Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Existential debate

I have existential debates with myself about random stuff all the time. We caught a History Channel program about the Marianas Trench last weekend and I read an article by Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg. Steinberg wrote about how one way to check whether one is a a zealot or rational person is to try and argue the strongest case for an opposing viewpoint. If one can't argue convincingly for the other side, one may be an extremist.

So, avoiding the finer points of tectonic plates, subduction and the Pacific Rim of Fire, one scientist on the History Channel program held up a rock from the bottom and said something like, "This material is 173 million years old, it's one of the oldest rocks on the planet." Now, I'm watching and going, if someone is a Creationist, they don't believe that rock is more than something like 6,000 years old.

In order to not believe scientists or rational people on the matter of evolution, people must basically refute a whole lot of theories. Basically, everything from gravity to the second law of thermodynamics to evolution is a theory...it is the mainstream belief until a better theory comes along, whenever that is (if you got a better theory for gravity, I wanna invest in your company).

So, evolutionary theory is validated by carbon dating, which is rooted in the theory that atoms have a nucleus with various energy levels full of electrons and the different number of electrons, their degradation and release of energy is what radioactivity is all about. At that point, I began thinking that if a Creationist doesn't believe in evolution, then they also cannot believe in the nuclear bomb, because both are essentially rooted in the same theory of radioisotopes. How can a Creationist argue for their agenda in a school powered by a nuclear power plant? Something's gotta give.

This ended my internal debate trying to argue for Creationism. While I am not an atheist, I am apparently a scientific zealot.

I am a big fan of the Bible, Christian and other religious teachings.

I am not a big fan of religious dogma of any sort, be it Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, partly because I believe that religions are man-made institutions. I do fully reserve the right to believe in a God.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gun Education

NYT columnist Bob Herbert lets off a rant about gun violence in an op-ed and concludes:

We don't really think about it. If the crime is horrible enough, we'll go through the motions of public anguish but we never really do anything about it. Americans are as blasé as can be about this relentless slaughter that keeps the culture soaked in blood.
The education and reflection needs to be on the benefits and power of having a firearm. The statistics may seem skewed to irrational uses of guns because sometimes the edges of rational society are the people taking advantage of the Second Amendment.

Let everyone who ever thought about having a firearm have one. And ensure proper education of their property, like driver's ed. Then it becomes a culture of discipline.

Add to Technorati Favorites