Daily Archives: February 22, 2011

Evolution, Creationism, and the ‘Cautious 60 Percent’

Steven Newton, Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education:

… Why is “neutrality” toward evolution such a disaster for college-bound kids?

Evolution is the foundation of biology. Just as geologists cannot decipher the earth’s features without plate tectonics, and physicists cannot understand the interaction of light and matter without quantum electrodynamics, biologists cannot explain the diversity of life on earth without evolution. Trying to teach biology without evolution is like teaching auto mechanics without discussing engines. Teachers should not be neutral toward evolution because scientists are not neutral about evolution. …

Click here for this interesting post.

The Biggest Loser Backfires

The Biggest Loser is a TV reality show on which people who really do weigh a lot more than is healthy compete to lose weight. They do this on teams. There are various challenges. There are charismatic trainers. And, of course, because it is a TV reality show, individuals can get tossed off the show either because of poor performance (not losing enough weight) or by getting voted off.

An interesting and entirely inappropriate trend has developed on this show.
Continue reading The Biggest Loser Backfires

Genie Scott on Culture Shocks Regarding Problems in Tennessee Evolution

And other matters, including a summary of what happened in Texas.

The Tennessee Senate has introduced a second anti- evolution bill and the debate over teaching intelligent design in schools continues. Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education updates us on the debate.

Click here.

More on Tennessee here, regarding the seventh anti-Evolution bill filed somewhere in the US this year, the second in Tennessee. Yes folks, we are under attack more than ever.

Sarah Palin Hates Lactation

Or is it just that she does whatever Mistress Bachmann tells her to do?

My friend Aseem recently said to me that John McCain may be the USA’s greatest villain for unleashing Sarah Palin. My response: Perhaps, and Michele Bachmann is a great villian for leashing Sarah Palin.

I do find it interesting that Palin gets so much press for what she says and does, but the truth is, Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann, not Sarah Palin, formed the Tea Party, and many of the moves we see Palin pull off are copycat acts following similar moves by Bachmann. It was Bachmann who attacked Michelle “Knows how to spell her name” Obama’s support of nursing for health and well being, claiming that breast feeding was some sort of communist plot cooked up by our Mossleman President from Indonesia (or whatever). And now Palin is following Bachmann’s lead of linking “government being the answer to ever problem” with babes suckling their mother’s breasts.

What Michelle Obama actually did, by the way, is this:

Michelle Obama, who is overseeing an East Wing campaign to promote exercise and healthy eating among children, said last week that infants who are breast-fed longer “have a lower tendency to be obese” as they grow up, a claim supported by medical studies.


So, why are Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin against health? Oh, right… they’re Republicans.

Two items related to the maneno in Wisconsin

Two Decades of Christian Nationalist Education Paved Way for Today’s War on Labor

While some religious leaders have come together to voice support for public employees in Wisconsin, others view the attack on the public sector and unions as a holy war. Fundamentalist textbooks and other media have been used for indoctrination into a worldview in which unregulated free markets are divinely mandated. In this sacralized model of capitalism, those who interfere with the invisible hand of the market are choosing “the state as provider rather than God.” The Koch brothers may have helped finance the current war on workers, but the narratives repeated by the Tea Partiers and their candidates echo those taught from Christian nationalist textbooks for more than two decades.

Click here

Wisconsin State Employees Actually Underpaid

One of the canards that has been prevalent throughout both the federal budget debate and the battle in Wisconsin is the idea that government workers are overpaid. The Economic Policy Institute points out the problem with this argument.

In Wisconsin, which has become a focal point in this debate, public servants already take a pretty hefty pay cut just for the opportunity to serve their communities …

Click here

Do “Adult Businesses” increase local crime rates and ruin property values?

Or do people just say that this happens with insufficient evidence? In one study it was shown that local governments were using inadequate data to “justify marginalizing sex-related businesses…” a position they felt worthy of supporting even if it could be supported only by twisting the evidence.

Have a look at Sex, Science, and Social Policy.

Why does New Zealand have so many earthquakes and volcanoes?

A 6.3 earthquake has just struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, killing dozens and leaving dozens more buried in rubble with rescue workers trying to dig them out. On the TV this morning, the mayor of Christchurch told his story: Having just left a series of meetings, he was sitting on a balcony outside the city offices in a tall building with his executive assistant planning their next activities when the quake struck. They tried to re-enter the building but were repeatedly thrown back away from the entrance way. When the powerful earthquake stopped, he picked himself up off the floor of the balcony and gazed across his city to see absolute devastation including numerous collapsed buildings and destroyed infrastructure.

Continue reading Why does New Zealand have so many earthquakes and volcanoes?