×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Would Charles Darwin Have Made a Good Congressman?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the descent-by-natural-election dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 155

sciencehabit writes "It's a good 130 years too late to answer that question empirically, but at least symbolically Charles Darwin has won support from more than 4000 voters in the 10th congressional district of Georgia, thanks to an initiative headed by James Leebens-Mack, a plant biologist at the University of Georgia in Athens. Like many others, Leebens-Mack was deeply troubled by a speech his Congressman, Paul Broun (R-GA), gave at an Athens church in October deriding teachings on evolution, embryology, and the big bang theory as 'lies straight from the pit of Hell.' Broun, a medical doctor, is a member of the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and chair of its Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Leebens-Mack says the 'protest vote should make it clear to future opponents that there are a lot of people in the district who are not happy with antiscience statements.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

155 comments

We can't have good people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937137)

It all comes down to this:

Why doesn't Leebens-Mack run against Broun himself in 2014? "I am a scientist, not a politician," he says. "I enjoy my job as a plant biologist. It would be too big a sacrifice to give that up to run for Congress."

Who doesn't feel the same way? That's not quite rhetorical; turns out you probably know someone who doesn't agree with that. But they're also someone you probably don't like, aren't they?

Re:We can't have good people (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938625)

Part of the problem is that politics is now a career. I wouldn't mind doing the job for a year, maybe two if I could do it part time - say two days a week so I could keep doing stuff that's actually interesting as well. There's no way I'd want to spend even five years, let alone the 20-30 that most politicians seem to have to put in.

Re:We can't have good people (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about a year and a half ago | (#41939515)

Exactly. That tells me that the politicians know the grass is greener where they are. Let's face it, they get a lot of amazing perks just for being a politician. I'm pretty confident those perks are more substantial than you and I think and those perks make working as a career politician far more lucrative than the "measly" job you and I have. And if you knew those perks were for the rest of your life, wouldn't you be willing to lie to a few people, maybe bend or break some rules, to enjoy those perks?

Yep.. those politicians know the secret sauce to success in this life.

Re:We can't have good people (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41939913)

Actually, the job of Congressman is crap; you get egoboo but you're a slave to fundraising and spend as much or more time in shabby political boiler room offices calling around begging for money as you do in your nice government office. It's stunningly degrading, and the average person wouldn't be able to stand it. You probably helps to be a major attention-hound, but it still stinks. It's much better when you get out of Congress and become a lobbyist who can afford to screen his calls.

Re:We can't have good people (2)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940331)

Actually, that's my opinion of how Congress should work. It should be like jury duty--your name is called at random from a nationwide pool of eligible voters to serve in Congress for a year or two. You, and the baker from Queens, and the auto mechanic from Des Moines, and the mini-mart owner from Phoenix, etc. You're there as often as the current Congress is. Your job is to pass the important legislation, balance the budget, and monitor and fund (or defund) the other two branches as necessary. Accepting money from lobbyists would be a serious crime. The sooner you get the job done, the sooner you get to go home.

I'd be willing to bet the result would be better all around.

Rational (2)

RichMan (8097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937167)

Informed and educated opinions leading to decisions do not work with without rational politicians.
A democracy cannot function without rational politicians and citizens.

The first thing I would want in a politician is that they are rational.
If they are corrupt then ok, we have to figure out what motivates them and we can work with it.

Re:Rational (3, Insightful)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937289)

And therein the problem: What rational person would go through the political process, where they are attacked relentlessly for months, with political teams spending millions of dollars to damage their reputation, digging up every skeleton in their closet, casting them as some type of dangerous idiot, and trying to turn a person's community against them?

That kind of job description has a hard time getting rational applicants who aren't motivated by goals of personal power.

Re:Rational (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938137)

And therein the problem: What rational person would go through the political process,

Someone who thinks they can make a change.
The 2010 batch of Tea Party representitives are a good example.
Despite holding political views way out in the fringe, they ran for office because they thought they could make a change.
They have: they've repeatedly stymied the Democratic agenda and, on more than one ocassion, have tripped up the Republican agenda too.
And I wouldn't call them irrational. Within their framework of ideas, they are very rational actors.

