Oh, look: I’m in Open Lab 2011! »« Cephalopod warning: soon, they’ll be everywhere

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    Hey, I haven’t decided what I’m going to talk about there, yet. Any suggestions? What do you want to hear?

    Cephaloporn!

  2. roquetin says

    I’d want to hear something about what it’s actually like to have a career in science. The myths and the facts.

  3. Sastra says

    I’m not going to be there so my suggestion shouldn’t weigh much, but as the convention is in Germany it might be interesting for you to speak on a topic you’ve brought up more than once on Pharyngula: the theory of evolution and the Nazis. What was the connection, if any? What really motivated the holocaust? What religious views did the Nazis hold? What about Hitler? What other forms of pseudoscience were promoted by the Third Reich (hint: it has been called “the golden age of homeopathy”)? Is there a connection between magical thinking and fascism? And so forth …

    Inquiring minds want to know. Plus, there’s a lot of good material there. Goodness knows the topic comes up enough among creationists — as well as coming from people who think atheism leads to cold and dangerous policies and “spirituality” is the remedy.

  4. robro says

    In your recent piece about David Barton you pointed out some of their false beliefs, such as that animals don’t abort pregnancies, don’t express homosexual behavior, etc…in other words, behaviors that we think of as purely human but do have analogs among animals and why nature may be ok with that, such as non-reproductive sexual behavior. That was interesting to me FWIW.

    In any case, I’m not going to be in Köln either. I’ll be stuck here in San Francisco wondering why PZ Myers never comes here so I can go hear him speak. I mean, SF is the den of godless iniquity, a gay mecca, a bastion of unorthodox life, and full of atheists. What’s more, we’ve got some great local ales…you don’t even have to drink a lot to enjoy them. Just saying.

  5. says

    What you should talk about? I don’t care, as long as you don’t talk about cats. Even the war would be preferable. ;)

    Finally a chance to see Professor Myers live and in colour – only 70kms from home. :D

    Nele

  6. Brownian says

    in other words, behaviors that we think of as purely human but do have analogs among animals and why nature may be ok with that

    Totally! You can even merge this with Sastra’s suggestion: Are there any non-human animals that will mention the war because you told them not to?

    And keeping with the German connection, what about earworms (from the Deutsch Ohrwurm)? Can animals get those? Can I drive my cat crazy with La Bionda or Leonard Nimoy singing about Hobbits? If wasps can recognise each other’s faces, do they have Doppelgängen?

  7. Brownian says

    I don’t care, as long as you don’t talk about cats.

    I see we need our own cat thread (call it a yarn).

    After all, PZ gave one to the Free Willies, and they didn’t even produce a song.

  8. rational jen says

    It might be nice to give a talk on how religion has led to the total suppression of sexual speech in most countries, and has restricted same to one degree or another pretty much everywhere else, even here in the U.S.. I note that there’s nothing in the First Amendment that prohibits so-called “obscene speech,” but people still go to jail for it. That’s religioon talking, not the Constitution.

  9. David Marjanović says

    or will it be published by then?

    Nope. September 2012. :-(

    http://xkcd.com/231/

    Hmmm. Maybe that’s why I don’t talk to cats. (Hey, they don’t talk to me either. Perhaps I’d talk to dogs – if I were a dog person, harr harr.)

    sexual speech

    What do you mean?

  10. florian says

    Easy. Köln, although otherwise a liberal city (with a big and proud LGBT community), is also a Catholic stronghold, with one of the worst and most powerful Bishops, Cardinal Meissner:

    In English: Just like the Nazis viewed the single human being only as a carrier of his genetic make-up, the leader of the new godless, Richard Dawkins, regards man as “package of the all important genes”, the conservation of which are the sole purpose of our being.

    Lots of other disgusting views and quotes, e.g. against the Catholic organisation that was providing guidance for pregnant women. Since German law makes some kind of counseling mandatory before having an abortion, Meissner concluded that no Catholic organisation could possibly provide and certify any counseling, if the certificate could result in an abortion – a view the Vatican eventually absorbed. Ergo: No Catholic organization could counsel pregnant women and certify it..

    You´d cause quite an uproar if you took this guy on – and he´s such an easy target! I´m not sure if I can be there, but if you promise to give a Cardinal-Meissner-rant…

  11. DLC says

    Topic :
    “God-did-it” is a cop out answer to questions that science can solve, or already has.

