GPS-enable your child

I guess since moms don’t really have eyes in the backs of their heads (pending genetic engineering breakthroughs), technology had to come to their rescue. There is now a wristwatch-sized cellphone with builtin Global Positioning System (GPS). Parents can now locate their children within 100 m (300 feet) of their actual location — still a pretty large territory (the local mall, for example), but better than searching an entire neighborhood. The phone includes speed dials for “Mom,” “Dad,” “911,” and 5 others, and comes in a reusuable lunchbox package. The idea is actually not all that new; cellphones sold in the US now have to be GPS-enabled so emergency officers can locate the owner. What’s new is the packaging and the ease-of-use for the average mom or dad. It would probably allay some parents’ fears that their children may turn up missing or lost, although children have been known to misplace their cellphones, among other items. Maybe it’s just me, but the technology also adds a little “Big Brother” paranoia to the whole parent-child relationship. Some parents may go a little overboard tracking their kids (like the dad on the latest cellphone commercials). I also wonder whether other parties might ...

No end of debate on ID vs. Evolution

As a newbie to the world of blogging, I am amazed by the number of prolific writers out there in blogspace. SF writer Orson Scott Card has written a critique of “Darwinists” (his term) at his site that has apparently stirred up a hornets’ nest in the other camp. Check out these responses to Card’s essay: At Scienceblogs and at Pandasthumb.org. The trouble is, everyone seems to be preaching to the choir. Those who accept evolution spend their time criticizing the IDists as non-scientific and dogmatic, while the IDists spend their time calling the evolution proponents materialists (read, godless) and dogmatic. It’s a shame that the majority of the US public can’t see but a tiny bit of this lively debate, assuming they either cared or understood the arguments. In the world of physics, the last time science had a debate this heated was during Galileo’s lifetime, when scholars debated the earth-centered vs. the sun-centered model of the universe. Which reminds me of a question. Why is it that IDists and creationists don’t insist that alternative models of the solar system not be taught in the schools alongside modern ones? After all, the Bible does imply that the sun and ...

The War on Science

Here’s an excellent discussion on how the present administration in Washington may be conducting a War on Science.

Vatican nixes “intelligent design”

While the statement doesn’t come directly from the Pope, the official Vatican newspaper this week denounced “intelligent design” as unscientific, proving that not all religious believers are complete ninnies. Intelligent design (ID) is the model favored primarily by U.S. Christians of a more conservative stripe over the predominant theories of evolution and the Big Bang. Proponents of ID hold that living organisms and the universe in general are too complex to have developed by mere chance. Rather, they insist that a designer of some sort arranged the universe to favor such complexity. “If the model proposed by Darwin is not considered sufficient, one should search for another,” Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, writes in L’Osservatore Romano. “But it is not correct from a methodological point of view to stray from the field of science while pretending to do science,” he continues. “It only creates confusion between the scientific plane and those that are philosophical or religious.” Or in other words, if you do not like or accept a scientific theory, don’t go around inventing new explanations from whole cloth, and calling them “scientific” when there is no scientific evidence to support them. ID ...
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