Wednesday, June 11, 2008
So please, end this rampant evangelistic attitude that has permeated into our government and do NOT re-elect the cronies of the Bush administration.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
What mystery is left in the world for the credulous to point to and say, “There be God!”? It would seem only the “miracle” of life remains. Science has laid waste to the divine watchmaker in virtually every other aspect of nature. During the days in which the books of Moses were penned, humanity needed gods to hold up the sky and keep the sun and moon going around. Centuries later comes this guy named Johannes Kepler who uses simple observation and deduction to begin working out the properties of the universe. The man didn’t realize it at the time (and might not approve if he had) but that was the moment when the gaps for gods began to shrink
And even life (whether YECs want to believe it or not) is not so mysterious as it was a mere two centuries ago. We now know a great deal about how life changes, how it explored and developed, and how it still seeks and always, always hopes for new beginnings. This new shrinking of the gaps was kicked off by (as if I needed to say) Charles Robert Darwin. Like Mr. Kepler or Isaac Newton our great benefactor didn’t have a perfect explanation burst full-blown from his mind. He observed and deduced a simple truth, that you don’t need a designer to mold life; life will mold itself once it gets going. So there we come to the crux. The origins of life are the last bastion of those who need to explain something by appealing to gods, but it seems that gap is closing up as well:
“Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA. Scientists in Maryland have already built the world's first entirely handcrafted chromosome -- a large looping strand of DNA made from scratch in a laboratory, containing all the instructions a microbe needs to live and reproduce.
In the coming year, they hope to transplant it into a cell, where it is expected to "boot itself up," like software downloaded from the Internet, and cajole the waiting cell to do its bidding. And while the first synthetic chromosome is a plagiarized version of a natural one, others that code for life forms that have never existed before are already under construction.”
The entire article can be read here. Of course, it isn’t really a satisfying genesis story. We created a molecule that will hijack the machinery of a cell by copying a natural molecule from a living cell.
Ahh, but friends just wait! This is just the first step toward the goal any inquisitive mind must persue. I invite you to peruse the next step. Again, this isn’t real genesis, but it is one more tool that will eventually seal this gap forever. And then folks, belief in gods really will be optional.
There have been many news articles on this story since then, but I’m not sure if very many readers have taken the time to actually read the CFI critique. It is quite lengthy, but covers errors and omissions in the text book to include topics such as global warming, prayer in schools, same sex marriage, and other astonishingly inaccurate and misleading viewpoints. All of which offer no citations or outside references to uphold the conservative bias of the text book.
CFI To The RESCUE – fortunately we have the non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote logic and reasoning over political slants or religious agendas. They used to be called CSICOP, ‘The Center for Scientific Inquiry of Claims Of the Paranormal’, and are the publisher of ‘The Skeptical Inquiry’ magazine which has monthly periodicals debunking myths and hoaxes on a continual basis. It is very fortunate that there are people willing to take intelligent action to battle the misconceptions that so deviously get into the mainstream. The publishers of the textbook have defended their 10th edition stating that it is not intended to be a science textbook, as quoted in this article.
My personal wish is that everyone be more like this young Mathew LaClair, and boldly question anything that seems, ‘just plain wrong.’
So this verse literally says that this woman is alive in the middle east even as you read this. She's like 4000 years old. Still creeping around, banging all comers to make a living, and no one has even bothered to look for her. Wouldn't this be every YECs wet dream to actually find Rahab bumbling around the Gaza Strip? Imagine being able to prop this prehistoric prostitute up in front of all those doubting atheist scientists and saying "Told ya so!"
Too bad though, cause they aren't even looking for her as far as I know.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The article explains that not all evangelicals are fundamentalists, and that most ‘evangelical scientists’ believe in evolution guided by god. They are trying to shun the popular belief that christian evangelicals are uneducated, inbred, and socially retarded. They want to legitimize their place in the scientific mainstream, however, it is difficult for science to give credit to anyone who blindly believes in some magical genie in the sky that guides your day-to-day endeavors.
Scientific method starts without presupposition about any observation, and through repeatable experimentation, and much scrutiny from the scientific community, come to understand the nature of our surroundings. This is not true of one who places faith in spirits, afterlife, holy ghosts, resurrections, wild doomsday predictions, and untold myths explaining natural phenomena. Even the contradictory term ‘evangelical scientist’ painfully exposes the ignorance of a futile attempt to legitimize a flawed world view.
