Friday, August 29, 2008

A First Look At Sarah Palin's Religious and Church-State Views

Now that John McCain has picked a little known governor, Sarah Palin, as his vice-presidential choice, what do we know about her views on religion and church-state issues? The Anchorage Daily News gave this some coverage during her 2006 run for governor. Here is an excerpt from an Oct. 23, 2006 article:
Palin's parents say they are not political and don't know how she decided to turn her ambition and work ethic toward politics. Her Christian faith, they say, came from her mother, who took her children to area Bible churches as they were growing up (Sarah is the third of four siblings). They say her faith has been steady since high school, when she led the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and grew stronger as she sought out believers in her college years.

Palin doesn't brandish her religion on the campaign trail, but that doesn't prevent others from doing so. After she was first elected mayor, her predecessor, John Stein, objected that a Valley cable TV program had hailed her as Wasilla's first "Christian mayor." In a column for the local newspaper, he named eight previous mayors and added that he, too, was a Christian...
And here is an excerpt from a Nov. 5, 2006 Anchorage Daily News article (via LEXIS):

A significant part of Palin's base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).

Palin and her staff complained that efforts to raise these issues in public were divisive and hypothetical. The normally unflappable candidate seemed put-upon when she faced a string of such questions in the last debate, on public television and radio Thursday night....

Palin said her reading of the Bible would not "bleed over into policy." But she has based much of her campaign around a close fundamentalist reading of another text - the state constitution - which she cited in nearly every debate as the source of her guiding principles.

Her respect for the state constitution was illustrated by her first veto as governor. Alaska's Supreme Court had ordered the state to provide health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees, finding that this was mandated by the state constitution's equal protection clause. Palin vetoed a subsequent attempt by the legislature to enact legislation to take away the same-sex benefits. After being advised by the state attorney general that the legislation was unconstitutional, she said that signing the bill would be in direct violation of her oath of office. (Anchorage Daily News, Dec. 29, 2006 article.)

UPDATE: Here is an Anchorage Daily News article from Oct. 25, 2006 quoting some of Palin's answers to church-state questions in a PBS debate during the gubernatorial race. On the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public schools, she said:
Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.
[Thanks to the Dallas Morning News for the lead on the Update.]

UPDATE: See my Aug. 30 posting for more on this topic.

98 comments:

AmericanWoman said...

Thanks to your article, it's Sarah Palin for me!

jimbino said...

It's Sarah Palin for me, too. She is no more ignorant of math and science than are Obama, McCain and Biden, not to mention the Supremes, among whom only Breyer has EVER distinguished himself in math or science.

At least she had a science teacher for a dad and is apparently proud enough about that fact to mention it.

Better, obviously, would be a woman well schooled in math and science, like Thatcher or Merkel, but, hell, there's only one in all Amerika and she is busy narrating the science specials on Nova and National Geographic.

Chimera said...

I'm also glad to see her on McCain's ticket. She just made it almost impossible for Obama not to be the next president.

Anonymous said...

I was going to vote third party, but I will probably vote McCain now.

Anonymous said...

This is probably as real as you can get in politics. She's ambitious and not a hypocrite like nearly all insiders, including Obama.

This moves McCain big time.

Anonymous said...

It kind of makes Obama's lack of experience of any kind look like a joke. When McCain pulls up a noob politician like Palin and she already has twice as much actual experience (other than consorting with terrorists and racists and marxists of course) as Obama, it sure puts a lot of pressure on Joe Biden to step up as puppet master.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, she may be a nice person, but totally out of her depth as VP. It is naieve to think that she is ready to be President when McCain is incapacitated or dies in office. 20 months as Governor of the state that ranks 47th in population after being
mayor of a small town is just silly.

Anonymous said...

The last thing that the United States needs is another administration that brings religion into their policy making decisions. As if the last 8 years of "faith based initiatives" wasn't enough b.s.

Anonymous said...

Having a BA in journalism then being on the city council for a town of 5000 people for 4 years then mayor of that same town for 6 years and then governor of a state of 630,000 people for 20 months is so incredibly pale in comparison to the educational, community leadership and elected office experiences Obama brings. But experience won't really matter in this election since she is so far to the right, she makes Abbie Hoffman look like a moderate. People are either going to love her or hate her. McCain is not going to swing on-the-fence voters with this choice.

Anonymous said...

Obama has nothing but charisma, white guilt and black racism going for him. "Community Service" in south Chicago is what exactly? Followed by a lot of ivory tower collegiate isolation? Doesn't sound very presidential to me. And he's the top spot on the ticket, not the back-up. Compared to Hillary, Biden or even Kucinich, Obama is a lightweight of epic proportions.

Bagging on Palin for lack of experience in comparison to Obama's is the joke of the year.

Anonymous said...

She is a wonderful, exciting choice for McCain. How about that--a politician who believes all sides should be allowed in the debate! She has my vote.

Anonymous said...

She sounds scary to me! McCain is 72 if he dies we would have someone to the left of Bush!

Anonymous said...

Barack left the front door standing wide open and John shoved an Alaskan bear right into your house via the uneducated of OH, PA, MI & FL ----and those pesky Diebold machines all set up for a "close" race.

I love Jesus too, but Americans will bitterly regret McCain/Palin. That she supports John & Cindy, the beer dealers, and every corporation in sight is your "clue".

Anonymous said...

Clearly faith is a key issue this election. I'd like to know what Sarah Palin says about Jesus, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and caring for others (...out of love or out of duty)?

I'd also be interested in what she says about Mohammed & the Qu'ran, Israel, the mideast in prophecy... ??? Wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

"I'd also be interested in what she says about Mohammed & the Qu'ran, Israel, the mideast in prophecy... ??? Wouldn't you?"

No, of course not. Call me crazy, but I'm interested in those little quaint and eccentric issues such as the economy, education, universal health care, intelligent and informed foreign & military policies, Wiping some of the filth accumulated over the past 8 years off of America's international standing,...oh, and SEPERATION OF CHURCH & STATE.

Anonymous said...

Did she really say "both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution"? There is only one side of the subject from a scientific point of view, and nothing to debate. The appropriate place for the mention of "creationism" is in a history, psychology, or social studies class, but not a science class. To use her phrase, "don't be afraid of information"--evolution is a theory supported by evidence, while creationism is religiously-imposed philosophical crutch.

Anonymous said...

"Teach both" -- now she's gone and touched the third rail. Consider that this woman will be, if elected, two heartbeats away from picking Supreme Court justices. It would be an American tragedy to allow a creationist ito such a position.

Jesse said...

It amazes me that educated women allow themselves to be threatened by the thought of a debate between creationism and evolution. If evolution were purely factual, we would not call it a theory. Any theory that you choose to believe is based on your faith in something. Whether you believe in the Word of God as infallible or believe in the "infallible" techniques used over centuries by men and women. There are missing links in the theory of evolution and we only have a limited amount of information as told in the story of creation found in the Bible. When we move from the discussion of testable, reproducible hypothesis to the discussion of origins (which are neither testable nor reproducible) you have already moved from science to philosophy. Though valuable to discuss and debate, evolution is simply scientific speak for a naturalistic religion.

Reverend AtheiStar said...

Jesse, you're an ignorant moron. In other words, you're a typical creationist. You obviously have no idea what the word "theory" means within science. It is radically different than the every day, non-scientific version you subscribe to which means "a hunch" or a "a guess". First, though, let me use it with several other contexts. The theory of gravity. The heliocentric theory. The germ theory of disease. All these are theories, yet they are also simultaneously factual in the everyday sense -- and so is the theory of evolution.

Read what dictionary.com has to say on the matter:

Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.

Reverend AtheiStar said...

Beliefs aren't choices. You do not choose to be an Atheist any more than you choose to be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, Jew or Zoroastrian. You do not choose what convinces you. This happens subconsciously due to exposure to evidence one way or the other. Can you, knowing the truth, flip a switch and go back to believing in Santa Claus? No? Well, you could -- and easily -- if beliefs really were something you had any choice over.

Anonymous said...

Science and religion are both belief systems. People put their faith in the minds of scientists rather than the mind of God.

Either teach both in school or leave both of them out. America was founded on Christian values. Why should naturalistic religion be taught while the Bible is excluded?

I hope that America is sane enough to elect McCain/Palin, maybe some of the damage done can be reversed.

Reverend AtheiStar said...

If you believe in Intelligent Design, then you must also account for Maelvolent Design. You see, by bringing up design as evidence you make the entire universe a moral issue. Why does diease exist? All bacteria, viruses and parasitic organisms would be handcrafted by your "loving" god. Why did your god make malaria? Why did he make HIV? Why did botflies and their parasitic larva which live inside human skin in painful, red swellings called warbles. Why did your god make a sun that causes skin cancer? Why would a loving father place create a home so dangerous? Do we need hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, lightning strikes, tornadoes and icebergs? Would the invention of said phenomena say love? I don't think so.

ReverendAtheiStar said...

Faith is strong belief *without* evidence. Science is the exact opposite. Science is about evidence and experiment. This just isn't the case with religions. They make assertions, demonize any kind of questioning and then go so far as to say this is The Truth, forever. Science is self-correctiong. Religions are stuck with the same old mistakes until their extinction.

Maggie Gibbons said...

