Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Statistics Sundays - Special Edition

The Piltdown Man Mystery - ever heard of that one? No, it has nothing in common with Rumpole, Cadfael, Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot mysteries... at all. It is one of the most infamous scientific frauds of all time - one of those instances that brought shame and disgrace to (and certainly an unhealthy dose of distrust towards) the scientific community!
For they are supposed to be trustworthy -at the very least- and nearly foolproof - at their very and most idealized best! A scientific theory nowadays is listened to seriously with immediate respect by all; no matter how far-fetched it may really be. Whereas the religious dogmas are frowned upon by a great many...
However, recently, a new and very interesting trend has become noticeable...
Statistics seem to show that the great number of widely publicized scandalous cases of scientific fraud have steadily decreased the numbers of atheists - my old quarries and, quite frankly, the least of my enemies!
Verily, I'd rank druggies, imbecilic ruffians and the average greedy bastard higher as natural adversaries of mine than the poor atheists.
But, yes - that is another story!

Atheism, in the face of the many ills and evils of the world, is NO LONGER "normalcy" - what do you know! Even a stubborn mule can see the light of day, or so it appears... There is hope for the Democrats too then! Another story... again!
It is, of course, a conjunction of many facts and happenings that is causing this: on one end, science gets some discredit while on the other it is actually corroborating many religious beliefs (such as the power of prayer) and demonstrating their very real effects.
Some hardcore non-believers have even gone as far as "embracing the concept of intelligent design" - mainly due to yet another important factor, astronomical findings. WOW! Quite a turnaround, eh?

Nonetheless, for all of this progress, "true faith" is not on any upswing here...
All is as prophecied; and the prophecies about the state of things in the end times clearly stated that most people's "faith" would be only lukewarm at best...

Yeah - you may scream if you want to
But I am indeed never going to stop divulging the truth

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A look at scientific frauds over the past 30 years
10/01/2006 6:33:00 PM

(AP) - A South Korean university panel concluded Seoul scientist Hwang Woo-suk fabricated his claims that he cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them, and that he developed 11 stem cell lines tailored to specific patients. Here are some notable research frauds over the past three decades:

-Nutrition researcher Eric Poehlman, formerly of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, pleaded guilty last year to fraud in obtaining a $542,000 US federal grant. Prosecutors said he made up research between 1992 and 2000 to win millions of dollars in federal grant money for studies in such areas as menopause, aging and hormone supplements.

-Last March, Dr. Gary Kammer, a Wake Forest University rheumatology professor and leading lupus expert, was found to have made up two families and their medical conditions in federal grant applications. He resigned from the university and was suspended from receiving federal grants for three years.

-In 2004, U.S. federal officials found that Dr. Ali Sultan, then an award-winning malaria researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, had plagiarized text and figures, and falsified his data - substituting results from one type of malaria for another - on a grant application for federal funds to study malaria drugs. Sultan resigned.

-As a researcher at Bell Labs, Jan Hendrik Schon made up or altered data in electronics experiments at least 16 times between 1998 and 2001, an investigation concluded. He was fired in 2002.

-The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said in 2002 that its reported discovery of two chemical elements in 1999 was based on bogus research. The results were retracted in 2001.

-Stephen Breuning, a well-known research psychologist, pleaded guilty in 1988 to falsifying research data on drug therapies for mentally disabled children while working for the University of Pittsburgh.

-In 1981, Dr. John Darsee, a Harvard cardiologist and medical researcher, was found to have faked data in an experiment on heart attacks in dogs. He was later found to have made up much of his data in more than 100 papers published over 14 years while he worked at Harvard and Emory University. Darsee was dismissed and cut off from federal research funds for 10 years.

-In 1974, Dr. William Summerlin resigned from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York after admitting he had forged an experiment on the immune system's reaction to foreign tissue. He used a dark, felt-tipped pen on a white mouse and made it appear that tissue had been grafted successfully from a black mouse.


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From dengue fever to diarrhea, exotic travel brings health risks

U.S. FDA advises researchers on evaluating potential of new drugs

Turkish government accused of slow response to bird flu as human cases rise
Science, 'frauds' trigger a decline in atheism

By Uwe Siemon-Netto

GURAT, France — Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars.
"Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide," Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said in an interview.
His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees.
Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," Mr. McGrath wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today.

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings.
The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.
British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, has turned his back on atheism, saying it is impossible for evolution to account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Mr. Flew still does not accept the God of the Bible.
But he has embraced the concept of intelligent design — a stunning desertion of a former intellectual ambassador of secular humanism to the belief in some form of intelligence behind the design of the universe.
A few years ago, European scientists snickered when studies in the United States — for example, at Harvard and Duke universities — showed a correlation between faith, prayer and recovery from illness.
Now 1,200 studies at research centers around the world have come to similar conclusions, according to "Psychologie Heute," a German journal, citing, for example, the marked improvement of multiple sclerosis patients in Germany's Ruhr District because of "spiritual resources."
Atheism's other Achilles' heels are the acts on inhumanity and lunacy committed in its name.
"With time, [atheism] turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths and careerists as religion does. ... With Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the vices of the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, respectively," Mr. McGrath wrote in Christianity Today.
The Rev. Paul M. Zulehner, dean of Vienna University's divinity school and one of the world's most distinguished sociologists of religion, said atheists in Europe have become "an infinitesimally small group."
"There are not enough of them to be used for sociological research," he said.
Mr. Zulehner cautioned, however, that the decline of atheism in Europe does not mean that re-Christianization is taking place.
"What we are observing instead is a re-paganization," he said.
The Rev. Gerald McDermott, an Episcopal priest and professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Va., said a similar phenomenon is taking place in the United States.
"The rise of all sorts of paganism is creating a false spirituality that proves to be a more dangerous rival to the Christian faith than atheism," he said.
After all, a Satanist is also "spiritual."
Mr. Pannenberg, a Lutheran, praised the Roman Catholic Church for handling this peril more wisely than many of his fellow Protestants.
"The Catholics stick to the central message of Christianity without making any concessions in the ethical realm," he said, referring to issues such as same-sex "marriages" and abortion.
In a similar vein, Mr. Zulehner, a Catholic, sees Christianity's greatest opportunity when its message addresses two seemingly irreconcilable quests of contemporary humanity — the quest for freedom and truth.
"Christianity alone affirms that truth and God's dependability are inseparable properties to which freedom is linked." As for the "peril of spirituality," Mr. Zulehner sounded quite sanguine.
He concluded from his research that in the long run, the survival of worldviews should be expected to follow this lineup: "The great world religions are best placed," he said.
As a distant second he sees the diffuse forms of spirituality. Atheism, he said, will come in at the tail end.
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