Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Behe's Testimony

Michael Behe talks about his testimony in the Dover ID trial here. His take on things is considerably at variance with the impression created by some in our local print media:

The Dover trial has wrapped up for now with Judge Jones announcing that he expects to rule before the end of the year.

As far as the "ordeal" goes, despite what the LA Times article makes it seem, it was actually all rather exhilirating. I rather enjoyed myself on the witness stand, because I got to explain in very great detail the argument for intelligent design, and the other side had to sit there and listen.

The cross examination was fun too, and showed that the other side really does have only rhetoric and bluster. At one point the lawyer for the other side who was cross examining me ostentatiously piled a bunch of papers on the witness stand that putatively had to do with the evolution of the immune system. But it was obvious from a cursory examination that they were more examples of hand waving speculations, which I had earlier discussed in my direct testimony. So I was able to smile and say that they had nothing more to say than the other papers.

I then thought to myself, that here the NCSE, ACLU, and everyone in the world who is against ID had their shot to show where we were wrong, and just trotted out more speculation. It actually made me feel real good about things.

From what I read...about Scott Minnich's testimony, he seemed to have the same experience. I haven't the foggiest idea how the Judge will rule, but I think we got to show a lot of people that ID is a very serious idea.

Perhaps some day people will look back at all this and wonder how anyone could have seriously thought that biological structures were not designed. If so, it will be in large measure due to the efforts of people like Michael Behe.

Death Rate in Iraq

Andrew Sullivan notes that the KIA rate per month (53) in Iraq is the lowest of any major war we've ever fought. See the data for other wars here.

This is good news, of course, but it doesn't lessen the grief of the families who have lost a loved one fighting against terrorism and oppression in this war. Even so, it puts the media's fixation on the running tally of war dead in some perspective.

The Fate of the ROK

The World Tribune.com relays the bleak assessment of American military officers concerning the future of the Republic of South Korea:

[I]n the next one to five years the Combined Forces Command, responsible for U.S.-ROK operations and training, will be dissolved while the United Nations command, set up in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, will move to Hawaii.

The implications are dire for South Korea's ability to cope with a crumbling, heavily-armed communist North Korea with powerful anti-U.S. allies in the neighborhood [according to a memo released by the officers].

The forecasts in the communication lead a list of major shifts that...officers view as the logical result of pressure on U.S. forces to leave this now prosperous nation, as well as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's program for downsizing and realigning U.S. forces in Korea.

The good news is that "the U.S. will maintain the so-called 'nuclear umbrella' and will meet its treaty obligations with a promised commitment of air and sea power if the ROK is attacked" - an arrangement that seems strikingly similar, however, to that made in the first half of 1950 when about 500 U.S. advisers remained in Korea to bear the brunt of the North Korean invasion that June.

However, "[t]he question will have to be asked," said the memo, "can the ROK deal with a collapsing NK regime unilaterally without international support." The officer responded in the next sentence: "It is highly unlikely that it can but it is not doing anything to prepare for it now."

The memo concluded with a downbeat history lesson in regional geopolitics.

"Korea will again be the shrimp among whales as the balance of power will be China/Russia on one side and U.S./Japan on the other. Will Korea be able to be the 'balancer' as envisioned by President Roh?"

"I think not," [the memo stated]. "It will have to cast its lot with one side or the other. Unfortunately economics and geography (as well as the Japanese colonial legacy) may rule and...Korea will be pushed into the China camp. The geo-political strategic implications for this...are obvious."

If North Korea is allowed to continue to develop its nuclear arsenal South Korea will be faced with three unpleasant options: 1) develop its own nukes, 2) rely on America for protection, or 3) capitulate. 1) is unlikely and 2) looks increasingly doubtful. If South Korea does yield to the North's bullies, Japan will have a much more difficult time resisting Sino-Korean pressure and intimidation. Much depends on South Korea's resolve, and America's. The key is getting nukes out of the North's hands. The world simply cannot allow them to continue to possess these weapaons.