Democratic Leadership Says NSA Data Collection Is Fine Because You 'May Be In Communication With Terrorists'

from the seriously? dept

One of the things that became quite clear with yesterday's vote by the House to keep the NSA collecting records on every single one of your phone calls was the strange bedfellows that came together over this issue. Fighting against the surveillance were conservatives who were skeptical about government power along with liberals who were skeptical of government overreach into private lives. On the flip side, you had the White House and the leadership of both parties -- who tend to lean more towards supporting excessive power in the executive branch (perhaps because of their own dreams of being able to control that power). It's not often you see Michele Bachmann and Nancy Pelosi agreeing on very much.

Over at the Huffington Post, there's a good article about these odd pairings, noting the oddity of Bachmann endorsing the "identical" position as the Obama administration. But the really stunning point is at the end of the article, where it mentions that Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip, who's in charge of gathering up the votes on the Democratic side, and who apparently was working overtime to convince Democrats to vote in favor of ignoring the 4th Amendment, sent the most bizarre "description" of the amendment. While that only has a clip, a friend sent over the full "description" sent by Steny Hoyer to all of the Democrats in the House:
Amash/Conyers/Mulvaney/Polis/Massie Amendment – Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act (as codified by Section 501 of FISA) to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who may be in communication with terrorist groups but are not already subject to an investigation under Section 215
Talk about misleading. The program pertains to everyone. At this point, it's no secret that the records collected under this authority include a record of every single phone call. This is not about collecting records of people talking to terrorists. It's about collecting records on everyone. So, the only rational deciphering of Hoyer's email is that he believes that every American "may be in communication with terrorist groups" and therefore it's okay to spy on them.

How do these people get elected?


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  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    How do these people get elected?

    "A chicken in every pot and retirement money to take care of you!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    That's ok. When you vote in better politicians next time, everything will work out fine.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Let's see, I spoke to President Obama on the telephone so Obama must be a terrorist.

     

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    obama is a spy, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    thats enough

    YA know what im a terrorist , i'd like to take thiis moment to bring you FUCK OFF MOMENT
    THIS MOMENT called FUCK OFF is about a man WHOM wasn't called grady , he did not have 3 kids of his own.....he met a lady and i swear she has a beard all her own.....

    OBAMA = SPY
    OBAMA = SPY
    DEMOCRATS = SPY
    DEMOCRATS = SPY
    DEMOCRATS = SPY

     

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  5.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    That's like saying "banning you from driving is OK because you may drink and drive".

    US citizens need to elect more intelligent representatives.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: thats enough

    The other side are no better.

     

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    Dreddsnik, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    "US citizens need to elect more intelligent representatives."

    If we had smarter citizens, we would.

     

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  8.  
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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    No, it's not allowed.. You gotta pick from the ones who are willing to be politicians.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Here's a 60's term, college boy: The Establishment.

    The Establishment has the sole goal of gaining POWER.

    So long as you keep running pieces in which you're mystified how DC works and take the notion of partisan politics any more seriously than pro-wrestling, I'll try to find patience to yet again point out that by doing so you expose yourself as either a fool or a knave, or in your case, a college-trained fool who believes that he's an "Insider" knave. That anyone follows you here for more than jeering at shows only how many larger fools there are, and that's how "these people" get elected, IF that hasn't been totally rigged by now, and how The Establishment gets away with crimes.

     

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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Hey Congress

    which terrorists have you been in communications with?

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re: Here's a 60's term, college boy: The Establishment.

    lol, you are really reaching this time, but props for being on topic!

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Weasel words

    Mike, you should know as well as anyone the power of weasel words, and "may" is one of the worst. By definition, Hoyer doesn't have to "believe" that every American may be in contact with a turrist. He could state as fact that every American may be in contact with a turrist, and it is a true statement. Of course, another fact is that they may not be as well. Who knows? Who cares? Better safe than sorry, right?

    For those linguists out there, I do not support the use of the word "may" in statements of fact, just pointing out that this is a common political loophole.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    How do these people get elected?

    Voting day I get to decide between a punch to the face or a kick to the shin. Love the 2 party system...

     

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  14.  
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    maroon78 (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    They keep dumbing down the education requirements (No Child Left Behind and bible "science") and cutting education spending so that there won't be any smart citizens to know the difference.

