The Sciences

Skepchick's Top Tens, wherein I boot booty

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitDec 30, 2008 4:23 PM


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Last week, Rebecca at Skepchick posted her Top Ten Jackasses of 2008. I agree with her picks in general, though I would've put Jenny McCarthy as #1 (if someone posts a Top Ten list, you have to say how you would've done it differently; it's a law), or at least tied with Ben Stein. To counterbalance that, she just posted her Top Ten Skeptics Who Kicked Ass in 2008. Again, in the same vein, I would've put Amanda Peet higher, since what she did was actually a potential speedbump for her career and therefore pretty brave. As well as critically needed. In fact, it seems clear that Rebecca should've swapped Ms. Peet's position with PZ's. What was she thinking? Well, actually, her putting PZ and moi in a tie was probably the most politically expedient thing to do. On the other hand, a blog war in the comments of that post would increase her traffic considerably, though, of course, dropping the signal-to-noise to essentially zero. I also (and I'm not being falsely modest, never fear that) would've put Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh higher than me; they went out and took a lot of heat for attacking pseudoscientific garbage in 2008. I had a good year personally, but these guys had a great year for being on the front lines. But all in all it was a good list, and it gives you a chance to keep your eyes on a few folks who, no doubt, will continue to fight the good fight. And another thing I like about year-end Top Ten lists: they make me think of the upcoming year, and what needs to get done. 2009 will be a year, like every single one before it, full of antiscientific nonsense. Whose butt will you kick in the upcoming 365 days?

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