News From Around The Blogosphere 5.7.10

May 7, 2010

1. Congressman Henry Waxman fights to keep out quackery – Waxman introduced a bill proposing a rather novel idea, actually holding vitamin sellers accountable for the health claims that they make. Senator McCain tried to introduce a similar bill not long ago to protect consumers, but it was defeated by Tom Harkin and the supplement industry.

2. Researchers find more evidence that your ancestors fucked Neanderthals – Apparently they weren’t too choosy back then.

3. Research turns up new insights into natural HIV immunity

In the late 1990s, researchers showed that a very high percentage of those naturally HIV-immune people, who represent about one in 200 infected individuals, carry a gene called HLA B57. Now a team of researchers from the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard has revealed a new effect that contributes to this gene’s ability to confer immunity.

4. Mohammed Image Archive – He wasn’t always this camera shy. He used to be a model.

Mohammed from 13th-century Persian manuscript (most likely from al-Biruni's The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries)

5. Comedy Central exposes hypocrisy with new Jesus show – So South Park wasn’t allowed to ridicule Mohammed, but Central Central is now considering a half-hour animated show about Jesus called JC. I hate when I’m forced to agree with Fox News:

Mr. Jefferson, build up that wall

April 19, 2009

shredding-constitutionFriendly Atheist reports several news stories that relate to religious encroachment on the U.S.’s secular government.

First, John McCain’s own campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, criticizes the GOP for being “co-opted” by the Religious Right:

“If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party,” Schmidt declared. “And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”

Then he reports that former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is planning on running for governor. Moore was apparently responsible for installing a Ten Commandments monument in his courthouse and then refused to remove it when ordered to do so.

Sarah Palin’s old running mate repeats her faux pas

January 10, 2009

John McCain: Every bit the mental amoeba as Sarah Palin -A few months ago when Sarah Palin mocked vital fruit fly research it sparked outrage within the scientific community. Apparently her running mate John McCain didn’t hear about it. . .or he just doesn’t care what the truth is. Either way he’s repeating her idiotic anti-scientific BS.

Behind the scenes of Dole’s infamous “Godless Ad”

November 10, 2008

Behind the scenes of Elizabeth Dole’s infamous “Godless Ad” against Kay HaganRob Christensen of The Charlotte Observer has a behind-the-scenes look at how that ad came to be. I think Friendly Atheist summed it up nicely:

But the point we need to remember is this: The ad was a calculated smear attempt against Hagan. The Dole campaign didn’t actually care that Hagan met with atheists. They weren’t offended and they certainly didn’t find it immoral or wrong. They just saw it as an easy way to manipulate voters into thinking she was a bad representative for them.

Fortunately, for whatever reason this desperate and slimy tactic didn’t work, just like the equally slimy attacks on Obama’s character employed by Team McCain didn’t work. I’d like to believe this is a sign that the American people are wising up to these despicable ad hominem attacks but somehow I doubt it, especially since yesterday I heard some of my parents’ friends dismissing the insane costs of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe in addition to McCain’s campaign spending while chastising Obama for having the audacity of spending the money donated to his campaign actually on his campaign instead of giving to charity or whatever.


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.28.08

October 29, 2008


Christopher Hitchens tears Sarah Palin a new one

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

The McCain campaign is handing out Christian voter guides – Vote for McCain because he’s not a secret Muslim.

The most extreme theocrat at The White House was just fired – Apparently, Scott Bloch is as bad as they come.

Finally, Bloch’s religious blinkers also explain his willingness to lend the credence his office to the Intelligent Design movement (knowing, of course, that he lacked jurisdiction) and to the anti-vaccination fanatics. Both reveal a scientific illiteracy that is borne not of ignorance but of intentional, ideological blindness; the latter incident was particularly irresponsible.

Christian rock tour celebrating Genesis canceled due to lack of interest.

Heaven: The Game -Great graphics for a Christian video game. Just as long as it lets me steal cars and beat the crap out of hookers, I’ll be happy. And is that a female saint wearing a corset? Whatever. And where are all the black people in heaven?

Chuck Norris’s nephew got an F in fifth grade because he wrote an essay on evolution that instead said god created the earth…and the teacher had a degree from the “University of Berkeley”, which apparently is Norris-speak for University of California at Berkeley. If only there were some sort of Chuck Norris joke to summarize this story? Oo, I got one: Chuck Norris doesn’t understand science. End of sentence .

A bullshit study in religious beliefs of ophthalmology patients

A more appropriate subtitle might have been “An Opportunistic Exercise to Build CVs and Promote Religious Belief.” This goes on the NCCAM’s scorecard as one more instance of wasting our tax dollars on studies that should never have been funded. That list is long and is steadily getting longer.

Reggie Finley‘s show The Infidel Guy has been losing his audience


11 year old girl set on fire for immodesty – “

“Police arrested her great uncle, who allegedly poured kerosene on the girl and set her ablaze on Friday. Investigators told the PTI news agency that the 55-year-old man, a conservative Muslim, had told the police that he was enraged at the girl wearing lipstick and being “scantily dressed.”

