Monday, January 16, 2006

Hear Hear!

An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.

We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members. But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.

As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.

Signed,
N.Z. Bear, The Truth Laid BearHugh Hewitt, HughHewitt.comGlenn Reynolds, Instapundit.comKevin Aylward, Wizbang!La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber's CornerLorie Byrd / DJ Drummond , PolipunditBeth Cleaver, MY Vast Right Wing ConspiracyJeff Goldstein, Protein WisdomStephen Green, VodkapunditJohn Hawkins, Right Wing NewsJohn Hinderaker, Power LineJon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandOJames Joyner, Outside The BeltwayMike Krempasky, Redstate.orgMichelle Malkin, MichelleMalkin.comEd Morrissey, Captain's QuartersScott Ott, ScrapplefaceThe Anchoress, The AnchoressJohn Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!, and of course, Partisan Pundit

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Off the Net for a While

I am headed out tomorrow to support an Exercise on up mainland Japan. I'll be of the 'Net for three weeks. Doubt I'll be able to post anything. As such, I leave you with a list of some oldies but some goodies from the past. A few select morsels of what I feel to be some of my better posts.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

How many Dems would get confirmed in Alito's place?

That's an oooch.

That's a double oooch.

A Point of Clarification, If I May...

If I thought for one second that an American president had intentionally falsified intelligence information (or ordered it to be done, since the President does not generate nor analyze intel products) in order to connive this country into going to war under false pretenses in order to satisfy a personal grudge or other personal or corporate agenda, I would be at the head of the line demanding not only his impeachment, but clamoring for his arrest and imprisonment for high treason.

But I don't think this for even one second. And I present to you that no actual evidence of such conduct exists. Moreover, I DEMAND that those who continue to make such libelous and damning accusations against a sitting president in time of war PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE WHICH SUPPORTS THEIR CHARGES.

Until they can, I propose that they adopt this singularly cogent and appropriate course of action:


UPDATE:
Upon reflection, don't STFU. Stifling debate is the last thing I want to support.
I merely think that if you are going to call the President of the United States a War Criminal, Traitor, and pathological liar, you had better be able to back it up with more than an uneasy feeling and an ambiguous memo.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This just in!

Hajj stampede kills hundreds
Bush blamed.

A spokesman for CAIR was quoted today as saying that responsibility for
this tragedy falls firmly on the shoulders of Pres. George W. Bush.

"Mr. Bush's continued persecution of people of Muslim faith through his personal worldwide jihad has led otherwise calm, rational muslims to be increasingly fervent in their devotions to Allah, leading to such frenzied supplications that normally mild-mannered devotees are, to coin a phrase, 'completely whigging out'."

"By subjecting the people of Islam to this unremitting climate of fear, the criminal George Bush is personally causing such frantic, panicked mob-like destruction. We cannot be held responsible for our own actions when are constantly in the grip of such fear, and are so blinded by desperation that we trample our own brothers in the throes of a terror which borders on madness."

"This blood will never be washed off the hands of the murderer George Bush.
These deaths at his hands must be avenged."

The White House has, to date, made no formal reply to these allegations.

Observations on Life, Part Deux

  • When paying your five year old daughter her allowance, she'd much rather have 10 dimes than only one dollar.
  • Yes, apparently, the wet towel on the duvet cover really does matter that much.
  • White socks in the colored pile? Yup. That too.
  • I should, in all fairness, probably call my mother and ask her if I was really ever that annoying as an eight year old boy, before considering any further the idea of locking the Medium-Sized Child in a footlocker.
  • The wife can get all slobbery over Cuba Gooding, Jr., and I'm just supposed to laugh and roll with it, but let me bat an eye twice at Keira Knightley in blue face paint and a leather bandeau, and the Imperial Wife becomes the Ice Queen. Real. Damn. Quick.
  • A five year old child can take up more bed space than two grown adults.
  • Some five year olds snore.
  • Notice to women: Research has shown that there IS actually a point where no more dishes will fit into the dishwasher.

