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They never learn

The 2012 presidential campaign is over. The 2016 campaign is starting up.

Oh, dog, but I just want them all to fucking go away.

But I am compelled to comment on this. The first Republican out of the starting gate is Marco Rubio. He’s Latino! The Republicans lost the Latino vote again! So he’s exactly what they need: a brown-skinned person who’s just as stupid and socially regressive as the old white geezers they regularly nominate. Apparently, brown-skinned people won’t pay any attention at all to the policies of the candidate, but will just vote on the basis of skin color. Like white Republicans do!

But here’s the thing: Rubio is a creationist moron.

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

BZZZZZT. WRONG.

We have answered that. The Earth is 4½ billion years old. It was not created in 7 days, but evolved over billions of years.

And you know, in a country faced with skyrocketing gas prices, it would be nice to have a leadership that understood where oil comes from (hint: it wasn’t poofed into existence 4000 years ago.) With looming climate change, it would be nice to have a leadership that understood how carbon cycles work and how gases affect the atmosphere (hint: no angels are involved.) With the prospect of emerging infectious diseases, it’s necessary that our leadership understand how microorganisms evolve (hint: the moral turpitude of the victims is not usually a factor.)

I don’t expect a president to be a geologist or physicist or climatologist or microbiologist, but I at least expect them to respect and use the informed advice of scientists.

Rubio won’t. Please let his campaign whither and die on his first visit to Iowa.

Comments

  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    What’s worse about this is I have my suspicions he knows damn well but he’s just pandering to the wingnuts because despite the good smacking they received on these types of issues, they, the nutbags, still hold the power.

    Makes it worse in my mind.

  2. md says

    Newsflash: Rubio won’t win Hispanics, even if he held a presser and read straight from Darwin for 45 minutes.

  3. schweinhundt says

    A guy who thinks the age of the earth is “a dispute amongst theologians” seems ripe for a future inappropriate rape comment. Apparently, the Republican Party can’t veer away from being the Party of Stupid.

  4. says

    [insert white male voice] But he’s pretty and brown. What more do you lazy 47 percenters want? Do you want a person with those sin caves too? About about Rubio and Bachmann 2016. That ought to appease those special interest brownie, womenies and youngies.

    God and the Mesozoic

  5. DaveL says

    I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all.

    In other words, you’re not a scientist, but you think theologians should get equal consideration with scientists when it comes to answering scientific questions.

    You get nothing. You lose. Good day, sir.

  6. dogfightwithdogma says

    Well, let’s think about this. He’s not a scientist and therefore not qualified to answer the question. And he doesn’t know the answer anyway. Me thinks he is therefore not qualified to be president and too damn stupid as well to be president. I don’t want anyone sitting in the presidential seat of the oval office who isn’t at least as well informed and educated as myself, and I am no scientist either. A well-educated person using his or her critical thinking faculties would know the answer to this rather basic science question. Now if he is pandering then this is just another damn reason to keep him away from the oval office. This simply means he can’t be trusted to be honest and truthful if he is unwilling to share what he truly thinks to be the answer to this question, which almost certainly is that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Finally, the fact that he can’t distinguish between religious dogma and scientific theory speaks volumes about his lack of thinking skills.

  7. says

    Note that he explicitly says that the question of the age of the earth is a dispute among theologians — science in fact has nothing to do with it.

    The man is a total airhead, a clown.

  8. kreativekaos says

    Rubio won’t. Please let his campaign whither and die on his first visit to Iowa. — PZ Myers

    Here, here,… I’ll second that thought. But it looks as a potential Rubio candidacy may be the start of the strategic GOP ‘re-think’; the overlaying/injection of right-wing, WASP idiocy onto future non-WASP majority.

  9. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Newsflash: Rubio won’t win Hispanics, even if he held a presser and read straight from Darwin for 45 minutes.

    Newsflash: that’s not a newsflash.

  10. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    holytape @6:

    But he’s pretty and brown.

    I doubt the Republican party would nominate a man (or woman) of color to be president. Even if they’re pretty.
    Imagine how crazy this election cycle would have been if Obama were running against Herman Cain!

  11. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    dogfightwithdogma:

    Me thinks he is therefore not qualified to be president and too damn stupid as well to be president.

    Yup.
    It’s scary to think that some people think they’re qualified for politics when they can’t even use a search engine.

  12. says

    Perhaps Rubio should pay a visit the lunatic asylum (that’s what the Caltech isotope geochemistry lab has been called since it got the job of working out the ages of the Apollo moon rock samples).

  13. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It has been an hour but no follow up from md. I guess it is just a hit and run stupid from md. Not even going to try to defend the implication that leftists revere the words of Charles Darwin as holy writ.

    That is because that is wht you are fucking implying, md.

  14. magistramarla says

    I have lots of friends, and now even a few relatives, who are Mexican, and I know that they have no love for Rubio. He’s Cuban, and they don’t trust Cubans. But hey, I hope that the repubs go right ahead and have him run, thinking that he’s their ticket to getting the “brown” vote. Then they will be scratching their heads yet again in 2016.

  15. frankb says

    I am in Iowa and I would love to heckle Rubio. But unfortunately (or fortunately) Repubs tend not to come to college towns. Our crazy Steve King is on the western side of Iowa and a lot of Hispanics live on the eastern side. He has no need to come near me.

  16. Christoph Burschka says

    The Republican strategy is almost adorable in its simple transparency.

    “Hm, we lost to a black man. Particularly among minorities. Could that be because of our history of treating minorities like shit? Naaah. They’re just ‘reverse racist’. But apparently they won’t fall for a bit of spray-on tan either. Shucks. Well, time for Plan B.”

  17. screechymonkey says

    I like this little non sequitur:

    I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.

    Who’s arguing otherwise?

    The evolution wars are not about prohibiting parents from teaching their own children nonsense. Nobody’s trying to do that. What we are fighting against is a parent’s “right” to try to use public schools to teach other people’s children what their faith says.

    The religious right plays this little game all the time. They pretend that every culture war issue is about their “religious freedom” to believe what they want, but really, it’s about imposing their religious beliefs on anyone they can exert power over. Amanda Marcotte has a good post today about this in the context of contraception and the “Kids Without God” site.

  18. says

    Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

    It’s bound to be a mystery when you allow only two fictional choices.

    When you go to science, no more mystery (little mysteries remain, but not the looming Mystery they want). But then, the “mystery” feeds their religion as meaningful answers do not.

    Glen Davidson

  19. alwayscurious says

    He’s not a scientist he says? +1 for recognizing that…and therefore should have kept his mouth shut without uttering anything further (-1000 for nonsense).

