Quote of the Day

Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first time you go through it, you don’t understand it at all. The second time you go through it, you think you understand it, except for one or two small points. The third time you go through it, you know you don’t understand it, but by that time you are so used to it, it doesn’t bother you any more.

—Arnold Sommerfeld

We Live In Alternate Worlds

That headline is a quote from one of three pieces I’ve read over past few days that have set me to worrying about the next few weeks. It’s from a post at The Washington Times by Newt Gingrich. He was writing about the difficulty he had explaining to a liberal friend why he was not accepting Joe Xiden’s election as legitimate.

The challenge is that I — and other conservatives — are not disagreeing with the left within a commonly understood world. We live in alternative worlds.

Indeed. While not all conservatives are practicing Christians, the philosophical underpinning of mosts conservatives’ worldview is grounded in the Judeo-Christian belief in an absolute standard of Truth and the principles of logical reasoning handed down from Greece. As I wrote in an email to David French discussing his latest French Press essay which was titled Why They Hate Us:

I wonder if it’s not the case that the Christian worldview that holds that there is an objective standard of Truth and that each of us is personally accountable for our actions leads to some of the differences in the opinions shown in the data you reference. That’s not to say that Evangelical Christians always reason correctly from the teaching of the Bible, but that the place we start from is so disconnected from marxist/neomarxist/postmodern thought that we aren’t in the same conversation as those who hate us. We’re talking at each other rather than to each other, giving different answers because we understand the questions differently.

If we cannot engage with our political opponents logically—and if they insist on making everything a power contest—then we either must get up from the table and leave the game, or we must beat them at their own game. Neither choice appeals to me.

Which brings me to the third piece, a post by Carol Brown at American Thinker. It catalogs the misdeeds of the Left over the last few years and forecasts even worse behavior to come. It’s a call to active resistance.

Who is willing to put it all on the line to save this nation?

Who among us is willing to go to jail?  Who is willing to be injured, or killed, should we attend a protest or engage in civil disobedience and find ourselves attacked without police protection?

Who is willing to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to attend what could be a historic protest scheduled for the same day the joint session of Congress meets to make the Electoral College votes official?

Will the Million MAGA March on 6 January turn into something akin to the 2013/2014 EuroMaidan demonstrations in Kyiv? The incident at the Oregon State Capitol yesterday certainly shows that some on the Right are losing patience with a system they believe treats them unfairly.

I’m trying hard to be optimistic, but 2021 is starting to look even uglier than 2020.

The Party of Science

I believe in Science, but I don’t believe in the “science” that the Party of Science is peddling. I’ve previously described the Science in which I believe in a post that can be found under the Science and the Bible tab on this site’s menu. Here’s that explanation—

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Figure 3. The Scientific Method.

Science shows us thing that we can’t see with our own eyes—germs, atoms, electrons, x-rays, solar fusion, and genes. All of these unseen things were made known through scientific inference.

The flow chart at right outlines the scientific method. Because new observations and testing occur continually, the four steps are practiced concurrently. New observations, even unpredicted ones, may provide data that will cause a hypothesis to be refined. However, Science is much more that just naive observation and measurement. What distinguishes Science from other disciplines is that the observations are interpreted, tested, and used.

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Coming back to the present, …

Of course, Science isn’t the only form of knowledge that should inform our actions. The Scientific Method may lead us to knowledge, but our Morals should inform our application of that knowledge. Let me offer an example.

Suppose I make an observation of the world and notice  the there is a significant range of economic disparity among members of various societies. I’ll offer the hypothesis that the lives of the members of that society would be generally improved if they rearranged their polity in a socialist manner. Assume that I have the power to make that prediction testable, and I create the Soviet Union. The history of the Soviet Union in the Real World suggests that the prediction is false, but that may be experimental error. Further, rerunning the experiment in China and Cambodia give similar results.

Those observations allow me to form a second hypothesis that the previous forms of socialism tested weren’t real socialism, suggesting that international socialism is not the real thing but that national socialism should be a society’s organizing principle. I rerun the modified experiment, but Berlin and Auschwitz c. 1945 falsify that hypothesis.

Fortunately, no one had the power to actually run the 20th Century as a science experiment. Unfortunately, the 20th Century happened anyway. Clearly, causing over a 100 million deaths to test the viability of socialism would have been an immoral experiment. Yet, the Party of Science wants to force all sorts of experiments of similar questionable hypothesis on American society—and it wants to ban discussions of competing hypotheses and the actual results of their experiments.

No thanks. I’ll stick with the real thing.