Wednesday 20th of June 2018

a creationist in the white house?...

ben carson

E-vo-lu-tion is not an option. It's the way life works. In medical sphere, the adaptation of bacteria, microbes and viruses tells us irrevocably about adaptation, including that in which our army of antibiotics are becoming lamer. Things evolve, change, devolve, become extinct, not because of the grace of a god's fart but because the total environment, including the biotic environment, in which we live also changes. 


.... study reveals evolution can happen much faster than thought


A new study of chickens overturns the popular assumption that evolution is only visible over long time scales. 

By studying individual chickens that were part of a long-term pedigree, the scientists, led by Professor Greger Larson at Oxford University's Research Laboratory for Archaeology, found two mutations that had occurred in the mitochondrial genomes of the birds in only 50 years.

For a long time scientists have believed that the rate of change in the mitochondrial genome was never faster than about 2% per million years. The identification of these mutations shows that the rate of evolution in this pedigree is in fact 15 times faster. In addition, by determining the genetic sequences along the pedigree, the team also discovered a single instance of mitochondrial DNA being passed down from a father. This is a surprising discovery, showing that so-called 'paternal leakage' is not as rare as previously believed.

Our study shows that evolution can move much faster in the short term than we had believed from fossil-based estimates.

Professor Greger Larson

The study is published in the online early version of the journal Biology Letters. Using a well-documented 50-year pedigree of a population of ...


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freedom to be a religious extremist...

Nonsense, said my liberal friend. Someone who questions the fundamental scientific understanding of the development of life on earth would have little credibility on any scientific topic, including public health. Carson may be a great surgeon, but if he rejects such bedrock scientific findings, who knows what other well-founded data he would refuse to acknowledge?

It is certainly true that Carson denies that life developed through random, unguided genetic mutations over millions of centuries. It is also true that he believes in literal six-day creationism (though he’s agnostic on the question of the planet’s age) and that he attributes the rise of Darwinian thinking to the influence of “the Adversary,” — i.e., Satan. Those are not mainstream views, but Carson has plainly thought about the subject and hasn’t been shy about explaining his conclusions, in both religious and scientific terms.

many of them are stupid — like the denialists, like carson...

When retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the current GOP 2016 front-runner, campaigns, he routinely pitches "common sense solutions from We the People." But it seems the candidate who celebrates a cheerful and straightforward populism has a fair bit of disdain for many of his fellow citizens, for at a videotaped event last year, while discussing the American people, he declared, "Many of them are stupid."

Carson made this observation while speaking at the Richard Nixon library on October 19, 2014, as part of a book tour. After a fifteen-minute talk—prior to a book-signing—Carson was asked if he might run for president as an independent. He vowed not to do so, noting this would fracture the Republican vote. He then pivoted to another topic: unnamed political foes—presumably liberals, progressives, secularists, Marxists, or whatever—penetrating key elements of American society to gain control of the nation:

They can twist and turn things as much as they want. But what they don't understand—and they miscalculated. They were doing a great job in terms of fundamentally changing this nation. In terms of infiltrating the school systems. In terms of infiltrating the media. All of this—they've done a great job. Everything was perfect. Except they underestimated the intelligence of the American people. The people are not as stupid as they think they are. Many of them are stupid. Okay. But I'm talking about overall.

The crowd laughed when Carson made that crack about dumb Americans, and Carson let out a loud guffaw.

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Ben Carson on Wednesday responded to a question about climate change with a long diatribe about the planet, science, evolution, and even wondered aloud where gravity comes from.

“You don’t believe in evolution or climate change, I believe,” the Republican presidential candidate was asked at a town hall at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. “And I was just wondering, do you seriously not believe that climate change is happening?”

“Is there climate change? Of course there’s climate change,” Carson replied. “Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. Of course that’s happening. When that stops happening, that’s when we’re in big trouble.”

The crowd responded with loud applause—though not as loud as when he insisted moments later that although we should “take care of the environment,” “There is no reason to make it into a political issue.” (Which raises the question: If we don’t use politics to protect the environment, who will? The Earth itself? God?)

At that point, Carson detoured. Though he had been asked about climate change, he continued, “As far as evolution is concerned, you know, I do believe in micro-evolution, or natural selection, but I believe that God gave the creatures he made the ability to adapt to their environment. Because he’s very smart and he didn’t want to start over every 50 years.” (More applause.)

