Intelligent Design

Why I Care About Teaching the Controversy

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I realized after my previous post about Academic Freedom legislation that I did not mention why it is that I care about the ability for teachers to “teach the controversy”.

I have been told by several research leaders that any attempt to change curriculum, or do anything with public schools, is a Bad Idea™. I understand where they are coming from. But let me tell you my personal story, and why it leads me to think that biological science itself needs the controversy to be taught.

When I graduated from high school, there were three things that interested me – theology, computer science, and chemistry. I had trouble choosing degrees, so I just decided to get a B.A. in theology and a B.S. in computer science. It was a hard choice, but I decided to drop chemistry.

Now, you see, biology was not on my radar screen. Why not? In a word, the problem was neo-Darwinism.

The problem wasn’t evolution, per se. I did not believe in evolution at the time, but that wouldn’t have prevented me from entering into biology. The problem was that I actually believed what they said about the nature of biological change. That is, that biological change occurs through random mutations and natural selection.

How Boring!

The two sides I knew of biology was either (a) memorizing names of organisms or their parts, and (b) waiting for and observing pointless (by definition!) changes in organisms.

So, basically, if I wanted to mess with something dynamic, I should choose a different branch of science.

Really, what is cooler than the non-Darwinian research? Bacteria which re-engineer their biochemistry to respond to specific threats? Tuning knobs in the genome? Genomes that plan for the future using targetted randomness? Untemplated genetic changes being thrown in to accomodate for stress? Systems which are made from a metaprogramming template and then refined through highly targetted mutations?

Now, of course, none of these things are going to be taught. Not because they aren’t believed by everyone in biology, but because they don’t support the standard neo-Darwinistic viewpoint. If they are taught, they won’t be taught as the awe-inspiring mechanisms they are, but rather as just another instance of random mutation and natural selection. That’s not only untrue, it’s also HIDEOUSLY BORING.

If you want to bore kids out of their mind and get them to major in something else besides the biological sciences, by all means don’t teach the controversy.

47 Replies to “Why I Care About Teaching the Controversy

  1. 1
    O'Leary says:

    A young cognitive scientist told me years ago that one problem in his field was that he couldn’t study a given feature of the human brain without stating “how it evolved” – via Darwinism, of course.

    “Evolved” never means anything else.

    No one likely knows how a feature unique to humans really evolved, so he couldn’t study such a feature without bullshipping about it.

    There are still people out there – not Darwinists or evolutionary psychologists, I gather – who find randomly generated bullshipping an insult to everyone’s intelligence and a waste of research time.

    Oh, and did you KNOW that people max out their credit cards (or don’t), eat or drink to excess (or don’t), chase other people’s spouses (or don’t), go to church (or don’t) entirely due to natural selection acting on random mutation?

    Also, the primitively evolved “reptilian brain” guarantees that the cow alligator shows no concern for her eggs.

    Oh, wait … if you decide to test that last one, make sure you have left your legal and financial affairs in good order, and have a Cadillac health plan.

    Darwin and his supporters are, of course, always right, except where they are simply wrong. But that doesn’t matter if they have got the law and the tax funding on their side.

  2. 2
    DATCG says:

    Exactly, bored the tears out of me when I was a child. Had anyone told me working in biology would be like working on a car engine, I’d been much more interested. But it was always about collecting, categorizing and then making up stories about what “may have happened.”

    And what is worse is how curiosity is killed in truly bright kids. I was in advanced classes. Yet, I was not able to think advanced thoughts or questions outside the ruling paradigm of Darwinism.

    I think it is changing today as children are seeing the reality of life unfold before them like we never did. Engineering breakthrus in nano cellular realities has caught up over the last several decades with other sciences.

    This naturally transfers to more kids interest and will advance the ID paradigm as they enter the field. Being concerned more about how life works as a design is a very fruitful exercise and should be encouraged at all levels, not just special collegiate fields of biomimicry.

    Science, despite all the handwaving and scare tactics of Darwinist to the contrary will march on, with IDist and/or even more Creationist doing great work. One only need look at people like John Sanford to know that “religion” does not stop science, nor does it require control.

    These Fear Tactics, attempted to smear IDist are silly propaganda. Propaganda has no place in science.

  3. 3
    hrun0815 says:

    Also, the primitively evolved “reptilian brain” guarantees that the cow alligator shows no concern for her eggs.

    Really, a website from a course taught at McGill is the standard for the conventional scientific view of reptilian brains?

    Why don’t we look at the actual scientific literature? There we find hundreds of papers that deal with the memory of fish (e.g. goldfish and zebra fish). And many papers deal with exactly how memories are formed.

