Europe is getting a wedgie »« Proof that there is no god

Another Pharyngula podcast this weekend?

You tell me, and give me a few ideas for subjects you’d like to hear discussed. And most importantly, volunteer to join in! It works much better if I prearrange a group of participants.


Here is what we’re going to do. The podcast begins at 11:00am Central time on Saturday (a little later, to be kinder to the West coast). We’ll have two topics: this evo psych article about menstruation and shopping, and this article about how your brain is faulty. We’ll give a half hour to each.

If you want to join in, here’s what you must do:

  • You must have a Google+ account.You’re also going to have to email your Google+ name to me.

  • You should have a headset. Look at the past podcasts; if you don’t have a headset and you start clickety-clacking on your keyboard, it’s picked up and gets annoying fast.

  • You should read the articles at those links. If you don’t, why are you wasting our time? Also, I have a pdf of the peer-reviewed, published evo-psych paper…if you haven’t even tried to read that, we’ll be a little pissy with you (if you’re having problems following the article, try anyway — we’ll go over it.)

  • You MUST send me an email by Friday confirming your attendance, so I can put you on the invite list. Include your Google+ name. I’ll also mail you the evo psych pdf back. IMPORTANT: the email MUST have the subject “PODCAST CONFIRMATION”. Why? Because I’m switching over to a new computer and a new method for filtering email, and it’s a total mess right now. I’m setting up filters to catch that subject, and ignoring that rule might get your mail totally lost.

All clear? See you Saturday morning!

Comments

  1. Predator Handshake says

    This is all over Google+ right? I don’t have a webcam, or I’d volunteer to mumble about things with other people.

  2. alkaloid says

    I’d like to see a counterargument to Chris Hedges’ monstrously pompous “How To Think” article from Truthdig in which he attacks rational and calls academia stultified:

    “Logical reason, acts of cognition, serve the efficiency of a system, including corporate power, which is usually morally neutral at best, and often evil.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/how_to_think_20120709/

  3. devogene says

    I would love to hear about evo-devo, and phenotypic evolution! I liked the anti-creationism episode, but I want to know more about evolutionary theory.
    I am not sure if I am qualified to participate as an undergraduate biology student, but if needed I will.

  4. says

    PZ’s future tattoo.

    No, seriously, Alkaloid’s suggestion is excellent. Here’s another quote from Hedges:

    “It is only our absurd ‘scientific’ prejudice that reality must be physical and rational that blinds us to the truth,” Goddard warned. There are, as Shakespeare wrote, “things invisible to mortal sight.” But these things are not vocational or factual or empirical.

    I don’t know about “vocational,” but these things damn sure are factual and empirical. Hedges’ and Goddard’s inability to validate them as such are their problem, not ours.

  5. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Can we talk about evolutionary psychology and how it is UTTER SHIT?

    For example: this load of shit.

  6. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    WTF. I’d love to unpack that, Daisy.

    What utter nonsense. There are such things as “facts.”

  7. Beatrice says

    Yeees, do more podcasts.

    Seconding Esteleth’s suggestion about evo psych.

  8. says

    It may be a bit divergent from the subjects of the other podcasts, but I’d like to hear something like your talk on what aliens could look like. I hear plenty of ideas about this from astrobiologists, but not enough from real biologists. I could participate in such a talk, but only to give astronomy and planetary science background.

  9. says

    How about a “How Do You Do It?” podcast?

    I’d like to know how other atheists interact with people on a day-to-day basis. How do you respond to a teen who approaches you with questions about atheism? What do you say to an atheist teen who loses girlfriends when they find out he doesn’t believe in god? What do you say to someone who’s grieving? When someone sneezes? How do you respond when someone says “I’m praying for you,” or “Please pray for me,” or does it no longer come up? How do you talk to your four year old when your wife is a Christian? How do you talk to your Christian wife about raising your four year old?

    In the spirit of Rachel Maddow, I’d call it “Atheist Much?”

  10. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Michael, the difficulty with a “what do aliens look like” type thing is that there is literally too much that we don’t know to even begin to figure that out.

