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  • 7 Amazing Scientific Insights of Biblical Writers
    heavens Likewise elsewhere we read that You spread out the heavens like a tent addressed to God in Psalm 104 2 and that God is the One Who stretches out the heavens like a veil and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in Isaiah 40 22 Again it s easy for us to brush past these passages absorbed in the sheer beauty of their poetry and miss an obvious textual detail As we saw above biblical writers could and did refer to individual heavenly bodies the stars the moon and the sun so the heavens are not synonymous with these things although they certainly included them Had the authors of the above verses wanted to simply convey the idea that God was placing stars and planets in the sky another analogy would seem more fitting verbs like scattered studded or decorated come to mind One has to ask in what sense are the heavens capable of being stretched out like a veil or a canopy Is this poetry alone or is there a thread of scientific truth contained in these verses Indeed modern science as developed just over the last century or so tells us that it is useful to think of empty space like a fabric According to Albert Einstein s theory of general relativity space is not flat as understood by Newtonian physics Instead the space time continuum is flexible capable of being stretched and bent by matter such as stars or planets Gravity is understood as the curvature caused by the presence of a large body Here s how the Web site for MIT s Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory describes it We can think of space time as a fabric The presence of large amounts of mass or energy distorts space time in essence causing the fabric to warp and we observe this warpage as gravity Another science site at Stanford University offers this analogy think of space time as a rubber sheet Put a bowling ball in the middle of the sheet What happens The ball causes a depression in the sheet Now if you throw a marble onto the sheet it will roll towards the bowling ball or perhaps go into orbit around it much like a satellite or the moon orbits the earth Now the poetic images of the verses we cited above now seem to have some scientific weight quite an extraordinary foresight for texts predating modern science by well over two millennia 7 Stellar DNA In a discussion on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 St Paul makes an intriguing digression in which he states the following The brightness of the sun is one kind the brightness of the moon another and the brightness of the stars another For star differs from star in brightness While the early Christian may have been able to discern differences in the strength of star light in the night sky he could not have known just how right the New Testament writer was

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/7-amazing-scientific-insights (2016-05-01)
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  • Faith in the Cyber Age
    the body where the gates will open and the medication will be released None of this can be seen We can measure the effects but we must have confidence or faith that what we believe is happening in truth does happen We can go on and on with countless examples in every walk of life today where we place great faith in the performance of systems that we are confident were properly designed built and implemented In fact we have such faith in all the products and systems of the Cyber Age Now consider the existence of God We are told there is a God that that God created the universe and that we are creatures of that God Yet that God cannot be seen But we can see the effects if an unknown and invisible force created the universe The evidence is all around us if we are open to it The universe exists Where did it come from When was it formed These are two simple questions It s highly improbable that it all came from nothing Then where did the mass or material that makes up the universe come from We know that mass and energy are interchangeable Einstein s famous formula says it is so E MC 2 where C is the speed of light which we believe is a constant Even if it is not there is still the Mass Energy relationship We have many proofs that such a relationship exists Nuclear energy is the living proof of such a relationship In that example a radioactive mass is converted into energy The same science tells us that energy can create mass Hence an infinite source of energy could have created all the mass that makes up the universe That energy source existed before the universe That energy source is beyond all the natural laws of science as we can logically deduce them That energy source is beyond natural or supernatural We label it God We can have confidence in this deduction because we can see the universe all about us When Our scientific and mathematical observations and calculations say billions of years ago Then the energy force existed before then Where did it come from The answer lies outside the realm of our knowledge and experience It is outside nature Once again it is what we would call supernatural We have called it God We don t know anything about this supernatural force except to logically determine what its attributes are from what we know Our scientific findings and our mathematical logic allow us to see the relationship between mass and energy and the derivation of one from the other and vice versa We can demonstrate that repetitively as we have and do with nuclear power We can have confidence or faith in that scientific finding The same principles of observation mathematical reasoning and deductive logic have led to the determination of the existence of God before the universe and before we measure time We

