Science and Other Drugs

….maybe a little less wrong….

Category Archives: Amused

INCESS: The slipperiest slope

As seen on Facebook:

Sure lets pass Gay marriage now! You reckon how long it’ll be before a father wants to marry his 15 yr old daughter?! Incess will be next!

Somehow I think this one speaks for itself.

Jack Chick tackles nuclear physics

I consider it a Great American Pastime to leisurely scroll through the delightful nuggets of wisdom that are Chick Tracts. With titles like A Demon’s Nightmare, Holy Joe, Back From The Dead?, and Camel’s In The Tent, it’s hard to find a more startlingly brilliant collection of superstition, misinformation, racial prejudice, illogicality, misanthropy, and outright fiction….unless, of course, you go digging through Kent Hovind’s stuff.

So yes, I’ll confess it: I love reading Chick Tracts. It’s incredibly entertaining to see just how ridiculous fundamentalism can get. Granted, Chick largely represents Independent Fundamental Baptists, which are a fringe group at best (though admittedly more common than snake handlers). “And such were some of you….”

One of the more famous titles is Big Daddy, a thrilling exposé on the problems with biology, geology, chemistry, cosmology, and the scientific method in general. “A professor thought we came from monkeys, until a student proved evolution was a lie. Humorous, yet powerful! Students love it.” Read more of this post

Faith and falsifiability

“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

Mark Twain.

We see this and similar quotes thrown around quite often, usually in attempts to vilify religious belief. As such, it’s rather laughable; pretending that Christians secretly disbelieve in God is as ridiculous as pretending that atheists secretly know God exists. It’s not an argument or assertion that has any place in rational discourse.

But blind faith does exist; we see it all the time. When confronted with difficult evidence, certain small-minded people like to handwave it by declaring “Well, I have faith!” This sort of idiocy deserves all the ridicule it can get.

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Precisely simple

Definitions can be tricky things. Words have wildly divergent meanings depending on who is using them and why. So nailing down concrete definitions is a good thing to do any time you get the chance.

sunset

I’m sure I’m appropriating this from somewhere, but oh well.

Atheist: a person who finds it improbable that an agent cause brought about our reality.

Theist: a person who finds it probable that an agent cause brought about our reality.

Agnostic: anybody else.

This is the bottom line. All other definitions are just rhetorical posturing.

I sat down to write a post about Easter, then came across this….which happened to be the exact same post I was going to write, except with more research. I love this approach to skepticism and criticism.

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

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The maths of marriage equality

Few things are as humorous as when Christians Do Memes. Seriously. I mean, there are a lot of poorly-applied memes out there, but Christians seem particularly skilled at modifying memes with absolutely no idea what the originals represent or derive from.

Take the recent trend of people setting this red-and-pink equal sign as their profile pictures (or otherwise displaying it) to show support for marriage equality in the shadow of the current Supreme Court case:

Equality!!

Naturally, there are a great many Christians who have come up with their own unique take. Read more of this post

Fundamentalism and biblical inerrancy

Note: this is the properly edited release of an earlier attempt at reblogging….something that WordPress really doesn’t do all that well.

Came across this post by John Zande over at the superstitious naked ape and had to reblog it.

Thank gawd for the fine folk over at The Reason Project, and the ever brilliant, devilishly witty Arbourist at Dead Wild Roses for this gem. Behold, the complete list of bible contradictions. Click on it for the full picture.

The bars that run along the bottom represent the 1189 chapters of the bible with the length of each bar corresponding to the number of verses in each chapter. White bars represent the Old Testament and grey bars represent the New Testament. Each arc indicates a contradiction.

Of course, I’ve seen this before, but it’s still amusing. And naturally, I can’t help but wonder if this is really the complete list. I mean, don’t they have a few more they can come up with? Read more of this post

Linguistic snobbery, elitism, and slavery

Confession: I’m rather elitist.

(I haven’t blogged in a while, so I’m not sure whether it’s generally bad form or simply cliché to start out a post with “Confession: Something-Moderately-But-Excusably-Bad-About-Myself.” It’s accurate, though, so it’ll have to do for now.)

If you’ve ever tried to get help finding something at a supermarket in the less prosperous area of a city, you’ll be well aware that “American English” is hardly a clear, homogenous language, perfectly able to communicate abstract ideas between any two fluent speakers. That is to say, people from a slightly different subculture likely have a terrible time trying to understand what most of us would see as normal speech.

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Sexism and specificity

Image courtesy NASA

This photo of the Crab Nebula shows a brilliant pulsar at the center. A tightly packed sphere of subatomic particles heavier than the Sun but smaller in size than New York City, it rotates thirty times each second, sweeping Earth with a beam of x-rays like clockwork. Initially, pulsars like this were thought to be communication from aliens due to the regularity of their pulses.

I’m a flight attendant; don’t call me a stewardess.

I’ll be the last person (okay, maybe not the last, but pretty far down on the list) to complain that people are too worked up over political correctness. But I was amused on my way to work today when I heard the radio DJ (who, apparently, ought to be referred to as a “radio personality”) talking about different names for different professions, and what tends to offend people. The dental hygienest who called in insisted on not being called a “dental assistant”; a nurse called in who was tired of the nurse/male nurse distinction; a lady firefighter complained about being called a “fireman”. It was a fairly substantial list.

And then one of the other guys in the studio who said he was a part-time server complained about being called a “waiter”.

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