Nothing new under the sun?

| 132 Comments

A couple of years ago the late Lynn Margulis generated a flap in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by shepherding a paper through PNAS’s editorial process that advocated the notion that butterflies are the result of an ancient symbiotic relationship between “worm-like and winged ancestors.”

I was reminded of that flap the other day while I was reading Alfred Russel Wallace’s autobiography. Wallace mentions an 1872 talk he gave to the Entomological Society in which he described Herbert Spencer’s hypothesis that segmented insects are the result of an aggregation of once-separate ancestors:

In 1872, in my presidential address to the Entomological Society, I endeavoured to expound Herbert Spencer’s theory of the origin of insects, on the view that they are fundamentally compound animals, each segment representing one of the original independent organisms. (Volume II, Chapter XXVI, unpaginated in my Nook version)

The reference is to Spencer’s The Principles of Biology, Volume II, Chapter IV, where the proposal is developed on pp 93ff. The link is to Spencer’s 1899 revision of the 1867 first edition; Wallace would have used the 1867 edition as the basis for his talk.

So the preacher in Ecclesiastes was right: there’s nothing new under the sun.

132 Comments

To be fair to Spencer, his proposal was not that different sorts of organisms aggregated, segment by segment, to form insects, as the butterfly notion does. Rather, Spencer suggested (roughly) that the segments were formed from individual organisms of the same sort, with segmental differentiation being caused by different selective pressures operating on the several segments.

You’d think the “minor” issue of reproduction of such a chimera would give Margulis and Williamson pause.

Spencer at least had the excuse that he didn’t know how reproduction occurs, in the sense of which cells actually produce gametes.

Glen Davidson

There is nothing per se weird about Spencer’s idea. Consider, for example, salps or siphonophores. It just happens to be wrong.

It is intuitive from sloppy observation, in the same way that the cartoon “will to fall” Disney version of gravity is reinvented each generation. I don’t expect such ideas will die easily.

Speaking of old non-factual ideas:

So the preacher in Ecclesiastes was right: there’s nothing new under the sun.

What is up with religious claims on a blog devoted to “the integrity of science”? Say, the claim that there existed such a historical person making such a pronouncement.

At the very least then we must also mention for balance that actual preachers are almost 100 % factually incorrect. There are no gods, no demons, no miracles, no souls, no a historical Jesus, no genesis of the universe or planets or species, no global flood, no lone human founder pair, et cetera et cetera for good reasons of physics and history. Which are the beliefs they want to replace facts with.

So these anti-science defenders are not exactly good references around science. It would be better to never raise old scarecrows from the mud.

So the preacher in Ecclesiastes was right: there’s nothing new under the sun.

What is up with religious claims on a blog devoted to “the integrity of science”? Say, the claim that there existed such a historical person making such a pronouncement.

At the very least then we must also mention for balance that actual preachers are almost 100 % factually incorrect. There are no gods, no demons, no miracles, no souls, no a historical Jesus, no genesis of the universe or planets or species, no global flood, no lone human founder pair, et cetera et cetera for good reasons of physics and history. Which are the beliefs they want to replace facts with.

1) I also don’t believe in gods, demons, souls, etc. Some science-supporting people believe in versions of some of these things. I have no particular expertise in the question of whether or not there was a historical Jesus; although the question is interesting, it would not change anything (else) about my life if I knew definitively that there was or wasn’t.

2) The Book of Ecclesiastes is a very philosophical work that is notably lacking in supernatural or authoritarian claims. Yes, it happens to be part of the Bible, but it is quite possible to be non-religious, or religious but not Jewish or Christian, and enjoy Ecclesiastes. (Also, in general, I don’t consider the Bible to be accurate about science or religion, nor usually especially accurate about history, but I do consider it to be interesting and extremely worthy of unbiased study.)

3) Now I’ll move back on topic. Many invertebrates, not only insects, have complex life cycles that include multiple highly distinct morphological forms. Since vertebrates generally don’t, we tend to be biased toward overlooking the high prevalence of this type of life cycle among animals. On the unicellular side, this is also highly prevalent among fungi and other unicellular eukaryotes, malaria parasites being a very well known example, and it is not uncommon for bacteria to be able to shift to a “spore” morphology when environmental cues tell them to (not exactly a developmental life cycle but perhaps a related feature). The evolution of such life cycles is a very interesting question, and arguable a very fundamental one, since this trend is characteristic of very old lineages, and seems likely to have been around for a very long time. Needless to say, the existence of an interesting question doesn’t mean that we should give up and declare it all inexplicable magic, nor, even less, contradict and deny what is already well-established.

