November 08, 2007

Mr. G falls for it...

I, along with a number of other bloggers, and even Rush Limbaugh, apparently, fell for what has turned out to be a complete hoax.  A made up abstract published at the website of a fake science journal purports to explain global warming by monitoring bacteria emissions.  As I stated in the post, I can't claim to understand the research which formed the basis of the argument in the paper, which is now obvious as it was totally made up. It struck me as interesting and I brought it to you.

Did I quickly post a link to a site that seemed to agree with my own suspicions regarding global warming.  Yep.  Honestly, I can't guarantee it will be the last time.  With with literally thousands of outgoing links on this site, I can't promise that all of the information I link to will be correct.  So as always, I encourage you look at the research and make up your own mind.  We'll both come across bad info now and again, but together, hopefully we can make out what is true and what is not.  Thank you to those who informed me of that I had been mislead. 

I'll conclude with this, however.  The heart of my previous post dealt with the hostile environment surrounding the global warming debate.  Despite the the fact that the paper I used as the lead-in was false, it remains true that global warming advocates have a religious zeal about defending their beliefs on the subject and those who dare disagree are scorned (though, certainly, I or anyone else publishing made up research on purpose or accident should be scorned!).  As I've stated in the past, I claim no expertise on the science behind the debate, but when the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation announces, just a few months back, that livestock flatulence accounts for close to one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, I suggest there is room for doubt that we've got it all figured out.

I've left the original post below, feel free to read it for a laugh at my expense!

Continue reading "Mr. G falls for it..." »

July 30, 2007

Insight

I wonder how much education it takes to make this analysis?

"It's very easy by over-cooling your house to double your cooling costs," said the city of Tallahassee Utilities' Tom Gillman, who audited energy use at the Governor's Mansion in April at Crist's request. "The closer you keep your house to the outside temperature, the less the unit is going to run."

Wow! What a surprise it was to learn today that when one tries to keep a enclosed environment cooler than the surrounding environment one must use energy to maintain that temperature, which cost money (also known as the, "Close the door! I don't work 10 hours a day to air condition the whole neighborhood" argument).

You think he has a Ph.D. in BS? I mean seriously, how much genius does it take to realize if you open the windows and turn off the AC it's free? Last I checked owning a tent is the same as opening the windows sans the $300,000 mortgage. Why aren't all the hippies living tents?

It also means you stink more (in the summer) and have to take more baths, which means more water usage overall, increased energy to heat said water and more deodorant purchase, which also causes global warming. Or you freeze (in the winter), which means more clothes, sweaters, long johns and the sort must be purchased, which are made from cotton picked by illegal aliens which is sent overseas costing American's jobs they wouldn't do anyway, and sewn together by underpaid women and children who work 16 hours a day without bathrooms and air conditioning. Far be it from me to encourage unfair work practices, so I think I'll keep my thermostat set comfortably below the outdoor temperature, which is measured in degrees Mercury (where the average temperature is is 452 K (353.9 °F, 178.9 °C), very similar to Tallahassee in summer) and uncomfortable this time of year.

If I use air conditioning they hate me for global warming; if I don't use it they hate me for supporting unfair work environments, which ironically refrain from using air conditioning. They tell me not to use it but require companies in third world countries to provide it for their workers or face boycott.

Maybe the BO is an early warning sign of BS?

July 13, 2007

Florida's newest environmentalist is a GOP!

Unlike the leader that many in the media are portraying Gov. Crist to be, I'm starting to think of him as more of a Goracle. His ego fattens as his gumption grows with every new poll that confirms it's hard to dislike a Governor that get's out of the way. Crist was elected on assurances of "Jeb like" leadership, strong conservative fiscal policies and discipline, with promises of maintaining low taxes and opposition to tax increases, opposition to invasive regulatory policies and action, opposition to red tape and growth of bureaucracy. His actions today are in direct contradiction to those positions. There was nothing conservative, nothing Republican, nothing even remotely helpful about today's initiatives.

Press coverage of his environmental plans has been summarized to a few talking points - reduction of gas emissions, energy goals, new standards - but the scope and details of the executive order he signed is truly breathtaking, and thus far ignored or glossed over by the bleeding heart liberals who are cheering him on.

All conservatives, but especially the House and Senate leadership who will be dealing with Cristened benchmarks for the next ten years, should take pause to consider the appropriate reaction, and the appropriate tone in which it should be done. This is not a time for meek response and repercussions. Crist has laid down the gauntlet and if someone does not rise to accept it, then power will be perceived to have swung back to the Governors mansion. Today's actions show what a dangerous turn of events that would be for the state of Florida.

Today, Florida conservatives met Gov. Hyde. For a man who should be leading our economy and state in a responsible manner these sweeping, unexpected and unplanned changes to our budget, economy and culture should be rebuked swiftly. They are at once irresponsible and reprehensible. I should think that conservatives and responsible Republican politicians would expect slower, moderate and compromised movement.

His actions today, if fully implemented, will undoubtedly undermine the short term foundations of Florida's economy, and ratchet up by exponential amounts state spending... with no clear revenue source. If fully implemented, it's not overly gloomy to predict continued reductions in revenue and tourism, coupled with increased mandatory state spending and no line item as of yet for some of these dictates. The money has to come from somewhere, and the responsibility will fall to the Legislature to move cautiously, not to commit dwindling state resources to unproven (and sometimes disproved) claims of wild exaggeration.

