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Creationists are griping about not getting equal time to respond to the new science series on Fox, a remake of Carl Sagan's original Cosmos. One anonymous email I received complained that the program came out swinging hard in episode two. Sure, if "swinging hard" means a lucid, engaging explanation of the core principle of selection and its central role in biological evolution. The National Center for Science Education posted a concise rebuttal here:
But through the relentless efforts of its champion, Seth MacFarlane, the show was funded and produced ...

It’s remarkable that so many creationists evangelize the virtues of the competitive “free market” except when it comes to what someone else creates, in which case they demand a “tax” of equal time. Expend your effort and risk your fortune to create a science show, and there’s a creationist with his hand in your pocket demanding his share.

The mind reels with satire, how absurdly fun it would be, if everything got equal time for free! Why in some revisions, the Confederacy could finally prevail, assuming the British still let us win the earlier Revolutionary War ...
  • If you're starting a garden this Spring, consider weeding the old fashion way: by pulling them out, before using popular products containing bee-killing ingredients.
  • Speaking of equal time, we talked a little about the scientific implausibility of a recent global flood last week. It turns out Glenn Beck also objected to the film Noah, saying it was disinformation. Others worry this particular Noah, played by Russel Crowe, is portrayed as caring too much about the planet and animals, but not enough about the millions of people condemned to death by drowning.
  • A new study by the CDC finds about one child in 68 exhibit some signs potentially placing them somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Oy vey, Donald Trump weighs in on vaccines ...
  • Speaking of wrong ideas, a recent paper examining conspiracy theorists stirred up a ruckus when it reported an overabundance of Libertarians among the sampled CT crowd. You know what happened next:
    Oh, how they howled. Even libertarians seem to be embarrassed at being affiliated with libertarians, I guess. And conspiracy theorists, too? Why, the accusation itself is clearly evidence that there’s a conspiracy out to get them. They protested that because the respondents to the survey all found it through mainstream science blogs, all the responses were false flag operations put out by Big Climate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I thought the Confederacy did prevail. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:03:56 AM PDT

  •  I'm suing my schools and sending all my old test (15+ / 0-)

    papers back in to be regraded. Wrong answers are just as good as right ones! Because the Bible!

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:04:57 AM PDT

    •  more alike than different (0+ / 0-)

      religion treats their bibles as absolutes not to be questioned

      science treats materialism as an absolute not to be  questioned which of course goes against the very definition of science.

      it is a human condition that has its home in the fragile ego

      two sides of the same coin and neither side has a clue they share the  same coin

      Nikola Tesla's warning, "The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena (*the paranormal), it will make more progress in one decade than in all previous centuries of its existence.”

      •  the difference--science can test and verify (4+ / 0-)

        its conclusions.

        If you doubt me--if you think science's pronouncements are just materialist ideology and no more valid than religion's--then let me drive you to a bridge so you can declare to the whole world that the scientific laws of gravity are just ideological materialism, then prove your point by stepping off.

        I got the keys anytime you're ready.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks DarkSyde (21+ / 0-)

    Stupid & evil is given equal time is why we can't have nice things.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:05:09 AM PDT

  •  The Brainwashed do not deserve any time. (8+ / 0-)

    Just because someone was brainwashed, and they  truly believe in magic, it does not mean they deserve any amount of time to broadcast their belief's.

    The sane need to shut out the insane.  

    Religion has a way of slowly brainwashing the innocent, and the needy.  It usually requires adults bringing in their children at a very young age, before they can recognize fact from fiction.  

    These now full grown adults, have had years of religion pumped into their heads, and even they fully know a woman actually does require sperm to give birth, somehow they forgive that part of science, and claim it to be false science.   That is brainwashing.  

    So, the brainwashed now want their version of "Magic" to get equal time.    No.  How about equal taxes ?

    It's time to reject Religion.   We are in the early stages of a planetary crisis, and   Magic isn't going to solve this. Science can though, and it's time for the Sane to denounce those who reject science.  There's not need to be polite.  Call them out.    Yes, Sperm is necessary with Birth.  There is no need to pretend any longer.  It's 2014 not 1514.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:09:10 AM PDT

    •  "Brainwashing" a brain that is susceptable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9

      As you may be aware, there's emerging speculation that a susceptibility for religious/spiritual beliefs may be selected for by evolution in humans (see Michael Shermer's "The Believing Brain", among others).

