Archives for July, 2009

Francis Collins and Bill Maher

Bill Maher, anti-vaxxer and Germ Theory denier, got an award named for Richard Dawkins from an atheist group. The award specifies, among other things, that the recipient should be an atheist and should “advocate[] increased scientific knowledge.” Orac notes that Maher is not an atheist and that his anti-vaccine work and his arguments against the…

A new ally for the DI

The BBC’s Joe Boyle ponders Nigeria’s ‘Taliban’ enigma: They have launched co-ordinated attacks across northern Nigeria, threatening to overthrow the government and impose strict Islamic law – but who exactly are the Nigerian Taliban? Since the group emerged in 2004 they have become known as “Taliban”, although they appear to have no links to the…

The Bush administration classified various spy photos of glaciers. It isn’t clear why. Those glaciers are no imminent danger to us, and are unlikely to learn anything useful about the sources and methods we use to monitor them even with the photos. That we take pictures of glaciers is hardly shocking news to our enemies.…

Happy Birthday to me

I’m 31 years old. To celebrate my dotage, Sarah Palin will stop screwing up Alaska. And in recent days I have gone to both the Mutter Museum and X-tr33m Mammals. This is quite a way to celebrate a birthday: diseased corpses and awesome extinct mammals. Litopterns! Notoungulates! Soap mummies! Wax models of eye diseases! Awesome!

Netroots Nation 2009

Have you registered to attend Netroots Nation yet? It’s going to be pretty awesome. There will be dozens of panels, touching on political process and political practice, science, civil liberties, climate change, healthcare, and future of just about any topic you care about. And it won’t be out of touch pundits taking on these topics.…

WATB

Shorter David Klinghoffer: Wah! Slightly longer Klinghoffer: Why are people whose views I misrepresent and for whom I have invented a derogatory name so unpleasant to me? Damned deadbeats. Also, academia is the only field of endeavor where people are jerks. The world of business is filled with ambrosia and brotherly love. Bonus flashback Klinghoffer:…

Make mine neat

Off to drink bourbon and schmooze Kentucky legislators.

Deep Thoughts

Legislative conferences have better swag in the exhibits hall than do science conferences. To whit: free beer in the hall itself. Also free condoms, free chocolate (including both M&Ms and chocolate Pill dispensers), toys from Toy Manufacturers of America, and no fewer than five versions of the US Constitution. Also, the John Birch Society still…

Cronkite

When I was little, I called every TV anchor “Cronkite.” He literally defined “journalist” for me. He will be missed.

Unappealing

Shorter Longer Bill Dembski: It’s wrong to appeal to a judge’s authority on federal law, but not to twist Thomas Jefferson’s words to pretend we can know what he’d think of modern science. Dembski is responding to Steven Pinker’s reply to Disco. DJ Stephen Meyer’s op-ed claiming Thomas Jefferson would totally have totally disagreed with…