    He can say what recorded history says? Really, do share historian Rubio: tell us on what principles America was founded? Stay tuned for more facepalm action! (it would be so much more funny if it weren’t so serious)

  20. duce7999 says

    I was struck by something when I read his comments. It is a different sort of dichotomy of Scientist vs. Christian(Creationist). He said “I am not a scientist” as opposed to “I am not aware of what that answer is.” I am not a mechanic, but my car is a 2001…

    It seems that according to Mr. Rubio only scientists need be aware and “trust” science. Just as if I am not a Christian, I don’t have to trust the tenets of Christianity. That is terrifying. It doesn’t matter what we can demonstrate with hard evidence, since he is not a “Scientismist” he doesn’t have to accept it. Come ON Florida!

  21. Ichthyic says

    The evolution wars are not about prohibiting parents from teaching their own children nonsense. Nobody’s trying to do that.

    speak for yourself.

    I am.

    Richard Dawkins is.

    so are a lot of others.

  22. Ichthyic says

    well, more trying to prevent lies being taught as facts to children, no so much prohibit by law or fiat.

    seriously, should kids be allowed to be taught they are going to hell if they do thing their parents don’t like?

    should they be taught to hate their neighbors because the neighbors aren’t creationists?

    How many lies should we allow people to indoctrinate their children with, and yet have them bear no responsibility for the adults these children then become?

  23. Ichthyic says

    The religious right plays this little game all the time. They pretend that every culture war issue is about their “religious freedom” to believe what they want,

    hey, they dicated the terms of this “war”, delusional or not.

    I’m happy to use their playbook.

    let’s see how well it works out for them.

  24. says

    Angela Merkel has a PhD in Physics, but that doesn’t seem to stop her from considering AGW a lesser problem than possible reductions in Teh Glorious German Economy.

  25. says

    either that, or her irrational obsession with austerity for not-Germany is a super-seekrit plan to reduce EU carbon emissions by collapsing its economy.

  26. Jacques Ouihausse says

    That is not the only way to look at it. He is a politician and the USA’s most pressing problem AIUI is the social divide, (Wannabe)?Rich/(middle|lower) class, R/D, WAS[SFP]/Immigrants, Rural/Metropolitan. He refuses judgement on private beliefs/misconceptions. This quote in itself does not qualify for the Bachmann/Palin/… league.

  27. Doug Little says

    Yeah they already tried that whole throw someone up from a demographic they need, didn’t work out too well for them, Palin, cough… cough.

  28. md says

    Reverend Big Dumb,

    Please tell every middle of the road political consultant. They need to hear from us.

    Janine,

    Not exactly my implication. Two things though. One: id like to see some liberal reporter ask some random members of our new Hispanic overlords, or perhaps some African Americans in the south what their views on Creationism and the origins and age of the planet are.

    Two: There is a meme here and in the MSM press, though, that disavowing creationism is a signal for rational thought in all other areas of political concern. Forget our economic policy differences, Id offer that rational thought led to and can, not will, not must, but can lead to again eugenics and other scientifically based horrors. The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    Put down your keyboard. No I do not blame Darwin, I blame the rationally minded proponents of eugenics. You know the roll call: Wendell Holmes, Wells, Woodrow Wilson. How’d they lean politically?

  29. says

    I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow

    Very telling. Many conservatives seem to have some odd separation between their various fields of knowledge. Even if they know about one thing, they don’t follow through into another field.

    E.g. this guy seems to be completely unaware that the age of the earth has anything whatsoever to do with the existence of fossil fuels. Compartmentalization FTW!

  30. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    Janine:
    are you missing md?
    Perhaps if you say hir name 3 times in a mirror…?

  31. says

    I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow

    pretty sure age of the universe (or specifically, the earth) has something to do with oil, and oil has something to do with our economy.

    but who am i to quibble.

  32. raven says

    How brown is Rubio anyway? Has anyone checked him out with a light meter?

    Cuba is a nation, not an ethnic group or race.

    I worked with a scientist once who was Cuban and blond and blue eyed as well. You see this in Mexico too. The old Spanish aristocracy is still around and still as pale as they were 400 years ago.

    but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians..

    Rubio doesn’t seem to know what a scientist is much less the difference between scientists and theologians.

    This is dumb. Fundie xianity mediated cognitive impairment strikes again, making Mad Cow disease look like the flu. It’s quite possible, if Rubio is as dumb as he seems right now, he will go the way of Perry, Bachmann, and Satanorum.

  33. screechymonkey says

    Ichthyic,

    well, more trying to prevent lies being taught as facts to children, no so much prohibit by law or fiat.

    Right, that’s what I was getting at. Rubio was saying that he thinks parents “should be able” to do that, which I take as meaning “free from legal prohibition,” not as “should do” it, or “should be able to do it free from criticism.”

    Has Dawkins called for such things to be criminalized? I know he’s used the phrase “child abuse,” which is controversial precisely because it is a crime, but has he actually explicitly called for criminal punishment in such cases, or does he just want to call it abuse as part of his “consciousness raising”?

  34. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    Jacques @31:

    This quote in itself does not qualify for the Bachmann/Palin/… league.

    Perhaps not to the same degree, but it exists along the same continuum. An elected official that’s not only ignorant of the established scientific facts but treats the answer as one of two possible answers (love the binary thinking; with one possible answer always the untestable GODDIT hypothesis), all the while not showing any desire to educate himself on the matter (again, Google is your friend). That’s not far from Palin/Bachman territory. The main difference is they don’t treat the answer as having two possible answers.

  35. raven says

    More to the point, who do the Democrats have for 2016?

    We know the Democrats can win with good candidates. Bill Clinton won twice. Obama won twice even with his Kenyan born, Moslem terrorist problem.

    Given the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Tea Party/GOP, a good Democratic candidate should be able to win again.

  36. says

    Once, just once I’d like to see an interview end when someone gives this kind of wishy washy, hedging “there are no wrong answers” response. Just have the interviewer stop in mid interview, maybe laugh slightly and walk away.

  37. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    md:

    Forget our economic policy differences, Id offer that rational thought led to and can, not will, not must, but can lead to again eugenics and other scientifically based horrors. The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    Rationality leads to eugenics?
    Do you have a strong argument to support this belief?

  38. coldthinker says

    Yes, the main point was probably Rubio’s ethnicity in relation to Republican campaing tactics and his unsurprising anti-science stance.

    But what is really telling is the way he’s thinking about whether science is important or not: ”…it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.”

    So is this an acceptable mindset for an American politician? That their job is basically just to make sure the American accumulation of wealth is maximised? Is this just the Republican mind, or is this ubiquitous in the American culture?

    Who cares about the future of the planet, the looming environmental catastrophy, global fairness and the starvation in foreign countries. The environment, the UN, the fair trade agreements just get in the way. During the past presidential campaign the only important thing in the minds of the American electorate seemed to be just American wealth, and the US certainly has the military power to get it.

