Rebuttal- 3g

Just as time is, credibility is relative. Stephen Hawking is widely known across the globe and recognized as one of the most brilliant minds of our time. He is ranked among the greats of astrophysics next to Einstein and Newton, and he has been formally recognized for his great accomplishments. These accomplishments though, are only as credible as we assume them to be. As of now, it is impossible to explore and examine black holes close enough to prove Hawking and his theories to be correct or not. Therefore, because his theories lie within the confines of physics, his word is taken as fact because he is so highly regarded. At the end of the day, Hawking is merely a human, and humans will always make mistakes.

It is no lie that Hawking is absolutely brilliant and deserves the utmost respect for his incredible dedication to the study of astrophysics and cosmology. He has been awarded with several medals including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Albert Einstein metal, the Albert Einstein award and so many more. Even with all these, well deserved, awards, it is very likely that Hawking was not correct in all of his theories on the basis that he is human. Hawking himself has shown signs of doubt about his own theories.

One example involves his multiverse hypothesis and fine tuning. Fine tuning, as BioLogos describes it in What do Fine-tuning and the multiverse say about God, “refers to the surprising precision of nature’s physical constants and the early conditions of the universe.” Certain values in our universe are so precise that if they were changed even slightly, life would never have been possible. A few of these include gravity, the formation of carbon, and the stability of DNA. For example, Philip Goff in Did the dying Stephen Hawking really mean to strengthen the case for God, explains how gravity could have affected life as we know it: “if gravity had been slightly stronger, stars would have lived for thousands rather than billions of years, not leaving enough time for biological evolution to take place.” Luckily, all of these tedious details came together to allow life in the milky way. The problem with this arises within Hawking’s multiverse theory.

The multiverse theory basically describes that if there are an infinite number of universes, there is a very high chance that the conditions for life exist within another universe, if not several. With such a huge number of universes there is also a very good chance that some of these universes infringe upon the fine-tuned laws of the universe. Goff again explains, “Stephen Hawking defended a naturalistic explanation of fine-tuning in terms of the multiverse hypothesis. According to the multiverse hypothesis, the universe we live in is just one of an enormous, perhaps infinite, number of universes. If there are enough universes, then it becomes not so improbable that at least one will chance upon the right laws for life.” With at least some universes defying such precise laws, the multiverse theory conflicts with that of fine-tuning.

Hawking’s own multiverse theory has changed over time. The older version had large varieties among to universes, but, the laws of fine-tuning have forced that theory to change. In his latest paper on the multiverse theory, Hawking himself doubts the multiverse theory’s ability to explain fine-tuning. Other physicists also have these concerns and have begun looking to quantum physics to explain what the multiverse theory could not. It is known that Stephen Hawking is a very adamant atheist, and the inability if his theory to explain fine-tuning leaves only quantum physics to explain, allowing more room to justify a Godly being, and possibly nullifying what Hawking believes in most strongly.

Another topic that is widely controversial is that of alien life. Hawking was a strong believer in alien life and conducted a one hundred million dollar hunt for aliens. When examined mathematically, there should be about ten thousand planets with alien life that we could communicate with. This does not necessarily mesh well with reality, though. As Sarah Kaplan points out in Scientists believe there’s other life in the universe. Why haven’t we found it yet? “If the universe is so full of the ingredients for alien life, why haven’t we found it yet? Or, more pertinently, considering how young humans are (100,000 years) compared to the age of the universe (13.8 billion years), why haven’t the aliens found us?” With the given age of humanity compared to the rest of the universe, if there is alien life there is a very good chance that it developed way before we did. If that is the case, their advanced technology would have the capability to not only find but communicate with us. Not only have we never made contact with, or received contact from any kind of alien life, but the one hundred million dollar search has been unsuccessful as of yet. It is not a stretch to claim that Hawking could be wrong in his theory about alien life. If Hawking could be wrong about this, and even doubts his own theory’s ability to explain fine tuning, there is always the possibility that he could be wrong in any of his theories.

Topics like black holes, that are much more complicated both mathematically and conceptually, challenge the mind even the of the most virtuoso people. The likelihood that Hawking was in fact wrong about his theory of Hawking radiation is strong. Not just because black holes are so hard to understand, but also because he has made changes to his previous theories and beliefs several times. There have been numerous times that Hawking has changed his mind and made contradictory statements about his theories. One time he even stated that black holes do not exist at all. As it is a common part of the thought process to change one’s mind, this is a drastically different stance than what he had theorized before. Stephen Hawking was an incredible man with a brilliant mind, that being said, even he made mistakes. If he happens to be wrong about his theories, that could change everything that we know about black holes and the universe as it is today.


BioLogos. “What Do ‘Fine-Tuning’ and the ‘Multiverse’ Say about God?” BioLogos,

Goff, Philip. “Did the Dying Stephen Hawking Really Mean to Strengthen the Case for God? | Philip Goff.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 7 May 2018,


Kaplan, Sarah. “Scientists Believe There’s Other Life in the Universe. Why Haven’t We Found It Yet?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 21 July 2015,

“Stephen Hawking.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2018,



The discovery and development of antibiotics improved people’s lives, providing treatments that were more effective than their predecessors. What was once a potentially deadly infection could now be treated with amazing efficacy. Arsenic, a deadly poison in a high dose, was once the only method of treating infection. In small doses arsenic would attack the unwanted bacteria, but this was a precarious scenario. Too much arsenic would have an adverse effect, potentially killing the consumer. Enter the “Age of Antibiotics” as said by Gerard D. Write in his book, The Origins of Antibiotic Resistance and we see drastic improvements in the field beginning in the 1940’s. However, resistance was inevitable from the start.

