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The famous statistician Sir Francis Galton once conducted a study to figure out whether or not prayer had an influence on the outcome of events. It may surprise you that he didn't find any statistical evidence for such influence!

That happened more than a century ago but it makes a good story. I'd rather have "world class chancellor" who believes in science than a "PRESIDENT" who only believes in the almighty and leads a country where scientific committees must not use the word "evolution" in their final reports to the government.

@"Mad Scientist": May I presume you chose your own nom de plume? Well done, sir! You have managed to capture yourself in a nutshell.

@"Mad Scientist": May I presume you chose your own nom de plume? Well done, sir! You have managed to capture yourself in a nutshell.

@pkok
well, i thought about "mad president" too. but then i figured that people like you are familiar with concepts such as irony, self-mockery, and sarcasm. obviously, i was wrong.

mad scientist

Gerhard is "world class"!

Do you actually believe that?

Joe, i put "world class chancellor" in quotation marks was because i was quoting the above posting. i thought that was obvious.

Mad scientist,

I was not sure. You realize there are many in Germany who do feel he is world class.

If you were to ask me to make a bet today if he would have another term as chancellor, I would say YES, he would.

The German media should remove their heads from their fundaments. Back in the old days, when Germans were religious - apologies to those who still are - they recognized that prayer had many functions. Chief among them, it served as a form of meditation. Considering the difficulties a national leader encounters in such confusing and perilous times, it's natural that he should pause before making decisions that have a major affect on his fellow citizens and his own descendants. I would venture to guess most leaders - the ones with integrity - do exactly the same thing, whether they call it prayer or not, and whether they admit it or not.

ahem,

that he should pause before making decisions that have a major affect on his fellow citizens

One would hope so. One would hope that a national leader doesn't rush into things. If he or she uses prayer in decision making that's fine with me as long as they don't brag about it and - more importantly - as long as they don't incorporate their faith in their political agenda.

I'd rather have Bush listen to God than whoever Schroeder is listening to, because, whoever Schroeder listens to, it isn't working. Whoever Schroeder listens to should be fired.

I'm amazed to hear that Schroeder actually took the reference to God out of his inaugural oath. In the States, when the President is sworn in or when someone testifies at a trial, they place their right hand on a Bible.

Where was Schroeder's right hand during the inauguaral oath?

What is Schroeder's political morality based on? The Grundgesetz? Well, doesn't the Grundgesetz contain references to God? Or, was Schroeder already thinking of the godless European constitution, which makes some kind of fuzzy reference to the Enlightenment and humanistic traditions.

Of course, what's funny about this is that the Enlightenment never took place in Germany. As for humanistic traditions, they haven't existed more than forty years.

m.s., any rational person will incorporate his beliefs in his political agenda (or "her", obviously). We all have some sense of what's "right" and what's "wrong". "Science" doesn't help on that one. Pop quiz: List four regimes of the last century with a left-wing-approved secular "political agenda". (Answer: Third Reich, USSR, PRC, Khmer Rouge). The ones who've tried to institute "scientific" governance have all ended up perpetrating all of the most spectacular atrocities in history (the Marxists, the eugenicists, you name it).

You might want to consider, by the way, the degree to which the "global warming" crusade has turned into political dogma. Proper, reputable scientists have been excluded from conferences and the like -- not by their colleagues, in many cases, but by scientifically illiterate politicians (*cough*NuLabor*cough*). The political "noise" has made it profoundly difficult for the lay person to make any rational sense out of the debate. This suits the left just fine; all they really want to do is to take our money, skim off 20%, and give the rest to third-world despots. Peddling fear-propaganda is a good way to go about doing that, but it sure as hell isn't science.

Ultimately, of course, the difference between science and political bullshit is that good science is demonstrably true. It always seems to win out in the end. I'm not the slightest bit worried that evolution is in "danger" from Christians. The people who worry are the ones who don't quite grasp what science really is. The scientific respectability of the theory of evolution doesn't represent a victory of secularist politics. It represents a victory of smart people doing serious research and arriving at a remarkably persuasive explanation of the facts. To "defend" evolution politically is unnecessary and inappropriate if evolution is right -- and starkly insane if evolution is wrong. It's not dogma. There is no dogma in science. There is the best guess and there is the evidence which supports the best guess, and everything is always open to criticism.

