Pharyngula

Carnivalia and an open thread

Hey, there’s some cool stuff out there:

And of course, if there’s anything else you want to talk about, this is the thread to do it in.

Comments

  1. #1 Kobra
    August 30, 2008

    Hey PZ, do you listen to Slayer?

  2. #2 Dan B.
    August 30, 2008

    I want to talk about changing our organ donation system from opt-in to opt-out. How ’bout that? Right now (in most states I’m familiar with) you have to opt IN to the program – usually by filling out your driver’s license. The problems with this are that we often forget to do it, we get replacement licenses fairly often, and the form often gets worn off since we carry our licenses everywhere. The end result is that many more people SAY they are in favor of donating their organs than who actually have the proper forms filled out. And even more probably just haven’t even thought about it. So instead of assuming that no one wants to donate organs unless they say so, we change to a system where it’s assumed you DO want to save numerous lives with parts you’re no longer using unless you otherwise specify. This still protects the rights of those who are against it for whatever reason, but will immediately result in thousands of saved lives for no additional cost. (There are surveys and data from other countries to back up these assertions. I don’t have them on me now)
    The number of people languishing on the organ recipient lists is an atrocity when so many perfectly good organs could be available.

  3. #3 Tony Sidaway
    August 30, 2008

    Geoff Henley gets a laugh from me for his Benny Hill-style approach to marketing his book, Beyond Reasonable Doubt: A Lawyer’s Case For Disbelief:

    Does God Exist?

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    August 30, 2008

    I’ve considered linking to Henley’s ads, but…well…they’re a little blatant.

  5. #5 96well
    August 30, 2008

    Thanks for the stuff suggestion. Let me add my little niche: at Reportergene, I trend advances in reporter assay development.

  6. #6 Kobra
    August 30, 2008

    #2: I agree. Let those “noooo they be tryin to steal mah organs” pricks opt-in to the non-donor program.

  7. #7 Benjamin Franklin
    August 30, 2008

    If any of the cats out here want to be herded,

    Ray Comfort has posted the following on his blog-

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5823596693953871104&postID=8503896091806095126

    Ray said-
    “I have a new book coming out soon. There will be a chapter on atheism. Tell me, what do atheists (officially) believe about:”

    - God
    - the Bible
    - Heaven & Hell
    - Sin,
    - Salvation (from death and Hell)
    - Jesus

    I haven’t decided yet whether to respond or not as:
    a) Is it even worth responding to?
    b) Given Comfort’s proclivity to twisting any information, would the actual responses appear correctly?
    c) Comfort is such a stupid shit!
    d) I don’t really want him to sell another thing.
    e) His “ministry” took in over $4.5 million last year
    f) I don’t like surveys
    g) I haven’t recieved permission from the “official” Grand High Exhalted Master of atheism.
    h) I secretly hope that Ray Comfort’s man-titties burn in Hell

  8. #8 bornagain77
    August 30, 2008

    Cool an open thread PZ. I didn’t know where I would be able to fit this poem in a science blog

    Autumn Leaf’s Laughter

    http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=82370711ca9967532d04

    And just to maintain my annoying Creationists stance on this open thread:

    Evolution? Where Does The Evidence Lead? Bacterial Flagellum

    http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=db29bc58ea173002958d

  9. #9 Tony Sidaway
    August 30, 2008

    PZ Myers | August 30, 2008 9:35 AM, #4

    Yes, they’re cheap and tacky. Like the internet, like blogging. ;)

  10. #10 Reginald Selkirk
    August 30, 2008

    Camp Out is a feature documentary film that follows ten Midwestern teenagers as they attend the first overnight Bible Camp for gay Christian youths…

    Bible Camp? Wee-ha! Skeptic’s Annotated Bible reviews what the Bible says about homosexuality.

  11. #11 clinteas
    August 30, 2008

    I do not fancy all this thread hijacking and abusing,to further a particular agenda by quoting or linking,at all.Its been a growing phenomenon here for a little while now.

    And Tony,the Internet doesnt have to be cheap and tacky,neither does blogging,it depends on the bloggers really doesnt it ! If you settle for girls in bikinis in a swimming pool,well thats up to you really isnt it lol…..If I ever do a blog,my readers will get to see that bikini pulled down,not the catholic church version….

