NTS LogoSkeptical News for 25 April 2002

Archive of previous NTS Skeptical News listings


Thursday, April 25, 2002

Skeptical Inquirer Announcement/Release: "Sex Abuse, Memories and Videotapes"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kevin Christopher
Tel: 716 636 1425 ext. 224
Fax: 716 636 1733
E-mail: press@csicop.org

Sex Abuse, Memories, and Videotape

Amherst, N.Y. (April 18, 2002)-The May/June 2002 issue of Skeptical Inquirer features the first part of a two-part report titled "Who Abused Jane Doe?," by Elizabeth Loftus, professor of psychology and law at the University of Washington, and Melvin Guyer, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan Medical School. In the report, they describe their follow-up investigation of psychiatrist David Corwin's seminal case study alleging the existence of repressed memory-and find that this oft-cited research fails under hard scrutiny. Loftus recently received the American Psychological Society's William James Fellow Award for her scientific work showing that reconstructive memory processes, rather than past objective reality, have often been at the root of cases alleging "recovered memories" of childhood abuse.

In 1997 David Corwin and Erna Olafson published the case study of a female subject known as Jane Doe, whom Corwin had first interviewed beginning in 1984. In that year, Jane Doe was six years old and her biological parents were embroiled in a turbulent custody dispute. Jane's father accused the biological mother of sexually abusing Jane; as a consequence, Corwin was brought into the case to evaluate the allegations. Based on the report of a social worker, his own estimation of the unreliability, the criminal record of the mother, and Jane's own videotaped descriptions of the alleged assaults, Corwin was convinced that the sexual abuse had occurred. His 1997 follow-up included a compelling 1995 videotape of the adult Jane viewing tapes of her childhood testimony. Most professionals who heard Corwin's account and saw the videotape at conferences were convinced and saw his research as strong evidence for the reality of a repressed memory phenomenon.

Loftus and Guyer were able to track down Jane Doe and her biological mother. (Her father had passed away in 1994.) They interviewed Jane Doe's biological mother and revisited the case histories and biographies of Jane Doe's parents and step parents. They found that Corwin's assessments unduly favored the testimony of the father and failed to take into account evidence and other professional opinions that would have cast doubt on the sex abuse claims.

"In sum," write Loftus and Guyer, "we believe that there are ample reasons to doubt much of the 'supporting evidence' used to support the abuse hypothesis. Contrary to Corwin's claims, Jane's reports about her experience at the time were not particularly consistent." Loftus and Guyer cite the opinion of a clinical psychologist (Dr. S.) who reported to the judge hearing the custody dispute between Jane Doe's parents. Dr. S. found no evidence to confirm the abuse alleged by the father. They also found evidence that undermined the credibility of the father, who was the primary source of the abuse accusations against her.

Skeptical Inquirer is the official publication of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to science literacy and the examination of controversial claims. Published six times a year, the magazine features articles on paranormal claims and pseudoscience from a critical, scientific perspective. For more information about the magazine or CSICOP, contact Kevin Christopher at press@csicop.org press@csicop.org or (716) 636-1425 ext. 224. Skeptical Inquirer is online at http://www.csicop.org/si.

Science In the News

The following roundup of science stories appearing each day in the general media is compiled by the Media Resource Service, Sigma Xi's referral service for journalists in need of sources of scientific expertise.

For accurate instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv, follow this link: http://www.mediaresource.org/instruct.htm

If you experience any problems with the URLs (page not found, page expired, etc.), we suggest you proceed to the home page of "Science In the News" http://www.mediaresource.org/news.htm which mirrors the daily e-mail update.

IN THE NEWS

Today's Headlines – April 25, 2002

FOSSIL IS OLDEST OF PLACENTAL MAMMAL
from The Washington Post

It was about six inches long from head to tail, a furry, shrew-like tree- climber that ate insects and maybe worms, and probably hid out during the day to stay away from marauding dinosaurs.

This small creature, dubbed Eomaia scansoria, or "climbing dawn mother," by its discoverers, lived 125 million years ago in northeast China. It is the oldest fossil of a placental mammal yet discovered.

"This is a time period where we had not found any mammals at all," said John R. Wible, associate curator of mammals at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History and a member of the Chinese and American team that announced the new fossil yesterday in the journal Nature.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44704-2002Apr24.html

BURNED-OUT STARS HELP EXPERTS REAFFIRM UNIVERSE'S AGE
from The New York Times

Using the cooling cinders of burned-out stars as a kind of cosmic clock, astronomers said today that they had arrived at a new measure of the age of the universe: the cosmos, they said, is at least 13 billion years old.

This conclusion is happily -- and uncharacteristically for the fractious field of cosmology -- consistent with recent estimates based on measurements of the expansion of the universe and other lines of study. And it reassures cosmologists that the universe is at least as old as its component parts, something that earlier measurements had occasionally seemed to challenge.

In a feat of observational power, an international team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to search a cluster of ancient stars for so- called white dwarf stars less than a billionth as bright as the faintest stars visible to the naked eye. The oldest and faintest white dwarf, they concluded from comparing its temperature to theoretical calculations, was just under 13 billion years old. Since it is thought that the first stars formed about a billion years after the Big Bang, that put the age of the universe right in the ball park of the 13 to 16 billion years indicated by various recent measurements of the rate of expansion of the universe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/25/science/25AGE.html

AFTER A PAIR OF RARE SIGHTINGS, BIRDERS CONVERGE
from The New York Times

NEWBURYPORT, Mass., April 22 — Birders from many states in the East converged on Massachusetts this week to view two rare visitors to the state, birds from different species that probably originated in Asia.

One was a species of falcon called the Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a long-tailed, swift-flying bird about a foot long or longer. The other was a shorebird called a Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), a plump creature about 10 inches long, with a black belly and golden highlights in its feathers.

The Eurasian kestrel had been recorded once before in Massachusetts, in 1887, when a female was collected in Hull. This time, an adult male was reported by Robert Verity Clem, a wildlife artist, who spotted it on Thursday along the causeway connecting Morris Island and Stage Island to the mainland in Chatham, on Cape Cod.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/25/science/25BIRD.html

DIVERS DELIGHT IN FORMER STEW OF WASTE
from The Christian Science Monitor

TURNERS FALLS, MASS. – Most adults can stand up in the Connecticut River – it's that shallow. But you wouldn't expect many to try, even 30 years after it was best known for sewage overflows.

Still, a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts takes students and colleagues scuba-diving in the river. They have discovered that the Connecticut is not dead and it's not shallow, either. In one place it dips as deep as 125 feet.

Ed Klekowski and his fellow divers have found that the river supports a species of fly that doesn't exist anywhere else on earth, a shellfish no one had seen there in 40 years, submerged evidence of native American camps, and drowned structures from 19th-century log drives.

They dive the river about 60 times a year. Mr. Klekowski's most frequent partners are Sean Werle, a doctoral student in entomology, who discovered the new insect, and Philips Medna, an undergraduate. It isn't easy to scuba- dive a river. The current can tangle the gear, and visibility is like chocolate milk, but they don't care because they believe that the Connecticut today is a rich scientific field site for the first time in a half-century.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0425/p13s01-sten.html

FROM A KEY OBSERVER OF LIFE: A PLEA TO SAVE BIODIVERSITY
from The Christian Science Monitor

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – In Edward O. Wilson's office at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, bugs – and other diminutive creatures – are a big theme.

Artwork depicting ants and other insects adorns the walls, alongside a photograph of a snail endangered in the southern Appalachians. Size has never mattered to this champion of biodiversity, who says his weakness is that "every endangered species that I encounter, I fall in love with." One of his two Pulitzer prizes was for his seminal work, "The Ants."

But Wilson looks to larger species, too – he considers the Sumatran rhino a "kind of talisman" – and his work has extended to philosophy, sociobiology, humanity's debt to nature, and the connections between different branches of knowledge. An activist as well as a scientist, he sits on the boards of several international conservation organizations.

In his latest book "The Future of Life" (Knopf), he not only gives a vivid picture of the bounty of species – and their rapid disappearance – but an impassioned call to action and a blueprint for saving the earth's biodiversity.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0425/p14s01-sten.html

GETTING BABIES IN SYNCH WITH THE WORLD
from The Boston Globe

The first few months of a baby's life are a fascinating period in terms of circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms control when natural labor starts. Indeed, birth is more common between midnight and 6 a.m., presumably because evolution determined that this is the safest time.

When an infant is first born, his circadian clock is in synch with his mother's clock, particularly her rest-activity cycle. Even though the infant's own circadian clock is active at birth, it doesn't become fully operational until three months, when the rest-activity pattern and secretions of hormones fall more solidly into a day-night cycle.

Many people assume that, because it's dark in the womb, a developing fetus has no circadian rhythms. That's not true, said Dr. Scott Rivkees, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Yale University School of Medicine.

