I was very amused yesterday to read of the proceedings in the dover trial. This is the trial over whether intelligent design is science, and thus should be taught

in schools, or mere creationism. I read of how Michael Behe took the stand for the defence, and how he was demolished. He himself disproved his own theory of irreducible complexity by showing it’s sheer preposterousness.

[quote=” ” the core of Behe’s entire argument for ID is that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve. Yet what does he admit under oath that his own study actually says? It says that IF you assume a population of bacteria on the entire earth that is 7 orders of magnitude less than the number of bacteria in a single ton of soil…and IF you assume that it undergoes only point mutations…and IF you rule out recombination, transposition, insertion/deletion, frame shift mutations and all of the other documented sources of mutation and genetic variation…and IF you assume that none of the intermediate steps would serve any function that might help them be preserved…THEN it would take 20,000 years (or 1/195,000th of the time bacteria have been on the earth) for a new complex trait requiring multiple interacting mutations – the very definition of an irreducibly complex system according to Behe – to develop and be fixed in a population.”[/quote]



Might this week have signalled the begining of the colapse of the bush administration? I doubt it, but the indictment of lewis libby is surely a sign of weakness. confirmation that they weren’t ccompletely honest about the iraqi war.


well, what did we expeect. where are the wmd for one thing? it’s just deeply worrying that the leader of the most powerful nation on earth is a bafoon, and that a large proportion of americans actually still believe what he says. this vitriolicc ‘america against the world’ attitude the neocons have is scary, and its hard for me not to condemn them all as idiots.

however, the moment I do so, I become as them.


flaneursare cool. they’re people after my owwn heart. they were men who, independently wealthy and seemingly having nothing better to do, strolled around cities in the early part of the ninteenth century, observing life, writing and ‘botanising on the asphalt’. Thats all they did. they strolled here and there, observing a culture. writers like walter benjamin haave suggested they symbolise the advent of modernity.

advent of absinth more like

smiking in pubs

smoking is due to be banned in pubs, it was announced today. i greeted thhis news with a big ‘hurrah’. hopefully i can now enjoy a pub meal without having to imbibe someone else’s 2nd hand smoke. link the final score today, incidently, was alsager 3, loughborogh 4. after being down 4-0 at half time, i think this constitutes a moral victory for mmu alsager.

ode to tea

There is an old Goodsell family tradition, which probably descends from m mum’s side, of drinking tea in the afternoons. This usually occurs between three and four on Saturdays and Sundays, and is often accompanied by chocolate. Mum would call us down from playing in our rooms on Saturday afternoons, inaugurating a trice in our game of war of the rooms (no doubt mark and Luke remember this), ad we would have tea as the rain lashed against the window.

Well, this afternoon the skies opened. My lecture in Crewe was decidedly uninspiring – the promised Howard hawkes film not running due to technical problems and the football team, when last I heard at a damp, miserable pitch side, was loosing four nil. It belted it down. At one point, the thought of tea hit me: tea, that warm, sweet infusion that so typifies all that is good about England; tea, relic of that long dead empire; tea, the taste of sitting in the kitchen in Hampshire close, talking to mum. I drove from the pitch to the wes, and ordered a cuppa. I drank it while talking to mark, my neighbour, and Esther, and all he problems of a miserable day were lifted. There is nothing like chatting to friends over a good brew.


what is this bollox? the u.s senate has re-accused galloway of being in cahoots with hussain. now, I don’t have much time for george galloway myself, but just because he was very vocal against the war doesn’t mean he was bedfellows with hussain. To say this is a gross oversimplification of the facts, and another example of the childlike behaviour of the current u.s government.

the final frontier

Ever since watching star trek as a child, I have dreamt of going into space. I honestly believe it is mankind’s destiny – if, indeed, such a thing exists – to explore the stars, as people once explored the oceans. James Cook once wrote in his log, that his mission was ‘To go further than any man had been before.’ That, I believe, is the raisin d’etre of humanity.

I think Richard Branson believes that too. He has joined forces with an American company to form virgin galactic, which will start launching suborbital passenger flights in 2007. these will take 6 or 7 people – enormously wealthy people, I might add – 100 kilometres up above the earth. From here, one can behold our home planet in her entirety. Just think, guys, what a view that would be!

Hut where will this end? Holidays on the moon? Bush is planning a manned mission to mars. Thence where? Perhaps soon, we will be able to fold space and travel faster than light. Then, surely, the real fun will begin.


Yesterday I was in stoke on car-related business, which gave me chance to go to the cinema, something which I should do more often. The film which struck me most was Roman Polanski’s Oliver, why should such an auteur do a kid’s movie?

The answer is that Oliver wasn’t a kid’s movie: parts of it were dark and brooding. There’s no overt violence, just suggested violence, which is worse. Jamie foreman made a fearsome bill Sykes – dark, brooding and more than a little psychotic. This is Charles Dickens’ tale as it was intended to be, stripped of the songs and dodgy cockney accents. Polanski again proves himself to be a master – there are some simply breathtaking shots in this film.

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed how so many forthcoming Hollywood movies are adaptations of British books? Yesterday I saw a trailer for The Loin, The Witch and the wardrobe, as well as goblet of fire. I really think we’re in for a treat with both of these films. The latter is a continuation of the potter series, which seems to be becoming darker and darker with every film; the former, I suspect, is Disney’s answer to The Lord of the Rings, (which was made by New line, an offshoot of Warner, who also make Potter). It was only a matter of time before the Disney corp. responded with something similar.

From what little I saw, they are very similar: the same grandiose mise-en-scene employed in Lotr is employed in TLTWATW. Both were filmed in new Zealand. The irony is, the authors of both books were good friends, and drank in the same Oxford pub. I only hope Adamson is as faithful to CS Lewis as Jackson was to Tolkien.

he looks like a vulcan

I honestly think life today rules. Life at university I mean. It’s how I imagine normality to be. I’m half considering becoming a poster child for university!

On Monday night my friend Steve invited me to his place, to watch movies and chat. Yesterday, bill drove me round after tea: we had decided to meet at The Woodlands, and we waited outside that pub for about five minutes until stev showed up to guide us to their place.

This was a typical student place – a mess, with posters everywhere. Sort of grimey. I went in, and had quite a good evening just talking and watching films. I selected ‘You only live twice’ from their collection – I have a soft spot for bond – and we watched that. Quite a cool film. Did you notice, when they try to turn bond Japanese, he looks a bit like a Vulcan?

We then watched ‘Dude where’s my car?’ I have seen it before, and it still strikes me as inane, but funny.

So, just a typical, student evening. My mates were really great, and I’m trying to think of ways of returning the favour,

stem cell solution

this is reasonably welcome news. I think stem cell research is vital, but my one nagging concern was the issue of killing a life to save another (ok, an oversimplification there, but you get my eaning). now science has seemingly bypassed the problem. great stuff!