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Thursday, Jun 30, 2005
Nancy Pelosi, supremacist
Wash Post says:
The House measure, which passed 231 to 189, would deny federal funds to any city or state project that used eminent domain to force people to sell their property to make way for a profit-making project such as a hotel or mall. Historically, eminent domain has been used mainly for public purposes such as highways or airports. ...

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the measure. "When you withhold funds from enforcing a decision of the Supreme Court, you are in fact nullifying a decision of the Supreme Court," she told reporters. "This is in violation of the respect of separation of powers in our Constitution."

Congress can certainly place limits on buying land. Pelosi is an extreme judicial supremacist.

Update: Pelosi's comments were even worse than I thought. She said:

Q Could you talk about this decision? What you think of it?

Ms. Pelosi. It is a decision of the Supreme Court. If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken. It's an elementary discussion now. They have made the decision.

Q Do you think it is appropriate for municipalities to be able to use eminent domain to take land for economic development?

Ms. Pelosi. The Supreme Court has decided, knowing the particulars of this case, that that was appropriate, and so I would support that.

Anyone who says, "almost as if God has spoken", is more than a judicial supremacist. She is a judicial deifier, or a judicial worshipper, or something.
WMD evidence
Bob sends this fabricated WMD evidence:
We had a situation where a very important report was made, and it relied something like 98-99 percent in at least one of the weapons categories on a single witness who proved to be a fabricator. And that particular information was known in the community for a long period of time, was passed at least up the chain but never got to secretary, then Secretary of State Colin Powell when he was about ready to make his speech to the United Nations.
I don't quite follow this. Does "information" refer to what was in the report, or the fact that a witness was a fabricator? Assuming the latter, was the witness proved to be a fabricator before or after the report? Did the author know?

I am sure it happens every day that someone in the CIA writes a report that turns out to be wrong because of a bad source; or turns out to be right but it fails to reach upper management.

In 1941 the USA decoded messages that the Japs were going to attack Pearl Harbor. Somehow the messages never reached the proper authorities. Or that is how the story goes. I am suspicious that FDR wanted the attack, but I don't think that anyone has been able to prove it.

In the case of Pres. Bush, I just see no reason to believe that he wanted war for any reasons except for the ones that he stated. I guess Bob's point is that the Bush administration might have been influenced by some faulty CIA memos. So what? I have no doubt that every administration was influenced by faulty memos.

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005
Intelligent design deserves discussion
Jeff p of San Jose writes in the local paper:
Why is it that opponents of intelligent design fail to listen to the objective arguments for the intelligent design hypothesis (Page 14E, June 18)? Empirical evidence of intelligent design, based on physics, DNA, biochemistry and astronomy, routinely meets or exceeds conventional scientific methods and criteria based on probabilities or inference by best explanation.

Intelligent design is not, as skeptics claim, an argument from ignorance or metaphysics masquerading as science.

Why the personal attacks on the motives of proponents instead of responding to the merits and facts of the case? Is it possible that naturalists and Darwinists cannot offer a better empirical defense against the evidence for intelligent design discovered in the last 25 years?

Yes, the evolutionist-atheist is to attack motives, not debate the merits.

Bob responds with a fallacious personal attack on Popoff:

Opponents of intelligent design fail to listen to the objective arguments for the intelligent design (ID) hypothesis because: the arguments are fallacious, ID can not, even in principle, explain the complexity of life on earth and evolution does, ID does not explain observations as well as evolution, and ID depends on a supernatural explanation of life. Of course ID is "an argument from ignorance or metaphysics masquerading as science." Jeff Popoff is an ignorant twit. Like all creationists, he refuses to read explanations of the scientific literature which would demolish his fantasies. The personal attacks are accurate and merited.
Popoff does not say that he is a creationist.

Update: Popoff responds here.

Kerry discovers Iraq
John Kerry has finally decided to tell us what he would do in Iraq. Somebody should tell him the USA election was 7 months ago.

Monday, Jun 27, 2005
Kansas amendment failed
John sends this Kansas City article about local attempt to control Kansas judicial supremacists.

Other KC news:

The poll found:

When asked which direction the board should take, 31 percent said it should require that theories other than evolution be offered; 24 percent said criticism of evolution should be allowed; 25 percent said only evolution should be taught; and 20 percent were not sure.

When asked which best described their view on the origin of life, 39 percent said creationism; 26 percent said evolution; 16 percent said intelligent design; and 19 percent said other.

This evolutionist is happy about today's ruling against the 10 Commandments, because it endorses the Lemon Test and cites an anti-creationist opinion. The idea is that it provides a constitutional basis for censoring various scientific opinions just because the source might have had a religious purpose.

Evolutionists just hate addressing the merits of any issue. All they want to do is to go on personal attacks on the religions and motivations of the people they don't like. That's why they like the Lemon Test.

Bob writes:

Stop referring to creationist drivel as scientific opinions. Its like referring to astrology as scientific opinions.
I am not just talking about creationist opinions. The evolutionists want to be able censor any scientific opinions based on bigoted religious attacks. In particular, they want to use the courts to prevent the changes that are now taking place in Kansas. The Kansas changes involve making the science more accurate, and do not involve teaching creationism.

