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Author Topic: Oklahoma State Senator Discusses Evolution
0Megabyte
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http://www.durantdemocrat.com/view/full_story/10717736/article-Brecheen-discusses-evolution-and-Darwinian-Theory?instance=secondary_opinion_left_column

An Oklahoma state senator is writing legislature to give creationism equal time with evolution in Oklahoma classrooms.

This is not the main point. The main point is his weird, rambling essay on the matter, partly plagiarized from Lee Strobal, otherwise nonsense he's making up. It's a delightful train-wreck, so I thought I'd share it.

People voted this man into a political office! People actually voted for this man!

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Kwea
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lol
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Blayne Bradley
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Are other modern countries having to deal with this crap?
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Sterling
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Sigh... Here we go again.
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AchillesHeel
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Can I demand that Chris Angel's body of work be given equal time as well? we havent proven his methods scientifically (not publicly atleast) but he sits higher than most religions in proof of miracles and magic. So long as govt funded schools are teaching about magical talking snakes and bodies of water defying physics why not mention that Angel made an elephant dissapear in public?

quote:
People voted this man into a political office! People in Oklahoma actually voted for this man!
Fixed that for you.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
People voted this man into a political office! People actually voted for this man!
I can beat that. The man who said this on national television.

quote:
George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it’s clear…
has not only been elected. Republicans have selected him to be speaker of the house. That's right. This was said by the most powerful elected republican in the world.
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Blayne Bradley
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Real Americans LAUGH in the face of science.
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AchillesHeel
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If thats true, how do you book-burn xkcd.com?
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
People voted this man into a political office! People in Oklahoma actually voted for this man!
Fixed that for you.
What do you mean by that?
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AchillesHeel
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Oklahoma isnt overly known for its forward thinking and diverse cultural background. Guys like this do alot better on the bible belt for a reason.
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Ginol_Enam
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And other areas/states, perhaps every area/state, has politicians that are less than ideal for whatever reason. Why single out Oklahoma? Why deride Oklahomans for voting for him, rather than focusing on the man himself?
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AchillesHeel
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I wasnt personnally targeting Oklahoma, merely that it was Oklahoma that put him in power. I wouldnt pretend like my own state of Arizona is any better, Arpaio uses fear and racism to hold power over many things outside his jurisdiction and has for some time while Brecheen pretends that his propisition will be effective and that gets him votes. Honestly aside from this my only mental notes about Oklahoma is singing and disturbingly bright clothing.
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Ginol_Enam
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Okay. I still don't see why it was necessary to actively point out Oklahomans voted him in. Its obvious from his position and the thread title; the redundancy of specifically pointing it out again (especially the way you did) comes off as unnecessarily demeaning to an entire population of people. This especially bothers me because, as I said, every state/region/country whatever has at least one politician to be ashamed of.

Anyway, if you say you meant no harm, though, then you meant no harm.

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Blayne Bradley
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It's been pretty standard for Americans to make fun of *gasp* other Americans!

To a Southerner a Yankee is someone north of the Mason-Dixie line.

To someone north of the line a Yankee is someone from the north-east.

To someone from the north east it is someone from new england.

to someone from new england a yankee is someone from vermont.

To someone from vermont a yankee is something you eat.

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Sterling
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Would someone be so kind as to show Mr. Brecheen and others of his ilk this before they go making- or plagarizing- their statements, if only so they understand the terms they're deriding?
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Bella Bee
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quote:
That professor had a deep appreciation for me by semester end... I specifically remember asking how in 4,000 years of recorded history how we have yet to see the ongoing evidence of evolution (i.e. a monkey jumping out of a tree and putting on a business suit).
Oh yes. I'm certain that his professor had a deep, deep appreciation for him.

Why is there no facepalm smiley?

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Destineer
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I don't want to dig through this for good content. Could somebody who's read it post some choice quotes?
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0Megabyte
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Well, to be fair pretty much every sentence is a gas, and it isn't that long. Still, here's a few samples, out of many:

"(his planned bill) is an attempt to bring parity to subject matter taught in our public schools, paid for by the taxpayers and driven by a religious ideology. I’m talking about the religion of evolution. Yes, it is a religion... Gasp! Someone reading this just fell out of their enlightened seat!!! “It’s not a religion as it’s agreed upon by the entire scientific community,” some are saying at this very moment. Are you sure? Let’s explore the facts."

