News From Around The Blogosphere 3.11.10

March 12, 2010

1. School cancels prom to turn students against gay teen – Constance McMillen was planning to wear a tuxedo and attend the prom with her girlfriend in a small town in Itawamba County, Mississippi. And after the ACLU stopped the school from denying her right to attend the prom the school got even by canceling the whole thing and making the student body know it was McMillen’s fault. And the town’s mayor chimed in, supporting the school. Because that’s just the kind of classy folks they have in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

2. Zimbabwe anti-vax religious sect gets 100 killed – Who needs vaccines when you’ve got prayer? Except, you know, if you actually want people to live.

3. Pope’s exorcist finds the devil isn’t in the details but in the Vatican – Rev. Gabriel Amorth has the silliest resume on Earth. He’s been the chief exorcist for the Vatican for 25 years. His favorite movie? You guessed it. It’s The Exorcist. He alleges to have treated over 70,000 cases of demonic possession and sadly, I have no reason to doubt that claim.

But even the fearless priest becomes still, his voice grave when asked whether the devil can strike inside the Vatican City.


“He has tried already. He did it in 1981 by attacking John Paul II by working with those who armed Ali Agca. And also now with the attack on Christmas Eve night when the crazy woman pushed down Benedict XVI.”

. . .

Amorth confesses, “The devil resides in the Vatican.”While admitting that it is hard to prove, he says the consequences of the devil’s work are evident: Cardinals who don’t believe in Jesus, bishops who are linked with the devil. As early 1972 Pope Paul VI talked about the “smoke of Satan” that hovered in the Vatican, but it is more recent events like the pedophilia scandal the church is confronted with and the grisly murder by a Swiss guard of his commander and wife that Amorth uses as evidence of the devil’s presence.

Apparently humans can’t do anything against the Church without it being attributed to the devil.

4. More child abuse for Catholics to downplay – Two ex-Vienna choir boys have come out with accusations that they were raped by Church officials. But remember. It’s really the devil that’s doing it.

5. Robert Kennedy Jr. spreads false, malicious rumor in the Huff Po – The media has wised up to the anti-vaxxers, so the only source willing to take them is the Huffington Post due to its total lack of anything that could even remotely be considered by anyone on planet Earth as journalist standards. So now the anti-vaxxers got their man, RFK Jr. to push their libelous accusations about Dr. Poul Thorsen. Of course not a single word of it has any basis in fact. But then again, when have the anti-vaxxers or the Huffington Post ever care about facts?

But here’s one interesting story posted at the Huff Po:

6. Buying ghosts in a bottle – I have to at least give credit to the scammers for creativity. And it’s nice to see such witty skepticism expressed in the MSNBC clip embedded on the page.

7. PZ Myers eats your god with vegemite:

Steven Harper reignites Crackergate

July 8, 2009

jesus-crackerAlmost a year ago, there was quite the controversy that blew up surrounding the taking of communion wafers, briefly chronicled and compiled here (4th story down). Now it seems that controversy over The Holy Trisket has erupted again, this time over the accusation that Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper took the cracker without eating it, and therefore may have kidnapped the Catholic god.

Once again, as PZ Myers so eloquantly stated a year ago, IT’S A FRACKIN CRACKER!

Warring factions on Evolutionary thought cont’d

July 7, 2009

Last month, I blogged about one of the REAL scientific controversies concerning evolution that has the scientific community split into 2 distinct camps:

When it comes to how Evolutionary Theory is to be publicly discussed, there has for some time been 2 main schools of thought. The former, perhaps best represented by the likes of Doctors Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, and Barbara Forrest, believes in reassuring the public that Evolution does not conflict with their religions and can co-exist with the belief in a god. Ken Miller furthers this position by being himself a self-avowed Catholic who fully accepts Evolution.

Then there’s the other camp, perhaps best represented by Doctors Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and Jerry Coyne, who believe Evolution is necessarily inconsistent with religious beliefs and that its not the role of scientists to sugarcoat the truth by reinforcing the lie that Evolution can co-exist with religious belief. This is the camp that I belong to as well.

Well since then, tensions between the 2 camps have grown tremendously online, particularly on Chris Mooney’s blog, The Intersection, where this rising tension began last month when Mooney criticized an article by Dr. Jerry Coyne.

