Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 5.5

Amanda

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

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31 Comments

  1. The Glee article is so full of win: “One day your teenage son is banging the head cheerleader. The next, he hears a few bars of Chris Colfer’s seductive warbling, and wham! Suddenly he’s “thirsty” for that particular “brand.” Of penis. Homosexuality – it’s exactly like walking past a Cinnabon.”

  2. The last article makes me incredibly sad. In Indiana’s last legislative session a bill was passed to defund Planned Parenthood. By defunding planned parenthood it also means that our state will be losing out on 4+ million dollars worth of Federal money for women’s reproductive services. Which apparently won’t matter if the above bill passes. Maybe next year they will come up with an extra tax for having a uterus.

    1. Your logic is of no use here.
      Progressives have the facts on their side, the science on their side, and common sense on their side but they are hamstrung by a little thing called not making shit up.
      Appeals to emotion (fear, hatred, bigotry, etc.) are far more effective at getting people to do what you want.
      We can show numbers all day long of how Planned Parenthood is a cost saving organization and that the more liberal sex-ed policies under Clinton actually lowered abortion rates but it does no good when you can honestly spin the numbers to make people affeared that they’re gonna be grandparents soon, or outright lie and say that late term abortions are used as a convenience.
      .
      As Jon Kyl proved, the Republicans are not intended to be a factual party.

  3. Just so you folks know: watching or reading Fox News at a desk that does not protect the head during a headdesking incident is considered a violation of OSHA’s home and office safety regulations.

    Also, Bryan Fischer is the biggest idiot ever.

  4. Instead, the function of reasoning is rooted in communication, in the act of trying to persuade other people that what we believe is true. We are social animals all the way down.
     
    Does this mean that I, having no skill in arguing, suck at reasoning? This could be a reason that I make really crappy decisions (especially financially), and can be persuaded easily (especially by a salesman). Come to think of it, this explains why many politicians are the way they are. Not because they’re dumb, but because the nature of politics is to communicate. This is worth a lot of self-study, I think. Perhaps learning about Drs. Mercier and Sperber’s work would help me. Because knowing is half the battle! [/GI-Joe]
     
    On a related topic, humanity is doomed. :(

  5. On the abortion one:
    Let’s do a study. Let’s compare the amount of money lost to taxpayers due to indirectly funding abortions rto the amount lost to churches getting their land tax-free, plus all donations being tax deductible.

  6. Having spent a great deal of time in Newark, NJ over the years (my parents had a store there) I can conclusively state that, in the words of Dan Barker, nothing fails like prayer (considering the 8,000+ churches, not to mention other houses of worship, within the city).

  7. Ah yes, Glee makes us gay.
    And The Dukes of Hazzard makes us “good ol’ boys”.
    And The X-Files makes us paranoid. (ok, that’s a little true)
    And The Jeffersons makes us black.
    And Quantum Leap makes us jump through time.
    And The Mary Tyler Moore Show makes us independant women. (also a little true)
    And True Blood makes us vampires.
    And The Nanny makes us annoying.
    And All in the Family makes us bigots.
    And Doctor Who makes us Daleks.
    .
    Stupid fucking questions deserve stupid fucking answers, can we move on now?
    .
    Besides, I liked there rendition of Express Yourself Born This Way.

      1. Make that a paranoid black gay bigoted annoying independent vampire woman Dalek who jumps through time in a 1969 Charger until she is assimilated, held on a mysterious island, and eventually finds out that all of this has happened in the mind of an autistic child.
        .
        With commercials.

  8. “Pray for Newark tries to “pray down” crime; murder rate goes up 70%”

    That’s an unfair summary and unworthy of a sceptic. The rise in the murder rate occurred after the police force was reduced by 167 officers. From the statements in the article we can’t conclude anything about the effects of the prayer programme.

    1. Yes we can…it was the number of police keeping down the crime. Not the prayer which is THEIR claim, the prayer advocates who proclaimed its “success” in March of 2010, ignoring the economic growth in the early part of the past decade (including massive downtown revitalization programs that added the NJ Performing Arts Center and the Prudential Center sports arena), and the previous stability of the police force prior to NJ’s budget crisis.

    2. It’s fair enough that less police presence corresponds to a higher incidence of crime with our without prayer. We can still conclude that the prayer program doesn’t have any effect greater than that of placebo, and so the “prayer program” is just something to make the religious (Christian) officers and community members feel better while risking alienating everyone else.

  9. Somehow I’m not surprised that both Glee and the BS that inspired the Salon article both came from FOX. It’s like the FOX that buys shows for network TV and FX is a totally different channel from the FOX that broadcasts news.
    Being totally unskeptical for a moment, I just want to grab whoever wrote the original segment by the shoulders, shake them, and shout into their face, “Because Chris Colfer’s not David Yost (Blue Ranger, MMPR), this isn’t 1993, and that’s a fucking good thing!”

    Sorry, emotional response. I recently met David Yost (kindest, sweetest media person I’ve met in a long while, and the second non-family member I’ve “come out to” about my Asperger’s Syndrome IRL), and learned he lost seven pounds in something like two months because he couldn’t eat from the anxiety of having come out to (podcast) No Pink Spandex host Lisa J. and, by extension, the internet.
    At age 41.
    Fourteen years after he left the show for his stated reason of being fed up with the bullying from his own cast and crew.

    So, for emotional reasons as well as logical ones, I say if Glee makes gay and bicurious kids more likely to be honest about their sexualities with their families and communities, it’s not automatically a bad thing.

    The premise of the original story that Glee “turns kids gay” is still ridiculous, but if it turns gay kids into gay adults who are mostly okay with themselves, *two thumbs up*.

  10. This is a sciency* blog, people! Let’s do our own experiment. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any way to double-blind** this, but we can single-blind the experiment. Lets get a whole bunch of atheists/agnostics/non-believers to sign up for the Jacksonville program, and not pray for our assigned streets, thus forming a control group. After a year (or whatever), we compare the crime rates on our streets against the prayer streets. Since Harvest Evangelism, the group running the program, won’t know who isn’t praying, it will be single blind.

    [*] Sciency is to science as truthy is to truth.

    [**] Unless we used Retcon (B67) to make people forget whether they had prayed or not.

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