Category Archives: Education

Asking the Right Questions:

Kinesin
(Click on the image or the following link)

Asking the Right Questions: My Visit to Brown University and MIT 

No – this was not my, AYFPs visit, but rather a fellow named Brian Miller.

Some excerpts:

“ … Several of the participants had never heard the evidence for design, so they were visibly struck by its weight and the enormity of its implications. The questions were particularly thoughtful, sincere, and relevant. They were also very common in such discussions, so I thought I would address each of them.  … “

“ … The students commented that they very much enjoyed the discussion, since they never hear the design perspective. And the vast majority wished to stay connected with the sponsoring groups for future conversations. If only all academics could learn to ask the right questions and demonstrate such open mindedness and such a desire for truth. … “

This article is quite fascinating. As the two excerpts point out, some (many?) students at these prestigious universities had never heard the design perspective as applied to biology and life. This is not surprising since the Darwinian evolutionists have had a censoring choke hold on such discussions for many years (see my article at: https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/ball-state-university-intelligent-design-my-7-disappointments/).

So it is quite refreshing that perhaps a toe-hold has been established in the land of Ivy League (I live just a short bus ride from Yale).

I have to wonder though if these events were actually sanctioned by Brown and MIT, or were they off campus and sponsored by some rebellious truth seeking students.    Dr. Miller refers to ‘sponsoring groups ‘ so perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part to think that Ivy has actually stepped up to taking a look at Intelligent Design – but it seems that some of the students are looking.

Dr. Miller has a BA in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Physics from Duke.

 

Don Johnson – March 2017

Middlebury’s Statement of Principle

Middlebury College students protest Charles Murray, March 2. Photo: Associated Press

Middlebury College students protest Charles Murray, March 2. Photo: Associated Press

Middlebury’s Statement of Principle

[Note from Don Johnson – author of this blog Read what many of my generation thought about such actions by clicking the link below – AYFP]

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/i-may-not-agree-with-what-you-are-saying-but-i-will-defend-to-the-death-your-right-to-say-it/

Learning is possible only where free, reasoned and civil speech is respected.

By Jay Parini  and  Keegan Callanan  March 6, 2017 7:36 p.m. ET   615  COMMENTS

WSJ | 2017-03-07T00:36:00.000Z

Middlebury, Vt.

On Thursday roughly 100 of our 2,500 students prevented a controversial visiting speaker, Charles Murray, from communicating with his audience on the campus of Middlebury College. Mr. Murray was silenced by loud chants and foot-stomping; the commotion lasted nearly half an hour before college officials moved him to a private room to deliver his address into a camera. But even the simulcast to the auditorium was silenced by more protests and multiple fire alarms.

As Mr. Murray was leaving, a group of as-yet-unidentified assailants mobbed him and seriously injured one of our faculty colleagues. In view of these unacceptable acts, we have produced a document stating core principles that seem to us unassailable in the context of higher education within a free society. Many colleagues have joined us by signing their names to this document; the full list of signatories is available online. [Emphasis – AYFP]

***

The principles are as follows:

Genuine higher learning is possible only where free, reasoned, and civil speech and discussion are respected.

Only through the contest of clashing viewpoints do we have any hope of replacing mere opinion with knowledge.

The incivility and coarseness that characterize so much of American politics and culture cannot justify a response of incivility and coarseness on the college campus.

The impossibility of attaining a perfectly egalitarian sphere of free discourse can never justify efforts to silence speech and debate.

Exposure to controversial points of view does not constitute violence.

Students have the right to challenge and even to protest non-disruptively the views of their professors and guest speakers.

A protest that prevents campus speakers from communicating with their audience is a coercive act.

No group of professors or students has the right to act as final arbiter of the opinions that students may entertain.

No group of professors or students has the right to determine for the entire community that a question is closed for discussion.

The purpose of college is not to make faculty or students comfortable in their opinions and prejudices.

