February 20th, 2014


Bill Nye Debate #1

I finally got through most of the three hour Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate about creationism vs. evolution and why we shouldn't teach creationism in schools. It was interesting.

I have been to churches that had lectures on intelligent design, but I've never heard much discussion from the new earth creationist side of things, I think they're in a definite minority. Ken Ham had lots of examples of people who have done very smart things, yet believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. I think that rather than be impressed with the intellectual prowess on that side of things I was a little concerned and mostly confused.

Bill Nye brought up some very convincing evidence about why he believes the earth is older than 6,000 years old. Easy to understand stuff. Ice layers. Tree rings. Fossils that show a path of evolution that don't mix with one another. There was basic math involved - how big was Noah's arc? If it wasn't the size of a small state, how quickly would the animals have had to evolve to make the number of species we have today?

Ken Ham didn't seem to have very good responses for these things, except to say that he could never be convinced the bible wasn't true, and that if we didn't believe in the Bible all our kids would grow up into gay abortionists.

Bill Nye, on the other hand, said he could totally be convinced that evolution wasn't true, if presented with the right evidence. Science is full of papers just waiting to be torn up, he said. Make a discovery, shake up the world, be a star. I feel like he was really speaking to kids there... do you want to pick a side that is sure it has all the answers, just does research to find evidence to support them? Or do you want to be able to find anything?

I think the debate has changed me a little bit in that before, I was kinda with Ken Ham in thinking this topic was not terribly important. I'm an engineer, do I need to know how the earth is made? Do I care?

Bill Nye said yes. Everyone needs to care, because there's this idea floating around that there are two kinds of "science" - the kind you can observe and see with your eyes, and some crap people just made up. Evolution is not some crap someone made up. There's evidence for it that can't be ignored, and it was arrived at just like all other scientific discoveries. You can't divide your life and say some days I'll do research, some days I'll just read the Bible, it's gotta have all the answers.

It's a dangerous idea, that we should just shove certain issues off to the side and say "Religious people disagree with this, let's skirt the whole topic."

how will we communicate online in 18 years?

There's this meme going around in some groups I'm in for moms who just had babies. It says to get your baby an email address, and send her little notes every few months. Then when she's 18, give her the password.

All the moms in my groups post the collective "awwwe!!!!" reply to the idea, I'm the nerd who can't get along who says "we'll still be using EMAIL in 18 years?"

So that would mean Olive would get to read all these little notes from me in the year 2031. Think about that.

Granted, email has made it 18 years. If your baby was born in 1996, you might giving her a password to... something, I don't know what. That was Hotmail's first year so unless you were a VERY early adopter, you probably had an email through your ISP. Maybe some old fogie nerd reading this can help me understand what was around back in the day.

Maybe I just hope email won't last another 18 years though... because it sucks. I swear 99.9% of it has to be spam. One asshole running alone can fill up your inbox with giant attachments galore. Gmail tried to prioritize it, but now I'm missing stuff because it "misses" some things that are really important. dammit. passwords get lost, passwords get hacked. abandoned accounts get purged. or forgotten about entirely.

So I think I'm going to stick with my plan for saved communications - once a year I use ljbook to download my livejournal to a PDF, then I print it with lulu. Not perfect. If we have a house fire it'll all be gone. But at least livejournal is still around, I've been here over ten years. Maybe that's what 2031 will be like... just me, the last American on livejournal.

If anyone here can predict the future and tell me a way to send my child notes that's more reliable than paper, I'm all ears. Until then I'll just see if this gets to her:

Dear precious baby Olive: You're 18! Go play the lottery and buy some porn, you adult you! Then get back to class and keep working on those scholarships, what do you think I am made of money?

Love, Mommy in 2014