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Monday, April 27, 2009

Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein on the recent evolution controversy in Canada

Still cleanin' out the ol' mailbox here ...

The Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein sounds off about Canadian science minister Gary Goodyear's recent refusal to say what he thinks about "evolution", which resulted in a florescence of dino puff costumes on the street in downtown Toronto, like pimples on a pubescent teen:
And I can understand why. A science minister who refuses to state he believes in evolution -- even if he considers the question hostile -- is worrisome, especially since his answer should have been easy.

All sorts of sensible people believe simultaneously in evolution and that God, or, if you prefer, a guiding intelligence, was behind creation, and therefore evolution.
Well, Goodyear did answer it, finally, and said the obvious thing - evolution goes on all the time. I doubt that will pacify the Darwin mob, however. They need their particular narrative to be government policy. That's the one and only point.

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Incredible creatures watch

Just cleanin' out the ol' mailbox here:

A friend alerts me to this: "Incredible creatures that defy evolution". Well, quite honestly, if we are talking about Darwinian evolution (= natural selection acting on random mutations creates the living world around us), I think most creatures that have ever existed defy it.

Darwinian evolution is just not the answer to how the world around us comes to beso full of living information. Passing laws to protect the theory from criticism does not make it more true - just more widely disseminated and - as a result - increasingly disbelieved.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:


Darwinism watch: How Darwin worship helps animal extinction

In Clever Critters: 8 Best Non-Human Tool Users, by Brandon Keim (Wired Science, January 16, 2009), we are introduced to best known examples of animal tool use.
The article begins with the requisite Darwin worship, of course:
Much more likely remains to be found: until Jane Goodall watched chimpanzees fishing for termites with sticks, scientists had been reluctant to credit animals with such sophisticated behavior — perhaps because, as Charles Darwin noted, "Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal."
Darwin himself was quite intrigued by animal tool use, suggesting that it allowed them to overcome biological shortcomings. In On the Origin of Species, he noted that elephants snap off tree branches to swat away flies; in honor of Darwin’s interest, elephants are the first on our list of animal tool use.
So that compares with, say, the Canadarm on the Space Shuttle?

Well, the sad reality is better recorded here: "African elephants face extinction by 2020, conservationists warn".

If I die tonight, the most urgent thing I want to say is this: Putting animals on the same plane as humans not only disses humans but dooms animals.

They don't stand a chance in a contest.

Look, it was never supposed to be a contest. Pretending that they and we are on equal terms dooms them.

Whatever you may believe about religion, the plain fact is that we must look after them, especially when they are vulnerable. Otherwise, they will die.

Ideologies aimed at pretending that humans are "just evolved animals" are - in my view - bad for the environment.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Intellectual freedom in Canada: The costs of censorship

How the Canadian government made an anti-Semite a celebrity:

From a note to a friend:
In our environment, I believe it best to just let people say what they think. Otherwise, how will we even learn what the problems are?

For example, the government’s persecution of retired Chief Ahenakew comes at the cost of not truly knowing how many Aboriginals agree with him.

Now, I don’t get the impression that Aboriginals and Jews have interacted that much, so I assume that his is an individual delusion.

But what if … ?

And one cannot ask people for an honest opinion.

Cheers, Denyse

PS: Who now remembers the housewife who wrote Bended Elbow, an attack on Aboriginals, some years ago?

Some problems are best left to solve themselves, in my view. Neither she nor Ahenakew have any political power, so if people who do have such power ignore them, nature takes its course.
On the other hand, if some try to make a living out of starting a persecution industry, ...

For more, get hold of

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Intellectual freedom in Canada: Durban II walkouts

I've been reading Mark Steyn's great new book, Lights Out, about growing censorship of political opinion, and hope to report on it in more detail here soon.

Meanwhile, a friend asked me to write to the Prime Minister about Canada refusing to attend Durban II and other nations being forced to - embarrassing as that must be - walk out, due to anti-Semitic* rants. Here is what I said:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I understand that you are under fire because of your principled stand, taking a pass on Durban II.

Please stick to your position.

As a citizen (who is not Jewish or Muslim) permit me to say: The only thing Durban II+ needs to hear from Canada is that we are not attending their hatefests any more, so don't bother inviting us.

When a country like Canada attends a hatefest, we bestow credibility that it would otherwise lack.

Far from listening to critics, Canada's diplomats should discreetly encourage other free nations to avoid getting sucker punched by attending. Then their reps won't have to walk out.

When the day comes that the hatefest is held in a telephone booth in a mosquito onslaught in some really remote place, we will know we have achieved something of value.

Denyse O'Leary
(Joe Volpe's riding)
*How do I know it's anti-Semitism rather than mere anger at the specific policies of the current government of Israel?

Oh, that's easy: Any time the conversation turns to hatred against "Jews" in general, it is anti-Semitism.

Canadian Jews are deeply conflicted about Israel, and many have told me so over the years. Few vote in Israel and many have never been there.

Come on, guys. Let's get real. "Death to the Jews" shouts are not really about Israeli politics.

Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy, and other good stuff free

Brought to you by the evil Discos:


Deconstructing Dawkins

Click here to listen.
On this episode of ID the Future, Logan Paul Gage reviews Alister McGrath's The Dawkins Delusion, the first book-length critique of Richard Dawkins' infamous The God Delusion. Listen in as Gage explains where McGrath succeeds in writing "with a scholarly care and graciousness," but fails to address Darwinism, assuming instead that theism is compatible with Darwin's theory.

Full text of Gage's review is available here.