There are studies being done to determine the intelligence of evangelicals. How funny that the studies are being done by ‘Evangelical Sociologists’. Don’t be tempted for even one minute to think that religion and science can mix. Religion has long been used as a way to explain things away to anyone with an inquisitive mind, thereby quashing any chance at the progression of the species. This touches on the very heart of why religion is dangerous.
When then governor of Texas, George W. Bush proclaimed a new Texas holiday called Jesus Day, he ignorantly violated the establishment clause of The Constitution, and the people in Texas loved it. How can he even visit Jerusalem after crap like that? He even used his appeal to the evangelicals for political leverage to win the whitehouse, and we let him.
The evangelicals, fundamentals, young earthers, and the like had better be finding some hard evidence supporting their position, or I’m afraid they will never be published in any of the respected scientific journals. ‘An acceptance of science does not negate a belief in god’, but continued belief in god without any proof negates your credibility. Think About It.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
This is the bit about Jacob, after he pretends to be his brother Esau to deceive his father. He's having a dream and god is talking to him through the dream promising all good things.
I have two thoughts on this:
First, why didn't god have the foresight to install elevators, or escalators at least, for all those angels? I mean, think about it, there they are climbing this ladder day in and day out back and forth for all time? That doesn't seem very benevolent.
Second, obviously, in this scene heaven is like a penthouse floor for earth. You've got angels running back and forth between the two (like catering in a high rise hotel), and god is standing at the top talking down this stair to Jacob, right?
Do you think god gets pissed at us for all those times our communication satellites have crashed through one of the windows of the heavenly palace? I mean, think about it, maybe that's why we've been getting such colossal "acts of god" lately. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes may very well be god's way of telling us to stop launching military spy-cams and global weather trackers into his breakfast nook.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Agnostic means ‘the absence of knowledge’, so I was correct in stating that, “I just don’t know…”, and I still claim that. Atheist means ‘the absence of belief’, which by definition, we all are until we make a conscious decision to ‘believe’ in something. I learned that you can combine the words to come up with four possible scenarios. 1. An agnostic atheist would be one who doesn’t believe in god, and doesn’t have enough evidence to say there IS NO god. 2. A gnostic atheist is someone that doesn’t believe in god and knows there IS NO god. 3. An agnostic theist would be someone that believes in god, but is willing to admit that there is not enough evidence to say for sure. Finally, in my opinion, the worst and scariest of all: 4. The Gnostic theist believes in a god and knows it to be true.
I differ from the gnostic atheist because, although I am a non-believer, I don’t think that you can prove that a god does NOT exist. You can’t prove a negative. Read: Carl Sagan’s ‘Dragon in my Garage’. It is more my intention to find evidence that will support the existence of a supreme being. Sadly no compelling evidence has been brought forth. Remember, I am talking about empirical, repeatable, peer reviewed evidence, not some coincidence or testimonial. I want to believe, but I don’t want to place my faith in falsehoods. Until such evidence, we must start with the assumption that god does not exist.
I am really getting fed up with the accusations from Christians saying that, “Atheists hate god” or “They only love their lust.” Those statements are hateful and show their ignorance of the definitions of the words as well. They seem to think that I chose atheism over god, when in fact, I haven’t made any choice at all. I am still waiting on the evidence to come in.
Evidence – Yes, evidence. I cannot take that leap of faith and ‘decide’ to believe in a god, or anything for that matter, without any proof. What if some stranger told you that the only way to salvation is to eat snails on whole-wheat? That would be lunacy. The world is full of hundreds of major religions and untold numbers of off-the-wall sects and cults. Each one claims to be the correct religion, and the only way to seek eternal life. Even if I were concerned with living forever, I would have a very difficult time choosing.
I did not choose to be an atheist; it’s just what I am by definition.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Genesis 3:21 “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”Presumably so that we’d have the opportunity to develop battery operated thermal underwear, Kevlar body armor and 5.56mm, air cooled, gas operated, hand carried, shoulder fired assault rifles capable of operating in either single-shot or three-round-burst modes for ourselves. Yeah… thx O lowrd. Any possibility of maybe getting like a suede back-pack to complete the ensemble?
Monday, May 5, 2008
This song was never released BUT PLEASE HEAR IT !!!!
> It's beautiful!
> > > Pump up the volume!!! Read this first and then 'play' the attachedsong
> & slide show.. The song you are about to listen to is from a Las Vegas
> Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing
> ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! Everyonewho
> loves America should be thrilled to hear this song! Although DiamondRio
> has never before done a statement song, they felt compelled to record
> 'In God We Still Trust.' But guess what? Sadly, major radio stations
> wouldn't play it because it was considered 'politically incorrect'.
