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Some recent posts containing the usual reflexive swipes at Matthew prompted me to open this topic.

If you study comparative social organization among various social species, you’ll see that one of the most vigorously enforced norms is conformity. Evolutionary theory suggests that this probably conveyed a survival advantage.

If you’re satisfied with the kinds of social organizations that characterize ant colonies and wolf packs, you need think no further. But if you’re interested in sophisticated human concepts like individual freedom, democracy and rational thought, you realize that human beings have moved beyond those primitive forms of social organization. The grand vision of our founding fathers was that ordinary people could exercise power through knowledge and deliberation, in communities of people actively engaged in thoughtful discussion to promote the common good. In every vision, it looks like something from a Henry Fonda film. In no vision does it look like what you see on Fox Noise or sound like what you hear on right-wing talk radio. The vision is of a deliberative and thoughtful citizenry.

If you study history, you see that most or all the great leaps forward in human progress (which are unknown in any other species) are triggered by independent thinkers who buck social norms and conventions. The story is always the same. The non-conformist is first vilified, then given a grudging respect. Eventually, if what he was doing was worthwhile, it becomes the new norm.

Matthew used to wear a t-shirt to school on occasion, which read: “You laugh because I’m different. I’m laughing because you’re all the same.” It amazes me that people can live in the twenty-first century USA, use the Internet and yet not understand that their sense of social norms is nothing more than a product of their evolutionary past. Their behavior doesn’t rise above the level of more primitive species. The prime imperative is conformity for its own sake - the exact opposite of what makes a deliberative democracy function and keeps it vibrant. Young Kearnian has it right: people who miss no opportunity to beat back any hint of non-conformity are acting reflexively, not thinking. I don’t call people unthinking for disagreeing with me. I call people unthinking when they don’t think.

I know it puts a lot of people off when I speak the truth about that, but the fact is, we have more in common with other species than most of us care to admit. What sets the human species apart is our ability to realize it and rise above it. If we don't do that, then we have failed morally and ethically. Even Christian theology says that.

There is no dignity in reflexively acting like an ape. Yet that’s what I see in many of these posts, along with a complete unwillingness to engage. Tell these folks what they don’t want to hear, and they just plain refuse to hear it. Post nine reasons why evolutionary theory is an established fact, and people who don't want to believe it won't touch it - it's not that they agree or even that they disagree, they won't even process it. If you asked these folks what I wrote on that subject, or others have written on that and many other subjects, they couldn't tell you. They have refused even to acknowledge the argument. The vision of the people who founded and built this country cannot be achieved or maintained in that fashion.

On the other hand, I don’t know who Young Kearnian is, but reading a post like that is deeply gratifying. It’s great knowing that some people get it.

Matthew’s stalker may have noticed that he hasn’t been in school this week. He has been attending three back-to-back conferences in Washington, D.C., where he has had the privilege of meeting Judge Jones (who decided the Kitzmiller case), the author Philip Pullman and many others. Matthew has received two additional awards, and is finishing out the week in leadership training through the ACLU and the Secular Student Alliance.

I encourage anyone who might be interested to contact him to help him in his work. What began here probably won’t end here. It began by chance, but it’s going to be very interesting. To those who have supported him and offered kind words, you have my thanks. If you’re interested in joining in the causes he is fighting for, just give us a call. We’re in the book.

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Some recent posts containing the usual reflexive swipes at Matthew prompted me to open this topic.

Matthew used to wear a t-shirt to school on occasion, which read: “You laugh because I’m different. I’m laughing because you’re all the same.” It amazes me that people can live in the twenty-first century USA, use the Internet and yet not understand that their sense of social norms is nothing more than a product of their evolutionary past. Their behavior doesn’t rise above the level of more primitive species. The prime imperative is conformity for its own sake - the exact opposite of what makes a deliberative democracy function and keeps it vibrant. Young Kearnian has it right: people who miss no opportunity to beat back any hint of non-conformity are acting reflexively, not thinking. I don’t call people unthinking for disagreeing with me. I call people unthinking when they don’t think.

He also wore a dress which you even admitted him wearing. But I guess you are trying to sweep all that under a rug. Wondering if he is going to wear it to Graduation ? Hoping he doesn't clash with my outfit. He makes a wonderful role model for his fellow students.

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Some recent posts containing the usual reflexive swipes at Matthew prompted me to open this topic.

If you study comparative social organization among various social species, you’ll see that one of the most vigorously enforced norms is conformity. Evolutionary theory suggests that this probably conveyed a survival advantage.

