Tuesday, September 26, 2006
So what's new?
I'm attending CNM (Central New Mexico Community College), formerly but AKA: Technical Vocational Institute (TVI). Yes, some of the instuctors there are still referring to their school as TVI. It was a pain in the ass to pay for, but I pulled it off in the end. I started the semester with about $800, I now have less than $100.
So I do need a job before I can even think about applying for school next semester. Anyway, I'm having fun... no, I'm having FUN!!!!! in my first semester. Fun like I didn't know existed. And you know what? I'm doing it without beer :D
The way I like to put it is this: I'm taking college courses at CNM. I'm living the college life at UNM. Because all of the fun people and things to do are at the University. I can tell that this is where the basis of my lifestyle will be for the next 5-10 years.
This first semester, I'm taking mainly core classes. Among them, Philosophy, Biology, English 101, and Math 100A (yes, I know, I SUCK!) but they're going well. I actually like Philosophy and biology a lot. I still might just take the science route, and get a degree somewhere in biology. Or even double-major in it along with the liberal arts. Science definitely pays more. But we'll see.
I enjoy the people around me more than I like the classes though. FINALLY I can be around people who actually know me, unlike high school, where walking among the thousands of students during passing period was one of the loneliest times of my life. Don't get me wrong, I loved my high school friends, but there just was an element to those relationships missing I think. The hole is filled now, and now I'm quite a bit more happy than I was. Mistake not my partial-resentment of high school for an emo-trip. That's just not me.
I have no idea who's still reading this fast-thinking-cat blog, but I'd imagine not many, after being absent for about 4 months now. But if there are any old school friends etc. out there who happen across this blog, please leave a message, or send an email or something. I like to keep in touch. I even have messengers which I frequent a lot. Just ask me!
Blah. Well, I don't know what else to put. Well, there's one thing on my mind. TASTE THE RAINBOW!
That is all. Perhaps something a little more thought-provoking on my next update.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
And the subject is "causes and cures of homosexuality". I've had issues with this website before, and their failed logic is absolutely astounding, so I merely clicked it because yes, I was bored. Anyway, they make some pretty stupid overused claims in this story. And I thought it might be interesting to adress them. So, I shall do that here.
The article starts by explaining how an "ex-gay", Greg, was abused during his childhood years, and how he was promiscuous in homosexuality. Then there is the heartwarming story where Greg had noticed the evil of his ways, and had re-affirmed his faith in Jesus Christ. The most warm feeling of course came when he was taking care of his father, and his father told him "I love you" which was a surprise to Greg. The point of that being that Christian people are not abusive to other Christian people who lead good, moral, non-homosexual lifestyles.
The above section of the story is absolutely tear-jerking ... to any soap-opera watcher. It's not impressive though, at all. But of course, these are the only stories we hear about. The "ex-gay" who was abused as a child and slipped into homosexuality in seek of comfort.
Predictably, what we next hear about, is that the bible says that this is wrong, and that homosexuality can be cured. Focusing on the negative aspects of life is how they do this. ie: "you were abused as a child. You need to let this go though, and realize that bad things did happen, you can come out of homosexuality, and be good like us"
The fact is though, everyone has disagreed with their parents at some point or another. It doesn't make us all homosexual. Some people were also thoroughly abused as children who are actually straight. So focusing on a negative cause of homosexuality is just about as irrelevant as finding a positive aspect of life in a straight person's childhood... simply, because we all have good and bad childhood experiences. We tend to focus on the good ones. But places such as the church or any establishment which believes a "cure" exists, play upon the bad ones, especially where early decision-making is concerned.
sexual orientation too isn't a decision more than it is actually an embracement. Someone realizes what makes them happy, and they either accept it, or they turn their back to it. It just depends on the individual, and nothing else. It's not a disorder, and it doesn't hurt anyone in it's mere concept. People exist, and people hold different beliefs, and like different things. What's moral and not moral has to be made by the indivual, not by anyone else, and not by society.
If you want to know why there is an increase in number of homosexual suicides, I'll ask everyone to look at the world that they have to live in today. In Saudi Arabia, men are killed for it.
Greg then goes on to explain that if there was a gay gene (which neither he nor I believe exists) then we wouldn't have to accept that any more than a woman would have to accept her breast cancer. It may be true to a degree. Nobody's asking anybody to accept homosexuality just because this gene was allegedly discovered. But what's really false is that, like cancer, we need to seek a cure for it, as we do for cancer.
Folks, I don't know about you, but I could not name one instance where the existence of homosexuality has caused the cell population in a human's body to just explode. The difference is obvious. Cancer kills, and homosexuality does not. AIDS is later cited in a person's response in a thread. They seem to ignore the fact that people generally do not accept this as true anymore. AIDS can afflict any gender regardless of orientation. It's a blood disease only.
But a homosexual gene does not exist as of this point, so the argument is rather ridiculous to continue.
Nobody is asking anyone to accept homosexuality, but please do not use false science to back up your claims. And for god's sake, be consistant, or just don't speak at all! Realize that homosexuality and cancer are not synonomous. Realize also that faith should be kept entirely seperate when pursuing a scientific conclusion through observation. Probably the only reason that a gay gene was found is because the scientist was looking for one specifically. Of course, we know now that such a gene does not exist due to current research. Of course, even if we did find one, another suggestion that was offered was that "gene implantation" could be administered. A Brave New World anyone?
People make me sick.
David... who is entirely happy.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I doubt that I will, but it's happened before, and it's really embarassing. It's the reason that I don't like to present in front of my peers. Ahh well... time will come, it will stay, and it will go. Sooner or later, that class has to come, and sooner or later it has to end. Sooner or later, it has to be night, so sooner or later, this whole thing will be over, it will be in the past, and it likely will not matter any more.
Since I've written this paper, I've had a lot of time to reflect upon what the importance of science is to my nearly faithless way of life. And I'm glad for that. I wish that more people would dump organized religion like I did, and look at the world in the scientific sense. One can still have faith in a greater being and respect the awsome nature of science. I've been doing it for years, well respecting the scientific method, and I am not an immoral hitler-type. I am bound by the reasonable nature of my human integrity, my respect for others, and that's what this all boils down to. This issue is important to me, because we can not beat ourselves senseless back to the dark ages, a time of scientific depression, and unquestionable religious fundamentalism.
God has not been left out of the equation. There is just no evidence for him. Everywhere we look, we see things beautiful in nature, and think to ourselves "That must be the work of an intelligent designer" -- of course, that is an excellent show of faith, but it's not science. In all of our history, when we look at science, we have discovered the existence of a natural explanation for phenomena. The properties of Physics govern most of the forms we see. The properties of chemestry creates anatural balance in the world that we as people MUST understand to keep going forward. Applying god directly into the equation will halt scientific progress as we know it.
The best thing then to do is to recognize that there are things in nature that are spectacular. And, where you wish, keep believing in god. Believe in god in the naturalistic sense. Believe that he has given us all of the properties of physics, chemistry, biology to determine what the outcome of human life is. Because the explanations that we are coming by are all true, and they are all naturalistic. And they cannot be cointinued to be ignored just because they defy someone's religious dogma. The application of science can be made to individual religious beliefs. It's up to the people, and its up for science to remain objective so that the people can make these decisions for themselves.
As you can see much of this is just random typing, while I try to vent some of the anxiety that I'm feeling at the moment. Well, I have to start presenting in about 20 minutes.. I ought to run through my presentation again. I hope I do well.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” Carl Sagan said these words. Something a true scientist like Sagan would not explain is that science is materialism. He or she would also not explain that science is a religion, or that science has many interpretations based on religious beliefs. Only a scientist from the times of the medieval ages would make such erroneous statements. And yet, to this day, around every corner of knowledge that someone looks, there is a person claiming to be a scientist, who tries to hold back the progressive goal of science in favor of the traditional mind-set that has a majority of Americans ideologically entrapped. Such is not science. Science is progressive, and only has ceased when that progress has been suppressed, such as during the medieval ages.
