Skeptical Genetics: Jen McCreight’s Talk at Skepticon 4


I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Jen McCreight (of BlagHag fame) is one of the best speakers we have in this movement. She’s not a slamming powerhouse of swelling oratory: she’s just really clear, chatty, friendly, funny, approachable, and excellent at conveying complicated ideas clearly without talking down to her audience. I will hear her speak anytime — even if it’s on a topic I’ve heard her speak on before.

Her talk at Skepticon 4 was no exception. It’s sort of a Genetics 101 for a lay audience, with a focus on common misconceptions about genetics and dumb ways genetics get portrayed in news media and pop culture. If you want to know about this stuff but are daunted by dry or forbidding texts, this would be an excellent way to start. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Colin KLINE says

    Tx Greta,

    That talk was informative, and accessible.

    May I steal it?
    To send to religio-tards who infest the web with their ignorance?

    Cheers,
    Colin.

  2. Greta Christina says

    Colin KLINE @ #1: It’s not my talk — it’s Jen’s talk. You’d have to ask her about “stealing” it — although you certainly don’t need to ask permission to link to it.

    However:

    To send to religio-tards who infest the web with their ignorance?

    This is exactly the kind of thing I was just talking about when I reminded readers about my comment policy, and asked them to not use personal insults of vitriolic rhetoric in my blog. I want this blog to be a place where people can debate and disagree — including religious believers — and still be treated with basic courtesy. Express passionate disagreement with religion, by all means — but please dial back on this sort of hostile language here in my blog. Thanks.

  3. Allienne Goddard says

    Actually, that isn’t what your policy states. You said not to use such terminology for other commenters in this blog. Referring to some subset of religious believers as “religo-tards” is not against your stated policies, unless you mean anyone who might have commented to some posting of yours at some point that could conceivably be part of that subset. That seems ridiculous, but if you wish that to be the rule, you should say that using any insulting language towards people as a group or as individuals is acceptable only in the specific case that the individual is a “public figure” and not present.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, since in general I do not use abusive language, but I don’t think it fair to condemn a comment that doesn’t actually go against your stated policy.

  4. Allienne Goddard says

    I wanted to add that, more to the point, this was an excellent presentation, and I have sent it along to my daughter. It certainly is infuriating to read articles on genetics in the popular press, and this video addresses many elementary issues that should be more generally understood. Thank you for linking to it.

  5. Greta Christina says

    Allienne Goddard @ #3: Religious believers regularly read this blog and comment in it. Even if none have commented in any particular thread, it’s a safe bet to assume that some of them are reading it. I’m absolutely fine with people criticizing religion harshly here, but I want people to stay away from hostile, personally insulting language when they do it. Thanks.

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