Friday, May 20, 2005
1. MIRACLES? I DON’T THINK SO. NBC DATELINE IS NOT SO SURE.
Dateline’s investigative reporters traveled around the world exploring claims of divine intervention, and Wednesday night they shared their findings with us in a program called "Miracle." It was an hour program, but it seemed much longer. I thought a trip to the bathroom might help. It took a few minutes after I got back before I realized "Miracles" had ended. Who could tell? It was now "Revelations" -- something about an astrophysicist and a cute nun trying to prevent "the end of days." Oh well, I didn’t miss anything important. Dateline found that there are things that no one has explained. Amazing! What have those scientists been doing? Viewers were in front of their TVs ready to learn something, and there was something terribly important for them to learn. But they weren’t told that not a single miracle has ever been verified. They were left to believe that the existence of miracles is an open scientific question. Has NBC no shame?
2. LOS ALAMOS: BIDDING OPENS FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE LABORATORY.
Competition is wide open amid concerns that a changing culture at the Lab would threaten scientific and technical excellence. The new model seems to be a university/defense contractor team. Three teams are expected to bid: The University of Texas teamed with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman with an academic teammate yet to be named, and the University of California, which managed the Lab for 62 years by itself, now teamed with Bechtel Corp.
3. EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST, AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET.
Several news accounts this week commented on an apparent rise in the surface of "eastern Antarctica," due to increased snow and ice accumulation, as predicted by climate models. But which side is "eastern" Antarctica? Clearly, every side of Antarctica must be "northern" Antarctica.
4. EVOLUTION: SO IS IT TRUE THAT CHARLES DARWIN WAS A DEMOCRAT?
Dover, PA, school board candidates could run in both Republican and Democratic primaries. On Tuesday, seven incumbents who support a policy requiring high school biology students to be told about "intelligent design," won the Republican primary. Meanwhile, seven challengers, all of whom oppose mentioning "intelligent design" in science class, won in the Democratic primary. The school board election will be held in November.
5. KANSAS: IS "INTELLIGENT DESIGN" SCIENCE? DEFINE "SCIENCE."
The plan was to sell ID as science. Nobody bought it. So now there’s a move on the Kansas School Board to redefine "science" as "a systematic method of continuing investigation." Yes, I know. But it won’t help anyway. Courts have ruled that ID is religion. So what Kansas needs is a new definition of religion. How about: "A way of explaining why it wasn’t really your fault."