Saturday, November 27, 2010

Social Engineering Vs Science

Today we find in the news the alarming statistic that 600,000 people died this year from side smoke, not from actual smoking but just from being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). But virtually no one questions this “fact” because it is based on a “scientific” study. But isn’t the number itself a little suspicious? Couldn’t it have been say 601,000 or maybe 559,000? The even number tells you that this is an estimate and not a real number but as an estimate its accuracy is entirely dependent on the methodology as well as the qualifications of those making the estimate. Who was studied is another key component governing the accuracy of this finding. In the original A Priori study people in primitive conditions using indoor charcoal cooking stoves were included along with survivors of the Hiroshima atomic blast. In addition as an A Priori study all findings counter to the initial assumption were discarded even though many of those studies showed no correlation between ETS and cancer.

In spite of there not being any empirical connection between ETS and cancer the crusade against tobacco and smokers in general continues and is growing in intensity. In fact there is no known cause of cancer. It could be genetic, it could be environmental, it could be viral, but no one knows. What is known is that some people smoke their entire lives and never develop lung cancer while some people die of lung cancer never having smoked tobacco in their lives, but it is these people who are deemed to have died of tobacco related causes. What no one seems to notice or question is that virtually everyone on the planet has been exposed at some time in their lives to “side smoke” be it from tobacco or camp fires. The logical conclusion is that 99.9% of all deaths are smoke related, but that is just statistics or logic -- not science. And that’s the point because the author of the EPA’s report on ETS admitted that there is no science behind the report and that the entire program against ETS is – in his words – a social program.

The fact is that with the death of critical thinking the social engineers have run amok. These social engineers have killed off any semblance of personal responsibility. Teachers can no longer fail students or hold them back for fear of damaging their “self esteem”. This policy has given us high school graduates who cannot read or are functionally illiterate. We have people in college who cannot spell properly or even write a simple declarative sentence with no grammatical errors. But the social engineers haven’t stopped with these simple policy programs, they have actually degraded science to the point that there is no science behind many of these programs.

Perhaps the most egregious example of social engineering masquerading as science is the epidemic of obesity. We are total that obesity is epidemic in the United States and that this is a disease that must be addressed by the government. Social Engineers are very big on government coercion in order to enforce their ideas on how the rest of us should live. Of course the operative word here is “disease” because if a person is over weight it isn’t his fault because he has a disease. How one contacts this disease isn’t noted but it appears to be related to fast food, sugary cereals, tasty high fat foods, and other foods not approved by the social engineers. The solution to this epidemic obesity is to force schools to serve approved healthy foods which the kids won’t eat, to force purveyors of fast food to either go out of business to change their menus so they are only serving approved healthy foods which no one orders. It's much like forcing the auto manufacturers to build electic cars than no one buys. Since these socially engineered programs seemed to have failed no one seems to be calling for more research into how the obesity disease is caught, instead the call is for government intervention. Where is the science behind this epidemic? There isn’t any, but the finger isn’t being pointed at the individual as being responsible for his situation due to his poor decisions – it is pointed at the sellers and advertisers.

Another equally outrageous abuse of science is the disease of alcoholism. People actually die of alcoholism so something must be done to curb this disease. A person doesn’t become a drunkard through irresponsible behavior – he is simply the victim of a disease. Science can demonstrate that consuming alcohol is bad for you and abuse of alcohol can have fatal consequences. But rather than hold the alcoholic personally responsible for his situation the social engineers have decided that the alcoholic suffers from the disease of alcoholism. Unlike tobacco the social engineers aren’t calling for an outright ban on alcohol, after all they do enjoy their wine so banning alcohol isn’t considered. Even though there is a direct and known link between alcohol and several fatal health issues the outrage and call for action focuses on tobacco. The hypocrisy of the social engineers is palpable.

