Conservatives Celebrate “Darwin Was Wrong Day”

Ken Ham believes that “Darwin Was Wrong Day” has been a big hit. It is not clear that it was a hit beyond thinking it is good that he is being mocked considerably on Twitter today. Declaring a day to claim a falsehood hardly makes it true, even if a number of right wing science-deniers were to back the day.

I imagine that next we will start seeing a whole new set of holidays from the anti-science/anti-fact right. These might include “Climate Change Is A Hoax Day,” “Cigarettes Do Not Cause Cancer Day,” “Ebola Can Become Airborne Day,” “Tax Cuts Pay For Themselves Day,” “Saddam Had WMD And Helped Osama bin Laden Day,” “Vaccines Cause Autism Day,” “Ban Abortion Because A Twenty-Week Fetus Can Feel Pain Day,” and “The Earth Is Flat Day.” In Texas, Rick Perry will proclaim “Texans Don’t Want Insurance Day.”

There is one group which might help Ken Ham celebrate “Darwin Was Wrong Day.” Denial of evolution is popular among the current group of potential Republican nominees, with Scott Walker being the latest Republican to look foolish on evolution. Salon looked at the views of all the candidates after summarizing the overall anti-scientific mood of the Republican candidates:

From climate change to vaccines to the theory of evolution, much of the Republican Party has made clear that it’s not exactly enamored of modern science. This anti-intellectualism can take a few forms: Republicans may flatly reject empirical evidence. They may accept parts or all of the evidence, but with major caveats — the climate is warming, but humans aren’t causing it; vaccines work, but parents should have the right to opt their children out of them; evolution occurred, but it should be taught alongside creationism in public schools. Or, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, they take the “I’m not a scientist” tack, and simply decline to state their views.

Asked during a trade mission to London today whether he accepts evolution, Walker replied, “I’m going to punt on that one… That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.” The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser quipped that following Chris Christie’s disastrous trip across the pond, during which the New Jersey governor said that “parents need to have some measure of choice” in whether to vaccinate their children, Walker seemed to have learned that the best approach is to stay mum on such topics.

But Walker’s refusal to indicate whether he accepts a fundamental tenet of biology underscores the GOP’s tortured relationship with science, not least on evolution. With Walker and other GOP hopefuls gearing up to launch their 2016 campaigns, Salon now provides you with a comprehensive guide to where the Republican candidates stand on the origin of life.

Check out the full article for the break-down by candidate. While there is a range in how much each candidate is on the record denying science, not a single one of the potential Republican candidates is willing to say they accept the science regarding in evolution without qualifications.

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15 Comments

  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    It all depends on what you (and they) define as “Darwinism”.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    In the context of Ham’s writings the choice is very clear–either accepting modern biology and evolution or believing in creationism.

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    Well, the truly great thing about Darwin was that he had his own doubts about his own theory.  You never heard him saying anything as silly ‘the science is settled’!  Anyway, he was right to have his doubts because he was probably wrong on the biggest part of his *theory*, the notion that changes in living organisms are tiny and incremental. On that basis some mathematicians reckon that the development of the eye would have taken longer than existence of the earth to occur by Darwin’s methodology.

    Mind you, I feel sorry for Darwin, a man I much admire, for the collection of fantastical and fanatical followers he has today.  He would, I think, have been very uncomfortable in the company of the likes of ‘Archbishop’ Richard Dawkins!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    So we can add evolution to the number of fields where you deny science. Just for completeness sake, do you believe the earth is round or flat?

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Plus do you believe that earth quakes occur because of plate tectonics or because god is angry?

  6. 6
    David Duff says:

    “So we can add evolution to the number of fields where you deny science.”

    No, but not evolution exactly the way Darwin described it; and certainly not evolution the way ‘Archbishop’ Dawkins describes it.

    “If Darwin’s theory of evolution were true, there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners.  But it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that, however it may be with other species.

    This inconsistency, between Darwin’s theory and the faacts of human life, is what I mean by ‘Darwinism’s Dilemma’.  The inconsistency is so very obvious that no Darwinian has ever been altogether unconscious of it.  There have been, accordingly, very many attempts by Darwinians to wriggle out of the dilemma.  But the inconsistency is just too simple and direct to be wriggled out of, and all these attempts are conspicuously unsuccessful.  They are not uninstructive, though, or unamusing.”

