Intelligent Design

John McCain Supports Teaching Intelligent Design

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A commenter on my previous article asked whether John McCain supports intelligent design or not. After a quick google I can happily say the answer is yes.

McCain sounds like presidential hopeful
By C.J. Karamargin
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.24.2005

As the Gallup Poll noted, McCain has a generally consistent conservative voting record but forged a national reputation after a series of notable breaks with fellow Republicans.
On Tuesday, though, he sided with the president on two issues that have made headlines recently: teaching intelligent design in schools and Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who has come to personify the anti-war movement.
McCain told the Star that, like Bush, he believes “all points of view” should be available to students studying the origins of mankind.

I wonder what Barack Hussein Obama has to say about Intelligent Design. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

93 Replies to “John McCain Supports Teaching Intelligent Design

  1. 1
    Atom says:

    Bush supported ID, but that didn’t do much for the situation. Forgive me if I don’t get my hopes up over politicians voicing support for ID.

    I’m more interested in questions about academic freedom, which ID is central to, and which I think will have the bigger impact.

    (The science of ID speaks for itself, without the need of consensus or political backing.)

  2. 2
    larrynormanfan says:

    If you’re going to insult Barack Obama, try spelling his name right and as he uses it. The only reason to include his his middle name is as an anti-Muslim dog whistle. That’s beneath you.

  3. 3
    hrun0815 says:

    larrynormanfan, his full name is Barack Hussein Obama. I doubt that many readers of this blog would vote for Obama over McCain in the first place. But the ones that would, will certainly not be deterred by the fact that DaveScot spells out his middle name. In the end, I would venture, it’s going to help Obama more than it will hurt.

  4. 4
    larrynormanfan says:

    hrun0815, Obama’s first name is spelled with one “r”; DaveScot has misspelled it more than once. Obama doesn’t use his full name in any of his literature: why use it?

    Off-topic: As for voting, I’ll vote for Obama (or Hillary, though less enthusiastically) over McCain any day. I was an Edwards supporter until he dropped out. But then again, I’m convinced George W. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime (I was born during the LBJ administration) and maybe ever.

    I’m half tempted to support McCain on the grounds that repairing the ruin this administration has wrought is a thankless task and should be forced upon a Republican (“you broke it, you fix it”). But that would be just mean.

  5. 5
    Gods iPod says:

    I am a follower of Jesus. I would vote for ANY Democrat before voting for McCain. I am tired of the lies, the wars, the soft-fascism, and anyone who is getting Bush’s endorsement is not someone I will ever vote for. There’s zero possibility of a pro-war Republican taking office, so it’s moot anyway. I predict the biggest landslide win for the Democrats ever.

  6. 6
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Gods iPod,

    I strongly disagree with you. McCain is potentialy a great friend of ID. If he didn’t support it, he wouldn’t have said he did. McCain is honest (a straight talker), and willing to take a position he feels is right. Even if it is unpopular.

  7. 7

    Abortion is the most important issue for me. On that count, I support former Assistant Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan Alan Keyes.

    According Jan. 25, 2000 New York Times (p. A17) article, McCain is pro-life, but believes it is okay to kill unborn fetuses whose fathers happen to be rapists. Indeed, he supports abortion of unborn whose mothers merely assert that the fathers are rapists.

    But ultimately, abortion is a state issue, not a federal issue, aside from appointing judges who will uphold the U.S. Constitution and states’ rights).

    Alan Keyes noted of McCain

    There’s not a constituency of true conservatives that doesn’t have one of John McCain’s knives sticking out of [their] backs

    I am also concerned about some points brought up by Mark Levin, who encourages us to consider:
    McCain’s leading of the Gang of 14, which thwarted efforts to eliminate the filibuster of judicial nominees.
    McCain-Kennedy — the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.
    McCain-Feingold — the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.
    McCain-Lieberman — the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry — through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases — in American history.

    The teaching about intelligent design in the public schools is, like abortion, a states’ rights issue.

    Consequently, an important question to ask yourself is “how does candidate X define states’ rights?”

    On this, even Ronald Reagan was imperfect—supporting The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (Title 23 U.S.C. §158), which held states’ tax dollars hostage to force the legal drinking age to be 21 years old (something I support at the state level).

  8. 8
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    “I am a follower of Jesus.” – God’s iPod

    It’s curious that Jesus, fearless and outspoken critic of many things, never voiced any opposition to the Roman government or its ways – which included the outrageous practice of publicly crucifying mere thieves! Nor did He suggest that the devil was promising more than he could deliver when he offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them”. Perhaps we should see ourselves more like ambassadors and less like common voters (2 Cor 5:20).

  9. 9
    gabrielAmerican says:

    Thanks for the info!

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    Did I insult Barack Hussein Obama, in your opinion, by wondering what his position was on ID or by including his middle name?

    I really don’t see how either of these could be construed as an insult. Two r’s in his first name was an unintentional mistake. I know it’s irritating though. People insist on spelling my middle name (Scot) with 2 t’s and there’s only one in it. I promise to watch my spelling of his first name in the future.

  11. 11
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot,

    You’re violating a basic rule of civility in political life, which is that politicians should be referred to by the name they use in public life. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. You’re pretty smart, so I assume you’re just trying to push my buttons by acting so clueless.

    But if you need it explained: this is wrong generally, like referring to Mitt Romney as “Willard” (his given name) or talking about “John Sidney McCain III” or “John Forbes Kerry.” They’re not the names those people use in public life. It’s especially wrong in this case because it raises the impression that Obama is a Muslim: which is not true.

    BTW, you should inquire a bit more into McCain’s position. He’s on record as saying he doesn’t want ID taught in science classes. Of course, he may be just briefly tacking right for political purposes. “Straight talk” indeed.

  12. 12
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    You’re violating a basic rule of civility in political life, which is that politicians should be referred to by the name they use in public life.

    If I was a politician that might be relevant but I’m not so I have no duty to obey any unwritten rules of political discourse between politicians. While there was probably no senator who referred to President Clinton as “Slick Willy” it was a household word for everyone else. The first amendment guarantees us the right to do this. You do believe in freedom of speech don’t you, Larry? You don’t have to believe in it of course but it remains a basic civil right whether you do or not.

    By the way, do you have link documenting your claim that John McCain (not his staff who might have said something to that effect in way of damage control) does not support teaching ID in public schools? As a matter of fact I did look into before making this post and while McCain’s PR staff tried to undo what he said, just as Bush’s staff did, I found no record of McCain himself backing away from it.

    This, from 2006, is the most I could find McCain saying in clarification:

    “I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,” he said. “I happen to believe in evolution…I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.“

    Right. Young Earth Creationism should not be taught in a science class. I totally agree. I happen to believe in evolution too over the course of hundreds of millions or billions of years. I don’t believe that chance & necessity is what drove the major changes in the course of evolution. I disbelieve the neo-Darwinian explanation for organic evolution. Intelligent Design is not 7-day creation science. But even that’s not the heart of my complaint. The neo-Darwinian theory can’t even be criticized in a public school. The school board in Cobb County, Georgia made no mention whatsoever of intelligent design. They put a sticker in a new biology textbook they adopted, which textbook for the first time in Cobb County schools included the neo-Darwinian evolution narrative, which read:

    This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

    This was ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit court. THAT is what really lights my fire. Not only can’t intelligent design even be mention, you can’t even hint in a stupid disclaimer in a textbook that neo-Darwinian evolution is not a fact and that students should study it carefully, critically, with an open mind. Good grief man, studying things carefully, critically, with an open mind is the very thing science is all about! Who’s destroying science, ID proponents or those that refuse to let scientific theory be subjected to open minded, careful scrutiny?

