#GayMarriage and the Dysfunctions of Modernity (Answering the Stupid Question: How will gays marrying affect your marriage?)

April 1, 2013
(Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan thought she scored some points when she demanded that the lawyer defending California’s Proposition 8 tell her the exact “harm” gay marriage would cause.) Of course, the point is that we don’t know how such a social experiment will turn out, or what specific “harm” will follow, no more than we know the benefits.Why would same-sex marriage, virtually unknown among human societies, be a “human right,” but polygamy, extensively documented in history and prevalent today all over the world, wouldn’t? Even the ancient Greek celebrator of homoerotic attraction, Plato, called sex between males “against nature.” No more scientifically based are the alleged “studies” that purport to show that children reared by gay couples suffer no adverse effects. As Nelson Lund writes in the Wall Street Journal, professional organizations like the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics claim that scientific research shows no differences between children growing up with gay couples and those raised by heterosexual parents, a claim parroted recently on NPR. But these studies are riddled with compromising flaws such as tiny nonrandom samples, a lack of control groups, and reliance on self-report from gay parents, no more an objective source of information than straight parents’ estimations of their parenting skills. Moreover, the most comprehensive study that did use a large randomized sample found several disadvantages for children raised in a household where parents were involved in a gay relationship. But as Lund reports, this study “has been vociferously attacked on methodological grounds by the same organizations that tout the value of politically congenial research that suffers from more severe methodological shortcomings.”(MORE)
Mothers Abuse Children 3 Times more than Dads – Federal HHS Statistics
(Answering the Stupid Question: how will gays marrying affect your marriage?)Nearly 40% of all births are to unmarried women. The rate in the Hispanic and Black communities is twice that. According to the CDC In 2007, 93% of births to 15–17 year-olds and 82% of births to 18–19 year-olds were nonmarital. Re-defining marriage by polygamy could absorb large numbers of unmarried single mothers. As men marry multiple times, providing male role models to millions of boys lacking that today.

Proof Of “God Particle” Found

July 2, 2012

thehiggsfoundProof Of “God Particle” Found? Science is way too ambitious to be practical. we already have bombs. Exploring this is like the Nazis in Raiders opening up the Ark of the Covenant. They have no idea what they are unleashing. (h/t Pat Dollard)

Associated Press, GENEVA: Scientists working at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have gathered enough evidence to show that the long-sought “God particle” answering fundamental questions about the universe almost certainly does exist.
But after decades of work and billions of dollars spent, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say they aren’t quite ready to say they’ve “discovered” the particle.
Instead, experts familiar with the research at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border say that the massive data they have obtained will essentially show the footprint of the key particle known as the Higgs boson — all but proving it exists — but doesn’t allow them to say it has actually been glimpsed.
It appears to be a fine distinction. Senior CERN scientists say that the two independent teams of physicists who plan to present their work at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border on July 4 are about as close as you can get to a discovery without actually calling it one.
“I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, `It looks like a discovery,”‘ British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King’s College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s, told The Associated Press. “We’ve discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs.”
CERN’s atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to help them understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and ultimately the creation of the universe billions of years ago, which many theorize occurred as a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.
For particle physicists, finding the Higgs boson is a key to confirming the standard model of physics that explains what gives mass to matter and, by extension, how the universe was formed.
Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, says “particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery” and thinks it is a hair’s breadth away.
Rosen compared the results scientists are preparing to announce Wednesday to finding the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: “You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don’t actually see it.”


Melanie Phillips – The World Turned Upside Down

June 26, 2011
I found a manifesto! wow… she says everything. the thing that none of us could pack in the same way. people listen to this and they change their mind. really amazing. she makes complete sense. h/t @BenAlexanderBen

