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Friday, Nov 30, 2007
Best science books
John Horgan posted his list of the 70 best science books since 1900.

It is remarkable how few of them are real science books. Many of them are essays on various aspects of consciousness. Some promote bogus ideas, and some debunk those ideas. But there really isn't very much scientific knowledge about consciousness. Aren't there any real science books, that explain real science?

No weaknesses at the high school level
The Bad Astronomer praises this statement:
There are no scientific weaknesses with biological evolution as the natural process is understood by scientists. At the level at which it is taught in high school, evolutionary biology has no weaknesses, gaps, or problems.
Only an evolutionist would say something so idiotic. It suggests that evolutionary biology has problems that need to be concealed from impressionable high school students so that they can be taught that the history of life on Earth has been an entirely natural process. Real scientists are not afraid to explain the limitations of their theories.

George writes:

Newtonian mechanics also has no weaknesses at the level at which it is taught in high school physics classes. Are you saying that high school students should be allowed to learn that Newtonian mechanics has weaknesses?
Yes, of course. High school students ought to be taught some of the limitations of Newtonian mechanics, such as its failure to explain what happens inside an atom.

Monday, Nov 26, 2007
Science ideas proven wrong
Lubos Motl, the Czech string theorist, writes
I want to end up with a slightly more extensive list of seventeen wrong beliefs that were once considered to be essential components of any scientific explanation of the world.

1. Isaac Newton believed that his impressive physical explanation of the world required everything to be composed of particles. ...

This idea is not known to be false. The best physics theories we have say that everything is observable as particles. Light, energy, electricity, gravity, and everything else is observable as particles at the lowest levels.
2. It was believed by Maxwell et al. in the 19th century that every wave requires, much like sound, a material substance to propagate; they believed that the existence of the aether was a crucial and inevitable component of any scientific or "materialistic" explanation of electromagnetic waves.
Again, this is not known to be wrong. The best explanations we have for electromagnetic waves involves a medium of virtual electron-positron pairs and other oddities that permeate the vacuum. The medium may or may not be the same as the mysterious dark energy that is everywhere. We have no viable theory for electromagnetic waves passing thru empty space, and conventional wisdom is that there is no such thing as empty space. The word "aether" is out of fashion, but the concept remains essential.
7. In mathematics, it was believed by many people that every assertion can either be proved or disproved. Kurt Gödel has demonstrated that every sufficiently powerful system of axioms allows one to construct a statement that can be neither proved nor disproved.
Goedel only showed that the statement that can be neither proved nor disproved from the axioms; it might be provable by other means.
10. Thirty years ago, it was believed that causality can never be violated, not even in the presence of black holes and not even infinitesimally. Such an assumption implies that the information is being lost during the evaporation of black holes. As we know today, the information is preserved and the reason why the old argument was incorrect is an exponentially small violation of causality and locality inside black holes, a kind of "tunelling of information".
This one is just laughable. There is no agreement on what causality and information would even mean in a black hole, and no way to say whether one view is any better or worse than any other. Stephen Hawking claims that he solved this problem, but no one else accepts his supposed solution.

I would put string theory on the list. The theory was widely accepted by theoretical physicists 20 years ago, but it is a big washout.

Sunday, Nov 25, 2007
Credit for the Big Bang theory
According to the Cosmic Variance blog, Father Georges-Henri Lemaitre published Hubble's law in 1927, before Hubble published it in 1931. Lemaitre gave a theoretical derivation, and used data from Hubble and elsewhere to estimate Hubble’s constant in that 1927 paper.

Hubble's law says that the universe is expanding, and the velocities are proportional to the distances. Hubble had some better data, and published an experimental confirmation of the law, but it appears that most of the credit belongs to Lemaitre. The law was the first convincing evidence for the Big Bang theory.

Latest unified field theory
The British Economist mag writes:
The nearest thing they have to this—the Standard Model of particle physics—is messy in places and partial, because it omits gravity. Three decades of effort have been expended on string theory, which includes gravity but at the expense of having the universe inelegantly sprout hidden dimensions. Other potential avenues, such as loop quantum gravity, are also proving untidy. That a theory of everything might emerge from geometry would be neat, but it is a long shot.

