Embedded video from CNN Video
Science writer Simon Singh wrote the following letter in The Guardian criticizing chiropractic therapy. He is being sued by the British Chiropractic Association for libel. Many news outlets and blogs are reprinting his piece as an act of solidarity and to stand up for free speech/freedom of press. I’m doing so for the same reasons and because of its important content.
According to Judge Napolitano (on Fox News) the police violated the a constitutional right by going into Gates’s home.
I hope this is the start of this issue actually being discussed in the mainstream media.
He doesn’t always come off in the best light but he’s often right on. I couldn’t find anything I disagreed with – anyone who would defend a fascist-like ideology really is a moron.
There is absolutely no legal requirement to be polite in the defense of this right. And such rights cannot be negotiated away over beer.
Race or color are second-order considerations in this, if they are considerations at all. [...] Professor Gates should have taken his stand on the Bill of Rights and not on his epidermis or that of the arresting officer, and, if he didn’t have the presence of mind to do so, that needn’t inhibit the rest of us.
The arrest of Harvard African-American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates has certainly got everyone talking. Unfortunately, everyone’s talking about the wrong issue.[...]
Police officers deserve the same courtesy we afford anyone else we encounter in public life—basic respect and civility. If they’re investigating a crime, they deserve cooperation as required by law, and beyond that only to the extent to which the person with whom they’re speaking is comfortable. Verbally disrespecting a cop may well be rude, but in a free society we can’t allow it to become a crime, any more than we can criminalize criticism of the president, a senator, or the city council. There’s no excuse for the harassment or arrest of those who merely inquire about their rights, who ask for an explanation of what laws they’re breaking, or who photograph or otherwise document police officers on the job.
What we owe law enforcement is vigilant oversight and accountability, not mindless deference and capitulation. Whether or not Henry Louis Gates was racially profiled last week doesn’t change any of that.
Back in 1999 for The Economist’s millennium issue they printed a tongue-in-cheek obituary for God. Obviously it was a play off of the famous “God is Dead” from Nietzsche and Time. Although both seemed a bit premature for sure, they are both interesting in retrospect. To be fair to The Economist they left the question of his death a bit of a mystery anyway.
Ever fewer westerners share the church’s—or the synagogue’s—beliefs, and far fewer still attend their services. Yet outside the rarefied world of thinkers, remarkably few deny the possibility of a supreme being; less than 10% of Americans. In Muslim and Hindu societies, the thought is barely heard.
Dr. Collins has written that “science offers no answers to the most pressing questions of human existence” and that “the claims of atheistic materialism must be steadfastly resisted.”
One can only hope that these convictions will not affect his judgment at the institutes of health. After all, understanding human well-being at the level of the brain might very well offer some “answers to the most pressing questions of human existence” — questions like, Why do we suffer? Or, indeed, is it possible to love one’s neighbor as oneself? And wouldn’t any effort to explain human nature without reference to a soul, and to explain morality without reference to God, necessarily constitute “atheistic materialism”?
But as director of the institutes, Dr. Collins will have more responsibility for biomedical and health-related research than any person on earth, controlling an annual budget of more than $30 billion. He will also be one of the foremost representatives of science in the United States.
Over at Andrew Sullivan’s blog there has been a lot of back and forth on the topic of “new atheism.” This last post compiles all (or most?) of those blog posts in one place.
“Thank you, and may God bless America,” said the clearly insecure president, who, by seeking the aid of an imaginary being who is neither his ancestor nor someone with whom he shares a tangible harmonious relationship, freely admitted that he has little faith in himself and his inept team of jester advisers.Plus it’s funny.