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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Conservapedia has published (what they call) an essay, titled, “Capsizing people’s evolutionary views via 15 questions,” which attempts to explore why evolutionists (or, those who believe evolution) are just dead wrong in their understanding of how the world works.

Unfortunately, the article does little more than ask questions which for the most part seem irrelevant to the study of evolution all together. Here are the questions.

Most of what the article seems to be trying to promote, however, is the new Question Evolution! campaign, consistently citing instances where evolutionists are stumped on answering some of the infamous 15 questions posed.

We all know evolutionists are utterly powerless when it comes to the 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer. Just imagine seeing videotaped interview after videotaped interview of people being stumped by the 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer. Of course, once people see these interviews, many will want to do their own videos. It is going to be very educational and a lot of fun.

I have a few objections to make. Actually, no; these aren’t objections. This is me calling out the bullshit.

1) Nothing is hard fact. Nothing.

Science is an ever-changing atmosphere because knowledge is an ever-changing atmosphere. Half of what we discover in this century may be rewritten in the next. Anyone who has taken a basic philosophy course realizes that everything we observe (and things we can’t observe) are subject to change at any given point; the often cited example is how mankind used to believe our world was flat, when in actuality (well, this is how we see it now) the world is a sphere. It is because things can always change that rational human beings call things relating to nearly all subject areas, including science, theories.

2) Science & Evolution are separate from religion for a reason.

That reason is because science flat-out attempts to answer questions we as mankind have about the natural world, whereas religion is there to help us answer questions about the spiritual world. You see the difference? Science is based upon things strictly observed — which is why it is easier to pile evidence or backing on theories we develop from science. Religion, however, is something much different. We use religion to help us answer things we can’t necessarily just observe — like the existence of a god, or a heaven, or magic for all that matter. The study of evolution doesn’t even attempt answering how life originated from the very, very beginning; the best links it can provide are how organisms have evolved from other organisms — which does not answer how the universe & life itself was created — and that’s fine, because evolution is not supposed to try answering those questions.

I think what people don’t realize a lot of the time is that most aspects of evolution and religion can exist cohesively, for the most part. Just because one believes in the science of evolution & natural selection does not mean that some all powerful deity didn’t create the process of evolution in the first place. The only conflicting aspects might be in regards to time — in particular, how old the earth actually is. Yet that still doesn’t mean one cannot believe in the Christian faith, or any other faith, and at the same time not look to scientific findings & research as a basis for how they view the world.

3) Creating a conflict between the two is nothing more than bigotry.

I just fucking love how this video tells students in schools to question their instructors on how evolution works and whether or not it is fact. I’ve already established that evolution is not fact, just like everything in science (philosophically, that is); but no shit, of course students should question their teachers on things they’re taught in school — just like how kids should question their history instructors about the great depression and what other casual links may exist, or how kids should question their pastors in church to understand, fundamentally, why their pastors believe what they believe so strongly, so that they themselves can judge if it works for them.

The Question Evolution! campaign even cites itself as:

…a worldwide “grass-roots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution”.

Evolution is not anti-Christian in and of itself, OK? Are there people who use evolution as backing to condemn the Christian faith? Absolutely. (I’m looking at YOU, Dawkins.) Should they be doing that? No, I don’t think so. But the writers of this article on Conservapedia seem to do the same thing by condemning evolutionists worldwide. They even go as far as to pool evolutionists and atheists into the same category, as if they are interchangeable terms (which they are not, by the way. Go back to my second point.) Creating campaigns/groups like this are the same reason American politics is a failure in today’s two-party system — all you’re doing is creating more “Ravvle”!

If there’s anything you or I can take away from this post, let it be this:

Science is as much a belief system as any religion is. Get the fuck over it.


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…Well, they at least don’t make sense anymore. Occupy Wall Street has been going on since the fourth quarter of September, and it has sparked similar movements and protests to spring up around the globe. The message? Although the movement has not adopted a specific platform of any sort, it is fair to say that the main theme(s) have been: Anti-Corporate Greed, Campaign-Finance Reform, and raising awareness over Wealth Disparity in the U.S.