As Richard Feynman said, "our goal is to prove ourselves wrong as rapidly as possible". Obviously, Feynman's ethic is not something that left-wingers can afford to embrace.

Lefties are trying to turn evolution into an article of faith, and that is precisely as moronic as the creationists who hold creationism as an article of faith. When lefties yap about "science", it means to them exactly what the doctrine of the Trinity means to a good Catholic (or what the Red Sox mean to a Bostonian): They believe and defend it because it is part of their creed, not because they understand it.

Faith and politics have no place in science. Science has damned little place in faith or politics, either.

...and Feynman's ethic is, very precisely, an ethic. Think about that, lefty-boy.

Erik Eisel,

when the President is sworn in or when someone testifies at a trial, they place their right hand on a Bible

yeah, what's up with that? shouldn't they put their hand on the constitution? not all americans are christian. does a jewish president still use the bible during their inaugural oath?

notice that the grundgesetz refers to god and not to a specific religion.

Enlightenment never took place in Germany

huh, that's interesting. didn't we just commemorate Kant's 200th day of death? wasn't Lessing german? well, i guess you wouldn't know.

mad scientist,

I guess when America elects its first Jewish president, we will have an answer.

erp,

any rational person will incorporate his beliefs in his political agenda

talk about rational persons. would a rational person
- establish "faith based national parks"?
- change NCI's website to incorrectly tie abortion to an increased risk for breast cancer?
- appoint Jerry Thacker (who describes homosexuality as a "deathstyle") to a presidential AIDS advisory board?
- require a scientific advisory committee examining the impact of the human genome project not to use the word "evolution" in their final report?

Faith and politics have no place in science
unfortunately, that's not true.

Science has damned little place in faith or politics, either.
unfortunately, this seems to be true under this president. science seems to have a better place in the catholic church than in this administration.

Mad S - one thing that comes with having no faith in anything larger than oneself is a distinct lack in trust for people. the subject of the politics of evolution is not a matter for the federal government because the education system is not nationalized. In fact in most cases curricula are not even the mandate of states, but of localities. No-where outside of totalitarian backwaters do you see such paranoid state control over things as in Europe.
It's more than just a sign of a lack of wisdom, but of impirical depth.

Joe N.

the subject of the politics of evolution is not a matter for the federal government

i wish. however, just read my few examples above to see that, surprisingly, you're wrong.

It's as though these folks don't realize that political environmentalism isn't a religion, and that leftist thought is a kind of Cargo Cult - always construcing issues and enemies that they alone define... good for them. Let them stay busy working on things that are either not real or marginal in meaning. It keeps the left from polluting the remainder of civilization with their solipsistic hatreds and power-path crises.

Joe N.

i like the "constructing enemies" part. somehow, "axis of evil" and "protect marriage" comes to mind. protect marriage from what?

homosexuality as a "deathstyle

OK how would man reproduce if everyone were a homosexual?

Or would since just clone whatever we needed?

man wouldn't, moron. but not everyone is. so what's your point?

there is no morality in science.
i do not want a society or a government driven by scientific principles devoid of morality, regardless of where that morality is predicated on.
speaking as an agnostic scientist.


woe be to man when we start thinking qualities of morality can be distilled and quantified.

>I guess when America elects its first Jewish president, we will have an answer.

In any event Joe, the bible used is chosen by the president. They usually use a family Bible (so teh only Catholic president, JFK, used a Catholic bible, the Unitarians probably used something different).

If Joe Lieberman becomes president, he probably would use a family Old Testament or something similar.

there is no morality in science

you obviously don't know what you're talking about. few people are more concerned with ethics and morality than scientists. if there is one group of people least concerned with these things it would be the politicians.

Mad Scientist

Your cause is hopeless here.

Obviously there is no science of morality. That does not mean that scientists are necessarily immoral, but I think you are going to have a tough sell here.

Many people get their sense of morality from religion. It does not follow that all agnostics or atheists are immoral, but again it will be a tough sell here.

I think the main thrust of the post was that Bush is a believer, that his sense of morality is grounded in his faith, and that faith should not be sneered at, all of which I agree with. Doesn't mean that I agree that scientists are Godless because science is or that the godless are necessarily any more immoral than the devout, some of whom have appalled me.