     

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  15.  
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    Patrick Eddington, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Surveillance State Repeal Act

    Mike,

    I'd like to send you the bill text, summary and press release on my boss's bill to repeal the PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act, which he introduced yesterday during the vote on the Amash amendment. If you email me at the address above I'll get it to you immediately.

    With thanks,

    Pat Eddington
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Rep. Rush Holt
    1214 Longworth Building
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

     

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  16.  
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    The Real Michael, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    It's a one-party system which plays both sides of the fence, so no matter which way you vote, the outcome will inevitably remain the same. The names and faces may change but nothing else will.

     

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    Loki, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    We elect people because we either don't have the right skill sets, or in many cases don't have the inclination, to manage many of these mundane and often complicated details ourselves. But with any long standing government throughout history that works well, vigilance and oversight wane over time, and eventually the servants of the people become the servants of the elites with power (in this case the corporations and the people that control them).

    The truth is that the corporations aren't in bed with the government, the governments of the world are increasingly in bed with the corporations. You can see this in the way multiple world government rules and regulations are increasingly coming under the sway of corporate dictates, most especially in their international trade agreements (like ACTA, TPP and such).

    As for some of the claims being made by government these days, terrorism, like child porn/abuse and a few other buzz words, are ready terms to help sway the masses who are easily distracted and no longer motivated to maintain vigilance in accountability (as the Declaration of Independence says "and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed"). For many, the depredations of our leaders are still tolerable, if only barely in an increasing amount of cases.

    However, the bigger point to remember is that the politicians who get elected today mostly do so by the influence and money funneled into their elections by corporations and those that control them. While the politicians themselves may often use the specter of terrorism to influence people in their policy decisions, the people/powers increasingly in control look at the world from a certain point of views. And from that viewpoint of power, people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin would generally be seen as real "terrorist". Therefore, yes, from the viewpoint of these people, every American is a potential "terrorist" and must be monitored to prevent an eventual loss of control as happened when the American Colonies declared independence (and countless other examples throughout history).

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    It's between a turd and a shit sandwich.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    Bible "science"? You mean creationism, right? Oh yeah, because massive explosions result in galaxies forming solar systems of their own accord, which then results in life forms, right? Oh, and let's not forget all the laws of physics and other stuff mysteriously coming into place to hold it all together and give everything a functional use. And let's not even get into evolution, the non-observable "science" everybody is supposed to believe.

    If creationism doesn't belong in schools then neither does that other pseudo-science.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    'How do these people get elected?'

    i think the more relevant point is

    'How do these people get re-elected?'

    i cant help but wonder on the intelligence of those that vote the damn fools into office, not once but again!!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Is the NSA collecting congresses emails too? They are the real terrorists.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: thats enough

    If you look at the vote in the house, more republicans voted against the amendment (even percentually). There is no "good" side on a bipartisan issue...

     

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  23.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    cutting education spending

    We have been steadily increasing the cost per child in education with no discernible results. And don't believe that "cutting education spending" tripe. Whenever pols talk about cutting they are talking about cuts to future spending increases not a decrease in current funding.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    J Edgar Hoover stayed in power because he had files on everyone in Washington. I am beginning to wonder if they NSA is keeping it's funding because it too has information on our leaders.

     

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  25.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Re: Hey Congress

    I have emailed my congressmen and senators a few times...so we have that.

     

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  26.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Hey Congress

    Whoops, didn't see the "Hey Congress" part in the subject line. Oh well, I am the public so yeah they see us as terrorists.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Lol. Hail our preacher, for he knows best! Actually priests should give people good ideas about who to vote for since they are the scholars of true non-pseudo science!

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    democrats are history

    in no other terms no party has blatnantly lied aobut its purpose and doings and then done the most vile and evil of things.

    BYE BYE DEMOCRATS

    and to republiconartists i hope your watching cause if you dont give an alternative the fewest people voting may occur in the history of the USA ON YOUR WATCH

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Here's a 60's term, college boy: The Establishment.

    Too bad he took so long to learn to be on topic. He abused his privileges too much and now he got his binky taken away.

    Damn, that sounds ironically familiar.

