Archives for February, 2011

Kevin Drum meditates on the conservative movement hating on vegetables: A first lady campaigning against obesity and in favor of breast feeding is now the target of all-out war from the right. I imagine that if she were taking on illiteracy, teenage drug use, or planting flowers, the Republican Party would suddenly find itself opposed…

Martin Cothran, friend to bigotry of all kinds, wonders “Has the Obama admininstration [sic] endorsed Big Love?” No. He is reacting to the Obama administration’s decision not to defend section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and to Francis Beckwith’s erroneous comments on that decision. Before delving into the argument, a few basic facts.…

Twitter

If you aren’t following me on twitter, you really should. Like a lot of bloggers, I’ve taken to using twitter as a repository for minor commentary and individual links that aren’t quite deserving of their own blog post, but that still amuse me. So if you aren’t reading the twitter feed, you aren’t getting the…

Geoengineering and the ocean

The Wonkroom’s Brad Johnson takes on USA Today’s Dan Vergano over geoengineering. Geoengineering is the idea that we could combat global warming by pumping sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, thus blocking some solar radiation and keeping things cooler. Vergano is a sharp science writer and his take is hardly boosterish, but Johnson dings him…

Jerry Coyne is confused: I’m surprised that accommodationists and the National Center for Science Education don’t criticize [other] evolutionists for describing the evolution and natural selection as “purely natural and materialistic processes,” for that steps on the toes of the faithful just as hard as saying that evolution is “unguided and purposeless”. In both cases…

It’s three years late, but the White House and the Department of Justice have finally concluded that the misnamed Defense of Marriage Act – which forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal – is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The Attorney General recommended to the President, and President Obama agreed,…

Wisconsin, Libya, Bahrain

I have no good excuse for not having followed events in Libya, Bahrain, and Wisconsin as closely as I ought. Both events, popular uprisings against a repressive executive bent on crushing the rights of citizens, highlight the ability of regular people to stand together in solidarity. I’ve watched in awe as Libyans braved aerial strafing…

Glen Beck, antisemitic wanker

Not that Glen Beck’s wankery is a surprise, but Mark Chu-Carroll has a nice takedown of Beck’s culturally illiterate attack on the rabbis who think he’s an antisemitic wanker. Enjoy.

Does higher education cause atheism?

Barry Kosmin, whose American Religious Identification Survey is one the basic datasets for anyone trying to understand religion in America, isn’t convinced higher education causes people to become atheists: Undoubtedly, educational attainment is closely associated with intelligence. So any link between intelligence and atheism seems persuasive. … As regards atheism, one mistake often made, even…

Beer goggles

Shorter Jerry Coyne: Wanting gnu atheists not to be dickbags is the equivalent of telling them to STFU. Jeremy Stangroom’s claim that gnus use ad hominem attacks is wrong because, look, he tried to defend a 28 year-old woman having sex with a 14 year-old boy. If you need further proof that I’m focused on…