Elizabeth Warren is another example of a well meaning person who went through a bruising political fight to get a Senate seat.
She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Republicans refused her nomination to head the agency,
so she ran for the Senate in Massachussetts.

Re:Rational (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938765)

If you start from fundamentally rational positions you cannot be considered a rational actor. You may be considered consistent, but not rational.

Re:Rational (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41939571)

Most of the conflict in politics isn't about rationality, it comes from disagreeing desires. Some people want to have universal healthcare, others don't. There's nothing particularly rational about either one, it's about what people want.

Re:Rational (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940703)

Some people want to have universal healthcare, others don't. There's nothing particularly rational about either one, it's about what people want.

There is something particularly ethical about universal healthcare and something completely immoral about a first world nation treating healthcare as a commodity. A good moral code is rational. Hence, universal healthcare is rational and our current system is not.

Re:Rational (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940733)

No doubt, it is always possible for people to come up with post facto reasoning to support their desires, like you have just done.

Re:Rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41941031)

That's the sort of reductionism that leads to the idea that all opinions are always irrational.

Instead, try to do some analysis instead of declaring these desires irrational and declaring all possible justifications to be post facto reasoning:

1. There's an ethical imperative toward providing healthcare to those who need it. It doesn't matter if this system of ethics traces back to some evolved-in social trait in humanity to help one another, or the golden rule, or what have you.
2. There's an economic imperative toward guaranteeing a healthy population. Virtually everybody agrees that a strong economy is desirable in and of itself, though they may value it against other principles at different levels.
3. There's a personal benefit to a healthier population. You're personally less likely to become sick if nobody else is unnecessarily sick, or to have a friend faced with that situation.

I'll make an attempt at representing some points from the other side of the argument, but I admit in advance that I have an opinion here:

1. There's an economic imperative against setting up a system that can be abused without corresponding economic consequences. I'd argue that dealing with the healthcare system ANYWHERE is generally deterrent enough...
2. There's a notion that universal healthcare doesn't lead to better outcomes overall. I'd point to examples that show that US-style healthcare is among the less effective systems and in terms of cost-benefit squarely the least effective, but you could try to plead that they all have different confounding factors.
3. There's an idea that a significant portion of healthcare problems are the fault of the people who require healthcare, and therefore not the responsibility of the public at large.
4. Slippery slope arguments -- both "first socialized healthcare, then socialized everything!" and the idea that socialized healthcare inevitably leads to the state restricting access to things that could potentially be unhealthy. Related to the above.
5. There's a resistance to "socialism" in general that seems to extend beyond the "economic imperative" argument I mentioned before, for which I have yet to find a rational basis (there I go, doing what you did -- there certainly are irrational people, it just doesn't make the two positions irrational).

Re:Rational (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#41941143)

It is rational to point out that the US healthcare system was one of the most expensive per-head in the world, one of the least efficient per-dollar in the world, and had one of the lowest coverages in the world. Championing a policy of reform to solve those issues is rational.

Arguing "keep the gubbermint oudda my life!" as a reason to not reform it is ideological and irrational.

Re:Rational (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940801)

Most of the conflict in politics isn't about rationality, it comes from disagreeing desires. Some people want to have universal healthcare, others don't. There's nothing particularly rational about either one, it's about what people want.

See... This is why the debate is off the rails in America.

There absolutely is something rational about wanting universal health care. A healthy population is one that can work, and can stimulate the economy, so there's clearly a vested interest in being able to get all citizens as healthy as possible. It's been demonstrated in tons of other places that nationalised health care is a much more effective, and much cheaper way of achieving this. So yeh, it really is rational to want nationalised health care.

Re:Rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41940639)

And therein the problem: What rational person would go through the political process,

Someone who notes that politicians rarely retire poor...

Re:Rational (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937535)

Informed and educated opinions leading to decisions do not work with without rational politicians.
A democracy cannot function without rational politicians and citizens.

The first thing I would want in a politician is that they are rational.
If they are corrupt then ok, we have to figure out what motivates them and we can work with it.