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005
Eminent domain ruling was supremacist
Liza cites George Will to say that the recent US Supreme Court eminent domain decision is an example of judicial restraint, and not supremacist.
Liberalism triumphed Thursday. Government became radically unlimited in seizing the very kinds of private property that should guarantee individuals a sphere of autonomy against government.

Conservatives should be reminded to be careful what they wish for. Their often-reflexive rhetoric praises ''judicial restraint'' and deference to -- it sometimes seems -- almost unleashable powers of the elected branches of governments. However, in the debate about the proper role of the judiciary in American democracy, conservatives who dogmatically preach a populist creed of deference to majoritarianism will thereby abandon, or at least radically restrict, the judiciary's indispensable role in limiting government.

I do not agree with Will that this court decision is the sort of judicial restrain that conservatives have been asking for. those court-watchers. If the Supreme Court merely deferred to the judgment of New London on public use, I might agree, but that is not what it did.

The Supreme Court:

  • rewrote the Const to change "public use" to "public purpose".
  • redefined "public purpose" to include private developments, and just about anything that comes under a redevelopment plan.
  • adopted a new eminent domain policy to apply to all future eminent domain cases.
  • came to these conclusions for its own policy reasons.

    The upshot is that the Supreme Court essentially legislated what eminent domain can and cannot do, and did it in a way that is not grounded in the text of the Constitution or any statute. It just decided policy. That is not supposed to be the role of the SC, and it is only because of judicial supremacists that they can get away with it.

    The recent marijuana and wine decisions have similar problems. It appeared that the SC liberals made a policy decision about how they want things to be, and then made up reasons to justify it.

    The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
    Jared Diamond says:
    To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn’t the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren’t specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered.
    This is leftist-evolutionist-Freudian-Kuhnian-Gouldian-atheist nuttiness. If evolutionists are going to teach this nonsense in schools, then we need laws to force the teaching of alternate points of view.

    Bob writes:

    The Kansas school board is barking up the wrong tree. If they banned teaching Marx, Freud, Kuhn, Gould, and Diamond or required them to be taught in a critical thinking course where they were debunked, no one except the hard left would care.
    The public schools do not ban leftist kooks. They only ban Christians and right-wingers who dare to challenge the leftist kooks.

    Saturday, Jun 25, 2005
    Reasons for war
    Bob asks what sort of memo would convince me that Pres. Bush should be impeached.

    I do believe that a US president should be impeached if he lies to the people about a major reason for going to war. The main reason that Pres. Bush gave for going to war was that Iraq was not complying with UN resolutions and WMD inspections. Bush had divided the world into countries that are with us or against us in the war on terror, and Iraq's defiance and suspicious behavior put it among the countries that were against us.

    By all accounts, both before the Iraq invasion and afterwards, Bush did not know whether Iraq had WMD or not. He obviously had no smoking gun, or he would have produced it. It is hard to see how any memo could prove anything interesting about WMD, as there doesn't seem to be any way Bush could have known whether Iraq had WMD or not. He certainly did know that Iraq wasn't cooperating with us in the war against terrorism, and Congress was satisfied with that.

    The people who say that Bush lied are mistaken. It is plainly obvious that Bush told the truth in his reasons for war. In fact, the public had more complete and factual information leading up to the war than any other American war in recent history, to my knowledge, except maybe the Kuwait war. American presidents lied to us to get us into WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and other wars.

    Bob writes:

    The Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Advisor, and a Deputy Secretary of Defense all made statements about WMD which were false and were ordered by the Bush administration. Bush is as responsible for these statements as he would be if he made them himself. The fact that he ordered others make the statements while he remained circumspect is in itself suspicious. A smoking gun memo showing that the administration concocted evidence of WMD which it did not believe would be enough for me.
    Iraq admitted in 1998 that it had WMD. It was supposed to prove to UN weapons inspectors that it destroyed the WMD, but it refused. The WMD have still not been found, and we don't know what happened. Maybe the WMD was destroyed, maybe Iraq was bluffing, maybe Iraq exported the WMD to Syria, and maybe the WMD is hidden really well.

    Suppose a known violent criminal, who is on parole for a felony conviction, takes a child hostage and claims to have a gun. It appears that he has a gun, and police sharpshooters kill the criminal, saving the child. A subsequent investigation finds no gun on the criminal. How much blame do you put on the police chief for not seeing thru the bluff, and ordering the kill?

    I say none. I would also order the kill. Iraq is analogous.

    Somewhere there might be a smoking gun memo where some CIA staffer says that he suspects that Iraq was bluffing about WMD, and Pres. Bush ignores him. So what? Better intelligence on the existence of Iraq WMD would have had some bearing on the urgency of going to war, but not on the basic decision of whether or not to invade.

    Friday, Jun 24, 2005
    Software piracy seen as normal
    New UK study:
    Two UK university researchers found that people did not see downloading copyrighted material as theft. ...

