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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chromosome Number 2

It occured to me that we spend a load of time having a go at creationists, but not so much time on the science which they spend so much time attacking, which is why I entered this debate in the first place. So, in an effort to turn this around, I'm going to do the occasional post on some of the more interesting bits of positive evidence I hear about, or have heard about in the past. Feel free to join me.


Now, we all know about chromosomes: they're the things in our cells which hold our genes. Now, all the great apes have 24 pairs of chomosomes. This is fair enough, but (according to evolution) we are just as closely related to the great apes as they are to each other.
So we should also have 24 pairs of chomosomes, correct?

But we don't. Human beings only have 23 chomosomes.

Now, this isn't a massive deal: chromosome counts differ greatly within genus, and sometimes even within species. The plant genus Clarkia, for example, has species with chromosome counts of n = 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, and 26 (Lewis 1993) (referenced from TalkOrigins). But chromosomes don't just disappear: when they do, the victim of the mutation is sterile at best, stillborn at worst. So what happened to the 24th human chomosome?

Upon discovering this, a prediction was made: at some point in our ancestory, two chromosomes must have joined. This isn't a harmful mutation: the gene's themselves are still viable, but they are now part of a single chromosome, not two.

Now, chromosomes have easily recognisable sequences at the ends, called telomeres, and another recognisable type of sequence in the centre called centromeres (0). Centromere's are where the chromosome divides during reproduction.

Here's a representation of what I'm talking about, with telomeres's represented by X's and Centromere's represented by 0's:


So, geneticists realised that if humans really are decended from apes, one of their chromosomes should have two (X's) in the middle of it, with a pair of (0's) flanking them. Keep in mind that if this isn't found, common ancestory is in big trouble: falsified, even.

Here's a abstract representation of Human Chromosome Number 2, as discovered by geneticists who went looking for this pattern as a direct result of the theory of evolution.


"Evolution has made a testable prediction and has passed."
-- Kenneth Miller

This one I learned from the Dover v Kitzmiller Intelligent Design Trial Transcripts. Kudo's to Ken Miller, who presented it during the trial.

Memorial Service

I ask myself daily, "Why can't god worship just die out?" Then I remember how Hitchens forcefully puts it, "We're afraid of the dark, and we're afraid to die, and we believe in the truths of holy books that are so stupid, and so fabricated, that a child can and all children do-judging by their questions-recognize this." Well, perhaps believers should think about the fact that gods worshiped as fervently and devoutly as YHWH/Jesus are now fertilizer. H.L. Mencken put this best in his essay, Memorial Service...which most of you have already read, but it never hurts to post good atheistic writing.

Memorial Service

H. L. Mencken

Where is the grave-yard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a day when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter to-day? And what of Huitzilopochtli? In one year--and it is no more than five hundred years ago--50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried on with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today [in 1921] Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha, and Wotan, he is now the peer of General Coxey, Richmond P. Hobson, Nan Petterson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler, and Tom Sharkey.

Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother, Tezcatilpoca. Tezcatilpoca was almost as powerful: He consumed 25,000 virgins a year. Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quitzalcontl is? Or Tialoc? Or Chalchihuitlicue? Or Xiehtecutli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Or Mictlan? Or Ixtlilton? Or Omacatl? Or Yacatecutli? Or Mixcoatl? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitles? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard of hell do they await the resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Or that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jack-ass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods as violently as they now hate the English. But today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them.

But they have company in oblivion: The hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsalluta, and Deva, and Belisama, and Axona, and Vintios, and Taranuous, and Sulis, and Cocidius, and Adsmerius, and Dumiatis, and Caletos, and Moccus, and Ollovidius, and Albiorix, and Leucitius, and Vitucadrus, and Ogmios, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshiped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose--all gods of the first class, not dilettanti. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them--temples with stones as large as hay-wagons. The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, wizards, archdeacons, evangelists, haruspices, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake. Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels: Villages were burned, women and children were butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence. Worse, the very tombs in which they lie are lost, and so even a respectful stranger is debarred from paying them the slightest and politest homage.

What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley? What has become of:

Melek Ahijah
Addu Shalem

All these were once gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Jahveh himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following:

Dea Dia
Iuno Lucina
Gasan lil
U-sab-sib Kerridwen
Abil Addu
Nuada Argetlam
Llaw Gyffes
Kaawanu Ni-zu
Diana of Ephesus

You may think I spoof. That I invent the names. I do not. Ask the rector to lend you any good treatise on comparative religion: You will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest standing and dignity--gods of civilized peoples--worshiped and believed in by millions. All were theoretically omnipotent, omniscient, and immortal. And all are dead.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"But I'm A Good Christian"

MINNEAPOLIS - While police say a high-profile indecent conduct case in the Minneapolis Metrodome Saturday is closed, a Carroll woman involved in it told the Daily Times Herald she believes she was a victim of foul play rather than a willing collaborator.

Lois K. Feldman, 38, of Carroll, and Ross M. Walsh, 26, of Linden, were ticketed for indecent conduct after they were reportedly caught engaging in sexual activity in a Metrodome men's restroom handicapped stall during the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers game with the Iowa Hawkeyes. More than a dozen people in the restroom were cheering Feldman and Walsh by the time authorities arrived, a University of Minnesota Police report says.

Feldman acknowledged drinking heavily before the game and says she doesn't remember being in the bathroom.

"I would never ever do that," Feldman said. "My kids are my life. I go to church every Sunday."

How Would Jesus Drive?


I've got an idea for a remake of Death Race 2000.

The Irony is Delicious

With the end of Thanksgiving, it is time for another line of great traditions in America. I speak specifically of Christmas. Naturally, following Christmas, I'm also speaking of the War on Christmas and then the War on the War on Christmas.

Whilst snooping around Bill O'Reilly's store, laughing at the stupid items people could buy I noticed this free bumpersticker one might get.

"How poor in taste." I thought to myself. Then while looking a little bit above this image, I discover this little doozy.

Laughter was had.

Now Here's a Christmas Message to Embrace

The War on Christmas: Colbert Fights Back!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Alright, I changed my mind on evolution. The theory of evolution is false.

This video changed my mind. Even though I'm a creationist now, I'm still not ready to adopt Christianity though. Enjoy this thought-provoking, deep video which will challenge all your world views.

