Hi! I'm JJ (aka Mama JJ). I'm a secular parent, an atheist and a feminist. I'm fiercely pro-choice and about as far left as you can get on the Liberal to Conservative scale. If you hang out with me you'll get thoughts on all of these subjects and occasionally excerpts from conversations with my 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. I tag all of the conversations with "heard today" (links up above) and all the parenting stuff gets tagged with "Secular Parenting." My URL comes from the phrase "Teach children how to think, not what to think" which is my parenting philosophy in a nutshell. If you have a question, my inbox is always open and anon is usually on. Welcome!
Posts tagged "science"

If you have a uterus and you are NOT on birth control, can you answer a few quick questions?  If you don’t want to do it in the replies, you can message me, anon or not.

1)  The week or so before my period, my appetite INCREASES, DECREASES or stays the SAME.

2)  The week or so before my period, my breasts are SORE or NOT SORE.

3)  I am <COLOR> according to the chart below.


So for example, your answer could be: 1) increases, 2) not sore, 3) yellow.

I have a hypothesis that, so far, holds true within a circle of friends, but I need more data.  THANK YOU!

Edited to add:  I’m not fond of the labels on the chart above, especially the “healthy” that implies other weights are “unhealthy.”  I’m using it bc it shows pounds and kilograms on the same chart and I couldn’t find another that did so.  Please just ignore the labels and I’m sorry I couldn’t find a better one.  :-/

Interviewer: The distrust of science you mention is something we often see played out in fiction – the cliché of a mad, world-ending scientist. Do you think those portrayals have fed into the hostility you describe?

Ann Druyan: I certainly do. I think it goes back to the Old Testament, actually, to Genesis and the idea that everything will be great if you live in ignorance, but the moment you partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, you’re doomed and you’ll never be happy again. The popular manifestation is just echoes of that first nightmare where we wake up in this maximum security prison called Eden and we become our human selves and God is never happy with us ever again. That’s the cultural baggage that we all carry.

Science is such a revolutionary way of looking at things and that’s precisely why I find it so compelling, because it’s a permanent revolution, it’s never satisfied, it’s never done. We hope that the series of Cosmos will convey something of that ethos and the awesome power of what you get – living twice as longer, communicating at the speed of light with each other – those are the real by-products of science, and it’s time we started appreciating those as well as some of the sins that science has known.

Louisa Mellor’s Interview with Ann Druyan and Neil deGrasse Tyson (read the rest here)



Seriously: It’s seven minutes of pure joy. 


This. Is. Awesome.

(originally found on the ifuckinglovescience facebook page)

neeble submitted:

I don’t think this is the one you’re talking about, but it’s very similar. 

It seems to be only mentioned in a few articles, but the researcher; Dr. Sam Parnia, seems to have published a book about his study. 

Even if this isn’t the study you were looking for, I hope you find it interesting anyways. :) I’m glad to have gone on a little hunt for it, because now I'm curious about this stuff!

That’s the one!  The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study and it looks like it started in 2008.  And you’re right, not much online about it other than an interview in 2010 with Dr. Parnia saying that, based on his knowledge so far, near death experiences are an illusion.

Thanks so much!

Also, you’re welcome to your delusions, but don’t try to make them into law.  And don’t try to make me believe them.  And don’t try to insist your delusions make you a better, more moral, person.  We all need to speak up.  ~JJ

Do it right.

Scene:  Tucking my 7 year old into bed tonight.

Son: I wish I could shoot lightning out of my fingers like [names several Star Wars characters].

Me:  That would be very cool, wouldn’t it?

Son: But no one can do that…  (looks down, sadly)

Me:  How do you know?

Son: (Wiggles fingers out in front of himself and grimaces) Does it look like I can shoot lightning from my fingers?

Me: True. No human can do that in real life.  But…  look up at your ceiling.  See how many little tiny bumps are up there?

Son:  Yeah.  TRILLIONS.

Me:  Well, maybe not trillions, but a LOT.  Now, pretend every single one of those bumps are stars and every single one of those stars has planets around them.  Our world, Earth, is only one planet going around ONE of those teeny tiny bumps.

