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In Obama’s Own Words

From the responses to a Q&A sent out by Nature here.

Do you believe that evolution by means of natural selection is a sufficient explanation for the variety and complexity of life on Earth? Should intelligent design, or some derivative thereof, be taught in science class in public schools?

Obama: I believe in evolution, and I support the strong consensus of the scientific community that evolution is scientifically validated. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories like intelligent design that are not subject to experimental scrutiny.

Any questions?

HT to Winston Macchi

Update (added by DaveScot): In Biden’s own words yesterday:

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric.

Broadcast television didn’t exist in 1929, dummy, and Hoover was president. Fail.

 

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24 Responses to In Obama’s Own Words

  1. Does Obama have a point? Or has ID undergone the “experimental scrutiny” that would make it appropriate in a highschool science class? My understanding was that Dembski (and UD in general) didn’t support (e.g.) efforts like Dover. Does anyone know what McCain’s position is re: ID and school curriculum’s?

    Honest question, I have no clue. As I pointed out in another blog here Bush went on record in support of teaching both sides but that didn’t seem to amount to anything. What’s the concern here with regards to a possible Obama presidency and ID?

  2. What happened to random mutations?

  3. You guys really don’t know influential is a statement made by a politician during an interview. Besides, he who isn’t for us is against us! It plain to whoever is able to read that Obama is against us!

    Sorry to enter into this all American issue from distant Brazil.

  4. I meant “how influential” in the first line.

  5. May 9, 2007

    http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/154403.aspx

    Here’s the [McCain] campaign’s response:

    “Senator McCain believes evolution is supported by science, but that we shouldn’t be afraid to expose students to other theories.”

  6. Barack Obama thinks discussing ID in front of students “clouds discussion of science”. John McCain thinks its healthy to hear about other theories.

    Obama isn’t a scientist, so I don’t necessarily agree with his assessment, and I don’t think he fully understands what ID is (FWIW, I don’t think McCain fully knows what ID is).

    And why do you suppose he doesn’t understand? I propose that it’s because he’s a product of elite universities (hostile to ID), spent 20 years in a church that spent more time preaching politics than a traditional theistic worldview (thus ignoring the importance of “how we got here”), spent his adult life surrounded by political Liberals (typically hostile to ID) and is now strongly backed by the mainstream media (also hostile to ID). What ID sympathizer has ever crossed his path?

    Even if he was sympathetic to ID, we wouldn’t hear it because there’s probably not one person in his life who would support his support of ID. My guess is he’s just never considered it because of the company he keeps.

  7. russ:

    Here’s the [McCain] campaign’s response:

    “Senator McCain believes evolution is supported by science, but that we shouldn’t be afraid to expose students to other theories.”

    Back in 2006 McCain was clearer on this point:

    “I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,” he said. “I happen to believe in evolution. … I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.”

    link

  8. Enezio E. De Almeida Filho: As we readers and posters at UD from outside the US realise, the beliefs and inherent machinations of the political system are incredibly influential on the rest of the world.

    Whom the US votes in to be their leader has an important flow-on to the rest of the world. The US vote is our (good or bad) legacy. The symbiotic power relationship of the the US President to everyone else is very obvious. So Enezio, you are not that far away or unaffected by the choices that the voters in the US make.

    Although McCain’s position isn’t perfect, on this issue at least dissent from the current position would be allowed … how refreshing that is as an alternative!

  9. Obama doesn’t know enough science to say he knows when life begins. In more of his own words, that’s over his pay grade. President is over his pay grade too.

  10. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories, like the extrapolation of the phenomenon of bacterial antibiotic resistance to explain the origin of the complex information-processing systems found in all of biology, which is not subject to experimental scrutiny.

  11. TomRiddle

    I would like to know if the two names at the top of the webpage (Dembski and O’Leary) have given their approval to turn this into an advocacy site for McCain.

    Yes and no. Bill Dembski is famously liberal. He wrote-in Richard Simmons in the Republican primary. When McCain got the nod he was crushed but he still didn’t give up hope and wrote to John McCain asking him to pick Ellen Degeneres or Rosie O’Donnell for a running mate.

    When that didn’t work out either and McCain picked a happily married Christian woman who procreated five (count em! FIVE!) gas guzzling CO2 emitting climate destroyers Bill got so depressed he says to me, “Dave, I’m out of here. No politics for me this year. You do whatever you want.”

    It was much the same for Denyse. She doesn’t get to vote cause, well, she’s a Canadian and by tradition we don’t let Canadians vote in our elections. At least not yet. I understand its under serious consideration by the Obama people though on the theory that will make it easier to nationalize health care and get a clone of the Canadian Human Rights Council to take away the right of free speech of all those who aren’t gay, Islamic, baby killers, or Hollywood movie stars (including Hollywood movie stars is admittedly largely redundant).

    That said Denyse had her heart set on Oprah Winfrey for president and Maddona for VP. Tell me THAT isn’t blatant gender bias! And Denyse being Catholic that explains why she settled on Madonna instead of her second choice Barbra Streisand. I tried to tell Denyse that Streisand was so illiterate she can hardly spell her own name to say nothing of writing important vice presidential papers and such. Denyse said that was okay because Streisand’s inability to compose a complete english sentence just means she’s not threatening to journalists.