Personal Introspection- Hard to Do

Some of the comments in the last few posts have set me to thinking about introspection.
Charles has extended a very well stated defense of his comment. It was also pointed out that members of this blog could very well see the cynicism in his comment, yet we all realize that in the environment in which we operate here, we cannot afford the luxury of making those outlandish statements with no repercussions. A large segment of the population does not understand the concept of satire.

This environment is not conducive to satircal prose. Fundies don't get it. Never will; that is, unless you end it with a smiley face or a disclaimer of some kind.

I think we just went through a moment of our collective blog retrospection, and it is my opinion that it was good for us. And I think we have come to the conclusion that we should Kill Them!

Yeah, Jenny McCarthy


Reason for the Season


I hope they said "Merry Christmas", not that Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings culture war crap.

And it's a good thing that woman didn't choose to have an abortion and piss off God.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Charles the Fundie?

I'm not sure how you guys will react to this. I'm not even sure how I'm reacting to it, since I missed it the first time.


The comment makes a little more sense in context, as a response to the "blow-up-teh-gay-kids" woman, but still... I'm so confused.

[Tentatively clicks "submit post"]

Which is the Inerrant one, again?

Speaking of inerrant Bibles and passages in context, I proudly give to you; The Manga Bible:

That should help sort out 'illustrative stories' from reality....

Check out this link for the whole scoop (including Lego Bible, Porn Bible, Holy Bible and all your other favourite works of fiction)


Some Pictures for the Holidays

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Michael Shermer talks about confirmation bias

I enjoyed this little article by Michael Shermer , where he had this to say about confirmation bias:

"Research on confirmation bias has found that when subjects are presented with evidence that contradicts their deeply held beliefs, they dismiss it as invalid, while other subjects treat the same information as valuable when it confirms what they believe. In one study, for example, subjects were shown a video of a child taking a test. One group was told that the child was from a high socioeconomic class; the other group was told that the child was from a low socioeconomic class. The subjects were asked to evaluate the academic abilities of the child based on the results of the test. The child believed to be from the high socioeconomic group was rated as above grade level, but the child believed to be from the low socioeconomic group wasrated as below grade level. Same data. Same kid. Different interpretations."

Ok, folks, Have a great Thanksgiving...I'm going to start celebrating a little early.


"Happy I Bet the Indians Wish the Europeans Had Stayed in Europe Day" everyone.

Ray in Drag

Ray 5 Years from now...

AllFiredUp; Irony be thy name

This is possibly the most ironic and hysterical comment ever posted at Atheist Central.Blogger

AlFiredUp is talking to Iago about Luke 16:19 - 31 which, I guess, talks about people watching Hell from Heaven.
Iago pointed it out and AllFiredUp tries to dodge it by saying it was a parable. He then expands on his new favourite word by explaining to us poor, hapless atheists how a parable - a story - is different to reality.

You have to read the whole thing to really enjoy the mind-bending stupidity, so here it is in its entirety. I've italicized the word 'parable' for ease of reference and the bolded part is just because, well, just because!

On it's way to FSTDT as we speak, I give you: ALL FIRED UP!
AllFiredUp said...

"Iago said "I can answer that one. Luke Chapter 16:19 - 31.
Again try and actually read your Bible and learn to look things up."

Iago, obviously you've never heard of parable.

Why don't you try that again.

Who told you that this was an actual event?

Where do you draw the line between the parables that Jesus was just telling and this parable? Why would you infer that all of the sudden, this parable was an actual event?

Jesus had been speaking to the crowds with parables, and this is yet another parable, in a line of parables - illustrations to prove a point to the people.

A parable is a story told, specifically to illustrate a spiritual point.

The point of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus?

"Social status and material possessions are no guarantee of ones standing with God. The only thing that matters is a right response to the Word of God."

Just because the wealthy man had lots of treasures and riches, made no difference in the afterlife. What made a difference was the humility of heart to hear the words of God and obey them.

And you must do the same.

Ray also uses parables, many many times.

Yet you atheists, who are ultra literal, cannot tell the difference between an illustrative story that is intended to prove a point, and reality. That's how messed up you are."

There it is. It doesn't get any better than that.



Ray's Latest Dishonesty

Just got back from the Swamp, where I was unfortunate enough to read this latest gem from Ray:

"And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart" (Genesis 6:6).

CONTRADICTION: "God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of a man that he should repent" (Numbers 3:19).

EXPLANATION: God is without sin, so any references to Him and repentance merely mean "a change of mind."

Ray supplements this with a graphic that reads thusly:


= to feel remorse for failures
= to feel sorry for sins
= to change your mind
= to alter your mind when conditions change

Which one of these fits God best?

One again, Ray proves that his intellectual dishonesty truly knows no bounds.

First off, the Bible passage from Genesis clearly points to the "remorse" definition of "repent", as should be obvious by the word "grieved".

Courtesy of thesaurus.com (excessive emphasis mine):

Remorse synonyms:
anguish, attrition, compassion, compunction, contriteness, contrition, grief, guilt, pangs of conscience, penance, penitence, penitency, pity, regret, remorsefulness, repentance, rue, ruefulness, self-reproach, shame, sorrow

Grief synonyms:
affliction, agony, anguish, bemoaning, bereavement, bewailing, care, dejection, deploring, depression, desolation, despair, despondency, discomfort, disquiet, distress, dole, dolor, gloom, grievance, harassment, heartache, heartbreak, infelicity, lamentation, lamenting, malaise, melancholy, misery, mortification, mournfulness, mourning, pain, purgatory, regret, remorse, repining, rue, sadness, sorrow, torture, trial, tribulation, trouble, unhappiness, vexation, woe, worry, wretchedness

Two, the Bible passage from Numbers doesn't say anything about the meaning of the word "repent", so how exactly does Ray make the case for maintaining that the word "repent" means one thing in Genesis, and another in Numbers?

Both of these intellectually bankrupt "arguments" are just two more iterations of the same old tired "context" nonsense that Ray and his fellow Fundies try to pass off as a valid argument again and again. It's getting tiresome.

UPDATE: the second Bible passage referenced in Ray's post is not Numbers 3:19...it is Numbers 23:19. Any predictions on how Ray will address this latest error? Check back here for further updates.

