Randi in New York! Myers in Springfield!

New Yorkers: you really don’t want to miss the upcoming appearance by James Randi on 10 October. He’ll be at Rockefeller University that evening, and he’s always entertaining and fun.

The rest of the country will be getting a small consolation prize. If you can’t make it to NY, you can all go to Springfield, Missouri instead, where Richard Carrier and PZ Myers will be rockin’ the house with their godless stylings at MSU that weekend. I’ll post more details on that, later.

Bill O’Reilly is a big fat idiot

Forgive me if this amazing tale of ego and inanity makes you recoil in disgust.

And O’Reilly cites himself as proof there is a God:

“Next time you meet an atheist, tell him or her that you know a bold, fresh guy, a barbarian who was raised in a working-class home and retains the lessons he learned there.

“Then mention to that atheist that this guy is now watched and listened to, on a daily basis, by millions of people all over the world and, to boot, sells millions of books.

“Then, while the non-believer is digesting all that, ask him or her if they still don’t believe there’s a God!”

Mmm-kay. Let’s see…do I still believe there is no god? Let me ponder on it.

I think…no. Definitely not.

Was that exercise in pomposity supposed to persuade me?

Bookclub on autism

The ScienceBlogs Book Club has started up again, and this time around the book under discussion is Paul Offit’s Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Offit has an entry over there right now, and more will be piling on soon.

This is a good subject to tackle, too: the anti-vaccination clowns are yet another outbreak of lunacy and innumeracy and anti-science nuttery, and Offit’s book fights the good fight. Expect howls of outrage from the clowns.

(By the way, one of the circuses full of clowns is trying to oppose our poll-crushing. If you haven’t voted for Amanda and science yet, get on over there and make them cry.)

Catching up with Molly

Now that it is October, it is time to finally announce the winner of the August Molly award: our first non-human primate wins by a landslide, the Rev. BigDumbChimp. There may have been a few irregularities in the voting, since his backers were able to raise twice as many thumb-like appendages in approval compared to the others, but we will accept it as a reasonable consequence of biological diversity.

Now let’s move on to September. State who you think was the most interesting, insightful, amusing, thoughtful, or attention-seeking commenter for the past month in the comments below.

The radicalization continues, and it’s about time

Texans can stand a little taller now — their scientists have organized into the 21st Century Science Coalition and are speaking out loud and clear.

The 21st-Century Science Coalition is putting politicians on notice that the science community in Texas will accept nothing less than the best education for our kids. We will not allow politics and ideology to handicap the future of our children with a 19th-century education in their 21st-century classrooms.

Any other scientists in Texas should sign their statement. The rest of us should give a clenched fist salute and promise to be as forthright with our local politicians as Texas scientists are with theirs.

YouTube chickens out

It’s happened: craven YouTube has pulled all of the eucharist desecration videos. Click on one and you’ll just get the message, “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.” FSMdude’s account has also been suspended. There is no description of what rule was violated; I guess we must presume that YouTube is now in the business of defending religious dogma.

Catholicism seems to breed natural censors and cowards, doesn’t it?