Re: “Evolution Is Useless”.

Trunthepaige did a blog here about evolution with the above title which was brought to my attention by godlessliberal. I had to log out to see it because she blocked me for winning an argument awhile back, then lied to the christian person I was talking to in her comment section and said she’d blocked me because I called her a cunt, which she later admitted was a lie… after calling someone else one.

But I digress…

The blog is as follows:

“We are told that public resistance to the many theories of evolution is holding back the USA in science. Many point to the fact that 60% of Americans say they do not believe that evolution explains the existence of man as proof that Americans are scientifically illiterate.”

I don’t think you need a lack of acceptance of evolution to establish that americans are scientifically illiterate, a gallup poll to establish americans’ general level of scientific understanding showed that 18% of americans think the sun revolves around the earth.

“They say this despite the fact that the USA dominates the world in new scientific technologies.”

The fact that we’re the wealthiest country and have 300 million people, and that scientists overwhelmingly accept evolution helps.

The thing is we’re graduating fewer and fewer Ph.D-level scientists each year and if the militant, well-supported attempt to use evolution to drive a wedge between science and christianity for the explicit purpose of replacing one with the other (that is a document leaked from the organization leading the intelligent design movement – note that it says nothing about evolution being incorrect or faulty science) is taking it’s toll. Yes we’ve been a leader, we’re not going to be for much longer if evangelists persist in their strategy of trying to make make science a bad word.

“Speaking of evolution and not basic genetics or selective breeding. Selective breeding was commonly being used long before the word evolution even existed. Name a few scientific breakthroughs that required knowing anything about evolution (not genetics)? If Charles Darwin had never existed, what scientific breakthroughs outside of the field of evolution could not have happened?”

Setting aside the absurdity of asking for breakthroughs that came as a result of a genetic principle but that have nothing to do with genetics (kind of like asking what use is e=mc^2 and adding “and no math or physics or your response doesn’t count”. It’s arbitrary and foolish… but evolution happens to be so badass that the challenge can still easily be met since breakthroughs in evolution have also been responsible for evolutionary algorithms in computer programming, super-computers which simulate evolution in inorganic things and can thus “design” stronger bridge designs and more stable aircraft wings by descent with modification and natural selection. What else… Oh, a lot of economic theory is based on natural selection since capitalism is itself a sort of natural selection – bad genes are removed from the gene pool because they fail, bad companies are removed from the system because they fail. Even companies being “too big to fail” is analogous to species like bees being too important to go extinct. Breakthroughs in economics can be applied to evolutionary science and visa versa, in the end of the movie “a beautiful mind” they list the areas of math revolutionized by the main character’s new economic principle, one of which was… you guessed it – evolutionary biology.

And if we drop your “you’re not allowed to talk about anything with DNA in it” arbitrary qualification, evolution science is vital for making pesticides bugs can’t evolve immunities to (by making poisons that kill them gradually over many generations) and treating viruses, bacterial infections and cancer tumors all of which rapidly evolve (cancer cells rapidly adapt to both radiation and chemotherapy and bacteria adapt to antibiotics). Evolutionary science is also a vital part of producing vaccines which have to not just be what the virus is now, but what it will have evolved into by the time the vaccine is distributed and administered. This is just off the top of my head and without even thinking too hard about it. And that’s in addition to revealing tons of stuff about how nature works to us. Evolution saves lives, what have you done for humanity lately?


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34 Responses to Re: “Evolution Is Useless”.

  1. Da__Vinci says:

    The fact that a moron like Paige can be so popular on Xanga is only proof that Xanga is moronic and won’t get any better. We should have expected this when Theo Dan became so popular as well. Xanga is a festering boil of cancerous goo and is perhaps the most insignificant blog sphere out there. Christian fundamentalists have ruined what was once a great place to discuss scientific subjects. 

  2. Oh. Holy. Hell.Evolution is one of the most elegant theories we have. It just takes my breath away.The silliness, I mean, not evolution.  No, maybe that, too….