The purpose of education is not the promotion of any particular political or social agenda.

The primary purpose of higher education is the cultivation of the mind, thus allowing for intelligence to do the hard work of assimilating and sorting information and drawing rational conclusions.

A good education produces modesty with respect to our own intellectual powers and opinions as well as openness to considering contrary views.

All our students possess the strength, in head and in heart, to consider and evaluate challenging opinions from every quarter.

We are steadfast in our purpose to provide all current and future students an education on this model, and we encourage our colleagues at colleges across the country to do the same.

***

The list of signatories is available at FreeInquiryBlog.wordpress.com.

Mr. Parini is a professor of English and Mr. Callanan a professor of political science at Middlebury College.

Copyright ©2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

How Do You Judge America

I invite you watch this video by Dennis Prager. 

Have you seen such arguments before? If not, what is your reaction to this analysis by Prager?

Click on the image below to watch.

image

 

Don Johnson – March 2017

Is what we’re witnessing in the US a slow-motion downhill slide into a coup?

 

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other … “ John Adams.

Image result for john adams

This article is in response to comments I made to a Facebook post referencing the article just below, and several responses to my comments (emphasis mine).

image

http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/is-the-us-in-the-middle-of-a-coup/news-story/ab0ece5c5b27b004b0b203fcce435a92

Me: Interesting that many of us thought the same of Barack Hussein Obama during the past 8 years

Response 1: The difference here, Don, is that President Obama was not mentally unstable and incapable of controlling his irresponsible impulses. Trump behaves like a petulant child and makes rash decisions without using the checks and balance resources in place to vet his decisions before acting on them. I have ideological differences with both political parties but I currently find myself leaning more to the left; however, my biggest issues with Trump are based on my serious belief that the man is a narcissistic bully and does not have the mental wherewithal and self control to not put this nation in extreme jeopardy on many fronts.

Response 2: Don, recognizing that a significant number of Americans were dissatisfied with the leadership of the Obama administration, I would be very interested in hearing how those feelings were the “same” as the feeling expressed in this particular article.

Me: I’d rather not get into a back and forth with family. Experience tells me that will most probably lead to unpleasant results.
However, I have written much on many topics — probably including this topic — over the years on my blog and I invite you to take a look at my thinking — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Go to
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/ and click starting with “WHY I WRITE” on the top menu, and then shop around using the CATEGORIES drop down.
Love you guys.

Response 3: We love you too Don.

Response 4: I think I may need more direction to find the blog articles that express concern about Obama having the desire and opportunity to bypass the democratic system and fundamentally change America’s system of government

Response 5: I see a lot of interesting topics. And read several, but they aren’t answering my question. And I am genuinely curious. The support for Trump is unfathomable to me, and yet I see that several people I care for (including you) seem to be not only unconcerned but actually excited about his administration. I would like to have a better understanding of it, without the inflammatory rhetoric that infects every news outlet and social media venue I’ve seen recently

Me: Thanks … you’ll forgive me I hope for being a bit gun shy. I’ve been called just about every name in the book over the years emanating fundamentally from my motivations in WHY I WRITE on my blog.
You’ve given me opportunity to review and reflect. I’ve written much, and I’ll try to put together a response, but it may not be “hot of the press” so relax and put your feet up. Perhaps you’ll see another essay trying to answer such a question as yours.
Thanks again

Response 6: That would be fantastic. Thank you!

And I completely understand gun shy. There are a lot more assumptions than questions going around these days.

__________________

My comments to the questions

Is what we’re witnessing in the US a slow-motion downhill slide into a coup?
This question posed at the link above is aimed at President Donald Trump. But from what I’ve seen since the election, and especially noticeable since the inauguration, if anything, would point that question directly back to the progressive left.

