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Anglican Church supports Darwin

Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown
Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown

The publication of Darwin's theory of evolution in which he proposed a lineage from apes to humans is approaching its 150th anniversary. A recent column entitled "Good religion needs good science" by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs for the Church of England, says that the reaction against Darwin "now seems misguided". Dr. Brown's article acknowledges that natural selection, as a way of understanding physical evolutionary processes over thousands of years, makes sense, and goes on to explain why Darwin's scientific theory does not pose a threat to religion.

In the past, creationists have tried to dismiss the Theory of Evolution on the basis that it is just a theory. In common usage, the word theory is often used to signify a conjecture, an opinion, a hunch, a speculation, or a hypothesis. In science, a theory is a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation.

According to Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time, "a theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model which contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations". He then states, "any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation which disagrees with the predictions of the theory".
Learn more about the Evolution vs. Creation controversy


Comments »

Jeff Short said,
2008-10-25 @ 23:52:31

The only argument you have stated correctly is that dismissing an idea or theory without further study is prejudice. BUT, almost every theory that Darwin had has been disproved time and time again. The theory of coming from apes was constructed by finding a bone that came from a pig. You really need to do some research before you make statements that further confuse the issue. Darwin himself had recanted his statements about evolution and came to christianity before he died. Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown, by his statements has proven that there is evil in the church. Please review information on www. drdino.com for some information that may be helpful to understand where we came from.

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2008-09-13 

Can tomatoes cause prostate cancer?

Tomatoes

A Canadian study has found an association between tomato intake and prostate cancer risk.[1] Not only that, vegetable juices and ketchup were also associated with prostate cancer. According to the study, "Tomato intake had a significant positive association with prostate cancer risk for highest versus lowest quartiles (OR=1.6; 95 percent CI: 1.2-2.0)." The abbreviations OR and CI stand for odds ratio and confidence index, respectively. Ninety five percent confidence index is very high.

Isn't this contrary to everything that we know about eating vegetables? Aren't vegetables supposed to prevent cancer? Tomatoes are found in almost everything we eat including salads, soups, hamburgers, and pizza.

Studies seem to flip-flop a lot about conclusions. Meat is good. Meat is bad. Dairy is good. Dairy is bad. Vegetables are good. Vegetables are bad. Whenever some study comes up with unusual results, we have to wonder about their methodology and their sample sizes. This study does not concern women. Women don't need to worry, but what should men eat?

Tomatoes are native to America, and they have been eaten by millions of people for hundreds of years. Maybe, in the past, the association between tomatoes and prostate cancer could not be detected because men died before they got sick. Now that we live much longer, prostate cancer is more common because it affects older men, and there are enough cases to associate tomato consumption with prostate cancer.

I don't know about you, but I don't plan to change the way I eat based on just one report. Life is eventually fatal anyway, and much worse without tomatoes and ketchup.

[1] Darlington GA, Kreiger N, Lightfoot N, Purdham J, Sass-Kortsak A., Prostate cancer risk and diet, recreational physical activity and cigarette smoking, Chronic Dis Can. 2007;27(4):145-53. PMID: 17623560

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2008-09-08 

Are food dyes harming you?

Food Dyes

Kool-Aid drink, Fruit Loops cereal, jelly beans, M&M chocolates, Jell-O gelatins and many other commercial foods, candies, medicines, and cosmetics are loaded with food dyes. At home, we use food dyes for Easter eggs, cake frostings, and cookies. What are these dyes doing to our health and the health of our children?

In the early 1970s, scientific studies raised questions about the safety of Red Dye No. 2. The Toxicology Advisory Committee of the FDA evaluated numerous reports and decided there was no evidence of a hazard. The committee then asked FDA to conduct follow-up analyses and they concluded that FD&C Red No. 2 at a high dosage resulted in a statistically significant increase of malignant tumors in female rats. Red Dye Number 2 was banned by the FDA in 1976.

In 1993, John E. Bailey, Ph.D., acting director of FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors said that food colors were "very" safe because by law, industry must prove the safety of the colors that it sells. But are these dyes really safe? For some time, evidence has been accumulating that food dyes are not really innocuous and can affect sensitive individuals. Children seem to be more at risk.

