Pharyngula

Archives for May, 2010

Good to know

I was told all the time as a kid that you mustn’t swallow chewing gum, because it just piles up in your guts and clogs up all the works and you will die. They lied to me — it just passes through the gut like anything else. So please stop sticking your unpleasant wads under…

A while back, I gave a keynote talk at an evo-devo conference, and one of the things I told them was that public outreach was important, and one tool to get your message out was blogging. Telling that to a mob of working scientists who have other pressing matters occupying them is dangerous, but I…

It’s not just the Catholics!

Bill Donohue will be so relieved. Here’s a story about a youn girl being raped, her assailant protected by the church, and the girl herself getting all the blame…and it’s the Baptists! Tina Anderson was raped by Ernest Willis, a Trinity Baptist Church member, when she was 15, and got pregnant. She accused Willis in…

Beware the gay stormtroopers!

The American Humanist Association is making a push to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the American military. They want you to write a letter to your representatives supporting the repeal. Here’s another reason besides simple common decency to end a discriminatory practice: It will drive Bryan Fischer insane(r). Fischer is the unpleasant…

Sepioteuthis lessoniana Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.

This is good news! After the outrage over a prior policy statement, the AAP has revised and clarified their position on female genital mutilation: The American Academy of Pediatrics has rescinded a controversial policy statement raising the idea that doctors in some communities should be able to substitute demands for female genital cutting with a…

A Muslim cleric thought he’d discovered a loophole in Islamic religious law that would allow the restrictions on Muslim women in the workplace to be loosened. He said that if a woman fed a male colleague “directly from her breast” at least five times they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to…

A successful protest in Chicago

There was an anti-vaccination rally yesterday in Chicago — boring and silly! What’s more interesting is that Women Thinking Free (a fabulous new organization) had a counter-demonstration. You can read an account or two or three of the event from the rational perspective; it sounds like the anti-vaxers are also anti-science. The rally and anti-rally…

Another courtier speaks up

A couple of years ago, I sat down one morning, bemused by yet another bit of empty apologetics from god’s sycophants, and banged out a short bit of amusement called The Courtier’s Reply. It got picked up everywhere, to my surprise. I mean, seriously, I have to confess that I whipped that out in 20…

As a fan of The Order of the Stick, I was pleased to see this last panel of the latest strip. “Not surprisingly, ethical concerns cannot overcome the siren’s lure of a triceratops ride” could almost be my motto.