Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I simply observed that the creationists in the audience responded in a more civilized and humanoid manner than the Darwinists, who, despite purporting to be members of a higher species, reacted with the aggressiveness that has come to characterize their behavior when faced with opinions differing from their own.
You would have thought I had poked a stick at them through the bars or something, their reaction was so frenzied.
Now I have been observing various liberal Darwinist societies for some time now, and can say with some authority that the subspecies inhabiting the Page One blog are among the loudest and most openly aggressive. This could possibly be the result of a vegetarian diet and their penchant for brie cheese and multi-grained bread.
The individual whom we call "Jake" seems to be the dominant male in the troop (although I am willing to listen to other theories as to gender), and he has taken the most aggressively hostile posture. When my comments were thrown into their cage, it was Jake who howled the loudest. I have taken the liberty, using various linguistic devices, to interpret his vocalizations and gestures and determined that he thinks we "hate" Darwinists "with great passion."
Now part of the problem with Page One society is the tendency of its members to jump to conclusions--conclusions which seldom logically follow. This provides additional evidence that their subspecies was an early deviation from the main human branch. This, of course, poses insurmountable difficulties when a group of them form together and try to run a blog.
I do not hate Darwinists. On the contrary, there are many of them of whom I am quite fond. In many cases they can be tamed and even housebroken, and make fine companions if they can be discouraged from their natural arrogance and dogmatism through stimulus and response training.
In Jake's case, that might involve the use of electric shock. But the benefits could be substantial.
According to Al Cross at the Rural Blog, Paul told WHAS's Mandy Connell that he is opposed to dead farmers receiving agriculture subsidies.
Oh, the insensitivity! Oh the callousness!
Where is the outrage, liberals?!
While the creationist home school crowd continued to listen politely and attentively to Rand Paul after his remarks, the Darwinists started wildly throwing coconuts at the candidate for U. S. Senate.
The creationist crowd took Paul's refusal to answer their question with measured aplomb, and sat there politely while he finished his talk. But social dynamics in Darwinist communities often include threatening displays by their more dominant members when there is any deviation from accepted group opinions. In fact, despite the common belief that they are intellectually tolerant, this characteristic is hard to find among them, and is often punished when found among their members.
Experts continue to believe that Darwinists are capable of rational thought and other traits characteristic of humans, but research into the question continues.
Charter schools are less accountable to the teachers unions and the state education bureaucracies that have occupied the driver's seat as our natures schools continue to worsen.
There is only one measure by which charter schools should be judged: their popularity with parents. This criterion, of course, is anathema to the crowd William Bennett once referred to as "the blob."
Day criticizes charters for failing the children of poor families. And the public school system has served them well?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
But the other cause of the extinction of the human race is more interesting: overpopulation. That's right: having too many humans could result in not having enough of them.
Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, said homo sapiens will not be able to survive the population explosion and “unbridled consumption,” and will become extinct, perhaps within a century, along with many other species. United Nations official figures from last year estimate the human population is 6.8 billion, and is predicted to pass seven billion next year.Isn't the solution clear? If overpopulation will bring about human extinction, then the only way to prevent human extinction is to depopulate them. We can head off the elimination of human beings by eliminating human beings.
Fenner said that climate change is only at its beginning, but is likely to be the cause of our extinction. “We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island,” he said. More people means fewer resources, and Fenner predicts “there will be a lot more wars over food.”
You gotta love science.
But all in all you get used to it. My mother still keeps peacocks on her farm in Kansas. And, of course, Flannery O'Connor kept them.
Can't be all bad.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Popper believed that a scientific theory could never be proven, but only disproven. The scientist sets forth his theory and then makes attempts to find falsifying instances. This is, according to Popper, the appropriate activity of the scientist, much more so that finding confirming instances. Because of this, you find Darwinists readily saying (as they have on this blog) that you can't prove anything (scientifically).
The problem is, they will just as readily say, in other contexts, that evolution has been "proven." Put these two propositions together, and you get the following syllogism:
No scientific theory can be provenJust thought I'd mention it.
