Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jesus heals a blind man

Mark 8:22-25
(Jesus and his disciples) came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.


Jesus, being the son of God, why couldn't He just heal blindness? That would be more loving and godly. Not much of a scientist. FAIL.

Maybe His disciples today could heal blindness. Right, their book tells them nothing about how to cure diseases. FAIL.

Photobucket

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Christianity is Dead

Christianity has not shown a sign of life in two millennium.

Christianity cryogenically locked itself in 2000 years ago. It fossilized itself. There are no new prophets, no new teachers, no one enlightening us except with the same old tired statements made 2000 plus years ago. They have the one book with no new information or what they like to call revelation. Have you met someone who only lives in the past? It is quite sad.

Science on the other is quite vital and creating countless benefits to mankind. It is curing diseases and making incredible discoveries. Christianity has nothing to add or worse puts a drag on the process.

If you got cancer would you rather go exclusively to an oncologist or exclusively to Pat Robinson to say a little prayer for you? What would you venture the survival rate is between the two? Don't see any Christians hanging up their shingle to have diseases cured. We would consider him to be a voodoo doctor.


Moses miracle of the burning bush only witnessed by him is a good story. We can only see it by a cartoon drawing. In fact most of the imagines in my head of the Bible and its stories, including Jesus, are just cartoon imagines. Seems about right.


I am far more impressed by what the Hubble telescope can show all of us.

Christianity had a good run. Too bad so few realize that it usefulness is behind us and those who keep us there put a major drag on mankind's advancement. Remember how a fundamental President held down stem cell research. Glad that is over.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What is Science

What is Science explained in song.




The True 10 Commandments

You hear periodically in the news how some Christian nut needs to have the 10 commandments posted in some secular public building. They are not content to have it posted in their church or tatoo'ed on their body.

Well, my problem with the Ten Commandments being posted is they are not the TRUE 10 commandments according to the Bible itself

This is what Christian want to mount in stone, quoting from Exodus 20 (repeated Deu 5:1)


However they are NOT called the 10 commandments by the Bible

Instead the true 10 commandments are detailed in Exodus 34

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant‚the Ten Commandments.

Here they are:

1. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

2. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

3. Do not make cast idols.

4. Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

5. The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons. "No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

6. Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

7. Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.

8. Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.

9. Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.

10. Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."


So not only are Christians unaware of the false 10 commandments (ask them to name them), they are unaware what the true 10 commandments are and they certainly do not follow them. I don't see them celebrating the feast of unleavened bread or weeks or ingathering or offering a bloody sacrifice. I don't see them breaking the neck of their first born animals or redeeming them. The seventh commandment, the Lebensraum rule, doesn't seem to be working for them either. This clearly is evidence of how the Bible contradicts itself, but most Christians are unaware of this.

So, if they must post the TEN post the real ones at least.

Or even better post George Carlin's irreducible two commandments.



And of course love Mel Brooks take on the commandments

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kidnapping for Jesus

Excellent article on Laura Silsby and the rest of the loonies taking children from Haiti for Jesus. They are above the law because they are better than everyone else and yet her house is foreclosed on and she disses her employees. Wonder if she was going to sell the kids to get her life back financially.

So annoying this "White Man’s Burden".

Read about it and the great comments here The Missionary Impulse

Discovery Institute a religious or secular organization?

The Discovery Institute is a money laundering business for creationism. They promote "Intelligent Design" as if, but it is simply a marketing effort to snake oil creationism as a science, which it is not. The best and only thing Intelligent Design offers is life is complex and I cannot figure out how it came about so God did it. That is not science. That is supposed to be logic but it is flawed which I wrote about yesterday.

Straight from their lying web page.

Is intelligent design based on the Bible?
No.


Is Discovery Institute a religious organization?
Discovery Institute is a secular think tank, and its Board members and Fellows represent a variety of religious traditions, including mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and agnostic.


Let's see ... a Christian ... a Christian ... a Christian ... a Jew ... and a inbreed cousin who sits around repeating I don't know I don't know.

I see it is not based on religion, because I don't see a Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Islamic among them. Must be Judeo-Christian organization with a token guy who does not know and apparently can add anything. Last time I checked that is not secular.

