Big Brother is Watching
It seems NSW wants to introduce a new no smoking zone. Your very own car. Whilst I think that smoking is pretty dumb and drivers who throw butts out the window are litterers, the government seems to be getting all totalitarian over the issue.
This is generally what has to happen when you get rid of any non-governmental basis for morality though. The government has to try and control behaviour more and more. A truly secular state seems to always trend more quickly towards totalitarianism.
Quote on Hume
I found an amusing (and accurate) quote from an students exam result on David Hume (The subject was skepticism and the paranormal).
Hume believed that even if a miracle occurred it would be more rational to believe that it didn't.Heh
More Secular Humanist Indoctrination?
The NSW Secular humanist organisation has commissioned a poll on the seperation of church and state in Australia.
Of interest is that whilst only 19.8% believe there is a law seperating church and state in australia (there isn't), this percentage goes up to 29.6% when you look at people with university level degrees or higher.
What is it about going to Uni and learning that is causing people to become less informed about the true legal nature of the seperation of church and state? Perhaps they are being taught ideology rather than facts at uni?
You'll notice the numbers in the poll for whether a law should be introduced to recognize same sex marriage also go up for university level degrees. Doesn't seem like a coincidence.
RU486 Vote - ACL Roundup
The Australian Christian Lobby has released it's summary of the house of representatives vote on the RU486 drug. This has the full list of who voted for and against, as well as summaries of the various members comments on the bill.
It is worth noting that Kim Beazley (who voted to allow the TGA to have sole authority in approval of RU486) repeats the 'back alley abortion' myth rubbish. He said
I start with the premise, and I still hold the view, that abortion is killing…When I started in politics, my view was that the legal system and the criminal code ought to reflect that. That is no longer my view. Tested in the experience of community opinion and community practice, I know that to persist with that view produces a large number of very unsafe procedures and great dangers to women. Therefore I cannot continue to hold that view, the principle being confronted with the practicality.Ignoring the fact that allowing abortion is correlated with higher maternal mortality, his logic seems to be that Abortion is killing but we should allow it because some (obviously a much smaller amount than the amount of abortions) women may die? That logic is insane? Talk about choosing the greater of two evils. That's like saying that because some people may die from anti-biotics, we should ban it completely, even though many more would die if it was banned.
I also find it notable that Kim has taken the back alley abortion myth, even though it was admitted that the figures for the number of deaths was invented as a propaganda tool by the pro-abortion lobbyists.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, admits his group lied about the number of women who died from legal abortions when testifying before the Supreme Court in 1972. "We spoke of 5,000 - 10,000 deaths a year.... I confess that I knew the figures were totally false ... it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"
I guess people will still believe the myth when they find it 'useful', like Mr Beazley. But with his logic and believing in myths, I reckon he isn't a good choice for our Prime Minister.
Update:Reading more of the members comments is very enlightenining.
Arch Beavis "I do not share the view that life begins at conception". Obviously he believes in the scientifically falsified notion of spontaneous generation of life.
Ann Corcoran "This bill does not make abortion easier or more difficult to get." Hmm... so what about all the times people for this bill said that it would make it easier for regional women to get an abortion?
Graham Edwards "Why is it that other countries have a far lower incidence of abortion that we do here in Australia? I suspect that it has a lot to do with the issue of proper sex education." Yep. This is like saying 'People are just naturally good, so if they know enough everything will work out fine.' I think real world experience shows how wrong headed this idea is.
Martin Ferguson (Member for Batman!) "There is no justifiable case for the minister for health, irrespective of who the minister for health is, deciding whether applications for evaluation of RU486 can proceed." Then why was the authority given with bipartisan support in the first place?
Jill Hall (Who gets the award for mind boggling irony) "I think bad decisions are made by parliaments and politicians if we base those decisions purely and simply on our personal, moral and religious beliefs and values." Did anyone point out to Jill that she was doing just that in this vote?
Kirsten Livermore 'As parliamentarians we should not impose our moral views on women and we should not allow those views to stand in the way of a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about something as personal as abortion…" And yet she stands by the government imposing their moral views on the unborn.
Evolutionary Post Mechanism Contoversy
The controversy is out of the bag. Evolutionists are at loggerheads with each other over what mechanism was the primary driver for the evolution of this post.
