Monkeys with typewriters

quote:

“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

– emphasis mine – found on the web but I can’t remember who said it

In 2003, scientists at Paignton Zoo and the University of Plymouth, in Devon in England reported that they had left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Sulawesi Crested Macaques for a month; not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages (PDF) consisting largely of the letter S, they started by attacking the keyboard with a stone, and continued by urinating and defecating on it.

So much for another inane Darwinist postulation.

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DNA and information – the Darwinist’s nightmare

DNA and information

Information is neither matter nor energy. It is metaphysical by nature. It is not sugars and enzymes. Information is something other than the matter that contains it. As such, ”Complex Coded Information” (CCI) is something the standard macro-evolutionary theory cannot explain. Where does the information come from?

We call it the genetic code. The very word ”code” implies an symbolic convention created for a specific purpose. The genetic code is such. It has semantics, syntax, pragmatics and is constrained to those rules. It also has exception trapping mechanisms built in.

As a written language is a set of symbols to which meaning has been assigned by some intelligence, and as a spoken language is a set of symbolic sounds to which meaning has been assigned by intelligent originiators, so DNA, as a Complex Coded Information System (CCIS), must necessarily have been originated by some intelligence.

Nature, by default, has no intelligence and so cannot itself be the origin of the genetic code. Therefore, some other intelligence must be responsible for it’s existence. Coded information systems, such as language, do not arise in nature by itself. There is in fact no such thing as a language coming into existence without some intelligent entities ‘inventing’ it.

That it is very brief view of how the Intelligent Design theory looks at the information problem for neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
————————
DNA is a complex coded information system (CCIS)

Dr. Gitt’s laws of information – Gitt, Werner, 1997. In the Beginning was Information, Christliche Literature-Verbreitung e.V., Bielefeld, Germany. Director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, the Head of the Department of Information Technology

I know that Gitt’s work, while extensive and in fact rather exhaustive, is not yet complete and no doubt contains some errors or unknowns as nearly all scientific theories do. Yet it “holds water”.

Coded information obeys fundamental laws of nature which, in summarized form, can be expressed as follows:

  • It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.
  • It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.
  • It is impossible to have information without a sender.
  • It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.
  • It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.
  • It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics [the purpose for which the information is intended, from the Greek apobeinon = result, success, conclusion].
  • It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.

Careful analysis shows again and again that the process: sender codes a message – receiver decodes and uses the intended information, does not arise without the active involvement of a living intelligence at some point.- Dr. Royal Truman

Yes I know some attempts have been made to refute Truman’s paper on Information as well as Dr. Gitt’s research – talkorigins of course – who else? They basically rant on his differences with Shannon’s information theory and then wander off on poorly reasoned “rebuttals” with very little real content. Gitt’s work is extensive and cannot be shrugged off so easily as that.

From what I’ve read thus far, all opponents of Gitt’s ideas avoid the basic problem. Information does not exist in sugars and enzymes per se. Intelligence always ends up being assumed somewhere in the argument.

Given the above information, it is easy to see why neo-Darwinism fails from the start.

The source of the information contained in DNA, with it’s data transfer protocols, coding protocols and error-control protocols cannot be natural. It requires intelligently designed protocols embedded into the very framework itself.

Communications protocols do not arise from nothing. The very term protocol implies communication conventions between two communicating entities. This intelligence is involved. Amongst humans at this time, TCP/IP (the communications protocol used for Internet and computer comm) is the most widely used, without which no such blogs or web sites would work.

The information travels the physical lines using TCP to insure correct data transfer from source to destination. Checksum algorithms are applied to insure error free messages.

Information in DNA also has transmission and error checking protocols used as well as the translation mechanisms of RNA. These, by default, cannot be acquired in mere matter. They must be designed. Error can never be detected without an obligatorily preceeding knowledge or convention on what is correct.

In computers we use binary coded information to make them work. 0’s and 1’s do a good job for use so far, but they are still limited. DNA does not use binary code. And so in that sense, standard information theory is insufficient for such systems.

