<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12981576\x26blogName\x3dArchaeopteryx\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://archaeopteryx.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://archaeopteryx.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-2983377980034305966', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>


Saturday, June 11, 2005

New template

Enormous thanks to Ryan and Liberal Avenger for their roles in bringing about the new template. Thanks for your patience while we mess around with it.

Apologies: previously posted comments were lost with the addition of Haloscan to the site. I would be happy to repost comments from the ongoing debates; just let me know your requests. Otherwise, feel free to repost your own sentiments.



Friday, June 10, 2005

How sex education works

There is a right way:

Sex and birth control were things that were talked about in my house as openly as the basketball scores. And yet to my knowledge, none of my friends - nor myself, nor either of my two brothers - ever experienced an unwanted pregnancy, nor a brush with an STD. I am convinced this was thanks to my mother's drumming into our heads the fact that, while she'd prefer us not to have premarital sex at all, if we were going to do it, we were going to respect ourselves and our partners by being safe about it.

and a wrong way:

I watched the American TV news show 60 Minutes last week as Denny Pattyn, a Christian youth minister and founder of a multi-million-dollar government abstinence-only program called the Silver Ring Thing, now making inroads in the UK, bragged to the 60 Minutes reporter Ed Bradlee that, if his daughter ever told him she was planning on having premarital sex, he would advise her not to use a condom: "I don't think it'll protect her. It won't protect her heart. It won't protect her emotional life."
...
What kind of father would rather see his daughter dead than having safe sex? Perhaps the kind of father who considers the 88 per cent failure rate of his program (the percentage of students who, after taking "the pledge," go on to have vaginal sex, usually unprotected, within one year) good odds, and who turns a blind eye to the fact that sexually transmitted diseases are up 30 per cent, because they are being transmitted orally and anally by kids who have taken "the pledge" but continue to have sex - just not vaginally.


What Judeo-Christian principles?

Treaty of Tripoli, article XI says that the:

"Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion...."

Can I get an Amen?

More at D.C.'s Political Report.

via Dadahead.


More goodies from Utah

The Daily Herald:

"The divine design is a counter to the kids' belief that we all come from monkeys. Because we don't," said Buttars, who retired from running the Utah Boys Ranch, a school for troubled youth. "It shocks me that our schools are teaching evolution as fact."

Maybe we teach evolution as fact because it is fact. Just thought I'd throw that out there; it might help resolve some of the confusion Buttars has about a field he knows nothing about. Unlike Buttars, this article in The Daily Herald displays some genuine words of wisdom:

Intelligent design may be a subject best left to theologians. Evolution, on the other hand, belongs in the science classroom, where it can be presented with other scientific theories that are subject to human observation and measurement.

Anyway, it's not as though Utah school students are only hearing about evolution while they're in school. There's plenty of time in a day for parents, ecclesiastical leaders and teachers who take the Bible literally to debunk science. So Buttars's wish is already being granted without an additional act of the Legislature.

By hearing each theory proposed in the appropriate setting, students will be well-rounded and better equipped to sort out the issues for themselves.



Thursday, June 09, 2005

Violence is Power

Often in film and literature, female characters must be violent in order to be powerful. Because violence is typically viewed as a masculine characteristic, does this mean women must be masculinized before they are considered powerful characters? This essay redefines power through analyses of feminist science fiction.

"...These women, whom Yvonne Tasker calls "Rambolinas," may be tough, they may be powerful, but they may or may not "be women" for, as some people might think, if "woman"= feminine and the definition of feminine is the opposite of tough and powerful, how can tough women be women in our culture's limiting, dichotomous understanding? These tough women are often theorized as being symbolically male, especially if, as with Ripley, Sarah, and Charly, their bodies are also muscular and if other gender signifiers (such as how they dress, how they act, how they talk, how they wear their hair) suggest that they are masculine or, according to Tasker, "musculine"."

I'm sure we can all think of examples of powerful nonviolent female characters (for example, women may draw power through their sexuality) but I think this essay presents interesting arguments in light of a this recent feministe post
and this study which suggest female bloggers need to take on the male norm in order to be noticed.


A model universe

I like to joke that all theorists do is play with computers and call it science. But here is one result of all their hard play work:

Scientists unveiled last week the most detailed model yet produced of the development of the universe.

The Millennium Run simulation shows how galaxies and quasars are thought to have evolved following the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

...

