The Sixth International
Doing my bit
Strange signs in the skies, part II
Even as we published the last post (see below), the Unlearned Hand was preparing to smite another blog -- this one, in fact. You'll understand if I can't fully enjoy the irony. The Hand has since spoken, over in Tom Runnacles's comments box: it seems that the Destroyer of Worlds is not without a certain wistful sense of the tragic.
That said, the strange alternative universe in which I'm trapped isn't a completely bad thing. I know it's an alternative universe, because Eintracht Frankfurt won promotion to the 1. Bundesliga yesterday. And they did so in a manner that defied the basic laws of space and time. The Eintracht, which had held the last promotion slot by the slimmest of margins - equal in points and goal differential to Mainz '05, but having shot a single goal more - squandered a 3:1 first-half lead over relegated Reutlingen, and the match looked sure to end 3:3. Mainz by contrast were unstoppable. Or rather, Benjamin Auer was unstoppable, putting all four Mainz goals into (also relegated) Braunschweig's net. But then, suddenly, just before it was all over, three more Frankfurt goals randomly winked into existence, the Eintracht were back up, and Mainz had failed for the third time to make it into the top flight. Good things happening to the Eintracht -- there's something you won't see in the 'normal' universe. So you see, the Unlearned Hand can also be a force for good.
Strange signs in the skies
Harry's Place is now a collective, at least for a while. Comrade Hatchet has recruited guest-blogger Marcus, a corporate lawyer posting from -- and who could have imagined such a thing possible? -- a leftwing perspective.
In another dramatic blogospheric development, Kevin Drum has used his awesome powers to free Ted Barlow from the thrall of the Unlearned Hand. The Poor Man's theory was only partly right. 'Linking to the Hand' does make you disappear from the blogging world (see the comments under Mr Barlow's post) -- but the Hand can only do this to one blogger at a time (see here, then here). Now we will be unable to use that 'Where is Taed?' post we'd been thinking about. Just as well, really.
Farrellblogger. is no more. It has been displaced by Gallowglass.
In the best spirit of western phallocentric patriarchalism, Henry Farrell has modestly called the new domain henryfarrell.net; where this leaves Maria we don't know. Perhaps she is now a kern.
Games people play
So, half the blogging world is enjoying a quiet chuckle over revelations that Virtue's Champion Bill Bennett has spent a net $8 million feeding his monkey. The other half is busy explaining how this is, y'know, different. Myself, I can't get terribly excited about it. Perhaps that's because I've always thought Bennett a pompous posing windbag, so he didn't have very far to fall.
In the spirit of anglospheric solidarity, Iain Murray is wielding England's Sword in Bennett's defence. It's not so bad what Bennett did, thinks Mr Murray. In a way he's right. All a matter of perspective, I suppose. For real vice, you'll have to look beyond the bounds of America's Party of Morality. I mean, it's not like Bennett is an Enron exec or a spy for the Chinese. For heaven's sake - he didn't even serve his first wife with divorce papers while she was in hospital for cancer surgery. No, his sins are, relatively speaking, minor. But then, as I say, he hadn't far to fall.
With admirable candour, Mr Murray reveals that he himself used to drop a few coins into fruit machines a long time ago. With respect, I think he's missing an important point. This is a bit like saying, 'Well, back in my student days I sometimes had a pint or two more than was good for me. So let's not attack the Rev'd Mr Turgid of the Society For Promoting Goodness because he sucks down three litres of voddie very night'. Still, inspired by Mr Murray's example of full disclosure, I'd better pull the veil off my own dark and ugly gambling history. I was in California once, and on a whim bought a $1 lottery card (the sort with silvery patches to be scratched off with a coin). And what do you know, I won! Two whole dollars, in fact. One I kept, the other I, ahem, invested in a second card. Alas - a loser this time. Happily, I managed to free myself from the claws of the gambling demon, and I suppose I should count myself lucky that, over the long term, I broke even.
