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John McCain Supports Teaching Intelligent Design


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
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?

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. tribune7
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. jerry
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. larrynormanfan
tribune7, I actually meant "mmm" literally. See Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, by Michael Erard. larrynormanfan
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. larrynormanfan
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. jerry
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. jerry
Sorry. Don’t have one. mmm . . . exactly :-) tribune7
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. larrynormanfan
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. :-) larrynormanfan
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? larrynormanfan
Each and every? Really? I don’t think so. Name me one word that was not created by an intelligent being for a purpose. tribune7
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. jerry
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. jerry
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? larrynormanfan
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. jerry
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. tribune7
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. tribune7
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. larrynormanfan
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?" Larry Fafarman
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. tribune7
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 tribune7
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. Larry Fafarman
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." larrynormanfan
If you type Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? into Google you'll see how common the apparently inaccurate derivatives are. tribune7
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. tribune7
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. tribune7
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/scripts/FerrisBuellersDayOff.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/dispatches/2008/02/mukasey_mukasey_bueller.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. Larry Fafarman
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- Frost122585
Looks like someone's got pictures of Matthew Broderick all over his locker door. :-) larrynormanfan
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