Home » Culture, Evolution, Intelligent Design » Raise your hand if you don’t believe in evolution

Raise your hand if you don’t believe in evolution

During a recent GOP debate among presidential candidates a moderator asked the field of ten to answer whether they believed in evolution by the raising of hands. How can one possibly answer this without a more rigorous definition of evolution? Three candidates Tancredo, Huckabee, and Brownback raised their hands indicating they didn’t believe in evolution. The only way to answer this ambiguous question was by gross political calculation of whether raising a hand would gain or lose more votes.

Evolution of what and how? I believe in the evolution of life the same way I believe in the evolution of computers. It’s obvious both evolved in a stepwise fashion from simple beginnings but just as obvious is that neither could have happened absent contrivance.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

15 Responses to Raise your hand if you don’t believe in evolution

  1. In one of his lectures Phillip Johnson remarked that he had vowed never to answer a question with the world “evolution” in it, because of shifting meanings and definitions. This is why he qualifies with specifics, like “the blind-watchmaker thesis.”

    My guess is that the question, “Do you believe in evolution?” is usually meant to test whether or not one accepts Darwinian orthodoxy. A negative response will then place you firmly in the category of mindless creationist / anti-science rube / theocracy proponent.

  2. In fact neo-Darwinists, if they wish to remain logically consistent, would have to maintain that computers have evolved by pure blind electro-mechanical interactions between great numbers of fortuituosly positioned atoms, since implication of their mechanistic philosophy is that humans are just another mindless physical process.

    If they somehow decide to contradict themselves and allow that humans are intelligent and creative, then they have to introduce two additional conjectures:

    C1. That intelligence, creativity and “mind stuff” somehow come into existence in certain unspecified kinds of arrangements of atoms and fields, informally characterized as “human brains”.

    C2. That these “intelligence” properties of the arrangements of physical elements cannot exist at any other level of physical elements i.e. that human (or animal) brain is shortest such “imtelligent” loop possible. This conjecture, an arbitrary taboo on intelligence and ‘mind stuff’ other than human, must include not justy the known physics, but the vast unknown region of more than 10^16 orders of magnitude between the plackian scale objects at 10^-33 m and our smallest elementary particles (distances of 10^-16m accessible experimentally). The latter taboo is highly implausible since one could easily fit into this unknown region, between the planckian scale objects and our elementary particles (which seem awfully well tuned in favor of life in the universe) all of the physical complexity that exists between electrons, protons, netrons,.. and us, humans. Yet neo-Darwinians have to maintain that such possibile, even plausible, origin of underlying intelligence is absolutely precluded a priori.

    Hence, such “solution” for the problem of the gross implausibility of a purely blind, mechanical evolution of computers (or sciences, arts, cultures…) by some fortuitous arrangements of atoms and physical fields is doubly incoherent.

  3. 3

    Dave you give the questioner,(Chris Mathews) too much credit. This was a designed question to make a lose/lose situation. He may as well have said “raise your hand if you’ve stopped beating your wife”.

    To answer by not raising ones hand is to give acknowledgement to the standard Darwinian view on evolution, thereby alienating many religious listeners. To raise ones hand, in light of how the statement was framed, gives acknowledgement to being out of the mainstream of “enlightened” thought. This then alienates those who fear religion in government.

    It was a disgraceful trap from the beginning designed to separate the candidates from potential supporters. This entire debate was just typical liberal media tactics preparing the ground to help democrats regain the Whitehouse.

  4. I have to admit, I have trouble whenever someone asks me if I believe in ‘darwinian evolution’ or ‘evolution’ or ‘darwinism’. I believe in an old earth, a long evolution, I’m fine with common descent, etc. But the words imply so many things.

    So now, whenever someone asks me if I believe in evolution, I make myself crystal clear of what I believe in, what I don’t believe in, what I’m in the dark about, what I suspect, and what I’m open to. It lasts awhile, and the person quickly regrets asking me the question to begin with.

    So far, it’s the best method I’ve discovered!

  5. Well, I think there are many people out there like myself who don’t believe in any concept of evolution from “simpler beginning” whether guided by a higher intelligence or not. My view is that life has “devolved” from a smaller set of original, fully-complex forms. In that sense, I most certainly don’t believe in evolution, and I would assume the candidates who raised their hands either meant that or they just object to Darwinian evolution as an overall premise (emphasis on Darwinian).