Nevertheless, that is what Garrett Lisi is proposing. The geometry he has been studying is that of a structure known to mathematicians as E8, which was first recognised in 1887 by Sophus Lie, a Norwegian mathematician. E8 is a monster. It has 248 dimensions and its structure took 120 years to solve. It was finally tamed earlier this year, when a group of mathematicians managed to construct a map that describes it completely.

No, string theory does not include gravity. It does not include any other known force or particle either.

The Lisi theory is just another silly unfied field, and it will fail just like all the others. The string theorists and other unified field theorists are the modern alchemists.

Evolutionists complain about cell video
Some anti-copyright geeks are upset that someone gave a scholarly lecture and showed some remarkable pictures of cells without properly attributing them to Harvard University.

What really bugs them is showing a short video clip that "subverts the purpose of the original". The original purpose was presumably evolutionist, and the lecturer was criticizing parts of evolutionism. The leftist-atheist-evolutionists cannot tolerate any criticism.

Harvard will not be suing for copyright violation. Its own professors use clips like this all the time, and call it fair use.

Update: The evolutionist lying Bush-hater Pharyngula blogger PZ Myers still argues that Dembski "was caught stealing a science video from Harvard/XVIVO for use in his Intelligent Design creationism lectures." His proof is that Dembski admits getting the video from the web, and Harvard refused to sell it to him. The video is an animation of cell pictures, and is widely available on YouTube and elsewhere.

No, Myers needs a lesson in copyright law. The use of a video under the above facts is a textbook example of fair use, and it is legal. The fact that Harvard refuses to sell the video makes the fair use argument stronger, not weaker.

Build more nukes
People on both the Left and the Right are coming around to the view that nuclear power is the cleanest and safest large electricity source. People used to worry about accidents like the one at Chernobyl, but that reactor used 50-year-old technology and was not as bad as most people think anyway. A leading
A mounting number of studies are coming to some surprising conclusions about the dangers of nuclear radiation. It might not be as deadly as is widely believed. ...

On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant melted down. Forty-seven clean-up workers died from radiation poisoning. Nine children died from thyroid cancer. Experts estimate that up to 4,000 may subsequently die from the long-term results of radiation.

Germany had once decided to shut down all their nuclear power plants, but now it is not going to do it. If you are concerned about global warming, you have to be in favor of nuclear power. Alternative energies like solar power are just not competitive (using current technology).

Saturday, Nov 24, 2007
Bogus Freud teachings continue
The NY Times reports:
A new report by the American Psychoanalytic Association has found that while psychoanalysis — or what purports to be psychoanalysis — is alive and well in literature, film, history and just about every other subject in the humanities, psychology departments and textbooks treat it as “desiccated and dead,” a historical artifact instead of “an ongoing movement and a living, evolving process.”

The study, which is to appear in the June 2008 issue of psychiatry’s flagship journal, The American Journal of Psychiatry, is the latest evidence of the field’s existential crisis. For decades now, critics engaged in the Freud Wars have pummeled the good doctor’s theories for being sexist, fraudulent, unscientific, or just plain wrong. In their eyes, psychoanalysis belongs with discarded practices like leeching. ...

It found that of the 1,175 courses that referenced psychoanalysis, more than 86 percent were offered outside psychology departments. ...

The primary reason it became marginalized, Ms. Eagly, said, is that while most disciplines in psychology began putting greater emphasis on testing the validity of their approaches scientifically, “psychoanalysts haven’t developed the same evidence-based grounding.” As a result, most psychology departments don’t pay as much attention to psychoanalysis.

That is a polite way of saying that the field is completely unscientific and bogus, like astrology.

Friday, Nov 23, 2007
Bush stem cell policy a success
It is now more clear than ever that Pres. Bush's stem cell policy is an unqualified success. It has resulted in more good science being done, as he pumped more federal money into research while quelling the ethical concerns of those who don't like killing embryoes. There is not one legitimate science research project that was delayed or limited by his policy, nor is there any likelihood that there will ever be.

The biggest fear was that the federally-approved stem cell lines would run out before alternative technologies became available. But an alternative technology just became available, so there is no chance of that.

The Bush-haters who have been telling you that Bush was anti-science or thwarting research were just lying.

