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Episode-1859- Listener Feedback for 8-29-16 — 35 Comments

  1. Evolution by Natural Selection (Nat Sel) is a simple, yet misunderstood process. Scientists do not suggest that the species diversity created by Nat Sel is done by accident as suggested in this podcast. (9:10). It is not an accident, instead species result from the following tenants:
    1. More individuals are produced each generation that can survive.
    2. Variation exists among individuals and the variation is heritable.
    3. Those individuals with heritable traits better suited to the environment will survive.
    4. Over time, survivors specialize in a niche and become different species than other survivors that specialize in another niche.

    It is this evolution from the feedback of nature (Nat Sel) that makes it non-random and non-accidental.

    Nat Sel does not require the addition of intelligent design (which is not different from creationism), because the environment is the designer. The environment has provided the feedback to mold species into what we see today. The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins is a great book to understand this concept.

    • Science minded people are so blind they don’t even know what people who believe in intelligent design mean when we say “all by accident”.

      We are talking about the genesis of LIFE and the universe itself.

      OF COURSE evolution is a logical progression.

    • People interested in the actual origin of life question might be interested to watch any of the “Universe from Nothing” lectures by Lawrence Krauss. There are a few presentations of it on youtube, but they’re all essentially the same. In it, he presents, in layman’s terms, a convincing argument for how something (namely, life) can come from nothing, so the comment saying “well, there must have been SOMETHING before us,” has a reasonable alternative rebuttal. It’s worth the hour of your time to watch.

  2. Jack, regarding your comments about opening a new non roth retirement fund. Our accountant had us open a 403b to lower our taxable income. If we didn’t do this, our tax rate would be considerably higher. I keep all our money in a as close to cash equivalent funds as possible. While we write off as much as we can other ways, this options allows us to make the biggest impact.Do you know of any other ways to lower our taxable income without having to contribute to these types of retirement funds?

    • There are far better strategies to reduce your current tax bracket than to allow the money to be taxed later.

    • Jack says “…than to allow the money to be taxed later” when referring to deferred accounts.
      Man, oh man, I could not agree with this more. Accountants are so trained to tell their clients to defer, defer, defer, essentially kick the tax can down the road that many taxpayers fall into a huge tax trap at retirement. The cynic in me thinks this is by design of course, because when you are in this tax trap it’s too late to get out and the government then proceeds to get a hell of a lot more of your money than they otherwise would have. How? Simple. Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)vs. single taxpayer.

      I invite anyone to look at the difference in tax brackets between the two. The single taxpayer gets screwed relative to the MFJ. The amount of income to put you in the 25% bracket as a single taxpayer is well under 40k, for a MFJ it’s near 80k. On top of that, the single taxpayer has one less personal exemption and standard deduction too. So, she has higher tax bracket, plus less deductions to start with.

      “Oh,” someone says, “but I’m not a single taxpayer. I’m married so this is not an issue for me.” the hell it isn’t. You or your spouse WILL be a single taxpayer at some point in the future and most likely when you have RMDs, (required min. distributions). So now your surviving spouse has RMDs which get progressively higher as she gets older AND she is a single taxpayer, again, meaning she has one less personal exemption and standard deduction to use against her taxes.

      I have many a widow client who pay substantially more in Fed income tax now, then they ever did when they were married and yet they have significantly LESS income too!

      This is why the Roth is such a wonderful strategy, even if it means a bit more in taxes today.

      Jack is so spot on in this analysis it’s well worth the MSB membership right there alone.

      For further reading, look up Robert Keebler CPA. Anything that guy writes is worth the effort to read.

  3. I know I am right when my points are met with profane dismissal instead of rebuttal…

    Scientists know exactly what Intelligent Design (ID) proponents mean by “all by accident”. We know it is a straw-man logical fallacy (at best) and proof of a misunderstanding of Nat Sel (at worst, though most commonly). It is a term used by ID to (falsely) characterize Nat Sel (not themselves)!

    Regarding the logical progression of evolution–this is not a claim I (or science-based evolutionary biologists) would make. Logic has nothing to do w/ the process of evolution; and Progression is a misleading term, as it implies species are evolving toward an end point.

