Retro Retro: The dangerous posts

Merry Christmas! OK, now that I’ve got you smiling and thinking of Santa and Elves and Snow flakes, Sugar Plum Fairies (hey, sugar, are you reading this?) and dancing gingerbread boys, let’s look at some of the more dangerous yet popular items from this blog’s past.

Item 1: It is OK to be an atheist, but not an uppity atheist

When you get a chance (but not right now, only when you have absolutely nothing whatsoever else to do) have a look at Matt Nisbet’s latest thinly veiled attack on PZ myers*.

It is the usual crap. Atheists are not allowed to express annoyance, disgust, or anger, or to vilify, sillify, or nullify the religious, no mater how whacked-out those religious individuals are. If PZ reads this, he’ll probably

Item 2: How can you tell a Christian is lying? His mouth is moving.

There are a lot of Christians that I trust, and love. But that is because of who they are. If I just know that someone is a Christian, especially if they are the sort of person to wear their Christianity on their sleeve, uttering “praise god” and telling me “bless you ” and “I’m so blessed” and so on, then I tend to not trust them.

Why? Because there is a very good chance that

Item 3: The Scientific, Political, Social, and Pedagogical Context for the claim that “Race does not exist.”

These days, many people say that race is largely a social construct; while it may have a place in describing the population genetics of some species, is not particularly applicable to humans. I’m one of those people. The race concept is generally inapplicable or at best misleading when used as it often is with our species. This is why race should be abandoned in favor of other ways of describing human variation.

At the same time, there are political, social, and pedagogical reasons to

Item 4: What does an atheist firing squad look like?

Perhaps not what you’d think.

This is not about appeasement. It is about not being a racist slob.

Imagine a firing squad run by a relatively benevolent government (that happens to have not yet gotten rid of the death penalty).

Item 5: Women are smarter than men (well, duh!)

Rather than give you the opening paragraph or so of this post, I’ll just send you there to read the comments. The post itself is of no consequences. It’s almost as though I typed nothing other than “Misogynist? Discuss!” The patterns of sexism and hatred, not to mention dogmatic ignorance, exhibited in this sequence of missives will some day be a masters thesis for someone … You perhaps?

Item 6: A truly WTF moment: YNHB Poser was Chris Mooney’s Imaginary Friend

Sometimes a retrospective is when we take the things we wish never happened, that we wish would just go away, and drag them out so we can remind ourselves how much we wish they never happened and to help us continue to wish they would go away.

Just so you know, over the time since Your Not Helping melted down, I’ve gone from being sorry for “Tom Johnson” to a sense of utterly indifferent but indelible disdain. Never before said aloud (by me): There was a time when we (we who were communicating secretly about him) were pretty sure he was suicidal. That is the only thing that kept any of us from revealing his true identity to the world. Looking back, I’m now pretty sure he was manipulating us. Christmas is said to be a time of forgiveness and brotherly/sisterly love and all that shit. I don’t buy that. Just stay off my part of the Internet, “Tom Johnson” and I won’t do bloggy harm to you. Otherwise I’ll kick your ass. Have a nice day.

Merry Christmas, every body! Happy Holidays, Bill O’Reilly! The next few retrospectives will be more up-beat, and oriented towards science, politics, and skepticism.