    "Consumers have an awareness of the scale of the problem and cost, but don't take onboard industry concerns or government messages," said Dr Bryce, a senior lecturer in psychology.

    The researchers found that people did not equate downloading a game with the idea of shoplifting the disc from a shop.

    "People are more accepting of it, even if they didn't engage it in themselves," said Dr Bryce. "They don't see it as a great problem on a social or economic level.

    "They just don't see it as theft. They just see it as inevitable, particularly as new technologies become available." ...

    "The government has spent millions of pounds to change public awareness of drink-driving and smoking.

    "As a society, we need to go through a similar process for creativity and intellectual property."

    It will be a tough sell, as long as the copyright lobby doesn't believe in fair use.

    Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005
    Court odds
    Andy writes:
    My odds for next week, though Bush may hold his pick until August:
    Luttig 4:1
    Roberts 6:1
    McConnell 6:1
    Edith Jones 6:1
    Gonzales 8:1
    Alito 10:1
    Garza 20:1
    Wilkinson 20:1
    Rehnquist does not retire 20:1
    a Senator 30:1

    McConnell's and Gonzales' chances would be higher had we not spoken out. Roberts is that high only because Rehnquist is probably pushing him hard. Luttig appears to be the favorite now. Edith Jones would be the best.

    USA blamed for boring science films
    Here is how some of the foreign press is reporting the American evolution controversy.
    Pressure from ultraconservative religious groups has prompted some theaters equipped with the high quality panoramic IMAX screens to cancel showings of several movies which refer to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. ...

    The films crimes? Mentioning the idea that the Universe is the product of a "Big Bang" explosion or that the origin of life is in the oceans.

    But the article fails to mention any "ultraconservative religious groups", and it misunderstands Darwinism. Darwin's theory of evolution was about natural selection, not the Big Bang or the origin of life.
    Evolutionists are scrambling to try to explain the simple jellyfish:
    Recent research undermines that theory. The oldest fossils that can be confidently called cnidarians are just 540 million years old. And Dr. Peterson and his colleagues have made new estimates of the age of cnidarians by studying their DNA.

    The DNA mutates at a roughly regular rate over millions of years, a so-called molecular clock. Dr. Peterson estimates that the common ancestor of living cnidarians lived 543 million years ago. In other words, cnidarians did not appear tens of millions of years before bilaterians.

    Funny how evolutionists can apply the most farfetched extrapolations, and still they always come back to the view that life is a lot more complicated than they thought, and that all the big breakthroughs were created during the Cambrian Explosion.
    Refusing to debate
    The NY Times describes scientists who refuse to debate evolution.

    The AAAS chief executive says, "Evolution is not the only issue at stake. The very definition of science is at stake." But he doesn't want any scientists to debate these issues in Kansas.

    Wells acting on Darwinian impulses
    A WSJ op-ed describes H G Wells, and tells us to look out for Welles-inanity Wellsianity:
    As it happened, Wells treated the women in his life shabbily. He cheated on his wives and impregnated his mistresses.

    Maybe he was just acting on Darwinian impulses. Wells was in fact a strident devotee of the evolutionary creed, which he learned from the biologist T.H. Huxley at the Normal School. "The War of the Worlds" is best interpreted as an aggressive statement of what C.S. Lewis called "Wellsianity"--the promotion of materialistic science as true faith. The moral of the story may be found in the novel's first sentence, which describes the sobering reality of "intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as our own." Humans aren't noble creatures of God, but animal feed for hungry Martians. If we are to go on living, it isn't for any purpose greater than "the sake of the breed" (as one character says in a late chapter).

    ... We should be grateful that he left his imprint on the science-fiction genre, and almost nowhere else.

    He also directly inspired the invention of the atom bomb. I'd say that he left a very big imprint. Also, Wellsanity now dominates our educational system.

    Monday, Jun 20, 2005
    Picture of dark matter
    I found this picture caption in an evolution book:
    Dark matter in the universe (top) and genome (bottom). The top is an image of the galaxy cluster CL0024+1654, the dark matter appears as hazy cloud in the center. The bottom image is of a microarray of the fruit fly genome the bright spots are DNA that encodes genes, the darks spots are DNA that is not expressed.


    There are no pictures of dark matter. No one knows what it is or what it looks like. They call it "dark" because it doesn't show in pictures.

    This is like Piltdown Man. The evolution books always have pictures of missing links, even though no one knows what those ape-men really looked like.

    The book is Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom by Sean B. Carroll.

    Congress Assaults the Courts, Again
    John sends several judicial supremacist editorials, including this NY Times nonsense:
    The House of Representatives took a little- noticed but dangerous swipe at the power of the courts this week. It passed an amendment to a budget bill that would bar money from being spent to enforce a federal court ruling regarding the Ten Commandments. The vote threatens the judiciary's long-acknowledged position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. ...

    Since the Supreme Court decided Marbury v. Madison in 1803, it has been clearly established that the courts have the ultimate power to interpret the Constitution.