    Or… one has to take the term reptilian brain and try to understand it better (something that is most likely done in that particular lecture at McGill). Maybe they are not talking at all about the brain of any particular reptilian but about a particular aspect of the brain where memory formation is not necessary.

    In either case, you will most likely be hard-pressed to find biologists that claim (or teach) that reptilians show no concerns for their eggs.

    As always, I am puzzled by the fact that (in particular as a journalist) you can simply claim and announce things without actually fact-checking them.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    hrun0815, re your [3], I am afraid it is you, not O’Leary, who is “making it up as you go” and I will prove it. I bet I can go on the internet and within 30 minutes find a dozen credentialed scientists who claim that certain reptiles have no care for their eggs. If I win, you will post a contrite apology to O’Leary. If you win, I will post a contrite apology to you. Do you take the bet?

  5. 5
    O'Leary says:

    Hi, all,

    Cold reptilian brain theory (now that I have my fifteen minute break):

    Reptilian brain theory as espoused by a neuroscientist is here, and here, and also here. Oh, and here’s another one.

    Here, in an Explorations in Neuroscience book, we are informed that the mammalian but not the reptilian brain adds emotion. I defy anyone to watch some of the YouTubes of alligators and crocodiles that I have linked and claim that the cows do not show emotion with respect to their young.

    Here is a neuroscience mention of protection of self and territory but not protection of young – which alligators and crocodiles evidently do.

    Now I gotta go back to work again. But if I can do this stuff on my break from a marketplace job, …. what about a Darwinist tax burden somewhere? What’s the big problem with just updating his thinking?

    My sources for alligator cows defending their eggs are mainly people who work or have worked to conserve alligators (and are not called “Lefty” of necessity, or otherwise, “The Dear Departed”).

    I do not claim that all or most reptiles show concern for their offspring. Probably, the majority do not, as there is no need. Many young reptiles are live born replicas of their parents.

    But if any reptiles do, claims for the “reptilian brain only” as preventing the show of emotion must be appropriately qualified.

    It is not hard to see why the alligator cow would evolve to show concern for her eggs/offspring.

    The eggs must incubate (and any creature could come along and eat them). Then the hatchlings must be carried to the water, in her mouth. Usually, they hang around mom for a while, as they would otherwise just be eaten. There is, I am told, nothing unusual about them r iding on her back.

    One can say it is all an instinct if one wants. But the instinct is there and it needs to be there.

    I will try to post some more links.

    Here are some I found pretty quickly:

    Alligators caring for eggs or young:

    “You can see just how protective she is of her nest”

    Crocodile mom releases hatchling from egg

    Alligator gathers unhatched eggs in her mouth (= purse, I suppose) and takes them to the water, cracking them open to release the hatchlings.

    Crocodile feeding her young

    Study on alligator moms

    Note especially the call and response.

    More on alligator moms

    Riding around on the mom-mobile: Riding on mom’s back, according to San Diego Zoo

    However, unfeeling reptilian brain theory:

    Notes on reptilian brain theory

    Why it matters:

    Notes on use of reptile brain theory in courtroom (Great … )

    Reptilian brain in shrink’s office. (Note: Hey, some human moms would not be in the courtroom or on the shrink’s couch if they had a bit more reptilian (alligator) brain re protecting their kids.)

    Promotion of what sounds to me like a fruit n’ nut sundae via reptilian brain theory.

    Hey, I gotta go back to work now. I am on a deadline.

    Basically, it is no use telling me that all this – and a lot more I can find -can be written off. The problem is that responsible scientists do not denounce it. Some choose to denounce people like me who expose it.

    This is the same principle as with “evolutionary psychology”. To the extent that evolutionary biologists take no responsibility for bizarre or occult uses of their work, they differ from, say, physicians, who are quick to denounce apparent quackery.

    That suggests that physicians’ work has a basis in science, but evolutionary biologists’ doesn’t.

  6. 6
    hrun0815 says:

    re #4: How in the world is your challenge going to address what I wrote earlier?

  7. 7
    hrun0815 says:

    re #5: I realize that you write all, so I assume that nothing you write actually addresses what I wrote earlier?

  8. 8
    Fross says:

    Crocodiles are closer to birds than to snakes and turtles. (4 chambered hearts, and like birds, they care for their young)

  9. 9
    O'Leary says:

    hrun at 6 and 7, you wrote

    “Or… one has to take the term reptilian brain and try to understand it better (something that is most likely done in that particular lecture at McGill).”

    [Not so far as it has been interpreted, and if you have further info, please post it. Popular culture would be in your debt, provided the McGill team wishes to issue a statement disclaiming “reptilian brain theory” as currently understood.]

    “Maybe they are not talking at all about the brain of any particular reptilian but about a particular aspect of the brain where memory formation is not necessary.”