Richard Dorkins, a prominent evolutionary zoologist, has been very vocal in the news paper claiming that the post was “unambiguously the work of natural selection selecting for the beneficial instants of many Glob-S&R mutations.” Glob-S&R mutations are a mutation where one letter or word throughout the posts code is replaced for a different letter or word. Dorkins also loudly proclaimed that anyone who disagreed with him must be a “poopy-head who had no idea how smart or British he was”
Kenny Milker, a biologist and farmer, has also weighed in. Apparently wanting to milk the issue for all it is worth, Kenny has been speaking to reporters and tv crews all over America pushing his idea that “this post obviously came about via neutral selection of a Plage mutation, where one species of post steals code from another post.”
Eugene Scott from the Nation Center for Strawmen Eviseration (NCSE) has come forward to claim that sections of the post seem to have evolved from many of NCSE’s common news releases. Eugene said “The similarities are amazing. Clearly this post has evolved from at least one of the common species of post we are responsible for here at the NCSE. It has obviously evolved through natural selection acting on two types of mutational mechanisms, the Plage mutation and the Globl-S&R mutation. I really can’t understand how anyone could dispute this.”
Evolutionary biologist brothers Tom and Jerry Coin disagree completely stating that “This post simply evolved from an ancient ancestor via random letter substitution over millions of years. There is no need to invoke S&R or Plage Mutations here. To put it simply, just because we have large gaps between the codes in posts does not mean we have to invoke some hopeful blogster type mutations. The simple explanation that our records of various posts is incomplete can explain these gaps and so removes any need to invoke these inventive solutions”.
Philosopher of Science, R Michael has claimed that it is all a Ruse saying “Clearly this is all a sham where evolutionists have once again let their religious beliefs influence their scientific pronouncements. Clearly, as many evolutionists disagree on the mechanism, the facts do not speak for themselves, but are instead interpreted in light of the pet theory of each evolutionist.”
Answers in Gnocchi spokesman Ken Bacon disagrees with the evolutionists however. When asked about the post Ken said “Plainly, this post must have been caused by someone with at least a modicum of intelligence. The information content we see in the post, whilst quite low, is still high enough to clearly rule out evolutionary mechanisms and even though we have never observed an evolutionist create an intelligent post before, I believe we can safely conclude that intelligence was responsible for the creation of this post”
William D Behe, from the Disk-recovery Institute (DI), surprisingly agrees with the evolutionists, saying “It is very clear to me and all of us at the DI that there was no Intelligent Design involved in the creation of this post.”
More Swedish Goodness
I briefly mentioned yesterday about problems in Sweden , with poor moral fibre in the supposed bastion of secular humanist ideals. Well, it seems there is even more to the down side of Sweden (and Europe) than previously mentioned. Riding Sun has the details.
It sounds impossible, but it's true. For all the myths of equality that Europe tells itself, the Continent is by and large a woeful place for a woman who aspires to lead. According to a paper published by the International Labor Organization this past June, women account for 45 percent of high-level decision makers in America, including legislators, senior officials and managers across all types of businesses. In the U.K., women hold 33 percent of those jobs. In Sweden—supposedly the very model of global gender equality—they hold 29 percent.And the cause of this problem? Welfare apparently. Reality always comes back to avenge itself.
Germany comes in at just under 27 percent, and Italian women hold a pathetic 18 percent of power jobs
Scandavian and European Society
A week or so back, I was reading a discussion on how Australia should follow the Scandinavian model of socialism...err welfare. The author, Fred Argy seems to love Scandinavia. (Scandinavian countries are Denmark, Sweden and Norway). Of course, when I think of Scandinavia, I think of a morally poor society that is, like most of Europe, going to implode in the very near future.
More signs of the Scandinavian and European collapse of moral fibre keep coming out. It seems that a politician in Holland is calling for forced abortions on those deemed as unfit to raise children (Eugenics anyone?). Thankfully, there isn't much support for this yet. Time will tell whether they implode from aging population/welfare state problems, get put under Sharia law, or start accepting more and more eugenics ideas first.
Sweden, the height of moral liberalism, is also crumbling under the weight of the true fallen nature of people, where the crime rate exceeds that of New York City, Violent outdoor muggings continue to increase at an alarming rate (15% last year), drug abuse is out of control with a doubling of the number of overdose deaths in the last 10 years and finally, the incidince of rape is one of the highest in the world.
I would hardly be using europe for a role model.
The UN World Mortality Report 2005 has an interesting bit of information. It seems that countries where abortion is illegal have lower maternal mortality rates than those where it is legal. So much for the back alley abortion argument.