The Law of Inverse Anthemics
Now I know that, like me, most of you will have spent yesterday waving red banners on assorted barricades and grimly engaging in international proletarian solidarity. But apparently it was 'Loyalty Day' in the United States. I don't quite know how this would be celebrated; perhaps by anonymously denouncing to John Ashcroft non-churchgoers, Democrats and others manifestly undeserving of life in a free society under limited government. Tom Runnacles has his own thoughts on this, but ends with this amazing bit of contrarian criticism:
Actually, I'm prepared to admit that 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is pretty good as National Anthems go.Actually, I'm prepared to hypothesise that the S-SB was given the tune of To Anacreon in Heaven by some underground United Empire Loyalist keen on ridiculing the young republic that had dared usurp the King's rightful authority. While visiting America last summer I went to a baseball game, and I must say the anthem sung at the beginning was a prefect complement to the game itself: disjointed, meandering, hard to follow and long. (It was Mencken, I believe, who described the American anthem as 'gibberish sprinkled with question-marks'; but it is the tune, not the text, that concerns me here.)
Mr Runnacles did set me thinking, though. I think the case can be made that the musical quality of a national anthem is in inverse relation to the quality of the nation it praises. I'm not interested for the moment in the ideas an anthem's text expresses, or its emotional value to citizens of the state in question. I'm interested solely in how it sounds. The S-SB is, to my mind, a pretty awful piece of music, yet the USA is (in theoretical constitutional terms) a very good thing indeed and (in real-world practice) for all its faults a decent and successful society. Contrast nazi Germany: dominant member of the real Axis of Evil and one of the very worst things ever. Yet Das Deutschlandlied (you may know it as 'Deutschland �ber alles') is of ethereal beauty.* The USSR must also rank high on any list of Bad Nations, yet the Gimn sovetskogo soyuza is a great musical achievement, conveying hope and majesty at once. The quiet solemnity of Auferstanden aus Ruinen, the anthem of the former German Democratic Republic, perfectly captured what the First Peace-loving Workers' and Peasants' State on German Soil purported to represent: the better elements of the German nation arising from the ruins to build a just society. (A German friend assures me, though, that the tune was swiped from Good-bye Johnny, a song popular in bordellos.)
My theory breaks down when applied to Ireland, though. Here there is not so much an inverse relation as a lack of any relation whatever. The anthem's music is completely inapposite not to the state but to the anthem itself. Amhran na bhFiann is a jaunty, jolly little tune. But it's supposed to be a martial tune - The Soldier's Song, as it is known in English. If it weren't for its associations, it could easily be played by a loyalist flute band on the Twelfth. Which leads us to another example of the strange inability of the competing Irish tribes to make the tune fit the notion, let alone the nation. Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland see the Orangemen parading through their streets as violent aggressors, asserting their control over the vanquished. Yet the anthem of Orangeism, The Sash My Father Wore, is anything but malevolent. It's a cheerful march, just the thing you'd expect an American high school band to blare out at half-time during the Big Football Match. Perhaps it's for the best that I blow this hole in my theory. Otherwise Iain Murray might be tempted to apply the inverse law to the European Union and its anthem, the chorale from Beethoven's Ninth.
* Happily, the current lot of Germans (who have a much nicer state now) have kept the anthem. But they've deleted the first two verses of the text (including the Deutschland �ber alles bit). What's left is the wish for 'unity and justice and liberty for the German fatherland'. Even the deleted verses, though, once meant something very different to the meaning Hitler gave them.
It's called 'triangulation'
Iain Murray and Peter Cuthbertson label T6I a 'leftist' blog. (Well; Mr Murray seems to have modified this recently to 'leftish'.) So imagine our surprise and delight to discover that Ampersand & Bean have included us in the Alas, a blogroll's tiny cohort of rightwingers.
It's a big responsibility but we'll certainly try to do our best.
