Sunday, March 07, 2010
Save the fish, kill the people! ( Where does science and religion enter in?)
I recently made both a post and a comment that came from a quote from the Warsaw Senatorial Debate on Saturday, March 6th.
The post, which is also found below this one, is entitled "What's wrong with Washington? Politicians protect fish and kill unborn babies!"
You can read the entirety of the post and you will see that the post was primarily about the experience of attending a grassroots political debate, but it is true that this administration has decided to cut off water access for the Salinas Valley are of California, putting thousands of people out of work and stressing families and children and threatening them with starvation...for the sake of a fish!
The Obama Administration restored the Endangered Species Act in March 2009, which requires agencies to seek approval of the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in order to to determine if actions will affect endangered species. This then brought water management under the purview of a federal agency (nothing like letting the government take over things, right?) and can you guess what happens when the EPA or any similar agency gets involved? Boneheaded decisions that hurt or kill people.
It is another post entirely, but idiotic tree-hugging regulation of the logging industry and in fact general land management in the Western United States has seriously hurt the logging industry and thereby the tax income of Western states that had dependence on logging (Oregon and Washington in particular) while also making the area more vulnerable to terrible forest fires. Bans on brush clearing on the personal property of California home owners has led to deaths and destruction in the last few years. Do a little research on the subject when you get some time.
The results of government trying to take on land management and water management and in fact taking away state, local and personal control of such things is often disaster. The latest Obama administration decisions have been harmful to people living in the United States and particularly in California. In fact, this is not a one-time thing, as this link reveals:
"Unemployment rates are now 40% because of the water being shut off to farmers. Hundreds of acres of crops are now dead. 1 million acres of fields and orchards also have no aboveground water supply. People have to go to food banks for food. Fruits and vegetable prices have skyrocketed in central California.
Federal water managers cut off water to thousands of California farms as a result of Water has been cut off since March. Farmers in the nation's No. 1 agriculture state predicted it would cause consumers to pay more for their fruits and vegetables, which would have to be grown using expensive well water.
"Environmentalists are tripping over themselves to preserve every species that crawls, squirms, swims or flys (sic) but they are content to let humans die," claimed Nunes. " And now they have a government that agrees with them. "
"This Congress and our President have chosen fish over people in my state." I think the judges decision is wrong," claimed Schwarzenegger. "If you start choosing species, and the smelt and salmon over people, I think you are wrong. I think its a mistake when you see the impacts that it has."
"Water is our life - it's our jobs and it's our food," said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the farm bureau in Fresno County. "Without a reliable water supply, Fresno County's No. 1 employer - agriculture - is at great risk."
The drought would cause an estimated $1.15 billion dollar loss in agriculture-related wages and eliminate as many as 40,000 jobs in farm-related industries in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of the nation's produce and nut crops are grown, said Lester Snow, director of the Department of Water Resources...
If you read the entire article you will have a leg up on understanding the fish versus people situation in California.
It is also a fact that the government promotes abortion by giving money to Planned Parenthood and by allowing legalized abortion in this country. The holocaust against innocent unborn babies has now surpassed by far the death of Jews in World War Two at the hands of both Hitler and Stalin! Roe v Wade was a terrible, unsupportable activist decision by nine people in suitably black robes that has made our society and our government into an entity that does in actuality protect fish and murder babies. This is a statement of fact. Go ahead and click this link if you doubt this.
So now then it was somewhere between disturbing and hilarious that commenters began to scrutinize the morality of choosing fish over people~!
Lava's comment: If you believe in evolution then you should agree with survival of the fittest and that the fish must die to sustain human life, oh well. If you are a creationist then you would believe the welfare of humans is of more consequence than that of a fish.
I just wanted to highlight this statement. Radar, mull this over again. Then let me know if this is what your really think.
I answered: Yes, lava, I think that the life of a human is of more consequence than a fish. On philosophical grounds I would expect both Darwinists and Christians to agree on this point. If not, I would like to hear why...
Hawkeye said this: "Unfortunately, it appears that the view of radical environmentalists is that humans are a blight on nature. They think we are the disease, and if they can just get rid of humanity (starting with someone other than themselves of course), all will be right with the world. Sick."
Creeper then opined, and I will intersperse his blue comments with my point-by-point responses in normal script: If you believe in evolution then you should agree with survival of the fittest and that the fish must die to sustain human life, oh well. If you are a creationist then you would believe the welfare of humans is of more consequence than that of a fish."