The preacher in Ecclesiastes may not have existed, but someone wrote Ecclesiastes and put that sentence in there.

balloonguy said:

The preacher in Ecclesiastes may not have existed, but someone wrote Ecclesiastes and put that sentence in there.

Agreed. If we’re to start giving a little lesson on Shakespeare or the Bible or Milton or Cervantes whenever we use a common phrasing in writing or speech, it’ll be antithetical to the communication of the essential ideas. I thought Richard’s little Ecclesiastes quote was apropos and a bit of clever irony.

(Also, in general, I don’t consider the Bible to be accurate about science or religion, nor usually especially accurate about history, but I do consider it to be interesting and extremely worthy of unbiased study.)

It’s also part of being literate, as references to the Bible abound. btw, I was just explaining to my sister the importance of knowing Greek mythology. Her complaint was that it was not Christian, so why bother?! Well, I’m a Christian and I can well understand the importance of knowing Greek mythology. For Christmas I bought my nephew the book “Icarus at the Edge of Time” by Brian Greene. Imagine not even knowing about the original Icarus myth!

Karen S. said:

btw, I was just explaining to my sister the importance of knowing Greek mythology. Her complaint was that it was not Christian, so why bother?! Well, I’m a Christian and I can well understand the importance of knowing Greek mythology.

A lot of Christians apparently delight in remaining ignorant on things they deem not Christian.

It’s sad, in my opinion.

Ecclesiastes has always been something of an embarrassment for pious Jews. Like the Book of Job, another work that is hard to assimilate to conventional religion ideas, it seems to have been included in the canon of the Bible because of its undeniable literary quality. I’ve thought for a long time that the rabbis who decided it belonged in scripture showed a great deal of integrity. If they had left it out, they would have had a lot less ‘splaining to do.

Imagine not even knowing about the original Icarus myth!

Wax on, wax off?

Wax on, wax off?

Nope, it’s the “lost wax” method.

Karen S. said:

Wax on, wax off?

Nope, it’s the “lost wax” method.

Or the “I’m melting! I’m melting!” syndrome?

Henry J said:

Karen S. said:

Wax on, wax off?

Nope, it’s the “lost wax” method.

Or the “I’m melting! I’m melting!” syndrome?

Wouldn’t that particular malady imply the sufferer is water-soluble?

apokryltaros said:

Karen S. said:

btw, I was just explaining to my sister the importance of knowing Greek mythology. Her complaint was that it was not Christian, so why bother?! Well, I’m a Christian and I can well understand the importance of knowing Greek mythology.

A lot of Christians apparently delight in remaining ignorant on things they deem not Christian.

It’s sad, in my opinion.

I’ve done a lot of world travel in recent years, and have been repeatedly appalled at the actions of Christians at various times in the past who didn’t just delight in remaining ignorant, but in destroying any cultural works from “pagan” times. It ranges from mangled Egyptian carvings, to Roman busts and statues all with noses broken off by pious hammer-wielders. As Robert Langdon noted in Angels and Demons, even a pope went through the Vatican, vandalizing classical statues by smashing the naughty bits.

Torbjörn Larsson, OM said:

Speaking of old non-factual ideas:

So the preacher in Ecclesiastes was right: there’s nothing new under the sun.

What is up with religious claims on a blog devoted to “the integrity of science”? Say, the claim that there existed such a historical person making such a pronouncement.

Geez. Lighten up, Torbjörn. It’s a cultural colloquialism. That I identified the source makes no existence claims. Sheesh.

apokryltaros said: A lot of Christians apparently delight in remaining ignorant on things they deem not Christian.

…which means that essentially everything that happened in the BC era simply doesn’t count, in their universe.

I enjoy pointing out to fundagelicals and other Christian ignorami that the names of some of the days of the week celebrate pagan gods:

Sunday - the Sun’s day

Monday - the Moon’s day

Tuesday - Teiwaz’s / Tiw’s day (the Germanic name for the god Mars)

Wednesday - Wotan’s / Woden’s / Odin’s day

Thursday - Thor’s / Thunor / Thunraz’s day

Friday - Frigg’s / Freyja’s day (Wotan’s / Odin’s wife)

Saturday - Saturn’s day (the planet more than the Roman god)

balloonguy said:

The preacher in Ecclesiastes may not have existed, but someone wrote Ecclesiastes and put that sentence in there.

Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem

The preacher identifies himself in the first verse of the book, which is King Solomon.

“I, Clavdivs…”

fnxtr said:

“I, Clavdivs…”

The Caesars are dead and gone many centuries ago, but Christ was dead and is alive forever more at the right hand of God the Father.

Ecclesiastes 12 (King James Version)

1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh , when thou shalt say , I have no pleasure in them; . 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing , whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Paul Burnett said:

apokryltaros said: A lot of Christians apparently delight in remaining ignorant on things they deem not Christian.

…which means that essentially everything that happened in the BC era simply doesn’t count, in their universe.

I enjoy pointing out to fundagelicals and other Christian ignorami that the names of some of the days of the week celebrate pagan gods:

Sunday - the Sun’s day

Monday - the Moon’s day

Tuesday - Teiwaz’s / Tiw’s day (the Germanic name for the god Mars)

Wednesday - Wotan’s / Woden’s / Odin’s day

Thursday - Thor’s / Thunor / Thunraz’s day

Friday - Frigg’s / Freyja’s day (Wotan’s / Odin’s wife)

Saturday - Saturn’s day (the planet more than the Roman god)

How are those false gods doing? It looks like they faded away a long time ago.

Henry said:

Paul Burnett said:

apokryltaros said: A lot of Christians apparently delight in remaining ignorant on things they deem not Christian.

…which means that essentially everything that happened in the BC era simply doesn’t count, in their universe.

I enjoy pointing out to fundagelicals and other Christian ignorami that the names of some of the days of the week celebrate pagan gods:

Sunday - the Sun’s day

Monday - the Moon’s day

Tuesday - Teiwaz’s / Tiw’s day (the Germanic name for the god Mars)

Wednesday - Wotan’s / Woden’s / Odin’s day

Thursday - Thor’s / Thunor / Thunraz’s day

Friday - Frigg’s / Freyja’s day (Wotan’s / Odin’s wife)

Saturday - Saturn’s day (the planet more than the Roman god)

How are those false gods doing? It looks like they faded away a long time ago.

How come we still use their names as the days of the week, then?

If that were the case, then, wouldn’t your uttering of the names of the week-days and months be apostasy and idolatry?

Then again, you repeatedly demonstrate that you don’t care that you are a Lying Idiot For Jesus.

Henry said:

fnxtr said:

“I, Clavdivs…”

The Caesars are dead and gone many centuries ago, but Christ was dead and is alive forever more at the right hand of God the Father.

Then why did the Caesars get two months named after them?

Oh, wait, no, you don’t give a literal damn about anything other than making an Idiot For Jesus out of yourself with your interjection of your Nonsense and Lies For Jesus.

Two after the Caesars. Januarius was a Roman god - a minor one, the deity in charge of openings, beginnings and doorways. We remember him also with janitor, which originally meant much the same as “doorman”. February after either Februus, a god older even than Rome, or the festival of purification named after him; March after the god Mars; April from the Latin verb aperire, “to open”; referring probably to the buds; May apparently from the name of the Latin goddess Maiesta; June after Juno, wife of Jupiter; July and August after Julius and Augustus. The rest of the months echo Roman numbers, from their original position in the succession, before the Caesars got their hands on it.

So not only all our days but five of our months were named after pagan gods or goddesses - seven if you count the Caesars, who were deified later.

But no, it isn’t idolatry or apostasy simply to use their names. Those deities weren’t half so insanely narcissistic or paranoid as Yahweh, anyhow.

The point is, people believed in them, once. There’s just exactly as much reason to believe they existed as that King Solomon existed, let alone wrote Ecclesiastes - that is, some unknown person said so, a long time ago.

apokryltaros said:

Henry said:

fnxtr said:

“I, Clavdivs…”

The Caesars are dead and gone many centuries ago, but Christ was dead and is alive forever more at the right hand of God the Father.

Then why did the Caesars get two months named after them?

Oh, wait, no, you don’t give a literal damn about anything other than making an Idiot For Jesus out of yourself with your interjection of your Nonsense and Lies For Jesus.

The last time I checked the Caesars are still dead.