  3. AmeliaHart says:

    To say the quality of our PhD candidates has decreased because of evangelicals is a logical leap. It can be a combination of things – cultural changes etc…

  4. YouToMe says:

    Well done! “And if we drop your “you’re not allowed to talk about anything with DNA “HahahI’ve made a valuable contribution of delivering one human being onto this planet. One who can make me a more responsible human being myself. But also laugh and cry especially when she parades down street as imaginary drum major with couch cushions stuffed in her clothes.And, let me add, she can cook, clean,sew — all helpful slave labor commodities. Plus she can solve mathematical equations which blow the avg american’s mind.

  5. great post. trun is a force of nature. i don’t mean that in a good way.@YouToMe – she’s not too bad, that molly.

  6. YouToMe says:

    @twotothefightingeighthpower – I’m recing that last part, for her sake. Maybe she will catch it. Thanks, James.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @Da__Vinci – I’ve noticed a decline in fundamentalist and anti-science posting.  Theodan is just a spammer and attention whore.  A kid screaming in the cereal aisle at the grocery store gets attention too, doesn’t mean much.No need to be so cynical and defeatist about things.@NoGraySunflowers – I know, if scientists ranked theories in terms of most supported and well accepted evolution would be at or near the tippy top.  And as you say, it is beautiful and elegantly explains damn near everything in life science and many things in other fields as well.  Fundamentalists think it’s ugly because it contradicts their dogma and bums them out, and they can’t get past this because their ideology requires them to never admit it is wrong even a little, or even might be.  Ironically if they were more like scientists in their attitude toward nature they wouldn’t have this problem.@AmeliaHart – Quantity, not quality.  Fewer scientists = fewer great scientists.  You may not have intended it but your statement is a strawman.  The next einstein could never get interested in science because they read “from darwin to hitler” or listened to ben stein telling people “science leads you to killing people”.  Or because they saw science as heresy and never looked into it.If you want to see the future of christianity in science look at islam which is even more anti-science.  I can count on two fingers the number of muslim nobel prize winners in scientific fields that came out of 1.7 billion muslims.  Meanwhile on the opposite side of the spectrum almost everyone in every scientific society in the world are secular.  The majority of scientists in the US are christian, well over 90% of the national academy of scientists (best and brightest) are not.  I’m not trying to preach atheist superiority or christian inferiority, I’m just saying what people believe effects society and many people are not just not agreeing with science, but vilifying it and attacking it.  How could that not adversely effect science education?  Thanks for your opinion though : )@YouToMe – : )  Very evolutioney, passing on one’s genes.   I’ve passed on plenty of DNA, so far none to future generations : P@twotothefightingeighthpower – Yeah I’m not a fan, though this post was more about her views and not so much about her.  I added the blocked thing though just because people who do that annoy me.  And people who lie about me of course.

  8. AmeliaHart says:

    @agnophilo – All I said is that you make sweeping generalizations based on statistics and your own personal opinion. Statistics tell part of a story.  Why is the US declining in PhD candidates may be for numerous reasons.  For someone who wants to promote science you are promoting an “unscientific method” to reach a conclusion.

  9. MysticRythms says:

    This country is not as wealthy as it would like you to believe, and if we had stayed home and took care of our own then maybe those in poverty could have attained PHD’s

  10. Liberals own education and have completely ruined it.A provable hoax like man-made global warming is taught as fact. And an unprovable hoax called evolution is also taught as fact.Blaming yourselves and your failures on Christians is a just a bit wacko.Why not try taking personal responsibilty for your own disasters. That’s what well adjusted, emotionally healthy people do.

  11. DivaJyoti says:

    Liberals own education …What do you mean by that?

