Another organization endorses honest science teaching

| 70 Comments

Voices for Evolution (large pdf) is NCSE’s collection of statements from various bodies–scientific, religious, and educational–that endorse the teaching of honestly presented science in public schools. A new body, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, has just adopted a strong statement on teaching science titled Keep Supernaturalism Out of the Science Curriculum. No wishy-washy euphemisms there! I hope it is soon included in NCSE’s collection.

I was informed by The Skeptical Teacher a couple of weeks ago of the intent to introduce it. He/she posted a draft. I’ve reproduced the final resolution as adopted below the fold, but I’ll put one powerful quotation from it here.

WHEREAS, attempts to subvert the validity or teaching of evolutionary theory are also attacks on all scientific inquiry and, therefore, also attacks on the validity of using reason and experimentation to understand the universe;

Nice!

Resolution No. 11 - Keep Supernaturalism Out of the Science Curriculum

Adopted at the 2010 Illinois Federation of Teachers Convention

WHEREAS, science is a systematic method for investigating natural phenomena through experimentation, observation and measurement leading to falsifiable explanations that are open to continuous testing; and

WHEREAS, science proceeds on the basis of methodological naturalism and assumes observed phenomena of the universe are real, nature is consistent and understandable, and nature is explainable in terms of laws and theories; and

WHEREAS, a scientific theory is consistent with evidence from multiple and independent sources of evidence, explains many different facts and allows predictions of subsequent discoveries; and

WHEREAS, the theory of evolution satisfies these criteria fully, is the foundation of biological science, is supported by a coherent body of integrated evidence from other disciplines in science and is consistent with theories from other scientific disciplines including anthropology, geology, physics, astronomy and chemistry; and

WHEREAS, there have been attempts in some states to include supernaturalism in the science curriculum as an alternative to scientific explanations of nature, particularly as an alternative to evolutionary theory; and

WHEREAS, arguments that invoke supernaturalism are grounded in religious or philosophical considerations outside the realm of science; and

WHEREAS, attempts to subvert the validity or teaching of evolutionary theory are also attacks on all scientific inquiry and, therefore, also attacks on the validity of using reason and experimentation to understand the universe; and

WHEREAS, legislation that conflates supernaturalism, or limits, or prohibits the teaching of any scientific theory negatively impacts our ability to make informed decisions; and

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the Illinois Federation of Teachers to preserve the integrity of science in the classroom; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Illinois Federation of Teachers affirm, through a positional statement on its website, the validity of science as a methodology for understanding the nature of the universe, and affirm the validity and foundational importance of organic evolution to science as a whole and biology, specifically; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT affirm, through a positional statement on its website, that supernaturalism is not a scientific endeavor and, therefore, is inappropriate for inclusion in the science curriculum; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this resolution does not make it the official position of the IFT that there is no God and should not be interpreted as a statement either for or against religion or belief in God; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT call upon its members to assist those engaged in overseeing science education policy to understand the nature of science, the content of contemporary evolutionary theory and the inappropriateness of including non-science subjects (e.g., intelligent design and creationism) in our science curriculum; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT communicate to the local, regional and national public media, to educational authorities and to appropriate legislators its opposition to the inclusion of non-science approaches and subjects (e.g., creationism and intelligent design) into the science education curricula of our public school system; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the IFT members also promote these concerns and help resolve these issues in their home communities among educators, parents, school boards and students in appropriate public forums.

70 Comments

You Americans do have a funny way of presenting things with all the “Whereas”s! We British would never do things like that!

(Just don’t ask about “La Reyne le veult”)

Cue creationists complaining that, if there really is such a thing as the supernatural, you will never have a complete picture of reality.

Of course, the proper response to this is to point out that there is no evidence of anything supernatural and thus no need for supernatural explanations. Once someone provides evidence of the supernatural, then it might become science. Until then, everyone is free to investigate the supernatural by any and all means they find appropriate.

Or better yet, forget the “natural” and “supernatural” labels, and go with whether a concept explains consistently observable patterns in the data.

DS said:

Cue creationists complaining that, if there really is such a thing as the supernatural, you will never have a complete picture of reality.

Given the thousands of religions in the world, it would seem unlikely that this gives a complete picture of reality.

If reality is that there are thousands of versions of deities giving thousands of versions of reality to thousands of versions of deity spokespersons, we’re screwed.