    There have always been complex questions out there, and many people have thrown up their hands and exclaimed “God must have done it” when in reality some other person either already had or would in time find a solution that did not include the great hand-wash of “god-did-it”.

  12. florian says

    Dammit. Messed up the German original quote of his sermon. Just in case:

    “Ähnlich wie einst die Nationalsozialisten im einzelnen Menschen primär nur den Träger des Erbgutes seiner Rasse sahen, definiert auch der Vorreiter der neuen Gottlosen, der Engländer Richard Dawkins, den Menschen als ‘Verpackung der allein wichtigen Gene’, deren Erhaltung der vorrangige Zweck unseres Daseins sei.”

  13. says

    Hey, maybe I should go to that event. It’s not far from Belgium, where I live (the country with the brand new gay prime minister :D).

    If you talk about religion, I would like a talk about what’s wrong with the “moderate” believers.
    In western europe (or at least in Belgium) we don’t have much fundamentalist ideas (except for the leaders of the religions), but religion is still everywhere, only almost no one reacts against it because they’re so moderate. Here in belgium for example one of the biggest political party’s, one of biggest unions, the biggest school network and the biggest social security organisation are all products of the anti-socialist reaction of the 19th century catholic church and don’t want to let go of that tradtion, they all still have ‘christian’ or ‘catholic’ in their names, all say they base their good work on christian moral values, and in the biggest school network christian religion classes are mandatory for all students. Although almost none of that is influenced by fundamentalists, it still helps to strengthen the influence of the catholic church and their idiotic leaders. But for some reason most people just don’t seem to care, and they think you’re greatly overexagerating when you’re reacting against it. And because the religious people are mostly of the moderate, vague, smokeblowing kind (the kind that never gives you any clear statement about what they believe and what not), most people think these ideas are above rational discussion (NOMA and shit like that).

    But an evo-devo talk would be great too.

  14. David Marjanović says

    Dammit. Messed up the German original quote of his sermon. Just in case:

    “Ähnlich wie einst die Nationalsozialisten im einzelnen Menschen primär nur den Träger des Erbgutes seiner Rasse sahen, definiert auch der Vorreiter der neuen Gottlosen, der Engländer Richard Dawkins, den Menschen als ‘Verpackung der allein wichtigen Gene’, deren Erhaltung der vorrangige Zweck unseres Daseins sei.”

    Then let me try to improve on your translation:

    “Similarly to how the National Socialists once primarily saw the individual human only as a carrier of the genetic material of his race, so, too, the leading figure of the new godless, the Englishman Richard Dawkins, defines humans as the ‘wrapping of the genes which alone are important’, the preservation of which [genes] is, according to him, the primary purpose of our existence.”

    His use of “purpose” (Zweck) alone shows that the cardinal has profoundly misunderstood what he’s talking about.

  15. says

    Dan Barker should debate Kardinal Meissner. In the Dome. I’d pay to see that.
    Otherwise, I’ll just rock up to have a beer with Michael Nugent.

    The tickets are laughably expensive.

    I’ve seen 98 Euros as price for all 3 days. That’s pretty cheap, compared to skeptics events, e.g. the skeptics conference in Berlin just the week before is 270 Euros. AAI could learn a thing or two about capitalism from the skeptics, I reckon ! (But please don’t)

  16. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    Yes! Nazis! The “Neue Deutsche Heilkunde” is the perfect topic :) Also, shooting down Meissner is always a nice touch.

  17. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    His use of “purpose” (Zweck) alone shows that the cardinal has profoundly misunderstood what he’s talking about.

    Exactly right.

  18. says

    BTW, I completely forgot to mention it; perhaps some of you don’t know that Cologne is THE gay capital in Germany. Not even the openly gay foreign secretary and head mayor of Berlin can change that. :)

  19. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    Ok I see a nice picture emerging: Gay rights, Cardinals and Nazi Homeopathy. It all fits together magically.

  20. John Phillips, FCD says

    Wasn’t Meissner the one who effectively labelled the UK a third world nation shortly before the head of the child rapist protection agencypope visited us last year.

  21. David Marjanović says

    I’ve seen 98 Euros as price for all 3 days.

    Yeah. This year’s meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Las Fucking Vegas was 200 US$ for student members, lasted 4 days, had well over 1000 participants, and negotiated lower (though still laughable) prices for attendees at the very expensive hotel/casino it was held in.