Here goes. Emmm... Man on dog... as we said to Ann Coulter the other day... idiotarians... leftists are snobs 'cause they think mechanics and other proles, bless their empty salt-of-the-earth little heads, should hear about evolution... on to Damascus!... heh.
With a bit of work we'll get the hang of it.
UPDATE: Quite a lot of work, from the look of things. Ampersand has ejected us from the ranks of the Right and filed us under 'unclassifiable'. That's pretty cool, actually.
In cyberspace, nobody can tell when your porch needs painting
We've belatedly added the Virtual Stoa to the blogroll. If you're trying to keep your dead socialists sorted, Chris Brooke is your man.
We'd love to help him with a dead socialist for today. The best we can offer is French publisher Claude Gallimard, who relinquished control over his physical means of production this day in 1991. No idea what his politics were, but surely we may regard him as a socialist in the broad (i.e., sophisticated and Parisian) sense. For what surer mark of sinistrality, than invective hurled by other leftists? In 1969 Guy Debord together with some of his comrades in l'Internationale situationniste sent Gallimard a nasty letter, a letter that greatly amused him. The IS replied, with typical Gallic elegance:
Tu as peu de raisons de trouver amusante notre lettre du 16 janvier.... Tu l�as dans le cul.They also told him he'd never publish another work by a situationist. And in a way they were right. Gallimard's publishing house didn't bring out its edition of Debord's La soci�t� du spectacle until 1992, the year after Claude's death.
I've nothing against paedogenetrices, it's paedogenetic acts I condemn
Most homophobes, those in the lawmaking and opinionmongering trades anyway, aren't content simply to growl that they 'hate queers'. They struggle mightily to offer some plausible justification for their bigotry. Sometimes it's the slippery slope - 'It'll be man on dog next, just you wait!' - and sometimes it's scientific, or at least scientificoid. The latter sort of argument is useful, if for nothing else, as a starting point for thinking about some interesting evolutionary questions.
In the comments box under a recent Kieran Healy post (since archived) about the curious tendency of liberals and conservatives to flip their stereotypical responses to the nature/nurture question when talking about homosexuality, David Ehrenstein and I had a bit of an argument about whether the question has any merit to begin with. Mr Ehrenstein maintained that to think so privileges reproduction, reflecting heterosexual ideology. I agreed with him that 'heterosexual ideology' is out of place when talking about the law (and most other things), but noted that reproduction is rather, emm, privileged if what you're talking about is evolutionary biology. I also plugged (and here I go again) Olivia Judson's Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation as a highly entertaining introduction to the question of sex from an evolutionary perspective (and as a stark illustration that even the most creative things humans do with each other sexually don't begin to merit the adjective 'bizarre').
But it's not all raciness on the Tilton bookshelves. Still not sleepy after watching Gosford Park last night, I spent a couple of hours paging through Dettner and Peters's Lehrbuch der Entomologie. No, wait, I was too hasty. In its own way the dry tome edited by Dettner and Peters is just as racy as Judson. I soon stumbled across a small entry I'd long forgotten, on a creature whose complicated love life shows those of the guests and staff at Gosford to be quite prosaic. This is the small beetle Micromalthus debilis LeConte 1878.
If I recall correctly, M. debilis is too comfortable in its polymorphous perversity to have bothered writing to Dr Tatiana. But they are shameless little things for all that. Much of the time they reproduce paedogenetically and parthenogenetically. That is, the larvae reproduce without waiting to become adults first. And (sorry, men) it's all by virgin birth. The normal life cycle runs like this: a final-stage larva grows her daughters internally; like many beetle grubs, these first-stage larvae have legs, the better to disperse. But before bidding their mother a fond adieu, they eat her. (This might seem ungrateful, even impious, but evolutionarily speaking it makes perfect sense. They are her clones, after all. In fitness terms she's far better off being eaten by multiple copies of herself than undevoured but alone.) The first stage larva develops into a second stage with reduced legs and mouth parts more suited to eating dead wood than parents. In the final stage of development, legs and mouth parts are further reduced, and there's little left for our heroine to do but have (and feed) her babies.
