Issue 9 of Salvo (Summer 2009) has come out, with many fine articles. The feature article is on the explosion of kids watching Internet porn.*
A number of interesting features on topics related to the intelligent design controversy:
Gimme that Spacetime Religion: Seeking Salvation in Science by Regis Nicoll, about the effort to transform Darwinism into a religion with all the trappings – except actual guilt for sin.
Wesley J. Smith, describing himself as a “Human Exceptionalist” talks about the effect that the growing practice of equating humans with animals and plants has on bioethics, pointing out, “If they really wanted to be reductionist, they could also say that because carrots are made out of carbon molecules, there is no distinction between carrots and humans either. You can’t get far enough ahead of these guys in terms of satire.”
Twin Features: The Big Problem That Design Convergence Posses to Darwinian Evolution by Hugh Ross: Remember the Tree of Life we were taught in high school, that proved Darwin was right? “The problem for the Darwinian perspective is this: Life forms that are only distantly rrelated, if at all, nevertheless show amazing similarities in their morphological features (some are identical). This is not what Darwinists expect.” He recounts a good deal of examples, including Lenski’s famous simulation, showing that repeated design is a better explanation. We are now down to the club moss of life, I guess. Turns up everywhere.
The Flop: Betting Against Darwin’s Tree of Life by Casey Luskin: A great companion to the above. Luskin explains how a famous Darwinist, self-cited as one of the “world’s leading experts on the tree of life” tried to bluff the Texas State Board of Education that Darwin’s Tree of Life was in great shape – when current science lit shows it is collapsing. Or, as Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said, “… today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence.” One of the world’s leading experts should spend less time bluff and more time reading the evidence. Even the Texas Board can find this stuff out now. (If they don’t, it won’t be Luskin’s fault.)
Old Bones: The Story of a Girl with a Birth Defect by Michael Cook: About a severely retarded child who lived over 500 000 years ago. “Now here’s the remarkable thing. The hunter-gatherer Middle Pleistocene family of Cranium 14 must have cared for the child, or she would not have survived for at least five years, and perhaps as many as twelve. In the dry-as-dust words of the article, ‘It is obvious that the [Sima de Huesos]’ hominin species did not act against the abnormal/ill individuals during infancy, as has happened along our own history in many cultures.'”
My regular Deprogram column is about Phineas Gage – the Lecture Room Psychopath. It seems he wasn’t a psychopath in his lifetime, but became one after his death, when he was needed to demonstrate to Psychology 101 students that brain injury radically changes personality. “Sadly, Intro to Psych 101 professors didn’t need a workingman who had independently adapted to his disability – without government funding – and found work on his own. They needed an aimless, sociopathic drifter.”
Americans, Happy July 4!
(*As a mother and grandmother, I would say key controllable factors are more chores, more sports, more homework, and more supervision. A busy, supervised kid is not watching porn whether it is available or not, for the same reason that a busy, supervised kid isn’t smoking even if he can buy cigs from a complicit shopkeeper.)