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GOP claims teaching students reasoning will "undermine parental authority" as well

Users on Reddit have dug up a disturbing stand on the Texas Republican Party's state platform [PDF].

I. Texas GOP: Critical Thinking is Bad, Blind Faith Good

The party writes [pg. 12]:

Knowledge-Based Education
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values
clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

By "fixed beliefs", the GOP clearly means "fundamentalist religious beliefs".  In other words the party is afraid that teaching students to think analytically might disrupt illogical superstitions, such as creation myths, which scientific evidence does not support.

critical thinking
The Texas GOP fears critical thinking will challenge "fixed" (religious) beliefs.
[Image Source:] 

In other words, the party thinks that its worth throwing problem-solving skills under the bus (pun intended), as a smart student is a danger to their system of "fixed beliefs".

Now the party is trying to backtrack.  It says that it did not mean to include the words critical thinking skills.  Instead it claims it only opposes higher order thinking skills -- educational programs that encourage students to independently evaluate their faith, cultural, and personal beliefs using logic.

Comments Texas GOP Communications Director Chris Elam to Talking Points Memo, "[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification.’  And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills."

The party did not back down from other controversial planks, though, such as its hateful statements against homosexual Americans:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

Again these principals come back to the state GOP's fundamentalist agenda.

II. Business as Usual for Extremist-Led State

Of course, this isn't the first time that Texas has sacrificed student-learning in the name of preserving their political agenda.  Texas's state curriculum currently leaves out founding father and Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson out of fear of his beliefs in religious equality.  Instead, they replace him with less crucial historic figures like John Locke [source: 1, 2].

Likewise the Texas State Board of Education mandates teaching about the violent Black Panthers fringe group alongside the pacifistic teachings of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  While the board claims it is not trying to paint civil rights proponents as terrorists, it does not mandate that students also be taught about anti-civil rights terrorist hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Further, the new curriculum eliminates references to the separation of church as state, which they believe does not exist.  Instead the board, in essence argues that the U.S. was founded as mixed theocracy and republic (though that's not the precise terms they use), much like Iran.

Texas Secessionist
Some have called on Texas to secede from the union in order to push the state politicians' goals of eliminating separation of church and state and other pesky federal mandates.
[Image Source: Sodahead]

Strangely there's some scraps of reason in the Texas Board of Education's curriculum changes.  For example, it's arguably quite fair that they mandate emphasizing Republicans votes in favor of certain civil rights initiatives (but, on the other hand, again, the curriculum stops short of the ideal approach of offering up such information about allt important government votes).  And it's also fair to provide more information on Jefferson Davis, president of the rebellious southern states during the Civil War.

But between erasing important parts of American history, and now pushing to eliminate rational analysis skills education, the conservative leadership in Texas are contributing in a very negative way to America's educational deficit.  At a time when some are calling American students "unemployable" due to their poor problem-solving skills, Texasis certainly not helping matters.

Source: Texas Republican Party

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By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 9:07:38 AM , Rating: 5
Are these Christian fundies so afraid of education? FFS, the ship has already sailed. It's not like it's some closet theory that the world is more than 6000 years old. It's proven scientific fact. Get over it, your book isn't a true history of mankind... Anyone that thinks it is needs a serious smack in the head.

RE: Why?
By quiksilvr on 7/2/2012 9:17:34 AM , Rating: 1
Its Galileo all over again. However, that wasn't nearly as big a deal to Christians than this because all that dealt with was how the Earth moved, not how life was created, which people point more towards God than anything.

That being said, Darwin's theory came out in the mid-1800s. You'd think after 160 years people would just get over it and accept that 7 days meant 7 Galaxy days or whatever. Just create a loophole in the Bible like people always do to make it work hand in hand.

RE: Why?
By B3an on 7/2/2012 1:49:49 PM , Rating: 5
Considering a shocking 83% on Americans are religions nuts i don't think you lot will "get over it" any time soon.

Its one of the main reasons i avoid visiting the U.S.

RE: Why?
By evolucion8 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tamalero on 7/2/2012 3:53:35 PM , Rating: 5
I dont think the issue is with religion..
but with the dumbnuts who fear everything.. refuse newer information.. expanded mind.. and think everything written BY A MAN on A BOOK that was modified countless of times on convenience.. during all the Christianity life cycle.

These people are seriously violent and most of them cannot be reasoned with.
they shield with the bible on everything bad they do.

in short.. extremists.

RE: Why?
By dark matter on 7/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/4/2012 2:55:14 PM , Rating: 3
why has he got a penis?
In part because the English language has no neutral gender assignable to intelligent beings ("it" doesn't really work, as it connotes a thing more than a being, even though oddly enough seems acceptable when applied to babies -- I guess traditionally babies aren't considered to be full-fledged human beings, but I digress...)

In the original Hebrew vision, the concept of God is genderless and shapeless. Any Rabbi will tell you that it is a mistake to try to picture what God looks like, because they believe human mind is too limited and incapable of grasping God's true form (if God even has a form, which some Rabbis would say is a human and too-limited/limiting notion in itself.) Basically, the original construction of God is amorphous, indefinite, mysterious, and abstract. In that respect, the Jews really did innovate compared to all the other religions in the world (which gave their various gods, goddesses, god-heads, and god-beasts very well-defined forms and endowed them with human-like or animal-like behaviors, motivations, and even multi-generational divine families and relationships.)

Of course, the mystical construction of God didn't fare very well through the millennia and centuries of patriarchal and misogynistic culture both across the Middle East and throughout Europe (and that includes the Hebrews' own traditional culture.) Women were second-class citizens, subservient to Men -- so apart from the scholarly mystics, amid the unwashed masses, God became colloquially male.

RE: Why?
By chagrinnin on 7/11/2012 8:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
I remember the first time I considered God a woman. She was hot. Had on a short, skin tight, white dress,...a really nice rack,...long beautiful blonde hair,, blue eyes,...and a long gray beard!? Blech!

RE: Why?
By Richlet on 7/3/2012 4:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
Considering a shocking 83% on Americans are religions nuts i don't think you lot will "get over it" any time soon. Its one of the main reasons i avoid visiting the U.S.

Okay, that's the best comment I've ever seen on DT since I started reading it. 12 thumbs up if I could.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Tequilasunriser on 7/2/2012 9:42:57 AM , Rating: 5
RE: Why?
By Yojimbo on 7/2/2012 10:32:14 AM , Rating: 1
that jpeg is so ironic.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 5
"Who are "they"? "

I cant comment for JM, or who in the GOP, but in my post the "they" I am referring to is the Christian right in general. NOt all of them of course, but the hard headed bury your head in the sand types that refuse to believe that evolution happened and that we werent "created" by a magic man 6000 years ago. It's OK to be religious and its not outside the realm of possibility that a God created the universe... But if he did, it DID NOT happen 6000 years ago. If God created man, he DID NOT do it in a single ste. Evolution happened, period.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 11:49:27 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't say a single hostile word, it was all just "matter of fact" to me.

And agreed, this is nothing but a click magnet for dailytech... Yet here we are both clicking ;)

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 11:59:02 AM , Rating: 5
I haven't commented yet, but I'm pissy on this subject because I was born in Texas, lived there a good part of my life and my wife taught there for 15 years in the public school system.

There are many things I love about Texas. It's a great state in most respects. But the religious nut jobs there can be as bad as the idiots in Kansas if you give them a chance.

Don't give them that chance.

Articles like this one from Jason, bring their lunacy to light. It's important that people know they are trying to do this.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 12:29:43 PM , Rating: 5
Roberts is not tasked with deciding the ethics, morality, stupidity, or worth of a bill or law. He is tasked with deciding whether that bill or law is constitutional. In his opinion he viewed the individual mandate as a constitutional tax. From my perspective he is one of the only justices who fulfilled his oath instead of voting along party lines which do not and should not exist in the supreme court.

If Republicans want to repeal Obamacare the proper course is and always has been the Congress, not the Supreme Court. There is no place for politics in the Supreme Court, only interpretation of the constitution and the eyes of Roberts the bill did not violate the constitution.

The other theories are silly. Take one for the team? Really? Public support for Obamacare has gone up since the Supreme Court decision, that seems an odd way to take one for the team.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 12:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh no, read what he said again. He said the bill was not Constitutional as is, then said if they changed the mandate to a "tax", it was. Judges aren't there to make changes to laws so that they can be given a pass. And that's exactly what he did. If a law is Unconstitutional as-is, then you strike it down. Period. Obamacare CLEARLY spells out that there will be a "penalty", NOT a tax. It was not a Constitutional law as-is when Roberts read it. This is the key issue, and no matter how much you might want Obamacare, it cannot be avoided.

John Roberts interpreted the penalty as a tax. A constitutional tax. The bill did not need to be modified and I don't know where you get the idea that it was.

This is exactly what he said...

It is well established that if a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so,

It is either a penalty or a tax. A penalty would have been unconstitutional but as a tax it does not violate the constitution so that is the decision he made.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 1:22:24 PM , Rating: 5
LOL okay Tayb. I know you're way left and wouldn't see reason anyway. But that's just hilarious.

Ole Reclaimer. "My way is better! If you disagree you are clearly not a reasonable person or a rational thinker! Only I, Reclaimer, can see reason."

So even though the word "tax" never is actually used in the law. And it's specifically spelled out as a "PENALTY", you think it makes perfect sense that he interpret it as a tax?

If the penalty was a spanking or having to fill out paperwork I would agree with you, but it is not. It is a monetary "penalty" and if you replace the word "penalty" with the word "tax" the meaning or effectiveness of the sentence does not change. You will be penalized/taxed 1% of your income or penalized/taxed $95 for not having insurance, whichever is greater. It is not unreasonable at all to consider a monetary penalty a tax.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 1:43:34 PM , Rating: 4
LOL. I don't think I've ever met someone so full of himself and so convinced of his own superiority than you. It's truly remarkable how you make it through each and every day while having to deal with mere mortals all the time. How do you not just snap?

Tayb what kind of "tax" even exists for NOT buying a product? Do you realize how insane you're sounding?

I don't know. There are lots of things that monetarily penalize you for NOT doing certain things.

That fact that you want the Federal Government arbitrarily "taxing" you for NOT doing things makes me seriously question you as a human being. You're a robot apparently. It's completely unreasonable to expect to be taxed by the Federal Government for NOT buying a product or service that they provide.

I am a robot. Sent from the future to make sure you know how important you are.

You want a Government with unlimited ruling power. Get out of my sight.

You're free to ignore the posts.

RE: Why?
By Fritzr on 7/2/2012 11:12:12 PM , Rating: 3
A tax that exists for not buying a product can be called a penalty or a declined discount.

If you donate to an IRS approved charity, the IRS pays you for doing so in the form of a tax reduction. So you pay tax equal to the tax reduction you could have claimed if you had given money to the charity.

Another IRS penalty of $2000 is paid for not funding a 401k. So they nail you first for not contributing the maximum they will allow for the tax deduction, then nail you again for not being married. (Max refund is $400 single, $2000 married) This is a penalty, even though it is written as a reward for 'proper' behavior. You pay the tax for NOT funding a 401k.

There are many so called sin taxes that are imposed if you engage in behavior the government disapproves of. The most obvious ones are alcohol & tobacco products. You can can decline to pay these taxes by behaving the way the writers of the tax law prefer.

The alcohol and tobacco taxes are imposed because the authors of those taxes claim that users of these products cost the public more than non-users. In a similar manner you are taxed for not having health insurance as the authors of the tax believe that you are likely to cost the public more if you do not have an insurance company to assist you with payments and discounts on medical costs. This penalty is a sin tax.

RE: Why?
By NellyFromMA on 7/3/2012 11:40:45 AM , Rating: 2
That's a really relative and highly skewed way to look at a penalty vs a discount. It comes across as a perspective existing solely for purposes of playing devil's advocate (which I am quite guilty of playing more often than not).

To say I am penalized for not being married when in fact I simply do not receive a credit towards my tax exemption is IMO aligning facts to prove your point rather than letting the facts prove a point.

The difference is with that reasoning, you are looking to tell your own story with the facts rather than read the story there.

The ruling clearly stated you cannot force someone to purchase, but can tax someone for seemingly a myriad of things.

The big and SCARY issue (whether people realize it or not..) is that now you can be TAXED (not become inelligble for a discount) for a product you did not purchase.

Taxes as strictly defined (in other words, not having its definition skewed to also mean penalty or disqualification for a benefit) are paid on items or things you interact with or purchase. You choose this.

With that said, I think the decision is made and we will just see what happens at this point.

It made a mockery of Massachusetts, I guess I hope it does not do the same for the nation... Massachusetts had a favorable demographic though and still fails at 2 of its 3 main objectives including budget sustainablity and holding down costs for health care. All while forcing healthy young successful individuals into a program that fails to accomplish its goals. It's seriously unfair for this group of people, myself included...

