Grey Thoughts
Indonesian Muslim Attitudes
In a scary survey, we find that in Indonesia, the idea of muslim terrorism being simply an extremist, fringe ideology is far, far from the truth.
The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 43.5 percent of respondents were ready to wage war on threatening non-Muslim groups, 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.
We need to get past to lies and propoganda and understand the war we are in.
Anti-Christian Myths - Reincarnation
Syncretics and Consipiracy theorists love to tell tall tales to twist and degrade Christianity. I heard one from an American guy I talked to last night where he told me about how the church taught reincarnation up until 533, at which point they decided against it in a 'council'. Being the curious sort, I investigated the claim today and found, like so many other myths (Flat Earth, Scopes Trial, Da Vinci Code), that there was no basis for it. The Second Council of Constantinople dealt with Monophysitism (The idea that Jesus Christ had only one nature not two), not reincarnation.

Of course, any claim that Christian theology was changed after 150 ad is highly suspect as we have many manuscripts and writings of church fathers from before that time. That is, we would know that things have been changed.
Democrats Opposed to Democracy
The Australian Democrats are ramping up the rhetoric in their attacks on a large segment of Australia. Their concern at this large proportion of the population actually having a say in how the country is run is obvious.
The churches now run more schools and universities and public hospitals, aged care and employment services on behalf of government and can use these services to proselytise or to exclude those with other beliefs. This relationship with government can compromise the social justice function of the traditional churches in speaking out about the treatment of refugees, the attack on Iraq, on industrial relations and on poverty and indeed these churches in particular have been attacked by government for doing so.
Whoops...looks like I got it wrong. It isn't that they are opposed to churches (You know, groups of voters) having a say, they are concerned with them having a say when what they say goes against the wishes of the Australian Democrat party. It is apparently okay for the churches to influence policy if it supports the Democrats, but woe betide if the churches dare speak out against abortion.
The Australian Democrats say the neo-conservative religious right - much of it with roots in the US - is having a disproportionate influence on public policy.
Yep. It's pretty clear. The Democrats have influence envy. Consider what they rail about
The gay marriage ban legislation responded to the conservative religious, and both major parties were prepared to turn their backs on a significant number of gay and lesbian voters even though the rest of the population is not affected in any material sense by the restriction.
The 'significant number of gay and lesbian voters' is less than 2%, more than likely less than 1%. Yet the influence of the religious (Australia is over 60% Christian as per the last census) is decried as being 'disproportionate'.

It gets better though...the Democrats feel that having 1/3 of federal parliment as Christian's 'has more than its fair share of committed Christians.' 1/3 versus 60%.

With these sorts of math skills I am glad that the Democrats will never run the economy.

Clearly, the Democrats are unhappy with the fact that religious people are trying to have a say in how their country is run. So what is their response? To change the laws against the churches and force more people towards the secular indoctrination of a state school system which has removed religious education from it's classes. They are n't interested in discourse unless it suits their agenda, this is even though they complain
Rather than exploring the moral and practical questions in voluntary euthanasia for example and developing effective responses, a simple just-say-no was the response.
Yet see how they respond when abortion is brought up. "We don't need another debate". Feh.

The democrats are a dying breed. We can but hope they die out completely at the next election.

Fill out their survey to tell them what you think.
Signs of Bias
Scientific American magazine again has it's writers show their true colours. This time, it is about the power of prayer. The author, Michael Shermer, tells us that
Folk science gets it wrong because we evolved in a radically different environment.
After mentioning lots of paganistic ideas and how now we know better, he goes on to talk about the real purpose of his article
The April issue of the American Heart Journal published a comprehensive study directed by Harvard Medical School cardiologist Herbert Benson on the effects of intercessory prayer on the health and recovery of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery. The 1,802 patients were divided into three groups, two of which were prayed for by members of three religious congregations. Prayers began the night before the surgery and continued daily for two weeks after. Half the prayer recipients were told that they were being prayed for, whereas the other half were told that they might or might not receive prayers. Results showed that prayer itself had no statistically significant effect on recovery. Case closed.
Case closed? Wow. You have to wonder why Michael didn't declare case closed on the numerous previous studies that found a statistically significant effect on recovery.
(E.g. Byrd RC. Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. South Med J 1988;81:826-9.
Leibovici L. Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2001;323:1450-1. PMID 11751349.)

