Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Scopes Trial, Take 2

So murray and i were talking about intelligent design today. Here's the email i sent him:

The main difference, i see, why this is different from the AR court case
is that that was evolution vs. creation science. This is evolution vs.
ID, which 'technically' is different. That would count as a similar
precedent and more than likely will be brought up by the smart people
side. ID effectively differs from creationism inasmuch as creationism
says god did it, ID says some intelligent designer did it--not
christian-dependent, choose your own god.

Biblethumpers seem to forget what they learned (or never learned) in
their public high schools: the difference b/w an english theory and a
science theory. English theory is basically an idea that needs to be
tested, a plan. Science theory is an idea, yes, that has yet to be
proven false. It's as close to a verifiable fact as you can get in

Most people think of science as of 9/27/05 as the end-all-be-all of
knowledge, it's not. Science is always changing, more proof is coming
about for various things, old theories are being constantly tested, etc.
Although evolution is a 'theory', it has the 2 main requirements of
being a science theory--(1) it can be EXPERIMENTALLY tested and (2)
nothing has proven it wrong. Darwin acknowledges in Origin that if
either an irreducibly complex system (i think, can't remember) is found,
evolution goes to poop.

I have gotten so pissed off recently--maybe cause i'm a scientist, maybe
cause i'm an atheist, probably both--that i am planning on writing a
letter to the KS school board. I am going to start it out as a serious
fundamentalist congratulating them on having the cojones to challenge
evolution and the liberal establishment. Once i've got them in, i'll
suggest they stop teaching other supposed theories in science class,
like gravity or atoms and molecules. If i remember my bible study
correctly, the fauna of earth were molded from mud by god, NOT atoms and
molecules. The bible doesn't even SAY anything about atoms and
molecules, let alone gravity. How are we sposta raise moral young
adults in such a climate? It's downright shocking...come to think of
it, isn't electricity a theory too?

(on an anti-id note, the theory that atoms were the smallest
things/fundamental building blocks in the universe was dropped once
physicists had EVIDENCE of quarks,etc. I can't imagine the science
community was thrilled at changing its paradigm. I mean, chemists deal
in atoms...we'd all be out of a job. Also, i know for a fact, that
quantum mechanics was NOT accepted by some of the physics community,
most famously by Einstein. That whole 'god doesn't play dice' quote was
in regards to the probability that is inherent in QM.)

If/when i remember, i'll email you this article out of a magazine i get
about ID vs. evolution, specifically brought up by their new 'textbook'
Of Pandas and People....Have you heard about this? Go on amazon or
something and read about it....it's 170 pages....yes, 170 pages. That's
shorter than almost all novels and it doesn't even have a good plot. It
also has evidence on why ID doesn't work--eg, the human appendix. If we
were created just as we are now, 6000 or so years ago, why would the
'intelligent' designer put a piece in us that doesn't work and can cause
death if not excised when inflamed? Not very intelligent....must have
been on break.

Wow, that was a lot longer than i thought/planned....Maybe i won't have
to write another venting email, but i'm not sure...haven't read the news
yet today. Talking about my KS letter kinda charged me up, so maybe
i'll do that today. I'll send it to you when (if) it gets done.


PS: http://www.venganza.org/

When/if i do that kansas letter, i'll be sure to post it here.

Questioning link time!!!!!!
Let the proverbial flood gates open....too soon?
Who knew Trevor was so magical?
The Supreme Court won't listen to cases about god in the pledge of allegiance or other touchy subjects, but they will listen to this?

Back to the mindless toil that is my job...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Extremely Random

I have the theme song to the old Nickelodeon show "Roundhouse" stuck in my head.

"...you know what i'm sayin...music and the fun never ends....down at the Roundhouse!"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pissed off

I just wrote a whole bunch of crap and the internet ate it.

I will update this later, when i'm not ready to walk upstairs and throw this laptop out a window.

Ask and ye shall receive

Yeah, so....hey. How's it goin? Whatchoo been up to? Me? Nothin much, just work, you know how that goes. So...uhh....you...you been reading any other blogs since mine? I mean, it's ok if you did, i wasn't around and you had to live your own life. Hopefully you can come back to me in the end, but i totally understand if that can't work out. Well, i'll let you decide....talk to you later. Bye.

