Ahhhhh…I mean, Arrrrrr

That was a sigh of contentment. I went off to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie with very low expectations—like the last one, I expected an extremely muddled plot, lots of random noise that didn’t carry the story forward, and many places where the movie could have been edited down a bit. I was right! But it also had wonderful naval battles, glorious swashbuckling, and finally, the lady lead acquired a bit of ferocity. I just sank down in my seat and savored the unabashed piratey goodness and didn’t worry about the details, and all was well.

Except for one thing: finding my favorite character washed up dead on a beach in an early scene in the movie was very disappointing. I wiped away a tear and just imagined that she’d left behind a swarm of progeny that were flourishing off-screen.


In a good pirate movie, you need flamboyant excess, so I guess it’s not surprising that the final installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is going to have every pirate in the world in a final climactic battle.

It’s going to give every pirate fan an arrrrgasm, I think.

The pirate’s life is not an easy one


Clearly, the Hemelshots have a much more sophisticated relationship than we have. We’re flying the pirate flag outside of our house, but every time we try to move on to the full pirate phase, we run aground on the fact that she thinks she should be the Cap’n, and then there are the swordfights on the stairs and walking the plank and black spots and mutinous crew, and then Skatje stabs us both in the back and declares herself captain. The pirate lifestyle is not a mellow, casual one that encourages cooperation.

This also says something about Texas

Pat Hayes wonders about the sensibilities of Minnesotans:

What is it about Minnesota — the cold winter weather, perhaps — that seemingly helps our northern neighbors see this issue more clearly than others?

You might also note that Canadians aren’t mired in a bloody mess in Iraq, either, suggesting that there is some bracing quality to the Northlands.

I’ll tell you the secret. Superconducting silicaceous brains.

Oh, come on, Shermer…

Ugh. John Pieret is right: this effort by Michael Shermer to reconcile evolution with conservative theology is hideous, on multiple levels. It takes a special kind of arrogance to think that Christians are going to consult Shermer, a godless hellbound skeptic, on how to interpret the fine details of the Bible. Either reject it or buy into it—but nobody is going to believe that Shermer accepts the religious premises of the book. He’s being a kind of concern troll on a grand scale.

It’s also nonsense.

Because the theory of evolution provides a scientific foundation for the core values shared by most Christians and conservatives, it should be embraced.

Oh, really? Ask a Christian what his or her “core values” are, and they’ll probably spit up either doctrinal beliefs, such as the divinity of Jesus and the idea of salvation, or they’ll bring up a list of social concerns, such as abortion, homosexuality, or religiosity in government. Evolution either is irrelevant to those worries or contradicts them, and as I say over and over again, Christians aren’t necessarily stupid, and they know this.

I’m also not keen on someone using science to falsely bolster conservative ideology.

The denialists


The Give Up Blog has a post outlining a general problem: denialists. The author is putting together a list of common tactics used by denialists of all stripes, whether they’re trying to pretend global warming isn’t happening, Hitler didn’t kill all those Jews, or evolution is a hoax, and they represent a snapshot of the hallmarks of crank anti-science. Most of the examples he’s using are from climate change, but they also fit quite well with the creation-evolution debates.

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