  12. Da__Vinci says:

    @agnophilo – I don’t know how long you’ve been on Xanga, but I remember the days of Intellectual_spirit, Agnostics_R_us, and Rustophilus where good philosophical discussions were the norm. Then the fundies moved in and like trailer trash in an upscale neighborhood the value of all conversations went to hell with their constant ignorant interuptions which today is the norm. That’s about the time that TheoDan became popular as well.I don’t mean that the fundies have no right to be here, they do, but they sure did interject ignorance and stupidity into the general discussions we used to have here. I could see no other reason than they wanted to disrupt us. They surely had and still have nothing to offer intelligent conversation. So if I’m cynical, there is a reason for it. 

  13. Good post. I’d block Lobo. His ignorant drivel, which is ALWAYS incorrect and false is the equivalent of farting in everyone’s face. It adds nothing but nausea. Even Krisko (GodlessLiberal), a staunch anti-blocker, eventually saw no choice but to block the dimwitted fucktard.  But hey, it’s your blog, your rules. 

  14. agnophilo says:

    @AmeliaHart – Actually I was rebutting her claim that america is not declining in terms of scientific progress.@MysticRythms – I agree, though even the poor in america are rbetter off than probably about 80% of the world.@DivaJyoti – “You people are evil and I am awesome”, nothing more.@Da__Vinci – And I’m sure they would say the exact same about you and I.I can take people disagreeing with me.  I don’t even block loborn.

  15. DivaJyoti says:

    @agnophilo – Well, I WISH we “owned education.”

  16. agnophilo says:

    @In_Reason_I_Trust – I think loborn is completely full of shit too, but I don’t block people.  The one exception (aside from spambots) was one tool on xanga that kept doing blog after blog maliciously lying about me.

  17. AmeliaHart says:

    @agnophilo – And as I said I was talking about a specific point you were making about evangelicals and not the post as a total. 

  18. @agnophilo – Ahh, I used to have that same policy. Give it a year or two of LoBo trolling your site, calling you a racist, homophobe, bigot and pedophile, and I’m sure you’ll change your tune.

  19. @GodlessLiberal – Kinda ironic when a homophobe (i.e: Curtis) calls someone else a homophobe. It’s as if he’s projecting! :PNice post. 

  20. musterion99 says:

    @agnophilo –  And I’m sure they would say the exact same about you and I.Exactly. That’s why I don’t know why @Da__Vinci – keeps bringing this up.  

  21. Yao_Wentiao says:

    @In_Reason_I_Trust – Then, what does it mean when LoBorn blocks you?

  22. Pcygniime says:

    I’ve had this one before with several others… Everyone argues the old hick argument that WE are not descended from monkeys, or apes or whatever, but bypass the idea that DNA is part of evolution, in that genetic alleles mix and defeat each other until the best or worst ascend to the top of the pile and boom! a new EVOLVED human is here, along with different animal species we breed by the same deal.  It’s all convenience of thought without any at all. If it runs contrary to the interpretation of the bible, its not possible! Hard headed dosen’t even describe it!! Peace

  23. Pcygniime says:

    @agnophilo  For being such an advanced country, for all our/they’re educational systems and organizations, universities,’n such, all the people seem to feel empty inside….. They/we worry, about the wars and conflicts, are homophobic, worry about the violence, pedophiles, crime in all its forms…. Self confidence is lost as some of us grow up and when we look up, as some do, all we see is the sky ovehead, the landscape etc… It doesn’t talk back, at least for most of us, and they don’t know what to do…. The more spiritual talk to their god; Jehovah, God, Lord, Allah, He who has no name…. It would be nice if we had what we want most, but to be honest, WE, collectively are petty, wanting to be led, wanting little of real importance, except for family, those of us who are so blessed or gifted with same. I still find that the song ‘everybody wants to rule the world’ is still relevent, because it boils down to ruling, but not wanting to be responsible for outcome of the bad deals that come along with the good. Reality sucks, in many ways, but it is real and we must all deal with it, being ruler/s or not. Sad but true….  Peace when you can afford it

  24. Landon76 says:

    As someone who believes in God, i agree with this post.It does matter.It’s a bit cheesy, but i think evolution proves, in a very intelligent, beautiful way, the inner workings of the world. The things that most ignorant Christians saw as miracles until.. science explains them. God explains the soul. He answers the “Why” questions, as science explains the “How”. It’s a gorgeous balance and they reflect each other wonderfully.@Pcygniime – Food for thought.Ever wonder why we want the landscape to talk back? 

