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Comments by Clairebear

Go to: Maddow: Christian Ignorance Revives Discrimination in Virginia

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Clairebear

HOW do people like this end up in a position to make important decisions? In the future, will Americans watch these videos and read about this time with disbelief that it could have been this way?

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 06:10:00 UTC | #443658

Go to: Uncivilized Tactics at UC Irvine (Rough Cut)

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 106 by Clairebear

These men remind me of football "hooligans", full of conceit and machismo, regardless of what they stand for. There's many things I believe in, and many lectures I've been to where I disagree, but if one or many of my allies stood up and yelled at the lecturer like this, I'd die of shame. Even if they were right and were standing for a cause I was deeply committed to.

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 17:27:00 UTC | #443466

Go to: Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Clairebear

Dromedary Hump? WTF?

Tue, 16 Feb 2010 03:00:00 UTC | #441712

Go to: Secular society upset by Judge Cherie decision

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Clairebear

He punched a man and broke his jaw over a quarrel in a bank. That's clearly some kind of personality disorder or anger problem. Blair's comments are ambiguous, she may have meant that he was religious and therefore ought to be let off lightly, or she might (as I suspect) have let him off anyway and was simply mentioning religion superficially. But why mention religion at all, is my question. Surely that sort of action reflects more on what kind of a person he is than ANY label - sikh, christian, liberal, socialist, etc. etc. It doesn't seem likely that a judge would end up describing a defendant as 'a decent secular humanist who has done nothing wrong before', or a 'decent wiccan who has done no harm in the past'. People would rightly say, 'what does the fact that she is a wiccan or a humanist have to do with it?'

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 01:19:00 UTC | #438633

Go to: Should Richard Dawkins be arrested for incitement to religious hatred?

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 150 by Clairebear

*sighs* christians always say they're the ones being picked on by Dawkins. Obviously they haven't read any of his other articles or books.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 21:37:00 UTC | #437684

Go to: The Great Disappointment

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by Clairebear

I like this one from raptureready:

How can we enjoy heaven with loved ones in hell?

God's Word foretells that the Lord will wipe away all tears and sorrow for Believers --that all the things of the past, sinful world will be removed in some way. We infer from this that all memories that are painful --such as knowledge that we have family and friends who are suffering eternal damnation because of their rejection of Salvation through God's son, JesusChrist, will be totally erased in the Heavenly dimension


Mon, 01 Feb 2010 01:18:00 UTC | #437290

Go to: Ray Comfort's Darwin Comic,

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Clairebear

Jeez, do you see the ad for the novel at the side of the page? Ray Comfort has written a novel? I'm almost curious to see what it's like - will they just publish any old drivel as long as it's got a god-fearing message, or do they require it to be halfway readable too?

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 18:30:00 UTC | #437148

Go to: Ray Comfort's Darwin Comic,

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Clairebear

Shame is, it's really quite pretty* for a few panels before the weirdness and lies. I'd love to see a proper and TRUTHFUL picture book for children about Darwin. Does anyone know where I can find one?

* Although that girl baby's arm in the first panel is some freaky s***

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 18:25:00 UTC | #437146

Go to: German Home-Schoolers Granted Political Asylum in US

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by Clairebear

63. Comment #455814 by Dave H on January 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm

If the local schools are good, and the kids don't have any special needs or problems, and the parents can still supplement school education with some home religious education if they wanted, what is the reason to completely home-school? (That's not a rhetorical question - I'd really be interested to hear some reasons from the likes of Clairebear.)