DS said:

Cue creationists complaining that, if there really is such a thing as the supernatural, you will never have a complete picture of reality.

Who says complete is the only goal? Useful but limited (science) is far better than useless but complete (theology).

What’s more, science seems to be getting less limited over time, while the usefulness of theology does not seem to be increasing. If this were a horse race to explain the unexplained, I’d be betting on the horse thats, um, actually moving forward.

eric said: If this were a horse race to explain the unexplained, I’d be betting on the horse thats, um, actually moving forward alive.

Fixed it for you. :)

You Americans do have a funny way of presenting things with all the “Whereas”s!

What I object to is their punctuation. “Whereas” is a subordinate (subordinating) conjunction and should not be followed by a comma. The comma after “Resolved” seems to me to be equally shaky.

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

RBH said:

eric said: If this were a horse race to explain the unexplained, I’d be betting on the horse thats, um, actually moving forward alive.

Fixed it for you. :)

I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Kevin B said: I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Philip Kitcher calls ID “dead science” and its proponents “resurrection men.” :)

Yea Illinois!

Kevin B said: I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Horse -> trojan horse -> is a horse made of wood -> wedges are also wood…coincidence? -> wood burns -> what else burns -> witches -> Forrest is a witch!

Cue creationists complaining that, if there really is such a thing as the supernatural, you will never have a complete picture of reality.

That wouldn’t matter since science is concerned solely with investigating the natural world.

Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago?

There is every reason to believe that we will see intense efforts to do exactly that, at state government levels and at the level of the House of Representatives, for at least the next two years.

Given that creationism is strongly associated with one of the two major political parties, there is every reason to believe that sufficient success of that party at the level of senate and presidential elections, which would lead to success in selecting the supreme court, could eventually result in overturning of thirty years of precedent and usher in an era of legal preaching in public schools in place of science.

I think it is very stupid to deny this threat.

If all the orange farmers who want a tariff on oranges always vote for the same party, then when that party is elected, there is a high chance that a tariff on oranges will be extensively discussed and may become law. This is even more true if an orange farmer element has increasingly taken control of that party.

If Sharron Angle defeats Harry Reid, for example, and it is a close race, for example, she will be a major “rising star”. She is a public school teacher who openly (on the campaign trail) advocates teaching creationism. We do not have information on whether or not she violated the law by teaching it in the classroom, but now, if she wins, she will be helping to make the laws.

Whether the laws that are made are constitutional or not is 100% at the discretion of the courts, ultimately the supreme court. The president appoints the members of the supreme court and the senate confirms them. Furthermore the constitution can be ammended by sufficient popular vote. The constitution is not an immovable bulwark against the bad policies of elected officials. Elect enough nuts often enough and a supreme court of reality denying nuts, appointed by a nut president and confirmed by nut senators, will tell you that the constitution says whatever Fox News wants it to say.

eric said:

Kevin B said: I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Horse -> trojan horse -> is a horse made of wood -> wedges are also wood…coincidence? -> wood burns -> what else burns -> witches -> Forrest is a witch!

Only if she changes her name to O’Donnell.

And so does her colleague biologist Paul R. Gross too:

Kevin B said:

RBH said:

eric said: If this were a horse race to explain the unexplained, I’d be betting on the horse thats, um, actually moving forward alive.

Fixed it for you. :)

I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Thanks for the link to Kitcher. I understand completely his rationale for referring to ID as “dead science”, but, given the prosletyzing efforts of the Dishonesty Institute, I think a more apt appellation is “mendacious intellectual pornography”:

RBH said:

Kevin B said: I thought that Barbara Forrest had established that it was a Trojan Horse, which is apparently a sort of wedge.

Philip Kitcher calls ID “dead science” and its proponents “resurrection men.” :)

DS said:

Cue creationists complaining that, if there really is such a thing as the supernatural, you will never have a complete picture of reality.

Of course, the proper response to this is to point out that there is no evidence of anything supernatural and thus no need for supernatural explanations. Once someone provides evidence of the supernatural, then it might become science. Until then, everyone is free to investigate the supernatural by any and all means they find appropriate.

C/IDists complaining that evolution and Atheism are religions and are unprovable, therefore ‘supernatural’ in

3… 2… 1…

Mike said:

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

Given the rhetoric of this current crop of “Tea Baggers,” you can almost bet on it.