Dave Luckett said:

Two after the Caesars. Januarius was a Roman god - a minor one, the deity in charge of openings, beginnings and doorways. We remember him also with janitor, which originally meant much the same as “doorman”. February after either Februus, a god older even than Rome, or the festival of purification named after him; March after the god Mars; April from the Latin verb aperire, “to open”; referring probably to the buds; May apparently from the name of the Latin goddess Maiesta; June after Juno, wife of Jupiter; July and August after Julius and Augustus. The rest of the months echo Roman numbers, from their original position in the succession, before the Caesars got their hands on it.

So not only all our days but five of our months were named after pagan gods or goddesses - seven if you count the Caesars, who were deified later.

But no, it isn’t idolatry or apostasy simply to use their names. Those deities weren’t half so insanely narcissistic or paranoid as Yahweh, anyhow.

The point is, people believed in them, once. There’s just exactly as much reason to believe they existed as that King Solomon existed, let alone wrote Ecclesiastes - that is, some unknown person said so, a long time ago.

Jesus considered King Solomon as a real person.

Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [KJV}

In fact, Matthew traced Jesus’ legal lineage through Solomon, giving Jesus the legal right to the throne of David.

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

Jesus hasn’t been picking up his mail in a long time, either, Henry.

As for Solomon, if I said that not even Scrooge McDuck could afford that, would that make Scrooge a real person?

Dave Luckett said:

Jesus hasn’t been picking up his mail in a long time, either, Henry.

As for Solomon, if I said that not even Scrooge McDuck could afford that, would that make Scrooge a real person?

No, because Henry doesn’t worship or idolize Scrooge McDuck’s comics like he worships idolizes his own interpretation of the Bible.

mplavcan said:

I saw a preacher here in Arkansas give a talk (anti-evolution) in which he claimed that the Enlightenment was the greatest disaster to hit humanity, and emplored people not to send their kids to either public school or a University so as to retain them in the fold.

I have heard preachers here in the North giving exactly the same message. It’s just jaw-dropping.

But the kids leave their churches; in fact, they leave town and never come back.

So, I stand corrected. There were, in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, judges on the bench of various State courts who were ignorant and prejudiced enough to think that the Common Law was founded on Christianity, or that the right of free speech did not include the right to deny and trenchantly criticise Christianity.

Well, so it took longer than I thought to pull ourselves out of the mire. But we’re out of it now, pretty much. The court that delivered itself of anything like that “judgement” (yes, I know those are scare quotes) today would find itself stood down in a heartbeat. And damn right, too.

I see, reading the full text of the decision in 11 Serg. & Rawle 394 Pa. 1824 that the learned judge not only took it upon himself to condemn and punish the words that particular defendent is said to have uttered, but said he would likewise condemn and punish any debating society that even considered the question of God or the truth or supremacy of Christianity. Debates like that shouldn’t oughta be allowed, sez hizzoner. Well, there you go. Bigots and idiots are found on the bench, or were in 1824. Who’da thought it?

You know what the Common Law is, Henry? No, of course you don’t. You couldn’t care less what it is. But I’ll tell you anyway: listen. The Common Law is what all the courts say it is, over time. Over time, Henry. It changes.

I said it isn’t a changeless iron contract, and to that Henry copies and pastes what some damn fool in a robe said in 1824. I must admit that judgement - if you can use that word to describe so blatant a display of triumphant bigotry - shook me. I had no idea that any judge in the United States, even in 1824, could summon the gall to fly in the face of the Constitution like that, but there you go.

But having flown in the face of the Constitution, the judge then flies in the face of fact:

(T)he act against cursing and swearing, and breach of the Lord’s day; the act forbidding incestuous marriages, perjury by taking a false oath upon the book, fornication and adultery, et peccatum illud horribile non nominandum inter christianos –for all these are founded on Christianity.

The “acts against” in that list that are founded on Christianity are now all dead letters. Nobody is prosecuted for cursing, swearing, working on the Lord’s day (whichever one the various sects says it is), fornication, adultery, or any sexual act unless not attended by informed mature consent. Incest is still unlawful, for sound biological reasons, but the judge’s opinion that this prohibition is founded on Christianity is, like most of his words, an expression of bigoted ignorance.

We do better now. Henry desperately wants us to do much worse. Ain’t going to happen. There aren’t enough bigots like Henry any more. But watch out. If they manage to subvert and destroy enough science in the public schools, they’ll turn the public schools into bigot factories.

