Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bill Frist, Eternal Sophomore


From the Greek sophos, wise, and mros, stupid, a Sophomore is, literally, an educated moron.

How else could you explain a man who has a degree from Harvard Medical School, one of the nations pre-eminent heart surgeons, who has risen to a position of power and leadership in one of the most esteemed lawmaking bodies of the world, opening his piehole and spewing such lunacy as this? "[Intelligent Design]doesn't force any particular theory on anyone. I think in a pluralistic society that is the fairest way to go about education and training people for the future."

What?

Okay, I've commented about this in several blogs, so this may sound old to some of you. You can't teach Intelligent Design as a valid scientific theory because IT'S NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY!

Let's make this real simple. A basic element of a valid scientific theory is something called falsifiability. In other words, for it to be right, you have to be able to prove it wrong. If you can't prove it wrong, it becomes a valid scientific theory.

How do you disprove the existence of an intelligent designer? The same way you prove the existence:

You don't. Because you can't. You can't prove or disprove the supernatural. Because once it's proven, it stops being supernatural, and becomes natural.

If you can't prove something wrong, it is not a scientific theory.

Here's a theory: When cows are introduced to zero gravity, they become sentient, and in fact become supergeniuses in the field of calculus.

That theory has more scientific viability than Intelligent Design, because this could be disproved.
And that's the beauty of scientific theories: they can be proven wrong. After which, scientists ask themselves: 'Well, if that's wrong, what else could explain this?" And on it goes, refining, sometimes retracting, modifying, moving forward, being argued over at each point. It is our best guess, so far, about the structure of life in the natural world.

Intelligent design, however, supposes a supernatural beginning, in other words:
attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.

How can you explain a natural occurrence with a supernatural 'theory' and call it scientific?

So, what we have heere is a man well-versed in the world of science, who should know about what is and is not a valid scientific theory, coming out and saying something like that?

The man has to be a moron.

Or, alternately, running for President on the Republican ticket, because this is just the sort of thing a potential candidate would say to please and placate the conservative evangelicals who control the party right now.

Especially after he broke ranks and supported stem-cell research. Which almost had me admiring him.

But not now.

So, take this little bit of bullshit, and mix it in with the Terri Schaivo instant replay diagnosis, and what do you come up with?

Well, I don't know what you will come up with but me--I see it as one of two things:

  1. He really is stupid, in which case he shouldn't be elected president;
  2. The man is willing to lie just to get to the White House, which makes you wonder what he'll do when he gets there, which means he shouldn't be elected president.
Which is worse?

And for those of you who might ask 'So what? Why is this so important?' I offer the following:

Most of high-school science is wasted on most of the students. Let's face it: most of us don't need to know anything about osmoregulation in our daily lives. There are some, however, who thrive in the field, and we call them boring at parties.

What high-school science teaches everyone, however, is the scientific approach. It teaches us that, no, we don't know the answers to everything. But here's our best guesses. It teaches us how to think rationally about stuff.

Introducing Intelligent Design into this system removes the need for thought by the students.

Why would conservative evangelicals want to prevent our kids from thinking?

Why would a man of science like Dr. William Frist go along with this?

One last thing: I'm a very spiritual man. God is a very big presence in my life. I have no problem with people of faith expressing their beliefs. I do have a problem with people of faith trying to foist their beliefs onto other people. This is another attempt at that.

Yeharr


Link

31 Comments:

Blogger Colleen said...

oh, he'll run. be sure of that. he's setting himself up now. i used to live in TN. frist has been working this one for a long time.

sigh

6:19 AM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Robyn: I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood. We had a Shiite pediatritian from Pakistan as a next-door neighbor, and a Sunni research chemist across the street. I grew up with their kids, and dated briefly one of their daughters. They were both devout, and recognized their differences. But it was the same as if they were Baptist and Catholic. No blood was spilled; we all had fun together at the block parties.

I disagree with your viewpoint on 'Islamies.' I believe the majority of the followers of Islam are very much like the majority of Christians: tolerant, thoughtful, loving, and civilized. There is, however, a group of extremists who have commanded center stage. In my opinion, they are to Islam what the Ku Klux Klan is to Christianity.

