The power of feeling what someone else feels

Empathy is an important virtue–”rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15)–but there is also a neurological condition in which individuals actually do feel what those around them feel.  It’s called “mirror touch synesthesia.”   This is the first I’ve heard of it, coming across the article excerpted after the jump, but supposedly 1%-2% of the population has it.

Which means that out of every hundred people, one or two people have this power.  Which means that of you readers, who number in the thousands, there are lots and lots of you who can do this.  If any of you have mirror touch synesthesia, please tell us about it.

Another curious thought is that this is also reportedly the percentage of people who have same sex attraction (2%)!  So there are as many people with mirror touch synesthesia as are gay!  And yet I’ve never heard of it.  My impulse is to be skeptical, but it is apparently legit.  Here is the Wikipedia article on this mysterious yet common super power. [Read more...]

“The next Darwin” says life is inevitable

A 33-year-old physicist at MIT, Jeremy England, is being hailed as “the new Darwin,” for his mathematical models that suggest life is inevitable.  Though some are saying this will pose a problem for creationists and religious people, it looks to me like more evidence for Design.  (The doctrine of creation teaches not just that God created life, but that He created the universe and its laws.)  What many people are missing is that Prof. England, as a devout Jew, believes in God.  An account of this new Darwin and a summary of his theories after the jump. [Read more...]

The sixth extinction will include us

Some scientists are saying that we have entered the sixth phase of mass extinction of animal species, the biggest since the dinosaur days.  They add that this sixth extinction is likely–due to climate change, etc.–to also take out the human race.

For the original scientific article, go here.  Notice:  One of the authors is Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, which in 1968 predicted global apocalypse by 1995.  (For a list of his failed predictions see this.  See also The Bet, a book on Ehrlich’s environmental apocalyptic warnings vs. free market optimism.) [Read more...]

If you embrace nature, embrace natural law

The Pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si” is winning fulsome praise from the left for its embrace of environmentalism.  But, as the editors of The Stream point out, those folks aren’t saying anything about 11 other teachings in that document that don’t accord so well with the spirit of the times.  These include the condemnation of abortion, a rejection of sexual immorality, and a tempering of feminism.  (See the 11 after the jump.)

The Pope is indeed advocating environmentalism, but he is doing so in the context of a larger theological perspective on matter, the physical universe, and objective reality.  Let me sum it up this way:  Embrace nature, but that means also embracing the natural purpose of sex (conceiving children), the natural body (so no transgenderism), the natural difference between men and women (so feminism will have its limits), and natural law in general (the connection of moral truth to objective reality).

We can still quarrel with the Pope’s environmentalism and his theology, but he is working from a worldview that flies in the face of most postmodernists who, in believing that there is no objective reality they are subject to, reject the very concept of nature.  That number includes, ironically, many environmentalists. [Read more...]

A top doctor discusses transgenderism

Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh discusses the transgender phenomenon and why sex change surgery does not solve “gender dysphoria.” [Read more...]

Sister Earth is trying to kill us

From Lutheran Satire‘s Hans Fiene:

The pope thinks we should view the earth as our sister. I don’t, mainly because I have a sister. While my sister and I have had our disagreements over the years, I haven’t spent my entire life trying to stop her from killing me. [Read more...]


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