Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blind Faith

When biologists talk about the cell being a microscopic factory filled with tiny molecular machines they mean that quite literally as this brief video illustrates. The video doesn't explain what's going on, but it's all pretty amazing nonetheless:
Cells are far more complex than is shown here, but the first cell must have been at least this complex. How did such a thing ever arise through an unguided, blind process, especially before there were any reproducing cells for natural selection to act upon?

Faith is belief despite the lack of proof. Blind faith is belief despite the lack of evidence. There's no evidence that cells actually did arise through purely natural processes and good reason to think they didn't. So the belief that they did, the belief called naturalism, is an exercise of blind faith on the part of the naturalist, which is precisely what naturalists often criticize theists for. Pretty ironic.

Voter ID

The Pennsylvania voter ID law was upheld yesterday, pending appeals, of course. I can't help but wonder why those on the left have opposed it so strenuously, because none of their arguments make any sense to me.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary Magazine sums things up:
Liberals have spent most of the year trying to convince Americans that voter ID laws are a false front for racist voter suppression. They argue there’s no such thing as voter fraud and that legislation aimed at combating election cheating is merely a Republican plot to steal the election.

But, as a new Washington Post poll on the subject demonstrates, the majority aren’t buying it. Almost three quarters — 74 percent — believe voters should be required to show official, government-issued identification when they vote. A clear majority of those polled also think, contrary to liberal allegations, that voter ID laws are rooted in concern about a genuine problem.

These numbers have to concern Democrats who are hoping to whip up a backlash against voter ID legislation by falsely claiming they are a new form of “Jim Crow” laws intended to foster discrimination.... The public knows that claims that voter fraud is nonexistent run counter to everything they know about politicians, elections and human nature.
The public has good reason to believe that claims that voter fraud is not a problem are themselves fraudulent, or at least mistaken. John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky document the problem in their book Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk, a review of which can be found here.

Tobin continues:
The huge numbers supporting voter ID isn’t hard to figure out. Anyone who travels or has to conduct any sort of transaction with a bank or the government know they are going to be asked to identify themselves in this manner. The notion that something as important as voting should be exempt from such a requirement makes no sense to most people.

And though a not insignificant number worry about voters being discouraged or wrongly having their franchise denied, far more understand it is more likely that politicians and parties are looking to find a way to cook the books and steal a close election than their right to vote will somehow be taken away.

They rightly wonder why it is some think there is something sinister in having a voter prove they are eligible to vote, because it appears as if opponents of voter ID seem to be taking the position that citizens should never be asked to produce proof of residence in a state, city or district or even that they are actually American citizens. Interestingly enough, as the Washington Post notes in their own analysis of the poll, a solid majority of both the elderly and the poor — groups it is believed will be impacted by such laws — also support voter ID.
Critics of the Pennsylvania law are ostensibly concerned that some people who don't have IDs will be unable to exercise their right to vote, but how badly do these citizens want to vote if they can't bestir themselves to obtain a free ID which is no harder to get than it is to register to vote in the first place? Perhaps the left will next challenge voter registration requirements as placing an undue burden on the elderly, the poor, and the handicapped.

Instead of spending millions of dollars fighting the law perhaps those who care about the relatively few people who would vote but who lack a photo ID should do what they do during voter registration drives. They should identify those without proper ID and see that they get it.