The conflict became more inflamed when Dr. PZ Myers learned that Mooney singled him out for allegedly furthering the rift between science and religion last year during the Crackergate fiasco (4th story down) and blogged about it as well as not receiving his usual review copy of Mooney’s book. This led Mooney to post his blog response to Myers and probably also prompted this other blog entry discussing the conflict of whether science and religion can co-exist here. But it’s not Mooney or Coyne or Myers, etc who have resumed fighting but the readers of Mooney’s blog. And the comments section of these 2 blogs have fast become a battleground for name-calling, straw men arguments, and just plain irrational behavior, particular on the part of  commenter John Kwok, who illustrates perhaps more than anybody how dogmatic and irrational the scientific-minded can become on this one issue, specifically, in my humble opinion, those on the side insisting that science and religion don’t conflict.

But one thing seems to be clear. This issue isn’t going away on its own. And as atheists become more and more outspoken in American society and as creationists further their political agendas, we’re going to be facing this conflict more and more. And if the scientific community can’t find some kind of common ground, we won’t need creationists because we’ll have done their jobs for them.

News From Around The Blogosphere 01.15.09

January 15, 2009

Judge says no to atheists’ inaugural prayer challenge – No big surprise there. It was a long-shot.

This comes after news that Lori Lipman Brown will be stepping down from her position at the Secular Coalition for America. Here’s an old clip of her on The O’Reilly Factor:

shredding-constitutionSouth Carolina embracing old-school censorship? – The man responsible is Senator Robert Ford. And believe it or not, this douche is a Democrat.


Anyone else feel like they’re trapped in Pleasantville?

Nice guy minister arrested for child porn – I’m so glad these guys have the proper credentials that affords them the complete trust of their neighbors.

Brian Dunning gets to the bottom of 9/11 conspiracy theorists’ favorite claim

The Tissue of Youth – Is human placenta a wonder drug, or is it just another Japanese health fad?

Remember Adolph Hitler Campbell, the toddler with a name the supermarket wouldn’t write on the birthday cake from last month? – Yeah, well it seems he and his siblings have been removed from their Neo-Nazi parents. Maybe daddy shouldn’t have gotten so much media attention by insisting junior’s horrible name get written on the birthday cake. Anywho, this story raises serious questions about when indoctrination alone should be viewed as parental abuse.

jesus-crackerThe Catholics want to excommunicate PZ -Apparently desecrating a cracker is a worse sin than genocide. Way to keep your priorities straight, Catholics.

foil-hatKooks call PZ Myers a “Medium Scumbag” – This was their response to a blog he wrote last year titled How can you tell when you’re a kook? –which reminds me a lot of an old blog of mine titled You might be delusional if. . .

That blog put me on the radar of the David Icke nuts, who then proceeded to make a thread on their forums devoted to making up random assumptions about me based off of their own delusional negative stereotypes of rational people instead of ever making any attempt to just ask me about my position and why I’m so confident that they’re batshit crazy.

complementary-medicine-for-dummiesAnd PZ also suggests a good way for the government to save $225 million – Shut down the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. And lots of skeptical bloggers are arguing to cut the earmarks on the  sCAM crap such as Orac and Val Jones.

christian-condomKrispy Kreme to hand out pro-choice doughnuts on Tuesday – In honor of Inauguration Day, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free doughnut on Tuesday. Though apparently some Christian groups don’t understand the distinction between pro-choice and pro-abortion as The headline of the American Life League’s press release reads:

“Krispy Kreme Celebrates Obama with pro-abortion doughnuts.”

God Tastes Like Chicken – This is the title of a new show playing in NYC:

God Tastes Like Chicken is a mock religious service with faith healing, communion, passion plays, and improv. This information is from the press release: “We take on the excesses of organized religion through blasphemy and comedy. It is a very interactive show, among other things we encourage people to come in religious costumes. We open with two featured comics/artists and Services are followed by sketch groups or emerging acts found right here in the L.E.S. or Williamsburg if we have to.”


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyStone-handling Monkeys: Cultural Evolution? – “For 30 years, scientists have been studying stone-handling behavior in several troops of Japanese macaques to catch a unique glimpse of primate culture. By watching these monkeys acquire and maintain behavioral traditions from generation to generation, the scientists have gained insight into the cultural evolution of humans.”

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.24.08

December 25, 2008

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)

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.25.08

October 26, 2008

WEBSTER COOK UNIMPEACHED! – Screw you Donohue! Crackergate continues on, bitches!

