Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part I


Image credit.
 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, debates a Ken Ham, a multimillionaire Creationist who makes his money selling Creationism as an alternative to science. This will be at the Creation Museum, which is a religious museum, not a science museum.
 

Should we teach only science in science classrooms?
 

Below is an example of Ken Ham using the appearance of science, but no real science, to push his products.

The link leads to a store to sell Ken Ham’ God products.
 


Image credit.
 

There is no scientific controversy about whether evolution is true. Scientists understand science and evolution is science. Evolution is not controversial among scientists. Evolution is not even controversial among scientists who are religious.

The controversy only exists among the various religious interpretations of Creation.

Each Biblical literalist (Creationist) seems to claim that his particular interpretations of the Bible is exactly the one God intended, no matter how many other interpretations of the Bible it contradicts. This includes the interpretations of Biblical scholars familiar with the origins of the Bible and interpretation of other literalists. There are about half a dozen different factions of Creationism.

The different flavors of Creationism may depend on what parts of the Bible the Creationists attempt to account for.

Some Creationists accept what they call microevolution, but claim that there is some magical barrier that prevents an accumulation of their microevolutionary changes from producing a change in species, while it accepts an evolutionary change of a smaller degree.

Other Creationists accept a change in species, but reject the possibility of a change in genus.

Some Creationists accept a change in genus and species, but reject a change in family.
 

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.[1]

 

There is no scientific controversy about whether evolution is true, only about the fine points of how evolution works, but that is true of any scientific theory.

Should we reject germ theory because Jesus told his followers not to wash their hands?
 

1 About this time some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem. They asked Jesus, 2 “Why don’t your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? They don’t even wash their hands[a] before they eat.”

. . . .

10 Jesus called the crowd together and said, “Pay attention and try to understand what I mean. 11 The food that you put into your mouth doesn’t make you unclean and unfit to worship God. The bad words that come out of your mouth are what make you unclean.”[2]

 

Germ theory makes it clear that some of the things that we put into our mouths (germs) can make us sick.

Should we demand that some religious alternative to germ theory be taught in science classrooms, because the Bible contradicts germ theory?

I don’t expect many Christians to advocate for that. I think the reason is that it is easier to demonstrate that germ theory is real than it is to demonstrate that evolution is real.
 


Pew Researh Center poll.[3]
 

Does science depend on worship of a God, or on worship of a literal Bible?

Which religious Creationism would be acceptable?
 

Thoughts about whether evolution is the best explanation for life on earth are also closely tied to individual religious beliefs and practices. Across many religious traditions, the more highly committed tend to be less likely to believe in evolution.[4]

 

What about scientists?

What is the percentage of scientists who reject evolution?
 


Pew Researh Center poll.[5]
 

2%.
 

Where is the claimed science behind Creation science?

I will look at Creation science in Part II.

Footnotes:

[1] Genesis 1:24-25
Bible – Old Testament
American Standard Version (ASV)
Bible verse from BibleGateway

[2] Matthew 15:1-2 and 10-11
Bible – New Testament
(Contemporary English Version)
Bible verse from BibleGateway

[3] Public’s Views on Human Evolution
Pew Research Center
December 30, 2013
Article.

Free Full Text in PDF format from Pew Research Center.

[4] U.S.Religious Landscape Survey. Religious Beliefs and Practices: Diverse and Politically Relevant.
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
June 2008
Sec1:96
Free Full Text in PDF format from Pew Research Center.

[5] Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media – Scientific Achievements Less Prominent Than a Decade Ago
Pew Research Center
July 9, 2009
Article.

Free Full Text in PDF format from Pew Research Center.

.

One Reason Why Understanding Evolution Matters

 

How well prepared are we for the drug resistant bugs that are moving up in the rankings of our causes of death in America?

According to this, and according to a lot of other sources, we are not very well prepared.
 

[youtube]cvXc9aMF6CA[/youtube]
 

Then there are a couple of minutes of questions and answers.