  12. #12 Sili
    August 30, 2008

    Hear! hear! on the opt-out. Sadly the politicians chickened out here (bloody paternalistic, semi-fascistoid, liberalist cabinet).

    Now what have you been up to, PeeZed?

  13. #13 Reginald Selkirk
    August 30, 2008

    I want to talk about changing our organ donation system from opt-in to opt-out.

    I am in general opposed to “opt-out” programs. It is obnoxious and overbearing to want to make it a point of law that everyone is assumed to agree with you unless they specifically declare otherwise.

  14. #14 Sili
    August 30, 2008

    I’m new to ‘pods and podcasts, but I have to spend a coupla hours on the train tomorrow, so I thought I might give it a go.

    I have the latests Universe Today, but that’s not gonna last me all that long.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Or should I cave in to Apple and buy Cosmos from Itunes?

  15. #15 C. L. Hanson
    August 30, 2008

    p.s. I’m not sure you ever got around to linking to the latest Carnival of the Godless

  16. #16 AndrÚs Diplotti
    August 30, 2008

    Ray said-
    “I have a new book coming out soon. There will be a chapter on atheism. Tell me, what do atheists (officially) believe about:”

    “Officially”? Well, he just doesn’t get it, right?

  17. #17 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    August 30, 2008

    There is also the Four Stone Hearth which just came out last Wednesday. Now umlaut-free.

  18. #18 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    August 30, 2008

    Damn’ed link didn’t work. Four Stone Hearth at http://www.tuibguy.com/?p=1478

    Let’s try that and forget the fancy stuff.

  19. #19 Sphere Coupler
    August 30, 2008

    An open thread-yum

    I guess I could use this oppertunity to write about Irony.
    Alot of people say they believe in god, and the religions say to be good stewards…but we still shit in our waters.

    Some who claim to be above mystical beliefs and to have evolved to understand great technoligies…but we still foul the air.

    Evolutionist and religionist elect politicians who create departments to protect our homes,our children,(our environment)and then they sell out every time,allowing greed to dictate our future.Our departments become permiting bodies to the greedy.The original intent gutted.

    Why do the people of this great nation allow decisions that stagnate the developement of proper actions?

    Most religious folks I talk to say Its gods will…But I thought god gave us the choice of free will.

    Most evolusionist I talk to say that this is the way we have evolved.

    They both suck,just a cope out…we still shit in our water!

    Why havent we replaced the high voltage towers with wind mills? Generate power at transmission site. Maybe we can’t replace peak & intermediate power production yet but we can go a long way in replacing base power and some peak & intermediate power production.(Oh they are ugly) {What?} I mean really… WTF. Where the hell are the priorities.

    Oh, it would cost too much,right?Get a grip. Our nation is allready in debt,but future generations won’t have nothing to show for it.At least spend our debt on policies that will have a positive outcome.

    Know this, Everytime you flip a switch and forget to turn it off, you are destroying this planet.For you religious folk,you are destroying Gods creation.For all the others, you are destroying your beautiful nature.Another strip coal mine destroys another aquifer,destroys another forest.

    Do humans really care about their children? I don’t see it.

    Are we any better than are our ancesters?
    Have we learned anything?
    Can we not control our greed?
    If we lived longer… would we act any different?

    OK,ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly.
    When was oil created?
    What was it like on earth precambrian?
    What was it like on earth postcambrian?
    What are the three major uses for oil above ground for humans.
    What functions do you think oil serves underground, naturally?
    Do we really want to remove all the oil?
    Be Honest with your answers,remove your head from the sand,let the fog of greed disapate for just a little while.
    Do you have children?
    Do you honestly love them?
    What have you done to secure their home (earth).
    If you don’t understand then keep trying, don’t let anyone tell you what to believe.Believe in the truth,maybe we can change,maybe we don’t have to be greedy to be happy.
    Maybe…Maybe…maybe…….may…be…..

    wakeup

  20. #20 Hal
    August 30, 2008

    On the organ donation mess… when I start to see hospitals donating the use of their facilities and surgeons and anesthesiologists donating their services, I’ll start thinking about donating the raw material. Until then, it’s available from my estate for a price corresponding to that of medical care in the US.

