You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

21 December, 2008

Not Another Word on Gay Marriage Until They Execute an Adulterer

"Here is a question no one can answer -- and lucky for the right wing, the media never bothers to ask -- why do you only focus on the part of the Bible against homosexuality but not on the part against adultery? It's one thing to say you're against adultery; it's another to take away their rights. How come no religious figure in this country has mounted a campaign to take away the rights of adulterers? Let alone execute them.

I'll tell you why. Because there are too many of them. Their followers are adulterers. They don't make for good scapegoats. They are not an easy target to ostracize and focus your hatred on. Gays are perfect. They are a small enough percentage of the population and different enough from the rest of us to be able to get people to focus their negative, barbaric instincts on them. The Bible is only a tool for this tribal, ugly tactic."

07 December, 2008

Just One Fart In The Breeze of Reason

"I’m just one of many farts in the breeze of reason"

A great line from Brian Dunning.

06 December, 2008

Byron Dec 08

Foggy day at Byron. Two trips around the pattern with one tow.

This was my last scheduled day to tow gliders for NCSA. I asked to be placed on the Alternate Tow Pilot list. I intend to tow when I can and someone needs a break. We'll see how my intentions turn out. But I want to keep current. JR wants to go out and visit Byron and that would be a good time to get a ride in for myself too.
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03 December, 2008

Anti-religious sign at state Capitol raises eyebrows | Top Stories | | News for Seattle, Washington

"At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Old Bill-O had a fit about this... but I won't put his ugly mug on my blog.

Happy Winter Solstice!

30 November, 2008

Night Flight

Liz and I went flying last night... Moon, Venus and Jupiter were in the sky as well!
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28 November, 2008

Life Today

I have lost my iTunes playlists. My PC and iTunes are currently in a battle to the death. I am not sure which one I am rooting for, I feel like destroying both of them. This picture is on my desktop and it comforts me.

I spent 5 hours working on the airplane door today. It was pretty hellish trying to get both hinge pins into position at the same time. The bottom pin was easy, the top one I could only maneuver with my finger tips through a hole someone in the past cut into the side of the glove box.

Amanda should be in Redding by now. Allena and Katie should have had a Thanksgiving in Redding, Katie's first one. Wonder how that went. I think I am going to have to buy Amanda a car in the next week.

Evan went to Modesto for Thanksgiving with my Aunt and cousins. Probably was a crowd. Liz and I went to Los Gatos and spent $200 on dinner with Becky and Bram. It was good. Nice time and no dishes to clean up. Had to go get a pumpkin pie for tonight since we had no leftovers. Called Mom and Dad tonight and just as they answered, Pip got their turkey off the stove top and dumped the whole thing on the floor. Mom picked it up and put it in the fridge. :-)

26 November, 2008

A few religious thoughts to ponder - The Times-Herald

A few religious thoughts to ponder - The Times-Herald:

Thanksgiving must be a terrible time for atheists. They have no God to thank.

They do not have the privilege of gathering with family and friends to express gratitude by saying: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." An atheist on his deathbed faces serious uncertainties. Gazing upward, he pleads: "Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul -- if I have one."

One of many replies:
"A Thankful Atheist - When I sit down at my mother's table this thanksgiving I will bow my head and give thanks to her and my sister-in-law for the feast we've managed to eek out in such tough times. I will thank my father for the years of hard work he put into making sure I had a chance for a better life. I will thank my brother for encouraging me to reach for the stars. I will thank the millions of farmers that made my meal possible. I will thank those who have past for their love and inspiration. And I will thank the men and women who are trying, even as I sit down to eat, to bring this holiday to the poor and homeless. Yet I will not be thanking god, for he has done nothing to deserve my thanks. A foreseeable result of not existing.
Posted by Friar-Zero at 8:53 AM"

Not one comment to Jim Griffith's column agreed with him before comments were closed.

I am thankful all the atheists who gave him a reply to read. If they opened his eyes a little, great. If not, he can continue to live his pathetically narrow life.