    [Wake up, hrun! Many people have got themselves killed or maimed trying to outsmart an adult breeding reptile in its own territory, so I would not suggest that anyone count on the idea that reptiles do not have memory.]

    “In either case, you will most likely be hard-pressed to find biologists that claim (or teach) that reptilians show no concerns for their eggs.”

    [No, I didn’t have any trouble at all. Check my post at 5. But I must go back to my deadline job. I only get short breaks.

    By the way, just so I know, are you funded by taxpayers? I’m not.]

    “As always, I am puzzled by the fact that (in particular as a journalist) you can simply claim and announce things without actually fact-checking.”

    [I do a lot of fact checking. Darwinists, by contrast, hunt and peck, looking only for what supports their desperately needed theory. By the way, I would wager that crocodilians are not the only reptiles that defend their eggs. Just the ones with the most impressive jaws. Granted, it is hard for a human to understand any reptile’s emotions, apart from a trip to the ER. I strongly recommend that all humans stop short of that.]

  10. 10
    Retroman says:

    As a high school student, you said you wanted to major in theology and didn’t believe in evolution. What you thus reveal is that you were already religious and had been taught by someone not to believe in evolution. So you didn’t examine the evidence and decide that evolution wasn’t true. Someone told you, for religious reasons, that it wasn’t, and you’ve been looking for reasons to prove it false ever since. That, my friend, is called rationalizing.

    As for your opinion that evolution is boring, well, how can that mean anything to anyone but you? Personally I find it fascinating. To each of us, the answer is “so what?” It’s about whether it appears to be true or not. One doesn’t teach science in science classes in order to entertain.

  11. 11
    hrun0815 says:

    <blockquote?Not so far as it has been interpreted, and if you have further info, please post it.

    Just look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain) and take it from there.

    For example “The R-complex, also known as the “Reptilian brain”, includes the brain stem and cerebellum. The term “Reptilian brain” comes from the fact that a reptile’s brain is dominated by the brain stem and cerebellum which controls instinctual survival behaviors and thinking. This brain controls the muscles, balance and autonomic functions (e.g. breathing and heartbeat).[1] It is, thus, primarily reactive to direct stimuli.”

    Wake up, hrun […]

    I didn’t argue what you think I argued. Read again.

    No, I didn’t have any trouble at all. Check my post at 5. […]

    I read you post at 5. It is completely irrelevant. Again: I did not argue what you think I argued. Read again.

    I do a lot of fact checking.

    If that is true, then things are really sad. First you misrepresent the evidence and then you misrepresent what I wrote.

  12. 12
    hrun0815 says:

    By the way, just so I know, are you funded by taxpayers? I’m not.

    I just saw this part.

    How does this matter? Have my arguments more or less merit if I am funded by taxpayers? Does it matter to your arguments who funds you?

    I made observations on what you wrote and what links you used to support your argument. They are lacking. It was pointed out to you. In return, you misrepresented what I wrote. How does taxpayer funds play a role in this?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    I believe this woman has something very powerful to say about “teaching the controversy”

    Radical Marxist, Radical Womanist, Radical Love: What Mother Teresa Taught Me about Social Justice
    http://vimeo.com/8896410

    The Three Dominant Worldviews in the University and Their Relationship to the Christian Worldview
    http://vimeo.com/9170297

    Justice: Christian and Secular
    http://vimeo.com/9162329

    Jesus and the University
    http://vimeo.com/9191623

    What Mother Teresa Can Teach You That Your University Can’t
    http://vimeo.com/9192066

    Seeking Truth: The Radical Conversion of a Professor
    http://vimeo.com/9193119

  14. 14
    O'Leary says:

    hrun, at 10, I think it is no use discussing this matter with you.

    1. I never pay any attention to Wikipedia, and would think the less of any teacher or prof who authorized its use. (For some months, if not years, I was “Diane” O’Leary there – an easy matter to fact check – but which of their zealots or ideologues would bother with plain, easily verifiable facts?

    As opposed to Darwinists’ fanciful speculations, my personal info is a matter of public record, and so far the record has never been contested by me or anyone else.)

    2. Like many pop authors, you need to believe in a construct called “the reptilian brain.”

    I don’t care, as long as it does NOT find its way into public policy, as it threatens to do. As understood in popular culture, it is a myth, period.

    Also, hrun at 11: It matters to me because I must shortly file my tax return. I resent paying for publicly funded nonsense about the natural world – on behalf of all good citizens of the Western world, only to support the worthless ideology of Darwinism and fund the persecution of dissenters.

    ARE you funded by my – or any citizen of a liberal democratic society’s – taxes?

    Yes, it DOES matter.

