- Neanderthal Genetics: AIG has a nice analysis of the recent efforts, published in Science and Nature magazines, to map the Neanderthal genome and to compare it to modern humans. He uncovers big problems with the experimental methods and assumptions used (confirmed by other scientists) and real illogic among paleontologists who are trying to maintain both that Neanderthal was a separate species, yet exchanged DNA with modern humans. This is interesting to creationists because they claim that man did not evolve from lower simians, and that all fossils are either purely modern human or entirely simian, and not in between.
- The Fetus – Constructed or Developed? First Things has a nice piece on why those on opposing sides of the abortion debate find one another’s arguments absurd – it may in part be because one side views the fetus as being constructed, the other, developed. I don’t think this really explains it, but it’s an interesting idea.
The difference between making and developing is not just an accident of language. Suppose we’re back in the pre-digital days and you’ve just taken a fabulous photo, one you know you will prize, with your Polaroid camera. (Say it’s a picture of a jaguar that has now darted back into the jungle, so that the photo is unrepeatable.) You are just starting to let the photo hang out to develop when I grab it and rip its cover off, thus destroying it. What would you think if I responded to your dismay with the assertion: “Hey man, it was still in the brown-smudge stage. Why should you care about brown smudges?” You would find my defense utterly absurd. Just so for pro-lifers, who find dignity in every human individual: To say that killing such a prized being doesn’t count if he or she is still developing in the womb strikes them as outrageously absurd.
- Bolton Effective in the UN – Despite liberal whining and fear mongering, it has turned out that John Bolton has done amazing well, in the opinions of others, as our Embassador. You won’t believe the copious praise from the media, foreign officials, NGO’s, and current and former US Officials.
“As his critics would have it, Mr. Bolton’s mission to the U.N. was supposed to be an act of diplomatic sabotage by the Administration. Instead, his tenure has been among the most constructive of any U.S. ambassador since Jeane Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.” The Wall Street Journal, 9/7/06
Bolton’s record has been outstanding in three key areas: international security, human rights, and U.N. reform.
- 2006 Index of Dependency – The Heritage Foundation reports on how individual dependency on government has changed, and not for the better.
A citizenry that reaches a certain tipping point in its dependence on government runs the risk of evolving into a society that demands an ever-expanding government that caters to group self-interests rather than pursuing the public good.
Are Americans more or less dependent today than 40
years ago on the income and social support programs of government,
specifically federal programs? Are Americans close to a tipping point
that endangers the workings of democracy? Or has that point already