Today’s been a great day so far, if you rate your days on cool blog posts that you’ve read. It’s also a great day if you consider the weather, which is why I’m taking the afternoon off. But, that’s beside the point. Here are three good reads for a great Friday:
Earth’s first animal was the ocean-drifting comb jelly, not the simple sponge, according to a new find that has shocked scientists who didn’t imagine the earliest critter could be so complex.
Essentially, rather than the simpler organism evolving into the more complex, the complex comb jelly came first. The comb jelly has both connective tissues and a nervous system, so if this is now thought to be the first multi-celled animal, it disrupts the previously-accepted tree of life. Perhaps they’ve simply been looking at the wrong tree…
Some guy named Jerry interviewed Ben Stein. It’s an interesting little interview, and Ben talks a bit about his views about Darwinism and the Holocaust:
Because I had always had very serious anger about Darwinism, because I think Darwinism led to the Holocaust. I think this belief that there are superior and inferior races, and that the superior races had a moral duty to eliminate the inferior races was one of the main building blocks of Nazism and the Holocaust, and I never thought that had gotten out enough.
And, his thoughts about the current state of the scientific community:
I would say to Eugenie Scott, Yes, you are right; in reality, science is what the scientists say it is. That is the reality of the situation, but it’s not a good reality. It’s not a reality that advances knowledge. It’s not a reality that advances the frontiers of man’s understanding of the universe or even of the human body. Eugenie Scott, you’re right, in the sense that you say, “We’re the boss, do what we say.” And that is usually how life operates; the boss gets to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. As Bob Dylan said, “The princes make the rules for the wise men and the fools.” And in this world, big science are the princes. We’re asking for a world where there aren’t princes and kings. We’re asking for Thomas Jefferson’s world, where there is freedom of speech for everyone, where people can say, “Look, you have no proof of this. You’ve never seen a single mammalian species evolve into a separate species. It’s never been seen. So why don’t you give us a chance to give our explanation? You’ve never seen how a cell got to have a million moving parts. Let us give our explanation. You’ve never seen how the laws of gravity got created. Let us give our explanation. You’re right, Eugenie Scott, you’ve got all the power right now. We agree, you’ve got the power. We’re just little dinky nothings, just asking for what Thomas Jefferson asked the King of England for—freedom of speech, freedom of representation, freedom to make our points. We’re just little dinky nothings, but we have truth on our side.” Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of history is long, but it inclines towards truth.”
You don’t have to agree with him, but if you’re interested in what Ben himself thinks and why he made the movie, it’s a good little interview.
… a religious person could look at a line and say it is a car and you could not argue with them. They would just say you have to see the car by faith and that only atheists see a line because they don’t believe in religion. This is what you call a circle argument which is not a line as I have said already. This is why science and religion don’t mix. Science wants a line and religion wants a car or maybe a nice house. There is no use arguing.
It’s a “must read,” one of the more brilliant megaphysical pieces I’ve read in a long time. And, a great thing to read on such a great Friday. I’m going to go enjoy the sunshine now.