And don’t get me wrong — I am in total support of these themes. These are real issues which need real solvency. However, the problem lies in how the movement goes about doing that.

Whenever someone starts talking to me about the Occupy protesters do you know what comes to my mind? A five-year old who stomps his foot down yelling, “NNNEEEAAHHH!” This is because that’s all the Occupy protesters are accomplishing with their actions. The very thought that your movement will motivate change to happen just by sitting around & camping in a given spot indefinitely for as long as possible is ludicrous. Why? Because you’re not actually doing anything; you’re more or less an annoyance — especially when you’re denying public use of public space.

Now, the Occupy movement likes to cite their right to protest/assembly via the first amendment as justification for their actions. This, too, is ludicrous. Yes, you have every right to voice your opinion and peacefully assemble; but this does not give you the right to intrude on other individuals’ rights to use public space and go about their lives like normal. It’s a rights issue, essentially. Do the protesters in New York intrude on anyone else’s individual rights through their actions? Absolutely.

The Occupy movement is morally correct about a lot of things. However, it has been long enough. Their voices have been heard. It’s time to pack the bags and continue to raise awareness some other way — one that won’t intrude on the rights of others.

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Anyone who has been following political news & headlines since Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency knows all too well the heavy disappointment his administration has delivered. Some individuals might see Mr. Obama as a traitor to his own political party; he has, after all, gone against campaign promises (Gitmo, Middle-East Policies, job growth, healthcare, etc.) and has consistently played the silly games of politics in negotiations. (Especially with House Republicans post mid-term elections).

But can Obama really be blamed for making different, and sometimes surprising, decisions during his presidency that appear to stem away from what Democrats across the country hold to value? Nate Silver of The New York Times wouldn’t say so.

In actuality, Obama’s political decisions thus far appear to be spot-on with what Nate Silver dubs, “2010 Democrats.”

Mr. Obama is a prototypical, early 2010s Democrat. And although a 2010s Democrat shares more in common with a 1990s Republican than with the Republicans of today, they are still far from alike.

What is perhaps more interesting outlined in this New York Times blog post is the shift of parties on the political spectrum over the past century.

As you can see from the chart produced by DW-Nominate, both parties had seen a shift on their political platforms towards moderance from the 1930s through about the 1990s. Then what do we see happen? We see both parties appear to sway back on track with their normal ideals through the mid-1990s…but at the turn of the century, Democrats change paths once again towards the right; Republicans, at the same time, instead choose to keep their influence where it serves them best — on the extreme right.

What this chart reveals is that Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats are actually in-line with what the current Democrat looks like in the turn of the 21st century — something that looks more like a moderate Republican; one that is more open to negotiation and policies proposed by congressional Republicans.

By this point it would appear that perhaps Democratic Representatives in Congress are not losing touch with the party they represent specifically, but rather the very people they attempt to represent. However, Nate Silver answers that for us, too.

Mr. Obama’s positions are also broadly in line with the median Democratic voter. According to polling conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, 70 percent of Democrats think Mr. Obama’s positions are “about right”, and those who disagreed were about as likely to say he was too conservative (12 percent) as too liberal (14 percent).

OK, so I guess the Democratic party in general is seeing a shift in their own ideals and values, and not just its representatives over in Washington. But if you take a look at the polling data from a demographic perspective, you’ll see that individuals between the ages of 30-45 and/or over the age of 65 were less likely to hold a favorable opinion of Obama, approve of his job performance as President, and to actually say that he is in-line with the party platform. Given the age of those polled, it tells us that those growing up prior to 1975, in general, appear to have different views of their own political party than do those aged 18-29. This tells me that it is the younger voter populace that is pressing the newly found moderate conservative values onto the Democratic political platform. Whether or not that is good for politics, I am unsure.

What we can be sure of is congressional Democrats are taking a liking to a new platform. I wonder how long until they decide to shift back towards the left…?

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