Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All Around the Web - July 23, 2013

The Guardian - IVF baby born using revolutionary genetic-screening process |

The first IVF baby to be screened using a procedure that can read every letter of the human genome has been born in the US.

Connor Levy was born on 18 May after a Philadelphia couple had cells from their IVF embryos sent to specialists in Oxford, who checked them for genetic abnormalities. The process helped doctors at the couple's fertility clinic in the US select embryos with the right number of chromosomes. These have a much higher chance of leading to a healthy baby.

The birth demonstrates how next-generation sequencing (NGS), which was developed to read whole genomes quickly and cheaply, is poised to transform the selection of embryos in IVF clinics. Though scientists only looked at chromosomes – the structures that hold genes – on this occasion, the falling cost of whole genome sequencing means doctors could soon read all the DNA of IVF embryos before choosing which to implant in the mother.

If doctors had a readout of an embryo's whole genome, they could judge the chances of the child developing certain diseases, such as cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer's.


Thom Rainer - How Many Hours Does a Pastor Work Each Week? |

Here are the results of the two polls:


 2013 Twitter Poll (Full-time Pastors)  2008 LifeWay Research Poll (Part-Time & Full-Time Pastors)
Less than 40 hours 3% 16%
40-49 hours 47% 19%
50-59 hours 40% 30%
60-69 hours 7% 27%
70 hours or more 3% 8%
Here are some of my observations:

  • The two polls cannot be compared directly. One includes fulltime pastors only. The other includes both fulltime and part-time pastors. Also, the LifeWay Research poll of 2008 is scientifically validated, and is thus much more likely to be accurate.
  • Surprisingly, the median workweek for pastors is the same in both surveys: 50 hours. That means the average workweek is greater than 50 hours for half of the pastors, and less than 50 hours for half of the pastors.
  • Some pastors indicated their workweek hours but excluded sermon preparation time. They were not included in the survey.
  • I strongly suspect that the 16% of pastors who worked less than 40 hours a week in the 2008 survey were part-time pastors. There aren’t many fulltime vocational pastors working less than 40 hours.
  • Most pastors have trouble estimating their average workweek because each week is so unpredictable. The nature of a pastor’s job is on-call 24/7.
  • One respondent had an interesting take on a pastor’s workweek. He said that pastors should be expected to work 40 hours plus the amount of time a committed member gives to the church. He estimates a committed member will give at least 8 hours a week, so the typical workweek should be 48 hours (40+8). That number is very close to the median workweek of all pastors.

Real Clear Politics - George W. And Laura Bush Talk Immigration, Gay Marriage, Obama On "This Week" |




Via Emmaus - Hyper-Calvinism is Not Calvinism |

Hyper-Calvinism is not the same as an excited Calvinist. Too often these two things are confused and it takes a bit of time to explain the difference.
On that note, Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church (Cape Coral, FL) , has written a helpful piece on the difference between soteriological Calvinism (i.e., Calvinism as it relates to the doctrine of salvation) and hyper-Calvinism. He makes the clarification based on the recent and lamentable confusion by President of Louisiana College, Joe Aguillard, at the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston (see the video here).

Ascol makes the interesting and important point that hyper-Calvinists and Arminians are closer in theology than they might perceive themselves to be. He describes how Arminians and hyper-Calvinists both demand that man’s responsibility is coextensive with his ability.  In other words, if a man can’t than he doesn’t have to

Telegraph - Osama bin Laden was stopped for speeding in car while on run in Pakistan, report reveals |

The extraordinary revelation is made by Pakistan’s official investigation, obtained last night by Al Jazeera, into how bin Laden managed to live undetected in the country for almost a decade.

In its report, the Abbottabad Commission concluded that Pakistan’s military and government missed numerous opportunities to close in on the world’s most wanted man.

They may have come closest when the al-Qaeda leader was living in the Swat Valley during 2002 and 2003. 
According to the testimony of Maryam, the wife of Ibrahim al-Kuwaiti, on bin Laden’s two trusted bodyguards, they would make occasional visits to the local bazaar.


Even if your not a baseball fan, this throw from third base is pretty impressive.

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