Friday, November 4, 2005
This is the final week of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School
Board trial in a Harrisburg, PA federal court. Back in August,
before the trial was underway, President Bush came down on the
side of intelligent design, much to the delight of the religious-
right (WN 5 Aug 05) . On
Tuesday, however, he announced that he would ask Congress for
$7.1 billion to prepare the nation for a worldwide outbreak of
flu. It's a hedge against evolution. Although a virulent strain
of bird flu has killed at least 62 people in Asia, there have
been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission. The fear
is that the H5N1 virus will mutate (evolve) making that possible.
Does this mean that Mr. Bush has changed his mind on evolution?
According to the news, Samuel Alito, the President's new choice
for the Court, told Senators in both parties that the Court may
have gone too far in separating church and state. How can they
be too separate? That's particularly scary now when it seems
possible that the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School
Board will be appealed to the Supreme Court, no matter how it
turns out. We'll go back to questions submitted by readers next
week, but in light of Alito's nomination, WN will exercise its
editorial prerogative, posing its own question this week:
"Does the intelligent designer who designs people, also
design viruses? If so, is this conflict-of-interest?"
In the summer heat, a powerful Cardinal, writing in the NY Times,
flatly rejected Darwinian evolution, outraging most scientists.
However, WN wrote that, "the Church's position is evolving,"
(WN 8 Jul 05) , and so it
has. In an Associated Press story today, Cardinal Poupard, head
of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said, "we know the dangers
of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey
to fundamentalism. The faithful have the obligation to listen to
that which secular modern science has to offer." Amen.
That's when Apollo 17 returned from the moon. Someone had better
tell NASA. Thursday, Michael Griffin told the House Science
Committee that the agency needs another $5B to continue operating
the shuttle until 2010. It will take that long to complete the
International Space Station so we can begin to dismantle it. The
shuttle was the biggest technological blunder in history, but the
station is closing the gap. The shuttle was supposed to make it
cheaper to send things into space. It didn't. The space station
was supposed to do something. I can't remember what. But we do
still need the shuttle for one final repair mission to Hubble.