Saturday, 2/12/11, Public Square

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of

Charles Robert Darwin

Let’s celebrate the man and his contributions to the field of science.  Remember that science doesn’t merely provide a way of expanding knowledge of the world. It doesn’t just provide answers to pressing questions; it changes the conversation itself. Science—and the broader way of thinking that comes with it—trains its adherents and practitioners to relish the very act of questioning for its own sake, of figuring out what’s true and false, of determining what works and what fails.


Filed under The Public Square

31 responses to “Saturday, 2/12/11, Public Square

  1. prairie pond

    …and of course, if it’s Darwin’s birthday, it’s also the Feast of Iggy. Yep. It’s Steven’s birthday too. I wonder why I miss him more, not less, as time goes on. I am thankful to have known him, loved him, and I hope his family finds joy in his birthday, not sorrow in his absence.

    Every day, I appreciate the gift that this blog has become. It has been said that after we’re gone, the only way anyone really lives on is in the speaking of others. If that’s true, he’ll be alive for us for a very long time. We speak of him so often, and think of him even more.

    We miss you Iggy. Rock on, Dude, rock on.

    • I have March 16 as Steven’s birthday.

      Do you ever have time to go back through the threads and read what Steven left of himself here? Of course I have much more time than most, but I do that occasionally.

  2. prairie pond

    Well, Fnord, you are right, as always. For some reason I thought Steven told me he and Darwin shared the same birthday. I guess I “misremembered” that. Does that make me presidential material? HA!

    I do remember the first time I met Steven in person was at the first WE blogger gathering, on March 16, 2006. I was mighty impressed that he came to that cold picnic on his birthday.

    He liked my potato salad 🙂

    No, I don’t go back to the archives much. Partly because of time, and partly because it hurts. I should.

    Thanks for getting me the correct information.

  3. indypendent

    Well, look here, the Republicans say they want to repeal and replace the healthcare reform bill. But it seems this particular part of the replacing does not need to be done due to the fact the elephants are proposing what is already in the health care reform bill!

    What’s that old saying…….if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it….

  4. indypendent

    Science and religion have always been at odds throughout centuries. I really think it just boils down to this – power.

    When people educate themselves and reach out to find out answers scientifically, then the power of the man-made religion is threatened. Because, after all, man-made religions depend on their flock of sheep to simply follow and obey and don’t ask questions.

    I am not here to say I don’t believe in God – because I do. I believe in a higher power that gave us science to figure out how to better our earthly lives while we are here and to help others along their journey.

    But my God is not some vengeful being sitting on a golden throne up in the sky just waiting to throw lightning bolts and fists of fire down on us if we dare to make the wrong move. Somehow that vision just does not speak ‘love’ to me. And if the people who push such a vision as I described would read their own Bible – God is love.

    Science can be used for the good or evil. Generally, when the immature locker room boys get their hands on science, they simply like to make things blow up and go boom.

  5. If a person can be fooled into believing the earth is young in the face of the evidence disproving that, they can be fooled into ‘believing’ just about everything. How can you find anything they say credible? Aren’t they all too often the same people who don’t ‘believe’ we need to do everything humanly possible to be environmentally friendly to our earth?

  6. Reading about the tragic gas explosion from last week’s news (was it in PA? I don’t remember the details right now) and the reports of aging gas lines throughout America that was associated with that explosion, tells me how much our country is suffering from the years of anti-scientific governance (bush the lesser!). From bridge collapses to the failure to protect New Orleans (both before and after Katrina), without scientific thought the country can’t deliver upon the most basic of promises to its citizens—to ensure their safety. Along with the neglect of science has come a broader neglect of expertise, competence, and even functional government. These are, perhaps, matters not so disparate.

  7. All-American Streetcar Boom Fuels Urban Future

    President Obama spent the past week talking about his plans to improve America’s infrastructure. These speeches sometimes sound like something out of The Jetsons, when the president talks about high-speed rail, futuristic airports and nationwide, broadband Internet.

    • President Obama has been encouraging Americans to bring back scientific information and scientific thinking while pointing out Americans’ public health, job security, well-being, defense, and quality of life depend on an ability to do just that. So does the nation’s standing as a global power.

  8. WSClark

    Well, good (early) afternoon to ya’ll. What a beautiful sunny day here in the Land of Oz! I stepped out this morning with Rufus for a smoke and was quite pleasantly surprised. Smoking is my only remaining vice – other than my hopeless infatuation with Halle Berry.

    While I don’t post often here – that will change – I do read and review the threads, check stats and monitor comments. There has been a bit of talk about WEBlog lately, as they have changed their format. Because of the flagging system, the Libs have had many posts flagged and removed because the Cons are trying to boot all of us “evil” folks out. Shoot, I had a post removed because I used his well-known initials in reply to another blogger.

    To be honest, that’s fine. ‘Nuff said about them and their’s.

    (BTW: The very presence of Pop Blog drives duh Cons nutz!)

    Much is happening in the world we live in, our President is doing his best against quite the united smear campaign and my new car/truck needs to be washed. It’s a guy thing. One of the good things about my new vehicle is that I can (if invited) visit P’Pond since it gets good mileage and is 4WD.

    Hey, enjoy the weather today and tomorrow – I have a mercy brake job to do tomorrow – and ya’ll be good.

    Cheers! Or something like that!

    • CapnAmerica

      Yup, it was a great day for America outside.

      Spent most of the time shoveling my driveway. “But it’s just going to melt” . . . I know, but I hate when it partially melts and then refreezes over and over again.

