He's used to getting love letters and high-fives as a former teen heartthrob, but onetime Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron isn't letting the mockery and criticism dissuade him from promoting his controversial project to dispute evolutionary theory.
"Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is The Origin of Species," Cameron tells PEOPLE. "We have a situation in our country where young people are entering college with a belief in God and exiting with that faith being stripped and shredded. What we want to do is have student make an informed, educated decision before they chuck their faith."
So what is the plan that Cameron, 38, has hatched to supposedly save the souls of freshmen around the country?
He and other creationists have created thousands of editions of Charles Darwin's landmark work explaining evolutionary theory, with a 50-page introduction that picks apart aspects of Darwin's work and try to link it to everything from Nazi eugenics to the scientist's alleged "disdain for women."
[...] But never has he ruffled so many feathers, especially among academics, as he has this week, slamming evolutionary theory as untrue, inherently un-Christian and the driving force behind some of the most horrendous catastrophes of the 20th century, including Adolf Hitler's plan to destroy "inferior races."
"You can see where [Hitler] clearly takes Darwin's ideas to some of their logical conclusions and compares certain races of people to lower evolutionary life forms," Cameron says. "If you take Darwin's theory and extend it to its logical end, it can be used to justify all number of very horrendous things."
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The average British man or woman has slept with 2.8 million people - albeit indirectly, according to figures released to promote awareness of sexual health.
A British pharmacy chain has launched an online calculator which helps you work out how many partners you have had, in the sense of exposure to risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
The "Sex Degrees of Separation" ready reckoner tots up the numbers based on your number of partners, then their previous partners, and their former lovers, and so on for six "generations" of partners.
The average British man claims to have actually slept with nine people, while women put the figure at 6.3, giving an average of 7.65.
"When we sleep with someone, we are, in effect, not only sleeping with them, but also their previous partners and their partners' previous partners, and so on," said Clare Kerr, head of sexual health at Lloydspharmacy.
"It's important that people understand how exposed they are to STIs and take appropriate precautions including using condoms and getting themselves checked out where appropriate."
A Bronx high-school dean who was named Teacher of the Year in 2007 yesterday was busted for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old male student.
Johnathan Huff, 40, was charged with forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and sex abuse while classes were being held Saturday at the Urban Assembly Academy for History and Citizenship for Young Men, authorities said.
The dean allegedly touched the boy's genitals over his clothes, officials said, adding they learned of the incident Monday in a 911 call.
The school, part of Taft HS, is one of a handful of all-male schools in the city.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
They might be bald and ugly, but naked mole rats never get cancer. If their trick can be copied it could help humans resist cancer too.
It's almost impossible to culture naked mole rat cells in the lab, which made Andrei Seluanov and Vera Gorbunova from Rochester University, New York, wonder if this might be linked to their ability to resist cancer.
They found that a dilute solution of naked mole rat skin cells did start to proliferate, but stopped once the cells reached a certain, relatively low density. Such "contact inhibition" is also used by human cells to inhibit growth, but cancer bypasses this mechanism so cells keep growing.
The researchers also found that contact inhibition in naked mole rats is controlled by two genes, p16 and p27, while in humans it is primarily controlled by p27. "Naked mole rats have an additional barrier in the way of tumour progression," says Seluanov, who presented the results at the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence meeting in Cambridge, UK, last week.
If this check could be stimulated in humans, it could halt the growth of cancerous tumours.
A new hopping robot under development at Boston Dynamics. Although it looks like a little radio-controlled car, it conceals an unusual secret. It can jump over obstacles fifty times its own size. The final version will be able to navigate autonomously and jump over obstacles of 25 feet or more.
“The Precision Urban Hopper is part of a broad effort to bolster the capabilities of troops and special forces engaged in urban combat, giving them new ways to operate unfettered in the urban canyon,” Jon Salton, Sandia National Laboratories program manager, said in a statement.
The demonstrated hopping capability of the robots allows the small unmanned ground vehicles to overcome as many as 30 obstacles that are 40-60 times their own size. Hopping mobility has been shown to be five times more efficient than hovering when traversing obstacles at heights under 33 feet (10 meters), which allows longer station-keeping time for the same amount of fuel.
Awesome: FCC pushing for Net Neutrality.
D'oh: ACORN worker actually reported "pimp" and "prostitute" to police.
ZombieWatch: Zombies eat brains for charity. (Video)
Creepy: Man discovers colleague is long-lost brother.
Sad: Ohio couple hit by car, then have their car stolen.
Yipes: Man attacks roommates with sword over soda can.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like living in a polygamous community? Now you can find out, with members of a US church group now offering travellers “polygamy tours”.
“The Polygamy experience: A guided tour of Colorado City” offers visitors the chance to “learn the story of the US’s largest and most secluded polygamist colony” with a four-hour guided tour of the US towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.