  13. 13
    larrynormanfan says:

    I’ve never questioned your right to speak. I’ve questioned your civility. “Slick Willy” was pushed by Rush Limbaugh, who is a professional jackass and demagogue.

    Two additional mistakes, one yours and one mine.

    First yours: I didn’t say McCain “does not supporting teaching ID in public schools.” I said he didn’t support it being taught “in science classes.”

    Next mine: he was actually referring to creationism rather than ID, as here:

    “Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.”

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    Larry

    I question your question of my civility. If I referred to President George W. Bush, which is his proper title, by any other name I doubt you’d make any objection. And by the way, calling Rush Limbaugh a jackass is hardly an example of civil speech. Your double standard is showing. Better tuck that in as it’s rather unbecoming.

    Did you ever find objection to, for instance, beloved left political columnist Molly Ivins calling President Bush “Shrub Bush”? I didn’t. Affectionate handles like that are part and parcel of the political discourse in America. Politicians might be held to a higher standard but the electorate is not. Get over it. If Barack Hussein Obama wants to avoid mention of his legal middle name then he can easily change it. The fact is he didn’t so it’s totally fair game for political discourse.

  15. 15
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot,

    “Shrub” is obviously a nickname, as is “Slick Willy.” Both are better, by their honesty, than your repeated use of Obama’s middle name, which insinuates under the cover of objectivity. And of course, as you have demonstrated, changes of name are also “fair game for political discourse” — fairer, I’d say, that what you’ve done here with Obama. Obama didn’t choose his middle name, and it says nothing about how he’d govern.

    LNF

  16. 16
    larrynormanfan says:

    Also, both “Shrub” and “Slick Willy” are meaningful. “Slick Willy” points toward Clinton’s slickness and his promiscuousness — both aspects of his behavior. “Shrub” points the complicated relationship of GWB to his father. He’s a “smaller Bush.”

    Barack Obama’s middle name does not suggest anything true or even debatable about the man. In fact, it is used to suggest something demonstrably false. It’s used in the service of a sleazy false rumor industry.

  17. 17
    StuartHarris says:

    “Barack Obama’s middle name does not suggest anything true or even debatable about the man.”

    So, his middle name is evil or embarrasing and must never be mentioned? It’s OK to say John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Milhouse Nixon, George Herbert Walker Bush, etc. but the “H” middle name cannot be used?

    Interesting. Obama is likely to be elected, and it will be even more interesting to see all the other speech codes that will be put in place.

  18. 18
    larrynormanfan says:

    Stuart,

    Do I really need to run though this with you? Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all used their middle names in their public life. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did not. Thus it is rare to see “James Earl Carter” or “William Jefferson Clinton” in print. It’s just common courtesy. DaveScot knows that and so — I imagine — do you.

    As for George H. W. Bush, he only started using his middle initials when his son became a national figure. (I’d want to avoid confusion too, if George W Bush were any relation of mine.)

    I seriously doubt you’d feel the same way if John McCain’s middle name were “Stalin” and the same thing happened to him. Give me a break.

    Routinely repeating Obama’s middle name despite his own public usage appeals to our base hatreds. Plain and simple. As you strike me as pretty smart, I’m surprised you can’t see that. Or maybe you’re just playing the innocent.

  19. 19
    bFast says:

    larrynormanfan, “Routinely repeating Obama’s middle name despite his own public usage appeals to our base hatreds.”

    Here Here! I’m with you that Obama’s unfortunate middle name in light of modern history is painfully irrelavent and prejorative.

  20. 20
    Aaron says:

    Thanks for the heads up, DaveScot. Up until I read this I was a fence sitting independent. Now that I know McCain supports teaching ID in public classrooms I’d definitely not be voting Republican. Science education is an important issue to me. The US is fast falling in the ranks of science and technology education and literacy amongst industrialize countries. We need to give out children the same good scientific foundations given to those in the countries which we we are in competition if we are to have any chance of staying relevant in the world of science and technology. The more and more we teach our kids to look up and imagine a designer they will develop less and less critical thinking and logic skills and their future jobs will be lost to foreign competition.

  21. 21
    Foxfier says:

    Larry, based off of this conversation, I think you know a thing or two about being a professional jackass– you just can’t find anyone to pay you for it.
    Frankly, the idea of you questioning the civility of *anyone* right now is rather amusing.

    I happen to find it perfectly relevant to be reminded that Barry (the name he went by as a child) has the background he does.

    If I did not?

    Big whoop. Same way I didn’t blow up when folks kept referring to Kerry by his naval rank.

    Why?

    Because I don’t think everyone else is an idiot; thus I believe that most folks will take the information for what it is actually worth.

    (When you add the unchanged middle name to the refusal to wear a flag pin–as is the norm–and refusal to put his hand over his heart during the pledge, it is part of a pattern that a goodly number do not like.)

    The force of your objection implies that you both believe that using Obama’s middle name will be effective, and you disagree with the outcome.

  22. 22
    Frost122585 says:

    I ASSURE YOU ALL THAT JOHN MCCAIN WOULD NEVER SUPPORT INTELLIGENT DESIGN-

    This man is the biggest fraud every to run for president except those other 2 dangerous buffoons running on the other side-

    He passed McCain Feingold which unconstitutionally limits people’s free speech- he says that he wants to make George Bushes tax cuts permanent except that he voted against them-

    He wants to have strict enforcement of our immigration laws- except he doesn’t because he wants amnesty for all illegals-

    He claims to be pro-life but tried to block the pro-life groups from running TV ads-

    The list is endless and this man is not what his mouth speaks-

    John McCain is a liar don’t believe him-

    Although i admit he is better for ID then Clinton and Obama who would probably try to ban it from book stores if they could.

  23. 23
    StephenB says:

    —-larrynormanfan, “Routinely repeating Obama’s middle name despite his own public usage appeals to our base hatreds.”

    So, tell me Larry. Do you like Obama well enough to vote for him? If so, how do you reconcile your Christianity with Obama’s enthusiastic support of partial birth abortion. Notice, by the way, I didn’t use his middle name.

  24. 24
    Frost122585 says:

    PannenbergOmega said,

    I strongly disagree with you. McCain is potentially a great friend of ID. If he didn’t support it, he wouldn’t have said he did. McCain is honest (a straight talker), and willing to take a position he feels is right. Even if it is unpopular.

    I’m sorry but you are an extremely naive person if you believe than ANY politician would only say things that they believe- if they did they would never get elected much less get anything done in congress-

    To debunk your claim that John is a straight talker and all of that total BS that the media has invented to brain wash the sheep-

    John McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts but now says he wants to make them permanent-

    When asked why he didn’t’ vote for them the first time around he said that was because there wasn’t spending cuts to go along with the tax cuts- yet today we have a big deficit and when the tax cuts were originally voted on there was a balanced budget!!! So he either thinks that he can get budget cuts this time around which is impossible with the war and a democrat controlled congress or he is lying-

    The truth is Mr. straight talk is Mr. BS and a liar (and that’s not an opinion it’s a fact) and once he wins the nomination and its just him and Hillary you can bet that the media wont be talking about him nicely any more- the media gave this man billions of dollars in air time- if you compared how much time he got then Romney or any other candidate- it was startling- and in case you haven’t noticed Huckabee use to get a lot of time early on now he gets no time at all because the media was simply pumping him up to take votes away from Romney who was close to McCain in Florid and California- which Romney would have won Florida had Huckabee (who has no chance of winning and never did) gotten out of the race-

    McCain is a media creation and a liar please wake up-

    Because we don’t have a Good VS evil thing with Romney standing next to Hillary and speaking truth to her disgraceful lies- Hillary WILL be the next president-

    -I horrifyingly guarantee it– And this is the real straight talk.

