[I]gnorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
I’m glad Ken Miller, a popular Christian scientist and author, has finally weighed in on the movie Expelled. His verdict? He didn’t like it, of course. That’s right, because he’s part of the godless Nazi-like free-speech-restricting racist scientific establishment.
I used to do this in middle school for fun, but it’s pretty funny that an adult is recommending it.
Encyclopedias are a vital part of many school libraries…. [They] represent the philosophies of present day humanists. This is obvious by the bold display of pictures that are used to illustrate paintings, art, and sculpture…. This makes it important that the materials we place before our children are free from … that which would inflame passion. [We] are not battling a plot that captivates minds but are looking for erroneous information, sensual pictures, and unchaste details…. One of the areas that needs correction is immodesty due to nakedness and posture. This can be corrected by drawing clothes on the figures or blotting out entire pictures with a magic marker. This needs to be done with care or the magic marker can be erased from the glossy paper used in printing encyclopedias. You can overcome this by taking a razor blade and lightly scraping the surface until it loses its glaze…. [Regarding evolution,] cutting out the sections is practical if the portions removed are not thick enough to cause damage to the spine of the book as it is opened and closed in normal use. When the sections needing correction are too thick, paste the pages together being careful not to smear portions of the book not needed for correction.
—Ray Martin, “Reviewing and Correcting Encyclopedias” in Christian School Builder (1983) as quoted in Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things (1997), pp. 138-9.
A raid was finally triggered April 3, after a family violence shelter received a hushed phone call from a terrified 16-year-old girl saying her 50-year-old husband had beaten and raped her.
State troopers put into action the plan they had on the shelf to enter the compound, and 416 children, most of them girls, were swept into state custody on suspicions that they were being sexually and physically abused.
Doran said it was not until after the raid began that he learned that the sect was, in fact, marrying off underage girls at the compound and had a bed in its soaring limestone temple where the girls were required to immediately consummate their marriages. Also, investigators said a number of teenage girls there are pregnant.
BBC News reports that Turkey “is preparing to publish…. a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran…. It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.”
They are also rejecting “a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones.”
I don’t imagine Muslim fundamentalists will appreciate this very much, but it seems rather encouraging to me.
Bill Sizemore has written up a not-too-favorable profile of Pat Robertson and his “soul-winning empire” of products and companies. Most amusing part:
In order to prepare for the imminent Second Coming—which Robertson believes will occur on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem according to biblical prophecy—he acquired METV (Middle East Television), a station then based in southern Lebanon that could broadcast into Israel. Straub was given marching orders to be ready to televise Christ’s return. CBN executives drew up a detailed plan to broadcast the event to every nation and in all languages. Straub wrote: “We even discussed how Jesus’ radiance might be too bright for the cameras and how we would have to make adjustments for that problem. Can you imagine telling Jesus, ‘Hey, Lord, please tone down your luminosity; we’re having a problem with contrast. You’re causing the picture to flare.’”