But give Michael a single paper that agree's with his bias and he is triumpant. This aint science or being 'open-minded', it is just a religious zealot peddling his trade.
Evolution is Bad For Science
Live Science has reported that bone marrow has been found in a fossil that is supposedly 10 Million years old. The response of course is not to question the untestable age of the fossil, but instead question the testable properties of soft tissue degradation
"It pushes back the boundary for how far [soft tissue] fossilization can go," said study leader Maria McNamara of University College Dublin in Ireland.

Ultimately, this is more of a problem for long agers because...
the amphibian bone marrow was discovered in an environment vastly different form the one in which the T. rex soft tissue was found.
So much for a freak of nature type preservation for the T. rex soft tissue. If it happens in vastly different environments it must be some other common factor that lets soft tissue last, for instance, the untestable old ages.

Don't count on a revision of the old ages. Instead of accepting testable data like soft tissue degradation, the old agers would rather ignore science to cling to their old age mythology.
Why Evolutionists Don't Want Class Criticism
Answers In Genesis (AIG) has a report from a university class that taught both the evidence for and evidence against evolution without teaching Intelligent Design (ID) or Creation Science. The results are quite amazing and should send cold shivers down the spine of the zealous evolutionists who want the government to ensure that only the positive evidence for evolution is ever taught (So much for academic freedom and open mindedness). Some of the students comments are telling
I would have to say that the argument against evolution is far more convincing to me at this point. I came into this class taking Darwin’s theory for fact, as that is what has been taught for years. I think the argument against evolution needs to gain more attention and needs to start being taught alongside the theory for evolution so that the public can choose for itself instead of taking sides due to sheer ignorance.
Check out the article for comments from the students.

The survey also shows interesting results.

Has this class affected your thinking on evolution?92%8%
Has this class changed your view of evolution? 72% 28%
Do you think both sides of the debate were presented fairly?97% 3%
Before ClassAfter Class
Believe evolution is a fact 77% 29%
Believe all plants and animals have evolved from a common ancestor 71% 38%
Believe humans evolved from non-living matter 53% 36%
Believe there is a scientific case against evolution 71% 95%
Believe in a personal God and Creator 54% 62%
Believe in God 58% 66%
Characterize the evolution/creation debate as:
  science vs. religion 60% 32%
  science vs. belief 23% 13%
  belief vs. belief 10% 31%
  religion vs. religion 0% 7%
  science vs. science 7% 17%

This is what happens when both sides are taught. If evolution really had the stronger case, evolutionists wouldn't scream blue murder at the thought of someone critcising their theory.

Remember this class and survey next time someone tries to tell you that the fact that the more 'educated' you are the less likely you are to believe in God and creation. It is more the more 'indoctrinated' you are.
Media Bias
Associated Press news headline - U.S. Opposed to Cease-Fire With Hezbollah
The United States held the line Thursday against a quick cease-fire deal in the Middle East, increasingly isolated as world powers and the United Nations demanded an immediate end to fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants.
Yep...Those unilateral U.S. people are obviously at it again....but what did the U.S. administration really say....

"We'd love to have a cease-fire," White House spokesman Tony Snow said. "But Hezbollah has to be part of it. And at this point, there's no indication that Hezbollah intends to lay down arms."

"I think it's a very fundamental question how a terrorist group agrees to a cease-fire," Bolton said. "How do you hold a terrorist group accountable? Who runs the terrorist group? Who makes the commitments that the terrorist group will abide by a cease-fire? What does a terrorist group think a cease-fire is?"

Yep. The AP is upset with the U.S. for pointing out that it takes two parties to agree to a cease-fire and that Terrorists practicing assymetrical warfare aren't good at understanding what a cease-fire is (which is how this present round of hostilities started).