    Apparently if it wasn’t for the military counter force of similarly greedy China and Russia, the US would just openly go and steal whatever it wants — in the hands of the Republicans, at least. Kind of what happened in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, very profitably for the arms industry of the axis of these three evils.

  39. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    raven:
    Against the Tea Party/GOP, I think even a bad Democrat could win.

  40. raven says

    Bill Clinton: It’s the economy, stupid!!!

    It still is and will be.

    We really need to fix our financial problems, lower unemployment, and get the economy moving again.

    The US national debt is now 101% of GDP. This is in the danger zone. There is no specific ratio of national debt to GDP where everything falls apart but if it is high enough for long enough, the probability of it crashing the economy approaches one.

    Everyone points to Japan which has a debt to GDP around 200%. Wrong example. Japan hit the wall a few decades ago. They never got up again and show no sign of doing so.

  41. Randomfactor says

    raven, anyone truly worried about the US national debt and not the US unemployment rate at this time is delusional.

    This excludes politicians who pretend to worry about such things for show. (Republicans and, I’m afraid, the current POTUS.)

  42. says

    This really is a reflection on the base. That such an answer is actually intellectually satisfying.

    Think about it. Rubio knows that the answer is 4.54 billion years. Yet he hums and haws thinking that not giving the right answer will not alienate him from an ignorant base.

    He is right.

    But we can rest easy that Rubio has no chance in hell, or about the same chances that there is a hell, of being elected as POTUS anyway.

    The same wingnuts who consider Obama an outsider are not fooled by Rubio’s white-skin-ness. They know he is a Cuban Mormon.

  43. raven says

    md the troll:

    Forget our economic policy differences, Id offer that rational thought led to and can, not will, not must, but can lead to again eugenics and other scientifically based horrors. The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    What an idiot troll.

    Look what religion does every day.

    1. Murders women like Savita in Ireland.

    2. Look at Israel and Gaza. An endless war that flares up and is seemingly unstoppable between Moslems and Jews.

    3. Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which have mastered the art of perpetual warfare.

    4. Crusades, witch hunts, heretic burnings, sectarian wars.

    Nothing can touch religion for fostering atrocities. Even today, there are xian atrocities and terrorism on a routine basis somewhere.

    The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    The religion minded seem to be usually morally confused. When lies, hate, and hypocrisy are sacred duties, when ignorance is considered a virtue and education evil, that is what happens.

  44. frog says

    But…he’s not brown!

    I keep hearing this. I keep looking at pictures of him. Maybe he’s photoshopped all over the internet, because he looks like the whitest white boy in the frat house to me.

    White people can be Latino, yes; I know plenty of them.

    But I don’t understand why people think Rubio will have any understanding of the day-to-day prejudice Latinos/Hispanics face in this country.

    No one in Arizona would ever ask that white man for his identification papers.

  45. raven says

    But what is really telling is the way he’s thinking about whether science is important or not: ”…it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.”

    Which is dead wrong.

    Science has everything to do with our economy.

    During the GOP Bush adminstration, a report was commissioned by his administration on science and economic growth.

    The 20th century was a period of immense US economic growth as we went from horses to computers and space craft. Half of this economic growth was directly related to advances in science.

    If you want to stop economic growth, stop science.

  46. peggin says

    I don’t think I could ever trust a creationist to make good, rational decisions on anything involving questions of science. But more than that is the problem that most creationists also subscribe to a religious belief that the world is going to end sometime soon. How could I possibly trust someone who not only believes that, but is actively hoping for it to happen in his lifetime, to make good policy decisions? Why bother to preserve the environment if you think the world is going to end soon? Why not max out all your credit cards — you’re never going to have to pay them back! Why save Social Security for your children and grandchildren — the world is going to end before they’re ever going to need it!

  47. Gregory Greenwood says

    md @ 32;

    There is a meme here and in the MSM press, though, that disavowing creationism is a signal for rational thought in all other areas of political concern. Forget our economic policy differences, Id offer that rational thought led to and can, not will, not must, but can lead to again eugenics and other scientifically based horrors. The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    Most advocates of eugenics used transparently invalid pseudo-science to justify horrendously racist, homophobic or otherwise bigoted policies that were rooted far more in intolerance fueled by a religious or ethno-supremacist mindset. As an example, ‘social Darwinism’ – an idea often used to justify eugenics – is a scientifically meaningless term that grossly abuses Darwin’s work by taking observations about the physical adaptation of species over substantial periods of time running into many hundreds or thousands of generations, and utterly inappropriately applying them to the human social sphere. It is be like trying to use the theory of gravity to justify a particular economic or foreign policy – it makes not a whit of sense, and it would be ridiculous to blame the intellectual field that produced the theory for the abuses of those who misappropriated it.

    And that is the entire point – the figleaf of pseudo-science is being used to justify abuses that have no scientific or rational merit. If you claim that rational thought and a scientific mind can lead by their innate nature to such horrors as eugenics, then what is your alternative? Irrationality or anti-intellectualism? Neither of those attitudes are exactly blameless when it comes to oppression, murder and even genocide, and religion with its long and bloody history of pogroms and holy wars – not to mention its contemporary promotion of oppressive and discriminatory policies the world over – is practically the poster child for how dangerous a lack of rationality and respect for scientific knowledge can be.

    If you are going to make a claim as extreme as that the existence of rational thought can lead to eugenics by virtue of its rational character, then you are going to need to back it up with something.

    Put down your keyboard. No I do not blame Darwin, I blame the rationally minded proponents of eugenics. You know the roll call: Wendell Holmes, Wells, Woodrow Wilson. How’d they lean politically?

    Having a more or less ‘rational mind’ offers no surety that one won’t hold irrational or toxic beliefs with regard to certain issues – just look at all the sexist or homophobic arsehats that proudly bear the title ‘skeptic’ but stubbornly refuse to apply it to social issues – but completely rejecting reason and science and going to war with reality guarantees that you will be on the wrong side of every issue, and open to every conartist (whether wearing a dog collar or not) who comes along.

  48. says

    I feel insulted when anyone assumes I would cast a vote based on ethnicity/skin color.
    If the politicos in my country of origin have led me to come here searching for a fair state, then I’m not falling for the candidate that looks the most like me; I’m searching for a nation with liberty and justice for all.
    (YES md, “my underling”, that last bit includes you too… What i’d like to know is when did you ever get a break from the government just for being white? Did the checks stop when a brown person was elected? What makes you think that my ethnicity is going to be an unfair advantage if this idiot typical politician is elected?)

  49. Akira MacKenzie says

    “I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow…”

    Standard right-wing bait-and-switch tactic. Dredge up cultural issues like evolution, abortion, same-sex marriage. When the opposition responds, suddenly claim that the “liberals” are focusing on unimportant social issues when the economy should take priority.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    Science is self-correcting, and has done so. Look at what it takes nowadays for even animal testing, much less testing on humans.

