Category Archives: News

REBUTTAL: Why scientists will never create life | The Christian Post

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/why-scientists-will-never-create-life.html

Umm…if life begins at conception (as Ray Comfort believes), then scientists create life whenever they create embryos in a lab. In vitro fertilization wouldn’t exist if scientists couldn’t create life!

As for the idea that scientists could never create “life” from nothing in a million years, humans have only existed in their present form for about 200,000 years (a fifth of a million) and science as we know it has only existed for about 500.

Most people living a hundred years ago would never have imagined  half the technology we have today. I certainly can’t imagine what the world will look like in 2119!

All I know is that a million years is a hell (lol) of a long time and the one thing I am certain of is that the world will be a much different place, if the last million years is any indication.

Publishers Clearing House Scam

So, I just got a call from a possibly Kingston Jamaica number claiming to be Publisher’s Clearing House. The speaker was probably a computer because the inflections were very wrong. It sounded like it was the scam that wants you to say “Yes” so that they can steal stuff using your information. Unfortunately I said “Alright” to one question, but I don’t think that was enough because the call didn’t immediately end. When I asked who they were and they said Publishers Clearing House, I immediately knew it was a scam and said “No” to the next question they wanted an affirmative answer to. Then they said, “You doubt who I am?” And I just hung up on that one!

I just got my first smartphone and was disappointed to find that I couldn’t report that number as a scam directly from my phone. In a world that wants better ability to trace these people, you’d think reporting it as a scam immediately would be useful information.

Anyway, I then went tothe PCH website to alert them to the scam. Their Customer Service page even has a number designated for telling them there’s a PCH Scam! So, I called it. And I got a recording thanking me for my interest in working with them (?) and a reminder that their office hours are (whatever) M-F. And then the call ended on their end.

AGAIN! If the goal is to put scammers in prison, more information is necessary! I know that they can’t do anything with one report of one number, so I don’t mind that there wasn’t a live person to talk to. BUT THIS IS SUPPOSEDLY THEIR SCAM REPORTING LINE! You’d think they’d take a message!

This isn’t exactly rocket science.

REBUTTAL:’Big Bang Theory’ Spinoff ‘Young Sheldon’ Offers Scientific Explanation for Why God Exists

https://www.christianpost.com/news/big-bang-theory-spinoff-young-sheldon-scientific-explanation-why-god-exists-227884/

“Did you know that if gravity was slightly more powerful the universe would collapse into a ball? Also if gravity was slightly less powerful the universe would fly apart and there’s be no star or planets,” he explained.

Adding, “Gravity is precisely as strong as it needs to be and if the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the strong force wasn’t one percent, life wouldn’t exist, what are the odds that would happen all by itself?”

This assumes that the universe is supposed to be exactly like it is. Yes, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist if physics were different; it might not even exist in any form if physics were different. But that doesn’t prove God exists. There’s nothing that says that the universe must exist as it is. There’s nothing that says humans must exist.

Humans exist because the universe happens to be conducive to the existence of humans. The universe (probably) wasn’t created so that humans would exist.

Of course, I hate logic because it’s very easy for things to be logically sound while being factually wrong.

“Well there are 5 billion people on this planet and you’re the perfect mom for me. What are the odds of that?” Sheldon concluded.

And there are a hell of a lot of people born to the wrong parents. A good parent is one who accepts their child as an individual and doesn’t try to force their will on that child. It doesn’t offend Mary that Sheldon doesn’t believe; a lot of religious parents are offended by that (and yes, there are nonreligious parents offended by their children’s interest in religion).

Walmart planning ‘net-connected trolley’ – BBC News

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45809924

US retail giant Walmart has applied for a patent for a smart shopping trolley that can track a shopper’s heart rate, temperature, grip and walking speed.

Such a system would provide valuable information about how shoppers respond to different stores, it said.

 

I think this would go down better with shoppers if it automatically scanned items and had a running total of the expense so that checking out was just a matter of pushing a button, swiping a card, or stopping by a cashier for paying cash.