The relationship between religion and science will go on indefinitly. The relationship I am interested in is Sarah Palin and the American people. She wants to change the Alaska constitution to ban marriage between same sex couples. What will she want to change about the American constitution?

If, when he is 74,75,76 years old, he should become incapacitated, I do not trust this woman to have the power of the presidency. Let her be tested by time and experience. The we can decide who she is politically.

Jesse said...

Reverend AtheiStar:
You bring up a good point. Yes, there are ideas labeled as “theories” that do accurately describe currently observable phenomena in our world. I do not think, however, that lumping the theory of gravity, the heliocentric theory, germ theory, and the theory of relativity (all which are currently observable) in with the theory of macro-evolution is wise. Though widely accepted in the scientific community, the ideas associated with macro-evolution are not without flaws. Neither are other ideas that have been widely accepted by scientists in the past. We once believed it to be fact that the earth was flat and at the center of the universe.

I simply suggest that we be open to respectfully discussing both evolution and the ideas of intelligent design in the classroom. If evolution is as factual as you claim, there should be no contest as to which students will believe.

In addition, I empathize with your questions about why a loving God allows pain. If you really want to know about His reasons for allowing such things to occur, you should educate yourself about Him by reading the Bible. The experiences of Paul and others throughout the Bible do give explanation as to the purposes that are often achieved through suffering.

Bob said...

So Maggie, you will vote for Obama instead? No only does he have LESS experience governing or running any institution than she, but he clearly believes that the US should move dramatically toward socialism, a time tested failure as a governmental system.

Good thinkin' Maggie.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion". -President John Adams

As for evolution - sure it's a theory - a theory supported by evidence.

Creationism is a theory - supported by mythology, not by evidence.

So does creationism belong in a science class? Of course not. Does anyone who says that creationism should be taught in a science class belong in government? No.

Anonymous said...

Bob said...
"So Maggie, you will vote for Obama instead? No only does he have LESS experience governing or running any institution than she, but he clearly believes that the US should move dramatically toward socialism, a time tested failure as a governmental system."

What evidence do you have that Obama is moving towards socialism? Do you even have a clue as to what "socialism" means? The left (such as certain critics on Amy Goodman's "War & Peace" report) are actually critical of Obama for being to friendly with big business. Just because he wants to correct the Bush administration's whorish dismantling of regulatory agencies, hardly makes him "socialist" (not that you know what the word means anyway).

Had I wanted to come up with a stereotypical example of ignorant right wing drivel, I could not have come up with a better example than your statement.

Anonymous said...

Previous anonymous sounds like a bitter liberal to me. We'll see what America thinks come November.

Gunner Sykes said...

Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.

I am grateful for that.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin may well hurt the McCain ticket. Her beief that sbortion is acceptable ONLY if the life of the mother is at stake is appalling.
Thanks, McCain, for picking her. True Hillary lovers will come to their senses and back Obama. Just because Palin is female does not make her desirable to women voters!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Mcain, for picking an undesirable running mate. Go Obama. "Yes we can!"

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am grateful to have a nominee who believes that the murder of unborn children should be limited.

I think it is pretty appalling that over 2 million babies, it is estimated, have been aborted while we have been in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

"I think it is pretty appalling that over 2 million babies, it is estimated, have been aborted while we have been in Iraq."

Speaking of Iraq, some crazy people may think it appalling that over 4150 American soldiers have been killed (not to mention 314 allied troops killed), and over 30,568 (at least) wounded. As for Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of Bush's invasion, estimates vary from one extreme of about 50,000 to another (700,000) - all for "Weapons of mass destruction" that never existed - which we could have discovered without a single casualty as Saddam had given full access to weapons inspectors well before the U.S. invasion.

And McCain wants to stay there.

Anonymous said...

This is scary! I don't understand how a woman could be anti-abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest. I do not want a woman who does not trust my ability to make a decision in the White House at any level. The naming of Palin as McCain's running mate has put me in the decided column for Obama/Biden. I just hope others will do the same.

Anonymous said...

Reverend AtheiStar, you didn't even address Jesse's main point. That point is that ALL theories of origins are inherently unobservable/untestable/unrepeatable (in terms of experiment), and therefore unscientific. Evolution is no more scientific than my belief that there is a pink elephant on the other side of the moon. Neither can be disproven (yet), but neither can be proven. The only "evidence" for evolution makes just as much sense from an ID/creationist perspective. Similar genes? Evolution argues that those are due to carry-overs from past organisms, but ID notes, in an equally plausible way, that cars tend to have very similar designs. Why might that be?

And actually, science requires faith as well. You have to have a fundamental belief that science works, and that our minds can actually know. Without those two bedrock assumptions, neither of which can be proven, science is useless as a means of gaining knowledge. But do those assumptions make more sense in a creationist/ID paradigm, or an evolutionist one, wherein all things came about by chance? What basis does that paradigm give us for believing we can actually know? None.

Having said all that, I'll tell you my position on the issue. Neither evolution, nor creationism, nor ID, nor any other theory of origins should be taught in a science class, period. They all belong in philosophy. But if we're going to teach one of them in science classes, then all should be allowed so that full and free inquiry is fostered. Science doesn't progress by excluding minority opinions. That results in the exact same thing you claim religions do, namely that they say "this is The Truth, forever."

Anonymous said...

Obama is inexperience at the top of the ticket with Biden at the bottom. Don't let anyone fool you if Palin lands at the top of the ticket she can do just what Obama has done, choose an experienced VP to compliment her. Isn't that what Obama has done?

Anonymous said...

"Evolution is no more scientific than my belief that there is a pink elephant on the other side of the moon."

Thank you for doing your part in displaying the utter ignorance of people who desperately try to denigrate the science of evolutionary biology.

Of course, evolution is a "theory" supported by a mountain of facts & evidence. If you can't see the difference between a hypothesis supported by evidence and a myth that's over 2,000 years old NOT supported by facts, well, that's a good reason why you should have no say at all as to what is taught in a science class. It makes me cringe to think that people from other countries read views such as yours and may take them as being representative of the typical American.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you for doing your part in displaying the utter ignorance of people who desperately try to denigrate the science of evolutionary biology.

Of course, evolution is a "theory" supported by a mountain of facts & evidence. If you can't see the difference between a hypothesis supported by evidence and a myth that's over 2,000 years old NOT supported by facts, well, that's a good reason why you should have no say at all as to what is taught in a science class. It makes me cringe to think that people from other countries read views such as yours and may take them as being representative of the typical American."

Thanks for not addressing a single thing I said. Not to mention the numerous irrelevancies in your post. For instance, what does the age of the "myth" have to do with anything? And evolution, as I said, is not supported in a scientific way. You failed to actually cite anything to contradict that claim, so that, too, is irrelevant. It never ceases to amaze me how the proponents of "science" can't even muster a logical argument.

As for your claim that evolution is "supported" by evidence: What evidence? The fact that different animals have similarities? I already took care of that indirectly in my discussion of genetic similarities. Cars look similar too. Evolution must have caused them! Laughable. Even if you count that as evidence, it's circumstantial at best, and again, it fits perfectly with ID as well, so you've gained nothing. Science is about observation, repetition, and experimentation. No one has observed evolution (on a scale that ID or creationism can't account for, at any rate), no one has repeated it, and the only experiments performed have resulted in less-than-viable organisms or proto-organic chemicals. Despite years of breeding dogs for a given trait, they're still all dogs. Not cats, not any other mammal. Just dogs.

I could also argue that there is evidence for the "myth," as you put it, but this isn't really the place for it, and Lee Strobel's books would do a much better job than I would.

But if you want to actually debate the business of science, you need to come up with some concrete arguments that rebut the points Jesse and I made about the unscientific nature of evolution, not simply call us imbeciles. It doesn't help a cause to defend it merely by engaging in ad hominem.

Anonymous said...

Science can not "prove" something, it can only "disprove" something. A theory is a hypothesis put forward to try to explain observable facts.

In this regards, evolution (an often misunderstood term, but usually refers to the theory of natural selection) is a theory that attemps to explain observable facts.

As Stephen Gould pointed out, the basis of natural selection is simplicity itself - 2 undeniable facts and an inescapable conclusion:

1. Organisms vary, and these variations are inherited (at least in part) by their offspring.

2. Organisms produce more offspring than can possibly survive.

3. On average, offspring that vary most strongly in directions favoured by the environment will survive and propogate. Favourable variation will therefore accumulate in populations by natural selection.

As for facts & evidence that support biological evolutionary theory, look at fossils, bones, currently existing species and their biological systems. It's not for me hear to teach you a scientific hypothesis in it's entirety. There are books for that purpose. They are available in the "science" section of your local library or bookstore. If you were really interested in learning, you could actually read one.

To say that "creationism" is as valid a theory as "evolution" (or "natural selection") is to say that the bible does just a good a job at explaining the observable facts of variations and changes that have accrued over the years & generations in species.

Anonymous said...

In any case, whether or not you think that creationism is as valid a theory as evolution (though I'm sure that people who believe in creationsim don't view it as just a "theory"!), religion has no place in public schools. Any one in the U.S. is free to send their child to Sunday school - so why the burning need to introduce religious ideas in regular public schools? Doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

First off, where did I say anything about science "proving" anything?

