Saturday, August 30, 2008

Global Warming & Evolution

Per the Washington Post: "A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location," Gov. Palin said. "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made." The theory of the (tiny minority of) scientists who accept the reality of global warming but question the significance of human contributions to it is that over the course of geological time, the Earth goes through periods of cooling and warming, and that it's just a coincidence that the current period of warming coincides with unprecedented human release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

That's a doubtful theory on its own, but note a key premise: geological time, measured in hundreds of millions of years, substantially longer than the six or so thousand years since the beginning of time according to the Biblical account of creation. So, someone who believes in the literal truth of the Biblical story of creation would seem to be unable to rely on evidence of the Earth's warming and cooling cycles over a course of years that they believe did not occur.

It's not entirely clear whether Gov. Palin believes in the "young Earth" version of creationism or even whether she's committed to creationism. As this article at the time of her gubernatorial race makes clear, when asked in a debate, she gave support to the (unconstitutional) idea of teaching creationism alongside evolution, but later backpedaled a bit to say that she wouldn't push a requirement for creationism in Alaska public school science curricula, and that she simply wouldn't prohibit "discussion" of creationism should the issue happen to arise. That's fair enough.

And so perhaps the challenge isn't for Gov. Palin herself (although it could be; we, or at least I, don't know enough about her actual views right now). But in any event, there is a glaring problem here for the apparently substantial number of our fellow citizens who both believe in young Earth creationism and question the contribution to global warming.

Posted by Mike Dorf

23 comments:

egarber said...

Getting slightly off topic, I've also been puzzled somewhat by folks who embrace social Darwinism, while dismissing its evolutionary form.

To many on the Right, competition is everything -- in the market place, society, on the football field, etc.

So why is it so hard to extend that same logic to biology?

The answer of course is obvious, as it runs contrary to religious belief. But it seems like the contradiction might lead to some mental turmoil.

David Crowley said...

If Palin in fact publicly embraces a scientific theory that is in tension with her privately held religious beliefs, should we criticize her for the inconsistency?

I think not, at least for those of us who believe that candidates should not be supported or rejected based on their religious beliefs. Countless public officials are able to put aside their religious beliefs in order to execute their responsibilities, and we typically think that this is healthy for a democracy, like ours, with a heterogeneous electorate. (It's why Palin deserves credit for not protesting the teaching of evolution, even though she probably believes Alaskan schoolchildren are getting a bad education.)

That does not mean citizens cannot respond to a public official's religiously-motivated positions on public issues. When an official refuses to fund stem-cell research and explicitly cites his religious beliefs as his motivation, I think most of us would agree that a citizen who supports such funding can fairly withdraw support for that candidate. But in that case, it isn't the religious beliefs that are being evaluated, rather it is the official's performance.

Palin has identified her religious beliefs and cited them as evidence for personal decisions (e.g., forgoing the abortion), and possibly some public actions. This alone, however, should not give us license to criticize her global warming views on religious doctrinal grounds. Maybe she believes that public officials should not decide scientific issues based on their religious beliefs. Maybe she's struggling with her religious beliefs, agreeing with certain biblical teachings (creationism) but not others (young Earth). Or maybe she's unprincipled and simply says whatever the pollsters tell her to. It doesn't matter, in my opinion. If her views on global warming are questionable because of the science, then critics should rely on science when challenging her.

Unfortunately, because Rove has worked so diligently to make the Republican party the party of the Religious Right, it is tempting for Democrats to try and demonstrate that Republican candidates are not the good Christians they purport to be. Whether this is a legitimate response in today's climate depends on one's stance in the public reason debate. Still, I think it would be a sad development if pundits resorted to analyzing the devoutness of candidates and the coherency of their religious beliefs.

andy said...

Does anyone actually believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Come on...

egarber said...

Countless public officials are able to put aside their religious beliefs in order to execute their responsibilities, and we typically think that this is healthy for a democracy, like ours, with a heterogeneous electorate.