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/113/science/Getting_babies_in_synch_with_the_world+.shtml

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New entry for SKEPTIC Bibliography

From: Taner Edis edis@truman.edu

http://www.csicop.org/bib/621

Trials Of The Monkey: An Accidental Memoir
  Matthew Chapman
  2001, Picador; 367p.
  creationism

Chapman, a descendant of Charles Darwin, decides to visit Dayton to see a reenactment of the "monkey trial," but screws up his timing. Out of his accidental experiences and memories of his upbringing, though, he puts together a very entertaining book. His background as a nonreligious English urbanite clashes with the largely fundamentalist Dayton natives, but they get along very well. Skeptics will find Chapman's cave expedition with a group of young-earth creationists, and his encounter with creationist biology professor Kurt Wise most interesting.

[ Reviewed by Rob Hardy, robhardy@earthlink.net ]

Visit the full bibliography at http://www.csicop.org/bibliography/
Please consider submitting an entry yourself.

Taner Edis, SKEPTIC bibliographer

Cryptozoology, Bigfoot booklists

From: Terry W. Colvin fortean1@mindspring.com

I'm noticing several available books being mentioned on various "privately" recommended BF/CZ book lists. People may wish to keep these urls on file:

http://www.mysteries-megasite.com/bigfoot/bigfootbooks.html

http://www.anomalist.com/books/bf.html

http://www.cactusventures.com/bigfootbks.htm

http://pibburns.com/cryptobk.htm

http://www.groupone.net/gwills/we102.htm

http://www.anomalist.com/order/card.html

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/5103/BooksAvailable.html

http://members.aol.com/Weirdware2/bwwb-cz-master.html

http://www.agate.net/~cryptozoo/books.html

The Evil Mac

You know the story. Here's more proof!!!

http://207.67.219.101/objective/propaganda.html

Is the Landover Baptist Church behind all this?

http://www.landoverbaptist.org

What does Mac have to say about all this?

http://www.macobserver.com/article/2002/04/22.4.shtml

Research programs in parapsychology?

http://www.psiexplorer.com/orgs.htm
http://www.survivalscience.org/proforgs ..shtml
http://hsc.virginia.edu/personality-stu dies/
http://www.parapsychology.org

from

Charles Rulon

Tom DeLay's Exclusionary Perspective

Contact Information
Tony Hileman
(202) 238-9088

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, DC - April 22) House Majority Whip Tom DeLay clearly crossed the line when he asserted, "Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of, 'Where did I come from?' 'Why am I here?' 'Where am I going?' 'Does life have any meaningful purpose?." His April 12 statement in Pearland, Texas, insulted tens of millions of non-Christian Americans and many progressive Christians as well.

Numerous faiths address these same issues from a similar supernatural perspective, while Humanism provides purely rational answers to today's changing world by placing faith in reason and humanity. Tony Hileman, American Humanist Association (AHA) executive director comments: "To say Christianity is the only right path is a misstatement on several levels. DeLay's narrow-minded commentary reveals that he does not believe in America's great tradition of religious pluralism, and it clearly shows he does not value our freedom to think for ourselves."

DeLay's blatant assertion that God is using him to promote "a biblical worldview" in American politics leaves no room for misinterpretation. Hileman continues, "As a congressional leader it is DeLay's responsibility to abide by our constitutional separation of religion and government. It is a basic American principle that he be free to practice any faith he chooses, but when he uses his public office to promote fundamentalist views he is deliberately violating the very Constitutional protection that grants him that freedom."

While DeLay was speaking to a supportive audience of evangelical Christians, his exclusionary statements and sectarian intentions speak loudly to the rest of us.

The American Humanist Association
(www.americanhumanist.org) is the oldest and
largest Humanist organization in the nation. The
AHA is dedicated to ensuring a voice for those
with a positive outlook, based on reason and
experience, which embraces all of humanity.


Wednesday, April 24, 2002

NYTimes.com Article: Abundance of Cometlike Objects With Moons Stuns Experts

April 23, 2002

By KENNETH CHANG

Even small cometlike bodies at the edge of the solar system often have companion moons, to the surprise of astronomers who cannot yet explain how such tenuous gravitational pairings formed.

Writing in the current issue of the journal Nature, a team of American and French astronomers describe the looping elliptical orbits of 1998 WW31, a small icy clump 4.3 billion miles from the Sun, and its moon.

The pair is part of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of debris beyond the orbit of Neptune. When a Kuiper Belt object is nudged by a passing object's gravity and falls into the inner solar system, it becomes a comet. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/space/23MOON.html?ex=1020583219&ei=1&en=a08dd5d1ef892922

Parapsychology [and Wetzel]

From: Terry W. Colvin fortean1@mindspring.com

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~pols/psyc591/

Psychology 591
The Psychology of Paranormal Belief

http://wetzel.psych.rhodes.edu/110/110syllabus.html

Prof. Chris Wetzel

http://www.berea.edu/PSY/Messer/Paranormal/ExSyllabi/Vecera_Shaun.htm

Parapsychology and Skeptical Inquiry

Items of Note

From: Barry Karr SkeptInq@aol.com

Check out the CSICOP Los Angeles Conference Program at:
http://www.csicop.org/events/conference-2002/

1) Articles of Note
2) Help with Parapsychology in the University

Expedition seeks paranormal pit
By John Zebrowski
Seattle Times

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134436378_melshole14m.html

"A topographic map spread on the hood of a car showed where the search party would start. There is a hole out there, they believe, a hole that not only appears to be bottomless but has, on at least one occasion, brought an animal back to life."

Raelians launch first attempt at human cloning
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

http://www.abc.net.au/news/scitech/2002/04/item20020412110456_1.htm

"Scientists from Clonaid, a firm linked to the Raelian movement, say they have implanted the first cloned human embryos in women in the hope of bringing the first human clone into the world."

Thames torso police meet occult experts
BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_1930000/1930359.stm

"Detectives investigating the murder of a five-year-old boy, whose severed torso was found in the River Thames, are meeting experts on ritualistic killings in South Africa."

Five planets line up in rare celestial array
By ANDREW BRIDGES
Associated Press

http://www.sacbee.com/state_wire/story/2220437p-2614222c.html

"The five brightest planets visible from Earth have lined up in plain sight to form a spectacular celestial array that won't be seen again until 2040."

Planetary alignment may put world 'in step'
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

http://abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s536088.htm

"Supermarket queues will be shorter, road rage will ease and everyone will be getting on better over the next few weeks thanks to a rare planetary grouping, British astrologers believe."

TMS: Twilight Zone Science?
By DaithΓ­ Γ" hAnluain
Wired

http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,51699,00.html

"Want to find God? Magnetism might provide the answer."

At the DOE, Dowsing for Dollars
by Leon Jaroff
Time

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,231110,00.html

""Further testing of dowsing...would be a misuse of public funds."
β€" U.S. Geological Survey report, 1917"

Bones of contention
By Juno Gregory
Salon

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2002/04/22/bones/index.html

"While researching her book "Bones: Discovering the First Americans" in 1999, Canadian journalist Elaine Dewar came across a mystery. She couldn't figure out why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was so anxious to stop scientists from examining a human skeleton that had recently been discovered on Corps property near Kennewick, Wash. None of the Native American tribes in the area had yet laid formal claim to the remains under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which requires the return of all Native American remains found on federal lands to their local descendants (if any)."

Precursor to anthrax hysteria: the Mad Gasser of Roanoke
By Matt Chittum
Associated Press

http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/midatlantic/bal-ca.gasser00apr21.story

"Men sat awake with shotguns across their laps. Women stuffed rags into keyholes and the cracks around windows. Police chased shadows. The press ratcheted up the hysteria with dozens of news stories. Local politicians offered a reward."

Bohemian Grove commando found guilty
by Kelly St. John
San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/04/17/BA152967.DTL

"A Sonoma County jury convicted a Nevada man yesterday of all charges stemming from a bizarre episode that he undertook in hopes of exposing human sacrifice at the Bohemian Grove."

What Consensus?
By Dean Schabner
ABC News

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/conspiracy020417.html

"In the days immediately after Sept. 11, while most of the country was reeling from shock, some people out there were wondering what really happened."

THE DEAD CAN'T SHUT UP
By LINDA STASI
New York Post

http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/46203.htm

"IT'S a very big year for the dead and those who love them."

Google Begins Making DMCA Takedowns Public
by Don Marti
Linux Journal

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=5997&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

"In an apparent response to criticism of its handling of a threatening letter from a Church of Scientology lawyer, the popular search engine Google has begun to make so-called "takedown" letters public. DMCA-censored pages are now two clicks and a cut-and-paste away from the regular search results."

A Channeling of Voices From Beyond the Grave
By HOWARD ROSENBERG
Los Angeles Times

http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-TV-X!ArticleDetail-56780,00.html

"Dead people talking ... and walking."

In the beginning...
by Mark Owens
Willoughby News-Herald

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3909656&BRD=1698&PAG=461&dept_id=21849&rfi=6

"God, they say, is in the details."

