Monday, August 1, 2016

Facts, We Don't Need No Stinking Facts

I was following some of the news concerning the two big political conventions and noticed something strange about one of them, an overabundance of 'feelings' conversation.  I was mulling it over and what jelled it in my mind was John Oliver's Last Night on Tonight commentary about the Republican National Convention (RNC):

They really did spend a lot of time identifying peoples' feelings about something, much more than relying on anything resembling a fact.  Oliver said, "Believing something to be true is not the same thing as it being true" summed up the RNC pretty well.  I really was waiting for the RNC to use "Feelings" as their new theme song.

The interview with Newt really keyed in on it.  How he, as a politician, would go with feelings over facts any day. Shouldn't that be a warning flag?  I am not talking a little 3x5 inch flag on the end of a piece of straw.  I am talking about a room sized piece of red cloth run up to the top of a 90 foot flagpole signaling a serious disaster!  When someone wants you to go with your feelings, it usually means they don't have any facts to back something up, so they need you to 'go with your gut'.  Why would that be?

I have to wonder if the RNC 'feels' they are in a losing position.  Changing from 'facts' to 'feelings' is only a tactic when the facts don't back you up.  As we can see from the Newt's part of the interview, the facts do not back him up, so he tries to make the claim that his feelings, and the voiced 'feelings' attributed to 'the average American' are actually facts in themselves. Sorry, Newt, an unsupported opinion does not equal actual supported numbers, and it never will.

An analogy in Poker is called a 'chopped pot', which means splitting the pot evenly among the players who have yet to fold the hand.  There are two instances of a chopped pot, one is the hands are truly tied after showing them.  The other is when one player feels they are at a disadvantage and wants to minimize their losses, so they offer to chop the pot rather than take the risk and see the cards.  This is usually done because of a 'feeling' of having a weaker hand than one or more of your opponents.  In chess it's the offer of a draw rather than play out the rest of the game.

As you might have noticed the Discovery Institute (DI) has been spending a lot of time claiming that intuition is just as good as actual science.  That your 'feelings' about a subject are just as valid as someone who studies and works and has the evidence to back up their claims.  Why would they do so?

Because they must 'feel' they are in a losing position.  I wonder if donations are down or some of their big donors are questioning their lack of results?  Why else would they be celebrating 20 years of non-achievement.  That's why they are pushing books like Doug Axes "Undeniable" and re-releasing books like "The Design of Life". And that is why they make statements like:
"We don't need to rely slavishly on what scientists say because, in an important sense, we are all scientists, capable of judging a big scientific idea like evolution, if not necessarily the technical details, for ourselves." (More Scientists Praise Douglas Axe's Undeniable)
I really love this statement because after years of the DI telling us how scientific they are and how many scientists disagree with evolution -- suddenly the message is who cares what scientists say anyway!  This is the equivalent saying "Oh Yea!" after a telling insult for which you have no response.  I mean what do scientists know anyway, nanny-nanny-boo-boo!

Telling people to go with their gut shows how little they have in the way of facts to support their Creationism/Intelligent Design.  To paraphrase a favorite movie "Facts, we don't need no stinking facts!"

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