I absolutely agree in general terms. But unlike an issue like the death penalty for instance, where personal values might differ from the obligation to enforce laws on the books, the issue prof Dorf poses pertains to factual reality.

If she personally feels the earth is only 6000 years old, she can't credibly attack global warming on the grounds that the world is billions of years old. It's the equivalent of saying, "look, I think 2+2=5, but if it helps me make a political argument, I'll *also* say 2+2=4. There shouldn't be any kind of personal / public split on a question like that. It's not a question with multiple dimensions.

David Crowley said...

egarber,

I agree with you to the extent that Palin declared, publicly and in the context of the global warming debate, that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. If she did, then Prof Dorf's criticism would be purely scientific; valid because it doesn't matter why Palin thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old to poke holes in her science.

I gathered from Prof Dorf's post, though, that he's inferring from her past expressed religious views---creationism, general adherence to conservative religious ideology---that she believes in a young Earth, and, further, that she would publicly adopt that view as a basis for official action. It is that deductive reasoning that I object to, for two reasons. First, I believe it's unfair to assume that because a person is on record for having religious veiws X and Y, that she must necessarily believe in Z. From my experience, people who consider themselves deeply religious still often choose which doctrinal teachings they can fairly depart from. Second, even if a person does believe Z, it doesn't mean that they will assert it as a reason to make public decisions. Palin could believe in a young Earth, but argue that if she were to accept that the Earth is billions of years old, then she would side with the scientists who believe that global warming is not the consequence of human activities.

The larger point is that we should put officials' statements in context. When Justice Scalia, a Catholic, defends a state's ability to employ the death penalty in a Court opinion, it is clear that he is reasoning as a judge, and not as a worshipper. Similarly, if Governor/Candidate Palin is asked about global warming and she provides a scientific answer, I think we can presume that she is attempting to enter the scientific debate, regardless of her personal religious beliefs. My point is that she shouldn't be disqualified from that scientific debate simply because some of its premises may conflict with her personal beliefs, or render her religious beliefs incoherent.

None of this is intended to directly criticize Professor Dorf's post, since I don't know the context in which Palin made the comments, or whether she has asserted that the Earth is 6,000 years old and that we should take action based on that belief. (Also, to be clear, I'm confident that Professor Dorf harbors no religious bias.) Rather, I simply used this post as a launching pad for a public-reason point I had in mind.

Paul said...

I am not sure I see the contradiction.
Placing myself in the shoes of a "young Earther," here is my though process.

I am human and therefor fallible. Only God has perfect knowledge. Many things happen in this world that are all part of God's divine will. I will not understand these things unless God chooses to reveal his wisdom to me, but I trust I am in God's good hands.

In the past, God has revealed his divine will to several prophets. They recorded his will and it is revealed to me in the Bible. I know the words of the Bible to be the truth, but I must also accept that I am fallible and my reading of it could be wrong. If it is wrong and God chooses to reveal my error to me, then (and only then) will I change my view.

There is an occurrence, a will of God, that we humans are calling global warming. The scientists studying this have tracked these changes and can establish that the world is, in fact, warming. I am not concerned with this because whatever is happening it is the will of God.

That said, these same scientists who are tracking the global temperature changes also believe the earth to be billions of years old. This concern of there's regarding global warming is quite odd. They believe the Earth to be billions of years old. They believe that several "Ica Ages" have occurred throughout these billions of years. Yet at the same time, they are suggesting that there is some significance to these small temperature changes that have taken place in the last 300 years. On the time scale they believe in, thee temperature changes must seem trivial. They are odd people. I will not worry about it. God will protect us and if he doesn't then that too was His will.

egarber said...

Of course, it is possible to believe both that the earth is billions of years old AND only 6,000 years old.

A while back, I read an interesting book called "Genesis and the Big Bang" (I think). The author posited that via special relativity, both could be true.

