Oh no! Equality! Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Recent surveys have shown that 4 out of 10 American households are headed by a woman. Wanna watch four pampered men lose their shit over this fact? Here you go.

Juan Williams is angry — having women as the primary breadwinner heralds the disintegration of the family and something is terribly wrong with the country!

Professional Racist Lou Dobbs chimes in with some non-sequitur about abortions. Women are working and not having babies! Alert the police! Catastrophe and disaster! The social order is being undermined!

Oh, but smug jerk Erick Erickson takes the cake.

I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science, but this is liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role.

We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it is tearing us apart.


I’m used to conservatives mangling science and telling us that their lies are true, and Erickson does not disappoint. Listening to that I turned purple and tried to blurt out four sentences simultaneously, and then my larynx exploded and my brains geysered out my ears.

  • It’s not true! Many species exhibit different patterns of dominance, and some have no system of dominance at all. It’s quite common for females to be larger than males, for instance. Erickson is claiming that something common in primates is a universal.


  • You don’t get to spend your pundit career blithering about human (and American) exceptionalism and then turn around when it’s convenient to your argument to point to some monkey over there and say, “See? That’s the natural order!”

  • Erick Erickson is one hella confused dingleberry. Why does anyone listen to a biblical literalist pontificating about science?

Here’s the deal, Fox News. The world is changing. It’s not getting worse, it’s getting different, and I know that’s the kind of thing that makes bitter, cranky old conservatives weep into their scotch and water, but deal with it. Besides, you’ll be dead soon and won’t care any more.

And it’s not just getting different, it’s getting better — those women in the workforce are more independent, more free, and living more fulfilling lives that matter. Welcome it. And hey, how about getting off your privileged butts and making sure that they get paid the same as men, so those families and children you’re so fucking concerned about can get by?

Climate Change blame poll

The UK needs some help from us. One of their ministers has got some weird ideas about climate change.

The chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee said he accepts the earth’s temperature is increasing but said “natural phases” may be to blame.

Such a suggestion sits at odds with the scientific consensus. One recent survey of 12,000 academic papers on climate change found 97 per cent agree human activities are causing the planet to warm.

So they’re trying to settle it with a poll.

Are humans responsible for global warming?

Yes – completely  17.46%

Yes – but only partially  28.4%

No – it’s a natural phenomenon  54.14%

You know, that’s a really stupid set of answers that looks like it was intentionally designed to split the vote. “Completely” or “partially”? That makes no sense. If we have an equilibrium situation where heat inputs and losses are balanced, and humans come along and tip that balance, are you just going to say they’re only partially at fault, because the sun is pumping all that energy into the system? It’s silly phrasing.

If Mr Bean visits the grocery store and pulls out the bottom can in a neatly stacked pyramid of canned goods, causing the whole thing to tumble down in a mess, are you going to say he was only partly to blame for the chaos?

I’m not even going to think about the ignorance of the 54%.


What does evil look like?

Big fangs, horns, a hideous face, wielding brutal instruments of torture? Or maybe something sleek and military that can explode in a gout of flame? Sure, those are evil all right, but real evil can be distilled down to something as simple as a lawyer signing a piece of paper, a doctor averting their eyes, a citizen ignoring an act of inhumanity because the victim isn’t worthy…or an entire nation so soaked in godly lies that they will let a young woman die to protect their sanctimony.

I wrote about Beatriz’s case in El Salvador before. She’s 22, she’s very sick, and she’s pregnant with an anencephalic fetus. The fetus is doomed and can never live outside the womb, but the pregnancy is worsening Beatriz’s condition, and could kill her, too. The solution is simple: an abortion would give Beatriz a chance.

But no, El Salvador has an absolutist law on the books that completely outlaws all abortions, no exceptions, not even to save the life of the mother. It is a very Catholic country — yet again, religion poisons everything. This is a law very much like what the far right pecksniffs in the US would like to impose on us, and it’s operating effectively in El Salvador.

Beatriz’s only hope was that the El Salvador Supreme Court would see the light of reason and make a rational exception. They didn’t. They condemned her to die.

That’s what pure evil looks like. It’s a bureaucrat hearing the pleas of a dying woman and turning their back on her to worship the letter of the law. It’s a whole nation with their heads stuffed up their asses as an act of piety. It’s symbolized by this man, with his rituals and rites and his bullshit theology.


That’s the face of evil, neatly coiffed, smiling, seemingly benign. People are petitioning the Pope to save Beatriz’s life, and I find that offensive as well. By what goddamned right does this foolish old man have the power of life and death over anyone? Shouldn’t everyone have autonomy and a right to live?

That’s evil too, that we accept that some people have the power to inflict death and destruction, directly or indirectly, on others.

Maybe they’ll run for president in the next election

The Republicans are giving me some hope. They have quite the pair running for governor in Virginia: Cuccinelli and Jackson.

Here are some of the comments from Republican women in Virginia:

Waddell called “the worst ticket ever”, adding that she was “completely embarrassed and mortified by the Republican ticket of Cuccinelli and Jackson.”