     

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  30.  
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    Pips, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: thats enough

    I think that was just common knowledge and is why it wasn't posted. This is a bit off the beaten path for anyone who calls them self liberal, though. You don't advance a nation by going backwards on freedoms.

    More Republicans voted to keep this in place than Democrats. But the actual numbers were close enough that you can say it was a bipartisan in the end.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Re: Weasel words

    He is just purporting as a voice of reason, while in actuality he spews pure biased lobbyism. Am I the only one surprised that he didn't go further given Obamas stance?

     

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  32.  
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    John Doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re:

    This is exactly what I have been saying. The party in charge will stay in charge by using info from the NSA. Both parties should fear this as how do they know they will be the one in charge when they finally have enough dirt on their opponents?

     

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  33.  
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    John Doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are correct on all counts. Evolutionists can't find any missing link, so they come up with another theory that evolution sometimes happens too quickly to leave a trail. So they support one unproven theory with another unproven theory and have the nerve to call creationists crazy. The real difference is we admit we have faith where they think they have facts.

     

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  34.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If creationism doesn't belong in schools then neither does that other pseudo-science


    You can't equate the two things. Actual science (what you mysteriously call "pseudo-science") is a search for the truth, based on evidence. Creationism is based on faith.

    They're different animals completely.

     

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  35.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: democrats are history

    the fewest people voting may occur in the history of the USA


    That's what the republican party wants. The fewer people who vote, the better they do at at the polls.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re:

    Douche and Turd Sandwich

     

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  37.  
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    John Doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    Yes, yes they are and they will be using those emails against their political opponents real soon if they aren't already. This is what should scare the politicians into action. Yea, so the peasants are being spied on, but they gotta know they are being spied on too.

     

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  38.  
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    John doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Except that much of science is based on faith as I pointed out above.

     

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  39.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: Surveillance State Repeal Act

    Dude, if Rep. Holt can get the PATRIOT Act repealed, he will be a True American Hero, no kidding. Best luck in this endeavour!

     

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  40.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Slipery Slope

    If it is okay to collect data without looking at it, because you may be a criminal, or may be in contact with criminals, then let's see where this can lead.

    Maybe we should install cameras and recorders in every room of every building including all private property? And also in every vehicle. After all, the data is being recorded and tucked away in case it is ever needed later. The NSA will not look at the recordings -- they promise!

    But think of how valuable it would be? If we find out that Jane Doe is a terrorist, we could then see everything she has ever done, anywhere she has ever been. Wouldn't that be a valuable law enforcement tool?

    In a police state, police work is easy! Please pass the donuts...

     

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  41.  
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    Michael, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    No quite.

    It is more like installing a breathalizer in every vehicle because you may drink and drive.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That isn't how science works.

    Science is based on evidence, you come up with a hypothesis, and amend it depending on the evidence found. If the evidence does not jive with the hypothesis, create a new hypothesis. If the evidence overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis, further testing is needed so that it becomes a theory.

    Proper science is about critical thinking, not faith.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    So politicians

    So politicians are ok with the NSA logging everything they do, who they call late at night, where they travel and such because one of them might be a terrorist.

    They must also be ok having all this data collected where it could be potentially leaked and anger their significant other, constituents and donors too.

     

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  44.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    About 1/5th of the children born in the US are in families below the poverty line, and social security will be broke when the baby boomers retire.

    So... that's not it. Unless you can eat or retire on broken promises.

     

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  45.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Simply using the term "missing link" shows a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. The term implies that there is a distinct moment that one species becomes another.

    Yes, evolution can happen quickly, typically when organisms are stressed out by changing environments (in other words when selection pressures are strongest). It's not that at those times fossils stop forming - its that the likelihood of any particular organism becoming a fossil is vanishingly small. Greater than 99.9% of the species that have roamed the earth in its ~4.7 billion year history are extinct. There are entire genuses and families that we are unlikely ever to come across evidence of. That we have so many well preserved fossils is amazingly in and of itself.

    But don't let facts and an organized, critical method for determining the truth stop you from believing fairy tales told by bronze age savages.

     

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  46.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Really? Name a single example of any generally accepted scientific theory that is dependant on faith.

    I'll wait.

     

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  47.  
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    Bengie, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    The problem

    My issue is I have read history books and now I have this "irrational" fear of the government, which is much worse than my fear of "terrorists".

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Terrorists don't use USA email providers .....

