Kimmel to Palin: “You Just Got Served!” ($&@#, Do People Still Say That? Am I Just Showing My Age Again?)

So if you’ve been able to peel your eyes away from the trainwreck currently taking place in the GOP presidential primary, then you are probably aware that climate science deniers have a new “movie” out, promoted by esteemed scientist Sarah Palin as well as Weather Channel founder John Coleman.  Climate Hustle is the latest attempt  by the deniers to trick the general public into believing man made climate change is some vast, underpants gnome-like conspiracy the left is using to fuck over white working class Christians, rather than an actual problem that we’ve already ignored for far too long that 97%* of scientists working in related fields agree is definitely taking place.

Look guys, I get it.  Climate change is scary.  It is a serious problem and we’re at the point now that any effective effort to fix it is going to be painful, especially to our wealthy western way of life.  I’m not immune.  I love steak.  Fucking love it.  I run an air conditioner constantly in order to make my attic room livable rather than just moving everything downstairs into a spare room each summer.  I take long, meaningless drives so my Chow can hang her head out the window and have her excitement.  Sure, I’ve taken steps to have a smaller carbon footprint, but the vast majority of changes I made were relatively pain free.  Ignorance is bliss; it means I can run my AC unit as much as I want and eat that 16 oz ribeye guilt free.  But it is happening.  Fast.  It is the climate changing, not necessarily the current weather, so just cause we get some snow doesn’t negate the fact that we keep setting records for hottest year, practically every year.  I don’t want to give climate change credit for things it didn’t cause, and I know we had an el nino this year, but damn, if you live in Pennsylvania tell me this wasn’t the strangest fall/winter/spring you have ever lived through.  Globally, the temperatures are rising, the ice is melting, and the oceans are rising.  And this is all shit that a layperson can figure out without an advanced degree in the relevant science.  What kind of a world are we leaving for the future generations?  Are we really that selfish, that deniers with conflicts of interest that make Andrew Wakefield blush can cause so many of us to doubt 97%* of climate scientists?

But, but, but….the founder of the Weather Channel!!!!  What about him, hmmm?  Checkmate, atheist liberal progressive person who accepts scientific consensus.  Wow, the founder of the Weather Channel?  That’s incredibly….meaningless.  Is John Coleman a climate scientist?  Is he publishing current research that challenges the results the rest of climate science keeps coming up with?

Both Fox News and CNN have recently invited John Coleman, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and former TV meteorologist, to express his views about climate change to their national audiences. Coleman is simply an awful choice to discuss this issue. He lacks credentials, many of his statements about climate change completely lack substance or mislead, and I’m not even sure he knows what he actually believes.

To begin, Coleman hasn’t published a single peer-reviewed paper pertaining to climate change science. His career, a successful and distinguished one, was in TV weather for over half a century, prior to his retirement in San Diego last April. He’s worked in the top markets: Chicago and New York, including a 7-year stint on Good Morning America when it launched. If you watch Coleman on-camera, his skill is obvious. He speaks with authority, injects an irreverent sense of humor and knows how to connect with his viewer.

But a climate scientist, he is not.

“Many people don’t accept my position that there is no significant man-made global warming because I am simply a Television Meteorologist without a Ph.D.,” he admitted in a blog post. “I understand that.”

I urge you all to go and read that whole article, it makes the point perfectly why it is one thing for a non-scientist to examine the data and agree that climate change is man made and happening, yet a completely different animal for them to look at the issue and declare that practically every climate scientist in the world is wrong or lying.  But the main point I’m concerned with is the meaninglessness of John Coleman’s scientific opinion on any subject.

Palin is actually worse.  No matter the subject, there is only one person I trust less than Sarah Palin in the United States and that person lived in Sarah’s womb for 9 months.  Yet sadly, for some reason probably related to why Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for President, some people out there continue to not only care what she has to say, but actually consider her opinion when forming their own.  And when faced with Sarah Palin’s endorsement of this oil company propaganda film, today’s best course of action is to turn it over to Jimmy Kimmel**.

Boom, mic drop.  (There, that’s more current, right?)


** Yes, those were 13 words I never thought I would write in that order.

*Okay, time to make the climate deniers change their pants.  Saying that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made climate change is real and currently happening is misleading and I will never quote the statistic again after this post.  Why?  Well, sorry deniers, you shot your wads a bit prematurely, which I am sure has never happened to any of you before.***  Let’s go to volume 39.6 of the Skeptical Inquirer to check out an article by James Lawrence Powell: (Bolding is mine, as always.)