 

[youtube]4siRYteEpCk[/youtube]
 

The bacteria are evolutionarily more successful than we are. We appear to have been put here for the purpose of transporting and feeding bacteria.

The problem with bacteria evolving resistance to medications continues to increase.

We need new influenza vaccines each year because the mutations of these viruses in farm animals and humans result in different strains. Eventually, we may be able to have a universal vaccine that recognizes a less mutable part of influenza and causes immunity.

Even then, there will be people who do not understand that they may have an infection that appears minor to them, while it is still infectious to others who may not be able to be vaccinated or who may not develop immunity from vaccination. They act as if infecting others is a personal choice, rather than reckless behavior.

Antibiotics are too often prescribed to protect Press-Ganey scores.

Is there anything sane about this?

This is the invisible and irrational hand of the market at work. Our actions seem to be designed to assist the bacteria in eating us.
 

Homeopathic malaria vaccines are available in the store. The only way that malaria is affected homeopathic vaccines is to be fed. Then the malaria can spread to more people. There is no magical memory that develops in water when you hit the water over the head just so.[1],[2]

This is a bit late for Homeopathy Awareness Week (April 9 – 16), but it is always good to remind people that there is no need to take a procrastination pill and avoid real medicine.
 

[youtube]E-FwdACE2ZY[/youtube]
 

Homeopathy may not be as harmful as giving antibiotics for viral illnesses, but the basis for both is the same – Just do something, no matter how useless or dangerous.

While gullibility would seem to predispose any species to an excess of Darwin Awards, our less sapient examples seem to reproduce more than adequately before their reality moments. The rest of us seem to be intent on trying to make it safer for the ignorant to remain so.

If the Biblical literalists are correct, and we were created in the image of a perfect being, why would that perfect being have any kind of alimentary equipment? Is that any less literal than 6 days, 6 millennia ago?

Footnotes:

[1] 179. Bad Air
A Gobbet ‘o Pus
Dr. Mark Crislip
Less than a 5 minutes Podcast in mp3 format.

[2] Neal’s Yard promotes homeopathy for measles. This could kill real children
By Tom Chivers
Science
Last updated: April 8th, 2013
The Telegraph
Article

Read some of the comments. They are just as ridiculous as any of the other science denialist groups. They do not like it when people point out that using their product kills people. Then read the article below about the sources of the research that “proves” homeopathy works, even though nobody can ever reproduce the results under research conditions.

[3] More rubbish homeopathic research from Boiron
Published Wednesday 10 April 2013
Dr. Edzard Ernst
Article

.

Why Not Criticize Darwin? Evolution? Carbon Dating?

 

In response to We cater to the most stupid people out of fear of . . . whatever Can’t say, clowns will eat me writes –
 

So why not criticism of Darwinism? Evolution? Etc? How about criticism of carbon dating since that’s somewhat often tied to the others….?

 

Unlike Creationism (or its disguise as Intelligent Design), science involves a lot of criticism of research. Good science requires criticism. There is no scientific controversy over whether evolution is real, only over the fine points of how evolution works.

The only controversy is a religious controversy between religious sects according to different interpretations of the Bible.

Which religious interpretation would we teach? Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, acceptance of micro-evolution and denial of macro-evolution, other animals evolved, but not humans, or some other interpretation designed to please preachers and ignore as much science as the preachers think they can get away with?

These are not science.
 

Do scientists go to houses of worship and try to preach to the congregations about science?

Some religious people have the arrogance of ignorance to demand to preach their religious interpretation to public school students in science classrooms.

It would only be fair for this to be seen as an invitation for scientists to come in to the houses of worship and educate the congregation about how to test the truth of what is written in the Holy Books.
 


Image credit.
 

Read On the Origin of Species (1859).

First Edition free download from gutenberg.org.
 

Read through the many pages at Talk Origins that explain in detail the answers to questions about evolution.

The Talk Origins page on carbon dating is here.
 

Just by looking at the night sky we can look millions of years back in time. We are looking at light that has traveled for that long to get to our eyes, but not just to get to our eyes. Of course, the galaxy does not exist to please our eyes. Thinking that would be another example of arrogance.

