Once in a while you hear people opine that gay couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt. Let's investigate this idea.

Oftentimes, such a discussion involves analysis of gay couples and their potential impact on children. However, a fair analysis would analyse not only the impact of gay parents on children, but the impact of heterosexual parents on children, for comparison.  One should never just assume that the status quo (in this case, heterosexual parents) is the ideal simply because of historical dominance.

So, what is the ideal sexual orientation of a child's parents?  Well, I haven't reviewed research on the subject, and I suspect there likely has been such research conducted.  My aim here is to simply use logic to guide the way for anyone that might want to investigate further.

Is it ideal for a child to have heterosexual parents?  It's very plausible.  After all, since it's mostly heterosexual couples that give birth to children, it's plausible that (in some ways) a child may benefit most by being reared by both a man and a woman. For example, in one respect it would be beneficial to have parents of both sexes:  the sexes think differently, and having parents of both sexes would aid in children's social understanding of and communication with both sexes.

But when it comes to adoption, the question isn't whether it's heterosexuals or gays that are the ideal parents.  When determining who should be allowed to adopt, the question should be this:  Do the benefits of allowing gay adoption (or heterosexual adoption) outweigh the costs?

In order to answer this, supply and demand factor in the equation.  Because there is a long waiting list to adopt children, the demand from parents far exceeds the supply of children for adoption.  This means that society can afford to be very selective in determining who they allow to adopt, and they may be able to limit adoptive parents to whomever the ideal is determined to be.

One concern you sometimes hear is this: that adoptive children of gay couples will be more likely to be gay.  Although this is plausible, I think the likelihood of this being the case is extremely low.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if children reared by gay couples are not at all more likely to be gay than children reared by heterosexual couples.  My reasons for making this claim have to do with the abundance of, and nature of, the evidence that shows a strong genetic basis of homosexuality.

Now, it is true that the concordance rate of homosexuality is less than 100%.  That means that when you locate an identical twin who is gay, and then look at his/her identical twin, less than 100% of the time the second twin is gay.  This means that, indisputably, the environment is one factor that influences homosexuality.

Now, I don't know what the actual concordance rate is, only that it's less than 100%.  However, I suspect that the concordance rate is likely very high, so high that it would suggest a very strong influence of genetics toward homosexuality.  Logically, that is to be expected.

I suspect that the environmental factors causing homosexuality are not what you might think.  I doubt the factors have to do with things like what toys the children are bought, the sexual orientation of the couples a child is exposed to, etc.  I suspect that the environmental factors that are an influence toward homosexuality are things like the level of hormones in the womb during pregnancy. And those hormones might be affected by many other environmental factors including the mother's nutrition, medication, even the amount of red beef she eats.

And the environmental influences toward homosexuality may not be enough, by themselves, to cause homosexuality.   I strongly suspect that one must have a genetic predisposition for homosexuality in order for there to even be a possibility for one to be homosexual.  I suspect that in some, or all, cases, when one has this genetic predisposition, the environmental factors act as a trigger causing homosexuality.

So, although plausible, I would be ok with assuming that most children adopted by homosexual couples are very likely not more likely to become homosexual. Some people might suggest that it's prudent to prevent gays from adopting children as a precaution against them being more likely to become gay.  Given that we don't know what the environmental influences toward homosexuality are (as far as I know), you could make that case.  It's debatable.

What if we assume one doesn't have to worry about children of adoptive parents being more likely to be gay? What other factors should influence adoption criteria?  (I don't even like to write things like "worrying about children being gay", as if there's something wrong with being gay; there isn't.  But the truth is, I think it's safe to say more people would prefer to have heterosexual rather than homosexual children).

Well, there are many criteria that ideal adoptive parents should have.

Let's look at lesbian couples.  Given that women tend to have more of a nurturing inclination then men, one might argue that lesbian couples might be more ideal than a heterosexual couple when it comes to nurturing (although I think it's fair to say that lesbian women tend to have more masculine traits than heterosexual women, I would think that they likely still have more of a nurturing inclination than heterosexual men).