Colleen: It was interesting reading what Trent Lott had to say about the man.

It should be fun watching all the GOP candidates getting crazier and crazier with religious fervor, in an effort to court these nutjobs, forgetting that the majority of the party aren't that extreme. They might right-wing themselves out of existence.

Yeharr

7:15 AM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Most, if not all, Robyn? Maybe if you take a quick snapshot of the world today, you might get that idea, but a look at the big picture shows otherwise:

*A 30-year uprising in Northern Ireland killed and injured thousands in some of the bloodiest attacks in modern history. None in this group are 'Islamies'

*The Ku Klux Klan lynched "uppity" African-Americans in the South for 100 years. When the "Freedom Riders" in the 1950's came into the deep south to work for justice, many of them were killed as well. Hard to tell under those hoods, but I don't think any of them were 'Islamies.' Actually, at least one of them was a Baptist minister.

* Timothy McVeigh and his accomplices carried out what was the biggest act of terror in the United States with the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. Neither McVeigh, nor any of his accomplices, are "Islamies."

* Eric Rudolph, sentenced today, bombed abortion clinics, gay nightclubs, and an Olympic park. Not an 'Islamie.'

Here's the thing: the last three I mentioned are, politically, much closer to the views of the Conservative Evangelicals in the Republican Party than they are the 'Islamies.'

Here's another one: Currently, the United States has invaded a country, killed thousands of innocent civilians and tortured hundreds more. Although the US has no official religion, the majority of its population is not comprised of 'Islamies.'

There are thousands of followers of Islam here in the city where I live. As a rule, they are law-abiding, peaceful citizens.

Your post a few weeks ago railed against people who stereotyped you as a liberal because of your background. Now, here you are stereotyping an entire religion because of the acts of a few.

Yeharr

10:53 AM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger mal said...

BP, cows make the best spaceship crews around! They work pretty cheap (alfalfa) and when they go home to gravity they forget how to talk and do not give away your secrets.

Dealing with cowfarts in a closed environment is a problem however

1:12 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Robyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:52 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Robyn: You're saying it's ok that we've destroyed Iraq because we've always built countries back up? That's the justification for this illegal war? Come on! You're smarter than that. And some innocent kid killed by an American bullet is just as dead as one killed by any other bullet. But what the hell: "It's ok we invaded them because we'll rebuild them" is just as valid as any of the other phony justifications for this war.

Which is to say, not valid at all.

Another question: why doesn't violence in the past count? How far back can we go? There's been no fighting reported today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does that mean 'Islamies' are now peaceful?

Ignoring the past--especially the recent past, makes yours a specious argument.

And it does nothing to bolster your claim that all members of Islam are fundamentally violent. It merely makes you sound bigoted.

Mallory: In space, no one can hear you fart.


Yeharr

2:31 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Robyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:01 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Don't confuse 'legal' with 'moral.' There are legal wars. These are wars where diplomats formally announce the ends of their attempts at reconciliation, where the governments a state of hostility between themselves, and where the respective governments authorize the declaration. This allows, among other things, for agreements of treatment of prisoners, and a formal end to hostilities.

Doesn't make it any more moral, but it is a legal state. Lately, declarations of war have been replaced, especially in the United States by 'Authorized use of force,' which grants the President the powers to invade a country. In cases like these, the President explains the reasons for the invasion, and then if the case is compelling enough, congress grants the authorization.

The problem here is that this Preznit lied his ass off to get the troops over there. THAT'S what makes it an illegal war.

As far as the dancing in the streets-first off, there were only a few that were doing this, and secondly, I think it's more of a non-religious reaction to a percieved imperialist power than a display of religious fervor.

As far as in-the-street protests by Islamists--do you really think, in those days immediately after 9/11, a group of Islamists in the street--regardless of the message--would be met with anything but outright hostility?

What bothers me most Robyn, is your blanket condemnation of millions--yes, millions of people for the acts of a few.

