Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hillary or Obama?

My first choice was Kucinich.

My second choice was Edwards.

sigh...
Hillary or Obama?As far as decent Democrats go, they're pretty equal. I think they would both make fine presidents, and I wouldn't think twice about voting for whoever gets the nomination.

I think Hillary is more electable.

I think a black man running for president is the one thing that would galvanize the evangelical base of the Republican party. Of course, most of them won't admit in public that they're raging racists, so they'll cling to the shameless Republican attack ads that will link Obama with Islam, and Islam with terrorism. I can hear them already finding clever couplets in which to rhyme Obama with Osama.

Okay, so in my opinion Obama and Hillary are pretty equal as candidates, and Hillary is slightly more electable (I think she's also capable of inspiring conservatives to get out and vote).

But as the California primary draws near, the question I've been asking myself is; what if I could bypass the whole Democratic process and ordain one of them president? All other things being equal, who would I choose?

Well there's all this experience Hillary has. In a few of the debates, she spoke about being realistic and practical in the face of Edwards and Obama's comments about hope and change. But is "being practical" really just a matter of being knee deep in the system for so long that you can no longer see beyond it?

But putting aside all practicality, I would choose Obama for everything he represents. What would it mean to have a black president? What would it mean to millions of marginalized minorities in the country?


As a school teacher, I have stared into the eyes of callous inner-city kids who don't see the point in learning how to solve a mathematical inequality. I pace the classroom trying to tell them, "Wake up! Participate! Learn something. This is your future. This is your life."

How inspirational would it be for all of them to see a black man leading our country? They would begin to see that they do have a future. That this is their country too.

Obama as president would bring us that much closer to the day when skin color will be as relevant to a person's life and social status as hair color or eye color.

Is skin color a good reason to vote for someone? Of course not. But it will be a reason for many people in this country to vote against Obama. And for that, as a country, we should be ashamed.

But for whom shall I vote this Tuesday in California?


The more likely Hillary?

The more inspiring Obama?

Six in one hand; a half dozen in the other.

I still don't know.


113 comments:

nunya said...

Hi! I was interested in Kucinich & then Edwards and now I'm wondering also.
*sigh*

Anyway, I like your blog.

Anonymous said...

same delima for me. now with obama. I don't feel he is as jaded and I love what he says. I would love to vote for Hillary but her war vote and all of her pac money is just more of the same ole to me.

Heather Annastasia said...

As far as Hillary's war vote, Obama has the very convenient ability to say he would have voted against it, since he wasn't there to vote. But Obama has shown a lot of wavering on issues, and he certainly doesn't have a track record of making a stand for unpopular issues when he votes. He has a consistently safe voting record, and at a time when anyone speaking out against the war was labeled weak, or a traitor by the media, I'm not sure he would have stood up and voted against it.

Kucinich was the only candidate who had a proven record of standing his ground on every issue, regardless of polls or public opinion. Clearly, honesty and integrity isn't what Americans look for in a candidate.

The most important thing to consider when we go to the polls is this: who has a better chance of beating McCain?

Obama and Hillary will both get us out of this war, and they will both work to relieve the economic strain on the middle and lower classes.

But Hillary has a better chance of beating McCain, and we just can't afford to have another Republican president.

Matt said...

Hi, Heather.
You said that we can't afford another Republican president because they would keep us in the war, right? Check out Ron Pauls policy for the Iraq war at www.ronpaul2008.com. He's a Libertarian running as Republican and also wants to pull troops out of the war.

Also his policy on free trade and lower taxes would help to lessen the economic burden on the lower / middle class.

I don't think Ron Paul really has a chance of being president, but I do belive that his views and the Libertarian party will become important in the future.


My blog: www.libertarianland.blogspot.com

Chris said...

Hello Annastasia,
It has been some time. How are you? I am going to be on you this time:
I have noticed that people would always refer to Mr. Obama as "black" when he comes up for discussion. What surprises me though is that such references to color are not made when the discussion is on the other contestants. Is his color really important?
You called him a "black man" and obviously, this is an attribute you chose to put across. Yet, later on in your article, you criticize others who would make Mr. Obama's color an issue when voting. What is the difference? You did not talk about his height or hairstyle or mannerisms probably because they are not important to you. You talked about color!
Moreover, if you MUST refer to Mr. Obama's race, why don't you use the correct term? The man's father is African and his mother is Caucasian. So how come he is "black?" Surely there is a term for him!
Is there something I am missing here?

Heather Annastasia said...

Chris,

What up?

Yeah, I should probably explain my position there. See, I believe race is a completely artificial construct with no basis in science or biology. I think dividing ourselves into groups based on race is as silly as dividing ourselves into groups based on eye or hair color.

As silly as it is, however, we DO divide ourselves up according to race, and that has a profound impact on us socially and psychologically.

The point I'm trying to make is that Obama being black (or mixed, green with purple polka-dots) has nothing to do with him as a person, or him as a president, but those of us who understand that can't afford to ignore the fact that race IS a big deal to a significant portion of the country.

There are large numbers of black people who are voting for him because he's black (whether he actually IS black or not), and large numbers of white people who won't vote for him because he's black.

The fact that he isn't fully black doesn't matter; the perception is all that matters. If he is elected president, he will go down in history as the first black president of the United States of America.

I, for one, think that having a black president would be good for our country. Not because he would do a better job than any other person, but because it would do a lot to improve how people in this country percieve black people, and how black people percieve themselves.

Travis Kiefer said...

Great entry! Even though you say Hillary seems more electable, I think that perception could change... To find out my reasoning, you should check out this AMAZING new website - http://www.digobama.com - which was created so people like you can submit your favorite articles, videos and podcasts about Barack and vote on them. This site is extremely new (created Monday, February 13th) and is already gaining momentum in spreading Barack's message. There are already 79 users, 155 articles, and 868 votes! With your help, this website can play an important role in helping Barack become the clear People's Choice as the next President. Thank you and Yes We Can make a difference!!!

texasman said...

I have one genuine problem with Obama. during the runup to the war in Iraq I had friends on both sides of the issue. When they asked my opinion I told them "I dont have access to the intelligence data supplied to congress by the CIA and british MI-6 and neither do you, so you cannot make a sound reasoned decision either way." Now unless the CIA is in the habit of breifing the Illinois state legislature on matters of national security then neither could Obama. What he could do is exactly what he did do, he chose to play partisan politics and simply took the stance opposite what the republicans were saying. This is not wisdom, this is the same old partisan politics. Now that it has turned out his way he is strutting around boasting about his "judgement", however I attach no more judgement to what he did than I would attach to someone calling heads on a coin toss and then walking around bragging about how wise he was for calling heads.

Heather Annastasia said...

I appreciate what you're saying, but I have to disagree.

MY problem with Obama's strutting about on this issue is that he never had to vote on it. The republicans were vilifying the few brave democrats who stood their ground on this issue, and voting against it was not a safe political move at the time.

Obama's actual voting record is very safe: he hasn't taken a real stand on any issue with his VOTE. He has even voted "present" on bills he sponsored! That's not guts; that's playing safe politics.

On the issue of being against the war, let me tell you why I was sure from the very beginning that this war was a load of crap.

First of all, Iraq was a weak country sitting on a fortune in oil. I was telling everyone during the 2000 election that a vote for Bush was a vote for war; most likely with Iraq.

Secondly, another thing I liked to point out to people while Bush was building a case for war was that they needed to LISTEN VERY CLOSELY to what he was saying...

He never once directly said that Iraq was involved in 9-11; he only IMPLIED it. Of course now most people have conveniently forgotten that one of their main arguments for going to war with Iraq was that Iraq was involved in 9-11.

Now, as far as all the CIA hogwash, and the supposed "weapons of mass destruction," I didn't know for sure weather Iraq had them, but I was reasonably skeptical. (They just didn't have the resources to put together a weapons program, and even if they did magically manage to build a nuke, how the hell would they get it to the US? Even Powell's argument that they were a threat to Israel seemed really far fetched.) My position at they time was that WMDs were beside the point; they were just one in a long line of thinly veiled excuses for doing what Bush wanted to do from the beginning of his term; go to war.

Do you remember the aerial photographs of places in Iraq where we KNEW the were hiding WMDs? Honestly, I laughed when I saw those. I was shocked at how readily people were sucking that stuff up.

So anyway, my point is that those of us who were against the war from the start were not taking a shot in the dark, or siding with our "team;" there were legitimate reasons to doubt everything this administration said from the very beginning.

Jon said...

Hey Heather,

We probably will not make it to far. As a self proclaimed teacher, I would hope you have a formal education. Most people that acquire an education are able to self educated themselves eventually. I see this is not the case for you with regards to history both in events and economics

Anyone that would vote for Hillary or Obama, has some pie in the sky dream. It is a similar dream that men named Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx had. Do you know who these people were? Act like it. You do not owe anyone but God and your parents anything. We live in a capitalist society. Do you understand what this means?

People from third world countries with dark skin come here and turn themselves from dirt poor immigrants to wealthy productive citizens. Most with little to no education, and by the way, no insurance. How do they make it? They do not come here with their hands out asking for a free home and free food. They simply have an insatiable desire to work. Where does this attitude come from. Why should I desire for my income to be taxed a higher rate? Just for our baby factory lazy welfare recipients to lay down with whatever to have another check at the end of the month. Maybe, you are right. Maybe we should allow our government to make every decision for us. Including tying tubes when there is no payment for delivery. Your right, I am part of the "evangelical base of the Republican party." But you are so wrong about this having anything to do with race. It is about a value system that was the base of our Constitution. That value system is also why I am a born again Christian. Do you now what this really means? I mean really. Not what you have heard or seen in a movie. Do you really know? Have you made this choice? Now you think I am an idiot/quack. You may be right because I am trying to help you make a decision that will change you forever. If you stand on principle, others will never worry about your stance. Neither will you. Where does Obama stand on anything. He is an inspirational speaker that will never back his words. Change similar to what this country received during the Carter era. Did you have bomb drills due to the fear of Russia as a small child? I think Reagan took care of this problem that Carter turned his back to.

Look forward to your comments.

Jon

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,

Sorry I've taken so long to reply. I've been insanely busy. I didn't even read this comment until yesterday.

My short answer is that I don't like your condescending tone.

My full answer will be in the form of my next post; "Hillary or Obama part 2"

Probably this weekend.

damion said...

"It is a similar dream that men named Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx had ,do you know who these people were? Act like it" (jon) To equate hitler to Marx has got to be the most retarded thing I have ever heard. jon, obviously you have no formal education, doesn't the bible say something about fools spouting off at the mouth? Really jon an ignorant person should not be making public comments, do you have any self respect? Marx was a brilliant man who so aptly named your affliction, religion to quote Marx is the "opiate of the masses ". Yes jon just like jesus Marx realized men are sheep, unlike jesus Marx tried to free them.
As to your other delusion the founding fathers were not christians but deist, you should pick up the Jefferson bible.
sheep......

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks, I understand busy. I meant to be more sarcastic, but your acknowledgement of my superiority on this subject is appreciated. Take that as a joke. Your statement "a black man running for president is the one thing that would galvanize the evangelical base of the Republican party," is condescending on multiple layers. Assuming ones religion makes them a racists and a republican, where did you learn this? I can not figure out if it is worse to be a racists or be someone that accuses someone of being a racists without reason. Will return.

Jon said...

Damion, Not surprised to see you here. I am sure the same the goes for you. Again, read what I write. I did not equate Hitler to Marx. I stated that they both had pie in the sky dreams. One wanted a socialist society and the other wanted to rid the world of a religious group. (Radical terrorist muslims and communism) Sorry my inferences went over your intellilect. I am quickly learning why you are so misguided in how you perceive things. You read past the obvious. Slow down and listen fully. You will learn more. I have posted two comments on the sheep post that will not post. I think the heat is to hot for the site. Do not worry I will try again later. Stay alive.

damion said...

jon, I love qouting you "I did not equate Hitler to Marx. I stated that they both had pie in the sky dreams. One wanted a socialist society and the other wanted to rid the world of a religious group. (Radical terrorist muslims and communism) Sorry my inferences went over your intellilect." (jon) Which one wanted a socialist society and which one wanted to rid the world of a religious group? do you know jon? jon, Marx wanted to rid the world of all religious groups not one. Hittler was a fascist jon not a socialist. jon do you belive a man can live in the belly of a whale? Its a simple question. jon do you believe in an ark that held mates of every living thing on this planet? Sheep....

damion said...

"It is a similar dream that men named Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx had.".(jon ) "Again, read what I write. I did not equate Hitler to Marx." (jon) jon the dreams where completely different absolutely nothing similar!! Marx had a dream of equality, people working together for the benefit of mankind much like the fantasy you call heaven. Hitler was a racist, who believed in world domination at the expense of any who got in his way. So going by your own words you did equate Hitler to Marx, not to worry I won't hold self-educated man to it!
sheep.....

Jon said...

Damion, I am enjoying our debate even though you continue to make attempts at insults. Do not take this as an insult but your comprehension level is giving me reason to doubt your reasoning. I never equated Hitler to Marx. You made my point very clear in your last post. The only inference was to them being dreamers. Which dream came true? How much did these dreams cost mankind. Let me try to spell it out to you. Read slowly and again if necessary so we may stay on point. We, as America, left our heads in the sand for to long prior to our forced entry in
WWII. The same thing happened in the nineties, which lead to 9/11. The countless number of oppressed Russians and Chinese are the results of Marxism. Marx's ideas look great on paper, but where do they lead.

damion said...

It is a similar dream that men named Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx had (jon)

Do you know what the word similar means? You attempted to equate and now you hide behind words, just like Clinton, it just depends on what the definition of "is" is, right jon? Or just like bush when he said "I never said Iraq had anything to do with 911" even though he used "Iraq" and "9-11" in the same sentence over and over.

The countless number of oppressed Russians and Chinese are the results of Marxism. Marx's ideas look great on paper, but where do they lead. (jon).

