Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thoughts of Evolutionary Biology

So I get forwarded another excerpt from our favorite fish-wrap, the Old Grey Hag, concerning a 'alarming' omission of in the funding of poor undergraduate students in the specific field of evolutionary biology. Its got all the perfect trappings of a great liberal puff piece; possible meddling of Christians, concerned elitists, aid for the downtrodden, and the core belief of the new liberal religion 'separation of church and state'. What more could you ask for! Unfortunately, I don't like to link to the Hag, besides you have to sign up to access content, but if you must this might work (link does not work - title is "Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List"). Hmmm, are they making money over there at the Hag? Here is the one liner attached to the forward:
The looney tunes CCCRW strikes again! Religious ideology over science!
My response was inspiring:

Boy, you complain about blogs, yet this tripe is downright conspiratorial! And its a major newspaper! No evidence of anything except knee jerk responses and intentional spin for you anti Christian nutters. Which is strange, because it is not a large majority of Christians who are against evolution. It is a small group of literalist who really make it their pastime to look stupid. I wrote a nice piece for the 'cloth' per se against the idiotic current fad of Intelligent Design. God gave man a brain, and a free will. Use both and its pretty easy to see that the world is billions of years old, the continents move around, dinosaurs duked it out for millions of years ... yada yada. That is not the point of faith, yet some are adamant about trying to 'prove' whatever mythology they happen to believe. Speaking of evolution, you have to read this:

Cat-killing raccoons
Olympia Raccoons

Yes, humans have evolved to the point where we have neighborhood grief counseling for cat loss, and abject fear of some raccoons. Coons that have evolved themselves apparently, to a smarter, meaner class of urban predator. But the real evolution is in the newspaper business, who have degenerated into emotional pablum peddlers, kind of like slime mold of the soul. The similarities in intent and style betwixt all three articles is startling, though the content is completely dissimilar. Very interesting.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Intelligent Dinosaur

(more redstate rerelease - I want to make sure everyone can access)

I think to myself, Carlos, why would you want to heat up the apparently destructive debate on ID (Intelligent Design)? What can be gained by dividing the ranks of the conservative masses? And why would I want to cower under a pile of hot coals? But, alas, sensibility is not my strongest point, and I personally think dogmatic alignment with ones religious teachings are dangerous, no matter how 'right' you personal religion is. God gave you a mind and a soul. You are to use your mind to evaluate and be critical. Then exercises your will and decide. And for those who the fire has alighted, there is a additional promoting in your conscience on the decisions you make. Most likely your faith will be strengthened in the process.

For those who are now asking "Is Carlos going to get preachy?" I can assure you, I will focus the dialectic towards the conservative hermeneutic. (At the same time using obscure words with religious connotations, dope.) In other words, if you care not for the condition of your soul, but yearn for the days of Reagan, you will still find something here. And I will refrain from overt proselytizing, its my solemn promise and vow. Is that all the boilerplate cleared up? Apart from stating that no actual dinosaurs were made extinct in the creation of this exposition.The term science seems to mean many things to many people in this ID debate. Science is just a word meaning knowledge. The inference is to that which is knowable, things that can be seen, constructions that can be observed, processes that can be replicated. It also has the implication that observers can come to agreement on the description or labeling of known things. Here we face the first misunderstood aspect of modern science among those whose exposure is predominantly lay media. Known things in science are peer reviewed. This does not mean infallibility, or establish absolute truth. It simply means that the description is acceptable. It means when scientists communicate, they agree on the validity of the communication. In the process, obvious flaws are identified, and many theories that are easily disproved are avoided in the 'open' published discussion.

Lets comment briefly then on Darwin's theory. He made observations, proposed a explanation for those observations, and communicated that to the world. Modern science is not so much interested in proving the absolute 'origin' of life. It is interested in making connections between observations. So the first problem is solved. Yes there may be many misguided secularist in the scientific community who want to promote some ultimate origin apart from God as a curricula in public schools. But that is not science either. And there are many more non-scientific secularists who would go right along. This a political stance based on a philosophy, where the subject is comparative mythology more than science. Conversely, creating a paradigm that obfuscates the incredible body of evidence in support of mutogenesis and genetic phylogeny is equally not science.

Which brings us to the first argument. Many organisms evolve on a time scale that is easily observable during the human lifetime. Viruses and bacteria are a good example. Is it Gods hand mutating the genes of such? Or are they operating in a system designed by God? Either of these questions are fine, yet not the realm of science. What is the scientific aspect of this in regards to ID? Do I make a test out of bacterial strains and suddenly proclaim hidden intelligence is at work? First, it is not a provable test, as you would need to uncover the connections to the hidden intelligence. Second, the actual test of observing the changes in these organisms has been a part of the testable world of knowledge for decades, mutogenesis seems to explain things each time.

If you want to argue that mutogenesis is the connection to the Designer, that is just as well, yet still not the realm of science. It is a perfectly valid philosophical debate, and one that should be a part of public education. The origins of modern scientific thought were the classic minds, many of whom partook in the philosophical debate surrounding faith, and the awareness of that historic, and continuing conversation is not well represented in modern American curricula. We have strayed from our Enlightenment roots, and do not lay the groundwork for critical thinking in any systematic way within the public education system.

Before we stray into the intended territory I would ask this question of the reader: "As a conservative, what does science mean to you?" As you ponder, think for a moment what the scientist does. If he/she is good at their particular branch of science, they pursue primary research. This is the real experimentation and observation. They publish results, and promote theories to be investigated and validated by others. Some of these theories are unproven, and can not be validated until more information is gained. Here is another area of confusion. For instance, the theory of Global Warming is a hot political issue. Some people believe that we as a society can prevent further damage to the Earth by changing our lifestyles and cultures. Yet, the theory is not validated, the definition of damage is unclear, and there is no evidence we can control human impact, either socially or physically, in a global sense.

The analogous implication for ID is this: the theory of ID is not validated, the definition of organized complexity is unclear, and there is no evidence of direct involvement in the evolution of any species. Most will not fight with me over the first and third issues, so lets have fun with the second. Here is when we bring in the dinosaur. Complex higher order creatures. We even have a few remnants of that age with us today. Alligators and crocodiles have many similarities to some dinosaurs of yesteryear. Were they intelligently designed? I mean, most dinosaurs are extinct. A complex higher order being, that just didn't have what it took to survive. Or maybe the designer got tired of them? Is success and true complexity simply defined by brain tissue, or survivability? Is that the measure of organized complexity?

Presumably the designer in ID is God. Yet this is not inherent in the justification of ID, and we don't need to equate the two. But if it is my God, he doesn't make mistakes. And there is the real problem. ID in some ways attempts to judge what is more or less valuable, as if it is foreknown what the conclusion should look like. That is not a perfect designer. Unless your definition of ID is that of a Supreme Creator of the Universe. And that creating includes everything we can observe and learn about. Things like light from galaxies 13 billion years old, rocks billions of years old from the formation of the planet, and ancient dinosaurs. Its a whole creation full of amazing and wonderful things to discover. That is the platform into which man is placed, with the tools and desire to investigate it.

The ability to pursue science, the knowledge of the creation, the communication of that knowledge, is one of God's great gifts to man. Science predates the fall of man in Genesis 2:19,20:

"Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. "

In fact, science was Adams first pursuit before Eve, if only he had stayed on the straight and narrow. Or, as the contrarian would say, "Science is a poor substitute for love." And yes, personally I would ditch my field to keep my wife, however, not all of my dweebish colleagues have done that. Ah, we have strayed off topic slightly, the more important illumination is within our political debate among conservatives. A large loyal core of conservatives are Christians, some with varying degrees of 'fundamentalism'. Within this religious viewpoint are many healthy values that also define modern conservatism. Unfortunately, some baggage comes with the various doctrines. Faith brings freedom and understanding. But there is no necessity to suspend reason at the same time.

Likewise, for the atheist, who is not interested in science, the same can be said. There is no need for awe and fear at the apparent unknown complexity of scientific pursuit. Just develop healthy criticism of popularized 'science' and it relation to political topics. Simply being critical regarding 99% of what is reported in mass media about science will get you a long way towards comfortable understanding when it is necessary to make a decision. The real advances in science will integrate into society by the inherent success of the application, not by the politicization of the theory. Which leaves us with ID. It has not endured open criticism, and is far too recent a suggestion to begin developing primary school curricula around. And if you are simply headed for the comparative philosophy argument of divine origin vs primordial chaos, just back up a bit, and see that we would have great benefit from that topic in the curricula, but it is not the area of science.

Furthermore for the concerned conservative Christian, you can not purge modern science of liberals and atheist, who represent a majority in scientific academia. However, that is a result of the education systems forty year failure to promote critical thinking, not some inherent secular nature of science. Our political efforts, and debate, would be well served by continued illumination of the root causes of this problem. Openly debating certain fundamentalist regarding the existence of dinosaurs for example, is rightly so, a distracting and divisive waste for our community. But promoting the extreme benefit of critical thought, and separating science from the culture of modern academic Scientists, is a very positive and worth wile pursuit.

