Open Minds, Closed Hearts

Ahh Kentucky.  And people wonder why the state’s aggregate IQ drops by a measurable amount when I cross the Ohio River to go to work in the mornings.  Stories like this just depress me.

Kentucky’s Senate Republicans pushed successfully in 2009 to tie the state’s testing program to national education standards, but three years later, they’re questioning the results.

Several GOP lawmakers questioned new proposed student standards and tests that delve deeply into biological evolution during a Monday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education.

In an exchange with officials from ACT, the company that prepares Kentucky’s new state testing program, those lawmakers discussed whether evolution was a fact and whether the biblical account of creationism also should be taught in Kentucky classrooms.

“I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution,” Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, said Tuesday in an interview.

To recap:  Republicans insisted the state meet new national education testing guidelines to comply with NCLB.  The state hired a company to write the tests specifically to improve education to make the state’s students better educated and more competitive in the global marketplace.  Three years later, Republicans are horrified to find out the tests teach evolution.

The GOP response is pathetic.

Givens said he and other legislators have been contacted by a number of educators with concerns about Kentucky’s proposed new science standards, which are tied to ACT testing and are scheduled to be adopted this fall.

“I think we are very committed to being able to take Kentucky students and put them on a report card beside students across the nation,” Givens said. “We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

Yes, because if you don’t also teach the “theory” that invisible bearded floaty guy built the Earth on a giant Sims program 6,000 years ago, you’re a close minded bigot.  I demand Catholic schools teach Islam, Daoism, Shintoism, Judaism, Pastafarianism, and Pagan studies in science class or they’re close minded bigots too.  See how this works?

Last time I checked, biology was a science, not a comparative religion course.

Oh, but it gets worse.

Another committee member, Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, said he had a problem with evolution being an important part of biology standards.

The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up,” Waide said. “My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”

You sir are the dumbest mofo on Earth, and I am offended that you are an elected lawmaker in the Commonwealth.  Your ignorance is so astounding that I have to believe you actually don’t exist, because nobody can be this stupid and survive without collapsing under the density of their own idiocy.

Seriously, evolution has “never stood up to scientific scrutiny”?  When you refuse to get involved in elections and local politics and the world around you, these are the people that get elected, Kentucky. My job is to fix that.  I have a lot of work to do, of course.






159 replies
  1. 1
    kansi says:

    Stunned…..or maybe not.

  2. 2

    The theory of evolution is one of the most deeply researched, modeled, and consistently supported theories in Science. It is more proven than gravity. It has been tested on small scales. Speciation has been observed in the wild and induced in laboratories. Changes in variation according to new environmental pressures? Exhaustively documented and tested. The fossil record is enormous, and we have dozens of ways to examine it that all produce consistent results.

    The theory of evolution is a ‘theory’ because there are no laws of Science that are not technically ‘theories’. Their claim that it hasn’t been proven is wishful ignorance parroting someone else’s wishful ignorance.

  3. 3
    Soonergrunt says:

    All you need is somebody willing to re-enact Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District and to sue only for injunctive relief so that there’s no jury involved.

    See also: NOVA on PBS
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/e.....trial.html

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    As a scientist, I just love the “Darwin made it up” line. Yes indeed, Darwin made it up, and without either direct assistance from Higher Authority or plugging his fingers into a nearby electrical socket in order to attain direct communion with the Zeitgeist. You got a problem with that?

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    I am offended that you are an elected lawmaker allowed to breath.

    My personal take on it.

  6. 6
    Grover's Bathtub says:

    Rep. Waide, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  7. 7
    ruemara says:

    There was an article about the 90 million apathetic voters who, “have no time” to vote or “both sides are corrupt, so I don’t”. Fuck them. This is why things are bad, you sit shit out and these are the morons in charge.

  8. 8
    Cassidy says:

    @ruemara: My favorite has been all the “libertarians” I’ve been seing recently who are going to vote for Gary Johnson. They’re reasoning is that if they can get 5% then they’ll show the parties they’re serious and need to be considered. I giggle every time.

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    If Ben Waide dies of septicemia from an antibiotic-resistant infection, I’ll consider it proof of divine justice.

    How ’bout it, God? We on?

  10. 10
    Knockabout says:

    What you need to work on is your dismissive, elitist arrogance. Like it or not, millions of Americans believe in creationism and intelligent design. If you want to change those beliefs, give them a reason to do so other than “Stupid fundies do what I say!”

    All obnoxious non sense like this accomplishes is to make people hate liberals and science even more.

    You’re far from the only liberal taking this divisive tone towards the voters but guess what, they vote too and they think you’re an elitist assclown. Why should they listen to arguments on evolution or climate change or anything else?

    This pretty much goes for just about all of you at Balloon Juice, actually. Try talking to the “rubes” or whatever and get out of your echo chamber once in a while.

  11. 11
    maya says:

    Ah yes, Mitch McChinless’ state. Need we delve deeper?

  12. 12
    eric says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: i agree, however, evolution is not a theory it is a fact. things evolve. we can see it. the precise mechanism for the long-term process beginning with the simplest life forms to the present is a theory. But the notion that things evolve is a fact. I am not snarking at you, but this is something that really bothers me.

  13. 13
    eric says:

    @Knockabout: bullshit. they are not passively ignorant, they are willfully ignorant and that is what earns them derision. They are the ones that make the attack personal because they cannot attack the science on its own terms. if we were talking about tribes in the Amazon not understanding that it is the earth the revolves around the sun, then, yes, you would be right. But these are people that refuse to accept what has been shown over and over and over again for more than one hundred fucking years. They earned the derision.

  14. 14
    flukebucket says:

    @Cassidy:

    I will believe it when I see it. I will put my money on libertarians voting for the Republican candidate no matter who it is. Just like they normally do.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ruemara: THIS. People can be as cynical as they want, but at the very least, they should be willing to get off their ass to vote against the guy who thinks evolution is uproven. Your government is not going to be improved by that guy.

  16. 16
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    septicemia from an antibiotic-resistant infection

    There is a strain of TB coming out of India that is resistant to EVERYTHING WE HAVE to fight it. That might do.

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    @Knockabout:

    Try talking to the “rubes” or whatever and get out of your echo chamber once in a while.

    The last time I talked to a Creationist rube about evolution, he said that accepting evolution would mean overturning his belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and thus giving up his entire moral belief system. He said he was open to persuasion, but to be honest I don’t think he was.

  18. 18
    Lee says:

    I have a number of friends on Facebook that are exactly like those mentioned. Whenever anything I post is related to the biology area of science I get links to http://www.answersingenesis.org (not going to link to them).

    They really truly believe that evolution is untested and untrue.

    My new tact is to make sure that they understand if they use any other antibiotics other than penicillin that they are in fact endorsing evolution. I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced a couple to enforce this on their entire family.

    Yes I understand that they are now one MRSA infection away from being dead.