We are infinitesimal and insignificant in the universe. If life had been designed, the design was so poor that it has been an overwhelming example of failure. We are among the small percentage of species that have not yet become extinct on Earth. The monstrosities that we see are not examples of any intelligent design, or even of a drunken engineer. They are examples of the random mutations that provide incremental and cumulative changes that sometimes are the beginnings of a species better adapted to the current environment.

Charles Darwin did not know anything about DNA, because DNA was not even discovered until a decade after he explained evolution. DNA confirms and clarifies evolution. We even share DNA with bacteria, which were barely known, and even less understood, at the time Darwin explained evolution.

What we have learned since 1859 has been consistent with evolution. There have been some modifications to evolution, but evolution has been repeatedly confirmed by experiments and by new discoveries in biology. Gregor Mendel did not publish his paper on inheritance until 1866 and it is unlikely that Darwin had any familiarity with Mendel’s work.

Charles Darwin’s work in biology is as revolutionary as Isaac Newton’s work in physics.

Both have had their work modified and repeatedly confirmed.
 

Organs can be transplanted from primates to humans because we share almost all of our DNA. At the level of DNA, the differences among humans, pigs, and bacteria are very small. This is consistent with evolving from a common ancestor, but only makes sense except in the case of a trickster designer.

We can transplant organs from pigs into humans. Pigs look nothing like humans, but we are much more closely related than our appearances would suggest.

If a real scientist were to demonstrate a major obstacle to evolution, that scientist would become famous.

Look at Einstein. With relativity, he changed theories of gravity, light, and time. These were not well received by everyone, but they have been consistently confirmed. Einstein is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.

In science, being smart enough to find the flaws in an accepted theory is the way to fame and fortune.

Science has no need for dogma, since science is a process for learning.

In science the goal is truth.

.

We cater to the most stupid people out of fear of . . . whatever

 

What do I mean by stupid?

This is an excellent example of stupid.
 

Florida country radio morning-show hosts Val St. John and Scott Fish are currently serving indefinite suspensions and possibly worse over a successful April Fools’ Day prank. They told their listeners that “dihydrogen monoxide” was coming out of the taps throughout the Fort Myers area.[1]

 

dihydrogen monoxide?
 

Terrifying.

di = Two
hydrogen = H
mono = One
oxide = O

Two Hs and One O.

We can rearrange these into the familiar chemical expression of H2O.

Danger! There is H2 in the drinking water!

I hope so. Water is not water, if there is no H2O.

So, some people were worried and called the water company. The water company should have stated –

Dihydrogen monoxide is just water.

Today is April Fools’ Day.

You have been fooled.

Have a laugh at yourself and get on with your day.

But no.

That would have been too reasonable.

This was the response – and threats of felony charges.
 


Click on images to make them larger.
 

Don’t tell people that there is dihydrogen monoxide in the water! Tell them that the reported problem is just a prank, but do not use the opportunity to educate people about what you sell them.

Feed their ignorance.
 

the two hosts could face felony charges for, again, reporting that the scientific name of water was coming out of the pipes. “My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,” Diane Holm, a public information officer for Lee County, told WTSP, while Renda stood firm about his deejays: “They will have to deal with the circumstances.”[1]

 

There is water in the water. – That is not a false water quality issue unless you are an idiot.

There are idiots making threatening to bring felony charges to try to deflect attention from the stupidity of the idiots. – That is a real water quality issue.
 

 
This is dihydrogen monoxide –
 


 

 

 

 
This is water –
 


 

 

 
Do you understand the difference?

What we call it has nothing to do with what it is.

Water is dihydrogen monoxide is H2O.

Water has also probably had every deadly disease in it for as long as there has been water. People, and other animals defecate in that water. The water company cleans the water that they provide to us.

The result is that tap water is almost always much cleaner than the bottled water you buy in a store.

We also fluoridate water in many places. fluoride protects teeth. The result is that the water is healthier with fluoride than without fluoride.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that a complicated name means that something is dangerous.

