Category Archives: News

Reported cases of sexually-transmitted diseases reaches record high

HIV infection rates from Center for Disease Control
HIV infection rates from Center for Disease Control

This is from the far-left CNN, of all places.

Excerpt:

There were more reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases last year than ever before in the United States, according to the latest STD surveillance report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The annual report, which was released on Wednesday, showed that the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis — the three most commonly reported STDs in the nation — increased between 2014 and 2015, reaching an all-time high.

Reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis rose by 19%, gonorrhea cases rose by 12.8%, and chlamydia cases rose by 5.9%, from 2014. All three STDs are curable with antibiotics, but most infections go undiagnosed and untreated, according to the CDC.

What is interesting is how overspending by bureaucrats on social welfare, amnesty, refugees, etc. has left less money to combat sexually-transmitted diseases:

In a foreword to the new report, Bolan wrote that some 21 health department STD clinics across the country have closed due to many state and local programs experiencing budget cuts. Therefore, fewer people have access to the testing and treatment resources provided by such clinics.

Meanwhile, as more STD cases emerge, treating infections costs the country nearly $16 billion annually.

With the national debt doubled from 10 to 20 trillion under Obama, Obama’s free-spirited supporters can look forward to not having access to the “health care” they now need.

Not surprisingly, the reckless young people who voted for Obama are the most reckless with sex. And so they are the most affected by STDs:

Young people, 15 to 24 years old, accounted for nearly two-thirds of last year’s chlamydia diagnoses — and half of the gonorrhea diagnoses.

Not only are there more STD infections, but the diseases have adapted to beat our antibiotics.

The Center for Disease Control reports:

Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it. Following the spread of gonococcal fluoroquinolone resistance, the cephalosporin antibiotics have been the foundation of recommended treatment for gonorrhea. The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate the ability of providers to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, well-tolerated and highly effective. It is critical to continuously monitor antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens.

Gonorrhea is the second most prominent STD, right behind chlamydia.

One reason for the upsurge in STDs might be society’s growing celebration of male homosexuality.

The Center for Disease Control explains:

P&S syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been increasing since at least 2000. In 2014, rates of P&S syphilis increased among MSM, who account for 83 percent of reported cases among men when the sex of the partner is known. Also concerning is that more than half of MSM (51 percent) diagnosed with syphilis in 2014 were also HIV-positive. Infection with syphilis can cause sores on the genitals, which make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV.

Syphilis is currently the only STD for which information on the sex of the sex partner is reported. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that MSM are experiencing similar increases in gonorrhea and chlamydia infections– underscoring the need to further understand what is contributing to the rise.

Gay and bisexual men face a combination of social, epidemiologic, and individual risk factors that can fuel high levels of STDs. Higher prevalence of infection within sexual networks increases the likelihood of acquiring an STD with each sexual encounter.

And on a different CDC page:

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men made up an estimated 2% of the population but 55% of people living with HIV in the United States in 2013. If current diagnosis rates continue, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, including 1 in 2 black/African American gay and bisexual men, 1 in 4 Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, and 1 in 11 white gay and bisexual men.

The CDC’s solution to this disparity is to ask for more taxpayer money, of course. No disapproval here, just take the money from the moral people and pay for the choices of the reckless people.

Right now, many people are freely choosing to engage in these behaviors, and to celebrate the lifestyles of those who engage in these behaviors, because they think that the government has unlimited taxpayer money to pay for all the costs of these decisions. Little do they know about the national debt, and what happens to “government-provided” health care when the interest rates on that debt increases. As a society, we have decided that it is better to be forgiving and compassionate when people make reckless, risky decisions. “Oh, we can just make the prudent people pay for the mess – they have money”, the progressives say. And that works fine, until the money runs out, and people realize that the mean, judgmental, controlling bullies who were defending chastity, fidelity, marriage, moral standards and personal responsibility were right all along.

