Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I Could Vote for Christine O’Donnell

Christine O’Donnell is described by the Huffington Post as:

The article presents 6 “gems” describing Christine O’Donnell. The first one “should be” the biggest problem for me. I discuss each of the six and and possible misuse of campaign funds below.

1. Evolution 'Just As Much, If Not More' Proof Of Creationism

The article quotes a “passage” from/of/by Christine as saying that evolution has failed tests that would elevate it past the standing of a "theory". I encourage interested readers to read the quote and the entire article on the link above.

The “reality” is that evolution is NOT elevatable beyond a theory. Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson (Hayden Planetarium and Princeton University) has stated the equivalent on numerous occasions. See for example, “Lecture 8: In Defense of the Big Bang” contained in the “My Favorite Universe” available from There is a big sale on through September 30, 2010. I encourage intelligent readers to explore this site for potential Christmas gifts.

The controversy over “Evolution” involves Religion and Education. In the scientific world, it has the status of an accepted theory. As Tyson points out, we no longer “elevate” accepted theories to laws. Special Relativity, General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, the Big Bang, Quantum Electrodynamics, and the current Standard Model remain accepted “theories”. In the 1700s, they would have been referred to as Laws.

An unbiased observer like me would rank the Theory of Evolution below all the others on merit of intellectual content. I would rate the Theory of Evolution above all the others for potential impact on the Economy and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”. The conservative, fat-cat capitalists will eventually come around.

I think the US is the only "developed" country where beliefs about Evolution pose an economic impediment to progress.

Christine O’Donnell expressed her belief that God would provide a Righteous alternative in number 6 below. I believe Christine believes in the tenets of Christianity that I share.

She is running for Senator not Pastor, Director of Scientific Research, or Secretary of State.

2. AIDS Prevention Gets Too Much Money

Something gets too much money.

3. Suggested Obama Is 'Anti-American'

I don’t know what “Anti-American” means. Recent news reports have stated that “Obama does not believe in American Exceptionalism.

The idea that we should have a national language makes economic sense to me both for commerce and for resource consumption (mental demands).

4. The Fall Of Our Nation, The Cause of School Violence

“We had the 60s sexual revolution,” O’Donnell said. “Now people are dying of AIDS.”

Does anyone believe that the number of people dying of AIDS would be greater had we not had the sexual revolution of the 60s?

The article states that the other people (on the program) had difficulty accepting her hypothesis. In suggesting a hypothesis, she is going beyond “just saying no.” That’s what most moderates and liberals have encouraged conservatives to do.

An alternative hypothesis, suggested by reading FREAKONOMICS, is “Violence in Schools (and Society at Large) has increased because of the intimidation of abortion doctors and abortion clinics.” I would like to see a “scientific study” devoted to that topic.

If the hypothesis is true, the most cost-effective crime prevention measure currently available to us would be to provide free “family planning information and tools.”

Christine is running for the Senate not Attorney General or a cabinet position.

5. Criticized Masturbation On MTV's 'Sex In The 90s'

Don’t those little devils have a “right to life”, also? Catholics have espoused a belief that “life begins at conception”. Some Protestants have advocated “at birth”.

As we learn more about genomics and study the origins of life, we are learning that life on Earth began millions of years ago. See For a “non-technical” discussion, see

Life “is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (biology) from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.

“In biology, the science of living organisms, life is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter. Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means. A diverse array of living organisms (life forms) can be found in the biosphere on Earth, and the properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information.

“In philosophy and religion, the conception of life and its nature varies. Both offer interpretations as to how life relates to existence and consciousness, and both touch on many related issues, including life stance, purpose, conception of a god or gods, a soul or an afterlife.”


In science, a living organism can reproduce. How?

The free Merriam-Webster dictionary states:

transitive verb. : to produce again: as a : to produce (new individuals of the same kind) by a sexual or asexual process b : to cause to exist again or anew ...

Biologists believe that the last universal ancestor to all present life on earth lived about 3.5 billion years ago. See

Nothing I have read today states that life is created during “reproduction.” Several sources say, in effect, that life is “reproduced”. Is it a stretch to say that “life” is passed on during/via reproduction?

Reproduction in humans is described at

The reproductive system of the male has two major functions:

• production of sperm
• delivery of these to the reproductive tract of the female.

“Fair” or not, the responsibility of the female mammal for successful reproduction is considerably greater than that of the male.

