Archives for July, 2011

TAM Thoughts

From last Thursday through Sunday, I was in Las Vegas at The Amazing Meeting!, a gathering of skeptics hosted by James “The Amazing” Randi. Randi, for those of you unschooled in these matters, was a stage magician who got involved in debunking the claims of psychics and other flimflam artists. He orchestrated a rather famous…

Remember when I invited readers to take a survey on the Miss USA evolution answers? And I was kinda vague about why I was doing it? At last it can be told, I was working on a guest blog post at Scientific American. You should read the whole thing, but here’s the bit about how…

ThinkProgress’s culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg explores The Myths And Challenges Of Making Working Class Television, writing that the main challenge is: being working poor isn’t something that you solve once and it’s done. There are plenty of movies that do this, because they can have one crisis and overcome that, and the story’s over. In…

I’m here in Las Vegas, and already my work is done. Genie Scott, Occidental College’s Don Prothero, and I did a workshop at 9am today about Defending Evolution in Classrooms. Planning for this was complicated, because we wanted it to be a true workshop, i.e., to have interactive aspects, and time for people to work…

Unequal treatment (Updated)

In the course of my talk at TAM, I mentioned at one point “There’s nothing so unfair as equal treatment of unequal ideas.” Various people tweeted and retweeted it, so the line was clearly a hit. That’s actually a misquotation (I was working from memory) of a line I’ve always loved, but have had a…

More pageantry

Science Cheerleader Darlene Cavalier reports What you don’t know about Ms. Virginia: Next week, Laura Eilers, AKA Ms. Virginia , will compete for the title of Ms. United States. The Science Cheerleaders–current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and engineering careers–are very fortunate to have Laura as our extremely talented choreographer and creative…

A taste of S. E. Cupp

Long-time readers know that, last April and May, I invested a decent amount of time in tearing apart a book by conservative punditress S. E. Cupp. Cupp, a self-proclaimed atheist, had written a book defending the religious right, and she titled it Losing Our Religion: The Media’s Attack on Christianity. Why, you may be asking,…

It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. A few days ago, I sat down and watched a 15 minute video of Miss USA pageant contestants as they pondered the question: Should evolution be taught in schools? Then I watched it again. And again. Until my eardrums bled I had a complete…

Speaking, for reasons passing understanding, before the Israeli Knesset, Glenn Beck said: I don’t know a lot of Palestinians but I also don’t know a lot of Jewish people either. So, the list of things Glenn Beck can be fairly said not to “know a lot of”: Palestinians, Jews, anything.

Suddenly tone matters

Jerry Coyne has a concern. Weighing in on the elevatorgate saga (cf.): Over the past few days I’ve become increasingly distressed at the inability of our community to discuss an issue rationally and without rancor or name-calling. This “campaign”, which I agree with Miranda is vile and disgusting, seems more like a popularity contest: who…