    No, not exactly. Congress also interprets the Constitution, and Congress has the power to spend money.
    Profs and academic freedom
    The AAUP says:
    The Ninety-first Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors deplores efforts in local communities and by some state legislators to require teachers in public schools to treat evolution as merely a hypothesis or speculation, untested and unsubstantiated by the methods of science, and to require them to make students aware of an "intelligent-design hypothesis" to account for the origins of life. These initiatives not only violate the academic freedom of public school teachers, but can deny students an understanding of the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding evolution.
    No, there is no scientific consensus about the origins of life. Claiming "academic freedom" is a little bizarre. It is the evolutionists who want to stop the teachers from describing alternative points of view.

    Saturday, Jun 18, 2005
    Evolutionist disproved again
    The famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould is mainly known for writing a book denying the existence of intelligence. Besides various fallacious arguments, he spent much of the book ridiculing 19th century attempts to correlate intelligence with brain volume. (Here is the NY Times review, and a critical review. It ranked 24th on this list of the best nonfiction books of the 20th century.)

    Now comes this announcement:

    RICHMOND, Va. (June 17, 2005) – People with bigger brains are smarter than their smaller-brained counterparts, according to a study conducted by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher published in the journal “Intelligence.”

    The study, published on line June 16, could settle a long-standing scientific debate about the relationship between brain size and intelligence. Ever since German anatomist and physiologist Frederick Tiedmann wrote in 1836 that there exists “an indisputable connection between the size of the brain and the mental energy displayed by the individual man,” scientists have been searching for biological evidence to prove his claim.

    “For all age and sex groups, it is now very clear that brain volume and intelligence are related,” said lead researcher Michael A. McDaniel, Ph.D., an industrial and organizational psychologist who specializes in the study of intelligence and other predictors of job performance.

    The study is the most comprehensive of its kind, drawing conclusions from 26 previous – mostly recent – international studies involving brain volume and intelligence. It was only five years ago, with the increased use of MRI-based brain assessments, that more data relating to brain volume and intelligence became available.

    Gould misrepresented the data in order to promote his political agenda. And yet his book is still widely praised, and Gould was considered a great hero to the evolutionist cause. (He died a couple of years ago.)

    This should be proof that the field of evolution is overrun with unscientific phonies.

    Here is an LA Times article on sex differences between brains, another politically incorrect subject.

    Bob writes:

    Academia is overrun with unscientific phonies. Margaret Mead is still taught despite the demonstration that her field work was fiction and the embarrassing fact that she was responsible for getting the field of parapsychology into the AAAS. Unlike Mead, Gould actually did scientific work which inspired a generation of young scientists to do science which is important and has been tested and confirmed. A lot of his scientific work was misguided. Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life doing misguided work but that takes nothing away from his achievements. Lots of scientists who do important work have goofy political ideas. There are well documented errors in the Mismeasure of Man and those errors should not be taught but that has nothing to do with Gould's useful work.
    It seems unlikely to me that Gould did any good scientific work.
    Kansas schoool funding
    News from Kansas:
    In January, the Supreme Court said legislators had failed to do their duty under the Kansas Constitution to provide a suitable education for all children. But the justices were not specific about a fix.

    GOP leaders pushed through a plan to increase state school aid by $142 million, or about 5 percent, while avoiding the tax increases that Sebelius and other Democrats saw as necessary.

    The high court said that the plan was inadequate and that the increase for the next school year must be $285 million, or 10 percent. The court also said it could order much larger spending increases in the future. ...

    The Kansas court has not said what it would do if lawmakers defied the order.

    The leftist-atheist-evolutionist-supremacists want the courts to run the Kansas schools.

    Friday, Jun 17, 2005
    Evolutionists say God had no part
    Michael Shermer edits Atheist Skeptic magazine, but he doesn't like anyone being skeptical about evolution. The subject drives him to make Nazi comparisons.

    See Volokh for proof that Shermer wants to impose his atheistic beliefs on everyone.

    Bob writes:

    Shermer conflates science and religion. The claim that "the standard scientific theory" is that “Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.” is wrong. The standard scientific theory is that living things are a result of evolution by natural selection. This means that living things have adapted to live in the world. The issues of whether God is behind natural selection or the creation of the world are religious. Most Americans believe that God is behind natural selection and are not troubled by geology, evolution, the big bang, or any other scientific theory. Shermer is welcome to his religious views and pollsters will persist in asking biased questions in their polls.
    Yes, but the evolutionists are not free to teach their brand of atheism in the Kansas public schools.
    Legalizing polygamy
    New Jersey intermediate appellate court holds
    Which leads me to polygamy. My colleagues view the nature of the right to marry asserted by plaintiffs as equally applicable to polygamy. The spectre of polygamy was raised by Justice Scalia in his Lawrence dissent in which he expanded a slippery slope analysis into a loop-de-loop by arguing that decriminalizing acts of homosexual intimacy would lead to the downfall of moral legislation of society by implicitly authorizing same-sex marriage and polygamy as well as "adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity."

