there is not always another side to the story, trilobite fossil wallpaper, there’s too much hubris in the kool-aid

Astrophysicist Martin Gaskell sued the University of Kentucky for discrimination. Gaskell claimed the university did not appoint him director of their student observatory because of his particular religious tenets. Commenting on the lawsuit physicist Lawrence M. Krauss writes, Religion no excuse for promoting scientific ignorance

Whether or not Gaskell’s views were inspired by his belief is irrelevant. The important question is whether, as a potential science educator, he has a firm grasp of the science and an ability to communicate it accurately. Given the evidence at hand there is reason to believe not.

In the notes for a lecture he gave at the university in 1997, Gaskell claimed, in clear disagreement with scientific facts, that evolution has “significant scientific problems” and includes “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations”. This suggests a lack of understanding of the nature of scientific theory in general, and evolution in particular.

Religious viewpoints need not conflict with science. Several prominent religious biologists, including my friends Ken Miller at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Francis Collins at the US National Institutes of Health, make it quite clear that one doesn’t have to be an atheist to accept the scientific fact of evolution. Incorrect interpretations of empirical data to fit in with religious beliefs should not be legally protected.

I had an otherwise competent enough chemistry professor go off one day on a tangent about how the second law of thermodynamics proved that the evolution of human beings was impossible. I took a look around and watched the stunned faces of other students as they were force feed junk science in a class which had nothing to do with religious dogma and biology. That and grossly distorting to the point of comic absurdity one of the basic tenets of how entropy works seemed a terrible abuse of his position. He tried to impose a belief in the context of a class concerned with knowledge. It would have been tolerable in a philosophy where we were discussing how to reconcile science with religion, but not in a science class. Though we did tolerate his little episode. There was some talk after class, but no one felt compelled to file an official complaint. There are some things which are facts. There is not always a reasonable other point of view. We live on the planet earth. The people who think we live in a shoe should not get equal time.

trilobite fossil wallpaper. trilobites first appear in the fossil record from the cambrian period, over 500 million years ago.

Judges from elite colleges more likely to rule against unions

U.S. appeals court judges who graduated from elite colleges were 30 percent more likely to rule against unions in labor law cases than were judges from less selective colleges, new research has found.

The study also concluded that female Republican judges were much more likely than Republican men to rule in favor of unions.

The study of more than 1,200 cases decided over a seven-year period was conducted by three Ohio State University researchers.

[  ]….Other results of the study:

* Experience as an elected official significantly increased the probability that a judge would support union claims on a number of issues. “Judges who successfully appealed to a wide range of voters as officeholders may have come to understand the needs of these constituents and appreciate the economic or ‘lunch bucket’ issues that are important to unions,” Brudney said.

Mummies’ false toes put a spring in amputees’ step

The other belonged to a priest’s daughter named Tabaketenmut, who lived sometime between 950 and 710 BC. If Tabaketenmut had diabetes, as some researchers have suggested, she may have lost her toe to ischaemic gangrene. Her prosthesis (shown above) is an elaborate three-piece construction of wood and what Finch thinks is leather, complete with a hinge that might mimic the flexibility of the joints.

Both artificial toes had holes for lacings that likely secured them to the feet.

While the discovery of over 3000 year old prosthetic is interesting, that Tabaketenmut had both diabetes and possibly gangrene, and survived, is even more amazing.

While Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) Gives Corporations A Tax Cut, Another Arizonan Joins The 98 Waiting For Transplant Funding.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and the GOP-controlled state House have turned a blind eye to the plight of 98 Arizona patients in desperate need of organ transplants. Since Brewer enacted painful cuts to the state’s Medicaid program in October, two Arizonans unable to pay for the transplants they needed passed away.

When Republican governors go away for their annual retreat they might want to check the kool-aid. It seems to be packing more brain altering hubris than usual. The Republican Strategy

The second part of the Republican strategy is being played out on the state level where public employees are being blamed for state budget crises. Unions didn’t cause these budget crises — state revenues dropped because of the Great Recession — but Republicans view them as opportunities to gut public employee unions, starting with teachers.

[  ]…Bargaining rights for public employees haven’t caused state deficits to explode. Some states that deny their employees bargaining rights, such as Nevada, North Carolina, and Arizona, are running big deficits of over 30 percent of spending. Many states that give employees bargaining rights — Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Montana — have small deficits of less than 10 percent.

In between demonizing the very word liberal, the far Right has done a pretty good job of also demonizing the word union. Both have become convenient scapegoats for the last sixty years. Especially after lying us into a three trillion-dollar war and blowing up the economy. Ironically a large segment of the combatants in this class warfare are people in the same income class –  households around the national median income. It reminds me of the way cultural alignments ended up in the South after the Civil War. Poor whites and newly freed slaves had similar economic interests at stake, yet most poor whites aligned themselves with wealthy white plantation owners and merchants. Guaranteeing that many of them would continue to be uneducated and live in poverty for generations. But hey they could sit in the front of the bus. Modern Republicans seem to be trying a repeat of sorts. Pitting working class unionized workers against working class non-union workers.

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