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/faith-cyber-age (2016-05-01)
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  • Why Women Worry
    a woman s brain can be a blessing or a curse It can assess situations predict for future negative outcomes and correct as necessary or it can become overactive and lead to worry anxiety and even depression There is a balance though and in that balance a little bit of worry can be really healthy One study showed that a first time mother s brain activity during sleep radically shifts after her baby is born The hyperactivity of the worry centers of the brain doesn t decrease during sleep A woman is naturally built to be constantly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of her family She remains much more attuned to what s going on around her whether asleep or awake taking in information and assessing it A man s brain activity does not change after the birth of a child A stereotypical example of a difference between men and women is the asking for directions anecdote Usually men are blamed as prideful or stubborn but it may just be that men don t realize they are actually lost in the same way women do As a couple drives around directionless the man and woman see the situation very differently Serotonin is calming a man s nerves while a woman s ACC is processing the errors they have already made and her PFC is sending strong signals to pull over and get directions The man meanwhile thinks We ll get there The same is true for relationships in general It is well known that women are more likely to file for divorce or end a relationship They see when things are headed down a dead end road and either try to fix it or get out In my experience it is usually the woman who calls in to make an appointment for marital counseling Maybe pride does have something to do with a particular situation but at the level of the brain women are better equipped to realize there is trouble and feel more motivation to fix it To read the previous articles in this series Women s Intuition Women s Empathy Women s Collaboration Why Women Live Longer image shutterstock Tagged as anxiety feminine women worry By Dr Greg Bottaro Dr Greg Bottaro is a clinical psychologist practicing in Manhattan serving the greater New York Metropolitan area and many others through web conferencing He received his Psy D Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences a graduate school in Arlington VA that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound empirically validated psychology Before finishing his degree Dr Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal CFRs He lived almost four years in the Bronx serving the poor in the tradition of St Francis These years were formative for him emotionally spiritually and professionally as he tested his vocation and ultimately felt the prompting of God s will to pursue family life Six years after leaving NYC as

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/why-women-worry (2016-05-01)
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  • A Cure For Down's Syndrome: Fact or Fantasy?
    counting those who are born Nearly 75 of women who undergo prenatal diagnosis choose to abort their babies when they receive a positive test for DS So the number of children conceived with DS each year is much higher If We Could Should We The question although apparently counterfactual is still interesting if we could cure DS should we In the heat of the media hype some argued that we should not They believe that saying we should cure people with Down s tells us more about our own fear of imperfection than it does about the needs of people with DS They are often happy and content often gentler more affectionate and more forgiving than those without it Caregivers and loved ones are invariably made better because of their contact with them Indeed the world would be a poorer place without them Moreover DS is a genetic condition but not a disease in any ordinary sense from which one is cured It doesn t merely affect this or that organ it not only conditions anatomical features it runs through every cell of the body It conditions both psyche and soma It shapes personality Could it be cured without disrupting the basic identity of the individual The reflections are insightful and the questions are good Most came from mothers of DS children People with DS have no less value than those without it their beauty and moral worth is not in spite of their condition but is integral to who they are encompassing their whole persons including their genetic makeup and they re every bit as valuable to the community as normal kids Moreover they are literally an endangered species they therefore need to be jealously guarded against the intentions of those who under the pretense of benignity are infected with the malignant view that DS babies are better off dead They certainly should not be subjected to risks of serious harm in order to satisfy the obsession for normal of other people who are made anxious by their condition And yet DS is a genetic disorder it causes disability Curing it if such were possible would be therapeutic Although one s worth does not change based upon one s abilities and people with disability can experience deep human fulfillment nevertheless disability by definition limits one s opportunities Most DS children will not grow up to experience the joy of marriage parenthood or a religious vocation or for that matter Irish step dancing water skiing or rock climbing Do they need these things to be happy and pleasing to God Heck no But are they real types of human fulfillment of which disability deprives them You betcha to quote Sarah Palin If without subjecting them or anybody else to disproportionate risks of harm or anything intrinsically evil we can bring God s good order to their wounded genetic identity then I think we should do it just as we should try to straighten our children s scoliosis improve their eyesight