Why would a state facing insurance crisis take actions that will only serve to drive up the cost of coverage? Why would a state that depends on tourism take an action that ensures the price of a nights stay in a Florida hotel will increase? Why would a state that prides itself in personal responsibility, low taxes and few invasive policies take such a breathtaking step towards doing away with all three? Governor Crist, Florida is not California, and for good reason. This is a big mistake. Every conservative elected Representative and Senator should consider it as such and respond appropriately.

My Forecast - monumental tax increases and a slowing economy, which will only get worse, are on the horizon. Stormy regulatory seas and unprecedented power grab opportunities at agency levels across the entire state will allow Gov. Crist and his new environmental regulation into your homes, your cars, your businesses and your checkbook. The only way he could have done more damage would have been to invite ELF - whose dictates include "to inflict maximum economic damage... " - for the weekend with a get out of jail free card.

How will the new environmental standards impact Florida, state agencies, business and industries? I plan to have more tomorrow.

July 11, 2007

Babies, Babies Everywhere: The Solution to Frozen Embryos

I encourage you to read this fantastic article from the Action Institute by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D, outlining the advantages, both ethical and economic of pursuing stem cell research using umbilical cord blood rather than embryonic stem cells.  While much of the information is not new to those who follow the stem cell debate closely, the final paragraph of the article has me considering a new position in that debate which I've not seen advocated before.

"This is the ultimate irony of the conflict over stem cells. Umbilical cord blood produces cells that are more practical than those obtained from embryo destruction. If we would allow the embryos to be born, we would have a ready supply of something more therapeutic and less costly. And, we get a free prize: a cute baby, as a by-product. A win-win situation all around.'

As the author points out earlier in the article, the proponents of stem cell research often argue that there are banks of frozen human embryos out there and that those embryos will go to waste if we don't use them for research.  This is an argument that has convinced even a number of Republicans and Conservatives to begrudgingly assent to the use of those embryos for research purposes leading to their destruction.  After all, what on earth would we do with those embryos other than just let them die?

As Dr. Morse seems to suggest, why don't we let them do what embryos do?  Why don't we let them grow and be born?

I am sure this argument has been made by many before, I've just never seen it, and never considered the idea myself.  Probably because though the idea is morally correct, it would face nearly insurmountable opposition.

I realize that I'm living in my Conservative fantasy world when I make the suggestion that we should have a national initiative to require all viable frozen embryos be implanted into volunteer host mothers and essentially adopted.  Aside from the fuss that would be raised over suggesting that we bring 400,000 frozen embryos to birth (not necessarily all at once, mind you) when we still have children languishing in the adoption system, there are the legal issues over the ownership of the embryos.  A study from the RAND Corporation which Dr. Morse cites shows that over 88% of all harvested embryos are stored for "Future Family Building" meaning that the parents maintain "ownership."  Only 11,000, or about 2.8% have been donated for research.

Regardless of the opposition, I've found my answer to those who argue that frozen embryos would simply go to waste if not used for research; let them be born.  If we truly believe that these embryos are human life, we can advance no other position.  As Dr. Morse writes, not only do we get a great new source of umbilical cord blood for research, but we get babies as well.  Lots of babies.  And who doesn't like babies?  I mean, besides liberals...

July 10, 2007

Who do you Trust?

What is the basis of your trust? Arnold Kling discusses trust, trust in science and trust in politics in this short piece at TCS. Here's a couple excerpts,

the highest form of trust is trust in the processes followed by other parties, including the incentives governing those processes. Information that is developed using scientific methods, with careful consideration of alternative hypotheses and limitations of the data, comes from a reliable process. Transactions are most trustworthy when they take place in a context where similar transactions have proven trustworthy and cheating is easily detected and punished.

On science,

For information, it is easiest to trust scientific research when the methods seem capable of producing reliable results and the conclusions have little political significance. Many people distrust politically loaded scientific research because they do not like the conclusions, regardless of the quality of that research.

On politics,

If you can trust the processes of government, then that is a good thing. Good trust in government is based on processes that provide for accountability, checks and balances, equal protection, and punishment of official corruption.

Trusting the virtues of government leaders is a bad thing.

And,

Trusting the "will of the people" is also a bad thing. Democratic majorities can support inferior policies, infringement on people's rights, and even genocide. Popular voting is useful as a check on elites, but not as a tool for over-riding the principle of individual liberty.


June 05, 2007

A Silent Spring still misleading America's Youth

A NY Times piece on the book that started it all, and how it's still misleading America's youth.

For Rachel Carson admirers, it has not been a silent spring. They’ve been celebrating the centennial of her birthday with paeans to her saintliness. A new generation is reading her book in school — and mostly learning the wrong lesson from it.

April 11, 2007

Another Triumph for Adult Stem Cell Research

Just nine days ago a research team announced it was able to successfully grow a human heart valve using adult stem cells.

Today we find out that another research team has possibly discovered a cure to diabetes using adult stem cells.

Yet another example of the tremendous strides being made in the area of adult stem cell research while embryonic stem cell research time and time again proves to be a hollow promise.  I said it before and I'll say it again:

"If the government is going to fund medical research let's support research that not only avoids the great moral implications that comes with the destruction of human embryos but also has a firm foundation of proven success and potential.  Let's support adult stem cell research and leave embryonic stem cell research in the trash bin of history where it belongs."

To bring things home to Florida, the Florida Legislature has just axed legislative provisions to provide state funding for embryonic stem cell research, but rather focus efforts on the proven potential of adult stem cell research.  Bill sponsor, Anitere Flores of Miami said, "This bill funds scientific results, not promise."  I applaud this action by our representatives.