     

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  49.  
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    John Doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah yes, the old critical thinking ploy. The problem with your facts are they are not facts, only theories and unproven at that. Yes there are many things we know about science, but evolution isn't one of them.

    It is also funny that you call them bronze age savages, yet there are many intelligent writings around math and science that pre-date the New Testament by hundreds of years and you call them geniuses. We still don't know how these dumb savages built pyramids, Easter Island, etc.

     

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  50.  
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    PRMan, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re:

    No. But apparently you can get elected on them.

     

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  51.  
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    John Doe, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Evolution.

     

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    Vannevar Bush, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re:

    Google "jane harmon alberto gonzalez" for a little evidence. Too bad Gonzalez was willing to fall on his sword about that, like Porter Goss did a few years before.

     

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  53.  
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    New World Order, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    One World Government

    How about everyone admit that the "conspiracy theorists" were right and that the NWO is in control of the USA and both parties at the top are part of the NWO.

    The new world order is trying to establish a one world government to spread its tyranny worldwide, but they need to destroy the USA first, before they can establish their demonic one world government.

     

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  54.  
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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Scientific theories don't depend on faith, they are just estimations of the truth that are consistent with all the evidence we have. There is no requirement whatsoever to believe they are true as long as they act as if they are true within the context of whatever you are working on. Enstein's theory of relativity proves to be more correct than classical physics, yet classical physics are still used for all sorts of applications, simply because they are easier to work with. Faith is counterproductive to science because it leads to assumptions that are not based on evidence.

     

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  55.  
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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, there is no scientific theory anywhere that all sciensts do not agree could also be explained by the simple statement
    "God just made it to look like that is what happened"
    But the point is from a scientific perspective, it doesn't matter. Whether a scientist believes evolution actually happened, or if god just made everything 5 minutes ago to look and act as if it happened, from a scientific perspective, there is no difference whatsoever.

     

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  56.  
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    beltorak (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: who keeps re-electing these asshats?

    That's actually pretty easy to figure out. In order to vote some asshat out, I have to vote some other asshat in.

    If I could actually vote against someone - enough people casting "negative" votes and that office is vacated - we might see some real change. I think a lot of people would rather see nothing get done than learning after the fact that when something gets done, it usually only fucks us harder.

     

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  57.  
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    Joseph Ratliff (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: Surveillance State Repeal Act

    I really, truly hope this gets through. We need to start over on this "what the Government can and can't do in the name of security" stuff.

    Repeal the whole thing, sounds good to me.

    Rush Holt running for President?

     

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  58.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Simply saying something is not a fact does not make it so. There are many seperate lines of evidence showing evolution through natural selection is correct. Sure, there's the fossil record, which is spotty, but we've also got genetics (something entirely new and which Darwin had no knowledge of when he put forth the theory - and something which could have disproven the theory but instead supported it), there's geographical distribution of species, and more.

    Of course we know how the Egyptians built the pyramids - they kept amazing records (the only way to organize such an effort), some of which have survived. There may be a few quibbles over which of a few techniques were used for certain things, but the architecturing methods of the time were sufficient to accomplish the task given the resources they had. I'm not familiar with any controversy over Easter Island other than we're not sure why the monument heads were erected.

    Yes, there were many intelligent writers way back in history. Even recently, some very intelligent people believe in nonsense - Isaac Newton was an alchemist (trying to turn lead into gold). The savages I'm referring to are the ones who waged war and committed genocides for not bowing down to their chosen deity. Savagery and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Hey Congress

    Hey, Congress, you calling my mother a terrorist? Fuck you.

     

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  60.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bad example. The evidence that evolution is a mechanism that shapes life on Earth is overwhelming.

     

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  61.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    Shit Sandwich or Shit Sandwich with Mayo!

     

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    Ron Burgundy, Information Anarchiat, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Stay Classy Evolution

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Crade, be careful making generalizations about "all scientists" and saying things make no difference.

    There are many scientists who would disagree with your statements. It may not be possible to absolutely prove we're not all under the control of a malevolent deity, or in the Matrix, or a brain in a jar, but there's no good reason to think that it is so when there are better explanations that do not include those complexities.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It may not be possible to absolutely prove we're not all under the control of a malevolent deity, or in the Matrix, or a brain in a jar, but there's no good reason to think that it is so when there are better explanations that do not include those complexities."

