PST
pacific standard time

Root
digitalmediatree

My Stuff
Current Page of PST
Daily Kos Diary
Trailers of Mass Desctruction
.......... Trailers of Mass Destruction -- old page
War of Words with Syria
water craft -- a paddling blog


PowerPoints of Terror
.......... Meet the War President
.......... Presidential Radio Address
.......... The Bush Doctrine Part II
.......... Union, State of
.......... Balloon Core of Death
.......... Vans of Mass Destruction
.......... Balloons of Mass Destruction
.......... Balloon Terror Alert System
.......... Nexus of Mass Destruction

Bumpersticker Gallery -- over 100!
.......... Bush 1984 + 19

Dr. Paul's Words of Wisdom
.......... a sampling of highlights
.......... Sea of Oil IISS, Guardian, etc.
.......... Bureaucracy Vanity Fair
.......... Democracy
.......... Politics
.......... all the instruments of national power
.......... money for warfighting Aug 2001???
.......... Lithuania Scenario

NYC 9/2000 photo essay
one lap archive

Sound track
west: your source for sound
south: the sound of NOLA
east: freeform radio

Political Blogs and/or Funnypages
All Hat No Cattle
alicublog
Alt Hippo
Bartcop
Bartcop E!
Big, Left, Outside
Body and Soul
Busy, Busy, Busy
California Insider
The Commons
Creek Running North
Crooks and Liars
Cursor
The Daily Howler
Daily KOS
Scooby Davis
DC Media Girl
Eschaton
Fanatical Apathy
the felonious elephant
feministe
firedoglake
Get Your War On
The Goddess
the girl gets away
Grand Moff Texan's Moment of Triumph
Hairy Fish Nuts
Harry Shearer
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
Hullabaloo
Insomnia
Jesus' General
Make Them Accountable
Margaret Cho
MaxSpeak
McSweeney's
mikhaela
Obsidian Wings
Opinions You Should Have
Orcinus
O'Reilly Sucks
Pandagon
Pharyngula
Political Animal
Political Velocity
August J. Pollack
The Poor Man
Propaganda Remix Project
Pro-War.com
Sadly, No!
Superhappyfun Blog!!!
TBogg
Ted Rall
The Road to Surfdom
Rough & Tumble
Rubber Nun
Slacktivist
South Knox Bubba
Talking Points Memo
TBH Politoon
This Modern World
thoughtcrimes.org
uggabugga
Uncle Ernie's Issues and Alibis
Very Very Happy
War and Piece
What She Said
Whiskey Bar
Whiskey Fire
Wizard of Whimsy
World O'Crap

Archives
The Memory Hole
Billmon's Iraqi WMD Quotations
Billmon's Iraqi Democracy Quotations
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace -- Intelligence on Iraq
Where Are They(tm)
Center for Cooperative Research 9/11 Timeline
US-Iraq Timeline







View current page
...more recent posts

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006

Evolution and the EE

Electronic Engineering Times is a venerable trade weekly. They actually do some reporting, which puts them head and shoulders above the majority of trade publications. In addition to technology reporting, they're willing to tackle the political, military, economic, and societal impact of the technologies that are their central focus.

The "Crosstalk" section for readers' letters has always been my favorite bit. Some may find this hard to believe, but some engineers can be opinionated and acerbic at times.

With amusement, I came across a series of letters about "Intelligent Design" in the last few issues. I love a good engineer-on-engineer smack down. It's like two Vulcans arguing. Or in this case, a few Vulcans vs. a couple of idiots.

Jack Atkinson of Alabama penned a letter, "'Particles to man' evolution is only a theory-an absurd one", in response to an article about problems in science education in America.. Jack felt that curtailing the teaching of evolutionary theory would in no way affect the future science and technology careers of students. ('Cause that's how they roll in 'Bama.)

The following two issues continue the superstition vs. science debate, with superstition taking it on the chin. My favorite is this sharp response by William Gascoyne of San Jose. He uses the cold, dry logic of an engineer confronted by idiocy.

Jack Atkinson Jr.'s letter is straight Bible Belt creationist tripe. It's an argument from incredulity ("I have qualifications that have nothing to do with the issue, and I can't imagine 'X,' Q.E.D.") combined with an argument from authorities (Gitt and Behe) who have been discredited.
Sweet.

The February 20th edition carried more, including a pro-superstition writer who asserts:
Naturalistic evolution is the antithesis to engineering. Engineers understand that complex structures are intelligently designed, not the product of random variations.
Seems like someone didn't read all those Artificial Intelligence articles in the Times back during the 80's. And how about those randomized place-and-route algorithms that have driven FPGA design for over a decade? Or ripup-and-retry autorouters for PC boards? The use of random design variations coupled with "fitness selection" officially qualifies as a non-leading-edge, established, routine methodology, not "the antithesis of engineering".

- mark 2-22-2006 7:35 am [link] [11 refs] [5 comments]