  25. 25
    larrynormanfan says:

    Foxfier,

    I’ve spent too much energy on this minor issue, and probably gotten too worked up about. But no, I don’t think people here will associate Obama with Islam simply because DaveScot keeps bringing up his middle name. People here seem pretty informed politically and not likely to be swayed by DaveScot’s crude rhetorical theater. But I do think the association works on a national level, unconsiously, in the way that advertising works: by creating associations that influence a person positively (“that car = sexy”) or negatively (“that candidate = evil Middle Eastern dictator”). DaveScot enables and furthers that low-road tactic.

    StephenB, I might agree with you if I thought McCain would do anything serious about abortion. But ever since Reagan, supposedly pro-life presidents have played the Christian community like a fiddle, and then done nothing significant about it. (I include here the so-called partial-birth abortion ban, designed more to keep the pro-life community on its side than to do anything to reduce actual abortions in America.)

  26. 26
    StephenB says:

    Frost: ……the media gave this man (McCain) billions of dollars in air time- if you compared how much time he got then Romney or any other candidate- it was startling- and in case you haven’t noticed Huckabee use to get a lot of time early on now he gets no time at all because the media was simply pumping him up to take votes away from Romney who was close to McCain in Florid and California- which Romney would have won Florida had Huckabee (who has no chance of winning and never did) gotten out of the race-”

    There can be no doubt that the media used exactly this kind of strategy to get Romney out of the race. They helped McCain drop his anti-Romney bomb just a day or so before the Florida primaries knowing that the winner of that state would get the big prize. I am also convinced that Huckabee and McCain put a little backroom deal together so Huckabee could siphon votes away from Romney. Take any of those three factors out and Romney would have been the next president of the United States. Now we are guaranteed to get another empty suit or (skirt) for president. This is democracy?

  27. 27
    larrynormanfan says:

    Mitt Romney is actually proof of computer-generated artificial life. 🙂 He also demonstrates how hard it is to roll out a new version of software that’s compatible with the old version, especially when the new version looks completely different once you open the box.

  28. 28
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormal: “StephenB, I might agree with you if I thought McCain would do anything serious about abortion. But ever since Reagan, supposedly pro-life presidents have played the Christian community like a fiddle, and then done nothing significant about it. (I include here the so-called partial-birth abortion ban, designed more to keep the pro-life community on its side than to do anything to reduce actual abortions in America.)”

    Let me get this straight. You are unhappy with conservatives who have not fought hard enough for pro-life causes, so you are going to respond by voting for an enthusiastic advocate of partial birth abortion?

  29. 29
    larrynormanfan says:

    I hate abortion. But I also hate this ridiculous Iraq war, and I’m a liberal on issues of poverty and economic policy. If McCain gets elected, abortion continued unabated — guaranteed. So why should I vote for the guy when one of the only issues on which we agree is not something he’s going to do anything about?

  30. 30
    larrynormanfan says:

    Politics is small potatoes next to the big issues. As a Harpo Marx character puts it in a Larry Norman song:

    let the proud but dying nation
    kiss the last generation
    it’s the year of the pill
    age of the gland
    we have landed on the moon
    but we’ll clutter that up soon
    our sense of freedom’s
    gotten out of hand
    we kill our children swap our wives
    we’ve learned to greet a man with knives
    we swallow pills in fours and fives
    our cities look like crumbling hives
    man does not live he just survives
    we sleep till he arrives
    love is a corpse we sit and watch it harden
    we left it oh so long ago the garden

  31. 31
    Gods iPod says:

    Frost122585, larrynormanfan, et al…

    It’s a sad thing I must confess to. I used to be pro war. I defended the Iraq-et war. I used to think CoNN and Faux actually told us the truth. It has only been very recently, since discovering Ron Paul actually, that I realized that I too was one of the brainwashed sheeple being completely controlled by the MSM. I am not yet free I am sure, but I am certainly a lot more free that I was.

    It actually surprised me, that I am one that has never believed in evolution, nor anthroprogenic global warming, and yet I believed the lies about the war on terror and all sorts of other government propaganda. I am starting to see now how they control us through fear. The war on terror has got to be their most successful ploy so far. Invent an enemy, and then go fight them. How deluded I was.

    So it’s no surprise to me people support McCain. Even here, and I really do mean NO insult, but even here, people are trapped in the same mindset I had just 6 months ago. It’s like that scene in the 1st matrix just after Neo had just been freed. Neo and Mophius are in the construct program and Morphius has a long monologue about freeing people’s minds, and that many will fight to protect the very system that enslaves them. I was one of those, and the majority still are.

    It looks like Ron Paul has only a small chance of winning, but I am campaigning hard for him all the same. I believe in his message. I believe the people that reject it are those fighting the very system that enslaves them. I wish we could all reject the media’s opinion of this man, and the opinions we have because of what we’ve been told, and actually investigate Ron Paul ourselves and then get behind his message. There’s a reason the MSM fears him so much. He’s very much a Morphius trying to free our minds. I am a sheeple no longer.

    Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vthdr96EDnE

  32. 32
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: “I hate abortion. But I also hate this ridiculous Iraq war, and I’m a liberal on issues of poverty and economic policy. If McCain gets elected, abortion continued unabated — guaranteed. So why should I vote for the guy when one of the only issues on which we agree is not something he’s going to do anything about?”

    The morality of the war is debatable; the morality of partial birth abortion is not debatable. At least that would be the Christian position. Are you sure you are really a Christian? If you are really being sincere, then why don’t you vote for Ron Paul, who is against both abortion and the war?

  33. 33
    toc says:

    larrynormanfan

    Please, you are embarrassing yourself.

  34. 34
    FtK says:

    I’m not voting for a Presidential candidate. I think they all suck, they say whatever they think you want to hear, and a person would have to be brain dead to trust *anyone* in the political arena or the media.

    Too cynical?? I think not…

  35. 35
    DaveScot says:

    Aaron

    It’s urban legend that the U.S. is falling behind in science literacy. It’s based on science questionaires which include questions about evolution. A large percentage of Americans don’t believe humans descended from non-human animals so they don’t get the answer to the evolution questions “correct”. Americans score as well or better than non-Americans in all other categories of science questions.

    Be that as it may, what difference does it make how much rocket science a plumber knows? If you care to actually find out what American science education produces then look to what America produces. Are our factories, aircraft, communications, military hardware, exploratory spacecraft, telescopes, medical technologies, or anything you care to name inferior to what comes out of some other nation? If not then why do you think there’s a problem?