Getting more in-depth, he says "Even the difference among lions, tigers and cougars could be attributed to species adaption and interbreeding if one so decried. Additionally, human differences seen notable in ethnicity proves that change among species is real but this is NOT evolution, its adaption. Changes with the classification of species is DRAMATICALLY different then changes among Phyla."

"Absolutely ZERO phyla evidence supporting Darwin’s hypothesis has been discovered after millions of fossil discoveries. Darwin’s cornerstone hypothesis where invertebrate’s transition into vertebrates is majorly lacking and so is Darwin’s “theory”."

It goes on pretty much like that. He rails on about phyla crossover a lot, which is apparently a term he made up out of whole-cloth, and which I've never heard in any of the books I've read on the actual subject.

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Samprimary
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to be fair, oklahoma politics is frequently and amazingly dumb.
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
to be fair, oklahoma politics is frequently and amazingly dumb.

Can't argue with that, although I think you could say the same for politics everywhere (just maybe different kinds of dumb).
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Samprimary
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It's just a handful of states, really. AZ, OK, TX, NJ, SD .. most can't be said to have a cripplingly dumb and/or corrupt state scenario.
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Shanna
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As a Louisiana resident, I am not ashamed to add my state to the list of dumb AND corrupt politics. Its just the sad truth.
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kmbboots
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We tend towards corrupt but not so dumb locally. We do okay at the Federal level even if our new senator is a Republican. And I am always happy with my Representative.
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Rakeesh
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Ginol, I can understand why you would say pointing out this is an Oklahoma problem specifically is particularly critical but...isn't that truly because, when you get right down to it, on this issue, Oklahoma is historically pretty (in)famous for being quite behind the times and provincial (that's putting it very politely)?

Oklahoma has a representative government, just like the rest of us. If they elect fools like this, they ought to have it pointed out. Perhaps not with quite so much scorn, but really it's hard not to laugh when the emperor has no clothes on and he's the emperor.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Ginol, I can understand why you would say pointing out this is an Oklahoma problem specifically is particularly critical but...isn't that truly because, when you get right down to it, on this issue, Oklahoma is historically pretty (in)famous for being quite behind the times and provincial (that's putting it very politely)?

Oklahoma has a representative government, just like the rest of us. If they elect fools like this, they ought to have it pointed out. Perhaps not with quite so much scorn, but really it's hard not to laugh when the emperor has no clothes on and he's the emperor.

I'm just asking for a little bit of courtesy when you start generalizing about a an entire state's population. You, instead, decided to go out of your way to provoke and insult me and everyone I know despite not being a part of this thread earlier. Despite my having reached common ground with the guy who posted the initial comment, you brought it up again why? To prove a point that Oklahomans are backwards and stupid? To show how much better you are?

Feel free, I guess. Can't stop you. Just know that ignorance runs both ways.

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Blayne Bradley
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I think you need a chill pill.
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0Megabyte
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You know, I know I don't have any special privileges as the OP, but this is a silly thing to squabble over. Every state has stupid politicians.

This is about one stupid politician in particular. A state politician, not even national. It's much easier for weirdos to become state senators. Heck, dead people and convicted felons have been elected in the past, due to regional party preference type things. It just happens.

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Samprimary
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We have tom tancredo! the day we elect him to office is the day you can know we're dumb as rocks and should admit it.
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Rakeesh
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Ginol,

In what way am I generalizing? I was quite specific when talking about Oklahoma to point out I was talking about 'this issue', meaning clearly issues of evolution, biology, and how they're taught in school. So your criticism of me on that basis seems pretty flawed.

How did I go about provoking and insulting you? By calling Sen. Breechan a fool? Well, Ginol, that's about as close to a fact as such a subject matter can get. There are plenty of worse things than a fool to be, but when it comes to discussing biology and evolution, Breechan is quite the fool, and has no bones about showcasing it in public. If that sounds provocative and insulting to you, I really don't know how to lighten up the language any further.

