Every so often we have an interesting discussion on our super-secret internal mailing list. And sometimes, just sometimes, we give you all a chance to hear what it is we were thinking.

Today’s discussion involved sources of news. Various Angry Men gave their opinions on what they felt were superior news sources. We decided to share those with you, our loyal readers.

Angry New Mexican
My US-based news sources of choice are two of America’s best newspapers: The New York Times and the Washington Post. When I’m looking for a slightly less American flare, I turn to The Times also known as The Times of London. When I really want to get out of the NATO orbit, I either turn to the Irish Times, which has a very European focus or the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s #1 English language daily. The SCMP, as you might imagine, excels in Chinese and Asian news.

Angry Midwesterner
Like ANM, I also use American newspapers for most of my news. Unlike ANM, I use papers which are fit for reading, not ones which, like the NYT and Washington Post, are fit only for wiping my ass. As such my main news source is that long time bastion of accuracy (Dewey Defeats Truman!), the Chicago Tribune, which I balance out with the other pillar of midwestern journalistic integrity, the Chicago Sun-Times. I’m also an avid reader of a the paper produced by the classiest city on the Big Muddy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which does a great job of covering international and national news overlooked by many other papers. I get my dose of mainstream news from the surprisingly unbiased Houston Chronicle. To top all of this off, I usually add a dash of foreign sources found using Our New Google Overlords with occasional deep readings of the Irish Times and the Mail and Guardian, South Africa’s leading paper.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
The NYT is a real mixed bag. The in-depth articles are frequently pretty good, but the whole paper carries a bias worthy of the editorial page. So actual news stories are best read somewhere else, but features and investigative reporting can be fine. The same goes for the Post, except that the bias is a lot less blatant and more moderate. CNN and Fox News are both decent for getting quick updates about stories nobody can ignore, you just can’t expect either to cover everything (selection bias) or cover anything all that well (editing standards for online new sources are still pretty bad).

The Wall Street Journal is surprisingly comprehensive and unbiased given its very clear pro-business editorial stance, and the Investor’s Business Daily has excellent in-depth articles (but a very clear stance as well). Considering its heritage, the Christian Science Monitor is actually very, very good, with most articles going into substantial depth.

Away from mainstream media outlets, I generally find that Instapundit remains the best overview of the “mind of the web” on geopolitical, mainstream technological, and domestic issues. Of course, its sources are only as good as their authors, but that’s what a brain is for: to do filtering of content and weigh biases. There ain’t no such thing as objective reporting, and you have to accept that and move on. I prefer primary sources where possible, and Instapundit is pretty good at either linking to them or linking to blogs who link to them.

Angry Political Optimist
I have the Wall Street Journal delivered every morning. Occasionally they mess up and deliver the Chicago Tribune. To satisfy my craving for news, I read it but it usually leaves me feeling dissatisfied and hungry. My neighbor, a bastion of liberalism and dedicated Democrat, who I actually get along with quite well, has the NYT delivered. When he goes on vacation, he asks me to pick them up and suggests I read them. I have a nice stack of NYTs — in plastic bags — rolled up — unread. I just can’t stomach reading the headlines, although the social columns are interesting and the features are unique. The WSJ is a bit heavy for most people and is decidedly based towards business interests but even it has guest commentary from the likes of Pelosi and Reid. The WSJ bias is pro-business and to the extent that McCain, Obama, or any Congress-critter is pro-taxation, pro-corporate tax increases, and anti-Bush tax cuts, they end up being slammed pretty hard. Gary Kasparov has a piece on anti-Putin about every 4 months. After reading the Journal for years you know the by-lines just by reading the first few sentences. What’s best about the Journal are the headlines which are usually a play on words or some sort of pun.

When I want an international flavor, I usually wait for the Economist. And for a really in-depth view at the military and defense industrial situation, you can’t beat Aviation Week and Space Technology, although neither are dailys. They do give you an in-depth analysis on things the dailys just skim and allow you to fill in quite a few gaps.

Otherwise I don’t really read anything else, as I have this wonderful clipping service —err.. Angry Man mail list, that provides a myriad of interesting and diverse topics.