Another advantage that lesbian couples have is this: the chance of one of them molesting their children is very low.  In fact, one study found it to be zero.  I don't know what the odds are that a male parent would molest his children, but I'm sure it must be above zero, and it's likely high enough to be a factor of concern in regard to adoption.

Traditionally, a male parent was instrumental in offering physical protection to the child and the mother (which in turn allowed the mother to be able to raise the child).  In today's society, however, in order for the family to be physically protected, men aren't needed nearly as much.

So what benefits do male parents provide? One benefit is huge:  Financial support.  Men earn more than women, and hence are able to better support the children and the mother (who in turn is better able to support the child).

What about gay male adoptive parents?  Compared to heterosexual and lesbian couples, would two gay men provide the most financial support to their children?  They very well may (although many gay men work in traditionally lower paid female fields, I suspect that a gay man still tends to earn more than a heterosexual or lesbian woman).  But given that men are more likely to molest children, and given that a gay couple has two, not one, male parents, the likelihood that a member of a gay male couple will molest their children is likely greater than the likelihood that a member of a lesbian or heterosexual couple would do the same.

The adoption issue is a complex topic, with many factors that should be studied, including factors I haven't studied here.  Not only do I not know whether gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt, I don't even know if one should assume that heterosexual couples would tend to be better adoptive parents than gay and/or lesbian couples.

One thing I feel more sure about is this: I think it's likely that the well-being of the child should be the first priority when it comes to studying this issue. I don't think that many people would disagree.  Consider that a child has most of its life to look forward to, while a potential adoptive parent likely has only about 40-50 years of lifespan to look forward to.  Using that measure alone, the adoptive decisions will have a greater effect on the children than on the parents (everything else being equal.  However, not all other factors are equal, but I am not going to get into such detail here, although readers can feel free to expand.  One factor to consider is whether the joy provided to a couple allowed to adopt is more valuable than the quality of well-being provided to a child).

To conclude, I think it's likely that heterosexual couples tend to provide both nurturing (female) and financial support (male) but also a noticeable level of risk of the child being molested.  I think it's likely that lesbian couples tend to provide an abundance of nurturing, less financial support, but almost no risk of the child being molested.  I think it's likely that gay male couples tend to provide the most financial support of the three couples being compared, but also provide the greatest likelihood that the child will be molested.

It appears that heterosexual, lesbian and gay male couples each provide their own set of costs and benefits to be considered.
Should some people in society (other than those in jail or otherwise restricted) be restricted from voting? This is a topic I’ve thought about before.  It was brought to my attention again by a reader in the comment section of this thread:


The reader wondered whether the tendency of women to vote differently than men might be harming society overall. So, I decided to tackle this issue, looking not just at women, but looking at other groups, including men.

At this point, some people might be offended by the idea of even restricting voting.  It’s not something you hear often.  But I will argue that once you think about the logic, it’s a very logical argument.

First, you’d need to determine whether it’s even potentially beneficial to allow only certain people to vote.  I would argue that restricting voting to certain persons is one of the most important things a society could do for the overall benefit of society.

How many things are more important than voting? You are choosing the government…the people are choosing who will govern them!  In the case of the US, they are choosing who will manage the collection and disbursement of the largest pool of money in history! Taxpayer money! Shouldn’t it be of the utmost importance to choose the best people to govern us, to spend our taxpayer money?

Now, ask yourself this: Do you think there are any people that are misinformed, unknowledgeable, or not intelligent enough to make an ideal voting decision? 

Of course there are. There are many! This is evidenced solely by the fact that many people vote for people based on their personality, even when warning signs are available! Two examples of this are: 1) the election of Hitler even though Mein Kampf had already been published and 2) the election of Obama, even though his anti-American actions and associations-to say nothing of his extreme policies-were highly public. I'm sure there are many more examples of this phenomenon.