Do you want to have a discussion on whether or not his opinions on evolution are correct? Because I think if you do, it will quickly be revealed that they are, well, quite staggeringly foolish. And if so, then what have I said that was so insulting and provocative? Much less to 'everyone you know'? Do you only know people in Oklahoma?

I wasn't trying to prove I was better than you. I wasn't insulting or provocative, I didn't call you and everyone you know out, I didn't call everyone in Oklahoma out. The only way you could think that was if you believed I somehow wasn't aware that, yes, 'ignorance runs both ways', a bit of fortune cookie wisdom that anyone with even a bit of reading and knowledge of history is aware of.

I submit that your outraged reaction to what I think was a pretty mild post might have a better outlet if directed towards some pretty absurd, embarrassing local and state politicians, frankly. Not just because they're embarrassing, but because they're doing harm to the education system in Oklahoma, and aren't we hamstringing ourselves enough without this 'evolution is religion' nonsense?

ETA: And, y'know, it really didn't appear as though you 'reached common ground' with the initial poster. More like a cease-fire. And the thread is less than a week old, in a week that contains both Christmas and Christmas Eve, no less-is it really so surprising that someone would arrive a little late to the discussion? So your remarks along those lines are pretty off-base too.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:Ginol,

In what way am I generalizing? I was quite specific when talking about Oklahoma to point out I was talking about 'this issue', meaning clearly issues of evolution, biology, and how they're taught in school. So your criticism of me on that basis seems pretty flawed.

You referred solely to "Oklahoma." You may have meant "this particular Oklahoma politician" or "Oklahoma politicians" or something, but that didn't come across in your text. You refer to the entirety of Oklahoma. If you didn't mean it that way, then you didn't mean it that way. Sorry I misunderstood.

quote:
How did I go about provoking and insulting you? By calling Sen. Breechan a fool? Well, Ginol, that's about as close to a fact as such a subject matter can get. There are plenty of worse things than a fool to be, but when it comes to discussing biology and evolution, Breechan is quite the fool, and has no bones about showcasing it in public. If that sounds provocative and insulting to you, I really don't know how to lighten up the language any further.

Do you want to have a discussion on whether or not his opinions on evolution are correct? Because I think if you do, it will quickly be revealed that they are, well, quite staggeringly foolish. And if so, then what have I said that was so insulting and provocative? Much less to 'everyone you know'? Do you only know people in Oklahoma?

You provoked me by simply bringing it up. I took issue with a minor comment from AchillesHeel that, I felt, lumped the entirety of Oklahoma in with this guy. We came to resolution, all seem well, then you brought it back up for no reason I could see.

As for insulting me, you also lumped me in with this guy (or at least appeared to). Clearly, by my reaction, I agree he's a fool. I don't want to be regarded in the same breath as him; he's an embarrassment to the state. My only issue was ever, which AchillesHeel and yourself, being lumped in with him like all Oklahomans are, well, fools. By addressing me I assumed, I suppose incorrectly, that you were speaking about that.

Also, "most everyone I know," if hyperbole is not allowed. I would say that everyone I know really well lives in Oklahoma, though, so not much of an exaggeration.


quote:
I wasn't trying to prove I was better than you. I wasn't insulting or provocative, I didn't call you and everyone you know out, I didn't call everyone in Oklahoma out. The only way you could think that was if you believed I somehow wasn't aware that, yes, 'ignorance runs both ways', a bit of fortune cookie wisdom that anyone with even a bit of reading and knowledge of history is aware of.
Just because its well known "fortune cookie" wisdom doesn't mean its not true. I'll try to pull something more obscure next time; I wouldn't want to imply you hadn't a bit of reading or knowledge of history.

quote:
I submit that your outraged reaction to what I think was a pretty mild post might have a better outlet if directed towards some pretty absurd, embarrassing local and state politicians, frankly. Not just because they're embarrassing, but because they're doing harm to the education system in Oklahoma, and aren't we hamstringing ourselves enough without this 'evolution is religion' nonsense?
I think both you and Blayne Bradley (chill pill waived, BTW) read more "outrage" into my post than I felt when writing it. Similar, perhaps, to how I apparently read too much into your post and assumed you were indeed generalizing about Oklahoma.

