Essay talk:Sam Brownback: What I Think About Evolution

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(2)The RationalWiki response totally misinterprets the Senator's statement. Read it again. The Senator is not creating a false dichotomy; he is complaining about one. He doesn't assert any kind of "us vs. them" in this section. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Umm - could you direct us a little better to the think about which you are complaining?--BobNot Jim 18:24, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Pal's mods[edit]

I'm going to work on this paragraph by paragraph. Assistance is appreciated :-) -αmεσ (!) 21:19, 9 July 2007 (CDT)

Im starting...just delete shit i write you dont like.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:30, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Brownback is startlingly dangerous.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:38, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Right? Agreed. If either he or Romney win, I'll become an armed revolutionary and forsake my legal career rend my garments in mourning.-αmεσ (!) 22:41, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
OOO..nicely done on number 2...i hope you never have to sue me.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:49, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Ah, 'twas your idea... -αmεσ (!) 22:51, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Brownback I get, but Romney hasn't seemed any worse to me than the rest of the Republican field (not that I'd welcome any of them, mind). What am I missing about him? --jtltalk 23:17, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
I was hoping to toss out some ideas before passing out...thank you for letting me throw them in randomly and then making sense of my garbled ramblings.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:54, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Ah, it's my only marketable skill. Sigh. The joys of liberal arts.-αmεσ (!) 22:56, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
I just have to say it, A, this article was a great freakin idea.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 23:30, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
I've been out of touch too long. Trying to redeem meself. Also, Brownback REALLY honks me off.-αmεσ (!) 23:32, 9 July 2007 (CDT)


I'm a little bit confused about something here. This seems to be an essay by Mithras the Unconquered. With a request that comments go only on the talk page. This is usual for an essay type article. But on top of the response column it seems to imply that it's a collaborative work. Furthermore, in the text the author sometimes refers to himself as "we". Meanwhile on the talk page AmesG says he would appreciate assistance to edits. So what is this - an essay or a collaborative side-by -side? Has my brain finally given up the uneven battle against the red wine, or is there something amiss?--Bob_M (talk) 15:48, 10 July 2007 (CDT)

It collaborative; someone's being silly. ŠтΈṜȳŁЁand...? 15:55, 10 July 2007 (CDT)

Alternately, it's an essay by a group entity we're all unwitting members of. --jtltalk 16:54, 10 July 2007 (CDT)
Yeah, it's a group thing. Sorry for being silly :-(.-αmεσ (!) 18:52, 10 July 2007 (CDT)
If its group, it should probably be moved back to the main namespace. Probably with an extra label like Sam Brownback: What I Think About Evolution. Tmtoulouse 19:41, 10 July 2007 (CDT)
I see it's now in the mainspace. Presumably I can edit some of the "we's". The reason is that it seems to want to speak for every editor on RW,and I'm not sure that I agree with everything that carries a "we". Or would it be best to bring it here first? The sort of thing I'm talking about is: Senator Brownback actually does, in this paragraph, drive a wedge between faith and reason. He says himself, they both address different questions. We agree. He also says that they help each other. We, again, agree. Well, I'm not sure I do agree. Perhaps some would agree or some of us might well agree.--Bob_M (talk) 05:40, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
I see what you're saying. Many atheists (sometimes including myself) would argue that religion really has little to offer at all of benefit. We might want to keep it in essay namespace, or at least tone down the implication that it is an "official position" statement.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 07:35, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Good point. I guess otherwise, it assumes a lot. Thanks both for pointing that out: move it back to Essay:What I Think About Evolution is you want, but if you do, please keep the redirects?-αmεσ (!) 07:56, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, what ever it is it needs to be made clear up front up what it is. If it's an essay then it needs to state at the top that it's a collaborative essay from x, y, z and their pet goat. But even if it is an essay it still speaks as though it's "official" RW policy. (whatever on earth that may be.) As an example from the introduction "The good members of RationalWiki agree ..." So if it's an essay, it needs to be re-written so that it's clearly the point of view of the authors'. If it's not an essay then it should be edited by all so that it does reflect the consensual view of the community. At the moment (I think) it's neither one thing nor the other and changing the namespace won't fix that. --Bob_M (talk) 09:00, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

(undent)The design of the MediaWiki software that powers RationalWiki recognizes the need for a place to edit collaboratively, and a place for individual contributors to write their own views. Ordinarily on a MediaWiki wiki, the main (default, unnamed) article space is for collaborative works, and the User: namespace is where users may express their individual opinions. Wikis can of course add more namespaces to allow for varying levels of collaboration, as well as ignore all rules if that's what they prefer.