The social engineers are running out of control and it just isn’t about how they are using or attempting to use government to enforce their opinions on how we should live, they are corrupting science. While true empirical science remains it seems to be shrinking while the data miners using statistics are creating the foundation for these social engineers and they are growing in size and power. And all of this is possible because critical thinking seems to be lacking and no one ever seems to question the statistics used by the social engineers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

White Cavemen, Evolution, and Questions

The origin of man continues to be a source of fascination and controversy even though science has already concluded that life descended from pond scum and man descended from an ape like creature that was a precursor to man. Of course this ape like creature which has been located in Africa is actually a collection of bone fragments surrounded by a lot of assumptions. Then there is the issue of the races – which are clearly -- according to science the product of Evolution. Of course science really doesn’t make any distinction between evolution and adaptation; these are viewed as the same thing. Then there is the question of early man – generically described as “Cavemen” because they lived in caves. But these “cavemen” seem to have lived in Europe not in Africa, but the time span between the Hominids and Neanderthal is literally millions of years, but there is no evidence in Europe of the Hominids nor any evidence in Africa of Neanderthal or “cavemen”. Then what about Cro-Magnon Man, they appeared as fully developed homo-sapiens with no indication of where they came from or how they were related to Neanderthal or the Hominids or even if there is any relationship at all. The rationale for this entire structure rests on these three pillars 1) Theory of Evolution 2) Bone fragments of a Hominid 3) DNA tests showing Chimpanzees and Homo Sapiens share 98% of their DNA. Of course this is logically equivalent to saying that Helium (a gas) is the same as Lithium (a metal) because there is only one electron difference. Of course the other side is that all protons, neutrons, and electrons in the Universe are the identical so technically everything is related to everything else because they are made up of the same “stuff” but what about life itself? Why do some of these collections of identical pure energy particles think while others remain inert as rocks and still others remain pond scum and fail to evolve into animate beings even after millions of years? They – the pond scum -- are believed to have evolved once so why did they stop their march to intelligent life?

The Universe is believed to be about 15 billion years old and the age of the Earth is estimated to be approximately 4.5 billion years old. The first simple life appeared about 3.8 billion years ago – which really was just a simple cell with no nucleus. How this came about is a little vague but apparently it was due to some random event but so far no proto cell has been created in the lab. Nevertheless this miraculous cell replicated and ultimately became pond scum. All of this occurred in the Pre-Cambrian Period whose duration spans the time from the formation of the Earth to the Cambrian which began about 542 Million years ago. But this is really about people and cavemen not about all of those creatures that came before.

The first of the apes believed to be precursors of humans occurred approximately 5 million years ago. Various species and subspecies appeared over the next several million years leading up to the Paranthrobus which is believed to be a precursor to the Homo line, which itself has numerous branches and subspecies. These all are bipedal ape like creatures and thus believed to be part of the evolutionary march to Homo-Sapiens. Of course there is not a shred of evidence that any of these species were in fact species or even related to humankind. Even the Evolutionary radical Richard Dawkins concedes that many of these species might have lived concurrently – apparently similar to the equine family today. But the first modern humans generically called Cro-Magnon appeared in Europe 35,000 years ago and the earlier Neanderthals died out at approximately the same time or shortly thereafter.

So there were Hominids in Africa but no sign of “Cavemen” and Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon men first appear in Europe. Apes and Chimpanzees are black while all depictions of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon are white. Is this simply blatant racism or is this depiction the result of the factual reality that Europeans are white? Assuming that the early men found in Europe were indeed white – where did the other races come from? The glib answer is that they adapted (evolved) to their local environments. Meaning that homo-sapiens migrated from Europe to Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, but 35,000 years ago North and South America were not physically connected and even if they were the races would have had to evolve or adapted within that 35,000 years. If that is true then why haven’t we seen modern examples of evolution – has man evolved to the point of perfection and no further change is necessary? What about the animals – how many new species have come into being that have clearly sprung from earlier species? If man can evolve in 35,000 years why not animals – why haven’t they continued to evolve? But we are told that early man – apparently not Homo-Sapiens – migrated to the New World via the land bridge between Asia and Alaska. But the Inuit are clearly Asian, but the Native Americans are not and are classed as the “Red” race. What are their origins? Then we have the “Brown” race which is clearly neither Asian nor “Red”. Unfortunately for all of the evolutionists there is no evidence of evolution among these races – they appear fully developed as Homo-Sapiens with their distinctive racial characteristics in the places where they were found.

So while the Darwinians cling to the Theory of Evolution as a fact rather than a theory the reality is that there are some very serious questions regarding evolution. Adaptation has been demonstrated and is not seriously disputed but there appear to be gaping holes in how one species morphs into another. While the variations in the races can possibly be explained through adaptation there is no evidence that they adapted from some earlier form. The historical record indicates that if they migrated to where they are found then adapted to that environment the evidence is missing. So the origin of the races is unknown and the descent of man from apes is filled with holes and the path from pond scum to humanity is even murkier and unproven.