April 02, 2007

More Success for Adult Stem Cell Research

As the State Legislature gears up for debate over two bills, one which authorizes state funding for stem cell research and one which does not researchers in the field of adult stem cell research continue to make huge strides.  This article today in the Guardian describes the success of a British research team which has grown a human heart valve from adult stem cells.

Despite the repeated claims of embryonic stem cell advocates that embryonic stem cell research holds more potential than adult stem cell research the latter continues to have breakthrough success across the globe while the former consistently yields cancer and death in test animals.

If the government is going to fund medical research let's support research that not only avoids the great moral implications that comes with the destruction of human embryos also has a firm foundation of proven success and potential.  Let's support adult stem cell research and leave embryonic stem cell research in the trash bin of history where it belongs.

March 20, 2007

Sweet 16

Well the first weekend of March Madness is over. And WOW was I wrong. If you are one of the smart people who picked favorites then congratulations. As for me my bracket is a mess. Ink is written all over, there are cuss words next to you, UNLV and USC. But I digress, read on for my sweet 16 picks (if you really care about some one in last place in his pool).

Continue reading "Sweet 16" »

March 12, 2007

Global Warming?

The BBC movie you've heard about that exposes GW as a political agenda and a scientific religion. The whole thing is more than an hour, but it's solid. Go ahead and click it, the fist two minutes sum up the important message.

February 20, 2007

Survival of Florida Baby Shows Need For Change in Abortion Laws

On October 24, 2006 Amillia Sonja Taylor was born in Miami, Florida.  Born only 21 weeks after conception she was 9.5 inches and 10 ounces.   She is the world's most premature baby to survive outside of the womb.  Today she is going home with her parents.  (articles here and here)

It is a wonderful story and gives reason to celebrate, and also to consider the scope of abortion laws in our country.  It is estimated that 18,000 babies over 21 weeks into the gestational period are aborted (statistics here and here).   The central argument of abortion advocates, and the current status of the law, is that unborn children are not alive, or human, until a certain point at which we can determine that they can survive outside of the womb.

We now have proof that babies at only 21 weeks can survive outside of the womb indefinitely.  They are alive.  They are human.  There is no plausible argument to suggest that the law should not be modified to reflect this fact.  Abortions past 21 weeks gestation should be made illegal.

February 05, 2007

GW Deniers

Apparently, critics of Global Warming are now being referred to as "deniers" in an effort to discredit them by equating them with Holocaust deniers. It's too bad, and ironic. The efforts of GW activist will likely create, in effect, a disaster of global scale perpetrated on the poor people of this planet who will be denied cheap energy to develop industry, business, economic development, and sustainable economies to grow their countries, establish financial independence, and feed their children the necessities of life, like McDonald's french fries. Better, I guess, to keep them dependent on UN rice bags for survival.

Who are these deniers anyway? What are they saying? Are they right-wing extremist trying to suppress overwhelming evidence of GW?

As an impetuous chemistry undergrad I once bought into the GW  "science" hook, line and sinker. I was dazzled by the findings of scientist who, I thought, were doing amazing work. The truth is I was amazed by the results and lacked the skills to dig deeper. Now that I'm older, and more learned, I'm less dazzled by results and more impressed by strong statistical findings of theory based research that employs sound methods.

But you don't need a chemistry degree to wonder about science or a Ph.D. to raise a question about methods; most people have good intuition about questionable claims of fact. If you've every read a political poll and thought it unlikely that 100 people can represent the views of 7 million on any given policy topic, then you, my friend, are exactly like me. Sometimes a small sample poll can, in fact, do such a thing; depending on the methods employed and the validity of the analysis 100 people can tell you a great deal about 7 million or 70 million. Who among us is qualified to assess such a thing?

I certainly don't think I am overtly qualified to make a case for an alternative causal theory to emissions-based-GW. But, I detest the elitist attitude that I am under-qualified to ask questions and have suspicions. How many political candidates would have given up if they accepted what the political polls told them early in a race?

For those interested in thoughtful dissent grounded in science, here is a series of stories in the Canadian National Post on GW and it's critics. You will find thoughtful criticism throughout and brief CV (resume) highlights concluding each piece.

Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I
Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV

The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X

The Real Deal?

January 24, 2007

Crist Sticks to His Word and Supports Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

During the gubernatorial primaries this past year Conservatives were torn between two candidates; Tom Gallagher, a man with a moderate background who pushed the Conservative agenda in the primary, and Charlie Crist, a self proclaimed Conservative with moderate views on most social issues.  Ultimately, the conventional wisdom that Crist was the better candidate because he was more "electable" won out in Conservative circles.  All the while, many Conservatives understood their values would later pay a price because of that choice. 

It is time to pay the piper.

Governor Crist recently announced his support of a new stem cell research bill that would provide state funding for embryonic stem cell research (story here and here).

Continue reading "Crist Sticks to His Word and Supports Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research" »

January 14, 2007

Say what?

Well there are scare tactics, and there are scare tactics...

[Reuters]

January 11, 2007

VETO ALERT: House Passes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

President Bush will have the chance to veto his first bill from the democrat House very soon.  This afternoon the House of Representatives passed HR 3 which directs that the federal government should "conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells" (regardless of the date  in which the cells were derived from a human embryo).    It is discouraging that anyone would support such an abomination that destroys human life at the very earliest of stages.  It is even more troubling that 37 Republicans voted in favor of the bill.  The list is here.  The legislation is here.

Today the president promised to veto the bill when it hits his desk.  This will be the second time he has done so.  A similar bill passed in the House last year and was vetoed by the President.

While the bill could surmount a presidential veto it would require a two-thirds vote in the House, more than 290 votes.  As the bill passed with only 253 votes it is unlikely that such a veto will be overridden. 

