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August 07, 2005

This Blog Is Closed Indefinitely « Blogging »

The last post was a good enough epitaph; Brain Fertilizer is over now.

Who knows, maybe 6 months later I will want to blog about news, events, or politics. But for now, I'm switching to Musings and writing about the Chiefs. It may not appeal to many of you, but it's what I'm doing. There will be plenty of non-Chiefs' stuff, too, as I discuss parenting, leadership, spirituality, or other aspects of life. There may even be a pun or two, who knows?

But it's a new direction.

So the new place is now Chiefly Musing. Brain Fertilizer has become the "Chief Muser." Please adjust your blogrolls accordingly, although emails will be sent out soon.

Thanks for a great time, people!


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Posted by Nathan at 09:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 05, 2005

The Definitive Post on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design « New Thinking »

Don't bother arguing about ID with a committed evolutionist.

They are close-minded and refuse to accept that any other viewpoint might be correct.

They claim that ID is not science, in that it is not falsifiable, not replicable, and has no predictive utility. But they fail to note those same objections apply to Evolution Theory as well.

Don't believe me? Read any defense against the Theory of Irreducible Complexity. "It could have worked out this way" is absolutely not falsifiable. A fact conveniently overlooked by supporters of Evolution Theory.

Macro-evolution has never been observed in nature, which kind of destroys any chance of replicating it. And predictiive utility? Go ahead: tell me what the next new species to emerge is, and what its characteristics will be. I dare ya.

Plain simple fact: no genetic trait can appear that isn't already in the genetic code. That's Rule #1 of Evolution Theory. So the only way for speciation to have occurred is by changes in the genetic code, i.e., mutation. Evolution Theory supporters would have you believe that the vast array of species you see before you occurred because enough favorable mutations occurred in an organism still capable of passing on genetic information, and that enough of the offspring received that genetic information to intermingle, be displayed and passed on to succeeding generations...and in sufficient numbers to actually compete with non-mutated versions of that same organism. Which is difficult enough to swallow, except that they also expect you to believe all this happened within the accepted astronomic estimates of the age of the universe, which every computer projection I've seen indicates is pretty much impossible. Allowing for random mutation at a far greater rate than we see occuring in nature (remember the "observable, replicable, and predictive" requirements for something to be "science"?), it would still take much longer than the universe has been in existence for speciation to the extent we observe to occur, by at least a factor of 1000.

Another problem with discussing ID with an Evolution Theory supporter is they fancy they can use their own "common sense" to disprove ID. Aside from the fact that they are usually arguing against a strawman to begin with, they don't allow you to disprove Evolution Theory with your own common sense. Scientists are supposed to be the ones determining what the common man should or should not believe, I guess.

Because that's what is at the heart of Evolution Theory chauvenism. The person arguing against ID has decided that ID is not science. They don't have to listen to the rigorous documentation of ID theory, the peer-reviewed publication in scientific journals, the theories that have been tested and falsified, because they have already decided that ID is not credible, based on the experts they chose to believe because those same experts have also already decided ID is not a credible theory. Circular logic like that is also not scientific.

What, in fact, is the harm of teaching ID theory? Is anyone going to change their lifestyle if they believe ID is true? Are toasters and MP3 players and cars going to stop working? Are people going to stop going to doctors? Is Evolution Theory research going to get less funding?

At worst a generation of kids will grow up believing that ID is a credible theory. It won't make them worse football players, worse lawyers, worse doctors...or even worse scientists. And some of them will see inherent contradictions between Evolution Theory and Intelligent Design, and do some research and experiments. And some will attempt to disprove Evolution Theory. And some will attempt to disprove Intelligent Design. And maybe 100 years from now we'll still be arguing the theories.

Or, if the Evolution Theory supporters are as correct as they think they are, Intelligent Design will be totally disproven. From that point of view, sure: why waste the next 100 years checking it out?

The answer is simple: Because science can learn things even by chasing down blind alleys. Serendipitous results from mistakes and bad assumptions have taught us more than staying within the orthodoxy ever did.

