Dangerous, anti-science, bigoted ignorance


Anti-science and anti-environment protection advocates appear to be ramping up their campaign to poison Africa with DDT. Whether it’s related to U.S. President George Bush’s last-gasp trip to Africa or something else, is difficult to determine.

The vicious campaign is popping up everywhere. Is there too much vitriol against sanity to be more than coincidence?

Religionist Neil Simpson’s poke in the eye of reason got me going this time. In “Dangerous environmentalism” he hits just about every false claim against environmentalists and every false claim for DDT in just a few paragraphs — he got it from Steve Forbes and repeated it without bothering to consider whether Forbes was engaging in ill-informed rant.

Steve Forbes doesn't know much about the history of DDT and malaria, but that never stops him from opining that others are dead wrong in what they do know.

Steve Forbes doesn’t know much about the history, science or law of DDT or malaria, but that never stops him from opining that others are dead wrong in what they do know.

The rant hits so many of the favorite punching bags of the modern angry white male bigot: Intellectuals (those scientists and environmentalists with their college degrees), women and women’s rights (Rachel Carson didn’t marry, and fought her way to prominence in fields men dominated), history (they wish it weren’t so, and if they repeat what they want history to have been, maybe Santayana’s Ghost will leave them alone — not that they are ever bothered by repeating historical error), race (never miss a chance to accuse scientists, environmentalists, intellectuals and other “liberals” with race bigotry), foreign aid (see, we can just poison Africa back to health — if you’d just stop sending them money for bed nets and good medical care, DDT is all they need).

This is the money line from Forbes:

Yet in one of history’s more murderously myopic ongoing actions, most advanced countries and international agencies discourage its use. Why? Blame Rachel Carson’s seismically influential–and now largely discredited–book, Silent Spring, first published in 1962. In it she blames DDT for imperiling birds and people, portraying it as a blight of almost biblical proportions. It ain’t so. As Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science & Health once put it, there “has never been a documented case of human illness or death in the U.S. as a result of the standard and accepted use of pesticides.” The British medical journal The Lancet similarly notes that after 40 years of research no significant health threat from DDT has been found.

Count the errors:

  1. The treaty that regulates the phase out of long-lasting, environmentally-damaging and human-killing poisons has a carve-out provision that specifically allows the use of DDT for limited indoor use (see Annex B); this treaty was negotiated at the end of the 20th century, eight years ago [1999 taking effect in 2001]. It represents the official position of “advanced countries and international agencies.” The treaty position is exactly the opposite of Forbes’ claim. How many years behind is Forbes in his reading? one might wonder.
  2. No one has ever discredited any significant part of Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. Exactly contrary to Forbes’ claim, the book was found to be scientifically solid by a specially-appointed group of science advisors to President Kennedy, in 1963 [full text of “Use of Pesticides,” here]; it was found solid by later research by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Discover Magazine recently noted that there are more than 1,000 follow-up references since 1962 that verify Carson’s work.*
  3. Carson’s book accurately noted the damage to birds — not a single incident she recounts has ever been seriously questioned. The stories have been distorted and wild claims made against the distortions — but there is not a single study anywhere which contradicts Carson’s claims about damage to birds. Carson worried about human health effects, but stopped far short of saying DDT kills humans. Subsequent research has won DDT a listing as a probable human carcinogen by all of the world’s most respected and conservative health agencies, every single one.
  4. Elizabeth Whelan’s career is built on slamming scientists and science. But apart from the dubious provenance of the source, look at what Forbes quotes her as saying. Never a death in the U.S. as a result of using DDT in the limited way it’s now used in the U.S. There have been deaths outside the U.S. (and my recollection is at least one in the U.S.); and the methods that have prevented deaths are the banning of DDT for broadcast use, and extremely limited use at any time. She’s right: No deaths can be attributed to the non-use of DDT. She doesn’t say DDT isn’t a poison, or that it is not carcinogenic. She doesn’t account for deaths outside the U.S. She doesn’t get close to accounting for damage to wildlife and African food supplies from DDT. Half-truth to whole lie.

(It is often useful to remind critics that DDT was not banned because of dangers to human health, but instead because of its damage to beneficial animals outdoors.  It’s also good to remind them that DDT was specifically reinserted into disease fighting by the EPA order in 1972 that banned DDT use on crops, only in the U.S.)

Then, with no sense for the irony, Simpson extols the virtues of mosquito netting.

Mosquito nets are another inexpensive solution. See Nothing But Nets if you want to help.

The Nothing But Net drive faces implicit opposition chiefly from interests who claim poisoning with DDT is a better idea.

One wishes critics of Rachel Carson would show a bit of Christian charity, calling for bed nets, but avoiding unjustified and misinformed calumny against Carson and environmentalists, who have labored intensively for 40 years to fight malaria.

One gets the idea it’s not malaria these pundits worry about.

A few words about totalitarianism below the fold.

Update, February 16, 2008: Creationists like to claim that evolution theory leads to evil-doing, generally claiming that both Stalin and Hitler were inspired by Darwin’s theory. History is quite contrary to such claims — Stalin persecuted and murdered teachers and researchers of Darwin’s ideas, Hitler rejected Darwin completely, officially choosing the Biblical “heritage in the blood” theory, and refusing to allow the establishment of life-saving blood banks as a result.

So creationists actually share their distaste of Darwin with both of the evil-doers they name.

Creationists also share a preference for totalitarian control of media and ideas. 4 Simpsons author Neil Simpson complained about my frequent corrections of his errors a year ago, and banned me from commenting on his blog. I had hoped that after a year he’d have repented, and come around to a Christian view of listening to counter opinions.

So I posted this on his blog last night:

Railing at environmentalists saves no lives. Especially with the results over the past two years from the Gates Foundation projects, it’s clear that medical care and bed nets are much better solutions than DDT.

DDT is, after all a deadly poison. Rachel Carson was absolutely correct. More than 1,000 follow-up studies verified her findings, and not a single serious study contradicted anything she claimed.

Dr. Whelan’s comments are peculiar. We know what the fatal doses of DDT are from human deaths. The deaths were not in the U.S.? How lucky for us. How dishonest to make that limited claim.

Whelan has been claiming environmentalists were wrong for 30 years. 30 million kids died while she did nothing to help them.

And then she has the gall to blame Rachel Carson?

You won’t allow this comment to stand long, I know, Neil — but it’s the truth. Shame on Whelan, shame on her allies, and shame on all who fiddle while children die, blaming environmentalists who were correct in their assessment.

Rachel Carson warned that if the abuse of DDT were not ended quickly, it would harm humans. The abuse continued, mosquitoes became immune to DDT — and then Carson gets the blame.

If you really care for the kids, Neil, you’ll get the facts. The facts are that Carson was right.

And, by the way, it was Rachel Carson who advocated “use of tiny amounts [of DDT] inside a house or hut” as has been approved all along. Such use is not only legal, but common in Africa. It’s not enough. DDT is no panacea.

We can’t use DDT to poison away our failure to act to save the children.

http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/dangerous-environmentalism/#comment-21413

Today? Simpson still bans ideas contrary to his own. He has struck down my comments.

Not just willfully ignorant of the facts, but forcibly and belligerently so.

Neil Simpson’s blog behavior makes P. Z. Myers’ in-your-face atheism look graceful in contrast. Check the fruit: It shows whether the tree is good or not.

______________

* From Discover, November 2007:

In fact, Carson may have underestimated the impact of DDT on birds, says Michael Fry, an avian toxicologist and director of the American Bird Conservancy’s pesticides and birds program. She was not aware that DDT—or rather its metabolite, DDE—causes eggshell thinning because the data were not published until the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was eggshell thinning that devastated fish-eating birds and birds of prey, says Fry, and this effect is well documented in a report (pdf) on DDT published in 2002 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The report, which cites over 1,000 references, also describes how DDT and its breakdown products accumulate in the tissues of animals high up on terrestrial and aquatic food chains—a process that induced reproductive and neurological defects in birds and fish.

88 Responses to Dangerous, anti-science, bigoted ignorance

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    What prompted that update from Mr. Beck’s blog post of almost three years ago? Strange operations of the tubes of the interweb, eh?

    Meanwhile, malaria continues to decline without DDT.

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  2. […] school teacher Ed Darrell makes Lambert look honest by comparison. Ed has cranked out the following clangers in DDT related […]

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  3. Neil says:

    You claimed that you came here, noting the link, and that I had lied.

    Ed, are you stupid or do you think your blog readers are? I’ve only demonstrated about twenty times that the lies weren’t in your post (I’ve yet to read all of it — it probably has lies, but I’ve no interested in what you write on anything). The lies were on other threads from other posts:

    I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago.

    It’s a reference to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.

    And other lies were in this comment thread, such as:

    The point is that you advocate creationism to be taught to innocent children in schools.

    Is that clear for you? Do you understand the difference between this a post and a thread? Do you understand the difference between this thread and other threads?

    I’ll just note that, once again, rather than do the noble thing and stand up for the truth, you resort to name-calling, invective, and try to change the subject.

    Ed, re-read your own post above and try not to drown in the irony. What a hypocrite.

    My memory differs from yours on where the Stalin notion came.

    No way, Ed. That is another lie. We discussed that too much at my blog and others for you to expect anyone to believe that.

    have failed to concede that I brought it up accurately, and you’ve resisted my repeated pleas to distinguish your views on Darwin and evolution from Stalin’s, which has done your case no good at all.

    You didn’t bring it up accurately. What is so amusing that when you try to squirm out of it by claiming a faulty memory and how you said that you “may have” brought it up first (there is no maybe about it), you return to your logical fallacy like a dog returns to its vomit.

    I’m no expert in abortion, nor do I claim to be, but I think the legal position is quite clear: The government has no business in any woman’s womb, not in your wife’s nor mine, to tell them either that they must abort, or that they must carry. That’s not a place for Congress.

    Now there’s a twist! You’ve been claiming all along that your science was accurate and that mine was not, and now you are playing dumb? If you aren’t an expert, why do you push so hard for it?

    Then you fall back on the fact that it is legal (hey, it worked for slave owners, right?

    Then you play the faux women’s rights bit (#8) and pass the buck to Congress. Of course, that displays a gross lack of understanding about how our legal system works. You ought to study history sometime. Congress cannot outlaw murder in the womb because of a bad Supreme Court decision in 1973. So we need a different legal fix.

    But in the mean time people like you and Nick could demonstrate your authentic (?) concern for human beings inside and outside the womb by donating your own time and money to organizations like pregnancy centers.

    You claim abortion is murder. You’ll not be dissuaded from that view, I suspect. I don’t care to discuss the issue much with someone who will not reason, and who starts from a radical position of non-reason.

    That’s #11 from the list below, the evidence gambit. I’ve shown it about twenty times, you’ve shown nothing in the way of science. You just try to dismiss my view as being non-reasonable, but I’m the only one here offering evidence and reasons.

    Now perhaps you’re unwilling to discuss the subject I started from — but if you’re going to accuse me of lying about your post on DDT, I have the right to demand you produce evidence of that lie.

    I listed the evidence above, again. And I’ve explained multiple times why you aren’t someone I would ever go to for information. See the summary below.

    I fear that, were I to check your claims on abortion, I’d find them as inaccurate as most of your other claims.

    Can you go two sentences without contradicting yourself? You say I haven’t reasoned, then you concede that I’ve made claims.

    Then you admit that you haven’t checked them! You are so desparate, Ed. Human life begins at conception. It is the greatest moral issue of our time. And you are either lying or you haven’t taken the time to check the science on a scientific concept so simple and clear that even pro-abortion leaders concede it.

    No, I won’t read your piece on Gardasil. What are the odds that you would get anything right about it? I get enough shrill lies in the newspaper.

    ——-
    This recap has come in handy. Ed and Nick keep repeating themselves so I can just refer to their fallacies by number.

    I typically make it a practice to ignore it when Ed links to my site. But it has been a while since he (the first person banned from commenting at my site) had linked, so curiosity got the best of me. I discovered that Ed had been lying about me multiple times and continued to do so in this thread.

    1. I don’t throw the word “liar” around lightly. People can be mistaken, and that isn’t lying. But when one is corrected, when one clearly knows better and when one deliberately repeats untruths then we have a name for that person: Liar.

    I addressed Ed’s use of a guilt by association fallacy regarding Joseph Stalin multiple times on my blog. I also confronted him about it on other blogs. And he used it reflexively on your his blog. So the origin couldn’t be more clear. Just read the comments section of this post and search for Stalin.

    But then I came back to this site and found that he had accused me of bringing it up!

    I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago.

    It’s a reference to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.

    I couldn’t care less what Ed thinks of me, but I was surprised to see him lying to thoroughly and repeatedly. I figured a public service announcement was in order.

    Ed also breaks his own rule a lot:

    “Darrell’s Corollary of Godwin’s Law is that if posters in an internet discussion know to avoid the mention of Hitler to avoid their opponents’ invoking Godwin’s law, they’ll compare the actions to Stalin instead.” — https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/castro-joins-the-911-conspiracy-cluster/

    2. You see, the most important and amusing part of the thread is that the Mr. Science People deliberately and repeatedly ignore the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception. They aren’t using intellectual honesty to follow the truth where it leads. They come to science with their biases and twist the data to conform to them. Propping up their pro-abortion views puts them at odds with scientific facts but they work hard to rationalize them away. They use (bad) philosophical arguments and not scientific ones.

    If he was really pro-science he’d be pro-life. Embryology textbooks are clear about when life begins, but he chooses to rationalize that away to support the legalized crushing and dismemberment of 3,000+ human beings per day. It is so ironic that he cranks out posts about “dangerous, anti-science bigoted ignorance” when his views on abortion fit that title perfectly.

    Nothing is more dangerous to the unborn than abortion. If you get out of the womb alive you are very lucky. Abortion constitutes 99% of all murders.

    3. Nick repeatedly tried the Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born canard. I demonstrated multiple times that one can protest immoral acts without taking ownership of them. If the government decided to jail or kill all homeless people, Nick could protest that without having to let them all live with him.

    I also pointed out how even though pro-lifers don’t have to adopt all the kids to protest the evils of abortion, we do all sorts of things to help with our own time and money.

    4. Ed and Nick have lived in Liberal Land too long. The concept of personal responsibility is foreign to them. They continually argue that I am “forcing” these women to have babies. But they have already created new life. I’m just interested in protecting that new life. But they reflexively latch on to the prejudice that to be pro-life is to want to control women. Tell that to all the female pro-lifers.

    5. They continually abandon scientific arguments and use faulty “if legal, then moral” reasoning. Yes, abortions are legal. But while slavery used to be legal, it was always immoral.

    6. They ignore the scientific fact that these aren’t hypothetical human beings or potential human beings. They already exist on planet earth. They are at the proper stage of development for their age.

    7. They both exercise anti-religious bigotry and prejudices to dismiss my views. I pointed out that while I am a Christian, I save biblical arguments for those who claim to be Christians. The pro-life case is so powerful that you don’t even need the Bible to demonstrate it. And of course, there is nothing illogical about using my religious views to inform my political views. No one seems to protest when I use my religious views to oppose stealing, perjury and murder. Oh, and there is also that First Amendment thingy.

    They missed the irony, of course, that they also used religious arguments to justify their positions. Nick used a bad exegesis of Exodus to rationalize abortion. Not only did he cherry-pick a mistranslation to make his point, but he ignored the legions of pro-life verses, starting with “don’t murder.” But my main point is by his own reasoning Nick is forcing his pro-abortion religious views on innocent unborn children. What hypocrisy!

    In addition, he just repeated his claim that Exodus supports abortion but never defended it with facts. He didn’t even attempt to refute the scholarship in the link that I provided, which went back to the original language and demonstrated how some poor translations led to pro-abortionists misusing the passage.

    8. And of course they trotted out the “anti-women” ad hominem attack. They had no response to my questions about why they support gender selection abortions, virtually all of which destroy innocent female human beings. They ignore the reality of post abortion trauma and the chauvinism of abortion, which puts the burden on the woman to use it as a form of birth control. I also pointed out how the pro-life position is actually pro-women. Many women are pushed into abortions by men who won’t take responsibility for their actions.

    I reject the reasoning that says women must have the ability to kill their unborn children to prove their worth and to fit into society, the workplace and politics.

    9. Nick tried to act like I was hypocritical for not wanting to finance the care of unwanted children, but he didn’t realize that he was pointing fingers back at himself. In his “kindness” he unwittingly concedes that he would prefer that unborn human beings be destroyed rather than inconvenience him.

    10. Ed objected to a link I posted with images of abortion. But if abortion is a moral good and doesn’t kill an innocent human being then what could be wrong with showing images of it? And why is Ed so concerned about the innocence of these alleged children who read his blog? He fully supported the “rights” of their mothers to have them crushed and dismembered before they were born, and now he wants to profess his concern that viewing images of this allegedly moral procedure will harm them?

    11. They tried the angle multiple times that I don’t use evidence, but I’m the one who used evidence throughout: Evidence that Ed is a unrepentant liar, evidence that the book of Exodus does not support abortion and evidence that a new human life is formed at conception. They were the ones with the fact-free fallacy-fest.

    12. Ed claimed that I want to poison Africa. Sure, Ed. I pointed out that I’ve been on mission trips there three times, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to various causes there and have had a World Vision Sponsor child there for ten years. I don’t say that out of pride, just to point out how ridiculous it is for him to say I want to poison Africa. I’m still waiting to hear just how much Ed has contributed to Africa in terms of his own time and money.

    13. Ed added these new lies:

    The point is that you advocate creationism to be taught to innocent children in schools.

    Nick parroted Ed’s lie that I push for creationism to be taught in public schools and he made all sorts of vicious accusations in doing so. I challenged them to find any evidence of that in the nearly 1,000 posts I’ve done on my blog. They found none. I am on record for saying that I don’t want non-Christians or theologically Liberal Christians (but I repeat myself?) to teach the Bible in public schools. They would probably teach that all religions lead to God, Jesus is not God, there is no Hell, the Bible can’t be relied upon, God is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, etc.

    Was Nick lying? I don’t think so. I think he was using bad discernment in trusting Ed without evidence and was prideful in failing to apologize for his outburst.

