News From Around The Blogosphere 2.22.10

February 23, 2010

1. Sign the online petition to support libel reform in the UK – You don’t have to be from the UK to sign it. And you can find out more at the Libel Reform website.

2. Why loved ones of Andrew Wakefield should maybe go on suicide watch – Okay, this article by David Gorski doesn’t actually announce any breaking news about Dr. Evil but it’s an excellent summation of why these have been the worst two months of his life as well as the worst two months of the whole anti-vaccine movement since the initial publishing of Wakefield’s now retracted Lancet paper twelve years ago.

Now that even Wakefield’s own Thoughtful House has told him to leave, there’s really not much of a chance that he’ll ever work in anything resembling the medical field again. At best, he’ll have to make his leaving going on speaking tours where he’ll just be speaking to his slowly diminishing echo chamber of followers. This cannot be where he thought his life would end up. Now I’m not saying I’m hoping for him to kill himself. Zeus knows he’d only become a bigger martr to the anti-vax crowd. But it’s really looking bleak for him so I can’t say I’d be surprised if it happened.

And in other good news in the fight against bogus medical quackery. . .

3. UK’s NHS is expected to stop funding homeopathy with tax dollars – 2010 is already shaping up to be as crippling to homeopathy as 2009 was to $cientology.

4. And guess who’s dismissing the recent Pediatrics study on autism – That’s right, it’s our old friend Jenny McCarthy.

5. Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall apologized for saying people with disabilities are punishments from “God” against women who had abortions

Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall apologized Monday to people with disabilities for remarks suggesting that women who have abortions risk having later children with birth defects as a punishment from God.

Marshall (R-Prince William) made the comment Thursday at a news conference calling for an end to state funding to Planned Parenthood. Calling the nonprofit group “Planned Barrenhood,” Marshall joined the Virginia Christian Alliance, several African American ministers and others who blamed the abortion provider for a host of social ills.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Marshall said.

But don’t worry. I’m sure Sarah Palin, defender of the disabled, will speak out against this Republican any moment now for his insensitivity. Yup, any moment. It’s coming. Just gonna keep waiting for that condemnation from Sarah Palin, the only politician who wouldn’t dream of exploiting sympathy for her Down Syndrome kid. Sarah, we’re waiting! I definitely recommend everyone literally hold their breath because, based on the recent Family Guy incident (which incidentally that episode had an awesome skeptical plot about psychics), that’s how soon we should expect to hear Palin’s moral outrage about insulting the disabled.

Well while we wait, let’s watch Angie the anti-theist, who’s having an abortion. . .right now:

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.


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.

Correlation between religion and stupidity

November 17, 2008

female-submissionOkay, so he’s a Reverend, but Reverand Roy Bourgeois did get excommunicated by the Catholic Church for doing something that one must assume was pretty wild, right? His crime? Ordaining women into the priesthood. I know what you’re thinking. THAT MANIAC! We can forgive ordaining pedophiles, BUT WOMEN?!

monkey-thinkingThen there’s the Bishop of Lancaster, who has declared that the problem with the church is all those darned educated people who aren’t attending Mass:

The Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church’s teaching they are “hedonistic”, “selfish” and “egocentric”, he said.

In particular, the bishop complained that influential Catholics in politics and the media were undermining the Church.

While not naming names, he suggested that such people had been compromised by their education, which he said had a “dark side, due to original sin”.

Okay then. So I suppose his slogan would be, “Don’t be a fool; Stay away from school. . .look how well I turned out.” Well, I’m convinced.

monkey-frustratedSarah Palin is the incarnation of “practical common sense conservatism” – Whoa! That just blew my mind! I don’t really care to continue blogging about ol’ You Betcha because I’d rather the world forgot about her as soon as possible, but this warranted reposting. I believe President-elect Obama said it best:

“It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.”

People are worried about the “mark of the beast”? Really? A company that makes recognition systems tries to preempt concerns that their devices are tools of the devil by making a suggestion in all seriousness that people should use their left hand in their scanners, because the bible says the mark is on the right. Yeah, no comment I can think up for this story can make it sound any more absurd.


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 11.8.08

November 9, 2008

Conservatives corrupted by “popularist chic” – An excellent article about the downfall of intellectualism in American conservatism. You got to love Chris Hoofnagle’s comment here:

I am enjoying the news post election, because what was once news media “liberal bias” about Sarah Palin is now simply common sense.

And yet, you’ll still find Republican cheerleaders who despite the obvious facts will go to their grave defending the absurd:

Elizabeth Dole can still go fuck herself! – After running a ad campaign built on bigotry, she’s got some gall making the following statement:

“People from faraway places poured tens of millions of dollars into North Carolina, funding tough, unfair negative ads against me. I responded forcefully. I’m not happy with the tone this race acquired, but I must say I will never regret fighting as hard as I could for the privilege of continuing to serve the people of my state.”

Notes from Thames Valley University’s homeopathic degree program:

At the root of most holistic therapies lies the belief that all life is animated by a subtle force. We call this the Life Force. You either believe it or you do not. It cannot exactly be proved at the moment and the belief is not in accord with the yardsticks that we call ’scientific.’


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyPaleontologists Doubt ‘Dinosaur Dance Floor’ – “A group of paleontologists visited the northern Arizona wilderness site nicknamed a “dinosaur dance floor” and concluded there were no dinosaur tracks there, only a dense collection of unusual potholes eroded in the sandstone.

So the scientist who leads the University of Utah’s geology department says she will team up with the skeptics for a follow-up study.

“Science is an evolving process where we seek the truth,” says Marjorie Chan, professor and chair of geology and geophysics, and co-author of a recent study that concluded the pockmarked, three-quarter-acre site in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument was a 190-million-year-old dinosaur “trample surface”.

Scientists use tequila to make drunken diamonds

A bottle of cheap tequila is good for making margaritas or forgetting a night out. But a team of Mexican scientists have discovered a new use for the potent liquor: forming diamonds. It just so happens that the popular Mexican alcohol is the ideal compound for creating one of the hardest substances on Earth.


Skeptical pick-up line:


Sarah Palin on Science: uh oh!

October 25, 2008

Sarah Palin on Science – Uuh oh:


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.