Observations on Life:

Excerpt from an actual conversation:

Imperial Wife: “Let’s have French toast for breakfast.”

Devoted Manservant: {looking in fridge} “Uhm, can’t. No eggs.”

IW: “What? You didn’t TELL me we were out of eggs!”

DM: “uhmmm..” {Points to the word “Eggs” on shopping list hanging on front of fridge}

IW: ...

DM:

IW: “Well, I knew we were LOW on eggs, but you didn’t tell me we were OUT of eggs.”

DM:

IW:

DM: “Uh, yeah, well, my bad, I guess. Sorry. So, how does oatmeal sound?”

Caption Contest!!

This just cries out for a caption contest. Let's see what you've got:
(courtesy of Fox News)


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

If I weren't happily married....

Women for whom I would quite possibly risk toppling my entire empire, plunging the entire known world into the pyre of a bloody and senseless war...

  1. Keira Knightley
  2. Jessica Alba
  3. Jennifer Love Hewitt
  4. Madeleine Stowe
  5. Hillary Duff
  6. Maria Sharapova

A close second to:

  1. Liz Phair
  2. Amanda Bynes (ok, yeah, I'm a perv...)
  3. Amy Lee (Evanescence)
  4. Shania Twain

On the other hand: Supposedly hot and famous women who I wouldn't cross the street to shove into a mud puddle:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. Paris Hilton
  3. Angelina Jolie (so sue me...)
  4. Drew Barrymore
  5. Cameron Diaz

Just one question...

At what point does surveillance become "spying?"

Ya know what I think?

I think that:
  • ...we should be spending more money on free birth control and less on subsidized abortions.
  • ...repeat sex-offenders don't every really "get better." No matter how much well-intentioned counseling they receive.
  • ...If it's so important for people not to drink and drive, outlaw parking lots at bars. Put in bike racks instead.
  • ...OIF/OEF are slowly draining our military dry.
  • ....the Mexico wall is a helluvan idea. And Vincente Fox can just blow me.
  • ...I don't see a whole lot of difference between Mexican smugglers shooting at border patrol agends and Palestinian smugglers shooting at Israeli soldiers.
  • ...in light of the clear threat and obvious economic impact of unchecked immigration across our souther border, and the fact that NOTHING substantive is being done about it, that there's something else going on here.
  • ...there's NO guarantee of privacy in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nil.
  • ...North Idaho is just this side of heaven. But don't move there.
  • ...if I was rich, I'd probably be dead by now. Although, being poor at times hasn't helped me out a lot, either.
  • ...women were put on this earth to keep us men humble. And they're doing a damn fine job of it. Just ask my wife.
  • ...life's too short to drink cheap beer, or bad wine.
  • ...there are far more heroes in our military than on our sports team. If the military were smart, it would put out it's own trading cards. But most of the guys I know who might qualify, are too genuinely humble to think they rate. Which in my mind, makes them even more deserving.
  • ...I miss 80's hair and angora sweaters. And ankle boots. And cotton mini-skirts. And glam rock.
  • ...padded bras should be banned. I'm a firm believer in WYSIWYG when it comes to a woman's figure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is Anything ELSE Bush's Fault?!

Apparently the unfortunate success of our Support and Stability Operations (SASO) in Iraq have taken the winds out of the Bush Lied, People Died meme.

So now, it's Bush Lied, People Spied.

Whatever.

Last Creationism Post for A While

I think I've pretty much done the creationism/evolutionism topic to death. As a parting shot, though, just let me repost this reply to Joe from the comments section:

I don't expect religious studies or beliefs to provide the detailed explanations of "how." That IS up to science.

But as we delve more and more into the "how," the sense of an underlying system and a strangely synergistic fortuitousness about it all, it begins to suggest ever more strongly (at least to me) that there IS in fact a "why" lurking there underneath it all.

Religion/faith provides the "why," because that is a question which science alone will NEVER be able to answer. And it is a question (in my mind) that it is every bit as important to answer as the how.