There are plenty of reasons to homeschool. I thank dog I was homeschooled, or I wouldn't be the person I am today. As for if the schools around are good, it really depends what your definition of a good school is. In my opinion, you'd be hard pressed to find a good school anywhere, unless it was radically different to what we know of as a school. I went to school when I was 16, to get my qualifications to go to university, and I found the work easy even though I'd never followed a curriculum of any kind. I hated being there, because I and others my age were treated as if we were about ten years old, and it was just so incredibly dull. I'd say 75% of the time we weren't actually doing anything. In those two years I learned a lot - not in school, but at home on the internet, which I would get on as soon as I got home. This is actually how I discovered Richard Dawkins and others and found I was interested in science. This is how I learned when I was "homeschooled" as well, which is why I think "homeschooling" is a misnomer - it's not like I just did lessons at home. I didn't really have separate lessons, I had a lot of books and resources and friendships with people who weren't all my own age and "clique", and no patronising teachers. When I told people I was homeschooled, they always came out with the same stereotypical comments, like "you won't be prepared for the real world" which is ridiculous seeing as school is the opposite of the world, and it's certainly not true. I never had any trouble doing presentations at school, even when others were terrified of reading aloud. I never find it difficult to speak up for myself or talk to anyone. People also told me that I must be the exception to the rule, but I'm not - I've heard the same thing from my homeschooling friends too. There was another ex-homeschooled girl who went to the same school I eventually went to, and she got the highest grade in GCSE in the entire year. Plenty of the famous scientists and philosophers were homeschooled or had an unconventional education - Thomas Edison for instance. Then there are many mainstream celebrities who were homeschooled. But it seems like we're all just so used to the idea of school that we can't imagine it being different to how it is, and the prevailing opinion is that any school is better than no school. People will go to any lengths to defend school and trash homeschooling, even when you show them again and again that the stereotypes are usually false (at least in Europe). Are there homeschoolers who fit the stereotype? Sure, especially in the US (though I never met one). But then there are plenty of school-goers like that too. I will say that any social problems a person has, or any problems breaking free of their parents' opinions, if they are inclined to indoctrinate them, are likely to be there whether they're homeschooled or not. I think pretty differently to both my parents, and always have done. I think some idea of "school" could be useful, but only if it changed beyond recognition to a place filled with available resources where children are encouraged to learn for themselves, and also, of course, not compulsory. I suppose I take a vaguely marxist approach to it, (though I never knew it was seen as a marxist approach till I was told so, this is how I've always felt. I'm aware that "marxist" is one of those words that pushes buttons and makes people deny whatever you're saying immediately) that school teaches you to be obedient to authority and not challenge the status quo, and also, of course, a convenient way to get the kids out of everybody's hair. I can't wait for when I have kids and can begin educating them in the real world rather than the stifling atmosphere of a classroom.

PS: thanks for asking my opinion. This is one of the most important causes to me. I think if I could change Britain by waving a wand, I'd do to schools what I've written above.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 21:46:00 UTC | #436436

Go to: German Home-Schoolers Granted Political Asylum in US

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by Clairebear

I (A Briton) was homeschooled. I am now at university. I grew up socialising with both other homechoolers and school-goers, and the British homeschoolers I met were the brightest, most interesting bunch of people you can imagine. I did not meet one evangelical, unless you count an American family who moved here. We only ever seem to get to hear about homeschooled people when they fit the stereotype of religious and maladjusted, and that makes me incredibly sad.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 13:17:00 UTC | #436290

Go to: The 10:23 Event

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Clairebear

33. Comment #451732 by glenister_m on January 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Comment #451694 by Clairebear
... and the homeopaths would love that, because it would 'prove' it was real medicine.

If you take too much of something, and you get sick or die, that does not prove it is real medicine. It only proves it is toxic above a certain dose.

Yeah, I know that, but do the homeopaths know that? Surely if someone took loads of homeopathic 'remedies' and died of (say) water intoxication, they would say it was due to a real overdose, such as with real medicine, and they would believe the correlation implied homeopathy was legitimate and effective. I'm not saying I believe any of that stuff, just that they do.

Tue, 19 Jan 2010 00:01:00 UTC | #432847

Go to: The 10:23 Event

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Clairebear

Of course, you'd have to be careful you didn't drink the most MASSIVE amount, because though there's nothing in homeopathy, too much water can certainly kill you... and the homeopaths would love that, because it would 'prove' it was real medicine.