If you feel strongly about the secularization of our schools, you should be even more concerned with the removal of the foundations that construct a critical mind. As a Christian and a scientist, I could stomach the secular nature of public schools and their woefully inadequate scientific curricula, but I can not accept the removal of philosophic debate, and the apparent turning away from the superior nature of exposure to classic educational principals. If a child learns to think, when it comes time to decide on the real matters in life, he/she will be prepared. If a child simply learns pacifism and how to make sure everyone feels good, they may go far in science, business, or literature with natural talent, but they are not prepared to think critically. My intelligent Designer intends for each and every person to find fulfillment, and socialized liberalism in our education system is a poor substitute.

For the end, I leave you with this crackpot rumination. We are different from the beasts, and we have access to a amazing source of life. The real intelligence in the design is that access. The primary concern is finding life, promoting life, and preserving life. Science is a huge gift to man, yet it is God's afterthought in comparison to the overriding design. A designer without limitation of time, and unconstrained by physical laws, could create anything imaginable, yet the real intent is the ability to connect to perfection. To see free will choose life. To see perfect life grow and flourish. Hence, there is no intelligent dinosaur, simply not part of the plan.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hedonistic Apologists and the Separation of Sex and State

(rereleased from redstate archive)

What is one of the main tenets of the Church of Social Humanists? In general it is the pursuit of the universal pleasure. That each individual would receive equal resources, achieve the same 'happiness', and be free to obtain that which satisfies. It is intended to please everyone. The pursuit of pleasure universally. In fact it would be safe to say that it is the promotion of the pleasure state. Allowing (forcing) each individually the equal opportunity to experience that which is pleasing. But has this religion encroached upon the Constitution of the United States? Has our Judiciary become biased towards a particular belief system?The Oxford dictionary, great tome of wisdom, gives as a definition of Hedonism: "The doctrine or theory of ethics in which pleasure is regarded as the chief good, or the proper end of action." Now in defense of the Church, we can dichotomize this theory into two separate positions, one of the egoist in search of only personal pleasure, and that of the universalistic who intends pleasure for all. The more clear comparison to the philosophy of the Church of Social Humanists is that of the global hedonist. Notice how we have not tread down the path of depravity yet? It is simply comparisons of accurate definitions, and labeling the actions of a modern political group.

Before I get to the core argument, we better deal with Liberals. The label that is liberal has changed over the course of time, just as the term conservative has. What we are dealing with here is not a discussion of the label, just an exploration of the modern philosophy and position. My contention is that within the political basket of those who could be considered modern liberals, a significant number are secular humanists. An additional subset of liberals, though not necessarily the equivalent set, are those who in action or name are socialists. Merge these together and you have the Church of Social Humanists. Yes, I call it a religion, as they have strayed into the reality of simply believing what they want, and acting upon that. They exercise faith in fitting what they are told into what they feel is right, and coming up with what they perceive as reality. This becomes the religion that they practice. Though not openly stated, humanity is the Deity they end up worshiping.

Now as a very accepting and universally open minded religion, so long as you agree with them, there are many expressions of faith. The one we will deal with today is the matter of copulation. The Church supports the position of promoting copulation amongst believers and non-believers. It is a pleasurable experience and should not be denied anyone. Also, the Church does not believe that this sacred act should be limited to specific social institutions such as marriage. That is against the goal of the equality of pleasure.

At this point, have I stretched the truth? I have qualified most of the argument, and tried to apply accurate interpretation to the actions of some Liberals. To reinforce before we make complete the argument, take an example. Ask a liberal (modern) some general questions about copulation. How do they feel about teenage exploratory sexuality? Is it wrong? Ask about swinging around in college. Is that wrong? These questions tend to expose what the liberal "believes" in regards to this issue. There are no facts necessary to establish moral behavior in this topic. Most moral institutions elevate copulation to a covenant between a man and a woman in the social institution of marriage. Those same institutions do not legislate this behavior in the modern age. However they aggressively promote this standard as a higher one and arguably more civilized.

Not so for the Church of Social Humanism. This religious institution has infiltrated the legal system and forced the promotion of its beliefs on the general population. The Judge has become an apologist for the hedonists. The primary target of their legal actions is the public school. It started with the erasure of gender differences and continued with the emasculation of the male. Now it has taken the overt action of promotion of "safe sex", which includes a very broad definition of what constitutes acceptable sexual behavior. They have begun to legally force their religious views on younger children as well to establish "normalcy". This violates not only the child's personal choice of moral behavior (which is still forming), but invalidates the teaching and modeling of accepted behavior by the parent.