In one experiment, forty children were given a diet free of artificial food dyes and other additives for 5 days. Twenty of the children had been classified as hyperactive and the other 20 were normal. The children were then given doses of 100 or 150 milligrams of FD & C approved food dyes or placebo. On the day that the hyperactive children received the dye their performance was impaired relative to their performance after they received the placebo. The performance of the nonhyperactive children was not affected by the food dye.[1]

Another study found that 40 children out of 220 suspected of hyperactivity improved after a 6 week trial of the Feingold diet which eliminates artificial colors, artificial flavors, aspartame, and some preservatives. Children who had shown the greatest reaction to the dyes had behavior problems that featured extreme irritability, restlessness and sleep disturbance, rather than attention deficit.[2] A study published in 2007 also concluded that artificial colors or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.[3]

Eliminate foods with artificial dyes from your home. You may find that you and your children can think more clearly.

[1] Swanson JM, Kinsbourne M., Food dyes impair performance of hyperactive children on a laboratory learning test, Science. 1980 Mar 28;207(4438):1485-7. PMID: 7361102

[2] Rowe KS., Synthetic food colourings and 'hyperactivity': a double-blind crossover study, Aust Paediatr J. 1988 Apr;24(2):143-7. PMID: 3395307

[3] McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, Crumpler D, Dalen L, Grimshaw K, Kitchin E, Lok K, Porteous L, Prince E, Sonuga-Barke E, Warner JO, Stevenson J., Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, Lancet. 2007 Nov 3;370(9598):1560-7. PMID: 17825405

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2008-09-05 

The Case for Sex Education

Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has picked Sarah Palin as a running mate, and everybody is talking about Sarah's 17-year old pregnant daughter, Bristol. Sarah and her husband Todd Palin made a public disclosure about the pregnancy saying: "Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child."

There have been reports that Levi Johnston, the 18-year old boy who made Bristol pregnant, does not want to get married, but this is probably beyond his control. Republicans have sought the support of religious groups and it would not look very good for the Vice President's daughter to be an unwed mother with a bastard son. It will be a shotgun wedding and probably an unhappy marriage. Poor kids.

You reap what you sow. Republicans have been against sex education for a long time and have withdrawn money from programs that teach about contraception. According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, half of Americans have lost their virginity by age 16. If children are not educated about sex, they will follow their instincts and make more babies. It is well known that only teaching sexual abstinence is not an effective way of preventing teen pregnancies. Today's world is filled with many sexually alluring images in fashion magazines, movies, videos, and the internet. Many teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are the result of ignorance, lack of effective communication with parents, and not knowing how to deal with temptations.
Learn about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

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2008-09-02 

Stable relationships depend on brain chemistry

Cys-Tyr-Phe-Gln-Asn-Cys-Pro-Arg-Gly
Vasopressin

Scientists have found a gene that affects the way men bond to their partners.[1] The gene codes for one of the receptors for vasopressin, a hormone found in the brains of most mammals. Men who carry one or two copies of a variant of this gene (allele 334) are more likely to have a marital or relationship problem than those who lacked the gene variant. The research found that men without the allele had more stable relationships with their partners. Men with two alleles were less likely to show enough commitment in their relationships.

Earlier studies had found similar results in animals. Prairie voles form lifetime bonds with their mates and help to raise successive litters. On the other hand, montane voles which are physically very similar, do not bond with the females and do not help to raise their offspring. The animal experiments showed that by manipulating the vasopressin receptors, montane voles could be changed into devoted partners and prairie voles could be changed into unsupportive parents.

Vasopessin is a small peptide consisting of 9 amino acids which is very similar to oxytocin, a maternal hormone that stimulates mammary glands and helps to bond a mother to her child. About 40 percent of men have one or two copies of allele 334. The median duration of first marriages that end in divorce is about 7.8 years. In the future, it may be possible to have premarital genetic tests that could be used to predict the chances of a successful marriage and avoid the chances of marrying a womanizer or a deadbeat dad.
Learn about aminoacids and peptide hormones

[1] Hasse Walum, Lars Westberg, Susanne Henningsson, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, David Reiss, Wilmar Igl, Jody M. Ganiban, Erica L. Spotts, Nancy L. Pedersen, Elias Eriksson and Paul Lichtenstein, Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans, PNAS Early Edition, 2-5 September 2008.

Comments »

Justin said,
2008-09-03 @ 02:46:27

I wonder if this could help someone make legal claims. For example, someone could argue to a judge that his alimony payments should be reduced or eliminated on the basis that he is genetically inclined to have relational problems. Obviously there is much more to making a relationship work than genetics, but this opens the door to people using genetics as an excuse.