We need to figure out a way to combat resistance. In the article, What’s old is new: Reconfiguring known antibiotics to fight drug resistance, from the journal Nature Medicine, Shraddha Chakradhar proposes that the way to do that might be by changing current antibiotics. Chakradhar states, “Turning to pre-existing drugs to make antibiotics more effective against drug-resistant strains of well-known pathogens is especially appealing given that no new class of antibiotics has been approved for nearly 30 years.” This argument does not address why no new class of antibiotics have been approved and therefore leaves us wondering, is it perhaps policy that needs to change. Moreover, she states that “drug companies and the US government have invested more than $1 billion combined toward the development of new antibiotics, just within the past decade,” which again screams at a potential flaw in how we go about approving these new antibiotics. According to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, there is a, “‘ticking time-bomb’. She says this is because of an overuse of antibiotics and the lack of new drugs coming on stream – no new class of antibiotics has been discovered since 1987,” taken from the Cancer Nursing Practice Journal, written by Nick Triggle.

The approach of “reconfiguring” existing antibiotics does nothing to address the problem with over prescription. Over prescription and misuse is negating any efforts to create stronger more effective drugs. Linda Bren quotes Stuart Levy, M.D., president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. “”The number of bacteria resistant to many different antibiotics has increased, in many cases, tenfold or more. Even new drugs that have been approved are confronting resistance, fortunately in small amounts, but we must be careful how they’re used. If used for extended periods of time, they too risk becoming ineffective early on,”” in her article, Overprescription of Antibiotics Has Led to Resistant Bacteria. Dr. Levy warns us that if we continue to overprescribe, even new drugs will become ineffective.


Bren, L. (2006). Overprescription of Antibiotics Has Led to Resistant Bacteria. In A. Hiber (Ed.), At Issue. Are Americans Overmedicated? Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from FDA Consumer, 2003, September) Retrieved from

Triggle, N. (2013). Overprescription of antibiotics is a ‘ticking time-bomb’: Chief medical officer points out that cancer patients are at increased risk of infections. nick triggle reports. Cancer Nursing Practice, 12(3), 6-7. doi:10.7748/cnp2013.

Coates, A. R. M. (2012;2014;). Antibiotic resistance (1. Aufl. ed.). Heidelberg;New York;: Springer.

Chakradhar, S. (2016). What’s old is new: Reconfiguring known antibiotics to fight drug resistance. Nature Medicine, 22(11), 1197-1199. doi:

Shlaes, D. M. (2010). Antibiotics: The perfect storm (1st;1; ed.). New York;Dordrecht;: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-9057-7

Brian N Tse, Amesh A Adalja, Christopher Houchens, Joseph Larsen, Thomas V Inglesby, Richard Hatchett; Challenges and Opportunities of Nontraditional Approaches to Treating Bacterial Infections, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 65, Issue 3, 1 August 2017, Pages 495–500,


Rebuttal- Alpacaqueen

I have yet to wrap my head around why such an immense amount of people still remain so opposed to food bioengineering. We live in a world where feats in science and technology are being made, an accepted, in a variety of fields on a daily basis, so why does it have to stop at food? Humans allow the phone in their pocket to emit electromagnetic radiation against their body everyday, yet when they see their tomatoes are labeled GMO, all bets are off the table. Most of this disapproval is simply from ignorance. I’m sure when the microwave first came out, many people refused to get within 500 feet of them, let alone allow one to heat foods in their own home. Modified foods and their sources may sound unfamiliar and scary, but I assure you the intentions behind their creators are benevolent. The most common issues leaving people reluctant against biotech foods is that they are worse for your health and the environment than their organic counterparts. Luckily, neither of these misconceptions are true.

As stated earlier, a majority of non-GMO bais simply comes from people’s lack of understanding on the subject. A recent set of polls conducted from May 10th to June 6th 2018 from the Pew Research Center showed a good example of this. In the poll, it showed that 51% of Americans admitted that most or some of the food they eat contain GMOs, while the remaining half of subjects claimed that “not to much” or “none at all” of the food they eat contain GMOs. Among these results, the poll revealed that 65% of those that said they eat a good amount of GMOs have read a lot about genetically modified foods, while a whopping 75% of people who claimed they eat little to no GMOs admit they have read nothing about these foods. You would think these results would be the other way around if modified organisms were as terrible as some perceive them to be. Instead, the poll revealed that most of the people who are consuming GMOs have gathered a lot of information on them, while 75% of the people who stay away from these foods admitted to reading absolutely nothing about them. In another poll conducted by the New York Times, they asked people on Facebook about their opinion on gm foods, their results as follows:

Would you buy food with genetically modified ingredients if you knew they were in there?

Yes: 48

No: 429

Maybe: 19

Need More Information: 24

This survey revealed that 82.5% of people would not purchase foods if they knew they contained gm ingredients. Considering approximately three-fourths of foods in supermarkets are GMO, you may have a hard time getting around them, and have probably already purchased countless gm products. Do not fear, however, this doesn’t mean you’ve killed the planet or will turn ill overnight.

