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More reason to distrust American media
This is becoming more typical of media. Lazy bastards.

Spider Bite Cures Paralyzed Man

Too bad it isn't true

It sounds like something out of the pages of The Weekly World News, right next to an alien abduction story: Paralyzed California man bit by brown recluse spider walks again. Only it was reported for real last week on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS.

Yes, a miracle - a miracle this could make the evening news, for this was a phenomenally poorly reported story bereft of the simplest of fact-checking. Of the three basic facts reported by these apparently professional journalists - paralyzed man, brown recluse spider, and walking - two are surely false.

Yet more than just another example of lousy broadcast journalism, such stories bring false hopes and even danger to those desperate enough to experiment with venom to cure their paralysis.

Talk to a doctor

Full story Yahoo News
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
The recluse's venom is not a neurotoxin. It causes necrosis of the tissue and blood platelet problems. It doesn't make sense that it could affect paralysis.

I do believe that many venoms can hold the key to curing disease or disability, but this story didn't make a bit of sense. Wrong type of venom for what they were claiming.

I do agree that TV reporting has become so sensationalized and idiotic that half of what they say is BS these days. It seems like they don't even take the time to fact check anymore.
I think the word 'miracle' is extremely overused. With its connotations, I don't like it at all. I sincerely doubt the cause and effect relationship in this case.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Here's the full story as sort-of reported: A man named David Blancarte of either Modesto or Manteca, Calif. (reports vary), who was either paralyzed or confined to a wheelchair (reports vary) after a motorcycle accident either 20 or 21 years ago (reports vary), was bitten by a brown recluse spider two years ago and sought treatment in a hospital. An unnamed nurse there noticed muscle spasms; concluded his nerves were just "asleep"; ordered tests; got him to rehab; and got him walking again.

As soon as I read this I immediately thought well common sense tells me the rehab [physical therapy] is what got him walking again, sheesh no brainer there. Then I see this part [below]

I'm not saying this guy wasn't in a bad way for 20-some years. What likely happened was that Blancarte's legs weren't completely paralyzed and, in fact, were slowly healing. A bite of some sort - more on this below - got him to a hospital, where medical professionals realized that there was nerve and muscle activity unrelated to the bite. Through physical therapy he slowly regained the ability to walk, albeit with a walker.

What's next.....the god put power in the freakin spider to do a miracle of the god. shit I know miracles happen which to me only means something unexplained or extraordinary happened but not from/by a god.
Edited by Sinny on 03/26/2009 20:27

*fixed link
Edited by Skeeve on 05/11/2009 07:28

here is an article if that video site does not work

*fixed link
Edited by Skeeve on 05/11/2009 07:29
It's illegal to call superstitious nonsense superstitious nonsense...when that superstitious nonsense is the creation story from christianity.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Yea, that makes critique of religion illegal! It has far reaching consequences.
We must respect others' beliefs even when they are deserving of no respect.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
To be honest one wonders how these things came up in a class on european history. I might suggest that the student knew the teacher well enough to consciously provoke him.
US teacher broke law by describing creationism as 'superstitious nonsense'Judge rules remark was 'improper disapproval of religion' and violated first amendment of US constitution
Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, Wednesday 6 May 2009 09.24 BST Article historyA US teenager has successfully won a lawsuit against a teacher who described creationism as "superstitious nonsense".

Chad Farnan, a devout Christian studying at California's Capistrano Valley high school, persuaded a judge that his European history teacher, James Corbett, violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which courts interpret as banning government employees from promoting, or displaying hostility towards, religion.

Farnan claimed Corbett made comments that were "derogatory, disparaging and belittling regarding religion and Christianity in particular". In legal documents submitted to the US district court, he said he was uncomfortable going to class and felt as though Corbett had created an atmosphere in which he could not effectively learn "both because and regardless of his religious beliefs".

Farnan's lawyer, Jennifer Monk, who works for a not-for-profit Christian law firm, Advocates for Faith and Freedom, told the Guardian yesterday that Farnan's victory was the first of its kind, proving that the establishment clause applied equally to the disapproval of religion as it did to the promotion of religion.

"It is the first case of its kind where a court has held a teacher responsible for the disapproval of Christianity. It's common for lawsuits to be brought against teachers promoting religion. In general, for years, religion has been taken out of the classroom. I don't agree with that, but if it's going to be taken out, at the very minimum you can't go to the other extreme.