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    @Knockabout: 1) Those people are dumb as a bag of hammers. I’m not going to coddle a bunch of ignorant, dipshit, death cult worshipping dumbasses because they’re fee fees are getting hurt at my “elitism”. They and their fucking book and their Jeebus riding a velociraptor can go DIAFF. Coddling the willfully stupid doesn’t help anyone. They should feel bad for their beliefs. They should feel like we’re talking down to them and like they’re stupid…we are and they are. I have no use for people who are willing to ignore facts and abuse the tenets of science just to force veryone to validate their schizophrenic notions about an invisible sjy daddy.

    2) Your concern is noted.

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    @Knockabout:

    That’s the spirit, Knockabout! I’m sure if you keep throwing shrieking fits in the comments to every single one of Zandar’s posts, then someday he’ll apologize for borrowing your stapler and never giving it back.

  21. 21
    Rommie says:

    @Knockabout: Compared to the usual riff-raff found under the bridges of BJ, that was a masterpiece of Trollspeak. Nicely done.

    But the folks like Zandar describes don’t sing Onward Christian Soldiers because it’s a catchy tune…

  22. 22
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Knockabout: What you need to work on is your dismissive, elitist arrogance. Like it or not, millions of Americans believe in creationism and intelligent design. If you want to change those beliefs, give them a reason to do so other than “Stupid fundies do what I say!” Dear Mr Brodor

    First the arguement isn’t “stupid fundies,do what I say”. It’s the far more uncivil “you fundies are bunch of lying sacks of garbage”

    They tried civil in the ’80s. The fundies just told bigger lies. Just like in politics you can’t win the discussion if one side gets to lie all the time and the other side isn’t allowed to challenge the liars.

    Welcome to the party years 30 to late, asshole.

  23. 23
    Culture of Truth says:

    “I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution

    COMMUNIST!

  24. 24
    gonzone says:

    The Kentucky GOP: Proof that evolution is not uniformly distributed.

    They are Devo.

  25. 25
    Brian R. says:

    Guh.

    God bless you for working against these morons. Keep at it.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @Lee: I keep posting that Obama has come out firmly against drinking bleach or radiator coolant and that if re-elected he will work dilligently to enact laws forbidding people from doing that. It hasn’t worked yet, but my fingers are crossed.

  27. 27
    ottercliff says:

    let’s get rid of those so called theories that Einstein feller “made up” while we’re at it.

  28. 28
    eric says:

    @RSA: he was not. Here is why. For years, these same people have been told that certain people (liberals, and worse yet, liberal university professors) are evil for holding certain beliefs and that ALL of those beliefs can be discounted. So, if those evil liberals are right just once, then perhaps they are right about other things….so, to avoid pandora’s box, they simply reject all things liberal to avoid having to think through each and every one of their beliefs one at a time. One of those beliefs is the divinity of christ and the moral foundations provided by God (and Chirst). So, your friend was not wrong to see the slippery slope of open-mindedness leading to the questioning of his bedrock beliefs.

  29. 29
    hueyplong says:

    Gotta enjoy the comedy gold of FoxNews watchers complaining about an echo chamber.

    [“Like it or not,” the phrase “dismissively elitist” is unlikely to have any other source.]

  30. 30
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Knockabout: Creepy stalker still creepy.

  31. 31
    jrg says:

    The baby Jesus invented MRSA to punish us for not executing gays.

  32. 32
    Knockabout says:

    My argument is driving people with these beliefs away by continuing to insult them and pushing them into the waiting arms of the GOP only assures that everyone loses right?

    I keep seeing people here go “I don’t understand why these people keep voting against their self-interests” and stuff and I have to say you don’t give them any reason to.

  33. 33
    maven says:

    Is this why the Jet Propulsion Laboratory isn’t located in Kentucky?

  34. 34
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Want to disprove evolution?

    Start by refusing all antibiotics besides penicillin. Since evolution is not true, you certainly won’t have any problems with drug resistant bacteria.

    Obligitory Doonesbury.

  35. 35
    divF says:

    @Knockabout:

    These are not random residents of the state, but members of the legislature whose job it is to look out for the well-being of their constituents. A blanket condemnation of evolution as a “made-up theory” having no scientific value serves them ill, given that it is observed to occur routinely, e.g. drug-resistant strains of bacteria, with serious real-world consequences. They have a responsibility for due diligence that they are shirking, and deserve every scrap of scorn and contempt that is heaped on them.

  36. 36
    Punchy says:

    I’d like to think that other colleges will threaten to scrutinize Cant’ucky’s students’ applications more closely because of this inclination to refuse to teach biology properly. Kinda what they did about 10 years ago to Kansas students, when the state almost wiped out evolution in high school.

    It’s amazing how legys can get their shit together when parents start flooding their phones about how High School Johnny and Betty can’t get into Harvard b/c of these changes. KS dropped their creationism shit pretty damn fast when other colleges mocked ’em.

  37. 37
    greennotGreen says:

    One problem is confusion of the term “theory” with “hypothesis”. “Theory” in science means, “the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art.” “Hypothesis” means “a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences”(both from Merriam-Webster.) Lots of non-scientists think that if something is a theory, it hasn’t been proven. We should educate them (respectfully) about the difference.

    I think Knockabout at 10 has a point, although I’ll also agree I think these people are pretty much idiots. But there might be some who aren’t, who are just ignorant. The acceptance of evolution as fact is not atheism. Creationism and intelligent design aren’t science because they aren’t testable. Neither is the existence or non-existence of God. Let’s stick to the observable and testable universe – we still have a lot of work to do here.

  38. 38
    jrg says:

    @Knockabout: Nice concern trolling. Did it ever occur to you that people who believe “God did it” is a scientific theory would still choose to believe stupid shit like “lower taxes means more government revenue”, regardless of if we point out that they’re a bunch of stupid fucking hicks?

  39. 39
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Kentucky, one giant set of the TV show Justified, majority of people are a bunch of Dewey Crowes, Dickie Bennetts, and Arlo Givens, with a bunch of Boyd Crowders running the show in Frankfort. West Virginia is probably praising Jesus to the skies for the fact that now people will no longer think they are the dummies.

  40. 40
    quannlace says:

    Like it or not, millions of Americans believe in creationism and intelligent design. If you want to change those beliefs, give them a reason to do so other than “Stupi

    What exactly do you suggest? If the actual science and facts don’t convince them, should we send them a Candy-Gram?

  41. 41
    Chyron HR says:

    @Knockabout:

    You’re right. If you want us to come around to your way of thinking, you should try using reason instead of condecending, elitist insults.

    Or does it not work that way for you?

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    My argument is driving people with these beliefs away by continuing to insult them and pushing them into the waiting arms of the GOP only assures that everyone loses right?

    They are already there. We haven’t driven them anywhere. Many, many Reagan years ago the GOP threw their arms open and said come worship at our feet and we’llmake sure your beliefs are validated and you’ll never have to worry your pretty, little heads about unscheduled sexy time and freaky buttseks. They couldn’t move fast enough. got no use for them. If the rapture were to happen today 1) I’d offer some input on who to take, and 2) I’d be pissed because those false believers would still be here and instead of the joy of a couple hundred years without them, I’d be forced to go through Armageddon with a bunch of panty-sniffers who do’nt belive in science enough to not eat the fucking mushrooms. OTOH, evolution would probably take care of my problem for me.

