Fathers pledge devotion to their daughters in unsettling ceremony? Some trends deserve all the criticism possible

From this Design Trend article (emphasis on poorly written sentence mine):

A new father-daughter chastity phenomenon is leeching across the United States.

“Purity balls” are similar to weddings, except the father marries his twelve-year-old daughter. The goal is to maintain the girl’s virginity until marriage.

During the ceremony, the fathers present their daughters with purity rings, and the duo become boyfriend and girlfriend, the Daily Mail reported.

“You keep this on your finger and as of this point you are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend,” the father says as he hands his daughter the ring.

The girls then “silently commit to live pure lives before God through the symbol of laying down a white rose at the cross, before engaging in a wedding-type dance with their father.”

Having sex with, kissing or touching a man (other than their fathers) before marriage is strictly prohibited.

Read on

Via Cynical C

Thank goodness for this article: “Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience”

In the Daily Beast, Michael Schulson wrote an article called, “Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience.” He basically reams it as worse, or as worse, as the Creation Museum (or the creationism in general).


From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t.

My own local Whole Foods is just a block away from the campus of Duke University. Like almost everything else near downtown Durham, N.C., it’s visited by a predominantly liberal clientele that skews academic, with more science PhDs per capita than a Mensa convention.

Still, there’s a lot in your average Whole Foods that’s resolutely pseudoscientific. The homeopathy section has plenty of Latin words and mathematical terms, but many of its remedies are so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule of the substance they purport to deliver. The book section—yep, Whole Foods sells books—boasts many M.D.’s among its authors, along with titles like The Coconut Oil Miracle and Herbal Medicine, Healing, and Cancer, which was written by a theologian and based on what the author calls the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System.

Thank goodness for this article!

Go read the article here.

Collected responses to the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham “debate” on evolution


I tuned into the live debate stream of the meeting between Bill Nye and Ken Ham the other night.

My response(s) boiled down to little more than this:

  • I applaud Bill Nye for putting the question of science and education back into the conversation. Many uppity ups in science have stopped this kind of discussion as it gives credence to ideas that have no merit or educational value.
  • If debaters won on graphics, give it to Ken Ham. His presentation notes were perfect for guiding 5 to 10 year olds in the way that only homeschoolers and Sunday Schools have succeeded. The Ken Ham’s slides and arguments, if you will, against evolution/science are best targeted toward that demographic, as well as people arrested in development who haven’t yet had an educational experience to help them blossom.
  • If your argument to complain that the science taught in public school classrooms is indoctrination, followed by an indoctrination statement of belief in a book written 2,000 to 3,000 years ago over modern books with modern advances, then explaining how that book offers salvation through belief in a man god who died and rose again from the dead, well, I’m pretty sure there’s confusion over the definition of “indoctrination.”
  • Bill Nye did okay, but missed some amazing opportunities to point out info like the above bullet.
  • I’ve seen that moderator in other belief related debates, and he, whoever he is, tends to upstage the debaters. He’s kind of a cool guy.

I accept science, and the day it gets jammed in the copier is not the day I get my believing legs back. I’m not for belief. I was taught to be a creationist. And the more I researched it, and the more I was told science and evolution were wrong, the more I discovered that creationism/Intelligent Design was simply a limp, lifeless dead horse.

Plain and simple. If perfection authored the magnanimity of the universe, the beauty of plants and animals on this planet, and also penned the Bible, writing words, phrases, catch phrases, prose, dynamic literature, ideas with foresight, those things are not that guy’s forte. 

I’ve been having fun reading some of the responses to the debate. Check them out below.

If you have any interest in this topic, I recommend all of the above links. I ended with Phil Plait, because he is responding directly to those who have been taught to accept