FTC Warns Sites About Energy Claims
By Ken Magill
iMarketing News

http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=20124

"The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it has sent warning letters to more than 50 companies making questionable gas-saving and energy-related advertising claims about products for sale on their Web sites."

FTC WARNS MEDIA TO MONITOR FAKE AD CLAIMS
By Ira Teinowitz
AdAge

http://www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=34477

"A member of the Federal Trade Commission today warned media companies to crack down on running ads by makers of vitamin supplements and weight loss products that carry flagrantly dubious claims."

Controversial psychologist loses license
Aftenposten

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=313465

"Norway's Board of Health revoked a psychologist's license after he regressed a patient through former lives as a medieval witch and a German SS officer."

Satanic student group seeks funding at UWO
By Eric Bradley
Oshkosh Northwestern

http://www.wisinfo.com/northwestern/local/041602-6.html

"They don’t light candles, sacrifice goats or speak in tongues - but a recent court ruling guarantees a Satanic student group at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will have access to thousands of dollars raised from student fees to pay for its activities."

In the beginning, there was controversy
By Dave Perry
Aurora Sentinel

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3817701&BRD=1947&PAG=461&dept_id=168657&rfi=6

"Maybe it's the corn and wheat that makes some people sneeze and others lose their minds. How else can you explain that yet another Eastern Plains town has walked off the deep end and demanded that science teachers, holding a straight face, tell students that creationism is a plausible theory of origins, like evolution?"

Van Praagh Lives With Dead
Sci Fi Wire

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2002-04/11/12.00.tv

"Television psychic James Van Praagh told SCI FI Wire that he had a close connection with Ted Danson, who plays Van Praagh in the CBS supernatural biographical miniseries Living with the Dead. "Ted knew me before he was even signed on for the movie," Van Praagh said. "I had done [psychic] readings for him, and he knew how I worked, so he really gleaned from me to portray me. He also has a very strong spiritual sense, so he used that as well to help the part.""

For More Articles Visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skepticsearch/

2) Research programs in parapsychology?

Barry Karr,

Thanks for e-mailing my question re: accredited universities offering Ph.D.'s in parapsychology in the U.S. It doesn’t appear that there are any of note. There were several helpful responses with relevant websites:

http://www.psiexplorer.com/orgs.htm. http://www.survivalscience.org/proforgs.shtml. http://hsc.virginia.edu/personality-studies/ http://www.parapsychology.org
Mr. Karr, could you please e-mail the following question again:

In the last 20 years or so, what U.S. universities have discontinued their research programs in parapsychology? I've heard that U.C. Berkeley has. Is this correct? Any others?

Thanks,

Charles Rulon
ruloncl@yahoo.com

Reverse Speech Examples

http://reversespeech.com/Simple_Examples.htm

This page contains relatively easy to hear reversals, to give you a basic idea of what Reverse Speech is all about.

Cydonia. Cartography and Art.

http://cydonion.tripod.com/cydonia/index.html

Cydonia is truly the greatest gift from ETI to terrestrials. A titanic MUSEUM specifically designed to be imaged by spacecrafts. It is only 'solar shadows' what depict this quasi-divine Work in a canvas of nearly 9000 (km)^2 (radius=53.2 km = 1/100 of distace from pole to martian equator). Thus it is imperative to image Cydonia at all times of the martian day: shadows change dramatically and information is precious at sunset, at noon and at sunrise as well. Can the current 'Odyssey' (feb-2002) do better job than the 1976-Viking ?.

The wild, wild world of Kent Hovind

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/9917/hovind/wild_hovind.html

Mr. Kent Hovind is a Young Earth Creationist, one of those narrow biblical literalists that insist on claiming that every word in the bible is the absolute truth. Naturally, this gives rise to conflicts with modern scientific research, which contradict the literal interpretation of the bible. Mr. Hovind has found ways of rejecting the findings of modern science, and to those ends he has concocted the "Hovind Theory" of creation.

He is, well, one of the more interesting (and amusing) of all the creationists. Reminiscent of old-time tent revivals, he travels around the country giving his seminars and debates in churches.

Claiming to be undefeated, he has even constructed a long list of questions for evolutionists. He claims this list of questions are unanswerable. Well, only from the standpoint that no self-respecting and hard-working scientist would waste his or her valuable time with such a laundry list of easily refuted nonsense. This is where I come in. Not being a professional scientist, I have to do a lot of legwork in digging up the answers, and consulting experts, but the upshot is that I have the time to tackle such a time consuming undertaking.

April 24, 2002 -- May day changes for 'Crossing Over'

http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/46367.htm THE STARR REPORT

By MICHAEL STARR

"Crossing Over" host John Edward is nearing the show's 400th episode - with big changes in store for May sweeps.

The show, which airs 3-4 p.m. weekdays on Ch. 2 and on SCI FI, will see its production taken over by Studios USA, the production/syndication arm of USA Networks. The show had been produced by SCI FI.

Meanwhile, Edward, a Long Island native, is conducting sold-out seminars at Westbury Music Fair this Saturday and Sunday - with additional shows added on May 7 and 8.


Tuesday, April 23, 2002

The danger of false accusations

By Cathy Young, 4/22/2002

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/112/oped/The_danger_of_false_accusationsP.shtml

SEXUAL ABUSE of children by clergy is hardly a new discovery: the case of the Rev. James R. Porter, the Fall River priest who reportedly molested more than 100 altar boys, made headlines a decade ago. But today, charges of abuse and cover-ups in the Catholic Church are the focus of unprecedented national attention. The horror of sex crimes against children is compounded by a shocking betrayal of trust. It seems clear that many church officials were more concerned with avoiding scandal than with protecting the most vulnerable of their parishioners. Yet as a long-overdue spotlight is turned on these outrages, it is important to remember that almost every story has another side - in this case, the danger of false accusations.

There was a time when our culture was largely in denial about child sexual abuse in general. In the 1960s and 1970s, the efforts of child advocates and feminists raised public consciousness about this issue. However, this new awareness of a very real problem sometimes backfired.

In the 1980s, America was shaken by reports of an epidemic of sexual abuse in day care centers. Sensational trials of day care providers, with lurid details of torture, animal sacrifice and satanic rituals, unfolded from coast to coast. ''Believe the children'' was the mantra of the day.

Eventually, however, many of these cases began to unravel - though sometimes only after people who were almost certainly innocent spent years in prison.

Did Daddy Do It?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/press/2018i.html

Thursday, April 25, at 9pm, 60 minutes

In 1984, Frank Fuster was living the American dream with a nice house in the Miami suburbs and a new wife who was helping him raise his five-year-old son. Then, Fuster's world fell apart, as he and his wife found themselves charged with sexually abusing more than twenty children who attended their unlicensed home day-care center.

Fuster--who it was soon learned had prior convictions for manslaughter and child molestation--seemed to be the classic perpetrator. Branded a "monster" by parents and the local media, he was convicted and sentenced to 165 years in prison. His case would establish a successful method for prosecuting similar day-care abuse cases nationwide, while also boosting the political fortunes of a state attorney named Janet Reno, whose office would go on to prosecute additional cases of multiple sexual abuse at day-care centers in the Miami area.

But was Frank Fuster really guilty of the sexual abuse charges for which he was convicted? Or was he the victim of a tainted investigation that led to damning testimony from the state's star witnesses: some twenty children and Fuster's own wife? Eighteen years later, a FRONTLINE investigation reveals new evidence that calls into question the seemingly ironclad case against Frank Fuster in "Did Daddy Do It?" airing Thursday, April 25, at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local listings). The report also includes new allegations by Fuster's former wife that Janet Reno personally participated in a campaign to break her down psychologically in order to force her to testify falsely against her husband.

"Did Daddy Do It?" recalls the media frenzy and public hysteria surrounding several high-profile day-care abuse cases unfolding across the nation at that time. Nowhere was that public panic more pronounced than in Miami, where Janet Reno and other prosecutors had begun vigilantly pursuing day-care sexual abuse cases.

FRONTLINE recounts how Reno developed a special children's unit within the state attorney's office, where "child experts" Joe and Laurie Braga conducted videotaped interviews of children suspected of being abused.

In Fuster's case, more than twenty children ultimately reported being raped and molested by Fuster and his teenaged wife, Ileana. Masks, snakes, drills, and other objects figured in the children's reports of horrific sexual abuse. Most damning, however, was the evidence provided by Fuster's son, Noel--whom prosecutors announced had tested positive for gonorrhea of the throat--and the only adult witness, Ileana, who pleaded guilty and testified against her husband in exchange for a ten-year sentence.

Following Fuster's conviction, Reno's office would begin to use the so-called "Miami Method"-- videotaped interviews with children and expert testimony assuring jurors that the children should be believed--to go after other suspected child abusers.