  25. agnophilo says:

    @AmeliaHart – You took what I said out of context and took it as meaning something I did not say.@GodlessLiberal – Been there, done that.@InternetDominator – Thanks : )@musterion99 – Probably just frustrated with fundamentalists.  Been there many times.@moss_icon – Heh : )

  26. agnophilo says:

    @Pcygniime – Yup.@Pcygniime – Many things in life do suck, but many things in life are beautiful.  We should focus on making less of the former and more of the latter.But yeah my outlook isn’t so bleak.@Landon76 – I can’t think of anything people call the soul that isn’t a manifestation of the brain.  Memory, thoughts, emotions, etc.  Everything you are can be destroyed through brain damage while your body is still alive, I don’t see how death would not be the end of my thoughts, feelings etc.  This does not depress me though.  I also think faith gives bad answers to “why” questions.  The only “why” answers I can think of to questions about nature are logistical and mechanical, ie why did my house catch on fire – I don’t think it would be because of some cosmic plan, I think it would be because something in my house was configured in a way which, due to the constants of nature made it catch fire, ie a faulty wire.  I think we try to personify nature and have a relationship with the universe, god etc.  But if god is in control he’s got a lot of explaining to do.

  27. Landon76 says:

    @agnophilo – I respect that.I however, look up at the stars some nights and feel a huge need for why questions to be answered. Like the cliche’ but prominent “I get how we came to be, but why” question. It’s said that’s weakness. And honestly, i don’t mind if it is.To me, my “soul” is a real glowing object floating inside my heart. Just kidding.I soul to me, is a metaphor for the feelings that i can’t explain. They can be explained as to how the chemicals connect. But, why? Why do they connect in a way to make me feel love beyond sexual appeal, and react to feel something bigger when i look at a sunrise. Why is it beautiful to me? As far as the bad explanations go, i don’t mean “why” to why did my dog jump on the couch, or why did my dad die. I don’t think God pulls strings on every situation. Our life isn’t predetermined by some ruthless, game playing deity. I mean deeper questions, like why am i here? Why has everyone seemed to ask that question? You know, things like that. It seems ignorant to have answers like, “It’s all just random.” “We have no meaning here, we are just accidents.” Anyways, good post.

  28. moss_icon says:

    @Landon76 – I think “why” is a natural question to ask but one rooted in our limited human thought processes. Anything we humans have done has been the action that comes from an inspiration. “Why” is the product of desiring a conscious actor with a predetermined plan to be behind everything we see to give us answers, hence why “why” is so important to religious-minded folks. I tend to believe God was thought up to satisfy this particular conceit of the sentient human mind. But I think it’s easy for us humans to get carried away thinking of the conscious mind as the greatest, if not only, form of initiator. There’s nothing out there as yet that proves a conscious actor is required as the initiator of all things. Our conscious states may merely be a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I don’t think it’s necessarily ignorant to say “maybe there is no “why”” because “why” is only necessary due to a species-centric conceit that everything needs a brain behind it. “How” deals with the objective facts which is why, I think, it’s more important scientifically speaking. “Why” is more about satisfying our subjective needs for meaning. Nevertheless there’s nothing wrong with asking “why.” Even though I’m atheist I still look up at the stars too and feel something “more.” I feel moved by nature and the universe and honestly it doesn’t matter to me if it is all just the sum of tiny chemical reactions in my brain and body. It’s kinda ironic but when I stopped believing in a god I actually came to see more value in all these things. It’s like…. it’s like when you get to the end of a book and you find out the “whys” and the plot gets wrapped up and you feel satisfied to know… and yet somehow disappointed too. Because once a singular reason has been given, once it is defined as “it’s because of this” that is it. It doesn’t matter how satisfied that makes you feel, there is always something of a come-down to it. When I removed the idea that an answer to “why” is a necessity I came to realise that “why” is ours to define. Ours to mold and change and explore and, whilst we may never get that set-in-stone answer, we will never get that ‘come-down’ either. The “how” of life is addressed by science but the “why” is an open book without set form, structure or definitions and, to me, that is a wondrous, liberating and – dare I say it – “spiritual” thing.Sorry, sounds almost like I’m ‘evangelising!’ This is just how I’ve come to see things personally. I’m not saying it’s a better way of looking at things and there’s certainly no “wrong” or “right” about it. Just my perspective! 

