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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
September 30, 2012

Subconscious religious prejudice in children

We know that religious affiliation is one among many markers of group identity. But if you ask typical adults, they will insist that they are not prejudiced against members of other faiths. However, if you measure their subconscious reactions, you can reveal hidden biases. In other words, adults know they are not supposed to be prejudiced, but deep down they often are.

But what about children? Larisa Heiphetz and colleagues, at Harvard University, ran a series of studies to find out.

The basic gist of these was that they showed the kids pictures and pictures of two children – one Christian, and one either Jewish or Hindu. The children were matched (same race etc), but the stories about them were tweaked either to emphasise differences or similarities). Then they asked the kids their opinions of the two test children. They also ran something called the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which is a test designed to uncover subconscious prejudice.


So prejudice against other faiths is so deeply ingrained that it can have an effect even when these kids can’t consciously identify any important differences between children of different faiths!


That would certainly explain a lot.
September 27, 2012

Evolution: Scientists Grow 56,000 Generations in Lab to Watch

Wouldn't it be great if scientists could climb into a time machine and travel back in history to observe thousands of generations of a single living creature to see how it evolved over many years?

It turns out they've done just that, and they returned with evidence that the evolution of life is far more complex than many had thought. Instead of a single mutation that gave the creature an advantage over its peers, it took several mutations, in a very precise order, for the creature to be able to digest something it could not have eaten before.

The result? The "creature," in this case, is Escherichia coli, a common bacteria found in the guts of most mammals, and its population exploded because of its new diet.


So over the last 24 years, Lenski and his colleagues have studied the bacteria through more than 56,000 generations. Samples are taken and frozen periodically, providing a fossil record all the way back to when Lenski started out with a single ancestor.

"Freezing doesn't kill bacteria, like it does humans or zebras," Blount said. "We can thaw them out and put them in a growth medium and grow the bacteria up again."

That provides a record of evolutionary changes back to the beginning of the experiment, and a few years ago, Lenski's team discovered something odd.


On edit: the above link may not work so try this---> http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112697558/evolution-e-coli-genome-analysis-092012/

September 27, 2012

Oklahoma Republican lawmaker says it's time to get rid of state blasphemy law

In Oklahoma, if you speak against God or religion, you can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor. The state's blasphemy law was enacted in 1909 and a Republican lawmaker says it is time to rescind it.

State Rep. Randy Grau told KWTX Channel 10 news, "It says you can't disparage or insult God or Christ or the Holy Spirit or the Christian or any other religion." Referring to recent demonstrations in Muslim countries, he added, "And what we're seeing is people saying, I'm going to react violently if you say something that I don't like about my religion, about whatever it is. That's exactly the type of chilling effect that the United States of America has fought against, what we've been hearing recently, for this call to really crack down on freedom of speech." He told the news station that the blasphemy law was probably well-intentioned when it was enacted in the early 1900s (see video embedded below).

In 2009, GodDiscussion reported on the various state blasphemy laws in the United States. Oklahoma's blasphemy laws include:

§21 901. Blasphemy defined.
Blasphemy consists in wantonly uttering or publishing words, casting contumelious reproach or profane ridicule upon God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Scriptures or the Christian or any other religion.

§21 902. Serious discussion not blasphemy.
If it appears beyond reasonable doubt that the words complained of were used in the course of serious discussion, and with intent to make known or recommend opinions entertained by the accused, such words are not blasphemy.

§21 903. Blasphemy a misdemeanor.
Blasphemy is a misdemeanor.

"Well, it will keep people positive," a woman told News Channel 10 when asked what she thought about blasphemy being a misdemeanor in the state. When asked his views, a man opined, "I think you have some point about freedom of speech there, but then again if it incites riots, then that's another thing."

September 27, 2012

Atheist Group Asks You To Worship JesusMuhammadShivaClaus

Every year at the University of Minnesota, student groups are invited to “Paint the Bridge,” a tradition in which the groups paint panels on the side of a bridge with their logo, meeting info, etc.

This year, the Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists (CASH) went with something potentially controversial:

They argue there’s nothing wrong with this (and I agree):

We created this artwork to raise questions about the legitimacy of religious viewpoints. We wanted to do it in a fun, lighthearted way that would cause people to take a second look at the number of religions out there and the extremely low chance of any particular religion being the correct one. We expect our mural will attract like-minded people who recognise the advantages of rising above religious superstition in order to achieve humanistic goals.

The mural comes on the heels of the group’s celebration of Everybody Draw Muhammad Day, which they’re participating in later tonight.


So, does anyone find this offensive? Why?
September 27, 2012

Catholic voting guide indicates that it is a sin to vote for President Obama

A video outlining the "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" indicates that Catholics will be guilty of "serious sin" if they endorse or vote for political candidates who do not support five non-negotiable moral principles on abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning and same sex marriage. The video, which was posted on the Rosary Films YouTube channel, is based on a printed voter's guide created by Catholic Answers, self-described as "one of the nation’s largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization."

