Feb. 28th, 2009

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How to spot a hidden religious agenda - science-in-society - 28 February 2009 - New Scientist

A book reviewer for New Scientist lists the terms that, in her opinion, should raise warning flags that the article was written by Creationists mascarading as scientists. Here's the opening paragraph:

AS A book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda. As creationists in the US continue to lose court battles over attempts to have intelligent design taught as science in federally funded schools, their strategy has been forced to... well, evolve. That means ensuring that references to pseudoscientific concepts like ID are more heavily veiled. So I thought I'd share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science's clothing.

She goes on to flag terms like "Scientific materialism", "Darwinism", and "Cartesian duality" as things to look out for.

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Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers - science-in-society - 27 February 2009 - New Scientist

According to a study of anonymized credit card receipts, the US states with the largest population-adjusted consumption of pornography are those that are considered to be more conservative based on electoral college votes in the previous election. Also, porn consumption among those postal codes with higher church attendance showed a drop in porn use on Sunday compared to other days of the week. Finally, states that passed laws banning gay marriage had more porn subscribers than those that hadn't passed anti-gay marriage laws. Similar results were found when the data was merged with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion. States in which the majority proported to have "old-fashioned" family values and considered AIDS to be God's punishment for immoral behaviour had the greatest per-capita number of porn subscriptions.

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