    I also want some control over who receives the benefit when I’m parted out. Wealthy alcoholics on their second liver and yakuza with friends in hospital administration need not apply.

  21. #21 Ames
    August 30, 2008

    Yo PZ – you missed Carnival of the Liberals 71 while you were on vacay.

    http://www.acandidworld.net/2008/08/13/carnival-of-the-liberals-lxxi-talking-points-edition/

  22. #22 Scott from Oregon
    August 30, 2008

    Air America now has a radio program devoted to Athiests. Is this news around here?

  23. #23 Rey Fox
    August 30, 2008

    “I do not fancy all this thread hijacking and abusing,to further a particular agenda by quoting or linking,at all.”

    It’s an open thread. How can you hijack it?

    “Most evolusionist I talk to say that this is the way we have evolved.”

    The voices in your head don’t count.

    “Ray said-
    “I have a new book coming out soon. There will be a chapter on atheism. Tell me, what do atheists (officially) believe about:””

    Well, this couldn’t end well. Ray’s reputation precedes him, and I figure he’s going to be cherry-picking the most combative responses. He will most certainly spin our anger and contempt towards him into anger at God.

  24. #24 Maria
    August 30, 2008

    I just wanted to let everyone know (in case you didn’t) that the president of the Secular Coalition for America was in Colbert’s show last night, in the “Better know a Lobby” series. I think she did pretty well.

  25. #25 Sili
    August 30, 2008

    Well, I guess things are different over here, Hal.

    Socialised healthc- and wellfare an’ all that jazz. Considering the benefits we all reap, it’s a fair ‘sacrifice’.

  26. #26 ThirtyFiveUp
    August 30, 2008

    Something that has been annoying me for a long time are the comments from people who are not USA based which say, “You folks are sure stupid, my country is perfect”.

    There is Godwin’s Law and Poe’s Law and No True Scotsman and Grammar Nazi and the new admirable Fatwa Envy. It seems to me there should be some short way to categorize these non-information comments.

    I’m thinking maybe “IPYN” I’m perfect, you’re not.

    And Sili, at least you included a reason the USA is stupid.

  27. #27 Brownian, OM
    August 30, 2008

    Hal,

    On the organ donation mess… when I start to see hospitals donating the use of their facilities and surgeons and anesthesiologists donating their services, I’ll start thinking about donating the raw material. Until then, it’s available from my estate for a price corresponding to that of medical care in the US.

    The police, lawyers and judges don’t donate their time. You must not call 911 to report a crime unless they kick back a finder’s fee, either.

    Plus, what if the victim is a wealthy alcoholic?

    It’s clear you’re interesting in preventing or reducing abuse of the system, but your arguments are poor ones.

  28. Something that has been annoying me for a long time are the comments from people who are not USA based which say, “You folks are sure stupid, my country is perfect”.

    But, but, Canada is perfect.

  29. #29 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    August 30, 2008

    Air America now has a radio program devoted to Athiests. Is this news around here?

    We’re more interested in programs devoted to “Atheists.” But, all kidding aside, Scott, do you have more details available? Minnesota Atheists do broadcast on the Minneapolis/St. Paul affiliate and Boss Myers will be our guest on September 7th. He’ll post the details, so watch for the link.

  30. #30 SC
    August 30, 2008

    But, but, Canada is perfect.

    OK, pretty soon you’ll have the best blueberries. But where are you hiding the tropical beaches?

  31. #31 LoewLife
    August 30, 2008

    so… how about that creationist anti-woman’s rights governor McCain just promoted to a potential vice president? that seems like a good way to hijack an open thread

  32. #32 blf
    August 30, 2008

    Internets, The, Blogging Corportation, The
    Notice of Fine
    To: PZ, Impaler, The.

    IBC, The, wishes to inform blogger, the, known as PZ, Impaler, The, that open threads are not in accordance with Rules, The. In addition to a phenonmena where commenters fail to stay on topic, confusing message, the, unapproved claims can be made. Hence Rules, The, clearly state, in ž489.2.1.1.5.7a-II.c(b)Ż, as amended, “All comments shall pertain to the subject of the post. Comments which fail to pertain to the subject post shall not be posted. Posting comments which fail to pertain to the subject of shall not exist.”