January 09, 2007

The End of Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

Conservatives are buzzing about the new development in stem cell research; it seems stem cells taken from amniotic fluid, rather than live embryos, may have much of the same alleged potential as embryonic stem cells (I say "alleged" because based on what I've read I'm not convinced that embryonic stem cell research has the potential many advocate it does).  The excitement comes from the idea that we might have source of stem cells that doesn't kill babies.  But before you get too jazzed about this, I'd like to post an adaptation of what was my first post here at PEER Review on this very subject.  My first post came on the heels of a study from the University of Louisville which found that adult stem cells could be manipulated into other stem cells thereby negating the need for embryonic stem cells.  I gave a word of caution to Conservatives then that I give now:  Even if there is a breakthrough that conclusively negates the need for experiment on embryonic stem cells, there will still be a push by the left to continue down that path.  I base this on the world-view that we take from biblical scripture.

I try not to get too preachy here at PEER Review, and normally I try to leave my religious beliefs out of political discussions because religious arguments don't fly with non-religious people.  But this one is for all of you Bible-thumpin' believers out there.  So at the risk of alienating many of our liberal readers, I present my "One True Conspiracy" theory.

Continue reading "The End of Embryonic Stem Cell Research?" »

January 06, 2007

The Brave New World of designer people

The Abraham Center of Life, LLC of San Antonio is about to become the first company to make designer embryos commercially available.

According to an article in today's Washington Post, customers can order specific embryos after reviewing, "detailed information about the race, education, appearance, personality and other characteristics of the egg and sperm donors".

No uproar from the left as yet. Just wait until customers can breed out whatever aspects are determined to cause homosexuality.

They might even see that a bigger societal problem than Wal-Mart.

[Washington Post]

December 11, 2006

Hamburgers More Environmentally Harmful than SUV's

As is required of any good Conservative worth their salt, Mrs. G and I recently treated ourselves to a brand new SUV.  The purchase was met with scorn from many of my liberal friends.  Comments ranged from "You would get an SUV, why am I not surprised," to "Is having an SUV a requirement for voting in the Republican primary?"

Th e disdain is nothing new.  For years the liberal collective conscience has purported that SUV's pose one of the single greatest threats to the balance of the global environment.  But the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation has identified a new threat.  This threat, it seems, is more even dangerous than the evil SUV.  That threat is... Cows.

Continue reading "Hamburgers More Environmentally Harmful than SUV's" »

November 29, 2006

The Unpopular Position on the Martin Anderson Case - Updated

By now you've likely heard of the Martin Anderson case who died at a juvenile boot camp.  We've all heard of the guards who manhandled the boy and the outcry for justice.  Yesterday, those camp guards and others involved were charged with manslaughter.  But there are some advocating that the case is not as clear as the activists involved want to make it out to be.  In fact, there are some arguing the unpopular position taken by the original medical examiner: that the evidence shows that Martin Anderson indeed died from "complications of the sickle cell trait."

I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you what the evidence does or doesn't say, and even if I could I've not followed the details of the story close enough to reach a conclusion.

That's where Billoblog comes in.  Apparently, Billo is a medical examiner and he provides a pretty detailed review of the facts of the case which he claims support the finding of the initial medical examiner.  He has two article on the subject; one examining the death of Martin Anderson and the next exploring the attacks on the original medical examiner.  His arguments are compelling.

We'll of course hear more about this evidence as the trial of those accused of manslaughter gets underway.

Big Hat Tip to A Cool Change

UPDATE:  Pushing Rope jumps in with his analysis, which is almost exclusively an accusation that Billoblog is racist.

November 22, 2006

This is Not an Elephant

Womb4_468x328_2 It may look like an elephant.  It may behave like an elephant.  But as any "enlightened" member of the Pro-choice/Pro-death movement will tell you, it can't be an elephant. 

Why?

Because it is inside of another elephant, of course.

A series of images have been prepared for an upcoming Discovery Channel program exploring the development of various animals in the womb, and their behavior in the womb.  Baby dolphins apparently swim in the womb.  Baby dogs pant in the womb.  At just 63 days, an unborn puppy can both smell and hear. Incredible.  It reminds me of some other ultrasound pictures I've seen.

Test_040126_ultrasound_3d_250

The pro-death movement wants you to believe that this is not a human, and the above picture is not an elephant.  And if you follow the link above, the pictures you will find, as they will tell you, are not of a dolphin, or a dog.  Why?  Because they are inside of another.

Oh, that and their definition makes it easier to  throw babies away.

August 24, 2006

Bush Goes to Plan B

While watching the democrats wistfully discuss how to spend all my money last night was frustrating, it didn't make me as angry as Bush completely rolling over on Plan B this week. 

For those who are unfamiliar, Plan B is known as the morning after pill which prevents fertilization and implantation of an egg.  Now, we can debate when life begins until the cows come home, and most liberals will instantly write me off if I took the stand that maybe, just to err on the side of caution, we should draw the line before fertilization (after all, we can be 100% sure that before that point, its not a baby).  I would be written off by liberals if I argued that the pill can cause early term abortions.  But, I would expect to be written off by liberals on those points.  What I didn't expect was to be written off by my President who was elected in a wave of traditional moral values fervor.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Plan B for over the counter sales today, and Conservatives should be hopping mad for several reasons.  First, as Jane Chastain points out, there are still many health concerns with the pill, and to make it over the counter as opposed to prescription is just nuts.   But more than that, we should be angry that this move was engineered by Andrew Von Eschenbach, acting head of the FDA, and nominated by our President.