Since it is inconceivable that any climate scientist today could have no opinion on the subject, if 97 percent accept AGW it follows that 3 percent reject it. To those outside of science, 3 percent may seem an insignificant percentage. However, we scientists know that a small minority has often turned out to be right, otherwise there would have been no scientific revolutions. In the 1950s, for example, the percentage of American geologists who accepted continental drift was likely less than 3 percent. Yet they were right.

If there were a 3 percent minority on AGW it would matter, but there is not. The “97% consensus” is false. The percentage of publishing climate scientists who accept AGW is at least 99.9 percent and may verge on unanimity.

*cut out tweet from Obama here*

How, then, has nearly everyone from President Obama on down come to buy the claim of a 97 percent consensus? The figure comes from a 2013 article in Environmental Research Letters by Cook et al. titled “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature.” They reported that “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (emphasis added). The 97 percent figure went viral and, not surprisingly, the qualifying phrase “expressing a position”—the fine print, if you will—got dropped. But those three words expose the false assumption inherent in the Cook et al. methodology.

Cook et al. used the Web of Science science-citation research site to review the titles and abstracts of peer-reviewed articles from 1991–2011 with the keywords “global climate change” and “global warming.” They classified the articles into seven categories from “(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification” to “(7) Explicit rejection with quantification.” In the middle was “(4) No position.”

The sine qua non of the Cook et al. method is the assumption that publishing scientists who accept a theory will say so—they will “endorse” it in the title or abstract. To count an article as part of the consensus, Cook et al. required that it “address or mention the cause of global warming.” Of the 11,944 articles that came up in their search, 7,970—two thirds—did not. Cook et al. classified those articles as taking no position and thus ruled them out of the consensus.

Do we need to know any more to realize that there is something wrong with the Cook et al. method? The consensus is what the majority accept; you cannot rule out a two-thirds majority and still derive the consensus.

Moreover, is it true that scientists routinely endorse the ruling paradigm of their discipline? To find out, I used the Web of Science to review articles in three fields: plate tectonics, the origin of lunar craters, and evolution.

Of 500 recent articles on “plate tectonics,” none in my opinion endorsed the theory directly or explicitly. Nor did a single article reject plate tectonics.

…..

What of lunar craters? As recently as 1964, nearly every scientist who had studied the moon believed that its craters were volcanic. Then in July of that year, the first successful Ranger mission returned thousands of photographs showing that the moon exhibits craters ranging in size from the colossal to the microscopic. Except for a few senior holdouts, scientists quickly embraced the meteorite impact theory.

….

I reviewed the abstracts of the most recent 100 articles, which go back to 1997. As with plate tectonics, none explicitly endorsed meteorite impact, nor did any reject it.

…..

Do biologists writing about evolution routinely endorse Darwin’s theory? I reviewed the abstracts of articles in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology from 2000 through 2014. Of 303 articles, 261 had abstracts. Not surprisingly, none of the 261 rejected the modern evolutionary synthesis; neither did any endorse it.

That’s all I’m going to quote from it, but seriously, if you are interested in that 97% number and ever wondered about the apparent 3% who do not accept climate change, you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.  The actual number is far closer to 99.9%.

***Yeah, I once received constructive criticism that I should leave out little digs like that, or my insinuations that MRAs possess micropenises, and while I understand the critique, in the famous words of Popeye, I yam what I yam.

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Move Over Todd Akin, It’s Pete Nielsen Time!

Remember Todd Akin?  Remember how he said that abortion restrictions didn’t need exceptions for rape because “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy?  Remember how he lost a senate race that should have been a cake walk mainly due to that comment?

After the amazing crash and burn Akin performed for the nation back in 2012, you would think that Republicans would learn a lesson from the whole fiasco.  You’d be wrong, of course.  Why?  Damned if I know.  Maybe it’s because some of them really believe, with zero evidence, that, ahem, “legitimate” rape is too traumatic to result in conception.  Or maybe it is an “ends justify the means” situation, where as long as it results in punishing women for being sexual beings.  What, you thought I was going to strike that out and end the sentence with “less abortions?”  Why?  When has the so-called “pro-life” movement ever supported something with an actual chance of lowering the number of abortions?  They can say they care about the unborn child all they want, but until they stop opposing common sense measures, like Colorado’s long term contraception initiative for an example, measures that are actually effective at lowering the rate of abortion, why should any of us give them the benefit of the doubt as to their motives?  They aren’t just protesting Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities; they want it all shut down, because this has much more to do with women’s sexuality than the fate of some fetuses.  Nothing should prove that faster than the speed at which they cease caring about the child upon birth.