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/a-cure-for-downs-syndrome-fact-or-fantasy (2016-05-01)
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  • Why Women Live Longer
    based on brain structure are more naturally performed by a woman The difference is that a man might need more motivation might use different parts of the brain and might need more practice If I said that a weight is curled by use of the bicep and the bigger the bicep the heavier the weight that can be lifted it would not be sexist discriminatory or inconsequential to say Men on average have larger biceps and can therefore have the capability to curl heavier weights There are women who can curl the same weight though it would probably take them longer to build the same amount of muscle since men have more testosterone which builds muscle to curl the same weight Also some women might be able to lift the same weight if they use two hands The final action might be the same curling the weight but they have arrived at it differently Analogously men as people can also display the same strengths covered in these articles but they might take longer need more motivation or arrive at the final action differently than how a woman does There are also strengths that the male brain has over the female brain Some of them are implicit in what we are covering in this series since something might be a strength or weakness relative to the context Some of men s strengths are separate and I will elaborate on them in the future Correlation does not equal causation is a very important distinction when we apply these brain differences to virtue There might be some objection based on a concern that I am saying women are more virtuous than men Let me be clear these brain differences do not create virtue Virtue is a description of action which is a complex collaboration of many different systems including but not limited to brain anatomy A person may very well act virtuously but in opposition to their brain anatomy A teenage boy with raging testosterone certainly must act against his brain anatomy at times if he is to act virtuously The overall take home point as I wrote in my previous article is that men and women are very different though complementary This series is based on some of the functions of the brain that generally speaking enable women to perform certain functions more easily or naturally than their male counterparts To read the previous articles in this series Women s Intuition Women s Empathy Women s Collaboration image shutterstock Tagged as complementarity men pre frontal cortex women By Dr Greg Bottaro Dr Greg Bottaro is a clinical psychologist practicing in Manhattan serving the greater New York Metropolitan area and many others through web conferencing He received his Psy D Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences a graduate school in Arlington VA that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound empirically validated psychology Before finishing his degree Dr Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Community of the

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/171914 (2016-05-01)
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  • Plug-Pullers Take Note: Science Finds That Some "Vegetative State" Patients are Aware
    study one of America s leading neurologists James L Bernat says that the data is quite convincing and that it underscores the duty to treat them as sentient persons to optimize their ability to communicate and to reduce their suffering He writes We can justifiably assume that as the level of awareness increases in a patient with a brain injury so does his or her capacity to suffer The patients in minimally conscious state discovered by fMRI studies to have been wrongly diagnosed as being in a vegetative state deserve our efforts to reassure them that we know they are aware to establish a reliable communication system to the fullest extent possible and to adequately address their medical emotional and palliative care needs just as we currently do with our awake and aware but profoundly paralyzed patients with locked in syndrome This article originally ran at BioEdge and is used with permission By Michael Cook Michael Cook likes bad puns bushwalking and black coffee He did a BA at Harvard University in the US where it was good for networking but moved to Sydney where it wasn t He also did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US the UK and Australia Subscribe to CE It s free More on Catholic Exchange God the Father s Messages to St Catherine The Apostles Squabble Scripture Speaks The Peace of the Lord Go to Catholic Exchange homepage lightedlamp97 As a nurse this is a horrific thought As a Christian this is a reminder of the power of suffering and God s plan for salvation What if God permits such circumstances for the good of mankind What if we are