DNA uses a 4 letter code ATGC. (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). RNA is (A,C,G,Uracil) This code base is far more effecient than binary for the transfer and use of biological information. This code base provides for frame shifts as well, such as the right-left shifts applicable to say, bytes or word sequences, in binary code.

There are three major types of RNA: 1) mRNA, messenger-RNA, which transfer the information about the aminoacid sequence from the DNA to the protein synthesis. 2) rRNA, ribosomal-RNA, which builds up the ribosome together with proteins. 3) tRNA, transfer-RNA, which transfers aminoacids to the ribosome for protein synthesis….

The translation process is the synthesis of proteins directed by a mRNA template. The information contained in the nucleotide sequence of the mRNA is read as three letter words (triplets), called codons. Each word stands for one amino acid.

see : http://nobelprize.org/chemistry/educational/dna/index.html
The complexity involed in all of this is mindboggling. Or as one molecular biologist put it, “genius beyond genius”.

Dr. Royal Truman (Ph.D., specializing in organic chemistry), basing some of his analysis on Gitt, adds the following :

1. Information is more than the physical coding used to represent it. The sender and receiver must agree in advance on conventions to represent whatever is to be communicated in the future.
2. Information exchange requires that the frame of reference or context be agreed to in advance.
3. Random processes cannot generate coded information; rather, they only reflect the underlying mechanistic and probabilistic properties of the components which created that physical arrangement.
4. Information efficiency may be denser than implied by Shannon’s log2(n) equation, since a common basis of understanding exists between sender and receiver, often allowing implications with various degrees of certainty to be assumed by both parties, in addition to the raw data of the message.
5. In addition to the data encoded in the physical message the intention of the original sender must be considered. An encoding system can be devised to ensure transmission accuracy or to avoid understanding by an unwanted party.
6. A message allows information to survive over time. Assuming that the physical medium is not destroyed, there is some flexibility as to when the receiver can interpret the information.
7. The underlying meaning of coded information is external to the mere nature and properties of the sender.
8. The physical medium upon which a message is encoded is subject to physical laws such as a natural trend towards increased entropy in the long run (and thereby loss of ncoded information which is dependent on a physical medium).
9. Information content of messages is more easily quantified in a comparative than absolute sense.

One simply cannot avoid the inherent necessity of intelligence in this. An intelligent Designer is absolutely required. It cannot be accomplished by blind, unguided, unpurposing, mindless, speechless nature by mere random mutations + “selection pressures” + millions of years.

Indeed, no one has yet shown anything near like a stepped sequence of mutations that could have built such a CCIS. So what do Darweenies say about this fact? Basically, “It’s ongoing research”. Of course it is. And after 100 years or so, it’s not gotten very far has it. 😉 Indeed, the more we discover, the more complex it gets. And the more complex it gets the less Darwinism suffices.

See : http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp for a far more complete analysis of the information problem – by Dr. Royal Truman

Is there life elsewhere?

I understand the theological dilema that Xians face in regards to this question. But I see all the related fears and resistance as being unnecessary and harmful.

First, who cares what evolutionists think anyway?! “I want to know God’s thoughts”, said Einstein, “the rest is details”.

So what if there’s life elsewhere? If there is then God made them and He can handle the situation with ease. Why fear for what the atheistic evolutionists will say if life is found elsewhere? Of course they will cry, “evolution is therefore true”! They always have no matter what proof to the contrary is revealed.

And of course the cry will be just as unwarranted then as it is now. In fact a discovery of life elsewhere would only make the thing more difficult for them since they would then have another humungous set of phenomena to explain away! How did life start in the said elsewhere? The same questions will have to answered as are already necessary to answer now! They will only have succeeded in moving the questions back one more step and making the answers even more difficult to find in a Darwinian context!

The questions will become much harder for the staunch darwinists, in part, because they will then have to explain how the billionth of a billionth of a chance of life appearing spontaneously, occurred more than once in the universe.

