For some it’s a con, for some it’s a game, and for some it’s a gnostic cult. And sometimes it’s all three at once.

I used to think that the audience supporting any given conspiracy theory was made up of three distinct kinds of people: Cynics, true believers, and hobbyists. That’s in the past tense because I no longer quite believe that. What I’m starting to believe, instead, is that any individual supporter of any given conspiracy is made up of all three of those things. [Read more…]

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The earth spins on and on and so much news is bad

Something the size of a mustard seed can produce a nasty invasive weed … or a hilariously inept piece of graphic design. Also: Residency incentives; civilian courts prove capable; “5 Christian Books I WIsh I’d Never Read;” and the archetype the gatekeepers require us to describe as a historical person. [Read more…]

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I see you darkly through a glass again

It really took a lot of work to imagine that a law mandating and subsidizing health insurance wouldn’t increase the number of people who have health insurance. Plus: Batgirl, Philomena Cunk, Rick Santorum, subsidizing sprawl, and why pop songs should be about more than one thing. [Read more…]

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The unicorns of the King James Bible

The oldest English translations of the Bible have unicorns in them. The original Hebrew texts did not. So where did those King James Version unicorns come from? From translators’ best guess at the meaning of a word that still leaves us guessing. [Read more…]

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NRA: The creationist satellite dish

“Bruce’s installing that crazy mini-satellite dish made him think of a verse he once heard or read about shouting the good news from the housetop. Matthew 10:27 said, ‘Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light, and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.’ … Wasn’t it just like Bruce to take the Bible literally?” [Read more…]

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They don’t make Republicans like that anymore

Here’s a terrific bit of American history from Glenn Branch. In the February 1916 issue of National Geographic, the author of Life Histories of African Game Animals wrote about the evolution of “the primates” and of “the monkeys and anthropoid apes and finally the half-human predecessors of man himself.” This raised the ire of creationist preacher Theodore Graebner [Read More…]

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It’s a Marvel comic book, Saturday matinee fairy tale, boy

Some Monday morning linkage, including: Why the burning of a black church isn’t “news;” Canadian indie-rock vs. giant robots; white riots, creationists, and a story about some whip-smart Kenyan kids that will make you smile. [Read more…]

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Phlebotinum, young-Earth creationism and the willing suspension of disbelief

This bargain — the exchange of phlebotinum for our willing suspension of disbelief — is conducted by countless storytellers in the realm of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books, action movies, detective stories, etc. And this same bargain is made, regularly, between young-Earth creationists and the fans of that genre of speculative fiction. Young-Earth creationism is all about phlebotinum. [Read more…]

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