Pharyngula

Carnivalia, and an open thread

A few carnival notices, and an opportunity to speak your mind. Go for it!

The Tangled Bank

A new Tangled Bank will be coming up next Wednesday at Aardvarchaeology — send those links in to me or host@tangledbank.net.

Comments

  1. #1 ivy privy
    September 23, 2007

    Cornell’s IDEA Club seems to be no longer existent. Their blog,
    The Design Paradigm has’nt been updated since last Spring. (A pity, as I know that there were some additional entries to the “Does Darwinism predict anything?” thread, waiting for approval.) I guess they couldn’t manage to keep it together after their co-founder and president, Hannah Maxson, graduated and was awarded the anonymous Casey Luskin prize.

  2. #2 Jennifurret
    September 23, 2007

    Since we’re allowed to speak our mind, I have just a mini-rant. The Society of Non-Theists at Purdue has spent the last week putting up flyers for our callout, only to have them torn down. I’d say only 50% of the 150+ flyers we put up are still there. I caught people in the act of removing them, only to be laughed at or sworn at when I told them not to. I had plenty of people telling me I was going to hell, and even more people sneering at me as if I was the scum of the earth. People even put forth the effort to vandalize our chalkings.

    It’s just so frustrating to see how stupidly close minded people can be, especially for such stupid reasons to begin with. All of our flyers were as politically correct and respectful as we could make them. It’s kind of sad that the mere presence of students who don’t believe in God offend so many people on campus. It just proves the point that groups like this NEED to exist to at least get rid of some of this ignorance.

  3. #3 khan
    September 23, 2007
  4. #4 Reginald Selkirk
    September 23, 2007

    Vandals egg house of (suburban Chicago) atheist

    The home of a local outspoken atheist was vandalized overnight Friday, police said — with eggs tossed at the house and cars, and crosses and religious words scrawled in chalk on the driveway.

    The incident comes days after Rob Sherman’s daughter, Dawn, led a successful effort to have the song “God Bless America” yanked from Buffalo Grove High School’s homecoming celebration.

    The vandalism likely was the retaliatory work of youngsters, police Sgt. Mike Millett said — since it came on the heels of the school incident and because one of the chalked words, “Jesus,” was misspelled.

  5. #5 Reginald Selkirk
    September 23, 2007

    Pete Stark receives humanism award


    A representative of the Secular Coalition for America told Stark that he had interviewed 21 US representatives who said they were nonbelievers but were unwilling to go public with that. “Something is intimidating those people,” he said.

  6. #6 Caucasian Jesus
    September 23, 2007

    But that doesn’t seem like enough for these atheists. Guys like Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens are making millions by persuading my otherwise faithful sheep into atheism by writing books of retarded circular arguments that aren’t based on the Bible. And we all know that arguments not based on the Bible are false. Retards.

    Church of Jesus F’n Christ

  7. #7 CortxVortx
    September 23, 2007

    Re: #1

    Jenni, next time, take a digital camera with you. Photo them in the act and present it to University officials.

    Or put them on a website under “violations of the 1st Amendment.”

    Surely, they wouldn’t object to being identified in so righteous an act.

    — CV

  8. #8 J Myers
    September 23, 2007

    Jennifurret, I agree with CV. Photograph the vandals-for-Jeebus and have them Expelled! Well, I doubt they’d get kicked out, so the website thing isn’t a bad idea, either.

  9. #9 Sastra
    September 23, 2007

    The Atheist Alliance International is having a convention in Washington DC this coming weekend in September. Speakers include Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris (sorry, it’s filled up). We’re planning on using the opportunity to select a generic symbol for atheism, with a vote between 6 simple designs. We’d like to include the “Affinity.”

    The Affinity, of course, was developed for when Pharyngula site looked for a symbol, last fall. There was a long thread, and then follow-up. Affinity was the stylized “A” or Lambda with an infinity symbol or mobius strip in the center — the designer was a “Godfrey Temple.” I’m assuming that’s not his actual name. He was a regular, but I haven’t seen him around recently. The whole point of the symbol is that it’s not copywrited, or associated with any individual or organization, so anyone can use it. I’ve no idea if this would matter to him, and hate to print all the ballots and posters and stuff with the Affinity if he doesn’t want it used this way. And I hate to leave it off if it would be fine. After all, he did offer it to the Pharyngula contest, to be adopted by all and sundry, from what I could make out.

    Anyone know Godfrey? I wrote PZ twice, and he hasn’t responded. (I think he once mentioned that not all his email gets through.) If PZ reads this and didn’t get the email, I can re-send. Or maybe he has no idea either.

    Any opinions on whether I should include it? Time’s running out, I’ve got to get everything printed by Thursday.

  10. #10 Kurt
    September 23, 2007

    Um, this thread has been pretty serious so far. Here is something a bit sillier…

    The last time I visited Amazon.com, I got a teaser ad for Munchkin Cthulhu 2. I have no idea just exactly what this is, but it seems like the kind of thing that Amazon should be marketing at PZ.

  11. #12 TheBrummell@msn.com
    September 24, 2007

    re: Munchkin, #10

    Munchkin is a game by Steve Jackson Games of Austin, Texas (don’t let the Texas thing dissuade you – they’re quite good, and not god-bothering at all).

    http://www.sjgames.com

    It’s a card game that parodies the worst aspects of role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Over the years, SJ Games has released a large library of expansions to the basic game, including science-fiction themes, cheesy Hong-Kong Kung-Fu themes, and of course Cthulhu.

    I highly recommend these games. And I agree that Munchkin Cthulhu should be marketed directly at PZ.