Clearly, a large majority of people who reject biotech foods are so against them because they believe they pose a health risk to themselves or the animals consuming the gm foods. This is simply not the case. Thousands of studies have been done studying the long term effects of eating GMO versus organic foods, and many if not all of the results conclude that the subjects’ health were unaffected in either circumstance. As for animals, the same rings true. Researchers at the University of California looked at the health of over 100 billion animals after switching their diet from non-gmo to gmo and found no difference in their health. Many people believe that since non-organic foods are sprayed with pesticides, we’ll contract disease if we consume them. Also untrue. Believe it or not, organic foods also contain pesticides, and their consumption has no effect on human health. If anything, genetically modified foods are actually better for your health than organic. Many crops are being engineered to provide health benefits such as increased nutrient levels or aid in cancer or disease resistance. In one article by The Food Dialogues, they elaborate on this stating, “Today we have GMO soybean seeds that produce healthier soybean oils, eliminating trans fats and containing increased levels of Omega 3. Tomorrow we hope to have bananas in Uganda  that have up to six times as much Vitamin A.” Some scientists are even working to develop foods infused with antioxidants that could prevent cancer. If anything, we should be greeting biotech foods with open arms, not turning against them.

As for the environment, don’t place the devil horns on gm crops for this issue either. Contrary to popular belief, genetically modified foods are working to help the environment, not hurt it. GMOs require a much smaller amount of land to farm than organic and produce a greater yield on top of it. In one article by “GMOanswers” the piece explained, “Between 1996 and 2015, crop biotechnology was responsible for an additional 180.3 million tons of soybeans, 357.7 million tons of corn, 25.2 million tons of cotton lint and 10.6 million tons of canola, without having to bring more land into production. To produce the same amount of crops without GM technology, farmers would have needed to cultivate 48 million additional acres of land.” Now I know what you’re thinking, with the production of all that food must come thousands of pesticides killing the planet? You’d be mistaken. A great deal of gm crops are being engineered to already contain resistance to insects and diseases without the need of pesticide spray. Quinn Fucile in her article, “Is Genetically Modified Food Safe?” explains this in her statement, “One example is plants engineered to produce BT endotoxin, which is only harmful to insects and will only kill pests that try to feed on the crops. This protects other insects in the environment that may be useful, because farmers no longer have to spray and pesticide, it’s built into the plants.” Not only does this reduce harmful pesticide use that could damage surrounding land and rivers, but it also allows animal and insect biodiversity to remain abundant. The NonGMO Project even confirms, “More than 80% of all genetically modified crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance.”

Hopefully I’ve been able to open the public eye, or at least one eye, to the countless benefits that genetically enhanced and biotech foods can bring to the table, and eliminated any prior misconceptions behind them. With all of these advantages that accompany these “new foods,” whether it concerns us or our environment, there is no reason they should be left in the dark any longer.



Many may argue that there is no way that google searches can offer insight into what types of people we are. It’s not accurate or fair to divide people into groups based on what they choose to search. That searches don’t show anything about our societal hive mind, because people are always going to naturally seek information. In fact, we as people are multi-faceted and boiling us down to Validators, Writers, and Seekers doesn’t show anything about internet culture or our craving for information. Although not the focal point of the paper, some may even go as far as to argue against the idea that violent video games don’t cause violent behavior. Despite these claims it’s apparent that their is some connection between an increase in google searches for certain key phrases after a particularly violent crime blamed on violent media committed by a teen.

The first major point to talk about is that google searches can’t offer insight into what types of people we are. For example, just because someone searches “bomb” doesn’t mean they are a terrorist. However, it’s important to realize that the internet omits “survey bias.” As writer Seth Stephens-Davidowitz says in his article “Everybody lies: how Google searches reveal our darkest secrets,” “The more impersonal the conditions, the more honest people will be…Certain online sources get people to admit things they would not admit anywhere else. They serve as a digital truth serum.” This shows that people are willing to be much more honest about what they believe when it comes to browsing the internet. In fact, searches are not just done purely for information. The evidence suggest that when we-as a culture- search for gun control, video games, and shootings, it’s because we have some opinion on this topic. Before he explains that google searches are almost like truth serum  Stephens-Davidowitz says that “Many people underreport embarrassing behaviors and thoughts on surveys. They want to look good, even though most surveys are anonymous. This is called social desirability bias.” People have ideas of what is desirable in society and choose to hide what they believe from all but the internet as a means of staying socially credible. Despite this, there is still a desire to support one’s own argument, which is why many people who search end up being Validators. Unlike Seekers, they aren’t searching for information, but echo chambers that support their own ideas.

Another point is that some may challenge the base idea that video games don’t cause violent behavior. Although this is a topic that has been argued to death, it still comes up every time a violent shooting happens that is blamed on violent media. In fact, numerous articles were released after the Parkland shooting stating that there is no correlation, because President Donald Trump released a statement saying there was. There are some who still believe this to be true though because they are distrusting survey bias, the gray area that some studies sit in. As pointed out by Remeo Vitelli in his article “Can Video Games Cause Violence”, “The debate over video games has led to a serious split between different groups of researchers which was as much about politics as research findings…lack of real consensus among researchers and the heated arguments they tend to make defending their own view.” Despite the general consensus about video games and violence many are distrusting of that information because some scientist tend to defend their own way of thinking only. This shows why there is a population of people who don’t trusts research. However, it’s important to realize that regardless of whether or not video games do cause violent behavior people still take to the internet looking for affirmation.

The final point is the idea that we can’t be split up into these three groups purely off of our search history. This point brings to light the idea that we are stuck in one of these roles for our entire lives. However, this is not the case. People are indeed multi faceted and we move through these different groups depending on the topic at hand, our social circle, and what we already know about the topic. These groups truly show our tendencies in tense political, and societal situations. When we are presented with something that shakes the foundation of what we believe we have a response. Whether that response is to try to reaffirm what we think or to prove others wrong just depends. In fact, it’s a person to person basis and not all people who search for gun control after a violent crime are validators. It definitely isn’t an exact science or anything but it’s clear to see that we seek a connection between these topics.

All in all, although there may be some holes in this idea it is still valid. We-as a race- seek to either sever or form a connection between violent media and violent crimes. This could be because we it’s connected to a hot topic issue of gun control. However, evidence seems to suggest that we do it to validate our own opinions. The distrust in studies done by researchers has lead to a gap in information that people have to fill themselves. In an attempt to fill this information gap, people take to the internet. In turn, the google searches these people conduct can reveal some things about their intentions, because people are more honest when it’s impersonal.


Fritscher, L. (2018, September 29). How Instincts Relate to the Collective Unconscious. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from
Pew, A., & Goldbeck, L. (2018, March 27). Violent Video Games and Aggression. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from
Stephens-Davidowitz, S. (2017, July 09). Everybody lies: How Google search reveals our darkest secrets. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from

Kilgarriff, Adam, et al. “DIACRAN: A Framework for Diachronic Analysis.” Lexical Computing, 2013.

Ramat, Anna Giacalone, et al. Synchrony and Diachrony: a Dynamic Interface. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013,

Rogers, Simon. “What Is Google Trends Data – and What Does It Mean?” Medium, Google News Lab, 1 July 2016,

Vitelli, R. (2013, April 1). Can Video Games Cause Violence? Retrieved November 28, 2018, from

Campbell, C. (2018, March 10). A brief history of blaming video games for mass murder. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from

Rebuttal Version 1.5

Crimes dwell in our neighborhoods; it is as if they are the stronghold of our societies since the time of our ancestors. Just the other day there was a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh; this adds up to the numerous mass shooting cases our society face- According to J. Courtland of ABC 15 news report out of Arizona, in the span of 2 years, 2017-2018, the U.S have had about 639 incident of a mass shooting. In 2016 the U.S had a 4.1 percent increase in violent crimes, while crimes on properties fell to a 1.3 percent, which includes a whopping 19.1 percent overall decline in burglary in the United States (2016). The FBI’Ss “Crime in the United States” report that The United States saw a flashing number of about 1,515,096 burglaries in 2016, in other words, a 4.6 percent decrease in the number of burglary relative to those from 2015. Even though the numbers look huge, compared to the total population of the United States, crimes on properties are heading in the right direction. Crimes such as burglary which is on a steady decrease according to the 2016 FBI crime report statistics. Burglary cases are dropping steadily because of the new innovative technology that helps us keep our homes safe even when we are not around. Home securities, along sides our law enforcement officers, have done a swell job at keep burglars at bay.

Let’s take a look at the City of Old Bridge, a small suburban neighborhood in North- Central Jersey with a population of about 66,673 according to the 2016 census. Old bridge has a crime index of 65, which implies it is safer than 65% of U.S. Cities. Just like Glassboro, the demographics of Old Bridge is slightly similar, except Old Bridge has a larger population than Glassboro, yet Glassboro has a higher crime rate than Old Bridge. It may seem that the absence of a huge college institution such as Rowan University in Old Bridge can be a key to the low crime rates in Old Bridge. What if the absence of a huge institution such as colleges, and so on is not the reason for Old Bridge’s low crime statistics, rather it is the characters of the mass population of its habitat that make a huge difference. Old Bridge as we know has one of the largest high schools in the State of New Jersey, way bigger than Glassboro high, and might be three-eight the size of Rowan University. In 2016 four of Old Bridge district Schools earned National School of Character, which puts Old Bridge in top 10 National district of Character in the state of New Jersey. Sizes do not matter when it comes to the fact that we have a city with high burglary rates when nationwide, burglary rates are steadily dropping. Take a look at the stats from Glassboro’s neighboring community, Williamstown; just like Old Bridge, it has no huge institutions present, and it has lower crime rates than Glassboro.

Have we looked into the other factors in the crime report? It is as if burglary is the only crime in the report. Ultimately burglary is not the reason why crime rates are sky high in Glassboro because, in reality, it is people without character in Glassboro that are driving crime rates up in the city of Glassboro. The national statistics for burglary occurrences are on a steady decline, but Glassboro, on the other hand, is receiving the opposite stats for this same crime. Security and preventative measure are adopted into our society regularly. You can believe all these innovative, and improved technologies are made available for everyone including people living in Glassboro. We can see that their problem is not a technological one, but one of character. It is safe to assume that the people living there need to be vetted, maybe stricter policies should be imposed on Rowan University. Also, more police officers patrolling the neighborhood would scare people who are on the verge of committing a crime. Take a look at Old Bridge, it has numerous police officers patrolling the streets of Old bridge daily, and I must say it seems to be working, hence the low crime rate. Also, we may believe that Glassboro is or isn’t a crime infested city, well think about the tribulation they have to deal with, with these obnoxious young adults running wild in the streets of Glassboro. Cases including assaults and harassment are generally high in areas closest to Rowan University.




Courtland, J. Mass shootings in the U.S.: When, where they occurred in 2018. ABC 15 ARIZONA. . Accessed 29 October 2018.

