Skeptiles: Episode 42 – Fail Better

Skeptiles: Episode 42 – Fail Better

Skeptiles Skeptiles for Monday, July 1st, 2013 in which we start with our usual banter and then discuss the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling and their gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the Pollyanna delusions of Chris Hayes regarding those decisions, Scooter brings us back to the end of the world, we talk about the fight against anti-abortion laws in Texas and we hear known feminist and secret love child of Gomer Pyle and Ronald Reagan, Jim DeMint, talk about how women just love mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound exams, we debate the origins, uses and abuses of “states rights”, finally, we talk about a lawsuit regarding farting demons and the new atheist monument in Florida, plus Joe brings us fresh Arrested Developments and Scooter shares a Cheech and Chong story.



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Related Links:

Sunday Assembly, New York: ‘We’re Coming Out!’

Melissa Harris-Perry on SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

How 5 Supreme Court Racists Have Hung The VRA Around GOP’s Neck

Six States Already Moving Forward With Voting Restrictions After Supreme Court Decision

 Jim DeMint: Women want to be forced to have ultrasounds

Romanian lawyer sues his bishop and four priests claiming they failed to properly exorcise flatulent demons in his house

Florida atheists unveil monument to nonbelief in God to sit alongside slab of Ten Commandments

“The South is a christian nation”


Minister Charged with Sex Acts in Court Over Deed Dispute

Tulsa Pastor accused of having sex, impregnating his 15-year-old relative

Westchester Man Recounts Run-In With Alleged Police Impersonator Rabbi

Priest held for ‘slander’

French police arrest six in anti-terrorism raids


6 Replies to “Skeptiles: Episode 42 – Fail Better”

  1. The discussion about the end of civilisation really cheered up my day… you should check out The Dark Mountain Project; they’re well into that kinda crap. For myself, I think we’ll contract massively as resources become scarce, and that will probably cause a few wars, civil or otherwise. But I do think that we’ve accumulated enough information/knowledge that we’d be unlikely to slip back into very primitive societies. Of course, those science geeks might finally make good and we’ll have plentiful resources from captured asteroids and satellite arrays beaming down energy too cheap to meter 😉

    Humans most successful species? I don’t think so. Alligators and sharks are pretty fucking successful (though WE are trying hard to reverse that), but that’s all very animal-centric – what about molds and fungus? Bet there are more successful fungi. What about single-celled lifeforms? Some really great successes there…. Hell, slime-molds are not only pretty successful, they are simply amazing! And almost completely uncategorisable! And let’s not forget insects and arachnids – I’ll bet both are even more successful than humans in their ranges, geological spans, and total numbers….

    I knew about freeze-distillation. Easier, cheaper, and safer than setting up a home still. Freeze cider and drain off the alcohol to make applejack! That shit even has it’s own page on wiki!

    Looking forward to Jimmy Dore and Barry Crimmins – I STILL love listening to Kill the Messenger that Scooter played clips from on Inner Side years ago, and it was fucking old even then! Was really weird back then listening to Barry talk about Bush and war in the gulf from the early 90s and for it still to be so fuckign relevent over a decade later. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Antony. Regarding who is the most successful species, I still think it’s humans. While I think crocs, alligators and sharks are quite successful in the longevity dept., it’s species like Homo Sapiens, Norwegian Rats and German Cockroaches that are most successful because they can live literally anywhere. When humans colonize other planets and those colonies become completely self-sufficient, the contest is over. Spreading your species accross multiple planets wins the game hands down. And I’m sure our rat and cockroach friends will figure out some way to join us too.

    1. I appreciate your stance Shawn, but I don’t really buy it and I think it exhibits an extremely common and widespread egotistical, but mostly subconscious, belief that we humans are somehow the pinnacle of evolution. Top of the evolutionary tree. You’re not alone in this, and there is a very interesting section in Bill Bryson’s book ‘A Brief History of Nearly Everything’ that discusses the arguments about positioning humans and other multi-cellular life on the tree-of-life. It’s a good book and I highly recommend it. The audiobook is also good, though some of the facts seem to work better in written form, and always feels to me like listening to the Guide from HHGTTG…

      Anyhow, I think the idea that we’re the most ‘successful’ first really needs ‘successful’ to be properly defined. There’s longevity, or there’s range. I cannot think of any others. With regards to longevity humans are, we have already agreed, pretty rubbish. Both sharks and alligators, along with turtles and tortoises, have changed very little since dinosaurs were around. And from the way you talk I guess you’re talking about range, and we are VERY wide-ranging, but I don’t think ultimately so; lichen can and does colonise a much greater range, including the arctic circle and mountain tops. What about algae? Moss? Grass? Not to mention bacteria and other single-celled organisms – you completely ignore them, but they have been found living deep within the crust or in water that is extremely hot or incredibly acidic, places humans could never live. And in the defence of humans you say we could potentially colonise other planets; well if we do I will concede to you, but we’re nowhere near that right now. We can just about send people up in small cans to float around barely outside the atmosphere and can’t do anymore due to how susceptible to radiation damage we are. We are just about considering a single trip to another planet, but are only considering elderly couples because the risk is so big….

      I find your position rather amusingly ironic, since it exhibits both a lack of scepticism and the default position of religion; that humans inhabit some exalted position in nature, supreme and ‘special’, created in god’s image, and the like. Probably has roots deeper than religion and religion is probably simply expressing this deep idea in it’s own way, as do you.

      I just read back what I wrote an I do realise I sound like a bit of a prick, but I cannot think of another way to say what I said without sounding as such. But I would like to say, I do think that we are extremely special and brilliant in other ways; music, art, philosophy, science, maths, technology – we are a truly amazing species! I just don’t think ‘most successful’ is a word I would use for us. Profligate maybe… 😉

      1. It has nothing to do with egotism. Humans, rats and cockroaches are successful in the way that you can measure the success of most lifeforms. We’re successful in the way that bacteria, rats and cockroaches are successful — we may not live long, but we are everywhere. The longevity of a particular generation means nothing, making the next generation and having that generation survive long enough to make the next one is all that matters.

      2. Just to clarify, I meant longevity of the species, not individuals. And we are no way as successful as bacteria or other single-celled organisms. They’ve been around vastly longer, can survive vastly greater ranges, and there are vastly more of them – there are more micro-organisms living on and in you than there are cells in your body! (Or, as I read it; there are more cells in your body that contain ‘foreign’ DNA than there are cells that contain your own DNA)…

  3. With our ever increasing weaponry in power, simplicity of production and hard wired desire to create, man, and possibly life, won’t survive at some point in the not-too-distant future without a global and invasive police state.

    It’s the main reason I’m an anti-theist. Pimitve fairy tales have way too many people believing death is better than life.

    1/ things that go boom might take a while but I don’t see biological taking very long.

    2/  my distasteful and sadly best solution is thought implants that shut you down pre crime. I think humans are in a blind race between brain and weaponry science.

    PS: if I’m right Libertarianism is a pipe dream.

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