quote:
ETA: And, y'know, it really didn't appear as though you 'reached common ground' with the initial poster. More like a cease-fire. And the thread is less than a week old, in a week that contains both Christmas and Christmas Eve, no less-is it really so surprising that someone would arrive a little late to the discussion? So your remarks along those lines are pretty off-base too.
Semantics. Personally, I feel "cease-fire" implies more hostility than existed. He said something I took some offense at. I questioned him on it. He explained his position. I claimed "no harm done" (not a literal quote, since we're nitpicking) and that was it. Maybe "common ground" could overly imply that we are now in exact agreement, which I suppose is untrue, but I don't think any other particular phrase works substantially better (I already explained my dislike of "cease fire," of course).

And, finally, of course you're free to come into the thread whenever. I was referring simply to my small conversation with Mr. Heel. I felt that issue was resolved and things could move on. I also felt I explained my position fairly well, so why would it need to be brought back up except if some ill will were meant towards my home state?

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Rakeesh
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Ginol,

quote:

You referred solely to "Oklahoma." You may have meant "this particular Oklahoma politician" or "Oklahoma politicians" or something, but that didn't come across in your text. You refer to the entirety of Oklahoma. If you didn't mean it that way, then you didn't mean it that way. Sorry I misundestood.

I meant precisely what I said: that the population of Oklahoma taken as a whole is well known for being behind the times and (in)famous on issues of evolution and how it is taught in schools. That wasn't generalizing, Ginol, that was quite a specific statement about a state population. Your problem with the statement was that you didn't like it which isn't the same thing. I notice you don't challenge my statement, you just criticize me for 'generalizing'.

quote:
You provoked me by simply bringing it up. I took issue with a minor comment from AchillesHeel that, I felt, lumped the entirety of Oklahoma in with this guy. We came to resolution, all seem well, then you brought it back up for no reason I could see.
Well, man, that's your problem, not mine. I'm not going to take responsibility for your disproportionate reaction to such 'provocations' when not only are many (all?) of your criticisms of my post off-base, but many of your statements about what you've done ring hollow as well. You didn't 'come to resolution', all that was said was 'if you say you didn't mean to insult, you didn't mean to insult'.

quote:

As for insulting me, you also lumped me in with this guy (or at least appeared to). Clearly, by my reaction, I agree he's a fool. I don't want to be regarded in the same breath as him; he's an embarrassment to the state. My only issue was ever, which AchillesHeel and yourself, being lumped in with him like all Oklahomans are, well, fools. By addressing me I assumed, I suppose incorrectly, that you were speaking about that.

Well, Ginol, you're going to be regarded in the same breath as him. He's one of your state's Senators. You can't escape it. If you don't like it, agitate. That's one of the virtues and laments of a representative society-you don't get to just wash your hands of the guys you don't like, especially at that level. So, no, I'm not going to grant your request not to associate you with your state Senator. Why on Earth would I? He's yours, like all Oklahomans, who were could've been eligible to vote anyway. Now here is where you might have had some justification for getting as outraged as you did: by associating him with you, I was not, as you suggest, insinuating you were incredibly stupid, nor all Oklahomans, or anything else like that. Or that I personally was better than you.

All I was suggesting was that the people of Oklahoma had made a pretty foolish choice in their pick of state senator here, so poor it reflected badly on them because of that word 'choice'. There's no escaping that connection. I went on to point out that it doesn't really seem reasonable for you to get so angry at folks poking fun at Oklahoma for electing a jackass for a state senator because, again, 'choice'.