The medieval ages seemed to have returned in the form of pseudoscience masquerading as legitimate in the United States. In order to make up for their ignorance, religious fundamentalists will try to fill the gaps with anything and everything. In the recent centuries, these gaps of ignorance were replaced by a concept called “Creationism Science” that sought to teach a literal interpretation of the Bible’s Genesis, and apply “science” to it. There were, and still there exists today several flaws with this pseudoscientific reasoning. None of which the least addresses the questionable objectivity of the argument. The goal of science has always been to prove itself through vigorous postulations, experimentation, and through objective analysis of data. Its goal is not however to continue to dispel the arguments from half a millennium ago which Intelligent Design continues to advocate, and which have all been refuted.
Recently, despite constant ridicule, Creationism has evolved into a new-age theory called Intelligent Design, which seeks to upset science at its very foundations, to fit its own specific needs in order to reshape not only science, but a progressive society in general. There is a difference between science and ideology. To be science-driven is to objective despite whatever personal beliefs one has, and to be mindful of all the possible variables out there. Ideology, as far as science is concerned, should not play a part in the process of analysis, as ideology is strictly one’s political and philosophical beliefs. This could mean religion, it could mean Atheism; either way, it does not belong in the scientific process. Though many would argue that God could very well be one of those variables, as well as any possible intelligent force out there which might have created the Earth’s creatures in their present form. The requirement however, of observable scientific data almost always undermines this notion of an intelligent designer in the scientific form. So what Intelligent Design (hereinafter “ID”) tries to do is to go a step further, to redefine science from its present sense to fit its own needs. To lay the arguments of incredulity to rest, a thorough definition of science must be presented.
The scientific method was developed through history so that it now includes six basic principles that all theories must adhere to in order to be considered real science. Scientific investigations consist of these six principles, and they are followed in order to produce constant, objective data and reasoning. Because of this, science has developed to become enormously self-critical. Science has become so effective, that it is able to take in new ideas and put them together. But these ideas do not just come up out of thin air. No, they are novel scientific ideas presented by scientists from all over the nation, and all over the world.
According to an essay (Sawin, Enoch I.) which describes the way science ought to be taught, the six requirements that any novel scientific claims need to fulfill in order to be considered a valid theory includes: 1) a felt need to exist; need for conclusion for something that remains unexplained. As an example, human origin has always been in question, where the gaps have always been filled with supernatural explanations. For science, this is not good enough. A constant feed of knowledge is needed in order to explain observable natural phenomena. 2) A formulated problem, a need for well rounded problem ready for an experimental approach. 3) A formulated hypothesis, or prediction. Suggested solutions are put forth based on educated guesses. 4) Data is collected, supporting facts are sought out to support the hypothesis in question. 5) Conclusions from the collected data are drawn out. 6) Analysis of the conclusion. By the end, the science is applied to everyday lives. This is the point where science will explain what question was answered, and why it even matters that research was even done. Evolution is applied to the past, present and future in this way. Because the theory of evolution has a strong basis from steps 1-6 inside and out, it has held firmly in place when confronted by many forces trying to bulldoze the foundation. .
It is true that science must be accurate, it must be trustworthy, and it must not lie. If the conclusions that have been drawn by science were ever inaccurate, then the answers to some of the most important fundamental questions would never be solved. This is why the Scientific Method is used (Sawin, Enoch I). It is more important to know why it has worked so well throughout history. During the development of civilized world history, humans have depended on technological advancements to forward their culture. The Greeks and the Romans established the basis of what is now called science. It was Ptolemy for example who conceived the first idea explaining how the sun goes around the Earth . But it would serve better to mention the development of science during the Enlightenment period of European world history.
It was during this time that, with such minds as Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Kepler, science went through a highly charged reform. Isaac Newton’s research also brought forth revolutionary ideas that would change the workings of science forever. During this period, Kepler and Tycho Brahe worked together. Kepler’s main area of study concerned the laws of Planetary motion, whereas Tycho Brahe sought to prove his Geo-heliocentric model of the universe. Even after Brahe’s death, Kepler continued to use the scientific tools leftover from his colleague’s discoveries. He also used science that derived from the ancient times of the Greeks, and the Romans. (Kepler, 1609) All of this eventually led up to the collapse of the planetary system that Ptolemy brought forth a millennium and a half before.
The new and improved heliocentric view of the Earth’s position holds that the sun lays in the center of the solar system, and that the planets orbit around the sun in an elliptical manner. Kepler thus came up with the three laws of planetary motion, and those observations by kepler were later shown to be evidence that there was another force acting upon the planets. This was a force, later defined by Newton, called gravity.
Kepler was persistent in his research of the planets. Before he figured out his three laws of planetary motion, Kepler sought to prove that the planets were created in an orderly fashion following the number and shapes of the Platonic solids. The platonic solids included the cubed forms of the circle, triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon and octagon. After several attempts to justify this, Kepler eventually gave up on that idea, because it was not working, and he then pursued other explanations.
This also helped along Galileo’s claim that the Sun was in fact the stationary object in the universe. Thus it is demonstrated that during the Enlightenment period the development of the Scientific Method both weeded out unsatisfactory theories, and replaced them with well-reasoned ones. That is not to say however that Kepler’s ideas did not go through history as indisputable fact. It was merely a firm basis on which to build an enormous scientific idea that would continue to develop over the next several centuries. Today, the ideas brought out by Kepler, and Sir Isaac Newton are needed absolutely to launch anything ranging from satellites to teams of astronauts into orbit around the Earth as flawlessly as humanly possible.
Of course it is notable to mention that there are alternate theories out there concerning Gravity and Planetary motion. Yet, these theories have time and time again been debunked by modern science. Of course the opposite spectrum does exist, and they claim that the science and reasoning behind the Scientific Method are flawed, that they are too naturalistically narrow-minded, and are censoring the ideas surrounding Creationism (Bergman, 1996), when the forum is always open for debate– after all, that is what drives science forward (Sawin, Enoch I.).
An open forum is also precisely why science works as well as it does. It is an open forum to all new ideas that have made it past the developing phase, and research phase that science requires. Once the community has picked the theory apart, the leftovers if there are any will be incorporated as they make sense into the scientific theory that it surrounds, and that theory into the broader scope of science.
To determine the validity of a scientific claim, which has gone through the processes of scientific inquiry, one must rely on the numerous peer-reviewed journals that are out in mainstream science. These journals do include but are not limited to Nature, Science, Frontiers, and Scientific American.
All in all, the things required for the objective consideration of a scientific claim come down to the validity of the hypothesis where objectivity and progressiveness is concerned. Looking at the procedures used during experimentation to determine whether they accurately and objectively were used to collect the data is also key to identifying a valid theory. Finally, the conclusion and analysis of the data to determine whether or not the original hypothesis is correct must be taken into account. Does it align with the current facts that preceded this hypothesis? Scientists and publishers of scientific journals must ask themselves this and many other questions when considering a theory. It is the lack of all of this due process that often declares a proposed theory, especially where creationism is concerned, invalid.
Intelligent Design has a mission. And that mission as defined by the Discovery Institute is “to make a positive vision of the future practical. To promote ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market, and individual liberty using book reports, debates ...” (Discovery Institute). The real roots behind the Discovery Institute lays in the Wedge Document produced by it, but this more public goal in short means that: ID will try everything in its power to manipulate its way into the scientific community by getting high-profile people particularly in the government to lobby for the inclusion of its ideas into society.
An analysis of Intelligent Design and its use of the Scientific Method is essential to proving its affiliation with pseudoscience. Before that takes place though, a summary of the history of Intelligent Design must be looked at. Some say it began with the explosion of controversy that erupted at the beginnings of the 21st century. Others say that it began with the court ruling in 1987 that banned Creationism from schools for good (Edwards V. Aguilard). Roots of this movement go as far back as Greek and Roman times. But it appears that modern-day intelligent Design can be traced back to Philosopher William Paley, who presented the Watchmaker Analogy (Paley, William A., Natural Theology, 1802). This analogy is extensively used by modern Creationists today, and is cited in Michael Behe’s book, and is still quoted in many online communities as actual proof for an Intelligent Designer.
