Dec 30, 2008

Intelligence Expelled

The controversy over intelligent design receiv...

Image via Wikipedia

 

In the middle of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," Ben Stein's movie about the assault on Intelligent Design by the intellectual "gatekeepers" in the nation, a prominent evolutionist tries to explain just how mud might have turned into the first cell.

"One popular theory is that it might have started on the back of crystals," says Michael Ruse.

I laughed out loud, but Stein, unflappable, keeps a poker face.

"I don't get," he deadpans, "how you get from mud to a living organism."

"I've already told you," Ruse continues, apparently unaware of just how silly he sounds.

Such is one of the telling moments in the movie, which came out last year, and is now available in video stores.

As the second half of the school year is starting across New Jersey and the nation, it is worth visiting this movie just to see one perspective on how the battle of evolution versus intelligent design is being waged.

(It also serves as a lead-in to some of the fun we're going to have on this blog debating that issue.)

Ben Stein makes three telling points:

George Berkin has done a great job on his blog Intelligent Design.  Click below to read the rest of this excellent post

 

Ben Stein Movie: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" - NJVoices: George Berkin

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Dec 23, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Chirstmas

Cover of a 1912 edition of the poem, illustrat...

Image via Wikipedia

Did you ever feel bad because you forgot a birthday?  Don't feel bad.  Did you know that just celebrating birthdays has been a problem for some, even if it is Christ's?  Origen, an early father of the Christian community felt so.  As the popularity of Santa Claus increased from 1823 some wanted to do away with the celebration of Christmas altogether.  Read about it in Joshua King's 'The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas' (1868) which was written shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England. 

Isn't it interesting that storytelling, poems, songs and the like can catch the spirit and imagination of a society and carry it to places it had never imagined before.  Such can be the power of word and image at the service of inspiration.

"'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..." So begins one of the best-known and best-loved tales of Christmas, "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Published on this date in 1823, most sources attribute authorship of the poem to Clement Clarke Moore, a professor of Oriental and Greek Literature in New York. The poem's description of Santa Claus, his sleigh and slide down the chimney and other aspects of Christmas influenced the way in which Americans came to celebrate the holiday.
Quote: "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!" — "A Visit From St. Nicholas"

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Dec 16, 2008

Tree of Life : Klimt

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The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt
The Tree of Life

Artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was a forerunner of Modernism and the Art Deco movements, helping to pioneer the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau movements.

Dec 11, 2008

Intelligent Design, Creationism and Darwinism are buzzing and alive on the Internet

Charles Darwin's 1837 sketch, his first diagra...

Image via Wikipedia

Charles Darwin's 1837 sketch, his first diagram of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) on view at the the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

As long as Darwinists degrade those who question and hold up other possible explanations for life, as long as they hold their theory as a Dogma of Faith for the Scientific Community, as long as they hold life as an evolutionary accident and Science Fact the controversy will not die . . .

Below is a one day sample of Internet activity on this subject.

 

 Charles Darwin Bicentenary
By viviennemackie
The controversy between ‘Evolution’ and ‘Creation’ has raged very strongly at times in the 150 years since Darwin’s book was published, and recently another contender, ‘Intelligent Design’, has entered the fray. ...
Around and About with Viv - http://viviennemackie.wordpress.com/

Darwinism and Wikipedia
By mynym
It’s interesting that Martin Luther still receives more attention in the entry than Darwin does given that the Nazis themselves said that their beliefs had more to do with Darwin than Martin Luther. Their entry on Intelligent Design ...
Intelligent Design and More - http://www.intelldesign.com/

Darwin Worship Material
By Matthew Angle
James McGrath over at Exploring Our Matrix has a fun post here, about material that is meant to be used in churches to celebrate Darwin and evolution. The PDF even has a great little quip about the dangers of Intelligent Design. ...
Analytic Angles - http://analyticangles.wordpress.com/

 

This one looks really interesting, however, I feel the title and the overall gist of the article is positioned on evolution as . . . advancement of complexity over time and therefore at odds with creationists.  BUT.  The main point in this article is : Designer vs Atheism (Accident).  Muslim scientists are pro designer and anti accident.  So am I.  Anyway . . . let the debate rage on.

Muslim Scientists Prepare for Battle With Creationists
FOXNews - USA
A Harris poll conducted in November found 47 percent of Americans accept Darwin’s theory of evolution while 40 percent believe instead in creationism. ...
See other stories on this topic

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Dec 1, 2008

The Prophet: Speak To Us Of Work

By Khalil Kibran

As the building of the Peace Palace in Seoul, Korea begins I recall these words . . .

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work." And he answered, saying: You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison? Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written. You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. And what is it to work with love?

Apr 9, 2008

Diabetes, onions, berries, huh?!


What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic health problem stemming from elevated blood sugar. The body's metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats lead directly to the production of glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar. Glucose is needed to supply energy to every cell in the body. If glucose levels become too elevated, it presents a toxic danger to every organ in the body.

In the case of type 1 diabetes, the person experiences a deficiency of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that transports glucose into cells.


In the case of type 2 diabetes, the cells are resistant to insulin, blocking the blood sugar's entry into the cells. This type of diabetes, often referred to as "adult-onset diabetes", is actually growing at alarming rates among children, who also reflect a growing obesity epidemic.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?  Symptoms in adults include excessive thirst, increased urination, fatigue, blurred vision, weight gain, yeast infections, gum problems, rashes, impotence in men, and tingling and burning in the extremities. It's interesting to note that symptoms in children are often different. Most children are obese or overweight and asymptomatic.


