Pharyngula

Archives for December, 2008

It must be “Pick on Indiana Day”

No hard feelings, people, I lived there for a while…but Hoosiers sure can pick ‘em. I was there when Dan Quayle was the hero of the hour, and I had no idea they could sink even lower. Here he is, though: Congressman Mark Souder, who claims that the highlight of his year was appearing in…

A suggestion for Elwood, Indiana

Rename the town “Peckerwood”.1 It would be more fitting. Addition of the modifier “two-bit” is entirely optional. Here’s the story. Local citizen walks into the Public Library, and notices that it is displaying a Christian nativity scene. He asks to meet with the library director to complain. This, of course, violates the God-given right of…

Another atheist bashing

Ho hum, it’s Madeleine Bunting, who we’ve encountered before. Her essay starts out well enough, cheering on the coming Darwin celebrations, explaining how this is a great opportunity for the promotion of science, etc., etc., etc., but—there’s always a but—oh, deary me, it’s going to be hijacked by those dreadful atheists. We have to do…

Well, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Just more of the same ol’, same ol’, with nothing much of substance to grapple with. Let’s tackle Andrew Brown’s complaints first. Brown is not a stupid fellow, but I see here a hint of irrationally roused hackles, with little explanation of what exactly he is complaining about.…

The advantages of being a biologist

A reader sent me this photo of a lovely monument in Antwerp, and I just had to post it. You see, when you’re a biologist, it’s not just all about the squid and the barnacles, there’s also all the hot babes. The voluptuous young lady is, apparently, the personification of Nature. I just knew she…

In my mailbox

Checking my mail today, I discovered one curiosity, one holiday card, and one piece of Very Official Stationery from the University that employs me. The curiosity: I actually got a reprint request. Those are very strange — it used to be that you’d always get a flurry of these after publishing something, and you’d be…

False equivalence

I’ve been seeing this argument a lot lately: it’s a brand of exceedingly indiscriminate relativism that is being prominently peddled by Answers in Genesis. Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians, all have the same evidence–the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants,…

Old news: abstinence pledges don’t work

Another study finds that abstinence-only sex ed is a failure. Not that it will matter, proponents of such fantasy solutions will just close their eyes and pray harder. Teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don’t make such promises — and they’re less likely to practice safe…

I had a dream once

And it was just like this story of a man and a squid.

One of my colleagues, Greg Cahill…gone

This is sad news. Greg Cahill, an old acquaintance who had been a fellow graduate student with me at the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon, has died suddenly. I did not know him well, but I remember him as a fine fellow among my small cohort of fellow students, and it’s sad…