REBUTTAL: Prepare for the Wrath of the Pro-Abortion Militants

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/prepare-for-the-wrath-of-the-pro-abortion-militants.html

“To be clear, I recognize that for many women, having an abortion is an intensely difficult moral choice. I’m thinking of a woman in her 20’s, reared in a religious home, already raising two little children without a father. Her boyfriend takes advantage of her, she discovers she’s pregnant, and she is devastated by the news.

She cannot imagine adding one more child to her household, she struggles with depression and fear, finally deciding to abort her baby after four months.

Her decision was still morally wrong. But this woman is unlikely to join the “Shout Your Abortion” movement or, even less, to hurl feces at a church building.”

Dr. Michael Brown

Notice this: in his scenario the woman was raised in a religious home and her boyfriend took advantage of her. Would it matter if she was raised in a secular home and she was an active participant (rather than a victim of rape)? For Brown, yes. I think he’d be much less sympathetic if she’d been the one in control of her life.

Because here’s the thing, he cares less about what she did than the fact that she’s most likely to keep quiet about it. She exists as an example solely to show the proper way to act when one is immoral (in his eyes). We’re supposed to be angry with people who talk openly about how their life wasn’t ruined by having an abortion and be angry with people who think reproductive rights matter. He’s incapable of believing that a woman can support the right of all women to have easy access to an abortion even while being against the procedure for her own body. In his world, such a being can’t possibly exist because to be Pro-Choice means being Pro-Abortion.

Hi asshole! My name is Cathy and I’m Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion. How is this possible? Easy, I support the idea that women are completely capable of making the right decision for themselves; my opinion doesn’t matter one iota. Similarly, I support All The Things that make abortion less likely: education (in ALL areas), economic reforms (so that people aren’t living paycheck to paycheck), social reforms (so that guys don’t think that women owe them sex and women don’t feel pressured to have sex), money for reproductive research (so that genetic abnormalities incompatible with life are a thing of the past), etc, etc,etc.

I hope to live in a world where abortion isn’t necessary, but until then, hurl your feces, ladies!

REBUTTAL: Should Your Past Sins Disqualify You Today?

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/should-your-past-sins-disqualify-you-today-michael-brown.html

First, I want to lay out a couple facts.

1. The US Constitution has no rules for who can and cannot be a Supreme Court Justice. While Articles I and II have age and residency requirements for who can be a Senator, Representative, or President, there are no such rules for the SCOTUS. Article III

2. Thus, there are more than 250 million individuals 18 and over in the US with varying degrees of appropriateness to be a Supreme Court Justice. From the Census Bureau

While I agree that not all sins are equally damning, and I like Mr. Brown’s identification of 4 different scenarios of dealing with a shady past, his examples fairly suck and he approaches the problem from the position that Kavanaugh is the only choice available. Ultimately for Brown, it doe matter if Kavanaugh is lying because like Trump, he’s the lesser evil. People like Brown are afraid that a Democratic Wave in November will cause Trump to have to nominate a less Conservative Justice.

Brown comes across as ironically clueless when he keeps likening Kavanaugh to Obama. Remember those 4 scenarios?

  •  Own it always (it was never a secret)
  • Own it from the minute it was outed
  • Deny it even though all the evidence is against you
  • Keep offending because you were never in the wrong (even though everyone knows otherwise)

Obama has owned his past, even when it was outed. There was nothing to hide even if he wasn’t purchasing billboards. Kavanaugh “categorically denies” even as his accuser has a reputable occupation and therefore might be telling te truth (sarcasm; I believe her).

It’s also important to remember that in Brown’s world, all sins are equal. Attempted rape = marijuana smoking = alcoholism = consensual premarital sex. I’d assume rape and murder would also fit in that equation.

Trump Hosts White House Dinner For Evangelical Supporters : NPR

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/29/642871570/trump-hosts-white-house-dinner-for-evangelical-supporters

MARTIN: When you think about how this president has advanced an evangelical Christian agenda, what are the ways in which evangelical Christians have been treated – or do you believe they have been treated as a persecuted minority in this country?

