Politics

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Category archives for Politics

I’m shocked. Just totally surprised. And it was unanimous — the Supreme Court determined that human genes cannot be patented. This is excellent news. Why is it a good decision? Because medical DNA analysis was turning into a patchwork of competing landgrabs. Sequencing technology is coming along so nicely that more and more diagnostic tools…

Have you seen Missourie House Bill 291? Wow, it’s pushing intelligent design, um, boldly. Like a gibbon that just sat down in a pool of sriracha sauce in a big tub of feces, that kind of “boldly”. It starts by defining evolution in one paragraph, and by evolution we mean just common descent. It says…

Oh gob, the stupidity. The latest wave of anti-choice legislation is based on one trivial premise: it’s got a heartbeat! You can’t kill it if its heart is beating! So stupid bills have been flitting about in the Ohio, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, and North Dakota legislatures trying to redefine human life as beginning at the…

Looking for #2

I would have thought that it was a relief, a minor bit of unconcern, that Mitt Romney nominally supports evolution (he’s one of those waffly theistic evolutionists, so he doesn’t really…but at least he wouldn’t be brazenly contradicting all of the evidence). But there’s a potential problem looming: who will he pick for vice president?…

Both Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum are wrong, but I think Drum is infuriatingly wrong. They’re arguing over a statistic, the observation that about 46% of Americans believe the earth is 6000 years old and that a god created human beings complete and perfect as they are ex nihilo. Andrew Sullivan sees this as a…

Meet Jeff Flake from Arizona. His number one goal is the destruction of the federal government, one piece at a time. His first target: the National Science Foundation. The NSF funds a big chunk of the country’s basic research to the tune of about $7 billion/year, and Flake proposed cutting it by a billion dollars.…

Our illness is their profit

Have you ever walked around an 19th century (or earlier) graveyard? It gives you a depressing snapshot of the old reality: so many young women dead in childbirth, so many children reaped by diseases. We’ve been fortunate, we residents of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, that so many of those lethal conditions are…

Big Charity

It must be tough running a charity. You’ve got a cause you care deeply about, and you’re constantly juggling the game of having to spend money (in administration, advertising, staff) to raise money (for the cause!), and worse, of sometimes having to compromise to achieve your goals — you sometimes have to work with your…

The miseducation committee of the Indiana legislature recently approved a bill to allow the teaching of creationism in the schools, and now the Indianapolis newspaper approves, with the usual tepid and illegitimate arguments. Much would depend on how teachers handle the origins of life in a biology or science class. No, it doesn’t. A bill…

Indiana fails

Indiana is preparing to promote creationism in their science classrooms. A legislative committee has advanced a bill that endorses creationism and “alternative theories” to the vote of the full senate. So it’s not a law yet, but it’s advancing down the path. Here’s the horrifying part: it was approved 8:2 by the Republican-controlled Senate Education…