Home » Intelligent Design » Darwinism and popular culture: A columnist reminds me of its easy, empty phrases

Darwinism and popular culture: A columnist reminds me of its easy, empty phrases

In “A God who bleeds” (July 31, 2009), Jonah Goldberg notes,

Oprah promised Obama would help us “evolve to a higher plane.” Deepak Chopra said Obama’s presidency represented “a quantum leap in American consciousness.” Last month, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas proclaimed that Obama stood “above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Well, however you would vote, you gotta feel at least a bit sorry for a guy who was supposed to be a “quantum leap” and help us all “evolve to a higher plane.”

Popular Darwinism doesn’t need a laugh track, that’s for sure.

Aw, while we’re here anyway, new at The Post-Darwinist

Speciation: If you don’t sleep together, you soon won’t cheep together?

Darwinism and popular culture: The evolution of the wiener dog

Common descent, uncommon descent, and, hey, a ladderinto …

Darwinism and popular culture: Well, aren’t we all 30 per cent banana anyway?

Uncommon Descent: Contest Question 7: “Foul anonymous Darwinist blogger exposed. Why so foul?” Winners announced [This one posted to Post-D and ARN, but not Salvo]

Darwinism and academic culture: Why so many scientists no longer believe Darwin

Darwinism and popular culture: Real biology vs. Darwinism

PS: For the record, Christians do believe in a God who bleeds. But that’s not the point of the story. The point is that his blood saves people. That is how you can know. Does it do anything?

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23 Responses to Darwinism and popular culture: A columnist reminds me of its easy, empty phrases

  1. Deepak Chopra is a fool. His vacuous, Eastern pluralism makes me sick.

  2. Anyone want to comment on vacuous WESTERN pluralism?

    I hear way more of that in Toronto.

  3. From that same Chopra op-ed:

    “Obama gave himself something that can’t be gained from the outside: the ability to evolve personally and the flexibility to adapt quickly as the times demand.”

    SOURCE

  4. I don’t really get how using the word “evolve” is somehow related to Darwinism and popular culture. After all the origin of the word (no pun intended!) pre-dates Darwin by a couple of hundred years:

    evolve
    1641, “to unfold, open out, expand,” from L. evolvere “unroll,” from ex- “out” + volvere “to roll” (see vulva). Evolution (1622), originally meant “unrolling of a book;” it first was used in the modern scientific sense 1832 by Scot. geologist Charles Lyell. Charles Darwin used the word only once, in the closing paragraph of “The Origin of Species” (1859), and preferred descent with modification, in part because evolution already had been used in the 18c. homunculus theory of embryological development (first proposed under this name by Bonnet, 1762), in part because it carried a sense of “progress” not found in Darwin’s idea. But Victorian belief in progress prevailed (along with brevity), and Herbert Spencer and other biologists popularized evolution.
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

    I work in IT and we regularly use the words “evolve”, “adapt” and “evolution” in technical contexts that have absolutely nothing to do with biology, natural selection or Darwin.

  5. Maybe I am a little slow, but the link between peoples opinion of President Obama and Darwinism is what exactly?

  6. Wow! That’s not even Darwinian evolution. It’s more like Narcissean evolution.

    = Whatever you want to believe about yourself is probably true.

    Like, um, sure never happened in my life.

    And, like most women looking at 60, I figure it’s better to go with our folks’ advice about how to live a healthier life in old age, especially any advice about dealing with increasingly active health bureaucracies.

  7. Well, Crater, the vast majority of the people who think Obama is great also probably think Darwin is great.

    Would you like to subject that to a public opinion poll?

  8. 8

    I find it mildly disturbing that at on at least two scientific theories (evolution and climatology) people are largely split by their political leanings. (I’m neither left nor right, so that isn’t pointed at anyone in particular.)

  9. 9

    Or, by my wording, did I just point my finger at everyone (but myself?) No offense meant. Just an observation.

  10. Denyse, you may want to release me from moderation before you respond. People might think you are crazy for talking to invisible friends.