    Religion is nothing but authoritarianism based on books of mythology/fiction.

    They need to hear from us.

    Why? All you have is fuckwittery and illogical ideas. Starting with an imaginary deity and mythical/fictional holy book without ethics/morality. Which anybody who has really read it, like a lot of of us atheists, fully understand. Until you can show us your method of correcting your myriad of mistakes (as compared to science), you have nothing to offer anybody who is rational.

  51. Ichthyic says

    I know he’s used the phrase “child abuse,” which is controversial precisely because it is a crime, but has he actually explicitly called for criminal punishment in such cases, or does he just want to call it abuse as part of his “consciousness raising”?

    the latter.

    and exactly why I posted it like I did too.

    :)

  52. Ichthyic says

    … that said, though, we do quite a bit of “thought policing” that is both socially and legislatively acceptable, and has been for quite a long time in any democracy one cares to name.

    one can choose to call it ugly, but one can’t deny that it exists, or even that in some cases it has merits.

  53. says

    That their job is basically just to make sure the American accumulation of wealth is maximised? Is this just the Republican mind, or is this ubiquitous in the American culture?

    as far as most Americans are concerned (especially during recessions, like right now), the economy is everything. EVERYTHING. You even see liberals frame SJ issues (including the ones you’ve mentioned)as economic issues; which isn’t strictly speaking incorrect, but it tells you the framework of American social thought.

    Though, it’s not like it’s any easier to make SJ arguments elsewhere if you can’t tie them to the economy. Environmental protection needed environmental economics (basically, putting a money-value on the services nature provides us) to become a viable argument in many places in the West, not just the USA

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When the opposition responds, suddenly claim that the “liberals” are focusing on unimportant social issues when the economy should take priority.

    Not that the reactionary/teabagger/liberturd economic ideas work either. Nothing but slogans that don’t work as described in reality.

  55. Ichthyic says

    you know, since “md” mentioned Eugenics, and implied it’s not based on rational thought at all (not even going into the irrational crap that was the root of “social darwinism), I’m curious:

    The chinese practice what amounts to eugenics in response to rapid population growth.

    Is the basis for their policies irrational?

    now, this is NOT a question of whether one agrees or disagrees with it, it’s a pure question of rationality.

    Are their policies rational, or not?

  56. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Please tell every middle of the road political consultant. They need to hear from us.

    Every one of them huh?

    And that wonderfully nebulous term “middle of the road”.

    cute.

  57. rodriguez says

    Pharyngula, this discussion of how white or how brown Rubio is is bothering me in a way I can’t describe very clearly but it feels wrong.

  58. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Pharyngula, this discussion of how white or how brown Rubio is is bothering me in a way I can’t describe very clearly but it feels wrong.

    Yep

  59. imthegenieicandoanything says

    He’s a prominent “Republican” figure, therefore he’s a turd lying about his being polished.

    In this dark age of American politics, though the tide has finally and permanently turned against these stupid, ignorant, insane and/or evil shits the damage they’ve done will take ages to undo.

    He and every other “Republican,” so long as they continue to be the party openly proud of being liars both ignorant and evil, can fuck off.

  60. raven says

    When the opposition responds, suddenly claim that the “liberals” are focusing on unimportant social issues when the economy should take priority.

    It’s the other way around.

    When the Tea Baggers gain power, culture war issues are all that they focus on. Creationism in public schools, anti-science, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-birth control, anti sex ed.

    These issues are cost free in money terms, short term at least. It costs nothing to sneak creationism into public schools or restrict birth control.

    They do this because they don’t have any real economic plans or philosophy. It’s all about lowering taxes without cutting services. Which is impossible.

    Pharyngula, this discussion of how white or how brown Rubio is is bothering me in a way I can’t describe very clearly but it feels wrong.

    Well it should.

    It always bothers me when the GOP calls Obama a Kenyan born, Moslem terrorist. Half of them supposedly believe that. What they really mean is that he is black. Which isn’t right either, he is half white.

    Whether Rubio is brown, white, or green isn’t an issue for Democratic leaning people who just elected a Kenyan born, Moslem terrorist again. It sure is for the Tea Party/GOP though, Rubio’s base. They are mostly older whites and a lot of them are racists.

  61. rodriguez says

    this discussion has been measuring his “white-ness” and “brown-ness”. That contributes directly to an atmosphere where these kinds of “measurements” flourish. If the commentariat says “pish, we don’t care about that stuff, WE are pointing out how THEY do care” then that contributes and covers it with excuses too.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    this discussion has been measuring his “white-ness” and “brown-ness”. That contributes directly to an atmosphere where these kinds of “measurements” flourish.

    Actually, that has only been a very minor part of the discussion, from a very few individuals. It isn’t as prevalent as you try to make it out to be.

  63. rodriguez says

    Does the fact that it is a minor portion of the discussion mean I shouldn’t bring it up?

  64. raven says

    troll:

    If the commentariat says “pish, we don’t care about that stuff, WE are pointing out how THEY do care” then that contributes and covers it with excuses too.

    This is gibberish. It makes no sense.

    Rodriquez, which is probably not his real name, is just concern trolling and doing a typically bad job of it.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does the fact that it is a minor portion of the discussion mean I shouldn’t bring it up?

    Nope, only that is should be kept in perspective. I think you are trying to blow it out of perspective, for trollish reasons.

  66. rodriguez says

    mhm. You want to peek at Rubio on google to see how white he is, and then tell the world you looked. Why is that on your mind? Then doubt my name. Which you spell incorrectly.

  67. Amphiox says

    I had to peek.

    From Google, Rubio isn’t brown at all.

    He looks like a generic European.

    The great irony to the racism is that LOTS of hispanics look like generic Europeans.

    And why shouldn’t they? Many of them have Portuguese and Spanish ancestry, after all.

    (Of course, I’m of Asian descent, and naturally all you white devils look the same to me….)

  68. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Janine,

    Not exactly my implication. Two things though. One: id like to see some liberal reporter ask some random members of our new Hispanic overlords, or perhaps some African Americans in the south what their views on Creationism and the origins and age of the planet are.

    Our Hispanic overlords? Seriously? While a growing and increasingly powerful demographic, they are hardly our overlords. Also, hardly monolithic.

    Also, why would the opinions of random Hispanics or African-Americans be of greater worth than of scientists trained in that field. Also, there are scientists who are Hispanic and African American. Go figure.

    Two: There is a meme here and in the MSM press, though, that disavowing creationism is a signal for rational thought in all other areas of political concern. Forget our economic policy differences, Id offer that rational thought led to and can, not will, not must, but can lead to again eugenics and other scientifically based horrors. The science minded can get morally confused, it seems.