    I never said all scientist think we are, any true scientist will admit the possibility (not likelyhood of course) of anything that has not been disproven. Otherwise, the OP is right and they are being faith based.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He is very narrowly arguing against "evolution". Therefore I would suggest asking him to define what he believes is evolution. That is the only way to effectively discuss it.

    Arguing about faith just leads to stronger faith-based beliefs and never leads to any improved understanding.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Is the NSA collecting congresses emails too? They are the real terrorists.

    No, Congress exempted themselves from NSA spying. The NSA also exempted themselves from their own spying. They're all just Hippocrates.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This might vary regionally, but there's no question that over the last 15 years, at least, the per-pupil funding at the schools in my state has fallen by quite a lot, and the educational system and quality of education has suffered as a direct result.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Re: How do they get re-elected

    In the US voting system the politician can manipulate the voters two ways, the first obvious way is encourage supportors & others to vote for you, the other lever is discourage from voting, people who don't want you. how many of her detractors (the ones that matter, Those that could vote her out were discouraged today from voting next time round.

     

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    Not Applicable, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Steny Hoyer
    Saxby Chambliss

    WTF How do people get these stupid names

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Re: democrats are history

    They wouldn't give a rats ass if only 1 person in the entire US voted..as long as that vote swung the election their way.

     

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    Anonymous, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    On the first day of biology class in high school we learned that one of the most basic principles in biology is that "life comes only from life". Seems to me that evolutionary theory contradicts that premise.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Always funny to see the ID/creationism guys feel superior when allegdly poking holes in evolutionary theory when all they ever had to show for was some old, self-contradicting book.

    I don't know, therefore god.

    LOL!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Yeah if I am communicating with americans I am communicating with terrorists. :)

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The core of this argument (which I see people making all the time) is that science is an alternative faith to (whatever I believe). The truth is that they can never conflict as science (as it is currently defined) is limited to the study of what we can perceive and can never conflict with anything that must be taken on faith (and thus by definition cannot be perceived).

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I find that understanding of science in general comes much easier to those of strong faith once they realize that it does not threaten to their beliefs, and visa versa.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I find that the easiest way to convince people of strong faith that science doesn't threaten their belief, comes from convincing them that science doesn't live up to their darkest fears, but I guess the premise is the same.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, I would beg to differ. Reading some "discussions" or even in some cases intros, in scientific journals is like listening to a priests sermon. You are correct as far as the method, data-treatment and conclusions has to be based on solid logic and/or experience to be accepted, but dont believe that scientists are objective to the bone.

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    Definition of "may be in communication"?

    Is may be in communication with terrorist groups defined somewhere?

    How does someone by this law determine who is not in communication with terrorist groups. If no-one can be ruled out then it's a useless clause.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:19pm

    Roger wilco

    Democratic Leadership Says NSA Data Collection Is Fine Because You 'May Be In Communication With Terrorists'
    I guess that means it's A-OK for Anonymous to hack into the NSA's database and collect their data, since any group investigating one group of terrorists is more likely than not to be in communication with another.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Weasel words

    Words like 'may' can be useful depending on the context in which they're used. For example, I ring the DWP and hear, "This call may be recorded for the purposes of monitoring and quality control." Well, they can hardly blame me if I take that sentence as given permission to record the call so I can monitor the quality of their response!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The basic difference between science and religion is quite easy to explain. If I were to prove to you tomorrow that your god does not exist, would you stop believing in it? Whereas if you were to prove without a doubt that your god does exist, I would start believing, too. Because I've been given substantive evidence to the fact.

     

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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 12:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or maybe, just maybe your biology teacher oversimplified things.

    One of the principles of science is that you admit if you don't understand something, and then try to find an answer, not fabricate one and then Believe it.

     

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    PlayNicely, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 4:14am

    Evolution vs Creationism

    1) evolution and abiogenesis are two different things. evolution states that all life on earth has a few or even one single ancestor. abiogenesis is the process by which a living thing can result from a non-living precursor. evolution makes no claim about abiogenesis and vice versa. evolution is well understood with a lot of independent yet mutually supporting evidence, while abiogenesis is poorly understood as of now. even if abiogenesis turned out impossible it would not change the fact of evolution one bit.

