I have previously written about bed-sharing with an infant, in the terms of it being strange to people and explaining why I disagree with that point of view; however I plan to discuss its safety here. I not too long ago was involved in a discussion where the end result was talking with someone against bed-sharing no matter what.
I find bed-sharing a really bizarre thing to fight against. I understand that many of the people arguing against it are people who have lost a child in a bed-sharing circumstance. A lot are also against it because they are involved in determining how the death occurred. The problem with the arguments of all these people is they are truly arguing against unsafe sleeping.
There is absolutely no evidence to show that bed-sharing is inherently dangerous. There is evidence that shows there are definite benefits to it, a little more on this later. The problem is finding out the negatives and attempting to have them removed from the situation. The problem with these anti-bed-sharing advocates is that they are stopping a proper dialogue from happening. They are working on stamping out something that lots of parents do, rather than working to educate parents on safe ways to bed-share.
When we went to our pre-natal class they explained the birthing process fairly well and talked about other moderately useful things. They did talk about SIDS, but what they discussed wasn’t anything that you wouldn’t have heard if you read the newspaper regularly. I don’t understand why there was no discussion on bed-sharing or other forms of co-sleeping. I believe they should be discussing with new parents that many experts argue against bed-sharing but if you feel you have no other option, here is the safest way to perform bed-sharing. Education is more important than telling people not to do something they are most likely to give into doing.
Now onto what I believe should be taught, in terms of safe bed-sharing:
- Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
- Do not use sheets, blankets or quilts and make sure the fitted sheets aren’t loose.
- Keep pillows well away from your child.
- Do not consume ANY drugs.
- Only sleep on a mattressed bed, never on a water bed, sofa, armchair, etc…
- Do not place anything (including a wall) next to the side of the bed your child is sleeping on.
- Place your child on their back.
- Have long hair, tie it out the way.
- Morbidly obese… don’t do it.
- Tobacco smokers should also avoid bed-sharing.
This is just an example of what should be included in the teaching but if you follow this your child will be much safer.
In the media when they are talking about this subject they are very much on the side of the experts. It doesn’t appear to be a critical look at what is actually happening. Experts announce it is dangerous to bed-share no matter what, without giving any explanation. Often the explanation are pathetic and like on The Project tonight (12/03/2012) they make outrageous statements like, “You wouldn’t put your child into a car with out strapping them in.” Straw man, anyone?
Another problem with the experts opinion is that it goes against evidence. Like this paper that finds Mother-infant bed sharing promotes infant arousals. This one finds there was no significant relation between routine bed sharing and the sudden infant death syndrome. This is just a couple of examples. I have read more when I originally started writing this a few months ago but I didn’t take note of them. I found it very difficult to find good evidence against bed-sharing in my searching.
If you are at wits end with your child and you feel that feeding them to sleep in your bed is the only thing you can do, make sure you do it as safely as possible.
I, for the life of me, can not understand how any atheist could possible accept the Jesus of the Bible as an actual person. I have heard in the past people state that he did exist but he was just a preacher or ordinary man. I guess that is acceptable, but then why would you make a religion around him?
There is an interesting video by David Fitzgerald that gives a short take of a book he wrote about the historicity of Jesus. It is a short talk and therefore has a lot of inconsistencies but I hope the book would clear a lot of that up. I intend on reading it as soon as I get the chance.
As stated by David in that video, a big problem is the lack of documentation by people who would have been very interested in writing about Jesus. There were authors that had a massive interest in everything to do about Jesus at the time of his “apparent” life time, yet other works of theirs survived but absolutely nothing to do with Jesus did. Why?
A claim made by many people, when stating to them that Jesus most likely did not exist, is that there is as much evidence for Alexander the Great (or other historical persons) existing as Jesus. That is simply not true. There might be similar amounts of documentation, but there is archaeological evidence from his lifetime that go much further to confirm his existence than anything to do with Jesus.
I also have a big problem with using the New Testament as evidence. There is no way an historian would use the Alexander romance as evidence except in minor ways. From my understanding there is not any other person, who is accepted as existing historically, that has as much supernatural happenings as surrounds the story of Jesus in the Bible. Would you believe Alexander the Great actually existed if the majority of stories and historical documents about him contained all sorts of supernatural occurrences? No? Then why believe that Jesus actually existed as a man?