The failed electoral recount effort – the denouncement of the Constitutional Electoral College voting method – riots in the streets of Washington on inauguration day – demonstrations around the country – Congressional (Democrat) boycott of the inauguration – immediate congressional (Democrat) announcement of total resistance to Trump in the Congress – Soros funded(?) spontaneous demonstrations at airports –Soros manipulation(?) of some 56 abortion advocacy groups promoting the Women’s March – riots and shutdown of free speech at UC Berkley – the immediate calls for impeachment – assertions that the new President is mentally ill – accusations and insinuations that Trump is planning a coup – visual insinuation of assassination as on the cover of a recent Irish magazine … and more it seems daily.

I’ve lived through the 60s and remember the chaos then. I remember the hatred hurled against Ronald Reagan. I remember the hatred hurled against George W. Bush. Today’s chaos has the feeling of being much more sinister, and potentially more dangerous than those in the past, and gets me to the quote from John Adams, our second president.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other … “ John Adams.

What we have now, in addition to political chaos, is a frightening moral decline which I have witnessed over my lifetime. Prior to the 2016 election, and with both candidates, I felt we had indeed arrived at that time of which Adams (and others of his contemporaries) wrote – a time of an immoral and irreligious people. Are we as a people at such a place? I recently wrote of scraping the bottom of the barrel with both candidates and lamented the prospect of, for the first time in my electoral life, truly having to vote for the lesser of two evils.  I’m convinced had Hillary Clinton been elected, we would indeed have accelerated further down that path and the nation would suffer from her deep corruption. But Donald Trump is now President. Have we received a reprieve and course correction with his election? I hope so, and judging from the people he has surrounded himself with I have hope. But that hope is tempered, not only by the flaws of this man now our President, but by a nation and its people who, for example, have allowed our federal government to dictate and enforce a so called “gender fluidity” which obliterates known and obvious genetic, anatomical, biological and cultural differences between boys and girls – men and women. This cannot end well with this and future generations. It is this sort of law making and regulation dictates that renders our Constitution “wholly inadequate.”

_____

I’ve written and posted some 550+ articles over the past decade, and it would be quite a daunting task to search through them in order to summarize and condense these thoughts in some meaningful and readable form. Thus what I have done below is to cherry pick some which might have bearing on the questions posed above. I ask the reader to read articles of interest and judge for yourself as to the applicability and validity of what I wrote at the time. In most cases you will probably find areas of agreement and disagreement, and areas where I’ve flat out got it wrong.  But don’t expect responses – I wrote what I wrote at the time, and I wrote what I believed at the time.

So here are some of those posts … have fun.

But before you go on, let me address the issue of mental health along with two of the serious problems that Barack Obama has left for this and future generations.

The first problem is the apparent green light given to Iran to develop deliverable nuclear weapons. This may not happen in the immediate future, but according to it’s many critics, the nuclear deal  will end some years out – 8 to 10 as I recall, at which time Iran is freed up to continue its now supposedly suspended  nuclear development. Iran as you may have noticed is busy right now in developing ballistic missiles on which at some point in the future will house nuclear weapons.

So let’s connect a few dots here – some very big dots,on the order of a full moon on a dark night.

First dot … Iran’s long standing threat to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth along with it’s millions of Jews. An attempted completion of Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Second dot … Iran has been (an most probably still is) actively developing its nuclear weapons production capability.

Third dot … Iran is currently developing and testing its ballistic missile capability – as recently as a few days ago from when I wrote these words.

Dot connection (a logical conclusion) …  Nuclear armed missiles headed for the cities of Israel. 

Does allowing this to come to fruition on the part of the US and other Western nations  seem like a sane thing to do? I would rather describe it as insanity – and Donald Trump was not even involved in this, so who has the mental problems here?

The second problem is the so called “gender fluidity” that is the latest and last of Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.”  Under the bully pulpit advocacy of Obama, and actual legal actions requiring “gender fluid” sharing of restrooms and locker rooms, our federal government is attempting to rewrite biology, anatomy, physiology, genetics and human culture from one end to the other – from children to marriage. This is called “science denial” and is at the expense of children, teenagers,  families and the very fabric of American cultural life.

