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Comment Re:This is not a good thing. (Score 0) 866

Uh, yeah.... I would not call two non-related Wikipedia pages "data". What you want is a chart that looks at real families and sees if they moved out of poverty, and then asked their religious association.

You're asking the wrong questions. You seek to defend irrileligion . I seek a better world for the inhabitants here. You know a little about what's trendy this year. I've explored the trends of 10,000 years of history. You maybe had a HS ecology course. I've written the equations that caused Einstein to say, "God does not play dice with the universe". You've probably led a comfy suburban or gentrified yuppy life. I've done economic development in an area with a $20K per-capita income. You maybe have a hobby of "philosophy". I've spent 20 years trying to find the roots of (and solutions to) persistent US poverty. The odds that you've both derived the energy states of quarks...and the Capital Asset Pricing Model...are thin.

Whenever I see people arguing for the demise of religion, I'm pretty sure they have no idea whatsoever what organized religion is about.
I'm pretty sure they've never seen what it brings to otherwise practical or even cynical old ladies as they outlast their husbands, and sometimes sons or daughter, by decades. Never witnessed the year in and year out charitable work. Never seen the sense of community brought to people. Never participated in the continuation of cultural traditions from generation to generation.

Indeed, the very idea of individual freedom is a uniquely Christian one. If it wasn't, would we be sitting here?

Comment Re:This is not a good thing. (Score 1) 866

Comparing countries is rarely a good thing when it's done like this.

For example, Finland is often cited as an educational utopia. However, Finland is nearly homogeneous, has outlawed slavery for about 500 years, has minimal immigration, is the smaller than several US states, and has a climate quite different from the American south. We can glean ideas from it, but we can't reliably cite it as a success model we should emulate in general.

Similarly, many countries spend a fraction of what we do on Defense. When earthquake prevents air support to Haiti, it's the US who has the capacity to open an airfield and coordinate the supply flow. When Tsunami devastates Japan, it's the US who has the resources to bootstrap a recovery. That phone in your hand? It does so much because of the satellites that the US DoD put up there to supply millimeter-level position data, and worldwide communications capability. (It's software and support network was also largely the result of incredibly innovative financial vehicles generally invented in or near the US.)

So taking on your latter comment would be counter-productive. It would be better to examine economic mobility within the US.

As to the former sections of the comment, we were talking religious organizations, not "people affiliated with religions" as individuals. You accidentally conflated the two, or thought I was, when I wasn't in that sense.

Comment This is not a good thing. (Score 0, Flamebait) 866

Fun to see people pop up with the predictable, "science is winning" comments, but of course the science-religion boundary is only a small part of the story, and really not the most interesting to people who are inquisitive.

A much more intriguing line of query involves religion re public and individual liberty, welfare, and pursuit of happiness.

That is, thoughtful people will ask if this news helps or hurts people overall.

Thoughtful people would, of course, never use a phrase like 'religious wacko', idiot, etc, so, alas, this thread will see little deep inquiry.

If there are a few of you, here, you may be interested in this: lack of religion in the us is strongly correlated with poverty; economic mobility (escaping poverty, "climbing the economic ladder", achieving the "American dream") strongly correlates with religious affiliation.

And, historically, religious organizations have been at the forefront of most social change, education and the civil rights movement among them.


Web Browsers Under Siege From Organized Crime 168

An anonymous reader writes "IBM has released the findings of the 2007 X-Force Security report, a group cataloging online-based threat since 1997. Their newest information details a disturbing rise in the sophistication of attacks by online criminals. According to IBM, hackers are now stealing the identities and controlling the computers of consumers at 'a rate never before seen on the Internet'. 'The study finds that a complex and sophisticated criminal economy has developed to capitalize on Web vulnerabilities. Underground brokers are delivering tools to aid in obfuscation, or camouflaging attacks on browsers, so cybercriminals can avoid detection by security software. In 2006, only a small percentage of attackers employed camouflaging techniques, but this number soared to 80 percent during the first half of 2007.'"

Your Cat Wants Armor 3

What would you get if you crossed The Society for Creative Anachronism with an old cat lady? Cat armor of course. Now the age old question of whether or not a cat thrown into battle lands on its feet can be answered. To keep the playing field level, they've also made mouse armor.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.