Breaking News

This just in-

Ann Coulter has finally shut up!

Her jaw was broken, probably due to the enormous loads of shit constantly streaming from between her lips.

Her mouth is now wired shut.


I've been feeling in a really good mood recently, and I think it's partly because I found a new comic strip: Count Your Sheep. It's just so cute, with the occasional philosophical moment. Plus, it has an imaginary sheep as a main character.

I thought I'd spread the joy around.

EDIT: OK, I laughed out loud at this one. Girls, please don't kill me:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Let us just say hypothetically, for the sake of the exercise, that The United States would have been set up by the Puratins from NE, or the Quakers of PA, - Virginia was of it's own brand-or the whatever the hell they were in those original thirteen mini theocracies.

If there was ever a miracle it was that men of reason (think Thomas Paine) could transcend all of that and come up with a founding document guaranteeing all of our personal beliefs.

And, after creating that document they had the foresight to make an ammendment. The first one. It wasn't the first one by accident.

Having said that, consider this. What would it be like if one religion had gained control and the Bible, and their interpretaion of that Bible would have become our founding document?

Ray On Parade

For anyone who's interested, here's a taste of Ray in action. Really.

Maladaptive Personality Disorder

A song (Virgin Mary Fetishism in G)

Shrowded (G) in blue (GF) satin cloth (DM)
A halo of Gold-shimmering translucence
Rays embdued with serenity
The Virgin Mary Yeah (Mother of Jesus)
One-time Fuck-Bag of God

You are the Ultimate MILF yeah
The Mother I'd really Like to FUCK

Were you the Virgin de Guadalupe?
OR simply a sick boys wet dream?
I spill my roses for you
On that God-Blessed hilltop
that is your sweet face.

I want to penetrate you
In front of a full congregation
Bent over the alter In a Cathedral
Lit with a million candles

I'll be Jesus' Adoptive Father
If you want me to be
I'll pay child support
No wait, Fuck that
Jus because God raped you
Doesn't mean I'm responsible
You're my friends with benefits
That's all you are to me

My love for you
Borders on some kind of hatred
I want to spit in your face
As we do it Missionary
There is no rhyme or reason
For this brief foray
Into the psychosis they call
I'm on the phone
I'm calling you
You won't answer
Even though I'm right outside your door
My ear is to the door
I can hear it ring and I know you're there
Pick it up ( you dirty slut)
Answer my prayers
I"m really fucking sorry
I said those things!

Shrowded in blue satin cloth
A halo of Gold-shimmering translucence
Rays embdued with serenity
The Virgin Mary Yeah (Mother of Jesus)
One-time Fuck-Bag of God

PS. I've had a lot of fun playing this on the guitar that past few days. It goes G, Em?, DM

Youtube Goes Widescreen!

Well, not too many people are taking advantage of it yet, but I bet widescreen webcams are going to be sold like hotcakes soon. I want to share this video with everyone. This video exemplifies exactly what Youtube was made for.

EDIT: Here's a video of Ray Comfort getting absolutely owned by an atheist! Ray even starts to cry at the end.

34 Unconvincing Arguments for God

For any theists here who would like to have a better understanding of some of the reasons why atheists think there is most likely no god(s), this post at The Friendly Atheist gives 34 Unconvincing Arguments for God.
It's a pretty good post and I would like to have done a cut 'n paste of the arguments here, but I do not do extensive copying of others people's work if I do not have their explicit permission to do so, even if I give them proper attribution. It's just another pet peeve of mine.

So hop on over there and take a few minutes to read through the arguments. If you think you can refute any of them, it would make for a good discussion here and also give you some insight into the way some atheists think.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Equal Rights for Christians!

Christian bashing is on the rise again! In Hollywood, writers, producers, and directors are all conspiring to tear Christianity to shreds. The innocent, persecuted Christians in this nation are suffering at the hands of a secular, atheist majority who wants nothing more than to eliminate Christians either by force or through matinees.

Hollywood even has the gall to release the blatantly anti-God story "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" as two movies.

For more information and to learn how you can help this dwindling minority from the oppressive rule of corporate America, read this heart-breaking article written by a truly persecuted Christian.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Better Analogy

Our good friend has again likened his god's torture of everyone for thought crimes to preventative human laws against harmful actions.


I thought I'd change a few things about his analogy to make it more accurate:

Lets say you were adopted: you don't know who your real father is.

Despite this, over the course of your lifetime, you have met several people claiming to know your father. Each one claims that your father loves you, but that he chose not to come to meet you in person. Despite your asking, they can't provide any evidence that your father is the individual that they know, and even admit that they have never met the individual they claim to know.

Now, one of these people claiming to know your father warn you he doesn't like it when people drink alcohol. Now, you only drink rarely and in moderation, but they tell you that it's all the same in his eyes, and that he must punish you by locking you in the basement and torturing you.

You don't really think these people know what they're talking about, so you continue to drink sensibly, and never cause anyone any harm by it.

Suddenly, you are arrested, and dragged off to court. In the judges seat is the guy one of these people told was your father. You're shocked: you had no idea your father was still alive, let alone that he was the same guy these specific people claimed to know but had never met.

He tells you that he paid your fine for you, but that you didn't accept it, and now have to be tortured. Not having any idea what he's talking about, but desperately wanting to avoid being tortured, you ask whether you can accept it now.

He says no, and that you have to be tortured for your crime because you didn't accept his payment of your fine before you were arrested, and that this saddens him greatly.

As the shock wears off, you begin to get angy. "Hold on a second: you're the one who's sending me to be tortured! Plus, what crime am I guilty of?"

He explains that you are guilty of alcohol abuse, and that despite his love for you, which is so great that he even paid your fine in full, he still has to subject you to torture because of this.

You point out that you've always drunk in moderation, and never caused any harm by it, but he doesn't care: that's just as bad in his eyes.

You also point out that he's still the one sending you off to be tortured: it is by his choise that this is happening, and he says that this is simply what he has to do because it is justice in his eyes.
You tell him that paying a fine isn't the same as being tortured, either.
Finally, you point out that if he had truly wanted to pay the fine for you, he could still do so and you'll happily forgo alcohol for the rest of time, but he says that it's just too late: you've already been arrested.

At this point you give up, run up there, and beat the living crap out of the freaking wanker until one of his guards tasers you and you get dragged away.


