Thursday, September 4, 2008

5 Thoughts on a Thursday

1) I had an existential moment this morning when I was picking up a pile of dirty clothes for the wash. I went to scoop them up, and as I started to walk away, I dropped one pair of underwear. I picked that up, but as soon as I did, I dropped a t-shirt. Then I went to pick that up, but before I could, I dropped a single black sock. This is when I noticed that I was standing in front of a full-length mirror, and could see myself repeatedly stooping to pick up a single article of clothing and then dropping a different piece before I could make a move for the laundry room. Over and over again. This went on for like, five minutes, before I finally said to myself, "Screw it," and just left the damn pair of boxers there on the bedroom floor. (This also may help explain why it takes me so long to get anything done around the house.)

2) Remember awhile back when we were discussing the role of irony in politics? Well, I guess the surreality of reality has reached a new level this week, when John McCain justified his VP choice of Sarah Palin by saying that she has the necessary foreign policy experience because, "Alaska is right next to Russia." Steve Benen of CBS News has a pretty funny/sad commentary on this.

Is irony dead? Is it merely overused? Or is it the only form of comedy dangerous enough to kill Socrates? More on this story as it develops.

3) Whenever anybody comes to visit us in Chicago - and I mean anybody - they are required to go with me to the Field Museum and see the dinosaurs. Last week, for example, I took my friend K there. The only problem (from my perspective, at least) is that you have to walk through this very long and drawn out exhibit called "Evolving Earth" in order to get to the totally awesome dinosaur fossils at the end. I usually run out of patience somewhere in the Pre-Cambrian Eon and then just run forward to the Mesozoic.

The purpose of the exhibit is to take you on a tour through the entire four-and-a-half billion year history of Earth, and, needless to say, it takes a while. One of the upshots of this exhibit, however, is that it thoroughly - if in a rather indirect way - debunks all of the principles of Intelligent Design, and puts forward an excellent case (a word I use with a bit of trepidation, as "case" suggests that there is something being argued, when it is more correct to say that the exhibit shows what is fact) for evolution. Even more importantly, I think, is the fact that the exhibit makes clear that absolutely none of our present day science makes sense - including biology, anatomy, medicine, or physiology - without the basic scientific principles that are provided by the theory of evolution.

Of course, the most important part of this thought is that it is obvious that, even if there is a God and Creator, that does not necessitate the existence of an intelligent designer. After all, look at the Platypus. That animal is ridiculous. I think that it alone disproves the idea of Intelligent Design.

4) "Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." - Wittgenstein

5) Day 3 at new house: Discovered nearest liquor store. 2 blocks down, 2 blocks over. Run by Turks, possibly Libyans. No checking of IDs. Cash only. Excellent.

No comments: