Tag Archives: Conference

Academic researchers gather for conference on… pedophilia?

From the Daily Caller. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.  Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.  According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.”

The press release announced a letter the group sent to the APA criticizing its approach, and inviting its leaders to participate in the August 17 conference. “The DSM should meet a higher standard than that,” Kline continued. “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.”

My previous article (see below for link) along these lines talked about how arguments are now being made to advance polygamy, using the same reasoning that was used to push for same-sex marriage. Social conservatives always get a bad rap for being party poopers and raining on everyone’s fun and “liberty”. I wonder if things will ever go far enough to where normal people realize that children need to be protected, and that can sometimes mean telling grown-ups NO.

Right now, it seems as though society is in a place where moral judgments have been outlawed, because it makes people feel bad to be judged. It seems to me that the people who say that there should be no moral boundaries are winning.

Comments to this post will be strictly filtered in accordance with the Obama administration’s laws restricting speech on controversial topics.

UPDATE: My friend ECM just linked this story on Facebook and also put this post by Robert Stacy McCain as a follow-up.

Excerpt:

Since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, the Freudian concept of “repression” has been hijacked by the advocates of liberation, who insist that it is an infringement of civil rights to expect people to resist sexual urges. I’ve sometimes called this the “Desire Is Destiny” theory of sexuality, but you could also think of it as a particular manifestation of the Veruca Salt Syndrome: I want what I want and I want it now!

Given the high-profile status of the Official Gay Rights Movement as a loudly influential constituency of the Democratic Party, we most often encounter this liberationist argument in association with homosexuality, and most people never even notice how this dangerous idea — the belief that we are entitled as a matter of right to the satisfaction of our erotic desires — is well-nigh ubiquitous throughout our society.

When you see a businessman divorce his wife of 30 years in order to marry his receptionist, or when Mary Kay LeTourneau wrecks her life to pursue a taboo romance with Vili Fualaau, these are manifestations of the same basic concept at the root of the gay-rights lobby’s “born that way” argument: Desire is destiny, and of all the happiness that we are free to pursue, no pursuit is more important than a sexual partner who fulfills our deepest longings.

When a belief so pervades a culture as this one has pervaded our culture, it becomes impossible for most people to understand it rationally, for they have no other frame of reference. We might compare it to liberal bias in the news media. As I’ve often said, most journalists don’t notice liberal bias for the same reason fish don’t notice water — it’s everywhere, and it’s all they’ve ever known.

So, too, with the Desire Is Destiny theory of sexuality, promulgated so relentlessly (first by Kinsey, then by Hugh Hefner, and then by damned near everybody) that we cannot think about sex in any other terms. What is overlooked is that this liberationist theory denies the power of human will and human choice. If we desire someone, the liberationist argument would have us believe, we must act on that desire or else suffer psychological trauma as a result of the (harmful) repression of our desire. The only “moral” standard by which any such pursuit may be judged is whether the resulting sexual encounter is between consenting adults.

Stacy wrote a lot about this in that post. I recommend reading the whole thing. Although he is a popular conservative blogger, Stacy is not afraid to take on these cultural issues. In fact, I am linking to him on another topic in the 6 PM post.

Related posts

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.  Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.  According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.”

The press release announced a letter the group sent to the APA criticizing its approach, and inviting its leaders to participate in the August 17 conference. “The DSM should meet a higher standard than that,” Kline continued. “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.”

APA spokeswoman Erin Connors told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement that her organization was not participating in the conference and would not comment on its aims.

Darwinian apologists absent from conference on evolution research

Structure of DNA
Where do you get your information?

Thomas Cudworth explains at Uncommon Descent.

Excerpt:

From June 17 to June 21, 2011, at the University of Oklahoma (Norman) campus, the conference “Evolution 2011” was in session.  It was co-sponsored by three scientific societies – The Society for the Study of Evolution, The Society of Systematic Biologists, and the American Society of Naturalists.  It was billed by its promoters as “the premier annual international conference of evolutionary biologists on the planet.”

That billing may be somewhat hyperbolic, yet two things are clear:  the conference was huge, with an expected turnout of 1400-1500 people; and many of the big names of evolutionary biology were to be there.  Jerry Coyne was to give an address; H. Allen Orr was to chair a session; and Gunter Wagner and Sergey Gavrilets, cutting-edge biologists from the famed 2008 Altenberg conference, were to be there as well.  Hundreds of papers were scheduled, and the research contributors to the various papers and presentations, according to the index for the conference, numbered something like 2,000.

[…]Let’s start with those Darwin defenders who are actively anti-religious or show contempt for religion in their writings and internet remarks.  Conspicuously absent from the list of conference contributors were evolutionary champions Richard Dawkins, P. Z. Myers, Larry Moran, and Eugenie Scott.

Among those who have not attacked religious belief, but have violently bashed ID and/or passionately upheld neo-Darwinian theory, Paul Gross (co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse) and plant scientist Arthur Hunt (who has debated ID people live and on the internet) were not listed as contributors to any of the papers.