Whatever their reasons may be, they keep beating that same old drum.  Today’s “Wait, What?!?” is brought to you by the Idaho legislature.  “I da Ho?  Well then close your damn legs, ya slut!”

From The Spokesman-Review:

During the hearing Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, said, “Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident. That may be true with incest a little bit.”

….

Nielsen stood by his remarks after the hearing, saying pregnancy “doesn’t happen as often as it does with consensual sex, because of the trauma involved.”

Asked how he knew that, he said, “That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know.”

He added, “I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot.”

Why, may I ask, has this man “explored this a lot”?  Hopefully it is for work, and not an attempt to figure out how likely his daughters would be to get pregnant if he…….

Moving on….

The scientific consensus on the issue is that rape is as likely to result in pregnancy as consensual sex, and some studies suggest the rate of pregnancy is higher in rape. A 2003 study that appeared in the scientific journal “Human Nature,” for instance, found that the rate of pregnancy from rape exceeded the rate of pregnancy from consensual sex by a “sizable margin.”

Is it any wonder if a percentage of the anti-choice brigade decides to ignore scientific consensus?  Members of the GOP already freely ignore the scientific consensus when it comes to evolution and global warming, what would make this a bridge too far?  Of course, in those cases the only people being called “liars” are scientists and biology teachers.  I wonder if they stop and think that by holding on to the “legitimate rape doesn’t cause pregnancy” thing that they are directly calling every rape victim who got pregnant from her attack a liar?

Something tells me they just don’t care.

L. Brent Bozell Shares Foolproof Tactic to Win Debates Against Liberals

Normally I pay absolutely no attention to the “esteemed” L. Brent Bozell, head of an impotent organization with an important sounding name, the Media Research Council.  Why you ask?  Mainly because the “research” implied by the organization’s name seems to consist primarily of a Christian conservative, either Mr. Bozell himself or an underling. watching the media until they see something that morally upsets them.  While I am sure our friend L. would love it if I compared his group to the Family Research Council or the American Family Association, I find the most fitting comparison is to Bill Donahue and the Catholic League, another group with an impressive sounding name that seems to exist only for its figurehead to untwist their knickers by writing an angry column consisting almost entirely of “rabble, rabble, rabble.”  While, terrifyingly, the FRC and the AFA actually have power to shape the opinion and thought of their Christian conservative audience, I have a really hard time believing anyone not married or related to Donahue and Bozell take them even the least bit seriously.  So ignore them I do.

For some strange reason, however, the “mainstream” media does seem to take them seriously at times.  Media groups are constantly reaching out to Donahue for comments on stories affecting Catholics as if he has the authority to speak for any Catholic not named William Donahue.  As for L. Brent Bozell, newspapers continue to publish his opinion columns even after he admitted that he doesn’t write the things, although perhaps he started to after that scandal broke.

So apparently if the “mainstream” media is taking L seriously, maybe I should as well.  (I wonder what the “L” stands for anyways?  I’m sure I could find out in less than a minute, but the mystery is so much more interesting.  Is it “Limp?”  “Lesbian?”  “Lefty?”  “Lucifer?” If you’re bored, leave your guess in the comments.)  Conveniently (A word, for what it’s worth, I misspell more than any other.  Definitely not convenient.)  for my new “taking Lefty Brent Bozell seriously” plan, the Altoona Mirror, fishwrap of choice for all south-central Pennsyltuckians, published Limp Brent Bozell’s newest column this morning.  Unfortunately for my new “taking Lucifer Brent Bozell seriously” plan, the content of the column aborted my new “take Lesbian Brent Bozell seriously” plan faster than a Planned Parenthood executive one baby liver away from a new Mercedes. *  Since the Altoona Mirror has placed the majority of its articles behind a pay wall accessible only to subscribers, no doubt to combat the countless people attempting to pirate such a prestigious paper, I will link to Larry Brent Bozell’s column at ArcaMaxx instead.

Arrogant liberal journalists naturally assume that conservative talk radio only succeeds in making Americans dumber. They reach this conclusion by avoiding conservative talk radio entirely.