  43. 43
    Tone in DC says:

    @Punchy:
    DAMN. I like it.

  44. 44
    Patricia Kayden says:

    While I am shaking my head in disbelief at the post, it’s not surprising. It appears that red states are eagerly embracing religious-based, backward thinking. Perhaps that “Idiocracy” movie was a prophecy and not just a comedy.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

  45. 45
    Culture of Truth says:

    He’s not stupid. He just believes what he believes.

  46. 46
    eric says:

    @greennotGreen: there are two classes of creationists….one is a small non-threatening group: the ones that dont know any better and the second, and much much much larger group that wants to make sure that your evil evolution is eradicated from the schools. they are playing for keeps. outreach to the small group is meaningless. the key is to argue without making fun of the religion per se, but to put the hammer down on the factual bullshit.

    I watch potholer54 for amusement all of the time.

  47. 47
    japa21 says:

    @RSA: I have yet to understand how accepting evolution as fact somehow threatens one’s belief in Christianty. Heck, the Pope has even come out saying the creation stories in the Bible are not intended to be factual but rather illustrative of the relationship between God and man and believing in evolution does not weaken one’s faith.

    Unfortunately, even many Catholics, even those who most strongly support the Pope’s authority, don’t accept evolution as fact.

    Should mention, that was JPII not Benedict.

  48. 48
    kindness says:

    I’m havin’ a bar-b-que this weekend. I want me some Bronto-ribs.

    Gonna feed the whole neighborhood.

  49. 49
    Fouten says:

    No time spent shaming ignorance is wasted.

  50. 50
    SRW1 says:

    There is no prospect to get this theory/fact thing right. Not only are there too many Republican hobos* who don’t have a clue what they are talking about in that context. The few who do apparently are entirely prepared to studiously pretend not to know and to keep their mouths shut.

    I suspect this is how the superior Islamic culture of the high Middle Age failed.

    *My sincerest apologies to all honest hobos for whom the struggle with their circumstances is not of their own choosing.

  51. 51
    greennotGreen says:

    @eric: I generally agree with you, but I don’t think outreach to the small, non-threatening group is meaningless. Remember that our esteemed blog host (yeah, “esteemed” is probably stretching it) was once a Rethug.

  52. 52
    kerFuFFler says:

    “Darwin made it up” ???

    Yeah, every scientific concept is “made up”, not handed down from on high. Evolutionary theory has been subjected to exhaustive scientific scrutiny and the cretins who oppose teaching it lie constantly about the extent of the fossil record and other supporting data.

    Creationism is certainly another possibility for the origin of life on earth—–after all, perhaps a Divine Creator created a world six thousand years ago with the “appearance of age”. But it is not a concept that is scientifically refutable and therefore it has no business being discussed at length in a science class. Should creation myths (what we call the narratives from other traditions….) from other cultures be presented as well?

    Perhaps the problem would go away if we reminded people that they can believe whatever they want to believe—-and then proceed with a discussion of what the evidence supports. Creationists mostly bug me when they lie about the evidence and suggest that there is a “conspiracy” by scientists to support evolutionary theory.

  53. 53
    hueyplong says:

    These clowns were Democrats until the GOP lured them in with racism (and the Democrats at blessed last stopped being the foremost champions of same).

    I don’t want them.

    There are people who lean GOP that it would be nice to get, people who can be kept from “the GOP’s waiting arms” without total violation of our own principles and common sense. The people mentioned in the thread story just aren’t in that group.

  54. 54
    Lee says:

    @Cassidy:

    I had one person call me on it on how it was wrong to convince them to commit to a ‘death pact’. I do feel a bit bad about the ones with kids. I’m hoping that the doctors/hospitals/CPS step in before the kids get too sick.

  55. 55
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @eric:
    I don’t disagree with most of what you’ve said, but

    evolution is not a theory it is a fact

    is wrong. Evolution is both a theory and a fact, as is anthropogenic climate change, gravity, quantum theory, and the big bang, amongst a host of others. There are other theories that have been proven not to be facts over time, and then there is superstitious tripe that pretends to be theory but isn’t.

    The word theory has a specific meaning in science. Theory doesn’t mean “shit that may or may not be true.”

  56. 56
    flukebucket says:

    Exactly how would you go about teaching Creationism as a theory? Seriously. Wouldn’t that be the shortest final exam in the world?

  57. 57
    Knockabout says:

    All I see here is a bunch of people proving my point. Their votes count as much as yours. You might want to keep that in mind.

  58. 58
    Cassidy says:

    @Lee: I wouldn’t worry about it so much. MOst people like that, when faced with a truly life-threatening illness or situation loves them some science. By the time they’re done they are talking like they nbelong in an episode of House. Of course, the staff and providers won’t get credit, they’ll proclaim loudly on FB that they prayed the whole time and God is good, etc., but deep down they’ll know…science.

  59. 59
    LAC says:

    Reason number 500 why a Mitch McNoChin is elected over and over. I am surprised people in that state open doors without a set of instructions. Pity…great bourbon.

  60. 60
    SRW1 says:

    @Knockabout:

    You calling elected Republican officials ‘rubes’?

    I applaud you, good Sir.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @Knockabout: Ummm…why are you still here then. Your concern has been noted. It’s got to go through the proper channels before someone can get back to you.

  62. 62
    bemused says:

    @LAC:

    I’m surprised they can get themselves dressed in the morning.

  63. 63
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Knockabout: I’m sure you’ll pardon me for pointing out that you’re insisting that we should have a conversation with you under the condition that we not point out that you’re an insane stalker.

    Can’t do that, son.

    So, given that you’re an insane stalker, why should we respond to anything you say with anything other than derisive laughter?

  64. 64
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Knockabout: I understand the point you’re going for, but as a liberal Christian who pals around with conservative Christians, it doesn’t work. I’ve tried for 25 years.

    Basic doctrine: the Bible is infallible. Creationism is taking a proven scientific theory and trying to reconcile it with infallible Genesis. Genesis is a creation myth found in cultures around the world, so it’s trying to jibe science with myth. Catch-22.

    Whereas people like me completely believe in the scientific method and what we learn. We just interpret the root cause differently than atheists. It’s all good.

    I have tried for years to communicate this. I speak Biblese very well. But it’s not going to get there. You’ve got fact and myth competing.

    And when it boils over into our society, that’s when my tolerance ends. We need Christians like me to reach out, but there’s a limit to tolerance.

  65. 65
    Xantar says:

    @Knockabout:

    Find one creationist who could be convinced to vote for Obama. Just one.

  66. 66
    eric says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: I understand your point, but evolution is a fact. When people talk about evolutionary theory or the theory of evolution, they are talking about the mechanical and theoretical explanation behind the fact. same is true with gravity. gravity is a fact…the amount of space between two objects of non-zero mass decreases over time. why that happens is a theory. the fact that it happens is not open for debate. admittedly quantum facts are not facts in the same way, but that is what makes it so harder to intuit.

