URLs du Jour (8/7/2005)

  • Pretty cool: an online pedometer based on Google maps.
  • Will Wilkinson detours slightly from his usual philosophical musings and demands that Dubya fire Karen Tandy, head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Radley Balko has more details. Hey, I'll see you and raise: fire her, and everyone else at the DEA, and don't hire replacements.

Last Modified 2012-10-26 10:10 AM EDT

More on ID vs. Evolution

I keep finding great comments on the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution kerfuffle triggered by Dubya's recent comment. Latest example is from Sissy Willis (via Instapundit):

[I]t's hard to tell the difference between the fundamentalists' no-prisoners approach and that of the P.C. thought police on the other side of the cultural divide.

So true. I will, however, take issue with Sissy on this:

But don't confuse some people with the facts. They'd rather get it wrong from the start and run with it if it furthers their agenda. Take "Intelligent Design" proselytizer Paula Weston, who concluded, based upon a willful misreading of Darwin, that his theory of evolution "provides fuel for racist attitudes."

No doubt Ms. Weston is easily refuted on other matters; her website is "Answers in Genesis", so I imagine it's pretty much fish in a barrel over there. But you don't have to willfully misread Darwin to get a snootful of his own overt racism, never mind finding fuel for racist attitudes. One of Sissy's commenters helfully points to The Descent of Man, which contains among other gems:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

Ouch! Of course, very few if any modern Darwinistas would agree with this, unless you get them drunk.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 10:11 AM EDT

Tides of Light

[Amazon Link]

This has been on by TBR pile for years, and I finally made myself sit down and get through it. The reviews at Amazon and elsewhere are ecstatic, but I found it very slow going, full of purposelessly florid writing.

It's frustrating not to like a book that you should like. There are some neat things, as the book's protagonists encounter a world that a cyborg race is gutting with a cosmic string for a large-scale engineering project. Our main hero finds himself in the midst of an undergraduate physics problem as he gets dropped through a hole cut all the way through the planet.

But I kept finding myself not caring very much what happened either to the humans or the cyborgs.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 9:55 AM EDT