Mike Gene at Telic Thoughts has an informative post on Darwin's Day Celebrations. It seems the secular humanist's created the day to push their religion, and yet how many churches have jumped on board with it? Lenin's useful idiots comment comes to mind.
DNA evidence has cast serious doubts on Mormon claims for Native Americans being descendended from middle east tribes. People should of probably realised earlier this religion is a bit of a sham. After someone translated one of the egyptian documents and found it didn't say what mormon founder Joseph Smith said it did.
South African scientists have a fantastic new breakthrough in solar power. Hopefully this technology will be commonplace in ten years or so.
Leon Wieseltier takes Daniel Dennett to task for his scientism masquerading as science book called 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as natural phenomenon'. Interesting information in the 3 page article include that David Hume was a theist (I never knew.)
Iran continues to test how dumb people really are. This time they are trying to deny they said they wanted to wipeIsrael off the map, using double speak and equivocation. The only people they will convince are the ones who want an excuse to appease the mad mullahs.
First it was Dana Vale, now our very own Prime Minister is speaking out against sections of the muslim community. He suggested that some muslims are extremists and are unable to embrace the australian way. Whilst this seems self-evidence with the recent riots and revenge attacks in NSW, Muslim groups are 'offended'. Before you believe too many of the Muslim groups statements, consider how in the UK, 4 out of 10 muslim's would like Sharia law implemented.
With Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), we may be getting a better look at what really was the case before the invasion. Some tapes of Saddam that touch on the topic are being translated and released (Consider the huge amount of translation and sorting that has to be done on the millions of recordings/documents). Of course, you wouldn't know it by the media's silence on the matter. They are too busy trying not to print cartoons that might offend muslim's and hyping up Dick Cheney's accidental non-fatal shooting of a friend whilst hunting.
The Washington Times has a good reminder of what human rights are really about. The upshot is that human right's must simultaneously apply to everyone whilst not putting obligation on someone else to act.
Victor Davis Hanson has a good reminder of how appeasement has always been a disaster. Victor wonders why people delude themselves into thinking that appeasement can work, but it is obvious. They have an incorrect view of human nature, particularly that of those they are trying to appease.
Another Avenue of University Bias
Captain Ed has posted an interesting bit of research on the university of Minnesota (UM) and how balanced their funding of various groups is. It isn't just the unbalanced representation within the lecturing community that it is a problem, it seems that if you hold conservative values, you also get discriminated against in university funding.
The committee, based on its disbursements, appears to want a marketplace with fifty brands of the same product instead. It seems to me that if the subcommittee was that concerned about promoting a broad diversity of opinion for students at UMTC, they would spend their money in something more equitable disbursement than a 97% - 3% split between its liberal and conservative action groups.The secular humanist steam roller rolls on. 'Free enquiry' indeed.
Australian MPs Avoid Responsibility on RU486
The news is in. The RU486 bill has passed, handing final authority for the drug over to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and away from the health minister. The final vote was not tallied and individual members votes were not recorded. This makes a complete mockery of ministerial accountability. What an act of corwardice.
Our democratic system seems to allow ministers to avoid direct responsibility for their votes on controversial moral issues. That needs to be fixed.
From my limited research, the only people that I can confirm voted against the bill are John Howard, Tony Abbott, Andrew Laming, Malcolm Turnbull, and Jackie Kelly. They need to be congratulated and encouraged for standing against this bill. I will post more names as I find them.
Demographics and Abortion
Mark Steyn has weighed in on backbencher Danna Vale's comments on how abortion, amongst other things is dooming Australia due to the demogaphics of aging and shrinking populations being offset by muslim immigration and baby booming. Steyn is of course, at his best with some major points that are consistently ignored by our politicians (although not Ms Vale)
If a society chooses to outsource its breeding, who your suppliers are is not unimportant. "I've heard those very silly remarks made about immigrants to this country since I was a child," says Allison.Indeed. There is marked difference between culture and religion. Our dear Senator Allision needs to wake up to the disaster around the corner.
"If it wasn't the Greeks, it was the Italians or it was the Vietnamese."
Those are races or nationalities. But Islam is a religion, and an explicitly political one - unlike the birthplace of your grandfather it's not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression - a Pan-Islamic identity that transcends borders.