Additionally, if you divorce science too completely from religion, and thus morality, you end up not just with ammoral science, but ultimately immoral science. Gene splicing to create designer babies, cloning, and others. Science can be and has been a great boon to mankind, but left unchecked by the restraining hand of a strong moral foundation, it can become the catalyst for great evil.

Richard Dawkins, man about town.

Apparently, if a scientist tries to support religion from a scientific point of view, he's being intellectually dishonest to downright fraudulent to willfully self-deluded.

But let a scientist criticize or condemn religon from a scientific viewpoint, then he's lauded as speaking the truth to power, pulling the dustcover off the religious agenda, etc.
Nope. No bias there. None at all.


The link is to a technorati search. Scroll down and read some of the fawning adulation for his comments, which I mention here, and which I found to be hateful, bile-spewing anti-religion and anti-Christian rhetoric.

And some people just refuse to see the flaming hypocrisy of it all.

UPDATE:

RFBurn (?) over at "Little Bit Tired" adds a lot more detail and a good analysis, something I was frankly too disgusted to do anywhere near as dispassionately as he. Good job, RF.
Snippet:

Humanism is without a doubt the largest religion in the world, it always has been, it always will be.
I do not understand the fear these people have, the world is theirs, they control it.
Maybe it isn’t fear, maybe it is sheer hatred for what is good and right.
Sheer hatred of a God they want to wish away but that some part of them knows does in fact exist.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Creationism Redux

Creationists say fossil discoveries back their theories

The vast majority of scientists consider the movement badly misguided, or worse, intellectually dishonest. Creationists, scientists say, aren't doing real science.
All creationists, everywhere, regardless of their qualifications, baseline assumptions, or methodology. Check.

"The evidence is overwhelming," said Skip Pierce, the chairman of the biology department at the University of South Florida. "These theories are essentially established fact."
Well, at least someone had the scrote to come right out and say it.

Organisms survived based on how well-suited they were to their environment. Beneficial traits passed on from parents - genetic variations in speed, size or eyesight - gave some offspring an advantage over competitors. Those offspring - with their unique inherited traits - stood a better chance of surviving and reproducing.
Isn't this variation within a species? Survival of the fittest is not at odds with Creationism/ID. Actually, it helps eliminate weaker defects and mutations, helping to keep the gene strain pure against harmful variations.
Darwin suggested that over millions of years those incremental changes reach a point of no return. At some stage, the organism changes so much, it can no longer breed within the species.
Sooooo, then who/what does this new critter breed with? Are these variations/mutations occuring simultaneously, and so pervasively across the genus that the critter who pops out unable to breed with the same species as its parents, has enough other guys or gals like him in close enough proximity that he's able to continue breeding? If not, this "new species" is self-limited to one generation.
If its inherited differences are adaptive, it can evolve into a new species.
Adaptive? By what mechanism? How do you use inherited and adaptive interchangeably in the same sentence? This seems like a pretty big "If."

On the other hand, comments like this don't do the creationist movement any favors:

There is no chance that any scientific find will sway their views, they say, because the Bible's account of history is complete and unerring. They even reject as "lightweight Christianity" the newer notion of intelligent design, which holds that some higher power created Earth and the universe but does not necessarily give credit to the Christian God.

"We know who the creator is," said Pete DeRosa, brushing dust off the massive skull. "It's the God of the Bible. It's Jesus Christ. It's our Lord.

"We won't find anything contrary to that."
Folks, there's a whole lot of breathing room within creationism. Closing your mind to anything but one narrow interpretation is every bit as unscientific as the detractors suggest.

That line of thinking doesn't really bother biologist Skip Pierce. He just doesn't think faith should pass for science.
Agreed. But neither does faith have to be totally divorced from science (or vise versa). IMHO.

And you wonder why we don't want Iran to have The Bomb

HIV BOMBERS
Al-Qaeda's plot to infect troops with AIDS virus
Terror chiefs are also targeting fanatics who suffer other lethal blood diseases such as hepatitis and dengue fever in order to increase their "kill rate" from an explosion. The chilling new threat is revealed in papers distributed to British military camps in Iraq and across Europe.