It doesn't matter if a politician is rational -- he represents a group of people with diverse interests. Therefore, he must behave irrationally or be voted out in the next election. This is what we get by having career politicians. If it was non-professional, we'd have people running for a single term, pissing the majority of their constituents off, but actually accomplishing at least part of their agenda. I'm not sure which system I'd prefer.

Re:Rational (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938089)

If it was non-professional, we'd have people running for a single term, pissing the majority of their constituents off, but actually accomplishing at least part of their agenda

Not necessarily. It takes time to figure out how to get stuff done in Congress. By the time most of them have figured it out, their term would be up.

Re:Rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937549)

A democracy cannot function without rational politicians and citizens.

It's worked for the last 230 years.......

Re:Rational (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937751)

No it hasn't, maybe you didn't notice, he said democracy.... what does that have to do with the past 230 years?

Re:Rational (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937999)

A democracy cannot function without rational politicians and citizens. ... The first thing I would want in a politician is that they are rational.

Obviously a lot of your fellow citizens don't agree with you, or else they have a different definition of "rationality."

The fundamental problem lies the morons who vote wackos into office in the first place. Which might lead to questioning of the assumption of a functional democracy -- is that even a rational possibility? Unless we're going to require a logic test before certifying anyone's ability to vote, the most rational people in a society will always be subject to the tyranny of the less rational majority.

That's actually the definition of a functional democracy. Now, if you want a representative republic with all sorts of checks against the irrational masses, as the Founders started with, maybe you could start working toward rationality in politics.

rationality is overrated (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41941181)

Informed and educated opinions leading to decisions do not work with without rational politicians. A democracy cannot function without rational politicians and citizens.

Voting is intrinsically an irrational act, because the costs greatly outweigh the benefits, so if people behaved rationally, voter participation would be much lower than it is, and people wouldn't follow politics as much as they do. And no matter what you do, the vast majority of citizens is never going to understand science; they have neither the time nor the motivation for it.

Underlying your statements is the assumption that it is the job of government to do a lot of stuff for the people: to tell them what to think, to teach them, to keep them healthy, to make them wealthy, to promote equality, etc. Those all require decisions based on complex scientific and economic analyses. The problem with that is that nobody is capable of them. Once you drop that delusion and restrict government to its core functions, protecting liberty, justice, and common defense, rationality becomes much less important. A young earth creationist can fight in the military or adjudicate a murder just as well as some physics professor, probably better.

It sickens me (2, Funny)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937193)

It sickens me that someone as blatantly anti-science as this broun asshat is even allowed to open his mouth in public, let alone have oversight on the subject. I don't care if that guy was just pandering to a bunch of hillbillies or if he really believes the shit that fell out of his ignorant mouth, it needs to stop.

Re:It sickens me (0)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937725)

It sickens ME that someone would call for suppressing the opinions of others simply because they don't agree with them. Rather than supply a cogent, reasoned response to those opinions, they result to name calling and demands of censorship.

Oh, wait... I forgot how Democrats campaign nowadays, and, since they won, how the rights of others are now to be subservient to the "right" to not be offended by differing opinions...

Re:It sickens me (2)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938119)

There are lots of cogent reasoned responses to those opinions, they are called Biology textbooks, and Physics textbooks, along with other great scientific works like "On the Origin of Species".

Re:It sickens me (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938127)

I don't believe you have a right to lie. Further, not once in that guy's post did he actually call for government censorship. So your statement is nothing but an attack looking for an excuse.

Re:It sickens me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939871)

I don't believe you have a right to lie.

Free political speech cannot exist without the "right to lie", because any state organ with the power to determine truth and punish lies also has the power to determine "truth" and punish "lies", where "truth" = state-accepted position and "lies" = any inconvenient position. Unpleasant as it may be, we have to allow the creation and antivax crowds their say to protect antiwar, antiWOD, antiTSA, etc. speech.

Further, not once in that guy's post did he actually call for government censorship.

"It sickens me that someone ... is even allowed to open his mouth in public"
Technically, no, he didn't call for government censorship. He just said its absence sickened him. Technically.

Re:It sickens me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938227)

Read the exact words Broun is using. What he says is simply untrue. This is not a matter of opinion.

If he believes what he says, he is crazy. If he does not, he is knowingly spreading hate towards scientists.

