Archive for June, 2008

11
Jun
08

Defending Rush Limbaugh and ID: Why?

A few weeks ago I wrote the following:

Here are some more pearls of wisdom from Rush Limbaugh about Darwinists and apparently most biologists:

“These people fear God. These scientists, they fear God because God has the answers, God’s smarter than they are. God’s judgmental. That’s one of the things that liberals and atheists hate about religion anyway is that it’s judgmental.”

Obviously, Rush thinks he is going to fare well during judgment day. I guess he will get a pass on his vicodin law breaking spree with the big guy based on the body of his prior work. Yet, you know the freak is also into something else that is equally perverse. That’s how it is with these chicken-hawk conservative types, in real life they tend to be the biggest freaks. What cracks me up is that these creationist horses asses like Rush love to play the card that most biologist and Darwinists are atheist when in fact quite the opposite is true. But hey, never let the facts get in the way, you know those atheists-agnostic-humanist-communists are holding back free speech in our schools.

Below is my original rant regarding Expelled and the Mighty Wind:

Okay, I just can’t let go of this one. The other problem with this silly pseudo-science is that Intelligent Design purports to have some great interfaith universality when in fact teaching Intelligent Design would be contrarian to many other religious beliefs as well. Many Buddhists have little need or no need for a creator/personal god guiding the direction of the universe and for a fundamentalist the god of Intelligent design would weaken the power of their personal god or their fundamental belief in a 6,000 year old earth. Intelligent design, as advocated by Expelled, is not only bad science but bad religious dogma for many people as well and is specifically a tired, rehashed Judaic/Christian fundamentalist dogma.

Furthermore, Intelligent Design is a belief structure that is reduced to disingenuous nitpicking at the edges of scientific theory called evolution, looking for a foothold where none is forthcoming or where the ground is forever shifting. And does anyone care the least bit that Intelligent Design actually destroys any illusion of free will? I mean when does god’s hand comes down and beginning squeezing the jaws of the chosen people so that the next generation can have one less molar? I am of course referring to the observation that our wisdom teeth have become superfluous in modern man as our jaws continued to be downsized. And if god is removing teeth as part of his great evolutionary plan what else is god mucking with? If all of this sounds rather silly as an argument well that’s because it is. Rather than being liberating like religion, Intelligent Design is a bastard child of Creationist’s convenience and is not terribly convincing even as a pseudo-science.

The loss of ‘free will’ is of no concern to Rush Limbaugh, after all he believes life should be scripted as per his own neo-conservative credo and no dissenter need apply. Rush skewers the scientific community with such dismissive comments as “the condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began.” Hey, lard ass, it’s the theory of evolution and not the theory of creation! Jeez, can’t you follow any discriminating, structured argument?

So now the great vicodin-fueled gas bag himself has added his own personal endorsement to the movie Expelled. And why not? Minimal critical thinking is required to embrace Intelligent Design and with Intelligent Design god’s chosen species is once again returned to the top of the proverbial spiritual food chain. I should point out since man made god in his own image it comes as no surprise that most fundamentalist religions make it a point to exclude women from their own theocracy. When does the madness and stupidity stop?

Alright, I know I said that insults have to stop but really isn’t Rush Limbaugh just an escaped caricature from some perverse adult theme park? Al I can say is just be careful Rush or scientists will stop inventing new pain killers for you to buy from your housekeeper. And that cheesy photo of him with a cigar! Doesn’t he know cigars go best with a tacky Hawaiian shirt!