For Xians or theists that is not the problem.

I’ve done a lot of research into the works and beliefs of the church, generally speaking, over it’s existence in the past 2 millenia. And yes, I’ve even looked for what they said and believed about life elsewhere.

Did they mention ufos or aliens etc.? No the terms were not familiar to them. Did they speak about life elsewhere? Yes indeed.

They absolutely did not have any fears or qualms about whether ET was a reality or not. They viewed God as being infinitely capable of both creating and dealing with the whole “life, the universe, and everything” questions without even “working up a sweat” if you will.

Many of the great preachers of the past said things that clearly hinted at a belief in life elsewhere. They did not, nor would have been expected to, use our modern terminologies. No doubt there were also many who did not believe in such possibilities since there have also been periods where the church was extremely man-centered and had become paranoid (as all man-centered organizations do) – adopting an “anti-everything they couldn’t understand” mentality.

Charles Finney in his many lectures on theology often spoke of the atonement as applying to all life in the universe :

“That the work of Atonement was the most interesting and impressive exhibition of God that ever was made in this world and probably in the universe.” “Now, as it can never be expected, that the Atonement will be repeated, it is for ever settled, that rebellion in any other world than this, can have no hope of impunity.” “We have reason to believe, that Christ, by his Atonement, is not only the Savior of this world, but the Savior of the universe in an important sense” “This world is to be turned back to its allegiance to God, and the blessed Atonement of Christ has so unbosomed God before the universe, as, no doubt, not only to save other worlds from going into rebellion,” — Skeleton Lecture of Theology – The Atonement.

Charles Spurgeon also made references to similar things. :

“It may also be, but I do not know, and so I cannot tell you, that we are, in future dispensations, to fill unto other worlds much the same office as angels fill to ours. Jesus has made us kings and priests×and we are in training for our thrones. What if in this congregation I am learning to proclaim my Master’s Glory to myriads of worlds! Possibly the preacher who is faithful here may yet be made to tell forth His Lord’s Glory to constellations at a later time. What if one might stand upon a central star and preach Christ to worlds on worlds instead of preaching Him to these two galleries and to this area! Why not?” – Sermon #1960

We cannot tell but that in the boundless regions of space, there are worlds inhabited by beings infinitely superior to us” – sermon #151

“He had created worlds, I know not how many, but in them all He found no rival. Perhaps all the stars we see are worlds full of inhabitants who worship the infinite Creator” sermon #1786

“I have such a conviction of the power of Christ’s death that if it were revealed to me that on the Cross He redeemed not only one world, but as many fallen worlds as there are stars, I could well believe it!” – sermon #2224

Enough quotes from two of the greatest preachers the world has known since the apostles. Many others could be quoted.

You see, not only did these men of God have no fears or hangups about life elsewhere, but they viewed it as a perfect possibility in harmony with Genesis and with all the more glory to God who created them all by His Word.

They were not under the influence of Darwinism, nor science fiction.

All the “ado about nothing” in the life elsewhere questions is based on fears and insecurities – not on scripture and certainly not on faith in God who is bigger than it all.

And all this talk about UFOs being demons is largely rubbish in my view. They may as well be angels for all we know – and we know spit about our own world let alone the vast universe of worlds that may or may not be “out there”. The evidence for water being found of one Saturn’s moons Enceladus, recently is certainly a surprise for many since as far as we know, where there is water there is also life – at least on our little blue planet.

As for UFO’s, certainly Satan can disguise himself as many things and as the “prince of the power of the air” and capable of “transforming himself into an angel of light” may actually be involved in some of these “sightings” or alleged abductions – who knows?

Nevertheless I would encourage all of you, whatever your position, to be full of faith and courage and stand in awe at your Awesome King Creator who by His Word formed the ages and having “so loved the kosmos, gave His uniquely begotten Son so that WHOEVER believes on Him would have eternal life”.

Let the horizons of your vision and understanding be expanded and blessed with His light on all things.