As usual, however, it is acceptable to take from a minority demographic (in terms of percentage of a whole) and distribute it to the greater majority. It is essentially strength in numbers and we always see it in history.

At SOME point though, we will have to realize that the system about to be put in place is not the answer to the problem, it's just a new version of it.

No sense whining about it though, and I hope it doesn't fail. It's just philosophical wrong... The problem with healthcare starts with the insurance agencies and quickly balloons out from there. As long as they are there, this isn't over...

RE: Why?
By EnzoFX on 7/2/2012 1:34:12 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah some people on here really have their heads so far up their ass it's no wonder they believe whatever the GOP tells them to believe.

RE: Why?
By jRaskell on 7/2/2012 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 3
This is actually pretty simple, show me the dictionary/thesaurus in which tax and penalty are synonyms.

As far as I've seen, they do not have 'similar' definitions and are NOT considered synonyms.

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that consider taxes to be nothing more than government imposed penalties on our income, but that's simply ignorant thinking.

If it is inappropriate to consider taxes to be penalties, then it's just as inappropriate to consider penalties to be taxes.

if you replace the word "penalty" with the word "tax" the meaning or effectiveness of the sentence does not change.

I absolutely disagree with that. The primary purpose of a tax is to provide financial support to the operation of your government. The primary purpose of a penalty is to serve as a deterrent to an undesirable action/choice. The meanings are anything but similar.

RE: Why?
By Fritzr on 7/2/2012 10:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
You may have to think about your position. Examine the Income Tax.

It is a tax that is imposed if you do NOT use your money to pay for government preferred purposes.

You pay the penalty if you did not use your money to gain credits/deductions.

You can receive bonus income from the IRS if you manage to gain credits/deductions that cause your income tax payable to go negative.

The Income Tax in the form it is in today is a penalty. The tax rises (as a percentage of income for your pre-deduction/credit tax bracket) when you do not behave appropriately. It is your responsibility to document your efforts to perform actions that the IRS rewards with tax reductions. So again if you do not do the research and claim all deductions and credits then you pay a penalty.

A tax can be an drops when behavior is 'good' (This is also a penalty tax, don't be good and you pay more)

A tax can be a rises when behavior is 'bad' (This is also an incentive tax, don't behave badly and you pay less)

A tax can be is not affected by behavior.

The ruling appears to be that a 'fine' is unconstitutional, but a tax that increases or decreases based on behavior is constitutional. Since the word penalty can be read either way, the judge stated that based on precedent, the court is required to understand the constitutional possibility.

RE: Why?
By maugrimtr on 7/3/2012 9:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe this is even an argument. Here's a thought.

Tomorrow, I will tax you all €1000 to cover health care in your old age. If, however, you go an purchase health insurance, I'll offer a tax credit of €1000. Whoever buys health insurance pays €1000, whoever doesn't pays €1000 too.

This can be thought of in one of two ways:

1. A penalty on those who don't buy insurance; or
2. A tax credit for those who do buy insurance.

Either way, it's substantively a tax applied to almost everyone (usual exceptions apply for income level) which is automatically negated by paying it via an insurance company (buy a policy).

This is so mind-bogglingly simple to grasp, understand and see why SCOTUS rightfully stated it was constitutional as a tax (Obama should have called it a tax from Day 1!), that anyone who doesn't is either dumber than a brick or playing pathetic word games for political gain.

RE: Why?
By Mint on 7/8/2012 2:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
I can't understand why:
A) critics of the decision can't see this analogy
B) supporters can't spell it out for them

I mean really, if the ACA imposed a 1% tax on everyone and gave an equal credit to those with insurance, we'd get the EXACT SAME BILL.

Where's the GOP anger at Reagan's home mortgage interest deduction? It penalizes people who don't buy homes.

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 12:54:38 PM , Rating: 4
The Feds have been taxing (and otherwise disadvantaging) people for being single (i.e. for not being married) ever since before I was born.

Where were you "Sovereign Statehood" proponents all that time? Oh, that's right: you were all for it, because it fit with your "family values" agenda. It wasn't "unconstitutional" because it was what you wanted.

But now an essentially analogous policy is being declared the Death of Freedom and the End of the Republic. You fucking hypocrites.

I guess Federal edicts are only bad when they go against whatever your "values" of the moment happen to be...

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:44:25 PM , Rating: 1
But this...this takes the cake. If the Federal Government can "tax" us for not buying a product (health insurance) what else can they now "tax" us for NOT doing?

That is the scary precedent here but it is slightly abridged. What Roberts neglected to consider or admit to is the little issue about Car Insurance.

Who mandates we carry Car Insurance? Who penalizes us for not carrying it?

The States, individually and one by one. Each does this slightly differently but they all do it.

The Federal Government does not. This, the point for all of this lies in how can the Federal Government penalize you for not buying health insurance yet they can't for Car insurance? That's where the whole absurdity of this lies.

The system we have works. We don't need it to be stepped on or trampled over in the name of increasing Federal Control.

If enough people decide that individuals should have Health insurance, then more states will enact laws mandating it. This is how our Country was designed to be run, not with far-reaching Federal control and power.

In no way should the Federal government have the ability to penalize us for buying one thing or another. I can guarantee that because of this decision we will see more of this--in the form of Corporate control through our Government to enrich their profits.

RE: Why?
By kamiller422 on 7/2/2012 2:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
The car insurance analogy doesn't work. Mandatory car insurance, aka liability insurance, is to protect others from you. Health insurance is to protect you, aka full coverage. Government does not require full coverage insurance.

Also, many choose not to buy car insurance because they don't own a car. The only way to avoid Obamacare in America is to not live. Not really a good option.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 2:19:09 PM , Rating: 1
Mandatory insurance doesn't protect you more, though. Why?

Hospitals have been required prior to passage to treat all patients. You might not be able to pay but they still were required to do treatment.

All this mandatory insurance measure does is protect, like car insurance, others from you. The gist behind it is that by requiring everyone to have health insurance, it will push hospital costs down due to less delinquent patients.

This will work for a short while--that is, until the other provisions in the bill push up private insurance costs. Eventually, they will be pushed up so high that people will begin abandoning it due to the "penalty" being cheaper--i.e. Government sponsored insurance.

At that point costs will begin to climb due to additional red tape forced upon hospitals and Doctors.

So, this is no different from car insurance in their purpose. The end result though, is far different.

Any mandate like this should be reserved for States alone to decide, not the Federal government.

RE: Why?
By kamiller422 on 7/2/2012 4:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
What you proved is no man is an island. What you have not proved is health insurance and auto insurance are equal.

Auto insurance protects others from the immediate costs you incurred on them. While the uninsured do pass the costs onto others, it is wrong to assume those costs are immediately passed onto the insured. Those costs are absorbed into the system via various avenues, one which may be through higher health costs. In addition, many uninsured choose to cover their expenses out of pocket, which is no burden to the insured. That's not so easy with a car.

I agree with you. Obamacare is an abomination. It will drive up costs. The previously uninsured will "buy" government insurance via a tax and demand Cadillac care, where the shortfall in costs will be picked up by tax payers.

What I am not sure about is if such a situation will remain long term as the tax goes up to $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is higher. That's a hefty chunk of change. I wonder what politics will shake out when the nanny state tries to raise premiums from $95 in 2014 to $695 in 2016. I am sure citizens will cry, politicians will manufacture a much lower tax, and the deficit will go through the roof. Oh well. It's only debt.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By pandemonium on 7/3/2012 4:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
Since you appear to have a solid understanding of how the PPACA works, maybe you'll be willing to counter the bullet-points listed here with your view-points - I mean facts? eli5_what_exactly_is_obamacare_and_what_did_it/?lim it=500

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/4/2012 3:10:47 PM , Rating: 3
In no way should the Federal government have the ability to penalize us for buying one thing or another
Ok, what do you call the mortgage interest deduction? Isn't this the Federal Government penalizing people who choose to rent rather than getting themselves in debt by purchasing a house? This has been around for a LONG time. Where were all you hypocrites on this issue?

How about government-mandated retirement accounts (401(k), IRAs, etc.) Essentially, that's a case of the Federal Government taxing you more if you DO NOT put money away for retirement (and taxing you less if you do.) How is that really different from penalizing you for not having retirement savings? And how is THAT fundamentally different from penalizing you for not having health insurance?

How about government-orchestrated tax discrimination between household budgets vs. corporate budgets? Corporations are only taxed on their profits (i.e. income minus expenses), whereas households are taxed on their entire income regardless of expenses. As a result, many wealthy households dodge taxes by turning themselves into 'corporations'. How is that not a Federal policy of behavior modification?

I could go on and on. The fact is, all you Obamacare bashers are clueless and ignorant. Roberts was very much in the right: there is a well-established and wide-spread precedent of the Federal Government twisting and adjusting tax policy to elicit certain desired behaviors from the citizenry. If you think ALL OF THAT is unconstitutional, then you should've started your whining and hand-wringing a LONG time ago. Like, decades upon decades ago. But you didn't. Which means you've no right to complain now. STFU.

RE: Why?
By Mint on 7/11/2012 11:51:09 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 12:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it is.

This type of insanity spreads. Once a single group of these morons gets their way, it starts springing up everywhere.

You guys rant and rave about the sanctity of the "States". Those are artificial boundaries and they were treated that way over two centuries ago because they faced very different problems back then. Those Founding Fathers you guys worship like gods were just people doing the best they could at the time and with the circumstances they lived in. Those same people wrote a constitution that allowed for slavey. They were NOT infallible gods, they were just people and things have changed.

Those states were artificial boundaries then, and they are even more so now. Why should I live a certain way just because some folks in an imaginary area on a map want to vote that way? Why not do it at the city level? Or the neighborhood level? Hell, how about just on my street?
It's arbitrary people, get over it.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 2:21:01 PM , Rating: 5
There is nothing wrong with the Constitution. It's the hard core, literal interpretation of it that some people insist on.

If you can't understand it as a living document that has to change to deal with changing times then it's useless.

Are you saying it was ok that they allowed for slavery in it and explicitly said that taking a slave to a free territory didn't make them free?

Don't ignore the parts you don't like, answer the question.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 4:16:27 PM , Rating: 4
So you want to go down the "what caused the civil war" rat-hole?

Have you ever read the declarations of succession from the different states?

Georgia: "For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery."

Mississippi: " a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization."

South Carolina: " in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States"

Shall I go on? You can talk about "States Rights" bull shit all day long. The ONLY thing that they all had in common in their succession documents is that they ALL listed slavery as their main complaint.

That original Document, like the men who wrote it, was great but also deeply flawed. Quit treating it like some kind of new age Bible.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 4:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
Down rate that posting all you want doesn't change the facts. Read the frigging succession documents from every state that succeeded! They all list exactly what their grievances were and that is EXACTLY what they were pissed about.

They weren't arguing for the right to bear arms or grow tobacco or distill moonshine or whatever else you want to dream about. IT. WAS. ABOUT. SLAVERY.

They fought tooth and nail to stop other states from joining the Union unless they got another slave holding state to join at the same time and "balance things out".

They took cases to the Supreme Court to fight about what was and what wasn't allowed when transporting "human cargo" across state lines like they were animals being transported.


Quit acting like we had a perfect founding. Our Founding Fathers were slave owners for the most part. We are human and we need to deal with it as we learn more and do better.

If one part of this is clearly wrong then you have to be open minded enough to allow that other parts may have been wrong as well and may not fit the times we live in.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
Keep down rating you anonymous morons....but if you have an actual fact, and a document to back it up, then please present it.

I'm open to FACTS with documentation.

If you want to spout some piss poor story "handed down by word of mouth from your great-grand-pappy" to justify why they were fighting the war, then keep that to yourself. It is self serving and a way to avoid admitting they were fighting over slavery.

But if you have documents to prove it, then please present away.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 5:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Two things:

1. Think before you speak. The reason you are repeatedly insta-downrated to 1 is not because of your opinion but because of your choice of words, i.e. swearing.

Swearing does not make your arguments appear to be more intelligent, thus, swearing is instantly downrated by the DT server when you use it.

2. The reason that Lincoln and Union fought the South was for Federal power and none other. Slavery was an afterthought on Lincoln's mind. To think otherwise shows you have bought into the sham of revisionist history.

It was all about Federal power.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 11:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are the ones propping up the argument about Lincoln.

1) I NEVER said that Lincoln was the hero that the BS stories make him out to be. That is a convenient story to make one side look better than the other. He clearly only freed the slaves to screw with the South and make their lives harder, otherwise he would have freed ALL slaves, not just those "slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States".