But even paedogenetic beetle larvae like a bit of variety in the bedroom. Every now and then a mother-larva does something different - she lays an egg. It's not fertilised, but it develops nonetheless. After hatching, the larva pupates and emerges as an imago (adult). If the mother had hoped thereby to avoid serving as her child's first meal, she hoped in vain. The first thing the hatchling does is eat her. And sometimes one of the live-born larvae breaks out of the cycle, pupates and becomes an imago. (It had already eaten its mother, remember). The larvae that develop into adults may be male or female (like male bees, male M. debilis have no father and only half the usual set of chromosomes). Whether male or female, the adults play no reproductive role whatever. The male cannot fertilise eggs; the female can lay eggs, but they do not develop. Reproductively speaking, adult females and all males are ciphers; Dettner & Peters's Lehrbuch describes them as 'relics'.
Hmm. Child sex; matricide; an obvious lack of respect for the God-appointed role of the male. I think we can all get behind Rick Santorum on this one. A shameless deviant, is M. debilis. It's positively unnatural.
There's a certain irony to the strapline quotation (see update to the post below) from Learned Hand. The irony's not lost on Kieran Healy, who notes that Hand was himself quoting Oliver Cromwell, who might at times have been better about following his own advice.
It's as little lost on Mr Healy that some of the qualities for which the British have rightly been admired tended to disappear when they were busy managing the island to their left. He writes:
Tolerance of ideological dissent in the United Kingdom always implicitly or explicitly excluded Catholics because they were thought to be loyal first to the Pope and thus a threat to state sovereignty.It wasn't quite the UK yet in Cromwell's day, but we'll leave the pedantry where it belongs. That said, I question the bit between 'because' and 'and thus'. I'd be surprised if it were their loyalty to the pope that informed the harsh treatment of Irish* Roman Catholics in the old days. (If nothing else, the pope was an ally of King Billy; and if you don't know who he was, away home and read your bible.) I suspect the 'loyalty' the government feared was to Spain and, later, France.
From Elizabeth's day on, Spain and France - each the superpower of its day, and avowedly catholic - had designs on England, and used religion as one of their weapons. The pope might have had a few more divisions in those days than he does now, but nowhere enough to make England lose sleep. The government did, though, fear the catholic population as a potential fifth column, ready to open a back door to a Spanish or French monarch who'd rid the land of heresy.** It's telling, I think, that (in Ireland, anyway) the penal laws suppressing catholic religious practice soon fell into effective desuetude, certainly by the time the threat from a catholic continental superpower was no longer credible (Spain was no longer a superpower, and France no longer really catholic). It's also telling, in a different way, that the penal laws that continued to be strictly enforced were those making it hard for catholics to acquire and keep landed property. Among the most dogged opponents of relaxation of these laws were some of the very men hailed today as the 'patriots' of the Irish ascendancy.***
* English catholics too. The Irish catholics weren't the only ones that Daniel O'Connell liberated.
** Their fears were very largely unfounded, as it happens. Despite Guy Fawkes and a handful of others, English catholics as a whole never gave reason to doubt their loyalty. The Irish, it's true, weren't averse to the occasional shipload of Frenchmen, not that these did any good. But that's probably more a matter of the enemy-of-my-enemy than anything else. It wasn't really a religious thing, as the protestant Theobald Wolfe Tone (who was aboard one of those ships) could have told you. And, whatever nonsense you've heard about the 'black Irish', Ireland wasn't very welcoming to the remnants of the Armada.
*** Linda Colley, in Britons, does document a strong popular opposition to catholic emancipation in England (and, all out of proportion to the size of its population, in Wales). But this sort of religiously-driven opposition would prove itself a spent force. As Ms Colley describes, when England was no longer threatened by a continental catholic power, the idea that the penal laws were past their sell-by date began to gather momentum. And that's enough footnotes for one post, don't you think?
