I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, January 04, 2008

One-sided radio show about evolution controversy in Texas

The interviewer and both interviewees are all dyed-in-the-wool dogmatic Darwinists.

Click on words "Archive Section" on this Panda's Thumb webpage.

16 Comments:

Anonymous I. G. Farben said...

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Saturday, January 05, 2008 2:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Those who have been "well-educated" in a conventional sense are usually dogmatic Darwinists. That's what they were taught to believe, and so they do. I was also a believer in Darwinism, for decades. It's hard to get beyond what has been long-proclaimed as the "conventional wisdom."

Saturday, January 05, 2008 3:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

For an example of the conventional Darwinist mindset which prevails in some quarters, consider this statement by former NBC newsman Tom Brokaw in November 2005, during the Dover trial: "This is a time when those of us who care about science and Darwin have to take a stand."

So we should all care about Darwin, according to Tom! No wonder so many clueless Darwin-fans are trolling the Internet. (The Brokaw quote is easy to Google.)

Saturday, January 05, 2008 3:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< I was also a believer in Darwinism, for decades. >

Since there is no such thing as "Darwinism", it's hard to tell whether you lost your marbles before, or after, this change.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 2:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles E. Darwin said...

>>>>I was also a believer in Darwinism, for decades. <<<

How have I forsaken thee, pray tell?

Monday, January 07, 2008 3:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all seriousness, what do the fundies know about the so called "Darwinist mindset"?

Lets about the fundie mindset and you can shoot down some points that I make shall we? This does NOT apply to the more moderate Christian faithfuls who follow the messages and lessons of the biblical scripture instead of squabbling over literal interpretation of every word. We see the deeply religious, zealots, fundies, whatever you want to call it, so entrenched in the teachings of the bible and proud that they've got the world all figured out based on what the good book tells em.

Along comes science with a new discovery that chips away at yet another myth/fairytale (Genesis) perpetuated by the bible as an absolute fact (and not the first too, remember heliocentricism and the stink that the church made with that?). Shakes down their perception of the world for one. It attacks their self-righteous arrogance of being better than everyone else through their faith is a hollow farce. Makes them realize that maybe they don't know everything about the world. But in the end, it's scary to get off that high horse, and in such a potentially humiliating way too. So what do you do?

For someone who has invested most of their time and /or money into this faith like most fundies, there are only two options. Either walk away admitting that you were a fool for still believing in fairytales, or sink further down the rabbithole by fighting in hopes that somehow, by destroying science, your stories will become real again. The latter being the most attractive option for those that ignore "pride goeth before destruction."

Monday, January 07, 2008 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Fellas, I have to tell you that I'm not a fundamentalist, not a Christian, and I don't believe in a Creator-God: so I'm not a theist.
My religion, insofar as I have any, is Zen Buddhist. And I'm a liberal Democrat.

I do conclude from the evidence that Darwinism is wrong, and that in all probability life arose by a process of descent in which intelligence(s) of some sort played a role. I don't think that the intelligence or intelligences is "God." And I also think that non-intelligent processes played a role, in such descent of new species from old.

Got it? Probably not. So I should add that I'm not a snake-handler?

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

If I ever start shouting "Jesus!" or handling any snakes, or even voting Republican, I'll let you old-fashioned believers in Darwinism know.

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember you mentioning that awhile back, and the statement wasn't directed solely at you, but as I have said before, it's no secret that the intelligent design movement HAS been hijacked by fundamentalist Christian elements when you look at its main proponents and motives.

While we're on the topic of clarifying certain points, what do you feel is wrong about Darwinism? And how does it compare with modern evolution theory, which is in actuality what the schools were teaching to begin with (Darwin's works are acknowledged, but there is expanded research that moves beyond Darwin's initial observations). You do know the two are different right? And as an intelligent design proponent of purported non-fundamentalist elements, why do you think intelligent design should be taught as a science when it has been repeatedly proven again and again that it is non-scientific in methodology?

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Darwinism might possibly be correct, but lacks proper scientific confirmation. I consider it to be a highly improbable hypothesis. I don't think that intelligent design theory should be taught as science in public schools; and niether should Darwinism be taught as science there.

Monday, January 07, 2008 5:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{ And I'm a liberal Democrat. }

As if more evidence of gullibility were required.

Monday, January 07, 2008 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But there is science still behind the methods used in evolution research. Techniques are still being developed to better map evolutionary paths through genetics research and so on, which are useful beyond evolution research. It's true that some aspects of evolution are still theoretical, hence it is a theory, but a scientific one nonetheless. Are you saying that just because a science is "theoretical" it should not be taught? What about quantum mechanics and string theory? They too are theoretical but are still taught as a science. As you have said before, intelligent design should not be taught as a science but THE PROBLEM IS, the people behind the ID movement DO want it taught as a science. And motive has shown that they have invested too much to concede to ID being taught as a non-science philosophy class because the original motive behind the movement, as evidenced by numerous embarrassing subpoenaed documents, was to use the "intelligent designer" as a placeholder for God in the promotion of fundamentalist Christianity.

