News From Around The Blogosphere 6.9.11

June 10, 2011

I’ve been away for almost a week, so I’m going to have to play catch-up for the next few days.

1. New Pew Poll suggests atheists still unelectable – If the poll is accurate, atheists are less electable than a candidate who is Mormon, gay, divorced, or even an adulterer.

2. ‘Psychic’ leads Texas Rangers and FBI down dead end  – Police followed a tip by an alleged psychic who told them where to find a supposed mass grave containing dozens of dismembered bodies. Now Craig McNair, head of the county commissioners, is looking to hold her responsible for giving a false tip and creating havoc.

3. ‘Expelled’ production company expelled from existence – Premise Media Holdings LP has gone bankrupt and its shitty creationist propaganda film starring Ben Stein is going up for auction:

The high bidder will become the owner of the movie that The New York Times (2008 Apr 18) described as “[o]ne of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time … a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry … an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike” and that was denounced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for its “profound dishonesty” and condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its “outrageous” misuse of the Holocaust to “tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution.” (NCSE’s Expelled Exposed provides a collection of reviews, commentary, and resources documenting the extensive problems with Expelled.)

4. Tennessee passes law banning images that “cause emotional distress” – Though it remains to be seen if anyone will actually try to enforce this new law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, it’s hard to imagine a greater offense to the First Amendment.

5. Hot nun fired over lap-dancing past – Wasn’t there something in Christian mythology about turning the other cheek? Which cheeks the passage was talking about is unclear.

And on a related note…

6. Pole dancing for Jesus causes controversy – There’s a pole dancing class that allegedly is intended to help women stay in shape while simultaneously bringing them closer to God:

Set to Christian music, church-going women spin and slither around poles. But the instructor and the students say it’s not about sex.

7. South Carolina prison insist lingerie ads lead to “deviant behavior” -

But the organization says the jail has gone even further in its screening of mail to inmates by banning publications that contain any level of nudity, including beachwear and underwear.

Oh, and there’s a video in the link above.

 

And finally…

8. Congratulations to my friend Page Van Meter, who’s been named the new president of the NYC Skeptics!

 

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Rep. Henry Brown and other Republicans’ new proposed waste of tax-payer dollars

December 29, 2009

I’ve blogged about this story before but here’s a horrible waste of tax-payer money during a recession:

Rep. Henry Brown of South Carolina and 74 Republican co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives actually wants Congress to pass a resolution condemning people for saying “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

Son of a bitch! This is seriously how these clowns want to spend tax-payer dollars? Really? After refusing to support spending for health care reform, a measure that would have undeniable benefits for almost every man, woman, and child in the country? These people are insane. They should be locked up in mental asylums, not running our country.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s no “War on Christmas.” The only “war” being waged is by Christians against anyone else who has the audacity to not celebrate Christmas. I have no beef with Christmas. It’s not even a real Christian holiday and many of its traditions are either Pagan in origin, secular in origin, and/or explicitly condemned in the Bible such as the Christmas tree in Jeremiah 10. Also, if you polled a hundred people on the street about their favorite part of the holiday, you’d be lucky to find even one who’d name Christmas mass or any other unambiguously religious element.

Sure, I’m a little unnerved by the ultra-commercialism of this time of year. And I think pressuring everyone into being generous is manifestly paradoxical and ultimately a flawed system since ideally, everyone reciprocates by giving presents to those they receive presents from and those presents are ideally of relatively equal worth, guaranteeing that people would just be better off buying their own gifts (hence gift cards and cash presents). But I enjoy many elements to the season. I love Santa Claus, the patron saint of this holiday, who’s inspired by numerous cultures’ myths as well as the Coca Cola Corporation, and as I understand it, is said to have died for our sins on a cross (That is what the holiday’s about, isn’t it?).