In fact, there is even more evidence that people may tend to vote based on a person’s personality. Obama’s overall approval rating is currently about 45-48%, yet if you ask people whether they support individual policies of his, the support is much lower.  Why? Well, when people answer as to whether they support Obama or not, they may be thinking about his personality (that he seems likeable) and not thinking only of his policies.

Has humanity’s ability to vote logically not changed enough between the 1930s and 2008?  If you were to poll people at the booths, how many would have actually been informed enough to provide a smart answer to back up who they were voting for?

Some readers might respond: Well, those people make poor decisions, but it’s their right to vote!

Is it really? People in jail can’t vote, can they? It sounds to me like voting is considered a privilege. 

But even if it was considered a right…perhaps that should be reconsidered.  After all, ideas aren’t immune to change.  If it is currently considered to be a right, that’s because at one point in time people in society made it so.  Society can similarly rethink its position if new information becomes available.

Voting is similar to playing a game, in one respect: If a country is going to send ballplayers to represent your country on an Olympic baseball team, the country sends its best players.

Why should it be any different with voters?  Why shouldn’t only the most capable people be sent to vote for society’s future? After all, the results will affect society by a magnitude much greater than the results of a baseball game will.  The wealth of the country as a whole depends primarily on its import/export policies alone. Why? Because (outside of the stock market, perhaps) it’s unlikely for a society to become wealthier (in terms of money and assets) unless it exports more than it imports. See this thread for more on that:


And there are many policies that will directly or indirectly affect the country’s export success: budget spending, interest rates, outsourcing, tariffs, trading agreements etc.

What could be more important than choosing a government that will enact the ideal policies for society?

If I was deemed not to be one of society’s ideal voters, I would have no problem with letting others vote instead of myself.

There are two possible negatives that I can think of in regard to restricting voting to certain groups:

1) Many people being restricted from voting probably will not like it. Chances are that many, if not most, won’t like it.  There could be riots.  This is obviously a negative, and if that negative becomes strong enough, it could overcome the other benefits of restricted voting.

2) It’s possible that the group that can vote might end up voting for people that end up serving the interests of the voters rather than society as a whole.  Or you might have politicians specifically pander to the people who are voting.  This is a serious problem, and certainly could be enough to invalidate the implementation of restricted voting.

However, as I will show below, the idea is that one of the criteria that you use to select who can vote is whether or not those people are rational and unbiased and expected to favor the interests of society over their own interests. I’m sure there are people like that out there.  But I think that there likely aren’t many people like that out there at all.

The concern would then become this: Even if you can identify people who, based on current information, would vote for the benefit of society overall, is it possible that they might change when placed in the new, powerful environment?

Yes, it’s possible, and so I suggest that if the use of only select voters is to be pursued, it be done on a temporary basis for evaluation, one year or one term, with a reversion to the current system after that. 

There should also have to be other safeguards put in beforehand, to prevent harm to society during that probation period (for example, putting in a law that states that certain financial benefits can’t be withdrawn from society under certain circumstances, etc.)

One area of concern is that the smaller the group of selected voters is, the easier they are to manipulate (by being paid off, etc).   This is something that certainly might derail this process; it would need further investigation.  However, a situation in which voters are being bribed is not totally different from the current situation in which politicians receive millions from lobbyists.

So I think I’ve argued well that it makes sense, for the benefit of society overall, to allow only certain people to vote, as long as they are able to remain unbiased and vote for the benefit of society overall.

So, who would those selected voters potentially be?

Well, I believe it's crucial they be rational, unbiased people.  As unbiased as possible, at least.  Why? There are many intelligent people who ignore logic and vote according to what they want to believe. Keith Stanovich reported there is almost a zero correlation between intelligence and rationality.  Therefore, intelligence isn’t enough.

Once you select for rationality, it’s important to select for intelligence and memory.  I think the reasons are obvious.  You want people that can analyse the information the best, and who can recall enough information to maximize the amount of information being compared.

