Not so smug now, are you, Canada?

I confess, we residents of the USA sometimes have a bit of an inferiority complex when we compare our citizenry to those of other nations of the world — we look like such a collection of idiots next to places like Iceland and Australia and New Zealand and Germany and England and Canada and etc. (at least we feel a bit wiser than Turkey). Of course, none of those other countries are entirely exempt from having dumbasses pontificating on science, so we can still occasionally take a cheap, desperate shot at some furrin' loon. Here's a Canadian who has done his part to bolster American egos: James Lunney, conservative member of parliament. Take it away, Mr Lunney!

Mr. Speaker, recently we saw an attempt to ridicule the presumed beliefs of a member of this House and the belief of millions of Canadians in a creator. Certain individuals in the media and the scientific community have exposed their own arrogance and intolerance of beliefs contrary to their own. Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science. For science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since origins can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of hypothesis.

In science, it is perfectly acceptable to make assumptions when we do not have all the facts, but it is never acceptable to forget our assumptions. Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, advanced models of plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions.

The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point. The evolutionists may genuinely see his ancestor in a monkey, but many modern scientists interpret the same evidence in favour of creation and a creator.

Impressive effort, Lunney. It takes great ignorance to pack so many fallacies into 3 paragraphs.

The mechanisms of evolution are reproducible and observable. We can even observe the historical specifics of contingent evolutionary events.

Mr Lunney's choices of objections, plate techtonics [sic], polonium radiohalos, and polystratic[sic] fossils, reveal that he has read the erroneous creationist literature, but has never examined the scientific debunkings of his claims.

I have heard this claim that creationists use the same evidence to argue for creation. It is not true. They select a narrow subset of the evidence that superficially supports their claims, and then ignore the broader array of evidence that completely undermines them…as, for example, creationists who claim that plate tectonics, polonious halos, and polystrate trees refute evolution. There is more evidence out there than the tiny fraction that creationists choose to highlight.

More like this

In response to a candidate for Michigan governor endorsing ID, someone or other writes to the Detroit News Evolution theory relies on faith, too. Which means we don't even get past the title before the first error. But it gets worse: Both creationists and evolutionists have logically derived…
I've been seeing this argument a lot lately: it's a brand of exceedingly indiscriminate relativism that is being prominently peddled by Answers in Genesis. Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians, all have the same evidence--the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same…
Anyone who has followed the evolution/creationism issue for any period of time is quite accustomed to seeing articles filled with the most basic factual errors, poor spelling and hackneyed arguments. But this article, written by someone named Brian Cherry in a webmag called the Washington Dispatch…
That last post notwithstanding, I do think Larry Moran deserves criticism for one thing. He has been very unfair to Ken Milller. For example, in this post Moran writes: The Neville Chamberlain Atheists object when Behe talks about intelligent design but mum's the word when Ken Miller talks about…

Great, PZ, now I have to go through the rest of the day with 3rd degree stupidity burns on my eyes.

So, is Lunney a Canadian variant of Loonie?

By Ray Ladbury (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I have heard this claim that creationists use the same evidence to argue for creation. It is not true. They select a narrow subset of the evidence that superficially supports their claims, and then ignore the broader array of evidence that completely undermines them…as, for example, creationists who claim that plate tectonics, polonious halos, and polystrate trees refute evolution. There is more evidence out there than the tiny fraction that creationists choose to highlight

For an easy example of this just check out RogerS and Alan Clarke in the "I have no Idea what this thread is about anymore" post.

Well, but he sounded so smart and sciency though! That's how they get their message across to the unsophisticated masses.

We Americans can achieve intellectual equality in science with the international community if they get dumber while we don't bother getting any smarter.

Probably not the best way to go.

I did like the snarky comment that Darwin couldn't be produced to defend himself. That showed a little spunk, at least.

But why did you have to disillusion us so early in the morning, PZ? Many of us Americans live with the knowledge in the back of our minds that if/when things really get bad here, there's a magical country just north of us where everyone is sane.

It's like you're making a point of debunking baseless assumptions. The nerve!

Interesting. Is he saying that he also against "plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils"?

"I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."

Of course, Darwin would re-examine his assumptions, but that does not include throwing out evolutionary theory as a whole.

I wonder why creationists always seem to gravitate to right-wing political parties? It certainly says something about the level of stupidity that conservatives are willing to tolerate in the country's "leaders".

Just for context, the riding he's from seems to be in upland BC, which is where all the religious nutters (including our very own women-and-children-abusing FLDS cult) hang out, when they're not huddling behind barbed-wire fences in Alberta and frantically polishing their rifles, that is.

Also, the Macleans site (that scurrilous Tory rag) froze my browser.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I see he is also a Chiropractor, like Gary Goodyear MP. Where do we get these people?

By Hamilton, Canadian (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Canada hasn't had a reason to be smug for a while: we've had Stephen Harper for a PM. He's like a much watered down version of Bush.

Ugh, brb moving to Finland.

We've got the same ID/creationist wankers up here, just like you do in the US. Luckily they don't often get onto education boards and whatnot. Unfortunately, the political party currently in power is a hotbead of IDiocy, including our science minister whom I believe you blogged about already.

We even got us a creationist "museum"; although its little more than a house with some dioramas. I got tossed out for laughing too loudly, apparently I was bothering their other guests. Luckily an amazing paleontology museum - the Royal Tyrell - is just a 5min drive away from that shithole.

#12: Ha ha, maybe.

I still feel smug. We may be Albertans, but my fiance just visited Texas and informs me that the churches there are as big as our NHL hockey arenas. Alberta is the most redneck province by far, but even we know that hockey is way more important than Jesus.

I believe that there are no numbers larger than 5. All evidence supports this, how else could you explain 2, 3, and 4?

By Creationist Bob (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

"The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point."

It feels like I hear this particular "argument" more and more. I still don't understand why it should matter in the slightest. Scientific theories stand on their own, regardless of who originated them. And evolutionary theory has certainly changed a lot since Darwin's days.

But that is a point that I can't get through to some of the creationists who tend to argue with me. They really seem to need to believe that I worship Darwin and that I take his every word as true. It's all pretty irritating.

Lunny is an MP from the riding of Nanaimo-Alberni, which is on Vancouver Island. While there are a lot of forestry workers, it is hardly the same as redneck Alberta (no offense intended Alberta). I have no explanation why the locals in Nanaimo-Alberni would have voted for this guy, however, it is likely that the Liberals, New Democratic Party and Green Party split the popular vote, allowing the Conservative member to actually be elected. It happens in a lot in B.C.

For all those depressed by this fine bit of political news, here is something that might raise your spirits:

Iowa Supreme Court unanimously voted in favor of same sex marriage this morning.

Wait, did the guy in your story seriously bring up plate tectonics? I thought that was pretty much a settled matter as far as evidence.

What assumptions would Darwin re-examine, the ones that insist on cause and effect relationships in the classical realm?

Oh yeah, plate tectonics seriously undermines evolution. Wait a minute, it agrees with it, indeed, some of the evidence for it relates to evolution and its predictions that organisms won't crop up willy-nilly across disconnected areas and times.

And neither polonium haloes nor polystratic fossils would disprove evolution even if they were serious issues in geology. At worst, polonium haloes would call into question the basis for radiometric dating, it would not by itself suggest that the earth is young. It's much the same with polystratic fossils, they'd at best open up questions of dating, not indicate a young earth.

The one clear thing is that Mr. Loony won't question his assumptions, which have long been exposed as idiotic.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

So, is Lunney a Canadian variant of Loonie?

It is now.

Alberta is the most redneck province by far, but even we know that hockey is way more important than Jesus.

That's because you don't have high school football, the real religion of Texas.

By Free Lunch (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Disregard my bit about tectonics. I misread the story.

@#8 SuziQ, @12 10ch:
I'm going with "Both adherence to traditional religion and the belief that things only happen when done by a Big Leader Man appeal to the Conservative (read RWA) mindset"

btw 10ch, the "lobby" to your website seems to be borked. Error message says you are missing a [left angle bracket][slash]body[right angle bracket]. (I know; I fail HTML forever for not being able to make that appear properly)

"Alberta is the most redneck province by far, but even we know that hockey is way more important than Jesus."

Thanks, SuzyQ (@14), for what may be the best comment on this thread.

It's hardly surprising that the modern Conservative Party of Canada has a few ignorant religious nutjobs. It sprang from a party (Reform, then Alliance) that was chock full of them. (And, sorry SuzyQ, had a large Alberta contingent.)

And SusiQ,

The XCel Energy Center is my church. Except, of course, on the occasions where people literally use it as a church.

That polonious halo you referred to?

Methinks it looks like a weasel.

As I suspected, ....

Results Validated by the Returning Officer
Validation Date: October 18, 2008 View preliminary results

Nanaimo--Alberni

Party Candidate Votes % Votes

Marxist-Leninist Barbara Biley 155 0.3
Green Party John Fryer 7,457 12.0
Conservative James Lunney 28,930 46.7
NDP-New Democratic Party Zeni Maartman 19,680 31.8
Liberal Richard Pesik 5,578 9.0
Christian Heritage Party Frank Wagner 176 0.3
Total number of valid votes: 61,976
Rejected ballots: 124
Total number of votes: 62,100

"The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point."

