What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 15, 2009

A Perfect Fit For The GOP

Former (because she quit) Governor Sarah Palin, one of the major players in God's Own Party has an autobiography out. And Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times has a review. In that review we find this telling passage:
Elsewhere in this volume, she talks about creationism, saying she “didn’t believe in the theory that human beings — thinking, loving beings — originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or from “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.”
GOP, a once great American political party, suffers from a nasty religiously-based anti-intellectualism. It's obvious. And sad.

(H/T to ThinkProgress)


cberry88 said...

The sad/pitiful truth is that only 4 in 10 Americans believe in evolution.

53% of college graduates believe in it

74% of post-graduates believe in it

So I guess the majority of those who are well-educated/smarter believe in evolution.

Those who dropped out of or only completed high-school do not.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Ectastic that I'm in the 26% that think evolution theory is BS. So, we well-educated "believe" in evolution, and the Joe 6-packs of the Country don't? H*ll, I'm happy to be on the side of any Joe 6-pack in flyover Country.

Please cite a study.. any study... waiting... waiting... Oh, make that a reputable study... still waiting... /crickets chirping

('Course the same people who believe in evolution probably don't believe life begins at conception.. just sayin')

EdHeath said...

CM, you are of course just jerking us around, or maybe you really do want people to believe you are that stupid.

By the way, you are the one who is saying that high school drop outs live in rural regions. And yet you also criticize the Pittsburgh school system.

Meanwhile, that life begins at conception is essentially a legal question, in the context of why anyone cares.

cberry88 said...

CM-I'll just throw out the first study that comes to my mind:

Charles Darwin-The Origin of Species

Or you could probably just google 'modern evolutionary theory'

Also, can we not try to switch the subject to abortion? To me, it signifies one's out of arguments for their position

--By the way, link to Gallup poll in first comment:

Dayvoe said...

The Conservative Mountaineer is funny.

Clyde Wynant said...

The anti-intellectualism of the GOP is founded in its death grip on religion. Every time it wants to refute something (such as evolution) it uses a religious "argument." But they know full-well that, by doing sp, they preclude all logical discussion. Once you say, "god made it so," you're at a dead end.

It's a nifty bit. The uneducated get to feel comfortable AND superior to their educated fellow citizens at the same time. And the GOP puppeteers laugh all the way to the bank.

EdHeath said...

I vaguely remember a poll or set of polls I quote from often, that among people who self-identify as happy, the largest group are those who profess to believe in God and go to church regularly. The next largest group was those who exercise religiously … er, regularly. I guess evangelical marathoners would be positively ecstatic, in all senses of that phrase.

We might ask ourselves what believing in Darwin gets us, as compared to believing in God, at least as far as Pascal’s Wager. If you believe in New Testament hippie Jesus, you might also have the satisfaction that comes with being a sap … er, nice to other people. And surely this country would be better off with unquestionably moral leadership of a Sarah Palin, who would lead by examp- …. well , would lead us surely down the path of righteousness (and righteous anger as she blasted them furiners back to the old testament).

But again, ask yourself, what has Darwin ever done for me? How would knowing about natural selection ever help my daily life, past getting a plastic triangle in Trivial Pursuit (much prefer pop culture Trivial Pursuit anyway)? Much better to believe in White Europeanized Jesus, who can help you choose who to vote for.

Dave said...


We might ask ourselves what believing in Darwin gets us, as compared to believing in God, at least as far as Pascal’s Wager.

I personally feel this is a false dichotomy. There are a large number of scientists who are also devout Christians--believing in a Supreme Being and recognizing evolution as a scientific fact are not mutually exclusive. It is really only the religious fundamentalists who have a problem.

The problem with Pascal's Wager is that for a person to truly "hedge his bets" on the side of religious belief, that person would have to accept all religions, not merely Christianity.

As to our friendly neighborhood troll CM, like a lot of wingnuts, he confuses the theory of evolution with the scientific fact of evolution. There is more evidence supporting the theory of evolution than there are supporting the theory of gravity--yet nobody in their right mind would deny that gravity is a fact.

Joy said...

See http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl.1/8563.full

or the brief, but still apropos:


Evolution is visible, at the expected rates, and in the expected ways, wherever it is looked for. We don't see organisms evolving at thousands of times their natural speed for the same, very practical reasons that a person can't have a kid of his own when he's 5 minutes old.

Evolution happens because there are mutations, selection, and also because of "dumb luck"--a population can be cut down to a small number of individual by a chance event, which gives the genes present in those individuals a big boost, as far as defining the species in the future.

If you want to see the hand of God in those random events (or in the mutations that change our genes in our reproductive cells, or in the selection that tends to spare invidivuals with certains traits) you are welcome to do so. (Or rather, you have to take that up with the statisticians and physicists, who can take the argument up a level).

But it's simple ignorance to question whether or not evolution happens--it does, we see it. And it's just as ignorant to question whether evolution has left clear traces in the genetic record and the fossil record and the developmental record. The Catholic church agrees--they state that evolution is the only scientifically rigorous, evidence-based, logical explanation for life as we know it.

If you prefer to believe that God takes great delight in leading us into error by creating several billion different bits of evidence for something that never happened? Sure, you are welcome to that view of the universe. (I refer here to the billions of bits of information that make up the patterns of "silent" genetic differences and the patterns of modified gene regulation, which have no functional explanation beyond "having descended from a common ancestor.")

By the same argument, God could have created all of us yesterday, along with all the books and buildings, and all of our memories of past events. I'm betting that most Christians would not recognize or admire or worship this "God of deceit."

EdHeath said...

Dave (as opposed to Dayvoe), yeah, it would be interesting to see polling data on the happines of scientists who believe in God, as well as their explanations of why they believe in God and yet not in (at least some of) the teachings of the bible. This is assuming the scientists in question come from a Judeo-Christian background. Maybe now they are just Unitarians.

And I see your point about Pascal's Wager, although I object to the use of "merely" in describing Christianity. You are in danger of getting in trouble with White Jesus (I get the "White Jesus" term from Colbert, of course).

In fact, your statement about Pascal's wager reminds of the old joke about the paratrooper and Buddha.