  12. “consensus of the scientific community”

    “that evolution is scientifically validated”

    both these statements indicate that Obama has little idea about science in general and evolution theory in particular. For him the debate is over eventhough he probably has no idea about the issues and probably doesn’t care – unless it was something likely to lose him a significant number of votes. He’s first and foremost a politician regardless of what he has tried to pretend during this campaign.

  13. That’s an interesting chioce of words.

    “Senator McCain believes evolution is supported by science, but that we shouldn’t be afraid to expose students to other theories.”

    Later, on foreign policy, McCain again voiced concerns that terrorist activities are being supported by various corrupt states.
    On the economic front he suggested that a speculative asset bubble was supported by dubious and possibly fraudulent bank lending practices.
    ;-)

  14. Man, I believe I could, and probably anybody on here, especially those blog on here, could totally defeat Obama in an argumenta about evolution. He probably believes in it based off of what he learned in colleges… which is close to nothing in reality. If you show one side of a story that supports and idea, of course it’s going to support that idea. Evolutionists like to ignore all the experimental data and just say, “Mutations can do this and that and Natural Selection will do this, and then ta-da! Evolution!” Go go education text-books!

  15. Mumon….uhmmmm…nice way to parse facts with an empty (but certainly an) intellectual satisfaction. A materialist specialty, no doubt.

    No network existed to carry Franklin’s speech until 1936, uhm…..and oh yeah, since it was the BBC, he would have needed to be in Europe to have appeared on it.

    I can easily overlook vice-Presidential candidate mis-speaking…its an easy mistake to see happening. However, lets be honest, If Palin made that same comment to Katie the result within the media would have been pronouced, furious, all-telling, and would have lasted for DAYS if not WEEKS….I know this for a fact, its my job. Katie and I have the same acronyms on our paychecks.

  16. Obama carefully chose a supportive Vice Presidential running mate. As FoxNews reports (Aug. 23, 2008):

    Biden also used unusually strong language to ridicule those who believe in creationism or intelligent design.

    “I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey!” the senior senator from Delaware exclaimed.

    But less than six months earlier, CBS News conducted a poll that found a majority of Americans (51 percent) do believe that God created humans in their present form. Even larger majorities reject the theory of evolution, according to the poll.

  17. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories like intelligent design that are not subject to experimental scrutiny.–BO

    Both CSI and IC are open to experimental scrutiny.

    However the bacterial flagellum evolving via kept genetic accidents is not open to experimental scrutiny. As a matter of fact there is very little in the MET that is open to such scrutiny.

  18. Katie and I have the same acronyms on our paychecks.

    Fascinating. Did you read about the recent controversy over her banning reference to Governor Palin as “Governor” or “Gov”, even though Joe Biden is refered to as “Senator Biden” or “Sen.”? If you go to CBSNEWS.com, and search “Palin”, you will see the double standard at work (unless they’ve cleaned it up in the last 24 hours).

    The American Spectator has the story:
    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_a.....t_id=13947

  19. “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric.

    In fairness to Obama/Biden, they are uniquely positioned to understand the “princes of greed” since their campaign finance chief, Penny Pritzker, owned and was on the board of a bank that failed due to subprime lending back in 2001.

    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_a.....t_id=13952

  20. “I’ll probably vote for McCain, but I’m saddened to see this site become so political.”

    Let’s forget the fact that this would be a political move in itself.

    Heck, that’s like saying you’re sorry to see slavery become such a political issue right before it ended.

    Ugh..and I’m not saying slavery and ID are on par morally. My only point is that, when you’re trying to do anything important, it becomes political without you wanting it to necessarily.

  21. Let’s also not forget that: a common criticism of UD and the ID community, in the past, was that it never allowed any dissent whatsoever in its members. Then, it probably got to a few of ID supporters too, and affected them personally.

    So, Dembski needs to let this kind of thing happen on his blog. Let others speak their mind, I mean.

  22. One last thing before I stop posting too much in a row:

    Supporters of ID, let’s never forget the “Scopes Trial” myth. We don’t need to make our own…and I don’t think most people in the UD/ID community would, but it WAS the impetus for all this rallying around evolution today.

    If evolution was a “scientific” theory back then, and ID is now, and evolution really was under attack then, it makes sense for us to defend ID everywhere today.

    What are we going to do if we convince everyone in the scientific community that ID really is science, but then it’s unconstitutional?

  23. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories like intelligent design that are not subject to experimental scrutiny.–BO
    There is no way to recreate evolution in a lab. It is still theoretical, just like creationism or ID. However, we must look at what we know to be true in terms of logic, mathematics, and defining. Evolution by random mutation, like Darwin proposed is highly mathematically improbable. Furthermore, that will only account for one variation. And even if that were valid, very few mutations within cell are beneficial. Most of the time, when mutations take place, they hinder the cell’s ability to reproduce. So, to say that all variations of life came about from mutations sees, at best, improbable.

  24. Yeah, he was wrong about television, but if I’m not mistaken, Roosevelt was governor of New York during the crash, Dave.

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