The headline is just another lame example of media bias
(HT: Best of the Web)
Evolution Roundup - Kansas and More
Ars Technica has once again outdone itself with inaccuracy (See this post for their previous lack of accuracy). Commenting on the Kansas Science Standards, John Timmer tells us that
Less than a decade ago, the board pulled evolution out of the science standards entirely,
Actually, they didn't. John then tells us of the current issue in Kansas
These new guidelines not only included specious criticisms of evolution, but redefined the entire activity of science to allow consideration of non-natural causes.
Actually, the Kansas standards are now in line with almost every state science standard in America. As for 'Specious criticisms', all criticisms in the standards appear in widely accepted secular science literature. Evolution News has info on this. One of the examples
The Standards state that criticisms of chemical origin of life hypotheses include “a lack of empirical evidence for a ‘primordial soup’ or a chemically hospitable pre-biotic atmosphere" and a "lack of adequate natural explanations for the genetic code" (pg. 77). These points are also validated by mainstream scientific literature

Should we really allow people like John who get it constantly wrong to decide what goes in the science standards.
(Evolution News and Views also has a post on Nasty Emails regarding the Kansas standards)

Creation Safari's has a good post highlighting the Evolutionary propaganda that continually tries to paint Evolution as Fact, whilst the science journal articles always seem less convincing.
When reading evolutionary science papers, one gets the feeling there are more than the usual number of words indicating conjecture, doubt and uncertainty. We decided to check this out in the July 11 issue of Current Biology. Scans for the words perhaps, probably, might, possibly, likely, may, apparently, seem and presumably and their derivatives were conducted on two papers dealing with evolutionary research and two papers of similar length on cell biology research that did not concern evolution. On average, the two evolutionary papers had 3.7 times as many conjecture words than the non-evolutionary ones....
The same issue contained an editorial that began, “As creationists seek to increase their influence on the scientific agenda, the world’s leading scientists urged schools and colleges last month to stop denying the facts of evolution.”
See the post for examples from the papers. You have to wonder if there are any 'facts' at all.

Mike Gene has a post about the metaphysical roots of Abiogenesis.
Whatever the precise timetable of the intellectual development of Haldane and Oparin, it is in any case significant that the sort of men who were in the process of evolving towards a dialectical materialist position in philosophy were in fact the men who tackled the problem of the origin of life and made the crucial breakthrough in this sphere.
Essentially, whilst Marxism was oft associated with Lysenkoism, there were many connections for most of the other theories in evolution. This shouldn't be a suprise as evoilution is such a fuzzy field that you can attach it to anything without breaking it.
Israel and Lebanon Continued
Daniel Pipes, Middle East expert has his own views on the cause of the current crisis. He is particularly harsh on Israel.
By 1993, this record of success imbued Israelis with a sense of overconfidence. They concluded they had won, and ignored the inconvenient fact that Palestinian Arabs and other enemies had not given up their goal of eliminating Israel. Two emotions long held in check, fatigue and hubris, came flooding out. Deciding that they had had enough of war and could end the war on their own terms, Israelis experimented with such exotica as "the peace process" and "disengagement." They permitted their enemies to create a quasi-governmental structure (the "Palestinian Authority") and to amass hoards of armaments (Hezbollah's nearly 12,000 Katyusha rockets in southern Lebanon, according to the Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat). They shamelessly traded captured terrorists for hostages.
In essence, he berates Israel for listening to the International community. His solution is obvious, ignore the pitiful cries of the international community
To undo this damage of 13 years requires that Israel return to the slow, hard, expensive, frustrating, and boring work of deterrence. That means renouncing the foolish plans of compromise, the dreamy hopes for good will, the irresponsibility of releasing terrorists, the self-indulgence of weariness, and the idiocy of unilateral withdrawal.

Frontpage Mag has an article about how many Lebanese around the world are cheering for Israel to do the thing that Lebanon can' Hezbollah out. A statement from the interntational Lebanese Foundation for Peace comments
We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror infrastructure. It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation.
The article also has details of the problems with power that the Lebanese government has
The Lebanese army has less than 10,000 military troops. Hezbollah has over 4,000 trained militia forces and there are approximately 700 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. So why can't the army do the job? Because the majority of Lebanese Muslims making up the army will split and unite along religious lines with the Islamic forces just like what happened in 1976 at the start of the Lebanese civil war.
Of course, Syria said the Lebanese military was ready to take over and that was why they left. In reality, Syria left the Lebanese military weak enough so that their allies, Hezbollah could continue to operate.
Israel and Lebanon
With the current war going on in the mid-east it is important to reflect a bit on how it got there. I'm not talking about the history of which country attacked who or whether it is all Iran's fault, I am talking about the current philosophy used to guide international action and relations.