  12. #13 Reginald Selkirk
    September 24, 2007

    California Literary Review interviews Michael Behe


    I would suggest that Richard Dawkins re-read my book. In it I clearly state that random evolution works well up to the species level, perhaps to the genus and family level too. But at the level of vertebrate classes (birds, fish, etc), the molecular developmental programs needed would be beyond the edge of evolution.

    They ask some decent questions, but never follow up or point out when he’s wrong.

  13. #14 bernarda
    September 24, 2007

    Here is a Pete Seeger from the past. “Bring ‘em Home”.

    http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK1g69iHu1Q

    Just change “Vietnam” with “Iraq Land” and you have it up to date.

    Notice he sings, “I may be right I may be wrong, but I have the right to sing this song.”

    That is no longer the case with Bush/Cheney/Rethuglicans/Neocons.

  14. #15 Stephen
    September 24, 2007

    Jennifurret: perhaps you should apply small stickers to all the God-squad posters saying something like “this poster not torn down because atheists are better behaved than Christians.”

  15. #16 Sastra
    September 24, 2007

    Ironic note on the poster of Atheist Symbols for the Atheist Alliance International convention: I went to have it made today, at a local shop which specializes in posters, worked happily with the designer — and then several hours later got a call to come back and pick my stuff up, no poster. They are Christians and cannot do it. Went to another place, same thing. It was simply a poster with symbols to vote on — but it was for atheists. And they are Christians. One person helpfully explained that they turned down the KKK too. So sorry. But they’re Christians.

    Well, I’m an atheist, and I’ve done work for churches. I can understand not making a donation. But throwing someone out of the print shop? Comparing them with the Ku Klux Klan? Oh. Wait. They’re Christians.

    Let’s hear it for Office Max. They were the only ones who would print it. And deal with an atheist.

  16. #17 Evolving Squid
    September 24, 2007

    Don’t the KKK profess to be Christians too?

  17. #18 Glen
    September 25, 2007

    Re #10, #12

    I own and play Munchkin Cthulhu (and most of the other Munchkin games, to be honest, though I haven’t played Munchkin Cthulhu 2 yet). I think it’s a lot of fun, but primarily aimed at those who have some background in horror roleplaying games, especially Call of Cthulhu. Munchkin is a good place to start if you’ve seen any fantasy roleplaying (D&D in particular). The Munchkin games are all very firmly tongue in cheek.

    Following up TheBrummell’s point about not being god-bothery, Steve Jackson is a huge dinosaur fan (Dino Hunt is a good game for adults and kids to play together); one aspect of the game deals with the main theories about why dinosaurs became extinct – Asteroid Strike, Climate change, Volcanoes, etc. He even throws in a “UFOs?” (complete with the question mark) for a bit of silliness. But there’s no biblical flood there (I guess it’s even less plausible than UFOs).]

    He also has a game dealing with survival amongst prehistoric hunter-gatherers – Tribes, designed with David Brin (yes, that one) – currently out of print, but interesting if you can find a copy. To quote: “In this game, the way to win is to have the most kids, and do whatever you have to do to make sure they survive. The players must know when to cooperate, and when to cut their losses and protect their own families.”

    Their games tend to be well researched, so any science content (most games don’t have science themes, though) is generally of a good standard.

    [I have no idea if Steve has any religious convictions, even after numerous online conversations, which says something (mainly that he doesn't see the need to discuss his beliefs with people in the ordinary course of conversation). I do know that, while he's a very nice man, he has no time for political correctness. At all. About anything. He's happy to offend anyone. His games don't steer clear of poking a bit of fun at religion (and anything else) - take for example, Illuminati and Illuminati: New World Order which poke fun at everything from the Religious Right to Chinese Campaign Donors, from TV Preachers to the Democrats, from the Gun Lobby to Recyclers. The latest Illuminati expansion, Bavarian Fire Drill, among other things, takes a poke at
    Weapons of Mass Destruction, Zero Tolerance, and FEMA.]

    It’s a pretty reasonable place for the non-religious to go looking for games. If you go to their website, click the “our games” link – they have a lot of games under the various categories.

    As you might guess from the age of some of the games I’ve pointed to, I’m an enthusiastic and long-term customer.

  18. #19 Troff
    September 25, 2007

    Jennifurret,

    Since we’re allowed to speak our mind, I have just a mini-rant. The Society of Non-Theists at Purdue has spent the last week putting up flyers for our callout, only to have them torn down. I’d say only 50% of the 150+ flyers we put up are still there. I caught people in the act of removing them, only to be laughed at or sworn at when I told them not to. I had plenty of people telling me I was going to hell, and even more people sneering at me as if I was the scum of the earth. People even put forth the effort to vandalize our chalkings.

    The most successful strategy I’ve seen (okay, tried) so far is not to tear theirs down, but to put your own up right next to theirs… usually something really, really simple like either a quote from their own Bible (and I think you can guess the kind I mean), or something stark like “God lies to us (Genesis 3:1-22)”.

    They got torn down, I put them back up (I figured it would, so I printed spares). It disappeared again, but I saw it got put back the next day with small writing on it: I researched and it’s true!. It’s been there about two weeks now; and it’s right outside the main door leading to my room. Gives me a nice warm fuzzy every time I go in.

  19. #20 Patrick Quigley
    September 25, 2007

    Sastra, I just sent a few messages the Godfrey Temple through iidb.org. If I were you, I would just include the affinity if you don’t hear from him since he has offered it up as a generic symbol both here and at iidb.

  20. #21 Patrick Quigley
    September 25, 2007

    Sastra, I just sent a few messages the Godfrey Temple through iidb.org. If I were you, I would just include the affinity if you don’t hear from him since he has offered it up as a generic symbol both here and at iidb.

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