish and that what they are doing is good and part of “god’s plan”. So she’s not declaring that it IS god’s plan, but she’s praying that it’s god’s plan and not a mistake. An enormously significant difference.

    Plus, she made this comment in church. In church you talk about things like war in terms of god. If she was talking this way outside of church it would be a lot more worrying.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dave, your tap-dancing is amusing.

    When asked about creationism being taught in schools, she said (in 2006):

    “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.

    She does not provide the caveat that you associate with her point of view. She is not specific about how it would be taught in schools, of course.

    Here is what the Republican Party of Alaska website said about the issue in 2006:

    “We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory.”

    Source: Anchorage Daily News, Oct. 27, 2006

    So regardless of how you want to spin her stance, there is more here than a simple personal preference. She does say that it wouldn’t be mandatory, but never gets into the specifics that you ascribe to her position.

    So as you can see, she’s not saying that the war is god’s plan

    That all depends on how you read the statement, Dave. It’s hardly black and white:

    Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God

    It is hardly unreasonable to suggest that she believes the leaders are sending troops out on a task “that is from God.” In fact, being that the President believes that the war is a task from God, it’s not altogether unreasonable that she would support such a position as well. The background and context certainly does more to suggest that she meant what she said rather than what you so clearly wish she meant.

    In church you talk about things like war in terms of god.

    You do? So when Jeremiah Wright says the following (in church, remember):

    “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

    He’s talking about this “in terms of god,” correct? Or is there a difference in how you perceive the two situations?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Jordan – all the points you’re making really don’t matter. Palin is not going to change what is taught in the schools in Va or anywhere else.

    She said and it’s in your quote there, HEALTHY DEBATE! But apparently, bringing up what half the world believes, whether it’s right or wrong isn’t healthy? It’s only healthy when it’s what you believe?

    How do you change peoples minds about something that’s wrong without having the discussion in the first place? When you start with the premise, YOU’RE WRONG and I’m right, no one wants to talk or debate with you in the first place.

    And yeah, a crazy preacher saying that the govt is supplying people with drugs and then locking them up is over the top. god damn him! And if you can’t see the difference between the two quotes then really, there’s no sense in even talking to you anymore!

    I went to a school where both the THEORY of evolution…it is, after all, still a theory, and creationism were taught. It’s not hard to figure out which one is real and which one is fantasy, even for a ten year old.

    Someday, when the theroy of time travel is actually figured out, somebody is gonna go way back in time and find out that we all landed here in space ships shaped like pyramids or something else just as ridiculous.

    WTF is everyone so afraid of anyway?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Andy, you’ll note by my post that I merely represented Sarah Palin’s viewpoint. I did not add my own to the argument.

    We should have “healthy debate” in classrooms. Teaching a religious theory as science doesn’t afford that. Teaching students about all of the world’s religions does. If creationism is taught alongside evolution, the Native American creation myths ought to be taught as well, as they are just as scientifically viable.

    Also, as far as I see it, the only difference between Wright’s comments and Palin’s assertions is that the former’s are based on a perfectly viable interpretation of reality for many in America and the latter, quite frankly, isn’t.

    Oooh, controversy!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I agree, teach all the creation myths along with all the theories out there about how we got here.

    Oh, so it’s a reality that the govt supplies the inner cities with drugs??? Maybe in Canada, but not here.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I agree, teach all the creation myths along with all the theories out there about how we got here.

    So you aim to add another ten years to the standard education curriculum, do you?

    so it’s a reality that the govt supplies the inner cities with drugs

    You can start with the Kerry Committee Report, which you obviously won’t read because it involves John Kerry and he’s “on the left.”

    Or you can look into the book by Alfred W. McCoy entitled “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.” It’s a good read and lays the groundwork.

    Or there’s Judge Richard C. Bonner, the former head of the DEA, who told 60 Minutes about the CIA permitting a ton of coke to enter the United States.

    You can Google “General Ramon Guillen Davila,” who was indicted by a Miami jury after he led a CIA counter-narcotics group that put coke onto American streets.

    You can Google “Mike Ruppert.”

    Or just look at the Wiki entry.

    I’ve got more if you’d like, Andy, although somehow I’m pretty convinced that you won’t let a pesky thing like information get in the way of Classic Americana. I know, I know: how dare I question the Almighty United States from my perch here in Backwards Canada!

  • Cannonshop

    Or you could check out Bo Gritz’ book Called to Serve where he details quite a bit of what was going on in the sixties and seventies. Even if (big if) the government ISN’T doing it anynmore, they DID in the past.

    Jordan, on the Creation/Evolution thing… I would submit that the best way to shoot down Creationism, is to expose it. The problem with including the Creation Myths (including Evolution) is that, as you noted, it’ll add ten years to the curriculum of material that isn’t really all that useful.

    The whole damn debate needs to be put where it belongs-in the Universities, alongside the Philosophy department and underwater basket weaving.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    No, I won’t read it because it involves John Kerry and he’s already a proven liar. Look up Winter Soldier if you don’t believe me. He likes to take any old story, true or not, and report it as fact, sorta like the MSM.

    Even if the govt allowed tons of coke into the states, that doesn’t mean they’re giving it away! But then, just the fact that it’s here and some people are to stupid to know any better, use it and destroy their lives…of course, that’s the govt’s fault too?

    Not everything is the govt’s fault. Sometimes, you just have to stand up on your own two feet…no?

    Now, if they start giving away pot in the inner city, I might just move!

    And Jordan, if you know, as you said in the last sentence then why do you do it??!?!

    Actually, since I figured out that you’re not a completely crazy Canuck, I like the back and forth…just a little wacko…but who ain’t?

    Have a nice day.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Or you could check out Bo Gritz’ book Called to Serve where he details quite a bit of what was going on in the sixties and seventies.

    Nice. I’m going to have to add that one to my reading list.

    The whole damn debate needs to be put where it belongs-in the Universities, alongside the Philosophy department and underwater basket weaving.

    I hear that underwater basket weaving is harder than it looks.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Depends on how well you can hold your breath!

  • Irene Wagner

    Keep origin myths and theories, ALL OF THEM, out of the science classroom!

    This creationist-materialist squabble has gone on long enough. It’s wasting everyone’s time, the school board’s time, the population (polarized enough already over matters of MUCH greater import) and most significantly PRECIOUS classroom time. There are far, far too many developments in science in the last twenty years (Pluto–not a planet any more? What’s a Genome Project?) and too many global challenges that need to be addressed by a new generation of TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT SCIENTISTS for this nonsense to continue. An understanding of how environmental pressures cause a populations to change in the near term is key to the development of new medicines, for example, but a conviction about exactly how and when two phyla emerged in pre-history IS NOT.

    You might as well have camps duking it out over the fundamental nature of light.
    It’s a wave! No, it’s a particle! Yeah, how about leaving the philosophical issue alone and inventing a dang TV set?

    Teach about differing viewpoints on Origins at the same time, in the same class, as long as it’s not science class. Teach Darwinism, AND the evolutionary theories that preceded Darwinism back to Plato’s time, AND the Genesis account, AND the Native American account–any account that has had enough adherents to justify time spent in a consideration of this topic, an important one IN ITS PROPER CONTEXT.

    Dave Nalle, the last time I paid a visit to blogcritics, you were eager to see evangelicals “thrown under the bus” and McCain along with them for even considering a VP who might pander to that class of voters. So you’re defending his choice of Sarah Palin in this thread now? I must admit to finding your political vagaries a bit dizzying at times. And just for the record, THIS evangelical is still a Paultard, McCain’s choice of a Veep who believes in the inspiration of scripture as I do notwithstanding.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Andy, I agree.

    But when the government actually brings drugs in to the United States and then fights a War on Drugs, don’t you think that is the government’s fault? I mean, how else would you characterize it?

