The problem with science

One of them, anyhow, is with its definition. Scott Adams accurately pokes the concept of falsifiability with a sharp stick:

Infotainment questions for the day:

1. Do we have the technology to seed that planet with life?

2. How do we know the Gliese 581 Csians didn’t seed life on Earth?

It seems to me that we now have a falsifiable hypothesis for Intelligent Design on Earth. My hypothesis is that it came from Gliese 581 C. I call that science. We should teach it in schools.

1. Assuming we can hit something that far away, yes.

2. We don’t, actually, but it will certainly be amusing to ask Richard Dawkins to explain why he is sure it almost certainly didn’t happen thanks to Natural Selection multiplied by a whole lot of time.

Here’s the hint

This is the bit from Quicksilver, the first novel in Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, that got me thinking about the way in which the clash between the New Atheists and evangelical Christians is a continuation of the fundamental dichotomy between the worldview of Leibniz and the worldview of Newton:

“Rude and stupid, I know, but it is my duty to make conversation. You are saying it should be the goal of all Natural Philosophers to restore peace and harmony to the world of men. This I cannot dispute.”

The above quote is Daniel Waterhouse speaking to Leibniz.

Careless conflation

Justin doesn’t understand the difference between morality and legality, or between the personal and the political:

After a week or two of browsing, it doesn’t appear Vox has any understanding of Libertarian political philosophy whatsoever–and neither do the people who are commenting.

Then you need to read a lot more, Justin, and a lot more carefully, because your assertion is demonstrably ludicrous. You’re confusing two things, one individual’s opinion on various, mostly non-political matters and advocacy of the full force of government-imposed law. No matter how deeply you search the archives, I’ll bet you can’t find more than three things that I have advocated that contradict the Libertarian political philosophy, and I have previously made the case for all three of those things being more properly libertarian than the Libertarian position.

As someone else has already pointed out, Confucius was significantly more influential in Chinese culture than Lao Tzu. This should be rather obvious, as only Russia and Japan have cultural traditions less respectful of the individual than China. It’s like complaining that I left out Solzhenitsyn and only took Lenin’s philosophy into account when writing about the Soviet Union.

Justin’s quixotic assertion reminds me of the Libertarian Politics radio guy who is supporting Giuliani for the presidency. It’s almost hard to respond to them because you’re so occupied with wondering precisely what planet they happen to be orbiting.

UPDATE – Out of curiousity, specifically which parts of the Libertarian political philosophy am I missing, Justin? I mean, I can completely understand how my total opposition to NAFTA could be honestly misconstrued as favoring government intervention in the economy, but I’ve been pretty specific regarding why I think a few of the Libertarian stances are demonstrably anti-libertarian.