As I have stated previously, that some of our elected officials can manage to tie their shoes in the morning really is a miraculous thing. Rachel Maddow recently made light of a few examples. And here they are:
And the coup de grace:
Astonishing. No? About the South Dakota House measure, to reiterate, a lot of folks have the idea of a scientific theory misconstrued. Gravity, as we all know, prevents us from floating off into space. Literally, it keeps us grounded. Too much of it and our bones can’t hold up under the weight. Not enough of it, and we’re heavenward. Our planet has just enough of it. Yet, gravity is still yet a theory. This site explains it well:
In popular usage, a theory is just a vague and fuzzy sort of fact.
But to a scientist a theory is a conceptual framework that *explains*
existing facts and predicts new ones. For instance, today I saw the
Sun rise. This is a fact. This fact is explained by the theory that
the Earth is round and spins on its axis while orbiting the sun. This
theory also explains other facts, such as the seasons and the phases
of the moon, and allows me to make predictions about what will happen
This means that in some ways the words “fact” and “theory” are
interchangeable. The organisation of the solar system, which I used as
a simple example of a theory, is normally considered to be a fact that
is explained by Newton’s theory of gravity. And so on.
A hypothesis is a tentative theory that has not yet been tested.
Typically, a scientist devises a hypothesis and then sees if it “holds
water” by testing it against available data. If the hypothesis does
hold water, the scientist declares it to be a theory.
An important characteristic of a scientific theory or hypotheis is
that it be “falsifiable”. This means that there must be some
experiment or possible discovery that could prove the theory untrue.
For example, Einstein’s theory of Relativity made predictions about
the results of experiments. These experiments could have produced
results that contradicted Einstein, so the theory was (and still is)
So, nearly all that we know about the world, from gravity to climate change to evolution are still theories, but as it regards the scientific method, it’s as good as fact. No one disputes that existence of gravity, as we have come to define it.
Thus, the South Dakota’s House’s bill, stating
That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;
doesn’t make much sense. One has to go no further than the Merriam-Webster to grasp the validity of scientific theories. The scientific definition of the word is:
a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
And briefly on Rep. Franks’ comments on slavery. First, black folks weren’t counted as humans in the Antebellum South, were they? So, right off the bat, Franks’ idea of aborted fetuses are afforded an advantage over slave children. Rightly or not, Franks considers embryos right up to birth to be fully human. Slaves weren’t granted that designation no matter how old or young.
He also noted that slavery was a “crushing mark on America’s soul,” but nevertheless, “far more black children are being devastated by the policies of today (noting, supposedly, that 50 percent of all black fetuses are aborted) than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.”
As I recall, children today aren’t tortured, humiliated, raped (females), separated from their parents and sold as cattle in America today, and abortion by no means can be equated to tragedies befallen to living human beings, children nonetheless. Even if one takes a Christian worldview, the aborted fetuses find a new home in heaven. I’m not going to lay out my view of abortion here, but suffice it to say that it’s egregiously wrong and horrifying that an elected official would attempt to make a political point at the expense of those who suffered under the tyrannical and stupified slave system of the 18th and 17th centuries in this country (much of which folks justified biblically), not to mention the millions who suffered worldwide.