But it isn’t enough for these wankers that this holiday, currently most associated with one specific religion, is ALREADY regarded as a national holiday. No, that isn’t good enough for them. They need to force this down everyone’s throats and force us all to celebrate no matter what. Well I call bullshit! This is the United States of America, goddamnit! And we don’t have to celebrate or honor a goddamned thing! I’ll celebrate Burn The Flag Day if I please, and there ain’t a damned thing you can do about it because that’s my Constitutional right as a citizen of this amazing country. And if you don’t like it, you can just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and sing, “la, la, la, la” over and over again. That’s your right. Your right to swing your fists end at my nose.

And ironically, it seems that the more atheists surprise Christians by announcing that they enjoy celebrating Christmas, the more Christians seem to be outraged and call for the exclusivity of the holiday. Just see Garrison Keillor’s rant in the Chicago Tribune, which I’ve previously mentioned in a blog. You just can’t win with people who insist on being argumentative about everything and will argue regardless of what side you’re on. So atheists might as well just continue to praise Christmas for its secular and explicitly anti-Christian components just to see if we can get more Christians to denounce the holiday.


News From Around The Blogosphere 11.12.09

November 13, 2009

1. MILF cleared of abduction charges by Irish priest – Okay, get you minds out of the gutter. Of course I’m talking about the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). In the Philippines, Irish Fr. Michael Sinnott was held hostage for 31 days and after being freed, said that his abductors were the original lumad of Mindanao who lost their homeland and everything else when the merchants came in, but not the MILF. In fact, the MILF Central Committee are credited for effecting his release.

2. Nanotechnology kicks cancer’s ass -

Led by Elena Rozhkova, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago’s Brain Tumor Center have developed the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells.

Nanomedicine, an offshoot of nanotechnology, refers to highly specific medical intervention at the molecular scale for curing disease or repairing damaged tissues, such as bone, muscle, nerve, or brain cells. Nanoparticles – anywhere from 100 to 2500 nanometers in size – are at the same scale as the biological molecules and structures inside living cells. Cancer detection using nanoparticles shows great promise as a therapy for certain types of cancer. And the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) is taking nanoparticles very seriously. The NIH has established a national network of eight Nanomedicine Development Centers, which serve as the intellectual and technological core of the NIH Nanomedicine Roadmap Initiative.

3. South Carolina rules religious license plates unconstitutional - The smoking gun of the case seems to this:

When State Sen. Yance McGill was asked by the Associated Press in May 2009 whether he would support a Wiccan tag, he said, “Well, that’s not what I consider to be a religion.”

When asked about a Buddhist tag, he said “I’d have to look at the individual situation. But I’m telling you, I firmly believe in this [Christian] tag.”

Rep. Bill Sandifer also backed the “Christian” plate, but emphatically asserted that he would never do the same for a plate featuring Islamic symbols and language.

“Absolutely and positively no,” he said.

And, let’s not forget, [ed: Lt. Gov] Bauer himself also said no to the same question.

“I would not [support a tag for Islam] because that is not the group I support,” he said.

Oops. Thanks guys.

4. Rhode Island governor vetoed domestic partners burial bill – This bill would have allowed a same-sex partner to make funeral arrangements for a dead partner. Governor Carcieri, have you no decency, sir? Have you no decency?

5. Catholic Church gives Washington D.C. an ultimatum – The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington threatened to pull aid to homeless if the state doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law. Yay extortion!

6. Cincinnati Coalition of Reason billboard taken down due to death threats -  And while extremely unfortunate, it both illustrates why these completely unoffensive ads are so important in the first place and on the plus side, the billboard was just moved to a new location. And this will no doubt generate more publicity than the billboard itself.

7. Alabama Atheists and Agnostics get publicity - Last month, they went around chalking their university to advertise their upcoming meeting. Then it got erased and so they chalked everything again, only to have that erased to. And now the story has gotten them some great new publicity, which like the Cincinnati billboard incident, will likely reach a much larger audience than originally intended. Thanks assholes!

8. 10-year-old refuses to stand for Pledge for gay marriage – 10-year-old Will Phillips refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegience to show support for gay marriage:

“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”

At the end of our interview, I ask young Will a question that might be a civics test nightmare for your average 10-year-old. Will’s answer, though, is good enough — simple enough, true enough — to give me a little rush of goose pimples. What does being an American mean?