He was just another politician using people for political gain. And Reclaimer's smartass statement about public education are a presumption on his part about what I believe. That shows that he's just the type of judgmental ass who looks down on others with out knowing the first thing about them...he just assumes he's somehow better.

What Lincoln DID want was to preserve the Union. Why he did that could be assumed to be "an extension of Federal powers" or it could be assumed that he really believed in the Union as one nation. He clearly made statements in both directions.

2) The Southern states were the ones who committed the act of succession and they were very, very clear on the reasons for it. Their governing bodies wrote their list of grievances out in vivid detail. It was about slavery first, middle and last.

Read the documents they wrote. Tell me who fired the first shots at Ft. Sumter. Who wrote the documents of succession? Who decided that they were unhappy about the "non-slave holding states" and that "a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization."

Those were the words of the Southern states as they succeeded. Look, my family were all rich southerners. I've checked and we owned slaves. Had I been born then, I'd have probably been right along with them thinking it was somehow our god given right to own slaves. I'd like to think otherwise, but I'm not that egotistical or stupid.

But with a chance to "learn from history", as you put it earlier, I'd like to take this opportunity to look at that time, and those people, AND the founding fathers and realize that they were flawed.

To pretend that everything they wrote came from tablets Moses brought down from the mountain is BS. So why are we not allowed to look at what they did in the context of the time? Why are we not allowed to correct the obvious flaws?

We've corrected some wrongs: slavery, women's rights/voting (and even making them whole human beings that you couldn't beat "with a rod no thicker than your thumb") and SLOWLY stopping prejudice against gays, and many others.

But we've also created others. How are we going to explain the Citizens United decision 100 years from now? How will we explain that we somehow decided that a $250Billion company was a "person" who could buy elections. Some of us may like that decision because it fits our short term political goals...but we will be embarrassed about it if we live long enough.

RE: Why?
By Skywalker123 on 7/3/2012 1:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
The reason Lincoln launched a war, was NOT because of slavery, but rather it was about power, federal power.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/3/2012 9:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, Lincoln did not launch the war! What planet are you living on?

Have you ever heard of Ft. Sumter? Are you some kind of right wing conspiracy nut job?

You can argue all you want about whether you liked Lincoln, I don't care. But he DID NOT LAUNCH THE CIVIL WAR? You can't re-write history.

RE: Why?
By knutjb on 7/3/2012 2:54:55 AM , Rating: 1
If you can't understand it as a living document that has to change to deal with changing times then it's useless.
I don't believe you understand the Constitution. It is a FIXED document that allows for changes. The problem the left, and you, have is that it's not a living document open to free re-interpretation. If it has to "change" then amend it. The process is there, use it.

The reason the left doesn't want to amend it is the vast majority won't agree to progressivism once it is put on paper. So they write laws knowing its very rare for them to be overturned.
Are you saying it was ok that they allowed for slavery in it and explicitly said that taking a slave to a free territory didn't make them free?
You need to learn your history, the slavery reference is so wrong there is not enough space to correct you. Your concept of the Constitution is just where progressives want it, clueless and believing their "living document" BS hook, line, and sinker.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/3/2012 9:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
Living in denial doesn't change facts. Have you ever read the constitution? It DOES address slavery and allows for it. You can't deny what is written in the bloody document!

Do you really believe that crap or do you just try to bluster and pretend the following words don't exist?:

"3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.11"

"Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight"

RE: Why?
By knutjb on 7/3/2012 2:52:39 PM , Rating: 1
The point I was making wasn't slavery but whether the Constitution is a living document or not.

The Constitution did address slavery but did so only to get all to agree to a union. It also counted slaves as 3/5ths of a person. There are a number of problems that look particularly bad until you place them into context.

The Constitution is a FIXED Document that allows for updates, i.e. the 14th Amendment. My disagreement is your implying it is a living document. A living document implies the interpretation is subject to change which is incorrect.

Try reading it with the amendments and maybe the Federalist Papers, #10 is my favorite.

You don't get to pick and chose what?...

RE: Why?
By Skywalker123 on 7/3/2012 8:57:17 AM , Rating: 1
The Constitution is NOT a "Living document". If changes are needed there is a mechanism, its called amendments.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/3/2012 10:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
It is a living document! That is why we have amendments. But people keep viewing it like was written by the Hand of God himself.

The founders knew that we would need to make changes and that is why the amendment process exists.

We should not change it lightly, but over 222 years, things change, we recognize problems in the original and we have to be willing to deal with those issues.

RE: Why?
By BillyBatson on 7/2/2012 3:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
It is important that everyone know this. You can go turn a blind eye to everything that doesn't immediately concern you but ignorance isn't always bliss. What may not effect you now can certainly do so later. You also make it sound like its just twir regional problem, you don't think those same texans may move to your area? Other parts of the world?
Because its their state they can do what they want? These days we have so many laws protecting children from their own parents but we can't protect those same children from the political and religious agendas of other adults?
Once again you've shown how closed minded you are, boy.

RE: Why?
By ebakke on 7/2/2012 4:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
You also make it sound like its just twir regional problem, you don't think those same texans may move to your area? Other parts of the world?
I don't care. They're free to believe whatever the hell they want to believe, and free to live wherever they want to live. I don't buy into religion, and I'm sure they disagree with some of my decisions in life. [shrug] To each, his own.
Because its their state they can do what they want?
These days we have so many laws protecting children from their own parents but we can't protect those same children from the political and religious agendas of other adults?
So because we have a bunch of laws that dictate how people should act, we should create some more! That is about the worst argument you could have given. The absolute last thing I want is the force of government dictating the "right" thoughts upon their subjects, er.. citizens. That you advocate for such a thing terrifies me.

RE: Why?
By itzmec on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By sviola on 7/2/2012 12:45:36 PM , Rating: 3
It seems you have no idea what s scientific theory is.

RE: Why?
By itzmec on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By JasonMick on 7/2/2012 12:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you being so hostile?
I agree his comment could be construed as rather judgemental towards you, when he didn't know your precise knowledge and beliefs.
know the Earth is more than 6000 years old and evolution fucking happened! Get off the soapbox, I'm not agreeing with these people. I'm just thinking this is more sensational than anything to get worked up over.
Well, you see I'm not going to be mean or judge you, but here's where we disagree.

When these kind of non-scientific beliefs percolate into the education system, it does become a real issue that society needs to debate and address. I can understand it's an uncomfortable issue, because it pits you against a party you typically identify with.

Also I think it's important to note that many Republicans (like yourself) don't believe in making the U.S. a theologic democracy (similar to Iran, in principal), nor do they believe in Creationism.

Actually a close friend of mine wrote a book about how in many cases liberals fight science and promote ignorance. Both sides do this at times.

That said, the Texas GOP tends to be an extremist outlier of the party, in terms of its platform. I think there are some Texas Republicans with some very good ideas (such as Ron Paul), but I think by and large the state party is trending in a dangerous direction.

That's precisely why I think it's a good societal issue to observe and debate.

That said I don't appreciate personal attacks on any of my readers as we all deserve the right to respect and free speech.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 12:49:59 PM , Rating: 1
Actually a close friend of mine wrote a book about how in many cases liberals fight science and promote ignorance. Both sides do this at times.

The amount of ignorance on both sides of the isle is surprisingly similar if you take a step back and categorize them.

In reality, their goal is the same albeit different--still the same in one word alone. Their shared goal is control. Sure, you could easily surmise that means control of our government... but no, it runs much deeper than that.

Their goal of control is control of our minds, our thoughts, our feelings and even our impulses. The tools they use to do this are surprisingly similar as well.

On the right, they want to control us through the tools of religion and this is where a lot of distrust for religion comes from. It is very true that religion has been used for centuries as a lever into the inner soul of man, bestowing a kind of "guilt" upon them into wanting to do something other than what they really "want" to do. The right use this as best they can, well, the extreme right do with their ultimate goal being a government polluted with religion--the absolute opposite of our founding fathers intentions.

On the left, they want to control us through the tools of education. They want to wash all religion out of everything and sterlize this world into a land of pure thought. Except, it isn't thought--it is regurgitation. You can see this clearly in the "church" of atheism. I've seen many an atheist that can't think but instead only spew out what they've been fed, and thus, the end result of our system of education.

Like it or not, these Texas republicans which scary in their notions, are no different. The banishment of thought by them is not a new idea at all. Those on the left have been doing this for years. Absent in our schools for quite some time has been this forum of free thought. Children are encouraged to memorize and regurgitate on their multiple bubble forms, abandoning the pen in favor of the "answer." Their minds are not permitted to course through the mountains of knowledge, splitting them like a river as they take their own paths, forging their own destiny as they come to a conclusion.

I see this in many young people these days. It is rare I ever come across one that can hold a shred of argument to any question I pose to them. Most are acceptant and content enough by saying "yeah" or "whatever" or "I don't know."

So while the end game of the agenda might be different in flavor, the tools and ignorance are the same. Both breed an equal amount of it, they just do a great job disguising it.

An ignorant but acceptant society is one that is easy to control.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:29:10 PM , Rating: 1
I love how fools on here rate me down but can't bring a solid argument to the table, further proving what I have said.

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 1:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Jason,
similar to Iran, in principal
The phrase is "in principle ", not "in principal". Principals are people, objects, or subjects of prominence. Principles are fundamental truths. You made that exact error in your article text as well, so with you it isn't just a typo but a pattern. As a writer, you ought to know better...

RE: Why?
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2012 2:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
TextI cant comment for JM, or who in the GOP, but in my post the "they" I am referring to is the Christian right in general.

You mean the minority opinion that feeds your generalization?

RE: Why?
By dark matter on 7/3/2012 4:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
Just go out the porch and shoot your guns. You never know, if you're lucky, you might hit an immigrant.

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Paj on 7/2/2012 12:49:18 PM , Rating: 1
Ummm... why isn't THAT the job of the parents again?

Because its really difficult thing to do well, I suppose. I'd much rather trust a publicly funded school, with minimum requirements for maths, literacy and science as set out by people far more capable of myself at doing such a task. I certainly wouldn't feel capable of single-handedly educating my children in all aspects of learning without serious backup, huge amounts of time, money, or all three of these things.

Instead, I'm more than happy for my taxes to go towards providing accessible, high quality education for not only my own children but for others too, hopefully instilling in them the joys of knowledge that I am fortunate enough to have. Supplemented with the education and knowledge I can give to them in the home, I know that this will go towards giving them all the skills and resources they need to survive in an increasingly difficult world, and find what it is that makes them happy and self-fulfilled.

I'm happy for the government to offer any advice they may in this - they have been educating children a lot longer than I have, and I welcome their input. I dont want them to do everything, and I resist telling my kids what to think - instead, I want to teach them how to think, and they can make up their own minds from there.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 10:17:05 AM , Rating: 5
"The government shouldn't be doing the parents job. If a parent wants their child to believe the world is flat and that it was created by God in 7 days, then so be it."

I disagree with that statement entirely. It's spreading ignorance. Schools should teach facts and facts are the Earth is not flat, it is over 4 billion years old and life evolved on it, including humans. If parents arent eaching that, they they should not be allowed to breed. It's feeding the idiocracy.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 10:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
The only fact that you just said is that the world is not flat.

According to the bible, the earth is flat.

Revelations 7-1:

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.

Spheres do not have corners. Flat objects do.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 11:24:03 AM , Rating: 5
I've heard that before. So can you tell me which parts are allegory and which parts I should take literally? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants and make that distinction when you happen upon a verse that make absolutely no sense? And when you do make that distinction, how do you know?

"Oh, THAT verse, yup that's just allegory."
"No, no, that one you should take for real, yup, that's meant to be taken literally."

RE: Why?
By ImEmmittSmith on 7/2/2012 12:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
The Bible is book that takes understanding of the author. When you read a book by a specific author, you tend to understand the background of his writings or your will not have full understanding of what he is trying to convey. The Bible is the same, you have to understand the context of what is being written. Such as the phrase "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 2 Peter 3:8, does that mean a day IS a thousand years or could it mean a million years? How long was a day when God created the heavens and the earth? No one knows! If you quote something out of Revelations do you understand the context and the symbolism being referred to? Study the Bible historically and you will find out so much more than just turning a blind eye to it and picking and choosing passages that you cherry pick out of context. Invest some time and you may find it a could read.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 12:18:53 PM , Rating: 3
The Bible is book that takes understanding of the author. When you read a book by a specific author, you tend to understand the background of his writings or your will not have full understanding of what he is trying to convey. The Bible is the same, you have to understand the context of what is being written.

I've read the whole bible. Cover to cover. I've studied it for many hours. There is no one author. It is a collection of stories, mostly in chronological order. God certainly isn't the author as all stories are secondhand accounts. Who made the accounts of the first days of creation? Unknown.

