The Treehouse Blog


We favor unreasonably huge subsidies to the brain slug planet?

by on Nov.08, 2006, under Politics

No, probably not. Congress will likely not be able to get much done in its newly elected configuration. And, really, there’s nothing wrong with that at the moment. It’s not as if either party is interested in what I would like anyway… term limits, bans on consecutive terms, balanced budget requirements, reduced size of government… I really just don’t want to hear Nancy Pelosi’s voice (or what she has to say), but at the same time, at least we won’t have to see Dennis Hastert as often (ouch, sorry).

As far as local races, I would have preferred Casey to have gone against Specter instead of Santorum for one of PA’s seats in the US senate. Casey isn’t bad necessarily, but I did like Santorum far better. And of course our great governor was re-elected. Rendell does seem to be able to cut some fat in the budget (just not on himself… ouch, sorry, again), but I detest his vast expansion of gambling in the state, as well as his shady ties to our good fiend Comcast. Not that we needed a former football player running the state either…

Overall, it’s not great, not good, but not terrible. I reject the maxim that “change is good” as there are clearly counterexamples. However, there’s nothing wrong with variety. Two years of a Democrat-controlled Congress after several years of Republican control should make for a healthy competition in 2008.

Vote Libertarian!

End Political Rant.

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Thoughts on Intelligent Design

by on Dec.21, 2005, under Philosophy, Politics

In case you’ve missed it, there has been a bunch of fuss lately about a local school district requiring its biology teachers to read a statement on intelligent design to “balance” the teaching of evolution. This went to federal court which decided that such a statement was in violation of the separation of church and state.

This never made sense to me. Evolution describes a “how” of creation – a means by which life as we know it was brought into existence. Intelligent design describes a “why” of creation – meaning rather than means. They are orthogonal topics, without the ability to be contrasted or balanced as the school board allegedly attempted to do. The Dover School Board was nothing short of incompetent in trying to shove these things together. Intelligent design itself might not be a religious endorsement, but its forced usage in this context certainly would seem to be.

There are still things that should be included in a discussion of evolution, though. Irreducible complexity should at least get a footnote. Irreducible complexity is a concept that doesn’t intend to disprove evolution, but rather to state that there are still things that cannot be explained completely with current theories. The most important concept that can be taught in science is that science changes, and that no theory is above some measure of criticism and doubt. Science isn’t (or shouldn’t be) concerned with facts or truths, but with best explanations and predictions of observations. There are probably cases where you should remind your science teachers of this.

In situations like this, extremes get the coverage. There are many that consider the term evolution to be sacrilege when used in any biological sense. There are others that have their hand on the speed dial for their lawyer every time they think God might be inferred in a classroom. Both are stupid. It might be unfortunate, but it’s definitely a greyscale world, not black-and-white.

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Just keep blathering…

by on Sep.10, 2004, under News, Politics

CBS is incredible. Having word-wraps the same as MSWord would have been enough for some serious eyebrow-raising, but having fonts, automagic superscripts (of a reduced size), and identical spacing makes it just about irrefutable. What’s worse is Rather defending it. Ignore the politics for a moment, just look at the document samples. A third-grader could have helped you make a better forgery.

Clippy image blindly stolen from this site. Thanks!

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