    A superficial examination of some of comments, the, on this post finds numerous instances of comments existing which are not about subject, the, of post, the. Therefore, IBC, The, fines you — A shrubbery. Or we shall say “Ni!”

    Shrubbery, the, must look nice. And not be too expensive.

  33. #33 LisaJ
    August 30, 2008

    Well, since this is an open thread…

    It seems I’ve got my own little ‘Crackergate’ going on right now. I’ll explain:

    It’s been a really tough week. First, my cat died. Then my grandfather passed away of a heart attack Thursday night. This was something we sorta knew was coming, but it could have been now or weeks, months or even years from now that he actually passed away. So it’s pretty upsetting. I haven’t seen him in months and was planning on going home in October for his birthday… so I feel pretty terrible that I didn’t get to see him again. We were pretty close. So, I’ll be driving up to Barrie, Ontario tomorrow for an extended long weekend of family, crying, visitations, a catholic mass (barf) and a funeral.

    Well, my grandmother, his wife, is one of the sweetest women you’ll ever meet. She’s a wonderful grandmother, which is why I was so shocked to hear what my mom had to say to me 20 minutes ago about some issues with the impending funeral arrangements. My grandma is a devout catholic. Aside from her family, it’s the biggest thing in her life. It’s very sad, because I can see so clearly how her devotion to the church has really held her back in life… but that’s for another time. It seems that she is dictating to the family that anyone who has not been to confession within the last year is not allowed to receive communion. Incase anyone isn’t clear, receiving communion = eating the wafer. She is incredibly stressed out about this, and says she will be on pins and needles worried that someone who is an unfit christian will go up to receive communion. She’s told my mother that she isn’t allowed to eat the cracker, and you can surely bet she’ll be beside herself if I even thought about participating. Not that I want to, but wow, I am shocked that she is putting so much energy into limiting the involvement of her family members that she (via the church) deems unfit catholics in their father’s / grandfather’s funeral.

    So yeah, here’s what I have to look forward to: saying goodbye to my wonderful grandfather, attending a funeral with a FULL LENGTH catholic mass (oh, it’s going to be awful), and incredible undue stress and tension among the family over a fucking cracker. Oh, don’t you love it when you realize your family is more messed up than you thought?!

  34. #34 SC
    August 30, 2008

    I want to talk about changing our organ donation system from opt-in to opt-out.

    People may be interested in Kieran Healy’s book on the subject:

    http://www.amazon.com/Last-Best-Gifts-Altruism-Market/dp/0226322378

    (I haven’t yet read it, so it’s not really a recommendation, but I’m always happy to point to a fellow sociologist’s work. :))

  35. #35 Sili
    August 30, 2008

    LisaJ,

    I have nothing to offer but my condolences.

  36. #36 SC
    August 30, 2008

    LisaJ,

    I feel for you. At my (French-Canadian) grandfather’s funeral mass a few years ago, we were treated to a lecture on the importance of the patriarchal family structure from a representative of an institution that tormented my grandmother in life and contributed, I believe, to her death at a young age. I just had to suck it up – one of the reasons this cracker craziness really struck home for me.

    My condolences on your losses.

  37. #37 LisaJ
    August 30, 2008

    Oh, I hear you there SC. I am nervous that I’m going to be treated to a similar sort of bullshit lecture at this mass, and I’m just going to want to scream.

    Thanks alot for the condolences Sili and SC.

  38. #38 JoJo
    August 30, 2008

    But, but, Canada is perfect.

    I’ve been in Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John’s, Newfoundland, so I know this statement is just wishful thinking.

  39. #39 Hal
    August 30, 2008

    Brownian, if the fire and police comparisons held, there would be no opting anywhere; those are inapposite examples.

    Your presumption that the only social influence on organ donation is public-spirited altruism is also weak. In the US, transplant procedures are profit centers for hospitals. I just want a piece of the action as long as *my* organs are more or less being sold retail. But then, I reserve the right to donate them free of cost to recipients my representative finds worthy.

  40. #40 Sili
    August 30, 2008

    Brownian is obviously confusing RL C-eh-N-eh-D-eh with the Foobiverse.

    Sorry for the inappropriateness, LisaJ.

