Saturday, July 28, 2007

Scientists breed schizophrenic mice

From here.

SCIENTISTS have created the world’s first schizophrenic mice in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the illness.

...

The mice were created by modifying their DNA to mimic a mutant gene first found in a Scottish family with a high incidence of schizophrenia, which affects about one in every 100 people. The mice’s brains were found to have features similar to those of humans with schizophrenia, such as depression and hyperactivity

I wonder what a schizophrenic mouse would act like? Poor little things.

[Side note: I'm not condemning this research. I think it would be awesome if it led to a cure for various mental illnesses. I just feel sorry for the little things.]

Aren't we bloggers pretty??


BLOGGING: The easiest way to find someone - anyone - to take you seriously.

[I'm still looking for that "someone"...and, I promise I'm not *that* big. Oh, and I've only blogged naked once.]

HT: prosthesis

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just Say NO!!





Smoking marijuana can raise your risk of developing a psychotic illness by 40 percent, British researchers say.




"People who used cannabis had a greater risk of developing psychotic outcome then people who didn't use cannabis," said study author Stanley Zammit, a clinical lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at Cardiff University.

40% people....think about it.

And, no, you Darwinian dodos, I wasn’t a pot smoker in my youth so don’t go assuming that my inability to grasp the concept that I'm the byproduct of a microbe that crawled out of a pond of primordial soup is due to psychosis brought on by smoking too many doobies. I tried it a few times, but I didn’t inhale...LOL!

Honestly, I think the concept of microbe to man was initially the brain child of someone who was trippin' on something funky.

Creation Museum hosts its 100,000th visitor

Looks like the museum is averaging around 1700 visitors a day. Jeez, I certainly didn't think it would be that popular.

The Creation Museum just southwest of Cincinnati hosted its 100,000th visitor over the weekend, less than two months after it opened, putting the museum on pace to easily exceed the 250,000 visitors organizers were hoping to get in the first year.

...

The response has been so overwhelming that the museum is petitioning to add 650 spaces to the parking lot, which currently has about 500 spaces available. The museum would also like to add a canopy over the entrance to protect people waiting in line from the weather.

Hospice Cat


I heard about this little guy on the news this morning. He seems to be able to tell when someone at the nursing home where he “works” is about to die.



He’ll curl up next to that individual during their last few hours of life. Evidently he’s “predicted” 25 deaths.

Spooky...what do you think the scientific explanation is for this?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Human Variability

Remember my post the other day in regard to the tallest and shortest men in the world?

Here is a picture of 7’9” Bao, and his new wife who is more than two feet shorter than he is:



And, here’s a picture of Bao again with his short friend, He Pingping:



Gotta wonder if these three individuals would be classified as separate species if all we had were their bones to examine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another Woolly Mammoth Picture

My kids have really enjoyed checking out the pictures and reading about this latest find. Here is another very cool picture of the baby frozen mammoth surrounded by a group of scientists.



If you’re familiar with Dr. Walter Brown’s hydroplate theory, which starts here, he also has a detailed and compelling analysis in regard to the connection that these frozen mammoths may have had to a worldwide flood starting at this link.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Help?

Hey, if anyone has access to this article and wouldn't mind sharing, you could email me a copy.

Edit: Got it...thanks MB.

Discovery of a 4-month old Woolly Mammoth


University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher just returned from Siberia where he spent a week as part of a six-member international team that examined the frozen, nearly intact remains of a 4-month-old female woolly mammoth.

Samples will be sent to Fisher's Ann Arbor laboratories for analysis, he said. "It's the best and most complete mammoth carcass—baby or adult—ever found," said Fisher, curator of paleontology at the U-M Museum of Paleontology.


More here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Can you hear it??

...that click, click, clicking?

I swear I can hear PZ hammering away at his laptop as he tries to address Dr. Egnor's latest post in regard to his recent talk presented to the MN Atheists.

The subject of the talk?

"There are no Ghosts in your Brain: Materialist Explanations for the Mind and Religious Belief"

PZ writes that "religion itself is a kind of conceptual parasite that takes advantage of other desirable and even "virtuous" intrinsic qualities of the brain."

Wow...far out. I'm ridden with a parasite...and I like it! Does this mean that PZ's brain is more or less evolved due to his lack of religious mind parasites? Is he more virtuous due to his lack of parasites? Is this phenomena in any way related to some kind of "meme"?

Good grief...

Can we Trust the Gospels?






I just finished reading Can we Trust the Gospels, by Mark D. Roberts.