In attempting to refute Vale's argument, this newspaper praised the nation's maidenhood for lying back and thinking of Australia and getting the national fertility rate up from 1.73 births per woman in 2001 to 1.77, "well above rates in developed nations such as Italy, Spain, Japan, Germany and South Korea".I find it amazing, the furor over Miss Vale's comments. It isn't like the CIA report and ther half dozen or so other reports that conclude the same things about demographics haven't been around for several years. It's like the cries of sexism that arise anytime anyone points out the self-evident truth that men and women are different.
Well, pop the champagne corks! That's like saying Mark Latham's political prospects are better than Harold Holt's. The countries cited are going out of business. Seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call "lowest-low" fertility - 1.3 births per woman, the point at which you're so far down the death spiral you can't pull out.
In theory, those countries will find their population halving every 40 years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that, as the savvier youngsters figure there's no point sticking around a country that's turned into one big undertaker's waiting room: not every pimply burger flipper is going to want to work himself into the ground to pay for new shuffleboard courts at the old folks' home.
The simple fact is that we need to address the demographic issue and we need to do it before it is too late. So to all my married friends out there....Have lots of babies!
Australian Senators and Logic
The Australian Christian Lobby has a summary of various senators comments in discussion of the RU486 Bill. What troubles me is the lack of rational debate over the topic. From the summary we see various senators saying things like
Sen ALLISON (Vic)Unfortunately, Senator Allison is imposting her own ethical views on others when she tells them it is not okay (I.E WRONG) for others to impose their ethical views on those who have a different ethical view. Never mind that she claims the issue has 'nothing to do with ethics', a clear absurdity.
…of course it would be good to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies – there is no doubt about that..but there is no cause to panic. It has nothing to do with ethics…it is okay for people to hold particular ethical or religious views that lead them to oppose abortion but it is not okay for them to impose their position on others who do not…
Sen MOORE (Qld)Of course, when Senators like Senator Allison, stood up and talked about how they had an abortion, no one told her it was irrelevant to the discussion. Abortion is part of the issue, because it is a controversial issue whose morality is in question. Notice also how when many people, for whatever reasons, opposed this bill and wrote to their elected representatives, this charming senator tells them they are confused and do not 'fully understand' the issue.
…I commend the people who made the effort to be part of the process, to contact the senators and to be involved, but I beg that you actually fully understand what we are debating and not get confused with some other debate… (she is referring to the abortion issue)
Sen NETTLE (NSW)Whilst the bill itself is not about the legality of abortion, the abortion issue is central to the debate. It is only smug self-service because abortion is (sort-of) legal that permeates comments about how abortion is not part of the issue.
…unfortunately, this debate we are having now is not around that issue [abortion]…the Greens are proudly a pro-choice party…
Sen Faulkner (NSW)I don't remember a vote on the abortion issue? The issue was decided by unelected judges, not the people. How does the senator know most Australians consider the matter settled? Especially since 87% of Australians support finding ways to reduce the number of abortions.
…this is not a bill to change the laws concerning abortion; those are state matters… there are those who have treated this bill as an opportunity to raise a question most Australians consider settled [abortion]…
My personal favorite however is
Sen MARSHALL (Vic)I wonder if senator Marshall has faith in 'logic-based' arguments. The idea that religion has no place in politics is absurd as when you boil down any moral issue you have to come to some foundation. That foundation cannot be seperated from religious (or anti-religious) belief. The senator deludes himself into thinking his position is logic-based, whereas his opponents are faith-based.
…at the end of the day, abortion is a subject for discussion between a woman and her doctor and a decision for the woman…Australians of all religions and cultural backgrounds have good reason to oppose the influence of faith rather than logic-based arguments in policy decisions…Australians must hold on to our principles that religion has no place in politics…
On what grounds can anyone appeal to, to justify the idea that free choice to kill another human being is okay? Or for that matter, any moral principle? Ultimately, without 'religious-beliefs', after numerous appeals to other, supposedly higher, moral principles, all that is left is empty air to ground your moral beliefs. Pretending that is rational is rather pathetic.
Check out the rest of our senators comments, and remember that these are the people who are leading our nation.
Australian Senate Wimps Out
The Australian Senate passed a bill giving away responsibility for RU-486, the abortion drug. The drug will now be assessed by the Theraputic Goods Association (TGA), even though it isn't a theraputic drug. Even though there were a huge number of submissions against the bill (something like 3900 against, 100 for), our elected politicians decided to ignore the expressed will of their electorates.