Nor can worshipping kooks produce a god or gods to prove their existense. So until you can do that, I'l stand or the merits of a man that was bold enough to question silly notions of imaginary beings shaping the world and put for concepts that stand the test of time and have opened the door to greater acheivement by mankind.

By Bill from MN (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

@#8:
"I wonder why creationists always seem to gravitate to right-wing political parties? It certainly says something about the level of stupidity that conservatives are willing to tolerate in the country's "leaders"."

I give you John Stuart Mill:

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."

This seems to be one of the basic laws of politics.

By Equisetum (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Nice to see that there are just as many voters for the Marxist-Leninist Party and the ultra right wing Christian Heritage Party. I guess they cancel each other out.

As a southerner, I've always appreciated that irritating Canadian superiority complex towards those below the 49th parallel.

It gives y'all Yankees a taste of your own medicine.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Pardon me for any fallacies when I ask this (not a biologist), but have the creationists ever had a counter-argument to the fact that clearly Chimpanzees are our closest relative?

Looking at them, we are obviously related. And the DNA evidence can be DIRECTLY OBSERVED, in real time. Just take DNA of a human and the DNA of a Chimpanzee and compare them. You have hard molecular evidence of how closely related we are. What possible counter to this could the Loonies of the world have?

Honestly such idiocy from the Harper regime doesn't surprise me. I think PZ has mentioned before that the Minister of State for Science and Technology is a chiropractor. He has stated that we don't share a common ancestor to any other living species and has also cut spending to various science related programs across the country. The craziness won't go away anytime soon.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wgoodyear03…

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Business/Canada+puts+squeeze+science/13641…

By ScreamingHobo (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point.

The creationists may disagree, but they haven't been able to produce god or jesus as a witness to prove anything. Much less a coherent thought or any evidence. Darn, where are those omniscient, all powerful supernatural beings anyway? Out planting fossils again to mislead the scientists, I guess. You would think they could delegate this task to angels or something.

The Canadians have caught a bad case of "American disease". They are always behinds us. We ditched our Theothuglican germs after a near death experience and are slowly getting better.

I think we as Canadians can still put on the smug, because we have far fewer wackjobs than the U --

I can't finish that sentence, dammit. I'm sorry, okay? As a Canadian I have to apologize for that man's stupid.

I'm sorry.

"I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."

Once again I see the desperate attempt to paint evolution as a religion in order to fight it on equal terms. The idea here is that if they throw one of their straw men in the prophet Darwin's face, he'd immediately retract his heresy and all us followers would abandon him for the One True Religion.

It always reminds me of the Benny Hill skit where the kung fu master is confronted with a bear in the woods. And the bear hops up into a kung fu stance and fights the master as just another thug.

By Nangleator (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Great. The country I am currently in the process of trying to become a resident of (did that make sense??) has loons in power too. I thought I left these people back in the UK.

THANKS FOR DESTROYING MY EMIGRATION DREAMS PZ!!

"In science, it is perfectly acceptable to make assumptions when we do not have all the facts..."

Maybe I'm off-base or ill informed here, but isn't this statement like completely insane, more than anything else? I mean that's pretty much the definition of bad science. Isn't this verbatim the description of what religion does? You know, someone prays, their illness goes away, well - they don't know what caused the illness to disappear, but it's pretty safe to assume it was the prayer! Case closed!

I mean maybe I'm misinterpreting but I find that particular misstep in logic to be the most horrifying part of this. If he thinks he can make an informed decision based on assumptions, I dread thinking about the sort of political choices he makes...

By Max Pollack (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I confess, we residents of the USA sometimes have a bit of an inferiority complex when we compare our citizenry to those of other nations of the world

Is this "we"? The US is universally known for its superiority complex. We, secularists, intellectuals, scientists, and readers of this blog, are not representative of Americans. :)

True, we have some idiots here in Canada, but you guys still have the likes of Ray Comfort and the Westboro Baptist Church in your midst.

Long may they continue to prove how stupid they are!

Great. The country I am currently in the process of trying to become a resident of (did that make sense??) has loons in power too. I thought I left these people back in the UK.

THANKS FOR DESTROYING MY EMIGRATION DREAMS PZ!!

The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point.

If Darwin was a catholic, we could. He would have long since been dug up from that church (Westminister Abbey) where he was buried. Of course, his mummy would be missing a huge number of body parts which would be in magic boxes scattered all over the world. And being sold as talismans in souvenir shops attached to museums.

I am sad and embarassed to admit that I am Canadian right now. I just sent a copy of the Bible Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True" to Mr. Lunney at the House of Commons in Ottawa. I can only hope he reads it. My missionary work for the day is done.

But, Darwin was such an nasty person, a racist, atheist, plagiarist, etc. etc. etc. ...

If Darwin would agree with creationism today, that must mean that creationism is wrong.

I'm a little confused. Wouldn't plate tectonics actually support evolution by solving the problem of how very similar or identical animals can be found half a world away with oceans separating a clear migration pass? Before plate tectonics, biologists had to suggest lost continents such as Lemuria and Mu to create land bridges. Now we know we just needed to add time to the equation.

Then again, creationists can manage to see evidence for creationism in a bowl of soup.

I'm also curious as to when creationists will stop taking abiogenesis (organic chemistry) to evolution (biology). I suppose it's better than when try to superglue cosmology to it but again, evolution isn't intended to explain the origins of life, just how it changed and grew.

No schnitzel. Saying that evolution is not reproducable and observable is completely ignorant: get ye a bacterial culture and do some antibiotics testing on it. Saying such a thing is like saying that the Empire State Building is not reproducable, because it was built a long time ago. We may not be able to build that exact building, but we have the materials, we know the processes, and we can give a pretty accurate approximation/reproduction that suits our purposes.

By mikecbraun (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Don't worry. In one hundred years people like this will be all but obsolete in government.

"Reproducible," and not, "reproducable." Duh. Spell it wrong twice, shame on me.

By mikecbraun (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Gah. Self-loathing Americans annoy me. Mostly because there's little to no evidence for it. In particular if you were to correct for population size.

I think most of this perception that America is abnormally stupid comes from the fact that we fail to correct for population size vs other countries, are more aware of news out of America, and tend to not be aware of non-xian forms of stupid abroad.

Sure we have our fair share of stupid and the effect of a lot of out stupid tends to be magnified by size. But I really don't think we're statistically stupider than everybody else and I think the self-loathing is counterproductive.

"Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, advanced models of plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."

- I see. And I could say:

"Given the evidence unavailable to the police last week, i.e., the bleach stains on my shirt, the wiped-clean, non-bloody knife in my hand, and the fact that the big life insurance policy made out to me was not quite a million dollars, I am prepared to believe that the police would be willing to re-examine their accusation that I murdered my wife."

"But, Darwin was such an nasty person, a racist, atheist, plagiarist, etc. etc. etc. ..."

Funny enough, all the things creationists spew about Darwin actually apply more to Christian Identity groups then a soft spoken abolitionist who spent a good chapter of Descent of Man arguing that human compassion is a beneficial trait that must've evolved for a good reason.

On my blog I was told a number of times that the Nazis thought Jews were less evolved and that was how they justified their genocidal campaign. I had a very hard time trying to explain that even a cursory look at 1920s and 1930s history would show that the Nazis were Catholics with Occult vibes and their opposition to Jews came from anti-Semitic religious figures of the day who ascribed to the Vatican's Christ Killer Doctrine.

Glen D wrote:
"Oh yeah, plate tectonics seriously undermines evolution."

I am pretty sure he is referring to plate tectonics of the Walt Brown variety, i.e., plate surfing.

FreeLunch@12: I agree that Texans have large stadiums that indicate football is to Texas as hockey is to Alberta. Perhaps the churches in Texas are larger only because so many Texans want to pray that their high school, college, or professional team will win the next game or championship!

It would be nice if religious people would adopt a more sensible approach to evolution.

I prefer Ken Miller's take on it.
http://www.templeton.org/belief/essays/miller.pdf

There's a certain order to the universe. If you like, you can call that Divine. The Theory of Evolution is good thing. It doesn't necessarily undermine faith. It has stood up to numerous tests and observations. It is a cornerstone of biology and is important to know.

By Thoughtful Guy (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

@ bootsy I think you misunderstand the goal of creationists. Their goal is not to provide any real evidence for their views, their goal is to deliberately lie and misrepresent the evidence for evolution. If you want evidence for this just watch some of their videos, and count the number of blatantly false statements.
Those that don't lie and deceive are parroting arguments from other people who do. It is pretty easy to discredit evolution when you take the bible as a valid scientific source, and will beleave hearsay over scientifically verified theories.
The other thing is once you stick an all powerful being into the picture literally anything is possible, and you get arguments like, God buried the fossils just to test our faith, or God reused the genetic code so we should expect different animals to have DNA in common, or evolution is a tool of Satin.