Jan Schar told Blue Virginia that although she’s been a Republican for years, “I simply cannot support them,” as they would “end a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, including access to birth control.”

Schar was disturbed by the Republican ticket’s attack on Planned Parenthood, “which does so much good for women in Virginia…. to call them a racist group is simply beyond the pale and hopefully will frighten Virginians from voting for them. This team of three would take us back to their ideology.” Schar concluded, “I know so many Republicans who just can’t support [this ticket].”

Waddell (I/R) called Cuccinelli “extreme”, according to Blue Virigina, due in part to his “dangerous… anti-woman health agenda.” Reacting to the ticket’s charges against Planned Parenthood, she pointed out that it made “absolutely no sense to accuse Planned Parenthood of being a racist organization; it’s an organization which brings much needed health care to many.”

But that’s nothing. You should listen to Phyllis Schlafly’s latest remarks.

…in an interview this week with conservative radio program Focus Today, Schlafly just came right out and said it. Calling the GOP’s need to reach out to Latinos a “great myth,” Schlafly said that “the people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes, the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election.” Schlafly accused the Republican “establishment” of nominating “a series of losers…who don’t connect with the grassroots.”

“The propagandists are leading us down the wrong path,” she said. “There’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.”

Yay! Please please please, Republican party, quit pretending and just admit that you are the Wealthy White Man Party! Come right out with it in the next election, court the KKK, announce that you want to amend the Constitution to prohibit women from voting, sneer at all our citizens who are of Central and South American descent, campaign on a platform of banning contraception and evolution, and just be yourselves! I’ll enjoy it.

Unless they get elected, that is.

Super colossal jumbo-sized douchebag

It is the douchebag against which all other douchebags must be measured, Roman Polanski.

Polanski told the press that he is not pleased with how the sexes act with one another today. “I think that now offering flowers to a lady becomes indecent, that’s how I feel about it. I think to level the genders—it’s purely idiotic,” he said. “I think it’s a result of progress in medicine. I think that the Pill has changed greatly the woman of our times, ‘masculinizing’ her. I think that it chases away the romance from our lives and that’s a great pity.”

Right, because letting a woman control her own sex life and reproduction is a dismal outcome and totally unromantic. And medicine for women? What a pity. Remember what Polanski is famous for…

He was arrested for having sex with a 13-year-old girl after allegedly drugging her and plying her with alcohol.

He was originally indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molestation, and sodomy. He accepted a deal by which he plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in exchange for the other charges being dropped and a sentence that was most likely going to be probation. Before final sentencing, however, he fled the country and returned to his native France out of fear that the judge would send him to prison.

Oh, yes — autonomy is such an unattractive and unstimulating feature in a woman.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

I was off in the big city (Alexandria, Mn) to run some errands, and I figured as long as I was there, I’d catch the latest summer blockbuster. I went in with low expectations: I’d heard it was just a fun action movie, mere mindless entertainment. The reviews underestimated the movie; it wasn’t just mindless, it was in a vegetative state. This movie was so stupid it was stillborn with acephaly. This movie sucked so bad it was a miracle that the Hawking radiation didn’t kill the audience.

I will tell you a few of the annoying inanities that made it impossible to enjoy the movie. Spoiler warning? Maybe. I’d be doing you a favor if I spoiled this movie for you.

[Read more…]

PZ’s SkepchickCON / CONvergence 2013 Panel Schedule

As long as Ashley Miller is publishing her con schedule, I might as well join in.

Thursday, July 4
5:00pm Evolutionary Psychology
10:00pm Worldbusters!
11:30pm Prometheus Debunked

Friday, July 5
12:30pm Bones
7:00pm Grosser than Fiction
10:00pm Penises of the Animal Kingdom

Saturday, July 6
5:00pm Geeks Without God LIVE
8:30pm The Real World vs. the Internet

Sunday, July 7
12:30pm Science and Religion: Friends or Foes?
2:00pm Ask a Scientist

The schedule lies a little bit. The Bones session (a hands-on exercise in dissecting an owl pellet) isn’t actually run by me — my wife Mary is the mastermind. I might just drift on by for a peek, but I shouldn’t steal the credit.

It’s not too late to register for CONvergence!

Manufactured outrage

It’s pathetic what the slymers are up to now: they’re inventing lies, then getting angry at the offenses in the lies, none of which occurred. They keep going around and around on this Ferris wheel of nonsense.

It’s just plain weird. When Brayton and I put this network together, the unifying idea was to encourage diverse voices to speak out for freethought. We had no idea that the warped regressive side of atheism would respond with such sustained petty tantrums, but here we are — still going strong, still growing, and not backing down…and still getting nonstop harassment from fools. I wish they’d grow up and face reality: just as the United States is changing demographically, so is atheism, and the howls and kicks and screams of those privileged obnoxious children are going to be left behind by history.

Well, except as embarrassing blemishes on the record.