Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The right to bear lava

There's been a lot of talk in the media lately about violence attributed to molten lava, and subsequent attempts to restrict the average citizen's given right to harness and use this innately destructive force.

What most of the liberal elite fail to realize, is that the answer is not less lava, but more lava.  Common sense dictates that when attacked with lava, the only solution is lava of your own to defend yourself.

Regularly, molten streams of lava come barreling down the sides of volcanoes, threatening the sanctity and security of our homes.  Some might say the answer lies in attempting to seek out the root cause of these violent streams of lava, thus reducing or redirecting it at the source.  As if reducing the amount of something has ever reduced the threat of harm from that same thing.  The obvious answer to oncoming streams of molten lava is a protective moat filled with hotter more destructive lava to head off and divert those streams.

Likewise, if we ban the possession of lava, are we to assume criminals will abide by those rules?  No, of course not.  If we make lava criminal, then only criminals will have lava.  Never-mind that much lava related violence is from criminals who take their lava from friends, relatives, or neighbors who have obtained it legally.  Once again, reducing the amount of something has never been shown to reduce the harm caused by that same thing (except in those few locations where it has.)

And our schoolchildren who are threatened by what is actually statistically an incredibly low chance of being wounded or dying in a lava massacre, what better chance do they have then being constantly surrounded by buckets of lava to use in the chance of a lava wielding lunatic entering a school and splashing molten lava about?  Obviously all teachers should have buckets of lava locked in their classrooms at all times, ready to deploy in the children's defense.  Certainly there is no way such a common sense plan could have unfortunate side-effects.

While it may be fine for those elites who can shelter themselves in gated communities and afford to live in low-crime areas to say that just maybe we do not need access to lava delivery systems capable of projecting thousands of gallons of lava hundreds of meters with the capacity to burn to death hundreds of people in mere seconds.  Need I remind you of our right to bear any and all lava dispensing devices that was written when lava dispensing devices were laughably less deadly and accurate than even today's most inexpensive lava delivery systems, in a time when a nation was actively at war and the individuals for whom the lava delivery systems were intended trained and drilled regularly in their usage.  It is only common sense that any person regardless of skill, training, or intelligence should be able to obtain with little or no oversight whatever or however many lava delivery devices they deem appropriate, with no oversight into how they are stored, used, or what other individuals may also have access to them.

No sir, you can take my lava when you pry it out of my cold dead hands.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Compare and Contrast

This is one of those fun, generally harmless Facebook posts that has been going around.

I was recently told of an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as GOOD, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, ha
ppiness.


But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he'd temporarily been disconnected: "I AM GOOD".

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Truthfully, there's really nothing wrong or inoffensive with the basic message "people are good." Whether or not it's true, among the things we can try and convince ourselves, it's probably one of the more beneficial at best, or harmless at worst.


However, I find myself one of those obnoxious people who are obsessed with the facts behind an image or story.  Long story short, there's no indication that such a ritual even exists.  The picture commonly attached to the story is of a completely different ritual than the one described.  A good rundown of the history of this Facebook post, as well an attempt to piece together the actual reality of the article can be found here

For the fun of it, I tried to imagine how a similar post might appear on the Facebook wall of an affluent individual in some place like Cape Town, South Africa, who knew nothing about North Americans, yet chose to proscribe to them supposedly flattering qualities.  This is the best I could come up with:

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I was recently told of a North American town that does the most beautiful thing.

When a family feels that their sense of unity is weakening, they go out into the woods and chop down a evergreen tree (to symbolize the everlasting nature of the family bond). The tree is then placed in a central location within the family home. For the following week, they'll decorate it with small trinkets that remind each other of good memories they've shared together.

This town believes that a family is the strongest bond people can have; however, sometimes as people go about their daily lives, petty grievances can build up and threaten to tear this bonds apart.


