–Microevolution, macroevolution, and the stupid party

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We are in the year 2015, an enlightened year of science and technology, as contrasted with the Dark Ages, supposedly ruled by superstition and ignorance.

Yet, in this enlightened year:

A major survey of US opinions has revealed that huge numbers of people reject Darwinian evolution, consider GM foods unsafe to eat, and doubt that human activity is warming the planet.

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On January 24, 2013, Bobby Jindal, in one of his rare lucid moments said:

“We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I’m here to say we’ve had enough of that.”

To be criticized by Bobby Jindal for being stupid is akin to being criticized by a bear for being furry.

Still, in it’s never-ending efforts to replace science with myth, the religious right continues to promulgate ignorance:

Republican candidate, Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon and living embodiment of mental compartmentalization (i.e., smart in one area; stupid in others), denies Darwinian evolution.

When faced with enormous evidence, Carson backtracked and said: “Microevolution versus macroevolution are two different things.”

What did he mean by that?

Microevolution occurs within a species. For example, arctic bears evolved to be white to blend with the snow, while other bears evolved to be dark to blend with the forest. But they still are bears. They didn’t evolve to become bats.

Carson acknowledges that microevolution happens (though many evolution deniers don’t.) Carson, however, continues to deny that one species can evolve into another species (macroevolution).

The main problem with Carson’s desperate attempt replace science with biblical lore is that “species” is an artificial construct, created by people in an attempt to categorize living creatures. (Humans love to categorize.)

In that sense, nature does not create “species.” People do. And, there is no agreement about exactly what a “species” is.

One common, but sometimes difficult, question is how best to decide which species an organism belongs to, because reproductively isolated groups may not be readily recognizable.

This means that according to one popular definition, “species” refers to sexual reproduction, wherein the dividing line is: One species cannot impregnate another species.

Another common problem is how to define reproductive isolation, because some separately evolving groups may continue to interbreed to some extent, and it can be a difficult matter to discover whether this hybridization affects the long-term genetic make-up of the groups.

So when Carson denies macroevolution exists, he denies not only the tons and tons of scientific evidence, but he doesn’t even know what he is denying. There is no agreement on exactly what a “species” is.

And all of this begs the question, “From where did homo sapiens (that’s us) come?” “Homo” is the species, and presumably it had a beginning. Carson, and others of similar leanings, apparently claim that homo at some point sprang fully formed, as in “So God created man in His own image.”

It’s difficult to do justice to the full range of Carson’s scientific ignorance, but here are some excerpts:

Ben Carson: Evolution Is An Absurd Myth, ‘Give Me A Break’

“They (scientists) are so smart that if they can’t explain how God did something, then it didn’t happen which, of course means that they’re God. You don’t need a God if you consider yourself capable of explaining everything.”

The irony is that it is the religionists like Carson, who claim they can explain everything with the simple declaration: “God did it.”

By contrast, science is based on the admission that we don’t know everything, and the very purpose of science is to discover what we don’t know, and to verify what we may believe.

He claimed that “no one has the knowledge” of the age of the earth “based on the Bible,” adding that “carbon dating and all of these things really don’t mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time.”

Note that his statement has nothing to do with the validity of carbon dating. He merely rejects science in favor of religious faith.

(Carson) said evolution is unable to explain the development of an eyeball: “Give me a break. According to their scheme, it had to occur overnight, it had to be there. I instead say, if you have an intelligent creator, what he does is give his creatures the ability to adapt to the environment so he doesn’t have to start over every fifty years creating all over again.”

The “eyeball” objection has been used by evolution deniers for many years. It is completely untrue, and is a demonstration of Carson’s remarkable ignorance:

Scientists have traced the evolution of the eyeball from a “simple light-sensitive spot on the skin of some ancestral creature (that) gave it some tiny survival advantage, perhaps allowing it to evade a predator.

Every change had to confer a survival advantage, no matter how slight.

In fact, eyes corresponding to every stage in this sequence have been found in existing living species. The existence of this range of less complex light-sensitive structures supports scientists’ hypotheses about how complex eyes like ours could evolve.

The first animals with anything resembling an eye lived about 550 million years ago. And, according to one scientist’s calculations, only 364,000 years would have been needed for a camera-like eye to evolve from a light-sensitive patch.

One well could wonder how a medical doctor could fail to know this. Don’t medical doctors take biology classes? Don’t they have to pass biology exams?

Oh, but it gets better (i.e. worse):

Ben Carson Forgets Baltic States Are in NATO, Dates Islam to Before Christ

and

But just when it seemed Carson couldn’t move any further from reality, he sat down with TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and came up with a brand new fantasy.

Carson said Putin shares a deep historical tie with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, suggesting he became acquainted with them during their college days in Moscow when Putin was a young KGB operative.

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s report referred to this as a “little known historical fact.” The trouble is, it’s little known because it’s not a historical fact.

There’s literally no evidence to suggest Khamenei ever studied in the former Soviet Union. And since he and Abbas are several years older than Putin, the timeline doesn’t even make sense – Putin would have been a 16-year-old high school student at the time.

