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Monday, August 08, 2005

Timwatch 8/7

Maybe it was fact that I was so hungover I couldn't stomach any coffee yet, but Sunday's Tim really pissed me off.

First off was the whole Roberts/Catholic/scary issue. Though my lovely Mario Cuomo was on (sweetie, I love you, but those are some very very big eyebags) giving a very polite verbal beat-down to some conservative Catholic from Pepperdine, my head really wanted to leak out my ears so all I could do was notice that Mr. Pepperdine wasn't making very many apt points. If the Church wasn't so up on threatening to excommunicate people for disagreeing with them, this wouldn't be such an issue. Plus, it is mean: excommunication just seems really awful. And hypocritical, since I haven't seen them threatening to excommunicate Catholic Congressmen who voted to invade Iraq or who support the death penalty or have (GASP!) used birth control. I think asking a Court nominee what he would do if upholding the Constitution will get him denied communion or excommunicated is a legit query. And the whole debacle reinforces my love of Judiasm in all its nonevangelical glory. My pledge: if one day I am elected or appointed to public office, I will not try to push the tenets of my faith on all the citizens of the nation. That is to say: don't worry, your pork chops are safe.

Then the real badness started when Tim had on two people to "debate" whether vaccines cause autism. Slow news week, anyone? It just brought up every reason I hatehatehate coverage of science in the lay press. I don't know if the general public is really or lazy or what but any actual read of the evidence shows that thimerosal did not cause the rise in autism, okay? Repeat after me: a temporal correlation is not causation. A temporal correlation is not causation. Better? Aside from the fact that none of the epidemiological studies have shown a link between vaccination and autism, the whole idea is a bit off. Yes, mercury is very bad and poison-y and such. But the big scary mercury, the one that keeps pregnant women away from fish, is methylmercury. Thimerosal is ethylmercury, which is not the same thing. An analogy: your friendly neighborhood vodka is ethyl alcohol. The bottle of alcohol that will blind you and possibly kill you is methyl alcohol. Now while ethanol may not be all that great for you, saying that because methanol causes hard core damage ethanol does too is just crap. Get it? Of course, we all know that the vaccine/autism link is being suppressed by the Big Evil Scientist Conspiracy. Those nasty educated scientists thinking that with their statistics and their studies and their logic and their peer-review process they can prove me wrong! Ha!

Sorry, but shit like this just infuriates me. Have I mentioned that there is no global warming and that the universe's complexity is evidence that it had to be Designed lately?

Off the soapbox, I need to not talk to people when I'm drunk as I do things like admit to having had a crush on Formerly Primary Science Crushboy to said boy. In my defense, he started the conversation. Though I'm not sure how it metamorphosed to my little confession, but whatever. The funniest part was right after the phrase "you had your chance" escaped my lips, he looked at me, and I looked away and said "I am not drunk enough to have this conversation with you." Um, yeah. Who knew that two-dollar Lionshead was actually truth serum?


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