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Monthly Archive: August 2010

Aug 30 2010

A-Atheism?

On NPR, a story asks the musical question “Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous?” The work of psychologist Jesse Bering is profiled–Dr. Bering has written extensively on the intuitive conceptions (mainly in children) of various supernatural beliefs, like invisible observers, gods, and the mental capacities of dead entities. He speaks of religious belief as an …

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Aug 29 2010

Intensive Care

The patients here are silent. Their machinesSpeak for them, in rhythmic beeps and colored lines,And numbers–lots of numbers. Which one meansHe is getting better? Or worse? What are the signsWe should attend to? I choose to watch the heartMonitor; for now, it is holding steady, if fast.They’ve chilled his blood, in hopes his brain will …

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Aug 27 2010

Don’t Be Dick. Or Stan.

There was a man whose name was Dick;Don’t ever be like him.His tone was rude; his tongue was quick;You’d never call him prim;He always called a spade a spade—Unvarnished was his truth—To argue, he was unafraid,And had been since his youth. Opponents claimed that Dick was mean(Of course, he did not care;Just one more chance …

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Aug 27 2010

Don’t Be Dick. Or Stan.

There was a man whose name was Dick;Don’t ever be like him.His tone was rude; his tongue was quick;You’d never call him prim;He always called a spade a spade—Unvarnished was his truth—To argue, he was unafraid,And had been since his youth. Opponents claimed that Dick was mean(Of course, he did not care;Just one more chance …

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Aug 23 2010

Pharyngulate The Blood Bank!

They said, of PZ Myers, “why, the man has got no heart!He’s the bastard son of Satan, don’t you know?”Now it’s off to Minneapolis, to crack his ribs apartAnd determine if the situation’s so. He’s a man who deals in evidence, a man who deals in factsWhy, he’s writing all about it in his book!When …

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Aug 23 2010

Memes and Sexual Selection

In natural selection, there are special sorts of featuresWhich are sexually dimorphic, and selected for as such—Like the plumage of a peacock, or the buttocks of a mandrillOr some other bits, impressive in their sight, or smell, or touchIf some arbitrary feature signals reproductive fitnessEvolution may be focused on that feature for a whileThe result? …

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Aug 22 2010

Government Endorsed Prayer?

Our government, it understandsThat prayerful laying on of handsAnd bugging God with vain demandsCan make the sick feel wellExamined with a skeptic’s mind,The study was not well designedNot single-, much less double-blindThere’s nothing it can tell. The Templeton foundation triedTo use religion as their guide—To show that prayer, when it’s appliedDirectly, really worksAnd now this …

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Aug 19 2010

America The Beautiful, Redux

First, the real deal: *wipes away tear* Of course, we have a new plague of patriots across the nation, who have taken what should have been the non-story of the hour and turned it into a new crusade; in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for instance, the issue is not whether a new Islamic Center is “in the …

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Aug 16 2010

The Real Insult

As citizens contemplate choices, their voicesAre amplified, rather than muffled or stayed;The myriad pathways where freedom may lead ‘em Are part of the country our forefathers madeI’ve thought that the loud disagreement we see, meantThat Freedom of Speech was just doing its work—I’d argue it’s our constitution’s solution:We give you the freedom to show you’re …

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Aug 11 2010

Mr. and Mr. Newt

I can’t believe no one has written this song yet, but a quick google for the line from the chorus suggests no one has. Now, if I can only get Roy Zimmerman to sing it, all would be right in the world. Intro: I’ve been watching the news from CaliforniaWhere an activist judge had his …

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