This theory is the foundation of the modern ID movement. If something such as a biological system or function is very complex, and there is no scientific explanation yet, it then draws the conclusion that an intelligent designer had placed that specific system or function directly, explaining why the system is supposedly irreducibly complex.
First, one must ask, is there a felt need for the idea of Intelligent Design to exist? Some argue yes. ID specifically addresses the problems surrounding the evolution of the bacterial flagella, and other microbiological areas using the notion of irreducible complexity for instance (Behe, Michael J., Darwin’s Black Box). ID advocates assert that the function of the flagella could not have evolved through natural selection because it can function only as it does by possessing the proteins which it does, and by no other means.
The second question requires a well-formulated problem that needs to be explored. Again, the complexity of the flagella comes into play. ID asserts that Evolution fails to explain the naturalistic process of this biological system, that it is irreducibly complex. Solving this complexity requires an alternate explanation; God did it.
Third, A hypothesis. Referring to the flagella again, Intelligent Design postulates that there is no conceivable way for the functions of the proteins to have been evolved. Therefor, in the absence of any data, it should be concluded that a Designer created it at some point. God created the flagellum because its complexity is too great for it to have arose in any other way.
Fourth, Data is collected. There has yet to be any scientific data to be collected that promotes ID’s postulation. Such books as Of Pandas and People and Darwin’s Black Box are touted as the leading explanations in favor of Intelligent Design. Both explore the idea of Irreducible Complexity, as well as flaws with the “icons of evolution”. Otherwise, Intelligent Design effectively uses the data collected by science in the past, and doesn’t necessarily require to generate any new evidence of its own besides conceptual evidence.
The fifth question regards the conclusions which can be drawn. Since no data has been collected thus far, Intelligent Design has instead decided to run its arguments primarily based off the logistical arguments presented by such minds as William Dembski, and Michael J. Behe to conclude that with the lack of data from Evolution evolution is false, and the only explanation left, is to place an Intelligent Designer in the equation.
The sixth and final step is the analysis of the conclusion. The conclusion of ID is based upon the analysis of the data, which is based upon the accusation that evolution has presented no explanation for the complexity of the bacterial flagellum. Taking all of this to note, to ID, it is quite obvious that evolution cannot explain themselves, and thus Intelligent Design is the only alternative to learning about biology.
All of these questions have been tied together, and this way the Scientific Method is applied to Intelligent Design.
Irreducible complexity remains the master argument for Intelligent Design; an icon of ID, just as Evolution has proclaimed icons such as the natural selection evidence concerning the evolution of peppered moths. When paraphrased however, something that is irreducibly complex means that something has parts of it that cannot be divided into simpler terms. The bacterial flagella, they say, has so many parts that it’s too complex to have developed its functions using natural selection. Other things that they find irreducibly complex include the human eye, the immune system, and any functioning blood-clotting system. The idea was first proposed in Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box, and is then defined as, ". . . a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." (Behe, 39). The flagellum consists of three major parts, with several tens of proteins, resembles a whip, and enables a bacteria to swim about in its environment (Berg C., Howard). The structure of flagella has been studied for years, has been hotly debated on several peer-reviewed journals, and discussed also heatedly on many relevant online scientific communities such as talk.orgins. The consensus among the scientific community is that the bacterial flagellum has evolved over time from another organelle that perhaps increased the chances of latching onto another cell which happened to be passing by. It’s also notable to mention that evidence exists which shows a protein family in the flagellum to have a common ancestor (Gibbons, I.R.)
The concept most ignored by IDCs (Intelligent Design Creationists) is the concept of “change in function.” This is the idea that a different function can evolve from the components that made up a past function. Charles Darwin discussed this idea in his book, Origin of the Species. The example he used was the eye, but he also presented that if any research demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not have been formed by modifications over an extended period of time, his theory would break down absolutely. (Darwin, Charles, 146) This is an example of a theory’s ability to be falsified.
To put all of this into a bit of context, scientists ought to be able to apply their ideas in a real scientific experiment. They should be able to take their ideas and make predictions with them, in turn, these predictions ought to be testable. Since science can look for modifications on the molecular level, if evolution is correct, it should be found that there are alternative biological functions to these complex systems or their components. If Evolution is wrong, there should be no way that these proteins would have any other function. The idea proposed by ID, that Irreducible Complexity is an obstacle for evolution, is wrong if it is found that these proteins can serve other functions.
To begin, the notion of the bacterial flagellum and its complexity will be taken into account. Intelligent Design holds that If any part of the system from the flagellum is taken away, then the proteins could not function, thus it had to have a creator to drive the process.
If evolution is correct, then several parts of the bacterial flagellum ought to be able to be eliminated, and the remaining proteins should still have a function.
So, in taking away several of the proteins from the system, 40 of them in fact, the result ends up still having a recognizable function. Very recognizable in fact, the function is that of the type III Secretory System. This system is used by numerous bacteria to inject paralyzing proteins into other cells. It’s not a flagellum, but it is a fully functional system. (Miller)
Keep in mind this is just one type of flagellum. This is just referring to the bacterial flagellum, and not those of the eukaryotes, or even cilia, which all have completely different designs (talk.origins).
Even though the many parts were taken away, the remaining parts still have a function. This means that the proteins that make up the flagellum can have other functions. With the knowledge of the history of science, and its methods one can come to the general conclusion that with time, science can explain what functions may have existed before the flagellum. Therefore, it can be reasoned that evolution is in fact completely ready to explain how the function of the flagellum came about through time. This is the Scientific Method at its best, and it clearly shows its efficiency in drawing accurate conclusions with collected data. This method has answered innumerable questions mankind has generated throughout history, and continues to do so to this day.
In each and every case of alleged Irreducible Complexity, a mountain of evidence can be presented in front of the advocates which certainly drowns their arguments immediately. Their persistence and public relations alone keep them afloat.
Take the blood clotting process for example. If one factor is taken away, it has been found, the function is still able to take place in several sea mammals (Robinson, Jean A., 1420) and the same is true with the puffer fish, though rather than just 1 factor removed, there are three removed. Given that macro-evolution did occur, which Intelligent Design does not dispute, some 450 million years ago when the transition went from mammals living on land to mammals living in the water, the blood clotting system developed through gene duplication. (Davidson et al, 1487)
When Michael J. Behe was on the expert witness stand in Dover, he presented his argument that the immune system was irreducibly complex. Behe was then presented with over fifty peer-reviewed scientific publications describing just how the immune system could develop via evolution (Kitzmiller et al.). Behe claimed that all of this evidence just wasn’t enough. And it is here where the true colours of the Discovery Institute finally come out. The evidence just isn’t good enough for them.
With all of these arguments in mind, and the six questions applied, it can be easy to refute these arguments used by design. And can also easily be identified as a direct attack upon evolution, and for no other purpose than that. For when making their arguments, proponents of ID state their points and then attack evolution openly. For example, when Ohio’s state board of education decided to place warning labels on the biology book, which read “This textbook has material on Evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This subject should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered” (Cobb County Board of Education), the board members were religiously motivated in their decision. Fortunately, the judge saw this, and in January of 2005, the decision was overturned (MSNBC).
Creationists try to admonish those that cite the first amendment against so-called “critical thinking” policies. After all, this label on the books doesn’t mention a thing about religion, or even Intelligent Design! What it is trying to do though, is to try to promote the false notion in a child that somehow a theory is more weak than a fact.
It also should be mentioned that Gravity is also only a theory, and not a fact. What the sticker means to tell kids though, is that Evolution is a very controversial subject, especially in these times, when the country is collectively considering such touchy subjects as Separation of Church and State in the most literal senses. However, it is not worth tearing down one section of the wall to let the two separate entities flow into each other.
Through all of these inconsistent points brought forth by ID, one thing does remain consistent: Something is completely awry. Science, or religion? Education or indoctrination? What do they mean by uttering the phrase “teach the controversy” when in reality, it has been shown above that there is no controversy?