And isn't the "Teach Evolution Theory Only" stance rather condescending, after all? It assumes, "I'm smart enough to look at all information and decide Evolution Theory is correct. But those stupid hicks in Kansas/wherever can't."

Bottom Line: Teaching Intelligent Design as an alternative idea to Evolution Theory as the cause for speciation cannot and does not have any potential harmful results; conversely, increasing debate within the classroom only helps in the refining of theories, ideas, and understanding.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

August 04, 2005

Quick Hits « Stuff Important to Me »

1) 83% of the problems in our society are caused by people making up statistics to support their point.

2) Is it unavoidable that the higher we are able to satisfy ourselves on the hierarchy of needs, the less profound/pervasive the satisfaction?

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Posted by Nathan at 04:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
John Kerry « Politics As Usual »

Someone really isn't paying attention to their mailing lists. I got this email this morning:

..."drag America away from mainstream values and the issues that matter to ordinary Americans."...?

As if.

Read More "John Kerry" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Toyota's First Big Blunder? « Car Issues »

10 new hybrid models rolled out, and they announce intentions to have hybrids make up 25% of their vehicles sold.

This could be a mistake because hybrids aren't anywhere near as good on gas as touted. The lifetime use of a hybrid is also still unknown...a horrible resale value because hybrids turn out to be a disposable car (not worth the cost to replace the hybrid components) wouldn't be good for sales, and would be horrible for the environment.

Which is mistake number two: with consumer awareness rising as to hybrids not meeting gas mileage expectations, but with the company already committed to producing hybrids (having gambled on it being the Next Big Thing), they have to point to a reason, and they seem to have seized upon "It's for the environment!" But I think with all the chemicals involved in producing batteries, a hybrid probably isn't all that environment-friendly, and if more information on that drifts throughout the car community, Toyota may have a boondoggle on their hands.

I admit it: I wanted a hybrid based on their claims. But I waited, because new technology is often buggy. With the information coming out over the last year, I'm glad I waited.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2005

Really? « Politics As Usual »

Democrats Heartened by Narrow Loss.

To that, I say: Let's make sure it continues to happen, then! Everyone will be happy.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Two Things About Hawaii « Stuff Important to Me »

Hawaii has the stupidest birds in the world. If you get too close, they walk to get away from you, rather than flying. A bird was sitting in the middle of the road today. Just sitting! Was that the best place it could find??

Several (just about all) of the fast food restaurants in the area are staffed entirely by women, ranging from high school up to middle age, including crew chiefs, assistant managers, and managers. I'm not sure why I find that so interesting.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:52 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

August 02, 2005

Gunther Cunningham « Kansas City Chiefs »

As much as I love the guy, about half the time I really can't figure out what the heck he's talking about!

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Posted by Nathan at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
No Known Fatalities « Stuff Important to Me »

Interesting story.

Man...France, plane crash...I should be able to come up with something snarky.

...I got nothing.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Still, the Chiefs Shouldn't Have to Move « Kansas City Chiefs »

But it's a two-way street. The leadership of Jackson County and the state of Missouri should probably get involved, as Mr. Gretz points out. Otherwise, why should the Chiefs sacrifice to stay in Arrowhead if Jackson County and Missouri won't lift a finger to help?

"Love" isn't just words. It requires that you follow through with actions. I'm sure Jackson County loves the money and prestige and free national exposure they get from hosting the Chiefs. Tangible appreciation must support rhetoric.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 01, 2005

Stop That Nonsense Right Now! « Kansas City Chiefs »

What nonsense, you ask?

Well, lately, I've seen a comment come up, sometimes in the form of a question:

Fans just want the defense to be middle of the pack...

Not this fan.

Okay, here's the thing. Remember the first half of 2003, when the Chiefs started out so well? Sure, we won a few games because Hall broke a return for a TD. But the defense kept us in several games so that Hall could win it with a TD return. The defense can and should be quite good this year.

And we need it to be. Anything less than excellent (top 10) means we don't have a chance to win the Superbowl.

