August 2009


From News-Leader.com:

Sedalia — T-shirts promoting the Smith-Cotton High School band’s fall program have been recalled because of concerns about the shirt’s evolution theme.

Assistant superintendent Brad Pollitt said parents complained to him after the band marched in the Missouri State Fair parade. Though the shirts don’t violate the school’s dress code, Pollitt noted that the district is required by law to remain neutral on religion.

From examiner.com:

So states a report out yesterday from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life. According to the article, “when asked what they would do if scientists were to disprove a particular religious belief, nearly two-thirds (64%) of people say they would continue to hold to what their religion teaches rather than accept the contrary scientific finding”.

But stating that science and faith are in conflict only “traditionally” is to ignore the very material in the survey.

Science, and by extension reason and logic, is about being wrong and admitting it. To think scientifically, you must be willing to let go of your cherished beliefs, no matter how emotionally appealing, when they turn out to be wrong.

This is where science and religion have problems. This is where they clash. It isn’t a difference in belief of some unknowable philosophical premise. It’s how people choose to look at the world. 64% of the country is unwilling to think scientifically, and that is a travesty.

From Cracked.com:

Psychology is one of those subjects that everybody likes to think they know something about. We love to go around diagnosing our friends and co-workers, both to make sense of the world and to make ourselves feel like we’re smarter than they are.

But like any science that makes its way into the pop culture, a lot of the “common sense” statements we hear every day are so wrong that they border on raving idiocy. Such as…

From Time:

After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency. Since the Burkes were young, scandal-free and solvent, they had no trouble with the New Jersey Bureau of Children’s Services—until investigators came to the line on the application that asked for the couple’s religious affiliation.

From Roger Ebert’s Journal:

Having read through some 600 comments about universal health care, I now realize I took the wrong approach in my previous blog entry. I discussed the Obama health plan in political, literal, logical terms. Most of my readers replied in the same vein. The comments, as always, have been helpful, informative and for the most part civil. My mistake was writing from the pragmatic side. I should have followed my heart and gone with a more emotional approach. I believe universal health care is, quite simply, right.

It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn’t deserve it. A nation is a mutual undertaking. In a democracy, we set out together to do what we believe is good for the commonwealth. That means voluntarily subjecting ourselves to the rule of law, taxation, military service, the guaranteeing of rights to minorities, and so on. That is a cheap price to pay.

From the St. Pete Times:

Could it be divine intervention that’s kept Florida safe from hurricanes since Gov. Charlie Crist took office?

Crist told a group of real estate agents Friday that he’s had prayer notes placed in the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year and no major storms have hit Florida.

Crist noted that just before his election in 2006, Florida had been affected by a total of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

If you want detailed info on Betsy McCaughey and more, go here.

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From physorg.com:

(PhysOrg.com) — In a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry, sociologists from four major research institutions focus on one of the most curious aspects of the 2004 presidential election: the strength and resilience of the belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

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