  67. 67
    Zandar says:

    Heya Knocks. Long time no see. Hey listen:

    Fuck off and leave me alone. I’m serious. It’s not like I don’t know who you are.

    Quit while you’re behind. Trust me.

  68. 68
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    What is really sad, is that these same Republican scum, are jonesing for the day when they confront China in a war, you know that country that sends their students to American as well as European Universities, to get degrees in engineering, applied sciences, computer sciences. And these idiots in the GOP think we will open a can of whoop ass on China. Time to get the Rosetta Stone program to learn Mandarin Chinese.

  69. 69
    RSA says:

    @eric:

    So, your friend was not wrong to see the slippery slope of open-mindedness leading to the questioning of his bedrock beliefs.

    I hadn’t thought of putting it in that way, but I think you’re right.

    @japa21:

    I have yet to understand how accepting evolution as fact somehow threatens one’s belief in Christianty.

    This is my problem, too. How can I hold a reasonable conversation who not only believes stuff without evidence but also chains together those beliefs in an incomprehensible way?

  70. 70
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    I don’t have a problem with what people believe except when it interferes with my life and the people I care about.

    And unfortunately, these barbaric superstitions that these idiots believe in stops us from having rational discussions on important matters such as birth control, stem cell research and climate change. Praying won’t make these crucial problems go away.

    Creationism = Extinction.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Knockabout:

    Oh, look, Zandar’s shitstain personal stalker is back!

  72. 72
    Lee says:

    @Cassidy:

    I used to think the exact same way but I am no longer sure. I really think that at least one might actually follow through on the ‘only penicillin’ pledge.

    My hope is that some how that when they make the decision to drop the pledge they actually think about how they are being saved by ‘theory’ of evolution.

  73. 73

    National Academy of Science:

    A scientific theory is: “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

    This definition should be read in every committee meeting, where someone says: “It’s just a theory.” Let us now hold up creationism to the same scientific methods and see how long that BS holds water.

  74. 74
    chopper says:

    “We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

    sounds like someone horribly failed the english section of the ACT and has a chip on his shoulder as a result.

  75. 75
    Scott S. says:

    @Knockabout: Aw, is the insane Zandar-hating troll mad? Is oo mad, shnoogums?

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    As for Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, I offer my standard proposal that he be our test subject to see how “theoretical” the Theory of Gravity is, by taking him up 1000 feet in a Blackhawk (borrowed from Fort Campbell) and chucking him out to see if his counter theory, the Theory of Intelligent Falling, works.

  77. 77
    Chyron HR says:

    @Knockabout:

    All I’m saying is that you should pretend that science is a lie and blacks are subhuman, because otherwise the people who do believe those things won’t vote for Democrats.

    Who said we wanted your vote in the first place, skippy?

  78. 78
    Felinious Wench says:

    @japa21: “: I have yet to understand how accepting evolution as fact somehow threatens one’s belief in Christianty.”

    Biblical literalism. This is the core split between liberal and conservative Christians. We’re not literalists, they are. So, science threatens their belief system, it does not threaten ours.

    It’s really that simple.

  79. 79
    joes527 says:

    These guys weren’t elected because Kentuckians didn’t vote.
    They were elected because Kentuckians did vote.

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings (yeah, I know … that ended badly)

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    @Felinious Wench: They’re also not Christians as defined by the New Testament. I don’t understand how they can claim to be something and then throw out all the teachings from the founder.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    One of those beliefs is the divinity of christ and the moral foundations provided by God (and Chirst).

    Thomas Jefferson rejected the idiotic notion of the divinity of Jesus.

    Hate away, fucktards.

  82. 82
    Zandar says:

    @joes527:

    These guys weren’t elected because Kentuckians didn’t vote.
    They were elected because Kentuckians did vote.

    This. +1000.

    If you do not get involved in your local politics, then you cede your voice to the people that do.

    Around here, it means assholes who attack evolution and use my tax money to build goddamn creationist theme parks.

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    @SRW1:

    I suspect this is how the superior Islamic culture of the high Middle Age failed.

    Getting their ass kicked to high Heaven by Jenghis Khan didn’t help much either. But they did turn into a basic purity purge.

  84. 84
    hueyplong says:

    Acknowledging that their votes count just as much as mine, and in the future might count more than mine if their elected legislators continue their current strategies, I’m still going to have to decline to pander to idiots. That’s the GOP’s job.

  85. 85
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Cassidy: “They’re also not Christians as defined by the New Testament. I don’t understand how they can claim to be something and then throw out all the teachings from the founder.”

    Me neither. I find these interpretations hypocritical, and Jesus didn’t have much use for hypocrites. Religion either.

  86. 86
    hitchhiker says:

    My favorite part:

    “We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

    See, his real concern is that students’ ability to do critical thinking might be in jeopardy. I don’t even know how to parody that.

  87. 87
    JCT says:

    The irony in all of this is that these are the “America, fuck yeah!” types who bash Obama for not believing in American exceptionalism. That would be the “exceptionalism” that they are flushing down the toilet by teaching an entire generation that God created the world on an off-week and that the fundamental basis of modern biology was “made up” by some guy on a pleasure cruise.

    What an embarrassing time to be a scientist in this country.

  88. 88
    Todd says:

    @Knockabout:

    What you need to work on is your dismissive, elitist arrogance. Like it or not, millions of Americans believe in creationism and intelligent design.

    Yes, and those same believing Americans have made it possible to have a rational discussion on it without screeching about being persecuted for their faith and mandating that the doctrines of an apocalyptic death cult derived from the oral myths of an inward looking tribe of semiliterate, nomadic bronze goatherds be supported by our government and promulgated in the schools. In that environment, scorn and derision become decent tools to let the self-congratulatory fools know that they’re far from universally admired.

  89. 89
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    “We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

    Suuuuuuuuuuuure… so much better that we all accept Bronze Age fairy tales as ‘teh truth’… or ‘fact’… or ‘scientific theory’…

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Shitheads like that FEAR actual critical thinking, because actual critical thinking questions the book these idolaters worship.

  91. 91
    Aet says:

    I for one hope Kentucky continues to produce and elect morons. I need people to pump my gas and cut my grass.

    As their betters, we should encourage them to hold close to their ignorance, so that we can continue to enjoy the fruits of eduction, unhampered by their competition in our chosen workplaces.

    Sure, their lifestyle choices might hamper our survival. But as any conservative billionaire will tell you in a secret room in a quiet place, it’s better to be a king among peasants, than an emperor among kings.

    Bravo, kentuckians! We applaud your noble sacrifice! And may you continue the glorious sacrifice of your progeny’s future for ours!

