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LifeNews.com, 9/12/13, “Trafficked Children Rescued, Rejected by Parents Fearing One-Child Policy Police” [Excerpts]: Chinese police arrested seven members of a child trafficking ring in Jiangsu province in late August. At the same time, they were able to rescue 10 babies that had been trafficked by the same group. Surprisingly, though, the parents of these babies did not want to take them back.

These children were trafficked from a poor mountainous region in Sichuan province, where average annual incomes are below $400/year. Traffickers will often pay more than $4,000 for a healthy child, in order to sell them to wealthier families in the east who either desire to have a son of their own, or want a child-bride for their existing son. In this case, it was discovered that these 10 infants were not kidnapped, as originally assumed, but sold.

Authorities say that not one of the parents came forward to receive their rescued children. Police believe that there are two reasons for this reticence on the part of the parents: (1) the parents fear they will have to surrender the profits they made from selling their child; and (2) the parents are concerned about having to pay fines for having an extra child in violation of the One-Child Policy.



ReligionNewsService.com, 9/9/13, “Scientist Suggests ‘We Are Actually All Martians’” [Excerpts]: Did life originate on Mars? During a keynote address at the 2013 Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Florence, Italy, Steven Benner postulated that it did. Benner, from The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Gainesville, Florida, works in the field of “applied molecular evolution” where he attempts to reconstruct conditions that may have led to the spontaneous generation of life’s biochemicals from inorganic compounds. In his address, he suggested life began on Mars then somehow migrated the more than 30 million miles to Earth.

Benner’s presentation abstract listed the following four paradoxes as challenges to the naturalistic origin of life he defends:

1. The “Tar Paradox” shows that adding energy to simple organic molecules—energy required to convert them into molecules of life—always converts them into black goo “better suited for paving roads than supporting Darwinian evolution” (Benner, S.A. 2013. Keynote: Planets, Minerals and Life’s Origin. Mineralogical Magazine. 77 (5): 686).

2. The “Water Paradox” describes the fact that on the one hand, water facilitates vital chemical reactions inside a cell, but on the other hand, water destroys raw biomolecules. Actual living cells use several tactics to control water’s potentially harmful impact on their vital biochemistry.

3. The “Single Biopolymer Paradox” notes that the hypothetical conditions that might build one required type of biopolymer, like DNA, are not the same as those envisioned to build another type, like protein. The problem is that all of life’s biopolymers need to form at the same time and place if they are going to move toward becoming the first functioning cell.

4. The “Probability Paradox” explains that RNA molecules tend to accelerate harmful chemical reactions despite their theoretical usefulness in accelerating reactions needed for biological life (Ibid.).



ReligionToday.com, 9/30/13, “Euthanasia Deaths in Netherlands Increase 13 Percent” [Excerpts]: Euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands jumped 13 percent last year to constitute about 3 percent of all deaths in the European country, Baptist Press reports. Official statistics released Sept. 23 show 4,188 people died by euthanasia in 2012, an increase of nearly 500 from the previous year, The Daily Mail reported.

It marked the sixth consecutive year for an increase in the Netherlands, which legalized euthanasia in 2002. Last year was the first during which mobile euthanasia units staffed by doctors and nurses started crossing the country to end the lives of people in their homes....Dutch law supposedly limits those eligible for euthanasia to people who are incurable and in unbearable pain, but the actual practice appears far more expansive. Newborns with disabilities and people with chronic depression, mental pain and even macular degeneration have been euthanized, said Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Macular degeneration is an affliction typically in older people that causes a loss of vision in the center of the eye.

“The Dutch experience shows that euthanasia becomes routine,” said Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of anti-euthanasia ALERT. “It traps more and more people into thinking they ought to leave this world prematurely. In that kind of culture euthanasia becomes expected and inevitable and everything else—such as good palliative care and a functional hospice movement—is gradually portrayed as rather selfish.” The Netherlands is one of three countries that have legalized euthanasia. The others are Belgium and Luxembourg.



Worldmag.com, 9/10/13, “India: The Female Holocaust” [Excerpts]: Preema, a young woman from a rural village in southern India, is the 12th daughter born to her parents. Yet, she has no older sisters. Each time Preema’s mother became pregnant and gave birth to a girl, she and her husband killed the newborn—disappointed it hadn’t been a boy.

After 12 births, Preema (not her real name), was the only girl they allowed to live....India’s 2011 census indicated the scope of the problem: The country has about 37 million more men than women, the result of millions of baby girls being drowned, strangled, or aborted. “We are dealing with a sex selection that has become a genocide,” said Sabu George, a member of India’s Campaign Against Sex Selection, who testified at the hearing. George said [that] in the past decade alone, Indian parents eliminated 6 million girls before birth: “This is much larger than the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.”

Although both dowries and sex selection are formally illegal in India...some leaders view the culturally ingrained practice as a convenient way to enforce population control.

Matthew Connelly, a history professor at Columbia University, said India’s sex selection epidemic was encouraged by the population control movement promoted in the 1960s by U.S. organizations like Planned Parenthood and Population Council.


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