Mike Pence

Our Vice President, Mike Pence, made this speech in Congress. He bases his belief in a book "Bible" written a couple of thousand years ago by unknown authors who thought the Earth was flat and the sun revolved around the Earth. It is frightening to think the Vice President of the most powerful country on earth has absolutely no understanding of how scientific study, publishing of scientific papers, peer review and advancing knowledge works.

September 28, 2017

115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 156 — Daily Edition

[Page H4527]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

Congressional address by Vice President Mike Pence with [remarks by Barry Stier]

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jeff Miller of Florida). Under a
previous order of the House, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Pence) is
recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I have always been interested in origins.
Even though my training is in the law and in history, it has ever been
an avocation of mine to contemplate and to study the origins of man and
of life here on Earth.
 [It looks like Pence only contemplated and did not study.]
Many theories of origins have been propounded throughout our Nation's
history. In 1859, a sincere biologist returned from the Galapagos
Islands and wrote a book entitled ``The Origins of Species,'' in which
Charles Darwin offered a theory of the origin of species which we have
come to know as evolution. Charles Darwin never thought of evolution as
anything other than a theory. 
[Pence doesn't seem to understand what a theory is. 
The Wikipedia definition of scientific theory follows:]

A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested, in accordance with the scientific method, by using a predefined protocol of observations and experiments.[1][2] Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and are a comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.[3]

It is important to note that the definition of a "scientific theory" (often contracted to "theory" for the sake of brevity, including in this page) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of the word "theory".[4][Note 1] In everyday non-scientific speech, "theory" can imply that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, conjecture, idea, or, hypothesis;[4] such a usage is the opposite of the word "theory" in science. These different usages are comparable to the differing, and often opposing, usages of the term "prediction" in science versus "prediction" in vernacular speech, denoting a mere hope.

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain. As additional scientific evidence is gathered, a scientific theory may be rejected or modified if it does not fit the new findings; in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then desired. In certain cases, the less-accurate unmodified scientific theory can still be treated as a theory if it is useful (due to its sheer simplicity) as an approximation under specific conditions (e.g., Newton's laws of motion as an approximation to special relativity at velocities that are small relative to the speed of light).

Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions.[5][disputed ] They describe the causes of a particular natural phenomenon and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (for example, electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.

As with other forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are both deductive and inductive[6][7] in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.

Paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science historian Stephen Jay Gould said, “...facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world′s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts.”[8]

[Pence continues] He hoped that some day it would be proven
by the fossil record but did not live to see that, nor have we.
In 1925 in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, this theory made its way
through litigation into the classrooms of America, and we have all seen
the consequences over the last 77 years: evolution not taught as a
sincere theory of a biologist, but rather, Mr. Speaker, taught as fact. 
[Evolution is a fact] 
Unless anyone listening in would doubt that, we can all see in our
mind's eye that grade school classroom that we all grew up in with the
linear depiction of evolution just above the chalkboard. There is the
monkey crawling on the grass. There is the Neanderthal dragging his
knuckles and then there is Mel Gibson standing in all of his glory. 
[Mel Gibson has no glory left after he exposed himself 
as an anti-semitic, racist bigot.]
  It is what we have been taught, that man proceeded and evolved along
linear lines. But now comes a new find by paleontologists. In the
newspapers all across America, a new study in ``Nature'' magazine, 6-
to 7-million-year-old skull has been unearthed, the Toumai skull and it
suggests that human evolution was actually, according to a new theory,
human evolution was taking place, and I am quoting now, ``all across
Africa and the Earth,'' and the Earth was once truly, and I quote, ``a
planet of the apes on which nature was experimenting with many human-
like creatures.'' 
[Nature doesn't experiment. Species evolve.]
 Paleontologists are excited about this, Mr. Speaker. But no one is
pointing out that the textbooks will need to be changed because the old
theory of evolution taught for 77 years in the classrooms of America as
fact is suddenly replaced by a new theory, or I hasten to add, I am
sure we will be told a new fact.  
[The theory doesn't change. More facts are added to our 
knowledge as time progresses and new research is done. ]
The truth is it always was a theory, Mr. Speaker. And now that we
have recognized evolution as a theory, I would simply and humbly ask,
can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other
theories of the origin of species?  
[There are no other theories. There are some other beliefs 
but they have no basis in science any more than the belief that Jonah was 
swallowed by a big fish.]
Like the theory that was believed in by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. 
Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created
and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. 
The Bible tells us that God created man in his own imagine, male and female. 
He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker.   
[It's a logical fallacy to believe that because a group of people, even famous 
people believe something that it is true.  If you use that logic you could say 
that Jesus and all the apostles believed the Earth was flat.  
That doesn't prove that the Earth is flat. 
In addition, the signers of the Declaration of Independence would not believe 
or disbelieve Darwin's discovery of evolution because Darwin made 
that discovery in 1859 and the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. ]
  I believe that God created the known universe, the Earth and
everything in it, including man. And I also believe that someday
scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design
provides even a remotely rationale explanation for the known universe.  
 [There is no "theory" of intelligent design, only a belief.]
But until that day comes, and I have no fear of science, I believe that the 
more we study the science, the more the truth of faith will become apparent. 
[Faith is not a path to truth. Faith is believing something regardless 
I would just humbly ask as new theories of evolution find their ways into 
the newspapers and into the textbooks, let us demand that educators around 
America teach evolution not as fact, but as theory, and an interesting theory to boot. 
[There is only one theory of evolution.  As new 
of the fact that there is no evidence to support it.]
facts are discovered they only further solidify that theory.]
But let us also bring into the minds of all of our children all of the 
theories about the unknowable that some bright day in the future 
through science and perhaps through faith we will find the truth 
from whence we come. 
[Even better, let's teach our children what is true, based on scientific
facts so they won't have to take anything on faith.]