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Opinion: New Lesbian Parenting Study Makes Claims Unsupported by the Evidence

Posted by Mats on 31/07/2010

By A. Dean Byrd, PhD, MBA,MPH

July 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) published byAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following conclusion: “Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment (p. 28).”

Authors Gartrell and Bos generalize their findings to the lesbian population at large, claiming their research offers “implications for – same-sex parenting” (p. 28). Making an enormous scientific leap, they conclude that their study provides scientific proof that there is “no justification for restricting access to reproductive technologies or child custody on the basis of the sexual orientation of the parents” (p. 34-35).

Implied, though not stated, is the notion that fathers are not necessary or important for the healthy development of children. This implication is a throwback to an article published in the American Psychologist in 1999 titled “Deconstructing the Essential Father.” Like the authors of the American Psychologist article, Gartrell and Bos are on record as activists seeking public support for homosexual parenting.

However, a cursory review of this study (funded by the Gill Foundation and the Lesbian Health Fund of the Gay, Lesbian Medical Association) demonstrates significant flaws that most first-year graduate students would quickly recognize. Any reasonable observer would easily conclude that the authors overstated their findings and that in this instance, whatever external review process was utilized, was inadequate. Consider the following:

1. The problems inherent in any self-report study. The lesbian mothers’ own reports that their children were well-adjusted were accepted by the study’s authors uncritically. The authors should have clarified the limitation and usefulness of such qualitative, self-reported data in light of the fact that the lesbian parents knew that the study would be used to further their political cause; in contrast, the control group had no idea how their reports would be used. In addition, most mothers, lesbian or not, would likely report their children’s adjustment in a favorable light. Outside observers such as the child’s teachers or counselors, if consulted, could have offered a different perspective.

2. The lesbian parents were hardly typical parents: 93% were Caucasian. Most were college-educated (67%). Most were middle/upper class (82%). Eighty-five per cent were in professional or managerial roles. The control sample, however, had significantly more minorities; many more children from the South; they were very different in race composition and socioeconomic status; and the educational level of these mothers was unclear. A statistical adjustment for these differences could have been easily addressed. Had these differences been controlled, they might have been reduced, been proven negligible, or perhaps reversed.

3. The sample was far from random. Participants were recruited from gay and lesbian venues (i.e., lesbian pride events and lesbian newspapers in three major metropolitan areas – Boston, Washington. D.C. and San Francisco). Although the authors acknowledge the non-randomness of their subject pool and the potential problems this situation could pose, this limitation did not seem to limit their conclusions. As a result, a very strong case could be made for selection bias having invalidated the findings.

Despite the obvious study flaws, the authors offer the following generalization: “The NLLFS adolescents are well-adjusted, demonstrating more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than their peers in the normative American population (p.34).”

Notably absent was data about the sexual orientation of the adolescents or the preferences or expectations for the adolescents’ sexual orientation (some of this data was, in fact, collected for the 10-year study). Was this data collected and simply dismissed?

Remarkably, the authors report that the relationship-dissolution rate for the lesbian couples was 48% at the 10-year mark and 56% at the 17-year mark. (The average duration of the relationship prior to dissolution was 12 years.) When compared to the relationship-dissolution rates of the biological heterosexual sisters of the lesbians, the rate of relationship breakup is nearly double for the lesbians.

Is the reader to conclude that dissolution of the parents’ relationship has no effect upon the adjustment of the adolescents? This conclusion hardly fits the existing research.

Other research, perhaps even more interesting, was released about the same time as the NLLFS study – research conducted by Marquardt, Glenn and Clark, titled, “My Daddy’s Name is ‘Donor’: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation.” The authors’ conclusions included the following troubling negative factors: on average, young adults conceived through artificial insemination were more confused, felt more isolated from their families, were experiencing more psychic pain, and fared worse than a matched group of children who were conceived naturally in areas such as depression, delinquency and substance abuse. And the list goes on.

No research was cited in the Gartrell and Bos study regarding the outcomes of children conceived through sperm donation, when compared to children conceived through the natural union of a man and a woman. The authors address the issue of donor status in a very cursory fashion, almost dismissively.

