Pro-choice IS Pro-life

June 22, 2018

About a decade ago, I wrote a post Why Pro-Choice is Pro-Life. It wasn’t very detailed. Though, some good stuff came up in the comments.

Given the extremism in the U.S. today, I think this topic requires a much more detailed and well-thought out post. This post contains information that may be relevant anywhere, but is deliberately U.S. focused. I am a U.S. citizen. I am seeing increasing extremism in my country. I am appalled by the treatment of women in the U.S. today. Increasingly, we are passing legislation that turns women into incubators. I only wish that The Handmaid’s Tale were more far-fetched than it actually is.

These days, I’m even seeing people on the reddit sub /r/atheism arguing from a non-religious standpoint about why they think the anti-choice stance makes sense. I can’t understand that and want to have an answer on hand ready to explain all of the very many reasons why the so-called pro-life but really pro-fetus, anti-choice, and anti-woman stance is horrifically cruel and cannot be supported rationally.

Read the rest of this entry »


Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

April 1, 2017

Watch the 2017 Asimov Debate from the American Museum of Natural History. It was a great one. I did not expect the answer to the question of whether we can do this. No spoiler from me. Settle down for a couple of hours with a good drink for this one.

This debate discusses a wide variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms, agriculture, environmentalism, extinction, quality of DNA from preserved extinct animals, morality, animal welfare, legal issues, etc.

For a sample, just consider the question, if we brought back a mammoth (or mammophant) from extinction, is it automatically an endangered species? What is its “natural range”? What are its natural habitat and food? Is it moral to bring back a species adapted to the arctic in an age of climate change?

P.S. Neil is a bit out of his element on this first Asimov Debate that is NOT related to cosmology, astronomy, or astrophysics in any way. But, as he points out Isaac Asimov wrote about a variety of sciences, some of which did not even really exist at the time he wrote about them, such as robotics. So, de-extinction is perfectly within lines to honor the late Isaac Asimov who spent many hours at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Enjoy.


Humor: Two New Borowitz Reports: Obama’s Citizenship & Virulent Humans

September 17, 2016

Emotional Obama Tearfully Thanks Trump for Granting Him Citizenship

WordPress seems to want some text between these links.

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

“Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen”

Perhaps. Or, we’ll become less resistant to facts by being less alive.


NPR: Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?

August 23, 2016

I’m glad to see this question becoming more public. Though it seems to still be considered radical. It is one of many factors that went into my (and my wife’s) decision not to have children decades ago.

Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?

P.S. I should really correct my statement above. Neither I nor my wife ever really wanted children. But, while we were still of breeding age and before my vasectomy, when we’d hear a wailing infant, we’d make comments like “Reason number 837 not to have kids.” But, we’d also make comments on hearing about overpopulation or some environmental crisis, especially climate change and ocean acidification, like “won’t be our kids dealing with this.” Actually, we still make such comments.


Proof of Evolution in our Vestiges

March 20, 2016

I doubt I get many readers who doubt evolution. But, some of these are kind of cool and might help if you end up debating nutjobs who think we were created by God in our present state sometime after the actual human invention of agriculture.


New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

September 30, 2015

Since, to my knowledge, the buildup of the amyloids is also an issue in Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Chorea, I would hope that this treatment might also help with those conditions as well.

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

P.S. Do remember that until this treatment exists for humans, and possibly even after, studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee does dramatically reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Prevention may still win, even with a 75% effective treatment.


Created in His/Her Image … Noodly Apendages and all

August 17, 2015

Is the intelligence and complexity of the members of the cuttlefish family (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) proof of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

No.

But, it sounded like a good introduction to a highly interesting article about the complexity of the octopus genome, the mapping of it, and the intelligence of this family of creatures.

Enjoy.

Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence


Reversible Male Birth Control Without Condoms by 2017

September 11, 2014

I had to add reversible to my title because I’ve been using condomless male birth control since 2001.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/09/we-ll-have-male-birth-control-by-2017.html

Read the rest of this entry »


Why is there someting rather than nothing?

July 14, 2014

This is probably the best explanation of this going around. It is lengthy but highly worth watching.

“God is unnecessary or at best redundant.” Great quote and well demonstrated in the more than an hour lead up.


Humanity: Guilty as Charged on at least 177 Counts of Megafauna Speciescide

June 9, 2014

Photo credit: Jennifer Carole via flickr

There has long been a scientific debate about what caused all of the extinctions that just seemed to follow humans wherever we went. Some said climate changes, despite the same species of animals having survived about a half dozen such changes previously. To me it has long been obvious that those arguing that we were innocent were simply insufficiently misanthropic and were in denial. Most scientists from whom we hear tend to be human themselves after all.