  15. 15
    Toronto says:

    O’Leary @13,
    What hrun0815 is pointing out is that you are using the term reptilian brain as if it were the actual brain of a reptile.
    This is the same type of error pointed out by johnnyb in another thread where OT slavery was compared to 19th century slavery.
    A reptile’s brain is not the “reptilian brain”.

    ARE you funded by my – or any citizen of a liberal democratic society’s – taxes?

    Yes, it DOES matter.

    The other side of the sword, is that if he is right, the taxpayer got a benefit.

  16. 16
    hrun0815 says:

    hrun, at 10, I think it is no use discussing this matter with you.

    That’s fine. I will attempt to address your arguments, no matter how ridiculous they are or how much they are lacking in actual facts.

    I never pay any attention to Wikipedia, […]

    Your loss. Can you actually refute that the ‘reptilian brain theory’ means that the reptilian brain PRIMARILY reacts to direct stimuli (thus it means it does as well react to secondary ones).

    Like many pop authors, you need to believe in a construct called “the reptilian brain.”

    I don’t. In fact, I never came across the reptilian brain before. If it does or does not exist does not matter to me one bit. What matters to me is somebody disseminating falsehoods.

    Also, hrun at 11: It matters to me […]

    Why. I ask again: Is my argument more or less valid if I am funded by taxpayers? Is your argument more or less valid if you are not?

    —-

    Finally, just as a reminder to everyone: First you claim that “the primitively evolved “reptilian brain” guarantees that the cow alligator shows no concern for her eggs.” I ask again: who claims this? I have shown you that what is generally understood as the reptilian brain actually does have the capacity of memory and reaction to secondary stimulus. You simply ignored this fact because it does not fit in your narrative.

    All those other links and snippets you posted simply redirect from this very fact.

    Btw. there are many evolutionary biologists that study memory in fish. A brain supposedly even more primitive that the reptilian brain.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    hruno815,
    If you are trying to ultimately establish consciousness “emerged” from a material basis, you may want to carefully consider this following evidence:

    I’ve recently posted this before on another post but it bears worth repeating here:

    Leading atheist Richard Dawkins has called people who believe in God delusional. Yet, people who are delusional resolutely deny reality. Then the truth is that materialists, such as Richard Dawkins, are the ones who are delusional, in the purest sense of the word, since quantum mechanics has revealed, in no uncertain terms, that reality is a “consciousness centered” reality that precedes the 3 dimensional “material” reality in the first place. i.e. It is impossible for a 3 dimensional material reality to independently give rise to that which it is absolutely dependent on for its own reality in the first place.

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....anglement/

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....radiation/

    of note: The only way to “geometrically” maintain continuous 3D spherical symmetry of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, within the “3D universe”, from radically different points of observation in the universe, is for all the “higher dimensional” quantum waves of the universe to collapse to their “uncertain” 3D particle state, universally and instantaneously, for/to each individual conscious observer in the universe. The 4-D expanding hypersphere of the space-time of relativity is grossly insufficient to maintain 3-D integrity/symmetry from radically different points of observation in the universe.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables. http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for “spooky” forces, as Einstein termed them—forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience – Pim Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....ommel_nde/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth.
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/

  18. 18
    hrun0815 says:

    If you are trying to ultimately establish consciousness “emerged” from a material basis[…]

    Again, who wants to do that? I simply read what Denyse wrote, realized that it smelled like a complete falsehood or at the very least like a bad exaggeration and I then proceeded to call her on it. She simply ignored the evidence. There is no more to it than that.

  19. 19
    O'Leary says:

    hrun0815, whoever you are, if you live in my country (Canada) and you are funded by taxes, you eat, sleep, and clothe and entertain yourself at my expense.

    Be warm, well fed, sleep well, and enjoy yourself.

    But don’t ask ME to take your opinions seriously. I just got another demand letter from the government, NOT a cheque from a government-funded agency like a university.

    Do YOU get that? Wow …

    And if anyone does not understand what the difference means, … they need remedial arithmetic.

    Anyway, exploding this point: It means the government forces me to support all kinds of people who are contrary to my interests and welfare. That’s okay, until the government starts demanding support for worthless causes and projects like Darwinism, recovered memories, and human-caused global climate change, which are obviously ill-founded and could cause misery to thousands or millions.

    I would be happy to support research into late life health issues. I really wish I could direct my tax dollars more efficiently.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    hrun0815,
    Do you not think that at least hundreds of scientific papers, in the literature so far, operate from the presupposition that consciousness emerged from a material basis? And more importantly that the papers operate from the meta-presupposition that the human brain evolved from some type of primitive reptilian brain? Methinks you are on thin ice in your criticism of Ms. O’Leary.

