I just came across another ex-gay ministry site, and they did a survey of the members of their online support groups to determine what they percieved to have been the most significant causes of their developing homosexual feelings. As I’ve often said, homosexuality probably has many factors, both genetic and environmental. Out of the 200 responses, here’s the results (corrected the link).
- Father-son relationship problems (97%)
- Conflict with male peers (97%)
- Mother-son relationships (and the "smothering mother" syndrome) (90%)
- Other sexual experiences (93%)
- Personality Traits (87%)
- Sexual Abuse (48%)
It’s good to know that my state’s legislature is working hard on important things right now. They are working hard to ban sex toys and smoking in private businesses, but just can’t seem to work out a budget that doesn’t increase state spending by 13% over last year or find the time to get rid of my property tax like they promised to in the campaigns. I’m so glad we elected a Republican state house, I mean if we had elected Democrats we might be seeing an increase in spending and no tax relief. Oh, wait … nevermind – stupid RINOs!
The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for
“the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings.”
An organization with the same name is seeking a UN declaration on simian rights which would defend ape interests “the same as those of minors and the mentally handicapped of our species.”
Now, I think the eating and medical testing on these poor fellows is dreadful – I mean, they seem pretty damned sentient, though not human, to me. But what I really want to know is, how does this affect the European Social Welfare model? Will the state have to care for them like other "minors and mentally handicapped of our species?" Inquiring minds want to know.
Last week, I posted on how politics skews the reporting of scientific research, citing the gap between the Chernobyl statistics of the U.N. and Greenpeace (4000 projected deaths, v. 90,000, resp.). But wherever the true number of casualties and lives affected lies, there is no doubt that this was a serious wake-up call to all of us, especially poorly run communist or rogue nations that fail to take safety precautions and maintenance of these facilities seriously.
Today is the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, and here is an amazing narrated picture show about it. Be sure to hit PLAY after the intro to see the whole thing, or open up the menu.
You MUST also visit Elena’s motorbike ride through Chernobyl to see her pictorial essay of the area – amazing and sobering (click on "The map").
I’m not a fan of political and religious polemics (really!), but I enjoy hearing Ann Coulter speak – she’s an over the top conservative, and says what many of us only think. She is well known for her solution for radical muslim countries (you can buy this on a t-shirt if you dare):
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.
Well, she has a new book out, entitled Godless: The Church of Liberalism.
I’ll admit it – one of the people I "fear" the most is Bart Ehrman, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-CH. Why? Because he is smarter than me. Well, not just that. He’s also been educated at some of the best evangelical institutions in the U.S. (Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College). But what’s scariest is, with all of his devotion and bible knowledge, he is an evangelical turned agnostic. What?!? How could that happen?
Well, he studied the New Testament texts, and found his faith in
them wanting. And he’s not quiet on it either. He’s written a slew of
books on the topic, and today, was interviewed on Fresh Air pimping his new book, Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend.
But despite his fearsome reputation, I found him smart, not anti-faith,
and even a bit faith affirming. The interview is well worth the
In doing some research, I came across this interesting book by psychologist Dr. Louis Berman. In The Puzzle: Exploring the Evolutionary Puzzle of Male Homosexuality, Berman discusses the probable genetic causes of homosexuality, and proposes that before six weeks of gestation, all humans have a "proto-female" brain, which, in the case of boys, then gets "washed" with hormones that "masculinize" the brain. Some boys get more of this than others, and those with "Low Masculinized Brains" often turn out to be homosexual. He also discusses how he believes there is no evolutionary advantage to homosexuality.
The CSC has a nice short article rehashing and summarizing some of the evidence supporting the idea that Darwinism contributes little to scientific discoveries (see earlier post Evolution Contributes Nothing to Medicine). The CSC notes how, in one case, the claims of evolutionary contribution to one discovery were gradually downgraded to being attributed to comparative genomics instead, and "evolution was merely brought in as an afterthought."
Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
What is exciting is, looks like they will be publishing a book on this phenomenon entitled Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Nice.
Bryan at The Narrow has a nice short post about one of the many bible skeptics from history who, in his examination of the claims of Christianity, came to believe them.Â Greenleaf (1783-1853), a lawyer, ended up writing a book which has been reprinted, The Testimony of the Evangelists: The Gospels Examined by the Rules of Evidence.
Most of what we hear about Iraq is the killings. However, in War in Iraq – Who Is Telling the Truth?, Sharon Hughes discusses the recent Worldnet article I have Seen the Enemy, and how we never hear much of the other side of the story. Like this quote from a "significantly rankes Iraqi officer":
Why do you people not tell our story? Why do you not say what is going on? Why do you come to our country and see what is happening, you see the schools and the hospitals and you see the markets and you eat with Sunni and Shia soldiers – everybody eats together, everybody works together –you see that Saddam is gone forever and we are free to speak and complain.
You see we are working and eating together and fighting together – Sunni and Shia – you see what we are building here, you see the votes we make as one people. Then you say to the world about a great war and horrible things and how we are all killing each other? We are not animals! We are Iraqis. Look around you! Look!
Mainly, I think this is because much of the liberal media hates Bush and wants to pin a "bad war" on him so badly that they refuse to tell the whole truth – they select the stories that make GWB, and by extension, the US, bad. Ah, but that is not news. Thank God for Worldnet and Fox News ;).
The Chicago Sun Times has a good article on modern bible translations, called One Faith, Many Bibles. Nothing controversial, but nice list of resources. Me, I prefer the NASB, ESB, and LB translations, and stay away from the NIV, TNIV, TLIB, and the Message translations. I used to read NKJ, but now prefer the NASB and ESB for more literal translation.
In the past week I have gotten the same email from a high school friend and now from a co-worker. It proposes a new plan to bring gas prices down that will REALLY WORK (capitalization always helps serious policy proposals).
The only problem is that, just like not buying gas on one certain day, this new proposal will have absolutely zero positive impact on the price you pay at the pump.
Being a lover of dumb jokes, I could not resist passing along this post from Cartago Delago Est. My favorite? Sheesh, there are so many good ones…
Panda’s Thumb: That question is off-topic and will be moved to the Bathroom Wall where it belongs.
Panda’s Thumb: You shouldn’t even ask, because Larry the Troll of Numberless Names will try to hijack the thread of comments responding to the question.
In my ongoing "series" of articles on why I don’t trust modern science (see bottom), I now offer a speech by Michael Crichton, which he gave to the US Senate’s Comimittee on Environment and Public Works. He repeats my sentiment that while scientific method is sound, increasingly, those employing it may not be trustworthy, esp. when our verification methods are poor.
In essence, science is nothing more than a method of inquiry. The method says an assertion is valid-and merits universal acceptance-only if it can be independently verified. The impersonal rigor of the method means it is utterly apolitical. A truth in science is verifiable whether you are black or white, male or female, old or young. It’s verifiable whether you like the results of a study, or you don’t.
Thus, when adhered to, the scientific method can transcend politics. And the converse may also be true: when politics takes precedent over content, it is often because the primacy of independent verification has been overwhelmed by competing interests.
Today, Greenpeace released a report putting the Chernobyl death toll above 90,000. However, as of September 2005, the UN Reported "less than 50" deaths as a direct result of the radiation, and their prediction for the total future number of deaths is is less than 4000. So why this difference of opinion? Spin.
For baby boomers drugs, sex and rock & roll were the approved way to be counter-culture, to display their disdain for their parent’s way of life. Today’s young adults are finding rebellion in Bible study, church attendence and faith.
Particularlly in post-Christian Europe, becoming a “fundamentalist” is the new “drug of choice” for a rebel in the 21st century.