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2008-08-24 

Plan your Travel

Porcelain Girls

Traveling provides an opportunity to enhance our knowledge, meet new people, and enjoy the taste and atmosphere of far-away places. Traveling can be interesting and fun, unless something goes wrong. Flying is one of the safest ways to travel, but there are risks. A few days ago, a Spanair MD-82 flight to the Canary Islands crashed on takeoff and killed 153 people. Nineteen people survived the crash. No amount of preparation can get you ready for this type of accident, but most trips end up uneventfully. People get to where they want to go in spite of the delays in the airports, and they accomplish their business or they have a good time.

As I was walking in the living room today, the porcelain figurines on my bookcase caught my attention, and I thought about travel. These ceramic figures are the only survivors of a trip that I took to Europe many years ago. I had gone to Spain and Italy on business for a couple of weeks. When I did not work, I took the opportunity to know the countries better. In Spain, I drove a rental BMW from Madrid to Costa del Sol in Andalucía, which is by the Mediterranean Sea. I visited cities like Torremolinos and Marbella, but I did not get as far as Gibraltar. Many faces in the south of Spain reminded me of my maternal relatives. I am sure that some of my ancestors came from there.

One of the interesting things that you can do on a trip is to gather souvenirs. You can look at them later and remember where you were and re-imagine your adventures. As I traveled in Spain, I encountered some beautiful ceramic figurines and bought four of them. The price was about $15 Dollars each because they were Tengra ceramics, rather than the more expensive Lladro ceramics. My statuettes were carefully wrapped in multiple layers of paper and placed in large boxes.

After one week in Spain, I spent another week in Pisa, Italy. From there, I drove to Rome where I stayed overnight in preparation for my trip back to the United States. After I packed everything in the car to go the airport, I went to check out of the hotel. During the time that I was checking out, someone jimmied the car open and stole all my luggage. The thief probably had a small car and could not fit the bulky boxes with the ceramics. I went to the police station and filed a report. I received a copy of the complaint, and drove immediately to the airport. I checked-in the boxes with the figurines with the airline and took the flight home.

When I arrived in Washington, D.C., I waited at the baggage return for my boxes, but they never came. I went to the airline counter to ask about my lost boxes, and they told me that they would investigate. So, there I was with only the clothes on my back after a two-week trip to Europe. The customs agent eyed me with suspicion, but let me through. My boxes with the four figurines arrived safely several days later. They had been loaded on a different flight by mistake.

I spent the next few weeks going over my receipts to make a list of what I had lost. I submitted claims to my employer, to the car rental agency, and to my home insurance. Of course, the insurance agents asked me if I was in financial trouble, trying to figure out if I was pulling an insurance scam. In the end, I got reimbursed for most of my losses. I only have these ceramic figures to remind me of that trip, and I also know that somewhere in Italy, an Italian thief is wearing my clothes.
Learn how to plan your trip.


Comments »

peg diamond said,
2008-10-15 @ 16:16:09

I still have a couple of Lladro's that I bought in Europe 28 years ago. At the time I was teaching with DODDS in Germany and Lladro's were very popular. On a Xmas vacation - to the US - I gave some of them as gifts. One daughter-in-law put hers on top of the toilet bowl tank. As was to be expected it fell to the floor and broke. My daughter-in-law had no idea of the value of the Lladro I'm sure, or she wouldn't have put it on top of the toilet bowl tank.
Yes, thievery in Italy has been a problem for many years. When we traveled there the train passengers were good targets.
I just came across your weblog and it's very interesting. I'm sending the info about soy products on to family members. There needs to be more publicity about this IMO.
Peg D

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2008-08-22 

The sex hormone effects of soy foods

Genistein - an isoflavone
Genistein - an isoflavone

For many years, soy foods have been promoted as vegetarian health foods. Soy products like tofu, textured vegetable protein, and soy milk continue to gain shelf space in grocery stores. The massive use of soy in the diet is relatively new, and evidence is starting to accumulate that soy foods may actually be unhealthy.

Soy foods are usually highly processed. Tofu is made by grinding soy beans to make a slurry (soy milk) which is then coagulated with calcium sulfate (gypsum) or magnesium chloride. The problem with soy is not its processing, but its content of the isoflavone genistein which can mimic natural human estrogens and may have a variety of harmful effects when eaten in sufficient quantities. In addition, some bacteria in the digestive system can metabolize soy products to produce equol, another phytoestrogen.

Plant-produced chemicals that mimic hormones have been previously suspected of altering sexual development. Dr. William Campbell Douglass II writes that girls have become sexually mature at younger ages and that their breasts start to develop in the first and second grade while the boys are experiencing delayed sexual development. He goes on to say that he believes that this is the reason why boys and men are becoming gay and infertile.