How intelligent should ideal voters be? I don’t know the exact cut-off, but I would suggest people somewhere above 140 IQ, maybe 160 or higher.  Why? I’ve noticed that there are many very intelligent people who make incorrect claims.  I assume that they aren’t (for lack of a better term) smart enough to see things as accurately as someone with, say, a 160 or 180 IQ. And when selecting, I might not select based on traditional IQ tests, which use some subjective multiple choice questions in some parts (but you could simply select based on non-subjective results, perhaps. That’s another topic).

Another type of person you might select is someone who is emotionally aware.  A Highly Sensitive Person (as Elaine Aaron’s book is titled).  This type of person might be more able to discern the emotional aspect of people’s lives, and vote better accordingly (for example, they may be better able to determine what emotional impact a certain policy decision will have on the lives of others).  However, you’d have to choose a sensitive person that is able to block their sensitivity from overriding their logic, which can become a problem with some sensitive people.

Those are three examples of traits that an ideal voter should have, I would argue.  There are probably more.

There are ways to test for intelligence, to test for sensitivity, and to test for rationality (I assume, since it was a variable in a study).

The reader I mention above had stated that he thought society would be better if if women weren't allowed to vote.  So, would society be better off if women didn’t vote?

I believe the question should not be whether the ideal situation is for only men to vote.  It would very likely not be ideal for only men to vote. 

The ideal situation is to allow only the best voters to vote, regardless of whether there are more women or men in this group.

But it is interesting to study how society would change if only men were allowed to vote (which was the case at one time, and it would be interesting to study men’s voting patterns back then).

After all, if more women than men do vote illogically, then by definition it would mean that society would be better off if women didn’t vote (but like I said, this isn’t the most ideal situation, the ideal situation is one in which you restrict voting of both irrational women and irrational men).

But I find the argument interesting, because I like studying group differences, so I’ll delve into the topic.

Women do vote very differently than men.  Not massively, but significantly.

I remember Ann Coulter once said that if women didn't vote, Republicans would've won every election except one dating back something like 50 to 60 years.

Look at the exit polls from the 2010 election:


Women voted 49/48 Democrat, while men voted 55/42 Republican. That's a significant 7 point difference (7 points means women were about 15% more likely to vote liberal in 2010).  By the way, 15% is also close to another figure regarding male/female differences.  One study showed women get into about 15% more car accidents than men (although I’d still probably prefer to drive with women, because although men get in fewer accidents, I suspect the accidents they get in are at higher speeds and more likely to be life ending!)

It's important to note that the differences between men and women in 2010 are quite a bit understated in comparison to the past. Women were much more conservative during 2010 than in the past:


“Whereas the gender gap played a major role in 2008 with women voting for Democrats 56 percent of the time compared to Republicans 42 percent of the time, in 2010 the split was 49-48 percent for Democrats to Republicans.”

However, even though women overall vote liberal more often than men, it’s very interesting to note that in 2010 white women voted conservative by a healthy 57/40 margin (although like I said, in the past women voted liberal more often, so white women probably had a different track history also).

So the question I have is this: since women vote differently than men, do women vote more illogically?

Well, you’d have to define the word "illogically". 

I would argue that one correct measure (although not the best measure) of whether someone votes illogically is whether he or she votes liberal. But it’s important to note that I don’t think all liberal votes are made illogically, and I don’t think all conservative votes are made logically. I simply mean that I think that there are more illogical voters among liberals than among conservatives, because I think that evidence is overwhelming that there are more liberal policies than conservative policies that are illogical.

The idea here isn’t to completely determine what’s illogical.  That’s a complex argument.  I simply want to determine why women vote differently than men, and to examine my thesis that women are less likely to vote logically than men, by a margin of about 5 to 10 points.  Here, I will define logic as voting in the best interests of society overall (although women might believe they are voting for the best interests of society, what they support might not actually be in the best interests of society).

So, what accounts for the voting differences?

Well, their genetic makeup (compared to men) involves more searching for consensus and reaching out to individuals to foster group harmony (this is probably evident by the common example: When a woman is in a bad mood she often wants to hear supportive words, not a solution).

I just read a good book showing brain scan differences between men and women, titled "Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business". It argues that evolutionarily, women are hard wired that way. And women’s method of thinking probably provides them (and many others, including offspring) with a lot of benefits in life (including reducing conflict through consensus).