The idea is that an intelligent designer would no doubt act close to the speed of light in his / her actions. So his six days for creation could indeed be millions or billions of years on earth -- as time dilation creates different elapsed times, depending on the reference frame of the observer. Extended a little, the same mental exercise could be employed to conclude that the earth has only been around thousands of years to the supreme mover, but billions to mere mortals, who live in a separate reference frame.

Of course, I don't think I've ever heard a politician make this case, but it's interesting nonetheless!

Chris said...

I think there are a number of distinct propositions that are being run together here:

(1) The earth is billions of years old.

(2) The human species evolved from other species.

(3) The universe was created.

(4) We can tell scientifically that the universe was created.

Lots of people accept (1) but deny (2) (see, e.g., Hugh Ross), or accept (3) but deny (4) (see, e.g., Francis Collins).

Michael C. Dorf said...

1) I have no idea whether Palin herself believes the Earth is only 6000 years old or even whether she disbelieves in evolution. Thus, I offered the observation as a challenge for someone who is a young Earth creationist. There are millions of such people in America, and they vote.

2) I agree that most religious people, including most religious people who purport to accept the Bible's literal truth, in fact pick and choose what to believe. (For contemporary Christians, the notion that the New Testament supersedes the old is an obvious example, since Jesus himself followed the Mosaic law, including dietary laws). The interesting question for me, is not whether Biblical literalists are selective but how they are selective. Darwin has always been seen as a greater threat to traditional faith than have the scientists who, beginning in the 18th century, began to show that the Earth is much older than claimed in the Biblical account. Both evolution and geology are inconsistent with Biblical literalism. The fact that only evolution generates such a strong reaction shows, to me at least, that the objection is visceral. People dress up in religious garb the fact that they can't bear the thought that they aren't fundamentally different from the animals they exploit and eat.

3) Yup, it comes back to veganism. When you've got a hammer . . . .

sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,跳蛋,充氣娃娃,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,情人節禮物,情惑用品性易購

免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛

A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX

情趣用品,A片,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網


情趣用品,A片,免費A片,日本A片,A片下載,線上A片,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,微風成人區,成人文章,成人影城,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,臺灣情色網,色情,情色電影,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,麗的色遊戲,情色論壇,色情網站,一葉情貼圖片區,做愛,性愛,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,美女交友,做愛影片

av,情趣用品,a片,成人電影,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,aio,av女優,AV,免費A片,日本a片,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,聊天室,美女交友,成人光碟

情趣用品.A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,色情遊戲,色情網站,聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,免費A片,日本a片,a片下載,線上a片,av女優,av,成人電影,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,成人網站,自拍,尋夢園聊天室

sex999 said...

A片,A片,情色,情色,A片,A片,情色,情色,A片,A片,A片下載,做愛,成人電影,.18成人,日本A片,情色小說,情色電影,成人影城,自拍,情色論壇,成人論壇,情色貼圖,情色,免費A片,成人,成人網站,成人圖片,AV女優,成人光碟,色情,色情影片,免費A片下載,SEX,AV,色情網站,本土自拍,性愛,成人影片,情色文學,成人文章,成人圖片區,成人貼圖

美女交友,AIO交友愛情館,AIO,成人交友,視訊交友網,視訊交友,拓網交友,PC交友,視訊交友90739,交友,情色交友,聊天室交友,辣妹視訊,視訊辣妹,美女視訊,視訊美女,情色視訊,日本AV,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,AV女優,AV,視訊聊天室,視訊,免費視訊,情人視訊網,本土自拍,自拍,AVDVD,SEX,微風成人,微風論壇,微風成人區,成人網站,成人,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人貼圖,成人影片,成人圖片區,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人影城,成人文章,成人論壇,愛情公寓,情色論壇,情色,色情聊天室,色情,情色貼圖,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,情色電影,情色網,做愛,UT聊天室,聊天室,聊天,哈拉聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080苗栗人聊天室,苗栗人聊天室,080中部人聊天室,080聊天室,中部人聊天室,柔情聊天網,6K聊天室,小高聊天室,上班族聊天室,免費A片,A片,成人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,情色聊天室,色色網,免費AV

路傑 said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片http://ssff01.3b8mm.com/

kutyhgvd said...

