The debate, the bickering, the pressures rage on

I wasn’t aware of a dispute between Jerry Coyne and John Haught over the video release of a recent debate between the two.

The Daily What covered it on their front page, and I thought you would like to know about it, and possibly watch the debate. I’ve got it going in my background right now.

Read about the debate and watch the video here.


Blog and news links of the day

So I’m reading other blogs this morning kicking myself because I haven’t been talking about all the cool stories as much as I should.

Hemant Mehta has been on a roll lately. Here are a couple stories he’s touched on that you should read (if you haven’t already). I would just go over to his blog and read between:

The stupid burns brightly this time of year, eh.

PZ Myers tackled the Creation Museum and that the state of Kentucky is subsidizing the build with $37,000,000 to line Ken Ham‘s con artist pockets.

Jerry Coyne gets his panties wadded up over the National Center for Science Education reaching out to religionistas. Read his post:

The Atheist Media Blog says Fort Worthians are getting pissed off while local atheists advertise that people can be good without god. They collectively stomp their feet and scream, “NO THEY CAN’T, MOMMY!!!”

Theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Siegel tackles an excellent question in an approachable way. He writes:

Go see Julie at Attempts at Rational Behavior if you haven’t been over there lately. Just go.

And finally, Joe My God posted “The Best Speech Of Today’s Civil Unions Debate In The Illinois State Senate”

Above: Talulah’s throwing you a freaking bone. She’s the boss. She’s giving you the info.


Flipping friend Friday and science-y style catch up, wrap up, print up …

Twitter enthusiast and (semi-?) regular reader Stu Spencer posted this on his facebook. I hope my religiously inclined readers watch it, and verify it against history. Or not. I’m leaning toward not looking into it. But that’s just my lack of faith talking (honk).

As Spencer pointed out on twitter, it’s a great response to those who are confused why science is always changing.

He also tweeted this which caught my eye from Jerry Coyne … “Only in America”.

Follow Spencer on twitter. If you do, you can say you have a friend in Australia, too.

At “Why Evolution is True” Coyne posted this article with pictures:

From the BBC:

Police in the US state of New Jersey have ordered a family to cover up their snow sculpture of the famous nude Venus de Milo after a neighbour complained.

Eliza Gonzalez sculpted the snow-woman with her son and daughter on her front lawn in Rahway following a snowstorm.

Many people praised their creation, but a police officer told them a neighbour had found it too risque, she said.

When given the option of covering the sculpture up or knocking it down, she dressed it in a bikini top and sarong.

“We didn’t want to have any problem with the police so we covered it up,” Ms Gonzalez told the AFP news agency.

But she now thinks the snowy Venus looks “more objectified and sexualised” than it did before the authorities intervened.

Over at the Daily What, whoever found the Nat Geo article the age of dinosaurs said, “Turns out Creationists are right and man and dinosaurs lived together. Just kidding; dinos are even older than previously thought.” Well, unless you’re a creationist and you think the glut of scientific evidence for an old earth is the crafty doings of a semi-but-not-all-powerful being called “Satan”.

You should go read that article. Tell ’em I sent you.

And finally for today, Theoretical Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel (Starts with a Bang) wrote two excellent posts on “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” You can read them here and here.

Of course, he’s talking about the Big Bang. What else would he be talking about? Is there some other “Greatest Story Ever Told” that you might have confused it with?

Please, please, please do yourselves a favor and read them both.

Oh, and to follow up on zdenny who went MIA suddenly and I wrote about it here, I emailed him again and I finally got a response. He’s fine. He has a pulse. He’s decided to concentrate on different avenues of ministry.

I was genuinely under the impression that I was going to get an email back saying that zdenny had died, and it was all my fault (not really). But I was concerned.

I wrote him:

I’m a little concerned about your whereabouts. I hope everything is okay.

Let me know that your web site is down because you didn’t pay the bill.

It’s been a couple weeks.

He responded (notice the extreme segue):


I have so many people placing their faith in Jesus Christ that I have had to focus on a discipleship ministry.  The response to the gospel is just overwhelming with so many wanting to follow Christ at this time in history.  I have had to begin a discipleship ministry as a result.

I wanted to thank-you for your exchanges as I was really just thinking through a great many issues.  I discovered that many atheists have ADHD and their rejection of God is merely an extension of their inability to really trust anyone else.  In fact, I found every atheist I spoke with had trust issues.  I will admit that this finding was shocking to me and completely unexpected; however, it does make sense once I stepped back and analyzed the results.  Since belief in God is almost universal, there had to be an explanation why atheists exist.

I have also found that people with ADHD can also become radical followers of Jesus Christ.  It just seems that people with ADHD go to the extremes in their commitment.  It is a positive thing when the energy is funneled to the right things.

My prayers are with you…

In His Name and for His Glory,


To make it even creepier, zdenny puts one of those confidentiality notices at the bottom of his emails as if his email is a private, corporate business with a penchant for exchanging top-secret ideas. His email is a hotmail account. The disclaimer says, “The information contained in this message may be CONFIDENTIAL and is for the intended addressee only. Any unauthorized use, dissemination of the information, or copying of this message is prohibited. If you are not the intended addressee, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message.”

I guess zdenny might sue me.

Another Vestigial Structure

grasping instinct

Just saw this at Jerry Coyne’s blog. Vestigial structures (click here for wiki) are fascinating. Goosebumps, hiccups, male nipples and male uterus-es all connect us to our animal ancestors. A friend of mine told me about the moro reflex recently and I decided to have a baby of my own to try it. Now all I gots to do is get my lady prego.

Thanks to Coyne’s post yesterday, I get to add a baby’s auto grasp of hands and feet(!) to my list of fun vestigial reflexes.

My question, what’s your favorite vestigial structure/reflex?

Further reading: “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne and “Why Darwin Matters” by Michael Shermer.

Full repost of text from Coyne below the fold:

Continue reading