Monday, June 16, 2008

Hen's teeth

by Capt. Fogg

Political correctness: it's another all purpose diversion, used to dismiss valid arguments by referring to the alleged motivation behind them. Strangely, the fact that the PC accusation is so often politically motivated, never seems to attract comment.

Take the subject of evolution. Our knowledge of the genomes of many species is so advanced that we can contemplate reverse engineering animals like birds so as to bring out the hidden genes they retain from their Theropod ancestors. Laboratory experiments have led to scaly, lizard-tailed chickens with hands like a Velociraptor and a mouth full of teeth. Our collection of fossils is vast and the origin of species through natural selection is thoroughly founded. That's what makes it a theory and not special pleading: an argument based on nothing but selective credulity, which is based on politics.

It's politically correct among some people; or perhaps religiously correct (although in the world of Right Wing politics that's the same thing) to insist that Evolution is only a theory and a flawed theory and so baseless conjecture needs to be offered as an equal if not superior explanation. I say baseless because to use statements like "it just can't be" or "I don't understand" or "you can't get something from nothing" or "intelligence can only come from intelligence" as first principles is neither factual nor intelligent much less are these credos the building blocks of theory.

I can't understand why Pi is an irrational number.
Irrational numbers seem irrational.
I can't tell you absolutely what the number is, I can only get arbitrarily close.
God doesn't make up funny numbers.
Pi is only a theory.

I'm a Christian and Christians believe only in Hebrew legends.

If I were of the right political persuasion or subject to the right dogmas, I could easily insist from these "axioms" that mathematics can be dismissed as Politically Correct and I might substitute some number from legend that somehow does not correlate with observed reality but is a nice round integer - more compatible and more correct according to my politics.

You would think I wouldn't have to beat this subject to death, but here we go again. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, said to be on the short list for running mate with the idiot McCain, wants his kids to be exposed to the "best science" because he's a "Christian" and to be politically correct according to Christian politics, that means ancient and resoundingly debunked legends handed down from illiterate goatherds on the edges of civilization. Jindal insists that the denial of all observed facts packaged as Intelligent Design is a "legitimate scientific discipline." It's not. It's none of those three things, but perhaps it makes Bobby Jindal just dishonest enough to appeal to American voters.

Cross posted from Human Voices


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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Jindal is really weird. I'm trying to figure out why he's suddenly such a hot ticket, except for his surprise win in the first place.

12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I suspect he's simply pandering.

3:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps its out of argumentative exhaustion, but the evolution debate has become just laughable to me. On the one side you have folks with a little rational common sense and on the other side you have a cult of ignorant morons. It is quite a joke.

What is serious however, is that a member of the moron club is still considered a viable, even likely political nominee on the ticket for president.

I don't know about you Fogg, but I'm getting a little too old and tired for this battle. Maybe we should leave it to the younger ones to finally prove what idiots these goatherder worshipers really are.

8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I'm older and tireder! I'm not sure they will ever give up. Of course they eventually did give up on the heliocentric universe after torturing and killing scientists, but the literalism is killing our country and our culture and any hope I cling to that this is not the twilight of America.

10:15:00 AM  

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