Friday, 4 August 2000
1. SURVIVOR: CREATIONISTS ARE VOTED OFF THE ISLAND.
It was just one year ago that the state school board in Kansas removed human
evolution and any mention of the big bang from the state science
(WN 13 Aug 99).
In Tuesday's Republican Primary, which
is almost the same as election in Kansas, three of the four
creationist board members running for reelection fell victim to
natural selection. The largest margin of defeat was reserved for
Linda Holloway, the board chair, who had raised $100K for a race
that would normally have cost a few hundred dollars. Tuesday's
vote virtually assures that last year's action will be reversed.
2. WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?: SHE SHOULD READ WHAT'S NEW.
A contestant on last night's program was asked: "The James Randi
Educational Foundation offers $1 million to anyone who can
provide solid evidence of what?" She didn't know! The correct
choice was "paranormal powers," but the offer is much broader
than that. For example, JREF just offered the $1M to Florsheim,
if it can demonstrate its claims for MagneForce Footwear in a
formal double-blind scientific test. My question to you is: Will
Florsheim take up the challenge? I think you know the answer.
3. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: BECOME A PUBLIC AFFAIRS FELLOW AND SAVE THE WORLD.
The APS Washington Office is looking for an idealistic
physicist to spend a year in Washington working on improving the
relationship between science and government. Application details
will be posted Monday on
under Public Affairs.
4. THE MOUSE THAT ROARED: THE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE SHAKEDOWN.
According to a story in this morning's Washington Post, N. Korea
has reaffirmed to Russia that it will drop its ballistic missile
program -- if other countries will just launch a few satellites
for them every year. This is clearly a bargain -- for $60B you
can launch a lot of satellites. But do we see a pattern here?
When we objected to North Korea's development of nuclear power,
Pyongyang agreed to let us do it for them. Next, perhaps, North
Korea will begin developing nuclear submarines -- for peaceful
purposes of course. Perhaps they'll agree to let us supply them.
5. LIVIN LA VIDA LOCA: WHITE HOUSE PANEL ON ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
President Clinton last month named James Gordon, who heads the
Center for Mind-Body Medicine, to chair a White House Commission
on Alternative Medicine. Gordon's book, "Manifesto for a New
Medicine," finds no reason to doubt any alternative therapy. My
personal favorite is his discovery that hypnosis can "cure warts,
and increase breast size." The White House panel is charged with
recommending public policies that will "maximize the benefits to
Americans of complementary and alternative medicine."
(Maria Cranor contributed to this week's WN.)