Woman arrested for killing virtual reality husband – Someone’s going to need a Third Life.

San Francisco considers legalizing prostitution


California’s Proposition 8 must be stopped – This is a fundamentalist ballot measure that aims to ban same-sex marriage.

New blog uniting The Skeptologists. . .ALL OF THEM!

And from that site comes this great entry from Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast addressing the problem of marketing skepticism.


“Don’t drink soda because it will make you acidic!” – Let’s see about that.


And in the spirit of Halloween, here’s something SPOOOOOKY!

And here’s is the debunking of the video above, courtesy of Japanese editors:


White Rhino Born Using Frozen Sperm – “A world-first: researchers announce the birth of a white rhino after artificial insemination with frozen sperm. The rhino baby, a male, was born at 4:57am in the Budapest Zoo on the 22nd of October 2008. In June 2007, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin artificially inseminated his mother, the rhino cow Lulu, with frozen bull semen.”

-Frozen Bull Semen was the name of my band in college–what are the odd?!

Coffee can shrink women’s breasts – Damn you, Starbucks!!

Eternal sunshine of the mouse mind: scientists have developed a way to erase specific memories in mice while leaving others intact.


Will the wonders of modern science never cease?

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.17.08

October 18, 2008


Bill Donohue’s lame spin on trying to get YouTube to put age requirements on viewing videos of host desecration – Now he’s saying:

“we do not object to making fun of Catholics, or for that matter Catholic beliefs and practices, just so long as they are made in good taste”.

This led PZ Myers to bring up that Webster Cook, the student who unwittingly began Crackergate and was the first victim of Donohue’s wrath, didn’t make fun of Catholics or Catholicism at all. He merely took the Eucharist with him instead of eating it? The only thing tasteless I here was the cracker.

Oh, and for the record, the age-requirement on YouTube is a joke. It asks you if you’re over 18 and any idiot can figure out that they can view the content by simply pressing the button that affirms they are 18. If that’s all it takes to appease Donohue, I wish he’d said so sooner.

Edmond, Oklahoma officials trying to tear down wall between church and state – The Edmond Visual Arts Commission in Edmund, Okla. wanted to spend $3,900 of taxpayer money to put a sculpture of Jesus in front of a Catholic gift shop:

June Cartwright, chair of the commission, told the Associated Press that the sculpture was viewed simply as a piece of art and is not a religious endorsement.

“It’s a piece of artwork,” Cartwright said. “It doesn’t state that it is specifically Jesus. It is whatever you perceive it to be.”

Um, no. That’s Jesus no how much I want it to be Angelina Jolie naked. Fortunately, the mayor has decided not to spend taxpayer money on this. But am I the only one amused by the fact that Jesus is depicted playing with kids when this was to go up in front a Catholic gift shop? Or that the sculpture is titled, “Come Unto Me?” I guess Jesus is a fan of the money shot.

Lately Evolution-deniers have been quite predictably been exploiting the recent statements by lone scientist Steve Jones that humans are no longer evolving. They’re saying see, even the “evolutionists” are admitting that there’s no evidence of human evolution (how they interpreted that from Jones’ actual statement is beyond me), but Jones is a minority opinion on this matter. Here PZ Myers argues why “that is impossible.”

Speaking of PZ, the man rocks! – His blog has got an enormous readership and I contacted him earlier today and asked if he’d plug and he came through.

sCAM using bogus biomedical boards and bogus medical organizations to sound legitimate – I’m reminded of “Healthy Directions,” the sham medical organization that named “Dr.” Rashid Buttar among the top 50 doctors in the country.

Gnomes return to Argentina – That’s right, Argentinians have reported more sightings of a black-clad, sideways-stepping “midget monster” in a pointy hat. So if you see something that looks kinda like a dog and barks kinda like a dog, you’ll know that it’s really a gnome. I sense some implausibly blurry video coming on. Here’s the earlier video from last March:

And the latest blurry video can be found here.

The future is looking bright without electricity – Flexible sheets of light owe their luminance to compounds known as organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs may make household lamps obsolete.


Conservative columnist Melanie Phillips has figured out cause of all the world’s woes: atheism

“I see this financial breakdown, moreover, as being not merely a moral crisis but the monetary expression of the broader degradation of our values – the erosion of duty and responsibility to others in favour of instant gratification, unlimited demands repackaged as ‘rights’ and the loss of self-discipline. And the root cause of that erosion is ‘militant atheism’. . .”