    Wrong. Acknowledging the truth about evolution does not mean that one is automatically rational in all areas.

    But I see what you are trying to pull here; Darwin leads to eugenics leads to the Holocaust. Say hello to Ben Stein.

    Put down your keyboard. No I do not blame Darwin, I blame the rationally minded proponents of eugenics. You know the roll call: Wendell Holmes, Wells, Woodrow Wilson. How’d they lean politically?

    Please tell me, who of the left advocates for eugenics? Also, tell me, how many people with a solid scientific backing proposes eugenics.

    I asked for this. I accused md to committing hit and run stupid. Md came back and dumped a pile of stupid.

  69. cactusren says

    I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.

    I’m not a politician. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question I should have learned the answer to in middle school civics class.

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I asked for this. I accused md to committing hit and run stupid. Md came back and dumped a pile of stupid.

    Nope, you just made md show what a pile of stupid presupposition it is. And why it should be in everybody’s killfile for terminal insipidity.

  71. says

    Rodriguez has a perfectly good point, whether it’s a minor aside to the discussion or not.

    It smacks of privileged people being all judgemental over who and who isn’t entitled to be considered brown/hispanic/whatever. A judgement that clearly we white folks are qualified to make, because what would you silly brown people know about your own lives? And surely it must be concern trolling to object – because it’s not racist, it’s just everyday normal banter that no-one could really mind. Don’t worry sweetheart, it’s just a joke, geeze you chicks ethnics are so touchy amirite?

    On a similar vein, there was an incident in Australia recently where a politician talked about wanting representation from “authentic Aborigines”. Because those urban people who drive their cars to the supermarket instead of hunting food on foot with spear and digging stick? Not Aboriginal enough for the Mad White Monk! And it turned into the hilarious twitter hashtag #Itriedtobeauthenticbut. Discussion here – http://thehoopla.com.au/sound-blackfellas-laughing/

  72. Emrysmyrddin says

    Pharyngula, this discussion of how white or how brown Rubio is is bothering me in a way I can’t describe very clearly but it feels wrong.

    Yep

    Er, sentiment thirded :/

  73. unclefrogy says

    one of the big mistakes the GOP and the media made concerning Florida was thinking that because the Cubans were mostly republican they had the Latino vote in their camp but turns out that the Puerto Ricans and the Latinos from other parts of the world (Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala) are not republicans.
    An other factoid I read somewhere was the percent of Cubans voting republican in Florida while still a majority is dropping my guess would be that it is just like the rest of the republican base because the young are not voting republican as much and the older in this case immigrant population is dieing off.

    I expect to see much political carnage between now and the next election in both parties probably but it may well prove the most savage in the republican reactionary party. they are up first.

    uncle frogy

  74. canabob says

    Acceptable response: “I am not a scientist. I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ll leave it to the scientists to figure out. And if the question arises with a direct bearing on my presidency, I will refer it to my science advisor.”
    I know lots of people who are not science-oriented and would not know the answer to the question, but who are nevertheless not anti-science. (I thought it was 4.5 billion years, but learned somewhere in this thread that it is apparently 4.54 billion years – so what?)
    The age of the planet really is not important to the presidency, as long as she (I’m not American, but I’ve already got my fingers crossed for Clinton) realizes geologic processes take more than a couple of thousand years.
    But how a prospective president addresses questions of science – or of theology (without confusing the two!) – is of paramount importance.
    For all their rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, the Resmuglicans are not even close to figuring that out. Rubio is proof.

  75. knut7777 says

    Can college degrees be revoked? If it were possible I would nominate Rubio as one who deserves to lose them. I don’t care if he really is that stupid or just plays stupid on tv. There must be consequences for being a fool.

  76. doktorzoom says

    I rather liked this bit from Rich Abdill’s piece over on Wonkette:

    When asked a question about science, Rubio answered with “I’m not a scientist, man.” This sounds stupid, sure. But it also implies that a scientist would know the answer, which they fucking do, but Rubio still just stands, gazing in wonderment, about how we will never know, so that dumb people will vote for him.

  77. Jerry says

    It seems to me that Rubio is not qualified to hold any political office because he fails at honesty, fails at basic grade school level science knowledge, and especially b/c he equates science with religion (which should have no place in our legislative system whatsoever). I don’t care what is his skin color or ethnicity, he’s an idiot. Anyway, I thought the current required Republican skin color was some shade of spray-on orange.

  78. nathanaelnerode says

    FYI, it’s “wither and die”. Usage examples:

    Plants wither if you don’t water them.

    Whither goes the Republican Party? To extinction, we hope.

  79. nathanaelnerode says

    Oh, and regarding the sane report on intellectual property almost issued by the Republican Party: watch Darrell Issa. Apparently he “saw the light” on intellectual property a few years back, after being shown a great pile of evidence. What this makes me realize is that he is *capable* of learning based on evidence. This is a characteristic which I do *not* see in most elected members of the Republican Party. (He still votes like a sexist pig, but if he, say, actually talked to women outside the Republican Party, I could imagine him changing his voting pattern — something I simply cannot imagine for people like Rubio.)

  80. Amphiox says

    No I do not blame Darwin, I blame the rationally minded proponents of eugenics. You know the roll call: Wendell Holmes, Wells, Woodrow Wilson. How’d they lean politically?

    They all lean dead.

    And if they were alive today, where would their leanings be on today’s spectrum? Comfortably RIGHT of center.

    They might have been comparatively progressive for their day, but the thing about progressivism is that it progresses.

  81. mikeyb says

    From a pure marketing standpoint given the changing demographics, I have to say – Rubio is probably the best candidate available or the most likely to get the most votes in 2016. In the last election if someone like Rubio had just doubled the Latino vote with all else equal, he would have won this last election. So an unfortunate reality is that he probably has the best chance to win of the current GOP crop IMHO. I am a Hispanic from New Mexico, and the Hispanic factor did play a role in electing our own half witted governer Susana Martinez, so I’m sure a Hispanic as a national figure could have a substantial impact.

    Having said that, based upon both the GOP convention and this statement, apparently Rubio is really an actual true no kidding believer, in other words a complete utter moronic ignoramus, who has no business being a senator, much less a presidential candidate. But that is Florida for you.

    But they tried W, Palin and Gordon Gekko,and the dozens of other greater and lesser buffoons in recent years, so why not a smooth talking Latino creationist. When I tuned into a couple last years GOP debates, I wondered if this was a Saturday Night Live sketch or I had peered into an alternate universe or I was on drugs. But the hell if I’ll fall for it, but with a bad economy and the right marketing, it could actually work, unfortunately.