It seems an interesting coincidence that earlier this year, another paper authored by Biblarz and Stacey (2010) offered a similar conclusion to that of Gartrell and Bos: “In fact, based strictly on the published science, one could argue that two women parent better on average than a woman and a man, or at least than a woman and a man with a traditional division of labor (p.17).”

Based on these two papers, could one really conclude that a double dose of mothering is superior to a mother and a father? If a double dose of mothering is superior to mother and a father, would it follow that a double dose of mothering is vastly superior to and actually contraindicates the placement of children in homes where mothering is absent (i.e., gay men)?

Nowhere do Gartrell and Bos cite the extensive research demonstrating the importance of gender complementarity to the healthy development of children. Nowhere do these authors cite the extensive, peer-reviewed literature on the importance of both mothering and fathering for the healthy development of children.

To Gartrell and Bos’s credit, they do identify some of the reasons for what appears to be politically-motivated conclusions: “The study has implications – for the expert testimony provided by pediatricians on lesbian mother custody, and for public policies concerning same-sex parenting. (p. 34).”

What seems clear is that the flaws in this study render it unsuitable for anything other than the following brief description: “interesting.” Gartrell and Blos’ conclusions don’t rise to the level of support for lesbian parenting that they would like. Certainly, this study does not merit inclusion in any expert witness testimony nor does it rise to the level of policy implications. Until such limitations are addressed and more rigorous research conducted, the sought after conclusions stated by the authors are without substantial scientific support.

Perhaps the study would be better titled, “Preconceived Conclusions Seeking Research Support” or “Activism Masquerading as Science: A Study Suitable for Scrutiny by Beginning Graduate Students.”

Silverstein and Auerbach, authors of the “Deconstructing Fathers” article, offered the following disclaimer: “We acknowledge that our reading of the scientific literature supports our political agenda. Our goal is to generate public-policy initiatives that support men in their fathering role, without discriminating against women and same-sex couples. We are also interested in encouraging public policy that supports the legitimacy of diverse family structures, rather than privileging the two-parent, heterosexual, married family.” (p. 399).

The same could be said of this study. Gartrell and Bos should have offered the same disclaimer as Silverstein and Auerbach. But they did not.


References:

Biblarz, T.J. & Stacey, J. (2010). “How does the gender of parents matter?” Journal of Marriage and Family, February, p. 3-22.

Gartrell, N. and Bos, H. (2010). “US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents,” Pediatrics, Volume 126, Number 1, July 2010 p. 28-36.

Marquardt, E., Glenn, & Clark, K. “My daddy’s name is donor.” New York: Institute for American Values, p. 1-135.

Silverstein, L.B., & Auerbach, C. F. (1999). “Deconstructing the essential father,” American Psychologist, 54, 6, p. 397-407.

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Obama’s NASA Muslim Strategy Echoes His Nutty Cairo Speech

Posted by Mats on 14/07/2010

Student of history, Barack Obama, spoke to the Muslim World in Cairo last year.
During his speech Obama congratulated the Muslim World for their many accomplishments.
Obama’s Cairo Speech – The Transcript:

As a student of history, I also know civilisation’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

Unfortunately, Dear Leader was once again repeating Far Left talking points and not facts.
Here is what he forgot to mention:

** The compass- The use of a magnetic compass as a direction finder occurred sometime before 1044, but incontestable evidence for the use of the compass as a navigational device did not appear until 1119 in China. The earliest reference to an iron fish-like compass in the Islamic world occurs in a Persian talebook from 1232- Wikipedia.

** The pen- Ancient Egyptians developed writing on papyrus scrolls when scribes used thin reed brushes or reed pens. The quill pen was used in Qumran, Judea to write some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then introduced into Europe by around 700 AD before the founding of Islam. Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, was provided a fountain pen 250 years later- Wikipedia.

** Printing- Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper- Wikipedia.

** Spread of disease and how it is healed- It’s not clear how Islam contributed to the understanding of disease but today Muslim Sharia Councils in Nigeria and Pakistan have opposed vaccinations in their districts.

** Arches- Arches appeared as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamian brick architecture, but their systematic use started with the Ancient Romans who were the first to apply the technique to a wide range of structures- Wikipedia.

