Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Birth of the Party

While reading Ann Coulter's newest book (Godless) this morning, I was suddenly struck by a revelation. If you look at the founding of, first president of, and initial platform of, the political parties, you can actually see the pattern from the beginning.

The Republican Party was formed in 1854 when the Whigs refused to oppose slavery. Freeing the Black man, and treating all men as equal was literally the reason for the Republican Party. The Republican Party also supported education, free homesteads for farmers, and the modernization of the country's infrastructure.

The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, a man dedicated to preserving the United States, and responsible for freeing the slaves. A man who promoted mercy and conciliation towards the eventually defeated South. A man so great he is on the Penny and the $5 bill, not to mention Mt Rushmore. Widely considered to be one of our greatest Presidents. His nicknames are Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator. He re-established a system of national banks.

The Democratic Party was formed by Andrew Jackson in reaction to what he believed to be a stolen election in 1824. It was formalized after his electoral victory in 1828. The party claimed the heritage of Thomas Jefferson, and the belief in civic virtue and the yeoman farmer. They were opposed to cities, banks and industrialization.

The first Democratic president was Andrew Jackson, a man most famous for his victories in the war of 1812, and in various conflicts against the Indians. His presidency is most remembered for two things: his destruction of the national bank, and the strengthening of the spoils system in American politics. He appears on the $20 bill. He was known as Old Hickory.


Ed said...

So what is your take on her view of Darwin?

Gahrie said...

The theory of evolution is just that, a theory. I don't reject it myself, but I don't consider it proven fact either. There is a marked abscence of transition species. I have no problem with religious people rejecting the theory of evolution. There are in fact many scientists who are also religious that do not accept evolution.

Gahrie said...

Just to put it on the record, I find Ann's rhetoric to be over the top sometimes, (like many on the left) which allows the left to attack her rhetoric, and ignore her arguements, which are usually persuasive.

Ed said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. Yes the thoery of evolution is a theory. Just like the theory of gravity...or the theory of continental drift...or the theory of relativity.

Theory doesn't mean conjecture as common people think.

Marked absence of transition species?!?

Gahrie said...

There is physical evidence to support gravity.

For evolution, there is evidence that supports it on the micro-level. Especially with the intervention of man. There is no evidence of evolution on the macro level however. For instance there is no skeleton that shows both the characteristics of a mammoth and a modern elephant. (tranistion species) You have to take it as a matter of faith that such animals did exist.

That said, as a deist I personally believe something close to the intelligent design theory. I think evolution is likely, but I think it is just as likely that evolution is a process designed and instituted by a creator.

Advances in quantum physics are coming perilously close to throwing a wrench into many of Newton's theories, and Newtonian physics as a whole.

I have at least as much respect for people's religious beliefs as I do for people's environmental beliefs.

I also believe that religion has done far more for civilization (in fact that civilization would not be possible without religion) than environmentalism.

Ed said...

I'm sorry that is not true.

For one there are observations suppoorting gravity but even those fail to explain it's weekness to other forces...but I degress.

There is plenty of evidence of transition species. The horse for example is just about fully mapped out. You wouldn't find a common link between the mammoth and African elephant for example the mammoth is from the Asian line and that split with the African line before the develpoment of the mammoth. There is a link between the Asian and mammoth but there will not be a Wollian Mammephant.

It is a system that has withstood the test of science. You choose not to accept it. It's the same process used for all other science. ID is not based in science. Period!

I respect belief...but not as much as fact. You can believe in the loch ness monster...the fact is there is no proof.

I believe religion as it is now is the blinders that will keep mankind from making the next step...as long as religion keeps saying 2+2=5.

Gahrie said...

Ann sets out an arguement (and supports it with evidence) that the horse evolution chain has been shown to be faulty, even after it has been rearranged. If this is incorrect, (ie the horse evolutionary chain has not been altered and does demonstrate evolution on a macro level) then it should be easy to prove one of Ann's arguements is wrong. But no one ever addresses her arguements, or the substance of her writing, and instead attack the style of her writing.

Ann also gives an interesting version of the background of the Scopes Monkey trial. If it's true, it's pretty damning of the pro-evolution camp, if it's false, it should be easy to prove so. Again, no one attacks her substance.

Darwinism states that evolution comes from random mutation, natural selection and survival of the fittest. So where are all the fossils that were unfit? Science also demands that evidence be reproducible and observable. So when have we ever observed the creation of a new species? Why after decades of experimentation have we never been able to force a species to evolve into a new species? Even with simple organisms like viruses we have only observed micro evolution and not macro. Flu viruses become different types of flu viruses, but never a different species of virus.

Lastly, ID does not rest on the basis of religion. Some proponents of intelligent design propose a god as the source, but many do not. In fact, the religious people believe in creationism, and they are (if possible) even more critical of intelligent design that the Darwinists are.

