Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I've said it before -- really teaching creationism (or ID) as science would mortify the folks who say they want it in the classroom. Christopher Hitchens says the same is true for "teaching the controversy," as the current marketing has it. Teach kids how the debate over evolution has actually played out, and evolution wins again.

Hitchens looks back to the 19th Century: "The great set piece...involved the debate at Oxford between Darwin's supporter Thomas Huxley...and Bishop Wilberforce. In front of a large audience, Huxley cleaned Wilberforce's clock, ate his lunch, used him as a mop for the floor, and all that..."

"...Why not make schoolchildren study the history of the argument? It would show them how to weigh and balance evidence, and it would remind them of the scarcely believable idiocy of the ancestors of "intelligent design." The tale is both amusing and instructive, and it is a vital part of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. How could intelligent scientific secularism lose if this were part of the curriculum?"

3:40:31 PM   permalink   comment []

Ann Coulter questions the courage of New Yorkers in the face of terrorism.

She says of terrorists, "it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender)."

That's what Ann Coulter thinks of the cops and firemen of New York City, and of the family members of those lost on 9/11, and of the everyday people who refused to let the attacks keep them from going on with their lives.

Never mind the courage and character New Yorkers have demonstrated in the face of terror. People in the city tend to vote for people other than the ones Coulter supports, so she calls them cowards.

I usually ignore her. Today I read her because Yes Weekly picked up her column and I didn't have anything else to read at lunch. Nice move, Yes Weekly. Maybe next time I'll just leave it in the rack.

3:05:59 PM   permalink   comment []

Carolina Christian Conservative on Pat Robertson's foreign policy suggestions: "Unfortunately, many believe...he speaks for all evangelical Christians. He does not. At least not this one."

In the comments, Alexander Samuels adds, "This is what happen when you allow your political beliefs to become more important than your Christian beliefs."

2:50:35 PM   permalink   comment []

Mark Cuban didn't like this article in the NYT, so he published his email correspondence with reporter Andrew Sorkin at his Blog Maverick site.

I think the story seems fair and accurate, although Sorkin (or his editors) didn't include an interesting quote from Cuban about the true value of Register.com: "I believe non dividend stocks aren't much more than baseball cards. They are worth what you can convince someone to pay for it."

12:26:38 PM   permalink   comment []

North Carolina no longer recognizes the Libertarian Party. Local Libertarians are not happy, but still hopeful.

11:50:41 AM   permalink   comment []

Fun fact of the day, with a special nod to Pat Robertson (see below): The word "assassin" derives from a group of medieval hashish-smoking trained killers known as the "hashshashin."

UPDATE: Apparently Dan Brown already shared this fun fact with many people.

8:39:46 AM   permalink   comment []

Atrios says he doesn't mind it so much when his blog posts aren't credited by media that pick up stories from him, but that Media Matters should be cited when it is the source for stories such as this lovely quote from Pat Robertson, urging the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Dunno that I agree with Atrios on this specific case -- as we've discussed in the local 'sphere before, being the first to point to a public statement or event, even if it might have escaped notice (as opposed to something unreported elsewhere) seems a gray area for attribution -- but the larger point about "mainstream" media paying respect to newer media is a serious issue.

You can talk about this kind of stuff with Atrios, aka Duncan Black, during his session on media criticism at Converge.

8:32:47 AM   permalink   comment []

SouthNow has started a weekly round-up of political news from across the South.

8:18:00 AM   permalink   comment []

Scientists and religion in the NYT. "Their belief in God challenges scientists who regard religious belief as little more than magical thinking, as some do. Their faith also challenges believers who denounce science as a godless enterprise and scientists as secular elitists contemptuous of God-fearing people."

7:49:13 AM   permalink   comment []