Saturday, April 5, 2008

Odds n Ends (3)

Happy Birthday to my daughter Zola. There's way too many interesting news stories that I want to discuss. One thing is for sure, it's a crazy world out there:


  1. Malaria Coming to Great Britain because of Global Warming. From my previous posts on malaria, you may remember that malaria can survive only in warm climates, which is the reason why Great Britain (and Minnesota) do not see cases of malaria. But here is the first news report I've seen claiming that one of the effects of Global Warming will be to bring malaria to more northern countries, according to the British Medical Assoc. Here is a blurb from the news story:

Climate change could bring malaria and other diseases to Britain and trigger more frequent heatwaves that will have huge health impacts, British doctors said on Thursday. With the exception of Lyme disease, insect-borne diseases are largely unknown in Britain. But global warming could change that in a few decades, according to a report from the British Medical Association (BMA).


  1. Biologists Create Sugar Eating-Fuel Making Bacteria. Biologists can now create organisms that have never before existed—including designer bacteria that turn sugar into fuel. Genetically modified E. coli turn sugar into blobs of a hydrocarbon that is similar to gasoline.


  1. Muslims in Middle East Coming to Christ in Record Numbers. Famous Pre-Trib author Joel Rosenberg (his best-selling book is entitled 'Epicenter' – he is also a great resource on things taking place in Israel) reports on a story going untold in the Mideast where hundreds of thousands of Muslims just celebrated their first Easter. Here is his report of individual countries: In Afghanistan there were only 17 Christians in the entire country. Today there are now over 10,000 Christians and this number is growing steadily; Egypt More than 1,000,000 (one million) Muslims have trusted in Jesus over the past decade; 70,000 Christians now in Iraq. And most surprisingly, in Iran there are well over 1 million Shia Muslim converts to Christianity. Check out the story at:


edward oleander said...

Muslim Converts to Christianity - While it is true that there are record numbers of Islamic Arabs converting to Christianity, some care must be taken when examining the "facts" and their meaning in the larger context.

1) Claiming that one country had only 17 evangelical Christians, and another had only three, is patently absurd, and really hurts the credibility of the rest of the story. To reliably report such precise and low numbers, one would have to have an IMPOSSIBLE knowledge of the entire population of the country in question.

2) Some of the number used in the claims came from Muslim clerics. No support for the numbers was given. It is almost as if the author was saying that coming from a Muslim mouth must make the numbers true.

This is bad logic, because radical elements in many religions, Islam included, use inflated loss numbers to stir up evangelical support among the extremely devout/radical. al Sadr has used this technique since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The conversion numbers for Egypt and Iran are quite suspect.

3) Presenting that story without caveat could easily give the mistaken impression that Christianity is enjoying a free romp through the Muslim world. Only 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East, so even if the number of converts is right, the overall impact is not that significant. Worldwide, the world's Muslim population is growing quite a bit faster than the number of Christians (1.84% vs, 1.32% average growth per the Carnegie Endowment For World Peace). That same report called Islam the fastest growing world religion and placed Christianity 6th...

4) Finally, a large increase in the number of those who at least CALL themselves Christian in Iraq and Afghanistan would be expected as it is almost ALWAYS the case that when a population is conquered by a stronger nation, a certain part of the population will, "get along by going along." This phenomenon limits the value of any perceived benefit to Christianity as a whole.

edward oleander said...

Britain's weather - Take heart, Anglophiles! Although there may be a short increase in warm-weather diseases, the British Isles will soon experience quite the opposite, and that will endure for a few centuries unless global warming continues unabated.

Once enough fresh water has entered the world's salt water oceans (anywhere from 10 to 50 years by current estimates), then the "conveyor belt" effect that keeps warm water flowing north (via the Gulf Stream) will be interrupted and the British Isles will cool significantly. This will last until it is overcome by generalized global warming, which won't be for several centuries. It is interesting to note that by then, the rising ocean level will have covered most of the land area of the 'Isles anyway.

If you want a good investment for your descendants 10 or 12 generations down the road, look at a topographical map and find the 300 foot elevation line, and buy lots of future shoreline dirt cheap!

edward oleander said...

Gas Making Bugs - Teh COOL! Lots of issues, but still promising as a stop-gap until non-petroleum cars are the standard... Thanks for the link!