Go Read ’em

The good folks at E-V.com have another great piece today: Ron DeSantis… and the Lost Cause 

It’s all about the new “standards” for teaching slavery in Florida, but it’s much more than that as it goes into the history of the so-called Lost Cause, the Southern historians attempts to whitewash the causes of the Civil War and claim it wasn’t really about slavery.

In debunking the Lost Cause, they point to the “Cornerstone Speech” delivered by Confederate VP Alexander Stephens on March 21, 1861:

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other thought last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact…

Our new government[‘s] corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. 

I strongly recommend reading the whole piece and bookmark it for the next time some right-winger puts forth some bullshit nonsense about slavery. It won’t do any good, of course, as right-wingers are stubbornly resistant to facts.

Acupuncture pseudoscience

Another good blog post that came my way this morning is about that perennial pseudo-science: acupuncture. It seems that once again an otherwise reputable news organization (The Washington Post) has printed a fawning article about it, so Steven Novella has issued yet another take down: Washington Post Falls For Acupuncture Pseudoscience

He points out:

In other words, the evidence is too low quality to conclude that acupuncture works, as desperate as proponents are to say we can reach that conclusion. This is also how different experts can look at the same data and come to different conclusions – it depends on how much you weight different factors, what you consider an “acceptable” study, and how you control for bias. There is also a lot of spin.

Once again I encourage you to read the whole piece and bookmark it for when the pseudoscience nuts emerge from the woodwork. They won’t believe it either, as you can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into.

I once knew someone who claimed that after conventional medicine had failed to cure his athlete’s foot, acupuncture cured it in no time flat.

How do I explain that?

Well, of course, I can’t without further information, but I can offer two possible theories.

Perhaps the conventional medicine did cure his athlete’s foot, but the inflammation didn’t totally recede until he went to an acupuncturist.

Or perhaps he was just lying.

Never underestimate the deceptive powers of the true believers.

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