I get to eat all I want to this week and nobody hollers at me.

This is a perfect week for me to be on vacation, professionally, because it precedes the end of the year rush and the new year execution of all the new "Initiatives." Here's a shot from my back porch.

We're kicking off the week with a dinner this evening. I'm roasting a turkey, twenty pounder. Look at that cracklin skin!

Our friend Shelby, is moving today. All the boys and Mrs. Frog are over there finishing up and will be here with prodigious appetites about 7PM.

One of our traditions is to have a "friends" Thanksgiving today so all the kid's, and our friends can get together, as most of them spend time with their own families on T-day, as we do. Some of the parents come too but I am OK with a house full especially when I am the host, cook, and chief bottle washer. I can find good excuses to terminate any conversation I want to. hehe

In solidarity with our friends up in the Great White North, I grabbed a case of Labatt Blue(tm) and I'm drinkin it, by god.

I hope all of you that hang around here have some good friends to gather together with and have a great meal.

Peace/ Out

Group Potrait

[Click for full image]

It came out differently to what I was expecting: I'd had the thought of something which matched our current colour scheme, and... well... eh, just click it and see for your self.

Apologies to those people I had difficulty drawing: TheShaggy, Beamstalk (I tried to draw you both, but your images were too pixelated) and everyone I simply ran out of time for, including Benjamin Franklin, Revenant, Felix and ExPatMatt among others.

I would have got more done if I hadn't spent Sunday helping clean up the yard: we're still recovering from that bloody storm.

I may continue adding people when I feel in a good mood, and can easily make 'other versions' for special occasions... like the 5th of December!

Before I give you my opinion, I want to know yours.

Anyone and everyone that cares to answer, please give me your opinion of the following situation. I am withholding my own opinion of it until everyone that wants to answer has had a sufficient chance to do so, then I will reveal what I think. Also, in your answer please tell me (knowing that I am an atheist, if it matters) what you think my opinion will be. Thanks in advance.

This is a true account of what happened and my publishing it here is one of my attempts to peer into the thought processes of other atheists and also theists, to see how people think.

Here goes...

I was answering a comment by Robb Penn on Friday when I looked at the clock and realized I was very close to being late for a dentist appointment. I said so in my comment and that I would come back and talk with him later, but at that moment I had to go.

As I was getting dressed, a weird thought came into my head. In my head I could see myself answering Rob, only I was telling him that my dentist was very particular about people being late because he does all his own work and has no hygienists to help him, thus when one patient is late it throws his whole day behind.

I thought it really odd that such a thought should pop into my head, since my dentist has plenty of hygienists and doesn't say anything if you are late, just has to reschedule and charges you a cancellation fee if you are so late that you miss your appointment. I'm always early for everything though, punctuality means a lot to me personally, so I try to never be late for anything.

I went to my dentist appointment and he told me some things that made me think I needed a second opinion about some dental work he wanted me have done. I thought I was being grossly overcharged and that his assessment of some dental work he said I needed was faulty.

I can home pretty frustrated since I don't know any other dentists in the area and made some lunch. I sat down at the computer and did a search of dentists in my area and started to randomly call some of them to see if I could at least get some pricing info on one of the procedures he wanted me to have done.

It being a Friday afternoon, almost everyone was closed. I was almost ready to give up and start the search again on Monday when I felt the need to call one last place. I spoke with a woman in their office who was really, really helpful and talked to me for about 15 minutes, which she totally did not have to do.

She explained a lot of what she thought might be going on with my dentist and defended him on several points I had questioned. I was surprised by that since 1)she didn't have to take time to talk to me at all and 2) she could just as easily have told me to just come into the office and she the dentist she works for.

Then she told me about her dentist and how I might like him. She said he was a dentist who worked alone and had no hygienists to help him. She said some people pass him over for that, but that he was a good dentist and also takes time with his patients so I would have time to ask a lot of the questions I had wanted a second opinion on. And then she reminded me to not be late because he doesn't like that.

Opinions, please.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Religion Fails

"RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today."

Read the whole article here.

Choice bits:

"“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”"

"The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries."

"He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added."

His conclusion? The notion that secularism leads to immorality and depravity has been soundly refuted .....science and research for the win.

Sci-fi, not Philipi

Growing up, (and now) I have been an avid reader of, and enjoyer of science fiction. My time spent with the likes of Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Ellison, and Herbert has opened my mind to new worlds, and new thoughts.

Would you say that there is a positive correlation between appreciation of science fiction and non-belief in traditional religion? Do evangelical fundamentalists and bible literalists enjoy science fiction?

Here's a list from Newsarama of the Five mos scientifically plausible movies-

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

It's no accident that the classic sci-fi film 2001 was rooted in good science, having sprung from the mind of the late, great Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke's background in science informed and inspired the setting in 2001, describing geosynchronous satellites, artificial intelligence, and commercial space travel. Clarke lived long enough to see the satellites he envisioned actually put into orbit, and in the deserts of New Mexico, a "spaceport" is planned that will allow paying passengers to see our pale blue dot from near space.

2. The Truman Show (1998)

It's hard for many young people to remember, but there was a time before the 24-hour news feed and the reality TV craze. The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey as the unwitting star of a voyeuristic television show watched by billions around the planet, foretold the coming of America's weekly entertainment. Not only was close, continuous surveillance plausible, it already exists in current hits like Big Brother and Survivor.

3. Gattaca (1997)

In the not-too-distant future world of Gattaca, children's genes are pre-selected by their upper-class parents for the best traits; those babies whose genes are imperfect are treated as second-class citizens. Today DNA analysis is common, and several companies offer genetic testing for as little as a few hundred dollars. Genetic profiling? Health insurance companies potentially denying claims based on genetic predisposition to a disease? For many, this fear is not science fiction but science fact.

4. Iron Man (2008)

Marvel Comics hero Tony Stark is a genius inventor whose suit of armor—basically a souped-up mechanical exoskeleton run by computers—is probably more scientifically plausible than most superheroes. Though Iron Man's nifty gadgets, including his handy laser repulsors and jet boots, remain science fiction, in many cases the underlying scientific principles are sound. Practical problems, such as the suit's cost and weight, would make a real Iron Man unlikely.