It goes on for the longest run-on sentence in human history. Oh, and she’s also a denier of evolution, the safety of vaccines, and global climate change. The Trifecta!

Actor Mark Wahlberg is reported as being “still rattled” by a 2004 fan-charging incident – Why did actor Mark Wahlberg have a screaming fan pulled off of him by security guards? According to Wahlberg:

“The only thing that was a bit disturbing was she had a pin (badge) on that said ‘God is not real’ and that was upsetting to me. But I still pray for her to this day. Hopefully she’s changed her mind.”

Wahlberg is reported as having a small chapel in his Hollywood mansion.

Pete Stark

Pete Stark

The New York Times publishes an article addressing the seeming lack of atheists in politics. Here’s a direct link to the article:

Only one of the 535 members of Congress, Representative Pete Stark, Democrat of California, publicly identifies as a nontheist, according to the Secular Coalition of America, a lobbying group based in Washington. For that matter, the coalition has existed for only three years and runs with two staff members and an annual budget of about $300,000. As both presidential candidates ardently court religious voters, atheist support is considered so controversial that several Democrats writing on the atheist blog Petty Larseny quipped that the best way to hurt the Republicans was to form a group called Atheists for McCain.

Actually, there are at least 22 members of Congress who admitted to Lori Lipman Brown that they did not believe in a god but only Stark was willing to be outed. But I have to say that that Atheists for McCain would be a great idea if McCain’s candidacy wasn’t sunk already. We’ll have to remember that though for the next election.


Emotion And Scent Create Lasting Memories – “In a series of experiments with sleeping mice, researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have shown that the part of the brain that processes scents is indeed a key part of forming long-term memories, especially involving other individuals.”

Radical Advances In Optical Technologies? – “A new research field called transformation optics may usher in a host of radical advances including a cloak of invisibility and ultra-powerful microscopes and computers by harnessing nanotechnology and “metamaterials.”

Einstein’s Relativity Survives Neutrino Test – “Physicists working to disprove “Lorentz invariance” — Einstein’s prediction that matter and massless particles will behave the same no matter how they’re turned or how fast they go — won’t get that satisfaction from muon neutrinos, at least for the time being, says a consortium of scientists.”

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.12.08

October 13, 2008

Sarah Palin spent $13,000 of taxpayer money for religion

The Palin/McCain camp on autism:

McCain: “And one thing that I wanted to say was that — in our town hall meetings we have lots of families show up with children that have autism, and other special needs families. Obviously Sarah Palin wants to take on that task of helping relieve the burden, find what’s causing autism, find a cure for it.”

Alright, not bad. It’s progress after his past statements that it was “indisputable” that autism was on the rise and that “there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.”

The long-discredited anti-vaccinationist, Andrew Wakefield, who began the whole vaccines-cause-autism BS in the first place reemerges in the media – Wakefield of course is pulling the whole Expelled-gambit, stating:

Despite having discovered an apparently new disease my colleagues and I are being vilified purely because of the vaccine association.

That’s funny. I thought you were vilified because of an obscene number of misconduct charges and because your study was totally debunked and discredited. And even a former major member of the antivaccinationist movement, Mady Hornig, couldn’t deny it any more after personally being involved in an improved version of Wakefield’s original study and saw for herself the negative outcome. Nobody is out to get you, Mr. Wakefield. Or if they are, it’s only because you deserve it as you’ve dishonored your profession and gave up any hope you might have had of salvaging your career, torpedoing any chance of ever redeeming your name.

Blogger Possummomma is calling it quits – I’m not familiar with her blog, Atheist in a Mini-van, but it’s unfortunate when we lose any atheist bloggers or any intelligent bloggers because the bigotry and hatred grew too much to the point where her personal information and security may have been compromised.

More Bad Creationist Arguments – Here’s a look at 3 different arguments (including at least 1 uncommon one) and why they are fail. The arguments are:

#1: Evolution is Missing a Mathematical Formula

#2: There is No Genetic Mechanism for Darwinian Evolution

#3: Every Helpless Baby Born Proves Darwin Was Wrong

Chocolate-covered Jesus. . .Mmm – Seriously, I’ve got to get me some communion wafers already.

