August 2005 Notebook Entries
Notebook entry, August 31, 2005
There are three articles from The New York Times, online edition, that I want to bring to your attention. One on the continuing saga of creationism vs. evolution debate, and two about the female of our species.
August, 31, 2005: Teaching of Creationism Is Endorsed in New Survey, by Laurie Goodstein. In a poll conducted July 7-17, 2005 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.
Once again, I take the position that this is a failure of our public school system to even teach evolution in the first place, not the prevalence of creationism that is taught in weekly classes run by religious school systems. Once again, I say, "bring it on," and teach the two together side-by-side so that we can witness a national "Inherit the Wind" rerun. Truth and science will win, hands down...After all, once the debate is won, then we can move on to evolutionary psychology, social psychology, and inter-group conflict resolutions to finally evolve our species to glory that God intended.
The second article: August 29, 2005, "In the Struggle Over the Iraq War, Women Are on the Front Line," by Elisabeth Bumiller.
This is about modern politic. This is an article about the new "fighting" American women standing up and yelling against the brutality of war. This is about Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier, who is demanding to meet with Mr. Bush, and the propaganda machine of the Bush administration trying to forestall any of her efforts by finding similar women to support their war.
So what we are seeing is about the biological imperative of the female reproductive forces gathering their forces and fighting for the logic of life. The organized "anti-war" movement is really, the "pro-life" movement of the female telling the Alpha elite males that enough is enough. The reason for the war in the first place was misrepresented, now it is time to reverse course.
I doubt that the current administration will pull out of Iraq because their presence is about oil and profits; and for the GOP [Greed Over People] Party, that is what "pro-life" is all about to conservatives.
The third article: "A Lipstick President," by Maureen Dowd, August 31, 2005.
In this column, Ms. Dowd introduces us to the upcoming fall 2005 TV Series, "Commander-inChief," about the first American woman president. In this first series, there is an exchange about Ms. Geena Davis and the speaker of the House about the "monthly menstrual problem" that women face and the "unstable mental process" that permeates through masculine cultural.
Ms. Dowd flows into a swipe at Hillary Clinton as a possible presidential candidate and criticize her for not taking the leadership role of a possible Democratic candidate.
It will be a very interesting upcoming election in 2008.
Notebook entry, August 28, 2005
Daniel C. Dennett, professor of philosophy at Tufts University, weighs in on the "intelligent design" debate of 2005 with a brilliant piece in The New York Times online edition of this date. Title: "Show Me the Science." Of particular interest is his reply concerning the complexity of the eye....a major argument with proponents of "intelligent design." Also, his final three paragraphs seem to sum up the debate rather nicely:
"The Discovery Institute, the conservative organization that has helped to put intelligent design on the map, complains that its members face hostility from the established scientific journals. But establishment hostility is not the real hurdle to intelligent design. If intelligent design were a scientific idea whose time had come, young scientists would be dashing around their labs, vying to win the Nobel prizes that surely are in store for anybody who can overturn any significant proposition of contemporary evolutionary biology.
"Remember cold fusion? The establishment was incredibly hostile to that hypothesis, but scientists around the world rushed to their labs in the effort to explore the idea, in hopes of sharing the glory if it turned out to true.
"Instead of spending more than $1 million a year on publishing books and articles for non-scientists and on other public relations efforts, the Discovery Institute should finance its own peer-reviewed electronic journal. This way, the organization could live up to it self-professed image: the doughty defenders of brave iconoclasts bucking the establishment."
As I mentioned before, I believe that both should be taught in our school systems....not because I support intelligent design, but that finally, the science of evolution can be fully funded. The truth will prevail. The only way the creationists can win is to lie and convince enough of their undereducated followers to "drink the cool aid."
The New York Times has a special section concerning the evolution vs. creation (intelligent design) debate on their web site, and I have placed the link below to guide you. If you follow the link, I am sure that you will have to "log in," and create a profile of yourself, but I am also pretty sure that the entry to the page is free. It's worth the voyage to find it.
Notebook entry, August 23, 2005
I would greatly amiss not to mention the great debate that is occurring in my country over evolution and "Intelligent Design." Over the past three days, The New York Times has been abuzz with articles over the subject. They are:
Aug 20th, 2005: Editorial/"Intelligent Design and the Smithsonian."
Aug 22, 2005: National/"In Explaining Life's Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash," by Kenneth Chang.
Aug 23, 2005: National/ "Scientists Speak up on Mix of God Science," by Cornelia Dean.
August 23, 2005: Opinion/ "Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution," by Verlyn Klinenborg.
As for yours truly, I have always admitted that I believe that there is a God out there someplace. But my god does not look like some white dude with a flowing white beard and white robes. But I believe that science is taking us closer to god, and not away from him/her/it. So in the great "intelligent design" debate, I say "if having the two subjects taught side by side means that science will be fully funded in our school systems, then 'bring it on!"
In any case, the hot debate merely adds to the heat of an already hot summer.
Notebook entry, August 18, 2005
I want all regular readers of this notebook section to be advised that I am now sort in semi-retirement. There are many things looming on my personal horizon that are beginning to have a profound influence on my studies and writing. There has been much to write about in this notebook section about women's rights in the Middle East, Evolution and "Intelligent Design" in America's school system. But none of appears to be of much interest to me lately. I don't know if it is a form of depression, or a set of perceptions of the reality around that I have spend more time on. In particular, It appears 90 per cent certain that my kids in California will declare bankruptcy, and that means that they may move to Colorado for a while. Secondly, my wife wants me to personally do our income taxes next year, and because of the complexity, I have already started to gather information and material. Thyroid, my retirement is only about two and a half years away (62), and that requires some serious focus.
All in all, I'm thinking more and more to just waiting several years to begin again. I just don't know at this time.
Don't look for many notebook entries, essays, or book reviews over the next several months, but the site will remain up and active.
Notebook entry, August 3, 2005
Another sign that America is slipping into a dark period of religious theocracy. Here's a quote from The New York Times, online edition:
"In an interview at the White House on Monday with a group of Texas newspaper reporters, Mr. Bush appeared to endorse the push by many of his conservative Christian supporters to give intelligent design equal treatment with the theory of evolution."
In my humble opinion, the search for "intelligent design" will lead us away from God, and not toward it. Religious fundamentalists will merely insist that one "believes or does not believe" --[my way or the highway] what the "wise elders" have to teach.
In may ways, I feel the same way for America as I feel for my California family -- they both had such huge potential, but sadly, they are both sinking into an abyss that will take many years to reverse.
But then, maybe that is God's grand design....we won't know what we have missed until it is gone. And from the ashes, will emerge new growth that is strongly and more vibrant.
The hard part is enduring the pain of the descent.