Vigilance. Price of liberty, y’know. Henry, bless him, is proving a good source of reasons to be vigilant. Do you suppose that’s why he was put here?

Henry said:

j. biggs said:

This study showed that abstinence mandate was far less effective at preventing STDs than a comprehensive sex education program. I will stop there, but there are others.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/soc[…]-points.aspx

Sorry Henry but you are a total idiot. Your site only shows the “talking points” of abstinence only education with no scientific studies to back it up. It is well known that abstinence only education only talks about the failure rates of prophylactics and birth control methods, possibly leading sexually active teens to believe those methods are useless. The first study I linked to stated the opinion, (to my knowledge it hasn’t been studied thoroughly) similar to Scott F’s that abstinence only may actually be worse than no sex ed at all because of the disinformation it includes on propylactics and birth control. The Hall study was damning evidence that emphasizing abstinence and especially abstinence only education is far inferior to comprehensive sex education. That abstract you responded to basically stated that as far as STD’s go, abstinence only is as good as no sex education at all.

Interesting that this opinion piece sites three “peer reviewed studies” two of which come out of the same journal (a journal I can’t find on pub-med) and the other doesn’t support their conclusions. Actually it claims to site five but they actually site the Lerner study in three different places.

What you fail to recognize Henry is that the “peer reviewed studies” cited in your reference were done by The Institute for Youth Development which claims to be non-partisan but is an advocate for abstinence-only sex education. Nothing from their journal (Adolescent and Family Health) shows up on PubMed, so it’s peer review standards are questionable. Your article also cites this article by Santelli et. al. as supporting the abstinence only approach. The abstract provided shows that the decrease in pregancy rates during the 1990’s was almost equally a result in decreased sexual experience (having sex less often not abstinence) and contraceptive use. This paper has nothing to do with supporting the abstinence only approach and infact J. Santelli’s more recent research and publications have been critical of abstinece only education.

Mike Elzinga said:

Henry said:

What do you think about the millions of lives lost under Communist China and the old Soviet Union? Or even the 50+ million innocent unborn babies aborted in the US since Roe v Wade? Are these the results of secular government at its best?

Obviously reminding you of sectarian atrocities makes you uncomfortable enough to change the subject, Henry.

Isn’t it funny how sectarianism, rather than being the cure for all the ills in the world, is simply another nasty excuse for perpetuating them? How about that? Morality doesn’t originate in your holy book.

Do you object to sex education, Henry? Do you squirm when talking about penises and vaginas?

penises and vaginas?–if only!

It is the evolutionist side that want to teach the virtues of buggery and cunnilingus; it isn’t Christians who maintain the mouth, anus, or any plastic stick is a legitimate sexual organ. How does bringing in Robert Mapplethorpe one day and Eve Ensler the next do anything to stop unwanted pregnancy or STD’s?

Any sex education plan regardless of moral content that only fosused on the time-honored penis and vagina method would be immediately denounced by the evolutionist community as “bigoted”, “homophobic”, and “patriarchal.” I’m sorry,but I don’t see how we need some “comprehensive” sex-ed plan to discuss the details of every fetish subculture.

Dave Luckett said:

So, I stand corrected. There were, in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, judges on the bench of various State courts who were ignorant and prejudiced enough to think that the Common Law was founded on Christianity, or that the right of free speech did not include the right to deny and trenchantly criticise Christianity.

Well, so it took longer than I thought to pull ourselves out of the mire. But we’re out of it now, pretty much. The court that delivered itself of anything like that “judgement” (yes, I know those are scare quotes) today would find itself stood down in a heartbeat. And damn right, too.

I see, reading the full text of the decision in 11 Serg. & Rawle 394 Pa. 1824 that the learned judge not only took it upon himself to condemn and punish the words that particular defendent is said to have uttered, but said he would likewise condemn and punish any debating society that even considered the question of God or the truth or supremacy of Christianity. Debates like that shouldn’t oughta be allowed, sez hizzoner. Well, there you go. Bigots and idiots are found on the bench, or were in 1824. Who’da thought it?

You know what the Common Law is, Henry? No, of course you don’t. You couldn’t care less what it is. But I’ll tell you anyway: listen. The Common Law is what all the courts say it is, over time. Over time, Henry. It changes.