17 November, 2008

Geoffrey R. Stone: Democracy, Religion and Proposition 8

Geoffrey R. Stone: Democracy, Religion and Proposition 8: "it is as un-American to violate the separation of church and state by using the power of the state to impose our religious beliefs on others as it is to use the power of the state to impose our discriminatory views of race, religion or gender on others.

This is the fundamental point that the religious advocates of Proposition 8 fail to comprehend. Like other citizens, they are free in our society to support laws because they believe those laws serve legitimate ends, including such values as tradition, general conceptions of morality, and family stability. But they are not free - not if they are to act as faithful American citizens - to impose their religious views on others. That is, quite simply, un-American.

This is not to say that individuals cannot attempt to persuade others freely to embrace and to act in accord with their religious beliefs. The First Amendment gives us virtually absolute protection to preach, proselytize and evangelize. But the fundamental point about religious liberty in the United States is that it is private. Christian Evangelicals have every right to try to persuade others to accept and abide by their beliefs. But they have no right - indeed, they violate the very spirit of the American Constitution - when they attempt to conscript the authority of the state to compel those"

WNYC - Radiolab: War of the Worlds (March 07, 2008)

WNYC - Radiolab: War of the Worlds (March 07, 2008):

War of the Worlds

"An examination of the power of mass media to create panic. In Radio Lab's very first live hour, we take a deep dive into one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history - Orson Welles' 1938 radio play about Martians invading New Jersey. And we ask: Why did it fool people then? And why has it continued to fool people since? From Santiago, Chile to Buffalo, New York to a particularly disastrous evening in Quito, Ecuador."

This has got to be one of the best radio show episodess I have ever heard.

Gingrich On Prop 8 Protests: "Gay And Secular Fascism ... Prepared To Use Violence"

Gingrich On Prop 8 Protests: "Gay And Secular Fascism ... Prepared To Use Violence":

Fuck you Gingrich.

"GINGRICH: Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school."

I don't want to impose my will on anyone. They don't want to impose anything on anyone. Tradition is irrelevant in the fairness of law. Just because it has always been one way doesn't make it right. And again, there is no threat to "traditional" marriage. If you don't want to marry a guy, then don't. That is the way 96% of us will go. Just because a few (ONLY 4%) go the other way, so what? How does it hurt the traditionalists? There are so many flavors of Christianity and other religions to live with, how would it be different to coexist with a different form of marriage? Get used to change old man. You want to keep your traditions, then go live on a historic farm or commune.

15 November, 2008

Flying 44D in the afternoon

Liz and Ernie went for a flight this afternoon with me.
Nice flight, a little warm. Liz flew for 10 or 15 minutes while
I changed the PCAS battery. 44D really likes the temporary hangar.
Too bad I have to give it up sometime in December.
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13 November, 2008

Why Believe in a God? - American Humanist Association

Why Believe in a God? - American Humanist Association:
# Why not believe in a god?
# Without a god, why be good at all?
# Isn’t Christmas really about Jesus?

Pharyngula: Oy, it's War on Christmas time again

Pharyngula: Oy, it's War on Christmas time again: "Fresh off the British Humanist Associations's successful bus campaign, the American Humanist Association has fired up its own set of big signs on buses in the Washington DC area. Their message is 'Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake'.

Of course, CNN considers this another salvo in the War on Christmas. Silly news organization. Didn't you get the word? The war on Christmas is over. We won. It's a secular holiday, atheists can celebrate it any way they want, Christians can continue to pretend it's baby Jesus' birthday, and everyone has the freedom to interpret the meaning of the day in whatever way they choose. The freethinkers of America are victorious."

04 November, 2008

Final predicts...

Final predicts before the polls close...
Colleyrankings: 367 Obama, McCain 171
Obama 353   McCain 174   Ties 11
We'll see how it goes...

01 November, 2008

Obama interview

Good interview between Obama and Maddow.