And later in his three-minute response, he said, “Just the way the Earth rotates on its axis, how far away it is from the sun. These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?”

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religious presidentials and lies...

There have been so many memorable moments in the race for the Republican presidential nomination so far, but one really sticks out. Donald Trump, when asked to name his favourite book, declared: “As much as I love The Art of the Deal [the bestselling book he wrote], it’s not even close. We take the Bible all the way.”

This from a man who once called communion “my little wine and my little cracker,” and when asked if he preferred the New or the Old Testament said: “Probably equal. The whole Bible is just incredible.”

Trump’s comments are very difficult to take seriously, but they tell an important tale – of the outsized role that religious faith plays on the presidential campaign trail and among both Democrats and Republicans. Today it is practically a pro forma exercise for presidential candidates to talk about how their faith-based belief systems influence their policy views or include lines from scripture in their speeches. Indeed, back in 2000, George W Bush claimed his favourite philosopher was Jesus Christ – and in office pushed to include more “faith-based” groups in the provision of social services.

This year the Republican frontrunner, Ben Carson, has used his religious faith, which he also wears on his sleeve, to solidify support among evangelical voters. Indeed, their backing is one of the key reasons he leads in national polls of Republican voters.

Presidents every year trek to the national prayer breakfast – a bipartisan gathering of Washington’s elite – to discuss the role of God and religion in their lives. Indeed, Carson’s decision to run for president can be dated to the breakfast at which he attacked President Barack Obama, thus earning the love of social conservatives.

All this might seem strange – that in a country organised around the idea of separation of church and state such importance would be granted to the faith of the highest elected leader in the land.


And Carson does tend to depict himself as a teller of truths. In one of his books, he pointed out that he was always advising youngsters to be honest:

When I talk to young people, I urge them, "Tell the truth. If you tell the truth all the time you don't have to worry threemonths down the line about what you said three months earlier. Truth is always the truth. You won't have to complicate your life by trying to cover up."

So what will it mean for Carson that he has been dishonest about an important element in his from-rags-to-riches-via-neursurgery narrative, which is a bedrock of his political appeal? Pundits rushed to Twitter to declare that this would—or could—be a fatal blow for Carson, who recently has been mocked for having once said the pyramids of Egypt were built not to house the remains of the Pharaohs but to store grain. But Carson is no conventional candidate, and the support he has drawn has defied political norms. So there's no predicting how Carsonites will absorb this news. They might start to question Carson's character. Then again, they might see him as a victim of persecution waged by the godless liberal media and embrace him even more.

God only knows what they will do if forced to choose between facts and faith.

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the truth but the truth...


Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who is neck and neck with Donald Trump at the top of the polls, has experienced a torrid week as numerous inconsistencies in his 1992 autobiography, Gifted Hands, have been uncovered by reporters.

Asked on ABC if he believed he needed to be more precise in documenting his past, Carson said: “Show me somebody … who is 100% accurate in everything that they say happened 40 or 50 years ago. Please show me that person, because I will sit at their knees and I will learn from them.”

The appearance followed revelations published by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday and relating to Carson’s time at Yale University, where he has claimed to have been recognised by a psychology professor as “the most honest student in class”.

Carson wrote in Gifted Hands that the professor, who taught a class called Perceptions 301, had pulled a hoax on his 150 students by pretending they all had to re-sit a final exam because their papers had “inadvertently burned”.

According to Carson, every student apart from him refused to retake the exam. Once the prank was revealed, he wrote, the professor presented Carson with $10 as a reward for his honesty, and an article about the incident was published in the the Yale Daily News.

According to the Wall Street Journal, no such article appears in the archives of the campus newspaper and Yale has no record of any such class being taught.

Carson rejected this on Sunday, saying he had a copy of the newspaper article he planned to publish in the coming days. He did, however, concede that the name of the class may have been recorded incorrectly.

“I wonder why, with all their investigative abilities, [the Wall Street Journal] can’t find it,” Carson said of the article.

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With computers these days one can concoct any old document, news article and photograph. Let's hope "his copy" of the newspaper article is not a fake... otherwise he will be proven to be a ...


insanity may not contain the word "sanity"...