> Consequently, the song was never released to the public. So America ,see
> what you think. If this offering speaks to your heart and you feel to
> share it with friends and loved ones, please do.
Over 200 years ago, our forefathers had the foresight and intelligence to exclude religion from the formation of a new government. They knew that to endorse any religious establishment would require choosing one religion, and not everyone would agree on the same one. The addition of the words ‘In God We Trust’ to our money happened almost 100 years after the country was founded and it wasn’t added to paper money until 1955. Source
The ‘Under God’ statement in our pledge of allegiance wasn’t added until 1954 after pressure from lobbyists warning that our pledge was too much like ‘those godless communists’. Source The following was written long before that:
"Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind....
The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this even an era in their history.
Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses..." 1788 John Adams – (emphasis added by me)
The lyrics of that song say ‘there are some who want to push Him out’. In reality there are some that wouldn’t mind going back to the original intent of the framers of the constitution. There ARE those who want to force their religious beliefs on others and that’s what I take issue with here. We don’t all want to be evangelical Baptists, it’s obvious by the number and diversity of churches in any given small town in America. Some of us don’t wish to be affiliated with any establishment of religion.
When the topic of separation of church and state comes up, I’m usually the unpopular one at the party. So I didn’t send this comment to everyone on the list, just you of the inner circle haha! But if you feel like forwarding this on, I don’t mind. I just don’t want to force my views on people I barely know.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Oakland, California, April 15, 2008 -- Millions of dollars have been spent promoting Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed to fundamentalist church groups, but that money would have been better spent on fact checkers. www.ExpelledExposed.com, a website launched this week by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), reveals the truth behind the creationist movie's misrepresentations.
"Creationists have been making the same arguments for decades," says Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education. "They've gotten better at marketing these claims, but they're no more valid now than during the Scopes trial of the 1920s. Creationists have been predicting the death of evolution for over a century, yet it is constantly affirmed by evidence from fields Darwin could never have imagined." Given the damning assessment at www.ExpelledExposed.com, Scott adds, "Perhaps the filmmakers should have spent more time hitting the books, instead of beating up on hardworking scientists."
Throughout the movie, Ben Stein claims that "Big Science" represses intelligent design to advance an atheistic agenda, but Peter Hess, from NCSE's Faith Outreach Project, doesn't buy it. "There are many successful evolutionary biologists who are also people of faith," he observes, "and a host of people of faith who regard intelligent design as a misconceived and harmful rejection of science. In attempting to pit Christianity against science, Expelled misrepresents both."
"We reviewed public records and reports on the intelligent design promoters who were supposedly discriminated against, and we discovered that the claims that they lost their jobs over intelligent design are unsupported," explains Josh Rosenau, a biologist at NCSE. "That said, professors who aren't making advances in their field, editors who disregard their journal's established practices, and lecturers who repeat creationist falsehoods shouldn't be surprised if they have trouble holding jobs. These people weren't expelled; they flunked out."
http://www.expelledexposed.com/ contains information about the "martyrs" from Expelled, and also of real scientists who successfully challenged established science. "The difference," NCSE researcher Carrie Sager observes, "is that real scientists back their challenges with experimental results. Results are what changed minds, forced textbook revisions, and earned Nobel Prizes."
More insidious are the movie's attempts to link evolution to the Holocaust. Susan Spath, a historian of science at NCSE, comments: "The implication that Darwin led to Nazism and the Holocaust is an irresponsible misrepresentation of a terrible history. Hitler abused many things, including science, and Expelled is wrong to shift blame off his shoulders and onto evolution." www.ExpelledExposed.com quotes the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman, who described similar claims in a previous creationist movie as "an outrageous and shoddy attempt ... to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust."
The National Center for Science Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools. The NCSE maintains its archive of source material on the history of creationism at its Oakland, California, headquarters. On the web at http://www.ncseweb.org/. http://www.expelledexposed.com/ is a resource for journalists, teachers, and curious moviegoers who want the full story behind Expelled.
For this press release on NCSE's website . For ExpelledExposed.com .
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Citizens United, a Washington-based conservative advocacy group, is moving to appeal to the Supreme Court ? and seeking expedited review ? in a case testing its right to run promotional ads for a 90-minute film critical of?New York Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The organization formally filed a?notice of appeal?Wednesday in U.S. District Court, and plans to file its actual appeal in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.? James Bopp, Jr., Citizen United?s counsel, said he will also file a motion asking the Court to expedite the case in hopes of having it heard and decided during the current Court Term.