    It is just as unnecessary for us to consider here the question of the constitutional rights of polygamists to marry persons of their choosing as it would be to join Justice Scalia's wild ride. Plaintiffs do not question the binary aspect of marriage; they embrace it. Moreover, despite the number of amicus curiae briefs filed in this appeal and the myriad of views presented, no polygamists have applied. One issue of fundamental constitutional rights is enough for now. ...

    Tradition in itself is not a compelling state interest. If it were, many societal institutions as well as individual rights would be compromised. After all, slavery was a traditional institution for over 200 years.

    It sounds like he wants the courts to legalize polygamy in a way analogous to the way the courts ended slavery. But of course the courts never ended slavery. The pre-Civil-War judicial supremacists on the court did everything they could to justify and promote slavery. Slavery was ended in the USA as a result of war and a public and political consensus that it is wrong.

    Meanwhile, there are bizarre news stories about polygamist Warren Jeffs.

    Bob writes:

    Polygamy is the logical conclusion of radical feminism. Radical feminists believe the following. The most significant and rewarding relationships women have are with other women. Men are only necessary for procreation. To have a full life women must raise a family, have a career, have a well kept home, have a rich intellectual and social life. Obviously these conflicting goals can only be met by having multiple women in the home with one man to help with the procreation.

    Thursday, Jun 16, 2005
    Microsoft wants to depress wages
    Johns sends these quotes:
    “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said yesterday the software giant is having enormous difficulty filling computer jobs in the United States as a result of tight visa restrictions on foreign workers and a declining interest among U.S. students in computer science.” –The Washington Post, April 28, 2005

    “We’re hiring as many people from college campuses as we can, but there are just not enough of them available.” –Richard F. Rashid, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Research, April 28, 2005

    “Lower the pay of U.S. professionals to $50,000 and it won’t make sense for employers to put up with the hassle of doing business in developing countries.” –Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, December, 2003

    Yes, that's why big businesses want to import cheap labor.

    Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005
    Designed Dispute
    Kansas news:
    Eighty years after the infamous Scopes "Monkey Trial," Kansas has reopened a national debate over school science standards. Hearings were convened on May 5 by the state board of education to determine whether current criticisms of evolutionary theory may be taught in public schools.

    Proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) had the stage to themselves.

    A pro-evolution group, Kansas Citizens for Science, boycotted the meetings, saying they were a thinly disguised assault on atheism.

    No, this did not come from an Atheist newspaper. Those papers in Alaska are saying things like this:
    As speakers at last week's Alaska Board of Education hearing on state science standards pointed out, the theory of evolution is as sound scientifically as the theory of gravity. Both raise unanswered questions, but they are generally accepted in the world of science, acted upon in real life and, most of all, supported by the preponderance of evidence.
    and this:
    Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a local geophysicist, said some critics characterize evolution as "only a theory," failing to understand that in science, "that's an exalted title" achieved only after extensive verification.
    No, the theory gravity makes quantitative predictions that experiments can verify. Not all theories have an exalted status.

    Bob writes:

    I am prepared to bet that you will find no statement by the Kansas Citizens for Science saying that the Kansas school board hearings are "a thinly disguised assault on atheism."
    That's right. Kansas Citizens for Science does not even admit that it is an Atheist front. Instead it complains that "the minority report contains ID creationist religious philosophy, despite proponents failure to identify it as such", which is just another way of saying that the report is a thinly disguised assault on Atheism.

    Evolutionists are quick to attack the supposed religious beliefs of their opponents. The debate in Kansas has consisted mostly of such attacks, as the evolutionists refuse to debate the merits of the issues. The MSM has sided with the evolutionists and repeated these dubious attacks. If we are going to consider religious motives, then let's look at the motives on both sides.

    Evolutionists like those at Kansas Citizens for Science refuse to debate any scientific issues on the merits. Their main strategy is to try to expose antagonism towards materialist atheism on the part of their opponents. If you don't believe, see this speech.

    Bob writes:

    There is no scientific debate on any of the creationist criticisms of evolution because the creationist criticisms of evolution are not scientific. That is because creationism is not science, it is religion. There is plenty of scientific debate about various aspects of evolution which are not understood. The debates which the creationists have the wits to understand are used as evidence that there are holes in evolution. If the fact that a theory has aspects which are not understood is a criterion for having holes, then all of our theories have holes. A majority of religious Americans accept the scientific theory of evolution as not having a negative impact on their faith. A small minority of unreasonable fanatics who are willing to write checks and spend their lives organizing against science are having an inordinate impact.
    Kansas school funding
    The Kansas evolutionists not only want to censor alternative points of view, they want extra funding ordered by the court:
    The Supreme Court today unanimously ordered school funding for the coming school year to be increased no later than July 1 from approximately $142 million appropriated by the 2005 Legislature to $285 million above the past school year's level of funding.

    The figure is one-third of the $853 million amount recommended by a consulting firm retained by the 2001 Legislature to determine the cost of educating students in Kansas.

    Next, the leftist-evolutionist-supremacists will be asking the court to order some of that money to be spent on Darwinist propaganda.