Yes, everyone makes stupid choices sometimes. I remember when over here in Florida a decade ago we did, folks just couldn't seem to shut up about how foolish we were, not able to handle an election properly, and then of course it turned out that many places across the country were running things sloppy. When someone makes fun of you for a stupid choice, perhaps the most productive thing to do isn't to get angry that they're making fun of you but to first ask, "Did I make a stupid choice? What can be done about that?"

quote:
Just because its well known "fortune cookie" wisdom doesn't mean its not true. I'll try to pull something more obscure next time; I wouldn't want to imply you hadn't a bit of reading or knowledge of history.
Well, of course you would, Ginol, because you're lashing out due to embarrassment at being associated with this jackass of an elected official. I'm not stating that as a zinger, either, you've all but stated as much in plain language.

quote:
I think both you and Blayne Bradley (chill pill waived, BTW) read more "outrage" into my post than I felt when writing it. Similar, perhaps, to how I apparently read too much into your post and assumed you were indeed generalizing about Oklahoma.
I really don't. You've been using words like provoke, insult, and of course suggesting that I'm taking issue with your entire state overall instead of just with one particular issue as I was very clear in stating in the first place. So if folks - not just Blayne and I - are reading more outrage than you feel when writing in your posts, well, perhaps the reason for that doesn't like with the readers.

quote:
I also felt I explained my position fairly well, so why would it need to be brought back up except if some ill will were meant towards my home state?
Well, there are two possibilities. One is because I hate Oklahoma and think it and its residents are stupid. Another possibility is one very closely tied to my original post: that when a population living under representative government elects absurd, foolish officials, they ought to have it pointed out to them instead of it being kept quiet out of fear of offending anyone.
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kmbboots
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If I had to suffer the embarrassment of President Bush - and I did and it was right that I should have - and Governor Blagojevich - ditto - then you have to suck it up when you elect idiots, too.
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Ginol_Enam
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Rakeesh,


I don't think you hate my state entirely. You are, as you clearly stated, saying my entire state is backwards in its belief in evolution. This is what I take issue with. Yes, this senator is an idiot. I have said as much. I have agreed, even, that Oklahoma politics in general are stupid. I don't agree, however, that the entire population agrees with him or his beliefs on this matter. I don't. Nobody I've spoken to about this does. That's all I take offense at: the insinuation that the entire state's population believes that evolution is religion, etc.

I don't see how that's not generalizing. You're saying something specific about a very large amount of people. Maybe its all you hear about Oklahoma; dumb politics and tornadoes (and I guess the Thunder now) seem to be most of what we get national news coverage for. It doesn't mean its entirely true or applicable to everyone or even most everyone in the state.

I do express my displeasure with the gov't, by the way. Sen. Brecheen, however, does not represent my district, so I doubt he'd really care what I'd have to say.

Everything else you're talking about seems rather superfluous (why do you even care how my conversation ended with AchillesHeel?). Its semantics and doesn't really matter, so I won't bother.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
If I had to suffer the embarrassment of President Bush - and I did and it was right that I should have - and Governor Blagojevich - ditto - then you have to suck it up when you elect idiots, too.

I didn't elect him, for one. He doesn't represent my district. Two, I'm not against acknowledging he's an Oklahoma State Senator. I'm against insinuating that everyone in the state agrees with him.

And its not like I didn't have to suffer Bush either. And I've got Mary Fallin coming in for governor, so we may be even in a few years [Smile]

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kmbboots
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I think that you get a not-my-district pass, then. [Wink]
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Rakeesh
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Ginol,

quote:
I don't think you hate my state entirely. You are, as you clearly stated, saying my entire state is backwards in its belief in evolution.
Alright, I'm dropping out of this discussion with you, because it's quite clear you're not interested in having a good-faith dialogue. Hate? I haven't said or even suggested anything approaching that sentiment.

quote:
That's all I take offense at: the insinuation that the entire state's population believes that evolution is religion, etc.
Nor have I said anything suggesting this, either. I don't know whose posts you're reading, because they certainly aren't mine.

quote:

I don't see how that's not generalizing. You're saying something specific about a very large amount of people. Maybe its all you hear about Oklahoma; dumb politics and tornadoes (and I guess the Thunder now) seem to be most of what we get national news coverage for. It doesn't mean its entirely true or applicable to everyone or even most everyone in the state.

How what's not generalizing? The things I haven't said? That I don't entirely hate Oklahoma and its residents (which until recently included most of my extended paternal family, I despised them). That I think the entire state and all its residents are backwards in their beliefs on evolution. I certainly didn't say anything like Oklahoma is infamous for having a government that is backwards on evolution and how it's taught in schools, or that its population cannot be entirely free from criticism for that.
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, there are two possibilities. One is because I hate Oklahoma and think it and its residents are stupid.