Now there’s a new study showing, of course, that we’re guilty as charged on all counts. And, this is just the relatively large species. It’s not even counting all the cute little critters we bulldoze over before we even know they’re there. OK, the speciescides referenced here predate bulldozers. So, maybe we didn’t kill off as many little species when we were still using clovis point weaponry, not as many as we are now anyway.

Anyone still wondering why I hate our species?

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/humans-not-climate-change-blame-ice-age-animal-extinction


Creationist Gives Huge Grant to Science University; What Does This Mean For the Future?

May 30, 2014

Lately we seem to be constantly confronted with examples of religion creeping in and trying to infringe on our science education. The latest I have come across is a young earth creationist donating a huge grant to a technical and scientific university. What’s more worrisome is that this university is a leading educator of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers. Will this donation influence the curriculum of this university is the big question. And, what does accepting this money say about the university and their commitment to real science? I guess for organizations that accept grants, money is always taken no matter what the source or any potential consequences may be.

I personally find this very disturbing.

Greg Gianforte is an alumnus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is also a presumed young earth creationist who helped fund a creationist museum in Glendive Montana. And, now he’s funding Stevens Institute of Technology, among other things, a leading educator of our STEM educators.

So, what does it mean when the largest donation by a living donor in the history of Stevens Institute of Technology, $10 million, is being given to the institution by a presumed young earth creationist who also funded a museum that teaches that humans and non-avian dinosaurs coexisted in a world that is less than 10,000 years old?

Read the rest of this entry »


Observed Evolution In Recent History

April 23, 2014

I had no idea there were this many examples of evolution caught in the act in a human time frame. I had heard of 3, the recent finch evolution in the Galapagos, the recent lizard evolution on Cypress, and the color change of butterflies (or was it moths) during the industrial revolution when tree bark blackened from coal soot.

Anyway, this is a great page full of examples, including new speciation and even whole new organs evolving. Cool stuff.

http://phylointelligence.com/observed.html

If anyone actually asks you “were you there?” The correct answer is “Yes. I was there.”


Natural Selection: 2 Faith: 0 — Walk on Water? Fail. Lion’s Den? Fail.

January 5, 2014

I will be the first to admit that there are intelligent people of faith. These two shall not be numbered among them.

Pastor Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus, Then Drowns in Front of His Congregation

Read the rest of this entry »


Real Life Dr. Doolittle? At What Level Can Humans and Animals Communicate?

December 22, 2013

I have aspects of this on which I am skeptical. So, please don’t take this video as something I believe 100%. That said, it is quite impressive. To avoid any chance of spoiling the video, I will reserve any comments I have until at least some of my regular readers have viewed the video. I am very curious to hear your opinions.


My Halloween Costume is Scarier

October 31, 2013

For this Halloween, I’m going dressed as the scariest monster in the roughly half-billion year history of multicellular life on this planet. I’m not including a picture of the costume. I’ll leave that to the imagination of the reader.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dancing Baby Stingrays, Too Cute Not To Post

July 23, 2013

I just had to post this. These guys are too cute for words. Anyone know what the “feet” really are and why stingrays have ’em? I don’t.

Enjoy.


Fun Fact: Humans are Deuterostomes

June 11, 2013

Of course, some people never get past this phase. Others probably think that of me. But, I’m the kind of asshole who doesn’t give a shit about those assholes.


Open Letter to Politicians Re: Climate Change Urgency & Carbon Tax

October 11, 2012

250 million years ago, this planet suffered the greatest mass extinction of multicellular life in the long history of the planet. The ocean conveyor current stopped. The ocean became anoxic, meaning it had little or no oxygen. Fish died; sulfur producing bacteria thrived. As the anoxic layer of the ocean reached the surface, hydrogen sulfide gas was released into the atmosphere in toxic quantities. The sky turned green. The mass extinction was brought onto land.

95% of all species on the planet died. This was due to global warming.*

Read the rest of this entry »


Impeach Congressman Paul Broun

October 7, 2012

Congressman Paul Broun has publicly stated that he is deliberately failing to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America. As such, he should be forcibly removed from office for the failure to follow his oath of office. Here is a direct quote from this idiot who has proclaimed that the earth is 9,000 years old, and that evolution, the big bang theory, and embryology are lies straight from the pit of hell.

As you congressman, I hold the holy bible as being the major directions to me for how I vote in Washington DC. And, I’ll continue to do that.

Paul Broun’s act of legislating based on his personal religious beliefs is in direct contradiction to this famous quote.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….

Read the rest of this entry »