Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

Marmots take communion at Our Lady of the Rocks

Why Evolution Is True

But where’s the blood?


From Best Photos of the World, courtesy of reader Hempenstein

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October 30, 2013

BBC News – LUX results: Dark matter hunt nears final phase


BBC News – LUX results: Dark matter hunt nears final phase.

October 30, 2013

Magic Bust: Here’s What Roger Daltrey Is Helping Boehner and Kerry Unveil | Mother Jones


Magic Bust: Here’s What Roger Daltrey Is Helping Boehner and Kerry Unveil | Mother Jones.

October 30, 2013

How religions—and the U.S. government—let children die

Why Evolution Is True

I’ve been reading an enlightening but disturbing book:  When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law, by Shawn Francis Peters, which details how children of some religious parents are left to suffer and die because the sects of their parents abjure medical care. The parents pray instead of taking their kids to the doctors or the hospital. The book is full of disturbing tales of not only horrible neglect, but of how the law tends to overlook such treatment, letting off religious parents who fail to treat their children with regular medical care, or giving them lenient treatment like short probation. This has led me to read more widely about this situation, and I’ll use it in my book.

Take the paper by Asser and Swan (references below), for example.  Here is the authors’ short precis:

Design. Cases of child fatality in faith-healing sects were reviewed. Probability…

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October 30, 2013

The Psychological Power of Satan: Scientific American


The Psychological Power of Satan: Scientific American.

October 30, 2013

Incredible Self Portraits by 14-Year-Old Photographer | DeMilked


Incredible Self Portraits by 14-Year-Old Photographer | DeMilked.

October 30, 2013

Isolating Kids to Shield Them from “The World” Is Not Only Harmful, but Counter Productive

Homeschoolers Anonymous

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Sheldon, who blogs at Ramblings of Sheldon. It was originally published on October 28, 2013.

Recently, I published a post titled Can You Sincerely Believe in Something If You Have Never Doubted or Questioned It?, it was a repose to a blog post by Christian blogger Kansas City Bob about the “Idol of Certainty”. I had said that I can’t really see how a belief in anything, politics, etc, but especially religion can be a personal belief, a true and powerful part of someone’s identity if they have never seriously questioned it or doubted it at some point.

Blogger Jack Vance had this to say in response to the post:

Here was my long, rambling response, which really got me thinking about the fundamentalist homeschooling movement and how it makes questioning downright impossible when a young person is…

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October 29, 2013

Homeschool to Public School

Homeschoolers Anonymous


HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Heather Doney’s blog Becoming Worldly. It was originally published on December 23, 2012.

I figured since I am one of the rare former Quiverfull kids that was both homeschooled and public schooled, I’d talk about my experience. First off, though, I want to say that I find the debate about whether homeschool or public school is inherently better to be the educational equivalent of arguing whether Coke or orange soda is better. It’s utter foolishness when people act like their personal preference is the only one that counts. Overall I believe that human beings are resilient and adaptable creatures, capable of learning in many different environments if given the opportunity and some quality mentoring. If I was choosing how to educate my own kids, I’d want mixed methods, the best of both worlds.

I realize looking back that I have…

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October 29, 2013

An Open Letter to My Former Highschool Teachers: By Sarah Henderson

Homeschoolers Anonymous

HA note: Sarah Henderson blogs at Feminist in Spite of Them about her journey from Quiverfull to Feminist. The following post was originally published on her blog on October 15, 2013 and is reprinted with her permission.

Dear Teachers,

When I came to the high school at age 17, I had absolutely no idea how to be a student.  

Many of you know by now that I didn’t know what a teacher-student dynamic was. I hope you understand that up to that point I had been around adults who mostly made stuff up as they went along, and expected respect from authority that was derived simply from being bigger and older, not from legitimate accomplishment. To a scared 17 year old, it looked the same at first, because of the authority aspect.

In the three years I went to high school, I learned to respect you for the knowledge…

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October 29, 2013

Vegan Fajitas | Minimalist Baker Recipes


Vegan Fajitas | Minimalist Baker Recipes.