Son:  Woah.

Me:  And we have never gotten close to exploring even one other star’s planets - not even ONE of those billions of stars in our galaxy.  Do you see all those bumps up there?  There could be thousands and thousands of planets with things living on them right now.  And we have no idea.

Son:  Do you think that one of those other stars might have a planet with people living on it that can shoot lightning from their fingers?

Me: I don’t know.  But maybe one day, you’re the one that finds out!


I think this meme simplifies a much more complex issue.

I believe the conflict that exists between science and religion has little to do with evidence and everything to do with faith. When we approach an argument with a theist with irrefutable, measurable, and repeatable data, we make the…

I agree with this meme 100% and I think there are three main ways to interpret it:

1)  Read it at face value - Science is continually disproving things the Bible holds to be true.  So you then have two choices, a) call that particular story allegory or b) deny science and hold to your inaccurate belief

2)  Delve into the Faith aspect - Religion requires Faith with is, by definition, something that cannot be proven; Science requires evidence.  This is a conflict in and of itself of course, but it causes real problems when Science has found something which is held by Faith to be true as incorrect.

3)  Read it as a “God of the Gaps” argument - Many, many of the religious claim that which is unknown is God.  As Science continually finds the answers to things that were once claimed to be “of god,” Religion shrinks.

Are there scientists out there that are believers?  Of course.  But no matter how hard someone tries to deny it, religion and science are not compatible.  The oft quoted Tim Minchin puts it best: Science adjusts its beliefs on what’s observed, Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.  ~JJ

(via nonplussedbyreligion-deactivate)

Adults, please&#8230; if my 7-year-old has no problem grasping the concept of evolution, you all can, too.  To not teach basic science to kids is criminal.  ~JJ

Adults, please… if my 7-year-old has no problem grasping the concept of evolution, you all can, too.  To not teach basic science to kids is criminal.  ~JJ

Not a single one of the cells that compose you knows who you are, or cares.

I stumbled across this article last night about an hour after I had put my 7-year-old to bed.  Venus, Jupiter AND Mars, all easily visible?  A gorgeous, clear night?  A telescope sitting next to the door to the deck?  

I just HAD to wake him up.  I’m a bad mom like that.

It took a good five minutes to rouse him from sleep (which made me think, perhaps, waking him on a school night wasn’t the greatest idea I’ve ever had), but when I finally got him to understand why I was poking at him, he popped out of bed and pulled on his socks and shoes.

The telescope was already pointed toward Venus (though I had to adjust it a bit, of course, as the position had changed).  ”WOAH,” he whispered, “I wish we could go there.”

“Mmm… what do you suppose the weather would be like?” (The weekend before we had read that Venus is mostly volcanoes and a pretty consistent 860 degrees Fahrenheit).

“Oh.  Right.  Well, then a robot, maybe.  But I want to direct it.”

We examined Jupiter through the telescope next, then flipped it around to the East to check out Mars.  Since we’re novice star gazers and our telescope isn’t the greatest, there wasn’t much to see.   We decided to just spread out our blanket and stare up at the stars instead.

“Mom?  Can you wake me up to do this EVERY night?”

Phew.  Bad mom crises averted.  ~JJ

Wow.  So that little story about my son and me has gotten over 300 notes already and is still going.  Usually my posts reach a very small audience of non-believers so explanations and clarifications aren’t necessary.  This one has gone a bit beyond the usual crowd.  :-)

First, there is no one way to parent and eliminating religion isn’t a requirement for raising curious kids.

Can Christians believe in the Big Bang Theory?  Yes, of course.

Can a Christian be in awe of the universe?  Yes, of course.

Can children being raised in Christian households be interested in science? Yes, of course.

But no matter how hard you try to deny it, religion and science are not compatible.  The oft quoted Tim Minchin puts it much better than I could: Science adjusts its beliefs on what’s observed, Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.

And numbing the minds of children with religion (as seen in the comments from other FIRST GRADERS in my son’s class), destroys their natural curiosity and demands they be satisfied with “God did it.”

I would much rather tell my son “I don’t know… Let’s find out.”  ~JJ