    Monday, Jun 13, 2005
    Attack on school vouchers
    The Milwaukee paper has a big expose and attack on the local school voucher program. The left NPR Morning Edition had some anti-voucher excerpts.

    Many of the complaints have no merit. The article complains that one of the voucher schools uses a building that is "partly modernized but still subpar by today's standards". Yes, and this paper's reporting is subpar by today's standards.

    The article complains that the voucher law makes it easy for new schools to start, and for inferior schools to close. Four voucher schools have closed, leaving 115. But that is part of the point of encourage private experimentation in education. The law should allow new ideas to be tried, and to allow for some of those ideas to fail. One of the big problems with the public schools is that bad ideas persist, without any accountability to the parents and kids.

    Another complaint is that a voucher school used a teacher with an expired license to teach in the public schools. Private schools all over the country hire teachers according to their own standards, and do not require teachers to have licenses to teach in the public schools. The private schools usually want to offer something different from the public schools. There is no reason for a voucher school teacher to have a public school teaching license.

    Andy on McConnell
    Andy writes:
    In my column posted on Worldnet Daily, I complained about frontrunner Supreme Court nominee McConnell's sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate that Roe v. Wade is “as thoroughly settled as any issue in current constitutional law.�

    I have now found the context of that quote, and it is even worse! Here's McConnell's statement:

    At the time Roe v. Wade came down, it was striking the statutes of at least 45, if not all 50 of the States of the Union. Today it is much more reflective of the consensus of the American people on the subject.

    I believe that the doctrinal analysis offered in Planned Parenthood v.Casey has connected the right much more persuasively to traditional legal materials, and then the weight of stare decisis simply indicates that this is an issue that is settled. It is as thoroughly settled as any issue in current constitutional law.

    My guess is that the neoconservatives and RINOs are pushing McConnell because they would prefer that the Supreme Court not overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Note that no one else here (other than me) expressed support for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. We need a word to describe those who criticize Roe but don't want judicial reversal of it. Too many of them masquerade as being pro-life. Any pledge on this topic should ask that question directly.

    Roe v Wade is settled law, in the sense that there are unambiguous judicial precedents on abortion. But I am a little disturbed that McConnell thinks that it is "reflective of the consensus of the American people". Roe v Wade is really quite extreme. In public opinion polls on the subject of abortion, only about 5% of Americans express views as extremely pro-abortion as what the US Supreme Court has said.

    Sunday, Jun 12, 2005
    Harmful books
    The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper says:
    Human Events, a conservative weekly, recently convened a panel of 15 conservative scholars to formulate a list of the most dangerous books of the past two centuries. Some of the books they came up with were fairly predictable. ...

    Conservatives also hated "Coming of Age in Samoa," Margaret Mead's groundbreaking work in anthropology; "The Population Bomb," Paul Ehrlich's book on runaway population growth, and "On Liberty," John Stuart Mill's 19th century philosophical treatise.

    Actually, the books were rated for being "harmful", not dangerous. Mead's book was harmful because it misled a whole generation about human nature, and caused all sorts of bad behavior.

    A lot of bloggers, and now columnists in the MSM, have misunderstood and complained about this list. It appears that they really don't understand how a book can be harmful, and do not understand conservative objections to these books.

    I am expecting some liberal magazines to come out with lists of objectionable right-wing books.

    CBS promotes Flat Earth Myth
    Bob Schieffer said this, on CBS News Face The Nation, today, June 12, 2005.
    History has been shaped by three groups of people: those who wondered what was on the other side of the mountain, those who had no interest in what was there, and those who feared what was there. … The third group can’t claim much. They were the ones who urged Columbus to stay home, the ones who refused to look into Galileo's telescope, claiming they already knew what was there. … Which is why I am surprised, as Congress faces the question of stem cell research at the turn that our national dialogue on science has taken. [Full transcript in pdf file here.]
    He is trying to say that anyone who does not go along with the agenda of the leftist-atheist-evolutionist-scientist elite must be a Flat Earther.

    In fact, no one ever refused to look into Galileo's telescope, and the only people who told Columbus to stay home were scientists who correctly argued that he did not have nearly enough supplies to sail to India.

    Evolutionists always use phony Flat Earth arguments like this to bully people into accepting their agenda.

    Worst-case scenarios
    I just heard Robert Kaplan start a TV interview by saying:
    The US military has to think in worst-case scenarios. Because we did not worst-case the occupation of Iraq, we got the worst possible result.
    No, we didn't get the worst possible result. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has gone much more smoothly and successfully than most people expected. The only surprise to our military leaders was how well the war has been.

    Thursday, Jun 09, 2005
    Tulsa zoo evolution
    From an evolutionist blog:
    The Tulsa Zoo has been ordered by its board to install an exhibit on creationism. The zoo has an exhibit on evolution, but what really got folks riled was a Hindu statue of an elephant (Ganesha), and a piece of art that says "the earth is our mother." The pro-creationism folks say the door was opened by the Zoo when they put the info and icons on other religions in the Zoo.
    An evolutionist named Ron writes:
    Zoos are publically funded amusement parks. We cram as much science as we can into them as a side project/benefit. Science benefits from the public service. A lot of the science is required to maintain the zoos without reliance on raping the wilderness for new attractions.