Why is it so necessary? Well, the better the defense, the more dominant we will be. The weaker the defense, the greater the chance for an upset. Sure, teams can win Superbowls despite a bad defensive showing in the playoffs...but the first rule of football is that offense wins games, but defense wins championships. That's because, in most cases, an offense can have a bad day when timing is disrupted, when WRs don't concentrate, when a QB gets a little pressure, but a defense generally can figure out a way to keep hitting and disrupting even when things don't go exactly right. Occasionally the right offensive game plan can totally exploit a defense's weakness, but that's not the way to bet.

But when you really look at the issue closely, the reverse is actually true, as well. Winning teams tend to have good defenses.

Sure, the "Greatest Show on Turf" won a Superbowl. Their offense was so awesome, they were blowing them out by 6 touchdowns halfway through the first quarter...what's that you say? It didn't go quite like that? One of the best offenses in NFL history needed a defensive stop on the 1-yard line to preserve a victory?!? Huh. Who'd a-thunk? And did the St. Louis Rams really have a Top-10 caliber-defense that year?

The stats say so.

I have a feeling that the stats might have been influenced by a number of teams having to pass to try to keep up with the Rams' offense. Against a truly good defensive team (like the Titans), the Rams offense had just enough to allow the defense to win it.

And let's return again to the 2003 Chiefs. We pretty much had a top-10 defense for most of the year. Sure, we were a little porous against the run, but what we lacked in yardage stats, we made up in turnovers. Because the offense would get 10-14 points up on the other team, and they'd switch to passing and we'd intercept or knock loose a fumble on a sack or strip the ball before the WR had solidified his hold.

But a funny thing happened against a good defensive team, right? They didn't beat us by lighting up the scoreboard as much as they showed the entire NFL something: running worked nearly as good as a pass in picking up yards on the Chiefs. It didn't help that our run-sniffing MLB (who also was such a student of the game that he made all the right defensive calls) was hampered and then out with a knee injury. But even though our offense was just as good, it didn't and couldn't make teams panic and go pass-happy anymore. They learned by watching the Bengals that if they kept pounding the run, we'd keep bringing more guys up to the line of scrimmage, and still be unable to stuff a run. That became a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I've argued before. And even worse, it made us way to vulnerable to a run-fake, like the one Cincinnati pulled when Warfield had no safety help, and a bad turn gave up a TD.

Bad juju.

It won't be that way this year.

Last year, when we stuffed the run on the first two series, it didn't win us anything. We could stuff the run on the first six series and they'd still keep going, knowing that eventually we would buckle. This year, when we stuff the run on the first three series, they can have no such confidence that we might still buckle.

Because we now have Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell. Because Kawika Mitchell and Keyaron Fox are healthy and eager to show they have caught on to the NFL. Because Sammy Knight is just salivating to pick off a pass or knock the ball loose like he always does. Because Surtain comes from nowhere to snag interceptions...even worse when Warfield comes back and does the same thing. Because Siavii had a full off-season with the Chiefs, and should be fully recovered from the Bronco Cheap Shot*, and Sims is playing for pride. Because Jared Allen added strength and weight and experience in the offseason and will still be a force even when double-teamed. Because Carlos Hall adds a good rush.

So now our opponents have to respect our defense. And our offense may be even better, with a full complement of WRs, the return of Kris Wilson, and the 1-2 punch of Holmes and Larry Johnson. Panic-mode for the opposing team should come earlier and more often...and our defense should benefit from that. They should look good, they should do more than just be mediocre.

We could very well have a team for the ages.

Cross-posted here.

Read More "Stop That Nonsense Right Now!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Provoking Thoughts on Democracy « Politics As Usual »

Not necessarily clearly stated throughout, but certainly well-worth considering.

I've always said that what China needs more than Democracy is Rule of Law. Which is perhaps another way of saying what's in the article.

Three types of rights-based systems... Huh.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Two Questions « Politics As Usual »

1) Why do Democrats apparently insist on pretending they are still supported by the majority of US citizens?

2) What kind of name is Haley Joel Osment, anyway?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)