By Voldemort13 (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

If Darwin was a catholic, we could. He would have long since been dug up from that church (Westminister Abbey) where he was buried.

If Darwin had died a catholic, he probably wouldn't have been buried in Westminster Abbey.
/pedantry

Dear Mr. James Looney,

Given the sheer ignorance in your statements, you probably misspelled your last name :)

You should (1) read Jerry Coyne's excellent book "Why Evolution Is True" to learn more about the mountain of evidence that supports evolution, or (2) refrain from making a fool of yourself.

Ray @ #2

I wish, then at least he would be worth something.

I see the liars on the Right are still trying to spin this as a general anti-religion thing, as if creationism (in the strict sense of evolution denial, with a topping of YEC) was the whole of Christianity. Lots of religious people believe that God was in some sense "behind it all", without doing great violence to modern science (whether they are consistent to do so is separate question). But it was *Goodyear* who originally responded to a question about science with an answer about his religion, thus touching off this whole episode.

This is only one of several reasons to despise the yahoos, ideologues and racists running our current government.

Qwerty,

I like your hypothesis.

I think the limit of this insanity is at Rice Statium, which, as originally built, could hold all of the students and alumni of the university with room to spare. Of course, the school has now become a very good university that doesn't have to rely on a football team to recruit students and the stadium is mostly empty now.

By Free Lunch (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Willful and malicious stupidity knows no boundaries.

On the other hand, the US cranks out so much toxic stupid that it's the world's leading exporter.

This is the riding where I live. This man is insane; not the slightest possibility of doubt. For a start he belongs to the nastiest right wing party around. Next, he's a total woo-meister - homeopathy, chiro, etc etc. Ugh, I can't go on.

Sadly, politics on VI is pretty fucked up. Although the island has some of the best scenery anywhere and a lot of really nice people (well, a high proportion; the entire island population is barely 750,000) it suffers from quite amazing corruption in the political sphere.

By tim Rowledge (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

#8 and #30

Conservatives want to conserve the "good old days" where superstition was rampant.

"Superstition is what others believe without evidence and faith is what I believe without evidence. Those who believe in superstition have no right to feel offended when I call their believes superstition but I am deeply offended if someone calls my beliefs superstition."

This explains why conservative parties and faith go so well together.

even we know that hockey is way more important than Jesus.

Could you explain that to the Oilers, SuziQ? I'm not sure they think hockey is very important at all.

I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions.

Given your deference to a supposedly omnipotent deity whose hands are somehow tied by archaic laws requiring blood sacrifice, what aren't you prepared to believe, Mr. Lunney?

What I find funny (not funny 'ha-ha') is that this ass seems to think the veracity of the theory of evolution hinges on Darwin's acceptance. Science isn't Canadian politics, wherein the party whip commands your allegiance to the party leader, idiot.

I am pretty sure he is referring to plate tectonics of the Walt Brown variety, i.e., plate surfing.

Oh, I am too.

But I don't think I'd credit that as one of any "advanced models of plate techtonics" [sic] any more than I'd credit ID as a biological theory.

Plus, Walt Brown's "theory" simply ignores (or fobs off with the flimsiest of BS) the many evidences of deep time (along with evolutionary change affected by plate tectonics) in the record of plate tectonics.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

And I'm still smug. Not because I'm Canadian, but because I'm better than most everyone else.

We can't produce Darwin, true. Can they produce god?

By Purbrookian (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I think the limit of this insanity is at Rice Statium, which, as originally built, could hold all of the students and alumni of the university with room to spare.

Ah, yes, the old alma mater! Rice has a student body of about 3500, and Rice Stadium could (at its heyday) hold 70,000. It made for some rather amusing football games when the stadium was 90% empty.

Of course, the school has now become a very good university that doesn't have to rely on a football team to recruit students

Ahem -- "become"? Rice has always emphasized academics, and is one of the top small private research universities in the US. The football team has never been a focus of the school -- heck, when I was there oh so many moon ago, it was a point of pride to have a terrible football team, as that showed we cared more about academics.

Such memories...

I must admit, it is a comfort to know that citizens of other countries in the developed world know how we feel.

By Alyson Miers (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Give it time. He'll eventually move down here and hang out with Ken Ham. The biggest weirdos usually do.

Nangleator #37 wrote:

Once again I see the desperate attempt to paint evolution as a religion in order to fight it on equal terms.

I think a lot of religious people tend to classify any and all controversies as being similar to religion, in that everybody is presumed to pick a side and grant a special place of importance to the evidence that supports it. Science, politics, social theories, whatever. Differences of opinion aren't a matter of one group reasoning better than the other side, or some kinds of evidence being better than other kinds.

No -- it all comes down to the kind of person you are. Good people choose to believe the right things; bad people choose to believe the wrong things. There's no common ground to arbitrate disputes. You "respond" to the side that best expresses your values. Just like with religion.

From the article:

"Mr. Speaker, recently we saw an attempt to ridicule the presumed beliefs of a member of this House and the belief of millions of Canadians in a creator. Certain individuals in the media and the scientific community have exposed their own arrogance and intolerance of beliefs contrary to their own. Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science.'

See? This is why we need to ridicule religion and other forms of woo. So far, they don't seem to be able to tell the difference between ridiculing people's belief in God, and ridiculing people's belief in Creationism. Let's then show them lots and lots of atheist mockery of their belief in a divine creator, so that after a while evolution alone starts to look rather temperate, and they commence clutching at 'theistic evolution' like people drowning.

/snark

There is more evidence out there than the tiny fraction that creationists choose to highlight.

But looking at that evidence would take away from Cuddling With Jebus time.

Mr. Lunney needs to re-take science 101.

Especially the meaning of the word 'FACT' in science needs to go on his list of "very basic things about science I do not yet understand"... well, that and many, many other things, I'd assume.

"places like Iceland and Australia and New Zealand and Germany and >>>England<<< and Canada"

*cough*BRITAIN*cough*

;o)

Fixed his letter for him. The second paragraph was so stupid as to be almost impossible to reverse the point of view....Anyone feel free to give it another go.

Mr. Rightwing Gasbag, recently we saw an attempt to ridicule the well founded scientific theory of biological evolution accepted by millions of Canadians. Certain individuals in the media and the religious community have exposed their own arrogance and intolerance of beliefs contrary to their own. Any religionist who declares that their religion is true has already abandoned the foundations of sanity. Only science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since supernatural claims can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of fantasy.

In religion, it is only acceptable to draw conclusion based on your superstitious beliefs, when you do not have all the facts, but it is never acceptable to forget our fantasies. All your beliefs come from an authority and must never be questioned, I am prepared to believe that you would never be willing to re-examine your assumptions.

The religionist may disagree, but neither can produce God, Jesus, or any other religious figure as a witness to prove his point. The religionist may genuinely see his ancestor in a lump of clay, but most modern religionists ignore the evidence in favour of blind faith in a creator.

You know, I've never agreed with the Quebec separatists. The french fanatism, the victimisation, the inferiority complex associated with them have always repulsed me.

But seeing what is going on in the west of this country, I'm starting to think it's not such a bad idea.

@FastLine: Great job! I love turning the religionists' words right back at them. Nicely done.

Getting back to the Canadian idjit's fallacies, someone may have already pointed out this:

"The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point. "

What the idjit doesn't realize (among many other things) is that to science, what Darwin - or *any* authority - would have to say about evolution is irrelevant to whether it's accepted as truth. Science determines truth based on the evidence for claims, not on who made the claims.

Religionists get so stuck on what Darwin did or didn't say, or Einstein, or Stalin, ad nauseum, because reality to them is based on claims from authority. No wonder it's so hard to get any sense into them.

@Tim Rowledge

"Sadly, politics on VI is pretty fucked up. Although the island has some of the best scenery anywhere and a lot of really nice people (well, a high proportion; the entire island population is barely 750,000) it suffers from quite amazing corruption in the political sphere."

I used to live in the Comox valley, and they actually seemed to be quite liberal there. Of course, it may be the marijuana smoke washing over the valley from Hornby Island. ;-)

On a serious note, we do have a lot of religious whack-a-loons floating around here, we just seemed to be more embarrassed of them. Another reason that you hear less about them here is that the Liberal Party has dominated federal politics for over 100 years now. Not only are the Liberals less inclined to pander to the fundies, much of their political base is based in large multi-cultural urban centres such of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. These cities because of their diverse nature don't lend themselves to the fundie agenda. Under the Harper government, however, the fundies are a lot more vocal.

All I can say is that I do wish these idiots would just STFU and slink back under the rock they were hiding.

I blame our proximity to you, Amurrica! *snicker* Stop infecting us with teh stoopid!!

We're still smug. It would take more than one man to change that.

The smug is too strong in us. We're even proud of it.

"The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point."

Ar they sure they wanna go down this road?

"The creationists may disagree, but neither can produce god as a witness to prove his point."