      I know many, many who have found a reasonable balance between their scientific/logical views and their spirituality, including close family and friends. For the record, I fall strongly on the side of science, and have a very big problem with the Republican embrace of anti-science, "equal time for" creationism, global warming denial, etc. But I don't mind enjoying the "magic" of an emotional sunset, an aboriginal coming-of-age dance or a hand-holding prayer ahead of a religious friends' dinner.

      Is a little religion/spirituality like a gateway drug? Could be (although I disagree that marijuana is a gateway drug... but that's a whole different story). But in my empirical experience, cutting religion/spirituality out of people's lives can be destructive. A number of kids I know, brought up without structured religion, ended up in cults... some are still there (including one on a farm in Montana awaiting the "imminent Martian invasion").

      "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

      by GoodGod on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Religion is a platform for organizing people (0+ / 0-)

        and moving them in certain intellectual directions and for networking, neither good nor bad.  Individuals within religion choose to act and proselytize in ways that can be either constructive or aberrant and destructive, as in snake handlers, funeral demonstraters, etc.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:02:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  examples: Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr, or (5+ / 0-)

          Rev Barry Lynn, founder of Americans United For Separation of Church And State.

          I have never understood the propensity of the more militant atheists to attack religious people who support our fight against creationism and theocracy. In a political fight, one attacks people on the OTHER side.  Attacking people on OUR side is . . . well . . .  kinda stupid.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most sensible people who attack "religion" for its (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aunt Pat

            fantasies, fictions, and other nonsense are not "atheists".  Indeed, your own posting here gives evidence of that.

            But, my question is, simply, WHY are those for whom "religion" does not include the ridiculousness of such as Pat Robinson, Fred Phelps, "creation science", et. al., so constantly "meek, mild, and milk-soppy" as to be almost NEVER heard telling the world about THEIR approaches to the "religious" fanatics' constant insistence that some "god" or other has appointed them to always be  running everyone else's life, and having a nose in everyone else's bedroom?

            IF you really are "fighting against creationism and theocracy", that is.  IF you see it as a "political fight", WHERE is YOUR "attack" on the "OTHER side"?

            •  Yeah, I don't get Lenny's assertion at ALL (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JerryNA

              Atheists attacking anti-creationist allies? Where does that happen anyway?

              I'm an atheist and I attack science-stupidity and in particular, creationism where it occurs. I THINK I have enough sense to see that Christians, Muslims, etc still have brains and are only irrational in one dimension.

              When the religionists pitch their brains in the toilet and go after science, I go after them.

              What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

              by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:27:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you're kidding, right . . . . .? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RonK
                Atheists attacking anti-creationist allies? Where does that happen anyway?
                That silly infighting has been a problem for the entire anti-creationist movement ever since I first got involved with it way back in 1982.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:54:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I must spend my time on the wrong sites (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  navane50mg

                  but no, I am not kidding. You may simply be more sensitive to it than I which is also not a problem with me.

                  Anti-creationist MOVEMENT? WTF are you talking about?

                  What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                  by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:05:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  you'd have to ask someone who believes in a god (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonK

              which rules me out.  (shrug)

              But you seem to have utterly missed my point.  Religious people who support us against the creationists and the theocrats are on our side.

              How does fighting against people who are on our side, help us in any way?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:53:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm always cautious about things... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that are recent and have the word "movement" in their self-chosen title.

            It didn't used to be that way.  Civil rights movement.  Great.  

            But the subsequent use of that word (e.g. "conservative movement")  can also signal authoritarian tendencies.  Including internal competition to see who can be the most "pure" (i.e. extreme), purity tests, slogan repetition as a substitute for reasoning, and intense hostility not only toward those most opposed to the "movement", but also for the "most similar competing movement".

            Nobody is less religious than I am; I tried to be religious and failed.

            I sometimes seem to pick up authoritarian tendencies in the "atheist movement" though.  Intense hostility directed at otherwise similar "nice" liberal religious or religion tolerant people, rather than at the religious right?  Check.  Repetition of ambiguous slogans introduced by leaders as a frequent substitute for reasoned discourse?  Check.   Conscious or unconscious tendency to expel/repel all except the most "pure"?  Check.  (Yet also with abundant whining that they can't attract "enough women" to their events.)

            I probably started a flame war here, but this is my subjective perception, and unjustifiably enraged flame comments are only going to support, not reduce it.  If someone has calm, civil arguments that my perception is wrong, I'm open to reading them.

            •  Not being religious is not "failure" however (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JerryNA
              Intense hostility directed at otherwise similar "nice" liberal religious or religion tolerant people
              I just don't see that, either here on DKos or elsewhere. I think of the deeply religious as only slightly deranged. They are not failures as people and they are deserving of respects.

