Do students at religious schools lie more than secular students?

December 4, 2008

A new study suggests students at religious-based schools lie and cheat more than their secular counterparts. Not only that but it suggest that American teenagers are lying, cheating, and stealing more at “alarming rates.”

The attitudes and conduct of some 29,760 high school students across the United States “doesn’t bode well for the future when these youngsters become the next generation’s politicians and parents, cops and corporate executives, and journalists and generals,” the non-profit Josephson Institute said.

Although admittedly I haven’t actually read the study myself I am far more optimistic than whoever the spokesman was at the Josephson Institute. I surmise the recent study is either more flawed than previous studies or possibly an improvement on past studies and that teenagers are not much more or less dishonest than past generations. History suggests that just about every young generation is perceived by their elders as having less values and with almost every generation without fail every generation slowly begins to correct injustices of the past.

For instance, the older generation viewed the youth of the 50’s as “The Lost Generation.” This “lost” generation played a major role in promoting black civil rights and feminism, among other important political and social movements. And yet it never ceases to amaze me how Conservatives can openly suggest they want to return these “traditional” values. It seems to me that if you weren’t an upper class, heterosexual, male, WASP, living in more traditional America sucked.

So I don’t worry so much about the latest generation’s loss of traditional values. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they do better than the previous generation. Hell, religion might be little more than a fringe movement by then.


News From Around The Blogosphere 8.27.08

August 28, 2008

Stem cell technology may make blood donations a thing of the past

Proof that prayer works? – Not quite. Remember when Focus on the Family asked people to pray for rain during the DNC and it didn’t happen but by then everyone forgot all about it? Well, apparently god missed and instead a sprinkler went off, flooding a skybox booth belonging to Fox News. I guess even god hates Fox News.

The standing of science in America – Interesting column from Science Progress. Here’s it’s conclusion:

“Americans might tune in to some science news, visit science museums, and even adjust their diets and prescriptions based upon the latest studies. But it’s not enough. Without anything beyond a surface-level appreciation of science, they stand far too blind when staring down something of paramount importance: The future.”

Where do you get your mercury? – Today’s issue of JAMA has an interesting study of Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicines. It turns out that many of them contain a significant amount of toxic heavy metals…including mercury, and much higher levels than the minute traces found in a flu vaccine. Here, we’re dealing with actual dangerous levels of the stuff.

Christians continue their long-honored tradition of crappy knock-offs of other people’s video games

SECULAR VALUE VOTERS! – The Secular Coalition for America is taking back the word “values” from the Religious Right.

Stephen Colbert better know an atheist tomorrow – My favorite secular lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown is to appear on The Colbert Report tomorrow night (Thursday) during the “Better Know A Lobbyist” segment.


A Christian Critique of $cientology – This is a funny piece in the way it compares the 2 remarkably similar belief systems, though to be clear, while Christianity has some cult-like behaviors, Scientology is a cult in the strictest sense of the word. And it’s important to clarify that as insanely dopey as their beliefs are, my principle criticism is of their cult behavior because otherwise they’ll just try to get away with claiming we’re just bigoted towards their “religion.”

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER EPIC FAIL!

Yet another Creationist EPIC FAIL! – This time they’re taken down by the publication Chemical and Engineering News.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

First Prehistoric Pregnant Turtle Discovered – “A 75-million-year-old fossil of a pregnant turtle and a nest of fossilized eggs that were discovered in the badlands of southeastern Alberta by scientists and staff from the University of Calgary and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology are yielding new ideas on the evolution of egg-laying and reproduction in turtles and tortoises.”

Hobbit-like Dwarfs: Bone Parts Don’t Add Up – “Misinterpreted fragments of leg bones, teeth and brow ridges found in Palau appear to be an archaeologist’s undoing, according to researchers at three institutions. They say that the so-called dwarfs of these Micronesian islands actually were modern, normal-sized hunters and gatherers.” Ugh, you just know the creationists are going to misrepresent this story and play it up as “proof” that evolution is wrong. Though kinda odd that the “evolutionists” discovered the error while The Discovery Institute still hasn’t spent one cent on actual research. Science is self-correcting.

Is Extinction Or Diversity On The Rise? – “It’s no secret that humans are having a huge impact on the life cycles of plants and animals. UC Santa Barbara’s Steven D. Gaines and fellow researcher Dov Sax decided to test that theory by studying the world’s far-flung islands.”