How long was a day when God created the heavens and the earth? No one knows!

In genesis it states that there was morning and there was evening, sunrise and sunset. We know how the universe works, therefore a day in genesis was a literal 24 hour day.

Peter 3:8 is obvious simile for the enjoyment of spending a day with the lord. I could say the same thing about spending time with Kate Upton.

RE: Why?
By JasonMick on 7/2/2012 12:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that not all of the Bible is meant to be taken literally right?
And herein lies the problem of exclusively teaching about Christianity in schools, trying to "reform" the U.S. as a Christian state, etc.

If the majority want that, fine maybe that's Democratic (or alternatively mob rule), but whose Christianity to pick?

I consider myself a Christian, yet I believe (as you seem to) that the Bible cannot be taken literally.

Thus I do not believe in a creation myth, I do not believe Jonah was really swallowed by a whale, and I do not believe the Earth is head towards some kind of "Left Behind" apocalypse.

I do believe abundant biochemistry, genetic, epigenetic, paleontological, morphological, physiological, and biological evidence indicates that mankind evolved.

The whole of Chrisitianity can be fit neatly into the natural order of the world, if you accept a non-literal interpretation.

That said, many Christians do not agree with you and I, although many more do. That's precisely why it's wrong to inject any religion into government -- because even within a "single" religion people can't agree on what they believe in, within various denominations. Christians and Muslims alike fight and kill people of their own religion (e.g. Ireland or Iraq) for precisely that reason. So no, it's not a good idea to install a theocracy or ban analytical thinking coursework for fear it will create religious doubt.

That said I do agree with you that'd it'd be fine to teach Christianity in a historical context. I'm fine with teaching religion in a historic context, but only if you're devoting equal time to all major historically important religions (e.g. Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto/Confucianism, Islam, and Judaism), as all of those religions were important to the history of some of the rich and diverse group of people that call themselves "Americans".

RE: Why?
By bah12 on 7/2/2012 1:19:04 PM , Rating: 4
Judging from your posts, I believe much as you do. However I would doubt this to be true.

I consider myself a Christian
I used to use this false statement myself, but the reality is I am not a Christian. Although I consider most of the bible as non-literal. There is a very literal definition of being a Christian. One believes God's only son born of a virgin, was martyred, resurrected and died for All mankind's sin.

Personally I find the ideas of an empty grave and physical resurrection of the body or immaculate conception highly suspect (as I would infer you do as well).

Yet for years I called myself a Christian that just didn't take the Bible literally. The problem is if you do not believe in the story of Christ (specifically conception/resurrection), then by very definition you are NOT a Christian.

You may hold the same values as Christ's teaching, but holding these 2 events as myth disqualifies one from being a Christian.

As someone who has never lived in New York I have no right to call myself a New Yorker, neither should people who do not believe in the very basics of Christ call themselves Christians.

Just my 2 cents, but ask yourself if you really are a Christian. Considering oneself something, and actually being it are totally different.

RE: Why?
By kamiller422 on 7/2/2012 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. Texas is such a theocracy. A theocracy is exactly what the GOP is looking to establish. Am I being literal or sarcastic?

It takes a cynical mind to read the GOP platform on education as you do. The GOP position is obviously a stand against OBE-like programs. Their objection is probably rooted in stories where students are taught it's okay to believe 2+2=5 because 5 is one outcome of 2+2, an incorrect one of course. As the story goes, don't tell Johnny 5 is incorrect as it may hurt his self-esteem. (This might be where the objection to behavior modification part comes in.) Roll with 5 as an outcome for now even though Suzy's fixed idea of 2+2=4 is challenged.

Not saying I agree or disagree with any of this, but it is a plausible interpretation Jason doesn't even try to entertain. Just go for the "Southerners are backwoods, religious nuts" angle. At the same time, criticize the GOP for misrepresenting homosexual behavior.

Pardon me while I put my moonshine jug down and go out with my wife/sister.

Look maw! We attracting more hayseeds!

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 4:24:49 PM , Rating: 5
The modern "progressive" as I see it seeks to turn our nation into a Socialist, secular country (not state as we should always have religion separate from government), completely cleansed of any notion of religion or free thought.
Pretty economical, packing such fallacy into so few words.

Firstly, Socialism is not mutually exclusive with either religion or free thought. Sweden is frequently cited as one of the most socialist countries on the planet. It also happens to be Christian (with 70% of population members in the Church of Sweden, according to Wikipedia, as of 2010.) Go figure.

Secondly, secularism is about governance. It is not about countries. Progressives (and I count myself among them) want to cleanse religion from government . But most of us couldn't care less what people outside of government do. Even government officials can privately believe whatever strikes their fancy, and do whatever their religions require of them. Indeed, those rights are sacrosanct (pardon the pun) and cemented into our Constitution.

But when it comes to carrying out their public duties as government officials, they have no right (Constitutional or otherwise) to bring their religion to bear. Government's function is to establish and execute laws, and in a free nation the rule of law applies equally to all regardless of their religion, is therefore never grounded in any particular religion but must be justified in secular and objective terms, and always trumps the rule of any contradictory religious edict (or fatwah, if you like.)

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 5:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
But most of us couldn't care less what people outside of government do.

Really, you do? Just look at the state of California and all the stuff people have to put up with. All the nanny-regulation and absurdity there.

Progressives want to be involved in every single facet of someone's life, right down to what they eat for breakfast and the words that come out of their mouth. They want the Federal Government to regulate and control everything. Oh wait, I'm sorry, I used the wrong words: They want the Federal Government to protect everyone from themselves.

Government's function is to establish and execute laws

If you believe this is the sole function of a Government (other than providing for a military to protect our borders as I do), how can you buy into the rest of the Progressive agenda and not see it for what it really is? It is an invasive, intrusive philosophy that is just as extreme as the right.

Thus, I remain a moderate. I see through the smokescreen of both sides.

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 6:13:46 PM , Rating: 4
look at the state of California... All the nanny-regulation and absurdity there.
I happen to live there. Not a whole lot of absurdity going on around me, I assure you. You are misinformed.
Progressives want to be involved in every single facet of someone's life, right down to what they eat for breakfast and the words that come out of their mouth.
Nope. In fact, most Progressives are pretty libertarian when it comes to people's personal affairs. For instance, we have no problem with gay people actually being gay, getting married, adopting and raising children, etc. Most of us want to legalize marijuana, dismantle the War on Drugs. In terms of regulatory climate of us just want to get back to where the country was in the middle of the 20th century -- when the Greatest Generation learned and put in practice the principle that we all succeed or fail together. We reject the self-serving solypsism of the spoiled-rotten Baby Boomers.
They want the Federal Government to regulate and control everything.
Nope. Most Progressives want the Federal Government to prevent industrial collusion (anti-competitive behavior like illegal trusts, price fixing, etc.), fraud, and crime, that's all. We want laws to actually be enforced, even against the super-wealthy (and particularly against the increasingly-corrupt Wall Street.) We want fairness and justice. If that's Un-American, then I guess we categorically reject your vision of America.

RE: Why?
By kamiller422 on 7/2/2012 4:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
Both sides want the wrong thing, just in two different ways but through the same channels.

Even if religious were trying to edge religion into government, I find their efforts, if successful, far less damaging to our nation than progressive ideology. Self-titled Progressivism is destroying the U.S.

RE: Why?
By Helbore on 7/2/2012 1:05:58 PM , Rating: 4
You do realize that not all of the Bible is meant to be taken literally right?

You mean like all the crazy supernatural rubbish?

I think there's a lot of the Bible that shouldn't be taken literally. An awful lot, in fact.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 12:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I'm concerned everything in the Bible is up for interpretation given when and how it was written, conceived and transcribed over time.

Whenever you read something from it, you must look at it not only from the perspective of the writer or individual telling the story, but from the period of time it was written in and also the point they are trying to make (which sometimes isn't quite so obvious). I wouldn't be remiss at all in saying some parts of it are similar to a "riddle," though not quite. There isn't somuch reading between the lines as there is figuring out what they are really trying to say through the nomenclature used at the time.

Anyone who takes everything said in it literally is missing the point of the book.

Of course John used the allegory "four corners of the earth." He knew not otherwise at the time. Nobody did. The world was discovered as being spherical many centuries later. He also referred to many things in the same book as being "magical" or "unbelievable," and from his perspective at the time, they were completely inconceivable. However, read from our own eyes and knowledge now it is easy to construe some of his examples as iterations of modern technology from the eyes of a primative.

Thus, your argument is moot. You are making the same exact mistake Fundamentalists make when reading the book. You take it literally at face value without even trying to interpret or position anything.

The Bible must be read with an open mind--the same mind that is the point of this article. What Texas is doing is wrong. No, it is ridiculous what the Republican party thinks there. Seal the gates of higher order thinking before they are even explored and you doom the fate of the student to complacent acceptance without any actualized accomplishment. You've taken their "playdough" and let it dry up before they ever figure out how to shape it into anything.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 12:47:58 PM , Rating: 4
So I ask again, which parts should I take literally, which should I take as allegory, and which parts should I interpret? This book supposedly tells the story of how the universe was created and you are saying I should not take it literally?

So god did not literally create the heavens and earth, he did not literally create Adam and Even, he did not literally flood the Earth, he did not literally send his son Jesus to die for our sons, because he did not literally exist?

That is just scratching the surface of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Bible. If you start from page 1 verse 1 you will find an inconsistency by verse 2.

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Derp. What water? I suppose I should not take THIS literally either?

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
Use your head man. You can't cherry pick based on what I said as once again, by doing so, you prove to me you are failing to do any of the things I outlined above.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 1:33:07 PM , Rating: 2
Still waiting.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
For you to grow a brain? Keep waiting, it might take a while.

Everything I said flew right over your head.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 1:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
And I'm still waiting. For an intelligent response from you.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
You got one, it just takes a brain to interpret it. Your initial response was nothing but flippant rhetoric as far as I'm concerned. It should a clear lack of concise thought and instead offered pointed drivel.

Contstruct something deep rather and targeted next time.

Once you wade through my parent post, roll it about the coils of your spongiform mass and construct a proper abstract argument, then we'll begin our genuine riposte.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 1:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
should = showed

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 2:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm full of fail. Construct something deep rather than targeted. Not and.

:-| *toots horn* All aboard!

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 2:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
No, I didn't. I got a gargled spit wad about open interpretations of the text and viewing the words as they would have been written by the author at the time of writing. I guess that was your definition of an intelligent response or an answer to the query.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 2:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
No, it was a factual representation of the truth rather than your literal fallacy you cling so solidly to. I wish it were so simple everything in this world were so straightforward and representative of the whole as you seem explicit in trying to tout.

From your own context, why don't you illustrate your true position on things?

What is it you, tayb, believe in? Why don't you lay out your agenda?

You seem to believe solidly in things, lets drop the ruse and lay it on the proverbial table here.

RE: Why?
By kamiller422 on 7/2/2012 1:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
... and apparently only four winds on earth. :-\

Take some literature classes and understand literary devices. Here's a start.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 10:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry if it conflicts with your "beliefs" but the age of the Earth and evolution are facts. If you cant accept them as facts, then that is a defect in your "beliefs".

I agree, schools shouldn't teach that religion or god is false, but evolution should be taught as it is not a belief, its proven fact and anyone that doesn't see that is purely ignorant.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
Neither are facts. The age of the earth is a best guess based on carbon dating. Cataclysmic events could have covered or destroyed older evidence. The earth is at least 4.6 billion years old but could likely be old, much older.

Micro-evolution is an observable phenomenon. Macro-evolution cannot be observed. The theory of evolution is sound but it makes no attempts to explain the origin of species.

RE: Why?
By MozeeToby on 7/2/2012 11:20:51 AM , Rating: 3
Please do explain what is the difference between 'macro-evolution' and several thousand iterations of 'micro- evolution'. Please explain why you feel that speciation cannot be observed, despite the fact that it has been, repeatedly, in the laboratory. And please explain damn near anything in modern biology using a mechanism other than evolution that involves fewer assumptions than evolution does.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 11:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why I should have to explain this when Google exists for everyone.

Micro evolution is a change on a species level, macro evolution is a change above the species level. Macro evolution has been observed in controlled environments such as the infamous E. Coli experiment but you cannot observe this happening over billions of years unless you have billions of years. Other evidence, such as birds evolving feathers from theropad ancestors, supports the theory but, again, cannot be observed.

RE: Why?
By Paj on 7/2/2012 1:00:36 PM , Rating: 3
Plenty of scientific theories are far from complete. But it doesnt stop them holding up to observation and inference. We still can't come up with an explanation of how to reconcile classical physics with quantum mechanics. Doesn't stop us from being able to build light globes, GPS sattelites, or nuclear reactors.

