The evolution of evolution from my childhood to now. Science is not settled.

The evolution of evolution from my childhood to now. Science is not settled.

In my early childhood in Sweden we lived is a small community where grades 3-6 were taught together in one class. This meant that the teacher did allow a lot of freedom to explore on my own books in the school library. They had not thrown away any old books the last forty years, so I had quite a selection of old textbooks to choose from.

One in particular caught my eye. It was about anthropology and classification of races by skull index. It was originally based on the works of the Swede Anders Retzius (1796-1860). His research was to classify old bone fragments, but his findings were now extrapolated to explain the evolution of man. There were pictures of people of all kinds of races, with the Nordic, blond and blue-eyed being the most evolved, and the black race, with some exceptions much closer evolutionary to the apes. Not only that, but since men have 40% larger brain volume than women, men are further evolved than women. Being 9 years old I believed everything, since it was in a book. I especially liked being superior to girls.

The next time evolution was taught it was the standard stuff with the horse’s hoof being a nail; fishes grew legs instead of fins and so on. We also had a lot of rudimentary organs, not only the appendix, but tonsils and tailbones too. And this time dogs can look quite different, but people are all equal, and girls are as smart as boys (especially the blond Lithuanian girl who emigrated to Canada. I had to admit she was both cute and smart).

The third time around we tackled some of the hard stuff, mutations being a necessary ingredient for evolution. I read up on radiation gardens, where we can grow superior plants, since we know that at least 10% of mutations are beneficial, just weed out the bad ones and superior plants will emerge.

The radioactive gardens are now but a memory, since it was discovered that nobody could find any positive mutations that way. The closer you got to the source, the worse it got. It turns out that positive mutations are rare indeed. The ones most commonly found are in viruses, but they are positive only from the virus’s point of view.

Survival of the fittest tends to weed out bad mutations, but does nothing to explain the mechanism for speciation creep; it tends to reinforce the speciation boundaries. The genetic code that allows adaption in species is already there, so when the changed environment occurs, we are changed accordingly. None of the mechanisms we have used to explain evolution holds up to examination. The mathematics is just not there. And a system this complicated and beautiful, where so many parts of it are at a mathematic optimum is not possible to bootstrap.

We are left with the humbling fact that we do not know the mechanisms. Yet the textbooks still explain discredited mechanisms as evolutionary facts to yet another generation of kids, thus depriving them of the wonder that there is something beyond themselves, which they can try to grasp, but realizing that there is always one more level of understanding that is beyond them.

Obama’s State of the Union. A Limerick.

I  listened to the State of the Union message and found the president unusually lightweight and repetitive.

Obama as leader: We will end up last

Over his head – his rule must not last.

We all start to feel

He is but a heel

Shoemaker, stay at your last.

80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050? Is that even possible?

Let me see if I get this right. The Cap and trade legislation has as a goal to meet an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, but China is exempt. China just passed us in total CO2 emissions. As of March 2009 China had 19.66% of the world population while the US had 4.53%. If we assume a population growth in the US of 26% between now and 2050  we are promising to cut our CO2 emissions to less than 69% per capita of what China emits today. And they can continue to emit as much as their production demands. Looks like a cold and dark future for us.

The Pomperipossa effect.

The marginal tax rate above 100% which is dubbed the ‘Pomperipossa effect’  happens whenever the government subsidizes some taxpayers below a certain income level, then abruptly removes that subsidy above that level.

In Sweden, beginning with the 1960s income transfer became all the rage. Certain people groups were to be raised to equality with the wealthier classes. I just have one small example from my own life. My father was an elementary school teacher, and covered under the non-academic teachers union. His salary was at the very peak of the class that was favored by the government. He was begged to take the job of librarian for the school, a job that would give him less than a hundred dollars a year. He said he could only afford to take the job if it was unpaid, for if he earned any more money that year some benefits would be cut. But it was against the law to work without pay. So the position was left unfilled. I still remember the story, because his refusal to do the library gave me free food coupons for two years as I entered University.

In the USA this could never happen, right? In Pennsylvania, families below a certain income level pay no State tax. Above that level the tax is gradually phased in. Lets see an example.

For a family with 8 children they pay no state tax if their income is 89000 or less (2008 numbers). If their income is 90251 they pay the full amount. The state tax is 3.07%.

So for the last 1251 dollars you pay 2770 in taxes. This is a marginal tax rate of  222%.

This is a harbinger of things to come if income transfers will become normative.

Is Obama a Christian? A Limerick.

Shahada, professing Obama’s belief

That makes him a Muslim, much to our grief

He keeps saying this:

A Christian he is.

Unless he is baptized, he lies like a thief.

In Feb 2008 Obama said: “Here are the simple facts. I am a Christian. I am a devout Christian. I have been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night.” We’ve all heard by now that Obama became a Christian mostly to expedite his political career and that the Trinity United Church of Christ he joined, presided over by Reverend Jonathan Wright, was not exactly mainstream. We’ve heard about Wright’s damning of America and we know that the church was — and might still be — a hot bed of black nationalism. But what is not as well-known is that no baptism is required, nor must Muslims renounce Islam to be accepted as full members in that church. Obama mentioned his two children were baptized by Rev. Wright. He has as of today made no reference to his own baptism, nor does the media seem to be the least interested if he is or not. On February 27th 2007, speaking to Kristof of The New York Times, Barack Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent.” The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

“Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that Muhammad is his prophet? ”

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam. Obama chanted it with pride and finesse. Here is a call to prayer at sunset:

Do you think it is one of the prettiest sounds on earth? So which Jesus does Obama pray to every night? Is it the Christian Jesus Christ as stated in the Apostles Creed? I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Or is it: I believe in Jesus the Muslim, a great Prophet, who was conceived by a decree from Allah, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was not crucified, did not die , and was never buried; he descended not to the dead. On the third day he did not rise again; but ascended immediately into heaven, Allah raised him up unto Himself, and he will come again  and deny he ever claimed divinity, he will defeat the anti-Christ, give witness that Muhammad is the supreme last and final Prophet, that all the world must convert to Islam or perish, and after that peace will come?

Sarah Palin mocks Obama’s 57 states, then gets cut off. A Limerick.

Obama: Our two score and seventeen states 

A Freudian slip, that’s what the left hates.

U.S.A., OIC*

Not the same, not to me,

 But Sarah pokes fun when Obama misstates.

*The Organisation of Islamic States, an organization with 57 member nations.