Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Airplane child safety seats

Here is an example of how an irrational child safety measure got adopted, even though it cost excessive amounts of money and actually causes more child injuries and deaths.

No prostitute teachers

Oregon public schools do not hire teachers who have been convicted of sex crimes, and the law applies to both men and women. Some people think that this is unfair, because California allows (female) prostitutes to teach school.

Women profit from divorce

John sends this Wash. Times story, and compares it to the widely discredited Lenore Weitzman research.
Women 'worse off' when couples part...

But nearly 30 percent of girlfriends and nearly 38 percent of wives lived in poverty after their relationships failed. The researchers said both wives and girlfriends tend to have lower incomes than their partners and when couples separate, women have less to live on.
Moreover, wives and girlfriends are more likely to have custody of the children, which means more mouths to feed with less income.
Without even looking at the study, I have several problems with it. First, it is based on 20-year-old data, so it does not reflect the high spousal and child support formulas that the states have adopted since then.

Second, the notion that women are "worse off" would not follow from such a study. Suppose a gold digging woman moves in with rich man, or marries. Later, she regrets it, and leaves him. Her income will drop when she leaves him, but she would undoubtedly say that she is better off without him, not worse off.

Studies have shown again and again that it is usually the woman who terminates a marriage or other romantic relationship, and that women consistently make choices that make them better off with less income. Eg, see Warren Farrell's recent book, Why Men Earn More.

Third, it suggests that women are worse off for having to take the kids. In fact, wives usually demand those kids and take them over their husbands' objections. They are taking the kids because they want the kids and they believe that they will be better off with the kids. Furthermore, under current child support formulas, women usually make a profit on the kids. They receive child support that is over and above what it actually costs to raise the kids, and the moms are allowed to spend the child support money on themselves.

So this study is surely just feminist propaganda.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Black parents spank

Here is another goofy anti-spanking argument:
Poussaint, who was a consultant for NBC's "The Cosby Show," says studies show that about 80 percent of parents in the African-American community use corporal punishment. "Despite that, you have very high crime rates, very high rates of violence, very high rates of incarceration. That should be enough of a message that (corporal punishment) doesn't work."
The same reasoning would say that the incarceration doesn't work either.

Here is an anti-spanking zealot who believes that it is wrong to ever hit a child (under the age of 18). He has to struggle hard with the question of whether self-defense is acceptable.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

One Nation Under Therapy

I recommend the new book, One Nation Under Therapy -- How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance. More info here. It is an excellent book on the evils of therapism, and documents research studies that show how psychotherapy often makes people worse off. One of the co-authors was just a guest on Tucker Carlson's TV show.

The authors say:
We challenge the brain disease model on the grounds that treating addicts as morally respon-sible, self-determining human beings free to change their behavior is, in the end, more effective, more respectful, and more compassionate.

We also reject therapism's central doctrine that uninhibited emotional openness is essential to mental health. On the contrary, recent findings suggest that reticence and suppression of feelings, far from compromising one's psychological well-being, can be healthy and adaptive. For many temperaments, an excessive focus on introspection and self-disclosure is depressing. Victims of loss and tragedy differ widely in their reactions: some benefit from therapeutic intervention; most do not and should not be coerced by mental health professionals into emotionally correct responses. Trauma and grief counselors have erred massively in this direction.
BTW, Carlson usually has some left-wing political commentator on, but he should be able to find someone better. This time he had Richard Cohen (of the Wash. Post) saying that Bill Clinton had more of a mandate than G.W. Bush. Clinton won with 43% and 49% of the votes, and Bush won with 49% and 51%. The last Democratic president to get more was in 1964.

Bob also recommends Manufacturing Victims: What The Psychology Industry Is Doing To People.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Alabama May Ban Unhealthy Food in Schools

Here is another attempt to ban junk food:
Alabama May Ban Unhealthy Food in Schools

...a health and nutrition committee told the state school board Thursday that the changes -- such as banning the sale of sodas during school hours and cracking down on waivers exempting students from gym -- are crucial to raising healthy young people. ...

Other recommendations presented to the board included: ...

