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Skepchick Quickies 8.29

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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19 Comments

  1. “Winged cats have been known to exist since the 19th century, but only a handful of people have actually seen—let alone owned—one.”

    This is one of those things that they never let me do in geometry: if you have an unsupportable idea, just put it down as a postulate.

    You can’t possible show that there is a historical record of winged cats, so you just state it like it is a commonly accepted fact.

    “Isaac Hayes, a scientologist who survived a stroke earlier this month by using his magical powers, will be entertaining at the casino this weekend.”

    People read it and think, “Oh, I guess he didn’t die after all.”

    There you go, journalism tip for the day, assume that the lie is true and the rest is easy.

  2. I’m sorry, I just keep going on about this cat thing…

    “This woman in Sichuan province watched as her beloved kitty grew angel wings on his back last summer after a bunch of female cats tried to mate with him.”

    I can understand this. I often grow wings when people try to have sex with me.

    Huge, black, leathery, bat wings.

    (Some people think that they are sexy.)

  3. This is one of those things that they never let me do in geometry: if you have an unsupportable idea, just put it down as a postulate.

    You can’t possible show that there is a historical record of winged cats, so you just state it like it is a commonly accepted fact.

    I’m reminded of my Shakespeare class many years ago, when the prof brought in a newspaper article in which the journalist wrote “We don’t know much about Shakespeare”. Well, actually, we know quite a lot about Shakespeare.

    Which makes you wonder, who’s the “we” that the journalist was talking about? Was it “we”, as in the people in the newspaper office? Did he just stand up and shout over the cubical wall “hey, does anyone here know anything about Shakespeare?”

  4. Someone needs a holy kitten brush…

    Ugh, the vax article just makes me sad. And a little scared. Isn’t parenthood difficult enough without this extra worry? What can we do to slow this dangerous tide of opinion?

    If these anti-vaxxers are still around when I start popping out little skeptics, I’m going to make a total bitch of myself at the preschools.

  5. How is the “decision to not vaccinate” not child abuse?

    If I allow, nay ENCOURAGE, my child to play in traffic I will be hauled away and criminally charged. The courts will then explain to me that, as a parent, I have the very reasonable responsibility to keep my child from obvious danger.

    If, however, I get a crazy bug up my ass about religion or neurological disorders I don’t understand and decide to send my children out into a plague infested world without a vaccination slicker I’m let off the hook.

    Yeesh.

  6. I have a real problem with people that don’t vaccinate their kids due to pseudoscientific beliefs or pre-literate religious hangups.

    I don’t want my grand kids exposed to something that can harm or kill them (even though the grand kids are vaccinated) because of someone else’s idiocy. The day may come where something really deadly shows up and these folks would be the perfect vector for it in the human population. The anti-vaxxers have been around for at least 25 years, as I had some heated discussions with some of them at church back then (and that’s NOT a coincidence, IMHO). I think the religious experience makes people more susecptible to believing other malarkey. “Well, my pastor says…”

    I.e. Your decisions end where my health (or my family’s health) begins. Vaccination is a thoroughly tested and accepted scientific procedure that does not make you the spawn of the (imaginary) devil, nor will it somehow become the “mark of the beast.”

  7. Well, the antivax people have been around as long as vaccines have been around. Initially because it was the medicine of “savages”, and then because, well the conditions weren’t very good and you were as likely to get tetanus or give a kid syphilis from the vaccine. The problem is, even when vaccines were untested and hazardous, they were and still are the best chance to give you a chance.

  8. Jupiter forbid cats actually grow wings (much less don the battle suits Rystefn provided). I’m super-allergic to the shifty feline bastards.

    It’d be like “The Birds” meets “Cat Fancy” meets “Certain Death For Me.” With a little “Night of the Lepus” (substitute cats for rabbits) thrown in for extra Z-movie value…

    Yet, despite the imminent threat of Airborne Armored Kitty Death Squads, I’m more frightened of the Christian Guitar Hero.

    May I suggest an Xbox Live hack where they think they’re downloading new songs by Carmen, or DC Talk, or whatever shitty Jesus bands they listen to, but they’re actually downloading GWAR, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, or Slayer songs?

    Just to keep them on their toes, of course.

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