I've read several books on biblical criticism as well as books that provide apologetic arguments for the reliability of scripture. So, although I'm familiar with many of the points Roberts made in this book, it is one of the best I've read in regard to pulling all relevant information together in one source.

Roberts is a Harvard alumni who was surrounded throughout his education by very liberal, skeptical instructors. This was clearly not a bad scenario in Mark's case as he became extremely adept to critical thinking in regard to the questions of whether one can trust the words we find in the New Testament. In fact, he went on to critically examine the liberal criticisms which, in turn, led him to more confidently trust the history that the Gospel writers relay to the reader.

He writes:
...these days it's often the skeptical scholars who seem to have cornered the market on certainty. And as long as they write mainly for each other, talk mainly to each other, and make sure their scholarly publications and meetings are dominated by each other's work, these skeptical scholars can pretend as if their "assured results of scholarship" are rock solid. In fact, however, they're often more like a house of cards built on the sand, if you'll pardon an intentionally mixed metaphor.

But, by that statement, don't think that Roberts is not critical of scripture. He was critical throughout, and is certainly not a biblical literalist by any means of the imagination. He writes the following:

...I don't believe I've proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the New Testament Gospels are historically reliable. I do believe, however, that I've shown it is reasonable to trust the Gospels as historically accurate. Though certain elements of the Gospels are problematic in this regard, I find that the evidence, when taken as a whole, strongly supports the view that the biblical Gospels paint a reliable picture of Jesus (or to be more precise, several accurate, complementary pictures of Jesus).

Some of the relevant points he covers are as follows: Can we trust what the original Gospel manuscripts really said?, did the evangelists know Jesus personally?, when were the Gospels written and what were the sources?, was oral tradition reliable?, are there contradictions in the Gospels?, do miracles undermine the reliability of the Gospels?, do historical and archaeological sources support the reliability of the Gospels?, where do the gnostic gospels fit in?

I love reading this stuff. A family member once said to me that they didn't want to dig too deeply into the criticisms of the Bible because they were afraid it would waver their faith in God. This type of attitude is shocking to me because what is the point of putting your faith in something that cannot reasonably stand up against criticism? I've found that the doubts I've had about my faith have led me back around to the most wonderful discoveries about the truth we find in scripture.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Poor thing...

Holy crap. Tree Hugger Jr. needs some serious therapy and a lotta love to get him through this dilema.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quotes for the Day

Richard Dawkins:

"Lewis, you are starting to sound like a creationist."

Lewis Wolpert responds:

"It is funny that you should say that. [pause] Sometimes in the dark of the night, I wish that it (creationism) were true."

Source

The "Sterilization of ID Memes"

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry...

Remember me saying that I was banned from an anti-ID forum where posters complain daily that pro-ID blogs and forums moderate too heavily, and boasted that virtually anything could be posted at their venue?

I explained that I was banned for a very minor incident in which Wesley Elsberry defended Lenny Flank and apparently wanted me to retract an example I put forth in an effort to try to get Flank to stop jacking threads.

Well, unbeknownst to me, Lenny has a plan in which he hopes to rid the world of ID supporters, and he was apparently in full tilt boogie while I was posting in his presence...

IDers [] depend very very heavily on their horde of brainless minions, who infest the Internet and spread the ID memes. I'd prefer to sterilize those memes, by shutting up every one of the carriers. I want every fundie who opens his mouth about creationism to get burned and ridiculed so badly that he thinks better of it, and never opens his mouth about the matter again. As Harry Truman said, "if you can't stand the heat, then stay out of the kitchen". I want to burn the fundies' asses so badly that they never go near a kitchen again. I want their minions to drop like flies. I want them to cloister themselves in their monasteries, console each other as much as they want, and never venture out into the big bad hurtful world ever again. It weakens their grassroots power, it helps stamp out their memes, and it cripples their ability to do everything from raise money to organize political pressure campaigns.

I do of course realize that some of you, perhaps even MANY of you (and particularly the scientist types), will think these to be "unfair" or "unsporting" or "not nice". Tough. They're damn effective. This isn't a scientific symposium, it's not a debate, it's not a polite disagreement between buddies. It's a political war. One side will win; the other side won't. One side will emerge alive; the other side won't. Politics is a business full of knives, and this is a knife fight. Sorry if the sight of blood bothers you. If so, perhaps you too would be happier out of the kitchen and into the living room watching TV instead.
...
But when the zombie rises from the dead again, I'll be ready and waiting, fiery torch in hand, ready to burn their ass again.


Here is what really boggles the mind. I realize that there are scary people out there who teeter on the edge of sanity, but the fact that a guy like Wesley Elsberry feels the need to defend this guy against an insignificant poster like myself is just, well, alarming.

The real kicker is that Lenny wants people like me to “drop like flies”, retreat from the “big bad hurtful world”, “never open our mouths again”, etc., etc., etc., but in reality, I can’t think of any IDer who would buckle under Lenny’s oh so very scary ridicule. His freakiness didn’t run me off, the moderators did.

Question: Are we to take Lenny seriously, or do you think he is some kind of sock puppet who is set up as comic relief for the Dawinists? ...kinda like Professor Steve Steve (only much less cuddly).

If he’s for real, then I’m just seriously creeped out. The Dude’s talkin’ knives, blood, zombies, fiery torches...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tree huggers dine on endangered fish

Okay, Jason, this one had me rolling...









"Hello, I'm a Chilean Sea Bass."



















"Get in mah bell-ay!!!!!!"

Tall meets Small





Bao Xishun is 7'9" and He Pingping is 2'4".

Shoot, Bao is only 11" taller than my brother. More here.

THE DARWIN SLAYER!!!

Linky to interview

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Which theologian are you?




You scored as Karl Barth, The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.

Karl Barth

60%

Anselm

53%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

47%

Augustine

47%

John Calvin

40%

Charles Finney

40%

Jonathan Edwards

33%

Martin Luther

33%

Paul Tillich

13%

J├╝rgen Moltmann

7%

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

I'm sure no one disagrees with that outcome. LOL!

More on Karl Barth.

Mercy

Mention prayer, and you're liable to have anti-ID Darwinist bloggers and their followers breathing down your neck like the hounds of hell. Figures...site meter has blown a fuse...moderator has gone into full Darwinian alert.

Truth

Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who has the audacity to confront Darwinists in some of the anti-ID on-line forums when I feel they are misrepresenting me or my position in this debate.

I really should steer clear of these folks because there is ~no~ reasoning with them. From what I’ve experienced, they are extremely hateful individuals who seem to complain daily about the intolerance of others, yet they display the most rabid intolerance I have *ever* witnessed personally.

They continually write posts and articles about religion and politics and complain that the Bush administration has fouled up the war in Iraq, yet they are starting their own war and don’t even seem to realize it. Wars start with words, and from what I can tell, they are *dead set* on taking this culture war to a whole new level. To read some of the things they write is, in all truthfulness, frightening at times.

The latest bit of misrepresentation in regard to my position in this debate that I need to address is as follows:

FtK says that she is looking for the "truth", and acts as if her search for truth includes a scientific seeking. But it is most assuredly not true. Her truths are pre-ordained, and fixed, and she admits in her most recent rant that she doesn't think that her mind will ever be changed. If she had admitted from the start that she was really focused on atheism, and equated atheism with mainstream science, AND that she apparently feels that atheists are less than honorable/respectable/human, she would get respect for her honesty (at least from me). She is not honest about her motives, and that dishonesty is a sure route to getting disrespect from anyone in the scientific community.

Everyone is searching for truth to some degree. Science is not the only source in which to find it. I search for truth from many sources, and both theology and science are important (to me) in that search. I've never stated otherwise. I’ve made many changes in my outlook about both topics from the discussions I’ve had online, but those will remain private.

Then there was this statement...

"... [she] acts as if her search for truth includes a scientific seeking. But it is most assuredly not true",

...the only way a person can make a statement like this is if they believe they have the truth, and can the truth about life only be understood through the eyes of scientists? Some Darwinists believe that since I question them, I cannot be searching for the truth. Their own truths must be “pre -ordained and fixed” to make a statement like that. This particular Darwinist has never shared his beliefs about "truth" other than stating that I’m wrong in regard to my belief that common descent should be examined with a more critical eye by our students. By his own words in various forums and blogs, he obviously believes that religious beliefs are open for ridicule, and that religion is most probably an evolutionary trait that has been passed on for generations.

He accuses me of conflating discussions about atheism/theism with science, but religious and philosophical beliefs are absolutely a major part of this debate. These religious and philosophical beliefs affecting the work of science are not limited to the ID advocates by any means. The writings of Dawkins / Harris / Dennet / Weinburg / Hitchens et. al. have made it very clear that they are out to put an end to religious thought and they mean to do it by ridiculing religion and raising science to a level by which it is the only avenue to truth. PZ Myers plays out this objective every day via the internet.