    Like, will they be tetrapods? Hexapods? (Dodecapods?) That humans are tetrapods is an accident, evolutionarily speaking. Also, how are the organisms symmetrical? Bilaterally?

    Then there’s all the variables about atmosphere, gravity, amount of radioactive stuff in the soil, etc.

    Are they land-livers or water-livers? Amphibious? Flighted?

    And then – do they have DNA? Or is their genetic information stored completely differently?

    All of these are black boxes.

    Daisy, that site got soundly insulted on a feminist board I read. It was pretty entertaining (and the article is all about how menstruating women buy more shit because $BULLSHIT).

  11. Beatrice says

    and the article is all about how menstruating women buy more shit because $BULLSHIT

    Let me see, I bought my monthly bus & tram pass which I need to get around. I also bought one bottled water because I forgot to take the bottle I left to cool in the fridge. I’ll buy some yeast for pizza tomorrow, maybe I’ll even splurge on some mozzarella. Er… I’m a bad, bad woman?

  12. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Well, I bought gas, groceries, and I hit McD’s the other day.

    Also, I bought tampons. D: D:

    I’m a spendthrift!

  13. chris says

    Is there a way to co-record an actual podcast? The video format is not terribly convenient, because some of us cannot get a full hour or more of seat time in front of the laptop.

  14. says

    @Esteleth:

    Exactly – it’s a problem with very little data. The problem is that most people in the loosely-defined field of astrobiology aren’t trained as biologists (we have astronomers, geologists, meteorologists, chemists, and so on). The work I’ve done that could be very loosely classed as astrobiology is has been radio astronomy with a very little bit of information theory (it was really SETI).

    I’d like to hear more biologists’ perspectives (as PZ said, I’m a naive astronomer). I was quite disappointed that I couldn’t find PZ’s ‘Building Aliens’ talk online. ‘A Skeptical Look at Aliens’ was a lot of fun to hear.

  15. One Thousand Needles says

    It’s probably too meta, but why not talk about what could be done to improve the podcast? Maybe there are one or two members of the Horde that could do some basic post-production, such as intro/outro graphics and some quick editing.

    Alternatively, but also meta, a lineup of topics could be decided so that people that wish to contribute have time to do their homework beforehand.

  16. mabell says

    I’d like to see a discussion with thunderf00t. Maybe you guys can stop talking past each other.

  17. ChasCPeterson says

    hovering over the URL of that… page was enough.

    this is an absolutely classic example of the precise opposite of ‘freethought’ correctly construed.

    menstruating women buy more shit because $BULLSHIT

    Why is it bullshit, exactly? Have you seen the data? Do you have a better explanation for the data?

  18. Rando says

    I’d like to hear some of your creationist horror stories. Like who was the most stupid or annoying creationist you’ve personally had the displeasure of encountering.

  19. Beatrice says

    I’m not sure if I’m asking for a shitstorm with this, but maybe ChasCPeterson could be one of the participants if the topic is evo psych? If you are willing, Chas.

  20. says

    I’m guessing “Mabell” is the same idiot who insisted that picking up the phone was better than talking online, because the participants don’t have time to carefully think out what they’re going to say.

    Chas:

    this is an absolutely classic example of the precise opposite of ‘freethought’ correctly construed.

    I don’t have the energy to grapple with studies that portray me as a frivolous, hormone-ruled flibbertegibbet. I get enough of that elsewhere. Your inability to understand this is par for the course.

  21. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Eying the comments on the Tosh thread (Seriously, I was almost caught up before I left for work this morning, and now it’s up to 700?!), some rape 101 would be good.

    Though aliens would be more fun and less rage-y. Evopsych bullshit would also be very, very interesting.

  22. Matt Penfold says

    Eying the comments on the Tosh thread (Seriously, I was almost caught up before I left for work this morning, and now it’s up to 700?!), some rape 101 would be good.

    There is some worldclass lying going on there. The idiot ryugagotokum is even lying about what he has said his immediately previous comment.

  23. NateHevens says

    I WANT IN THIS TIME!

