Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2005

Design Yes, Intelligent No

A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism

The claims by Behe, Dembski, and other "intelligent design" creationists that science should be opened to supernatural explanations and that these should be allowed in academic as well as public school curricula are unfounded and based on a misunderstanding of both design in nature and of what the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution is all about.

Massimo Pigliucci
A new brand of creationism has appeared on the scene in the last few years. The so-called neocreationists largely do not believe in a young Earth or in a too literal interpretation of the Bible. While still mostly propelled by a religious agenda and financed by mainly Christian sources such as the Templeton Foundation and the Discovery Institute, the intellectual challenge posed by neocreationism is sophisticated enough to require detailed consideration (see Edis 2001; Roche 2001).

Among the chief exponents of Intelligent Design (ID) theory, as this new brand of …

'Intelligent design' nothing but religion, U.S. court rules

By ALAN FREEMAN

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

WASHINGTON -- In a major blow to the Christian right, a federal judge ordered a Pennsylvania school board not to include "intelligent design" in its high-school biology classes, ruling that the board's real intent was to promote religion in schools in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling follows a six-month trial in the small town of Dover, Pa., that recalled the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, where Tennessee biology teacher John Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law that banned the teaching of evolution.

That decision was later reversed on a technicality.

In his sweeping judgment, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones said the decision of the Dover School Board to introduce intelligent design into the classroom violated the constitutional protection of the separation of church and state.

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to prom…

Bolivia's hero vows to break US shackles

On the eve of polls that could give South America its first indigenous head of state, Evo Morales talks about his gas nationalisation plans

Alfonso Daniels
Sunday December 18, 2005
The Observer

On a barren landing strip in Bolivia's mining heartland of Oruro, hundreds of people, including miners carrying dynamite charges, stir at the sight of an approaching small plane. It's a stampede by the time it lands, as the crowds rush down the slope to greet an emerging heavy-built man. He is Evo Morales, a 46-year-old Aymara Indian, leading candidate in today's presidential elections and leader of a left-wing revolution that may soon engulf most of South America.

Morales is on the verge of becoming the first wholly Indian leader in Latin America. According to most polls, Morales's advantage over his closest rival, the former conservative President Jorge Quiroga, is at least five points. Despite having little chance of an absolute majority, forcing the newly elected rightist congres…

Two tribes go to war

With supremacist 'Anglos' battling it out with 'bloody Lebs' on Cronulla beach, it looks like being a long, hot summer down under. But the reality is that Australia is no more racist than Britain, argues Germaine Greer

Thursday December 15, 2005
The Guardian

"We are the Sons and Daughters of the Anzacs. We cannot expect our treasonous government to protect us in these times, they are the ones that bought us to this very place. With 150,000 Arabs entering our nation 'legally' each year, it is time Australians stood up and were counted. For we are the Sons and Daughters of the Anzacs, the men who protected us from threat and invasion in years gone by. Now it is your turn, OUR turn, the guard has changed, the times have changed, but true patriots shall never be silenced."

So runs the latest communique of the commanders-in-chief of the "Anglo" side in the south Sydney beach wars, summoning me and other "Australians" to Cronulla next Sund…

'I wish I'd had more time to profile God'

God made the world in seven days ... and Lord Winston took just five months to write the story. Dare to suggest, though, that his new book and TV series lack expertise and you'll risk making this all-purpose TV pundit barking mad, says Lynn Barber

Sunday November 27, 2005
The Observer

I finally find God in a little cubbyhole of an office next to Hammersmith Hospital. He looks Jewish, as perhaps one might expect, but with a disconcerting Freddie Mercury moustache. He is barking into the phone about a missing cheque for £5,000. It was his fee for some broadcast that was meant to go to charity but had not been received. He says it made him look bad with the charity and was altogether disgraceful. The production values were disgraceful too, he adds. He barks on in this vein while I stand awkwardly a few feet away.

