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About cacheman

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    Just some guy who wonders about stuff

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  1. cacheman

    Adoption: Elation/Depression

    The story you posted is touching, and sounds likely that the decisions were in the best long-term interest of the child. However, every scenario is unique. My wife was an unwed pregnant 15 year old and gave birth to our son at 16. At this point in my life, I can't imagine not having him in our life. We were able to raise him in a stable two parent household, and I believe that this scenario turned out to be in his best interest. On the other hand, my sister was given up for adoption by her birth mother, and was subsequently adopted by my parents. I believe the decisions made by all parties in that scenario worked out in the interest if the child as well. I think that decisions regarding the future of their children are profoundly difficult for mothers to make. There is no real way of knowing outcomes in advance, but my hope is that these types of decisions are made thoughtfully, taking into account all the different factors, first and foremost being the child's best interests.
  2. cacheman

    Statement on Book of Mormon geography

    Very true. There are a number of native grape species in north America. That's why I'm perplexed with Sorenson's claim (repeated by the Maxwell Institute, Fairmormon, Bom Central, etc.) His willingness to extrapolate well beyond the evidence doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his methodology.
  3. cacheman

    Statement on Book of Mormon geography

    I'm not familiar with the bulk of John Sorenson's work...... most of it is outside my areas of interest. However, I am a wild edible plant enthusiast, and was intrigued when I saw his claim that Vitis vinifera seeds, dated to the late pre-classic era, were found in Chiapas. In Mormon's Codes he says: "Our understanding of wine in ancient Mesoamerica was enhanced 30 years ago when Martínez M. excavated a site of Late Pre-Classic date (first centuries BC and AD) beside the Grijalva River in Chiapas (the location that is taken here to be the land of Zarahemla). There he carefully recovered and studied all traces of plant remains. He found seeds of Vitis vinifera, the wine grape known in Europe, from which he concluded that the fruit had been used to manufacture wine equivalent to that of the Old World." If true, this would be a big deal, so I looked into it further. In an earlier paper, co-authored with Johannessen, and to an academic, non-LDS audience, he lacked the certainty that is displayed in Mormon's Codex (John L. Sorenson and Carl L. Johannessen, “Scientific Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages” Sino-Platonic Papers, 133 (April 2004)). In this paper, Vitis vinifera is listed as one of the species in which evidence existed, but was not definitive. When reading the Vitis section in that paper, it appears clear why he lacked certainty. From his paper: "Martínez M. 1978, 14, 21. The site of his study is a few miles upstream from Santa Rosa, near Laguna Francesa, on the south bank of the Grijalva River, southern Mexico. He worked primarily on the contents of two bottle-shaped cavities (chultuns) filled with trash. Dated to the Proto-Classic period (200 BC to AD 200), i.e., the second half of Chiapas V through VII (ceramic periods). He used flotation to extract seed from excavated material. On 105ff is Cuadro No. 13, classification of vegetal remains. “Vitis, wild, called bejuco de agua (vid).” Under “Estimulantes” he gives: “Vitis. silvestre (wild), vino, fruto, fermentado ({assumed} fermented).” 121. Cites Miranda 1975–1976, I, 175–6, as reporting from field survey in Chiapas three species: V. bouraeana, or watervine; V. tiliifolia, also called watervine; and V. vinifera, or ‘vid europea.’ He also mentions V. labrusca, or ‘vid americana,’ leaving it unclear if he considered this a fourth species of grape. A rather good quality wine can be made from the juice (no species pinpointed). Vitis is wild and only slightly represented in our materials. 125. As indicated previously, utilizing the juice of the grape, pressed and fermented, he says that it is possible to produce a good quality wine. 176. Furthermore, the sap from the stem of the grape plant is fermented (today) to make a drink called ‘taberna.’" So, he's reporting that Martinez found seeds from a Vitis species called bejuco de agua. That commonly refers to Vitis tiliifolia, not V. vinifera. The V. sylvestre mentioned is actually not a proper taxonomical name, but has occasionally been used as a synonym for V. labrusca, a native north American wild grape. The only place where V. vinifera is mentioned in this passage is in the Miranda citation (which is a modern floristic survey post dating the known introduction of European grapes by centuries). It appears that he is really stretching to make the connection. From what I can tell, archaeobotanists and others who have cited the Martinez thesis, treat this as a description of wild grape. I'm not sure how Sorenson came to the conclusions that he did in the Sino-platonic paper. Then, in Mormon's Codex, he states it as fact. Did he re-read the thesis and uncover more evidence? It's difficult for me to believe that based on how he initially described his source (I would love to get a copy of the Martinez thesis, if anyone has it). I have to wonder how he came to the conclusion that V. vinifera was in Mexico in the late pre-classic period. This has me questioning his methodology, or at least his presentation of evidence.
  4. A few years back I filled out the paperwork to donate my body to a forensics body farm in my state. My panthiest leanings have contributed to my desire for a more natural recycling. In addition, they will pick up and transport my body free of charge, eliminating the financial stress around death for my wife and children. However, I'm also looking into the possibility of a natural (no coffin) burial in some woods on our farm, or being composted and used on the farm. At this point, my wife feels a little uneasy about the last option. It's nice to see that more options are being discussed again. There are a lot of us who have serous misgivings about burying embalmed bodies in sealed caskets.
  5. cacheman