Perhaps this group should familiarize themselves with Exodus 20
You shall not bear false witness



Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
-- Charles Darwin

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Intelligent design argument - Fallacy of the undistributed middle

The argument for Intelligent Design is logically flawed.

First, let's start with defining syllogism.

Syllogism is a form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. A successful syllogism is like this.
  • Major premise: All humans are mortal
  • Minor premise: I am a human
  • Conclusion : I am mortal

The fallacy of the undistributed middle is a logical fallacy that is committed when the minor premise in a categorical syllogism is not distributed. It is thus a syllogistic fallacy. More specifically it is also a form of non sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow").

The fallacy of the undistributed middle takes the following form:
  • All Zs are Bs.
  • Y is a B.
  • Therefore, Y is a Z.
It may or may not be the case that "all Zs are Bs," but in either case it is irrelevant to the conclusion. What is relevant to the conclusion is whether it is true that "all Bs are Zs," which is ignored in the argument.

Note that if the premises were swapped around in either the conclusion or the first co-premise or if the first premise was rewritten to "All Zs can only be Bs" then it would no longer be a fallacy, although it could still be unsound. This also holds for the following two logical fallacies which are similar in nature to the fallacy of the undistributed middle and also non sequiturs.

An example can be given as follows:
  • All men are human.
  • Women are human.
  • Therefore, women are men.

The general argument for Intelligent Design is logically flawed
  • All life is complex
  • A human designer is required for a mechanical watch, which is complex
  • A supernatural designer is required for life

This argument holds no weight. It is a non sequitur fallacy of the undistributed middle.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Bible's incorrect cosmology

Which view of the earth would you believe?

The Modern (and ancient Greek) View



Or the Hebrew (and Biblical) view?



Today modern man believes the earth
  • is round
  • has no corners or edges or ends.
  • goes around the sun.
  • is always moving.
  • is not supported by anything such as pillars.
  • has no mountain high enough where we can see the entire earth

Some ancient cultures held beliefs contrary to all these. The Hebrews were once such tribe. They appear to have been influenced by the Mesopotamians. There are parallels in both creation stories described below. The Greeks, who did not believe in the God Jehovah, were educated and figured out many of these things. When the Christian Church arose it held on to a false understanding of cosmology because the Bible told them so. This is why Copernius and Galileo were both persecuted by the Church for suggesting that the earth revolves around the sun, thus bruising their righteous egos. Biblically, the Church was right to do so. They believed that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God. Science could not be right.

Now for some Bible text supporting an incorrect cosmological view.

Isaiah 11:12
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth
(See also Revelation 7:1)

Job 38:12-13 - God speaking to Job about how important He is while Job is nothing.
Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?

Jeremiah 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth
(See also Daniel 4:11; Job 37:3; Job 28:24)

Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil took (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
(See also Daniel 4:10-11)

Psalm 104:5
He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
(See also Psalm 93:1; Psalm 96:10; 1 Chronicles 16:30)

Job 9:6
He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.

Ecclesiastes 1:5
The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

In the Bible, Joshua pleads with God to stop the sun and the moon in the sky so he could continue killing the Amorites. You know how God loves a good killing to get done.

Joshua 10
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

The physics of this are astounding. We know now that it could not be the sun that was stopped but the earth would have to be stopped on its axis. The earth spins around 1000 miles an hour at the equator. If the earth suddenly stopped all life would be smeared eastward. That would have been the end of humanity. Let's say we forgo that and say God figured that part out and it happened. The ancient world was fixated on the sky and yet there is not one story outside the Bible about the sun being stopped. It would have been a serious story picked up by all mankind, but instead nothing.

Ps 19:4-6
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The sun is doing the revolving and not the earth.

Isaiah 40:22
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

Some have used this text to prove the Bible says the earth is round, but that is twisting its meaning. If you go out at night and look up at the sky it looks like a canopy. Imagine a pheasant under glass The plate (the earth) is flat but in the shape of a flat circle. The dome above is actually what is round. In the context of the understanding of the Hebrews and other Biblical text it shows they thought of the sky as round not the earth.