Let's talk about the untold number of deaths attributed to christ; the crusades, the inquisition, the burning of supposed witches. Inspiring hate towards any who disagree. You are part of a religion that has caused more death and misery than Stalin (stalin was a soviet leader, by the way) and Hitler combined!

And you still have not answered my question; do you believe a man can live in the belly of a whale? This question is important because it will help me gauge your grasp on reality. Everyone in the office is eager to hear your answer!

Sheep...

Jon said...

Damion, I give. I think you and your friends in the office have convinced me to your way of thinking. Again your comprehension level needs to be elevated. I said. "...some pie in sky dream. It (being a dream- a wishful thought, not in the realm of possibility) is a similar dream that men named...". Do you have the point yet. Ill conceived ideas for the betterment of mankind and how these dreams have wrecked havoc since their inception.

Like I a stated earlier I responded twice before lunch to your question on Jonah. Jonah did not live in the belly of a whale for one day or several years. Jonah lived in the belly of an appointed fish for three days and three nights. You know God created the entire universe. Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. You should google this story again. While we are on this subject, do you know why Jonah was swallowed by a fish and lived to tell about? Jonah was running from God. Not running like yourself, but he was still running. God's grace is why Jonah lived to tell the story. Do you want a similar story in modern times to stop you from running? The sailors on the ship knew the storm was from the hand of God and tossed Jonah from the ship to calm the sea, and it did. Be safe through the night. Can you guess where I will be at 9:30 in the morning if I live through the night?

damion said...

Marx's ideas look great on paper, but where do they lead. (jon).

Christian principles look horrible on paper and look what they've done. 800 years of pestilence, cultural retardation, mutilation of sexual organs. Not to mention the requirement that you believe a man can live in the belly of a whale. Thank man for The Enlightenment!! jon, do you believe that a man can live in the belly of a whale?
sheep.....

damion said...

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later.(jon)

Thank you jon, this has been a good laugh!! Once again you have confirmed my belief that religious people can not distinguish between reality and fantasy. Best of all you have done it publicly!!! I hope you realize you do more to hurt your cause by speaking. If you'd kept quiet, nobody would know how ignorant you faith is!! Don't forget 9:30 is churchin time baaaaaaaaaa.......

Jon said...

Damion, Are you through? I publicly profess my belief in God daily in the way I live my life. If you worked or lived around anyone that truly believed, you would see a difference in the way that person lives. I am more than aware that peopled have used the name of Jesus Christ and God to do harm throughout history. Do you think you live a perfect life? Not through God's eyes, but just through the minds of humans. No one is perfect. All humans justify everything they do. You have spent some time trying to justify the nonexistence of God. Why is this? The struggle you have in your inner being has caused this justification.

Have you ever known a person that lived a life of without regard? These lives are short or spent in prison.

I know you think you have proven something with me, and maybe you did laugh out loud. Has this made you a better person today? You have not hurt me with any of your insults.

I have one question for you today. Do you believe nothing collided with nothing and billions of years later we have a universe that works perfectly? The only thing in this universe that does not work perfectly is us. Headed to worship. Catch you this evening, hopefully.

damion said...

jon everything you believe in is a fraud, a copy of religions before it. If you did any research you would see this for yourself, thats why you are part of the 95% you accept at face value. I had a great question once thrown at me, why is it that you find the most liberal and atheistic among scientists. Well the answer to that question is simple they are the most educated. On the flip side you see just the opposite in the pews of any church you go to. The ten commandments a copy of Hamarubi's code, a virgin birth why thats Horace he also had a new star. You won't research this though it scares you, I've read the bible two or three times, the old testament, and several other books of the bible which were baned by a pagan emperor of Rome. Now here is how you will respond my faith blah, blah, blah, running from god and someday you will know. So do a little research on few of the items above and get back to me.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon)

And you don't think you are a sheep?

damion said...

P.S you need a disclaimer just in case somebody thinks you know what your saying. So after every post I feel it my responsibility to add it!


Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon)

damion said...

I have one question for you today. Do you believe nothing collided with nothing and billions of years later we have a universe that works perfectly? jon.

What Happened Before The Big Bang?

ScienceDaily (Jul. 3, 2007) — New discoveries have been made about another universe whose collapse appears to have given birth to the one we live in today. They will be announced in the early on-line edition of the journal Nature Physics on 1 July 2007 and will be published in the August 2007 issue of the journal's print edition. "My paper introduces a new mathematical model that we can use to derive new details about the properties of a quantum state as it travels through the Big Bounce, which replaces the classical idea of a Big Bang as the beginning of our universe," said Martin Bojowald, assistant professor of physics at Penn State. Bojowald's research also suggests that, although it is possible to learn about many properties of the earlier universe, we always will be uncertain about some of these properties because his calculations reveal a "cosmic forgetfulness" that results from the extreme quantum forces during the Big Bounce.

jon don't you just love science!

damion said...

Hey jon, maybe you can ask some of the christian blogs to allow me to speak. Tell me where is the fear if they are right. It's all about control jon, because when people are denied information how can they make an informed choice. Every christian blog I attempt to post on is denied . jon my goal is to free you from this man made religion called christianity, but in order for this to work you need to do the research. Just like all the great cons in history you first have to realizing you are being coned before you can do anything about it . Why do I feel the need to do this? For the same reason we confront witch doctor's who say they can heal with magic, for that same reason we put christians in jail when they deny their children medical treatment because they believed god will heal them. It's by confronting ignorance head that we improve our society . Just like when one sees a fire they rush to stomp it out before it spreads and destroys everything around it. We have come a long way as a species, and slowly the number of gods has decreased with the development of our intellect and our understanding of how the natural universe works. And here it is my favorite jonism


Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the christian


you still don't think your a sheep?!!

Jon said...

Damion, Glad you made it through the night. Why is it you refuse to answer my question? I have answered yours. Should I infer that you believe a physics professor's mathematical model proves a newly discovered justification for your existence? I think those global warming theories were based on mathematical models. There has to be a new excuse because science has had to admit nothing comes from nothing. It would be the law of biogenesis. I need your help. Hurry, google something. Like the code of hammurabi. Do not have much time. Be safe. Time is of the essence.

Damion, as far as Christian Blogs, watch your language and you might have a better chance. I saw where you blogged f--- every religion or god or something. My skin is thicker than most. Like I stated earlier I have been there. If Damion is really your name, you might want to use something not associated with evil. Not trying to insult in any way with that. Just the truth.

damion said...

Damion is my name and I have never cussed on a christian blog it's fear. Their is something about shinning a light in to a dark place that makes the cock roaches run. Unlike Heathers blog she has no fear so why censor. Besides you can say fuck evolution and it does not bother me, I say fuck christ and people start to cry. And once again you have demonstrate your ignorance, my name is evil?! Please keep talking!! And why are you afraid to look at the things I have provided you with please google. And until than I'll assume you agree that you worship Horace and live your life by a Babylonian code. I do apologize that you don't understand math, seeing that everything is based on numbers

Should I infer that you believe a physics professor's mathematical model proves a newly discovered justification for your existence? I think those global warming theories were based on mathematical models.

By the way the global warming models were based on computer simulations, not finite numbers, besides you have lost the right to comment on anything science related.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the christian

damion said...

Should I infer that you believe a physics professor's mathematical model proves a newly discovered justification for your existence? jon the Babylonian

I'll take his educated word over a book that I says a man can live in the belly of a fish......

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the Babylonian

damion said...

P.S. only a fool would say that there is no global warming over the last decade, what is open to debate is why.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the Babylonian

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,

I have never gotten a comment through on ANY Christian blog.

I have never used a swear word in a comment.

"Annastasia" cannot possibly be construed as an "evil" name.

The problem, Jon, is that I question faith, and the moderators cannot allow their sheep to be exposed to questions (especially when the questions are logical).



Take this question as an example.


Just click, Jon. It's pretty simple.

damion,

Thanks for handling the comments for me. I've been busy. It's been an amusing read, though.

Oh, and
the Global Warming debate is a good read also, Jon.

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

Glad to hear you are enjoying Damion and I. I have never commented on a Christian Blog. In fact, I have never commented on a blog before I found yours. Some Christians may find debate with atheists as flirting with evil, I am sound enough in my faith with thick enough skin to stand on principle.

I checked your comments on Adam and Eve. Two issues. One you can not pick individual verses to prove inconsistencies in God's word. The other. Please use a translation that does not take some much liberty. That said. Let us view Genesis 2:9

"And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die." Where does this verse say you will die that day? I think your author took liberties.

Genesis 3:22 "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:"

Behold translates to "Oh no." Man had the opportunity to eat of this tree and live forever until he ate of the tree of knowledge. Do you know that God will plant the tree of life again. One should find it unusual that this tree is mentioned at the beginning and end of the Bible.

I find it somewhat discouraging that you picked a side in this debate without pointing out to Damion that I never stated Global Warming was fact or fiction. I hope Damion read your past posting.

Having fun trying to enlighten.

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,
First off, I didn't pick sides on the global warming issue. You and Damion seem to nearly agree on that one, so I linked you to a past debate on the issue.

Okay, Genesis: The italics are MY translation. I put the verses for reference to the actual text.

...I'm... I'm at a complete loss here Jon.

First you quote the actual text:

for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die

And then you ask:

Where does this verse say you will die that day?

How can I possibly reason with a person who can't read "that day" from "in the day that"

Are you a drinker, Jon?

damion said...

jon's disclaimer:

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Jon ( or whatever Damion call me) said...

Damion, Look I do not have a Christian Blog. I told you I was not trying to insult your name. You may be to young to remember a movie a few years back where a young child named Damion was portrayed to be the anti-christ. Sorry if that makes you happy. I do not have any additional advice for you to achieve your goal of insulting every Christian on the earth.

I am not going to give up on you Damion. Tomorrow is not promised to me. If you have read the Bible through then you know the road to salvation. When the time time comes and you finally quit running take up those verses and free yourself. There is only one unpardonable sin.

Are you going to answer my question? Do you believe nothing ran into nothing and this started the universe? Or do you know believe another universe collapsed and the ensuing bounce started our universe?

In most debates, the first person throwing insults is on the run. However, in this debate you are running from something much larger than I. You are just dancing with me. Answer the question. Nothing and nothing made something. Please answer your supporters are waiting.

Stay on point. Like your attempted argument with me on global warming. I never implied, in any way, global warming had not occurred, but while we are on that point it occurred between 1979 and 1998 this time. I could be wrong on these dates.

This question is sincere. Are you physically and mentally sound enough for this debate without harming yourself or someone else?

Damion, I make you this promise. I will not give up on you.

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

Please, "shalt surely die" means some time in the future. Because of your sarcasm. Is Adam still alive on the earth?

Not a drinker anymore, but I do have the ability to comprehend when I read.

Read my post once again. I stated you picked sides. (without reference to what topic) You should have referred Damion to your Global Warming comments. You picked sides by thanking Damion during your absence, and "its pretty simple."

Never worry. I am a big boy.

damion said...

Jon ( or whatever Damion call me) said...

It's pretty easy to cut and paste if you can't remember what I called you.

Here, let me show you:

jon the mystic

I do not have any additional advice for you to achieve your goal of insulting every christian on the earth. (jon)

You're on to something there, jon! You've given me a higher calling! My life's goal will now be to insult every christian, muslim, bhuddist, hindu, zoroastrian, wiccan, jew, and satanist that's ever walked the earth.

But I'll keep it simple and start with you...

Are you going to answer my question? Do you believe nothing ran into nothing and this started the universe? Or do you know believe another universe[jon, it's difficult to have a conversation with an alcoholic] collapsed and the ensuing bounce started our universe?(jon)

Unlike religious sheep, I don't pretend to know (or convince myself that I know) the origin of the universe. the unknown doesn't scare me. I sleep well at night.

I do know that there is a RATIONAL explanation for how everything came to be (or came to be organized in the way we know it at this moment); and humankind, science willing, will one day find the answers to all those questions.

But first, we have to beat morons like you back into the dark ages where you belong.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

I still laugh every time I cut and paste that quote.

Damion, I make you this promise. I will not give up on you.(jon)

Me neither, jon. me neither.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Heather Annastasia said...

This is cool, we're all here at once.

Anyway:

"shalt surely die" means some time in the future(jon)

*sigh*

Yeah, Jon, "Some time in the future" is referring to when the fruit is eaten!

In the day that you eat the fruit; you will die.

In the day, Jon.

How are you not grasping this? Are you so afraid that you've been lied to all your life, that you are unwilling to grasp a simple sentence like, "for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die"?

I just fail to see how I could have a logical conversation with you.

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

"In the day you eat the fruit; you will die." The purpose of the semicolon is what. "You will die" specifies a time?

Let us try it this way. If you jump in front of a car, you will die. Will I die on impact, on the street, in the ambulance, at the hospital, or at some other undetermined time.

Please, you have to be better than this.

Hurry I am getting sleepy.

Jon said...

Damion,

So unlike religious sheep, you come from a herd of atheist sheep. You have the numbers now. You should feel safe.

Thanks for finally answering the question. You know we exist, but there is no rational explanations for our existence. There is no rational explanation to you and your herd. Many actual scientist have dis proven every attempt to prove a so called rational explanation for our existence. These attempts have been a waste of many unfulfilled lives. Is this what you want at the end of your life? A life spent trying to prove a rational explanation in your own eyes. You think there could be a reason for this. If being a Christian was rational to every person, would we have free will?

Let's see. I am retarded, home schooled, self educated, a moron from the dark ages, and now an alcoholic without reason. Not to mention a mystic from Babylonia that worships Horace. Yet somehow I comprehend plain English and know you shalt not find the intricate detail of this universe.

Trying to enlighten. Be safe.

Heather Annastasia said...

Let us try it this way. If you jump in front of a car, you will die. Will I die on impact, on the street, in the ambulance, at the hospital, or at some other undetermined time.

Right, but if I say, "In the day thou art hit therof; thou shalt surely die," I have SPECIFIED A TIME!

In the day, Jon.

That's pretty specific.

damion said...