  92. 92
    eric says:

    If I might try and explain the core dynamic. Most of these people have been taught to believe without absolutes there can be no moral values. They conflate an acting based upon absolute moral values with acting with absolute knowledge of those same absolute values. They think that if the absolute knowledge is undermined (the absolutes provided by a biblical literalism) then the absolute values are thereby undermined. More liberal apologetics accepts (1) epistemoligcal limitations, (2) hermeneutic uncertainties and (3) the historicity of the bible while accepting an absolute moral foundation of peace, truth, justice, etcetera. The problem is that the more liberal apologetics leaves a lot of room for rational discourse and disagreement as to moral paths, which is seemingly antithetical to an absolute morality. So, to avoid these necessary uncertainties, the literalists relies on the “unerring” moral truths and words of the bible and ignores all things that might undermine it.

    Think Yeats: “Things fall apart, the Center cannot hold.”

  93. 93
    nathaniel says:

    Darwin made up evolution like George Washington made up Democracy. Why do Republicans in Kentucky hate George Washington.

  94. 94

    @japa21:

    I have yet to understand how accepting evolution as fact somehow threatens one’s belief in Christianty.

    You’re not alone.

    The religion was founded at a time when most humans thought the earth was flat, surrounded by an infinite disc of water, and covered by a giant dome (stars were thought to be either angels, or heaven’s light poking through holes in the dome).

    The earth turned out to be round, Christianity survived. Then it turned out that it orbits the sun, rather than the reverse. Christianity survived. Then the sun turned out to be just one of many stars, and not the center of the universe. Christianity survived. And so on and so on.

    I was very Christian once. So I know for a fact that the structure of the universe and the process of how humans arrived here has fuck-all to do with anything their prophet is believed to have said. So you end up with religionists arguing with empirical stuff like the decay rates of C14 or Uranium isotopes, the observed redshift of receding galaxies.. or the simple (basically mathematical) processes of evolution.

    I guess what pisses me off most about these “Christians” is that I just don’t see the Christianity anymore. Gore Vidal was right, the American variant is some weird kind of post-modern, tribally-driven gnosticism. On some level I blame the literalism of our era. The fact that Genesis (like most religious texts) was written poetically/metaphorically doesn’t even occur to a Modern Peasant. Book says X! X Must be literally true! is actually a pretty modern viewpoint.

    BTW, I’m sorry: But if your religion is threatened by simple observable facts that weren’t known at the time of its founding, then your faith isn’t really cut out for the ages. Might want to find a more adaptable one (if you must have one at all, that is).

  95. 95
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Forget where I saw it but the CDC has sent out a new protocol on treating gonorrhea because they say we are down to ONE effective (non-IV, non-injection) antibiotic to treat it. Damn bug keeps evolving…

  96. 96
    Real American says:

    This is America. People have the right to believe whatever they want to believe.

    However, people do not have the right to impose their beliefs on others. It’s not okay for a lawmaker to throw science out the classroom window because it conflicts with his faith.

    You have the right to practice religion as you choose; you do not have the right to impose your religious beliefs on others. That is a fundamental American principle, and if it makes me a liberal elitist for pointing that out then so be it.

  97. 97
    Aet says:

    @eric:

    I checked. ‘historicity’ is an actual word. Awesome.

  98. 98
    Evinfuilt says:

    6000 years ago the world was created in its aged form. Sure, if you want to think that. Me, I know it was created last Thursday, and have been working since Friday to get that taught alongside Creationism in Sunday School.

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @Xantar: I think you will find them in some African American Churches. Just a guess.

  100. 100
    SRW1 says:

    @Yutsano:

    Getting their ass kicked to high Heaven by Jenghis Khan didn’t help much either.

    True that, but it doesn’t explain Spain.

  101. 101
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think there was another post about people really hating to have to think. After all, it is actually work. And can be hard.

  102. 102
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    Oh from the hallowed vales of Appalachia. Joe Bageant had a lot to say about this. “Justified” portrays a pretty accurate version of the backwaters of KY (and other States). I know. I’ve seen it up close. But the folx I knew personally in KY (f’chrissakes, I was married to one; a CatLick, no less)are totally different folx. A well-educated bunch and absolutely NOT fundies. We paint poor KY with too broad a brush here. And let’s not forget, as long as God makes good bourbon, all’s right with the world. Go, Wildcats! LOL

  103. 103
    GregB says:

    Once we can commodify obesity and ignorance the South will rise again.

  104. 104
    KT says:

    Eric:

    “But these are people that refuse to accept what has been shown over and over and over again for more than one hundred fucking years. They earned the derision.”

    The Bible is the word of God. It trumps every argument. “Facts” don’t exist in these people’s world, everything that isn’t explicitly addressed in the Bible, is opinion. It is safe to ignore.

    There’s no point getting lathered up about it as there is literally nothing you could say, nothing you could demonstrate that would change their minds.

    I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime, but at some point, America is going to have to split itself into two separate countries. One for conservative Christians and one for the rest of us. We’d all be much happier.

    Conservatives would be free to create their perfect Christian Caliphate and the rest of us would be free to create a sane society where problems can actually be solved. The differences in world view are irreconcilable and it’s way past time that we start admitting it to ourselves and start taking steps towards an amicable divorce.

  105. 105
    eric says:

    @KT: Kansas is well on its way. And that is not snark.

  106. 106
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    And let’s also not forget KY’s famous jelly…

  107. 107
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Conservatives would be free to create their perfect Christian Caliphate

    Christianity’s own history — the first three centuries of it — contain the exact model of how to survive a as a perfect, and persecuted, remnant embedded in an evil and godless empire.

    Anybody serious about returning to the days of Primitive Christianity, before the corruption set in, the days of the martyrs, there’s your model. Knock yourself out. A dead mall makes a perfect catacomb.

    What they want is the Church of Julius II, only this time theyre driving the bus, and patronizing crappy art.

  108. 108
    RSA says:

    Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.

    Rep. Waide would do well to move beyond his rudimentary understanding of science.

  109. 109
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    …and Derby Pie!… (as John Cole said, “What’s one more torpedo inna sinking ship?…”

  110. 110
    Felinious Wench says:

    @KT:

    I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime, but at some point, America is going to have to split itself into two separate countries. One for conservative Christians and one for the rest of us. We’d all be much happier.

    Partition? :)

    Problem is, cities like Austin would have to completely pick up and move.

  111. 111
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @James K. Polk, Esq.:

    Won’t work–their new rallying cry is “microevolution is true, macroevolution is a liberal lie.” Why? “Because we’ve seen bacteria evolve, but we’ve never seen a monkey turn into a human!”

  112. 112
    LAC says:

    @bemused: You would think a rope belt and overalls would be an easy fit.

    This is fun… :D

  113. 113
    NCSteve says:

    Ignorant buffoons in the Kentucky General Assembly? Unheard of! When did this happen?

    And by “this,” of course, I mean the past session of the Kentucky General Assembly that was notable for not being filled with ignorant buffoons such that this episode of buffoonery is noteworthy.

    As best I can tell, and I grew up there and even worked as staff there for a bit, it’s been this way since statehood.

  114. 114
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    BTW, I’m sorry: But if your religion is threatened by simple observable facts that weren’t known at the time of its founding, then your faith isn’t really cut out for the ages. Might want to find a more adaptable one (if you must have one at all, that is).