David Marcus, a prosecutor in Reno's office, defends the techniques used to interview the children, saying Reno's unit was one of the first to limit the number of child interviews in order to minimize the trauma of asking a child to discuss such painful topics. Dr. Stephen Ceci, a nationally recognized expert on children's memory and interviewing techniques, disagrees. In particular, Ceci believes the Braga sessions were rife with leading questions that prompted children to say what they thought the interviewer wanted to hear.

"Kids are cooperative conversational partners...they want to give you the answer they think will make you happiest," he says. " And especially if the first couple of times they resist and just say 'No' and you keep bringing it up, they start to get the message. They think, 'Well, maybe I've been giving the wrong answer and I should switch.'"

Perhaps most egregious, Fuster appeal attorney Robert Rosenthal says, was the interview conducted in the Fuster case with Fuster's young son, Noel. In "Did Daddy Do It?," viewers witness scenes from this taped interview in which the Bragas--apparently stymied by Noel's insistence that no one abused him--ask the child if it's possible that he was abused but simply doesn't remember it because he was hypnotized or asleep at the time.

"These people did a number on me," Noel Fuster, now 24, tells FRONTLINE. "They were playing games with a six-year-old's head. They were good at it--I was confused. But now I know the truth."

That truth, Noel Fuster now says, is that he was never abused by his father. What's more, defense attorney Rosenthal questions the accuracy of the state's gonorrhea test, saying that particular kind of test had been shown to be inaccurate, and that the state had quickly treated Noel so that no further testing was possible.

Now, Ileana Flores, Fuster's former wife has come forward to tell FRONTLINE that her testimony against her husband was the result of a concerted effort by the state attorney's office to break her down psychologically and force her to testify against her husband.

"What I testified at trial was not the truth," says Ileana Flores, adding that Fuster "didn't do any of those things." Flores recounts a harrowing tale of being kept naked in her Dade County jail cell, held forcibly under cold showers, and being subjected to repeated psychological badgering aimed at convincing her that she had repressed memories of Fuster's abuse. She even recalls late-night visits from Janet Reno.

"I would tell [Reno] 'I am innocent,' and she would say, 'I'm sorry, but you are not and you're gonna have to help us,'" Flores tells FRONTLINE. "I never forget her face, like, 'If you don't [testify], something will happen to you....' I was so scared. Even today, I am afraid of her."

In "Did Daddy Do It?" Janet Reno--now a candidate for governor of Florida--declines to address Flores's charges, saying only that Flores has changed her story before. When asked to recall specific details about the case, Reno replies, "I haven't looked at the file in fifteen years. I would need you to bring me the all the files and I don't foresee having the time to go through the files."

When FRONTLINE offered to provide Reno with the files, she declined to discuss the case further.

Meanwhile, Frank Fuster continues to serve his 165-year sentence. He says he turned down a deal from the state in which he was offered a sentence of fifteen years if he would plead guilty. "If I had taken [it]," Fuster tells FRONTLINE, "I would have been home ten years ago." He refused the deal, he says, "Because I am innocent."

Following the broadcast, visit FRONTLINE's Web site, at www.pbs.org/frontline, for extended coverage of this story, including:

"Did Daddy Do It?" is a FRONTLINE co-production with the Kirk Documentary Group. The producer and director is Michael Kirk. The co-producers are Jim Gilmore and Rick Young. Peter J. Boyer is the correspondent. The writers are Michael Kirk and Peter J. Boyer.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS.

Astronomers 'crack' cosmic mystery

From Ananova at

http://www.ananova.com/yournews/story/sm_573266.html

Astronomers think they have solved the mystery of where the highest energy cosmic rays in the Universe come from.

The fast moving particles have been detected in the Earth's atmosphere but until now their origins have been unknown.

It now seems as though they are sent out by retired quasar galaxies which are powered by black holes.

These structures would once have been the brightest objects in the Universe but are now well past their peak.

The four newly discovered galaxies could be the source of this second wave of cosmic ray production.

Scientists at Nasa and Princeton University say the point at which the rays hit Earth line up with the galaxies' position in the sky.

Dr Diego Torres, of Princeton University, said: "For the first time, we see the hint of a possible connection between the arrival directions of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and locations on the sky of nearby dormant galaxies hosting supermassive black holes."

However, the team admit they cannot be sure whether the black holes are spinning - this is the only way the particles could be flung over such vast distances.

Mobiles cleared of ear cancer link

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1945000/1945773.stm

Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK

Scientists have found no evidence that using a mobile phone increases the risk of a type of ear cancer.

The debate on the safety of mobile phones has see-sawed for nearly a decade, creating widespread public fear and confusion, and prompting a vast number of studies into the health effects of the phones, and the transmitter masts needed to relay calls.

The latest study was carried out at the New York University Medical Centre, involving 90 patients with a type of cancer known as an acoustic neuroma - a tumour of the inner ear.

There are no established environmental causes of acoustic neuroma - but there had been concern that hand-held cellular phone users were at increased risk.

The radio frequency radiation emitted from cellular phones is absorbed superficially on the skin and bones surrounding the ear, and through the skull behind the ear.

But the researchers found no link between increased mobile phone use and this type of cancer.

However, they say their study focused on short-term mobile phone use, and recommend more studies on longer-term users.

Widespread use

Researcher Dr Joshua Muscat said: "The risk of acoustic neuroma was unrelated to cellular telephone use.

"A slightly elevated risk was found for subjects with three or more years of cell phone use, but these subjects were also infrequent users.

"No association was observed with cumulative use, and we found no evidence of a trend in the odds of risk with increasing levels of exposure."

In Britain, where there are more than 40m mobile phones, the government recently announced more than a dozen research projects on the possible risks.

The move followed an independent report in May 2000 that recommended limiting their use, especially in children.

These projects will cover a diverse range of diseases, including leukaemia and brain cancer, as well as whether mobile phone use might affect brain function, blood pressure, or the ability to drive.

The research is published in Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Speaker challenges theory of evolution

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3914626&BRD=580&PAG=461&dept_id=401608&rfi=6

By Michelle Kubitz, Staff Writer
April 22, 2002

WILLMAR - Since 1990, Kent Hovind has had a standing offer of a large sum of money to anyone who would be able to provide scientific proof of evolution.

With the pot standing at $250,000, Hovind says his offer demonstrates that the theory of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief - one that is jeopardizing the religious beliefs of the nation's school children.

Hovind, of Pensacola, Fla., a former science teacher and a creation-science evangelist, held a three-day seminar this weekend in Willmar.

Hovind was a high-school science teacher for 15 years and started his ministry named Creation Science Evangelism in 1989.

Science In the News

The following roundup of science stories appearing each day in the general media is compiled by the Media Resource Service, Sigma Xi's referral service for journalists in need of sources of scientific expertise.

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IN THE NEWS

Today's Headlines – April 23, 2002

GENETICALLY, BISON DON'T MEASURE UP TO FRONTIER ANCESTORS
from The New York Times

Nearly exterminated in the 19th-century conquest of the American West, bison today are considered a conservation success story, with some 300,000 of them roaming North America.

But recently geneticists have shown that many are actually bison-cow hybrids and should not figure in perpetuation of the true American bison.

The finding of domestic cattle genes in the bison reduces the pool of pure bison available for preserving the species to fewer than 15,000 animals scattered among national parks and preserves in the United States and Canada, said Dr. James Derr, a geneticist at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, who is leading the research.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/life/23BISO.html

EXPERTS FIND CLUES TO CAUSE OF DEADLY PACIFIC TSUNAMI
from The New York Times

A microphone in the Pacific Ocean near Wake Island recorded a 45-second, low-frequency roar, too low to be heard by human ears. It was the sound of nearly a cubic mile of sediment giving way along an ocean bottom slope 2,200 miles away off Papua New Guinea.

That recently examined recording is the latest evidence that an underwater landslide, not an earthquake, churned up the 30-foot-high tsunami that crashed onto coastal villages of Papua New Guinea on July 17, 1998, killing more than 2,100 people.

Once thought rare, landslide-generated tsunamis have caught the attention of geologists, who now look with concern at other continental shelves that could collapse with equal disaster. Three-dimensional maps of the bottom of Monterey Bay off California, for example, show several sections that have given way — and others that have cracked and may collapse in the future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/earth/23TSUN.html

ABUNDANCE OF COMETLIKE OBJECTS WITH MOONS STUNS EXPERTS
from The New York Times

Even small cometlike bodies at the edge of the solar system often have companion moons, to the surprise of astronomers who cannot yet explain how such tenuous gravitational pairings formed.

Writing in the current issue of the journal Nature, a team of American and French astronomers describe the looping elliptical orbits of 1998 WW31, a small icy clump 4.3 billion miles from the Sun, and its moon.

The pair is part of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of debris beyond the orbit of Neptune. When a Kuiper Belt object is nudged by a passing object's gravity and falls into the inner solar system, it becomes a comet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/space/23MOON.html

BEHAVING LIKE NEANDERTHALS
from The Washington Post

Neanderthals dissatisfied with their colleagues' behavior apparently dealt with their anger in much the same way as modern humans do today. They were quite willing to bash enemies over the head, and quite adept at seeking out the best available weapon for the job.