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 16:05:00 UTC | #432646

Go to: UK fails to halt female genital mutilation

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 116 by Clairebear

The police ought to be outraged about FGM. So should everyone be. Why don't they care about this problem? Why doesn't the government care about it? Oh I know - because it's happening to girls, and it's happening to girls of "other races" so they reckon it's not their business.

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 22:20:00 UTC | #426081

Go to: Genetic breakthrough hails new cancer research era

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Clairebear

I'm really excited by these stories, they give me a lot of hope that we will be able to solve some problems that feel like a lost cause... I hope there will be breakthroughs and they will figure out how to deal with global warming and how to get rid of viruses. Now, people say that's impossible, but they've been saying all kinds of things are impossible...

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 02:12:00 UTC | #423931

Go to: Brief Scientific Autobiography

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Clairebear

#72 Lisa Bauer
#73 seals

Agree with both these posts. I too would be interested in reading about it.
And that doesn't mean that the science couldn't be there also. There have been books where you learn quite a bit of science (or philosophy or some other subject) at the same time as following a story and being entertained.

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 19:41:00 UTC | #423117

Go to: Brief Scientific Autobiography

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Clairebear

This chapter largely ignores all such private matters and mentions childhood and school experiences only insofar as they seem to bear upon a later career in science. I am genuinely curious to know whether this experiment in scientific autobiography works, and whether the same level of detachment from personal emotions would carry over to a book-length autobiography. Or should I simply turn down the publishers' requests?

I'd love to hear about RD's life, if he wanted to tell it. It was Richard who got me into science when I was 16 (I think it was a video of him reading excerpts from 'Unweaving the Rainbow'), and it wasn't just the subject matter, but the delivery and the humour that got me interested in the science, and also made me revise my opinion about scientists in general. It's one of the reasons David Attenborough is popular, too - not just because he's a great naturalist, but his whole approach, and way he makes it seem relevant to people's lives. I know no-one owes it to anybody to reveal anything about their personal life, and I'm not saying I wouldn't read a mostly scientific account (of Richard's life). I would do, and I think most people would, but I also think that memoirs by scientists would go a long way towards 'breaking the barrier' and demolishing the stereotype of scientists as dry, boring intellectuals. There's a danger of carrying it too far, perhaps, and putting the focus on personality rather than science (And we see that problem all the time, when people focus on Newton's personality, or Darwin's, rather than their discoveries) but that will probably happen anyway, with or without a biography.

Of course, sooner or later, there's probably going to be some awful unauthorised biography of him written by someone else...

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 16:50:00 UTC | #423094

Go to: Brief Scientific Autobiography

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Clairebear

Wow, I'm surprised to hear Richard wasn't a pro at biology (at first). That's reassuring for me... I always feel bad when I don't do well. Totally agree about teachers - too much focus put on exams these days. :)

I really do hope Richard will write a full autobiography, I'd love to read it.

Gonna finish reading now... listening to TGSOE as I'm reading, so I'm concentrating on two things at once.

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 00:27:00 UTC | #422969

Go to: The Evolution of Richard Dawkins, the Rock Star of Neo-Atheism

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Clairebear

I thought that **wasn't** going to be the title to the whole book, just the name of one of the chapters?

Got to love that image of Richard - why do they always pick the ones of him looking kind of grumpy, as if that proves their point?

EDIT: Well, you know, now I've read the article, I don't think the author of it was being that unfair - at least not all the way through. It ended on a somewhat positive note. If you're a journalist, you've got to try to be objective, and I think he was really talking about the public reaction to Dawkins and Dennett etc., rather than his own.

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 21:37:00 UTC | #422364

Go to: Kent Hovind's Doctoral Dissertation

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Clairebear

Sweet Jesus, that's bad writing. Got to love those double and triple exclamation marks.

He saw heaven!!!

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 22:38:00 UTC | #421998

Go to: 10 strangest Jesus sightings of 2009

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Clairebear

... weird ...

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 19:34:00 UTC | #421094

Go to: The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by Clairebear

81 men and 19 women...