Here is one of them still blaming Bush:

The latest developments are very significant, ... Here are a few reasons why those who claim the debate is over now are way out of line: ... This is the big one: iPS cells appear to be totipotent. That means they are fully capable of forming embryos themselves (this has been demonstrated in mice). If these cells are no different from human embryonic stem cells in that respect, I'm not really sure what ethical issues are being addressed here.
IOW, his biggest concern is that the new stem cells will have all of the advantages of the embryonic stem cells, and that it will be possible to achieve all of the scientific goals without deliberately killing human embryoes.

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007
Why you shouldn't go to law school
Ex-lawyer Paul Gowder advises not to attend law school:
Lawyers are Unhappy ... You'll be Surrounded by Jerks ... The law will make you into the worst kind of person.
Hardly anyone actually likes the law. They become lawyers for the money, and they hate it.

Monday, Nov 19, 2007
Court only recently got a building
Andy writes:
I learned one remarkable fact at the Federalist Society conference I just attended. Despite being around politics and law most of life, including 3 years at law school, one year of clerkship, many years of practice, etc., I never knew that the Supreme Court lacked its own building in the early 1800s and had to hold its hearings in the basement of the Capitol.

No big deal? Well, it surprised me, both the fact itself and how the legal profession and teachers cover that up. But then imagine my astonishment when I learned that the Supreme Court continued to hold its oral arguments and hearings and meetings in the Capitol until ... 1935!!!! Can you believe that??? The Supreme Court did not have its own building until 1935!!! It's no coincidence that it became more liberal and activist soon thereafter. We should mention how for over 140 years our leaders did not even view the Supreme Court as entitled to its own building.

Genetic news
The liberal news media is acknowledging the science of genetic influences like never before. The Wash. Post Slate mag columnist William Saletan summarizes theories for genetic and other influences on IQ.

SciAm reports on "baby rage":

Kate Keenan, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, views this new genetic analysis as the logical next step in Tremblay's long-term exploration into childhood aggression. She believes Tremblay's work may help uncover genetic profiles distinct to chronically aggressive children that may allow researchers to answer questions like, "Can we differentiate [between these kids] even earlier?" [and] "How early can you intervene?"
Steve Sailer reports:
There will be a milestone scientific paper out soon on PNAS summarizing evidence that human evolution has been -- in contrast to the conventional wisdom -- speeding up over the last 50,000 years.
It is now feasible for consumers to get their own DNA analysis:
For as little as $1,000 and a saliva sample, customers will be able to learn what is known so far about how the billions of bits in their biological code shape who they are. Three companies have already announced plans to market such services, one yesterday.
This NY Times article doesn't mention that Google is investing in one of the companies; conspiracy theorists are saying that this is yet another evil Google plot to invade your privacy and profile you for targeted advertising.

The legal use of DNA info is uncertain. I guess some people think that the genetic info is beneficial, and others think that it will be harmful.

Update: Saletan has been forced to issue regrets for his columns. He now says that he neglected to accuse the scientists of being racist because of some associations with others teaching politically incorrect facts and views.

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2007
PBS re-enacts ID trial
I just watched Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, a PBS dramatization of the Dover PA intelligent design trial. As expected, it was leftist-atheist-propaganda.

Parts of it were well done, and some of the details of the Dover PA school situation were news to me. But some of it was very misleading.

The show defined evolution this way:

Dr. Miller, what is evolution?

Most biologists would describe evolution as the process of change over time that characterizes the natural history of life on this planet.

That is indeed a common evolutionist definition of evolution. But the show also says that a third to a half of Americans don't believe in evolution. Those evolution skeptics are using a different definition. Everyone agrees that there has been change over time.

The show said that evolution was not taught much in the USA from 1925 to the 1960s because of the Scopes verdict and the judge ordering a $100 fine. It even said that the reporters at the trial were unable to learn what evolution was all about because of some creationist conspiracy. In fact, Scopes did not teach evolution, and neither Scopes nor anyone else has ever had to pay any fine for teaching evolution. The evolution material in the textbook at issue in the Scopes trial is not taught today because of objections from evolutionists. The textbook taught Piltdown Man as a missing link, eugenics, and the superiority of the caucasian race. Everyone now agrees that this was bad science and should not be taught.

The show said that evolution explains how dinosaurs evolved into birds. I think that there is some legitimate dispute about that.