Well, I got a few comments pro and con but here are some of the more acerbic posts from Kain:

“Wow! Reading your shallow rant just refreshes my memory of why people like Rush have traction with the mainstream crouds. With all due respect, the ID people have a point (even if people like Rush mistakenly lump evolution and ambiogenesis together). If the public school system was just teaching evolution then there wouldn’t be a problem, but they are endoctrinating kids with ambiogenesis or just about any other atheistic possiblity for the start of life except a 3rd party whether that be alien or “god” and then hiding under the “seperation of church and state” nonsense. I’m perfectly content with my kid being taught that we freaking have no idea where we came from and then lay out a number of 3rd party and non-3rd party theories and associated merits, but when my kid comes home and tells me we all came from a soup-a-la-the-Miller-experiment then it’s obvious our public school system is horribly broken. ID doesn’t have to satisfy every fundamentalist religion on the planet and it isn’t meant to. It is not meant to replace evolution. It is meant to be a counter theory to ambiogenesis. It simply points out that life on our world reeks of design from a 3rd party and try to identify the parts that could not have evolved by accident and maybe find clues as to where we came from (alien, god, or otherwise). Heck, just look at the error correction system of DNA with all of it’s redundancy and forward error correction. It has a shocking number of simularities to what we use in datacenters to protect computer data and screams design. I’ve seen a lot of attempts at natural explanations for how those error correction schemes could have evolved on their own and they are about as believable as saying my hard drive evolved on it’s own so I obviously lean towards the ID side. There are obviously people who don’t share my viewpoint, but I don’t petition my lawmakers to ban those viewpoints from the school system. It’s numbskulls like you who would banish ID (in a pure form) from the classrooms and who try to equate it to fundamentalist religions that give people like Rush a voice and if you keep it up you may just find yourself bringing a big religious backlash against you (they do outnumber you) and end up with theology in the public school systems instead of a truce between 3rd party and non-3rd party theories. If you get down to it, atheism IS a religion and one of the oldest ones (called materialism). How would you like it if we petitioned the courts to have ambiogenesis banned under the seperation of church and state because we don’t want the religion of materialism taught in schools? Don’t even try to say science and materialism are one and the same because then I’ll say all science must be banned from schools and that children can voluntarily learn it from their place of worship (materialist) of choice. It’s the same flawed logic you guys apply to ID.” – Kain

Now mind you, he felt the need to defend Rush, the old gas bag who makes crap up like their is a half million polar bears in Arctic when he wants to discredit global warming.

My repsonse:

Where to begin? Okay I decided, let’s go with the religious backlash comment. Since Kain sounds so old school and is such a true believer maybe we could go with some old, school Taliban style backlash? You know, we out number you so we can round up the heretics and burn them at the stake because they dare question what we the true believers know? That’s what “retarded” fundamentalist religion does to you, it keeps locked you safely in a box until the real world comes knocking at your door, like the wackos in Texas.

What you don’t get with all your huffing and puffing is that science will let you teach ID in a school the day ID becomes a verifiable and working hypothesis, until then it is a matter of faith and conjecture not fitting for scientific study. Do we ask you to teach evolution during your bible studies? You are so damn afraid your kids might think for themselves one day that you will do anything to repress the facts including the existence of the fossil record. If you win on this issue what’s next? Are you going to go back to the earth being at the center of the universe?

So for now let’s address this Christian fundamentalist religious intolerance you are so enamored with. I know Ben Stein and the gang want to blame Darwin and science for the holocaust but that doesn’t address centuries of pogroms against the Jews prior to the existence of Darwin now does it? No, but you know what does? Religious intolerance, in fact, intolerant religions have killed more people than any other cause in the history of mankind and science only helps the wackos to kill more efficiently.

Finally, explain for me how ID doesn’t interfere with the concept of free will if you can? I have yet to hear a plausible explanation for how god directs the evolutionary direction of all living creatures even to this day but doesn’t see fit to get involved with saving the Jews during the Holocaust or the flood victims in Burma. Mighty strange priorities for the almighty if you ask me and one can only conclude that that thread of fundamentalist thinking is both simplistic and hopelessly erroneous.

Erik John Bertel

Kain wasn’t done:

“Wow. Are you seriously this misinformed? 1st off, my comment about the backlash was simply that Rush’s audience outnumbers you at least 2-1 and in a democratic society it’s not good to piss off the majority so yes the best way to educate people to your side of the argument is by true debate in the classroom and not Nazi style exclusion because the latter may end up biting you in the ass when the majority decides to use the same against you and believe me we don’t want our school system to be systems of theocracy. Also, comparing every religious person to the “wackos” in TX is the equivalent of me saying all atheists are the equavalent of Stalin or Mao.

