Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Theory: Eat Fetuses, Gain Superpowers

It's been a while since I've mentioned anything from my bi-weekly column in the Diamondback, the University of Maryland's independent student newspaper. Topics I've written about recently include money management for students and cultural cliques overdone. In my column today, I adapted a recent blog post to discuss the presence of science in pop culture. Sample grab:
...we have segments of the population dismissing evolution because they've never seen a monkey turn into a person, or because they think a "theory," to quote Isaac Asimov, "is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night." (Recall the evangelist from Borat who insisted "I is what I is!") Pro-evolution people, meanwhile, make their job more difficult when they disrespect their opponents' religious convictions. For some reason, telling people that they are idiots with vivid imaginations isn't the most persuasive argument.

We have people who think that unless we all switch to hybrid cars ASAP, an ice age will wipe out coastal cities (and benefit the Republican Party, of course). We also have people who think that climate change can't be real because one guy wearing a lab coat out in Fargo, N.D., disagrees. (Hey, he sure looks like a scientist.) Thus, they say, there must be no consensus on global warming.

We have opposition to stem cell research based on "pro-life" beliefs, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of surplus blastocysts are routinely discarded by fertility clinics instead of having even a fraction of those used to try and save lives. We also have people who would mislead you into believing that the only thing standing between a disease-free world is big, bad President Bush. (I particularly enjoyed the South Park episode which showed the late paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve gaining superpowers from eating dead fetuses.)

Click here to read the whole article.

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