The Enûma Eliš is the Babylonian creation myth (named after its opening words). The Enuma Elish was recognized as bearing close relation to the creation according to Genesis from its first publication (Smith 1876), and it was an important step in the recognition of the roots of the mythology found in the Hebrew Bible in earlier Ancient Near Eastern (Canaanite and Mesopotamian) myth.

The ancient Mesopotamians and Hebrews both believed that the earth was a flat circular disc surrounded by a saltwater sea. The sky was a solid disk above the earth, curved to touch the earth at its rim, with the dwelling of the gods above the sky or on top of the solid sky, and sometimes the gods were denizens of the heights between the earth and the sky. So far as can be deduced from clues in the creation story in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament's Matthew 4:8, the ancient Hebrew geography was identical with that of the Babylonians: a flat circular earth floating above a freshwater sea, surrounded by a saltwater sea, with a solid sky-dome (raqia, the "firmament") above. It is the creation of this world which Enûma Eliš and Genesis 1 describe.

Some with tell you the Hebrews had no concept of a sphere or ball. Isaiah disagrees with them (same book)

Isaiah 22:18
He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country.

The inerrant word of God? Original stories? Impossible stories that humans could not come up with? Don't think so.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Chopin

Chopin, such a short life, but such an incredible contribution to the world of music.

Frédéric François Chopin was born February 22, 1810. He died a young man on October 17, 1849. For an unknown reason Chopin used to say his birthday was March 1. However, in 1892 a parish church document was found that cites his birthdate as February 22.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my mother teaching me to love Chopin. She had an LP by Jose Iturbi playing Chopin which we spun countless times. We would play air piano in sync.

I had the fortune of going with my wife to Paris and we visited Chopin's grave in addition to Jim Morrison of the Doors.

One of the most passionate pieces of music is Chopin's Revolutionary. My former wife had years of training for the piano. So, I bought the sheet music for the Revolutionary and gave it to her. She took one look at it and told me I was crazy. Quite complicated.

Here is a very good version of it. Watch Bunin hands. WOW!!!!
I wish I had such talent.



Elena Kuschnerova playing Chopin Polonaise. Another favorite of mine.


Long Live Chopin.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project Steve - article from NCSE

National Center for Science Education's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism."

Creationists draw up these lists to try to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Not everyone realizes that this claim is unfounded. NCSE has been asked numerous times to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of evolution. Although we easily could have done so, we have resisted. We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!

Project Steve pokes fun at this practice and, because "Steves" are only about 1% of scientists, it also makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist, NCSE supporter, and friend.

We'd like to think that after Project Steve, we'll have seen the last of bogus "scientists doubting evolution" lists, but it's probably too much to ask. We hope that when such lists are proposed, reporters and other citizens will ask, "How many Steves are on your list!?"

The statement:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.


National Center for Science Education


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bonobo plays Pac-Man

Humans are classified as a great ape because we share a common ancestor with other apes shown through the fossil record as well as DNA matching (something Darwin did not have, but has explicitly confirmed his theories).

The family Hominidae consisting of
  • chimpanzees
  • bonobos
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans
Bonobos are very gentile apes and are our distance cousins. We could learn a lot from them. However, humans are quite violent which is why we are predominate. We most likely took out our even closer relatives such as the Neanderthal humans. If we weren't so violent we might know how non-unique we truly are. Quite telling. Humans have shown they don't like others that are even slightly different even when only separated by skin color and of course belief systems. Because of our ravaging of the earth the Bonobos are endangered and for that matter all our cousin apes are rare or endangered. The chief threat is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat. An interesting aside is Bonobos are the only animals beside humans that mate missionary style.

Check out this amazing video.


Another interesting video on self-recognition in the great apes.




Friday, February 19, 2010

When God is ready to own up I will believe

How is it that the Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipresent (frickin' everywhere) will not accept his responsibility for what he has done?

The story goes he created the world and it was good
Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

But apparently he created humans with an insatiable desire for knowledge. He throws two trees in Garden Central.

Genesis 2:9 In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So then God allows the craftiest animal into Garden Central to tempt Eve.

