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15 April 2014


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Farmer Don

Wait until people are asked to accept that we are pig/ape cross breeds!


You have to admit we have a lot of characteristics of PIGS.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Richard for this wonder of a post!

And don't forget FREE RADICALS!

Extract from wiki:

In chemistry, a radical (more precisely, a free radical) is an atom, molecule, or ion that has unpaired valence electrons or an open electron shell, and therefore may be seen as having one or more "dangling" covalent bonds.

With some exceptions, these "dangling" bonds make free radicals highly chemically reactive towards other substances, or even towards themselves: their molecules will often spontaneously dimerize or polymerize if they come in contact with each other. Most radicals are reasonably stable only at very low concentrations in inert media or in vacuum.

A notable example of a free radical is the hydroxyl radical (HO•), a molecule that is one hydrogen atom short of a water molecule and thus has one bond "dangling" from the oxygen. Two other examples are the carbene molecule (:CH
2), which has two dangling bonds; and the superoxide anion (•O−
2), the oxygen molecule O
2 with one extra electron, which has one dangling bond. On the other hand, the hydroxyl anion (HO−
), the oxide anion (O2−
) and the carbenium cation (CH+
3) are not radicals, since the bonds that may appear to be dangling are in fact resolved by the addition or removal of electrons.

Free radicals may be created in a number of ways, including synthesis with very dilute or rarefied reagents, reactions at very low temperatures, or breakup of larger molecules. The latter can be affected by any process that puts enough energy into the parent molecule, such as ionizing radiation, heat, electrical discharges, electrolysis, and chemical reactions. Indeed, radicals are intermediate stages in many chemical reactions.

Free radicals play an important role in combustion, atmospheric chemistry, polymerization, plasma chemistry, biochemistry, and many other chemical processes. In living organisms, the free radicals superoxide and nitric oxide and their reaction products regulate many processes, such as control of vascular tone and thus blood pressure. They also play a key role in the intermediary metabolism of various biological compounds. Such radicals can even be messengers in a process dubbed redox signaling. A radical may be trapped within a solvent cage or be otherwise bound.

Until late in the 20th century the word "radical" was used in chemistry to indicate any connected group of atoms, such as a methyl group or a carboxyl, whether it was part of a larger molecule or a molecule on its own. The qualifier "free" was then needed to specify the unbound case. Following recent nomenclature revisions, a part of a larger molecule is now called a functional group or substituent, and "radical" now implies "free". However, the old nomenclature may still occur in the literature.


Farmer Don

Got any of them human/ape hybrids up there? You know, Sasquatch. pl


"A fundamentalist reading of the Bible leads to all sorts of nonsense."

The science of 2014 isn't the science of 2014 BC.


I have somewhat mixed view on this, since I actually deal with public opinion research, specifically with regards to science.

What we actually know is that, while we (Americans are relatively ignorant of science, ignorance is mostly function of education and income (obv, these two are linked) rather than politics. With regards evolution, the state of "knowledge" with regards basic facts are roughly the same given education for liberals and conservatives, fundies and atheists. The difference is that conservatives often don't "believe" them while liberals do.

In terms of "science," both are wrong at a fundamental level: scientists don't "believe," at least when they do science. They only draw conclusions that can be supported by logic and data. If the data contradicts their conclusion and its reliability is indisputable, the scientist has to drop the conclusion. Nothing in science has the validity to override good data that contradicts it, whether it is evolution, gravity, or democracy. If one pretends that some idea is better than the data, that is a cargo cult, not science.

One service that Bill Nye rendered for science education by debating that creationist fellow in Kentucky was that he laid out what kind of evidence would be needed to convince Him of creationism, while his opponent could only repeat that he unconditionally believes in creationism. This is the contrast between real science and a cargo cult. Science is always ready to bow to the facts if they are indisputable. A cargo cult equivocates, twists logic, and makes excuses to not accept inconvenient facts. Notwithstanding being on the right side on evolution, how many of the people who say they "believe" evolution are not themselves cargo cultists in their outlook? The way we react to world events makes me wonder how many people there are in this country that do not subscribe to any major cargo cult somewhere.

r whitman

The science of 2014 will be laughed at as witchcraft in 2114.


No it won't.


Farmer Don

Pigs are smart and according to this article can play video games--though I don't think that is a sign of intelligence.



Richard, to begin with please define speciation and how it occurs in nature.

There is a large, large, LARGE gulf between Young Earth Creationism and Evolution. It is not one or the other. I'll try to be polite here by saying you've built yourself a cute strawman to wail on, at best.

Martin Oline

I think it was only 150 years ago doctors were prescribing Mercury for treating syphilis.



According to your theory, where did the
Nitrogen, water, methane, Carbon Dioxide,
lightning,etc,etc, come from???

USMC 1965-1972
FBI 1972-1996

Babak Makkinejad

Richard Sale:

There are major gaps in the dominant Darwinian Evolution as propagandized by it proponents.