She must

• manufacture eggs
• be equipped to receive sperm from the male
• provide an environment conducive to fertilization and implantation
• nourish the developing baby not only before birth but after.

In contrast to males, the initial steps in egg production occur prior to birth. Diploid stem cells called oogonia divide by mitosis to produce more oogonia and primary oocytes. By the time the fetus is 20 weeks old, the process reaches its peak and all the oocytes that she will ever possess (~4 million of them) have been formed.

By the time she is born, 1–2 million of these remain. Each has

• begun the first steps of the first meiotic division (meiosis I) and then
• stopped.

Based on the science, the male’s function is to “deliver the sperm to the reproductive tract of the female.” This can be accomplished the old-fashioned way or through a sperm donor program.

What is the “reproduction” situation?

An adult male manufactures “over 100 million” sperm cells each day. This is the same number contained in an “average human ejaculate.” The numbers will support one ejaculation per day.

When modern technology is not utilized, “only a few dozen” sperm “complete the journey” and only one fertilizes the egg. This is a huge mortality rate (greater than 99999999/100000000) for sperm.

Utilizing modern technology, this can be increased to 1.0 (probability of birth reduced to zero) or substantially reduced. Birth control methods can achieve the 1.0.
How can the mortality be reduced? Based on the “only a few dozen complete the trip” in the old fashioned process, let us divide an average human ejaculate into 12 approximately equal parts. Let us try “ART” with these twelve parts. The mortality rate is reduced when the survival rate is increased.

Using the data in the website above, over 12*.35*3/2 = 6.3 sperm should fertilize an egg. That’s a 630% increase in the survival rate for the sperm.

It looks like the potential survival rate for a healthy sperm can be made arbitrarily close to the success rate for ICSI. It seems reasonable to estimate the success rate of ICSI to be within a factor of 10 of the ART success rate. That is > .035 (over 3 percent).

That’s a huge increase from 1 in over 100 million.

The technology assisted survival rate for sperm is limited primarily by the availability of female eggs. The dollar cost of ICSI for over 100 million sperm per day would exceed even the wealth of Bill Gates within a few years (or less).

Analysis of the numbers of hosts required is left as an exercise for the student.

An average human ejaculate contains the potential for reproduction of over 100 million different living organisms. Who, besides God, should determine which of these sperm live on as living human organisms? Male masturbation without collecting the sperm for a sperm collection center or the equivalent condemns all sperm cells to death. The old-fashioned way of reproducing enables only one sperm (per egg) to survive. That’s usually one.

If we consider a sperm cell to be a 0.5 life, we can use insurance data to calculate the number of miles we have to drive in a car to constitute the same “risk to life” as masturbating. All I remember is, that per mile, flying is far safer than driving.

In an average human lifetime monogamous relationship, surviving sperm probably would be limited to less than 40. Actual intercourse, versus masturbation, doesn’t do a lot to help the poor little fellers survive.

According to the reproduction article, human females develop about 4 million eggs prior to birth. At birth, about 1- 2 million remain. No more eggs are developed although existing eggs are further developed periodically.

Physiological changes occur in the female as well as the male in response to sexual excitement, although these are not as readily apparent. In contrast to the male, however, such responses are not a prerequisite for copulation and fertilization to occur.

My experience with female masturbation is limited. An interesting discussion can be found at The above paragraph says that the physiological changes which might be produced by sexual excitement caused by masturbation, or otherwise, is not required for fertilization to occur. It does not appear that female masturbation significantly affects the ovulation cycle.

The only identifiable effect of female masturbation on the reproduction of life appears to be that without masturbation the female would be more likely to engage in the old fashioned method of reproduction, possibly providing about one of her eggs an opportunity to develop into another reproducing organism.

Using the available data, if the female engages in the old-fashioned method every five days while she is neither pregnant nor menstruating, she will be providing the opportunity for her egg(s) to develop into reproducing organisms.

When a female ovulates without having had recent intercourse, about 1 out of 1 egg does not survive. This is about the same as the normal mortality rate for sperm with or without intercourse.

The discussion of female masturbation on the website above suggests that it contributes to the females enjoyment of intercourse and may well enhance the likelihood of an egg being fertilized.

Not only does the Bible say, “Thou shall not kill” but also it says, “Go forth and multiply.”

Should we intentionally “waste” an egg?

According to the Wikipedia article on life, biologists believe that the last universal ancestor of life here on Earth, lived 3.5 billion years ago. That can be read as “Life (here on Earth) was created/began over 3.5 billion years ago. Life has been reproducing for at least 3.5 billion years.

