Richard Dawkins on Fresh Air

28 03 2007

Terry Gross interviewed Richard Dawkins today.  You can listen to the interview here.  I’ll have my thoughts on it, as soon as I get a chance to listen to it.

Update –

I’ve listened to it, and found that it was fairly interesting, although nothing I haven’t heard before.  If you don’t know much about Richard Dawkins, it is worth a listen.  Tonight Terry will interview the evangelical christian who ran the Human Genome Project.


Best Website Ever – Free Porn

28 03 2007

In a feeble attempt to win prizes, I’m putting a link to a website HERE in hopes that you click on it.  There’s no porn.  It is, however, a good tech blog.

Russia Sees Attack on Iran

28 03 2007

I’m making absolutely no claims as to the validity of this report, but Russian Intelligence is reporting a build up of US Armed Forces along the Iranian border – presumably in lieu of an attack.

“The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran,” the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

You can read about it here.  I would like to think that even the current President isn’t that stupid.

Objectivity in Public School Bible Classes

27 03 2007

Time magazine has an interesting article about teaching the Bible in high schools.  The article does a decent job of covering most of the issues surrounding this issue, but also misses some things.

The author seems to get a little confused when talking about the Bible as literature, and even goes so far as to claim: 

Without the Bible and a few imposing secular sources, we face a numbing horizontality in our culture–blogs, political announcements, ads. The world is flat, sure. But Scripture is among our few means to make it deep.

Which, you guessed it, is perhaps the most rediculous sentance writen, ever.  If the author finds culture flat outside of the bible, perhaps the author would benifit from getting out more.

Beyond that, the article talks about the different sides of having a class on the Bible in public schools, wether or not it could be objective, and all that jazz.  One possible solution that it does not come outright and suggest however, is that a study of the bible in any public highschool should be done only as part of perhaps a comparitive religion class – something that focuses on more than just one subject. 

There are no other classes that you can take in highschool, electives or otherwise, that study just one book.  This kind of in-depth study is usually undertaken in college and graduate school, so why are we trying to do a half-assed job of it at the highschool level?

Biased Studies

27 03 2007

The Daily Texan has an opinion piece written by David Horowitz that is a read if you have nothing better to do and doing nothing is not an option.  It concerns the supposed ‘liberal bias’ in places of higher education – specifically, the University of Texas. 

While it is true that the more education you have the more likely you are to be liberal – I find it hard to believe that their is a liberal bias in most universities. 

Full disclosure:  I did graduate from perhaps one of the most liberal colleges in the country, Reed College, whose school motto was, “Communism, Atheism, & Free Love”.

Anyway, Mr. Horowitz is concerned that the University of Texas is teaching such liberal ideas as, you know, gender equality. 

Among the departments and programs at UT that are parties to this scam are the Communicat-ions Studies Department, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Division of Rhetoric and Writing. Space only permits a glimpse of the problem.

Alright, so I may be reading a little too much in to his idea that these departments teach leftist politics, not academics.  But the truth is, until he takes the courses, he’s not really in a position to comment about their content.  Respectable universities would not allow so called indoctrination to exist in their classrooms. 

One problem that has become all too prevalent today is that of people confusing opinion and fact.  Too many people are holding on to opinions that have no basis in fact or reality (we’ll use Intelligent Design as an example).  An unbiased investigation is one that looks at all the facts, all the evidence, and proceeds from there.  It would be counter-productive for any investigator to consider every possible explanation regardless of evidence in an effort to be ‘unbiased’. 

When investigating the origin of life on earth, we certainly arn’t going to hold everything while we look into the creation myths of every religion that has ever existed.  We will look at the evidence we have, and go where it leads us. 

That being said, there can exist legitimate academic studies of specific opinions.  I.E. one can study the feminist movement, the evangelical christian movement, whatever – these studies arn’t indoctrinations. 

This is what Mr. Horowitz evidently doesn’t understand.  Maybe instead of criticizing the University of Texas, he should enroll.

Quote of the Day – Theodore Roosevelt

27 03 2007

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Theodore Roosevelt

Sinéad O’Conner and the Pope walk into a bar . . .

27 03 2007

From this site, discussing people who have been banned from Saturday Night Live:

 * Sinéad O’Connor was banned from appearing on SNL again after her peformance on October 3, 1992. In her second set of the show, she performed an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War”. During the word “evil”, she picked up a picture of Pope John Paul II, ripped it up, and shouted, “Fight the real enemy!” Dave Wilson immediately turned off the “applause” cue and the audience reacted with complete silence. NBC received many complaints about this within a matter of minutes. At the end of the show, host Tim Robbins, who was raised Catholic, refused to give O’Connor the customary “thanks” for being the musical guest. [3].

Note: To this day, NBC refuses to lend out the footage of the performance to any media outlet, and they edited out the incident from the syndicated version of the episode, replacing it with footage from the dress rehearsal taped earlier in the evening. It was finally released in 2003, with an explanation from Lorne Michaels, on Disc 4 of the Saturday Night Live – 25 Years of Music DVD set.