Crime in the United States. U.S Department of Justice. FBI. CJISD. . Accessed 29 October 2018.

Old Bridge Township Public Schools. . Accessed 31 October 2018.

2016 Crime Statistics Released. . Accessed 29 October 2018

Rebuttal Argument Rewrite- p1nk123456

It can be argued that Black American’s suffer from self hatred at the hands of the majority White society. History makes it easy to blame White people for African- American’s desire to permanently and chemically change their hair and skin. This blame can actually be placed on Black Americans themselves since they are the ones that are deciding to permanently alter their hair, and sometimes their skin, to have their features appear more European. The identity crisis of Black people is not the fault of White people.

For the most part, generations of Black people, specifically women, in America have dealt with the problematic social struggle of meeting the ideal beauty standard in this country when it comes to their hair. Black women who wore their kinky hair naturally are considered less feminine then those Black women who straightened their kinky hair. Black women straightened their hair with a flat iron, a hot comb, or straightened it with relaxer. This was when Black women, and some men, used hot combs and a harsh, alkaline chemical with lye known as relaxer to tame their hair. Whitney Bellinger writes about young Black children in “Why African- American Women Try To Obtain Good Hair,” and says that around the age of three years old or four years old, young African American children start to understand the concept of “good hair” means for themselves and they understand the social hierarchy it can create within the black community. Hair relaxers are a creamy chemical placed on hair to make it appear straighter and less texture permanently. They known to be extremely damaging for the hair and scalp of the user as they contain harsh chemicals such as lye, calcium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide and others chemicals that can easily burn through metal. Hair Relaxers are also known for causing breathing problems, skin burns, permanent scarring, baldness, temporary or permanent blindness if it gets into the eyes an other known and unknown health problems. Black women choose to do this to their hair to appear more like White women.

This particular social struggle is a battle between not being White, but trying to look as though they fit in socially with the Eurocentric beauty standards of this country. It also includes a battle with wanting to look and feel a part of the upper class. Bellinger’s social experiment and essay, “Why African- American Women Try to Obtain ‘Good Hair’,” explains that Black people as a culture have experience a mass issue with an identity crisis. This identity crisis has literally impacted the hairstyle of Black men and women for decades.

The media portray’s what is considered attractive and beautiful. Magazine covers and television commercials stream the type of beauty everyone wants to see. It is up to the viewers to know that they do not have to look and act exactly like the men and women in the media. Even though the media portrays White women as primarily more attractive when it comes to hair and skin, it is not their fault if it makes Black people hate their appearance and chemically straighten their hair to look similar.

Colorism among Black people has deemed darker colored complexions unattractive and undesirable; the darker the skin, the more unattractive you are considered within the Black community. Black women especially feel pressure to be more attractive and desirable and feel as though a lighter complexion is a way to look good. This hierarchy of skin color was created by African American men and women and is still present within the black community because they still believe that lighter colored skin is the equivalent of having a beautiful skin tone. In Alicia Jackson’s “Attempting Whiteness: Black Women’s Expected and Actual Results of Skin Bleaching”, she talks about how skin bleaching has been a practice among many cultures for centuries for the purpose of obtaining a lighter skin tone because darker skinned women hate their skin color. Skin bleaching is not a knew phenomenon; this practice has been around for centuries. Skin bleaching or skin lightening is a way to decrease the pigmentation in skin. This ultimately makes one’s skin shades lighter than it naturally appears. Lynn Okura’s “Inside the Controversial Skin bleaching Phenomenon,” of Huffpost writes about how even in modern times, the practice of skin bleaching is still common, but is socially looked down upon within the Black culture of this country.Those who participate in the practice of skin bleaching are doing on their own, freewill and want to appear lighter and Whiter. The practice of skin bleaching or skin lightening causes skin cancers and permanent skin discoloration. These people are deciding on their own to destroy their skin and this decision cannot blamed on White people.

In today’s society, a Black person’s need to conform is not the fault of White people. It is the fault of whoever feels the need to chemically straighten their hair. The oppression of slavery and segregation caused White people to feel shame in the presence of all Black people, who reminded them of the crime of previous centuries. Black people straightened their hair to ease White consciences by appearing to assimilate and following their beauty standards. When Black people maintain chemically straightened hair, it makes them and the White people around them comfortable since straight hair appears as a way to conform with others. This is still a personal decision that is made on their own and is not caused by White people.

Whether you are Black, White, Asian or Latin, no one of any race or ethnicity chooses to look different and to not conform. The average person desire to fit into their culture’s mainstream beauty standards and fashion trend- this is not new. People within this society will do anything to conform to the standards set by our culture and to minimize their resentment of their differences. Self-consciousness will cause one to seek an opportunity to alter their difference in the direction of the set societal beauty standard. This is not evidence of self hatred; it is natural to want to conform to society and to look similar to everyone else. Black people are discontent with how they look in comparison to mainstream White beauty standards.


Works Cited

Bellinger, Whitney. Why African- American Women Try To Obtain ‘Good Hair’. University of Pittsburg: Sociological Viewpoints.Web. Fall, 2007.

Jackson, Alicia C., “Attempting whiteness : Black women’s expected and actual results of skin bleaching.” (2013). Theses, Dissertations, and Projects. 1003.

Okura, Lynn. “Inside the Controversial Skin bleaching Phenomenon.” Huffpost. OWN. December 2015.


Rebuttal- Wildwood

Checks and balances pertaining to the United States government has a sole purpose of preventing the three branches of the government of gaining too much power which in turn could be the downfall of this country. Within each branch, The Judicial, The Legislative and The Executive are elected officials that, makes the hard decisions for the three hundred million plus citizens which voted them to their respective office. Each branch has a duty to this country whether the responsibility is drafting, enforcing or upholding the law, and just as important is to make sure each branch stays true to their task issued to them by the Constitution. The system, on the surface, seems like it would work smoothly and allow each branch to operate within their ranks and without stepping over toes, but what happens when one of the branches are granted a special veto power to overrule legislation passed by another branch? Is that a violation of checks and balances? Or does that statue, granted to a single elected official better keep the branches of government in check when writing and passing laws?

When a bill gets introduced by a member of the House or Senate, with the hopes of it being written into law, it takes multiple members of each chamber to bring said bill to a final vote. After different actions conducted by the sponsoring members, and usually multiple rewrites, it can be brought to a vote on the House floor. After receiving a majority, the bill then can be sent to the President’s desk for final approval. If the President decides to sign off, then the process is over and that bill is officially signed into law. Now this process could take months and sometimes years from start to finish, and in the end, if the President decides against it, he can veto it, making that bill void. However, if the bill has an unusual amount of support in both chambers, the elected officials could vote to overrule the President’s decision not to sign off on the bill, overriding the veto changing the proposed bill into a law. Veto power is few and far between in the United States Government, it takes at the minimum a 2/3 majority in the House to veto a bill signed off by The President. Just as easy is it is for the President to veto a law, they can also amend any law passed by utilizing Executive Orders.

If the President decides to draft an Executive Order, it could be anything from giving federal employees a half of a day before a federal holiday, all the way to confining all Japanese born U.S. citizens to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and everything in between. Critics of the President using Executive Orders usually have one defense, why does a single man have the power to write their wishes into law without going through proper channels of Congress. Critics think when Presidents use Executive Orders, it undermines the hundreds of elected officials whose job it is to write and pass legislation.

In reality, The President is voted into office by voters nation-wide and not just by voters in certain districts like members of congress are elected. If the incumbent head of the executive branch passes an executive order and his predecessor simply wants it overturned, that order originally passed by the incumbent becomes null and void as quick as the President signs off on the order. When an executive order is signed off on, it has the same powers as a federal law, but federal laws are subject to legal review and scrutiny. When determining whether or not that order passed was unconstitutional or not, the supreme court evaluation includes case law regarding the topic as well as deciding if the order compromises a standing law set forth from the founding fathers.


Rebuttal Argument- Baahubali

The only person in the whole world that can match Michael Jackson’s steps and his legacy is Michael Jackson himself. Although he departed from this planet to some other world, he managed to imprint himself in the hearts of people. Just like your shadow never leaves you, the same way Michael Jackson never left us. He is still relevant in today’s world of music and entertainment. His music and his style is evergreen and he is setting example for the current and next generations to come. Whenever music, dance or entertainment is mentioned, his name will never fail to be cited. He is also known in history as a triple threat. The multi talented superstar, had a unique knack for composing music, singing and choreographing his own dance. Starting from an early age, he gave up his childhood, to live his dream by entertaining people. Now, he is the world’s biggest superstar.

Even at a young age, Michael was able to captivate millions of people’s hearts all around the world.  When he started singing with his 4 brothers in the Jackson 5 Band, many people always thought he stood out from the rest with his unique dance style, his fun energy, and ability to entertain. His popularity lead to his fans committing suicide when he passed away. His funeral had been witnessed more times than the 9/11 incident on the news channels and social media. It caused the Internet to crash and many search engines to stop working. Popular singers in this generation, incorporate his dance style and fashion into their own music and fans remember him through new singers in this way. The rhythm and tunes in his music is also used in new music and has inspired a new generation of artists.

Even though, Michael Jackson was a legend of his time, others may say that he was just as famous as other stars. Singers like Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Britney Spears were loved by millions of people and won an incredible amount of awards and achievements. When Whitney Houston died, fans mourned her death as well as famous celebrities. They remembered the type of person she was and the powerhouse voice she had. Similarly, when Michael Jackson died, many fans mourned as well and took their lives. He was just as famous as the rest, toured the world, and broke records throughout his career. Whitney Houston has sold 230 million albums while, Michael Jackson sold 730 million albums. They both sold the most albums in the world. Whitney Houston was called the Queen of Pop as Michael Jackson was called King of Pop. Madonna was also just was famous as Michael Jackson and sold out the most records after Whitney Houston proving that Michael Jackson was just as famous as the rest. Many of the top celebrities contribute most their earnings and concert money toward charities. Michael Jackson has done the same and visited children hospitals and sponsored many hospitals like other celebrities. His charity work was just as similar to other celebrities particularly singers. Celebrities are well known for drug issues and being greedy about money. They also do not take no for an answer. Many people have claimed that Michael Jackson was just like them as he took a lot of drugs, did not take no for answer, and always wanted money no matter what. People he was just an ordinary celebrity.

Although he might be seen as an average celebrity by some people, he was a legendary singer with the sweetest heart in the world. He stood out from all the singers because he was different from dancing, singing, to entertaining and helping many people who were in need. He was not like others because he donated a large amount of money, like no other celebrity, to many poor people and the African American. Jackson dedicated his life to the joy of children and inspired them to live their dream. He had the most incredible and supportive fans that no other celebrity experienced before. He has been a saviour to the African American community and raised millions of dollars with the song, We Are the World, and donated all the money to them. He visited many Medical Centres for leukaemia and other cancer research and donated a 19 bed unit to the hospital with his own money. He donated 1.5 million dollars from his Pepsi Commercial when he founded the Michael Jackson Burn Centre. Towards the end of his life, he setup the Michael Jackson United Negro College Fund for education for poor people who could not afford an education. He always knew the importance of education and accomplishing their dreams. He set up this outlet for young children to find a purpose in their lives with his own money. It is very rare that any celebrity would do this much for people in need. Most celebrities would spend the money for themselves or to small charities, but all his money and earnings went towards people who were in need. The amount of lives he has helped with those foundations and charity work, is something that sets him apart from others. His heart was like no other celebrity or human being and gave instead of gaining. Michael was extra ordinary when it came to his achievements. He sold close to 750 million copies of his album. Compared to modern day celebrity, Beyoncé has sold close to 150 million. Michael Jackson has surpassed great expectations. Even though he lived a short life, he has achieved the goals of a life time that no other person can achieve.

Looking back at all the things Michael has done for the world of entertainment and music, there is no doubt that he stands out from the other singers.  He has helped so many people in need and personally visited sick people and even donated his hard earned money to them. Jackson has donated a lot towards education, hospitals, research centres for the happiness and health of people. There are no tabloids or articles that can make anyone forget all that he has done for people. Michael Jackson was not only a legend in music, but also became a legend in the hearts of people around the world. Even though, he is not this world with us, his charity work continues to help the poor and his music is still played to this day.


BBC NEWS, ‘Michael Jackson ‘made some bad choices’, (26 September 2013)

‘Michael Jackson charity work’, look to the stars

‘Michael Jackson: critics review his legacy’, The Telegraph, (5:00AM BST 27 Jun 2009)

Rebuttal- Flowers3399

Using pharmaceuticals to help reduce anxiety instead of weed can have the same disadvantages as using weed. The downsides can make it more confusing on whether to take the medications or not. The medicine is helping reduce the anxiety, however, the user is getting addicted to it at the same time. The side effects that come along with taking the medication can outweigh the helpfulness. Pharmaceuticals could cause health issues and lead to overdosing on the drug. Taking anxiety medication could create more problems rather than help any.

Anxiety reducing medications can be extremely helpful but can have a variety of downfalls as well. One of the downfalls is the risk of addiction. The medications are reducing anxiety but at the same time, the user is becoming more and more addicted to it. Anxiety medicine can easily become an addiction because of high the potency is. As the person suffering from anxiety takes the medicine it begins to build up in the body. This then causes the user’s body to become dependent on the medication in a physical and mental way. Most people do not realize that they are getting addicted and cannot always see the signs. In the article, “Understanding Benzodiazepines,” the author states: “…high abusive and addictive potential they hold… developing a tolerance to the drugs’ sedative effects or dismissing important people and activities to focus solely on getting and abusing the drugs.” The article discusses how most users do not realize they are building up a tolerance to the drug and just overriding the fact that it is supposed to help reduce their anxiety. Building up their tolerance can lead to needing a bigger dosage just to help reduce anxiety. Having an addiction to pharmaceuticals could lead to the users missing out on events and activities all because they constantly crave the drug. If the user begins to become addicted and tries to stop taking the drug they can begin to go through a withdrawal which could become harmful. Anxiety medications can cause more harm than good to the user and their families.

Sometimes the many side effects of medication can outweigh the purpose of the drug. Anxiety medication has a collection of side effects that could make it seem like there is no point in taking it. Some of those side effects are drowsiness, headaches, insomnia, tremors, and can lower blood pressure. A more worrisome side effect is the possibility of depression being worsened while on anti-anxiety medications. In the article “Anxiety Medication,” the author states: “…can worsen cases of pre‐existing depression… may potentially lead to treatment-resistant depression… can cause emotional blunting or numbness and increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.” The article talks about the possibility of the medications worsening depression if the user suffers from it. Depression being heightened can lead to the user having suicidal thoughts. Although the medications are reducing anxiety they are heightening depression in some users. Depression being worsened can lead to more suffering on top of the suffering that is happening from anxiety. The suffering of anxiety can be heightened as well because it is one of the symptoms of depression. The side effects for the medications can make it hard to want to take the drugs in the first place.

Anxiety medications can bring about health issues and cause more problems. Users can begin to have lower blood pressure, upset stomach, respiration issues, confusion, and memory loss. These health issues can make it harder to do daily activities. They can also worsen anxiety in a way because the user could start to become worried about their health issues which then leads to more anxiety. Health issues just like the side effects can make taking the medication undesirable.  

Another downside to medications is the possibility of abuse which would result in overdosing. Abusing the drug can lead to an alcohol like buzz or a high which some people find enjoyable or relaxing. Constantly wanting to feel like this could result in an overdose of the drug. In the article, “More Overdose Deaths From Anxiety,” author Rabin states: “Meanwhile, the rate of overdose deaths involving anti-anxiety drugs reached 3.07 per 100,000 adults in 2013.” The article discusses how anxiety medication users are starting to overdose on the drug more often. Becoming dependent on the medications are also abusing it because the user is building up their tolerance which would lead to needing bigger dosages. Most of the time the user does not even need the drug anymore but have begun to enjoy the “buzz” it leaves. Mixing anxiety medicines with alcohol or other medications can lead to overdoses as well. Abuse and overdosing are just some of the factors to consider while taking anxiety medications.

