Good news in the battle against HIV and AIDS:
In a study of over 16000 people, an experimental vaccine has reduced the transmission of HIV by over 31 percent. Although this is far from being perfect protection, if this vaccine turns out to be successful it may be useful in the fight against the AIDS pandemic. However, more research is necessary in order to determine whether this vaccine is protective against all strains of HIV.
I wonder when these so-called “Family Values Organizations” will start whining about how this promotes promiscuity and makes boys become gay.
At the so-called “Values Voters Summit“, Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), made a remark that had an interesting piece of news: according to an associate of his, “[A]ll pornography is homosexual pornography” (emphasis added in all cases):
Pornography is a blight. It is a disaster. It is one of those silent diseases in our society that we haven’t been able to overcome very well. Now, I may be getting politically incorrect here. And it’s been a few years, but not that many, since I was closely associated with pre-adolescent boys, boys around 10 years of age. But it is my observation that boys of that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it.
The remarks then turned to an associate of Schwartz named Jim Johnson. Jim Johnson is notable for taking an old hotel and converting it into a care home for gay men dying of AIDS.
One of the things [Johnson] said to me that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark… he said “All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.”
Now, think about that. And if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants! You know, that’s a good comment, it’s a good point, and it’s a good thing to teach young people.
Some thoughts on this. First, most of the people at the so-called “Values Voters Summit” believe that homosexuality can be “cured” through conversion therapy. Since conversion therapy often involves the use of pornography, how can they accept that pornography causes homosexuality, and at the same time accept the use of it to “cure” the very thing they accept it causes?
Second, in February I covered a study that showed that redder (that is, conservative) states subscribed to more online pornography on average. Wouldn’t this mean that those states are swelling at the seams with a huge gay mob? How big is that closet, again?
Finally, I was not thrilled with having to think about Schwartz’s past.
On this day in 2001 we all lost. The world was never the same and a heavy blow was struck at us. But we were neither down nor out. Fear did not conquer us. It affected all of deeply, to our very cores.
This Patriot Day, let us remember those who died, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to save others.
Uncommon Descent, a blog dedicated to the pseudoscience of intelligent design, has one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while. They quote an article from the Toronto Star discussing a process of hybridization between coyotes and wolves in Ontario that appears to be causing the evolution of a new species. Since creationists and IDers falsely deny the existence of speciation through macroevolution, they then claim that these organisms are just hybrids.
Uncommon Descent is wrong. Hybrid speciation is a fact. For example, the butterfly species Heloconius heurippa is a species derived from hybridization between H. melpomene and H. cydno (see this abstract from Nature). The Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus), a predatory subarctic Charadriiform seabird, is in many ways intermediate between other jaegers and Southern Hemisphere skuas. There is some evidence that it may be a hybrid of the Great Skua (S. skua) and one of the other jaegers (see this PubMed abstract). Since according to ID, macroevolution does not occur, if the Pomarine Jaeger really is a hybrid, it could not be a species, just a hybrid. However, the Pomarine Jaeger is a perfectly acceptable example of a species, showing Uncommon Descent to be false.
Image via the Wikimedia Commons.
Just as I expected, dealing with an impacted wisdom tooth cost money. Too much.
If this happens to a cdesign proponentist, perhaps they will learn in the most expensive way that humans, every organism actually, is incompetently designed. You know, in a way consistent with evolution, not with a intelligent designer. I don’t think that our change in diet from the Paleolithic serves as an “escape hatch” since surely an intelligent designer (which IDers always associate with God) would have known this in advance and accounted for it.