    Yes, nobody forces people to take drugs. But desperate people do desperate things for relief.

    I’m not sure why it matters whether or not the government is “giving it away,” as the original point was to confirm the reality that the government did indeed bring drugs to American streets.

    Sometimes, you just have to stand up on your own two feet…no?

    Agreed. Sometimes that’s hard to do, however.

    And Jordan, if you know, as you said in the last sentence then why do you do it??!?!

    Because, as has been said many times around here, my country happens to sleep next to the gorilla/elephant. America gets hard to ignore and, flawed as many of my thoughts may well be, I try not to be ignorant.

    Actually, since I figured out that you’re not a completely crazy Canuck, I like the back and forth…just a little wacko…but who ain’t?

    Agreed again. :)

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    To consider evolution on the same level as creationism is just nuts.

    When people state that evolution is “only a theory” they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

    A scientific “theory” is not akin to Columbo saying that he’s got a “theory” about who croaked the rich dowager.

    A scientific theory is one that is first postulated and then tested time and again for its veracity. The basic tenents of evolution theory have in fact been tested ad nauseam and nothing has ever been found to debunk it.

    To put creationism or its more current cousin “intelligent design” on an equal footing with evolution in the classroom is ludicrous. It’s just another instance of how and why American students are falling behind students in other countries who are not weighed down with creationist crap.

    Is it important? Well, duh. Yes, it’s important. Much of what we know of biology is in whole or in part dependent upon our understanding of how we got here. Are there still gaps to be filled in evolutionary science? Of course. That hardly renders it false. We are still missing a ton of answers in all areas of scientific inquiry. If we knew it all, then, hell, we’d be gods wouldn’t we?

    B

  • troll

    personally I find the Einsteinian revolt and subsequent erroneous thinking unfortunate…preferring the tried and true Newtonian Physic and Alchemy I’ve been working on turning lead into hydrogen with the assistance of certain crystals…so far I’ve been able to come up with a tepid liquid that tastes of sassafras

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    The problem is that “healthy debate” implies that both are on an equal footing and they are manifastly and demonstratably NOT.

    Evolution is science, with copious amounts of factual evidence backing it up. Creationaism and intelligent design are not and do not belong in a science curriculum except as a footnote in a History of Science course.

    The question about Palin and her blitzing around with biology and science courses is relatively moot. We’ve effectively had a “Creationist” int he White House for the past 8 years and I’m reasonably confident that the court system will (mostly) continue to keep chucking the IDers and the Creationist back out where they belong.

    I do however find it troubling that one of the most important offices in the land is being contested for by someone who manifestly demonstrates an utter lack of even basic understanding of science and prefers to inflict faith as a viable alternate reality.

    Dave, you routinely deride the Flat Earthers, the 9/11 truthers, the airplane contrail nuts, and the tinfoil hat brigade etc. yet you seem to be perfectly accepting of this delusional interpretation of basic biology…..Could it be, dare I say, that it is because she is a GOP fellow traveller?

    You like to cite Occam’s Razor regularly… Be careful, it cuts both ways.

  • duane

    Cannonshop (#30): “…the best way to shoot down Creationism, is to expose it.”

    I am starting to come around to that way of thinking. Creationists have rallied around the phrase, “Teach the controversy!” and portrayed those who are against making Creationism part of the curriculum as narrow-minded and fearful. But what I’ve realized recently is that by keeping the “debate” in the public eye, the public, so easily deceived, will assume that Creationism is a weighty, fully developed body of knowledge, on a par with Evolution. There is the appearance that on the one hand there is Evolution, and on the other, Creationism, the latter of which is waiting in the wings, currently being squelched by atheistic materialists. This can only benefit Creationist “pundits,” and it could be that they know that. As long as the status quo is preserved, Creationists have a rallying cry.

    Followers of the Christian faiths (most of America according to surveys), most Americans, most people worldwide know the Judeo-Christian creation myth, just as the same can be said for the Santa Claus myth. My 13-year-old son knows these stories, and he does not attend church. How could he not know them? It’s part of the culture. It is a well known story, the neutral discussion of which in a high school classroom is unlikely to pollute any young minds.

    So, suppose that your local high school decided to preface the section on Evolution with a three-day survey of the creation myths, including the Norse Ymir, the Hindu’s giant cobra, the Greek Nyx and Eros, “let there be light,” the Mayan’s Tepeu and Gucumatz, and so on. Great stuff, wonderful stories all. Mind expanding, putting kids in touch with different cultures, a bit of the sweep and scope of history. Similarities and differences will be self-evident.

    Now, on day 4, home in on “modern” Creationism, as it exists in America, i.e., Intelligent Design. What is it? In a nutshell, ID posits that the structures and patterns that we observe in the Universe, trees, animals, the planets, the stars, the entire Universe, appear to have been designed by an intelligent agent.

    From Bertrand Russell:

    “You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so, that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. This is the argument from design.”

    Aristotle, Cicero, Maimonides, Bacon, Descartes, Kepler, Kant, Paley — all the great thinkers who have commented at length on the subject. A brief survey puts ID into its proper historical context. But modern science has added much to the knowledge that these (for the most part) philosophers had at their disposal. Advance to the 19th Century.

    On Day 5, enter Darwin. What are Darwin’s main ideas? What does the “Origin of Species” refer to? Five minutes. How does this fit in to the creation myths? Darwin does not scientifically address the creation.

    Now, a few weeks of the Theory of Evolution. What is a “theory”? What is evolution? What evidence is there for evolution? Micro vs. macro. Adaptation, genetics, DNA. The fossil record. The geological record. Dating. Half-life. The Cambrian explosion. The age of the Earth. The age of the Universe. The Big Bang. Wonderful stuff.

    What are some of the outstanding problems with the theory? Transitional species, Another good example: irreducible complexity. Wonderful. Marvel at the seemingly miraculous way that biological organisms work. Can this be explained by natural selection? This takes the kids to the forefront of research.

    Now, take it home. Followers of ID are not satisfied with Evolution because there are questions not yet answered. Biologists are working to answer the questions. Does ID answer the questions? Yes. The ID answer is that everything was created, and only then did natural processes take over. Is there scientific evidence for this idea? No, the ID position rests solely on current inadequacies in Evolution. Can we extrapolate Evolution back to the beginning? How did life form in the first place? When did it form? Can biology answer these questions? Is it possible that Evolution is wrong? Discuss.

    Any feathers ruffled so far?

    ID has thus been introduced naturally and properly as a recoil against Evolution, although it brings nothing new to the table. In terms of time and effort, it has encroached very little on the course work.

    I like it. The kids cannot understand the problems with Evolution until they know something about it. Some will surely walk away with the belief that Evolution is wrong because not everything is understood. It could be wrong, but that’s not the way to think about it. This can be mitigated by a proper education which establishes the many false starts and blind alleys that scientific research has followed throughout history. I’m concerned that high school science is taught in a way that makes it appear dogmatic, and that appeal to authority is a valid response to doubt. Science, at least in America, is all about shooting down theories. Scientists are paid to tread new ground, not to build walls around the ground they have captured. This needs to be imparted to students. But a theory can be shot down only if it is first understood. The fact that not all the answers are known should be laid in front of students as a challenge, as a way to get them to see that, if they’re so inclined, they can make a contribution to knowledge.

    Just a thought.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    What he said!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #37:

    Now, now, troll – behave!

  • troll

    …just trying to do my part and contribute to knowledge

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I know.

    Note that I didn’t say how you should behave.

  • Irene Wagner

    Baritone: So far so good.A scientific theory is one that is first postulated and then tested time and again for its veracity.

    I’m not buying it.The basic tenents of evolution theory have in fact been tested ad nauseam and nothing has ever been found to debunk it.

