Olbermann spanks atheist bashing State Representative

Keith Olbermann’s worst person in the world countdown with Illinois State Representative Monique D. Davis (D), winning the gold (Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly taking bronze and silver).

You gotta love Olbermann…

Dealing with a YouTube antievolutionist

Here is a blast from my not too distant past for your entertainment and edification. About a year ago (I hadn’t stated blogging yet) I ran across a video on YouTube by an evolution denier who goes by the handle Philos71. In that video he bashes the fossil evidence for evolution and acts like he is reading a quote from a popular field-guide type book on fossils, and I felt compelled to respond. First is his video and then below the fold are my two response videos (which he blocked on YouTube), enjoy…

“Unfortunately” the author of the original video removed it from YouTube.  However my response videos remain below:

View on»

McDonald’s + the gays = we are all going to die!

As Ed Brayton reported the other day on Dispatches from the Culture Wars, the “conservatives” over at Worldnutdaily have been “throwing a fit” because one of McDonald’s executives (Richard Ellis, vice president of communications) was elected to the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and because McDonald’s is a corporate partner with the NGLCC. Oh the horror!

But “throwing a fit” is not a strong enough term for what is going on over at Pro-Existence the blog of Rick and Nancy Pearcey (Nancy is one of the top brass in the intelligent design crowd). Here is Rick’s “measured” reaction to McDonald’s actions:

Read on»

Dinny the dinosaur, a fond childhood memory defiled

Since at least 1975 anyone driving on Interstate 10 through the tiny truck stop of a town of Cabazon California (about 15 miles west of Palm Springs) could catch a glimpse of an amazing sight; a massive, larger even than life, concrete replica of a Jurassic dinosaur Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) named “Dinny” the dinosaur.

Dinny was the creation of Claude Bell (1897-1988) an artist who had once worked for Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA, and later ran the Wheel Inn truck stop next door to the dinosaur. Starting in 1964 it took him eleven years to construct and reportedly cost upwards of $250 thousand dollars. It about 150 feet long and weighs in at more than 100 tons.

Dinny the dinosaur

Read on»

Country science

Normally I absolutely loath country music, but this is gets a pass since it’s a joke (WARNING: NOT WORK SAFE or politically correct).

“Deoxyribonucleic asshole”, that’s great! (Via Pharyngula)


Streaming video from the journal Nature

I received an e-mail from Nature.com advertising their streaming video page, and thought I’d pass it along. They have videos on a number of interesting scientific topics, here is a sampling:

Whale Evolution” featuring cetacean paleontologist Hans Thewissen.

Language Evolution” on how languages change over time.

Hominid evolution and development” a multi part video on paleoanthropology.

Check it out…

Expelled promoters just can’t stop lying

My colleague John M. Lynch over at Stranger Fruit recounts in several posts what happened after he signed up to see a screening of Expelled in Tempe AZ.

First he received an e-mail notifying him that the scheduled time for the screening had been changed to start an hour earlier. But promoters screwed up and the e-mail had been sent to him as a CC (carbon copy). This meant that he got a list of all the e-mail addresses to which the message had been sent (“boughtbythecross,” “homeschoolma,” and “covenant-dad.” etc.).

He then received an e-mail saying that the screening had been canceled. However this e-mail was not CCed to “covenant-dad” etc., like the previous one, and this led him to suspect that they might be trying to screen him out, so to speak, and were actually going to hold the screening as re-scheduled.

Turns out his suspicions were well founded. One of his compadres, Ken McKnight, decided to call the theater ahead of time and ask if the film was still to be shown at the re-scheduled time.

I just called the Arizona Mills Harkins theater and said that I had heard that the private screening of Expelled had been moved from 7:00 to 6:00 (I didn’t mention that I had been emailed that the showing was canceled). The person I spoke to confirmed that the movie is showing today at 6:00. Clearly the promoters are somehow screening the attendees and then sending out cancellation notices to the “undesirables.”

Wasn’t there something about not lying in the Intelligent Designer’s book? I guess it was “thou shalt not lie”, except to people who might be critical of your film.

John has all the gory detail on his blog (see links above). There are two accounts of the screening that was, then wasn’t, but then really was after all, from people who attended the “canceled” screening. One from Brad and another from Ken McKnight. Check’em out.

Purveyor of woo, Rupert Sheldrake, stabbed

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, purveyor of pseudoscientific silliness (or “woo” as James Randi likes to call it) like telepathy in animals, was stabbed in the leg at a medical conference in Santa Fe NM yesterday, apparently by some guy from Japan. The injury was not life threatening, and his attacker was arrested.

Talk about negative vibes!

Sheldrake’s big idea is something called “morphic resonance“. The idea is that all living things are connected together by a telepathic internet of sorts. And yet the news report (linked above) refers to him as “a world renowned behavioral scientist”, yeah right.

Update: Here is a more detailed story from the local paper (The New Mexican): “Police arrest suspect after attack at lecture“. Here’s a highlight:

Hirano [the attacker -TB] had been attending the 10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness. Other attendees said he had been acting oddly. They said he confronted Sheldrake earlier this week, telling him he heard voices and saw demons. Another featured speaker at the conference told the man he was “full of negative energy” and counseled him to “calm down,” said Evan Mecham, an attendee from Broomfield, Colo.

See, I told you negative energy (vibes) was involved…

Here are some skeptical links on Sheldrake and his claims:

Rupert’s Resonance by Michael Shermer

The Psychic Staring Effect by David F. Marks and John Colwell (CSICOP)

Sheldrake’s Back by James Randi

Seperation of church and state in public schools

GilDodgen over at Uncommon Descent points out an article from the associated press about a controversy over a public school student’s art class project. And in this case I am going to have to agree, at least on one level, that the the students rights were infringed.

First I have to address Gil’s propaganda spin attached to the story:

Read on»

Responding to questions about “Darwinism” and intelligent design creationism

I’m moving this up from the comments on an earlier post as I think it will take more that a comment to respond to.

A commenter, Josh Caleb, says that he has “a few honest questions“. I am going to answer him as if that were true even though I am now somewhat suspect that it isn’t due to his having cited trueorigins.org, an antievolution knockoff of talkorigins.org, and because of several of his comments left in response to others.

Read on»