Saturday, June 21, 2008

New member of the staff

The anemometer has been turning a bit slowly here at The Divine Afflatus, so management thought perhaps adding another worker might help catch the wind. The boss was looking through numerous resumes but not quite finding all of the desired qualifications in a single applicant.

Then this guy walked through the door, brushed all the resumes off the desk, and declared "Woof." Unable to find any flaws in that argument, management hired him immediately. His first assignment is a summary of the Bush Administration, which we expect to be posted soon.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Third World country passes freedom from academics bill

The Louisiana House passed a bill designed to bring dishonor and disrepute upon that state. It's an unintelligent bill, a foolish bill, an ill-thought-out bill. I think the bill has the intention of allowing teachers to provide supplemental materials to their science [sic] classes, materials that regurgitate the same tired old arguments about the "weaknesses" of evolution, arguments that have long been debunked.

I suspect Jack Chick has a lobby presence in the halls of Louisiana government.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No news; news

While in Maine I checked the papers to see if there was any mention of the recent effort to teach religion as science in School Administrative District 59, specifically, in Athens, Maine. I found no mention of that, but did come across a letter to the editor of the Bangor Daily News (27 May) by one Donald V. Organ of Northport. Mr. Organ says about evolution,
To the extent that it is a viable explanation of the world in which we live, it is clearly of value.
Well, that seems reasonable, but then he goes on to complain about a previous writer's claim that creationism is unprovable. This, he claims,
...excludes [creationism] as a subject worthy of any scientific study thereby eliminating the risk that such a study might prove that creationism is factual.
He's correct, right up to the point where he thinks that there's a chance that creationism could actually be the subject of scientific study and thereby "proven" factual. No, Mr. Organ, there is no
theory of creationism. And to ask the silly question "What are evolutionists afraid of?" shows a total lack of understanding of what science is and how it is done. But to answer your question, evolutionists are afraid that if creationism is taught as if it were a science on an equal level with evolution, we risk raising a generation of confused, ignorant, scientific illiterates unable to compete in a global economy or to face the challenges of disease, climate change, and other issues where understanding science provides a powerful tool.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

A too brief vacation

I just returned from a one-week trip to Moosehead Lake, Maine, where I have been going nearly every year for the past twenty-some-odd years (and some of those years were odd indeed). This year we rented a cabin at a camp near the East Outlet (Kennebec River), pictured above. That's Big Spencer Mountain framed by the gap in the trees.

Our group of co-workers and friends has been making the trip for about 27 years, staying at a colleague's family property on the other side of the lake, closer to the southern end. Unfortunately, that property had to be sold; however, a new place to stay led to novel experiences and new perspectives. And I don't just mean that from this angle Big Spencer Mountain looks smaller than Little Spencer Mountain. Somehow, it seems that we reserved the cabin usually booked around this time of year by a bunch of geezers who have been coming to the same place for about 60 years. Yikes, that could be us in another 30 20 couple of decades.

It's very easy to get used to such a vacation, especially when one's cell phone doesn't get a signal and there are no computers around. I suppose I must snap out of vacation mode now and think about cutting my grass, which is knee-high where I did not mow before leaving.