    • There is no particular reason that I can see why these two things must be mutually exclusive and I think that was Jack’s point. You seem to be too stuck in your belief to be open to the possibility that both evolution and intelligent design can be correct simultaneously.

      • ID and Nat Sel are opposites which cannot both be valid. ID is the creation of species by a supernatural force, and requires faith (belief in absence of evidence); while Nat Sel is a natural process discovered from the evidence.

    • Just curious Steven, you say “scientists know what ID proponents mean…”
      Does that mean no scientists believe in ID, or Heaven Forbid, creationism?

      • Hey is blinded by what I call, EISME Syndrome.

        Anyone that says anything other than what he believes is WRONG, not having a different opinion just wrong and yes he believes all scientists (real ones anyway) agree, again this is due to EISME Syndrome.

        You will note he says he knows what we mean, when we say all by accident but his initial rebuttal completely ignored that. Again, EISME.

        • Nope, I only argue when I know I am correct.
          I am open to different opinions if they are supported by evidence. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
          What is the evidence for ID? All “evidence” put forward by ID is the same re-heated arguments used by creationists. They have been refuted time and time again (look them up online). If you list your top 5 arguments for ID, then look up their rebuttals online…and still have questions; let me know. Open minded people welcome different opinions supported by reasonable evidence.
          ID proponents will eventually find they have no evidence, and revert back to the faith argument. Science cannot investigate faith, since it does not make testable claims–which is why faith and science are incompatible methods for determining truth.

      • Nope, but the more one understands the scientific method, the less likely they are to believe in supernatural creation.

      • Steven said “the more one understands the scientific method, the less likely they are to believe in supernatural creation.”
        and yet there are plenty of scientists who believe in ID, Francis Collins, comes to mind and even others who believe in Creationism.

        Collins is also an ardent believer in evolution too, thus proving that a belief in ID and evolution is not mutually exclusive at all.

        I always laugh at the observation that the “scientific method” inherently leads one to believe in X yet they can’t observe X at all, in this case have you actually observed gravity exploding and thus creating the universe? Of course not. It’s all a hypothesis. Nothing wrong with that but you don’t then get to disqualify other hypothesis based on saying those others aren’t following the scientific method, because you aren’t either!

        Then you cite Richard Dawkins as the final word on this debate. Really? Dawkins? Oh my goodness. If you say Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye next, I’m going to use Jack’s method and take an airsoft gun and put it to my head.

        Unfortunately, this is the state of our education system today. X is true because WE SAY IT’S TRUE and everything else is false and you will be ostracized if not outright eliminated from the debate because of your theories. See what the Dawkins crew tried to do to Collins after all. His theories were enough for them to want to remove him from the Genome Project.

        Yet we have a guy in space right now, who set the record for the most continious time in space and he’s an ardent creationist. Not even ID, but actual creationism! He, of course, should be banned from the dialogue because… well because he has no legitimacy.

        I thank the Good Lord there are people who have been brave enough to take on the approved thought of the day. Those folks are true heroes and have advanced civilization against all odds.

        Oh on a side note, Francis Crick, the perceived founder of DNA, which in of itself is open to debate, had some much crazier beliefs than any creationist could even dream of.

        • Here is an interesting thing when people with EISEM cite the scientific method as proving that there is no intelligence to design. That there is no spark of creation behind either existence or life.

          The scientific method is

          1. Question
          2. Research
          3. Hypothesis
          4. Experiment (which must have a control group)
          5. Draw Conclusion
          6. Report Results

          Okay, show me the experiment and control group that prove out spontaneous generation of the universe or life, where is it?

          So far the scientific method can not be used to prove out creation, intelligent design or spontaneous generation.

          Until such time as man can create something from absolutely nothing or life from completely non living material, or observe either as a wholly natural process, I would say claiming spontaneous generation of matter, energy or life is an awful weak argument.

          Even then only observation via a natural process would prove any of it could occur without an intelligent designer.