The mechanisms of evolution are reproducible and observable. We can even observe the historical specifics of contingent evolutionary events. - PZ Meyers

I know I am referred to as a troll on here, but this claim I would like to see. Can you prove this Mr. Meyers?

I hope this doesn't sound nasty or sarcastic. I am rather curious. Could you make a post or two and prove that science has proven evolution?

I just usually lurk on here and I make sure I catch the Cephalopods posts. I find them interesting.

But I am really interested in your evolution claim. Or would that be a claim of science? I'm not sure.

We're still smug. It would take more than one man to change that.

The smug is too strong in us. We're even proud of it.

Not like Minnesota, then, where they keep their smugness under wraps, since one of the things they are smug about is how they don't rub everyone else's face in how much better Minnesota is.

By Free Lunch (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Lunney must one of the PC's that came from the Reform/CRAP party. He was also quite vocal against Bill C-51 which sought to strengthen enforcement measures under the Food & Drug Act. All the quacks have to support each other...

The advanced models of plate techtonics this moron is referring to is undoubtably the "catastrophic plate tectonics" nonsense promoted by Baumgardner. They can't deny geological observations of plate movement so they instead hypothesize that plate movements occurred at orders of magnitude greater velocity than today (a few cm/yr). Of course they overlook the simple fact that such incredible velocities would generate enough heat to boil away the world's oceans (the old "then a miracle occurred" solution comes into play here!).

starbuck the dumb troll:

I hope this doesn't sound nasty or sarcastic. I am rather curious. Could you make a post or two and prove that science has proven evolution?

Not easily in a post or two. The evidence for evolution fact and theory has been developed by innumerable scientists over hundreds of years. It fills entire multistory libraries. And there is a steady flood of new evidence every week.

Creationists lost in the arena of educated people and science a century ago. It is just another superstition like the flat earthers and geocentrists.

You would, and should have a better chance of producing god and jesus in a post or two. After all, no one has ever proved those two (or one) don't exist. But we know creationism is wrong.

I think most of us in Canada aren't so much embarrassed by these clowns as astonished by the concentration of them all in one political party.

... and even more astonished by the high profile posts that Harper gives them.

Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science. For science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since origins can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of hypothesis.

As I understand these things (and ICBW), evolution isn't the origin of life, it's what happened after life (or its precursor?) originated.

Yes?

No, "Lunny" is not how we pronounce "loonie". "Loonie" is how we pronounce "one dollar".

Yes, we Canadians do sometimes suffer from "small country syndrome" wherein we have to feel smug and superior when compared to our immense neighbour to the south, but, really, we know you don't have that many more nutjobs than we do.

It's just that they get so much more attention than ours do (CNN, Fox, Limbaugh, etc.) and don't have the decency to at least appear embarrassed when they get called on it. And, sadly, yes, the current bunch in power have deep, deep roots in religious insanity of a peculiarly American type. Fortunately, they are a minority government, and the main opposition party, for all its flaws, is led by a fellow who can actually rub two brain cells together and get some smoke.

Finally, damn straight, the one true faith is hockey; bless la sainte flannel, the Holy Rocket, and the universal health care that allows us all to crash into the boards and come up swinging!

"The evolutionists may genuinely see his ancestor in a monkey, but many modern scientists interpret the same evidence in favour of creation and a creator."

Correct, where "scientists" means "anyone with a PhD" and "many" means "any proportion greater than 0.01%".

I am a Canadian who lives in Ottawa. Believe me when I tell you that some days the miasma of stupid wafting out of our Parliament is enough to choke you with it's stench.

That lying sack of crap Harper and his fawning cronies are bent on destroying any and all science based programs which don't fit with their religious notions, while also making sure to do away with any social safety nets which might remain after years of mismanagement, ensuring a quick and dirty end to anyone who isn't white and middle to upper class.

Ugh. Harper can go take a flying fuck a rolling doughnut.

#86

Just read Jerry Coyne's great book "Why Evolution Is True".

If you need more proof than that, go back to school (a real one, not Liberty University).

@Starbuck,

You should look for video of one of Ken Miller's talks. He explains it a clear, non-threatening way that makes good sense, even if you're religious. Better yet, check out his biology text.

By Thoughtful Guy (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Lunney is a chiropractor. They are not generally noted for their commitment or grasp of science.

I think most of us in Canada aren't so much embarrassed by these clowns as astonished by the concentration of them all in one political party.

Hardly. What I'm astonished by is the large number of asshats that vote these clowns in. Yeah, I know the Liberals are douchebags, and the NDP tend to be, well, the NDP, but seriously, Harper?

But I am really interested in your evolution claim. Or would that be a claim of science? I'm not sure.

Of course you're not sure, Starbuck. You're an idiot. You seem to be unable to get the most basic of facts straight (such as the spelling of Dr. Myers' name) and haven't the foggiest as to what 'prove' means. Science cannot 'prove' gravity--do you doubt that too?

You're a troll of the worst kind, Starbuck: a veritable fucking moron afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect. You show up here all proud of your 'doubtiness' as if that confers some sort of out-of-the-box thinker street cred, but you bring nothing to the table. Your questions aren't even novel. You're a whiny toddler crying for food that you won't even eat (notwithstanding the fact that you believe outrageous bullshit with nearly zero evidence marks you as a hypocrite of Christian proportions, which is to say there ain't none bigger.) So why should the good professor tailor a lesson plan to your specifications? You gonna pay him tuition?

Oh, Hamilton, Canadian, that makes two of us around here. Secession talks for Hamilton might be a good idea.

They argue that Darwinian evolution is wrong and refuting the aged theory with recent evidence
(read: quotations from the bible and misquoted science papers), it's changed.

On the other hand, they bravely(stupidly) worship an outdated handbook on what to eat while in Israel along with a set of the region's rules concerning copulation with family members.

Creationists do seem to struggle with the evolution of an idea, along with evolution itself. Throw those two together and you have the evolution of evolution. mind-blowing, non?

For science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since origins can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of hypothesis.

The Looney has no idea what he is babbling about or cares. We haven't been able to reproduce the Big Bang either. This is a good thing. If we do so, that is the last experiment any entity will perform. For at least another 5-10 billion years.

More to the point, no one has ever been able to reproduce the cruxifition and resurrection of jesus. Since, according to Looney this is necessary, "it remain the realm of hypothesis."

PS. Yes, evolution and abiogenesis are usually considered separately for a variety of good reasons.

Does anyone have several good links to a technical explanation of why evolution is a fact? Gould said it is both a fact and a theory. Part of the problem is that the word evolution is used two ways 1.)for the fact of evolution and 2.)for the theory of Natural Selection, frequently called the Theory of Evolution. The public is understandably confused on this point and some scientists, myself included, are not strong on it either. Thus my request.
Stephanurus

By Stephanurus (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

They can't deny geological observations of plate movement so they instead hypothesize that plate movements occurred at orders of magnitude greater velocity than today (a few cm/yr).

Of course that is observable and reproducible. I nearly got ran over by a continental plate last week. Whoever was driving it must have been drunk.

Not easily in a post or two. The evidence for evolution fact and theory has been developed by innumerable scientists over hundreds of years. It fills entire multistory libraries. And there is a steady flood of new evidence every week.

Creationists lost in the arena of educated people and science a century ago. It is just another superstition like the flat earthers and geocentrists.

You would, and should have a better chance of producing god and jesus in a post or two. After all, no one has ever proved those two (or one) don't exist. But we know creationism is wrong.

Don't bring God into this discussion. I said nothing at all about religion. It just that PZ Myers made a statement and I was just ASKING if he had this proof.

Of course you're not sure, Starbuck. You're an idiot. You seem to be unable to get the most basic of facts straight (such as the spelling of Dr. Myers' name) and haven't the foggiest as to what 'prove' means. Science cannot 'prove' gravity--do you doubt that too?

You're a troll of the worst kind, Starbuck: a veritable fucking moron afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect. You show up here all proud of your 'doubtiness' as if that confers some sort of out-of-the-box thinker street cred, but you bring nothing to the table. Your questions aren't even novel. You're a whiny toddler crying for food that you won't even eat (notwithstanding the fact that you believe outrageous bullshit with nearly zero evidence marks you as a hypocrite of Christian proportions, which is to say there ain't none bigger.) So why should the good professor tailor a lesson plan to your specifications? You gonna pay him tuition?

I apologize for misspelling Mr. Myers last name. I won't do it in the future. And might I say, you show your intelligence level when you slam me for a simple request?
IF Mr. Myers is so inclined? I mean, it's up to him. If he wants to, then fine. If he doesn't, so what? I was just asking.. You can call me a troll.. I suppose I am. Although I am NOT trying to get under anyone skin.

And why the vulgarities? And the accusations of religion? I mentioned NOTHING about religion. Have you got serious problems with religion? I am going to assume the answer is yes.

What I have seen on here is that when people make great claims, they have to back it up with great evidence.

I was sort of hoping PZ would atleast try. If doesn't want to, well that IS up to him.

Oh, and you are an athiest of the worst kind brownian...Vulgar, full of ad hom attacks, full of strawmen and a liar and a dishonest blogger. So there, take that!

