Eleanor Sterling, chief conservation scientist at the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC), has received two prestigious awards for her lifetime commitment to conservation action.

The Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has awarded Sterling with a Wilbur Cross Medal, the school’s highest honor for alumni. Sterling was selected for her “enormous impact in spheres ranging from the communication of conservation science to the public to front line research on endangered species and ecosystems around the planet.”

Sterling received a B.A. degree from Yale in 1983, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology and forestry and environmental studies from the school 10 years later.

In addition, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) selected Sterling as the co-recipient of the inaugural Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy award for Meritorious Research in recognition of her “outstanding and inspirational research over a career specializing in the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration, bridging science and social science, research and practice in the pursuit of beneficial, equitable and just forms of biodiversity conservation.”

Read more about these awards on the blog. 

“Just give it up for adoption!”

Whenever the topic of abortion comes up in my conservative Christian community, the inevitable response is, “Why don’t they just give it up for adoption?” I was raised with a halcyon vision of adoption being the most beautiful miracle that could emerge from an unintended pregnancy. Newborn adoption can be a wonderful blessing for many people. It is not, however, the perfect alternative to abortion that I had believed it was.

  • First, pregnant people overwhelmingly reject adoption. In the US in 1989, less than 2% of single white pregnant people and practically 0% of single black pregnant people placed their children for adoption. These numbers have not changed in 26 years.
  • A significant increase in the number of people placing children for adoption would soon exhaust the supply of would-be adopters. As of 2002, only 614,000 people under age 45 had ever completed an adoption. Only a minority of these people adopted American newborns. Most adopted from foster care, from a relative, from a new spouse with children, or from other countries. If every person who got an abortion last year placed the child for adoption instead, the backlog of those looking to adopt would be wiped out in less than a year.
  • Adoption is expensive. Not just to the adopters, who must pay between $10,000 and $25,000 in the US to adopt a newborn, but to those placing a child as well. While placing a child for adoption is usually free, lost wages, loss to education, and health risks from pregnancy must be paid for.
  • Pregnancy can have a wide variety of negative health consequences including anemia, UTI’s, hypertension, diabetes, morning sickness, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, placental previa, placental abruption, preeclampsia, depression, and anxiety, in addition to the significant physical danger presented by childbirth.
  • Deciding to put a child up for adoption doesn’t save pregnant people from having their lives endangered by pregnancy. It doesn’t make the pregnancy symptom-free so that the pregnant person never has to miss a day of work. It doesn’t allow the baby to teleport out of the uterus at the end of gestation, saving the pregnant person from the experience of childbirth and having to take time off work to heal.
  • Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-adopted peers. Treating adoption strictly as a beautiful thing doesn’t allow many adoptees to express their true feelings.
  • Pro-lifers frequently try to talk about how the majority of people who get abortions supposedly experience severe emotional trauma (though this claim has been discredited). They never seem to talk about the number of people who experience emotional trauma after placing a child for adoption. One study found that 12 to 20 years later, 75% of people who placed a child for adoption still felt grief and loss. Seventy-five percent.
  • Having a child taken back by a birth parent who changes their mind is unspeakably painful for would-be adoptive parents. One woman I talked to described it as “the closest thing I’ve experienced to the death of a child.” Another woman had a baby girl taken back from her fifteen years ago. She said it still stung.
  • Most important, many people just don’t want to be pregnant. They could have tokophobia, or they could have prescriptions for medications that are inadvisable to take while pregnant, or they could have a job that they would likely lose if they continued a pregnancy, or they could be in an abusive relationship and need to abort in order to protect themselves, or they could just not want a foreign entity growing inside of them for nine months. Adoption is an alternative to being a parent. It is not an alternative to being pregnant.

Further reading on the subject:

Not puppets to be used for your cause

Adoption Not Abortion: Pimping Adoptees for a “Higher Purpose”

Adoption and Abortion: It’s Not as Simple as Many Pro-lifers Think

Adoption is NOT an Alternative to Abortion

  • leftists:we demand a higher minimum wage so that some of the burden of poverty can be lifted from the shoulders of the working class
  • libertarian capitalist nerd:lol look forward to machines replacing your jobs then
  • leftists:rad bro, we just wanted a higher minimum wage but we ended up with machines replacing menial jobs and fully-automated socialism that can reduce the work week and actively meet human needs
  • libertarian capitalist nerd:hey wh--
  • leftists:*start seizing the means of production*
  • libertarian capitalist nerd:hey wait stop no
  • leftists:*continue seizing the means of production*
  • libertarian capitalist nerd:what have i done
10 dead, dozens injured as Oregon gunman singled out Christians during rampage

As you probably have already heard, a gunman opened fire on a community college campus in Oregon killing 10 and injuring dozens more.

From the NY Post:

The gunman who opened fire at an Oregon community college was forcing people to stand up and state their religion before he began blasting away at them, survivors said Thursday.

A woman who claimed to have a grandmother inside a writing class in Snyder Hall, where a portion the massacre unfolded, described the scene in a tweet.

“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs. My grandma just got to my house, and she was in the room. She wasn’t shot, but she is very upset.

The Twitter user then recalled how her grandmother attempted to save the life of one of her close classmates.

“She tried to perform CPR on her friend, but it was too late,” the woman said. “I hope nothing like this ever happens again.”

Kortney Moore, an 18-year-old student at Umpqua Community College who was also in the room, told Oregon’s News Review that the shooter was indeed on the hunt for Christians.

Read the Rest

This is absolutely horrific and tragic. Please be in prayer for those involved in this unspeakable event.