The show claimed that Pres. Bush supported ID, but he really just said that "people ought to be exposed to different ideas".

The show said that there was no jury trial because there was no money at stake. (The US Constitution 7A guarantees a right to a jury trial if money is at stake.) In fact, the ACLU and its partners sought and received over a million dollars as a result of the trial judgment.

The show told how the trial hinged on some early drafts of a manuscript that could not have been known to anyone in Dover PA, and to some embarrassing misstatements by the Dover PA school board.

Perhaps the strangest thing was that the show went on for two hours about the constitutionality of a "four-paragraph statement", but it never actually read the statement. It just gave all sorts of evolutionist opinions about how it was promoting a particular religious view. If they read the statement, then viewers might come to a different conclusion.

George writes:

As the show said:
To this day, teaching creationism in public school science classes anywhere in the United States remains a violation of students' Constitutional rights.
A court of law has ruled that the four-paragraph statement is unconstitional. PBS is govt-supported. It might be unconstitutional for PBS to broadcast the statement. It would be using the public airwaves to advance an establishment of religion. Viewers might think that the govt had endorsed anti-evolution, and feel pressured to attend church or something. The American Revolution was fought just to combat that sort of thinking. With George Bush in the White House, people like Judge Jones are the only ones keeping us from becoming a theocracy. No one should be allowed to hear that four-paragraph statement on any govt-supported channels.
With two hours of leftist-atheist-evolutionist propaganda, I would think that even the evolutionists would like to know what the other side is saying.

Discovery Institute has objected to the show materials:

A packet for educators issued by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in conjunction with the NOVA program "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" encourages teaching practices that are probably unconstitutional, a conservative organization stated on Tuesday. ...

In the booklet, teachers are instructed to use such discussion questions as: "Can you accept evolution and still believe in religion?" The answer to that query is provided as: "Yes. The common view that evolution is inherently antireligious is simply false."

"This statement is simplistic and not neutral among different religions, and in that sense arguably inconsistent with Supreme Court teachings concerning neutrality," said attorney Casey Luskin, program officer for public policy and legal affairs at the institute.

The PBS Nova teaching guide is strange in that it attempts to briefly summarize the beliefs of five religions that support evolution (Judaism, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist). The ID proponents don't go around trying to get teachers to promote the views of their preferred religious denominations. It is very strange the way these folks think that it is unconstitutional to say that some people are skeptical about certain aspects of evolution, but then also try to get the teachers to teach some pro-evolution religion.

Update: The evolutionist NewScientist mag reports:

In a bizarre twist to the evolution wars, ...

The teaching package states: "Q: Can you accept evolution and still believe in religion? A: Yes. The common view that evolution is inherently anti-religious is simply false." According to Casey Luskin, an attorney with the Discovery Institute, this answer favours one religious viewpoint, arguably violating the US constitution. "We're afraid that teachers might get sued," he says. “We're afraid that teachers might get sued for bringing religion into the classroom”

A lawyer for WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, which produces the show, says the package is covered by the right to free speech. He declined to comment on the claim that teachers risked lawsuits.

It would be fine if the leftist-atheist-evolutionists just wanted to teach evolution. They want to teach it with their own religious spin, and they want to suppress alternative views.
Stone Age feminism killed the Neanderthals
The Boston Globe reports:
The Neanderthal extinction some 30,000 years ago remains one of the great riddles of evolution, with rival theories blaming everything from genocide committed by "real" humans to prehistoric climate change.

But a recent study introduces another explanation: Stone Age feminism. Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women's work as well as men's, so it's a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women - the vital "reproductive core" of a tiny population - could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning Homo sapien newcomers. ...

There are other plausible explanations for the Neanderthal extinction.

Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007
Federal judges maintain racial discrimination
This article highlights the problem (discussed in The Supremacists) of federal consent decrees that last forever.
Front-page court battles over integration are mostly a thing of the past. But according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, there are at least 253 school districts still under federal court supervision in racial inequality cases and those are just the ones in which Justice intervened.
Congress should pass a law setting a time limit on all consent decrees.

Sunday, Nov 11, 2007
Obama contradicts himself on the Iraq War
Candy Crowley of CNN interviews Barack Obama:
CROWLEY: I want to talk about your Iraq speech, because have you also said since then that you’re not sure what you would have done had you been in the Senate because you weren’t privy to the intelligence.

