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It Happened in History:
May 20, 1862 - President Lincoln signs Homestead Act. Just a scant 150 years ago the Republican party would be as unrecognizable to conservatives today as the current party would be to those in Reagan’s time. Republican President Abraham Lincoln used the succession of the Southern states to push the Homestead Act through to law. The act itself was designed to help get lands west of the Mississippi into the hands of productive farmers. This act allowed an adult over the age of 21 - male or female - to claim up to 160 acres of land from the public domain. In order to make this claim the homesteader would have to cultivate the land, build a house or barn on the land, and live on the claim for 5 years at which time they could purchase the land for $10 (additional reports also state that the purchase price was $18). As an alternative to the 5 year plan homesteaders were offered the ability to purchase the land after 6 months at only $1.25 an acre. How did the civil war play into making the Homestead Act a reality? That’s a good question I just asked myself. Similar bills were attempted by the Republican party in 1852, 1854, 1859 but struck down each time due to interests of slave states too invested in the business of slavery to allow the west to settled by small farming families who would eventually be admitted to the union as free states. Democratic president James Buchanan vetoed the 1859 bill attempt succumbing to pressures from the southern slave-holding interests. When the southern states left the union, President Lincoln used that opportunity to get the act passed. The first Homestead Act claim was filed by a civil war veteran and doctor named Daniel Freeman on January 1, 1863. Although the act was officially repealed by Congress in 1976, one last title for 80 acres in Alaska was given to Kenneth Deardorff in 1979.
-BREAK- Logical Fallacy
Arguing from Ignorance
Arguments from ignorance infer that a proposition is true from the fact that it is not known to be false. Not all arguments of this form are fallacious; if it is known that if the proposition were not true then it would have been disproven, then a valid argument from ignorance may be constructed. In other cases, though, arguments from ignorance are fallacious.
(1) No one has been able to disprove the existence of God.
(2) God exists.
This argument is fallacious because the non-existence of God is perfectly consistent with no one having been able to prove God’s non-existence..
Science Bitches! Approx 30 minutes
Google is already aiming at the Next Big Thing in computing - Artificial Intelligence:
And now for some successes in Medicine:
Good news, everyone! Science still works and scientists know what they’re talking about:
And finally, the reason I bring this all up - educate yourselves; not just on science, but history, as well. So much absolute garbage is out there about whether or not we can trust science, we as a culture have forgotten that the people that are telling you that global warming is fake or vaccines are evil have a vested interest in their argument, and a very simple one at that; It makes them money. How is it that we can decry the evils of Wal-Mart, McDonalds and their ilk in one moment and preach as gospel the message of corporate paid shills in the next?
I want to introduce you all to someone - those of you who watched Cosmos may be familiar with the man - Clair Cameron Patterson:
We all know today that lead is bad. It’s toxic, in ANY amount, and we as a culture freak out whenever we find it in anything. We take it for granted that we won’t find this particular poison in our paint or children’s toys or our gasoline; but this was not the case a mere forty years ago. Starting in 1965, Patterson fought the lobbying power of huge corporations with a vested interest in selling lead to the public, and thanks to public ignorance he didn’t win that fight for twenty years. Then, as now, people whose profit margins are threatened by science paid massive amounts of money to confuse the issues. Then, just as now, they are still wrong, scientifically, ethically, and morally. They are LYING TO YOU to line your pockets. Stop believing them - EDUCATE YOURSELVES - and we won’t have to wait twenty years for a science victory this time; we can put a brake on climate change NOW, stop poisoning our environment with fossil fuels NOW, and feed millions more than before with genetically modified foods NOW.
The rich old men in charge of fighting progress don’t care about the harm they’re doing to our planet’s future; they’ll be dead. You and your children and your children’s children DO have to live in that future. Make it a good one; side with science.
Stay tuned for the second half.