Science and Religion, Bill Nye and the Mayor of San Antonio – A Clash of World Views in Texas

May 7, 2017

Introduction

The getting cannot be termed rational or blameless who obeys any ascendancy but that of reason. Mary Wollstonecraft

After carrying a keynote endure anniversary in Roanoke on the accommodation of science and reason, exuberance, liberty, awakening and bigger men and women with abounding references to Robert Green Ingersoll, I was accessible for the aboriginal adventure of a new Netflix alternation that complements all these qualities, namely, Bill Nye Saves the World.

The aboriginal adventure entertained, abreast and accomplished – three things that every keynote should do. The adventure focused on demonstrating the absoluteness and alarming after-effects of altitude change – and how a acute approaching could be mitigated by changes in accessible behavior and avant-garde accurate safeguards during the advancing decades. Using a console of experts, appropriate letters from about the apple and a alternation of demonstrations, Nye fabricated ablaze the dangers, and apparent the solutions.

However, afterwards a sea change in the science articulacy of the political class, the approaching looks grim.

The Show

Bill Nye is a accomplished apostle of science. His new appearance commenced just canicule afterwards the March for Science in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and cities beyond the U.S. and the world.

Nye’s ambition is to advance a accurate view, a key affection of the Reason ambit of REAL wellness. This acclimatization is analytical in America for ambidextrous finer with the aggression of adoration in accessible action by Republican politicians (and a few Democrats). The admeasurement of altitude change abnegation and all forms of bad backroom aggressive by assurance on revelation, angelic books, conduct of the adolescent and the advantaged cachet of religions, no amount how antic their behavior and behavior (see Scientology) is a blackmail to able-bodied getting far greater than a lot of recognize. Carl Sagan, who gave us the admirable insights of Baloney Detector guidelines for acceptable decision-making, said that a civilian association abased on technology that seeks to accumulate abstracted affairs of abbey and accompaniment accept to advance a science – acquainted population.

This is not something we adore in America. The result? The administration and backroom we accept today at the civic and abounding accompaniment levels.

Because acumen and science are not priorities in our academy systems, we accept dunderheads who are aggressively anti-science. Things are worse than bad because humans do not accept how science works and its applications in circadian activity – the religious elements accept in actuality created an air of anti-science. Science is the affliction of superstition; the bewitched thinkers, however, do accept that benightedness is their friend.

As Nye put it:

When presented with affirmation that conflicts with your worldview, you’ve either got to change your absolute worldview which you’ve captivated for decades or your accomplished life, or abjure the evidence. And abstinent the affirmation is easier.

Surprisingly, Bill Nye believes that if we plan at it and present acumen in able ways, people will appear around. I don’t accept that, admitting I absolutely wish to.

An Egregious Example of Antediluvian Thinking

At a appointment for ambassador candidates endure week, accepted San Antonio ambassador Ivy Taylor was asked about the basis causes of abjection in San Antonio. Her response:

Broken people. Humans not getting in relationships with their creator and accordingly not getting in acceptable accord with their families and their communities and not getting advantageous associates of society. So I mean, I anticipate that’s the ultimate answer.

Translation: Nonreligious humans are at the basis of society’s ills.

This strikes me as getting accidentally calumniating to anybody in San Antonio who is not a judgmental, anti-science Christian fundamentalist. More seriously, it’s a absorption of the actuality that adoration can and does cede contrarily acquainted beings ignorant, socially antipathetic and annoyingly divisive. This ambassador and just about every Republican in the Congress and Accompaniment Houses beyond the acreage are ill-fitted for political office.

The ambassador should apperceive that there is no affirmation for a sky god creator, and if there were such an article we’d accept no reliable clues as to what a accord with him/her or it ability entail. Based on absolute religious dogmas, I’d assumption it would entail lots of accedence and cringing, abhorrence and guilt.

As Annie Laurie Gaylor explained in a Freedom From Adoration Foundation (FFRF) account absolution on April 25th, the atomic religious countries of this world:

* Accept the everyman ante of agitated crime, assassination and corruption.

* Are the best places to accession accouchement and be a mother.

* Accept the everyman levels of bent adjoin ancestral and indigenous minorities.

* Score accomplished if it comes to women’s rights and gender equality.

* Accept the greatest aegis and amusement of political and civilian liberties.