You know we exist, but there is no rational explanations for our existence. jon the mystic

jon their is a rational explanation, but somebody who does not understand basic sentence structure would find it difficult to understand.

In the day thou art hit therof; thou shalt surely die.

Yet somehow I comprehend plain English and know you shalt not find the intricate detail of this universe. jon the mystic

jon, you do not comprehend plain english allow me to demonstrate.

It is a similar dream that men named Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx had.".(jon the mystic

Than you go on to say.

read what I write. I did not equate Hitler to Marx." (jon the mystic

jon only someone with no education would say. You really could have an argument with yourself!

Many actual scientist have dis proven every attempt to prove a so called rational explanation for our existence. jon the mystic

Did you know jon that foundation for everything we know about biology is based on evolution? Of course not I quote.

These attempts have been a waste of many unfulfilled lives.jon the mystic

lets make a list of some of the unfulfilled lives,
Charles Darwin
Stephen Jay Gould
Richard Leaky
Einstein


Why should I expect you to have a basic understanding of science, to sum it up in your words.

Let's see. I am retarded, home schooled, self educated, a moron from the dark ages, and now an alcoholic without reason.jon the mystic

jon you are right only a moron would say the things that you say!! And only a moron honestly believes and I will quote.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

jon read that quote now look in the mirror.

damion said...

If Damion is really your name, you might want to use something not associated with evil.jon the mystic

jon, only a moron would associate a name with evil. If the shoe fits...

.Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic,

anonymous said...

Damion I'm enjoying this blog I am a recovering Christian my parents were pretty hard core! I wasn't allowed to watch t.v. or go to a normal school as a child. People like Jon have no idea the havoc and pain they cause. Jon I respect your right to believe in whatever you want, but please keep it to yourself. You do this country and ultimately yourself a disservice every time you go to vote!

damion said...

Human thoughts and emotions emerge from exceedingly complex interconnections of physical entities within the brain. An atheist in this sense of philosophical naturalist is somebody who believes there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world, no supernatural creative intelligence lurking behind the observable universe, no soul that outlasts the body and no miracles - except in the sense of natural phenomena that we don't yet understand. If there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural. As ever when we unweave a rainbow, it will not become less wonderful. Richard Dwakins The God Delusion

Thank you Anonymous thats why I post.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic,

Thank god i'm not jon! said...

The thing that gets me the most is why worship a god that hates you and denies you knowledge and life?

Oh no, man has eaten from the tree of knowledge and now he knows good and evil as we do. Now we have to kick him out of the garden before he eats from the tree of life and lives forever, too. (Gen. 3:22)

I like the serpent he doesn't lie!

anonymous said...

Atheism would appear to be one of the last minorities it is acceptable to openly discriminate against, right along with homosexuals. Atheists are not allowed to hold public office in four states. While campaigning for the presidency, George Bush stated and later reaffirmed that he did not believe atheists could possibly be patriotic and should not be citizens.

The Boy Scouts of America refuse to accept atheists in its ranks, asserting that they cannot possibly grow up into the best possible citizens. Good Christians on the Religious Right proclaim that a conspiracy of atheists and secular humanists is trying to take over this country and brainwash the children — despite our small numbers! Atheism itself is generally ignored in politics and in the media.

One obvious problem which people will have with atheism is that it is fundamentally subversive.Atheism often involves questioning, doubting, and refusing to accept claims for which there is no good evidence — but which have an honored place in culture and which are widely accepted.

Those in power cannot easily tolerate such unrestricted doubting. If people will go about questioning the principles underlying religious belief, how will they be kept from questioning the principles underlying common political or social policies? In a free country such as ours, however, we should not be tempted to accept the idea that certain beliefs, political or religious, should be off-limits to doubt or questioning.

Another clear problem which people will have with atheism is that religious belief is deeply ingrained in our society. Even those who do not explicitly adopt religious doctrine will refrain from criticizing it too harshly. Religion is very comforting to people, offering them hope and respite when they see no other possibilities. People cling to this hope so strongly that, unfortunately, they grow hostile when that hope is questioned. What a truly weak hope their religion must be if it cannot stand against the doubt of another.

As an atheist, I am very thankful that I live in a country that attempts to promote not only freedom of religion but freedom from religion. To live free, I must be able to live without the government imposing upon my conscience or beliefs. I must be able to choose to live without a belief in gods and without having someone else’s religion imposed upon me through my government.

For those who are hoping to try and convert me, you should prepare in advance and have some very good reasons ready. I suggest, however, that you spend some time reading and considering some of the critiques I have written concerning common arguments for the existence of God — any reasons you wish to offer me for believing in God should take those critiques into account if you actually want me to take you seriously. Austin Cline

Chris said...

I strongly recommend Richard Dawkins web site.

nevermind said...

atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell!

God wants us to be like sheep and submit to His will because no amount of scientific discovery will ever allow us to know as much as God.

The problems occur when everyone tries to think for themselves, even though very few people actually know what's going on.

Take this war as an example. Sure, we can disprove all of the reasons Bush and Cheney gave for the war, but we can't know all the relevant justifications because they are a matter of national security. We must trust that the government has a reason for going to war and support our country no matter what.

When you have so many different sheep leading others away from the herd, everyone is put in danger.

There is safety in unity!

damion said...

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Another moron from the dark ages has arisen. Lets listen to the guy who says you can live in the belly of a fish, he knows whats going on!

damion said...

Hey Nevermind or should I say jon since you talk to god whats he want with are foreskin? Its got to be hard knowing you part of a dying cult!

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

damion said...

Take this war as an example. Sure, we can disprove all of the reasons Bush and Cheney gave for the war, but we can't know all the relevant justifications because they are a matter of national security. We must trust that the government has a reason for going to war and support our country no matter what.

Anyone who believes you can live in the belly of a fish does not have the mental ability to question anything!

To quote anonymous,

"People like Jon have no idea the havoc and pain they cause. Jon I respect your right to believe in whatever you want, but please keep it to yourself. You do this country and ultimately yourself a disservice every time you go to vote!

Are you done embarrassing yourself?

chris said...

I think Nevermind and Jon must live in Kentucky. I saw a bumper sticker that said," so many christians so few lions", that about sums it up for me.

nevermind said...

Damion,

I never said I believed a man could survive in the belly of a fish.

I believe in submitting to God's will.

God's will can be found in your heart and in your conscience.

I don't question the story of Jonah; the story is about submission to God. I think the giant fish is a metaphor.

damion said...

How Credible is God, Theism, When the Characteristics are Contradictory?

If theists are going to have any chance to get a skeptical, critical atheist to suddenly believe in some god, the first step must obviously be to have a coherent, understandable definition of the subject being debated. What is this "god" thing? When people use the word "god," what exactly are they trying to refer to "out there"? Without a coherent, understandable definition it will be impossible to discuss the matter in a substantive and sensible manner. We have to know what we are talking about before we can get anywhere in our conversation.

This, however, is a very difficult task for theists. It's not that they are lacking in labels and characteristics to attribute to their gods, it's just that so many of these characteristics contradict each other. To put it simply, not all of these characteristics can be true because one cancels out the other out or a combination of two (or more) leads to a logically impossible situation.When this happens, the definition is no longer coherent or understandable.

Now, if this were an unusual situation, it might not be such a big problem. Humans are fallible, after all, and so we should expect people to get things wrong some times. A few bad definitions could thus be dismissed as another example of people having trouble getting a difficult concept exactly right. It probably wouldn't be a good reason to dismiss the subject entirely.

The reality, however, is that this is not an unusual situation. Particularly with Christianity, the religion which most atheists in the West have to contend with, contradictory characteristics and incoherent definitions are the rule. They are so common, in fact, that it's a real surprise when anything like a straightforward and coherent definition shows up. Even a "less bad" definition is a welcome change of pace, given how many really bad definitions or explanations there are.

This shouldn't be a surprise when we are dealing with old religions that have developed in the context of multiple cultures. Christianity, for example, draws from both ancient Hebrew religion and ancient Greek philosophy to describe its god. Those two traditions are not really compatible and they are what generate the most contradictions in Christian theology.

Theists certainly recognize that there are problems, as demonstrated by the lengths to which they can go to smooth over the contradictions. If they didn't accept that these contradictions existed or were problematic, they wouldn't bother. To pick just one example of how far apologists will go, it's common to treat some of the "omni" characteristics (omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence) as if they weren't really "omni" at all. Thus omnipotence, which is supposed to be "all-powerful," or the ability to do anything, is weakened to something like "the ability to do anything within its nature."

Even if we set this aside, we are faced with further contradictions: not within a single definition, but between different definitions from different theists. Even adherents of the exact same religious tradition, like Christianity, will define their god in radically different ways. One Christian will define the Christian god as being so all-powerful that free will is nonexistent — who we are and what we do is entirely up to God (strict Calvinism) — while another Christian will define the Christian god as not all-powerful and who, in fact, is learning and developing alongside us (Process Theology). They can't both be right.

When we move beyond a single religious tradition and expand to related religions, like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, the differences grow exponentially. Muslims define their god as being so "other" and so unlike humanity that any attribution of human characteristics to this god is blasphemous. Christians, who ostensibly believe in the "same god," define their god with a multitude of anthropomorphic characteristics — even to the point where they think their god became incarnate as a human being at one point in time. They can't both be right.

Where does that leave us? Well, it doesn't prove that any of these religions or religious beliefs are definitely false. It also doesn't prove that no gods can or do exist. The existence of some sort of god and the truth of some religion is compatible with all of the things I describe above. As I noted, humans are fallible and it's not impossible that they have repeatedly and consistently failed to describe some god that exists (and is perhaps getting annoyed at the situation). The problem is that the gods with contradictory characteristics aren't the ones that can exist. If some god exists, it's not the one being described there.

Furthermore, among the religions and traditions with contradictory gods, not all of them can be right. At most, only one can be right and only of set of characteristics can be the true characteristics of a true god — at most. It is just as likely (and perhaps more so) that none are right and some other god with an entirely different set of characteristics exists. Or it may be that multiple gods with different characteristics exist.

Given all of this, do we have any good, sound, rational reasons to believe in any of these gods which theists keep promoting? No. Although these situations don't logically exclude the possibility of some sort of god, they make it impossible to rationally assent to these truth claims. It's not rational to believe in something with logically contradictory characteristics. It's not rational to believe in something defined one way when the allegedly same thing is defined in a contradictory manner by someone else down the street (why not join them instead?).

The most rational and sensible position is to simply withhold belief and remain an atheist. The existence of a god hasn't been demonstrated to be so important that we should try to believe absent sound empirical reasons. Even if the existence of god is really important, that's not a reason to reduce our standards; if anything, that's a reason to demand higher standards of evidence and logic. If we are being given arguments and evidence we wouldn't accept as justification to buy a house or a used car, we definitely shouldn't accept it as justification for adopting a religion

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

I think you brought the use of the semicolon. The King James version of the Bible does not use the semicolon, but if you insist on using it, proper English more than makes my point. Come on Heather, your writings are to polished for an argument on the use of the semicolon.

If you chose to argue the King James verse as it is written, why the word shalt? Why not you die? Why not you die immediately? As if you do not know, shalt means at some time in the future.

Please, you are way better than this.

If I have believed a lie for my entire life, why are you deceiving your readers with your translations? One of your readers (thank God i'm not jon) took your translation of "Oh no," as what God said. I could be wrong, but I do not think you stated these were your translations on the original blog. You used italics to imply these were the written text. You intentionally left Genesis 2:9 out. If you want everyone to be so well informed, please tell the truth. Deception and insults hurt your debate.

What, my dear Heather, does shalt mean?

damion said...

Read the blog jon.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Jon said...

Damion, You have a few things on me. One is time. The other is you found a grammatical error in my post. If you look hard, you will find more. My writing mistakes make me an alcoholic. What do your mistakes make you?

Do you have to see something with your own eyes to believe it happened? All of these people you have quoted, you believe everything they wrote because it proves what you want to be rational. Are you going to tell me that you yourself have a scientific law attached to your name? I guess you are working on that. You have taken books written by man and agreed upon by other men to be the absolute truth. If all the sheep agree upon something that makes it fact. Who taught you these facts? Oh, you learned them on your own. I am confused.

You stated the "foundation for everything we know about biology is based on evolution." Wow! Can I say it again? Wow! "Moron from the dark ages?" Do you want to rethink this one? Google or one of your other heroes has let you down. You know I have no friends on this site, but if you have just one friend reading these comments, he/she will help you here. You put a dent in your argument here. I am sure you will not admit to it, because you have never been wrong. Read what you wrote yourself. Albeit the sentence structure is a bit difficult for a drunk.

Your last posting was impressive. Impressively long. Is this your college dissertation? Are these your own thoughts? I am confused again. We have been debating for a few days now, and your posting are usually filled with my quotes or someone else's. Are these original thoughts from the man that professes the foundation of biology is from the theory of evolution. Biology, my friend, may be the basis for the evolution hoax.

I knew if you spouted long enough the real Damion would show his face. I told when you started insulting in the debate you were running. Make fun all you want. This statement would be checkmate for who is real and who is pretending.

By the way, who are you trying to convince that you sleep well at night?

See my friend you have made many attempts to twist my words, but you twisted your own words without my help. If you disappear to lick your self inflicted wound, I will be here to school you again.

It probably has more to do with maturity than Christianity. Or unfortunately it may be the other way around.

BE SAFE PLEASE

damion said...

My simple man,

Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology. It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it. One common mistake is believing that species can be arranged on an evolutionary ladder from bacteria through "lower" animals, to "higher" animals and, finally, up to man. Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology. Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. For example, Lodish, et. al., in their cell biology text, proclaim, "It was Charles Darwin's great insight that organisms are all related in a great chain of being..." In fact, the idea of a great chain of being, which traces to Linnaeus, was overturned by Darwin's idea of common descent.

Misunderstandings about evolution are damaging to the study of evolution and biology as a whole. People who have a general interest in science are likely to dismiss evolution as a soft science after absorbing the pop science nonsense that abounds. The impression of it being a soft science is reinforced when biologists in unrelated fields speculate publicly about evolution.