“Freedom of speech,” Will says, without even stopping to think. “The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents.”

9. Why chimps can’t speak -

Scientists suspect that part of the answer to the mystery lies in a gene called FOXP2. When mutated, FOXP2 can disrupt speech and language in humans. Now, a UCLA/Emory study reveals major differences between how the human and chimp versions of FOXP2 work, perhaps explaining why language is unique to humans.

Published Nov. 11 in the online edition of the journal Nature, the findings provide insight into the evolution of the human brain and may point to possible drug targets for human disorders characterized by speech disruption, such as autism and schizophrenia.

 


South Carolina Pastafarians get press

May 13, 2009

more about “South Carolina Pastafarians get press“, posted with vodpod


With Obama’s speech tonight, I almost forgot that politicians are often stupid

February 24, 2009

Here’s some pearls of wisdom from Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina:

Well I think that it’s just, and science is more and more documenting this, is that there are real “chinks” in the armor of evolution being the only way we came about. The idea of there being a, you know, a little mud hole and two mosquitoes get together and the next thing you know you have a human being… is completely at odds with, you know, one of the laws of thermodynamics which is the law of, of … in essence, destruction.

the-more-you-know

Thanks professor, but if it’s all the same with you, I’ll leave the science to the scientists, not the crazy people.

And Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, responding to creationist statements by Sarah Palin,  said this little gem:

I saw her comments on it yesterday, and I thought they were appropriate, which is, you know, let’s — if there are competing theories, and they are credible, her view of it was, according to the comments in the newspaper, allow them all to be presented or allow them both to be presented so students could be exposed to both or more and have a chance to be exposed to the various theories and make up their own minds…

In the scientific community, it seems like intelligent design is dismissed — not entirely, there are a lot of scientists who would make the case that it is appropriate to be taught and appropriate to be demonstrated, but in terms of the curriculum in the schools in Minnesota, we’ve taken the approach that that’s a local decision.

I think the key here is “if there are competing theories, and they are credible.” Creationism is neither a competing theory nor credible. So I guess then I agree with Pawlenty under those conditions.


Athvertising in South Carolina but still not in Australia

January 29, 2009

Another piece of athvertising is going up in South Carolina – It’s my favorite of the atheist billboard campaigns, this one:

It says all the right things.

Also, the local NBC affiliate in Charleston, South Carolina interviewed Secular Coalition for America president Herb Silverman yesterday (though not about SCA). Here’s the clip.

And in related news, the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA–not to be confused with our AFA, the Christian hate group, the American Family Association) is on the lookout for religious adverts; particularly on buses, billboards, or other media managed by APN because the AFA was planning on conducting an Atheist Bus Campaign similar to the ones in the UK, USA and Spain until APN refused to carry the adverts.

If the AFA find any evidence of APN carrying religious advertising then this can be used as evidence in the case.


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.13.08

December 14, 2008

Secular Humanism to be taught in Australia – This is to be an alternative to religion classes. Of course the religionists are pissed. Some are ironically (on multiple levels0 arguing that this will open the door for every religious nut to also demand equal time for satanism or witchcraft, etc. in school because apparently Humanism is a religion while others are arguing that because Humanist ISN’T a religion it should not be taught when learning about religion. So Humanism is simultaneous too religious and not religious. Got it?

South Carolina “I Believe” license plates halted – This isn’t like the vanity plate issue, where individuals choose a particular combination of letters and numbers containing a religious message, something I personally have no problem with. Rather this actually costs  state tax dollars. And the judge wisely saw that if you give this privilege to some, you have to give it to everyone. What’s also awesome about this case is that none of the plaintiffs were even atheists, just individuals representing many different religions who recognized that this was a bad idea.

Would you help restore a nativity scene? – When the atheist display in Olympia was stolen it (though later recovered), the Christians weren’t willing to lend a helping hand. But when a Christian nativity scene was destroyed, one atheist, Dale McGowan, chose to help repair the damage:

I hope and trust I am not alone in the freethought community in feeling outrage at this news. Whether or not you support the message of the display, vandalism and violence are completely out of bounds. I’ve sent messages to the Atlanta Freethought Society, Secular Coalition for America, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation urging them to take a quick public stand on this. I’ll shortly be contacting the other national organizations as well.