I understand that the President is fiercely loyal; we saw that with Harriet Miers.  I understand that he wants to stand by the guy, from Texas, that he nominated.  But I am really starting to wish that Bush would demonstrate the same loyalty to the Conservatives that elected him.  In a press conference on Monday, Bush was asked about the nominee and his support of making Plan B over the counter.  His response?

"I believe that Plan B ought to be -- ought to require a prescription for minors, is what I believe.  And I support Andy's decision."

Mr. President, wasn't expecting you to go on a one-man rampage against Plan B.  But I also wasn't expecting you to just completely roll-over.  You let us down, yet again.  And with elections close at hand, it may be the Republicans who need to start looking towards a "plan b" because disenfranchised Conservatives start rolling over, too.

For more on the FDA's decision, click here.

Mr. G

July 01, 2006

Cigarettes cause cancer but joints don't

That's the findings of a study funded by the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse. The study was performed by Donald Tashkin (UCLA) who,

Federal health and drug enforcement officials have widely used
Tashkin's previous work on marijuana to make the case that the drug is
dangerous. Tashkin said that while he still believes marijuana is
potentially harmful, its cancer-causing effects appear to be of less
concern than previously thought.

Maybe he smoked so much weed he forgot how dangerous it was. Isn't memory loss a side effect of smoking weed? I forget.

Found at the liberal(?) south Florida blog Defending Those People.


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January 09, 2006

Citrus Canker Strategy

From yesterday's Sun-Sentinel,

Officials with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are re-examining whether the enforcement of the 1,900-foot rule to eradicate canker in citrus groves is an adequate solution to fighting the disease.

It's not.

"We're open to any suggestions anyone has because our ultimate goal is to preserve the industry," McElroy said.

That's not what we've been hearing. Has anything changed?

"That law came before Frances, Jeanne and Wilma, and obviously the circumstance has changed since then."

If that's the cover story FL DOACS needs to save face and finally do something about this abysmal failure, then fine. Blame the hurricanes. Quit deciding canker policy on a study that measured spread and start basing it on one that actually determines spread. It's not very scientific to say wind spreads a water born disease outdoors. That's pretty much how everything is spread in the nature.

Being surprised that a hurricane might have spread canker 30 miles instead of 1900 ft. should not be a shock. In fact, you look downright silly suggesting you didn't see this coming.

There are really only three options: 1) destroy every citrus tree in the state, or 2) learn how to stop canker before it spreads, or 3) learn how to live with it. I'm guessing the first option is off the table so let's see what we can do about the other two.

And for crying out loud, start paying people for the destruction of their property and give them more than $55 and a certificate for shrubs at Walmart.

 

December 21, 2005

Intelligent Design? Prove it.

Look, most of these argument over ID and evolution are fun for me. They are actually fun for most ID'ers. I think it boils down to the comfort in knowing if I am wrong then I have lost nothing, whereas most "scientist" who cling to evolution (Macro, not micro) are horrified of what it means if they are wrong. They aren't about to have a bunch of alterboys tell them that science may be wrong on one of their most cherished "theories" (which is ironic because science is about falsifying theories).

In these "discussions" I frequently make the argument that macro evolution has been tested in a lab about as much as ID has, which is to say it hasn't been at all, and it usually spurs some accusations that I don't understand science at all and I obviously don't know what I am talking about.

Well, point of fact, I actually l have a degree in Chemistry, I left school one semester short of a Zoology degree, have since added a Masters in Poltical Science, and I dare say that I have a firm grasp on science, the scientific process, and the process through which research is conducted... and PEER Reviewed (I had to throw that in there).

So, recently I was having a nice little back and forth with some number of respectable chaps on another blog that fell along the lines that I describe above when someone finally stepped up and said, in not so many words, ID is not science. To which I posted the following...

If you say ID can not be considered science for various reasons (paraphrasing)

- not verifiable

- not testable

- not falsifiable

Then explain to me how Macro Evolution has moved beyond theory into the realm of verified, tested and falsified actual science? When did that happen? It didn't.

You said, "According to the theory [theory of macro evolution], the process occurs over astoundingly long stretches of time – something that, I trust you understand, can’t be duplicated in a laboratory environment."

I trust you also understand the extremely short lifespan of the fruit fly, the completely mapped genetic sequence, our ability to shift genes and create new variations, our ability to create any environment known to man... I trust you understand all of those things can be duplicated in the lab.

I trust you understand that macro evolution is not mere genetic shifting and new trait exhibition. It is the complete change of a species over time, influenced by environment and perpetuated by the fitness of the genetic mutations, until a species is so radically different it can no longer reproduce with the original form.

I trust you will acknowledge that fruit flies can be kept alive and mating in secluded gene pools exposed to numerous different environments for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations in what may seem eons to the fly but is really only a year or two for us mere mortals. I trust a scientist somewhere thought about trying this. Maybe a scientist somewhere did?

I trust if they had and they had somehow created a new species of fly, it would be front-page news, "SCIENTIST DESIGN NEW SPECIES OF FLY"

I am guessing you wouldn't be opposed to Intelligent Design then... not when it's scientist doing the designing.

I'll leave you with an old joke.

December 19, 2005

Darwinism on trial

So, I posted this morning on Pat Buchanan's piece related to darwinism and marxism. The Bitch | Lab linked and had some commentary. I left my missive in the comments. It's under moderation now, but it will be up eventually. Go check it out and leave your thoughts, if you dare.

Mr. G, this is going to be right up your alley.

Could Darwinist be the new Marxist?