SETI and Intelligent Design

Marvin
A subject that comes up often in Intelligent Design vs macro-evolution debates is that of SETI using ID techniques.

The people at seti released a denial of any ID theory or relation in their work – http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_intelligentdesign_051201.html

here are excerpts :

the signals actually sought by today’s SETI searches are not complex, as the ID advocates assume. We’re not looking for intricately coded messages, mathematical series, … Our instruments are largely insensitive to the modulation—or message—that might be conveyed by an extraterrestrial broadcast. A SETI radio signal of the type we could actually find would be a persistent, narrow-band whistle….

Well, it’s because the credibility of the evidence is not predicated on its complexity. If SETI were to announce that we’re not alone because it had detected a signal, it would be on the basis of artificiality. An endless, sinusoidal signal – a dead simple tone – is not complex; it’s artificial. ….

the champions of Intelligent Design make two mistakes when they claim that the SETI enterprise is logically similar to their own: First, they assume that we are looking for messages, and judging our discovery on the basis of message content, whether understood or not. In fact, we’re on the lookout for very simple signals. That’s mostly a technical misunderstanding. But their second assumption, derived from the first, that complexity would imply intelligence, is also wrong. We seek artificiality, which is an organized and optimized signal coming from an astronomical environment from which neither it nor anything like it is either expected or observed: Very modest complexity, found out of context

They also publish the following:

Narrow-band signals, say those that are only a few Hertz or less wide, are the mark of a purposely built transmitter. Natural cosmic noisemakers, such as pulsars, quasars, and the turbulent, thin interstellar gas of our own Milky Way, do not make radio signals that are this narrow.

The Targeted Search System looks for signals in the range 1,000 MHz to 3,000 MHz, with a frequency resolution of 1 Hz.

Any signal less than about 300 Hz wide must be, as far as we know, artificially produced. Such narrow-band signals are what all SETI experiments look for. Other tell-tale characteristics include a signal that is completely polarized or the existence of coded information on the signal.

If the signal is intentional, it might be decipherable. In order to send or receive a signal over interstellar distances, a civilization must understand basic science and mathematics. Hence, a message from another civilization might use science and math to build up a common language with other socieites. Signals sent by a civilization for its own purposes may be impossible for us to unravel. But one thing we would know irrespective of content is that another intelligent civilization is out there.

Hmmmm…. They are stubbornly trying to pull the wool over our eyes with rather weak and anemic response. If there were no complex radio transmitter behind the “simple” signal there would be no signal. They are hiding behind a layer of abstraction (ie smoke and mirrors talk) that merely pushes the design element & complexity one step further back in the detection process.

I find it hard to believe they think no one is smart enough to see through this. I find it even harder to believe that they don’t see through their own smoke and mirrors!?? So either they’re a lot dumber than we think, or they are being deceptive – perhaps deceiving themselves.

There are simple things that require intelligent design as well as complex things. The key is specification (purpose, precision, concision etc)

It’s not looking for intelligence directly but for “signs” or evidence of it through the things intelligence does…. make sense? It’s not that intelligence itself is complex (it is) but that the “simple” byproducts of intelligence can imply the complex – a meter deeper down the well so to speak.

IDists are highly concentrated on the aspects of irreducible and specified complexity these days. And I would say rightfully so thus far. But sooner or later there are also “signs” of intelligence in a lot of apparently simple things as well. SETI’s simple signal, if found, will tell them a possible source of alien intelligence has been found. As mentioned, the signal is simple but the complex is needed to produce it. I think that the same will be found in biology as well.

Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence – that pretty much says it all.

They say, “Other tell-tale characteristics include a signal that is completely polarized or the existence of coded information on the signal.” What’s this!!? “coded information” in the signal?! Sound like DNA & ID in any way? Frankly one must be adamant in denial not to admit this “similarity” both of principle and design detection. They use exactly the same language as ID on the one hand and deny it on the other. So they play with semantics to avoid any admission of the simple truth.

