Part 1 of Braveheart’s commentary of 9/2/08.

(Footnotes in brackets [] refer to my response)

 

Thanks for reading my paper about my observations of the "perfect storm" conditions that have caused (and continues to cause) economic poverty in America. I know that we have differences in opinion with regards to the theory of evolution (TOE). I know that you are a staunch defender of TOE. I did not write the paper to Lisa to challenge TOE, nor true skills of education.

The paper was intended to convey my life experience (as living poor) to Lisa's classroom education about causes of poverty. It was about how individual experiences can add valuable knowledge about cause & effect. Educators will often rely on statistics of groups, monetary policy & etc., cold hard facts. I was trying to put some "meat" (example of experience) on the bones of her education.

In any case the paper was my witness to the conclusions I have come to from my life experiences. Other people come to different conclusions.  Following, I will reply to some basics of your paper written to me about TOE, liberal vs. conservative, God, and later to the education issue.

[Braveheart first addresses the paragraph titled “Firstly” from my 8/18/08 response to him.]

 

[Comments regarding the theory of evolution (TOE)]

 

You said "people do not believe in TOE in the same sense that biblical literalists believe in the genesis story of creation".  I propose that indeed people, including you, do "believe" in TOE exactly as I believe in creation.  I cannot scientifically prove creation, and TOE cannot scientifically be proven as the explanation of the origins of life or that humans evolved from lesser forms (species) of life.  If TOE could be scientifically proven, it would no longer be a theory, or referred to as a theory.  Before I can discuss the supposed TOE "evidence", I will have to be convinced that TOE is not theory. [1]

The dictionary defines "theory" as "an explanation based on thought". Theory (thought based explanation) ends in a "theoretical" explanation (for TOE) which the dictionary defines as "planned or worked out in the mind, not from experience, based on theory, not fact; limited to theory". Notice the dictionary gives evidence that any theoretical explanation is "based on theory", "not fact" or scientific evidence. To "theorize", the dictionary defines as to "speculate". [2]

Theory is thought based explanation, not evidenced based explanation. [3]

As a scientist, do you propose that “theory” is a scientific method of “verification”? [4]

I would agree that there are lots of examples of variation within a species, for examples the dog specie would include wolves, coyotes, foxes, hyenas, etc., and the cat specie would include lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats, house cats & etc. Where we part company is where TOE claims that over time "simple species changed to more complex species". I have not observed and know of no scientific or excavated fossil evidence of one specie evolving/changing into another. The "missing link (s)" is/are still mlssing.

I find it strange that you cite specie evolving (change) as disproving TOE. See top of page 2 in your paper to me. [This is where I said that all a person would have to do to invalidate the TOE would be to observe a cat giving birth to a dog or some other animal.]  It is TOE that says simple species of life evolved into more complex species over millions of years. I know of no creationists that claim evolving of one specie to another. I would cite three words from the creation story and my observation to support my belief that species do not evolve from one to another. Those words are "after his kind" & "after their kind". Gen. 1: 11, 12,21,24, 25 I have not observed specie ( of life) evolvement to more complex species and know of no documented cases or excavated fossil evidence supporting specie evolvement to more complex species. [5]

I grew up on a farm and I observed that all the farm & wild animals reproduced "after their kind" and all the farm crops planted, grew "after their kind". There was no cross specie breeding. As a scientist, you know this is scientifically provable. Even my compost piles evolve into more simple elements, not more complex. The idea that life began from "the big bang" is not scientific. The "big bangs" (& their results) I have observed, have been destructive, not life giving. For examples, the atomic, hydrogen, & gas (MOAB) bombs. You see, I just find the case for creation stronger than the case for evolution (simple to more complex). The complex chicken had to be in the hen house before we got the simple egg. Notice that I am giving you demonstrable truths for evidence to support my beliefs. [6]

You are clever to try to get me to try to disprove TOE. I have no need or desire to disprove TOE.  TOE is obligated to prove itself, if & when it does, it will no longer be "theory". Freedom is about freedom to inquire, observe, think, and believe whatever you want. JUST REMEMBER, OUR ACTIONS RESULT FROM OUR BELIEFS, FOR WHICH WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. [7]

“Those who accept TOE can be rather passionate in their defense of the theory.”  [Quoted from my previous response of 8/18/2008).]

There is evidence that those who accept & believe TOE have a need to attack those who don't.

For example, I quote your words, "self serving, pseudo-scientific rhetoric, cranked out by various creationist propaganda mills". Another example would be those educators who accept TOE have banned another theory (creation) from the centers of inquiry/learning/education. Teaching one theory & forcing belief (test answers to graduate), while denying another, is the attack from education system that tries to guarantee outcome. I am reminded of the "flat world" theorists that attacked those who disagreed with them, even to imprisoning them. Those who don't accept TOE, just want equal time, (fair & balanced) to present another possibility (fairness doctrine), let the student decide what he will believe. [8]

You cite TOE as the "best evidence based theory". "Best" is a comparative word of opinion and the term "evidence based theory" is a dichotomy. If you have scientific evidence, TOE is no longer theory. "Theory" is "thought based" and results in a theoretical explanation (for TOE) that is "worked out in the mind, not from experience, based on theory, not fact, and limited to theory". see your dictionary. Talk about "pseudo-scientific rhetoric" and "propaganda"!! You are speedily disproving your scientific methodology. When you make the statement "scientists do not care if TOE turns out to be the winning theory", you give evidence that TOE is not verified, demonstrable truth but simply one theoretical speculation, competing with another. How would any other theory win if not aired?

