Friday, 12 May 2000
1. LOS ALAMOS: DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES.
It is grim. The
town is completely evacuated, along with the nearby town of White
Rock, due to the heavy smoke. More than 200 homes have been
destroyed, mostly in older Northern and Western sections of Los
Alamos along with isolated houses along the edges of canyons.
Fires have gone into the Laboratory areas, but there seems to be
no loss of buildings on the site. There is no threat to stores
of high explosives or plutonium, which are kept in secure
bunkers. Things quieted down somewhat this morning, but the wind
picks up in the afternoon. So far, no lives have been lost.
2. MISSILE DEFENSE: APS DECLARES TESTING FALLS "FAR SHORT."
its meeting two weeks ago in Long Beach, CA, the APS Council
declared that: "The United States should not make a deployment
decision relative to the planned National Missile Defense (NMD)
system unless that system is shown -- through analysis and
intercept tests -- to be effective against the types of offensive
countermeasures that an attacker could reasonably be expected to
deploy with its long-range missiles." With President Clinton
currently scheduled to make a deployment decision in October
(WN 14 Apr 00),
the statement warns that: "The tests that have been
conducted or are planned for the period fall far short of those
required to provide confidence in the technical feasibility
called for in last year's NMD deployment legislation."
3. SECRETS: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REASSESSES DOWNLOADING CASES.
far the public outcry over the disparity in the treatment of Los
Alamos weapons scientist Wen Ho Lee and former CIA director John
Deutch does not appear to have softened the harsh treatment of
(WN 21 Apr 00).
Instead, it may have influenced a decision
this week to launch a criminal investigation into Deutch's
handling of classified material. However, the Justice Department
has decided to replace the prosecutor who has aggressively
pursued the Lee case from the beginning. The change comes at a
critical time: the judge is hearing arguments on defense motions
to introduce all the downloaded information at the trial.
4. ALTERNATIVE SCIENCE: CONGRESS BRIEFED ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN.
Darwin took a pounding on Wednesday when The Discovery Institute
brought its top guns to Capitol Hill to brief
members and their staffs on the need for "Intelligent Design" in
public school science curricula as an alternative to Darwinian
evolution. They portray ID as the scientific middle ground
between biblical literalists and Darwinists. The controversy,
however, is not a debate between scientists. Brown biologist Ken
Miller, an outspoken critic of the ID movement, asks, "How many
papers on intelligent design have been published in the peer
reviewed scientific literature?" The answer, Miller says, "is
none." Next week: Who in Congress is supporting the ID movement?