Rush Limbaugh on Evolution

We can’t embed this tape, so you you’ll have to click on this link to Media Matters: Limbaugh defends O’Donnell’s evolution views and attacks Darwin.

The recording only runs for about a minute or so. Rush had a lot more creationist stuff to say throughout the show, but it’s not on this tape. From memory, his rant included these goodies, and more: Evolution isn’t science, Freud and Darwin are responsible for all of our problems, where did everything come from, “survival of the fittest” is nonsense, etc.

He sounded like he’s been taking science lessons from Ray Comfort. We usually enjoy listening to Rush, but this was really painful.

Addendum: Here’s a link to part of the show’s transcript: Tackling Darwinism in Literalville.

Update: See Rush Limbaugh on Evolution — Again!

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28 responses to “Rush Limbaugh on Evolution

  1. I never could listen to that guy, but when your Curmudgeon-Talk show goes on-the-air, I’ll listen in every day.

  2. I have a hard time believing that Rush really believes all the s%#t he says. I’m sure he likes to play to the audience and maintain his ratings, but its time conservatives stand up for truth and not just pander to the lowest common denominator.

  3. I tried listening once or twice. It happened to be on a day when he was holding forth on how wonderful the placebo effect is. He was talking about a study in which 75% of women on some drug or other benefited compared to 50% of women who took sugar pills instead. And he was impressed by the mind’s power to heal or some such.

    This is the sort of thing homeopaths say, that it’s true that homoepathy doesn’t do better than placebo, but placebos are wonderful forces that require further study.

    Anyway, I didn’t listen to him since. When he writes an op-ed, though, I usually like them pretty well, whether or not I agree.

  4. Transcript is here:

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_092910/content/01125112.guest.html

    Same old BS. “Survival of the fittest” is a tautology, etc.

  5. Very good, Gabe. I’ll revise the post to add a link to the transcript.

  6. You guys are confusing issues. Darwin was wrong on evolution. But evolution, as a theory, does not conflict with creationism. Darwinism does. But over and over, Darwin has been proven wrong. Evolution, as a theory, is actually a Christian-based theory. Darwin got it wrong by excluding the Creator.

  7. Yeah, Limbaugh is in the top billion people I’d look to for science info.

  8. Darwin got it wrong by excluding the Creator.

    I know he didn’t when he actually mentioned the Creator in his first book. I can’t think of anywhere else he would have excluded the creator, either. That he didn’t invoke magic, well, that’s doing science, something IDiots have never been able to do (certainly not with ID as a basis).

    Anyway, thank goodness (and Gabriel) for the transcript. All it shows is that Limbaugh knows essentially nothing about science, and takes a stark us-vs.-them approach to the matter.

    Uh, yeah, Limbaugh, we don’t know that aerodynamic wings are more fit than round limbs sticking out of birds’ bodies. Hence the tautology of natural selection.

    Do talk-radio conservatives ever think? Some of the conservative writers sure did, but I can’t think of any radio conservatives (or radio liberals, for that matter) for whom cognition is a regular occurrence.

  9. Do talk-radio conservatives ever think? Some of the conservative writers sure did, but I can’t think of any radio conservatives (or radio liberals, for that matter) for whom cognition is a regular occurrence.

    He thinks about a lot of stuff, but not very well about things outside of his expertise, like most of us. Nobody can be an expert in everything. Problem is, he’s only read distortions of evolution propagated by creationists.

    Physicists think for a living, but that doesn’t mean you don’t find them espousing crackpot biological, economic, or historical theories. I know two physicists who don’t believe in evolution. Freeman Dyson and Frank Tipler don’t believe in global warming. I know one physicist who doesn’t believe Americans landed on the moon, two that don’t believe Oswald shot Kennedy, and A. K. Dewdney is a 9/11 truther.

    But all of these guys think, and think well, when they want to.

  10. Dewdney, for example, wrote the “Mathematical Recreations” column in Scientific American for nine years. You can’t do that and not think. However, he has some ideological blinders, which I noticed in some of his science writing before he became a Troofer.

  11. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Physicists think for a living, but that doesn’t mean you don’t find them espousing crackpot biological, economic, or historical theories.

    Like Einstein’s socialism. He probably picked that up in European coffee houses years before the Russian revolution, and he never gave it any serious thought after that.

  12. Physicists think for a living, but that doesn’t mean you don’t find them espousing crackpot biological, economic, or historical theories. I know two physicists who don’t believe in evolution. Freeman Dyson and Frank Tipler don’t believe in global warming. I know one physicist who doesn’t believe Americans landed on the moon, two that don’t believe Oswald shot Kennedy, and A. K. Dewdney is a 9/11 truther.

    The thing is, one speaking on a political show really ought to have a well-rounded education. Rush, unfortunately, barely has any education, let alone one that would provide any ability to discuss the ozone loss (he was ghastly on it), the “greenhouse effect,” or evolution. He wouldn’t even need to know so very much about these matters, he’d just need to be open to good science, rather than invariably favoring bad “science.”

    But sure, most scientists have as little background to be able to speak knowledgeably about politics as Limbaugh has to discuss science. And yet, far too few of them fail to do so when they get up on their soapboxes. It doesn’t even occur to them that they’re as uneducated and inept in the political arena as Ken Ham is in the scientific arena.

  13. Glen, it’s the difference between between being intelligent and being wise. I think these two qualities are only weakly correlated.

  14. For example, you know what I’m doing? Reading papers on clock synchronization in relativity, when I have other things to do. I’m learning from the papers, which means I’m intelligent. But I’m doing it so I can go on arguing with Jason Lisle, which means I’m not wise.