  29. agnophilo says:

    @Landon76 – “I respect that.I however, look up at the stars some nights and feel a huge need for why questions to be answered. Like the cliche’ but prominent “I get how we came to be, but why” question. It’s said that’s weakness. And honestly, i don’t mind if it is.”To assume there is a personal answer to the question, ie the thought process that went into an event happening which no human controls is to assume that there is a personal god who planned the event.  Some things we will never have answers to, at least in our lifetime, but why people die etc isn’t one of them unless you’re asking why god lets it happen, which is assuming there is a god.”To me, my “soul” is a real glowing object floating inside my heart. Just kidding.”Har har.”I soul to me, is a metaphor for the feelings that i can’t explain.” You assign no more religious meaning to it than that, ie eternal soul that will go to heaven etc?”They can be explained as to how the chemicals connect. But, why? Why do they connect in a way to make me feel love beyond sexual appeal,” When I first found out about evolution (long after losing faith) I began to take an inventory of every aspect of human beings and things in nature to see if there were any that didn’t contribute to survival or reproduction or both, and when I got around to emotions fear was obviously useful for survival, as was anger, even hatred.  I thought about love awhile and it occurred to me that if you’re going to have fear and an instinct of self-preservation, fight-or-flee instincts etc that you need something stronger than that for the solidarity of a family or group of people.  There is safety in numbers and an instinct like love which will make an individual risk their life, go against all their other instincts for the group or their offspring, is very useful.  Also if we only had fear and an instinct of self-preservation when our ancestors were being chased by a predator they’d fling their baby behind them to slow it down.  Your offspring are far more likely to survive if you’re willing to run back into a burning building to save them.”and react to feel something bigger when i look at a sunrise. Why is it beautiful to me?”I can’t give a mechanical explanation, though neurologists probably will in a generation or two.  But our brain punishes bad behavior and rewards good behavior in many ways, and in a society where smarts have skyrocketed us to the top of the food chain creativity and thought and appreciating things is definitely something useful the brain would reward.  We feel euphoria when we exercise, have sex, and do something creative.”As far as the bad explanations go, i don’t mean “why” to why did my dog jump on the couch, or why did my dad die. I don’t think God pulls strings on every situation. Our life isn’t predetermined by some ruthless, game playing deity.” How could you possibly arrive at such a conclusion though?  I suspect you believe that because it is more comforting, not because it is logically true.  There’s no way to test for the level of control an omnipotent, undetectable being may or may not have on the world.”I mean deeper questions, like why am i here? Why has everyone seemed to ask that question? You know, things like that. It seems ignorant to have answers like, “It’s all just random.” “We have no meaning here, we are just accidents.” I’ve never uttered such nonsense in my life.  Evolution (which I assume you are referring to) is not random, that is the nonsense evangelists spew to make fun of it.  If you want a mechanical reason that you exist I can explain that to you if you like (you apparently have been filled up with misconceptions by religious peers).  Either way to assume that your purpose and meaning in life comes from a mechanism in nature which gave rise to you, is like assuming our meaning in life is to fall down because of gravity.  Meaning and purpose comes later, after sentient beings exist.”Anyways, good post.”Thanks.  I will explain how evolution works if you like, or direct you to good blogs and videos.

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