OBAMA: The only time when I said I’m not sure what I would do if I were in the Senate was right before the Democratic convention, when we had two nominees that obviously I did not want to be criticizing right before they got up and received the nomination.

CROWLEY: But you didn’t mean it?

OBAMA: So — well, no. What I’m suggesting is, everybody had difficult choices to make. And I — and these were difficult choices.

Obama said something similar on Meet the Press today.

I previously attacked Obama's Iraq War reasoning here, and Al Gore's here.

So remember, when you hear Obama say that he consistently opposed the Iraq War, what he really means is that he opposed the war except when it was to his partisan political advantage to say that he might have voted for the war.

More evidence for genetic theories
The NY Times reports:
When scientists first decoded the human genome in 2000, they were quick to portray it as proof of humankind’s remarkable similarity. The DNA of any two people, they emphasized, is at least 99 percent identical.

But new research is exploring the remaining fraction to explain differences between people of different continental origins.

Scientists, for instance, have recently identified small changes in DNA that account for the pale skin of Europeans, the tendency of Asians to sweat less and West Africans’ resistance to certain diseases.

At the same time, genetic information is slipping out of the laboratory and into everyday life, carrying with it the inescapable message that people of different races have different DNA. Ancestry tests tell customers what percentage of their genes are from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

I guess race is not a social construct after all.

Meanwhile, the Wash. Post reports:

Researchers at Ohio State University garnered little attention in February when they found that youngsters who lose their virginity earlier than their peers are more likely to become juvenile delinquents. ...

Suspecting such an error in the Haynie study, Harden and three colleagues, including her adviser, Eric Turkheimer, an expert in behavioral genetics, studied more than 500 pairs of twins in the same national survey analyzed by the Ohio team....

The team looked at identical twin pairs in which one twin initiated sex younger than the other, then team members tallied subsequent problem behaviors. If sex really adds to the chances of delinquency, then early-sex teens should end up delinquent more often than their later-sex twins.

"It turns out that there was no positive relationship between age of first sex and delinquency," Harden said.

In other words, the same genes are causing both behaviors.

The article goes on to some even more politically incorrect research:

A recent study by Scottish researchers asked whether the higher IQs seen in breast-fed children are the result of the breast milk they got or some other factor. By comparing the IQs of sibling pairs in which one was breast-fed and the other not, it found that breast milk is irrelevant to IQ and that the mother's IQ explains both the decision to breast-feed and her children's IQ.

Saturday, Nov 10, 2007
Cognitive dissonance
NY Times columnist John Tierney writes:
At a gathering of social psychologists earlier this year in Memphis, I was surprised to hear one of them say mournfully, “You know, we haven’t really come up with a solid concept since cognitive dissonance.” What made this surprising was that it’s been a half century since cognitive dissonance was identified.
He writes here on cognitive dissonance.

The trouble is that there are alternate theories that explain the data just as well, and no way to tell which theory is better. Tierney describes attempts to observe cognitive dissonance in monkeys, but there are always simpler explanations for the observations that do not involve cognitive dissonance. Eg, here is monkey experiment:

Monkeys presumably don’t have all that elaborate a concept of themselves, yet in the experiment at Yale, once they chose a red M&M over a blue M&M, they seemed to be afflicted with cognitive dissonance — and reduced it by acting as if they didn’t like the blue one anyway.
But the monkeys can also be explained by this:
The data in the monkey study are extremely interesting. They could be interpreted in terms of cognitive dissonance theory, but there are other interpretations as well. For example, monkeys may be wired not to waste time making the same evaluation twice. So once they reject something, they remember that they rejected it and reject it again in the future.
Or this:
I am economist by training and inclination. To me, the explanation for the observed behavior is simple. This is Risk Aversion. If you think two choices are equal and sample only ONE of them, which turns out to be satisfactory, plain old risk aversion will cause you to place a higher value on the known, acceptable choice in the future.
I think that the problem here is faulty mind-reading. Psychologists and other construct elaborate theories for what people are thinking, but they don't test whether they are correct or not.
Election Results
John writes:
Two local public officials, who have done more than anyone else in the nation to fight illegal immigration at the local level, faced their respective voters on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007.

