Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back From the Brink

Conservation efforts have brought another beautiful bird back from the brink of extinction. The Lear's macaw of Brazil now numbers around 750 birds, according to this Reuters story, ten times as many as there were twenty years ago. What a beautiful creature. What a tragedy it would have been had they been allowed to succumb to hunters and the illegal exotic bird trade.


Why Couples Should Stay Together

According to, having grandparents who divorced was associated with having a lower level of educational attainment, a greater likelihood of marital discord, and a poorer quality of parent-child relationship. This association held even if the grandparents' divorce occurred before the grandchild was born.

French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that when we choose we choose for all mankind. Well, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the choices we make certainly reverberate down through the generations. Divorce is always a tragedy when children are involved, but a divorce without having made every reasonable effort to make a marriage succeed is especially so. It does the children and grandchildren a great disservice.

HT: Joe Carter


Fight Them Where They Are

Michael Yon's most recent dispatch from Iraq discusses the very important shift away from alliances with al Qaeda that many Sunni Muslims are making. Sunnis who had once been at war with American troops are now fighting alongside them to rid Iraq of al Qaeda.

This is an important point to note as many war critics refer to the conflict as a civil war and also minimize the role of al Qaeda in Iraq. For now, at least, it's not a civil war. Al Qaeda has become the common enemy in large parts of Anbar and Diyala provinces.

Secondly, if this is so, the argument that we should withdraw from Iraq is undercut. Almost everyone, even among the Democrats, acknowledges that we should be fighting al Qaeda, and that it's better to fight them elsewhere than here. Up till now, however, the President's critics have been claiming that we've not been fighting al Qaeda in Iraq and that we should be placing our resources in Afghanistan where al Qaeda is located and operating.

In fact, we should be fighting al Qaeda wherever they are and clearly they're in Anbar and Diyala.

A recent column by Jack Kelly amplifies Yon's analysis and claims that the U.S. has al Qaeda on the run in Iraq. This is a remarkable claim given the MSM's coverage of the war which portrays Iraq as in a state of total chaos. Read Yon's dispatch and Kelly's column for a completely different picture of what's happening there.


Behe Vs. The Critics

Biochemist Michael Behe, author of The Edge of Evolution, continues to politely but firmly embarrass his critics at his Amazon blog. So far he has taken on Sean Carroll, Jerry Coyne, and Ken Miller and left the corpses of their arguments, such as they are, littering the field.

Behe has accomplished something truly noteworthy. The debate between IDers and Darwinists had pretty much ground to a standstill because Darwinists could always say that, as improbable as the machinery of the cell might be, natural selection working in tandem with random mutation could achieve wonders, and, of course, there was no hard evidence that they were wrong.

The Darwinians believed in the power of NS+RM and the IDers, relying heavily upon intuition and probability, demurred. Now Behe has advanced the argument by showing that, based upon new empirical data, there is good reason to think that a limit exists to how much genetic novelty can be introduced into the genome through random genetic mutation. In other words what hard evidence we have points to there being an edge, or boundary, to how much evolutionary progress can be made through undirected blind processes, and it's not much.

The inference is clear. If complex life, including man, has evolved from metazoan ancestors it can only be because the changes necessary to produce increasing complexity were not blind at all, but were intentional. And if they were intentional they were the product of a mind.

The Edge of Evolution drives yet another nail into the coffin of materialistic, naturalistic Darwinism, and that's why the book is so important and why the critics are so hostile. The hostility is not directed at Behe because he denies evolutionary descent from common ancestors, because he doesn't. It's directed at him because he denies and exposes the materialist religion that underlies the science of so many Darwinists.