    I am struggling to understand why idiosyncratic word usage by woo-peddlers like Oprah and Chopra when describing the American President has any bearing whatsoever on whether evolution is true or not. I can only assume from your flippant answer is that both are part of the broader culture war you see yourself engaged in.

  11. If political leanings are in fact related to people’s views on evolution and climatology, that raises an interesting new issue.
    If we really did evolve from some ape-like ancestor, and if humans truly can change the weather, then the odds may increase that liberalism might in fact be a more correct view of the way things really ought to be (since liberal views seem to coexist frequently with belief in evolution and man-made warming).

    On the other hand, if there are absolute hurdles that evolution really can’t clear, or if man really cannot change climate, that could weigh in more for conservatism.

    Hmmm… something to think about. (Personally, I’m betting on the conservative camp.)

  12. TOIF – Thank Obama its Friday…

    Finally, I can bask in the sun with a brewski and re – calibrate my thoughts so I won’t stupidly comment about facts I have not read or am not fully informed about.

    But wait, If evolutionary psycho babble is true, then we’re born to be liberals or conservatives or independents or libertarians or anarchist or socialist or communist or nazis or community organizers or SanFranGrans and therefore no one is to blame. We’re genetic robots, nothing more. And disagreeing is useless because you cannot convert a genetic robot. There is no reason or purpose to have a teachable moment because we are our genes and nothing more. I was born to eventually believe in an Intelligent Creator. PZ Meyers was born to spew hatred against people like me. It is good to know we are all born for an unguided purpose in life. Because, I’d hate to think this was all counter-intuitive.

    Ah… sip, sip… re-calibrating for dummies is fun reading, now where was I, oh yes, humor… intuitive, counterintuitive or otherwise….

    PC Climatology Future Outlook

    The CIA Lied because of their selfish genes

    No really, Komrade, the CIA Lied – they created Global Warming

    Chicago SnowJob not to be confused with the…

    Chicago Mob Job

    Supporting Liberal Freedom Fighters

    Hell-Care Providers – When Majority is Not Enough

    No longer a Christian nation, but an Obama-nation

    Saul Alinsky Radical Rules 101 – Never admit you’re wrong – Dazzle with Drizzle

    Che Che Cheeaaange

    and not so humorous but true…

    Real Change

    Freedom is Intuitive, but CounterIntuitively Omitted by the media gods… that claim they protect our freedoms…


    with a chip-load-o Tingles.

    For those who think only they are correct and doomed to forget…

    from consent of the governed

    I sure hope these links work, because the preview did not and needs a change.

    Like, before 2010.

  13. TOIF – Thank Obama its Friday…

    continued… cuz you never know when a second stimulus package of links is needed.

    PC Climatology Future Outlook

    No really, Komrade, the CIA Lied – they created Global Warming

    Chicago SnowJob not to be confused with the…

    Chicago Mob Job

    Freedom is Intuitive, but CounterIntuitively Omitted by the media gods… that claim they protect our freedoms…

    Consider this as good as government work.

  14. ejruff,

    Or some other thoughts. Manmade pollution is true, just not a crisis and mankind can eventually manage the weather from an internal perspective of a greenhouse in a sphere, because being created in the image of an Intelligent Creator, the human race was blessed with intelligence to learn about the creation around them, to learn, explore, experience, and discover how to subdue it, domesticate it, grow it, protect and duplicate the engineering designs all around the beautiful globe.

  15. Scott,

    It is weird on the extreme sides of each view. But most people are somewhat in the middle I think.

    Yes, we have pollution. Yes, we need clean air, water, etc.

    Yes, we pollute the air and water and we need to invest in better ways to keep them clean.

    Will the oceans rise and calamity befall us all?

    Not anymore than the last time natural cycles took place and certainly not so fast as a society cannot relocate to higher safer ground. In fact, global warming could unleash whole areas of fertile ground that was once flowing with wild beast and diverse plant life.

    The wooly mamouth wasn’t living in a freezing climate afterall, it was dining on lush green fields.