Does this obvious promotion of religious beliefs constitute state promotion of religion? Must we force the left to acknowledge that their opinions have become beliefs, and that their actions constitute a practice of those beliefs? Or can we operate under this reality without the overt self declaration of their religion? Clearly the actions of this religious group are in violation of the Constitution. A clear violation of the Separation of Sex and State. We must identify those in the judiciary who are letting their activism lead them to become Hedonistic Apologists. Conservatives should begin to shine light on these actions and label them for what they are. Social Humanism can constitute a religious faith as strong as any other. And if we don't want a state sponsored religion, we need to act soon, at least in regards to copulation.

Mainstream Propaganda Gets Busted and Liberal Ignorance

Today's exchange revolves around the Reuters story of doctored photographs. Follow the links if you are not familiar with the story. Here is evidence of how dense the liberal mentality is, and how they really can not comprehend the blog world. The original provocation took this form:
Lemme see if I got today's news summary right.....
1. Between the war in the Middle East and rot in Alaska, the price of a barrel of oil will quickly go past $80. (We'll ignore the role of wasteful consumption for the moment.) The BBC is forecasting $86!
2. Israel is busy rounding up the Palestinian government....(so there is nobody they CAN talk to....)
3. The Lebanese government has now been completely driven into the arms of the Hez, so much so that they are now appealing to Arab governments for support. (since the West sure ain't gunna help them any!)
4. The Somalia government has dissolved itself....headed for the the extremists are in charge.
5. The US is in the process of abandoning the rest of Iraq to defend Baghdad.....the prelude to collapse.
6. The Brits are about to split from the US and join Europe/France over Lebanon....(about time, too).
Hah, the real news today is the exposure of Reuters shilling for terrorist propaganda, and no MSM reporting of it. Oh, there was a little story of the Lebanese PM downgrading the 'Massacre' from 40 dead to one. I don't get your comment on the Brits, we are hanging with the French on crafting the stupid cease fire, the one that won't happen. Try starting here (The Jawa Report): Doctor Photo
Well, sure nuthing in the news I've seen about any photos. And since ur CCCRW didn't take the time or care, or didn't HAVE a source, there is no way to check is there. But, since it's in a blog it's GOTTA be real, right?! That's the usual far right response we've seen for years now....Well, it COULD have been,so that means it WAS. Take two aspirin and come back when ur sober. Guess that means that the US vassel state isn't bombing the hell outta Lebanon's all a fake....nobody really dieing.

Ya, the PM got a bad report report on the bombing, but, you'll note,unlike SOME people we could mention, like the US Marine Corps, he came out instantly with a correction and set the record straight.

On the Brits. Apparently the US and France are really some way from agreeing on troops and when....the US still insisting that we wait until the vassal state.....I mean Israel.....wins a 'great victory'. Gunna be a long wait! The Brits, on the other hand, are moving to the European solution of a cease fire sooner rather than later. The big hang up seems to be do you do a cease fire and then move in, or move in and force a cease fire. ( I vote for the later...move in in force, a couple of divisions, infantry, tanks, big guns, airforce, kick the hez and israel out at the same time, restore Lebanesse control. No rockets, no bombing, period. Trouble is, to do that the US must agree to push real real hard on the vassel state....and we are not about to do that....therefore, another failure of US policy in the Middle East is taking place.

Geez, u gotta stop reading that shit on the blogs.....drivel. Like their information is somehow magically better and their opinions somehow informed.....
Uh, you didn't even look at the pictures did you? Or follow the links.... Reuters has had to remove some hundreds of this guys pictures, and fire him. Gee, why did they do that if its just some stupid blog? Actually, three independent blogs have discovered doctored separate photos. Did you even read the article? How about the 'poor distraught woman' who apparently owns multiple houses? Yeah, good question, why have you not seen anything about it in the MSM? Hmmm, maybe they know that they run with anti Semitic propaganda all the time, and this story just doesn't fit the action line. The funny thing in this is your poo pooing a blog, that has accurate speculation, with clear facts, that doesn't claim to be news, just commentary, in deference to a Hollowed News Outlet, that put out doctored photos. Welcome to the new media! You obviously didn't follow any links, so have a gander at some more fun:

Ynet coverage
Photo Doc Sacked

Now, as to your solution, are you suggesting that some as yet to be determined force (comprised of what army?) will fight Hez? Yeah, that's a good one. So, this cease fire, who is going to force Hez to disarm again? They want a cease fire for sure, have to resupply sometime. And there is no way they will just roll over. Gee, maybe Kofi could go negotiate with them, legitimize them, and further stab the Israelis in the back, as the UN is want to do. Good idea.

Well, as I indicated in the intro, it amazes me that, when stared in the face with obvious facts, liberals will stick there heads in the sand simply because they don't like the source. It is a clear case of the Rather syndrome.