Links from Salvo Partner Organizations 4.28.2016

Good stuff from our friends around the web…

From Mercatornet:
On “living in the present”
When history is bunk, so much else is too.
by James Schall SJ

. . . I now find out, with a “jolt”, that what I am seeing or smelling out there is my brain’s “best guess” about what the world is like. I never realized that my brain was somehow doing my thinking for me. Just where it gets its information on which to make an educated “guess”, I am not sure. I am trying to grasp this idea that, every time I meet a friend, I have to ask my brain to “guess” for me whether he is really there or not. Presumably, my friend is also trying to “guess” in return whether what his brain thinks it sees is really there. With such reflections, one is tempted to say, one hundred years after Henry Ford’s famous statement, considering what is being said about “rights”, autonomy, tradition, brains, and freedom, that there is more that is “bunk” in this world than merely history.

From The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:
Religious Freedom by the Numbers
by Matthew Hawkins

It’s remarkable, really. At the same time religious freedom appears both at a height of controversy in America and utterly collapsing in the Middle East, the world has at its fingertips volumes of research that affirm how good religious freedom is for every human on earth.

Most of us typically approach religious freedom through theology, philosophy, or history. Christians provide biblically informed arguments and learn from the history of our own tradition, both as martyrs and as oppressors. Similarly Judaism, Islam, and other religions provide their own rationale for religious freedom from within their traditions. And non-theists recognize their own self-interest in religious freedom when they are victims of theocratic oppression. We continue to need to cultivate and promote those reasons from within each religion and other worldviews.

But you may not have heard about the data-driven research that provide new tools with which to promote religious freedom. Sociologists and other scholars continue to find that religious freedom is a key ingredient to human flourishing around the globe. . . .

From Discovery Institute
Are Our Bodies the Product of “Unintelligent Design”?
by Ann Gauger

. . . he reviews two new books that describe the evolutionary mess that our bodies are — a hodgepodge, so this argument goes, of barely good enough solutions to physiological problems, a collection of compromises that leave us prone to injury and disease, according to the authors and according to him. I haven’t read the books in question, but Barash’s piece provides an occasion to examine the often-heard argument for “unintelligent design.”

There’s an undercurrent that runs through that argument, sometimes visible on the surface, sometimes below the water, tugging our feet out from under us. That ripple on the surface goes something like this: our design isn’t perfect. That’s the visible part. Then there’s the undercurrent: If there were an intelligent designer he would have made perfect things. Barash, ever frank, says this directly. Giving examples like the optic nerve and the prostate gland, he says, “An intelligent designer wouldn’t have proceeded this way.” Therefore we are the product of patchwork evolution and there is no designer. . . .

Beak Hype

UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1981: A British Used Postage Stamp Showing Charles Darwin and Finches, circa 1981

The Wintery Knight points us to an article by Jonathan Wells about Darwin’s famous finches. We here at Salvo are fans of both Knight and Wells so I decided it’d be worth a read. I recommend it to you. Below is the beginning segment from Darwin’s Finches: The Hype Continues by Wells.

Every few years we are treated to glowing news stories about “Darwin’s finches.” The latest, published today in The Washington Post, is titled “200 years after Darwin, this is how the iconic Galápagos finches are still evolving,” and, as usual, it is full of hype.

When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1835, he collected specimens of the local wildlife. These included some finches that he threw into bags, many of them mislabeled. Although the Galápagos finches had little impact on Darwin’s thinking (he doesn’t even mention them in The Origin of Species), biologists who studied them a century later called them “Darwin’s finches” and invented the myth that Darwin had correlated differences in the finches’ beaks with different food sources (he hadn’t). According to the myth, Darwin was inspired by the finches to formulate his theory of evolution, though according to historian of science Frank Sulloway “nothing could be further from the truth.” . . .

Fascinating. In commenting on the article, Wintery Knight concludes that even if Darwin’s inspiration by the finch beaks wasn’t a myth, that’s not the problem anyways since “Changes in average beak size is not interesting. What is needed is to show how the beaks, much less the wings, evolved in the first place.”

Dr. Jonathan Wells will have a piece in the next issue of Salvo and he also wrote for the special Science & Faith issue. Subscribe today for only $19.95 and get the Salvo Science and Faith issue free!