No, actually they reach this conclusion by listening to conservative talk radio.

The overwhelming majority would never dare appear on one of these shows and debate the conservative host.

I wonder why?  I’m sure it couldn’t have anything to do with listening to prior liberals appearing on conservative talk radio and hearing the host shout over them, cut their mic, launch ad hominem attacks, insult them, refuse to let them respond, and hang up on them if all else fails.  Surprises me to no end that the big name progressives aren’t lining up for the chance to be treated like shit.

If one of them ever entered the ring with Mark Levin, they’d invoke the “mercy rule” before the first commercial break.

And that, dear readers, is where my “take Lucinda Brent Bozell seriously” plan collapsed in flames.  No, Lola Brent Bozell, you do not get to declare that your conservative heart throb would instantly win a debate with any liberal.  That’s not serious commentary, that’s a literary blow job.  Let’s follow along with some more of this fantasy hummer, shall we?

In recent years, Levin has matched a brainy talk show with a series of brilliant political books. The latest is called “Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future.” It’s a good bet that no liberal journalist will read it, no liberal newspaper will review it, and that no liberal network would imagine calling up Levin for an interview. They are too busy advocating tolerance and diversity.

I do have to give Lennon Brent Bozell some credit here for his absolute lack of a gag reflex.

Levin argues that the current ruling generation of statists — elected in part by millennial voters — are unraveling American civil society by undermining the country’s moral foundation and her economic footing. The central question of our time may be whether today’s young people still desire the founding vision of America with its constitutional limits on government, assisted by moral self-discipline, or whether we face a terminal moral and economic decline.

I can’t do it.  I just can’t.  This is basically, if you strip away the sloppy knob job, nothing but a man in black socks and shorts yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn.  “Undermining the country’s moral foundation?”  Really?  I mean, I lasted past Lord Brent Bozo Bozell claiming Levin’s talk show was “brainy” and didn’t even call out the fact that Levin’s “brilliant” political book (first draft in crayon!) has a title that sounds like it came from Ann Coulter, but I have to draw the line somewhere.  As this slob job continues, we find Leisure Suit Larry Brent Bozell citing the American Enterprise Institute as an unbiased source, taking random shots at the “liberal” media, and pointing out every mistake science makes as proof that climate change is a conspiracy.   Here’s some more of this conservative porn:

The left pushes against economic freedom with dire prognostications of planetary doom. Levin cites Dr. Mark Perry, an economics professor at University of Michigan and a scholar for the American Enterprise Institute, who made a list of 18 “spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made by eco-leftists around the first Earth Day.

……

Our media are never embarrassed by these spectacularly failed predictions. Levin could write an entire book on this alone. To promote the leftist agenda, they ignore them and create an entirely new set of dire predictions.

Who is this Mark Levin anyway?  I have to admit that I didn’t recognize the name.  Perhaps he is a respected moderately conservative scholar that I have been unfairly damning by comparison with Lucid Brent Bozell?  Let me Google him quick…..

The Great One” pointed out that Fox had an opportunity to host one of these important debates, “And they took advantage of us, they took advantage of the audience.” Levin explained that Kelly”s “question two,” accusing Donald Trump of making inappropriate comments to Rosie O’Donnell and others, “was outrageous.” Levin suggested that Fox went to great lengths to engage in “oppositional research” on Mr. Trump.

(Fair warning, the above links to Breitbart)

Um.  “The Great One”?

Moreover, Levin objected to the format where in which we heard six or seven minutes each from the ten candidates, and a third of the time the Fox moderators dominated the event. Fox brags they had 24 million viewers, he pointed out, but he concluded that it amounted to an “embarrassment as far as I’m concerned… while the New York Times and CNN praised the event, I considered it an exploitation of the process, which is supposed to inform the American people. Not gotcha questions, not gossip… I think the American people are owed an apology.”

(Fair Warning, this links to Hot Air.)

Well, that one I agree with.  They should be nailed down on issues such as climate change, raising the minimum wage, the militarization of the police, income inequality, and other issues poll after poll shows the American people care about.  Somehow though, I do not think Mr. Levin would think those were fitting subjects to talk about.  I think he probably means “if you are elected President, how soon until you slash taxes on those with higher incomes and bomb Iran?”  *Shrug*

Alright, I’m closing in on 1500 words, I guess it’s time to wrap this one up.  Am I missing anything…..  Oh, of course!  The Facial!  Back to Lulz Brent Bozell’s literary fellatio for the ending we all deserve.