Genesis 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Now Eve, not God, is responsible for all this mess. Isn't like a Man (God) to blame a woman? Even Adam chimes in a bit later to drive the point home says "The woman you gave me gave me the fruit". The first quality assurance failure for God's science project.

Sex is implicated immediately as a bad thing. When they ate the fruit the first problem is they saw they were naked. LOL. Hate women, hate the natural sex drive. Quite revealing and we are only in the first three chapters of the Bible. That plays out endlessly through the rest of the book.

OK. God obvious set all this up. He gave man the desire for knowledge and yet NOT the ability to understand what that meant. Another lesson we learn here is no education is allowed without God's approval. What a prick.

The myth continues
Genesis 3:21-24
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Now what kind of happy horse-crap is this? What was the point of this tree of life? Did they need that prior to SINNING? Don't think so. Just a simple non-sequitur. Perhaps a taunting carrot. Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. You can't have it.

So, the rest of Bible is trying to convince us God is good while he sends his chosen (how lucky were they) to go slaughter and enslave people and treat women as property. Yet he is free of evil? Even James in the New Testament had to warn people about believing the OBVIOUS.

James 1:13-15
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

It says God is not responsible for evil. Then did God create everything or not? Are humans equal with God in that God only created part of the universe and man created the rest?
Are Satan and man God's blind spot?

The Apostle John had to weigh in on the topic as well
1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

He isn't hiding in darkness. Do you see him? I don't. He makes it pretty hard to find him. Oh right, to understand him I need to set my brain aside (Didn't he create it?).





Isaiah in the Old Testament may have been willing to concede the obvious.
Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Of course that is the King James Version. Modern versions and Christians afraid to go there changed the translation. (Isn't this like abused children defending their parents? Isn't this like the Stockholm Syndrome? You don't see what you are seeing)

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster;I, the LORD, do all these things.

Therefore God creates disasters. Why? Because you are stupid sinners and need to be punished.

Why can't God take responsibility for his creation? It is a very odd line of logic. Here is yet another place YOU MUST SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF.

Own up God !!! Own up God !!!

Oh hold on, right, he is not real. I am angry at nothing. He is just an imaginary friend. In kids it is adorable. In adults it is deplorable.

Evolution is true. The issue of a perfect God creating an imperfect world is not there. Nothing to get mad at for being so irresponsible. How simple. I was only mad at the imaginary.

Julie Sweeney: The imaginary and the non-existent look a lot alike


Thursday, February 18, 2010

God Bless Atheism

Pat Condell has been around awhile and I love watching his videos. This one is excellent. If you haven't heard of him before check out his other youtube videos as well. I will post some in the future, the one that give me a good chuckle like this one.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Me Worry?


I submit for your approval this quote from the great mind of Alfred E. Newman



There are only two things in life to worry about: whether you are well or you are sick.

If you are well, there's nothing to worry about.

If you are sick, there are to things to worry about: whether you get better or die.

If you get better, there's nothing to worry about.

If you die, there's two things to worry about: whether you go to heaven or hell.

If you go to heaven, there's nothing to worry about.

If you go to hell, you'll be so busy saying hello to your friends that you won't have time to worry.



How cool would it be to meet Mark Twain and John Lennon?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Believe before you understand

When I was starting to get into religion I was told that those things I don't understand would become clear once I believed. I would be touched by the Holy Spirit and then get it. Part of that was not to read anything contrary to belief because I might lose my soul. I spent many, many years studying the word of God constantly wrestling with my doubt and "evil" nature.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

In Christianity I had to suspend my disbelief otherwise I would be damned.

Now all that is behind me because of the effort to continue to hold that facade was unbearable. I came to believe God, if he existed, would prefer honesty.

Giving up the faith and looking at science I started to understand first without guilt and then belief arrived when I was ready. It seems far more of a authentic way to live. I can maintain my personal honesty. I can accept something and then upon further study change my opinion. It is true as I was told if you think outside of the God box, you will loose your religion but the difference it is well worth it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Books-a-million

Since Amazon.com I rarely go to a bookstore but yesterday I had some time and went to check it out. As I walked through I couldn't miss the religious (read Christian) section. I live in a red state by the way. There were 8 aisles of books on Religion. There was a couple of books on the Quran, the Quran, and another on how Christians can talk to (read convert) their Islamic friends and that about summed up the non-Christian books.

