Oh. My. Bob.

So. There is now a video game out, by, as I understand it, the same nutbars who are behind the Left Behind book series. This exciting and terrifying game has players playing the role of Christians who are on a mission to turn the USA into a Christian theocracy. Their job is to convert as many as possible, and kill the rest.

How fun and exciting.

Now let's just step back a moment and imagine the outcry this game's creators would raise if an identical game had been made featuring Muslims instead of Christians.

All together now:
H-Y-P-Oh, forget it.



Better late than never

There's a new Skeptics' Circle up. My post I Think I Blew A Fuse is featured, and it's in embarrassingly good company. There's a lot of good reading in this circle (as usual).

Also, Vegankid has sent out a call for submissions for this month's Big Fat Carnival.

and dat's it-dat's all, as the francophones say.



I'm glad Anigael's cat, Dylan, likes me. But I'd rather he didn't express it by dropping wet catfood at my bare feet first thing in the morning for me to step on.

Thanks, Dylan.




If the glasses I just found out I need were for all the time instead of just sometimes, I would totally consider this.

via PZMyers


I Think I Blew A Fuse

I've had a revelation and it's nearly caused me to give up my fight. In reading a comments thread over at Radaractive, I came across a comment that left me in stunned disbelief for hours. I realised the size of the gulf between people like me and people like him, and it almost made me cry.

In a context that clearly showed he thought this was cheating, Radar said this:

Hey, macro[evolutionist]s studied the rocks and fossils and then came up with a hypothesis that matched what they observed.
That's right. The fact that scientists studied the evidence before they came up with their hypotheses is here being presented as a bad thing. I have not the words.

Okay, maybe I do.

There is something very wrong with a society that can produce a vast number of educated, adult, contributing members of society who are so lacking in understanding about how science works. I would dismiss this as an isolated idiot, except I've seen similar things before. I've seen scientists being accused of "moving the goalposts" in arguments with creationists, because the hypotheses had changed in the time since the evolution/creation argument started. I've seen creationists take contradicting quotes from scientists as evidence that all scientists are wrong. I've seen creationists quoting Einstein or Newton to scientists as if the scientists would view their writings in the same way a creationist views the Bible. And seeing these things makes me want to cry. Seeing these otherwise intelligent people completely fail to grok science (and, indeed, skepticism in general) makes me despair for the future of my species.

Because, see, here's the thing. Science is about making testable hypotheses. Generally there is more than one hypothesis concerning a given phenomenon. It necessarily follows from this that there will be more hypotheses that are wrong than are right. And that's okay. Because that is how science works. When a scientist makes a hypothesis, she expects to be wrong. And when a hypothesis is disproved that is an exciting moment. It means there is more information to work with, and therefore more new and exciting ways in which to be wrong.* That's how science works.

That is not how religion works. If you could prove, to a fundamentalist's satisfaction (hey, I said "if"), that some part of the Bible was false, that fundamentalist would mourn.

On the other hand, there is a scientist, right now, trying to prove Einstein wrong. And it will be exciting if he succeeds. It will be a glorious moment for science.

The first (and tenth, and millionth) step to being right is to be wrong. Scientists know this. Skeptics know this. And for this we get accused of cheating. It makes me want to cry.

*Hat tip EAC for the framing


Meaty Gender Post

Over at Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte has an excellent post about the gendered politics of eating meat.

While this idea isn't a new one to me, this is the first time that I've seen it explicitly stated. Up until now I only had it internalized, and a vague awareness of that internalization.

What I mean is that it's always surprised me when I find out that a man is vegetarian. The more manly and heterosexual that man is, the more surprising I find it (and the more effeminate the man is the less surprising I find it). I've been aware that it surprised me, and I've often wondered why that's the case, but I'd never consciously made the connection between eating meat and manliness.

Amanda does an excellent job of pointing that out, and of tying it in with other ways in which misogyny is used to market (self-)destructive products or behaviours (like newer, faster cars, and joining the army) to men*.

Not having a television, I'm generally not in a position to know what's going on in the world of TV marketing, but I have to say that Amanda's descriptions of the fast food commercials hardly surprised me.

*Any commenters of the PHMTAIWJTFI variety will be spanked.



Can anyone give me the etymology and correct use of the term "mark 1 eyeball"?



I Don't Mind

Being slightly-more-atheist-than-thou'ed by PZ Myers. Really I don't.

The Ardent Atheist
The results are in, and it appears that you have scored 75%...
You are an atheist, pure and simple. You think God is just one big lie, and consider religious people to be both annoying and beneath you. Ardent atheists will argue tooth and claw for their position, and have no truck with people that won't listen. You think being an atheist is the only way to lead an honest life, and see no reason to accept the pleas of faith. Ardent atheists are the backbone of atheism. Be proud.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on pentagrams
Link: The Atheist Test written by chi_the_cynic on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test