August 25, 2007

From Thomas M. Wnorowski:

Re: Behind school shootings, rejection and anger (Aug. 20): If we were to look into the backgrounds of school shooters, we would find that many, if not most, of them have taken psychotropic drugs at some time prior to their deeds.

I had worked in the public education system for thirty-nine years before retirement, and had seen scores of children who were rejected. In my early years, children learned to cope with rejection by asserting themselves with the help of teacher intervention. Today, too many children take psychotropic drugs to deal with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, when dietary interventions would work just as well. I, myself, have helped dozens of youngsters wean from these often unneeded medications.

There is research to support my stand. Some may be found here.

Dr. Thomas M. Wnorowski
Clinical Nutrition Counselor

From Roger Rydin:

Re: Gaping “hole” in the cosmos found (Aug. 23): If you have looked at any of my recent Natural Philosophy Alliance (NPA) papers, (Available in published Proceedings) you will see that I have analyzed the Broadhurst, Koo, etc. deep redshift pencil surveys in 6 directions, plus the general SDSS Sloan Survey. They show a highly cross-correlated spherical distribution of galaxies around a center in the direction of Virgo, with a density decreasing as approximately 1/r2, with a periodicity of about 400 million light years superimposed upon it. There are voids between the annular galaxy clumps, the first of which is the Great Wall.

This is totally at odds with the Big Bang assumptions of a homogeneous, isotropic distribution, expanding uniformly without having a center, i.e., totally at odds with a General Relativity solution. I have posted a summary of these papers on Sepp Hasslberger’s website, The Big Bang in Controversy, dated March 14, 2007, which also has a pdf copy of a full paper.

Roger Rydin
Associate Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering
University of Virginia

August 21, 2007

From Dale Pontius:

Re: Behind school shootings, rejection and anger (Aug. 20): Back when Columbine happened, some people began looking at the whole issue of “young adult bullying” and its effect on the less popular students. It appeared that a necessary discussion was about to take place. But somewhere in the emerging process, the opinion started emerging that somehow the popular, the jocks, etc were the real victims, and the debate was diverted and shut down. The societal focus on bullying is still strictly in the lower grades.

When I was in school, I was one of those less popular students. I was also one of the best scholars in the school, and that status got me a “pass” from most of the young adult bullying. My son was not as good a student, and we moved him to a private (Catholic) high school primarily for a more benign environment. While I in no way condone school shootings or violence, through life experience I can understand and empathize with these people’s frustration and anger. As an adult, I also recognize that high school is simply the most socially savage environment most of us will go through in our lives. No college, university, or workplace would put up with the degrees of utter social (insert expletive word here) that occurs in high school. The other place socially worse than public schools is prison - isn’t it interesting that both feature mandatory attendance.

In getting my son out of the public schools I wasn’t isolating him from the real world, I was accelerating his entry into it. I realize this isn’t an option for all, and to be perfectly honest I can’t offer a solution. I will suggest that the trend away from “tracking” and the focus on less-capable students has probably aggravated the problem, by de-emphasizing the positive role model of the excellent students. (If you can’t win in the system, win by opposing the system.)

From Robert Burt:

Re: Human evolution, radically reappraised (March 26): It does make sense that more and greater advances in biological development are likelier in populations of higher intelligence, higher numbers, and higher knowledge. Combine these with the increased numbers of active individuals, as compared with passive or relatively inactive individuals which a larger population is likely to provide, and intentional advances in human evolution become more probable. The force with which may now be accomplished is perhaps one of the most important advantages humans have over most, if not all, other species. The idea that evolution is not a static process, but that every species is a transitional form, is more accurate, it has seemed to me for some time.

From Juliane Collins:

Re: Brain scans examine “speaking in tongues” (Nov. 1, 2006): This was a fascinating article to me especially because I speak in tongues. It explains why i had such a difficult time receiving tongues which is received just by faith as you ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Being baptized in water is a physical baptism, being baptized with the Holy Spirit is receiving tongues. So when i was prayed for to receive it i had a difficult time because i couldn’t wrap my brain around it, i didn’t know what to expect and quite frankly because i didn’t understand it, it was a little freaky. I thought it would just come flying out of my mouth. I kept waiting for those crazy sounds and words to just come to my brain and then i would know what to say. I kept trying to us my BRAIN. I even just tried to just make sounds like another person speaking in tongues but i couldn’t think fast enough to make up that many words. Finally someone told me to quit trying to use my brain, that it didn’t come from my brain, it came from my spirit, the Holy Spirit communicating through my spirit. Which explains why scientists can’t find in the images where it comes from in the brain.