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 23:26:00 UTC | #419635

Go to: Divine Impulses: Richard Dawkins on 'the arrogance of religious persons'

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Clairebear

Beautiful! Short and sweet.

Tue, 01 Dec 2009 20:45:00 UTC | #419117

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 109 by Clairebear

Rather than quoting every one of these naive sexist comments with my response underneath, since that will get me nowhere, I'm just going to pull out the anti-feminist drinking game cards:

And retire to my lab with a truckload of gin and figure out if there's something I can put in the water to make women reproduce asexually from now on, because of course I'm an evil, man-hating feminist and that's what we do.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 21:18:00 UTC | #416783

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by Clairebear

95. Comment #434863 by overwhelmedas1wouldB on November 25, 2009 at 1:49 pm

It's ironic. Many of the females commenting here--those who are offended--are conforming to the stereotype depicted. Lighten up ladies

Yeeess, lighten up ladies

Nellie McKay puts it well when she sings at TED

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 15:16:00 UTC | #416506

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by Clairebear

50. Comment #434644 by blitz442 on November 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm


I agree, but most of the media is controlled by MEN. Almost all those who write these scripts and direct these things that portray men as stupid are men. I have no idea why they portray themselves as idiots, but it's nevertheless in a way which caters to them, in a kind of 'Men are simple and logical and just want sex, women are so complex and want to ruin our fun' way

I disagree. The audience is ultimately what controls what comes out of the entertainment media, and women tend to consume more t.v. and movies than men. In fact, women tend to consume and spend more in general than men (walk down any crowded retail street or mall and count the number of stores devoted exclusively to females).

The creators of media products and the advertisers know which side their bread is buttered on. The common portrayal of men as evil brutes or incompetent dunces and women as the superior sex is due to the preferences of the female viewers, not some bizarre unilateral agenda of a few male writers.

And it is not necessarily true that all writers are men. The feminist diatribe, I mean American t.v. series, "Mad Men" is written mostly by women.

I never said all writers and directors, I said most, which IS true. It's also true that they cater to a male audience. Just try thinking of films that have come out lately that have female characters in the lead and are not 'chick flicks'. Heck, even Pixar has released eleven movies so far, ALL of which have the main character as a male. There's a system called the Bechdel test used to evaluate a film, there must be:

1. At least two female characters with names
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a male character

It really takes work to think of some. Just think of the films that have come out lately, and weigh them up: which have female lead characters, and which have male? It's almost always about men, unless it's a vacuous chick-flick. Anyway, I think I might've gone off on a tangent here... but I think it's amazing that people only see a prejudice when it's against their group. Something which is biased in favour of men is not seen as being so because that's normal, but if something's 50/50 between men and women, that's seen as being biased in favour of women.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 15:13:00 UTC | #416503

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 92 by Clairebear

60. Comment #434667 by Colwyn Abernathy on November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I agree, Brian. If we have to exclude certain types, people, behaviours from ridicule or ribbing, then who to exclude, and why? S'why I posted Handi Man. It was one of my favourite bits on ILC, even though people thought it was offensive to the handicapped. Well, why CAN'T a mentally retarded man have superpowers? Those arguments always annoy me because it makes their differences somehow "better" and worth protecting. You're right, people are made of stronger stuff, and if we can't laugh at ourselves, then what's left?

I'm talking to YOU, Richard Lewis and your trite "Ha ha...another joke about Tourette's" holier-than-thou PSA's.

Lighten's a funny and fascinating psychological quirk.



But whether I'm joking about women like eve (who I swear I've met several times in my life), rape, murder, child molestation, religion, whatever, being offended can only be seen as an immature response (as long as I'm not actually trying to convince people to apply the "joke world" to real life, of course).


"Picture Porky Pig...raping Elmer Fudd. Eh? Why do you think they call him "Porky"?"

