Skepchick Quickies 11.17


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

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  1. The Mayans didn’t predict the end of the world in 2012; they predicted the end of a calender cycle. Even if they did predict some kind of disaster, why should we believe them over all the other cultures that didn’t predict anything bad?

  2. We should believe them because something bad is more awesome than not something bad.

    Always assume the more awesome alternative until proven lame.

    I am now off to read the rest of that informationisbeautiful site because I’ve never seen it before and it seems superawesome.

  3. Jenny McCarthy’s early career path does not identify her as an idiot. It is her belief system, her thought processes and her current path which identify her not only as an idiot, but a dangerous idiot who has chosen to dedicate her idiocy to evil. The presence or absence of strategic clothing is irrelevant.
    OTOH, Cracked is funny.

  4. I’m a bit peeved about the NY Times article.

    For atheists, it is not a particularly welcome thought that religion evolved because it conferred essential benefits on early human societies and their successors. If religion is a lifebelt, it is hard to portray it as useless.

    I just finished The God Delusion and, IIRC, Dawkins talks about religion as an evolved trait in humans and it conferring some benefit.

    I haven’t heard any atheists having a problem with this. It seems reasonable. It has no bearing on the veracity of any religion that’s ever existed. Also, just because it may have had benefits to early societies, does not mean religion is still useful.

    Am I missing something?

  5. I think the real issue is that just because religion had a benefit to early human societies doesn’t mean it stil does today.

    There are other traits we developed that are now no longer useful, or have changed purpose (like the gill-bones were adapted for hearing).

  6. @Matto the Hun: @Amanda: Yeah, I can see why you would find that statement a bit strong. As an atheist, I don’t necessarily see religion as “useless” so much as dangerous in the wrong hands, in which it so often ends up. To be fair, Wade later says:

    “But the evolutionary perspective on religion does not necessarily threaten the central position of either side.”

    This kind of softens the blow.

  7. @Imrryr: Me, too.

    @Skepotter: I agree -although I’m more likely to take a real medical professional’s advice than a non-mp, regardless of the non’s career path. I wouldn’t take allergy advice from a football player or psychological suggestions from a politician, either. I think the point is just that she’s not a damn doctor. Oh, and she’s wrong. :-)

    Re 2012: I’m compiling a file which I will just whip out when people start going “blah blah blah pole shift” at me. This will be greatly useful.

    Isn’t the evolutional sense of religion kind of old news? I mean, yeah, it made sense for people to explain things with gods and to see faces and patterns in otherwise mundane foliage arrangements. That doesn’t mean we can’t get our smart on like we did when we stopped medically bleeding people.

    Now I want a baguette.

  8. I think the Wall-E and Lego costumes are inspired in their originality (although not suitable to go dancing in, or picking up dates, which I think is a requirement, and also why sexy-background-radiation wins in my book).

  9. Hooray for sexy cosmic microwave background girl! She can cook my bacon anytime (with her microwaves, get it).

    Check out the brain on that one. Yowza!

  10. Check out the second place winner.

    Can you buy a globe of the CMB? Or did she hand-paint that, too? Or is there a service that can print up custom globes–that would be awesome!

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