Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A German Who Gets It

Suspicious as I must be of forwarded emails, I had to track this one down. It's true. I can't personally vouch for the translation, but here it is in the original German.
What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

Evolution vs evolution

While I don't yet take the arguments for "Intelligent Design" as seriously as he does, I largely agree with Peter Wood's take on the current debate, especially his distinction between "evolution" (which does have a lot of evidence behind it) and "Evolution" (which, I think, is the religion for people who profess to be irreligious).
At an interview with some reporters from Texas on August 1, President Bush parried a question about whether schools should teach "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution by saying, "I think part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought." By itself, this seems a mild, even innocuous opinion. But that hardly tempered the reaction in the press. The New York Times picked up the story two days later, and we were off to another liberal media cage fight between Outraged Scientists and Unrelenting Creationists.
Where I really part company is with the notion that Bush gave the right answer to the question.

The right answer would have been, "I'm sorry. You're speaking with the President of the United States. That makes me the head of the Executive branch of the Federal Government which, as we all know, is not constitutionally authorized to have any part in education. Now ask me a question that relates to my job."

But that would have required W to reject his outright socialist tendencies in that arena. A truly great president would have gone on to say, "But if you'll allow me to use my Bully Pulpit for a moment, I think that the individual states should seriously reconsider the notion that any government involvement in schools is desireable or even appropriate."

Because, as we all know, it isn't.

Origins of Life

I hope you're all following the Corner debate between JPod and Robert George (whom I now know to be a very smart Princeton professor who was gracious enough to take the time to thank me for a link to L4L). George's responses are so devastatingly on the money that all I can do is cheer from the sidelines and yell, "What he said!".
Modern embryology establishes a set of facts about embryogenesis and early intrauterine human development. These facts are stubborn; there is no running away from them. Human embryos are not creatures different in kind from human beings (like rocks, or potatoes, or alligators); they are, rather, human beings--distinct living members of the species Homo sapiens--at the earliest stage of their natural development. They differ from human beings at later developmental stages not in virtue of the kind of entity they are, but rather by degree of development.