Oh, no. I’m flying off to the UK tomorrow, and I’ve just learned that all my favoritest, bestest people there are going to kill themselves just 8 hours from now (uh, remember, correlation is not causation…I’m sorta sure it’s not because I’m coming to visit.) What they’re all going to do is go down to their local pharmacy and overdose on those ever-so-potent homeopathic “remedies” they’re selling.

I may be tripping over heaps of corpses on the sidewalks there.

I wonder if there are homeopathic cures for jetlag? Can I pick up 1023 pills to get a molecule or two of something useful?

The official cheesecake maker of Pharyngula

Here’s a new tradition I have to encourage: I was brought a cheesecake at last night’s talk at Stanford. It was fabulous: white chocolate raspberry chocolate chip. The fellow who sent it along was Victor Harris of Reuschelle’s Cheesecakes. He has a huge variety of different kinds of cheesecakes, and he ships…so if you’re sitting around somewhere far away from California, and you’ve got a craving, you can just email for a menu or to order, and the next day a lethally delicious cheesecake will magically appear at your door.

Maybe I shouldn’t encourage these kinds of gifts at my talks, though. I don’t really need more sweet rich goodies in my belly. But hey, you’re all hedonistic godless people, dig in.

Wheels within wheels

Ben Stein wins another honor. He has been declared the Rosa Parks of Darwin skeptics on the Rosa Parks of Rosa Parks Blogs, which points out amusing and offensive instances of rhetorical hyperbole. The amusing bit here, though, is that he got named this on the basis of an old post by creationist Kevin Wirth which does literally say Ben Stein is the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics, right in the title. I’d seen this before, way back in the old days of the Expelled hoo-ha, but this time I noticed an interesting connection. At the bottom of the article, it has this brief biographical note:

Seattle area writer and Darwin skeptic Kevin Wirth is the publisher and editor of the new book “Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters” by Dr. Jerry Bergman. He has investigated and researched issues related to the persecution of Darwin Doubters since 1982.

Wait, what? Jerry Bergman? That Jerry Bergman, the carbon-is-irreducibly-complex and chemistry-is-a-religion-so-you’ll-get-fired-for-posting-the-periodic-table Jerry Bergman? The crazy Jerry Bergman I debated back in November?

Wow. Kevin Wirth really knows how to pick ’em.

It also reminds me…that debate was recorded by the local creationists, and they said a DVD would be made available; it would have been nice if they’d sent me a copy. They haven’t. The existence of any recording seems to have faded away from their site. I wonder why?

It can’t be embarrassment, because they actually host a pdf by Bergman arguing his bizarre version of irreducible complexity.

…the only way to refute the concept of irreducible complexity is to demonstrate that all objects can be reduced to a fundamental particle and still function properly. If a radio, a functional eye or ear, can be achieved, for example, by a single quark (the particle scientists now believe is irreducible)–or all, of the functions of an intelligent human, including the ability to reproduce with other humans, can be produced by a single quark, they are not irreducibly complex.

Yeah, he’s that nuts. He doesn’t demand that evolutionists produce a mere crocoduck to prove evolution, he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks.

One thing will never end, the endless thread goes on

This is my last day in California, and you people have filled up the cosmic thread I started here. You know there’s only one sentiment I can express here, and the words to this song are just perfect.

On the day I went away… goodbye…
Was all I had to say… now I…
I want to come again and stay… Oh my my…
Smile, and that will mean that I may

Cause I’ve seen blue skies, through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise.. I’m going home.

Everywhere it’s been the same… feeling…
Like I’m outside in the rain… wheeling…
Free, to try and find a game… dealing…
Cards for sorrow, cards for pain

Cause I’ve seen blue skies through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise.. I’m going home.

I’m going home, I’m going home.

My mascara is running. I can’t go on. You’ll all have to keep chattering away for me.

An impressive capacity for self-delusion

Gayle Haggard, wife of meth-snorting fan of gay prostitutes Ted Haggard has just had a press conference in which she announces that Ted Haggard is completely heterosexual…to which I can only reply with this song.

Mrs Haggard also says “Our sexuality is conditioned, and we can be conditioned in any number of ways,” which I think is partly true, but I also think is a bit disturbing. It can’t be a boost to Gayle Haggard’s self-esteem to think that her husband needed the Clockwork Orange treatment in order to find her sexually attractive, and to stop his eye from wandering to the willowy young man with needle tracks in his arm living on a street corner in the bad part of town.

There’s also a poll with the story.

Do you think a gay person really can be ‘cured’?

Yes – It is a choice a person makes. 13%
No – It is how a person is born. 79%
Not sure. 7%

I don’t care for the simple-minded dichotomy — I think your sexuality is a product of both unavoidable predispositions and early experience — but I detest that “you choose your sexual preferences” line. No, you don’t. I suspect that not one person in the history of humanity has ever reached early adolescence and made a conscious decision about what stimuli trigger a little hormonal surge.

If it’s Thursday, it must be Sierra College

It is Thursday, right?My brain is melting a bit, so I’m not really sure any more. I know I’m getting on the train again this afternoon and heading up to Sacramento, at least. I’m giving one more talk in California, at 7pm in Weaver 110 at Sierra. They are charging $5 admission; I was surprised to discover at the last place that charged that it seemed to have no affect on the group’s ability to fill a room. Next tour: Ticketmaster.

I’ve been talking every day for 8 days straight. I’ve got a break in that routine for a couple of days, at least, even those days are all going to be consumed with travel.