Re:It sickens me (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938353)

"It sickens ME that someone would call for suppressing the opinions of others simply because they don't agree with them."

It's its factual wrong, it's not an opinion, it's a lie.
You can have your own opinion, but not you own facts.

" Rather than supply a cogent, reasoned response to those opinions, they result to name calling and demands of censorship."
We have volumes and volume of books and warehouses of evidences of the facts.

"Oh, wait... I forgot how Democrats campaign nowadays, and, since they won, how the rights of others are now to be subservient to the "right" to not be offended by differing opinions..."
Wanting people to use facts and not speak nonsense is called 'reasonable discourse' pushing lies, making up a 'controversy', is not an opinion, it is stupidity. Which would be fine if it wasn't from someone trying to make policy decisions.

I don't give a shit about your political stance, but if you are spouting lies and ignorance I will call you out.

Re:It sickens me (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938681)

No one is calling for this congressman to be censored - If anything, his retarded comments have intentionally broadcast so that more people can understand how stupid they are. His comments have already been addressed over and over, and it happened long before he even said anything. Any of the books from Dawkins should be enough to answer any questions he raises. All that's really left is some ridicule.

Re:It sickens me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938905)

Oh, wait... I forgot how Democrats campaign nowadays, and, since they won, how the rights of others are now to be subservient to the "right" to not be offended by differing opinions...

Waaah, waaah, waaah. The waaaaambulance is on its way.

Clue time, fella': if you don't want to lose elections, stop acting like a goddamned retard. Remarkably few answers in life can be found between the covers of a book written 2,000 years ago by nomadic goatherders. Next Sunday, pick up a science book instead, and see how it goes.

Re:It sickens me (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940823)

Actually, lots of answers in life can be found in that book. It depends on the questions you are asking.

Re:It sickens me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939409)

How does this compare to the "right" of people who can afford to take a shit on 10 million dollars as if it were completely worthless to be given even more money by impoverished lower and middle class citizens?

Re:It sickens me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939663)

You are of course welcome to have your own opinion, that e.g. the moon is a piece of green cheese.

You are not welcome to base your decisions regarding the money and wellbeing of your constituents on it, however.

Darwin would not have been elected (1)

iamagloworm (816661) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937239)

listen to his wishy washy talk. what do you think he'd say about drones and kill lists? "I am very poorly today & very stupid & hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders. I am going to write a little Book for Murray on orchids & today I hate them worse than everything" Those poor orchids, feeling the wrath of Darwin.

Re:Darwin would not have been elected (1)

RDW (41497) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937981)

Those poor orchids, feeling the wrath of Darwin

"We found on St. Paul's only two kinds of birds - the booby and the noddy. The former is a species of gannet, and the latter a tern. Both are of a tame and stupid disposition, and are so unaccustomed to visitors, that I could have killed any number of them with my geological hammer."

- Charles Darwin, 'The Voyage of the Beagle'.

Re:Darwin would not have been elected (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938369)

In the margin he wrote:
"I don't like the gannet, they wet their nests!"~

Ran unopposed?? (1)

GauteL (29207) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937263)

Is this actually true? If so, isn't it utterly pathetic that nobody stood up to this guy by running against him?

Re:Ran unopposed?? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938225)

Yes, when he was speaking to some Methodist group (or some other religious entity) he made those comments. Why no one ran against him, probably because he represents his constituents well and someone else wouldn't be elected.

BTW, the entire comments issue is blown out of portion. nothing he has done politically supports that ideology. It was pandering at its best but anyone who looks at his record doesn't believe he puts those views over science. It's more or less just a bunch of Atheists wanting attention and acting outraged because someone associated with science even in a cursory fashion had the gull to act like religion was more important then science.

Re:Ran unopposed?? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938505)

Oh really?

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr212 [govtrack.us]

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hjres45 [govtrack.us]
In 2008, Broun and 91 co-sponsors introduced H.J.Res.89, a proposition for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage as "as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman."[

Broun proposed failed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 "The Year Of The Bible".