I don't think you really understand what is or is not dogmatic in a sense of how evolution is being presented in the science curriculum. Dogmatic means accepted as the absolute truth regardless of whether the necessary proof is there. There are aspects of evolution that we know are truths through repeated testing, and there are others who still remain theoretical.

It seems the ones who attack evolution as being dogmatic are the fundies themselves, who spew forth their own mis-worded version of what they believe to be evolution, usually full of mis-interpreted/twisted catchphrases recycled among the fundie community, and attack these made-up versions of evolution in ways that would make any biologist cringe or bawk due to the sheer amount of ignorance and stupidity involved. The fundies interpret this reaction as some sort validation to a moral victory on their part and the cycle continues. It's strange now because you claim to not be a fundie yet you seem to share their ignorant perception of evolution. When did you stop "believing in Darwinism"? The version of evolution you've stopped believing may have been significantly updated to fill in the blanks that caused you to stop believing depending on which decade you stopped.

Monday, January 07, 2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> As you have said before, intelligent design should not be taught as a science but THE PROBLEM IS, the people behind the ID movement DO want it taught as a science. <<<<<<<

Well, a lot of ID is scientific -- it uses scientific arguments and there is no reference to religious or dogmatic sources.

>>>>>> And motive has shown that they have invested too much to concede to ID being taught as a non-science philosophy class <<<<<<<

A lot of evolution theory is just philosophy, too.

>>>>>> because the original motive behind the movement, as evidenced by numerous embarrassing subpoenaed documents, was to use the "intelligent designer" as a placeholder for God in the promotion of fundamentalist Christianity. <<<<<<<

That is just conspiracy theory and guilt by association.

>>>>>> I don't think you really understand what is or is not dogmatic in a sense of how evolution is being presented in the science curriculum. <<<<<<<

I don't even remember studying evolution back when I was in high school in the early 1960's. We certainly didn't get any of this "grand central overarching supreme unifying principle of biology" crap. Evolution was just not considered to be all that important.

>>>>> It seems the ones who attack evolution as being dogmatic are the fundies themselves, <<<<<<

More stereotyping.

Also, as I have pointed out many times, ID is not the only criticism of evolution theory.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 4:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. "I don't actually read what I'm responding to" showed up and completely missed the point yet again.

I have have shown before where the "science" stops with ID. It purposely makes an untestable hypothesis on the origins of life and leaves the user to fill in the blanks with their favorite percieved intelligent designer instead of going out and testing the hypothesis through observation and experimentation. I still don't know how you can go about saying that ID "has no references to religious or dogmatic sources." Did all the evidence from the Discovery Institute's own internal documents dug up in the Dover trial fly over your head or something? These same documents also prove the conspiracy behind the fundie agenda with the Discovery Institute's own mission statement more or less stating that yes, they want to bring down science and restore and promote the Christian faith and values in education.

You are right when you say that ID isn't the only critic of evolution. But the fact is, it simply isn't a scientific one.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> I have have shown before where the "science" stops with ID. It purposely makes an untestable hypothesis on the origins of life and leaves the user to fill in the blanks with their favorite percieved intelligent designer <<<<<<<

ID proponents Michael Behe and William Dembski, for examples, are as interested in finding the truth as anyone else. They get involved in long scientific discussions over their ideas.

>>>>>>> These same documents also prove the conspiracy behind the fundie agenda with the Discovery Institute's own mission statement <<<<<<<<

The key word here is "conspiracy" -- this is just a conspiracy theory. It is also a holding of guilt by association.

>>>>>>> You are right when you say that ID isn't the only critic of evolution. But the fact is, it simply isn't a scientific one. <<<<<<

So do you think that there are some criticisms of evolution that are scientific?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Behe maybe since he has an extensive background biochemistry to back up his irreducibly complex theory on certain biochemical systems, but Dembski is a mathematician with no background in biology or any other related fields. His name and contributions to the ID propaganda published by the Discovery Institute is solely for the "hey look at this, the author has a ph.d so it MUST be science right guys?" factor.

Behe's claims are even now slowly being disproven one by one as the key "irreducibly complex" biochemical systems used as evidence for his theory are brought down as new simpler examples are found, such as the clotting mechanism. I actually studied the clotting system and know that the so-called "irreducibly complex" human clotting system that Behe claims will be rendered non-functional if a piece were to go missing CAN in fact continue to function in the absence of certain clotting factors. My own theory is that the "complexity" is in reality, a series of redundancies to initiate clotting in a variety of situations. I can even recall a case study of a man missing a key clotting factor only develop hemophilia well into his retirement years due to his years of strenuous work as a rail yard worker. Since the type of clotting factor he was lacking was commonly found in the blood but his tissue clotting factors were still normal and present, years of hard physical labor caused enough tissue damage on a microcellular level in his limbs to keep a steady release of tissue clotting factor from damaged cells to keep his clotting system in working order.

It's the consensus that Behe evidently wasn't looking hard enough to find simpler yet working biochemical systems. Behe is old news and the few irreducibly complex biochemical examples he has given have already been discredited upon the discovery of the missing simpler systems.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

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