One of our most fundamental shared values — free expression — has been attacked. Secular humanist organizations and individuals should take an immediate and public stand condemning these actions.

The View on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design (It’s not pretty):

Shocked by The Bible? – In the book Shocked by the Bible, Joe Kovacs informs his readers of many things about The Bible that people probably don’t know. For instance:

  • The word “Easter” has vanished from today’s Bibles
  • The practice of decking a tree with silver and gold is actually condemned by God
  • God wanted to kill Moses
  • Animals had meaningful discussions with people
  • The Bible calls the devil “god”

It’s insane how many people actually believe this:

And they say the atheist bulletins are hateful?

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency

Iron Age ‘Sacrifice’ Is Britain’s Oldest Brain – “The oldest surviving human brain in Britain, dating back at least 2000 years to the Iron Age, has been unearthed during excavations on the site of the University of York’s campus expansion at Heslington East.”

Supermassive Black Hole Seen Clearer Than Ever – “Combining a double natural “magnifying glass” with the power of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have scrutinised the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away. They were able to study the disc with a level of detail a thousand times better than that of the best telescopes in the world, providing the first observational confirmation of the prevalent theoretical models of such discs.”

Wobbly Planets Could Reveal Earth-like Moons – “Moons outside our Solar System with the potential to support life have just become much easier to detect, thanks to research by an astronomer at University College London (UCL).”

Celebrate the birth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:


News From Around The Blogosphere 11.14.08

November 15, 2008

Even Better Than The Real Thing – Placebo acupuncture (if ever there were a more redundant phrase) more effective at getting you knocked up than real acupuncture:

A study comparing the effects of real and placebo acupuncture on pregnancy rates during assisted reproduction has found that, surprisingly, placebo acupuncture was associated with a significantly higher overall pregnancy rate than real acupuncture.

GM food hysteria is back in the news – A recent study found that a long-term diet of genetically modified corn decreases fertility in lab mice. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything for humans and therefore further research will have to be done. But of course the usual GM-phobic suspects are trying to tout this study as proof that their delusional rants have been justified for all these years. Um, no. You see pretty everything we eat in the 21st Century is genetically modified and without which millions of people around the world would starve.

Obama endorsing chiropractic? – Please just be paying lip service. I really don’t want my tax dollars to be squandered on this crap.

Damned for voting Obama? -

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman, a South Carolina Roman Catholic priest, has warned his parishioners that they will be committing a deadly sin if they voted for Barack Obama and accept Holy Communion before doing penance. His rationale? That supporting the pro-choice Obama “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil”. He goes on to describe Obama as “the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate”.

Um, can’t we take away this lunatic’s tax exempt status for preaching from the pulpit?

creationism-cartoon-i-will-not-teach-horse-shitAlternate title suggestion: “The Road To Ignorance Contest”or Shameless Discovery Institute Attempt to Exploit Child Labor & Promote Religious Ideas Deemed Unworthy by the Scientific Peer Review Process.

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

77-million-year-old Dinosaur ‘Whodunit’ Solved – “It has all the hallmarks of a Cretaceous melodrama. A dinosaur sits on her nest of a dozen eggs on a sandy river beach. Water levels rise, and the mother is faced with a dilemma: Stay or abandon her unhatched offspring to the flood and scramble to safety?

Seventy-seven million years later, scientific detective work conducted by University of Calgary and Royal Tyrrell Museum researchers used this unique fossil nest and eggs to learn more about how nest building, brooding and eggs evolved. But there is a big unresolved question: Who was the egg-layer?” Keep in mind that this would have been 76,994,000 years before the existence of the entire universe, according to Young Earth Creationists. But who’s counting?

Prehistoric Pelvis: Clues To Human Development – “Discovery of the most intact female pelvis of Homo erectus may cause scientists to reevaluate how early humans evolved to successfully birth larger-brained babies.”