Then I saw the WALL OF BIBLES. This would be around 4 or 5 good aisles comparing it to the 8 aisles. Wow. I started to look at them and was dumbfounded on the marketing angle. There were Bibles for Boys, Girls, Teenage Girls, Women of Faith, Women who did this or did that. It just went on and on. Picking them up all they did was throw in a few colorful pictures related to the market group and wrap the Bible around it in some well know English version. Since I also living in a hunting community there was a Bible that was fully camouflaged so you can read a text before you bag your dinner.

I found a child section for parents to pound Christian ideals into the minds of their precious offspring. Lots of low-level sparkling things and colorful books to attract the young one. This aisle I found particularly saddening.
"Little Johnny you must have this book about Jonah and the Whale."
"No, Mommy, I want a comic book."
"Johnny, it is a comic book" wink...wink.



How inviting even the Lions are smiling. Didn't know they had that capability. Oh right this is not the science section.

Continuing around I saw half of the 8 aisles devoted to Christian Fiction. I amused myself thinking that label should be on every aisle. I didn't even want to waste my time there.

These sections were quite busy with so many people browsing I had to occasionally politely excuse myself to get around them.

So I decided to see if I could find the science section.

Finally I found it conveniently far enough away from the Christian books so as not to offend them or cause them to fall from their faith. Less than 1/4 an aisle had scientific books. There was one copy of the excellent book by Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True and one copy of Richard Dawkin's book, The Greatest Show on Earth (which I have yet to read). Also, there were books about why evolution is false and in crisis, etc. I thought why take up the little space reserved for this here and not put it in the mega-Christian section. Perhaps the word evolution on a book might offend Christian sensibilities. Anyway they did have a compilation of Charles Darwin's writing which I purchased. There was book on Fossils with great pictures of the fossil record, but oddly none of the human ape's lineage. This again might be too offensive. However, showing Darwin's head on top of a chimpanzee body is OK. Well, it is kind of endearing. The rest of the section was books to help identify birds, reptiles, etc. So it was a pitiful section.

Associated with a popular cartoon, etc.



Love and Sex Sells



Why is America falling behind in technology and sciences? I wonder.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Darwin !




The Bible Harness - get yours now !!!

From the mind of Adrian Barnett...
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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If you purchase one for yourself and your spouse, we'll send you a third, child-size Harness for free! When worn to school, this will prevent your child from being indoctrinated with sinful, secular notions such as scientific literacy, false interpretations of the Bible, and grammar. Don't waste time - call today!

But wait! There's more!

For an extra $10, you can upgrade to a Deluxe Bible Harness, featuring embossed crosses on the straps, gold-plated buckles and a transparent pocket on the front into which you can insert a selection of cards for others to read, including such inspirational sayings as:

"Can't talk - reading bible."

"Bible harness user. Please speak slowly."

"I don't need to think, I've got a Bible strapped to me face!"

Don't delay! Send for your Bible Harness today!

Warnings and legal notices:
  1. Heavy machinery and vehicles should not be operated whilst wearing Bible Harness. If in doubt, pray for guidance.
  2. If strapped on too tightly, Bible Harness may restrict blood flow to brain. If you experience nausea, dizziness, hallucinations, revelations or angelic visitations, loosen straps appropriately.
  3. In some States, it is unfortunately still illegal to strap Bibles to the heads of unconsenting wives and children. If this is the case in your State, simply invoke the Religious Freedom Amendment and inform the police that they are burdening your expression of religion and you will be speaking to your lawyer immediately.
  4. Children, pregnant mothers and those with heart conditions should not be strapped into any section of the Old Testament, and certain sections of the New Testament - see guide enclosed with your Harness.
  5. The Bible Harness should not be used for strapping any other object to any other part of the body. Serious injury and sinning may result, especially if it feels good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Reasons for "Believing" in God - Dan Dennett, AAI 2007





In the introduction by Richard Dawkins he relays the story of when Dan Dannett was very sick and perhaps he wouldn't make it. He "miraculously" recovered and he thought to thank God but instead he reconsidered and said this instead.