    But for the sake of argument let’s run with your correlation equals causation fallacy. The U.S. has more disbelievers in Darwnian evolution than any other industrial nation. Yet we don’t steal technological secrets from China, they steal ours. We put a man on the moon 40 years ago. No other country has even 40 years later. We have stealth aircraft, more Nobel prizes, we put the global positioning system up, our particle accelerators are as good as any others, and pretty much in general in any category of science and engineering the U.S. is producing more and better than any other country. So you see, if correlation equals causation, then disbelief in mud to man evolution makes for better scientists and engineers, not worse ones. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  36. 36
    Gods iPod says:

    FtK – this is EXACTLY what they wanted…

    Ron Paul has a 20 year voting record following the Constitution. All Congress voting records are public. Google it. I dare you to find one time where he has flip flopped or pandered to people. You won’t find it. His record is impeccable. I think you can trust him.

    Oh, and may I should share MY interview with Ron Paul’s wife, Carol, himself, and 2 of the 18 grandkids.

    Take a listen: http://godsipod.com/podcast_re.....080202.mp3

  37. 37
    DaveScot says:

    Gods iPod

    I actually like Ron Paul quite a lot and would vote for him if I thought he had a reasonable chance of winning. Libertarians don’t win many elections so the usual result of voting for one is you’ve split the conservative vote and thus made it more likely a liberal candidate will win. Bill Clinton would never have been elected if Ross Perot hadn’t been there as a “spoiler” siphoning off conservative votes from George H.W. Bush. You don’t want something like that to happen again do you?

  38. 38
    larrynormanfan says:

    FtK, sometimes I too consider not voting for president. If I vote Democratic, StephenB thinks I can’t be a Christian. And he’s not the only one. Perhaps best not to vote at all.

    As usual, Larry Norman says it better than me (from his 1973 song “The Great American Novel”):

    the politicians all make speeches
    while the news men all take note
    and they exagerate the issues
    as they shove them down our throats
    is it really up to them
    whether this country sinks or floats
    well i wonder who would lead us
    if none of us would vote

  39. 39
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    you said

    “I’m a liberal on issues of poverty and economic policy. ”

    In 1933 the illegitimacy rate in Black families was about 6 % and the “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” was inaugurated by liberals and by the 1960’s illegitimacy rate among Blacks was in the high 20%. Then the Great Society program was introduced by liberals and by the late 1980’s the rate was close to 70% where it essentially stands today.

    These liberal “do gooder” programs essentially destroyed much of the Black community and led to a sub culture that had no role for the adult Black man.

    So if you want to understand conservative positions it is in reaction to the extremely negative results of liberal programs not just in poor communities but everywhere they tread. And you will have to pardon the conservatives who get very annoyed at liberals who look down their noses at others who do not agree with idealistic positions that have produced one disaster after the other.

    You can sing your Larry Norman lyrics but are they reality or just a fantasy builder to back your destructive political views.

  40. 40
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, you are repeating a canard about black illegitimacy that has been discredited. This “rise” in illegitimacy was first touted by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and later by Charles Murray (of The Bell Curve infamy). But it is largely a statistical artifact due to a decline in birth rates among married upwardly mobile black women, not an increase among unmarried black women. If you look at the rate among poor teenagers (of whatever race), you’ll find that it’s been pretty steady over time. See Michael Lind’s Up from Conservatism (1996).

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    What utter nonsense. Is the 70% figure wrong? Is the 6% figure wrong? Statistical artifact?

    Hide in your drivel. It seems to make you feel better but it solves no real world problems.

  42. 42
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, here’s the quick version. If middle class black women in general have far fewer babies, and more black women move into the middle class, then the illegitimacy rate will rise radically even if the rate in the (largely impoverished) subpopulation stays the same. Fact: black families are on the whole much smaller now than they were fifty years ago. So if the birth rate goes radically down, but the rate of out of wedlock births in the at-risk subpopulation stays the same, the “illegitimacy rate” when calculated as a percent of total births is an artifact of that decline.

  43. 43
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: “If I vote Democratic, StephenB thinks I can’t be a Christian. And he’s not the only one. Perhaps best not to vote at all.”

    LF: I would not presume to say that one cannot be a legitimate Christian and be a democrat. All I am saying is that, for a Christian, there must be some non-negotiables. That would include abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning, or any kind of life-science technology that depends on killing innocent life—basic right to life issues.

    That’s a pretty short list. Sure, I agree with Jerry about the economic impact of liberal politics on the black family. But I wouldn’t dare suggest that one cannot be a legitimate Christian and disagree with us. The same thing applies to Iraq war. There are standards for a “just war,” to be sure, but it is often debatable whether a given war meets those standards. All these things are debatable within the Christian framework.

    What I am suggesting is that not all issues are on the same moral plane. Our job, it seems to me, is to recognize which issues cannot be compromised under any circumstances and then act on those convictions. I don’t think my list of non-negotiables is arbitrary. It is consistent with “the natural moral law,” a concept that has been all too often ignored.

  44. 44
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    All I can say is to repeat “what utter nonsense.” 6% to 25% to 70% is an artifact? The number of Black children has remained roughly the same since 1960, about 600,000 a year (low of 507,000 in 1974 and high of 684,000 in 1990). The number of illegitimate children has risen from about 120, 000 a year to 400,000 a year. That is your statistical artifact.

    The same programs that have destroyed the Black communities are at work in the white communities and Hispanic communities as well as well as in Western Europe.

    If you are any example of liberal thinking then I completely understand why we have so many problems. The inability to face the facts and take responsibility for one’s destructive behavior seems to be the chief characteristic of liberal thinking.

  45. 45
    StephenB says:

    Extenting my point on @45: If we live in a reasonably sane society, I would probahly not have to point out that gay marriage would also qualify as a “non-negotiable” for Christians.

  46. 46
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, you make my point for me:

    The number of Black children has remained roughly the same since 1960, about 600,000 a year (low of 507,000 in 1974 and high of 684,000 in 1990). The number of illegitimate children has risen from about 120, 000 a year to 400,000 a year. That is your statistical artifact.

    Assuming these numbers are correct, what do they show? The black population in 1960 was about 19 million. In 1990 it was about 30 million (see this link), for an increase of 58%. Yet at the same time the total number of black children (by your numbers) rose only 35%. Now, the total number of illegitimate children increases, yes, as does the ratio (percent born out of wedlock). But at the same time, the birth rate for black women goes down. For teenage black women, it goes down radically, from about 160 per 1000 women in 1950 to less than 50 per 1000 women in 1990 (this is from Charles Murray’s The Underclass Revisited, in case you’re wondering) To talk about this sensibly you have to look at the same population (in terms of age, poverty, etc.) and you have to look at the birth rate, not just the illegitimacy ratio.

    jerry, you’re pretty smart. Didn’t you ever learn how people use statistics to lie?

  47. 47
    Gods iPod says:

    DaveScot

    This also is the exact thinking they want you to have. A vote anyone but the person you believe is the best CHOICE, not the best CHANCES OF WINNING, is a wasted vote.

    All we need right now is a brokered convention. If we get a brokered convention, Ron Paul WILL win the nomination. Just watch and see. All this voting is mostly just straw polls. Ron Paul has the delegates in place, they will be at the convention, they will have to vote for the person they were first bound to, and then they are free to vote as they wish. Almost all of Romney’s delegates will be voting Ron Paul first time too.

    Sorry, but this is no Ross Perot moment. This is a perfect storm!