Or they think that a chemical is more dangerous than something that is natural.

Or they think that something man made is more dangerous than something that is natural.

That is not just wrong, it is Jenny McCarthy wrong, it is Creationist wrong, it is climate change denialist wrong, it is homeopathy wrong, it is just plain stupid, but too many of us are afraid to tell stupid people to stop spreading their stupidity, because we think that is not nice.

By that niceness, we lower ourselves to their level of stupidity.
 

How many scientists support Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine conspiracy theories? Only a handful – and they seem to make money off of it.

How many scientists support Creationism’s anti-evolution conspiracy theories? Only a handful – and they seem to make money off of it.

How many scientists support climate change denialists’ conspiracy theories? Only a handful – and they seem to make money off of it.

How many scientists support homeopathy’s anti-medicine conspiracy theories? Only a handful – and they seem to make money off of it.
 

We give these con men equal time out of some distorted sense of balance between reality and their even more distorted misunderstanding of reality. Maybe these nuts should go hug a unicorn and leave sensible people alone.

Stupidity is not a virtue.

The cure is education, not denialism.

 


 

I do not know the origin of the Deadly Facts About Water poster. If you know, please send me the link and I will give credit. This poster is great.

Footnotes:

[1] Florida DJs May Face Felony for April Fools’ Water Joke Worse Than Rubio’s
By Alexander Abad-Santos
April 2, 2013
The Atlantic Wire
Article
 

Update, Wednesday: St. John and Fish were back on the air Wednesday, and officials with the local health department tell The Atlantic Wire that felony charges are not expected.

 

Maybe somebody did point out that criminal charges would be stupid and open them up to ridicule, but I had already written this when that update was posted.

.

Creation Mathematicians Demand Equal Time for Biblical Pi in the Classroom

 

Pi – 3.14159 . . . . is infinitely long.

Has anyone ever seen a number that long.

Pi is irrational.

Let the kids decide for themselves.

Teach the controversy!

This is in the Bible twice. The third time makes it true.
 

We should let the students decide - as long as they only use religion to question math and not math to question religion.

We should let the students decide – as long as they only use religion to question math and not math to question religion.


 

23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.[1]

 

2 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.[2]

 

30 divided by 10 = 3. Pi = 3. Only a literal interpretation is acceptable.

3.14 . . . is something like half the Number of the Beast. This is clearly Satan’s work – or half of satan’s work.

Education controversy expert Michelle Bachmann had this to say about promoting the Bible in math classrooms.
 

“I support Biblical Pi,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all math on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of math issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”[3]

 

We can’t have students questioning received wisdom.

If we allow that, the next thing we know, they might be actually measuring the diameter of a circle and comparing that with the circumference and deciding for themselves.

Students need to just memorize and recite information.

Questioning authority is bad, unless the authority is teaching something I don’t like.

Footnotes:

[1] Bible
1 Kings 7:23 – King James Version (KJV)
Passage

[1] Bible
2 Chronicles 4:2 – King James Version (KJV)
Passage

[3] Bachmann: Schools should teach intelligent design
June 17th, 2011
06:52 PM ET
CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby
Article

Here is the original Bachmann quote (the quotes from 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles are real and have not been altered) –

“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”.”

 

Intelligent Design is just the fraud of trying to create a legal loophole to get around the law.

Is Biblical Creationism (Intelligent Design) any less silly than Biblical Pi?

.

Happy Darwin Day 2013

 

[youtube]PI19y5Nsy1s[/youtube]
 

Some evolution denialists (Creationists) will cite the following by Charles Darwin as evidence that evolution is impossible –
 

To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.

 

Did Darwin state that evolution is not true?

It is true that Darwin wrote the sentence I quoted.

It is dishonest to claim that this some sort of refutation of evolution.

This is a quote from a book that explains the way that evolution works.

It is unreasonable for a sensible person to read the passage above and not ask, for more information. Here is the the full paragraph –
 

ORGANS OF EXTREME PERFECTION AND COMPLICATION.

To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.

Darwin continues with more detail and with several examples.

