Friday, December 31, 2010

Cavemen ate cooked beans

Science news:
Scientists have upgraded their opinion of Neanderthal cuisine after spotting traces of cooked food on the fossilised teeth of our long-extinct cousins.

The researchers found remnants of date palms, seeds and legumes – which include peas and beans – on the teeth of three Neanderthals uncovered in caves in Iraq and Belgium.

Among the scraps of food embedded in the plaque on the Neanderthals' teeth were particles of starch from barley and water lilies that showed tell-tale signs of having been cooked. ...

Piperno said the discoveries even raised the possibility that male and female Neanderthals had different roles in acquiring and preparing food. ...

"In early human groups, women typically collected plants and turned them into food while men hunted. To us, and it is just a suggestion, this brings up the possibility that there was some sexual division of labour in the Neanderthals and that is something most people did not think existed."
So I guess that somebody had a theory that the Neanderthals got wiped out because the men were not smart enough to have their women cook their vegetables for them. And now it has been debunked.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Decline of empathy

SciAm reports:
Because according to an article in Scientific American Mind magazine, analysis of surveys of college kids reveals that self-reported empathy has been dropping for the last 30 years. And empathy really took a nosedive in the last 10 years. [Jamil Zaki, What, Me Care?] ...

The good news is that if empathy can go down, it can also go back up.
This decline was noted before, along with confusion about what the word means. Wikipedia has a long list of definitions for empathy.

Pres. Barack Obama is famous for lacking empathy, but also for wanting to appoint judges with empathy, and for blaming 9/11 on an absence of empathy in the terrorists.

I am wondering why everyone assumes that empathy is a good thing. If psychologists can measure whether it is going up or down, then they ought to be able to measure whether it is making us better or worse off. Where's the evidence? If it is good, then why is it that the upper classes don't want it? I suspect that high empathy measurements are correlated with an assortment of psychological problems.

Update: Some name-calling haters posted some comments on Nov. 30, 2012. Many of them did not notice that I have sources to back up what I say.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism

The London Telegraph reports:
Details of the finances of Wikileaks came as Mr Assange said he had signed books deals of $1.5 million (£970,000) for his autobiography in order to fight sexual assault charges in Sweden and keep his organisation in business. ...

In the interview, Mr Assange said he regarded himself as a victim of Left-wing radicalism. "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism," he said. "I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism."
I will look forward to his story being posted on a free website. The world needs to know what happened to Sweden, because other Western countries are heading in that direction.

The Merck manual includes this feminist propaganda:
Typically, rape is an expression of aggression, anger, or the need for power rather than sexually motivated. About half of women who are raped are physically injured.
If people really believed this, then maybe they would ignore rape allegations where the man is sexually motivated and the woman is not physically injured. But, of course, that is not what the Swedish feminists want.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Testing babies for mindreading

SciAm reports that babies can read minds:
Babies as young as seven months old may be able to take into account the thoughts and beliefs of other people, according to a paper published December 23 in Science. Called "theory of mind," this ability is central to human cooperation.

The finding provides evidence for the earliest awareness in infants so far of others' perspectives, says lead author Ágnes Kovács, a developmental psychologist at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The research team made the discovery by measuring a simple behavior -- how long infants stare at a scene -- in experiments that did not require infants to explicitly assess others' thoughts or predict their actions.
Others are not convinced, such as this comment:
Um, I don't buy this one at all; first, it's not OTHER PEOPLE'S 'minds' they are reading, so right away it is totally flawed. 2nd, how you get from watching Smurf cartoons to mind reading or whatever you tag it is completely beyond me. Also way too many variables, way to many 'adult' assumptions about a 6 month old brain's method of processing visual information. Also way too many environmental variables that could have been manipulated to allow any credence to this 'study'.
I'm sorry, but even the conceptual context of mind reading is pathetic, as we know we don't read minds, we read articles about screwy experiments with bizarre conclusions.
Am I the only one still shaking their head over this one?
I am shaking my head also. There are probably simply explanations than baby mindreading.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reducing to logic

Logicism is the idea that mathematics is reducible to logic. Not every believes it, such as Steve Landsburg, who says:
Principia Mathematica, to which Russell had devoted ten years of his life, was his (and co-author Alfred North Whitehead’s) audacious and ultimately futile attempt to reduce all of mathematics to pure logic. It is a failure that enabled some of the great successes of 20th century mathematics. ...

Russell wanted to derive all of mathematics from pure logic, but there was one mathematical fact that defied his every effort — namely the fact that there are infinitely many natural numbers. ...

Aside from dissatisfaction with the Theory of Types and the Axiom of Infinity, there were a couple of other nagging questions left unsettled, though. First: Could all of mathematics be derived from Russell and Whitehead’s logical system? Surely some of it could (though not always easily — R and W notoriously required hundreds of pages to reach the conclusion that 1+1=2) — but could all? And second: Could the Russell/Whitehead system be proven to be free of logical contradictions? The Russell Paradox had been excised by the Theory of Types, but could one exclude the possibility of other paradoxes lurking in the background?

Russell was surely hopeful on both counts. Kurt Godel, the logician of the millennium and the man who would dash those hopes, was four years old in 1910.
Russell is just as famous for having a goal of world peace. Now that is a goal that is impossible! But he was much more successful with his logicist goals.

The introduction to Principia Mathematica states 3 goals: (1) to effect the greatest analysis with the fewest axioms, (2) to use precise and convenient notation, and (3) to solve the paradoxes of set theory. It seems to me that they achieved these goals admirably. It says a couple of pages later that an object of the work is "the complete enumeration of all the ideas and steps in reasoning employed in mathematics".

Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorem is sometimes alleged to undermine logicism because it shows that no particular axiomatization of mathematics can decide all statements. Nevertheless, all of mathematics has been reduced to logic. And that certainly includes everything Godel did, and everything in published math journals.

Update: Here is some typical nonsense about the book:
Ms. REHMEYER: Well, it certainly has not been forgotten. It's been very influential. But the interesting thing is it's been influential in a kind of unexpected and, in some ways, sort of tragic way.

The book kind of laid the seeds for its own undoing. About 20 years later, a German mathematician named Kurt Godel used what Russell and Whitehead had done in the Principia to show that it actually couldn't do what it aimed to do, that it couldn't contain all of math, that there would be true mathematical statements that were not logical consequences of the axioms that it set out.

And that really, it was completely shocking, and it completely transformed our understanding of what math fundamentally is.

So the interesting thing about it is, on the one hand, it kind of destroyed the whole project, and on the other hand, Godel couldn't have come to that conclusion without the work of the Principia. So it kind of ate its own tail in a funny way.

And in a certain way, at this point, one of the biggest contributions of the book is that it laid the groundwork for computation, even though that was not in Russell or Whitehead's mind at all. Computers had barely been conceived of at that point.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decline of sympathy

According to the Books Ngram Viewer, usage of sympathy,empathy can be compared. Sympathy has been declining since 1900. Empathy has been slowing rising since World War II. Empathy might have caught up with sympathy, except that the trend stopped in 2000.

I think that the rise of empathy comes from mindreading psychologists. The Wikipedia article on empathy lists about 15 definitions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bad church ethics

Today's bad advice:
Dear Annie: My husband and I belong to different churches. He's been a member of his for 50 years, and I've been with mine for 30.

He was recently hospitalized, and someone from his church came to visit, as did my pastor. But when I spoke to my pastor, she said she did not think it was good church ethics to pray for a non-member, so she didn't pray for my husband during his illness. ...

Dear Disappointed: Talk to your pastor, and explain how upset you were ...
What's wrong with this picture? (1) Not belonging to her husband's church, (2) a female pastor, (3) church ethics, (4) having to preach to her own pastor, and (5) expecting a pastor to change beliefs just because a member is upset.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lack of gay science

Here is today's advice column:
Dear Margo: ... Is there something I might say when people (uninvited) tell me that my sexuality is all a matter of my choosing and deciding? — Michelangelo

Dear Mike: I, like you, have about had it with people who have "decided" that homosexuality is a choice or an "alternative lifestyle." This thinking is flat-out ignorant of both science and human nature. I think a fairly gentle way to make your point would be to ask, "So tell me. How old were you when you decided to be straight?" Or: "Can you imagine there's anything that could turn you into a homosexual?"
The trouble with these questions is that people have answers for them. Try asking them yourself. Many people will recite vividly the instant and circumstances in which they decided to be straight. They saw or did something that made a very strong impression.