This is a brief introduction to evolutionary biology. I attempt to explain basics of the theory of evolution and correct many of the misconceptions.
What is Evolution?

Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.

The English moth, Biston betularia, is a frequently cited example of observed evolution. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In this moth there are two color morphs, light and dark. H. B. D. Kettlewell found that dark moths constituted less than 2% of the population prior to 1848. The frequency of the dark morph increased in the years following. By 1898, the 95% of the moths in Manchester and other highly industrialized areas were of the dark type. Their frequency was less in rural areas. The moth population changed from mostly light colored moths to mostly dark colored moths. The moths' color was primarily determined by a single gene. [gene: a hereditary unit] So, the change in frequency of dark colored moths represented a change in the gene pool. [gene pool: the set all of genes in a population] This change was, by definition, evolution.

The increase in relative abundance of the dark type was due to natural selection. The late eighteen hundreds was the time of England's industrial revolution. Soot from factories darkened the birch trees the moths landed on. Against a sooty background, birds could see the lighter colored moths better and ate more of them. As a result, more dark moths survived until reproductive age and left offspring. The greater number of offspring left by dark moths is what caused their increase in frequency. This is an example of natural selection.

Populations evolve. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In order to understand evolution, it is necessary to view populations as a collection of individuals, each harboring a different set of traits. A single organism is never typical of an entire population unless there is no variation within that population. Individual organisms do not evolve, they retain the same genes throughout their life. When a population is evolving, the ratio of different genetic types is changing -- each individual organism within a population does not change. For example, in the previous example, the frequency of black moths increased; the moths did not turn from light to gray to dark in concert. The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Genes mutate. [gene: a hereditary unit] Individuals are selected. Populations evolve.

Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution. The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution. Larger changes, such as when a new species is formed, are called macroevolution. Some biologists feel the mechanisms of macroevolution are different from those of microevolutionary change. Others think the distinction between the two is arbitrary -- macroevolution is cumulative microevolution.

The word evolution has a variety of meanings. The fact that all organisms are linked via descent to a common ancestor is often called evolution. The theory of how the first living organisms appeared is often called evolution. This should be called abiogenesis. And frequently, people use the word evolution when they really mean natural selection -- one of the many mechanisms of evolution.
Common Misconceptions about Evolution

Evolution can occur without morphological change; and morphological change can occur without evolution. Humans are larger now than in the recent past, a result of better diet and medicine. Phenotypic changes, like this, induced solely by changes in environment do not count as evolution because they are not heritable; in other words the change is not passed on to the organism's offspring. Phenotype is the morphological, physiological, biochemical, behavioral and other properties exhibited by a living organism. An organism's phenotype is determined by its genes and its environment. Most changes due to environment are fairly subtle, for example size differences. Large scale phenotypic changes are obviously due to genetic changes, and therefore are evolution.

Evolution is not progress. Populations simply adapt to their current surroundings. They do not necessarily become better in any absolute sense over time. A trait or strategy that is successful at one time may be unsuccessful at another. Paquin and Adams demonstrated this experimentally. They founded a yeast culture and maintained it for many generations. Occasionally, a mutation would arise that allowed its bearer to reproduce better than its contemporaries. These mutant strains would crowd out the formerly dominant strains. Samples of the most successful strains from the culture were taken at a variety of times. In later competition experiments, each strain would outcompete the immediately previously dominant type in a culture. However, some earlier isolates could outcompete strains that arose late in the experiment. Competitive ability of a strain was always better than its previous type, but competitiveness in a general sense was not increasing. Any organism's success depends on the behavior of its contemporaries. For most traits or behaviors there is likely no optimal design or strategy, only contingent ones. Evolution can be like a game of paper/scissors/rock.

Organisms are not passive targets of their environment. Each species modifies its own environment. At the least, organisms remove nutrients from and add waste to their surroundings. Often, waste products benefit other species. Animal dung is fertilizer for plants. Conversely, the oxygen we breathe is a waste product of plants. Species do not simply change to fit their environment; they modify their environment to suit them as well. Beavers build a dam to create a pond suitable to sustain them and raise young. Alternately, when the environment changes, species can migrate to suitable climes or seek out microenvironments to which they are adapted.
Genetic Variation

Evolution requires genetic variation. If there were no dark moths, the population could not have evolved from mostly light to mostly dark. In order for continuing evolution there must be mechanisms to increase or create genetic variation and mechanisms to decrease it. Mutation is a change in a gene. These changes are the source of new genetic variation. Natural selection operates on this variation.

Genetic variation has two components: allelic diversity and non- random associations of alleles. Alleles are different versions of the same gene. For example, humans can have A, B or O alleles that determine one aspect of their blood type. Most animals, including humans, are diploid -- they contain two alleles for every gene at every locus, one inherited from their mother and one inherited from their father. Locus is the location of a gene on a chromosome. Humans can be AA, AB, AO, BB, BO or OO at the blood group locus. If the two alleles at a locus are the same type (for instance two A alleles) the individual would be called homozygous. An individual with two different alleles at a locus (for example, an AB individual) is called heterozygous. At any locus there can be many different alleles in a population, more alleles than any single organism can possess. For example, no single human can have an A, B and an O allele.

Considerable variation is present in natural populations. At 45 percent of loci in plants there is more than one allele in the gene pool. [allele: alternate version of a gene (created by mutation)] Any given plant is likely to be heterozygous at about 15 percent of its loci. Levels of genetic variation in animals range from roughly 15% of loci having more than one allele (polymorphic) in birds, to over 50% of loci being polymorphic in insects. Mammals and reptiles are polymorphic at about 20% of their loci - - amphibians and fish are polymorphic at around 30% of their loci. In most populations, there are enough loci and enough different alleles that every individual, identical twins excepted, has a unique combination of alleles.

Linkage disequilibrium is a measure of association between alleles of two different genes. [allele: alternate version of a gene] If two alleles were found together in organisms more often than would be expected, the alleles are in linkage disequilibrium. If there two loci in an organism (A and B) and two alleles at each of these loci (A1, A2, B1 and B2) linkage disequilibrium (D) is calculated as D = f(A1B1) * f(A2B2) - f(A1B2) * f(A2B1) (where f(X) is the frequency of X in the population). [Loci (plural of locus): location of a gene on a chromosome] D varies between -1/4 and 1/4; the greater the deviation from zero, the greater the linkage. The sign is simply a consequence of how the alleles are numbered. Linkage disequilibrium can be the result of physical proximity of the genes. Or, it can be maintained by natural selection if some combinations of alleles work better as a team.

Natural selection maintains the linkage disequilibrium between color and pattern alleles in Papilio memnon. [linkage disequilibrium: association between alleles at different loci] In this moth species, there is a gene that determines wing morphology. One allele at this locus leads to a moth that has a tail; the other allele codes for a untailed moth. There is another gene that determines if the wing is brightly or darkly colored. There are thus four possible types of moths: brightly colored moths with and without tails, and dark moths with and without tails. All four can be produced when moths are brought into the lab and bred. However, only two of these types of moths are found in the wild: brightly colored moths with tails and darkly colored moths without tails. The non-random association is maintained by natural selection. Bright, tailed moths mimic the pattern of an unpalatable species. The dark morph is cryptic. The other two combinations are neither mimetic nor cryptic and are quickly eaten by birds.

Assortative mating causes a non-random distribution of alleles at a single locus. [locus: location of a gene on a chromosome] If there are two alleles (A and a) at a locus with frequencies p and q, the frequency of the three possible genotypes (AA, Aa and aa) will be p2, 2pq and q2, respectively. For example, if the frequency of A is 0.9 and the frequency of a is 0.1, the frequencies of AA, Aa and aa individuals are: 0.81, 0.18 and 0.01. This distribution is called the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.

Non-random mating results in a deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg distribution. Humans mate assortatively according to race; we are more likely to mate with someone of own race than another. In populations that mate this way, fewer heterozygotes are found than would be predicted under random mating. [heterozygote: an organism that has two different alleles at a locus] A decrease in heterozygotes can be the result of mate choice, or simply the result of population subdivision. Most organisms have a limited dispersal capability, so their mate will be chosen from the local population.


Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,

I think it's pretty funny that your complete lack of a logical argument has forced you to squabble over semicolons and italics.

First, I assume that any reader hanging out on my blog is intelligent enough to know a paraphrase from a quote (I mean, really, where in the BIBLE would GOD say, "oh no"? Use your brain).

Second, I used italics to differentiate the the narrative from what the characters are saying, thereby avoiding the use of quotation marks since I was paraphrasing, NOT QUOTING.

And because I wanted anyone to be able to read the passage for themselves, I included a reference to each verse I was paraphrasing.

I didn't include Genesis 2:9 because it wasn't a verse I paraphrased, and it didn't have anything to do with the point I was making.

On the issue of the word "shalt," let me ask you this: Had Adam already eaten of the fruit on the day that God made this statement?

No.

God is referring to a possible day in the future; the day that Adam eats the fruit. (please ignore the semicolon if it scares you; it's a harmless punctuation mark)

Now, do you have a logical point to make, or would you like to take issue with the size of the font I used in my post?

damion said...

Do you have to see something with your own eyes to believe it happened? jon the mystic


jon that is called empirical evidence. Only intellectual
infants and children don't require it.

All of these people you have quoted, you believe everything they wrote because it proves what you want to be rational.jon the mystic

I did not at first, It took years of study. The nice thing about science is that you have to prove what you say. We do that with experiments. jon have you ever tested the theory that a man can live in the belly of fish?

Are you going to tell me that you yourself have a scientific law attached to your name? I guess you are working on that. You have taken books written by man and agreed upon by other men to be the absolute truth.jon the mystic

jon, you get your information from a book put together by a pagan ruler of Rome.

If all the sheep agree upon something that makes it fact. Who taught you these facts? Oh, you learned them on your own. I am confused.jon the mystic

Once again jon unlike christians who are told to believe and shut up, science requires prof, evidence. And unlike chrisyians if you don't have any we tell you to get lost! Honestly jon your ignorance is amusing, what is even funnier is when you think you have made a point! Now jon I must go and speak, people pay me to hear what I have to say.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

nevermind said...

Annastasia,

I checked out the actual Bible verses as well as Ken Ham's site... I think I get what you're doing here.

Ken Ham says that the Bible must be read literally... all or nothing... so the Earth had to have been created in 6 actual days as opposed to people who say, "well, what's a day to God?"

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but I kept reading the Genesis passage, and even if we don't squabble over the words "day" or "shalt" or any other word, the meaning of the passage is pretty clear... the serpent told the truth.

What I can't understand is how we could be reading this for thousands of years without ever bothering to read it.

This has been difficult for me to digest, but I had an epiphany.

The devil is most devious when he is telling the truth!

Wouldn't you rather be living in the Garden of Eden under the watchful eyes of God and all his angels than struggling through every torturous day without so much as the light of God to show you the way?

damion said...

what is so amazing is that nevermind lives his life by a book put together by a pagan leader of Rome. You have been had!

This has been difficult for me to digest, but I had an epiphany.nevermind

What you had is not an epiphany, its a nagging doubt that everything you have come to believe is false! You and jon claim to worship the same god how is it that you cannot agree on basic stories of your cult? Allow me to explain again.

How Credible is God, Theism, When the Characteristics are Contradictory? If theists are going to have any chance to get a skeptical, critical atheist to suddenly believe in some god, the first step must obviously be to have a coherent, understandable definition of the subject being debated. What is this "god" thing? When people use the word "god," what exactly are they trying to refer to "out there"? Without a coherent, understandable definition it will be impossible to discuss the matter in a substantive and sensible manner. We have to know what we are talking about before we can get anywhere in our conversation.

This, however, is a very difficult task for theists. It's not that they are lacking in labels and characteristics to attribute to their gods, it's just that so many of these characteristics contradict each other. To put it simply, not all of these characteristics can be true because one cancels out the other out or a combination of two (or more) leads to a logically impossible situation.When this happens, the definition is no longer coherent or understandable.

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

damion said...

Ken Ham says that the Bible must be read literally... all or nothing... so the Earth had to have been created in 6 actual days as opposed to people who say, "well, what's a day to God?"

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but I kept reading the Genesis passage, and even if we don't squabble over the words "day" or "shalt" or any other word, the meaning of the passage is pretty clear... the serpent told the truth.
nevermind the rational mystic


Well according to this, the whole death and reserection is a metaphor. T think nevermind is closer to something than he or she would like to admit. The bible should be read in the same context one would read Greek Mythology. The real intrest of myths is that they lead us back to a time when the world was young and people had a connection with the earth there were spirits of the trees the rivers, the flowers and the hills. When the stories were being shaped, our species in its intellectual infancy made little distinction between the real and the unreal. The imagination was vividly alive and not checked by reason. The bible is nothing more than the great myth of our time!

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Heather Annastasia said...

Wouldn't you rather be living in the Garden of Eden under the watchful eyes of God and all his angels than struggling through every torturous day without so much as the light of God to show you the way? (nevermind)

The watchful eyes of a god who lies?

Who punishes his "children" for not believing his lie?

A god who implies to his most loyal follower, Abraham, that he must sacrifice his own child by burning him alive, and then says, "no, don't do it. I was just messing with you. You were really going to burn him, though! That was awesome!"

Yes, nevermind, I would rather struggle through life on my own terms than be the kept pet of a malicious higher being who orders his followers to kill, rape, pillage, cut off the foreskins of their children,

ok, I can go on and on about why I would rather fall than live in the grace of such a monstrous being, but the point is mute because the being is fictional.

These are just stories, and I don't twist my reality to fit them.

damion said...

Heather,
You shine a light where once there was darkness. Well put!

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You’re a professional writer and you said “the point is mute”?

First of all the word is “moot”, not “mute”.

Secondly the proper context for “moot” is to say that a point is debatable, that we could debate it all night long till the cows come home and never get anywhere. It does not mean, “it doesn’t matter”.

Jon said...

Hi Heather,

Ok, maybe I get it now. "These are just stories, and I don't twist my reality to fit them."
But it appears you twist these words so they fit your reality.

