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Skepchick Quickies 6.29

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  • Homeopathy comic strip – Daryl Cunningham’s follow up strip to his one on the MMR scare.
  • “One Nation Indivisible” atheist billboard is defaced – From Michael and Tim.
  • Ants use their own velcro to catch supersized prey – “Long before Velcro was invented, a species of South American ant used its own natural form of the wonder material to hunt.The claws of Azteca andreae are shaped like hooks and fit neatly into fibrous loops on the undersides of its home plants’ leaves.”
  • Atheist world leader watch – “When Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister last week, replacing Kevin Rudd, many were quick to point out that in addition to being (would you believe it?) a woman, Gillard is also openly and unashamedly atheist.” From Andrew.
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15 Comments

  1. Italian scientists who failed to predict earthquake may face manslaughter charges

    This was posted in yesterday’s Quickies. :)

    And I’m not surprised about the billboard. Surprise! Christians are hypocrites!

  2. I just realised that one of my coworkers, a very smart biologist who works in clinical research, is convinced that a homeopathic remedy is the only thing that eases the symptoms of her hayfever. When I told her this was very likely a placebo effect, she shrugged and said she doesn’t care “as long as it works”.

    This seems to be a widespread attitude about pseudo-medical woo: Most people happily cling to their placebos, go on fooling themselves and simply don’t care what really happens in their bodies.
    I guess I should just give up explaining stuff to fight this trend. Nobody listens anyway, they all want to believe that nonsense.

  3. The comments in the last article from Julia Gillard were refreshingly honest and straightfoward. If the whole prime minister gig doesn’t work out, perhaps she could run a school here in the US for teaching politicians such traits.

  4. Can you even imagine a US president, male or female, uttering the sentence “I am not going to pretend a faith I don’t feel.”? It’s inconceivable. You’d might as well come out as a rapist at your next baby-kissing photo op.

    Remember when then presidential candidate Bill Bradley refused to gush nauseatingly about his faith (like every other candidate was expected to do) in the primaries 10 years ago? That was the end of him.

  5. @James Fox:
    Helen Clark, a former Prime Minister of New Zealand was also both of these things. There could have been more, but since our politicians don’t talk about their religion (with a couple of rare exceptions) it’s hard to say.

  6. @James K: @James Fox: Actually didn’t John Key (current NZ PM) and Helen Clark (last NZ PM) had a minor spat about that before the last election?

    (some quick research later) looks like they are both in the ‘Don’t ask Don’t Tell’ camp both claiming to be agnostic.

    http://canterburyatheists.blogspot.com/2008/09/rejoice-new-zealand-clark-key-are-both.html .

    So power to Julia Gillard for not pandering to the ‘everyone must believe in our invisible friend’ crowd, but instead being honest, and treating said crowd with respect. My only hope is that now that the Aussies have got their first female PM, they can work on electing the next one.

  7. @qyiet:
    The thing about New Zealand politics is that basically no one talks about their religion. When our first Muslim and Rastafarian MPs were sworn in, it made the news, but otherwise religion is just something that politicians just don’t get into down here.

    So I don’t blame them for dodging questions abut their beliefs. I would expect a Christian PM to do the same.

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