Tuesday, June 20, 2006

China Pulls Ahead

Contrast how China makes use of its Great Hall of the People with how the US proposes to make use of its own legislative hall if Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland's bill is passed. (Be sure to click on Westmoreland below to see Colbert's brief interview--it's funny and yet depressing.)

Yes, The Ten Commandments are turning America into laughingstock. (Have you seen this legislative gem?) From the NY Times article:

Imagine, several string theorists in the audience mused, if a physics conference in the United States started in the House of Representatives.

China, meanwhile, surges ahead on the strength of science, overtaking us in graduate education and research spending. Heeding the sobering advice of Stephen Hawking to save our species, China this week has even announced plans toward building a lunar space colony.

Our rivalry with China could be the plot of a chapter from Gardner Dozois' acclaimed SciFi collection Galileo's Children.

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  1. Looks like the really old world is the new world...

  2. You are shocking me. While China still has huge human rights issues, including forced forced sterilization, forced murder of the unborn, and laws that cause parents to abandon, kill or "neglect to death" female babys in order to try again for a male child... yet you look at them with praise?

    All while condeming America for supporting the ten commandments that include such horrible rules as "do not steal/murder/lie/commit adultry". How does this work?

    I am close friends with two asain women, both have very bad stories of the pain they went through to escape the communists in China.

    Truely I say, if the Ten Commandments make us a laughingstock to such people as the Communists in China, my answer is "Praise God!"

    You friend,

  3. Andy,

    You don't have to be Communist to laugh at that Cobert interview.

    Of course, China is a dictatorial, air-polluting, police state that tramples human rights. Does that disqualify their scientists? It's true that science thrives in an open society, and yet the US is losing ground to China. If scientists in England were kicking our ass, it wouldn't be so suprising, and frankly I wouldn't care as much.

    I love the US, which has historically served its citizens and the world so well through ingenuity, innovation, and respect for the individual--strengths we sap as we increasingly identify our nation as the vehicle of Christ.


  4. I think the issue with the 10 commandments is that while it is easy to believe that they espouse universally accepted values many people do not find them to be relevant or valuable. The United States does not have an official religion and I believe that passing legislation that praises certain religious beliefs signals an underlying lack of tolerance towards anyone who does not share the those religious beliefs.

  5. The last time the developed world allowed Christianity to dictate science Europe entered the 500 year period known as the Dark Ages. The Chinese being serious students of history would never make this mistake.

  6. I don't think it is christianity or religion that is making the US fail in terms of scientists or intellectuals. It is a very naive, and an uneducational guess on anyone's part to assume that.

    Look at what is happening around. If at all anything it is the "extreme freedom" available in the US. Parents can no longer be tough on their kids. They are left alone to figure out on their own. Kids don't want to learn, most indulge in eating or playing video games.

    The whole issue comes down to lack of nurture and caring for the young minds that could become amazing scientists. They are left behind because of lack of parental intervention, and so called peer pressure.

  7. China tramples on human rights? In the atheist world there are NO human rights. Who/what gives them? The only law is the law of the jungle... and the strong have NO responsibility to protect the weak. Any "morality" to the otherwise is only borrowed... from religion. There's no punishment for doing bad, no reward for doing good. Life's a big cosmic joke!

    I don't understand why any Jew could be an atheist... you violate your own covenant... (Genesis 12:3), and become part of the curse NOT the blessing!

  8. RedNeck,

    I know you meant just to mock, but I will respond noentheless.

    1. Who/what gives human rights (according to atheists)?

    A social contract based on fairness (i.e. what we would agree to without knowing our stations in life) can be inferred. Such a social contract would undoubtedly afford rights to the individual.

    2. "There's no punishment for doing bad, or reward for doing good."

    I asked my son why he wants to help people who are hurt, and he said that it's because he cares about them. It hurts him to see someone suffer. There's reward and punishment for you. And you really think it's more moral to help people only because you want to go to Heaven?

    3. "You violate your own covenant." You refer to the verse, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

    No, I do not consider myself in any way obliged to a covenant struck, according to some third party, between my ancestors and some mythical deity.