5. Jurassic Park (1993)

Part of what made Michael Crichton an enormously popular writer was his ability to extrapolate current science technology. Science fiction has always been about "What if?", and few modern authors blended science fact with science fiction so successfully. Though scientists are a long way off from cloning dinosaurs—they haven't gone much past Dolly the cloned sheep—the scientific fundamentals are there. By the end of the century, real cloned dinos might just be chasing down tourists!

Any others you think should be on the list?

Art and Christianity

I just came back from a concert of my former choir (I wish, I still had the time for it). They performed ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms. It was really beautyful even if I don't really care about the lyrics. For some reason, most classical pieces for choirs are stuff like masses, requiem, or special pieces for Christmas or Easter. (Just some examples from the repertoire of my choir)
I prefer the pieces with Latin text. The lyrics don't hurt that much, if they are not in my native tongue (Really, singing "crucify him" for more than ten minutes isn't that exiting because of the text...). But the music is wonderful and I can fully understand if somebody feels God in there. I almost do, especially when I sing it myself. Participate in something that is somehow bigger than the sum of fifty mediocre voices.
But it's exactly this "almost" that totally keeps me from believing in the Christian god or any god at all. I really feel that this spirituality originates inside me. I can't see god as something else than a human construct. And what I feel has its cause in an increased dopamine concentration in certain areas of my brain. But that's just me. I can't and don't want to controll my feelings but I also can't say that my feelings are more real than other people's feelings.

Well, it wasn't my intention to start a rant. I just want to ask what you feel about Christian art. Are we allowed to like it? Or why shouldn't we?

There probably Isn't

There is a new website that is collecting testimonials from atheists, about their realization that a god most likely doesn't exist. Mine is here. Add yours, and post it! Oh, yeah, and post the Raytractors link!

I come in the name of Jesus! Repeat it after me, Bitch!

This guy makes almost as much sense as Scumfort. Perhaps they can team up and do some open air preaching together. I think I might pay to see that. Oh yeah, and he has a Myspace and his own Wikipedia entry.

Spirit of Truth


I'm very irritable this morning, Saturday morning, since I had to get up at 4:30 am to come to the lab. However, this cheered me up. I'm a sinner >:)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've Had this Pet Project Going on for Several Years and I'd Like to Enlist You to Join Me

I have always wanted to blow up the earth. You know, have that ultimate control in my hands.
Well, my astute daughter just sent me this Link on how I might accomplish this.

"How to Blow Up the Earth

You will need: 25,000,000,000,000 tonnes of antimatter.
Method: This method involves detonating a bomb so big that it blasts the Earth to pieces.
This, to say the least, requires a big bomb. All the explosives mankind has ever created, nuclear or non-, gathered together and detonated simultaneously, would make a significant crater and wreck the planet's ecosystem, but barely scratch the surface of the planet. There is evidence that in the past, asteroids have hit the Earth with the explosive yield of five billion Hiroshima bombs - and such evidence is difficult to find. It is, in short, insanely difficult to significantly alter the Earth's structure with explosives. This is not to mention the gravity problem. Just because you blasted the Earth apart doesn't mean you blasted it apart for good. If you don't blast it hard enough, the pieces will fall back together again under mutual gravitational attraction, and Earth, like the liquid metal Terminator, will reform from its shattered shards. You have to blow the Earth up hard enough to overcome that attraction.
How hard is that?
If you do the lengthy calculations you find that to liberate that much energy is equivalent to the complete annihilation of around 1,246,400,000,000 tonnes of antimatter. That's assuming zero energy loss to heat, neutrinos and radiation, which is unlikely to be the case in reality: You'll probably need to up the dose by at least a factor of twenty. Once you've generated your antimatter, probably in space, just launch it en masse towards Earth. The resulting release of energy (obeying Einstein's famous mass-energy equation, E=mc2) should be sufficient to split the Earth into a thousand pieces.
Greg Bear's novel, "The Forge Of God", contains an interesting refinement of this technique. Here, the antagonist instead generates antimatter in the form of a "slug" of anti-neutronium - superdense material massing a billion kilograms per cubic centimetre. This is fired into the Earth's core. Neutronium passes through ordinary matter as easily as a ball flies through the air, so the anti-neutronium slug doesn't annihilate immediately; rather, it builds up a protective sheath of plasma around it as it plunges downwards towards the Earth's core. It's then followed up by a slug of regular neutronium, which also falls into the core, at a time calculated to meet the first slug head-on at the exact centre of the Earth, where they annihilate themselves, and soon afterwards, the Earth itself. Highly space-efficient, and with the added bonus of all the energy being released at the Earth's core, where it can do the most damage. In the book, the antagonists simultaneously detonate nuclear warheads in certain oceanic trenches, to weaken the crust and allow the planet to be blown apart more easily.
Rearranging Earth into two planets - which, provisionally, is sufficient according to my current criteria - would take slightly less energy, but considerably more finesse.
Earth's final resting place: A second asteroid belt around the Sun.
Comments: trembling writes, "I still think that antimatter is crazy s**t, i.e. wouldn't want it on my flapjacks". Charles MacGee presents a very well-realised alternate source of explosives in his blog; this method involves generating the explosive energy by fusing together the lighter elements of Earth's mantle (magnesium and oxygen). Of course, this would involve the invention of an efficient magnesium fusion bomb. And then turning all of the Earth's mantle into bombs. How implausible! Well. Implausibility is a relative thing.
Feasibility rating: 4/10. Just about slightly possible."

let's get crackin'!

World Nut Daily: "The God Delusion" Responsible for Young Man's Suicide

A 22 year old from an Evangelical household commits suicide, and the parents find "The God Delusion" under his bed. Guess what the parents blame as the cause of his depression and lack of morality!


An update on the Jean saga

Felix posted this in comments, but I thought it was so buried that no one would see it so I'm bringing it to the forefront. I missed a lot of the Jean drama when I was on vacation. I knew that some of the posters over at Dawkins had been very upset with her for emotionally abusing her child, and rightfully so, but that's where I stopped following the story, especially since I live in the US and there really wasn't squat I could do about it.

If you follow this link (you have to sign in and go to some of the last comments in the thread), you can read about a message she supposedly sent to a friend on Facebook that said the following:

"Have bad news the NSPCC have tracked me down. They have found me and knocked on my door today. I am abusing Nakai emotionally. They could take her away."