A few points spring to mind:
1. The insistence on framing this as rival "religions" leads to this kind of nonsense. You may find this useful in a rhetorical context, but that doesn't mean it's true.
A religion is a belief system, creeper, and evolutionists certainly fit the bill. Darwinism just casts aside the work of great scientists of the past who showed that life does not spring from non-life and that entropy increases while energy decreases unless directed energy is added from outside the system. Darwinism posits growing complexity and new systems and processes developing in organisms and yet what we see in the real world is a set of genetic information that is already in place, being naturally selected by environment and sometimes being lost. All attempts to test Darwinism have failed. It is simply an hypothesis that does not fit the evidence well and has been accepted as a ruling paradigm for philosophical and not scientific reasons.
Almost every time you say someone "believes in evolution", what you're actually referring to is someone accepting the scientific theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the variety of life around us. Which is not a religious belief or moral framework unto itself, and is in fact compatible with quite a range of religious beliefs or moral frameworks.
Evolution is not a theory. To be a theory it must have tested out as a possibility, which it has not. Were it tested and found workable by several different scientists and if the results were the same every time, then it would be a theory and in fact be on the way to being accepted generally as scientific law. Even then it might later be shown to be not quite accurate (hence Newtonian physical laws are no longer laws per se) but sadly for Darwinists any tests devised to promote Darwinism as a theory have failed.
Framing it as a belief in something, and hence perhaps as something prescriptive - as opposed to seeing the theory of evolution merely as descriptive, which is what it is - leads you to erroneously conclude that the theory of evolution comes with an agenda attached. Which it doesn't.
Of course it has an agenda! Richard Dawkins, the "high priest" of Darwinism today, said,
"An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."-- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, page 6.
Darwinism is an escape hatch for scientists to avoid the issues of the formation of time, matter and especially life. This is far more difficult in these times, when we now recognize that organisms are almost infinitely more complex than Darwin had imagined.
2. It's not an either/or choice - either fish dies or man dies - as is implied here. As a wise man once said, man and fish can coexist peacefully. What is the actual reason given for protecting the fish, and what is the actual impact on humans? I suspect once you look at these actual facts instead of polemicizing, you'll find a different argument emerging.
Not. First of all, you are avoiding the abortion issue entirely and conveniently. Secondly even the Governor of California was angered by the decision to impoverish large numbers of Californians and the damage to the production of agricultural products for the sake of a little and irrelevant fish. I am sorry if you do not understand why keeping people alive is of more importance than preserving one small population of fish. Whether we are talking about a Delta Smelt or a Salmon or a Snail Darter we are talking about one tiny population of some sub-species of a fairly common fish.
3. "If you are a creationist..." then surely the extinction of any species (presumably put on Earth by God for a purpose) should be highly problematic.
I'm not just talking about being a good shepherd of the Lord's creation (though that should surely also be on the mind of any Christian and steer them towards environmental protection), but surely taking such an irreversible step to damaging the Lord's creation should be deeply troubling to a creationist.
You completely misunderstand the creationist position. God made the animal world with a very rich genetic code that allows various kinds of animals to adjust to environmental changes. There is more than one variety of animal that can fill a role in the food chain. In my lifetime I have seen a species of mussel begin to flourish in Lake Michigan, Gulls expand their ranges from the close vicinity of the Great Lakes so far that we call them "Farm Gulls' in these parts, deer herds growing dramatically and Canada Geese making the decision to move their permanent residence to Indiana. Animals and plants alike will find a way to fill a niche in the life cycle that God designed and the fact that multiple varieties of animals can fill in the gaps is a testament to great design.
If man was told (Genesis 9:3) "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. " and earlier (in Genesis 1:28) "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." ? I suggest that God intends man to have charge over the rest of the world and also that God values the life of man greatly whereas the animals and plants are to be primarily for our benefit.
Or is it all just "we own the world, we're God's favorites, so we can do whatever the heck we want"?
Because that's how you're coming across here...
You commenters are the ones who are just fine with babies being slaughtered while expressing such concern for a fish. Do you really think you have a logical argument here, a moral high ground here? How ludicrous that you rally to the support of a fish and give nary a thought for the farmers and laborers of Central California and their families. How interesting that you do not even write one word about all the babies being murdered legally here in the United States. How is it that these unborn have fewer rights than captured Islamic terrorists?! This kind of thinking is in my opinion not just stupid but actually tends towards evil. You prefer a fish over a man, a woman, a baby???!!!