In the context of the mental health of Presidents, this is insanity. 

As for being excited about the Trump administration, I would rather phrase it as hopeful. Yes the man is loud, insulting, crude and boisterous, even narcissistic (as is Barack Obama).

But from what I’ve seen recently of the man,  the picture I’m hopefully beginning to see that perhaps best illustrates my hope is the story of Image result for the thieves on the cross with jesus

the two thieves hanging on crosses along with Jesus.

Both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming Him, as did many of the spectators, and both were guilty. One of the thieves responded in faith to the message of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond in faith and is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

In the context of the transgressions of Donald Trump in this 2016 presidential election, and the continual bombardment of those transgressions, I am reminded that Donald Trump is the one on his cross who has acknowledged his transgressions and has apologized for them.  His enemies on their crosses continue with no repentance of their transgressions, and hypocritical mocking of the one on the other cross.

I haven’t seen any direct evidence, but I won’t be surprised if I later find out that the very flawed Donald Trump turns out to be a Born Again Christian. Many Biblical examples here such as David.

How high is your moral bar?

A good place to learn and reflect is at the Ten Commandments.

And speaking of excitement … yes I was excited when I saw Mike Spence being sworn in with his hand on the Bible at 2 Chronicles 7:14 —

”if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

This was a cause for hope.

 

So now finally I will turn you loose on my thinking.

_____

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/election-2016-the-possibilities-are-bizarre-and-frightening/
Donald Trump
, along with Bernie Sanders, is a direct backlash against what many see as the massive corruption and failures of the Federal Government, and in particular President Barack Hussein Obama.  Trump has masterfully capitalized on this backlash and his popularity and poll numbers have dominated for many months.

However, in my view, Trump is much the same as Obama but expressed in a very much contrasting fashion. Obama is smooth cool and collected in his demeanor and public persona whereas Trump is bombastic and confrontational.

Even with these outward personality differences, both come across as narcissistic, self-centered and egotistical. Both prefer the one-man-rule mode of governance at the expense of the long successful limited form of government, i.e the Constitutional federalist model —  “We the People … “

As to Hillary and National Security
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/loose-lips-sink-ships/

My warning of the possibility of dictatorship on the horizon.
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/preparing-for-dictatorship-questions-for-the-younger-generations/#comments

Presidential honesty and integrity.
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/famous-presidential-lies-contest/

The following is a response I made to reader comment on the above post.

o Dear Lie,
There are a couple of ’emotions’ towards President Obama that I would plead guilty to, but hate is not one of them.

Very early in his presidency, I was talking with an old friend (a lifelong Democrat) about Obama and I told her that I fear him. I feared him at the time because I feared the harm and damage he might bring to the country and to future generations. I feared him because of his almost complete lack of experience in anything of consequence. I feared him because of his radical associations with such as Bill Ayers, a unrepentant radical member/founder of the group WEATHER UNDERGROUND who actually set off bombs in various places. Bill Ayers, that man who recently told a group of Marxist Wall Street Occupiers yesterday: “I Get Up Every Morning And Think… Today I’m Going To End Capitalism” I feared him because of his radical very close 20 year association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and then when questioned about Wright’s radical teachings, Obama abandoned him and claimed no knowledge of what Wright was teaching. There’s more … such as his upbringing by his very leftist mother and grandparents (perhaps Communists), and his association with Frank Marshall Davis, a no-kidding card carrying Communist. I don’t take such associations with Communists lightly – Communism is responsible for on the order of 100 million people in the 20th century, and the enslavement of many more. Little of this was reported by the main stream media, but was known by those who dug deeper – people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. So we elected a President with very little vetting by the media who instead largely fawned over the man.

