I have written before that the reality of biological systems – in particular, that many if not most of them have significant and obvious design flaws – is compelling evidence against the "theory" of intelligent design. The logic seems to me straightforward: if the "designer" were so "intelligent," why would he/she/it have made such dumb mistakes in putting these biological systems together? Now, it appears, the righties have adopted March of the Penguins as their new favorite movie – some are even calling it "the Passion of the Penguins." The film is about, among other things, the extraordinary travails that penguins go through to breed. And one Andrew Coffin, writing in the Christian publication World Magazine, has opined as follows: "That any one of these eggs survives is a remarkable feat – and, some might suppose, a strong case for intelligent design." Sorry Andrew, but WRONG-O! Again, the point is that the penguins have a badly-designed breeding system. This is not evidence of "intelligent design" – to the contrary, it is evidence of a system that evolved over millions of years, and may not work all that well, but works well enough to keep the species going. Even some conservatives [...]
After less than two hours of debate, the "compromise" amendment that would have banned gay marriage and simultaneously required civil unions for gay couples was defeated 157-39. Congratulations to all who worked to defeat this amendment. Now, of course, the next phase of the battle begins: in about a week, signature-gatherers will be on the streets for the "no compromise" amendment that would simply ban gay marriage. If its proponents can gather the required 66,000 signatures, that amendment only needs 50 votes in two legislative sessions to appear on the 2008 ballot. Today’s lopsided vote does hold out a ray of hope that even if the signature-gathering is successful, maybe 50 votes won’t be available in the legislature. Seems like a long shot, but more and more legislators are taking the position that although they were initially against gay marriage, they have looked around them and seen that society has not been adversely affected – perhaps it has even benefited – by its presence. Brian Lees (R-E. Longmeadow), the Republican co-sponsor of the "compromise" amendment, voted "no" for that reason. Rep. Phil Travis ("D"-Rehoboth) is exactly wrong: the other 49 states are wrong, and we are right. Keep talking. Keep [...]
Blech. The ever-repulsive Romney has backed off the only courageous thing he’s done recently – right after the hurricane he criticized the federal response as "an embarrassment," but now apparently Karl Rove has got him "on message."
Two students displaced by Hurricane Katrina from Loyola University and temporarily relocated to Boston College were stabbed outside a convenience store in Cleveland Circle. Apparently the injuries are not life-threatening, thank goodness. How utterly embarrassing for our city.
Turning now to the "news that may not directly affect you" category, the Democratic primary for the New York City Mayor’s race was today. It was a four-way race, winnable outright only if the first-place finisher receives 40% of the vote; anything less means a runoff between the top two candidates. Frontrunner Fernando Ferrer, who had always been expected to take first place and had been expected to win outright for a long time, garnered – wait for it – 39.95% of the vote, according to tonight’s results. That’s gotta hurt. Having missed the magic number by 0.05% – about 233 votes out of over 456,000 cast – Ferrer now has to face a runoff with the second-place finisher, Congressman Anthony Weiner. And now for the local angle: incumbent NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, formerly a Democrat, nominally a Republican, and fabulously wealthy, was born and raised in Medford! UPDATE: As one of our alert readers notes below, Weiner has conceded the race and will not participate in a runoff.