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Profile Information

Name: Shane
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Somewhere in Texas
Home country: USA
Current location: What part of lost do you not understand?
Member since: Sat Apr 20, 2013, 03:29 AM
Number of posts: 2,134

About Me

Hi im Lost. In fact, I am pretty sure I made a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Anyone know the way to Cucamonga?

Journal Archives

Oklahoma students know less about evolution after Biology I than they did before taking it

A study published in the latest edition of Evolution: Education and Outreach demonstrated “the average student…completed the Biology I course with increased confidence in their biological evolution knowledge yet with a greater number of biological evolution misconceptions and, therefore, less competency in the subject.”

The study, conducted by Tony Yates and Edmund Marek, tested biology teachers and students in 32 Oklahoma public high schools via a survey the pair called “the Biological Evolution Literacy Survey.” The survey was administered to the teachers first, to get a benchmark of their grasp of evolutionary theory. The survey was then administered twice to the students — once before they took the required Biology I course, and once after they had completed it.

Yates and Marek found that prior to instruction, students possessed 4,812 misconceptions about evolutionary theory; after they completed the Biology I course, they possessed 5,072. Of the 475 students surveyed, only 216 decreased the number of misconceptions they believed, as opposed to 259 who had more of them when they finished the course than before they took it.

“There is little doubt,” they argued, “that teachers may serve as sources of biological evolution-related misconceptions or, at the very least, propagators of existing misconceptions.”

More at link.

NJ bank won’t notarize American Atheist documents for ‘personal reasons’

The managing director of American Atheists, Inc. reported on Tuesday that she was refused notary service at a TD bank in Cranford, NJ because of her atheist affiliation.

In a post on Facebook, Amanda Knief wrote, “I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and it pissed me off.”

According to Knief, she and American Atheists president David Silverman were in the process of getting documents notarized by one of the bank’s notaries public when the woman asked them what the documents were for.

“The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states,” wrote Knief. “So I told her what AA is about. She looked down, then looked at me and Dave Silverman and said she couldn’t sign the documents because of ‘personal reasons’ and went to find another notary who was eating his lunch to come do the authentications.”

More at link:


Wikipedia founder responds to woo petition

Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales this week sent a clear signal to skeptics who edit the user-created encyclopedia – he agrees with our focus on science and good evidence. He did this by responding firmly in the negative to a Change.org petition created by alternative medicine and holistic healing advocates. His response, which referred to paranormalists as “lunatic charlatans”, was widely reported on Twitter.

I’ve been recommending skeptics pay close attention to Wikipedia since the earliest days of this blog, almost six years ago. Susan Gerbic took up that gauntlet and created her wildly successful Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project.

In the last year or so, the success of Susan’s project has gotten many paranormal and alternative medicine advocates riled up. They’ve repeatedly floated conspiracy theories that skeptics are somehow rigging the game on Wikipedia, or even bullying opponents off the site. Even personalities like Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra have gotten involved. None of these accusations have been supported by facts, and both Sheldrake and Chopra have been subsequently embarrassed by their own supporters’ rule-breaking behavior on the service.

With this response, Wales makes clear what I have been saying all along – the rules of evidence on Wikipedia are pro-skeptic and pro-science. If you are pushing an idea that science rejects, Wikipedia will reject it too. Read on for Wales’ exact words…

More at the link:


For the love of all that is holy please make it stop!!!

Im being bombarded with ad after ad after ad for crazy, after nuts, after batshit fucking insane conservatives running for government one after another. Someone put me out of my misery.


They just ran ads for all three troglidytes running for attorney general followed by one for Greg Abbot. Please make it stop. Please...

Is belief and/or disbelief a choice?

Kind of got into this in another forum but I thought it would make a good thread here.

ULTIMATELY, do you think belief/disbelief is a choice? I am not talking about something like "which denomination do you like best," but rather something like "do you A) hold claim X to be true, B) hold claim X to be false, C) neither hold claim X to be true or false, or D)whatever else may lay between."

Can you make yourself believe in something simply because you want to? Or is belief involuntary. Can you make yourself believe that there are really such things as Unicorns simply by wanting to believe and in a way that is more than just putting on an act?

Or, do we have no control over what we believe? You either believe or you don't.

FOR ARGUMENT SAKE, can we please accept the following definition of belief for this poll and discussion?


Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true.

Projecting: Christian Conservatives Cry ‘Discrimination’ After Gay Grammy Weddings

First off, I am a gay Christian. Just a disclaimer.

Christian-Conservatives always love to play the victim whenever they can. It doesn’t matter what it is, they are always the ones who are being “discriminated against.”

That is why conservative heads exploded during the 2014 Grammy Awards last night when a “mass wedding” of 33 straight and gay couples said their vows and were joined in marriage while being serenaded my Mackelmore and Mary Lambert’s hit song “Same Love.”

“Same Love” was written in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, being not only a moral issue with Mackelmore, but a personal one, being that his uncle has been in a committed same-sex relationship for decades.

But apparently, while the Christian-Conservatives of America are using the government to tell gay and lesbian individuals who they cannot marry and adopt, they have the audacity to claim that they themselves are the ones being “discriminated against.”

More at link...

Sorry if this is a bit old. But I came across it last night and felt it hit the nail on the head in exposing the audacity of these assholes.

Is this story about Megyn Kelly legit?

Megyn Kelly of Fox News is at it again. Just last week she faced a public backlash when she announced that both Santa and Jesus were white. She tried to backtrack on the comment after many late night comedians used her as fodder for their shows, pointing out that one, Santa isn’t real and the historical figure he is based on Saint Nicholas was Turkish and likely brown skinned and two, that Jesus was Middle Eastern and also brown skinned. She claimed on her next show that it was all just a joke but her true colors came out on last night’s show when the cameras turned off but her mic was still on.

