According to the scientific method, experimental results need to be replicable.  That is, for a study to be scientifically valid, different researchers performing the same experiment should get the same results.  But it turns out, a surprisingly large amount of published scientific research can’t be reproduced, which casts doubt on their findings.  This is called the Replication Crisis. Up to this point, the major offenders have been in the fields of psychology and other social sciences.  (See my post on… Read more

After shredding NATO and the Western alliance, President Trump staged what looked to be a lovefest with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. In their talks, President Trump had nothing but good things to say about Russia, not mentioning Putin’s practice of invading neighboring countries, assassinating his enemies (including on foreign soil, as he has done in the U.K.), and running roughshod over any kind of human rights. President Trump even seemed to accept Putin’s word that Russia did not interfere in U.S…. Read more

In a couple of decades, half of the population of the United States will be concentrated in just 8 states.  The rest will be scattered throughout the other 42.  This will have serious political and constitutional consequences. So observes Philip Bump, in the Washington Post, in an article entitled  In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states.  He quotes Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute:  “By 2040 or so, 70 percent of Americans will live in… Read more

Today politicians in the U.S. and Europe are proudly trumpeting their Catholic identity, even as they crusade against their church’s teachings on abortion and sexuality. Dan Hitchens–the son of the conservative Anglican Peter Hitchens, the brother of the late “New Atheist” Christopher Hitchens–discusses this paradox. From Dan Hitchens, The Trouble with Catholic Politicians, Catholic Herald: The good news is that Catholicism is back in fashion. Gone are the days when Tony Blair kept his papist sympathies a secret in case people… Read more

When we retired a few years ago, we moved back to Oklahoma, where our roots are, living in a small, rural town like the one I grew up in.  Though greatly in decline, the town has a bi-weekly newspaper.  I found one columnist particularly useful in orienting me to local issues and state politics. This Jordan Green–who also writes features and newstories–writes with clarity, liveliness, and insight.  A real pro, I thought.  And yet he is free of the progressive… Read more

Trevor Sutton, a pastor and the co-author with me of Authentic Christianity, has been studying the effects of social media.  Back in April, we blogged about an article that he wrote on How Social Media Is Designed Around Sin.  He has a follow-up to that article at Sightings in which he explores the impact of Facebook on religion. Basically, he says that all of the linking from diverse sources, allowing users to jump from one unconnected post on religion to another, creates… Read more

Once again, I am reminded of George Orwell. . . .Our discussion of pro-abortion language made me think of his essay “Politics and the English Language.” It was published in 1946, so he had in mind the political language of Communism, Fascism, and post-war Big Governments, but the points he makes are classic, applying to every age. Everyone should read the complete essay, both to inoculate yourself against propaganda and to ensure that you don’t slip into the same kind… Read more

Despite the way it is taken by both the president’s critics and his supporters, special prosecutor Robert Mueller ‘s investigation is not aimed primarily at President Trump.  Its initial purpose was to investigate Russia’s alleged attempts to influence America’s elections.  And now Mueller has indicted 12 agents of Russian military intelligence for doing just that. From Katelyn Polantz and Stephen Colllinson, 12 Russians Indicted in Mueller Investigation, CNN: The Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert… Read more

Notice how those who believe in abortion don’t say that they believe in abortion.  They are “pro-choice.”  But that term has become somewhat outdated.  Now believing that it is justified to kill an unborn child is called advocating “reproductive rights.”  And being in favor of “women’s health.” Do you see what is happening?  Such language frames the issue and twists the argument.  If “women’s health” is used as a synonym for abortion, to oppose abortion is to oppose “women’s health.”… Read more

Thinking about expunging politically-incorrect authors, censoring literary classics, and re-writing history made me think of “the memory hole” in George Orwell’s 1984. The protagonist Winston’s job was to edit old newspapers so that the historical record would be in accord with the ruling party’s current ideology and Big Brother’s latest pronouncements.  The old versions were dropped down “the memory hole” where they were burned.  This was also done with old books, documents, films, and other records of past ideas. Of course,… Read more

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