Long story short, i finally decided i was just going to do it! and quit trying to figure it out and when i just let it flow i was doing it. But even then i had doubts if i had REALLY gotten it “what if i’m making it up” i thought. Then i started to notice that i would actually have certain sounds or words whatever you call them, i would hear the same ones being spoken again. Interesting, i thought. Then what finally really convinced me that i had it for real was i started to notice other people saying the same certain word i had been saying!!! I’m talking like guest speakers at the church that i had not been around and they had not been around me to say that maybe we picked it up from each other. So i was convinced... . and blown away. I always tell friends who wonder about it that it’s not as spooky as it seems. It never suddenly comes upon me and completely takes me over. I start it and stop it when ever i choose. But when i do choose to do it, it most definitely is mindless. Thats another thing that convinced me I had it and it was real. Before when i tried to just copy someone else using my brain, like i said i couldn’t think fast enough to make up words but after i allowed it to just come from my spirit I’ve never had to “think” about it, it just comes out. As a matter of a fact i can be day dreaming about something completely different and still be speaking in tongues with no problem.

Part of the point of what it’s for is that we don’t always know what to pray for and we don’t know the future but God does so allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through you, you are praying the PERFECT prayer and God’s perfect will. It also helps detach you from your mind and connect you with the Spirit of God so often while i’m praying in tongues i will receive understanding on something that i didn’t have before because now i’m listening with my spirit which is how God communicates with us. It really has been a huge blessing in my life that is very effective and has great purpose. It is not meaningless babble just for the heck of it. God had purpose for everything.

From J. Moorcroft (followup):

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): Hi, have a look at this video footage taken in the Kruger National Park, and consider whether these are conscious beings: Lions attack a small herd of Buffalo and isolate one; small herd leaves the scene but return a few minutes later with a big herd of Buffalo. They attack the lions and drive them off, saving the victim.

From Joel Thomas:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): If you were not in the past, how can you make the assumptions, that you are making in this article?

August 14, 2007

From Susan Krech:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): Many years ago, I was training as a hill shepherd on the English/Scottish Borders. The flock we were working with was kept on the Otterburn Firing Range. Not only the Royal Air Force, but several European air forces used this area for training in low-level flying. As you can imagine, this made life a little stressful for the sheep, as well as for those of us not used to seeing jet fighters flying level with us as we worked on rebuilding dry stone walls! It was amazing to us at the time, but the sheep had learned to recognize when flying was done for the day, and sure enough, at quitting time, they all came out of hiding and spread out over the hills. When flying was due to begin the next day, they all quietly vanished into safer areas. Of course, there is always the flocking instinct to keep in mind, but those sheep definitely knew what time of day it was.

August 13, 2007

From J. Moorcroft:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): It seems to me that scientists who question the consciousness of animals have never lived closely with animals such as parrots or dogs. I am a lawyer and not a scientist, and have a lawyer’s natural (and justified) reticence about giving myself out as an expert in disciplines other than my own, but really!!!

I have seen animals do things that clearly illustrates a sense of self - awareness and advance planning.

Just one example that I have witnessed myself: A friend keeps dogs and never lets them into the house. His wife is more soft hearted and often lets them in however, and of course the dogs like nothing better than tasting the forbidden fruit. Their parrot would then use this scenario to its best advantage: It calls the dogs into the house using her voice, and once they come running in chase them out using his voice.

What do scientists who question animal awareness make of this???

From Charlie Miller:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): The male human species can easily and readily be seduced by the female species anywho, anywhere, anywhen, anywhat. The female human species, however, can only be successfully fertile based on the clock. When is totally time dependent with no basis for male selection (who), location (where), or (what) detection procedures are followed.

Sorry to upset the mouse’s nest, but the survival of the species is totally dependent on the inherited ability to reproduce. A cherry abides by the same ill logical conclusion. Fertilization occurs when blooms are receptive. The ability of a cherry tree to propagate following full blossom, like with the human species, requires no intelligence. As with the human male species, there is often an associated lapse of memory, exaggeration of memory, or warped memory of the occasion. The Memphis professor would do well to make a profession.

From Harry Clift:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): Only an idiot human would fail to realize all reproduction is dependent upon mating at the appropriate time. Sexual receptability detection ability is central to survival of species.

Possession of reproductivity traits has absolutely no reference to recall of who, what, when, where. If so, all males would be monogamous.

If not, all species would be extinct.

From Stephen Mikesell:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): In the article it was said that there is one minor quibble, which is that voles have a very keen sense of smell and might have thus been able to detect which cage had the receptive female by smell even though it had been cleaned. It seems that this could be overcome by using a different, but exactly the same kind of, cage in the same location.

From Lynn Swearingen:

Re: What? Where? When? Some animals may know (Aug. 12): I observed a wild Mocking Bird, catching insects on a lawn, then dropping them onto the concrete, below the curb. When he had several insects, he hopped down off the curb and ate them.

That is problem solving. That is intelligence.

