Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, July 16, 2005

WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 15 Jul 05

WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 15 Jul 05 Washington, DC

1. EVOLUTION: SCHOENBORN'S FOLLY LINKED TO DISCOVERY INSTITUTE.
As scientists battled efforts by Christian fundamentalists to counter the teaching of evolution, we took comfort in the more enlightened position of the Catholic Church. But as WN reported last week, a powerful cardinal wrote in the July 7 New York Times that evolution may be incompatible with the Catholic faith. His argument sounded like the the Discovery Institute's intelligent design nonsense. It was. The NYT revealed two days later that Schoenborn's essay had been written at the urging of Mark Ryland, vice president of the Discovery Institute, and submitted to the Times by the Discovery Institute's public relations firm.

2. APPEAL TO THE POPE: WAR LOOMS BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION.
Schoenborn's op-ed was meant to refute a May 17 NYT op-ed by Larry Krauss, then chair of physics at Case Western Reserve, which said the Catholic Church "has no problem with the notion of evolution." Krauss is not Catholic, but yesterday he was joined in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI by two well-known Catholic biologists: Francisco Ayala at UC Irvine and Ken Miller at Brown. They urge the Pope not to reestablish the divide that once existed between the scientific method and religious belief.

3. GOD'S HAND: CATHOLICS DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ADAM AND EVE.
On Tuesday, at the National Press Club in Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick told reporters that Catholics can believe in evolution - as long as it's understood to have been guided by "the hand of God" rather than chance. The Church cannot accept the belief that "this is all an accident," he said.

4. HARRY POTTER: AS IF CHARLES DARWIN WASN'T ENOUGH OF A PROBLEM.
As Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hits book stores, we learn that Pope Benedict XVI is not a fan. "Those are subtle seductions that deeply distort Christianity in the soul," he wrote two years ago. Catechism number 2117: "All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion." You want to take magic out of kids books? Why not ban Cinderella? Scientists look at it differently: Magic and sorcery don't work.

5. PRAYER: AND WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT DON'T WORK.
The shuttle is still on the ground, the Kansas City Royals are 28 games behind, cold fusion is a memory, missile defense isn't even being tested, and intercessory prayer has no effect according to researchers at Duke reporting in Lancet. Didn't we already know that http://www.bobpark.org/WN04/wn120304.html? Prayer is just one of the things the Samueli Institute supports that don't work. The Institute is headed by Wayne Jonas, a genuine authority on the subject of things that don't work. Former head of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, Jonas authored Healing with Homeopathy http://www.bobpark.org/WN96/wn080296.html.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the University of Maryland, but they should be.
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Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.bobpark.org

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