Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vatican Gives Darwin a Big Birthday Hug, Leaving Creationists on the Fringes | 80beats | Discover Magazine

Some religious leaders may take issue with Charles Darwin and what he represents, but the Vatican has announced that it is officially on board with evolution. A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. “In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi [Times Online]. Both St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas recognized that life changes slowly over time, Ravasi said, and that was a step towards comprehending evolution.

The Vatican’s effort to show that science is not incompatible with religion will culminate in a conference on evolution next month, organized to mark the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s landmark publication, On the Origin of Species. The Vatican has backed away slightly from its original proposal to completely ban discussion of intelligent design at the event, which organizers called “poor theology and poor science”. [Instead,] Intelligent Design would be discussed at the fringes of the conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University, but merely as a “cultural phenomenon”, rather than a scientific or theological issue, organisers said [Times Online]. ...Vatican Gives Darwin a Big Birthday Hug, Leaving Creationists on the Fringes | 80beats | Discover Magazine

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Truth About Your Food

...What's Really In …
210 calories
2 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
410 mg sodium

Okay, so you're probably not in the habit of ordering a la carte bread loaves at Subway, but there’s a good chance you've eaten at least a few sandwiches built on this bread. The good news is that Subway actually delivers on the nine-grain promise. The bad news: Eight of those nine grains appear in miniscule amounts. If you look at a Subway ingredient statement, you'll find every grain except wheat listed at the bottom of the list, just beneath the qualifier "contains 2% or less." In fact, the primary ingredient in this bread is plain old white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup plays a more prominent role than any single whole grain. Essentially this is a white-wheat hybrid with trace amounts of other whole grains like oats, barley, and rye.

So outside of the nine grains, how many ingredients does Subway use to keep this bread together? Sixteen, including such far-from-simple ingredients as DATEM, sodium steroyl lactylate, calcium sulfate, and azodiacarbonamide. But here's one that's a little unnerving: ammonium sulfate. This compound is loaded with nitrogen, which is why it's most common use is as fertilizer. You might have used it to nourish your plants at home. And Subway does the same thing; the ammonium sulfate nourishes the yeast and helps the bread turn brown. What, did you think that dark hue was the result of whole grains? Hardly. It's a combination of the ammonium sulfate and the caramel coloring. Seems like Jarod might frown on that sort of subterfuge.....The Truth About Your Food

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jesus cremated

MONROE — Charred remnants remained this morning, June 15, of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night. ...



I'm in constant amazement that anyone could actually believe these sorts of statues are approved by an omniscient God who gives a damn about statues.  How do people justify the obvious inconsistency of their beliefs, I wonder?

And more importantly, why?  Reality is so much cooler.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cancer death puts homeopathy in dock | The Australian

A homeopath told a patient with rectal cancer to avoid mainstream medicine because alternative treatment alone could cure her, an inquest was told.

Perth's Penelope Dingle, the wife of prominent Perth environmental and nutritional toxicologist Peter Dingle, agreed to be treated with alternative therapies and refused to have surgery to remove the cancer soon after she was diagnosed in 2003.

Instead, she adhered to a strict diet and regular homeopath treatments before becoming so unwell she had to have emergency surgery to remove a bowel obstruction.

By this stage, the cancer had spread and two years later, in 2005, Dingle died from complications of the cancer.

Giving evidence at Dingle's inquest yesterday before West Australian Coroner Alastair Hope, her sister Toni Brown said seeing Dingle in 2003 was like watching "somebody being tortured"....

Cancer death puts homeopathy in dock | The Australian

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stop senseless killing for jewelry

Coral jewelry is made by sawing off a piece of an endangered animal's body.

I may start a petition to stop this unethical greedfest.

In the meantime, check this out:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why would Elton John sing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding? -

( -- Elton John may have seemed like the last person expected to perform at Rush Limbaugh's wedding over the weekend.

Limbaugh, 59, has made a number of colorful remarks about gays that have sparked outrage -- and kept his conservative credentials intact....Why would Elton John sing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding? -