JEFFRESS: Well, I think there are certainly ways in which they have been marginalized. And I mean, here’s the question you have to ask yourself. I mean, why is it that, for the first 150 years of our nation’s history, prayer in schools, reading the Bible, Nativity displays – all of those things were not only allowed but they were welcomed? But then suddenly, 70 years ago, the Supreme Court decides these things are unconstitutional. I ask liberals all the time, what changed suddenly?

MARTIN: It became more religiously diverse, the country.

JEFFRESS: What did – but did the Constitution change? No. The establishment clause of the First Amendment simply says Congress cannot establish a state religion. That’s what it says. But somehow, that has been perverted and twisted into outlawing prayer and Bible-reading. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the marginalization of Christianity. And I believe that’s why evangelicals are rallying around this president who recognizes that marginalization.

The question I wanted Martin (or any reporter) to ask was:

 “What do you think about a Jewish or Muslim teacher leading a Jewish or Muslim prayer in schools? If we’re going to put religion back into schools, don’t we have to let all religions in?”

(There’s a big hissy fit going around about Yoga for P.E. Also cue debates about real vs. fake religions.)

REBUTTAL: Greg Laurie Describes ‘Awkward Moment’ With Melania Trump During White House Dinner

https://www.christianpost.com/news/greg-laurie-awkward-moment-melania-trump-white-house-dinner-227416/

The awkward moment: 

“Franklin Graham spoke right before me and I was told to go up right after Franklin and say what you are going to say and lead the prayer because the president is tired and wants to go to bed,” Laurie detailed. “So, I am waiting for my queue and Franklin was done, so I got up and walked to the podium. At the same moment, the first lady had gotten up out of her chair and she was walking to the podium as well.”

“I saw her and a I went and gestured her and said ‘Oh, please [go ahead and take the podium].’ She gestured back [to insist I take the podium.] Then, I gestured back, ‘Oh please [you go ahead],” he added. “It was a very awkward moment.”

Laurie told the crowd that he finally went ahead and spoke after the first lady again insisted that he speak.

So…someone didn’t understand the schedule…in the White House, where things are supposed to run like clockwork and where there is usually a program that lists the order of speakers. It’s not exactly rocket science. Most organized events have a program (charity dinners, graduations, awards ceremonies immediately cone to mind).

Or it could be that since Trump was bored tired, he told Melania to try to skip ahead of Laurie and close out the show early. I wonder what would have been said if Laurie had insisted Melania go first…

Since his sermon was based on Daniel 12, Laurie stressed that Daniel would also “try to help any king that was in power” whether that was Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar or Darius.

“I think when God puts people in power that we want to do what we can to influence them with what the word of God says,” Laurie said. “That was an honor to stand up there.”

Laurie implied that he may have been a bit overwhelmed by the fact that he was speaking to a room that included President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and the countless prominent Christian leaders.

“I have to be honest with you, I couldn’t look at the faces of people. It was very distracting,” Laurie explained. “I [was] just [like], ‘I am not going to look at any of you. I am just going to look over your heads and sort of say what I believe the Lord is putting on my heart at this moment to say.”

Me thinks that if Laurie had been skipped, he’d have spun it into something about how he’s happily unworthy to speak before these “great men”. 

Can you imagine Thomas Jefferson feeling too unworthy to metaphorically stand up and spit in George III’s eye with the Declaration of Independence? Keep in mind that the “Divine Roght of Kings” was a thing in 1776.

‘I’m constantly asking: Why?’ When mass shootings end, the painful wait for answers begins. – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/im-constantly-asking-why-when-mass-shootings-end-the-painful-wait-for-answers-begins/2018/03/15/6fb0347e-1d8a-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html?utm_term=.febc803e891c

Toward the end of their interviews, Reid asked Holmes what he believed caused him to kill others. Holmes boiled it down to hard numbers: 45 percent was caused by his belief in the point system, another 45 by the feeling it would prevent his suicide, and 10 percent by his broccoli-like hatred.

Reid, however, said he found those answers lacking.

“You could call them excuses in a way, because they don’t make sense,” he said. “People break up with their girlfriends every day; that doesn’t mean they become killers. They struggle with depression and impulses; that doesn’t mean they become killers. These things are associated with the action, but they are not predictive.”

