Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who's the Science Stopper: Introduction

It has long been a claim of Darwinism that, as Theodosius Dobzhansky so bluntly put it in the title of his essay, "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution".  Obviously there are many people who disagree with this (here's one organization that's a particular favorite of mine devoted to explaining biology without the "light" of evolution) and I don't feel inclined to discus the topic of how Biology can be explained without evolution.  Why then have I opened with this quote?  Frankly, because it's what got me thinking about the topic I now wish to embark on.  Not only is Biology also explained by other theories, and I think often better, there are some times when Darwinian predictions lead Biologists down the wrong track.  I'll get into the specifics later, but the fact is that there a number of times when Darwinian thinking has been a science stopper.  Don't get me wrong, many opposing views have done the same, but I think it is becoming increasingly clear that Darwinism is not only not immune to science-stopping, it is severely infected by it.  In light of this, I hope to outline a few classic examples of Darwinian-based assumptions that turned out to be science-stoppers.

First, however, I want to be very clear on something.  This series of posts are not intended to be taken as an argument against evolution or for my personal beliefs on biological or astronomical origins.  These posts are simply intended to inform the reader of facts that he may not have been aware of and offer analysis that could be new as well.  If you want good arguments for my personal view or against Neo-Darwinism, just go to the site linked above (and here too, for that matter) and browse around.  All I intend to do here is explore the idea that there may be times and places where Darwinism can act as a science stopper, just as the Church and other paradigms have acted as science-stoppers, as in the case of the geocentric model of the universe.  I leave it to you to decide whether this is merely a fluke and unavoidable human error, or sign of a real deficiency in the Darwinian Paradigm.

(By the way, you may not want to hold your breadth while waiting for the following posts.  I'll be lucky if I get them all in before the end of summer.  If you don't want to miss the up-coming posts you can subscribe to my blog via email at the bottom of the page.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

With friends like these . . .

Pakistan has shown its commitment to harboring terrorists and defeating every purpose of the US war on terror yet again by convicting Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who assisted the US in determining the location of Bin Laden.  If Pakistan really is "an invaluable ally" as we are encouraged to believe why on earth do they keep arresting the people who help us and allow to remain, or even assisting for all we know, those who are our sworn enemies.  It also begs the question why we are forced, out of necessity, to cut back on our own military budget simply so we can give money to the Pakistanis to enable them to arrest our friends and hold them in prison for 33 years, as it seems will occur in this case.  It also makes one wonder what exactly this money we are giving to Pakistan is doing, since they appear to be willing to do all manner of things against our own interest with little or no fear.  If the money is really securing Pakistan as an ally than where are the fruits of this investment?  It seems that we are only funding them until they finally decide to give up what little pretending they have been carrying on lately and launch an all out war against us, or at least go completely rough like Iran.  I'd like to see someone explain why we have to cut money from our own military so that we can give it to our terrorist-harboring, agent-arresting "friends".

Saturday, May 5, 2012

3/27/12, 15:30 EST; 3/28/12, 03:30 Beijing Time; 3/27/12, 19:30 GMT; En route to Lancaster PA from DC

We’re back in PA once more, just over 24 hours after we left the hotel in Beijing.  I think can say that those of us who haven’t been able to fall asleep on this bumpy and uncomfortable bus are all very glad to be back in the good old US of A (and very glad to find that the grass is quite green many flowers have started to bloom in our absence).  We had an uneventful traveling period up till now and are looking forward to being home safe and sound within a few hours.

3/27/12, 04:40 EST; 3/27/12, 16:40, Beijing Time; 3/27/12, 08:40 GMT; 3/27/12, 02:40 Local Time (almost an hour before we arrived at the airport); Over Northern Canada

We’re finally on our way home!  (But I’m getting ahead of myself.)  First off, we did get to see the Great Wall, and many of us climbed a significant portion thereof.  (It was extremely steep in one place in particular.) 

Overall it was amazing to attempt to comprehend the amount of hard work that was poured into this astounding structure.  We couldn’t even get up there without a tram and the builders had to bring all of the stone, food, and other supplies up with them (we were tired enough walking a small portion of the completed wall).  After coming back down the tram and pushing our way through the determined venders, we ate at a nice, touristy-looking place, which had very good food.  Then we took the bus back to Beijing to visit the Summer Palace.  The amount of art and sheer audacious finery in there, even after being pillaged by revolutionaries, is astounding to behold.  Though we hardly experienced the vastness and beauty of the place entirely, what we saw was plenty to get the point across.  The idea that a ruler would indulge in such finery is quite foreign to our American minds, but it also helps me understand why communism and equal distribution of resources have been so valued by the Chinese people in recent years.  After soaking in the sites and doing our best to absorb some of the history of the summer palace being recounted to us by our guide we headed off to dinner.  Finally the last thing we did was shop at the Silk Street market, where the vast majority of our party bought beats headphones for around 200 RMB (about $32.50).  (I didn’t because they don’t sound that great with classical music.)  Most of us didn’t sleep much/at all last night because we had to get up at 3am to leave for the airport anyway.  Everything went smoothly at the airport except that my iPod decided to stay in Beijing and fell out of my pocket without telling me of its intentions and is probably back in some night market in Beijing being sold for 100 RMB (about $16.50).  As we took off we got a fantastic aerial view of the Great Wall and surrounding mountains since we had a fantastically clear day for China.  (This was the only flight in which we could see any part of China from the air.)  Now it’s dark outside and I’m going to try to get a little more sleep.