Sounds like a good idea.
An "I do" is even better.
Opinions and musings on religion, philosophy, science, politics, and life from a conservative Catholic neurosurgeon.
Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be This Kind of Scientist
Amy Luers calls herself “a scientist.” An online bio tells us she
holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and a M.S. and B.S. inenvironmental resources engineering from Humboldt State University...
Luers is... the author of an essay published this week in the peer-reviewed academic journal, Climatic Change. You can read the full text of that essay here (a backup is here). It provides some depressing insights into how professional climate activists think.
For starters, although these people are desperate to connect with the public, they aren’t interested in actually talking to the public. It never occurs to them that ordinary Moms and Dads might reject their activist views – or their activist goals.
Ordinary people don’t have minds, priorities, and opinions of their own. In the view of people such as Luers, they’re merely raw material. The mission is to figure out the secret formula by which they can be manipulated to support the right policies.
Luers says she wants to “strengthen climate engagement.” She therefore interviewed over 40 climate advocates, more than a dozen representatives from the foundation community, and a dozen academics…before arriving at the less-than-earth-shattering conclusion that “social scientists and advocates must work together to build a culture of learning.”...
Luers’ essay declares that her side of the climate debate needs to “take control of the conversation.” She talks about:
creating “political support”
“the larger political landscape”
“longer-term political needs”
the need to build “political will”
building “a political and public base of support”
She says that “political research techniques and analyses have grown in sophistication, enabling analysts to learn a good deal about what works and what does not in political campaigns.”
She makes statements such as: “We need to start picking our battles, designing our campaigns, and assessing our losses and wins…” She’s keen on “engaging the public on climate primarily by selling it as a personally relevant issue.”
In other words, her paper has absolutely nothing to do with science. It’s about political strategizing. The word “political” appears in it no less than 22 times.
In 2013, this is what passes for peer-reviewed academic research. These are the sorts of essays that scientifically trained people now spend their time writing.
Liberalism has spent the better part of the past century attempting to prove that it could competently and responsibly extend the state into new reaches of American life. With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the administration has badly injured that cause, confirming the worst slurs against the federal government. It has stifled bad news and fudged promises; it has failed to translate complex mechanisms of policy into plain English; it can’t even launch a damn website. What’s more, nobody responsible for the debacle has lost a job or suffered a demotion. Over time, the Affordable Care Act’s technical difficulties can be repaired. Reversing the initial impressions of government ineptitude won’t be so easy.Obamacare is a real wake-up call, for Americans with single-digit IQ's and propeller beanies and drool on their chins who didn't notice how well liberalism managed welfare dependence, black family cohesion, inner city crime, New Orleans, Detroit, Newark, and Vietnam.
I always find it remarkable, and perhaps even a little depressing, how few people are able to grasp that the primary consequence of the addition of 70 million working women, all of whom were already consumers, to the labor force, could never have been anything else but to lower wages.
One can debate whether female workers are more or less productive than male workers, and one can certainly debate whether the societal effects were beneficial or negative, but the one thing that cannot be denied, on logical, theoretical, historical, or empirical grounds, is that the post-1950 doubling of the female labor force has had a severely depressing effect on American wages.
On the inference from the success of science to Naturalism being probable
[Scientism] attempt[s] to bootstrap from the success of a natural explanations to the probability of naturalism. The relevant argument is this one: The sciences have had such great success with natural explanations that it is improbable that non-natural explanations are true.
First off, the argument obviously works in one very limited sense: if you see enough natural explanations in a row, you’ll likely be surprised if a supernatural one comes along. Now one sense of “improbable” is indeed “surprising”, but if this is all the Naturalist argument comes to, then there needn’t be any rational basis for Naturalism, since simply being surprised by something doesn’t make the surprise rationally informed (for example, one sort of surprise comes from things we were too ignorant or too oblivious to see coming). In order for the natural success—>Naturalism inference to have a rational basis we would need some account of how often we would expect a non-naturalist explanation to occur. Thus, even granting that the scientific method could rationally deal with a hypothesis of the divine existence, how often would you expect it to do so? If that question is too hard, try your luck at a simpler one: assuming a world with only Euclidean geometries, how often would you expect geometers to develop the idea of non-Euclidean geometry? Say you lived any time between Euclid (300 B.C.) and the rise of non-Euclidean geometries in the 19th century. What p-value could you assign to the rise of non-Euclidean geometry?* Should you rationally expect it to develop after 500 years (200 A.D.)? After a millenium? When exactly? The question demands a sort of knowledge we just can’t have, whether our method is scientific or otherwise. There are historical contingencies, free choices, sheer accidents, and a hundred other things at play that keep us from ever being able to figure out whether such a thing will ever come to pass at all, much less what its probabilities are.
And so, in an irony that the heavens have no doubt long laughed at already, the attempt to argue that the multiplication of successful natural explanations makes Naturalism more probable is itself a straightforward piece of junk science. In fact, it might not even rise to this level: junk science conclusions can at least be based on a junk p-value – but the Naturalism inference can’t even base itself on this.