I'm not a big fan of Patrick Buchanan, but this post concerning darwinism (evolution) has some well worded para's. Among them -

No one denies "micro-evolution" -- i.e., species adapting to their environment. It is macro-evolution that is in trouble.

The Darwinian thesis of "survival of the fittest" turns out to be nothing but a tautology. How do we know existing species were the fittest? Because they survived. Why did they survive? Because they were the fittest.

And,

There are other questions Darwinists need to answer. If believing that Christ                 raised people from the dead is a matter of faith -- and it is -- is not the Darwinist claim that nature created life out of non-life a matter of faith? If it is science, why can't scientists replicate it in microcosm in a laboratory?

Clearly, a continued belief in the absolute truth of Darwinist evolution is but an act of faith that fulfills a psychological need of folks who have rejected God. That picture on the wall of the science class of apes on four legs, then apes on two legs, then homo erectus  walking upright is as much an expression of faith as the picture of Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Sounds about right to me. Micro-evolution is perfectly logical, identifiable and measurable. Macro-evolution has yet to see conclusive proof and depends on "faith" to continue propagating. Now, tell me again which side of the Evolution v ID debate is forcing “faith” and “religion” into the science classroom? Why isn't there some middle ground we can all agree on?

December 13, 2005

Life and Science vs. The Culture of Death

Scientists made a breakthrough discovery this week which could literally alter the course and future of medical science and bring to a close one of the nation’s most heated political and philosophical debates. But, it is the prediction of this humble observer that despite the new possibility of a viable scientific alternative to the destruction of newly formed children there is a grand, subversive conspiracy against life itself (coined the “Culture of Death”) which will strain and fight for the continued slaughter of the innocent.

Continue reading "Life and Science vs. The Culture of Death" »

December 02, 2005

Evolution shmevolution

More on the evolution/ID debate and good reading in the comments section. (via David Boyd)

November 18, 2005

Intelligent Design a la Dilbert

Interesting read. Part 1. Part 2.

His basic point - both sides could be right for all he knows, but there isn't an advocate on either side who can be trusted.

Good point me thinks.

November 09, 2005

Intelligent Design

If it's not science

And it's not religion

Then what is it? comments work well, try them.

September 26, 2005

Peer Review coming under fire

Not PEER Review, peer review. Apparently the process isn't working so hot. In Something Rotten at the Core of Science? David Horrobin asks,

Why not apply scientific methods to the peer review process?

Some highlights from this short piece include,

Science bases its presumed authority in the world on the reliability and objectivity   of the evidence that is produced. If the pronouncements of science are to be   greeted with public confidence - and there is plenty of evidence to suggest   that such confidence is low and eroding - it should be able to demonstrate that   peer review, "one of the sacred pillars of the scientific edifice,"   is a process that has been validated objectively as a reliable process for putting   a stamp of approval on work that has been done. Peer review should also have   been validated as a reliable method for making appropriate choices as to what   work should be done. Yet when one looks for that evidence it is simply not there.

and,

I and others have been pointing out the fallibility of peer   review and have been calling for much more openness and objective evaluation   of its procedures. For the most part, the scientific establishment, its   journals, and its grant-giving bodies have resisted such open evaluation. They   fail to understand that if a process that is as central to the scientific endeavor   as peer review has no validated experimental base, and if it consistently refuses   open scrutiny, it is not surprising that the public is increasingly skeptical   about the agenda and the conclusions of science.

and,

  Scientists frequently become very angry about the public's rejection of the   conclusions of the scientific process. However, the Rothwell and Martyn findings,   coming on top of so much other evidence, suggest that the public might be right   in groping its way to a conclusion that there is something rotten in the state   of science. Public support can only erode further if science does not put its   house in order and begin a real attempt to develop validated processes for the   distribution of publication rights, credit for completed work, and funds for   new work. Funding is the most important issue that most urgently requires opening   up to rigorous research and objective evaluation.

Emphasis was included in the original.

There is more including links to the footnotes and works cited. Check it out if you are interested. If you aren't you should get the jist from this post.

Summary: The peer review process is broken. It has been for sometime. The consequences are stifled research, lack of innovation, and public view of science as an "agenda" and not, science.

September 19, 2005

MOON: Alice's day has come

Get out your helmet Alice, your going to the moon. Apparently NASA has decided we should go back to the moon and we need to get there in the next 15 years. I wonder if it was because Armeggedon came on TV this weekend? You know why I think that? Because I don't think they thought about it at all. They want to do the Apollo mission all over again. Like, exactly the same transport and ship and landing vehicle (except with the airbags). Only this time they said, "Think of it as Apollo on steroids."

Should we? Aren't we actualy trying to discourage thinking about steroids right now? I mean, should I also think Barry Bonds is going to be the co-pilot or the director of entertainment, because with his ego and subtle racist suggestions all the time I bet it would be enterntaining to have him in a capsule with a couple other guys who are smarter then he is. Will the trip be aired live so I can TIVO it and watch it later?

But they have to promise to blow out the oxygen scrubber or it won't be must see tv. Maybe Tom Hanks can do cameo appearances. Or Kevin Bacon. That would really freak out the whole six degrees of Kevin Bacon game becaue it would work for future moonies (that's the name I am going to call people who move to the moon). Just a thought.

Maybe I could be the Mayor of the Moon, the Moonie Mayor. hehe.

Seriously, don't we have a better idea then the ones we had 40 years ago? Aren't there something like millions of kids who have gone to college since the 60's? Haven't I seen on the web a Mech warrior some kid built in his garage? Yeah, I think I have. I also think we can do better. If not, we might as well stay here because when the aliens come, they are going to laugh. And when they laugh, I will have to punch them in whatever it is they have for mouths, and that won't be good for diplomacy with a race of beings highly advanced and able to blow us up.