Some would object that SETI is not looking for irreducible complexity (IC). ID is not a search for irreducible complexity either, nor of CCIS (complex coded information system). That’s a wrong view of ID. ID looks for the signs, earmarks, indicators of design. It doesn’t have to be IC or CCIS. In archaeology, determining whether a pointed stone is actually an ancient arrow or spearhead is also ID in action. But what is simpler than an old arrow head? Signs of intelligent agency are what is looked for. IC and CCIS are a part of that and crucial to biology but they are not the only signs.

How does an archaeologist determine whether a wall of stone is designed or just natural? Or the arrowhead? Simple – abductive reasoning. That is a vital part of all sciences!

So what exactly is abductive reasoning?

Abduction, or abductive reasoning, is the process of reasoning to the best explanations. In other words, it is the reasoning process that starts from a set of facts and derives their most likely explanations. The term abduction is sometimes used to mean just the generation of hypotheses to explain observations or conclusions, but the former definition is more common both in philosophy and computing.

Deduction and abduction differ in the direction in which a rule like “a entails b” is used for inference (see also logical reasoning for a comparison with induction):

deduction
allows deriving b as a consequence of a; in other words, deduction is the process of deriving the consequences of what is known;
abduction
allows deriving a as an explanation of b; abduction works in reverse to deduction, by allowing the precondition a of “a entails b” to be derived from the consequence b; in other words, abduction is the process of explaining what is known.

Logic-based Abduction
In logic, abduction is done from a logical theory T representing a domain and a set of observations O. Abduction is the process of deriving a set of explanations of O according to T. For E to be an explanation of O according to T, it should satisfy two conditions:

O follows from E and T;
E is consistent with T.
In formal logic, O and E are assumed to be sets of literals. The two conditions for E being an explanation of O according to theory T are formalized as……..
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning

SETI’s denial is either an equivocation fallacy (or something “similar” ;-), or intentional deception.

The Death penalty – right or wrong?

There are those who say capital punishment is itself murder. There are those who say it is the fit punishment for pre-meditated murder.

The clash goes on – the ones note abuses and the death of innocents, the others claim it is the only true deterrant to murder.

The scripture is clear – a life for a life.

The reasons are clear :

  1. If justice means punishment equal to the crime and to the value of the precept then state inflicted death is the only real justice for murder.
  2. If it is not possible to forfeit one’s right to life by any amount of murdering others then human life is worth very little.
  3. All true moral law requires sanctions. Law without sanctions is no law but mere advice or suggestion. Sanctions must imperatively be equal to the value of the law. If not then a decisive imbalance occurs leaving the way for abusers to profit from the inequality. If the sanction is greater than the worth of the precept then the state is guilty of cruelty and injustice – ex. cutting off a hand for theft of a loaf of bread. If the sanction is less the the worth of the precept then the citizen of the state may commit a transgression with relative impunity and injustice is done.
  4. Injustice is always wrong. If sanctions to precepts do not in fact reflect the value of the precepts then this is of itself an abuse and unjust.
  5. Abuses though certainly wrong and unjust in themselves have no bearing on the value of the precept and it’s obligatory sanctions. Abuses can be avoided under the proper rules.
  6. If the death penalty is ALWAYS wrong then why do all nations have armies? Why do all societies have police forces – most of which are lethaly armed? If capital sanctions are wrong these armed forces must also be wrong since they are mandated with the right to take life when necessary for the protection of other lives.
  7. No amount of “jail time” can equal the loss of one single human life. Life is irreplaceable.

The penalty for involuntary killing “manslaughter” cannot be equal to the value of the precept on murder since the focus of all law is first of all a question of intent and motive. Accidental killing, such as fatal road collisions, cannot be viewed as violations of the precept against murder.

These things being noted, mercy must ever and always be a prominent consideration where public justice and benevolence allow. Mercy can and should be shown where true, sincere change has been adopted by the guilty party, but even then only when the public good may be served by its exercise. This why kings of old and indeed many rulers of today can be praised for releasing certain condemned prisoners through the legal process of pardon when the overall good of society is deemed to profit from it.