Since WWII and the UN, the international community has been focused on keeping existing borders intact and maintaining the sovereignty of nations. Even with the cold war where nations were used as proxies against the communist threats boundaries remained largely unchanged. This sort of guiding philosophy can be seen as a sort of artifical selection, where a controlled environment is enforced altering the normal factors which decide who stays in power in what area. (The failure of artifical selection is seen time and time again. Just look at the irish potato famine, the genetic problems of pure bred dogs and socialism for examples). The problems with this artificial selection is obvious when it comes to Lebanon.

The Lebanese government has never been able to properly govern Lebanon since the French withdrew in 1946 (The whole region suffered from colonialism and sudden withdrawal). However, with the notion of keeping the sovereignty of nations, no one has done anything but prop up the underpowered regimes. The lack of power led to Lebanon being swamped by Palestinian refugees which ended up once again causing 'civil' strife. Syria helped Lebanon against the Palestinians, but only pushed them to southern Lebanon, leaving a festering problem that resulted in Israel invading Southern Lebanon to stop rocket attacks from the Palestinians (and Syria who switched sides). Israel withdrew from the area after a UN resolution which called for both Israeli and militant Palestinian withdrawal. The militant Palestinians however stayed. A few years later (1982) Israel again invaded to stop the Palestinians from using southern Lebanon as a launching base for rocket attacks. Ultimately, Israel again bowed to international pressure and withdrew from Southern Lebanon, but the Lebanese government still had little power to properly govern. Syrian forces and Hezbollah still hold much power in Southern Lebanon, although recent actions by Lebanese citizens have to the Syrian army officially leaving the country in 2005.

Ultimately, if a country and it's allies do not have the power to hold their borders against external threats, the country is unlikely to have the power to properly control it's own population. What ever side of the current conflict you are on, it should be obvious that a big part of the problem is that the Lebanese government has not been able to remove Hezbollah from the country. This lack of power, fostered by years of strife and international 'help', has allowed Lebanon to get into the situation where their citizens are being killed for actions not supported (as far as we know) by the state.

Some may blame Israel for the deaths of Lebanese citizens, but the reality is clearly more complicated. Israel, as a sovereign nation, has a duty to protect her citizens. Lebanon has the same duty, but the added inability to stop a chunk of it's country from attacking Israel. Unless Lebanon can stop Hezbollah, it really doesn't deserve to keep southern Lebanon as part of it's nation. If the international community intervenes again, it will be them that continues the cycle of violence, not Israel, Hezbollah or Lebanon.
No Media Bias Here?
From Reuters
President George W. Bush will cast the first veto of his presidency on Wednesday to stop legislation championed by top scientists and desired by most Americans to expand embryonic stem cell research, the White House said.
Not only is the bias evident, but the statement is also misleading as it could be read as attributing the Reuter's diatribe to the White House.
Snake Oil Salesmen Fool Peter Jackson
The embryonic stem cell (ESC) snake oil* con has fooled another. It's latest victim. Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings movies (and Fran Walsh)has contibuted US $310,000 of his own money to the 'cause'. His reasoning?
Stem cell therapy has the potential to treat a multitude of diseases and illnesses which up until now have been labelled ‘incurable
Pity Peter did put his money into something that would actually help people, like adult stem cell research. The current tally for treatments from ASC is around 70. For ESC it is a big zero, despite all the funding.

*Snake Oil: - the most common usage of the words is as a derogatory term for medicines to imply that they are fake, fraudulent, and usually ineffective. The expression is also applied metaphorically to any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality.

