Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Monday 8 September 2008

It's Life Captain, but not as we know it

A Protocell - Image source: Wired

My favourite technical news site is Wired. Today there is a lengthy and fascinating article about a project at Harvard Medical School whose aim is to create a form of life that may never have existed. By using fatty molecules that can apparently trap "bits of nucleic acids", the plan is that these cells will be able to evolve.

I am by no means a micro-biologist so I think it best if you read the piece for yourselves; certainly ths project should if it succeeds, be a fascinating one to follow.

From my point of view, it is pleasing that this is happening in the USA, where the Republican Party has just nominated a vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who believes in "Intelligent Design" - in common parlance she is one of the "creationists". How many of these "creationists" still hold the view that the earth was created in six days etc., etc. I have no idea and frankly couldn't care less - until of course they start attempting to ram this superstitious nonsense down my throat.

Miss Palin has other views that appear to me to be downright contradictory. From Wikipedia: I have learned that she is a supporter both of "Feminists for Life" and of capital punishment, a member of the National Rifle Association etc.

Looks like a bit of an Old Testament job to me - I do accept that others might not find the views listed as being contradictory, but then I like being contradictory. Lovers of cuddly animals etc., will not like Miss Palin after reading this. And Sarah herself probably won't like it either - or this (sorry cannot find the link anymore thanks to HTML fucking up this blog). To me it is staggering that the Republicans can be so inept - but then I'm not there; perhaps they know that there are enough fruit-cakes ready to vote their way!

If the GOP wins the Presidential Election, which on the face of it seems unlikely, I hope that Miss Palin will not feel obliged to ban the cell research on some specious heretical grounds - if she has read the article I mentioned above, she will know (I daresay that she does already) that scientists have an irritating habit of being scientific and expecting proof - a component that is sorely lacking in religious texts (I should know - I was brought up as a Catholic).

I suppose that it is fortunate that the USA is a very big country - or as I like to say to my European acquaintances, it is in fact fifty countries.

Until the next time

It's life Captain, but not as we know it: Governor Palin

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