In the same way, evolutionary theory provides a framework for much of modern biology and genetics. Just becuase we can describe every outcome of every evolutionary event that ever happened throughout the history of the universe doesnt make the scientific framework of evolution any less valid. Evolutionary theory does not describe the mechanism for how life originated on earth. It is concerned with changes that propagate through any given population over time, on a morphological and genetic level.

RE: Why?
By Mint on 7/11/2012 12:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're misinterpreting his point.

The various features of different species are ascribed to evolution, but technically we cannot call it a verified fact. We have indirect evidence for a miniscule fraction of these features, and that's it. Everything else is assumption and extrapolation from the theory. There's no other scientific field where such loose extrapolation occurs and the results are considered "fact".

Logic tells us that evolution is the correct explanation for the diversity of life, but due to many orders of magnitude difference in our lifetimes and the timescales needed in evolution, it's physically impossible to generate direct evidence of substantial macroevolution in multicellular organisms. That's the only kind of evidence that could truly marginalize creationism.

So basically, don't waste your breath. Short of inventing a time machine, no technological advancement will ever enable us to generate rock hard, reproducible evidence to convince the naysayers.

RE: Why?
By Netscorer on 7/2/2012 11:26:28 AM , Rating: 4
The theory of evolution is sound but it makes no attempts to explain the origin of species.

Someone forgot to tell this to Charles Darwin, who in his complete ignorance titled his life work on evolution as 'Origin of species'. Too bad, tayb is not as famous, cause he sure knows so much more then that primitive 19th century British scientist.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 11:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
In your ignorance you don't even know what his work was actually titled.

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

It makes no attempt to explain the origins of the primoridal goo, just the evolutionary changes onward. The origins belong to other theories, such as the big bang theory, which is why I stated that evolution does not address the origin of species. Perhaps I should have used the phrase "makes no attempt to explain the origin of earth" or some other such phrase.

RE: Why?
By Netscorer on 7/2/2012 12:54:49 PM , Rating: 3
Really, it that the best you can come up with? Citing full title of the book (it appears, anyone can Google nowadays). And if you meant origin of Earth (as a planet?), of course it is not explained by evolution. Evolution is a Biological theory, not Planetary.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 11:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
"Neither are facts. The age of the earth is a best guess based on carbon dating."

OK, if you want to mince words and be pedantic about it, but the point here isn't the difference in the margin of error for carbon dating and other geologic methods that may show between 4 billion and 5 billion (or more) years old, the point is its far greater than 6000 years. Evolution is proven as well. Science need not be observed to be proven in the case of Macro evolution. There is such a thing as evidence and there are mountains of it. We cannot wait 100 million years to observe it to prove itwhen we have 100's of millions of years worth of fossil and geolocical evidence, as well as DNA that proves it.

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2012 12:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
The media likes picking the fringe members of society and holding them up to light. But I seriously doubt there is some large mass of people who believe the world is 6000 years old.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 12:32:36 PM , Rating: 1
Sadly, there are plenty that do... Plenty right here on this forum as a mater of fact.

RE: Why?
By Fujikoma on 7/2/2012 12:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that you don't realize that there are other dating methods aside from carbon dating. They are used to cover different time frames... and YES, our planet is billions of years old. No scientist in their right mind would rely on carbon dating when more reliable radioactive dating methods exist for the time frames you're talking about. You are truly un-educated in physics, geology and biology.

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 1:20:47 PM , Rating: 3
It's not just a matter of reliability. Carbon dating only works for:

1) Organic matter (such as wood)
2) For time ranges well below 100,000 years

The former is because carbon dating relies on plants' ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and the fairly constant rate at which carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere (by cosmic rays, mostly.) C-14 has a relatively short half-life (about 5,000 years or so), so for instance in a span of 100,000 years the original concentration is halved 20 times, meaning only 0.000095% of the original amount remains, which is normally way below detection threshold and noise from variability in the environment and contamination.

The dating for old rocks and such relies on various other isotopes (not carbon), with much longer half-lives ranging into hundreds of millions or even billions of years.

But radioisotope dating is just one of many methods for estimating the age of a planet or a star. There are other ways (even if they're less precise.) For instance, the Sun is a main sequence star of known mass and metallicity; based on its current energy output and density we can estimate its age. As another example, meteorite bombardment leaves steadily accumulating craters on the Moon; we can estimate the ages of various craters based on how many craters have been formed on top of them (and the Moon is obviously older than any crater on it.) Yet another example (for biological entities, at least), is genetic mutation clocks. While you can't date things back to billions of years, you can certainly derive estimates for when certain evolutionary branching events occurred; those estimates happen to be in good agreement with other methods that depend on dating fossils via strata. And so on, and so forth.

But most of the people who are scientifically illiterate (and that would include a large percentage of all Americans), wouldn't know any of that. All they know, is the political/religious swill fed to them daily by their "pastors" and "shepherds".

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/2012 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree with that statement entirely. It's spreading ignorance.

That idea is no more ridiculous than the Big Bang theory as a creation myth.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 1:15:43 PM , Rating: 1
"That idea is no more ridiculous than the Big Bang theory as a creation myth."

Wow... that is a special level if uneducated ignorance there.

OK, lets make this plain and simple for you. The big bang theory is a theory based on the fact that the universe is expanding and many other observable evidence. It is not a proven fact, but a theory that many/most scientists agree with. Summary: It hasnt been proven, nor disproven.

The world is flat: This has obviously been disproven.
If you were referring to evolution: This has been proven and is not a "theory". There may be "theories" as to why it happened, how it happened and even who started it (as in a god being) but it is proven fact that it happened.

If you cant see the difference then you are really sadly inept.

RE: Why?
By Motoman on 7/2/2012 10:30:10 AM , Rating: 4
Critical thinking skills are not an ideology or value system. It's logic...pure ability to reason based on available information.

It's actually the antithesis of ideology. And is the one most important thing that a school should teach.

If parents still want their children to believe that Gawd created the world in 7 days etc. etc., then they can do that indoctrination at home/in the church.

What the REAL problem is, is that people who actually learn to think for themselves are less likely to fall into the religion trap. If you are actually capable of using your brain correctly, you're considerably less likely to just accept the fairy tales of any given religion as capital T Truth.

That's the real issue at hand...conservatives are afraid that if the schools actually start being effective at education, people will grow up to be too smart and religion will wither and die.

...which of course would be the greatest achievement in the history of mankind...but it's not what the religious establishment wants to have happen.

RE: Why?
By ShaolinSoccer on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By Motoman on 7/2/2012 11:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
You can say the exact same thing about scientific "Theory"...

...only if you utterly lack any semblance of critical thinking skills. See how that works?

RE: Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2012 11:36:33 AM , Rating: 1
That's the real issue at hand...conservatives are afraid that if the schools actually start being effective at education, people will grow up to be too smart and religion will wither and die.

I don't think that's fair. Conservatism isn't a religious system. As a Conservative I take offense that my issue with public schools have ANYTHING to do with religion. And calling that the "real" issue at hand is divisive rhetoric. That's just the kind of thing Mick wrote this article for, to pit us against each other.

Grouping Conservatives with Creationists frankly piss me off.

RE: Why?
By steven975 on 7/2/2012 11:43:11 AM , Rating: 1

I think Liberals are ruining education with the constantly decreased expectations.

I think I'm a pretty level-headed guy. Very socially liberal, and very fiscally conservative. I think education, especially public education, needs to be much more difficult than it is.

I hear parents at work all the time saying how hard school is for kids now and I berate them for it. I ask if their son or daughter is in calculus and physics, and the answer is no, or something about how school is a distraction from football.

RE: Why?
By Motoman on 7/2/2012 11:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
Comments Texas GOP Communications Director Chris Elam..'ll note that the article is about how the GOP is at the root of this issue...that's why I used the term "conservatives."

Obviously there are creationist Democrats, Libertarians, so on and so forth. Since the focus of the article was on conservatives though, I just kept the argument there.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 12:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
Liberals have decreased expectations? You should visit Texas, especially west Texas in areas such as Midland, Odessa, or Lubbock. You'll find new meanings for the phrase "decreased expectations." You also wont' find many liberals. This transcends the party lines.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/2/2012 12:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
What a crock of shit.

Less than 10% of the kids in a school play football and that's only in high school and possibly middle school. I played football in high school and college it didn't stop me from getting a graduate degree in engineering and I don't hear other parents saying crap like that even in my football CRAZY, whacko, redneck family.

Both my daughters play tennis and run track and they both are 4.0 students and take calculus and physics and every honors class available. They are so frigging busy doing homework all the time that I worry they have no down time.

That is a BS excuse. If their kids are not taking serious classes and trying hard then that is on the parents. The schools offer plenty of good classes and "hard" teachers...which most of the kids avoid like the plague and their parents let them.

The only thing that has hurt our education system is the insistence that little Johnny and little Susie all get A's just for showing up and nobody should get their feelings hurt.
THAT is where the liberals have gone too far.

RE: Why?
By vXv on 7/3/2012 4:24:05 AM , Rating: 3
If parents still want their children to believe that Gawd created the world in 7 days etc. etc., then they can do that indoctrination at home/in the church.

I disagree ... they should not be allowed to do that. The children should have the right to get proper education and not being indoctrinated just because they happen to have the "wrong" parents. Hence why we have schools to educate the children regardless of what nonsense their parents believe.

RE: Why?
By Yojimbo on 7/2/2012 10:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
yes. exactly. it's scary. it's against the supposed principles of the country. and it would be no worse if the catholic church were doing it. some people in this country could use a lot of introspection.

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 1:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
If a parent wants their child to believe the world is flat and that it was created by God in 7 days, then so be it.
Sure, sure.

Also, if a parent wants their child to believe that 2 + 2 = 7, then so be it. Who are schools and/or government to contradict a parent's teaching and say that 2 + 2 = 4?

Hey, I got a math problem for you. What do you get when you add "bull" + "shit"?

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By AnnihilatorX on 7/2/2012 10:04:15 AM , Rating: 2
Genesis 1:16 New International Version (NIV) 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

Apparently the moon is luminious. You can argue that is interpretation. But if the bible is really the words of God transcribed, surely he can word it better than that.

Moses split the Red Sea, defying the very law of gravity God, if there is one, set himself; and Aaron somehow turn Nile river water into blood by atomic-chemical reaction.

Miracles and science do not sit well together. I struggle how one can otherwise interpret it.

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/2012 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 3
Apparently the moon is luminious. You can argue that is interpretation. But if the bible is really the words of God transcribed, surely he can word it better than that.

Your interpretation of science in the Bible is rather loose. You're reading way too much into this. Moses basically wrote that there were two heavenly bodies, one that lit up the day and one that lit up the night. He wasn't talking about the chemical properties of either.

And it's a stretch to try and interpret miracles as instances of science in the Bible. I was talking about more specific passages such as:

The Earth is round and the universe is expanding:

Isa. 40:22- It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in.

This was written before the time when people thought the Earth was flat.

The earth "hangs upon nothing":

Job 26:7-He stretches out Zaphon over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.

Moses didn't own a telescope or a satellite in space.

The water cycle:

Job 36: 27, 28-For he draws up the drops of water; he distills his mist [clouds] in rain, which the skies pour down and drop upon mortals abundantly.

Again, written thousands of years before established science and often contradicting the science at that time. But then again, science has never been independent. It has always been used to push the agenda of those funding the research. In the past, this used to be the Catholic Church. Today, it's the political class. Like everything from evolution to anthropogenic global warming to pharmaceuticals, the science is only as good as the ones financing it.

RE: Why?
By Keeir on 7/3/2012 2:57:06 AM , Rating: 2

The Earth is round and the universe is expanding:

You passage says nothing about the Universe Expanding and it was well accepted fact in Greek and Roman times that the Earth was round (600 BC to 400 AD)

The earth "hangs upon nothing":

Again, this was well known during Greek/Roman Times. Look at the Solar System models of Aristarchus, Aristotle, and Ptolemy

The water cycle

Again, this can be found in Aristotle and Ptolemy.

These are just small tweaks of extensions of pre-existing widely circulated Greek/Roman ideas.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 10:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
"Please. As if liberals don't oppose kids learning about the constitution, how government is supposed to work, or just history in general."

What does that have to do with anything?

"And its not scientific fact. It's a theory. "

where did you come up with that bible school?

"As far as the Bible not being history, why? What makes the Bible different than other stories we accept as truth."

Well, there are tons of example, but keeping on topic , that part about God created the Earth and man as is. No, absolutly not. The planet has been here over 4 billion years and life evolved on it, eventually early mammals into man. That isnt a "theory" its a fact. Geological, archeological, and DNA evidence proves that. If you can't at least accept that , then you seriously need to put down the bible and start redefining the word "facts".

