David Silverman’s “Darwin Was Wrong” Moment

Surely New Scientist’s terrible choice in creating the “Darwin Was Wrong” cover happened not so long ago that the skeptical community has forgotten the sturm und drang that rightly came after it. And yet, here we are.

To explain: the science rag’s cover was designed to tease an article wherein the phylogenetic “tree” shape is explained to be less accurate than the more web-like structure with speciation and cross-pollination that we now understand to be the case today. So, Darwin was wrong, yes — but he was not wrong about evolution. And yet to this day, you will find creationists who use that misleading cover to suggest that evolution did not happen, therefore God. Despite being technically correct, the messaging was so poor as to cause splash damage, and atheists and skeptics were pretty mad despite the right-on-a-technicality nature of the problem.

So it’s honestly surprising to me that so many people are so bent out of shape over David Silverman’s poor messaging very recently at CPAC — no, not the people who are upset that what he said caused splash damage to women and was worth criticizing. I mean, the people who are bent out of shape over the CRITICISMS of such.
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Maddow to GOP: Anti-gay bigotry is not a winning strategy

Aww. Rachel, you’re spoiling it for us. They keep using a failing strategy, and they keep losing as a result. Don’t tip them off!!

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Going to visit Pride today. I expect I’ll be tabling this afternoon for Minnesota Atheists, though I’m not yet a dues-paying member. Come out and say hello!

More Republicans believe in demonic possession than global warming

Yeah.

Alternet reports on a Public Policy Polling Hallowe’en poll (pdf) and cross-references this poll on global warming:

A staggering 68 percent of registered Republican voters stated that they believe demonic possession is real. Meanwhile, only 48 percent of self-identified Republicans believe in another equally if not more scary natural phenomenon: climate change.

I would say it’s more scary, because it’s real. And the evidence provided by actual scientists is ironclad.

The scientists are unanimous, as long as you include actual climate scientists and not geologists or meteorologists or other pretenders at authority on the complex subject of climate. And yet, only 45% of all people agree that scientists generally agree about global warming. The misinformation efforts by liars like “Lord” Christopher Monckton are working.

To make matters even worse, 49% of Democrats also believe in demonic possession, even while 85% of Democrats say there’s solid evidence for global warming. It’s not that they’re smarter, it’s that they’re only marginally less prone to superstitious belief and more prone to trusting scientific evidence.

I’d say “let the mouth-breathers secede”, but it’s not like they’re all Republican secessionists.

Republicans’ Greatest Hits: The Rape Album

While Republicans point the fingers at all sorts of ridiculous scapegoats for Mittens’ crushing defeat (303/332? to 206, depending on Florida’s outcome!), from Hurricane Sandy, to Chris Christie, to Black Panther voter intimidation, to the oncoming End Times, there’s a few very real reasons Obama won. One of those reasons is Republicans’ war on women.

Protecting blastocysts from evil murderous doctors is surely a greater priority than protecting women’s bodily autonomy and self-direction. Surely bodies have ways of shutting down legitimate rape pregnancies (like a uterine on-off switch?), don’t they? And if they don’t, that’s because God wants you to to have those babies. Never mind that God might have allowed humans to develop contraception and abortion in the first place so we could carry out his will without it seeming supernatural. If we like it, God did it; if we don’t, it’s humans being sinful. If rape happens, that’s God’s will, but the rapist is a sinner for doing God’s will. Legitimate medical procedures to protect a woman’s bodily autonomy are murder, but being forced by the government to carry a rape baby to term? Well that’s just a gift from God — a consolation prize. Sorry about your rape, here’s nine months of agony and eighteen years of financial and emotional dependence.

The contortions you have to go through to make sense of this worldview are simply mind-boggling. These people all need to be drummed out of office. Every last one of them. None of ‘em are fit to serve me french fries, much less manipulate the levers of power.

Via The David Pakman Show, whom I’d never heard of before I saw this video.

Maddow: Paul Ryan Pals Around with Right-Wing Terrorists

Hey, remember the whole “palling around with terrorists” argument, about Bill Ayers? Yeah, it was misdirection.

Rachel Maddow has to do a lot of framing — over ten minutes — to give the scope of this issue before getting to the “punchline”, being Paul Ryan’s latest nonsense and the Right Wing Conspiracy Theorists’ latest outrages.