  21. 21
    Toronto says:

    O’Leary @18,

    Anyway, exploding this point: It means the government forces me to support all kinds of people who are contrary to my interests and welfare.

    But if hrun0815 is right, how is that contrary to your interests?

    If we’re to follow the evidence no matter where it leads, then we should be funding people who are right, not people who necessarily agree with our personal opinion, which may actually be wrong.

    If our tax dollars support people who get things right, then it’s money well spent.

  22. 22
    johnnyb says:

    Retroman –

    As a high school student, you said you wanted to major in theology and didn’t believe in evolution. What you thus reveal is that you were already religious

    Yes.

    and had been taught by someone not to believe in evolution.

    That may be the case, but I don’t remember anyone teaching it to me. I grew up Methodists. Methodists, on the whole, don’t care about the issue of evolution, or origins in general. The bigger influence on my ideas about evolution as I remember them is that I grew up in a family of engineers (my Dad taught me to program computers right after I learned to read at 6 years old). See, for instance, my personal reflection. I think the Salem hypothesis applies, but probably not for the reasons Salem thought – I think engineering, on the whole, naturally leads people to see where design is required.

    I have, in the recent years, reflected on the relationship between theology and science, and my current take is decidedly non-methodist. I have found (1) as Hunter does, that science tends to use theology implicitly, if not explicitly, and (2) good theology can actually lead to advances in science. Most people don’t realize that the Big Bang theory and Genetics both arose from apologetics about Genesis. Would you make the same arguments about Mendel and LeMaitre? The fact is, if you believe in the Big Bang, you are following in the footsteps of Thomistic theology. If you believe in population genetics, you are following in the footsteps of creation and aristotelian biology. You can argue, rightfully, that neither the big bang nor genetics requires one to believe in a theology. That’s true, but they are no less grounded in one. In addition, it shows the efficacy of positions that are theologically informed. The problem with not analyzing science theologically is that you wind up inheriting a theology unreflectively – and I think that is the worst position.

    So you didn’t examine the evidence and decide that evolution wasn’t true. Someone told you, for religious reasons, that it wasn’t, and you’ve been looking for reasons to prove it false ever since. That, my friend, is called rationalizing.

    I think you’ve misunderstood what I’ve said on this blog. I haven’t proven evolution false, but more precisely stated in what ways it is true, and what are its parameters for operation (see here, here, here, here, and here).

    You also misunderstood the way theology works. It isn’t “someone told me X, so there”. In fact, most people don’t realize the long history that inerrancy has with evolution. Charles Hodge, the grandfather of inerrancy, and A. A. Hodge, the father of inerrancy, both had no problem with evolution in its general form, though, at least Charles (I don’t know about A. A.) was quite critical of Darwinism, specifically.

    I should also note that I am currently in seminary (Phillips Theological Seminary). They have taught me very well how to analyze a whole range of subjects – from literature to politics – theologically. Interestingly, most of them wouldn’t think of analyzing science theologically, and take Darwinism at face value. However, I think, like Clouser, that science, just as every other subject, benefits from explicit theological analysis, rather than just picking up inherited theology uncritically.

  23. 23
    Toronto says:

    bornagain77 @19,

    Methinks you are on thin ice in your criticism of Ms. O’Leary.

    The criticism is of providing the evidence to support her assertion.

    You are suggesting it is direct criticism of a particular point, in this case, one that was not even made.

  24. 24
    hrun0815 says:

    Do YOU get that?

    No. I am sorry to say that I still don’t get it.

    I will ask for a final time: “Is my argument more or less valid if I am funded by taxpayers? Is your argument more or less valid if you are not?” Nothing else should matter as far as this discussion is concerned.

  25. 25
    hrun0815 says:

    Do you not think that at least hundreds of scientific papers, in the literature so far, operate from the presupposition that consciousness emerged from a material basis?[…]

    They might. But I have not made an argument about those papers. I addressed a specific point raised earlier that was just plain wrong (or at least extremely exaggerated). That is the purpose of my arguments. Evaluate them based on that.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    hruno815,
    Be careful, I hear the ice cracking.

  27. 27
    hrun0815 says:

    bornagain77,
    Be careful, I hear the lion roaring.

  28. 28
    O'Leary says:

    “Is my argument more or less valid if I am funded by taxpayers? Is your argument more or less valid if you are not?” Nothing else should matter as far as this discussion is concerned.”

    Okay, hrun [why don’t these people use names and locations?]: Are you a Canadian citizen?

    Yes or no?

    Surely no Canadian would refuse to answer.

    I myself would rather be a Canadian than have five earned doctorates and ten honorary doctorates.

    Surely, you must feel the same, when you see all that we have inherited, no virtue of our own.