  82. tomforsyth says

    It was not created in 7 days, but evolved over billions of years.
    Ayeee. I know what you mean and you know what you mean, but we both also know that using the word “evolution” about anything but biology is fraught with problems.

  83. imkindaokay says

    Vote Libertarian 2012. The government is controlled by CORPORATIONS, and by removing regulations and taxes on CORPORATIONS, they’ll become, er, not-controlling? Less big? Less powerful? Er

  84. Ichthyic says

    Vote Libertarian 2012. The government is controlled by CORPORATIONS, and by removing regulations and taxes on CORPORATIONS, they’ll become, er, not-controlling? Less big? Less powerful? Er

    best argument I’ve heard for libertarianism in the last month.

    seriously.

    ;)

  85. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    As an example, ‘social Darwinism’ – an idea often used to justify eugenics – is a scientifically meaningless term that grossly abuses Darwin’s work by taking observations about the physical adaptation of species over substantial periods of time running into many hundreds or thousands of generations, and utterly inappropriately applying them to the human social sphere. – Gregory Greenwood

    But there’s no doubt that people close to Darwin were involved in eugenics – one of his sons, Leonard Darwin, was for many years Chairman [sic] of the Eugenics Society (succeeding Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton). Darwin himself had by our standards racialist, sexist and classist views. More broadly, md would certainly be justified in claiming that people can think they are being rational and scientific and progressive when they propose some vast programme of genocide – see Dawkins’ discussion of H.G. Wells in TGD.

  86. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    But as for Democratic candidates for 2016, what can anyone tell me about Elizabeth Warren? American liberals/lefties seemed mostly pleased she won a Senate seat, but could she be an electable progressive, which is what the American leftworld needs for 2016?

  87. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    the thing about progressivism is that it progresses. – Amphiox

    QFT. And since we don’t take either progressives or scientists of the past as authorities, we can identify and appreciate their real achievements, while rejecting many of their time-bound beliefs and value judgements.

  88. joachim says

    So PZ is racist about “brown skinned” people too.

    Well, Darwin didn’t like em either, so I guess its O.K.

  89. Matt Penfold says

    Troll or just lack of sarcasm indicator? Make your bets now. Limited time only.

    Former, and not for the first time. Has never managed to say anything sensible so far as I can recall.

  90. Amphiox says

    But as for Democratic candidates for 2016, what can anyone tell me about Elizabeth Warren? American liberals/lefties seemed mostly pleased she won a Senate seat, but could she be an electable progressive, which is what the world needs for 2016?

    Rumors are she’s on tap for the Banking Committee, and the bank lobbyists are all in a tizzy trying to stop her from getting on that committee. She’s an expert in bankruptcy law. There’s been some murmurings that she might be tapped by the Democrats to be VP candidate for 2016, but no one that I’ve heard of is talking about a Presidential candidacy. Of course, politically she is more or less in the same position as Barack Obama was in in 2004, so who knows?

    She is I think the most progressive high profile senator in the Democratic caucus, and someone the right wing would surely paint as “extreme” even though she isn’t. She was of course electable in Massachusetts, but she may not be electable nationwide in 2016, unless there’s some serious effort to move the Overton window leftward in the intervening years.

    2020 though (again assuming there is steady progress in moving the Overton window leftward in the intervening time) if she’s still in politics and interested, she could be a very viable candidate.

  91. sundiver says

    The way the Repukes are going, admitting you think evolution or AGW or anything “sciency” is true is a surefire way to get you ostracized. The religiots will run you out of the party. John Huntsman’s experience is an example. So even if Rubio does think Earth is 4.54 billion years old he can’t say so. Still, his comment that theologians are debating the issue struck me as just stupid. It’s like saying geophysicists are debating Greek mythology.

  92. sundiver says

    Oh, Joachim troll. I don’t think PZ gives a phlying Philadelphia phuque about ANYBODY’S ethnicity. He’ll rip you a new one for spouting creationist bullshit whatever your ethnic identity.

  93. anteprepro says

    In the last election if someone like Rubio had just doubled the Latino vote with all else equal, he would have won this last election.

    The problem, though? They’d lose the Racist vote. The other problem is that this feat is just not feasible. 60-70% of the Hispanic vote went to Obama in both elections, and there are twice as many Latinos that are registered Democrats as there are Latinos who are registered Republicans. A significant number are registered independents, but to double the Republican Hispanic vote, they’d have to get almost all of those independents while Democrats get only the registered Democrats. Or a very large number of the registered Democrats switch party affiliation. I doubt that Rubio’s ethnicity alone would be able to win him that. Especially since Rubio would be asked to answer about what he would have for immigration policy sooner or later, which would either result in him reminding Latino voters why they avoid the GOP, or would result in him outraging his privileged white xenophobic base.

  94. anteprepro says

    Still not sure what theologians have to add re: age of the Earth!

    They can add noisy expressions of denialist “doubt”, because they personally are ignorant of the facts, so they think that know one really knows. And they can add pompous confusion, because they think that an interpretation of an ancient holy book is just as good as the facts that they are ignorant about. Basically, it is what theologians have to add to any discussion that isn’t strictly about Bible Study.

  95. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Thanks Amphiox@103,

    By 2020 she’ll be 71 – older than Reagan when he took the Presidency. Not out of the question, but it’s a pretty demanding job.

  96. AlanMac says

    GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

    …I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.

    He claims he’s not qualified to answer a question on what he thinks!?

  97. scienceavenger says

    Notice Rubio using an old fundie debate trick of shifting the question from the age of the earth to the age of the universe, a trick so consistent and predictable that reporters deserve criticism for not being prepared with a quick rebuttal question like “Do you think the earth and the universe are the same age?”.

  98. md says

    QFT. And since we don’t take either progressives or scientists of the past as authorities, we can identify and appreciate their real achievements, while rejecting many of their time-bound beliefs and value judgements.

    Alls well in hindsight. But at the time, Nick, if you were of it and bound by it, do you think you’d be more on the side of Wells and Wilson, plausible as you’d share so many other seemingly unrelated political positions, or would have a copy of G.K. Chestertons Eugenics and other Evils under your arm, telling your fellow progressives they need to heed?

  99. frog says

    rodriguez: As one of the folks who noted Rubio’s color, please let me explain my background thinking.

    The Republicans seem to think they should promote Rubio to demonstrate that they are concerned about Latinos. I read this as blatant tokenism — “Quick, get us a Latino we can parade around to show we care!”

    That Marco Rubio looks white is to me incredibly deep irony. They can’t even correctly choose a token to serve their intended purpose. It strongly appears (to me) that they are just so damn racist that the only tolerable representative of minorities they can find is a straight, able, white guy.

    I am second-generation Irish American. A couple of generations ago that might have been a minority status and caused me problems. But now? I’m just another white person, with all the privileges that entails. People don’t look at me funny when I shop in high-end stores, cops treat me with reasonable respect, etc etc.