Second, natural selection=/=evolution, even by a stretch. If that's all evolution meant, no one would disagree with it. But saying that the fittest organisms survive is far from saying bacteria can become humans over billions of years. That's another thing evolutionists do a lot of--equivocate their terms.

As for Gould's syllogism, Point 3 doesn't follow from Points 1 and 2. It's a non sequitur. It's a reasonable assumption, but it's still an assumption. Maybe the fittest newborn happens to get eaten by a predator before it can reproduce. Maybe it gets unlucky and falls into a pit and can't get out. Maybe...you get the idea. But even if 3 did follow from 1 and 2, you'd still be stuck with natural selection, which as I said above is nowhere near goo-to-you evolution.

As for your "facts and evidence," I've already shown why those don't matter. It's all circumstantial, and it all fits with ID just as well. And I have read up on evolution. I took college biology. I know what the theory entails. That's why I know it's not science. There is simply no solid evidence that points to evolution over any other theory.

Speaking of which, let's sidetrack a minute. To my knowledge, there are 4 possible ways life could be explained: 1) evolution, 2) design, 3) it was always here, and 4) it came from somewhere else. NONE of the above are scientific. None are, or can be, "proven" (for lack of a better word) nearly as well as, say, the theory of gravity or the germ theory of disease. The best you can do for any of them is gather circumstantial evidence.

No, my point doesn't mean the Bible "does just as good a job...." The Bible isn't meant to be a science textbook. But there's nothing in it that contradicts what we actually observe, either.

And the post after that said: "In any case, whether or not you think that creationism is as valid a theory as evolution (though I'm sure that people who believe in creationsim don't view it as just a "theory"!), religion has no place in public schools. Any one in the U.S. is free to send their child to Sunday school - so why the burning need to introduce religious ideas in regular public schools? Doesn't make sense."

I agree, except for a few small details. One is that there's nothing wrong with teaching religion in public school per se, just in the science class, but I've already said I don't want that. In a class on religion(s), or philosophy class, there's no problem, and even the Supreme Court agrees with me there. The second problem is that public schools are called public for a reason--they're publicly funded. If Mr. and Mrs. Jones want their kids schooled in Christianity, they have a few options: 1) Sunday school, 2) home Bible study, 3) private school. The first is only one day a week compared to 5, and even most Sunday schools don't really teach creationism, just the Gospel, so scratch that. The second option is great, but most parents don't have/aren't willing to spend the time, especially since it requires having your own ideas anyway. This would actually be my preferable method, but it rarely happens in practice. Third costs money. Money you've already spent on public education through taxes. See the problem? People are forced to subsidize with their tax dollars a theory they disagree with, and their options for countering it are, in order, near useless, very time consuming, and expensive. Why should a parent have to pay twice for education?

But all this assumes creationism. ID, as I've pointed out, isn't religious anyway.

Anonymous said...

In response to:
(This is scary! I don't understand how a woman could be anti-abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest. I do not want a woman who does not trust my ability to make a decision in the White House at any level.)

I agree that instances of rape and incest are terrible. However, the circumstances of conception do not diminish the value of the life of the pre-born child.

Why is it that when a pregnant woman is murdered, we consider that a double homicide, but, if a woman aborts her own child, we consider that a personal choice?

I have heard it said that you can't legislate morality, but we do. We make laws against murder, drug use, and prostitution.

It seems as though we only value the life of the pre-born if the mother does. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Scott said...

Hey guys! Whoa whoa whoa! You know what? The difference in the candidates ain't that great. You're all arguing with each other, and not about substance. Obama has slightly more left economic policies (and that could be a good thing) and McCain has slightly more right (and that could be a good thing), but really, they're not so different! Foreign policy isn't even that different. Personally though, I don't want to see McCain lead us to war and that should be enough reason for anyone not to vote for him!

Anonymous said...

"Why should a parent have to pay twice for education?"

I think that you're being disengenuous. When you say that Gould's conclusion is an "assumption" - you are factually correct. Sure it's an assumption. But the thing about "science" is that it tries to come up with the best, most reasonable assumption based upon known, observable facts. These theories are peer reviewed, discussed, & debated. Some are generally accepted by the majority of the scientific community - until & unless a more reasonable theory comes along that makes even more sense, based perhaps on new evidence.

In the field of evolutionary biology, "evolution" is indeed supported by a mountain of evidence. If you've read the books, you already know what the evidence is - you may indeed know more than I do. You can say it's an "assumption", though clearly when you use that word you are trying to lower the value of evolution as a valid conclusion, and imply that it has no more validity than creationism. Now, if I've completely misunderstood where you're coming from, then disregard my posts.

But if this is indeed what you are trying to do - as many creationists do, in fact - then here is the problem: creationism does NOT give an explanation for the known facts of species changes, mutations, and origins of life that is based on a reasonable interpretation of said observed facts. Creationism is religion (and religion, as you know, is not falsifiable and hence beyond the realm of science - which is why it has no place in a science class).

In other words, sure, evolution has not been proven - any more than the theory of relativity has been proven. But it certainly makes sense until and if it is ever disproven.

Creation can never be disproven or proven - it is a matter of faith, not a reasonable and logical attempt to understand facts. (Having said that, there are religious people who do accept evolution. Pope John Paul II accepted it, though the current one does not. Only an extreme fundamentalist would stick to a literalist reading of the Bible - of which there are apparently no short supply amongst certain Republican supporters.)

I.D. is of course religious in origin, but in any case begs the question: if some organisms are so complex that they must have been created by an intelligent designer (and there's no reason to believe that to be the case) then that begs the question: where did this designer come from?

As for why a parent should pay for extra education - it's simple. The state has an obligation to provide a secular education, not a religious one. It's not anti-religion, by the way. A public school need only teach what all kids of any religion (or no religion) need to know to be able to function in a general way, or to be able to move on to secondary education: math, reading & writing, and some basic science (physics, chemistry, biology). Come to think of it, all of this can even be taught without getting into evolution. (In fact, I never learned about evolution in high school!)

But religion is outside the jurisdiction of the state. It has no place in a public school. So any religious teachings are up to the parents to provide, either directly or through Sunday school or religious schooling.

After all, if you're going to allow religion to be taught in school, how on earth will you accomodate all the religions that exist in such a diverse populace as that of the U.S.? Will schools have to provide special classes for Jews, Muslims, Baptists, Catholics, etc? Seems like a recipe for religious tribalism and a lot of extra costs on the education system. Or, will you only teach a certain form of one religion and exclude all others? Now you have religious discrimination. The whole idea of religion in public schools is untennable in a fair, diverse society and is to be avoided.

Anitra Freeman said...

Science is not a "naturalistic religion." Science is the process of finding natural explanations for natural phenomena. I defend the right of anyone to reject that quest and to seek instead for supernatural explanations for natural phenomena. You just can't call it "science." And you can't use tax dollars to teach it, whatever you call it.

Solving physical problems in the physical world can only be done using natural science. It is critically important to all of us that children, our future citizens, be taught how to solve problems in the physical world, by using reason to seek natural explanations for natural phenomena. Alarm over having the highest officials in the land -- the President and Vice President -- misunderstand science and promote teaching that misunderstanding to our nation's children is justified. Eight years of anti-intellectual leadership is enough.

Natural explanations for natural phenomena do not automagically result in abandoning ethical values, any more than religious explanations for natural phenomena automagically result in support for ethical values. Whether God made rocks and human heads or physical processes made them does not affect the morality of throwing a rock at a human head. Ethical behavior results from an emotional commitment not to hurt people plus an intellectual understanding of the effects of throwing a rock at a human head.

We have a moral duty to use the best possible information in applying our moral values. The best possible information comes from using observation and experiment to seek natural explanations for natural processes, and constantly testing those explanations.

That is science.

Anitra Freeman said...

In reply to the latest "Anonymous":

I do appreciate that Sarah Palin, and you, are consistent in your stand against abortions. It is inconsistent to say that the fetus has full human rights from the moment of conception, and then to say that the fetus can be killed for another person's crime.

I also consider it inconsistent to say that you value the life and rights of someone you cannot see, when you do not value the life and rights of the person you can see.

I do want to save the lives of as many children as possible -- born and preborn. I also want to save the lives of mothers, and of all women. I am committed to advancing the rights of each of us -- to the fullest extent that is compatible with the equal rights of everyone else.

Making abortion illegal does not save lives. It does not promote human rights.

There are many positive actions that do both lower prenatal and postnatal mortality, and lower maternal mortality, and promote the well-being and dignity of all women. They are actions that we can all agree on, including: increased resources and medical care for women, especially pregnant women in poverty; increased safety from domestic violence; better education about and access to contraceptives.

The abortion rate went down after Roe v. Wade and the promotion of "abstinence plus" sex education in schools. Nine out of ten of the states with the lowest abortion rates are "liberal" "Blue States." The abortion rate goes up where laws restrict abortion and "abstinence only" sex education is taught. Fifteen of the sixteen states with the highest abortion rates are "conservative" "Red States."

As I said previously, the most effective application of ethical principles requires study of the actual physical facts. We both want to save children's lives (and I have no objection to calling a preborn a child). We can do that most effectively by working together on positive action for everyone; not by trying to control reproduction with legislation. That is neither liberal NOR conservative!

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Anitra, for both your posts.

Anonymous said...

