Notebook entry, August 22, 2000

Natalie Angier, science writer for The New York Times had a nice piece in the Science/Health section today.  Titled: "Do Races Differ?  Not Really, DNA Shows." There are some really nice quotes here, so I suggest that you obtain a copy of the piece. Examples: "Scientists have long suspected that the racial categories recognized by society are not reflected on the genetic level....the more closely that researchers examine the human genome...the more most of them are convinced that the standard labels used to distinguish people by "race" have little or no biological meaning." 

The bottom line here is that all humans on the planet share 99.99 per cent of our DNA with one another.  We have to remember that we share 98.6% with the chimpanzee, 85% with the test mouse, and 40% with the earthworm.  Not only are humans closely connected, but all living creatures that inhabit the Earth are also bonded with our species. So, try not to step on that ant that you come across on your path.

 Angier in quoting Dr. Sonia S. Anand, an assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario: "Ethnicity is a broad concept that encompasses both genetics and culture.  Thinking about ethnicity is a way to bring together questions of a person's biology, lifestyle, diet, rather than just focusing on race. Ethnicity is about phenotype and genotype, and if you define the terms of your study, it allows you to look at differences between groups in a valid way."

And the best quote of all is from Harold P. Freeman, chief executive, president and director of surgery at North General Hospital in Manhattan: "Science got us into this problem in the first place, with its measurements of skulls and its emphasis on racial differences and racial classifications.  Scientists should now get us out of it.  They need to be leaders in promoting an evolutionary understanding of the human race." 

 Notebook entry, August 21, 2000

It was in last June that John finished his edit of my first book, and this past weekend I finally completed my final sweep.  Well, that only took three months.  Well, it's not hard to do when your working 45 to 60 hours a week.  John and I hope to get together this coming week to plan the final stages of the book.  We both decided that we would farm out the index work.  Finding a publisher is a snap here in the states at this particular stage of internet development.  Right now, the final developments of "print-on-demand" technology will soon be in place where one will merely walks into a book store and get any book printed out while you wait.  The store would merely download the book from a central location and print the book, (with binding and all) right there. This means that rare, and also very unprofitable books that were unavailable will now be easily obtained.  And the cost will be much lower.  Expect more books to be sold, not less.   The Renaissance is coming.  

My book will be published in a similar manner, but for now it will sit with an "electronic" holding server where people who are interested in the book could download it for a modest cost.  All this new technology that makes self-publishing less expensive, for the writer and reader, will cause an explosion of thought not seen since, well.....since the Renaissance.  Are you ready?

Notebook entry, August 3, 2000

Pam Belluck of The New York Times follows up on the Kansas election as mentioned on Aug. 1, 00: Voters on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 defeated three conservative candidates who supported the decision to remove the subject of human evolution from the state science standards. This makes it all but certain that the decision will be overturned.

My local newspaper, The Denver Post on their Op-Ed page: "You're back in Kansas, Charles Darwin." 
To quote some of their opinion on the results of the election: "Kansas voters Tuesday rejected efforts by religious fundamentalists to teach a thinly veiled version of the Book of Genesis in public schools...Faith and reason are not incompatible.  The most rigorous scientist is thus free to believe in God, while the most devout follower of any of the world's many religions can also pursue science...But please, let's keep the Bible in the pulpit and the science texts in the classroom -- as Kansas voters so wisely concluded Tuesday."  August 3, 00, p.10B

I agree.  But I would also like to see comparison studies for those who wish to attend or learn....the various myths from around the world that teach the origins of our beginnings.

Notebook entry, August 1, 2000

Oh, yes, I almost forgot.  A New York Times story by Pam Belluck, July 29, 2000. "Board Decision on Evolution Roils an Election in Kansas."   Money is pouring in from in and out of state coffers to place more reform minded members on the Kansas School Board.  What is most interesting is that registered Democrats are switching party affiliation in order to change to the makeup of the Board.  We must remember that last August the Kansas Board of Education removed evolution from the state's science curriculum. Stay tuned.