Saturday, September 23, 2006

On Torture

Although torture is meant to keep the United States of America safe, it does not always have that effect. Sometimes, in dire emergencies, torture may be necessary. Usually, this is not the case. President Bush does not agree with this. He thinks that torture is necessary to prevent another terrorist attack. While the President believes that, others, who have been in the military, including Republican Senators John McCain, John Warner, and Lindsey Graham, have the opposite view on interrogation techniques. Both sides have proposed a bill. The senate bill, which was approved by the Senate Armed Service Committee (led by McCain, Warner, and Graham), is not much better than the President's bill. It would allow the President to have the final word on torture. If he wanted to torture a detainee, he would NOT have to make his intentions public.

The effects of torture are worse than the information gained from it, excluding extreme cases. If the United States tortures prisoners, other countries will too. This puts the United StatesÂ’ soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in danger. Tortured POWs often give false information to receive better treatment. One well known case Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a terrorism suspect, admitted” that Iraq and Al-Qaeda were connected so he would not be tortured by the Egyptians. Countries become less trustful, creating weaker treaties. Besides that, the U.S. agreed to the Geneva Conventions. Bush has no right to decide that he can just over rule the agreement. Mistreating captured enemy combatants is morally wrong, and diminishes how the world looks at the U.S. Even for people who donÂ’t believe in any God must agree that torture is wrong. A watered down version of the McCain bill, or even better, a new bill, must be passed in Congress if the United States is to regain its image of fairness and the soldiers of the United States are to remain safe.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Origin of Life

There are three main theories on the origin of life; the Theory of Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism. These are all called theories. One thing must be said about scientific theories first, because scientific theories are different from normal theories. Scientific theories have proof behind them, and are accepted by more than one person. The Theory of Evolution is the current theory on the origin of life taught in almost all science curriculums in public schools. It is the theory that all species of plants and animals descended from a common ancestor. Natural Selection, first voiced by Charles Darwin, is also expressed in this theory. Public schools do not currently teach Intelligent Design, but there are people who believe it should be taught. Intelligent Design says that there was a creator instead of a planless mechanism. While this theory does not reject evolution as change over time, or common ancestry, it does not accept natural selection being random. Creationism is also not in science curriculums, but as with Intelligent Design, some want it to be taught in public schools. Creationism is a religious idea that a supernatural creator (God) made the world and all life. It's usually based on the Bible. Out of the three main theories on the origin of life, the Theory of Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism, the Theory of Evolution is the only theory taught in public schools, and is the only real scientific theory.

"You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes." The United States President, George W. Bush, believes that students should be exposed to different ideas on evolution, meaning he thinks that Intelligent Design should also be taught in schools. Not everyone agrees, but the President consistently supports this view. It is also clear that President Bush does not want to get deep into this argument and that he believes it should be the state government, not the federal government that makes the final decision on what should be taught. From the Washington Post, before Bush was President, "Bush's spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said, 'He believes both Creationism and evolution ought to be taught...He believes it a question for states and local school boards to decide he believes both ought to be taught.'" To reiterate, Bush believes other theories alongside the Theory of Evolution should be taught in schools, but it should be the states decision what the curriculum is.

While Bush and others believe Intelligent Design should be taught in schools, there are others who don't. This group includes Barry W. Lynn, who is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He says Bush, "...doesn't understand that one is a religious viewpoint (Intelligent Design) and one is a scientific viewpoint", and that Bush showed a "low level of understanding of science." Supporters of the Theory of Evolution concur that Darwin's Theory of Evolution should be taught in schools. The population that agrees with the Kansas professor that called intelligent design "creation in a cheap tuxedo” says there is no valid debate on the subject. As explained earlier, a scientific theory has evidence to back itself up. Many people argue that there is no evidence of a Creator, neither religious or from Intelligent Design. The most well known debate occurred in Kansas, where the board of education there now requires high school teachers to teach the doubts about evolution. This ruling is victory for President Bush and his allies, but a defeat for Barry Lynn and others like him.

The Theory of Evolution should be the only theory taught in schools. As stated at the beginning of this, the Theory of Evolution is the only real scientific theory. The other “theories” are really just called theories more as a marketing ploy. The amount of evidence the Theory of Evolution has is colossal compared the Creationism or Intelligent Design. Humans have never found evidence of an Intelligent Creator, or any Gods, of any religion, besides a bible (different per religion), which each was written a very long time ago. No one has any concrete evidence that their bible was sent from their God. In contrast, evidence of evolution can be found virtually everywhere. If one finds a living thing, including plants, you have evidence of evolution and natural selection. And no matter where one goes, one still has his or herself, which is also a product of evolution. By looking at fossils one can see how life has changed over time. Also, because public schools are bound by the laws of separation of church and state, they shouldn’t even be allowed to teach Intelligent Design, let alone Creationism. Even though President Bush and others believe we should be exposed to different ideas, which is true with most things, religion and science do not mix. If we are to uphold The Constitution, and maintain one of the most important traits of the United States, the separation of church and state, we will listen to the facts and only teach the Theory of Evolution.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


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