    So, if you are a Canadian, do my taxes fund you?

    Yes or no?

    If so, your taxes certainly do not fund me.

    And I must deal with increasing levels of demand letters from the government, due to unwise spending on entitlements, bailouts, political correctness, etc.

    What, exactly, about this arithmetic do you not understand?

    Whoops, Darwinists believe that information can come from nowhere. So maybe they think money comes from nowhere too …

    It matters because – if you are a Canadian, as I am beginning to wonder – I am forced to work to all hours to support you and your opinions and don’t have time, energy, or money to support things I believe are more true or more important.

    Money is what happens when I get up in the middle of the night to work for people in foreign countries.

    Quite the contrary, a disgruntled person could launch some stupid persecution against me any time they wished – at present, at additional government expense for taxpayers – but I would have to pay privately to defend myself.

    While I cannot imagine anyone wishing to do this, if I were addressing such a hypothetical person, I would say: DON’T try it on me. I am not called O’Leary for no reason.

  29. 29
    hrun0815 says:

    It matters because – if you are a Canadian, as I am beginning to wonder – I am forced to work to all hours to support you and your opinions and don’t have time, energy, or money to support things I believe are more true or more important.

    If I am funded by your tax dollar or not does not matter. Your argument is false. As simple as that.

    Defend your own argument and stop trying to figure out the person pointing out that your argument is false.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Hrun0815, TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS are shooting lions on a savanna, a lion notices the photographers and roars, and it makes a quick approach to eat the photographers. One of the photographers pulls off his shoes, The other one says “What are you doin? You can’t outrun that lion!” The other says ‘I don’t have to outrun that lion! I only got to outrun you!”

  31. 31
    hrun0815 says:

    bornagain77, TWO ESKIMOS are walking on an ice shelf in Greenland, a walrus notices the eskimos, and it makes a quick approach to steal some of their fish. One of the eskimos pulls off his boots, The other one says “What are you doin? You can outrun an Walrus!” The other says ‘Actually, a walrus is not so fast on land, so actually I can!”

  32. 32
    O'Leary says:

    hrun0815 at 27, who does not wish to reveal name, citizenship, or tax burden status (obviously not a proud Canadian, but probably a tax burden somewhere):

    No one would pull off their boots to walk any distance across pack ice, if they hoped to save their toes.

    Also, it is unwise to assume that we can run faster than all types of animals. Many have died assuming they can run faster than a bear or an alligator. The fact that the animal appears sluggish when he is at rest and unchallenged is NOT a good indicator.

    Anyway, I must now leave this discussion, due to work-related issues – with the following observations:

    – Tax funding matters a great deal to the question of whether nonsense can be retailed as sense.

    The “reptiles show no care for young,” thesis due to tri-partite evolution of the brain – as a blanket statement – is a good example of Darwinism-based nonsense, easily refuted by an Internet search.

    Again, I implore all to beware the alligator death roll and also the king cobra family, whom you do NOT want to visit any time near the natal day.

    Or any time at all, actually, but especially not when they are hatching dozens of young cobras.

  33. 33
    hrun0815 says:

    No one would pull off their boots to walk any distance across pack ice, if they hoped to save their toes.

    True. It’s a story.

    Also, it is unwise to assume that we can run faster than all types of animals. […]

    Yet another implied falsehood. Nobody assumed anywhere that we can run faster than all types of animals.

    – Tax funding matters a great deal to the question of whether nonsense can be retailed as sense.

    True. Yet it has no bearing on the validity of my or your arguments.

    The “reptiles show no care for young,” thesis due to tri-partite evolution of the brain – as a blanket statement – is a good example of Darwinism-based nonsense, easily refuted by an Internet search.

    I ask again who is a proponent of the “reptiles show no care for young” theory? When was it espoused? What was their reason? Does anybody still subscribe to it? All those question remain unanswered, yet, somebody decides to draw conclusions nevertheless.

    Again, I implore all to beware the alligator death roll and also the king cobra family […]

    This is one of the things I can whole-heartedly agree with (tax payer funded or not / proud Canadian or not).

  34. 34
    avocationist says:

    Hrun,
    It seems most of this silly argument arises from your initial misunderstanding of Denyse’s post. When she said alligators don’t care for their young, she was being sarcastic.
    She did show that the theory of the reptilian brain is still promoted.

    If your promotion of Darwinism is a publicly funded job does not directly impinge on the correctness of your argument, but it might impinge upon your motives.

    Many times, it is motive first, and the attempt at logical underpinning second.

    And, if you think someone has misunderstood you, why not restate what you said and save time?

  35. 35
    hrun0815 says:

    avocationist, I very well understood what Denyse was implying.