    14. Nick claimed that since it would be ineffective to make abortion illegal because it wouldn’t eliminate all abortions. That reasoning would mean we’d get rid of all laws, because despite the risks people still steal, rape, murder, etc. So his argument is faulty because it proves to much.

    15. Ed claimed I was bigoted for disagreeing with Rachel Carson because she was unmarried. The only problems with that are a) I didn’t know she was unmarried, b) it wouldn’t have mattered even if I had known and c) using that “reasoning” you could never disagree with a woman or any minority without Ed calling you a bigot.

    16. Ed tried the miscarriage canard by implying that abortion must not be wrong if miscarriages happen so frequently. It is hard to believe I have to explain this, but killing an infant by chopping him up is a “little” different than if the infant succumbed to SIDS. In the same way, the unborn are scientifically proven to be human beings. Death via abortion is wildly different than a miscarriage.

    17. Nick tried the “better dead than poor” line. I wonder why it took him so long. It is as fallacious as ever. The “your pro-life policies will result in more poor” line ignores the fact that Nick’s pro-abortion policies will result in more dead.

    So according to Nick, it would be good to kill poor children.
    —–

    I’ve probably missed some things, but that will give you a flavor for their tactics and “reasoning.”

    Summary: Normally I follow Proverbs 26:2 and ignore things like Ed’s petty personal attack above, but I decided that he needed a little lesson here. Plus, it was fun to demonstrate how anti-science he really was. And if he is such an unrepentant liar and his biases keep him from understanding “2+2” concepts such as how a new human life begins at conception, why should I trust him on topics like evolution or DDT?

    Abortion is the greatest moral issue of our time. Over 3,000 innocent human beings will be destroyed today in the name of “choice.” It is a scientific fact that these are human beings. It is a shame that so many in the pro-science crowd deny that truth.

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, your whole comment made no sense. A “thread” is a comment thread. A post is what you originally wrote. Again, if you can’t get the 2+2 part about human life beginning at conception and you are a chronic liar, why should I debate you on a new topic?

    Again, here are some of your lies:

    – presenting at least two outright lies claiming that I started the Stalin bit
    – were caught using the same trick on someone else — the very thing you accused me of here!
    – violated your own corollary multiple times

    Then you came up with this new lie in the this thread, just as I claimed . . .

    But, Neil, this thread is on a post about yours and others’ sins against the truth with regard to DDT. You claimed that you came here, noting the link, and that I had lied.

    That’s not true, as you know. My post is deadly accurate, and the falsehood is at your blog.

    I’ll just note that, once again, rather than do the noble thing and stand up for the truth, you resort to name-calling, invective, and try to change the subject.

    My memory differs from yours on where the Stalin notion came. But I’ve already conceded that I may have brought it up first. You have failed to concede that I brought it up accurately, and you’ve resisted my repeated pleas to distinguish your views on Darwin and evolution from Stalin’s, which has done your case no good at all.

    I’m no expert in abortion, nor do I claim to be, but I think the legal position is quite clear: The government has no business in any woman’s womb, not in your wife’s nor mine, to tell them either that they must abort, or that they must carry. That’s not a place for Congress.

    You claim abortion is murder. You’ll not be dissuaded from that view, I suspect. I don’t care to discuss the issue much with someone who will not reason, and who starts from a radical position of non-reason.

    Now perhaps you’re unwilling to discuss the subject I started from — but if you’re going to accuse me of lying about your post on DDT, I have the right to demand you produce evidence of that lie.

    I fear that, were I to check your claims on abortion, I’d find them as inaccurate as most of your other claims.

    And you’re not going to like my next post on your errors on Gardasil, either.

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  5. Neil says:

    You want people to live according to how you want to tell them to live. And yet you display no willingness to help pay for what you want.

    No, I want to protect innocent human beings. By your logic my support of laws against stealing are just me wanting to tell people how to live. That’s just another desparate personal attack on your part to avoid the truth: You support crushing and dismembering innocent human beings.

    And you are the one willing to let the unborn die to save a buck. I’m the one spending my time and money to help.

    It also shows that indeed you don’t give a damn about life after it’s born. If the kids freeze, starve or end up in abject poverty you simply don’t care.

    Hah! Wanna compare 1040’s, buddy? What are you talking about with your “money where your mouth is” nonsense? Again, your statements defy logic. You’ll do anything to rationalize the murder of the unborn.

    Really, do you realize how pathetic your comments are? Just one fact-free personal attack after another. Zero scientific facts. Opposition to established scientific facts. Zero backup for your Biblical claims.

    Because, if I remember the figure correctly, there are 40+ million children today living in abject poverty in this country. And you want to add to that number.

    There’s #17: Nick tried the “better dead than poor” line. I wonder why it took him so long. It is as fallacious as ever. The “your pro-life policies will result in more poor” line ignores the fact that Nick’s pro-abortion policies will result in more dead.

    Using your logic, we should kill the poor people. That would reduce their numbers. You don’t mind destroying human beings in the womb to “reduce” poverty, so what is stopping you from doing it outside the womb?

    I simply want the “pro-life” crowd to show as much concern for that gross immorality as they do for abortion.

    Straw man. Who says they don’t, and who cares if you think they have to? I’d wager that I give more money to the poor than you, Ed and Obama combined. But even if I gave nothing I could still protest the destruction of innocent human beings.

    See #3 above re. the fallacious argument that it is hypocritical to defend unborn children from murder.

    Ed, your whole comment made no sense. A “thread” is a comment thread. A post is what you originally wrote. Again, if you can’t get the 2+2 part about human life beginning at conception and you are a chronic liar, why should I debate you on a new topic?

    Again, here are some of your lies:

    – presenting at least two outright lies claiming that I started the Stalin bit
    – were caught using the same trick on someone else — the very thing you accused me of here!
    – violated your own corollary multiple times

    Then you came up with this new lie in the this thread, just as I claimed:

    The point is that you advocate creationism to be taught to innocent children in schools.

    I wouldn’t trust you to teach the Bible in church. Why would I trust you to teach anything related to God in school?

    And one more from Nick:

    And yet, Neil, I have yet to see you provide any actual proof that it is an established scientific fact that life begins at conception. A link to a peer reviewed scientific journal will do.

    Yeah, just a bunch of embryology textbooks and summaries . And the evidence that you offered? None. Any embryology textbooks? No. Any peer reviewed scientific journals? No. Just personal attacks. Once again, here are some sources. Go pick up any of them and confirm that they are in context.

    Every new life begins at fertilization. This is an irrefutable fact of biology. It is true for animals and true for humans. When considered alongside the law of biogenesis – that every species reproduces after its own kind – we can draw only one conclusion in regard to abortion. No matter what the circumstances of conception, no matter how far along in the pregnancy, abortion always ends the life of an individual human being. Every honest abortion advocate concedes this simple fact.

    Faye Wattleton, the longest reigning president of the largest abortion provider in the world – Planned Parenthood – argued as far back as 1997 that everyone already knows that abortion kills. She proclaims the following in an interview with Ms. Magazine:

    “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.”

    Naomi Wolf, a prominent feminist author and abortion supporter, makes a similar concession when she writes:

    “Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life…we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.”

    David Noonin, in his book, A Defense of Abortion, makes this startling admission:

    “In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.” (p. xiv)

    Don’t miss the significance of these acknowledgements. Prominent defenders of abortion rights publicly admit that abortion kills. They are not saying that abortion is morally defensible because it doesn’t kill a distinct human entity. They are admitting that abortion does kill a distinct human entity, but argue it is morally defensible anyway. We’ll get to their arguments later, but the point here is this: There is simply no debate among honest, informed people that abortion kills distinctly human beings.

    The problem is, Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 verdict which legalized abortion in the U.S. is actually built on the claim that there’s no way to say for certain whether or not abortion kills because no one can say for certain when life begins. Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the majority opinion wrote:

    “The judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to… resolve the difficult question of when life begins… since those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus.”

    Justice Blackmun’s assertion is a ridiculous one, at least as it applies to the field of medicine. In biological terms, life’s beginning is a settled fact. Individual human life begins at fertilization, and there are all sorts of authoritative, public resources to prove this. Consider the evidence below:

    MODERN TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

    T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

    “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”

    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

    Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
    OLDER TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

    “The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.
    GENERAL AUDIENCE TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother’s egg… It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father’s sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin.” – 13

    Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.
    PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

    “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
    EXPERT TESTIMONY RELATING TO LIFE’S BEGINNING

    “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.”

    C. Christopher Hook, M.D.
    Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

    “Science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man.”

    Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D.

    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes

    “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic

    “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.”

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School

    The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

    “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

    The American Medical Association (AMA) declared as far back as 1857 (referenced in the Roe. vs. Wade opinion) that “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being” is a matter of objective science. They deplored the “popular ignorance…that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.”

    Why have all the teaching texts and so many medical experts come to this same conclusion? Because there are simple ways to measure whether something is alive and whether something is human. If Faye Wattleton is correct and everyone already knows that abortion kills a human being, they have come to that knowledge in spite of the information circulated by Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion-rights community. The abortion section of the Planned Parenthood website explains abortion this way:

    “Abortion ends a pregnancy before birth.”

    How’s that for thorough? Maybe they just assume that the method for ending the pregnancy is so obvious (killing the human being living in the womb) that it hardly bears mentioning. More likely, Planned Parenthood is simply accommodating the general ignorance which believes abortion to be the mere removal of potential human life, rather than the actual killing of existing human life.

    Biologically speaking, every abortion at every point in the pregnancy ends the life of a genetically-distinct human being. Abort73.com .

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    I discovered that Ed had been lying about me multiple times and continued to do so in this thread.

    Really? This is what I said in this thread:

    Religionist Neil Simpson’s poke in the eye of reason got me going this time. In “Dangerous environmentalism” he hits just about every false claim against environmentalists and every false claim for DDT in just a few paragraphs — he got it from Steve Forbes and repeated it without bothering to consider whether Forbes was engaging in ill-informed rant.

    The link back was to your post of calumny against Rachel Carson, suggesting DDT use should be increased by some unspecified amount, and generally slandering environmentalists who had urged the end of use of DDT.

    I said you quoted Steve Forbes:

    This is the money line from Forbes:

    Yet in one of history’s more murderously myopic ongoing actions, most advanced countries and international agencies discourage its use. Why? Blame Rachel Carson’s seismically influential–and now largely discredited–book, Silent Spring, first published in 1962. In it she blames DDT for imperiling birds and people, portraying it as a blight of almost biblical proportions. It ain’t so. As Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science & Health once put it, there “has never been a documented case of human illness or death in the U.S. as a result of the standard and accepted use of pesticides.” The British medical journal The Lancet similarly notes that after 40 years of research no significant health threat from DDT has been found.

    Now, Neil, here’s where you get to prove your nobility: Provide a documented source that verifies anything Forbes said there. It’s all wrong. Each and every point is fiction, a lie, a complete fabrication. I have provided links to verify the errors in the post above.

    Neil, save your honor: Defend your statement, or, after you’ve searched fruitlessly for a couple of days for a credible source to verify any of the rant and found there is no such thing, retract it.

    You called me a liar, Neil. But you lied when you said that. Then you have the gall to try to change the subject and go all holy on us.

    I’ll let that slide for the moment. Just defend your statement. Was I in error? Where? Why have you failed to answer anywhere?

    Answer now. Otherwise, of course, it is you who is exposed.

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  7. Nick Kelsier says:

    And before you stupidly spout off again, Neil, I am not saying that it is better for the babies to be aborted in that situation.

    I simply want you to show that you can do more then pontificate. Because, if I remember the figure correctly, there are 40+ million children today living in abject poverty in this country. And you want to add to that number.

    I simply want the “pro-life” crowd to show as much concern for that gross immorality as they do for abortion. In other words, I want the pro-life crowd to stop being so hypocritical.

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  8. Nick Kelsier says:

    And yet, Neil, I have yet to see you provide any actual proof that it is an established scientific fact that life begins at conception. A link to a peer reviewed scientific journal will do.

    And no, I was just pointing the finger at you. You want people to live according to how you want to tell them to live. And yet you display no willingness to help pay for what you want. That’s called, Neil, in the world of you conservatives “unfunded mandates.” It also shows that indeed you don’t give a damn about life after it’s born. If the kids freeze, starve or end up in abject poverty you simply don’t care.

    So why should I consider you oh so morally superior and right, Neil, when you can’t put your wallet where your mouth is. All I am asking you to do, child, is to make a sacrifice to attain what you claim you want.

    So put your money where your mouth is, little conservative.

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  9. […] on May 1, 2009 by Neil I participated on an interesting thread at a blog hosted by a guy named Ed.  I typically make it a practice to ignore it when Ed links to my site. But it has been a while […]

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  10. Neil says:

    The arguments are getting repetitive so I thought I’d provide a recap. That way I can just refer to them by number.

    I typically make it a practice to ignore it when Ed links to my site. But it has been a while since he (the first person banned from commenting at my site) had linked, so curiosity got the best of me. I discovered that Ed had been lying about me multiple times and continued to do so in this thread.

    1. I don’t throw the word “liar” around lightly. People can be mistaken, and that isn’t lying. But when one is corrected, when one clearly knows better and when one deliberately repeats untruths then we have a name for that person: Liar.

    I addressed Ed’s use of a guilt by association fallacy regarding Joseph Stalin multiple times on my blog. I also confronted him about it on other blogs. And he used it reflexively on your his blog. So the origin couldn’t be more clear. Just read the comments section of this post and search for Stalin.

    But then I came back to this site and found that he had accused me of bringing it up!

    I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago.

    It’s a reference to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.

    I couldn’t care less what Ed thinks of me, but I was surprised to see him lying to thoroughly and repeatedly. I figured a public service announcement was in order.

    Ed also breaks his own rule a lot:

    “Darrell’s Corollary of Godwin’s Law is that if posters in an internet discussion know to avoid the mention of Hitler to avoid their opponents’ invoking Godwin’s law, they’ll compare the actions to Stalin instead.” — https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/castro-joins-the-911-conspiracy-cluster/

    2. You see, the most important and amusing part of the thread is that the Mr. Science People deliberately and repeatedly ignore the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception. They aren’t using intellectual honesty to follow the truth where it leads. They come to science with their biases and twist the data to conform to them. Propping up their pro-abortion views puts them at odds with scientific facts but they work hard to rationalize them away. They use (bad) philosophical arguments and not scientific ones.

    If he was really pro-science he’d be pro-life. Embryology textbooks are clear about when life begins, but he chooses to rationalize that away to support the legalized crushing and dismemberment of 3,000+ human beings per day. It is so ironic that he cranks out posts about “dangerous, anti-science bigoted ignorance” when his views on abortion fit that title perfectly.

    Nothing is more dangerous to the unborn than abortion. If you get out of the womb alive you are very lucky. Abortion constitutes 99% of all murders.

    3. Nick repeatedly tried the Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born canard. I demonstrated multiple times that one can protest immoral acts without taking ownership of them. If the government decided to jail or kill all homeless people, Nick could protest that without having to let them all live with him.

    I also pointed out how even though pro-lifers don’t have to adopt all the kids to protest the evils of abortion, we do all sorts of things to help with our own time and money.

    4. Ed and Nick have lived in Liberal Land too long. The concept of personal responsibility is foreign to them. They continually argue that I am “forcing” these women to have babies. But they have already created new life. I’m just interested in protecting that new life. But they reflexively latch on to the prejudice that to be pro-life is to want to control women. Tell that to all the female pro-lifers.

    5. They continually abandon scientific arguments and use faulty “if legal, then moral” reasoning. Yes, abortions are legal. But while slavery used to be legal, it was always immoral.

    6. They ignore the scientific fact that these aren’t hypothetical human beings or potential human beings. They already exist on planet earth. They are at the proper stage of development for their age.

    7. They both exercise anti-religious bigotry and prejudices to dismiss my views. I pointed out that while I am a Christian, I save biblical arguments for those who claim to be Christians. The pro-life case is so powerful that you don’t even need the Bible to demonstrate it. And of course, there is nothing illogical about using my religious views to inform my political views. No one seems to protest when I use my religious views to oppose stealing, perjury and murder. Oh, and there is also that First Amendment thingy.

    They missed the irony, of course, that they also used religious arguments to justify their positions. Nick used a bad exegesis of Exodus to rationalize abortion. Not only did he cherry-pick a mistranslation to make his point, but he ignored the legions of pro-life verses, starting with “don’t murder.” But my main point is by his own reasoning Nick used is trying to force his pro-abortion religious views on innocent unborn children. What hypocrisy!

    In addition, he just repeated his claim that Exodus supports abortion but never defended it with facts. He didn’t even attempt to refute the scholarship in the link that I provided, which went back to the original language and demonstrated how some poor translations led to pro-abortionists misusing the passage.

    8. And of course they trotted out the “anti-women” ad hominem attack. They had no response to my questions about why they support gender selection abortions, virtually all of which destroy innocent female human beings. They ignore the reality of post abortion trauma and the chauvinism of abortion, which puts the burden on the woman to use it as a form of birth control. I also pointed out how the pro-life position is actually pro-women. Many women are pushed into abortions by men who won’t take responsibility for their actions.

    I reject the reasoning that says women must have the ability to kill their unborn children to prove their worth and to fit into society, the workplace and politics.

    9. Nick tried to act like I was hypocritical for not wanting to finance the care of unwanted children, but he didn’t realize that he was pointing fingers back at himself. In his “kindness” he unwittingly concedes that he would prefer that unborn human beings be destroyed rather than inconvenience him.

    10. Ed objected to a link I posted with images of abortion. But if abortion is a moral good and doesn’t kill an innocent human being then what could be wrong with showing images of it? And why is Ed so concerned about the innocence of these alleged children who read his blog? He fully supported the “rights” of their mothers to have them crushed and dismembered before they were born, and now he wants to profess his concern that viewing images of this allegedly moral procedure will harm them?

    11. They tried the angle multiple times that I don’t use evidence, but I’m the one who used evidence throughout: Evidence that Ed is a unrepentant liar, evidence that the book of Exodus does not support abortion and evidence that a new human life is formed at conception. They were the ones with the fact-free fallacy-fest.