Elmo the pumpkin

My pumpkin this year looks like Elmo.
Only had one teenage kid show up last night.
The No On Prop 8 signs probably kept parents from allowing their kids down our driveway.
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Hangar for 44D!

I was at the airport office looking at the hangar wait list and talking to Bonnie the Hangar Queen. No movement on the list ( I am still #154). Then she asks me if I would sub-lease an hangar currently open for a couple of months while the guy gets his plane worked on. It took me a minute and said yes. It was starting to rain and the cabin door leaks in the rain, even with the cabin cover on. We had cancelled Young Eagles today due to the weather. So, YAY!

I had just ordered a new door seal kit to try to make it more water tight. Now I have a hangar so I can take the door off and do the job properly. Maybe rebuild the door hinges as well.
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No on Prop 8.... again

Again... why No on Prop 8

What is wrong with Prop 8? It is pure and simple discrimination against a minority being coded into the State Constitution. The constitution! This is messing with the California State Constitution! It should not be touched without very serious consideration. This hysterical campaign of fear and lies does not constitute serious consideration. The topic of marriage has become irrelavant, this proposition is about discrimination being coded into the constitution. It could be about any discrimination, it would still be wrong. Morally wrong.

Why does it matter to me? Everyone should be treated the same under the law. If not, then when does it stop? A religious test for state office? Some restriction in freedom of speech? Some restriction on who can live where?

Why was the will of the people on gay marriage ignored? It wasn't ignored, it was struck down as unconstituional. The checks and balances in our government prevent the majority from making laws that discriminate against minorities. Judges must strike down laws passed by the people if they violate the constitution, they have no choice, that is the basic design of our system. The Judicial branch balances against the Executive and Legislative branches. The mob (us) work through our legislators to get laws passed, sometimes we get fed up and make our own propositions. But, it is too bad if we make a bad law. Unless we (the mob) change the Constitution. I think it is too easy to change the State Constitution.

How is marriage threatened by gay marriage? It isn't. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. The law already says marriage is between two people. Nothing more. No polygamy, no animals, no children.

How are kids threatened by gay marriage? They aren't. Prop 8 does nothing to protect kids from imaginary (or even real) threats.

What does marriage have to do with making babies? Nothing. Don't have to be married to have babies. Don't have to have babies if you are married. Gays can adopt or have kids naturally. Marriage is a status that is privileged by law and everyone must have the same privileges. No discrimination. "Civil Unions" do not have the same status and privileges as marriage and doesn't cut it. Maybe marriage should be removed from law and only Civil Unions used, making "marriage" only a social and/or religious construct defined by whoever has an opinion on what it should be.

Who is against Prop 8:
including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

So, you see I have strong feelings about Prop 8. I would trade McCain for president to keep it from passing. All I can do is express my opposition, buy bumper stickers, talk to my friends, and send money to Liz and I may go stand on a corner Sunday with signs. I know I am preaching to the choir for most of you, but you might need some ammunition to work on your friends.

Thanks for reading... hope I didn't offend anyone this time.

Dad/Thomas/Tom/Liberal whackjob

PS... NO on Propositions 4, 6, 8 and 9, vote YES on Proposition 5. Just in case you wondered. :-)

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]: "Americans remain divided about how much religion they want in their political life. As we elect a new president, we return to an evocative, relevant conversation from earlier this year with journalist Steven Waldman. From his unusual study of the American founders, he understands why 21st-century struggles over religion in the public square spur passionate disagreement and entanglement with politics at its most impure."

I really enjoyed this interview. Even as an atheist. I am recommending it to all my family... maybe... if I dare...

Swatting attacks on fruit flies and science | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/31/2008

Swatting attacks on fruit flies and science | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/31/2008: "This year's Republican campaign has consistently attacked the values of reason and logic that undergird our democracy. If anything has led to America's high standard of living and world preeminence, it's the idea that we can advance only with the best science possible.

