News From Around The Blogosphere 9.3.08

New law says all Texas public schools must offer an elective course in the Christian bible – This unconstitutional bill was authored by Warren Chisum. Of course I have no problem teaching The Bible as literature in public schools. I was taught The Bible as literature in high school as part of an elective course I greatly enjoyed. But only an fool or a liar would deny this opens the door for inevitable Christian prosylatizing. It’s worth noting that the class I took where we studied The Bible, we also studied The Bhagavad Gita, The Rig-Veda, and Antigone, among other mythologies. We even had an assignment where we got to write our own creation story. This law requires only that The Bible of Judeo-Christianity be taught.

Funny, hyperbolic, and late-arriving email to PZ Myers criticizing him over Crackergate:

“Professor Myers: Your intentional desecration of the Eucharist is the most dispicable act that i have ever witnessed or learned of in my 70 years. You act is far more deplorable than Hitlers’ Holocaust or the terriorists on 9-11 . You sure showed those Catholics, huh ? Now why don’t you go after others such as the Muslims , or the Jews, perhaps the Mormans while you are at it. I am sure you can find something to desecrate along the way.

Shame on the University of Minnesota for allowing you on campus much less on staff . Their failure to act on your despicable act is a clear failure on their part and a horrible reflection on the administration at the U.O.M.

You will answer to a higher authority some day for your despicable desecration of the body of Christ, and your suffering will be for eternity and so will those that allowed you to do so.”

Wow! Clearly throwing a cracker in the garbage is worse that the Holocaust and 9/11 combined. Duh! And wasn’t I just talking about the “You wouldn’t have dared do this to Islam” gambit yesterday?

The Life Cycle of Every Religion on Earth - In cartoon form, of course. And check out the archives for more skeptical cartoons.

The Importance and Limitations of Peer-Review

Sam Harris responds to criticism of his Sarah Palin piece – Harris is the author of “The End of Faith” and “Letter To A Christian Nation.”

Sarah Palin speaking at her church–scary:

Cocktail Party Physics on the presidential candidates and science

Vermont fortune tellers free again to bilk people out of their money – The Vermont town of St. Johnsbury has lifted its decades long ban on fortune telling.


Anti-vaxxers deny yet another study that fails to support their ideology – They also continue to pretend that out of the medical organizations in the entire world only the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is researching this vaccines and autism. Of course, they have to keep promoting this ridiculous notion because grander conspiracy theories are harder to sell than just fingering one “corrupt” organization. And of course they never offer any theoretical mechanism in MMR vaccines that might trigger autism. It certainly can’t be Thimerosal, which is not present in MMR vaccines. Update: The study can be found here.

Religious Group Starves Toddler For Not Saying “Amen”

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Tiny Helicopters Teach Themselves To Fly – “Stanford computer scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that enables robotic helicopters to teach themselves to fly difficult stunts by watching other helicopters perform the same maneuvers.”

Black-footed Ferrets Sired By Dead Males – “Two black-footed ferrets at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo have each given birth to a kit that was sired by males who died in 1999 and 2000. These endangered ferrets—part of a multi-institutional breeding and reintroduction program—were artificially inseminated in May with frozen semen from the two deceased males, each giving birth to a kit on June 20 and 21 respectively.”

Oldest Gecko Fossil Ever Found: Life-like Form – “Scientists from Oregon State University and the Natural History Museum in London have announced the discovery of the oldest known fossil of a gecko, with body parts that are forever preserved in life-like form after 100 million years of being entombed in amber.”


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One Response to News From Around The Blogosphere 9.3.08

  1. mjr256 says:

    Update: Orac goes into far more detail about the recent autism study as well as past studies on his blog here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/yet_another_really_bad_day_for_antivacci_1.php

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