SCIENCE VERSUS RELIGION
There are three primary schools of thought concerning origins. Two of them begin with a presupposition and the other is simply and strictly scientific.
1) Creationism presupposes a Creator God. We believe that God created and also that He made sure we had a written message from Him, the Bible, that not only provided an account of the beginning of all things but also the early history of mankind, the beginning of the table of nations and a definitive moral code. The Bible is a book of history and wisdom and morality and it is a book that declares a way of salvation for those who will believe. It is evidence to be considered when viewing the beginning of all things. A creationist believes that God is always right about matters of science but that the Bible is a scientific reference book and an eyewitness account rather than a scientific textbook.
There are "Godofthegaps" creationists and (my brain hurts here) theistic creationists but all creationists believe God created and begin looking at the evidence from that starting point.
2) Darwinism presupposes blind chance as the engine that drives the Universe from beginning until now. Most Darwinists are now part uniformitarian and part catastrophist and as the evidence get more difficult to fit into the original Darwinian premise the corollaries increase. Nevertheless, Darwinism/macroevolution/neo-Darwinism or whatever you wish to call it is no more than an unsupportable hypothesis that has been acclaimed as accepted science but when the evidence is considered carefully becomes an emperor with no clothes. Perhaps the most obvious proof is that speciation through natural selection is what Darwinists have depended upon as proof that evolution happens whereas we know now that speciation is simply the selection of preexisting genetic materials. Some commenters have yet to catch on to this idea.
In any event, Darwinists begin with the supposition that there is no God or in fact any supernatural force or being that can possibly be considered when looking at the evidence.
3) The only position that is strictly scientific and evidence-based without supposition is Intelligent Design. People like Michael Behe have researched and presented evidence that is presented without either presupposition. They do not call upon the belief in God nor do they throw the possibility of God away. Intelligent Design is entirely neutral towards the concept of who or whom or by what means life has been designed. Instead these scientists decided to ignore philosophical arguments and simply review the evidence and publish the results.
The hilarious failure of Judge Jones in the "Dover" case to recognize the religious nature of Darwinism and label ID as a religious enterprise is a fascinating case of logic turned on its head. Even I, a dedicated Young Earth Creationist, recognizes that Behe and I would disagree about many things but I do respect his premise. Behe just looks at the evidence and is agnostic about whether a God was involved in any aspect of the evidence. He simply studies organisms and how they work and then provides the analysis of their workings. He then makes a hypothesis that life was designed based only on evidence and not on presupposition or belief. He has also studied mutation as a vehicle for evolutionary advancement and, to his satisfaction, falsified mutation as a means of adding information to organisms and therefore being in any way part of design.
The Discovery Institute mission statement:
Discovery Institute's mission is to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Our mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus media coverage and the Institute's own publications and Internet website ( http://www.discovery.org).
Current projects explore the fields of technology, science and culture, reform of the law, national defense, the environment and the economy, the future of democratic institutions, transportation, religion and public life, government entitlement spending, foreign affairs and cooperation within the bi-national region of "Cascadia." The efforts of Discovery fellows and staff, headquartered in Seattle, are crucially abetted by the Institute's members, board and sponsors.
Nothing about God. Now here is a small portion of the list of Fellows of the Institute, just from the CSC portion:
Information about Center Fellows and the Research Fellowship Program
Stephen C Meyer
John G West
Michael J Behe
William A Dembski
Bruce L Gordon
Michael Newton Keas
Jay W Richards
This is just a partial list of some brilliant minds who are focused on issues that concern our futures and our daily lives.
I respect the work ID people do. I prefer the work of the folks at institutions such as Creation.com and Answers In Genesis and Institute for Creation Research because they are, like me, including God and the Bible in the set of evidence being considered. I doubt any minds equal to Berlinski or Sarfati ever inhabit this blog but if they ever do I would be gratified. I met the Sarfatis at a conference three years ago and although his mind is remarkable his geniality and gentlemanly behavior are equal to his intellect. (When commenters trash Sarfati anyone with great familiarity with the worlds of science or chess would identify such commenters as foolish in the extreme). Second graders might laugh out loud when you yell, "poop!" Grown-ups are supposed to be beyond such behavior.
When you really get down to it the only people who are not beginning with a presupposition are the Intelligent Design folks. Sorry folks, but the truth hurts sometimes...
Now I do not mind being identifed as a Young Earth Creationist and admitting that I come to the table with my presuppositions in my kit bag. You Darwinists can howl at the moon and fling poo but you have a big old set of presuppositions and you cannot hide them.