In its “Wedge Document”, the Discovery Institute bases its entire existence on the fact that the western civilization was influenced on the existence of the belief that most people had a belief in God.
When looking at what Carl Sagan said about the universe being absolutely everything, what could he possibly have meant? Perhaps that the Universe just exists, perhaps he meant that humans have no purpose relatively in this vast physical existence. But knowing what Sagan did with his life, knowing what he pursued, and what mattered to him in his life, this notion could be tossed out without question. An understanding about what the universe actually is, why it is, how it is, and perhaps more importantly, what the universe could become, what humans can do with this existence. The beauty of the world must held in awe, certainly. But after a respectable awe, human understanding must tackle these things which cannot yet be explained. The problem with Intelligent Design as it stands, is that it prevents, or even more frustratingly, alters completely the system around which science orbits. Without the objectivity that science has on the outcome of collected data, false ideas would be published, and just because a wrong turn is made does not mean that a dead end will not be hit. When hitting a dead end, the solution is to always turn around and try to backtrack, setting the correct course and speed again, and learning from the mistake. The map by which science is driven now works fine, and it has for the past several centuries. Taking a wrong turn toward dumping the definition of science down a paralyzing abyss is not only a completely unfortunate dead end, it’s very dangerous. It’s dangerous in that humans depend on the progress of science to live their lives.
Behe, Michael J. “Darwin’s Black Box” Simon and Schuster: New York, NY, 1996
Cobb County Board of Education, March, 28 2002
Davidson CJ, Tuddenham EG, McVey JH. 450 million years of hemostasis. J Thromb Haemost 2003; 1: 1487–94.
Darwin, Charles “On The Origin of Species”
Dawkins, Richard. “The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design” W. W. Norton & Company: New York, NY, 1987
MSNBC, associated press “Judge nixes evolution textbook stickers: Disclaimer questioning theory ruled unconstitutional” January 13, 2005)
The National Center for Science Education (ncseweb.org)
Gibbons, I.R., “Dynein family of motor proteins: present status and future questions”
Kitzmiller V. Dover Area School District
Matzke, Nicholas J. “Behe’s Blunder” BASIS - issue April-June 2004
Miller, Kenneth R., Lecture
Paley, William A. “Natural Theology”, 1802
Perakh, Mark. "Does irreducible complexity imply Intelligent Design? Michael Behe's "irreducible complexity," according to "design theorists," implies Intelligent Design of biological systems. In fact, such a conclusion lacks a logical foundation. Irreducible complexity can even more reasonably be construed as an argument against Intelligent Design.(EVOLUTION AND THE ID WARS)." Skeptical Inquirer 29.6 (Nov-Dec 2005)
Pigliucci, Massimo. "Design Yes, Intelligent No A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism." Skeptical Inquirer 25.5 (Sept 2001)
Robinson, Jean A. Et al, “Hageman Factor XII Deficiency in Marine Mammals” Science, Volume 166, 1969
Ruse, Michael. "Creationism." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Horowitz. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 489-493. 6 vols.
Sawin, Enoch I. "The scientific method and other bases for evaluation procedures." ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 62.4 (Oct 2005)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium."
Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an Atomic mass of 311. These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.
Since Bushcronium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Bushcronium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Bushcronium has a normal half-life of multiples of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Bushcronium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."
When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element which radiates orders of magnitude, more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.
Bushcronium can spontaneously transmute into Pandemonium.
Monday, April 10, 2006
But for the moment, it looks like Intelligent Design has a narrower back door to get through.... because as I watched the board debate the issue, after the mountains of people voicing their opinions, I noticed that the original advocating board members proposed striking out the last line of the debate and replacing it with the last line already established in the current state standards. And that was rather suspicious to me. Why make such a redundant move when you could have just struck the whole thing out, and abide by the standards anyway?
That was just one part of it though. The beginning was rather boring. After all, the board members had other things on the agenda, like budget, and school programs and such, and that was interesting, but the reason that this small room for 63 was packed beyond what the fire code would allow, was science policy #401, and the debate was clear even before the meeting started. For instance, some jackass at the beginning started yelling, "This is a public forum, we should ALL have seats in order to have our say..." (followed by cries of "herehere!") over and over and over again in a loud (sorry to say, rather retarded) voice until someone else told the board just to ignore him at which point he retorted "who the HELL are you?" and that's about as tense as the night got.
Everyone then proceeded to their seats and the meeting started. After all the essentials were out of the way, it was 401's turn, and first the public was allowed to speak. I'd say there were upwards of 200 people at that meeting, because it had been announced on the News earlier in the morning.
Among the first to speak was the head of the local high school Science Department, and he essentially laid out all that he could in the 3 minutes he was given, and asked those who supported him to stand up. More than half the room did so, and that was a good feeling. But I reminded myself that there were still another 50+ people signed up to speak. Myself among them. Point after point was made, and our side kept reinforcing the definition of science, and how it should be taught in our science classrooms. Essentially, "this policy is a back door for intelligent Design, Intelligent Design is not science because science is this, this, this, and this."
and then it was my turn. I don't have a degree in biology or nuclear physics like some of these other guys had, so I just got up there and tried to explain what my issue as a student was with this policy. I pointed out again that time and time again, this policy has been revealed to be nothing more than a new way to use ID to indoctrinate creationism among the students. And that by connecting the board's existence with the government, I was able to point out that this board was under the law to not pass this policy on the grounds of the 1st amendment, which the board was subject to. You know, the typical rebellious student argument.
wasn't that great an appearance as I am horrible with public speaking. I ought to have brought note cards up or something. Ahh well, there were others that underlined the case I had put forward. So that was a good feeling.
Their points were the same tired arguments that had been refuted backwards and forward up down left right and through the anus. "this is critical thinking" the leader of IDnet New Mexico, Rebecca Keller who is the leading ID proponent in New Mexico saying that they did not represent ID per sey, but that they'd like to see this policy remain. Pathetic. But then there were people who also tried to admonish the teachers for not blindly enforcing this policy "as educators" and that it was "frustrating for them as parents" that the teacher could not "teach" properly. And boy, did the science teachers get furious. During the recess that took place between the arguments, and the actual debate among the board members, the advocates of both sides were at each other's necks. Especially the science teachers. Me? I hung out with the physicists, and did a lot of Eavesdropping.
It's interesting to note that most of the room got quiet after a few minutes. I suspect this is when all the IDiots (sorry, I had to incorporate that somewhere) ran out of arguments, and stumbled back to try and start again x)
anyway, after the recess, the board took the debate into their own hands. The first proposition was that of striking out the existing line, and replacing it with the line stated in the NM state science standards. That reasonable people would disagree with the origins of species, the cause of the big bang, etc. Which is a good standard to abide by... however if it's already there, why on earth would you include it again word for word in the standards? That's why I remain suspicious... again, it's not a full victory, I think that we're just getting somewhere finally. The second proposition was to keep it the way it was because there was nothing in the policy currently that suggested ID (despite half of the proponents of this policy being members of NMIDnet) but what really shut this moron's face is when one of the other board members got engaged in a dialogue with him that went something like this,
Board member 1 (against rescinding) : I think our staff is more than capable enough to discuss all issues among the students if the studnets should bring them up.
Bard member 2 (for rescinding) : You think our teachers are qualified to teach the origins of religions deriving from Islam, or that they are qualified to discuss the book of mormon in the classroom if they should bring them up? And what about the dozens of Indian Pueblos in the area? Are we going to ask our teachers to step out of their boundaries to teach that which ought to not be taught in a science classroom?
Board member 1: I think our staff is capable of that, yes. It encourages our students to think critically.
Board member 2: how do you think that this is possible, when their fields extend only to those that they study in?
Board member 1: well... it's something we need to figure out.
at this point, the whole room erupts in laughter. You mean you did not figure this out before? Genius mister board member! A slap in the face to you, and a revelation that you have no god damned clue about what you're talking about. It was about ID the entire time, and you know it. "The only indoctrination that's happening here" I said, "is the indoctrination of religion that's happening in this board meeting. This is a public school system. Religion has no place in it."