But I simply think that the same method of thinking likely tends to lessen the odds that they end up voting for policies that are the most ideal for society overall. Again, there are many men that vote in a manner that’s not in the best interest of society either, but there is a gender difference.  I don’t like the fact that I feel the need to emphasize that there are also men that vote irrationally.  Readers shouldn’t feel that my comments about women imply that all men vote rationally, because nothing I’ve said implies that.  Unfortunately, in this politically correct world, people assume certain things for no good reason.

Remember when I earlier wrote that I think people with 160 IQs can often gasp the important concepts that people with 140 IQs can’t? Well, is it possible that there are fewer women with 160 IQs than men?

Yes. It's true that womens' average IQ is basically equal to mens'. But if you were to look at a bell curve distribution of womens' IQ scores, the curve may look different than mens'.  There may be fewer women at the very high and very low tails than there are men. Larry Summers publically stated as such, because he was trying to hypothesize as to why there are many more men occupying positions that involve extremely high intelligence levels (Nobel prize winners, the highest levels of science, etc.)

Now, as I said earlier, I don’t advocate allowing women not to vote, because you should define who the best voters are and then select both men and women from that group, no matter the ratios.

But what if one advocated letting men (and not women) vote? Someone might respond: Well, if Larry Summer was correct, there are more very smart men then there are very smart women, but there are also more very dumb men then there are very dumb women!  Wouldn’t the dumb men cancel out the advantage of the very smart men? Perhaps, but I don’t think that’s likely.

Why? Because it’s extremely high intelligence that I think is one of the traits ideal voters should have, and hence the difference in voting ability between

1) those with extremely high IQ and those without extremely high IQ

is likely greater than the difference between

2) Those with extremely low IQ and those with an IQ above that.

This is because those with low, average, and high IQs all tend to have large numbers of people who vote illogically. I suspect that it's not until you examine the voting record of those with extremely high IQs (160+ or 180+) that you will tend to see large percentages of voters who vote logically.

If it’s true that women have fewer members that score at the extremes of the IQ scales, why is that? I wonder aloud simply to provide information, this is obviously not crucial to my article’s point.

Well, I posit that such distribution of intelligence has, evolutionarily, provided them with a greater advantage.  Why? Well, if Larry Summers (and the anecdotal evidence) is correct about there being a different bell curve for women, the distribution means that more women’s IQ scores are clustered towards the average. This means, by definition, more women’s IQ scores are closer to each other, and hence when one woman meets another woman, they are less likely to have as large an IQ difference between them (versus a man meeting another man).

Why is this important? Well, if you agree that people are more likely to understand each other the closer their IQs are, this would mean women are more likely to understand (and perhaps get along with) other women.  This might have been important for them evolutionarily, in terms of being able to meet friends that help with typically female tasks of child rearing, social networks, etc.

So, evolution might have caused any bell curve distributions that may exist.

As I mentioned earlier, women’s genetic makeup versus men apparently involves searching for more consensus and reaching out to individuals to foster group harmony.

This might be reflected in their tendency to vote liberal, because liberals often claim (claim being the operative word!) to have the interests of minority groups in mind.  By voting liberal, a woman might feel that she’s building consensus and harmony by trying to help the races get along, etc.…that line of thinking…but that same tendency might conflict with her ability to look at a situation as rationally as possible.  Because voting for something in order to build consensus or avoid conflict doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the wisest decision overall.

Envision a bell curve distribution of womens' tendency to build consensus. And compare that to men.  My feeling is that women would have a distribution shaped more similarly to that of mens' IQ scores. There would be more women at the extreme tail ends.  And this would explain my reader’s comment that you see many more women moaning about “human rights”, “illegal wars”, etc, more extreme and rarer steps. (I haven’t investigated that assumption, but I would think it’s likely true). Because there are more women that feel the need to consensus build.