In a new analysis released yesterday, anthropologists suggested that the hole in the head of a young adult Neanderthal who died about 36,000 years ago, near what is now the village of St. Cesaire, in southwestern France, was probably made by someone who sliced open the skull with a machete-like knife or sword. Equally important, the victim got enough help from family and friends to survive the experience.

"Aggression just forms part of human behavior," said Christoph P.E. Zollikofer of the University of Zurich, leader of the team of researchers from France and Switzerland who examined the skull. Humans "need reconciliation and affection as well, and the experience here suggests a broad spectrum of behaviors."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31521-2002Apr22.html

FRUIT FLY FIGHT CLUB
from The Boston Globe

Inside a clear box that offers no possibility of escape, a column of light shines down on the platform where the violent contests are decided.

The ritual that follows is executed without deviation. At the center of the stage, a headless carcass is laid down by a worker who shows not the slightest hint of emotion. Nearby, the contestants - one representing Team White, the other Team Yellow - are readied. And then, before the cool eye of a digital video camera, the two competitors are ushered in with a single goal - total domination.

These brutal contests take place regularly at a Harvard Medical School laboratory, where they have a nickname, the ''Fruit Fly Fight Club.'' By carefully observing the lunging, boxing and smack downs of fruit flies spurred on by the scent of food and a female, the researchers are searching for the deep genetic roots of aggression and violence in humans.

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/113/science/Fruit_fly_fight_club+.shtml

SCIENCE BRIEFS
from The Boston Globe

Detecting Land Mines

A longstanding problem in many parts of the world is sniffing out land mines, which still maim or kill a horrifying 20,000 innocents every year. Now it looks like there may be a dramatic leap in the technology that can be used to find them. Scientists in Germany and Russia have devised a new way of detecting the nitrogen in TNT from a distance. The work is a variation on the magnetic resonance effect used in medical imaging. Instead of magnetizing the rather tricky nitrogen nuclei directly, they report, one can more easily magnetize hydrogen atoms, and then get them to transfer their magnetization to the nitrogen. Not only is the new technique more sensitive than its predecessors, but it's also sensitive to details of the manufacture of the TNT. ref.: Journal of Physics D (Applied Physics), May 7, 2002.

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/113/science/Detecting_land_mines+.shtml

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Oscillating solar neutrinos

From: Benedict Adamson

New experimental evidence supports the theory that neutrinos 'oscillate' between their three forms:

http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/sno/press_release/press_04_02.html

This theory solves the solar neutrino problem. IIRC, some young earth creationists have claimed that the solar neutrino problem shows that stellar astrophysics, with its conclusion that the universe is billions of years old, is wrong.

Why Conservative Christians Back A Genesis-Inspired Mid-East Map

http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5489
Published: Apr 19 2002

The Loyal Opposition: Inhofe's Pro-Apocalypse Foreign Policy
Why Conservative Christians Back A Genesis-Inspired Mid-East Map

David Corn

When Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat and prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus, recently told a radio interviewer that the Bush administration had advance notice of the September 11th attacks and did not "warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered," she was roundly -- and not undeservedly -- criticized in the political media world for peddling unproven conspiracy theories. But when a senator took to the Senate floor and said the September 11 attacks were retribution from God in response to U.S. policy toward Israel, a similar firestorm did not ensue.

Last month, Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, gave a speech in the Senate and asserted that Israel is "entitled" to the West Bank. He also chastised those within the United States who have urged Israeli restraint, blaming them for 9/11. "One of the reason I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America," Inhofe huffed, "is that the policy of our government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them."

In other words, on September 11, God allowed airliners to be piloted into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon because U.S. actions related to Israel were not to His/Her liking. How else to interpret Inhofe's words? A "spiritual door opened" for the attack? Well, who's in charge of spiritual doors -- and opening and closing them? Inhofe is clearly suggesting the United States was punished because the Bush administration and, I suppose, previous administrations had not been more supportive of Israel. Three billion dollars a year in economic and military aid apparently is not sufficient in the eyes of the Almighty. So, like McKinney, Inhofe holds the Bush gang accountable for the deaths of thousands, though he is less explicit. McKinney called for an investigation, but, alas, Inhofe, did not. Otherwise, C-SPAN viewers could be treated to hearings where religious experts would testify to the workings of "spiritual doors" and how one determines what secular actions most influence the doorkeeper upstairs.

Inhofe's remarks are reminiscent of the ravings uttered by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson days after the awful attacks. The pair accused the ACLU, abortion rights advocates, feminists, gays and lesbians, and People for the American Way (a liberal interest group) of degrading the nation and, thus, pissing off God. As Falwell said, "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve." ("That's my feeling," Robertson piped up.) After the two were criticized across the political spectrum, Falwell and Robertson issued phony apologies. But long-term damage had (thank God!) been done to their reputations.

Inhofe's case is a bit different. He's no TV preacher; he's a lawmaker. And his remarks did not come in the emotionally chaotic days following the attacks; his comments were made after he had months to reflect. He has, as far as I can tell, received no flak for his we-deserved-9/11 statement. But 200 or so Tulsa Muslims did march on his office a month later to protest another portion of his speech: Inhofe's insistence that God handed the West Bank to the Jewish people. How does Inhofe know that? It's in the Bible.

In that same floor speech, Inhofe offered seven reasons why Washington ought to back Israeli claims in the West Bank. His reason number seven -- "the most important reason" -- was this:

"Because God said so.... Look it up in the book of Genesis.... In Genesis 13:14-17, the Bible says: 'the Lord said to Abram [later known as Abraham], "Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which you see, to you I will give it, and to your seed forever.... Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee."'"

In Inhofe's mind, these few sentences in the Bible decide the matter, end of story. This is fundamentalism. Abram was in Hebron at the time, and Hebron is in the West Bank. So this must mean God granted the Jews all that territory forever. In Inhofe's mind, these few sentences in the Bible decide the matter, end of story. This is fundamentalism. And not too far a throw from the Islamic fundamentalism used by terrorists who point to the Koran to justify their actions. When the anti-Inhofe protesters in Tulsa noted that the Bible and the Koran say Jews and Muslims are both descendants of Abraham, Inhofe's responded, "I am not wavering from my view." He argued that, according to Genesis, the Jewish line has a special covenant with God.

If Inhofe is going to take his Middle East policy guidance directly from Genesis, he has a problem, for in Genesis 15, God makes another real-estate promise to Abram. One night, as Abram is offering an animal sacrifice to God (a three-year old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove and a young pigeon, per God's instructions), the All-knowing One says, "I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River."

That's some stretch. It would cover Jordan in its entirety, a big chunk of Syria, a third of Iraq, and the northern tip of Saudi Arabia. Talk about a Greater Israel. And one with oil. In his speech, Inhofe maintained the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is "not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true." A question for the senator: Why would the word of God be true in Genesis 13, but not in Genesis 15? Ariel Sharon better watch out for his Christian fundamentalist supporters, for they may be looking for him to send his tanks all the way to Persian Gulf.

If the Middle East conflict is indeed a battle over the word of God, then all hope is lost. Fortunately, Inhofe is not one of the more influential Republicans on Capital Hill. But he does represent religious conservatives, an important component of George W. Bush's political base. According to Karl Rove, Bush's key political operative, the Bush camp was mighty disappointed that only 15 million white evangelicals voted in 2000. The Bush gang had expected 19 million to do so. So, Rove says, the Christian right is "something we have to spend a lot of time and energy on." And many within the religious right do share Inhofe's view that God gave Israel and the West Bank to the Jews in the Bible. Many also subscribe to "dispensationalism," a Christian theology developed in the mid-1800s that holds that the existence of Israel is a necessary prelude to the rise of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ. (As part of the End Time scenario, Jews supposedly have to be gathered together in one spot, and Israel offers logistical potential.) Consider this the ultimate conspiracy theory -- and it prompts evangelists to be fervent supporters of Israeli hawks.

Does the born-again Bush share the we-love-Armageddon view of the religious right?

Fundamentalism, Inhofe-style, is deeply embedded within GOP circles. A recent example: in mid-April, according to The Houston Chronicle, Rep. Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican and the House majority whip, told an audience of 300 people at the First Baptist Church in Pearland, Texas, "Don't send your kids to Baylor [University]. And don't send your kids to [Texas] A&M." Instead, he urged, parents ought to ship their children to "Christian schools." The remark reflected DeLay's far-out extremism, for Baylor and A&M are generally regarded as two of the most conservative universities in his state. Baylor in 1999 became the first university in the United States to back the study of "intelligent design" -- a fancy term for creationism. Yet Baylor, which publicly professes a commitment to Christian values, still does not meet DeLay's standards. (Could that be because DeLay was booted out of Baylor in 1967 for what his spokesman says was "too vigorous a social life"?) Weeks after September 11, DeLay opined, "The country has to decide whether it's going to seek the face of God or turn its back on God permanently." DeLay's all-or-nothing fundamentalism sounds awfully close to the God-punished-us line. By the way, DeLay has slapped Bush for not supporting Sharon to the hilt.

