The real naughty list

There's a secretive branch of the Catholic church's court called the Apostolic Penitentiary that has everyone talking these days. It dates back to the 11th century, and oversees issues involving the forgiveness of serious sin. Since Catholicism places so much importance on the forgiveness of sin, there had to be a list of the worst ones, and who could forgive them. Since this is a fairly ancient organizatio ...

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Collect call to the dead

Here is an interesting article over at sciam (Scientific American) about a telephone that can apparently communicate with the dead. Well, by apparently, I mean 'not fucking likely', but hey, I'm just one of those annoying skeptics who just tries to ruin everything, aren't I? It was featured at a Paranormal conference held by Ryan Buell. If that name sounds familiar, it's because I ripped him a new one in on ...

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What would Jesus eat?

Well, it turns out a biblical scholar wrote a book trying to answer this pointless question, and concluded the diet expounded in the Bible isn't a very healthy one. He argues that although the Israelites did not consume much meat, they didn't eat a lot of vegetables and fruit either, and their diet lacked essential vitamins and minerals. It seems silly to us anyone should really care about this, but his boo ...

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Texas School Board holding public hearing on evolution

When you read this phrase, undoubtedly, like me, the first thing that comes to mind is "why would you hold a public hearing on evolution? And why would you do this in Texas of all places?". I personally loath these joke hearings meant to ask the public what they want taught in their schools. It's not really up to them. Strange as that may seem to some, education standards are not decided by the general publ ...

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PETA launches dumb “Sea Kitten” campaign

Believe it or not, there is a science to cuteness. Sure, when you see a small panda bear, there is a part of you that is compelled to nurture it. The characteristics of animals that we consider cute typically resemble human infants. Konrad Lorenz, a Nobel Prize winning zoologist and animal psychologist, described the phenomenon as a natural instinct that developed in order to allow human beings to develop a ...

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Mississippi wants to be mocked, too

If you live in Mississippi and you care whether or not your kids grow up to be smart and well educated, you should be outraged by House Bill 25, which aims to introduce this disclaimer on all biology textbooks: The word "theory" has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are ba ...

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Why do religious people hate atheists?

According to a 1999 Gallop poll, half of the electorate automatically would vote against a political candidate if he was an atheist. That's roughly the same percentage of people in 1958 who would have voted against a black candidate. There's obviously a great deal of mistrust, hate, and bigotry going on here. It's so carefully masked and seemingly invisible most people don't think about it. Still, one has t ...

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Annoying proselytizer is canned, involves courts

Penn Jillette said something I liked; he said he doesn't respect anyone who isn't proselytizing. He feels there is something genuinely good about it, and I generally agree: if you have an idea you think is great, tell people about it. There is, however, a limit to how much preaching is acceptable. You should not, like this man, do it to coworkers trying to get their jobs done without you bothering them ever ...

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