You know you attempted to prove God lied and the serpent told the truth. Read the postings on your site. Your sheep fell for it. It just so happens, you were called on your attempt by someone not so easily deceived.

If you had added Genesis 2:9 to your original blog your point would have lost some of its impact. This is why you left it out, or did you know it existed?

As far your use of punctuation marks, no fear. You just made my point easier with your use of the semicolon. For your sheep who do not understand. A semicolon represents an abrupt end to a thought and places two independent clauses together.

For you and your sheep lets visit this verse once more to clarify my concern of deception.

Shalt - reference to something
in the future

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt (in the future) not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt (in the future) surely die."

Your purpose of deception for the fall of others to unify your minority herd astounds me. In other words, you are falsifying your words to prove something you say is false to inform others falsely.

Humans must have some type of regard in their lives or there would be complete chaos. Look at your deception. You intended by using italics that you translation was the text. Lie to me or yourself. It is obvious your intent.

Knowing you are deceiver, how can I know believe anything you state as being truthful. It comes down to character and principle.

However, you can be forgiven.

One last thought for the night. Why are most women scared of snakes (serpents)?

Continuous Thorn

Anonymous said...

Wow, two people who both think they are right and people who disagree with them are wrong. How unique! Wait, did I say unique? I meant how just exactly like every human on the face of the planet. And also how typical to think their side is the side of critical thinking and everyone who disagrees with them has a sheep mentality.

Damien, one thing you need to wrap your noodle around is the thought that when you’re talking about supernatural beings such as God, you cannot use science, logic, or physics. They defy these things, its one of the perks of being a god. I have noticed that your arguments are practically all argumentum ad hominem, you are attempting to shame Jon into denying his religion by saying “if you believe X, then you are stupid and I will mock, ridicule, and laugh at you”. This form of attack never works on religious people for the simple reason that what you see as ridiculous, they see as perfectly possible when you’re talking about a supernatural being. Jon is absolutely correct in saying “why would I doubt a man could live in the belly of a fish (with gods help) when the same god created the entire universe”. If you think about it clearly you would see that it would actually be illogical for a person who believes that god created the universe but was now limited in what he can or cannot do by our understanding of the laws of nature.

Jon, you are using similar tactics when you state things like “if you vote for Hillary or obama you cannot be educated”. The inference is clear; if you don’t agree with me you’re stupid. This is a fallacious argument. 5 year old children use it everyday. When you equated being on the side of Hillary or Obama with being on the side of Hitler you’re trying to use attacks against the man. You are implying that any man who disagrees with you is a nazi and engenders all of the negative connotations that go along with that moniker in the hopes that people will be shamed into not disagreeing with you.

In the future I would encourage both of you to stop name-calling and play nicely with others.

Jon said...

To all of you,

Before you say I am drinking again.

Knowing you are deceiver, how can I know believe anything you state as being truthful. It comes down to character and principle.

Jump on the "..I know belive..."

I can take it.

Jon said...

Hello anonymous,

I made an inference to the lack education for Obama and Hillary supporters on the historical facts of where socialism leads. Both have socialist philosophies. I referenced Marx because of socialism and Hitler because his ideas to rid the world of a religious group. Plus we turned our heads for to long while his power grew. My reference to Hitler was meant to be a slam on Obama supporters for his relaxed attitude for the War on Terrorism.

I do believe paying no attention to these historical facts is stupid. Therefore, believing anyone who wants to have a socialist society is stupid, and being more stupid to be socialists
that turns his head to terrorists.

I am not claiming to be a professional writer. I am sure my words need polishing. Maybe with a heavy duty buffer.

It is hard to play nice with Damion.

damion said...

Dance my puppets. Dance!

Anonymous,

I see your point, but you're off the mark. I intend to rattle the cage.

Jon said...

Damion

Not much time for you tonight.

"Did you know jon that foundation for everything we know about biology is based on evolution?"

Are you today, conceding your mistake? "Everything we know about biology."

Damion your recent postings sound intelligent to others. How many definitions do you have for evolution? If it is micro, macro, natural selection, mutation, acquired characteristics, or bounded variations, why not explain yourself fully? You meant evolution in its general abstract.

Do you really think anyone believes people pay to hear you speak? Receiving a check for teaching eight grade science is not a speaking engagement.

You might have convinced me of this had you not been deceptive. See, this flaw hurts your character. A life without regard.

Believe it or not we are closer to things we share in common.

Wish I had more time.

Heather Annastasia said...

anonymous #1,

You're right about moot. When I'm writing professionally, I look things like that up before I publish. I had a gut feeling I was using that phrase wrong, but I didn't have time to look it up. I stand justifiably corrected. (Of course, there's no such thing as a error-free writer, which is why there are editors)

Jon,

There's nothing wrong with my use of the semicolon.

Anonymous #2,
In the future I would encourage both of you to stop name-calling and play nicely with others.(anon #2)

If you aren't going to pick a side or a name, why do you bother to comment? To argue the point that people shouldn't argue? And I suppose you think you're right and we're wrong? Because if you don't think you're right, than why bother telling us about it? And if you do think you're right, and you're trying to convince us of that, then you're arguing as well.

I can go sophist on you all night.

I am not trying to talk Jon out of being a Cristian, and I don't think Damion is either. (I think I'm a little more agnostic than Damion.)

It's about the dialog.

When Jon says something like "Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later." or Nevermind says, "atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell!" we get a really good insight into what these people are about.

Most people who say they believe in the Bible find it difficult to say they believe that Noah put two of every single animal on Earth on a boat and kept them from eating each other. Most religious people know they are violating rational thought when they tell their children that Moses parted the Red Sea, or that God created the Earth in 6 days.

People like Jon are too invested in the cult mentality to break free without an intervention. People like Nevermind are almost reachable, but find creative ways to wriggle out of rationality.

My comments to Jon are not for the benefit of Jon, but for the benefit of anyone reading who wants to unfetter their rational mind; who yearns to breathe free.

As for Jon and Damion playing nice; why should they? Each of them is coming here to argue because he wants to. No one is being forced or coerced into enduring insults. This is clearly what they want to do with their time, and I'm happy to have the traffic on my poor, neglected blog (I've just been too busy to write a new post).

Jon,
You know you attempted to prove God lied and the serpent told the truth.(jon)

Yeah... I don't recall denying that.

You're argument here just isn't making sense, Jon. It doesn't matter how I paraphrased it, the verses are right there in the book. Genesis 2:9 doesn't weaken the point at all, it just says that god made the garden and the trees in question. Like I told Anon #2, I'm arguing with you for the sake of reachable readers, so I'm not inclined to keep answering your same senseless point. Anyone who wants to read my answer read it the first time.

damion said...

Did you know jon that foundation for everything we know about biology is based on evolution?"

Are you today, conceding your mistake? "Everything we know about biology."jon the mystic


jon, once again I will provide you with an answerer, that I provided to you yesterday but your inability to follow an argument is stupefying! Once again your ignorance is only exceeded by your stupidity




Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology. It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it. One common mistake is believing that species can be arranged on an evolutionary ladder from bacteria through "lower" animals, to "higher" animals and, finally, up to man. Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology. Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. For example, Lodish, et. al., in their cell biology text, proclaim, "It was Charles Darwin's great insight that organisms are all related in a great chain of being..." In fact, the idea of a great chain of being, which traces to Linnaeus, was overturned by Darwin's idea of common descent.

Misunderstandings about evolution are damaging to the study of evolution and biology as a whole. People who have a general interest in science are likely to dismiss evolution as a soft science after absorbing the pop science nonsense that abounds. The impression of it being a soft science is reinforced when biologists in unrelated fields speculate publicly about evolution.

This is a brief introduction to evolutionary biology. I attempt to explain basics of the theory of evolution and correct many of the misconceptions.
What is Evolution?

Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.

The English moth, Biston betularia, is a frequently cited example of observed evolution. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In this moth there are two color morphs, light and dark. H. B. D. Kettlewell found that dark moths constituted less than 2% of the population prior to 1848. The frequency of the dark morph increased in the years following. By 1898, the 95% of the moths in Manchester and other highly industrialized areas were of the dark type. Their frequency was less in rural areas. The moth population changed from mostly light colored moths to mostly dark colored moths. The moths' color was primarily determined by a single gene. [gene: a hereditary unit] So, the change in frequency of dark colored moths represented a change in the gene pool. [gene pool: the set all of genes in a population] This change was, by definition, evolution.

The increase in relative abundance of the dark type was due to natural selection. The late eighteen hundreds was the time of England's industrial revolution. Soot from factories darkened the birch trees the moths landed on. Against a sooty background, birds could see the lighter colored moths better and ate more of them. As a result, more dark moths survived until reproductive age and left offspring. The greater number of offspring left by dark moths is what caused their increase in frequency. This is an example of natural selection.

Populations evolve. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In order to understand evolution, it is necessary to view populations as a collection of individuals, each harboring a different set of traits. A single organism is never typical of an entire population unless there is no variation within that population. Individual organisms do not evolve, they retain the same genes throughout their life. When a population is evolving, the ratio of different genetic types is changing -- each individual organism within a population does not change. For example, in the previous example, the frequency of black moths increased; the moths did not turn from light to gray to dark in concert. The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Genes mutate. [gene: a hereditary unit] Individuals are selected. Populations evolve.

Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution. The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution. Larger changes, such as when a new species is formed, are called macroevolution. Some biologists feel the mechanisms of macroevolution are different from those of microevolutionary change. Others think the distinction between the two is arbitrary -- macroevolution is cumulative microevolution.

The word evolution has a variety of meanings. The fact that all organisms are linked via descent to a common ancestor is often called evolution. The theory of how the first living organisms appeared is often called evolution. This should be called abiogenesis. And frequently, people use the word evolution when they really mean natural selection -- one of the many mechanisms of evolution.
Common Misconceptions about Evolution

Evolution can occur without morphological change; and morphological change can occur without evolution. Humans are larger now than in the recent past, a result of better diet and medicine. Phenotypic changes, like this, induced solely by changes in environment do not count as evolution because they are not heritable; in other words the change is not passed on to the organism's offspring. Phenotype is the morphological, physiological, biochemical, behavioral and other properties exhibited by a living organism. An organism's phenotype is determined by its genes and its environment. Most changes due to environment are fairly subtle, for example size differences. Large scale phenotypic changes are obviously due to genetic changes, and therefore are evolution.

Evolution is not progress. Populations simply adapt to their current surroundings. They do not necessarily become better in any absolute sense over time. A trait or strategy that is successful at one time may be unsuccessful at another. Paquin and Adams demonstrated this experimentally. They founded a yeast culture and maintained it for many generations. Occasionally, a mutation would arise that allowed its bearer to reproduce better than its contemporaries. These mutant strains would crowd out the formerly dominant strains. Samples of the most successful strains from the culture were taken at a variety of times. In later competition experiments, each strain would outcompete the immediately previously dominant type in a culture. However, some earlier isolates could outcompete strains that arose late in the experiment. Competitive ability of a strain was always better than its previous type, but competitiveness in a general sense was not increasing. Any organism's success depends on the behavior of its contemporaries. For most traits or behaviors there is likely no optimal design or strategy, only contingent ones. Evolution can be like a game of paper/scissors/rock.

Organisms are not passive targets of their environment. Each species modifies its own environment. At the least, organisms remove nutrients from and add waste to their surroundings. Often, waste products benefit other species. Animal dung is fertilizer for plants. Conversely, the oxygen we breathe is a waste product of plants. Species do not simply change to fit their environment; they modify their environment to suit them as well. Beavers build a dam to create a pond suitable to sustain them and raise young. Alternately, when the environment changes, species can migrate to suitable climes or seek out microenvironments to which they are adapted.
Genetic Variation

Evolution requires genetic variation. If there were no dark moths, the population could not have evolved from mostly light to mostly dark. In order for continuing evolution there must be mechanisms to increase or create genetic variation and mechanisms to decrease it. Mutation is a change in a gene. These changes are the source of new genetic variation. Natural selection operates on this variation.

Genetic variation has two components: allelic diversity and non- random associations of alleles. Alleles are different versions of the same gene. For example, humans can have A, B or O alleles that determine one aspect of their blood type. Most animals, including humans, are diploid -- they contain two alleles for every gene at every locus, one inherited from their mother and one inherited from their father. Locus is the location of a gene on a chromosome. Humans can be AA, AB, AO, BB, BO or OO at the blood group locus. If the two alleles at a locus are the same type (for instance two A alleles) the individual would be called homozygous. An individual with two different alleles at a locus (for example, an AB individual) is called heterozygous. At any locus there can be many different alleles in a population, more alleles than any single organism can possess. For example, no single human can have an A, B and an O allele.

Considerable variation is present in natural populations. At 45 percent of loci in plants there is more than one allele in the gene pool. [allele: alternate version of a gene (created by mutation)] Any given plant is likely to be heterozygous at about 15 percent of its loci. Levels of genetic variation in animals range from roughly 15% of loci having more than one allele (polymorphic) in birds, to over 50% of loci being polymorphic in insects. Mammals and reptiles are polymorphic at about 20% of their loci - - amphibians and fish are polymorphic at around 30% of their loci. In most populations, there are enough loci and enough different alleles that every individual, identical twins excepted, has a unique combination of alleles.

Linkage disequilibrium is a measure of association between alleles of two different genes. [allele: alternate version of a gene] If two alleles were found together in organisms more often than would be expected, the alleles are in linkage disequilibrium. If there two loci in an organism (A and B) and two alleles at each of these loci (A1, A2, B1 and B2) linkage disequilibrium (D) is calculated as D = f(A1B1) * f(A2B2) - f(A1B2) * f(A2B1) (where f(X) is the frequency of X in the population). [Loci (plural of locus): location of a gene on a chromosome] D varies between -1/4 and 1/4; the greater the deviation from zero, the greater the linkage. The sign is simply a consequence of how the alleles are numbered. Linkage disequilibrium can be the result of physical proximity of the genes. Or, it can be maintained by natural selection if some combinations of alleles work better as a team.

Natural selection maintains the linkage disequilibrium between color and pattern alleles in Papilio memnon. [linkage disequilibrium: association between alleles at different loci] In this moth species, there is a gene that determines wing morphology. One allele at this locus leads to a moth that has a tail; the other allele codes for a untailed moth. There is another gene that determines if the wing is brightly or darkly colored. There are thus four possible types of moths: brightly colored moths with and without tails, and dark moths with and without tails. All four can be produced when moths are brought into the lab and bred. However, only two of these types of moths are found in the wild: brightly colored moths with tails and darkly colored moths without tails. The non-random association is maintained by natural selection. Bright, tailed moths mimic the pattern of an unpalatable species. The dark morph is cryptic. The other two combinations are neither mimetic nor cryptic and are quickly eaten by birds.

Assortative mating causes a non-random distribution of alleles at a single locus. [locus: location of a gene on a chromosome] If there are two alleles (A and a) at a locus with frequencies p and q, the frequency of the three possible genotypes (AA, Aa and aa) will be p2, 2pq and q2, respectively. For example, if the frequency of A is 0.9 and the frequency of a is 0.1, the frequencies of AA, Aa and aa individuals are: 0.81, 0.18 and 0.01. This distribution is called the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.

Non-random mating results in a deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg distribution. Humans mate assortatively according to race; we are more likely to mate with someone of own race than another. In populations that mate this way, fewer heterozygotes are found than would be predicted under random mating. [heterozygote: an organism that has two different alleles at a locus] A decrease in heterozygotes can be the result of mate choice, or simply the result of population subdivision. Most organisms have a limited dispersal capability, so their mate will be chosen from the local population.

Wow, two people who both think they are right and people who disagree with them are wrong. How unique! Wait, did I say unique? I meant how just exactly like every human on the face of the planet. And also how typical to think their side is the side of critical thinking and everyone who disagrees with them has a sheep mentality.anonymous

Its easy to shot a gun from the bush's. Don't be an intellectual coward where do you stand, you strike me as a man in the belly of fish kind of guy.

Damien, one thing you need to wrap your noodle around is the thought that when you’re talking about supernatural beings such as God, you cannot use science, logic, or physics. They defy these things, its one of the perks of being a god.anonymous

Well according to this I might as well give up, I'll never make a point that jon will understand because he is so deluded by his religion. I disagree jon and most religious people have a brain, albeit slightly damaged ( I am not joking their is some interesting) research on this).

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Chris said...

I have a B.S. in biology. Jon, Damion was right on , evolution has turned biology on its head, as we discover new laws to how the universe works we overturn outdated ones. Evolution is essential to modern biology, granted Jon when barbers where surgeons it was not. Here is something that will help explain.

Evolution and Disease

When we mention the word “evolution” we often think of land mammals evolving into whales, ape-like creatures evolving into modern humans, or as some paleontologists propose, dinosaurs evolving into birds. That is, we think of changes that happened long ago in organisms. But evolution didn't just happen way-back-when. It happens today. What's more, it doesn't just happen to large animals. Evolution continues to happen to some of the smallest, simplest, and most primitive creatures on earth. Bacteria evolve and are evolving today. This can be both good and bad.

But before we can talk about why the evolution of bacteria is both good and bad, let's take a look at how evolution works. Evolution operates by what we call natural selection. Selection is something that farmers and animal breeders do to breed the best animals they can. For example, if a dog breeder wants to breed good sled dogs, he or she will select only the dogs that enjoy pulling sleds, and only allow those dogs to mate. This will ensure that the next generation of puppies will all enjoy pulling sleds. Likewise, a farmer will only breed those cows that produce lots of milk, ensuring that the next generation of cows will all give lots of milk as well.

Natural selection is similar, but it happens without the help of people. It is a result of two things: mutations and evolutionary pressures, and the next few paragraphs will help explain what these terms mean.

Each time an organism reproduces, its DNA is copied and passed along to the next generation. But the copying isn't always perfect, and changes occur whenever the DNA is copied. These changes are called mutations, and they happen at random. They happen every time an organism reproduces, so in a way we're all mutants.

Sometimes the mutations don't cause any change in the organism whatsoever. Other times, the mutation causes a harmful change in the organism. Still other times, the mutation causes a helpful change in the organism. For example, let's say two eagles have a brood of little baby eaglets. Let's suppose that due to a random mutation, one of the eaglets has poor eyesight. Since eagles need to see very well to fly and to hunt, this poor eagle may not survive long enough to reproduce. Now let's also suppose that another eaglet in the same brood has, due to a random mutation, better eyesight than any eagle has ever had. This eagle may be able to fly and hunt more effectively than all the other eagles around it. It may thrive and produce lots of offspring. After a few generations, the eagle with poor eyesight will have left few if any descendants, and the eagle with great eyesight will have left many descendants. So after a few generations, there will be lots of eagles with great eyesight, and few with poor eyesight. In fact, this is what we observe. Eagles have very good eyesight, and this is why we say a person who can see well has an “eagle eye.”

This is natural selection at work. The need to see well for flying and hunting is what we call an example of an evolutionary pressure. This evolutionary pressure “weeded out” the eagle that couldn't see well, and allowed only eagles with good vision to survive and reproduce. In the same way that farmers select only the animals with desirable traits, nature “selects” only those organisms with what it takes to survive.

Over time, the evolutionary pressures may change. For example, the climate of a place may change, or new predators or prey may be introduced to an environment. When this happens, the rules change, and what it takes to survive will change. Nature will begin to “select” for different traits. Then organisms will change and adapt, as the random mutations that are helpful in the new order of things become selected for. For example, if a lake dries up, a random mutation that allows a fish to survive out of water will be selected for, whereas it wouldn't have been before the lake dried up. Changes in the environment then lead to changes in organisms. This is why land mammals became whales, why early hominids became modern humans, and why dinosaurs may have evolved into birds.

But what about those little bacteria? What evolutionary pressures are there on bacteria to evolve? Antibiotics are one evolutionary pressure that humans are placing on bacteria. Antibiotics sometimes manage to only kill the more susceptible bacteria. The surviving bacteria survive because they can resist antibiotics. The surviving bacteria then reproduce, producing a new generation of bacteria, all of which are resistant to today's antibiotics. This is not good, because it makes infectious diseases harder to fight. (You can read more about this at Bugs Fighting Back: Basics of Bacterial Resistance.)

So we humans have actually made some bacteria tougher to kill by our attempts to fight them. But some scientists have wondered that if we can place evolutionary pressures on bacteria to make them tougher, could we also use evolutionary pressure to make bacteria less harmful? Many harmless bacteria are living in the bodies of every human being. Could we use evolutionary pressure to turn our most dreaded pathogens into equally harmless bacteria?

Some say it's possible. To see just how, let's look at a disease called cholera. Cholera is not a pleasant sickness to have. It causes massive diarrhea and vomiting, and this sometimes leads to death from dehydration. The bacterium that causes cholera, Vibrio cholerae, is spread by drinking contaminated water. Needless to say, cholera is found most often in places without modern water treatment and poor sanitation: the world's developing nations.

Recent research by Andrew Camilli and cowokers at Boston's Tufts University has shown that V. cholerae taken from the stools of cholera patients is hundreds of times more virulent that the V. cholerae cultured in the laboratory. The reasons for this are not known, but Camilli's team has found that there are at least ten genes that are inactive in laboratory-cultured V. cholerae, but are active and functioning in the V. cholerae grown inside the intestines of a mouse.

This means that scientists can try to design vaccines that work by inactivating some or all those ten genes somehow. But it also means that we can take another approach to fighting cholera. If V. cholerae becomes virulent in people's intestines, then it would be a good idea to keep V. cholerae out of people's intestines! How do we do this? The best way is with good water treatment to make sure that the water people drink doesn't have V. cholerae living in it, and to provide good sanitation, that is, flushing toilets and sewage treatment, so that the feces of people sick with cholera doesn't infect the drinking water supply.

This is not a new idea. In fact, it was used first in North America and western Europe in the late 1800s, and virtually wiped out cholera in the developed world. It's still considered the best way to fight cholera. But for decades, scientists thought we were only protecting ourselves by keeping the nasty V. cholerae out of our bodies when we cleaned up our drinking water. Now we are learning that in places where a clean water supply ensures that V. cholerae is kept out of people's intestines, the V. cholerae that lives in untreated water is in fact much less potent.

Have we applied an evolutionary pressure on V. cholerae to make it less virulent, simply by cleaning up our drinking water supply? Possibly, though we can't say for certain at this point. But it raises a question: If we can tame V. cholerae, what about other pathogens?

It might be possible. For example, some have speculated that promiscuity has allowed sexually tranmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS to become more deadly. If a person is monagomous, the disease is forced to keep the host alive for many years in order to spread. Meanwhile, if a person has many partners, the disease can kill its host quickly, as it will soon be spread to other hosts, the reasoning goes. If this speculation is correct, then monagomy would be one way of exerting an evolutionary pressure on a sexually transmitted microbe to become less virulent.

It may well be that the simple means of preventing disease that we've known about for years also may help make diseases less dangerous. While this facet of evolutionary science is still in its infancy, it does offer hope in our fight against disease. This is a battle we once thought was won, but now seems to be flaring up again thanks to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But the new emerging knowledge tells us something we've known for a long time: Antibiotics are just part of our defense against disease, and they must be used carefully and in conjunction with good disease prevention techniques to bring about long-term security from disease.

For more information, at other Web Sites...

The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) — official site with information for patients and health care professionals.

Charles F. Chandler — a biographical sketch, part of Chemical Achievers from the Chemical Heritage Foudnation.

Cholera Needs Guts to Survive — from Nature Science Update.

Evolution: A Journey into Where We're From and Where We're Going — companion site to the PBS series, featuring content on the evolution of antibiotic resistance under the heading “survival.”

The Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections — from FDA Consumer, September 1995, published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Thank god im not jon said...

Annastasia,
Let me help you better understand Jon and people like him. Religion and other forms of magical thinking continue to thrive, in spite of a lack of evidence and the advance of science, because people are naturally biased to accept a role for the irrational in their daily lives. This evolved credulity suggests that it will be impossible to root out belief in ideas such as creationism and paranormal phenomena, even though they have been refuted by evidence and are held as a matter of faith alone.People ultimately believe in them for the same reasons as they attach sentimental value to inanimate objects like wedding rings or teddy bears, and recoil from artefacts linked to evil, as if they are pervaded by a physical "essence". Even the most rational people behave in these irrational ways, and supernatural beliefs are part of the same continuum. I agree with anonymous Jon is a lost cause. Case in point Jon and his inability to see he is wrong about the serpent. Annastasia, If it was a real serpent it would have bit him by now. Religious people lack the ability to see the glaringly obvious, hence thats why they are still religious.

Enjoy said...

Scientists Draw Link
Between Morality
And Brain's Wiring
May 11, 2007

Most of us feel a rush of righteous certainty in the face of a moral challenge, an intuitive sense of right or wrong hard to ignore yet difficult to articulate.

A provocative medical experiment conducted recently by neuroscientists at Harvard, Caltech and the University of Southern California strongly suggests these impulsive convictions come not from conscious principles but from the brain trying to make its emotional judgment felt.

Using neurology patients to probe moral reasoning, the researchers for the first time drew a direct link between the neuroanatomy of emotion and moral judgment.

Knock out certain brain cells with an aneurysm or a tumor, they discovered, and while everything else may appear normal, the ability to think straight about some issues of right and wrong has been permanently skewed. "It tells us there is some neurobiological basis for morality," said Harvard philosophy student Liane Young, who helped to conceive the experiment

In particular, these people had injured an area that links emotion to cognition, located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex several inches behind the brow. The experiment underscores the pivotal part played by unconscious empathy and emotion in guiding decisions. "When that influence is missing," said USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, "pure reason is set free."

Bringing medical tools to bear on moral questions, cognitive scientists are invading the territory of philosophers, theologians and clerics.

Usually, the human brain is of two minds when it comes to morality -- selfish but self-sacrificing, survivalist yet altruistic, calculating but also compassionate. Many dilemmas force a choice between the lesser of two evils, invoking a clash of competing neural networks, said Harvard neuroscientist Joshua Greene. Intuition tempers rational deliberation, especially when our actions to help some people will harm others.

At this level of inquiry, the mind is a special effect generated by neurons. Trust is a measure of neuropeptide levels, while fairness is an electromagnetic pattern in the right prefrontal cortex. Disrupt it with a strong magnet, as did University of Zurich researchers in 2006, and any sense of fair-dealing fades away like a radio station subsumed by static.


SCIENCE JOURNAL FORUM

Is morality innate or learned? Join Robert Lee Hotz and other readers in a discussion.

Not everyone reasons through moral conundrums in the same way, of course. Decisions hinge on family values, cultural heritage, legal traditions and religious beliefs -- or on the kind of brain you can bring to bear on the problem.

At the University of Iowa Hospital, the researchers singled out six middle-age men and women who had injured the same neural network in the prefrontal cortex. On neuropsychological tests, they seemed normal. They were healthy, intelligent, talkative, yet also unkempt, not so easily embarrassed or so likely to feel guilty, explained lead study scientist Michael Koenigs at the National Institutes of Health. They had lived with the brain damage for years but seemed unaware that anything about them had changed.

To analyze their moral abilities, Dr. Koenigs and his colleagues used a diagnostic probe as old as Socrates -- leading questions: To save yourself and others, would you throw someone out of a lifeboat? Would you push someone off a bridge, smother a crying baby, or kill a hostage?

All told, they considered 50 hypothetical moral dilemmas. Their responses were essentially identical to those of neurology patients who had different brain injuries and to healthy volunteers, except when a situation demanded they take one life to save others. For most, the thought of killing an innocent prompts a visceral revulsion, no matter how many other lives weigh in the balance. But if your prefrontal cortex has been impaired in the same small way by stroke or surgery, you would feel no such compunction in sacrificing one life for the good of all. The six patients certainly felt none. Any moral inhibition, whether learned or hereditary, had lost its influence.