    Herbal teas

    I typically use it in the mornings. I don't notice much stimulation from it, but simply a bit of added focus. Years ago I would occasionally have issues with hypoglycemia mid morning and ginseng appears to have helped control blood sugar. Keep in mind that I'm talking about American ginseng, not Asian ginseng. If your sleep troubles are anxiety related, you might want to check out magnolia bark teas. I like to combine magnolia bark with passionflower leaves to help with anxiety related sleep issues.
  6. cacheman

    Herbal teas

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned ginseng!
  7. cacheman

    Herbal teas

    I've had and enjoyed yerba mate, but my favorite of the American Ilex species is I. vomitoria (Yaupon). I like to lightly roast the leaves and then boil for 10-15 minutes. It tastes good (not bitter like tea) and provides mild stimulation and focus without any jitters. I wasn't familiar with the name chuchupate, but it looks like it's an alternate name for osha root which I enjoy as a remedy for gut issues. Since the vast majority of osha root is wild harvested, I now use lovage as a substitute. I am trying to establish a patch of osha here, but haven't had success yet. Another native (to my area) plant that I like as a tea is spicebush. Over the next couple months, I like to gather twigs and boil in maple water from tapped trees. Those on this thread that have mentioned enjoying allspice, ginger, and clove in their teas might like spicebush. It's a good, mildly sweet tea for cold and flu season.
  8. cacheman


    Hi Bluebell, It's not so much the label (I am, by definition, an apostate), but it's the character traits, moral failings, and satanic influence that the church attaches to the label. In the lessons about avoiding personal apostasy that were being taught around the time I left, descriptions of those who leave the church were all negative. There were no neutral or positive things mentioned. There was no indication that good, decent people could simply believe differently and choose a path that better reflects their personal beliefs. These types of lessons have the real ability to influence how family members, friends, ward members, etc. view those who leave. Lasting damage to relationships can be the result of this. It doesn't seem weird to me at all that someone might care about that particular label. -cacheman
  9. cacheman

    Red Heifer: Coming of the Messiah?

    it's true that in modern western society that people are largely removed from animal agriculture in general and from the slaughtering and processing of meat products. I don't think it's coincidental that as societal involvement in agriculture has drastically declined, that meat consumption has significantly increased.
  10. cacheman

    Red Heifer: Coming of the Messiah?

    Hi Stargazer, Interestingly enough, I am in agreement with what your faith teaches about meat consumption in the doctrine and covenants. I don't believe that people should be under a mandate to not eat meat, but I believe that it is wrong to eat meat when you don't need it. I'm also in agreement with your last statement regarding hunting. You mentioned priests eating portions of the sacrificed animal in Leviticus. But, isn't that just for sin offerings? I believe that in 'burnt offerings' it is mandated to burn the animal to ash. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the red heifer sacrifice is to be a burnt offering.
  11. cacheman

    Red Heifer: Coming of the Messiah?

    Not a fan of animal sacrifice. If God exists, I doubt he or she is anticipating the scientific breeding efforts including embryo transplantation, designed to create the 'perfect' animal which will then be slaughtered for him/her. I can't see the necessity. It seems to be a waste of life.
  12. cacheman

    D-News Reports 63,500 Missionaries Are Serving

    As a percentage of membership, it appears to be lower than pre-surge.
  13. There are a number of pharmaceutical companies investing significant resources in Cannabis research. You might have seen that a new Cannabis derived drug for a couple forms of epilepsy was just recently approved by the FDA. As far as cancer focused research, I've personally seen the effect of certain cannabinoids on cancer cells and mice. There are many studies showing similar results in tissue and animals. Of course, that doesn't always translate to similar efficacy in humans. But I believe there's a lot of potential there, and that optimism is shared by many researchers around the world. Here's some info on the potential of Cannabis from the National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq#link/_13 On the other hand, there are some pharmaceutical companies fighting against legalization. I think there's a lot of uncertainty in the industry as to how investing money into Cannabis research will affect their bottom line. There are some unique challenges in working with this plant. 1. There are serious legal and logistic obstacles in place that hinder human trials, even outside the US. 2. Any FDA approved Cannabis derived drug would face competition not only with currently approved drugs, but with the widely available and relatively inexpensive Cannabis products found in legal and non-legal states. This competition would take place in any era of increasing distrust towards the pharmaceutical industry. It's not surprising to me that some in the pharmaceutical industry are avoiding this plant or in some cases, spending huge amounts of money to fight against its legalization.
  14. Thanks for sharing. This is good news. The LDS church has made some significant efforts in combating suicide this year. I was impressed that one of the quorum of the twelve was serving on the governor's suicide prevention task force as well.
  15. cacheman

    Why Not Engage the Evidence for Historicity?

    LOL. By your definition, it is. In other words..... you believed that you were disparaging a belief system. But, I disagreed with your definition. From my reading, athiesm is described as a lack of belief in God or a belief that there is no God. Those definitions are also found in the wikipedia link that you provided.