Hopefully, the rest of the board members will realize how redundant their actions today were, and they'll bring the policy back to the way it originally was before August 23rd.
|Rio Rancho Public School Science Policy wrote:|
|... When appropriate and consistent with the New Mexico Science Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards, discussions about issues that are of interest to both science and individual religious and philosophical beliefs will acknowledge that reasonable people may disagree about the meaning and interpretation of data.|
that was adopted this past August, and is the controversial phrase.
now the above line reads:
|New Mexico State Science Standards wrote:|
|Understand that reasonable people may disagree about some issues that are of interest to both science and religion (e.g., the origin of life on Earth, the cause of the Big Bang, the future of Earth).|
adopted August 28th of 2003. The above standards have been acclaimed nation wide as some of the best state standards to ever come out of schools. Why change it? Why make amends when no amendment is needed? Why? Because there was a hidden agenda, that's why. There are some people who would rather have students be subject to ID ideology because "Evolution is a theory and not a fact" or (and this was the biggest ignorance of the meeting) the board member touting that there is NO fossil record supporting transitional species. I don't know where he's been the past few days, but a recent article in Nature would probably disagree. Anyway, that is my rant about tonight. I had to post it somewhere, and here seemed like a good place.
If you've read thus far, thank you very much :p
They caught me on camera by the way, so my opinions reached beyond the ears too of those who were actually at the meeting. And that's pretty satisfying. ^^
To tell you the truth, I believe that the only reason that there is so much hostility toward these people by the citizens of the U.S.A. is a deep sense of racism. They ignore the economic impact completely, and skip right to the part that explains how they're illegal aliens from Mexico who are driving down the wages. What they don't see is that it's the employer's damned fault that the wages offered is so low. It's absolutely pathetic to be so selff-centered around the "American Dream" when it's their own stupid selves depriving their region of those level wages, and also destroying the desire, the demand, for a better life as opposed to the life which was offered in Mexico.
I'll say it again too, if these people demand jobs, why should we capitalists prevent that from happening? Especially if it will -- god forbid-- benefit other people, and possibly the country below us.
That issue aside however, we need to work withour neighbor below us. Right now, we're talking over each other's heads. They think that we ought to open our borders, we are like, heh, no... we like this cheap labor, because it grows our economy. It's a constant battle to determine who has more power in the long run, who can benefit most out of it. And as it stands, we basically have Mexico in a choke hold. With the flick of a wrist in the signature of a pen, we could order the execution of 11 million immigrants if we wanted to. Fortunately, we would never do that in our right-- err, left minds. But we could quite effectively devastate the Mexican economy by deporting millions back to the country, placing military at the Mexican border, and not allow any more people to come through.
Of course, as I am a socialist, I think that America ought to be taken over. But seeing as how that's not an option, compromises have to be made. More specifically, LET these people become citizens! There are 11,000,000 who are competing for the food that we overproduce anyway, that's why the prices are driven down so much, because we seem to overproduce for the people who are not there. Let these people be involved in the competition, and I gaurantee you that the wages will go back up. Besides, what is the other option anyway? Turn a blind cheek? Hell no, where does that get anyone? people are still going to be taking advantage of other people, and prices will STILL be driven up nowhere.
How do we keep these people out? IMHO, we need to make a conceivable program in conjunction with Mexico that makes a Mexican's time over here easier. That means don't make it so damned difficult to get a VISA for these people. It helps neither us or them. A 1 month journey across the desert seems more attractive than staying an additional 6 months in Mexico before they are allowed to come here. Furthermore, we need to do something to help Mexico. For example lift this stupid idea that we call free trade with Mexico. It's what is making labor cheap in Mexico, and oppressing millions of people. Go to Juarez, and you'll see American corporations popping up here and there. American jobs moving to Mexico, why? Cheap labor. Why cheap labor? free trade with our own companies from another company.... what does this do for us? $$$$$ what does it do for the people of Mexico? X.X -$$$$$ ... oppression. The same oppression that we claim to be fighting against in Iraq. When we start putting tariffs on our goods again, then and only then can the region experience a growth in the standard of living. We really have to stop being arrogant assholes whose only interest lays in the amount of ring tones we are allowed to posess, and not the people around us.
Do you think a wall is going to save us? No more than the Iron curtain or the Berlin wall helped the USSR, or East Berlin. Trust me when I say that we are not doing anything close to what we could be doing to help the situation. We are doing as much as we can to make sure the situation benefits us and only us. We need to find a way that helps ALL of us in the long run. If not democratically, then with force. Though that will not come until several decades into the future. But it is the inevitability of all Empires to be taken over.
That's my rant for today, I hope to find everyone well,
Monday, March 27, 2006
alright, there's a lot of anger surging through my blood, so I feel like ranting. Yes, me, angry.
if you want rational talk, skip the bold part of this post, and go to the bottom where boldface ends.
First, how this came up. I was reading someone's blog (really, a live journal, but meh) this is someone who I've come to see as extremely intelligent and pretty funny. I'm not going to say who out of respect for him and to save me some humiliation. Some people would know though. Anyway, his post concerned the protests that were going on throughout the country because of the debate going on in congress over whether or not we should build a wall on the US-Mexico border. To sum it up, he said it was STUPID, and downright OUTRAGEOUS that people were protesting over this. As if it were surprising that people getting pissed that human rights were being violated. He justified this by saying it was in our laws to keep people out of this country without due process. And thus far, I agreed. It was a law. Where I disagree, however, is it's existence altogether. Why... the hell ... do we stop ... people ... from getting ... better... f*cking ... LIVES!!! Is it too much to ask to open our borders to those whose countries are less significant than ours? What the hell are we so afraid of that we don't let Mexicans come through our border? Yet we have Canadian and American subdivisions right next to each other? They literally cross the damned road and they have international neighbors to exchange fucking flower!!! What the hell is the difference? BRING THE VIOLENCE IT'S SIGNIFICANT!!!!! sorry, I'm listening to angry music. Anyway, back to the rant. I'll tell you what the difference is. Avarice. Avarice. Avarice Avarice AVARICE!!!!! We Americans have the highest population of spoiled rich whining fuckers who are damned unwiling to give up a few luxuries like an i-pod, or fucking Pixie Stix. Why? because we're greedy assholes who are concerned about getting these pixie stix and NOTHING ELSE! What would be better is if we could find a justification for doing this... find a way to justify pwning the whole damned world because we rape them of everything they own. Alright, to keep with a little consistency, I'm going to introduce a luxury. Cute annoying fucking ring tones. Yeah. SHOUT! SHOUT! LET IT ALL OUT! THESE ARE THE THINGS I CAN DO WITHOUT! c'mon, I'm talking to you. Anyway. These ring tones are the big things these days. EVERYBODY's got to have them because they're so cute, and customizable, and everyone can have their own whenever they want. Their annoyingness aside, I now drop the term "annoying fucking" from the subject because it would get annoying itself. So, we have these cute ring tones, and we have people who want them. We have people who would kill god for these stupid things. People would sacrifice their FIRST BORN INFANT for one of these pointless sound bytes!!!!!!! they live in Canafordavarice. Meanwhile, in a distant country called Corptofarmland, there are people who don't have bread to feed their communities because the police there are liek, omglolololol, I want some bread for my family 2! I take ur monies poor peeps!" So the regular citizens of corptofarmland are like this :( we need bread, so they look to the land above them called Canafordavarice, and they look at how they're doing up there. Shit, they heard that a neighbor moved up there a year ago, and now he's making more money there than he ever did here. Why? because the law enforcement never caught him, and because people are willing to pay them up there. Why? Because these are jobs that NOBODY wants!! But of course, it's much better than doing a job you don't want anyway only to get your money stolen by the government in its entirety. Let's get up there! So they do. And after traveling for miles, hopping some barbed wire, and getting some rides, this family is now here. And they're like, "k, now what?.. umm, let's find a job" good idea for them, they need money. This is the part that pisses the inhabitants of Canafordavarice off. Everyone's walking around on their personal wifi-equipped computers, holding their cell-phones in one hand and typing with the other. Clicking and paying for these cute ringtones for their phones. They're all giggling, and having a good time as they listen to their wonderful work of substandard-quality jumble of techno sounds of a barely recognizable song, and LOL!!! This family looks at them and says "@.