A brief note on a telling dichotomy:
When the left describes something they don’t like about Christianity or Judaism, they are not shy about it. They’ll even pin bombings or shootings on “Christian terrorists” or “Tea party” people ( which to many on the left seems synonymous), before any evidence is in hand at all. But they are often strangely gently and circumspect when it comes to handling Islam:
Craig Venter’s IPO doesn’t exist, in fact. But this eight-page story in New York Times Magazine is full of such adulation for the man that it seems most lilkely a build-up for an investment offering. Perhaps Dr. Venter is seeking private investors, and needed a boost in visibility. (It’s unfortunate that Facebook has soured the public notion of investment, but private investors will be much less affected.)
In any event, the piece is interesting, even if it contains some undignified lines that still annoy me to read:”He is thinking of a bug that could live in a factory and gobble exhaust and fart fresh air.”
Venter is working on synthetic life. He plans to tackle the world’s problems using this as a tool, from farming to oil production to what is commonly seen as an excess in CO2. (I think this last notion is particularly misguided, as about 1/7th of our current food crop comes from that “excess” of CO2, which we’d instantly lose if we magically went back to pre-industrial CO2 levels.)
The piece is lavish in its praise, but has the side-effect of making Venter seem like a high-risk investment, intent on seeking danger for its spur to his thinking.
Along the way, I was reminded of a short story I wrote, “Greenspace,” about a near future in which we had “conquered” the “excess CO2″ by launching a process to reduce it — which worked too well. (I am not opposed to Venter’s work, but I’m aware of the caution required.) The notions and organisms described in the article show (inadvertently) exactly how such a story could come about. That “solution” to the “excess CO2″ would bring about the end of most plant and animal life on the planet. Including us, of course.
If our technology has advanced enough by then — perhaps a century from now or less — we might build giant spaceships intent on saving the last humans. But by this time, a planet full of trash won’t matter. The air would no longer support life, because we finally conquered CO2.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
I write here for my own amusement. (And I’m right here for your amusement too, perhaps.) While I make typographical mistakes (and appreciate the corrections and catches!), I strive to avoid them, and I do try to be careful with facts.
Writers for the Daily Mail in the UK have a larger audience, and one would think they’d be a bit more careful about proofreading. In this instance, at least, that did not happen. The title of my post comes from the last paragraph of an article (about Neanderthals building homes) that is posted there:
The article contained other language and geography mistakes. Even the title of the article uses “homely” when the writer meant “homey” (and uses it correctly in the text).
Elsewhere, I am seeing the interesting tidbit that Neanderthal ancestry is supposedly contained in all groups of modern humans — except sub-Saharan Africans. This is relevant to a project I’m working on, but seems likely to be controversial.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
Marmoe’s Questions #2
Marmoe had also asked other questions which I think the previous post addressed, but not this one: P.S.: What’s your definition of “evolution” vs. “Theory of Evolution”? I guess, I am missing U.S. nuances of the debate here.
There is indeed a distinction between evolution and the Theory of Evolution, and I think you will complete agree with that distinction:
Marmoe’s Questions: #1
Marmoe asked a number of questions; the answers got long:
Can we both agree that ID is not science and should not be taught as if it were science?
Almost. Intelligent Design ((ID) is actually packaged as science; it’s just not good, well-supported science. To achieve its ends, ID folks hide some data and exaggerate others, and leap to some evidently wrong conclusions based upon what they’ve got.
To me, Intelligent Design is very much like the current global warming catastrophism.