Old Testament allows divorce

Some wackaloon in the U.S. is harassing and threatening his brother for getting a divorce, which is against the laws of God. It’s an open question whether religious certainty fed the insanity or religion is just a peg on which the insanity is hung. However, as usual, the harmful brother is picking and choosing his Bible verses:

Deuteronomy 24:1-2—When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

Cougars in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Eastern Cougar in Michigan

In 2009, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed signs of an eastern cougar on the upper peninsula. In two places, tracks were found and verified by Department workers and a motion-sensing trail camera took a picture of a cougar. Together, they’re proof that the cougar, Felis concolor, has returned to the U.P.

Dennis Markuze wrap-up

From Tim Farley’s History of Mabus:

Phil Plait gave a report to a sheriff by telephone. Michael Shermer told me he obtained a restraining order to ensure Mabus would stay clear of him. Canadian skeptic Steve Thoms and blogger Greg Laden also filed reports. There are no doubt others.

On February 10, 2011 I was finally able to get a copy of my report from yet another Atlanta Police office across town. I quickly took it to a local print shop and faxed it to the Montreal Police.

And nothing happened. For me or for anyone else.”

PZ Myers filed a complaint (Time to Institutionalize Dennis Markuze).

After many complaints during which the police did nothing, an e-mail petition finally got the Montreal Police off their duffs.

Kyle VanderBeek, a skeptic who works for change.org in San Francisco. Kyle saw those tweets with the emails in them, and knew he had a potential tool right at his fingertips. He created a petition titled “Montreal Police: Take “Mabus” death threats seriously” and configured it to send responses directly to the SPVM public email addres.”

While I’m waiting to hear the results of the 30-day psychiatric evaluation of Dennis Markuze, AKA David Mabus, to see if he’s too crazy to stand trial, here is a list of Dennis Markuze summaries:

“Mabus” isn’t the only Crazy Canadian by any means.

And now I’m waiting to hear about Makuze’s next appearance in court.

Evolution caught in the act—again!

sparrow flying

A sparrow from Pompeii

Scientists have shown that the Italian sparrow is a newly evolved species of the sparrow family. DNA analysis shows that it originated as a hybrid of the house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow. However, it is now breeding true and is not interbreeding with the Spanish sparrow in areas where they occupy the same range. That is one of the more practical definitions of species.

this study, led by evolutionary biologist Glenn-Peter Saetre from the University of Oslo, is a genetic snapshot that appears to settle the debate.

Reference: Hybrid speciation in sparrows I: phenotypic intermediacy, genetic admixture and barriers to gene flow. Jo S. Hermansen, Stein A. Sæther, Tore O. Elgvin, Thomas Borge, Elin Hjelle, Glenn-Peter Sætre. Article first published online: 19 JUL 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05183.x

New image of a distant globular cluster

Globular cluster NGC 7006

Phil Plait has the goods on one of the most distant globular clusters in our galaxy. It’s so far away that it might be a scrap of another galaxy, left over from a pass by another galaxy. Scientist have been tracking it for forty years and now have an idea of its orbit around galactic centre. It is 135,000 light years away and will almost triple that at the farthest curve of its long orbit. It is receding at 380 km/s or 250 mi./s—that’s fast. Read about it, and find much bigger images, in “Lonely sentinel of the galaxy

Posted in science. Tags: . 1 Comment »

How religions get started

…or expanded: Saint Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

For Young-Earth Creationists–how to argue your position

Mike G. over at Spinoza’s Bicycle has some advice for YECs trying to argue that the Earth is a young creation: “What I Need.” Hint: it’s not a blanket assertion that conventional science is one vast conspiracy.

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