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Society - 16. page

On The Lot

On the Lot is a new Fox reality TV show. It’s pretty much a bad clone of American idol, except the contestants are movie directors, rather than singers. The show has the same setup with the three judges and then the audience picks the winners. My son Aaron is very into movie making, so I’ve been watching the show with him. The movie making aspect is interesting and I would like to see more of the technical side of film making.

However, last weeks winner was very disturbing. The winning video titled “Getta Rhoom” was clearly insulting and offensive to people with developmental disabilities. The director claims that the individual portrayed in the film was just a nerd. Sorry, but a director who doesn’t know the difference between a nerd and a person with a disability has his own mental challenges.

When the film was first shown, all three judges found the movie offensive, and rightly so. But the audience disagreed and not only liked the film, but voted it #1! The fact that this film was voted #1 makes it clear that we have a long way to go before people with disabilities are accepted by our society.

Even worse, after the vote, judge Carrie Fisher (Star Wars’ Princess Leia) who was shocked by the insensitivity of the film, caved into public opinion after the vote, saying, “I was wrong”. Carrie, you were not wrong, you were right on target with your initial reaction. Never underestimate the ignorance of the American people.

Here’s the video, judge for yourself, nerd or person with a disability?

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Gun Control

Maybe something good can come out of the Virginia Tech Massacre? There is no reason in a civilized society for hand guns. With the exception of law enforcement, the dangers of citizens owning hand guns now out weights the benefits. It’s time we took a fresh look at the antiquated second amendment. In 1997, there were 15,289 murders in the United States, 10,369 were committed with guns. Something is terribly wrong when a 23 year old student with a history of mental illness can walk into a store and buy a gun. There is no doubt in my mind that outlawing hand guns will lower firearm fatalities.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

No, this is not a scene from the Flintstones, this is a display from a new $25 million creationist “museum” under construction in the Cincinnati area (http://www.answersingenesis.org/museum/). When I visit a museum, I expect to learn something that is scientifically and historically true. According to this museum, God created the world in six days and our planet is just 6,000 years old. Scary to think that millions of people actually believe this and this museum will only serve to encourage this kind of thinking.

My first question, what’s with all the dinosaurs? Is there any mention of dinosaurs in the Bible? I think we can all agree that dinosaurs did roam the earth and it was not in the last 6,000 years. The rest of the creationist view makes as much sense as the dinosaur problem. And what about human fossils? How does that fit in with Adam and Eve? Answer; it doesn’t fit.

How can so many intelligent people believe in something that can not be proven? The answer is evolution. Belief in a higher power has evolved as a result of the need to explain what we can’t yet understand. It’s a trait that is passed from generation to generation, much like physical and emotional traits. Over the ages, religion has helped to bring people into groups. Therefore, it has helped humans to survive and adapt – survival of the fittest. It has also helped people to cope with the fear of death, and to help people come to terms with the bad things in the world. This trait is much stronger in some people than others and this is why intelligence is not as powerful as some individual’s need to believe.

But I think we have come to a crossroad in human history. Are brains are evolving to a point where the supernatural is no longer logical and the need for religion is losing its evolutionary advantages. While there still are benefits to believing in a higher power, there are also huge risks. Religious wars have been around for as long as religions, however we now have the power to destroy humanity and in fact our entire planet.

It’s time for free thinkers to stand up and be heard. I’m all for religious tolerance, but not when it’s taught as science in a museum and especially in our public schools. I hope that we can evolve beyond the dogmas and myths of religions before we destroy ourselves.

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