Daily Archives: 2005.09.25

Stupid Football Season

The insanity that afflicts this country over sports never ceases to amaze, amuse, and annoy me. Here in Varsity Blues Country, the local radio stations play high school football every Friday evening, requiring me to flip over to my personal music collection (15000 MP3 tracks as of this morning) or just listen to the air conditioning. And now, I’m ready to watch the Simpsons and King of the Hill, when what do I see? 9 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Knowing what little I do about football, I know that the “9 minutes” in football time equates to something like all damned night in regular clock time. Hopefully they’ll still play Family Guy anyway.

Stupid steroid-laced men in tights. Grumble grumble.

Intelligent design in Dover

Dover teachers must read this to their students:

Because Darwin’s theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Yeah, evolution is a theory. Gravity is another theory. You may have heard of germ theory.

Theories in science are treated as fact, as the best available explanation of how things are. They aren’t just good guesses – that would be a hypothesis. If you don’t know the difference, you shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a science advisory board.

The central tenet of intelligent design is that any mysteries in nature that we can’t explain today are the result of manipulations by some intelligent designer. This designer doesn’t fall under any of the rules of nature or science that we understand, and so is by definition “supernatural.” The very idea of teaching a science which is based on something that is inherently unexplainable by science must make your head ache, if you can wrap your mind around the basic absurdity of the whole enterprise.

Besides the silliness involved in invoking a magical invisible being to explain anything we don’t currently know, it is dangerous. If you decide that some things are just unknowable, scientific research stops. When research stops, progress in the sciences stops. When progress stops, society stops. See Dark Ages, a period where scientists were told that all which was knowable was known – 400 years of utter societal and political stagnation resulted.

Deus ex machina is no basis for a science program.

Dueling Rallies

A pro-war rally got less than a thousand participants, days after the 100,000 anti-war rally nearby. That’s gotta hurt. There seems to be a real lack of logic on the part of many people, though. This woman, for instance:

“Our troops are over there fighting for our rights, and if she was in one of those countries she would not be able to do that,” Vigna said.

Yeah, exactly why it’s ok for Cindy Sheehan to be able to say any damned thing she wants to. She can claim to be the reincarnation of Frank Sinatra – it doesn’t matter. The fantastic thing about our country is that people are allowed to be stupid or controversial or anything they want.

I don’t agree with everything that Cindy Sheehan says, but I spent 12 years in the Army defending her right to say whatever pops into her head. Good for her. And good for Rush Limbaugh the drug user, and good for G Gordon Liddy the convicted felon. Good for Dr Laura, the therapist with no credentials in psychiatry. Good for Mike Moore, who conflates opinions and facts and hopes nobody notices. Good for Jonny Depp for bashing the country that pays his salary.

Good for all of them – they can all be as stupid as they want to, and that is what makes America great. To tell any one of those Americans that they shouldn’t say what they are saying is the treasonous thing. That attitude of restricting speech with which you don’t agree is Unamerican. If you don’t like it, stop listening!

Quote of the Day

“Today Christians stand at the head of [our country] … I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years.”

Who would say such a thing? Is it Swaggart? Is it Robertson? Bush? Maybe it’s Tom DeLay?

Give up?

Think Germany, late 30s, short Austrian man. Yeah.