28 March 2006

Survival of the Fittest v Altruism


The story of man

Dec 20th 2005
From The Economist print edition

Modern Darwinism paints a more flattering portrait of humanity than traditionalists might suppose


Modern Darwinism's big breakthrough was the identification of the central role of trust in human evolution. People who are related collaborate on the basis of nepotism. It takes outrageous profit or provocation for someone to do down a relative with whom they share a lot of genes. Trust, though, allows the unrelated to collaborate, by keeping score of who does what when, and punishing cheats.

Very few animals can manage this. Indeed, outside the primates, only vampire bats have been shown to trust non-relatives routinely...


21 March 2006

Archbishop speaks out against teaching creationism

[thanks to Crackers]

The Archbishop of Canterbury has the final word...

Archbishop speaks out against teaching creationism
Sydney Morning Herald
March 21, 2006 - 2:04PM

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams ... the spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans does not believe creationism should be taught in schools.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, says he does not believe creationism -- the Bible-based account of the origins of the world -- should be taught in schools.

"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there has just been a jarring of categories," Dr Rowan Williams told The Guardian newspaper.




20 March 2006

So Much for "Sunshine Week"

AP Erases Video of Israeli Soldier Shooting Palestinian Boy


"The trend toward secrecy is the greatest threat to democracy."

- Associated Press CEO, in a speech about the importance of openness

"The official response is we decline to respond."

- Associated Press Director of Media Relations, replying to questions about AP

In the midst of journalism's "Sunshine Week"--during which the Associated Press and other news organizations are valiantly proclaiming the public's "right to know"--AP insists on conducting its own activities in the dark, and refuses to answer even the simplest questions about its system of international news reporting.

Most of all, it refuses to explain why it erased footage of an Israeli soldier intentionally shooting a Palestinian boy.




19 March 2006

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place

On average, you'll spend a year of your life looking for misplaced objects.

Source: Lid of a Spring Valley orange juice bottle. "Liddle Facts No. 66". I consider buying orange juice a waste of money, but whatever my flatmate paid for this was definitely worth it.

13 March 2006

Is the Nation-State Dying?

05 March 2006

Jesus Never Existed

For those who still have doubts about the falsity of Christianity: