Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stuff to read.

It Does Matter What People Think About How the World Works At the recent republican debate. The question was put to the candidates "Who does not believe in evolution." Three of them put up their hands.
whether this particular kind of mistaken belief should bear on one’s fitness as a presidential candidate. I think it does, for a reason that our experience with the Bush administration has made especially relevant. Denial of the standard scientific explanation for the origin of human beings is a particularly dangerous kind of mistake: one based on a decision to put aside evidence and deduction in favor of wishful thinking, and an insistence on a picture of the universe that flatters ourselves. The kind of reasoning that leads one to conclude that we can’t explain human evolution without invoking a meddlesome God is the same kind of reasoning that makes people think that cutting taxes will decrease the federal deficit, or that the people of Iraq would throw candy and greet us as liberators. (I’m sure that liberals are just as susceptible to such a fallacy, but it’s the conservative versions that are currently getting us in such a mess.) It’s a refusal to take reality at face value, in favor of a picture that conforms to what we want to be true
So then the question is considering that the virgin birth is also scientifically impossible should it also exclude people from the office? Read the excellent piece to find out.

Scientists Move Closer to Turning Skin Cells Into Tissues Stem cells arae the way of the future. If they can be made by bypassing all the messy ethical debates then great.

Mark Steel: How can you have a school without its own zoo? Keep private School charitable status or else the wallabies will get it.