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Archive for May, 2007

I recall back in November of 2005 how thrilled I was to read: It’s Over in Dover. I was thinking science, logic, and reason had won a great significant victory in the battle to really educate young Americans with the truth but found myself still wondering if that was really the victory I thought it was.

The fight goes on it seems, it’s just the battlefield has changed and moved. Tragically there’s sad news, the World’s first creationist museum opens in Kentucky (Tuesday May 29, 2007 Guardian Unlimited)

I recently read that 55% of all Americans believe that God created humans in our present form and there was no such thing as evolution and I was shocked. Could our nation be that backwards? For me to hear that it’s it only marginally better than hearing that 55% of all Americans believe that Santa Claus and/or the Easter Bunny are real.

Perhaps the only thing that shocks me even more was the news I also learned last week that right along with the crap they are spreading out of this garbage pit in Kentucky Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University biology department teaches that there we’re probably dinosaurs on the ark. (Were there dinosaurs on board the ark?).

I mean come on! Am I sleeping and this is really just some kind of terrible nightmare? Have Americans really lost their minds? This is really a national tragedy as far as science goes and we all should be embarrassed to sand in front of the rest of the world thinking like this.

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Francis Crick the great molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist who was one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule wrote in his book Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature :

“To me it is remarkable that this astonishing discovery, the vastness and emptiness of space, has not attracted the imaginative attention of poets and religious thinkers. People are happy to contemplate the limitless powers of God––a doubtful proposition at best––but quite unwilling to meditate creatively on the size of this extraordinary universe in which, through no virtue of their own, they find themselves.”

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Wow, just discovered Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene online in the GoogleBooks library!

googlebookstheselfishgene.jpg

>

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I know from a couple of discussions I’ve recently read online and had with friends and acquaintances that there are a few people who have already read and enjoyed Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion so I thought I bring up that there is an excellent set of videos on YouTube that came out of a CSpan Book TV broadcast of a lecture Dawkins gave at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia back on October 23, 2006. In the first part he read some excerpts from the book and then in part 2 he takes questions from the audience which also happened to include a fair amount of students and faculty from nearby Liberty University.

YouTube – Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 1) The God Delusion

YouTube – Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 2) The God Delusion

While part one is interesting for anyone who hasn’t yet read The God Delusion I found the question and answer period to be most fascinating and revealing.

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If and when a politician or political pundit on the right brings up the old "Al Gore says he invented the Internet" can’t and shouldn’t we just ignore and disregard every thing he or she says from that point on?

It’s been 8 years now since since a little bit of slip of the tongue misspeak took place and and was exploited by the right as part of a political hatchet job and we all (or at least all the reasonably intelligent people in this country) know he has never said any such thing.

As part of the Democratic nomination process and debate responding to a question from Wolf Blitzer of CNN as to what would distinguished him from Senator Bill Bradley he clumsily said:

"…During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

When what he probably really meant to say and was instead implying was:

"…During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in putting through legislation the was helpful in creating the Internet."

or

"…During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating legislation that helped develop the Internet." etc. etc. etc.

Any pundit or politician on the right who really thinks Gore really meant to say that "he created the internet" really really needs to have their head examined to see if they have any cognitive working brain cells inside it or needs to have their head examined to see if they have any political thinking skills too since all reasonable people on the left and the right now know that was just a politically motivated rumor and lie intended to ridicule Gore.

The Assault On ReasonAs I was eating my lunch I just saw Contessa Brewer on MSNBC talking with two political wags about Gore’s appearing on the cover of Time magazine and the forthcoming publication of his new book The Assault on Reason and this Republican wag who I previously respected admired and listened to as an intelligent voice from the other side started in on attacking Gore with the old "he said he invented the internet" argument and instantly lost any respect I had for him and lost any interest from my perspective in listening to anything else he had to say.

Perhaps it is more important than ever right now to have intelligent discussions of the issues at hand today where both sides and all those that fill the gaps in between listen to and hear what is really being said to the right and left in the political spectrum and not have our time wasted with the meaningless and pointless political attack rhetoric like "Gore says he invented the internet". In spite of my own political leanings to the left I want to hear what intelligent Republicans and Conservatives have to say and I don’t want to have my time wasted sorting through and throwing out that kind of political bullshit.

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