Arrr, me hearties, it’s that time at last

Tonight is the Morris premiere of that fabulous documentary on exotic marine invertebrates and nautical history, Pirates of the Caribbean. I will be there. I will be leaving early so I can get a good seat, front and center. I shall be singing sea shanties as I walk downtown to the theater. I will be rooting for the handsome fellow with the tentacular beard. I’m certain I will have a good time.

I’ll probably also gripe heartily about the movie afterwards. We curmudgeons just aren’t truly happy unless we’ve got things to grumble about.

Mysterious Anonymous Wise Man supports ID!

Oh, great. Nelson is at it again. You know the DI is sweating bullets when Paul Nelson emerges to state his lugubrious ‘truths’, make his unfulfilled promises, and start citing mysterious, unnamed ‘senior scientists’ with profound insights into Intelligent Design’s promising destiny. He’s kind of the Thomas Friedman of the Discovery Institute, and just as trustworthy.

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Hang on, people, don’t look below the fold if you are easily offended. I’m including a horrific photo that was shown on a magazine cover, one that elicited the following reactions from readers:


“I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table”

“Gross, I am sick”

“I had to rip off the cover since I didn’t want it laying around the house”

Are you ready for this?

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Weird items I’ve forgotten to put on my CV

This Neonbubble site is strange and baffling, and now they’ve gone and blown my cover with this biography of a former student.

Her high intelligence and keen insight caught the eye of her Biology professor, PZ Myers, who informed the U.S. Military as the terms of his continued freedom dictated. Gia was abducted and experimented upon for a number of years in an attempt to delve into the secrets within her mind.

I suppose I could be turning over my promising students to top secret government agencies, but I don’t remember this Gia Milinovich. They must be erasing my memories! The bastards!

I must be some kind of purist

Lots of sources are telling me about Pat Robertson’s sudden acceptance of the fact of global warming. I’m sorry, but it’s no cause for rejoicing. He accepts it for the wrong reasons.

This week the heat index, the perceived temperature based on both air temperatures and humidity, reached 115 Fahrenheit in some regions of the U.S. East Coast. The 76-year-old Robertson told viewers that was “the most convincing evidence I’ve seen on global warming in a long time.”

If there’s one broad, overall message I wish everyone would get from this blog and from my teaching, it’s that science isn’t about getting the right answers—it’s about how you arrive at your answers, by verifiable, testable, repeatable methods and logic and good evidence. Deciding that global warming occurs because you’re having a hot, sticky, uncomfortable summer: bad and unscientific. Deciding that global warming occurs because the climate research community has evaluated multiple lines of evidence and documented an anomalous pattern: smart.

I’m sorry, Jake, but while getting the religious right on the side of conservation is a good thing, doing so on the say-so of an incompetent authority like Pat Robertson who uses an anecdote about the weather to justify it is a bad thing. What are we going to do if Colorado has a blizzard in January, and James Dobson uses that to argue that an Ice Age is on the way? Or if Jerry Falwell has a bout of incontinence, so he prophesies great floods?

Cartoon Mormon theology

Jim Lippard has dug up a bizarre animated summary of Mormon theology that was put together by some other religious group to debunk them. I know that at least some bits and pieces of the cartoon are accurate, but I can’t judge the whole thing—I can tell you that religion looks pretty ridiculous when you explain its basic tenets with cheesy animation. Can we get a whole set of these made for Catholicism, Islam, Lutheranism, the Baptists, etc.?

I don’t think it would cost much. From the look of the Mormon story, maybe $9.99 each.

Here’s a picture of Mormon heaven.


Looks just like Utah.