Evolution is a scientific theory
Therefore, Evolution cannot be proven
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
There was no Adam. There was no Eve. We are the product of populationsSo, Myers, a self-described product of populations and pools of genes that has briefly instantiated himself as an individual, in pressing his case that we shouldn't identify our particular antecedents, identifies our particular antecedents, namely, populations and pools of genes. In the Darwinian Myth that replaces the Theistic Myth, the rational beings called Adam and Eve have been replaced by the irrational processes called Populations and Pools of Genes.
and pools of genes that are briefly instantiated in individuals, and
it's a great conceptual error to even fuss over finding "the"
many-times-great grandparents of us all.
You can say at least this for the Adam and Eve theory: it at least allows for the possibility that their descendants are the kind of beings who could rationally reject the Adam and Eve theory, whereas under the Populations and Pools of Genes Myth the beings that are its products cannot possibly rationally accept the Populations and Pools of Genes Myth--or anything else for that matter, since its materialist undergirding cannot account for rationality in the first place.
And what's even more odd is that these products of populations and pools of genes who cannot account for rationality at all are the very ones who go around giving lectures to the descendants of Adam and Eve who can account for it about the importance of rationality.
A New England school district has approved a measure that will provide free condoms to elementary school students and direct teachers not to comply with parental wishes to the contrary.We could, of course, comment on the sheer silliness of these attempts by the educational establishment to direct the sexual lives of their students. I have commented before that if our public educational institutions do the same thing for sex as they have done for reading and writing, the very survival of the race may be in jeopardy.
But perhaps the better comment is the one made by some wag that schools shouldn't be handing out condoms; they should be handing out educations. And until they figure out how to do that, it would probably be a service to everyone else if they just laid off the stupid education tricks.
Monday, June 21, 2010
According to recent reports from government agencies, foundations, survey firms, and scholarly institutions, most young people in the United States neither read literature (or fully know how), work reliably (just ask employers), visit cultural institutions (of any sort), nor vote (most can’t even understand a simple ballot). They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount foundations of American history, or name any of their local political representatives. What do they happen to excel at is – each other. They spend unbelievable amounts of time electronically passing stories, pictures, tunes, and texts back and forth, savoring the thrill of peer attention and dwelling in a world of puerile banter and coarse images.When you add to this situation the fact that schools have largely given up on passing on our culture (and, in fact, spend a good deal of their time undermining it), you get modern American culture--and a situation that, short of things like classical Christian education, will not likely correct itself.
HT: Beyond Necessity
Friday, June 18, 2010
One of the characteristics of this mindset is the belief that certain things are known which are really not known. These are the "well, of course everyone knows" things that we are all just supposed to assume, like good little secularists.
Here is Carroll explaining one of the things that, of course, everyone knows:
Over the last four hundred or so years, human beings have achieved something truly amazing: we understand the basic rules governing the operation of the world around us. Everything we see in our everyday lives is simply a combination of three particles — protons, neutrons, and electrons — interacting through three forces — gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong nuclear force. That is it; there are no other forms of matter needed to describe what we see, and no other forces that affect how they interact in any noticeable way. And we know what those interactions are, and how they work. Of course there are plenty of things we don’t know — there are additional elementary particles, dark matter and dark energy, mysteries of quantum gravity, and so on. But none of those is relevant to our everyday lives (unless you happen to be a professional physicist). As far as our immediate world is concerned, we know what the rules are. A staggeringly impressive accomplishment, that somehow remains uncommunicated to the overwhelming majority of educated human beings.Carroll thinks he knows "what the rules are." And by "rules," we assume (given what he says later in the post) he is referring to what are popularly known as the "Laws of Nature." But there is a serious question whether he actually does. In fact, it's a live question whether anyone does.
Carroll seems to be confusing the idea of knowing that something is with the idea of knowing what something is. It would indeed be a staggeringly impressive accomplishment if he did know what they were, but, in fact, he doesn't. He can show us the effects of these Laws of Nature, but he cannot tell us what they are. Are they prescriptive entities of some kind that issue commands? If so, then what exactly is the ontological status of these "laws"? And how is his view effectively different from a belief in some kind of god?