The locals are notoriously uncomfortable with outsiders, with the towns’ practice of plural marriages and history of sexual assault charges, of which the group’s leader Warren Jeffs was convicted two years ago, landing them under the scrutiny of police.
However the tours operators hope to show the public that polygamists are actually peaceful people.
Richard Holm and his brother Heber are among those launching the tour. Richard was exiled from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), which controls both Colorado City and Utah, in 2003, while Heber left the community 35 years ago.
Richard Holm says the four-hour tours will give travellers the chance to ask any questions they may have about polygamy.
A leading conservationist has called on wildlife groups to leave giant pandas alone and let them die out "with a degree of dignity".
BBC wildlife presenter Chris Packham says it's the pandas own fault that they have not adapted to the modern environment and they are only surviving because of human intervention, the Daily Mail reports.
"Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac," Packham said. "It's not a strong species."
"I reckon we should pull the plug ... let them go, with a degree of dignity."
He said the pandas' "cute" looks and demeanour has caused valuable funding to be diverted from helping animals that have a chance of surviving without human assistance in the future.
His comments were criticised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which uses a picture of a giant panda as its logo.
WWF conservation science advisor Dr Mark Wright said the comments were "daft" because pandas have adapted to the environment.
"It's like saying the blue whale is in an evolutional cul-de-sac because it lives in the ocean," Dr Wright said.
"Pandas face extinction because of poaching and humans moving into their habitat. If left alone, then they function perfectly well."
Boris Yeltsin got so drunk during a US visit he was found outside the White House in his underpants, trying to hail a taxi as he wanted a pizza.
The following night, a guard mistook him for an intruder after the former Russian president was discovered stumbling drunkenly around the basement of the official visitor's residence.
The embarrassing details about the extent of Mr Yeltsin's drinking habits have been revealed by Bill Clinton, reports the Daily Mail.
The former US president made the disclosures to Taylor Branch, a writer and former flatmate, whom he invited to compile a new 'oral history' of the presidency based on 79 taped interviews.
According to excerpts in USA Today of Branch's new book, the 707-page The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President, Mr Clinton kept the tapes of the interview hidden in his sock drawer.
Mr Branch, however, would make his own tape after each interview in which he would immediately record what Mr Clinton had told him.
Mr Yeltsin was reportedly staying at Blair House, the White House guest residence, in 1995 when the Secret Service discovered him standing alone and barely clothed on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The president, who died two years ago, told them in slurring words that he wanted a pizza, wrote Mr Branch.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A Jedi church leader is considering legal action after he was asked to leave a supermarket for wearing his hood.
Daniel Jones, 23, from Holyhead in North Wales, who founded the International Church of Jediism, claims Tesco in Bangor victimised him for his beliefs, reports the Daily Post.
He said: "It states in our Jedi doctrination that I can wear headwear. It just covers the back of my head.
"You have a choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public."
Daniel, who works in Bangor, said he'd gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch-break but was told by staff to leave unless he took his hood off.
"They said: "Take it off and I said: "No, its part of my religion. It's part of my religious right." I gave them a Jedi church business card," he said.
Daniel has now made an official complaint and is seeking legal advice.
"It was discrimination. They were making a joke against me. I was really upset. Nobody should be treated like that," he moaned.
A Tesco spokesperson said: "Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood."
An aquarium which piped the music of Barry White into a tank to encourage two sharks to breed says the tactic has paid off.
Bosses at the Sea Life London Aquarium say the legendary 'walrus of love' has transformed love shy shark Zorro into a marine love machine.
The therapy has worked so well that staff are now having to warn guests about his frisky behaviour as it is very public, very frequent and looks far from romantic.
"We are absolutely delighted that Zorro is finally getting it together with his intended but the courtship rituals of the zebra shark can appear quite violent and some guests have been a little alarmed," says deputy curator Jamie Oliver.
The average woman cannot keep a secret for longer than 47 hours, according to a new study.
Researchers found women will typically spill the beans to at least one other person in 47 hours and 15 minutes, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Depending on who the gossip is about, their boyfriend, husband, best friend or mother are the most likely to be the first person they tell.
The study of 3,000 women, aged between 18 and 65, also found that four out of ten admitted they were unable to keep a secret - no matter how personal or confidential.
It also found that alcohol usually gives us a helping hand to blurt out secrets with more than half admitting a glass or two of wine could prompt them to dish the dirt.
Michael Cox, UK Director of Wines of Chile, which commissioned the research to mark Chile's National Day, said: "It's official - women can't keep secrets.
"We were really keen to find out with this survey how many secrets people are told. What we didn't bank on was how quickly these are passed on by those we confide in.
"No matter how precious the piece of information, it's often out in the public domain within 48 hours. That means every single Brit who has confided in a friend should be worried because they don't know where their secret is heading."