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/plug-pullers-take-note-science-finds-that-some-vegetative-state-patients-are-aware (2016-05-01)
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  • Women's Collaboration
    standard of living for men women and children in the entire history of the United States occurred between the Civil War and 1913 or possibly the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919 Since women comprised such a small part of the workforce and held virtually no positions in management how did this happen without their collaboration contribution A patriarchal period seems to produce greater economic gain which benefit women and children Also church attendance was higher and more exceptional church buildings were constructed which probably correlates to the greater Christian devotion of people Does brainstorming for new ideas really work You either say or imply that emotional cohesion leads to efficiency Does this equate with greater national economic growth higher family income more efficient government with lower tax rates improved standard of living and more intact families Why if the modern world has the catalytic contribution of women which facilitates improved working together are there more children growing up without both a father and mother Lena S Thanks for the link however the information therein does not refute what I have said Likewise it does not support your idea of feminine virtues Virtue is associated with masculinity but is a habit as is vice which doesn t appear to have an association with masculine or feminine so one might surmise that women are more prone to vice than men when left to their own devices and societal evidence does point to this I see nothing there indicating that empathy collaboration and intuitiveness are virtues As I said these are merely traits that can be used with good or evil intent and not virtues in and of themselves Lena S So why is it that this charity blend correlates with more broken families and less economic growth When there were more intact families and economic growth there was less inventing of feminine virtues drgreg I see nothing there indicating that empathy collaboration and intuitiveness are virtues As I said these are merely traits that can be used with good or evil intent and not virtues in and of themselves Lena I agree with you completely But unfortunately your point is not refuting anything since I did not use the word virtue once in this article Actually check back in next week when I do write about virtue and basically make the same point you just did You are equating virtue with strength and it seems even more with masculine strength If you read the whole explanation on the link I sent you you will see that only a very narrow definition of virtue refers to something masculine Etymology does not equal definition No philosophy or theology would accept that virtue is associated with masculinity The association of the latin etymology does not justify your claim Furthermore I am not developing an idea of feminine virtues as you have incorrectly asserted If you erroneously equate virtue with strength than I suppose I can understand your misreading of my article series However these traits I am illuminating are merely strengths not necessarily virtues Though they certainly could be if applied in a virtuous way by either men or women I happy to hear though that you think this is the biggest problem of the whole article series This series seems to be triggering quite the reaction from you but now that we have cleared up this little misunderstanding and you can reread the articles for yourself to see that I am not in fact writing about virtue we can move forward Biggest problem solved Lena S My female intuition is telling me that something is off about this interaction I don t normally make erroneous assumptions and believe you have heavily implied that these qualities are virtuous At the very least you have built up neutral things as strengths and avoided mentioning the pitfalls and misuse of them which we can see abundantly in our world if we have eyes to see Either way I feel that you are being disingenuous and I tend to avoid bad faith discussions I also see your little accusation of this causing quite the reaction in me when I have been very calm and measured as more reflective of your reaction to my challenges of your ideas which you are apparently unaccustomed to judging by your handling of such I m sure you would agree that as a woman I should trust my intuition BillinJax You just said it An intact family promotes family unity when they engage in the charitable exchange of their individual traits with respect for the differences Lena S That isn t what I said 7man BillinJax disqus But charitable exchange is immaterial when there are so many divorces Don t tell me the lack of a charitable exchange is the excuse Vows an oath are commonly forgotten Don t ignore that women file for 2 3 of the divorces How does female empathy and female collaboration result in more intact families Recent history tells the story of empowered and praised females in society This greatly harms children I have personally experienced witnessed female pandering and placating to other women and their collaboration to separate a father from his children Yes Catholic women Strengths should be used for good rather than evil but often the supposed strength is used in a manner that is contrary to virtues and vows Diana I do agree with your premise Dr Bottaro But sometimes as a single woman of 60 I feel that we are in even less of a respected situation As neither a married woman or a religious I feel that I am sometimes invisible I feel I have so much to give even at 60 and even as a single woman but that very often we are treated as failures A man who is 60 and single might be a distinguished bachelor but a woman who is 60 and single is an old maid or a spinster There are a lot of double

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/womens-collaboration (2016-05-01)
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  • Evolution and the Eye Test
    like our experience of it If a theory that the earth rests on the shell of a giant sea turtle explained enough phenomena would it similarly command our assent Regardless of whether Darwin is right the fact remains that we clearly see fixed and distinct species existing in ordered hierarchical beauty not the fluid and formless continuity his theory depicts As far as we know from direct observation and recorded history trees seem to have always been trees starfish to have always been starfish squirrels to have always been squirrels and human beings to have always been human beings Species appear to have fixed and ordered relationships with one another and to fit together in a rational way and not to lie on a disorganized continuum While this tension between Darwin s theory and our experience may not be an insurmountable problem indeed science has discovered other truths that run more or less counter to common sense such as the appearance of the sun traveling around the earth rather than vice versa it should be given more serious consideration than Darwin or anyone since has given it After all some serious philosophers most notably Aristotle Aquinas and Locke think that all of our knowledge of the world comes initially through our senses Our eyes and other senses according to this line of thinking tend to inform us rather than deceive us This is a most sensible for lack of a better word position and remains more plausible than the skepticism Darwin s theory requires The assumption that we are ill fitted to the world we seek to understand is just that and one much less likely than its opposite While our senses might not be infallible there is little reason to think they are outright deceptive And while we shouldn t simply reject evolutionary theory because it contradicts our ordinary sensory experience of the world we should also be wary of committing the opposite mistake This article was originally published at Public Discourse and is used with permission image credit shutterstock com Tagged as Charles Darwin evolution Origin of Species By S Adam Seagrave S Adam Seagrave is an assistant professor of political science at Northern Illinois University and the managing editor of the journal American Political Thought Subscribe to CE It s free More on Catholic Exchange God the Father s Messages to St Catherine The Apostles Squabble Scripture Speaks The Peace of the Lord Go to Catholic Exchange homepage pnyikos While it is possible to quibble over the mechanisms of evolution the fact that evolution has occurred on a grand scale is very well established People wanting to look into this matter need to look at things ordinarily hidden from our eyes such as fossils which most people see only in museums They also need to take into account the brevity of a human lifetime so minuscule in comparison to the age of the earth One cannot expect species to suddenly develop into other species in our lifetimes

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/evolution-and-the-eye-test (2016-05-01)
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