Joe Carter has a bit more on the current push in the US government to fund ESC.
Evolution Evidence Watch
Creation Safari's has details of the latest sensational news confirming evolution. Those famous finches on the Galapagos Isles have been evolving their beaks again. This time apparently getting smaller to get different seeds. The news media are triumphant in their crowing about this latest find.
Darwin’s finches evolve before scientists’ eyes,” writes Sara Goudarzi triumphantly in LiveScience, echoed on MSNBC. The only glimmer of hope in this media circus is that it somehow seems less bombastic than before. Some of the other usual Darwin trumpets (New Scientist, BBC, National Geographic) chose not to sound off on this song for some reason. Maybe they knew they would get a thrashing on the blog. Update 07/15/2006: well, we spoke too soon. National Geographic, naturally, fell for this story hook, line and sinker. In a stupidly gullible report, Mason Inman wrote about “instant evolution” and won Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week with this groaner:

David Pfennig at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill agrees that the study has important implications.
For Pfennig, the study’s greatest surprise was “the apparent speed with which the character displacement occurs—within a single year!”
Usually we think [sic] of evolution as being a slow grind, he says.
But, Pfennig added, the study suggests that evolution due to competition between closely related species “paradoxically may often occur so rapidly that we may actually miss the process taking place.”
Heh...either evolution is too slow to observe or too fast to observe. I have to wonder just what speed will actually allow scientists to observe it.

Creation Safari's of course, has a great reality check on this evidence of evolution.
Folks, ignore the hype and look at the data. There were already specimens of medium ground finches on Daphne with beak sizes in the final range. The shrinkage was less than a millimeter, on average! The only evolution was in the relative numbers of birds with an average length of 10.6 millimeters instead of 11.2 millimeters, and an average depth of 8.6 millimeters instead of the 9.4 millimeters before. That’s it! This is what evolutionary biologists are proclaiming as a textbook classic? If this is all the textbooks can point to as actual field evidence for Darwinian evolution, our students need alternatives.
Yep...variation of the spread of sizes within already existing sizes...great example of evolving new and amazing features. Remember...the researchers were paid money for this.
Homosexual Propaganda Continues Unabated
Opinion pieces are coming thick and fast as the Homosexual lobby pushes it's agenda of Gay marriage (The very agenda they denied so many years ago when pushing for simple acceptance....all the whilst decrying slippery slope arguments!) The vatican's recent release about disordered sexual lifestyles being a threat to humanity has met with a swift response. It seems some Catholic priests don't understand the concept of authority, as Father Richard Prendergast an American priest seems to take issue with his churches stand on the matter. Richard wants us to 'Watch our judgmental language'. (I guess this means he doesn't want people quoting the bible then....great priest!). One wonders why he is being so judgemental of the church on this matter...i guess he can't practice what he preaches.

Richard gives us a sob story of a lesbian couple and their adopted daughter to try and appeal with emotions, not reason and to look at the rest of his article, it is obvious why.
As pastors we were convinced it was not right for the church to alienate so many people on the basis of an orientation over which they had neither choice nor control.
Alcoholics also claim they didn't choose or control their addiction. Yet, just like homosexuality, many people overcome the destructive lifestyle and are healed. What doesn't help, is 'pastors' who would prefer to let people live in such a negative lifestyle. Saying that people are sinners is judgemental too, it alienates plenty of people, but until they realise there is something wrong, they will never find the solution.

Richard ignores the many homosexuals who have changed their lifestyle for the healthier heterosexual one and thus condemns those he is meant to help to a lifetime of needless suffering.

