Web links related to the Back of the Book program of 8/23/99

Hell, I've never had this page take so long to complete! I apologize for it taking this long, but for some days my ISP's File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server was dead. FTP is how we get pages like this up onto the Web site. So for a while I just couldn't get the page up in its final state! It's Wednesday, 9/1/99 04:50:34, and I'm finished updating this page. I hope it was worth the wait, and I hope at least some folks see the final version of this page!

My computer system crashed on Sunday night as I was preparing the program, and then it crashed again, and … well it happened a number of times. After a while I saw that the initial crash had done some damage, and I realized that although I could fix it the fix would take time. And I didn't have time by then. So this Web page was pretty damned thin for the program. I've been able to fix the problems and I've also fixed some of this page. Of course the Pacifica Theft Page is always updated as events warrant.

Paul Williams says that we're going to be Webcast tonight Go here for it!

I did indeed finally buy a big hat for the sun, and it works! I got it from a company that specializes in clothing that blocks ultra-violet radiation. I'd seen a catalog from this company at WBAI years and years ago, but I'd forgotten their name. A listener called in and told me their URL and I was able to find them and buy two hats. So when the sun's out make sure to look for me in this big hat!

And you can find Pickles of the North carrying her new parasol.

On August 11, The Kansas Board of Education [sic] voted 6 to 4 to remove the evolution and Big Bang theories from the curriculum of schools in Kansas, and evolved the biggest bang of publicity over this issue since the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925. Now the precise forms of evolution and cosmology theory are not exactly outlawed in Kansas schools, but they are not going to be on the statewide exams anymore. This means that the study of these subjects won't help students in getting higher marks or in qualifying for various scholarships, etc. in Kansas. So these subjects are less likely to be taught — owing to natural selection!

Of course this also says something about “education” in America in general, but I'm not going to address that now.

The Creationist idiots who've done this are of course thrilled that they've helped their phony baloney belief system by essentially banning science from the classroom. They say that evolution is “only a theory,” but so is gravity! So is the germ theory of disease! So is atomic theory! Are they next going to militate politically against the teaching that we're made up of atoms, rather than some holy ectoplasm called into being by their dog spelled backwards? Well, maybe they will.

Of course there are loads of rational people who are fighting this “Creationist” movement, which is really a thinly veiled attempt to force one group's superstitious belief system down our throats and violate the First Amendment of the Constitution. Taking up the cudgels in cyberspace, some rational folks have Web sites that simply refute in detail the simplistic arguments of the “Creationists.” Besides kicking Creationist ass this is also an interesting site in its own right.

One of the problems that Creationists have is that a thorough examination of the Bible, such as was done by Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656), shows that this “creation” they're so hot about occurred in 4004 B.C.E. That would make the planet Earth, and the entire universe, around 6,000 years old. Some Creationists allow for some fudge factor, but by and large even the most liberal among them are locked into a belief that the universe is no more than about 10,000 years old. Carbon dating shows that some human-made objects dug up at various sites, and some human art works, are older than that. Sky pilots who are not Creationists have learned to reconcile reality and their superstitious beliefs.

Besides the theory of evolution, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe has also been removed from the curriculum in Kansas. It's only consistent that the “Creationists” do this because the Big Bang theory also argues against their big, white guy in the sky having done it all only 6,000 years ago. Not only does it offer a rational description of how things like planets and us got here, it also is locked into astrophysics which offers abundant evidence that the universe is a hell of a lot older than can be accounted for by a literal interpretation of the Bible.

The academic subject of astronomy, ignoring the Big Bang theory, also talks about various phenomena being billions of light years away, which also can't make creationists feel good. I'll bet they're sharpening their votes right now to get rid of astronomy as a subject. And let's not forget that the Copernican idea of a sun centered Solar System is only a theory, and one which the Church used to dispute.

Of course geology shows us that rocks are commonly millions of years old. If ever the Creationists prevail in banning the theory of evolution from the classroom, you can bet that they'll eventually have to get around to banning geology too.

Apologies to those of you who tried to leave a voice mail message for me on my WBAI voice mail number 212-209-2996. Unfortunately, some psychotic is apparently calling many of the on-air people and actually filling up our voice mail boxes with insane blather. He'd done it to me, as well. So if you tried to leave a voice mail and couldn't, this is why. I've removed his huge volume of mumblings and the voice mailbox is available again.

What I'd wanted to know is the technical details of getting a second phone line. I'm just on line so much that we need to get a line so we can get phone calls. But I've been told that the phone company will just “split” my current phone line rather than bring a new one into the apartment, and that this can result in two phone lines of lower quality. I've heard that the lines would have more noise and that I'd end up with lower throughput for data because of this. Is this the case? If you know please let me know, or call the voice mail number above.

That so called “World Chess Championship” is still going on, and it's scheduled to end this coming Sunday. A pair of people who could never have become valid Candidates are playing for a title that no one else is going to recognize. The links from the last program are still valid.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and fill out the form, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that the issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Union bulletin #12

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 1999, R. Paul Martin