New study: nearly half of millenials reject monogamy

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

Study reported on by The Stream:

A new report found nearly half of American millennials don’t want monogamous relationships.

YouGov revealed the research on monogamy and cheating, showing couples under 30 are significantly less monogamous than older generations.

Only 51 percent of people under 30 reported desiring a “completely monogamous” relationship, compared to 58 percent from the 30-44 age bracket, 63 percent from the 45-64 age bracket, and 70 percent from the 65 plus age bracket polled.

[…]Reports also show that men and women are cheating at almost equal rates.

It’s not just adultery that millenials don’t care about any more, it’s premarital sex. An article from the Washington Post found that both men and women no longer desire their romantic partners to be chaste:

Dating has changed hugely over the past generations, and so have cultural ideas about what men and women value most in a mate.

This idea is perfectly illustrated by a chart that economist Max Roser, who created the blog Our World in Data, recently put out on Twitter. The chart is made with data from a study published in the Journal of Family Issues in 2013, in which three researchers compared how heterosexual men and women ranked the importance of 18 traits in wives and husbands, first in 1939, and then again in 2008.

[…]For both men and women, the importance of chastity nose-dived, from #10 in 1939 to #18 in 2008. Emotional stability and maturity, a pleasing disposition, good health, and refinement and neatness also declined for both sexes.

For women, a similar religious background and a desire for home and children became less important in their mates, while men placed less value on ambition and industriousness in their wives.

It goes without saying that adultery is more like to reduce marriage stability. And studies also show that marriage stability is severely impacted by the number of premarital sex partners.  That’s why chastity matters: it’s a predictor of marital stability. If a person can control themselves before marriage when they don’t get any sex, it’s easier to control themselves when that need is being supplied safely and generously. Also, chastity just reinforces the idea that sex is something that is done within a lifelong commitment, not something that is done outside of a commitment for fun and thrills. I don’t that the millenial approach of premarital unchastity and post-marital non-monogamy is going to help them keep their marriages together.

But young people today aren’t interested in looking at studies to figure out how to do marriage right so that it will last. They make their decisions with their feelings. They value what the culture tells them to value, rather than picking a mate who has the skills and abilities to make the marriage last.

How well is picking mates based on emotions rather than demonstrated ability working out? The marriage rates are plummeting:

Gallup poll:

Contrary to what we would expect, given normal demographic patterns of adolescents’ movement into early adulthood and family formation, the data show that significantly more millennials are currently single/never married than was true for those in older generations, and considerably more are in domestic partnerships. Specifically, more than half of all millennials (59%) have never married, and 9% are in domestic partnerships. Gallup has noted a trend toward fewer young adults being married in recent years.

In the 2014 Gallup Daily tracking data, just 27% of millennials were married. According to historical U.S. Census Bureau data, 36% of Generation Xers, 48% of baby boomers and 65% of traditionalists were married when they were the age that millennials are now. For millennials currently aged 18 to 30, just 20% are married, compared with nearly 60% of 18- to 30-year-olds in 1962, according to the U.S. Census. When Gen Xers were the same age, 32% were married; for baby boomers, it was more than 40%.

Millennials are clearly delaying marriage longer than any generation before them, in spite of evidence suggesting that many millennials intend to marry at some point. For example, a 2013 Gallup poll found that 86% of single/never married Americans aged 18 to 34 (roughly equivalent to the millennial generation) wanted to get married someday.

Table:

Marriage rates across different generations of Americans
Marriage rates across different generations of Americans

Who can keep a relationship going when the top criterion is ability to entertain rather than ability to commit self-sacrificially? I hear lots of Christian women say they want to get married “some day”, but there they are in their mid 30s, unemployed, penniless, with empty resumes, backpacking through Europe. The words “some day” sound good to their parents and pastors, but the actions are all about hedonism and thrill-seeking – just what the culture told them to do, in order to have a meaningful life.

Is there a cost to the younger generation turning their backs on traditional marriage, including the norms of chastity, fidelity and permanence?