PS I do not think that Nazis were left-wing by any stretch of the imgination despite the Socialist in their party title: they were right wing totalitarians. Just as some left-wingers cannot admit that the Holy Soviet Union was totalitarian because it was left-wing, so some right-wing democrats cannot accept that the Nazis were right wing because it was totalitarian. The fundamental divide in 20th century history was between totalitarians and democrats, and I have more in common with any left-wing democrat than any right-wing totalitarian.

bsc,

Point well taken.

LOL........there are some comments one should not even brother with making a reply to.. As an example most of the ones Condi makes are nothing more than an exposure of his socialists roots.

as for the mad scientist most of his comments fall into the same group.

I do like the objections he finds such as the one on a deathsytle... Only to agree with me that it is.... hehe

Some of these people can be very funny at times.

@ mad scientist

Lessing was a playwright, most famous for a play, entitled Emilia Galotti. Is that an example of a mature Enlightenment? Later, he wrote another famous play, Nathan der Weise, which makes a plea for religion and religious tolerance.

Kant wrote a pamphlet, What is Enlightenment? but very few German authors are named in it. Later, Kant wrote a critique of pure reason, which, basically, shattered the idea that any philosophical (or political) movement could be based on reason alone.

With regards to the President putting his hand on the Bible. It makes perfect sense, since the Constitution takes its authority from a Prime Mover.

Why wouldn't a Jewish president also use the Bible to take his oath. I'm sure Paul Wolfowitz will be proud to put his hand on the Torah, as he takes his oath.

@ Erik

There certainly was a German Enlightenment, an Aufklarung, and Lessing was one of its leading lights who did indeed plead for religious tolerance.

I do find it odd that people who claim to be all for religious tolerance cannot tolerate religiosity in Bush. A trifle inconsistent, eh? (And I say that as a devout agnostic. I do not want anyone criticizing me for my religious views, and I am not going to criticize others for theirs.)

Read carefully: "I recognize that, in my feebleness, I need support from the Almighty, because I believe in an Almighty."

What a difference compared to atheist european politicians who think that they have all the answers, who think that man can be perfected by government policy.

mad scientist

it is you who do not understand the nature of science. Science is about the principles and discoveries of natural laws. There is no right or wrong in such realm. Scientists who conduct studies of science may possess moralities, and certainly most do. But their sense of morality is not derived from their studies of the sciences. Their sense of morality are most likely based on exposure to religion, cultural morality, or possibly a study of philosophy and ethics. If anything, scientists take their morality into their studies of science and apply artificial limits to their discoveries, lest their discoveries limit humanity. But there is no morality in science itself. It is clear that you are not a scientist.

Huan,

if you like hairsplitting - fine. Maybe, there is no morality in science itself but certainly there is in the scientific community.
BTW. what are philosophy and ethics if not sciences?

it doesn't matter whether or not i'm a scientist. what matters is that, clearly, there is no place for science in the white house under this president. and that's a shame.

Amen.

Bush presides over the worlds leading industrialized nation.

Schroeder is leading a country, that post WWII has been a great asset to the world, down the toilet.

It was during the elections for the governorship of Texas that Bush made an astute political observation: he is quoted as saying to a Republican strategist that if he could get the Christian vote inside the Republican party, his victory would be assured.

His strategy of pre-empting the more far-right Christians within the party has assured him predominance. The more moderate Republicans - and they are the majority - are not quite as candid about their religious beliefs, but are willing to put up with Bush since he is a lesser threat than the other ones.

It's disturbing to see that Europe lacks the necessary insight in understanding American politics. Perhaps that is yet another factor why they've been unable to have an influence on American politics, - even when their own interests are very much at stake.

God is obviously on the side of the New England Patriots, despite the fact that both John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy claim they are fans.

Patriots Rule....long live the dynasty!