  6. The same type of situation happened on the Bill Maher show Real Time the other night. I can’t remember all of the panel members, but there was a Democratic congressman (I think) and Bill Maher sarcastically referred to the Republican debate evolution question and then said to the panel ‘you all believe in evolution, don’t you?’ of course everyone nodded vigorously, eager to assure the audience of their sophistication. However, the Democratic politician guy felt obliged to interject that he was sure God was involved in some way. I wish I could remember the exact words, but I can’t. The point is, though, that he instantly intuited the trap he was being placed in and was quick to distance himself from the atheistic implications being swung his way. I was impressed. I felt that took courage. Why couldn’t the Republican guys have clarified in a similar way? (I don’t mean this as a partisan question; I just didn’t see the debate, so I don’t know if there were time constraints or whatever)

  7. Yes, the word “evolution” has evolved to mean neo-Darwinism. Most people are not aware that there are, and have long been, competing theories of evolution.

    The simplisic popular view is that the controversy is between science and religion, between evolution and creationism. At Panda’s Thumb, they deliberately misuse the terminology and perpetuate the confusion.

  8. “Well, I think there are many people out there like myself who don’t believe in any concept of evolution from “simpler beginning” whether guided by a higher intelligence or not. My view is that life has “devolved” from a smaller set of original, fully-complex forms. In that sense, I most certainly don’t believe in evolution…”
    In another words, you don’t believe in “Mutation Creation”in which I have very little faith in.

  9. the majority of Americans don’t associate evolution with atheism. In fact, the majority of people who accept evolution are theistic evolutionists. I doubt any politician needs to fear looking like an atheist by saying they accept evolution, and we’ve all seen how they are perceived when they say they don’t accept evolution. Yikes.

  10. First, disclosure, I’m an independent as stated in the past. God Bless Joe “Mo” Lieberman ;-)

    The question, was designed to trap Republicans on ID/Evo disallowing any discussion on a difficult subject. Because of media today, it will be rehashed to death by internet attack dogs the likes of HuffNPuff and DailyKosKomrades and on YouTube video.

    Put forth as a yes/no question to McCain probably because he answered positive to ID in the past I think with regards to keeping an open mind. The entire format chosen by the pathetic excuse of a news network and politico.com, was shameful, and the host, a former Tip O’Neil aide, Carter speech writer was a sham too. Why are there Presidential debates this early is another question. Our country has turned into a 24/7 political game show with each side firing away salvos of vitriolic canon fodder, laced with great big fish stories. Outlets like MSNBC serve this up with punch and cake, and no longer serve the public with any integrity.

    Serving no purpose these days other than tit for tat political popshots and greed for the almighty market share. The Republicans played the game and walked into the proverbial lions den and survived. Whereas the Democrats bailed out of Fox News debate sponsored by the Black Caucus. So much for “diversity” and “tolerance” of “liberals” in word only.

    Lets put the shoe on the other foot. Can you imagine a former Republican speech writer/aide asking the question of all Democrats, Yes/No do you believe pulling a baby outside its womb except for the head, then sucking its brains out is murder? Lets see a show of hands? Stark reality on a complex subject matter? Does it serve any other purpose than to nail your victims down then and in the future for vidoe replay? If I were a politician, I’d told Matthews to shove it for such buffoonery, but then, I’ll never be a politician.

    With seconds to answer there was little McCain could say as instructed by a yes/no option. He said yes, but then qualified his belief in God. McCain went thru hell for this country that 99.9% of us will never understand in the bowels of a brutal enemies torture machine for 5 1/2 years. And now he had to put up with the despicable manipulation of a “yes/no” question on science that even the best analytical minds today cannot agree on how it occurred from the beginning. Truly shows how arrogant media ignorance can be when they shovel 5 second question/answer soundbites down our throats on subjects that hundreds of thousands of scientist cannot figure out.

    God Bless him for not slapping them in the face. I honestly don’t know how he does it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCain
    Some morons in the media, later remarked he appeared stiff. Go figure, tends to happen at his age after your shoulder has been crushed by the enemy and sometimes up to three times a week.

    It truly is childish, but what can one expect of biased political pundits on media outlets with no integrity or honesty these days? The point of the Matthews hosted debate was not to discuss or get at any real truths of the candidates, but instead one by one attack their credibility.

    I have no respect for Matthews, MSNBC, or the propagandist Olberman attack dog that followed it. Complete scam. No longer news, just 24/7 ideological attacks and it does not serve us as a public to discuss real issues, only to inflame each others hearts against each person based upon senseless dialog.

    Our media is truly letting this nation down in so many ways today and creating mass hysteria. Some 35% according to a recent poll now believe there may be some truth to a conspiracy theory of 9/11. Our nation is going into some form of psychotic meltdown and our media is at the very eye of the storm because they refuse any responsiblity at all in the name of freedom of speech.

    Fire in the theatre is yelled loudly and daily. Obama just said 10,000 people died in a town of 1,900 in Kansas tornado. What? Maybe that should be the “yes/no” answer on the next meaningless debate for the Democrats? Question: Please answer Yes/No to the following. Did 10,000 people die in Kansas by the tornado in the town of Greensburg in 2007? Senator Obama? Doh!

