23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 If You Can Outlaw Teaching Evolution in Public School

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers... Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers ...
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You can ban it everywhere and society will descend into darkness.

01 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Aristotle on Chance in Nature

There are some who make chance responsible for this cosmos and all worlds. For they say that by chance there came about a vortex and a motion of separating out and settling into this arrangement of the whole. And this itself is in fact mightily worth 30 wondering at. For they are saying that animals and plants neither are nor come to be by fortune, but that either nature or Intellect or some other such thing is the cause (for what comes into being from each seed is not whatever falls out, but...
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An ancient perspective on the question of naturalism and creationism.

29 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Evolution Versus Engineering

What's the difference between evolution and engineering? Engineering is the designing of a whole out of parts suited to their individual purposes. Evolution is the process of tiny incremental changes, each making some small or large improvement in the ability of the thing to survive and reproduce. A good engineer avoids the kluge-jargon for the use of a part not particularly suited to its purpose. But evolution favors, even cherishes, the kluge. Suddenly finding a new purpose for a part witho...
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Evolution is all about kludges.

23 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 What Kind of Engineer is God?

Three engineers were having lunch one day, and the talk turned philosophical: The first engineer wondered what kind of engineering help God had when He created humankind, and proposed "It must have been a mechanical engineer -- just look at the variety of movements in all the joints of the body!" The second engineer responded, "No, I think it must have been an electrical engineer -- think of how the brain controls all the functions of the body via electrical impulses." The third engineer t...
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An old joke with an insight into Creationism.

21 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Babies Come Through an Unaesthetic Location

I do not know why the Creator unaesthetically put the baby door in this particular location—between the bladder and the rectum. It has necessitated a very unladylike but definitely mother-like position known as squatting to perform the act of giving birth. Whether we like it or not, the act of emptying the baby box is mechanically identical to emptying the rectum. As a man I will never know what it actually feels like having a baby. Being very interested in subjectively preparing mothers-to...
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Located between the bladder and rectum.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Idiotic Design of the Eye

Hermann von Helmholtz, the great nineteenthcentury German scientist (you could call him a physicist, but his contributions to biology and psychology were greater), said, of the eye: 'If an optician wanted to sell me an instrument which had all these defects, I should think myself quite justified in blaming his carelessness in the strongest terms, and giving him back his instrument.' One reason why the eye seems better than Helmholtz, the physicist, judged it to be is that the brain does an am...
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Wired backwards with a blind spot.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The laryngeal nerve's haphazard course through the body

A favourite example, ever since it was pointed out to me by Professor J. D. Currey when he tutored me as an undergraduate, is the recurrent laryngeal nerve.* It is a branch of one of the cranial nerves, those nerves that lead directly from the brain rather than from the spinal cord. One of the cranial nerves, the vagus (the name means 'wandering' and it is apt), has various branches, two of which go to the heart, and two on each side to the larynx (voice box in mammals). On each side of the n...
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Another example of poor biological design.