    Did you mean “basic tenants” (people who “park” on the evolution issue whenever it comes up, using belief in evolutionary theory as a litmus test for the rigor of a person’s scientific understanding or religious faith) or “basic tenets?”

    If you meant “basic tenants” I feel the nausea of your “ad nauseam.”

    If you meant “basic tenets,” please provide links to a scientific study that started with an ocean, vat, or petri dish in which life did not exist and ended with that same container holding a life form. Before your confident assertion, Baritone, I had assumed that only a scientist with billions and billions of years of spare time on his hands might be able to pull it off–if evolution were true, of course.

    But this is my second comment on the matter, so I’d better go away again, lest I become a basic tenant, too.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Duane,

    Nice job! Great discussion. All of what you posit makes sense. Would the powers that be on the various sides of the discussion allow such a level field? Maybe.

    B

  • troll

    Irene – I’ve been missing your comments and your last is an example of why…isn’t lent over with – ?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Daniel Miller

    Duane

    [Edited]

    Anybody who quotes Bertrand Russell is my kinda person. Keep up the good work. The best way to expose ideas of dubious merit it to make them known, regardless of whether they be PC, like evolution (which I tend to accept) or ID (which I don’t at all).

    Thanks.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Irene,

    Pardon my errant fingers.

    However, your suggestion that the ONLY means an evolutionary scientist has to prove the “theory” is to go through billions of years petri dish in hand is specious.

    What I said stands. There has been NO findings by anyone that contradict the basic tenets of evolution. Again, the only arguments against it are limited to areas which haven’t as yet been filled in by scientific study. Most, if not all of those “holes” will be filled in in due time.

    The mindless adherence to creationism and/or ID is a waste of time, effort, resources and intelligence.

    B

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    The poll does not say that these women are Democrats who have switched parties. Did I miss that or did YOU? Hug!

  • Irene Wagner

    We agree, Baritone, at LAST. There HAVE been no findings by anyone that contradict the basic tenets of evolution. Equally true though, is the statement that there have been no findings that refute the fundamental principle of ID, also a theory, which states that Intelligence, not Chance, explains the mysteries of creation that even Duane finds wonderful.

    Marvel at the seemingly miraculous way that biological organisms work. Can this be explained by natural selection? This takes the kids to the forefront of research.

    Yes, why NOT marvel at these things TOGETHER, without taking potshots at one another, without even getting into the existence/nonexistence of the Divine Spark who may or may not have started the whole shebang, may or may not have had His fingers squishing through it at the beginning as He may or may not even now?

    You’re very optimistic about the ability of science to disprove or prove the existence of that Divine Spark, Duane and Baritone. I admire optimistic scientists, and I wish you every bit of success with the Way-Back Machine you’ve been tinkering on eternally in Duane’s garage.

    Troll, you’ve taught me everything I know. :)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, you seem to forget that there is zero evidence to support the existence of a creator to have come up with an intelligent design. That would seem to be a fairly important weakness in the ID case…

    As I’ve pointed out on more than one occasion, there is no need to disprove the existence of such a being, it is for the proponents of this argument to substantiate it.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Irene,

    It is not really the job of the proponents of natural selection to disprove ID, but as Christopher notes above, it is the job of creationists to bring forth proof of the existence of god or some other conscious entity that snapped his, her, its proverbial fingers setting all this chaos in motion.

    Generally, it is supremely difficult to prove a negative, whereas god could easily erase all doubt by revealing him, her, itself to us. Is god so egotistical to demand that we rational beings – his, her, its creations including our sentient abilities – are supposed to throw all of that aside and accept his, her, its existence simply on faith alone? Rather a cruel trick, no?

    B

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Daniel Miller

    Although I am an Agnostic/Atheist (Zeus, I keep repeating myself), I agree with Douglas Adams that there may, somewhere, be a highly intelligent shade of purple which those who so choose can refer to as God. I would most likely continue to refer to it (or he or she) as a highly intelligent shade of purple. Although I generally accept the theory of evolution and am unaware of any significant evidence against its main components, should some appear I shall be quite happy to consider it. Ditto significant evidence that GWB conspired with the Methodists to blow up the World Trade Center.

    As to teaching ID as an alternative theory, I find it difficult to understand the twisted panties. If taught, it is more than likely to be accepted only by those who are already convinced that it it is the “truth.” The rest of us will probably be better able to construct arguments against it. For that reason alone, I don’t think it a complete waste of time. Lots of sillier and more harmful things are taught in schools. Perhaps some of the time devoted to specious sensitivity training and kindergarten level civics in high school could be devoted to ID.

    Dan(Miller)

  • irene wagner

    …must….resist….becoming Evolution Tenant….

    God doesn’t owe any of us a dang thing, Baritone.

  • duane

    Irene, I am always impressed by your debating skills. Also, you are one of the few believers that don’t run off in a huff when contradicted. My compliments.

    Christopher and Baritone reiterate points that you must have heard many times before. Haven’t you? Do you refute them?

    …the mysteries of creation that even Duane finds wonderful.

    Even? Even Duane? What does that mean?

    A couple of points:

    In my post, I included as part of the hypothetical course a discussion of the question, “What is a theory?” As already noted somewhere above, and endlessly repeated at BC, ID is not a theory. It is a conjecture. While a trifling semantic distinction to most of the world, scientists do not use the terms lightly. But to be fair to you, I did not learn this in High School either. The misconception that ID and Evolution are scientifically on equal footing is easily dispelled by five minutes of research. I have always wondered why otherwise intelligent people, such as you, are unable to recognize and acknowledge the difference, then remove it from your menu of anti-scientific assertions. It is an extraordinarily weak arguing point, and your debating opponents will simply assume that you are being intentionally obtuse as a debating tactic.

    Yes, why NOT marvel at these things TOGETHER, without taking potshots at one another…?

    Well said. I think I have cut back on the potshots since I first started posting here a few years ago.

    You’re very optimistic about the ability of science to disprove or prove the existence of that Divine Spark….

    Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, but there is nothing in my post that conveys that notion.

    ….I wish you every bit of success with the Way-Back Machine you’ve been tinkering on eternally in Duane’s garage.

    Well, first of all, there is no room in my garage for a way-back machine, what with all the clutter from the anti-gravity machine I’m building.

    Second, although you say you admire optimistic scientists, I have to question that, since you so clearly underestimate them.

    Did you know that we know what stars are made of? In the 19th century, a well known philosopher by the name of Comte made an authoritative pronouncement to the effect that we would never … ever … determine the constitution of stars. Very smart, but shortsighted, guy. As you may know, no one has ever traveled to a star.

    Speaking of stars, did you know that we understand the life cycles of stars. Stars live for billions of years, and yet the details of their births, lives, and deaths are known to a level of detail that would amaze you. This has been figured out without a way-back machine. The theory is called stellar evolution. Biological evolution is a harder nut to crack, for several reasons, but it is possible to know of past events without actually traveling into the past. I’m sure you’re educated enough to know this, and just like arguing — playing Devil’s advocate, as it were.

  • Zedd

    Christopher,

    We do know that there is no spontaneous generation. That everything comes from something. We have to conclude that at some point there was a “prime mover”. That which got the whole ball rolling. Call Him or It whatever you want. In Cosmology they talk of “The First Cause”. I believe this comes from Aristotle’s work Metaphysics, I think.

  • Lee Richards

    #54: “God doesn’t owe any of us a dang thing”…

    I create and give life and existence to my children and then…by analogy, I don’t owe them a dang thing.

    Not love, protection, concern, help, kindness, nourishment, information, answers, time, attention, care, affection…nothing do I owe them.

    And I expect/demand their worship?

  • Clavos

    Zedd,

    Among white women, 67 percent view Palin favorably; 58 percent say her selection makes them more confident in McCain’s decision-making.