Is this a pissing contest? Ok, I'll whip mine out.
Newfoundland is better than the rest of Canada.
There, I said it.

Stephanurus, in science, a theory of anything is a description of the evidence (facts) about a particular area. I.e. The theory of evolution explains all the 'facts' that all the different research has uncovered so far. However, there is so much of this evidence that can only be explained using the TOE that the theory itself can also be regarded as near a fact as anything can be in science.

By John Phillips, FCD (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Well at least Patrick Ross didn't show here and demonstrate other great Canadian failures in science,... like he did when PZ posted about Gary "Fred Flintstone" Goodyear.

Jeepers PZ, did some Canadian pee in your cornflakes? Please stop displaying Teh Cana-Duh Stoopid on the Intertoobies,... this is getting embarrassing.

Sigh, it's true people, even Cana-Duh we have our own measure of Teh Stoopids,.... It is unfortunately one of those universal constants,... consider them intellectual entropy ;-) Unavoidable losses in the balanced equation of knowledge

Oh, and you are an athiest of the worst kind brownian...Vulgar, full of ad hom attacks, full of strawmen and a liar and a dishonest blogger. So there, take that!

I'll cop to the first two (let's say two-and-a-half: after all, I am a satiricist, and satire requires stereotypes, which are a type of strawmen), but I'm not a liar nor dishonest (can I be one and not the other)?

So there back!

Not easily in a post or two. The evidence for evolution fact and theory has been developed by innumerable scientists over hundreds of years. It fills entire multistory libraries. And there is a steady flood of new evidence every week.

Creationists lost in the arena of educated people and science a century ago. It is just another superstition like the flat earthers and geocentrists.

You would, and should have a better chance of producing god and jesus in a post or two. After all, no one has ever proved those two (or one) don't exist. But we know creationism is wrong.

Don't bring God into this discussion. I said nothing at all about religion. It just that PZ Myers made a statement and I was just ASKING if he had this proof.

Of course you're not sure, Starbuck. You're an idiot. You seem to be unable to get the most basic of facts straight (such as the spelling of Dr. Myers' name) and haven't the foggiest as to what 'prove' means. Science cannot 'prove' gravity--do you doubt that too?

You're a troll of the worst kind, Starbuck: a veritable fucking moron afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect. You show up here all proud of your 'doubtiness' as if that confers some sort of out-of-the-box thinker street cred, but you bring nothing to the table. Your questions aren't even novel. You're a whiny toddler crying for food that you won't even eat (notwithstanding the fact that you believe outrageous bullshit with nearly zero evidence marks you as a hypocrite of Christian proportions, which is to say there ain't none bigger.) So why should the good professor tailor a lesson plan to your specifications? You gonna pay him tuition?

I apologize for misspelling Mr. Myers last name. I won't do it in the future. And might I say, you show your intelligence level when you slam me for a simple request?
IF Mr. Myers is so inclined? I mean, it's up to him. If he wants to, then fine. If he doesn't, so what? I was just asking.. You can call me a troll.. I suppose I am. Although I am NOT trying to get under anyone skin.

And why the vulgarities? And the accusations of religion? I mentioned NOTHING about religion. Have you got serious problems with religion? I am going to assume the answer is yes.

What I have seen on here is that when people make great claims, they have to back it up with great evidence.

I was sort of hoping PZ would atleast try. If doesn't want to, well that IS up to him.

Oh, and you are an athiest of the worst kind brownian...Vulgar, full of ad hom attacks, full of strawmen and a liar and a dishonest blogger. So there, take that!

So nice he posted it twice

Ya.. everything timed out.. I didn't read the part about not to post again.. But I did it anyways. a Cyber sin..

Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science.

Hey, look. The jackass got something right, at least. Facts and theories are different things. and that statement I copied there is accurate. If you declare the THEORY of evolution to be a fact, you have abandoned science (it's different than the fact of evolution). Good. Good.

What? What? You say he got it right by accident? Oh.
Shit.

Starbuck, it is not possible to post the mountains of evidence supporting evolution on a blog post and there is no simple one or two line answer. However, working on the assumption that you genuinely want to learn, for starters look here;

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

and there is always google and talkorigins.org

However, be prepared to actually do some work yourself.

By John Phillips, FCD (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Evolution fact and theory.

Need to know the definitions which vary a bit.

Evolution the fact. Life changes through time.
This was known long before Darwin. The fossil record showed this.

Evolution the theory. How and why life changes through time. There were theories long before Darwin. His grandfather Erasmus proposed one. ID, Lamarckism, Catastrophism, creationism, diluvianism and so on.

The current theory is based on Darwin's work, RM + NS plus a huge amount of details. It is one of the best established theories in science. As the National Academy said recently, "The TOE is so well supported that it is unlikely to be falsified." There are many reasons why theories aren't falsified. One good one, they happen to be true.

When you get a submission error, Starbuck, click the back button, highlight your text and copy it, and then click 'refresh' on your browser. You should see your comment posted.

In the off chance that your comment didn't post and you're using a browser that doesn't retain unsubmitted form information on refresh (like Google Chrome), you can just paste your copied text.

Wow. skip down to the bottom of the page and see what you get. I skimmed into Brownian at 108 and then into Starbuck's repost at 109, and thought it must be backwards day and nobody told me.

For Starbuck at #86 :
you may or may not be a troll, but the answer to your query lies at the top left of the page, where you can either use the search box or the complete listing of posts.
PZ Myers has done numerous posts on evolution, including some very good introductory level essays. Read them, please.

The thing is, Starbuck, if you hang around here and actually read the biology posts, there's more than ample evidence for evolution. or read the above-cited "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne. Or Climbing Mt. Improbable or The Ancestor's Tale, both by Richard Dawkins. There's a ton of evidence out there, if you only open your eyes.

John Phillips, FCD wrote: "In science, a theory of anything is a description of the evidence (facts) about a particular area. I.e. The theory of evolution explains all the 'facts' that all the different research has uncovered so far. However, there is so much of this evidence that can only be explained using the TOE that the theory itself can also be regarded as near a fact as anything can be in science."

John, You are saying that eventually the theory becomes a fact because of the accumulation of evidence in its favor. I can see your point, and it is a good one. However, I don't think that theories become facts; they remain theories, and some of them are very good ones. The theory of evolution is a theory because it explains the facts. The other side of the coin is that the data of evolution---the facts--are facts of evolution. This is different than saying that the facts eventually become so good that the theory explaining them becomes itself a fact. My question is not on the issue of whether a theory becomes good enough to be a fact in the sense that you described, but how the data of evolution are equivalent to facts of evolution. I am not disputing it, you understand, I just want to understand the philosophical foundations of it.
Stephanurus

By Stephanurus (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

@Starbuck #86

this claim [i.e. that the mechanisms of evolution are reproducible and observable] I would like to see. Can you prove this Mr. Meyers?
I hope this doesn't sound nasty or sarcastic. [...] But I am really interested in your evolution claim. Or would that be a claim of science? I'm not sure.

Are you really not trying to be sarcastic? Mostly, when people here misspell a word — athiest, evilution, satin – it's for satirical purposes. When you fail to spell the name that's at the top of every single fucking page of this blog correctly, are you being funny?

When an associate professor of biology says that "The mechanisms of evolution are reproducible and observable" which is more likely?

  1. he's expressing an unfounded opinion
  2. speculating wildly
  3. reporting the scientific consensus on what the results of tested, correlated, peer-reviewed evidence and experimentation demonstrate

There is a wealth of material available that will help you to understand how evolution works. Why Evolution is True is just one. Reading it will provide the answers you say you are looking for better than a blog post.

You are saying that eventually the theory becomes a fact because of the accumulation of evidence in its favor. I can see your point, and it is a good one.

NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO.

Stephanurus, you are correct in your later text in that comment. Theories do not become facts. Facts are observations with associated errors. Theories are devised to explain facts. They have different names because they are different things. The fact of evolution is the observation that life has changed through time (this is reducing a lot of observations to one, which isn't cool but for this conversation). The theory of evolution explains that observation (how it happened).

Actually, Stephanurus, let me further reiterate how much I like that second paragraph of #119. Well said.

The biggest road block to people like Lunney accepting The Theory of Evolution is an old argument, that a naturalist philosophy typically results in rationalizing immorality. In turn, this leads to moral decay in society. When people realize they have no soul to save and no God to punish them, nothing prevents them from doing whatever necessary to fulfill their desires. Religious inhibitions are gone and they are free to do whatever they want. The idea is growing in popularity among several creationist sects and is frequently discussed in their writings. It is the primary reason for them to come up with pseudoscience nonsense like Intelligent Design.

By Thoughtful Guy (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Stephanurus said

...but how the data of evolution are equivalent to facts of evolution

???

Note that I said as near anything can in science. Though with that proviso, then I would still say that TOE is both a fact and a theory that explains all the other individual facts.