So in conclusion, I believe in evolution, I simply don't believe it's random. When macro evolution can be observed (as say the effect of gravity or the speed of light) or reproduced I will re-examine my beliefs.

Gahrie said...

Sites discussing the horse evolutionary sequence:



Gahrie said...

Now that we have dissected Ann's views on Darwin, and the feasibility of Darwinism...does anybody have any thoughts on my illustration of the founding of our political parties?

Ed said...

Sorry that's just more "I don't believe it" there is no transitional species. It doesn't work that way.

We have seen animals in transition. Flys, Dogs hell oranges. We can see it. We do see it. I wont bother going back to the web sites that do point out Ann's lack of logic mostly because it wont do any good. Just doing a basic search I found the answer to all the issues you have. It's science, it's testable. These guys aren't getting rich promoting it. In fact if anyone could prove the thinks you say they would be the ones getting rich. I did learn a lot about the evolution of elephants. For that I thank you. I just wish everyone would research this topic instead of just believing what they are told. (That goes for either point of view)

or else


Ed said...

I see the Jackson conection. But Abe was for a strong central government and little states rights. How is that a Rebublican Ideal? He was for just forgiving a rebellion. I just don't see the Rebublicans forgiving a couple of blue states from taking off. I don't remember the rebublicans being the leaders of the civil rights movement at least somewhat tied to freeing the slaves. He was part of the legacy in name only.

Wouldn't McKinley and Roosevelt be more of the begining of the current Republican party? Well maybe not Roosevelt.

Gahrie said...

Sorry Ed..it's you that is showing your ignorance here. Your examples actually prove my point.

First take fruit flies. We have been breeding them for literally millions of generations, under every stress and mutation causing stimulus as possible. And we have managed to produce hundreds of variations of fruit flies. But we have never managed to make a fruit fly evolve into anything but a different type of fruit fly.

Next take dogs. Despite all the physical changes we have breed into dogs, they have not evolved. All dogs belong to the same species as a wolf. All dogs can genetically breed with a wolf.

Now oranges, again we have crossbred oranges. We have produced new types of oranges. We can even produce hybrid oranges with characteristics of other fruits, but they do not breed true. All oranges are still oranges.

Actually the best example for your side is the mule. A mule is the result of a male donkey and a female horse. (a female donkey and a male horse is a hinny, also commonly referred to as a donkey) However mules are sterile, and cannot reproduce. So they are considered hybrids, because they do not fit the definition of a species.

As far as your horse evolutionary sequence:

Why does it contain animals from different continents? There is not a single horse sequence that has fossils found in the same place. Again where are the transitional fossils between each species on the sequence?

I have no dog in this hunt. I am perfectly willing to believe in evolution. In fact I believe it likely, I just don't believe it is random. It's just that they are huge gaps in Darwin's theory that have to be taken on faith. Evolution has never been observed, only postulated. Evolution has never been reproduced.

Not reproducible, not observable, not measurable, tenets based on faith. Sounds like a religion to me.

Gahrie said...

I don't remember the rebublicans being the leaders of the civil rights movement at least somewhat tied to freeing the slaves

Ed, you weren't reading close enough. The Republican Party was formed by abolitionists. If it wasn't for their belief in freeing the slaves, there would be no Republican Party. It was Pres. Lincoln that signed the Emancipation Proclaimation that freed slaves. The Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The Democratic Party supported slavery, imposed the Jim Crow laws (after regaining control of the South from the Republican Party) and it was Democratic Senators who filibustered the Civil Rights Act.

Anonymous said...

Gahrie I know that "Lincoln that signed the Emancipation Proclaimation that freed slaves."

What I am saying is that the party was the same that impossed the first income tax, increased national debt, gave out land grants and had more views that would not be the views of the current party. Thus he was a Republican in name only...and that the current ideology started with the McKinley administration.

Please note I am not saying Lincoln was really a Democrat, because he wasn't. I am saying the political parties are more fluid than what you are saying.

Ed said...

That was me

Gahrie said...

Lincoln imposed a limited income tax for the purposes of fighting the Civil War. That tax was ended after the war was paid for. The income tax we have currently is a product of the Income Tax act of 1913 under democrat Woodrow Wilson.

The National Debt you mention is almost solely due to the Civil War. The rest of it was used to build national infrastructure such as the railroads.

Yes the republicans gave out landgrants. They did it for four reasons:

1) to "civilize" the west
2) to support the railroads
3) to support colleges and universities
4) to increase private ownership of land

The only policy of the original Republican Party that would not be supported by Republicans today is the imposition of an income tax, and that would be probably be accepted temporaily (as it was in history) in order to win the Civil War.

But even if you reject Republican claims to the legacy of Lincoln, what is most ironic about my original post was the founding of the Democratic Party as compared to the present state of the Democratic Party.