To whom, then, do I owe a debt of gratitude? To the cardiologist who has kept me alive and ticking for years, and who swiftly and confidently rejected the original diagnosis of nothing worse than pneumonia. To the surgeons, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and the perfusionist, who kept my systems going for many hours under daunting circumstances. To the dozen or so physician assistants, and to nurses and physical therapists and x-ray technicians and a small army of phlebotomists so deft that you hardly know they are drawing your blood, and the people who brought the meals, kept my room clean, did the mountains of laundry generated by such a messy case, wheel-chaired me to x-ray, and so forth. These people came from Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Haiti, the Philippines, Croatia, Russia, China, Korea, India - and the United States, of course - and I have never seen more impressive mutual respect, as they helped each other out and checked each other's work. But for all their teamwork, this local gang could not have done their jobs without the huge background of contributions from others. I remember with gratitude my late friend and Tufts colleague, physicist Allan Cormack, who shared the Nobel Prize for his invention of the c-t scanner. Allan - you have posthumously saved yet another life, but who's counting? The world is better for the work you did. Thank goodness. Then there is the whole system of medicine, both the science and the technology, without which the best-intentioned efforts of individuals would be roughly useless. So I am grateful to the editorial boards and referees, past and present, of Science, Nature, Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, and all the other institutions of science and medicine that keep churning out improvements, detecting and correcting flaws.

I too owe the same debt of gratitude being a cancer survivor. I thank unknown scientist who studied cancer and developed chemotherapy. I also thank my nurse practitioner who had suspicion that it might be NHL. And I thank the oncologist who knew how to treat the disease. Otherwise I would not be here today.

Reasons to believe in God

Non-reflective "believers"
  • Because the Priest/Minister says so
Reflective believers
  • Fear - oblige to support belief. Afraid of the structure might collapse. Say that it is better to believe to keep people in line. Lying is acceptable here. Ignoring the disbelief inside. It will save society to so the ends justifies the means. It is to protects us.
  • Love - disappointing those we love. How can I tell my grandma I am an atheist. It would be a betrayal.
  • Guilt - lots of guilt amongst the priest because they don't believe what they are preaching. They push down guilt they feel down the believers. It is like preachers who are so angry against sexually sinning and they it is found they themselves are doing it. Thou protest too much.
  • Concorde fallacy - So deep into it they cannot get out.
Name given by evolutionary biologists to a form of suboptimal behaviour found among wasps and policymakers. Certain species of wasp are observed to defend their nests with an amount of energy proportionate to the amount they have spent on building the nest. It would be more efficient for them to defend them with an amount of energy proportionate to the cost of an alternative and the strength of the aggressor. Likewise, wasteful public expenditure on the supersonic aircraft Concorde was defended on the grounds that a great deal had already been spent. But this argument is fallacious. What has been spent has been spent, regardless of what happens now. Spilt milk cannot be unspilt. Spending on Concorde should have been judged by the expected value of the extra spending being contemplated, and on that alone.
The Concorde fallacy is extremely widespread in human reasoning, with the result that policymakers who commit it are rarely punished for doing so.
  • Embarrassment - cannot admit they were wrong


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spare the Rod Spoil the Child

I was on another website and there was this discussion about how just God's punishment is.

70-80 years of sinning = an eternity of burning in hell.


One theist defended his God's justice this way:

Lastly, you prove my point concerning the child in the street. Let's say you drove by as I was punishing my child for being in the street. Perhaps you think that a stern talking or time-out is sufficient for his or her disobedience. I, as the parent, have decided that a spanking or whipping is the correct punishment. My punishment is within the law and you have absolutely no authority to tell me that my punishment is wrong. It is simply your opinion. Perhaps you even get out of your car and plead, because you say, "A child should not get a spanking for simply going out into the street once and disobeying you." Well, now you are sharing your opinion based upon ignorance. How do you know this has not been a recurring problem? Perhaps that has been the 5th, or 50th, or even the 500th time that has happened. Perhaps I have given the child lesser consequences many, many times before, but they simply refused to obey.

