Get that heathen some popcorn


I know that Steve Allen was a lifelong skeptic and freethinker, but was he also a squid worshipper? How else to explain this sign?

Through the Center for Inquiry in LA, which hosts that Steve Allen Theater, there’s also a very useful list of dramatic productions of interest to freethinkers, including everything from Agnes of God to Zardoz (sorry: Red Dawn didn’t make the cut). Any college students interested in subverting their university’s film series might want to recommend some of the movies from this list. Or you might just try adding all of them to your Netflix subscription.

Drywall Jesus


I’m staring at that thing, and all I see is some cracks in a flood-damaged wall.

The church was flooded by Hurricane Katrina; causing some drywall in the building to buckle into an image that church members believe is an image of Jesus on the cross.

Touching it causes miracles, they say—the blind see (or, at least, the myopic think their vision is a little better), kidneys start working (maybe), but the most important miracle of all is…

Church leaders say it really doesn’t matter if you believe any of the testimonials about people being healed. But what is a fact, is that more and more people are coming to the church everyday.

…the church’s bottom line is improved! Hallelujah! And the new church members are all natural-born suckers! Pass the collection plate!

God hates squid

From the comments, here’s something bizarre: creationists (at least the ones at Answers in Genesis) have defined life…and it excludes squid! I have yet another reason to reject the Bible, in this case for disrespecting perfectly wonderful invertebrates.

Many scientists make the distinction that vertebrates have hemoglobin,
hence red blood, and invertebrates contain other oxygen transporting
proteins, like hemocyanins, and do not have red blood. As far as
we’ve researched at this time, all vertebrates have hemoglobin and
invertebrates do not, though there may be exceptions we are not aware

So, animals that contain hemoglobin (vertebrates) and therefore have
red blood can be considered “living” and animals that contain
hemocyanin, or other proteins (invertebrates) and therefore have blue
(pink/violet or brown) blood can be considered “nonliving”. This is
further supported by Scripture since the Hebrew for “blood” (dawm)
is derived from the Hebrew for “red” (aw-dam). And with Genesis
1:20-22 and Leviticus 11:10, there is a distinction between
“living” creatures and “swarming/moving” creatures that teem in
the waters. So the logical conclusion can be made that a “living”
creature is one that contains red blood.

There’s much more, but it’s all masturbiblation, picking at words and extracting far more significance from them than is warranted, all to determine that squid actually aren’t alive*. There’s hairsplitting in Genesis, and a silly exegesis of the dietary rules in Leviticus.

What I’d really love to see now, though, is the rhetorical squirming they’d go through when it’s pointed out that human embryos do not develop red blood cells until about the 5th week of development, and therefore the early embryo, by their own definition, is not living. Heh.

One bit of good news: this definition greatly simplifies the project to create an army of death-ray-wielding undead squid-men.

Oy, another award?

Pharyngula has been nominated for a Cobb Award. No, actually, that’s not quite right: you, the readers of Pharyngula, have been nominated for an award for Worst Community.

It sounds awful, but don’t panic (they almost instituted a ‘Most Super-extra Worst Professor EVAR-INFINITY’ award, and then I might have been in trouble). Here’s the description of the Worst Community award:

[Read more…]

Now with celebrity endorsements!

Just a reminder that you can still vote for Pharyngula in the Koufaxes (if you haven’t already done so) in 6 different categories! You could click on the link and leave a comment that just says “Pharyngula!”, or, since their server is rather heavily overloaded, email the name of the category and your choice to wampum @, with the subject “Koufax”. Email has the advantage that if you do decide to vote for someone else, I won’t be able to look in the comment threads over there and see it, you traitor.*

And yes, I now have some celebrity endorsements in my campaign to win a Koufax: Twisty and Majikthise. Unfortunately, they have endorsed me in different categories. There may be a problem with my votes being split 6 ways, I think…at least Phronesisaical recommends voting for me in two.

And since Michelle Malkin linked to me (the magic word was “deranged”, in a post whining about all the abuse dealt out to poor Domenech), I’d like to encourage all you Malkinites to vote for me, too. It’s only fair—after all, I voted for Michelle Maklin in the Most Humorous Post category.

*Really, it’s OK. I voted against myself** in a couple of the categories. The competition is worth voting for, too.

**I really am going to lose, I know.

How about if we give South Dakota to the Oglala Sioux?

They do seem to have some more sensible leaders.

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

(via Brutal Women)

A request!

Here’s a really good question from Katrina Refugee:

Due to the unforeseen events of Katrina, my family and I ended up staying with relatives in South Carolina, and my children (for the year) are going to a small Christian school with their cousins (the public schools in this area are quite horrendous and we were trying to ease the transition as best as possible). They will be back in public school next year, but in the meantime have been exposed to some really silly creationist crap in the science classroom.

Can you recommend some reading material for the summer to “wash away” all the stuff they have been exposed to this year? We have diligently discussed all the fallacies of what they are being taught, but I am not a scientist and I would feel much better if they had some appropriate books to read over the summer.

They are aged 15 and 14.

This is a serious request, and I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have.

I’ve put a few ideas below the fold.

[Read more…]