Among those who were active in the Dover ID trial, as witnesses for the plaintiffs, the no-shows include Kevin Padian, Robert Pennock, and Brian Alters.

Among the prominent Christian Darwinists, i.e., theistic evolutionists/evolutionary creationists, only Ken Miller was going to be there, and not to read a scientific paper, but to issue a cultural manifesto on why evolution matters in America today.  The leading figures of Biologos – Darrel Falk, Dennis Venema, Kathryn Applegate, David Ussery, David Kerk, Denis Lamoureux – who have so often been presented, explicitly or implicitly, as experts on evolutionary biology – produced no papers for this conference.    British scientists Oliver Barclay and Denis Alexander, who have posted several guest columns on Biologos, are not mentioned.  The frequent UD commenter and Quaker TE Allan MacNeill, who has penned hundreds of thousands of words on UD and on his own blogs, apparently couldn’t manage 5,000 or so words for an original research paper for the conference, nor could the belligerent Calvinist TE and almost as prolific anti-ID blogger Steve Matheson.

Here’s why I think this is significant. The people who are the most aware of what intelligent design scholars are publishing in their books and research papers are these Darwinian apologists. They are the ones who know what has to be proven by the Darwinian side in order to counter the research being done by the intelligent design side, e.g. – the protein synthesis papers by Ann Gauger and Doug Axe. So at a major research conference on evolution, you would expect that they would have some research to present to counter the pro-ID research. But there isn’t any.

What I suspect is that the Darwinian side is going to be focused on proving the things that the ID already agrees with as being naturalistic – micro-evolution, adaptation and so forth. That’s what the conference will be about. But the conference will not be about responding to the really hard questions that are required for evolution to be a seamless explanation for all that we see. And that is telling. I see P.Z. Myers writing blog posts that are read by atheists and accepted as true. But what I don’t see is PZ Myers presenting the research to back up his blog posts in a real academic conference. And I especially don’t see PZ Myers agreeing to participate in public debates against pro-ID scholars.

Here are some papers from pro-intelligent design Biologic Institute researchers:

D’Andrea-Winslow L, Novitski AK (2008) Active bleb formation is abated in Lytechinus variegatus red spherule coelomocytes after disruption of acto-myosin contractility. Integrative Zoology 3: 106-113. doi:10.1111/j.1749-4877.2008.00086.x

Axe DD, Dixon BW, Lu P (2008) Stylus: A system for evolutionary experimentation based on a protein/proteome model with non-arbitrary functional constraints. PLoS ONE 3: e2246. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002246

Sternberg RV (2008) DNA codes and information: Formal structures and relational causes. Acta Biotheoretica doi:10.1007/s10441-008-9049-6. PMID: 18465197

Gonzalez G (2008) Parent stars of extrasolar planets – IX. Lithium abundances. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Online Early Articles doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13067.x

Duren RW, Marks II RJ, Reynolds PD, Trumbo ML (2007) Real-time neural network inversion on the SRC-6e reconfigurable computer. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 18: 889-901. PMID: 17526353

Gonzalez G, Laws C (2007) Parent stars of extrasolar planets VIII. Chemical abundances for 18 elements in 31 stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 378: 1141-1152. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11867.x

Gravagne IA, Marks II RJ (2007) Emergent behaviors of protector, refugee and aggressor swarms. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics 37: 471- 476. PMID: 17416173

Weinschenk JJ, Combs WE, Marks II RJ (2007) On the avoidance of rule explosion in fuzzy inference engines. International Journal of Information Technology and Intelligent Computing 1, #4.

Gonzalez G (2006) Condensation temperatures trends among stars with planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 367: L37-L41. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2005.00136.x

Gonzalez G (2006) The sun’s interior metallicity constrained by neutrinos. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 370 : L90–L93.
doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2006.00197.x

Gonzalez G (2006) The chemical compositions of stars with planets: A review.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 118: 1494-1505 (invited review paper). doi:10.1086/509792

Gonzalez G (2005) Habitable zones in the universe. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 35: 555-606. doi:10.1007/s11084-005-5010-8

Keller D, Brozik JA (2005) Framework model for DNA polymerases. Biochemistry 44: 6877-6888. PMID: 15865433

Shapiro JA, von Sternberg R (2005) Why repetitive DNA is essential to genome function. Biological Reviews 80: 227-250. Review. PMID: 15921050

von Sternberg R, Shapiro JA (2005) How repeated retroelements format genome function. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 110: 108-116. PMID: 16093662

Axe DD (2004) Estimating the prevalence of protein sequences adopting functional enzyme folds. Journal of Molecular Biology 341: 1295-1315. PMID: 15321723

Lu H, Macosko J, Habel-Rodriguez D, Keller RW, Brozik JA, Keller D (2004) Closing of the fingers domain generates motor forces in the HIV reverse transcriptase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279: 54529-54532. PMID: 15385563

