...there's a serious problem that the demolish-the-Viaduct crowd hasn't taken into account. The Viaduct isn't a piece of modern sculpture--it's a major freeway. Each day, about 190,000 drivers motor through downtown on Interstate 5 and about another 100,000 make the trip on SR99. So this not-entirely-attractive structure represents one-third of the north-south freeway capacity in a city in which worsening traffic is the major civic gripe. Is anyone seriously thinking of just tearing the Viaduct down and not replacing it? At least the Discovery Institute folks are facing reality with their tunnel proposal--sort of. Viaduct critics are quick to trot out state estimates for retrofitting ($344 million) or replacing the Viaduct ($530 million), but a similar tunnel proposal costed out at more than $1 billion when it was proposed six years ago. That proposal also would have funded construction with vehicle tolls, an approach the Discovery Institute study would emulate. "The attitude toward tolls for new [transportation] facilities may have changed in the post-695 world," the Institute's Bruce Agnew comments hopefully....the Seattle Transportation Group's 1994 Alaskan Way toll-road proposal was easily available for extended study. The state's plan to allow private companies to build new roads and bridges and charge tolls proved so unpopular that most of the formal proposals were stashed in file cabinets by fearful bureaucrats. Read More ›

“E” is for evolution; “F” is for Fordham

We count on scientists to tell us what they know and do not know–not just what they want us to hear. But when it comes to the origin and evolution of life on earth, spokesmen for official science–and science education–have been far less forthcoming than we might wish. When writing in scientific journals, leading biologists candidly discuss many scientific difficulties Read More ›

Polanyi committee suggests compromise:

A report issued by the peer review committee appointed to evaluate the credibility and legitimacy of the Michael Polanyi Center was finally released Tuesday morning, stating that despite controversy, it found the Center’s research legitimate. The committee, composed of eight respected scholars from all over the country and led by Dr. William F. Cooper, recommended that the university should “foster Read More ›

‘Intelligent design’ center at Baylor gains support from review committee

A controversial center at Baylor University researching the idea that life was created through “intelligent design” instead of evolution should be allowed to continue its work, an external review committee said Tuesday. The committee recommended that a faculty advisory committee be appointed to try to improve the academic center’s relationship with the rest of the university. It also recommended that Read More ›

Unintelligent Designs: Several months ago we reported on the efforts of faculty at Baylor University to shut down the recently founded Michael Polanyi Center for Complexity, Information, and Design. The center, established by administrative fiat at the behest of Baylor President Robert B. Sloan, Jr., under the auspices of the university’s Institute for Faith and Learning, came under fire in part Read More ›

Election 2000 crucial to whole new generation – whether they vote or not

Looking closely, you can see why the leaders of the two major parties are so anxious about this presidential election, even while the electorate is generally unexcited or ambivalent. While a Gore victory would mean more or less the same busy legislative and regulatory agenda as in the past, with Congress most likely reverting to familiar Democratic control, a Bush Read More ›

Statement of the Cranach Institute

The Cranach Institute wishes to express its dismay at the decision to remove William Dembski as Director of the Michael Polanyi Center (Metanews, 10/19/2000). Shortly before this announcement, we learned that the committee appointed to evaluate the status of the Center upheld the importance and legitimacy of Dr. Dembski’s work, while calling on the Center to be redefined in its Read More ›

Politics And The Military

So the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took issue with a couple comments that George W. Bush made about Army readiness, and conservatives took issue with his taking issue. Then a group of retired senior officers publicly endorsed Mr. Bush, and it was the liberals’ turn to hissy fit. Then flowed all the ominous reminders — we’ve been Read More ›

“Space Defenders”

Nine years ago, as Americans watched live coverage of Tomahawk cruise missiles changing lanes in downtown Baghdad and government-supplied video of smart bombs ringing bunker doorbells before exploding, it became obvious that a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was underway. The obvious assessment of this RMA: Damn, we’re good. And so we are. Whatever else might be said of the Read More ›