Quickies: Hobby Lobby Decision Just Got Worse, Astrobiology, and Banal Nationalism

  • Quick Change Justice – “While you were sleeping, Hobby Lobby just got so much worse.” Remember the good ol’ days of just last week?
  • The Hunt for Life Beyond Earth – “One of the oldest questions may be answered in our lifetimes. Are we alone?” An excellent long article, from Sarah.
  • Banal Nationalism – “In his book by the same name, Michael Billig coined the term ‘banal nationalism’ to draw attention to the ways in which nationalism was not only a quality of gun-toting, flag-waving ‘extremists,’ but was quietly and rather invisibly reproduced by all of us in our daily lives.”
  • Yearning To Be A ‘True Sport,’ E-Sports Group Changes Gender Rules – “The IeSF responded to the uproar quickly and changed their rules in an emergency session last week. In a statement, the company’s board said all tournaments that had previously been set aside as a strictly male division were now ‘open to all.’ They retained the female-only tournaments, however, citing ‘the importance of providing female gamers with ample opportunities to compete in e-Sports—currently a male-dominated industry.’ “

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. I believe we need separation of Employment and Health Care. I think the Hobby Lobby case would be moot if people get to decide what health care options they want without involving the religious freedoms of their employers. I wish I could ask my employer for a tax free stipend to go and buy my own health insurance.

    1. Mrwilson41,

      Problem is that if you worked for a company like Hobby Lobby, they’d probably still insist that health insurance not include anything they don’t like. I don’t know if they would be as likely to get away with it through.

      1. I agree. You point is exactly the position that Illinois Wesleyan University is taking in that by filling out the exempt form to provide contraception, they are telling their employees that they have to get it some place else, which violates that freedom of religion that their employees should have it at all. The Supreme Court just made the whole issue even worse

  2. The Supreme Court is making me almost homicidally mad. Can someone cheer me up with some good news or adorable video?

    1. Well, it is pretty funny that the opinions of five old Catholic men are deciding contraception policy. But then I suppose that’s the wrong sort of funny. Actually kind of sickening really, never mind.

    1. What a bizarre position to take. Neuroskeptic has an apt respose.

      It’s especially bizarre because Mitchel’s own department was only a few years ago the source of a pretty major, high-profile scientific scandal, when Marc Hauser was found to have committed scientific misconduct and was forced to resign. Many colleagues in the field had suspicions that something was wrong with some of Hauser’s work precisely because it could not be replicated, and prior to Harvard’s finding him guilty of scientific misconduct, some of Hauser’s supporters defended his work with much the same reasoning that Mitchel is relying on — i.e., that failed replications were due to failed experimental technique, and Hauser’s technique was better than everyone else’s. Against that backdrop, which Mitchel is surely well aware of, I don’t understand how he could hold this position.

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