How a psychic believer became a psychic skeptic


Are illegal space aliens crossing over into Texas? – Back in January numerous sources reported strange lights in the sky in Erath County and now the mysterious lights have returned, as has space-alien-related tourism. Nothing we haven’t all heard or seen a million times, unimpressive video of several dots of light in the sky the night military craft happened to have been in the area along with people insisting their certain that what they saw had to be space aliens. Yawn.

Over a three-month period this summer there were 1,000 UFO sightings filed with the National UFO Reporting Center.

Some 75 of those UFOs were reported over the state of Texas.

And on a related note: How to fake UFO photographs:


Soybeans No Longer ‘A Musical Fruit?’ – “Soybeans may drop off the list of musical fruit. Scientists in Singapore are reporting victory over some consumers’ No. 1 complaint about soy products — the “flatulence factor” caused by indigestible sugars found in soy.

Scientists have now developed a method for significantly reducing the amount of flatulence-causing carbohydrates in soy yogurt while raising the levels of healthy antioxidants known as isoflavones.”

Red Enhances Men’s Attraction To Women -“A groundbreaking study by two University of Rochester psychologists to be published online Oct. 28 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology adds color—literally and figuratively—to the age-old question of what attracts men to women.

Through five psychological experiments, Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology, and Daniela Niesta, post-doctoral researcher, demonstrate that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women. And men are unaware of the role the color plays in their attraction.”

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.23.08

October 24, 2008

Vandals strike both Democrats and Republicans in Minneapolis – Among their targets was Michele Bachmann, best known for her recent statements calling for a new McCarthyism. And yes, the vandals citing a Bible verse. Gotta love that old time religion.

If McCain actually had my vote, he’d now have lost it – He has publicly stated that he supports “vaccine choice,” aka legalized parental negligence.

Opie is voting Obama AND SO IS THE FONZ!!! – And of course, as we all know, The Fonz is a friend of Randi’s. I have proof:


Remember that North Kentucky University mock trial between Evolution and Creationism that PZ Myers suspected was a just another excuse to preach creationism in school? Well it turns out it he was pretty much right.

New Creationism – This phrase is being used to describe the growing trend among creationists as part of the infamous Wedge Strategy to deny materialist neuroscience in favor of cartesian dualism, the notion that the mind is a different substance from the brain. And here is another take on this issue.

Bill Dembski at Baylor – Apparently he went with the classic I-have-to-see-every-single-step-to-accept-Evolution gambit. Ugh! Here’s a detailed summary of what went down.

Bill Donohue of The Catholic League responding to a joke in Family Guy – The aforementioned joke was about priests molesting children. The whole thing is here, but here’s a highlight:

While it is true that most of the molesters in the Catholic clergy have been gay, most gay priests are not molesters.

What?! And this is the guy who’s expressed more outrage over things like a joke on an animated sitcom and the desecration of a cracker than the actual molestation that goes on in his church.

Speaking of the stupid cracker, teaching communion to kids (does this sound like a bedtime story to anyone else?):

It’s that time of year again – That time when the Religious Right pushes all of a sudden decides to rant about an imaginary “War on Christmas” and that no other issue on the entire planet is more important than trying to bully stores who are trying to be inclusive by using generic slogans like “Happy Holidays” into rejecting all other holidays but Christmas, an imaginary holiday celebrating consumerism at its worst that wasn’t even a major holiday until the 19th century and which is actually forbidden in The Bible.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month abused by the usual quacks – Breast Cancer myths exposed.

Scotch Tape X-Rays – Apparently ordinary household scotch tape can in a vacuum be used to emit X-rays. This is totally something MacGyver could have used.

High tech Ouija Board:


Dr. Kirsten Sanford’s latest episode of The Science Word

Biologists Find Gene Behind ‘Plant Sex Mystery’ – “Scientists already knew that flowering plants, unlike animals require not one, but two sperm cells for successful fertilisation.

The mystery of this ‘double fertilization’ process was how each single pollen grain could produce ‘twin’ sperm cells. One to join with the egg cell to produce the embryo, and the other to join with a second cell in the ovary to produce the endosperm, a nutrient-rich tissue, inside the seed.”

Could A Vaccine Treat Many Bacterial Diseases? – “Doctors have always hoped that scientists might one day create a vaccination that would treat a broad spectrum of maladies. They could only imagine that there might be one vaccine that would protect against, say, 2,500 strains of Salmonella. And what if that same vaccine could help protect the elderly?

UCSB scientists Douglas Heithoff and Michael Mahan –– along with University of Utah scientists Elena Enioutina, Diana Bareyan, and Raymond Daynes –– believe their recent research suggests that might be possible in the not-too-distant future. In a paper to be published in the November edition of the journal Infection and Immunity, the researchers detail the path to creating a vaccine that confers protection against multiple strains of bacteria.”

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.