Restrict consumption of high-sugar, low nutrition foods except when they are medically necessary.
I doubt that the committee has any idea what foods are healthy and what are not. There is no such thing as a "high-sugar, low nutrition food".

Thursday, May 26, 2005

British medicos want knife control

Some Brits want to ban sharp knives:
The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, "Reducing knife crime: We need to ban the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives," notes that the knives are being used to stab people as well as roasts and the odd tin of Spam. ...

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports gun control, joked, "Can sharp stick control be far behind?" He said people in his movement were "envious" of England for having such problems. "In America, we can't even come to an agreement that guns are dangerous and we should make them safer," he said.
Yeah, he probably envies the high violent crime rate in Britain that resulted from a gun ban and the lack of a right to self-defense.

Mutant children are best

The UK Sun reports:
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster has spawned a generation of ?mutant? super-brainy children.

Kids growing up in areas damaged by radiation from the plant have a higher IQ and faster reaction times, say Russian doctors.

They are also growing faster and have stronger immune systems.
I think that someone is taking Darwinism too seriously.

Judge tries to control religious upbringing

Another out-of-control family court:
An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."

The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.

Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show. The order does not define a mainstream religion.
Judges seems to think that they can override the wishes of the parents just because there is a divorce. That is wrong, and ought to be unconstitutional. Parents have the right to raise their kids as they wish, whether they are married or divorced.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pill is a turn-off

Pill news:
The contraceptive pill, celebrated for liberating women's sexuality, may do the opposite, according to American researchers who have warned that women who take the Pill may experience a permanent decline in sexual desire.

Loss of libido is a well-known side-effect of oral contraceptives in some women and is listed in the leaflet on the contraceptive pill handed out by the Family Planning Association. But the research suggests the effect might be long-lasting or even permanent.
It sounds dubious to me, but it could explain a lot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

HBV causes excess male births

A rogue economist says:
Sen claimed that there were some 100 million "missing women" in Asia. While the ratio of men to women in the West was nearly even, in countries like China, India, and Pakistan, there were far more men than women. Sen charged these cultures with gravely mistreating their young girls?perhaps by starving their daughters at the expense of their sons or not taking the girls to doctors when they should have. Although Sen didn't say so, there were other sinister possibilities. Were the missing women a result of selective abortions? Female infanticide? A forced export of prostitutes?
It turns out that half of these supposedly missing women can be explained by a side-effect of hepatitis B.

Child bathtub accidents

NY Times says:
Writing this month in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, researchers from the Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio said that when they looked at bathtub injuries over three years, falls caused by slipping were the most common. And four out of five times, an adult was present.
I wonder if anyone has looked at the possibility that a mom's supervision actually increases bathtub accidents. The child may have a false sense of security by having his mom nearby, and not be sufficiently motivated to take safety precautions.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Women wear wrong bras

This says:
According to a national fit study by Wacoal, eight out of ten women in the U.S. -- or nearly 90 million women over the age of 18 -- are wearing the wrong size bra. ...

Smith recommends that women get fitted once per year or whenever they gain or lose five or more pounds, start or stop an exercise program, become pregnant, and after giving birth.
I figure that it is going to take at least 10,000 man-years of labor to do all those fittings.

Sunshine prevents cancer

New research suggests that sunshine prevents cancer:
In the last three months alone, four separate studies found it helped protect against lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung and, ironically, the skin. The strongest evidence is for colon cancer.

No one is suggesting that people fry on a beach. But many scientists believe that "safe sun" - 15 minutes or so a few times a week without sunscreen - is not only possible but helpful to health.

"I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D," Giovannucci told the cancer scientists. "The data are really quite remarkable."
The pills don't work. You need sunlight.

100 million prescriptions for Vicodin

Last night, on his own network TV show, Dr. Phil said:
In fact, over half of the American population got a prescription for Vicodin last year. That is over 100 million people. As outrageous as it is true, most narcotics can now be obtained without a doctor's prescription.
The screen showed the text: "100 million Americans obtained prescriptions for Vicodin in 2004."

Half the American population would be more like 145M people. But never mind that. Maybe he is counting adults. I didn't believe that so many people got Vicodin prescriptions. Millions more are using the stuff nonmedically.