If God – that is, the ultimate cause of the universe – really exists, and if scientific methods of discovery are adequate to find him, we shouldn’t expect the discovery to occur until the science has gone on for a while (one doesn’t tend to find ultimate causes right away). This all assumes that God is a possible concept in a natural hypothesis, which can only happen if science is not methodologically naturalist. Those are three pretty significant if’s and, if anything, they seem to suggest that science could carry on a very long time before it ever can rationally raise the question of God by its own methods. It is ridiculous for us to assume we are in any position to have found the ultimate basis of things when we know our two main theories of the universe cannot both be ultimate. But whatever we think of this last reason or others that might be put against it, the fact is that we have no precise idea whatsoever of when we should expect a science capable of forming supernatural hypotheses to form its first plausible one, and so no way to make the repeated successes of natural science contribute to the probability of naturalism.
JFK—Casualty of the Cold War Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist who idolized Castro and hated America.A good article, except for the assertion that JFK was a "casualty of the Cold War."
[T]he Cloward-Piven Strategy seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism [and implement socialism] by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.The Obamacare roll-out has been a rousing success. It will succeed finally when Americans, horrified and repulsed by a shattered healthcare system, demand decisive federal action. And the feds oh-so-reluctantly will comply, after much hand-wringing and regret, with federal single-payer.
Islam needs an intervention
Indeed, like a badly failing family member — an alcoholic or a drug addict — what Islam desperately needs now is not nuclear appeasement or CAIR-style “tolerance” but an intervention.
To say that something is decidedly wrong in the Islamic world is a monumental understatement. And Muslim societies make almost no serious effort to correct themselves, ricocheting back and forth between military totalitarianism and religious totalitarianism while — like that family heroin addict — blaming everyone but themselves for their fate.Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
They are indeed in deep need of an intervention. The question is how to do it.
Of course, just by raising that question you are accused of Islamophobia, an absurd almost self-contradictory term, which always applies better to those using it. They are the ones who are phobic about Islam because they are the ones who are fearful (actually terrified) of what Islamic people will do if told the truth. So they come up with those equally absurd lies, like defining the crime of a soldier who murders his fellows while shouting “Allahu Akhbar” as “workplace violence.”The actual "Islamophobes" are the folks who are so afraid of Islam that they won't tell the truth about it.
This real Islamophobia has been the pathetic stance of our government and military since 9/11, made worse by the delusions of Barack Obama. Of course it has failed. How could it possibly succeed when it is fundamentally dishonest?
Meanwhile, another large sector of our society wants us to throw up our hands at the whole thing — let these madmen destroy each other. I am sympathetic — how could I not be? We have already lost so much in treasure, human and material.
But I will remind those people — and myself — that in our tradition we are our brother’s keeper. And that is one of the most important values, if not the key value, that gave us this great country.We are not Islam's keeper. Let Allah sort it out. But if they attack us, we should defend ourselves with vigor.
Furthermore, such a violent ideology left unchecked could destroy the world. It already infects over a billion Muslims, with painfully rare, though highly laudable, exceptions."Infects". Yes. It is a disease of the human soul.
(The depressing truth is that I met almost all of them in my job at PJM. Where are the rest? Why is it there is no really organized attempt within Islam for any kind of serious reform — only the most momentary lip service after a terror attack?)Carnage like the events in Pakistan and Kenya have widespread support in the Muslim world.
Which professions have the most psychopaths?
Like everyone else, I once had a Rubik’s cube (the world’s best-selling toy, 350 million of them had been sold by 2009), but I am simply puzzle-illiterate, and gave it up quickly.
The original (3×3×3) Rubik’s Cube has eight corners and twelve edges. There are 8! (40,320) ways to arrange the corner cubes. Seven can be oriented independently, and the orientation of the eighth depends on the preceding seven, giving 37 (2,187) possibilities. There are 12!/2 (239,500,800) ways to arrange the edges, since an even permutation of the corners implies an even permutation of the edges as well. (When arrangements of centres are also permitted, as described below, the rule is that the combined arrangement of corners, edges, and centres must be an even permutation.) Eleven edges can be flipped independently, with the flip of the twelfth depending on the preceding ones, giving 211 (2,048) possibilities.
which is approximately forty-three quintillion.
The puzzle is often advertised as having only “billions” of positions, as the larger numbers are unfamiliar to many. To put this into perspective, if one had as many standard sized Rubik’s Cubes as there are permutations, one could cover the Earth’s surface 275 times.And Coyne is right. The combinatorial possibilities are astonishing, and the likelihood of arriving at a combination that successfully solves the puzzle is nil, unless intelligence is applied.
|What made it necessary to drill for oil at 5000 feet of ocean depth?|
[The] Exxon Valdez disaster... was also ironically made possible by a desire to protect the environment.
