Dawkins Descends Further Into the Dregs

If you are part of a major atheist organization or conference, you should be asking yourself a serious question right about now: Do we want to associate our good name with a man who thinks the height of hilarity is promoting racist and sexist videos, and who is now willingly hanging with the MRAs, GamerGaters, white supremacists, and other dregs of Twitter? Do we really want to extend that big a fuck you to women and minorities?

Because honestly, at this point, willingly coupling yourself with Dawkins is basically saying you give not a shit about women, people of color, or reason itself.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Dawkins’s own tweets for it. You can find them, along with other of his assorted nonsense, in the links I have collected. And this is the mere scrape of a fingernail across the surface.

I know it’s hard to accept. It took me a long time to accept the fact that the man I admired, whom I’d braved crowds for and hung on to the every word of, is actually a tremendous jerk. I didn’t want to think that my hero was harmful. But he is. And the sooner the movement accepts that, the stronger we can make it by leaving him and his dawkbros on the sidelines.

Really, though, it’s okay if you don’t want to do that. We’re making our own secular movement right over here. I’m just saying that if you want to stay relevant, you will peruse the information herein, and decide accordingly. [Read more…]

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Trans people in Washington State are staring down the barrel of a bill that will strip vital protections from them.

A bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity passed out of a Senate committee 4-3 Wednesday.

Our Republican menaces are using the same exhausted arguments as those in other states, pretending they care about the safety of women, while ignoring the fact that literally no transgender person has ever attacked a woman in a restroom. On the other hand, plenty of trans folks have been assaulted just trying to pee. They need laws that allow them to pee in peace.

So first thing: we need to shut this shit down. You can send this letter to Washington state legislators for a start.

If you can make it to the hearing in Olympia on Monday at 1:30, please do go. If you are in the Seattle area and need a ride, I can take up to three people. I would only need you to chip in for gas. Let me know by end of day today if you want to carpool with me.

If you live in Washington state, you can comment on the bill here.

And, also importantly: we need to vote these bigoted fuckers out. Here is the list of spons0rs: [Read more…]

Flat Earth Nonsense Abounds, I’m Afraid

You’ve probably seen Neil deGrasse Tyson thoroughly school the rapper who thinks Earth is flat. It may be a bit astonishing, realizing that there are people in this modern age who honestly believe in a flat earth. I mean, even most creationists admit the thing is round. But flat eartherism still abides. And if you want to understand why, I’ve got just the book for you.

Image is the cover of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, which has a line drawing of the earth from one of the poles.

My review is here, and you can click the image to purchase.

You may also be interested in the story of Wallace’s Woeful Wager, in which our own Alfred Russell Wallace – yes, the co-discoverer of evolution – got suckered into a bet with a flat earth fraud.

Flat earthers will always be with us, I’m afraid. Some out of ignorance, and some because so many people just enjoy being contrary assholes.

Image shows Neil deGrasse Tyson in front of an image of a planetary nebula or similar, holding a microphone. The caption says "Brace Yourself. Knowledge is coming."

The ACE Cartoon Characters Re-Imagined in the Most Delightful Way

I’ll be you never looked at those utterly awful cartoons from the ACE PACEs and thought something wonderful could come of them, did you? I mean, honestly. They’re painful.

Image is a three-panel cartoon strip, showing two boys talking. Reginald is waving his arms in the air with his back to our view, saying, "Pudge, did I ever tell you about the time I came face to face with a lion?" Pudge: "No. What happened?" In the next panel, we can see Reginald and Pudge's faces. Reg says, "There I stood, without a gun. The lion growled and crept closer... closer... closer..." Pudge, imagining a lion in the grass, says, "Really? What did you do?" Next panel shows Reg imagining a lion in a cage, as he says, "I moved to the next cage! Ha-ha." Pudge, almost off-panel, says, "Oh, Reginald."

Cartoon from page (twenty-four) 24. No, I don’t know what it has to do with earth science, either.

But I’ve had the great good fortune to be introduced to an incredible group of ACE survivors, one of whom is putting a splendid new spin on these awful cartoons. Say hello to the adventures of Totally Hetero Pudge and Ronny by FeezlFuzzl. Here is an excerpt sure to change your entire way of thinking about pious Pudge McMercy and bad boy Ronny Vain. [Read more…]

The Winds of Change Blow Dawk Right Outta the NECSS Conference

So here’s a bit of news that gives me an iota of hope for organized atheism and skepticism:

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video.

We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations.

Allow me to find a collection of gifs that properly express my reaction: [Read more…]

Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

You know, I laugh, I do, when I’m reading these creationist textbooks, and I see the ridiculous religious bullshit being passed off as important facts about earth science. And then I recall the important fact that children are actually being taught that this shit is Genuine Science™, and my laughter dies.

And ACE is pretty much the worst. This section of ACE PACE 1087 demonstrates why. [Read more…]

An Open Letter to the Center for Inquiry

Dear CFI:

I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

We’ve had a long and rocky history. On the one hand, you gave us things like the Women in Secularism conferences. On the other… let’s see, there was Ron Lindsay, and Ron Lindsay again, and Ben Radford. So let’s just say you’ve been sending mixed signals on whether you really wanted women in the movement or not.

Well, now you’ve gone and removed all doubt. [Read more…]

Creationists and Their Tricksy Ways

So, I was going to write you a post about, I dunno, something. It would have been awesome, possibly even stunning or life-changing. But I stopped by Libby Anne’s whilst I was taking a break, and any ideas I had for a post went right out of my head, because you really need to read her post right now.

In it, she describes her evangelical creationist mother sending her granddaughter some books. And one of them was a “science” book for kids. You want to know how creationists manage to come across as credible to folks? You’re about to get an inside look: [Read more…]

Your Cascadia 1700 Post is Here!

316 years ago today, the Cascadia Subduction Zone ripped along its entire length. The megathrust earthquake destroyed native villages along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America, and inspired generations of stories of the devastation. Across an ocean, people in Japan suddenly found their towns flooded and their homes washed away by a tsunami that came out of nowhere. Here is the story of Thunderbird and the Orphan Tsunami.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do enough research and craft a proper fictional piece about it. But I now have enough resources to do that for next year. So for the next anniversary, we shall have a nice fantasy tale –  probably novella length, even. And once I get my Patreon set up at last, my wonderful patrons will have the first look as I write it!