I said it isn’t a changeless iron contract, and to that Henry copies and pastes what some damn fool in a robe said in 1824. I must admit that judgement - if you can use that word to describe so blatant a display of triumphant bigotry - shook me. I had no idea that any judge in the United States, even in 1824, could summon the gall to fly in the face of the Constitution like that, but there you go.

But having flown in the face of the Constitution, the judge then flies in the face of fact:

(T)he act against cursing and swearing, and breach of the Lord’s day; the act forbidding incestuous marriages, perjury by taking a false oath upon the book, fornication and adultery, et peccatum illud horribile non nominandum inter christianos –for all these are founded on Christianity.

The “acts against” in that list that are founded on Christianity are now all dead letters. Nobody is prosecuted for cursing, swearing, working on the Lord’s day (whichever one the various sects says it is), fornication, adultery, or any sexual act unless not attended by informed mature consent. Incest is still unlawful, for sound biological reasons, but the judge’s opinion that this prohibition is founded on Christianity is, like most of his words, an expression of bigoted ignorance.

We do better now. Henry desperately wants us to do much worse. Ain’t going to happen. There aren’t enough bigots like Henry any more. But watch out. If they manage to subvert and destroy enough science in the public schools, they’ll turn the public schools into bigot factories.

Vigilance. Price of liberty, y’know. Henry, bless him, is proving a good source of reasons to be vigilant. Do you suppose that’s why he was put here?

That confirms the United States became as a Christian nation, but was hijacked by secularists.

Correction: began, not became

No, it doesn’t, Henry. It proves that there were idiots and bigots on the bench in 1824. That’s all it proves. The men who wrote the first amendment to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would have given that judge the backs of their hands.

And I see, reading it again, that this “judgement” amounts only to a recital of the judge’s opinion. The defendent got off.

Henry said: That confirms the United States became as a Christian nation, but was hijacked by secularists.

Am sorry to disappoint you, Henry, but our Founding Fathers were inspired by the French - and especially - Scottish Enlightenments, and though many were nominally “Christian”, by today’s standards they would be viewed as secular humanists (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Conservative Republican trained in evolutionary biology who comments here frequently.).

https://me.yahoo.com/a/57vt.Vh1yeas[…]AbTpY-#b1375 said:

Henry said: That confirms the United States became as a Christian nation, but was hijacked by secularists.

Am sorry to disappoint you, Henry, but our Founding Fathers were inspired by the French - and especially - Scottish Enlightenments, and though many were nominally “Christian”, by today’s standards they would be viewed as secular humanists (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Conservative Republican trained in evolutionary biology who comments here frequently.).

That makes 2 conservative Republicans.

From what I’ve read, the Founding Fathers rejected the French enlightenment, but embraced Blackstone, Grotius, Puffendorf, Locke, and Montesquieu.

Henry said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/57vt.Vh1yeas[…]AbTpY-#b1375 said:

Henry said: That confirms the United States became as a Christian nation, but was hijacked by secularists.

Am sorry to disappoint you, Henry, but our Founding Fathers were inspired by the French - and especially - Scottish Enlightenments, and though many were nominally “Christian”, by today’s standards they would be viewed as secular humanists (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Conservative Republican trained in evolutionary biology who comments here frequently.).

That makes 2 conservative Republicans.

From what I’ve read, the Founding Fathers rejected the French enlightenment, but embraced Blackstone, Grotius, Puffendorf, Locke, and Montesquieu.

No, the Founding Fathers did not reject the French Enlightenment, though you are correct in asserting that they did embrace Montesquieu.

Nor was the United States Constitution established to protect Christianity. If you doubt this, then you should read Gordon Wood’s work, since he is regarded widely as the foremost historian on the American Revolution and the drafting of the United States Constitution (He was also one of my college professors.).

We may be both Conservative Republicans, but do you, as a Conservative Republican, accept what fellow Conservatives John Derbyshire (National Review), Paul R. Gross (former Provost, University of Virginia and co-author with Barbara Forrest of “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design”), Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post), Timothy Sanderfur (Pacific Legal Foundation and frequent Panda’s Thumb contributor), Michael Shermer (noted skeptic and author of “Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design”) and George Will (Washington Post) have written in support of the teaching of biological evolution in American science classrooms and their harsh condemnations of Intelligent Design and other creationist mendacious intellectual pornography? If you don’t agree with what they have written, then you have no business comparing yourself with yours truly.

Folks, I think this thread has sunk beneath the waves. Thanks for playing.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on December 27, 2011 4:38 PM.

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