If you compare two bell curves, a small rightward shift in one of those distributions results in a very large increase in the number of people at the right tail. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number of people at the 99.9th percentile increase by a large factor, perhaps five or tenfold.

So, if there are, say, ten times as many women as men that feel a very strong urge to consensus build, and if consensus building is related to protesting for human rights, against illegal wars etc., then it should not be surprising if there are many more women at these events than there are men.

One important thing to mention is this: Although I’m not familiar with the research, I think it’s fair to say that men are more likely to hire or promote a man than to promote or hire another women. Similarly, most groups would probably do the same, because people tend to favor those similar to them in some respect (although interestingly, I wouldn’t be surprised if women weren’t as biased in hiring, due to their search for consensus building. This is one of those examples in which their consensus building would provide a strong benefit to society, and might make them a better candidate for leadership).

Without knowing the research, I suspect that the most likely scenario that would result in women not being discriminated against is one in which men are so aware of the environment that they overcome the problem by intentionally hiring more women than they otherwise would.  That, along with the situations in which companies have gender policies that purposely encourage the hiring of women.

So, with this in mind, it’s possible that women tend to vote liberal more often because they feel that liberals are more likely to enact policies that will reduce discrimination against women. This could account for part of the gender gap in regard to voting liberal.  It’s important to note that even if it’s logical to vote liberal because liberals might reduce gender discrimination, by the same token voting liberal might results in society being harmed by other policies: liberal fiscal policies etc.  The question would then become: What’s more important, reducing gender discrimination that affects x percentage of women, versus selecting better overall policies that affect larger percentages of society?

This is not to suggest that most men intentionally discriminate against women.  It’s simply logic: Among a group of 100 men, you will probably find enough men that will discriminate enough to shift the hiring patterns.  And I would think that the same pattern would likely be found among other groups: blacks, blue collar workers, white collar, friendly people, etc.  They tend to favor their own.

One interesting thing to note is this: About the men that vote illogically...do illogical male voters tend to vote illogically for the same reasons illogical women do?  Do men vote illogically simply because they are also attempting to consensus build instead of concentrating on making the best choice?

No, some men might be voting illogically for other reasons.  When they do vote illogically (which may be less often than women do), men might have a tendency to do the reverse of women, to vote in their own interest, rather than search for consensus.  I argue that perhaps both tendencies are equally wrong when they are at the expense of making the best choice for society overall.

And I anticipate I will get some reaction regarding the rationality of voting.  I’ve explored rationality elsewhere on this site, but I will say this: Voting for someone that helps you in the short run isn’t necessarily the most rational decision.  Because, for example, if you are middle class and you vote for someone that will take money from the rich to give to the middle class, that might help you short term, but will likely hurt you long term, when that same rich person has less money to spend to hire the middle class, or to shop at their stores, or to pay in taxes. 

However, I’m not going to be rigid and assume that in every single case it’s best to vote for the interests of society overall instead of what’s best for yourself.  Feedback on this would be appreciated.

So when I mention it’s very important for extremely high intelligence to be a trait of the ideal voter, I’m thinking of situations like the one two paragraphs above.  Being able to project all the externalities related to the effects of a vote, not just the short, medium term, and the immediate long run.

So I hope I’ve convinced you that further investigation should be pursued to determine whether society would be better off by selecting certain people to vote for the outcome best for ALL of us. This would certainly be a decision of profound magnitude, and it shouldn’t be made easily, it would require a lot of research and discussion.

Now, those ideal voters may tend to include more men (with extremely high IQs), or they may tend to include more women (who have more emotional awareness), or those two traits might offset each other and result in equal proportions of men and women.

I hope someone pursues this line of research.
Is anyone else surprised by how genuinely Obama, at times, seems to want to end terrorism?

Let's review a bit of his history in this regard:

1) Soon after Obama took office, reports suggested that the number of US drone attacks on terrorists in Pakistan increased noticeably.

2) Recently Obama went public with the declaration that Pakistan was slow in fighting terror:


I'm surprised at his attempts to stop terrorism because he has demonstrated a clear history of anti-US behavior, and I'm shocked that he would suddenly demonstrate pro-US behavior by going out of his way to promote the fight against terrorism.