              Those who would deny respect to others, irrationally, are not deserving of such but I don't believe they should die or suffer, say.

              GW Bush is a perfect example: a loathsome, vile, murderous religionist. Do I wish him dead? In pain or suffering? Of course not.

              What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

              by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:47:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  indeed, the militant fundies and the militant (0+ / 0-)

              atheists are much more alike than either would care to admit.  They're both intolerant pricks who can't stand the mere presence of opinions about religion different than their own, and who won't rest until everyone accepts their opinion.

              Same birds, different feathers.

              And before people start pitching their anti-religion sermons at me, I do not assert or accept the existence of any gods, goddesses or any other supernatural entity of any sort in any way whatsoever.  So spare me your sermons.

              But that was not really my point--my point is brutally practical. The fundies are trying to impose theocracy on us all. The non-fundie religions are helping us fight against the fundies. So what good does it do to attack the non-fundies who are on our side? How does it help us?

              (I do of course recognize that the intolerant wing of the atheists are not in fact fighting that same fight--they are waging a holy war of their own, and our anti-creationist fight just happens to be in the line of fire for them.)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:59:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No sperm necessary for a birth ? (0+ / 0-)

                Don't worry so much about how your life is now, when you die, and go to the other side you will be greeted by an angel, and you will have a MANSION with your name on the door.
                Don't worry so much about this life of yours.  When you die, there will be 72 virgins waiting for you.

                Jesus was born, without sperm.

                Don't forget, I include ALL religion in my believe, that they are brainwashed.  

                Religion has been on the attack of sane people.   Religion has now infected our Supreme court.  Religion has attacked women's rights, and their freedom to choose what they do with their own body.  

                Religion is not a "Club" where people meet and hang out and help each other, and have nice dinners, that can be church or an orgy for all I care.  Religion is what is saying don't worry about the planet, when you die, you will be in a better place.

                " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

                by EarTo44 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:17:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Do textbooks in religious schools (7+ / 0-)

    teach evolution?

    No snark, genuinely curious.

    If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

    by trillian on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:09:20 AM PDT

  •  Pulling weeds is excellent exercise! (11+ / 0-)

    Handy tip: Many weeds have a fat tap root like a small carrot or parsnip, or just a strong central root centered rosette (henbit comes to mind). If you get a straight clawed, "framing" hammer, you can pop those stubborn roots right out with the claw, and you're aerating as you go. Sometimes a hoe is good, sometimes it actually damages the soil and makes the problem worse.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:10:19 AM PDT

  •  The problem is that ignorant rich guys like ... (14+ / 0-)

    Donald Trump think that because they are really 'huge" their opinions on something that they know nothing about is as good someone who has researched a subject for decades and who has reams of real data.

    You simply cannot argue with people like that! See:

    Kruger, J. and D. Dunning.  1999.  Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessment.  J. Personality Social Psychol.  77(6): 1121-1134.  

  •  Libertarians vs. the tin-foil hat brigade (3+ / 0-)

    They're no true Scotsmen!

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:22:08 AM PDT

  •  Error in article (7+ / 0-)
       If you're starting a garden this Spring, consider weeding the old fashion way: by pulling them out, before using popular products containing bee-killing ingredients.
    It's pesticides that kill bees. Herbicides kill weeds (plants). The chemical causing bee die-offs is a pesticide.

    Herbicides have their own issues, plenty of them, but mass bee die-off isn't one of them.

    Suggest rewording as

    "    If you're starting a garden this Spring, consider alternate forms of pest control before using popular products containing bee-killing ingredients."

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:22:48 AM PDT

  •  my goodness--two FP diaries in one day attacking (8+ / 0-)

    the anti-science CT kookers.

    Y'all must be gluttons for punishment today . . . . .

    ;)

    Sadly, our side is not any more immune to CT nuttery and anti-science nonsense than the wingnuts are.

    The good part, though, is that while the rightwing nutters get to make policy, our nutters just get laughed at.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:26:29 AM PDT

    •  Science is like sooo unmellow and unatural. (5+ / 0-)

      It corrupts us and leads us astray from nature and womyn's natural magick..... :)

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:37:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most of our anti-science fringers seem to be (8+ / 0-)

        motivated by an anti-corporation ideology that has run away with their brains, until they now see corporate plots behind every tree. Kind of a reverse Bircher/McCarthyism.