    I think I’m NateHevens on Google+, hangouts, and whatevs. My email is [email protected], if needed…

    Can we talk about Nolan’s Batman trilogy?

    LOL j/k

    Seriously, anything having to do with Tosh would be great. I really don’t know how Tosh manages to come off even worse than Dane Cook, but he does… astonishingly.

    Barring that, the evopsych article linked above (though I don’t know enough about evopsych to really comment on it), or that how to think article.

    A couple suggestions of my own:

    1. Science Proves You’re Stupid
    2. What About the Men? Why Our Gender System Sucks for Men, Too

  24. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    If you do a PHMT, I’d really like it if Brownian were on it.
    How about – skeptical dating? Take apart dating-related woo and sexist bs? Secular parenting and schooling? Death?

  25. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Sorry for, like, volunteering you for stuff, Brownian. I didn’t really think about how pushy that would come off.
    *blushes*

  26. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    I’d like to see a discussion with thunderf00t. Maybe you guys can stop talking past each other.

    Mabell, you do realize that when everything was blowing up, ThunderingFool was ignoring e-mails.

    I get so tired of this both sides are wrong bullshit.

  27. says

    I like the idea of digging into a paper. I tracked down the evopsych paper Esteleth mentioned, could send a copy to anyone who wants to join the discussion (I read it, not impressed: 66 college students tested over 35 days by a survey about their purchases. I’m not surprised that menstruation colors people’s choices about food and clothing, but hey, it’s evopsych!)

    We could also do Hedges’ little temper tantrum.

  28. says

    You know what’s ridiculous? If I did have a discussion with Thunderf00t, these same people would be whining about how I’m keeping the “fight” going.

    So no, I’m done.

  29. chigau (間違っていない) says

    OK.
    My gatherer-hunter ancestors chose to pick berries based on menstrual cycle rather than the availability of berries?
    Are all evo-psych people 6th generation city-dwellers?

  30. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Echidne did a takedown of that Evpsych “study.” Trying to find it. Please hold.

    (I am not impressed with the search function of blogspot)

  31. carlie says

    I’d like a “who are your favorite comedians who aren’t sexist asshats” discussion.

  32. Brownian says

    Sorry for, like, volunteering you for stuff, Brownian. I didn’t really think about how pushy that would come off.

    No worries, Cipher. What’s PHMT?

    (I don’t mind doing another one, but I think there are a lot of people who’d like a turn at the mike before we start the rotation again. Like in karaoke.)

  33. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    No worries, Cipher. What’s PHMT?

    Oh good. :) It stands for Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

  34. Brownian says

    Oh good. :) It stands for Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

    Oh! I should do more reading.

    Carlie, I suspect Stewart Lee might not be a sexist asshat.

  35. chigau (間違っていない) says

    oooh
    karaoke!
    I can do Grandfather’s Clock in Japanese!
    (sorry. I’ll go to another thread)

  36. says

    Nate: Oh, fuck Ozy Frantz.

    Many feminists respond to arguments along these lines by saying that men ought to start their own movement, that they don’t see what feminism has to do with any of it. Unfortunately, this is the latest manifestation of an issue that has long dogged feminism and held it back: the inclusion problem.

    When men are actually oppressed, rather than harmed as a side effect of the privilege they enjoy in society, I’ll worry about feminism focusing on them.

    Many men get a bad first impression of feminism from zealous young feminists who, regardless of their intentions, alienate the heck out of men. Some of those men will later see the nuance that they initially missed and come to understand the value of feminist thinking. Many, perhaps most, will not… What might have been accomplished by not chasing away so many potential allies?

    Yeah, it’s all the fault of mean militant feminazis for trying to assert their humanity.

  37. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Hmm. I’d love to join in – I’ve even made a G+ account under my nym, so my meatspace name can stay out of it.

    But I don’t have a headset. How much do those things run? Also, having it in 3 days may be problematic. Hmm.

    *off to amazon*

  38. says

    You can get a cheap headset at Radio Shack for under $20. Or you could just be very, very quiet and avoid touching your noisy clicky keyboard for an hour.

