Skepchick Quickies 10.8


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

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  1. “I’m not counting the sexual-outlet hypothesis, which posits that masturbation is not adaptive but is just a byproduct of sexual arousal, which is definitely adaptive”

    Given the weak evidence for the other explanations, I find it likely this is the real culprit.

  2. I can’t view the cute animal videos for some reason (I think my browser is wedged again..) but I notice one is about Koko and her cat, which leads to a cute human story, about one of my nieces, of course.

    She’s 8 and just came to visit, which enters into it later… last year she was watching a documentary about Koko, and my brother remarked that some gorillas are smarter than some humans. She was instantly skeptical, and cited as evidence that gorillas don’t know anything about dinosaurs and can’t count backwards in time. I don’t think she realizes that most people don’t have her encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs, and don’t understand geologic time either.

    A few days ago, I showed her the article in the Boston Globe about the recent dinosaurs discovered in Utah. She pointed at the Utahceratops and said it looks very similar to Styracosaurus

  3. What the article on bees by the NY Times and the resent report on MPR fail to mention is the real culprit here.


    Marla Spivak, a U of Minn researcher has received a MacArthur genius grant for her research.

    “honeybees have been disappearing at alarming rates in recent years due to the accumulated effects of parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases and exposure to pesticides.

    Pesticides and other environmental toxins are also indicated in the increase in autism.

  4. @noen: How does this indicate that pesticides and not mites, viruses or bacteria is the real culprit? All four are listed in the article. I think you are jumping to premature conclusions.

    Also, there is nothing in your link about autism.

  5. Buzz Parsec
    “How does this indicate that pesticides and not mites, viruses or bacteria is the real culprit?”

    The pesticides weaken the bees and make them susceptible to the mites and fungus that have always been there.

    It is my opinion that pesticides may play a part in autism. Here in Minnesota we had a large influx of Somalian refugees and we saw a large spike in autism in that community. Somalia is a toxic wasteland so it seem like a reasonable inference that environmental neuro toxins would be involved in a neurological disorder. I don’t have proof, I just think it’s very likely.

  6. @spurge: Noen is clearly affected by his love for Assertion and her two sisters’ Correlation and Inference. Their brother Evidence seems to be out of town or he’d put a stop to this dalliance.

  7. @BeardofPants: Right there with you…. oh look males are the default for study about sex. Hmm i guess we need to put something about women in there as well. Quick add this generic and obviously tacked on paragraph.

  8. @Narvi: My softball team once had 4 Daves and 3 Rogers, Two of the Rogers were brothers-in-law, and the other Roger was the brother of one of the Daves. It got ugly and fratricidal very quickly.

    Oh, yeah, there were 2 Marks too, but one was really a Marc, and they were vastly outnumbered.

  9. Spurge said
    “Do you have any actual evidence?”

    Did you not see the link? The google, it does not work for you?

    Marla Spivak
    “Beekeepers (and farmers in general) use many pesticides to control insect pests. But insects develop resistance to these chemical treatments very quickly, making them ineffective. Beekeepers started using pesticides in their colonies to kill the mites. (It’s tricky because they want to kill the mites, not the bees, and mites and bees are related!) But the mites have evolved resistance to the pesticides, and now the mites are reproducing unchecked.”

    So blaming mites and fungus yet not mentioning the role of excessive pesticide use is a lot like blaming MRSA and not mentioning unrestrained antibiotic use. But… I can understand. That last thing the media will ever do is bite the corporate hand that feeds it.

    Weird, then, that you decided to state those things so authoratatively.

    I am the only authority on my opinion. I know exactly what it is.

  10. Agreeing with @BeardofPants
    It seems to show an attitude of ‘there’s masturbation, and then there’s female masturbation, which really isn’t as important to talk about, cause evolution is all about what males do with their sperm, right?’ And the initial jokes about masturbation all referred to male masturbation…

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