They take this time to band together, and instead of dealing with those annoyances that have built up over time, reflect upon the good memories they have shared together.  At the end of the week, they gather around their family tree, now decorated with good memories, and remember that: "MY FAMILY IS GOOD".

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What do you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Change of pace

I've been writing about evolution too much (only because it's because it's one of those avenues of science denial I find simply mind-boggling.)

I'm going to switch gears and post (and by post I mean put up a video that demonstrates the information better than I ever could) some information on the latest controversy surrounding climate change.




Here's a link to the abstract of the paper summarized in the video:

More things evolution doesn't say

I had written a post recently entitled "Things Evolution Doesn't Say" that was pretty well-received, and after viewing some more creationists arguments, I decided to write another with a couple additional false creationist claims.  (And for the record, sometimes this automatic formatting on blogger is quite aggravating...)

1.     There should be far more fossils, and the fossil record is 100% complete with no gaps.

In  1859, when Charles Darwin published “The Origin of the Species,” paleontology still existed as a relatively new science.  This was no secret to Charles Darwin, and he devoted an entire chapter (Chapter IX) to the “geologic record,” while at many times lamenting on the incompleteness of that record, and expressing hopes that further research would produce a much more comprehensive geologic record confirming his theory.

In fact, very little of his landmark book used the fossil record as direct evidence of evolution, only casual observation that the fossils produced thus far did seem to coincide with what one might expect if his theory were true.  Darwin's specialty was more in comparative anatomy specific to biology than paleontology.

Over 150 years later, what has come to pass is nearly exactly what Darwin predicted would happen.  More fossils have been discovered, which continue to confirm exactly what we would expect if Darwin’s theory were true.  Fossils show a gradual chronological transition from the simplest of forms in the earliest geologic record, slowly evolving to show the forms we see today.

Much like in Darwin’s time, the record is still incomplete, and as Darwin himself was aware would remain incomplete due to the extreme rarity in which any species could be successfully preserved to any degree through tens of millions of years.  This isn’t scientists hand-waving away a lack of evidence, only a realistic look at the natural forces that work to make sure things like bones and organs usually don’t stick around more than a few years after something passes away.  If Darwin expressed any overenthusiastic hope about the fossil preservation rate, it was probably due to his lack of knowledge of those geologic factors, not due to any flaw in his theory of evolution.  History shows him to be very-well rounded in his knowledge; however, he was by no means perfect and did not know everything.

Nothing about theory of evolution is predicated upon their being a 100% complete fossil record for every species that ever lived.  Much like cosmologist don’t have a record of how every star and planet in the universe formed, nor do pathologists know the exact make up of each and every flu virus, they’re no more taking on faith that their science is valid than our evolutionary biologists.  If every piece of evidence gathered so far fits into the framework of your theory, it’s logical to be fairly confident (while being open to the idea that new evidence will come along and force you to re-evaluate your theory) that additional pieces of evidence will conform to the same pattern.


2.           2.  Evolution says we’re “just animals.”

This is one of those emotional arguments that really have no bearing on the actual science involved.  Those that make it seem unconcerned that the universe as a whole has demonstrated very little capacity for whether or not we care for our place in it.  The fact that we can be killed by “just a bullet” still leaves our outrage at the fact irrelevant to the field of ballistics.

Furthermore, no value judgment is placed upon what it means to be human within the framework of evolution.  Yes, evolution does say that we, like thousands of others of species, are animals, but nowhere does it say that we are "just" animals and nothing more.  Galileo’s observations may have removed us from the center of the universe, but it did not make a judgment on our value as a planet.

Our ultimate worth in the universe and our value as a species is really not to be determined by science.  Except in purely empirical terms, science does not assign any sort of “value” to humanity.  If you cannot reconcile the fact that a million small circumstances came together just right to produce the person you are today reading this, and you’d rather believe that God created you and the rest of humanity on a whim, then that is completely upon you and not for science to convince you otherwise; however, be fully cognizant of the fact that yours is in no way a scientific argument against evolutionary theory.