We at T6I are great fans of marxoid navel-gazing, and Harry Hatchet has presented an example of the very first water. Don't miss it, comrades!
Something the Germans really should be punished for
Henry Farrell has been cruel enough to remind me of something I'd managed to banish from my mind: the Kelly Family. (And he links to Brett Marston, who goes on about them at even greater length.)
Some years ago my hopes picked up when I saw written somewhere: 'Die Kelly Family!' Alas, the writer had simply used the German definite article (rather like Sideshow Bob's tattoo; 'It's German, it means "The Bart, the!"').
Irish traditional music (not that this is what the Kelly Family do) is strangely popular in Germany. In part, of course, this is because Ireland is strangely popular in Germany. Many German students, especially, flock to Ireland on holiday. A few years ago I was rambling through some rather lonely territory in southwestern Donegal and played a little game. I'd try to guess how many of the people whose path I crossed would prove to be Germans. Nearly all of them were. (Sometimes they stay. There's a pub in Teelin called the Rusty Mackerel, supposedly run by a man from Wiesbaden who came decades ago and never left. The place was shuttered up when I passed by, though, so I can't say if this is true.) No doubt these backpack-laden young Germans bring back fond memories of sessions, often in pubs catering heavily for travelling students from abroad. But there's more to it than that. I once went to an Oirish Pub™ in Germany to hear a band playing Irish and Scottish trad. These were no romantic exiled Gaels but stolid rural Franconians. (And they played quite well.) I turned to a German friend and asked him to explain why the Germans so love Irish traditional music. He thought for a minute, then asked, 'Well, have you ever heard German traditional music?' A pretty good answer, I have to admit.
UPDATE: Slugger O'Toole's Mick Fealty writes (see comments) that the Mackerel has changed hands (and name). He's not sure about the alleged Wiesbadener; he remembers the place as run by an Irish couple. So there's another good story spoilt by facts. Or maybe not... the man who'd told me about the place said the German had come over a long time ago and married a local girl; it wouldn't be without historical precedent if he became more Irish than the Irish themselves.
Another casualty of war
Others have noted Glenn Reynolds's descent into gibbering manichaeanism, so I won't dwell on it at length here. (I do wonder, though, whether it's a case of war-induced Testosterone Gone Wild - a syndrome first described by famed endocrinologist Alice Donut - or whether Prof. Reynolds thinks abandoning the capacity for clear thought and fair comment is simply one of those wartime sacrifices we must all make for the common good.) There's another recent InstaTendency that bears watching, though.
I see that Prof. Reynolds is still getting that excited feeling from the 'Den Beste Theory' (i.e., that France and Germany opposed the war for fear an American victory would bring to light the commercial dealings between Iraq and French and German firms):
I suspect that there's a lot more that we'll find out, and that it's one of the things France and Germany were hoping to keep quiet.Don't know about the French, but as I have pointed out before Germany has, for several years now, been tracking down German firms that sold contraband to Iraq and bringing their principals to public trial. Rather futile of the Germans to oppose a war on the grounds Prof. Reynolds and Mr Den Beste suggest, when they're exposing the deals in their own courts. (Politically counterproductive, even. The illegal deals didn't occur on Schr�der's watch, and it wouldn't harm his SPD to point up the willingness of the former Union government to turn a blind eye.)
But things German do seem to be obsessing Prof. Reynolds of late. One German thing is, anyway.
In commenting on Nicholas De Genova's disgusting whinge of self-justification (here, his contention that US intervention against warlords in Mogadishu was a violation of Somali self-determination), Prof Reynolds sneers:
So does "self-determination" boil down to "One folk, one ruler, one party?"So does 'advocating views repugnant to Glenn Reynolds' boil down to 'nazi'? Or perhaps the echoes of ein Volk, ein Reich, ein F�hrer are purely coincidental. (And why does Prof. Reynolds feel the need to reach for the 'you are a nazi' cudgel in the first place? Kevin Drum said all that needs to be said about Prof. De Genova in three short words: 'What a dick.')