I just got a Vicodin prescription for my broken leg, but I thought that it was only prescribed for such extreme conditions. Vicodin is a DEA schedule III narcotic.

Readers against fatherphobia

Phyllis writes:
I've just had a chance to count the emails in response to my 4 columns on fathers:

258 - supportive -- mostly dads saying "you described my situation perfectly." Dozens of heartbreaking stories.
9 - hostile
6 - urging me to see both sides of the question because some dads are slobs.
1 - suggesting that my support of fathers is inconsistent with my support of homemakers -- from a bitter feminist who is still mad about my defeating ERA. Somehow it escapes some people that the role of fulltime homemaker is dependent on a husband-father to pay the bills. Unless you are a feminist who thinks the government should provide babysitting.

The above count contrasts sharply with the email response about my evolution column. Those emails were 95% against me.
Phyllis Schlafly is famous for advocating the rights and benefits of (female) homemakers, so there was the possibility that some people would be surprised or offended that she would also advocate an important role for fathers as well.

There is a truly evil anti-father system that has crept into our laws, courts, and govt agencies. Her columns on the subject explain it well. Something desperately needs to be done about it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Be All That You Can Be

The US Army has fallen short of its recuitment goals, and some people are suggesting that more girls be recruited.

One reader suggests that this is exactly backwards. The slogan is "Be All That You Can Be", and some boys may figure that they cannot be all that they can be in co-ed training and warfare.

There ought to be some quantitative studies on just how girls affect army recruitment.

Father acquitted in paddling of son

News from Ohio:
NEWARK -- Jason Klein and the Rev. Russ Hylton are calling for less government intervention when it comes to disciplining children.

Discipline should be left up to parents, they say.

A jury in Licking County Municipal Court found Klein innocent of a domestic violence charge on May 9. The first-degree misdemeanor charge followed an incident on Nov. 21, when Klein spanked his son, Storm Klein, then 13, with a wooden paddle.

Jason Klein, 36, of Newark, said he spanked his son because he found out he was drinking alcohol. He claims the spanking was a disciplinary measure, and government shouldn't be allowed to tell parents how to raise their children.

"I don't think they should have the right at all," the father of six said. "I think it oversteps the boundary of government." ...

Hylton, a pastor at Crossroads Worship Centre in Newark, where the Klein family attends, believes in spanking as a form of punishment. It helps mold a child into a productive citizen, he said.

He referenced disciplining to the idea in the Bible: "Spare the rod, spoil the child." ...

Storm, a student at Licking Valley Middle School, said he doesn't believe the spanking case should have gone this far.

"I got punished and felt I deserved it," he said.
This is a good example of the need for jury trials. The average person understands child-rearing better than the judges, prosecutors, psychologists, and social service agencies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Phantom Menace was not a flop

This NRO review of the new Star Wars movie says:
it wasn't until 1999 that Episode One, The Phantom Menace, appeared, and immediately flopped. A fan of the series told me how he and a friend attended a different movie just in order to catch a trailer for Phantom Menace. They were stunned; "We just couldn't believe how bad it was," he said. It was a bad sign. Just about everybody hated Phantom Menace. It seemed shallow and silly, and squandered the capital previous films had built up.
It would be hard to be more wrong. That movie was the 4th biggest money-grossing movie of all time.

One-night stands

A Cosmopolitan magazine poll found:
Almost two-thirds of women have had a one-night stand, but nearly all of them regret it, a survey has found.

In contrast, men rarely have qualms about brief sexual encounters, and just under half say that no-strings sex is better than that enjoyed in a relationship. ...

But 40 per cent of men say they would have a one-night stand any time and 49 per cent would never regret it.
I'll add this to the list of differences between men and women. As for myself, I am in the 51% of the male population that might possibly regret a one-night stand.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Evolution theorizing

The NY Times has lots of evolutionist theorizing. Now, it is on Kansas science, gay genes, and female orgasms.

What is notable here is that the evolutionists seem so sure of their arguments, and so sure that others are wrong, and yet there is a dearth of any empirical support for their views or even any way of testing their hypotheses.