Keller D, Swigon D, Bustamante C (2003) Relating single-molecule measurements to thermodynamics. Biophysical Journal 84: 733-738. PMID: 12547757

von Sternberg R, Cumberlidge N (2003) Autapomorphies of the endophragmal system in trichodactylid freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Eubrachyura). Journal of Morphology 256: 23-28. PMID: 12616572

Bustamante C, Keller D, Oster G (2001) The physics of molecular motors. Accounts of Chemical Research 34: 412-420. PMID: 11412078

D’Andrea-Winslow L, Strohmeier G, Rossi B, and Hofman P (2001) Identification of a Na/K/2Cl cotransporter (NKCC) in sea urchin coelomocytes: microfilament dependent surface expression mediated by hypotonic shock and cAMP. Journal of Experimental Biology 204: 147-156. PMID: 11104718

Gonzalez G, Brownlee D, Ward P (2001) The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic chemical evolution. Icarus 152: 185-200. doi:10.1006/icar.2001.6617

Axe DD (2000) Extreme functional sensitivity to conservative amino acid changes on enzyme exteriors. Journal of Molecular Biology 301: 585-595. PMID: 10966772

von Sternberg R (2000) Genomes and form. The case for teleomorphic recursivity.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 901: 224-236. PMID: 10818573

Wuite GJ, Smith SB, Young M, Keller D, Bustamante C (2000) Single-molecule studies of the effect of template tension on T7 DNA polymerase activity. Nature 404: 103-106. PMID: 10716452

Axe DD, Foster NW, Fersht AR (1998) A search for single substitutions that eliminate enzymatic function in a bacterial ribonuclease. Biochemistry 37: 7157-7166. PMID: 9585527

Axe DD, Foster NW, Fersht AR (1996) Active barnase variants with completely random hydrophobic cores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 93: 5590-5594. PMID: 8643620

Gauger AK, Goldstein LS (1993) The Drosophila kinesin light chain. Primary structure and interaction with kinesin heavy chain. Journal of Biological Chemistry 268: 13657-13666. PMID: 8514798

So there is plenty there to refute – if there were refutations available.

Seven videos from the Biola University conference on God and evolution

I have been weaseling out of my apologetics posting this week, and this is my last chance to get something good up so I can make it onto Brian Auten’s weekly apologetics bonus links at Apologetics 315, the best Christian apologetics site ever.

So I am posting SEVEN video clips from a recent Biola University conference on theistic evolution. (H/T Mysterious Jonathan)

Conference details:

Can you believe in God and Darwinian evolution at the same time? Scientists and scholars have an answer that may surprise the audience as they explore this and related questions at the God & Evolution conference on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at Biola University in La Mirada, California.

The conference will focus on the conflict between neo-Darwinism and traditional theological views of Protestants, Catholics and Jews.

What is “theistic” evolution, and how consistent is it with traditional theism?

What challenges does Darwin’s theory pose for Protestants, Catholics, and Jews?

Is it “anti-science” to question Darwinian Theory?

These questions and more will be addressed at the one-day conference by Marvin Olasky, editor of World magazine, biologist Jonathan Wells, political scientist John West, philosopher Jay Richards, attorney and science writer Casey Luskin and authors David Klinghoffer and Denyse O’Leary.

In the century and a half since Charles Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution, Christians, Jews, and other religious believers have grappled with how to make sense of it. Most have understood that Darwin’s theory has profound theological implications, but responses have varied dramatically.

Some believers have rejected it outright; others, including “theistic evolutionists” such as Francis Collins and Karl Giberson, have sought to reconcile Darwin’s theory with their religious beliefs, often at the cost of clarity, orthodoxy, or both. As a result, the whole subject of God and evolution is a source of confusion for many believers.

Join us for this one-day seminar, featuring contributors to the new book, God and Evolution, exploring these issues and offering a wide-ranging critique of those who seek to reconcile materialistic theories such as Darwinism with belief in God.

Here is the playlist for all SEVEN video clips.

Clip 1 of 7: Jay W. Richards: The Central Issues (34 minutes)

Clip 2 of 7: John G. West: Three Big Questions (22 minutes)

Clip 3 of 7: Casey Luskin: Why the New Atheists Won’t Be Appeased (21 minutes)

Clip 4 of 7: Denyse O’Leary: Catholics & Evolution (29 minutes)

Clip 5 of 7: David Klinghoffer: Judaism & Evolution (17 minutes)

Clip 6 of 7: Jonathan Wells: Science and Theistic Evolution (26 minutes)

Clip 7 of 7: Panel Discussion with Marvin Olasky (99 minutes)

So it looks like there are 2 Catholics (Richards, O’Leary), 2 Jews (Luskin, Klinghoffer), 2 Protestants (West, Olasky) and 1 “Other” (Wells) in that list. It’s a diverse group.