Or are they simply a collection of descriptive observations of the past behavior of certain things under certain circumstances. If so, then can anything worthy of the name "law" really be said to exist at all? And what logical force can they possibly exercise (as David Hume pointed out) for predicting the future?
People like Carroll want to be able to rid themselves of any metaphysical baggage, but as soon as they try to explain their own position, they are faced with either engaging in metaphysics or repudiating the rational foundations of their own position.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I have said before that libertarianism is conservatism without a soul. But this definition is a little too general (and certainly too cheeky) to be useful. Here is, I think, the central problem with libertarianism and what makes it different than traditional conservatism: libertarianism sees freedom as an end rather than a means.
For the libertarian, any restriction on freedom is, by nature a bad thing. This is why someone like Paul gets in trouble when sharing his thoughts on civil rights laws. Civil rights laws impinge on the freedom of business owners, no question about it. And if this is you're only criterion for judging the justice of a law, then this is how it will look to you.
However, if freedom is only a means, rather than an end, then you are not driven inevitably to this conclusion. To the traditionalist conservative, freedom is not an end, it is a means--a means to the end of the common good. Furthermore, it is only one of several means toward that end. If this is true, therefore, the worth of civil rights laws cannot solely be decided on the criterion of whether they interfere with the freedom of private business owners, but whether the benefits they have toward the common good outweigh the interference with that freedom. The libertarian's philosophy disallows him from even asking this question, since it introduces a criterion he doesn't even recognize.
This is the whole problem with the Tea Party Movement--and any other neoconservative movement: it doesn't recognize or understand the distinction between freedom as a means and freedom as an end.
The position of his critics, mostly liberals, however, is hardly any better. They have even less justification for supporting civil rights laws. If we are to take their criticism of abortion laws as an example--that they "impose morality"--then how can they justify the support of civil rights laws, which clearly impose morality? But there is much more to be said on this that I don't have time to say here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Boy Scout's Scout Oath ...
***We interrupt this blog message with an important poem by Phylis McGinley:***
The Angry Man
The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street —
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulder, like a lance,
A banner labeled “Tolerance.”
And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, “I am he
Who champions total liberty —
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate.
“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma’am.” His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.
Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the Intolerant beware!”
***Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging.***... calls on scouts to be "morally straight," by which its means, strangely, morally straight. But the champions of tolerance in city government in Philadelphia are having none of it and are intent on forcing the group to accept its definition of tolerance, whether it wants to or not.
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state/No tolerant man can tolerate.
By the way, if we pass anti-bullying legislation, will it apply to city governments that intimidate groups that don't tow the official government morality?
Oh, and did we mention that Philadelphia is the cradle of liberty?
But I am surprised that no one has commented on a matter of simple aesthetic taste that I find quite disturbing. According to news reports, the Canadian band "Rush" has announced that it doesn't want Paul using its music at campaign events.
Why would anyone use Rush's music for campaign events, much less listen to them at all? Rush has to be the most pretentious rock band in the known world. I can just hear it now: all those culturally illiterate music critics with absolutely no literary sensibility gushing about how profound their lyrics are.
As we used to say in California, gag me with a spoon.
The only reason anyone would say this is that they are completely unfamiliar with profundity. Of course, when it comes to the poetic, the world of rock and roll could well be described as a kingdom of the blind where the one-eyed man finds it easy to be king.
Not to mention the fact that Rush's lead singer and bassist, Geddy Lee, has a voice that former L. A. Times rock critic Robert Hilburn once described as "like a rat whose tail is being run through the ringer."
I saw Rush live in the late 70's (along with a much better opening band, UFO). I had their very first album when it came out. I know what I'm talking about.
It is one thing to be a cultural barbarian, tearing down Western civilization, which is what most rock bands do for a living. But it's another to try to convince your listeners that they are being culturally uplifted in the very process of being culturally debased.
Paul campaign, trust me on this. Announce you are dumping Rush in favor of some mindless rock band that at least doesn't pretend to be engaging in art.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The mission of the OpEd Project at Stanford University is to bring about a sea change in our national conversation, which is currently overwhelmingly dominated (85%) by men.But one wonders why the increase in the percentage of op-ed writers would "bring about a sea chance in our national conversation" if women's concerns were basically the same as men's. What does this group think we should be talking about on the op-ed pages? Baking cookies?
