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Skepchick Quickies 1.9

Amanda

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

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21 Comments

  1. QA, that hearkens back to the comment I made on the recent atheist sign article by writerdd. Yes, they think they have loads of evidence, although none of it useful in court. However, ASA complaints don’t go to court. However, however, all of this:

    1) The ad is careful to include the caveat ‘probably’. You can use ‘probably’ to get away with pretty much anything in advertising. It’s not an absolute.

    2) The ASA is very unlikely to rule on the probable existence of god. They are very likely to throw this out.

    3) The ads are already up and the media coverage is worth more than the ads anyway, so Stephen Green of Christian Voice is just doing the campaign a favour.

    4) Stephen Green of Christian Voice is a no-body fundamentalist who complains about absolutely everything. He’s the guy who tried and failed to prosecute the makers of the Jerry Springer Musical for blasphemy, a case which in part lead to the long-overdue repealing of UK blasphemy laws. He is considered a joke. He is a joke. Most moderate Christians distance themselves from him.

    It’s awesome that he’s playing into their hands though. Way to keep the story in the headlines, Green!

  2. Actually, it sounds like it’s up to the BHA to provide “documentary evidence to prove” their claim that “there’s probably no God”. I wonder what would be considered sufficient documentation, given the inclusion of the “probably” qualifier. I have this mental image of a truck backing up to the Advertising Standards Authority and dumping 200-odd years of peer-reviewed science journals on the front steps.

  3. Steve, I don’t believe they’ll be required to do that. There are many precedents in UK advertising for the ‘probably’ qualifier. Plus, I don’t see the ASA sticking their neck out to ask for it. It would be mental.

  4. The witch burning article is something you expect to hear in your history class when learning about 16th century Europe not to find it in the news. It almost seems preposterous in our modern thinking to happen anymore.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Atheist bus sign complaint and how they are going to come up with a decision. It should be easy enough with the word “probably” added in there for the sign to be vindicated.

  5. @tkingdoll: Thank you for the update. I had no idea that Stephen Green was…well, considering what he’s doing, I should have, I guess. :-D

    I could back him for going after the Jerry Springer musical on grounds to bad taste, but no one is accountable for taste…

  6. Aren’t most Christian fundamentalists jokes? Considering Green’s reputation, would that then make him a joke within a joke?

    I do like the subtlety of the “probably” modifier. Not only will it handily allow the complaint to be thrown out (likely with plenty of raucous laughter), but science is all about probability. The more we discover about the natural processes that created our world, the less we have to blame on some invisible sky-fairy who cares what his people wear at night or eat on Fridays.

    As for the witch thing, there’s actually a fascinating comment discussion on Phil’s article about primitive peoples and alarmism in the media. And how did he respond?

    Phil Plait Says:
    Salul, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that. I’d be curious to hear more about this, since most of the info we get on topics like these are through the media. Do you have any links to other sources?

    Rock on, Mr. Plait. Rock on.

  7. I wonder if it was the Korowai involved with burning this woman. Those dudes are scary. Look up Korowai and khakhua. It used to be if they suspected you of perpetrating somebody’s death, they’d hack you apart and EAT YOU.

  8. Alternate blurbs for Quickies 1.9:
    1. A&E continues to prove it has little to do with either “Arts” or “Entertainment.” Or reality.
    2. Looks like Sarah Palin has potential new pen pals in Papua New Guinea.
    3. British Christians clearly don’t know what irony is.
    4. Rats and sharks are cute too. Really.

    Just WTF has happened to A&E? It’s gone from kinda classy to really trashy. Dog the Bounty Hunter, Growing Up Gotti … and now paranormal cops? Phuuuuuck.

  9. I could only imagine that bus sign in America- the crazy xians would be all over it!
    -that knit dissection was funny! Hey it’s cruelty free.
    -I think I’ll pass on the sharks and stick to the cuddly animals..

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