The list of for and against senators is below. Please ensure that you encourage those senators who voted against it, and express your disapproval to those who voted for it. Especially in the next election.
Robert Hill – Lib, SA
Andrew Bartlett - Dem, QLD
Andrew Murray – Dem, WA
George Campbell – Lab, NSW
Richard Colbeck – Lib, TAS
Nigel Scullion – Clib, NT
Christopher Evans – Lab, WA
John Faulkner – Lab, NSW
Mitch Fifield – Lib, VIC
David Johnston – Lib, WA
Joe Ludwig – Lab, QLD
Ian MacDonald – Lib, QLD
Jan McLucas – Lab, QLD
Gavin Marshall – Lab, VIC
Kerry O’Brien – Lab, TAS
Marise Payne – Lib, NSW
Robert Ray – Lab, VIC
Nick Sherry – Lab, TAS
Glenn Sterle – Lab, WA
Russell Trood – Lib, QLD
John Watson – Lib, TAS
Fiona Nash – Nat, NSW
Claire Moore – Lab, QLD
Kim Carr – Lab, VIC
Trish Crossin – Lab, NT
Annette Hurley - SA
Linda Kirk – Lab, SA
Kate Lundy – Lab, ACT
Ruth Webber – Lab, WA
Penny Wong – Lab, SA
Dana Wortley – Lab, SA
Carol Brown – Lab, TAS
Anne McEwen – Lab, SA
Judith Adams – Lib, WA
Helen Coonan – Lib, NSW
Jeannie Ferris - Lib, SA
Kay Patterson – Lib, VIC
Judith Troeth – Lib, VIC
Amanda Vanstone – Lib, SA
Natasha Stott Despoja – Dem, SA
Lyn Allison – Dem, VIC
Christine Milne – Grn, TAS
Rachel Siewert – Grn, WA
Kerry Nettle – Grn, NSW
Bob Brown – Grn, TAS
Eric Abetz - Lib, TAS
Guy Barnett – Lib, TAS
Mark Bishop – Lab, WA
Ron Boswell – Nat, QLD
George Brandis – Lib, QLD
Paul Calvert –Lib, TAS
Grant Chapman – Lib, SA
Stephen Conroy – Lab, VIC
Alan Eggleston – Lib, WA
Christopher Ellison – Lib, WA
Alan Ferguson – Lib, SA
Steve Fielding – FF, VIC
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells – Lib, NSW
Michael Forshaw – Lab, NSW
Bill Heffernan – Lib, NSW
John Hogg – Lab, QLD
Gary Humphries – Lib, ACT
Steve Hutchins – Lab, NSW
Barnaby Joyce – Nat, QLD
Sandy MacDonald – Nat, QLD
Brett Mason – Lib, QLD
Julian McGauran – Lib, VIC
Nick Minchin – Lab, SA
Stephen Parry – Lib, TAS
Helen Polley – Lab, TAS
Michael Ronaldson – Lib, VIC
Santo Santoro – Lib, QLD
Ursula Stephens – Lab, NSW
More Dinosaur Feather Myths
Yep. They are at it again. Science journalists really have no clue. Another dinosaur, a purported ancestor of the T-Rex, has been found in china, and the media is talking about feathers again. Creation Safaris has the full scoop. The simple rule is this, if a news article talks about evolution in some way, you shouldn't trust it. Go to the source. There is no mention of feathers in either of the Nature articles, yet here we have the media proclaiming a new feathered dinosaur.
Once again, the reason is plain, a blind adherent of the church of darwin, Mark Norell from the American Museum of Natural History, who was one of the co-discoverers of both 'feathered' fossils has been telling tall tales again. His comment on this latest find "Because they’re so closely related, there’s no reason at all to think it didn’t have feathers". There's the logic of the evolutionists for you. "We don't need evidence, we have assumptions!"
Lydia McGrew has a good post on the willful blindess of many of the left who champion choice. Of course, her title 'Choice Devours Itself' is reminscent of the idea of the Revenge Of Conscience Both are worth reading to remind yourself that it isn't just a slippery slope, but an active push towards evil.
Mike Gene lambasts the treatment of Intelligent Design (ID) by many evolutionists as propaganda when they try to link ID with Creation Science. He fails however to notice how much propaganda is used against Creation Science.