        Being anti-corporation myself, I just try my best to separate myself from the CT paranoids. And of course laugh at their idiotic accusations that I'm a paid shill for Monsanto or Pfizer or TEPCO or Exxon or whoever. (I worked for Greenpeace and Earth First!, for fucksakes.)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:44:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I worked for the Westhouse Nuclear Support Div. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ebohlman

          Waaaaay back when.

          I own three of four mid-century Westy fans for kitsch value. "If it really blows, it must be Westinghouse!"

          Otherwise, I was drawing what would now be called Atom Punk back in the '80s. The No Nukes Hippie holdouts that dominated fandom and prodom back then didn't exactly see eye to eye. Ask Polli Phemus....

          "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

          by Stude Dude on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:25:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I lived near Three Mile Island in 1979 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, ebohlman, JerryNA

            and, although my focus throughout the 80's was more on the nuclear-weapons-freeze movement, I also was part of the anti-nuclear-energy group.

            So consider me a proud No Nukes Tree-Hugging Hippie. Far-out, man.  ;)

            Though it pains me always to see some of the silly anti-science crapola that gets tossed out by some of the folks on the same side as me (idiotic horseshit like "the whales are fleeing to California to get away from the Fukushima radiation!!!!"). Too many folks on my side, alas, apparently flunked fourth grade science. (And of course it's very annoying to have them all accuse me of working for TEPCO whenever I point out that such arguments are idiotic, make us look like uneducated dolts, and don't help us at all.)

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:05:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Um (0+ / 0-)
      "our side is not any more immune to CT nuttery and anti-science nonsense than the wingnuts are."
      "this evidence free claim not brought to you by science."
      •  um . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebohlman, JerryNA

        You should read some of the comments in the last couple of "This Week In Science" diaries . . . And you may want to check out some of the GMO and nuke diaries, too . . . In fact, if you wait a while, our CT anti-science kookers will no doubt be here in this diary, too. (And of course at least one has already shown up.)

        DKos may be reality-based, but sadly many of its members are not.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:28:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

          My point was that making a claim such as that there is an equal occurrence of people with said beliefs with both political leanings is a statement of fact, that, if true, should be backed up by data. As far as I know, there isn't any scientifically proven basis for an equal distribution of anti-science beliefs across the political spectrum at this point.

          •  see that word "equal"? I didn't use it. you did. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman

            So don't paint me with your brush.

            But if you think our end of the political spectrum is any more immune to anti-science CT kookers, you are very selective in your vision.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:51:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It is important, though (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA

          to distinguish between blog commenters, street preachers, mass-media pundits and other self-selected voices, and those who hold actual power.

          It's also important to realize that we humans have a cognitive bias that causes us to mistakenly assume that the more a particular group of people talk, the more representative their opinions are (see the second pilot episode of the PBS restaurant-review show "Check Please", which led to rules require that each of the three reviewers get equal talk time).

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:52:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, creationists, you first. (12+ / 0-)

    You want to bring up equal time, then you need to give scientists (actual scientists, not people you claim are scientists but don't actually study and publish for peer review in scientific journals) time on the fifteen or so Christian tv channels that I see here up on DirecTV.

    No matter how much you want it to be so, Goddidit is not science.

    •  Except they don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob, The Old Grouch

      You've got two people you've never heard of before--Janet Medford and Danny Faulker--and not one them once says they want equal time on Cosmos, in academia, or in any other secular enterprise.  That's not to say that they wouldn't love it, but the obvious point is that they don't expect it.  And they're making that point because their business model is to define the fight as one between sneering secularists and good, old fashioned evangelicals for their audience (Christian radio listeners).  Seems the other side has no problem playing that role on cue.

  •  It's kind of interesting (4+ / 0-)

    That Uncle Rupert doesn't give the Fundies equal time since he's Mister Right Wing Yellow Journalism.

    Although, I have a suspicion that the Poe's Law folks are are starting to be a boat anchor after all these years of being useful idiots and need to be cast aside.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:35:04 AM PDT

  •  What if God said that the "Big Bang" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, tampaedski

    is what happened when He said "Let there be light?"  Don't forget that God might not be using a 24 hour clock as we know it thus billions of years to us might be only a day to Him.

    •  There are people who believe just that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Old Grouch, JerryNA

      At the very least, that's the Vatican's position.  Of course at that point people are just shoehorning God into the gaps of scientific knowledge.  I'd respect Christians apologists more if they accepted a sufficiently awesome, supernatural God that did exactly what Genesis describes him as doing.  I'd be even more impressed if they could describe such feats in natural terms.  I wouldn't consider their speculation fact, but it would make for one hell of a story if they sketch out a plausible plot and setting.

