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The Reducible Complexity of John McCain

Evolution works according to a very small set of simple rules. If a) there is variation in a trait in a population and b) that variation is heritable and c) one variant is better adapted to the current local environment, then d) the best adapted trait will increase in the proportion within the population in the next generation. Once you understand this simple algorithm (perhaps, for fuller understanding, learn some basics of the ways genotype maps onto phenotype via development), everything about the living world is explainable without magic.

John McCain works according to a very small set of simple rules: “If the wind is blowing from the Right, blow your wind towards the Right, if it blows from the Left, blow your wind to the Left, if it comes from the Center, blow straight ahead.” Once you understand this simple algorithm, everything about John McCain is explainable without magic.

If you do not know the simple evolutionary algorithm, everything about Nature looks mysterious and you are likely to come up with ridiculous notions such as “irreducible complexity”. You become a creationist and join the Discovery Institute.

If you do not know the simple McCain algorithm, everything about him looks mysterious – why did he say one thing today and the oppsite yesterday? – and you come up with ridiculous notions such as “McCain the Maverick”. You become a lazy, incurious beltway journalist and join the CNN crew.

Also, have you seen McCain’s website? Jet black. Worthy of Loni Riftenschtal (sp?). But the “McCain wind theory”, as a true scientific theory, has predictive power. It predicts that, the day McCain wins the nomination (if he does), his website will turn red and sunny and lose the 1930s Germany feel to it.

So, there is no surprise that Discovery Institute is one of the sponsors of the McCain campaign stop in Seattle today.

And don’t expect the media to notice anything strange about it, either.

Comments

  1. #1 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    February 23, 2007

    John McCain works according to a very small set of simple rules: “If the wind is blowing from the Right, blow your wind towards the Right, if it blows from the Left, blow your wind to the Left, if it comes from the Center, blow straight ahead.” Once you understand this simple algorithm, everything about John McCain is explainable without magic.

    You forgot an importantelement of the rule set: No matter the wind direction, blow hard.

  2. #2 coturnix
    February 23, 2007

    LOL! You are right!

  3. #3 Deep Thought
    February 23, 2007

    Does this count as a pre-Godwined post?

  4. #4 brtkrbzhnv
    February 23, 2007

    I think you mean Leni Riefenstahl.

  5. #5 coturnix
    February 23, 2007

    Yup – I am still too sick to have the strength to loof for the correct spelling. Thank you.

  6. #6 Drake Milton
    February 23, 2007

    Hey McCain– you need to hear this!

    I just heard University of Wisconsin’s Dr. Sean B. Carroll (Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical) talk about evolution and how the Discovery Institute cheats students out of an education.

    Carroll, author of the recent book “Making of the Fittest,” explains that the US is paying a price for its lack of scientific literacy.

    Listen here

  7. #7 Zuska
    February 23, 2007

    Dude, that was genius. Great post.

    This is so depressing. McCain was the one Republican I could sort of tolerate. I thought, if we have to wind up with another Republican president, let it be him – but he’s showing himself to be just as willing to give in to the religious wingnuts as anyone else on the right.

  8. #8 Kush K
    February 24, 2007

    Absolutely brilliant. I have almost left watching the “news” on T.V. If CNN and FOX is “news” then America indeed needs God!

    McCain is a hypocrite, period. Winning the Repulican nomination is all that matters to him. Principle, truth, honesty and of course critical scientific thinking do not matter. He is sadly mistaken.

    There is one thing that McCain is taking for granted. His T.V. appearance. At 72 he looks terrible. People of America do not care about a politician’s character or his intellectual capacity. But they do care about how he/she looks on the T.V.!

    In a recent poll almost sixty percent people said they will not vote for a 72 old guy. That includes people on the hard right that McCain is trying hard to woo.

    At least in McCain’s case we need not worry how he thinks. Looks count! He looks fine as a Senator. Wait till our intelligent design voters start seeing him as a presidential candidate. All that sucking up wont matter. Sixty percent of the voters are going to look for a candidate with youger and better looks. Too bad for McCain that even a multi-million dollar campain fund (which is now a requirement in American politics) cannot make him look good on T.V.! The most dangeroous candidate would be the one who has good looks and panders to the right. Right now that is Mitt Romney.

  9. #9 greensmile
    February 27, 2007

    I second the nomination: great post!

    I lost all hope about McCain when he backed away from his once promising stand for campaign finance reform. He didn’t mean it or he is just corruptible as any other pol. Money DOES pollute our politics and it bums me out that the guy could say it but obviously not believe it.

    I hope that more people pick up on this well deserved dissection.