** Religious Tolerance- No churches or synagogues have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia since it was established in 1932 —because none are allowed. There is no declared Muslim state, which offers full civil rights to members of other religions. – Front Page.

** Racial Equality- Muhammad and many of his companions bought, sold, freed, and captured slaves. At the end of the 19th century, a shift in Muslim thought and interpretation of the Qur’an occurred, and slavery became seen as opposed to Islamic principles of justice and equality. This interpretation has not been accepted by the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. Slavery claiming the sanction of Islam is documented presently in the African republics of Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Sudan.- Wikipedia.

A year later after this speech in Cairo we find out Obama’s NASA starategy includes making Muslims feel good about their non-accomplishments and non-contributions to science. Except that now the Obama Administration claims that is not their strategy… Even though it’s been confirmed.

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More Evolutionists Say ‘Ida’ Is Not a Missing Link

Posted by Mats on 19/04/2010

by Brian Thomas, M.S. *

A fossilized lemur-like creature, nicknamed “Ida,” was broadly heralded in 2009 as one of man’s earliest ancestors. At the time, and despite the hype, various paleontologists expressed doubts regarding the placement of this fossil in man’s evolutionary tree.

Now, after a careful look at the evidence, more researchers are refuting Ida’s “missing link” status. These more measured analyses, however, are not being promoted with as much enthusiasm as the unsubstantiated initial claims that Ida was “our connection with the rest of all the mammals.”1

A recent article in the Austin American-Statesman highlighted research by University of Texas anthropologist Chris Kirk and his colleagues, who recently published a critique of Ida in the Journal of Human Evolution. Kirk told the Statesman, “It’s a spectacular fossil, but it really doesn’t have any relevance for human evolution.”2

The study’s authors refuted specific claims made by paleontologist Jens Franzen and others in a 2009 PLoS Biology paper, which named Ida Darwinius masillae in honor of British naturalist Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday.3

The relevance of Ida to human ancestry depended on her being a haplorhine, a “dry-nosed” group of primates thought to include monkeys, apes, tarsiers, and humans. Kirk and his colleagues revisited Ida’s tooth, skull, jaw, and other body features, and concluded that she was a strepsirrhine, a “dry-nosed” group that includes lemurs and aye-ayes, and that she was thus irrelevant to human evolution. (Some primates do not clearly fit either classification.)

Evolutionists had initially argued that if Ida was one of the earliest haplorhines to have evolved, then she might have been an ancestor to later haplorhines, which they believe eventually became humans. But these later researchers wrote in the Journal of Human Evolution, “Our review of the available evidence leads us to conclude that Darwinius is not a haplorhine and certainly not an anthropoid [man-like creature].”4

The American-Statesman reported that Franzen and his colleagues plan to publish a rebuttal of Kirk’s dissent. Like so many other evolution-inspired research questions, the issue of whether or not Ida belongs in man’s evolutionary past may remain wrapped in confusion and never be resolved by researchers who refuse to interpret the data using anything other than an evolutionary paradigm.

Ida’s prominence may someday diminish, but that will most likely happen only after another fossil is erroneously presented as the latest, greatest “missing link.”5

References

  1. A quotation from British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, contained in Attenborough on Ida: this little creature is going to show our connection with all other mammals. The Guardian. Posted on guardian.co.uk May 19, 2009, accessed May 20, 2009.
  2. Castillo, J. UT researcher among those challenging ‘missing link.’ Austin American-Statesman. Posted on statesman.com March 4, 2010, accessed March 9, 2010.
  3. Franzen, J. L. et al. 2009. Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Paleobiology. PLoS One. 4 (5): e5723.
  4. Williams, B. A. et al. Darwinius masillae is a strepsirrhine―a reply to Franzen et al. (2009). Journal of Human Evolution. Published online before print February 26, 2010.
  5. For a brief list of prior debunked “missing links” in man’s supposed evolutionary past, see Batten, D. 2010. Human evolution: oh so clear? Creation. 32 (2): 46-47.

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What Arab Civilization?