2nd, ambiogenesis isn’t a “verifiable working” anything. It is a hypothesis to the origin of life and nothing more AS IS ID and ambiogenesis is a matter of FAITH for those who have none in a 3rd party (including a god). Also you are making the same ignorant assumptions that we all have a problem with evolution or the fossil record. We all don’t. Evolution describes a natural process that goes on all the time around us. It does not describe the origin of life.

I think your rant pretty much tips your hand on why you are angry with ID. You are intolerant to religions and broadbrush everyone as fundamentalist Christians (which I am not thank you) and see anything that MIGHT challenge your religion of materialism as a threat and you are too closed minded to admit it. Not that it matters, but materialism definitely ranks up there on the “killed more people” list and I would argue that anyone who killed en masse in the name of Christianity was actually following materialism and greed as the Christian religion does NOT advocate violence (i.e. you can’t be a true Christian if you’re acting contrary to the teachings so the Christianity killed more people argument is a logical fallacy).

As for free will, that’s easy. DNA is a source code and was deposited here by a 3rd party to evolve on it’s own. The 3rd party does not interfere in “free will” of the creation. It would be no different than a programmer creating a highly resilient program and depositing it in a hostile environment to see if it could “survive.” Maybe that doesn’t jive with the fundamentalist notion of a Christian God you seem to have but it works quite well for a number of theists. Your questions about god and suffering can easily be answered in any theology 101 course. Regardless, ID supporters are not actively promoting a fundamentalist Christian God but rather the possibility of a 3rd party as being the genesis of life rather than dumb luck even IF that life was started somewhere else in the universe and arrived here by accident and the creator doesn’t know of our existence. ID does not equal the “almighty”. -Kain

My final retort:

Sorry, I’m not buying that there is no tie between the ID faction and religious fundamentalism, the facts speak otherwise. You may not want to be part of the fundamentalist agenda but that is like the brown shirts saying they had nothing to do with the rise of the Nazis. The ID movement is basically a Trojan horse for a whole line of discredited religious thinking. And, I remind you that this entire Nazi thread and all of the attendant outlandish commentary was started first by Ben Stein and the Expelled crowd in the movie.

Also, how and why you attach materialism or the origin of life to Darwinism and the theory evolution of life is beyond me as well. The theory of evolution and Darwinism does not address the origins of life. Moreover, this entire argument reminds me of the fourteen questions the Gautama Siddartha refused to answer and for evolutionists the creation of life is one of those unanswerable questions. Could that change? Of course, as our knowledge base grows I fully expect it to. Maybe we are of Martian origins as the idiot Dawkins was alluding to but that doesn’t mean all life in the universe has to originate in such a mystical or extraterrestrial manner.

The facts remains there is no proof for the ID credo and puh-lease don’t give me that tired old irreducible complexity negative argument. Finally, if a third party did all of the seeding and coding, what was that source code programmed to do, to live and evolve into devout followers? When I write code I usually have an agenda in mind, at least I try to, so what was the goal of the Intelligent creator? How far could such a creative force foresee into the future, I mean RNA and DNA coding takes you in a very specific direction and once again how does a preprogrammed agenda square with free will? I agree with you on one fact, this is theology 101 and consequently it and ID has no place in a science class. And by the way, I am Christian that recognizes when science ends and when my faith begins.

As to the will of the majority, I could give you the old Henrik Ibsen quote about the majority always being wrong, you know the old chestnut about Hitler being voted into office but frankly I am not even going to concede that point. After all, Expelled wasn’t exactly Ironman or Indiana Jones at the box office this spring and going forward Americans are going to have their hands full with other urgent matters after eight years of benign neglect by the Bush administration.

Erik John Bertel





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