Monday, November 26, 2007

Right/Left Hemisphere

This optical illusion is pretty amazing. According to the article, if you see the girl spinning clockwise, that means you're using the right side, or more creative side, of your brain. If she appears to be moving counter-clockwise, then that means the left side, or more logical side of your brain, is dominant.

What the article doesn't say is that if you focus on where her legs pass each other and visualize the elevated limb passing in front of the other when it appears to be passing behind it you can actually get her to switch directions. I guess this means that your brain is switching hemispheres.

Of course, you have to ignore the fact that the young lady appears to be in her altogether to get the illusion to work at all.


Huckabee's Populism

We here at Viewpoint have been following Mike Huckabee's progress in the Republican nomination wars and have found much about him to like and some things about which are troubling. Some conservatives, however, like Jonah Goldberg, find him, or rather his economic populism, actually scary.

I agree that there are reasons for concern, and it will be important for Huck to allay some of the fears being expressed by conservatives. Goldberg says this about him:

So what's so scary about Huckabee? Personally, nothing. By all accounts, he's a charming, decent, friendly, pious man.

What's troubling about The Man From Hope 2.0 is what he represents. Huckabee represents compassionate conservatism on steroids. A devout social conservative on issues such as abortion, school prayer, homosexuality and evolution, Huckabee is a populist on economics, a fad-follower on the environment and an all-around do-gooder who believes that the biblical obligation to do "good works" extends to using government -- and your tax dollars -- to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

For example, Huckabee has indicated he would support a nationwide federal ban on public smoking. Why? Because he's on a health kick, thinks smoking is bad and believes the government should do the right thing.

It will be interesting to see how Huck responds to this sort of critique over the course of the campaign. I am especially anxious to hear his views on illegal immigration. He has said that he favors a robust enforcement of the border but then everybody says that. We'll see.


A Man's Got to Know His Limitations

A lot of people have drawn the conclusion that because intelligent design proponents lost the Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education case a couple of years ago that therefore ID was somehow refuted. This is an unfortunate misconception. As we have written elsewhere, the case may have been rightly decided but much of the reasoning and at least one of Judge John Jones' conclusions was deeply flawed.

The judge almost certainly exceeded both his proper role and his expertise when he gave as part of the rationale for his ruling the claim that intelligent design is not a truly scientific hypothesis. This is not something that a judge is competent to decide, and for Judge Jones to try to do so was as absurd as if he tried to rule on what constitutes art or sport.

The Judge, in fact, tacitly admits that he strayed beyond his purview in an interview on the Lehrer Report. Casey Luskin reports about it here.