    •  See "Genesis and the Big Bang" (0+ / 0-)

      By Gerald Schroeder if your interested in this idea.

      Basically

      - Big Bang = "God created heaven and earth"
      - Inflation = "The Spirtit of God blew over the waters"
      - Decoupling of Light/Matter = "Let there be light"

  •  Libertarianism is the most adolescent of political (9+ / 0-)

    philosophies (IMO, of course.)  I'm not surprised by the numbers believing CTs since CTs are symptomatic of solipsism and narcissism, practically the key tenets of libertarian thinking.

    (Ducking)

    ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:41:10 AM PDT

  •  Give the creationists equal time! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, The Old Grouch

    Let them produce their version of Cosmos, complete with Jesus riding a dinosaur into Jerusalem.  In fact, run them back to back, and then give an hour for each side to respond to the others show.

    Let em go idea to idea.  The science of billions of galaxies billions of light-years away VS, stars on a spherical firmament created 6000 years ago.

    If the public cant's see the difference between ridiculous absurdities and the solid facts and logic of science, we don't stand a f$%*^ng chance of survival anyway.

    •  Too much of the public last had one science class (0+ / 0-)

      in high school, and forgot most of it. Too much of the public was "educated" by fundies who skipped past the parts of science that conflict with their creationist religion (i.e. most of science). Too much of the public can be fooled by crap masked as science because they never learned critical thinking skills.

  •  What creationists are griping? (0+ / 0-)

    Danny Faulkner didn't complain about not getting equal time.  He did make the case that Cosmos is a secular show that is dismissive of creationism--it is--on a radio station that caters to Christian listeners.  He did not, however, demand equal time on Cosmos or any other forum.

    Why is this important?  Two reasons.  One, as others have pointed out AIG makes money when there's controversy in the water.  Personally, I don't care if creationists do well in their infotainment pursuits, but that seems to be a concern for many people opposed to their viewpoint.  Second, the childish sneering I've seen since the Bill Nye debate (which has picked up considerably since the debut of Cosmos) is starting to rub me the wrong way.  And what's more petty than manufacturing a pie fight out of whole cloth?  That's some Gawker bullshit.

    •  Creationists have been trying to get "equal time" (0+ / 0-)

      in the science classroom since the 1970's. Then it morphed into "Intelligent Design" after creationism was ruled as religion.  Then ID was outed in a court as a simple cut-and-paste edit of creationism and also ruled as religion, not science (Dover case). Fundies have been trying to push science out and religion into science textbooks for decades, especially in Texas and Kansas.

      Equal time? Creationists want to be the ONLY message, since, well, forever. Where have you been?

      •  In the present, in this diary (0+ / 0-)

        dealing with the claim that Danny Faulkner demanded equal time on Cosmos--which he did not.

        Where have you been?

        •  You are making up your own argument and then (0+ / 0-)

          shooting it down. The diarist never said that Danny Faulkner asked for equal time on Cosmos. (I will note Faulkner gets plenty of press via the well funded AiG.) The diarist never mentioned Faulkner by name- the linked article did. The diarist mentioned an anonymous e-mail asked for rebuttal time. You mixed up the two and argued against them. Is that more to the point of your comment?

          •  My apologies (0+ / 0-)

            Didn't know DarkSyde was talking about an entirely different, as of yet unnamed creationist (or creationists) from the one actually mentioned in the linked article.  It was utterly ridiculous of me to assume he was referring to the only creationist named. Thank you for correcting me.

  •  Anybody ever see a real Scientist on TBN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, JerryNA

    schooling the assholes who were still wearing powder blue leisure suits in the 1990's or an Atheist on the 700 Club given equal time?

    Never.

    I'll take Cosmos.

    They can pound the sand they think is only a few thousand years old.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:55:48 AM PDT

    •  Well, CBN did have Francis Collins on (0+ / 0-)

      when he was nominated, so there's that.

      I think a better question is why scientists are opting out of outreach to the devout.  The popular hypothesis here is that traditionalists in general and evangelicals in particular are "wingnuts."  A less popular alternative is that scientific disciplines in general have become more hostile to the openly religious.  Depending on how quickly religiosity is declining, the point may or may not be moot, but the present result is that believers are becoming less and less scientifically astute.

  •  The rate of autism spectrum (6+ / 0-)

    "A new study by the CDC finds about one child in 68 exhibit some signs potentially placing them somewhere on the Autism spectrum."

    "The continuing increase in the percentage of kids diagnosed with autism could be due to better detection of the developmental disorder, Boyle said, but also might reflect an actual increase in autism."

    The article also notes that both - expanded diagnosis ("better detection") and increased incidence - could occur at the same time.

    The thing is that "autism spectrum", whether it's increasing or merely being increasingly diagnosed ('detected'), now includes numerous children with very mild problems.

    This is a substantial shift in the way we use the word in the medical profession, and it's causing significant public confusion.

    The public still associates "autism" with the very severe end of what is now the disorder spectrum.  To the average person, an "autistic" child is severely disabled.  If there is clear evidence that the severe end of the spectrum is increasing, I am not aware of it (but eager and willing to listen if others are).  At any rate, even if there is such evidence, by far most of the increased diagnoses fall on the milder end of autism spectrum.

    By no means am I arguing that it is wrong to expand the diagnostic spectrum of autism disorder.  That issue is outside my range of expertise anyway, and there are potential benefits from greater recognition of mild cases.

    But unless the terminology is better clarified, the CDC might as well be paying for anti-science anti-vaccination advertisements.  This number sounds shocking.  And it would be a near crisis if one in 68 children (which would amount to probably more than one in 40 male children) now had SEVERE autism.  Anti-vaccine cranks have made incredibly extensive use of the "one in 88" number.  Imagine how much air time they'll get now.

    The biomedical community needs to step up and fully clarify the shift in meaning of the term "autism", or maybe rename this spectrum of disorders.  Constantly reporting increased prevalence, without clarifying that much milder cases are being diagnosed than in the past, is confusing to the public.

    •  I've been told that I'm on the spectrum (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, jrooth, diggerspop, rbird, ebohlman

      When I find a new topic that interests me, I tend to go all-in with it for a little while, and devour as much information about it as I can find until I understand its basics. I always thought that was plain ole "curiosity", but apparently it is one of the indicators of Asperger's.

      And I've always preferred to curl up alone with a good book in my spare time. Which I always thought was plain ole "introverted", but apparently is another indicator.

      But then, I've always thought that "normal" is just a statistical abstraction that doesn't really exist, and EVERYONE is probably nutty in some way or another.  (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:14:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's an interesting question (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonK, ebohlman, RiveroftheWest

        "But then, I've always thought that "normal" is just a statistical abstraction that doesn't really exist, and EVERYONE is probably nutty in some way or another.  (shrug)"

        I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, although I came close to being one or the other back in my youth.

        The whole "definition of mental illness thing" is an interesting area.

        Obviously, certain "mental" disorders are as real and pathologic as any other medical disorder.  Bipolar disorder, the schizophrenia family, and major clinical depression, in their classical forms, for example.  They happen world-wide, they can be diagnosed with very good reliability considering the absence of lab tests or radiologic findings, they follow a predictable clinical course if untreated, and they respond to medications which, although imperfectly understood and discovered by chance (a common situation), can be seen to all have similar biochemical activity.  The typical patient lacks insight into the illness and may be resistant to treatment, but then usually prefers being treated to the illness.  That last feature is not as unique as it sounds, it's often challenging to convince some patients to face reality and accept treatment for any disorder that is not causing acute pain, even if lack of treatment will predictably lead to significant harm.

        On the other hand, of course, the "normal" range of anything can also just be defined as within so many standard deviations of some mean.  However, by that standard, LeBron James is a very "abnormal" man in many ways.  And if a population is devastated by an epidemic or famine, the population mean for many traits may be very undesirable.  Just because something is uncommon does not make it bad and just because it is common does not make it good.  Deviation from population mean is often a good way to set parameters for individual lab tests, but not a good way to define pathology.  

        For me, the test of whether something at least potentially falls in the purview of medicine is, crudely, the "asking for help" test.  If the patient, or people who care about the patient, or in some cases, fellow citizens with legitimate concerns, are asking for professional help, it's at least worth considering that the medical profession should apply our methods to the problem, whether its a funny looking mole that's growing rapidly, erectile dysfunction, or a pattern of behavior that seems to be out of the patient's voluntary control and clearly causing what a reasonable person, taking the view of an advocate for the patient, would view as significant harm.

        As far as your "Asperger" traits, I have the same traits, but have been specifically told that I am NOT Asperger spectrum (some years ago; perhaps I now qualify).  Those traits may have caused me trivial harm - I'm myopic, and might not be if I had read less - but generally they've completely voluntary.  I could go out bar-hopping any time I feel like it, instead of posting long comments about science on the internet.  Those traits definitely helped me, despite significant unrelated challenges, to improve my profession from dishwasher to something much more interesting and well-paying.  So I don't regard them as pathology.

