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You think YOU"VE got snow...
@Adriana -- It's fun so long as you don't have to shovel or drive in it. Living here in Stamford, I've sadly had to do both... but at least it's pretty!
@doone -- Those statistics are very depressing. I'm actually a bit surprised that the numbers are that low among Democrats and Independents.
I've always found the belief that God guided evolution to be a bit disconcerting. It seems like a very wasteful and cruel process to use if there is an actual intelligence behind it.
That's not news to the ancients, and to military historians since the Hellenistic period -
The successful military use of elephants spread across the world. The successors to Alexander's empire, the Diadochi, used hundreds of Indian elephants in their wars. The Egyptians and the Carthaginians began
taming African elephants for the same purpose, while the Numidians used
the Forest elephant. The African savannah elephant, larger than the
African forest elephant or the Asian elephant, proved too difficult to
tame for war purposes and was never widely used. Elephants used by
Egyptians at the battle of Raphia in 217 BC were smaller than their Asian counterparts, but that did not guarantee victory for Antiochus III the Great of Syria. [source]
ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2010) — Genetically modified cells can be made to communicate with each other as if they were electronic circuits. Using yeast cells, a group of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has taken a groundbreaking step towards being able to build complex systems in the future where the body's own cells help to keep us healthy. The study was presented recently in an article in the scientific journal Nature.
Doone and Adriana, regarding the liberal-science correlation (and the corresponding conservative-anti-science bent), do see this discussion on Jerry Coyne's blog of a few days ago. Great comments (as ever, on his blog):
This is probably too simplistic but maybe there are two different ways to deal with the world.
"Progressive" = Humble admission that there's so much we don't know yet about ourselves and our world, with desire to discover what's unknown and push forward. It's a socially inclusive vision, humbled (again) while seeking input from (and interaction with) the widest range of cultures. Description is favored over Prescription and Proscription.
It's all about "us" and protecting what we have in our small part of the world. The pressure is to celebrate our own unique culture and tradition and when in doubt, conserve the status quo. Do not seek change or new knowledge, since all of the most important knowledge is already known, and largely perhaps even written thousands of years ago. Prescription and Proscription are favored over Description.
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