Posted by Mats on 28/03/2010

This letter was sent to Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard Corporation, in response to a speech given by her on September 26, 2001.

http://www.ninevehsoft.com/fiorina.htm


November 7, 2001

Carly Fiorina
Hewlett-Packard
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

Dear Madame Fiorina:

It is with great interest that I read your speech delivered on September 26, 2001, titled “Technology, Business and Our way of Life: What’s Next” [sic]. I was particularly interested in the story you told at the end of your speech, about the Arab/Muslim civilization. As an Assyrian, a non-Arab, Christian native of the Middle East, whose ancestors reach back to 5000 B.C., I wish to clarify some points you made in this little story, and to alert you to the dangers of unwittingly being drawn into the Arabist/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate all cultures and religions into the Arab/Islamic fold.

I know you are a very busy woman, but please find ten minutes to read what follows, as it is a perspective that you will not likely get from anywhere else. I will answer some of the specific points you made in your speech, then conclude with a brief perspective on this Arabist/Islamist ideology.

Arabs and Muslims appeared on the world scene in 630 A.D., when the armies of Muhammad began their conquest of the Middle East. We should be very clear that this was a military conquest, not a missionary enterprise, and through the use of force, authorized by a declaration of a Jihad against infidels, Arabs/Muslims were able to forcibly convert and assimilate non-Arabs and non-Mulsims into their fold. Very few indigenous communities of the Middle East survived this — primarily Assyrians, Jews, Armenians and Coptics (of Egypt).

Having conquered the Middle East, Arabs placed these communities under a Dhimmi (see the book Dhimmi, by Bat Ye’Or) system of governance, where the communities were allowed to rule themselves as religious minorities (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrian). These communities had to pay a tax (called a Jizzya in Arabic) that was, in effect, a penalty for being non-Muslim, and that was typically 80% in times of tolerance and up to 150% in times of oppression. This tax forced many of these communities to convert to Islam, as it was designed to do.

You state, “its architects designed buildings that defied gravity.” I am not sure what you are referring to, but if you are referring to domes and arches, the fundamental architectural breakthrough of using a parabolic shape instead of a spherical shape for these structures was made by the Assyrians more than 1300 years earlier, as evidenced by their archaeological record.

You state, “its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption.” The fundamental basis of modern mathematics had been laid down not hundreds but thousands of years before by Assyrians and Babylonians, who already knew of the concept of zero, of the Pythagorean Theorem, and of many, many other developments expropriated by Arabs/Muslims (see History of Babylonian Mathematics, Neugebauer).

You state, “its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease.” The overwhelming majority of these doctors (99%) were Assyrians. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries Assyrians began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge into Assyrian. At first they concentrated on the religious works but then quickly moved to science, philosophy and medicine. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these Arabic translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe, thus igniting the European Renaissance.

By the sixth century A.D., Assyrians had begun exporting back to Byzantia their own works on science, philosophy and medicine. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur (Iran). Also in the area of medicine, (the Assyrian) Hunayn ibn-Ishaq’s textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950 A.D., remained the authoritative source on the subject until 1800 A.D.

In the area of philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle’s theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces (a theory that anticipated some ideas in quantum mechanics, such as the spontaneous creation and destruction of matter that occurs in the quantum vacuum).

One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis, which had three departments, theology, philosophy and medicine, and which became a magnet and center of intellectual development in the Middle East. The statutes of the School of Nisibis, which have been preserved, later became the model upon which the first Italian university was based (see The Statutes of the School of Nisibis, by Arthur Voobus).

When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this civilization that became the foundation of the Arab civilization.

You state, “Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.” This is a bit melodramatic. In fact, the astronomers you refer to were not Arabs but Chaldeans and Babylonians (of present day south-Iraq), who for millennia were known as astronomers and astrologers, and who were forcibly Arabized and Islamized — so rapidly that by 750 A.D. they had disappeared completely.

You state, “its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.” There is very little literature in the Arabic language that comes from this period you are referring to (the Koran is the only significant piece of literature), whereas the literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast. The third largest corpus of Christian writing, after Latin and Greek, is by the Assyrians in the Assyrian language (also called Syriac; see here.)