    What is worse? Not believing in evolution or believing 10,000 people died, when only 12 died? Sure, count it as a mistake, but oh, evolution, dare to question that and your labeled a looney. Miss numbers by 9,988 dead people and your easily forgiven.

  11. Fross,

    “… and we’ve all seen how they are perceived when they say they don’t accept evolution. Yikes.”

    Which is exactly why they setup the stupid question as a yes/no answer Fross. You know it was a setup to knock down the credibility of the candidates. It is below despicable for a news outlet to handle such a difficult scientifi subject in this format. This is not a game show.

    They essentially took a subject that scientist cannot figure out themselves and made it a soundbite to trap candidates and make them appear stupid, so psycotic nutjobs like Maher can blast away at them on his HBO frenzied fest of liberal mania, while potsmokers toke on their bongs and laugh away.

    Whatever, sham, complete and utter sham to frame the question as yes/no.

    I’ve read to many scientific papers now and watched to many claims fall by the way side now. All it does is show how pathetic some news outlets are in their bias and ignorance. The unfortunate fact is, they perpetuate this ignorance onto the masses.

  12. Webwanderer

    FYI – that’s not Chris Matthews in the video asking the question. I originally wrote that it was (it was widely reported in the news it was Chris) then upon watching the video (which I added an hour later) I realized it wasn’t Matthews and corrected the article to say “a moderator” instead.

    Michaels7

    The 2008 election is a foregone conclusion. McCain and Clinton will win the primaries and Hillary will go down in flames in the election. McCain’s about as clean as clean gets and Hillary’s past is so littered with dirt and socialist politics they’ll be delivering it on prime time with one of these. The only wildcard is McCain’s advanced age. Health problems that could cause him to drop out of the race before he wins it is a distinct possibility. A spoiler running as an independent (hello Senator Lieberman) could muck it up for the GOP too like Perot did in 1992. P.S. Watch the potsmoker wisecracks. You never know whose toes you might be stepping on if you get my drift.

  13. Fross @ 9

    the majority of Americans don’t associate evolution with atheism.

    Ahem.

  14. Dave,

    Because of our media today, nothing is a foregone conclusion. I will actively get involved as a result of 2006 elections, media bias and GOP corruption. Our soldiers deserve better during war.

    As to the winner, hmmm, don’t neglect Fred Thompson. He may yet make a good run. I’m not worried about McCain’s age, men like him are made for times like these. I concur that the Democrat party is a non-starter. Sad. We need good leadership from both parties. I do not trust the Democrats. During a time of war, their statements align eerily close to propaganda from our enemies. In fact, Zawahiri uses the words of Democrats in his rhetoric to taunt America. They’ve lost their way driven by far left fanatics paid for by George Soros.

    “A spoiler running as an independent (hello Senator Lieberman) could muck it up for the GOP too like Perot did in 1992.”

    I admire the man for his courage to run against the machine. He trounced his competition supported by DailyKosKomrade nutroots. It really should be a lesson to the GOP. Stand firm in your beliefs, stop gross over-spending, eliminate corruption within ranks, stop picking up kids and bending over to special interest. Stop behaving in many regards like the other party.

    “P.S. Watch the potsmoker wisecracks. You never know whose toes you might be stepping on if you get my drift.”

    I grew up in the 70s wearing flip flops, so my toes are flat. The old adage, takes one to know one applies to me. I’ve lived thru the carnage of the irresponsible life largely taught by TV, RockNRoll, Sex and drugs in the past and today by those on the left. Our children are inundated with it.

    If I stepped on someones toes, it was not intentional. Only a call to reality. Actions have consequences and children get forgotten in the name of freedom of expression, just how much TV plays a role as Father/Mother/Nanny today. It sure did in my life and I learned all the wrong things from it, along with my peers, some who have still not recovered.

    Well… this could be a very long testimony. I’ll stop. I just see that all things are connected now and our minds are easily manipulated as children which leads to many false decisions in adulthood.

  15. Since when did Evolution become a matter of political parties. Can’t people of all political beliefs listen to words of wisdom? As to your statement about Hillary v.s. McCain 2008…I think you might just be in for a surprise. I don’t think it will be Hillary. I believe Edwards or Obama will steal the show late in the primary.

    I don’t see how asking a political candidate a simple question like, “do you believe in evolution” is a problem. It is a simple yes or no question. You either believe or you don’t. Evolution and Natural Selection (Darwinian evolution) is the most accepted perspective on evolution so why not ask it in that manner. It is assumed that if you believe in Evolution you believe in Natural Selection as well, unless you imply otherwise.

Leave a Reply