14 August 2011

Recap Post: pop stars for science, Straw Poll, the faaabulous Ann Coulter, femShep beauty pageant, and godless Christians!

While I'm brainstorming, kicking around, and shooting down ideas for future posts, here's a weekend fluff digest post to tide you loyal readers over. Some highlights of the past week or so:

"Science is rock and roll." Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am is doing something that lifts my hopes for this country (my opinion of his music aside). He's teaming up with other popular musicians in a video campaign to promote scientific curiosity and encourage improvements to science education, leading up to a one-hour TV special to air on Sunday evening. I'm willing to let slide the obvious fallacy induced by celebrity endorsement because science needs positive publicity in America.

(via Culture of Science by Sheril

The Heathen Republican didn't quite have the budget of Michele Bachmann's campaign, but still made an effort to garner votes at the Straw Poll, complete with deep-fried hors d'oeuvres. Unfortunately he didn't have quite the turnout that other candidates enjoyed; I wonder why? "For ethical reasons, I instructed my campaign not to pay for any of the attendee’s tickets, so we only had a few people show up. I didn’t realize conservative votes could be purchased for as little as $30."

#atheism, #politics

Ann Coulter is a gay icon, at least as far as right-wing gay lobbyist group GOProud is concerned. It shouldn't be surprising that she's the best they could dig up: "The organization, though branding itself as a gay rights group, generally views gay marriage as a states' rights affair—a stance famous for working out awesomely for interracial couples in Alabama before the mid-'60s."

(via Mother Jones) #politics, #lgbt

Canadian game developer Bioware held an online poll to decide the appearance of the female version of Commander Shepard to be used in ads for Mass Effect 3. Flamewars and fanboy rage ensued over matters of hair, eye, and skin color.
Finally a feminist gamer chimed in and asked why it was even happening. "BioWare took one of the small handful of non-sexualized female heroes in gaming and put her on stage for the world to judge on appearances alone, aka a f**king beauty pageant. . . No male hero has ever been or ever would be dragged into the limelight and forced to defend himself like this."

(via my brother Josh, and Penny Arcade) #gaming, #feminism

It appears that a few reverends in the Netherlands are rethinking the God Question but still keeping the faith nonetheless. "'God is not a being at all... it's a word for experience, or human experience,'" proclaims one reverend.  According to the BBC article, "[his] book Believing in a Non-Existent God led to calls from more traditionalist Christians for him to be removed. However, a special church meeting decided his views were too widely shared among church thinkers for him to be singled out."

I think that this story raises an intriguing question: are people like this being intellectually dishonest by identifying with a faith while not believing its theology, or are they facilitating the evolution of Christianity into a philosophy that will survive in the increasingly secular future?

(via fellow humanist Derrick S.) #Christianity #atheism

That's all for now.  A post about the WTC "cross", a potential political rant, and a potential blogging-related announcement coming soonish.

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