    She is claiming that it is false to say that “the primitively evolved “reptilian brain” guarantees that the cow alligator shows no concern for her eggs.”

    I asked her who promotes this view. Neither she, nor Barry Arrington, where able to show people who currently do. What followed was a long diatribe about the ‘reptilian brain theory’ which I also showed misrepresented the facts. That’s all I did. None of my statements promoted Darwinism. It doesn’t matter whether or not I am Canadian. I doesn’t matter whether or not my work is publicly funded.

    And, surprisingly, I’d be happy to clarify any misunderstanding. Maybe Denyse can do so. For example, she claims that ‘[I] need to believe in a construct called “the reptilian brain”‘! She claims that somebody assumed ‘that we can run faster than all types of animals’! She claims that somebody thinks (or teaches) that ‘the primitively evolved “reptilian brain” guarantees that the cow alligator shows no concern for her eggs’!

    Are all of these misunderstandings she is unwilling to clear up? Are they falsehoods she is promoting? Are they exaggerations? Is the whole deal about publicly funded Canadians simply a ruse to distract from somebody calling her on her falsehoods?

    I don’t know. You tell me.

  36. 36
    Nakashima says:

    Given the continued existence of tax funded religious based education in Canada, I’d be careful playing that card.

  37. 37
    Nakashima says:

    The question of whether any other species has the same emotions we do hasn’t been supported here by anything more than “looks that way to me”. Is there a clear definition of any given behavior as emotionally driven that we are all agreeing to? I thought not. A great way to talk past each other.

  38. 38
    O'Leary says:

    Look, I gotta get back to my paid job really soon, but why would anyone want to fudge the question of whether he is a Canadian? Or whether his job is supported by tax funding? Some other funding?

    For the record, I am born* Canadian citizen and British subject (Saskatchewan, March 31, 1950).

    Live in city of Toronto (province of Ontario). No one funds me other than my clients for usual editing or writing work. Despite rumours, I have never solicited or received funds from the Discovery Institute.

    I did ask them for book prizes for a contest I run here, and hope to announce new prizes shortly.

    *You think that is not important? You should have seen the reaction of the driving instructor at a local Bismillah driving school. He told the other students: “Do you see this woman? She was actually BORN here.”

    At the time, I thought, “Yeah, so? People are born here every day.”

    Later, I came to realize what that means. And I am dedicated to preserving what it means. As I hope all Americans who deserve well of their country are dedicated to a similar objective.

  39. 39
    hrun0815 says:

    […] why would anyone want to fudge the question of whether he is a Canadian? Or whether his job is supported by tax funding? Some other funding?

    Aehhhh, I know: Cause it is completely irrelevant to the arguments being made.

    For the record, I am born* Canadian citizen and British subject (Saskatchewan, March 31, 1950).

    That’s just great for you, but it does not change anything about any of the arguments you put forth.

    Live in city of Toronto […]

    The rest, I simply can’t follow. It’s simply a story with– yet again– no bearing on ANY of the arguments put forth here.

  40. 40
    warehuff says:

    O’Leary at 9: “By the way, just so I know, are you funded by taxpayers? I’m not.”

    So should people (even scientists) who are funded by taxpayers have free speech or not?

    It looks like virtually all of your writing is directed at religious institutions and their members. Does Canada subsidize religion by letting them skip paying property taxes and allowing donations to be deducted from income taxes like America does?

    If so, that is a direct subsidy to any religious organization that purchases your writings and it leaves more money for anyone who donates to their church to purchase your writings.

    But I think you should have free speech anyway.

  41. 41
    O'Leary says:

    Okay, let me summarize:

    hrun0815 does not wish to say if he a Canadian. If so, I assume he is not a proud one.

    Also does not wish to say if my taxes fund him. Whether proud of that or otherwise, I cannot judge, but I suspect I do fund him.

    Consider: Anyone would immediately disclaim personal financial interest in a matter in which they do not in fact have a personal financial interest. So, beating around the bush suggests a personal financial interest.

    The whole “reptilian brain” construct is evident nonsense aimed at propping up a Darwinian view of evolution, with little relevance to actual vertebrate evolution in reality.

    Facts worth considering: To my knowledge, all birds lay eggs, which fact forces birds to either sit on the eggs or find another bird to do so (cf cuckoo). Mammals’ offspring are usually born underdeveloped and must be fed milk or else (marsupials) further incubated as well, in a specially developed pouch.

    Reptiles are exothermic, so offspring can be live born replicas of their parents – but often are not. In that latter case, the reptilian cow will show about the same response as a mammalian cow will to perceived threats to her offspring – in the latter case, whether hatched or not.

    So a reasonable way of understanding the reptile would be to say that the reptile shows emotion about what matters to the reptile, and uses the reptilian brain to do so. Evidence makes this clear.

