Archive for July, 2009

Exposing Absurdity With Comedy Or: Get In The ******* Sack

July 31, 2009

These videos have been making the rounds the last couple of weeks.  I am, admittedly, a little behind the times.  In my defense, this blog didn’t exist at the time.  Nevertheless, I thought I’d share them now.

First, Dara Ó Briain takes on homeopaths, alternative medicine, and scientific illiteracy in general.  (NSFW language)

Next, British comedians Mitchell and Webb mock homeopathy and quack nutrition.

Funny and a little uplifting.  It’s nice to know that there is still some sanity in Britain.

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Congratulations, Britain! ‘God Did It’ Is Now Acceptable Science!

July 31, 2009

NARIC Officials Discuss ICCE Math CurriculumI stumbled across this article with the help of Pharyngula earlier today.  Looks like I’ve found something new to get angry about.

Attempts to force creationism / intelligent design (they’re the same thing, don’t let anyone tell you differently) into the science classroom has been a mostly American phenomenon.  While the movement has been slowly growing across the Atlantic, it has been largely kept at bay.  The education director of the Royal Society stepped down last year after making statements that appeared to endorse the teaching of creationism.  Maybe he found a new job at NARIC.

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A Successful sCAM: Americans Spent $33.9 Billion On Alternative Medicine Last Year

July 30, 2009

Yes, I’m back on complimentary and alternative medicine (colloquially referred to as sCAM) again. I may be in danger of becoming a one trick pony. I need to find a wider variety of topics to get angry about. There’s always tomorrow.

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Evolution In Action

July 30, 2009

This will be a short post, but I wanted to point out a very cool study that will be coming out in next month’s American Naturalist.  Researchers have observed two bird populations as they begin to split into separate species.  In addition, this bit of speciation is being caused by a single gene.  As these two populations become reproductively separated, and thus two distinct species, researchers will be able to observe process of speciation from the beginning.  Exciting stuff.

10 Reasons ‘Natural News’ Has No Damn Clue What They’re Talking About

July 30, 2009

There’s more vaccine idiocy floating around the internet.  I promise to branch out into some more diverse topics eventually, but I couldn’t let this pass.  A quack and conspiracy theory friendly website released an article entitled ‘Ten Things You’re Not Supposed to Know About the Swine Flu Vaccine.’  I found this drivel reposted on five different blogs in less than two minutes without searching for the article directly.  This was disturbing on many levels.  The intellectual dishonesty and laziness displayed in this ‘article’ is staggering.  We’ll take the points one by one.

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Continued Nonsense From Age of Autism

July 27, 2009

There’s no way to dissect all of the reasons the anti-vac (anti-vacc?) proponents are wrong, dishonest, lazy, and dangerous in a single blog post.  To borrow a phrase I’ve seen used extensively by Mike the Mad Biologist, it takes a lot to deal with the thermonuclear-level stupid that this group spews out on a regular basis.

Surprising myself, my opening salvo against the ‘Mercury Militia’ will not be directed at Jenny McCarthy.  My contempt for her is essentially limitless.  However, my target today is Dan Olmsted, the current editor of the Age of Autism website.

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More Woo From Harkin

July 25, 2009

Over the last several months I’ve found myself more excited and enthusiastic about science than at any other point in my life. In parallel, I’ve become more and more frustrated and angry at the amount of nonsense that gets peddled to the public as genuine and plausible science. I wanted to do something, but I was missing that crystallizing moment that would whip me into a state of righteous indignation. Then along came Iowa’s own Tom Harkin.

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