Terra Sigillata

Yesterday, Matt over at Pooflingers Anonymous celebrated his one-year blogiversary. (Question: should it really be “anniblogary” to reflect the Latin, annum?). To understand the nature and concept of poo-flinging, I direct you to his mission statement.

When I first began reading blogs, I was truly astonished, but not surprised, at the amount of uncritical and unscientific blather being espoused by deniers of evolution and medicine, as just two examples. It was through people like Matt, Skeptico, Prometheus, and my current SiBling, Orac, that I first learned how the battle against irrational thinking has continued on the web and into the blogosphere.

I had always thought that creationists went away and devolved 50 years ago. Certainly, I thought that those of us who are the first generation in the West not to experience debilitating and now-preventable illnesses like polio, measles, smallpox, and diphtheria would be grateful for public health vaccination programs that now allow us to grow old and die of things like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

But, alas, there has been a resurgence of religiosity that has overcome the rational scientific method that is recongized and ascribed by even my most devout, divinity colleagues. Moreover, there is a misconception of perceived vs. actual risk that makes people fear vaccinations while they expose their children to secondhand smoke or real, threatening amounts of mercury from some fish and coal-fired power plants.

This is where people like the Pooflinger come in. Frankly, I lack the patience to respond to those who deny evolution or the value of vaccinations, although I know I should be more vociferous and proactive. For his one year of service above and beyond the call of duty, I send Mark best wishes and thanks for taking the time to respond to irrational thinking across these internets.


  1. #1 Ruth
    June 28, 2006

    Not all relgious are in the anti-rationalists camp. Some of us take both our religion and science seriously. Most Catholics have no problem with evolution. I oppose the biblical literalists as St. Augustine did 1500 years ago.

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    June 28, 2006

    Ruth, I couldn’t agree more and certainly didn’t mean to exclude religious folks who are scientifically critical as well. I myself credit three teachers I had in Catholic school who helped shape me into pursuing a career in the health sciences.

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