August 31, 2005

In case you do believe Global Warming is to blame

Then read longtime meteorologist William Gray in this month's Discover Magazine. So says, Dr. Gray,

Right now I’m trying to work on this human-induced global-warming thing that I think is grossly exaggerated.

You don’t believe global warming is causing climate change?

G: No. If it is, it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.

That must be a controversial position among hurricane researchers.

G: Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, “Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.” Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.

More from Dr. Gray in the NY Times.

August 30, 2005

FL: What a tangled web we weave

Today's Sun Sentinel (Via Sayfie Review) carries a story 'Group seeks GOP support' of the use of stem cells for research.

A Palm Beach County-based group promoting Florida funding for embryonic stem cell research is courting Republican backers in this red state.

The bipartisan imprimatur is pivotal to gaining momentum in the bid to amend Florida's constitution, say the group's leaders. Floridians for Stem Cell Research and Cures' primary pitch to loyal Republicans; the potential medical benefits trump politics.


"This isn't a Democratic issue," said founder Burt Aaronson, a Palm Beach County commissioner. "Who could be against finding cures for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's?"

Who indeed? I support finding cures for Alzheimers and Parkinsons. However, I do not support killing unborn babies to cure people who have already lived, what is in most cases, a full and complete life.

I also support stem cell research when taken from adult sources and umbilical cords or grown from other available sources. I do not support embryionic stem cell use which requires killing unborn babies to acquire said cells.

This issue does not belong on the ballot. Period. Unfortunately, if these people have their act together, they don't need Republicans to get their issue on the ballot. Hell, they don't need anybody north of Orlando.

What they do need to do is make their case in clear and precise language. Do you support killing babies to advance medicine through stem cell research? If the answer is an emphatic no, then you would probably have my support.

August 15, 2005

More on Citrus Canker

I was glad to see Commissioner Bronson taking steps to truly do something about Citrus Canker by increasing the number of acres destroyed from one per day to three per day. I have long believed if eradication through destruction was your chosen path for eliminating Citrus Canker then the current practice was not aggressive enough. The Commissioner's step tells me he believes in eradication and he is going to the next level. I love politicians willing to take action and accept responsibility.

For the rest of the non believers this article found through Florida Politics sheds light on the increasing loss of faith among the learned community. There have always been doubters that eradication through destruction was the best policy, and they have always been shouted down by the bully pulpit. But after ten years of unrelenting spread of at least 3 different genetic strains of Citrus Canker it seems as though the blinders are coming off some past supporters. This will not become relevant to Jeb,

Late last week, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush said the governor will continue to support eradication as long as it "is deemed the most feasible option."

but it surely will for either Gov. Crist or Gov. Gallagher. The problem is, we aren't researching other options. We are relying on previous research, which is occasionally discredited by the eradication by destruction supporters, to argue no other options exist.

Not sure if you read that right. The same research that the "bulldozers" sometimes argue prove no other options exist is also the research providing the basis for reasons not to conduct new research.

Ultimately we are going to have to find another way to destroy Citrus Canker, and I think previous research only proves one thing, it's going to take American scientist to get the job accomplished.

Mr. C

July 28, 2005

R&S links

Some interesting thoughts about the decline of membership over the past ten years in liberal churches (Methodist -6.7%, Presbyterian -11.6%, Episcopal -5.3%) from a new book Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity. One of those thoughts,

"We are winning the abortion issue," Land said, noting that 2002 polling indicated a majority of Americans now believe Roe v. Wade was a bad decision. "The most pro-life group is eighteen-to thirty-one-year-olds. They know that one-third of their generational cohort was killed by abortion. They know that they could have been. Lots of them take that personally."

Also, found a link to more Creationism vs. Evolution debate at NC blog Snort a Sprocket. Included is a link to a post about the Catholic Church coming to terms with Evolution by Body and Soul, and 4 links to slacktivist (NYC?) (1, 2, 3, 4) with some elegant prose regarding the subject. I really enjoyed parts 3 and 4.

July 27, 2005

Space Shuttle Grounded - Again

I think it's time to start rethinking this whole space shuttle with parts that fall off idea that we have been using for the last 25 years. What about the X-71, you know, it was in that movie...

July 26, 2005

One man's take on another man's take on Evolution

You don't have to support Creationism to criticize scientist who worship Evolution to ridiculous degrees. But you also can't refute Evolution as psuedo religion then rely on the assumption that Creationism is the truth, to refute the other "accepted" truth argument.You must prove your case to be true.

This morning I ran across a couple articles that exhibit this point. Beginning with this article by Frederick Turner in TCS that I first mentioned more than a week ago, followed by this piece on Friday to clear up some complaints, then commented on by The Smarter Cop on Friday.

UPDATE: Before you continue read this first so you know many scientist have problems with evolution as the answer to the creation of life, not just creationist.

Continue reading "One man's take on another man's take on Evolution" »

July 05, 2005

Success!

Congratulations to NASA. They needed a good day.

June 29, 2005

Wolfpack Baller, economy, more harris bashing, new link, Religion, and wrestling

Challenge Day 4

Congrats to Wolfpack baller Julius Hodge, 20th pick to the Denver Nuggets in last night's NBA Draft.

I missed the speech last night, and I am sure you have already read all about, but if you haven't here's a roundup of coverage in the major media provided by Outdside the Beltway.

US Economy still improving. Thank the Bush Tax Cuts. More would be better.