The third type of diabetes is known as gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. This form of diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnancies in the United States each year.

 

While children were once only associated with type 1 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) now estimates that up to 45% of newly diagnosed children and teens have type 2 diabetes. The Center for Disease Control predicts that at least one out of every three Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes.

Diabetes is growing at epidemic rates. Approximately 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and there are 41 million Americans living with pre-diabetes. What is pre-diabetes? Pre-diabetes is defined as a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not at a diabetic level. Doctors use tests to identify people with pre-diabetes. Blood sugar levels between 140 mg/deciliter and 199 mg/deciliter two hours after a meal indicate you have pre-diabetes. It is estimated that 41% of the U.S. adults from ages 40-74 have pre-diabetes.


Under the new definition, the cutoff point for normal fasting blood sugar levels was reduced from a 109 mg to 100 mg per deciliter. This means a value of 100 mg/deciliter or above would lead to a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Studies show that many people who fall in the pre-diabetic range will develop diabetes within ten years.
While a half a million people die annually from complications associated with diabetes, others suffer serious health complications. Diabetics often succumb to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that impairs the tiny blood vessels of the retina and causes approximately 12,000 new cases of blindness a year. Diabetics are also at increased risk of cataracts and glaucoma, heart disease, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy in which the body's nerves are damaged.
According to the ADA, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke. A study reported in the November 2003 issue of Diabetes Care found that young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 18 and 44 are 14 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than those without diabetes.
What causes type 2 diabetes? The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown, however, there does appear to be a genetic factor, and poor diet can play a big part.


What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes? Risk factors included the following: age (over 40), family history of diabetes, being overweight, not exercising regularly, ethnicity (African-American, Hispanic-American and Native-American), history of diabetes in pregnancy or giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds, low level of HDL, or high triglycerides.


Should you be tested for diabetes? Absolutely. Children who have a weight problem or have a poor diet, or adults over 40 should be tested for diabetes even if you do not have any other risk factors. If you are younger than 40 and have one or more risk factors, you should be tested.


What is the treatment for diabetes?
1) Follow a diet high in fiber, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, water soluble fibers found in oat bran, beans, nuts, and apples, for example helps to balance blood sugar. An excellent source is ground flax seeds which should be consumed daily.
2) Consume vegetable proteins which include legumes, nuts, seeds and peas, or lean animal protein (turkey, chicken and fish) with each meal. Protein drinks that have low sugar levels are good as they help modulate blood sugar levels.
3) Focus on quality fats. Salmon and other fish as well as nuts and seeds are excellent "good fat foods" that help combat disease. Another way to integrate more quality fats into your diet is to use olive and flax oil in your salads.
4) Eat several small meals throughout the day, keeping your insulin and blood sugar levels regulated.
5) Because hormone deficiency has been linked to diabetes, you want to eat lots of brewers yeast, wheat germ, whole grains, soy products, onions, and garlic. Onions and garlic will help lower blood sugar levels and protect against heart disease.
6) Enjoy plenty of berries, plums and grapes which contain vital chemicals that protect your vision.
What foods should you avoid? Stay away from simple sugars. The obvious offenders include deserts, candy, sodas, and other sweets. Avoid fruit juices. Fruits that are low in fiber such as oranges, are best consumed along with meals. White, refined bread also spikes blood sugar levels. Better choices include whole-grains and complex carbohydrates. Avoid cow's milk. Some studies have found a link between cow's milk ingestion and type 1 diabetes in children. Some children may react to the cow's milk protein (casein), which causes an autoimmune reaction with the pancreas. Eliminate alcohol and limit your caffeine intake to one cup of coffee a day. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats. Saturated fat has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Avoid artificial sweeteners such as Equal, Sweet and Low, or Sucralose. Use a diabetic-safe, healthier, natural sweetener such as Stevia or Xylitol.
I recommend the following health supplements for those with diabetes:
Chromium: Chromium improves tolerance and balances blood sugar levels. Studies have found chromium supplementation helpful with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Gymnema Sylvestre: This herb improves insulin production by the pancreas and the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar levels.
Alpha Lipoic Acid: Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Vanadyl Sulfate: This is a nutrient that improves glucose tolerance in those with type 2 diabetes.
Biotin: Biotin is involved with glucose metabolism and helpful for type 1 diabetes.
A food-based multivitamin: The body needs vitamin and mineral supplements to carry out all the chemical reactions that take place in the body.
Essential Fatty Acids: Ensures proper insulin function and supports nerve health.
Perfectlyhealthy Metabolic Balance Pack at (www.perfectlyhealthy.net) - Metabolic Rx Capsules and Gluco Solution Drops
A healthy diet combined with regular exercise and specific supplements help tremendously to control your diabetes. It is best to work with a nutritionally oriented physician.

 

About the author
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. has specialized in Integrative Medicine for over twenty years, using conventional and natural methods to determine and discover the "root of the cause" in her clinic, South Coast Medical Center for New Medicine in Irvine, California, each and every day. Many people come in to the clinic from all over the world with severe chronic illnesses that conventional medical protocols have been unsuccessful treating. She realized early on that she can truly change lives through education as well as treatment protocols.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. and her medical staff strives to look at the whole person while exploring the effects and relationships among nutrition, psychological and social factors, environmental effects and personal attunement.