The Solar Eclipse is a Sign of the End Times, Say Pastors Who Don’t Understand How Astronomy Works

Finally there’s an explanation for today’s solar eclipse (best seen in northern Europe):

Many on the internet are worried that Friday’s solar eclipse is a sign of the end times, or a message of judgement from God. And while the theories are largely speculative, they are encouraged by a genuine collision of three rare and significant celestial events on Friday.

… we can stop reading there.

But you know you want to see how absurd these people can get:

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Richard Dawkins Explains What Would Happen if DNA Couldn’t Mutate

For Darwin Day, Richard Dawkins answered questions about evolution for his viewers. The latest one discusses what would happen if DNA was unable to mutate, grinding evolution to a halt:



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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Talk Show Has a Premiere Date

Finally, we have a premiere date for Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s upcoming show StarTalk. You can watch it on the National Geographic Channel beginning (wait for it…) on April 20.

Let the 420 jokes begin.



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Why Are HPV Vaccination Rates So Low in White New Zealand Families? Because “White Girls Don’t Have Sex”

I’ve heard atheists mock the idea of a virgin birth but, growing up in fundamentalist circles where sex was considered so dirty that even discussing it in the context of sex ed was unthinkable, I know better.

In that environment, you see a lot of “virgin births” and pregnant teenagers — kids, fully committed to “purity,” but whose sex-phobic indoctrination didn’t stand a chance in the face of hormones, and whose complete lack of knowledge left them unprepared for what could happen. Kids who would never have dared admit anything different… until it was too late.

While it was particularly pronounced in that environment, the idea that “good girls” — “my girls” — don’t have sex isn’t confined to fundamentalists. And its impact is pretty noticeable. For instance, the most widely offered reason for why parents reject the HPV vaccine for their daughters? It isn’t needed.



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The Courthouse at the Center of the Scopes Monkey Trial May Soon Get a Statue of Lawyer Clarence Darrow

The Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee is famous for hosting the legendary Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. (Quick summary: Substitute teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution, which was illegal in that state at the time. He was found guilty and fined $100.)

The two prominent lawyers in the trial were William Jennings Bryan, arguing for the state, and Clarence Darrow representing Scopes. (If you haven’t seen Inherit the Wind yet, stop reading this post and go do that.)

Anyway, outside the courthouse today stands this statue of Bryan, which went up in 2005:

As you might imagine, they still love Bryan in that area. It’s one of those places where acceptance of evolution is still seen as heretical in many circles.

But now there’s a push for the courthouse to include a similar statue of Clarence Darrow:

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