      Looking good now. I think I even got a mild sunburn . . .

  9. prairie pond

    “One of the good things about my new vehicle is that I can (if invited) visit P’Pond since it gets good mileage and is 4WD.”

    Dude! I’m vacuuming the welcome mat right now!

  10. prairie pond

    “While I don’t post often here – that will change”

    If Paula would come back, and Tracy, CF, Mary, Pmom, Julie, et al, we could get the band back together!

  11. From tstb:

    “Got my favor girl beside me today… life don’t get much better! Lost the sight in left eye… so arrr said the pirate!!!!”

    • It was my understanding that the left eye issue was not related to the event which resulted in his current rehab. I’ll give him credit; the eye patch does give him a bit of the “man in the Hathaway shirt” air!

    • He told us of the eye problems some weeks ago, but I didn’t know until today he had lost all sight in that eye. Maybe he didn’t know either until he was seeing doctors after his heart attack?

    • indypendent

      Just got on the blog a few minutes ago and I am sending tstb and his family all my positive thoughts and good wishes.

      Did his son in the army get to come home? I never heard….

    • I don’t know. I never heard. Tough times for that family; they need many positive thoughts, prayers and good wishes.

  12. No matter what you read or hear them say, they are in disarray and without a leader!


    Ron Paul Wins 2011 CPAC Straw Poll

    For the second year in a row, Ron Paul won the CPAC presidential straw poll, taking home 30% of the votes cast. Mitt Romney came in second with 23% of the vote. The rest of the 16 candidate field shared single-digit levels of support.

    The complete straw poll results, when the voter’ first and second choice for president were combined into one number:

    Rep. Ron Paul (TX): 37% Ex-Gov. Mitt Romney (MA): 31% Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson (NM): 21% Gov. Chris Christie (NJ): 16% Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 11% Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN): 10% Ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN): 9% Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN): 9% Ex-Gov. Sarah Palin (AK): 7% Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR): 6% Herman Cain: 5% Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (PA): 5% Sen. John Thune (SD): 5% Ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman (UT): 3% Gov. Haley Barbour (MS): 3% Others: 12% Undecided: 13%

  13. Those who insist on characterizing Egypt’s electrifying protests of the last week as “an Islamic uprising” fail to notice the Egyptian Christians who are protesting alongside Muslims and other Egyptians in Tahrir Square. It’s an amazing mosaic of Egyptians from all walks of life: women in black robes alongside young men drinking beer alongside Muslim Brotherhood members alongside secularists alongside professionals, and so on. As an American Muslim not of Egyptian descent, I find myself hoping that one of the results of this uprising will be solidarity between Egyptian Muslims and Egyptian Christians.

    There’s already evidence and hope to that effect. Solidarity between Muslims and Christians is running high in Egypt, though of course there are always the fringe lunatics who find excuses for violence.

    • indypendent

      That is what so pathetic to me. For being such patriots that love freedom for all people and for people to choose their own government and be in charge of their own lives – wouldn’t you think these self-professing patriots would be the first ones to support the Egyptian protesters?

      Oh no……instead, I’ve heard several of these fine folks say that the protesters were violent.

      Uh, the violence never happened until Mubarak came out and finally spoke and then protesters were riding their horses and camels through the crowd. From all accounts I heard, these violent protesters were Mubarak supporters – NOT the protesters wanting their freedom.

      I suspect these same ‘real’ patriots are the same Social Conservatives who are pushing for the holy war.

      Just what is it about Social Conservatives and their insatiable thirst for war???? And they dare to call themselves Christians…..

    • indypendent

      But I just remembered…….these same fine self-professing Christians are also the ones who are rewriting the Bible.

      So maybe they are not ‘real’ Christians?????

  14. I’m appreciating this guy more each day!

    • indypendent

      Anthony Weiner – is my kind of guy. I absolutely love to watch him go after the Republicans

      If I remember correctly, during the health care reform debate – Anthony Weiner was the Democrat that proposed a bill that Medicare be abolished and not one single Republican voted for it.

      His point was that if Republicans use the argument against health care reform that they do not want government run health care – then they should put their money where their mouths were and vote against Medicare.

      This is one smart cookie – and he does not back down…

    • Did you read this comment at the video: “I like how all the men were discussing abortion for 30 minutes before the only female in the room got to speak at all.“?

      I listened to this entire 52:41 minute video and Ms. Schakowsky, Illinois, asked repeatedly to be heard and was finally allowed to speak after more than 30 minutes passed! At that point she was only allowed to say she wanted to speak! (at 34:56 in the video!)

    • I’m so thoroughly pissed! Every voter should watch this video of the House in action — and no citizen capable of thinking could imagine the republicans have a clue what they’re doing — they’re stupid, they’re bigoted, they’re PIGS! DAY ONE! They couldn’t follow their own rules! A female who could support these idiots is worse than stupid; she obviously has spent her life being told what to do by men!

    • indypendent

      let’s not forget – the Republicans still have not taken out the word ‘forcible’ from their rape definition.

      Although the Republicans had to backpedal last week because of all the backlash they received – but the bill that is currently being processed through the system STILL has the word ‘forcible’ .

      Just imagine if these Republicans succeed in redefining rape. That opens up all kinds of trouble.

  15. indypendent

    One thing about the Egyptian protesters winning this battle is that the other dictators in surrounding Arab countries are taking notice and some are even trying to implement some reform before their people take to the streets to protest. Maybe they see the writing on the wall and are trying to cut their losses?

    Isn’t that a positive result from the Egyptian revolution?