It is the holic gold which makes me very happy these days, my brother says holic money is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually holic online gold to start his game and most of the time he will win the cheap holic gold back and give me some holic online money to play the game.

. said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工

wsty said...

www.eshooes.com .
www.pumafr.com.
www.myshoess.com.
[url=http://www.pumafr.com]puma shoes[/url]
[url=http://www.eshooes.com]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=http://www.myshoess.com]nike air max ltd[/url]

lee said...

徵信社的服務項目,如婚前徵信、商業徵信、財產徵信等等,另外徵信社還可以代為討債,當有以上各項徵信服務的需求時,只要找有登記合格的徵信公司,與徵信公司簽訂徵信合約,就能保障自己的權益,所以徵信社仍是您遇到難題時的最好選擇,合法的徵信社,除了能提供您法律的諮詢外,還能協助釐清問題,尤其是棘手的外遇徵信徵信社除了跟蹤外,還會協助您注意徵信過程的合法性。

lee said...

最值得信賴的搬家公司-元氣搬家,不論是大台北搬家或大桃園搬家,都能為客戶提供最佳的搬家服務。

~free fun~酒店經紀mico said...

,,姐.,便服/,,

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,

2012天氣晴朗 said...

牙醫,植牙,矯正,矯正牙齒,皮膚科,痘痘,中醫,飛梭雷射,毛孔粗大,醫學美容,痘痘,seo,關鍵字行銷,自然排序,網路行銷,自然排序,關鍵字行銷seo,部落格行銷,網路行銷,seo,關鍵字行銷,自然排序,部落格行銷,網路行銷,牛舌餅婚紗台中婚紗,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,街舞,小產,雞精,性感,辣妹,雷射溶脂,雙下巴,抽脂,瘦小腹,微晶瓷,電波拉皮,淨膚雷射,清潔公司,居家清潔,牙周病,牙齒矯正,植牙,牙周病,矯正,植牙,微晶瓷,醫學美容,淨膚雷射,玻尿酸,肉毒桿菌,脈衝光

hangeng said...

Zahlreiche verschiedene glitzernden pandora schmuck sabo schmuck wird vor der ganzen Welt verwechselt Chaos. Und die ganze thomas sabo onlineshop Welt von der Industrie zusammengesetzt ist, bezogen auf Kultur, es ist die Differenz zwischen classes.For thomas sabo armketten Teil des Schmucks Unternehmen, acrosspandora Industrien, sabo uhren die Grenzen der Pandora Armbändern zu verwirklichen, sah die Augen thomas sabo online shop deutschland außen ist ein kreativer Wert auf neue Ideen. ohrringe creolen Die Schmuck-Industrie muss auf andere Branchen, die Allianz zu realisieren.Diese Tendenz wurde vorgelegt. thomas szabo Solche als touristische Souvenirs, Schmuckläden mobilepandora Telefon angebote thomas sabo ohrschmuck Industrie, Bekleidungsindustrie, hochwertigen Schreibwaren-Industrie, auch einige elektronische Geräte. Dies thomas sabo ist eine gute Idee, wenn die Bedingungen, mit kräftigen, schwach ist, oder die schwachen schwachen Spiel wahrscheinlich überraschendste schmuck thomas sabo ketten Ergebnis zu erhalten. Um jedoch die Marktstudie und Machbarkeit, zu stärken und die Aufmerksamkeit Markt, um Tracking-Stamm. Power-and-power Union sollte sicher sein, die pandora deutschland Reize, vor allem die internationale Marke der Zusammenarbeit.

dte said...

Would you take the pen in hand, plunge right in and just do it, struggling to keep up with the twists and turns of the torrents of words that take you where they take you Buy D3 Gold? Would your plans be so extensive that you never even got to the writing Cheap D3 Gold? But if you do decide to use it, what would you do with it? How would you play the game D3 Gold Sale?