Skip to main content

The Michigan Daily - freakin' wow

I just don't even know where to start with this one.

Someone named, and I'm not making this up, Joel Hoard, Oh Yeah? has written an op/ed piece in the Record that is so unbelievably disconnected from any point, it's painful to read. His politics aside (and he's merely the latest cog in the Record's agenda wheel), his argument about the "debate" (a term even I'll use lightly) between Creationists and the scientific community is, uh, lacking.

In fact, he succumbs to the same thing of which he (rightly) criticizes those promoting Intelligent Design; he has a conclusion already drawn and he's writing from that perspective. I'll give him a minor pass because it's an op/ed, of a sort, and that's a frequent technique for these things. My criticism is more concerned with the unstated and unaddressed conclusions.

He raises the issue that creationists use the excuse that there are missing links in the evolutionary record. His rebuttal basically amounts to "Yeah, duh". Wow, what a convincing argument. I'd never thought about it from the perspective that, as a non-biologist versed in evolutionary theory, I would know that. To quote from his article, I should call everyone in my Creationist camp with "Oh shit, dude. Turns out Darwin was right."

You know what, I was going to point-by-point this op-ed, but I don't have the time or energy. I'll boil it down to one, fundamental problem. Mr. Hoard, you're blind to your own faults in this discussion. I know you're probably a really good student, get lots of accolades from your profs and all that. Hell, you might even be published. I didn't Google you so forgive my uncaring attitude to your potential literati status. But damn, man, you accuse the other side of "trying to dictate the personal lives of free-thinking adults", when really, at the core of your argument, you're doing the same thing.

You're telling people who, whatever your view of the world, have decided and believe that something or someone had a hand in making this world. I know it's really hard for you to step down and wallow with the common man, but like it or not, a majority of this country believe in a god of some kind, be it Allah, Jesus, or just Creator. You're telling them, no, you're accusing them of not only stupidity, but insinuating that if they don't subscribe to your worldview, they are ignorant morons deserving of the world's ridicule. That's a very progressive, enlightened, rational attitude.

For a long time, the world over, a whole hell of a lot of people have considered the act of creating the universe a pretty big deal. If I had to ask you one question, it would be the only one you don't seem to have an answer to: Is nothing sacred anymore?

Taking Intelligent Design out of the discussion for second, evolution actual doesn't contradict a creationist worldview. Science needs to learn something that religious people (who aren't all on the Right, by the way) learned well a long time ago: you don't get to have it all at once. Evolution as a theory is a solid scientific cornerstone, to that there is usually no doubt. What the many in the scientific community, and you, miss is that you immediately jump from "creatures evolve" to "there is no God". As someone who understands evolution, try applying the same evolutionary patience to convincing someone of your views.

The Michigan Daily - Joel Hoard: The evolution of creationism


Popular posts from this blog

Happy Retirement Pat Sweeny!

In a previous life, I was an active member of the West Michigan Shores Chapter of the STC. I met a lot of really cool people there and learned a lot about what it meant to be not just a technical writer, but more about how technical writers can break out of the mold and accomplish things.

One of the people who did that was Pat Sweeny. Pat is (or was, by this point) the President and owner of The Bishop Company, a contract do-it-all house; they document, streamline and illustrate your process, and they do it damn well. Pat was one of the first people in that chapter to "get it", which is to say, he and his company understand that technical writing isn't going to be a department for very much longer, it's going to be a business.

He had the foresight to actually make it a business, but he also had something else. Pat was forever trying to better those around him. He would come to meetings (which was a big step beyond most people) and teach you things. Or he would come to …

Google Inbox: A classic Google product

My work domain (an EDU) recently had Google Inbox enabled so I had a good chance to try it out. My personal email is relatively quiet and, I believe, doesn't provide a good Inbox experience. Work is more active and requires actual management, something I've tossed many a tool at over the years. As part of my work life, I supported the Google Apps for EDU installation here and took a pretty extensive presentation to campus about how to manage large amounts of email.

Inbox is a classic Google product: the distillation of a number of excellent ideas into a set of half-complete features built for a use case most people don't meet. We've seen this in the past in products like ChromeVox, Google's Chrome extension for accessibility. ChromeVox works great on ChromeOS devices, but completely ignores the point that most users of accessibility tech (AT) don't have or want ChromeOS devices and come to services with their AT in tow. ChromeVox also ignores decades of convent…


Evernote, for better or worse, is the best note-taking service for my needs. It works across all my devices/computers/modes. It's fairly easy to get stuff into it. Hell, they even have 2-Factor authentication. The Windows app is a little clunky and my girlfriend and I have never been able to get shared notes to work properly (conflicted note! three times in the same grocery trip!), but what service is perfect? At least they have nice socks.

Everything, in fact, is pretty good as long as you don't screw up. And screw up I did. I'm not very regular about making backups, but I do make them every month or so. Once you figure out how to create a backup, that is.

There's a helpful Export Note option (which turns into Export Notes when you select multiple notes HINT). The export process is essentially opening All Notes, selecting every note, and then choosing Export Notes. Or something like that; Evernote never tells you, you're left to figure it out on your own. The file…