@!! I WANT!!!!!" Great! They have the motivation required to exist in this society. Moreso in fact than these retards on the street of Canafordavarice who probably inherited their social status. As I've said, inherited or not, this is the first qualification for living well in a capitalist society. Greed. You have to want it so badly that you are willing to fuck the person next to you into oblivion to get what you want. Even the people who don't have it anyway, or probably don't even care that they don't have it. It doesn't matter, you want to be the person with the most ringtones, so you are like MINE! And knock your coworker down by saying "HA! PWNED! I HAVE MORE $$$ THAN YOU! I GET MORE RINGTOOOONESSSS :D" Your boss in Canafordavarice is liek, "well done, but remember, I gots even more $$$$$$$ than even you, and I gots teh power to take yours away and keep it as my own foo!" And you're like, well crap, I gotta get his job! Climb up the latter! ^^" and meanwhile the immigrants from corptofarmland are like, "k! let's get started" only, they're picking snowpeas in a field surrounded by the corn they'll have to pick in another 6 months, they don't care what they're making, they get bread! They get bread and an asshole boss who says "hahahahaha, look at u foolz, I gots power, money, and teh brainz (of a two year old) that can pwn your arses with one call on the telephone!" These immigrants are now prisoners of this farmer, working twice as fast, for 5 times less than what they could be earning if they were legally part of the system. But the farmer doesn't care. He's like "hahahahaa, this is ur fault, I get ring tones and your poor rears are getting dry bread! hahaha" And so the strawberries that the Corptofarmlanders picked now go out for lots and lots and lots of money to give the farmer so he can get more ringtones! And now he's like "pwned, kthx, here's your payment, now stfu and die kthx!" Why? Avarice. HE WANTS MORE DAMNED RING TONES! HE'S WILLING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE WHO HAVE NOTHING NOTHING N-O-T-H-I-N-G IN ORDER TO GET THEM!!!! NO-THING NO THING NOT ONE DAMNED THING And that's just on a local level. What happens on a global scale is far worse. People DIE every year because the capitalist assholes in this country are like, "hahahaha, lol, j00 r teh ded, and we are teh rich. We don't care about j00 cuz j00 can't give us lots of money quickly... or ringtones" hmmmmmmm.... but maybe there is a way that we can.... if we build factories over in their countries... See, we are limited in the amount of ringtones we can get because the prices over here are so high, and we need to spend loads of money buying other crap that we can't afford more ring tones. WE HAVE TO HAVE MORE RING TONES!!!!!!! LET'S BUILD FACTORIES OVER THERE, AND MAKE THEM WORK SO WE HAVE MORE MONEY TO BUY MORE RING TONES!!!!!!! OMGLOLOLOL. So now the family that came from Corptofarmland are liek, yay! We can buy stuff teh cheaper! :D and the citizens look at this family and they say "omglol, what? i dun think so j00 get your butt back to Corptofarmland where you belong!!!!!!" the family's liek, w0t????!?!??! we picked your fewd for you!!!!!! the ppl are like, "nuuu, no ringtones for you!!!! And we put up a wall so you can't come back!!! muahahahahaaa!!!!!!"
MEMORIES DON'T LIE! YOU KNOW BETTER THAN MEMORIES DON'T LIE!
AVARICE WILL KILL YOU IN TIIIIME!!!!!!!!! ;.;
okay here's the point where I start to make some sense. Enough of the random dialogue because it's only confusing. Why? Because this rationalization doesn't make a damned bit of sense.
we have a capitalist government. The main motivation is greed. Only to lighten up the sound of that, we say "competition through markets" it's greed though, make no mistake about it.
What people are willing to do in order to attain the things they want, like cell phone rings, is astounding. Stomping on every single person around them in any way they can. Whether this means making them live in substandard housing, making them buy substandard things, or making them shop at Wal*Mart, greed will take its toll, and people are going to suffer.
The justification of this is usually "if we want more cell phone ring tones, we are going to get it by being more greedy than the people next to us. We're willing to do whatever it takes to get those cell-phone rings, even putting people through complete hell"
That's the undeniable truth, and it's damned sad for me to think about. People suffering because we live in this illusion of a utopia, this-this illusion of heaven.
Ich will nicht ins Paradies, wenn der Weg dorthin so schwierig ist!
This paradise that's so easy to live in, so hard to get into, because it doesn't even exist. People are too fucking (sorry for the random f-bombs) consumed with themselves that they don't care about the people next to them. The apathy only comes when their right to avarice is threatened. Or when the illusion of our extending our illusion of avarice out to another country.
Why was there such a huge support for Iraq? Because A) they were portrayed as a threat to our greed. B) because we were going to spread the right to being greedy to their country. Or in other words "because they were a threat to everything America Stands for, and because they are evil misled murderers who must be changed and must conform to our capitalist way of life" the part of course that was not mentioned is the $$$ that the U.S. would get out of it. If we can control OPEC, then we can get more $$$ (AND RINGTONES!!!!)
All because ... we are arrogant fucktards who only care about, not helping each other out as human beings, but by getting more for our own human being selves. It's a pathetic way of life. Humans have so much more potential. They don't fucking see it though because they are so immersed in their own paranoid egotistical way of life. Too fucking worried about what the person next to him has to worry about what a person hundreds of miles away who has considerably less BECAUSE of this avarice.
*sighs* I wish there was something I could do about it. But ... I don't think it's possible in my life time....
What's the problem? I just care about people living decently. I care that people are not dying for stupid reasons. What's so bad about that? :(
Anyway.... I'm out of ranting power. My anger has stopped flowing, and now I'm a bit sad.
Next post will hopefully contain my completed thesis. Stay tuned.
btw, happy birthday to me o.o
Thursday, March 09, 2006
March 9, 2006
Intelligent Design: Keep that sense of humor
An analysis of political cartoons
In a lecture given by Ken Miller in early January of 2006, he explained to the audience that one good thing about this whole design movement was all of the laughs that came out of it. One must keep their sense of humor fine-tuned, especially in situations like this, when something just refuses to die, despite being trampled on by science and reason. And so, through this movement there have been numerous cartoons published across the country, critical of the Design movement, which , as it has been shown, is being very harshly criticized by many in the scientific community. Here are a few examples that I will provide that are sure to stimulate one's sense of humor, and yet also stimulate one's thinking critically about what ID is really about:
In looking at all of these, the cartoons seem to invoke humor out of the minds of scientists, and utter anger and scoffing from the proponent of Intelligent Design. Indeed, the truth hurts, especially if one is facing it head-on.
The cartoon to the right depicts a man representing Intelligent Design trying to get into the prestigious community that makes up science. The community of course objects, fairly pointing out that Intelligent Design has not met any of the criteria that absolutely needs to be met in order to be included as real science. Fortunately, it seems that Design will not be getting through the doors if admissions can help it. Admissions then evokes its true colours to everyone when he retorts that all that he needs to do is to do is to use a different way of getting past, in this case, smiting. In this context, smiting means redefining the requirements to fit the standards of ID.
Of course, when looking at many cases throughout the U.S., ID only managed to smite a few school districts, and not the entirety of science. Fortunately, nobody had their faces covered by the illusion of “smiting” that ID tried to put forth. Science upheld itself valiantly, and the requirements of observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation, and peer review pulled through.
The cartoon to the left depicts two grown men in front of a chalk board trying to solve a complicated-looking equation. The equation in question is so difficult that during one of the steps, the student presumably inserts “THEN A MIRACLE OCCURS” as a possible solution. The instructor isn’t very impressed and suggests to the student that he really ought to explain this particular step of the problem.