And they’d never dare debate Mark Levin.

Uh, Mr. Bozell?  You have something on your face…..

 

*The asterisked sentence was edited by The Center for Medical Progress.  The full, unedited text of the sentence follows:

“Unfortunately for my new “taking Lucifer Brent Bozell seriously” plan, the content of the column aborted my new “take Lesbian Brent Bozell seriously” plan faster than a Planned Parenthood employee would counsel a pregnant executive to examine all of her options, pointing out that terminating the pregnancy was only one of the possible choices, choices that also included placing the baby up for adoption, though the executive would need more tests since her liver enzyme count was not far away from a problematic number, before complimenting her on her new Mercedes.”

As you can see, the original sentence was long and ungainly.  We wish to thank The Center for Medical Progress for their non-context changing editing job. 

Have you ever seen a dancing, singing, cartoon labia? Now you have. You are welcome.

Don’t get any ideas, I am still on hiatus.  But I was posting this video to Facebook and my comment got a bit long, so I moved it over here.  First, the video:  (Watch it, it is so worth it.)  From a Swedish children’s program, aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. You don’t need to understand the language to get the message.

 

 

Of course, this could never air in the United States, since by the age of three American children know that the bits under their underwear are naughty, sinful, nasty things that definitely do not sing and dance to catchy tunes, unless that is Satan’s current plan to get kids to look at or touch said bits. By six years of age, US kids should understand that those bits are only to be used by married people, and even then only for procreation, in one position, with neither participant receiving any joy or pleasure from the nasty, dirty, sinful, evil, horrific, monstrous, bad, naughty act.

Of course, they will soon become teenagers and ignore those teachings, deciding instead to imitate what bunny rabbits do when they think no one is watching their cute little floppy ears. But never fear, thanks to abstinence only education, American teens won’t know what they are doing or how to use contraceptives, so not only will it be a sub par experience, but there is a good chance they will be punished for their sin with a baby. (Silly me. I meant to say that it would be a sub par experience for the girl, and she would be punished with a baby. Because the boy doesn’t need to know what he is doing to enjoy the act, and its not like he can get pregnant.) And isn’t that preferable to the Swedish method where kids are given knowledge?

In case you were wondering for some reason, let’s compare the two nations approaches to sex ed, shall we?

Round 1:  % of women who reported giving birth before the age of 20.

You know the United States is going to kick some Swedish ass on this one.  We have abstinence only education and they have…..hell, they probably have sex parties instead of gym class.  Anyway, survey says.…..

  • United States: 22%
  • Sweden: 4%

Wait…..that can’t be right.  I know, Swedish taxes are so high that sperm can’t afford to fertilize the eggs.  That has to be it.  I’m sure we’ll get the next question.

Round 2:  % of women who reported no contraceptive use at  recent intercourse.

Dude, we got this on lock down.  We have abstinence only education in the states, our teens don’t know what contraceptives are, and if they do we’ve taught them that they don’t work, so why bother using them, am I right?  Survey says……

  • United States: 20%
  • Sweden: 7%

Booo-ya!  I told you we would destroy those socialist skiers.  Handed them their asses by 13 percentage poi..What’s that?  We want people to use contraceptives?  So the lower number is better?  Are you sure about that?  That doesn’t sound…You are sure.  Positive?  Positive.  Okay……

Alright, it seems that Sweden wiped the floor with us again.  But so what?  That’s Sweden.  They kick everyone’s ass at everything, as long as tanks aren’t involved.  We probably destroy other nations.  Like the “pregnant before 20” question.  Sweden is probably an outlier.  Let’s look at the numbers of a few other places:

  • Great Britain: 15%
  • Canada: 11%
  • France: 6%

Oh, what the flying fuck.  Ya know what?  Teenage pregnancy is a good thing, there, we fucking win. 

What about the other question?  I bet the Brits refuse to use condoms, just like us Merikkkans.

  • France: 12%
  • Great Britain: 4%

Ummm.

Look!  Obama’s trying to take your guns!

 

Those who miss my writing and want to see what I am up to while this blog is on hiatus are welcome to come to my Tumblr, With a Trebuchet, to read me writing about A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO show, Game of Thrones.  If you do stop by, please leave the politics and social issues here.  Thanks, and I will be back once I unburn myself out.  I won’t give a time frame other than this: I will definitely be back to cover the presidential election campaigns.  So even if this turns into a long break, I will be back before the first primary vote is cast.