  16. In light of the Star Trek that the Goldberg piece refers to, the natives got restless in that episode, too, when they discovered the truth:

    Town halls gone wild
    The Politico
    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 7/31/09 4:30 AM EDT

    Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

    On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.

    “I had felt they would be pointless,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to temporarily suspend the events in his Long Island district. “There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.” …

    Neanderthals!

  17. I believe the comparison of Obama to Darwin is appropriate. The fawning this year over both has reached unbelievably high levels. Is this the year of Darwin or the year of Obama. Both are essentially failures but have been held up as near deities. They even buried the atheistic Darwin in Westminster Cathedral and put him on the 10 pound note. How upside down is that? Do we put Obama on the Three dollar bill or the Trillion dollar bill?

    PS – I believe Darwin was a fairly good scientist but he stunk up the joint on evolution for which he hardly got anything right.

    PPS – As an aside Just a couple of facts for the masses.

    The expected implementation of a new health care system if it gets passed is January 2013.

    Six months after the passing of a 787 billion stimulus bill, less than 10% has been spent. And many are asking for a new stimulus bill because it was not enough.

    The stimulus bill was rammed through Congress in a couple weeks and contains things people still don’t know about but yet we are hardly spending any of the money and unemployment is passing European levels.

    The second was supposed to be law by next week and last week John Conyers mocked those who wanted to read the bill implying it was a joke to do so.

    Is the US becoming Wonderland? Would Alice know the difference? Just ask the Red Queen. Oh, I mean Hillary.

  18. Evolution is a theory in crisis according to one important evolutionist. Specialy because it failed to explain why the Human is so different from a chimp.
    There is an urgent need for a “paradigm shift”. But listen to what is the most ludicrous theory on “why human are so different from chimp”.
    “Elaine Morgan says we evolved from aquatic apes”: http://www.ted.com/talks/elain....._apes.html
    And then, evolutionists are going to tell us that there no controversies in Evolution. lol…

  19. 19
    Vladimir Krondan

    DATCG said:

    But wait, If evolutionary psycho babble is true, then we’re born to be liberals or conservatives or independents or libertarians or anarchist or socialist or communist or nazis or community organizers or SanFranGrans and therefore no one is to blame. We’re genetic robots, nothing more.

    True. In Descent of Man, Darwin actually says that the character of the american people and the prosperity of the USA are due to natural selection. I bet you thought it may have had something to do with hard work and love of freedom. Wrong!

    Any time an evolutionist says that something “evolved” or that something is an “adaptation”, he is saying that it is genetic. It is in your genes. For, as you can see, there is no way for a characteristic to be naturally selected unless it be inheritable. So you are right, libertarianism, conservativism, liberalism, anarchism, nazism, evolutionism, and even preference for pepperoni under the cheese, are all genetic. Even if, one day, you start eating pizza with the pepperoni on top of the cheese, it will be shown by an evolutionist that you had a gene for that all along which previously happened to be inactive.

  20. Vladimir Krondan wrote:

    Even if, one day, you start eating pizza with the pepperoni on top of the cheese, it will be shown by an evolutionist that you had a gene for that all along which previously happened to be inactive

    As I read this I had just heated some pepporoni pizza in the microwave and had started to eat it. I mention it because these sorts of “coincidences” happen to me continually and I don’t have an explanation for it and it is very disturbing.

  21. And then, evolutionists are going to tell us that there no controversies in Evolution. lol…

    Within evolutionary theory, but of course. Who says there isn’t? I don’t know of any evolutionist in opposition to evolution. Do you?

    We may criticize evolutionists and their theory, but I don’t find it very smart to misrepresent them.

  22. Cabal, are you suggesting that there are no controversies within evolutionary theory?

  23. 23

    I mention it because these sorts of “coincidences” happen to me continually and I don’t have an explanation for it and it is very disturbing.

    The explanation is simple. You have the coincidence gene, in addition to the pepperoni pizza gene. The natural selection fairy put them there to maximize your inclusive fitness. When in doubt, turn to Darwinism. It can explain anything.

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