When Palin declares that we don't have to know what causes global warming in order to fix it, she's not only exposing herself as a scientific illiterate; she's going against two centuries of American progress in technology, medicine and science. Trying to bond with the American people by taking pride in your ignorance and making science the common enemy - now that's a bridge to nowhere."

I hate this... got to go into a cave for the next couple of days.  Maybe I can get a doctor to put me into a coma until Tuesday evening.

28 October, 2008

This Is Getting Out of Control

"By Greg Miller
ScienceNOW Daily News
2 October 2008

With the meltdown of the global economy, many people think that their financial future is beyond their control. In such uncertain times, it's probably a good idea to take a deep breath before making any big decisions, because, according to a new study, the mind can play tricks on people when they think they've lost control of a situation."

This also explains the delusions, paranoia and conspiracy theories about Obama

26 October, 2008

I did go fly yesterday


I don't always rant. I flew for an hour yesterday and the last Young Eagles rally for the year is next weekend.
Gas is down a little, with my discount is was only $5.04. Why do they price auto gas to the thousandth? $3.319? Oops, sorry, that is ranting...
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And She's the California Constitution

YouTube - And She's the California Constitution:

I fully believe marriage is a religious idea that got forced into our laws.  If I had my way, all reference to "marriage" would be removed from our laws to be replaced with civil union.  But that ain't happening anytime soon.

Who Caused the Economic Crisis? Who Caused the Economic Crisis?: "The U.S. economy is enormously complicated. Screwing it up takes a great deal of cooperation."

That is damn straight.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Daily Kos: State of the Nation


12 October, 2008

In Defense of Dignity - Features - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper

In Defense of Dignity - Features - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:
"The proper response to religious opposition to choice or love or death can be reduced to a series of bumper stickers: Don't approve of abortion? Don't have one. Don't approve of gay marriage? Don't have one. Don't approve of physician-assisted suicide? For Christ's sake, don't have one. But don't tell me I can't have one—each one—because it offends your God.
Fuck your God."

09 October, 2008

ISS and Moon

I caught the space station passing by the moon tonight. had the times and showed it passing just by the moon. If we had gone down to Santa Cruz, it would have passed closer but I didn't notice that until to late to run down there.

For the nerds: Cannon Rebel XTi on an Orion 5" Maksutov 1540mm telescope. 1/1250" at ISO 1600.

07 October, 2008


Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.

05 October, 2008


Liz, Allena, and I went to see Religulous Friday night.  It was both very funny and scary if you take it literally.  Bill Maher mostly interviewed the kooks so it is a bit skewed, but there are some mainline points that I don't think are off the mark.  The crazyness that people are fighting and dying for the "holy land" even today is insanity.  Especially since nuclear weapons are involved.   He stresses on the kooks but anyone with serious faith is going to have to look at themselves to see if they are just as kooky. And then face the last point:

"Grow up or die."
"80% of Republicans are just Democrats who don't know what is going on." 

03 October, 2008

Biden / Palin debate - favorite Bidenisms

BIDEN: I'll be very brief. Can I respond to that?

Look, the maverick -- let's talk about the maverick John McCain is. And, again, I love him. He's been a maverick on some issues, but he has been no maverick on the things that matter to people's lives.

He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget, which put us a half a trillion dollars in debt this year and over $3 trillion in debt since he's got there.

He has not been a maverick in providing health care for people. He has voted against -- he voted including another 3.6 million children in coverage of the existing health care plan, when he voted in the United States Senate.

He's not been a maverick when it comes to education. He has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college.

He's not been a maverick on the war. He's not been a maverick on virtually anything that genuinely affects the things that people really talk about around their kitchen table.

Can we send -- can we get Mom's MRI? Can we send Mary back to school next semester? We can't -- we can't make it. How are we going to heat the -- heat the house this winter?

He voted against even providing for what they call LIHEAP, for assistance to people, with oil prices going through the roof in the winter.

So maverick he is not on the important, critical issues that affect people at that kitchen table.

