Saturday, December 29, 2007

How Is Iraq Faring?

General Petraeus provides an end of year summary of conditions in Iraq: improved, but tenuous. The New York Times also provides a summary of conditions around Bagdhad - quite informative (from Sept 2007). Another Op-Ed provides an end of year update. Prognosis, guardedly optimistic, but now Iraqi politics must step up to the task.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Science Debate 2008.

Vern Ehlers is co-sponsoring a group to promote discussion of issues of science and technology policy during the 2008 presidential campaign:

"Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Ron Paul Update.

(cue - Wagner's "Ride of Valkyries")

1. Tucker Carlson joins the Baron von Paul's Flying Circus - as an observer - and learns that their favorite suppertable subject is: The Gold Standard, the Abolition of the "Central Bank" and "Fiat Currency". Dr. Paul recalls with pride to his sponsorship of legislation to protect Americans' inalieable right to drink non-pastuerized milk.

2. The Good Doctor clarifies his positions on "Meet the Press", particularly on how congressional term limits are good for others - but not him, and why his district's pork is not really pork.

Listeners, be sure to set your Ron Paul Message Decoder Pin to "6Y" for the next Ron Paul update. And be sure to drink your Ovaltine!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What It Is, Ain't Science.

Here is the statement of the tenets of "Scientific Creationism" and "Biblical Creationism" as posted by the
Institute of Creation Research. The ICR is lobbying the Texas state government to train science teachers:

• The physical universe "was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity."
• Life "was specially and supernaturally created by the Creator."
• All plants and animals were "created functionally complete from the beginning and did not evolve from some other kind of organism."
• Evolution since creation is "limited to 'horizontal' changes (variations) within the kinds, or 'downward' changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinctions).
• Humans "were specially created in fully human form from the start."

• The creator of the universe is a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• The universe was created "in the six literal days of the Creation Week" described in Genesis.
• All human beings descended from Adam and Eve.

"Tenets" are principles or doctrines, and the list above are whoppers - summarily preempting a great deal of well established scientific evidence (such as a universe age of a least ten billion years).

Since when does having a belief in God consign one to the company of the ICR? If we don't stand too close, we won't catch the fleas.
A Question for Governor Huckabee.

Governor, you have indicated that you do not believe in evolution. Would you require that Federal education guidelines for middle and high-school science curricula include creationism as an alternate theory to evolution? Despite your insistance that such a question may be irrelevant to being President, the federal government does have an interest in programs to train competent scientists and engineers, and your administration will have a role in this issue.