Ken Ham: “Science Bad, Magic Good” (and other Absurdities)

Have you noticed that the US seems to be transforming into a nation of not-very-bright people (we can call them dumbasses, right)?

There is news that should send shivers down your spine like Bill Cosby asking you out for a drink – the establishment of a religious wing of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Health and Human Services, for example – and there is news that should cause you to say aloud in your team meeting, “Dafuq?”

 

Ken Ham: “This show is certainly not a show for children.”

Ken Ham (who the Scathing Atheists lovingly refer to as Australian Wolverine, but whom I lovingly refer to the shit stain on religion’s unwashed underwear), as many of you may already know, is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the most recent contributor to Kentucky’s continued position as one of the US’ third world states, courtesy of his “Ark Park.”

Ken Ham, who has retained his hard-on for science guy Bill Nye since their debate three years ago, said of Bill Nye’s Netflix science series Bill Nye Saves the World:              

This show is certainly not a show for children.  Although some observational science is included, the bulk of the show is dedicated to entertainment and pushing a secular worldview, rather than teaching science.” (The Friendly Atheist, 28 Jan 2018)

I suppose Ken Ham would prefer that Bill Nye push a theistic worldview rather than teach science.

For those of you old enough to remember, Bill Nye has always been an entertainer.  The reason for this is simple: people have short attention spans.  You want to sell science?  Entertain the people.  It’s why televangelists are so profitable.  Nothing says entertainment like watching people feign having seizures, pretend to be healed, and preaching the return of Jesus is just around the corner.

 

The United States Ministry of Religious Freedom

So here’s a thing that happened: the Department of Health and Human Services has established, as part of its Civil Rights department, a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.

Dafuq?

Since this has been an under-reported occurrence in the United States, many of you may not be aware that the whole point of this division is to, in a phrase, protect the religious rights of health care workers.

“What’s so wrong with that?” you may be mouthing to yourself right now.

Come close, and I’ll tell you.

We can say, officially, that the current United States regime has established a theocracy.  It’s highly amusing because the leader of that regime is very clearly an atheist, or at, at the very best for Christians, he just identifies with them because it’s the white thing to do.

People, there are too many ways this can blow up.  A doctor can deny services to gay people, trans people, hell, maybe even black people, and Hispanic people because they have some sort of religiously motivated objections.  A doctor can deny abortions.  A doctor can deny assistance with contraceptives.  A doctor can deny just about anything.

But what if a health care worker denying you service goes against your sincerely held religious beliefs?

All hail the Christian Taliban!

 

Flu Vaccinations make you 10x more likely to get Alzheimer’s

I saw this meme yesterday:

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The post apparently comes from a prominent anti-vaxx physician by the name of Dr. Joseph Mercola.  A few things about Dr. Mercola:

  • He is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Think a not-so-scientifically based MD, but still a competent medical practitioner in most cases.
  • One of his primary non-profit beneficiaries is the National Vaccine Information Center.
  • He is pretty transparent about his education and whom he supports.

 

The problem with this meme is that the claim has not only been refuted, but has not even been defended by the person Dr. Mercola says made the claim.

The claim has its origins in something said during a conference by Dr. Hugh Fudenberg.  The problem is, this apparently offhand comment cannot be found in any peer reviewed papers (or even any non-peer reviewed papers) and has an origin that is currently unknown beyond Dr. Fudenberg, himself.

People are literally posting these memes on the internet!

I recently just got over Influenza A.  I had to miss about nine days of work.  Why?  Because I have not had a flu vaccination since about 2005.  My failing to be vaccinated has nothing to do with my views on vaccines (I’m not an anti-vaxxer).  In fact, I get migraines.  Every time I have gotten the flu vaccine, I got a migraine.  Basically, I treated flu vaccines the same way I treat anything else that feels like there’s some correlation with my migraines.  I mean, I no longer eat gummy worms because I had a migraine as I was eating gummy worms, once.  I don’t go to concerts.  I no longer perform on stage as used to because I’ve had a migraine every single time.  My reason for not getting a flu vaccination is because I’m afraid of migraines.  But I can be honest and state that my rationale is irrational.  The flu was most definitely worse than any migraine I had.  Imagine having a headache.  Now imagine that headache is a thousand times more painful.  Now imagine that, on top of that headache, somebody is hammering an icepick through skull.  Add in the nausea that you feel when you’ve drank to much and during a hangover.  And then mix in feeling so fatigued that it is analogous to working out at the gym four hours per day, seven days straight AND not sleeping on top of it.  Then mix in some congestion, coughing, a sore throat, and some sporadic sneezing.  That’s the flu.

I’m not going to sit here and say Alzheimer’s isn’t a bad thing.  I mean, scientists are doing everything they can to figure out this problem.  But you do not help the public understanding of science by introducing false, unverified, or debunked information into the conversation.  The prevalence of fake news, more than anything else, is probably the greatest threat the US faces.

What are your thoughts on any of this?  Do you have a story, or have you seen anything around the web that just made you go “Dafuq?”  Let me know your thoughts below.

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