If RationalWiki users have more than one opinion about points in this article, perhaps we should fork it into articles reflecting various points of view. For example, the responses in Essay:Sam Brownback: What I Think About Evolution, at the time that I write this, appear to represent the Non-Overlapping Magisteria of Authority (NOMA) school of thought. It would be difficult to edit the article to cover the anti-NOMA (or "OMA") point of view, because the article format does not allow for it, and having responses that argue with each other would weaken the response to Sam Brownback's original claim. I find NOMA to be a bit of unconvincing wishful thinking because in fact we have "OMA" - the "magisteria" of religion and science routinely overlap; I would say they unavoidably overlap (i.e., I lean more toward Dawkins than to Gould). If a religion is going to exercise any sort of temporal authority (and almost every organized religion does, or seeks to), it will have a hard time refraining from making some scientifically testable claims about reality. As all the ancient religions recognized from their very beginnings, if you want to order people around, it helps if you can explain the cosmos to their satisfaction. ("Because we said so" tends not to be a very convincing argument when telling other people to rearrange their lives. It helps if the busybody can argue on the basis of how the world works. Authority comes from knowing what is going on.) Which is to say most religions will continue to intrude into the "magisterium" of science, just as religions have routinely done for centuries - they have to, if they want to survive. The "magisterium" of science was once exclusively the magisterium of religion, and scientists have carved out their own domain almost entirely at the expense of religion, leaving steadily diminishing "gaps" for God to inhabit. We tend to ignore this fact because the closing of various gaps (such as geocentrism) occurred long ago, and the progress in science is not rapid enough to illustrate the shrinking domain of God on the time scale at which individual humans operate. Within the next ten years we don't expect to see people like Sam Brownback needing to come up with new rationalizations to cope with major scientific breakthroughs, so it could seem to someone who ignores history that the current game rules are something other than temporary.

However, I would be more inclined to edit an OMA-centric response in my user space first, and leave it there until it appeared to be constituting some sort of collective response from a subset of RationalWiki users who subscribe to a similar school of thought. Upon moving it to mainspace we would label it so. --Teratornis 21:10, 22 November 2007 (EST)

Teratornis, should I move it back to Essay, then? And change the we's to reflect that it was me and PalMD?-αmεσ (soldier) 00:27, 23 November 2007 (EST)

Used Brownback's "Contact Us" Form...[edit] send his campaign staff a link to this page. I figure at the very least we might get one visitor, from his staff. It's a start...-αmεσ (!) 23:21, 10 July 2007 (CDT)

On a related note, could someone spell- grammar- and logic- check this, just to make sure it holds water? And add to it as seen fit?-αmεσ (!) 23:26, 10 July 2007 (CDT)
In part 4, should "decisionmaking" be two words? Or at least hyphenated? Thunderkatz 11:10, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Front page news?[edit]

If this Brownback (whoever he was) is no longer a candidate, do we still need this article on the front page? We do want to be fairly topical, don't we? Totnesmartin 19:01, 19 November 2007 (EST)

I second this. If he runs for governor of Kansas (as some have said he might) THEN it might be worthwhile again. Researcher 19:17, 19 November 2007 (EST)

It's just there because it's a best of thinger. It randomly shows up, and, I think Brownback is a perennial news item.... So anti rationalism and silly-αmεσ (soldier) 19:30, 19 November 2007 (EST)

So it's there automatically? If so, can that be fixed? Totnesmartin 19:54, 19 November 2007 (EST)
For that, you should ask someone more wikisavvy than me :-( -αmεσ (soldier) 20:34, 19 November 2007 (EST)


Just a thanks, but this is an excellent point by point analysis/article. I've found several of these here on various topics. These make for great reference points!--WaitingforGodot 10:17, 7 July 2008 (EDT)

Thoroughly analyzed, but a little too harsh of a treatment. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I think it's a fair analysis. Brownback adopted a faux conciliatory tone, but it's quite clear that science is fine so long as it doesn't contradict religious belief. --Concernedresident 09:32, 20 September 2009 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be in essay space, as per the essay template? If not, that should be removed. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:40, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

In principle, yes. Although it does say "RationalWiki's repsonse" in the header, it's clear it's AmesG's work and not really an article, although certainly a good topic. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 09:44, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Moved. Since this is identified as a personal essay, & the authors are no longer active here to confirm whether they want this to remain their work alone, it's better kept that way. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:58, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Now the elections are over...[edit]

Shouldn't you change Senator to Govenor? I guess you will just do this on the day of his inauguration. בכסווושלמ 22:43, 17 November 2010 (UTC).

Remark on Paragraph 5[edit]

Ok, first of all, let me get this off my chest. Yes this dumbshit is now Governor of our State and our DOE is getting ready to fall to hell.

That said. the response in paragraph 5 refers to the debate of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium as regarding the pace of the evolutionary progress not whether or not evolution occurs. The reason this statement strikes me is because these are not conflicting processes of evolutionary biology. That would be like saying the scientists are unsure as to whether character change happens phenotypically or genotypically. Punctuated equilibrium and gradualism are simply two different routes evolution takes depending on the environment. They can even occur simultaneously along separate evolutionary lines. Sharks and fishes haven't changed a whole lot in the past 65 million years as opposed to the mammals and theropods which have gone through drastic change. Basically, there are several ways evolutionary change comes about and these are just two examples among many. Plynch26 (talk) 16:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

It is obvious to me that the depth of your thoughts out-do my intellectual capacity. I am floundering, but I would like to add
this. Science is the concrete evidence for Evolution, without Science we would be deaf, dumb and blind. To even imply that
science disrespects a person’s faith is preposterous. Religious faith is only a product of human stereotypes. From what
Mr. Brownback is stating, these two entities are intrinsically tied together, but they are not. These two individual issues are
exclusively independent of each other entirely.
In trying to understand how any human could think that all this was anywhere less than billions of years in the making, is far
beyond comprehension. Science is the documentation of procedure through conclusion, itemized and approved investigational
experiments that synthesize and help us understand the entire physical world around us. Hard scientific fact has absolutely
nothing to do with how a person evaluates their internal feelings of faith on any emotional level within themselves. How could
it? Sorry for the length, I couldn’t help it. TLOS 17:52, 21 August 2011 (PST)