It is being hailed by cosmologists as the first accurate model of the universe because it has correctly predicted information that has since been observed, such as the fact that in the cubic region chosen there should be about 17.5 dwarf galaxies, two million normal galaxies similar in scale to our Milky Way, and half a million giant galaxies.

If scientists can design a model that accurately predicts the current state of our universe do you think the ID Creationists will finally give it rest?



Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Republican pornographers who are not Jeff Gannon

World Net Daily:

Mary Carey, the buxom porn star slated to dine with President Bush at a GOP fund-raiser Tuesday, says despite her racy occupation, she's still a Christian, and has her own aspirations of winning the presidency in the future.

...

"Why wouldn't they use porn stars at a fund-raiser? Porn stars are about 10 steps above politicians. At least they are honest about what they do. The real question is why would the porn stars want to degrade themselves?" (Bob Bolton)


Blinged-out sex toys

Maybe this is what the MRAs are thinking of when they say women are pampered:



via Boing Boing


Sunshine and Feminism

I know this article is just more anti-feminist rhetoric, but I can't help but pick on Redstate.org. At least this time Carey Roberts tries to rant using references, unlike the last time we played together. Note that these are written text rather than links. How much you want to bet that redstate.org readers don't bother to copy and paste?

Whining about how the population is doomed because women control reproduction, Roberts claims:

The situation is especially acute in Germany, where the population is projected to decline from the current level of 82 million to 70.8 million persons by 2050. The fertility fall-off stems from a disintegration of family relationships - 83% of Germans say their main reason for not having children is their inability to find a partner or stable relationship. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/germanypopulationeconomy]

Ah, yes, but according to that same article, France's population might increase from 60.2 million to 75 million by 2050. Ladies and Gents, meet my good friend Carey "Pick and Choose" Roberts. The article also says that many women choose not to have children because they would rather focus on their careers. What's wrong with that? Women should be made to have children whether they like it or not?!

So blithely ignoring its impending demographic time-bomb, the German Ministry of Education and Research has announced a new gender mainstreaming program designed to entice even more women out of the home and into the workforce. [www.bmbf.de/en/474.php]

Entice? There is still a choice here. Women aren't being forced to forsake family life.

Advocates of gender mainstreaming claim they are merely trying to promote equal rights for the sexes. But in practice, this grand-sounding concept doesn't quite work out that way.

For example, men in Austria live 76 years, while women enjoy a full 82 years of life. But that six-year disparity in life expectancy didn't stop the government from establishing the Bundesministerium fur Gesundheit und Frauen - Ministry for Health and Women. [www.bmgf.gv.at]

Women are so pampered...living 6 years longer than men on average...selfish "little daddies' girls". I'm so glad Roberts gave a reference for the translated page because we all...no wait we don't all speak German. Sure Google will translate it, but how much you want to bet Redstate readers don't take the extra step? Besides, translating the page yields wonderfully informative statements like "Smoke Kallat main header in its speech the outstanding pregnancy support in Austria out and called the low infant mortality consequence of the nut/mother child passport as internationally exemplary." No kidding.

In Norway it was announced that women compose only 11% of members of corporate boards of directors, those bastions of male power and privilege. So minister Laila Daavoey recently decreed that henceforth all companies would be obliged to meet a 40% female board quota - or else face closure. [www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12770128%255E1702,0 0.html]

Once those companies shut down, I'm sure the E.U. will be more than happy to subsidize the checks for all those unemployed workers, male and female.

Because we all know that women can't run a business and inviting more women to a board is tantamount to a corporate death sentence. Isn't that what capitalism is all about anyway? The companies that can't cut it will fade and make way for companies that can?

For examples of why the our species is doomed:

One of the more colorful Swedish politicos is one Gudrun Schyman, an alcoholic who got caught not paying her taxes and was forced to resign as a leader of the Left Party, the former Communist Party of Sweden. Schyman apparently forgot that in socialist societies, paying taxes is more inevitable than death.
...
Early last month a group of Stockholm women put the Feminist Initiative message to the test. One night they showed up at a local strip club wielding baseball bats and umbrellas. Police ended up arresting 16 women after the melee. [www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=1393&date=20050508]

Sure, Schyman may have problems and some women may be prone to violence. We aren't saying women are beyond flaw or somehow superhuman. (Insert snarky Redstate comment here.) But women comprise at least 50% of the population. Is it remotely possible to imagine that an economy and government can function with the same composition?



Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tool use in dolphins

The Australian:

The newfound toolmakers are a single lineage of female bottlenose dolphins in Western Australia's Shark Bay who stick sponges on their nose to help them forage for food in the muddy seabed. It is rare for marine mammals and it is also evidence of socially learned and transmitted "material culture" as the dolphins pass the trick on - mostly to their daughters - researchers claimed yesterday in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers who discovered the behavior have evidence to suggest that this is a recently derived trait. Add dolphins to the growing list of tool using animals. Perhaps humans aren't so very special after all?


Safe, legal, accessible and rare

Why should abortions be legal? Because making them illegal or otherwise inaccessible does not preventing them from happening. Case in point:

Nineteen-year-old Gerardo Flores of Lufkin was sentenced to life in prison Monday in a landmark test case of a state fetal protection law. An Angelina County jury deliberated just under four hours, finding him guilty on two counts of capital murder for his part in killing his unborn twins.

From Ampersand:

None of the news stories I’ve read explains why they didn’t go to a doctor. Maybe they were just too stupid and scared and afraid of being found out; or maybe pro-lifers have succeeded in removing all practical access to abortion where these kids live.

Regardless of the reason, I would wager that these kids were determined to abort their twins. Legal or illegal, abortions are going to happen. We might as well provide safe facilities.

via Feministe.


I have multiple personality disorder

Either that or someone is blogging at my site without my knowledge. This is according to Sexists News Daily which links to one of my previous posts saying:

Why Can't Feminists Play Nice?
The Girls At Archeaeopteryx Have Their Way With MND's Mike Spaniola

They might know that there is only one of me if they did some fact checking. Then again, as my original post suggested, MND doesn't regularly base their statements on sound information (a.k.a. FACTS). I also like how they used the term 'girls.'



Monday, June 06, 2005

Sex: God's wedding gift

This was too good to pass up. From New Zealand's Wanganui Chronicle:

Wanganui father Gavin Ander says sex is simply God's wedding present.

He is one of 15 parents who contacted the Chronicle in response to the sex education in school debate. The relaunch of the "No rubba, no hubba hubba" safer sex campaign has sparked debate on whether sex education should be in schools or in the home.

This can't be real, can it? "No rubba, no hubba hubba?" The site looks pretty informative, but the title is hilarious. Do kids actually take it seriously? Wanganui Chronicle:

"We have had sex education in the school system for many decades with no fruits to show for it. It is simply not working. If the horse is dead, get off it.

Really? I know that abstinence-only is a highly flawed method, but now Sex-Ed in general is useless? So, New Zealanders should just push the Stork Fable all through high school? Or just leave it up to the parents? Parents that say things like this:

"There is a clear link between the increase of negative sexual health issues and the increase of education, because the main ingredient of morality has been removed from the formula.

"Sex without a sense of morality is like a car without brakes," he said.

That's not what I heard. I think a better analogy is "Abstinence-only without real knowledge is like a society full of willfully ignorant parents with an STI epidemic among youths." Here are some good myth busters about comprehensive sex education and ...what's this?...they provide references!?! Back to the article:

Mr Ander said young people must be taught the desire to abstain because everyone had the ability to abstain. "Saying no to natural desires and urges is not a far-right Christian thing; it is a common sense thing.

No, it isn't just far right thing, but it is a blatantly stupid thing. Kids are going to have sex whether Mr. Ander has the common sense to accept it or not. It's better that they know how to protect themselves.


I.D. lawsuit in Michigan

Parents in Richland Michigan are threatening to sue their school board after two teachers slipped ID creationism into the school board curriculum.

They quietly taught intelligent design alongside evolution for two years until a parent complained last fall. Then the administration told them to stop teaching the theory while a committee, including the two teachers, studied whether it belonged in the curriculum.

ID proponents claim that the theory does not speculate about the identity of the designer, so it does not teach Creationism or religion. ID does, however, speculate about the origin of the universe without support of scientific evidence. No matter how they try to mask their agenda, this 'loophole' doesn't make it legitimate science.



Sunday, June 05, 2005

Intelligent life found in SLC

Salt Lake Tribune:

"The need to teach science from the firm basis of evolutionary theory is well established. The fact that we don't do it very well is also established. That failure explains why intelligent grown-ups such as [State Senator] Buttars condemn evolutionary theory for saying things it does not say and meaning things it does not mean.

...

Forcing religion to stand in for science does no favor to religion, to science, or to our children. How wonderful it would be if Utah understood that."

If this is coming out of SLC, there may be hope yet.

Update: No offense intended towards the good people of Utah, of course.