In Hazleton, PA, Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican cross-endorsed by the Democrats, was reelected to a 3rd term with 89 percent of the vote. His only opponent was a Libertarian candidate who got 11 percent. A Democratic former mayor, who had sought the Democratic nomination, was defeated in the Democratic primary by write-in votes for Barletta!

In Suffolk County, NY (which has a population of 1.5 million people at the eastern end of Long Island), County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat cross-endorsed by the Republicans and 3 other parties, was reelected to a 2nd term with 96 percent of the vote. His 2 opponents (including a Libertarian) each got about 2 percent.

Why can't our national candidates get the message?

Brainwashing kids with pseudoscience propaganda
Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi writes:
Gov. Bill Ritter recently dropped a new "ambitious" climate-change plan in our laps.

The plan envisions a government that dictates what size car you drive, how you run your business, how much electricity you use and what alternative energies are worthy of your consideration.

And as an added bonus, the plan intends to indoctrinate your children. ...

Yet, the Climate Action Plan says that "the state will work through the Governor's P-20 Education Council and others to make sustainability curricula become standard fare in K-12 classrooms throughout the state."

Standard fare? I'm a weird person. I don't want social conservatives teaching my kids about creationism. I don't want Republicans teaching my kids about balanced budgets. And I don't want Democrats teaching my children global-warming hysteria.

The leftist school authorities are not content to just teach the scientific facts, because they are insufficient to lead to the leftist conclusions that they want. So they teach pseudoscience propaganda.

Meanwhile, there is also controversy in Africa:

The centerpiece of the exhibit at the Nairobi National Museum is Turkana Boy, the remains of a boy who died 1.5 million years ago in Kenya. The fossil, the most complete specimen of homo erectus found so far, has been kept in a bomb-proof vault.

Bishop Boniface Adoyo, who heads the Kenyan evangelical churches, hasn't been mollified by an invitation to tour the Human Origins exhibit before it opens to the public, The Times of London reported.

"I do not dispute that as humans we have a history but my family most certainly did not descend from the apes," he said.

Adoyo said that members of his churches will picket the museum if evolution is presented as a fact rather than a theory.

If the museum just presents facts, then there should be no problem. Homo erectus was once thought to be a missing link, but most evolutionists no longer think that it was a human ancestor.

Friday, Nov 09, 2007
Sierra Club opposes prosperity
Ever wonder why so-called environmentalists oppose nuclear power? The Sierra adopted this policy in 1974, and still stands by it on its web page:
The Sierra Club opposes the licensing, construction and operation of new nuclear reactors utilizing the fission process, pending:

1. Development of adequate national and global policies to curb energy over-use and unnecessary economic growth. ...

Since then, nuclear power has become relatively safer, cleaner, and cheaper, compared to the alternatives. Especially if you are concerned about global warming.
Modern science is atheistic
Here is data from Nature magazine supporting the claim that most prominent scientists are atheists:
Research on this topic began with the eminent US psychologist James H. Leuba and his landmark survey of 1914. He found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected US scientists expressed disbelief or doubt in the existence of God, and that this figure rose to near 70% among the 400 "greater" scientists within his sample [1]. Leuba repeated his survey in somewhat different form 20 years later, and found that these percentages had increased to 67 and 85, respectively [2].

In 1996, we repeated Leuba's 1914 survey and reported our results in Nature [3]. We found little change from 1914 for American scientists generally, with 60.7% expressing disbelief or doubt. This year, we closely imitated the second phase of Leuba's 1914 survey to gauge belief among "greater" scientists, and find the rate of belief lower than ever — a mere 7% of respondents.

Before 1900, most of the great scientists were Christians. Since then, most of the prominents were raised in a Christian culture but were actually atheists.

Wednesday, Nov 07, 2007
Buchanan says that we are despised for our toxic culture
Patrick J. Buchanan writes:
Millions of Muslims now no longer see America as the beacon of liberty, but as an arrogant superpower with a huge footprint in their world, dictating to their regimes. Instead of bringing our troops home after our Cold War and Gulf War victories, we moved permanently into Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Then we attacked a Muslim nation, Iraq, that had neither attacked us nor threatened us, to impose our system upon it.