    12. Ed claimed that I want to poison Africa. Sure, Ed. I pointed out that I’ve been on mission trips there three times, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to various causes there and have had a World Vision Sponsor child there for ten years. I don’t say that out of pride, just to point out how ridiculous it is for him to say I want to poison Africa. I’m still waiting to hear just how much Ed has contributed to Africa in terms of his own time and money.

    13. Nick parroted Ed’s lie that I push for creationism to be taught in public schools and he made all sorts of vicious accusations in doing so. I challenged them to find any evidence of that in the nearly 1,000 posts I’ve done on my blog. They found none. I am on record for saying that I don’t want non-Christians or theologically Liberal Christians (but I repeat myself?) to teach the Bible in public schools. They would probably teach that all religions lead to God, Jesus is not God, there is no Hell, the Bible can’t be relied upon, God is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, etc.

    Was Nick lying? I don’t think so. I think he was using bad discernment in trusting Ed without evidence and was prideful in failing to apologize for his outburst.

    14. Nick claimed that since it would be ineffective to make abortion illegal because it wouldn’t eliminate all abortions. That reasoning would mean we’d get rid of all laws, because despite the risks people still steal, rape, murder, etc. So his argument is faulty because it proves to much.

    15. Ed claimed I was bigoted for disagreeing with Rachel Carson because she was unmarried. The only problems with that are a) I didn’t know she was unmarried, b) it wouldn’t have mattered even if I had known and c) using that “reasoning” you could never disagree with a woman or any minority without Ed calling you a bigot.

    16. Ed tried the miscarriage canard by implying that abortion must not be wrong if miscarriages happen so frequently. It is hard to believe I have to explain this, but killing an infant by chopping him up is a “little” different than if the infant succumbed to SIDS. In the same way, the unborn are scientifically proven to be human beings. Death via abortion is wildly different than a miscarriage.

    —–

    I’ve probably missed some things, but that will give you a flavor for their tactics and “reasoning.”

    Normally I follow Proverbs 26:2 and ignore things like Ed’s petty personal attack above, but I decided that he needed a little lesson here. Plus, it was fun to demonstrate how anti-science he really was. And if he is such an unrepentant liar and his biases keep him from understanding “2+2” concepts such as how a new human life begins at conception, why should I trust him on topics like evolution or DDT?

    Abortion is the greatest moral issue of our time. Over 3,000 innocent human beings will be destroyed today in the name of “choice.” It is a scientific fact that these are human beings. It is a shame that so many in the pro-science crowd deny that truth.

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    No, my refusal to get in a debate on a new topic with a liar who can’t even concede the scientific fact that human life begins at conception has nothing to do with your claims on any other topic.

    That’s rich. You hijack the thread, try to turn it into an abortion discussion, and then claim not to have done it. I hear the swelling strains of that old hymn, “Deep Denial.”

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  12. Neil says:

    Oops, messed up those blockquotes. Anyway, one more thought for Nick:

    Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the foster care and health care of those babies? Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the health care of the mothers you, and not saying this as a perjorative, are demanding give birth?

    Because Neil if you want your position to be the one that is then it stands to reason that you have to be willing to be responsible, fiscally and otherwise, for the imposition of what you want?

    So are you?

    Or is it that you don’t give a damn about those babies after they’re born?

    Again, consider orphans. Let’s say the gov’t decides to kill them all as a cost savings move because we can’t afford them. Now ask all your questions of yourself.

    If you want the orphans to live, are you willing to pay more taxes? Are you willing to force society to take care of them just because your religious beliefs oppose murdering innocent human beings? Are you willing to do that to “impose” what you want?

    Or how about poor moms who want to kill their kids to save money. Are you going to force them to raise them? Just who do you think you are?! The cost and effort to raise infants to adulthood is many times the efforts of a few more months of childbirth and adoption.

    Nick, before you present ideas, it is good idea to take them out for a test drive first. Try them in different scenarios. If they end up with stupid results, maybe the core idea isn’t so hot.

    The unborn are human beings at a particular stage of development, just like toddlers. Human embryo ==> human fetus ==> human baby ==> human toddler ==> etc.

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  13. Neil says:

    Science is about evidence.

    Agreed. The evidence could not be more clear: A new human being is created at conception.

    And the evidence demonstrates that Ed is a compulsive liar. And it is repeatable, just like a good scientific experiment ;-) .

    Your refusal to show is as good as a confession.

    No, my refusal to get in a debate on a new topic with a liar who can’t even concede the scientific fact that human life begins at conception has nothing to do with your claims on any other topic.

    Ed, tell me how much money you have donated to help Africans? How much time have you donated, other than feature length ad hominem posts that are laughed off as so much blather?

    I didn’t claim that my donations made me a Christian. I trust in Jesus for my salvation. I give out of my love for him and my desire to help the less fortunate. I couldn’t care less if you like how much I give.

    Abortion existed before Roe vs Wade and it would still exist if abortion was made illegal.

    Right. But they went up dramatically (7x, I believe) after RvW and they’ll go down dramatically if it is illegal.

    But your faulty reasoning ignores what I mentioned earlier (why do you guys recycle your fallacies so much?). Have you noticed that people still steal even though we have laws against it? Do you think it is just possible that having laws reduces crime? If not, why aren’t you pushing to have all laws repealed?

    And yet nothing you say would deal with the consequences of that. Indeed you have sat there pretending that those consequences don’t exist.

    No, you are lying again. I conceded the consequences already. I noted that with or without laws against abortion I’ll still support crisis pregancy centers with my time and money.

    And what is it that you are doing for the situation, other than forcing your pro-abortion religious views on the innocent unborn? You just want the women to destroy their children so you don’t have to pay taxes, right? But why not have welfare mothers destroy children outside the womb? That would save you some money, right?

    Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the foster care and health care of those babies? Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the health care of the mothers you, and not saying this as a perjorative, are demanding give birth?

    “Demanding?” Oh, Nick, you are such an emotional guy. You make it sound like I got them all pregnant. The new human being already exists. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps people should take responsibility for their actions?

    Oh, and once again, I’m the guy using his own time and money to help women in crisis pregnancies. What is it that you do for them, other than vote to take other people’s money at the point of a gun (i.e., taxes) to pay for them?

    Or is it that you don’t give a damn about those babies after they’re born?

    Golly, Nick is swearing now, so you have to know he is right! Actually, I already addressed your fallacies about how Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born?</a, but there it is again. Read it and comment there if you see anything wrong with it.

    Nick, would you oppose people who want to kill all the orphans in the country? If not, you are beyond evil. If so, are you prepared to adopt them all yourself? If you said no to the second question, please consider what a raging hypocrite you are for trying to demonize me for my pro-life views.

    You keep on saying you say scientific fact and yet you offer no evidence to support those “facts.”

    Good point, Ed. No evidence at all. Oh wait, I actually offered a ton of evidence, unlike you who never backed up his faulty interpretation of Exodus — you know, the one that you use to force your pro-abortion religious beliefs on the innocent unborn.

    Here’s some evidence again. Go to the textbooks and see for yourself — that is, if you want to know what science really says.

    “Every new life begins at fertilization. This is an irrefutable fact of biology. It is true for animals and true for humans. When considered alongside the law of biogenesis – that every species reproduces after its own kind – we can draw only one conclusion in regard to abortion. No matter what the circumstances of conception, no matter how far along in the pregnancy, abortion always ends the life of an individual human being. Every honest abortion advocate concedes this simple fact.

    Faye Wattleton, the longest reigning president of the largest abortion provider in the world – Planned Parenthood – argued as far back as 1997 that everyone already knows that abortion kills. She proclaims the following in an interview with Ms. Magazine:

    “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.”

    Naomi Wolf, a prominent feminist author and abortion supporter, makes a similar concession when she writes:

    “Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life…we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.”

    David Noonin, in his book, A Defense of Abortion, makes this startling admission:

    “In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.” (p. xiv)

    Don’t miss the significance of these acknowledgements. Prominent defenders of abortion rights publicly admit that abortion kills. They are not saying that abortion is morally defensible because it doesn’t kill a distinct human entity. They are admitting that abortion does kill a distinct human entity, but argue it is morally defensible anyway. We’ll get to their arguments later, but the point here is this: There is simply no debate among honest, informed people that abortion kills distinctly human beings.

    The problem is, Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 verdict which legalized abortion in the U.S. is actually built on the claim that there’s no way to say for certain whether or not abortion kills because no one can say for certain when life begins. Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the majority opinion wrote:

    “The judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to… resolve the difficult question of when life begins… since those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus.”

    Justice Blackmun’s assertion is a ridiculous one, at least as it applies to the field of medicine. In biological terms, life’s beginning is a settled fact. Individual human life begins at fertilization, and there are all sorts of authoritative, public resources to prove this. Consider the evidence below:

    MODERN TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

    T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

    “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”

    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

    Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
    OLDER TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

    “The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.
    GENERAL AUDIENCE TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother’s egg… It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father’s sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin.” – 13

    Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.
    PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

    “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
    EXPERT TESTIMONY RELATING TO LIFE’S BEGINNING

    “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.”

    C. Christopher Hook, M.D.
    Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

    “Science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man.”

    Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D.

    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes

    “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic

    “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.”

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School

    The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

    “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

    The American Medical Association (AMA) declared as far back as 1857 (referenced in the Roe. vs. Wade opinion) that “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being” is a matter of objective science. They deplored the “popular ignorance…that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.”

    Why have all the teaching texts and so many medical experts come to this same conclusion? Because there are simple ways to measure whether something is alive and whether something is human. If Faye Wattleton is correct and everyone already knows that abortion kills a human being, they have come to that knowledge in spite of the information circulated by Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion-rights community. The abortion section of the Planned Parenthood website explains abortion this way:

    “Abortion ends a pregnancy before birth.”

    How’s that for thorough? Maybe they just assume that the method for ending the pregnancy is so obvious (killing the human being living in the womb) that it hardly bears mentioning. More likely, Planned Parenthood is simply accommodating the general ignorance which believes abortion to be the mere removal of potential human life, rather than the actual killing of existing human life.

    Biologically speaking, every abortion at every point in the pregnancy ends the life of a genetically-distinct human being.

    POSSIBLE OBJECTION: Even if an embryo is technically alive at fertilization, it’s still just a clump of microscopic cells. Until the heart is beating or the brain is functioning, women should be free to have an abortion.” From abort73.com

    Like

  14. Nick Kelsier says:

    Neil, you can spout that abortion needs to be made illegal all you want but you are ignoring the fact that even if abortion was made illegal it would not go away.

    All that would happen is that you would drive it underground and then babies and their mothers would be dying.

    That’s not hyperbole on my part..that is fact. Abortion existed before Roe vs Wade and it would still exist if abortion was made illegal.

    And yet nothing you say would deal with the consequences of that. Indeed you have sat there pretending that those consequences don’t exist.

    In effect I am trying to get you to take a look at your position and then ask “What next?” because I am trying to get you to think through the entirety of your position. I could care less whether you change your position or not, that’s your deal.

    Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the foster care and health care of those babies? Are you willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the health care of the mothers you, and not saying this as a perjorative, are demanding give birth?

    Because Neil if you want your position to be the one that is then it stands to reason that you have to be willing to be responsible, fiscally and otherwise, for the imposition of what you want?

    So are you?

    Or is it that you don’t give a damn about those babies after they’re born?

    Like

  15. Nick Kelsier says:

    You keep on saying you say scientific fact and yet you offer no evidence to support those “facts.”

    What? We’re just to take your word because you say it? Oh please, you’ve already proven yourself a liar.

    Like

  16. Ed Darrell says:

    Those who think science is about belief will always be in the dark.

    Science is about evidence.

    So is the law.

    That’s why DDT was banned, after two courts ordered it be banned because it was more dangerous than beneficial. You may believe the courts were wrong, Neil, but that won’t get a rehearing. Evidence is what counts.

    The evidence shows DDT is a killer. Once it offered some hope of a radical knock-down of malaria, but that hope evaporated when it was overused, especially on cotton, even in Africa.

    I claim they are the facts and I invite you to show otherwise.

    Your refusal to show is as good as a confession.

    l’m happy for you that you got to go to Africa. I wise man once observed that going to church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than going into the garage makes one into a car. Going to Africa sounds fine, but it doesn’t make any of your diatribe against Rachel Carson accurate. How often did you get malaria there? Did you try bednets? Which pharmaceuticals did you use for prophylaxis, and which to treat the disease? Did you try beating malaria on $2.00 a day income for your family? Why is your experience in Africa any more relevant than anyone else’s?

    I’m sure the title of this post ticks you off something fierce. It’s accuracy is part of why you get so apoplectic about it, I suspect. If it weren’t accurate, surely you would have something to show that, other than the off-the-target observation that you went to Africa. George Bush flew over New Orleans, too, but other than Brownie’s great job, the city is still a mess. For all your visiting of Africa, malaria is still a problem.

    Like

  17. Neil says:

    Ed, please re-read your post and especially the title, then come back with your speech about only calling people names.

    You claim those are “facts.” Who knows, maybe some of them are. Maybe. But my point is that you’ve given me zero reasons to believe any of your scientific conclusions. You libel and lie so reflexively that I don’t trust you. An honest apology would have gone a long way towards having me reconsider your viewpoints, but you’ve just dug your hole deeper and deeper.

    I’d wager that I’ve spent more time and money on what is good for Africa than you have. And I’d be glad to discuss it with anyone who was honest and reasonable.

    Like

  18. Ed Darrell says:

    And how ironic: You tell another lie by calling me a liar. Some people just don’t learn.

    Sure, Ed, my goal is to poison Africa. That’s why I’ve had a World Vision Sponsor child in Kenya for 10 years, have made three mission trips there and have donated tens of thousands of dollars for medical care, AIDS orphans homes, water wells, mosquito nets and more.

    Well, here are the facts, Neil: Rachel Carson called for wise, and very little, use of DDT. That’s what WHO asks for in Africa right now, with Indoor Residual spraying.

    You claim that we need to use more DDT, and that Rachel Carson was wrong.

    Now, either you’re calling for a massive spraying campaign, or you’re trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes by adopting Rachel Carson’s philosophy at the same time you try to assassinate her character — or worse, you just haven’t thought this stuff through.

    Or maybe it’s a combination of error and unthinking.

    But you won’t engage in a conversation about what is good for Africa. You only call names.

    Like

  19. Neil says:

    Remember, James, the title of this post: “Dangerous, anti-science bigoted ignorance.” How charming of mind-reader Ed to know and communicate the motives of his opponents. I’ve enjoyed demonstrating here how Ed is truly anti-science (a new human being is created at conception, but he disagrees). Is he really bigoted? Who knows.

    And how about dangerous? 99% of murders are abortions. That is truly dangerous: The only medical procedure where success is defined as a human being dying.

    Like

  20. Neil says:

    James,

    Re. the abortion rates for blacks and gender selection abortions: I’m glad you picked up on that faulty logic. It was quite deliberate on my part. I was mocking Ed’s style of criticism. I don’t think Ed really hates women or blacks. But when he says someone is a bigot because Rachel Carson was unmarried (Who knew? Who cares?) or that I want to poison Africa, I wanted to demonstrate how easy (and unproductive) it is to play Ed’s game. Same thing when he and Nick play the “pro-lifers want to take away all women’s rights!” nonsense. I thought it was obvious what I was doing. Sorry you thought I was being serious.

    Like

  21. Neil says:

    Hi James,

    Morals change over time and from culture to culture. I’m pretty sure slavery was considered quite moral by many–if not most–of its proponents in its heyday.

    Agreed. That is my point. Nick is arguing that it is legal, so it must be moral. My point is that U.S. slavery was always immoral and abortion is always immoral. We can vote on laws but if something is immoral it is always so.

    Obviously the children he’s talking about haven’t been aborted. This point seems illogical. At any rate, Ed is not arguing that EVERYBODY be aborted
    (no one here is). Come on, now.

    I never claimed that Ed wanted everyone to be aborted. My comment was very specific: Ed thinks it should have been perfectly legal for any of us to have been aborted, yet he thinks it is bad to show pictures of abortions. At least that is the link I assume he was referring to; I’d be glad to be corrected if he’ll tell us what other link he thought was objectionable.

    Re. Stalin — I didn’t care if Ed compared me to Stalin then and I don’t now. What I did care about was how Ed was wasting my time with his logical fallacy of comparing me to Stalin and how he wouldn’t give it up. Behavior like that gets you banned at my place. I was very patient with him, but his comments were just like this post — full of demonizing and accusations. I only came here because he re-linked this piece and after poking around I realized how many times he lied about me. I’m just here now as a public service to make others aware of his nature and to discourage him from doing this again. I doubt he’ll learn, but it is worth a try.

    I’ve read most of what everyone has said, and I think I can safely say no one here disputes that the beginning of human life is at conception, so please stop saying otherwise. At any rate, that’s not really the issue here.

    James, I disagree. Ed and Nick have denied that scientific fact over and over. It is the issue here: If their bias keeps them from getting that scientific fact right, why listen to anything else they say on science?

    Ed is saying that conception merely represents the potential for human life outside of the womb because in nature conception does not mean guaranteed life.

    But using that reasoning a toddler could be destroyed. After all, she is just a potential teenager and is not guaranteed to survive.

    Yes, spontaneous abortions happen. Infants die. Toddlers die. Middle-aged people die. That doesn’t make any of them fair game to have humans expedite the process.

    The level of development of a human being does not determine her worth. In fact, we usually put extra care for the weak, small and young. Note how the death of a child from the swine flu garnered extra attention. So why do we let 3,000 of the weakest of all get killed each day?

    Like

  22. James says:

    “You claim I’m a bigot? That’s odd, because you’re the one defending abortion rights that destroy blacks at a rate 3 times that of whites. Why do you support black genocide, Ed?”

    This has got to be the epitome of bad logic. You simply cannot claim that because someone defends abortion and more blacks are aborted than whites, the supporter must be racist. I can think of several scenarios in which someone who is pro-choice is ignorant of that little statistic and in fact supports abortion for radically different reasons. Your conclusion does not logically follow from your premises.

    Here it is, again:

    “Your faux women’s rights bit is ironic, considering that you support gender selection abortions, virtually all of which destroy female human beings.”