There will very likely be enormous wastes of time with subpoenas of the White House, stacking the courts, attempts to repeal health care, continuation of DADT, blocking White House appointments, cutting the budgets to regulatory agencies, and all the right wing ideological agenda being pushed vigorously.

The big risk in that approach, however, is that the Democrats might actually develop some backbone and fight back.

The result will be a paralyzed Congress that not only will accomplish nothing, but will actually allow things to get worse.

And that will really piss people off, because the “Tea Baggers” will be held accountable in the next election. That could guarantee a second term for Obama.

Unfortunately I am too old to move to Canada when the shit hits the fan. It’s really nuts here.

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term. I predict Hillary Clinton will probably challenge him again the primaries. As for the Republicans I hope they don’t dare think of having Sarah Palin on their presidential ticket:

Mike Elzinga said:

Mike said:

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

Given the rhetoric of this current crop of “Tea Baggers,” you can almost bet on it.

There will very likely be enormous wastes of time with subpoenas of the White House, stacking the courts, attempts to repeal health care, continuation of DADT, blocking White House appointments, cutting the budgets to regulatory agencies, and all the right wing ideological agenda being pushed vigorously.

The big risk in that approach, however, is that the Democrats might actually develop some backbone and fight back.

The result will be a paralyzed Congress that not only will accomplish nothing, but will actually allow things to get worse.

And that will really piss people off, because the “Tea Baggers” will be held accountable in the next election. That could guarantee a second term for Obama.

Unfortunately I am too old to move to Canada when the shit hits the fan. It’s really nuts here.

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term.

You’re basing this on what? That similar losses in 1982 and 1994 left Reagan and Clinton as one-term presidents? That Obama’s popularity now is significantly lower than that of Reagan and Clinton at similar points in their presidency?

I wouldn’t bet on a second term either, but only because 2012 is too far in the political future to call.

Exactly for the reasons you’ve stated:

SWT said:

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term.

You’re basing this on what? That similar losses in 1982 and 1994 left Reagan and Clinton as one-term presidents? That Obama’s popularity now is significantly lower than that of Reagan and Clinton at similar points in their presidency?

I wouldn’t bet on a second term either, but only because 2012 is too far in the political future to call.

Obama and his Stuyvesant High School alumni advisors (Axelrod and Holder) are out of step with the American public. I’ll be stunned if they follow the Clinton/Morris strategy of triangulation which allowed Clinton to have a reasonably successful second half for his first term. Why? Unlike Clinton and Morris they are ideologues, not pragmatists.

I am referring for Clinton of course (You’re comparison with Reagan is ridiculous.). As for Dick Morris, he’s the Stuyvesant High School alumnus whose political acumen I trust:

John Kwok said:

Exactly for the reasons you’ve stated:

SWT said:

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term.

You’re basing this on what? That similar losses in 1982 and 1994 left Reagan and Clinton as one-term presidents? That Obama’s popularity now is significantly lower than that of Reagan and Clinton at similar points in their presidency?

I wouldn’t bet on a second term either, but only because 2012 is too far in the political future to call.

Obama and his Stuyvesant High School alumni advisors (Axelrod and Holder) are out of step with the American public. I’ll be stunned if they follow the Clinton/Morris strategy of triangulation which allowed Clinton to have a reasonably successful second half for his first term. Why? Unlike Clinton and Morris they are ideologues, not pragmatists.

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term. I predict Hillary Clinton will probably challenge him again the primaries. As for the Republicans I hope they don’t dare think of having Sarah Palin on their presidential ticket:

Mike Elzinga said:

Mike said:

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

Given the rhetoric of this current crop of “Tea Baggers,” you can almost bet on it.

There will very likely be enormous wastes of time with subpoenas of the White House, stacking the courts, attempts to repeal health care, continuation of DADT, blocking White House appointments, cutting the budgets to regulatory agencies, and all the right wing ideological agenda being pushed vigorously.

The big risk in that approach, however, is that the Democrats might actually develop some backbone and fight back.

The result will be a paralyzed Congress that not only will accomplish nothing, but will actually allow things to get worse.

And that will really piss people off, because the “Tea Baggers” will be held accountable in the next election. That could guarantee a second term for Obama.

Unfortunately I am too old to move to Canada when the shit hits the fan. It’s really nuts here.

I wouldn’t take that bet either - far too early but history has shown that incumbent Presidents DO get re-elected after shifts in control of congress (Clinton, LBJ, one other - someone w/ better google-fu can supply that, Reagan?)

