Archive for July, 2008

Evolution and Religion Compatible?

Posted in Pseudo-Science on July 21, 2008 by ragnard

This is an age-old question.  Can one have both faith and reason?  If so, how does one draw the line between where one uses reason and logic, based on the facts of reality vs. where one accepts divine revelations in dreams and ancient dogma written in scrolls thousands of years ago?

It was to marry faith and reason that Immanual Kant dedicated his work in philosophy.

The two can’t be integrated, because they are based diametrically opposite methods.  Reason is based on observing reality, using logic, identifying the truth, and acting accordingly.

Faith is based on ignoring reality, accepting dogma or whims, believing just because, and acting on this mush.

Reason gave us the Rennaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and our current Information Age.  Faith gave us the Medeival Age, Jihad, and stagnation and death wherever and whenever it ruled.

At best, you can compartmentalize your mind.  Use reason sometimes, and faith other times.  But what principle can you use to determine when to use reason and when to use faith?  Would this be a reason-based principle, or a faith-based principle?

Faith is diametrically opposed to reason.  Reason is diametrically opposed to faith.  No matter the muddled (or dishonest) attempts to marry them, either reality is the final standard and final judge, or it’s not.  Either one looks to reality or to dreams.  Either “it is what it is” or it is whatever you wish.

Either reality is real, or the “supernatural” is real.

I usually agree with Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs.  Not just on the jihad we’re (reluctantly) fighting, but other matters.  He is neither “conservative” in the sense of Bush, Buckley, or Buchanan.  Nor is he “liberal” in the sense of Clinton, Obama, or Nader.  He is a thinker and an honest one

For some time, he has had a series of blog entries on natural selection, and has risked the ire of many of his long-time fans by taking an uncompromising position, that “intelligent design” is nothing more than the latest attempt to teach the Bible in public schools.  This is unconstitutional, wrong, and dishonest.

But I have to disagree with his post today.  I think he is trying to make the point that there is room for all of us to get along (which I certainly support).  But it came out a little like “faith and reason are compatible”:

How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. [emphasis in original]

It’s not ridiculous.  It is the nature of religion to oppose science, and faith to oppose reason.

 

Update

After thinking about the comments, I wanted to say something explicitly in the main body. Communism is based entirely on faith.  While communists may be atheists, that does not mean that they in any way accept reason or reject faith.  Quite the opposite.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

This is the central faith underlying communism.  Do whatever you can, and whatever you need will be magically provided to you.  Where are the goods to come from?  There is no more answer to that–by design–than there is to: where is heaven?

Just believe.

 

Update

I am noticing something ironic.  My thesis was that science and faith were incompatible.  So far, three people have posted in disgreement.  But each has made a number of errors that no scientist would make.

Does this prove my thesis?  Hardly.  But it does tend to support it!

Warmenism is Big; So Will Its Fall Be

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2008 by ragnard

I’ve been saying for a long time (long before I started this blog) that the hoax of global warmenism has to crash.  It is a religion, but unlike regular religions, it appeals to science and reason rather than faith.

Given that it is utterly false, totally without merit, intellectually bankrupt, morally corrupt, and will cause economic catastrophe, it’s only a matter of time before it crashes.

Criically, people who oppose it are basing their opposition on the proper principles.  You don’t hear “well, compliance will be expensive.”

You hear this:

“In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years …”

and

This would be an appropriate occasion for John McCain to announce that, in view of the fact that the claim of a scientific “consensus” has now unraveled, he is rethinking his own position on the regulation of carbon emissions.

Blind GOP vs. Blind Marxists

Posted in Blind Elephants vs Donkeys, Rule of Unreason on July 16, 2008 by ragnard

Michelle Malkin has an article today about the oil price controversy.  Here are the money quotes:

…legislation on oil market speculation, which Democrats argue is the main factor driving the soaring gas prices.

John Cornyn (R-Texas) said … “speculation is just a piece of the problem” and other measures are needed. 

Let’s get this straight.  The government has abused its powers to forcibly prevent oil companies from drilling and mining for oil all over the US including both coasts, the Gulf, Alaska, and including massive deposits of oil shale.  It has blocked all new nuclear plants for 30 years, and most coal plants.  The price of oil is going up as consumption goes up around the world.

And “the problem” or “a piece of the problem” is that there is a futures market for this commodity??

Alice in Wonderland can’t hold a candle to this kind of “logic”!

Charlie Rangel, Corrupt Politician and Narcissist

Posted in Blind Elephants vs Donkeys, Rule of Unreason on July 16, 2008 by ragnard

Jammiewearingfool has an article today about a violation of the House ethics rules by Charlie Rangel (D-NY).  The focus appears to be that he used his official letterhead in soliciting private money for a monument.

