Meanwhile, in other news…

Today's one of those days where there's both so much and so little news that it's all I can do to just dole out the highlights of what may be the lowlights of the news.

Vatican comes out against 'intelligent design'

More than anything else, I am chagrined that the furor over intelligent design is still going strong. The whole concept of pushing something that has no evidence, no proof and no scientific consensus as "sound science" is so remarkably stupid as to make my eyes cross.

That said, when something as patently unscientific as 'intelligent design' makes the news today, at least it's for the right reasons: the Vatican's official paper today published an article "praising a U.S. court decision that rejects the 'intelligent design' theory as non-scientific". The article continues:

"Intelligent design does not belong to science and there is no justification for the demand it be taught as a scientific theory alongside the Darwinian explanation," said the article in the Tuesday edition of [Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano].
Which brings to mind the recent offshoot controversy here in California about a school district that intended to teach "ID" in a philosophy class. That class has since been cancelled, but the idea (though not the execution, in this instance) is not entirely unsound. Promoting discourse between such diametrically opposed concepts is what education should be about. Instead, we get locked into these competing ideas where neither side will give any ground except under court order. It's sad and shameful that our society is so polarized in just about everything, and especially all things political, that we can't simply discuss these ideas and even occasionally agree to disagree.

Russian zoo animals live to drink, drink to live

Moving on, if there's one topic that unites folks of all ages, races, nationalities, political persuasions, and so forth and so on, ad infinitum et ad nauseam, it is this:

Drunken animals are amusing. But animals do not often drink alcohol of their own accord. Therefore, animals should be encouraged to do so whenever possible. Ipso facto, QED.

The reason behind Russian zookeepers' forced endrunkening of their animals was less for humans' amusement as it was to keep the animals alive as temperatures dropped to -40 degrees Celsius (-110 degrees Fahrenheit [!!! -ed.]). As a result of the incredible cold:
the [town of Lipetsk] zoo's contingent of macaques was being fortified with cheap French table wine three times a day, and in other zoos camels, wild boars and reindeer were being given regular shots of vodka to stave off the chill.
There is nothing I can possibly add to this story. It is what it is. And what it is is perfect.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.