A special three-judge U.S. District Court refused on Tuesday to clear the way for unrestricted airing of the film itself and three ads that promote the film, titled ?Hillary: The Movie.?? This is the way the District Court described the production: ?The Movie is susceptible of no other interpretation than to inform the electorate that Senator Clinton is unfit for office, that the United States would be a dangerous place in a President Hillary Clinton world, and that viewers should vote against her.?
With that content, the District Court said, the film is a form of ?electioneering communication? that a 2002 federal campaign finance law forbids being aired on radio and TV in the period before a primary or general election of federal candidates, including those running for president, if the broadcast is paid for by corporation funds including funds of a non-profit corporation.
?Citizens United has already released the film as part of a campaign to?put the film in theaters, on TV-on-demand broadcasts, and in stores as DVDs. It has also prepared three ads to promote the film, to be aired prior to?state caucuses and primaries, before the Democratic national convention and before the general election in November, if Sen. Clinton becomes the Democratic?nominee.? It has not yet run any of the three ads because of legal uncertainty.
In a lawsuit filed in District Court in mid-December, Citizens United contended that it is unconstitutional to treat the film?s TV showings and its ads as the type of broadcasts covered by the 2002 law.? The Federal Election Commission told the District Court as the lawsuit unfolded that the ads may be aired as planned because they come within an exception the FEC has fashioned in a new rule.
Even though it is free to run the ads, Citizen United?s lawsuit asserted that it is unconstitutional to require the organization to disclose the names and addresses of anyone who contributed $1,000 or more to pay for such an ad,?and?to require a disclaimer as to who is responsible for the content of the ads.? Those provisions apply, the FEC has said, even if the ads themselves are not banned.
The District Court concluded that Citizens United had not made a sufficient showing that it would be harmed by?the requirements laid down for the three ads.? Thus, the Court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to bar enforcement of the?disclosure and disclaimer requirements for the ads while the lawsuit proceeds through the Court toward a final ruling. It is that refusal that will form the core of the appeal to the Supreme Court.? While the District Court also refused to bar the enforcement of the ?electioneering communications? ban against the movie itself, that will not be at issue in the currently planned appeal.
Citizens United has posted the contents of the three ads at www.hillarythemovie.com.
Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile
1/17/08 7:36 AM
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has clarified what he meant when he said that "what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards."
In an interview with Fox News -- Crooks and Liars has the video -- Huckabee says an amendment banning abortion and another banning same-sex marriage "are the two areas I'm talking about. I'm not suggesting that we rewrite the Constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance."
Fair enough, but why not?
If it is, as Huckabee said the other day, "easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God," what's the basis for stopping at abortion or same-sex marriage or even at tithing or Sunday school? Why not push for an amendment outlawing homosexuality entirely? On the other hand, maybe God would be interested in passing the Equal Rights Amendment. How about an amendment banning the death penalty? Or maybe an omnibus amendment outlawing preemptive war, the touching of pigskins and the getting of haircuts?
Who should be the arbiter of "God's standards"? How do we decide which of those "standards" can be ignored and which are important enough that we "need" to address them by amending the Constitution? And how would Mike Huckabee feel about having someone else -- say, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John Edwards or Dennis Kucinich -- making those decisions for him?
1/17/08 12:51 PM
The beginning of the end for Sen. Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican who lost his reelection bid in 2006, may have come in April 2003, when he famously suggested that there's a slippery slope between homosexuality and bestiality.
So what do we have here?
In an interview with Beliefnet, Mike Huckabee tries again to dig himself out of his "amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards" hole by ... suggesting there's a slippery slope between homosexuality and bestiality.
Asked whether it wouldn't be a "dangerous undertaking" to try to bring the Constitution into conformity with the Bible -- particularly "given the variety of biblical interpretations" -- Huckabee said: "Well, I don't think that's a radical view to say we're going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what's been historic."
Huckabee said that "the genius" of the Constitution is that it was built to be changed. On the other hand, he said, the Bible "was not created to be amended and altered with each passing culture."
"The Bible was not written to be amended. The Constitution was," Huckabee said. "Without amendments to the Constitution, women couldn't vote, African-Americans wouldn't be considered people. We have had to historically go back and to clarify, because there've been injustices made because the Constitution wasn't as clear as it needed to be, and that's the point."
What Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, doesn't say: As historian Mark Newman writes, many Southern Baptists once "defended segregation in the sincere belief that it formed part of God's plan for the human race," and sometimes "cited biblical verses" in support of racial separation.
Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile