Skepchick Quickies 11.7

This week at Teen Skepchick Kayla had a great post on morals and how do you determine what is moral?


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I just wanted to say that’s a great statement on abortion. I was in a PolySci class years ago and ended up debating on the pro-life team. It was really difficult to convince those people not to use the Bible as a source in the debate. I thought I did a good job convincing some people on late-term and partial-birth abortions….but as soon as those girls got up and started quoting scripture the whole thing went to hell. One of them claimed it had been ‘proven’ that the soul was imbued at the moment of conception. Seriously….how do you argue with that?

    However, it can be just as bad on the other side. It’s like there’s some magical moment when humanity and consciousness is bestowed on the baby as it travels down the birth canal. It’s not alive until it is born….it’s not human until it is born…it’s not conscious until it is born. Regardless of medical evidence.

    I’ve had the debate many times, and I am moderately pro-life. I have to use the word moderately so I don’t get lumped in with point of conception, no morning after pill for rape victims, bible-thumping morons. I can make a good secular argument for the banning of abortion after the first trimester. You can’t have that debate, however, without both sides bashing you. So, I gave up.

  2. Thanks Amanda! I’ve edited your first link to include Orac’s update today, where he points to a contact page so you can let the administration know what you think about RFK, Jr. I just sent my letter and I hope many others follow suit.

    Also: I love cute animal Friday!

  3. One thing that doesn’t come up a lot is that, in the 1930s, Bisphenol A was looked at as a possible synthetic estrogen. It was dropped when another compound turned out to be more effective. Later, it was discovered that Bisphenol A could be used to make plastics. No problem if you’re talking about CDs and sunglasses. Slightly more alarming when it starts showing up in dental fillings, drinking glasses, microwave cookware and canned food liners.

    The problem I have right now is distinguishing “alarming” from actual risk. Sure, I could toss out all my polycarbonate glasses and my Rock ‘N Serve containers and it wouldn’t be that much of a hardship but what about canned food? How do you weigh the benefits of canned food against the potential risks of Bisphenol A?

  4. @Calinthalus:

    You can’t have that debate, however, without both sides bashing you.

    No kidding. Some topics seem to be impervious to rational discourse, and this one is high on the list.

    I am a Hedge

  5. Gay marriage two days ago? … Abortion and religion today? … Yikes, I think I’m just going to put on the puppy cam today.

  6. @JRice: Oh, man, you’re right, I haven’t been called an arrogant, ignorant bigot yet today … How about this: I’m pro-life and I’m proud, you stinking murderers! :P … In any case, I liked your old avatar better – it looked like it could be R.E.M.’s next album cover.

  7. Re RFK Jr. I don’t want to be impolitic here, but does he have some neurological problem that explains his voice, or does he just talk funny?

    I am a Hedge

  8. The common labware thing amused me, so I sent it to my chemist rat of a friend.

    He says: “Jesus Christ, everyone hadn’t realized that yet? Every project I’ve worked on has taken that into consideration. The stuff I’m working on right now is sensitive to sodium ions, and the sodium borosilicate glassware we use has to be taken into account.”

    And for the whole pipette thing, he states the obvious, “…THEY MAKE GLASS PIPETTES!”

    So, really, I know funding is bad… but I’m pretty sure these things are available to them.

  9. LOLKate, see how much trouble you can cause by not paying proper attention to your antecedents?
    I hope you’ve learned your lesson, and we won’t have to go over this again.

    I am a Hedge

  10. *sigh* Puppy cam. Wish I could get away with watching it at work. :-(
    There’s nothing like puppy breath and puppy kisses.

    @Calinthalus: I’m pro-choice until the last trimester. Then I’m pro-life. I do think that in the case of exceptional circumstances (i.e. rape, incest, severe disability, health of the mother), abortion should be available.

    I’ve had that discussion/argument many times, including as a topic in an ethics class. What was interesting about that class was that both sides shifted more towards the middle after doing their research. I didn’t expect that at all, especially in the Bible belt.

    Note: I’d like to see the alleged proof of “insoulment at the time of conception” that your opposition cited, since no one can prove the existance of the soul to begin with, much less “ensoulment.”

  11. Emelia the little paleontologist is adorable! She should be just in time to take Robert Bakker’s place in a few years!

  12. And for the lab gear – not too surprising. I have often wondered about all the brightly coloured plastic used in lab equipment. So will the new container question be: glass or plastic? ;)

  13. When it comes to discussions about abortion how do you reasonably ask someone to remove themselves from their religious or philosophical beliefs so that they can participate in what is essentially philosophical or values discussion/disagreement/debate/argument?

    RFK running the EPA??? Karma adjustment for James Watt I suppose. ;)

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