Not quite a year, but better late than never. Danrunt told me at our latest bingo excursion that i needed to update this thing. So i am.

Work sucks, as it does for everyone else in America. Started my 4th year at Election 2004 U., only 2 or so more years left....hopefully. That's the magic of getting your PhD...it's not up to you when you're done. Eventually your boss hands down a memo that says, "Look for a job." I'm shooting for December 2007 (5.5 years total), because i want to apply for a postdoc whose deadline is every January. It's mixing science with public policy work down in DCizzle working with either the executive (DoD, State, DHS, etc.) or the legislative branch (Rep's). Sounds pretty cool, plus it's only 1 year with a possible 1-year renewal. That way, i can find out if i hate it or not BEFORE i make it my life's work for the next 50 years.

I'm gonna try to talk my advisor into letting me take Russian and possibly Arabic next semester so that i look even better on paper for the application process. Need to have some "intelligence capital" to expend for the face-to-face interviews when they see me. (Haven't decided what's going to become of the metal....). I'm also going to try to bring up my whole "graduation scheme" of Dec 2007. We'll see how that goes, i'm not too hopeful. Although (1) i have bugged him for stuff and gotten it (2 new computers for our lab) and (2) i don't care any more, so i've got that goin for me....which is nice. As long as i have a set plan with goals in mind, it should go better than expected, but it's still venturing into the unknown.

Been reading a lot. It's amazing how much reading i actually get done while walking places. Efficiency experts should look into that. Walking to work was a 10-15 minute period of nothingness (well, just exercise). Now, i get through like 7-10 pages in my walk...which adds up. Finished Watership Down...didn't like it. Read a whole bunch of other stuff. Just finished No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson; picked it up in a supermarket about 5/6 years ago, impulse buy. Finally got around to reading it and it was surprisingly good. It's about this Senator from NJ, Kerry Kilcannon, running for the Democratic nomination for Prez. Got to "see" the behind-the-scenes dealings and goings-on of a campaign. The author also, from what i've read, picks a pet topic for his novel and kinda runs with it. This one was about gun control and abortion. The first chapter is this guy going into an abortion clinic in Kenmore Square and shoots up the place. (I learned that 'abortionist' is a word...who knew?).

Now i'm reading a book Patterson read as background for NSP about how power in Washington works; I like to think of it as Government for Dummies. The Power Game by Hedrick Smith is a ginormous tome of a book that seems like something kids would have to read for AP Gov't or Intro PoliSci or something. But, because i'm retarded, i'm reading it for fun. Practice for when i get there.

Not really sure what else is goin on. Slowly nursing myself from a CivIII addiction and prepping my body and mind for a new CivIV addiction, which comes out Oct 24. Lots of games are coming out before xmas that i'm going to need or need to ask for: XMen Legends II ("game over" to my social life...see what i did there?) and Batallion Wars to name a couple. My electric bill is going to be ridonkulous. Might need to get my required Yale 2005 package--a new phone and an IPod. We'll see.

Speaking of xmas, i just bought my flights "home" for xmas...which is weird since i've never had to fly anywhere for a holiday before. I bought them Monday...from JetBlue....who I loved when i flew them earlier this year, but recent events made me less than thrilled. I watched it unfold on television...live. Only news from LA would have a helicopter follow around an injured airplane. I thought to myself...what happens when this does land? There is a possibility that in can crash and burn and lots of people will die on live television. Kinda messed up. I flipped between MSNBC and NBC (I am a GE whore, i think they implanted something in me while my mom was pregnant and working there) to watch the Martha Stewart Apprentice show, a seeming plane crash in its own right. She got off of house arrest Sept 1st. Since then and now she started a daytime talk show (where Diddy, nee P. Diddy/Puff Daddy/Puffy/etc., taught her to rap) and a reality show. It was better than Donald Trump's mainly because he's so arrogant and grating and says "huge" wrong. There's no "you're fired" though, which is the main reason i watched. She says something "nice" and then pens a cordial goodbye letter to them. It wouldn't be any other way....