A classic example of the blind faith in scientific speculation required by Scientism is on display in a discussion of the role of comets in the origin of life.
Speculation about a possible connection between comets and the origin of life has been around for decades. The discovery of a cloud of debris near a star 60 light years away has been the latest occasion for such speculations. Headlines have described the discovery in quite sensational terms; for example, FoxNews.com brazenly declared, “Strong Evidence Life Spread by Comets, Astronomers Say.” However, the finding, though intriguing, is far less dramatic.
The discovery of a band of dust around Eta Corvi hundreds of trillions of miles from Earth has led astronomers to speculate how that band was formed. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was responsible for spotting the band, and the facts were more modestly described by the American space agency:
Now Spitzer has spotted a band of dust around a nearby bright star in the northern sky called Eta Corvi that strongly matches the contents of an obliterated giant comet. This dust is located close enough to Eta Corvi that Earth-like worlds could exist, suggesting a collision took place between a planet and one or more comets. The Eta Corvi system is approximately one billion years old, which researchers think is about the right age for such a hailstorm.
For Zubaida Bibi, a Christian woman working in a garment factory in the Korangi Industrial Area of Karachi, Pakistan, the workday on October 12 at Crescent Enterprises probably began like most. Her job as a custodian helped make it possible for her to care for her children. But before her shift was over, a Muslim worker at the factory attempted to rape her, and then slit her throat, leaving four orphans without a mother to care for them. And the case of Zubaida Bibi is far from unique: In Pakistan, the phenomena of Islamic men raping Christian women is becoming more common.
An October 18 story for PakistanChristianPost.com relates some of the details of the tragic death of Zubaida Bibi:
On October 12, 2011, during duty hours, Zubaida Bibi entered to clean factory bathrooms when one Muslim employee named Mohammad Asif followed her and locked door behind him.
When Mohammad Asif attempted to sexually assault Zubaida Bibi, she cried for help on which Mohammad Asif took out a dagger and slit the throat of Zubaida Bibi.
The factory management called police help and Mohammad Asif was arrested on crime scene where throat cut dead body of Zubaida Bibi was lying on floor.
According to U.S. News for October 14, Mississippi voters will be presented with Amendment 26 on their November ballots, an initiative redefining "personhood.” U.S. News wrote: "The amendment would, if enacted, add 'The term "person" or "persons" shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof' to the state constitution."
Is it really that simple? The entire Amendment does indeed read “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?” with spaces for simple "yes" or "no" answers.
Two more Hollywood actors have joined their voices with those of Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, John Hamm, and Janeane Garofalo: Sean Penn and Alan Cumming say the Tea Party is racist. Cumming added that the Tea Party is also “homophobic.”
The stars fired the salvo on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. As with the previous actors, neither Penn nor Cumming offered any proof that the Tea Party is racist.
What They Said
Piers Morgan set up Penn to knock one out of the park, as Brent Baker wrote at Newsbusters.org. Morgan “helpfully boasted of how actor Morgan Freeman, on his show three weeks ago, ‘was very passionate about that very subject, saying there are elements of the Tea Party who just, as he said, want to get the black man out of the White House. He said it on this show,’” Baker wrote.
Penn quickly agreed that Freeman is right, opening his remarks about the Tea Party with a short mention of President Obama’s being akin to Bulworth, a fictional leftist presidential candidate. He then observed:
"This is a story of our children and an ideological struggle in which our children are the prize. This is the story of the big yellow bus. This is the story of indoctrination." So begins the mesmerizing introduction to IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America, a hard-hitting, 90-minute documentary presented by the Exodus Mandate and the Christian Liberty Academy School System.
The film features Colin Gunn, a homeschooling father of eight, who originally hails from Scotland but now lives in Texas. A camera accompanies him, his wife, Emily, and their children as they travel in a yellow school bus on an educational odyssey, throughout the United States, to examine the origins of American mass public schooling and its subsequent negative impact on the culture.
Gunn speaks to a large cast of writers, historians, educators, and ministers who are as articulate as they are provocative. (Familiar names to readers of this website include Sam Blumenfeld and John Taylor Gatto.)
While Gunn comes across as merely a curious interviewer, not condemning folks for their educational choices or singling them out, the documentary certainly has a bias and urgency in encouraging Christian parents (if they haven't done so) to "get their children out!"
A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on the morning of October 15, just hours before it hosted an event sponsored by the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). According to one local news report, when administrators for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights arrived at the facility, “they discovered a number of broken windows and door panes on the east side of the building, which were shattered by bricks, Arlington Heights Police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said.”
