Category Archives: science

New Research on Same-Sex Households Reveals Kids Do Best With Mom and Dad

From Mark Regnerus at Public Discourse:

Published research employing the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), the ECLS (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study), the US Census (ACS), the Canadian Census, and now the NHIS all reveal a comparable basic narrative, namely, that children who grow up with a married mother and father fare best.

Read it all here

Study: Children fare better in traditional mom-dad families

“Children fare better in traditional mom-dad families.” No kidding. But some people now days seem to believe that the only way for humanity to know anything is through academic studies.

Via The Washington Times:

Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as – or maybe better than – married, mother-father parents.

“The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,” Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in his study in Social Science Research.

Using a new, “gold standard” data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes.

He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Findings such as these do not support claims that there are “no differences” between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university.

Obama Administration Anti-Science, Anti-Environment

From The Washington Post:

A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue solutions to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been dropped because of controversial writings on his website.

So much for free speech.

What happened to President Obama’s pledge to separate ideology from science? These were evidently just more empty words.

obama - words are cheap

It looks like crushing any opposition to certain left-wing political views is a higher priority for some than stopping an ongoing environmental catastrophe (even, like here, when those political views have nothing at all to do with the issue at hand). And unlike “climate change”, the oil spill isn’t some theoretical future threat, it’s happening right now, and it needs to be cleaned up, right now. But the Obama administration would apparently rather cater to extremist ideologues than do everything to facilitate that cleanup. The Left’s war on science, reason, and freedom continues…

Some good news on global warming

A little good news on the global warming fight from CNNMoney.com:

Chances dim for climate-change legislation

NEW YORK (Fortune) — An influential coalition of Fortune 500 companies and environmental groups that was formed to support climate-change legislation has splintered over the Lieberman-Warner bill that is headed next week to the Senate floor.

….

Without widespread corporate support, passage of the bill – already a long shot at best – becomes even more unlikely this year. President Bush remains opposed. House Democrats have been slow to act.

Besides that, a backdrop of rising gasoline prices and the sluggish economy makes it difficult to win votes for a regulatory scheme that will raise the prices of electricity and gasoline….

“Democrats ’08: Fighting for higher gas prices and a slower economy”

Global Cooling?

Investor’s Business Daily has an editorial outlining some research being done on the effects of sun cycles on Earth’s climate. Apparently these heretics didn’t get the word from High Priest of Global Warmism Al Gore that all scientific inquiry into the matter is now over.

Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.

To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better “eyes” with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth’s climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.

And they’re worried about global cooling, not warming.

Prediction: The Earth will enter a cooling cycle, and advocates of things like the Kyoto Protocol, carbon taxes, forcing everyone to use fluorescent light bulbs, etc., will take credit for the cooling, even though there will be no evidence that their efforts had anything to do with it – thereby escaping blame, and paying no price, for being so grossly wrong and hysterical.

The Left’s War on Science, again

From The Washington Post:

A surgeon general’s report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration’s policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate.

….

Richard H. Carmona, who commissioned the “Call to Action on Global Health” while serving as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, recently cited its suppression as an example of the Bush administration’s frequent efforts during his tenure to give scientific documents a political twist.

But whether American tax dollars should be used “to help tackle global health problems” is not a scientific question, it is a political question. Whether “to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy” is a political, not a scientific, question. And asking “corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate” is a political request, not a scientific one.

Clearly, the writers at The Washington Post (and other similarly misguided liberals) don’t understand what are scientific questions and what are political or policy questions. It looks like the former surgeon general isn’t very clear on the concept either. Good thing a man with such a basic misunderstanding was not reappointed. Or maybe these are just more in the long, unending stream of disingenuous, partisan hits from the president’s ideological enemies. We report, you decide.

Evolution an important campaign issue?

We didn’t find much that was interesting or surprising about this Gallup survey showing that many Americans reject the theory that humans evolved from other life forms over millions of years.

First, there seem to be some rather glaring contradictions in the results:

One such question was included in a May Gallup Panel survey:

Now thinking about how human beings came to exist on Earth, do you, personally, believe in evolution, or not?

Yes, believe
in
evolution

No, do
not

No
opinion

2007 May 21-24

49

48

2

It is important to note that this question included a specific reference to “thinking about how human beings came to exist on Earth . . .” that oriented the respondents toward an explicit consideration of the implication of evolution for man’s origin. Results may have been different without this introductory phrase.

With that said, Americans’ responses to this question are essentially split down the middle. About half say they do believe in evolution and about half say they do not.

A second question included in a June 1-3 USA Today/Gallup poll asked about evolution side by side with a similar question about creationism:

Next, we’d like to ask about your views on two different explanations for the origin and development of life on earth. Do you think — [ITEMS ROTATED] — is — [ROTATED: definitely true, probably true, probably false, (or) definitely false]?

