Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, August 12, 2005

No Such Thing

You know what? It just dawned on me moments ago...
If there is no such thing as "truth," that is, if truth is relative to each of us, then there is no such thing as a lie.
I don't happen to believe that because I've been lied to a few too many times, but explain the relativity of truth if indeed it is possible to lie? What is the standard to know a lie from the truth if there is no such thing as the truth?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Religion in Schools

"Personally, I believe in Intelligent Design. I don't think that surprises any of the regulars here. I think there is an intelligent being, who I call God, that created this earth." I am taking this quote from Mike in his August 9 posting in this blog:
I can always count on good old Mike to give me the real conservative viewpoint and he certainly didn't fail me here. In this simple quote, Mike equates the debate about "Intelligent Design," which is being taught in some Texas public schools, not only with God but with the belief that God is a "being."
The notion that there is intelligence in the universe is something that has been taught in public schools for a long time, even after the evolution thing appeared on the scene. Science accepts the laws of mathematics, the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry. Science accepts that life is governed by these laws of nature. Yet nature isn't a "being." Religion enters the scene when we make the assumption that in order for there to be intelligence, there has to be a "being," someone doing the intelligent thinking.
That's where this quote from Mike shines. The debate about "Intelligent Design" isn't about the laws of nature which guide life, it is about this "being" which creationists call "God." It is about religion and it is using science as its "foot in the door."
If the debate about "Intelligent Design" didn't involve the need for an intelligent being, a creator, or if the debate considered the possibility that there was a creator from another planet - a super race, if you will - then it might be worth including in a science curriculum. But the creationist perspective, the Christian perspective, is what is most likely to be taught, the religious notion that God is a being who created the universe out of nothing but space about 6,000 years ago and that we all should believe the Bible. That is not science. That is religion.
So Mike unintentionally made the debate clear. It isn't whether science should recognize intelligence. It is whether schools should teach religion. Mike even infers that in his comment in response to his wife's comment about whether religions other than Christianity should also be taught in public schools. You two guys are great. Thanks for the insight!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Trickle-Down Intelligence

I happened to see the beginning few minutes of tonight's CBS News. They were covering the story that Pennsylvania's Republican Representative Curt Weldon claims that a Defense Intelligence team had tracked Mohammed Atta into the US before 9/11 but were advised not to notify the FBI about it. Here is a June 19, 2005 article about this story:
CBS showed video of both a 9/11 commissioner and Rumsfeld claiming they did not know about this until this story broke. Considering that the story broke when Weldon published his book, one might wonder why it wasn't till now that Rumsfeld found out, but hey, who's splitting hairs about that, right? The real question is that if Defense Intelligence knew about this, why didn't word get up to Rumsfeld till now?
I have a new theory about this that I am calling "Trickle-Down Intelligence." Back in the Reagan era we had Trickle-Down Economics where the wealthy got tax breaks that in theory gave them the money they needed to invest in the economy leading to employment for the less than wealthy Americans.
My theory of Trickle-Down Intelligence is a little different.
It seems that in the case of 9/11 and then in the case of Iraq, sound intelligence is common at some mid-levels of the intelligence network, but instead of being pushed up to the top, it only seems to trickle down to the lower levels. Good intelligence doesn't rise to the top. In fact, if this story is to be believed, in the nearly four years since the morning of 9/11, nobody ever told Donald Rumsfeld that Pentagon intelligence knew about Atta's entry into the US and his connection to al-Qaida two years before the attack. Rumsfeld was left believing that US intelligence simply didn't have a clue.
The faithful might have no problem believing Rumsfeld's sorry excuses, but I find it hard to believe that nobody ever tried to tell him about this. The only way I can believe it is with my new theory, but this theory leaves me wondering just what the top of the intelligence chain is doing with their time if not listening to good intelligence. Then again, isn't that what the Bolton debate and the Wilson debate and all the other debates about manipulation of intelligence are all talking about?