Some of his anti-US behavior is outlined here:


Other anti-US behavior is reflected in his fiscal policy actions, which are often illogical (I have yet to write about his actions expansively.  I don't want this site to be perceived as one that is primarily conservative and anti-Obama).  Part of the reason I assume his fiscal policy actions are motivated by anti-US behavior is because they are illogical, and he seems smart enough to be able to figure that out.

Should I begin to more fully consider that Obama might actually be pro-US?  Well, if that's the case, it could mean that he's either incapable of determining that his fiscal policy actions are illogical (or, he is capable of determining that, yet chooses to be illogical and biased by choosing policies that disproportionately damage large percentages of people while simultaneously benefiting small percentages of people). However, to be fair, there are many people who are intelligent and illogically biased.  However, they are not fit to be President!

However, there are some explanations that could account for his anti-terrorist actions and still not contradict the idea that he is anti-US:

1)Perhaps Obama feels that attacking terrorism in foreign countries is more of a benefit to foreigners than to Americans.  After all, the chance of a terrorist attack being committed in the USA is still very small, and the chance of an attack in a foreign country like Pakistan is much, much higher.

2)Perhaps Obama feels kinship to Muslims (and foreigners) and wants to eliminate the fact that some foreigners and Muslims are more likely to engage in terrorism, which results in a negative perception of some foreigners and Muslims.  This is plausible, given Obama's residence in Indonesia, and very plausible given that there is evidence that suggests that Obama was a Muslim as a child (a book has printed his school identification card, which lists his religion as "Muslim").

It is very surprising to see Obama go out of his way to fight terrorism in some respects.  However, it should also be pointed out that there have been credible reports that he and his administration (as well as associates they have been exposed to) have had connections with terrorists and/or suspected terrorist related sympathizers.  But that's fodder for another post.
A reader asked for my views on climate change and the environment.

Of course, there is a need to determine the cause of any climate change that may exist.

But this is clear: such a need is important mainly to determine whether mankind is in danger, and if so, to determine what environmental steps should be taken.

What is not emphasized enough is this: it is likely beneficial to phase some environmentally friendly solutions into everyday life regardless of whether mankind is threatened.

Why? Well, it's a simple weighing of benefits versus the costs.

There seems to be widespread agreement that some environmentally friendly solutions are, in the long run, cheaper.  And of course, by using some environmentally friendly solutions, you don't consume alternative limited resources.

An example would be placing solar panels on a home's roof in order to generate electricity.  The start up cost is high, but you tend to save money in the long run.  And you reduce the level of demand on the electricity grid, reducing the chances of a blackout occurring.  Depending on the altered supply/demand equation, it's possible electricity prices would also decrease. (However, if electricity prices would be otherwise projected to rise by a large enough amount, that's something that should be factored into the scale of the rollout of solar panel implementation).

The environmental issue is one of the few traditionally liberal issues for which I find supporting logic.

As for those that deny climate change is man-made, before I get into examining climate change, I will say this: I suspect sizable numbers of those people could care less what the evidence demonstrates.  I suspect many are connected to the non-renewable energy industry and don't want to see their profits reduced as energy use switches from non-renewable to renewable sources.

On the other hand, I suspect that sizable numbers of people in the environmentally friendly camp may fall into the environmentally friendly camp not so much out of concern for the environment, but as a result of anger against capitalist businesses.

So, is climate change man-made? Well, I am not knowledgeable enough about the subject to offer a fully developed opinion, because I haven't spent adequate time researching the complicated subject.

In order for a non-expert to answer a question that relies on examination of countless sources of evidence from around the world, one might start by looking at expert scientific opinions.

Unfortunately, unless you plan on looking at the journal articles yourselves, you'd have to rely on excerpts and self-selections by the mainstream media, which tend to be left wing and have an agenda that does not deem it important to provide the truth.

Even worse, even scientific organizations themselves seem to have been affected by pressure to present a certain viewpoint, regardless of what the science says!

