A couple of things caught my eye today, so instead of one post on one subject, I’ll just mention a few of them.
The first news item of significance is that a recent study shows that a fetus (or as they spell in in the UK, a foetus) feels no pain before the 24th week of gestation.
The studies suggest that late abortions, permitted for serious abnormalities or risks to a woman’s health, do not result in foetal suffering because of increasing evidence that the chemical environment in the uterus induces “a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation”.
Interesting. So, are we talking about “murder” here, as the anti-abortion people like to call it? Or is it a medical procedure that is no different than removing a tumor? Or something in between?
Me? I’m still pro-choice, and this news simply reinforces my attitude. The living, breathing woman is of paramount concern, and it’s her choice. I was inclined to say something along the lines of “Well, I don’t condone waiting 24 weeks before having an abortion”, but I won’t even take that stance. The stance is not mine to take.
Australia can now claim a woman, and maybe more importantly, a self-described “nonreligious” Prime Minister. This is not to say that in addition to being the first female PM, she’s also the first atheist PM, but it’s damn close. Her religious belief, or lack thereof, is not specifically known, but she’s not an outspoken god-botherer, pandering to the theists and their superstitions for votes. Which is as it should be.
Down in North Carolina, atheists have another billboard fired off in the so-called billboard wars. This one, for some unknown reason, is also creating controversy. Why, it is unclear. The billboard sports the words One Nation Indivisible across a red, white and blue flag background. So the objection from the religious wing-nuts is not about what it says, but about what it doesn’t say. Apparently, with the words Under God not being there, the billboard is incomplete, even though the rest of the Pledge of Allegiance is not there either.
In Texas, home of some of the most irrational logicians in the universe, a federal judge in Austin struck down an attempt by the Institution for Creation Research (a religious organization trying to convince us that it is a scientific institution) to be certified to give Master’s degrees in science. Their attempt was a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
“It appears that although the court has twice required [ICR] to re-plead and set forth a short and plain statement of the relief requested, plaintiff is entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information,” Judge Sam Sparks wrote.
They’re so incompetent, they don’t recognize their own incompetence. Can you imagine living in a country where you can be taught science by a person holding a Master of Science degree in Creationism?
That’s just a little bit of All the News Fit to Print.