Like the British, French and Russians before us, we are seen as imperialists, and shall be so seen and so hated until we get our troops out of their world. Finally, we are despised for our toxic culture and our uncritical support of the Israelis, who are viewed as the persecutors and robbers of the land and dignity of the Palestinian people.

Why cannot we see ourselves as others see us?

This is nonsense. We never moved permanently into Saudia Arabia, and we have no troops there today. Iraq did attack our oil supplies in 1990, and set fire to the oil. Iraq threatened us by refusing to account for previously-documented WMD, and by taking the wrong side in the war on terrorists.

We have not imposed our system on Iraq. Iraq has adopted a constitution that makes Islam the official religion, and Islamic law the basic principle.

America is still the beacon of liberty. Mohammedans have more liberties under American rule than they have ever had under Mohammedan rule. The "toxic culture" that Mohammedans despise is Christian culture. They hate infidels and they have a long history of waging jihad against infidels.

I just don't believe that anyone really views the Israelis as the persecutors and robbers of the land and dignity of the Palestinian people. The Mohammedans have hated the Jews as being like monkeys and pigs for over 1000 years. That is what the Koran says, and that is what every Arab schoolboy is taught. It wouldn't matter how much land and dignity that the Jews gave to the Palestinian Arabs, the Jews would still be hated as monkeys and pigs, and the Mohammedan Arabs would still want to eliminate them.

As far as I know, the Arabs are treated better in Israel than they are in the Arab countries. If the Iraqis or other really cared about the Palestinian Arabs, then they'd complain about how they are treated in Jordan and Lebanon. They don't.

We don't have uncritical support of Israel. We have lots of politicians like Jimmy Carter who say nasty things about Israel, and who sympathize with Israel's terrorist enemies.

We are not imperialists. We have no desire to rule foreign countries. We would bail out of Iraq in a minute, if there were some responsible government that was capable of running Iraq in a civilized manner.

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2007
Kerry says he’ll be ready next time
Boston news:
RANDOLPH -- John Kerry said Monday there might be a next time for his presidential aspirations, and if there is, the 63-year-old U.S. senator from Massachusetts says he’ll be ready for the political torpedoes that helped sink his 2004 White House bid.

Kerry, whose service as a U.S. Navy Swift boat skipper during the Vietnam War came under attack in his race against President Bush, said he has compiled a dossier on his war record critics that he wishes he had as the Democratic presidential nominee.

``We have put together a documented portfolio that frankly puts their lies in such a total light of absurdity and indecency, that should they ever rear their ugly heads again, we have every single ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted, and I welcome that in a sense,'' Kerry said following a morning address to the South Shore Chamber fo Commerce. ``It’s a shame we weren’t able to produce all that at the time.''

Kerry said he regrets his slowness to counter accusations from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which faulted Kerry’s war record and his subsequent anti-war activism.

The chief Swift Boat Vet John O'Neill first debated John Kerry in 1971. And Kerry is just now claiming to have a rebuttal ready? It is amazing that a bozo like Kerry was almost elected President.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton has accused Barack Obama of swiftboating Hillary Clinton by pointing out inconsistencies in her comments on drivers licenses for illegal aliens. I think that Obama should take it as a compliment. So far he has been a wimpy candidate.

Hillary's college thesis on the net
Here is Hillary Clinton's Wellesley thesis.
Jerry Coyne attacked
On the VDare blog, Fulford and Sailer make fun of evolutionist Jerry Coyne for refusing to recognize some genetic science, while attacking others for similarly ignoring evolutionary science.

I have previously comment on Coyne here here.

Monday, Nov 05, 2007
Our cousins, the flying lemurs
I'm not sure if this is a joke or not, but the Zooillogix blog reports that new DNA research shows that our closest cousins other than primates are the colugo flying lemurs. They are not really lemurs and they don't really fly. Phillipine eagles eat them.
Court Gives Indiana City Go Ahead to Sue Gun Makers
Here is another supremacist judges who act like they can make the law:
(CNSNews.com) - The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the city of Gary, Ind., could sue gun manufacturers, though federal law currently prohibits such lawsuits. Gun control advocates are hailing the ruling as a victory, but gun rights groups said the federal law will be upheld.