  39. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Actually, after doing some experimenting, I have concluded that one of my keyboards is inaudible from my microphone when I type on it. Apple bluetooth keyboards for the win, I guess?

    (I also tested the quality of picking up my voice. Sounds ok)

    PZ, I shall be emailing you shortly.

  40. Brownian says

    Actually, after doing some experimenting, I have concluded that one of my keyboards is inaudible from my microphone when I type on it.

    I can’t verify that it worked, but the Google Hangouts window allows you to mute yourself by clicking on your little self at the bottom of the screen. (Maybe that was the browser add-on PZ suggests.) That way you can move your mouse around or use your keyboard when you’re not talking.

    It’s a must for teleconference calls in meetings.

  41. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    I shall give that a shot, Brownian, if it becomes a problem.

    In any case, I have gone on a circle-adding spree for people from the Horde for my nymmy-account. If you are be-circled by Esteleth on G+, plz be kind and circle back. :D :D

  42. alkaloid says

    This might’ve already been answered, but are the podcasts archived and downloadable so that way people who didn’t catch them originally can listen to them later on?

  43. Dr. Esteleth Dyke, Medicine Woman and Snark Machine says

    Yes, alkaloid. They are put on G+ and YouTube.

  44. says

    I had a good laugh at the evo-psych article. For some reason, I always have that reaction to evo-psych articles. I would have thought by now the proponents of this horse shit should realise that your scientific credibility is not enhanced when your article reads like it came from The Onion.

  45. thecalmone says

    As an interested foreigner (Australian), I’d be very interested in a discussion of American religiosity and its relationship to politics, specifically Dominionism.

  46. Amblebury says

    *Glances at evo-psych paper, sees blah-blah bunch of men telling women how they work – checks – no, this is not a GOP website*

    Yes, I would like to see an analysis of evo-psych too. I believe Mattir says there can be some wheat to be found amongst the chaff. Either way, it’d be good to have some more responses to the babbling foolery. I mean, look at this:

    Although the idea that one’s calorie cravings, clothing choices and shopping purchases are shaped by the ovulatory cycle might make some women feel oppressed by evolution, Saad says there’s still reason to take heart be patted on the head.

    “These consumption behaviours take place without women’s conscious awareness of how hormonal fluctuations affect their choices as consumers. Our research helps highlight when women are most vulnerable to succumbing to cyclical temptations for high-calorie foods and appearance-enhancing products. These findings can help women to make choices for themselves contrary to the old canard of biological determinism.”

    Because, y’know, even if biological determinism did play a role in our consumer choices, we’d be oblivious to it – we so silly!, and need Boy Scientists to set us straight.

  47. Suido says

    2am on Sunday morning! This will require approval from the Partner. While that first topic is way out of my league, the second topic is both fascinating and who knows, I might even have something intelligent to contribute. Or not.

    #FTBullies don’t cater to Australians!!!1! Token Skeptic is part of the conspiracy!!!!1!

  48. NateHevens says

    Hm. Talking about Dominionism would be fascinating. I find it depressingly hard to talk about Dominionism without sounding like a conspiracy theorist, because I have trouble finding the actual evidence…

    :(

    Ms. Daisy… that’s pretty much why I recommended it. I mean… yeah… he’s right that Patriarchy hurts us men, too, but to blame it on TEH UPPITY FEMINISTS!!!! is just fucking stupid…

    PZ… I emailed you. I hope I can participate, even temporarily…

  49. says

    I’m not averse to the idea that a very biological thing like the menstrual cycle can be connected to a very biological thing like hunger. Me, I’m mostly the STEAK NAO! type than the bucket of icecream type, and meh, it could easily be one of those mental errors of specific attention. But dear sweet zombie jesus on a cracker, could that article be any more patronising?

  50. says

    wellp. I’d said previously that I’d buy a headset as soon as the medical bills are paid off. Consequently*, I’ve now broken my foot and am awaiting another large medical bill. So, no headset and therefore no participation in podcast :-(

    *what do you mean… “post hoc ergo propter hoc”…?