If you’re satisfied with the kinds of social organizations that characterize ant colonies and wolf packs, you need think no further. But if you’re interested in sophisticated human concepts like individual freedom, democracy and rational thought, you realize that human beings have moved beyond those primitive forms of social organization. The grand vision of our founding fathers was that ordinary people could exercise power through knowledge and deliberation, in communities of people actively engaged in thoughtful discussion to promote the common good. In every vision, it looks like something from a Henry Fonda film. In no vision does it look like what you see on Fox Noise or sound like what you hear on right-wing talk radio. The vision is of a deliberative and thoughtful citizenry.

If you study history, you see that most or all the great leaps forward in human progress (which are unknown in any other species) are triggered by independent thinkers who buck social norms and conventions. The story is always the same. The non-conformist is first vilified, then given a grudging respect. Eventually, if what he was doing was worthwhile, it becomes the new norm.

Matthew used to wear a t-shirt to school on occasion, which read: “You laugh because I’m different. I’m laughing because you’re all the same.” It amazes me that people can live in the twenty-first century USA, use the Internet and yet not understand that their sense of social norms is nothing more than a product of their evolutionary past. Their behavior doesn’t rise above the level of more primitive species. The prime imperative is conformity for its own sake - the exact opposite of what makes a deliberative democracy function and keeps it vibrant. Young Kearnian has it right: people who miss no opportunity to beat back any hint of non-conformity are acting reflexively, not thinking. I don’t call people unthinking for disagreeing with me. I call people unthinking when they don’t think.

I know it puts a lot of people off when I speak the truth about that, but the fact is, we have more in common with other species than most of us care to admit. What sets the human species apart is our ability to realize it and rise above it. If we don't do that, then we have failed morally and ethically. Even Christian theology says that.

There is no dignity in reflexively acting like an ape. Yet that’s what I see in many of these posts, along with a complete unwillingness to engage. Tell these folks what they don’t want to hear, and they just plain refuse to hear it. Post nine reasons why evolutionary theory is an established fact, and people who don't want to believe it won't touch it - it's not that they agree or even that they disagree, they won't even process it. If you asked these folks what I wrote on that subject, or others have written on that and many other subjects, they couldn't tell you. They have refused even to acknowledge the argument. The vision of the people who founded and built this country cannot be achieved or maintained in that fashion.

On the other hand, I don’t know who Young Kearnian is, but reading a post like that is deeply gratifying. It’s great knowing that some people get it.

Matthew’s stalker may have noticed that he hasn’t been in school this week. He has been attending three back-to-back conferences in Washington, D.C., where he has had the privilege of meeting Judge Jones (who decided the Kitzmiller case), the author Philip Pullman and many others. Matthew has received two additional awards, and is finishing out the week in leadership training through the ACLU and the Secular Student Alliance.

I encourage anyone who might be interested to contact him to help him in his work. What began here probably won’t end here. It began by chance, but it’s going to be very interesting. To those who have supported him and offered kind words, you have my thanks. If you’re interested in joining in the causes he is fighting for, just give us a call. We’re in the book.

The knuckle-draggers won't like it, but it's true. They're going to say he's against having any rules. That's not what he's saying. Think about it this way.

Why do we need traffic lights?

Why do we need laws against taking other people's property?

Why do we sometimes need a military draft in time of war?

Why do we need a pledge of allegiance?

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He also wore a dress which you even admitted him wearing. But I guess you are trying to sweep all that under a rug. Wondering if he is going to wear it to Graduation ? Hoping he doesn't clash with my outfit. He makes a wonderful role model for his fellow students.

That's right, change the subject. You can't talk about the important points, so yell about nothing. Typical.

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He also wore a dress which you even admitted him wearing. But I guess you are trying to sweep all that under a rug.

Obviously this poster is too stupid to know what "sweep under the rug" means.

He was protesting a stupid dress code rule in a light-hearted way. Big deal.

He makes a wonderful role model for his fellow students.

Indeed he does.

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Guest 2smart4u
Some recent posts containing the usual reflexive swipes at Matthew prompted me to open this topic.

If you study comparative social organization among various social species, you’ll see that one of the most vigorously enforced norms is conformity. Evolutionary theory suggests that this probably conveyed a survival advantage.

If you’re satisfied with the kinds of social organizations that characterize ant colonies and wolf packs, you need think no further. But if you’re interested in sophisticated human concepts like individual freedom, democracy and rational thought, you realize that human beings have moved beyond those primitive forms of social organization. The grand vision of our founding fathers was that ordinary people could exercise power through knowledge and deliberation, in communities of people actively engaged in thoughtful discussion to promote the common good. In every vision, it looks like something from a Henry Fonda film. In no vision does it look like what you see on Fox Noise or sound like what you hear on right-wing talk radio. The vision is of a deliberative and thoughtful citizenry.

If you study history, you see that most or all the great leaps forward in human progress (which are unknown in any other species) are triggered by independent thinkers who buck social norms and conventions. The story is always the same. The non-conformist is first vilified, then given a grudging respect. Eventually, if what he was doing was worthwhile, it becomes the new norm.