By John Phillips, FCD (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

For Pierce R. Butler @ 32, I figure that Lunney spent around 25 years south of the 49th parallel in the Kitchener (4 3.270 N) and Toronto (43.390 N) area, and he has been in Ottawa (45.220 N) since 2000, so there must be some sort of influence from “south of the border”. I think most Canadians will let you claim him, and if your preference is for him to be Yankee, so be it.
I have a real tough time explaining his BSc from the University of Manitoba in 1972 though. Must have got his brain infected from that Red River water that came up from the south as in North Dakota.

Newfie said:
"Is this a pissing contest? Ok, I'll whip mine out.
Newfoundland is better than the rest of Canada.
There, I said it."

'tis true, but that means you still own Rex Murphy.

so i saw the title of the post and thought, "sure, he's saying that now, but it can't be THAT bad."

then i saw "mr. speaker..." and all hope went down the drain. that was said in the god damned house of commons, not some moron on a blog. what the fuck.

The Cons are also trying to kill our gun registry here as well. Religious nutters with guns scares me. Outside of their soveriegn state they would be quite likely deemed as terrorists.

Newfoundland is better than the rest of Canada.

Weren't you the last ones let into Canada? Didn't the rest of Canada keep you out until after WWII when Britain was offering their colonies cheap, to a good home?

And why do both parts have dogs named after them? Are the residents as nice as the dogs?

By Free Lunch (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Newfoundland is better than the rest of Canada.

That's why everyone tells Newfie jokes.

Newfoundland, where the archtypical provincial song is about catching bait.

By 'Tis Himself (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

Hmm, he also seems to fall into the common theistic trap of confusing evolution with abiogenisis.
I'm kinda surprised he didn't start ranting about 1st causes and watchmakers too. He's obviously swallowed all those religious pamphlets with relish.

By SuzieGirl (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I know that it doesn't really have to be said, but seriously--we have lots of fossil trees preserved in situ in growth position. Those people who think that these data present some sort of problem for either evolution or paleontology to explain don't know enough about either of these fields to be making authoritative statements.

Pretty sad, eh?

When it comes to politics, seems you can get pretty far rowing with just one oar in the water.

"The evolutionists may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point."

So, we're supposed to dig up Einstein and re-animate him so he can prove his point about relativity?

How about Koch, so he can give us the real lowdown on germ theory?

I want to grab this guy and yell at him, "Hey, moron, we don't need to disturb the dead--they wrote down their points. You'd know that if you could read."

Origins cannot be observed? Of course they can - Mr. Looney [sic] obviously descended from the potato; I bet if we test him for potato genes we'll find plenty. No offense intended to Mr. Potatohead and family, but this guy is a potatohead.

I like the "origins cannot be reproduced and therefore don't exist". Mr. Looney cannot be cloned and therefore does not exist.

So what does the idiot want to do - create laws to protect religion from sensibility? Religion is already free of sensibility and there are no laws against being morons, nor are there laws against people laughing at morons - or at least not yet.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

I have heard this claim that creationists use the same evidence to argue for creation.

When creationists use this argument, I get the distinct impression that they think that "evidence" is rather like a collection of marbles which you can pour into a container of any shape and in each case have them fit together equally well.

Whereas in reality, for something to count as evidence at all, it has to fit fairly specifically into a particular space within the container, like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Consequently, it is not necessarily the case that any given piece of evidence is going to fit equally well into any container.

To put it another way, creationists can't tell the difference between an observation which is predicted by a theory and an observation which is merely trivially consistent with it. Silly buggers.

By Iain Walker (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

Thoughtful Guy (#55):

There's a certain order to the universe. If you like, you can call that Divine.

You certainly can. You can also call it "Super", "Smashing", "Fabulous", or even "Just plain spiffy".

By Iain Walker (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

Maybe it is the other way around: people who "lean" right gravitate towards creationism.

It's even simpler: both conservativism and creationism follow logically from the same source.

Ignorance leads to fear, and fear leads to conservativism.

Creationism consists of arguments from ignorance.

The mechanisms of evolution are reproducible and observable. We can even observe the historical specifics of contingent evolutionary events. - PZ Meyers

I know I am referred to as a troll on here, but this claim I would like to see. Can you prove this Mr. Meyers?

I hope this doesn't sound nasty or sarcastic. I am rather curious. Could you make a post or two and prove that science has proven evolution?

If you would be so kind as to read the passage you've quoted, you'd see that PZ doesn't mention "prove" anywhere. He has a good reason: science cannot prove, only disprove.

Suppose we discover the truth. How can we find out that what we've discovered is the truth? By comparing it to the truth, which we haven't got?

Does anyone have several good links to a technical explanation of why evolution is a fact? Gould said it is both a fact and a theory.

Evolution is a fact*, and the theory of evolution explains this fact.

* I've seen it happen, overnight, in a petri dish, with my own eyes and not even a microscope.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

we look like such a collection of idiots next to places like Iceland and Australia and New Zealand and Germany and England and Canada and etc.

Those places all have plenty of idiots; US news media is simply not so interested in telling the US about them. I would submit that the idiot closer to home is easier to know about.

@GregF. #52
On my blog I was told a number of times that the Nazis thought Jews were less evolved and that was how they justified their genocidal campaign.

I needn't remind you, I'm sure, but for others:

The Nazis would be repulsed by the thought that "Aryans" would be "more evolved" than Jews - that would suggest that they were related to Jews, and that "Aryans" were evolved from anything.

The Nazis did, however, appeal to the germ theory of disease, and Hitler likened himself to Koch. That, of course, does not discredit the germ theory of disease. But, aside from that, the Nazis did not mention Darwin favorably.

*whiny voice* But Daaaaavid, that's just change within a KIND, that's not evoluuuuution*/whiny voice*

Josh (#121):

Theories do not become facts. Facts are observations with associated errors. Theories are devised to explain facts. They have different names because they are different things

Tend to disagree, but I think at least part of the disagreement comes down to terminology. If you define "fact" in this way, then yes, theories and facts are different things. However, if you define fact the way Gould does (I forget his exact formulation, but basically as any proposition sufficiently well supported that it is reasonable to assign it a truth value of 1), then both theories and observations can be facts.

The source of the disagreement seems to be this: You seem to be treating the theory/fact distinction as a functional one - facts are equivalent to observations, and theories explain observations. The difference thus lies in the role they play in empirical enquiry, and since the two roles tend not to overlap, a given proposition cannot generally be both. Gould, on the other hand, treats the theory/fact distinction as a categorical one - theories belong to the category of statements that are defined first and foremost by their functional or methodological role, while facts belong to the category of statements that are defined first and foremost by their truth value. But since there is nothing to stop a given proposition falling into both categories, it is possible for a proposition to function as a theory and have a truth value of 1 (or near enough).

Personally I'm with Gould on this - "fact" is primarily an truth-evaluative term, rather than a functional/methodological one. Distinguish theories and observations in functional terms by all means, but I don't really see any point in taking the term "fact" and limiting it solely to being a synonym for "observation". If it's the functional distinction you want to make, why not just use the term "observation"?

Mind you, I suppose that you could defend the theories-and-facts-are-different position by taking a rigorously instrumentalist approach to the status of theories, and simply deny that theories have determinate truth values (or at least hold that assigning truth values to theories is highly problematical). On this view, the strength of a theory lies entirely in its predictive value and in its ability to generate an ongoing research programme in the form of new subsidiary hypotheses. Asking whether or not it is true is beside the point, and perhaps even unanswerable. On this line of argument then, theories cannot be facts - not so much because facts are defined as playing a different functional role than theories, but because theories don't fall into the same category as facts (i.e., the category of determinately true-or-false statements).

By Iain Walker (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

..but basically as any proposition sufficiently well supported that it is reasonable to assign it a truth value of 1), then both theories and observations can be facts.

I don't like this usage, because there is a built-in assumption that we can ever assign a truth value of 1 to a proposition. It assumes that science resolves TRUTH, which it does not. Nothing in science is incontrovertible (which may be the only True statement regarding science). Gould knew better, too (but then he often did and wrote stuff nonetheless). I was using these words in the functional sense, because this is how we tend to use them in science.

If it's the functional distinction you want to make, why not just use the term "observation"?

See my text comment that you copied in #143.

Asking whether or not it is true is beside the point, and perhaps even unanswerable.

Exactly. It appears to be unanswerable. Science doesn't resolve Truth because it's asymptotic with respect to Truth. Even if we arrive at a TRUE answer for some question, how do we KNOW it's true? How do we GUARANTEE that it's True? Against what do we compare our answer for PROOF? Not only that, but even if we can say that something is "sufficiently well supported that it is reasonable" to think of it as being true, there is a temporal parameter to the statement. Can we GUARANTEE that the it will continue to be sufficiently well-supported to consider it as being true? Observations often have a shelf-life to their "trueness."

"The Old Man in the Mountain is a rock outcrop in New Hampshire that, when viewed from a certain angle, resembles the profile of a person's face"

used to be an accurate statement.

It no longer is.

Also, if you start regarding a scientific theory as being true, then how does it remain falsifiable?