    Exactly. And anyone who can’t take dissent and challenge can’t be all that solid either.

    But, I’m Episcopalian. We just decided to move ahead with same-sex blessings in Texas, even though civil marriage is illegal. One barrier down, many more to go.

  115. 115
    KT says:

    @Felinious Wench: “Problem is, cities like Austin would have to completely pick up and move.”

    Obviously, there would be a lot of details to work out, but I envision a more or less 50/50 split. 25 states to those who want to live in an explicitly religious country and 25 to those who want to live in a world governed by rationality. People caught in the “wrong” state, would be free to relocate through straight property swaps. Austin residents might have to relocate to New Mexico. Taos is nice:)

  116. 116
    Haydnseek says:

    Look on the bright side! There will be somewhat less competition when intelligent kids apply to quality universities. If you insist on teaching kids that Jeebus rode a dinosaur to Chick-Fil-A to pick up vittles for the last supper, don’t be surprised when they wind up working there.

  117. 117
    Bevstersf says:

    Sir, you have my profound respect for trying. Me, I fled for the Coast decades ago.

  118. 118
    les says:

    @Knockabout:
    If you knew how many dickless wonders I heard parrot this crap back when Kansas fought this war, you’d be amazed. It is not only not necessary, it is ineffective and demeaning to pretend that people who affirmatively reject reality, expertise and knowledge, and who affirmatively and proudly embrace ignorance and intolerance, should be treated with respect. First, they don’t deserve it, and second, it merely reinforces their ignorance.

  119. 119
    KT says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: “Because we’ve seen bacteria evolve, but we’ve never seen a monkey turn into a human!”

    So true! I’ve had this exact argument on more than one occasion. Scientific facts must be proven, despite the fact that there is no Christian approved standard of proof. Every time something is proved scientifically, they move the goalposts.

  120. 120
    catclub says:

    @KT: Partition was not a very happy event in 1947. I really do not want it here.

  121. 121
    James E. Powell says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    We paint poor KY with too broad a brush here

    I wouldn’t want to insult every person in the state. After all, I hated George W Bush, but there he was in the White House.

    But that said, there is a certain something in the political culture of certain states. Most but not all of them have a history the includes slavery & Jim Crow.

    So what exactly are we supposed to do about it? Say nothing? Pretend like it’s all okay?

  122. 122
    les says:

    @Knockabout:

    My argument is driving people with these beliefs away by continuing to insult them and pushing them into the waiting arms of the GOP only assures that everyone loses right?

    Ah, the stupidity, it burns. “People with these beliefs” are the republicans, because the GOP powers pretend they respect such idiocy and will help them actualize it. “People with these beliefs” are the 27%ers, now and forever unreachable. Mock and deride them unmercifully, and maybe the other 20% knee-jerk republican voters will figure out who they’re associating with.

  123. 123
    Chris says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    What is really sad, is that these same Republican scum, are jonesing for the day when they confront China in a war, you know that country that sends their students to American as well as European Universities, to get degrees in engineering, applied sciences, computer sciences. And these idiots in the GOP think we will open a can of whoop ass on China. Time to get the Rosetta Stone program to learn Mandarin Chinese.

    Eh, I doubt that they’ll ever get the actual war with China that they’re dreaming of… but in more general terms of remaining competitive compared with countries like China, India, Japan or the EU nations, the more creationists get their way, the less that’s going to happen. A nation cannot survive as a leader in the scientific age when it refuses to acknowledge the most basic science, which is why the fact that half of America still refuses to “believe in” evolution is such a national disaster.

    In the past, we’ve resolved that basically through political segregation – liberals and other non-True-Believing-Conservatives invent the science (something like 80% of the community is liberal, and not by accident), and the general public is happy to let them do that, then reap the benefits and give all glory and praise to Free Market Jesus. Fact is, though, that if the teabaggers manage to push as much of their stone-age shit into official scientific programs as they want to, you’re going to see some real consequences and it’s going to suck ass for the country in the long term.

    Reality matters. I know that sucks, but it’s the truth. Ignore it, and you’ll end up like the Soviet economy or the Nazi war machine, up shit creek without a paddle because you were too busy drinking your own kool-aid to pay attention to the signs all around you.

  124. 124
    joes527 says:

    @KT: I don’t think that partition would be such a bad thing. (though I think that the final result would be more like 4 countries than 2. (If even a hint of partition is in the air, Texas will go its own way)

    Yeah, there would be a massive upheaval with people who find themselves on the wrong side of the line having to either choose to accept their status or pull up stakes and move, but in the context of history, that would really be a minor inconvenience.

    I don’t really want to fix Kentucky any more than I want Kentucky to try to fix me. Live and let live … Agree to disagree and let the chips fall where they may … that’s my motto.

    This ends the summer daydream portion of this post. We now return you to reality.

    Na gonna happen.

  125. 125
    WereBear says:

    Reason #923,847,523 I fled the South for the secular humanism hell of New York. And… loving it!

    Fundamentalism will be with us as long as we have a segment of the population who are raised under authoritarian parents, making them wind up emotionally immature, incapable of conceptual reasoning, and filled to the brim with unexpressed rage.

    Fix that… and all else will fix itself.

  126. 126
    KT says:

    @joes527:

    “I don’t really want to fix Kentucky any more than I want Kentucky to try to fix me. Live and let live … Agree to disagree and let the chips fall where they may … that’s my motto.
    This ends the summer daydream portion of this post. We now return you to reality.”

    I can’t speak to “fixing” Kentucky, but “live and let live” doesn’t work when there are people energetically agitating to turn religious belief into law.

    It’s a daydream, for sure, but if things continue as they are now, partitioning will be the only option short of civil war.

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @Knockabout:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, the ever-present traveling companion of the far right: the Reasonable Moderate, here to waggle his finger at you godless, sinful Liberal Elitists in the hopes that it’ll inspire you to not be quite so… elitist and extreme and downright mean.

    Because you see, buried inside every fanatic who believes evolution, global warming, universal health care and gun control are a Jewish Liberal conspiracy to destroy America and Jeebus and replace them with Gay Feminist Sharia, there’s actually a smart, sensible, reasonable person just waiting to come out who would totally be willing to sit down and join hands with us in fellowship and moderation, if only we didn’t keep scaring him away by being so extreme and heavy-handed.

    Apparently, in the year 2012, people actually still believe this shit. I guess nothing’s as persistent as a bad idea.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @joes527:

    I don’t really want to fix Kentucky any more than I want Kentucky to try to fix me. Live and let live … Agree to disagree and let the chips fall where they may … that’s my motto.

    If the Jeebofascists would go along with that, we wouldn’t have a problem.

    But there’s a problem because they insist that the asshole deity they worship will smite the entire country if the entire country is not exactly like them. “Live and let live” is right out for these maggots. There is no peaceful coexistence with these types.

    Ship them all off to the theocratic hellhole that is Saudi Arabia.

  129. 129
    Berial says:

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    ― Stephen Hawking

    The GOP (and christianist/conservative movement) has a lot of illusions that they ‘know’ about reality. It’s one of the reasons they are so damn destructive to the societies of which they are members.