BIDEN: Look, past is prologue, Gwen. The issue is, how different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet.

I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different on Iran than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different with Israel than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Afghanistan is going to be different than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Pakistan is going to be different than George Bush's.

It may be. But so far, it is the same as George Bush's. And you know where that policy has taken us.

We will make significant change so, once again, we're the most respected nation in the world. That's what we're going to do.

24 September, 2008

The Politics Test

I thought so...

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(38% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

21 September, 2008

I got it!

The space station flew overhead this evening and I tried to set up to photo it. I had the star chart all set and planned where to shoot it. It was going to go right by the center star of Cygnus. But at 7:22 pm. I thought it would be darker. I could barely see Deneb at 7:20 and Liz could see it coming. Crap. I had set the focus on Jupiter so decided to do the best I could tracking it with the finder scope and firing the shutter whenever it was in the field of view. I had the shutter release in my hand while I was guiding the telescope and camera. I fired off over 60 shots. At ISO 1600 and 1/2000 shutter speed, I guess the motion of me moving everything didn't matter too much.

Cannon XTi mounted on a 1540mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (5 inch) telescope.
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19 September, 2008

Hypothesis and Testing

Quotes from SGU 5x5 #37
Hypothesis: A model of how the universe works that successfully makes predictions.
Testing of hypothesis must predict information that isn't already known.

15 September, 2008

Byron 9/14/08

Waiting for 81C to return.

John and Monique gossiping.

Monique getting advice on her ticket.
5 tows. Not a hard day for 16Y.
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Unemployment with Bush

Unemployment during the Bush years.  Notice the decline during the Clinton years.  Now on third Bush unemployment rise.

Of course the national debt is nearly $10T and on the rise against the GDP.

Michael Reiss's big mistake

There is to be no sympathy given to bad ideas.

10 September, 2008

Phil Plait - May 2005

I know a place where the Sun never sets.

It’s a mountain, and it’s on the Moon. It sticks up so high that even as the Moon spins, it’s in perpetual daylight. Radiation from the Sun pours down on there day and night, 24 hours a day — well, the Moon’s day is actually about 4 weeks long, so the sunlight pours down there 708 hours a day.

I know a place where the Sun never shines. It’s at the bottom of the ocean. A crack in the crust there exudes nasty chemicals and heats the water to the boiling point. This would kill a human instantly, but there are creatures there, bacteria, that thrive. They eat the sulfur from the vent, and excrete sulfuric acid.

I know a place where the temperature is 15 million degrees, and the pressure would crush you to a microscopic dot. That place is the core of the Sun.

I know a place where the magnetic fields would rip you apart, atom by atom: the surface of a neutron star, a magnetar.

I know a place where life began billions of years ago. That place is here, the Earth.

I know these places because I’m a scientist.

Science is a way of finding things out. It’s a way of testing what’s real. It’s what Richard Feynman called "A way of not fooling ourselves."

No astrologer ever predicted the existence of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. No modern astrologer had a clue about Sedna, a ball of ice half the size of Pluto that orbits even farther out. No astrologer predicted the more than 150 planets now known to orbit other suns.

But scientists did.

No psychic, despite their claims, has ever helped the police solve a crime. But forensic scientists have, all the time.

It wasn’t someone who practices homeopathy who found a cure for smallpox, or polio. Scientists did, medical scientists.

No creationist ever cracked the genetic code. Chemists did. Molecular biologists did.

They used physics. They used math. They used chemistry, biology, astronomy, engineering.

They used science.

These are all the things you discovered doing your projects. All the things that brought you here today.

Computers? Cell phones? Rockets to Saturn, probes to the ocean floor, PSP, gamecubes, gameboys, X-boxes? All by scientists.

Those places I talked about before? You can get to know them too. You can experience the wonder of seeing them for the first time, the thrill of discovery, the incredible, visceral feeling of doing something no one has ever done before, seen things no one has seen before, know something no one else has ever known.