Angry Biologist
Personally I prefer to get my news from Fox News, they have a long standing tradition for unbiased reporting, they’re the only fair and balanced news service, and their policy of just reporting the facts without any editorializing provides the sort of honesty I can really get behind. When it comes to written news, I tend to prefer Little Green Footballs and World Net Daily. In a sea of liberal bias (especially prevalent on the internet) it is nice to see some news sites like these take unbiased journalism seriously. It’s hard to get the facts straight with sites like CNN, the NYT and the WaPost. They’re just shoveling the same liberal drivel onto their pages day after day. It takes real courage to stand up, as World Net Daily often does, and question mainstream myths, like global warming, evolution, and other liberal fantasies. I mean, really, when it comes down to it, do you want to be getting your news from someone who thinks your father was a monkey? I know I don’t!

A difference of opinion between intelligent design and evolution is ongoing — anyone who looks into the structure of the cell and sees the myriad of operations occurring has to stop and wonder: How can evolution account for this? And if evolution is a culling process, what generated the initial set of entities to be culled? On the other hand, intelligent design advocates have to answer some questions also: Why does the mitochondria structure in the cell exist? How does one account for adaptations? Where did that pesky reverse transcriptase come from?

Anyone looking at a system as complex as the cell is inclined to make statements that such complexity could never have evolved. One would do well, however, to look into the phase space of a very simple coupled polynomial system. The phase space solution set of these polynomials become chaotic in the mathematical sense of the word. An incredible complexity exists in even the simplest equations. Steven Wolfram has show that simple generators can produce the complex patterns on a mollusk shell. So complexity in itself is not an indicator of intelligent design.

Consider the mitochondria structure in the cell. This is a structure which provides cellular energy. Current thinking is that, at some point, a cellular organism ingested a bacterium of similar structure to the mitochondria, and instead of the bacterium’s proteins being digested, as usually happens, the bacterium instead survived as a symbiote within the cellular organism. The fact that the structure exists indicates a fortuitous occurrence rather than a structured design — unless one wants to argue that this ingestion was part of the design.

Also adaptations clearly occur. Man has been adapting domestic animals and grains for millennia. MRSA is a bacterium which has adapted to the human immune system, much as AIDS has adapted to the human T cell. And clearly these adaptations have passed beyond the somatic. The existence of reverse transcriptase throws a monkey wrench into the orderly intelligent design process. No electrical engineer would design a control system with a pole in the left hand plane, which is what a molecular design with reverse transcriptase amounts to.

So if God exists as an intelligent designer, are we to believe that it is as Woody Allen quips: ” …the worst you can say about Him is that basically He’s an underachiever.”

Evolution theorists have to do a little introspection also. Evolution in its strictest sense is the process by which adaptations make the transition from the somatic to the germ line. That is to say, adaptations that are passed along to offspring. Organisms with the adaptation, in the sense that they are more suited to the environment, survive to procreate. Less well adapted to the environment, they do not survive and eventually they are eliminated (rendered extinct). Thus evolution is a culling process — the fittest are those organisms which survive, with continued existence being the only criteria. But this begs the questions of the adaptations in the first place. Where did they come from and what was the source of the original pool from which viable processes were ‘selected’? Evolution is a backwards acting process, a culling of options. Somewhere in the process there is a need for new adaptations, new structures. There is some support for the hypotheses that radiological mutations provides such a pool. Other thought suggests that matter is endowed with self-organizing properties.

The physical world is described by the laws of thermodynamics. The second law, which states that entropy tends to increase, leads to the ultimate final state being the heat death of the universe. Evolutionists are constrained by this law. There is a preferred direction for processes. Combining things together into a higher energy state seems to violate the second law. If, as Ben Stein notes, life evolved from lightning striking the mud puddle, there are a lot of missing links, most of which violate the second law.

Note that the fact that they are missing is not surprising: Why shouldn’t they be missing. Millions of years could have passed under identical geological conditions which produced our fossils without proteins and amino acids being preserved — they are just too fragile. Only after life adapted and generated shells, bones and mineral inclusions could there be a preserved slice of the process to study.

But life itself seems to violate the second law. The significant factor, the one spark that distinguishes life from all other matter seems to be the ability to self-organize. The question is whether self-organization is another natural law which we have overlooked or the result of some prime mover or intelligent designer. Certain nanostructures are known to self organize — the so-called self-assembly process. So it is conceivable that all that electrified mud self organized into amino acids, complex phosphate chains, proteins and that the sieve of selection gave us the foundations of cellular metabolism.

Is self-organization a result of a process that has been overlooked and is responsible for that initial pool of selectees we evolved from? Or is this process the indicator that there is some higher intelligence guiding the development of life, but in a way that is far more clever and inscrutable than either side in the debate supposes?