  130. 130
    Heliopause says:

    Just one point in your post I want to quibble with:

    When you refuse to get involved in elections and local politics and the world around you, these are the people that get elected, Kentucky.

    These people get elected regardless. The highly educated tend to be more liberal and vote more than the less educated. That is to say, the problem does not lie in the participation rate of educated people.

  131. 131
    Chris says:

    @KT:

    I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime, but at some point, America is going to have to split itself into two separate countries. One for conservative Christians and one for the rest of us. We’d all be much happier.

    Conservatives would be free to create their perfect Christian Caliphate and the rest of us would be free to create a sane society where problems can actually be solved. The differences in world view are irreconcilable and it’s way past time that we start admitting it to ourselves and start taking steps towards an amicable divorce.

    Nah. All countries have the liberal/conservative divide in some way. It takes different forms in different countries, and the extreme right wing doesn’t always manage to mainstream itself as successfully as it has in the present-day United States, but I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that there’s no way around it. Even if the South/the red states separated into their own nation and went their own way, I’m betting it would only take a few generations before the remaining United States spawned a new breed of right wing extremism. And then we’d be saying “why can’t [insert places where that extremism is popular] just become their own nation” all over again.

    It’s a moot point anyway, because most of those states have been on the federal dole since the New Deal and I can’t see any of them separating themselves from the gravy train, don’t-tread-on-me bluster notwithstanding. And I’m not convinced the result would be pretty anyway: you’d have a hostile nation right on our border, run by the most extreme elements in our current government and quickly turning into a disaster area. They’d still be causing plenty of headaches for us.

  132. 132

    I’m pretty solidly a Christian, but I don’t think Creationism should be taught in science class.

    Simply because when you discuss Creationism, you would then have to decide which account you’re going to teach. Lots of faiths have plenty of creation stories in their dogma, so there’s no automatic reason to elevate the Judeo-Christian account.

    So you’d have to spend some time going through Christian apologetics to justify why we want to elevate the Judeo-Christian account as being superior to all other creation accounts.

    And then, of course, you’d have to dive into biblical hermeneutics and try to justify why you think the fundamentalist literal exegesis is more valid than the mainline exegesis that views Genesis 1 and 2 as being more poetic and conveying spiritual truth instead of literal fact.

    And while I personally think that apologetics and hermeneutics are noble and worthwhile pursuits, they don’t really belong in a science classroom, when we could be spending that time learning about physics, chemistry, or biology.

  133. 133
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @James E. Powell: Nope. I’m saying that there’s a progressive core in KY just as there is in TX (Austin, anybody?), or even my old stompin’ grounds in PA. But it needs organizing, and people there on that side of the moon need to VOTE, to get out and pound doors! Unfortunately, our folx there seem to think they are overwhelmed by the wing-nuts in their midst that they give up on the electoral process, believing seriously that nothing will change, no matter the victors in any election. This, of course, is totally delusional. I tend to think that the urban core of KY could overwhelm the reactionaries, but they need to get the hell out of the house, quit poo-pooing the idiots, and take over. The folx I know are comfortably middle-class and do not entirely see the threat their non-participation gives to their own status, their own well-being. I kinda think this is about to change, but I am a perhaps naive optimist. Mmmm, Derby Pie…

  134. 134
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Cassidy:
    I fell for that in 2000 with Ralph Nader. Never again.

    Oregon was always going to be in the bag for Gore anyway.

  135. 135
    owlbear1 says:

    @KT:

    Conservatives would be free to create their perfect Christian Caliphate and the rest of us would be free to create a sane society where problems can actually be solved. The differences in world view are irreconcilable and it’s way past time that we start admitting it to ourselves and start taking steps towards an amicable divorce.

    And just as soon as everything starting breaking down and people started dying from plague and starvation that Christian Caliphate would decide God, obviously, wants them to invade the other 25 “Godless” states to save them from whatever excuse is handy.

  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Damn bug keeps evolving…

    It’s NOT evolving! It’s a new bug. Dog just created it!
    Things change, they don’t evolve!
    Jeezzee, get with the program.

    /snark

  137. 137
    Chris says:

    @owlbear1:

    And just as soon as everything starting breaking down and people started dying from plague and starvation that Christian Caliphate would decide God, obviously, wants them to invade the other 25 “Godless” states to save them from whatever excuse is handy.

    Exactly. Shorter and better version of me @ 129.

  138. 138
    Cermet says:

    @Knockabout: First off, why bother with this minority of a minority? Thugs are a minority in this country; second, within their group these people are a minority. Next, so are skinheads. Should we try and appeal to these people, too? Worse, unless we agree that being gay is a choice AND that it should be criminal, they will NEVER accept us; worse still, this is just one of many false beliefs we will have to take on before they will finally tolerate us but still require that we support all their laws without question. What fucking good is that?

    These people will NEVER change – they are not Cole – he was not a religious nutcase and they will never vote in their interest until we give up all equal rights for blacks, woman, gays, and turn this country into a theocracy – not worth those votes. You are as crazy as they are if you think that giving up intelligence and thinking is worth the tiny gain that such a small hand full of votes we would gain after giving up so much (the vast majority of them will NEVER vote for what is smart no matter what we do) – these asswipes are false Christians – all!

    If you have ever read the Bible you would realize that they are NOT Christians at all and are the exact opposite of what Christ taught. This is what they spend their lives believing and they get it totally wrong and you think these asswipes would vote anyway but for the 0.01%?

  139. 139
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    As a non-eligible-to-vote kid in PA, I was given a station wagon and told to go get all the Italian voters from the nursing homes and bring them to the polls. Then, I was instructed, to enter the booth with them (we could do that because I pretended to speak the dialect) and pull the lever (ah, the old voting booths) for the Democratic Party. None of these old folx would vote for a Republican in any case. They loved FDR, and had his picture in every home, right next to the picture of the Blessed Mother. THIS is participation. This could still be happening if people would get involved. Damnation, I was 16 years old and voted at least 45 times in every election. Voter fraud? I think not.

  140. 140
    Cassidy says:

    @owlbear1: Just cuz we let them have the shitkicker states, doesn’t mean we have to let them keep the military tpys bought with federal money. Bootstraps bitches!

  141. 141
    Cassidy says:

    @Jay in Oregon: You know, as much as we make fun of that particular era, I get the Nader vote. I don’t think we envisioned back then how batshit crazy the GOP was and they were pretty good at keeping it under wraps. And Nader was saying all the right liberal things that we wanted to be an extension of popular, centrist Clinton policy.

    This whole “libertarian” schtick is something else though. The people who voted for Nader had their heart in the right place. But the glibs are just assholes who want political cover to be selfish shits without having to sully themselves with the the gay haters.

  142. 142
    owlbear1 says:

    @Cassidy: Maybe, but can you imagine the PTSD problems our soldiers would face mowing down zerg after zerg of religious fanatics?

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @Zandar: Knockabout may be a total idiot, and his or her comments about arrogant elitists is nonsense. And the legislators in Kentucky are fools.