  48. 48
    Gods iPod says:

    DaveScot

    And what are our chances of a brokered convention? Until Romney dropped out it was guaranteed, that’s WHY he dropped out. They know a brokered convention will likely hand a win to Paul. Last night Paul won Washington by a landslide. Ignore what’s in the media, it’s not true. The campaign knows the number of our delegates, and we have by far the majority. We also came 2nd in another state. Huckabee is doing better, Paul is doing better, Romney’s move is backfiring. Please go and vote for Ron Paul in your primary/caucus. We CAN do this… There is a clear strategy at work here designed to beat them at their own game.

  49. 49
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I submitted a response but it did not appear. I tried to submit it again and I got a message that it was a duplicate message. Oh well: I should have saved it first. In any event, the data are more complex than you suggest. Even the data you cite (from where?) show a decline in actual birth rates relative to population. The simple ratio of illegitimate to total births means next to nothing without the rate of births (say, per 1000 girls) in the population as a whole. Also, you’d want to look at the number of times individuals have more than one child. What would be best is to look at ratios and rates among poor teenagers in different races, where illegitimacy is concentrated. (Obviously the greater poverty in the African-American population is linked to illegitimacy — but so is higher illegitimacy among poor whites and Hispanics.) I’ll grant that illegitimacy has risen some, but not nearly as much as you suggest. Because — again — the simple illegitimate/total birth ratio means nothing on its own.

  50. 50
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, if embryonic stem cell research is “non-negotiable” for Christians, as you said, are you planning to vote for McCain, who supports such research? And if you do, can I question your faith as you questioned mine?

    In case you forgot, here what you said to me:

    Are you sure you are really a Christian?

    Yes.

  51. 51
    jerry says:

    earth to larrynormanfan on whatever planet you are hiding,

    I find your responses similar to what we get with Darwinists who defend at all cost their beliefs despite the evidence and the logic against it. It is an interesting phenomena. Not that the two topics are related but that the response pattern seems to be the same.

    The actual numbers for black out of wedlock births do not lie and are the result of liberal policies that have destroyed much of the black community no matter how you express it. That cannot hide behind some nebulous fertility rate argument.

    I am using US government figures for births and for unmarried mother figures. For the latter, there does not seem to be as precise tabular data as for births.

    Some of the statistics for births go as far back as 1935 by race. The illegitimate birth rate by race for that far back probably exists some place but so far I have not found it on the internet that I have seen.

    What exists is that illegitimacy rates were very low in 1940. The percentage of illegitimate births were 3.8% and that rate is over 8 times higher today, around 32%.

    The 70% statistic for blacks has been fairly consistent for the last 10 years for unmarried childbirths. Back in 1935-1940 when the AFDC was inaugurated it was probably around 5-10 % given the 3.8% rate for total births.

    Yes the fertility rate has gone down amongst all groups. Maybe you heard of something called birth control and its unfortunate extreme called abortion championed by the liberal left that has affected the fertility rate. However, I fail to see what this means when we have absolute numbers of births. A big “So What.” Like it means anything. I love your spin on this.

    Illegitimate children go from around 18,000-36,000 (about 5-10% of black births) in 1940 to 120,000 (about 20% of black births) in 1960 to 400,000 (70% of black births) in the last 10 years. And this is due to fertility rates changing. Give me a break. These are absolute numbers as well as percent of births.

    It’s liberal programs that did this pure and simple and however you want to spin this, any child who does not live with his birth parents is at a disadvantage on the whole. Obviously there are exceptions but the evidence is there; children who live with their birth parents in general do better. Children who live with no father do a lot worse, especially boys.

    Liberal policies have screwed lots of children in our society and elsewhere in the world in its quest for a heaven on earth society and as a result they have created quite a hell wherever their policies are implemented.

    Spin it how you like so it will make you feel better but the kids in the black community who are the recipients of liberal policies are paying the price big time. The only thing the liberals care about is that the black community continues to vote for them. Liberals are a cynical bunch.

    Keep the faith.

  52. 52
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry,one more time: on average, black women had many more children in 1940 than they do now. That skews the data. The relevant numbers have gone up, I agree, but not as much as the raw ratio (absent other data) suggests.

    We’re looking at it differently: you’re asking “what’s the likelihood that a black child will be born to an unwed mother?,” and saying that’s skyrocketed. OK. I’m asking “What’s the likelihood that a black woman will have an illegitimate child,” and saying it’s not that different, because while poor women (of all ethnicities) continue to have illegitimate children (sometimes more than one) at high rates, middle class black women are much less likely to have any children at all. More black women are middle class now — thanks to the very social programs you disparage! — and their rates of childbirth have plummeted. Meanwhiile, those who remain in poverty continue to have high rates of illegitimacy.

    Other confounding factors might include black acceptance of unwed mothers (good!), rates driven down by abortion in white communities (bad!), etc. You see it’s not me who’s not looking at the data. It’s you who’s going off on social programs based on a single ambiguous and complicated statistic. I’m asking for more data, while you’re ready to blame the Great Society. But we haven’t even begun to get into causes.

    Alas,the world is more complicated than your theories suggest. But “I’m only visiting this planet.”

  53. 53
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    There is so much nonsense in what you post that it boggles the mind.

    I will start with an anecdote about the Great Society. In the 1950’s and early 1960’s there was a mass movement of blacks from the South to the northern cities generally controlled by Democrat political machines. As a kid I lived in the Philadelphia area and witnessed the mass turnover of white families to black families in the city. Several years later I dated a girl whose father was part of the Philadelphia Democratic party machine. He explained why the Democrats invited this mass migration because they believed they would vote Democratic and keep them in power for a long time. But there was a problem, the blacks didn’t have jobs and they had to get them money so they could live. But people balked at paying families with a husband in it and would not give the same assistance as was provided to single mothers. So the black community in these large northern cities learned quickly to get rid of the husband to get the payments and what you see today is the result of this process accelerated by the War on Poverty.

    This man was a good man and he thought what was happening was worthwhile even if many whites had to lose their homes in the city. The blacks would be treated better than in the South and Democratic policies were much better than the what the Republicans offered. But there was those unintended consequences.

    I am sure you can point to some success stories but I would hardly point to childless black women as your icon of success. I noticed you did not mention males. Where are they in this pattern? How has their lack of success affected the illegitimacy problem? Also the success of the black middle class women might be ascribed to conservative economic principles which has caused the GDP to rise dramatically in the last 25 years. Generally there are more jobs now than people to fill them which is why we have an illegal immigration problem.

    “black acceptance of unwed mothers (good!)”

    I have a hard time seeing what the comment “good” means. Any acceptance of unwed mothers is negative and may be a driving factor for their problems. A child of an unwed mother starts life with 2 strikes. But maybe this is liberal gobbledegook that washes away all the problems. Hey, unwed mothers are just fine. We have to rethink our cultural biases. Meanwhile the child suffers from this nonsense and liberals will not criticize because they need the votes and it seems from your comment that liberals approve of unwed mothers. Hey, it is diversity and by definition good. Who needs fathers.

    “What’s the likelihood that a black woman will have an illegitimate child,” and saying it’s not that different, ”

    I defy you to show that. I am not denying your claim about many black women not having children today but comparing the present to a period when there were few black illegitimate children it has got to be nonsense. It is also meaningless to the black kid who is born which is the issue at hand and not that some black women are not having children. 18,000 illegitimate births a year to 120,000 a year to 400,000 a year and all this because some black women are not having kids. Talk about mind boggling reasoning. It is a complete non sequitur. But again what ever makes you feel better. So pull the lever for the liberal candidate of your choice and consign these kids to another generation of misery.

