News From Around The Blogosphere 12.24.08

But Faux News told me atheists hate Christmas? – Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris explain what they’re doing for Christmas.

Michael Egnor of the creationist Discovery Institute returns to attack Steve Novella and Orac – Novella and Egnor have been battling it out for some time on their blogs. Every time this has resulted in Egnor making tired logically fallacious arguments to knock down materialism in order to leave room for his own brand of nonsense. And every time Novella has demolished every one of Egnor’s arguments. Now Egnor is moving onto defending “Alternative Medicine” against both Novella and Orac, both of which in addition to having their own blogs, write for the Science-Based Medicine blog. And once again, Steve Novella knocks down his logical fallacies. Orac also responds here.

Did an angel save this woman’s daughter? – Nope.

Festive medical myths – Some of these overlap with those covered in a video embedded in a previous blog.

Inventive things for atheists to autograph – Some people have had Richard Dawkins sign a banana, of course referencing Ray Comforts infamous “atheist nightmare.” Someone has gotten Matt Stone of South Park to autograph a Bible. And resurrecting Crackergate, someone has gotten PZ Myers to autograph an unconsecrated communion wafer:

Has your Nintendo Wii been beating you up? – Or did you just fall down some stairs?

According to Dr. Dev Mukerjee of Broomfield Hospital: “There has been a 100 percent increase in patients complaining of Wii-itis.” Turns out, Wii-itis is their word for playing so much Wii that you injure yourself. Astonishingly, up to ten people per week are being “hospitalized with injuries caused by playing Nintendo Wii games,” which has forced medical personnel to “issue warnings of the dangers associated with the video game system.”


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyChocolate, Wine, Tea Improve Brain Performance –“According to Oxford researchers working with colleagues in Norway, chocolate, wine and tea enhance cognitive performance.

The team from Oxford’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Norway examined the relation between cognitive performance and the intake of three common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea) in 2,031 older people (aged between 70 and 74).”

New Type Of Laser Discovered -“A Princeton-led team of researchers has discovered an entirely new mechanism for making common electronic materials emit laser beams. The finding could lead to lasers that operate more efficiently and at higher temperatures than existing devices, and find applications in environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics.”

Unwanted Memories Might Be Erasable – “In a discovery that may one day lead to the ability to erase debilitating painful memories and addictions from the brain, researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have found that a molecule known to preserve memories – PKMzeta – specifically stores complex, high-quality memories that provide detailed information about an animal’s location, fears, and actions, but does not control the ability to process or express this information. This finding suggests that PKMzeta erasure that is designed to target specific debilitating memories could be effective against the offending memory while sparing the computational function of brain.”


To all of our friends. . .
and a couple of our enemies:

Happy Saturnalia!
Happy Yule!
Happy Dies Natalis Solis Invicti !
Happy Kwanzaa!
Merry Christmastide! (aka Christmas!)
Happy Festivus!
Happy Chrismakkah!
Happy Monkey!

And to Bill O’Reilly: Happy Chanukkah!

War is Over (if you want it)


2 Responses to News From Around The Blogosphere 12.24.08

  1. leftbutright says:

    Happy New Year! I should hope it hasn’t escaped your attention that 2009 is the bi-centenary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Something for people of reason to celebrate!

  2. mjr256 says:

    Thanks. Happy New Year to you too. And yes, I’m very excited about the Darwin bicentennial and the possibility that my nephew will be born on Darwin’s birthday.

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