          Science has tried to recreate the primordial soup where life “self generated” on earth. And what did they get? Amino acids, yes, life no. If life can just generate under the right conditions by total accident, why can’t all the geniuses who claim it as fact replicate it?

          To claim that the scientific method disproves intelligent design is to show complete and total ignorance of what the scientific method is and what it requires.

        • Francis Collins is the exception that proves the rule. Not a great argument, but fun to use 😉

          More seriously, if not redundant, I said that the more one understands the scientific method, the less likely they are to be ID proponents–this does not mean no scientists are believers. You can find examples of biologists who are HIV-AIDS deniers; they are cranks.

          Regarding the Big Bang…I have no comment, and I agree that most explanations of the origins of the universe by scientists are not scientifically testable. I am only offering an opinion on Nat Sel. Scientists overstep the data on this subject as they do on string “theory”

          Regarding Dawkins: blind watchmaker is a great book for understanding the subject. I am not using his name as an argument (the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority).

          Regarding Crick and Collins and the astronaut (you missed the archetypical Newton): There will always be geniuses who have some sacred cow beliefs. This does not prove that their beliefs are valid or even helpful to them.

          Regarding how I continue to be labeled as someone incapable of being shown to be wrong (EISMA as Jack states): I am close-minded on some topics/questions. I am not open to the creationism as a scientific theory because it is neither science nor a theory. This is similar to how Jack is close minded to the idea that you shouldn’t eat rabbits in the summer months.
          It is good to be open minded to ideas w merit. How one determines the merit of an idea is what the scientific method is all about…

        • Responding to Jack’s Sept 3 8am post:
          You are using the Argument from Incredulity logical fallacy.
          Like many other shifts, Darwin figured out Nat Sel through Inductive Reasoning.
          Science attempts to figure out the natural world–just because we don’t know everything, isn’t evidence for Creationism.

          Regarding: “To claim that the scientific method disproves intelligent design is to show complete and total ignorance of what the scientific method is and what it requires.”
          –actually, the sci method doesn’t disprove ID. The burden of proof is always on the side of the claimant. Science brings evidence of Nat Sel, while Creationism does not. Creationism is a faith-based interpretation of how the diversity of life came to be.

          This is my last post on the subject–remember that evidence and faith are opposites. Faith based arguments fall on scientific deaf ears, because they bring no evidence…

        • The faith of an atheist is far more astonishing than the faith of believer in god. The logical jumps and omission of fact required for a universe that just popped up from no where are so unbelievable and so vastly unproven as to require far more faith in the unknown than any religion.

          And you keep rattling on about evolution when NO ONE HERE so far anyway has said anything against evolution.

          The burden of proof lies on the side of the claimant, man you are so delusional. There is not one side making a claim here, there are two. Science has provided no more proof for spontaneous accidental design than has been provided to support the concept of intelligent design.

          You say this is your last post but I doubt it, I don’t think you are capable of it! I think your EISEM Syndrome is terminal.

          I for one do not claim that ID is a fact, it is only people who are BELIEVERS in either faith that claim either THEORY is FACT. I say simply that I don’t know, however it seems far more logical that there is an intelligence behind it. Perhaps the entirety itself is the intelligence, I don’t really know.

          It is not people who think intelligent design is a possibility that are the zealots here. The zealots of the modern day are mostly atheists. LOL

        • Because…science. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin

          It’s Potemkin villages everywhere in “science”. Nutrition, climate, linguistics, evolutionary biology.. the list goes on and on.

          One is literally risking his career by challenging orthodoxy. And they say the Catholic Church was bad!

          “Professor John Yudkin retired from his post at Queen Elizabeth College in 1971, to write Pure, White and Deadly. The college reneged on a promise to allow him to continue to use its research facilities. It had hired a fully committed supporter of the fat hypothesis to replace him, and it was no longer deemed politic to have a prominent opponent of it on the premises. The man who had built the college’s nutrition department from scratch was forced to ask a solicitor to intervene. Eventually, a small room in a separate building was found for Yudkin.”

          Again, because…science.