  54. 54
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I’ll not continue this conversation, since your mind is clearly made up. Feel free to read the appropriate chapter in Michael Lind’s book, where the argument is made at length with all the figures on display.

    I will say that your old girlfriend’s father has an understanding of the Northern migration that can charitably be described as insane. I’d also note this sentence of your own description:

    As a kid I lived in the Philadelphia area and witnessed the mass turnover of white families to black families in the city.

    That is (cough cough) not the way I’d desscribe it.

  55. 55
    StephenB says:

    StephenB, if embryonic stem cell research is “non-negotiable” for Christians, as you said, are you planning to vote for McCain, who supports such research? And if you do, can I question your faith as you questioned mine?

    That’s a fair question. As far as the primaries are concerned, I will only vote for a fully pro-life candidate, and McCain doesn’t qualify for the reason you have allueded to. Now that Romney is out, I can now only vote for Huckabee or Paul, which means I will opt for Paul.

    If, in the general election, I must choose between McCain or Hillary/Obama, both of whom support partial birth abortion, then I might consider McCain as the lesser of two evils. The reason for that is not because embryonic stem cell research is any less evil than abortion, but because the aggressive supporter of abortion is likely to appoint someone of the same mindset to the Supreme Court.

    Although I care about foreign policy, capital punishment, war, poverty, and all other social and political issues, basic life issues trump them all, as I believe they must for a Christian.

  56. 56
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, I see your point. I like Huckabee — who talks about the poor more than the other Republicans, and who has genuine compassion. I might vote for him if he were the nominee.

    Romney, on the other hand … ugh. I just don’t believe a thing he says. Romney’s pro-life stance, like his anti gay-marriage stance, is directly in proportion to his Presidential ambitions. It is, I am convinced, utterly hollow — which is why all the Republican candidates, whatever their other differences, were united in their contempt for Romney.

  57. 57
    StephenB says:

    larrynormanfan: “Romney, on the other hand … ugh. I just don’t believe a thing he says. Romney’s pro-life stance, like his anti gay-marriage stance, is directly in proportion to his Presidential ambitions. It is, I am convinced, utterly hollow — which is why all the Republican candidates, whatever their other differences, were united in their contempt for Romney.”

    You make a good point, and I did wonder about it. I guess I believed that he would carry the pro-life flag even if he is a late convert.

    I agree that Huckabee has compassion, but it always seems to manifest itself in the form of big government entitlement programs. From what I gather from your posts, that doesn’t bother you quite as much as it does me. I am all for the government helping the “truly needy,” but my perception is that Huckabee sets the bar way too low for that. It’s a judgment call I’ll grant you.

  58. 58
    DaveScot says:

    Gods Ipod

    http://www.chron.com/disp/stor.....28537.html

    Ron Paul doesn’t share your optimism about Ron Paul’s prospects of becoming the republican candidate for president.

  59. 59
    Larry Fafarman says:

    DaveScot said,

    I wonder what Barack Hussein Obama has to say about Intelligent Design. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    Will someone please explain to me the meaning of the expression “Bueller?”? The expression apparently comes from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” where a teacher — played by Ben Stein — was calling roll and said “Bueller?” and when there was no response, repeated “Bueller?” This happens all the time in calling rolls. I fail to see the significance here.

  60. 60
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Back on topic —

    John McCain will be a keynote speaker for the Discovery Institute on Feb. 23.

  61. 61
    Larry Fafarman says:

    OOPS — Sorry. That was last year.

  62. 62
    Larry Fafarman says:

    BTW, the Arizona Daily Star article is pretty old, too — 08-24-05.

  63. 63
    DaveScot says:

    Larry

    Ben Stein wasn’t taking roll. He was asking for an answer to a question from the class. Ferris Bueller was always able to answer questions so when no hands came up from a plea to “anyone” he asked Bueller specifically and because it was “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” there was no response from Bueller either. Surprised that no answer came even from Bueller led to some other kid explaining in comic detail how he knew Ferris was out sick that day.

  64. 64
    larrynormanfan says:

    Looks like someone’s got pictures of Matthew Broderick all over his locker door. 🙂

  65. 65
    Frost122585 says:

    I want to say something here about this election and ID- McCain would never fight for ID except with his mouth when running for election- but I really believe that Mike Huckabee might fight for it-

    I was a Mitt Romney supporter but I do like Huckabee better than McCain any day-

    Huckabee is to me a political misfit and cost Romney the nomination ( and I don’t buy all that media made up crap that Romney couldn’t win the general election) but Huckabee despite letting 1000+ criminals out of jail- raising taxes half a billion dollars- getting the Teacher’s unions endorsement (which is a really bad thing) — still is better than the double speaking – constitutional rights destroying– illegal alien defending– the dangerous McCain— who will be destroyed by either Hillary or Obama-

  66. 66
    Larry Fafarman says:

    DaveScot said (comment #65) —

    Larry

    Ben Stein wasn’t taking roll. He was asking for an answer to a question from the class. Ferris Bueller was always able to answer questions so when no hands came up from a plea to “anyone” he asked Bueller specifically . . .

    Here is the dialogue in the movie script —

    TEACHER’S VOICE
    Anheiser?

    BOY’S VOICE
    Here.

    TEACHER’S VOICE
    Busch?

    GIRL’S VOICE
    Here.

    TEACHER’S VOICE
    Bueller?

    ( CAMERA reaches the last desk and rises slowly to reveal that it’s empty. )

    TEACHER’S VOICE
    Bueller?

    GIRL’S VOICE
    He’s sick.

    — from http://www.hundland.com/script.....DayOff.txt

    I word-scanned the script for “Bueller” and this is the only part that comes close to your description. So your version could be true only if they changed the script at this point. But the Wikipedia biography of Ben Stein says,

    His film career received a boost from his famous role as the colorless and boring economics teacher in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In one scene he gives a real, unscripted economics lecture, profiting from his own economic expertise. He decided to just run with it when the director told him to try to be as boring as possible in this scene. The only scripted lines are those in which he calls attendance, indelibly phrasing the oft-repeated monotone line: “Bueller?…Bueller?”

    So according to Wickedpedia, that part of the script was not changed. Anyway, being able to answer every question just would not fit Bueller’s image of a goof-off.

    Even if what you said were true, Fatheaded Ed Brayton used the expression “Bueller?” completely inappropriately in his article titled, “Mukasey? Mukasey? Bueller?” —
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispat.....ueller.php

    I love to study the origins of expressions. One of my favorites is “shoo-in,” meaning a sure winner. It is often misspelled “shoe-in,” perhaps meaning having a foot in the door or being kicked across the finish line in a race. But it is a term for a rigged horse race where the chosen horse is going to win even if he stops and has to be “shooed” across the finish line.

  67. 67
    tribune7 says:

    Leo — I am willing to bet that McCain won’t appoint any liberal chance worshippers, like the former head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, to the federal bench either.

    I suspect that lot of appointments at the District Level will be of people McCain has not seriously vetted and are picked almost solely on the recommendations of supporters.

    I doubt that Dubya realized what a screwball Jones was.

  68. 68
    tribune7 says:

    Larry, this may be one of those things that becomes part of the culture despite what was actually said (i.e “Smile when you say that” vs. the actual “If you want to call me that Smile” or the never said “Play it Again Sam”.