Some days earlier, Prof. Reynolds offered a link to Eamonn Fitzgerald's Rainy Day, with this comment (the entirety of his post):
EAMONN FITZGERALD REPORTS ON ANTI-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA IN GERMANY, which he says is reaching Goebbelsian levels.Though he gave the link, Prof. Reynolds must have been hoping nobody would follow it. Mr Fitzgerald wasn't reporting on anti-American propaganda. He was reporting on a satirical television programme ('satire' doesn't quite capture the nature of politisches Kabarett, but it'll do) and a newspaper interview with its star, Dieter Hildebrandt, in which Hildebrandt made some bog-standard anti-Bush comments.* That's not propaganda; it's one celebrity running off at the mouth. If this be 'anti-American propaganda', there's rather more of it coming from the USA (George Clooney, Sean Penn, the Dixie Chicks etc.) than from Germany. And Mr Fitzgerald said nothing about 'Goebbelsian levels', he didn't mention Goebbels at all. (Several commenters did, though in a discussion of the correct lyrics to the WWII classic 'Hitler Had Only One Big Ball'.) So, no anti-American propaganda, and no Goebbelsian levels. Other than that, Prof. Reynolds's post was pretty good.
A couple of weeks ago, several bloggers pointed out that Prof. Reynolds, curiously for a man so sensitive to invidious parallels, blithely praised a Hungarian poster equating the EU with nazi Germany as 'powerful'. Now he's drawing the parallels himself. He's gone far enough, I think, that we can judge him to have broken Godwin's law and lost the argument.
* For example, that former justice minister Hertha D�ubler-Gmelin's remarks about Bush were not that far off the mark. D�ubler-Gmelin had said that Bush, like Hitler, was looking for foreign war as a distraction from domestic political difficulties. She was sacked for it.
UPDATE: when I wrote 'Others have noted...' at the top of this post, the most glittering example I had in mind was this piece by Kevin Drum. But for the life of me I couldn't remember where I'd read it or who had written it (sorry, Kevin). Thanks to Matthew Yglesias for the data-recovery assist.
Off to the meeting-house, a chisel in my hand
Chris Brooke of the Virtual Stoa has sent an email admiring T6I's current strapline (from the wonderfully named American judge Learned Hand). [See update below.] As an inscription for churches, though, Mr Brooke prefers Alexander Kinglake's more lapidary suggestion: Important if true.
Kinglake was a sceptic, but I agree with him. Indeed, I'd make that 'if and only if'. I have always disliked the invisible addendum that informs much political support for 'religious values': ... and, even if untrue, useful.
UPDATE: A new month, a new strapline. What Mr Brooke referred to was this: ��I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that ye may be mistaken.� I should like to have that written over the portals of every church, every school, and every court house, and may I say, of every legislative body....�
Okay, now we really exist
A few days ago, Blog*Spot finally caught and killed the bug making T6I's circuits sputter and spark. Unfortunately, they also made it impossible to publish.... That's fixed too now, and the two posts below appear (as far as I can tell) for the first time.
Is atheism necessary?
[Note: a few days ago, I added to the comments following a Matthew Yglesias post about evolution and creationism. Another commenter had stated that, given what we know about evolution, belief in God is stupid. I responded that I believe in evolution and think otherwise; but had to admit that I am, by the commenter's standard, stupid. The commenter later clarified that he wasn't saying anybody who believes in God is stupid, but rather that even quite intelligent believers were irrationally refusing to accept the consequence of scientific knowledge, i.e., that there is no God, and asked why a God who does not direct nature as the creationists believe would be very interesting even if he existed. A second commenter asked more or less the same thing. Mr Yglesias's post is archived now, sic transit gloria blogomundi, and the comments seem to have vanished. But these two commenters raised good issues, so here's how I would have liked to follow up in Mr Yglesias's comment-box.]
