Skepchick Quickies, 9.15


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The thing that occurred to me re the church and Darwin (aside from being very late) is that: if they were wrong about this, and took this long to admit, what else could htey be wrong about they won’t admit too? ;)

  2. I’d go to the Atheon. Not to worship at the altar of science but because the picture at the top of the page is really cool. I like pretty pictures that explain complicated things simply.

    In England it has been reported that 10% of pupils believe in nonsense creationism. We can either improve education or begin a massive cull. I think education would have better results although the prospect of a cull does appeal to me on a very primitive level.

    I think that Charles Darwin is dead. I’m not sure and I’d need to check. It’s possible that he’s still going at 199 years old and still gives a shit if the church apologises to him. As usual it is too little, too late.

    The University of Southampton study looks interesting. It may give us some better idea of the process of death which might have some benefit in reversing or reducing brain damage due to oxygen deficiency. A clearer understanding of the process of death might even help us to prevent it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  3. About Prof Reiss’ comments,

    as an Englander it’s good to see a strong force coming out to protect science and proper science education.

    Prof Reiss’ comments aside, his notion that a more ‘gentle’ approach to evolution teach could be more effective. That’s for educators to decide. Do you shut out any mention of the flat earth theory in the same lessons when discussing the earth as a globe? Surely you teach why a flat earth as a notion is ridiculous and this in turn strengthens the education?

    Would discussing creationism in the same vain be too risky?

  4. Well they are getting better with their apologies…

    Gallileo – 400 years
    Darwin – 200 years

    So it they stick with their sequence, they should soon apologise for something which happened 100 years ago. Maybe their oath against modernism (1910)?

  5. Our scientists must nail the creationists….

    No, not like that!… No, not like that either.

    In other news… Atheon sounds totally awesome. Actually turning the beautiful maps of CMB anisotropy from WMAP into stained glass would be an incredible effort. I’d love to see the finished product.

  6. “…’the Atheon’ will provide a spiritual home for rational people in California, and guidance to acolytes worldwide.”

    This sounds an awful lot like the sort of pseudo-religious double-speak I’ve come to distrust…

    “‘The essence of religion is stained glass and song,’ he says.”

    So it’s not about uninformed intellectual jumps to fallacious conclusions regarding the nature of the universe, as I’ve been led to believe in my years as a Lutheran? That makes everything better! Sign me up!

    “Russell Bowman, who called himself an atheist…”

    Stop. Hold still. Can you hear that? It’s the Fundies, beating their chests and thumping their bibles…

  7. I have really mixed feelings about the Atheon. As a showcase for the wonders of science, it is a fine idea. But creationists and ID folks have been complaining for years that science was “just another religion” based on belief and therefore shouldn’t be taught without other points of view. This seems to give ammunition for that argument. For some reason, the words from Huxley’s Brave New World come to me – replacing “in the year of our lord” with “in the year of our Ford” for the god of mass production and consumption. Or Firesign Theatre’s “Oh, Holy Grid”… ::::shrugs:::: Besides, we would never be able to decide what kind of music to play in the place! ;)

    Nice that the Church of England is moving our way since the Catholic Church seems to be heading away from us. Darwin was a cool frood in anyone’s book.

  8. Hmmm. According to that link, I should run out and get a Whippet…

    Too bad I have four Shelties and I am a Director in a Sheltie Rescue. What should I tell THEM? LOL

  9. I hate it when I happen to be one of those statistical hits. That damn link said I should get a Golden Retriever, and I have had and enjoyed the doggy company of Golden Retrievers. Stoopid astrology.

  10. In 2235, the Space Pope Arcturus II will apologize for the church’s historical stance against gay people.

    By the 25th century, Cosmo-Christians will quote-mine Arcturus II to show how they are to credit for equal rights for gays, while atheists’ greatest claim to fame is that legendary one-eyed murderer, Russell Bowman.

  11. @Expatria:
    Yeah, I saw that too… didn’t click it though. I already have a dog.

    BTW, the study of near-death experiences… didn’t I submit that link last week?? DAMN YOU EMORY! Always stealing my thunder… ;)

  12. Charles Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey.

    Okay, maybe the C of E does need to apologise. Perhaps it’s the descendents of Wilberforce who really need to apologise. I don’t know. But it’s not like the church he was brought up in ever really loathed him.

    The relationship between the C of E and Darwin was always a complex one. He was one of the great Victorian gentleman-scientists. Any silly little disagreement over who created what wasn’t going to matter that much to The Establishment, because he was part of The Club.

    I also agree with Andrew Darwin (Charles’ great-grandson) that it seems a bit silly now. He’s dead, after all.

    I think it would be better to phrase the “apology” as a) an expression of sorrow (since there’s nobody to apologise to), b) express an official position on being pro-science, and c) give an undertaking to support only evidence-based coursework in science classrooms.

  13. Oh, one more thing.

    The Atheon is a conceptual public art project and nothing more. I think that’s important to keep in mind.

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