Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thirty years ago journalist Tom Bethell wrote an article for The Atlantic about why Darwin's theory was...er, soon to be discarded.

As 2006 approaches, perhaps someone will take pity on the poor man, waken him from his three-decades-long slumber and have him read this.

Somehow I doubt the people at Regnery are going to feel compelled to update their Factually Politically Incorrect Guide to Science.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Crackpot Index Alert: "The other night I was brooding, as usual, on the Shakespeare authorship question..."

Dear God, someone tell this poor man to get outdoors once in a while.
This year's Christmas Message comes from the Dark Side. And Amy Welborn, who reminds us why Christmas shouldn't be all warm and fuzzy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Judge Jones has issued a verdict:
After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that
while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no
position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1)
ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting
supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID,
employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation
science in the 1980's; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted
by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is
additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific
community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the
subject of testing and research.

This is great news. Read the whole thing. More from the Judges conclusion:
The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock
assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in
general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the
theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the
scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the
existence of a divine creator.
(emphasis mine) What should now become apparent to concerned Christians and parents everywhere is the utter mendacity and intellectual dishonesty behind much of the "movement" to force creationism into public school science classes.

Thanks to Judge Jones for reminding everyone this Christmas that being Christian does not necessarily mean checking your brains at the door.

I look forward to seeing how the Discovery "Institute" spins this one.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Things are not as they seem. It now appears that Richard Sternberg, about whom I blogged here, is not the martyr he has been making himself out to be.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Richard Dawkins refuses to live up to the stereotype painted of him by conservatives who like to cite him as an example of how acceptance of Darwin's theory necessarily rules out belief in God:

Is atheism the logical extension of believing in evolution?

They clearly can’t be irrevocably linked because a very large number of theologians believe in evolution. In fact, any respectable theologian of the Catholic or Anglican or any other sensible church believes in evolution. Similarly, a very large number of evolutionary scientists are also religious. My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.

(emphasis mine)

Reed Cartwright at Panda's Thumb...has more depressing evidence of the Discovery Institute's lying problem with intellectual honesty.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Special prayers and thoughts requested this Season for Mark Shea, who lost his father-in-law, and DarwinCatholic, whose father is seriously ill.

Friday, December 09, 2005

What Hollywood Fears. Excellent article from i2 Partners:
Hollywood believes large-scale broadband video distribution would only destroy proven value, fail to provide alternative value, and alter a business model that is still far from being in decline. With near-total control of the most valuable program libraries and the business models governing their distribution, a shift towards broadband media will come largely on Hollywood’s terms and at an incremental pace.
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

By all means, let's teach the controversy!
Linguists here in Canada have been following closely, with a mixture of amusement, bemusement, and, it must be admitted, a little trepidation, the deliberations of our neighbours to the south, who are currently considering, in a courtroom in Pennsylvania, whether "Wrathful Dispersion Theory," as it is called, should be taught in the public schools alongside evolutionary theories of historical linguistics. It is an emotionally charged question, for linguistics is widely and justifiably seen as the centrepiece of the high-school science curriculum—a hard science, but not a difficult one to do in the classroom; an area of study that teaches students the essentials of scientific reasoning, but that at the same time touches on the spiritual essence of what it means to be human, for it is of course language that separates us from our cousins the apes.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Something for anti-technology environmentalists to keep in mind:
Let me give you one small example. We complain a lot about air pollution today, but there were 200,000 horses in New York City, at the beginning of the 20th century defecating everywhere. And when you walked around in New York City, you were breathing pulverized horse manure -- a much worse pollutant, than the exhausts of automobiles. Indeed in the United States, the automobile was considered the solution to the horse problem because pulverized horse manure carried a lot of deadly pathogens.

Salon. At age ten, still beating the odds.

Congratulations!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Perhaps children's author Philip Pullmam continues to whine about the success of C.S. Lewis's Narnia stories because he knows none of his own agitprop will be turned into big-budget movies anytime soon. Who knows? I'm not a huge fan of Lewis's fiction myself, but Michael Nelson does a nice job here of explaining why Pullman's hot hair is unlikely to deter children everywhere (and some of us adults) from lining up to see the The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.