Fair questions. But I think you have the wrong picture of the God you posit arguendo for the purpose of asking 'How does he (or she, or it) interact with the natural world, and if he (and so on) doesn't, why is he at all interesting?' The image is like that of a scientist, setting up an ant farm and then doing things with it (adding a bit of sugar-water, perhaps) from time to time, without which the ants would perish. That's a bit too immanent for my taste. Though I suppose I shouldn't deny, a priori and categorically, that miracles could occur (for that is what you are describing - a divine interference with the way the physical world works), I rather doubt they ever do. God causes nature to exist (as I believe); if it exists a certain way (water boils at such and such a temperature; light travels at such and such a speed; given enough time, unicellular eukaryotes turn into people) then that, presumably, is the way he wants it to exist. Why should he change it?
You may say, if there is a God who doesn't interact physically with the natural world, why is he interesting? Because the world he causes to exist is interesting (and I imagine we are in agreement about it being interesting, if not about it being caused by God). The Swiss theologian Hans K�ng once asked -- and E.O. Wilson endorsed the question without sharing K�ng's beliefs -- why is there something instead of nothing? I don't know your answer, though I assume it differs from mine. Mine, though, is a transcendant God -- a God whose transcendance makes him far more interesting, to me, than an anthropomorphic cartoon character with a robe and a long beard, waving his magic wand from the clouds every so often to make things happen down in the world.
I'd like to turn the question into another question. Why does the first commenter think that religious people who are not stupid, understand and accept evolution etc., are nonetheless refusing to accept the consequences of their scientific knowledge? Why does the second commenter think evolution means there is no God? It seems to me that, to arrive at this conclusion, one must conceive of God (without necessarily believing in him) in the same way the creationists do. If there is a God (in other words), then it must be he who directly 'manages' nature on a day-to-day basis (as the young-earth crowd hold) or at least tweaks it from time to time (as intelligent design's partisans believe) to achieve results that nature could not reach on its own; and if natural processes alone can account for the world around us, then that God drops out of the picture. I'm genuinely curious about this; I've never thought the question 'Is evolution true?' has anything to do with the question 'Is there a God?' (I don't now, and didn't when I was an atheist). Perhaps things would have been different had I held a sincere belief in a creationist-type God when I learned about evolution; but sero amavi and all that, and it has never been an issue for me. I can understand it being an issue for creationists, but why for these commenters and others who think as they do? (Note that I am not challenging their disbelief in a God; I wouldn't use my own blog to proselytise, let alone Matthew's. I am merely asking, why do they conclude that advances in scientific knowledge, and in evolutionary theory particularly, should force one to conclude there is no God?)
We exist again
Blog*Spot seem to have fixed T6I now. Apparently, they have created a new URL that redirects to the old T6I; the new one seems to have vanished. So, use the new URL, and you get the old blog.
The Politburo hereby award BloggerControl's Joel Slovacek the Hero of Socialist Labour Medal 2d Class for his stakhanovite efforts on behalf of the struggling masses.
Vox tacentis in deserto
As I will be underway tomorrow through (most likely) Sunday, with little chance of internet access (or the time to use it), I expect to be maintaining a discreet silence for a few days.
What he said
On the off chance that you can see this post (see the previous one), do pop by Rick Bruner's blog for his argument why the impending war on Iraq is justified. Mr Bruner is deeply suspicious of George Bush. He's also plainly aware that there are many sound arguments against the war. And, unlike bog-standard jingoist warbloggers, he recognises that some of these anti-war arguments can't simply be dismissed as the rantings of People Who Hate Freedom™. But weighing pro and contra in the balance, he finds the case for war stronger. I agree.
Mr Bruner laments that nobody reads his blog. Glenn Reynold's link should fix that (it's thanks to InstaPundit that I found the blog myself). So go show Mr Bruner he's wrong (about crying in the wilderness, not about the war).