I also watched my horse eating milk thistle. When a large plant was pulled up by the roots, he first shook it to try and remove the roots. When that failed he hit the plant on the fence. When that failed he dropped it to the ground and stepped on it; pulling the plant away from the roots, leaving the roots under his hoof.

Problem solving equals intelligence.

I believe that animals need to be observed in their environment to determine their intelligence.

From Steve Knight:

Re: Blacks who kill whites most likely to be executed, study finds (July 30): The notion that Blacks are executed at a higher rate than whites has been around for some time. Hopefully this latest round of statistics avoids the reality that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than the white population, because if the statistics are reflecting that, of course it looks as if blacks are getting executed more frequently.

Bias toward criminals. Boo Hoo. Lets all hug. In this case it seems like the real bias is a wrong-headed positive bias toward white criminals to let them escape with lesser sentences. Black capital criminals, just as ALL capital criminals, should indeed get executed immediately after a brief mandatory appeal to carry out their right to a speedy trial and sentence. News flash... so should all other criminals of any race, color or belief system. We should practice equal opportunity in this area in an effective and steadfast manner. Now that DNA and other forensic evidentiary techniques are in reliable use, all proven criminals who murder, rape and otherwise violate the largely unprotected rights of VICTIMS should be summarily executed.

Execution does not deter, it does not bring back murder victims. It does not provide adequate revenge. But it does do that one necessary thing that makes it all worth it: An executed criminal never commits another crime. Ever.

How about a statistical analysis of which races crimes are committed against? Are blacks committing more crimes against whites than they do blacks? As I understand it, they are not. News flash #2... black victim’s families want the black murderers executed also. Nearly 90 percent of the families of murder victims want the criminals executed. White, Black, Tan and Yellow. Enough biased studies on bias. let’s spend the money on executions.

From Paul Wakfer:

Re: Pot could boost psychosis risk later in life, study finds (July 27): it is stated:

In the new re­search, The­re­sa Moore of the Un­ivers­ity of Bris­tol, U.K., and Stan­ley Za­m­mit of Car­diff Un­ivers­ity, Wales, an­a­lyzed 35 past stud­ies on ma­ri­jua­na up to last year. They found that peo­ple who had used can­na­bis were 41 per­cent more likely than those who had nev­er used it to have any form of psy­cho­sis. The risk rose with dos­age, the re­search­ers added. They cal­cu­lat­ed that about 14 per­cent of psy­chot­ic episodes in young adults in the UK would not oc­cur if can­na­bis weren’t con­sumed.”

The last sentence in this report (particularly the phrase “would not occur if cannabis weren’t consumed”) was *not* a conclusion of the authors of the report and would not be a conclusion of anyone who understands scientific method.

The good evidence found for correlation between the use of cannabis and later psychotic episodes, does *not* imply the causation of such episodes by the use of cannabis. Because of that fact of scientific epistemology, it is even incorrect for the researchers to refer to use of cannabis as a “risk” for psychotic episodes. The increased likelihood of psychotic episodes among those using cannabis could just as easily be because those more likely to later have psychotic episodes are also more likely to choose to use cannabis.

One way to resolve this question would be to use psychological personality index testing on a group of cannabis users and a group of matched non-cannabis users to see whether or not those using cannabis have a personality that is more likely to lead to psychosis. If this has been done, there is certainly no mention of it in the Lancet abstract (I do not have access to the full paper).

(Editor’s note: We disagree that we misquoted or misrepresented anything in the study. Contrary to present author’s assertion, the Lancet paper indeed states: “...we can estimate that about 14% of psychotic outcomes in young adults currently in the UK would not occur if cannabis were not consumed.” However, the study authors also acknowledge that this is an estimate only, and possibly wrong. A copy of the full text is here.)

From Mike Cristina:

Re: Pot could boost psychosis risk later in life, study finds (July 27): I love your wbsite, but I think this article compromises your integrity. How can you present a study based on a “re­view of past stud­ies” in which “The re­search­ers ac­knowl­edged the da­ta was­n’t yet con­clu­sive”? When do past studies aimed at different conclusions ever become conclusive to a new conclusion. Sounds like they need more time to mold the data to the conclusion they want.

99% of psychotics had 1 or more parents at some time in their life. Maybe they should study that data.

Mike Cristina
Danielson, CT

From Robert H. Galloway:

Re: Blacks who kill whites most likely to be executed, study finds (July 30): Such a disparity is obscene. Those given the death penalty, without evidence to reverse the sentence, should uniformly be executed. The idea that murder “really isn’t so bad” is obscene and the idea that some offenders are more deserving of punishment than others is equally obscene.

From fis hersara hs @ ao l. co m:

Re: Blacks who kill whites most likely to be executed, study finds (July 30): This article is not science. It is politics and does not belong in this web site. Who ever put it in here should be removed as a contributer to this web site. If you wish to publish this sort of thing you should start a politicle web site for this sort of thing.