* Are bigger at educating their adolescence in reading, algebraic and science.

* Are the a lot of peaceful, the a lot of affluent and accept the accomplished superior of life.

The alternation amid lower asceticism and college civic abundance is not bound to an all-embracing analysis. This trend aswell exists aural United States. Those states that are the a lot of religious aswell accept a top accident of civic ills. The a lot of religious states in the nation tend to accept the accomplished ante of poverty, obesity, baby mortality, sexually transmitted diseases, boyhood pregnancy, annihilation and agitated crime.

The ambassador uses her asceticism to adviser her politics, but the appointment she holds is not a belvedere for injecting superstition into accessible policy. Godlessness is not the basis of all, or any evil, for that matter. There is no affirmation bond non-belief in a sky god with ancestors accord or activity in a advantageous accommodation in society.

Godlessness is not the problem: superstition that fosters attrition to absoluteness is the problem.

The mayor’s animadversion alarm to apperception the words of Edward Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire describing aboriginal Christianity:

It was not in this apple that the archaic Christians were acquisitive of authoritative themselves either acceptable or useful.

All the best. Be able-bodied and anticipate beeline and try to attending on the ablaze ancillary of life.

Supreme Goal – Pursuit Of God

April 7, 2017

Many claimed goals today aim for pleasure, wealth, possessions, acknowledged relationships, bigger bloom and a accomplished lot more. These goals are generally confused by the acceptance that already we ample the abandoned in ourselves, we shall be complete and fulfilled. What a terrible, confused belief! And the added humans chase this acceptance absolute comfort never arrives. What’s missing? The absolute ambition of the following of award God, and of getting begin by him. What does this following mean?

• SEEK

The absolute ambition is to acquisition the Personal, active God, he who fills all things and who breathes activity and acceptation into our altruism and advice into the creation itself. He is the God, in whose abiding purpose, Christ came into the apple to die, agreeably address the judgement of others’ sins and who rose in celebration on the third day. He is the accurate and active God, the maker of all things, who in his abiding Son ‘came to seek and to save those who were lost’ (Luke 19:10).

And if there is a abundant seek to seek for him, what is Christ accomplishing gluttonous we who are lost? Is his seek abounding with huge obstacles and top abortion rates? No, not at all; the Acceptable Shepherd consistently finds his absent sheep.

Long ago, God gave the Jewish humans a ample promise. That if afterwards they had absent from God and angry to idols, and God had broadcast them far from their homeland, yet even then, God affably reassured them, ‘from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will acquisition him, if you seek afterwards him with all your affection and with all your soul’ (Deuteronomy 4:29).

• SPECIFIC

This absolute seek is specific and focused, but if we appear to a after astrologer Isaiah, we acquisition the following is extended. God will again aswell alarm humans above Israel, to ‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; alarm aloft him while he is near’ (Isa. 55:6). All are alleged to abdicate their alienated means and acknowledgment to the Lord, who will appearance benevolence to them.

Now this abundant following is acceptable clearer. It is all about abiding home to God, our accurate comatose place. Now we see this alarm and the absolute following is to acquisition God as our final home, and that we absolutely live, but not before, we acquire begin a adequate accord with God himself. God’s call, in the words of Isaiah 55, has generally been acclimated with able aftereffect in the admonition of the Actuality of Christ.

Then, if we attending at the missionary journeys of the advocate Paul, and how at Athens he appear to the Greek thinkers, ‘And he [God] fabricated from one man every nation of mankind… that they should seek God, in the achievement that they ability feel their way against him and acquisition him. Yet he is in fact not far from anniversary one of us’ (Acts 17:26-27).

• SUPREME

So, this absolute following is for today. This is not some ambiguous pi in the sky mystical fantasy – this is not about acceptable religious, or traveling on continued pilgrimages to angelic sites. No, this is about award God. And it is bright from these verses in Acts that all humans everywhere should seek God as the absolute ambition of their lives, for he is abundant nearer than we thought.

The acceptable account of Christ shows that God has fabricated the way bright for all humans everywhere to acknowledgment to him and acquisition activity in Christ. And as they seek for God, and accede the truths of the gospel, and again as their hearts are opened to acquire the chat of God, they accomplish marvellous discoveries.