I would be surprised if there IS a primary contender in 2012 for the Dems. (again too early to tell)

My (wild) predictions - The Republican lead House will get (most) of the tax cuts that they want but will waste an EPIC amount of time trying to repeal “Obama-care” (and fail) as well as pushing socially conservative issues but not enough fiscally conservative ones to hold onto moderates. The polarization inspired by teabaggers will drag the GOP further to the right (yes, that IS actually possible). The pendulum will swing back and the dems will retake the house (but the house will be nearly 50/50) in 2012.

and IF Sara Palin is on (any) ticket in 2012 whoever she runs against will win. She seems incapable of saying anything intelligent that isn’t scripted fr her.

John Kwok said:

Obama and his Stuyvesant High School alumni advisors (Axelrod and Holder)…

As for Dick Morris, he’s the Stuyvesant High School alumnus whose political acumen I trust

I’m sure those are the first things these men note on their resumes. Really John, didn’t your mother teach you not to mastuyvate in public?

Both Morris and Holder have been active in alumni fundraising efforts on behalf of the school. Trust me, I know:

Science Avenger said:

John Kwok said:

Obama and his Stuyvesant High School alumni advisors (Axelrod and Holder)…

As for Dick Morris, he’s the Stuyvesant High School alumnus whose political acumen I trust

I’m sure those are the first things these men note on their resumes. Really John, didn’t your mother teach you not to mastuyvate in public?

But in all of those other instances, those who did governed pragmatically, often drawing support from their political opposition. There is nothing in Obama’s record - past or present - demonstrating that he can forge any kind of political consensus with the Republicans. He didn’t do this in the Illinois Senate, or the United States Senate, or now. What makes you think he’ll start? I’ll trust his actions, not his words, no matter how lofty and eloquent they may be:

jasonmitchell said:

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term. I predict Hillary Clinton will probably challenge him again the primaries. As for the Republicans I hope they don’t dare think of having Sarah Palin on their presidential ticket:

Mike Elzinga said:

Mike said:

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

Given the rhetoric of this current crop of “Tea Baggers,” you can almost bet on it.

There will very likely be enormous wastes of time with subpoenas of the White House, stacking the courts, attempts to repeal health care, continuation of DADT, blocking White House appointments, cutting the budgets to regulatory agencies, and all the right wing ideological agenda being pushed vigorously.

The big risk in that approach, however, is that the Democrats might actually develop some backbone and fight back.

The result will be a paralyzed Congress that not only will accomplish nothing, but will actually allow things to get worse.

And that will really piss people off, because the “Tea Baggers” will be held accountable in the next election. That could guarantee a second term for Obama.

Unfortunately I am too old to move to Canada when the shit hits the fan. It’s really nuts here.

I wouldn’t take that bet either - far too early but history has shown that incumbent Presidents DO get re-elected after shifts in control of congress (Clinton, LBJ, one other - someone w/ better google-fu can supply that, Reagan?)

I would be surprised if there IS a primary contender in 2012 for the Dems. (again too early to tell)

My (wild) predictions - The Republican lead House will get (most) of the tax cuts that they want but will waste an EPIC amount of time trying to repeal “Obama-care” (and fail) as well as pushing socially conservative issues but not enough fiscally conservative ones to hold onto moderates. The polarization inspired by teabaggers will drag the GOP further to the right (yes, that IS actually possible). The pendulum will swing back and the dems will retake the house (but the house will be nearly 50/50) in 2012.

and IF Sara Palin is on (any) ticket in 2012 whoever she runs against will win. She seems incapable of saying anything intelligent that isn’t scripted fr her.

John Kwok said:

Both Morris and Holder have been active in alumni fundraising efforts on behalf of the school. Trust me, I know:

Nobody gives a fuck. Trust me, I know. Relax RBH, I’m done.

As for the Teatards and their GOP lackeys, I hope they have the courage of their convictions and pursue more Dovers as fast as their little thumbs can thump. The faster the average voter comes to grips with just how seriously crazy these people are, the better for all of us.

Science Avenger said: Nobody gives a fuck. Trust me, I know. Relax RBH, I’m done.

Thank you. :)

Well Science Wimp, I opted to write what I did about Axelrod, Holder and Morris merely to see whether you’d chime in. Sure enough, you did. Maybe next time, why don’t you shut the f**k up (Sorry RBH, I had to do this):

Science Avenger said:

John Kwok said:

Both Morris and Holder have been active in alumni fundraising efforts on behalf of the school. Trust me, I know:

Nobody gives a fuck. Trust me, I know. Relax RBH, I’m done.

