Category Archives: Politics

Can Government Be an Intelligent Designer?

From time to time we write about how evolution and free enterprise are in conflict with intelligent design and socialism. It always enrages some of you, but a Curmudgeon expects that. For example, see Obamacare and Intelligent Design, which links to several earlier posts.

Well, dear reader, it’s a weekend and we need some entertainment, so today we’re doing it again. We found a great article by Gary M. Galles, a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. It’s titled The myth of intelligent (government) design, and it appears in Marianas Variety, a newspaper published in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. They have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A FEW years back, intelligent design was a red-hot controversy. It has cooled since, but it doesn’t take much to stir the embers. When British astronaut Tim Peak repeated his openness to an intelligently designed universe this year, he was attacked with rejuvenated enthusiasm. One Guardian story responded by quoting, among others, evolutionary biologist Matan Shelomi about problems with our eyes: “Who designed these faulty things? The answer can’t be a God, because a God so incompetent in designing vision sensors isn’t worth worshipping.”

That’s standard stuff criticizing intelligent design. Now the professor turns to politics and economics: He says:

What I find striking about such an “imperfection as proof against believing in something” standard is seldom applied to government, which affects us, and often assails us, every day. That is, why don’t we use that criterion in evaluating whether government is intelligently-enough designed to believe it will solve our human problems?

A centerpiece of calumny against intelligent design as science is that it is neither proven nor provable. However, is it proven or provable that government — whose only superior ability is in coercing others — advances Americans’ life, liberty, or happiness by its ubiquitous intrusion in our lives? Our founders certainly did not believe so. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution imply nothing of the sort. And our experience since has certainly been far from perfection. As a result, is there any reason to believe that government overriding ever more of our choices will give us better results?

After that he tells us:

Can we conclude that government policies and programs work so well, with each intricate part fitting together so seamlessly, that we should credit their designers with sufficient intelligence to trust still more decisions to them? And if not, why should we believe in demanding that government “do something” about every perceived problem, old or new, real or imaginary?

Why would we think that moving decisions to government will result in more intelligent arrangements? There is no way a government plan can replicate the market system’s integration and productive use of the vastly different and overlapping knowledge of each of its participants, coordinated without government central planners. Consequently, moving decisions to government throws away reams of valuable, detailed information that millions of individuals know, leading to less intelligent results.

This is pure gold! We’re not going to excerpt much more because we want you to click over there to read the whole thing. But we can’t leave out the final paragraph:

When you spend your own money, you don’t delegate crucial decisions to designers with extensive records of failure. They are not intelligent enough in the relevant ways to let them decide for you. But saying we need the government to do more — on no better evidence, as so many candidates in the midterm elections did — is no more sensible. Intelligent government design is not established, and the “faulty things” that American public servants create cannot possibly justify our faith in them.

Okay, dear reader, after you’re read it all, consider this: If you’re so certain that intelligent design is ghastly science — which it is — then why in the world do you want government to be the intelligent designer of our lives?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Election Day 2018 — Free Fire Zone

For those who live in the US, today is election day. Control of Congress is up for grabs, as well as many state governorships and legislatures. If you’ve been following the news — it’s rather impossible to avoid the subject — you’re aware of what’s going on.

Most of you know — and don’t like — your Curmudgeon’s political views. We stated them rather clearly in Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber?

We no longer have Democrats like John Kennedy or Republicans like Barry Goldwater. The parties have changed. In Open Letter to the Republican Party, #2, we discussed the rise of the “social conservatives” in the GOP, and said:

There was a time when the social conservatives were mostly Democrats. After they were “betrayed” by Johnson’s support for civil rights legislation, Nixon reached out to them and attracted them to the GOP (see Southern strategy). Barry Goldwater was appalled at what was happening. At one point he made a statement (regarding abortion and the nomination of a Supreme Court justice) that summed the whole situation up: “Every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.” See Conservative pioneer became an outcast. But Goldwater was ignored, and now the party is run by people he described as a “bunch of kooks,” (same link as above).

The migration of the “social conservatives” from the Democrat to the Republican party has left the Democrats free to move to the Left. As a result, in the race for almost every significant office, the choice seems to be between imitations of Elmer Gantry and Vladimir Lenin.

So now your Curmudgeon is going to vote. As we do, we dedicate this post to another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. You can talk about the elections or whatever else you like. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

Okay, we now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #909: Creationist for Kavanaugh

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois. It’s titled Smear campaign was a disgrace, and it doesn’t look like the newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Dan. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

The front page of The News-Gazette on Friday said “Law professors: Don’t confirm him.” Of course professors would say that about Brett Kavanaugh as the majority of them are Democrats with an agenda because of their belief in the ancient story of evolution [ancient?], which claims that there is no God who created us.

This letter is a nightmare! Then Dan says:

Their beliefs are not good for our country as they include pro-abortion, socialism, globalism, atheism, Marxism and evolutionism.

Aaaargh!! Some of Kavanaugh’s opponents may have had some of those motives, but what does evolution have to do with that other stuff? After that ark-load, Dan tells us:

It is a disgrace that the Democrats ignored the vital issues and used only a dirty smear campaign. They will use anything to destroy the reputation of anybody who is against their wicked agendas.

Well, yes, the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was disgraceful, but evolution had nothing to do with it. Our opinion of the ultimate problem can be found here: Spectral Evidence Legal Definition, and see also The Salem Witch Trials: A legal bibliography. Dan continues:

I am sure that the ones who used the dirty smear campaign could not survive such an attack against themselves.

That’s true. No one can refute spectral evidence. And now we come to the end:

Brett Kavanaugh will not try to change the constitution or abuse his power. This is the only reason for the smear campaign.

Nor is there anything in Kavanaugh’s record to suggest that he’ll he make any crazy rulings to outlaw evolution or impose creationism on anyone. But let’s not tell that to Dan. We wouldn’t want him to become more upset than he already is.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Editorial Supports Hambo on School Field Trips

We found a totally crazy editorial in the Tulsa Beacon, a weekly newspaper in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They don’t have a comments section. The editorial is titled Atheists target school field trips. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A group of atheists [Gasp!] is trying to prevent school children in Kentucky from visiting the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. They sent letters to some schools surrounding the museum with a warning that they shouldn’t take students on field trips there because all public school events should be “secular.” They want students to be taught that only the theory of evolution – that man evolved from ape-like creatures [Oh no!] – be taught and that schools have no Christian influence.

We recently wrote about the field trip controversy — see Hambo’s War on the Constitution. Hambo was complaining about a letter claiming that public school field trips to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum are unconstitutional violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. He insisted that separation of church and state is nonsense. Now he has support in Oklahoma. The editorial says:

They [the hell-bound atheists] ignore the U.S. Constitution, which allows students to explore differing viewpoints. [Huh?] Ken Ham, the CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, said children already get “evolutionary and atheistic indoctrination … five days a week for the whole school year.”

Then the editorial tells us:

The only way that a public school would violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution would be if teachers told students that this is the only true interpretation and that they must accept Jesus Christ. In other words, there is nothing wrong with a visit to the museum but it is an exceptional educational and cultural experience.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The teachers don’t need to say anything. Hambo’s museum and Ark replica make that claim for them. The editorial continues:

It is a parallel principle to the teaching of the Bible in public schools, which is completely constitutional even though school boards and administrators all over the nation forbid it.

Yes, it’s “completely” Constitutional. Let’s read on:

This is a bullying tactic by the secular humanists (atheists) who want students to be indoctrinated – not taught – only the “facts” that they adhere to.

Ooooooooooooh! Insisting that public schools should adhere to the Constitution is a “bullying tactic.” Why — Oh why — do they oppose theocracy?

Another excerpt:

The rate of Biblical illiteracy in America is getting worse. When the United States was founded, the Bible was the primary textbook. Our legal system is based on principles from the Bible.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See Is America a “Christian Nation”? And now we come to the end:

The field trips should continue unhindered.

Hambo must be thrilled to be supported by such a brilliant editorial. So let the buses roll!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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