It is also known that normally heterosexual people will sometimes behave homosexually under some circumstances, such as in prison or some other single-sex environment. That is what Kinsey and others have said.

The science blogs are all celebrating the end of Don't ask, don't tell, but they do not cite any scientific evidence either. AP says:
With an end to the ban, "no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay," Obama said in a statement. "And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."
No, they are not asked to lie. The whole point of the DADT policy was not to ask them to lie.

Also, another AP story says:
Gay rights activists say the complications and uncertainties are being overblown.

"Only three steps are needed to assure a smooth and quick transition to open gay service," Belkin said. They are: an immediate executive order from Obama suspending all gay discharges; a few weeks to put new regulations in place; then immediate certification to Congress that the new law will work.
Here is the real hazard of the new policy. Family newspapers are now printing stories quoting gay activists talking about "being overblown" and "suspending all gay discharges". I miss DADT already.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No free speech in French territory

AP reports:
FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) - A court has found an 84-year-old businessman guilty of condoning a crime against humanity for praising slavery during a TV interview and sentenced him Wednesday to pay a fine of nearly $10,000.

Alain Despointes made the comments at a moment when the French Caribbean territory was convulsed by protests over high prices and low wages and by resentment that the primarily white, "beke" descendants of slaveholders control much of the local economy. ...

"Historians exaggerated the problems a bit. They talk above all about the bad aspects of slavery," he said in the documentary. "But there were good aspects, too ... There were colonizers who were very humane with their slaves."
All human behavior has good and bad aspects. France makes it a crime to state an obvious truth.

The consequence of such laws is that people of Mantinique will conclude that there were good aspects to slavery that they are not allowed to learn for political reasons. They are likely to suspect that slavery was better than it actually was.

Where I live, a protester can get kicked out of a public meeting for giving a Nazi salute, that is being reconsidered:
SANTA CRUZ - An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed an earlier ruling from the court, ordering a trial judge to reconsider Robert Norse's free-speech lawsuit against the city of Santa Cruz.

Norse, a longtime City Council agitator and advocate for the rights of homeless people, claims his free speech protections were violated when he was ejected from a City Council meeting in 2002 after raising a Nazi salute. Norse was arrested for disrupting the meeting and refusing to leave, although the charges were later dropped.
Among some people, calling your political opponent a Nazi is considered an acceptable debate tactic.

Google search is not objective

A lot of people believe that Google search results from objective algorithms. In fact the operation is hand-tuned, as the UK Register explains:
Google's utopian vision of a uniquely democratic and completely objective web search engine is dead. It died about three years ago. While no one was looking, Google killed it.

Google now freely admits that its search algorithms are driven by its own "opinion." ...

Even Google's own employees continue to believe in the objectivity myth. "It's important to remember that our search results are generated objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google," Lucinda Barlow, head of corporate communications for Google Australia, said as recently as last January.

For years, this is the way Google officially described its search results. ...

According to Cutts, Google changed its documentation in 2007 after a pair of federal courts ruled that the company's search results were protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which covers "free speech." ...

Google argues that its search engine is protected in the same way a newspaper is protected.
Google search has never been objective. Google pretends to be using an objective algorithm when it is accused of favoritism, but it admits to being opinion-based in court.

Meanwhile, I prefer Yahoo search.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Empathy is for the lower classes

MSNBC reports:
Upper-class people are less adept at reading other people's emotions than their lower-class counterparts, according to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science.

“We found that people from a lower-class background – in terms of occupation, status, education and income level – performed better in terms of emotional intelligence, the ability to read the emotions that others are feeling,” says Michael Kraus, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral student in psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

In other words, if you’re looking for a little empathy, you’re more likely to get it from a poor person than a rich one (just ask Bob Cratchit).
Here is the abstract.

Empathy is usually considered a good thing. But this study suggests that it is more of a quality for the lower classes. The higher-class folks don't need it and don't want it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Iraq exterminates Christians

The NY Times reports:
QOSH, Iraq — A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to northern Iraq or abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country’s security forces are unable or, more ominously, unwilling to protect them.

The flight — involving thousands of residents from Baghdad and Mosul, in particular — followed an Oct. 31 siege at a church in Baghdad that killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests and a subsequent series of bombings and assassinations singling out Christians. ...