The effort to understand the biology of morality is far from academic, said Georgetown University law professor John Mikhail. The search for an ethical balance of harm is central to medical debates on vaccine safety, organ transplants and clinical drug trials. It colors political disputes over embryonic stem-cell research, capital punishment and abortion. It is the essence of much military strategy and the underlying logic of terrorism.

For Harvard neuroscientist Marc Hauser, the moral-dilemma experiment is evidence the brain may be hard-wired for morality. Most moral intuitions, he said, are unconscious, involuntary and universal. To test the idea, he gathered data from thousands of people in hundreds of countries, all of whom display a remarkable unanimity in their basic moral choices. A shared innate capacity for morality may be responsible, he concluded.

Many scientists think his theory needs more proof. Since no two brains are exactly alike, each brain's ability to perceive right and wrong might be unique. The world is a thicket of moral maxims we readily ignore. Even so, it would be curious if, in the neural substrates of morality, we find common ground.

Anonymous said...

Hello Heather,

For the record this is anonymous #1 and #2, (please, no defecation puns) and for clarity I will post as “anon #12”.

I am not arguing against arguing. I am arguing against using fallacious arguments. For example, argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad baculum (which Jon is using in the thinly veiled threats of death during the night), argumentum ad verecundiam, etc.

Damien, you were on the right track with the code of Hammurabi and making the case that the stories in the bible existed before the bible. You could have added that the entire Jesus legend existed before Jesus. It was contained in the Sibylline verses and the 4th eclogue of Virgil (who existed decades before Jesus). Everything right down to the virgin birth, the Son of God, children will love him, even the name Jesus. Its clear the apostles just did a cut and paste. Remember, these weren’t just nomadic Jews. The apostles were Hellenized Jews. They adopted the Greek culture since Alexander conquered that area 3 centuries earlier. They then became roman when the Romans became dominant around the time of the 2nd Punic war. They were fully versed in the Sibylline verses and the works of Virgil. Is this conclusive? No, but it is reasonable to make the assumption that the apostles embellished the Jesus story to fit an already established legend in Roman culture.

Full disclosure, I do not take a stand on the issue of god because I do not know one way or the other. Heather states, “you think you are right”, I know I am right in the fact that I do not know if god exists or not. I only speak for myself and allow for the possibility that there may be a god and he/she just doesn’t want to speak to me. I used to consider myself an agnostic. Then I read about Huxley and the origins of the word agnostic. I found out that Gnostics claimed to have innate knowledge of god and that the term agnostic was derived by adding the “a” to “Gnostic” which changed the meaning to “I don’t have knowledge of god”. This set very well with me until I read about the Gnostics. The knowledge that they claimed to have was the very same knowledge that led me away from the bible. It seems they were against the fantastic parts of the church teachings and were repulsed by the immoral issues. They argued that it is illogical to teach me not to murder and then tell me god ordered the murder of little children. They said you cannot claim that I know right from wrong and hold me responsible for wrong doing and then claim that it is right to cut little babies in half with swords (like they did in Deuteronomy). Either I know right from wrong or I don’t. If I do then it is wrong to kill children, in which case the bible is wrong. If it is sometimes okay to cut children in half with swords then I don’t know right from wrong and cant be held responsible for not knowing the difference. Therefore, if the Gnostics actually believed some of the things I believe perhaps I need a new term to describe myself. How about Aagnostic (I could pronounce it “double A nostic”). I also am able to separate debates on the existence of god from debates on the veracity of the bible. Bear in mind that most of these arguments are not about the existence of god but rather about the truth in the Bible.

Jon, it seems to me that right wing people constantly attempt to equate liberalism with socialism. You should remember that the English philosopher John Locke argued that government derives its authority to coerce citizens by guaranteeing the individual liberties of its citizens in his 2nd treatise on government, hence the term “liberalism”. He also argued the rights of private property. You should recall that before this time the King owned everything in his kingdom. Socialism was invented as a counterpoint to liberalism. Socialism argues that the government derives its authority by guaranteeing equality, especially in the ownership and control of goods and services. Socialism and Liberalism are diametrically opposed to each other.

Jon said...

Anonymous,

You may have entered this debate turned argument late. Let me catch you up on a few things. I described myself as being part of "the evangelical base of the republican party." I make no argument that the right wing of the republican party ties liberalism and socialism to the democratic party, but if you read my opening on "Hillary or Obama", I say nothing about liberalism. I propose the two have been tied not by the definition of political theories but by the actuality of being a liberal with socialistic ideology. Or should I say, I am opposed to anyone not bound by moral restraints who wishes to raise taxes and turn their back to terrorism being the leader of this country.

Jon said...

To those that understand logical argument,

My first statement to Heather was we probably will not make it to far.

Heather is a self proclaimed agnostic but she is trying to prove God does not exists. If you happen not to know what an agnostic believes, it is the belief of not knowing whether God exists and not pretending to know. Why would a logical thinking agnostic attempt to disprove God's existence? Unless, they are toiling within. If I could disprove God's existence, I could "breathe free."

Like Damion and all of his heroes from the past, science can not prove God does not exist. Truly intelligent people have spent there entire lives trying to disprove God's existence through scientific studies, and each has failed. There is today more scientific fact for intelligent design than any theory for the origin of the species. What should be an obvious insult to each of you is that a scientist uses the time line of an ancient Babylonian City's laws to currently base his argument that God does not exist.

I have proven logically that Heather made an attempt to deceive any one reading her blog. In her last posting she admitted it.

"Jon,
You know you attempted to prove God lied and the serpent told the truth.(jon)"

Yeah... I don't recall denying that.

If you say I proved nothing, read the verses and Heather's blog. Heather's verses are her translation.

Lessons from these verses:

1. The serpent lied. He told Eve
she would not die.

2. God told them not to eat of the
tree of knowledge while they
were allowed to eat of the tree
of life.

3. How could an author have such
foresight to know women would
be scared of snakes four
thousand years later?

If you can prove me wrong I will admit to it. To say that I am wrong because you believe I am wrong is not an argument or debate. Proof and truth, principle and character, people without regard will use what it takes to help their agenda.

For those who see right from wrong.

For those who do not see right from wrong, deception is wrong.

damion said...

If you can prove me wrong I will admit to it. To say that I am wrong because you believe I am wrong is not an argument or debate. Proof and truth, principle and character, people without regard will use what it takes to help their agenda.jon the mystic

jon, you have been proven wrong on everything!

The christian god is fraud. The fact remains, jon believes in a book put together by a PAGAN RULER OF ROME!!!! He didn't even believe in christ!!!! A book put together, by a man, to rule an empire! All the stories are stolen from other cultures. Why do not more christians know this? Because they are brain washed from cradle to grave! Hence jon's inability to see something as plain as day. It scares him, it challenges him to the very being he thinks he is. To recognize the very obvious for jon, would destroy all that jon holds dear! The problem with this is that jon votes based on his superstitions , and because of that he forces his delusion on the rest of the world. Because of jon a quarter of teenage girls now have some form of an STD........Think about that for a second...... Wher did I get this? Its called abstinence program, its the replacement for sex ed.
We use to show teenagers how to use condoms in class, now we do chastity pledges. Legislation from the pulpit at its best. jon you lack the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy. I believe you honestly believe that a man can live in the belly of a fish, but once you cross that threshold its a slippery slope.

Take Care, Sleep Well.

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

Thank god i'm not jon! said...

Jon the infected Dick! Ignorance spreads std's, Christians spread ignorance!

damion said...

There is today more scientific fact for intelligent design than any theory for the origin of the species, jonthe crazy mystc

jon, I knew you where a fucking idiot .

How could an author have such
foresight to know women would
be scared of snakes four
thousand years later?jon the crazy mystic


A sexist to! What about you does not come from the dark ages?

I'm not one for reading the Bible literally, but atheists should be discriminated against! God discriminates against them when he sends them to Hell! nevermind the rational mystic

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the crazy mystic

Heather Annastasia said...

Damion,

I'm not for censorship, but I do call the shots around here. Cool it with the "fucking idiot" talk. Most of the readers of this blog are intelligent enough to see for themselves if someone is saying something idiotic. You make a lot of sound, intelligent points and I appreciate your input here. You tarnish your own rationality and intellectual standing when you resort to name calling.

Jon,

I'm just not sure where to begin.

First of all, I never "proclaimed" myself an agnostic. I said that I think I'm a little more agnostic than Damion.

That is to say that I have not had enough experience with the universe to say for absolute certain that there exists no being high enough above humans to be qualified as a "god."

What I do not believe in, Jon, is your god.


Geneis 2:9 does not say that they can eat from the tree of life. It says that god made the garden and all the fruits to eat, then there is a semi-colon [For your sheep who do not understand. A semicolon represents an abrupt end to a thought and places two independent clauses together.(Jon)], and then it says that god made also made the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Now, god does say later that they can eat of all the fruits except from the tree of knowledge, but it's clear that they hadn't yet eaten from the tree of life if you look at Genesis 3:22. My point is that, as I said before, I didn't include Genesis 2:9 in my post because it was not relevant, not because I was trying to deceive anyone.

And anyway, all of this a distraction from the point I was originally making. In Gen. 3:5, the serpent says, "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." And then in Gen. 3:22, God says, ""Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever"

Even by your reading, Jon, god is only willing to allow Adam and Eve to live if they agree to be his ignorant little garden pets.

More later, gotta go.

damion said...

A completely spontaneous outbursts of Tourettes. Ill watch it.

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,

I'm a woman.

And I like snakes.

How could that be?

Hmmmm....

Could I be...

Satan?

chris said...

Judge rules against ‘intelligent design’
‘Religious alternative’ to evolution barred from public-school science classes
The Associated Press


HARRISBURG, Pa. - In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching “intelligent design” in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

The ruling was a major setback to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging battles in Georgia and Kansas. Intelligent design holds that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by some kind of higher force.

Jones decried the “breathtaking inanity” of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion.

A six-week trial over the issue yielded “overwhelming evidence” establishing that intelligent design “is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory,” said Jones, a Republican and a churchgoer appointed to the federal bench three years ago.

The school system said it will probably not appeal the ruling, because the members who backed intelligent design were ousted in November’s elections and replaced with a new slate opposed to the policy.

During the trial, the board argued that it was trying improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection.

The policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade lessons on evolution. The statement said Darwin’s theory is “not a fact” and has inexplicable “gaps.” It referred students to an intelligent-design textbook, “Of Pandas and People.”

But the judge said: “We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom.”

The disclaimer, he said, "singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere."

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require public schools to balance evolution lessons by teaching creationism.

Eric Rothschild, an attorney for the families who challenged the policy, called the ruling “a real vindication for the parents who had the courage to stand up and say there was something wrong in their school district.”

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which represented the school district and describes its mission as defending the religious freedom of Christians, said: “What this really looks like is an ad hominem attack on scientists who happen to believe in God.”

It was the latest chapter in a debate over the teaching of evolution dating back to the Scopes trial, in which Tennessee biology teacher John T. Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law against teaching evolution.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Georgia heard arguments over whether a suburban Atlanta school district had the right to put stickers on biology textbooks describing evolution as a theory, not fact. A federal judge last January ordered the stickers removed.

In November, state education officials in Kansas adopted new classroom science standards that call the theory of evolution into question.

President Bush also weighed in on the issue of intelligent design recently, saying schools should present the concept when teaching about the origins of life.

‘ID is not science’
In his ruling, Jones said that while intelligent design, or ID, arguments “may be true, a proposition on which the court takes no position, ID is not science.” Among other things, he said intelligent design “violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation”; it relies on “flawed and illogical” arguments; and its attacks on evolution “have been refuted by the scientific community.”

“The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources,” he wrote.

Jones wrote that he wasn’t saying the intelligent design concept shouldn’t be studied and discussed, saying its advocates “have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors.”

But, he wrote, “our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.”

The judge also said: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

Former school board member William Buckingham, who advanced the policy, said from his new home in Mount Airy, N.C., that he still feels the board did the right thing.

damion said...

jon, did you take your ball and go home? I haven't given up on you yet.

Jon said...

Damion,

You will not get off that easy. Do not worry I have not be offended. Like I have stated before, I have been in where you are. Not literally, but I have been through your struggle. The harder you try to disprove intelligent design; the harder it is for you and what was me to comprehend the infinite possibilities of where and how the universe began. The more you and we learn about all sciences; the more glaring obvious the infinite possibilities. This is the fuel for your anger. If you never understand anything I say, listen for one moment. I have been there, and I am making nothing more than an attempt to help with your struggle. I wasted many years of my life with this struggle. You tell me and the whole world God does not exist, but what is that nagging feeling inside of you?

All the examples eluded to as what Christians have done wrong throughout history are somewhat exaggerated, but not entirely incorrect. I have never said or will say any Christian or myself is perfect. We are all flawed.

As to a Christians disdain for sex education, go argue that with someone else. Sex ed for our youth is essential. My ideas of what this class should in be short: separate the sexes - the intimidation of the subject, the use of proper contraceptives - how long does it take to learn the use of a condom?, the dangers of STDs, abstinence - safest method both physically and mentally (Heart of class). Do we have an argument here?

One more dig! Why do you accept Heather's agnostic views and her correction? Who is the sheep and whose cage is rattled?

By the way, I am not working today. Why do you think I am willing to spend my time with you?

Stay calm and be safe!

damion said...

jon, you state,
There is today more scientific fact for intelligent design than any theory for the origin of the species.jon the somewhat crazy mystic

Lets deal with one inaccuracies at a time.
Judge rules against ‘intelligent design’
‘Religious alternative’ to evolution barred from public-school science classes
The Associated Press


Than you say,

I referenced Marx because of socialism and Hitler because his ideas to rid the world of a religious group jon the simple mystic

Yes Marx was a socialist, but it was him that wanted to rid the world of all religions not Hitler. Hitler was raised a christian and worked very closely with the catholic church. After the war the church set up safe houses to spirit away Nazi war criminals. christians have a long love affair with persecuting Jews. The passion plays are an attempt to take the blame for killing christ from the gentile Romans and place it on the shoulders of the Jews.