You state, “when other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.” This is a very important issue you raise, and it goes to the heart of the matter of what Arab/Islamic civilization represents. I reviewed a book titled How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs, in which the author lists the significant translators and interpreters of Greek science. Of the 22 scholars listed, 20 were Assyrians, 1 was Persian and 1 an Arab. I state at the end of my review: “The salient conclusion which can be drawn from O’Leary’s book is that Assyrians played a significant role in the shaping of the Islamic world via the Greek corpus of knowledge. If this is so, one must then ask the question, what happened to the Christian communities which made them lose this great intellectual enterprise which they had established. One can ask this same question of the Arabs. Sadly, O’Leary’s book does not answer this question, and we must look elsewhere for the answer.” I did not answer this question I posed in the review because it was not the place to answer it, but the answer is very clear, the Christian Assyrian community was drained of its population through forced conversion to Islam (by the Jizzya), and once the community had dwindled below a critical threshold, it ceased producing the scholars that were the intellectual driving force of the Islamic civilization, and that is when the so called “Golden Age of Islam” came to an end (about 850 A.D.).

Islam the religion itself was significantly molded by Assyrians and Jews (see Nestorian Influence on Islam and Hagarism: the Making of the Islamic World).

Arab/Islamic civilization is not a progressive force, it is a regressive force; it does not give impetus, it retards. The great civilization you describe was not an Arab/Muslim accomplishment, it was an Assyrian accomplishment that Arabs expropriated and subsequently lost when they drained, through the forced conversion of Assyrians to Islam, the source of the intellectual vitality that propelled it. What other Arab/Muslim civilization has risen since? What other Arab/Muslim successes can we cite?

You state, “and perhaps we can learn a lesson from his [Suleiman] example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.” In fact, the Ottomans were extremely oppressive to non-Muslims. For example, young Christian boys were forcefully taken from their families, usually at the age of 8-10, and inducted into the Janissaries, (yeniceri in Turkish) where they were Islamized and made to fight for the Ottoman state. What literary, artistic or scientific achievements of the Ottomans can we point to? We can, on the other hand, point to the genocide of 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians and 400,000 Greeks in World War One by the Kemalist “Young Turk” government. This is the true face of Islam.

Arabs/Muslims are engaged in an explicit campaign of destruction and expropriation of cultures and communities, identities and ideas. Wherever Arab/Muslim civilization encounters a non-Arab/Muslim one, it attempts to destroy it (as the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were destroyed, as Persepolis was destroyed by the Ayotollah Khomeini). This is a pattern that has been recurring since the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago, and is amply substantiated by the historical record. If the “foreign” culture cannot be destroyed, then it is expropriated, and revisionist historians claim that it is and was Arab, as is the case of most of the Arab “accomplishments” you cited in your speech. For example, Arab history texts in the Middle East teach that Assyrians were Arabs, a fact that no reputable scholar would assert, and that no living Assyrian would accept. Assyrians first settled Nineveh, one of the major Assyrian cities, in 5000 B.C., which is 5630 years before Arabs came into that area. Even the word ‘Arab’ is an Assyrian word, meaning “Westerner” (the first written reference to Arabs was by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, 800 B.C., in which he tells of conquering the “ma’rabayeh” — Westerners. See The Might That Was Assyria, by H. W. F. Saggs).

Even in America this Arabization policy continues. On October 27th a coalition of seven Assyrian and Maronite organizations sent an official letter to the Arab American Institute asking it to stop identifying Assyrians and Maronites as Arabs, which it had been deliberately doing.

There are minorities and nations struggling for survival in the Arab/Muslim ocean of the Middle East and Africa (Assyrians, Armenians, Coptics, Jews, southern Sudanese, Ethiopians, Nigerians…), and we must be very sensitive not to unwittingly and inadvertently support Islamic fascism and Arab Imperialism, with their attempts to wipe out all other cultures, religions and civilizations. It is incumbent upon each one of us to do our homework and research when making statements and speeches about these sensitive matters.

I hope you found this information enlightening. For more information, refer to the web links below. You may contact me at keepa@ninevehsoft.com for further questions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peter BetBasoo

Web resources:

Brief History of Assyrians
Assyrian International News Agency
Assyrian American National Federation
Assyrian Academic Society
Zinda Magazine
Beth Suryoyo
Nineveh Online
World Maronite Union
Maronite Research Council
World Lebanese Organization
Coptic Web

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