Category Archives: Child Development

Baby Morality: A Case of Evolution vs. Creative Design?

This week, 60 Minutes will have a segment called The Baby Lab that will revisit the idea of Baby Morality.

Back in 2010, Dr. Paul Bloom wrote an article for the New York Times in which he discussed part of his work at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University.  He and his wife, along with researchers around the world had been looking into the “moral life of babies”

Why would anyone even entertain the thought of babies as moral beings? From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to Lawrence Kohlberg, psychologists have long argued that we begin life as amoral animals. One important task of society, particularly of parents, is to turn babies into civilized beings — social creatures who can experience empathy, guilt and shame; who can override selfish impulses in the name of higher principles; and who will respond with outrage to unfairness and injustice.

A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.

With what Dr. Bloom writes about and what 60 Minutes will be showing is that children already have a basic understanding of right and wrong when they are born.  Now I am sure there is much debate on what this means, but as a Christian I see it that basic morality does not have to be taught as it is part of our genetic makeup.  If we are instilled with knowing right from wrong, doesn’t that imply that the Bible is correct to some degree?

What are your thoughts?

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Inquiry Absolves Same-Sex Study Author in Texas

 By Anugrah Kumar , Christian Post Contributor

August 30, 2012|11:41 am

Officials of University of Texas at Austin said Wednesday that no formal investigation was needed into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged by a homosexual activist against a professor’s research study on the effects of same-sex relationships upon children.

“After consulting with a four-member advisory panel composed of senior university faculty members, the Office of the Vice President for Research concluded in a report on Aug. 24 that there is insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation,” the university announced in a statement Wednesday.

Scott Rose, a journalist from New York City and a pro-gay rights blogger, had made allegations about the study’s author, Professor Mark Regnerus, in numerous letters to the university, after which an inquiry was conducted. The study by Regenerus showed that children of gay parents were less likely to succeed.

“America’s universities should always serve as truth-seeking, free marketplaces of ideas,” David Hacker, senior legal counsel of the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Disagreeing with a study’s conclusions is not grounds for allegations of scientific misconduct; therefore, we are not surprised that those accusations were found to be baseless,” Hacker added. “This comprehensive, peer-reviewed research study consisted of leading scholars and researchers across disciplines and ideological lines in a spirit of civility and reasoned inquiry. We agree with the UT-Austin inquiry’s conclusion that the academy is the appropriate place for debate about this study.”

A memorandum issued by the university, which states the inquiry’s findings, said, “Professor Regnerus did not commit scientific misconduct when designing, executing, and reporting the research reported in the Social Science Research article. None of the allegations of scientific misconduct put forth by Mr. Rose were substantiated either by the physical data, written materials, or by information provided during the interviews. Several of the allegations were beyond the purview of the inquiry.”

Scientific misconduct, as defined by the university, is: “fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, and other practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for proposing, conducting, or reporting research are unacceptable and in some cases may constitute scientific misconduct.”

The university noted that Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on “a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large.” It also said it expects the scholarly community will “continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and supports such discussion.”

Regnerus’ study was published in the July issue of Social Science Research. It concludes that the children of parents who had same-sex relationships have more emotional and social problems than children of heterosexual parents with intact marriages.

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