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Category Archive: Ethics

Jul 18 2014

For shame, Discovery Channel

Do they show any science you can trust any more? Now they’ve been caught faking a shark scare in the Great Lakes, all in the name of promoting their shark week. Sensationalist lies for a so-called documentary series? I think I can give it a pass, again.

Jul 15 2014

No heroes, ever

Feynman Bingo

Through my drug-induced haze, I’ve been following the rising tide of revulsion at Richard Feynman’s personal behavior. It’s been sad and distressing; he was pretty much an opportunistic cad with women. What’s also been disturbing is the denial by people who should know better — Feynman was completely open about it in his published memoir. …

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Jul 04 2014

I will not call on you to demand Anthony Cumia be fired

Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony show has a long history of public awfulness. He’s a sexist pig and a creep. But I don’t think you should call Sirius XM and complain. His latest episode was a flamingly racist tirade against a black woman (only he didn’t restrain himself to merely call her a …

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Jun 30 2014

Hobby Lobby won

thesame

Of course they did: in a court packed with Catholics and their twisted views on reproduction, it would have been a surprise if they decided otherwise. So now, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have a right to dictate how you manage your health care, and the corporation’s religious convictions (they can have them, …

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Jun 29 2014

Whatever happened to informed consent?

Facebook has been experimenting on us, and getting scientific publications out of us. They took advantage of their large numbers of users to do a study on more than half a million subjects on how positive and negative messages affect attitude. I was surprised — I know I could never get approval for such a …

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Jun 16 2014

“no survivor privilege, just survivors”

Jen Gunter rips up George Will on his rape column. (By the way, Gunter talks frankly about her own rape: might cause extreme discomfort for some.) I have a dream: that the editors at the Washington Post will wake up, realize that Will is a tedious, stupid asshole and will fire him, and replace him …

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Jun 10 2014

Amoral ignorance

We’re having a Catholic sex abuse scandal here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and I’m learning lots of interesting things. Did you know that you can rise to the level of archbishop in the Catholic hierarchy without learning that it is illegal for priests to have sex with kids? They just didn’t know it was bad to …

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May 31 2014

We’re gonna need a bigger asylum

All this talk of Elliot Rodger being mentally ill is driven by the same circular reasoning: only a mentally ill person would commit mass murder, Rodger committed mass murder, therefore he was mentally ill. It’s what I said yesterday, that people think “violations of conventional mores, or doing acts that harm people, are prima facie …

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May 30 2014

Demons. It’s all demons.

Let us emulate the godly believers. We know what is right, and anything that deviates from it is…mental illness. But we might want to remember that sometimes the shoe is on the other foot. Some people believe that atheism causes insanity. But what about the variety of mental illness from which Richard Dawkins suffers? You …

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May 29 2014

I always like to know who’s been bought

A correspondent asked me an interesting and difficult question about the sponsorship of science. I’ve been talking a bit lately about the allosaur affair at the Creation “Museum”, which can be summarized this way: Michael Peroutka, an odious neo-Confederate nut, donates a valuable allosaur fossil to the Creation “Museum”. Now the tricky part. What’s the …

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