Scientists develop technique to knock out superbugs

October 6, 2010

By Abigail Klein Leichman
It’s the fight of the century: in one corner, the bacteria known as “superbugs,” and in the other corner the antibacterial drugs known as antibiotics. In bout after bout, newer and stronger superbugs are besting the antibiotics. And that alarms public health officials across the world, because drug-resistant bacteria cause infections – especially in already ill hospital patients — that are fatal 30 to 60 percent of the time.“Trying to keep pace with these ‘superbugs’ means always pulling out a new rabbit from the hat and using it for the next few years till there is another explosion of strains capable of overcoming it,” says Dr. Micha Fridman of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Chemistry. “This is a constant battle that I believe is never going to end.”
While scientists in Europe and North America continue the spiral of producing more powerful antibiotics to fight ever more powerful bacteria, Fridman and his University of Michigan research partner approached the problem from a different angle – one that uses the superbug’s own mechanics to develop antibiotics capable of delivering a decisive knockout punch.
Instead of looking for yet another “rabbit,” Fridman and Prof. Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova and their research teams studied exactly how bacteria resist antibiotics. One method involves a protein or enzyme “machine” inside them that modifies the drugs.
Fridman explains this phenomenon to ISRAEL21C with the analogy of a key and keyhole. “There’s a keyhole in the door, and the door doesn’t want you to open it, so it somehow changes the keyhole and then you cannot push in the key,” he says.
As soon as a superbug’s “machine” recognizes the antibacterial “key,” it confounds the drug with a deactivating molecule. This additional molecule renders the antibiotic unable to reach its target.
The scientists described in the current issue of the journal ChemBioChem how they isolated the “machines” from superbugs. Then they chemically induced them to add a molecule that strengthens, rather than weakens, the antibiotic. Once an activating molecule is added, the superbug’s machine is incapable of adding a deactivating one.
In other words, Fridman and Garneau-Tsodikova found a way to beat the bacteria at its own game. Their lab-induced chemical alteration increases the antibacterial drug’s ability to fight bacteria and – most importantly — locks out the deactivating molecule that is the secret of the superbug’s winning strategy.
Dr. Micha Fridman and his research team
Dr. Micha Fridman and his research team at the eighth meeting of the Section of Medicinal Chemistry of the Israel Chemical Society.
“Any sort of bacteria that uses this specific machine would not be able to deactivate antibiotics anymore,” Fridman tells ISRAEL21c.
Potential antibiotics enhanced by the duo’s discovery are a few years away from the market, since the full process of testing and government approvals is long and tedious – and only then can pharmaceutical companies begin mass-producing the drugs. But it is generating considerable interest, because the ability to beat bacterial resistance has become one of the holy grails in health care.
Other scientists are working on it, too. A three-year consortium of 14 European institutes was established in February 2009 to study the biology of drug-resistant bacteria and design novel strategies to kill them. And it was recently reported that a UK scientist has isolated a toxin from cockroaches that may hold promise in the superbug war.
In the meantime, hospitals worldwide are focusing more on prevention than treatment as existing antibiotics constantly lose effectiveness. Resistant bacteria have been reported by hospitals in at least 35 states of the United States, and cause deaths worldwide. In August, an outbreak at University College London Hospital killed one premature baby and sickened 12 others. Ironically, one of the most recent superbug battles took place right in Tel Aviv, where a hospital outbreak was traced to a patient visiting from New Jersey.
Tel Aviv is also where Fridman’s approach will soon be put to the test against many different problematic bacterial strains, at Ichilov Hospital-Sourasky Medical Center. This kind of study is tricky to carry out, said Fridman, because special equipment and procedures must be in place to safely deal with these dangerous superbugs.
The family of antibiotics his team chose to engineer is the one used commonly to treat respiratory infections in people with cystic fibrosis. “We do hope that some of the advances based on our methodologies can cope with this because it can be very lethal,” says Fridman.
He and Garneau-Tsodikova, who met at Harvard Medical School during their post-doctoral studies, financed their research with a two-year grant from BIRD, the Israel-US Binational Science Foundation and have applied for renewal.
“She sends students to me, I send students to her, and we are in touch through email and three times a week on Skype. We always write to each other about every single finding we have,” he says. They also visit periodically; Garneau-Tsodikova is due for a visit to Israel in January..

Information and Form

August 14, 2010

Signified is the form. Signifier is the Symbol and Concept that contains information. when layered the original form and concept become mythology.

if data can be lost and the meaning changed by layering the form and concept then we know that the object is not merely data. even the original signifier may be false.