Experts have found that bones and other blood-spattered fragments from a suicide bomber could penetrate the skin of a victim 50 metres away and infect them.

That whole religion of peace thing is getting harder and harder to swallow.

When they come for your children, don't say you weren't warned.

Somehow, this guy sounds vaguely familiar.....

Dawkins: Religion equals 'child abuse'
Scientist compares Moses to Hitler, calls New Testament 'sado-masochistic doctrine'
Entitled "Root of All Evil?," the series features the atheist Dawkins visiting Lourdes, France, Colorado Springs, Colo., the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and a British religious school, using each of the venues to argue religion subverts reason.
Because heaven knows you can't be intelligent, rational, and informed in still believe in God. Might as well believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. But the Big Bang? Sure, no problem.
Dawkins, using his visit to Colorado Springs' New Life Church, criticizes conservative U.S. evangelicals and warns his audience of the influence of "Christian fascism" and "an American Taliban."
No room left in that rainbow of diversity for Christians, eh?
In part two, "The Virus of Faith," Dawkins attacks the teaching of religion to children, calling it child abuse.
Damn hetronormative fundamentalist moralizers. Much better to encourage our children to explore their sexuality at an early age, and teach them that there are no "right" answers, only individual interpretations of good and bad, all equally valid.
He really is going beyond his abilities as a scientist when he starts to venture into the field of philosophy and theology.
Ya think? Scientists should stick to science, right? I thought one of the requirements to speak on a topic was to be informed about it? If he's a true scientist, then he can't be bothered with crazy voodoo mysticism, because religion is not science!
He is the guy with demonstrable problems."
Understatement Of The Year.
Madeline Bunting, a columnist for the Guardian, who reviewed the series, wrote: "There's an aggrieved frustration that [atheist humanists] have been short-changed by history – we were supposed to be all atheist rationalists by now. Secularization was supposed to be an inextricable part of progress. Even more grating, what secularization there has been is accompanied by the growth of weird irrationalities from crystals to ley lines. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, the problem when people don't believe in God is not that they believe nothing, it is that they believe anything."
There's an old country song which states, "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything."

Truer words were never spoken. But alas, that sounds too much like philosphy, and since it isn't quantifiable, reproducible, or falisifiable, then I guess it must be discarded as irrelevant.

That this guy can spout such hateful, bigoted bile and still be referred to as a "scientist" is as reprehensible as his comments.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

You can't have it both ways

Let’s look at it this way:

  • I think that Clinton knowingly gave false testimony before a Grand Jury, and interfered with the conduct an official investigation.
  • It was just about sex in the Oval Office.

  • Pres. Bush knowingly and premeditatively either falsified or deliberately misrepresented intelligence date in order to mislead Congress and the American people into supporting a war conducted in support of some secret Illuminati or Oil Baron agenda.
  • Pres. Bush took the actions he felt were warranted and justified based on an honest evaluation of intelligence data from a variety of sources, vetted through numerous levels of review, in order to do what the National Command Authority felt was genuinely in the best interests of the United States and to protect its national interests and sovereignty.

  • I think you get to heaven by blowing yourself and a busload of women and children into little, tiny pieces.
  • I think you get to heaven by putting your faith in the redeeming power of a Savior’s sacrifice on your behalf, and committing your life to helping and ministering to those in need.

  • The best way to ensure the survival of your country is to present a strong, united front, with a robust and powerful military. Support your allies and make it untenable for your enemies to attack you or your national interests.
  • The best way to ensure the survival of your country is to unilaterally disarm and show both your friends and your enemies that you mean them no harm. Open your borders and close your jails. Peace, love, and joy.

In all of the above examples, they can both be wrong, but they can’t both be right. You cannot have two diametrically opposed and fundamentally incompatible positions, and at the same time hold the view that believing one might be right or wrong is somehow intolerant, close-minded, yada yada yada.