What difference does the letterhead make?!?  Does anyone think that if he wrote it on notebook paper using crayon that the victims of his extortion would not have paid up?  The money quote (no pun intended) is:

Rangel sent letters asking for donations for the Charles B. Rangel Center to several potential corporate donors with business before his committee.

The root cause is that Congress has the power to make some people rich, and to break others.  So long as it has this power, everyone must lobby Congress for favors, and everyone must pay protection money.

How about those Republicans who say that Congress shouldn’t have this power?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Earth: The Biography

Posted in Pseudo-Science on July 16, 2008 by ragnard

So the National Geographic Channel has a program airing now called Earth: The Biography.  The host is Dr. Ian Stewart who has a cool Scottish Brogue and an interesting way of presenting material.  The cinematography is, at times, spectacular.

So why am I blogging about it?

The program was funded by the BBC.  And it preaches the Religion of Warmenism.  This is the danger of government-funded education and government-funded science.  Special interest groups rule, and the truth is abandoned.

One point that struck me in this program is the description of CO2 gas as the primary (if not only) determinant of temperature on the surface of a planet.   Dr. Stewart discussed Mars.  He said it was extremely cold, partially due to the fact that it’s a little farther from the sun and mostly because it doesn’t have enough CO2 in its atmosphere to retain enough heat.

I did a little math, based on atmospheric data from Wikipedia on Mars and Earth.  The key facts are below.

Mars has an average atmospheric pressure at the surface of 600 Pa, which is 95% CO2.  Earth has an average atmospheric pressure at sea level of 101,300 Pa, which is 0.038% CO2.

Mars  600 * .95 = 570 Pa CO2

Earth  101,300 * 0.00038 = 38.5 Pa CO2

Mars does not just have more CO2 in its atmosphere.  It has 15 times as much as Earth!

So whatever reasons there may be for Mars’ cooler temperature, lack of CO2 is not among them.  In fact, this is a pretty damning bit of evidence (assuming I did not make a mistake–I am not an expert in climate or atmosphere).

Only with the magic of government funding can serious errors perpetuate indefinitely.  When people have a choice whether or not to pay for something, truth has to win out eventually.

Obama: Poverty->Anger->Terrorism

Posted in Fighting Against Jihad, Hate America First on July 15, 2008 by ragnard

There was much ado in the blogosphere yesterday regarding Obama’s post-9/11 statements that poverty led to anger which is the cause of terrorism.  I think the conservative bloggers (properly) ripped him a new one for this tired, old leftist platitude.

I want to point something else out.  This is consistent with Barack’s and his wife Michelle’s view domestically.  The term they use for this is “social justice”.

In this view, being poor causes anger (which is the response to injustice).  I guess this is what they mean by social justice: someone else’s success is unjust.  This means that if the person can’t be forced to make you successful, then he must be forced down to your level.  I guess this is what Obama meant that the rest of the world isn’t “cool with” the fact that Americans eat well, drive well, and live with central air conditioning.

The correct word for this is actually “envy”.  The poor person today is taught to envy the non-poor people.  He is taught that their non-poorness comes at his expense.  This is why he gets angry: his whims are being frustrated.  He wishes for wealth (but it doesn’t come), so he is angry when he sees others for which this seems to have worked.  He does not bother to grasp that wealthy people didn’t get wealthy by wishing.

This is the epidemic that has swept the black community.  This is why they have reverends like Wright, Jackson, Sharpton, etc.  This is why Obama said originally about the views of Wright “I don’t think they’re particularly controversial.”

They aren’t.  The envy of wealthy people is nearly unanimous among the black community, and this is why they vote almost as a perfect block for the most marxist hard Left candidates on the ballot.

Not only is this a bad way to think about islamism and terrorism, it’s also a perfectly lousy way to think about domestic policy.

One Down, 1347 to Go!

Posted in Rule of Unreason on July 15, 2008 by ragnard

PowerLine Blog today writes “One down, one to go.”  President Bush has repealed the executive order (or whatever it is) that outlawed oil drilling on the continential shelves of both coasts.  Now Congress must repeal their own law.

There is more than just one to go.  First, as PowerLine notes, lawsuits by enviros could block drilling for decades.

But let’s take this one further.  The US Constitution provides for Congress to make legislation, the courts to ajudicate it, and the executive (of which the President is the top officer) to enforce it.  Where oh where did the president obtain the power to make his own laws?!?

After we correct the laws that enable wackos to sue to block progress, we need to repeal whatever it was that granted the president the power to make laws.

This is part of what I mean by “take America back”.