Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jindal's Fruit Fly


Our favorite Exorcism loving anti-science wingnut, Bobby Jindal was tapped by Republican leadership to critique President Obama's stimulus plan on national television yesterday.

I'm skeptical of the stimulus plan but I think that something had to be done. The stimulus plan, for better or worse, is our only hope to paraphrase Leia.

One thing that does hearten me though is that Bobby Jindal had nothing to do with the plan. If Jindal typifies what the Republican response would have been, we are absolutely better off with Obama's stimulus.

Jindal made an amazingly ignorant Palin-esque fruit fly statement when he questioned the addition of $140 million for "volcano monitoring". The problem with this misstatement is not just inherent in the phrase "volcano monitoring", geological monitoring is just part of a number of projects under this funding program which Jindal failed to mention.

The second and more ironic issue with Jindal's comments is the fact that monitoring volcanic activity is a very effective way to predict natural disasters. Katrina was predicted in just this fashion, as seen in the Nova episode Hurricane Katrina: The Storm That Drowned a City, and their findings were mostly ignored due to the scientific ignorance of Republican and Democrat leadership.

Jindal is not a Conservative, he is an ignorant fundementalist and ID lackey. The Republicans need to win their party back from these terrifying neo-cons. More>>

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Sincere Question to Believers

Sit back, clear your mind and really think through these questions:

What would you specifically do if you knew with all certainty there was no God?

Would you change how you act?

Would your priorities changes?

Would you change what you teach your kids?

Would your morals change?

Start some dialogue!


Chris Hitchens Vs. Dsouza

While I don't agree with everything he says, Hitchens is a very inspired thinker. He can also beat his debate opponents into submission whilst sounding extremely unimpressed. Dsouza doesn't really have a chance, I almost feel sorry for him.

I'm completely lying, Dsouza is a complete tool. More>>

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sun Don't Shine in Texas


I'm a bit too old to have grown up with Bill Nye's science program. I still enjoyed his show whenever I caught it, and I am a huge fan of anyone who tries to popularize science for the layman. I also enjoyed his solar battle with Ed Begley Jr. to see who could add the most electricity to the power grid.

Bill recently spoke at McLennan Community College in Waco Texas, it was part of a series of discussions on general science topics such as global warming and solar energy. Bill made the seemingly innocuous comment about how far our scientific knowledge has come by quoting Genesis 1:16 "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

He then followed up by pointing out that the lesser lights origin is also the sun, albeit reflected by the moon. The crowd responded with a cacophony of catcalls and boo's and members of the audience fleeing from his blasphemous speech. A woman yelled, "We believe in God!" while marching out of the auditorium with her family in tow.

I'm not sure what this denotes, other than that the Republic of Texas could possibly implode due to a temporal paradox. Surely, Waco is actually in the midst of the Bronze age. More>>

Your Love is Like Bad Medicine

Ben Goldacre of Bad Science talks about Sensationalised Science Reporting from Conrad on Vimeo.

Dr. Goldacre touches on the absurd yellow science journalism that we've been in contact with lately. *Cough cough* New Scientist *cough*. More>>

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bells and Whistles


Recently I was in the company of someone who mentioned The Bell Curve.Usually my internal BS detector would immediately ring out and I would be forced to utter the phrase, "The Bell Curve is a completely unscientific WASP masturbation fantasy masquerading as a breakthrough study. It's a creepy rambling screed for eugenicists." I couldn't do that, because it's usually out of place to call out someone and insinuating that someone is a eugenics proponent in polite comnpany.

Stephen Jay Gould shot the book through with so many holes in his own book, The Mismeasure of Man, that there was nary a scrap of binding left.

Race is an artificial social construct. There is only one race that we belong to: Homo Sapien Sapiens.

Michael Shermer devoted an entire chapter in the fantastic Why People Believe Weird Things to refuting this farcical book and pointed out the disturbing white supremacist funding behind The Bell Curve.

The Bell Curve is a massively biased soundbite type study that cherry picks it's data out of the ether. I'm continually surprised at how people are sure that they are superior to another group of people and therefore exposing their own ignorance. More>>

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin Day Forever! Free Evolution DVD's!


It's Darwin day and here are your presents. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is giving away some fantastic DVD and print resources including 2 great dvd's on evolution. Completely free in the continental US and that includes free shipping!

HMMI Online Catalog More>>

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Darwinism Delusion


Carl Safina by all accounts seems like a logical and rational scientist. Why the hell is he confronting the straw man argument promoted by ID'ers that "Darwinism" must die in a NY Times article? Does Safina only get his info from Ben Stein?

I'll go further, Darwinism doesn't exist. I think the theory of evolution is supported by massive amounts of empirical evidence and elegantly explains the development of life. Charles Darwin is the grandfather of evolutionary theory, which still operates under many of his principle ideas.

There is no such thing as Darwinian evolution. There is only evolutionary theory.

I do not worship Charles Darwin. I do not think that Richard Dawkins is the high priest. I am a fan of their work because I like science. I am curious about the world, and how it operates. I think whales are supa wicked awesome.

I love Neil Gaimans work, and I have devoured each of his novels like a delicious tart. I would be reduced to a stuttering mess if I came into contact with the real Neil Gaiman. I am not a Gaimanist.

