Thursday, January 19, 2006

Vatican Gets It Right on ID

The Official Vatican Newspaper just announced that Darwin's evolution is science and ID is not. (Here)

I think the Christian Fundies ought to listen to the Vatican here. The Catholics have been in the game a lot longer than the Baptists or Methodists and know a little something about opposing science. After all, they did lock up Galileo for suggesting that the Earth was not the center of the universe. (oops)

So the lesson to be leared is this: Science doesn't care what your magic book says. For a scientist, the hypothesis is only the beginning. You can base your hypothesis on the bible, but that is where it ends. Then you are on your own and must rely on empirical evidence. That evolution is proved and re-proved every time a biology paper is written, is evidence that the hypothesis is true.

I love how IDers talk about macro and micro evolution. They say ridiculous things like "We've never seen a mouse evolve into horse." Of course you haven't. It never happened. It is as if they have never seen a taxinomic tree before. It is as if they didn't understand that lots of small evolutions add up to a big one. A million little changes in some prehistoric animal and you end up with horses and mice and people.

They can't believe this for three reasons. They don't like to admit that we are animals. (they would say "just animals" as if the word were an insult) They don't like to admit that the planet has been around for more than 7,000 years. And they don't like to admit that the guy who wrote Genesis is about as factually uninformed on the way things work as could possibly be imagined.

But none of those reasons are rational.

At least the Vatican understands that. At least the Vatican has admitted that you can't actually take the bible literally. They ought to know. They put the Bible together. They selected the books that made the cut and the ones that didn't. They supposedly have the originals. They did most of the translations. They know it is a crock of shit as far as a scientific or historic instrument. Does it have intersting parables? Yes. Is it filled with ridiculous rules that NO ONE follows? Yes. Is it a collection of books written by men? Yes. The Vatican knows this. They had it put together.

The fundies need to stop with the ID. It really makes them look stupid. If you beilieve that Jesus is coming back soon, fine. Believe it. Just don't expect me to feel confident in your ability to make long term decisions on things that effect us all. Things like Climate change. Unlike you, I am unwilling to depend on Jesus to bail us out if we start a chain reaction we can't stop.

I'm not saying we are the next Venus quite yet. (where greenhouse gasses make the planet 400˚c hotter than it should be, hotter than Mercury even which is much closer to the sun) But messing with the climate of this planet is not a good idea. Unless of course the magical Jesus is just waiting for some temple or such to come and bail us out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Freedom Isn't Free!

I saw a pick up with one of those "Freedom Isn't Free" bumper stickers on it the other day. Of course it also had other stickers that suggested the driver was a conservative.

Even putting aside the fact that conservatives seem oh so willing to trade freedom for the possibility of increased security, (which is tough to put aside) it suddenly occurred to me that this is still a ridiculous bumpersticker for a republican to have on their car.

Here is a proposed revision that more adequately describes the true Republican sentiment as it pertains to freedom and its cost:

Freedom: actually less expensive than most people think. Cut taxes now.