Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Skeptify this poll

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on June 16, 2009

Help PZ skeptify this poll:

Are you in favour of same-sex marriage in Australia?

Yes 44%
No 55%

Skeptify brothers and sisters. Skeptify!

California Proposition #8

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on November 5, 2008

Unfortunately for human rights, it looks like Proposition #8 will pass. With 95% of precincts reporting both Proposition #8 & Proposition #4 have a  52% to 48% lead (Passing is bad). You can check the updated results yourself at the CNN Election Center.

For your infor here are the short summaries of these propositions as reported at the CNN website.

Proposition #8This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.
Proposition #4This measure would amend the state constitution to require physicians to notify the parents or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion involving that minor. The measure does not require that parent or guardian’s actual consent in order to perform the abortion. Exceptions are provided in the cases of medical emergencies. Also, an adult family may be notified instead if the minor fears abuse from the parent or guardian. Parents may also waive the notification requiremen

Can someone clarify something for me though? Doesn’t a constitutional amendmente require 2/3rds of the votes to pass? Or does that apply to the US constitution only. I don’t know much about that.

Californians: vote no on hate

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on November 4, 2008

Are you guys up and voting yet? Remember to vote down the horrible little pro-bigotry ballot measure, proposition 8. If you don’t believe me, read Charlie Stross’s explanation. And if that’s still not good enough for you, look who is bankrolling 8: the Knights of Columbus, Howard Ahmanson, Jr. (he’s got some money left after keeping the Discovery Institute afloat, apparently), and John Templeton (not the Templeton Foundation, mind you…just the chairman and president contributing as a private individual). Isn’t that enough to tell you it must be wrong?


Public schools become focus of gay marriage ban

Posted in News by Skepdude on October 22, 2008

A girl in pigtails bounds into the kitchen after school and asks her mother to guess what she learned that day. “I learned how a prince married a prince, and I can marry a princess,” she exclaims to her mortified mom.

This television advertisement for a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in California urges voters to “protect children” by approving the measure.

There’s not a word about education in Proposition 8, but what public schools will be required to teach about same-sex marriage has emerged as the central issue in the campaign.

The measure’s supporters warn that teachers will be forced to tell young children about gay marriage if the measure fails on Nov. 4.

Opponents of the measure say that’s deceptive because schools already are required to teach tolerance of gays and lesbians, and the ballot measure won’t change that.


Where the blame lies

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on October 1, 2008

We’re worried about the current financial crisis — in fact, the whole world is concerned. Most of us have simple explanations for the mess we’re in right now, such as excessive deregulation, lenders raking in short term profit at the expense of long term stability, a weakening economy, and the misrule of George W. Bush and his gang of Rethuglican cronies, but we’re missing the real root cause: it was the gays. Some big flaming homo flaunting his ungodly desires one time too many finally tipped God over into a big snit, and as we all know, God’s aim sucks, so when he tossed that lightning bolt of righteous indignation down upon Broadway, he missed and hit Wall Street instead.

No, seriously.


Mormons Supporting CA Gay Marriage Proposal Big Time

Posted in Denialism by Skepdude on September 20, 2008


Here’s a bit of a surprise. In California, our Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Opponents quickly arranged a ballot proposition to reverse the ban. Support for the ban has been slipping, from almost 50% earlier in the year, to 42% in July, and now to 38% in the latestField Poll.

Mark Schoofs reports in today’s Journal that the Mormons are large backers of the marriage ban proposition:

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have contributed more than a third of the approximately $15.4 million raised since June 1 to support Proposition 8. The ballot initiative, if passed, would reverse the current right of same-sex couples to marry.

It’s clear from the article that church officials are directing the flock to donate. I hope that the IRS investigates them.