I saw an article on the Public Discourse that talked about the fiscal costs of abandoning traditional marriage.

It says:

In 1965, liberal Harvard political scientist Daniel Patrick Moynihan was astonished to find that about 25 percent of African-American children were born out of wedlock. Moynihan was deeply worried about this finding because he knew exactly what being born out of wedlock means for a child. Decades of social science confirm what common sense has always taught us: that children born out of wedlock are disadvantaged in every way. They are more likely to be physically and mentally ill, more likely to be poor and unhappy, more likely to have trouble in school and with education generally, more likely to be abused sexually, more likely themselves to abuse others sexually, more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs, and more likely to engage in criminal activity and to have a disdain for authority.

This, in turn, invariably increases the size and scope of the power of the state. The state must expand to replace fathers who have abandoned their families by providing for single mothers. It must increase its public-health efforts to provide for children whose single parents cannot pay for private healthcare and to treat victims of violence committed by those who have been raised in an environment that has failed to equip them for a robust and peaceful social life. It must create and maintain adoption agencies to care for children whose parents are unfit or absent. It must commit more funds to police departments to address crime that results from families breaking apart (or failing to form in the first place), and hence failing to instill virtue in children. It must commit funds to the creation of prisons where criminals are to be kept. The list goes on and on.

The economic costs of abandoning social conservatism, then, run quite high—in addition to all of the unquantifiable social costs of broken families, deaths, broken relationships, and ruined lives. It is no surprise that leftists, committed to consolidating power in the state, have sought to undermine the family: they realize—better than many fiscal conservatives do—that a flourishing marriage culture is required for free markets and limited governments to exist.

So, there really is a cost to the embrace of moral relativism. When morality goes, expensive things happen, and government grows to pick up the costs. The bigger the government grows, the taxes are required to pay for it, leaving you with less of your own money – less of your own freedom to live how you want to live.

Sociology professor orders students to only use feminist sources for assignment

College tuition is rising: are you getting more for your money?
College tuition is rising: are you getting more for your money?

The Toronto Sun reports on a sociology professor who gave her students an assignment – an assignment with some very peculiar constraints.

Excerpt:

A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.

Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.

[…]After Jane sent an email describing her intention to write about the wag gap, her instructor replied that her premise was wrong, Josephine said.

Here’s what the professor said:

“Perhaps you want to write your paper on the glass ceiling. You need to look at feminist sources on this issue…Do NOT use business sources. They blame women. The reality is patriarchy,” says the instructor’s email, posted online.

In a copy of the assignment provided to the Toronto Sun by Josephine, the instructor also notes that Ontario and Canada government websites and Statistics Canada will not be considered scholarly sources.

“Government websites state government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes, assumptions and misconceptions,” the assignment says.

So, that’s what you get when you enroll in non-STEM courses in a non-STEM program. What is interesting is that the professor makes about $167,000 a year. That’s more than I make, and I actually do useful work! It’s also higher than the average professor’s salary.

Here’s a video Josephine made about the assignment, and the so-called wage gap:

This is not the only political correctness going on in Toronto. A professor at the University of Toronto is also in trouble for refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns.

The Toronto Sun reports:

Dr. Jordan Peterson was bemused at my surprise. “I know, when you first discover it, you say ‘What the hell; what’s going on here?’” he acknowledged. “Unfortunately, it’s pretty par for the course. This is standard practice.”

He should know. The U of T psychology prof ignited a firestorm of criticism last fall from trans activists, faculty and students when he ran afoul of the PC police by posting a video on his YouTube channel saying that he wouldn’t use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they,” “ze” and “zir.” Protesters called for his dismissal and someone poured glue into the lock of his office door.

Where’s the intellectual discourse, the room for contrary views?

“This is the thing people don’t understand about postmodernism: postmodernists don’t debate. They don’t believe in debate, it’s not part of the creed,” Peterson argued.