When you do that, you are not 'knowing your enemy.' You are a bigot.

Yeharr

5:38 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I'm with you on this one. It's a myth. A pretty one, maybe, if you believe that sort of thing, but it's JUST A STORY.

7:59 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

I have a proof of cows as extremely intelligent beyond an orbit of 200 miles from the Earth's surface that I'd love to share with you some day.

2:10 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I thought that might get you back out of the woodwork, Mister Morton.

Now tell me about pizza bombs.

Yeharr

4:42 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Robyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:26 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Robyn,
I don't know you, so this is a little out of the ordinary, but you signed---Ms. Bunker. Are you a Bunker? If so, we may be distantly related.

6:45 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Robyn,
I would also disagree that no oher country is as good as the US. We have our problems, oo. We are probably on the same level or slightly lower than Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada and Spain are doing well. Right now we have a declining Social Security program, and education system that is totally bankrupt and behind MANY oher countries, a health care system that doesn't work to anyone's advantage but the government's, and a political system that is so entirely corrupt that we've given up fighting for it. What we are doing is destroying other countries, allowing illegals in and to remain by the MILLIONS (1000 over the Arizona boarder daily, and that's JUST AZ), mandating programs that aren't paid for, and putting throusands of people in jail (for 10 years or more) a year for smoking pot and letting rapist go free (after 4 years in jail or less). I think we are justified in beign at odds with our government right now. It doesn't mean we don't love our country, but we certainly don't love what our country is doing to us.

6:53 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

bigot n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
--Wolrdnet 2.0, Princeton University.

Robyn, I am just stunned by your intolerance. And frankly, I can't understand it. I point out to you that you are condemning millions of people with this viewpoint, and you happily say, 'yes.'

Now, I wish to hear you condemn equally those of Christian faith, because I don't see EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN pouring out into the streets condemning Reverend Pat Robertons' call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9047102/

You're painting with a roller over a canvas that needs fine detail. Don't you see that?

Yeharr

6:59 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger indygirl said...

Oh Pat Robertson. Oh my. He's making the same calls to action as the most extremist of Islamists. Every religion's got 'em I suppose.

There are not many things that anger me more than this [un]intelligent design bullshit.

Actually, this whole post and comments section has set my gears into battle mode. Neo-cons stay out of my path today!

7:19 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Go Indygirl, Go!
Let them feel the wrath of
Huhnoshit blogging!

Yeharr

7:27 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

This ID thing is really geting on my nerves. I really don't think they can even call it a theory. I makes me angry and I don't defend myself well when I'm angry. I think Frist will run. I also thing the Republicans are setting up ID as a way to keep our attention off of Iraq and the lies the party is spewing. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN!

7:48 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Also, if you change your comments to allow word varification, you won't get spammed.

7:48 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

PC--This isn't my blog. It's Phil's. I don't have those options.

Yeharr

8:38 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Robyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:16 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger indygirl said...

What's the difference between Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Chavez and Osama Bin Laden calling for the assassination of GWBush?

Yeah.

10:33 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

A. No, you don't see anyone leaving for anyplace better, because places like Canada won't let us in. However, you WILL see poeple in Europe who wish to adopt a disadvantaged child come to America to get one.

B. Let me ask you point blank: You are certain that every single man woman and child of Islamic faith wants to kill you? There's not an Islamic person out there who would not rejoice in the death of America?
Because this is what I'm getting from your statements. If that's so, please send me your shirt size so that I may send you your 'I'm a bigot, and proud of it' T-Shirt.

C. I, for one, know that a geological territory has no repsonse to human approval. If I am to follow your logic, then you must have been just as proud of our leadership under the previous president as you are this one. Because in your worldview, the leaders should not be questioned. Robyn Miller, Friend of Bill.

Thank you for straightening that out.

Yeharr

11:24 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Robyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:58 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Dear Robyn:

Yes I do. I'm happy that most of America is finally waking up to the fact that this President has lied constantly for the past six years.

http://www.surveyusa.com/50StatePOTUS0805.htm

In not one single state does his approval rating crack 60%--and those are all states where cows outnumber people. Even in his home state, only 54 people out of a hunnert approve of him. He has the lowest nationwide approval rating for a second-term president since they've been polling this sort of stuff.