Iraq’s leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, have pledged to tighten security and appealed for tolerance for minority faiths in what is an overwhelmingly Muslim country. ...

More than half of Iraq’s Christian community, estimated to number 800,000 to 1.4 million before the American-led invasion in 2003, have already left the country.
There is no such thing as tolerance for minority faiths in a Muslim country.

Supposedly there was some tolerance during the 10th century rule of Spain under the Caliphate of Córdoba. I am skeptical. Islamic law required Christians and Jews to pay a special dhimmi tax. The Spanish Christians eventually kicked the Mohammedans out, and I presume that they had good reason.

There are lots of Christian countries today that tolerate Moslems, but no Moslem countries that tolerate Christians. Even when the USA occupies a Moslem country, we cannot get them to tolerate their native Christians.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Unscientific fingerprint evidence

The NY Times reports:
Researchers have found a way to mathematically calculate the rarity of a fingerprint.

Although fingerprints are unique to every individual, crime scene prints are usually incomplete patterns taken off doorknobs or glass. ...

Today, forensic scientists make this call without the aid of technology.

“They might find hundreds of prints at a crime scene, and right now the analysis is done intuitively by human examiners,” Dr. Srihari said. “But we can calculate that.”
This is news? FBI criminologists have been giving bogus fingerprint testimony for decades. The Federal Rules of Evidence say:
Rule 702. Testimony by Experts

If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
If the "forensic scientists" are making their calls without technology, then they are not scientists, and they are not following FRE 702. Their testimony should be inadmissible.

Making mathematical calculations to assess the reliability of fingerprint evidence is not difficult. Other countries do it. It is a scandal that American prosecutors do not. Jurors should be trained to reject any evidence from witnesses who refuse to give any measure of its reliability.

Here is a typical court justification
of sloppy fingerprint evidence:
In Baines , the defendant-appellant challenged a fingerprint analyst's expert methodology. The district court held the expert opinion testimony of fingerprint analysis relevant and reliable, noting that the subjectivity of the analysis goes to the "weight of the evidence, not its admissibility," and that the weight of the evidencecould be attacked during trial. After conducting a Daubert review of the record, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the admissibility of the expert witness based on his technical knowledge. The court emphasized that an independent scientific method to verify fingerprint analysis would be "all to the good. But to postpone present in-court utilization of this 'bedrock forensic identifier' pending such research would be to make the best the enemy of the good."
This is ridiculous. The research is available. The prosecution just prefers to avoid it, if they can get away with it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Discriminating against animals

A Democrat politician complains about health regulations that discriminate between people and animals. The NY Times reports:
In October, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, complained to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that its policy on human thyroid patients was creating dilemmas for patients, some of whom are sent home immediately after radiation treatment to households with children or pregnant women.

Now, Mr. Markey is pointing out that the rules are much stricter for house pets, even though they usually get radiation doses 90 percent to 98 percent smaller than the ones given to humans. On Thursday, he plans to ask the commission to revisit the regulations. ...

“With our veterinary patients, I can’t control where they salivate, urinate or defecate,” said Dr. Debra Gibbons, the chief of the nuclear medicine service at Colorado State University’s veterinary teaching hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.

“I can tell you to go to the bathroom,” she added. And humans can be told not to sleep in the same bed with another person, or not to cuddle people who might be vulnerable, including children or pregnant women.

“Animals, especially cats, do not follow directions well,” Mr. McIntyre said.
We should not need a veterinary professor to justify distinguishing between people and animals.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Swedish sluts accuse Assange

Sweden has a reputation for being a feminist heaven, and for having the sluttiest women in Europe. All a man has to do is to visit a bar, buy a woman a drink, tell her what she wants to hear, and she will go to bed with him. Especially in the winter, when it is too cold to do anything else. Now we are learning about the dark side to this culture.

The NY Times reports:
Now Mr. Assange, an Australian who is currently in Britain, faces an extradition request from Swedish prosecutors who want to question him on whether separate sexual encounters he had with each of the women became nonconsensual after he was no longer using a condom. Mr. Assange has denied all wrongdoing. ...

But Swedish women, backed by a strong consciousness of women’s rights and a history of a very public discussion of the scourge of sexual violence, may be more willing than most to look to the law for help.