Matthew used to wear a t-shirt to school on occasion, which read: “You laugh because I’m different. I’m laughing because you’re all the same.” It amazes me that people can live in the twenty-first century USA, use the Internet and yet not understand that their sense of social norms is nothing more than a product of their evolutionary past. Their behavior doesn’t rise above the level of more primitive species. The prime imperative is conformity for its own sake - the exact opposite of what makes a deliberative democracy function and keeps it vibrant. Young Kearnian has it right: people who miss no opportunity to beat back any hint of non-conformity are acting reflexively, not thinking. I don’t call people unthinking for disagreeing with me. I call people unthinking when they don’t think.

I know it puts a lot of people off when I speak the truth about that, but the fact is, we have more in common with other species than most of us care to admit. What sets the human species apart is our ability to realize it and rise above it. If we don't do that, then we have failed morally and ethically. Even Christian theology says that.

There is no dignity in reflexively acting like an ape. Yet that’s what I see in many of these posts, along with a complete unwillingness to engage. Tell these folks what they don’t want to hear, and they just plain refuse to hear it. Post nine reasons why evolutionary theory is an established fact, and people who don't want to believe it won't touch it - it's not that they agree or even that they disagree, they won't even process it. If you asked these folks what I wrote on that subject, or others have written on that and many other subjects, they couldn't tell you. They have refused even to acknowledge the argument. The vision of the people who founded and built this country cannot be achieved or maintained in that fashion.

On the other hand, I don’t know who Young Kearnian is, but reading a post like that is deeply gratifying. It’s great knowing that some people get it.

Matthew’s stalker may have noticed that he hasn’t been in school this week. He has been attending three back-to-back conferences in Washington, D.C., where he has had the privilege of meeting Judge Jones (who decided the Kitzmiller case), the author Philip Pullman and many others. Matthew has received two additional awards, and is finishing out the week in leadership training through the ACLU and the Secular Student Alliance.

I encourage anyone who might be interested to contact him to help him in his work. What began here probably won’t end here. It began by chance, but it’s going to be very interesting. To those who have supported him and offered kind words, you have my thanks. If you’re interested in joining in the causes he is fighting for, just give us a call. We’re in the book.

Leadership training through the ACLU ?? "joining the causes he's fighting for" ?? Sorry, can't make it. I'll be busy doing volunteer work

polishing the Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross in San Deigo. We want to keep it really shiny.

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Leadership training through the ACLU ?? "joining the causes he's fighting for" ?? Sorry, can't make it. I'll be busy doing volunteer work

polishing the Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross in San Deigo. We want to keep it really shiny.

More important than volunteering at a facility to help the troops the Bush administration robbed of health care, huh? Your true colors show through as usual.

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Leadership training through the ACLU ?? "joining the causes he's fighting for" ?? Sorry, can't make it. I'll be busy doing volunteer work

polishing the Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross in San Deigo. We want to keep it really shiny.

That is an...odd fetish, to say the least. Cling to your one temporary victory if you wish.

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Some recent posts containing the usual reflexive swipes at Matthew prompted me to open this topic.

If you study comparative social organization among various social species, you’ll see that one of the most vigorously enforced norms is conformity. Evolutionary theory suggests that this probably conveyed a survival advantage.

If you’re satisfied with the kinds of social organizations that characterize ant colonies and wolf packs, you need think no further. But if you’re interested in sophisticated human concepts like individual freedom, democracy and rational thought, you realize that human beings have moved beyond those primitive forms of social organization. The grand vision of our founding fathers was that ordinary people could exercise power through knowledge and deliberation, in communities of people actively engaged in thoughtful discussion to promote the common good. In every vision, it looks like something from a Henry Fonda film. In no vision does it look like what you see on Fox Noise or sound like what you hear on right-wing talk radio. The vision is of a deliberative and thoughtful citizenry.

If you study history, you see that most or all the great leaps forward in human progress (which are unknown in any other species) are triggered by independent thinkers who buck social norms and conventions. The story is always the same. The non-conformist is first vilified, then given a grudging respect. Eventually, if what he was doing was worthwhile, it becomes the new norm.

Matthew used to wear a t-shirt to school on occasion, which read: “You laugh because I’m different. I’m laughing because you’re all the same.” It amazes me that people can live in the twenty-first century USA, use the Internet and yet not understand that their sense of social norms is nothing more than a product of their evolutionary past. Their behavior doesn’t rise above the level of more primitive species. The prime imperative is conformity for its own sake - the exact opposite of what makes a deliberative democracy function and keeps it vibrant. Young Kearnian has it right: people who miss no opportunity to beat back any hint of non-conformity are acting reflexively, not thinking. I don’t call people unthinking for disagreeing with me. I call people unthinking when they don’t think.