Now, I have no idea if this is true or not, folks. Internet rumors are a dime a dozen, but if it is true then bravo to all of those who put the work into getting this little girl some help.

And MFT shows up to troll this post with some 'Oh she did nothing wrong' bullshit in 3....2...1..

WSJ Op-Ed: The "War on Christmas" Caused the Financial Crisis

Notwithstanding the cardboard Santas who seem to have arrived in stores this year near Halloween, the holiday season starts in seven days with Thanksgiving. And so it will come to pass once again that many people will spend four weeks biting on tongues lest they say "Merry Christmas" and perchance, give offense. Christmas, the holiday that dare not speak its name.

This year we celebrate the desacralized "holidays" amid what is for many unprecedented economic ruin -- fortunes halved, jobs lost, homes foreclosed. People wonder, What happened? One man's theory: A nation whose people can't say "Merry Christmas" is a nation capable of ruining its own economy.

This is from the Wall Street Journal, not World Nut Daily.

I don't think we should have many rules here on The Raytractors, but I'm making an exception in this case and requiring that all comments about this post must contain at least one use of a variation on the phrase "dumb fuck." Anything like "fucking idiocy," "friggity, fraggity, fuckitty dimwittery," and the like is acceptable.

I picked up a "left behind" copy of the paper on the train this morning and read this in astonishment. I don't read the WSJ much. To any regular readers, has the paper really plunged this deep into the right wing cess pool?

Original story: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122714101083742715.html

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Picture Update: The Final Countdown

OK guys, this is it. I've set a deadline. On Monday, I release the picture, finished or not.

I've still got a few people to add, on account of things beyond my control (Storms, work, sudden attacks of severe laziness), and I have to add all the finishing touches to make it look better, but I've got the weekend so most of it should be done in time.

I was going to say more, but I don't want to spoil anything. I'd rather increase the anticipation, so that on Moday I can *erk* shatter your pathetic expectations of artistic quality with the harsh and disappointing reality of my own mediocrity!!!!! AAAAAARRGHHAHAHAHAHA- *erk* Sorry, I think I got possessed there. Someone call Bob Lason!

Next Stop, 1000

From Pharyngula:


Man, they act like it was an actual person. I truly don't get it.

Rufus the Centurion

Just a quick word to congratulate Rufus on being the first Raytractor to publish 100 posts - well done that man!

Best know for your
Love for Ray Comfort

and appropriate use of the word:

you have done much to balance our growing hatred of all things mustachioed; we salute you.


Oh, and Clos; you just hit the big 5-0!

I just say no or nothing at all.

I was on vacation back east last week and after an incident where someone was trying to give me some religious literature at a gas station, I was reminded of this woman who posts 'tips and tricks' on how to spread your religious mind virus to others by striking up conversations with them in public. Basically, she writes about how to ambush people and get them to be on WOTM radio and yammer on about what horrible people they are unless they believe in her Jebus.

I wondered to myself why people bother talking to her and I looked around her site. I also wondered what my responses would have been to her had she or one of her religious cronies tried them on me. I should preface this with letting you know that if I even suspect that a person trying to talk to me in public is trying to sell me something or tell me about their invisible friend I ignore them with an air of unapproachability that usually makes them go the other way before they even start their spiel.

First I came across this, in which she hands out her religious blah blah at a gas station. This same thing was tried on me in the incident I referred to above. It didn't work. I do not take things from people simply because they are handing it to me. I also do not engage them in conversation and if 'No thank you' doesn't work the first time I have also found 'Fuck off' works quite well. Of course, she doesn't put the 'Fuck off' responses on her site.

Next, I found a place on her site where she writes 'A Great Springboard to Sharing the Gospel'. There is no link to that section so you have to go about a quarter of the way down the page and look for the 'Why believe in God?' sign. She then writes this:

"This is a great opener to the gospel...Just ask, So, what do you think about these signs?...and would you consider yourself a good person for goodness sake?"

My reply would be to either ignore her completely due to the fact that I generally do not engage in conversations with strangers in public or to proceed to eviscerate her 'good person test'. It would depend on my mood. Neither one of those replies would make it to her site either, since it appears she wants to slant the perception of the reader in such a way that it appears that she is successful on most every attempt.

Then I found this treat. She pays for the food of the person behind her in the drive through fast food line and then asks the fast food worker to do her dirty work for her. She gives him her religious junk and tells him to give it to the person whose food she paid for! That's underhanded. You can't just do something nice for someone, you have to attach strings to it. Welcome to Christian charity.

Personally, if I were the fast food worker I would refuse her literature and I would refuse to pass it on to anyone. That is not part of their job.

There's tons more crap over there if you want to burn a few brain cells, but I hit the high (or maybe low) points.

Now a question to you guys. How do you react when someone in public tries to proselytize to you? I realize that not everyone is as ice cold as I am in public. Or as ice cold as I am in general. For me it's partly a safety issue and partly because I do not want to be bothered with other people's crap. I figure there are enough churches out there that if an adult wants to go find one and find religion they can do it on their own without having it pushed on them. Then again, I was reminded of my INTJ personality last week when my sister-in-law told me that I am not warm and cuddly and not emotional enough. Then again, my sister-in-law is also emotionally disturbed.

And you respond how?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is Science Compatible With the Bible?

I'm lookin for ammunition. If anyone can provide some knockdown, drag-out arguments I count on you all. There is a monthly meeting in my local town at a pizza place with the expressed purpose of "asking the toughest questions about Christianity". A few local theologians tackle a particular question each month. I have gone every month and skewered them. When they say "toughest questions", what they mean is questions pertaining to how one interprets a particular passage. I'm not sure they see my questions as polite-even though I am absolutely respectful in my questioning. Anyways, the topic in Dec. is science and the bible. They are rather liberal in their talks, so they will claim that science and the bible DO NOT conflict.