Related:

Disinheriting the Wind
A Closer Look at the Scopes Trial by Robert P. George

The widely misreported and misunderstood decision of the Kansas Board of Education not to require the teaching of the theory of evolution has, predictably, revived memories of the banning of such teaching in public schools by the state of Tennessee, leading to the infamous Scopes “monkey” trial of 1925. Whether or not the creation stories recorded in the Book of Genesis are best understood as myths, the account of the Scopes trial promoted by liberal social commentators and moviemakers is mostly mythical. The core of the myth is that Clarence Darrow, representing enlightenment, humanity, and intellectual freedom, made a monkey out of William Jennings Bryan and the other “boobs and bigots,” as H. L. Mencken dubbed them, who sought to keep the children of Tennessee yoked to ignorance and superstition. The facts, as the self-designated enlightened are fond of saying in other contexts, are “more complicated.” . . .

Essential Salvo Articles on Sex in the City of Man

Sane Sex The Truth About Men & Women
by Terrell Clemmons

. . . This naturally leads into “The Meaning of the Sexual Differences,” which explores the distinctive traits of maleness and femaleness. Obviously, the corresponding body parts of a man and a woman, when working as intended, result in the propagation of the species, but there’s more to the complementarity than the physical. “The essential difference between men and women,” the teacher writes, “the underlying reality that gives rise to all their other differences, is that men are in potentiality to be fathers, and women are in potentiality to be mothers.” In other words, the male and female psychologies and innate dispositions, in addition to the distinct physiologies, operate in concert to continually regenerate the human race. . . .

World War Sex A Global Revolution Imperils Men, Women & Children: An Interview with Gabriele Kuby
by Benjamin J. Vail

. . . Gabriele Kuby warns that the global trend of “gender mainstreaming” threatens the fundamental understanding of our very human nature, with dire consequences for children, families, and society as a whole. . . .

Facts Evasion When It Comes to Sex, the Left Hates Science
by Hunter Baker

. . . Abortions continue to be performed in huge numbers despite the past assurances of some on the left that modern birth control would eliminate the need for the grisly procedure. And of the children who are born, an alarmingly high number are born to single mothers. As a group, these children are substantially more likely to do poorly in school, abuse drugs, commit crimes, require governmental assistance, and serve time in jail—and to see the cycle repeated when they have children of their own. Is it a scientific outlook that would maintain that this state of affairs is somehow conducive to human flourishing? Or would the evidence-driven observer be more likely to affirm that sex within marriage is far more advantageous to women than promiscuity? . . .

Sex, Lies & Video Games Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys by Kay S. Hymowitz
reviewed by Rebecca Edwards

. . . It has been almost universally true throughout history and across cultures that boys become men once they are able to support and protect a wife and family. In Western countries, however, this expectation has drastically diminished. Gone are the days when boys underwent rigorous trials and rites of passage to establish their status as men and their ability to undertake familial responsibilities and cultural leadership. Today’s boys are often left aimless, without being given a clear picture as to what makes a man. Largely free from societal expectations, they waste away much of their 20s and 30s playing video games, watching ESPN and Adam Sandler movies, drinking, and enjoying casual sex. . .

The Tyranny of the Minority How the Forced Recognition of Same-Sex “Marriage” Undermines a Free Society
by S. T. Karnick

. . . What’s at issue here is not whether people can declare themselves married and find other people to agree with them and treat them as such. No, what’s in contention is whether the government should force everyone to recognize such “marriages.” Far from being a liberating thing, the forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” is a governmental intrusion of monumental proportions. . . .

Cohabitation Marriage Lite or the New Concubinage?
by Alan F. H. Wisdom

. . . Defenders of cohabitation portray it as just a more flexible form of marriage. The love is the same as in marriage, they say; all that is missing is “a piece of paper,” the marriage certificate. Some see cohabitation as a “trial marriage.” They assume that living together will confirm a couple’s compatibility and reduce the odds that a subsequent marriage might end in divorce. . . . Social science does not support any of these assertions. By every measure, cohabitation is a very different relationship from marriage. . ..

