Pharyngula

Archives for December, 2009

Uh-oh. You people will bail me out, right?

On the first of January, that is, right now, the Irish blasphemy law goes into effect. In February, I’ll be giving some talks in Ireland. Just to warm up the officials there, Atheist Ireland has just published 25 blasphemous quotes…including one from me. Oh, boy. This trip could be interesting.

Minnesota Product Highlight

Oooh, baby. That’s a Nu-Life Communion Host Dispenser, equipped with a rapid reload system for fast wafer loading and quad-rotator technology that allows up to 400 wafers to be fired without reloading. If you need to shovel Jesus into people’s mouths at a high rate of speed, this is the gadget for you. And you…

Start off 2010 with schadenfreude

Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is bleeding money. He just sent out a letter begging for almost a million dollars from his followers. With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated. Still, with wise management, we’ve…

Atheism is dooooomed!

I keep hearing people telling me this, but at the same time I keep seeing more and more out atheists, and atheism becoming more and more popular. The refrain is sounding more desperate than accurate — but then, among people for whom wishful thinking is tantamount to a mathematical proof, I suppose just wanting atheism…

California crazy

Two distressing news stories out of that wealthy western state: Berkeley High School has a serious problem: it’s a good, relatively well-funded school, but black and latino students aren’t doing as well as white students. Their solution: kill those expensive science labs and redirect the money to remedial classes. Science classes with no labs? Inconceivable!…

Since every one of these undying threads turns into something about geology, including the last one, it is only fitting that we reveal the truth here: rocks are evil. They want to turn everything into stone. Now watch: no one will talk geology at all in this open thread.

Naked blue giants must be the new SF trope

I saw the most awesome tech demo reel tonight — a little show called Avatar. It was well worth the admission cost, but you should be prepared with reasonable expectations. There isn’t a plot. Well, actually, there is…but it’s so predictable that they might as well have left it out. It’s a wish-fulfillment fantasy on…

Some things never change

Zeno has posted the complete text of a long creationist screed published in the Sacramento Bee. It’s got everything: the second law of thermodynamics, the fallacy of the excluded middle, the ‘law’ of biogenesis, mysterious barriers between species, and of course, the Imminent Death of Darwinism. It’s tediously familiar, and you’ve probably heard it all…

Alaska’s War on Science

Several people expressed surprise at Alaska’s high position on the list of non-religious states. We can’t have people’s expectations shattered, so here’s something to reassure you all that the world has not turned inside out: an Alaskan scientist castigates the state’s attitude on science. Alaska’s escalating war on science should be a grave concern to…

Crawling pigments

Here’s another of Casey Dunn’s Creature Casts, this time on shifting color spots in marine snails. CreatureCast – Flamingo Tongue Snails from Casey Dunn on Vimeo. Pigment cells are always very, very cool. I’ve been intrigued by them for a long time — they show up in my time-lapse recordings of developing zebrafish and are…