News From Around The Blogosphere 8.26.08

August 27, 2008

Australian government drops pursuit of anti-vaccine couple– The couple has refused to vaccinate their child against Hep B, even though the mother is infected with the virus.

Fundies lose faith-based funding for proselytizing – ”A fundamentalist Christian group out of Kentucky, Teen Challenge, who claimed to help teens battle substance abuse through religious study and prayer has voluntarily given up a federal grant after a protest from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Online beauty pageant for nuns – Do I really need to say any more?

If only Jesus were as clear a speaker as Hilary:

Alex Jones and 9/11 Falsers steal media coverage for their silly website:

I might tolerate or even encourage this sort of behavior if there was a worthwhile and non-bullshit message being promoted through such guerrilla tactics (for instance when PZ Myers broke into the “Expelled” teleconference), but not when you’re preaching an already thoroughly debunked myth. And not after going went way too far by interrupting Bill Maher’s show. These guys are just really fucking annoying. And it pisses me off that that they succeeded in promoting their insipid website on MSNBC where they pretty much blame America for every problem in the world. Fortunately, while there are a lot of people who buy this into this nonsense they’ve proven to be impotent and little more than a circus spectacle who people only stop to listen to for entertainment purposes.

Review of Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst’s “Trick or Treatment”

Elizabeth Dole attacks Senate opponent for meeting with atheists

Gay clergyman to be exhumed -Vatican trying to cover it up?

And now for a moment of science:

Massive Galaxies Caught In The Act Of Merging – “Astronomers have caught multiple massive galaxies in the act of merging about 4 billion years ago. This discovery, made possible by combining the power of the best ground- and space-based telescopes, uniquely supports the favoured theory of how galaxies form.” Expect a convoluted denial of this fact on the Answers in Genesis website by tomorrow.

Amazon Trip Yields Biological Treasure Trove – “A group of Yale undergraduates have discovered dozens of potentially beneficial bioactive microorganisms within plants they collected in the Amazon rain forest, including several so genetically distinct that they may be the first members of new taxonomical genera.”

New Evidence Debunks ‘Stupid’ Neanderthal Myth – “Research by UK and American scientists has struck another blow to the theory that Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) became extinct because they were less intelligent than our ancestors (Homo sapiens). The research team has shown that early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals.”

Great list of science books to read at science blog Cocktail Party Physics – I’m currently reading Carl Sagan’s “Demon-Haunted World” and it is awesome! I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s also an easy-read, every bit as accessible as Sagan’s TV work.


News From Around The Blogosphere 8.18.08

August 19, 2008

Chiropractors sue critic – Simon Singh, author of the new book,Trick or Treatment, is being sued over a recent article he wrote in The Guardian, which can be found here.

Jeff Medkeff’s last days – Fellow skeptic blogger Jeff “Blue Collar Scientist” Medkeff just recently died of cancer.For those who are interested, here’s an account of his last few days recorded by a friend.

Kinoki detox footpads put to the test – and prove to be an epic fail. Shocker!

I find this guy’s lack of faith disturbing. If only he knew the power of the dark side!

His sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped him conjure up the stolen data tapes or given him clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel’s hidden fortress.

I’ve flown from one side of the galaxy to another and I’ve seen a lot of strange things but nothing to make me think there’s this all powerful force controlling everything. It’s all a bunch of tricks and nonsense.

Lori Lipman Brown to appear The Colbert Report – Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition for America, recently taped a segment for The Colbert Report for his “Better Know a Lobbyist” segment!

And now for a moment of science:

Key Photosynthesis Step Replicated – “An international team of researchers led by Monash University has used chemicals found in plants to replicate a key process in photosynthesis paving the way to a new approach that uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The breakthrough could revolutionise the renewable energy industry by making hydrogen – touted as the clean, green fuel of the future – cheaper and easier to produce on a commercial scale.”