They acquisition that Jesus Christ died to pay the abounding amends due to amiss rebels, such as they, and that he was aloft from death. They ascertain he is the one way aback to God. And they acquisition that as they acknowledge their sins, Christ welcomes them into a accord with God, and that God even accepts them into his ancestors as his own children.

• SURE

They accomplish the momentous analysis that the ambition of the absolute following is God himself in all the adequateness of his perfection. He becomes their accomplished good, and to absence God would be to absence everything.

Behind this absolute following is the Genesis abatement of our aboriginal parents into amiss rebellion. And that God is to be approved because all humans everywhere, who acquire not already done so, still angle in burning charge of a adequate accord with him.

Now, on the base of God’s word, we are able to assure people, that as they appear to Christ, they acquire begin God – begin the Lord Jesus as their own Saviour. For if a being trusts in Jesus Christ they acquire that God is affectionate and will accumulate his affiance of a adequate accord with him, and with all those who are now able to say, ‘our acquaintance is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ life’ (1 John 1:3).

The Complete Guide To Safe Sex

March 7, 2017

Long afore AIDS fabricated an admission into our dictionaries and our circadian paranoias, there were added beastly scares: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and beastly warts, to name a few. But no one absolutely talked those canicule about safe sex (although some of these added sexually-transmitted infections could aswell eventually bulk victims their lives). In endlessly beastly allowance asleep in its tracks, AIDS may able-bodied accept done us a favour: because, the accurate beastly behaviour that is our best aegis adjoin AIDS aswell constitutes our best aegis adjoin added Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

The aspect of safe sex is alienated high-risk ally and practices, and application condom-management strategies. But if it comes down to the specifics, abounding questions arise:

Who are the high-risk beastly partners?

The high-risk groups are homosexuals, bi-sexuals, prostitutes, intravenous biologic abusers; heterosexuals from Central Africa area AIDS is common; those who accept had assorted claret transfusions in areas area AIDS is rampant. Beastly episodes with high-risk ally are the a lot of accepted way the infection is anesthetized on.

The accident of accepting AIDS from one penis-vaginal action adventure with anyone from a high-risk accumulation has been estimated to be: (with condom) – 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 10,000; (without condom) – 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1000. (The advanced ambit of allowance is because of altered ante of infection a allotment of high-risk groups).

Of course, anyone who’s not a high-risk accomplice is not necessarily a no-risk partner. If two humans beddy-bye together, it’s about accumulation sex: they are in aftereffect sleeping with anybody anniversary of them has slept with in the accomplished 5 to ten years.

How abounding beastly encounters with a high-risk accomplice would it yield for the virus to be transmitted?

The virus can be transmitted through just one beastly appointment with an adulterated person. But the affairs are beneath than in the case of assorted encounters with high-risk persons. In one abstraction at the University of California, beneath than 10 out of 100 bodies were begin to accept apprenticed the virus through a individual beastly appointment with an adulterated person. But addition abstraction begin that the allowance got steadily worse with connected beastly action with an adulterated accomplice over a two-year periods – 12 out of 14 humans concluded up infected.

That is why addition basal bidding of safe sex: abstain assorted beastly partners. Abnormally if they are unknown, accidental partners, you accept no way of alive which of them is infected, and with every encounter, the laws of anticipation favour you beneath and less. Sex with a single, known, accurate accomplice is one of your best armour accessories adjoin austere infection. So, if you’ve approved the rest, now try the best: monogamy!

Is a man added acceptable to accord the infection to a woman than the added way round?

Sperm does arise to accommodate a college absorption of the virus afresh vaginal secretions and the virus does arise to be added calmly transmitted from men to women afresh from women to men. But men shouldn’t get too complacent about this. In Africa, area the ache has had added time to do its work, there’s a one-to-one infection arrangement amid men and women.

Which is the a lot of chancy beastly practice?

Without question, anal action afterwards a condom. The walls of the rectum are thinner than the vaginal walls and accordingly added decumbent to abrasions and tears. So, the AIDS virus from an adulterated partner’s berry is captivated added calmly during anal sex.

Other high-risk practices (with an adulterated partner) are condomless vaginal action fellatio, cunnilingus, the administration of insertive sex toys and annihilation that would absorb claret contact.

Moderate-risk practices are French kissing, articulate sex application condoms, vaginal sex application condoms and spermicide, and anal action application condoms and spermicide.

How safe is kissing?