I responded to him:

I would be calling Child Protect Services on your ass.
I suppose you think you have a right to stone your child.
Deu 21:18-21
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

This illustrates how our society is now more moral than the Bible. Those who cling to Bronze Age mentality are unwilling to grow up and want us to revert to a primitive society as if those were the good old days. Perhaps they want to pull us back there so the Bible will feel "more accurate" and they can feel safe. Grow up !!!!

One clear example that beating a child is unnecessary is the Dog Whisperer. Cesar Milan never hits a dog but stands in his presence and shows himself to be the pack leader. I am astounding again and again by the undisciplined and aggressive dogs he immediately corrects without violence. If you disagree or think the analogy is wrong watch the show, watch a number of them.

Proverbs 13:24
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Beating and Stoning no more.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jesus committed suicide for me

Jesus committed suicide for me but I did not ask him to. He created a universe, now mind you a perfect universe, where a perfect Adam had a choice to perform an imperfect act. Out of the box it is illogical. And the kicker is if Adam did, God would be quite pissed. "If you loved me, you WILL NOT eat that apple and if you do I will KILL you". The stakes also included his children. If Adam was perfect why couldn't he see what he was doing? Did God dumb him down just so He would get truly what He wanted. Sitting around for ALL eternity you got to come up with something to entertain yourself, right? So this act would indict all innocent children born from then on out. Talk about child abuse. And we are not just talking about dying, we are talking about living conditions that a ghetto landlord would be embarrassed by. Immoral so far.

The origins of this suicide, or deicide, sacrifice always involved blood. The gods are angry so I have to kill or maim something. The primitives would sacrifice a virgin or a child. Killing them so that they could live. How ghastly? The start of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is based on "an act of faith" by Abraham. God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Most moral humans would be appauled at such a request and think the God who was telling them this was entirely looney. But Abraham apparently was scared shitless and had to throw out all morals and compassion.This is one messed up hazing. He went through the entire act, taking his son on a three day trip, setting up the sacrificial alter, laying the wood to burn in place. His son even helping him along the way. Did Isaac know at this point he was the sacrifice? No. Finally Isaac asked where the lamb was to be sacrificed. Abraham lies "God will provide". But the moment arrives and finally the plot is revealed he straps his son to the alter and apparently according to the Bible no words were spoken. Can you imagine the horror of having your Dad do such a thing? He even raises his knife in the air to kill his "only" son. But then an angel, not God, stops, him. The angel tells him that he has done good because he has violated every conceivable moral for God. That is one sick bastard. I only hope it was truly a myth, a parable.

If you ask fundamentalist if God told you to kill some would you do it? Most would reply "Yes". Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"

If I were alive when Jesus was plotting to commit suicide and I had power of any sort I would have done my best to stop him. That is what most humans would do. But the story is he was God so he couldn't be stopped. But the sick part is that he had to involve humans to do his dirty work. He implicated them in his sick plot. On a minor scale it is like nut jobs who pull a toy gun on a cop in hopes the cop will kill him.

God loves to indict all the innocents. Apparently Lucifer invaded a snakes body in order to tempt Eve. So, the snake was possessed and didn't have a choice in the matter. Why does the snake have to be cursed?
Genesis 3:14: “So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”"

This is the basis for a religion that will be open to anything, no matter how immoral, as long as they think God is speaking to them. This is why the monotheist religions have demonstrated the most vile and cult like behaviors over the millennia. Step in right in and check your brain and morals at the door.

Bob Dylan - Highway 61
Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No." Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Highway 61."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Powers of Ten

Kids remember this video that they played at the Air and Space museum constantly. It is out-dated but interesting to watch.


Einstein and the Mind of God

The last days of Einstein's life. His search to catch God at work unfulfilled.
Excellent video.





Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mormon beliefs by Cartoon

This at some point may be pulled because mormons don't like people to know about their less popular teachings.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why do bad things happen?

In 2005 multiple studies were done to determine the cause of Hurricane Katrina. This specific instance would serve as a general theory of why bad things happen.