"The [Farnan] family is excited, it's a courageous stand. There were people who were very supportive and there were people who didn't agree with his stand."

Farnan spent almost 18 months gathering material against Corbett, compiling a dossier that featured secret recordings of the teacher's remarks.

However, Judge James Selna found in a 37-page ruling that almost all the statements cited by the plaintiff did not violate the establishment cause, including Corbett's view that "when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth" a reference to peasants who did not support the reforms of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II for religious reasons. The judge said the statement was made in the context of an historical discussion. He dismissed other comments by Corbett that "conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies that's interfering with God's work" and that there was as much evidence that God created the world "as there is that there is a gigantic spaghetti monster living behind the moon who did it".

Only one of Corbett's opinions fell foul of the First Amendment his "unequivocal belief that creationism is superstitious nonsense". Judge Selna concluded that there was no legitimate secular purpose to the statement and it constituted "improper disapproval of religion in violation of the establishment clause".

In his ruling, the judge said he tried to balance the rights of both parties. "The court's ruling reflects the constitutionally permissible need for expansive discussion, even if a given topic may be offensive to a particular religion," he said. "The decision also reflects that there are boundaries. The ruling protects Farnan, but also protects teachers like Corbett in carrying out their teaching duties."

He said the case reflected the tension between the constitutional rights of a student and the demands of higher education, as well as the tension between Farnan's religious beliefs and the need for government, especially schools, to carry out their duties "free of the strictures of any particular religious or philosophical belief system".

Corbett, a teacher with 20 years' experience, remains at Capistrano Valley high school and has made no public comment since the case started.

Farnan spent almost 18 months gathering material against Corbett, compiling a dossier that featured secret recordings of the teacher's remarks.

When did this become legal?

Only one of Corbett's opinions fell foul of the First Amendment his "unequivocal belief that creationism is superstitious nonsense". Judge Selna concluded that there was no legitimate secular purpose to the statement and it constituted "improper disapproval of religion in violation of the establishment clause".

This is where they got him. So it's ok to discuss but not have an opinion on the discussion? WTF is the point in having the discussion or debate or even comparing if there's no opinion? Why is it alright to discuss and even teach different religions and non belief but not have an opinion? or not even say why people don't believe? I bet this kid said many remarks expressing his beliefs why it's wrong or whatever about atheists, atheism and what happens to unbelievers but is that on tape Noooo because he had control of what was recorded and that in no way would be every. any wrong or opinionated comment he made. That tape recording should never have been allowed when it was only based on what the teacher said at that time not every single conversation or what transpired to make the teacher say anything at all. I can hardly believe that wasn't thrown out of court.
Are we at the point where all classes have to be video taped?

EDIT: Notice how it's ok for the student to sue because of his [students] bleifs/opinion about his religion but it's not alright for the teacher to have or express his own belief/opinion about religion. This student took the teacher to court because of the students own beliefs and how he felt by how the teacher unbelief and how the teacher felt. This is nuts! The student obviously and admittedly believs in christianity, the bible, god, etc yet it the teacher can't not believe? I think the teacher should have fought that on the day in court. I wonder what kind of lawyer the teacher had.
Edited by Sinny on 05/14/2009 20:22
As I said above I wondered why some of these things came up in an european history class. I think Sinny makes a good point in that the teacher may well have been provoked/prodded into making them. The student using 18 months to gather the evidence is curious also. That very much implies intent and frankly malice. I wonder if the judge and the school took that into account since it seems that no real action has been taken against the teacher.

That said I think some of the teachers comments were intemperate and not how a high school teacher should approach a class. One can lose a teaching moment when one says something like "when you put on your jesus glasses, you can't see the truth". I agree totally with the statement. I only believe that when you are talking to a group of high school students you should have some respect for where they come from. There has to be a much less confrontational way to say more or less the same thing. A way that is less easy to find dismissive and may cause the students to think. By that kind of language you are asking people to reject their belief systems, and remember again these are high school age people. How many of them are experienced enough to fully understand that things which have been drummed into them since infancy are false.

I should know about the possibility of teaching moments. Thanks to provoking my high school physics teacher I learned very well the thermodynamic difference between temperature change and phase change. I got to spend the bulk of the class in an empty classroom taking the temperature of an ice bath.
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