News From Around The Blogosphere 8.27.08

August 28, 2008

Stem cell technology may make blood donations a thing of the past

Proof that prayer works? – Not quite. Remember when Focus on the Family asked people to pray for rain during the DNC and it didn’t happen but by then everyone forgot all about it? Well, apparently god missed and instead a sprinkler went off, flooding a skybox booth belonging to Fox News. I guess even god hates Fox News.

The standing of science in America – Interesting column from Science Progress. Here’s it’s conclusion:

“Americans might tune in to some science news, visit science museums, and even adjust their diets and prescriptions based upon the latest studies. But it’s not enough. Without anything beyond a surface-level appreciation of science, they stand far too blind when staring down something of paramount importance: The future.”

Where do you get your mercury? – Today’s issue of JAMA has an interesting study of Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicines. It turns out that many of them contain a significant amount of toxic heavy metals…including mercury, and much higher levels than the minute traces found in a flu vaccine. Here, we’re dealing with actual dangerous levels of the stuff.

Christians continue their long-honored tradition of crappy knock-offs of other people’s video games

SECULAR VALUE VOTERS! – The Secular Coalition for America is taking back the word “values” from the Religious Right.

Stephen Colbert better know an atheist tomorrow – My favorite secular lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown is to appear on The Colbert Report tomorrow night (Thursday) during the “Better Know A Lobbyist” segment.


A Christian Critique of $cientology - This is a funny piece in the way it compares the 2 remarkably similar belief systems, though to be clear, while Christianity has some cult-like behaviors, Scientology is a cult in the strictest sense of the word. And it’s important to clarify that as insanely dopey as their beliefs are, my principle criticism is of their cult behavior because otherwise they’ll just try to get away with claiming we’re just bigoted towards their “religion.”

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER EPIC FAIL!

Yet another Creationist EPIC FAIL! – This time they’re taken down by the publication Chemical and Engineering News.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

First Prehistoric Pregnant Turtle Discovered – “A 75-million-year-old fossil of a pregnant turtle and a nest of fossilized eggs that were discovered in the badlands of southeastern Alberta by scientists and staff from the University of Calgary and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology are yielding new ideas on the evolution of egg-laying and reproduction in turtles and tortoises.”

Hobbit-like Dwarfs: Bone Parts Don’t Add Up – “Misinterpreted fragments of leg bones, teeth and brow ridges found in Palau appear to be an archaeologist’s undoing, according to researchers at three institutions. They say that the so-called dwarfs of these Micronesian islands actually were modern, normal-sized hunters and gatherers.” Ugh, you just know the creationists are going to misrepresent this story and play it up as “proof” that evolution is wrong. Though kinda odd that the “evolutionists” discovered the error while The Discovery Institute still hasn’t spent one cent on actual research. Science is self-correcting.

Is Extinction Or Diversity On The Rise? – “It’s no secret that humans are having a huge impact on the life cycles of plants and animals. UC Santa Barbara’s Steven D. Gaines and fellow researcher Dov Sax decided to test that theory by studying the world’s far-flung islands.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 7.20.08

July 21, 2008

Record number of UFO sightings in New Brunswick, British Columbia
-Of the 836 UFO sitings in Canada alone in 2007, a record 24 of them were reported in New Brunswick, British Columbia. I’d say this is a pretty damned good reason to be remain skeptical of claims that UFOs are spaceships from another world. And let this be a lesson in pareidolia. People have pattern-seeking brains and you shouldn’t believe everything you see or everything a reliable friend says they’ve seen.

PZ’s latest comment on the Crackergate insanity

-The latest installment in the ongoing absurd saga I’ve dubbed Crackergate.
Town of Aberystwyth may end 30-year ban on Monty Python’s Life of Brian

-Yes, that’s right. There’s actually a town that has upheld a 30-year-long ban on “Life of Brian.”

Christian Band’s Guitarist Fired for Losing His Faith

-A very telling portion from the band’s official statement: “We as a band do not have problem with those that do not believe in Jesus, nor do we cast judgement on those that do not believe in Jesus. We just want to love on people like Jesus would and hopefully share a little bit about what he’s done and doing in our lives. We would call ourselves a Christian band and for that reason, we felt we couldn’t have someone in the band who didn’t agree with the band’s foundational drive.” Apparently ya do have a problem with it.
Michael Shermer on Intelligent Design

As always, Shermer exposing the hypocrisy of cdesign proponentsists.

And some science news:
Nature-Nurture Gene Link Sheds New Light On Autism

For those keeping score, that’s Medical Science, 1 trillion, Alternative Medicine, zero


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