    Even though I live in Arkansas my family is a member of the Tulsa Zoo. It is a good, well run zoo. They put up a lot of things that aren't science. Beats me why people would object to a biblical display. I'm sure that more than one zoo has sold cute tee shirts with biblical themes on them like the ubiquitous ark cartoon pictures. It is part of our culture whether some people like it or not.

    Most atheist-evolutionists tolerate pagan gods, but not Christianity.
    Michael McConnell
    Andy attacks Judge Michael McConnell. He is rumored to be a Supreme Court choice.
    Evolutionist censorship
    A Wash Post editorial says:
    The Museum of Natural History is known, among other things, for its collection of fossils and its displays describing Darwin's theory of evolution. The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, by contrast, is known for its efforts to undermine the teaching of Darwinism in schools and to promote the theory of "intelligent design" -- life is so complicated it must have been designed by an intelligent creator.

    ... While "The Privileged Planet" is an extremely sophisticated religious film, it is a religious film nevertheless. It uses scientific information -- the apparently "perfect" position of Earth in its orbit and in its galaxy, the uniqueness of its atmosphere -- to answer, affirmatively, the philosophical question of whether life on Earth was part of a grand design, and not just the result of chance and chemistry. Neither God nor evolution is mentioned. Nevertheless, the film is consistent with the Discovery Institute's general aim, which is to drive a wedge into the scientific consensus about the origins of life and the universe ...

    The Wash. Post and the atheist-evolutionist lobby wants to censor a science film because it challenges a scientific consensus and because the makers may have been partially motivated by religious considerations.

    In fact, there is no scientific consensus about the origins of life. There is an atheist-evolutionist consensus that God could not have been involved, but there are also a great many religious scientists who believe that God might have been involved. There is no scientific theory for the origins of life that has much of a following at all. I think that more scientists believe in a God theory than any other particular theory.

    It is offensive to require an atheism litmus test to give a scientific opinion. If this film had been made by an atheist disciple of John Wheeler and his Participatory Anthropic Principle, then no one would object.

    Bob writes:

    Calling The Privileged Planet, a scientific film is like calling Triumph of the Will political reporting. The religion of scientists, whether that religion is atheism, Christianity, or a homegrown faith like that of Ed Fredkin have nothing to do with their science. That is why consensus science is not controversial among scientists of different faiths and nationalities. There is no consensus about religion and there can not be because there is no rational test for the correctness of religious beliefs. That is why we teach science and do not teach religion in our schools.
    There is no scientific consensus on the Antropic Principle. It is perfectly possible, and even desirable, to have scientific films on subjects where there is no consensus.

    Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005
    Citigroup loses customer data
    I think that it is pretty lame for Citigroup to blame UPS for its lost data. It could blame UPS for the loss of the tapes, but not the data. Citigroup was completely irresponsible for not encrypting the data.
    Jackson jury instructions
    John sends this LA Times story:
    The panel was given the highly unusual task of deciding two sets of molestation allegations by very different legal standards. First, they must determine if it is more likely than not that Jackson molested children in the early 1990s. Then they must determine by a much more stringent standard — beyond a reasonable doubt — whether he molested a 13-year-old cancer patient in 2003.

    The panel also is supposed to view a videotape of the 13-year-old reporting the alleged abuse to detectives, not to determine if his story is true, but to decide whether he had been coached to deliver a false accusation.

    The mental gymnastics the court is demanding from jurors strikes some observers as difficult, if not impossible.

    I think that the evidence should have been restricted to the actual charges. In any other type of case, previous criminal convictions would be irrelevant. And Michael Jackson has never been convicted of anything.

    Monday, Jun 06, 2005
    SF bigots
    I think that the San Francisco area has the most narrow-minded and intolerant people around. This 49ers football training video has generated dozens of critical newspaper columns, and the maker has been fired.

    Watch the film. It is no big deal. It is actually appropriate for its intended audience.

    Bob argues that the (left-wing) people who object to the 49ers video are just the same as the (right-wing) people who objected to the Janet Jackson exposure during the Super Bowl.

    I don't see the similarity. The 49ers video was privately made and shown. It was appropriate and legal for its audience, and none of its legitimate viewers complained. The only complaints came from busybodies who saw a stolen copy.

    The indecent Janet Jackson incident was publicly shown to millions of people who were expecting a G-rated event. It violated FCC regulations and offended millions.

    The right-wingers stand for the right of individuals to control what they see. The left-wingers are against private choice, and want to force their views on everybody.

    US innovation v France
    The Wash. Post says:
    ... in France, where the unemployment rate has been stuck between 9 and 10 percent for a quarter of a century and where not a single enterprise founded here in the past 40 years has managed to break into the ranks of the 25 biggest French companies. By comparison, 19 of today's 25 largest U.S. companies didn't exist four decades ago.