That out of context quote is an example of the misrepresentation that is common with denialists.

Denialists will take a quote out of context to suggest that the person meant the opposite of what they really meant.

Logic is used to support evolution and other science.

Logical fallacies are used to deny evolution and other science.

Which do you choose?

The Project Gutenberg EBook of On the Origin of Species
by Charles Darwin
1st Edition
1859
Free Full Text at Gutenberg.org

.

Darwin Day Resolution 2013

 

A resolution has been proposed in the US Congress to recognize February 12, 2013 as Darwin Day.

Americans are overly enamored of a refusal to learn science, but there is no virtue in ignorance.

This is an important step, by a real scientist serving in Congress, to reverse that anti-science bias of Congress.
 

On Jan. 22, Rush D. Holt, a Democrat who represents central New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, introduced a resolution designating Feb. 12, 2013 — Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday — as Darwin Day, “recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”[1]

 

Rep. Holt was a faculty member at Swarthmore College from 1980 to 1988 where he taught physics, public policy, and religion courses.
 

Many Christians, of course, believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is compatible with a Christian worldview. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, is comfortable with Darwin, especially as his work relates to the evolution of bodies (souls come from God). In 1996, Pope John Paul II wrote, confirming older Catholic teaching, that “there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith.”[1]

 

[youtube]PI19y5Nsy1s[/youtube]
 

This is a religious controversy, not a scientific controversy.

The controversy does not depend on the religion, but on the Biblical interpretation of the individual preacher.

 

Ronald L. Numbers, a science historian at the University of Wisconsin, said that many evangelical Protestants were once willing to accept the theory, as long as it was applied only to animals, not to humans.[1]

 

But humans are animals.

We share illness with only some other species of animal (which animal species will vary by the illness involved), but we would not share only some illnesses if we were not also animals. We can also transplant organs between animals and humans.

We are more like other animals than we are different from other animals.
 

 

Click on images to make them larger.
 

Two African apes are the closest living relatives of humans: the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). Although they are similar in many respects, bonobos and chimpanzees differ strikingly in key social and sexual behaviours, and for some of these traits they show more similarity with humans than with each other. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the bonobo genome to study its evolutionary relationship with the chimpanzee and human genomes. We find that more than three per cent of the human genome is more closely related to either the bonobo or the chimpanzee genome than these are to each other. These regions allow various aspects of the ancestry of the two ape species to be reconstructed. In addition, many of the regions that overlap genes may eventually help us understand the genetic basis of phenotypes that humans share with one of the two apes to the exclusion of the other.[2]

 

Even New Orleans has passed a proclamation to recognize Darwin Day.

 

 

Here is the full text of the Darwin Day resolution.
 

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.

Whereas Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;

Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;

Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions;

Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;

Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems;

Whereas Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples; and

Whereas February 12, 2013, is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate date to designate as Darwin Day: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) supports the designation of Darwin Day; and

(2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.[3]

 

The Darwin Day resolution includes a recognition of role of humans in climate change, so one of the other powerful political denialist groups can be expected to participate in blocking this resolution.

While evolution denialists and climate change denialists are not necessarily the same, they do share fleas. This is understandable, since both are manifestations of scientific ignorance.
 

 

Footnotes:

[1] Seeing Darwin Through Christian Eyes? It All Depends on the Christian
By Mark Oppenheimer
Published: February 1, 2013
NY Times
Article

[2] The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes.
Prüfer K, Munch K, Hellmann I, Akagi K, Miller JR, Walenz B, Koren S, Sutton G, Kodira C, Winer R, Knight JR, Mullikin JC, Meader SJ, Ponting CP, Lunter G, Higashino S, Hobolth A, Dutheil J, Karakoç E, Alkan C, Sajjadian S, Catacchio CR, Ventura M, Marques-Bonet T, Eichler EE, André C, Atencia R, Mugisha L, Junhold J, Patterson N, Siebauer M, Good JM, Fischer A, Ptak SE, Lachmann M, Symer DE, Mailund T, Schierup MH, Andrés AM, Kelso J, Pääbo S.
Nature. 2012 Jun 28;486(7404):527-31. doi: 10.1038/nature11128.
PMID: 22722832 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Free Full Text from PubMed Central.

