Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 1.20

  • Creationists have gotten clever but there’s still no debate over evolution – “Despite the constant claims of creationists to the contrary, there simply is no debate among scientists about the validity of evolution…Scientists argue how evolution happened, not whether evolution happened.”
  • Can you be both obese and healthy? – “Recent estimates suggest that approximately one in three obese individuals remain metabolically healthy (displaying normal blood glucose, blood lipids, blood pressure, and a healthy cytokine profile) despite their excess weight.”
  • Chaucer’s Cunt – A look at the history of the word over at Skeptical Humanities.
  • How astrology is like racism – I understand what Ben Radford’s getting at, but it’s still seems like a tasteless analogy to me. From Mark.

Amanda

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

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28 Comments

  1. It’s too bad that the Christian Science Monitor had this right in the middle of the article,
    “ANOTHER VIEW: Religion doesn’t belong in public schools, but debate over Darwinian evolution does”
    *sigh*

  2. I think it’s brilliant.
    It shows that their tactics have moved from:
    1. outright banning the teaching of evolution
    2. trying to weasel in their own alternative to evolution
    3. renaming their alternative to slip it past the filter
    4. asking that the “controversy” between their story and reality be taught
    5. calling for the debate within science (even though there isn’t one) to be taught.

    If this trend holds up, it looks like in another 5 to 10 years, they’ll have given up on it entirely as there’ll be nothing left to push.

    It’s not clever at all. It’s desperately trying to save a delusion that’s melting away further and losing support every school year.

  3. I really admire Radford battling it out in the comments of his astrology article. I’ve heard far too many people make statements about an individual’s astrological sign that, if you substituted the word ‘Jew’ or ‘Black’ or ‘Eye-talian’ for ‘Scorpio’ or ‘Virgo’ they would have gotten their head caved in.
    I may have mentioned this here before, but my wife once called a friend of hers an ‘astrological racist’ for making a statement about being ‘evil’ for her ‘triple Virgo nature’.
    Another time, in conversation, a woman said to her ‘I can’t stand Virgos’ to which my wife said ‘well I’m a Virgo’. The woman stammered for a moment and said ‘well you don’t seem like one’.
    All it takes is a little substitution of terms to see the similarities of how we can judge each other based on unchangeable aspects of birth.

  4. @Skept-artist: Another time, in conversation, a woman said to her ‘I can’t stand Virgos’ to which my wife said ‘well I’m a Virgo’. The woman stammered for a moment and said ‘well you don’t seem like one’.

    I solved this problem years ago. When someone asks me what my sign is I say “greater than”.

  5. @davew: True… true. Although, let’s be honest, Virgos really shouldn’t have the right to vote. I mean, we all know that one of the main attributes of the Virgo is to try to reconcile intuition with logic. When it comes to politics, nothing could be more deadly.

  6. @Skept-artist

    Actually, we all know that Virgos are just fooling themselves; they are really Libras and the sooner they admit that to themselves, and settle down with a nice Pisces, the better it will be for everyone.

    Not that I’m a Virgophobe mind you, I mean who hasn’t dabbled in Virginity? There was this time in high school, but then I talk too much…

    I’m just saying.

  7. When I hear or read the word ‘cunt’ I cannot help but be reminded of this poem:

    The portions of a woman that appeal to Man’s depravity
    Are fashioned with considerable care;
    And what at first appears to be a common little cavity
    Is really an elaborate affair.
    Now doctors of distinction have examined these phenomena
    In numbers of experimental dames
    And given to these ornaments of feminine abdomena
    A number of delightful Latin names:
    There’s the vulva, the vagina and the jolly perineum
    And the hymen in the case of certain brides;
    And there’s lots of other gadgets you’d just love if you could see’em
    The clitoris and who knows what else besides
    Now isn’t it a pity that when common people chatter
    Of the mysteries to which I have referred
    That they give to this so vital and so elegant a matter
    Such a very short and unattractive word.

  8. As for the Skeptical Humanties essay on cunt, it is lovely to see some intelligent intellectual discourse on the word rather than the rather more common hysterical “Oooh! It’s so sexist,” blather. Thanks for that.

  9. @davew:
    COTW

    It seems to me that Radford’s article violates the spirit of Godwin’s Law. It may not mention Hitler, but the reason that law exists is to warn people against making analogies that detract from the core discussion through their sheer flaminess. I think Radford could have picked another analogy without undermining his point and therefore he should have.

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