    I don’t know what Marco Rubio has experienced in his life, but based strictly on appearance, he’s no more qualified than I am to appreciate what it’s like to be walking while brown. For the Repubs to hold him up as “Look, we understand minorities because we have a minority in our ranks” is, to me, cracktastic.

  100. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Alls well in hindsight.

    Compared to your idiotlogical blinders without foresight or hindsight? You have no point, just wanking to muddy the clear waters.

  101. says

    Uncle frogy:
    From Cuban friends, it is my understanding that the old guard voted republican due to their position on the old country (ie:no deals w/Castro) while the newer generation considers american politics their priority and considers the first arrivals as a bunch of privileged, selfish ignorants (sounds familiar right?) whose priorities lie in Cuba, not the US. Obviously, the rest of the hispanics aren’t blind to this.
    There are many cases like Senator Menendez (D, NJ; [Cuban parents])that show what a huge mistake it would be to place latinos as one voting block or, OTOH, to assume that this population is any less racist than any other, the conversation up there about “how much brown is enough” happens just as easily in minority circles. My first reaction if I was a republican interested in the hispanic vote would be to find out what issues where voted on instead of dismissing (and perhaps showing some Freudian projection?) to assume a race based decision.

    “one of the big mistakes the GOP and the media made concerning Florida was thinking that because the Cubans were mostly republican they had the Latino vote in their camp but turns out that the Puerto Ricans and the Latinos from other parts of the world (Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala) are not republicans.
    An other factoid I read somewhere was the percent of Cubans voting republican in Florida while still a majority is dropping my guess would be that it is just like the rest of the republican base because the young are not voting republican as much and the older in this case immigrant population is dieing off.”

  102. anteprepro says

    I’m sorry md, but it isn’t quite that simple to assume what political ideology would have held 100 years ago based on modern political ideology held. Hell, politics have changed drastically in the past 30 years, let alone in the course of the last century. Yet myopic folks hoping to score cheap points try to pretend that it is trivial to link past and present political affiliations. Despite the fact that the suite of issues relevant changed dramatically. Despite the fact that American political parties essentially swapped places in recent history, due almost exclusively to racial issues. Terrible things other than eugenics were commonly accepted by progressives and regressives alike in those days, and yet the fact that progressives of those days fail to meet the standards of modern progressives is hardly damning to modern progressives.

  103. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Fuck yes, md! You have a fucking point there!

    I am right there with Woodrow Wilson in re-segregating the federal government of the US. After all, he was a progressive and I am a leftist.

    I have an idea, let us look at the right wingers who also used eugenic ideas.

    The stupid is strong in this one.

  104. Amphiox says

    Re 112;

    Irrelevant wankery as usual from md. Social Darwinism is an extreme right wing idea, the twisted offspring of the libertarian idea of the perfection of the individual, the same concepts of competition above all that underpins free market capitalism, mated to the let-the-state-dictate-the-reproductive-choices-of-individuals authoritarianism that expresses itself in modern times as the pro-life anti-woman crowd.

    If relatively progressive people for their time supported it it is merely a demonstration that their progressivism had not progressed as yet enough. Just as future progressives will look back in today’s progressives and judge many things we now believe to be reactionary in nature.

    Because, again, progressivism PROGRESSES.

  105. Amphiox says

    In 1865, the Republicans were the party of Emancipation.

    Politics change.

    I am reminded of a (otherwise awful) children’s fantasy wherein the American protagonists get involved in the resurrection of an evil ancient Chinese god, who declares he will launch a campaign to conquer the world and restore “traditional values”. When asked “you mean like the 1950′s” he replied “no, I mean before my people knew that your kind even existed.”

    Interesting how md proves less politically sophisticated than a one star kid’s straight-to-DVD B-movie.

  106. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Would it be fair if I insisted that md had to be consistent with the writings of Houston Stewart Chamberlain?

  107. md says

    To trace the historical roots of an intellectual foundation is not to hold progressives of today responsible for eugenics. And yes, Janine, the exercise can and should be applied to right-wingers; its useful to highlight blindspots in thinking. History can be a guide. The details change but much of the structure remains, both on the right and left. Relevant to this post is the notion that rationality and science should triumph over all.

    G.K. Chesterton, I think we all agree, was right on eugenics. The source of his righteousness was Christianity. Both things are non-trivial.

    The progressive blindspot then, was hubris. To think Progressives are rid of it today, because hey we progress, is hubris again.

  108. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Is md actually arguing that because one person who was against eugenics was a christian, christian thought is needed to avoid such bad ideas.

    Never mind the fucking fact that eugenics was always bad science and the modern sciences rejects eugenics.

    Talk about having hubris.

    The stupid is strong and dense in this one.

  109. anteprepro says

    I was going to ask if md had a good, clearly conservative argument against eugenics. Because most of the good arguments against eugenics have at least a hint of progressivism. But apparently good arguments are the problem to md. Apparently we are supposed to arrive at policy choices by something something something.

    Relevant to this post is the notion that rationality and science should triumph over all.

    Relevant to us considering you an idiot: Eugenics wasn’t rational. Pseudoscience isn’t science.

    G.K. Chesterton, I think we all agree, was right on eugenics. The source of his righteousness was Christianity.

    Yeah, and abolitionists were right about slavery. And were Christian. And so were the anti-abolitionists. But just ignore that part.

    The progressive blindspot then, was hubris.

    Which is obviously relevant to a post about how a Republican ignores basic science and pretends that religion is a comparable, reliable source of information. No, the hubris is all ours in this one. Because obviously the person who FEELS that Earth is 6000 years old because they really look a 2000 year old book is not arrogant, but we are for laughing at him for ignoring the various objective means we’ve used to determine that his gut feeling is ludicrously off.

  110. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Also, md, my rejection of eugenics has nothing to do with anything that G.K. Chesterton wrote. I will not agree with you on that point.

    In fact, I doubt that I am interested in anything that Chesterton had to say. Just like I disagree with most of the ideas that Woodrow Wilson stood for.

    Hubris, one of thy names is md.

  111. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    md@112,

    If “I” had grown up in the 19th century, I’d be a different person, so that’s really an unanswerable question. But there were many leftists, and evolutionists who did not endorse eugenics, see for example this essay on two very different leftist evolutionary thinkers: Kropotkin and Veblen; and on the other hand, I rejected the fashionable leftist icons of my youth – Mao, Ho, Castro, Guevara – because of their violations of human and democratic rights; so I have some grounds for optimism that the nearest 19th equivalent to me would have got this one right.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    md, your babble condones slavery, genocide, and incest. How was this ever corrected in your feeble mind?

  113. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Kropotkin, I think we all agree, was right on eugenics. The source of his righteousness was anarchism.

