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You will notice that it lacks definiteness; that it lacks purpose; that it lacks coherence; that it lacks a subject to talk about; that it is loose and wabbly; that it wanders around; that it loses itself early and does not find itself any more.

Latest articles

“I’m not a scientist, man”: Is Marco Rubio’s science denial stupid?

After their thrashing in the 2012 elections, Republicans are casting about for a new standardbearer, and Marco Rubio is a leading candidate for that post.  One consequence of that attention is this GQ interview with Rubio, which includes this awesome exchange: GQ: How old do you think the Earth is? Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell...

Rubio and Obama, compare and contrast

Slate’s Daniel Engber is upset.  People are making fun of Marco Rubio’s “I’m not a scientist, man” response to a question about the age of the earth, and he wants to insist that “Willful ignorance of science is a bipartisan value.”  As evidence for this claim, he contrasts Rubio: Q: How old do you think the Earth is?A: I’m not a scientist, man. I can...

Happy Thanksgiving

M.K. Hobson describes a very happy Thanksgiving: I want to share the story of a very interesting Thanksgiving had by 46 members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Washington State. Having been arrested in North Yakima during a large street meeting intended to persuade apple pickers to ask for a better wage, they were taken to the decrepit...

Marriage, children, and tradition

ThinkProgress reports on an interview with Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage [sic].  The explain: Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute has been particularly vocal over the past few months, promoting ex-gay therapy and suggesting that young people not have gay friends. In an interview...

Rubio walks back comments on the age of the earth

A month ago, I had a bit of fun at Senator Marco Rubio’s expense over his “I’m not a scientist, man” response to GQ’s question about the age of the earth. I brought up his comments again in my talk last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting, to much audience amusement. It served as a perfect example of the Pillars of Science denial, and the...

Social movements and science denial

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements is hosting a dialogue on science and politics, and I’m rather pleased with my contribution: “Will Climate Change Denial Inherit the Wind?” Do check out the other essays in the dialogue, especially Jeffrey Guhin’s discussion of some results from his observations of creationist Muslim...

An evolution the GOP likes

“The president says that the jury’s out on evolution. Here in New Jersey, we’re counting on it.” –Bruce Springsteen, May 21, 2005  “Folks in Dover [PA] aren’t sure about evolution. Here in New Jersey, we’re counting on it.” –Bruce Springsteen, August, 2005 “This issue [marriage equality] is in a state of evolution.” –Hillary Clinton for Senate spokesperson...

Vaccines and the Republican War on Science

Ever since Chris Mooney’s Republican War on Science was published in 2005, folks have been looking for a way to argue that Democrats are just as bad. The standard example for this counternarrative, one which Mooney even offered in his book, was vaccine denial – the claim that vaccines cause autism or are otherwise dangerous. Intuitively, this seems...

Polls and the line between truth and conspiracy theory

In the poll on conspiracy theories I mentioned a few days ago, I mostly focused on the item about vaccines, mentioning in passing the fact that Democrats (and liberals) bought into far fewer conspiracy theories than Republicans (or conservatives). I didn’t point out that, of the “conspiracy theories” Democrats were more likely to accept, several require...

ID and the age of the earth

Disco. ‘tute “research” director Casey Luskin is sad. Congressional Quarterly wrote about creationism and didn’t say nice things about “intelligent design” creationism. Casey insists that ID shouldn’t be lumped in with young earth creationism or geocentrism, asserting: the vast majority of leaders of the ID movement accept the conventional age of the...

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