So that makes me happy.

And what name have I called you that you don't like?

Bigot? Or Clinton supporter?

Because, from your entries, you have to be both.

I don't feel I'm belittling you. I apologize if you feel that way.

And I'm not an angry person. What I am is a person who's desperate to get enough people to wake up to what's going on around them to save this country.

My daughter is seven my youngest son is nine. I want them to live in peace and prosperity. My oldest son is 23. I want him to come home from the war in one piece, with his sanity intact.

Empty words about supporting the military do nothing for me. If you support them, call for their return. We're in a no-win situation over there.

Every morning I start my day with prayer and meditation, asking God's help in doing that which is right. And this is what I do.

Robyn, I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken..

Yeharr

1:29 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Robyn,
You're right. I is difficult to wake up day after day and be constantly disappointed by the decisions my government makes. I don't think this is the best country in several areas, but I'm not leaving. I'm staying and working to improve things. Those who suggest that we "put up or shut up" are contributing more to the problem than those of us who point out problems and then try to fix them. People are trying to get in because this is a great place to make some money to take back home, or send back home. A lot of people, by the way are leaving and we have the highest rate in 200 years of immigrating from the states to other countries.

Yes, some Muslims are trying to kill you. For every one of those, there are many who really don't give a shit about your existance. All they want is clean water, edible food, and for the women, to be able to drive without the religious police killing them. some Muslims are bad. We get it. Many Muslims are not, and still, it doesn't mean we should go around invading countries willy-nilly. We were wrong to go to Iraq (and I know BP knows my opinion doesn't mean I don't care about his son's life and think about him when I'm meditating), but we were. We're there now and we'll be there for a while trying to clean up the mess. Can we stop arguing over something that's already done and try to figure out a way to improve circumstances for all invloved?

And finally, laughing at anyone is never nice. I'm sure you've experienced your share of being laughed at. Why would you do it to someone else who is only trying to express their views? It's just mean.

2:37 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Thanks Polanco: corrections made and no more spam. Though I started this blog, I've happily let BP take the reigns due to his exceptional fire, brevity, wit and intelligence. Plus I've known the bastard for twenty years and can still make him laugh hard enough to have milk come out of his nose, so what's really left for me to do? Also, to all, let me know if you prefer the pop up window for comments, I find it a better choice.

9:04 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

...sputter...

MILK! We pirates don't drink milk!

Only grog!

And helium!

Yeharr...

9:22 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

BP, why are you arguing with someone whon refers to Muslims as "Islam Folks?" This person is operating on a different level of intellect. Most of us matured past that level of thinking when we were about 14 years old.. Tell her that her favorite sports team sucks and you'll get pretty much the same logic..

Wingnuttia does very well banking on this type of person being very confortable in the rationalization of their own ignorance. What we call bigotry they call straight talk. They can never grasp the coexistence of good and evil in equal parts in everything everywhere. You wrap this in faith-based superstition and cowardly xenophobia and any logic that is not linear isn't follow very long.
Yes, 59 million people can be that stupid.

10:37 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

"Comfortable in the rationalization of their own ignorance." Nicely said, cranky. The density of personal self is often impenetrable, and unless you come into this world an exceptionally sensitive soul, it usually takes personal loss or suffering to crack the shell and make one realize there's more in the world than just "you", and your thoughts and your feelings. It's called compassion.

4:40 PM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a doctor on the radio yesterday say something quite interesting about 'intelligent design'. He said he doesn't believe in that theory because there are so many 'design flaws' in the human body. He said he can deal with the hips being a ball joint and a socket, but what is up with the knee; a flimsy joint held together with the eqivalent of four rubber bands. This is just one of about 5 design flaws he went through. Why did our creator use the biological equivalent of duck-tape on us humans?

If there was intelligent design, when is the next model due for release cos my back is killing me and i need knee reconstruction.

-b.

9:12 PM, August 24, 2005  

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