Friday, March 27, 2009

Another $800 oil change.

So I showed up at the dealer this morning for my oil change appointment (15 minutes late, of course), and I asked them to also look into this vibration my car's been having when driving at high speeds and braking. About an hour later, Craig (the service associate) called me over and told me that I had two bad tires (which he showed me) and a third that appeared to have a leak. I opted to have them replace the two (for $300) and fix the third while I waited. A little later, Craig came back and told me they've figured out why the third tire was low - its wheel is bent (he demonstrated this on the wheel-spinner-thingy). Of course I had to get this fixed as well.

So I ended up paying over $800 for two new tires, a new wheel, and an alignment...oh, and an oil change. Plus I didn't get out of there until after 13:00, five hours after I arrived. At least my drives to work and home were the smoothest that I've had in months. Tina's coming up on her 5th birthday, so maybe it's time to start thinking about her successor.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Intelligent design is not science.

This article, about yet another debate over whether evolution is the the only theory of human origin to teach in science classes, caught my attention. As a good atheist, I have long thought that creationism is BS. The intelligent design argument has never sat well with me, but until taking a Philosophy of Science class this semester I have not had a good reason to argue why it should not be taught in science classes.

Creationism is blatantly religious, and most educated people would recognize that it has no place in science. Intelligent design, however, has more subtle supernatural undertones. Many people would argue that it is a viable theory, and that it is pretty much impossible to disprove. Therein lies the rub. One of the fundamental requirements of a scientific theory is that it is testable. Although, the balance of the currently available evidence supports the theory of evolution, if we were to discover fossils that demonstrated that humans lived before the early primates that scientists believe were our ancestors, the theory would no longer be justified. There is no corresponding test for intelligent design. One could claim that any evidence fits into this theory. This is not science. See here for more insight on this issue.

Another angle the proponents of intelligent design take is that they claim to be skeptical about the evidence for evolution. I tend to be skeptical about many things, so I can appreciate this position. However, in this case there seems to be very little to be skeptical about. The evidence supporting evolution is bountiful and coherent. There is no disagreement about this issue in the scientific community. Attempts to claim this is not the case are worse than claiming that there is no scientific consensus on climate change, and probably on par with the ad campaign the tobacco companies undertook years ago to try to convince people that scientists did not agree that smoking is harmful.

Although I disagree with intelligent design, I have no problem with people posing it as a possible explanation for our long as they don't do it in a science classroom. If someone can come up with a better *scientific* explanation than evolution, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time traveling.

I have long vehemently contended that time travel is impossible. Facebook has just proven me wrong:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I am the definition of yuppie.

–noun (often initial capital letter)
a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.
Also, yuppy.

1980–85, Americanism; y(oung) u(rban) p(rofessional) + -ie

If there was one word that described my lifestyle, this has a high probability of being it. I don't know how I feel about that, especially since I would like to consider myself as transcending labels.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Time to switch toilet paper?

I'm a fan of the Charmin Ultra cuz it's so soft. However, it looks like it's not so good for the environment. Check out a comparison chart here: It also looks like Bounty paper towels, my brand of choice, are pretty bad in that respect. I don't think I can switch from Bounty unless the "greener" brands make select-a-size rolls.