A creationist group is organizing an event at a major university (unnamed, since I certainly don’t want to promote the event), and some scientists there wanted advice on how to respond. One approach we discussed was using humor to push back. I love the idea, but it's not as simple as you'd think. How can satire and humor work? And how can they backfire? Read on.

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“I’d like a Biblical check on that.”

Those were the first words I heard upon logging into Monday’s working session of the Texas board of education. The board was meeting with publishers to discuss revisions to social studies textbooks, in preparation for the final adoption vote on November 21.

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With Cosmos’ thirteenth episode, “Unafraid of the Dark,” Neil deGrasse Tyson brings to conclusion his extraordinary re-imagining of Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking series. Tyson’s brilliant presentations, rich in detail while always clear and comprehensible, have done a great service to the public understanding of science. Over the last few months, the intellectual wasteland of American popular culture was briefly illuminated with this surprising display of science.

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In late 2012, GQ magazine asked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, “How old do you think the Earth is?”

He answered “4.55 billion years” and no one ever talked about it again.

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“Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me”

—Traditional mnemonic for stellar classification

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THERE’S TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT LAST SUNDAY'S EPISODE OF COSMOS.

Steve Newton and I have shared Cosmos reviewing duties, and this week Neil deGrasse Tyson and his team served us an overflowing plate.

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I recently took umbrage at Richard McNider and John Christy’s claims, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, to being like the “scientific skeptics” who “dared question” a “scientific consensus” of a flat Earth.

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’Twas the night before Kitzmas and all through the land,
No creationist was stirring, not even Ken Ham;
The briefs had been drafted and filed with great care,
In hopes that Judge Jones’s decision’d be fair;
The plaintiffs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Bill of Rights visions ran round in their heads;
And Nick blogged for PT, and Vic played The Boss,
And fretted and fussed o’er the chance of a loss,

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After last month’s Texas textbook vote, I was ready to declare total victory. I wrote:

It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come.

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