They know me well. They know I have a PhD in molecular biology. For this reason, they have recruited a full-fledged PhD in cell biology to give the talk. Now, I am not worried in the least. In fact, if she turns out to be an ID advocate I will believe in a god because this couldn't be any more perfect. However, I am not that lucky. I expect her to be a moderate Christian, like Ken Miller who can accept the ridiculous notion that the Bible accurately depicts the historical "fact" that a god-man turned zombie rose from the dead. In any case, I wish to bring up one point: what about all the creationists? Why is evolution only rejected by religious people for religious reasons? Consider this: what if the bible had described the "creation" as a long process of gradual selection from a single common ancestor? Would moderates still claim that the Genesis account was meant only to ascribe creation to God? No. They would claim that science justifies belief in God. Instead they just claim that Genesis is allegorical. If so, then why are so many Christians confused on this point?

Anyways, I am interested in your takes on the notion that science and the Bible are either Non-overlapping Magisteria (NOMA) or the idea that they are incompatible. There, I've opened the flood gates....

When it comes to debates and Q&A, I like Matt D. better than Richard D.

Seriously, I do. I'm not a Dawkins fan. Never have been. There's just something about him that gets under my skin and crawls around my spine. Yeah, I've seen a couple of videos where he wasn't as annoying as I usually find him, but it's only a couple out of the many, many I've tried to watch.

Hitchens is my favorite. I adore hearing him speak, and I'd rather hear him speak than read him.

Then there is Matt Dillahunty. To me, he is in a class by himself when it comes to debate and Q&A, and I really love listening to him in general. There is very little out there of his public access show that I have not either listened to on podcast or watched as a video and that's saying something because I get annoyed easily with listening to one person go on and on about their views. I admire the plain spoken way that he addresses people, his clarity and concision in making a point, his intellect and his level headedness. He also has a way of slicing through theist bullshit like a hot knife through butter with incredible ease.

So, in honor of one of my favorite atheists, here are three videos that I particularly enjoyed. Yes, it will take more than a few minutes to get through them, but I felt it was worth it.

Physics and biology proves Gods existence

Matt Dillahunty DESTROYS a Theist - Part 1

Matt Dillahunty DESTROYS a Theist - Part 2
(I LOVED this one!)

Craters Mk 2

Kaitlyn posted a thread on the craters on the moon, so I thought I'd follow it up with a post about craters on the earth. This was written a long time ago, but I've never had an answer. I even e-mailed it to AiG.

On earth there are over 150 identified major metorite craters, and these are the ones that can be easily found. Assuming even cratering, there should be twice as many that hit the ocean's, (2 thirds of earth is ocean), and many many more that have been eroded, buried or destroyed by tectonic movements. And there have been other sites where no crater has been found, but shocked quartz and other indicators provide evidence for an impact.

So, to be safe, well assume 300 major meteroite strikes.

How does this fit into the YEC timetable? 6000/300 = 1 impact every twenty years. So life should be extinct.

Unless they all happened at once, like in the flood! This is the only real opinion I have been given.

Remember, merely 1 of these would destroy most of life on earth... certainly all large lifeforms. The massive shockwave, scything off everything within a large radius. The burning rain, creating bushfires on the other side of the world, and removing a lot of oxygen. And finally the ashcloud, resulting in a decades long nuclear winter, starving to death most of the species that are still alive. Now... multiply that by 300.

So all life not on the "protected by God" Ark is incinerated, drowned, buried, suffocated and frozen after the fires die out. This includes plants, fish, other marine creatures. And yet... 40 days later Noah sends out a dove, and it comes back with... an olive branch! Thats one hardy olive tree.

Add to this all the supervolcano's letting go, all the Mega-quakes happening at once... etc... and thats one very nasty flood. The bible didn't mention that.


Who is "Steven J ?"

Steven J is the perennial commentator over at Cumfort's blog, a person of infinite patience. His perspicacity is becoming legend. He rarely gets angry and is usually not rude even when he should be.

There are few Fundies left that will now challenge him, probably because their assholes are sore from getting them reamed by Steven J. I have been watching him deconstruct the inanities from RTB/ Vera the last couple days and have come to the conclusion that Vera must be a sock puppet for Hugh Ross himself. She is possibly the most absurd and irrational commentor on that blog- evah. She treats Ross like he is the world's most prominent authority on everything.

Apparently, Steven is highly motivated to kick over the sacred cows that are the idols of Ray and his minions.

I am beyond curious to find out who Steven might be. Dawkins? PZ? etc?
He has related no personal information whatsoever except to show that he has a very wide range of knowledge and I would expect him to be a fairly mature scientist. Anyway, I have enjoyed reading his stuff and if anybody knows him it would be really cool to invite him over so we can say hello.

Absolutely Capital

Just a short post, coming off a comment from 'lord of numa' on Ray's latest inanity.

"Now, I feel that I must express my surprise in finding that our posts will be deleted if we do not capitalize "God" or "Jesus." I completely understand the profanity and civility rules, as I believe that it should be possible for two individuals of heavily dissenting religious views to have a rational, civil discussion pertaining to those views. Unfortunately, that will not be possible on this blog. It seems that this is more of a way for you to attack Atheism, which you apparently find irrational and illogical, and I will certainly get to that in a minute.

"Please explain to me why we must capitalize "God" and "Jesus."Surely you are aware that not everyone shares your religious views, so why make everyone pretend?

"I guess the "God" rule could be used simply for clarification, as "god" could be used in reference to any number of mythological beings, but "God" only refers to one mythological being. So, no confusion there, I guess."

While I can understand that deleting posts that fail to capitalise is churlish, is it really a matter of particular consequence that we non-believers correctly capitalise proper nouns?
Firstly, as identified above, with God having a capital, it does serve to distinguish the Judeo-Christian deity from any others, but additionally, we have no problem capitalising the name Voldemort, and he doesn't exist either!
As also identified above - and I'm not a good example of someone who always does this - remaining civil is more productive than simply calling Raymundo 'an ignorant fuckwit'. He unquestionably is one, being perilously close to being used as the dictionary definition thereof, and his fuckwittery is so mendacious that he deserves precious little respect, but we're never going to convince Ray of anything anyway. He's too far gone. It's other people we have a hope of influencing. Ray we're just aiming to catch out and demonstrating the paucity of his arguments with a view to showing his believing readers why x or y view sucks like a Dyson.
I know that some atheists think it's a useful bit of consciousness raising. Personally, I'm more minded to think that if we don't have anything more convincing than a slightly bolshy refusal to capitalise a proper noun, we really don't have much of a case.
I sincerely think we have got much better arguments at our disposal, as regularly seen on sites like this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Craters: The YEC's Nightmare

Simple questions about the moon for the thinking creationist:

1) How are craters formed?
A) Surface impacts.