Stanley Kurtz reveals how clearly Canada is on an active path towards removing the concept of marriage and the tradional family. A clear objective of the secular humanists is close to being completed.
Adult Stem Cells continue to go from strength to strength. The latest cure is for Lupus, a rather nasty autoimmune disease that attacks vital organs. The left continues to ignore these successes in pushing embryonic stem cell research. Could it be that they want to push embryonic research to change peoples perceptions of the value of life?
Kate Mannix is a pro-choice catholic. She wrote this article to explain why. Important things to note are how she didn't view her children as a gift from god, but instead she 'felt like god' because SHE could create life. She then complains that a single lecturer didn't have experience of children, so therefore ALL prolife people must just be defending a principle, not life. This is even though this is clearly not the case (e.g. Roe herself). It gets even worse when she says that prolifers (she has started to refer to them as anti-choice) think the unborn 'must have even more human rights than the already-born'. So lets review...God complex, bad logic, ignoring evidence AND creating a straw man of the other sides views. There are many more instances...I'll leave you to find them.
The Cartoon War
Who thought up that name? there is certainly lots of comment, and more and more people seem to be saying that multiculturalism is a pipe dream. From the article
Differences between the West and the Muslim world can be chalked up to just that - differences. That's the truth about world ethnicity, and no amount of politically correct wishful thinking will change that truth. Countries that ignore that basic lesson of history and political science put themselves at grave risk of internal discord, subversion and civil war. Either a country is united in its common culture or it becomes disunited in its multiculturalism.Too bad the elitist left can't grasp that simple truth. Or maybe they do and this is part of the plan. Is it time for the secular humanists to put forward mandatory government secular indoctrination?
Maby people also think this is a defining moment for elitist Europe. if they don't respond strongly, they can expect to be irrecovibly altered.
Ultimately, I think Europe is doomed. Between this sort of occurance and the terminal demographics problem that is going to make the muslim community a majority, the tail spin can only be checked by a complete change of culture towards and conservative christian worldview. I'm not holding my breath for that.
Right Reason has a good post on educational woes due to a lack of available discipline in the classroom. If you don't get human nature right, problems turn up. Not displining boys properly is part of the educational problem we face in Australia as well. From the post
Nor did it take me long to figure out why boys are falling behind girls all across the country. Because it is boys, far more than girls, who need strict discipline and who go straight to hell without it. Raising and teaching boys is a lot more like taming wild horses than it is like nurturing wounded birds - but we are locked in a feminist cultural moment that sees education as, precisely, "nurturance."
Boundless Magazine has 3 weekly articles (released on friday in Australian time). I highly recommend you check them out weekly as they generally have insightful or thought provoking posts. This week, they have an article on cell phones where i think the author mis-diagnoses the problem as the sympthom. Cell phones are just another way to be inconsiderate of those around you. The second article deals with human nature, particularly male nature and is well worth reading.
Finally, I found a wierd article on platonic office pseudo-marriages that supposedly help your happiness. Wierd. I wonder how many end up wrecking real marriages.
UK Public Not Convinced about Evolution
The BBC has news of a poll in the UK where only 48% of Brits felt that the theory of evolution was the best explanation of the development of life. Creation (22%) and Intelligent Design (ID)(17%) and No clue (13%) were the other answers selected.
The BBC journalist gets a closer to a correct definition of ID to most other journalists with
Intelligent design is the concept that certain features of living things are so complex that their existence is better explained by an "intelligent process" than natural selection.Unfortunately, the BBC Editor of their Horizon series (who commissioned the poll) can't see past his own beliefs when he says
This really says something about the role of science education in this country and begs us to question how we are teaching evolutionary theoryOf course, it might have something to do with how evolutionary theory is not that compelling, rather than just how they are teaching it.
Interestingly enough, 44% of respondents said they would like creation science taught in schools.
Can Islam and Democracy Work
Yesterday, I talked about how the left was in denial of many realities and how this was highlighted by the Palestinian's election of a terrorist organisation. Commentator Chris, suggested that the right was in denial with it's belief that democracy will solve the islamic problem.
He might be right. Although there are many arguments to consider. RJ Rummel is an academic who has done huge amounts of research into what sorts of governments are most likely to wage war on each other. His thesis is that democratic governments do not wage war on each other and he talks a bit about the Palestinian state here and here on his blog.