Steve Pinker is impressed by a study that homosexual men are attracted to male scents (and alleged pheromones) in a manner similar to women.
The difference in the brain responses of gay and straight men does not, by itself, prove that homosexuality is innate; after all, learned inclinations, like innate ones, must reside somewhere in the brain. But in this case nature probably does trump nurture. Gay men generally report that their homosexual attractions began as soon as they felt sexual stirrings before adolescence. ...
I don't see how this is any evidence at all. First, people are likely to self-report feelings in a way to validate their current lifestyle, and may not even remember those feelings. Second, it may be that sex role identifications start to form during adolescence or even shortly before, but would not be evidence for any sort of innate or genetic orientation.

There are 21 theories about the female orgasm. Most of the arguments are silly. I don't know what is wrong with the obvious evolutionistic argument -- that if women seek pleasure from sexual relations, then they are likely to have more offspring.

Affirmative action for smart rich women

Malkin reports:
Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, under fire for comments on women in the sciences, said the school would spend $50 million over 10 years to promote diversity on its faculty and reform the way women in science and engineering are treated.
I guess that Harvard has decided that female scientists cannot cut it on their own, and need a big affirmative action program. This is going to hurt the credibility of academic women.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Alternative lifestyles

This AP story says HHS caved in to gay pressure.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government has changed its Web site advising parents how to talk to their children about sex after several groups said it presented biased and inaccurate information.

The site received about 5 million hits in its first month of operation. In recent days, the section on sexual orientation was changed to address some of the concerns voiced by the gay rights community.

For example, the term "alternative lifestyle" was replaced with "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyle," which addressed the concern that the Bush administration was labeling sexual orientation as choice.

In addition, the portion telling parents of gay children to consider seeing a family therapist who shares their values was changed to say "counselors and other health professionals may be helpful to both teens and parents when addressing difficult issues." ...

Golden said focus groups helped the department develop the Web site, which stresses abstinence, and that some of the concerns surprised her because they did not set off alarm bells in the focus groups. For example, she cited the phrase "alternative lifestyle," and said, "We were not aware that was an area of sensitivity."
I wasn't aware of that either. Are there really people who proudly describe their "gay lifestyles", but are offended by the term "alternative lifestyles"? Homosexuality certainly is an alternative lifestyle, whether it is a choice or not.

Impotent husband must pay damages

News from Italy:
An Italian man who married without telling his bride he was impotent must pay damages for abusing her "right to sexuality", a top court has ruled.

The man had failed to fulfil his conjugal duty and deprived his wife of the chance to be a mother, Italy's Supreme Court said.

His wife had already had the marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation.

The amount of damages will now be decided by a lower court in Sicily.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

Hollywood is complaining about declining attendance for big-budget movies likes Kingdom of Heaven and Alexander. I saw Ridley Scott interviewed on TV. He said that Kingdom of Heaven was made by agnostics and that the message of the movie is "tolerance".

No wonder the movie is a flop. Here is the story of one of the grand historical battles between Good and Evil, and the director cannot even figure out who the good guys are.

Unscientific brain theories

Today's Dear Abby says:
DEAR ABBY: In a recent column you advised the mother of a girl who had confided that she is gay and wants to come out, that homosexuality has "nothing to do with parenting and everything to do with genetics." You need to retract that statement. If you do not publicly admit your error, I will know you are a mouthpiece for the gay and lesbian crowd. -- LEONARD IN LYNCHBURG

DEAR LEONARD: If I did not believe with all my heart that what I wrote is true, I wouldn't have put my thoughts on paper. ...
Besides giving bad advice, I guess Dear Abby is indeed a mouthpiece for the gay and lesbian crowd.

This WSJ blog points out how politically correct scientists eagerly jump to extremes in the nature-nuture debate. Sometimes they assume that things are 100% environmental, and sometimes they assume that they assume 100% genetics. It is driven by politics.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Federal Incentives Make Children Fatherless

Phyllis Schlafly has another column on fathers: Federal Incentives Make Children Fatherless.