Rosary Films, in describing the video (which is posted and transcribed below), declares that "Barack Obama is at odds with every one of them {referring to the five non-negotiable principles}. Barack Obama is at odds with these key elements of The Roman Catholic Faith. No faithful Catholic in good conscience can vote or support this presidential candidate. The teachings of the Magisterium show why it would be gravely sinful to vote for him."

Here is a transcript of the video (the video is embedded at the end of the transcript):

This video version of the "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" is intended to help you cast your vote in an informed manner consistent with Catholic moral teaching.

On most issues that come before voters or legislators, a Catholic can take one side or the other and not act contrary to the faith. But some issues, particularly those concerning non-negotiable moral principles, are so key and fundamental that no one endorsing the wrong side of these issues would be acting consistent with the Church's moral norms. This video addresses your role as a Catholic voter, identifies five issues involving non-negotiable moral values in current politics, and offers practical advice on how to identify acceptable candidates for national, state and local offices.

First, let's discuss your role as a Catholic voter.


September 27, 2012

Archbishop Publishes Fear-Mongering Policy Comparing Gay Marriage To Incest

John Myers, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, has written a 16-page fear-mongering letter, called a “pastoral statement,” that compares gay marriage to incest, and suggests to his one million followers that marriage equality could lead to laws outlawing religious free speech or even imprisoning priests for preaching “God’s natural laws.” Myers also quotes the discredited anti-gay parenting “study” by Mark Regnerus as so-called proof “that the best possible environment for the healthy development of children is the presence and participation of the two biological parents in an intact family.”

“Newark Archbishop John J. Myers said the statement on gay marriage was not timed to coincide with the November election, now little more than a month away, and that he was not calling on Catholics to vote for a particular candidate,” The Record/North Jersey.com reports. “But he said they should examine the ‘full spectrum’ of each candidate, including how they stand on abortion and ‘a proper backing of marriage’.”

Most Churches are subject to IRS regulations prohibiting them from endorsing or otherwise supporting — or opposing any political candidate, or risk their tax-exempt status, a benefit that costs the American taxpayers $71 billion annually.

“Myers said he had been thinking about issuing a statement on the subject for about a year,” The Record continues. “He acknowledged that portions would be considered controversial and said he expected a ‘heated discussion’ about the statement, which will be published online today. Parishioners in churches across the archdiocese, which covers Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union counties, will be handed letters at church this weekend telling them about the statement and directing them to where it can be read.”


Letter can be found here ---> http://www.scribd.com/doc/106921683/Archbishop-John-Myers-Anti-Gay-Marriage-Letter
September 27, 2012

Catholic Bishop: Vote For A Democrat And You’ll Probably Go To Hell

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki says that any Catholic who votes for a Democrat very well may go to Hell, because a vote for any member of a party that supports sin makes the voter “morally complicit.” Paprocki names the Log Cabin Republicans and ”pro-choice” (scare quotes his) Republicans as “equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts.”

Never mind the fact that the Bishop very well may be in violation of IRS regulations and exposing his church to losing its tax-exempt status, the mind-boggling idea that voting for a Democrat will make you go to Hell should cause grave concern for the one who uses their office — namely, Bishop Paprocki — to preach hate in a threatening manner.

Yesterday, Roman Catholic Archbishop John Myers published a 16-page fear-mongering letter comparing gay marriage to incest and warned marriage equality will lead to laws imprisoning priests. And on Sunday, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago told 400 couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries that the marriages of same-sex couples are merely “friendships.



Come on Catholics, why do you continue to support the very institution that is working against your (and all of our) interests? Help me understand. Please.
September 21, 2012

Dad used Bible to justify sex with daughter

Pretoria - An Mpumalanga father has been sentenced to life in prison without the option of parole for raping his daughter from the age of 13 and conceiving three children with her.

Andries Sibiya even went so far as to pay his wife lobola to be able to live with his daughter as his wife, reported Beeld.

He used the Bible and selected pieces of the Old Testament to justify his actions and to intimidate his daughter and wife into submission, said the regional magistrate in sentencing.

Sibiya was known as the wheelchair rapist as he insisted on appearing in court in a wheelchair, even though he was able to walk.

Sibiya was described by the court as a domineering person who manipulated his family and instilled fear in them and over a period of 9 years had sex with his daughter two to three times a week.

He was found guilty on 9 charges of rape but could have been found guilty of hundreds of charges of rapes, said the magistrate.


Well, it IS in the bible, the infallible word of god...
September 20, 2012

Hitler, Stalin, Mao...

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