Voxonomics 1-2

Last week’s podcast was well received, so we shall continue with the experiment. This week’s interview is with Peter Schiff. Download Voxonomics 1-2.

By the way, if anyone is feeling ambitious and wants to transcribe the podcasts, send me the transcripts and I’ll post them here. I don’t have the bandwidth at the moment, or, to be honest, the inclination.

The atheist dance

The Corner atheists concur. When godless atheists kill, it can’t possibly be their godlessness that’s to blame in any way. No matter how often they do it. No matter how reliably predictive the “atheist in power” model is:

I hit the trifecta — Mark K., John D., and Andrew S. all taking exception to my noting the Godless Red Chinese murdering Tibetans.

And on those occasion that atheist regimes murder specifically “in the name of atheism”, they are, of course, practicing a religion of atheism and are therefore No True Atheists. I love the way the New Atheists have been routed so thoroughly that atheists such as the Rational Response Squad and John Derbyshire are now openly claiming as atheists those who believe in reincarnation, evil spirits, astrology and a whole host of supernatural concepts. It’s a beautiful Fighting Withdrawal that abandons both the militant New Atheists and secular scientists with whom they previously identified.

In any event, Derbyshire gets it wrong. The Tibetan Buddhists are no atheists by any definition. “And although the original teachings of the Buddha do not mention a creator or other deities, Tibetan Buddhism embraces a vast pantheon of divinities. These supramundane beings derive from the intersection of many sources and influences, both native and external.

Shake it, baby.

The Vault

SI’s Vault is pretty slick. I vividly remember this playoff game and Bobby Bryant taking the blocked kick back for a touchdown.

The scoring in pro football games generally features spiraling passes from quarterbacks like Tarkenton to smooth-gaited receivers like White, but Allen won the game over the Rams as surely as Bud Grant is a duck hunter. He did it just when the Vikings were reeling back on their own one-inch line in the first quarter, shoved up against their funny old end-zone bleachers by the Rams. After a 54-yard drive, the visitors were lined up and ready to get at least three points for their efforts.

Suddenly, it wasn’t a Los Angeles field goal at all, it was a 7-0 Minnesota lead. The center’s snap to the Ram holder, Steve Preece, was true enough, and Tom Dempsey’s leg did reach the ball. The thing was, Dempsey’s leg got there at the same time as a purple-shirted blaze wearing No. 25.

The emotional case for "science"

A Mad Biologist sticks a philosophical gun to his forehead and splatters the room with what previously passed for his brain:

The other thing we evolutionary biologists don’t do enough of, and this stems from the previous point, is make an emotional and moral case for the study of evolution. Last night, I concluded my talk with a quote from Dover, PA creationist school board member William Buckingham, who declared, “Two thousand years ago someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?”

My response was, “In the last two minutes, someone died from a bacterial infection. We take a stand for him.”

The moral case for evolution? The EMOTIONAL and MORAL case for evolution? You can go ahead and write off TENS now, because what was once merely worthy of skepticism is rapidly approaching utter farce. With defenders like this, one need not even pay any attention to those openly attacking the theory, however credible or crazy they might be. So much for the claims to be objective science, this is most remniscent of Richard Dawkins’s howlingly ludicrous conclusion of his “unrebuttable” central argument of The God Delusion:

6. We should not give up hope of a better crane arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology. But even in the absence of a strongly satisfying crane to match the biological one, the relatively weak cranes we have at present are, when abetted by the anthropic principle, self-evidently better than the self-defeating skyhook hypothesis of an intelligent designer.

In summary, because Richard Dawkins believes we should not give up hope that something we do not currently know might possibly exist because we have some partial explanations for other things that we do know exist, we must therefore conclude that God does not exist. This is total logical incompetence on a grand scale, which the Mad Biologist approaches in abandoning all claims to the scientific method in order to make a moral case for the meaningless transition of one form of organic material into another. He might as reasonably assign color ex nihilo to the fate of the bacterially infected deceased as assign any meaning to it, let alone attempt to build a moral case for a “scientific” theory from it.

Needless to say, PZ Myers actually thinks both Dawkins’s and the Mad Biologist’s lines of “reason” are brilliant. It’s simply astonishing. And by all means, I should very much like to see these clueless fetishists attempt this line of biological evangelism, it should make for extraordinarily amusing blogfodder.

Reading Wrath

Flicka reviews The Wrath of Angels:

Theodore Beale describes himself as a writer of Christian Fantasy, and certainly The Wrath of Angels can fit into that category. I think that if you do not consider the Bible to be absolute truth then you will enjoy this tale as fantasy. But any student of God’s word will immediately recognize within the characters and story a comprehensive theology through which the doctrines of angels, sin and forgiveness are illuminated, fleshed out, and animated. And as such The Wrath of Angels is more Christianity-Imaginatively-Expressed than Christian Fantasy.

I enjoy Beale’s wonderfully descriptive style. His narrative is like the fluff of beautiful imagery sandwiched between hard slices of fast-paced action scenes. He has an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable vocabulary and brandishes words as deftly as The Lord Of Chaos does his sword. Thankfully, missing from his style are the ubiquitous fragmented sentences just to make a point, and the one sentence paragraphs as though every statement were a profundity, and the italicized sentences to reveal the mind of the charatcter that litter so many pages in contemporary fiction. Out of the midst of the many references from sources as varied as archaic literature to contemporary rock bands, along with the thoughtful, observant unfolding of his tale, emerges a unique and strong voice.

Flicka wrote this review a while ago, but I hadn’t seen it, so it was a nice surprise on the Original Cyberpunk’s shiny new site. I’m quite pleased with how Wrath has been received, although it seems I may have been a bit too clever for my own good in burying the subtext too deeply for anyone to notice. The plot point that Flicka mentions as not being explained might be a little more obvious if one understands my background in economics and my interest in currencies… there is a whole level to the novel that literally no one has noticed despite a few – quite clearly ineffectual – hints about its existence.