When Broun explained his reasons for voting against climate change legislation in June 2010, he called the entire concept of man-made global warming a conspiracy perpetuated by certain members of the scientific community

supported by:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Forum [wikipedia.org]

" It's more or less just a bunch of Atheists "
I know many believers who were also outraged by the statements.

" and acting outraged"
I can't speak for everyone, but I WAS outraged. Unlike you I don't presume to speak for an entire group.

" because someone associated with science even in a cursory fashion"
cursory? CURSORY? he is in a position to determine POLICY. that isn't not cursory. Some high school teacher making those comments at there own church is one thing, this is someone who tries to determine police for the whole country.

" had the gull to act like religion was more important then science."
no. he had the gall to say the thing he doesn't like were real even though there are warehouse full of evidence, even though they are facts, he acts like they aren't, and he is provably wrong.

Pay Attention.

Re:Ran unopposed?? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940799)

Wow, gay marriage and anti abortion is the best you have against him? lol.. Those are not even scientific issues, they are social issues. You are not trying to say Science says Gays should be or have to be married and that Abortion must be available as birth control are you?

As for the global warming, it is a belief held by many who are not what you consider religious either. The conspiracy surrounding global warming is very well documented. The entire science has been corrupted including attempts to mitigate the damages like the Kyoto accords that had no real intentions of fixing global warming. In fact, of the 157 countries who signed on to it, only 37 has limits on their Co2 productions with 2 of them being set at levels they expected to reach more then 10 years down the road while the limited countries could skate around their restrictions by moving the production and the investments of infrastructure into another member country who doesn't have limits. The Jubilee 200 campaign who was among one of the several groups in the 1990's trying to get the world bank and first world countries to forgive the third world debt created by the 1970's oil embargo, announced after the Kyoto accord was negotiated that they had a means to achieve their goals though the Kyoto protocol. His statement on global warming has to do more with fact and perceived reality then religious dogma. Of course if you weren't indoctrinated against all things you don't agree with, you would have seen that too. This is why the US never signed onto Kyoto and why Clinton attempted to hide the debate around it. And yes, Hansen, Gore, Mann, all were supporters of the jubilee 2000 campaign.

Broun proposed failed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 "The Year Of The Bible".

Other then your fear of religion, what has this got to do with science that he was involved with? You see, it's your paranoia not his actions.

The rest of your comment is exactly the same. Paranoid opinions based around your fears and emotion, not facts or reality.

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937291)

How can there possibly be so many retarded people in Georgia that people like this actually get elected?

Re:How? (1)

Elbereth (58257) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937475)

I had the same exact question, so I read his Wikipedia article. If there weren't citations for everything in the article, I'd assume that some liberal had written it as a scathing parody of the Tea Party extremists in the Republican party. I'm still a little shell-shocked and experiencing some denial that people like this truly exist.

It's time for the North to secede from the Union. The South can have their theocratic confederation. I don't care any more. They can keep everything: the oil, the farms, the National Guard, the military bases -- everything. I don't want to be in the same country as them any more.

Re:How? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938229)

Alas, there are many forms of evil, and if you think you're safe if you separate yourself from religious screwballs, you're wrong. The northeast and the west coast have become increasingly accepting of violence, mobs, restrictions on liberty and property rights, and onerous taxation. That's a recipe for universal poverty and an invitation for a military invasion.

He would take one look at Congress . . . (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937341)

. . . and decide that humanity was not evolving, but devolving.

Re:He would take one look at Congress . . . (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940015)

No such thing as "devolving." Any population-level adaptation over time in response to environmental pressures is evolution; given how succesful the H. sap. politicus subspecies has been in that adaptation (look at the re-election rate for incumbents) I'd say they're a nice example of evolution at work.

Re:He would take one look at Congress . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41940777)

But was the Homo Politicus who evolved, or did the Homo Demos have a controlled evolution to allow both to cohesist?

Darwin? (-1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937375)

Is knowledge of Darwin and Evolution more important than NDAA authorization to kill Americans without trial? Or ObamaCare causing thousands of companies to fire and reduce hours for millions of employees? Or any number of other issues that actually affect every day Americans.

Or, if someone says something stupid, we get rid of them as an elected official? We wouldn't have anyone in office ... hey that actually sounds good.