Carl Safina's article is a further example of the yellow journalism that gave us New Scientist's Darwin Was Wrong cover. Where is this weirdness coming from? More>>

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Michael Shermer Vs. The Bible Code

The Bible code is so incredibly stupid. I'm still waiting for the Lord of the Rings code. Frodo want's me to kill! More>>

Monday, February 9, 2009

Richard Dawkins Sits Down With PZ Myers

Yet another excellent discussion from one of Professor Dawkins documentary series Voices of Science. PZ is truly a freethinker and an insufferable smart ass, both admirable traits in my book. More>>

The List: 10 Amazing Transitional Fossils


Transitional fossils are the bane of Evolution deniers existence. Traditionally they just ignore them, usually by plugging there ears and loudly singing the Flintstones theme song.

Let's kick of Darwin Day's eve eve eve with a myriad of our favorite gap fillers.

10. Ambulocetus

It's name means walking whale, and that is a pretty good description of what it actually was. Ambulocetus (Eocene Epoch 50 Million Years ago) was able to hunt on land and shared many adaptations with whales.

9. Homo ergaster

Homo ergaster was a human ancestor who lived around 2 million years ago. The nearly complete Turkana boy is a possible example of this tool using early human.

8. Thrinaxodon

Thrinaxodon was a fur covered mammal like reptile dating approximately 250 years ago. Likely warm blooded, but laid eggs to birth it's young Thrinaxodon was an early move to mammalian forms.

7. Basilosaurus

Another whale ancestor Basilosaurus possessed tiny hind limbs that speak of it's origins on dry land.

6. Hyracotherium

The forerunner to both Horses and Rhinos, Hyracotherium was a small fox sized forager.

5. Australopithecus afarensis

While the jury is still out as to whether Australopithecus is a direct human ancestor or not, the discovery of "Lucy" has shown a definite step to bipedal motion.

4. Tiktaalik

Tiktaalik is a fishapod. A fish who possessed lungs as well as gills and wrist jointed fins. Literally a fish out of water taking it's first journey on land.

3. Dimetrodon

Frequently misrepresented as a dinosaur, Dimetrodon was a progenitor to mammalia. Dimetrodon is more your relative than of modern reptiles.

2. Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx, much like Tktaalik, is direct irrefutable evidence that transitional forms existed. While it may not be a direct ancestor to modern birds, although I think the evidence strongly points in that direction, it still proves transitional forms.

1. Homo erectus

The discovery of "Java Man" allowed us to look into our own origins and rethink the so called primitve lives of our ancestors. The sophistication of the tools discovered with Homo erectus fossils further indicate our species skill at adaptation.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Andrew Wakefield Faked Data in Autism Study


Wow what a surprise, that evil bastard faked his anti vaccination claptrap. I can't wait until he is sent to prison and systematically beaten with soap in a sock.

Here's a short excerpt from the

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.

I'm sure true believers like Jenny McCarthy will claim Big Medicine is persecuting this stain on humanity. More>>

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Still Need Help! Won't You Think About the Children?


I need help.

Specifically, I need your help.

I would like to spend much more time on this blog, but real life has a way of limiting my output. So, I'm looking for some Heathen contributors to flesh out the ISOC. This would increase the content of the site and add some more voices to this godless skeptical community.

I want you to email me stating why you would be a boon to ISOH, with possibly a sample article or at least an idea for one.

Throw in your hat by dropping me a line at: More>>

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Faith Cake

Qualia Soup is my favorite Youtuber. His ability to crystallize ideas into concise and entertaining videos is peerless. More>>

The RRS Vs. Kirk "Crocoduck" Cameron

Far be it from me to besmirch the good name of anyone, but Kirk Cameron is a smirking douchenozzle. I know that isn't incredibly helpful, but I needed to vent a bit. The wicked awesome ninjas of reason from the Rational Response Squad debated Mr. Growing Pains in 07. I know it's a bit old, but I think it's a nice pick me up for any self respecting non believer. More>>

Sir David and Religion

David Attenborough is always entertaining. Excellent interview for the BBC. More>>

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Can Make You Buy My Crap


Paul Mckenna really sets off my bullshit detector. I haven't seen much evidence one way or another, but his definitive "I Can Make You Thin!" claims seem incredibly simplistic and in line with the "if you are fat eat less" self help goons. There was also the PHD mill controversy and the fact that people listening to his cds are genuflecting like a Catholic break dancer.

Will McKenna be the next self help goofball to be outed as a sham? We'll just have to stay incredulous for the time being it seems. More>>

Richard Dawkins Interviews Novelist Ian McEwan

McEwan has some pretty interesting views. He's a pretty courageous guy, he's spoken out publicly over Islam's mistreatment of Homosexuals and women. More>>

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pro Lifers in Uproar Over Unaired Super Bowl Ad


Catholic Groups are freaking out over NBC's refusal to show their low rent propaganda.

I'll give one thing to the pro life crowd, they certainly are consistent. The O'Bama Fetus commercial is basically the same anecdote trotted out with Mozart as the subject.

If we follow this remarkably stable train of knowledge, then I suppose we would be perfectly justified in aborting Hitler.

Would this be the inconsistency logical fallacy? More>>

Sir David and the Tree of Life

Another beautiful depiction of evolution, this time featuring the great David Attenborough. More>>

unTouched by the Hand of God


So there are going to be a large number of militant pent up fundamentalists roaming our streets. That is just fantastic.

I just don't know what to think when people like this make fun of themselves for me. Poe's law may actually be ripping the space-time continuum.

We also see the mindset of these medieval assholes trying to pray the gay away with an ex-homosexual shirt. Hooray for brainwashing!

Click on the more link to watch their insane video.

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