Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 1.6

  • Discovery Channel & Catholic church team up for exorcism series – “Discovery Channel is teaming with the Vatican for an unprecedented new series hunting the deadliest catch of all: Demons.” Anybody else picturing David Caruso whipping off his sunglasses after that line?
  • When adaptation doesn’t happen – “Natural selection itself is based on three assumptions in a population.  The first is that there will be variation in traits, such as multiple colors of eyes or hair.  The second is that these traits be heritable through the generations, that children will inherit the traits of their parents.  The third is that these variable traits have differential fitness, or that some versions of a trait might help you survive better than another.” From Steve D.
  • The Shorty awards are coming – Bastard Sheep reminds us to get our skeptical and science votes in, especially after the scamtastic events of last year’s awards.
  • And in case you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve got to check out this awesome music video parody about astrobiology. Who knew Ke$ha could be used for good?

Amanda

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

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17 Comments

  1. Discovery Channel shows also have variations in traits. The traits are certainly inheritable by the next season’s new crop. And there is certainly selective pressure. I don’t like the direction it’s branching.

    What happens when the channel becomes too woo for realists and too sciencey for wooists and they just have a muddled hodge podge of shows with no underlying theme?

  2. Hi there!

    They used to have a game show called “Make me laugh”, in which contestants would sit in the hot seat and have professional comedians attempt to make them crack a smile. Those who could hold out the longest won prizes.

    I think the same technique would work WONDERS for people who claim to be suffering from Demon Possession. Don’t get a priest in there, get a comedian. I can’t even imagine how tough it would be to speak in tongues and self-mutilate “HELP ME” on your skin if you had some comedian calmly asking: “How many people you got IN there? Man, when you have sex, is it automatically an orgy?? Yeah, my girlfriend gets possessed by demons, too. ‘Bout every 28 days, in fact. But I gotta tell ya, folks …”.

  3. We’ve seen this before.
    It’s called The History Channel.

    I will try to never quote myself again, but this reminded me that my brother and I originally (or maybe not so originally) called the History Channel the “Hitler Channel” because it had a big H logo and if they weren’t talking about how clever Nazis were they were showing how fun it was to kill Nazis.

    I didn’t watch a lot of the “Hitler Channel”, I’m just not a big war buff. I started to watch the History Channel for the comedy after I was surfing and came across a Planet of the Apes marathon and thought “Is this history? Did I miss something?”

    Now with all the “some say it’s real” shows, the overreliance on Nostradamus, and the all-to-frequent “is this or that Bible story really real” show we’ve come to refer to it as simple the H Channel because it as adictive as smack and about as good for you.

  4. The astrobiology song was interesting, but still made my skin crawl.

    The comments on the Discovery Channel exorcism show article were deeply disturbing. So many people defending demonic possession as real with firsthand anecdotes.

    We have a long way to go to rid this world of woo.

    On the other hand, and unrelated:
    1) Anderson Cooper calls out liar Wakefield on CNN
    2) Aussies force PowerBalance bracelet clowns to renounce claims
    3) Class action suit against same clowns in U.S.

    Good start for the year for rational thinkers!

  5. Funny, the RCC used to be somewhat reluctant to talk up the existence of exorcists in the recent past. Time to let the freak flag fly?

    Also, maybe they can do a crossover with Sarah Palin … after all, she’s protected from witchcraft!

  6. @mrmisconception:

    And don’t forget Ancient Aliens! The whole premise of that show is “It’s implausible that ancient humans could build Stonehenge/pyramids/etc, so let’s pick and even less plausible explanation: aliens”.

    Anyway, the exorcism thing really scares me because my uncle had one in the 70s instead of getting treatment for his schizophrenia. That was partly because his family was too poor for real care, but it still makes me worried that these other people won’t get the care they need.

  7. It’s just the normal, all-American(tm), “Make a buck at any cost” mentality at work again.

    “Science? History? Who cares if it’s true it it boosts our ratings (hence our ad revenues) this quarter.”

    We pay and will continue to pay a heavy social price for this stuff…

  8. @catgirl: My brother introduced me to the awfulness of Ancient Aliens. Now that’s our excuse for everything. “Hey, why did blahblahblah?” “Ancient aliens.” Also, we’ve declared ourselves ancient alien experts, since that’s all it takes to become one.

  9. You mean like “Who spilled Coke all over the couch and attracted all these ants?” “Ancient Aliens”. Or “Who rang up all these calls to Zimbabwe on our phone bill last month?” “Ancient Aliens”. Or “Who’s causing all this global warming?” “Ancient Aliens”

    Something has to replace blaming George Bush (which was enormously satisfying while it lasted.)

  10. @catgirl:

    I heard a stand up bit about the H Channel that went something like, “The show was saying the gods in mythology were actually aliens. Yeah. They were saying that one fake was really another fake thing. ‘Next up: Is the Loch Ness monster actually a unicorn?'”

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