These years later I see the actual harm and damage that I feared just 6 years prior. A very damaged economy with record numbers of capable people unable to find work (especially the young people) … record numbers of people on government dependency of some sort. I see a health care ‘reform’ law that is severely damaging the health care system as well as undermining the health care insurance industry. I see 6+ million insurance policy holders who were promised the ” … if you like your plan you can keep it. PERIOD.” ” … if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. PERIOD.” Some 6,000,000+ cancelation later we see that is not the case at all. We were promised an average $2,500 per capita reduction in health care costs and are now hearing of more and more cases of rates and deductible going up … some dramatically.

I see a nation divided along class and racial lines that I’ve not seen since the 1960s and 1970s and the days of Bill Ayers … and I see this division as a key element in a successful re-election campaign.

I see our status and influence in the world shrinking in what appears to be a collapse of our foreign policy … the region from Northwestern Africa to Pakistan is more explosive and dangerous than I can ever remember, and I see an alarming array of military (nuclear) power filling the vacuum left behind as America retreats from the region.

I still fear the man, but now these 6 years later that fear has also taken on the color of disgust … disgust at his record as president and disgust at his lack of character and integrity.

A few years back Glenn Beck published a book “Being George Washington” In this book, Beck emphasized the character and integrity of our first president, and implored us to find ways to emulate that character and integrity – ways that each of us can “be George Washington.” Is that to much to ask of one who seeks or holds that very same office?

So I plead “not guilty” to hate, but “guilty” to fear and disgust.

But I do thank you for your comments.

On why Presidential trust is vital.
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/presidential-trust/

On immigration and assimilation
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/immigration-assimilation-a-hungarian-model-2/

Of related note:
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/islamjihad-and-the-ten-commandments/

Regarding Israel:
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/cry-havoc-and-let-slip-the-dogs-of-war/

People and books that have influenced my thinking – an example (of many)
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/two-book-reports-part-1-exceptional-by-dick-and-liz-cheney/

My views on American Exceptionalism – references yet another influential book
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/american-exceptionalism-part-2-so-what-why-does-it-matter/

And here is that book.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/miracle-of-freedom-chris-stewart/1101126471#productInfoTabs

My only comment (I think) about Bernie Sanders.
https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/the-irony-of-bernie-and-seattle/

Best regards, and I do wish us all well.

Don Johnson – February 2017

How can taking the life of an innocent human being be Constitutional?

For years I have asked the question “How can taking the life of an innocent human being be Constitutional?”

Consider:
— the target of the abortion is alive, as a distinct entity, from conception and has never been anything but alive.

— the target of the abortion is a human being and has never been anything else. He or she has never been a worm, a bird, a cabbage, a monkey, a fish or any other life form other than a human being.

— the target of the abortion, never having entered into the human society, is as innocent as can be imagined.

— the abortion does indeed take this life.

Constitutionally:

— this life has been taken without “due process of law” as required by the US Constitution.

— the presumption of innocence, Constitutionally granted in criminal cases, is denied to the object of abortion.

— legal representation is denied to the object of abortion as is the right to confront the accuser.

— presentation of legal charges and a jury trial of peers is denied to the object of abortion.

Again I ask “How can the taking the life of an innocent human being be Constitutional?”

 

Don Johnson – January 2017

Challenging Darwinian Evolution

Some of the fundamentals of Darwinian Evolution, as I understand it are:

  • The complexities of life we see all around us, and within us are assembled from the bottom up in a Natural Selection process which chooses beneficial mutations among a long series of such changes, while allowing less beneficial changes to wither away, or perhaps allowed to remain as flotsam or “junk.”
  • The resulting “designs” we see from such a process are merely illusions, the appearance of design … not actual design as we see in all of the human artifacts we dwell among such as the automobile and computers.
  • Evolution is said to be without purpose, without direction and without goals. What we may see as purpose, direction and goals are simply the result of the workings of natural processes – simply illusions of and the appearance of design,

So then why do we see purpose, direction and goals at every level of life – from the cellular level, to the systems level to the completed body plan?