    Again, for all you know, Ed didn’t know most aborted fetuses are female.

    Like

  23. James says:

    Neil,

    “Now there is an interesting scientific argument. Oh, wait, it isn’t scientific at all. You are really bad at ad homs, Nick. Try to practice them more. I have quoted a host of embryology textbooks. Call that drivel if you like, but don’t pretend you are on the side of science and logic.”

    In Nick’s defense, he wasn’t trying to be scientific, he was referring to Constitutionality, like he said in the quote you responded to.

    “Nick, your “if legal then moral” position would mean we could still have legalized slavery. It took a Constitutional Amendment to overturn that immorality.”

    Morals change over time and from culture to culture. I’m pretty sure slavery was considered quite moral by many–if not most–of its proponents in its heyday.

    “Do you see the irony that you (allegedly) worry about children seeing those images but you protected the right of their mothers to have those children destroyed while in the womb?”

    Obviously the children he’s talking about haven’t been aborted. This point seems illogical. At any rate, Ed is not arguing that EVERYBODY be aborted
    (no one here is). Come on, now.

    “When you knew I wasn’t reading you claimed that I brought Stalin up and you acted as if I was ridiculous to do so. But you did that knowing you were the one who brought it up, and you did it to others on this blog as well.”

    Okay, I really don’t think this Stalin stuff is such a big deal. I don’t think anyone here except you cares whether or not you were compared to Stalin. If I understand correctly anyway, comparing someone’s line of reasoning to a historical similarity that ended in catastrophe is simply an argumentative device used to prove a point. For the record, no one here thinks you’re as bad as Stalin, okay? Can we drop it now? I think I can safely speak for everyone else here when I say I’m tired of seeing threads clogged up with elementary school, finger-pointing fights about who did what first. It’s history, time to move forward.

    “Again, if you are so blinded by your anti-God, pro-abortion worldview that you can’t concede the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception”

    I’ve read most of what everyone has said, and I think I can safely say no one here disputes that the beginning of human life is at conception, so please stop saying otherwise. At any rate, that’s not really the issue here. Ed is saying that conception merely represents the potential for human life outside of the womb because in nature conception does not mean guaranteed life. Spontaneous abortions happen all the time, so you cannot equate a fertilized egg with a fully developed, live human.

    Like

  24. Neil says:

    No documentation? Heh. Good thing the response to that lie is demonstrated over and over on my comments here.

    Not banning an irritating liar remains an irritation, but I am of the firm belief that the best way to expose you is to let you run. So far, it’s working.

    Heh. Let’s see, I’ve demonstrated over and over that you are a liar and the proof is on your own blog. And I’ve demonstrated that you are incapable of viewing basic scientific facts accurately because of your bias.

    Your post above is a funny one in the sense that it is full of more “you’re like Stalin!” fallacies. You claim I’m a bigot? That’s odd, because you’re the one defending abortion rights that destroy blacks at a rate 3 times that of whites. Why do you support black genocide, Ed?

    I had no idea of Rachel Carson’s marital status. Your imagination runs wild when you spread your fact-free ad hominem attacks at anyone who dares to disagree with your ideology. That’s just one example.

    Your faux women’s rights bit is ironic, considering that you support gender selection abortions, virtually all of which destroy female human beings.

    And how ironic: You tell another lie by calling me a liar. Some people just don’t learn.

    Sure, Ed, my goal is to poison Africa. That’s why I’ve had a World Vision Sponsor child in Kenya for 10 years, have made three mission trips there and have donated tens of thousands of dollars for medical care, AIDS orphans homes, water wells, mosquito nets and more.

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    All I know, Neil, is that when I posted a comment with several links to sources, you banned me. You keep claiming I’m not telling things accurately, but then you rarely back up anything you say with any kind of citation or documentation.

    The point of this post, by the way, still stands. Your post in favor of poisoning Africa and impugning scientists, health workers and Rachel Carson, is dead wrong on almost every particular.

    Why not start out with the post at the top, and see if you can answer any of it? You keep claiming I lie — we’re all from Missouri. Show us.

    Not banning an irritating liar remains an irritation, but I am of the firm belief that the best way to expose you is to let you run. So far, it’s working.

    Like

  26. Neil says:

    4 Simpsons author Neil Simpson complained about my frequent corrections of his errors a year ago, and banned me from commenting on his blog.

    Another lie! Man, they are all over this blog. You know why you were banned. It was not your corrections of errors. You couldn’t stop your inantities like throwing out your silly Stalin ad homs that you lied about on your blog.

    Banning an irritating liar is not a moral evil, but it is doubly ironic that you advance the cause of death and pat yourself on the back for that yet boo-hoo because someone banned you for your non-stop ad hominem attacks.

    Yes, you will know them by their fruit, especially the pro-abortion pathological liars.

    Like

  27. Neil says:

    Nick, you also completely miss the point with your “if legal then moral” views. Whether child abuse is legal or illegal I’d still seek to prevent it. And whether abortion is legal or illegal I’ll still support Crisis Pregnancy Centers with my time and money. They save lives every day for now and for eternity (they also share the Gospel with anyone interested in hearing it). They help women and their families in a time of need with encouragement, financial needs and life skills.

    Most Liberals spout the “safe, legal and rare” abortion mantra, ignoring that they are never safe for the unborn and that if they aren’t a moral evil, why make them rare? They would be a cost-effective method of birth control. And when they aren’t hiding statutory rapes, the Planned Parenthood types insist that abortions are safe already, so no problem there, eh? But oddly, I only see Liberals fighting pregancy centers instead of supporting them. Pregnancy centers know that legally women have a choice, but we think that life is a better choice than death. But pro-choicers are really pro-choice at all, they are pro-abortion.

    Like

  28. Neil says:

    Because that claim is irrelevent when it comes to the theory of evolution and hence you’re conjuring a straw-man argument?

    Nick, I didn’t bring up evolution, you did. And I don’t think you know what a straw man argument is, because even if I was changing the subject (I wasn’t) that is not a straw man.

    My point was that if you and Ed can’t see the scientific fact that life begins at conception then why should I trust your views on any scientific topic?

    You can believe that life begins at conception all you want but quit deluding yourself into thinking that 1: you speak for the entirety of science when you make that claim and that 2: you speak for the entirety of the worlds religions when you make that claim. You’ve claimed both several times and yet you offered no proof of those claims.

    Hey, now there’s a real straw man. I’ve quoted extensive and reliable sources for my scientific claim that life begins at conception. You’ve countered with a fact-free logical fallacy-fest. You haven’t brought up science, you’ve just used one ad hominem attack after another (anti-women, pushing religious views, etc.). Pathetic and predictable.

    I never claimed to speak for all religions. I know the Bible quite well, including the Exodus passage which you mis-exegete to support your pro-abortion views while ignoring all the anti-murder, help the weakest, God knit us together in our mother’s wombs, etc. verses.

    You are one who keeps bringing up religion and trying to force your pro-abortion religious views on the unborn, including unborn females. Why do you hate women so much that you support gender selection abortions?

    Oh and before you spout some more of your normal drivel, Neil, tell me..where in the US Constitution or in the laws of the United States a fetus..a baby who hasn’t been born yet has the same legal rights as someone who has?

    Now there is an interesting scientific argument. Oh, wait, it isn’t scientific at all. You are really bad at ad homs, Nick. Try to practice them more. I have quoted a host of embryology textbooks. Call that drivel if you like, but don’t pretend you are on the side of science and logic.

    Nick, your “if legal then moral” position would mean we could still have legalized slavery. It took a Constitutional Amendment to overturn that immorality. Are you saying that Amendment was wrong and that once something is legal it should always be legal?

    Are you tellng me that the Founding Fathers were pro-abortion? Or is it more likely that they assumed the humanity of the unborn like so many have, all the way back to the original Hippocratic Oath? (Which, ironically, only took out specific language about abortion at a time when science was demonstrating more and more that the unborn are living human beings).

    I agreed that sperm and eggs are alive. If you consult the scientific texts you’ll see that as well, along with the facts that they are not unique human beings. However, those same texts will teach that once the sperm and egg are united a new human being is created.

    Children read this blog, Neil. They can follow the links. You should be more circumspect when you post.

    What link are you referring to? Surely it isn’t the one with the images of abortions. After all, if it is a moral good as you claim then of course there is nothing wrong with viewing images of it. You certainly wouldn’t see bloody images of crushed and dismembered human beings, would you?

    Do you see the irony that you (allegedly) worry about children seeing those images but you protected the right of their mothers to have those children destroyed while in the womb?

    Re. Rachel Carson — Ed, I didn’t come here to discuss that. I came to point out what a liar you are and I have demonstrated that quite clear with your own words on your own blog. When you knew I wasn’t reading you claimed that I brought Stalin up and you acted as if I was ridiculous to do so. But you did that knowing you were the one who brought it up, and you did it to others on this blog as well. Big lies, Ed.

    Again, if you are so blinded by your anti-God, pro-abortion worldview that you can’t concede the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception, why should I take you seriously on any scientific topic, and especially any that are remotely controversial?

    If you can’t see the fact that life begins at conception, why would I think that you would begin to understand any facts about DDT or evolution?

    P.S. I just noticed the “religionist” bit in your original post. I’m not sure what you meant by that pejorative but I’m glad you see that whatever I am spiritually (a Christian), you are not.

    Remember, you guys are the ones pushing your pro-abortion religious views on the unborn. I’m the one pointing to the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception and is therefore deserving of protection.

    Like

  29. Ed Darrell says:

    This is why I don’t like discussions with Neil:

    Why should I trust a pathological liar like Ed and someone like you who uncritically parrots what he says?

    Does Neil have something to say? Who can tell? Is he full of acidic comments, invective and name-calling? Yep.

    Children read this blog, Neil. They can follow the links. You should be more circumspect when you post.

    And, by the way, your invective against Rachel Carson is still wrong. You have a lot of gall to call someone else a liar when you post things as I note in the post starting this thread. You’ve answered not a single one of the corrections, nor do I beleive you ever can.

    Got any facts?

    Like

  30. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and before you spout some more of your normal drivel, Neil, tell me..where in the US Constitution or in the laws of the United States a fetus..a baby who hasn’t been born yet has the same legal rights as someone who has?

    Because when it comes to the subject of abortion..that is the burden you have to meet. Since abortion is legal in this country you can jump up and down spouting whatever religious/pseudoscience arguments you want but in the end it doesn’t matter. If you can’t make a legal case why abortion should be made illegal then you really need to question what it is exactly you’re seeking to accomplish by charging that particular windmill, Don Quixote.

    And gee….I don’t remember ever seeing you answer my question on whether since you believe that life begins at conception that that means that a male’s sperm and a female’s egg aren’t alive? But then you do post rather a whirlwind of posts so I might have missed it.

    Like

  31. Nick Kelsier says:

    Why should you talk science with people who can’t accept the fact that human life begins at conception?

    Because that claim is irrelevent when it comes to the theory of evolution and hence you’re conjuring a straw-man argument?

    It’s like you’re saying “Why should I talk English to someone who isn’t fluent in Cantonese.”

    You can believe that life begins at conception all you want but quit deluding yourself into thinking that 1: you speak for the entirety of science when you make that claim and that 2: you speak for the entirety of the worlds religions when you make that claim. You’ve claimed both several times and yet you offered no proof of those claims.

    So why don’t you quit spouting asinine straw man arguments to hide behind.

    Like

  32. Neil says:

    Nice pro-evolution tantrum, Nick. I don’t try to talk algebra with people who can’t see that 2+2=4. Why should I talk science with people who can’t accept the fact that human life begins at conception?

    Why should I trust a pathological liar like Ed and someone like you who uncritically parrots what he says?

    Like

  33. Neil says:

    The legal “dangers” of outlawing abortion are you would be setting a precedent, Neil, where the government can step into people’s lives in violation of their right to privacy and dictating to them how they must live.

    I didn’t realize the right to privacy meant you could kill someone. So as long as you kill them in the privacy of your home it is OK? Of course not. So the only question is whether the unborn are human beings. Scientifically speaking, they are. And yes, we should tell people how they “must live” if their version of living involves killing others.

    Any “pro-lifer” who thinks that if you outlaw abortion that abortion would *poof* disappear is categorically insane.

    Agreed. It would reduce them dramatically but not eliminate them.

    But have you noticed that outlawing stealing, speeding and murder hasn’t made them “poof” disappear? So do you use that same line of reasoning to eliminate those laws? I doubt it. So whether a law completely eradicates a behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior should be illegal.

    But who cares about the ethical ramifications of forcing people to obey your religious beliefs and having the government dicate to them how they must live and who really gives a damn if that reduces women to nothing more than baby factories who have no rights whatsoever.

    Are you saying that atheists don’t think murder, perjury and stealing should be illegal? All of the ones I know do. So this isn’t about religious beliefs.

    Yes, my religion tells me not to kill innocent human beings. Ed’s religion, whatever it is, tells him it is OK. So are you in the middle of typing your comment telling him not to impose his religious beliefs on people? Why do you just oppose religious beliefs that differ from yours?

    Your “religious views” reasoning is just a rhetorical trick to eliminate my views from the discussion. There is nothing wrong with someone’s religious views informing their political views (see the 1st Amendment) and as I’ve demonstrated I don’t even need the Bible to advance the pro-life case.

    Re. baby factories: Wow, you read the pro-abortion script well, especially on the emotional sound bites. Only I didn’t realize the gov’t was impregnating women against their will and then letting them have abortions. Pregnancies usually happen for a reason. There aren’t a lot of accidental in vitro fertilizations going on.

    And you are really saying that making abortion illegal would eliminate all of women’s rights? C’mon, Nick, that is beyond hyperbole. I’m pretty sure they could still vote, marry whomever they like, etc. even if they couldn’t find a doctor to destroy their unborn children.

    I’d be glad to talk more on the legal ramifications once you concede the scientific fact that the unborn are living human beings deserving of protection. Most scenarios I’ve heard of involve punishments for the “doctors.”

    Re. taxes: I pay all my taxes and already donate a lot of time and money to help women in crisis pregnancies. I’d rather pay more taxes than encourage women to kill their children.

    What you don’t realize is that your pro-abortion stance is actually anti-women. Once it became legal it turned into the backup birth control method and let guys off the hook. It is the ultimate male chauvinism. Lots of women have abortions because the guys pressure them to. I think a lot of behaviors would change dramatically — for the better — if it was made illegal.

    Like

  34. Nick Kelsier says:

    Nothing you’ve said or shown, Neil, gives any indication that there is any actual flaws in the theory of evolution. What you have said and shown is that you, like all the rest of the ID bunch, don’t want to do the work to prove your supposed “claims” because you know deep in your heart that your claims have no scientific basis. That you can’t scientifically prove your claims. So instead of being intelligent and honest enough to admit that you and the rest will whine like little children by claiming that there is some grand conspiracy by “evolutionists” acting against you.

    Like

  35. Nick Kelsier says:

    I do have a question for you, Neil. What would you do with the people who have abortions if abortion was illegal? Throw them in prison? Willing to see your taxes go through the roof to pay for that? Willing to shell out the tax money to pay for all the foster homes and such?

    Like

  36. Nick Kelsier says:

    The legal “dangers” of outlawing abortion are you would be setting a precedent, Neil, where the government can step into people’s lives in violation of their right to privacy and dictating to them how they must live.

    The other danger of outlawing abortion, Neil, is that you wouldn’t get rid of it. You’d drive it back underground where not only would you have babies dying but also the mothers as well. You’d end up with just as much blood on your hands, Neil.

    Any “pro-lifer” who thinks that if you outlaw abortion that abortion would *poof* disappear is categorically insane.

    But who cares about the ethical ramifications of forcing people to obey your religious beliefs and having the government dicate to them how they must live and who really gives a damn if that reduces women to nothing more than baby factories who have no rights whatsoever.

    Like

  37. Neil says:

    Re. the legal “dangers” of outlawing abortion: Yeah, I suppose we wouldn’t want some difficult thought and paperwork to get in the way of killing 1,000,000 human beings per year.

    Of course, that line of thinking would make it really easy to justify waterboarding and such. After all, it is effective and nobody dies. It saves a lot of paperwork and difficult thought. Who cares about the ethical ramifications, eh?

    Like

  38. Neil says:

    Oops, the last paragraph should have said, “You could kill someone outside the womb and then claim that the victim was not a full human being.”

    Like

  39. Neil says:

    But then whose are more important, the child’s or the mother’s?

    Are you saying the mother will die if she doesn’t have the abortion? Those cases are extremely rare, but all the pro-lifers I know would make an exception for the life of the mother.

    If you are arguing as Ed is that the mother’s preference to avoid short term inconvenience trumps the life of another human being, then I strongly disagree.

    It’s not fully human in the sense that it can stand on its own outside the mother.

    That is not a scientific argument, it is a philosophical one, and a bad one at that. Lots of people can’t survive without help and they are fair game for destructions. Newborns are an obvious example. The size, level of development, dependency and environment of a human being do not determine its worth.

    It’s not a full human being.

    More bad philosophy, more ignorance of science.

    It’s human, yes. Viable, no.

    Viability is irrelevant to the scientific question. It is a rhetorical trick used to justify murder.

    As a legal entity, it’s not yet considered alive

    Not true. In most states it is murder to kill the unborn unless Mommy pays for it — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/it-is-murder-unless/

    And we’re talking science, not law. We know abortion is legal. Slavery used to be legal, too, but it was always immoral.

    Word games about being “fully” human just dodge the scientific fact that the unborn are human beings from conception. You guys sure work hard to justify this — http://www.abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/abortion_pictures

    It’s a fully human fetus, yes. Well, that is, if you discount the vast majority of genes that we share with the other great apes and other life. But a great quantity of facts is not what you wish to discuss, I’m sure.

    Oh, that is rich. Not only does it beg the question but it proves too much. You could kill someone outside the womb and then claim that the victim was a human being. Great logic, Ed. Hey, why don’t you go to all the death row prisoners and see how that works to get their sentences appealed?

    Like

  40. James says:

    Neil,

    “I do say they have a right to life.”