I think my comment about Gould's argument was misunderstood. My point was that his conclusion does not follow in the same way that the conclusion that an apple will accelerate at 9.81 m/sec follows from the premises that gravity follows a formula we know and that we are on planet Earth. Gould's conclusion, however reasonable, is incomparably weak compared this. Nor does it even get you to the desired destination, since natural selection by no means necessitates macro-evolution.

Creationism does give an explanation for the known facts, actually. It simply isn't a naturalistic one. Why is the belief in a God that created species with inherent variability any less reasonable than the complete guess/assumption that life came about on its own by pure chance? If by "reasonable" you mean naturalistic, then you're right, but now you've stepped into metaphysics, not science, because there is no scientific basis for taking naturalism as a premise. You have to treat it as an axiom. I would also ask, what makes evolution falsifiable? Despite numerous failed predictions and an utter lack of observation of evolution occurring, no one has given up on the theory. Can you give me a concrete example of what would disprove evolution?

Funny you should mention John Paul. He wrote an encyclical "Fides et Ratio," Faith and Reason. Christian apologists have always stressed the role of reason in faith, in part because the Bible itself (I believe in Romans, and certainly in one of Peter's epistles) says that blind faith is weak faith (not those exact words, but to that effect). If my reason convinced me that my religious beliefs could not be true, I would abandon them.

Your comment about extreme fundamentalists goes too far. There is no cause for such remarks in this discussion, to my mind.

ID begs no worse a question than evolution: Where did matter come from? You must have matter to have evolution, but evolution doesn't account for the origins of matter.

And no, the state has no obligation to provide education at all. Private enterprise can take care of it just as well. Indeed, some argue that a free market in education would actually satisfy the needs of the community more efficiently. And though evolution is not "anti-religion," it does contradict some people's religious beliefs, so it may as well be.

"Come to think of it, all of this can even be taught without getting into evolution. (In fact, I never learned about evolution in high school!)"

Yes! Precisely! That is why I say it shouldn't be taught in required science classes. Given the controversy and the religious beliefs of parents who send their kids to public schools, there is no reason to teach it there. Private institutions and elective college courses I have no problem with, but mandatory or degree-requirement classes in state-funded schools are simply needless, and indeed wrong. If I have a right to my own beliefs, doesn't it follow that I have a right not to be taxed to fund the teaching of views that contradict those beliefs?

I agree that religious instruction should be left to the parents, but again, that ties into the above paragraph. Furthermore, there is no need to teach doctrine in order to provide alternatives to evolution. Simply noting that some people believe a god or gods created the world and any evidence for a younger earth or whatever goes along with that view don't entail specific religious doctrines.

Ultimately, I don't see why removing evolution from science classes is such a bid deal, and I don't think you do either. So we may not disagree as much as it seems we do.

Anitra Freeman said...

To Anonymous "Neither evolution nor creationism should be taught in science class because they are both philosophy":

1) An educated citizenry is essential to "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" -- proper purposes of our government, as stated in the Prologue to the American Constitution.

2) An educated citizen requires a basic understanding of science.

3) The right to freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment gives you liberty to reject the philosophical assumptions of naturalism. Freedom of thought does not give you the right to play basketball and insist that your team be recognized as a member of the NFL. Science is the pursuit of natural explanations of natural phenomena. If you want to play science, you have to play by them rules -- even at the Junior League level.

To Anonymous "I never learned about evolution in high school":

I am very glad you overcame the disadvantage. Many of your fellow Americans have not. We really, really have to improve public education.

We also have to bring back Civics classes.

Anonymous said...

Bush started as a governor too and look at what it got us. Eight is enough! I'm a Christian and I believe in helping people, not killing and this is what the republicans have been strategizing and doing since Bush took office. The most sickening part of it is the people who call themselves "Christian Right" bought their rhetoric hook, line and sinker. I will vote for Obama because he wants to help the poor and TEACH them how to lead a better life. Bush couldn't teach his dog a trick if he wanted to. Peace.

Anonymous said...

"Christian apologists have always stressed the role of reason in faith"

Er, yes, but you shouldn't confuse any attempt to use reason to explain faith as synonymous with religion providing a reasoned explanation of natural phenomena. In fact, as previously stated, many if not most people who may be called "religious" do NOT reject evolution as the most viable theory of the origin of species. Most religious leaders continue to regard creationism as a superstition. The Clergy Letter Project has reached its target 10,000 signatories condemning creationism as supersition. Pope John Paul II, regarded as a guarded supporter of evolution, has finally passed on, but the expected anti-evolutionary stance of his successor has yet to materialise.

A theory of evolution is a "logical guess" based on reason and observation. The educated guess of Darwin continues to be supported the more we discover. (For example, Darwin argued strongly in Origin of Species transitional fossils should exist. He defined these as organisms showing characteristics of several separate modern groups. Testable predictions such as this are the defining characteristic of post-enlightenment science1. Since Darwin published his theory, many transitional fossils have been discovered, and this is regarded by many scientists as very strong evidence that Darwin was correct.)

A religious explanation is doctrine based on old stories. Creationism at best belongs in a religious philosophy class. Evolution belongs in a science class.

Anonymous said...

From the Clergy Letter Project:

An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science
from American Christian Clergy

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.

( http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/religion_science_collaboration.htm )

DMn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DMn said...

McCain's selection of Sarah Palin marks him clearly as unconcerned with our country's future.

McCain's choice of a former pageant contestant whose greatest experience is as a PTA member, denotes at best self-concerned irresponsibility. Should something happen to him, this is honestly who he thinks would be the best leader for our nation? Someone who's even more extreme than him, who disregards separation of church and state in favor of teaching Creationism in public schools, and takes a more radical stance on abortion than a conservative male Republican?

If this VP candidate sways the disgruntled Hilary voters to his ticket, then the women of this country are slumped back not just one century but two - to a time when most women in America were illiterate, lacking any analytical training. And worse, if women blindly support a candidate because of gender, they practice a shallow bigotry. Such support would mean the majority of our U.S. women have either a tragic ignorance or shameful disregard for the sacrifices of all the heroines of the past who gave over their comfort, their safety, and sometimes their lives, so that we would be free to impact our own situation, to realize our potential, to contribute as we choose.

The irony is that while Sarah Palin benefits from these sacrifices now more than most American women, she wishes to stand on the backs of our saviors to keep others down. There is no surer factor for a woman living an impoverished life than early motherhood.

Instead of progress, Sarah Palin's position indicates women in this country are this very day considered such simpletons that we'd fall for this ploy - that we'd sooner have a moment of false pride at the expense of our daughters' futures, that we're fools enough to prop a crowned Palin up on our shoulders while she whips away our pride and possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Picking Palin, who's associated with with Joel's Army and obviously confused about the difference between religion and science, is yet another choice of party over country.

frogcatcher912 said...

Sarah Palin gave birth to a baby with Down's Syndrome at the age of 44.

Is anyone else appalled at this?

The risk of giving birth to a baby with Down's Syndrome is extremely high in women over 40 (and even higher when the father is also over 40).
http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20030701/dad-age-down-syndrome

Sarah Palin "opposes the use of birth control pills and condoms even among married couples".

I am disgusted by this irresponsible behaviour. To give birth at age 44 to a baby with Down's because you refuse to use birth control inexcusable. Ignoring the dangers that you expose yourself and your baby to by refusing to use birth control after 40 is negligent and careless. To believe that a woman like this has the opportunity to become Vice President of the United States of America in 2008 makes me ill.

Does anyone else share this opinion?

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone else share this opinion?"

Yes. She has no business helping to form government policy.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone else share this opinion?"
Absolutely! I can't believe that someone would actually be so inhumane to believe (and pass legislation!) that a woman who is raped should be forced by law to carry that fetus to term. It's unspeakably psychologically cruel and shows a lack of empathy and circumspection that should be required of all civic leaders. Birth control is not just a right, it's a MUST. When are the ignorant and stupid people who pose as "moralists" wake up and realize that this planet needs LESS people, not more?

I was actually debating voting for McCain, as I don't love Obama (don't hate him either, though), but this has sealed the deal.. The choice of this woman shows just what he thinks of women in the US. Does he really think we're stupid enough to want to vote for him simply because the ignorant, narrow-minded idiot he's chosen is female? That, if anything, tells me he's not ready to lead a country as diverse and troubled as ours.

Bruce Carr said...

Replacing science with cretinationism would be as destructive to this country as replacing our military's firearms of all types with bronze swords, and the Navy's ships with King Solomon's Navy. As far as that goes, if the Israelites' knowledge base is good enough to replace science in American classrooms, it's good enough to defend this country.
Creationism of any flavor is nothing more than the ignorant (and wrong) guesses of ignorant Bronze-Age sheepherders given a "scientific" veneer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Er, yes, but you shouldn't confuse any attempt to use reason to explain faith as synonymous with religion providing a reasoned explanation of natural phenomena."

The one entails the other, at least to an extent. In order to justify faith, one needs to show that that faith at a minimum does not contradict natural phenomena and reasoned extrapolations therefrom. In other words, if I was convinced that evolution was true, I'd consider the Bible (all of it) worthless. If an omnipotent, omniscient God can't do a better job of explaining origins than that, then all attempts to know are hopeless.