Re:Darwin? (0)

hyades1 (1149581) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937481)

Kindly go fuck yourself. We prefer not to have this place infected with moronic trolls like you.

Re:Darwin? (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937613)

Is knowledge of Darwin and Evolution more important than NDAA authorization to kill Americans without trial?

Rejecting evolution is willful ignorance of reality, and chosing to live in a world dictated by random beliefs rather than direct observation. Before you can even hope to have a nuanced discussion of the pros and cons of a particular law, and what course of action would best benefit the republic, it helps tremendously to have a grasp of reality and an understanding of the world we live in. How can you have an intelligent discussion on education with somebody who would be unable to pass a 5th grade biology class?

if someone says something stupid, we get rid of them as an elected official
Now thats a newsletter I'd subscribe to...

Re:Darwin? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940849)

So if someone doesn't believe exactly like you, they are not welcome? I mean we don't have to get into the entire evolution verses creation or the fact that evolution could be a product of creation, it seems you just think anyone who doesn't think like you is not worthy of all the rights everyone else hold. Do I have that right?

Re:Darwin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41941017)

I'm not sure "fact" means exactly what you think it does..

Re:Darwin? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938525)

" ObamaCare causing thousands of companies to fire and reduce hours for millions of employees?"
false. as has been proven over and over again with actual numbers and math.

" Or any number of other issues that actually affect every day Americans."
like sickness, disease, cancer and a myriad of other medical issue? yeah, he should do something about that.

"Or, if someone says something stupid, we get rid of them as an elected official?"
if they are factually lies like this dickhead said? then yes.

Check your context (1)

Empiric (675968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937405)

It's a good 130 years too late to answer that question empirically...

So -you- say!

depending on where his remains are ... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937439)

He might be perfect

1 he is old enough
2 currently resides in the correct state

okay so he is a bit deceased but ask anybody in Chicago Illinois that is not a problem. He at least can't be bought and won't try to pass any of the stupid laws we are getting nowadays.

Scientists would make horrible politicians (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937455)

A good scientist's main concern is always the truth.
A politician, in a democracy, does care about the truth just is instead a mediator and a interpreter of the public's will.

A good scientist is unlikely to be able to turn off his knowledge and intellect and serve the peoples will, and instead would want to enact laws and projects that actually worked and were based on facts and truth.

Definition of a Good Politician (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937839)

A good scientist is unlikely to be able to turn off his knowledge and intellect and serve the peoples will, and instead would want to enact laws and projects that actually worked and were based on facts and truth.

I'd argue that this is the definition of a good politician: one who acts in the best interests of the people even if is not exactly what they say they want. While I would agree with your description of a typical politician as a demagogue with mediation skills that does not make the typical politician a good politician.

Re:Definition of a Good Politician (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937937)

Except that is not the definition of a democratic politician.
You are talking about different, more totalitarian, government types.

Re:Definition of a Good Politician (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938701)

No, he's talking about a representative democracy. You elect someone who represent your interests, not necessarily your opinions.

Re:Definition of a Good Politician (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938803)

No, even in a representative democracy the idea is that your representative is supposed to exercise their powers for the wishes of the electorate.

In real world situations you never have pure ideologies being practiced, so you will always find some amount of acting in the best interests of the people even if is not exactly what they say they want.

But that idea is completely contrary to the democratic idea.

Citing (1)

Empiric (675968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937555)

"...on evolution, embryology, and the big bang theory as 'lies straight from the pit of Hell.'"

By the way, it would be nice if the quote was an actual quote. Bear in mind that the Big Bang was initially proposed by a Catholic physicist/priest, and was roundly attacked as "anti-science" for sounding to much like Genesis, in contrast to the then-prevailing Steady State theory of the universe.

It's not clear to me what would be objectionable about embryology per se from any theistic stance, and it's really only scientifically-untestable "-only- evolutionary processes occur" that poses a conflict for some views of theism. When I see a semi-quote like this one, I tend to think there's a bit of bias involved with the citation...

Re:Citing (2)

dl107227 (632747) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938219)

"...on evolution, embryology, and the big bang theory as 'lies straight from the pit of Hell.'"