    2) every single individual is an intermediary between its parents and its children. thus the requirement of finding all the intermediaries could only be met by finding a fossil for every single individual in the ancestral line. since fossilization is a rare occurence this is an impossible task and the theory of evolution does in no way depend on it being fulfilled. every fossil that fills an evolutionary gap necessarily creates two more gaps of roughly half the size. the request for all the intermediaries is comparable to requesting an image for every single point of jupiter's orbit for you to accept that it approximately obeys kepler's laws.

    3) the theory of evolution does not depend on fossil evidence at all. there are several completely independent kinds of evidence that would strongly suggest or prove evolution on their own (the structure of the genetic code, coevolution, geographic distribution of species, visible evolution in microorganisms, artificial breeding, genetic algorithms). together they confirm evolution as fact in the same way every measurement ever taken confirms gravity as fact.

    4) that scientists have to have some point at which they have to take things on faith (for example that their measurements are real, and not just tricks by a deceitful god or matrix operator and that basic logic and reason do indeed work) does not mean their method is comparable to the creationists'. scientists base as little as possible on faith and when evidence contradicts that faith the latter is discarded, while creationists base as much as possible on faith and when evidence contradicts that faith they discard the former.

    5) even if evolution was shown to be completely false (none of your arguments come even close), creationism would not be a single bit more plausible. proving creationism by disproving evolution is called a false dichotomy.

    the reason people are laughing at creationism is not some false sense of superiority. it is the style of argument and the many logical fallacies that completely discredit it. i know, on creationist websites they give you guidelines how to use rhetoric tricks rather than actual argument to "win" a debate. they make you think that you are proving your point, while you are actually just proving your ignorance. you are fighting a straw man, not the actual theory of evolution and you really ought to inform yourself independently about what evolution actually says, not just on creationist websites that smugly but falsely claim to have disproven evolution and its large body of independent and mutually supporting evidence with a badly reasoned bullet point list that boils down to "hah! take that evolutionists!!".

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's a fly in the ointment: evolution as it's taught has never been observed in nature. Not once. All they do is take a bunch of skeletal remains, attach an arbitrary date to them using flawed dating methods, draft a completely fabricated "tree of life" (Cambrian Explosion) and then fit all the data to their theory of evolution. The simple fact of the matter is that they weren't around when life first came into being, so they don't really know what happened. Either way you go, evolution or creationism, both are the product of FAITH.

    Just because somebody has a degree and wears a lab coat doesn't automatically mean that they possess truth, just as telling a lie over and over again will not make it true.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's a fly in the ointment: evolution as it's taught has never been observed in nature. Not once.

    It has been actively observed happening many times. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria (thousands of studies). The shape of the beaks of the finches of the Galapagos (a decades long study still underway). And that's just me naming two before I've had my caffiene this morning.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Really? Show me where in the natural world one species evolved into another. Remember, we're dealing with science, not faith; therefore, I should be able to OBSERVE it with my own two eyes. Don't just put skeletal remains in front of me and then talk about what supposedly took place ages ago. I want to see a fish grow legs, walk out of the water and then become a walking lizard.

    Ridiculous, isn't it? The best thing about evolution is how it so brazenly contradicts all rationale.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This^.

    You can easily tell scientific arguments from faith based arguments by asking the question: "Can you imagine some type of evidence that when confirmed, could change your views?"

    I can imagine all sorts of things that could change my views on evolution if they are proven. The classic example is fossilized rabbits in the Pre-Cambrian.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, not even remotely the same. You're dealing in variations within pre-set species, whereas in the scientific community it's taught that various species were the offspring of different species. Therefore, I'd like to witness this feat.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The difference between myself and the evolutionists is that I don't go around calling faith science.

    What is religion doing being taught in the classroom? Of course I'm speaking about evolution.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    one species evolved into another.

    Your comment shows a serious misunderstanding of evolution. One species does not evolve "into" another. There is not a singular instant where a species becomes another. The descendants of a single species can diverge into seperate species. The typical example is a population of a single species that is cut off from the rest of its species, such as on an island. That population can change over succsessive generations, adapting to a different environment from the rest of its kind that are elsewhere. Over time, those changes add up into something distinctive, and in which even if re-united will not or cannot interbreed.