  51. says

    I’m curious whether the hormone-mix of a real period is comparable to the hormone mix of fake-periods from non-continuous hormonal BC use. and consequently, if there are differences, if the writers of that article controlled for hormonal BC use (which probably they’d have to do anyway, since the hormone mix of a woman on hormonal BC will be different from one not on hormonal BC between periods. so if the idea is that hormones affect consumerism patterns, you’d have to control for that, no?)

  52. says

    I’m not surprised that menstruation colors people’s choices about food and clothing

    me neither, if only because it’s rather unsurprising that when you’re feeling shitty (PMS and during one’s period) you behave differently than when you’re not feeling shitty.

    but it doesn’t look like the diaries required mood/physical wellbeing to be chronicled.

    I do want a copy of that paper, I think.

  53. says

    Jebus, looks like I have some studying to do if I want to join this podcast. Which I would like to do. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s on at 1am my time. PZ, care to revert to the evening in the US format, so we antipodeans can join ?

  54. ChasCPeterson says

    well, now that I’ve seen the data, I have little interest in defending this one. It’s not exemplary science, that’s for sure. Not that surprising from marketing and consumer-psych sources I guess. Some of the ideas and hypotheses are interesting and plausible, though. (I was unable to draw any of those conclusions from the press release linked, let alone from the URL of the press release.)

  55. bachfiend says

    I looked at the second article, the one by Joe Quirk, and was impressed enough to buy his book ‘Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women’. Yet another book to read. Damn!

  56. ChasCPeterson says

    this evo psych article about menstruation and shopping

    I have to say it’s a bad sign when the professional biologist on the panel offers such a misleading summary. (The study compares behavior during the follicular and luteal phases of the ovarian cycle, neither of which include menstruation).

  57. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    While I’ve been saying for years that science proves you’re stupid,

    that article gets some stuff wrong. I won’t spoil the fun for those who want to study confabulation on their own,

    but Libet has nothing to do with standard free will. We’ve gone over this dozens of times. Stuff like that is only relevant against people who make the mistake of assuming that compatibilism accurately defines free will. So they attack conscious planning, but conscious planning is not relevant for or against standard (contracausal) free will.

    Neuroscience can only be relevant if one assumes (a certain subtype of) compatibilism is the approach worth attacking / taking seriously. But the Libet stuff doesn’t matter to anti-fatalism, since we hard in/determinist anti-fatalists can just as well talk about a preconscious pursuit of one’s goals.

    If I’m getting too jargony for the folks who are going to do the G+ discussion, and if google isn’t helping, please say so, because this is not hard to get right and it’s important to not get wrong.

  58. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    I say a certain subtype, because it’s only compatibilists who demand conscious planning who will get tripped up. All hard in/determinists, as well as compatibilists who do not demand conscious planning, are unscathed by Libet.

    )These experiments should make us think differently about the role of consciousness; that’s the important and more interesting part.)

  59. says

    this is an absolutely classic example of the precise opposite of ‘freethought’ correctly construed.

    Yes, Chas’s powerful commitment to freethought correctly construed was fully demonstrated by the fact that we learned of Cordelia Fine‘s book Delusions of Gender at the same time about a year and a half ago, both expressed interest, and Chas read it soon thereafter. Oh, wait, that’s not what happened at all – I read it shortly thereafter while Chas continued to talk for months about his plans to engage with it. (Whether he’s read it more recently I don’t know. I’d like to think so, but he hasn’t mentioned it.)

  60. ChasCPeterson says

    No, I still haven’t read it; yes, I still intend to. I’m sorry that my priorities over the last year and a half have not more closely matched your own.

    Now that my reading-list update is finished, are you seriously trying to draw an equivalence or indeed any reasonable comparison at all between ‘has not read book X, which is relevant to the article in question’ and ‘I know everything I need to about the article in question from the URL of the reprint of the press release about it’?
    Seriously?

  61. ChasCPeterson says

    continued to talk for months about his plans to engage with it

    ?
    only in response to people–mostly you, I guess–who attempted to argue by reference alone.

  62. says

    No, I still haven’t read it; yes, I still intend to. I’m sorry that my priorities over the last year and a half have not more closely matched your own.