It can be one or the other, or neither. But not both.

Your Amazingly Deep and Insightful Thought for the Day

The only way to be truly objective, is if you really don't give a shit either way.

My problem is, I give a shit.

Friday, January 06, 2006

All I can say is....

Where's Bernie Goetz when you need him?!

And on a related note, I think it's time to give the border patrol LAVs:
Shots fired at Border Patrol

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From the "I Can't Help It, I WANT One" Files

FN's Five-seveN® Pistol




Mini-Cooper

Know Your Enemy

People who see this as an effective tool for accomplishing change.
130 Iraqis, 7 U.S. soldiers killed in bombings

If ever there were a better definition of evil.
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Your Friend, Microsoft

Microsoft blocks Chinese dissident's blog
Microsoft admits it removed the weblog of a dissident Chinese journalist, citing the company's policy of abiding by local laws.
Unless it's in Europe, which doesn't actually produce products for Microsoft like China does.
Most countries, the Microsoft rep continued, "have laws and practices that require companies providing online services to make the Internet safe for local users. Occasionally, as in China, local laws and practices require consideration of unique elements."
You know, like free speech and all that other subersive crap we are bleeding out our best and brightest to provide for people in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

---------------------------

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Random Blog Effluvium

My five-year old daughter was atop the throne, doing her business, when I hear through the half-open door of the bathroom one of those drawn out, high-pitched, train-whistle kind of farts (or "toots" as we call them) emenate from her general vicinity.

There is a pause, a delighted giggle, and then she calls out, "DAD!"

"What?"

"I scream tooted!"

It took me a while before my ribs stopped hurting.

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I like the New Years Resolutions over at Six-Meat Buffet. No, really.

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Medium-sized child (8 yrs old) comes up to me the other day and lays out quite the deft little guilt trip. He's trying to finnagle a trip to the park for a little catch. So he hits me with this:

"You know what they say about playing catch with your child, don't you, Dad?"

"No, what's that?"

"It's a great way to create a stronger bond between father and son."

8 years old. Wholely fabricated heartfelt sincerity, complete with Nermal-esque eyes. Needless to say, after I quit laughing, we went and played catch. How can you argue with such ironclad logic?

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It has taken 10 years of marriage for me to realize that my wife (though she will vehemently deny it) hates Christmas. She talks a good game, puts up all the requisite ornamentation, but deep down really harbors a secret resentment towards the holiday which, for 33 years, has eclipsed her birthday which fall just 9 days earlier. It has also taken me almost exactly as long to realize that she PMS's flat smack dab in the big middle of the whole shebang. I mean, come on, how many cry at Christmas? Cry?! Not just once, but repeatedly! Over stooopid shit?!

Many things from years past all of a sudden make much more sense.

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Despite being in the Marines, I'm not normally that prone to using shitty language. I also tend to view those who delve into it to excessively as borderline neanderthal.

And yet, there are those who, through judicious selection or just plain hilarious over-indulgence, can make even a nearly unending stream of invective fit nicely into a pleasing narrative. One such is Greg Beck, apparent proprietor and bar keep over at "Death's Door." He's got an awesome wit and no-nonsense approach to the idiocy of other people. His frequent use of the word muthaf*cker (usually in the context of "stupid muthaf*cker") -- a word I would normally shy away from in polite discourse -- somehow comes across not so much as offensive, but as culturally apropo. I think he pulls it off because you soon realize, beneath all the ebonics and jive, he's smart as hell. If you don't mind a liberal sprinkling of the ol' F-bomb in a creative context, swing by. Astute, scathing, and funny as a muthaf*cker.

That is all. Please return to your homes, citizens.

The Search for the God Particle

The God Particle : If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?

The "God particle" of the title is Lederman's term for what other physicists call a Higgs boson--a hypothetical particle that might hold a key to the subatomic world of quarks and leptons.