I know you're going to use this as another excuse to say 'woo, this totally proves my point.' but I'm going to say it anyway. I don't want to come here and be reminded why I'm a second class citizen. So a male comedian who knows nothing about rape thinks it's funny? Wow, that's surprising. Most of them do.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 10:40:00 UTC | #416389

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Clairebear

I can understand the argument in favour of the 'this is against people who believe the stereotype not the people themselves' interpretation. That's kind of the argument in favour of Sacha Baron Cohen's characters, that the joke is on the idiots who really believe Bruno or Borat are serious. There's some value in that argument. I also agree with Johann Hari who said 'Satire can never be understood at the level of the most stupid people in the audience, or there would be no satire'. But I DO think comedy and pop-culture in general are very much worth analysing. In fact, they might be more worth analysing than almost anything else. But anyone who tries to analyse it in a way that says, we're not sure this is a great message, gets shouted down as 'the PC police' and 'no sense of humour' as if we're saying the makers should take it off the air and publically apologise. For comparison, think of all the stereotypes in the media of atheists. Whilst not being 'important' on their own, it's always worth talking about why a certain group are represented in the way they are.

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:32:00 UTC | #416221

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Woman

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Clairebear

PZ Myers posted this one too, he doesn't seem to have been keen on it. It's already been taken apart on Pharyngula.

24. Comment #434528 by Hal0_V on November 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Yes, some of you have clever arguments that try to rationalize their choice in humor. Sadly, those arguments do not take away feeling like I have found a place (online) where I can be understood on some level, only to be shown that it is generally o.k. to make fun of me in the standard stereotypical way. No one should be ridiculed due to circumstances of birth, even if the people not being made fun of find it funny.
But hey, that's just my opinion- and my feeling ridiculed.

I completely agree. And just because some people found it funny doesn't mean it's not depressing to come to one of the places I should feel accepted and find this 'women are so irrational' and 'women aren't funny' crap again. Seriously, don't people realise that this 'women aren't funny' thing is just an excuse to avoid looking at the real argument? But then again, it's nothing new.

21. Comment #434524 by Peacebeuponme on November 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Though the general agreement amongst advertisers that men must be depicted as useless oafs constantly amusing or mildy annoying their smart and practical female partners is pretty annoying.

I agree, but most of the media is controlled by MEN. Almost all those who write these scripts and direct these things that portray men as stupid are men. I have no idea why they portray themselves as idiots, but it's nevertheless in a way which caters to them, in a kind of 'Men are simple and logical and just want sex, women are so complex and want to ruin our fun' way.

It happens so often I've lost count, but I always find it amazing when straight, white and/or males tell gay, non-white and/or female people to lighten up and take a joke because they sure can. Well of COURSE anyone can 'take a joke' when it's not you who's oppression or separation is being justified with that joke, and when you're not the one who has to deal with that every single day. Luckily, due to consciousness-raising efforts, nowadays those of us who don't belong to these groups can understand some of what it might be like, for example, as an asian, latina, black or whatever colour person to see their ethnicity stereotyped in the media. And if they didn't laugh at it, would any of you say, 'more proof asians/latinas/blacks aren't funny'? I don't think so. But somehow the stereotyping and writing-off of women is seen as ok because it's meant to be in an all-in-good-fun, battle-of-the-sexes type way. I'm not ok with it, neither are plenty of others who have commented.

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:08:00 UTC | #416215

Go to: The Kirk Cameron Action Kit

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Clairebear

Why no mention of Ray Comfort, though? He's just as responsible for this as Kirk Cameron, maybe even more so.

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 12:31:00 UTC | #415715

Go to: Let the War on Christmas Begin. Atheist style.

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by Clairebear

That particular hymn is never a problem. Just sing the Monty Python version: All things dull and ugly . . . It is very prettily rendered by the choirboys in 'The Meaning of Life', here with added pictures.


I notice someone else's version includes an image of Sylvia Browne when it says 'All evil great and small'...

On a side note - each little squid!?? PZ Myers would not like this. Nor do I, I love squids. :P

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 12:24:00 UTC | #415712