    Sunday, Jun 05, 2005
    Journalism credibility crisis
    The Denver Post complains about a journalism credibility crisis, and says:
    Last week's release of the identify of Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's "Deep Throat" source in the Watergate story had many IRE journalists hoping the public would be convinced of the good journalism can do - sometimes only with the help of anonymous sources, they said.

    "I think it's good to be reminded, in a time when there's vast criticism of anonymous sources, that sometimes it's worth it," said Shawn McIntosh, a deputy managing editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    The Deep Throat story only convinces me that mainstream newspapers like the Wash. Post are overrun with dishonest creeps who will promote criminal acts to further their own personal agendas. I do not believe that any good came out of what Mark Felt and Bob Woodward did.
    Fat people live longer
    The debate over optimal weight continues:
    Gerberding called a news conference Thursday to discuss the study, which CDC scientists published in April. It concluded obesity causes only about 25,814 deaths a year in the United States -- far fewer than the 365,000 deaths estimated months earlier.

    Even more surprisingly, it concluded people who were overweight but not obese were less likely to die than those who are skinny or at "ideal" weight.

    Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society disagree with both conclusions. They say the study is flawed, mostly because it included people with health problems ranging from cancer to heart disease, who tend to weigh less because of those problems and therefore make pudgy people look healthy by comparison.

    Doing this is "looking at people who are thin because they're sick, not who got sick because they're thin," said Dr. Michael Thun, the cancer society's chief epidemiologist.

    "If you want to define optimal weight for healthy people, you need to start with healthy people," agreed Dr. Meir Stampfer, chief of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

    You cannot start with healthy people, because part of the object is to determine what weight is healthy. There are a lot of fat people with health problems as well. Some of those health problems are related to weight, and some are not. If you eliminate all the people with health problems, then you'll be left with people dying of accidents.

    Saturday, Jun 04, 2005
    Ben Bradlee, hypocrite and criminal
    The Wash. Post says:
    Fairfield, Conn.: What is your reaction to the strong criticisms leveled at Mark Felt by Pat Buchanan and Charles Colson?

    Ben Bradlee: I am really baffled by Colson and Gordon Liddy lecturing the world about public morality. Both of them went to jail after being convicted of misbehavior surrounding the Watergate cover-up. They were threatening and they paid a price for it. And as far as I'm concerned they have no standing in the morality debate.

    Chuck Colson went to prison for leaking one FBI report. Felt, Bradlee, and the Wash. Post participated in a criminal conspiracy to publish secret info from FBI files for the purpose of embarrassing the President (and making money). Felt was even convicted (and pardoned) of some Watergate-like crimes.

    Friday, Jun 03, 2005
    Evolutionists cannot get a date
    NBC News reports:
    Science is becoming a political “hot potato” for some students — transforming what should be a dynamic, fascinating topic into a total turn-off. And some students are choosing silence over losing a prom date.

    “Students face consequences if they choose to accept evolution in a family or a church or a community that patently rejects evolution ... It might affect whether you get a date to the prom, or whether you get that summer job or not,” McCoy said. “You may even anger close family members. Conversations about evolution can make family reunions very tense.”

    I think that the evolutionists are really losing their marbles.
    Scalia and Thomas
    John sends this PFAW attack on Justices Scalia and Thomas. Here is how it starts:
    In fact, some of their writings reveal that Justices Scalia and Thomas are far more loyal to right-wing ideology than to any judicial philosophy. For example, both Justices are said to be strict constructionists who do not look beyond the plain meaning of the words in the laws they interpret. The truth is that they often do not adhere to this philosophy. It would be fair to say that, for Scalia and Thomas, "strict constructionism" often has much more to do with construction than with strictness. For instance, in a 1992 case in which a parent challenged the constitutionality of a public school's policy imposing public prayer on all graduation attendees, Justices Scalia and Thomas (joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice White) dissented from the majority, ignoring much evidence on the clear meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment - which forbids government endorsement of religion. (Lee v. Weisman)12 The text is quite clear on its face: "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion."
    Yes, the text is clear. To show a violation of the clear text, PFAW would just have to show us the law that Congress made, and the religion that was established. The prayer was nonsectarian, with clauses like: "O God, we are grateful to You for having endowed us with the capacity for learning which we have celebrated on this joyous commencement."

    Thursday, Jun 02, 2005
    Evolution debate
    Here is an NPR debate on evolution.
    Presidential bugging
    Bob sends this:
    With a little help from the CIA, which bugged the Goldwater campaign (E. Howard Hunt, later convicted for taking part in Watergate, told a congressional committee that President Johnson himself ordered this activity), and the FBI, which bugged Goldwater's campaign plane (Robert Mardian discovered this several years later in the Internal Security Division in the Nixon Administration. When he asked J. Edgar Hoover, Hoover blankly replied, "You do what the President of the United States tells you to do."), LBJ was coasting to victory.
    News to me. By comparison, Richard Nixon's worst Watergate crime was that he once authorized one member of his administration to give some false info about the Watergate break-in to another member of his administration. He was loyal to his employees and was trying to protect them. He didn't know that John Dean and Mark Felt were betraying him.