And who are "most religious leaders" who regard creationism as superstition? By the way, you're still using the narrow meaning of creationism by tying it directly to the Bible, when I've already said that it needn't be so tied. ID doesn't even claim religious implications. I still haven't heard ANY arguments regarding ID. Nor have I heard any refutation of my point about evolution not being scientific.

And Darwin's guesses are only supported in the sense that they are still not inconsistent with what we know, but many ID scientists would dispute even that on the basis of specified and irreducible complexity. As for his predictions regarding transition fossils, I don't know which ones you're referring to, but many of the ones previously touted have been abandoned as transitional (e.g. archeopteryx, neanderthal). But even if we take all of them, we still have tremendous gaps unaccounted for. Let alone the worthlessness of dating fossils. Coelocanths were supposed to have died out 70 million years ago, but they found living ones off of Madagascar in recent times. So we obviously can't prove anything regarding when creatures came into existence or died out. Pardon me for disagreeing with the establishment, but that doesn't belong in a science class at all.

And the next post:

And this letter proves...what? Those clergy are not science experts, nor do they represent all (or even necessarily most) Christians. Furthermore, the letter it self is full of fallacies. The most egregious example:

"To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris."

Who the blazes argues that "God's loving plan...precludes the full employment...of reason"?

Further, I would argue that any reading of Genesis that incorporates evolution destroys the foundation for the Gospel, but that's neither here nor there.

But even worse is their statement that evolution is "foundational" and the basis of "much of human knowledge and achievement." Balderdash. No "achievements" have ever come out of evolution except in the field of evolutionary biology, which don't exactly benefit mankind in a practical way. They are academic in nature only. Furthermore, it is obviously not foundational because no knowledge of it is needed to understand any other aspect of biology.

But this has already been implicitly admitted:

"Come to think of it, all of this can even be taught without getting into evolution. (In fact, I never learned about evolution in high school!)"

So as far as I'm concerned, that letter can make it into the rubbish heap.

And I'm still waiting for some substantive arguments on whether evolution actually is science.

And if we ever resolve that, then we can get into whether teaching creationism is actually unconstitutional (hint: it isn't).

Anitra Freeman said...

"In other words, if I was convinced that evolution was true, I'd consider the Bible (all of it) worthless. If an omnipotent, omniscient God can't do a better job of explaining origins than that, then all attempts to know are hopeless."

You describe very clearly the basic motivation of people still clinging to Creationism/Intelligent Design. You have also made it clear that you are a very intelligent and highly literate individual; quite intelligent and literate enough that if you were at all interested in really understanding natural science and the theory of evolution, you would have done so already.

There is, really, no purpose in discussing science and evolution with you, if you believe that changing your mind about science and evolution means abandoning every shred of faith, meaning, and morality in your life.

The majority of Christians do not have the same conflict, because we do not think that God gave us scripture to tell us how to build bridges, identify bacteria, and split the atom. God gave us a universe that operates on consistent natural law which can be observed and predicted, so that we can use our independent reason to solve problems of biology, physics, and chemistry. These natural laws work the same for all of us independent of belief, independent of our relationship to God.

The Bible itself says that the most important central issues, in the sight of God, are "to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"; "love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself"; live a life that demonstrates "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Those principles are the same whether humans were evolved out of clay or were hand-shaped from it. They are the same whether the lights in the sky are stars or holes in crystal spheres. They are the same whether apples fall down or up.

I place my faith in a just and loving God, and a just and loving God would not make salvation dependent on what a person understands about science. Are all of the good Christians who held to the phlogiston theory of fire damned to hell? Yet even a newborn baby can know love, and according to John, "he who knows love, knows God." What the newborn knows about science will grow and change all life long, yet love stay eternal.

Anonymous said...

back to the choice of Palin.I am a pro-choice, in fact I’m not embarrassed to say pro-abortion, liberal democrat who likes Mc Cain personally (like I did Dole) but could never envision voting for him on economic policy alone. I don’t like to think of myself as a single-issue voter, but I also would never ever vote for anyone who would restrict abortion. I don’t think 0.1% of the population will be anything but miserable by the end of this century, as a result of irrevocable harm people -- far far too many people, disproportionately Americans, have done to this planet. And thus no one should bring any more children that don’t really want that child -period.

Again to be honest, I have never felt as negative about any public official as I do GWBush and I didn’t like him when he was Gov of Texas. I’ve also been surprised and disgusted this last 8 years- all this crap about religion and god --where did this come from. (Many of my friends and relatives are practicing Catholics and they no more connect with these "Christian " views than I do!”). I want to be a citizen of a moral country –but the more someone professes how religious they are. Makes me want to gag. I certainly would vote for an atheist-- I'd have voted for Thomas Jefferson. The more politicians profess religion the less I respect any of them. Give me a thoughtful, educated, public moral, person who keeps their religious beliefs to themselves –not to ashamed of, but it should help form you moral center but not be separate persona. !

That said. I think the choice of Palin is great cause it helps the democrats. Looks like McCain didn’t want a wing man- wanted poster child for the religious right who have co-Opted that party—and boy they got it, another religious “closet case”

AS for idea of: personal life …I think these questions should be asked-because

1. She’s using one “child” who is going into he military for her benefit… (Most people I know would be hoping their child was going to college at this age) doesn’t look like it’s in the future for at least the first 2…

2. Its people like her that give all the rights of an adult –when it comes to the decision of whether or not to keep a baby – to not only 17 years olds- but 10 year olds!! A 10 year murders someone, they are judged as whether they an be tried as an adult –but – a baby – a ten year old gets to make the decision, even if someone else will have to care for it

3. The Girl’s 17 - and apparently making the decision not to get married –till...what - the new American tradition –wait till after the baby weight’s gone so can have white wedding?

4. I want a statement that meshes opposing sex education in schools, including all access to contraceptive information for adolescents and pushing abstinence only public stance—and her daughter's...And her own-- obvious lapses. (IN fact explain to me why most health insurance covers Viagra and few cover birth control?) Such as “I, like many parents was upset and disappointed that my child choose this path, even after I told her my own story. … And although in our case it didn’t work out, I still believe in the basics of abstinence only education” (How someone gets that out of his or her mouth, I don’t know) And then she has to go ahead and tell us how she thinks that policy might work better so that we reduce the 38% of births to single women, most of whom are not financially secure to “go it alone”.

She’s another one of these social conservatives who has chosen between several possibilities, and wants to limit the choices for others. They think know whets best for everyone,

Asking for an explanation of these facts is a far cry from when Bush and Rove planted FALSE rumors about McCain’s adopted (truly a child) child, during the 200 SC primary. ,

5. I want to know how she meshes her anti corruption stance with her trying to get her sister’s ex fired. And when mayor, trying to fire a librarian who refused to cooperate in banning books from the public library. These are fair ?s.

6. Change my evaluation that her standing up to big oil was so only so the state of Alaska could destroy and rape and pillage its own environment. There hasn’t been an environmentally sensitive governor of Alaska, or Maine for years. Like Texans—got so much land they feel they can do anything with it.

7. Will ignore the stupidly of wanting to present creationism in schoolsas anything more than a definition,,,, But not accepting global warming as a scientific fact …hmmm.that's toug. I don't get a warm and fuzzy, she's the loving mother of four ..from someone who oks shooting wolves from planes so there are a few more moose for her to shoot.

8. Explain to me how being a mayor of Podunk Ville and 2 years as governor of # 47 Th population means you could be president. Yah, COULD be , I COULD be, SHOULD be? She would have been laughable as a candidate for president, thus she is laughable as a VP choice. It is fun listening to the Republican pundits how they can keep a straight face praising the choice --amazing. .

9. I have no problems with her choosing to keep the last baby, as long as she can mesh that with Republican ideals of minimal public assistance to the disabled… I want to know she made this decision realizing it might be a financial drain on THEM. She also has to come up with a way to cover the needs of the several hundred thousand disabled children that would be born that are not, because abortion is legal. Maybe can be combined with support of the disabled military personnel,

10. This hockey mom crap... someone " we” can connect with …getting a déjà vu about Bush and – the idea he was someone you could have a beer with (if he wasn’t a dry drunk). I want someone to be president that is a little above average, I’d rather they’d be obviously smart, educated, and easily connect with heads of state… rather than easily blend in to the shoppers at Wal-Mart. Besides some of us, in fact a lot of us voters are highly educated sophisticated people I actually own a gun - A gun. . But I’d also love these NRA members to discuss the dramatic increase in killing of police officers since GWB let the assault weapon ban lapse

Anonymous said...

"Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."

There are no "sides" to this!
Don’t be afraid of information? What a crock! So ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

McCain's choice of VP turned him into a hypocrite.
Obama's inexperienced? How about your VP pick? And don't give me that crap about how she's had "executive epxerience" 20 months of the 47th state by population, really?

Then people say she's got foreign policy experience because she's living in a state near Russia. Last time I checked she runs one of the smallest National Gaurd units and the Constituion specifically says that states cannot engage in foreign policy with other countries, that's the Feds job.

Then she spends so much money on finding oil in Alaska. You're not helping the people of the future. They're going to inherit a world full of noxious gases and with a dependency on an irreplaceable energy resource.

Then McCain has the whole nuclear energy policy. Do you know what getting nuclear energy leaves behind? Nuclear WASTE, which takes millions of years to break down. I don't want to leave that for my kids.