    A chimpanzee does not evolve into a human. But both humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor that lived around 5-7 million years ago.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you refer me to some of the scientific literature that is teaching that? Perhaps soemthing not put out by the "Discovery" Institute?

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is a faith-based posit, not an observable fact, because it has never been witnessed.

     

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    PlayNicely, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    you seem to be very confused about biology. please consider educating yourself from non-creationist sources. you are really allowing yourself to be mislead.

    "species", first and foremost, is an arbitrary artificial concept that has no natural counterpart in reality. there are no "borders" between species and there is nothing in reality that necessitates that concept. biology's definition of a species is that individuals that belong to a species can produce fertile offspring, while individuals belonging to different species can not. that this concept of a species does not reflect anything real or tangible is for example demonstrated by the existence of ring species. any argument relying on "species" being anything but an artificial concept is almost guaranteed to fail.

    the argument that, if i can not observe something directly i have to take it on faith is ludicrous, to say the least. by that logic i have to take absolutely everything on faith because "direct observation" is impossible, unless you use a naive definition of "direct observation". every single thing we know about physical reality has to be deduced by interpreting incomplete information through inaccurate senses, be it the light that reaches me nanoseconds after it bounced off an object or a fossil i find in a certain rock formation which shows certain isotopic ratios. it is the context, the host of mutually supporting clues gathered by our senses that allow us to form an accurate approximation of reality. a single fossil on its own does not say much, thousands of fossils in accordance with genetics, geographical distribution, what we know about breeding, computer models, etc. however paint a fairly accurate picture.

    and please stop insisting that the fossil record is something that evolution depends on. it doesn't depend on it at all. the fact that every single fossil ever to be found supports evolution is just another strong piece of evidence. there could have been so much contradicting evidence in the fossil record that would easily disprove evolution, yet there is none. not the slightest bit.

    to rely on the fossil record as your prime argument as to why evolution is not backed by convincing evidence kills your point right from the start. maintaining this position tells everybody that you are completely unaware of the vast body of evidence that speaks for evolution, completely independent of the fossil record. you have been mislead to believe that evolution is just supported by a few weak pieces of evidence that could easily be placed by a conspiracy of god-hating scientists. the truth is the opposite, many thousands of people use and confirm the fact of evolution on a daily basis, using independent methods from a wide array of scientific fields.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not a fly. Thats the thing, science doesn't have to be perfect. If it is wrong it's wrong, but still says nothing about anything that must be taken on faith.

    If you are looking to science to try to confirm faith you are going about it the wrong way. How can you have faith in something that you can confirm as a fact through perception? That is no faith at all.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you for proving my point so explicitly.

    Please read the description at the bottom. I'll quote:

    "This diagram is a cladogram... "
    "Each clade is defined by a distinguishing characteristic... "
    "Sometimes that characteristic disappears in later organisms"
    "Some well-known groups of organisms are not clades - including reptiles, protists, fish, invertabrates, sponges, and prokaryotes - because they do not include all descendants of the most recent common ancestor."

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Simply waving your hands and claiming my position is faith-based does not make it so.

    Evolution has been observed happening. Just because you are unwilling to recognize that it has does not mean it didn't happen.

    No one living "observed" the millions of years it took for humans and chimpanzees to diverge from their common ancestor, but we have plenty of evidence that shows it happened - multiple seperate lines of genetic evidence, and some limited fossil evidence, and others. Just because you are unwilling to recognize it does not mean that evidence doesn't exist.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yet no observable proof to substantiate their claims. I can find all sorts of links through DNA and whatnot between different species, but that alone does not prove common ancestry, only that there are similarities in genetic make-up.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks again for proving my side of the argument. This is the easiest evolution argument I've been involved with in quite some time. I'll quote again:

    http://www.tellapallet.com/tree_of_life.htm

    ---

    The primary sources for this illustration are: The journal Science (13 June 2003: Vol. 300. no. 5626). ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/300/5626/1691 )

    The NIH on-line taxonomy browser ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/ )

    ---

    If you follow the links in the Science journal, you'll see links to the the many papers laying out all the evidence.

    This is fun. Give me some more links to things that support my argument and make you look silly.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not a valid question. There is no way to prove or disprove a metaphysical claim using science. That is the nature of the metaphysical. If find something that you think prove god does or does not exist, it could always be a deception that is impossible to perceive.