I find it incredible that you, a scientist, can accept TOE as science, even while you call it "theory". How can "theory" be science? Science is defined in my dictionary as "knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system of verified knowledge; that is, knowledge that can be validated (demonstrated) and communicated to other people". [9]

When & who has "tested", "verified", "validated" & demonstrated the truths of TOE? Is TOE science or theory? It cannot be both at the same time. TOE is not based in observable & "verifiable" evidence, if it were it wouldn't be theory. [10]

In conclusion, truly “people do believe in TOE exactly as I believe in creation.” [11]

 

[Comments regarding liberal vs. conservative and the TOE]

 

[Braveheart next addresses the section titled “secondly” from my 8/18/08response to him.]

You don't believe the "positions held by so-called liberals & conservatives is ( are) as well delineated as you (I) portray it to be". In my article to Lisa, I was primarily delineating the differences as relates to the causes of poverty and politics enter the picture as a very significant cause of poverty. I demonstrated how that government actions and inactions were causing much of the poverty that it was supposedly solving. [12]

The differences between political parties are not well delineated anymore. I believe the differences between ideologies are quite well delineated. If one is well informed of the political rhetoric by politicians and boil out the hot air, the positions regarding ideology are pretty well "delineated". I will agree that individuals (voters) are not as well delineated into the ideological positions ("pigeon holed"). That is to say, many hold positions from both ideologies at the same time. Just as TOE, politics are opinion about theory. (theory of best government) Regarding the paper to Lisa, I was speaking in general terms, not that every individual conservative/liberal held all the exact same positions. [13]

Politics is where there are "moderates" and "undecided" voters, holding multiple and often contradictory ideological positions. Multiple/contradictory positions are reflected in being "undecided" and moderating ("moderate") views evidencing their confusion. I suspect holding multiple (contradictory) positions are caused by lack of time spent in thought & research of ideologies & political positions. In the final analysis, just as TOE, it is opinion about theory of best government. [14]

For an example, how can a Christian hold to abortion when Christ said "I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly", (John 1 0: 1 0), and again "suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven", (Matt 19: 14) and again, "in as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me", (Matt 25:40) and lastly, "whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them", (Matt. 7: 12). When is a "little child" the "least"? I propose that a child is "least" at conception. Abortion is "forbidding" that child from coming to birth & have a chance to "come" to Christ. Abortion is "doing it unto Christ". Abortion is not living by the golden rule. We are either "pro life" or "pro choice" (choice to kill life ). There are very many in both parties that claim to follow Christ's pro-life, family values/ideology (Christian) while claiming to be pro-choice (to kill life) at the same time. Do you see the holding of two contradictory positions here at the same time? So, there are many holding two ideologies, pro-life & pro-choice, evidenced by claiming to hold Christian family values & being pro-choice simultaneously.

The abortion contradiction in society is that a murderer who kills a pregnant mother is charged with a double homicide, while an abortion (killing of the child before birth) by mother & doctor is perfectly legal. This is a double & contradictory position. WHERE IN ABORTION IS THE "PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUAL WORTH"? WHERE IN ABORTION ARE THERE "FAMILY VALUES"? The last frontier of human/civil rights are the rights of the unborn.

T ell me about the "family values" of the child who has been killed, his mother who caused (or consented to) his/her death and the doctor who actually performed the killing. In politics, the double standard EVIDENCE, is to claim family values while holding the pro-abortion (pro-death) position. Both political parties claim to be the party of family values (with "Christian" members) while acting against the very values they claim. Dem. & Repub. Two wings of the same predatory eagle.

Al Gore is a good example of an individual holding contradictory positions. He claims to be a Christian. I could continue a bible study showing that God claims to have created this world and that He is the ruler of it since he "redeemed" it, that He is in charge of the weather, demonstrated by Christ stopping storms, & etc, for which there were eye witnesses. Al Gore also holds the position of collective human activity causing weather severity/disasters (global warming) and that by changing our activity we can control the weather and thus reduce/eliminate weather severity/disasters. I don't have a problem with folks who believe the weather is changed by human activity, I have a problem with those who claim both positions at the same time. Either Al (as a Christian) believes Christ's statements & actions (to control weather) or he believes his own theory for which there is no science or "verified" and demonstrated evidence. Christ called those who claimed to "believe" but acted contrary to those beliefs "hypocrites". Texts available. [15]

Remember, the whole paper to Lisa was about the poor and how they got (& are getting) that way. It was designed as a "thought provoking device", (see its closing statement) certainly not as a science paper on creation vs. evolution or "liberal vs. conservative, & etc. When a person writes about their life experiences, observations & conclusions, it is not a scientific method of "verification" of truth. Experience is subjective and has conclusions based on observations over a long period of time. [16]

That you consider my life experiences as "emotion driven commitment to a creation story derived from a holy book" is inconsequential to me. What is your scientific approach here? It is your opinion about my beliefs, not scientific fact or evidence of how I fallaciously reached those beliefs. You say "it is a matter of critical thought versus blind conviction". I say it is a matter of critical thought (theory to the theoretical) versus conviction, based on experiences of observation. That you call it "blind conviction" is your opinion (not science) of my observations in my life experiences. [17]

Evidence is beginning to mount that instead of looking to your life experiences for your beliefs, you are listening to many other's opinions to establish your beliefs/opinions, evidenced in the quoting of many authors, magazines & web sites. Is accepting someone else's "thought based" speculation, scientific methodology?  I could not read the web site addresses in your paper, possibly they were in color & printed in a black & white printer, anyway, no visible print. [18]