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Rush Limbaugh as The Penguin explains the Bat-Conspiracy against Romney

You have to admit, Oswald Cobblepot is actually significantly more sane-sounding than this normally. Jimmy Kimmel pretty much picked the perfect clips to show how ridiculous Limbaugh’s accusations are, because the clips of Bane are from an episode that first aired September 10, 1994. If there was a secret plot to make Mitt Romney look stupid and evil, it would have had to hatch eighteen years ago.

This evil villain was even in Batman and Robin, which I’m sure you’ve all scrubbed from your memories for Bane being such an ineffectual villain and for the existence of Bat-nipples. And yet somehow this was a plot against Romney — despite the fact that, when the first trailers for The Dark Knight Rises were showing up, we still thought Newt Fucking Gingrich was going to be Obama’s opponent.

Anyway, it’s ridiculous to say anything in the Batman mythology is politically tilted against Republicans in any way, frankly — it’s one long capitalist power fantasy. It’s Objectivism writ large, where the rich make the rules and personally destroy through physical violence and psychological terrorism any deviance from the script. Not that those fantastic elements don’t make for an entertaining story, mind you. I love the hell out of the Batman mythology, to be perfectly frank, even despite (and in some cases because of) it being so diametrically opposed to many of my own personal ideologies.

(Yes, I’ve heard about the theatre shooting. That’ll be a different post, please and thanks.)

A little perspective on the troll cry of “witch-hunts”

Jacqueline S. Homan, who blogs at godlessfeminist.wordpress.com, posted a comment on my post about why I’m not being nice to DJ Grothe, that really deserves to be its own top-level post. That’s just exactly how violently I agree with every word.

It never ceases to amaze me how all the MRA’s/PUA’s whose voices seem to dominate and drive the agendas and discussions in the atheist movement are screeching hysterically about “feminazis”, “false accusations”, blaming women for being the problem because of our “special interest” issues and instigating a “witch hunt”, when they’ve been the ones that relentlessly threatened and harassed Rebecca Watson for nearly a year for the “crime” of saying “guys, please don’t do that” (i.e. speaking up for her rights when Living While Female) and leveled some pretty ugly threats and insults at Greta Christina as well. Jason’s edit: and Ophelia Benson, and now to a staggering degree Stephanie Zvan.

And they claim that THEY are the targets of a “witch hunt?” Perspective, please.

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Inhofe staffer asks oil company “partners” for better coordination against Obama

Via Climate Progress, a staffer of the Senate’s own climate arch-denialist exhorts their “partners” to fight harder against the White House’s EPA regulations:

In an April 23 e-mail acquired by National Journal, a staffer for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called on the industry to utilize their partnership to coordinate attacks on the White House:

Senate Republicans, who led a successful fight this spring against Obama’s proposal to repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies enjoyed by major oil companies, felt betrayed by the industry’s collaboration with the White House on fracking regulations. The e-mail to top oil and gas lobbyists made that unhappiness clear, and it suggested that the industry was being duped.

“Moving forward, we—your partners—would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future,” wrote Inhofe aide David Banks in the 800-word e-mail to two dozen lobbyists.

Some lobbyists apparently “cringed” at the wording. But coordinated attacks on behalf of Big Oil interests are nothing new, even if lawmakers don’t usually use such frank language. A host of EPA pollution regulations have faced congressional opposition, including Inhofe’s resolution to prevent new limits on mercury pollution in power plants. Inhofe, a well-known climate denier, is also one of the top recipients of oil and gas contributions with well over $1 million for his career.

Because protecting the environment from hyper-capitalist externalization of losses — to the point where the people who pay those losses are the human race — is a “stunt”. Because, you know, fuck all those human beings.

Guess what I think about this.

Maddow on GOP homophobia flip-flopping: “absolute bull”

I can’t believe this nonsense about Thorne-Begland being blocked from becoming a judge by Republicans because he’s gay. Impeccable credentials, bipartisan support, and a waxing public support for gays, and yet these backward-looking Republicans are entrenching themselves in their homophobia.

Only now that they’ve realized their anti-gay opinions are anathema to public discourse, they’re lying about it!

I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise.

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