As the Middle East troubles have intensified, there's been wondering among Christian right watchers as to whether the born-again Bush shares the we-love-Armageddon view of the religious right. (When Ronald Reagan was president, he made comments indicating he was sympathetic to dispensationalism.) But Bush's policy decisions of late -- lean on Sharon (to a limited degree) and let Colin Powell push for negotiations -- have not been in sync with apocalyptic theology, and they have peeved Falwell and other religious right shepherds. "I think the president has made a big mistake" in the Middle East, says Pat Robertson. "And when he called on the Israelis and said 'I want them to pull out right now,' before they finish the task of rooting out terrorism, in the so-called West Bank territory, I think he's alienated some people." How will Bush make happy the Christian conservatives and motivate the white evangelicals Karl Rove craves as voters? Perhaps by opposing all forms of human cloning. Let's hope it's not via the Middle East, for his religious right supporters may not be satisfied until there's all-out war and, if they follow Inhofe's example and read Genesis literally, Israel marches across the region and annexes Kuwait.

David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation. His first novel, Deep Background, a political thriller, was published recently by St. Martin's Press.

Everything you know is wrong!

From: Win.Featherston@edwardjones.com

The following site has a quiz which purports to tell readers a number of 'surprising' bits of information, under the heading "Everything you know is wrong." Some of the things I didn't know deal with the efficacy of alternative medicine and the occurrence of CJD (human mad cow disease) in the US.

There are also a number of politically-oriented "surprises." The alternative medicine portion even has a little jab at skeptics.

http://www.disinfo.com/pages/other/id2118/pg1/

Win Featherston

Gonzo Science

Down with the Big Bang

A Column by Jim Richardson and Allen Richardson

The Big Bang theory sucks. It's better than the Biblical story of creation but not by much. In fact they're not really that different. "The universe began all at once, out of nothing..." This of course makes certain logical headaches. What came before? How did nothing become something? Science has no good answers to these questions. Another unattractive feature of the Big Bang, like the Bible, is the idea that the universe must end. It's morbid. We are compelled to believe something different. We believe the universe has always existed, and will never die.

Some great scientists have jeopardized their careers, and in some cases lost them, by pursuing the evidence for this idea. It's like you have swear an oath to the Big Bang to get anywhere as a space scientist. Most people think science is full of fresh thinking, new ideas, and open minds. It turns out the status quo rules science like everything else, and if you want to keep your job, you better not ask any questions. Just ask Halton Arp, or Fred Hoyle. What a bitter disappointment. http://www.anomalist.com/gonzoscience/bang.html

Gonzo Science

Down with the Big Bang

Part 2: The Anti Big Bang Bunch

A Column by Jim Richardson and Allen Richardson

In this corner, reigning champion and dominant scientific theory of the universe: the Big Bang Theory.

And in this corner, the challengers: the Quasi Steady State theory, and the Plasma Cosmology, and the Meta Model, and Halton Arp's Continual Creation Theory.

It's like Galactus vs. the Fantastic Four. Galactus (the Big Bang) is massive, overwhelmingly powerful, and has the world in his grip. The Fantastic Four, on the other hand, are these freaks with wierd powers who have no chance. http://www.anomalist.com/gonzoscience/bang2.html

Los Alamos researcher says 'black holes' aren't holes at all

Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 21:00:07 -0400

News and Public Affairs
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Contact:
James Rickman, elvis@lanl.gov, (505) 665-9203

02-035

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 21, 2002 -- Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of South Carolina have provided a hypothesis that "black holes" in space are not holes at all, but instead are more akin to bubbles.

Researcher Emil Mottola of Los Alamos' Theoretical Division today presented a new explanation for black holes at the American Physical Society annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. Pawel Mazur of the University of South Carolina is Mottola's co-author. The researchers' explanation redefines black holes not as "holes" in space where matter and light inexplicably disappear into another dimension, but rather as spherical voids surrounded by an extremely durable form of matter never before experienced on Earth. Mazur and Mottola call the extraordinary objects Gravastars.

The Gravastar explanation for black holes helps provide answers to some of the daunting questions raised by traditional black-hole descriptions. Based on earlier-held astrophysical explanations, black holes form in space when stars reach the end of their lives and collapse in on themselves. According to black hole theory, the matter from these dying stars occupies a tiny amount of space -- a mere pinpoint -- and creates a mind-boggling gravitational field so powerful that nothing can escape, not even light.

Mottola and Pawel suggest that while some degree of collapsing does take place in a dying star, the collapse proceeds only to a certain point. At that point, the intense gravity of the dying star transforms the star's matter into an entirely new phase. Mottolla describes this phase as similar to a Bose-Einstein condensate, a phase of matter recently observed in a laboratory setting and the subject of scientific excitement in the past few years.

On Earth, a Bose-Einstein condensate forms when matter is plunged to very low temperatures approaching Absolute Zero, the theoretical temperature at which all atomic motion -- the motion of electrons, protons and all other subatomic particles within an individual atom -- is believed to cease. When matter is cooled sufficiently to become a Bose-Einstein condensate, the atoms that make up the matter enter a strange new phase. The atoms all reach the same energy state, or quantum state, and they coalesce into a blob of material called a "super atom." The properties of Bose-Einstein condensates are the subject of intense study and many physicists are working to understand them.

Mottola and Mazur believe that dying stars collapse to the "Event Horizon" -- in essence the point of no return for objects entering the gravitational field of a black hole. At this point, the matter in the dying star transforms to a new state of matter that forms a Gravastar. According to the two researchers, the dying star's matter creates an ultra-thin, ultra-cold, ultra-dark shell of material that is virtually indestructible. The new form of gravitational energy in the interior is akin to a Bose-Einstien condensate, although it appears on the inside to be a bubble of vacuum, hence the term Gra (vitational) Va (cuum) Star, or Gravastar.

"Since this new form of matter is very durable, but somewhat flexible, like a bubble, anything that became trapped by its intense gravity and smashed into it would be obliterated and then assimilated into the shell of the Gravastar," Mottola said. "However, any matter in the vicinity that fell onto the surface could be re-emitted as another form of energy, which would make Gravastars potentially much more powerful emitters of radiation than black holes, which simply swallow the material."

The space trapped inside the Gravastar's shell is a similarly uncanny conceptually. The interior of the Gravastar would be totally warped space-time (the traditional three dimensions plus time). According to the researchers, this interior space would exert an outward force on the shell, adding to its durability.

Although unconventional, Mottola and Mazur's Gravastar explanation for black holes does solve at least one serious quandary created by black hole theory. Under a black-hole scenario, the amount of entropy created in a black hole would become nearly infinite. Physicists have struggled for years to account for the huge entropy of black holes, and largely have failed. Unlike their black hole counterparts, Gravastars would have a very low entropy.

Mottola and Mazur continue to refine their theory and are working on a concept behind rotating Gravastars. They even suggest that the universe we now know and live in may be the interior of a Gravastar.

"These are fascinating concepts to think about," Mottola said. "I look forward to exploring this hypothesis further."

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Apple promotes 'Godless Darwinism and Communism'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/24968.html

By Drew Cullen Posted: 22/04/2002 at 16:07 GMT

Dr. Richard Paley is a teacher of Divinity and something called Theobiology at Fellowship University, which we guess is somewhere in America.

He's a doughty fighter against anti-Christian hate crimes, and a fierce opponent of Evolutionism. In his capacity as a member of the OBJECTIVE: Landover Baptist Shutdown ( Landover Baptist is a spoof publication) web site, Dr. Paley has written an article called Objective: Creation Education, an expose of evolutionist propaganda.

A prime exponent of such propaganda is - Apple.

The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (MacOS X) is called... Darwin! That's right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don't advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an "Open Source" license, which is just another name for Communism. They try to hide all of this under a facade of shiny, "lickable" buttons, but the truth has finally come out: Apple Computers promote Godless Darwinism and Communism.


Monday, April 22, 2002

THE DEAD CAN'T SHUT UP

http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/46203.htm

By LINDA STASI

April 22, 2002 -- "Contact: Talking To The Dead"
Tonight at 10 on WABC/Ch. 7

IT'S a very big year for the dead and those who love them.

We've got the one that started it all, "Crossing Over with John Edward," we've got "Living With The Dead" a two-parter with Ted Danson premiering on CBS Sunday, and tonight we've got the one that came D.O.A.: "Contact: Talking To The Dead," a bad "Crossing Over" rip-off starring medium George Anderson.

Let's just call it "Crossing Over" lite.

How they could take a world-renowned medium who's been called the Edgar Cayce of our time and turn him into a cheap strip-mall act is beyond me. Hell, it's even beyond the grave.