        • Oh and I forgot to add vaccinations to the list too. Here’s how the debate works with vaccinations:

          Me: “could there be a possibility that MMR vaccinations are linked to serious issues among young children”
          Science guy “No, that debate is over and it’s anti-science to suggest anything other than the consensus.”
          Me: “why, there is enough evidence and doubt to at least consider there might be a link.”
          Science guy: “No because Wakefield was a quack and his article was retracted.”
          Me: “Huh. that makes no sense.”
          Science guy: “Wakefield was a quack so you should leave science to the scientists.”

          I literally can’t think of a more textbook example of a strawman than this. Yet, this stuff happens throughout.

          Lastly, for ANOTHER (yes the list is loooong) example of science stifling oppostion simply read Ignac Semmelwies, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039332625X/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          He had this crazy idea that doctors should wash their hands before delivering babies. The consensus of the day was that wasn’t neccessary and by now we should all understand what happens next. Semmelweis was labeled a quack.

          Jack, I hate to harp so much on this on your website, but man, mob mentalities bother me and science is certainly not exempt in the least.

    • @Steven and apparently you don’t even know the definition of profane. There is no profanity in my dismissal of your point which didn’t even address my point.

    • Couldn’t agree more Jack. The idea we have “proof’ of any of this stuff is just silly. It’s all hypothetical. Yet there are those who will banish people who don’t believe in their hypothesis, been happening throughout time. As a Christian, I’m sad to admit it’s certainly happened(s) on our side too.

      That’s too bad though because the beauty of Christianity is its simplicity. Did Christ live? And if so, did he literally rise from the dead? If either of those are a no, then Christianity simply can’t exist. However, if both of those are yes, then it would make sense to align oneself with the guy who not only died for His beliefs, but actually predicted He would rise again after being killed for those beliefs, and then actually did it.

      For so long Christians have used deceit and intimidation to advance the cause. It was only a matter of time before we’d be shunned as people began to realize they’ve been lied to. I still see deceit being used by folks on my side and it pisses me off. I HATE being lied to, (which is why I despise the Global Warmists.)

      However, as our ranks have thinned, those that remain must have a stronger belief simply because we’re being challenged each day. We can no longer say “The Bible says…” and then move on as if that ends the debate. We better have some rationale for our beliefs. I rather like it like this as opposed to enforcing my faith on others through intimidation.

    • steven, it’s been fun to debate with you. I wish you well with your journey on self reliance.

      I’ll just leave you with a quote from the great mathematician John C Lennox in his book “God and Steven Hawking”: “The danger s that, because science involves both induction and abduction, the latter is often invested with the authority accorded to the former.”

  4. In most, if not all, states, calling 911 and reporting a fire when there isn’t one, is a criminal offense.

    Here in SC, it is “illegal use of 911”, which can carry a sentence of up to 6 months, or giving false information to a fire dept, which can carry a sentence of up to 60 days, if the fire dept is called directly.

    A quick online search revealed that in every state I checked, it would be at least a misdemeanor with sentences ranging from 30 days to 6 months. I also found that in Florida, it can be a felony if the cost of the response is $100 or more, which is a really easy threshold to cross.

  5. Good morning Jack,

    Probably too much to get in to on the podcast, just wanted to add that any military, active/retired or veteran with a DD-214 can purchase CMP rifles without being in another “club”. They’ve also added Congressionally chartered organizations (VFW, Am Legion, etc) as affiliates, can show proof of membership to make purchases. Last, if you have a C&R license (I got one after listening to one of your shows), you can have C&R qualified purchases (M1 counts) delivered directly to your home. If anyone is interested, just find the Sales FAQ at http://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/sales-faq/.

    • Oh so all I need is my DD, wow I didn’t know that thanks. I am going to have to follow my own advice and get one of these.

    • So being in the American Legion allows one to make purchases? THat is fantastic! Every year I debate whether to continue my membership and then hear some small tidbit as to why I should. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Jack, I have to weigh in as a Paramedic working in rural WV. the firefighter who suggested calling in a structure fire instead of a request for law enforcement is wrong, on many levels. First of all, the perp may not flee when he hears the sirens, he may feel cornered instead and attack the firefighters, and they are probably not equipped to deal with him. Also, police may not respond at all to a structure fire. If they can’t get to a home invasion for 30 mins, they probably aren’t giving high priority to structure fires at that time. Finally, if a fire response involves three engines and a ladder truck in his city, that is alot of steel and water rolling down the highway at a high rate of speed. As careful as emergency vehicle operators are…there is a risk to other drivers and pedestrians every time they respond to an emergency call. Think about it…what is the stopping distance for a fire engine with 1000 gallons of water on board?