    But then whose are more important, the child’s or the mother’s?

    “The fetus is fully human.”

    Depends on what you mean by fully human. If you just mean consisting of the same chemicals that other humans consist of and in sufficiently similar organization then sure, but if you mean human on an equitable level with adult human beings then no, and none of the sources you cite say so. They say things like:

    “Human development begins”

    “marked the beginning”

    “is the beginning”

    “Development begins”

    “begin development”

    “marks the initiation”

    and on and on. But nothing about being “fully human.”

    Like

  41. Ed Darrell says:

    The fetus is fully human.

    It’s a fully human fetus, yes. Well, that is, if you discount the vast majority of genes that we share with the other great apes and other life. But a great quantity of facts is not what you wish to discuss, I’m sure.

    It’s not fully human in the sense that it can stand on its own outside the mother. In fact, at conception, it’s virtually indistinguishable from any other stem cell in any other human. It has no brain, no brain waves. It has no nerves to feel with. It cannot survive without a what amounts to a parasitic relationship with its mother for several months — a period we’ve been pushing back with modern medical care, grounded in evolution, and distasteful to most people who argue that a fetus should have human rights. It’s not a full human being.

    It’s human, yes. Viable, no.

    As a legal entity, it’s not yet considered alive, and the case to grant rights to unborn children is really quite dangerous. I suppose it helps to study will and probate law, and real estate law, to understand some of the inherent dangers of such grants of rights. And I suppose it helps to have spent some time with the institutional review boards in hospitals, and recall the time when surgery was conducted on babies without anesthesia “because they feel no real pain.”

    There are real and still-valid reasons that we do not consider unborn children to be humans with all the rights of a live-born human. Distaste for abortion doesn’t change those reasons.

    Like

  42. Neil says:

    The woman has already reproduced. Scientifically, there is a new human being. It just happens to be in her womb, but it is in the world. She isn’t potential, she is at the proper stage of human development for her age.

    You act like someone forced the woman to be pregnant. We actually know what causes pregnancy, and she had a choice.

    Viability is a philosophical argument. Do you think all non-viable people outside the womb can have care cut off? Peter Singer does. He thinks infanticide is OK.

    That’s odd that you brought up torture. I am against torture, but here’s a quick quiz for you:

    Would you rather be waterboarded or crushed and dismembered without anesthetic? I’ll take the former.

    Ed Darrell = Scripture FAIL

    Ed Darrell = Science FAIL

    The fetus is fully human. Only anti-science pro-abortionists deny that. It ain’t a puppy.

    “MODERN TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

    T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

    “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”

    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

    Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
    OLDER TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

    “The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.
    GENERAL AUDIENCE TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother’s egg… It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father’s sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin.” – 13

    Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.
    PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

    “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
    EXPERT TESTIMONY RELATING TO LIFE’S BEGINNING

    “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.”

    C. Christopher Hook, M.D.
    Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

    “Science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man.”

    Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D.

    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes

    “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic

    “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.”

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School

    The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

    “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

    The American Medical Association (AMA) declared as far back as 1857 (referenced in the Roe. vs. Wade opinion) that “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being” is a matter of objective science. They deplored the “popular ignorance…that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.”

    Why have all the teaching texts and so many medical experts come to this same conclusion? Because there are simple ways to measure whether something is alive and whether something is human. If Faye Wattleton is correct and everyone already knows that abortion kills a human being, they have come to that knowledge in spite of the information circulated by Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion-rights community. The abortion section of the Planned Parenthood website explains abortion this way:

    “Abortion ends a pregnancy before birth.”

    How’s that for thorough? Maybe they just assume that the method for ending the pregnancy is so obvious (killing the human being living in the womb) that it hardly bears mentioning. More likely, Planned Parenthood is simply accommodating the general ignorance which believes abortion to be the mere removal of potential human life, rather than the actual killing of existing human life.

    Biologically speaking, every abortion at every point in the pregnancy ends the life of a genetically-distinct human being.” From abort73.com

    Like

  43. Ed Darrell says:

    The woman is a human being of known potential, recognized in scripture, law and science as fully human. Denying that woman the choice of whether to reproduce or not is a serious problem you don’t want to deal with.

    If you wish to claim abortion is murder, let’s note that under such a proposal motherhood is powerful physical and mental torture.

    Somehow, I think that starting from the unscientific and nonscriptural position that a non-viable fetus should have rights that have attached only upon live birth since time immemorial, and in some cultures even later, leads us down a path to perdition and wrong decisions. Torture to prevent murder isn’t acceptable under the laws of civilized nations. I suppose that’s one more indication of how rash is the claim that a fetus is fully human, and that abortion is murder.

    Got any rational claims, Neil?

    Like

  44. Neil says:

    James,

    The “fertilized egg” is also known as a human being. It is a scientific fact. Every “right” you talk about for the mother also applies to the other human being in question — such as the right not to be chopped up into little pieces. I don’t say we should give the unborn the right to vote (though they would definitely vote pro-life). I do say they have a right to life.

    Like

  45. James says:

    Neil,

    The issue here is not gender equality, and Ed has not even hinted at such. The issue is that you are advocating that a fertilized egg have rights that supersede those of the mother. In giving an unborn child so many rights, you are taking just as many away from those mothers. Men don’t even factor into the equation.

    Like

  46. Neil says:

    A potential human life begins at conception? If that is so, then have a potential abortion. You are making a philosophical argument — and a bad one at that — but not a scientific one. The science couldn’t be more clear. When leaders get to decide which human beings qualify as “persons” then really bad things happen. Study your history.

    Nice dodge on the “rights” gambit. Do women have the right to kill their children outside the womb? Most people besides Obama think they should not. As always, the first and main question is, “What is the unborn?” If it is not a human being, then no justification for abortion is necessary. If it is a human being, then no justification is sufficient (except to save the life of the mother, of course, which is in concert with the pro-life ethic). What does science say? It is a human being.

    Since you are so pro-women, how do you feel about gender selection abortions? They occur by the millions around the world and in the U.S. Unborn female human beings are crushed and dismembered solely because of their gender. Not their “potential” gender, but their real gender. And they aren’t potentially killed, they are killed. And you fight to keep that legal.

    What about the rights of the unborn female? Why do you insist on taking away her rights just because of her gender?

    I always love it when the pro-abortionists try the lame “pro-lifers are anti-women” approach. Be sure to tell that to the volunteers and leaders at pregnancy centers (they are virtually all women).

    Why should women have to be willing to kill their unborn children to prove they are equal to men?

    Early feminists were pro-life. Susan B. Anthony’s newspaper viewed women having abortions as a symptom of a lack of equality, not the proof of equality.
    She called abortion “child murder,” and said, “When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged. . . . [Is the woman] guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh! Thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!”

    Go research how many women have abortions due to pressure by the fathers of the children. How pro-woman is that?

    P.S. Still waiting on your evidence that I want creationism taught in the classroom.

    Like

  47. lowerleavell says:

    Ed…glad you’ve changed your mind so much since our discussion on abortion. You’re using the same losing argument you used on me – but you didn’t learn anything and so are using it again. Neil can and probably will refute your post, but how can you make a person who refuses to open their eyes to see?

    Like

  48. Ed Darrell says:

    Criticism I can handle. Fools who peddle falsehoods is a different matter. Anyone who doesn’t see the logical fallacies in Stein’s movie, or who defends the clear falsehoods, shouldn’t be around children. We need to keep the kids safe, you know.

    A potential human life begins at conception, but we do not attach personhood to that entity for medical reasons, nor for legal reasons. I wonder how you rationalize taking away the rights of the woman when that occurs. Where in scripture, or anywhere else, does it say a woman stops being a person at any time? There is a collision of rights at conception at best, and I choose not to denigrate or devalue women, among other things, for the law.

    Like

  49. Neil says:

    Hee hee. I defended the evisceration of science in schools because I had a video of Expelled!? Sure. That just shows how thin-skinned you are. You can’t handle any criticism of your theory, which is why you have to demonize a group wanting to teach both sides of an issue, just like Darwin advocated.

    Try again, liar. Where do I advocate teaching creationism in the classroom? You made the claim, now back it up with facts.

    Keep digging, buddy.

    And remember, you’re the science guy who can’t even recognize the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception.

    That is ample evidence that you will ignore anything that gets in the way of your anti-God worldview.

    Like

  50. Ed Darrell says:

    Here’s one where you defend the evisceration of science in schools, Neil:
    http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/11/27/expelled-no-intelligence-allowed/

    Here’s another that is just loopy, anti-science, and ends with a suggestion we join the anti-science, anti-intelligence, anti-school legions at a Texas para-propaganda group:
    http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/dna-of-humans-chimps-have-45000000-differences/

    Maybe you have changed your mind, and you advocate teaching evolution in schools? No, I doubt it. You’re just in deep denial again.

    Like

  51. Neil says:

    Since you are claiming that God commanded you to confront falsehoods, when will you be confronting your own falsehoods about how I started the Stalin bit and how I advance teaching creationism in classrooms?

    Like I said, I wouldn’t even want “Christians” like you and Nick teaching the Bible in schools, let alone your “science” that human beings aren’t created at conception — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/reasons-not-to-teach-the-bible-in-public-schools/ .

    Like

  52. Neil says:

    Ed,

    Where is your evidence that I advance teaching creationism in the classroom? You have none, of course. I’ve made 983 posts on my blog. Go find one where I advance that.

    Why do you continue to make up lies like that? Where’s the evidence, Mr. Science Person? Oh, you just made it up? How convenient.

    Your cancer ward comment is incoherent, as is your comment about “any fact from God’s creation.” I thought you didn’t believe God created this? You say God manifests evolution theory? Heh. Got any Bible verses for that?

    Let’s recap. Using your own blog, I have demonstrated how you:

    – presenting at least two outright lies claiming that I started the Stalin bit
    – repeated the Stalin bit yourself
    – were caught using the same trick on someone else — the very thing you accused me of here!
    – violated your own corollary multiple times

    Then you came up with these new lies:

    The point is that you advocate creationism to be taught to innocent children in schools.

    And Nick blindly followed you and made these evidence-free claims:

    Oh he wants Creationism taught? Neil, are you advocating that the US Constitution be raped up one side and down the other? You’re advocating that our students, using the government, be force fed your religous beliefs…beliefs that aren’t even shared among all Christians in this country much less all the people in this country.
    You’re advocating that a religious belief that has no scientific basis be taught in our science class rooms. Tell me, Neil, what exactly is the difference between what you want all those madrassas in the Middle East again?

    So we’ve clearly established that in addition to your irrational rants you are a hypocrite, a libeler and a liar. And you deliberately ignore any evidence that goes against your worldview. You can’t even recognize the scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception. And you think that I should listen to you on any other scientific topic?

    I even gave you a chance to end the conversation but you ignored it out of pride and stupidity. Like I said, that’s your call. I can keep this up a long time. And if I don’t have the last word everyone will know you deleted my comments in your Stalin-esque way ;-) .

    That’s quite a combination. You are truly the most despicable person I’ve met in blogging, and that says a lot.

    Like

  53. Ed Darrell says:

    Neil, I would like you to realize that sin has consequences. When you think twice, and then continue to work to deceive people with advocacy for creationism and against evolution theory, the theory God manifests, you join the ranks of the pathological liars you claim to worry about.

    A sincere apology and repentance from your lies would be nice, but seeing how full of anger you are most of the time, ready to strike and silence without lending a fair hearing to any fact from God’s creation, I don’t expect it. God has commanded me to confront falsehoods like those you perpetrate, and your attempts to block God’s truth do not give you a mantle from which to preach that anyone else needs to repent.

    Heck, I’d be happy if you’d simply enroll in a science class and try to figure out what actually goes on in the world. God calls you constantly, and you will not be able to shut out the facts of God’s creation forever. There are no creationists in the cancer wards, after all.

    Like

  54. Neil says:

    P.S. The last comment was primarily for Ed.

    Like

  55. Neil says:

    BTW, I want you to know that I forgive you for your lies. Jesus has forgiven me for much worse and I am called to do the same.

    But sin has consequences, and I want you to think twice before starting a pattern of deception to demonize other people. I know that’s naive of me, given how brazen and pathological your are about it, but it is worth a try.

    A sincere apology for your lies would have been nice, but I didn’t really expect that. At this point I’d be happy if you would just stop lying.

    But if you want to keep it up, I’ll be glad to come back and keep fresh comments posted with the truth.

    Your call.

    Like

  56. Neil says:

    Nick, you are the ones that can’t even see that a human being is created at conception – http://abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/medical_testimony . And you think I should come to you for science lessons? That’s like learning math from someone who thinks 2+2=5.

    That you deny there are flaws speaks volumes. Why would I bother trying to reason with you about them?

    And that was a funny looking apology on your part. Since you accused me of all sorts of awful things because I allegedly want creationism taught in schools the least you could do is offer some evidence. Got any? Nope.

    I would never want creationism or the Bible taught in public schools. Phonies like you would teach that the Bible is pro-abortion, that all religions lead to God, that we don’t have evidence that Jesus existed, etc.

    Like

  57. Neil says:

    Ed The Liar,

    I can’t believe you are asking me to defend against your Stalinist accusations again. That is so rich.

    Remember, you brought them up first and I explained to you many, many times how illogical they were. Just read the comments section of this post and search for Stalin and you’ll find all the explanations you need, patiently laid out so you would learn from your fallacies.

    The only reason we’re discussing them now is not to re-hash your fallacies but to demonstrate what a liar you are. You noted at least twice on your blog that I brought them up first. You said the my links to Stalin were “off the wall” and that I “inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.” Then you have the audacity to bring it up again here!

    You are more pathological than I ever imagined. But hey, at least we’ve got the truth laid out clearly for all to see.

    Like

  58. Nick Kelsier says:

    Neil, did you somehow miss the fact that you were lying when you claimed that Ed connected evolution to Stalin?

    And you say you want the flaws of evolutionary theory taught..and yet you have to show that there is any actual flaws in the theory. All you have shown is the rantings of a religious website that couldn’t argue itself out of a paper bag when it comes to science. You want to be a lazyass who wants us to believe the delusion that if you say there are flaws that by gum there must be flaws.

    The one making it oh so easy is you.

    Like

  59. Neil says:

    Man, you guys make this so easy. Ed makes up a lie and Nick immediately parrots it and goes on a rant. I love it. It is like a rope-a-dope blogging strategy. Just let them type and look like fools. Really, folks, re-read Ed’s and Nick’s last comments a couple times. It is like a Dilbert for evolutionary propoganda.

    Like

  60. Neil says:

    Another lie from Ed. I never advocated teaching creationism. I’ve written almost 1,000 posts on my blog. Please go find 1 (one) that advocates teaching creationism. I’ll wait.

    Really, do you think before you type? I nailed you on multiple topics right here on your own blog! I demonstrated how you:

    – presenting at least two outright lies on your own blog. You claimed I brought up the Stalin thing when you had to have known you were the one. Liar.

    – were caught using the same trick on someone else — the very thing you accused me of here. Liar.

    – violated your own corollary multiple times. Hypocrite.

    And then you go and repeat the same idiocy!

    So we’ve clearly established that in addition to your irrational rants you are a hypocrite, a libeler and a liar. That’s quite a combination. You are truly the most despicable person I’ve met in blogging, and that says a lot.

    Nick, once again you demonstrate your lack of discernment in believing Ed. Re-read your comment then find me the evidence for your take on my beliefs. All you’ll find is that you relied on what Ed The Liar said.

    The real Stalinist is the one who can’t handle any criticism of his theory and must use demonizing tactics and lies to shout down the opposition. I just want the flaws of evolutionary theory taught, but Ed The Liar can’t handle that.

    Like

  61. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh he wants Creationism taught? Neil, are you advocating that the US Constitution be raped up one side and down the other? You’re advocating that our students, using the government, be force fed your religous beliefs…beliefs that aren’t even shared among all Christians in this country much less all the people in this country.

    You’re advocating that a religious belief that has no scientific basis be taught in our science class rooms. Tell me, Neil, what exactly is the difference between what you want all those madrassas in the Middle East again?

    Like

  62. Ed Darrell says:

    We addressed your fallacious use of the Stalin charge multiple times. I also confronted you about it on other blogs. And you use it reflexively on your own blog. So the origin couldn’t be more clear.

    Nope, we never discussed it. You exploded in a frenzy of authoritarianism, claimed that you didn’t need to answer any argument, and banned me from your blog. It’s a frenzy we have seen here this week.

    The point is that you advocate creationism to be taught to innocent children in schools. Creationism is false. There is not an iota of science behind it, as every Christian creationist put under oath has sworn. It’s bad science, and it’s bad religion. You won’t discuss why you want such falsehoods taught to children, and you won’t — can’t, I suspect — defend your position on granting credence to such claptrap.

    You’re quick to call me a liar, while you peddle falsehoods with abandon. You’re quick to label others as unChristian while you demonstrate an extreme lack of charity yourself.

    If you want to discuss it, here’s the place — I won’t do the foul things to you that you do to others on your blog.

    But you have to make a case here, Neil. You can’t hide behind name calling and bluster. If you wish to claim I am incorrect in comparing your brand of creationism with Uncle Joe’s, make the case. But I’ll not let you get off without making the case.

    Joe Stalin’s views on Darwin were similar to yours, equally wrong, despite your differences on faith.

    But make the case here, if you can. I didn’t use Stalin fallaciously at all. Nor have you ever addressed the substance.

    We know your veins bulge, but bulging veins do not make a case.

    Here’s your forum. Go.

    Like

  63. Neil says:

    Nick, who said sperm and eggs weren’t alive? My point is that science demonstrates that at conception a new human being is formed — http://abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/medical_testimony .

    Pro-abortionists like Ed try to claim that the unborn aren’t human beings deserving of protection. He’s behind the times, because many pro-abortion leaders concede that abortion kills a human being (see the link for quotes).

    Like

  64. Nick Kelsier says:

    Tell me, Neil, a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg aren’t alive? I suggest you think real carefully before you answer that.

    Like

  65. Neil says:

    Changed my mind. I think this needs to be said.

    Ed, I’m used to irrational cranks in blogging. That is to be expected with the medium. And you get your share of liars as well.