By the way, it would be nice if the quote was an actual quote. When I see a semi-quote like this one, I tend to think there's a bit of bias involved with the citation...

That was pretty much a direct quote. Here is a video [youtube.com] of him saying that and more.

Re:Citing (1)

Empiric (675968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938417)

How about a fully-much direct quote? That's my personal preference for quotes, anyway.

Though it's more a question of editorial integrity than convenience, and I have only marginal interest in what Rep. Paul Broun says, out of curiosity I watched it. Granted, including "all that stuff I was taught about" didn't add much in terms of clarity.

Re:Citing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939899)

It's not clear to me what would be objectionable about embryology per se from any theistic stance

I imagine he was thinking of Haeckel's rubbish [wikipedia.org], which everyone now knows is rubbish, but certain religious characters continue to fight gallantly against.

Would Isaac Newton have made a good mechanic? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937707)

Would Julius Caeser have worked out in a boy band?

Would Abraham Lincoln have been a good NASCAR driver?

Would Queen Victoria have been a decent haberdasher?

These, and the question posed by the article, are all equally important.

No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937745)

According to Betteridge's law of headlines...no.

Broun is a medical doctor??? (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937753)

Evolution is one of the basic, but higher level, tenants of science (biology, chemistry, and physics define the parameters upon which evolution executes).

The study of viruses alone shows clear proof of evolution.

Does the man understand the point of a full dose of antibiotics? Or does he just have the numbers memorized?

A doctor without knowing evolution is true is a with doctor at best. Snake oil salesman at least.

Re:Broun is a medical doctor??? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938151)

Yes, doctors just memorize the numbers. That's pretty much what medical school is.

Science and medicine work differently. Science is interested in learning why things work. Medicine doesn't care why, just if it works or not. It is a set of heuristics and tools. Science improves medicine, but an understanding of science is not needed to practice medicine.

Classic example: nobody knew how aspirin works until fairly recently. But doctors didn't need to know that. Take two and call me in the morning worked just fine. They memorized the numbers.

What most people consider a good doctor is someone who is fantastic with the heuristics and tools. A good memory.

And don't forget, people who say evolution isn't true are talking about evolving new species long ago. They almost never mean ongoing adaptation.

I'm not saying the guy isn't an asshat. It's just good to know what species of asshat we are dealing with and how it evolved.

Re:Broun is a medical doctor??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938869)

There's a whole lot of culture in medicine that isn't based in science, even today. Despite this, a good GP doesn't need to have a masters in molecular biology or physics to be able to analyze test results, recommend treatments, or refer you to a specialist. People think that doctors should be experts at everything, but they aren't; they just have to know their capacities to make correct decisions, which should ideally be made on evidence.

You know what they call the guy who graduates last in his class from medical school?

Doctor.

Also, the field of biology as we know it today is about a century, or roughly three generations, old. If your grandfather was a doctor from more progressive school, he might have been taught that proteins were the foundation of life, that there were only two biologic domains that all living things fit into, and that women sometimes suffer from a mysterious malaise called hysterics whose only treatments were electroshock or a hysterectomy. If your mom was a doctor, she probably wasn't taught beyond the most basic concepts of immunology, still doesn't see anything wrong with mouth pipetting if you're careful, and doesn't understand exactly how transistors work. If they were properly educated, then they would have learned that they could never know everything, so the best they could do is make the best decisions they could with the tools and evidence they had without doing harm.

Even today, the definion of life is not yet set in stone. A very good contender is that it is self-reproduction with variations, but even that feels too open ended to some. Broun has made claims without and contrary to modern evidence, much in the same way that some still uphold the idea of a communist threat, that global warming is a lie, or that Obama is going to take away our guns. He said it to let them know whose side he was on, and from the looks of it, it wasn't yours.

Well, It's Quite a Junket... (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937823)

Aboard the Beagle, Darwin visited Tenerife, the Cape Verde Islands, the Brazilian coast, Argentina, Uruguay, Tierra del Fuego, Chile, the Galapagos Archipelago, Tahiti, New Zealand, Tasmania and the Keeling Islands... He'd miss a lot of committee meetings.