    I don’t think the originator of this idea is a firefighter…otherwise he would know better. Emergency responders will lay down their lives to save someone, if they can do so with any hope of succeess, but none of us want a homeowner making that decision for us. We are told from day one, you cant save anyone if you are dead yourself. If we are going to risk our life to save another, it is our own personal all choice to do so. No homeowner has the right to make that choice for us. Lying to a 911 Dispatcher is a serious criminal offense in virtually every community, and for good reason. Don’t do it.

    Keith from WV

  7. Calling the fire dept. because they’re faster than the cops: Being a firefighter myself, but not really answering as one, I think you’re treading on dangerous waters here. From the point of view of “In a true emergency, disregard the law if it increases your chance of survival”, you use whatever resources you think you need to save your family and yourself, and worry about the consequences later. I don’t really think this is a good case for falsely reporting a fire.

    IF YOU DO THIS:
    1. You’re lying. Lying is almost always wrong.
    2. You’re potentially tying up resources that will not be able to respond to the appropriate emergency if one comes up. A page goes out for an actual fire, and the FD is at a home invasion… you do the math here. Someone’s house is burning down, and the FD is on an errant call. Those that die in that fire… it’s on you.
    3. Resources not trained for your incident. Let’s say the home invader is still there when ambulance and fire trucks show up – these folks aren’t armed, nor are they trained to deal with this type of situation. If a fireman or paramedic gets shot on your call, then what? That’s on you.

    I’d think more about the fire marshall approach, rather than the fire department approach: Prevention & preparedness. Evaluate your home. Fix your security holes. Make your home less appealing to crooks, at least less appealing than your neighbors. Get training in self and home defense, for you AND your family. Have a physical means (gun, pepper spray, etc.) of defense, in case you cannot ‘get off the X’. Build community – having neighbors that have your back=even faster response time. Also, two words: Situational Awareness. It is not the responsibility of the emergency services to place you in a protective bubble. It is YOUR responsibility to protect your life, loved ones, and property.

    Again, I understand the mentality of using ANY resources available in a life-or-death situation. As a ham radio operator, we have a ton of regulations to comply with. But, in an emergency, it’s very clear that you use whatever means to communicate your emergency, regardless of what regulations you might break. I see a small parallel here, but there is alot more down-side and risk of big problems in our topic at hand here.

    Very, very interesting question, and I wonder how often it happens. If a-holes call 911 because McD’s served them cold chicken mcnuggets, nothing will surprise me.

    Mike in Boise
    (Good post Keith! I already had this written up when you posted, so I’ll leave it here.)

  8. There were more people than the “cajun navy” doing the right thing down here. The Cajun Navy did a great job pulling people out of flooded areas. They have a name so the PR people can find them and interview them. I have friends that were getting flood waters in there houses and just got there stuff and got in the boat and started clearing houses. This flood hit poor, rich, white, black, us and them neighborhoods. Red Cross, Americor, FEMA, and all those peeps were here. But just regular people went through the neighborhoods passing out sandwiches and water. BR Strong!

  9. I talked to my fiance about the “fire” call when there’s a break in. He is a first responder/fire fighter. He said the calls are routed through police dispatch first (in our state) so fire or break-in in progress calls all dispatch police to the scene first, if there’s a fire or injury it then goes to the fire station. The fire guys are constantly running into issues with police getting to the scene first and blocking hydrants. They are faster, no doubt.

    In no way is this a recommended course of action. Fire fighters are not armed or wearing protective assault gear, if they get hurt responding to a false report of fire, you’d be in serious trouble.

  10. Jack, thanks for answering my question about planting the trees. I will let you know what we pick and plant when the time comes.