As for the Teatards and their GOP lackeys, I hope they have the courage of their convictions and pursue more Dovers as fast as their little thumbs can thump. The faster the average voter comes to grips with just how seriously crazy these people are, the better for all of us.

John Vanko said:

It’s FLIPPER.

Banned to the bathroom by Matt (see thread under the Pelican photo), emergent with a new nom-de-net.

Same two photos of badger & dolphin.

Same tone.

Richard, does banishment on one thread carry across to others?

We’re pretty anarchic about stuff like that. :)

In some ways that is good, since I know one New Atheist PT contributor refuses to let me post, especially when I have something meaningful to say:

RBH said:

John Vanko said:

It’s FLIPPER.

Banned to the bathroom by Matt (see thread under the Pelican photo), emergent with a new nom-de-net.

Same two photos of badger & dolphin.

Same tone.

Richard, does banishment on one thread carry across to others?

We’re pretty anarchic about stuff like that. :)

But we could do with a lot less of FLIPPER and FL IMHO.

And so she should:

David Fickett-Wilbar said:

John Kwok said:

(some of whom included both the Darwins and Wedgewoods):

My Wedgwood collecting wife would smack you down for that middle “e.”

Thanks for the correction David. I should have known better.

henry said:

Dave Luckett said:

Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, but not slavery itself until 1833, and even then not throughout its entire possessions. Exceptions were made for territory controlled by the East India Company, for instance.

The Royal Navy did, however, begin seriously policing slave traffic from West Africa from 1807 onwards. Ships were boarded, searched and confiscated if slaves or slaver equipment were found. The difficulty was flag-of-convenience vessels or genuine neutrals. The trade was not fully suppressed in the nineteenth century. In fact, it never has been to this day, depending on precisely how “slavery” is defined.

The key figure in ending the slave trade and slavery in Britain was William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian.

http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolit[…]berforce.htm

Father of Soapy Sam, wasn’t he?

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

Dave Luckett said:

Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, but not slavery itself until 1833, and even then not throughout its entire possessions. Exceptions were made for territory controlled by the East India Company, for instance.

The Royal Navy did, however, begin seriously policing slave traffic from West Africa from 1807 onwards. Ships were boarded, searched and confiscated if slaves or slaver equipment were found. The difficulty was flag-of-convenience vessels or genuine neutrals. The trade was not fully suppressed in the nineteenth century. In fact, it never has been to this day, depending on precisely how “slavery” is defined.

The key figure in ending the slave trade and slavery in Britain was William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian.

http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolit[…]berforce.htm

That is actually true. The Quakers were in on it, too. No argument, henry, about that. But there’s another side to it.

Evangelical Christians were also preaching the Word that slavery was in the Bible (which is undoubtedly also true) and that therefore it was an institution specifically ordained by God; and anyway the Negro was thus brought to the true faith, so it was all good.

The Southern Baptist Convention was organised in 1844 by a slaveowning Baptist pastor specifically to repudiate northern abolitionism and to affirm the right of Christians to keep slaves. Only the forced abolition of slavery by the Union changed its constitution, and it has effectively stayed segregated to this day. And this is the largest evangelical Church in America.

It’s not that religion in general or Christianity specifically are always wrong, henry. It’s that their record of right and wrong is about average for the human species; and this is a datum that conduces me to believe that religion is a human artefact, and not divine at all.

Yes, William Wilberforce’s son was none other than “Soapy Sam” Samuel Wilberforce, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who publicly objected to the Darwin/Wallace Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection:

W. H. Heydt said:

henry said:

Dave Luckett said:

Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, but not slavery itself until 1833, and even then not throughout its entire possessions. Exceptions were made for territory controlled by the East India Company, for instance.

The Royal Navy did, however, begin seriously policing slave traffic from West Africa from 1807 onwards. Ships were boarded, searched and confiscated if slaves or slaver equipment were found. The difficulty was flag-of-convenience vessels or genuine neutrals. The trade was not fully suppressed in the nineteenth century. In fact, it never has been to this day, depending on precisely how “slavery” is defined.

The key figure in ending the slave trade and slavery in Britain was William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian.

http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolit[…]berforce.htm

Father of Soapy Sam, wasn’t he?