These women are obviously not hip on the fact that men and women are equal in every way and therefore there is no need to equalize the number of male and female voices.
Maybe some members of the peanut gallery on this blog could give these people a lecture on this.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
"What could define God [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God,” Hawking told Sawyer. “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.”Well, let's hope he's not going to give up his day job. This is a classic example of a confusion of philosophical categories. What in the world does the physical size of the universe have to do with the metaphysical significance of human beings?
We go now to G. K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, refuting this silly bit of reasoning over 100 years ago:
Why should a man surrender his dignity to the solar system any more than to a whale? If mere size proves that man is not the image of God, then a whale may be the image of God; a somewhat formless image; what one might call an impressionist portrait. It is quite futile to argue that man is small compared to the cosmos; for man was always small compared to the nearest tree.The idea that the sheer physical size of a thing philosophically dwarfs anything physically smaller Chesterton addresses again in his short story, "The Blue Cross." Father Brown is conversing with the famous criminal Flambaeu, who is posing as a priest:
The first he heard was the tail of one of Father Brown's sentences, which ended: "... what they really meant in the Middle Ages by the heavens being incorruptible."
The taller priest nodded his bowed head and said:
"Ah, yes, these modern infidels appeal to their reason; but who can look at those millions of worlds and not feel that there may well be wonderful universes above us where reason is utterly unreasonable?"
"No," said the other priest; "reason is always reasonable, even in the last limbo, in the lost borderland of things. I know that people charge the Church with lowering reason, but it is just the other way. Alone on earth, the Church makes reason really supreme. Alone on earth, the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason."
The other priest raised his austere face to the spangled sky and said:
"Yet who knows if in that infinite universe--?"
"Only infinite physically," said the little priest, turning sharply in his seat, "not infinite in the sense of escaping from the laws of truth."
Valentin behind his tree was tearing his fingernails with silent fury. He seemed almost to hear the sniggers of the English detectives whom he had brought so far on a fantastic guess only to listen to the metaphysical gossip of two mild old parsons. In his impatience he lost the equally elaborate answer of the tall cleric, and when he listened again it was again Father Brown who was speaking:
"Reason and justice grip the remotest and the loneliest star. Look at those stars. Don't they look as if they were single diamonds and sapphires? Well, you can imagine any mad botany or geology you please. Think of forests of adamant with leaves of brilliants. Think the moon is a blue moon, a single elephantine sapphire. But don't fancy that all that frantic astronomy would make the smallest difference to the reason and justice of conduct. On plains of opal, under cliffs cut out of pearl, you would still find a notice-board, `Thou shalt not steal.'"
Now that universities like Middlesex are canceling their philosophy programs, look for more sloppy philosophical thinking like Hawking's.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
"Among the 19 students who got a perfect score on the ACT science test in the past two decades, 18 were boys." -- The New York TimesIt's just a coincidence that the best science minds are male, of course. It has nothing to do with gender differences, which we all know to be culturally conditioned and to have nothing to do with . There is no difference between boys and girls.
Just keep repeating it.
Monday, June 07, 2010
This naive imposition of unscientific modes of thought on women
specifically leads to the state we have now. Assume a fundamental difference in
attitude: women feel, while men think.
To infer any difference in attitude between men and women is the closest thing to a sin in the system of secularist dogma. Marketers, of course, know different, which is why they have to pitch things differently to attract that much valued young male viewer--as opposed to the female audience, which apparently requires a different kind of programming.
This example occurs to me primarily because, as I sit here composing this, the female viewers in the room with me, in control of the remote, are watching Lifetime Television. Why are females attracted to Lifetime, while at least two of the males in the room would much rather be watching, say, mixed martial arts on Spike?
Could it be that women are attracted to the emotionalism so prevalant on Lifetime?
We could speculate on this, but we must not allow ourselves to think that it is because men and women are actually different. So if you ever wonder why you have to battle so often with someone of the opposite sex over the remote, go ahead and spin your theories--just don't resort to the obvious one.