Status report on the Ada Initiative donations

I promised to pass along everything donated to Pharyngula until the end of the month to the Ada Initiative, less whatever it costs to take my wife out to dinner this weekend. You’re a generous bunch: the total so far is $1583. I know many of you also donated to Janet Stemwedel’s similar fund drive, and that’s just fine — we’re not competing, and it’s all good no matter how the money gets there!

Oh, no! Thought Leaders are being picked on!

Read Amanda Marcotte on Sam Harris and Penn Jillette. And Adam Lee doesn’t love Richard Dawkins anymore. You know, I’m getting a little bit tired of hearing self-appointed Leaders of Science, Skepticism, and Atheism repeatedly saying sexist bullshit, and then getting indignant and rather than retracting the sexism, getting loud and defensive and macho and insisting that declaring women to be intrinsically less critical is just rational, or that calling them ‘cunts’ is necessary for little girls to be able to appreciate great literature someday. It makes me uncomfortable. I think it does real harm to the advancement of critical thought and atheism.

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About that Science article on ‘science stars of Twitter’

As always seems to happen, people looked at the list which already had the problem of being grossly skewed towards men, and noticed other odd little things. Like, “hey, I follow this science person who has more followers than so-and-so, why isn’t she on the list?” Clearly, there were errors of omission, and oddly, they all seem to skew away from women and people of color. Or maybe not so oddly — it’s striking how often that seems to happen.

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Math & evolution…banned!

Don’t give American creationists ideas — this would be their ideal world. ISIS has set their rules for education.

In swaths of Syria now controlled by ISIS, children can no longer study math or social studies. Sports are out of the question. And students will be banned from learning about elections and democracy.

Books cannot include any reference to evolution. And teachers must say that the laws of physics and chemistry “are due to Allah’s rules and laws.”

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