Previous columns on related subjects were Children Made Fatherless By Family Courts, The Fatherphobia Of Family Courts, and The Price Some Reservists Have To Pay.

Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs

I spent 4 years in the Berkeley math dept, but I don't remember the Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. There were some faculty affairs and other vices, and some profs had couches in their offices, but no designated vice chair.

Healthy to eat fat

Wired magazine says:
Diets too low in fat may be responsible for stubborn bulges on bellies, thighs and butts, according to a new study.

Dieters trying slim down by following extremely low-fat diets may be causing the exact opposite results, according to new research from the Washington University in St. Louis. Eating at least small amounts of dietary fats, such as fish oils, might be a better way to kick-start fat-burning, say researchers.
Fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Even fat people should eat fat, as the Atkins folks have been correctly saying for years. Don't let anyone tell you that some food is bad just because it has fat in it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Real estate maps

If in the market for a house, be sure to check HousingMaps.com before you talk to a broker. It combines Google maps with Craigslist house listings.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Pollution or global warming

Nature says:
Our planet's air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground, say two studies in Science this week.

Reductions in industrial emissions in many countries, along with the use of particulate filters for car exhausts and smoke stacks, seem to have reduced the amount of dirt in the atmosphere and made the sky more transparent.

That sounds like very good news. But the researchers say that more solar energy arriving on the ground will also make the surface warmer, and this may add to the problems of global warming. More sunlight will also have knock-on effects on cloud cover, winds, rainfall and air temperature that are difficult to predict.
So next time you hear someone wanting to reduce air pollution, point out that he will be causing global warming.

Evolution in Kansas

The NY Times reports about the Kansas school board questioning evolution:
The proposed changes to the state's science standards would edit everything from the introduction to notes advising teachers on specific benchmarks for individual grades. Perhaps the most significant shift would be in the very definition of science - instead of "seeking natural explanations for what we observe around us," the new standards would describe it as a "continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."
It is amazing that such a simple change in a definition would warrant such an attack by the NY Times and the evolutionist cabal. I think that the latter definition of science is a much better one.

The Wash. Post says:
Local and national science organizations are so disturbed by the proceedings that they are boycotting them, apart from advising Pedro Irigonegaray, a civil rights and defense lawyer recruited to defend the existing Kansas science standards. On the eve of the hearings, he predicted a "whitewash" but said he would fight it nonetheless.

Thursday's scene bore a resemblance to the 1925 Scopes trial in Dayton, Tenn., in which a high school science teacher was famously convicted of violating a state law forbidding the teaching of evolution. Despite the conviction, the nationally covered trial represented a triumph for the teaching of evolution.

Bruce Chapman, a former Reagan administration Census Bureau director, said, "This is the Scopes trial turned on its head."
It is just like the Scopes Trial in that the evolutionists also refused to stand up and defend their beliefs at that trial. In essence, Darrow had Scopes plead guilty rather than defend evolution on the merits.

Bob asks why I would side with creationists on an issue like this.

I am not going to side with so-called scientists who will not defend their beliefs. They are giving Science a bad name. The Kansas skeptics have a better definition of science. They are not wrong just because they goto church on Sunday. If the so-called scientists think that the new definition is wrong, then they should be able to explain why it is wrong. Instead they avoid the issue and conduct a character assassination.

Bob writes:
The issue is not what scientists believe. There is a political debate in Kansas over whether evolution and certain criticisms of evolution should be taught in public schools. There are no scientific arguments again evolution. Definitions of science are of interest to philosophers, lawyers, and politicians. What purpose would it server for scientists to participate in a kangaroo court proceeding like the Kansas State Department of Education hearing? A majority of Americans manage to go to church on Sunday, are not opposed to teaching evolution, and are too busy leading productive lives and spending time with their families to keep an eye on the creationists who have taken over the Kansas State Board of Education. I predict that the creationists will wither in the sunlight just as they did after their excursion in 1999 when they were thrown out of office by the voters of Kansas.
Bob also sent this Kansas opinion column complaining some of those testifying lacked scientific credential! If he really thinks that definitions of science are of interest to philosophers, lawyers, and politicians, then I guess that he should be happy that those are the ones who are debating the definitions in Kansas.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Anti-evolution comic

Here is an anti-evolution B.C. comic. There are criticisms here.