If you are a fan of John Edward, you'll see the attempt at copying a winning formula - with some horrible exceptions.

One is that the thing takes place in what is presumably Anderson's own home which is supposed to be spooky or Victorian or some damn thing.

Then instead of just letting Anderson speak for himself, they have a cheesy host (Jim Moret) walking around outside for the most part telling us things between readings. Awful!

And finally, instead of just sticking to regular people who are grieving, the producers make the fatal error of digging up (forgive me) "Z" list celebrities who are grieving.

I mean, do you really care to listen to the heartache of Mackenzie Phillips, Vanna White, Bret "The Hitman" Hart? How can you even believe one word when in fact their lives are open books?

I mean, even I know about Vanna White's dead boyfriend - which may in fact be the only thing I do know about Vanna White.

The only one that even held out some promise was the sister and mother of Robert Blake's dead wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.

Blake, of course, was arrested last week for Bakley's murder, along with his chaffeur, Earl Caulfield.

But instead of dead Bonny finally getting her (forgive me again!) shot at telling the world who knocked her off, she "talks" about nothing.

Why bother coming all the way back from the dead to be even more boring than you were alive? Painful!

I hate that I hate this show because I am a sucker for all things supernatural and spiritual - and the cheesier the better. But Mackenzie Phillips and Vanna White?

Worst, however, is the wrestler. His segment comes off as nothing more than a cheap bid for publicity. When he has a chat with his dead brother Owen Hart who died in a fall in the ring - I mean, have some shame.

You want to meet with a medium for something like this, do it in privacy for God's sake!

And as for Mackenzie Phillips, it's just too hard to swallow that she's communing with her dead father John Phillips. Through Anderson, the dead Papa says something like, "You'll know it's me because I'm a real straight shooter."

This sets Phillips off on yet another crying jag because she now believes her father is indeed communicating from the grave. How else would the medium have known those exact words were from a very famous Mamas and Papas song, she wonders. Duuuh.

"Contact: Talking To The Dead," is an over-produced, embarrassing mess. This is enough to give mediums a bad name.

Or maybe kill them off - at least in prime time.

Evil Macs!

From: Jim Burton

Check out http://members.truepath.com/objective/propaganda.html for a new tack on ranting against evolution...

(note, I was able to get trough this site earlier today, but notice that now it is generating connection errors)

Fair-use quote:

"However, these propagandists aren't just targeting the young. Take for example Apple Computers, makers of the popular Macintosh line of computers. The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (MacOS X) is called... Darwin! That's right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don't advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an 'Open Source' license, which is just another name for Communism. They try to hide all of this under a facade of shiny, 'lickable' buttons, but the truth has finally come out: Apple Computers promote Godless Darwinism and Communism."

Ted Danson's Psychic Connection

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,50855,00.html

RADNOR, Pa. - Ted Danson will portray a spiritual medium he consulted in real life to try to contact his late father.

Danson stars as best-selling medium James Van Praagh in the CBS movie Living with the Dead on April 28 and 30.

It turns out the role might not be much of a stretch for Danson, who stars the CBS sitcom Becker.

After network executives sent a script and offer to Danson, they learned that subject and star had met a week earlier.

"I had been to Ted's house just that week before to do a spiritual reading for him and his wife, Mary Steenburgen," Van Praagh said. "Now, how wild is that? It all seemed to be part of a divine plan."

Danson told TV Guide for its April 27 issue that he believes he made contact with his late father through Van Praagh.

"I've had several evenings with James and he has transformed me," Danson said. "The experience is like a two-by-four across the forehead."

Steenburgen called the sessions "extraordinary, uplifting and beyond any rational explanation. And believe me, I tried to explain them away."

Living with the Dead is inspired by the life and work of Van Praagh, author of Talking to Heaven and Reaching to Heaven.

Google Runs Into Copyright Dispute

April 22, 2002

By DAVID F. GALLAGHER

Google, the company behind the popular Web search engine, has been playing a complicated game recently that involves the Church of Scientology and a controversial copyright law.

Legal experts say the episode highlights problems with the law that can make companies or individuals liable for linking to sites they do not control. And it has turned Google, whose business is built around a database of two billion Web pages, into a quiet campaigner for the freedom to link.

The church sent a complaint to Google last month, saying that its search results for "Scientology" included links to copyrighted church material that appears on a Web site critical of the church. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which was intended to make it easier for copyright holders to fight piracy, the complaint meant that Google was required to remove those links quickly or risk being sued for contributing to copyright infringement.

The site in question, Operation Clambake (www.xenu.net), is based in Norway, beyond the reach of the United States copyright act. The site portrays the church as a greedy cult that exploits its members and harasses critics. Andreas Heldal-Lund, the site's owner, says the posting of church materials, including some internal documents and pictures of church leaders, is allowable under the "fair use" provisions of internationally recognized copyright law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/22/technology/ebusiness/22NECO.html?ex=1020500190&ei=1&en=b80693dd46f31729

Science In the News

The following roundup of science stories appearing each day in the general media is compiled by the Media Resource Service, Sigma Xi's referral service for journalists in need of sources of scientific expertise.

For accurate instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv, follow this link: http://www.mediaresource.org/instruct.htm

If you experience any problems with the URLs (page not found, page expired, etc.), we suggest you proceed to the home page of "Science In the News" http://www.mediaresource.org/news.htm which mirrors the daily e-mail update.

IN THE NEWS

Today's Headlines – April 22, 2002

LIMITS OF DNA RESEARCH PUSHED TO IDENTIFY THE DEAD OF SEPT. 11
from The New York Times

A right hand, a forearm and a clavicle, and the DNA they carried, were all investigators had to identify the remains of Timothy Stout, who worked on the 103rd floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Two fingerprints and a dental pattern proved key to confirming the death of David Suarez, who worked a few floors below.

A genetic analysis of a bone fragment determined the final fate of John C. Hartz, who was on the phone with his wife describing the horror of the first attack when the south tower, where he worked, was struck by a second hijacked plane. "I have never been able to understand why people have been so intent on recovering bodies," said Mr. Hartz's widow, Ellie. "Now I understand. It is a basic human need. We are tactile."

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/22/nyregion/22IDEN.html

SHOOTING FOR THE MOON
from The San Francisco Chronicle

Clues to Earth's earliest days and first microbial inhabitants may survive in an unexpected place: the moon.

Scientists have long debated what happened on the primordial Earth almost 4 billion years ago. Did primitive microbes wriggle within volcano-heated pools of water? Did falling asteroids vaporize oceans and gouge craters the size of small states?

Such questions are terribly hard to answer. The clues have been largely erased by erosion -- by rain, wind, tides, plate tectonics, and other natural forces.

But some clues might still exist a quarter of a million miles away, on the frigid, airless surface of the moon. Long ignored by mainstream scientists, the idea has begun to attract some serious attention, including the first serious proposals to go looking for hard evidence.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/04/22/MN108065.DTL

CANCER THERAPIES AT BORDER WHERE MEDICINE, STOCK MARKETS COLLIDE
from The San Francisco Chronicle

Last week, the nation's top association of cancer physicians unwittingly launched what may be the world's largest clinical trial of the honor policy.

Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology is poised to discover whether 18,000 people can keep secrets worth billions of dollars, and not spill those valuable beans for a month.

Alas, evidence suggests ASCO's honor policy has already failed, to the detriment of ordinary biotech shareholders who aren't privy to the secrets. But first, here's the background.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/22/BU17390.DTL

BATTLE FOR BRAINS
from The San Francisco Chronicle

...Biotechnology companies that can lure such graduates out of their cozy academic world have the best shot at turning out groundbreaking work that can yield big profits.

But the very candidates a biotech firm would most like to hire -- brilliant innovators training at top schools -- may be the ones least likely to take such a job. The first choice for most of the elite students in those fields would be a post as a professor that allows them to push the envelope of scientific discovery, their academic advisers say. While biotech firms treasure that creativity, they need to harness it in the drive to develop products.

"It used to be unheard of for those people to go to biotech," said Dr. David Drubin, a genetics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/21/BU173316.DTL

THE VIRUS AS A TOOL OF MEDICINE
from The Los Angeles Times

They are many times smaller than a bacterium--yet can easily reduce one to rubble. With steely purpose, they stick to the wall of a bacterial cell and inject their genetic material. Then they use the cell to copy themselves over and over again before crashing out and drifting off to cause more mayhem elsewhere.

Just as there are viruses that infect and cause disease in humans, so there are viruses that infect bacteria.

For decades, researchers in the former Soviet bloc used and studied those viruses--known as bacteriophage, or "bacteria eaters"--in hopes of curing disease. Now, after years of ignoring them, U.S. scientists are showing increasing interest. The need for new approaches in fighting disease is obvious, says Marissa Miller, who directs the antimicrobial resistance program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Overuse of antibiotics has caused drugs to lose a lot of their clout as more and more bugs become resistant.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-000028712apr22.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dscience

HOPING TO CURB BAY DAMAGE, MD. SPOILS MUTE SWANS' EGGS
from The Washington Post

...What he is about to do is unpleasant business, even abhorrent to those who love the beautiful animals. But his mission is backed by the best science of the day and, now, wildlife officials at the highest levels of government.