I asked a Dr. Tim McGrew (this might be him) whether he knew of any other book with as many miracles and supernatural, as the New Testament contains, that is accepted as containing historical facts? His response was the Old Testament. I asked whether there was any other book that was not a one about the Abrahamic religions and his response was that he didn’t know of any. You can read through the comments yourself by clicking this link.
I also have a big problem with McGrew; in the fact that he holds strong Christian beliefs. For him to evaluate the evidence critically would be very difficult (as with many other historians with strong religious beliefs). Even in the discussion I had with him he said, “I think the public historical evidence for the resurrection is excellent, and I think that vindicates His claim to be the Son of God.” Even if there is public historical evidence for the resurrection of any man, why would you believe it? It is completely against reason; no person has or ever will rise from the dead after 3 days. Maybe in the future with modern medicine we might be able to achieve that feat but other than that it is complete nonsense.
There is also an interesting paragraph on the Wikipedia article for the Christ myth theory that fits with what I am saying:
Donald Akenson, Professor of Irish Studies in the department of history at Queen’s University has argued that, with very few exceptions, the historians of Yeshua have not followed sound historical practices. He has stated that there is an unhealthy reliance on consensus, for propositions, which should otherwise be based on primary sources, or rigorous interpretation. He also holds that some of the criteria being used are faulty. He says that, the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. Because of this, more than any other group in present day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work. It is only through considerable individual heroism, that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.
I know this is an argument that can’t be won either way, unless they find Jesus’ diary. There is no way to say without a doubt that Jesus of the Bible never existed, but I will say that it is highly unlikely that he did. If he did exist, he definitely did not perform any miracles or rise from the dead.
This seems to be a fairly common belief. Beware chemicals, they are dangerous no matter the quantity. I’m not entirely sure if the people that think this actually mean harsh chemicals. My usual response to people making claims about the dangers of chemicals is: “Beware the chemical known as H2O.”
This all comes about after I trolled an anti-fluoride page on Facebook. I criticised some of the links they were posting and received an onslaught of arguments. Some of their arguments may have been worthwhile if they weren’t posting links to anti-fluoride propaganda websites. I requested information from sites not affiliated with their beliefs and they were unable to produce any. They kept saying that the information they posted was written by doctors, so it must be true. That only made me think of Dr. Oz.
This lead me to research into the moderation of fluoride in municipal water supplies more than I wanted to. I used a good research tool by the name of Google Scholar rather than reading through those wonderful articles supplied to me. No matter how hard I looked I could not find any scientific papers that supported any of their claims.
The papers I found almost always have the same results, especially when the subjects they were using were school children. The common finding was that in areas with higher concentration (within the recommended levels) of fluoride, they found that the children had less caries (cavities). They also found that more of the children in these areas also had higher rates of dental fluorosis, although it was still at a rate of very low concern. Yes, it does increase dental fluorosis but it is of absolutely no concern as it is mostly superficial.
We know for a fact that too much fluoride is bad, especially for young children. If you have too much fluoride you can end up with severe skeletal fluorosis, if you want to see how bad this can be just do an image search online. These things are something that we don’t have to worry about when looking at fluoridation of municipal water supplies, since it is a moderation (add or remove fluoride as necessary) of fluoride and not always addition.
In trolling this anti-fluoride page I have helped build my knowledge of the subject. I have found that there is very little to be concerned about and that there are possibly ethical as opposed to medical implications to worry about. Is it ethical for governments to add something like fluoride to water supplies? This also begs the question of whether it is ethical for them to remove fluoride from the water when it’s content is above recommended levels.
Now enough of the fluoride argument as I was planning on looking at why people have an irrational fear/concern about chemicals (harsh ones). This is when I use the argumentum ad ignorantiam, some people may think this is a bad thing to do but I think it works quite well here. In regards to many of the products that people are concerned about there is usually no evidence to show an increase in any of the illnesses/problems they claim since these products have been introduced. This includes things like aspartame (sweetener), fluoride, genetically modified foods, pesticides and vaccinations.
There is very little evidence that these things are harmful in the quantities consumed by most people in first world countries. There is absolutely no evidence to show that they have caused harm since being introduced; considering in the case of fluoride and aspartame, the quantity that is consumed is exceptionally high.
It always comes down to being sceptical and not allowing someone to persuade you simply by telling you something. Too many people don’t do this and we end up with this anti-science problem we have, especially when it come to anthropogenic climate change.