  114. md says

    Nick thanks for the honest answer. And sure, its a marginal intellectual exercise. People are to a degree products of their time. And no, I don’t excuse Christianity’s long catalog of horrors. And no, I dont’ believe Christianity is essential to moral thought, that we could not achieve decency without it.

    But I do think Chesterton’s example is important. From his faith he instinctually drew the right moral conclusion. He didnt reason his way to it. This happens often in history and therefore is likely to happen again.

    My point, simply, is that belief or non-belief in Creationism isn’t really much of a reliable guide to anything else in politics, unless that believer is rabid in his intent to impose it on everyone else. I think you all agree with me, after all, you’d probably vote Jimmy Carter over Chris Christie, no?

    Now, perhaps Rubios comment “we should teach all the theories” is his rabid intent to spread Creationism across the land, or more probably he just wants fundies to vote for him though he’ll probably not do much for them policy wise when it comes time.

    And much, much good on ya for rejecting Mao, Che, and the bloody rest.

  115. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    But I do think Chesterton’s example is important. From his faith he instinctually drew the right moral conclusion. He didnt reason his way to it.

    So his being right was happenstance. Why would I want that person as a guide? I will stick with Kropotkin.

    My point, simply, is that belief or non-belief in Creationism isn’t really much of a reliable guide to anything else in politics, unless that believer is rabid in his intent to impose it on everyone else.

    In case you have been missing this for the last thirty fucking years, politician who do spout creationist gibberish are have been trying to impose it on everyone else.

    And yes, being a creationist shows that one is willing to ignore facts. That reflects on the rest of the politics that the person works for.

    The stupid is good for a few laughs.

  116. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    And much, much good on ya for rejecting Mao, Che, and the bloody rest.

    I can think of only one regular at this blog who has respect for their ideology.

    But much good on ya for rejecting Mao, Che and the bloody rest.

    Also, much good on ya for rejecting the eugenics of Hitler even though you did not reason yourself to that point.

  117. md says

    you know, since “md” mentioned Eugenics, and implied it’s not based on rational thought at all (not even going into the irrational crap that was the root of “social darwinism), I’m curious:

    The chinese practice what amounts to eugenics in response to rapid population growth.

    Is the basis for their policies irrational?

    now, this is NOT a question of whether one agrees or disagrees with it, it’s a pure question of rationality.

    Are their policies rational, or not?

    Ichthycic, sorry I missed this earlier.

    No, I do think eugenic proponents believed themselves to be highly rational. That is my point. And yes, I do think Chinese Eugenic policies are rational. Not moral, of course, and probably not the only course of action, and not without some negative consequences, but rational nonetheless.

    And on this issue it makes sense to pay attention to the rise of Christianity in China. Im not making a blanket endorsement of it, it might have terrible consequences, but its quite plausible that a significant rise in Chinese Christianity could equal a rethink on these eugenic policies and could be a modern example of faith based thinking triumphing over the rational. Would Pharyngulites side with the godbots over the atheists on that?

  118. alwayscurious says

    md, would it be more or less moral for an entire country to let its population grow to unsustainable heights? Knowing that by doing so, they almost guarantee future generations harsher living conditions (less food, more disease, less individual freedom)? It may not be the most moral choice; but certainly more moral than a bleak future after uncontrolled population growth.

    I can’t speak for Christianity in China, but its stance elsewhere on population growth is generally ad libitum sans contraception. That’s a huge lose-lose for China.

    You are trying to distinguish rational & moral: that’s fine, we get that. But you’re picking some terrible examples without references.

  119. shawnthesheep says

    Republicans don’t even understand that there are differences among hispanics. Rubio is Cuban and they tend to skew more conservative. The majority of the Hispanic/Latino population in the US is from Mexico, and they don’t always think highly of their Hispanic brethren from the Caribbean.

    Of course, it’s all moot anyway. People don’t just vote for members of their own group. They vote for people who they believe will advocate for them. There’s a reason why Obama won 90% of the African American vote and Alan Keys did not.

    Repubs seem to believe that the other electoral quick-fix is to advocate for immigration reform. While that certainly would not hurt their popularity among Latinos, the notion that Latinos are single-issue voters is ridiculous. Very very few of them list immigration reform as the most important issue. Their primary concerns are economic, just like the rest of Americans, and the Republicans have become the party of corporations and plutocrats.

  120. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Janine:

    The stupid is strong and dense in this one.

    I’m not sure all the magic wands in the world could cure those problems.

    ****

    md:

    Im not making a blanket endorsement of it, it might have terrible consequences, but its quite plausible that a significant rise in Chinese Christianity could equal a rethink on these eugenic policies and could be a modern example of faith based thinking triumphing over the rational.

    Christianity really turns you on, huh?
    Might have terrible consequences? Christianity is a cobbled together invention of humans lacking internal consistency and based on magical thinking with human sacrifice as one of its core tenets. That’s a recipe for terrible consequences.

    Christianity can’t even triumph over other irrational religions, how is it going to overcome irrational eugenics policies? What are they going to do? Tell the Chinese government to stop the eugenics policies because an invisible genocidal sky daddy wants the world to be overpopulated? That’s not a sufficiently strong argument for Christianity (or against eugenics). Yes, the Chinese government needs to eliminate their one child policy, but replacing one authoritarian system with another authoritarian system is hardly a worthwhile goal.

  121. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/21/15334527-those-who-celebrate-science-and-those-who-dont :

    “Rubio was asked a scientific question in a secular setting, offered an ambiguous response as to whether he believes the planet is billions or thousands of years old, and suggested an objective, scientific truth may be unknowable, though reality shows otherwise.

    “On the other hand, Obama was asked a theological question in a religious setting, offered a response that rejected young-earth pseudo-science, and suggested spiritual, philosophical truths may be unknowable.”

  122. coldthinker says

    Though, it’s not like it’s any easier to make SJ arguments elsewhere if you can’t tie them to the economy. Environmental protection needed environmental economics (basically, putting a money-value on the services nature provides us) to become a viable argument in many places in the West, not just the USA.

    Jadehawk –

    May I remind you that e.g. Germany, the main economic power in Europe, just decided to discard nuclear power plants. Actually, I personally think it’s the wrong decision for environmental reasons. But still, this political decision was made solely on grounds of ethical and environmental reasons, even if the impact on German economy was known to be very negative. Economics was cast aside.

    There are countless similar decisions made in the old and dusty Europe. Whatever bad things Europe and other continents can be accused of, this fanatic emphasis on “the economy, stupid” is exceptionally an American thing. Don’t wish to criticize the US too harshly, but elsewhere the economy is a part of politics, in the US politics is a part of the economy. Sad, sad, sad. And perhaps one of the main reasons there will be no world peace any time soon.