    And truthfully, I remember the line as being Anyone, Bueller, Anyone.

    But this is Ben’s quote w/regard to the lesson according to IMDB

    Economics Teacher: In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone?… the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?… raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.

    He says Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? in the same monotone while taking roll.

  69. 69
    tribune7 says:

    If you type Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? into Google you’ll see how common the apparently inaccurate derivatives are.

  70. 70
    larrynormanfan says:

    tribune7,

    this may be one of those things that becomes part of the culture despite what was actually said

    I believe it’s called a “meme.” 🙂

    If you type Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? into Google you’ll see how common the apparently inaccurate derivatives are.

    For “inaccurate derivatives” read “mutations.” For “common” read “having newly evolved functions.”

  71. 71
    Larry Fafarman says:

    tribune7 said,

    And truthfully, I remember the line as being Anyone, Bueller, Anyone.

    Either you have the memory of an elephant or you saw the movie recently, because that is an old movie. Anyway, I said that it is out of character for Bueller to always know the answers to questions.

    He says Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? in the same monotone while taking roll.

    So you are saying that the only connection between “Anyone?” and “Bueller?” is that Ben Stein spoke them in the same monotone. That is not much of a connection.

    Pretty soon everyone is going to start adding “Anyone? Bueller?” to every question that is rhetorical or not directed at a specific person.

  72. 72
    tribune7 says:

    Either you have the memory of an elephant or you saw the movie recently, because that is an old movie.

    Or, as I noted, I and many others are incorrect.

    So you are saying that the only connection between “Anyone?” and “Bueller?” is that Ben Stein spoke them in the same monotone. That is not much of a connection.

    You’d have to see the movie

  73. 73
    tribune7 says:

    larrynormanfan –For “inaccurate derivatives” read “mutations.” For “common” read “having newly evolved functions.”

    I don’t think anyone disputes that words evolve. And I don’t think anyone disputes that words are intelligently designed.

  74. 74
    Larry Fafarman says:

    You’d have to see the movie

    I did see the movie, but that was a long time ago. I don’t remember that particular detail. Anyway, the scripts do not show any particular connection between “Anyone?” and “Bueller?”

  75. 75
    larrynormanfan says:

    tribune7, I was simply making an analogy. The evolution of languages seems similar to the evolution of species in a number of ways, and some of the lines of reasoning to support them are the same. For example, language diversity can be seen as a result of things accidental to language itself (such as geographic distribution, isolation, collision with other language populations to make pidgins and then creoles or dialects, etc.) Nobody “saw” French, Spanish, Italian, etc. evolve from Latin, but we believe it happened. At least I do. Nobody has seen proto-Indo-European, yet we are pretty sure it existed, and that other languages diversified from it, and that there were probably languages ancestral to it. Etc. We could of course explain the evolution of languages by other means (common design?). And yet most of us accept linguistic “macroevolution” and common descent (more or less — I don’t know what the current thinking is on whether languages emerged once or more than once) without blinking.

    I’m not sure words are “intelligently designed.” Some may be, but lots seem more or less accidental. Certainly languages as whole systems don’t evolve in a telic manner. In fact, language “reform” movements look a lot like rearguard attempts to impose teleology on a pretty chaotic and unpredictable process.

  76. 76
    tribune7 says:

    Anyway, the scripts do not show any particular connection between “Anyone?” and “Bueller?”

    The same character in the same set repeats the words in the same tone, and apparently a lot of people have mingled them in their minds.

  77. 77
    tribune7 says:

    The evolution of languages seems similar to the evolution of species in a number of ways,

    That’s an interesting observations 🙂

    And of course words are designed. Language is not pre-planned, so to speak, but each and every word was created by an intelligent being for a purpose.

  78. 78
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    You are begging the question. There are lots of evidence as to how languages actually evolved. We have more than a thousand years of written languages and there has been careful analysis of how these languages have changed. There are models which to test the changes in a language. We can witness how a language can change before our eyes in our own lifetime. For evolution there is only speculation and no model as to how things have changed that has been verified. We can point to the linguistic models and speculate but nothing has been verified. So any comparisons between linguistic changes and biological changes has no or little empirical evidence.

    Linguist have not witnessed how Indo European became the vast variety of languages we see today and have seen in the past (for those that were written) but use some of the same tools that evolutionary biologist use to justify their conclusions. Namely, homology. Common sounds with common meanings and sometimes common grammar that appear across widely divergent geographic areas are the main tools to link languages.

    Evolutionary biologists use similar tools to link species but have zero evidence that any specific process is responsible for the connection. They can be fairly convincing that there is a connection but have not once witnessed the process that connects them.

    For languages we have zillions of good examples and because of this extrapolating to the past makes more sense than for biological evolution. We have zero examples of complexity being formed so it is inappropriate to do nothing more than speculate. And since we have evidence that gradual approaches such as are seen in languages do not work, we can be fairly safe in eliminating that model of change.

  79. 79
    larrynormanfan says:

    Language is not pre-planned, so to speak, but each and every word was created by an intelligent being for a purpose.

    Each and every? Really? I don’t think so.

    Besides, I’m talking about language as a kind of species. A whole language is certainly not intelligently designed. Parts — some parts — may be, but the thing itself evolves on its own. The entire history of prescriptive grammar can be seen as an attempt to impose design on unwiling, chaotic languages — langauges that evolve willy-nilly.

    I’m probably pushing the analogy too far. But it’s worth noting that the history of language has huge gaps, missing transitional forms, and so forth — many of the evidentiary problems supposedly fatal to biological evolution — and yet we have no problem accepting the common descent of languages as a given. Why not simply say that French and Latin and Spanish and Italian had a common designer? Doesn’t that explain their similarity just as well as common desent?

  80. 80
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    I should add an addendum to my last comment. We have very good evidence as to how species can change downward but none as to any change upward. By that there is lots of evidence of what we call species or variants having formed because they are a restricted version of an original gene pool but we have no evidence of the gene pool expanding with any meaningful changes. In other words there is good evidence of the progression of family to genera to species but not the reverse and the reverse is what
    Darwin’s ideas are all about.

    In other words dogs are a sub variant of the wolf or some other species that appeared in the past that must have had a much richer gene pool and what we are witnessing with dogs or other canines is just a devolution downward through processes such as natural selection and some trivial mutations. So we do see variety created but we never see novelty created. The variety essentially existed within the original gene pool and over time has been culled out by environmental changes and natural selection.

    Where did the original gene pool come from that is responsible for all the varieties and species in the various families and genera. No one has a clue but the evidence we have is that it was not created by a gradualistic approach.

  81. 81
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    you said

    “and yet we have no problem accepting the common descent of languages as a given.”

    That is because we have literally thousand of examples of how the transitions were made in languages. We could other analogies such as agriculture or architecture where there are gaps but we have a pretty good record of the changes made in recent times but little in antiquity except the fossils. We have zero for biological life. If there were any or even a few this forum would not exist.

  82. 82
    tribune7 says:

    Each and every? Really? I don’t think so.

    Name me one word that was not created by an intelligent being for a purpose.

  83. 83
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I’m honestly not trying to beg the question. I was just getting bored with the Bueller talk, and I thought I’d riff on it.