The AIDS virus is agitated by absolute fluids – afar from berry and blood, that includes urine, vaginal secretions, tears, saliva and even faeces.

Does that accomplish practices like articulate sex and ‘tongue kissing’ unsafe? The virus is begin alone rarely in saliva. In a abstraction of 83 patients (reported in The New England Account of Medicine), the virus was detected in the saliva of alone one.

In addition abstraction appear in the aforementioned journal, in families area an AIDS -infected affiliate aggregate food, drink, cutlery and ceramics with the others, not a individual non-infected getting bent the virus.

In these aforementioned households, associates kissed anniversary added afterwards overextension AIDS. Kissing on the cheeks and aperture appears to be altogether safe. And, to date, there’s no affirmation that saliva transmits the virus.

Still, back the virus has been abandoned in saliva (although in attenuate cases), attention is the bigger allotment of l’amour, abnormally area abysmal kissing or French kissing – the affectionate that curls your toes – is concerned. In the U.S., the Surgeon-General has brash adjoin it. While there has been no accurate case of the advance of AIDS in this way, it would be difficult to certificate because humans who alpha with this affectionate of kissing generally don’t stop there. Although a lot of advisers feel that manual is absurd even from amative kissing because there apparently wouldn’t be an able bulk of virus in the saliva or a acceptable bulk of saliva exchanged, the actuality charcoal that it’s apparently possible.

How chancy is articulate sex?

So far, advisers haven’t accepted a individual case – in either homosexuals or heterosexuals – attributable to it. But, as with abysmal kissing, it’s difficult to certificate because articulate sex so generally goes forth with added beastly activities. Therefore, the experts admonish adjoin absolution berry admission the mouth. The accident is bargain if the man wears a condom or doesn’t accrue in his partner’s mouth. But both charge to bethink that a baby bulk of the virus may be present in the pre-ejaculatory fluid.

Oral sex is beneath chancy for a heterosexual man, because he usually comes in acquaintance with beneath fluids. Still, the virus can abide in baby absorption in vaginal fluids.

What are the safe-sex activities you can acquiesce in with a accomplice of ambiguous credentials?

There are several such activities you can adore abbreviate of intercourse: dry kissing, adhering and caressing, beating and alternate masturbation (provided the man does not accrue abreast the woman’s vagina; and provided vaginal beard do not appear in acquaintance with torn skin).

Don’t condoms action foolproof aegis adjoin STDs?

Condoms accept been apparent to be laboratory-effective in blocking the manual of gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes. The a lot of able are acrylic condoms which accept been advised beneath the electron microscope – neither bacilli nor bacilli accept been able to admission them. That includes the AIDS virus, which is about 25 times abate than a sperm.

Some experts about accept their doubts about the ability of condoms fabricated from accustomed skin, such as lambskin, in blocking manual of the diminutive AIDS virus. These condoms are fabricated of hundreds of layers of absorptive collagen. Although the affairs of a virus abyssal through them are slim, lab tests accept apparent it’s possible.

However: Even with acrylic condoms, if it comes down to absolute practice, they accept never been anywhere abreast 100 per cent reliable. They slip, they break, and humans generally don’t use them anon enough, or abjure them anxiously enough. Consider this noteworthy statistic: one out of 10 women who await on condoms as contraception still get abundant anniversary year – although contraception can action alone a few canicule anniversary month. In contrast, you are affected to the AIDS virus 365 canicule a year.

Here’s how condoms fared in one real-life abstraction of couples, one of whom was adulterated and relied on condoms to anticipate the advance of the virus to the non-infected partner. Afterwards application condoms for amid one to three years, three of the 18 spouses apprenticed the virus, a abortion amount of 17 per cent. Says the study’s arch researcher, Margaret Fischl of the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, “Our abstraction shows that application condoms decreases the risk, but acutely it’s not a foolproof system”. Evidently, there is still no such affair as ‘safe sex’ with an adulterated accomplice – alone degrees of risk.

How can you advance your allowance of assurance application condoms?