I do believe that there is a strong surge from a very vocal group of atheists, who have a strong footing in the scientific community, to denigrate religion at every opportunity. I watch them do it *daily*, I've read their books, I've listened to their lectures...so it's not possible to convince me otherwise. I certainly don’t feel that the majority of scientists feel this way, but I do believe that those Darwinists holding the reins in this debate have a strong influence on what will and will not be considered in the domain of science. I don't know where I've been “dishonest” about my beliefs in this regard. I've been writing both about religion and science since starting my blog.

I’m also not sure what hidden "motives" this individual thinks I have. I can't think of a time when I've ever said that I am only interested in scientific truth. I don't think we are anywhere near the point where science is the only means by to establish *truth*.

He wrote:
AND that she apparently feels that atheists are less than honorable/respectable/human...

Where have I ever said this? This is what you want to believe about me, it's not actually who I am. If I had only to go by the attitudes and the hatred displayed by the majority (not all) of the atheists at AtBC and the horrendous tactics and hate filled rants of atheist bloggers like PZ Myers, then yes, I’d believe that atheists are less than honorable and, in fact, quite hateful and despicable individuals.

But, luckily, I know people personally who do not believe that there is an ultimate creator, and they are no different than my family. But, on the other hand, the atheists I know personally don’t wear their atheism on their sleeve. They have respect for themselves and the beliefs of others, and they aren’t on a mission to do away with or ridicule religion, neither do they treat me like dirt because of my personal religious beliefs.

I have tried very hard to get along with atheists in this debate, and a handful have been kind to me, and I appreciate that more than they’ll probably ever realize. But, the majority I’ve run across on-line are simply nasty, unforgiving individuals who truly *enjoy* the opportunity to treat those whose views they oppose like they are less than human with no feelings or importance in life whatsoever.

Monday, July 16, 2007

One Minute Each Night

In WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of
people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed
hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England,
its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in
America.

If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern
Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific), stop
whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of
the United States, our troops, our citizens and for peace in the
world.

Someone said if people really understood the full extent of
the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.

Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament

A very interesting cuneiform tablet was discovered which provides further evidence that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Archaeological finds in regard to biblical accuracy are quite intriguing. It's interesting to note that a few great archaeologists were quite impressed with what they discovered when trying to refute the bible’s historical claims.

William Ramsay had set out to disprove Luke in the late nineteenth century, but after 30 years of archeology in Asia Minor and the middle east, Ramsay concluded the opposite of what he initially believed. He ended up calling Luke one of the greatest historians ever, and eventually converted to Christianity.

Likewise, William Albright had originally regarded the Bible as simply a book of literature that was not based on historical fact. During his field studies in the from 1930-1971, he found conclusive evidence to reverse his position. He found that the bible was consistent with archaeological findings.

HT to Salvador at Young Cosmos.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Definition of Atheism

As I surf various blogs and forums, it seems that the definition of atheism is something that is continually being discussed. I ran across a Q&A with William Lane Craig that fits my understanding of the various versions of the definition.

You can read his response here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Attn: AtBC Members

Evidently Elsberry or Steve shut me down over there. I can't read or receive private messages anymore. There were 3 in my inbox, but I can't access them. You can send me an email, or just post here and note that it's private so I don't put it through moderation.

Thanks.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Scienceblogs

I wonder if there are any Sciencebloggers who are Christian. I was just thinking that the ones I'm familiar with are either atheists or strong agnostics.

Does anyone know?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Meeting Nancy Boyda

I met Kansas Congresswoman, Nancy Boyda, last night.

A neighbor/friend's daughter was celebrating her 7th birthday on 7/7/07 with a big birthday bash. We were also celebrating our LAST BASEBALL GAME FOR THE SEASON (thank goodness), so we ambled over to their place after the game and awards ceremony.

The gal is a lawyer and her husband worked at the state house while the legislature was in session this year, so evidently he had invited Nancy over to celebrate his daughter's birthday.

I had no clue she was coming until around 8:30pm when everyone started mumbling excitedly from one person to the next that "Nancy Boyda is on her way over". Mercy, you'd think the President of the United States was making his way to our humble little neighborhood. My son's best friend's Mom and I were probably the only hard core conservatives at the entire party, and we had both voted for Jim Ryun in the election.

There was a lot of picture taking with Nancy which I politely avoided, and since I didn't make my way over to meet her right away, the host brought her over to meet us. I smiled sweetly and said it was very nice meeting her. Then, thank goodness, my husband took over and made small talk. He laughed about it afterward and said he was trying to protect the poor woman from the two staunch Republicans at the party.