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.7.08

October 8, 2008


California caves to dopey demands of homophobic bigots – I blogged about Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding before. This was the couple that was so outraged that California changed the language on their marriage licenses from “bride” and “groom” to “Party A” and “Party B” in accordance with California law now legalizing gay marriage that they childishly opted not to sign their paperwork and to protest. Well apparently they won their case and the language is returning to what it was before. PZ Myers had a good suggestion though:

Now gay couples getting married in California will have to get their revenge: they should cheerfully appropriate the terms bride and groom, too. Rachel Bird can call herself a bride (she could all along, of course), but so can the biggest, butchest, bristly-bearded gay leatherman with a biker mustache…and he should be able to get state recognition of his status as a bride.

Westboro Baptist Church to protest at Joe Biden’s mother-in-law’s funeral – I don’t really know why I still report about these attention-seeking, media whore’s except that as someone trying to convince people to reject religion, these guys make my job so much easier.

Answers in Genesis is praying for Bill Maher – Apparently,

He is definitely a poster boy for “lostness.”

This is great because when Bill never accepts their nonsense, it will serve as yet another proof that PRAYER DOESN’T WORK!

Nudie Church – It’s how Adam and Eve would have held church services. And wouldn’t you know it, other Christians aren’t too happy about it.

Obesity and health – Despite the obvious evidence that obesity is linked to serious health risks, some deniers still won’t accept it.


Deja vu – Fresh on the heels of 1 pathetic study that the mainstream media touted as proof that acupuncture was effective in treating hot flashes comes yet another absurd study suggesting hypnosis is effective in treating hot flashes. You won’t believe what the flaws in the study are:

That’s right, there is no placebo control group. It’s no treatment versus hypnosis. Remember yet again, as I’ve discussed before, hot flashes are highly subject to the placebo effect. Indeed, placebo effects as high as 40% have been documented in previous studies.

I’m starting to think I should urinate in a cup, get just 1 woman with hot flashes to drink it, and if she gets better over time to just market it as effective in treating hot flashes.

Alt. Med.: not just for people anymore – Alternative Medicine has been making a killing marketing to pet owners. And it’s really easy to do because your pets can’t tell you these guys are quacks.

Shruggie (noun): a person who doesn’t care about the science versus pseudoscience debate – Newest Science-Based Medicine blogger Val Jones recounts her journey from indifference towards crap-based pseudoscience to skeptical blogger.


Republicans smear Senate candidate Kay Hagan for meeting with atheists – I’ve blogged about this race in North Carolina between Hagan and anti-atheist bigot Elizabeth Dole. And so far, Hagan is still winning but like McCain when he’s down in the polls, Dole seems to now be trying to exploit Hagan’s attendance at a fundraiser last month held by 2 atheists who were very active with the ACLU, continue to stand for the rights of the oppressed, work with church/state separation group. Here is the despicable mailing that just went out from the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee about Hagan.


Bill Donohue draws more attention to Crackergate aka The Eucharist Challenge:

Under the name fsmdude, a Canadian man, Dominique, has posted over 40 videos on YouTube desecrating the Eucharist. Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds as follows:

“On September 29, I wrote to YouTube CEO Chad Hurley asking him to take down these offensive videos. I left a phone message for him on October 3, but he refuses to respond. Accordingly, I have posted my own video on YouTube calling attention to this matter.

So I expect FSMdude to see a large increase in visitors now that Donohue has actually helped publicize his videos on YouTube. Good thinkin’ Bill. I highly recommend everyone visit Bill’s video page, comment on it, and rate it a full 5 stars. Let’s make sure everyone knows about the Eucharist Challenge.

And here are some more related videos: here and here.

Behold God’s giant golden footprint – Another example of pareidolia:

Vote Big Foot/Nessie:


Are humans still evolving? – According to geneticist Steve Jones human evolution is grinding to a halt. Tell that to the formerly 12-fingered actress Gemma Arterton, who’s playing the newest Bong girl in Quantum of Solace.

University of Oklahoma goes off my “don’t know anything about you” list and onto my “Awesome” list – They’re offering a year of Darwin celebrations to celebrate his big 200th anniversary.


Snippets Of DNA Withstand Eons Of Evolution – “Small stretches of seemingly useless DNA harbor a big secret, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. There’s one problem: We don’t know what it is. Although individual laboratory animals appear to live happily when these genetic ciphers are deleted, these snippets have been highly conserved throughout evolution.”