We see purpose in the various machines and structures within each of several trillion cells in our bodies. We see the Kinesin motor transporting cargo from one place on the cell to another. We see the marvel of DNA which, coupled with other cellular components, represents not only a massive mass storage capability, but also represents a type of blueprint package defining all aspects of the end product body. This DNA package also contains what can be described as a complete set of “shop travelers” which, much like a manufacturing process, provides step by step instructions and bills of materials for the manufacture of the myriad parts making up the completed human body – bones, hair, brain, liver, eye, nose … and more.

And each of these subunits exhibits purpose — specific purpose.  What is finally assembled as an arm and hand for example, takes on a myriad of functional purposes such as accurately throwing a baseball, playing a musical instrument such as a violin and cradling a new born baby. Each of our vital organs play specific and necessary roles in keeping our body alive and functioning – there are goals and purpose expressed in each and every one of our body parts.

What we see and experience in the finished goal directed and purposeful human body is beautifully expressed in many ways, such as when we witness a magnificent choral and orchestral performance such as Handel’s Messiah. What we experience in that concert hall is not an illusion — it is real and is the culmination of a multitude of designs, both in the natural as well as the realm of human intelligence and ingenuity.        

The “Not-So-Intelligent Designer”

HaandlesMessiah

This post contains comments I’ve made on a book written and promoted for school teachers that mocks features of the human body that the author considers to proof-examples of  why Darwinian evolution proves life arose through a long series of Natural Selection of random mutations.

(Click on the images for more.)

_________________

I must beg to differ on Dr. Hafers and Glenn Branch’s view of this so called “Not-so-Intelligent Designer.” (Click on the link just to the left to learn more about this book .)

What she sees as “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” many see as an elegant and quite magnificent design with an amazing and far ranging menu of capabilities. Let me suggest an exercise that the doctor, Mr. Branch and others can easily accomplish, and I believe you may see my point.

Take an evening out and partake in one of those wonderful choral and orchestra performances taking place all around the world at any given time – I would recommend Handel’s Messiah for this exercise.

As you are watching and listing to this amazing musical performance I would like you to notice and watch a number of things very carefully.

First the hands – the hands and body motions of the conductor, as well as his facial expressions and body movements as he leads the choir and orchestra through this magnificent musical piece.

Continuing with the hands — watch the hands, and in particular the fingers of the orchestra members as they travel across the various instruments – the sting section, the brass section, the woodwinds — the piano. Watch carefully as their hands precisely match the direction given by the conductor. Watch as the fingers subtly, and at times strongly tease the music from their instruments.

And note the various musical instruments — envisioned, designed and created by many beautifully designed and created hands and fingers.

Next the choral voices – listen as these beautiful voices blend together perfectly with the orchestra, and watch the faces and mouths as they blend perfectly with the hands of the conductor and with the orchestra.

Next listen and pay attention to your own reaction as message of the words and music bring excitement and inspiration into your heart and soul.

As you leave the concert hall, take time to look at the building and its architecture and artistry. Again, the hands, arms, legs and mind of those artisans designed those arches, paintings and sculptures you admire so much.

And when you get back home in bed, ponder over the creation of the musical score of the “Messiah.” Imagine Handel hovering over his desk and the paper taking on lines and musical symbols – and words. Imagine him going back and forth over that manuscript as he goes to and from the scriptures that are inspiring him. Imagine the music that is building inside his head as he creates this masterpiece.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

 

2016-27-6--15-36-40

Next I would suggest a couple of sporting events for Dr. Hafers and Glenn Branch.

First to a major league baseball game where they can witness the flawless execution of a double play. Beginning with the pitcher placing the ball across home plate at 90+ mph. We then see the batter follow that fast moving and curving baseball with his eyes, calculating where it will be as it passes into the strike zone where he can then attempt to hit it with his well hand/eye coordinated swing. Then we see the shortstop field the fast moving ball after anticipating and calculating where it will enter his glove. He then shovels it off to the second baseman who tags the runner out while leaping over the runner, and then a quick and precise throw to the first baseman who steps on first base for the second out of the double play.