Miracles are usually defined by a divine influence. Being thrust down a mountain and surviving could be defined as miraculous. The cure for AIDS could be defined as miraculous. As an adjective, miraculous is a fine way to define something that is extraordinary. However, using it to explain a scientific breakthrough, or worse still, to explain that which science has yet to explain, thus limiting the knowledge that humans can grasp on the subject just because they cannot understand it at this point and time.
Science is not critical of ID because it opposes Evolution. Science merely asks Design to be more clear about their position in science. Science demands Design to produce empirical evidence that has undergone rigorous peer-review before it is accepted as mainstream.
So, like the misguided student in this cartoon, Intelligent Design is either going to learn from its mistake, and correct its mistakes, or it will fail because they cannot put any sort of evidence on the table. And the teacher who represents science will go on teaching the rest of the students the correct way to do their math– and get the method for acceptance pushed through as soon as possible.
But it also gives the rest of the community reason to laugh.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Naturally, I chose as song that Disturbed has covered. The lyrics were superbly written, and David Draiman's voice helps make the song display the angst of what the song is really about in my eyes... revolution, and why it must happen. So anyway, here's the song lyrics. Following those, is my analysis.
Land of Confusion
I must have dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street
Now, did you read the news today?
They say the danger has gone away
But I can see the fire's still alight
They're burning into the night
There's too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there's not much love to go around
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in
Oh, superman, where are you now?
When everything's gone wrong somehow?
The men of steel, these men of power
Are losing control by the hour
This is the time, this is the place
So we look for the future
But there's not much love to go around
Tell me why this is a land of confusion
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in
I remember long ago
When the sun was shining
And all the stars were bright all through the night
In the wake of this madness, as I held you tight
So long ago
I won't be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We're not just making promises
That we know we'll never keep
There's too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there's not much love to go round
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?
Now, this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for
This is the world we live in
And these are the names we're given
Stand up and let's start showing
Just where our lives are going to
Land of Confusion—Lyrics Analysis
Lyrics Written by Genesis, and Covered by Disturbed
Revolution sends a powerful message. It helps people make things right by force, usually after all other options have been exhausted. Revolution is sometimes necessary in a society after the ruling force in that society has suppressed acts of civil disobedience. When people are sick and tired of looking at all that is wrong with a civilization, and worse, that these problems are not getting fixed. It then takes a large outcry to establish a rebellion. But when one is approaching, it is loud and it escalates quickly. It can be heard from all around. To some, it is the most terrifying sound that one could ever pass through his ears. To others, it is the most refreshing break in their mind that they have had in years. One that they thought would never come.
Suppressing rebellion is one goal of a society. Of course to do that, one must keep the people happy. If they’re not happy, they have to be made to be happy—via some illusion. But always, always there is a different way to look through the illusion. This is when society gets really scared. This is when it really does start to tumble. Because as the ideas grow, and lies are seen through, the anger in the inhabitants rise, and violence breaks out. This could be by means of a coup, as happened in Venezuela, or it could be by the help of a foreign power. This was the case in the American Revolution of the 1700’s. The rebellions could not be suppressed, and everyone was ready to change.
Through each of these rebellions in the past, the problem has always been one thing: too many powerful people—particularly men. There are too many people in power, each with entirely too much power. Thus far, all throughout history, every fallen leader has been immersed in one thing that leads to his downfall: greed. Greed has always surrounded humanity. Greed is the human condition. Humans know not life without looking at what the person next to him has, and wanting to not only take it, but to beat that person back down through the ropes of society, and remain on top, always getting more and more stuff. This is why humans cannot love one another; they cannot help one another in this day and age; because they are able to greedy. It is encouraged in fact; but masked by the simple use of the word “competition”. The illusion then in this world, is competition. Everywhere, competition for jobs, competition for market, competition for capitol, competition for smarts, competition for living—all of these are an added problem to the equation of this time of terrible human existence. Greed is rampant everywhere people turn their heads. For those who actually can see through the illusion that is put forth by those in power, there exists only a land of utter, terrible confusion.
As a thinking race though, possibly out of tens or hundreds of thousands of others in the universe, it is possible to set the pace of existence in the correct direction. Into a direction that more makes sense for continued human existence. One in which there exists no need to hold power over anyone. How is this achieved? Civil disobedience, rebellion, revolution, and overcoming the grasp that the powerful have on the lower walks of life in society, are all ways that can improve society, as the average person knows it. It can only be achieved if everyone knows why it has to be done. A society cannot progress if nobody agrees with it.
People need to feel abandoned somehow by those who protect them. Like a good superhero, the ruling class of any society should always protect those who they rule over. This is not happening, and more and more everyday, the power is not being taken by a government, but by private individuals who only care about money, and what they may buy with it. They care only about capitalizing off of various goods, essentials for life some of these things.
Any rebellion that would happen ought to happen here and now very soon. The time has never been more perfect. If people want a better future, and they can envision it, then all that has to be done, is to form a group of people who are ready for a change, collectively, for the better of themselves, each other, and for all of humanity. If this could happen, the world does not have to exist in confused chaos any longer.
There was a time when all humans were young, and things seemed to be carefree. The loved ones to be around knew how to take care of life, to make it better. And the only things to be worried about was how one could go about making their own life better without that extra outside help. Life seemed so perfect then, so carefree. It had to end because humans have to grow older. They have to develop their minds, and they have to look at life in a multi-dimensional sense. A critical view looking at the realities of life should scream in horror when they look around themselves. All too often, this is not the case. Those simple times are put behind human beings, and after a while, these times become as distant as the faintest memory. Instead, the mind is always gearing about how to possess more here, and now.
There is only one way to solve this problem. We can fix it ourselves. The idea is there, the truth is there, now we have to make the truth known to the entire nation, to all of humanity. And because we know the truth, we cannot let it die. One way or another, the point will get across. Then, everyone will know, we were no joke. We were right all along with our revolutionary, cynical ideas of the world that used to be.
What a utopia that could be, with none of these ruling men, these greedy men, trying to do nothing more than make his own life better while stamping out those that he considers more inferior. Creating nothing more than a world where people only see what the ruling class wants them to see. The world as it stands to day is not worth fighting for. We must make it worth fighting for by fighting for a better world. To do this, it needs to be made known how terrible a place this is. How better a world this could be, and the powerful must be undermined. It will come in time. But with marked words, this realization will come to pass, and when it does, the rebellion will be ready.
Tell me what ya think.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Anyway, I get off the bus, and start walking home. The bus was still behind me letting people off, so I got a good headstart. I was about two blocks away from the stop behind me, and the bus came up the road, and the driver parked it by the curb on which I was walking, like he does everyday to check the aisles for trash and stuff. This is when I noticed, across the street, two dogs were frolicking on the sidewalk. I didn't mind... they're having fun. More power to them, you know?
What made me groan is when I watched them start coming across the street right toward me. Great. I'm a person who's had his ear mauled by a chow, and my leg cut open by a rotweiler. Needless to say, I HATE DOGS!!! These two were a medium size, actually probably smaller than medium, but they weren't small. They looked like shepard crosses in their early years. One was dragging a leash behind him, the other was pure white, with no identification at all.
I looked around me, for anyone that could possibly help. The driver was still parked behind me, but (with entirely ALL due respect to him) he's very overweight. He still has a radio for which he could call for help though... so I took that into account. That was only in an urgent situation too. Other than that, the streets were empty, and they were still coming at me. I was holding my jacket over my shoulder, and I stood as tall as I could (not on tip-toes, but just taller than normal) and kept walking.
My fears did take place... they started growling and barking at me, and looked menacingly at me (curled lips etc...) I kept facing them, and kept walking toward them... hoping to instill fear in them of me, and kept my jacket held out in front of me in case they did attack. I was also yelling too (a few obscenities too, but I was pretty scared at this point, admittedly x.x) One of them went past me, but the other was still in front of me. Which I didn't see as a very good thing, as I do not have eyes in the back of my head. So I kept my jacket in front of me, and checked on the white one which had walked past. So all I had to worry about was this brownish one that was still snarling at me.