    So the “reptilian brain” theory, as commonly understood, is simply wrong, and should be retired.

    We do not really yet know what causes animals to be concerned about their offspring.

  42. 42
    hrun0815 says:

    hrun0815 does not wish to say if he a Canadian. If so, I assume he is not a proud one.

    How does that follow? I could be an extremely proud Canadian who knows that his canadianess does not have any bearing on the argument.

    Also does not wish to say if my taxes fund him. Whether proud of that or otherwise, I cannot judge, but I suspect I do fund him.

    How is that true? It could be that my unwillingness to reveal if you fund me has simply to do with the fact that the funding also does not have any bearings on the argument.

    Consider: Anyone would immediately disclaim personal financial interest in a matter in which they do not in fact have a personal financial interest. So, beating around the bush suggests a personal financial interest.

    Or, of course, they would simply see what is plain to see: The financial ties don’t have anything to do with the arugments presented here.

    Facts worth considering:[…]

    Nobody really disputes these facts. I, at the very least, certainly do no.

    So a reasonable way of understanding the reptile would be to say that the reptile shows emotion about what matters to the reptile, and uses the reptilian brain to do so. Evidence makes this clear.

    How does that follow? They could simply guard their eggs without any emotion. However, I ask you not to belabor that point either, because it also has no bearing on the argument.

    So the “reptilian brain” theory, as commonly understood, is simply wrong, and should be retired.

    Ahhhhhh: As commonly understood. Funny thing is, it is probably folks like you who promote this whole deal about ‘commonly understood’. How about discussion what reptilian brain theory actually is? How about discussing all the other things that I supposedly ‘misunderstood’?

    We do not really yet know what causes animals to be concerned about their offspring.

    True again. So why in the world would you claim that in the case of the reptile emotions are in play?

  43. 43
    Toronto says:

    O’Leary @41,

    hrun0815 does not wish to say if he a Canadian. If so, I assume he is not a proud one.

    He has the same rights as kairosfocus does to withold any of his personal information for any reasons.

    It has nothing to do with this debate and I don’t believe anyone on either side should feel pressured into revealing any personal info in order to make a point.

  44. 44
    hrun0815 says:

    Toronto, thank you for your post. Sadly, though, you forgot:

    #38
    #32
    #28
    #19
    #14
    #9

    All of which asked me if I was a Canadian citizen and/or funded by Denyse’s taxes. And all of which I had to point out are meaningless to the discussion. Each one of those posts could have been used to simply point out the ‘misunderstandings’ or correct the ‘exaggerations’ or outright ‘falsehoods’.

  45. 45
    O'Leary says:

    hrun + numbers [?]

    Men and women fight and die as proud Canadians. I am sorry if you think it is somehow just another academic issue whether you live here or are a Canadian.

    I still don’t know who you are, and that matters a great deal.

    Arguments are not made in a vaccuum.

    For the record, I am Denyse O’Leary, born Saskatchewan, Canada, 1950, current Toronto, Ontario, resident.

    I became interested in all the nonsense about the reptilian brain because it so little resembled what my American friends say about the reptiles they actually know.

    (We have fewer reptiles here in Canada, so it makes sense that “reptile brain” nonsense would be fronted by a Canadian Darwinist U, right?)

  46. 46
    Toronto says:

    O’Leary @45,

    Men and women fight and die as proud Canadians.

    Men and women fight and die as proud citizens of their respective countries all over the world.

    Not stating their nationalities will not change the validity of any their arguments.

    I too am a Canadian but it doesn’t help me in any debate with anyone here.

    You are the one trying to make an issue where none exists.

  47. 47
    hrun0815 says:

    Re O’Leary:

    I am very well aware that men and women fight as proud Canadians (or any other nationality). I, by the way, do not think at all think that it is an academic issue if I live in Canada.

    I do understand that this matters TO YOU a lot. It seems that virtually nobody else cares. And, you have never explained why it matters to the argument at hand.

    I am also aware that arguments are not made in a vacuuum. What context about the argument would you like? You never asked.

    Thank you for, yet again, stating this for the record.

    Thank you also for explaining why you are interested. Did you ever figure out what ‘reptilian brain’ actually means? Wikipedia disagrees with you. I know you don’t care about that. But you were also unable to find biologists who claim that reptiles don’t care for their young, have memories, have emotions, …

    And I am sorry you don’t have that many reptiles in Canada. But, there are heating systems in Canada, so reptiles can be kept and studied in Canada as well.

    (And, yet again, no effort has been made to clear anything up. We just have ANOTHER post about whether or not I am Canadian. As if it matters to the argument about the reptilian brain in the least.)

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