New books on economics and life

Wired magazine has a couple of article from people plugging interesting new books.

Cracking the Real Estate Code
Consider this true story, related by John Donohue, a law professor who in 2001 was teaching at Stanford University: "I was just about to buy a house on the Stanford campus, and the seller's agent kept telling me what a good deal I was getting because the market was about to zoom. As soon as I signed the purchase contract, he asked me if I would need an agent to sell my previous Stanford house. I told him that I would probably try to sell without an agent, and he replied, 'John, that might work under normal conditions, but with the market tanking now, you really need the help of a broker.'"
Sure enough, when real estate brokers sell their own houses, they do things differently from what they would do for you. The book is Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

This article says that kids are getting smarter by playing video games. The book is here.

FDA bans gay sperm

The FDA is banning gay sperm, but:
The FDA rules do not prohibit gay men from serving as "directed" sperm donors. If a woman wishing to become pregnant knows a gay man and asks that he provide sperm for artificial insemination, a clinic could provide that service even if the man had engaged in sex with other men within five years.

However, Traiman said some lesbian couples do not have a gay friend they know and trust well enough to be the biological father of their child, and would thus prefer an anonymous donor.

Dr. Deborah Cohan, an obstetrics and gynecology instructor at the University of California, San Francisco, said some lesbians prefer to receive sperm from a gay donor because they feel such a man would be more receptive to the concept of a family headed by a same-sex couple.

"This rule will make things legally more difficult for them," she said. "I can't think of a scientifically valid reason -- it has to be an issue of discrimination."
So if a lesbian wants gay sperm and not hetero sperm for political reasons, that is okay, but if a woman prefers hetero sperm for health reasons, then that is "discrimination". Yes, it is discrimination either way, but women ought to be discriminating about who inseminates them.

Gore credited for internet

John sends this Newsday article:
NEW YORK -- Al Gore may have been lampooned for taking credit in the Internet's development, but organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements don't find it funny at all.

In part to "set the record straight," they will give Gore a lifetime achievement award for three decades of contributions to the Internet, said Tiffany Shlain, the awards' founder and chairwoman. ...

Gore, who boasted in a CNN interview he "took the initiative in creating the Internet," was only 21 when the Internet was born out of a Pentagon project.

But after joining Congress eight years later, he promoted high-speed telecommunications for economic growth and supported funding increases for the then-fledging network, according to the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which presents the annual awards.

He popularized the term "information superhighway" as vice president.
Until today, Snopes said:
many of the components of today's Internet came into being well before Gore's first term in Congress began in 1977, and it's hard to find any specific action of Gore's (such as his sponsoring a Congressional bill or championing a particular piece of legislation) that one could claim helped bring the Internet into being, much less validate Gore's statement of having taken the "initiative in creating the Internet. ... Even if Al Gore had never entered the political arena, we'd probably still be reading web pages via the Internet today.
What isn't said is how much Gore did to restrict the free and secure flow of information on the internet. He supported crypto export controls that limited the utility of SSL, and he supported govt key escrow plans. I think that the internet would have been better off without him.

Dinosaur missing link

Here is dinosaur evolution news:
The recently discovered species of dinosaurs, called Falcarius utahensis, had legs built for speed like meat-eaters but it also had a wide pelvis designed for the longer gut common in vegetarian animals that ferment plants.

Falcarius and Velociraptors shared a common, yet-undiscovered ancestor, said study co-author Scott Sampson, a paleontologist and curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

"With Falcarius, we have actual fossil evidence of a major dietary shift, certainly the best example documented among dinosaurs," Sampson said in a release. "This little beast is a missing link between small-bodied predatory dinosaurs and the highly specialized and bizarre plant-eating therizinosaurs."

No one knows what killed off the buried dinosaurs, but scientists say drought, volcanic eruptions, fire and botulism poisoning are all possibilities.
Notice how evolutionists always think that there is an undiscovered common ancestor, and that find a few new bones is frequently some sort of missing link.