[3] H.Res. 41: Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in …
govtrack.us
Full Text

.

The Age of the Earth – Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part VIII

 

The anti-science comments of Marco Rubio are being defended as not affecting economics, as if economic impact determines the validity of science.
 

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians[1]

 

There is some truth to that.

The only controversy over the age of the Earth is among theologians.

This is a controversy of religious ideology. This is not a controversy of science.

To present this as a scientific controversy is a lie.
 

Standing in front of the flag and telling lies is dishonoring the flag.
 

There are religious sects which claim that the Earth was formed 6,016 years ago.[2]

Based on the available historical information in 1654, this calculation seemed reasonable. It is no longer reasonable to ignore all of the evidence that contradicts these calculations.
 

and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.[1]

 

The prudent response of someone who doesn’t have a clue about science should be to limit his response to I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.

However, Marco Rubio is pandering to those voters who oppose science, so his response is a variation of the arrogant – I can choose my own reality. If I want to believe that the Earth is flat, or that vaccines cause autism, or that storks bring babies, I can ignore whatever evidence does not support my claim.

Marco Rubio is probably not qualified to comment on any of those. He may be smart enough to know that he doesn’t know enough about some of these topics, but he makes it clear that he is not smart enough to know just how little he knows about the age of the Earth.

This is a large part of what science is about – recognizing and eliminating potential bias.

We are all biased, but good science requires that we go to extremes to avoid having our biases interfere with research.

IST-3 was one horrible example of biased research having incompetent excuses made for the biases that should have been eliminated.[3] It isn’t science. The earlier tPA research is also biased. No patent should be given tPA based on such biased research.
 

At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all.[1]

 

Theory or scientific theory?[4]

Misrepresenting the definition of scientific theory as just a theory is a fraud used by many who oppose science.

There is only one scientific theory out there – the Earth is billions of years old.

Where is there any scientific theory that the Earth is less than 4 billion years old?

There are a lot of unscientific theories proposed by preachers, but they have no scientific validity. It is only ignorance or deceit that allows Marco Rubio to suggest that these clams are in any way the equivalent of good science.

We should not have teachers making these absurd claims that reality is not real.
 

I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.[1]

 

The government should not be telling parents what to tell their children, but there is not any requirement that parents teach their children about reality. Marco Rubio is making a completely irrelevant statement, unless he is telling us that he has plans to have the government impose some such law on parents.
 

Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.[1]

 

There is no mystery.

Billions of years.

About 4 1/2 billion years.

The only mystery is why people keep listening to people claiming that religious controversies are scientific controversies.

Where is there any scientific evidence that the Earth is less than 4 billion years old?

We need to stop letting people lie to us.

No evidence means no valid claim.

 

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part I

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part II

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part III

Shooting the messenger isn’t going to change the science – Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part IV

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part V

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part VI

Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part VII

The Age of the Earth – Do Creationists have any clue about science? Part VIII

Footnotes:

[1] All Eyez on Him
The junior senator from Florida had a heck of an election year: Short-listed for VP. Wrote a memoir of his Cuban heritage. Gave a tough, moving convention speech—maybe the best of its kind since Obama’s. Michael Hainey talks to Marco Rubio about growing up in the shadow of Castro, his love of Tupac, and whether he’s going to have an even better 2016
By Michael Hainey
December 2012
Page 2
Article

[2] James Ussher
Wikipedia
Article

James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher, 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar, who most famously published a chronology that purported to establish the time and date of the creation as the night preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC, according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

[3] Is a clot-busting drug safe for 6 hours after stroke symptom onset – or only for an hour and a half? – Part II
Wed, 14 Nov 2012
Rogue Medic
Article

[4] Introduction
Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences
Second Edition (1999)
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
Page 2
On line version of book

Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.
The contention that evolution should be taught as a “theory, not as a fact” confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.

.