I would not have liked to have been on the receiving end of that phone call. Professor Lord Winston, as he calls himself on earth, is a wrathful god who does not suffer fools gl…

'This is just a scene from hell'

If Bush was planning to bomb Al Jazeera - which is based in friendly Qatar, please take a look at this... It happened in April 2003!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2921807.stm



The bomb landed just feet away from John Simpson The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson was accompanying a convoy of US special forces and Kurdish fighters when it come under attack from an American warplane. At least 10 people were killed, including a Kurdish translator working with the BBC team, Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed. Moments after the 'friendly fire' attack, in which he was wounded, John Simpson broadcast live by satellite telephone on the BBC news channel, News 24. This is a really bad own goal by the Americans
John Simpson "Well it's a bit of a disaster... I was in a convoy of eight or 10 cars in northern Iraq coming up to a place that has just recently been captured. American special forces in a truck - two trucks I think - beside them, plus a very senio…

UK Media Gagged Over Contents of Bombing Memo

Targeting Al Jazeera
By LINDA S. HEARD

On Tuesday, Britain's Daily Mirror published an explosive story riddled with implications concerning the character and intent of the US president when pursuing his so-called 'war on terror', and perhaps, shedding light on the bombing of Al Jazeera's offices in both Kabul and Baghdad.

Twenty-four later, the Mirror and all other British papers had been subjected to a "gag order" under Section 5 the Official Secrets Act at pain of prosecution.

"The Daily Mirror was yesterday told not to publish further details from a memo marked 'Top Secret', which revealed that President Bush wanted to bomb an Arab TV station," wrote Kevin Maguire in Tuesday's edition of the paper.

"The gag by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith" the same attorney general who changed his pre-Iraq War legal opinion after being badgered by US government lawyers to do so "came nearly 24 hours after the Mirror informed Downing S…

The White Death

By Chris Floyd
Published: November 11, 2005

This week, the broadcast of a shattering new documentary provided fresh confirmation of a gruesome war crime covered by this column nine months ago: the use of chemical weapons by U.S. forces during the frenzied destruction of Fallujah in November 2004.

Using filmed and photographic evidence, eyewitness accounts and the direct testimony of U.S. soldiers who took part in the attacks, the documentary -- "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" -- catalogs the American use of white phosphorus shells and a new, "improved" form of napalm that turned human beings into "caramelized" fossils, with their skin dissolved and turned to leather on their bones. The film was produced by RAI, the Italian state network run by a government that backed the war.

Vivid images show civilians, including women and children, who had been burned alive in their homes, even in their beds. This illegal use of chemical weapons -- at the order of the Bush…

The Darwin Conspiracy

Galley Girl Catches Up with John Darnton
Andrea Sachs talks evolution with the author of "The Darwin Conspiracy"

Charles Darwin may have published "The Origin of the Species" back in 1859, but the controversy over his theory of evolution is red-hot right now. Should intelligent design—the belief that an intelligent agent, i.e. God, designed the earth—be taught side by side in the classroom with Darwinism? Even the President waded into the debate recently, saying that it should. In his imaginative new novel, The Darwin Conspiracy (Knopf), author John Darnton, a Pulitzer-prize-winning, 39-year veteran of the New York Times, blends facts and fiction while exploring Darwin's life and legacy. We met with Darnton for a cup of coffee in the bustling New York Times cafeteria: Galley Girl: Charles Darwin is front page news now because of the intelligent design debate. Was he very controversial in his own time? John Darnton: Yes. I think that's the secret of why he de…

Blame it on Chavez!

This is an article that was published by the Financial Times... It goes on to say how Hugo Chavez is throwing away the Oil windfall, when he should have been painting the streets of Caracas in gold. Chavez is being accused of spending all the cash on popular public spending.... Well how good can a president be when he wastes the good fortune on the poor people of his country? Maybe he should have been sharing the unprecedented oil wealth with the rich and powerful of this world. That is what the FT article tries to do.

Venezuela is living on oil – but precariously

For much of Venezuela's modern history, its economic fortunes have closely followed the ups and downs of oil. Happily for president Hugo Chávez, his nearly seven years in office have coincided with a steady rise in the price of crude. This year oil export income is expected to reach an all-time high of $34bn, one-third more than the $26bn of last year.

This boom has allowed Mr Chávez to step up public spending – according …