“All these ethnic studies, gender studies, most of the humanities, a good chunk of the social sciences, it’s all gone down the postmodern rabbit hole. There’s no debate. It’s a political war. You don’t talk to the other side.”

Dialogue with those you don’t agree with would be giving them a platform — and respect — they don’t deserve. Instead, you just shut it down. “This is how it is. This is a university,” he sighed. “It sure would be nice if was unbelieveable, but unfortunately, it’s how it is.”

This is why I keep telling young people that they need to avoid non-STEM programs at secular universities. You’re borrowing a ton of money to become less intelligent. The professors tell you what to believe and you believe it and repeat it like a trained parrot, and then they give you a diploma and you’re $40,000 in debt with no job prospects. Don’t be stupid – understand that there are a lot of people at the university who have no business being there. They have no useful knowledge to give you. Pretty much every non-STEM professor or instructor at a secular university is an imbecile.

This is what college does to students:

You’re not learning anything from an imbecile, except how to ape an imbecile yourself.

This problem is only going to stop when we cut off the funding for universities and cut off the per-pupil funding from government as well. Funding for universities should come from loans made by companies to the individual students, who then promise to work for those companies for a certain number of years at graduation. The money should not be handed to students to go party, with no strings attached.

Feminist explains how she chose to drink alcohol before recreational sex

College students puking in toilet
College students puking in toilet

Guess where I’m linking today? To a radical feminist web site named Jezebel, to an article written by a radical feminist who writes for the radically leftist Slate.

No, I’m not crazy. Just read it:

Much of the conversation around alcohol and sex has focused on assault—the line at which intoxication becomes incapacitation, for instance—but what we fail to mention is how haunted people can be by the sex they actually, technically consented to.

[…]I wonder what my sex life would even look like if alcohol hadn’t been there. Alcohol gave me comfort in my own body, and it allowed me to turn my erotic curiosity and hunger for experience into an action plan. I was tired of being the stuttering girl sucking in her stomach after the lights went out. I wanted to be the woman who roamed wild and free.

Alcohol also helped me cut the girlish strings on my heart, an action my college years demanded. Three months into my freshman year, I split a six pack with a dashing sophomore, and we wound up partially clothed on his bed, my bare legs wrapped around his waist, my hands around his neck. I pulled back slightly and asked him the question, the naive question of a girl who does not yet understand her fate: “What does this mean?”

He looked past me, into his studio apartment, and then back into my eyes. “It means that I’m a 19-year-old boy, and we’re having fun.”

What is interesting is that she didn’t see this man’s using her for fun after getting her drunk as any disqualification for a serious relationship. On the contrary, she believes that a serious relationship built on self-sacrificial love and commitment that lasts through difficulties can be found in a man who uses her for fun sex:

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy that night with the dashing sophomore. I’m saying the fun part for me might have been turning our physical intimacy into a sustained attachment.

Amazing. She wasn’t looking for men with good educations, good jobs, lots of savings, who were sober and chaste – they would have made her unhappy with their bossy leading, and strict plans about courting and marriage. Nope, she wanted the drunken slut who didn’t ask her any questions or have any plan for her to develop into a wife and mother. That’s who she wanted. He was hawt! And he was free, easy and fun.

She is 35 now, and still single. I’m sure if you ask her, she would like to be married “some day”, but who could look at 20 years of drunken sex and say that this is good preparation for the challenges of marriage? Marriage is about self-sacrificial love, and endurance. To prepare for it, you learn self-denial and self-control. You learn how to accept expectations, obligations and responsibilities.

Anyway, back to the article by the drunken, promiscuous feminist. The point that I wanted to make is that she chose the alcohol herself, and that she did it for a very specific reason:

I wanted to have fun, too. And alcohol evened the score. I cared less about everything when I was drinking: What you thought of me, what I looked like in this dress, whether that taco was warm or cold when I stuffed it in my mouth. I don’t want to make it sound like I drank in order to have sex. I drank for a million reasons.

[…]Booze downshifted my intense body consciousness, and it revved up my bravado. Sex was scary—but alcohol made me feel safe.