Then Palin claims Obama wants to raise taxes. Actually after taxes while Obama's plan leaves families with 5% more of their own money, McCain leavs them with only 3%. Either way Palin you're a liar.

Anonymous said...

If is impossible to separate ones beliefs from ones decisions. Someone who can believe in Creationism has the ability to blindly ignore irrefutable evidence and disregard scientific process. That is extremely dangerous for a person in a position of power. Do not elect this nut case!!!

Anonymous said...

Reverend AtheiStar said...
Beliefs aren't choices. You do not choose to be an Atheist any more than you choose to be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, Jew or Zoroastrian.....wow you really sound like a idiot.....so are you saying that we have no choices in our life in what we believe in.....Hmmmm does that mean that along with religions that murderers and rapists have a right to do so also......because they believe that that victim deserved it....so your brother that murdered or your sister that was raped needs to just get over it becsuse, well the murderer believed that they had NO CHOICE in what they was about to do....that is the dumbest thing I have ever herd....you always have a choice in all you decisions....including religion....you choose to adopt it or not you choose God Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you through your life....or you choose to turn your head away from Him and well I know the the answer of where you will spend eternity...DO YOU...

Anonymous said...

Anitra Freeman wrote:

"There is, really, no purpose in discussing science and evolution with you, if you believe that changing your mind about science and evolution means abandoning every shred of faith, meaning, and morality in your life."

Where did I say that? I said I would toss the Bible, not "every shred of faith, meaning, and morality." I might become a Hindu, for example. The point is that evolution is inconsistent with what I believe is the only rational interpretation of the Bible.

God didn't give scripture to tell us how to build bridges; you're right there. But he did give us scripture to inform us, and the same reason he gave us is also to be used in interpreting scripture. The way we do that is by using principles of interpretation. These include such obvious notions that there should be no self-contradictions in a document, unless there is no other possible interpretation. By starting with this basic principle, we can reason to many other conclusions.

For example, the Bible tells us that God doesn't lie. That being true, we should interpret the rest of scripture in such a way that nothing God says turns out to be false. Paul, in Timothy, I believe, tells us that all scripture (which to him meant the Old Testament) is "God-breathed," or what we today would call divinely inspired. So nothing in the Old Testament should turn out to be false. In Genesis 1, we have a narrative of creation. It tells us what God created, on what days, and in what order. If evolutionists are true, this is not the case, but rather all things came into being in a different order, over eons, by chance.

So now we have three possibilities. One is that Genesis 1 is the true account, evolutionary theory notwithstanding. Second is that evolution is true, and Genesis is just flat wrong. Third is that Genesis should not be taken literally, and therefore it doesn't matter what evolutionary theory says. My contention is that this last possibility is manifestly wrong.

My reason for saying that is because of the nature of the language in Genesis 1. Constant references are made to "evening,
" "morning," and "days" preceded by ordinal numbers. Now, if a rational author in today's world, let alone an omniscient/omnipotent deity, wanted to make a document more obviously literal, how would he go about doing it? Or conversely, how could you make a non-literal interpretation any more strained? The language militates violently against a non-literal interpretation. God couldn't have been more of a blunderer if he really wanted us to take those verses figuratively.

So there's no good reason to take Genesis figuratively. But not only that, there is also the problem of subsequent citations of this history. The Mosaic law cites God's resting on the seventh day as the basis for the sabbath. Jesus himself quotes Genesis regarding marriage ("male and female made he them"). Most important of all, however, is that the very reason for Jesus coming into the world is the Fall in the Garden. Without that pivotal event, why the need for a savior at all?

I know this seems way off topic in this blog, but it really isn't. I'm showing why I think evolution violates the First Amendment just as much as teaching creationism. Evolution contradicts Genesis by a literal reading, and in my view that is the only reading Genesis deserves. Because of this, force-feeding evolution to kids who don't even know how to think independently infringes just as much on their religious rights as does teaching creationism (NOT to be confused with a specific religion, since many hold that a god or gods created the world) to atheists. So until evolution is proven (which it can never be, unless someone invents a time machine), teaching it is just as much a violation of the First Amendment in my mind.


P.S.: Anonymous under Anitra, Jefferson wasn't an atheist, he was a deist. You may have known that, but the way you wrote your sentence left it unclear.

P.P.S.: Second to last anonymous said: :If is impossible to separate ones beliefs from ones decisions. Someone who can believe in Creationism has the ability to blindly ignore irrefutable evidence and disregard scientific process. That is extremely dangerous for a person in a position of power. Do not elect this nut case!!!"

Question begging to the hilt. What's "irrefutable" about evolution? Nothing. Evolution CAN'T be proven, so there is no cause to attack someone's character based on their belief in creationism. Furthermore, by doing so you accuse 99% of the human race, because even most evolutionists believe in a god of some kind (e.g. Kenneth Miller, a Catholic). Why, I wonder?

eduardo said...

Regarding evolution and creation: Our DNA contains strong evidence for evolution. It is >95% identical to that of chimps and other mammals. Sure God could have created it that way. It is also possible that gravity is a myth and God's hand pulls apples off trees one by one. That is as plausible and well supported as Biblical creationism.

Regarding Sarah Palin: She is no dummy. I think she could even be a great leader. All this debate about teen pregnancy, downs syndrome, and the elite media, however, is a distraction from our real job as citizens. IS SHE & MCCAIN GOING TO DO WHAT THE US NEEDS? She seems to be in the pocket of the oil industry and they both support the Bush economic model of huge tax cuts for the rich and tiny cuts for the poor, while simultaneously dismantling government's ability to help the poor. Finally they are pro-life and anti-choice. This may be moral high ground, but it is anti-american. Of course we should do everything to prevent abortion ...except banning it.

What makes America great is the fact that individuals have the freedom to make up their own minds about how to live their own lives. Take that away with laws, domestic surveillance or the claim that "we are in a war" and you throw out the baby with the bath water.

Chimera said...

"...the Bible tells us that God doesn't lie. That being true..."

Whoa, dere! 'Splain that, please.

Like, how to you get that was is printed is automatically true?

Anitra Freeman said...

But he did give us scripture to inform us, and the same reason he gave us is also to be used in interpreting scripture. The way we do that is by using principles of interpretation.

Informing us about spiritual matters and informing us about scientific matters are two different types of information. Science can describe human biology; science cannot define human purpose.

Certainly, we need to use reason to apply spiritual truths to physical life. Expecting the word of God to be literally factual and scientifically accurate is a modern attitude, however; not one that ancient Jews, or Jesus, shared.

I go by the principle that the spirit of God is consistent, that all verses in scripture must be understood in relation to the central spirit:
* Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
* Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, and love thy neighbor as yourself.
* Test the spirit by its fruits.

If what a verse seems to say contradicts that central spirit, my understanding is wrong. If what a verse seems to say is irrelevant to that central spirit, my understanding is wrong.

The relevant message I see in the creation story is that God is intimately involved with our physical lives; the physical world is important to God. Our God is not an alien, distant God. How many days it took to create plants and fish and birds, in what order they were created and by what process, is irrelevant to the practice of love, justice, and mercy. Those principles will stay eternal no matter how science and politics change.

You and I may disagree on Biblical interpretation; we may even have a long and rewarding discussion about it. Our opinions on the Bible, however, are irrelevant to astronomy, physics, biology, or any other branch of science. You do not have to agree with the assumptions of naturalism in order to live a good life. You do have to restrict scientific inquiry to natural explanations for natural phenomena in order to do science.

Our opinions on the Bible are also irrelevant to government policies. Like it, lump it, or dip it in chocolate, we live in a world in which not everybody agrees on the same religion. Because we have to all live under the same laws, we cannot base those laws on religious arguments.

A law based on the authority of God would only be binding on the people who acknowledged the authority of that God. For us all to live under the same law, that law must be based on common values and commonly observable reason and evidence.

Anitra Freeman said...

Eduardo, I agree with you that evolution is science and that the principles of liberty that America is founded on sharply limit the morality we can impose on one another by force.

But please, do not treat evolution and creationism as competing theories. That's like pronouncing whether the baseball pitcher or the football tosser made a hole in one. It's comparing apples to orangutangs.

"God created it that way" is not a scientific theory, period. Science is the pursuit of natural explanations for natural phenomena. You use observation to collect evidence, formulate theories to explain the evidence, make predictions on the basis of the theory, and then try to falsify the predictions.

"God created it that way" is not a theory. It does not explain anything. No predictions can be based on it, therefore it cannot be tested. It does not open up any new areas of scientific exploration. Engaging in scientific debate about it is calling it science, and it isn't. It is not good science and it is not bad science, it just plain is not science.

And I consider it very relevant to the election that McCain and Palin do regard it as a scientific theory. Eight years of government by ignorance is enough!

Anonymous said...

Eduardo said:

"Our DNA contains strong evidence for evolution. It is >95% identical to that of chimps and other mammals. Sure God could have created it that way. It is also possible that gravity is a myth and God's hand pulls apples off trees one by one. That is as plausible and well supported as Biblical creationism."

I've already covered this DNA argument, but I may as well chip in some more. The similarity is shrinking the more scientists discover, because they're beginning to realize that more DNA strands actually make a difference. Further, the argument is utterly useless because the differences among humans are just as great as those between humans and chimps! Oh, and here's one better: we share 50% of our DNA with...drum roll...bananas! The argument from genetic similarity is so full of holes it's ridiculous.