    •  Don't get me wrong... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, RiveroftheWest

      ...I love the CDC.

      But...

      ...this survey, man, how can you trust something that throws up wildly different numbers for different states? 1:45 in one state, 1:150 in another?

      Plus, expanding the definition of autism into the "autism spectrum" makes me grit my teeth. At some point in this expansiveness, they'll start detecting the natural variability in personality and talent among humans.

      Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

      by rbird on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:00:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some would say that the latter has already (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, rbird, RiveroftheWest

        happened.

        As for the former, by far the most likely explanation is variablity in the quality of record-keeping. New Jersey, which is the 1-in-45 state, is known for having the most comprehensive special-education records in the country. Alabama, not so much.

        Before assuming that the state-by-state variation reflects environmental factors (e.g. NJ's large number of chemical plants), remember that Americans are a very mobile society and that where a kid was living at the time of the study may not be where he was living when he was a toddler (which is when autism usually becomes apparent) which may in turn not be where he was living while his mother was pregnant, and so on.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:04:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I understand what you're saying, but as someone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird

        who sees various "autism spectrum" traits in 3 generations of my own family -- my parents', my own and my children's -- I don't think it's wrong to note that most of these traits would just be considered "quirky" if not for the fact that my late brother was clearly a classic case of autism long before one ever heard the term.

        Most of our eccentricity goes unnoticed, but as autism awareness grows we're keenly aware that we "dodged the bullet" that clearly afflicted my brother.

  •  Great title! "Equal time for wrong answers." nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, RiveroftheWest
  •  The fundies don't know what to whine about-- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, Laconic Lib, JerryNA

    Noah isn't "biblical enough", or it's too pro environment.

    Sucks to be them, don't it.

    And dear Libertarians:  You lie down with dogs, don't be surprised you get fleas.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:24:54 AM PDT

  •  Creationism is a manifestation of the imagination. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diggerspop, JerryNA


    The next house I build will be a military industrial complex. It seems to be the only structure that is impervious to anything man, or nature, can throw at it.

    by glb3 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:46:51 AM PDT

  •  Question: why is Cosmos on Fox? I was struck (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, RiveroftheWest

    by Dr. Tyson's almost in-your-face view of religion, especially when he said, "Evolution is fact, not theory." It's long bewildered (and disgusted me) how Fox, which claims to be the airwaves' guardian of morality, is the creation of a bottom-feeder like Rupert Murdoch, and seems to specialize in shows that feature people screwing each other, literally and figuratively (funny how the Right apparently find none of that objectionable, isn't it?)

    Yet now, the Guardians have chosen to present a show unashamedly about SCIENCE, which as we know is the enemy of all that's good. It IS...........a PUZZLEMENT!

    •  Controversy gins up ratings, and Fox has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, RiveroftheWest

      been having some problems there.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:16:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Fox News" and "Fox Network" are two entirely (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, RonK, ebohlman, JerryNA, RiveroftheWest

      different animals.

      For NETWORK owes its very existence to "Married With Children" and "The Simpsons" . .  shows which conservatives hated with a passion and tried to get removed from the air.

      Fox News is the propaganda channel. Fox Network is the money-making channel.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      My understanding is, among other things, the series was backed by Seth MacFarlane.

    •  Because you'll watch it (0+ / 0-)

      no matter who's broadcasting it.  A better question is why Fox gave it the 9 PM EST time slot.

      •  I think many of us WANT to believe that if there (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rduran, JerryNA

        were good quality science/educational programming on TV, lots of people will watch it.  Alas, that experiment has already been done--when cable TV first took off, there was an explosion of niche channels for every possible interest, including educational nature and science channels like The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel.

        Alas, nobody watched them.

        And in a desperate move to attract viewers, those channels all began putting out whatever idiotic crap they thought people WOULD want to watch. Which is why we now have Honey Boo Boo and space aliens instead of "PaleoWorld".

        Face it, folks--not only are most Americans utterly pig-ignorant, but they are entirely happy to stay that way.  (shrug)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:56:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the defense of Americans (0+ / 0-)

          they've been told "learn only this much, go only this far, and that's okay."  Plus, television isn't exactly the best medium for education. Sure, we may look fondly on NOVA and Cosmos and Frontline and Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers and Reading Rainbow and the like, but we're pretty naive to think if sitting in front of an idiot box is going to produce a critically proficient population.

          Fortunately, we've got tons of other aids--overwhelmingly free and widely available to anyone with a few hours to spare and access to the Internet--for transmitting expertise.  

