last week i linked to the first news trickling out about a new paper by a NASA astrobiologist that purported to show that a meteorite contained fossilized bacteria. well, once people took a good look at the paper and its findings it became clear that the findings were absurd. lots of commentary on this one.
the pseudo-journal in which the paper was published responded to all the criticisms with an epic paranoid delusional rant. one of the people behind the journal sent an email to PZ Myers that's.... weird, let's just say. lol.
seeing as how this is all vaguely similar to the arsenic bacteria fiasco, NASA is taking some flack. so Lynn Rothschild wrote to defend NASA. NASA distanced itself from the whole thing but PZ Myers thought not strongly enough.
what if we really did find alien life? how would we react?
massive 9.0 (at this point; the figure keeps getting revised) earthquake hits Japan. the quake and subsequent tsunami cause massive destruction. this thing was so powerful Earth wobbled on its axis and the days got shorter. check out this NOAA video showing the quake's energy ripple across the planet.
this series of before and after satellite photos from Google Earth shows the extent of the devastation. one of Japan's nuclear power plants is in danger of melting down. Maggie Koerth-Baker explains nuclear power plants so that you can get a better handle on just what's happening and where the danger is.
on penis spines. that's right. you read that right. penis spines. all you wanted to know about them and how we lost them and how they separate us from our ancestors. (or do they?) John Hawks, Ed Yong.
Pascal's Wager? don't make me laugh!
how a pit viper saved millions of lives- snakes as drug factories.
Jason Rosenhouse reviews Franscis Collins and Karl Giberson's new book that aims to defend theistic evolution- spoiler: it doesn't work.
Sean Carroll took a look at the Ontological Argument and shows where and why it fails.
the Oregon legislature voted to repeal the "faith-healing" exemption from state law.
the archbishop of Philadelphia suspended 21 priests suspected of child abuse.
John Loftus pointed to an essay by EvoPsych Jesse Bering on neurological syndromes, nymphomania, and free will. Lofus also pointed to new work by Stephen Law refuting Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism.
R. Joseph Hoffman wrote on "quick fix atheism", the Dawkins Revolution, and the need for worry.
Chris at The Teapot Atheist posted a great rant on the value of theology.
Dolores is training to be an abortion provider and wrote to answer some common questions she gets.
Pascal Boyer's new post is an interesting read- why would (otherwise intelligent) scholars believe in "Religion"?
Paul Kurtz- why do people believe?