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

Evangelical Protestant Christian churches in the northern and western (now Midwest) United States were among those, along with the Quakers, most active in the American abolitionist movement. One of the most notorious Evangelical Christians in the mid 19th Century was the zealous John Brown:

Dave Luckett said:

That is actually true. The Quakers were in on it, too. No argument, henry, about that. But there’s another side to it.

Evangelical Christians were also preaching the Word that slavery was in the Bible (which is undoubtedly also true) and that therefore it was an institution specifically ordained by God; and anyway the Negro was thus brought to the true faith, so it was all good.

The Southern Baptist Convention was organised in 1844 by a slaveowning Baptist pastor specifically to repudiate northern abolitionism and to affirm the right of Christians to keep slaves. Only the forced abolition of slavery by the Union changed its constitution, and it has effectively stayed segregated to this day. And this is the largest evangelical Church in America.

It’s not that religion in general or Christianity specifically are always wrong, henry. It’s that their record of right and wrong is about average for the human species; and this is a datum that conduces me to believe that religion is a human artefact, and not divine at all.

Reagan, like Palin, was hated by the mainstream media and the Republican establishment. He was ridiculed by the media, just like Palin. When Reagan lost in the primary to Ford, he didn’t sit around for 4 years; he met the people, just like Palin is doing now and she’s drawing large, enthusiastic crowds.

We never hear about gaffes by Democrats because the media just ignores them, giving them a pass.

I’m sure you must have heard about Obama’s “57 states” or “my Moslem faith” statements, but the media totally ignores them, but continually highlights misstatements by conservatives.

I didn’t expect to see the fall of the Soviet Union in my lifetime but I did. When Obama’s policies were first passed, I didn’t expect to see a complete rejection of them, but I’m glad it happened. Palin took on the corruption in the Republican party in Alaska and won. I hope she does the same as President.

John Kwok said:

Don’t see how relevant that is. But I was a young conservative back then who had more in common with the Fundamentalist Protestant Christians I befriended in college except of course with their abysmal understanding of science. So what? I thought I was right to vote for him back then, and I think in light of subsequent events like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Empire, I was still absolutely right (And yes, I know that these occurred really under George H. W. Bush’s watch, but ultimately it was due to Reagan’s military and foreign policies as well as Gorbachev’s.):

henry said:

Did you vote for Reagan in ‘80 and ‘84?

John Kwok said:

I wouldn’t bet on Obama having a second term. I predict Hillary Clinton will probably challenge him again the primaries. As for the Republicans I hope they don’t dare think of having Sarah Palin on their presidential ticket:

Mike Elzinga said:

Mike said:

Yes, yes, I know we aren’t to raise the spector of partician politics, but comeon! It’s election day. Is there any reason to believe that the speaker apparent from Ohio isn’t going to push creationism in public school science classes like he did eight years ago? Has he given any indication of changing his mind about applying politics to education?

Given the rhetoric of this current crop of “Tea Baggers,” you can almost bet on it.

There will very likely be enormous wastes of time with subpoenas of the White House, stacking the courts, attempts to repeal health care, continuation of DADT, blocking White House appointments, cutting the budgets to regulatory agencies, and all the right wing ideological agenda being pushed vigorously.

The big risk in that approach, however, is that the Democrats might actually develop some backbone and fight back.

The result will be a paralyzed Congress that not only will accomplish nothing, but will actually allow things to get worse.

And that will really piss people off, because the “Tea Baggers” will be held accountable in the next election. That could guarantee a second term for Obama.

Unfortunately I am too old to move to Canada when the shit hits the fan. It’s really nuts here.

I think it is an open question as to whether or not Obama will be as pragmatic as Clinton (And in Clinton’s case it took him almost a year as well as listening carefully to advice from his principal political strategist Dick Morris, who devised Clinton’s strategy of triangulation. In stark contrast to his fellow high school alumnus Dick Morris, David Axelrod doesn’t have the substantial political expertise, acumen or pragmatism which Morris displayed back then.). There is nothing in Obama’s prior political record that demonstrates that he could be as pragmatic as Clinton was, but instead, a longstanding history of adhering to his favorite ideologies, and it is that history which leads me to believe that Obama will most likely be a one term president.

This thread seems to have run its course on the topic of the OP, so I’ve closed comments.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on November 2, 2010 12:23 PM.

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