Skepchick Quickies, 5.19


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. Those ten discoveries are really only so disturbing. Especially the “Humans are apes” one – we are not fallen angels, we’re risen apes, and there’s no reason we should stop ascending.

  2. Priest molests children? Shuffle him off to another diocese and pretend it never happened.

    Nun chooses the best option to save a life (they already concluded they couldn’t save both), exterrrminate!- er – excommunicate.

    No inconsistency here. Perfectly rational choice. (Run this through SASI, please.)

  3. [assess POSTER Zapski]
    [likelihood of sarcasm … 0%]

    That is correct, Zapski. I find it unlikely that computers will be able to process the subtleties of meat-ba… human interaction. Yo… we are far too complex to be analyzed by mere machines.

  4. @slightlymadscience:

    Unfortunately, this is SOP for the Roman Catholic church.

    My mother had a tubal ligation after my birth in the early 1970’s. Her pregnancies had been progressively worse for her physically – with mine, she was so ill she barely gained 10 lbs. The tubal ligation was recommended since her doctors – even then – weren’t sure she would survive another pregnancy. She and my father (a nurse and physician) thoroughly agreed without regrets.

    Upon the news that she had had the ligation? Their parish priest informed her she was excommunicated for this mortal sin. That another pregnancy would have left her other children motherless was less important than her ability to breed.

    That being said, many modern priests and nuns are more reasonable and would probably agree to do the same thing that this nun did. The RC Church bureaucracy has got to move into the 21st Century and realize they are not the king-makers they were 500 years ago and if they want to stay relevant, they need to revise their stances.

    I’m waiting for Benedict XVI to pass on. Not ill-wishing him, but he is a “skinny pope.”

    The Italians have a saying – Follow a “fat” Pope with a “skinny” Pope. What that means is that when a Pope was in power for a long time (like John Paul II), the College of Cardinals will next pick a Pope who they don’t anticipate to be in power for long. They let him perpetuate the policies of the “fat” pope, but behind the scenes, they are planning to shake things up with the next selection, and are using the time to craft those plans.

    Benedict XVI isn’t perhaps as “skinny” as the Cardinals might like, but I really feel that’s why he was elected. The next Pope is the one that needs to be watched, and hopefully, will drag the Church kicking, screaming, and fingernail-ripping into the 21st Century.

  5. @mikerattlesnake: Mike, I’m disappointed in you. By now, you should know to NEVER READ THE COMMENTS. EVER. Comments on articles and blog posts are full of morons with cartoon pictures for avatars, or shills for the latest offering of Coca-Cola, the best cola in the world!

    So, don’t read the comments, and have a nice, cold Coke, instead.

  6. From the _Cracked_ psychic testing: “…Montel Williams’s personal harpy Sylvia Browne but fear of her $850 price tag and the fact she might recognize my voice and try to eat me if I ever cross her bridge one day kept me away.”

    Ha! “Cross her bridge”. Cracked just called SB a troll! Awesome.

  7. “Merely”? “Disturbing”? “Deflating”? Such language.

    I find most of these facts to be fascinating as hell. Smithsonian, methinks you misrepresent your target demographic.

    On the other hand, I just read some of the comments on that article. Perhaps not. Now I am disturbed.

  8. The “10 disturbing things” article was mostly disturbing because of the comments. Fully half of them denied evolution, and almost all denied AGW climate change. What the hell are a bunch of creationist science-deniers doing reading the Smithsonian website?

    Actually, I think I may have found a clue, in a recent “Atheist Experience” video. The creationist caller asked how long “On the Origin of Species” had been in print, and then said the bible had been around over ten times as long. When asked to clarify, he said he thought people learned about evolution by studying Darwin’s Origin. I think this is a common misconception. Theologists study the bible, so biologists must study Origin.

    I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising – religion is built on the “argument from authority” premise. But, damn.

  9. @DataJack: That line had me laughing my ass off! Not only a troll, but a harpy as well!

    I remember watching that animated movie The Last Unicorn as a kid and Sylvia Brown has ALWAYS reminded me of Mommy Fortuna — in more ways than one.

  10. @Mark Hall: Don’t I know it! When I’m reading or writing comments on the blogernets nothing keeps my typing fingers tapping and my tongue tingling like an icy cold Coca Cola!

  11. @mikerattlesnake: On the other hand, those comments really bring home the headline of the article, don’t they? The commenters clearly do find these discoveries disturbing, even the ones that are quite old!

  12. One of the commenters on the psychics article notes that psychic hotlines don’t want real psychics but people who can follow the script. That is undoubtedly why their “psychics” failed. If they used board-certified psychics, they could probably change their accuracy from that of random chance to that of the luck of the draw.

  13. quote:Does the Smithsonian have a policy that only allows idiots to comment on their site? One commenter was even denying the speed of light.

    Maybe the Smithsonian is just showing how stupid the creos are.

  14. @Autochton: Dude, I hope you’re being sarcastic. Ascending? Risen apes? The theory of evolution, is not a a god plan or road map to betterment. It’s natural selection and adaptation.

  15. @Beard of pants

    we’re risen in taht we’ve improved our morality and standards of life (on average) from what it was. The fact that we acknowledge rape as not good, and at least pay lip service to human rights and have SOME rules of war is major progress for a young species. A lot to go, and we were set by 1000 years by the dark ages, but we still are notable in being the animal that is aware of and able to alter its nature to be ‘nicer’

  16. What I find most disturbing is the ritual human sacrifice one. What I find most disturbing about it is that ritual human sacrifice is still going on, in the US. That is what the death penalty is, ritual human sacrifice. Sacrifice undertaken to consolidate the political power of those who are “tough” on “criminals”, i.e. everyone who is not like them.

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