The democratic peace (DP) would probably predict that this outcome is unlikely...but what seems more important is that this -- voting itself -- is a way of falsifying the DP: if the clash of civilizations model is really more accurate and predictive than the DP, then so be it. But there won't be any doubt about the "clash" really being between a democratic regime where people chose their government, and a non-democratic regime (example: a theocracy) that says that it speaks for the people, but lacks evidence.Rummel also makes the same point as I have made in the past, that at least with a democratic process you know the will of the people and so more accurately judge the justification for war.
I always challenge my students, when they comment on how "Iran" hates America: lacking democracy, how do you know?
According to Rummel's research, it is not unreasonable to believe that democracy may solve some of the problem with Islam. Note that I say some. France and Cronulla have had riots that prove that the threat from violent Islam is both internal and external.
The question that has to be asked however, is can Islam make democracy work? If it can't then Rummel's thesis will never be tested. What is clear for now though, is that as far as I am aware of, we haven't tested whether democracy can help with the problem of violent Islam or not. As such, it may be wrong, but it isn't denial to think it might.
Real Motivations in Evolution Debate
In being involved with countless discussions on whether Intelligent Design (ID) should be taught in class, one of the most common responses is that ID is not science and so whilst it is okay to teach it in a philosophy or religion class, it is not appropriate to teach it in a science class.
Such a reasonable sounding solution appeals to many people who are keen to compromise and avoid a fight. Afterall, it isn't like one group is trying to completely censor the other groups ideas. The problem is, it is a total lie. The groups that fight against ID aren't interested in open discussion, free inquiry or critical thinking. They are interested in having ONLY their naturalistic worldview taught. This is evidenced by a recent case where a teacher ran a voluntary philosophy class on ID between semesters. The outcry by the usual suspects, Americans for the Seperation of Church and State, and the media was typical of organisations struggling to keep their stranglehold of power.
Creation Safari's has a great article covering all the real facts behind this case. Have a read, and make sure you pass it on. The pretense of the evolutionists about being reasonable needs to be shown for the hollow rhetoric it really is. I'll leave you with one of Creation Safari's important facts
None of the plaintiffs had students in the class.
The Terror of the Left
A couple of days ago I talked about the Palestinian's electing a terrorist organisation to lead them and how many on the left defending this as 'progress'. Dennis Prager, Middle East expert has also weighed in and reached similar conclusions. From his article
On just about every issue, the Left lives in a childlike fantasy realm. Their views are expressions of what they wish for, not what actually is. Here is a small sample:Denial is a fear response. You could say that the left are 'terrorfied'.
* Support for terror represents a tiny sliver of the Muslim world.
* All cultures are essentially morally equivalent.
* The United Nations is a wonderful institution and the best hope of mankind.
* Men and women are basically the same.
* It makes no difference whether children are raised by a loving man and woman or by two loving parents of the same sex.
* Violent criminals in our society are pushed into crime by socioeconomic circumstances, not because of their own flawed characters and values.
* War is not the answer.
The list of leftist positions based on a rejection of reality is as long as a list of leftist positions.
War on Life Continues
The latest front on the war on life is Haleigh Poutre, an 11 year old girl who the state (Massachusetts) government wants to die and yet refuses to do so. Most people haven't heard about Haleigh. She has had a terrible life, with abuse piled upon abuse that culminated in her being beaten into a coma last september. It took the state department of social services a mere 9 days after the beating to push for her termination, and 3 weeks after the beating, the courts decided she should die, as the doctors felt she was 'virtually brain dead'. Worse still, Haleigh's state appointed attorney also argued for her removal from life support.
The judges ruling was that Haleigh's "dignity and quality of life would be most respected by withdrawing both the ventilator and the feeding tube along with the issuance of a [DNR] order, with great sadness I so issue this day." So somehow we come to the idea that respecting dignity and quality of life is done by killing life. The Boston Globe article argues that this is not another Terri Schaivo, yet the idea of life unworthy of life is exactly the same, and this indeed is just the extension of that idea. Once you use it to end the life of a Terri, it is a smaller step to try and end the life of a Haleigh. This case also shows that the government is garnering itself the authority to be the judge of whose quality of life is acceptable. Now THAT is scary stuff.
The good news however is that Haleigh has started to recover. Due to an appeal by the alleged abuser (to avoid being guilty of murder), enough time passed that she healed enough to stop needing a breathing life support system and that she started to squeeze with her hand. It is great news and should remind us and this state's officials that medical opinions are not infallible. Erring on the side of life is the best bet.