He has come here to kill the unborn cygnets of the mute swans he saw from the sky, to shake the life from the eggs before they can hatch. Like those who defend the birds, he was inspired the first time he saw one, serenely paddling near the Thomas Point lighthouse southeast of Annapolis.

But since then, he has seen what they can do: uproot and gobble up underwater grasses by the ton, leaving river bottoms as barren as clear-cut forests and fish, crabs and other birds without shelter or forage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25543-2002Apr21.html

Please follow these links for more information about Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society:

Sigma Xi Homepage
http://www.sigmaxi.org

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http://www.mediaresource.org

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http://www.americanscientist.org

For feedback on In the News,
inthenews@sigmaxi.org

SA Aids drug u-turn welcomed

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_1942000/1942152.stm

Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK

By Barnaby Phillips
BBC southern Africa correspondent in Johannesburg

Aids activists in South Africa have welcomed a government announcement that appears to indicate an important shift in its unpopular policies on HIV and Aids.

The government last week said it was committed to the widespread distribution of the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine which it had previously argued was dangerous.

More than 4.5 million South Africans are thought to be HIV-positive - the largest infected population in the world.

The Treatment Action Campaign said the new policy, which acknowledges that anti-retroviral drugs can prolong lives, has brought hope after months of despair.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions described it as a "victory of logic".

Officials within the Ministry of Health are reported to be delighted with the new policy direction.

Unbearable pressure

The ANC government's Aids policies have produced strong national and international condemnation.

The Sunday newspapers in Johannesburg report that the pressure on the government was becoming unbearable.

They say that President Thabo Mbeki was forced to back down as criticism mounted of his unconventional views on the disease and of his belief that anti-retroviral drugs are dangerous.

The government now says it hopes to provide Nevirapine across the country by December.

However it will continue with its appeal against a court order instructing it to provide the drug to HIV-positive pregnant women.

The government says it has not dropped the appeal because of wider constitutional issues.

It does not believe that courts should determine national health policy.


Sunday, April 21, 2002

Dust from dawn of time

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1925000/1925956.stm

Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK

Astronomers have detected cosmic ashes from the dawn of time.

It comes from stars that died more than 10 billion years ago. It is the first time stellar dust has been detected at such an early stage in the evolution of the Universe, say British scientists.

The snapshot of the baby Cosmos was taken using a powerful instrument on a telescope in Hawaii.

The instrument used one of the world's most powerful cameras to glimpse some of the most distant quasars yet known.

Analysis of the quasars' light revealed that it came from galaxies that were formed very early in the history of the Universe.

The quasars appear to contain large amounts of cool dust, a substance formed from the atmospheres of old stars.

Youthful Cosmos

"We're looking more than nine-tenths of the way back to the birth of the Universe in the Big Bang, " said team leader Dr Robert Priddey of Imperial College, London.

He added: "It`s amazing enough that these quasars, powered by billion solar mass black holes, should already exist only a billion years after the Big Bang.

"That these quasars also appear to contain so much dust yields important clues to the formation of massive galaxies in the youthful Cosmos."

The existence of the dust and the presence of constituents like silicon and carbon suggests that a large mass of stars had already been born, grown old and died, within only a billion years of the Big Bang.

Dr Richard McMahon of the University of Cambridge said: "The stars that made the carbon and silicon in these quasars are probably like the stars that made the carbon in our own bodies.

"It is very exciting to be able to learn when the chemical elements in our bodies were made."

Full details of the findings are presented on Friday 12 April at the National Astronomy Meeting in Bristol.

Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici

http://www.arpnet.it/~ufo/

Since 1986, the Italian Center for UFO Studies (Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici, CISU) has been the largest and most active UFO investigation and research organization in Italy. Since 1988 it's been the only Italian member of the International Committee on UFO Research (ICUR).

The CISU is a no-profit association whose aims are:

The CISU is composed of two categories of members: about 60 active members and nearly 300 associates, plus 6 honorary members.

Since April 30, 2000 the serving Council of Directors has been formed by: Edoardo Russo, President, Paolo Fiorino, Giuseppe Stilo, Paolo Toselli and Maurizio Verga.

The CISU keeps a busy publication schedule: its journal "UFO - Rivista di informazione ufologica" is a 40-pages quality magazine published twice per year, and until 1995 it had been the only UFO publication available in a national network of bookstores and newsstands in Italy; members also receive "UFO Notizie", a quarterly 16-20 pages newsletter detailing activities, information, news and communications, and "UFO Forum", a 36-48 pages journal of technical papers and debates; they can also subscribe to "UFO - Notiziario Archivio Stampa", a monthly 20-pages selection of newspaper clippings (since 1990 CISU has been subscribing to a newsclipping service). "Servizio Documentazione Estera", a 30-pages monthly selection of articles from foreign UFO journals is also distributed.

You can reach us:

An English language, aperiodical Italian UFO Reporter has been irregularly published since 1986 and sent for exchange to foreign sister organizations and fellow researchers.

For much more information in English about UFOs and ufology in Italy, jump to

http://www.ufo.it/

the international CISU web site by Maurizio Verga.

More data about Italian UFO research projects (in English), jump to

http://www.ufodatanet.org/

the web site of CISU national research coordinator Renzo Cabassi.

B.C. pokes at evolution

From: Jim Burton

Born-again comic strip writer Johnny Hart's Sunday strip "B.C." asks, "Does it ever bug you that evolutionists totally reject 'creation science' ?"

The answer: "Heck no! If they wanna believe they were created when lightning stuck a swamp, more power to them."

Of course, evolutionary theory does not say HOW life got started, only that once it did, it evolved from simple forms to what we see today.

I've e-mailed my feelings about Hart's misguided jab on evolution to the writer -- if you'd like to do the same, visit
http://www.creators.com/comics_writetheauthor.cfm?pg=write&comicname=bc

Jim

Victor Stenger at UCI and on KUCI 88.9 fm Monday 4/22

Dr. Victor Stenger: "Has Science found God?"
Date: Monday, April 22, 2002
Time: 7:00PM - 8:30PM PDT (GMT-07:00)

Victor Stenger will be speaking Monday April 22 at 7 pm in the Social Science Lecture Hall at UCI. His title is "Has Science Found God?" For more information, please see: http://spirit.dos.uci.edu/sss .

In addition, Dr. Stenger will be interviewed earlier in the day (Monday, April 22) on "Campus Talk UCI", airing 4:30-5 pm PDT on KUCI 88.9 fm and www.kuci.org . If you would like to ask Dr. Stenger a question, you may call-in. For more information on that, please see: http://kuci.org/~doug/ or www.listen.to/ctuci .

KUCI can be heard in and around Irvine, California, at 88.9 fm, and Worldwide at http://www.kuci.org .

Bible class learns 'bout a man named Jed

By SUE MCCLURE
Staff Writer

Study on morals looks at 'Beverly Hillbillies' show

SPRING HILL — Like Jesus at the well, Jed Clampett has some wisdom to impart down by the cement pond.

His down-home reasoning regarding right and wrong is the focus of a new Bible study at Spring Hill United Methodist Church.

Every Wednesday, church members gather to watch an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies; then they discuss religious and moral messages one might learn from the show.

http://tennessean.com/local/archives/02/04/16414628.shtml?Element_ID=16414628

Casting a cold eye on hot remedies

Scientists raising new doubts on popular alternative medicines

By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff, 4/20/2002

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/110/nation/Casting_a_cold_eye_on_hot_remediesP.shtml

Every year, Americans spend $27 billion on alternative medicine: potions, pills, and treatments that fly from the shelves of health food stores, supported more by the hopes and expectations of their users than by rigorous scientific research.

But now, backed by millions of dollars from federal agencies, scientists are beginning to hold those treatments to the same kind of scrutiny as conventional drugs, often with disappointing results.

New studies released in the past two weeks show that six popular treatments - including the use of magnets for pain relief and St. John's wort for depression - perform no better than placebos, the equivalent of sugar pills. In fact, the trial of one tree extract, guggul, showed that it aggravated the condition it was supposed to relieve, actually elevating cholesterol levels.

Plastic Jesus

From Paul W Harrison

According to the "Best of Broadside" site, "the song [Plastic Jesus] still provokes outrage from those who fail to recognize that its target is the purveyors of religious kitsch, not religion itself."

For an audio sample, go to:

http://www.bestofbroadside.com/Marrs.htm

Have you been abducted?

http://www.abduct.com/irm.htm

According to the experts there are about two million people in the United States alone in need of our services.

Could you be one of them?

— I R M —

Alien Implant Removal and Deactivation Method


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