    Problem is that the fools are taking over some states. Mocking and dismissing them is necessary as well as fun, but it does not change the sad fact that conservatives in charge are using their willful ignorance to push back against science and the results are increasingly harmful.

    The other problem is that people actually can be stupid and survive, even thrive.

    I absolutely agree with you that we have to fight back against this, especially at the local level.

    But yeah, when you simply shout at the average guy that he is a fool, even if he is, you are not going to get him to change his mind.

    BTW, educated morons like Andrew Sullivan, and even some Balloon Juicers regularly argue variations of the ided that atheism or the failure to consider the existence of a Big Daddy Supreme Being is somehow arrogant, a variation of the line that some creationists use. This is seems to be grounded in the world view that humanism, the Enlightenment and science based thought since the 1400s has arrogantly sought to make human beings higher than the Deity. The emphasis is always on the supposed arrogance. Humility is supposed to require that one acknowledge the possibility of the divine, yadda yadda yadda. This belief is too common to be simply dismissed, as much as many of us would like.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    RE: I don’t really want to fix Kentucky any more than I want Kentucky to try to fix me. Live and let live … Agree to disagree and let the chips fall where they may … that’s my motto.

    If the Jeebofascists would go along with that, we wouldn’t have a problem.

    Uh, no. You have to change the minds of those you can, and marginalize the rest.

    Live and let live is meaningless when lawmakers and their constituents insist that public school students be made ignorant of science, and that religious mythology be put on par with science.

    It also doesn’t work if these goobers insist on the diversion of tax money in the form of vouchers so that they can send their children to state subsidized Christian Schools, leaving a smaller pool of money for everyone else. And it doesn’t work when teachers are forced to teach mumbo jumbo and textbooks are re-written to conform to religion instead of science.

    The dilemma is how to reassert the primacy of science and reason (and still allow the religious to have their space) in the public sphere when there are people who increasingly assert that the Baby Jebus is not only magic but on the same level as Newton or Einstein.

    And yeah, this shit is depressing.

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    Cassidy says:

    @owlbear1: Any worse than what we’ve got from Iraq and Afghanistan?

  145. 145
    Chris says:

    Last comment, I promise –

    @Cermet:

    These people will NEVER change – they are not Cole – he was not a religious nutcase and they will never vote in their interest until we give up all equal rights for blacks, woman, gays, and turn this country into a theocracy – not worth those votes.

    I wanted to comment here because you bring up an interesting point. I’ve certainly seen conservatives change, and some of them were total nutcases – Cole may not have been, but Charles Johnson of LGF was just as fucking psycho when he became famous (though not in a religious way). So those kinds of changes do happen.

    But you know what I’ve never heard? A conservative coming around to the side of common sense and saying “I did it because liberals, who used to be smug and arrogant, became nicer and politer to me.” The common thread running through ex-conservative converts – Cole, Charles Johnson, Bruce Bartlett, etc – is “I realized these people were fucking insane and I was wrong for following them.” The idea that we can change conservatives’ minds simply by being nice to them and that the only reason they hate us is because of something we’ve done to offend them is beloved in some liberal circles, but I don’t see that in real life.

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    owlbear1 says:

    @Cassidy: Okay, good point.
    Bring on the Christian Caliphate!!

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    Joel says:

    @Knockabout: A lot of people may believe in creationism, but that doesn’t make it right. A lot of people believed in geocentrism, and even burned Giordano Bruno for saying otherwise. People will do a lot of stupid things to defend their stupid beliefs. The best we can do is to defeat those beliefs. Annihilate them, in fact.

  148. 148
    Joel says:

    @Knockabout: A lot of people may believe in creationism, but that doesn’t make it right. A lot of people believed in geocentrism, and even burned Giordano Bruno for saying otherwise. Human knowledge marches ever forward. If the United States doesn’t want to jump aboard the train, I’m sure there are several countries in the Middle East that we can emulate.

  149. 149
    Pluky says:

    @eric: Exactly! My best friend in 5th grade was the school Librarian (yes, I was a little nerd). She also taught the weekly bible study class I attended. One day I related to my thought that the genesis pattern of specific creation was pretty much in the same order as the lineage succession taught in science class, and “how cool is that?” She was not amused, and proceeded with the “if it’s not biblical, it can’t be true” spiel. As she droned on, a little light went off in my head. Perhaps all this bible stuff was no different that shelved elsewhere in the library under ‘Mythology’, and if they could be wrong about evolution, what else could they be wrong about.

  150. 150
    Brutusettu says:

    @greennotGreen:

    Creationism and intelligent design aren’t science

    Creationism IS intelligent design, the latter created as a marketing tool.

  151. 151
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: All you need is the foot in the door.

    “So you agree evolution is happening?” The only retort you need to watch wingnut heads assplode. Repeat ad nauseum.

    Watch them try to argue semantics as you continue to agree that evolution is occurring.

    Nothing pissed them off more to have you agree with them while ignoring their semantic nonsense.

  152. 152
    scav says:

    Kentucky: Preparing an entire generation for the exacting standards of an exciting career at Chick-fil-A.

    Won’t attempt to translate the motto into Latin as that would be elitist.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    But you know what I’ve never heard? A conservative coming around to the side of common sense and saying “I did it because liberals, who used to be smug and arrogant, became nicer and politer to me.” The common thread running through ex-conservative converts – Cole, Charles Johnson, Bruce Bartlett, etc – is “I realized these people were fucking insane and I was wrong for following them.” The idea that we can change conservatives’ minds simply by being nice to them and that the only reason they hate us is because of something we’ve done to offend them is beloved in some liberal circles, but I don’t see that in real life.

    The common thread is that these people changed their mind because they thought the issues through for themselves.

    They did not change their minds because people insulted them or called them fools until they were shamed into thinkging for themselves.

    Even if they were fools.

    Being kind or being harsh is largely pointless.

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    Joel says:

    @Brachiator: Unfortunately, adults generally don’t change their views. On the macro level, those views are just superceded by more modern ones in ensuing generations.

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    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Right. “Thinking the issues through for yourself” is also why I abandoned my teenage affair with conservatism. I’m not saying being mean to them is any more effective at changing minds than being nice to them. I think you had it right – “change the minds of those you can and ignore the rest.”

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    Ash Can says:

    The linked article leaves out my favorite part of the news item that it links to:

    Givens said he was satisfied with the response by ACT officials and state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday that evolution was being taught as a theory.

    Givens: “I’d feel better about this if you sciency types were to call evolution a theory rather than a fact.”

    Sciency types: “Uh…yeah. Sure. We can do that.”

  158. 158
    Ken Pidcock says:

    See, these people wouldn’t be like that if you would just refrain from challenging them. But, nooo, you just gotta mock the religious to their face, shout forced laughter at them, and call them “stupid,” “ignorant” and the like.

  159. 159
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    But if your religion Constitution is threatened by simple observable facts that weren’t known at the time of its founding, then your faith Constitution isn’t really cut out for the ages.

    Works for a lot of things, no?

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