I have been closely following the history of the hyper-restrictive – grossly over-restrictive, in my estimation – abortion laws and bills, including the so-called “heartbeat” laws / bills. As a result, I have become convinced that the biggest problem with the abortion debate – both pro-choice and pro-life -- is that both parties assume they know one helluva lot more than they actually do, in fact, one helluva lot more than anybody knows about what a fetus in a womb actually is, “ontologically”. In fact, both parties assume that they know one helluva lot more than anyone can know, even in principle.
First, we need to define some terminology. Consider the word “phenotype”. “Phenotype” refers to those characteristics of a biological organism that are naked-eye, empirically,
On a recent weekend, my wife and I watched – I for probably the dozenth time – the 1956 classic science fiction movie Forbidden Planet. Perhaps halfway through the movie, and largely because of the Freudian discussion of the power and place of the id in the human mind that was woven into the narrative, I had a lightning stroke of insight: Forbidden Planet (hereafter FP) is no longer, as it was in 1956, a vivid but purely theoretical cautionary tale about Freud’s warnings concerning what he called “the return of the Repressed,” but is also a chilling metaphor for the hazards of Trump as the first truly postmodern American President. Suddenly, I realized that we are not Dr. Morbius and his nubile daughter living on Altair IV perhaps 200 years in the future. Rather we are Americans liv
The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now: earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now com