Notice also the list possible causes of death. If the scientists cannot distinguish those possibilities, then they know nothing about the death. But the evolutionists just don't want to admit that dinosaurs might have died in a great flood.

A Textbook Case of Junk Science

This Pamela R. Winnick article says:
Several centuries ago, some "very light-skinned" people were shipwrecked on a tropical island. After "many years under the tropical sun," this light-skinned population became "dark-skinned," says Biology: The Study of Life, a high-school textbook published in 1998 by Prentice Hall, an imprint of Pearson Education.

"Downright bizarre," says Nina Jablonski, who holds the Irvine chair of anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences. Jablonski, an expert in the evolution of skin color, says it takes at least 15,000 years for skin color to evolve from black to white or vice versa. That sure is "many years." The suggestion that skin color can change in a few generations has no basis in science.

Pearson Education spokesperson Wendy Spiegel admits the error in describing the evolution of skin color, but says the teacher's manual explains the phenomenon correctly. Just why teachers are given accurate information while students are misled remains unclear.
It seems clear to me. Evolution is taught in a distorted way in order to reinforce certain political propaganda messages. In this case, leftist egalitarians want to force schoolkids to think that evolution proves that racial differences are insignificant.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Dr. Spock on spanking

I saw anti-spanking fanatic Jordan Riak on Fox News a few days ago. The last edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care said:
There are several reasons to avoid physical punishment. It teaches children that the larger, stronger person has the power to get his way, whether or not he is in the right. Some spanked children then feel quite justified in beating up on smaller ones. The American tradition of spanking may be one reason there is much more violence in our country than in any other comparable nation.
It is a fact that the larger, stronger person usually has the power to get his way. Yes, children should learn that message. No, it does not explain violent crime in America.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Tax money promoting sodomy

Alabama is threatening to stop buying pro-sodomy books for its public library. The usual gang of idiots is all upset. It is amazing how some people think that Alabama should be using tax money to support practices that the people think should be illegal or immoral.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Here is NY Times letter:
To the Editor:

Re "Prosecutor Seeks to End Time Limit in Rape Cases" (news article, April 29):

The Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, is right to call for eliminating the statute of limitations in rape cases. There is no statute of limitations for murder because society understands that murder is so serious a crime that a perpetrator should never go free simply because five or more years have passed since the offense. The same is true of rape, a crime that can destroy or derail lives.

The availability and absolute reliability of DNA evidence only underscore the need to amend this law, which makes it impossible in many cases to prosecute those who are indisputably guilty of truly heinous crimes.

Sonia Ossorio
President, National Organization for Women
New York, April 30, 2005
No, this is crazy. Murder is a vastly more heinous crime. After 5 years, the murdered body is still dead.

When there is a dead body, there is rarely any doubt as to whether a crime was committed. Rape cases usually depend on the believability of the alleged victim. Imagine how difficult it would be to try Kobe Bryant after 5 years.

Pilots are unarmed

Andy send this story:
The pistol-packing pilot was supposed to be the last line of defense against a terrorist who managed to get into a cockpit.

But now, more than two years after Congress sanctioned a training program to deputize aviators and allow them to carry guns in the cockpit, it's believed that only about 5,000--a little more than 5 percent of the estimated 95,000 commercial pilots in the country--are armed while they fly.

Pilot advocacy groups say there's a pent-up demand of as many as 40,000 pilots willing to arm themselves, but they charge that the Bush administration has deliberately undermined the program by making training inconvenient and insisting on an awkward protocol for transporting weapons.
Transportation Secy Mineta is usually blamed for sabotaging this important security program.

616 is the number of the beast

This story claims:
A newly discovered fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament indicates that, as far as the Antichrist goes, theologians, scholars, heavy metal groups, and television evangelists have got the wrong number. Instead of 666, it's actually the far less ominous 616.
Until this is resolved, I'll just have to look out for both numbers!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Nanny makes a bad mistake

If a man is a sex offender, then people want to send him away for 30 years. This story tells of a nanny named Sarah Slicker who got convicted of being a pedophile, but gets sympathy. I think that the attitude of the gynecologist mom is a little strange.