My God, Lunney is our Member of Parliament! What an idiotic thing for him to say! Actually I don't know anything about the guy because I don't pay much attention to politics, but I think I'll now have to sent him a note. By the way, this is NOT a backwoods area of Canada, and I don't personally know anyone else who would agree with his comments. In fact, I don't even know anyone who even attends church, and I've lived here for twenty years. Maybe he appeals to some of the older Albertans who have moved here for the warmer weather.

By Rebecca Johnston (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

"I confess, we residents of the USA sometimes have a bit of an inferiority complex when we compare our citizenry to those of other nations of the world — we look like such a collection of idiots next to places like Iceland and Australia and New Zealand and Germany and England and Canada and etc. (at least we feel a bit wiser than Turkey). "

I do not belive I have ever seen a collection of words that were less accurate. I live in the United States and have never considered myself a 'resident'. I am a citizen and I love this country. When you make blanked statements like 'we residents' make sure, more then five people agree with you.

Mr. Myers, in your rage and unquenchable thirst for the emotional and psychological destruction of religious people, a quest to dominate forever and crush your opponents until they beg for mercy at your feet, delirious, and in withdrawal after being "cured" by science and released from their "religious mind engrams," consider you may have lost sight of what constitutes rationality, what constitutes a strawman, regardless of your personal opinions about where their ideas come from. Perhaps, as you beat the last religious person on this Earth to death, freeing it, purifying the master memes, you may want to reconsider what makes a thing false and what makes a thing true.

Mr. Myers, in your rage and unquenchable thirst for the emotional and psychological destruction of religious people, a quest to dominate forever and crush your opponents until they beg for mercy at your feet, delirious, and surely in "withdrawal" after being "cured" by science and released from their "religious mind engrams," consider you may have lost sight of what constitutes rationality, what constitutes a strawman, regardless of your personal opinions about where someone's ideas come from, what you think they have or have not read. Perhaps, as you beat the last stubborn religious person on this Earth to death, finally reaching your goal of purifying the Earth, finding a master race of memes, you may want to reconsider what makes a thing false and what makes a thing true.

For example: True or false

"Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, advanced models of plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."

Any answer other than true means you are not a scientist.

Mr. Myers, in your rage and unquenchable thirst for the emotional and psychological destruction of religious people, a quest to dominate forever and crush your opponents until they beg for mercy at your feet, delirious, and in withdrawal after being "cured" by science and released from their "religious mind engrams," consider you may have lost sight of what constitutes rationality, what constitutes a strawman, regardless of your personal opinions about where their ideas come from. Perhaps, as you beat the last religious person on this Earth to death, freeing it, purifying the master memes, you may want to reconsider what makes a thing false and what makes a thing true.

Good grief. instead of that diarrhea above why don't you actually make a claim about what he said that is wrong?

Ah so I see you had to take a second swing to get it out.

Yes True would be the answer but you're only taking a small snippet of the whole point.

Lunny is attacking evolution. Darwin re-examining his theory in the light of those things listed would not change the fact that 150 of science has continued to support and strengthen the theory itself.

Quote mining is to remove context is akin to lying James.

Lunney ran for election for the Deformed Party and when it merged with the Conservative Party was a member of the short lived Conservative Reform Alliance Party. Trust me he is certainly capable of spewing the C.R.A.P. party line.

By ErnestPayne (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

Who says God is incapable of spawning evolution? The two beliefs in question seem to be defined as being cut and dry, black and white, one or the other. If I say I am a creationist - a pure evolutionist could tell me the set of beliefs that I adhere to, whether I believe them or not. Similarly, If I say that I am an evolutionist, a pure creationist would immediately assume that I was atheist, or assume that I have some "perverse" set of beliefs that go against everything "holy".
Semantics, people. Be sure the axioms that are the foundation of your religious beliefs and scientific theories are sound. But generally speaking, we create axioms to define the universe around us. We can create any axiom we wish, and then develop provable theories and sets of beliefs using these axioms. Why not have an intelligent discussion of the roots of our different beliefs, and leave smarter - not necessarily more justified to have our own positions on these matters.

"Quote mining is to remove context is akin to lying James."

If Myers doesn't have to take Lunney's quote at face value, I don't need to take Myers' article at face value.

Myers has his Creationist strawman built out of Lunney's quote; his objections are all based on things Lunney *didn't* say. I have my anti-religious strawman built out of Myers' article; Myers didn't say any of that either.

But fair is fair, right? You complain about the diarrhea I spewed above, well excuse me for thinking this place is a toilet.

@ #146:

I think most people agree that if you reside somewhere you are indeed a resident.

Gah, Nanaimo-Alberni was my riding until very recently. I was already embarrassed that he was our MP, and now I'm just flabbergasted. There isn't much more to add, except that I know a lot of people in that riding (my parents included) who are just as appalled as I am.

Sent to Mr. Lunney's email address:

Dear Mr. Lunney,

As a Canadian, I am embarrassed by your recent comments in the House of Commons about religion and evolution. According to your website, you hold a Bachelor of Science degree from an institution of higher learning. That fact makes me even more embarrassed about the apparent state of science education in our country. Your mindless repetition of creationist talking points, with no apparent understanding of how fallacious those talking points are, is adding fuel to the already raging fire of international laughter at Canadian politicians. Between you, Mr. Goodyear, and that guy who believes in alien spaceships, I find myself seriously considering removing the Canadian flag logos from my luggage when I travel outside the country. Having people point and laugh is distressing.

In the future, please restrict your comments in the House to topics that are actually relevant to the governance of our country, and leave the discussions of science to those who actually know what they are talking about.

Regards,

Paul Little
A Canadian Citizen who would like to remain proud of our strong and free country.

That guy, another chiropractor BTW, is this time not from the alberta redneck lowlands, no, he is from Beautiful BC.
I bow my head in shame for a guy who is utterly clueless of how science works, that evolution is a theory on the same level as gravity is a theory or relativity is a theory - meaning it is a proven fact as to how biological development works, could not be falsified by scientists who know their stuff and even despite attempts by clueless idiots of the creationist persuasion who have no answer but "GODIDIT".

Respect for religion? My arse, MR. Looney, you, the goodyear kid and the stockwellian day among the more prominent deserve all the disrespect and scorn that can be heaped on idiots who believe their religion to be an explanation of how the world works.
IOf you find salvation in religion or use it to ease your troubles, find solace in it - thats your thing.

But bring it to the market place of ideas, and the gloves are off - you are under the same scrutiny as any other philosophical or political idea.
What the fuck does even give you the right to ask for respect? Just because you believe in a fictitious creator (show me the proof, arsehole)
automatically guarantees immunity from the acid of critical and sceptical investigation? Why not declare the idea of communism, naziism, fascism, capitalism exempt from investigation, ridicule, deserving the respect you ask for your fucking Christianity? What makes you special, arsehole?
2000 years of murderous history, starting from the fight against the ketherers, witches, heathens, scientists, unbelievers, jews etc?

Yo and your coreligionist deserve one thing - a swift kick in the butt and elimination at the next election.
The conservative party was unfortunately hijacked by the fundies from Alberta, the alliance party, and never since has been acceptable to a rational thinking person. I suspect Harper is just a bit smarter then the rest of his fundie gang, and keeps his ideas to himself.

I acknowledge the harm done by folk who do things in the name of their creator. I acknowledge the harm done by folk who do things in the name of their political belief system. I acknowledge the harm done by folk who say things in defense of their personal belief system and find it necessary to harm, attack, belittle and shame others in so doing.

As a human being, I acknowledge my complicity, and regret my activity as one of the combatants in the fields noted above. I apologize with all my heart, mind and soul. I deeply regret the things I have done that have caused so much wounding, so much anger and so much outrage.

As one who believes profoundly in the message of Love as lived out by many hundreds and thousands of persons who come to community seeking and giving support to all they meet, I am mystified by the activities of those who use loves messengers to promote hatred, fear and division among us. It seems an ongoing human trait that flies in the face of evolutionary theory. If we are to grow and evolve into common states of grace, it seems to be taking us a very long time to do so.

By psalmistry (not verified) on 04 Apr 2009 #permalink

I appreciate the comment about iceland :)
But we surely do have our own set of fundies. heck, we import american tele-evangelists to host mini hoe-downs complete with lying-on-floor-shaking and blubbering in "toungue". heck, our tiny nation of 300k even have our own christian tv station(omega) which mirrors alot of american tele-evangelist shows and discussions.

But i agree, it surely does seem that you poor guys over in the states are sitting on the motherload of fundies! ;)

however, as an avid reader of your blog, pz, please keep fighting the good fight. because as i said above. i can really attest to the exporting power of american fundamentalism, if USA becomes fundie-free, that would make life alot easier in the rest of the western world.
Keep up the good work, love your writing!

Josh (#144):

OK, mea culpas first. I've just tracked down Gould's original essay, and the primary distinction he makes between theories and facts is more or less the same as you were making:

And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts.
Evolution as Fact and Theory

However, he goes on:

Moreover, "fact" does not mean "absolute certainty." ... In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."
ibid

which isn't exactly rigorous, but at least makes it clearer as to what he's getting at: i.e., that in the empirical arena, a fact is something confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. He's characterising facts in terms of their degree of epistemic justification (which was what I originally thought, but didn't trust my memory enough to be explicit about it). So that'll teach me (a) not to pontificate on the basis of a half-remembered source, and (b) to trust my first instincts. My bad.