    But you are a super-charged combination of both, and the facts are all here. Just read the comments section of this post and search for Stalin.

    We addressed your fallacious use of the Stalin charge multiple times. I also confronted you about it on other blogs. And you use it reflexively on your own blog. So the origin couldn’t be more clear.

    So why do I come to this site and find that you repeatedly accused me of bringing it up?

    I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago.

    It’s a reference to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.

    And you sure break your own rule a lot:

    “Darrell’s Corollary of Godwin’s Law is that if posters in an internet discussion know to avoid the mention of Hitler to avoid their opponents’ invoking Godwin’s law, they’ll compare the actions to Stalin instead.” — https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/castro-joins-the-911-conspiracy-cluster/

    Then there’s your faux anti-science position. If you were really pro-science (or half the Christian you claim to be), you’d be pro-life. Embryology textbooks are clear about when life begins, but you choose to rationalize that away so you can support the legalized crushing and dismemberment of 3,000+ human beings per day. It is so ironic that you crank out posts about “dangerous, anti-science bigoted ignorance” when your views on abortion fit that title perfectly. It is your views that result in over 1,000,000 deaths per year.

    I supported every point with facts, so go ahead and try your diversion tactics and call me a whiner or, ironically, a name-caller.

    I’m sure you won’t delete this, as you wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt over acting like Stalin. You can whine about me deleting you but I made my commenting guidelines quite clear and gave you (too) many chances.

    So we’ve clearly established that in addition to your irraitonal rants you are a hypocrite, a libeler and a liar. That’s quite a combination. You are truly the most despicable person I’ve met in blogging, and that says a lot.

    Like

  66. Ed Darrell says:

    I wrote in the post starting this thread:

    One wishes critics of Rachel Carson would show a bit of Christian charity, calling for bed nets, but avoiding unjustified and misinformed calumny against Carson and environmentalists, who have labored intensively for 40 years to fight malaria.

    One gets the idea it’s not malaria these pundits worry about.

    ::sigh::

    One still wishes.

    Like

  67. Ed Darrell says:

    Last comment: I’m saving copies of all these threads. Oddly, sometimes when I expose people like this the comments disappear or get edited. Not that you’d ever misrepresent anything (over and over and over).

    Boy that drips with irony, Neil. No, comments don’t disappear here. This isn’t Simpson’s blog. Notice your commenting hasn’t been cut off. I’m happy to expose pathogens to the sunshine. It seems pretty clear you’re determined to test just how far you can push me. Your offense-to-fact ratio is nothing to be proud of.

    Gee, for someone who claims to have a fact or two on his side, you sure spend a lot of time calling names and ranting about what you project others might do.

    Got anything to back your scurrilous claims on DDT, Neil? Nothing to back your base canards against science and evolution either?

    Well, yeah, then I guess whining and name-calling is pretty much all we can expect.

    Like

  68. Neil says:

    Last comment: I’m saving copies of all these threads. Oddly, sometimes when I expose people like this the comments disappear or get edited. Not that you’d ever misrepresent anything (over and over and over).

    Like

  69. Neil says:

    I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago.

    Golly, here’s another one. Ed, you are such a liar! You knew all along that you brought Stalin up, not me. I showed the evidence for all to see http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2006/08/17/don%e2%80%99t-discuss-evolution-until/ .

    It’s a reference to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Stalin to Darwin’s sins.

    Another lie. And you sure break your own rule a lot:

    “Darrell’s Corollary of Godwin’s Law is that if posters in an internet discussion know to avoid the mention of Hitler to avoid their opponents’ invoking Godwin’s law, they’ll compare the actions to Stalin instead.” — https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/castro-joins-the-911-conspiracy-cluster/

    Ed, I’ve spent enough time on you for another year or two. You represent everything bad about blogging. Just one viscious lie after another.

    Like

  70. brainfan says:

    Count me as another who wishes you didn’t/wouldn’t go on rants against religion or try to tie Hitler and Stalin in with it. I know many others on the other side (why there has to be such sides I’m not sure; I think broad groups of people are being deliberately pitted against one another) who use these arguments, but a better approach IMO is to simply rebut their claims and not be goaded into an unnecessary attack. Remember, many of these Christians would join your side if they weren’t offended by insults against our faith. A few other points:

    a. It’s amazing to find such virulent support for DDT (and any number of other chemicals and “-cides”) from average people with nothing to gain and much to lose. This is how the paid-for campaigning from people like Whelan work: piss the average Joe off with simplistic rhetoric and incite him to spread the lies like a virus.

    b. Whelan didn’t say that there is no proof of anyone dying or getting ill from DDT. She said that there “has never been a documented case of human illness or death in the U.S. as a result of the standard and accepted use of pesticides,” which is an even worse lie. Unfortunately however, with the toxic stew that we’re living in and with the very long incubatory periods of the types of illnesses that result, pinning down a degenerative illness (or any other kind) to one specific chemical exposure is indeed difficult and people like Whelan know this. An argument has to be succinctly made that explains this powerfully enough for people to realize that the precautionary principle should be the rule; error on the side of caution for the health of humanity rather than the health of industry.

    c. DDT may be useful for a short period of time, but it’s been proven that the malaria virus quickly adapts, rendering the chemical worthless. The few who’ve been saved and the rest of the people around them now have to contend with the possibility of harm from DDT and its reactions with other chemicals in the body and the environment. On this last point, DDT may be a weak carcinogen, but since when do these chemicals exist in a vacuum? There are any number of chemicals that can and will act synergistically with DDT, multiplying its effects or causing completely different and more hazardous effects. Reactive chemistry is completely ignored in most of these arguments to our collective detriment.

    Like

  71. Colugo says:

    “Perhaps you could be more clear about the error you think you see?”

    Darwin (and Darwinism) did not cause the Holocaust. Intellectual and ideological history doesn’t work like that in general and certainly not in this alleged causal chain. So I agree with the conclusion of the counter-creationist narrative about Darwin and Hitler. The errors are in the characterization of individuals, movements, and eras. (I’m not saying that you are promoting all of these; rather, this is some of what I have seen in the science blogosphere in the last couple of years.)

    1) Darwin and circle.

    Error: Darwin was an egalitarian antiracist and liberal who utterly disavowed any reactionary application of his theory to social affairs.

    While he was fairly progressive and fair-minded for his era and social class, Darwin was not a modern liberal; he was much more a inegalitarian hereditarian and Victorian elitist than we like to think. For example, Darwin was opposed to the abolition of piece-work pay, citing the principle of competition. Haeckel and Galton (Darwin’s half-cousin) had their disagreements with Darwin, but nor were they renegades that Darwin disavowed. It is true that many of his contemporaries and followers were much less cautious than Darwin in applying natural selection to social affairs.

    2) Eugenics.

    Error: Eugenics was a largely right wing, Christian, rural movement largely rejected by scientists and liberals.

    Eugenics was embraced across the political spectrum, associated with the Progressive movement and the progressive Social Gospel advocated by robber barons and feminist leftists, Christians and freethinkers, professional scientists and laypeople alike. In fact, its scientific architects were mainly Darwinists (Pearson and Davenport to name two) and freethinkers. Very few biologists were opposed to eugenics during its heyday. Eugenic involuntary sterilization was heavily practiced in social democratic Sweden for decades.

    http://personal.uncc.edu/jmarks/eugenics/eugenics.html

    “Instead, it was the Bible Belt and rural states that jumped on the bandwagon and passed laws allowing them to sterilize people”

    Not really. Map of eugenicist states circa 1921.

    3) Nazism.

    Error: Nazism was an anti-evolutionary, anti-science, Christian fundamentalist movement.

    To an unsettling extent the assumptions of Nazi biopolitics were not as far removed from the then-mainstream of Western biological science – to the disgrace of the latter – as many like to believe. In practice these were implemented to an atrocious degree on an unimaginable scale. Nazi Germany was heir to European Christian antisemitism – the real primary precipitating condition of the Holocaust – but the Nazi elite followed Positive Christianity rather than Biblical fundamentalism. Horror over the Nazi murder of the handicapped and the Holocaust in the aftermath of WWII effectively ended the eugenicist era in the democratic West.

    4) Current evolutionary biology.

    Error: Nothing in modern biological science can be interpreted by professional biologists as giving credence to notions about hereditary differences between races in cognitive abilities and temperament.

    There are small circles of hereditary inegalitarian biologists and scientists in related disciplines. These are a minority, but nor are they a tiny marginalized fringe. Even if we disagree with them (and I do) they still exist.

    5) Eugenics today.

    Error: Eugenics is over.

    Some bioethicists and biologists advocate manipulating the human germline to improve humanity and transcend the limits of evolved biology, not just to prevent devastating hereditary disease like cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs. The transhumanist movement, which includes some scientists, advocates such manipulation. This is not coercive and state-imposed like classical eugenics, but the eugenicist impulse to “improve” human hereditary material for the benefit of future generations is there.

    “I do not find anything in evolution theory to be in error in any significant way.”

    The fundamentals of the Modern Synthesis will mainly endure. But keep in mind that Darwin’s views on evolution are not the same as modern evolutionary biology, and that the latter may well be modified (with greater understanding of epigenetic inheritance, lateral transmission, genetic assimilation/facilitation and other phenomena).

    In addition, nothing about history – Darwin’s social beliefs, the eugenics movement, Nazism etc. – or even factions of those who accept evolutionary science (e.g. transhumanists) – has any bearing, positive or negative, on the validity of modern evolutionary biology.

    Like

  72. Ed Darrell says:

    Perhaps you could be more clear about the error you think you see?

    If you’re saying Darwin was, in fact, a raging racist, no there is no error. If you’re saying Darwin urged the purging of the “unfit” from the human race, no, there’s no error — he didn’t do that.

    If you’re saying one might make a link from Darwin to eugenics, then I don’t think anyone is denying that.

    To claim that Hitler was prompted to invade Poland by his reading of Darwin is wrong historically and scientifically, though. To attribute anything Hitler did as on account of something Darwin wrote is dubious, too.

    I fail to see where you’re drawing the line. For example, you quote Darwin above as saying he fears for the human race because the fittest didn’t survive. That’s 180 degress different from fearing for the race because the unfit DID survive, and neither is the same as saying someone needed to be murdered.

    I do not believe the mere study of Darwin to be evil. I do not find anything in evolution theory to be in error in any significant way. Darwin’s having corresponded with his son-in-law, Galton, doesn’t make the case that Darwin lit the fuse to the bomb that became Hitler.

    Like

  73. Colugo says:

    You’re preaching to a choir with a lot of this; that is, I don’t disagree. So I’ll focus on some points (not exhaustive) where you aren’t.

    “failing to intervene artificially is NOT the same thing as “rejecting selection.””

    The passage refers to the alleged relaxation of natural selection under conditions of civilization, a theme which repeated from the 1860s to WWII. This was the dysgenic crisis that eugenicists (incorrectly) perceived.

    Francis Galton, Hereditary Character and Talent, Macmillan’s Magazine, vol. 12, 1865 pp. 157-166 (available on Galton.org):

    “One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives, that would have perished in barbarous lands. … As with the body, so with the mind. …In civilized society, money interposes her aegis between the law of natural selection and very many of its rightful victims.”

    Preface to German race hygiene journal Eugenik, 1930 (cited in Race Hygiene and National Efficiency: The Eugenics of Wilhelm Schallmayer by Sheila Faith Weiss, 1987):

    “Civilization has eliminated natural selection. Public welfare and social assistance contribute, as an undesired side effect of a necessary duty, to the preservation and further reproduction of hereditarily diseased individuals. A crushing and ever-growing burden of useless individuals unworthy of life are maintained and taken care of in institutions at the expense of the healthy–of whom a hundred thousand are today without their own place to live and millions of whom starve from lack of work. Does not today’s predicament cry out strongly enough for a “planned economy,” that is, eugenics, in health policy?”

    Nazism was a highly syncretic ideology that assimilated, reinterpreted, transformed and uneasily combined many strands of thought, from Luther to Blavatasky to holism to current biology. Was this synthesis particularly internally consistent, logically rigorous, or display much fidelity to its original sources? Not really.

    Science is like religion in that people will incorporate into their ideologies those aspects and interpretations that most fulfill some need – whether of providing meaning, mobilization, or propaganda. We all do it, sometimes without realizing it.

    I’m afraid that in its heyday eugenics was more popular across the political spectrum and in the scientific community in the US and elsewhere than you appear to realize.

    Darwin and eugenics: True, Darwin trusted advocacy and education more than Galton’s bureaucratic schemes.

    Darwin to Galton, 1873:
    http://www.galton.org/letters/darwin/correspondence.htm

    “Though I see so much difficulty, the object seems a grand one; and you have pointed out the sole feasible, yet I fear utopian, plan of procedure in improving the human race. I should be inclined to trust more (and this is part of your plan) to disseminating and insisting on the importance of the all-important principle of inheritance.”

    But he definitely perceived a dysgenic crisis.

    Alfred Russel Wallace, , The Eclectic Magazine, October 1890:

    “In one of my last conversations with Darwin he expressed himself very gloomily on the future of humanity, on the ground that in our modern civilization natural selection had no play, and the fittest did not survive.”

    “There are no such cells in science that anyone knows about, and the occasional William Shockley is almost always someone wholly unfamiliar with biology.”

    If you mean no current proponents within biological science of the thesis that races significantly differ in genetically determined cognitive abilities, that is unfortunately not the case. I have studied scientific racism (casually, on the side) for 15 years.

    I’m not anti-Darwin. And my knowledge of evolution, eugenics, Darwin, Hitler etc is not gleaned from creationist websites. (And did you read my last two comments on the Weikart thread?)

    Let me also suggest biological anthropologist Jonathan Marks of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for more on the eugenics movement.

    My point is simple (and perhaps tiresomely repetitive): the counter-creationist narrative has fallen into error.

    Like

  74. Ed Darrell says:

    Well, yeah, that’s a decent description, except that “they are destroyed” is a bit strong, and “they do not reproduce” in many cases is “they do not reproduce as much as others.

    I think what you left out is also important. It shows the same commitment to “eugenics” demonstrated in the U.S. across the Bible Belt, and it shows the same biases, not grounded in any science.

    Animal and plant breeders who want particular traits systematically eliminate those with undesired traits, and “breed” for those creatures with the desired genes. “Breeding” is artificial selection.

    In the case of human beings, the complete rejection of selection has led to undesirable and unexpected results. A particularly clear example is an increase in the genetically ill. In Germany in 1930, there were about 150,000 people in mental asylums and 70,000 criminals in prisons and jails. They were, however, only a small part of the real number of the handicapped. Their total number is estimated at more than half a million. The requires enormous expense on the part of society: 4 RM [Reichsmarks] daily for the mentally ill, 3.5 RM for a criminal, 5-6 RM for a cripple or a deaf person. In contrast, an unskilled worker earns 2.50 RM a day, a white collar worker 3.50 RM, a lower level civil servant 4 RM. (Reich Minister Dr. Frick gave these figures in 1933). Earlier, those with such handicaps, if they were not in institutions, were free to reproduce, and particularly in the case of drunkards and the mentally handicapped, the number of children was often very high. A single alcoholic woman born in 1810 had 890 descendents in 1839 [I assume this is a typographical error.]. Half were mentally impaired. 181 were prostitutes, 142 beggars, 76 serious criminals, 7 murderers, 40 were in poorhouses. The woman cost the state about 5 million marks altogether, which had to be paid by healthy and sometimes very valuable people. It raised taxes and reduced opportunities for others. This shows the wisdom of Goethe’s words: “Reason becomes nonsense, charity a plague!” The “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Ill Offspring” of 14 July 1933 seeks to reduce the worst cases of such unnatural counter selection by allowing for the sterilization of serious and genetically inherited illnesses. Thus the army of the mentally ill, the idiots and those with low intelligence, the criminals, those dangerous to the community, and tramps will gradually diminish, leaving more room and opportunity for healthy and hard-working people. “Humanity” is not ignored in these cases. One not only leaves the ill alive, but cares for and protects them. Sterilization is safe and harmless. However, one will display “humanity” not only to those who are of less worth, but also to those who are valuable. If we believe those who through serious research have sought to understand God’s will, there is no doubt as to what the will of God is.

    The last world congress of scholars from every civilized nation showed that an understanding for German policies in this area is growing rapidly throughout the world.

    Read that again: ” . . . no doubt as to what the will of God is.”

    Here are some problems:

    First, as Darwin described, failing to intervene artificially is NOT the same thing as “rejecting selection.” Natural selection operates. As Darwin notes, prisoners rarely reproduce, for one example. Darwin concluded that there was no great need to intervene artificially.

    Second, there is no such thing from Mendel’s work, nor from genetics then, nor from genetics now, as “genetically ill.” If one were to propose some sort of definition for such a thing, one would then run smash into the same problem that every other scientist has who wondered about the issue: Half or most of those labeled “genetically ill” will be outstanding members of society, successful and popular, rich and powerful. Moreover, you’ll find the prisons populated with people who cannot be labeled “genetically ill” by any definition; you’ll also find them populated disproportionately with Christians who profess to have found God and repented, often before they committed their last crimes that got them incarcerated. The bottom line is that the claim made in the pamphlet is completely bogus. It’s not based on anyone’s biology, not based on anyone’s science.

    The pamphlet doesn’t resort to science, either. There’s no hint of any effort to devise a diagnostic rule, such as the current DSM publications in the U.S. and similar publications. If it were a disease, it might be subject to treatment — there is no hint of a search for a treatment or cure.

    Instead there is a law, a legal device written by the Nazis (this was after the Enabling Act, which essentially derascinated the power of the Reichstag and left the writing and execution of the laws to the ruling party, the Nazis). So it’s not a biological issue, not a science issue we’re dealing with here, but a legal issue.

    You might want to review some of the sterilization laws passed in the U.S. at the same time. Critics of science and Darwin like to point to the few people who wrote about eugenics as if they knew exactly what they were doing, but they rarely tell you that these eugenics advocates didn’t have a lot of success urging other scientists and liberal-leaning states to go along with them. Instead, it was the Bible Belt and rural states that jumped on the bandwagon and passed laws allowing them to sterilize people, not by medical diagnosis, but by legal definition and the power of the state. You’ll recall it was a Virginia case that came to the Supreme Court for Justice Holmes’ now revolting statement about “three generations of imbeciles is enough.”