Ultimate Recycling: Turning Urine Into Water – “Two hundred and fifty miles above the Earth puts you a long way from the nearest kitchen tap. And at $15,000 a pint, the cost of shipping fresh water aboard the space shuttle is, well, astronomical.

So astronauts on the International Space Station have to recapture every possible drop. That includes water evaporated from showers, shaving, tooth brushing and hand washing, plus perspiration and water vapor that collects within the astronauts’ space suits. They even transfer water from the fuel cells that provide electric power to the space shuttle.

Until now, however, NASA has not attempted to tap one major potential source of water: urine. That will soon change with the deployment of the new Water Recovery System. It departs Friday, Nov. 14, from the Kennedy Space Center on the Space Shuttle Endeavor.”

Mineral Kingdom Has Co-evolved With Life – “Evolution isn’t just for living organisms. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have found that the mineral kingdom co-evolved with life, and that up to two thirds of the more than 4,000 known types of minerals on Earth can be directly or indirectly linked to biological activity.”

Fish Choose Their Leaders By Consensus – “Just after Americans have headed to the polls to elect their next president, a new report in the November 13th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, reveals how one species of fish picks its leaders: Most of the time they reach a consensus to go for the more attractive of two candidates.” Wow, so it’s just like our democracy then.

Marine Plankton Found In Amber – “Marine microorganisms have been found in amber dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period. The fossils were collected in Charente, in France. This completely unexpected discovery will deepen our understanding of these lost marine species as well as providing precious data about the coastal environment of Western France during the Cretaceous.”

Light Triggers New Code For Brain Cells – “Brain cells can adopt a new chemical code in response to cues from the outside world, scientists working with tadpoles at the University of California, San Diego report in the journal Nature.

. . . Dark tadpoles don pale camouflage when exposed to bright light. The researchers have now identified cells in the tadpole brain that respond to illumination by making dopamine, a chemical message, or neurotransmitter, recognized by the system that controls pigmentation.”

A glimpse at some possible future atheist ads – Admittedly, I’m not a fan of most of them. The only one I like from the bunch is this one:

But I still love last year’s billboards much, much more:

atheist-billboard1atheistbillboard2

None of these weak phrases like “There is probably no God.” These are much stronger and less likely to viewed as offensive or be written off as atheists just looking for friends because they’re desperate and lonely.


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.9.08

October 10, 2008

A collection of analyzes of many studies proving Vitamin C doesn’t cure cancer

Mark Crislip rains on ParadeA little over a week ago, I blogged about my intention to write Parade Magazine for a particularly credulous story they ran that recommended acupuncture among other crap-based medicine. Well, I never got around to it. Fortunately Mark Crislip tore them a new one. Great job, Mark!

NY Times endorses dowsing – I hope they got a good price for that journalist integrity. Maybe the subject of this article would care to take the Randi Million Dollar Challenge.

Speaking of Randi, I’m going to get to see the amazing one in person tomorrow in NYC.

And Randi’s annual skeptic’s convention is also the focus of the latest Captain Disillusion video:

Voodoo! – George Ann Mills, a South Carolina voodoo high priestess, is alleging that Annette Kesting, an Atlanta, Georgia county commissioner, tried to pay her to cast curses on a political rival and bounced checks in the process.

WHAT’S THE HARM?

Attempted Witch Burning – Darin Najor, a 20-year-old adult education student in Michigan, has been charged with assault and battery after dousing his teacher with holy water and trying to burn her with a lighter because he thought she was a witch. Amateur Scientist points out:

Nor does he understand how to properly burn a witch. If someone’s wet, you’re going to have a hard time burning him or her. Yes, even if the water is holy.

For more info. on this story, click here.

The Amateur Scientist blog is now banned in China

Campus Crusade For Christ is raising money to buy supplies for the soldiers - So what are they buying? Armor? No. Guns? No. Bullets? Food? No. Medical equipment? Anything even remotely useful? No. Just useless Bibles.