As we made clear in the very beginning of the letter, “We respect the teaching authority of the church”. We were not writing to challenge dogma but to encourage bishops to exercise sound pastoral judgment in the care of these children of God. We stressed, “The life journey in faith is unique and sacred, including the personal integration of sexuality and spirituality. Condemnations levelled at sincere Catholics attempting to make sense out of their journey are inappropriate and pastorally destructive.”
What a load of rubbish. Richard's disrespect of the teaching and authority of the church is self-evident. Simply being 'sincere' isn't enough. A father can beat his son senseless 'sincerely' believing it is the best thing for his son. So what? The issue is whether it is right or wrong, not whether the person is 'sincere'. If Richard really accepted the teaching and authority of the church and the bible, he would know this.
Which brings us to the crucial question: how can the church be better at “pastoring” its gay and lesbian sons and daughters? I believe this conversation could be helped by following a strategy employed by the members of the Second Vatican Council.
'Conversation'? Perhaps Richard has had some post-modern input.
Rather than trying to find a way to connect every development in the past two millennia of church history, go back to the source: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Specifically, let both sides use as a common foundation the new commandment of Jesus, “Love one another” (John 13:34). Many gays and lesbians express dismay that their attempts to follow this commandment are met with such hostility, while the bishops express dismay that their teachings, which flow from this commandment, are resisted and even rejected.
Yep. Lets focus on only this one verse and ignore all the others, which are meant to be inspired by God, that provide the outworkings of this verse. Verses condemning homosexual behaviour, stealing, adultery are all the inspired word of God and so must be consistent with 'Loving one another'. Richard ignores this and tries to reinterpret John 13:34 with his own understanding of reality and love. I guess he values his own knowledge above God's.
Mutual respect is the necessary starting point. If we can begin with a presumption of goodwill and a foundation in the commandment of Jesus to love one another, three steps might follow to encourage a positive dialogue bringing both sides into closer communion. The first step is for both church leadership and members of the gay community to listen to each other while resisting the urge to speak in moral tones. Beginning with judgment leaves both sides aggrieved and feeling that if they dare to let their guard down for an instant, all will be lost.
Morality is the issue in question. To say that both sides should 'resist the urge to speak in moral tones' would mean that neither side could speak at all. And this is the key. People like Richard just want the church to shut up about the issue. Those who want the church to stop condemning something that has been considered immoral since its inception often use this sort of reasonable sounding nonsense. Richard gives this game away with his next paragraph
Perhaps a sense of hope and direction can be found from the challenge of a younger generation that does not seem overly concerned about either side. Studies of younger Catholics indicate that for the under-30 generation, sexual orientation is not an issue. If we are to offer the next generation any wisdom, perhaps we first have to learn from them and acknowledge that both sides have something to offer and neither has all the answers. If we expect the younger members of our community to listen to us, we must first listen to one another.
He isn't interested in a dialogue, he just wants everyone to accept his position and otherwise just shut up.

The second step is to recognise that there is a lot of pain on both sides. Gays and lesbians feel they have been reduced to less than full human beings whose lived experiences are neither valued nor honoured. They point to the language of church documents and episcopal pronouncements when making their case. As Cardinal George said, language is a concern he shares. Because the language of morality and ethics is, by its very nature, judgmental, the church, even if it doesn’t want to be offensive, is perceived as offensive. Another way of speaking must be found that avoids this offence.
The cross is offensive too....should we stop talking about that too? Perhaps if people stopped being told that their homosexuality is part of their identity, there would be less of a problem here. Richard is part of the problem that he rails against when he argues that homosexuals cannot do anything about their lifestyle.
The gay community, on the other hand, has become so frustrated in attempting to dialogue with the official church that many members have given up and dismiss the church as having nothing to say in such an important area of life - sexuality. The gay and lesbian community needs to admit that two millennia of church experience and wisdom do have something to offer the discussion. In each recognition, there is an implied request for and granting of forgiveness - a positive and respectful human activity.
Here is one of Richard's biggest whoppers. He wants the church to not say anything about sexuality so that homosexuals will no longer think it has nothing say about sexuality?? Just another nonsensical rhetorical attempt by Richard to get the church, whose teaching authority he supposedly respects, to shut up so that his position can be accepted.
It seems generally accepted that asking individuals to live in a state of denial about their sexual orientation is unhealthy and destructive. Such denial is contrary to full human development and the journey toward holiness. The church needs to be a partner with those searching for such holiness.
Yep. There it is. Richard thinks that sexual orientation is fixed...ignoring the many homosexuals who change. The real problem is that richard is living in a state of denial about homosexuality and wants to encourage people to stay in an unhealthy and destructive lifestyle. He no longer accepts the authority of church or bible about what constitutes 'holiness'. Perhaps he should read this recent report on how and why many homosexuals have managed to escape from their destructive addiction.
Embryonic Stem Cells and Media Madness
Driving home from work today I heard the news that scientists had made a breakthrough which could possibly help with male infertility. They had created mouse sperm from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) and used that sperm in the creation of 7 baby mice. The news brieflet was, well, brief and they mentioned that 6 out of the 7 baby mice survived.

Reading an online article paints a less rosy picture, although you wouldn't know it by the headline. The problems that weren't mentioned on the radio?

1) All of the animals born in the study were infertile
2) All suffered from severe breathing or walking difficulties
3) All were abnormally large or had stunted growth.
4) All died within three days to five months of being born, compared with the normal lifespan of two years for healthy mice.
5) They attempted to fertilize 210 eggs, 65 succeeded and only 7 of them led to live births.