The number of reported rapes in Sweden is by far the highest in the European Union, according to the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, which cites 53 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. Britain has the next highest rate, at 24 per 100,000.

Stefan Lisinski, a veteran crime reporter for the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, said he spent between a third to half of his time writing about sexual crimes. Last month a senior police chief was convicted of rape in a high-profile appeals case.
You can read more in How two one-night stands sparked a worldwide hunt for Julian Assange and Interpol puts Assange on most-wanted list.

Or better yet, read the Roissy description. He details the absurdity of the charges, and says:
Sweden leads the way in this fembot festival of absurdity, but the other Western (white) nations are not far behind. China will catapult to superpower status this century, not least because they have their heads on straight and see modern feminism for the productivity and innovation sapping insanity it is.
It will be interesting to see whether any American feminists disavow this nonsense.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Rejecting multicultural liberalism

Razib Khan usually posts about genomics, but now he explains why he does not call himself a liberal:
I believe that Islam-critics, from the unhinged neocon Right to the ultra-secularist New Atheist fringe are correct in many of their critiques of the nature of the Muslim subcultures of the West, and the barbarism of Islamic culture more generally. The word “barbaric” makes many people wince, and it’s not really acceptable in “polite” company (the company which I generally keep), but I don’t have a good word handy. I don’t believe that we should invade Saudi Arabia so that women can drive and not need to wear the abaya. I find it barbaric, and personally objectionable, but it does not rise to the level of something like slavery or genocide.

Among many liberals these sorts of assertions are ludicrous on their face. You can’t generalize about a whole religion like that. I think this is hypocrisy, as American Left-liberals regularly generalize about white Protestants (or quasi-Protestants, like Mormons). Not only that, they express snobbish disdain for the genuine kernels of truth which lay the seed for the paranoia on the xenophobic Right. Reality is complex, but when there are truths to be faced which are not congenial to the narrative of White Male Oppressor, the truth becomes very simple and stark.

Generalizations which shed a negative light on White European civilization are acceptable (if debatable) in polite Left-liberal society. For example, it is common to assert that Western civilization in the years before 1000 A.D. was barbarous, boorish, and primitive. This is a fashionable assertion as an inversion of the narrative of superiority which once reigned supreme. Of course, it ignores the real exceptions such as the Carolingian Renaissance, or Ireland before the Vikings. It invariably pretends as if the Byzantines did not exist.
As usual, he has hard data to back up his opinions. His friends are liberals, but they cannot bring themselves to admit that a major religion is dominated by barbaric beliefs.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Muslims supporting al Qaeda

The LA Times reports:
According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of poll respondents in those countries reporting positive views of Islam's influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad. ...

Despite an overall positive view of Islam's growing role in politics, militant religious organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah spurred mixed reactions. Both groups enjoyed fairly strong support in Jordan, home to many Palestinians, and Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based. Muslim countries that do not share strong cultural, historical and political ties to the Palestinian cause, such as Pakistan and Turkey, tended to view Hezbollah and Hamas negatively.

Al Qaeda was rejected by strong majorities in every Muslim country except Nigeria, which gave the group a 49% approval rating.
You can find more detailed data in the Pew report.

None of this will surprise anyone who has studied the Koran or Mohammedan history. It means that if a country is democratic and predominantly Muslim, then it will adopt barbaric practices. They cannot and will not separate religion from politics. And hundreds of millions of them will support terrorist organizations.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Legalizing child porn lowers abuse rates

Child pornography is one of the most harshly punished of American laws. You can serve a long prison sentence without any criminal intent or harm to a victim. Here is another view:
Could making child pornography legal lead to lower rates of child sex abuse? It could well do, according to a new study by Milton Diamond, from the University of Hawaii, and colleagues.

Results from the Czech Republic showed, as seen everywhere else studied (Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sweden, USA), that rape and other sex crimes have not increased following the legalization and wide availability of pornography. And most significantly, the incidence of child sex abuse has fallen considerably since 1989, when child pornography became readily accessible – a phenomenon also seen in Denmark and Japan.
There are other reasons for banning child porn. But the assumption that it reduces child sex abuse appears to be faulty.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

When boys dress like girls

A NY Times columnist writes:
When a 5-year-old Kansas City boy decided he wanted to be Daphne from the Scooby-Doo cartoon series for Halloween, his mom bought him the costume. While the boy’s friends liked the pink velvet dress and orange wig costume, some of the mothers at his school expressed disapproval.
The mom posted a ridiculous picture of the poor kid with the caption my son is gay. The mom seems to subscribe to a gay gene theory.
But on the same CNN program, a clinical psychologist, Dr. Jeff Gardere, accused the mom of “outing” her son by posting the photo on the Internet. “With all due respect, whether your child is gay or straight, I think you kind of outed him by putting him in the blog,” Dr. Gardere said.