Reid is a forensic psychiatrist who clearly has no clue how mental illness works.

This sounds exactly like OCD to me, except instead of checking the locks 3 times or washing hands for exactly 45 seconds to prevent bad things from happening, Holmes was certain that killing people would save his life because he knew the alternative was him committing suicide, something he knew he didn’t want to do.

While this seems like an unsatisfactory answer, it is one that shows that there is a way to prevent future attacks of this type. OCD can be treated.

Now, I’m sure that some people are thinking, “well, such bad thoughts can be shut down; they’re a choice.” Uh no. They’re not a choice. People don’t get to choose what their obsessions are or what works or doesn’t work (for them).

I have a problem with songs (and thoughts) getting stuck in my head for hours on end. Hours. But I randomly found a trick that works to stop the repetition: I’m a Little Teapot. Yep, somehow this nursery rhyme a) doesn’t get stuck in my head and b) is capable of shutting off whatever has been on repeat when nothing else has.

You may be thinking, “well, I get songs stuck in my head all the time!”

For days on end? 

With no relief?

Where you happen to stumble upon one thing that brings you quiet for a little while?

This forensic psychiatrist has unintentionally shown exactly what’s wrong with the current system: we don’t recognize universal symptoms as universal when it’s easier to assume that there must be a deeper problem.
 I get why this happens. We don’t want t stigmatize all OCD as the same. We don’t want to stigmatize the issue. And that’s fine! That’s great! There are many many different flavors (from mild annoyances to severe “I can’t live like this”)!

But ultimately, it is all the same. And it needs to be treated as such if we want to move forward as a society. Not because a handwasher and door-lock-checker can suddenly become a serial killer (actually, since these are coping mechanisms they’d be less likely to “snap”), but because everyone deserves to live in peace and while we may think of handwashers and door-lock-checkers as quirky and harmless when compared to people whose coping mechanism is murder, neither group gets to live in peace. Both are slaves to their obsessions. That’s not fair to them.

What makes the Parkland shooter different is that everyone in his life knew he was troubled and wanted to gwet him the help he needed.

But their efforts were stymied by red tape. The type of red tape that seems to stem from a lack of money invested in mental health care.

Calls for putting more police officers in schools, arming teachers, and installing bullet proof glass and metal detectors all strike me as reactionary. They are all things that will respond to the next shooting, but will do absolutely nothing to prevent it. 

I think such money would be better served by creating an in-school suspension system that focuses on mental healthcare rather than just shuffling troubled kids along. And there should be a seemless transition between graduation and adult mental health care. Cost should be no object because anyone asking for help for themselves or a loved one should receive it. Period.

The Turpins – This is What Homeschooling to Hide Abuse Look Like

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2018/01/turpins-homeschooling-hide-abuse-look-like/

One of the things that my conservative relatives say about stuff like Stop and Frisk is that (black) people shouldn’t mind police checking on them if they have nothing to hide.

Of course, there’s a big difference between driving while black and parents not wanting a social worker to see that their children are emaciated and aren’t educated on grade level. One is racism on the part of society and the other is society turning ablind eye on abuse in the name of…what…freedom? Independence? Religion?

State tests are the BARE MINIMUM that a student should know at their age. They are an absolute joke for any AP student. Which means that they should also be a joke to any homeschooling parent worth their salt. Any homeschooling parent who refuses such tests should be suspected because it means that they are uncomfortable with their child’s education so far. A teacher who is equally uncertain about their students’ performance on these tests should also be suspected.

And yes, I am in school to become a teacher. If I’m ever uncertain that my students will pass these tests, I will take a good long look at my career choice.

Homeschooling students should have to take these tests yearly in person at some kind of government facility.  Hell! The DMV would work! Just some place where a trained set of eyes can see whether the children are being neglected or abused. Guess what? If the parent doesn’t have anything to worry about, they shouldn’t oppose in person testing. It’d be no different from routine checkups and dental appointments.

There is npo boogeyman. There is not conspiracy to place all children in foster care. But honestly, if this is your fear, you need help.

There’s NOTHING inherently wrong with homeschooling! But it is all too easily a vector for abuse and neglect.