    “Darwinian Fairytales” by the late, great David Stove.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ok, you made it clear that you believe the anti-science right wingers, which is not surprise. What do you think of Ham’s views?

  8. 8
    David Duff says:

    Ham is a Christian theist which I am not but it doesn’t matter because you can accept or deny Darwin’s  theory irrespective of belief or disbelief in a god.

    Ham’s point concerning the beginning of life is irrelevant to arguments concerning evolution.  No-one has the answer – yet – to the beginnings of life so there’s no point in debating it.

    I have only skim-read Ham’s essay but it seems to me that he misunderstands genetic fusion.  It acts exactly like an iterated algorithm in which the answer to the previous algorithm is fed back into the next and so on and on which, as Chaos Theory shows, leads to sudden and unexpected results.  This seems to me to be a very much more convincing explanation than Darwin’s (and Dawkins’) theory of zillions of tiny incremental changes.

    The other great flaw in Darwin’s theory is that all animal life is geared towards an utterly ruthless, life or death struggle in which winners live longer and breed more and are able to consume more food.  That might be applicable to the vast majority of animals but it is not a description of Man.  How come altruism still exists – according to Darwin/Dawkins it should have been weeded out eons ago.  How come homosexuality still exists?  That hardly counts as part of the great competition to eat, pro-create and die which they propose.  And what about voluntary chastity? Is that part of the Darwinian world view he described – or proscribed?

    And do try and stop attaching political views to people’s opinions on Darwin.  I would remind you that socialists like Adolph Hitler were dead keen on their version of Darwinism!

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Hitler distorted Darwinism for his political purposes–he did not accept the actual science.

    You clearly also have a distorted idea of evolutionary science, which is not surprising from the manner in which you follow conservative propaganda.

    Today there is a very clear association between conservatives and denial of science and facts, often including but not limited to evolution. Only the Republican Party (along with right wing fringe parties) are packed with people who accept creationism, climate change denialism, false claims on biology (including re embryology, Ebola, and vaccinations), and conservative Voodoo economic views which contradict real world experience.

  10. 10
    David Duff says:

    No, Hitler did NOT distort Darwin.  He took him at his literal face value, that existence was nothing more nor less than a life and death struggle for ‘survival of the fittest’.  That is what Darwin described.  That is what Dawkins describes in his silly book ‘The Selfish Gene’.  But you only have to open your eyes to the reality of human life to see that it is not a complete description and so the theory fails.

    I would also remind you that eminent socialists in the 20th century believed in ‘survival of the fittest’ which is why so many of them advocated sterilisation of people considered unfit to breed and euthanasia for those considered unfit to live.  Both of those have made a considerable come-back recently under Left-wing guidance which leads to the mass killing of babies and now the spread of legalised euthenics.

    And when it comes to people so wrapped up in their political ideology that they can no longer think for themselves, don’t just look at the Right-wing – look in the mirror! 

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Totally wrong on all counts. The connections you claim between Hitler, socialists, and euthenics are all distortions of the actual science and are common false claims of the anti-science right.

    You are also totally off base with your comparison to you and the right wingers you mindless quote. My views on science are based upon what is established by the scientific method and presented in peer reviewed scientific journals, not what comes from right wing science deniers. My political views are similarly based upon facts and I constantly fact-check everything I hear or read. Therefore I went from a libertarian to my current positions when I found that the libertarian/Austrian economic claims fail to hold up in the real world. On the other hand, every time we have disagreed about political issues I have demonstrated that you are basing your views on right wing claims which are factually false.

  12. 12
    David Duff says:

    I have just watched on TV news scores of New Zealanders who have given up several days to assist and rescue a couple of dozen whales stranded in low water in a cove.

    So, pray tell me where, after several millennia of ruthless, winner-takes-all, Darwinian competition, did that sort of soppy, soft behaviour come from?

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    The fact that you think this has anything to do with the scientific debate over evolution only shows how you have been taken in by the anti-science claims.

  14. 14
    David Duff says:

    No, and it has absolutely everything to do with the very core of Darwinism which states states that life is a never-ending struggle for supremacy.  And yet here we see a bunch of humans being kind and generous and altruistic for no discernible benefit to themselves.  How much hard evidence do you need to open a shaft of light into your closed mind that perhaps Darwin’s theory is not entirely universal?

    And that Dawkins’ barking mad nonsense about selfish genes running human behaviour is the biggest laugh since Charlie Chaplin!

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Again, you fail to understand the science and are repeating right wing nonsense.

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