A little bit of hope in a very typical story

Angel Mario Vega, a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, tried a too-typical stunt: he got a couple of young women (one of them under age) disgustingly drunk, literally carried one of them to his dorm room, set up a camera, and filmed himself raping her. Oh, and of course he bragged to his buddies about it and invited them to come watch. Stupid and a rapist, that usual sweet combination.

But then something interesting happened.

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A fish, a rabbit — same thing, to a creationist

JBS Haldane is said to have responded to a question about how evolution could be disproved by saying, “A Precambrian rabbit”. What was meant by this, of course, is any substantial discovery that greatly disrupted the evidence for the chronological pattern of descent observed in Earth’s life. That pattern of descent is one of the central lines of evidence for evolution, so creationists would dearly love to find something that wrecked it — this is why they send expeditions to Africa to find a living dinosaur, Mok’ele-mbembe, or more conveniently, to Canada in search of a plesiosaur, Manipogo.

The Discovery Institute has it easy. They don’t mount expeditions, they just sit around, read scientific papers, and misinterpret them. Their latest abuse is to claim to have discovered the equivalent of a Precambrian rabbit.

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Every time I’m sure they’ve sunk as low as they can get, they start drilling deeper

So some celebrities had their phones hacked and very personal and private photos stolen, which certain less savory and much more piggish individuals have been happily disseminating on the internet. There is the issue of the hypocrisy of people concerned about privacy celebrating this.

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“What I really admire about you black folk…”

If you ever find yourself using that line, thinking it excuses you from accusations of racism, stop. Just stop. Think about what you are doing: you are taking a diverse group of people, categorizing them by the color of their skin, and are about to make a sweeping generalization about all of them.

You know what that is? It’s racism.

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Don’t teach how, only what

It’s the first week of classes. I’ve given the first lecture to my first year introductory biology course and my second year cell biology course, and the theme of both lectures was that science isn’t a body of facts, but a process for learning — and I’m emphasizing to them all that the conclusion is less important than how we come to that conclusion. And what do idiot politicians in Ohio do? They try to pass a law denying school kids knowledge of the process.

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