     

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    John Doe, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The savages I'm referring to are the ones who waged war and committed genocides for not bowing down to their chosen deity. Savagery and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

    So the only savages are religious ones? Does savagery disprove or prove anything? Didn't realize it was a key factor in the scientific method.

     

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    John Doe, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Evolution is even more outlandish than a fish growing legs. Where did the fish come from? It came from a single cell amoeba. Note also that a single cell is not a simple cell. Cells themselves are very complex. Now this amoeba decided one day that it wanted to walk the beach in the sun sipping a margarita. So it started growing more cells. Eventually this sack of cells was too big to move or feed so it died. It need other mechanisms. So it grew a stomach. But still couldn't eat so it died. The next one it grew a mouth. But it couldn't chew so it died. The next one grew teeth. But then there was no connection from the mouth to the stomach so it grew a pipe to connect the two. But food was enough, it needed oxygen so it died. The next one grew a lung. But the lung had no way to get oxygen to the cells so it grew blood. But the blood couldn't get around so it grew arteries and veins. But the blood still couldn't get around so it grew a heart. But it died of blood poising. So its next attempt grew a liver. But that wasn't enough so it grew a kidney. Then it decided two kidneys were better than one. It did this until it had eyes, a brain, nerves, hair, skin, so on and so forth. But this process took millions and billions of years. Fortunately, the whole time this was going on, a female sack of cells was forming too so that they could reproduce and try to get it right the next time. So it was fortunate that chance provided for a male and female at the same time so that they could reproduce to give the next generation a chance to get it right.

    Sound ridiculous doesn't it? And evolutionists think Christians are the only ones living by faith.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Did I say anything even remotely resembling that? No.

    Would you care to address any of the actual points in the discussion, or do you want to keep knocking down your own strawmen?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Remember, we're dealing with science, not faith; therefore, I should be able to OBSERVE it with my own two eyes.


    Ahh, I see. For you, the only valid "proof" is what you can see with your own eyes happening right in front of you.

    Fair enough, but that's a far, far cry from proof on two counts: first, you can't trust what you see with your own eyes (so that's not necessarily proof), and second, it means you cannot accept any scientific study of processes that take longer than a lifetime or that involve structures larger than or smaller than what the human eye can perceive.

    In other words, you've predefined your terms in such a way that you've made most scientific studies unscientific through nothing but the power of rhetoric. Good job!

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What is religion doing being taught in the classroom? Of course I'm speaking about evolution.


    Then you simply don't understand evolution. It's not even close to being "faith-based". It's on solid evidential ground.

    But here's a challenge that science-haters have yet to successfully take up: evolution, like all scientific theories (and unlike religion), is disprovable. So disprove it. If you pull that off, you'll get a Nobel prize in addition to the right to say "I told you so".

    That's another difference between science and religion: scientists love it when longstanding hypotheses are disproved. It means a massive leap forward in understanding has occurred. Faith-based people hate it when some aspect of their belief system is disproved, as that represents a threat to their belief system.

     

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    Spacial, Jul 27th, 2013 @ 2:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hilarious. Creationists ARE batshit crazy. Your whole "pseudo-science" (amazing how twisted religious people often think just to make any sense of their warped little world) argument, makes it pretty obvious. Or even thinking that creationism and evolution are on the same level, probability-wise and , and for that reason that creationism should be taught in schools is absurd.

    There is 0 evidence for creationism. ZERO. The only reason it still exists is because it's the only explanation fully compatible with the evenly absurd belief in a god and the lies that belief has established throughout the centuries.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Jul 27th, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What is religion doing being taught in the classroom?

    Good question but an obvious one: the constituency is as clueless when it comes to science as the politicians who press for ID being taught in schools.

     

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    Steve, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Perceive" a black hole for me... Didn't think so.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    The Spectator, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    oh jeesh

    Evolution is a natural process regardless if you bring faith or religion into it. The world, universe, you or me did not just shite it's self into existence, everything evolved over time 'into' something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    identicon
    Doug, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    THE ORIGIN OF LIFE AND THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

    Until you idiots can even comprehend that monumentally basic idea, a debate can't even occur.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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