As for gravity, why is it we believe it's a natural force as opposed to God doing it? Because the mind expects, and searches for, order. Order independent of a divine whim. Now, it's perfectly possible, as you say, that God is simply doing everything in such a way as to make it look like there is an orderly process occurring, but our mind rebels at this because we also want things to be simple, parsimonious. There is nothing parsimonious about God doing every little thing. It makes much more sense that a creator would set up the universe so that it would run on its own. It is for this reason that we accept the heliocentric view of the solar system. We still can't prove it beyond all doubt, but it's the simplest, most elegant explanation available. Evolution is none of these things. It is not ordered; it is based entirely on chance. It is not elegant; it is wasteful. One might argue that it is simple because it negates the need for a creator, but it simultaneously begs numerous other questions about origins that cannot be answered. So your analogy fails.

Chimera said:

"Whoa, dere! 'Splain that, please.

Like, how to you get that was is printed is automatically true?"

I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently I need to clarify. What I meant by that was that if we are taking the Bible as true, then that is one conclusion that follows. Obviously, there is no sense interpreting a document we assume not to be true before we even read it, and interpretation was the context of that quote. I was merely showing how certain principles of interpretation lead to certain conclusions, based on the assumption that the Bible is true. Obviously, you don't have to assume that, but I was addressing my comment to Anitra, who apparently does believe it.


Speaking of Anitra:

"Certainly, we need to use reason to apply spiritual truths to physical life. Expecting the word of God to be literally factual and scientifically accurate is a modern attitude, however; not one that ancient Jews, or Jesus, shared."

Prove that to me. Given that Jesus' words are all in the Gospels, that shouldn't be hard if you're right. But as I've shown, Jesus in fact quotes Genesis, which, if anything, implies that he believed in its accuracy. Not only that, but he also said "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Just above that, he said he came to fulfill the prophets. The "law" and the "prophets" are the two basic divisions of the Old Testament, so when he used those terms, he basically covered the whole Hebrew scripture. How can he say those things if they aren't really accurate?

"How many days it took to create plants and fish and birds, in what order they were created and by what process, is irrelevant to the practice of love, justice, and mercy."

Really? So the fact that, according to evolution, animals were suffering and dying for millions, nay, billions of years before man even came into existence, doesn't bother your moral sensibilities? What is loving, just, or merciful about that? Moreover, prophecies regarding the "kingdom" speak of the lamb laying down with the lion and other such circumstances. Why would that be the goal if that was never the case before? And even worse, how could God call creation "very good" at the end of the first six stages of creation if they encompassed so much death?

"Our opinions on the Bible, however, are irrelevant to astronomy, physics, biology, or any other branch of science."

Obviously mine are relevant, or haven't you noticed that yet? At least, they are relevant in the sense that I think one belief makes the other incoherent as far as evolution is concerned. They are only irrelevant in the sense that I can do science without looking to the Bible for guidance.

"You do have to restrict scientific inquiry to natural explanations for natural phenomena in order to do science."

Yes, and you must restrict it to what is observable, repeatable, and testable in the present. History is not science, and for the same reason neither is evolutionary theory, or rather hypothesis.

I would simply add one more principle to your list regarding interpretation: "Let God be true and every man a liar." Man is fallible at best, evil at worst. God is true always. Until my own reason convinces me that true science conflicts with any rational reading of scripture, I'll choose God over all the experts in the world. Once I'm convinced otherwise, though, the Bible is a goner. I'll move to some other religion, because in my mind there is no basis for knowledge apart from some sort of creator. If all religions are proven wrong by science, then I give up knowing anything. Let us eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.

Anonymous said...

There are too many different peoples and cultures living here in the us. That is why we have the division of Church and state.
I want to see an end to the wars we are in. Thousands of children, mothers, grandparents, are dyeing everyday in Iraq. We too have lost thousands of soldiers to this stupid war. Palin and McCain are supported by the war companies- because we use so much oil for the war! The longer we stay at war the more money they make. Sarah Palin thinks the war against Iraq is part of "Gods plan." (Check out You tube)
Personally, I don't think God would ever ask us or want us to kill another people. Obama may not be my ideal choice but to me between him and McCain the choice is a no brainer. McCain and Palin will not only contiue the war I think they will send us to Iran.
Peace

Anonymous said...

I think the most appropriate word for this pit bull with lipstick is "hypocrite". She was for earmarks when it was for her tiny town, for "the bridge from nowhere" before it was called that, and has NO relevant foreign policy experience. And, as a woman with a Ph.D. in Biology, it is incredibly insulting to say she knows anything at all about science. Replacing embryonic stem cell research with research on wisdom teeth? Please!!!

Anitra Freeman said...

In the real life of imperfect human beings in an imperfect universe, we just aren't all going to agree on everything, ever. The most important question to human survival and the functioning of a human society is not, actually, "What is right?" It is, "How do we live and work together when we disagree on what is right?"

Everybody has principles that we cannot compromise on. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech means we cannot ask anyone to give up their absolutes; it also means that we all have to respect the right of others to absolutes that are equally important to them.

In the conflict between the theory of evolution and the "theory of intelligent design" we do not have to ask either side to abandon our principles or call something true that we do not believe. Supporters of the theory of intelligent design have every freedom to promote it -- in church, and in every other public forum of religious discussion.

Whether or not the theory of evolution contradicts fundamentals of Christian faith or falsifies Genesis is a religious discussion. It is not a scientific or political discussion.

Science class is for teaching science. There are many historical sciences in which laboratory experiment is not practical, and testing is made by predicting "if this is so then we will find that such is so" and then we go look. Scientific claims gain increasing validity as they stand up to increasing numbers of independent tests, and the theory of evolution has stood up to independent test. The scientist who manages to falsify the theory of evolution and replace it with a sounder theory, that explains and predicts even more, will become famous. If creationists want to make it into science class, that's the line to pursue.

Emily J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Aw, nicely put Anita! Thanks a lot.

Two things 1) I don't see why evolution should be a threat to the Christian religion/faith. The idea that they can't coexist seems very arbitrary. Who are we to say that God's seven days are literal human days or that He didn't want to create His creatures through a pretty brilliant natural process. Creationism is a big red herring, and it's unfortunate that it has to take up so much of our nation's mental energy.

2) Discussing creationism if it comes up in a science classroom makes perfect sense assuming that you have a sophisticated teacher and students who understand that cultural issues do play into science (for example, continental drift was denied for years because it didn't intuitively make sense to people). But it should be a brief discussion that does not detract from the main subject, and, honestly, I haven't been in many middle school or high school classrooms that could maturely handle such a nuanced discussion. A parallel is discussing transubstantiation in chemistry class---it would be theoretically interesting, but should NOT hijack the main content of the course, and if it is determined that transubstantiation is scientifically impossible, then that should not affect anyone's faith.

Anonymous said...

Anitra said:

"In the real life of imperfect human beings in an imperfect universe, we just aren't all going to agree on everything, ever."

Exactly. Which is why I shouldn't have to subsidize a theory that can never be substantiated beyond a guess.

Your comments regarding ID suggest that it is purely a religious theory, but I've already stated that there are ATHEISTS in the movement.

And you're right--whether evolution contradicts Genesis is a religious question, but by teaching it in publicly funded classrooms without any disclaimer, you're basically saying that religious question has been answered. Need I repeat that this is at public expense?

And I'll ask you like I asked someone else: How can you falsify evolution? And it's also not true that evolution has a great record of standing up to independent tests, as you put it. It's been repeatedly modified to fit new facts. It constantly claims that such-and-such organism lived during this time span, but then we find a fossil in a stratum that discredits that earlier belief. Furthermore, we know there are problems with dating methods. There is nothing like the amount of success in evolution as there is for any other major theory (gravity, germ theory of disease, you name it).

You also said that there are "many historical sciences." Like? Name one, apart from evolution.

Anonymous under Emily J. said:

"Who are we to say that God's seven days are literal human days or that He didn't want to create His creatures through a pretty brilliant natural process."

You've got it backwards; it's more like this: Who are we to say that God didn't create the world in 7 literal days, since he certainly said so? But that's a minor issue. We know there are people who believe Genesis is literal, and therefore they do see a contradiction with evolution, reasonable or not. This just takes us right back to what I just replied to Anitra: By teaching a theory that cannot be proven or even substantiated in any significant way beyond mere guesswork, we're contradicting people's religious beliefs with taxpayer money.

So far, no one who has argued with me has contradicted a single thing I've said, as far as I can tell. Until someone shows me how history can be science, I rest my case.

Anitra Freeman said...

"I don't see why evolution should be a threat to the Christian religion/faith."

A lot of us Christians don't see it, Emily. Some, like Anonymous, do. Neither you nor I can tell him what does or does not conflict with his faith -- it's his faith.

"Discussing creationism if it comes up" -- at one point Sarah Palin said that all she was recommending was that if a student brought up creationism it could be discussed. I hope it would be. If somebody's Aunt Hilda tells him that there is astrology has a real scientific basis, I hope he asks about it in school; that's a teaching moment, a chance to examine what "science" is.