However, at the risk of embarrassing myself further ...

I was using these words in the functional sense, because this is how we tend to use them in science.

Fair enough. But while this is a perfectly respectable answer to the evolution-as-theory-and/or-fact question (clarifying terminology is always helpful), it doesn't really address the original thrust of the question, which is the epistemic status of evolutionary theory. When creationists claim that evolution is a theory rather than a fact, they're trying to make out that evolution is something speculative and uncertain. Pointing out that in science the term "theory" doesn't denote a particular degree of certainty but rather a particular functional role only goes half-way towards countering their claim. When Gould additionally refers to evolution (i.e., the theory of common descent) as a fact, he is addressing the primary point, which is that common descent is so well supported by the evidence as to be established beyond reasonable doubt.

Science doesn't resolve Truth because it's asymptotic with respect to Truth. Even if we arrive at a TRUE answer for some question, how do we KNOW it's true? How do we GUARANTEE that it's True? Against what do we compare our answer for PROOF?

Hmm. In that case, how do we even know that science is asymptotic with respect to "Truth"? From an instrumentalist perspective we can't even say that much.

More to the point, no-one's talking about truth in any absolute, non-provisional sense. We both know (as did Gould) that empirical findings are provisional. But that's still consistent with saying that some such findings are so well-supported that for all practical intents and purposes, we are within our rights to refer to them as facts. Yes, it is still logically possible for them to be wrong, and one should be prepared to change one's mind in the face of new, disconfirming evidence. But currently, and provisionally, we can say that our criteria for justifying empirical claims have been fulfilled to such a high degree that the finding can be considered a fact - because that's what (in the epistemic sense) an empirical fact is.

If one approaches the question in terms of comparison with an absolute standard of truth, such that terms like "true", "fact" or "knowledge" apply only to propositions and beliefs that reach that standard, then of course these problems arise. If we can't identify where the absolute standard lies independently of our criteria for justifying empirical claims, then the epistemic gap between our findings and the standard is always going to be unknowable.

On the other hand, one can take a pragmatic, bottom-up approach of focusing on the issue of justification, without worrying too much about absolute standards. On this view, terms like "true", "fact" or "knowledge" can be legitimately applied to empirical propositions and beliefs that are sufficiently well justified. I'm not saying that in designating empirical facts one shouldn't set the bar of justification pretty damned high (of course one should), and I'm not saying there's a hard and fast cut-off point between "well enough supported to be considered a fact" and "not quite well enough supported to be considered a fact" (although I am saying that an objection on that basis commits the continuum fallacy).

So basically, when I spoke (rather unhelpfully) of assigning a truth value of 1 in my previous post, I should have emphasised the word "assigning". To call a scientific theory a fact isn't to claim that one has discovered that it has a truth value of 1; rather that one is justified in treating it as having a truth value of 1 (subject to potential future revision).

(Oh, and if the question arises as to how the criteria for justification are themselves justified, then I'm rather more inclined to take the instrumentalist approach and say "Because they work".)

Also, if you start regarding a scientific theory as being true, then how does it remain falsifiable?

Well, "falsifiable" doesn't mean "could be wrong" in the sense of "is uncertain". It means "could be wrong" in the sense of "is formulated such that it is potentially inconsistent with observation". Falsifiability has more to do with a theory's logical status than its epistemic one. And as long as one bears in mind the provisional, "as far as we can tell" nature of truth in this context, I don't see a huge problem in saying of a theory that it is true and falsifiable. After all, part of what is involved in saying that a scientific theory is true is that it has (so far, at least) successfully resisted being falsified.

"And if I'd known I was going to go on for this long, I'd have brought some water."

By Iain Walker (not verified) on 05 Apr 2009 #permalink

James (#148):

For example: True or false
"Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, advanced models of plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."
Any answer other than true means you are not a scientist.

Lunney's implication that Darwin would then change his mind about evolution given this "evidence". But since Darwin wasn't stupid, it's highly unlikely that he would be taken in the creationist canards that Lunney appears to be refering to.

So the fact that you think this can only admit of the answer "true" means that you sure as hell aren't a scientist (or even remotely scientifically literate).

By Iain Walker (not verified) on 05 Apr 2009 #permalink

Not having a science background and reading what Mr. Lunney said made sense to me. However, being rather skeptical, particularly of politicians and the religious, and since I am also inquisitive I always check the facts. But, to the average scientifically challenged person they could read Mr. Lunney's comments and take them as fact and that scares the piss out of me.

By n02religion (not verified) on 05 Apr 2009 #permalink

Iain (#161):

"Lunney's implication"
"Lunney appears to be refering to"

I am quite a bit more than remotely scientifically literate, and what Lunney said is true. If you can stop, for a second, putting your own opinions and biases into what Lunney said--try acting like a scientist--you might find the same. I have faith you can do it, seeing as you were able to differentiate between what you think Lunney implied, and what he actually said. However, I also know that the mere use of the word "faith" up there, in an entirely non-religious context, has already set off all sorts of alarm bells in your head and whipped you into a frenzy of balking, so there's still a lot of work to do.

This is a good example of why it seems to some people that Christian fundamentalists don't listen to anything scientists say. Religious people are not as stupid as you think they are. Creationists know what Lunney *actually* said is reasonable regardless of what's being implied. Then they see the response: scientists seem to have the need to build and attack Creationist strawmen and ignore what is actually being said.

Thus they conclude "I knew it all along, scientists don't know what they're talking about. They've got nothing but strawmen. Scientists hate religion so much they can't even be scientific about it. This reinforces my belief that evolution is a scam and religion is better than science. Clearly we have the moral and scientific high ground when these so-called scientists need to act like jerks and use strawmen."

Not only are you not convincing anyone, you're doing the opposite and reinforcing their beliefs.

What you're doing is not science, it's politics. And pretty underhanded politics at that.

No. Everything Lunney said is wrong.

For example: True or false
"Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, advanced models of plate techtonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions."
Any answer other than true means you are not a scientist.

The modern evidence strengthens Darwin's argument. Plate tectonics reinforces the evidence of biogeography and geology, and shows that the earth is very old; radioactivity similarly shows that the earth is old (the 'polonium radiohalos' nonsense has been debunked. Polystrate fossils were known to Darwin, and were not a problem for 19th century geology.

You claim you are scientifically literate. Everything you've written here shouts loud and clear that you are not.

I would like to point out, in defense of my fellow Canucks, that only thirty-seven percent of the Canadian electorate voted for Stephen Harper. Unfortunately the centre and left here are so divided between three different parties that we spend more time quibbling with each other than trying to successfully extricate Mr. Harper. I really really hope loonies like this guy (who don't speak for most of us, I swear!) will convince Canadians that it's time for a change--hah, doesn't that sound familiar.

I am now ashamed of my country. Way to go, James Lunney, you mouth-breather.

I am with Forester. I did not nor would I vote that kind of idiot into office.

I guess I have to reexamine my politics, I have always been fiscally conservative but the past 3 years of Harper and this nonsense have made me realize that there is a prevailing anti-science attitude in this demographic (big shocker). Its a shame the political systems force you to vote based on the party that isn't spewing anti-science garbage or idealistic socialist ideas.

Please don't post more of this stuff; we don't want your Jesus freaks feeling like the can come to Canada and be greeted as liberators. We are trying as hard as we can do deal with our own, and giving them attention only makes them louder... and more annoying.

By OneArmedUnarmedMan (not verified) on 06 Apr 2009 #permalink

On behalf of Canada, I apology for Lunney. No one likes him very much.

Cretinous anti-science Loonie-see emanating from such a civilized corner of Canada (rather than the redneck expanse between BC and Ontario) is most easily understood when we remember that the region was largely settled by USA ex-pats. Even today, the USA ranks 5th in immigrants to the region.

...lest ye get too smugacious 'bouts it an' all.

By sasqwatch (not verified) on 06 Apr 2009 #permalink

I notice the Vancouver wiki entry downplays this little uncomfortable fact.

By sasqwatch (not verified) on 06 Apr 2009 #permalink

This is exactly why I left the conservative party, I had grave misgivings about the merger of the Progressive Conservatives and Reformists, and the Ontario conservatives are still small 'c' conservatives, but then we get these reform loonies from out west mixed in.

I weep for what used to be called the Tories.

I live in Dr. Lunney's Vancouver Island riding, yes I said Doctor (more on that in a moment), I am proud to say that I have never voted for the man but saddened to say it has made little difference to the outcome.

Doctor Lunney you say! Yes, a Doctor of Chiropractic, graduated in 1972 from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario.

I guess that makes Nanaimo 0 for 2, we have elected a loser with this one!

By Steve Elwood (not verified) on 19 Apr 2009 #permalink

this has TONS of comments