The case originated in 1999 with a sting conducted by Gary police of northern Indiana gun dealers. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a liberal gun control organization, the gun dealers supplied more than 60 percent of the crime guns recovered in the city.

Gary also sued the major gun makers who sold handguns through these dealerships, claiming they knowingly profited from the diversion of guns to criminals.

Guns are legal and beneficial to society. If the gun makers or dealers are doing something bad, then the legislatures could pass some laws to require them to do business differently. They haven't. The courts should not be hearing a case like this.

Sunday, Nov 04, 2007
Famous atheist supports intelligent design
The NY Times reports:
Unless you are a professional philosopher or a committed atheist, you probably have not heard of Antony Flew. ... His greatest contribution remains his first, a short paper from 1950 called “Theology and Falsification.” ...
Flew still rejects Christianity, saying only that he now believes in “an intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of the world,” ... Flew’s fame has reached even to small-town Pennsylvania, where in 2005 Judge John E. Jones cited Flew in his landmark decision prohibiting the teaching of intelligent design in the town of Dover. Referring to a publication of the Dover School Board, Jones wrote that “the newsletter all but admits that I.D. is religious by quoting Anthony [sic] Flew, described as a ‘world famous atheist who now believes in intelligent design.’ ”
I never understood the logic of this. If ID is religious, then what religion is it? Not any form of Christianity, apparently. If a famous atheist supports ID, how does that prove that ID is religious?

Judge Jones plagiarized most of his decision from the ACLU, so maybe it is ACLU logic.

Here is the full quote from the ACLU brief (available here):

It all but admits that intelligent design is religious. It quotes Anthony Flew, described as a “world famous atheist who now believes in intelligent design,” as follows: “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence where it leads.”
Here is the version from Judge Jones, where even the misspelled name is copied:
Finally and notably, the newsletter all but admits that ID is religious by quoting Anthony Flew, described as a “world famous atheist who now believes in intelligent design,” as follows: “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence where it leads.”
I wonder whether Judge Jones understood what he was writing plagiarizing.

Thursday, Nov 01, 2007
Louisiana promotes better science education
Leftist-atheist-evolutionist Barbara Forrest writes:
[Louisiana governor Bobby] Jindal’s remarks, which clearly signal his support for teaching ID, are a study in incoherence. On one hand, this Rhodes scholar wants “the very best science” taught to children. On the other, his assertion that children should be told “what different theories are out there” in order to explain what science cannot is an admission that ID is not science. His inference of a creator from “looking at creation,” while legitimate as a personal religious belief, is at odds with his statement that “our kids” should be taught “the very best science.” Putting the two together in a public school science class violates not only the standards of responsible science teaching but the U.S. Constitution as well.

Disturbing signs are converging in Louisiana. ... The Religious Right appears to be lining up its ducks down here.

She accuses him of being part of a Discovery Institute conspiracy because he favors giving children “all the evidence,”

What Jindal actually said was this:

There’s no scientific theory that explains how you can create organic life out of inorganic matter. I think we owe it to our children to teach them the best possible modern scientific facts and theories. Teach them what different theories are out there for the things that aren’t answerable by science, that aren’t answered by science. Let them decide for themselves. I don’t think we should be scared to do that.
No, I don't think that we should be scared to do that either. It is funny how often evolutionists want to censor legitimate science. Real scientists are happy to explain the limits to their theories.
Jim Watson and the facts
The Gene Expression blog details the facts and science behind what Jim Watson said. It says that Watson was right, and that his apology was misreported.

I do think that Watson exaggurates what can be explained with genes. Ten years ago he predicted that cancer would be solved in two years. Now he predicts that we will have genetic explanations for all mental illness in ten years. I doubt it.

Leftist law profs publish biased analysis
Law professors Thomas Miles and Cass Sunstein defend their analysis of possibly-partisan Supreme Court decisions:
If the distribution of agency decisions were skewed in a liberal direction, as some critics allege, we should have observed few or even no challenges from public interest groups.
No, that is not correct. Liberal groups are willing to mount court challenges as long as there is a good chance that they will get a favorable court ruling. It is possible, say, that agency bureaucrats are more liberal than the general public, and that federal judges are more liberal than those bureaucrats. (It is also possible that the liberal groups file the lawsuits in order to influence public opinion or help in fundraising.)