While it is not clear exactly who was responsible for the vandalism, the report continued, a note was attached to one of the bricks “which referenced speakers scheduled for a Saturday night banquet at the school, said the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty. The note read, ‘This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,’ Lindstrom said.”
The banquet, which was not canceled, featured noted Christian speaker and author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s famed Moody Church, along with Scott Lively of Defending the Family International, who was honored by Americans for Truth with its annual “American Truthteller” award.
In an effort to "better accommodate transgender students," the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is flirting with a new campus experiment to accept co-ed dorm room assignments from students who would prefer to live with members of the opposite sex. If approved, the "gender-inclusive housing" policy could go into effect as early as next year, allowing students to request co-ed roommates for the 2012 academic year.
Last year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council proposed the policy change to the school’s On Campus Housing Council, and the OCHC happily advised Housing Services to research the idea. Housing Services answered willingly and approved one request this year as a pilot for the student council’s request.
Patrick Malkoun, a homosexual student at UCLA, has been a vigilant supporter of the policy change, suggesting that it would alleviate stress for gay students by allowing them to room with female students — which, he claims, would avoid the impending potential for "homophobia." "Living with someone that isn’t gay can be like living with a hot pink elephant in the room," he said. Malkoun’s roommate was evicted last year, so he had to find someone else to live with. He asked a close friend, a female Design/Media Arts major, also gay, to move in with him. Malkoun and his friend submitted their appeal to Housing Services but their request was denied a few days later, as Housing Services notified them that UCLA’s policy allows only single-sex housing.
A New Jersey school teacher has found herself in hot water for using her Facebook page to express her moral outrage over the normalization of homosexuality. As reported by the New York Times, Viki Knox, a special education teacher at Union High School in Union Township, used Facebook to complain about a school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month, writing that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation.”
The Times reported that, after telling a friend that she was “pitching a fit” about the display, which included photos of such famed individuals as author Virginia Woolf, former San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, and actor Neil Patrick Harris, Knox “defended her views in lengthy exchanges with other Facebook users, referring at times to God and her Christian beliefs.” Knox’s Facebook page has since been removed from public view.
According to the Times, “Knox wrote that while she had friends and loved ones who were gay, she believed that the way they lived was ‘against the nature and character of God’ and that the high school was ‘not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality.’”
When a Union Township resident challenged Knox’s Facebook comments, the teacher responded:
There has been a series of varying reports on the latest news concerning 32-year-old Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who had been condemned to death by an Iranian court for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. According to Baptist Press News, Reuters News Service had reported on October 11 that Iran’s Supreme Court had sent the case back to the original court that had tried him, ruling that there had been insufficient investigation into the charges against the pastor. “The court will issue a new verdict,” Reuters reported, citing the Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA) as its source.
In another October 11 story, Agence France-Presse reported that Nadarkhani would face a retrial on the original charge of apostasy against Islam. “In its statement, the supreme court noted it had quashed the initial conviction and sentencing ‘due to a technicality in the investigation,’” AFP reported.
Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which has been monitoring Nadarkhani’s case since it appeared that the pastor’s execution was imminent, said the news coming out of Iran is most likely months old and does not offer firm evidence of a new trial for the pastor. “While it is possible that this is a new development at the urging of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, we have no confirmation of this from Pastor Youcef’s attorney in Iran,” wrote Sekulow. “More likely, it is rehashing of old news. As we have been reporting, the Supreme Court of Iran had heard his case earlier this year and remanded it to the trial court to determine if Pastor Youcef was a Muslim after reaching the age of majority before converting to Islam.”
The recently released movie The Big Year — featuring a cast of well-known faces and a number of poignant and also comical scenes — focuses on a group of bird-watchers who allow their pride to interfere with everything that's important in life. With a positive pro-family message and loads of humor, it's a family friendly film for audiences of all ages.
Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) is very proud of his “Big Year,” wherein he spotted 732 different species of birds — a record in birding history.
Naturally, other bird-watchers are trying to break such a coveted record, and Brad Harris (Jack Black) and Stu Preissler (Steve Martin) turn it into a fierce (and humorous) competition — at times even a contact sport.
Harris — gifted with the ability to recognize the species of any bird simply by its call — nevertheless does not have the financial means to be chasing his feathered friends across the globe; therefore, he must figure out an economical way to top Bostick's record.