Sydney Atheists doing charity work in the name of reason

ATHEIST DISCRIMINATION:

Those Evil Humanists – The Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear in North Carolina set up a booth about Humanism and Freethinking at an annual street festival. Someone noticed a sign directed right at them at a local church nearby (and God’s a terrible spell checker):

Richard Dawkins named one of the 50 people who wrecked Britain! WOOO!!! – This critical document was produce by some random guy named Quentin Letts, who clearly has been granted special authority on these matters. And to think I didn’t even know Britain was wrecked? Funny, in all my exchanges with friends living in Britain, not one of them has ever mentioned that Britain is wrecked.

Review of The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville

Christian reality dating show – I can’t beat the comment on Skepchick: “Get advice from a twice-divorced Pentecostal minister who plead guilty to assaulting one of his ex-wives! What better source could there be? “

Browse the artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker’s library – Coolest library ever!

MONKEY NEWS:

Monkey waiters – In America we only have to compete with Indians and Mexicans for jobs. The Japanese are losing their jobs to monkeys! It’s a mad house. A MAD HOUSE! Damn, dirty primates!

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Circadian Clock May Be Critical For Learning – “The circadian rhythm that quietly pulses inside us all, guiding our daily cycle from sleep to wakefulness and back to sleep again, may be doing much more than just that simple metronomic task, according to Stanford researchers.

Working with Siberian hamsters, biologist Norman Ruby has shown that having a functioning circadian system is critical to the hamsters’ ability to remember what they have learned. Without it, he said, ‘They can’t remember anything.’ “

Computers ‘Taught’ To Search For Photos – “A pair of Penn State researchers has developed a statistical approach, called Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures in Real-Time (ALIPR), that one day could make it easier to search the Internet for photographs.”

Genome Of Relapsing Malaria Parasite Decoded – “In research aimed at addressing a global epidemic, a team of scientists from around the world has cracked the genetic code for the parasite that is responsible for up to 40 percent of the 515 million annual malaria infections worldwide, Nature reveals in its October 9 cover story.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 9.30.08

October 1, 2008

THIS DAY IN GOD:

Not all religiously-motivated terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are caused by Muslims – Some nutty American Christians sprayed gas into a mosque filled with kids. Some suspect this is connected with an anti-Muslim “documentary,” Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

Consequences of Pulpit Sunday – As I mentioned in my blog 2 days ago, a group of religious organizations planned to preach from the pulpit to tell their parishioners who to vote for, deliberately violating the rules that afford them tax exempt status on Sunday. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is already filing complaints with the IRS.

Religious sentiment in New Zealand – A recent New Zealand survey suggests only 40% of the people believe in a god, and 10% do but have doubts. Only 52% believe in an immortal soul, and 80% accept evolution. Not surprisingly, this secular paradise is not the crime-ridden distopia theists would have you believe. Quite the opposite.

CREATIONIST NEWS:

Creationists are losing the battle in North Carolina! YEA! - I blogged about the creationist goings-on in North Carolina 2 weeks ago (here). Apparently the creationist Newspeak gambit isn’t working no matter how many times they insist:

Religion is Science

Science is Religion

Bill Gates funding the Discover Institute? – Et tu, Bill? As if there weren’t enough reasons to switch to a Mac.

CRANKS IN THE NEWS:

Mayor of Fort Mill, South Carolina sent a chain email around that said something to the effect of, The Bible says the anti-Christ would be a Muslim, Barack Obama is a Muslim, ergo, Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. Can’t argue with that bulletproof logic.

Christian Civic League of Maine blames Wall Street crash on gays – One would have thought the Jews would make better scapegoats for this one. But then again, who am I to tell the bigots how to do their bigotry?

“Our crisis is a symptom, not the cause,” writes Michael Heath. “I am not saying I know whether this financial crisis is God’s judgment or not. It is not for me to know that definitively.”