She drank in order to have sex. Got it? She chose to get drunk in order to have sex. This is the part that permissive parents and pious pastors need to understand about their darling daughters. Many young women think that recreational sex with hot guys is a pathway to marriage. They drink in order to make progress towards the marriage they want – the marriage to the man who is fun. Not the man who is serious. They don’t want the serious man who makes plans and expects them to behave responsibly and honor obligations. They want the fun, hot man – the bad boy – and they expect to change him into a faithful, sober, responsible provider through the magical power of vagina. And if that doesn’t work, by threatening him with divorce.

Why are millenials acting like children into adulthood?
Why are millenials acting like children into adulthood?

This reminds me of the Institute for American Values study. Despite their name, it is not a conservative organization

Look at this citation from p. 15:

A number of students noted that being drunk could later serve as your excuse for the hook up.

A Yale University student said, “Some people like hook up because they’re drunk or use being drunk as an excuse to hook up.”

A New York University student observed, “[Alcohol is] just part of an excuse, so that you can say, oh, well, I was drinking.”

A Rutgers University student commented, “If you’re drinking a lot it’s easier to hook up with someone… [and] drugs, it’s kind of like a bonding thing… and then if you hook up with them and you don’t want to speak to them again, you can always blame it on the drinking or the drugs.”

[…]A University of Chicago junior observed, “One of my best friends… sometimes that’s her goal when we go out. Like she wants to get drunk so I guess she doesn’t have to feel guilty about [hooking up].”

I think at this point you should assume that if your daughter is not passionate about chastity, natural marriage and pro-life, then she is probably somewhere on this drinking – recreational sex – cohabitation – abortion – no-fault divorce path. The more fun-loving and emotional a woman is, the more likely she is to fall into it, and some of them just work it together with Christianity. Once woman I know was living with a non-Christian man and praying fervently for God to make her career take off. God is there for hope and comfort, not to impose any sort of moral boundaries. And parents and pastors are oblivious – they just want to let women do whatever they want, and then blame men for not making it “work out”. Parents and pastors are not doing the job of explaining to women what their lives will really be like from age 40 to 90, and urging women to make a plan that provides lasting love and and security even as they experience declining youth, declining beauty, and declining fertility.

I hope that many of the men out there who refuse to hold women accountable for their own desires start to understand that not everything a woman wants is good, and not every plan a woman makes will work. Sometimes, you need to calmly and constructively challenge them about their priorities, plans and actions. It’s for their own good.

New study: first life pushed back earlier, leaving less time for naturalist magic

Christianity and the progress of science
Christianity and the progress of science

Whenever you discuss origins with naturalists, it’s very important to get them to explain how the first living organism emerged without any help from an intelligent agent. The origin of life is an information problem. A certain minimal amount of biological information for minimum life function has to be thrown together by chance. No evolutionary mechanisms have the potential to work until replication is already in place.

Evolution News reports on a new study that makes the window for naturalistic forces to create the first self-replicating organism even smaller.

Excerpt:

A paper in Nature reports the discovery of fossil microbes possibly older, even much older, than any found previously. The lead author is biogeochemist Matthew Dodd, a PhD student at University College London. If the paper is right, these Canadian fossils could be 3.77 billion years old, or even as old as — hold onto your hat, in case you’re wearing one — 4.28 billion years.

From the Abstract:

Although it is not known when or where life on Earth began, some of the earliest habitable environments may have been submarine-hydrothermal vents. Here we describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks, interpreted as seafloor-hydrothermal vent-related precipitates, from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec, Canada. These structures occur as micrometre-scale haematite tubes and filaments with morphologies and mineral assemblages similar to those of filamentous microorganisms from modern hydrothermal vent precipitates and analogous microfossils in younger rocks. The Nuvvuagittuq rocks contain isotopically light carbon in carbonate and carbonaceous material, which occurs as graphitic inclusions in diagenetic carbonate rosettes, apatite blades intergrown among carbonate rosettes and magnetite–haematite granules, and is associated with carbonate in direct contact with the putative microfossils.