The mother responded that her son has not been “outed,” because nobody knows the child’s sexual orientation. “First of all, he’s 5 years old,” she said on the program. “He’s made no sexual conscious choice — which I don’t believe it is (a choice) — but he’s made no overtures either way at the age of 5. I feel that people are reading into it in a negative way.”
As far as I know, there is no proof that a sexual orientation is determined by age 5. Nearly all human behaviors are known to be a complex combination of nature and nuture. The mom has been brainwashed into some nonsense opinions. Her views are the logical consequences of silly propaganda from psychologists and others. She argues that the girly costume was the boy's choice, that the boy has made no choice, and that no choice is possible. So why all the arguments about choice?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Psychologists keep reversing themselves

Psychology Today article
quotes a 1966 Time magazine article:
The once widespread view that homosexuality is caused by heredity, or by some derangement of hormones, has been generally discarded. The consensus is that it is caused psychically, through a disabling fear of the opposite sex. The origins of this fear lie in the homosexual’s parents. The mother – either domineering and contemptuous of the father, or feeling rejected by him – makes her son a substitute for her husband, with a close-binding, overprotective relationship. Thus, she unconsciously demasculinizes him. If at the same time the father is weakly submissive to his wife or aloof and unconsciously competitive with his son, he reinforces the process. To attain normal sexual development, according to current psychoanalytic theory, a boy should be able to identify with his father’s masculine role.
Psychology Today then says:
Today, in 2010, we know, through a large number of careful behavior genetic studies of twins, many of which have been conducted by Mike Bailey himself, in collaboration with his colleagues and students, that male homosexuality is almost entirely caused by a combination of genes and prenatal hormones. The so-called “gay genes,” which are yet to be sequenced but are probably located in the region Xq28 on the X chromosome, are one factor that strongly influences male sexual orientation. The other is the level of androgen to which the male fetus is exposed inside his mother’s womb. The greater the prenatal androgen exposure, the more likely the fetus is to become homosexual, which is why the number of older brothers is a significant predictor of male sexual orientation. The more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be homosexual. The current scientific consensus in 2010 is that, between the genes and prenatal androgen exposure, by the time he is born, a boy is either gay or straight, nothing in between, in his sexual orientation. 
The author goes on to say that this proves that science is not cumulative, and that we may go back to believing in the Flat Earth.

No, real science does not flip-flop with the politics of the day like this. Only sloppy soft sciences like psychology do that. There is no genetic or hormonal explanation for sexual orientation, as described here. You should be suspicious when you read of "gay genes which are yet to be sequenced". All the genes have been sequenced as part of the human genome project. These sex theories keep getting reversed because they have no solid science behind them.

The idea that anyone went back to believing in a flat Earth is just a myth promoted by evolutionists to make fun of Christians. The myth is not true.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Blaming kids for their parents

College athletic teams are able to limit their payments to athletes by making NCAA agreements to require all college to adhere to the same limits.

The LA Times reports:
“In the Reggie Bush case, when the parent [did] something inappropriate the kid and the school suffered,” Haden said. ...

“I was always told the parent is the child,” Haden said. “That’s what we’ve been telling our kids. If the parent does something inappropriate the child suffers the consequences.” ...

Haden questioned the premise that student-athletes should be held liable for their parents’ actions.

"Our kids are 18, 19, 20 years old,” he said. “Are they really responsible for their parents’ behavior?”
It is a little strange to punish Bush's college for something his father did five years ago, and when that father's action was just "inappropriate" and not illegal or contrary to contract.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Psychologists redefine craziness

The NY Times reports:
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (due out in 2013, and known as DSM-5) has eliminated five of the 10 personality disorders that are listed in the current edition.

Narcissistic personality disorder is the most well-known of the five, and its absence has caused the most stir in professional circles.
Meanwhile, there is A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder.