Pharyngula

Archives for May, 2010

Wanna t-shirt?

Here’s an almost impressive compendium of evolution t-shirts. I say “almost” because, dang it, most of them are variations on the infamous March of Progress image, which I detest. That thing feeds on and is the source of some of the most common misconceptions about evolution. Please, graphic designers, if you want to create something…

What is wrong with you, Queensland?

Look at this: they’ve explicitly added creationism to the public school curriculum in Queensland, Australia. That’s just nuts. They’re even doing it in an entirely bogus way — they’re teaching it as a controversy in history classes. In Queensland schools, creationism will be offered for discussion in the subject of ancient history, under the topic…

“Scientific impotence”

John Timmer has written up a relevant paper on the tactics people use to avoid scientific conclusions. When science doesn’t feed your biases, reject science. A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology takes a look at one of these methods, which the authors term “scientific impotence”—the decision that science can’t actually address…

Most appropriately named quack ever

He called himself Dr Woo. He was a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, and even those quacks couldn’t stand him, and disbarred him. He was bringing in female patients, asking them to get naked, and then poking and prodding in places totally unrelated to their complaints. Here’s one remarkably resonant sentence from the article: Expert…

Jeffrey Shallit has an excellent post on the conceptual failure of creationists to grasp even the possibility of an absence of intent. You probably know the feeling — you are trying to explain some process in biology or chemistry, and your student is struggling to fit the story into his mental picture of molecules or…

At last, this sounds like a practical solution: In an open letter, the girlfriends of more than 40 priests have called for a relaxation of the church’s stance on celibacy to allow a limited range of sexual practices, including the reverse Dutch Steamboat, the Stockholm Slip’n’Slide and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. There are more details at…

Stupid poll

So, Greta Van Susteren, Fox News babbler, got some hate mail telling her how stupid she is. Instead of just chucking it in the trash, or simply making fun of it (the guy made a spelling error, of course), she had to go out of her way to demonstrate that maybe the fellow was right.…

Resetting old thread, resume conversation here. (Current totals: 10,316 entries with 1,008,138 comments.)

It’s been a great week for vapid defenses of religion…at least for atheists, that is. It’s been a sad week for the godly, given that their paladins are all such flabby purveyors of tepid tea. First up, let us consider the Dalai Lama, revered all around the world because he’s such a nice guy and…

There are no atheists allowed in Catholic schools. A teacher at a Catholic HS in Iowa was fired because she answered a poll about personal beliefs in a way her employer didn’t like. Apparently, Abby Nurre was surfing around Facebook last summer (before she started her job at the Catholic school) and decided to answer…