Anxiety medications do help reduce anxiety and have advantages. They also have their fair share of disadvantages. Those being addiction, negative side effects, health issues, and the possibility of abuse and overdosing. All of these disadvantages can cloud the advantages and make it hard to decide whether or not to take anxiety medications.


“Prescription Anxiety Medication Addiction – Benzodiazepine Abuse.” AddictionCenter,

“Anxiety Medication.” Anxiety Medication: What You Need to Know About Benzodiazepines & Other Anxiety Drugs,

Rabin, Roni Caryn. “More Overdose Deaths From Anxiety Drugs.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2016,




Rebuttal- beachgirl6

Who to Blame for Adolescent’s Social Media Use

Social media is its own type of world. Adolescents can connect to their friends by sharing pictures or witty remarks with one another through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. However, with this power comes responsibility. These young adults have a tendency to share false information online to try to conform to others around them. This is more prevalent when these teens come from a childhood of abuse from their parents. The internet may seem like an escape to them, but it is not their responsibility to bring them back to the real world and face their hardships and struggles. Parents need to step in to control what happens to their children online so they don’t use the internet in wrong ways, and to ensure their teens don’t suffer depression from the pressure to conform to others. Kids need a role model to look up, but if their parents are unable to be there for them in times of need, their development may be negatively altered.

Teens tend to be private from their parents and not disclose everything that happens in their lives. The internet is a big factor in their life, and it can help their when they are growing up. It is part of who they are and how they communicate with others. Since they are the ones engaging in social media, they should be the ones to deal with the risks of it, argues Pamela Wisniewski of the University of Central Florida. These adolescents are naïve to what they put out on the internet and are still learning how to protect themselves. Wisniewski argues that risk taking is something that teens should engage in to understand the consequences of the risks they take online, such as strangers trying to communicate with them or spreading false information about themselves. Making mistakes is a part of growing up, and teens need to learn from their own mistakes to understand the value of privacy. Wisniewski states the adolescent resilience theory shows that teens can still live their lives and be successful despite the hardships they come across online. More importantly, Wisniewski thinks that “Teens are often able to cope and resolve negative online experiences without intervention from their parents”. If they don’t involve their parents, Wisniewski states these adolescents can learn to set boundary’s, feel empathy towards others, and resolve arguments.

The few adolescents who experienced childhood maltreatment such as emotional abuse, as well as physical and emotional neglect, have don’t have the option to get their parents involved in their internet endeavors even if they wanted to. Problematic internet abuse is very common among adolescents who have experienced this type of abuse. A study done with 1,029 students in North West England showed that out of 327 people who experienced some type of childhood maltreatment, 84% of them developed an insecure attachment that prevented them from forming new relationships because of negative trust issues towards other people. The attachment theory is when abusive relationships with parents negatively impact future relationships, according to Joanne Worsley. Whether it is anxious attachment where kids have negative self-esteem that results in the inability to create new relationships, or avoidant attachment where kids distrust others and are unable to form close relationships, the common result is problematic internet use. Social media acts as a safe haven for these kids to escape their real-life hardships and find belonging, as their parents don’t provide that comfort already, therefore the presence of a role model is not available to them. Without a trusted adult, internet behaviors can get worse.

When these kids use social media to feel a sense of comfort, they may spread false information about themselves so they can gain more friends and people to rely on. However, Lauren Shaprio suggests that “adolescents have the option of choosing what self-identifying information to provide,” and that social media may influence development in a negative way if adolescents share false information. Friendships are reflected on social media sites, and in a college sample, 49% of friends were students talked to in person and online. This means that half of their friends on these social networking sites were people that didn’t talk to as much or not at all. It is much easier to talk to people online as when someone is behind a computer screen, it is easier to be post and say anything one wants. This lead to negative consequences as seen with the hyper personal model for communication, which Worlsey shows “that adolescents engage in selective self-presentations online,” and that other user’s impressions and reactions of them influences their real-life behavior. This means that these adolescents may alter their identity to conform to others and not present their true personalities online, therefore creating a false persona and selecting the parts of themselves they want to share with others. This can impact their development and sense of self in their future.

Children need a positive parent-child attachment so that they can become more responsible with their online endeavors. Patrick Chin-Hooi Soh has found that “Weak parental-attachment was reported to be a risk factor for children’s risky online activities and internet addiction”. If kids have a strong relationship with their parents, then kids will participate in less “risky online activities”. Parents should then play an active role in their kid’s live to make sure their kids are safe on the internet. A study of 733 adolescents from ages 10 to 18 found that the more kids communicate with their parents, the less dangerous online activities occur. Without parent involvement, kids can prevent positive growth development if they just try to learn from their own mistakes.

As social media is becoming more prevalent in adolescents’ lives, it is important to also consider the role parents play in their children’s internet use. Although Wisniewski proposes a “teen centric” approach to online protection, it won’t be as good as if parents were to be involved with their children’s online behavior. Although kids use social media every day, parents need to realize they need to step in and be involved in their children’s online activities. Just because teens can pick and choose their friends and self-monitor themselves, doesn’t mean they should. Parents need to communicate with their kids so their attachment with them will become more trustworthy. However, this isn’t possible with kids who were raised by abusive parents. Even though there is a small number of kids being raised in these adverse conditions, doesn’t mean their development doesn’t count less than others. It is important for all kids to be safe online, and it starts with parents monitoring their children’s use. It is time to start taking responsibility for our children’s actions.