Those are:

origin of life,
speciation (think of the evolution of man, or flowering plants),
species stability - why sea turtles have remained stable for over 200 million years
species extinction (dinosaurs became extinct but mammals survived)

Largely, they feed you words and plausible scenarios - a species of fables now dressed in a more modern jargon.

One of the most offensive ones has been evolutionary psychology - a pseudo-science par excellence - if there ever was one.

I do not think that the existence of such gaps in knowledge discredits the Darwinian Evolution as such if its scope is more narrowly defined that some of its more emotional supporters.

After all, science is a never-ending quest and one would discover new scientific puzzles as older ones are resolved.

But the supporters of Darwinian Evolution seem to be a very insecure lot with very thin skins - it seems to me. They see a religious fanatic behind every bush and tree - who is waiting to burn them at the stake.

They do not have the moral or scientific courage to admit that there are major gaps in their narrative and people are free to read God or Providence into those gaps (however undesirable that might be in certain circles)

If you have time, please take a look at this science-fiction novel which thoroughly debunks atheistic scientism in its early chapters:




Are you a creationist? How cute.


I think part of the problem is a misapplication of the "faith v. reason" argument.

Religion is a matter of faith. Science is a matter of reason.

Both faith and reason are great and legitimate traditions. Much of modern science arose out of the tension between faith and reason.

Men of reason, scientists for example, can have a great deal of religious faith. And men of faith, religious believers for example, can have a great deal of reason.

The problem arises when attempts are made to interpret religious faith in terms of reason, in other words to explain religion in terms of science (the earth is 6000 years old according to the bible, for example) and, also, when science is interpreted in terms of faith.

It's akin to interpreting apples in terms of oranges.

Walk down the halls of a college. Knock on the door of a scientist and ask him if he can "prove" God's existence scientifically. While he might well be religious, he would most likely tell you that particular "proof" is not within his purview or skill set, that it's a matter of faith.

Continue down the hall and ask a theologian whether or not he believes in God since science hasn't "proven" it, he would most likely laugh and say as well that it's a matter of faith, not reason.


You were sent a smoky photo of one "exactly as illustrated"!


Its the only way to cope with this much freedom, information, illusion and ignorance.


I would consider speciation to be a widely agreed and practical paradigm imposed on the fossil and anthropologist record to attempt further analysis of Creation's organizing principles, a cargo cult if you must, but one yet awaiting discovery of a fossil a man riding a dinosaur by its detractors.


One of the problems that I had encountered doing public opinion research on this is that many people who are on the "right" side of evolution are different from creationists only in that they "believe" the "right" answer, not so much that they "understand" it better. Yes, they may be on the right side on evolution, but they also believe a lot of pseudosciences too. (This shows up again when you start surveying people on their beliefs on climate change: many people who say they "believe in" seriousness of climate change tend to mix up climate change and other environmental issues, some true but unrelated, others completely bunk pseudoscience. The number of people who say ozone and climate change are related among self-identified "environmentalists" is stunning.)

The real challenge seems to be that people, regardless of political stripes, just don't know what "science" is, that it is not just matter of believing things and having opinions on things. They don't understand that science does not tell people to do moral things, but simply consists of logical conclusions drawn from data, regardless of what they think the world should be like. I tend to think this is borne from the same mindset as the "shapers of history" who imagine themselves free of facts about the world. Not too many people are equally skeptical of BHO as they were of GWB--the people who gather here represent the rare exception. Many who imagined themselves part of "reality-based community" vis-a-vis Bush have jumped into a different reality once BHO came into office. I see the same forces driving them as those who pride themselves for "believe in" evolution but rant about (scientifically unsubstantiated) ill effects of genetically modified crops (for the record, there may be many good reasons, including economic ones, for being concerned with GMO crops, but there is hardly any evidence that they cause illness or such, at least not yet.).


And like the sun rising in the east, you miss the point yet again.


Well my point was that I don't think its..shall we say wise to declare that anyone who disagrees with evolution is against science when something like speciation and its definitions are so variable and fuzzy.

I'd say Sale's essay is a good example of Science as Religion and the lack of thinking that goes with that outlook.

Babak Makkinejad

In fact, everything written on the origin of life is just so many fables for the gullible who are in awe of the sciences or intimidated by it.

We do not know the origins of life and have no plausible mechanisms to explain it; words such as "Molecular Evolution" etc. are the modern versions of the "Let there be Light".


In other words there's no call for the smug tut tutting by Dawkins and his ilk followed by the tempore tantrums when someone points out the unanswered questions in evolution. Evolution is hardly this towering fortress of unassaliable logic that its high priests imagine it to be.



The necessary elements came from supernovas.


They're not insecure or thin-skinned, Babak. They're just awfully tired of having to re-fight the same battles. I saw an interview with the late Stephen Jay Gould not long before he died, and he talked sadly about how much valuable time scientists had lost while spending their time arguing this stuff, time that might have been spent doing actual science. The Catholic Church recognizes Darwinian evolution within a theistic context.

There aren't as many gaps as the creationists like to make out, nor do you have to resort to supernatural explanations to fill them. But whatever floats your boat.


Complete nonsense.

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