Skepticism

Change a-coming!

Good news, everyone! Skepchick.org is about to get approximately 80% awesomer. If you’ll recall last summer I ducked out of the country for a few weeks until the investigation blew over for vacation, and a few blindingly intelligent and interesting skepchicks stepped up to keep the blog going. Well, the response was so positive that I wanted to get them writing more often, and other skepchicks as well. With that in mind, you will now be treated to regular updates from a variety of skepchicks! They will each post to this blog for now, but in a few weeks we hope to relaunch skepchick.org with a new design, at which point all the authors will have their own space. I promise that it will be amazingly cool.

So, until the new site launches, the other skepchicks will post directly to this blog under their own usernames so you know who is saying what. Thus far, you can look forward to future posts from sraiche and tkingdoll from this past summer as well as Evelyn, an MIT grad student, and Donna, the leader of our SkepLit book club. I’m sure at some point in the near future we’ll have full bios on everyone, but at this point I think we all just want to get writing and perfect the details soon.
Hooray!

+++

“Benita” sent me a link to this YouTube video making the blog and forum rounds: the Coolest 8-Year Old in the World. I find it hilarious, and the fact that Bill O’Reilly actually lambasted it for being a form of child abuse via indoctrination makes it even funnier. I’ve seen a number of people argue about whether or not it’s appropriate to have a child so young spouting opinions that she probably doesn’t fully grasp — I for one enjoy it on a different level, I guess. I think it’s a very good statement (intentional or not) on the common practice of raising children to believe certain things about the universe with no factual evidence at all, and no one seems very bothered by it. Richard Dawkins talked about this on his Root of All Evil special — how can a baby be “Muslim” or “Christian?” The baby doesn’t have a freaking clue. Suddenly this video shows a child expressing views that are much more shocking due primarily to her atheism, and the religious get a good taste of how bizarre it is.

I also appreciate it on another level still — as a marketing professional, I have to say it’s a brilliant example of viral marketing. After my very first viewing, I downloaded the band’s album, so it definitely worked for me.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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13 Comments

  1. Good marketing, indeed!

    Maybe someone's finally realized the purchasing power of the rational crowd…this could be bad for my wallet.

    Anyway, hooray for the new Skepchick.org! How could anyone argue that having AT LEAST four times the Skepchicks on this blog would be a bad thing?

    I, for one, welcome our new Skeptical female overlords…err, overladies…um…you get the point. Yes. Good show.

  2. That's a funny video. :D It seems pretty obvious to me the kid has little to no idea what she's talking about, and that the frequent cuts are there because she simply can't memorise longer chunks of diatribe.

    On the question of indoctrinating children I'm of three minds.

    Mind number one is a bit uneasy about the use of an 8-year-old in such a viral marketing thing. How will it effect her if it's linked to her at age 12, and again at 15 and 17 and…? Not that that's actually about indoctrination.

    Mind number two is all for indoctrination, as long as it's good things, like empathy, not hitting your siblings, and atheism.

    Mind number three is against indoctrination, at least if it's bad things, like believing in gods and the paranormal, or what sports team to favour.

  3. The New, Improved Skepchick.org sounds awesome. I can’t wait!

    Also, I found that 8-year old really, really creepy. Oddly, I thought she was creepier than the 12 year-old creationist that PZ Myers posted about right after this video hit Internet. (In case you’re not aware, Ryan North has decreed that referring to Internet as “the tubes” is old hat now and that the real cool kids are dropping the definite article from that old-fashioned phrase “the Internet”.) Maybe it’s because I expect to see kids exploited in the name of religion or because he was four years older. I dunno.

  4. Cool beans on the site update! As for the little girl, yeah, creepy it is. I hate it when people indoctrinate their children into world views they are not sophisticated enough to fully grasp. I really hope all that video was about was showing the religinuts how rediculous they are for doing that on a serious level.

    But for my taste, the Aussie guy knocking on Mormons doors is great, but let the little children espouse their views on Hannah Montana or whatever her name is on Disney, because they will have to have on opinion on god and politics soon enough.

  5. Over-mistresses?
    Dominatria?

    How about simply “the chicks-in-charge”?

    I guess the only downside to this new skepchick overload is that it’ll mean even more time gets spent reading the blog(s) :?

  6. exarch –

    Yeah…I would have said something a bit more like “the chicks-in-charge” and a lot less difficult to phrase, were it not for my poor attempt at a Simpsons reference. Ah well. And I fully agree: MORE bloggin’…just what I needed to take more time away from reading things for my masters!

    Joshua –

    I really want to get that shirt. So funny!

  7. Yeah after seeing jesus camp and having them make kids cry because there arnt "rightous judges" which the scream at the top of their lungs…. well thats the more extreme version but it defineatly makes me wary about any kid being pushed in any direction….

    though i do agree, O'riely is an idiot who needs a high school civics course shoved down his throat.

  8. Glad to see everyone is digging on the increased blogginess.

    Rav, that's a very good point – for now you can keep sending them to me, and when the site relaunches I may set up something that will send out alerts to all the skepchicks.

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