RE: Why?
By MozeeToby on 7/2/2012 10:35:46 AM , Rating: 4
Otherwise we need to remove "The Theory of" part.
You see, this is why we can't have nice things. Theory (scientific) and theory (day to day conversation) have different meanings. For example, some other scientific theories: atomic theory, molecular theory, valence bond theory, theory of relativity, theory of plate tectonics, cell theory, and the germ theory of disease.

Scientific theories are broad scoped descriptions of how the world works (as opposed to laws, which are extremely narrow descriptions of the expected outcome of a very small number of interactions), corroborated by experimental and observational evidence (and there is as much evidence for evolution as there are for several of the theories I listed above). It is a fact that evolution happens, the theory of evolution explains how it happens and why.

Nothing in biology above the 4th grade level makes any sense, except in light of evolution. It is the single guiding light in every single biological science because it explains everything we see in the wildly diverse fields of modern biology, disproving evolution would require the disproving of centuries of biological observation and research. You might be able to tweak things a bit, but it is unlikely to the point of being impossible that evolution is incorrect in any significant way significant to this conversation..

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 11:00:23 AM , Rating: 2
"They find a skull and another bone or two, draw a creature out of it, and say "We found a predecessor to man!""

Thousands... They have found thousands of skulls and bones documenting every step of the way from early ape to modern human. Not "a bone or two". If your going to promote ignorance, at least get your facts straight. You are not ignoring "a bone or two" you are ignoring thousands of fossils, geologic, archaelogical and DNA evidence that ALL individually prove we evolved and also happen to all line up perfectly with each other and the fact that we evolved.

I just want to be clear that you are ignoring a mountain of evidence, not a few bones.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 12:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the assertion that you cant prove everything about evolution, and I agree that we dont know how or why it started or what started it. It's a perfectly valid argument to say that god created the laws of the universe and kickstarted evolution with humans in mind as an and result. You cant prove it's true or not and either side of that is valid... So long as we arent asserting that evolution didnt happen. Do we know why? no. Do we know 100% of everything behind it, certainly not, but we do know it happened and we do know the rough timeline it happened upon, those are facts. As long as schools are teaching facts and NOT hiding the facts we are OK, both religious and Atheists.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/2012 6:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Ok so now God can create the universe and kickstart evolution to create humans but its impossible that God just created the universe and mankind as is. Do you see the failure of logic there?

He can create something vastly bigger and set up a system that would, over billions of years, result in the human race, but he couldn't just do it outright. Right...

Ultimately, I will believe what I believe and you can't say or do anything to change it. Nor do others have the right to teach kids things that are against what their parents want to teach them. When I have kids, there is absolutely no way I will ever send them to a public school.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/3/2012 8:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
"Ok so now God can create the universe and kickstart evolution to create humans but its impossible that God just created the universe and mankind as is. Do you see the failure of logic there?"

No fail at all... Both take faith and can't be proved, but one (creationism) ignores volumes of evidence and has been 100% disproven by science. We have both been here a long long time, and I know you are an intelligent person, so surely the statement above at least makes sense to you. I am not saying I believe that, I am just saying the argument can be made. I honestly do believe that there is a god, just not quite the petty, vain childish god described in the western christian/hebrew/islam old testament. But that is my personal belief.

"Ultimately, I will believe what I believe and you can't say or do anything to change it."

Totally valid, and totally cool, and if you have kids and send them to private school that's cool to. So long as no one is pushing public schools to stop teaching facts like evolution and a 4+ billion year old Earth.

RE: Why?
By Skywalker123 on 7/2/2012 4:34:00 PM , Rating: 3
"The difference is I have a set of reliable documents written by those who claim to be eyewitnesses to supernatural events. There are none who claim that their witness is false either(the Bible says at least 300 people witnessed the crucifixion). And either Jesus was who he says he was (since you can't dispute he existed) or he was insane while still being intelligent and controlled enough to quote Psalm 22 while he was being crucified which according to that same Psalm describes how Jesus was crucified. Written ~1000 years before Jesus was born by someone who had never seen a crucifixion since it hadn't been invented."

Crucifixion is thousands of years old, It can and has been disputed if there ever was an illiterate carpenter named Jesus. Insanity has nothing to do with intelligence. What were the names and addresses of the "300 witnesses who saw Jesus after his death? Let me ask you this, if Jesus' disciples saw him walk on water, turn water into wine and other cheap parlor tricks, why did they deny they even knew him? How could we be expected to believe this drivel? You need to learn more about psychology, history and comparative mythology. I suggest you start with "The Hero with a thousand faces" and "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell.

RE: Why?
By topkill on 7/3/2012 4:53:54 PM , Rating: 2

How can you make an intelligent post like this one, and then claim that Lincoln "launched the Civil War" down below?

Is that whole Civil War and States Rights thing so emotional that you can't be rational about that one subject?

RE: Why?
By morob05 on 7/3/2012 1:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is I have a set of reliable documents written by those who claim to be eyewitnesses to supernatural events. There are none who claim that their witness is false either(the Bible says at least 300 people witnessed the crucifixion).

So, your documents are reliable because none of these so called eyewitnesses claims that their witness is false??? What kind of reasoning is that??

controlled enough to quote Psalm 22 while he was being crucified which according to that same Psalm describes how Jesus was crucified. Written ~1000 years before Jesus was born by someone who had never seen a crucifixion since it hadn't been invented.

This is straight up not true! Horus, an ancient egyptian deity, was crucified around 3000 bc. Oh yeah, and he was only begotten son of the God, born to a virgin, Isis. Horus also walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick and restored sight to the blind. After his crucifixion he resurrected after 3 days... Sounds familiar??

Evolutionists believe that life came from nothing out of a soup of water and various minerals along with radiation.

...And creationists believe that humans come from dirt! Dirt that was picked up by god and shaped into his own image whereafter he breathed the breath of life into the nostrils modified pile of dirt... How is that any less absurd???

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/2012 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
Thousands... They have found thousands of skulls and bones documenting every step of the way from early ape to modern human

No they have not!

They find old bone fragments, make a big announcement and Discovery Channel feature about it being a human ancestor (complete with CG extrapolations) and then when it's found that it's just a prehistoric ape or a human, we hear no revisions or retractions, it just disappears from the news. And gullible folks like yourself, hold on to news as if it's gospel.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 2:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, yes they have. It's quite the opposite as far as mis-info. It's the religious right's talking points that have absolutely no basis in fact that you are referring to. They have whole skulls, plenty of them documenting every step of the way. The religious powers that be put in these false talking points to raise doubt for the gullible folks like yourself, who hold on to it as if matters to anyone outside of the church...

This is a really useful link that sums it up in a form you can understand.

RE: Why?
By MozeeToby on 7/2/2012 11:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
And yet science also teaches that the universe moves towards a state of chaos yet the world doesn't reflect that at all.
I can only assume you're referring to the concept of entropy, specifically the second law of thermodynamics which basically states: The entropy of a closed system must increase over time.

The part about being a closed system is important because the Earth isn't a closed system. We've got this great big heat source that we orbit around that puts energy in and an even larger cosmos that takes energy out. If you take into account the larger universe, the tiny amount of entropy reversed in running life on earth is dwarfed by several dozen orders of magnitude by the entropy increase involved in fuzing hydrogen nuclei in the sun and transferring that heat to the wider and much colder cosmos.

RE: Why?
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 3:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
That'd be something, wouldn't it, if they prove string theory as true someday. Single dimensionality be darned, I'm already smacking your insides around with my multidimensional strings! Our entropy would suddenly seem meaningless. Andromeda colliding with the Milky Way? Big deal... just wait until universe collides! Oh, wait... ;)

Sorry, had to try and change this drab, polarizing discussion.

RE: Why?
By tayb on 7/2/2012 11:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
Christian's believe in evolution from the point of creation, so don't act like we say everything now is exactly as it was in the beginning.

How do you explain humans living 900+ years old the first 6,000 odd years after creation? If you believe in evolution we should have longer lives, not shorter lives.

I understand where the Texas GOP is coming from. There is absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind but the truly ignorant that school's today attempt to teach kids that believing in God is stupid (example: you) and that evolution is fact when it is merely a different world view. Parents have a right to fight against that.

Creationism is not science, it is religion. If you would like your child to learn religion you should do that at home, on Sunday, or at a private christian school. I don't care what you teach your kid , it's none of my business. We separated religion from government affairs for a reason. Education should be agnostic.

RE: Why?
By FITCamaro on 7/2/2012 7:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the founders didn't. Religion was taught in PUBLIC schools for over 100 years. It wasn't until a racist member of the KKK who didn't like the church sued the federal government and the Supreme Court wrongly sided with him using a quote from Jefferson that was taken completely out of context that a "separation of church and state" was conceived. In fact in that letter Jefferson was responding to a church's concerns that they would be prohibited from practicing their religious freedom and the "wall" he spoke of was that the government could not stop their free exercise of religion.

"To Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge and Others, a Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.

Th. Jefferson
January 1, 1802"

Three days after writing that letter, he attended a church service held in the US Capitol building. Yup. Sure sounds like a man who disagreed with the idea of religion having any place outside a religious institution or the home.

Schools should teach what the residents of a state desire. Or even better when the parents desire. Not what an all powerful government agency says they can.

I went to a Catholic school growing up. We learned the theory of evolution. We learned creationism. They were not taught to be diametrically opposed to one another. We were taught each one and then the rest was left to the parents as to what to believe. Evolution was not taught as fact to which if you did not believe you were an idiot.

RE: Why?
By Skywalker123 on 7/2/2012 4:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Otherwise how about we go into the rain forest, rip out those still worshiping the sun and the stars as deities, and force them to believe exactly as we do."

We been there, done that, read some history.

RE: Why?
By Arsynic on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/2/2012 1:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
What an idiotic comment. Evolution isn't scientific.
You're a real comedian.
It hasn't been observed
It has.
the definition of evolution is changed to fit phenomena
It's not.
If evolution is a slow gradual change over millions of years
It isn't that neat and tidy; few things in nature really are. But it is a good first-order approximation, simple enough to teach to kids who don't have sufficient knowledge and skills to tackle the more complex and accurate representations. Just as you first teach arithmetic before you endeavor to delve into algebra, and you teach algebra before you tackle calculus. Sure, you may find the simplified descriptions provided to you in grade school unsatisfying, but nobody prevents you from continuing your education and actually examining this science at a college level.

On the other hand, there are ways of putting complex science across so that even the relatively unsophisticated audiences can grasp the essentials without having to sign up for college courses. On the off chance that you actually might be intellectually curious, here's a nice attempt:

(try the "Evolution 101" tutorial.)

It would help greatly if you at least had a grasp of the basics before you endeavored to comment on the science of it all.

RE: Why?
By Skywalker123 on 7/2/2012 3:17:44 PM , Rating: 1
"Christians shouldn't be afraid of logic because it can be used to back up their beliefs. Not disprove them."

LOL, if you can repeat that with a straight face, I can get you two weeks at the Comedy Club!

RE: Why?
By geddarkstorm on 7/2/2012 11:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, it's hard to say most of the education in this country could be considered "critical thinking".

RE: Why?
By chµck on 7/2/2012 12:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
For anyone trying to bring up carbon-dating as hard evidence:

So, is carbon dating accurate? It is for specimens which only date back a few thousand years. Anything beyond that is problematic and highly doubtful.

RE: Why?
By Belard on 7/2/2012 3:00:21 PM , Rating: 1
What he said did not warrant down vote down.

This country was founded with the idea of the Separation of Church and State for a bloody reason. And one of its primary reasons is for the protection of religious freedom.

RE: Why?
By Natch on 7/3/2012 8:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
By "fixed beliefs", the GOP clearly means "fundamentalist religious beliefs". In other words the party is afraid that teaching students to think analytically might disrupt illogical superstitions , such as creation myths , which scientific evidence does not support.

Oh, I don't know. Reading this paragraph in the article reminds me of the same type of blind faith that evolutionists have, in their version of the truth.

Doesn't matter which way you look at it, or whether you believe in evolution or creationism, chances are you've so deeply ingrained that belief, that it has become a faith of its own. Frankly, I find myself laughing at the ludicrousness of BOTH sides!

RE: Why?
By km9v on 7/3/2012 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
So, ~83% of Americans consider themselves Christians, have Christians morals, ethics, values, etc.

~1.7% of Americans are homosexuals.

So, we should piss on the ~83% values, morals, ethics so that the ~1.7% don't have a hissy fit?