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.2.08

October 3, 2008

Researchers catch Lake Victoria fish in act of evolving

Flirting with Palin earns Pakistani president a fatwa:

A radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for “indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.”

Speaking of Palin: Ron Numbers on Palin’s creationism

Pseudo-scientist Mike Adams compares Western Medicine to the subprime mortgage clusterfuck – Mike writes for Natural News aka woo central. And in a bit of wishful thinking, he writes this gem of an article entitled, Why the Institutions of Western Finance and Western Medicine are Both Doomed to Fail. To illustrate just how far gone this guy is, here’s an excerpt:

“The fraud of Western Medicine is that everybody can get healthy by taking fictitious patented chemicals (pharmaceuticals) rather than addressing fundamental issues of nutrition, exercise and exposure to consumer chemicals.”

With logic like that, I wonder if he’s related to Neil Adams.

Jenny McCarthy goes after the presidential candidates – Last year McCain said there was no doubt that a link between vaccines and autism exists. But Jenny says that McCain opted out of meeting with her at the last minute. According to the news sources, McCain denied her requests “after learning there’s no hard medical evidence linking vaccines and autism.” Man, I hope this is true because at least Obama has already spoken up recently and stated “I am not for selective vaccination. I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.” I’ll take it.

Also, I previously blogged about a letter to the editor I wrote to my local newspaper concerning the antivaccination movement. Today an edited version of that article appeared in the paper.

New research casts doubts on calorie restriction?

Atheism 101 reading list

Sony promotes The God Delusion! – Dawkins bestselling book was prominent in the promotional setup for the Sony Reader — an e-book reader much like Amazon’s Kindle:

YouTube censors another cracker desecrating video – Only this time it’s not even a Eucharist, just an arbitrary cracker.

Answers in Genesis reviews Religulous – Somehow I doubt they’ll declare it a must-see. They’re still sore over having. . .

“. . .experienced Maher’s subterfuge and dishonesty last year in gaining access to the Creation Museum and AiG President Ken Ham for a (fictitious) documentary on the “cultural landscape of the United States.”

This is ironic considering how fine they were with the far more elaborate subterfuge by the makers of the anti-evolution mockumentary “Expelled.” Pot. Kettle. Black. Bullshit!

Do TV, movie, and game ratings really do any good?


New Species Thanks To Different Ways Of Seeing – “A study of brightly coloured fish has now demonstrated that this has less to do with aesthetics than with the sensitivity of female eyes, which varies as a result of adaptation to the environment. Females more attuned to blue will choose a metallic blue mate, while those better able to see red will prefer a bright red male. These mating preferences can be strong enough to drive the formation of new species – provided that habitat diversity is not reduced by human activities.”

Short RNAs May Have Contributed To New Species – “MicroRNAs, the tiny molecules that fine-tune gene expression, were first discovered in 1993. But it turns out they’ve been around for a billion years.

Evidence reported in Nature on October 1 by scientists in the lab of Whitehead Member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator David Bartel provides a window into the early evolution of these key regulators, placing their origin within the earliest of animal lineages. The research also suggests that microRNAs present early on have undergone extensive changes, which likely have altered their functions across various lineages.”

New Dinosaur Species Had Bony Frill And Horns – “The fossils revealed a herd of dinosaurs that perished in a catastrophic event 72.5 million years ago. The animals are characterized by a bony frill on the back of the skull ornamented with smaller horns. They also had large bony structures above their nose and eyes which lends them their name: Pachyrhinosaurus (thick-nosed lizard). These structures probably supported horns of keratin.”

Compact Fluorescent Lights: Mercury Problems? – “A team of Yale scientists has found that certain countries and some U.S. states stand to benefit from the use of compact fluorescent lighting more than others in the fight against global warming. Some places may even produce more mercury emissions by switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lighting.”

HIV/AIDS Pandemic Began Around 1900 – “New research indicates that the most pervasive global strain of HIV began spreading among humans between 1884 and 1924, suggesting that growing urbanization in colonial Africa set the stage for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

Teens With Certain Gene Have Delinquent Peers – “Birds of a feather flock together, according to the old adage, and adolescent males who possess a certain type of variation in a specific gene are more likely to flock to delinquent peers, according to a landmark study led by Florida State University criminologist Kevin M. Beaver.”