The panel which included Bernard Whitman, a Democratic strategist, Arthur Aidala, a legal analyst for Fox and Monica Crowley, a conservative commentator had just finished a heated debated about the suspension of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for making anti-gay comments. They argued about 1st amendment rights.

When the segment concluded Whitman asked Kelly if she thought her erroneous comments about Santa and Jesus would fall under protected speech. That’s when everything went horribly wrong for Kelly. Not realizing her mic was still on and she was being recorded, she announced that she stood by her statements and thought it was ridiculous that she had to apologize. She continued stating, “Look, every significant historical figure has been white.”

Whitman was understandably shocked and countered with, “What about Gandhi?” Kelley fired back, “He was obviously white. Everyone knows that.” Aidala and Crowley agreed with Megyn’s analysis. Whitman shot back again with a list of influential figures, “Martin Luther King, Mandela, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra.” Her response sent Whitman storming out of the studio. “I said significant. None of those people are significant.”

More at link.

Im only seeing this on facebook and the linked website (which I have never heard of before) so far. Is this a legit story and has the Faux News corespondent really put the final nail in her own coffin?

Oklahoma lawmakers: No Satanist monument because "this is a faith-based state"

Oklahoma lawmakers are appalled that Satanists would try to erect a monument in their state capitol, but their decision to include a monument to the Ten Commandments of the Christian Bible’s Old Testament may have placed the state on shaky legal ground.

The Associated Press reported that constitutional scholars and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agree, if faith-based displays are to be allowed in public spaces in Oklahoma, then a multitude of faiths must be represented, even if that faith is considered repugnant by a majority of the state’s citizens.

The New York City-based Satanic Temple heard about the Oklahoma Ten Commandments display and proposed their own monument to Satan on the state capitol grounds as well.

Before any new monument can go into production, it has to be approved by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Society. Duane Mass, the architect who designed the capitol building and serves on the preservation board, rejected the idea outright...

More at link

EDIT: And now the Hindus of Ok. are getting in on the action:

The real boy crisis: 5 ways America tells boys not to be “girly”

Mocking boys for doing "feminine" things leaves them ill-equipped for life, and makes America a worse place for all

The ability to feel what others feel has many well-documented benefits, including, for empathetic people, greater psychological and physical health. The real and socially significant positive impact of empathy, however, is the ways in which it affects behavior toward others. People who are empathetic are less aggressive and prone to denigrate others; they are predisposed to act with care and compassion; they have increased egalitarian beliefs and act with less prejudice and stereotype-based hatred. Empathetic behaviors, however, are associated with being female. And weak.

The stereotypes that plague our lives teach that the characteristics of empathetic understanding are feminine: listening, sensitivity, quiet consideration and gentleness. Empathy is feminized and boys learn quickly that what is feminized is, in a man, the source of disgust. While parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents and others whose ideas shape children aren’t sitting around telling boys, “Don’t be empathetic!” they are saying, in daily micro-aggressive ways, “Don’t be like girls!” The process of “becoming a man” still often means rejecting almost any activity or preference that smacks of cross-gender expression or sympathy.

Expression and empathy are closely related for children. When boys are taught that they can’t “be like girls” it has the threefold effect. First, it alienates them from core aspects of themselves. Second, it portrays what is feminine as undesirable and inferior. Third, it forces boys into a “man box” from which emotions and empathy are excluded. An upcoming documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” carefully examines, from the perspective of boys and men, what this feels like and means in their lives.

While more and more parents are openly grappling with how to handle “non-conventional” gender behavior in children, many others won’t even consider the behavior as remotely acceptable. The policing of boys’ gender expression doesn’t require parents who yell, “Stop crying, you sound like a girl!” or homophobic classmates hurling some variation of “Don’t be so gay!” (which is, sadly, still a serious problem). A whole range or rules, traditions, daily interactions and media content come together to narrow boys’ options and, ultimately, abilities. Consider these five everyday ways that boys are taught first not to look like girls, not to be like girls, not to do “girly” things, and then, ultimately, to lose the ability to feel compassion...

More at link.

I found this article very fascinating. America has come a long way from where we were when the first wave feminist came and demanded their rights, but I think we have a long way to go.

I think this article displays that while we have had a large amount of success in advancing the role of women before the law (at least in comparison with where we were when our government was founded), we still live in a society that values "masculinity" over "femininity," and we need to work to fix that.
Posted by LostOne4Ever | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 01:39 AM (7 replies)

Christian groups sue to stop Kansas schools from adopting science standards

Christian groups filed a pair of lawsuits in Federal District Court challenging the Kansas state Board of Education’s decision to implement a state-wide set of science standards. On June 11, the Kansas state Board of Education adopted a universal set of science standards to be taught in classrooms across the state from kindergarten to grade 12. Faith groups are up in arms that their beliefs are not being given more credence in science classes.

According to a statement on the Pacific Justice Institute’s website, the teaching of science in all of the state’s public schools could create “a hostile learning environment for those of faith.” The institute — which purports to defend “religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties” — is challenging the fact that the new science standards do not give equal weight to the Christian creation myth.

The suit alleges that the new standards will “promote religious beliefs that are inconsistent with the theistic religious beliefs of plaintiffs, thereby depriving them of the right to be free from government that favors one religious view over another.” The group asked the court to place an injunction on the implementation of Next Generation Science Standards and the corresponding lesson plan handbook, Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas.

Another group, the Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE, Inc.) filed suit on Sep. 26 demanding that the new curricula not be instituted. In a press release, CORE said that the science standards would “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview,” which the group said is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution...

More at:

Kansas is not having a good week for church and state separation.
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