Archive for June 2002

Summer News Lull Turns Brains to Mush

Will photoshop for news...

Gratuitous photo of North Korean Leader Kim jong-il.

The headline pretty much says it all: Summer time isn’t really a time for news junkies – either the consumers, the producers or both. Think about it; a year ago we were obsessing over Gary Condit and the missing Chandra Levy. Today we are worrying about what should be done to “help” the stockmarket (we say: aside from expensing stock options, nothing. It’s called a business cycle folks! Just like we learned in Econ 101 while rolling joints in the back of class. Governments should stay out of markets: when they don’t it’s called socialism!)

Looking over the site, it’s clear that the Summer folder has been thin – and that’s not for lack of effort on our part. While you sleep we craft the finest logical daisy-cutters for you, to be deployed against the pesky appeasement and relativist minded whenever and wherever you find them. But our brains are mush, that’s the conclusion that we have reached.

Chances are, so is yours. While the Democrats try to resuscitate their populist argument with the demise of Worldcom, we military strategists are left with what, Rummy’s decision to protect Karzai with American troops so that an Afghani doesn’t cap his ass? Sharon’s smackdown on the territories keeps the psychotic death cult of Palestinian society at bay. Even the latest attack in Kashmir failed to incite India to glass over Islamabad; two days after the attack it was impossible to find it even mentioned on the web.

Meanwhile here in the USA we’ve got the 20th Hijacker making the American Legal System look like a well-starched baby-sitter. His statements make the Unabomber sound as coherent as Winston Churchill. Which is better than Tom Ridge is looking at the moment. Even those of us who hate John Ashcroft miss his Darth Vader persona when talking about the detainees at Guantanamo.

Speaking of lost souls… We’ve already said our piece on John Walker Lindh – may he rot in hell – and feel less than inspired when contemplating anything that doesn’t involve the California-Taliban with anything but a date with Death.

So what do we do, except see Steve Irwin’s Crocodile Hunter (Steve likes the A-10 Warthog so we know he’s one of us), read Salon’s Sex Issue, and wait for our boys and girls in the Forces to move enough material within striking distance of Baghdad?

We can look forward to the Fall, which should bring us Survivor 5 as well as Gulf War 2: The Sequel, the first anniversary of September 11 (a day which should be considered for holiday status), new West Wing episodes and of course, the mid-term elections.

So let your brains dribble out of your ears, and bear with us while we try to come up with content for you in between frisbee throws and visits to our friends over at the Voice of the Commonwealth. The news is slow – just like it was last year – but it’s not going to be slow for long…

Kim Jong Mickey

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

Currently there is an argument in Ohio and grumbling elsewhere over the theory of evolution and its presence in school science curriculums. Opponents claim that the evidence for evolution is thin, that evolution is just a theory – not a fact – and demand students be taught alternate ideas about how life arose in science classes.

Opponents of evolution claim that the theory is under constant debate in scientific circles and that science itself is undecided about evolution, stating that there are many “holes” in the theory which disprove it. According to David King, an associate professor in the anatomy department at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale, “The modern theory of evolution is almost universally accepted among scientists. It is far and away the best explanatory framework ever proposed for understanding data from paleontology, biogeography, systematics, comparative anatomy and physiology, ecology, ethology, population genetics, and molecular genetics.”

Many of these supposed “holes” in the theory are actually “holes” in the critics’ knowledge of the natural sciences. Every instance of these supposed “holes” in evolutionary theory – from the presence of vestigial organs such as the appendix to the impossibility of the evolution of the eye – have been explained and proven by evidence through evolutionary theory. They mistake current experiments in evolutionary theory – such as those conducted on fruit flies and fish – as showing the “weakness” of the theory. They forget that there are many aspects of gravity and relativity scientists are exploring even today – 315 years after Newton presented his gravitational theory and nearly a century after Einstein first published his work on relativity. Experiments in astrophysics and high-energy particle physics add to our knowledge about gravity and the subatomic realms – but the overall theories are not likely to be changed. Should new breakthroughs be made, they will build upon existing theories – not overthrow them.

Critics of evolution like to point out that evolution – like the theory of gravity and the theory of special relativity – is a theory and not a fact. They forget the true power of the scientific usage of the word “theory”. Without gravitational theory it would be hard to watch a Little League game as the ball sailed into space off the bat of a third grader. Anyone doubting the power of the theory of relativity should visit Hiroshima, or better yet, explain how the twenty- percent of local electricity that comes from nuclear power stations manages to run their television sets. Gravity, special relativity and evolution are theories because they explain the world around us based on the careful experimentation, accumulation and examination of evidence. In science, facts are used to support theories as evidence, and the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

At the same time, those who argue against evolution ignore the lack of evidence for their own positions. They cannot provide data to disprove evolution or prove their own ideas. Where is the scientific evidence to support intelligent design? How many articles and experiments about it have stood up to peer review? What testable hypothesis and predictions does it make?

Take dating methods and species diversity. Why do such varied methods as radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas – from such diverse disciplines as astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology – all point to an old Earth and life being present for at least three quarters of that time? Why do different animals and different plants live in different places? Why do possums appear in my backyard but not in my friend’s backyard in England? Why are some species of birds limited to a handful of islands off the South American coast?

Intelligent design is not science and has no place in a science class. It is creationist belief stripped of its religious origins in order to appear credible and nonsectarian. It lacks scientific validity because there is no evidence for it – while anyone who has picked up a fossil in a creek bed has held evidence for evolution in his or her hands.

The attack on evolution is nothing less than an attack on the scientific method itself and the system of logic that lies at its core. Those arguing against the teaching of evolution are the guilty of science ignorance and undermine America’s future prosperity by attempting to dull the young minds of future scientists. At a time when America must look abroad for 7,000 doctors a year to fill residency vacancies, and companies must hire workers from India and China to fill engineering and technical positions, this is inexcusable.

Harvard Commencement Speaker Advocates Killing Children

On June 6th, Zayed Yasin was set to deliver a speech entitled “Of Faith and Citizenship: My American Jihad,” at Harvard’s 2002 Commencement. According to MSNBC, Zayed received several complaints – including a death threat and even worse, Harvard student petition signed by over a thousand of his fellow classmates over his use of the term ‘Jihad‘. Amazingly enough to conservative critics of the institution, the petition and death threats were not protesting the omission of “...Against American Imperialism” that usually follow the term, but the term itself. The students thought the term inappropriate at a time when America is at war with Islamofascists who use the word regularly and with zeal.“Some people have a misunderstanding of jihad, and that is wrong but understandable given what has happened. I’m trying to reclaim the word for its true meaning, which is inner struggle, both for an individual to do right within oneself and externally for social justice,” Yasin states. He then adds that the term will appear in the speech itself.

Yasin, an Arab-American born in Chicago and raised in Boston hopes to work at a clinic in Pakistan before applying to medical school.While we at the Razor appaud his apparent nobility, there is more to the story than over-sensitivity.

What the mainstream media has not mentioned (according to Pat Collins in the National Review) but which the petition launched by his fellow Harvard students does, is that Yasin has been an outspoken supporter for the Hamas support group, Holy Land Foundation, sends money to the families of suicide bombers and has refused to denounce terror attacks perpetrated by the group, including the Passover attack that killed men, women and children. This is the real reason objection to his selection over 65 other applicants to stand at the podium.

Yet again Harvard has produced a self-absorbed young person who lacks the necessary skills to navigate his way through the “real world”, while at the same time providing fodder for those of us on the Right who want to see the place return to its sensible roots. The only good news with this guy is that he will soon be gone from the USA. By the time he wants to come back, the INS probably won’t let him back in.