If I remember correctly, during the 1990s the American Psychological Association created some type of task force to summarize intelligence-related research. I remember that their official findings seemed to contradict much science, and many scientists were outraged.

Look at what’s happening with environmental issues:


“US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'”

An Emeritus Professor resigned from the American Physical Society and stated:

“It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare.”

If I hadn’t read this article, I probably would’ve assumed man’s activities were the main cause of global warming.  But perhaps one shouldn’t assume the validity of the media’s (and even the scientific community’s) presentations.  The above link would provide me with enough pause to want to investigate further, as would the fact that a judge ruled that Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” movie included nine significant errors (and yet still won an Oscar!):


All I’m saying is that in this type of environment, with misinformation common, it can become hard to know what to believe unless you examine the evidence in great detail yourself.

Continued in Part Two here:

Continued from Part One


So, although I can’t offer a fully developed opinion, I will offer a strong opinion.

Without knowing to what extent, if any, climate change results from man-made factors, wouldn’t it be prudent to become more environmentally friendly anyway, in order to limit the chance that man-made factors don’t increase or expand and influence climate change in the future?

Although I might not know to what extent any existing climate change might result from man’s activities, I think I can safely say this:

Man likely is one of the causes of climate change.

Why? Well, I could be wrong, but I’ve never read anyone disagree that the following points are true:

  • The earth’s temperature has risen dramatically over the years.
  • The level of carbon dioxide has risen dramatically over the past several decades.
  • Carbon dioxide warms the earth, and therefore increased levels of carbon dioxide increase warming.
  • Man's activities have increased carbon dioxide over the past several decades.
(Perhaps these points are rarely, if ever, challenged, because there are relatively few ways in which to challenge them.  The points involve the simple recording of measurements and observation of the effects of carbon dioxide.  Perhaps if it were possible to plausibly challenge these views we’d see the current debates extended to these points).

So, if carbon dioxide warms the planet, and if the level of carbon dioxide has risen dramatically over the decades, how could man not be contributing to global warming?

I would say that the question in the media should likely become: How much of the global warming is due to man? Instead of the question leaning towards:Is any of it is due to man? (Assuming that carbon dioxide warms, and has been increasing due to man's activities, the only manner in which man, overall, couldn’t be at all contributing to global warming is if man is unknowingly engaged in other activities that actually reduce global warming enough to offset the warming from the carbon dioxide.  This is possible, although I’ve never heard anyone suggest this).

Now, I’ve already mentioned that even if climate change is not primarily a result of man’s activities, at least some environmentally friendly measures should be implemented for these reasons:

1) If benefits outweigh the costs, as described at the start of this article.

2) The prudence of limiting the chance those man-made factors will expand and influence climate change in the future.

I will now add a third reason why environmentally friendly policies should be considered for implementation:

Even if man’s activities cause only a small portion of global warming (say, 0.2 percentage points out of a 2.0% annual rise in earth’s temperature), eventually that contribution will eventually be enough to trigger environmental disaster (if you assume, of course, that indefinite increases in temperature lead to a point at which the temperature will become so warm that disasters will occur.  I don’t see how this could not be the case).

An example: Let’s say that disaster will occur if the earth warms 2.0% one given year.  Let’s say the earth warms 1.8% due to non man-made factors, and 0.2% due to man-made factors.  Without the man-made warming, the earth would’ve warmed 1.8% that year and not be hit with a disaster (that quickly, anyway). In that case, if man hadn’t been a partial cause of global warming, the earth wouldn’t have tipped into disaster that year.

Think about this.  If man is annually contributing to 0.2 percentage points out of, say, 1.5 percentage points of global warming, then over a 20-year span man has contributed to 4.0 percentage points.  It adds up!

And if those extra 4.0 percentage points accelerate warming by two years and mean that mankind suffers disasters two years sooner than it otherwise would…

It might very well turn out that those two years were the extra two years mankind was counting on to reverse the global warming trend, as they race against the clock.  But they simply ran out of time.