Looking for more reasons to doubt Katherine Harris? Then carry your liberal backside over to this post - NEW QUINNIPIAC POLL CONFIRMS NELSON LEAD OVER HARRIS IN HEAD TO HEAD SENATE BATTLE - at I4Jamming

White Trash Wednesday at Pirates Cove. It's not as bad as it sounds.

Are testing agencies in it for the buck or for the educational improvement of the children? Go from that to the difference between parents and teachers expectations for children and some historical links to educational expectations of children by the institution.

Level 4 Morality, Idealism and Individualism at the Partial Observer.

Presidents and Religion through SOS.

Staying with religion and seguing to the Supreme Court is this interesting post about the Ten Commandments and the Beatitutdes. I definitely see his point. However, I think the foundations of law and society are based on old school rules. The foundations of morality and relationships, love and forgiveness, are based on new school teachings. Think of it this way,

  • Old school rules are for the group, the impersonal
  • New school rules are for the individual, the personal

God doesn't care about the group, he cares about you personally. At least I think so anyway.

SCOTUS and China? Read this opinion on the Kelo decision from Matt Warner of the James Madison Institute in today's Democrat. My favorite part -

Totalitarian governments with a socialist bent are experts when it comes to trampling on individual rights in the name of benefiting the masses.

How easy would it be to replace Totalitarian governments with the Democratic Party and nobody would even notice? 

From SCOTUS Blog, Will there be a resignation?

And finally, Did you know Hulk Hogan lived in Florida? Did you know he has a TV show?

June 28, 2005

Jeb, Reagan & Goggles

Challenge Day 3

Since this came out yesterday, and apparently there will be more next week, my piece, Jeb 2008! Part 1, will be posted later today.

History revisionist beware, we know the truth.

Swimming never looked so cool.

June 21, 2005

News before it's News

Not everyone pays attention to news before it's news, so here's a primer on the upcoming Supreme Court battle from RCP.

OR the election after next, like Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire or, the Future Losers News Wire as like to call it.

And hardly anybody I know stay's up to date on what's happening in space, the actual outer space, but there is some cool stuff going on appropriately named Deep Impact. I think it's apparent NASA has cleared out the old stuffy heads and replaced them with a more appropriate group. This sounds like a job for Harry and AJ now.

An excellent speech, "Why limited government?," by Lawrence Reed.

You thought the FCAT was bad? Well, I didn't but I know I have a lot of liberal readers who do. Check these two links out on testing in North Carolina and New York then tell me which you would prefer, ours or theirs?

And this on a "different" kind of charter school coming soon to St. Lucie County, Florida. Sounds like fun, or another way for liberal educators to tweek their 10-year-old brainwashing skills.

Finally, in the "ya think?" file from the Democrat.

This should get you through lunch, but more later. I will now seek out illuminating liberal commentary to shut the door on. Have a great morning!

Mr. C

June 18, 2005

What are the questions?

I find this stuff on the web, and although I have read most of it in many diffrent forms, I always spend more time reading it. I find myself in the science aisles of any book store reading about chemistry, physics, the universe or some random math book.

I have a BA in Chemistry (and graduated only a few classes short for a BS in Zoology), but I have never used it professionally. Still, I have never lost my interest for these topics, for these questions. I think that is why I majored in science in my undergrad, it was one of the few subjects that would keep me coming back for more.

Sometimes it's about the questions, not the answers. Read these and see if they provoke any questions for you.

From Scientific American - 15 answers to creationsim.
From Meaning of Life Ministry - Evolution and Ideas
From the NY Times - Religion and Natural history clash
From the American Scientific Association - a great roundup of papers, editorials and essays

That should keep you busy until tomorrow, or if you are like me, a little longer.
Mr. C

June 16, 2005

Update and New Feature

No posts yesterday. Issues with security on Mr. C's machine. More this afternoon.

I am very excited to announce a new feature on PEER Review -

Original and published editorials, essays and commentary from the James Madison Institute will be published here each month. I am beginning today with two pieces on School Choice and the current case before the Florida Supreme Court. The first is from Clark Neily, adjunct scholar to JMI and attorney for the Institute for Justice, the organization fighting to save school vouchers in Florida (and the US). He is representing the Opportunity Scholarships in the current case. It was published in the past two weeks but you may have missed it, so I have it in it's original form.

Look for a second piece this afternoon from Robert McClure, President and CEO of the James Madison Institute.

Be sure to leave comments. I will post this afternoon with a roundup of recent posts from our liberal friends in the blogosphere.

Thanks for reading!

Mr. C

June 12, 2005

Coming in out of the cold: Cold fusion, for real

I am going to work in at least one hard science story each week to keep us aware of what's going on out there. New technology and science lead the way in healthcare, travel, economies and markets. It's important.


If you understand anything about chemistry or physics this is interesting. It made me say wow out loud. Coming in out of the cold: Cold fusion, for real | csmonitor.com.

Take 3 MARIA

Mr. C

June 09, 2005

Republican plot to extend tax free purchases

It has to be. There is no way the laws of unitended consequences meant for a tropical storm/hurricane to be bearing down on the gulf coast of Florida a mere three days before the end of a tax free holiday (requires Adobe Acrobat) designed to prepare people for the upcoming hurricane season. Link: 115452W_sm.gif (GIF Image, 895x716 pixels). What will happen after the storm passes and we have used all of our supplies in the first storm of the season? I think the holiday should be extended until Thanksgiving so I can be adequatley prepared the entire year.

Update: Just saw Pensacola Beach Blog noted the coming storm first thing this morning.

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