Pharyngula

Archives for May, 2006

GTA, meet LB:EF

Are you ready for the hot new game of the 2006 Christmas season, Left Behind: Eternal Forces? Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued…

One more thing!

I almost forgot: there was another comment in the Karen Armstrong interview that I found irksome…but my complaint is mainly with the interviewer. Here’s one question he asked her, and her answer. But certainly there are a lot of people — both scientists and religious people — who speculate about whether there’s some cosmic order.…

Salon has an interview with Karen Armstrong, and I don’t know whether the interviewer just did a poor job or whether her ideas really are that sloppy and confused. She definitely has interesting ideas about religion, but while she’s dismissing simplistic ideas about gods and the afterlife on the one hand, she’s also clinging desperately…

Rabbi Avi Shafran wants to argue

I’ve received a personal email from Rabbi Avi Shafran—the fellow whose graceless and ignorant opinion piece I criticized a while back. It’s a peculiar thing: he wrote a public editorial, I criticized it publicly, and now he asks that we have a private discussion on the matter. I won’t post his whole email, but I…

Octo-pulp

Lots of people have been sending me the link to the Vintage Octopus Pulp Covers site. It’s very cool. It makes me wonder why so many people are infatuated with cephalopods, though. Weirdos.

Creek Running North has a guest blogger this week, and she has asked for inspirational stories to help her get started. So here’s a little motivational tale from my undergraduate days about my love for animals, and how I learned to overcome self-doubt and appreciate myself.

Once upon a time, there was teeny-weeny adorable little fish called Paedocypris. Then, one day, a population of bulldozers invaded their habitat, and they couldn’t compete, and they died. The good news, though, is that a new species of Paedocypris has been discovered. Amirrudin said the new discovery was significant because it was the only…

Schrenko guilty

Just a quick update: you may remember Linda Schrenko, the creationist and Georgia state school superintendent who was indicted for embezzlement (or you may not; she is a rather minor figure in the creationism wars, notable only for blatant corruption on top of the usual blatant stupidity). She pled guilty and has been sentenced to…

Lair of the White Worm

I never heard of this before: there exists a rare, giant, albino earthworm in the scrub prairies of the Palouse. It grows to be 3 feet long, and smells like lilies. I scarcely believed it myself—that’s also Sasquatch country out there, you know—so I had to look it up. The Giant Palouse Earthworm (Driloleirus americanus)…

Beauty

On a warm and lazy holiday afternoon, determined to avoid any exertion and relax in my easy chair, I was contemplating something easy on the brain: beauty. I have no idea what makes something beautiful, but I could at least approach the subject empirically and catalog those things and experiences the I have found beautiful…so…