News From Around The Blogosphere 9.2.08

September 3, 2008

9/11: Still not an inside jobI can’t believe I forgot to post a bulletin about this earlier but a few weeks ago the 9/11 conspiracy theorists were super excited about a new report coming out that investigated the cause of the collapse of WTC building 7 that they predicted would show that the building must have collapsed because of a controlled demolition. At the time, I sent a bulletin out asking 9/11 conspiracy theorists one question.
Since they’re so willing to embrace the conclusions of the report if it supports the controlled demolition hypothesis, will they be just as quick to embrace the results of the report if it does not support this conclusion?

Oddly, I received no responses. Well, the report finally came out.
And, it turns out it wasn’t a controlled demolition. I know. Shocking.
So if you were so willing to embrace the conclusions of the report if they had supported the controlled demolition hypothesis, will you now embrace the results of the report now that it does not support this conclusion? And if not, why not?

What have Sarah Palin’s pasters said?

Evangelicals like James Dobson tripping over themselves trying to spin Bristol Palin’s underage, unwed pregnancy – I hate to say it but maybe someone should have taught her about contraception . . . you know, like in school.

Skeptics Take DragonCon – This is definitely an event I’m going to have to get to next year.

Four Tips For Dating Believers -

Myth the credit card companies don’t want busted – The Mythbusters were apparently working on a segment about RFID vulnerabilities but were bullied out of it by the big credit card companies.

Court order remains for anti-vaccine couple – Remember the Australian couple who didn’t want to vaccinate their child against Hep B even though the mother carries the virus? The government wanted to drop the case but a judge has declined to allow them to do so.

Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is now sponsoring the anti-vaccine Age of Autism – Little doubt that they see this as a perfect opportunity to sell their voodoo medicine.

A drunken adventure of 2 women infiltrating the creationist Discovery Institute and get a personal tour from Casey Luskin – Here is the first installment, the second installment, and the third installment. The fourth and final installment is yet to come, Look for it any day now at Enemy Combatant: Trailmix Appreciation Club.

WHO’S MAKING JESUS CRY NOW?

Whiny Christians suing over statue of Jesus with an erectionThis sounds kinda familiar. Yeah, once again, Christians are trying to infringe on others’ freedoms to censor art that offends their delicate little feelings. I wrote about this playing the victim tactics last year. It’s the same old story. They’re even employing the ever popular “They wouldn’t have dared do this to Mohammed” gambit:

“Mrs Mapfuwa, of Brentwood, said Baltic would not have dared depict Mohammed in such a way.”

Oh yes they would! And I’m reminded of the last time a Christian pulled out this old song. It was Rod Dreher hypocritically expressing his disgust over PZ Myers desecrating the communion wafer and a copy of the Quran after daring him to desecrate a copy of the Quran as well (the only reason Myers ended up including the Quran in the desecration).

The Carl Sagan Institute of UFOlogy? – WTF! These nuts claim not only that Jesus is a flying saucer pilot but that Sagan was a secret believer in alien visitations. And they want your money. If Sagan were here I’m sure he’d say:

“Yes, the world would be a more interesting place if there were UFOs lurking in the deep waters off Bermuda and eating ships and planes, or if dead people could take control of our hands and write us messages. It would be fascinating if adolescents were able to make telephone handsets rocket off their cradles just by thinking at them, or if our dreams could, more often than can be explained by chance and our knowledge of the world, accurately foretell the future. These are all instances of pseudoscience” (Carl Sagan, “The Demon-Haunted World”).

ResearchBlogging.org – This is an aggregator for blogging about peer-reviewed scientific research and makes for an excellent resource.

More red flags to look out for to avoid sham medical treatments

Getting de-baptized – In Italy, a group called the Italian Union of Rationalists and Agnostics (UAAR) has taken it upon themselves to help people get debaptized.

In the wake of Hurricane Gustav, atheists (just like religious people) are eager to help residents of the deep south affected by this disaster.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE

Forecast – It’s going to be another bad day for creationists, especially Young Earth Creationists

Investigating Origin Of Life Using Computers – “Scientists at Penn State have developed a new computational method that they say will help them to understand how life began on Earth. The team’s method has the potential to trace the evolutionary histories of proteins all the way back to either cells or viruses, thus settling the debate once and for all over which of these life forms came first.”

Person’s Geographic Origins Located From DNA – “One day soon, you may be able to pinpoint the geographic origins of your ancestors based on analysis of your DNA.”

Genetic Link To Relationship Difficulties Found – “Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have found a link between a specific gene and the way men bond to their partners. The results, which are presented in the scientific journal PNAS, can lead to a better understanding of such problems as autism and social phobia.”

Bonobos May Have Greater Linguistic Skills – “The findings, published this month in the Journal of Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, indicate that bonobos may exhibit larger linguistic competency in ordinary conversation than in controlled experimental settings.”

Prehistoric Funerary Found In Northern Israel – “Hebrew University excavations in the north of Israel have revealed a prehistoric funerary precinct dating back to 6,750-8,500 BCE.” And yes, they include phallic figurines. Yea!

Origin Of Cosmic Dust That Lands On Earth – “The origin of the microscopic meteorites that make up cosmic dust has been revealed for the first time in new research out September 1, 2008.”

Thawing Permafrost To Boost Global Warming? – “A new assessment more than doubles previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored in permafrost, and indicates that carbon dioxide emissions from microbial decomposition of organic carbon in thawing permafrost could amount to roughly half those resulting from global land-use change during this century.”

Illusion Isn’t Always Just In The Mind – “An illusion that tricks people into believing a rubber hand belongs to them isn’t all in the mind, Oxford University researchers have found. They have observed a physical response as well, a finding that offers insight into conditions which affect a patient’s sense of self and body ownership, such as stroke, schizophrenia, autism, or eating disorders.”


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