Archive for October, 2009

Forensic Financial Detective Work

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

‘Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known.’    Terry Pratchett, from his novel Thud! (the context being that of investigation into monetary fraud).

Gay albatrosses for the Farmer Woman

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I originally posted this article just before the servers went down under the title Dissecting a dismally deceitful generic cialis article : A review of ‘Why the Animal world says it’s good to be gay’ by Jo Steele, Metro Newspaper 17-06-09.  I promised a work colleague that I’d put it up here and mention her – so here you go Rachel.  I shall be running away very fast after you read this, as promised……

Why the animal world says it’s good to be gay
This is the title of an article that appeared in the Metro free paper on Wednesday 17 June 2009. Firstly, the title makes the assumption that if the animal world does it, then it’s natural and morally right for humans to do it. This correctly and openly encapsulates the main thrust of the article, but it is an interpretation, not the natural logical outcome that the title implies. Admittedly, a headline is not the place to bring in nuance, so let’s turn to the body of the article.
Homosexuality is apparently nearly universal in the animal kingdom.
This cannot mean that nearly every individual animal is homosexual, but it must mean that things that are deemed homosexual behaviour are observed in most species. However, the article only gives a few examples, so it’s difficult to say whether the opening statement is justified or not. However, the spin of the article is clearly displayed here.
And it is a necessary biological adaptation for the survival of the species, scientists say, by aiding alternative reproductive tactics or co-operative breeding strategies.
Straightaway we have the evolutionary buzz-words – adaptation, survival of the species, as well as the mantra of ‘alternative’, echoing the ‘alternative lifestyle’ rhetoric of gay activism. However, look closely and you can see that ‘alternative reproductive tactics or co-operative breeding strategies’ is not the same thing as homosexual behaviour, as we will see later on. There would be no reproduction if these animals were truly acting homosexual.
‘Same-sex behaviours – courtship, mounting or parenting – are traits that may have been shaped by natural selection – evolution that occurs over generations,’ said evolutionary biologist Dr Nathan Bailey. ‘It radically changes social circumstances by removing some individuals from the pool available for mating’.
The article seems to imply that being gay – having a preference for same-sex partners and having homosexual sex – is being displayed here, but that is highly disputable as we shall see. One thing that we should note at this point, however is that the classic bait-and-switch is used here, with natural selection being defined as ‘evolution that occurs over generations’. This natural selection is said to radically change social circumstances by removing some individuals from the pool available for mating. The example given is as follows :
In albatrosses, for example, the behaviour started due to an imbalance in the male-female ratio, his research shows. Females would mate with a male, then pair up with another female and share maternal duties. On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, a third of the now replenished Laysan albatross population is now raised by pairs of two monogamous females, he added.
Now I can’t say for sure, not having looked at the research in question, but I have a strong suspicion that the research that shows how the behaviour started because of an imbalance in the male-female ratio was really just making assumptions – plausible and possibly correct ones quite likely, but assumptions nevertheless. But let’s look at this. Is this really same-sex behaviour equivalent to homosexual pairings in humans? Let’s see – there are too many females to males, so the females will mate with males (not females) and then the two females will share the raising of the chicks. How is that homosexuality? A better analogy would be single mums in a flat, or sisters or other female family members sharing responsibility for the children where men are not around or have abdicated responsibility, so that they could better protect and look after their children. Shared home-care a homosexual animal does not make.
Same-sex coupling in animals is ten per cent – the same proportion suggested in humans. But it is not the same across species.
Notice the attempt here to equate the ratio of animal ‘same-sex coupling’ with humans to imply that same-sex coupling is natural. But the following comment is a give-away if it means that the proportion varies. That would mean that ten per cent is only an average. They are clearly trying to equate homosexual sexual activity in humans with these behaviours in animals. But as we have seen, and will go on to see, in many cases these ‘same-sex couplings’ are not actual sexual activities. A female having sex with a male and then sharing parenting with a female is not homosexual sexual activity. On another note, where they say that ten percent homosexual activity is ‘the same proportion suggested in humans, they are using the standard figure used from the research of Kinsey, who used, among other things, prison populations for his studies, and then claimed that the proportions were true for the whole of society. Most studies actually suggest that the figure for people engaging in homosexual activity at any time in their lives is 2 to 5 percent, and in actual fact many of these are more properly described as bi-sexual. So not only does there appear to be a false equation in this sentence of animal same-sex coupling of various kinds with actual human homosexual activity, but it also uses doubly bogus statistics to try and imply that human homosexual behaviour is perfectly natural.
‘Male fruit flies may court other males because they are lacking a gene that enables them to discriminate between sexes’ added Dr Bailey, of California University.’
In other words, homosexual behaviours here are because of genetic mutation that has had a deleterious effect on natural behaviour. Now, if we were to apply this to human homosexual behaviour….. there would be an outcry, with gay activists saying that it is wrong to treat their lifestyle as an illness, and being afraid that someone would try and find a genetic ‘cure’ for their condition. Certainly it’s no basis for claiming that animal behaviour shows that it’s good and natural to be gay. Genetic mutations aren’t good, by any stretch of the imagination.
‘But male bottlenose dolphins engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding’.
Hmmm. So let me see, often times prelude to sexual activity in humans involves embracing or kissing, but hugging and kissing also have other purposes. So when I hug a friend from church (ie facilitating group bonding) am I engaging in same-sex behaviour (and are Middle-Eastern men or people of other cultures engaging in same sex behaviour when they kiss)? Technically yes – we are of the same sex, and engaging in ‘behaviour’, but definitely not engaging in same-sex sexual behaviour in the way that this article is clearly trying to imply.
So let’s review. The title claims that the animal world says it’s good to be gay. But when we look at the examples given, a lack of males leads to heterosexual mating, but same-sex child-rearing to give chicks maximum protection, genetic mutation means that males mate with males (a sure route to extinction, I’d say) and males engage in activities that lead to group bonding, they turn out to be distinctly unstunning evidence for gay animals or the idea that homosexual sexual behaviour is shown to be natural. Elsewhere, such attempts to assert that for example same-sex pairings of penguins in all-male zoo environments is natural behaviour that must be protected has led to ridiculous (but scandalously successful) gay activist campaigns to stop the zoo from introducing female penguins into all-male environments for reproduction with their iconic ‘gay penguins’ on the basis that it was ‘interfering with their natural behaviour’. For an example of someone arguing this way, we need only look at the discussion forum on Richard Dawkins website here :  and for the BBC report on this incident, see here. As all these articles illustrate, scientists state that such behaviour is not understood, but there are plenty of possible and likely explanations.
So in conclusion, while this article creates the impression that animal activity unequivocally supports the ‘naturalness’ of homosexual activity, it is in fact definitely (though not necessarily deliberately) deceitful in giving that impression.