All together, Carson’s abysmal ignorance about evolution, geopolitics, climate change (“There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on” “It’s ‘irrelevant.’”), gun control (“In case of an invasion by foreign power, the people will be able to aid the military. And also, if we have a time when we have the wrong people in office and they want to dominate the people, the people will be able to defend themselves.”), homosexuality (“It’s a choice.”), poverty (Create a regressive flat tax and eliminate policies sheltering the poor from having to pay taxes.), religious freedom (A Muslim should only be president if he or she “renounces the tenets of Islam.”) and other ideas of similar malodor, make Carson a perfect Republican — a perfect representative of Jindal’s “stupid party.”

The fact that Carson currently ranks #2 (to Donald Trump) says little about Carson and Trump, and much about the Republican electorate.

But then again, what choices do they have? The Republicans have created rules about what constitutes a REAL Republican, and to follow those rules, a candidate first must join the “stupid party.”

For once in his life, Bobby Jindal was right on target

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

The Ten Steps will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
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10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

THE RECESSION CLOCK
Monetary Sovereignty

Recessions come after the blue line drops below zero.

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.

#MONETARYSOVEREIGNTY

5 thoughts on “–Microevolution, macroevolution, and the stupid party

  1. Funniest headline of the month:

    Charles Koch: ‘What we’re after is to fight against special interests’

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    Stupid Party News:

    This Document Reveals Why The House Of Representatives Is In Complete Chaos

    (It) seeks a commitment from the next speaker to tie any increase in the debt ceiling to cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    (It) wants the next speaker to commit to not funding the government at all unless President Obama (and Senate Democrats) agree to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and a host of other priorities. This is essentially the Ted Cruz strategy which prompted at 16-day shutdown in 2013. This would now be enshrined as the official policy of the Speaker Of The House.

    Hey, doesn’t everyone want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, Obamacare and other social programs?

    Like

  2. I saw on the fox channel they are saying that social security is immoral. People should have the choice not to pay into the system.
    The stupid is strong and these are young people believing the system will not be able to pay them when they reach retirement.
    This year there is no increase in cost of living benefits but an increase medicare premiums?

    Like

  3. A few months back I read a book, “Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!” (http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Fossils-Still-Say-No/dp/0890511128). I was expecting the book to be filled with obvious junk, but instead I learned about Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution, along with the fact that most fossil evidence is in the form of a few pieces here, a few pieces there – and usually just teeth.

    The author used paleontologists own writings and debates about fossils against them. He pointed out that even experts in the study of fossils can’t come to a conclusion about whether or not many supposedly intermediary fossils are really intermediaries or are something like the platypus – a creature with features similar to entirely different classes of animals.

    The most damning evidence against using fossil evidence to backup claims of macro evolution is something called “Punctuated Equilibrium” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium). This theory was put forth by paleontologists who support macro evolution and they put forth this theory because the fossil record indicates that every so often large quantities of distinct, fully formed species suddenly appear within a very short time period. Fossils for these species remain in the record with only minor variations (micro-evolution) until they either disappear completely or continue to the current day. In other words, the fossil evidence for external creation or delivery of new species is greater than the evidence for consistent, slow changes from one species to another.

    Note: I’m using the word “species” in the same way the other and those who agree with micro-evolution but disagree with macro-evolution might use the word “kinds”. Basically, species that are cross-fertile, or have similar physical and genetic structures are simply variations of the same kind of creature. By this definition most, if not all, small cats would be one “kind” of creature and most, if not all, large felines would be another, single “kind” of creature.

    Another point made by the author, is that as one examines the genetics of one kind of creature versus another, the genes the give rise to various features for that kind are located in dramatically different places within their chromosomes. If macro-evolution were true, one should expect that similar physical traits would be coded by similar genes in similar places for all creatures. One would also expect obvious intermediary fossils showing slow and steady changes over time, rather than sudden, rapid spurts of evolution with long periods of no evolution.

    I’m not so sure the author “proved” special creation, but he certainly smashed the primary evidence for macro-evolution. However the great variety of creatures on Earth came into existence, the commonly taught theory of evolution has serious flaws.

    Like

    1. Amusing.

      A few months ago, you read “a book”, that was not “filled with obvious junk,” and now the entire science of Evolution is in doubt.

      And you’re not “so sure” the author proved special creation. The thousands of scientists, who have spent their lives digging up millions upon millions of fossils, then analyzing these fossils, must be relieved.

      By the way, if you’d like to see a “few pieces here and a few pieces there,” come to Chicago’s Field Museum and see the (literally) tons of “pieces” upon which actual scientists base their conclusions.

      Macroevolution smashed by one book! Think of the millions of hours wasted by educated scientists, when they simply could have read one book.

      Maybe, just maybe, you should read a 2nd book. Or go back to reading the bible. Plenty of factual evidence in there (but no fossils).

      By the way, if you like fossils, here are a couple: More than just teeth

      Like

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