The original plan when oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope was to build a pipeline directly to the northern border of the 48 contiguous states. Groups like the Sierra Club waged a major battle against both the Prudhoe Bay development and the pipeline.
They lost on the drilling but won a small victory in forcing the pipeline to not traverse the continent via a safer land route but to dead end at the port of Valdez, Alaska. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I’m pro-life. I care about the life of every child; every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future.”No doubt this will be reassuring to the usual low-information Democrat Texas voter who loves freebies from the government but isn't so hot about killin' babies. 'Heck, blondie gonna give me free stuff and don't like killin' all youngins! She got ma vote!"
[T]he following evidence... demonstrate[s] overwhelmingly that Nazi
racial thinkers embraced human and racial evolution:
1) Hitler believed in human evolution.
2) The official Nazi school curriculum prominently featured biological evolution, including human evolution.
3) Nazi racial anthropologists, including SS anthropologists, uniformly endorsed human evolution and integrated evolution into their racial ideology.
4) Nazi periodicals, including those on racial ideology, embraced human evolution.
5) Nazi materials designed to inculcate the Nazi worldview among SS and military men promoted human evolution as an integral part of the Nazi worldview.
I... highlight the ways that Nazi racial thought was shaped by Darwinism (defined as biological evolution through the pro-cess of natural selection).
First, almost all Nazi racial theorists believed that humans had evolved from primates.
Second, they provided evolutionary explanations for the development of different human races, including the Nordic or Aryan race (these two terms were used synonymously). Specifically, they believed that the Nordic race had become superior because harsh climatic conditions in north-central Europe during the Ice Ages had sharpened the struggle for existence, causing the weak to perish and leaving only the most vigorous.
Third, they believed that the differential evolutionary development of the races provided scientific evidence for racial inequality.
Fourth, they held that the different and unequal human races were locked in an ineluctable
struggle for existence.
Fifth, they thought that the way for their own race to triumph in the struggle for existence was to procreate more prolifically than competing races and to gain more “living space” (Lebensraum) into which to expand.
Sixth, many argued that Darwinism promoted a collectivist ideal.
These six points—derived from the view that humans and human races evolved and are still evolving through the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection—profoundly impacted Nazi policy. They formed the backdrop for eugenics, killing the disabled, the quest for “living space,” and racial extermination.
Planned Parenthood abandons Tx Poor Women
Remember when several states sought to defund Planned Parenthood because they didn’t want public money to go to an abortion provider? Oh, the screaming! These laws were so uncompassionate, PP’s defenders screamed, denying poor women basic health care!
Yet, when Texas law required that abortionists have admitting privileges within 30 miles of an abortion clinic–which would not in any way prevent the clinics from providing poor women ”basic health care”– 12 Planned Parenthood clinics closed.
From the CBS DFW story:Planned Parenthood will close a dozen clinics on Friday after a federal appeals court reinstated most of the state’s controversial new abortion law. The ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals late Thursday means that many abortion clinics across the state of Texas are required to stop providing the procedure immediately.
If abortion was really only 3% of PP–as the organization claims–would a safety restriction of this kind really force twelve PP clinics to close?
Indeed, the question must now be asked: Where is PP’s compassion? Don’t Texas poor women still need basic Ob/gyn care? Don’t they still need access to cheap birth control? Don’t they still need breast exams? Etc. Etc. Etc.?Wesley makes an excellent point. If Planned Parenthood were really providing mostly basic women's health care, why would a law requiring routine safety precautions (the kind of safety precautions that are universally required at outpatient centers were surgery is performed) lead to the immediate closing of 12 clinics?
What is that old saying? Money talks? Killing fetuses is Planned Parenthood’s realraison d’ etre. The other stuff is clearly just veneer.
He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts
Rest assured this troubador is acting on his part.
The union of your spirits, here, has caused him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name
There is love. there is love.
A man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
And they shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning is now and til the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again.
And there is love. there is love.
Oh then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?
And if loving is the answer, then who's the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
Oh there's love, there is love.
Palestinians Are Flying the Nazi Flag Again
The Palestinians are flying the Nazi flag again.
Israel National News reported:
For at least the second time in five months, Arab residents of Beit Umar in the Palestinian Authority (PA) have placed a Nazi flag over a major thoroughfare where Jews pass in their vehicles.
Beit Umar is located between Halhoul and the Etzion Bloc, not far from Hevron.
Soldiers from the Haruv battalion in Kfir Regiment tried to take down the flag Saturday, but encountered difficulty because it was placed very high up.
A similar event took place at Beit Umar in May, when hundreds of residents of Gush Etzion who drove down Highway 60 were astounded to see an oversized Nazi flag flying next to a mosque in the Arab town.
“Global warming is continuing but it’s being manifested in somewhat different ways,” said Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. Warming can go, for instance, to the air, water, land or to melting ice and snow.
Warmth is spreading to ever deeper ocean levels, he said, adding that pauses in surface warming could last 15-20 years.