But who does not see that to give a pardon to an hardened and unrepentant killer is itself a crime against society?

Both justice and mercy are attributes of benevolence, good-willing or love.

Feelings must not be a part of this judicial process – we cannot allow sentiment to rule over justice.

Here is an example of capital punishment that most do consider as the death penalty :

Suppose that some enters your home and clearly intends to kill you and/or members of your family.

It is not merely your right to defnd them and yourself – by inflicting fatal wounds, if necessary, upon the intruder but it is your duty. Not to do so would be criminal negligence and even complicity in some cases.

You will have exercised capital punishment on the intruder.

The armed forces which guard your nation will do the same to any national invader. And they must do so or be guilty of the same criminal negligence.

This is clearly the path of reason and good willing of the overall good.

The Existence of God

Dark Matter?

“What do scientists look for when they search for dark matter? We cannot see or touch it: its existence is implied.”

Yeah, this is a cool subject. What I wish to point out here is that scientists can, at this time, merely imply or infer the existence of this so-called dark matter. It simply has to be there even though it can’t be seen.

But while this inference is perfectly acceptable to them on the subject of universal existence it is acceptable to very few (believers excepted) on the “existence of God” subject.

Yet this is possibly the best, and perhaps the only, way to demonstrate the existence of God through logic and reason and inference. You cannot prove the existence of the meta-physical by laboratory methods.

Whether the dark matter is MACHO (massive astrophysical compact halo object) or WIMP (weakly interacting massive particles) is irrelevant to this subject.

If the existence of something can at all be implied then it can be implied for anything for which, without it, there is insufficient ability to explain precisely observable phenomena.

In other words, if without God it is impossible to explain the existence of the universe (or universes) then His existence must be inferred.

So, how do we infer that the Supreme Intelligent Being – God – exists?

One simple way is through logical absolutes. They do exist.

For example : 1+1=2 is true and it is always true and under no circumstances can it not be true.

Numbers, as you see them here above, are mere visible lines of black pixels on a pixeled computer screen background.

Numbers do not exist as physical entities – they are conceptual. Logic is conceptual. It does not exist as matter. It is not an inherent property of matter. Information is not a property of sugars or enzymes. Information is something other than the matter or energy that carries it. For examlpe, the information contained in DNA is not itself DNA.

Therefore the conceptual must imply the meta-physical since it is not physical.

Unless of course you try to prove that thought itself is merely electro-chemical movement in the grey matter. But that position no one seriously believes; as it relegates all reason and human experience to involuntary actions and reactions within the brain to internal and external stimuli.

That, in turn, would mean that there really is no such thing as reason, heart, soul, spirit and that you actually have no free will and you cannot possibly be a moral agent. It would mean that what you perceive as choosing and willing is really no such thing at all, but mere irresistable reactions of your bio-chemical or genetic makeup.

Reason and logic must necessairly be meta-physical. Therefore the meta-physical exists.

Logic and reason are elements or properties of intelligence.

So based upon these simple, and certainly non-exhaustive comments, we can infer the existence of an original Intelligence from which all others were conceived, since we did not create ourselves.

So the possibilty of the existence of God is 100% and the probabilty of His existence, considering the vast amounts of intelligence and evidence for design in the universe is equal to 1 or 100%.

No amount of calculation or logic can infer or imply the non-existence of God.

Therefore God exists.

The existence of the Supreme Mind can be inferred by any number of similar arguments. Like the existence of good and evil as something more than mere human fancy.

Since both good and evil are necessarily both conceptual, but real and related to intentions, motives and free will, there must be an ultimate good and an ultimate evil in the universe. Back to absolutes. If there were no absolute goodness there would be no way possible to measure any goodness or any evil at all.

All definitions of good and evil would not only become purely subjective and without foundation but would also be the concoctions of bio-electrical output within the brain. This would reduce all crime, all rape, murder, incest, deceit, robbery etc. to nothing.