Ben Carson’s remarks on foreign policy have repeatedly raised questions about his grasp of the subject, but never more seriously than in the past week, when he wrongly asserted that China had intervened militarily in Syria and then failed, on national television, to name the countries he would call on to form a coalition to fight the Islamic State.

Faced with increasing scrutiny about whether Mr. Carson — who leads in some Republican presidential polls — was capable of leading American foreign policy, two of his top advisers said in interviews with The New York Times that he had struggled to master the intricacies of the Middle East and national security and that intense tutoring was having little effect.

“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security, said in an interview. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”

As the deadly assaults in Paris claimed by the Islamic State reframe the presidential race, the candidates’ foreign policy credentials are suddenly under scrutiny. And Mr. Carson has attracted extra attention because his repeated dubious statements give rise to questions about where, as a retired neurosurgeon without government experience, he turns for information and counsel on complex global issues. What is unusual is the candor of those who are tutoring him about the physician’s struggle to master the subject.

believing in fairies...


Ben Carson warned Christians on Wednesday to beware Ted Cruz as a false prophet.

Well, Carson never quite said those words. But in an extraordinarily passive-aggressive press conference in Washington, DC, this afternoon, called "in response to deceptive Iowa caucus tactics," Carson told reporters that voters should judge all candidates by the words of Jesus in the Book of Matthew, implicitly calling Cruz out for his involvement in an effort to mislead Iowa caucus voters into thinking Carson had dropped out of the race.

"I make no bones about the fact that I am a person of faith, and I believe it what it says in Matthew 7:20: 'By their fruit you will know them,'" Carson told reporters. "You know people not by what they say, but by what they do."

That line is actually the culmination of a longer verse about false prophets who turn out to be wolves:

"15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

But Carson also refused to say he was talking about Cruz.

"I didn’t say a word about Ted Cruz," Carson told reporters, when asked if he was talking about Cruz. "What I said is what we need to be able to do is look at a person's life, look at the way a person does things and the way a person treats other people, and make a judgment."

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Ben should know that only god is allowed to make a judgment. NO-ONE else... One can have an opinion based on false premises or true fact. The fact is that the bible according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are a collection of writings from many forgers (possibly more than 28), impostors and hear-say tellers of what people did not see, the whole lot highjacked by Paul and cooked by Constantine. Gus is a fierce "new" atheist.


The Gospel accounts of ‘Jesus’ reflected Paul’s coup d’état – not actually Jesus, who would be appalled at the Christian concept of ‘Christ.’ That concept was radically different from the Jewish concept of the messiah, and Paul knew this when he created it.”


See toon at top...

PACmen and the creationist...


In PACmen’s third act, the camera goes inside the Carson super PACs as morale collapses. The true believers, ranks of evangelical volunteers, double down on prayer, hoping that God will intervene to save His candidate. The men at the top, heavily invested in a Republican win at any cost, start to look for other plans. Walker had a front-row seat as the men who’d convinced Carson to run began negotiating with the Trump camp and working out what they could offer. 

In the end, the majority of Republicans, just like those shown at the end of PACmen, concluded it was better to win with a leader of questionable temperament and morality than to lose the presidency for another four years. There are prescient conversations in the room where they realise that Trump is shifting the electoral map and can deliver the necessary states from Clinton’s “blue wall”.

“[I’m sure] Republicans all over the country were having similar conversations and reaching similar conclusions,” Walker says. “They loathe him, they fear him, they think he may very well be ‘malevolent’ – to directly quote one of them – yet they will back him anyway.”

The anti-establishment political landscape had been laid by a Tea Party movement funded by super PACs, and Trump stormed in and stole the whole disenchanted voter bloc. “There was nothing they could spend their money on to stop him,” says Walker. “They had to abandon their moral and political stance to protect their investment as Trump ran away with their movement.  The hundreds of millions of dollars raised by super PACs were no match for Trump’s Twitter feed.”

In some ways, PACmen is a strange artefact – an old-fashioned political film in a world where the rules, norms and perhaps the process of democracy have been scuppered by an ever-accelerating news cycle. It’s a search for truth in a post-truth world. It’s also soothing, for a cynical sort of viewer, to learn that would-be Machiavellis are, in fact, lying to you, to each other and to themselves: to see the layers of untruth, compounded and calcified, upon which American democracy rests.

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Read also of course:


"The Age of Deceit"


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