Making sense of confusion

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

As always in the evangelical and charismatic church there is huge confusion and disagreement about the nature of many things going on. I found this excellent prophecy made in 1965, spoken by one Stanley Frodsham. I first found it here, and then a slightly fuller version (with all of the introductory section) here..
I reckon it helps to explain an awful lot of what is going on today.
I also found several prophecies from the 1930’s and 1960’s from Norwegian Pentecostal churches which, although seemingly outrageous at the time, have at least partially been fulfilled. They make fascinating and illuminating reading. Check out this link.

Delusional Headlines

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Sometimes I read a newspaper article and cannot believe my eyes. Today is one of those days. Yup, this is a rant.
The source of my ire is this article from the Daily Telegraph : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/6263380/Hamas-and-Fatah-to-sign-unity-deal-in-Middle-East-peace-boost.html
So let’s get this straight – a unity deal between an organization (Fatah) that at the least teeters on the verge of terrorism, that has programs in media and in its schools that vilify Israel, support the most virulent anti-semitism and an organization that most definitely is a terrorist organization, that indoctrinates children from the age of 5 to be suicide bombers, that will go in shooting and beating people to death just because you have a single sex wedding party in the http://feathouston.org/canada-cialis-online street with – wait for it – music, that as a matter of doctrine uses civilians as human shields – and this unity deal is a step forward for peace? Talk about utterly delusional. Especially when it seems that the ‘moderate’ party is accepting all the demands of the more ‘extreme’ party. Talk about barking mad. Thanks Obama!

