June 8th, 2012


South Korea Vs Evolution! Fight!


It appears that the United States is not the only country having a hard time accepting evolution. According to a report in Nature, a South Korean creationist campaign has achieved victory in its efforts to see specific examples of evolution removed from high school text books. Their breakthrough is part of a larger campaign to see evolutionary theory removed as much as possible from educational materials.

I'm actually somehow surprised that another country could be more absurd about teaching evolution than the States. At least back in America the usual line is to teach either only evolution or present both sides. Korea is looking to chuck the evolution side all together. And this in a nation that's banking it's future on science in a lot of ways.

Of course, the source of this nonsense is unsurprising.

     South Korea's strong creationist sentiment is apparently due in part to its large Christian population. When it comes to evolutionary skepticism, surveys show that South Korea's numbers are comparable to those of the United States. Nearly one-third of South Koreans don't believe in evolution, claiming that there isn't enough scientific evidence to support it, or that it contradicted their religious beliefs. Others simply stated that they didn't understand the theory — an indication that evolutionary biology is insufficiently taught in that country. In fact, there are only 5-10 evolutionary scientists in South Korea who teach the theory of evolution in undergraduate and graduate schools.
Let me add some perspective. About 50% of Koreans are Christian. About 40% Prodastant and 10% Catholic if I remember my reading right. Churches in the Charismatic style seem to be catching on here. I've even come to see some of Seoul's resident crazy street prechers as living landmarks in a why.

Anyway, I'm not surprised at where this is coming from or that the government would cave. Public officials here fear bad press like a man covered in gasoline fears a hug from the Human Torch. But again, I'm hugely disappointed in South Korea here. The government has made a big to do about reworking Korea into a high tech society but right here we've got people afraid of the questions sciences brings. FAIL!

The Captain's Prop

Sorta LULzy: What Is Capitalism?

A question for the forum that just might be entertaining enough to count toward a good Friday LULz: What, in your opinion, is capitalism?

Mind you, I don't wish to hear what capitalism is not. Saying it is the opposite of socialism or communism or what-have-you-ism is (IMNSHO) intellectually dishonest. I'm genuinely curious to note your opinions of what it is, that is, what positive attributes can one ascribe to and require of a capitalist economy.

I've been looking, and I haven't really found a good positive definition myself, a really definitive list of required attributes to any given capitalist economy. You guys and gals seem to know stuff, so I thought I'd ask.

(no subject)

I have been a moderate on gun control for years. I have tried, I really have. But when someone started (in the comments on this Brad Hicks post) by saying that need to keep up the trade in "AK's and AR's" because "we all know what comes next" if we pull them off the streets, and then tells me that we need guns to protect us from knives (which is swallowing camels to catch a fly), well....

I went out and walked the dogs, thought about it, came back and wrote this:

This reply is not going to be remotely nice. I apologize to Mr Hicks for the giant threadshit I am about to drop. But I respect Brad Hicks for his willingness to post uncomfortable conclusions about power (particularly in his threads on anti-communism in the church and its undermining of Christian ethics), so I'll say what I think, and you can see where I'm coming from.

I thought for a moment you were really stupid. More easy access to guns is supposed to make us safer? A gun that a little old lady can use to protect herself from young toughs with butterfly knives is one that a 10-year-old gangbanger can use to terrorize his neighbors.

What I see is a bunch of people who make up illogical reasons to avoid regulating the trade in guns to organized crime; a bunch of people who react in paranoia at any sign of stopping the flow of guns into the hands of Latin Kings, la M, Gambinos, Crips, and Bloods. It goes beyond fear or stupidity. This is the behavior of guilty men.

It is clear to me that we are very close to the day, if we are not there already, when every adult in rural white America is personally a beneficiary of the gun business of organized crime. And at that point, what can we say but that rural white America is itself organized criminals, and at war with the majority of Americans? Your intransigent commitment to selling weapons of terror and criminality to the worst among us not only makes you complicit in their crimes, but only makes the mythical "jackbooted thugs" of your fantasies more likely: a self-fulfilling prophecy, as we have no choice but finally to declare war back on the country folk who would like nothing better than for city folk to die at the hands of gangbangers.

I don't think you're stupid. I think you are, in your own small way, a supplier to organized crime, and all the rest is obfuscation to keep the blood money coming in.

Maybe I'm wrong. But those who are opposed to all gun laws are doing a damn good job of leaving me with that impression. Maybe you need to revise your behavior that leads me to think you are, effectively, the mob.

Yeah, tell me I'm full of it. But I'm done. No point in even being moderate with these people. They're so scared of the government, it's probably because they're doing something wrong and they know it. There were no black helicopters with jackbooted thugs coming for your guns back in 1992; there haven't been any in 20 years. But now I think, "If they're so scared of any regulation, what are they up to really?"

And I can't be the only one.

[I'm tagging this with "gun laws," "urban/rural animosity" which I just coined and probably won't display, and I'm adding a "racism" tag because duh.]