You tell me and the whole world God does not exist, but what is that nagging feeling inside of you?jon the confused mystic

That nagging feeling is something you don't seem to posses it's called critical thinking skills. As a man of science I feel it my personal responsibility to confront ignorance where ever I see it.

jon, you site that I place my faith in books written by man. First of all that is not faith,no one is asking me to suspend reason to believe in something as foolish as man living in the belly of a fish. Second, you still have not come to terms with the fact that the book you base your whole argument on was put together by a PAGAN RULER OF ROME! Talk about placing faith in man, at least mine are educated! Why do you have such a difficult time grasping this? let me site a past comment you must have missed!

The christian god is fraud. The fact remains, jon believes in a book put together by a PAGAN RULER OF ROME!!!! He didn't even believe in christ!!!! A book put together, by a man, to rule an empire! All the stories are stolen from other cultures. Why do not more christians know this? Because they are brain washed from cradle to grave! Hence jon's inability to see something as plain as day. It scares him, it challenges him to the very being he thinks he is. To recognize the very obvious for jon, would destroy all that jon holds dear! Damion bearer of light

As to a Christians disdain for sex education, go argue that with someone else.jon who doees not no what the bible says mystic

So jon are saying that we should teach kids how to have safe sex? How dare you lead these children into sin!!

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

damion said...

P.S. it looks like you had that nagging feeling too, you have just pounded the logical side of your brain to the point you can not hear it anymore!

I wasted many years of my life with this struggle.jon the confused mystic

Its still a waste jon, but hang in here I'm here!

Heather Annastasia said...

Jon,

Damion accepted my correction because it was valid. Non-sheep are more capable of recognizing valid points because their mind isn't twisted into a dogmatic knot.

And I wouldn't say that damion is accepting my agnostic ideas.

There's just nothing to argue about between damion and I on this particular subject.

I guess I could go militant agnostic: "I don't know, AND YOU DON'T EITHER!"

(I saw that on a T-Shirt)

I don't have a problem with atheists or religious people. I just have a problem when the dominant religious groups influences governmental policies.

Take the Arab countries for example: stoning women, not allowing women to drive, banning alcohol (except for the rulers, of course). It's just wrong to impose your religion on society as a whole.

In our country: abstinence only programs, bans on stem cell research, trying to change school science books, legislation against gay marriage (similar to the religion-inspired legislation against interracial marriage in our past).

Plus we have Jehovah's Witness parents trying to withhold transfusions from their children, and christian parents trying to withhold STD vaccines from their daughters that would prevent cervical cancer down the road.

If you're all for sex-ed, that's fine, but do you make a point to argue with your christian brethren on this issue? Do you see why the religious views of one group in society shouldn't be passed as law for the rest of society?

jon said...

Damion,

I do not care who put the Bible together anymore than you care who edited the thoughts of Darwin and published them. What I do care is that these words are the inspired word of God. Which you have yet and never will disprove. Your attempts with your own reality and rationale have proven one thing only. You have little regard in your life.

You are twisting my words for your own argument. "Sexism" from women being scared of a snakes. Maybe you could perform a study to prove both men and women have equal levels of fear from snakes. The results might stir up the nag though. "Leading our children into sin" from a sex - ed course. A course that I wrote should have at its heart abstinence.

Your comprehension level amuses me more and more. It could be the lack of attention to details.

I am glad you acknowledged your nagging struggle. Even if, you deny and rename it.

Do you think I should take what a judge rules on as the absolute truth? It is a rule of law from a man appointed to a position because of his political affiliation. Of course, I do follow these rulings. Something about regard, even if I disagree.

I am glad you are back to your own words.

Stay calm and be safe!

damion said...

I do not care who put the Bible together anymore than you care who edited the thoughts of Darwin and published them.

What a distorted statement, who puts a book together is completely different than who edits it. An editor corrects grammatical mistakes which I am constantly in need of! The one thing he does not do is decide what content to put in and take out! If George Bush compiled a collection of fairy tails and said it was a book on anthropology, I would put it where it belongs in the trash. The bible was put together from a collection of archaic stories, which contradict each other, for control, to pull the wool over your eyes, which by the way has been very effective on you! Now once again if you look at the main stories they are all copies of stories from other cultures. So your example is a poor attempt to cover the fact you are getting your @## kicked all over this blog!!

Do you think I should take what a judge rules on as the absolute truth? It is a rule of law from a man appointed to a position because of his political affiliation.

His affiliation was republican, his religion christian. jon you go on to say

If you can prove me wrong I will admit to it.jon the wrong mystic

Than you say,

To say that I am wrong because you believe I am wrong is not an argument or debate.jon the so wrong mystic

So I have cited one of your own in a court of law in a christian country. And you still will not admit that you are wrong?!!

Of course, I do follow these rulings. Something about regard, even if I disagree.jon the retarded mystic

You are right out of Monty Python, I chop your arm off and you say, its merely a flesh wound

jon, you state,

You have little regard in your life. jon the lying mystic

What you should have said is, I jon have little regard in my life for the truth!

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

anonymous said...

I have to agree with Damion, your butt must be sore. You must be in to flagellation.

cincinnati said...

Wow Jon is a relic! It seems to me that he doesn't know what hes saying from post to post. Jon I think you should check into a mental hospital before you hurt yourself. Better yet, do humanity a favor next time you go to sleep, don't wake up.

Bob Kelly said...

I have an 8 year old that has a better grasp on reality then Jon! I'm so glad my parents did not shove Christ down my throat, its with that same respect that I am raising my child. Have hope people like Jon are a dying breed. Every year less and less people go to church.

damion said...

cincinnati, jon may be a fool, but I wouldn't wish him dead.

Jon said...

Damion,

Slowly read this again.

I do not care who put the Bible together anymore than you care who edited the thoughts of Darwin and published them.



Should I assume you care who edited the thoughts of any of the authors or publishers of any books you believe in. I did not think so. By the way editors do more than correct grammatical errors. If I had an editor, not only would there be no grammatical errors. The words would be put together for those who are comprehensive challenged.

The point was who/why cares.

How many books are in the Bible, or is it just one book? How many different authors? Where are the contradictions? The latest attempt at contradiction you herd proposed was spelled out for the deception it was.

One this subject. What is the name of this pagan emperor you elude to?

Did I say which political affiliation appointed Jones?
For one to say he is Christian does not make him/her one. The only person on earth that knows whether or not they are actually a Christian is the person making the profession. There are hypocrites everywhere, even judges.

Whether you spell it out or !@#$ it out it is the same. Should I quit shaking so hard?

I am confused at your stance on evolution. "Everything we know about biology is based on evolution." I read your comment. I found the author not taking a stance. Do you have a stance? Or is the latest fad?

As for Cincinnati, I may not awaken in the morning. The time of death is an unknown, but it will happen.

Hey Damion, Damien: Omen II is on the American Movie Channel right now. Sorry I did not remember the spelling it was in 1978. Check it out. You will enjoy!

BE SAFE

damion said...

jon to read my response go to Heathers new post.

cicinnati said...

Jon states,
"The time of death is an unknown, but it will happen."
In Jon's case lets just hope its speedy!

Heather Annastasia said...

cicinnati,

If you have a valid point or argument, please make it.

jon,

It's funny that you think you've proven my post was deceptive when I answered every one of your accusations. I'm not going to take the time to answer you again because there's no point, and I'm sure very few readers here share your delusions, so they'll get it the first time around.

Anonymous said...

hello, anon #12 here,

The emperors name was Constantine, also known as Constantine the great. His father was Constantius and co-ruled the roman empire with another emperor. The emporer Diocletian set up a system of co-rulers, they would be called Augustus. Each Augustus would choose a subordinate who would be known as a Caesar. When the Augustus retired the Caesar would become Augustus and would choose a new Caesar in turn. This system lasted exactly one turn. When Diocletian retired the whole thing sort of fell apart and resulted in a series of roman civil wars with 6 Augustus’s a the same time. Constantine emerged the victor in all of this and became sole ruler of the roman empire.

Constantines father was the ruler of the parts of the empire that made up France and Britain. Upon his fathers death he inherited troops who were Christians, for the most part.
At the battle of the Milvian bridge Constantine had visions of Christian Cross’s and the words “in this sign thou shalt conquer”. After he won the battle and marched on Rome he was indebted to the Christian religion and since his mother was into Christianity big time he allowed Christianity to flourish. He eventually declared Christianity the official religion of the roman empire. Decades later there happened to be a rift in the new religion during which a man named Athanasius and another man named Arius came to loggerheads over what and who Jesus was, the words “homoosius” and “homoiosius” became topics of great debate. One of the words meant that Jesus was the same as god and the other one meant that Jesus was sort of a god but not exactly the same as god, a little less than “the god”. This rift threatened to rip the empire apart with war so to quell any mischief Constantine ordained a council to debate and settle the matter. At this council the representatives of every province got to present their version of the scriptures for inclusion into what would be the official list of books that were part of Christian religion. Many books were rejected. All were debated over, they had copies of the same books with different texts in them. (think of having three different versions of the book of Matthew and figuring out which is the real one). When Damion refers to the bible being assembled by a pagan emperor this is the man he is referring to.

damion said...

Constantine didn't convert to christianity until he was on his death bed, therefor while he was presiding over the bible being put together he was still a pagan!

Why would I have any question believing God appointed a fish to swallow a man and vomit him alive three days later. (jon) the mystic

p.s the contradictions are posted on My Christian Duty.

damion said...

That Fabulous Fable

A nonsense repeated ad nauseam is the fable of the ‘writing above the sun’ which advised Constantine of his divine destiny. In its worst form, the legend has it that the words ‘In this sign, you shall conquer’ and the sign of the cross were visible to Constantine and his entire army. The words would have been, perhaps, Latin ‘In Hoc Signo Victor Seris’, a bizarre cloud formation unique in the annuls of meteorological observation.

On the other hand, more than one author (e.g. S. Angus, The Mystery Religions, p236) says that the words were in Greek ('En Touto Nika'), which would have left them unintelligible to the bulk of the army. Then, again, perhaps they were in both Latin and Greek, a complete occluded front of cumulus cloud!

Digging below the legend however we discover that the vision was in fact a dream reported some years later by Constantine to his secretary Lactantius (On the Death of the Persecutors, chapter xliv; ANF. vii, 318.) The fable was later embellished by the emperor's ‘minister of propaganda’, Bishop Eusebius, in his Life of Constantine (1.xxvi-xxxi). The ‘sign of the cross’ was an even later interpolation (the cross was not a Christian symbol at the time of the battle – nor would be until the 6th century!). Any ‘good luck emblem’ at this date would have been the chi-rho – ambiguously the first two letters of the word Christos, the Greek word for ‘auspicious’ and also Chronos, god of time and a popular embodiment of Mithras!

What is perhaps most significant about this ‘origins’ fantasy is that ‘lucky charms’ had entered the parlance of Christianity. Constantine did not need to be a Christian; invoking its symbols was sufficient to win divine patronage. But did he invoke its symbols? Coins issued at the time celebrating his victory showed only Sol Invictus: his triumphant arch, still standing, refers only to ‘the gods’. In truth, Constantine was not a particularly pious man. Famously, he delayed his baptism until he was close to death for fear of further sinning – with good reason: among his many murders was that of his first wife Fausta (boiled alive) and eldest son Crispus (strangled)

Anonymous said...

anon #12 here again,

the post about constantine having visions was meant to be a generalized account of constantine's life to relay the significant turning points of his life and how the empire ended up with christianity as an official religion in my own words. It was not an endorsement of "having visions" or any other magical happenstance. damions comment is a cut and paste from the website "www.jesusneverexisted.com". It claims that Crispus was strangled, according to Codinus, Crispus was beheaded, Sidonius Apollinaris has him being poisoned. This is covered in Chapter XVIII footnote 17 of Edward Gibbons “the history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire”. Its my favorite book of all time. Perhaps that website isn’t as authoritative as it seems to be.

damion said...

You are right. Another great site is richardDawkins.net

damion said...

p.s so is the biblical contradictions. In case you can't tell.

damion said...

Anonymous, I wasn't inferring that you believe in magic, I wasn't referring to you at all. The post was an attempt to put a more rational reason behind the myth.

Jon said...

I thought we moved. Did you want me out of the conversation?

Anonymous said...

Anon #12 here,

The original question on this blog was “hillary or obama”?
I’m going to have to go with Hillary. I have several reasons but for me the most important reason is this; over 50% of America is made up of women, they have never had a representative of their sex as president. We claim to be a democracy, majority rule, now back when I was in engineering school they taught me that over 50% of any group is a majority. What does it say about us as a nation that the majority of Americans have never had one of the majority as the leader? How can we claim to be a democracy and expect to be taken seriously by the rest of the world? Especially that part of the world who know the definition of the words “majority”, “democracy”, and those who have enough math skills to figure out that women make the majority of Americans.

And now why I’m not for Obama. I don’t think he can win. Especially now that the problems with his pastor have surfaced. It brings up serious questions about his integrity when the knew about his pastor screaming “GOD DAMN AMERICA” from the pulpit and he still made him his “spiritual advisor”. I genuinely don’t think Americans will vote for a guy who associates with people like that.

I have one more point I’d like to make. It is my belief that the men in charge of the media/press are scared to death at the thought that “if the women figure out that they are a majority, then they can elect a woman every time”. They are scared witless because they think if one woman gets in, the women will never give it back. With obama they think “well, if he wins it’ll only be a one time deal”. And after all, blacks make up only 12% of the American population. In what crazy idea of democracy would a representative of 12% of the population ever get to lead the rest of them? I also believe that if the women blow it this time they will never get another chance in my lifetime.

My vote goes to hillary because it appeals to my sense of fairplay.

Just my thoughts.

Heather Annastasia said...

Anon 12, go to
Hillary or Obama part 2