  15. @SC:

    I don’t know what kind of socialist Einstein was. The state-owned-means-of-production kind is increasingly rare and I think the concept illustrates well the difference between intelligence and wisdom–there are things which are done better by not trying to run them. (The same argument I make against eugenics.)

    But the welfare-state kind is a different species. Even Hayek thought there was nothing wrong with social insurance schemes provided they covered things which were insurable.

  16. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Even Hayek thought there was nothing wrong with social insurance schemes provided they covered things which were insurable.

    I guess my economic preferences are more pure than Hayek’s, because all “social insurance schemes” are compulsory, and are therefore inherently objectionable. I’d like to see a free enterprise society so prosperous that virtually everyone could care for himself. For those truly unable to do so, a free and prosperous society would — I think — have sufficient charities to deal with their needs.

    Every sane person agrees that society would be vastly richer in my setup, but someone invariably objects to this by pointing to a hypothetical person in “my” economically free society who is in genuine need but no one will help — no charity, no church group, nothing; he’s just left to starve, I doubt that such a situation would exist, but suppose it does exist. What then? Should everyone lose his freedom? That’s really the tradeoff. We all lose a lot of freedom and incalculable economic growth because of that hypothetical needy person.

  17. I’d like to see a free enterprise society so prosperous that virtually everyone could care for himself. For those truly unable to do so, a free and prosperous society would — I think — have sufficient charities to deal with their needs.

    Woah. I am an utter failure as a libertarian. My hat’s off to the Duke.

    Once you get your Utopia set up, let me know, and my poverty-stricken, unfree Spartans will steal all of your money and enslave the lot of you. Then you’ll know that there are things people can’t do for themselves. See Macchiavelli on gold and iron.

    I think the reason America has worked as well as it has for as long as it has is because it strikes a good balance between the state and the individual; decentralizing the government is a big part of that and I think that’s where we’ve gone off the rails. I want and expect the city to fix the potholes in my street. I don’t want the National Pothole Administration to do it, and I doubt they will ever get around to it, because they’ll be too busy putting five layers of asphalt on some Congressman’s driveway. If the city doesn’t fix my potholes I know who to blame, and who to put in who will. But the National Pothole Administration is full of civil servants who can’t be fired without a lawsuit, who retire at 55 with full pentions, and the only thing that changes from election to election is the butt in the chair of the Secretary of Potholes, and whether he was appointed by an R or a D won’t make much difference.

  18. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Once you get your Utopia set up, let me know, and my poverty-stricken, unfree Spartans will steal all of your money and enslave the lot of you.

    Yeah, if they don’t wring your tyrannical neck first. We’ve fought this war before, and you always insist that you’ll win. Maybe, but I don’t see how turning my free Utopia into a grungy socialist state will improve my chances.

  19. I think Rush L. ran out of good material once Clinton left office. But then, I have a hard time listening to any kind of political talk radio, left or right.

    Now, a well-written column; that’s another matter. Charles Krauthammer comes to mind. Even those who disagree with his politics can respect his intelligence and civility.

  20. Your link seems to have some dangerous properties. It took over my computer for the duration of the clip and I could only shut down by removing the power. Perhaps the computer was reacting to the worst, industrial grade stupidity it has ever played. Who is this guy and is he really so stupid. How does he find his way to work each day, or does a nurse fetch him?

  21. News flash: radio shows are for entertainment. The people who host them are performers, actors. That doesn’t require education in science or history or economics, it requires… talent for entertaining.

    Physicists are usually not particularly good actors/entertainers. Actors/entertainers are usually not particularly good physicists. Or economists. Ever hear a musician holding forth on geopolitics? It’s a train wreck. Why does anyone pay attention?

  22. cnocspeireag says:

    Your link seems to have some dangerous properties.

    The site with the tape? I just clicked on it again. It works fine. The problem is at your end of things.

  23. Ever hear a musician holding forth on geopolitics? It’s a train wreck. Why does anyone pay attention?

    Rush is not claiming to be a musician asked about his opinion on politics. He’s implicitly claimed some knowledge on the subject.

    But that’s a minor aside. Like Biokid and Glenn what I really find alarming is the us-vs-them thinking behind his statements. There seems to be a part of the GOP that thinks if the democrats support F=ma, they must oppose it. This desire to turn every subject into a political debate is dangerous to the country. Feynman recognized this when he said about the Challenger disaster “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” Rush’s creationism is public relations taking precedence over reality. It can only end in disaster.

  24. Rush is not claiming to be a musician asked about his opinion on politics.

    No, he’s claiming to be a successful radio entertainer. Which he is. That’s a performer, analogous to musicians, comedians, and baseball players.

    I don’t find him very entertaining (my talk radio tastes run more toward Dean Edell and the Magliozzis), but millions do.

  25. “We usually enjoy listening to Rush, but this was really painful.”

    ???

    lolwhut???

    ???

    *scratches head*

    M’kay… and do you enjoy Ann Coulter, too?

  26. LRA – your reaction was my reaction. I have not listened to Rush in years, until a week ago when I was having a haircut and he was on the radio in the barber shop. I think he was holding forth on the tax cut issue, but most of his air time related to the “fact” that Obama did not care about the American people, wanted the country to go to ruin, etc. It was uncomfortable to listen to, but the person who had it on the radio also had a number of sharp objects in the immediate proximity of my head, so I had to remain still and smile.

  27. Actually, the one time I listed to Rush Limbaugh, most of the show was dedicated to glowing descriptions of the prescience, intelligence, and perspicacity of Rush Limbaugh. Ten minutes of that was all I could take.

    I understand that Walter Williams is occasionally on the show, in which case it would be worth a listen.