Desperately Disconnected 50 Shades of Grey & the Longings of the Female Heart
by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Like all good researchers, they started with observation. Slattery read the 50 Shades series and identified five longings of the female heart, based on the roller-coaster ride of emotions she felt as she read. Meanwhile, Gresh listened to stories of women who read this mushrooming genre and consulted the guidelines for its authors. She then identified five characteristics of popular erotica. Though the two women worked independently, their lists matched up remarkably. Take a look. . . .

Pink Cross The Story of Shelley Lubben, Former Porn Star
by Judith Reisman

. . . As a veteran student of pornography and prostitution, I did not expect to learn anything new from watching Shelley Lubben’s public testimony. I was wrong. Shelley’s description of the sexual violence and degradation of modern pornography was a shock, even to me. It made me think that it made perfect sense to hear that she had left her economically rewarding “star” roles to return to a safer life doing “straight” prostitution. . . .

Lie Charts A New Book Explains How Kinsey Perverted a Nation with False Science
by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Just three years after World War II ended and the war heroes returned home, Americans came under attack again. This time, it wasn’t brutal dictators and their armies leading the assault, it was a pseudo-scientist named Alfred Kinsey. His 1948 book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, shocked the nation and lit the spark for what would become the sexual revolution. America would never be the same. . . .

Slave Master How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain
by Donald L. Hilton, Jr.

. . . What does this have to do with pornography? Pornography is a visual pheromone, a powerful, $100 billion per year brain drug that is changing human sexuality by “inhibiting orientation” and “disrupting pre-mating communication between the sexes by permeating the atmosphere,” especially through the internet. I believe we are currently struggling in the war against pornography because many continue to believe two key fallacies: Fallacy No. 1: Pornography is not a drug. Fallacy No. 2: Pornography is therefore not a real addiction. . . .

Germs of Promiscuity Sexually Transmitted Infections
by Marcia Segelstein

. . . What happened to unleash such an epidemic within a few decades? In a nutshell, the sexual revolution. Thanks in part to Alfred Kinsey’s fraudulent research, which purported to prove that ordinary Americans were engaging in illicit, extramarital, and deviant sexual acts in large numbers, and in part to the advent of widely available artificial contraception, especially the Pill, sexual mores began to shift. Author Mary Eberstadt offers this succinct definition of the sexual revolution in her book, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution: “the ongoing destigmatization of all varieties of nonmarital sexual activity, accompanied by a sharp rise in such sexual activity, in diverse societies around the world (most notably, in the most advanced).” . . .

The above articles all appeared in the pages of Salvo. You should subscribe. SPECIAL OFFER! Subscribe to Salvo for only $19.99 and receive the Salvo Science & Faith issue FREE.

On “Deeply Held Beliefs”

bruce-springsteen-north-carolina__oPtFrom The Daily Caller:

A petition on Change.org has garnered nearly 500 signatures in support of Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel an April 10 concert in Greensboro, NC. “Bruce Springsteen has a right to his deeply held beliefs. He has a right to control his business and refuse to do business with those he disagrees with.”

It appears that the boss can get away with denying his services to those with whom he disagrees based on his “deeply held beliefs” that men and women NEED to be able to share a toilet. Not so much for those who are on the other side such debates. Do you remember Memories?

MemoriesPizzaTweetedThreat040115

The Battle of Walkerton: Kevin O’Connor & the Defiant Survival of Memories Pizza

. . . People of conscience would do well to reflect on the attempted takedown of Memories Pizza. Crystal clearly told the reporter that Memories would never deny service to a gay couple who came in to eat. But in response to a pointed question, she did say, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.” As if people routinely call upon pizza joints to provide their wedding reception dinner. It was clearly a setup—a sting interview cavalierly crafted to get multiple page views; good-faith reporting be damned. At that, it was wildly successful, but it also roused an alarmingly malicious mob demanding obeisance or blood. . . .

Further reading from Salvo:

Intolerant Tolerance: The Myth of Moral Neutrality

. . . these advocates claim that their own position is morally neutral. It isn’t, and it really can’t be. But their objection to judgments like Pace’s reflects the assumption, held by many, that only their opponents are trying to “impose their morality” on society. In fact, it is in the nature of their own advocacy to do so. . . .

*Boss pic lifted from the Perez Hilton website.