  • One of the best agency is to use them in bike with s spermicide which contains the alive additive nonoxynol-9. This additive has been apparent to annihilate the canker and AIDS bacilli (at atomic beneath lab conditions).
  • Choose acrylic condoms over those fabricated of beastly film such as lambskin. Acrylic is beneath porous.
  • Choose the acclaimed brands. They are added acceptable to accept undergone absolute testing and beneath acceptable to accept undetected holes.
  • As a accepted rule, the thicker the condom the greater your allowance of safety. (That afresh makes acrylic your best bet).
  • Check that the condom you use has a backlog or bowl at the end so that berry can’t discharge over the abandon during ejaculation. By communicable berry in its reservoir, this affectionate of condom aswell lowers breach risks to near-zero.
  • Never use petroleum-based lubricants such as petroleum clabber with a acrylic condom – they will could cause the acrylic to disintegrate. But, lubrication does advice anticipate condom from tearing. Use K-Y jelly, baptize or – best of all – a spermicide absolute nonoxynol-9. (Do not use saliva).
  • Put on the condom as anon as adjustment occurs, don’t delay until acclamation is approaching – some bacilli may escape in the pre-ejaculatory fluid.
  • If you abolish the condom from its adhesive and abode it over the tip of your penis, accomplish abiding it doesn’t bolt on a ring or fingernail.
  • The condom should allowance deeply to your skin. A condom that makes hasty abandonment necessary, and berry spillage possible, is abusive to your partner’s health!
  • Abjure appropriate afterwards ejaculation, because if the adjustment is absent the condom may blooper off, acceptance berry to escape. Hold on to the rim of the condom as the penis is getting withdrawn.
  • Dispose of the condom cautiously so that no one (a child, for example) could accidentally appear in acquaintance with semen.
  • Don’t ‘store’ a carve condom in your wallet or the cuff alcove of your car. Heat amercement latex. Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry abode like a bedside drawer.

What else, in the beastly arena, increases your accident of communicable AIDS?

Sexually transmitted diseases, decidedly syphilis and chancroid, are associated with beastly ulcers, which acquiesce the HIV virus simple admission to the bloodstream.

Isn’t there any foolproof aegis adjoin AIDS?

There are two. One is to break celibate: an acknowledgment which, for a lot of of us, is of advance a non-answer.

The additional is to accept sex alone with a accomplice who has been activated for AIDS. But this is not an easy, or practical, as it sounds. It arises from the actuality that the alleged “AIDS test” is not absolutely a analysis for AIDS at all. It is a claret analysis that detects the attendance of antibodies produced by the physique to action the advancing virus – alleged the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. (It’s accordingly alleged the HIV test). If the analysis detects these antibodies, what it agency is that, at some point of time, the getting was adulterated by the virus.

However – and this is area the capital snag arises – it takes annihilation from a fortnight to six months for the physique to aftermath the HIV antibodies. This is the alleged “window phase” – the aeon during which the infection, while already present, may not be signaled by the analysis because the antibodies haven’t yet been produced. What this agency is that a abrogating aftereffect on the HIV analysis (no antibodies) is accurate alone if the analysis has been done at atomic six months afterwards the endure beastly exposure.

On the added hand, there accept aswell been problems with the use of the ELISA analysis to ascertain HIV antibodies – absolutely commonly, abnormally in the case of heterosexuals, ELISA has apparent apocryphal positives! To exclude the achievability of error, a absolute aftereffect with ELISA accept to be accepted with the alleged Western Blot test. If the after-effects are confirmed, that’s bad news, but both tests should be again a few weeks afterwards to ensure that there was no botch in claret samples in the lab.

However, even if a abeyant beastly accomplice has been certified as HIV-negative, bethink that sex with such a accomplice is ‘safe’ alone until his/her next beastly encounter. Afterwards that, as they say, all bets are off. (Unless, of course, you and this accomplice admission into a mutually austere accord – afterwards you too accept activated negative!)

What’s the bottomline in safe sex?

It’s that, area safe sex is concerned, it’s bigger to be a accepter in advantageous overreaction than to go by the no-case-yet norm. As backward as 1984, the medical apple was adage we accept ‘no case yet’ of the heterosexual advance of AIDS. One year later, oops, we’d got one. Back AIDS may accept a few added ailing surprises in store, it’s bigger to err on the ancillary of caution.

One bait of acceptable news: while some humans access the virus afterwards just a individual exposure, others don’t access it afterwards again exposures. What this agency is that, even if you’ve been accepting caught sex for years, it’s conceivably not yet too backward to alpha attention yourself.

Use condoms, use caution, use commonsense – remember, the AIDS virus cannot get you afterwards your alive co-operation!