Fix Features

Buzz

Mrs. Christ? Scholars at several elite universities have come forward to validate the ancient age of a document that seems to claim Jesus had a wife. Meanwhile, others say the document is a clear case of forgery.

The New York Times reports:

The “Jesus’s Wife” papyrus was analyzed at Columbia University using micro-Raman spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of the ink. James T. Yardley, a professor of electrical engineering, said in an interview that the carbon black ink on this fragment was “perfectly consistent with another 35 or 40 manuscripts that we’ve looked at,” that date from 400 B.C. to A.D. 700 or 800.

Critics say the document is phony. And even the carbon dating has been inconclusive. A team of researchers at the University of Arizaon dated the document to centuries before Christ, a result that team dismissed as erroneous. Others say the lettering and grammar are highly suspicious:

Dr. Depuydt, [an] Egyptologist at Brown University, said that testing the fragment was irrelevant and that he saw “no need to inspect it.” He said he decided based on the first newspaper photograph that the fragment was forged because it contained “gross grammatical errors,” and each word in it matched writing in the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian text discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. “It couldn’t possibly be coincidence,” he said.

Read the full story here.

{ 0 comments }

Eric Owens reports this bizarre bit of news for The Daily Caller:

The Satanic Temple has officially declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” in an effort to eradicate corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms across the country.

In a press release obtained by The Daily Caller, the group of epicurean lovers of the Prince of Darkness officially announced its Protect Children Project. The campaign seeks to persuade students to register at the Satanic Temple website so that Satanic leaders can inform school boards that the students oppose the use of corporal punishment, physical restraints and isolation rooms…

Read more.

(Image: smilingdavinci.flickr)

{ 1 comment }

Our friend, Katherine Timpf, of Campus Reform reports on the latest money-wasting junk study to come out of our universities:

A New York university has released the results of its study which aimed to find the most popular grooming trends of pubic hair among different genders and orientations.

“PUBIC HAIR: To Trim or Not to Trim” is the first report in a larger study called “”How We Date, Have Sex, and Form Relationships Today” from Pace University Psychology Professor Tyrel Starks…

“Research suggests that what we do (or don’t do) with our body hair really does matter to those whom we are so trying to attract,” Starks wrote in an article on Huffington Post Gay Voices

Read the full story here.

(Image: davecobb.Flickr)

{ 1 comment }

Yes, intelligence tests like the SAT and the IQ test really do measure something substantial and consequential, argue David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris in a new article for Slate.

The SAT does predict success in college—not perfectly, but relatively well, especially given that it takes just a few hours to administer. And, unlike a “complex portrait” of a student’s life, it can be scored in an objective way. (In a recent New York Times op-ed, the University of New Hampshire psychologist John D. Mayer aptly described the SAT’s validity as an “astonishing achievement.”) In a study published in Psychological Science, University of Minnesota researchers Paul Sackett, Nathan Kuncel, and their colleagues investigated the relationship between SAT scores and college grades in a very large sample: nearly 150,000 students from 110 colleges and universities. SAT scores predicted first-year college GPA about as well as high school grades did, and the best prediction was achieved by considering both factors. Botstein, Boylan, and Kolbert are either unaware of this directly relevant, easily accessible, and widely disseminated empirical evidence, or they have decided to ignore it and base their claims on intuition and anecdote—or perhaps on their beliefs about the way the world should be rather than the way it is…

Read the full story.

What do you think? Are intelligence tests unfairly criticized for reasons of political correctness? Or are some of the common criticisms justified?

{ 0 comments }

On the heels of UNC-Wilmington Professor Mike Adams earning a victory in court after he was discriminated against because of his conservative beliefs comes another court win for free speech, this time for a paramedics instructor at Antelope Valley College who was charged with being insensitive to Wiccan beliefs.

Veteran paramedic and tenured instructor Lance Hodge settled his lawsuit against the college after a recent ruling in the educator’s favor prompted administrators to think twice about a jury trial, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education announced Monday.

Here’s the backstory, according to FIRE:

Hodge has taught courses in Emergency Medical Technology at AVC for over two decades. In an attempt to prepare students for the challenges that await beyond the classroom, Hodge’s lectures include discussions of his experiences from the more than 15,000 emergency calls he has responded to in his 30-year career.

In an April 2010 class attended by Dean of Health Sciences Karen Cowell, Hodge advised students they might encounter “witch stuff” in the field. Hodge described “weird” cultural practices that he had responded to as an EMT, including the placing of heated coins on an individual’s body and the ingestion of a woman’s placenta after childbirth.

Cowell characterized these remarks as “inappropriate and disrespectful to the cultural beliefs of patients” and determined that his “sensitivity to diversity” required “improvement.” AVC required Hodge to write a paper on “discrimination” and to prepare a lesson plan for “a one-hour class on cultural diversity.”

Hodge’s 27-page paper was accepted, but his lesson plan, titled “Political correctness vs. the real world: The EMT and professionalism in the face of offensive language or behavior and our understanding of stereotyping and prejudice,” was rejected. Shane Turner, AVC’s Vice President of Human Resources, informed Hodge that he would face “disciplinary action” if he delivered the lesson plan.

Fast forward to today, and the college settled the lawsuit, agreeing to pay half his legal fees and allowing him to remain a tenured faculty member, FIRE reports.

The decision came after a February court ruling in which U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez declared that Hodge’s “interest in training future EMTs to perform safely and effectively when responding to emergency calls in the community … override[s] [the college’s) interest in regulating his speech.”

“It should be very clear by now that administrators who attempt to muzzle the speech of instructors will not be tolerated by the courts,” Hodge said in a statement. “Cases like this will make it more costly in the future for institutions who are slow learners when it comes to the First Amendment.”

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Smiling DaVinci/Flickr

{ 11 comments }

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Florida Carry, a Second Amendment organization, filed suit against the University of Florida in January over its firearms policy, arguing the regulations were unconstitutional.

The Florida Alligatorreported Sunday that the university has filed a motion to dismiss the case.

A state court of appeals ruled in December in response to a challenge of a university ban on storing guns in vehicles that the state legislature’s power to regulate firearms trumped universities and local government…

Read the full story here.

(Image: Joshuashearn.WikimediaCommons)

{ 0 comments }