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Hunt, Dave

Boko Haram: Focus On Killing Christians, 8/4/16, “New Boko Haram Leader to Followers: Focus on Killing Christians” [Excerpts]: The ISIS-linked terrorist group Boko Haram has announced that they have a new leader—and a new directive: They plan on “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those [Christians] who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

The ISIS newspaper al-Nabaa announced that a man named Abu Musab al-Barnawi will now lead the Nigeria-based terrorist group and will make it their mission to fight “Christianization of society...” He said that instead of targeting fellow Muslims at mosques and market places, they’ll also be focusing their efforts to attack Christian humanitarian groups. He explained, “They exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianizing their children.”

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in Nigeria and surrounding areas—most of them Muslims—in village raids, bombings and mass shootings in the last seven years. They are also responsible for the mass abductions of young girls, raping them and forcing them into relationships with militants.


Peppered Moth Still Not Evolving, 8/4/16, “Peppered Moth Still Not Evolving” [Excerpts]:  The moth earned fame as a key player in a classic evolutionary story in the late 19th century. In England, a population of peppered moths supposedly shifted their coloring from mostly white to mostly black after soot from the industrial revolution darkened their tree-trunk homes....That story helped rescue Darwin’s conception of natural selection from a round of early 20th century criticisms, such as a lack of supporting field evidence.

However, later researchers could not replicate the peppered moth results. Other investigators discovered that most of the story’s facts were essentially wrong. For example, peppered moths live mostly beneath leaves, not on tree trunks. One researcher staged photos of the moths on sooty trunks—not where moths naturally rest....Biologists centered at the University of Liverpool discovered that a well-known form of genetic shuffling, involving a transposable element (TE), generated the dark versions of these moths.

The study authors wrote, “The insert was found to be present in 105 of 110 fully black moths (wild caught in the UK since 2002) and absent in all (283) typica [white moths] tested.” Clearly, even a century or so after England cleaned the soot off its tree trunks, both black and white moth varieties still thrive just fine in the wild.


Not Cheering The Drop In Divorce, 7/20/16, “Why aren’t pro-family groups cheering the drop in divorce?” [Excerpts]:  The marriage rate has been trending downward for decades. From 2004 to 2014, the U.S. marriage rate fell by 20 percent, a drop of 8.3 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women over age 15....

The report also noted the divorce rate’s steady decline since 1979....But those numbers do not tell the whole story, according to experts.

“[T]he declining marriage rate is not so much a reflection that marriage is no longer desired, but that, in a culture of distrust and divorce, it is fragile,” write Amber and David Lapp, research fellows at the Institute for Family Studies and co-authors of the report’s essay on marriage.

The Lapps assert young people today are not opposed to marriage—they are conflicted about it. They want a healthy, sustaining marriage relationship and desire to raise their kids within marriage, but they are afraid of divorce.

Because of this, we should be “cautious in our celebration” about the dropping divorce rate, writes Julie of the report....“Widespread divorce led people to believe that although relationships are good, relationship definition is risky...” The result for Gen Xers: risk avoidance, undefined relationships, and a widespread belief that marriage is just a piece of paper. Today’s young people are adopting that message, according to Baumgardner. Cohabitation “precedes most marriages while fewer cohabiting relationships transition to marriage.”