Hellmouth

Hellmouth

Conservative Christian reviewer calls Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast the “Mouthpiece of Satan” – Apparently he’s under the impression that all they do is sit around mocking god-belief. Though oddly, having heard every episode, I somehow must have missed that one. Oh, and also he also believes that autism is a “disease” and is one of many “judgments from God.” He calls it, “liquid blasphemy” (I guess it’s liquid because vaccines contain liquid). Of the podcast, he says:

“There is nothing redeemable in this podcast. It’s a propaganda mouthpiece for Satan and his followers.”

AND IN ANTIVACCINATION NEWS:

Jenny McCarthy fires back at Amanda “My Future Wife” Peet - I dare you not to laugh when you read this quote by Jenny:

“(Peet) has a lot of [nerve] to come forward and be on that side, because there is an angry mob on my side, and I like the fact that I can say she’s completely wrong.” She added, “I look at (Peet) now and say to myself, ‘That was me before I had autism in my life,’ and until she walks in our shoes, she really has no idea.”

Wah! Wah! Also, the national autism advocacy group Autism United is calling for a boycott of all of Amanda Peet’s movies:

“Our community will not support the continued misinformation that is funneled into the media by organizations like ECBT and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are not against vaccines, rather we are for safe vaccines. Until they understand that, we won’t back down.”

Flash forward to a month from now when they’ve backed down. The difference between McCarthy and antivaccinationists at Age of Autism is:

“There’s a big difference. One teaches. The other proselytizes. May Amanda never need our help.”

Oddly, I agree on both counts. Peet teaches while McCarthy proselytizes nonsense and it truly would be a tragedy if Peet ever needed these delusional fools’ help. But yeah, as everyone knows the pediatricianazis are next to traitors in the center of Hell. Damn you, you pediatrician!!! Stop protecting our children!!!

Also McCarthy apparently couldn’t understand why Barbara Walters didn’t believe that her son, Evan, had recovered from the currently uncurable autism until Jenny found some convoluted explanation for Walters’ skepticism.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

In Defense of Food – Here’s another blog recommending we stop listening to nutritionists and stupid fad diets and just eat rationally, citing the eating advice of one author who breaks it down to 7 words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Though blogger Harriet Hall makes a slight alteration to this advice: Eat a variety of foods. Not too much. Mostly plants.

What does a scientific consensus mean?

The Times investigates alternative medicine in a series of articles – But apparently in the most recent article, the author doesn’t take into account Bayes’ Theorem, which states that the more implausible the hypothesis, the less likely that any numerical data can confirm it.

Phil Plait interviewed for Popular Science Magazine regarding Moon Hoaxers

EPIC FAIL!

Congratulations to PETA for making the Epic Fail 2 consecutive weeks in a row!! That’s quite an accomplishment – Okay, I found last week’s stunt nothing but mildly amusing. But this time it’s personal! Now they’re blaming the genetic disorder autism on milk consumption. Anyway, Orac delivers a crushing debunking of their ludicrous, repulsive propaganda taking advantage of the current hysteria surrounding the disorder.

WHAT’S THE HARM?

Homeopathic/herbal scam artist sentenced:

A Shelby County man who scammed thousands of hopeful customers worldwide with bogus health-remedies pleaded guilty Monday to computer fraud and agreed to forfeit cars, motorcycles, bank accounts and other property. . . “We have victims from virtually every continent and there allegedly are several thousand victims,” said Steve Crossnoe of the District Attorneys Office White Collar Crime Prosecution Unit. “People were not receiving what they thought they were receiving. The medical research was fictional. The doctors were fictional.”

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Mass Extinctions And Evolution Of Dinosaurs – “Dinosaurs survived two mass extinctions and 50 million years before taking over the world and dominating ecosystems, according to new research published this week.”

New Dinosaur Had Bird-Like Breathing System – “The remains of a 30-foot-long predatory dinosaur discovered along the banks of Argentina’s Rio Colorado is helping to unravel how birds evolved their unusual breathing system.”

Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow On Red Planet – “NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth.”

Second-hand Smoke May Hook Kids On Nicotine – “Parents who smoke cigarettes around their kids in cars and homes beware – second-hand smoke may trigger symptoms of nicotine dependence in children.”


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