This new paper is interesting to compare with a paper from last year, Nutman et al., “Rapid emergence of life shown by discovery of 3,700-million-year-old microbial structures,” also in Nature, which found microbial structures that are a bit younger.

But the “microbial structures” from Nutman et al. 2016 are different from these new “microfossils” presented by Dodd et al. 2017. In Nutman et al., they only found stromatolite-type structures rather than actual microfossils. Some stromatolite experts were a bit skeptical that what they found were really stromatolites.

But the new paper by Dodd and his colleagues, “Evidence for early life in Earth’s oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates,” seems to offer potential bacteria-like microfossils. They are tiny black carbonaceous spheres and “hematite tubes” which the authors think are biogenically created. We’ve seen more convincing ancient microfossils, but these aren’t bad.

According to Dodd et al., these new finds would be the oldest known microfossils, if that is in fact what they are. Very interesting. If so, that just keeps pushing unquestionable evidence of life’s existence on Earth further and further back, which leaves less and less time for the origin of life to have occurred by unguided chemical evolution after Earth became habitable.

If they are in fact 4.28 billion years old, then that would mean there was life very, very early in Earth’s history — as Cyril Ponnamperuma said, it’s like “instant life.”

Instant life is “rational” for naturalistic fideists, but for evidence-driven people who understand the long odds on generating even a simple protein by chance, it’s irrationality.

Let’s recall exactly how hard it is to make even a simple protein without intelligent agency to select the elements of the sequence.

The odds of creating even a single functional protein

I’ve talked about Doug Axe before when I described how to calculate the odds of getting functional proteins by chance.

Let’s calculate the odds of building a protein composed of a functional chain of 100 amino acids, by chance. (Think of a meaningful English sentence built with 100 scrabble letters, held together with glue)

Sub-problems:

  • BONDING: You need 99 peptide bonds between the 100 amino acids. The odds of getting a peptide bond is 50%. The probability of building a chain of one hundred amino acids in which all linkages involve peptide bonds is roughly (1/2)^99 or 1 chance in 10^30.
  • CHIRALITY: You need 100 left-handed amino acids. The odds of getting a left-handed amino acid is 50%. The probability of attaining at random only L–amino acids in a hypothetical peptide chain one hundred amino acids long is (1/2)^100 or again roughly 1 chance in 10^30.
  • SEQUENCE: You need to choose the correct amino acid for each of the 100 links. The odds of getting the right one are 1 in 20. Even if you allow for some variation, the odds of getting a functional sequence is (1/20)^100 or 1 in 10^65.

The final probability of getting a functional protein composed of 100 amino acids is 1 in 10^125. Even if you fill the universe with pre-biotic soup, and react amino acids at Planck time (very fast!) for 14 billion years, you are probably not going to get even 1 such protein. And you need at least 100 of them for minimal life functions, plus DNA and RNA.

Research performed by Doug Axe at Cambridge University, and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Molecular Biology, has shown that the number of functional amino acid sequences is tiny:

Doug Axe’s research likewise studies genes that it turns out show great evidence of design. Axe studied the sensitivities of protein function to mutations. In these “mutational sensitivity” tests, Dr. Axe mutated certain amino acids in various proteins, or studied the differences between similar proteins, to see how mutations or changes affected their ability to function properly. He found that protein function was highly sensitive to mutation, and that proteins are not very tolerant to changes in their amino acid sequences. In other words, when you mutate, tweak, or change these proteins slightly, they stopped working. In one of his papers, he thus concludes that “functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences,” and that functional protein folds “may be as low as 1 in 10^77.”

The problem of forming DNA by sequencing nucleotides faces similar difficulties. And remember, mutation and selection cannot explain the origin of the first sequence, because mutation and selection require replication, which does not exist until that first living cell is already in place.