Next we go to an NBA basketball game where we witness the continual back and forth of finely tuned, trained and coordinated athletes showcasing example after example of what these well designed machines are capable of.

Next we are off to an NFL football game where we witness precision in the well designed human body of a quarterback throwing the football with precise accuracy to a fast moving and maneuvering receiver who stretches his body out to execute a fingertip catch as he passes the goal line for a touchdown.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

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Next we travel into the applied biological science of medicine and medical research and invite teachers and Mr. Branch to read and study the extensive articles that a Dr. Howard Glicksman has compiled on the intricacies and design of many aspects of the human body. We see this compilation of science reporting at http://www.evolutionnews.org/continuing_seri/the_designed_bo/ This series contains at least a half dozen articles on blood pressure alone, and how it is controlled within the human body.
Note that this science reporting by Dr. Glicksman is seen in the Discovery Institute web site
http://www.evolutionnews.org – an ID site – and not on the pages of the National Center for Science Education. I have been following the NCSE site as well as the Discovery site and others for years now, and what I find is that good science reporting like I describe above is found often and on a regular basis there, whereas seldom – approaching never – is an any science reported by NCSE. I find that very interesting and troubling, and thus would offer a caution to teachers to view NCSE with a great deal of skepticism, and especially this book which is little more than a hit piece on those of us who differ with the Atheistic stance and mission of NCSE.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

Don Johnson – August 2016

Ben Franklin’s ‘Apology for Printers’

Benjamin Franklin as a printer’s apprentice in a wood cut circa 1840. Photo: Alamy

Notable & Quotable: Ben Franklin’s ‘Apology for Printers’

‘When Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.’

From Benjamin Franklin’s “Apology for Printers” in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1731:

Printers are educated in the Belief that when Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter. Hence they cheerfully serve all contending Writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the Question in Dispute. . . .

It is likewise as unreasonable what some assert, That Printers ought not to print anything but what they approve, since if all of that Business should make such a Resolution, and abide by it, an End would thereby be put to Free Writing, and the World would afterwards have nothing to read but what happen’d to be the Opinions of Printers.

Don Johnson – June 2016

In Natural Disasters, Companies Operate Like Neighbors

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Corporate America often takes a beating from the American Progressive left. Off the top of my head I would pick three “greedy” entities regularly vilified as the source of many if not most of America’s economic woes:

  • Banks
  • Oil companies
  • Wall Mart

A good response is the following article from the Wall Street Journal. It’s behind a pay wall, but I will include here some snippets from  the article — In Natural Disasters, Companies Operate Like Neighbors:

When one thinks of progressives’ long list of capitalist villains, the oil industry is probably near the top. It stands accused of the worst forms of self-interested and antisocial behavior, exploiting workers and consumers alike. What tells a different story is how oil companies behaved during a major natural disaster affecting their employees and customers.

For much of May, a huge forest fire devastated the town of Fort McMurray and more than a million acres of land in the Canadian province of Alberta. It chased more than 60,000 people from their homes and destroyed large parts of the city. Horrific videos show people escaping through walls of flame.

. . . . .

Tristin Hopper of the National Post gathered the figures: The oil companies provided free food and shelter to over 25,000 people. When the fires cut off easy road access to the small community of Fort McKay First Nation, Brion Energy began trucking in perishable foods daily. Imperial Oil   donated 20,000 liters of gasoline to the relief efforts and Shell Albian Aerodrome rounded up evacuees on buses and, along with Suncor’s Firebag Aerodrome, evacuated over 7,000 people on company-chartered commercial jets using their private airstrips. “Alberta’s oil producers,” Mr. Hopper wrote, “effectively turned themselves into multimillion-dollar humanitarian organizations at the drop of a hat.”