    So, in other words, you believe that 2 out of 3 women were already favoring the Republicans before Palin was named?

    You could be right. I certainly hope you are.

    And remember, the shift is “a 20-point shift that’s one of the single biggest post-convention changes in voter preferences.”

    It could be that ALL the people who “shifted” are boys who previously were voting Democratic, but I doubt it.

  • troll

    For Chris:

    “When we run over libraries persuaded of these [empirical] principles what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics for instance let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it to the flames for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion” D Hume

    and for Dan:

    “To refute him has been ever since he wrote a favorite pastime among metaphysicians. For my past, I find none of their refutations convincing; nevertheless I cannot but hope that something less skeptical than Hume’s system may be discoverable…” B Russell

    so…are we empiricists or what – ?

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Irene,

    “God doesn’t owe any of us a dang thing, Baritone”

    Well, that paints an even more appealing picture of the divine one, doesn’t it? Are we to assume then, that god is supercilious in hisherits attitude toward us. Must we madly dance the dance as proscribed by idiot, money grubbing evangelists in the vain hope that hesheit will deign to give us the proverbial thumbs up for that hotly sought after ticket on the paradise express?

    B

  • Jordan Richardson

    As an exploratory question to anyone that wishes to answer:

    What types of proof would suffice as evidence of a divine presence?

    And one more, just for fun:

    How do we decide what personality traits this divine presence has? How do we determine that she actually does, indeed, require or even want our worship and endless adoration?

  • Irene Wagner

    Lee Richards, go tell it on the mountain. The Galveston Seawall ought to be high enough for Heaven to hear you while you rage and shake your fist.

    More than one believer in Galveston is having to decide whether or not he really believes what I’m saying right now.

  • troll

    Jordan – how about…”when I flopped aces and a (one-eyed) jack completing my set on the button I knew there was a god”

  • Irene Wagner

    Duane, I’m glad you asked for clarification. To explain, I will expand and say “even Duane, who does not believe in God, can look at nature and appreciate and marvel at its complexity.” If the clumsy way I worded it made you feel that I was insulting your intelligence, I’m sorry about that. I was actually trying to build a bridge, not burn one.

    I still disagree, though, with you and most ESPECIALLY Sarah Palin. I said so in comment #34. There isn’t enough time in the science classroom to be bickering about theology.

    If a science teacher wants to talk about irreducible complexity of organisms and gaps in the fossil record as a means to motivate students to try to reduce the irreducible and find the as yet undiscovered fossils, fine. On the other hand, if a teacher welcomed the introduction of ID in his classroom just so he could illustrate that those who believe in a Creator do so only because the irreducible has not been reduced yet and the gaps have not been filled in yet, he’d be treading on territory he knows nothing about. He’d also damage his credibility as a teacher with every (possibly quite scientifically gifted) student in the classroom who had a relationship with a Creator. Likewise, a science teacher who ridicules students who accept evolution’s assumptions with or without a complete fossil record or a demystification of the facility of sight–he too loses credibility with gifted atheists/agnostics. A high school teacher turning a talented kid, be he a Christian or an atheist, “off” the study of science, even for a semester, is a real tragedy.

    About the life cycle and composition of stars: I know that forensic scientists and astronomers draw conclusions about past events that are impossible (or a bit too grisly) to recreate in their entirety. Call me a pessimist but I don’t see forensics or astronomy being able to give us anything about the gauge of a bullet or the timing of the birth of stars (“of wonder, stars of light, stars of royal beauty bright”) has to do with the existence or nonexistence of God, no not ever, ever.

    But here’s how much of a pessimist I’m NOT. It really makes me sad that the kids I know today have NOTHING to match the excitement and pride I felt as an American one summer day in 1969 when I watched men walk on the moon. What is on the horizon ten years from now for them: war, wars, and more wars? I would love for every child to be able to wonder again, to look at the world with stars in his eyes instead of despair. Could we live on Mars? Why don’t you find out! Test Euler’s Identity out on your TI-84. Cool, isn’t it! Do you know that scientists are beginning to make connections between such mysterious and beautiful mathematical discoveries and the questions about the physical world at the atomic level that have baffled scientists for years? I say go for it, atheists and believers. Dig deeper and deeper. I CHALLENGE you to find an end to all the questions you can ask about the Universe, whether it be a disappointing quartet of lines of Mathematica code, as the author of a “New Kind of Science” surmises, or God.

    As much as I believe in God, my guess is that you won’t find either, not with science you won’t. You’ll just sigh take a deep rapturous breath and thank God, or your lucky stars, that you were born with a brain that can keep asking questions.

  • Jordan Richardson

    “when I flopped aces and a (one-eyed) jack completing my set on the button I knew there was a god”

    Now that is something I can get behind!

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Just a question and a note here: How long has man seriously been involved in truly scientific inquiry? Surely, there were some discoveries made going back even thousands of years, but the results of many of those efforts have either been lost, or were thwarted, often by the powers that be.

    Only since the Renaissance has there been a more or less uninterrupted and concerted effort to discover our origins along with other scientific inquiry. Given the totality of human history, those few hundred years are hardly a blip on the proverbial screen. Look at what has been accomplished just since, say the middle of the 19th century in science and technology. To believe that humans can NEVER reach a core of understanding about the universe, our origins, and our place within it, is selling ourselves short.

    Much of what we know and can do today would have been thought the stuff of magic or fantasy just a couple hundred years ago. Thousands of people were burnt at the stake for just imagining such things.

    Humans have an enormous capacity to explore and understand. Most of us, myself included, have no idea about much of it. Scientific research has become so specialized, so concerned with seeming minutia that again, most of us can’t relate to it.

    Ultimately, the trick will be to put it all together, to assimilate all of the discreet data into a cohesive and manageable understanding of it all. I won’t predict that we WILL accomplish that, but I do believe we CAN.

    While, I suppose it is possible that the ultimate answer to it all could be something that one could consider to be god. At this juncture, however, that is no more likely than hundreds of other possibilities.

    Further, the possibility that the answer is an omnipotent, omniscient god consciously involved in the second to second lives of us humans is so remote to be considered ludicrous. It is a human conceit to believe that we are the one and only chosen beings of god.

    As I have asked before: What possible interest could an all powerful, all knowing entity have in such insignificant beings such as ourselves? I always think of “Star Trek TNG” and the character “Q” played, I believe, by actor John Delancey, who had god like powers over the fate of all humanity. He was depicted as being contemptuous and bored by humanity, but then alternately intrigued and curious about us as well. In my opinion, the former view would hold sway more often than not.

    B

  • Zedd

    Clav,

    Remember I studied social stats. You may be reaching incorrect conclusions. The results don’t say what you think they are saying. Those results say that McCain has a jump in White women voters who will now vote for him. They don’t say who those women are. The question was not “of women who once wanted to vote for Obama, how many now want to vote for McCain?” These women could have been independents or even Republicans who were not going to vote or who don’t typically vote at all. From everything that I have heard and read, women who staunchly supported Hillary, are dismissive of Palin. They find her eye rolling (as you should if you didn’t think she was such “a babe”).

    Also viewing someone favorably doesn’t mean you will vote for them. The question doesn’t seem to be specific on what they view favorably about her. Is it her hair or her dress? Thats stats for you.

    Better luck next time!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, no, we don’t know that there is no spontaneous generation.

    Alternative answer – the 60s crowd were a pretty spontaneous generation.

    Irene, what Lee said in #57.

    Alternative answer – I don’t mind if there is a god or gods and wouldn’t be averse to a bit of worship if there were. However I’m not prepared to subscribe to the notion based on the absolute lack of any evidence whatsoever.

    troll – you seem to be ever more abstruse lately.

    Alternative answer – say what?