Boneheads (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938025)

So some congressman says some boneheaded thing. There's a big surprise. Now the correct respose is the boneheaded idea to elect Charlie Darwin to congress? Would Gengis Khan make a good hostess at the International House of Pancakes? Now that makes sense.

Re:Boneheads (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938839)

So some congressman says some boneheaded thing. There's a big surprise. Now the correct respose is the boneheaded idea to elect Charlie Darwin to congress? Would Gengis Khan make a good hostess at the International House of Pancakes? Now that makes sense.

Until you ask for the Puree of Mongol soup.

Re:Boneheads (2)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940199)

All that raping and pillaging! Who knew all he wanted was a decent strawberry syrup!!!

Re:Boneheads (2)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940221)

First person to laugh at Ghengis when he repeats your Rooti Tooti Fresh and Fruiti order finds out how hard it is to get a waffle iron out of the back of your throat!

yuo .Fail I7! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938037)

it wiil be among AT&T and Berkeley POsts on Usenet are

what say you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938053)

how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you ask?

When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938065)

If Darwin were elected to congress in 2012 he would see a nation devolving. Most of the public has no real problem with evolution but people who are devolving to a more primitive state would not like a politician who was so focused upon evolution. Nothing could be more proof of devolution than the right wing diatribe and lack of a center core like Mitt Romney.

Re: When? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#41939465)

If Darwin were elected to congress in 2012 he would see a nation devolving. Most of the public has no real problem with evolution but people who are devolving to a more primitive state would not like a politician who was so focused upon evolution. Nothing could be more proof of devolution than the right wing diatribe and lack of a center core like Mitt Romney.
Funny, but I always though evolution was survival of the fittest. It almost seems like that is the position of the Republicans. The Democrats tend to be more about making sure that everybody gets a chance to reproduce , no matter how fit. In fact, the more responsible, intelligent, and hardworking people are, the less likely they are to reproduce.

Re: When? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939547)

Funny, but I always though evolution was survival of the fittest.

And you are wrong. You know nothing about evolution.
Go. Read a book.

He's was not rich enough and spoke his mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938223)

So, no.

Hannibal Lecter would be ideal (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938327)

He's strong and intelligent, a sociopath so he doesn't care about the agendas of the rich or corporate America. And if some one disagrees with him in Congress and blocks his bill he'll just invite them over for dinner ending the Congressional roadblock by eating his opponent.

Re:Hannibal Lecter would be ideal (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938595)

Ha! You made me chuckle. Now imagine how interesting it would have been for Darwin to observe that. The lobbyists would be deep in the organ market, and favabeans would be up.

Broun ran unopposed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939103)

Broun ran unopposed!

This says nothing good about the constituency of the 10th congressional district of Georgia. This includes the city of Athens, home of the University (sic) of Georgia, and the city of Augusta, as well as some reasonable sized suburban areas.

I am shocked and dismayed that there were no alternative candidates from this district.

Leebens-Mack should have run for office, instead of wasting his time with a senseless "protest" vote. We need scientists and engineers in congress.

Posting as AC from the 6th congressional district of Georgia.

Why not? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#41939329)

As a fellow Christian and college educated person, I think that Darwin would make an excellent leader. Maybe not a great politician, but we don't need great politicians, we need great leaders. Now science is not the most import plank for a governmental platform, but I think he would properly fund science and research, which has not happened since the heyday of 50s and 60s, when, by a bizarre and surely unrelated coincidence, the United States produced the greatest technological advances in history.

broun ran unopposed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939559)

not because his constituants are stupid.
but because they are lazy.
pigs squeal before the slaughter. They were bred to be that way.
much like.... oh, nevermind.

Bill Nye 2016 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41939973)

Forget Darwin (not that he would be the first dead person to run for elected office), and forget congress. This is the news for nerds site, so let's put Bill Nye in the White House in 2016.

I woould dare say... (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41940169)

That Darwin's moldering corpse would make a better representative than Paul Broun.

No. Too shy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41940729)

Too much introvert scientist and not enough extrovert narcissistic sociopath in that guy. He delayed publishing his work for decades just because he was worried about hurting the feelings of others.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41940971)

If the title is a question, the answer is no ;-)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...