  41. #41 AlanWCan
    August 30, 2008

    ThirtyFiveUp

    And Sili, at least you included a reason the USA is stupid.

    McCain / Palin: this is a serious contender for running your country? Even after 8 years of Bush, who I thought was a joke at first. I couldn’t imagine he’d have the slightest chance of getting into the whitehouse. And you wonder why no-one else takes your country seriously? A political campaign is waged over what was said by the guy in charge of the place where the candidate goes to pretend a big sky fairy gives a crap about whether or not some people eat the wrong things or have sex with the wrong other people? A guy who dropped bombs on civilians in a war of aggression against another sovereign nation that posed no threat to yours and was then shot down, captured, and subjected to the same treatment your military deems appropriate for your enemies is a war hero?

    Where I live is not perfect, but (a) at least there are few here who would claim that to be the case, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and (b) there are even fewer here who would continually shout about our perfection and support wars of aggression to spread our infallibility around the globe, again even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

  42. #42 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2008

    Even after 8 years of Bush, who I thought was a joke at first. I couldn’t imagine he’d have the slightest chance of getting into the whitehouse.

    boy does that sound familiar.

    substitute those of us who recall 8 years of Reagan, and you would have heard the same thing coming from many of us before the 2000 election.

    And you wonder why no-one else takes your country seriously?

    no, and AFAICT, nobody with any sense has wondered that for several years now.
    ;)

  43. #43 arensb
    August 30, 2008

    The list of carnivals is missing today’s Carnival of Elitist Bastards.

  44. #44 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2008

    condolences on the loss of your grandfather, Lisa.

  45. #45 Quiet Desperation
    August 30, 2008

    @Mr or Ms Sphere Coupler

    When was oil created?

    1106 A.D. Not many people know that.

    What was it like on earth precambrian?

    Spacious.

    What was it like on earth postcambrian?

    Crowded

    What are the three major uses for oil above ground for humans.

    Stir-fry, moisturizing leather, and slippery sex involving the aforementioned moist leather.

    What functions do you think oil serves underground, naturally?

    It lubricates the continental drift.

    Do we really want to remove all the oil?

    Oh, my, yes! It’s icky! The Earth also needs a facial.

    Be Honest with your answers,remove your head from the sand,let the fog of greed disapate for just a little while.

    Was that a trick question?

    Do you have children?

    No.

    Do you honestly love them?

    Since I don’t have any, I can only provide an answer in imaginary numbers.

    4.6778i for the non-boy, 4.8912i for the non-girl and 2.3491i for the one with which my non-wife is not pregnant.

    What have you done to secure their home (earth).

    I was considering this big chain up to the Moon, but I can’t sell NASA on it. They kep saying things like, “that’s silly”, “you’re nuts” and “please stop bothering us, you lunatic, or we’ll call the police”

    If you don’t understand then keep trying, don’t let anyone tell you what to believe.Believe in the truth,maybe we can change,maybe we don’t have to be greedy to be happy.

    Was this another trick question?

    Maybe…Maybe…maybe…….may…be…..

    …all my troubles seem so faaaaaaaar awaaaaaay… no, wait, wrong song.

  46. #46 khan
    August 30, 2008

    Aphorisms:

    When mammoths roamed the web

    To lie like a fundie

    Creepy Christian Crotch Police

  47. #47 Coturnix
    August 30, 2008

    This is an excellent Alaskan blog that covers Palin.

  48. #48 BobC
    August 30, 2008

    And of course, if there’s anything else you want to talk about, this is the thread to do it in.

    The New York Times has just published some letters about the biology teacher David Campbell: Teaching Evolution in Hostile Territory

  49. #49 BobC
    August 31, 2008

    LisaJ, very sorry about your grandfather. I suggest don’t worry about the mass. It’s not a big deal to skip the communion ceremony. Also, to get thru the mass without too much discomfort it’s perfectly OK to sit down while everyone else is kneeling. Just relax and be glad you don’t have to do this every Sunday. Your grandmother sounds wonderful. She’s from a different time when everyone took religion seriously. Can’t blame her for that.

  50. #50 Sphere Coupler
    August 31, 2008

    @ Quiet Desperation;

    Well nice try, However you missed almost all the questions.
    (you have probably got a kid somewhere)

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