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Archive for September, 2004

A good rant

Here’s a good political rant I ran across on A Small Victory regarding the differences between the right and the left.

I don’t fully agree, in some areas she exaggerates, in others she doesn’t say enough. But it’s still generally on target.

See rant here.

Hey in other news I’ll be returning home next week, so I’ll possibly be blogging more on this site. Keep checking up.

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thoughts on NYTimes Magazine

I picked up a NY Times today in Starbucks. Sunday edition ($4.50 for a Newspaper!). So I’m reading through, finding out about N.Korea and and interesting lawsuit in Germany, when I come to the NYTimes Magazine. This is the part where they can write feature articles that aren’t necessarily news. And my what I found. Below are some quotes from articles and thoughts I had.

The Ethicist New York Times Magazine, Sept. 26, 2004

Question:

“I am in my month’s trial membership at the fitness chain Curves, and I love it. I must decide whether to sign up for a year, and I’ve learned that the owner of the company financially supports pro-life efforts, whereas I am pro-choice. Do I have a duty to give up my Curves Membership?”

First Sentence of the Answer:

“It depends: which do you value more, your reproductive rights or your figure?”

WOW. Stop. This is the biggest red flag I’ve seen in awhile on this movement. Allow me to point your attention towards two words in the answer. Reproductive Rights. I am greatly confused about this. When pro-choice people are able to say that they are defending their Reproductive rights by allowing unborn babies to be killed, someone is terribly confused.
Reproduction in the context of humans is the idea of two humans creating new life, a baby being born. A new human life entering into existence. The Pro-life movement (as the name might suggest) is all for this. The desire of the movement is the that everyone has the right to reproduce. The pro-choice movement is not completely again reproduction. But at it’s heart, the Pro-choice movement minimizes the concept of reproduction, making it less than a right, and more of a choice.

The Genesis Project New York Times Magazine, Sept. 26, 2004

“In the United States, where creationism still finds its way into some classrooms, the government is spending millions to discover the actual story of creation.”

This quote makes me sad. In once sentence, we find the assumption that creationism is untrue to begin with, and the confusion of a naturalistic beginning of life with the idea of “creation”.

To quote from the cover of NASA’s official astrobiology time line, which begins some 15 billion years ago with the Big Bang and shows no other demarcation until the formation of our solar system some 11 billion years later: “Where do we come from? Are we along? Where are we going?”

I don’t understand! I can not comprehend how these scientists can be satisfied with a beginning that is no beginning at all. It’s step two. Or three. THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING BEFORE THAT ANSWER. The Big Bang assumes matter already existed. Where did it come from?

There is very little known about LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancester, the organism from which all life is derived), though scientists currently agree on two things. One, that it had to have existed. And two, that it had to have been extremely rugged.

These scientists agree that it had to have existed, because if it didn’t, then there is no possible way for the idea of a evolution from a common ancestor to be true. This is the ever elusive foundational missing link. The Missing link between all life forms. If this didn’t exist, then evolution doesn’t exist. This seems to be the god of evolution, the source of all life.

On the Definition of “living”

For me, I would say that all you need to define life is imperfect replication. That’s it. Life. And what that means is that the entity can make copies of itself but not exact copies. A perfectly replicating system isn’t alive because it doesn’t evolve. Quartz crystals make exact copies of themselves and have done from the beginning of the earth. They don’t evolve, however, because they’re locked into that particular form. But with imperfect replication you get mutants that develop some sort of selective advantage that will allow them to dominate the system. That whole system then evolves, and you get this cascade of evolution progressing to more complicated entities. But something preceded all that, something that could do this basic thing of replication and mutation, and that’s what everyone is trying to figure out.”

That definition transfers the idea of micro-evolution into an implied concession that macro-evolution is possible. What preceded it? Well the article belies the idea that it must be some sort of naturalistic process. Something discoverable via science. But what if the thing that “created” this system, is really the One. Why is that discounted?

“…the whole story of life’s emergence and evolution on earth being, in essence, a multi-billion-year-long game of telephone, in which the initial utterance, the one that preceded all others, was increasingly transmuted and reinvented the further along it was passed. It is the precise nature of that first utterance that astrobiologists are trying to decipher.”

But anyone who has played the game Telephone knows that the end result is horribly mutated and indecipherable from the original utterance. This analogy has a faulty assumption and a terrible consequence. First, that if the emergence and evolution of life is really like a game of telephone, then the assumption that things have gotten better is made. If it’s really just miscommunication after miscommunication, why are things better, why is entropy not taking place? Why do we hold to the Second law of Thermodynamics religiously, while simultaneously holding religiously to the position that life itself does not obey this law. The terrible consequence is that according to this position, all life is a mistake. I am a mistake. Not my parents mistake, not anyone in particular’s mistake, I am an accident of the universe. Oops.

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If only more interviews were like this…

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you this about John Kerry‘s war record. 

MILLER:  Well, are you going to shut up after you ask me? 

MILLER:  Or are you going to give me a chance to answer it? 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, sir. 

Zell Miller was interviewed by Chris Matthews after his speech at the RNC. That man doesn’t take crap. Go here to read the rest of the transcript. Zell starts about halfway down or so.

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Freedom of Speech

This blog is about to be really boring – eg I’m about to have little to no posting over the next month.

Travelling around with Communicators for Christ, a group dedicated to teaching public speaking and debate skills to homeschooled and private schooled students. Feel free to check out approx. weekly updates from the entire travelling staff at this page.

In the meantime, check out these thoughts on Freedom of Speech and the protestors in NYC right now. Very interesting thoughts from RHSager, who apparently works at a media outlet in the city.

It is interesting that it’s mostly liberals (extreme) liberals who protest, even though “right wing extremists” are supposed to be the judgemental fundamentalists on par with terrorists.

Yes, those same right wing extremists who are typically also evangelical Christians – of the same Christianity who’s second greatest command (according to Christ himself) is love your neighbor as yourself.

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