Open thread

Grand Rounds, Vol. 2 No. 52 is available, so go check it out for a lot of great medical blogging.

I saw this on the news last night and thought it worthy of mention.  A new shark species was discovered.  What makes this shark so intruiging is that it walks on its fins.  They also discovered a new kind of shrimp that looks like a praying mantis.  Dozens of other new species were also found, and all off Indonesia’s Papua province.  Of course, a fish that walks on its fins is yet another boost to evolutionary theory, but there will be much spin and disregarding of facts so as to discredit that truth.

Canada is not happy that the US helped with sending a Canadian citizen to Syria where he was jailed and tortured (the US knew that would happen and supported the rendition).  As is one of the reasons I abhor the death penalty and torture, the man was found innocent of all accusations with absolutely no ties to terrorism.  Oh, and the report shows America lied to people along the way so they could get the man transferred to Syria.  What is most enlightening is how America used extraordinary rendition (moving suspects to other countries where we know they will be held and tortured) because they ‘thought’ the man was linked to terrorism, but even the Syrians admitted after 10 months of beatings and horrific jail conditions that the man had no ties to terrorism.  Is this how we intend to find out if people are up to no good?  Assume they are just because our government says so, allow our government to lie and cheat its way through foreign law to get its way, beat the hell out of the person in an attempt to gain information, and finally try to pretend it didn’t happen when all of those shameful actions confirm the person is innocent?  And one more thing: some of Canada’s own law enforcement officials also lied and decieved because they too ‘thought’ the man was guilty of something, so they helped America move him to Syria based solely on suspicion rather than fact.

And here’s an interesting and related question: Why are we in bed with Syria?

Just because you call yourself straight doesn’t mean you are, and this study proves it.  It’s kind of funny in my opinion.  In the study, 10% of men who identify themselves as straight also admitted having sex with men during the previous year.  Have they never heard of the term ‘bisexual’?  And don’t read more into the study than its only truth: people lie to avoid being stigmatized.  That axiom is no more evident than with men and their sexuality.  (I make no claim that women do not likewise suffer from the same societal pressure, but I do claim women are more comfortable with themselves and their sexuality, they do tend to be more honest about such things, and the idea of a woman having sex with a woman doesn’t seem to do a comparable level of harm such accusations bring to men.)

Another Keith Olbermann home run!  This time, and I wholeheartedly agree, he declares President Bush owes America and Americans a heartfelt apology for attacking dissent and disagreement (the very foundations of our government and country), for attacking Colin Powell for speaking his mind contrary to the administration’s stance, and for responding to Powell’s letter by inferring in no uncertain terms that it’s unacceptable to even think anything that is contrary to the administration’s official line.  I watched Olbermann give this speech last night at the end of his program.  I can’t recommend it enough.

Christians are still going after the fossil exhibit in Nairobi.  It’s quite laughable.  From the religious point of view:

“We are objecting to the message that the fossil exhibits represent the scientific evidence of human evolution,” said Bishop Boniface Adoyo, chairman of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, which claims to represents churches of 35 denominations with 9 million members. “They do not. Human evolution is still a theory and this cannot be called as evidence.”

How ignorant.  Gravity is defined by the “theory of gravity” and yet we don’t stop believing gravity is real, do we?  He’s playing with words he doesn’t understand.  A scientific theory is a way of logically grouping together related phenomena and truths.  This is quite different from the definition of theory that applies when someone thinks they know who shot Colonel Mustard in the library.  The fossils are evidence of evolution just as falling to the ground when you trip is evidence of gravity, both of which are scientific theories.  Get over yourself, Bishop Butthead, and stop lying to your followers when your misguided mythology contradicts reason and logic, especially when the two are confirmed with evidence that you want to hide from people.

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