I know it puts a lot of people off when I speak the truth about that, but the fact is, we have more in common with other species than most of us care to admit. What sets the human species apart is our ability to realize it and rise above it. If we don't do that, then we have failed morally and ethically. Even Christian theology says that.

There is no dignity in reflexively acting like an ape. Yet that’s what I see in many of these posts, along with a complete unwillingness to engage. Tell these folks what they don’t want to hear, and they just plain refuse to hear it. Post nine reasons why evolutionary theory is an established fact, and people who don't want to believe it won't touch it - it's not that they agree or even that they disagree, they won't even process it. If you asked these folks what I wrote on that subject, or others have written on that and many other subjects, they couldn't tell you. They have refused even to acknowledge the argument. The vision of the people who founded and built this country cannot be achieved or maintained in that fashion.

On the other hand, I don’t know who Young Kearnian is, but reading a post like that is deeply gratifying. It’s great knowing that some people get it.

Matthew’s stalker may have noticed that he hasn’t been in school this week. He has been attending three back-to-back conferences in Washington, D.C., where he has had the privilege of meeting Judge Jones (who decided the Kitzmiller case), the author Philip Pullman and many others. Matthew has received two additional awards, and is finishing out the week in leadership training through the ACLU and the Secular Student Alliance.

I encourage anyone who might be interested to contact him to help him in his work. What began here probably won’t end here. It began by chance, but it’s going to be very interesting. To those who have supported him and offered kind words, you have my thanks. If you’re interested in joining in the causes he is fighting for, just give us a call. We’re in the book.

Still trying to force your beliefs down the throats of those who don't conform to your ideals I see.You've never been interested in having a discussion with anyone on this board it's either your way or the highway. when will you ever stop riding juniors coat tail and have an original thought of your own.

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Still trying to force your beliefs down the throats of those who don't conform to your ideals I see.You've never been interested in having a discussion with anyone on this board it's either your way or the highway. when will you ever stop riding juniors coat tail and have an original thought of your own.

This is a free forum. Neither I nor anyone else has the power to force beliefs on anyone.

You're entirely wrong about my interest in having a real discussion. You'll have to give me a chance to know.

As for my riding Matthew's coattails, most people have said exactly the opposite, that he was my puppet. Neither is the case. We have healthy and sometimes heated discussions, and have gradually developed a mutual respect despite some major differences that you wouldn't know anything about.

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Still trying to force your beliefs down the throats of those who don't conform to your ideals I see.You've never been interested in having a discussion with anyone on this board it's either your way or the highway. when will you ever stop riding juniors coat tail and have an original thought of your own.

The post you’re “responding” to, if you can call it that, invites several discussions:

- The evolutionary basis of conformity in human societies;

- Fundamental premises of democracy as it pertains to conformity;

- Conformity and its relationship to human progress;

- Our widespread unwillingness to admit how prone to unthinking conformity we are;

- Our ability to rise above our evolutionary past, and the means by which we can do that;

- Differences between humans and other species intellectually and behaviorally;

- Basic requirements of argument and rational discussion.

None of that is forcing anything on anyone. You knew Paul opened the topic. If you don’t like what he has to say, you’re free not to open his topics.

You can also do what you did, which was to open the topic, attack him personally and say absolutely nothing. But you can’t then rationally accuse him of being unwilling to have the discussion when he invited it and you refused.

In other words, you’re the one who has shown no evidence of having an original thought, you’re dead wrong and from all appearances, you’re a complete jerk.

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Still trying to force your beliefs down the throats of those who don't conform to your ideals I see.You've never been interested in having a discussion with anyone on this board it's either your way or the highway. when will you ever stop riding juniors coat tail and have an original thought of your own.

Post a thoughtful response, and you'll have your thoughtful discussion.

How is it that you blame the poor level of discourse on the poster of the one and only thoughtful and level-headed post on this thread, while you and all other detractors have produced not a single post above the level of personal bashing?

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Still trying to force your beliefs down the throats of those who don't conform to your ideals I see.You've never been interested in having a discussion with anyone on this board it's either your way or the highway. when will you ever stop riding juniors coat tail and have an original thought of your own.

You don't know what he's interested in, but we can all see what he has done. He has invited many, many discussions. They weren't what a lot of people wanted to hear, so they called names, etc.

What that tells me is that you're the one insisting on your way or no way. If he won't tell you what you want to hear, then he's forcing his beliefs on you. No he's not. You just don't want to hear it.

So stop talking about his kid. He has made it very clear that as long as you keep bringing it up, he's going to respond. If you want to stop talking about it, then stop bringing it up.

As for original thoughts, the main complaint against Paul and Matthew has been that they don't go along with everyone else. Obviously they think for themselves. So your criticism isn't true. It tells us about you, not about them. Seems that you're projecting here.

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