2) How many craters larger than a kilometer does the moon have?
A) Half a million.

3) How often do objects impact the moon to create craters at least a kilometer in diameter?
A) Not very often. At most, maybe once a decade.

4) Would God create the moon with impact craters on it already? If so, why?
A) ???

Another One from Rufus

I know, it appears that I am trying to hit 1000 all by myself, but I wanted to mention this book and its author. I can't wait to read it. Here's a link to a review, and a wonderful quote:


"You want us to live like Americans. But the Pirahas do not want to live like Americans. We like to drink. We like more than one woman. We don't want Jesus. But we like you. You can stay with us. But we don't want to hear any more about Jesus, OK?"

The Piraha are a tribe that has no concept of a god or a creator. Don't we know someone who claims that all peoples believe in a god/creator?

Ray "Mr. Spock" Comfort

This is from Ray's latest straw man post. I have no idea what he's getting at. Can anyone help me out?

"God’s existence isn’t dependent on the Bible or its authenticity, the existence of the Church, the prophets, or even creation. God existed before the Scriptures were penned, before creation came into existence. Even if the Bible was proved to be fraudulent, God would still exist."

Bob Larson, Again

I posted before about Bob Larson, The Real Exorcist. Since his mini-series on the Sci-Fi channel, business has picked up for Bob. I wish I could laugh, but if these people are for real, they need help, and they are not getting it. Here are some of their testimonials:

The following testimonials are just a few of the thousands of emails and phone calls we have received from the miniseries marathon airing of THE REAL EXORCIST on the SciFi channel. We have taken a few comments from these responses to represent a small portion of the immense outpouring of spiritual need from those who saw the marathon. We are doing our best to personally respond to every phone call and email, but the task is enormous. Pray for those who wrote and called because many of them are in desperate spiritual situations. Your prayers and financial support for our ministry make it possible for us to respond to this unprecedented harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom

My life is a living hell. I practice the occult every night with Lucifer. I signed a pact in my blood and buried it with real human bones. My fingers make the shape of claws. I wake up at night growling. I throw up if I go to church. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!

I grew up in Satanism. I have a multitude of physical and sexual abuse. I want to die. Can you help me?
Name withheld

I have suicidal thoughts and dreams of hurting others. I am fighting something deep within me. Your show forced me to look at the possibility of having a demon inside me.

I have tried to kill myself and have homicidal thoughts. I even made a list of people I want to kill. I really need some answers.

You are doing a good work. I too am an exorcist and High priest for a group of Wiccans. I grew up a Southern Baptist and my father was a minister.
Rev. Ken

Since my mother passed she has been coming to me. I’m scared about getting involved with this. I have no other hope, I think.

My brother molested me for two years. I find myself with rage and terrible guilt. I don’t know where to turn since my denomination isn’t in the business of exorcisms.

I have a life of torture you wouldn’t imagine. My stepbrother attempted to rape me and beat me 30x a day. He tried to kill me. Please pray for me.
Name withheld

I and my boyfriend took your demon test. He scored a 37 and I scored a 29. He has uncontrollable anger and even said he will shoot me. I am begging for you to help us.
Name withheld

As I write this letter something makes me feel sick. When I go to church my feet burn as I cross the doorway. I hate the feeling of the ghosts in my house. Of late I am having thoughts of suicide.

I was involved in magik and the occult and Aleister Crowley. I guess I’m at the point where I have to reach out and ask for help.

I have been under attack for years. An evil entered my body and spoke in a language I didn’t understand. I cry as I type this and hurt deeply inside from this pain.

My high school sweetheart became abusive when he drank. One night he strangled me in the backseat saying that Satan told him to kill me. I went on a cocaine binge and I’m scared I’m vulnerable to demons. Weeping swept over me in the first 10 minutes of your show.
Name withheld

Financial support. Of course.

Enjoy your stupidity!

From the article: "The sign at Spirit One Christian Center reads, "America we have a Muslim president. This is sin against the Lord."

Jesus Freaking Christ on a stick, people!! Just how damn idiotic does a person have to be to believe debunked political rumors like this? Apparently just stupid enough to be the preacher at this church.

It's great, however, that he is advertising his utter lack of brain activity. It helps when the stupid let you know who they are in advance.

PZ? Philly? PZ! Philly!

The great atheist blogger and biologist
PZ Myers
is in my town of Philadelphia this week to attend events associated with the
city's Year of
commemoration. If there are any of you from the area, hopefully
you can make some of the events. And PZ will be at the hipster dive bar (my
words) Tattooed Mom's Thursday night with the
Drinking Skeptically group, so
you can raise a glass to reason with him, some other skeptics, and one of your
fellow Raytractors, me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hi guys, this is going to be kind of quick, but I wanted to let everyone know about the PBS documentary airing on November 18th at 8pm. Here is a short blurb about it from Yahoo News.

I hope some of you get to watch it, as I would love to see the discussion afterwards!

Off topic - Storm Damage

For all you lucky people who didn't get cyclonic winds and flash flood amounts of rain this time yesterday (5pm), I thought I'd share a little bit of what happened at our place in SE Queensland, Australia.

It only lasted about 15 minutes, but we got more rain than we've had over the past year and anything not nailed down got blown away. The rain was going pretty much horizontal, but kept changing direction as wind gusts came from everywhere.

Since these photo's were taken in the dark without a flash (~6-7 pm), and I'm not the steadiest hand, they are pretty blurry.

We were lucky: we had limbs removed from trees and a couple of them uprooted, but no severe property damage.

In comparison, people down the road had their garage crushed, with their car inside. On the news right now we're hearing worse stories: people with their roof torn off, one house cut neatly in half by a tree...

Interesting short story: we own a few Chinese Silky Chickens, and the black one (the oldest) has been sleeping on the ground for months (too old and/or lazy to get up on the perch). But yesterday when we put them away, she was already on the perch: this is significantly different from her normal behavior: she's got a nest on the ground she normally sleeps in. Had she stayed on the ground, she would have got soaked and may have died in the cold (She's more than 18 years old: that's impressive for a chook). And shes on the ground again tonight. Who needs weather forecasters? We've got chooks.

OK, I'm done. Cheers!