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Religious Observations

The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported. Titles by Richard Dawkins, Alan Moorehead, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levontin and James Watson are all included in the list of books that will no longer be available to Turkish readers:

http://tinyurl.com/c7b38nj

Every year an unknown number of children - most of them disabled in some way - are murdered in northern Ghana because of the belief that they are in some way possessed by evil spirits set on bringing ill fortune to those around them. The practice is the consequence of ancient traditions and customs and is shaped by poverty and ignorance in remote and often marginalised communities. But it is still infanticide and no less horrifying than the killing of children anywhere. For years NGOs and the Ghanaian authorities have tried advocacy and education in an attempt to eradicate the practice but with only marginal success. Well into the 21st century, Ghana’s so called spirit children are still being killed because they carry the blame for the misfortunes of everyday life:

http://tinyurl.com/bxg8zeg

Millions of children in Indonesian elementary schools may no longer have separate science classes starting in June, the beginning of their next school year, if the government approves a curriculum overhaul that would merge science and social studies with other classes so more time can be devoted to religious education.... Officials who back the changes say that more religious instruction is needed because a lack of moral development has led to an increase in violence and vandalism among youths, and that could fuel social unrest and corruption in the future:

http://tinyurl.com/bhqcrz4

A popular Indian spiritual guru sparked a backlash Tuesday after saying a 23-year-old student could have averted a murderous gang-rape by begging for mercy from her attackers. Self-styled godman Asharam, known to his followers as 'Bapu' or father, told his devotees: 'This tragedy would not have happened if she had chanted God’s name and fallen at the feet of the attackers. The error was not committed by just one side,' he said:

http://tinyurl.com/byo3ggc

Being spiritual may give life deeper meaning but it can also mess up your mind, research suggests. A study found that people professing to be spiritual, but not conventionally religious, were more likely to suffer from a host of mental challenges. Their demons included abnormal eating conditions, drug abuse, anxiety disorder, phobias and neurosis. They were also more likely than others to be taking medication for mental health problems:

http://tinyurl.com/bz2fndh