This is the best success they have had with ESC. Compare this with the 70 odd current treatments from Adult Stem Cells and you have to wonder why the media makes such a big deal about such useless rubbish as this great new 'hope'.

The news article says it all
The research is expected to have greater impact, in the near term at least, by giving scientists the ability to follow the processes by which sperm develop, a powerful tool that could shed light on the root causes of some of the most poorly understood male infertility-related conditions.
but then later on says
Other scientists have succeeded in generating sperm and even eggs from stem cells, but Professor Nayernia's group is the first to achieve live births.
So to put it another way...the 'great' impact this research is to do stuff already done by others? And how much funding was wasted?
Do You Know What Your Kids Are Learning?
The culture war continues on unabated. In NY a parent has discovered that the health teacher has been telling her kids that it is a sign of a disfunctional family if the following rules are enforced:-
"Boys shouldn't cry. (they should be like diminutive adult males, independent, self contained, and tough. they should bear pain and hurt with a kind of stoicism and emotional flatness exemplified by rugged males in cigarette commercials and by romantic depictions of fighters and the wild, wild west.)

"Girls should always be nice. (Talk nice talk. Never say anything negative. Do nice things. Never do anything that would make someone look askance at you. Nice girls DON'T.)

"Elders always deserve respect and come first. (No matter how the elder behaves, the elder must be treated gingerly, for and elder has power — even if it used capriciously and irrationally.)

"There is only one way to do things. (That is, there's only one RIGHT way to do things. There's only one right way to handle a spouse, to deal with the kids, to have a birthday party, to dance . . .)

"Don't talk, think or feel about sex, money, and feelings. (Talk . . . well, talk stirs things up, gets people upset, well it just causes more trouble. When it comes to sex, money and feelings, silence takes on a precious eloquence. Silence is not only golden, it's high grade platinum.)

"Work first, play later. (Much later . . .)

"The older child must always set an example for the younger children. (Good example that is.)

"Children should always obey their parents. (And it's the parents job to see that their children make the RIGHT decisions — the decisions the parents want. Then when the child reaches the magic age of emancipation — 18 or 21 — the Good Decision Fairy will plink the child on the skull with a charmed wand and make the child a full-fledged adult who always makes Good Decisions.)

"Don't talk about your family to anyone outside the family. (Outsiders will just spread malicious gossip. So always pretend that everything's OK at home, even if it isn't. there's nothing worse than being disloyal to your family.)"

Home schooling looks better all the time....
Quick Comments
Well, I am back from the Hillsong conference where they tried to teach me that to be a leader I have to go through a lot of crap and come out the better for it. Deep stuff eh... Don't get me wrong, it was a great conference and I got a lot out of it, just maybe not what they intended me to get....

Bill Muehlenberg has an article on Online Opinion about the recent and expected debacle on Australia's Big Brother series. As expected, most comments use irrational responses such as "keep your morals off our freedoms" (Why are they pushing that morality on Bill's freedoms?) and "one doesn't have to view it" (One doesn't have to view any sort of depravity on TV, does that mean we should allow fights to the death or rapes from the third world on our TV's)

John Sarfati takes an emailer to task for their comments about Creation Science. Reading the emails is an interesting task in checking out whether the emailer uses the same standards for their email that they expect from AIG.

Just One Minute has some good information on how the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee believes a CIA faction is working against the US Administration and how it relates to the Plame/Wilson case.

It seems Iran and Iraq have a lot in common and I don't just mean their borders. Iran has been engaging in shennanigans with nuclear inspectors and the head of the UN inspection team has come out (after being removed at Iran's request) and said that we have no idea what nuclear programs are happening.

The opinion journal has an interesting piece on how raising the speed limits has not resulted in higher fatalities and accidents. The increase from 55 mph to 70 or 80 mph has seen the road incidents decrease since they were implemented. So much for the nanny state whiners.

The Australian Government is putting a big push on to get rid of the marxist inspired revised Australian History that our tax-payer funded schools is foisting on unsuspecting children. Lets see how long it stays that way when our friends in the ALP get into power in the federal government.
On Holidays
I am away on holidays til the 9th. I doubt I will get a chance to post...

Powered by Blogger Weblog Commenting and Trackback by