Nat’s reading 01-10-2009

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Well, on the Archaeological front, today’s theme is Rome, with the probable find of Nero’s (apparently) famous revolving dining room –

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1216986/Roman-Emperor-Neros-legendary-rotating-dining-room-uncovered-archaeologists.html

and the discovery of a major port

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1217353/Face-sand-Roman-amphitheatre-unearthed-ancient-port.html

If you want a (whisper the word) creationist take on the finds of a ‘textile factory’ in Georgia, you could try http://creation.com/ancient-textile-factory

Jaws eat your heart (and stomach) out on a dinosaur at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/09/090928-fossil-shark-feeding-frenzy.html

For social comment on a theme of the day,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1217321/The-betrayal-white-working-class-boys-death-normal-society.html

For anyone who reckons the bible has something to say about the East in the last days, fodder for thought and support at

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1217310/Marching-world-domination-China-celebrates-60-years-communism-display-military-worry-West.html

And on the topic of apocalyptic last days scenarios, you might not like the sight (or rather sound) of this – and cvil libertarians can take concerned note too

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1217451/Sonic-warfare-U-S-police-admit-trained-spotlight-sound-louder-jet-engine-G20-rioters.html

Political correctness deferring to Islam strikes again, it seems, along with a network that must terrify it’s victims :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3496442/Forced-marriage-cases-up-by-80pc-this-year-as-investigators-find-parents-using-bounty-hunters.html

Spare a thought (and more preferably a prayer or more) as well for the many converts to Christianity from Islam who live in fear of their lives …. in the UK.

Sneak Shariah in the US – listen here : http://live.radioamerica.org/loudwater/player.pl?name=wnd&url=http://feeds.radioamerica.org/podcast/DWP/audio/000007_013204.mp3

It ain’t much different in the UK.

And finally, a warning about the dangers of plug ins from trusted sources without reading the end user agreement – you have been warned

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111516

Good night, sleep tight!

Book-Burning Fundamentalists and my burgeoning identity crisis

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

The bonfires are getting stoked, ready to receive an abominable book that offends the faithful and denies the doctrines of the one true faith. Wannabe Savranola’s? Tennesse hillbillies with bibles in one hand and pitchforks in the other?
No, actually it’s atheists on Richard Dawkins’ and other websites. The target of their righteous ire? An edition of Darwin’s Origin of the Species.

That’s right.

Confused?

Well, the reason is that it has an introduction. OK, you may say – and? There have been many editions of the work with introductions. What’s so different with this one? It’s dedicated to the great Dawkins himself.

Hint : the introduction is by an evangelist who argues that evolutionists believe the impossibility that ‘nothing created everything’ and gives intelligent design ideas to support that. He is planning to give the edition out in university campuses across America. Cue book-burning parties apparently. Not to mention plans for snatching up as many books as they can and tearing out the offending introduction and then giving the ‘purified’ original works of Darwin to libraries and charity shops and the like. Quote ‘This is a shameful thing….altering another person’s book in order to push their agenda. But we can help to restore the book to how it was intended and keep young minds from being brainwashed by misinformation.”

Author Ray Comfort’s response? After pointing out that he has left the original work utterly intact, he comments : ‘Besides, if they think my arguments have no merit, why are they so upset? They should actually enjoy the fact that I’m spreading more of my idiotic claims that intelligent students will see right through – that way my stupidity will be that much more apparent.’

Athiest action stations alert!!!

Sources state that the battle of Berkeley is about to begin, in honour of the great prophet Dawkins and the divine Darwin. We are told : “efforts at UC Berkeley will be met with unilateral resistance.”

Aaargh!! I can’t bear it. I’m having an identity crisis. Aren’t we creationists supposed to be the ones who burn books and flee from a good fight and any intellectual debate, and skulk around in our pokey hidey-holes? How dare the atheists take away our last role in which we can claim some distinction and elan? It’s just not fair!
But stick with what you know I guess. Book burning and atheists at the stake, anyone? We can still do it better…. I hope.

For a little more information, I was alerted by this story :
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111563