So, why do the Mormons care about gay marriage? It’s a funny question, in that one of the principal conservative arguments against gay marriage is that it will open the door to polygamy or marriage with young children. But Mormons care more about purity of essence, it appears:

Same-sex marriage hits at the heart of Mormon theology, said Terryl Givens, a professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond. According to scholars and documents on the Mormon Church’s official Web site, couples married in a Mormon temple remain wedded for eternity and can give birth to spirit children in the afterlife. Most importantly, Mormons must be married to achieve “exaltation,” the ultimate state in the afterlife. Mormons also believe they retain their gender in the afterlife.”This all explains the Mormon difficulty with homosexuality,” said Mr. Givens. In a theology based on eternal gender, marriage and exaltation, “same-sex attraction doesn’t find a place.”


Ridiculous sanctimony

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on September 17, 2008

The state of California now issues gender-neutral marriage licenses: they simply register the legal relationship of “Party A” and “Party B”, where the relevant individuals fill out their actual names. That sounds reasonable and straightforward to me — it’s a state-mandated contract.

Wouldn’t you know it, though, there has to be someone offended by it.

In an utterly absurd whine, Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding are stamping their selfish, privileged little feet and bleating that they are soooo upset about this.


If You Don’t Like Gay Marriage, Don’t Have One

Posted in The Atheist Blogger by Skepdude on August 27, 2008

A simple philosophy that is so mindbogglingly easy to follow, yet the religious seem to be up in arms about gay marriage, and they get worse every year. Somehow the religious seem to think that they came up with this great idea called “marriage” and that is has been violated by homosexuals. The truth, as it so often is in these cases, is completely the opposite.

Marriage predates verifiable recorded history, essentially a social extension of the mating procedure for reproduction. The Greeks and Romans had marriages, both opposite sex and same sex. There were no civil ceremonies, only an “agreement” for husband and wife, or husband and husband, wife and wife accordingly.

So what violated this traditional standard of marriage? Oh that’s right…it was the Christians.[1] In 342, the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans banned same-sex marriage. In 390, three other Christian emperors, Valentinian II, Theodoisus, and Arcadius, made homosexual sex a crime punishable by death (burned alive because Christians are so merciful).


Skepnews – 8/23/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 22, 2008

  • Dinosaurs helped build the pyramids – Far from becoming extinct 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs actually co-existed with early humans, and even helped in the construction of the pyramids.
    This is the word of Vince Fenech, Evangelist pastor and director of a fully licensed, State-approved Creationist institution which admits children aged between four and 18.
  • Oregon tribe to allow same sex marriagesAt the request of a lesbian couple, the Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast has adopted a law recognizing same-sex marriage. Tribal law specialists say the Coquille appear to be the first tribe to sanction such marriages. Most tribal law doesn’t address the issue. The Navajo and Cherokee tribes prohibit same-sex marriages
  • Claims of magnets’ effect on water don’t stick – Magnets have no significant role in treating water, despite the claims of their manufacturers, according to a new study by the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan. So-called magnetic water- treatment devices, which are said to remove and reduce residual chlorine and toxic substances through magnetism, have practically no effect, the center said Wednesday. Companies manufacturing or selling the devices — often over the Internet or door to door — claim to improve the taste of water, giving it a “softer, mellower,” flavor through magnetism.
  • Opt-out plan shields doctors over abortions – The Bush administration Thursday announced plans to implement a regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their beliefs. The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds. “People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. – Skepdude says : What if a city hall clerk refuses to perform a marriage for an interracial couple because they find it “morally wrong”?
  • Saudi ban on woman drivers may be erodingWhen Ruwaida al-Habis’ father and two brothers were badly burned in a fire, she had no choice but to break Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers to get them to a clinic. “When I pulled up, a crowd of people surrounded the car and stared as if they were seeing extraterrestrial beings,” the 20-year-old university student told The Associated Press. “Instead of focusing on the burn victims, the nurses kept repeating, ‘You drove them here?'” Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans all women – Saudi and foreign – from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and women who cannot afford the $300-$400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor. But there are signs support for the ban is eroding.
  • Survey: Americans feel churches shouldn’t meddle in politics – The survey suggests that for the first time in more than a decade, there has been a shift away from the view that religious groups should influence social and political issues. Fifty-two percent of poll respondents said churches should stay quiet, while 46 percent said churches should express political views