I was responding directly to this. Considering I said I don't think this is the case, I don't see how you took offense.

I may have over-reacted in my initial response to you and I apologize. Since then, however, I feel I've tried very civilly to explain my feelings towards the subject and how I interpreted, perhaps incorrectly, your posts.

In return, I've received what I perceive to be... Well, I guess I shouldn't try to summarize your posts. I apparently seem to be misinterpreting them as much as your are mine.

Its just as well you're dropping out, since I'm tired of it too.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I was responding directly to this. Considering I said I don't think this is the case, I don't see how you took offense.
I don't even know how hate even came into it. The fact that you ever conceived the thought that I hated Oklahoma is just plain baffling to me, and not supported by anything I said. The only way this conversation makes any sense to me is if when you said 'hate my state entirely', you meant that 'you don't think that at all', rather than 'I think you only hate Oklahoma somewhat'.

But even without that misunderstanding, your reactions in the face of repeated clarifications make further communication impossible, and I'm not interested in the non-resolution of 'well I didn't mean to insult Oklahoma', even though I never did. It's just that I don't think that is a resolution, and I don't believe in it.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Can I demand that Chris Angel's body of work be given equal time as well? we havent proven his methods scientifically (not publicly atleast) but he sits higher than most religions in proof of miracles and magic. So long as govt funded schools are teaching about magical talking snakes and bodies of water defying physics why not mention that Angel made an elephant dissapear in public?


Sure, why not? We teach that the entire universe just poofed into existence once day. Teach about the FSM for all I care. If it is important for children to learn other types of world views, why not?

Magic is fine too, but can we use someone other than Chris Angel? The two times I met him he was kind of a douchebag.

[Smile]

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
We teach that the entire universe just poofed into existence once day.
And we have large bodies of evidence to support that. It was a hypothesis that was predicted, which would have turned out to be false if some particular evidence had turned up differently. But the evidence ended up lining up with the prediction. It is, to the best of our current knowledge, the truth, in a way that bending spoons is not.

We don't teach what came BEFORE THAT, because we don't know.

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Ron Lambert
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But it is implicit in the whole mechanistic viewpoint. In the beginning there was nothing--no time, no space, no matter, no energy. Then suddenly nothing exploded, all by itself with no divine intervention, and nothing became everything.
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Raymond Arnold
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I will reiterate: we don't know.
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TomDavidson
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*nod* Seriously, Ron, science does not, as a body of knowledge, make any claim about what may or may not have existed before the observable universe. The only reason you can honestly add "by itself with no divine intervention" to that sentence is that there is no evidence to suggest that it happened due to someone or something else's help, with any divine intervention.
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kmbboots
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Ron, what we have no scientific evidence for - divine intervention, what came "before" and so forth - does not belong in a science class.

[ December 29, 2010, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Ron, what we have no scientific evidence for - divine intervention, what came "before" and so forth - does not belong in a science class.

Unless you believe God used science to create the universe, and that he is a scientist himself. No?
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kmbboots
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Do we have scientific evidence for that belief?
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Unless you believe God used science to create the universe, and that he is a scientist himself. No?
Saying "suppose someone else used science and did X" is not science. At best, it's philosophy. But usually not even that.

Science is distinguished from other modes of determining truth value precisely because it is NOT just saying "suppose this" and then inserting appropriate buzzwords that sound plausible.

[ December 29, 2010, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Ron, what we have no scientific evidence for - divine intervention, what came "before" and so forth - does not belong in a science class.

Unless you believe God used science to create the universe, and that he is a scientist himself. No?
Yeah, no. If you believe that I am a scientist and I believe I created the universe with magic powers, does that make my claim scientifically valid? Whether or not you buy into that belief?
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Geraine
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Did I mention magical powers? We are discovering that we can replicate the Big Bang, create life in a lab, and other remarkable things. It's pretty arrogant to think we are the only life forms that have been able to do that.
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Juxtapose
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Hypothetical possibility does not evidence make.
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