Please consider these options and which one seems right for you?
  1. Because of Homosexuality in the French Quarter? Repent America said yes
  2. Because of Abortion? Columbian Christians for Life said yes
  3. Karma? The Dali Lama said yes
  4. Because of warm moist air rising to meet colder air forming clusters of thunderstorms that feed by the earth's rotation created a self strengthening storm cycle? Meteorologist said yes
  5. Because Adam ate an apple? Most fundamental monotheist said yes.
Now your response would indicate whether you used the right or left part of your brain or simply didn't use it at all.

Watch this video


Sources
Columbian Christians for life: "Hurricane Katrina satellite image looks like 6-week fetus 
Satellite picture of Hurricane Katrina at NOAA.com looks like a 6-week unborn human child as it comes ashore the Gulf Coast, vicinity states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida at 12:32 PM, Monday, August 29, 2005" Columbian Christians for Life News



Thursday, February 4, 2010

The God Simulator

You have been granted a great gift. You are now God. You are in charge and you make the decisions about how your creation should go.


It has some great paths. You got to try them all out especially the one God is supposed to have chosen.




Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why?

Who hasn't been frustrated by a young child replying "Why?" with every earnest response to the prior "Why?"

The human brain is ever active. It is doing its job, creating new thoughts. When things go bad it is "Why me?" The obsession that occurs in romantic situations is quite active on "Why did she do that?", "Why did she say this?". The brain does not seem to rest until it finds an answer.

A child will ask "Where do babies come from?" We reply, hoping to end the conversation, "The stork brings them" or "From mommies bellies". Sometimes this is just enough. Other times more questions ensue.

Primitive desert religions dealt with this as well and they would go for a quick answer, so they could get on with whatever they were doing. This is the origin of the creation myth. A quick answer hoping to end the conversation. But thankfully humans continued to ask and not be satisfied, which is not evil, but a very important part of who were are, we search for the right answer. There is a "Lost" book of the Bible called The life of Adam and Eve (composed somewhere from the early third to the fifth century). It went beyond the very short and simplistic answers found in the first two chapters of Genesis. Its contribution is that all the angels were commanded to bow before man because it was God's best creation ever. How lucky! We are the entire focus of the entire universe. Got ego? The story goes only Lucifer would not bow. He became the snake who hung out on the the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He convinced Eve to eat, who convince Adam to eat and that is why this supposed mess started.

How grateful I am in particular that the Bible was not the end of discovery. We owe long debt of gratitude to scientist who did not settle with GOD DID IT, but went past that childish view of the world and they asked again, "Why?"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Cremation of Sam McGee

It is snowing now and I am getting tired of winter. I am reminded of Robert Service and his most memorable poem.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that he'd "sooner live in hell".

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead — it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows — O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May".
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here", said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared — such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked";. . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm —
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

God says "Love Me, Love Me, Please"

Black Swan Fallacy


The black swan fallacy is where the arguer ignores contradictory evidence on the basis of past experience

Argument: All the swans I have ever seen have been white. Therefore, all swans are white
Reply: Here is a black swan
Retort: All swans are white, therefore that cannot be a swan.

Godwin's Law (No Hitler Mustache free rides)

Godwin's Law states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches"

Godwin's corollary: As soon as someone brings in a reference to Hitler or Nazism or Karl Marx or Stalin they have lost the argument with the only exception that they are talking specifically about Hitler or Nazism or Karl Marx or Stalin.

In this age of sound bites if someone is desperate they simply reference Hitler. This kills the dialogue and enrages the discussion. It is a great way to throw off the actual point of discussion.



"Obama certainly is a good speaker." "Hitler was a good speaker."

Wife to husband: "Oh Dear, can you take out the trash?"
Husband to wife: "You know honey, your hairstyle looks like Hitler's today".

It is like fucking cursing because I cannot think of a better fucking adjective.

Searching around the web it appears to have been used more prominently in the last decade.




































Now here is an example of an appropriate one. In the right place and the right time.






And some are fun.


And here is one I like because it demonstrates the frustration associated with Godwin's corollary.



Now what were we talking about before?