Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This is a recreation of my post. Blogger ate what I had typed, which of course was the most brilliant writing I have ever done. The worst part is that Blogger works just enough to inspire the confidence to not copy/paste every post to Notepad before hitting the publish button. Then it does you in. I think part of it is the junk computer I have at work, but I don't think that is the entire story.


Maybe I shouldn't have whined so loudly about paying 2.999 for a gallon of gas. Prices have gone up another dime or so today with no end in sight. I probably shouldn't be complaining; at least my house isn't under 20 feet of water like most of the residents of the lake formerly known as New Orleans. Of course, it isn't likely I would ever find my house sitting in 20 feet of water as I had the foresight to not build it below sea level. But that is a topic for another time; after the bodies have been found and buried, at the very least.

I do get a kick out of the damage estimates on the news. Call me a skeptic, but how can anyone think they have any idea of what it will cost to rebuild an entire modern city? Estimates are based on past experience. Now someone please remind me of which American city has been reclaimed from the bottom of a lake and rebuilt. All the news media needs to do is show the photographs and/or video of New Orleans. Made-up damage estimates cannot in any way increase the impact of just seeing what has become of the city. So please; people in the news media, shut your pie holes. Your drivel adds nothing.

In any case, the thoughts and prayers of the Frost household go out to all those trying to deal with this ...well... I can't think of an adequate word for it.

Bob Thompson has an interesting proposal to deal with the recidivism rate of child molesters. I find little to argue with, except for what the law considers a "child" (anyone old enough to obtain a fake ID, use it to obtain entrance to an adults-only establishment, then go home and have sex with someone is not a child even if they are chronologically 16 or even 14 years of age). If anyone thinks this is being overly harsh, rent the movie The Woodsman. All will become plain.

It looks like after ten years, the antibodies are starting to kick in. President Bush did no favors to the Intelligent Design movement by his advocacy. I think this will be viewed as the beginning of the end of ID's little flash in the pan. The money quote:

All over the country we see both communities, scientists, religious people, educators and media people come to the realization that not only is Intelligent Design scientifically vacuous but also theologically risky.
ID is nothing more than a God-of-the-gaps hypothesis with God being confined to an ever-shrinking array of unexplained phenomenon. Is this really what Christians want to do to God? Not just put Him in a box, but a shrinking one besides? If you want to believe God poofed the universe into existence 10,000 years ago, or 6,000 years ago, or last Wednesday; fine. That is a miracle and science won't touch it. (Aside: I think this belief raises other serious theological issues about the nature of God, but I will leave those for some other time.) But if you advance that belief as a scientific hypothesis, whether ID or "Scientific" Creation, expect to get pummeled from every direction, because that is what happens to every scientific hypothesis. I've watched this in action. It is brutal. A guy spent years writing up a paper, tossing it out, watching as it got completely shredded, go back and rewrite it, toss it back out, and so on. Toss, shred, rewrite. Toss, shred, rewrite. And that was just to get his paper in shape for initial publication for peer review where the whole process would start again with a larger group. At first, I thought people just didn't like the guy, until I talked to a few of the people involved. They told me it wasn't personal; everyone gets treated like that. If the situation were reversed, they would be disappointed if he were any less ruthless with their own work. But the ID/creationist camp wants to bypass all that and get their ideas taught in high school science classes. Not going to happen.

And that's probably enough for today.

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