Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time's Up

In 2006 biologist Robert Shapiro boldly predicted that we would understand how life originated in five years:
Some dedicated effort will be needed in the laboratory to prove this point. Why have I specified five years for this discovery? The unproductive polymer-based paradigm is far from dead, and continues to consume the efforts of the majority of workers in the field. A few years will be needed to entice some of them to explore the other solution. I estimate that several years more (the time for a PhD thesis) might be required to identify a suitable monomer-energy combination, and perform a convincing demonstration.
Well, this is 2011 and we're no closer, as far as I can tell, to explaining the OOL (origin of life) now than we were when Shapiro made his prediction.

Shapiro goes on to say that both scientists and creationists/intelligent design people will be disappointed by this development. Scientists will be disappointed because they are heavily invested in a theory [The RNA World theory] that Shapiro thinks is unfruitful. Creationists and IDers will be disappointed because:
[They] would feel that another pillar of their belief system was under attack. They have understood the flaws in the RNA World theory, and used them to support their supernatural explanation for life's origin. A successful scientific theory in this area would leave one less task for God to accomplish: the origin of life would be a natural (and perhaps frequent) result of the physical laws that govern this universe.
Well, this is simply not the case. Such a discovery as Shapiro prophesied would cause problems for biblical creationists, to be sure, but it would only confirm the basic thesis of intelligent design that life is the product of an intentional act of an intelligent mind.

If intelligent scientists working with advanced technology manage to purposefully manipulate chemicals under laboratory conditions thus producing some sort of replicating proto-cell how does that refute the idea that an intelligent being was behind the origin of the proto-cell?

Anyway, five years have passed and any viable theory of how life originated still lies over the horizon. Time's up.

To access the article this post was based on go here and scroll down.

Club for Growth Whitepapers

The conservative Club for Growth is publishing thorough assessments of the fiscal record of each of the candidates for the Republican nomination for the office of President in 2012. Thus far they've critiqued Gingrich, Cain, Pawlenty, and Santorum with more to come.

Those who desire to cast an informed vote in the GOP primary elections next year can find the CFG evaluations by going here.

Helping Small Businesses

Everyone agrees that the most pressing economic task before us at the moment is to get people back to work. So it would seem that we should be doing everything we can to make life easier for the primary job producers in this nation - small businesses. The best way to encourage small businesses to hire is to reduce their costs and the best way to do that is to lower their taxes and remove onerous regulations. But there is the rub.

To suggest such a démarche to liberals is like waving garlic in the face of a vampire.

Imposing regulations and higher taxes is what makes life meaningful for liberals and to expect them to adopt conservative remedies, even to save their political careers, is to ask the tide not to come in.

The Obama administration policies seem almost purposely designed to discourage businesses from hiring workers. He has encouraged businesses to "step up" and hire, but his policies make that very imprudent for business. Here are six areas, taken from a Washington Times editorial by Rep. Sam Graves, chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, in which the policies he has embarked us upon are actually going to reduce employment rather than raise it:
Obamacare: Health Care reform will impose a half-trillion dollars in new taxes, threaten a 60 percent increase in premiums and force about 80 percent of small businesses to give up their current coverage. One provision will impose a $2,000 tax per employee on businesses with more than 50 employees that fail to offer health insurance. Reports have shown that these types of employer mandates alone could lead to the elimination of 1.6 million jobs, with 66 percent of those coming from small businesses.
Energy costs: The President continues to block production of American-made energy even though fuel prices are approaching $5 a gallon. These rising prices are leaving many small firms struggling to make ends meet. A recent survey reported that 64 percent of small businesses have incurred revenue decreases as a result of rising fuel costs.
Regulations: Government red tape costs small businesses an estimated $10,585 per employee. The total cost of federal regulations has increased to $1.75 trillion - $445 billion more than five years ago.
Tax complexity: The United States tax code is a complex document estimated to cost taxpayers and small businesses $163 billion and 6 billion hours a year to comply with its tax-filing requirements.
Tax hikes: There's enormous uncertainty in the business community as to where taxes are going in the next few years. Until employers know how much they're going to have to pay to the government they're going to continue to be reluctant to take on new workers.
If the President were serious about reversing the dismal job numbers he would act in each of these areas to mitigate the damage his predilection for progressive, big government solutions is doing to the country.

I hope he does change course, but I don't believe he will. Expensive government programs, high taxes, and burdensome regulations are all he knows. They're what he was weened on and all he heard about throughout his formative years and early professional life. Like Captain Ahab, I expect him to pursue the white whale of socialist utopia until he either destroys the ship of state or until the country mutinies votes him out of office.