BRIEF REPORTS from INVESTIGATOR MAGAZINE
130 to 134
INVESTIGATOR 130 (2010
WILL THE DELUDED
of The God Delusion, can now find out why there almost
certainly is a god.
Certainly Is a God is the title of a book (published 2009) by
British philosopher and theologian Keith Ward. Ward undermines Dawkins'
"atheist materialism" with quantum theory.
However, his use of
scientific and philosophical terms makes his 160-page book a harder
read than Dawkins' book.
INVESTIGATOR 131 (2010
GOING ROUND AND ROUND
people lost in a
wilderness walk in circles, or is this a fiction by storytellers to add
suspense to stories?
by walking with eyes closed, in straight lines, on a beach with the sea
on one side and forest on the other. Veering right or left usually
began within about 80-100 steps. At 150 steps disorientation sometimes
led to a 90o change in direction — either toward the water
done by a team led by Jan Souman of the Max Planck Institute for
Biological Cybernetics in Germany.
people had to
walk in a straight line. This showed that: "Small random errors in the
various sensory signals…add up over time, making what a person
perceives to be straight ahead drift away from the true direction."
(The Weekend Australian 2009, August 22-23, p13)
further tested without blindfolds in Bienwald forest (Germany), and
three in the Sahara (in Tunisia), under cloudy skies and in sunshine.
With the Sun as a marker the volunteers kept a straight course, but
under clouds their course became circular.
UFO UNIT SHUTS DOWN
Defence closed its UFO investigation unit in 2009.
years of work it
had found no proof of the existence of extraterrestrials or evidence of
any threat to Britain from them despite thousands of reports by the
public via e-mail and the Ministry’s hotline.
identified the expense of running the UFO investigations could no
longer be justified.
threats from UFOs to
Britain’s air space eventuate in future the country still has radar and
reported: "The last World War I veteran in Australia, and possibly the
oldest man in the country…turns 109."(2010, February 21, p31) Claude
Choules served in the Royal Navy in WWI and the Australian Navy in
and 58th oldest person on Earth is Miriam Schmierer born August 20th
1899. (The Weekend Australian Magazine, 2010, May 1-2)
cults taught that the "generation" that saw 1914 or 1917 and were old
enough to understand events will live to see Armageddon or Christ's
Such cults have not definitely admitted to being false
and wrong. Only a few super-centenarians aged around 110 now stand
between them and total refutation!
than close down
and shut up the aforementioned cults appear to be changing their
interpretation, and continue describing themselves as "the truth".
campaigns in the USA from 1996 were based largely on teaching sexual
abstinence in sex-education classes. Schools could only claim Federal
money for sex education if classes promoted abstinence or mentioned
contraception as being fallible. AIDS relief to other countries was
likewise constrained — at most 1/6 of HIV prevention funds could be
used in programs that promoted condoms.
programs in which teenagers pledged to remain virgins until marriage.
"True Love Waits", for example, is an international Christian
initiative that promotes sexual abstinence outside of marriage and
targets students and teenagers. TLW was created in 1993, and sponsored
by LifeWay Christian Resources. The TLW pledge states: "Believing that
true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my
friend, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent
from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship."
2008/2009, after 12
years of official emphasis on abstinence, "Virginity-pledgers had the
same STD rates" and teenage-pregnancy rates as others but were more
likely to engage in unprotected sex outside of marriage than
non-pledgers — although funding under George W. Bush was still
increasing. (The Weekend Australian 2008, October 11-12, p30;
Pediatrics 2009, Volume 123)
Archives of Pediatrics
& Adolescent Medicine (2010, February 1), however, suggests
abstinence-teaching appears more successful than alternatives. 662
African-American students in grades 6 & 7 were randomly assigned to
one of four, 8-hour, teaching programs as follows:
Safer sex only; c. Both "a" and "b"; and d.
Control group which learned
about general health.
the next two years
33% of group "a" began having sex; 52% of group "b", 42% of group "c",
and 49% of group "d".
"WAR FOR OIL" BELIEF
common belief that
the Iraq war was a "War-For-Oil" appears refuted. In December Iraq’s
oil minister presided over an auction in which international
consortiums bid for developmental rights for major oil fields.
and Malaysian consortiums, rather than American, were the main winners.
Hitchens says: "Thus, the vulgar and hysterical part of the
war-for-oil interpretation has been discredited: Iraq retains its
autonomy, the share awarded to outsiders in development is far from
exorbitant and there is no real correlation between US interests and
the outcome." (The Weekend Australian 2009, December 19-20, p19)
DOULOS DROPS LAST ANCHOR
The MV Doulos, the
world's largest "floating bookshop" and oldest ocean going passenger
ship (the hull was built in 1914) ended its service in December 2009.
Doulos became a
major part of the "Operation Mobilisation" ships ministry. With 300
missionaries and volunteers on board it travelled to ports around the
world with the Gospel message.
was in Singapore
for its annual period of dry dock and safety-checks when it was found
that one deck needed to be replaced. The OM leadership decided not to
proceed since Doulos would have a limited ministry future.
visits of the
Doulos to Adelaide were reported in Investigator #7 and #66.
Albrechtsen in The Australian, 2009, December 9 presented the
conclusions of Keith Windschuttle in his 472-page book The
Fabrication of Aboriginal History.
was no genocide, the numbers of children affected was inflated, and
"small numbers of Aboriginal removals in the 20th century were almost
all based on traditional grounds of child welfare."
BRITISH BIG CATS
sightings of big cats, mainly black and panther-like, increased
drastically in the British Isles. A survey in 2004 by the British Big
Cats Society recorded 2,000 sightings in 15 months. (Focus magazine,
2005 August, p62)
big cats have
been killed or captured including a puma in Scotland in 1980, a jungle
cat in Shropshire in 1989, and a Leopard cat (or ocelot) in 1981. It's
probable therefore that some people illegally keep exotic pets and a
are either imagination or hoaxes using photos of stuffed animals. Focus
reports a joke by a postmaster who put up a notice in the village shop
requesting information about a big cat. Although it was a joke and the
cat imaginary the local newspaper received over 100 reports of
deaths in the recent Haiti Earthquake were around 200,000. Compare this
with the number of deaths in the greatest known natural disasters
suffered by humans:
Floods in China
Flooding of the Yellow River
Earthquake, Shaanxi, China
Earthquake, Tangshan, China
Earthquake, Haiyuan, China
Earthquake-tsunami, Indian Ocean
PRESIDENT NOT A MUSLIM
20% of Americans
believe Barack Obama is Muslim. A report in The Weekend Australian
quotes two pastors who "have had a part in forming his spiritual life"
that "He is a devout Christian by choice…" (August 21-22, p19)