Think it over.

A letter from a friend on Hezbollah

A letter I got on Hezbollah:

Dear Friends,
You all know that I have actually been to South Lebanon in 1979-1980 and been shelled night after night by the PLO (I have pictures to prove it). I witnessed firsthand the plight of the Christian Lebanese people, I was further met with total media indifference when I came back to Quebec and tried to draw attention to the human suffering in Lebanon. Thus I find the below article interesting in view of manipulation of media and of world reaction for political ends. I have a lot of Christian Lebanese friends and regret that we do not get to hear their side of the story these days. Next time you see the news, notice their absence from the screen!

To view the entire article, visit HERE

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
——————————————————————
All eyes on Lebanon
By Joseph Farah
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Posted: August 1, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

You know, it’s funny.

For years I’ve been trying to get people to pay attention to the deaths and destruction and injustices being perpetrated on my beloved Lebanon.

And nobody cared.

When Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization tried to take over the country and make it his terrorist playground, nobody cared.

When people were dying by the thousands in the civil war, nobody cared.

When Syria had its boot on the neck of its tiny neighbor for 25 years, nobody cared.

When Iran dispatched Hezbollah terrorists into the country to undermine home rule by Lebanese, nobody cared.

When Muslims chased millions of Christians from the country, tipping the balance of power, nobody cared.

But now, all eyes are on Lebanon.

Do you know why?

Because Israel has tried to clean up this hornet’s nest. Yet, all we hear about is how many Lebanese are dying.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

Guess what the total death toll is among Lebanese during the extent of this war – including Hezbollah terrorists, many of whom are not really Lebanese?

You better sit down.

The total death toll is just over 500.

Now, far be it for me to minimize death tolls. One innocent death is a tragedy. But this is the total – all terrorists, civilians, Lebanese army, everything.

The whole world is going nuts over this “slaughter.”

What is needed is some perspective here. May I offer it?

Last month alone, U.S. troops in Afghanistan announced killing 600 “suspected” Taliban. That’s one month alone. We’ve been occupying this foreign country since 2002. It began in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. U.S. forces went halfway around the world to attack a sovereign nation, to overthrow the government and kill as many people as it deemed necessary over the last five years to prevent more terrorist attacks in the future. Few would suggest that Afghanistan represents any imminent threat to the U.S. today. By the way, according to U.S. military spokesmen, a total of 1,700 Afghanis have been killed since the start of the year. That includes some civilians, some aid workers and more than 70 foreign troops.

But, last time I checked, there weren’t demonstrations in the streets of the U.S. or elsewhere around the world over this war.

Instead, everybody is going ape over Lebanon.

By the way, the government of Afghanistan, installed by the U.S., is happy about the war. President Hamid Karzai wants to see the terrorists rooted out of his country. He recognizes it represents the best chance for his nation to be free.

Meanwhile, back in Lebanon, a government that has tolerated terrorist bases on its soil for years and years is suddenly indignant about Israel’s retaliation against incessant attacks from those strongholds.

Does any of this make sense?

Do you think those screaming about the bloodshed in Lebanon really give a hoot about Lebanon? If so, where have they been for the last 30 years?

Why is Lebanon the top story in every newscast? Why is Lebanon on the front page of every newspaper? Don’t you get the impression that the violence there is probably worse than anywhere else on the planet from this focus?

Clearly it is not.

And the only difference is who’s doing the butt kicking in Lebanon.

As for me, an American of Lebanese and Syrian heritage, I don’t want to see a “cease-fire.” I want to see Lebanon freed of the terrorist blight, once and for all. I want to see Lebanon freed from domination by Iran and Syria. I want to see Lebanon be Lebanon. I don’t want to see Lebanon suffer for another 30 years. It’s time to clean up the mess and allow this poor, little country to heal.

And that means getting rid of the disease of Hezbollah or any other terrorist organization – the sooner the better.