After lunging at it a few times, and more yelling, and also a bit of defensive swinging of my jacket, it too finally passed. Still, I faced them both, and walked back slowly, until they both ran away.
Oh the suspense. It was the most exciting part of my day, if not extremely annoying..
PEOPLE, LEASH AND FENCE YOUR GOD DAMNED DOGS! AND IF YOU'RE WALKING THEM, HOLD THEM FOR CHRISAKES! IF YOU CAN'T HOLD YOUR DOGS, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T OWN THEM!
Honestly, everwhere I go, there seems to be some stray dog, either prowling around stupidly around the roads, or they're in the roads... never going to move ever again, for obvious reasons. It's not the dog's fault, I know, it's the human's fault. They can't keep the bloody things leashed up. What these people ought to realize is that it's putting other people in danger, as well as the dogs. I could have easily had my jacket torn away from my hands, and what would I have had left? Those dogs could have jumped at me if they wanted to. I'm assuming the fanned out jacket in front of me made me look bigger and more agressive than I actually was. If I didn't have that... it would not have been as good. And I would have had no other choice, but to have searched for a wall to jump over. I'm good at that, but there wasn't one for meters. I would have surely been bitten or taken down before I reached it.
So, in conclusion to my extremely frustrating day, I have to say: HOLD ON TO YOUR DOGS DAMMIT!!!!!!
Friday, March 03, 2006
Anyway, this day is going by fairly quickly. Surprising for a Friday. Most of it was mostly because we had hardly a thing to do. I finished a few modulation tutorials in Algebra, which is quite an accomplishment for a lazy friday, and in Humanities, we had a discussion about poetry, music, and other things. Our homework for yesterday was to bring in lyrics so that we could analyze them. I chose to bring in "Deify" by Disturbed. Yeah, if you haven't figured it out already, I'm in love with Disturbed. It's basically the only heavy metal (it's disputed what genre they're really in, but I don't really care, I'M calling them really metal :P) band that I'll listen to besides the few Rage' songs that have captured my liking. I chose Deify because it is a political song, and those sorts of songs have an up front meaning, but they stir one's mind to dig deeper into the meaning and apply it not only to your life, but to the lives of other people around you.
Deify is a song that reveals the nature of world leaders, with a special emphasi perhaps on George W. Bush, and how they are percieved as the next big thing that could save us all, when in fact, the thing they do most often is screw a whole lot of people over with lies, and just generally piss people off. Enough to cause revolt on so many levels. And why should they be surprised about it? THey're causing it. Anyway, a very interesting lesson in that class. It wasn't a new idea to me, but music is essentially poetry with a rythm/beat around it. Edgar Allen Poe's works could probably be rapped if one worked hard enough to accomplish it, without so much as taking the meaning away from it that it's supposed to convey.
So I have a class coming up in a few minutes, and I'm showing my teachers an optical illusion to see if they can figure it out. The answer is pretty discrete. The only reason it took *me* so long to realize it is because I was looking for some complicated explanation. Whereas the answer is quite obious once you find it... ask the question "how can one extra person be made when there are only twelve people to work with? It's very fun in any case.
There's the bell....... time for some fun >:D
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I did get my graded thesis back... and I must say.. I've never seen so much red on my paper before now O.O ... has my grading experience been supressed throughout my entire high school career? Anyway, I'll get a scan of it and post it here in my next block. Really astounding. Ummmm, I had my crossroad's teacher watch an anti-bush video. He laughed, and I ddid too. It seemed that he needed some humor in his day... and I just happened to have that video in my collection. ANyway, this block ending. Have a good day
Monday, February 27, 2006
Anyway, I'm supposed to be getting something from my Thesis back... "First 5 pages" but it was more like three for me >.> so I won't be surprised if I get a horrible grade on it. I also have a terrible time grasping the concept of citing. I am so used to just writing an essay without thinking about much else except what I do know. I mean, I grasp why I must do it... it's just so much to remember, as it's a conditional "if-then" process. I dislike doing that when I'm writing. It just flows better if I don't have to take into account where I got the information and insert it into parentheses. Ahh, well, I'll get it soon enough. Anyway, while I'm waiting, Here's my analysis of the book thus far. It's supposed to be ~3 pages, but it's not yet quite complete.
February 27, 2006
Michael J. Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box
Darwin’s Black box is a full-length non-fiction book seeking to explain irreducible complexity. The book claims to be “The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution”, a scientific challenge, and other Authors comment on the book as “(making) and overwhelming case against Darwin on the Biochemical level… an argument of great originality and intellectual power”. From the first page, within, and to the last page the text of “Black Box” has a well-written and easily comprehensible explanation about the roots of Irreducible Complexity (hereinafter IC) and why it is a fundamental flaw of Evolution, and also makes a case for an Intelligent Designer.
Innovating and as controversial as this book is, it is certainly above all a very good explanation of what Intelligent Design is.
it appears that he's not going to get to me today. Maybe tomorrow. Anyway, adios for now!
Note to Self: http://www.davidbrin.com/
Friday, February 24, 2006
The question that seems to earn my sympathy is "is this fair to everyone?" -- and of course it is not. But the fact that there are people in this world that will just tell other "lesser" people to just live with it is just disturbing. WHy aren't we humans willing to fix this? What on earth is so bad about working for the common good of each other? Because we've always been arrogant (and pardon the language) assholes to each other? Because the only way to be a good person is to have more than the person next to you? And collectively the goal is to screw the lower people out of their money enough so that they have merely enough to survive?
THese are all the goals of capitalism, whether this rich jerkoffs are willing to admit it.
And what more could any fat rich guy want than more power? Than to have a certain pride that he's somehow better than those below him. THat's what we're encouraging our kids to do when we try to gently coax them into becoming entrepreneurial business pioneers. Screw the person next to you harder than he tries to screw you, and you'll get to the top faster and with more pride.
Kind of messed up to think of it like that. Because that's the grim reality. THere is no opportunity in this country. There's no garantee to the "American Dream" -- just tell that to the proletarians of New Orleans. especially talk to the ones that are deceased in wheelchairs at the superdome. I'm sure the last thing they'll tell you is that they are living the American dream.
The point of my rant is ... being this arrogant is not going to help anyone... ANYONE. ANd it's proved true in the past few weeks and years especially as we are all as humans more exposed to the events of the world. It's apalling that we can view these events with the shrug of a shoulder, and not react to it beyond that. THings need to change. We need to stop screwing each other over, and start helping one another reach a level where we can interact without wondering why he's got a better car than you.
After all of this, I have one more thing to say:
The American Dream is pathetic.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
And yet, you will support legislation that OPENLY discriminates against all arab muslims??? Though they are AMERICAN CITIZENS??? I'm, sorry, but supporting a trade off of this country's security is beyond ridiculous. It's dangerous. I'm no racist, but giving the security of our ports over to the United Arab Emirates would be no more helping our security than a Kwikset key to a masterlock to Houdini. It's just plain stupid, and dangerous. THe UAE supports the very terrorists, and even aided in funding on some levels, whom attacked the United States. Bush, the so-called Crusade fighter, is going to stop and say "hmmmmm, we can't stop this trade from happening. the UAE would never DREAM of attacking us, though they are proving UNCOOPERATIVE in the war on terror. Let's LET them get our ports, where a ridiculously high percentage number of crates go unchecked even with the current company that oversees the safety of our supplies" this is stupid logic. It's stupid, because we can find better. If there's one way you want to prevent terrorism from accessing this country, it's first of all NOT giving them our keys.
the UAE is not just some Arab country; it is one that has in the past supported terrorism. And handing them our ports would be a VERY-BAD-IDEA. It's one thing to be for open free-trade. It's quite another to set the gate keys in the hand of a killer and name them as your butler. Nope, nope, nope. Bad idea. The government needs to keep its keys, raise taxes, and protect our OWN damned ports.
If not... then hey, another raised glass to the hastening of the fall of the Empire.
I just had to get that out, as it came up in our humanities discussion on Economics.