    Jordan – turning up would pretty much do it for me.

    As to personality traits, as with beauty, they would be in the eye of the beholder. For example, there are people who think I’m great whilst others think I am a complete and utter git. Go figure!

    Isn’t there something in that fabulous fiction they call The Bible (The Book – snappy title, huh?) about worshipping it?

    Irene revisited – why would believers (in Galveston or elsewhere) have to decide if they believed or not? It’s pretty rare for one of you victims of this long con to seriously question it. Probably something to do with a reluctance to admit how completely fooled you have been.

    Oh, and I can’t really respond to your #64. Much as you obviously took some time to compose it, it lacked your usual light touch and had far too much pessimism and creed-o-waffle to go in to.

    Baritone, as usual on this topic, you make coherent sense and are easy to read. You’re no Irene Wagner!

    Zedd, you’re no Baritone, but if you keep on writing comments that are at least coherent, there is always hope…

  • Clavos

    Better luck next time!

    Thanks!

    Same to you – maybe your guy will make it 2020; he should have enough experience by then.

  • Irene Wagner

    Christopher Rose, I wrote #64 because Duane seemed to be under the impression that I had called him stupid. Maybe that flavored the thing with the tinge of melancholy you picked up on. But entirely pessimistic, no, and I’m…I’m…sorry my comment made you saaaaad Christopher Rose. You didn’t even get to the dang part about Euler’s identity and atomic mysteries being explored, did you?

    I’m sorry if I offended you by not responding to your remarks in #51 until now. At the time, the comment struck me as being a mere dismissal rather than an invitation to discuss the matter further with you.

    So, I’ll try responding to the question you asked in #68: Irene revisited – why would believers (in Galveston or elsewhere) have to decide if they believed or not? It’s pretty rare for one of you victims of this long con to seriously question it. Probably something to do with a reluctance to admit how completely fooled you have been.

    On second thought. Nah.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    In her absence, Irene seems to have gained an edge, wouldn’t you say?

    B

  • Irene Wagner

    Baritone you asked a question in #66 that unlike the questions Christopher Rose (the cheeky little git) asked me, appeared to invite a response.

    How long has man been involved in serious scientific inquiry, you asked, and then answered your own question with not since the Renaissance.

    The Renaissance wasn’t a birth of reason and acquisition of knowledge. It was a RE birth. Pythagoras was a pretty astounding scientist, as was Euclid, and the designers of Stonehedge, and (sarcasm alert) those Muslim A-rabs and their eight hundred year old primitive culture and their algebra-inventing Abu Ja’far Muhammad.

    Baritone, this is an area we’ll have to agree to disagree on, I guess. You seem to think it will be possible one day to disprove the existence of God using science. I don’t.

    It’s not possible to find Him, conclusively, through science, either. If one does find God through science alone, and leaves the exploration at that, then one is missing most of who He is anyway. That’s how I see it anyway, and I realize this is the most subjective of subjects.

  • Jordan Richardson

    turning up would pretty much do it for me.

    So Christopher, proof of a deity or deistic concept in some way would be “turning up?” Are you speaking in a physical sense, as in waking up every morning to see God behind her cloud looking over the world with a smile like the sunshine on a box of Raisin Bran? Or are you talking in more spiritual terms?

    If it’s the former, how do we know God is a physical element? In that we don’t know what God is, much less if God is, how can we ask for a type of proof that God may or may not be able to fulfill? If I take your meaning, you state you’d like God to turn up, appear, show herself, and so on. But, plainly, what if God can’t do that by very function of not being a physical, observable being? What if the way to see God is in a spiritual communion with nature or with, perhaps, other human beings?

    There are people who “see God” in the poor and, more correctly, in the act of serving the poor. There are people who claim to “see God” in the trees. Are you claiming that you want God to physically force the door open on your world? And that would be proof enough?

    Hoping for clarification.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Isn’t there something in that fabulous fiction they call The Bible (The Book – snappy title, huh?) about worshipping it?

    Yes there is. So? We’re giving the Biblical authors credibility now? In my view, they were struggling believers and, for the most part, had no greater insight than any modern person of faith. For them to say that God requires or desires worship is merely an expression of their relationship or inference towards their deity.

    Let me go on and answer my own #61, in order:

    There isn’t any. We can’t. And we don’t know.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, as I said above, I have no problem with believing per se, it’s the bit about believing in something which ought to be far more substantial and substantiated than the Tooth Fairy that is troubling.

    As I find it so utterly implausible, given all that adherents of all three strands of this monotheistic creed have been able to point to, and don’t, in all good faith (if you’ll pardon the term), see how anybody actually could be persuaded, of course I’m fascinated, in a car crash kind of way, by those who do.

    So far, despite displaying an admirably feisty spirit, you have still to move from bravado to something more tangible. I salute your wonderful triumph of style over content.

    Your response in #72 above, “You seem to think it will be possible one day to disprove the existence of God using science. I don’t.” shows you still don’t get it.

    There is still no requirement to disprove this notion at all. However it is a sure bet that as we humans continue to explore and explain our world and our universe, the days of myth, superstition and yore will become to be seen in quite a different light, which may amount to the same thing.

    As to your #73, Jordan, I don’t see how, if we couldn’t detect this notional deity at all, how would anyone, believer or doubter, ever know if it turned up or not. If the faithist argument is correct, then it must be possible to interact with it in some way. Therefore turning up seems like a pretty good requirement for that.

    The thing about the bible was in response to your #61, where you asked about the demand for worship. Of course I agree with you, we can’t know, but we can reasonably postulate that the 6,000 year lack of supporting evidence tends to support the non-existence perspective.

  • duane

    Irene #64: If the clumsy way I worded it made you feel that I was insulting your intelligence, I’m sorry about that. I was actually trying to build a bridge, not burn one.

    Irene, I wasn’t under the impression that you were insulting my intelligence. I was under the impression that you were implying that believers have some sort of edge when it comes to appreciating existence. Personally, I think I have a much greater appreciation of the natural world than the average believer, but maybe that’s just because I am full of it. It’s yet another topic that has nothing to do with Realist’s article. Maybe we can debate that some other time. Anyway, my feelings were not hurt. I’m much too insensitive for that. And thanks for the clarification.

    If a science teacher wants to talk about irreducible complexity….

    Yes, you could be right. It might be too much responsibility to give to a high school teacher. I would hope that a teacher would have enough professionalism to maintain neutrality. Hard to say. I wonder if there are any teachers reading along.

  • Jordan Richardson

    But Christopher, the issue here is that you’re demanding evidence on your terms while be remarkably elusive in terms of what would satisfy as proof. You claim parameters under which a deistic concept should operate, then do away with its existence because it doesn’t meet the parameters you have set up.

    Of course God’s not going to exist, then! While you’re at it, why not have him with lightning bolts coming out of his eyes and standing on a cloud in the distance somewhere so that we can see him.

    Point is that I asked you very specific questions about how one could detect God and you deflected them.

    I asked you if you were speaking in physical terms or spiritual terms. You gave no answer. I’m not asking you to articulate an answer against Common Notions of God via religious vehicles. That’s tired, outmoded ground. So again, if we can “detect” God, how would we do that? What would stand as evidence for having detected God? You say “showing up would be a good start,” but how does a deistic concept do that if it’s not a physical being? Does God have physical properties? Is he tall?

    If the faithist argument is correct, then it must be possible to interact with it in some way.

    The “faithist” argument, like any religious argument, is based on best guesses. It’s easy to discredit common religious beliefs, as I’ve said. Putting God in a box is easy. Allowing for a broader God concept isn’t, apparently. In other words, the “faithist” argument might be (likely is) totally fuckin’ wrong.

