News From Around The Blogosphere 5.20.10

1. Antievolution bill denied in Missouri – House Bill 1651 was another transparent creationist attempt to undermine evolution. First they tried “creation science” and that was ruled unconstitutional. Then came “Intelligent Design” and that was exposed as a fraud. Then came the “Teach the controversy” and “academic freedom” laws. And now this is the latest strategy they seem to be using. The bill calls calls for the teaching of the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. The problem is there are no weaknesses to evolution. You might as well demand the teaching the weaknesses of heliocentricism or the weaknesses of Round Earth Theory.

2. Saudi woman kicks virtue cop’s ass – In Saudi Arabia, they have virtue cops who patrol public places looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing (cause it’s a serious crime to socialize there). This religion cop saw a young, 20-something couple and approached them. He asked them to confirm their identities and relationship to one another (and you thought Arizona was fascist). That’s when the young man collapsed and the woman beat the shit out of the cop. Awesome!

“To see resistance from a woman means a lot,” Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. “People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.”

“The media and the Internet have given people a lot of power and the freedom to express their anger,” she said. “The Hai’a are like a militia, but now whenever they do something it’s all over the Internet. This gives them a horrible reputation and gives people power to react.”

3. Being an evangelical pastor has its down side – A new survey finds that being an evangelical pastor is a pretty strong indicator that your life sucks. Here’s just a few examples:

  • 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • 50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
  • 80 percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 40% of pastors polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

4. Scientists create new cell controlled by man-made genetic instructions

Although the ultimate goal of creating artificial organisms is still far off, the experiment points to a future in which microbes could be manufactured with novel functions, such as the ability to digest pollutants or produce fuels. Some ethicists fear that the strategy could also be used to produce biological weapons and other dangerous life forms.

And to think, they said we were mad…MAD! Muhahahaha!

5. Researchers find first drug that has therapeutic effect in a type of autism

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a drug that improves communication between nerve cells in a mouse model of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS). Behavioral symptoms of PMS fall under the autism spectrum disorder category.

And to think, if anti-vaxxers had their way this research would not even exist.

6. Psychic caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars

Marks ran a psychic business out of Lafayette. Police said she convinced clients that certain numbers were bad and they needed to give her their credit card and bank account numbers. Investigators say she also convinced customers to give her large amounts of money so she could cleanse it of evil spirits.

. . .

One woman said she lost $240,000. Others claimed to have lost their life savings to Marks.

“She told me, ‘Don’t tell anybody about me. If you tell anybody bad things will happen to you,'” Bermudez-Hafer said.

District Attorney Stan Garnett offered advice to those who visit psychics.

“Don’t start giving psychics large amounts of money based on some understanding of magic that’s going to happen,” Garnett said.

An even better piece of advice is to avoid “psychics” altogether. As for Marks, I foresee an orange jumpsuit in her future.

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One Response to News From Around The Blogosphere 5.20.10

  1. sprawn says:

    Marks is a hilariously ironic name for a swindler.

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