Sunday, August 28, 2005

Phone Etiquette, is it so hard?

If there is one thing that REALLY ticks me off, it's unsolicited phone calls. I've always hated phones, and the only reason I have one now is to get online. What really chaps me are the people who call and stubbornly insist on asking me who I am without providing Clue One as to who -they- are. I just had someone dial me up and blather on, "Is this Ernest Brown?," while I repeatedly said "Hello?" and waited for them to act like someone who knew how to use a phone. Finally, I gave up.

I shouldn't have to ask someone who they are. It's just another sign of what Billy Beck calls "The Endarkenment" that people can't show a little politeness and common sense these days.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Was Darwin a rank idiot?, or more ID idiotarianism

Glenn Reynolds approvingly links to an Edward J. Larson op-ed in the L.A. Times. Here's the money-quote:

Intelligent design, despite its proponents' claims to the contrary, isn't modern science. It's part of that rebellion against it. Scientists look for natural explanations for natural phenomena. Their best explanations, if they survive rigorous testing, become scientific theories.

Intelligent design, in contrast, is a critique of all that. Its proponents may challenge the sufficiency of evolutionary explanations for the origin of species but they have not — and cannot — offer testable alternative explanations. The best they can offer is the premise that, if no natural explanation suffices, then God must have done it. Maybe God did do it, but if so, it's beyond science.

This piece is well worthy of the justifiably low opinion people have of the TIMES, since, as my friend and co-blogger Bill Ramey has pointed out to me countless times, this construction of ID makes Darwin out to be either intellectually dishonest or a rank idiot.

According to the above, all Darwin had to do was put a one-line sentence on the first page of THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES:

"The belief that God created the world is non-scientific."

and he could have spent the rest of OOS simply outlining his theory.

Does he do so? No, he does not. He treats ID as a theory in need of refutation before he can establish his own. If that is true, then by the law of non-contradiction, it cannot be a non-theory that science cannot discuss. The late Stephen J. Gould was infamous for this sort of giveaway-takeback disregard for the prime law of logic and rational thinking, but I can honestly say that I am unaware of Darwin himself being intellectually dishonest on this point.

Two even more risible notions that are the logical upshot of Larson's claim are that modern science didn't exist before 1859 and that belief in the ordered rationality of the cosmos is poisonous to science. The first would make Sir Isaac Newton,* Kepler and virtually every other classical astronomer a non-scientist. The second is totally refuted by the real history of Western science, a subject which, contrary to the blurb at the bottom of his column, Larson seems to be pathetically uninformed about. "Thinking God's thoughts after him" does NOT entail simply throwing up one's hands and saying "God did it," on the contrary it spurred scientists on to understand the reasons behind the phenomena that they observed. (cf. the astronomers I mention above) You may think that ID is a bad or paltry or even outdated scientific theory, but it cannot be denied that the hero of evolutionists himself treated it AS A SCIENTIFIC THEORY. Larson mentions that Americans distrust Darwinism and appeals to the patronizing notion that evolution hurts their widdle egos. Instead, he should be more concerned about the intellectual integrity of the arguments that he employs, and their implications.

* Newton even believed in far "wilder" things than ID without it impairing his scientific ability in the least, BTW.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yo Dawgs: It's Just "Diddy" Now

I've often been worried that the "P" in "P. Diddy" gets in between P. Diddy and his fans. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that anymore:

Hip-hop impresario and fashion designer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs wants to make it easier for fans to shower him with adoration--so he's dropping the "P." from his stage name.

Word up.

Combs, 35, has said he wanted to "simplify" his image and felt that the P. "was getting between me and my fans."

Yeah dawg, the peeps be confused:

During concert appearances, for example, he noticed "half the crowd saying, 'P. Diddy' and half the crowd chanting, 'Diddy.' Now everybody can just chant, 'Diddy,"' Combs explained during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

And now there can be peace out in our time.

From now on when a narcissistic celebrity announces a gratuitous name change, we should just call him Bob. Or Herkemer.

"Yo, yo, yo--Herkemer is in the houuuuuuuuussssse."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Benighted Hypocrisy of the Left

The disgusting Cindy Sheehan spectacle that Bill references below only highlights the gross hypocrisy of the Left. They claim than the Right are "hypocrites" for not caring about her political position on the war since she is a mother, thus projecting onto their opponents the mindless undifferentiated emotionalism that the "Left" engages in in pursuit of its own jackboot-smashing-into-a-human-face-forever collectivist agenda.

"Motherhood" is not an excuse for irrational behavior, nor does the fact that Ma Barker* and Catherine de' Medici procreated give their lives any ethical cachet. It is no surprise that an amoral swine like Maureen Dowd, who has made her very name a synonym for lying misquotation, should projectile-vomit such garbage. You can find out what the Left really thinks about "motherhood" by inspecting the medical waste containers in any abortion clinic.

*yes, I know that Arizona Barker was framed as the ringleader for her son's crimes by the FBI, but she was a first-class enabler of criminal behavior, to say the least!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dowd on Cindy Sheehan's Moral Authority

Maureen Dowd writes:
Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.
Note the loaded phrases "his Iraq war" and "his W.M.D. rationale." Is Dowd completely unaware that Saddam was universally thought to be a threat? That the UN considered him a threat? That regime change was a policy of the Clinton administration? That Saddam was in constant violation of the cease-fire agreement he made with the UN after the first Persian Gulf War? It's one thing to be against the war and another to be clueless--or to not be clueless but to ignore the context of the war. Isn't Dowd supposed to a member of the tribe that values nuance and context?

But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.
Poppycock. Cindy Sheehan has the same moral authority that all of us do, and her loss has no bearing on whether the war was just or not. What's going on here is akin to what went on with the Million Mom March; the MSM is floating the absurd notion that motherhood grants some kind of moral authority that trumps everything else. It doesn't. Policy has to be decided on rational grounds even if a policy involves the loss of "children," who in this case volunteered for service knowing that they might be called to war.