Even allowing for Lederman's open bias toward big physics, his book is a delight to read and absorb, far more accessible than most books about contemporary physics, because it is rooted in the experimental; the "God particle" of the title is the missing link of experimental physics, just as this book is the missing link between a complex world and the general reader.
Racing to the 'God Particle'

Because it plays a key role in the standard model of physics (the theory on which physicists base their whole understanding of matter), proving the existence or absence of the Higgs boson could rock the entire foundation of physics, indicating the existence of particles and forces not yet imagined and paving the way for an entirely new set of laws.

"What would shake the foundation of physics much more than finding the Higgs would be a definitive 'ruling it out.' That would upset all of our conceptions about how the universe works.
'God particle' may have been seen

Dr Renton cites indirect evidence taken from observations of the behaviour of other particles in colliders that agrees with the figure of 115 gigaelectronvolts for the mass of the Higgs boson.

"It's controversial. The data is possibly indicative, but it needs confirmation," said Bryan Webber, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge.

But the sums do not quite add up for the Standard Model to be true if these particles are considered alone. If only 16 particles existed, they would have no mass -
contradicting what we know to be true in nature.

Their theory was that all particles acquire their mass through interactions with an all-pervading field, called the Higgs field, which is carried by the Higgs boson.

The Higgs' importance to the Standard Model has led some to dub it the "God particle".
Top quark measurements give 'God particle' new lease on life

"...which is far more accurate than previous methods and has the potential to change the dynamics of the Standard Model of particle physics.

"No matter how hard we try to break the Standard Model, it always seems to flex and still work," says Ferbel. "It's puzzling because we know in the long run the model isn't quite right, but it won't be beaten down. Every time we put stress on it, it shows it's still alive and breathing."

(all emphasis mine)

These scientists all seem to be suggesting the possibility that further research may reveal a model of the universe which will stand all conventional and accepted notions completely on their collective ear.

What happens if it does? Where do you go from there? Continue to consider only those options which are "scientific," or open youselves up to the possibility of other than strictly mechanistic causalites?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Evolutionism vs Creationism Kerfuffles Onward

There are many blogs dedicated, at least in part, to addressing issues related to the ongoing debate with respect to presenting Intelligent Design alongside evolution theory in our classrooms. Opinions can often become as heated as any discussion on abortion, slavery, or women's rights.

The root of the problem, and certainly much of the discussion on evolutionism vs. creationism, lays in the perception that science and religion must, by definition, be mutually exclusive.

I find it deeply disturbing (dare I say, offensive?) to suggest that my religion is a bunch of hooey, unsupportable by science, and therefore little more than a ephemeral philosophical construct, mere mysticism and sophistry with no basis in cold, hard reality.

On the contrary. In my view, if your faith is NOT supportable by the findings of science, history, and empirical observation, then you best keep shopping. Therein lies a fundamental misunderstanding about the root and nature of spiritual faith, at least from the Christian perspective (the only faith about which I am qualified to speak). For a religion or philosophical viewpoint to have no basis in our four dimensional reality is simply (in my mind) unsupportable. True, some sects may seem that way, thus supporting the rampant accusations of “blind faith” and hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo. My experience with Christianity, however, has not been anything like that.

I find so many ways in which scientific research both validates and deepens my understanding of my religious faith. Intelligent, learned, scientific minds have plumbed the depths of the Bible, and dared to examine it most stringently against the world of science. And rather than disproving Biblical beliefs, evidence continues to come to the fore which confirms the historical record in much of the Scriptures, actually enhancing the serious student’s understanding of previously head-scratching passages.

Credible, dedicated scientists and researchers like Chuck Missler, Mark Eastman, Lambert Dolphin, Kent Hovind, and a host of others strive daily to show that science and religion not only CAN coexist, but in many cases, MUST.

In my 39 years, I have been witness time and again as scientific principles and theories which had long been presented as definitive, nearly unassailable, were turned completely inside out by the findings resulting from some new technology or research method, some new discovery or hypothesis which came from outside of established norms…and yet withstood the demands of the scientific method.