Christians morals, ethics, values built this country whether you like it or not.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Too many people conveniently forget this part of the 1st amendment. And the first part is often misunderstood. It was intended to forbid the US govt. from establishing a govt. church like the church of England. You know, the thing that the founding fathers were getting away from. Not to be use to for "You can't say Jesus or God in public schools!" or even "You have to accept homosexuality & evolution even though your Christian beliefs contradict it."

RE: Why?
By boeush on 7/4/2012 5:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
So, we should piss on the ~83% values, morals, ethics so that the ~1.7% don't have a hissy fit?
No, we should strive to apply the other part of the Constitution that people like you habitually ignore:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws .

The Constitution is just like the Bible to you people: you pick and choose the parts you like, and utterly ignore the parts that conflict with your predilections or presuppositions. Cognitive dissonance is status quo for you.

If you're going to allow the government to legislate things like marriage (via various contractual, tax, property, childcare, etc. laws), then such legislation cannot be discriminatory in any fashion whatsoever, regardless of how a religious majority feels about some social or biological minority.
Christians morals, ethics, values built this country whether you like it or not.
Were those the morals and ethics that endorsed slavery, Manifest Destiny, racism, misogyny? Mexico is far more intensely Christian than U.S., but oddly it turned out somewhat differently. How come? Learn to think before you spout.
Not to be use to for "You can't say Jesus or God in public schools!"
The establishment clause together with the equal protection clause say that you have to be willing to receive what you're willing to deal, or else no deal. Would you personally be just fine if instead of "Jesus" or "God", public schools talked about "Buddha" or "Allah"? Somehow I doubt it. So why would you think it acceptable or constitutional to force your religion down the throats of others who don't share it via the brute force of government institutions and policies?

To be constitutional, government policies and actions must be completely religion-neutral. The instant they begin to favor one religion (like Christianity) over others, they begin to run counter to our secular Constitution (that's right, it's secular, and deliberately so: not even once is any god or anything supernatural mentioned anywhere within its text.)
"You have to accept homosexuality & evolution even though your Christian beliefs contradict it."
You are entitled to your own religion and beliefs, but you are not entitled to your own science and facts. The job of schools is to teach objective science, whatever it happens to be. Teaching of religion and struggling with doctrinal contradictions against scientific findings, is for churches, not schools.

Little known fact...
By JackBurton on 7/2/2012 9:52:12 AM , Rating: 1
It's a little known fact that "logic" is the tool of the Devil. He also possesses other powerful tools such as, common sense, reasoning, and critical thinking.

RE: Little known fact...
By retrospooty on 7/2/2012 10:28:54 AM , Rating: 3
"It's a little known fact that "logic" is the tool of the Devil. "

LOL yup...

"It's Satan trying to trick us, just like when he put all those Dinosaur bones there for us to find" - Stephen Colbert

RE: Little known fact...
By geddarkstorm on 7/2/2012 11:43:19 AM , Rating: 1
It's kinda funny. Whenever I see dinosaur skeletons, I think about how modern science would never believe such large animals like the dinosaurs could have existed if it wasn't for their bones. We'd throw up plenty of evidence from current animal physiologies (which are not adapted to large size in the first place) to say there's no way. And we're still arguing to this day how it could even be physically possible, when it's all right there in front of us.

Science can be pretty narrow minded once it gets set in its ways (it has trouble seeing the full realm of possibility, just what we currently experience), but at least it ultimately can change, with enough evidence and fighting.

RE: Little known fact...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2012 12:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
That's because for decades they operated on the assumption that because dinosaurs shared traits with modern-day reptiles, they must have been reptiles.

I'm not a biologist, but dinosaurs make a LOT more sense when you assume they were warm blooded and/or full blown mammals. The activity level required for reptiles to achieve such massive sizes and weight doesn't seem possible, given what we know. Key phrase, what we know.

RE: Little known fact...
By geddarkstorm on 7/3/2012 12:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I was thinking of them as warmblooded. The potential of us mammals is so discounted at times because it isn't believed any animal could get bigger than the biggest we've already got, due to bones or thermalregulation or what have you. And yet there's the dinosaurs. It's frustrating when you have evidence right there, and then listen to scientists say "no, it could never be above this". Kinda look at the whole debate over the effects of temperature on the planet in the climate science sphere. There you have geological history showing far greater temperatures than now, with far more prolific life than now, and people cry "doom, doom on us all if we go up 2 C!"

Sometimes we don't use all the evidence before us. Or most of it.

RE: Little known fact...
By Keeir on 7/2/2012 3:29:11 PM , Rating: 3
As an aside. If I boiled your comment down a bit

"I am irrated that Science uses current knowledge and observations to make hypothesis and theories about areas outside of direct observation. I wish Science would be more open and accept any concept as valid, even without supporting evidence."

Just because no scientist has created a theory on Dinosaur physical characteristcs that has enough data to prevent arguement isn't some sort of knock against science. This is -exactly- how Science is supposed to work. It seeks to explain observed events using repeatable tests or multiple empiracal findings.

RE: Little known fact...
By geddarkstorm on 7/3/2012 11:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
Err, no, that was not my comment at all. "I wish Science would be more open and accept any concept as valid, even without supporting evidence" is utterly, and completely false. That would no longer be science, just fiction!

I'm actually talking about how we -don't- use all the available evidence before us half the time, and like to sit on pet theories which feel comfortable till someone comes along and rocks the boat hard enough.

If you'd been caught up in the field on the arguments about dinosaur physiology, you'd probably understand what I mean. It was more a lament that despite seeing evidence before us of such animals, we still have trouble believing anything bigger than an elephant could exist (due to thermal regulation problems, birthing problems, blood pressure, etc) when talking about modern day. It's kinda like a self inflected short sightedness that sometimes happens in scientific fields when people get too attached to one theory or another (such as theories about bioenergetics, rather than noticing the great adaptability, and cleverness, of life).

The problems with science come from the problems with human ego, more than anything else, and the failure to imagine. Science can be applied to anything we can think up that pertains to this natural world, but so often we sit in dogma and just say "no, that's impossible," rather than exploring the possibilities, and making experiments. Things like "the bumblebee can't fly!" and yet it does. Sometimes we're too assured the superiority of our knowledge to realize its flaws, and that stifles innovation.

In this current climate, if you tried to express the theory of animals like dinosaurs based on lesser evidence without their bones (such as footprints) to modern physiologists, you'd be laughed right out the door.

RE: Little known fact...
By Gondor on 7/2/2012 5:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well thank god I'm an atheist ;-)

(in words of G. B. Shaw)

RE: Little known fact...
By TSS on 7/2/2012 9:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
That don't mean squat. There is such a thing as an "Athiest Extremist".

Their the same as the religious fundi's only instead of "BELIVE IN GOD, OR DIE!" it becomes "DON'T BELIVE IN GOD, OR DIE!".

Alot of people would be terribly unhappy if faith was outlawed.

RE: Little known fact...
By knutjb on 7/3/2012 2:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Shaw that wonderful guy who proposed boards for the population to prove their worth to society every five years. If they couldn't they would walk down a solemn hall way with calming music to the gas chambers.

Those are his ideas he spoke on a film in the early days of talkies. Look it up yourself but it can be hard to find at times.

Shaw is so revered by the left for writing but the man was plain evil for his beliefs of what government must impose on society.

If you are going to quote someone know something of their background.

High Design
By mfc on 7/2/2012 11:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
The discovery of DNA with the incredible information encoding within, speaks of a higher intelligence and design sophistication on a scale we are not able to comprehend. And if that isn’t enough, there is the process of cellular division and DNA replication inherent in all living organisms. It is simply too wonderful and amazing to be a product of mere chance.

While I can appreciate the careful research of the scientists who have “discovered” these amazing things, they are at best, observers of things we cannot do - and their conclusions on how it all came to be should be taken with a grain of salt.

As an architect and designer of healthcare facilities with hybrid operating rooms, interventional radiology suites, and other complicated uses – I find the best that we can do is primitive in comparison to the simplest organism. When we come up with the raw material that allows one of our buildings to grow from the “blueprints” and maintain, heal, and reproduce itself, then we’ll have accomplished something remarkable. Until then we are not even amateurs.

RE: High Design
By Skywalker123 on 7/3/2012 12:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
So DNA is so "wonderful and amazing" that it can't be a matter of chance. First of all its not a "matter of chance". But I digress, Because we can't fully understand or replicate DNA (yet) you assign its origin to a creature that is more complicated to the Nth degree or a trillion times more "wonderful and amazing. From where did "Mr. Wonderful" originate?

RE: High Design
By mfc on 7/3/2012 9:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
If the “box” – or the universe and dimension that we call reality was created by a higher being (Mr. Wonderful) – and that being exists outside the “box”, how could we, using tools developed from within the “box” discern the higher beings existence?

What would the evidence look like?

I won’t speculate as to the origination of “Mr. Wonderful”. But if the higher being made our “box”, of which we are still trying to comprehend it’s breadth, depth, and working - maybe that question is a few orders of magnitude beyond our understanding.

RE: High Design
By boeush on 7/3/2012 1:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
I won’t speculate as to the origination of “Mr. Wonderful”.
Why not? If you think the universe is too sophisticated to be self-sufficient, then how could this hypothetical "higher being" (and why only singular?) of infinitely greater sophistication be possibly self-sufficient? Your attempt at "explanation" not only fails to explain anything, it digs its own grave by conjuring even more unexplained complexity out of nothing. All you're doing is committing intellectual suicide, by a single swipe of Occam's Razor.
What would the evidence look like?
A far more reasonable assumption is that there is no "supernatural". That is, everything in existence -- whether currently known and observable or not -- is part of a single totality that we might refer to as "all of existence", a.k.a. "the universe". By such a definition, all hypothetical "super-beings" would merely be part and parcel of "the universe". Nothing can possibly exist "outside" of a universe, because by virtue of merely existing, it is automatically included into "the universe".

Now, under such a construction, all phenomena and processes have some underlying structure and dynamics driving them. Which means it is perfectly possible that, even if we are constrained to some spacetime "bubble" within a larger (and currently inaccessible) "cosmic foam", the underlying processes and dynamics that had created the bubble could have left some kind of imprint or signature on it that we could detect. There might even be a way for us to puncture the bubble's wall and peek outside.

But all of this is science fiction at this point. Speculating on it right now is probably at most as useful as the ancient Greeks speculating about the existence of the atom. We'll cross that bridge when (if ever) we get to it. Until then, life goes on.

RE: High Design
By mfc on 7/3/2012 6:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Whether zooming in with a microscope or out with a telescope, what I see and hear bespeaks intelligence, design, and purpose. Maybe that is partly because I’m from a design profession and see and think in those terms.

If there is a supernatural, what would the evidence look like?

RE: High Design
By boeush on 7/4/2012 4:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
what I see and hear bespeaks intelligence, design, and purpose
No. It bespeaks your immature and unsophisticated mind, that tends to endow everything around you with your own qualities. In other words, you're projecting. You're making the same exact classical human error as a myriad humans before you, who saw mind, meaning, and purpose behind every clap of thunder and every sunrise. In other words, you're still thinking like a child. Grow up. The universe around you is nothing like you. It is non-human, in-human, alien, foreign, unthinking, unfeeling, unliving, undead, whatever you want to call it -- it is the overwhelming rule, and you (and all of us) are merely a vanishingly tiny exception to the rule.

Things like "meaning" and "purpose" do not exist outside of the human mind. We actively endow things with meaning, and we actively infuse things with purpose -- but neither of those qualities are inherent properties of the universe. The universe would go on and continue to function just fine if all of humanity (and all intelligent observers) just vanished in an instant. Take away your observer's bias, get rid of your preconceived notions, stop trying to anthropomorphize everything around you, and stop imagining that everything in existence revolves around you or is modeled after you. None of that is the case.
Maybe that is partly because I’m from a design profession and see and think in those terms.
More likely, you proceed from a mistaken assumption that everything in nature is fundamentally simple and primitive, and that any sort of complexity denotes intelligent origin. But that's exactly backwards. Nature is fundamentally complex, and intelligence itself is merely one of the many manifestations of that underlying, pervasive, seething complexity. The human brain is severely limited in the quantity and fidelity of information it can retain and process at any given time, so by necessity it filters things down and resorts to heuristics (simplifications) to model the world around it. It is a very basic error to presume that the universe around you is inherently simple (unless/until otherwise shaped or reshaped by a purposeful intelligent agent) because on a first shallow and unsophisticated examination it seems so. Again that's a childlike, "ignorant bliss" point of view; knowledge and practice in careful thought is how you disabuse yourself of childish illusions.
If there is a supernatural, what would the evidence look like?
To me, if something exists, it is then by definition part of the universe. So how am I to construe the notion of 'supernatural'?

