From the South Carolina news site, The State: South Carolina has 50 official state symbols — including a state heritage horse, a state migratory marine mammal and a state beverage — but it does not have a state fossil. Eight-year-old Olivia McConnell wants to change that. McConnell wants the state fossil of SC to be the Woolly Mammoth. I think you have to be eight to care about the state this-and-that, but it’s still cute. We like to tell kids… Read more

Neuroscientist Saw Wang, writing for the New York Times, tries to make some sense out the the science surrounding autism spectrum disorders. He’s particularly interested in the risk factors that are linked to rises in autism. Along the way he compared the risks discovered in scientific studies to the risks reported by the media: (click twice to embiggen. Or go to the original article) That last entry is pretty striking. There is no evidence currently that vaccines increase the risk… Read more

Via Christian Nightmares: This is creepy. It also adds an unpleasant subtext to all the hip young pastors who make an issue of their “smokin’ hot wife”. Read more

St. Paul and the Broken Bones is a blues/soul group that’s been making waves. They’ve got a visual hook: they’re all pasty white and the lead singer looks like he should be in a live action Dilbert program. Yet they play a kind of Southern R&B that’s very familiar to me from growing up in NC, and Paul Janeway sings like it’s his last chance to save his soul. Fred Clark is a fan. Not surprisingly so are a lot… Read more

Ran into this while clicking around. Don’t know where it’s originally from: Like I said, I don’t know where this is from, so I can’t say if its a real or a parody. Regardless, it’s just a more extreme version of something I’ve seen from creationists. They’ll ask, “If evolution is real, then why haven’t [dogs, whales, aardvarks, monkeys, etc.] learned to talk?” The thinking seems to be that evolution is a fixed path that guides life forms to a… Read more

The AV Club reviews the new movie God is Not Dead in which atheistic villain Professor Jeffrey Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) butts heads with a yound evangelical student named Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper): Josh, and the film that takes his viewpoint, doesn’t dare actually engage with Radisson’s arguments; any legitimate critiques of Christianity are ignored in favor of suggesting that all atheists are just haters who need someone to ask them to point out on the doll where organized religion touched… Read more

For some reason there are a lot of Jesus billboards around Albany. They’re pretty forgettable. Not like this one, out of Columbus, Ohio: Over at the website mentioned one the sign, the authors are making a case that Muslims are the true Christians: For starters, Muslims are Christians – if “Christian” means someone following the teachings of Christ, so by learning about Islam you are not disobeying Jesus. For example the Quran forbids Swine, (Holy Quran 2:173) and so too… Read more

I first became aware of Fred Phelps during his attempts to get a monument placed in Central Park at Casper, Wyoming. The monument would have been a dedicated to the late Matthew Shepard, the native son of Casper beaten to death for being gay. The monument would have declared Shepard to be burning in hell. The proposal left the city in a bind. The park was public, but had held a Ten Commandments monument donated by the Fraternal Order of… Read more

Franklin Graham hearts Vladimir Putin (or at least his anti-gay policies): “In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham wrote. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” It’s karmically ironic that the son of Cold Warrior Billy Graham should be praising an authoritarian ex-KGB Russian leader who thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was… Read more

It looks like JR Ralls and crew have completed their movie adaption of Dark Dungeons, the infamous Jack Chick tract about Dungeons and Dragons. Here’s the trailer: According to the movie website, the movie is slated for release on August 14. The Q&A on the website is a stitch. Here’s my favorite: How people have committed suicide due to RPGs? The American Association of Suicidology has concluded that RPGs don’t play a role in suicide, and the Association of Gifted-Creative… Read more

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