    Someone recommended it, and you expressed interest. It’s been highly relevant to arguments you were participating in at the time and since. Saying you intend to read something and then not reading it for a year and a half while you continue to comment on these matters and chastise others for dismissing any new bit of evo psych does not show a commitment to freethought. It shows a commitment to being an ass.

    Now that my reading-list update is finished, are you seriously trying to draw an equivalence or indeed any reasonable comparison at all between ‘has not read book X, which is relevant to the article in question’ and ‘I know everything I need to about the article in question from the URL of the reprint of the press release about it’?
    Seriously?

    I’m not trying to draw that equivalence, no. As I and others have pointed out to you in the past, that would be unfair. And not to you. You don’t have to deal in your life with the harm done by the large amount of rubbish evo-psych sexism that permeates our culture, or deal with the pain of engaging with people who use or reference bad science to support claims about your lesser status and the smug assholes who rush to accept those claims. You can stand back and make obnoxious little comments about people’s dismissals, objections, or lack of interest. You can go a year and a half without engaging with a book you’ve said you’re going to without it affecting you at all, all while continuing to lecture to people who don’t want to deal with yet another piece of stupid research that will – regardless of its scientific failings or trivial conclusions – likely be latched onto by a slew of sexists.

    Here’s the comparison I will make: the annoyance that atheists feel when faced with yet another piece of research or writing about the necessity or superiority of religion and religious people or the strength of religion. I don’t want to have to deal with every single thing in this vein that comes along, pointing to the problems with science and logic all the while knowing that it’ll be picked up in the media and by those who want to bash atheists. If I see the name Templeton or Ecklund attached or other signs it’ll be another piece of religion-boosting trash, I might engage with it, but I might dismiss or ignore it based on these clues in order to keep my stress level down (despite the possibility that it might contain some minor or partial insights). Think of that X 1000, and you might begin to understand how exhausting and infuriating the stream of evo psych neurosexism is.

    ?
    only in response to people–mostly you, I guess–who attempted to argue by reference alone.

    Oh, I see. I’m supposed to summarize whole sections of a book you say you’re planning to read and deliver them to you on a platter because it’s not a priority for you to engage with what you’re arguing against. Quite the freethinker looking to challenge his beliefs, you are.

    And in fact, your claims that you were going to read it were, IIRC, in response to my asking you if you’d yet read it.

  63. NateHevens says

    ixchel @ 67 and 68…

    Could you recommend some easy/free-to-access sources where I can learn more about this stuff? It interests, at least from a layman’s perspective. What exactly does Joe quirk get wrong?

    PZ… you’re moving it to night?

    NO! I purposefully made sure my Saturday morning was free for this! I’m not sure I can do the evening… :(

    What time are you thinking…

  64. gijoel says

    Maybe you could comment on this article in io9, arguing why eugenics would fail.

    http://io9.com/5925024/why-eugenics-will-always-fail

    I think it would be interesting to hear a biologist with some experience in genetics perspective on the futility of breeding a master race.

    I’d also point out that anyone who thinks of themselves as a Master Race wouldn’t bother with a breeding program. As they think of themselves as the pinnacle of evolution (that’s if they believe in it) and that breeding would just move them away from perfection.

  65. ChasCPeterson says

    Oh, I see. I’m supposed to summarize whole sections of a book you say you’re planning to read and deliver them to you on a platter because it’s not a priority for you to engage with what you’re arguing against. Quite the freethinker looking to challenge his beliefs, you are.

    What? I never asked you to summarize shit. So I guess you don’t see. Any particular reason to pick a fight with me? I have not argued the subject at all for many months. On purpose. And in part for that very reason. You’ll note that I declined to argue about it in this case right here in this very thread, and that I offered no opinion at all about the article in question until I had seen the data. I’ll add that you should not assume you know much about my beliefs.
    But how about you, SC? What books have you read recently to challenge your beliefs, or is Cordelia Fine the lastest word?

  66. ChasCPeterson says

    gah, didn’t even see the top 80% of the comment.

    Whatever, SC. I have shit to do and I have no interest in arguing with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a nice day.