Tom Wolfe takes on Darwinism and its failure to explain language

Tom Wolfe is among our best contemporary writers.  The founder of the New Journalism, which uses novelistic techniques for the purpose of non-fiction, and a novelist who employs real-world research like a journalist, Wolfe is also an iconoclast of contemporary culture.  (See, for example, his send-up of wealthy leftists in Radical Chic, and his mockery of the trendy art world in The Painted Word.)

Now Wolfe takes on the biggest icon of modern thought, the one thinker who must not be questioned and the one  sacrosanct idea:  Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Wolfe’s book, The Kingdom of Speech, is a lively history of Darwin’s theory and its continually demonstrated inability to account for human language.  It also gives us a portrait of Charles Darwin and his nemesis Alfred Russel Wallace, who beat him to the theory of natural selection.  Wolfe also takes on Noam Chomsky, the leading linguist of our day and a leftwing activist, and his nemesis, Dan Everett, a former missionary who disproves his theory on the innateness of language.

Though Wolfe is neither, from what I can tell, a creationist nor an Intelligent Design advocate, he shows how science is made–by human beings, with ambition, politics, and social pressures all playing their part.  The book is informative, funny, and stimulating.  And it is ultimately a tribute to the transcendent Word that underlies all things. [Read more…]

Making babies without women

The Frankenstein fear of reproductive engineering so far has been the future possibility that women could have babies without men, rendering males obsolete.  But now scientists are working on making ordinary cells function as eggs, so that they can be fertilized by sperm.  They have already made this work with baby mice.

So maybe women, with the further invention of artificial wombs, will become obsolete instead.  Not only that, this new technology, should it work, would allow two men to conceive a child.   If we get rid of either women or men, same-sex marriage might be the only kind left.  Perhaps the fluid gender movement is a preparation for the time when human beings will have no gender and no sex at all!

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Sugar industry paid scientists to blame fat

In the neverending battle against obesity, heart disease, and bad health, what are we supposed to avoid eating, fat or sugar?

The question is important, because, if you fear fat, those fat-free products you may be substituting are packed with sugar and other carbohydrates.

We should consult science to settle the issue, but it turns out that the nutritional science of the last few decades has been seriously compromised.  It has been discovered that back in the 1960s, the sugar industry paid all-too-human scientists from Harvard large amounts of money to shift nutritional blame from sugar to fats.  Those studies have continued to influence other studies, which build upon them.  The scientists, who are now deceased, include one who helped draft the government’s dietary guidelines.

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Bush proven right on stem cell research

Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush banned the use of federal money for extracting stem cells from human embryos.  At the same time, he doubled funding for finding alternative sources.  Today, virtually all stem cells used for medical treatments and research come from adult sources and do not involve the destruction of human life.

President Bush’s controversial decision has been vindicated, and it exemplifies the application of moral principles to scientific research.  So says Christopher White in Crux. [Read more…]

Study challenges LGBT assumptions 

Public opinion, government policy, and Supreme Court rulings about LGBT issues has been predicated on the notion that same-sex attraction and having a gender identity different from one’s biological sex are innate, fixed conditions.  In the words of the Lady Gaga song, “I was born this way.”

But a Johns Hopkins study has found otherwise.
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Morality as politics

The Pew Research Center has conducted a study finding that 64% of church goers heard political issues being preached from the pulpit.  Those “political issues” included abortion, homosexuality, religious liberty, the environment, and economic inequality.

Now those are mostly moral–not political–issues.  Churches have always taught about sexual morality and respect for human life.  They have also addressed issues of social morality.  That is not being political.  The Pew study found that only 14% heard political candidates being promoted or criticized.

What’s interesting here is that the researchers consider moral beliefs to be nothing more than political positions.  To be sure, government dictates about morality gives them a political dimension they normally would not have.  This is especially true when the government requirements run counter to the church’s traditional moral teachings.  Of course the church must push back against that.

But the problem isn’t churches meddling into politics.  It is the government meddling into morality.

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