    See, Christopher, I have no problems with atheism. I consider myself an agnostic, although I sense somewhat of a spiritual realm. I’m of the belief that I can’t possibly know for certain what that spiritual realm is, although I can make my own “best guesses.” And that’s really all religion is: a best guess. Nobody knows what God is, much less is there a possibility for God to simply pop out behind the clouds or for Christ to ride down on a horse with Kirk Cameron next to him on a pony. It’s ludicrous.

    Equally ludicrous is fashioning oneself an atheist based around discrediting the easy, archaic notions of scriptural faith. Like most atheists I’ve talked to, the argument against a deistic presence appears more to be along the lines of an objection – indeed a rightful one – of religion’s typical Small God ideology.

    In my view, religious people typically develop a Straw Man God, make him nice and small, give him a gender, give him traits, comprise some sayings that can be attributed as “God’s Will,” have him choose sides in an election, have him proclaim judgment on people for bad behaviour, have him hate fags, have him pick religious sides, and give him a few “relatives” on earth that we can apparently emulate.

    Well, I don’t believe in that God either. So if you’re going to use The Bible to draw up a portrait of God and then expect God to play by those rules, that’s as silly as actually and literally believing what The Good Book says. In other words, you and the faithists are all in the same boat from where I sit and are clinging to equally untenable positions.

  • Jordan Richardson

    By the way, Christopher, I’m interested in your use of the term “faithist.” I have to say that the only way I’ve ever heard that used before your statements was as a term akin to “racist.”

    As in, via the Urban Dictionary:

    “Mr. Jones says all Catholics are drunks… he is a straight up faithist.”

    Cool.

  • duane

    More Irene #64: As much as I believe in God, my guess is that you won’t find either, not with science you won’t.

    As for finding God, scientists generally don’t think about that. Some do. Some believers study Nature as a way to study the works of their Creator, as one way to attempt to get closer to himherit.

    People of your generation (and mine) make a meaningless bet when declaring that we will never ever find the answers to the Big Questions. It’s a bit like a person in 10,000 BC saying that you will never ever find the edge of the world, prior to the development of travel on the high seas. The only response would be a shrug, and “I dunno, maybe, maybe not.” How could a person 10,000 years ago have anticipated that there was no edge, and that the Universe was unimaginably larger than their conception? I find that many believers have no patience, and are too willing to think that answers will not come, since we don’t already have them, ignoring our history. Our generation is just one. We chip away.

    It could take thousands of years to figure out how life started. One crucial piece of evidence is missing at this time, and that is whether or not there is life elsewhere, particularly, intelligent life. Biologists are stuck with a single example of a planet with life. As vast as that subject is, it is limiting when considering the questions of the ultimate origin. It could be thousands — tens of thousands — of years before we can even begin to answer the question of extraterrestrial evolution, and then use that model as input to models of the origin of life on Earth. But maybe biologists will find a back door. Life started on Earth about 3 billion years ago. Figuring out how that simple organism led to humans is a very hard problem. Maybe we should cut biologists a little slack and let them work.

    As for actually finding God, I have nothing to say. What is God?

  • Cannonshop

    To the redoubtable debators…

    Science is about telling us HOW the universe works, and what it’s made of. This is a bit like taking a machine apart to determine its function, and reverse-engineering components to perform tasks.

    It doesn’t tell us shit about who made the machine.

    Religion is all about the unexplainable, things we can NOT test and confirm. (That’s why it’s called “Faith” and not “Reason”).

    People have an emotional need that Faith fills when Reason fails. Depending on the person (and the need), dictates what faith is used.

    We live a universe that is dictated by rules, measurable within that universe, and controlled by processes built into that universe. By definition, God(s) don’t follow those rules, anything outside the rules is impossible to measure, define, prove or disprove.

    It’s kind of like the program trying to prove the existence of the Geek that built the computer using only the system’s internal resources without benefit of peripherals like a camera.

    And this brings us to the evolution/creation debate.

    Here’s the problem: Evolution can only be inferred. Speciation and colour-changes in Moths don’t alter the complexity of Moths, as an example.

    We don’t have observed instances of simple lifeforms becoming more complex life-forms without direct intervention from humans. Viruses don’t become Bacteria, Bacteria have not been observed turning into Fungi, and Fungi have not been Observed evolving into full-blown seed bearing plants, and nobody yet has been able to replicate conversion of amino acids into full-blown life.

    This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but it does mean we can’t prove it did.

    While it’s the best, most supportable of the “Where did it come from” scenario, it is still at best a Hypothetical idea supported only by conjectural evidence and the law of random chance.

    On the religious side, the Creationist begins with an assumption that his or her ‘god’ is an infinite being, all-knowing and all-powerful (the geek that built the computer). Unfortunately, the Creationist also relies on questionable documentation. some of which can be disproven rather easily.

    Without being able to prove or even test the claims on either side, it’s really a rather bad idea to put either material on the curriculum of primary education.

    I’d suggest leaving it to the University level, where students are (presumably) capable of thinking critically and analyzing information on their own.

  • duane

    Cannonshop: And this brings us to the evolution/creation debate. Here’s the problem: Evolution can only be inferred.

    Why is that a problem? Inference is one of the cornerstones of science.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Jordan,

    First, in considering how god would manifest himheritself, and if we are talking about, I guess, the “small god” you refer to, presumably, if hesheit is omnipotent, that should be no problem. There would be no limitations as to how this god could make himheritself known to us.

    I’m not really clear as to what it is you are getting at regarding your notion of what god could be. You refer to a vague sense of something spiritual. To me, this becomes far too much of an abstraction to have any meaning for me or, as I see it, for humanity. If god is, say, a mindless force that simply puts the universe in motion periodically (i.e. the big bang,) but is otherwise indifferent to that universe, then I don’t see how it has any meaning for us, except perhaps as the answer to the last question. Would that answer be revelatory? Would it make any difference to us in our lives? Or, would it indeed be a total abstraction?

    The importance of the existence of god to most people is the belief in salvation and eternal life beyond the corporeal. Without that, what’s the point? It gets back to the human conceit that we are the special creations of a doting but wrathful god who will grant or deny entry into his realm for eternity. Adding to the angst is the prospect of satan waiting to grab onto those denied god’s grace to throw them into his realm of eternal torment. Good times!

    B

  • Irene Wagner

    Cannonshop: Without being able to prove or even test the claims on either side, it’s really a rather bad idea to put either material on the curriculum of primary education.

    Yes. That’s not what Sarah Palin says, though, and everyone knows that Sarah Palin *coughs into sleeve* has John McCain wrapped around her little finger, so what Sarah Palin says is what’s gonna go if the Republicans win this November.

    Ergo, we all Americans should follow Realist’s advice in the closing words of this article and write in “Ron Paul” when they vote this November.

    (Chris Rose, thank you for not editing my reference to you as “a cheeky little git” in my reply to Baritone above. You sagely recognized it as a richly undeserved term of endearment and left it alone. You cheeky little git.)

  • Cannonshop

    #81 Duane, I’m an Empirical kind of guy. If you can’t test it, it’s untestable. Inference is only a tool, and by itself you can infer all kinds of whacky shit. Using only inference, “Intelligent Design” is just as viable as “Evolution”. Without being able to test, you can’t disprove the assertion with reliability.

    I myself am open to the possibility that either conjecture is close to the truth, but as I believe that Natural “Laws” don’t change over time, only our understanding of them does, I’m inclined to demand that someone fabricate a life-form from raw chemical stock before I believe in the random mixing of chemistry and energy hypothesis underlying the Atheist version of evolution. (Selective breeding, and therefore, natural selection is proven to work, but it’s that first step I’ve got my issue with. So far, nobody’s been able to synthesize a living organism from raw stock. even a VERY simple one.)

    The only way to really approach scientific questions honestly, is to accept the possibility that:
    1. one’s own ideas are wrong.
    2. That the other guy’s ideas might be right.

    The only path to certainty, is to test it,then submit your tests to the guy who’s saying you’re wrong to see if he can break your results. Anything else is philosophy.

  • duane

    Well, Cannonshop, empiricism is all well and good. The ancient Greeks were hobbled in their approach to science by their lack of an appreciation of empiricism. The famous Galileo story is exemplary in its use of empiricism. But, unfortunately, that only takes you so far.

    Modern science is a leapfrogging of empiricism, deduction, and induction. There is no one order in which these come into play. It’s a mess, but it works.

    If you can’t test it, it’s untestable.

    That’s demonstrably false. Many well known and currently accepted ideas in science were untestable at their conception.

    The current inability of biologists to synthesize life in the laboratory does not invalidate the precepts of Evolution.

    The only way to really approach scientific questions honestly, is to accept the possibility that:
    1. one’s own ideas are wrong.
    2. That the other guy’s ideas might be right.

    Scientists have massive egos. The “I am right” attitude is common. They need that kind of audacity to think they can solve problems. But no scientist works in a vacuum. Bad ideas are eventually exposed by someone else with the “I am right” attitude. It’s a tried and true system. Don’t knock it. IDers are entirely welcome to make their case. They have their own “I am right” attitude, but unlike real scientists, they have nothing to show.

    I was amused by your “Atheist version of evolution.”

  • troll

    troll – you seem to be ever more abstruse lately.

    Alternative answer – say what?

    What I said was: the bourgeois history of scientific statements about empirical reality remains as mysterious (epistemologically speaking that is) as that of claims to knowledge of god…Russell – for all of his prolific majesty – did not get around to squaring the circle and clarifying the relationship between so called ‘sensory data’ and his posited ‘facts’ that make up his reality…and the positivists who followed him (Carnap and Popper and Cannonshop [though he seems to come closer with his materialism]) fail to give empirical realism a rational foundation

  • Jordan Richardson

    B-Tone, I am an agnostic. I don’t believe that I can identify who or what deity, if any, is out there. So let’s get that on the table first. While I follow the example of Christ (and others, naturally, including Buddha for instance), my thoughts towards God are ambiguous at best.

    if hesheit is omnipotent, that should be no problem

    But who assigned hesheit with that trait? We did. The inference that it should “be no problem” for hesheit to manifest in some sort of static or observable form relies entirely on the notion that hesheit is what we claim hesheit to be. So in order to suggest that, you have to subscribe, at least slightly, to the idea of a personal, approachable, physical Being. I’m not so sure that I do.

    I’m not really clear as to what it is you are getting at regarding your notion of what god could be.

    I don’t recall tabling such a notion. On the contrary, I have asked questions of both atheists and “faithists” to determine what kind of deity it is that they believe in or do not believe in. I personally don’t have the foggiest idea as to what god could be.

    To me, this becomes far too much of an abstraction to have any meaning for me or, as I see it, for humanity.

    My “vague” sense of something spiritual doesn’t need to have any meaning to you, though. That’s the point. Whether or not you love your wife or enjoy the taste of crackers and peanut butter has no bearing on my life, either. And it sure as shit doesn’t have any bearing on humanity. It is, instead, a personal experience based on your understanding of the world. I don’t believe that spirituality need have a sense of “meaning” for all of humanity in a sense that we all come to one accord on how we interpret the world, metaphysically or otherwise. Indeed, a spiritual connection amongst all living beings (as I believe) could be helpful in progressing humanity.

    Whether or not there’s a god involved here is, in my view, completely irrelevant to the questions I was asking and, additionally, completely irrelevant to what I believe. I’m not trying to sell a bill of goods; I am trying to live my life to the fullest in a way that doesn’t betray my spiritual self.

    Here’s an interesting question to follow up: Need a deity have meaning to us in order to exist? My answer is no.

    And for some, take panentheists for instance, the importance of the existence of a deity lies in the connection that human beings can feel by all being “part of god,” so to speak. Salvation is doubtlessly of vital importance to many religious individuals, often leading to a neglect of the so-called “here and now” that is to our peril. This is especially common in brands of Western religions, where care for the Earth is neglected in line with the notion that we are merely on a “temporary vessel.”

    In terms of what I believe, the only real answer that I can give is that I don’t know and I doubt I will ever know. I think any honest believer in anything spiritual must acknowledge the mystery and the lack of answers. For myself, I find more joy and life in the questions.

    So when people ask for proof of god(s), I struggle with that notion because I don’t see how that’s possible. If god(s) were a physical being, it would be (for lack of a proper term) pretty fucking lame. I don’t even think the fundies buy that anymore, actually. So for god to reveal itself in someone’s life takes a more abstract set of answers, I think. In terms of evidence, I think the truth is that everybody has their own terms and conditions. Everybody wants god to try and meet them where they are, not the other way around.

    In that god fully can’t be known, regardless of what we call it, I advocate a more inclusive spirituality in which we learn from people of all faiths and paths to come to an understanding of unity, love, and compassion. Finding god is inherently futile because nobody knows and nobody can know.

    From where I sit, it seems to me that most atheistic understandings of deistic concepts come wrapped in the cloak of religious dogma. It is rarely the idea of god that is objected to, but rather the concept of God via religious understanding. When venturing beyond religious understanding and beyond healthy, natural objections to doctrine, most atheists are as fucked as the rest of us.

    Now those are some good times!

  • Cannonshop

    That’s demonstrably false. Many well known and currently accepted ideas in science were untestable at their conception.

    Yah, but they kept working at it until they found a way to test it, rather than simply declaring it to be “Truth”. (Capital-T Truth is more appropriate to Philosophy or Theology than science. it requires no backup, see?)

    “The current inability of biologists to synthesize life in the laboratory does not invalidate the precepts of Evolution.”

    I never said it Did, I simply posit that until it CAN be tested, it’s just a Hypothesis, and should not be presented as “Truth” without question. It’s not a fact until you can prove it, see? (mind you, I consider it to be the most likely explanation, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthy of being fed without criticism to kids before they can think for themselves.)

    “Scientists have massive egos. The “I am right” attitude is common. They need that kind of audacity to think they can solve problems. But no scientist works in a vacuum. Bad ideas are eventually exposed by someone else with the “I am right” attitude. It’s a tried and true system. Don’t knock it. IDers are entirely welcome to make their case. They have their own “I am right” attitude, but unlike real scientists, they have nothing to show.”

    Be that as it may, until you can conclusively disprove their assertions, those assertions are valid. Early solar-centric models were less capable of accurately predicting the motions of stellar bodies than the refined Ptolemaic structure believed in by the Church. It took WORK to change that. If (through some insane chance unlikely to occur) an ID’er comes up with evidence that can’t be refuted, would you change your mind, or adhere to the dogma and burn the messenger? (I’m not positing it likely to happen, mind you, but neither, at our current level of sophistication am I likely to simply assume the opposite is true.)

    Either way, anything you can’t prove conclusively (or even test with reliability) doesn’t belong in primary education as a “Fact”. That which CAN be proven (Natural selection within existing species, for instance) does-because we can demonstrate that it works with physical and replicable means.

  • Irene Wagner

    The last paragraph puts it in a nutshell, Cannonshop. The “evolution in the schools” issue is fueled by enormous egos, though, on both sides of the equation. I’m still trying to figure out if the “two sides” are really “two sides” at all.

    Today the classroom, for the Empire. Tomorrow, the world.

  • duane

    OK, Cannonshop, I can see your position. I don’t want to take this down to the hair-splitting level, so I’ll just let it go for now.

    Just one last thing, though.

    It’s not a fact until you can prove it, see?