. . . . .

And moving down to the USA and back a little in time we revisit hurricane Katrina:

That shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows what Wal-Mart did after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. The company shipped thousands of trucks of water and other supplies into the area, well ahead of the lethargic Federal Emergency Management Agency. It even beat the Red Cross in many areas. The firm reopened most of its stores within 10 days. Wal-Mart also guaranteed employment at other stores for any of its workers who were forced to abandon their homes and jobs along the coast.

Wal-Mart’s response received praise from numerous local officials. The mayor of the New Orleans suburb of Kenner said that the company had prevented his community from completely collapsing: “The only lifeline in Kenner was the Wal-Mart stores. We didn’t have looting on a mass scale because Wal-Mart showed up with food and water so our people could survive.”

It wasn’t the only company that pitched in: Marriott provided its displaced workers with cash, rooms and food at hotels in other cities. McDonald’s  gave free food to first responders and told its emergency management vice president that he could assume an unlimited budget for tracking down employees and making sure they were safe. Other smaller disasters since Katrina tell similar stories.

The article concludes in Canada with the following:

Many Albertans, as they return to their homes now that the fires have subsided, are glad today that they lived near those supposedly evil oil companies.

 

Don Johnson – June 2016

 

Is America recoverable?

Sent from a friend:

From the Epilogue of Ed Kline’s book “Unlikeable”
“Has American culture become gross, coarse,vulgar?” writes author Stan Latreille, expressing the feelings of perhaps a majority of Americans, or at least a majority of those over the age of forty. “If I say yes, I no doubt will be dismissed as an old fogey. Well, I do say yes, so there. And if you disagree, I say you are blind, deaf, zoned out or just plain stupid.” Examples of the coarsening of America abound.

  • Kim Kardashian is celebrated for balancing a champagne glass on her rear end.
  • Bruce Jenner, once the picture of masculinity, is canonized for being castrated.
  • Summer’s Eve feminine- care company runs a video on its website and YouTube showing a talking vagina. And Americans themselves seem coarser, grosser than previous generations.
  • The average American woman now weighs the same as the average American man did in the 1960s.
  • Tattoos— once limited to sailors and members of biker gangs— now disfigure more than a third of all Americans under the age of thirty. Nearly a third of those under thirty have a body piercing someplace other than the lobe of their ears.
  • Within living memory, men wore ties to baseball games; today many people dress, even at work, as if in imitation of Shaggy from Scooby- Doo .

According to a study from professors at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the Thunderbird School of Global Management, employees are now twice as likely to experience rude behavior at an office as they were in 1998. Conservatives have every reason to be alarmed by the decline in American appearance and behavior, manners and morals. Along with the Roman orator Cicero, we say, “ O tempora, o mores ,” which translates to “Alas the times, and the manners.” “I am glad that I’m not raising kids today,” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told New York magazine. “One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie— or watch a television show for that matter— without hearing the constant use of the F- word— including, you know, ladies using it.” Fifteen years ago, Jacques Barzun, the brilliant conservative cultural critic and historian, wrote a book titled From Dawn to Decadence in which he lamented the direction in which our culture was headed. The cruel, perverse and obscene [is] more and more taken for granted as natural and normal. . . . The attack on authority, the ridicule on anything established, the distortions of language and objects, the indifference to clear meaning, the violence to the human form, the return to the primitive elements of sensation, the growing lists of genres called “Antis” . . . have made Modernism at once the mirror of disintegration and an incitement to extending it. Things have gone downhill since then. Conservatives rightly fear that decadence will lead to the fall of the United States just as surely as it led to the fall of Rome. Meanwhile, the chasm between conservatives and liberals grows wider by the day. We live in a house divided. This profound difference between people on the Right and Left will have to be managed with diligence if our country is not to fragment and fall apart. Great leadership will be required. This, not income inequality, is the moral issue of our time.

 

Don Johnson – June 2016