Sunday, February 15, 2009

Random Reasoning's

Today's column will be a collection of random thoughts and observations. Comments will be in no particular order; they are just thrown out there for fun. On occasion you will see future posts of, Random Reasoning's. Here we go.

  1. This week's Gallop poll shows that only 39 % of Americans believe in evolution. In other studies, it was found that the only country that had fewer people believing in evolution was Turkey. That's right, the United States and Turkey (both real turkeys). I guess folks in other countries are just better educated.
  2. Should the Bush Administration be investigated by the new Justice Department? Hell yes!
  3. Most lay people believe that a theory is some haphazard guess. The truth is that a theory has undergone repeated and rigorous testing. Personally, I believe that evolution is closer to law than theory; however, scientists are the true conservatives.
  4. Human carbon emissions have been growing 3.5% annually since 2000. During the 1990's, annual emissions averaged .9% (Christopher Field, Carnegie Institution of Science). George W. was elected in 2000.
  5. The majority of Republicans don't believe in evolution. Seems like they vote for beliefs instead of knowledge. I'll take knowledge any day; that we have a handle on. They can be pretty dumb at times.
  6. I want to send an invoice to the Providence Place Mall. They should be billed for the half hour of my time doing their work, which was collecting my parking fee.
  7. I never check out my own items at any store. Why should I? I'm not being paid to do the store's work.
  8. Artificial selection has been used by people for centuries. Evolution is natural selection conducted by nature (God if you want). People that don't believe in evolution must also believe then, that man is more powerful than God.
  9. Ever want to send a bill to your doctor for your time when you've been waiting there for over an hour for an appointment. Your time has value to!
  10. If somebody commits a rape, did God want that rape to occur? If the person that was raped gets pregnant as a consequence, did God want that pregnancy? What if the girl was 12?
Blog On


  1. I also think that the "self check-out" at stores and the automated system for paying parking fees at Providence Place Mall and other places importantly takes jobs away from people! In this day and age of economic decline, this is an important consideration! Also, some banks penalize people monetarily for using a live teller rather than a machine!

  2. I definitely see your point in the last item. I have so many friends that are pro-creationism and against abortion, and even in a situation of a 12-year old girl being raped, feel that she should have that baby because God would not want that life to be killed.

  3. At times, we all use language loosely and I'm no exception. Sometimes however, it can't go unchallenged. Your comment that "evolution is closer to law than theory" is such a case. For a very good reason, look no further than your blog post. It is shockingly true that only 39% of Americans believe in evolution. Why? Powerful groups taking advantage of loose language are a big part of the problem. The various definitions of the word "theory" don't help and even Scientists sometimes use that word loosely.

    I will try to use strict Scientific definitions in what follows. For convenience, I also stretch the definition of Religion to include the concepts of spirituality and philosophy.

    Science doesn't end but begins with fact. Scientist observe phenomenon and see if it can be repeated and predicted. Those observations are the FACTS. Next, they explain WHAT was observed with a Scientific Law. The last step and ultimate goal of Science is to explain HOW with a Scientific Theory.

    A good example of this progression is gravity. An apple falls from a tree and drops to the ground. That is a FACT. It has been observed countless times. It took a long time before Newton was able to describe WHAT happens with his LAW OF GRAVITY in 1687.

    It was not until 1916 that Einstein's Theory of Relativity replaced the less accurate Law of Gravity and explained HOW it happens. That's right, the Theory of Relativity redefined the error in the Law of Gravity. There is ALWAYS a DEFINED ERROR attached to Science. This is often ignored in casual speech but the error always exists. Without a DEFINED ERROR there is no Science!

    FACT, WHAT and HOW are the domains of Science. The DEFINED ERROR is its limits.
    That still leaves the question WHY? That is where Science ends and Religion begins.
    Science and Religion should never be in conflict. They were intended to complement each other.

    Science begins with FACT and ends with THEORY. True Religion begins where Science ends, adds conjecture, and ends with BELIEF and FAITH. Religion is not an alternative explanation of what we know. It is a possible explanation of what we don't know. Any Religion that does not adapt to this, will eventually be replaced.

    Loose language interferes with this necessary interaction between Science and Religion.
    Often, this loose use of language is done on purpose. Let me give you two examples.

    Consider first the question "Do you believe in the theory of evolution?". Your blog post starts with a reference to a Gallop poll that asked this question. Although this question is often asked, it is both flawed and misleading. If I had to answer that question in a yes / no poll, I would be forced to lie and answer yes.

    I do not believe Darwin's Theory of Evolution. I do not believe that 2 + 2 equals 4. I do not believe that Canada and France exist. These are things that I know. Belief is NOT REQUIRED!

    A proper question would be something like: Do you understand the theory of evolution? Are you aware of the theory of evolution? etc. The Theory of Evolution can be denied, but it can not be refuted!

    For a second example, consider the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania where they wanted to teach intelligent design as part of the Science curriculum. The courts ruled against them on 12/20/2005.

    This multi-million dollar mess was the result of purposely misplacing one little word. In a misguided effort to make their school district the best in the country, some members of the school board wanted to teach their students the following:
    Evolution is JUST a Theory not a fact.

    This is pure and complete nonsense. It reveals a total lack of understanding of what Science is. These ignorant, pompous, bullies wanted the legal right to cram this crap into the heads of other peoples children! To turn this nonsense into a statement of fact requires only that one misplaced word be put in its proper place:
    Evolution is a Theory not JUST a fact.

    The truth of this statement has nothing to do with Evolution. In Science, any Theory is not just a fact. As previously stated, Science begins with fact and ends with Theory.

    Our children are the future. They deserve the very best we have to offer. If the Dover Area School District wants to be the best in the country, they should teach their students the truth.

    Concerning the matters discussed here, the truth is simply stated.
    Science, by definition, is always wrong. Religion, by definition, is never right. Only the intelligent interaction of both allows us to know anything. That is the human condition. Deal with it!

    Every child should understand this before they are exposed to dogma from anyone.

    And so my friend, your wish that Darwin's Theory of Evolution be considered a Law is not the promotion that I know you intended. Instead it would be a demotion. It would tarnish Darwin's accomplishment. Getting from FACT to LAW to THEORY is not easy. Einstein needed the help of Newton to do it. Darwin did it in one step! This misunderstanding is also exploited to add momentum to the deep, wide and swift tide that your blog is trying to tame.

    Darwin's Theory of Evolution is, and will always be, a Theory.
    Embrace it. Teach it. Admire it. Question it. But please, don't besmirch it!


  4. I'm so glad you commented. Thank you. I know we have talked about this many times. You should be teaching science. The problem of perception is brought on by scientists also. For example; The law of thermodynamics and people today refer to the laws of gravity. For the non-scientist, the English language is adding to the confusion. When you think about it, you are absolutely right; we don't understand a lot about gravity. So I guess your saying that we need a theory of gravity.
    Did I get that right?