My friend and I wondered if we should have gotten our picture taken with her, doctored it up with microsoft paint and posted it on my blog. We decided we could never do something that nasty so we went on about our evening wishing it would have been Jim Ryun we were meeting rather than Nancy Boyda.

I still haven't met Sam Brownback and he lives right down the street about a mile away. I walk past right past his place when I'm out exercising.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Al Gore III gets busted



Tree Hugger Jr. seems to have a few issues to deal with. He was busted driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway.



Seems he had also been smoking weed, and had in his possession prescription drugs Xanax, Valium, Viocin, and Adderall. Evidently, he didn’t have a prescription for any of them.

Bummer...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Behe answers to critics

I've been reading Behe's new book in what spare time I can find this summer. Some of the reviews of the book have been interesting, though Dawkins review was predictable. Pure rhetoric. Again, he hallows natural selection as if it is the holy grail in which he finds complete assurance that a designer is not necessary for the "illusion of design" we observe in nature. He stated that:

Natural selection is arguably the most momentous idea ever to occur to a human mind, because it — alone as far as we know — explains the elegant illusion of design that pervades the living kingdoms and explains, in passing, us.
When Dawkins spoke at KU, I was taken aback by his sense of awe, wonder and praise for natural selection. I swear you'd think that he revered NS with an almost spiritual reverence.

I guess that would support Nancy Pearcy's observation in her book, Total Truth, where she makes a very profound statement, IMO. She wrote:

Humans are inherently religious beings, created to be in relationship with God - and if they reject God, they don’t stop being religious; they simply find some other ultimate principle upon which to base their lives.
Anywhoo..you can find Behe's response to the negative reviews of his book here.

Be sure to check out the brief interview with Behe here. I find it interesting that so many of the articles in response to the book are making a huge deal out of the fact that Behe accepts common descent. They act as if they are shocked by this admission, but they know as well as everyone else involved in this debate that Behe has never had a problem with common descent.

The interview I posted above poses an interesting question in regard to CD:

Q: In Edge of Evolution you indicate that some of the evidence supporting common ancestry is pretty persuasive. Yet a number of scientists have questioned some of the evidence for common ancestry. Do you think it is beyond the pale for them to do so? In your mind is it scientific to question common ancestry?

A: In my view it is certainly not “beyond the pale” for a scientist to question anything. Questioning and skepticism are healthy for science. I have no solutions to the difficult problems pointed to by scientists who are skeptical of universal common descent: ORFan genes, nonstandard genetic codes, different routes of embryogenesis by similar organisms, and so on. Nonetheless, as I see it, if, rather than Darwinian evolution, one is talking about "intelligently designed" descent, then those problems, while still there, seem much less insuperable. I certainly agree that random, unintelligent processes could not account for them, but an intelligent agent may have ways around apparent difficulties. So in judging the likelihood of common descent, I discount problems that could be classified as "how did that get here?" Instead, I give much more weight to the "mistakes" or "useless features" arguments. If some peculiar feature is shared between two species which, as far as we can tell, has no particular function, and which in other contexts we would likely call a genetic accident, then I count that as rather strong evidence for common descent. So, if one looks at the data in the way that I do, then one can say simultaneously that: 1) CD is very well supported; 2) grand Darwinian claims are falsified; 3) ID is confirmed; 4) design extends very deeply into biology.
Hmmm... I still believe common descent to be the materialist's mythical creation story. A microbe evolving from primordial stew has the makings of a fabulous bedtime story for imaginative children.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Science and the Mayans on the same page?

Everyone has their Apocalypse worries, don't they? Christians certainly aren't alone in wondering about end times.

Evidently, we're now looking at December 2012 for doomsday. Wasn't it Gore or some other tree hugger who said there will be MAJOR detrimental changes in the environment within the next decade? The Mayans are right with him in that respect, although we've only got 5 good years left according to them.

Start making your end times preparations (again).

A Couple Sickos visits the Creation Museum

These jerks not only poke fun of Ken Ham and the Creation museum, but also set the worst possible positive example for atheist morality imaginable. They apparently give no consideration whatsoever to those who have loved ones who are disabled. It is truly unbelievable that people can be so nasty, deceitful and utterly disgusting.

I'm still hoping this is some kind of joke, because I can't imagine another human being stooping so low. Apparently telling lie after lie doesn't seem of concern to these jerks at all. Obviously, the museum is going to take a lot of hits from people who disagree with Ham's opinions. But, to make fun of the disabled as part of this little scheme is repulsive.