Here’s your proof of Evolution (or not?) Mr. Lunney

Dear Honourable Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni James Lunney,

On Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 you stood in Parliament and said this:

Mr. Speaker, recently we saw an attempt to ridicule the presumed beliefs of a member of this House and the belief of millions of Canadians in a Creator. Certain individuals in the media and the scientific community have exposed their own arrogance and intolerance of beliefs contrary to their own.

Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science. For science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since origins can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of hypothesis.

In science, it is perfectly acceptable to make assumptions when we do not have all the facts, but it is never acceptable to forget our assumptions.

Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, such as, advanced models of plate tectonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions.

The evolutionist may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point. The evolutionist may genuinely see his ancestor in a monkey, but many modern scientists interpret the same evidence in favour of creation and a Creator.

Now since you state that “the foundations of science” are established through the “study of things ovbservable and reproducible”… I would point you to this most recent study of Chimpanzees published in the journal PLoS One.

In this study, the scientist found the following:

“By sharing [meat], the males increase the number of times they mate, and the females increase their intake of calories,” said Dr Gomes.

“What’s amazing is that if a male shares with a particular female, he doubles the number of times he copulates with her, which is likely to increase the probability of fertilising that female.”

That’s right, whether it’s in the jungles of Africa or the Downtown East Side of Vancouver, you’ll always be able to pick out the Johns.

She suggests this study could lay the foundations for human studies exploring the link between “good hunting skills and reproductive success”.

“This has got me really interested in humans,” she said. “I’m thinking of moving on to working with hunter-gatherers.”

Does she mean monkey pimps?

An excellent perspective on Obama, from Russia.

I have the Moscow Times in my RSS feeds because it is one rare example of an excellent english newspaper from a decidedly non-western perspective.

Is Obama or McCain Better for Russia?

If Barack Obama is elected U.S. president on Tuesday, he will join President Dmitry Medvedev in becoming the first post-baby boom leader of his country. Both men were born in the 1960s — well after the tumultuous post- World War II decade, when the United States and Soviet Union were preoccupied with nuclear arms races and a deep divide in Europe.

Their early careers show how different they are from their immediate predecessors, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Although Bush did not go to Vietnam, his young life — through his time in the Texas National Guard — was shaped by that proxy struggle between the superpowers. And Putin, who served in the KGB in a small town in Germany, was on the front lines of the Cold War.

Obama, by contrast, spent the 1980s working in the neighborhoods of Chicago — a different kind of battleground, formed in the race riots of the ’60s and ’70s. By the time Obama began his work, the violent struggle had abated but the problems had not, and his work was vital to developing new ideas that stressed not so much race as community solutions. This is one of the reasons that Obama can lay claim to being the United States’ first post-racial leader.

Medvedev, for his part, spent the 1980s learning the lawyer’s craft in Leningrad. By the time that city became St. Petersburg again, his career had been formed by studying and teaching law rather than climbing through the Communist Party hierarchy. Although Russian law is different from the Anglo-Saxon tradition, it still formed an intellectual system different from the Party’s nomenklatura ladder. For that reason, Medvedev can lay claim to being Russia’s first post-Communist leader.

Therefore, Obama and Medvedev have the potential to start a truly modern phase in the U.S.-Russian relationship, finally leaving the Cold War behind. This will not be easy, as the summer’s tragic conflict in Georgia showed. In the aftermath of the fighting, voices could be heard in Washington, claiming that Russia is an untrustworthy, violent adversary and needs to be contained.

In Moscow, the voices were equally loud, proclaiming that the United States was trying to cling to its status of global gendarme, including in Russia’s backyard. The bombers and naval ships that the Kremlin sent to Venezuela were supposed to convey that Russia would respond in the United States’ backyard if the United States persisted in supporting Georgia and Ukraine.

Obama and Medvedev would do well early in their relationship to make some policy decisions that would sharply break with Cold War patterns. For example, although Obama would not have assumed command of the U.S. military when Russia’s naval flotilla completes its exercises off Venezuela in mid-November, he could suggest that the Pentagon invite the Russian commanders to stop off at Central Command in Florida before their return to Russia. The purpose of the stop would be to discuss urgent issues that are engaging both navies, such as the piracy that is running rampant off Somalia.

And Medvedev, although he would have to push back against Kremlin hard-liners, could recommend that Moscow and Washington have some urgent issues to work on together with Tbilisi. Smuggling through South Ossetia has been a persistent problem, and it has at times involved that most dangerous of contraband — fissile material that could be used to make nuclear bombs. Both Georgia and Russia have cooperated with the United States to build defenses against nuclear smuggling, and all three could cooperate to confront this terrible problem.

These two examples show clearly what must be done to get beyond the Cold War. They convey that Russia and the United States can cooperate rather than compete, even in their own backyards. Since Obama and Medvedev are so clearly of a new generation, they are the leaders who may finally succeed in breaking the old patterns.

Higher Education targetted in Iraq Civil War

This is courtesy of Treasure of Baghdad.

Civil war in Iraq has reached its peak. Everyday a new aspect of life dies.

After the U.S.-led occupation to Iraq, education deteriorated form its steady situation where students and professors were able to exchange knowledge despite the oppression of the former regime and the U.S.-U.N. sanctions against the Iraqi people.

Last week, a friend of mine told me that the former chair of the English Department in my university in Baghdad fled to northern Iraq. She told me he became miserable after armed men kidnapped his son, beheaded him and sent his head in a box.

In today’s edition, Azzaman newspaper reported that an “unknown group distributed leaflets to university students in Adhamiya and Yarmouk neighborhoods banning them from going to schools.” The paper added that the same group “excluded the elementary and high school students” from this campaign and “promised not to hurt them.”

….

A university professor who spoke to Azzaman on condition of anonymity said he was shocked when he saw one of the leaflets at the footstep of his house. He said fear haunted him and made him decide not to go to school fearing these groups’ threats.

….

The Higher education ministry sources did not comment on most of these incidents, Azzaman said. The source didn’t say much but told the paper that the “government promised to increase the security measures in the universities and institutes.”

I’m sure whatever the Iraq Study Group has to say tomorrow will fix Iraq right up.

and if it doesn’t, I’m sure some of Instapundits’ readers will have the solution.

At Posse Incitatus, a suggestion that we change our approach:
The key is a regional solution. We cannot wall off Iraq from the nations around it, nor should we wish to. Instead, we should be exporting Iraq to the rest of the region. This having been said, it has long been clear that the US plays by one set of rules, and its rivals use a far more effective and different set.
This needs to change.

Or maybe this!

Texas Scribbler writes:

As for Syria, why not financially undermine Baby Assad the same way we do the mullahs, in fact the whole Syrian Bathhist elite? We certainly have the means, and with Iraq drawn down to a 30,000 or so ground troop advisory effort, we’d again have the forces for outright war with Syria. The terrain there is very inviting.

How can people be this…. disconnected.. from reality.

Lost at Sea… for 9 months

Here is an amazing story from the BBC today.

3 Fisherman were picked up near the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific last week. They had been drifting in a 25ft boat for 9 Months!!

They were fishing off of the Mexican coast.. their engines broke down… and so they drifted.

They lived off rain water, and raw birds and fish. Lucky for them they had rain to drink, most people lost at sea die of dehydration. The most ironic of deaths…

Their boat must have had a covered area as well or they would have surely died of exposure/sunstroke or the like.

An Amazing story, some people are touched.

Meanwhile in Iran….

In case you forgot or have been smothered by MSM coverage of the Israel/Lebanon conflict…

Iran took another step towards becoming another footnote in the transformation from the old to the “new Middle East”.

Today, the UN Security Council issued a resolution setting a deadline of one month for Iran to stop all nuclear enrichment work or face the possibility of economic sanctions.

Resolution 1696 is not yet on the UNSC website but it should be here soon.

According to the BBC it mentions Chapter 7, which is the key to beginning the process of sanctions and… eventually, military action.

So here’s the interesting part.

The reason the Resolution has been passed is because Iran never responded to the offer the UN made to it regarding incentives and whatnot to have it stop enrichment of Uranium. The Iranians were supposed to respond by the end of July.

Iran was then refferred to the UNSC on July 12.

What else happened on July 12?

Hezbollah fighters based in southern Lebanon launch Katyusha rockets across the border with Israel, targeting the town of Shlomi and outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.
In a cross-border raid, guerrillas seize two Israeli soldiers before retreating back into Lebanon, insisting on a prisoner exchange and warning against confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes the capture of the soldiers as “an act of war”.

We all know that Hezbollah = Syria/Iran foreign policy

We all know that Israel = US foreign policy

So is what we are seeing right now between Israel and Hezbollah really the first shots of the war between the US and Syria/Iran?

I’d say, at this point… the answer is much closer to being “yes” than no.

The United States is playing along with the UN route as Israel “softens up” the target in Lebanon and uses the opportunity to perhaps gain some more concrete Military Intelligence on the Syrian and Iranian sides.

Along the same lines, if Hezbollah really is an Iranian mouthpeice, then we have seen the Iranian regimes reaction to it’s referral to the UNSC. No doubt Israels response was a little more than they bargained for, but they seem to be holding their own anyway.

(Statements like “the best Arab troops we’ve ever faced” does not bode well for the US for an ground attack on Iran or Syria considering Hezbollah are all trained in those two countries.)

Iran has said they will respond to the package of incentives originally offered in June by August 22nd. The new resolution by the UN gives a deadline of August 31 for the Iranians to stop all enrichment work and comply with inspections.

I don’t expect all this talk of “lasting solutions” by Rice and Bush and Blair and company to lead anywhere before those two dates. In the meantime, more Lebanese civilians will die… as will Israeli civilians (though on a scale an order of magnitude smaller… and in much smaller proportion to Israeli military deaths)