    Eugenics seems to me to be driven largely by racial and religious bias, not by careful scientific reasoning. While there are sciency sounding arguments made in its favor in various places, the arguments are similar to the sciency sounding arguments the tobacco companies made urging how healthful cigarette smoking could be, or creationists, arguing that they have scientific evidence that radio-isotope evidence doesn’t work, while not realizing that if their arguments were at all accurate, no atom could hold together and the entire universe would fly apart.

    I realize I’m close to making a “no true Scotsman” argument, but I urge you to look at the times and the science, and the claims made in the name of science that had no basis in research. Hitler “knew” that race and heritage were in the blood, not the genes. Hitler “knew” what the Aryan bloodtype was, and what the Jewish bloodtype was, and never mind that what he knew was 180 degrees different from the blood type trends in Germany.

    Law sometimes has to step in where science cannot provide an answer. But sometimes institutions of government overstep, or misstep. Eugenics is one of those sometimes.

    There is often no correlation between genetics and high achievement, between intelligence and failure to achieve, between any identifiable physical trait such as genes and what the adult becomes. Genes don’t tell us that Jack LaLanne will work out and build his muscles. Genes don’t tell us that Winston Churchill, in his probably-congenital depressions, would find the words that inspired Britain to roar and the British lion to bite Hitler’s invasion plans in the ass. Genes don’t tell us that one man will be president of a great university while his brother dabbles in petty but dangerous organized crime.

    So the judgments made on these issues are not scientific, and they are not Darwin’s fault. Darwin pointed out that such genocidal actions were unjust, and scientifically untenable in light of what evolution revealed (the Tasmanians were better adapted to Tasmania than Europeans, the Inuit much better adapted to the cold northern lands than other groups from Europe or elsewhere).

    Yes, the Nazis were killers. Yes, they claimed to have science on their side. No, they didn’t understand genetics, they didn’t find words of encouragement or science to support them from Darwin (whose books they burned).

    Racism is a corrupting thing. It corrupts scientists who are racist, it corrupts churches that are racist. It corrupts governments that are racist. That has always been the case, and it always will be. Evil corrupts anything it can grab hold of, especially the good intentions of people who do not know what they are talking about.

    Darwin was right in 1859: “Survival of the fittest” was too harsh a term, too subject to corruption, too subject to misunderstanding. He disagreed with Herbert Spencer, who invented the term to describe why rich people were justified in stepping on poor people. But as he grew older, as he thought others better understood the science, he thought it no big deal to use it to describe evolution. You have found documents that show Darwin was right in the beginning, and we all wish he’d stuck to his guns on the issue.

    His error in judgment, assuming people to be more enlightened than they are, we might write off to his optimistic outlook on what was, for him, a painful life.

    And we should understand that preaching against Darwinian theory will not prevent the next racist nut from finding some justification for genocide against whatever group he or she wishes to denigrate — rednecks, stiff-necked Republicans, bleeding-heart liberals, strict free marketers, or any other group that might unjustly earn the ire of some nutcase. Heaven knows there are a lot of nutcases, including several tens of thousands of Americans who think Hitler had it right, and we should revive Hitler’s policies.

    Oddly for the case Ben Stein tries to make, almost every one of those groups claims to be Christian, except for a few who claim that Odin is God. There are no such cells in science that anyone knows about, and the occasional William Shockley is almost always someone wholly unfamiliar with biology.

    So, if we were to weigh the evidence before us, we’d have to say religion is a stronger driver of such hatred-filled actions, not science.

    Do you think that there may be some genetic defect that causes those people to elevate Hitler so? Stop thinking that right now. Regardless their genetic makeup, racial hatred is learned. As Rodgers and Hammerstein noted, “it has to be carefully taught.”

    Railing at Darwin won’t help.

    Like

  75. Colugo says:

    Interesting. I’ll do some more reading on Nazi blood policy.

    Nazi book for graduates of compulsory education (age 14), 1940:

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/du.htm

    “… you must understand several of the fundamental genetic laws. The German Augustianian abbot Gregor Mendel of Brünn discovered the most important of these laws in 1865 by studying plants. His work was rediscovered in 1900, tested and found to be correct. ”

    “Wherever nature is left to itself, those creatures that cannot compete with their stronger neighbors are eliminated from the stream of life. In the struggle for existence, such individual creatures are destroyed and they do not reproduce. This is called natural selection.”

    Like

  76. Ed Darrell says:

    Germany had tried transfusions and blood banks. As Ashley Montagu documented, they’d abandoned the idea during World War II, for exactly the reasons I stated. The example of use of a blood bank that book offers is in 1935. By 1939, when the war started, the issue of trying to keep the blood banks separate frustrated their operation. As Montagu explains, another complicating feature was that Hitler determined some blood types to be “Jewish blood types,” and others “Aryan blood.” The difficulty was that the blood type thought to be Aryan was common among Jews.

    In any event, because of the rejection of Darwinian theory and genetics, and its replacement with a non-science-based idea of blood heritage, the operation of blood banks to save German soldiers was untenable. Thousands died unnecessarily from simple loss of blood on the German side.

    True, America had non-integrated blood banks. That’s a doubly ironic slam because America’s blood and blood bank expert, Charles Drew, was African American. It’s also true that most physicians and medics understood that, as there are no creationists in the cancer wards, there are no bigots in need of blood.

    Fortunately, no one on the Allied side let their hatred of things English — Darwin and Darwinian theories — nor their stupid bigotries halt the operation of blood banks. Much more blood was available to treat Allied soldiers wounded in battle, and many more thousands on the Allied side survived as a result.

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  77. Colugo says:

    “Hitler rejected Darwin completely, officially choosing the Biblical “heritage in the blood” theory, and refusing to allow the establishment of life-saving blood banks as a result.”

    That is incorrect; the Nazis had blood banks in which “Aryan” blood was segregated from non-Aryan blood.

    Incidentally, the American Red Cross once segregated white from “colored” blood.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=LXoRhNK_sjYC&pg=PA203&dq=hitler+%22blood+banks%22&sig=UVklmWVOum-gDJdIya6598e2G-o

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  78. […] Dangerous, anti-science, bigoted ignorance […]

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  79. Ed Darrell says:

    So, John, do you seriously claim DDT is not a poison? Of what use is it, then? Please explain.

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  80. John A says:

    You have yet to demonstrate that DDT is a poison, so how can using it “poison the heaven out of Africa”?

    There are tens of millions of people, including many small children who contract malaria every year in Africa.

    Can you name a single case of an African dying as a result of the use of DDT?

    Like

  81. Ed Darrell says:

    So, you don’t know who Bruce Ames is, and you can’t tell us why we should care. But you think I should know. Hello, double standard!

    I said I am not now sure how many died in Borneo, but the incident shows the dangers of DDT. You offer no counter argument, but wish to paint me as somehow not providing evidence? So, you don’t really have an argument, you just want to flap gums? (I have two posts mentioning the Borneo incident:
    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/accuracy-a-good-bias-ddt-again/, and
    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/07/10/ddt-the-problems-the-whorachel-carson-critics-dont-want-you-to-know/

    Perhaps you’d like to review them?)

    I guess you’re right: Saccharin is now safe to use to fight DDT. Or did you have a different point there somewhere? If I said saccharin is still considered a carcinogen, I guess I was wrong. Spray it all over Africa for me, will you?

    Nothing in your post suggests any error about DDT on my part, and certainly no justification to go poison the heaven out of Africa with DDT.

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  82. J F Beck says:

    Ed, a couple of telling points.

    You say hundreds died in Borneo owing to disease outbreaks following DDT use. I say this is doubtful. You provide no evidence supporting your claim and ask me to prove the incident never happened. How do you suggest I prove an event didn’t happen?

    You don’t know who Bruce Ames is and don’t care. I seldom get see someone take such pride in ignorance. Ignorance that disqualifies you from saying anything meaningful about DDT.

    Here’s the FDA scoop on saccharin:

    “To date numerous studies have been conducted in an effort to determine if saccharin and its salt compounds are truly human carcinogens. Much debate has challenged the original rat studies, claiming that the toxicological effects of saccharin exposure in rats differ from that in humans. Based on recent studies supporting these claims, the FDA formally withdrew its 1977 proposal to ban the use of saccharin. Also, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) downgraded its rating of saccharin from Group 2B, “possibly carcinogenic to humans” to Group 3, “not classifiable as to the carcinogenicity to humans”. Additionally, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) removed saccharin from its Report on Carcinogens.”

    http://enhs.umn.edu/saccharin/fda.html

    Best you stick to doing what you’re good at: beating up on creationists.

    Like

  83. Ed Darrell says:

    1. Various agencies work to protect public health. That requires DDT be used sparingly — preferably not at all.

    2. If all you wish is indoor residual spraying, you’re on Rachel Carson’s side. Of course, no one could ever determine that reading how you claim she got so much wrong. A rational person notes this, and suspects you have an ulterior motive. In any case, you’re not supporting those who called for IRS first, or best. Why in the world would you say the things you say, if you’re supporting Carson?

    I’ll allow as to how you may be very confused. As soon as you figure it out and come out with a post calling for a post office to be named in Carson’s honor, we’ll know you were serious.

    3. When you say DDT is not carcinogenic, when you say Rachel Carson got it wrong, you get it wrong.

    4. See #3.

    5. Time was wrong in 1964, right in 36 years later. She was more right about cancer than the author of that article was. Ira Butler doesn’t appear to have read the book at all. If Ms. Carson was “sarcastic” against those who urged poisoning our way to prosperity, too bad. She was right. They were wrong. Butler takes no issue with anything she said in science.

    President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Council found Carson to be correct, but too conservative in her call for action. Why should we take Butler’s word over theirs? The National Academy of Sciences took due note of the benefits of DDT in a book that even Steven Milloy gleefully quotes — and then called for a ban of the substance, and work to stop all of its uses, and much more study as Ms. Carson urged.

    I’ll take the vast consensus of scientists over your carping that they and Ms. Carson might not have been exactly polite enough.

    6. You’re picking nits. Carson was a fine scientist. I didn’t say she won a Nobel for her science work. I said she gained prominence — as the publication of her earlier books, and writing for New Yorker, attest.

    7. You scored a point on selenium. Only one form is now thought to be carcinogenic. One form of selenium is carcinogenic. When do you admit that? DDT is listed as a probable human carcinogen. Ready to admit that? Stop crying when the science isn’t on your side, when we readily admit our errors here.

    8. Life is carcinogenic. What’s your point? DDT is listed, water is not. Are you trying to argue DDT is safer than water? What’s your point?

    9. You misstate my claim, and you well know the documentation for the Borneo incident. Are you trying to weasel out of it, backing into a claim it did not happen? Got any evidence?

    10. Read your first sentence. I’m consistent. Yes, DDT is again effective against some mosquito species which had been resistant before. Resistance is building again in their populations. DDT is no panacea, can’t be used for long periods, cannot cure children already affected, and so on.

    11. Who in the hell is Bruce Ames, and why should anyone care?

    12. Elizabeth Whelan says no deaths due to acute DDT toxicity have occurred in the U.S. She knows better than to make the claim for the entire world, since we have toxicity figures, which can only be established with deaths from the stuff. And yes, she is disreputable as a scientist, slandering viciously a good guy who doesn’t deserve such treatment, and refusing to correct the slander for more than 20 years. Why would you hang with such disreputable types?

    13. You know nothing about leukemia, and you’re offensive in your ignorance. Let me just say that I’ve met with the survivors of more cases of such quick-onset leukemia than were thought possible worldwide, from one small rural town. Study up on leukemia, and correct your misstatements about what Carson wrote.

    14. Saccharin is marketable only because of a special law that exempts it from the DeLaney Clause. Your science is worse than your history.

    15. I have never argued DDT is a dangerous carcinogen. I note that it is wrong to say it is not carcinogenic. You get my statement wrong, and you’re offensive about it again.

    If you think Lambert and I are in the same category, I’m correctly flattered.

    Like

  84. J F Beck says:

    Jeez Ed, an almost 3,000 word response; I’m flattered. Rather than obfuscate through sheer volume, I’ll try to tease out your points and respond succinctly.

    1. Various agencies, governments, health officials and environmentalists have dissuaded the world from using DDT. You continue to attempt to dissuade, commenting on using DDT to poison Africans, for example. Forbes thinks this immoral, as do I.

    2. You say I think DDT wonderful even though I support its use only for Indoor Residual Spraying where deemed appropriate by competent authority.

    3. You say I dismiss DDT science. Please quote my dismissals and show me where I get it wrong.

    4. You say I make big errors regarding DDT. Please quote some of my errors and show me where I get it wrong – there are plenty of my comments in earlier MFB threads or you could try my blog.

    5. You say that Silent Spring is in no way discredited, pointing out that Time nominated Carson as one of the most prominent 100. Well here’s an excerpt from a 1964 Time article:

    “To its author, it was more than a book; it became a crusade. And, despite her scientific training, she rejected facts that weakened her case, while using almost any material, regardless of authenticity, that seemed to support her thesis. Her critics, who included many eminent scientists, objected that the book’s exaggerations and emotional tone played on the vague fears of city dwellers, the bulk of the U.S. population, who have little contact with uncontrolled nature and do not know how unpleasantly hostile it generally is. Many passages mentioned cancer, whose cause is still mysterious. Who knows? suggested the book. Could one cause of the disease be pesticides?”

    And there’s this from agricultural bacteriologist Ira Butler:

    “Silent Spring is superbly written and beautifully illustrated with line drawings. The author has made an exhaustive study of the facts bearing on the problem. It is not, however, a judicial review or a balancing of the gains and losses; rather, it is the prosecuting attorney’s impassioned plea for action against the use of these new materials which have received such widespread acceptance, acceptance accorded because of the obvious benefits that their use has conferred.”

    “I can understand that the author felt it necessary to portray as “bad guys” all those who recommend the use of pesticides and as “good guys” all those who oppose the use of such insecticides. I cannot condone, however, the sarcastic and unjustified attack on the ethics and integrity of many scientific workers.”

    Silent Spring is not good science.

    6. Carson was a prominent and influential author. Contrary to your claim, she was not prominent in any field of science and, as far as I know, produced no notable scientific research. If she did achieve prominence in science you should be able to provide heaps of links to her professional writings. Good luck.

    7. You originally said (without qualification) that selenium is a carcinogen but now try to worm your way out through qualification. Selenium is not carcinogenic.

    8. You originally said (without qualification) that water is carcinogenic. As with selenium you now try to worm your way out through qualification.

    9. You claim the Borneo incident is “one of the most famous cases of DDT abuse in history” causing the disease deaths of hundreds. Please provide anything other than anecdotal evidence that this actually happened.

    10. You originally claim that DDT use in Africa stopped because it became “ineffective” against mosquitoes but now claim that “DDT ineffectiveness was the key reason its use declined in those areas where it was used”. Which areas are you talking about? Regardless, DDT was and is effective in much of Africa, with its declining use attributable to (mostly external) political pressures.

    11. You claim eminent scientist Bruce Ames is “silly” and “misled” because he and his associates think the DDT hazard is overstated. Right.

    12. Elizabeth Whelan correctly says no deaths are directly attributable to DDT and you rebut he by attacking her for supposedly slandering Charles Wurster. Cool argument. As you know, there is not a single documented human death directly attributed to DDT.

    13. You claim it was not absurd of Carson to claim a woman used DDT three times over a period of less than a year and developed and died of leukemia within months of first using DDT. And you reckon Neil Simpson is anti-science.

    14. You originally claimed DDT must be a human carcinogen because ““[t]here is no other substance known to be an mammal carcinogen that is not also carcinogenic in humans”. You are wrong: lots of chemicals produce cancer is one species but not in another. For example, saccharin is carcinogenic to rats but not to humans.

    15. You insist that DDT is a dangerous carcinogen but I say the proof is lacking that DDT causes cancer outside the laboratory. I reckon if DDT is carcinogenic someone might have noticed the cancer epidemic amongst humans and animals in the US after an estimated 1.35 billion pounds of DDT was used there in less than 30 years.

    That’ll do for now. Unfortunately, you get even less right about DDT than does Tim Lambert.

    Like

  85. Ed Darrell says:

    Mr. Beck! Sorta good to see you back posting. Still need some work on your views, though.

    Now since there isn’t really anything to attack in Simpson’s brief post (many knowledgeable persons advocate the combined use of DDT and bed nets) you concentrate instead on his link to a three year-old article by Steve Forbes, characterizing Forbes as a “modern angry white male bigot” making an “ill-informed rant” attacking intellectuals (such as yourself, of course), women and women’s rights, history, scientists and foreign aid. Along the way you accuse Forbes of wanting to poison Africans. Uh Ed, you seem to be the one doing all the ranting.

    It seems to me that when someone inaccurately claims others are immoral, and that their immoral actions have killed millions, that’s a rant that deserves correction. Were they Forbes’ words? This is what Simpson’s post said: “That various agencies, governments, health officials and environmentalists have deliberately dissuaded the world from using DDT is one of the most immoral moves of modern times.”

    I know, you think DDT is wonderful, and you dismiss all the science that claims otherwise. Tough. That’s a separate form of irresponsibility. Adding calumny to it, by claiming a conspiracy of “governments, health officials and environmentalists” is a rant, too — and a dishonest one that drips with vitriol.

    You first objection is to Forbes claiming: “That various agencies, governments, health officials and environmentalists have deliberately dissuaded the world from using DDT is one of the most immoral moves of modern times.” In fact a de facto DDT ban was in place for years, as was effectively admitted by the WHO (proposing a return to DDT use) and Environmental Defense (which attacked USAID for refusing to fund the anti-malarial use of DDT). Forbes is essentially correct and, if anything, understates the problem.