A scientific study at North Carolina State University (NCSU) found that exposure to phytoestrogens alters the sex-specific organization of the hypothalamus, which is the region of the brain that regulates puberty and ovulation.[1] The two hormone-like compounds from soy-based foods can cause irreversible changes in the structure of the brain, resulting in early-onset puberty, symptoms of advanced menopause, and reproductive health problems. The NCSU study suggests that humans might be more at risk during gestation.

In light of the available evidence, it seems reasonable that women should avoid eating soy products during pregnancy, and that young children should not be given soy products which may alter their hormonal balance.
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[1] Bateman HL, Patisaul HB., Disrupted female reproductive physiology following neonatal exposure to phytoestrogens or estrogen specific ligands is associated with decreased GnRH activation and kisspeptin fiber density in the hypothalamus,
Neurotoxicology, 2008 Jul 6, PMID: 18656497 [news release]

Comments »

ralph said,
2009-07-28 @ 11:42:50

Sir;
as a retired correctional officer in Texas, we used soy products in the inmate's food to convert their testosterone into estrogen to make them easier to control. China, Japan, Korea, and Samoa have been using this method to controll thier populations for over 200 years. when w.w.justice ruled that correctional officers had to eat the same diet that inmates did, the rate of obesity and e.d. in officers jumped dramatically. Former president Clinton sent a man to school in Europe to study how to put soy into the diet of the American people for that same reason. what do we do about it? , and are there foods that contradict this... as you may remember Abraham did a similar thing to his enemies in the Bible. Thanks and God bless...

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2008-08-15 

Purple Okinawa Sweet Potatoes

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Ipomoea batatas cv. Ayamurasaki

The Japanese island of Okinawa is famous for the longevity of its inhabitants. One of their traditional foods is a native sweet potato with a deep violet center. The color of the Okinawan sweet potatoes is due to anthocyanins which act as antioxidants in the body and are supposed to have a multitude of health benefits. These sweet potatoes are avidly sought by practitioners of Calorie Restriction who are interested in longevity and optimum nutrition.

The Okinawa purple sweet potato was introduced to Hawaii and is occasionally found in the mainland, mainly in Asian markets. The potatoes take a deep purple color when cooked. They have a slightly sweet, starchy taste.
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Baked Salmon with Okinawa sweet potatoes

The baked salmon illustrated here was prepared by basting with lemon juice, and sprinkling salt, pepper, and fresh dill. It was baked at 350°F for 20 minutes. The sweet potatoes were cut into 1-inch cubes and steamed for approximately 15 minutes until they were fork-tender. Slices of tomato and avocado were used as garnish.
Click here for more Recipes

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2008-08-14 

Lack of sleep may cause accidents

Chesapeake bay bridge

Last Sunday, a 19-year old driver fell asleep at the wheel as she was driving on the Chesapeake bay bridge. The bridge has two spans which normally carry one-way traffic in different directions, but on this day, there was two-way traffic because one of the spans was closed for repairs. The car with the sleeping driver drifted unto the oncoming traffic and a collision involving several vehicles sent an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer plunging into the Chesapeake Bay. The driver of the truck was killed. The sleepy driver was hospitalized and was reported to be in good condition.

Sleep deprivation may cause paranoia, hallucinations, as well as cognitive and psychomotor impairments. In one experiment, people who drove after being awake for 17-19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in many western European countries.

Always get a good night's sleep before you drive or operate machinery. If you feel tired while driving, stop to rest and take a nap. Think of the consequences. What kind of life will you have after an accident? If you survive, you may end up disabled or feeling guilty for the rest of your life for having injured someone through your negligence.
Learn more about sleep

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2008-08-10 

Basketball is the Most Dangerous Sport

Sport Injuries

We naturally assume that boxing is a dangerous sport because its purpose is to try to knock out the opponent. However, statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) indicate that the greatest number of visits to hospitals occur from basketball. Injuries from basketball include cut hands, sprained ankles, broken legs, as well as eye and forehead injuries. The large number of injuries may be due to the popularity of basketball. There are basketball hoops in many driveways and playgrounds. It seems so easy to bounce the ball around and shoot a few balls. It is the jumping and competitive aspects of the game that cause the injuries. Players collide, fall, hit each other accidentally, or land improperly after jumping and they get hurt.

Exercise is important for fitness, but we have to stay alert and keep safety in mind.
Learn about the risks of Sports Injuries

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