    But let me separate the question of common descent from mechanism. I think we’d have good reasons for accepting the common descent of languages even if we had no idea of the mechanism. And I think we have a more or less equivalent pile of evidence for common descent of species (homology, which you mentioned, geographic distribution, historical development, etc.). And it’s not like the language shifts always proceed gradually. What the Grimms described as the Great Vowel Shift is pretty sharp and untransitioned. But still we accept common descent of languages.

    Mechanism is another question, which I think can be addressed. But first let me ask about descent. Where does my analogy break down? Would we not accept the common descent of language absent mechanism(s)? Or is there something fundamentally different about the non-mechanistic evidence for linguistic common descent?

  84. 84
    larrynormanfan says:

    Name me one word that was not created by an intelligent being for a purpose.

    Uhh… let me think . . . mmm . . . uhhh. . .

    Sorry. Don’t have one. 🙂

  85. 85
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I guess I disagree with you on the transitional forms issue. I think there are quite a few, but I’ve seen people mention them here, and they’re shot down by a crowd, so (cough cough) no thanks.

  86. 86
    tribune7 says:

    Sorry. Don’t have one.

    mmm . . . exactly 🙂

  87. 87
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    We are back to the whole idea of evidence and to date you are kind of short on the evidence issue. Yesterday it was some vague data in a book that I have to get and which you couldn’t summarize. Now it is just your speculation but no evidence. There is a pattern here. So it is up to you to provide empirical evidence and defend it.

    For languages we have tons of evidence and I have just written another post on it and will post it immediately after this. But to compare tons of evidence to speculation is well just wishful thinking.

    By the way I ordered Lind’s book from the library and will see what he has to say.

  88. 88
    jerry says:

    In terms of the evolution of languages what we have seen in the past is based on written forms. There were no recorders of the sounds. Nearly every civilization had several dialects but usually only one was chosen as the standard for that culture even though most in the culture probably used variants of the standard. Not everyone in the Roman Empire spoke the Latin we see in recovered documents but most probably understood it.

    So how do new languages form? Primarily within the dialects. French was probably a dialect of Latin used in Gaul and developed within communities that felt no need to speak the standard language.

    We see this today in most of the languages of the world. We learn a formal version of it but when we go to France and Germany or Japan and use the language one has learned, the average person laughs because no one uses that language to communicate on a daily basis.

    In English we would never use the language or expression that is used in writing or in a presentation at a conference for every day speech. We immediately switch to an informal dialect. It is these informal dialects that evolve and because in the past were not written is why we have gaps even when there was writing. So French and much of English evolved within these informal dialects but then comes along someone or a group that fixes a standard language usually by some written text. I believe Luther did that for German by his translation of the bible into the vernacular. Language change is very interesting but because it is constantly changing we can watch it evolve. We even have new languages such as creoles that arise from the intersection of two or more languages and can analyze their grammars and vocabulary evolutions. But they do not follow similar processes that have governed life’s changes.

    For larrynormanfan, I will look into the Great Vowel change and see what the theories are for it.

  89. 89
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, it’s a gedanken experiment, just for fun. As far as evidence, I’m saying we accept the common descent of languages despite the gaps in evidence. For example, most languages have never “fossilized” (been written down), and those that have have only fossilized in recent times and in small part. Most languages have disappeared with out a trace, as have most of the langauges that have left traces. So the fossil evidence for language descent is very fragmentary.

    And yet. . . We posit an ancestral proto-IndoEuropean language that existed and died before there was any writing to record it, and which was followed by written languages only thousands of years later.

    (I’m assuming a standard account of dates, by the way. If the person reading this is a young-earther, I really don’t know what to say: the train has left the station.)

    As far as evidence for language evolution goes, a lot of it is only micro-evolution (the pidgin English is still English) or “loss of function” (the loss of declined verb forms in modern languages). Yet we extrapolate from such micro-evolutionary language process to a macro-evolution of languages which no one has ever seen.

    On the issue of transitionals, I don’t think the anti-common descent types here will ever accept the possibility of a transitional fossil. I think it’s ruled out from the start. So I don’t think it’s a good starting point for conversation. I have never here seen someone on the anti-descent side say so much as, hey, you’ve got a point: that might be a transitional. Let me get back to you on that. Because they (and you I would wager, if I were a betting man) think such forms are impossible.

  90. 90
    larrynormanfan says:

    tribune7, I actually meant “mmm” literally. See Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, by Michael Erard.

  91. 91
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, just to get the necessaries out of the way, I view Ambulocetus, Tiktaalik, Archaeopteryx, Australopithecus, and Platypus, among others, as being transitional or intermediate.

  92. 92
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    You are making the same mistake every other person who has made the same claims. Common descent says nothing about mechanism.

    Darwin included common descent as part of his theory but it is independent of his other two concepts which were gradualism and variation. All three are independent of each other and just because you have evidence of one does not mean the others are working. So you can never argue that common descent implies gradualism. It is a logical fallacy.

    Each part of Darwin’s theory has to be judged independently of the other. So what you are doing is begging the question again by assuming a conclusion and not proving it.

    To prove gradualism, you must provide evidence of gradual changes to form complexity. None exist and you can not fall back on common descent to make your case. It must be done without appealing to common descent.

    None of the fossils you have mentioned is evidence of gradualism. They may be evidence of similarity of some elements but in no way do they support gradualism. They may also be evidence of somewhat similar morphology but again this does not support gradualism. What would support gradualism is a plethora of fossils small differences apart that led to more complex life forms or more complex life capabilities. None exist in the fossil record even though the fossil record is well sampled. None exists in the world today. There are no examples of species moving in any upward direction in the world today. All are moving downward if they are moving at all.

    This is the wrong direction to support Darwin’s ideas. What Darwin saw on his trip on the Beagle is downward evolution not upward. He saw varieties of larger gene pools not species gradually becoming more complex or novel. His wishful thinking turned this downward evolution into upward evolution for which there is zero evidence.

    You also have to define what you mean by common descent. Darwin used it in the sense that we are all descended from a single celled organism through his processes of variation and natural selection. That is quite different than saying we are descended from apes or that the whale descended from a forrest animal.

    There is no evidence for universal common descent and many evolutionary biologist dispute it. The main evidence used is that all life uses the same DNA/micro biological processes to exist. But to assume that this implies universal common descent is again begging the question by assuming what has to be proven.

    You would like your language analogy to be true but there are major differences that override any similarities. It is another example of wishful thinking.

    The Great Vowel Shift took place over 200 years from the early 1400’s to the mid 1600’s and there is no evidence to suggest why. There is evidence it didn’t take place in local dialects but mainly in the standard language which was being used in the courts and universities as educated people from all over the land came to meet. There are some examples where it did not take place and still exist in the language. For example, the word beat would have been pronounced like bate in old English so the shift took place for this word. But break and great retain their old English pronunciation even though we have other words that are identical in sound such as brake and grate. It was a mystery but the effect of it was to make English different from every other language as far as pronunciation.

    Keep chugging away. Maybe you will come up with something that hasn’t been thought of before.

  93. 93
    tribune7 says:

    Larrynormanfan — I know you meant mmm (non-word that it is) literally. And with design.

    You took a sound made by people, unintentionally, as a placeholder for thoughts and purposely used it to communicate an idea giving it meaning it did not have.

    When people say mmm, uh, ah because they are at a loss for words they are not creating words. When you use letters that attempt to mimic those sounds to describe someone at a loss for words you are starting the process of creating — note creating — new words.

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