Therefore I view with a certain wry amusement the vehement assertions, the fervor, if you will, of this or that scholar, academic, researcher or scientist who maintains that they have the Final Answer, that this or that is “The Way It Is.” For now, maybe.

I DO understand the need for an objective baseline in scientific evaluations, one uncluttered by spiritualistic whimsy or arbitrary mysticism. “Because God Said SO” is by no means a scientific approach. However, contrary to what the scornful naysayers might suggest, few (if any) mainstream adherents of intelligent design are content with such an “explanation.” Characterizing these scientists and intellectuals as such is at best dismissing them out of hand, at worst open hostility to a viewpoint that doesn’t properly adhere to the officially sanctioned secular dogma.

A commenter on this site (yes, YOU Joe) has stated that ID and Creationism (yes, I do distinguish the two) cannot be considered science because, “…it lacks consistency, violates the principle of parsimony, is not falsifiable, is not empirically testable, and is not correctable, dynamic, tentative or progressive.

The theory of intelligent design is not being presented as some finished product, a package deal which brooks no dissent. It can be and is as dynamic and malleable as any other theory; one subject to change, modification, or radical revision based on evaluation of empirical evidence and the results of experimentation.

I am not suggesting the ID be taught instead of evolution. And I am certainly not proposing that ID be taught with the same dogmatic certainty as evolution. I merely propose that it be available as an option. That it be presented as one of the prevailing schools of thought on the question of origins. Present evolution as the primary and prevailing THEORY, but don’t be so fundamentalist about it. Don’t present it as a natural law against which, when measured, all others are childish quackeries.

There are worse things in life than to suggest to children that they should approach the world around them with a mind open to the possibilities of many things…rather than conditioning them from an early age to evaluate all evidence only within the context of strict evolutionism. Is it really such a danger to suggest that their existence on this Earth is the result of more than merely a random bit of cosmic flatulence? Or to present to them the possibility that science might even support such a notion if given half a chance?

I don’t really expect to win any converts from the devout followers of evolutionism. It just seems to me to be the worst kind of intellectual gatekeeping to summarily dismiss a potential area of study merely because it doesn’t conform to the strictest demands of atheistic, naturalistic absolutism.

UPDATE:

Monday, January 02, 2006

Ouch!

A great one from Scrappleface:

"Circuit Court Upholds NY Times Right To Squelch News"
In its unanimous Mercer County ruling (PDF), the three-judge panel wrote, “The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state … Our Nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion.”

The professional journalists argued that although a reasonable person might consider the Mercer County ruling newsworthy, “We don’t have to report on events which conflict with, or contradict, our beliefs or predominant worldview.”

The spokesman said the Times would consider publishing information about the ACLU v. Mercer County case “only if it came from an unnamed source and contained highly-classified information, or if the Supreme Court overturns it on appeal.”

Yeeeouch!

More Headlyin' Newz

From CNN:
Dad helped Florida teen get Iraq visa
Was already denied MasterCard due to poor credit rating.

Mexico: Walls won't stop migrants
US: Sniper rifles still viable alternative.

Russia to restore Europe's gas
Renewed popularity of borscht at eateries partly to blame.

Israel: Palestinian terrorist target hit in Gaza
Apparently, terrorists moved in as Israelis withdrew. Whodathunkit?

From MSNBC:
3 Katrina evacuees in Texas die in shooting
Bush Blamed.

Idaho, Montana to allow hunting gray wolves
GLSEN briefly up in arms after unfortunate typo in initial draft of agreement.

Investment bank takes global warming stand
Other displays at Enviro-Fair left untouched. No charges filed.

Europe slip-sliding around in sub-zero freeze
Global warming to blame.

Pack of angry Chihuahuas attacks police officer
Officer's taunting about Taco Bell ads reportedly led to vicious reprisals.

U.S. hospital in Germany site of sacrifice, care
Controversial Druid rituals condemned as "not helpful, at ALL."

Converts take on larger roles in militant Islam
Said to be preferable to being beheaded.