[I usually begin any response to claims that Darwinism is compatible with theism by pointing out that it didn't work for Darwin. He became less and less of a theist throughout his life and ended up pleading that he perhaps "deserve[d] to be called a theist." Hmmm. Whatever happened to "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty .... " (the opening statement of the historic Christian creed - which does not sould like an invitation to doubt and waver, and wonder if there might be another way, or think that one deserves to be called anything - other than a sinner saved by grace)]

2. Evidence for Intelligent Design

What do you do when your professor challenges you to come up with facts in support of intelligent design (ID)? A group of students went to the source and asked CSC’s Casey Luskin, who answered them at Evolution News & Views and Intelligent Design the Future:

Click here to listen.

On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin responds to emails from students who want to know the scientific evidence for intelligent design.

What do we really mean when we say that evolution is a scientific theory? Is there a positive case to be made for ID? Listen in and find out.

For more information, check out The Positive Case for Design.

[We need more of this. Government-funded nonsense is everywhere, now, and many of the blinkered profs supporting it have never even considered the possibility that it might not be well-founded. ]


3. To read more at Evolution News & Views, click here.

The Rise of the New Spontaneous Generationists
Spontaneous Generation — the idea that new life could form from nonliving matter — was popular 300 years ago, and now it’s experiencing a resurgence. As Robert Deyes at The ID Report explains:

"One explanation for the origin of life is that the first living cell, or cells, developed from nonliving matter according to chemical laws that we can observe today. This explanation is called the theory of chemical evolution or prebiotic (before biological life) evolution. The 'chemical evolution' theory assumes that matter and energy somehow self-originated into complex forms without any outside intelligence directing the process. We call this process of self-organization without outside intelligence spontaneous generation. In most forms, the theory assumes that a very long time was needed to "test" millions of chemical combinations until the right combination for life was found" (Ref 8, p.41).

To summarize, organic matter is seen as "the stuff of which life is spontaneously generated by nature" (Ref 8, p.71). In effect evolutionists have today replaced 17th century incantations of life-generating garbage mounds with wild suppositions of how life might have originated naturally in the silts of our earth. As perhaps the most outspoken of the new crop of Spontaneous Generationists, zoologist Richard Dawkins had this to say on the matter:

"Before the coming of life on earth, some rudimentary evolution of molecules could have occurred by ordinary processes of physics and chemistry. There is no need to think of design or purpose or directedness. If a group of atoms in the presence of energy falls into a stable pattern it will tend to stay that way. The earliest form of natural selection was simply a selection of stable forms and a rejection of unstable ones. There is no mystery about this. It had to happen by definition" (Ref 9, p.13)

Dawkins has yet to clarify the factual details of a purely naturalistic prebiotic evolution.

Read the rest here

[Isn't this just the modern version of magic? You can't get information out of sludge without organization. Organization requires intelligent direction. Why is that such a hard thing to accept?]

4. Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin's Tree of Death

Over at Beliefnet, David Klinghoffer has a provocative essay commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. Klinghoffer notes that Columbine killer Eric Harris was inspired in part by his fanatical devotion to Darwinian natural selection, a trait Harris unfortunately shared with many opponents of human dignity during the past century. Given the pervasive influence of Social Darwinism in our culture, Klinghoffer suggests that Darwin's Tree of Life might be more appropriately viewed as a Tree of Death:

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution with its Tree of Life is applauded by most sophisticated Americans and Europeans as a scientific idea pure and simple, without the aura of dread and terror that, properly, should surround it in our minds.

Why should we so regard it? Not necessarily because of any judgment about whether the idea is right or wrong as science, but rather because of the uncanny way evolution has had of supplying the rationale and creating the backdrop for the most twisted, monstrous social movements that have sprung up in Western culture in the past century and half.

For more, go here.

5. Also, while we are here:

Academic Freedom Action Alert: Your Help Needed!

Darwinists Are Trying to Expel Texas Board of Education Chairman

Chairman Targeted in Retaliation for Promoting Critical Thinking on Evolution

When elected officials take a stand for academic freedom, they become targets for the Darwin lobby. Because of his leadership and support for critical thinking on evolution, Texas State Board of Education Chair Don McLeroy has been targeted by Darwin's defenders in the Texas Senate who want to remove him from his position. Less than a month ago, the Texas Board adopted landmark science standards that will protect teachers who want to let students evaluate and critique the evidence for Darwinian evolution. Now Darwinists are trying to convince the state Senate to block McLeroy's reappointment as Board Chair. "Supporting those, like Don McLeroy, who take a stand for academic freedom to question evolution at personal cost is one of the most important and effective things citizens can do," said CSC Associate Director John West. "It sends a message to elected officials that expelling leaders like Dr. McLeroy because of their stance on Darwin's theory is simply not acceptable." Here's one thing you can do to help:E-mail the chairman of the Senate Nominating Committee, Mike Jackson, at MIKE.JACKSON@SENATE.STATE.TX.US and tell him you support Dr. McLeroy as Chair of the State Board of Education. Be sure to e-mail the other committee members as well at these addresses: KEVIN.ELTIFE@SENATE.STATE.TX.US, GLENN.HEGAR@SENATE.STATE.TX.US, JANE.NELSON@SENATE.STATE.TX.US, ROBERT.NICHOLS@SENATE.STATE.TX.US,, ELIOT.SHAPLEIGH@SENATE.STATE.TX.US, KIRK.WATSON@SENATE.STATE.TX.US .

(The evil Discos offer a sample letter, but I assume that if you are smart enough to be writing to a public official, you know how to behave yourself in print. They keep copies. - Denyse)

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