Monday, August 23, 2010

Note to readers

Because I am writing a book, I probably will not be blogging much before December, but expect to see me then, if not before. I did post some new material today

However, I have posted three new stories below.

To keep up with my writing, go to Uncommon Descent

- Denyse

Prayer and healing: Some researchers say it can help

According to an Indiana University team, prayer can help bring healing:
Researchers from Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington recently conducted a study on the effects of praying directly with someone for healing. According to Candy Gunther Brown, an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at IU and author of the study, "proximal intercessory prayer", as she calls it, can actually help to bring about healing.

Anyone familiar with the placebo effect can see why this might be, irrespective of issues around the supernatural or sectarian religion.

In some ways, those issues just get in the way. If you are a Christian, you might want to note that when Jesus healed the centurion's servant, he never asked whether the servant was a good Jew. He responded to the centurion's prayer for help, and that guy wasn't a Jew, though he was friendly to Jews.

More here on prayer and healing.

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Neuroscience: Memory treatment is possible, when impairment is not disastrous.

This is a media release, obviously, but I know from experience that its basic thesis is true, and that it can work with seniors of advanced age:
Increasing scientific evidence shows that actively participating in appropriately designed brain fitness workouts aids mental agility. Scientific Brain Training PRO exercises were developed by a team of neurologists, cognitive psychologists and educational scientists to offer unique and challenging configurations that target various areas of cognitive impairment. The Memory Treatment Program is the latest program to take advantage of the SBT PRO online platform features of clinician-managed patient accounts and consistent patient records to meet the need of professionals who treat patients with cognitive impairment.
One caution: Success is greatly increased if the seniors' relatives actually care, visit, phone, and write, send cards, and bring mementoes. People are motivated to try harder when they think others care too - team spirit and all that.


Prof fired for teaching what the Catholic Church actually says

S. T. Karnick, over at The American Culture, draws my attention to this story:
University of Illinois Instructor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs

The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

The professor, Ken Howell of Champaign, said his firing violates his academic freedom. He also lost his job at an on-campus Catholic center.

Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, says he was fired at the end of the spring semester after sending an e-mail explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam. (July 09, 2010, Associated Press)
I always say that students who cannot deal with ideas they disagree with should find a well-recognized trade school, not a university. They can earn a good living on graduation, and if some of the ideas they encounter are upsetting, that is only because no one wants them to lose a hand or a foot on the job.