News From Around The Blogosphere 4.24.10

April 25, 2010

1. May 20 is “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”! – Obviously this is inspired by the recent controversy surrounding the show South Park. But as my previous post shows, I got started early.

2. Where the South Park creators got it wrong – I’ve written two defenses of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s recent 200th and 201st episodes of South Park over on my Examiner page (here and here). However, Trey Parker was just quoted in a Washington Post “On Faith” article and what he has to say about “atheism” is so extraordinarily idiotic that it merits the kind of mockery worthy of South Park:

But Parker says atheism is more ludicrous to him than anything else.

“Out of all the ridiculous religion stories — which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah, there’s this big, giant universe and it’s expanding and it’s all going to collapse on itself and we’re all just here, just ‘cuz. Just ‘cuz. That to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever,” he says.

Um, what?! Putting aside the ultra straw man he presents that doesn’t accurately describe the physics, this isn’t just some wacky ideas scientists made up out of whole cloth. It’s empirically testable and measurable. This is not up for debate. It’s scientific fact. And I’m sorry, Trey, if you’re unimpressed by this bastardized version of the science but that’s just too bad.

3. Could the winner of the UK’s next top leader be an atheist? – When asked if he believed in god, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats’ new leader in the UK, said no. And it seems as though he’s now leading in the polls. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about Clegg. But assuming he isn’t a nutter or a wanker of some sort or another, I’m rooting for him.

4. Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver sues newspaper for poisoning the well on climate change – I’ve been saying for a while now that we need to start holding cranks more accountable for their potentially libelous accusations, so I’m all for this. It’s quite different than when the cranks sue their critics like when the British Chiropractic Association sued Simon Singh, because there we’re talking about frivolous lawsuits used merely to intimidate critics. But when the cranks inevitably launch into their grand conspiracy theories, they make serious accusations that often do satisfy the criteria of defamation. And when you’ve got a legitimate defamation suit there’s no shame in taking legal action. And if Weaver is correct and this newspaper did publish articles that promoted “grossly irresponsible falsehoods,” he may have a good case. Of course I don’t know the Canadian statutes on defamation but I’d be surprised if they radically differed from those in the U.S.


Suggested title: Joseph Smith and the Amazing Uni-colored Magical Underwear

November 19, 2008

Trey Parker and Matt Stones, the 2 minds behind America’s favorite foul-mouthed 4th graders on South Park, are following up their classic Mormon-mocking South Park episode and Mormon-mocking film Orgasmo. . .

. . .with a Broadway musical about the famous cult. And yes, the Mormons are considered by even many cult experts to be a cult. Here is a link to the transcript of the South Park episode about the Mormons, provided by the Rick A. Ross Institute, an organization devoted to the study and research of destructive cults, controversial groups and movements. This seems to perfectly coincide with the massive anti-Mormon sentiment that has erupted since the Mormons decided they were better at picking people’s spouses than those actually getting married.

And here’s a clip from another South Park episode:

News From Around The Blogosphere 9.25.08

September 26, 2008

A review of The Discovery Institute’s latest creationist propaganda textbook of choice – The new book is called “Explore Evolution.” One would think they got a better proofreader this time after that embarrassing defeat at The Dover Trial. Fortunately, it shouldn’t matter since the Judge Jones’ decision at Dover can’t simply be forgotten. The Intelligent Design movement’s hidden agenda has been exposed and it can’t be unexposed.

The Telegraph named Satan the #1 greatest villain in literature – And to put that in perspective, Cruella de Vil made #3, Iago made #4, Voldemort made #5, The Joker made #23, and Sauron made #25.

South Park + Free Speech = A Bad Day For Religion:

Part 1 – Scientology
Part 2 – Christianity

Part 3 – Islam

Fingerprints for Children – The Atheist Version:

Klingons For Jesus – You don’t know The Bible until you’ve read it in the original Klingon. Kuplah!

Anti-aging research and life extension

When anecdotal evidence is and isn’t helpful

I knew they looked familiar:


Martian Meteorites Could Carry Traces Of Life – “An artificial meteorite designed by the European Space Agency has shown that traces of life in a martian meteorite could survive the violent heat and shock of entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The experiment’s results also suggest that meteorite hunters should widen their search to include white rocks if we are to find traces of life in martian meteorites.”

America’s Smallest Dinosaur Uncovered – “An unusual breed of dinosaur that was the size of a chicken, ran on two legs and scoured the ancient forest floor for termites is the smallest dinosaur species found in North America, according to a University of Calgary researcher who analyzed bones found during the excavation of an ancient bone bed near Red Deer, Alberta.”