          •  but alas . . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rduran
            Fortunately, we've got tons of other aids--overwhelmingly free and widely available to anyone with a few hours to spare and access to the Internet--for transmitting expertise.  
            . . . we don't use them.

            Yes, ignorance is a correctable condition. But, sadly, it takes some effort to correct it. And effort is something Americans don't like.

            As for the Internet, yes, it allows us to reach more people today with a single blog post or website than a best-selling author could reach just thirty years ago. But, alas, nearly all of the Internet is crap, a much vaster wasteland of ignorance, prejudice and tinfoil-hattery than TV ever was. The Net has been just as much a boon to the fruitcakes and nutjobs as it has been to us--even more in fact, since now the kookers can reach entire audiences they could never reach before. Heck, the FPers here can't even post a science diary without attracting the lunatic fringe. And the vast majority of Americans are utterly unprepared to separate the reality from the nuttiness. Basically, most Americans just pick the stuff they WANT to believe, and write off all the rest. And the liberal end of the spectrum isn't immune to it either--we can see it here every day.

            Wherever we go, we are awash in ignorance.

            That does not bode well for the future of democracy.

            :(

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:39:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A bit too gloomy an outlook, I think (0+ / 0-)

              American democracy has survived two hundred years and an electorate that has only grown more educated in the duration.  Boomers, Gen-X and Millenials maybe whiny pissants compared to the generation which one World War II and put men on the moon, but in the median we're more literate, numerate, and less religious.

              •  I dare say there are plenty of people who aren't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rduran

                religious who are morons. Take "millennials": they're not religious, we read, but when I see them absorbed in their devices, and avoiding eye contact with actual people, and having the attention spans of fruit flies, it doesn't bode well.

                •  I wouldn't call them morons (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  Veritable passive aggressive pain-in-the-asses, maybe.  And then I'd kick myself in the pants for generalizing.  Millennials are pretty diverse when you get down to it.  For example, over half the men and women we sent to fight in Iraq and in the War on Terror are from this generation.  

                  •  VPAPITA it is, then. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rduran

                    I don't think of them as the ones we sent to Eyerack; I think of them as the pierced, earringed, goateed, unwashed, antisocial, foul-mouthed, Seth MacFarlane-worshiping jerks who know EVER SO MUCH MORE than their elders. My bad, as they'd say.

                •  The "Millennials" in my family, and the ones (0+ / 0-)

                  with whom I work, are smart, accomplished, hard-working and innovative. Not afraid to tackle any sort of job and get it done.

                  Of course there are lazy, dumb Millennials just as there are lazy, dumb individuals in every group you can name. And they spend a lot of time plugged in. But you're tarring with way too broad a brush here....

  •  What made Noah so special ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RhodeIslandAspie, JerryNA

    that he and his family lived, and everyone else was murdered?


    The next house I build will be a military industrial complex. It seems to be the only structure that is impervious to anything man, or nature, can throw at it.

    by glb3 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:53:00 AM PDT

  •  Next time I miss a math question (0+ / 0-)

    I am going to argue that my religious belief that pi is 3 is just as valid as the theory that it is closer to 3.14. Let's face it the theoretical value of pi is clearly irrational, and my theological value is affirmed by the word of God in the Bible.

    Sure my value for pi would have left Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 still floating out in space somewhere, but that has more to do with the miss guided notion that the world is older that 4,000 years than the true Biblical value of pi as 3.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

  •  Anyone here REALLY KNOW what CHRISTIANITY (0+ / 0-)

    IS?

    Anyone here ever studied CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY?

    Two basic fundamentals from which to begin:  We know nothing ABOUT God.  We KNOW God.

    And, one additional principle:  Everything WE say about God, HE IS NOT!

    ABSOLUTELY NO such hog-slops as "creationism/science/baloney" to be found anywhere therein.  And, NO such lawn fertilizer as "Biblical inerrancy, literal Biblical word for word history concerning events before human existence, et.al.", either.

    It IS NOT called "Roman" or "Protestant".  It IS, however, Christianity.

  •  Time Warner failure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    I live in Central Texas. I tried to watch Episode 2 on the On Demand channel, but it skipped Episode 2 and went straight to Episode 3.  Hmmm,...

  •  Please get your info straight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RhodeIslandAspie

    "If you're starting a garden this Spring, consider weeding the old fashion way: by pulling them out, before using popular products containing bee-killing ingredients."

    The linked article is a petition against pesticides, which is a good thing. Pesticides will not help ANYONE control WEEDS in their gardens. Herbicides do that. Herbicides are generally harmless to bees. Please, stop being hysterically ignorant.

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