Prof R. Dawkins: Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Prof R. Dawkins: Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Arthur
Arthur

August 23rd, 2011, 8:57 pm #1

Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Q. Texas governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ”just a theory” with “gaps” and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.” Perry later added “God is how we got here.” According to a 2009 Gallup study , only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”? Why is evolution so threatening to religion?

A. There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

Any other organization -- a big corporation, say, or a university, or a learned society - -when seeking a new leader, will go to immense trouble over the choice. The CVs of candidates and their portfolios of relevant experience are meticulously scrutinized, their publications are read by a learned committee, references are taken up and scrupulously discussed, the candidates are subjected to rigorous interviews and vetting procedures. Mistakes are still made, but not through lack of serious effort.

The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

...

There are many reasons to vote against Rick Perry. His fatuous stance on the teaching of evolution in schools is perhaps not the first reason that springs to mind. But maybe it is the most telling litmus test of the other reasons, and it seems to apply not just to him but, lamentably, to all the likely contenders for the Republican nomination. The ‘evolution question’ deserves a prominent place in the list of questions put to candidates in interviews and public debates during the course of the coming election.

Richard Dawkins wrote this response to Governor Perry for On Faith, the Washington Post’s forum for news and opinion on religion and politics.
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Joined: July 5th, 2010, 4:34 am

August 24th, 2011, 1:20 am #2

Hi Art,

I have been dreaming about my winter vacation coming up. One of the places I am looking at is Ecuador. If I go there, I will likely also visit the Galapagos Islands.



"The Father does the Heavy Work"
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Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent

August 24th, 2011, 6:18 am #3

although it is the site that inspired one of the most heretical thoughts of all time.

One of those pandoras box items.

You do get around Bob, I'm spending all my money putting my kids through school at present.

I think I'm getting good value for money, although until about 10 years ago, public schools were great schools, here.

Maybe they still are.

Maybe you should brush up on what Charles Darwin saw, and try to see if he was right or wrong while in the area? and report back to us.

Most christians dont have a problem with evolution and the bible, not sure if you are one of them or not. There seem to be more than their fair share of literal bible people in the USA despite the science of it all being long ago decided.

Nothing better than looking at the facts direct to make a truthful finding.



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Dr. Z
Dr. Z

August 24th, 2011, 9:34 am #4

Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Q. Texas governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ”just a theory” with “gaps” and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.” Perry later added “God is how we got here.” According to a 2009 Gallup study , only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”? Why is evolution so threatening to religion?

A. There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

Any other organization -- a big corporation, say, or a university, or a learned society - -when seeking a new leader, will go to immense trouble over the choice. The CVs of candidates and their portfolios of relevant experience are meticulously scrutinized, their publications are read by a learned committee, references are taken up and scrupulously discussed, the candidates are subjected to rigorous interviews and vetting procedures. Mistakes are still made, but not through lack of serious effort.

The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

...

There are many reasons to vote against Rick Perry. His fatuous stance on the teaching of evolution in schools is perhaps not the first reason that springs to mind. But maybe it is the most telling litmus test of the other reasons, and it seems to apply not just to him but, lamentably, to all the likely contenders for the Republican nomination. The ‘evolution question’ deserves a prominent place in the list of questions put to candidates in interviews and public debates during the course of the coming election.

Richard Dawkins wrote this response to Governor Perry for On Faith, the Washington Post’s forum for news and opinion on religion and politics.
for his refusal to debate Christian philosopher Dr. Lane Craig. Btw, macro-evolution is a joke, too. That's why your ilk has to resort to fraud to try to "prove" it. Now go on back under that rock you crawled out from,
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Arthur, the guy that drives Nucc loco.
Arthur, the guy that drives Nucc loco.

August 24th, 2011, 1:10 pm #5

'I've never heard of William Craig. A debate with him might look good on his resume, but it wouldn't look good on mine!'


so true.
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Dr Who
Dr Who

August 24th, 2011, 1:44 pm #6

for his refusal to debate Christian philosopher Dr. Lane Craig. Btw, macro-evolution is a joke, too. That's why your ilk has to resort to fraud to try to "prove" it. Now go on back under that rock you crawled out from,
http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/03/09 ... ane-craig/
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Dr Who
Dr Who

August 24th, 2011, 1:45 pm #7

'I've never heard of William Craig. A debate with him might look good on his resume, but it wouldn't look good on mine!'


so true.
Craig employs ad homs and never addresses arguments. He is a poser, much like those you see around here. He gets hammered and declares himself the winner.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z

August 24th, 2011, 7:42 pm #8

Oh, and he does indeed debate. You just don't like his debating style, but that's your problem; not his.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z

August 24th, 2011, 7:45 pm #9

although it is the site that inspired one of the most heretical thoughts of all time.

One of those pandoras box items.

You do get around Bob, I'm spending all my money putting my kids through school at present.

I think I'm getting good value for money, although until about 10 years ago, public schools were great schools, here.

Maybe they still are.

Maybe you should brush up on what Charles Darwin saw, and try to see if he was right or wrong while in the area? and report back to us.

Most christians dont have a problem with evolution and the bible, not sure if you are one of them or not. There seem to be more than their fair share of literal bible people in the USA despite the science of it all being long ago decided.

Nothing better than looking at the facts direct to make a truthful finding.


Why don't you tell everyone here about your child rape conviction?
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

August 24th, 2011, 8:47 pm #10

Oh, and he does indeed debate. You just don't like his debating style, but that's your problem; not his.
Most atheists do not agree with your statement.

Many believers don't either.





If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.
~ Gensha, Zen Master


Wide Open Bible Discussion
Last edited by Oscar50 on August 24th, 2011, 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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