Prepare to Stare, Mouth Agape and Wide Eyed, With the Single Thought of “Wait. What?!?”

Reality has never been a particular concern of science denialists.  Creationists are not interested in learning the facts of evolution anymore than the deniers of human aided climate change want to understand how our species’ byproducts effect the planet’s carbon cycle.  “The human eye is too complex to have evolved,” they claim.  So you turn on the television and call up your dvr’d copy of Cosmos, or pull a popular science book on evolution off the shelf, or if comfortable enough with the subject, just explain the fascinating way that natural selection crafted light sensitive spots on cells, step by step through out the long history of life on Earth, into the complex varieties of eyes found in nature today with your own words.  And if you can actually get them to pay attention and follow along, the vast majority of the time the result is the same.  They look you in the eye and say, “the human eye is too complex to have evolved.”

Most climate change deniers share this trait with evolution deniers; an ideological basis to their belief on the issue.  The scientific evidence for both issues is overwhelming.  The consensus is in, and any actual debate within the scientific community is on specific mechanisms and matters of degree.  How much warmer is the climate going to get?  How much can we limit the damage if we act now?  Is there anyway to stop it now that we have started it?  What other natural causes drove evolution other than natural selection?  What role did gene transfers play early on in the history of life?  The questions are endless, and the deniers are quick to use this legitimate scientific debate to try to make the public believe the consensus is much weaker than it is in truth.  Stephen J Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium and the scientific debate surrounding it has been pulled out of context and used by creationists to paint evolution as a theory in crisis for decades.  They do not care about the context because they do not care about the science.  Their ideology tells them that God created us all six thousand years ago, or that men have dominion on Earth and God would never let us unbalance the cycles, or whatever their own particular reason for turning their backs on evidence, reason, and logic happens to be, and that is all that they care about the issue.  The evidence against them becomes a conspiracy.  The existence of a scientific consensus turns them into a persecuted minority.  It becomes more than a question of scientific literacy.  Suddenly it is a plot by the atheists to turn their children away from Christ.  A trick by the secular left to convince people that we are only animals to change the nation’s sexual morality.  An attempt by the Muslim in the White House to get us more dependent on oil from the Middle East by making the practically infinite reserves in our country untouchable.  Or the final ploy of the pinko, socialist, homosexual hippies seeking to end the American way of life by forcing men to emasculate themselves and perform such humiliating actions as conserving, recycling, and driving a compact electric car instead of a manly Hummer 3,  factory modified to burn coal.

Ideology before reality unfortunately has become a trend.  Perhaps it always was so, at least for a certain segment of the population.  I would love to yearn for a time past where people studied the evidence and reached rational conclusions on issues, using their new found knowledge to update their ideological worldview, rather than the tragic mirror image that seems so common today, but I question if any such time actually existed.    If there is any sort of silver lining to this cloud that interferes with rational policy debate, it would be the unintentional comedy that results when people hostile to science try to claim a scientific basis for their ideological beliefs.  Listening to a young earth creationist explain how the scientific evidence really does support a global flood a few thousand years in the past is practically identical to hearing a satirist skewer the same beliefs.  There is a reason Poe has a law. The denialist doesn’t care if the scientifically literate thinks his arguments are insane.  They only have to make sense to him, because scientific arguments are just accessories to the ideological certainty.

Today we will travel to the Kentucky state legislature to learn a bit about the climate on other planets in our solar system.  Why Kentucky?  Because it may be the only place in the nation where this specific fact can be learned.  No university or high school teaches this bit of trivia, yet here in the Kentucky state Senate, Sen. Brandon Smith is straight up schooling people during a hearing on climate change:

“As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

There is nothing at all I could possibly add to that.  That is a State Senator.  An elected official.  As Ed Brayton points out in his post:

Smith has been elected to the Kentucky House four times and the Kentucky Senate twice.

That, my friends, is weapon grade idiocy.

 

What Part of Cosmos Will Deal With This?As th

As readers of my blog are no doubt aware, the “Letters to the Editor” section of my local fishwrap is one of my daily must-reads.  Sadly, the section has been a bit boring recently, with a distinct lack of letters that I suspect arrived at the paper scrawled in crayon.    Thankfully someone at the Altoona Mirror decided to emulate a Mr. Timberlake, only instead of sexy, they chose to bring the crazy back.