    The word “proof,” like “truth,” does not belong in a scientific discussion. Mathematicians prove things. Scientists construct models. Theories do not morph into facts. When you insist on proof, you run the risk of ending up with an angels on the head of a pin situation. Prove that the sun is yellow. You can prove that something is wrong, as long as there is agreement upon what the standards of proof are. There is a general consensus that Newton’s Law of Gravitation is wrong (although it’s still taught in schools), for example. You can’t prove that theories are correct in science. You can only reach a point where one says, “This is the best explanation we have.” Whatever the best explanation is, one that has been around for decades, is fair material for the educational system.

  • Cannonshop

    Duane, the key isn’t “Proving” it’s “Testing”. Test it, does the test disprove it? adjust hypothesis accordingly, and review testing for accuracy and correct modeling.

    We can’t do that with Evolution. We can’t do it with Creationist dogmas either. When the question is up in the air (regardless of whether or not it’s been “accepted” for decades), it’s not proper to spoon-feed it as an assumption of fact.

    As for Newton’s laws of motion…we can test those, number one, and number two, the “disproven” portions are detail-level stuff that refines the theory rather than tossing it out (unless you’ve got proof that a more massive body does NOT exert gravitational forces on less massive bodies) his base assumptions are essentially correct until proven otherwise-but his base assumptions hold up to general testing and can be challenged.

    This is not so with (Random) Evolution, or (intelligent design)Creationism.

  • Irene Wagner

    All the “God and Country” rallies popping up around the US are Republican festivals featuring the “we have God and military might this is why we are right” and the Cross draped (figuratively) in the flag. Onward American Christian soldiers.

    Like it or not, well-intentioned and sincere agnostics and atheists, Christians ARE a significant voting bloc, and just about half of them are of or below average intelligence. YOU are their enemy, because you are the BAD GUYS who stand against God Being Honored in The Classrooms of This Christian Land of Ours. The Republicans who want to keep war going on in the Middle East…and maybe Georgia…are the GOOD GUYS.

    ***

    Jesus is real to me, Christopher Rose, for reasons that would only make sense to me, and I’m just smart enough to know that whacking you over the head with Bible verses is going to have as little impact on you as the immortal words of Russell and the significantly less immortal words of Richard Dawkins have on me. All I can do is try to be a good sport about being told I’m a fool, and leave the rest to God. I hope that maybe a few people who read what I have to say might get a hankering to read something about George Muller or Nate Saint, for example, or at least get a good laugh.
    I try to be about peace when I can be.

    Despite my sassy attitude, I do have respect for the beliefs and even lack of belief of those who disagree with me. There is something I heard from the fundiest of fundamentalists, someone who had crossed the seas to bring the Light of the Gospel to the heathen. After the missionary had been there a while, a little lady came up to her and said, “You’ve told me the Name of Someone I’ve known all my life. Now the rest of the tribe understands. Thank you”

    It colors the way I consider the words of “unbelievers” and what I say to them, at least most of the time, I hope. Well, I feel Lent comin’ on. Or maybe it’s Advent…

  • troll

    amazing Irene – I was was just about to post:

    however…if the ontologies of science and religion are socially constructed – then conjecture and experimentation and belief become political activities

    just say no – !

  • Cannonshop

    Maybe so, Troll, but think on this:

    Binary solution set: does it work y/n?

    Or, as my Stepfather used to say, “pray for gold in you right hand, and shit in you left, see which one fills up first.”

    Experimentation works. Belief? not so much.

  • Ruvy

    Why do you guys argue so much as to whether there is a G-d or not?

    If you’re a believer, you’re a believer. And if you’re not, well, you’ll discover the painful truth when the time comes.

    In the meantime, waiting is, as the saying goes….

  • Cannonshop

    Well, Ruvy…

    tying government to god cheapens god and feeds the arrogance of government. It doesn’t matter what form the god takes, and the worst is to treat government AS god.

    as such, subjects that are ephemeral and essentially matters of faith should be avoided in schools. Even when those subjects are the most likely of many explanations. People’s spiritual lives are private, and should always be private, neither endorsed nor suppressed by the State. Even people who don’t actively believe in spiritual life.

  • Ruvy

    Cannonshop,

    There is no need to teach creationism or intelligent design in a science class. Neither are science, despite all the huffing and puffing of their adherents. Perhaps they belong in philosophy classes, if that.

    One should just teach theology straight up in philosophy classes and be done with it. Those of you who want a religious education for your children will provide one, no matter what is taught in state schools.

    As for the arrogance of power that comes with official religions, talk to Chris Rose. Where he lives, the Queen is the Defender of the Faith.

  • troll

    Cannonshop – there are folks who think that the Church was correct to suppress Galileo’s work…belief works for them (they think) and they vote

  • Irene Wagner

    Troll – #93 I love a good coinky-dink. Ya, we were soooo sympatico until you started chanelling Nancy Reagan! (I always enjoyed the “Just say N2O” bumper stickers.)

    I agree though. Science and Religion both have their sacred cows.
    ****

    hmmm. No wonder the left hand – right hand experiment was such a “flop.” Perhaps the Almighty was unwilling to make a deposit of gold so close to all that excrement.

    George Muller left the poop out of the process and got the goods. Now THAT’s faith based ministry. No government hand-outs required.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Um, Irene. What are these ‘god and country’ rallies? Never heard of them.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    Irene, I still think hard work and reason get you further than idle hands and belief do. Too many of the “faithful” talk it, but don’t walk it.

  • Irene Wagner

    Troll….and I should have added…”….and people who know how to milk them.”

    Well HELLO, Dave Nalle. Probably never heard of ‘em because you were in “throw Christians under the bus” mode. If you’re interested now, though, I could get tickets for you.

  • Cannonshop

    Irene, the best way to deal with Sacred Cows:

    Grind them up into tasty hamburger, cook over a grill stoked with mesquite and a nice cayenne and whiskey marinade with just the right touch of garlic.

  • troll

    Irene – I on the other hand would pull a quote out of my ass: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas…” K Marx

  • Clavos

    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas…” K Marx

    “…As they should be; that’s why we have the ruling class, and why the peasants are revolting…” Clav(os)

  • Cannonshop

    Hey, I may be a revolting peasant, but I’m also rebelling…

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    Re: #96 & 97 Great posts.

  • Clavos

    Jeeze, I didn’t know you’re a Cracker, Cannon. When did you move to the PNW?

  • Irene Wagner

    Of COURSE that didn’t come out of your butt, Troll, it came out of Marx’s.

    I’m still goin’ for the Gold. ;)

    Thanks for our chat earlier on Dialectical Materialism, I think.

    Ruvy – After Advent, when our paths might again cross here, certainly not until after Rosh Hoshanah (which I discussed in a comment–I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet–after you used my name in VAIN in conjuction with Sarah Palin’s in another thread :), please see if you can find out what different rabbis have to say about “Mesech” and “Kedar.” Psalm 120 is very much on my mind right now.

    And Zedd, I agree with you. Ruvy’s comments WERE good.

  • Cannonshop

    “Jeeze, I didn’t know you’re a Cracker, Cannon. When did you move to the PNW? “

    My family dragged me up here in June of ’86 from southern Colorado. With a few breaks (three years army time in the Southern states and foreign deployments to hell holes), but my stepfather grew up in Arkansas and Michigan, so the cooking’s rubbed off on me…

  • Ruvy

    Irene,

    If you want to discuss that other thread, link to it or tell me the article’s name. I won’t know otherwise, or be able to follow your comment – or see whether I indeed took your name in vain.

    As for Méshekh v’Tubál, what is your question? I have an article coming out in not too long – it’s pending and making its way through the queue – maybe you’ll want to discuss it there….

  • Ruvy

    Come to think of it, Irene, my article is already up for you to see. Go there, and we can discuss all you wish. Have a pleasant Sunday.