    DDT has been used constantly in Mexico since 1946, and they have the same problems with malaria everyone else has. South Africa dropped DDT briefly, but it wasn’t stopped because environmentalists suddenly got powerful in the country. DDT was available for use against malaria, from U.S. manufacturers, for at least a decade after the ban on broadcast use in the U.S. There are a few nations that perhaps could have benefited from using DDT in the late 1960s, but they were unable to get their governments stable enough to worry about malaria. In almost all other places, DDT was discontinued because it ceased being effective. When DDT became effective again, after a layoff of some years, it was the environmental organizations who appealed to the Bush administration to release the money to purchase the stuff and fund the program.

    Now, if you wish to make a case that George Bush is a flaming environmentalist, be my guest. But the facts are that it was NOT environmentalists who stopped any usage of DDT in limited, indoor spraying.

    DDT is no panacea, however, and it never has been. The resurgence of malaria is attributed to the failure of medicines which were once effective, and the failure of medical care systems to deliver care. DDT had nothing to do with that, nor can DDT change it. More, DDT will only do damage if it is deployed without fixing those problems.

    Forbes is wrong in the essence and the substance. In fact, his charges hide the problems, and arguably detract from their solution. Arguing that environmentalists are at fault for current malaria rates, or past deaths, is like arguing the French were responsible for everyone who died in the Soviet Gulag, and for the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Yes, people died in the Gulag, and in New York City. No, attacking the French won’t help anything.

    Your second objection is to Forbes’s referring to Silent Spring as “ largely discredited”. Now I don’t know how to quantify “largely discredited” and think maybe this is a bit of an overstatement by Forbes but do say with confidence that the book is partly discredited – for example, Carson’s absurd assertion that a woman developed cancer and died after using DDT three times over a period of a few months.

    Nothing in Carson’s book is discredited. Even that example, which involved acute leukemia (which can indeed form after three exposures, and in a short period of time), is not challenged by scientists who deal with leukemia.

    How to quantify “largely discredited?” How about by noting any significant study that said she was in error. There are none. Every study of the book concluded she was accurate.

    That’s not just a quibble about how much discredited the book is. Forbes’, and Simpson’s, and your claims are untrue. Nothing in the book has been discredited by any reputable researcher, and no one who honestly looks at the data could arrive at that conclusion.

    In saying the book is discredited, you’re saying that President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee was in error when they said Carson got the science right, and urged President Kennedy to act immediately to alleviate the problems. You’re saying that all the federal courts got their science wrong, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 60 years of studies are all in error, and had we just dealt with the real problems we might have been able to save the bald eagle, osprey and brown pelican.

    Come to reality, please.

    You third objection is really a restatement of your second except that you now say: “Carson worried about human health effects, but stopped far short of saying DDT kills humans.” No she didn’t, she says DDT caused a user to develop cancer and die.

    Balderdash. Check the book and see what she really says, will you?

    If you wish to argue that hydrocarbons cannot cause acute leukemia, you need to do some serious research first. Such a case cannot be made, is not supported by science, and is contrary to many studies. As you know, DDT is listed as a probably human carcinogen by every cancer-fighting agency on Earth, largely because it is a known carcinogen in other mammals.

    Read Carson, get the facts. She was not so sloppy with the facts of the case, nor sloppy with the science. Much research since then supports Carson’s observations.

    The book is about DDT’s damage to the environment other than humans, mostly. “Silent Spring” refers to a spring in which birds do not sing, not to human deaths. The work on environmental damage is much stronger than that for human health damage. Subsequent research verified all of Carson’s claims in that field, and went further, finding that eggshell thinning due to DDT and its breakdown products contributed even more to bird reproductive failures and chick deaths that anyone suspected in 1962, and finding that DDT mimics endocrine hormones in the wild, leading to the equivalent of estrogen poisoning of many species. This family of chemicals contributes to reproductive failure in fish, lizards, mammals and birds — most of which was unknown when Carson wrote.

    So, to claim her book as “discredited” is not only false, it’s exactly contrary to the facts. Her book was a foreshadowing of much other damage to be found out later.

    Your final objection is an anti-Elizabeth Whelan rant – she claims no deaths due to DDT. Now Ed, we’ve argued about the toxicity of DDT before and you were unable to provide evidence of a single fatality. Has anything changed?

    Whelan is still a charlatan and a liar. That hasn’t changed. She has not retracted her contemptible libel of Charles Wurster.

    No, nothing’s changed in toxicity. We still have only the few human deaths that establish toxicity. Fortunately nothing more. Toxicity to humans was never a point in the banning of DDT. I’m still not sure why you would want to discuss that, other than it distracts from serious discussion of real issues.

    Amazingly, you completely ignore Forbes’s main point, concentrating instead on perceived insults to your beloved Carson. Forbes advocates, as do many others, that tiny quantities of DDT be used for Indoor Residual Spraying against malaria carrying mosquitoes. In your mind such advocacy constitutes a desire to poison black Africans.

    You miss the point entirely. Rachel Carson was in favor of integrated pest management, which is exactly what Indoor Residual Spraying is. It’s completely dishonest for Forbes to claim environmentalists are to blame, and to blame Rachel Carson, and then to steal her position and adopt it as his own — Snopes on the Hudson. It’s a level of dishonesty that transcends academia — it is foul, foul work.

    To the extent Forbes or anyone else argues for a change in policy beyond what Rachel Carson advocated, they are indeed arguing to poison Africans (of all colors). Forbes fails to mention the fish kills in Africa from DDT, which wiped out the food stocks for thousands of people, forcing them to leave their villages. Africans are not stupid. They don’t want a government program that kills them or their livelihoods anymore than anyone else. The subtle, insidious racism of ignorance that assumes we can poison Africa without ill effect, and do it more cheaply than improving health care, is what disgusts me.

    I see that you have updated your post with a convoluted rant linking creationists to Hitler and Stalin. Whatever. I’m not surprised Neil Simpson won’t let you comment at his blog: you get very little right about DDT and consistently refuse to admit to your errors even when proven incorrect.

    It’s a reference back to last year’s discussions with Simpson, in which he inaccurately tried to link Darwin to Stalin’s sins. You don’t ban me from your blog, and our discussions have been much more civil on Simpson’s blog. I’ve admitted the small errors I’ve made. Simpson persists in big ones — as indeed, do you.

    Now since I haven’t commented here in a while I’m going to remind your readers of a few of your past DDT-related errors they probably aren’t aware of.

    You claim water is a carcinogen.

    I noted repeated insults to tissue cause cancers, as indicated in the study where distilled water was used as a control in topical applications of chemicals. While I forget the content of the thread, the reality is that there is no threshold for most carcinogens, and even water can be implicated. That doesn’t change the fact that Rachel Carson was right, nor is it relevant to any discussion here.

    You refer to eminent scientist Bruce Ames as silly because he is not anti-DDT.

    You’ll have to tell us why we should take Ames’ word over all the studies that show DDT to be damaging, if he’s being silly and arguing that DDT is not an environmentally harmful substance. I’ve forgotten the discussion, or what Ames said.

    You bogusly claim DDT must be a human carcinogen because “[t]here is no other substance known to be an mammal carcinogen that is not also carcinogenic in humans”. There are lots of chemicals that cause cancer in one species and not in another. In fact, DDT is not known to cause cancer in any species outside the laboratory.

    I accurately point out that DDT is listed as a suspected human carcinogen by every cancer-fighting agency on Earth, and I argue we should respect their judgment on the matter and not claim, “bogusly,” that DDT is not a carcinogen. Few, if any, scientists involved in testing DDT for carcinogenicity would claim DDT is not a carcinogen, especially when the evidence suggests that it is. You may want to check out the carcinogen lists of the major agencies that track such stuff.

    One of your posts is titled “Cancer and DDT: Current information” but the linked item doesn’t even mention DDT yet you continue to claim DDT is known to cause cancer in humans.

    I note, accurately, that it is incorrect to say DDT does NOT cause cancer in humans, since the evidence suggests it does. However, DDT does not appear to be so potent a carcinogen as other substances, fortunately, and so it is listed as a “suspected human carcinogen.” Please stay on the side of accuracy.

    As you know, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) says this about DDT and human health:

    Studies in DDT-exposed workers did not show increases in cancer. Studies in animals given DDT with the food have shown that DDT can cause liver cancer.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determined that DDT may reasonably be anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that DDT may possibly cause cancer in humans. The EPA determined that DDT, DDE, and DDD are probable human carcinogens.

    (See here: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts35.html)

    You claim selenium is a known carcinogen. It isn’t. When proven wrong you claim selenium was at one time classed as a known carcinogen. It wasn’t.

    I was in error as to the form of selenium found to be carcinogenic. It’s selenium sulfide. You claim that we had really good data in the early 1980s to tell the difference between dietary selenium (selenium is an essential nutrient) and selenium as a carcinogen (which would be banned as a food additive under the Delaney Clause, if carconigenic), but I can find no evidence that the differences had been teased out in the food safety discussions during the Reagan administration. If we were in error then, we were in good company. Of course, my admitting error now also refutes your claim that I never admit error. I’m still waiting for you to admit any error of yours, including the bizarre and over-the-top claims against Rachel Carson, and your claim that DDT is in no way a carcinogen.

    I wager we’ll wait a long, long time.

    Here’s what ATSDR says about selenium and human health:

    How can selenium affect my health?

    Selenium has both beneficial and harmful effects. Low doses of selenium are needed to maintain good health. However, exposure to high levels can cause adverse health effects. Short-term oral exposure to high concentrations of selenium may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chronic oral exposure to high concentrations of selenium compounds can produce a disease called selenosis. The major signs of selenosis are hair loss, nail brittleness, and neurological abnormalities (such as numbness and other odd sensations in the extremities).

    Brief exposures to high levels of elemental selenium or selenium dioxide in air can result in respiratory tract irritation, bronchitis, difficulty breathing, and stomach pains. Longer-term exposure to either of these air-borne forms can cause respiratory irritation, bronchial spasms, and coughing. Levels of these forms of selenium that would be necessary to produce such effects are normally not seen outside of the workplace.

    Animal studies have shown that very high amounts of selenium can affect sperm production and the female reproductive cycle. We do not know if similar effects would occur in humans.

    How likely is selenium to cause cancer?

    Studies of laboratory animals and people show that most selenium compounds probably do not cause cancer. In fact, studies in humans suggest that lower-than-normal selenium levels in the diet might increase the risk of cancer.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that selenium and selenium compounds are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans.

    The EPA has determined that one specific form of selenium, selenium sulfide, is a probable human carcinogen. Selenium sulfide is not present in foods and is a very different chemical from the organic and inorganic selenium compounds found in foods and in the environment.

    See here: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts92.html#bookmark06

    You claim: “Hundreds died in Borneo of typhus and plague after DDT wiped out the predators of the vectors of those diseases.” You are unable to support this claim.

    If you wish to argue there was no problem, argue it. This is one of the most famous cases of DDT abuse in history, when casual DDT spraying wiped out the predatory wasps who protected the thatched roofs of residents from a caterpillar, and the Borneans became roofless; when cats and other small animals eating DDT-poisoned creatures themselves died, leaving the island prone to a rat population explosion and the diseases rats carry, including typhus and plague. Is it your claim that I merely overstate the deaths, or is it your claim still that DDT is no problem? I’m happy to say the death rates were low. Will you happily confess that DDT was the culprit?

    You bogusly claim: “DDT’s use against mosquitoes in Africa slowed and stopped after DDT became ineffective against them.” DDT is still effective throughout much of Africa.

    DDT is effective again in parts of Africa, and effective in parts where it was not deployed before. DDT ineffectiveness was the key reason its use declined in those areas where it was used. Not a bogus claim at all.

    Of course, in those areas where there were no government programs to control malaria, DDT was not used. If you wish to claim that mosquitoes in those areas did not become resistant or immune to DDT, you’ll be arguing against the evidence.

    You claim Rachel Carson “fought her way to prominence in fields men dominated”. Rachel Carson did not fight her way to prominence in her field, marine biology. In which fields was she prominent?

    Biology was almost exclusively male when she studied it, both as an undergraduate and graduate. She was the first woman hired as a science expert in the Fish and Wildlife Service, and in almost all her scientific work she was the only woman on the teams. As a writer and editor for USFWS, she was the only woman in such a position for much of her career.

    Science, field biology, marine science, government research, science writing, science and writing were male-dominated fields in her lifetime. She was respected in all those fields, and attained prominence as a popularizer of science and nature, by writing.

    Time Magazine listed Carson among the 100 most influential people in the 20th century, alongside people like Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill.

    Are you seriously trying to argue that Carson was not prominent?

    Like

  86. Ed Darrell says:

    CurrentPoster, creationism has nothing with anything other than blind faith. I’m not sure there’s any link to the DDT issue, other than most anti-Rachel Carson types are also creationists. I objected to Simpson’s off-the-wall claim trying to link Darwin to Stalin in an exchange some time ago. He took great offense, for reasons I couldn’t figure. I pointed out to him that his opposition to Darwin was similar to Stalin’s opposition to Darwin, and he went rather ballistic — and still is. My reference was back to that exchange.

    No connection between anti-Rachel Carson and creationism other than the complete lack of supporting data and apparent divorce from reality necessary to maintain.

    Simpson couldn’t support his claim then, couldn’t his anti-Darwin stance from Stalin’s anti-Darwin stance, and ultimately can’t distinguish his “I won’t hear your rational arguments” stance from Stalin’s “I won’t hear your rational arguments” stance.

    Anti-religious ranting? Not from me. Anti-religionist ranting, anti-insanity ranting, pro-accuracy ranting, pro-history ranting. It bugs me no end when people take on the mantle of Jesus’ robes and use that as justification for calumny, bad policy, bigotry and general stupidity. You should note carefully that Christianity has no call for calumny, bad policy, bigotry or general stupidity, either, so it’s not really fair to call my rants anti-religion rants.

    Like

  87. Just surfing through and caught this post. FWIW I left a message on NS’s board to the effect that DDT made me deathly ill when I was a kid so I know for a fact it’s not good stuff to have around.

    Having said that… what’s creationism got to do with it, and what’s up with all the anti-religious ranting? I’m getting a little tired of being the victim of bigotry myself just because I happen to believe in a higher power who created the universe. Being tossed on a pile with narrow-minded right-wingers is demeaning to both those who read here and those who write.

    Like

  88. J F Beck says:

    Hi Ed,

    You describe MFB as a “history education” blog designed to “help students, their learning partners (especially parents), teachers and administrators”. This post does indeed provide an educational opportunity: a high-achieving upper-secondary class could learn a lot from comparing the style, tone, intent and accuracy of your post to the linked items you attack.

    You characterize Neil Simpson pejoratively as a “religionist” (are they really dumb, or what?) engaged in a “vicious campaign” against both science and environmental protection evidenced by his posting the following:

    “The proper use of DDT could prevent countless deaths.”

    “Mosquito nets are another inexpensive solution. See Nothing But Nets if you want to help.”

    Now since there isn’t really anything to attack in Simpson’s brief post (many knowledgeable persons advocate the combined use of DDT and bed nets) you concentrate instead on his link to a three year-old article by Steve Forbes, characterizing Forbes as a “modern angry white male bigot” making an “ill-informed rant” attacking intellectuals (such as yourself, of course), women and women’s rights, history, scientists and foreign aid. Along the way you accuse Forbes of wanting to poison Africans. Uh Ed, you seem to be the one doing all the ranting.

    You first objection is to Forbes claiming: “That various agencies, governments, health officials and environmentalists have deliberately dissuaded the world from using DDT is one of the most immoral moves of modern times.” In fact a de facto DDT ban was in place for years, as was effectively admitted by the WHO (proposing a return to DDT use) and Environmental Defense (which attacked USAID for refusing to fund the anti-malarial use of DDT). Forbes is essentially correct and, if anything, understates the problem.

    Your second objection is to Forbes’s referring to Silent Spring as “ largely discredited”. Now I don’t know how to quantify “largely discredited” and think maybe this is a bit of an overstatement by Forbes but do say with confidence that the book is partly discredited – for example, Carson’s absurd assertion that a woman developed cancer and died after using DDT three times over a period of a few months.

    You third objection is really a restatement of your second except that you now say: “Carson worried about human health effects, but stopped far short of saying DDT kills humans.” No she didn’t, she says DDT caused a user to develop cancer and die.

    Your final objection is an anti-Elizabeth Whelan rant – she claims no deaths due to DDT. Now Ed, we’ve argued about the toxicity of DDT before and you were unable to provide evidence of a single fatality. Has anything changed?

    Amazingly, you completely ignore Forbes’s main point, concentrating instead on perceived insults to your beloved Carson. Forbes advocates, as do many others, that tiny quantities of DDT be used for Indoor Residual Spraying against malaria carrying mosquitoes. In your mind such advocacy constitutes a desire to poison black Africans.

    I see that you have updated your post with a convoluted rant linking creationists to Hitler and Stalin. Whatever. I’m not surprised Neil Simpson won’t let you comment at his blog: you get very little right about DDT and consistently refuse to admit to your errors even when proven incorect.

    Now since I haven’t commented here in a while I’m going to remind your readers of a few of your past DDT-related errors they probably aren’t aware of.

    You claim water is a carcinogen.

    You refer to eminent scientist Bruce Ames as silly because he is not anti-DDT.

    You bogusly claim DDT must be a human carcinogen because “[t]here is no other substance known to be an mammal carcinogen that is not also carcinogenic in humans”. There are lots of chemicals that cause cancer in one species and not in another. In fact, DDT is not known to cause cancer in any species outside the laboratory.

    One of your posts is titled “Cancer and DDT: Current information” but the linked item doesn’t even mention DDT yet you continue to claim DDT is known to cause cancer in humans.

    You claim selenium is a known carcinogen. It isn’t. When proven wrong you claim selenium was at one time classed as a known carcinogen. It wasn’t.

    You claim: “Hundreds died in Borneo of typhus and plague after DDT wiped out the predators of the vectors of those diseases.” You are unable to support this claim.

    You bogusly claim: “DDT’s use against mosquitoes in Africa slowed and stopped after DDT became ineffective against them.” DDT is still effective throughout much of Africa.

    You claim Rachel Carson “fought her way to prominence in fields men dominated”. Rachel Carson did not fight her way to prominence in her field, marine biology. In which fields was she prominent?

    Like

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