Science & Society

Queen's University researchers writing in the Journal of Preventative Medicine say there is a strong association between adolescent computer and Internet and multiple-risk behaviors (MRB), including illicit drug use, drunkenness and unprotected sex.

The researchers found that high computer use was associated with approximately 50 percent increased engagement with a cluster of six MRB, including smoking, drunkenness, non-use of seatbelts, cannabis and illicit drug use, and unprotected sex. High television use was also associated with a modestly increased engagement in these MRB.

Note: edited 4/26

Having examined PBS's Autism Now in an earlier posting and noting its overall negativity, I'd like to turn to a documentary on autism that I can recommend: Todd Drezner's Loving Lampposts.

The PBS series on autism, Autism Now, has aired all of its segments now. The extended transcripts of interviews are available online, as well.

Based on last week's indictment of vaccine-autism researcher Dr. Poul Thorsen for money laundering and mail fraud, the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD), a Maryland-based non-profit organization, is calling for further investigation. 

Whether your reading posts at science20, watching talks at TED, reading any of the self help books on the bestseller lists, watching Oprah, talking with your neighbors, or just turning on the news, be you a scientist or layman, zealot to atheist, of any particular walk of life, (at least in western society,) you have, by now, heard of the "new Enlightenment."

It might not have been called such, it might be an "awakening" or a "quest for authenticity," a "seeing," an "understanding," perhaps something else.

The point is, everyone is figuring out how full of shit we all are, as are our designs.
When European politicians picked a target date for greenhouse gas emissions in the Kyoto accord, American environmentalists applauded despite the motivation - economic harm for the US with little to Europe, since Germany simply had to scuttle Soviet-era factories they acquired in the re-merger with East Germany and France switched to more nuclear power in order to try and meet their CO2 targets.
In a recent email, my mother commented how I should help dissuade my younger sister from debating religious ethics on Facebook with our cousin.  I didn't seek out the conversation, but we can vividly imagine the sorts of debates between an atheist and a Catholic.   Instead of trying to limit my sister's free flow of ideas, I have instead reflected on both atheism itself, as well as the public presentation of one's ideology.

The impetus for actually writing down my ideas to a potentially broader public, however, originated from reading a quote from Phil Fernandes's book The Atheist Delusion which states:
For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

It is, without a doubt, a truism, that we see the world through our own eyes, and that we cannot but help doing so. We try to put ourselves in other's shoes, but it is ourselves we put into those shoes, imagining it from our own perspective. We can't help it. And this is not a failure of autism, but of human nature in general.

Written with Kathleen Leopold and originally posted at Autism Blogs Directory (and edited for a wider audience)