A. Evolution, that is, the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life

Definite-
ly true

Probably
true

Probably
false

Definite-
ly false

No
opinion

Total
true

Total
false

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007 Jun 1-3

18%

35

16

28

3

53

44

B. Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years

Definite-
ly true

Probably
true

Probably
false

Definite-
ly false

No
opinion

Total
true

Total
false

2007 Jun 1-3

39%

27

16

15

3

66

31

So a majority believes in young-Earth creationism, and a majority believes humans developed from less advanced lifeforms over millions of years. Obviously both cannot be true. The disparity can be explained by “probably” vs. “definitely”.

But what really caught our eye was this bit of editorial comment from pollster Frank Newport:

Although many scientists accept evolution as the best theoretical explanation for diversity in forms of life on Earth, the issue of its validity has risen again as an important issue in the current 2008 presidential campaign. Two recent Republican debates have included questions to the candidates about evolution.

Evolution is an important question in the in the 2008 presidential campaign? We don’t think it’s a question at all, let alone an important one. And the view that it’s important is based on what? The fact some journalist asked a question about it in a debate makes it an important question? Is that how it works? Seems a bit circular – Why was the question asked? Because it’s important. Why is it important? Because a question was asked.

We’ll be on the edge of our seats for the next debate, awaiting Senator McCain’s views on quantum mechanics, or Senator Obama’s take on the theory of relativity. “E=mc2? We need to get away from the divisive questions that divide America. I stand for a new kind of politics, a politics for the 21st century….”

This just in: men and women are different

From LiveScience (via Yahoo News):

Men and women are actually from the same planet, but scientists now have the first strong evidence that the emotional wiring of the sexes is fundamentally different.

Really? The first strong evidence? Aren’t any of these guys married?

But seriously, while this study is interesting in the details it offers, it’s always fascinating when some academic study that merely helps confirm the obvious is touted as if it’s a great surprise or breakthrough. Some people seem unwilling to believe anything if it’s not the subject of an academic study.

The Left’s war on science continues

Read this article from Opinion Journal as you recall various liberal complaints about “the Republican war on science” or “scientists being silenced by the Bush Administration (according to some on the left today, being profiled on 60 Minutes equals “being silenced”):

Climate of Fear
Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence

….

Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science–whether for AIDS, or space, or climate–where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

Related:
Exaggerating Dire ‘Scientific’ Warnings

The power of prayer and the liberal war on science

And we thought liberals wanted to keep science and religion separate.

From The NY Times:

Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

The “prayer” study is interesting only because of the glaringly unscientific nature of the whole enterprise.

What was really being studied wasn’t the effect of “intercessory” prayer at all, but merely the state of mind of the study’s subjects. All of the reporting on the study we’ve seen ignores this fact, calling it a study of “the effects of prayer.”

From The Washington Post:

Prayer Doesn’t Aid Recovery, Study Finds
Effect on Healing of Strangers at Distance After Heart-Bypass Surgery Examined

Praying for other people to recover from an illness is ineffective, according to the largest, best-designed study to examine the power of prayer to heal strangers at a distance.

The study of more than 1,800 heart-bypass patients found that those who had people praying for them had as many complications as those who did not. In fact, one group of patients who knew they were the subject of prayers fared worse.

But the study didn’t find that. The study didn’t even study that.

Consider, what is the control group? People who no one is praying for at a distance? How does one measure that? How do they know no one is praying for “subject X”? They cannot know that, therefore the control is not “people not receiving intercessory prayer”.

The groups being studied were defined by what they were told at the beginning of the study.

The new $2.4 million study, funded primarily by the John Templeton Foundation, was designed to overcome some of those shortcomings. Dusek and his colleagues divided 1,802 bypass patients at six hospitals into three groups. Two groups were uncertain whether they would be the subject of prayers. The third was told they would definitely be prayed for.

….

Over the next month, the two groups that were uncertain whether they were the subject of prayers fared virtually the same, with about 52 percent of patients experiencing complications regardless of whether they were the subject of prayers.

Surprisingly, 59 percent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for experienced complications.

Because the most common complication was an irregular heartbeat, researchers speculated that knowing they were chosen to receive prayers may have inadvertently put the patients under increased stress.

But the variable was not “whether they were the subject of prayers”, the variable was whether they were told they were being prayed for. The slight variation in complication rates (52% vs. 59%) can easily be attributed to patient expectations based on what they were told beforehand.

Another issue – perhaps prayer requires sincerity. Perhaps praying for the purposes of debunking prayer is less effective than praying sincerely and faithfully for healing. Let’s see them design a study to test that. Good luck.

We actually agree with the skeptics on this one:

“I would hope that these results, combined with similar recent findings, would encourage scientists to stick to science and stop dabbling in the supernatural,” said Bruce Flamm of the University of California at Irvine.

Amen.

More:
Stones Cry Out