How much do you want to bet that this will not stop the Chazar claim of Arabs? Genetic study sheds light on Jewish diaspora

June 13, 2010

The researchers analysed genetic samples from 14 Jewish communities across the world and compared them with those from 69 non-Jewish populations.
Their study, published in Nature, revealed that most Jewish populations were “genetically closer” to each other than to their non-Jewish neighbours.
It also revealed genetic ties between globally dispersed Jews and non-Jewish populations in the Middle East.
This fits with the idea that most contemporary Jews descended from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents in the Middle Eastern region known as the Levant. It provides a trace of the Jewish diaspora.

How much do you want to bet that this will not stop the Chazar claim of Arabs?

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous

The Results Are In: Helen Thomas Was Wrong–Jews Are A People And Israel Is Home

The results of a study by New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University proves–among other things–that Helen Thomas is wrong:

Researchers say the study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, puts to rest age-old questions about whether Jews are a group of unrelated people who share a religious ideology or a distinct ethnicity with common ancestry.

“The debate is over,” said Dr. Edward R. Burns, one of the lead authors of the study. “The Jewish people are one people with a common genetic thread that evolved in the second or third century BC.”

The study, “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era ,”  [available here] compared the genetic analyses of 237 Jews, including Sephardic (Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews — as well as an analysis of 418 non-Jews worldwide, and found that the Jews were more closely related to each other than to their fellow countrymen.

Past studies have reached similar conclusions, but they looked at smaller populations and considered only blood groups, mitochondrial DNA (a type of DNA passed down by mothers) or Y chromosomes (passed down by fathers).

For this inquiry, researchers conducted a genome-wide analysis of the major groups of the Jewish Diaspora — Ashkenazi Jews; Italian, Greek and Turkish Sephardic Jews; and Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian Jews.

The study — and a second genetic study published Friday in the journal Nature [available here] — scientifically undermines arguments made by those who challenge Jews’ historical relationship to Israel, such as former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who resigned last week after saying Jews in Israel should “go home” to Germany, Poland and the United States.

Turns out, the Jews in Israel are already there.

More on that second study–

“It seems that most Jewish populations, and therefore most Jewish individuals, are closer to each other [at the genetic level], and closer to the Middle Eastern populations, than to their traditional host population in the Diaspora,” Israeli geneticist Doron Behar, author of the Nature study, told the BBC.

Behar’s study examined the genes of people from 14 Jewish communities and compared them to 69 non-Jewish communities, finding — as the American Journal of Human Genetics did — a common ancestral Middle Eastern link among all Jews.

One key difference in Behar’s study is that it also included Ethiopian and Indian Jews; he found that those communities were genetically closer to their non-Jewish neighbors than the other Diaspora groups were to theirs. This may be due to a higher degree of genetic, religious and cultural crossover when the Jewish communities in these areas became established.

Both studies also find that Jews have a strong genetic link to modern Palestinians, Druze and Bedouins, following another traditional understanding of both the Jewish and non-Jewish populations of the region. (Israeli Jews and Palestinians sometimes refer to each other as “cousin,” a term used to recognize the common Biblical understanding that both groups descended from Abraham.)

In addition to the claim that Jews are merely a religion and nothing more, there is another claim that is also debunked by the findings of the study:

DNA analysis in both studies shows that European Jews are related to Middle Eastern Jews and non-Jewish Middle Eastern people, a finding that also repudiates claims by some that Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of Slavs or Khazars, a north Caucasus group, who converted to Judaism in the ninth century.

“It de-legitimizes the attempts to suggest that there is an alternate origin to Judaism,” said Paul Root Wolpe, professor of bioethics at Emory University in Atlanta, who was not part of the study. Despite “all of the attempts to try to rewrite the Jewish people’s understanding of their own history, over and over again genetic studies show that there is more truth to the tale.”

Wolpe notes that Jewry had a similar reaction in 1997, when a Y chromosome study revealed a strong genetic marker that seemed to support the Biblical account of a priestly family, the Cohanim, descended from Moses’ brother Aaron.

It’s not as if anti-Semites have any lack of claims to make against both Jews and against Israel–nor will 2 scientific studies prevent the same old claims from being made–but now it is clear that those kinds of claims and the people who make them are not to be taken seriously.

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Posted by Noah Simon