After all this discussion, I tend to agree with the position that fertilization is the "special" point in the lifeline of a living organism. I will defer discussion of a “separate living organism.” I will also defer discussion of when a human living organism becomes a person.

Christine O’Donnell’s comments about masturbation are more humorous than mine.

She is running for the US Senate. She is not running for Surgeon General.

6. Suggested She Wouldn't Lie To Hitler To Save Jews

Around 2000, an issue of the Wilson Quarterly discussed the “torture hypothetical.” I did not find the issue in my online search. I did find which describes the hypothetical as I recall it.

The Wilson Quarterly stated that liberal Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said that of course we would use torture but we can never say that.

My view has been that if Jack Baer has to revert to torture, he has to accept that his best hope in the future is for acquittal based upon a trial before his “peers” or leniency/mercy at the sentencing. Torture is, and will always be, “wrong.” I believe that in a realization of the hypothetical, a good defense lawyer can "get you off." Justice will prevail.

In the Huffingtonpost article, O'Donnell is quoted as saying, “A lie, whether it be a lie or an exaggeration, is disrespect to whoever you're exaggerating or lying to, because it's not respecting reality.”

Bill Maher states, “Quite the opposite, it can be respect.”

Izzard says, “What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, 'do you have any Jewish people in your house?' and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler.” [Looks like something is missing but the idea is obvious.]

O'Donnell says, “I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that!”

Maher states, “God is not there. Hitler's there and you're there.”

O’Donnell says, “You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out. “

A former co-worker of mine and bagpipe player Bill Bell told me, "Mother always said that when God closes all the doors, he always leaves a window open."

According to James Hall in the Philosophy of Religion (, probably Lecture 32 Language Games and Theistic Discourse, there is something called “performative language”. The baptism ritual falls into that category.

Someone (Christine) could say to the assembled Jews in her house, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” [Most rituals I have seen involve water.] The saying of the words in performance language accomplishes the deed/act.

When the Nazis asked if there were any Jews in the house, Christine could reply, “All herein have been baptized except perhaps yourselves.” Misleading the Nazis, but not lying, seems like the Christian thing to do.

There is a good chance that many of us can avoid lying. “Deception” is taught as a tool in military science. Good spin artists “redirect” or reinterpret without outright lying. George H. W. Bush wanted to lead us. He had a problem with the” vision thing”. He didn’t have a destination picked out for us. Barack Obama doesn’t have that problem.

Christine is running for US Senator not to be a combatant or military instructor. She offers hypotheses rather than just saying "No."

I went into particle physics in my search for the “truth.” I have a high regard for it and for “reality”. I like to think that our senators do not lie with the possible exception of those on the Intelligence committee. [I am aware that Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman said that an honest politician cannot get elected. What did he know about the real world?]

Misuse of Campaign Funds

The article did not mention the possible misuse of campaign funds. The article referred to Christine as a “perpetual candidate.” This addresses whether she was running for anything when funds were spent.

I strongly suspect that, if everything is analyzed in detail, some misuse of funds will be found as currently defined in PC and, most likely, law.

I have been aspiring to be a small business man for years. Until recently, I had only one bank account that I used regularly. I believe my tax returns have been “truthful” and detailed. Nevertheless, I can see how one could overlook some things in these days of Mark to Market and Sarbanes-Oxley.

I believe in Justice but I don’t believe Christine O’Donnell’s likely misuse of funds is comparable to that alleged for Charley Wrangle and about 3 other members (scholarship funds) of the Black Caucus.

All of these individuals are legally innocent until proven guilty.

Christine O'Donnell won the Republican primary. She is the Republican candidate. She believes in a limited role for the Federal Government. She is photogenic. What do we want in a candidate for the US Senate? [Hint: a winner.]

Whether or not I will vote for Christine O'Donnell is currently a "hypothetical" for me. I am not a resident of Delaware. None of the "gems" from the Huffingtonpost are sufficient for me to say I would not vote for her.

In the late 1970s, I was "polled" by Gallup. I was asked, "If the candidates were Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who would you vote for?" At the time, inside the Washington Beltway where I lived, Reagan was considered as far Right as Kennedy was Left. I was an "Undecided" or whatever. I recognized that I did not yet have to decide. I never had to decide that but I did have to decide between Carter and Reagan. I chose the Republican.


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