If you mean something that defies the currently known laws of physics and structures of matter/energy/space-time, then the "evidence" would be rather obvious: it would be a phenomenon that defies explanation using known physical theory. But then again, I wouldn't call such things "supernatural". I think more appropriate terminology would be along the lines of "novelty", "discovery", new branches of scientific study.

On the other hand, if you mean something that defies the very possibility of being studied, then you are proposing that it defies the very possibility of being observed (because anything that can be observed, can be studied.) If it cannot be observed, then it therefore has absolutely no interaction with any aspect of our observable reality (otherwise, we could detect and observe it either directly or indirectly.) Something that in principle has no intersection with observable reality, therefore, is of absolutely no consequence and is fruitless armchair fantasy. One can generate a literally infinite set of such various empty fantasies. Even if one of those fantasies actually happened to be (even if unverifiably) true, the probability of any particular fantasy being true is 1 divided by infinity -- in other words, mathematically 0. Thus, such speculation is a fundamentally pointless and futile exercise -- a pure waste of energy and time. And that's actually part of the basic reasoning behind the principle and application of Occam's Razor.

So, short of a giant blazing sign scrawled in the skies proclaiming something like "Made in Santa's Workshop", I just don't see any evidence for, or reason to believe in even a non-negligible likelihood of, any "creator" or "creators".

RE: High Design
By boeush on 7/3/2012 1:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
DNA with the incredible information encoding within, speaks of a higher intelligence and design sophistication
Anyone who actually knows anything about the way DNA (or much of other low-level cellular machinery) is structured, will tell you that no designer in their right mind would have created such a messy thing. DNA is littered with dysfunctional viral sequences, snippets that used to code for proteins but got broken by mutations and no longer serve any useful purpose, snippets that are repeated hundreds of times over and over like some sort of a stutter, etc.
there is the process of cellular division and DNA replication inherent in all living organisms
Not all living organisms (at least, not unless you want to exclude viruses from discussion.)

More to the point, DNA and cellular division (and pretty much all other structures and processes observed in sophisticated modern cells) are highly complex structures that are themselves products of evolution. Neither could have possibly been part of the very first life forms to emerge; both are likely to have emerged only hundreds of millions of years after abiogenesis. Most of you "irreducible complexity" and "intelligent design" creationists ignore the fact that all life we observe today (even the most "primitive" bacterial life) is a product of some 3+ Billion years of evolution. Indeed, out of those 3+ Billion years of development, only the last 500 million or so feature complex, multi-cellular life. It took at least 2.5 Billion years for single cells to emerge and evolve enough complexity and sophistication to even make multicellular organisms possible. And single-celled organisms can go through a hell of a lot of generations in the space of a mere year.

While there is no well-accepted theory of abiogenesis at this point, many signs indicate that before DNA and cell walls, there might have been an "RNA world". And that in itself might have been just another intermediate stage in evolution, preceded by something yet more primitive.
It is simply too wonderful and amazing to be a product of mere chance.
Define "wonderful" and "amazing", and please explain why such attributes exclude natural explanations. Is the Grand Canyon "amazing"? Are rainbows "wonderful"?
their conclusions on how it all came to be should be taken with a grain of salt
But not before you actually learn the evidence and reasoning behind those conclusions. If you opt for ignorance in lieu of knowledge, no amount of salt is going to help you in forming correct conclusions.
I find the best that we can do is primitive in comparison to the simplest organism
So? Modern civilization has only been around for a couple thousand years (charitably speaking.) Life has been reinventing and optimizing itself through trial and error on an epic scale, for billions of years. Of course natural "designs" are superior. Only, the're not really "designs", because there isn't really a "designer". But, give humans another few thousand years, and our cybernetic descendants will undoubtedly have created all sorts of technology so sophisticated, that you'd find it indistinguishable from magic. Yet all of that is beside the point.

The point is that there is only one objective reality. And persistent scientific investigation thereof always, inevitably, inexorably, in the end converges on the one true description of that reality. Too bad it doesn't match your preconceived notions.

RE: High Design
By mfc on 7/3/2012 6:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of whether or not, at this point in time and understanding, portions of DNA appear to have no useful purpose – the fact that there is DNA and that it is highly structured information and replicates gives evidence of intelligence.

Not allowing for any interaction or influence from an intelligence, how many years would it take to write and compile the code for a primitive (at best) operating system like Linux or DOS?

RE: High Design
By boeush on 7/4/2012 4:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
the fact that there is DNA and that it is highly structured information and replicates gives evidence of intelligence
That's a non sequitur. Complex structure is not evidence of intelligence; it is merely evidence of structural complexity. Self-replication is not evidence of intelligence; it is merely evidence of structural and dynamical complexity. "Information" is an abstract heuristic invented by human minds; it is not an inherent property of material objects (though in physics and mathematics the word "information" does denote specific concepts, those concepts have only a tangential relationship to the colloquial meaning of that word.)
how many years would it take to write and compile the code for a primitive (at best) operating system like Linux or DOS?
That depends. First of all, how many computers or processing nodes in parallel are you willing to dedicate to that task -- billion, trillions, quadrillions, quintillions? Secondly, how many variants per second shall each of those processing nodes evaluate: hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, quadrillions? Thirdly, shall the starting configurations of those computers' inputs and outputs be constrained by some fundamental laws and dynamics that do not preclude the emergence of Linux or DOS but do apriori exclude a large chunk of other possibilities? Shall the processing of those computers (i.e. how they are allowed to evolve their outputs) be driven by some fundamental laws and dynamics that permit them to eventually form an operating system as an output?

If you consider the above questions carefully, you might start to see that they have fairly obvious mappings to what actually happens both on Earth and across the universe in general.

Your only escape is to protest that we just don't know exactly how it all started and precisely how it all evolved at every minutely incremental step. But there are lots of things in the universe that we don't understand with such precision and completeness. That doesn't preclude understanding at a coarser level (or a lower-order degree of approximation.) For instance, one doesn't have to understand the precise patterns of microscopic turbulence in a teapot, to determine that it's heating up at a steady rate and will come to a boil in 2 minutes 43 seconds, give or take a second or two. One doesn't need to understand quantum mechanics or General Relativity in order to understand the mechanics of seasonal change via application of Newton's laws (which are mere first-order approximations.)

There isn't much use for arguments from ignorance. The "god of the gaps" is a useless anachronism. Let it go.

RE: High Design
By mfc on 7/6/2012 12:45:45 PM , Rating: 2

While we remain apart on these issues I appreciate your passion and desire to know what is indeed true. All the best!

LOL Page Hits!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2012 9:09:59 AM , Rating: 1
Another good one. The trap is set, the net is cast. Let the games begin!

p.s I wonder how many hundreds of posts will be two ideologies slamming each other, completely ignoring that the real culprit is public schools and putting bureaucrats in charge of our children's education, because the parents don't want to be.

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Etsp on 7/2/2012 9:30:44 AM , Rating: 1
I would say that homeschooling (where parents have complete control of their children's education) is often just as bad, if not worse, as many choose to homeschool because they do not wish to expose their children to viewpoints that oppose their own.

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Arsynic on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By spamreader1 on 7/2/2012 9:49:24 AM , Rating: 1
Not to mention the Texas school system in general is a joke, really. Teaching 3rd grade reading skills in high school should have been left in the 3rd grade. I remember coloring pictures in an sophmore year geometry class...yup that's a big WTF.

Note, I'm sure there are some outstanding schools in the state, I however didn't go to one (a central Texas 3-A school) and was bored out of my skull in every class by the lowest common denomitor bs that's been pushed so hard. Football in the area is far more popular to parents than education.

Just so you know homeshooling isn't just being done by the parenoid my kids gonna learn to be a homo, vegan, or religious zealot crowd. (those are actually a minority of home schoolers in Texas btw)

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Tequilasunriser on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By MrBlastman on 7/2/2012 2:33:20 PM , Rating: 3
So you also consider it abuse to have radical ideas pounded into your childs skull (revisionist history included) beyond your choosing or control as well?

It swings both ways here.

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2012 9:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that does happen. However wasn't there several massive studies that show home schooled children grow up to be more stable, achieve more, earn more income etc etc?

When you look at the the sheer massive record of failure that the Federal Dept of Education has amassed and State public schools, I have a hard time bashing the few parents who have the means, time, or devotion to home-school their kids.

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By Tequilasunriser on 7/2/2012 9:50:28 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, that is just as dangerous.

One of my exes has little sisters that were home schooled and being indoctrinated with ideas that the earth is only 6000 years old, evolution is a lie, etc., etc.

They were not allowed to watch TV (they didn't even have one), and could never go on the computer that was locked away in their parent's bed room.

My hope is that someday they rebel and seek the truth like my ex did.

RE: LOL Page Hits!!!
By EricMartello on 7/2/2012 3:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
As a parent it is your responsibility and right to educate your child how YOU see fit. If you as a parent do not want your children being bombarded with left OR right propaganda in school, where the focus should be an objective learning environment, then home-schooling or having them tutored under your direct supervision is the only real option on the table.

we need more than a name
By Yojimbo on 7/2/2012 10:25:39 AM , Rating: 3
Wait a second here, you can't quote a brand ("higher-order thinking skills") and then make an assumption as to what that actually means and the extent of it. There are lots of instances in the school system where the aim is to indoctrinate students with a certain way of thinking - a certain belief system. i would not find it surprising that such attempts would masquerade under the name of a "critical thinking" program. If you want to make a useful article, you must explore such possibility, since it is so prevalent. Not doing so, and then using the article to bash the ideological segment that is against the program is either ignorant or just another cheap pot shot in an ideological war.

RE: we need more than a name
By foolsgambit11 on 7/2/2012 10:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
Right. When I read that section of the platform (or manifesto, really), I immediately saw that some people were interpreting the "which" as introducing an independent clause, whereas it was intended to introduce a dependent clause. That's why there's no comma. It's not "We're banning critical thinking skills programs, which focus on behavior modification". It's "We're banning critical thinking skills programs which focus on behavior modification". That is, they want to ban only those critical thinking skills programs which focus on behavior modification.

Funny how everybody then failed at critical reading skills when interpreting what they wrote....

By foolsgambit11 on 7/2/2012 10:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
That being said, it's hard to teach a kid critical thinking skills and not have them live their life differently than they would have otherwise. So maybe they would have a problem with all critical thinking skills programs.

RE: we need more than a name
By ATrigo on 7/2/2012 12:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
I immediately saw that some people were interpreting the "which" as introducing an independent clause, whereas it was intended to introduce a dependent clause. That's why there's no comma. It's not "We're banning critical thinking skills programs, which focus on behavior modification". It's "We're banning critical thinking skills programs which focus on behavior modification".

I maybe wrong, English is my second language after all; however, from your argument, shouldn't that spell "We're banning critical thinking skill programs that focus on behavior modification"?

By foolsgambit11 on 7/3/2012 4:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
The use of that or which, while there is a "proper" rule that/which some people follow, isn't set in stone. But the use of commas to offset nonrestrictive clauses, and the lack of commas when using restrictive clauses, is universal. (Not I used the terms independent and dependent before, which (and always which) was a mistake.) So while you should probably stick to the rule in your own writing, using 'that' for restrictive clauses and 'which' for independent clauses, it is important to recognize the author's intent, which is much more regularly conveyed with comma usage in this case.

Don't Confuse . ..
By Denigrate on 7/2/2012 9:11:05 AM , Rating: 5
Don't confuse the GOP with a shrill minority who cower in fear of the populace actually thinking for themselves. The GOP shrill minority is no better than the shrill left minority who also want people to blindly believe their propaganda.

When will the thinking people in this country take back control? I'm tired of fundamentalists of all types making more noise than reasonable people. Fact is that most of the country is very close to the middle, with little separating the "left" from the "right". Sadly, we allow the Rush and Savage types to divide us.

RE: Don't Confuse . ..
By elderwilson on 7/2/2012 9:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
I logged in just to rate your comment, because you couldn't be more right.

RE: Don't Confuse . ..
By Tequilasunriser on 7/2/2012 9:53:27 AM , Rating: 1
...and by commenting you lost your rating abilities haha.

RE: Don't Confuse . ..
By King of Heroes on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
let em go
By kleinma on 7/2/2012 10:13:32 AM , Rating: 5
Texas is like a bratty little child. Do what we want, or we will leave. Well no one really cares if you leave texas, so go. Well maybe mexico cares, since texas would be overrun as soon as it wasn't part of the US anymore.

RE: let em go
By ClownPuncher on 7/2/2012 1:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, we already saved their arse once. Would we do it again?

No child left behind?
By TeXWiller on 7/2/2012 1:15:49 PM , Rating: 3
HOTS is aiming to improve the education of the disadvantaged children so that they could catch up with the others: . The Texan Republicans clearly object to the educational goals set by their favorite president.