Anonymous Creationist, when your car needs repair do you take it to a faith healer? After repairing your car, does the auto mechanic follow you everywhere?

Science uses methodological naturalism because methodological naturalism is the most workable tool for doing science. That does not mean that every scientist, or every student of science, is limited to the assumptions of naturalism for ever and ever.

Besides being the best tool for the job, methodological naturalism does not introduce any more assumptions than every one of us, including you, use every day:
* There is a reality that is what it is no matter what any of us think about it;
* We all live in the same reality and all of us perceive it to at least some extent;
* We can determine patterns in reality and make predictions on the basis of those patterns.

You cannot function without those assumptions, and you can't prove any of them. They are not supported by evidence; they are the starting point from which all evidence is evaluated.

Religious systems do not replace those assumptions, they only add to them. Therefore there is no equivalence between "taking science on faith" or "taking the Bible on faith." You and the scientists doing evolutionary biology are already sharing the same assumptions. It is impossible to eliminate those assumptions and teach any body of knowledge whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

A vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for 4 more years of faith above reason, power above populace, prejudice above tolerance, arrogance above diplomacy, hypocrisy above true morality... Remember, it's not what you profess to be that's important, but rather what you are! The new Republican doctrine combines church and state ("God's will", "God's wrath") to justify policy. It favors the wealthy (greatest subsidies and tax breaks) over the working class and poor (lower wages, inflation, fewer social programs). It promotes division and bias amongst the populace (more guns, either church-goer or hedonist, ban gay marriage, Christian vs. Muslim). It assumes unilateral power for the USA in a world of 195 different countries, where "we (America) can do no wrong". It condemns homosexuality (how many Republican officials got caught-up in gay sex scandals these past few years?), preaches abstinence over education (can you say "naive"? e.g. Bristol Palin?), promotes supply-side economics (i.e. give the rich more and hope they feel generous...the rest of us are like that homeless man begging for some change at the stoplight), would drill in the middle of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon to make a buck, and feel no guilt in shooting wolves, polar bears, clubbing seals, and so on. After all, "all God's children" clearly implies rich, white American humans only. The rest of this planet's living creatures are merely a scourge on the Earth and deserve their God-given place as fodder for "His chosen few". God bless us all if we get 4 more years of this. Vote Obama/Biden people...it's a no-brainer!

Anonymous said...

Anitra, none of your most recent post addresses how anything in history can be studied scientifically, so you still haven't even begun to argue with me. However, I would like to point out a couple of things.

Methodological naturalism is the best tool for doing science, I'll grant, but again, you're assuming you can even apply that to history. If we could, history itself would be another scientific enterprise, but it's not, unless things have changed since I graduated college.

You're also leaving out some crucial stuff in your three assumptions. First of all, "patterns" aren't the only thing scientists look for; they also look for cause/effect relationships. But those can't be applied to evolution, either, because we have no way to even begin to determine what is a cause and what is an effect.

Furthermore, I have never made an argument that those assumptions can, or should, be done away with, as you seem to imply with your final paragraph. The problem is, those assumptions can't get us to evolution. They can get us to gravity. Evolution can only be gotten to scientifically if we start with the added, unnecessary premise that the physical world is all there is; no transcendent beings whatsoever. Theories of gravity, germs, and other scientific subjects do not require this added premise. Evolution requires it because it is highly improbable, totally baseless in terms of experiment/observation, and, once again, historical. It is the most likely naturalistic explanation, but so what? Just because it's the most likely explanation that excludes the supernatural doesn't de facto make it science.


Anonymous below Anitra:

I actually agree with most of what you say, but I think the Dems are just as bad. My reason is because they also have a faith--a faith in the state, the institution with the highest rate of failure in history. I'm not voting for either party, and probably never will.

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Rob said...

good post

Chus said...

Funny!: Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

muchgooder said...

Please, I'm begging you... leave religion out of government. Our government was NOT founded on christian "values". http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html Our contry was founded on principles that were found at the heart of the englightment (read: real thought) period in Europe. Why can't people just worship at home? You have no idea what it is like to have this stuff shoved down our throats. Atheists are just striving to enjoy life rather than waiting for some other afterlife. We're not trying to tell you that your religion is wrong, we're just trying to get an honest debate about all of the bigotry, hatred and war that has been caused by religious "enthusiasm" since the beginning of time.

The true irony in all of this is that the pilgrims fled to this country to escape the other christians in Europe. This pattern has happened over and over and over in history. And you wonder why we want it left out of government now? Our founding fathers saw this importance in this.

http://atheistblogger.com/2008/02/15/101-atheist-quotes/

http://www.muchgooder.com/home/adam.nsf/LookupContentByKey/atheism_101

Anonymous said...

In truth, Sarah Palin may not be qualified to lead, however, I take offense to the anonymous who uses her decision to have a Down Syndrome baby after 40 as the reasoning. If we are pro-choice, shouldn't we be pro-choice for every woman? We certainly become offended when those right-winged women slinging criticisms our way if we chose to have an abortion. We each live with the outcomes of the decisions that we make. She has chosen a difficult road.

Anonymous said...

I know there are alot of women out there who would like to vote for Sarah Palin just because she is a woman, or her beliefs. There is simply more to this. She is not educated, or intelligent enough to run our country. God forbid something happen to McCain, and we would be left with her running our country. She does seem to be a good mom, and maybe does a good job in Alaska, but she is out of her league running for Vice President of this fine country. Yes, there is a need for change but she is not the person for the job.

Anonymous said...

Ok.... Because a country is founded by christian people doesnt mean it was founded by christian values...
IT IS FOUNDED ON EVERYONES VALUES... and religious freedom is one of them.. and having to obey the govenment of a religious based country is breaking the right to religious freedom.. if my religious says i can have an abortion let me...

what you are talking about is a THEOCRACY...

ITS NOT A DEMOCRACY ANYMORE ANYWAYS..
we dont need people fucking it up anymore by changing it to being some christian run country

Religion is litterally the last thing that the country would need.

Our founding fathers also grew MARIJUANA.. are you all now saying since our founding fathers did that.. that marijuana is ok too.

Obama is terrible.. he has so many bad ties its unbelivable..

but i do not want my kid to be forced to learn ideas that have no scientific basis..

FAITH SHOULD NOT BE TAUGHT...
THEORY SHOULD BE TAUGHT...
faith isnt a theory.. its an untested guess.. nothing can prove it.. NOTHING....
the bible cannot prove it is true...

im for bob barr....lol

Anonymous said...

Don't be afriad of religion, people. I am soooooooo glad Sarah Palin will be our next VP. It's time this country woke up and realized that without God we would be nothing!!! We better get our act together soon, too or who knows what will happen to our beautiful nation.

Anitra Freeman said...

"We better get our act together soon, too or who knows what will happen to our beautiful nation."

Promoting fear in the name of religion is not characteristic of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism -- but there are Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus who practice it. The root is not religion -- the root is human ego.

The arrogance of Sarah Palin is demonstrated in her abuse of power as a governor, and her abuse of her current celebrity to whip mobs into murderous frenzy and grin about it. She is not motivated by Christianity -- she is motivated by ego. And every person who calls for the United States to be "ruled by the Bible" is also driven, not by religion, but by human ego.

"For what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

Justice recognizes all individuals as equally valuable -- no matter what their religion or non-religion. Mercy does not incite cries of "Kill him!" and smile about it. Humility does not look like Sarah Palin.

It is not walking humbly with God to say "without [my] God we would be nothing!!!" That is promoting your personal ego, not serving God.

Anonymous said...

Anitra:
GET REAL!!!

Anitra Freeman said...

When someone goes by "Anonymous" it is hard to tell what their idea of "reality" is.

1angelette said...

God, I hate Sarah Palin. Saying anything pro-Creationism in the same sentence as "my father was a science teacher" is an insult to any and all human knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that I'm happy that Palin has essentially destroyed McCain's campaign. She is not a role model to women (except for maybe Republican wives who act stupid and cutesy to stroke their macho husbands' egos) and she definitely lacks the *intelligence*, if not the experience, to be Vice President (and certainly not president).

Also, I want to point out to everyone who says that America was founding on Christian values: the Founding Fathers (the important ones, anyway) were Deists who found Christianity laughable at best, and thought it would be going the way of Zeus and Odin shortly. It still amazes me, as learning and rational thought becomes more widespread, that it hasn't.

Of course, I'm not sure that learning and rational thought really *has* become widespread among American conservatives...

Anonymous said...

I am just so thankful that I have already cast my vote and I can sleep better tonight knowing that I did not vote for the anti christ!!! Anyone voting for the democratic ticket this election needs their head examined. I want to point out how clear this is. Obama does not even hesitate to let us know that he is going to put things in place that are clearly socialistic. I do not speak for anyone other than myself when I say I am not ready to go thru the tribulation!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband came up with this today. Say Obama. Now say Nation. Now put it together and what do you have an obomination!!!

Anonymous said...

Born Alive Infact Protection Act...Anyone heard of it? I am horrified to know that Obama does not even support saving the life of a baby that happens to survive an abortion. Also, I find it ironic that America may elect a president whose associations with known terrorists would not even allow him to serve as a secret service agent.

Calvin Brock said...

Just want to say that I'm happy that Palin has essentially destroyed McCain's campaign. Páginas Amarillas