This is an odd observation Mad Scientist

-----------------------------------------
it doesn't matter whether or not i'm a scientist. what matters is that, clearly, there is no place for science in the white house under this president. and that's a shame.
------------------------------------------

Let me see if I understand this - the Bush Admin rejected Kyoto as the obvious junk science it was - while all the Euro leaders adhered slavishly to this ideology

Yet the White House has no use for science - but Herr Schroeder and co are men of science and not rabid ideologues seeking to appease large chunks of their respective electorate - is that so

Why don't you rethink that a little bit

mad scientist

i am not hair splitting because the basic premis that you would rather have a government driven by principles of science rather than religion is fraught with the dangers of eugenics. the best system we have thus far for educating the masses regarding morality remains religion. the best system we have thus far for educating an individual regarding morality remains ethics. there is no place for science. and philosophy and ethics is a realm of study beyond science.

i take it you are not a student of philosophy either.

seems to me odd to espouse on science and philosophy without the minimum background in either.

Perhaps if Bush instead hopped on a rug five times a day, did not allow women to be seen or heard in public, made non-Christians pay a special tax and prohibit them from speaking of their religion on the threat of death, and endorced state beheadeding of apostates, the left would embrace him. I fail to understand how the left sees Bush as the religious fanatic. Anyone?

Niko,

That will be an non issue in America. But I am sure she will be the candidate all of "old europe" will line up behind.

You're right - the European leftist media will see to it, just as it was the case with Gore and Kerry - although nobody in Europe knows or even cares what her policies are.

What a speech! Thanks for the link.

I guess the media knows. I'm not sure about the general population, as I hadn't seen it reported (here in Germany at least). Or any of the stuff other democratic candidates said for that matter. All I heard and read was:
Bush = dumb fundamentalist fanatic, against the environment, warmongering cowboy
Kerry = intelligent moderate, sensible, etc...

Jeff,

How do define the following terms. What are the differences between the two?


right wing totalitarians
left wing totalitarians


Huan,

the best system we have thus far for educating the masses regarding morality remains religion

well, the masses in the middle east must be highly moral then. strange though that we're fighting wars against terrorism there and not in the atheistical Europe.

Again, I'd rather have a president who bases his executive decisions on current scientific findings rather than on verbatim quotes from a book that was written more than 2000 years ago. And I'm not talking about moral values here, I'm talking about real issues such as health policies or education.

I'd rather have a president who bases his executive decisions on current scientific findings rather than on verbatim quotes from a book that was written more than 2000 years ago. [...] I'm talking about real issues such as health policies or education

Could you kindly point out which passages from the Bible Bush relies on when dealing with issues such as health policies or education.

...monuments of stupidity, all around us...

WDIK

You act like this person is an American. I doubt very much that he is.

If he is then he sure is stupid. Must have a lot of those Aryan genes.

oooh, someone is trying to offend me... just like in elementary school...

mad scientist

indeed the masses of the dark ages were relatively moral. for their time and their culture.
lets compare that to the masses that science has made moral .... hmmm, care to name an example.
lets try this on for size ms, "the enemy of good is perfect"
only an irrational mind would consider a failure that which is short of perfect.

as pertain to a president acting on scientific principle.
what would the scientific principle say on slavery?
or to risk a nation for what legally was property?

or during a time of depression, to go into debt inorder to build infrastructure that no business at the time needed. at the time when the economy has gone bust. just inorder to employ thousands.

and today, what would the scientific principles say to do with a large federal deficit that spends millions on non-productive members of society, the old, the young, the sick, the crippled?

but you mentioned medicine and education. how much money should be spent seeking a cure for something that has none? or a disease that only affect the disenfranchized?
how much money should be spent to educate kids in liberal arts? what contribution to science will they ever produce?

what should guide these actions if not great science?


you still do not understand the significance of "there is no morality in science"
that the governance of human action should be morality, not formulas.

mad

You made an affirmation and you obviously don't believe you are stupid. You claim that Bush relies on the Bible when he deals with issues such as health policies or education. Those are your own words.

If you make an affirmation and you are conviced you are right, then back it up with proofs. Which passage of the Bible is Bush drawing his inspiration from, when he deals with the issues you mentioned? I never read the Bible completely, so I might be missing something. I am really curious. I am convinced you have the answer, otherwise you wouldn't have made that affirmation, right ?

WDIK

Do you get the impression we are dealing with another troll...

I sure do....

I know, Joe. I'm just trying to see if I can make a troll realize he's a troll. I know it's an exercise in futility, but everyone deserves a chance.

WDIK,

As long as you realize it is a waste of your time....

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