Before I let the writer’s words speak for themselves, I want to point out that as far as I can figure out, this was sent in response to nothing in particular.  No, this bit of pseudo scientific religious babble appeared out of the blue, lurking on the Opinion page, laying in wait for an innocent rational person to read, leading no doubt to countless spit-takes, face palms, and catastrophic head explosions.

I warn you.  If you are drinking a tasty beverage while reading today, finish swallowing before you go any further.  Cleaning coffee off of monitors is no fun at all.  With that out of the way, on to the “Wait, What?!?” goodness.  (I was thinking about responding to this letter, but other than “you are so wrong you aren’t even wrong” I don’t even know where to start.)

Science Lesson

For years now, scientists have been trying to find the elusive “dark matter,” which they claim comprises over 90 percent of the universe.

They are also seeking the answer to why the galaxies are accelerating outward instead of slowing down from the big bang.

It just so happens that their dark matter is a globe of water surrounding the heavens.

It is the mass contained in this water that is providing the gravitational pull on the galaxies, causing their acceleration.

It is also possible that this water has frozen into a solid dome and, therefore, cannot collapse on itself. This would then provide a stable frame of reference until the galaxies reach it and their energy starts to melt it.

This approach not only makes sense logically. It is described in the very first chapter of the greatest textbook ever written.

Thomas J. Harclerode

Everett

I think it is safe to say I speak for the entire rational community when I respond, “Wait…..What!?!?!”

Sorry Sean, Young Earth Creationism IS a Religious Belief

After Bill “The Science Guy” Nye’s debate with Ken “The Bible is All the Science I Need” Ham, Sean McElwee wrote a piece for the Salon that, while also taking a cheap shot at so-called “New Atheists”,  made the claim that Young Earth Creationism is not a religious belief.

In a much-hyped event live-streamed last night, “Science Guy” Bill Nye set out to defend evolution in a debate with Ken Ham, the CEO of Kentucky’s Creation Museum. But there was a fundamental problem: Ham’s young-earth creationism is not a religious belief, and it certainly is not scientific. To put it bluntly, it is quackery.

While I have no argument with McElwee that YEC is quackery, claiming that it is not a religious belief is laughable.  I honestly do not even believe McElwee believes it, but it fits his pro-religion stance better if he can claim it is not a religious belief.

This is a common tactic of religious apologists.  Anything good and moral is due to religious beliefs, anything bad or immoral is due to either a persons base instincts or incorrect interpretations of religious doctrine.  Helping the homeless?  Religion.  Suicide bombings?  Incorrect interpretation.  Feeding the hungry?  Religion.  Hating homosexuals?  Misreadings of the Bible.  You can only follow this path so far.  You can argue that you can be a practicing Christian while accepting homosexuals as moral members of society.  You can not argue that Leviticus 20:13* is neutral on the issue.

I would challenge those with this opinion to produce a believer in YEC who does not believe for a religious reason, but in all actuality, it doesn’t matter if they can or not.  The only reason the vast majority of YEC’s believe in it is due to their religious beliefs.  Michael Luciano takes on McElwee’s argument, also at the Salon:

While creationism is certainly quackery, I take issue with the idea that it is not a religious belief. Creationism is a religious belief by definition. It is the idea that god created the universe and animals in their current form less than 10,000 years ago. This may not be McElwee’s belief, but it is certainly the belief of Ham and millions of other Christians. If McElwee truly believes that young earth creationism is not a religious belief, I challenge him to produce a scientist who rejects the creation account in Genesis, but is nonetheless a young earth creationist.

……

The accomodationist tendency to insist that manifestations of religion that they dislike aren’t actually religious in nature is both wrong and dangerous. Accomodationists want us to believe that religious people who are morally upstanding are that way because of their religion. Yet at the same time, they take great pains to explain that those religious people who do harm actually do so for reasons other than their faith, or because they fundamentally misinterpret the underpinnings of their religion.

The only thing being misinterpreted here is the essential nature of religion. Humans can be irrational enough without adding highly subjective doctrines and moral codes into the mix. As the physicist Steven Weinberg once said of religion, “With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

You can’t religion when you like the result, and deny it when you don’t.  When you take religion, you have to take the condemnation of non-believers into the lake of fire along with the blessed are the meek’s.

 

*The text of Leviticus 20:13, NIV:

13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”