Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Day Off Doings...

After breakfast I assembled all the items which the "scrap metal guy" is willing to pick-up. An old window AC unit, a broken lawn mower, a broken refrigerator, two computer towers and misc. odds and ends. The only things notable were that I removed the two hard drives from the computer towers, more as a security precaution than a need for the files. I pushed the fridge up the basement stairs and at about the half-way mark I came to a realization: If my strength fails, I could very well die. The bottom of the stair is a concrete wall, which would be the anvil to the fridge's sledge hammer.

Next, I went and did a full shopping at the grocery store. Salmon steaks for tonight!

Then, I went for my first barefoot run of the year. I couldn't do my regular route since it is on the bike path and still snowbound. 8.74 miles @ 7:35/mile. So this makes both the first barefoot run of the year and the longest sub-8 run and the fastest single run of the year!

Last (so far) a man-lunch: Homemade guacamole, tortilla chips and a beer. Hey! It is vegetarian, for whatever that is worth.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Let Us Take A Little Philosophical Trip Together.

According to PEW, only a tiny minority of Americans consider themselves to be atheist (1.6%). There is a wide range of how religious the rest are, but around 98.4% are at least open to the idea that there might be a God.

This is why I find it troubling when elected officials are deemed unfit to represent the public due to insufficient "scientific" purity.

The case in point is from ScienceInsider: New Head of NIH Appropriations Panel Known for Conservative Views and Support for Research Spending

The article is actually very fair-minded:

He's also known for being skeptical that humans are contributing to climate change and for rejecting Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. But although that record might make many scientists anxious, his reputation as an inside operator who understands the importance of funding research makes many science boosters breathe a little easier.

But the reactions to his appointment demonstrate a rather dim attitude toward democracy. After all, if the democratic process of elected representatives gives unacceptable results, the implication is that there must be some other, better method.

But let's leave all this aside for a moment and think about religion.

The vast majority of our republic either believe in God or are open to the possibility. If there is a God, then the implication is that he created the universe. Most think this was accomplished long, long ago. Fine. But a God who could create the universe billions of years ago, could also have created it five minutes ago too. That is, all our memories, geologic erosion, dinosaur bones--everything that is now, could have just been made! How would we know the difference? Or better, nothing exists except our minds and they are merely little subroutines running in God's mind. Anybody open to the possibility of divine power could agree with this if they thought it through a bit.

All that being said, I would rather have my representatives believe in natural selection than not, though what they claim and what they actually believe may be two distinctly different things. It may be difficult to get elected in rural Georgia as an evolutionist, just as it might have been hard for President Obama to get elected if he admitted to being an atheist.

In any case, I see far more harm from politicians who honestly fear and oppose things such as GMO's, Fracking and Atomic power which have risks which range from nonexistent (GMO's), easily managed (fracking) and manageable with sound engineering (atomic power).