No crystal balls, no tarot cards, no horoscopes. Just you, your brain, and your ability to think.

Welcome to science. You’re gonna like it here.

08 September, 2008

Busy Weekend - Sept 08

Had a busy weekend... two houses were on fire down the street in Ben Lomond when I got home from work on Friday.  Very worrisome with the dry brush and trees around.  Cal Fire and BLFD were on it quick!
Flew 3 loads of kids for Young Eagles on Saturday and then flew up to Susanville.
On Sunday, Evan and I flew around for over an hour with him at the controls most of the time. He did great, for 98! My camera was dead so no pictures of that.
   Monday I few home slowly... some kind of headwind made it take 20 minutes longer to get home than going up. Then it was a bit foggy at WVI not enough to keep me out. Overall a great weekend.
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02 September, 2008

Goofy Large Hadron Collider Stuff

"Those hadrons are hard to hide sometimes. You'll be sitting at work, bored out of your mind, and next thing you know you've got a hadron in your pants. The worst part is you've got a meeting to go to you're already late for."

30 August, 2008

Oh Crap - Now I am really worried.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation:

Sarah Palin: Dominionist Stalking Horse
by dogemperor
Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 03:21:50 PM PDT
The big news, obviously, in the blogosphere today is John McCain's surprise pick for the Republican veep nominee--a relative unknown by the name of Sarah Palin, whom--at least in the more conventional political circles--would appear to be a complete cypher.
Unfortunately, if one digs just a bit deeper, Palin is found to have some very interesting--and very disturbing--connections...among them, being potentially the first Assemblies-linked VP candidate and having a number of links to dominionist groups targeting kids via 'bait and switch' evangelism.

Uh oh, big reason to keep McCain/Palin out of office. This is right out of a bad novel, nut case religious nut gets VP job, old fart President kicks the bucket (naturally?), now nut case is in charge and her secret religious army rises to try to take over the country, killing and imprisoning the "intellectuals" and "elite".

Bad novel? How about recent history. Iran. Afghanistan. 1930's Germany. Many African countries? I'm sure there are more...

There must be separation between Church and State.

McCain / Palin must not win.

National Debt Graph

Again... next time someone says your going to vote for those "tax and spend" democrats... point to this.  Republicans are "borrow and spend".

23 August, 2008

Pissed Off

  1. I am pissed at Harry Reid for being a limp noodle. Where is his spine? Republicans are filibustering all over the place and he says nothing. Americans don't know what the GOP is doing, hiding, trying to protect, what they are screwing up before they lose the White House. STEP UP and LEAD! Or get out of the WAY!
  2. I am pissed off at Pelosi for doing nothing about impeaching Bush/Cheney. McCain wouldn't be anywhere close to Obama in the polls... impeachment would have shown Americans what they have lost in rights, how corrupt the Bush administration has been, how un-American they have been. Too late now!
  3. Fucking Coulter and Limbaugh... lying about Obama's position on abortion in a way to stir up emotion, saying he is for third term abortion, to even "chase the doctor down the hall to ensure the aborted baby is dead". They are lower than low. They are dog shit.
  4. DNC's "Big Tent" event on Faith prior to the convention. What a bunch of crap. Especially since they decided to not invite 40% of the Democratic voters. Those without religion, secularists, atheists. Can't have a "Big Tent" without everyone. Pandering obviously to the Christians and "moral majority". I better not hear any crap about god talking to anyone.
  5. Obama. He better STEP IT UP! There better be some FIRE in the convention and campaign now. I am tired of the Lying Liars in the GOP getting away with their LIES. I better not hear too much faith babble from him.
Update:  Pretty happy with the convention.  Obama stepped it up!  Yay!  The network coverage I saw always cut away to commercial whenever the prayers were happening!  Excellent!

17 August, 2008

Richard Dawkins at Berkley, March '08

I liked this lecture as it touched on morality, and the treatment of children.

12 August, 2008

Optimism in Evolution - Op-Ed -

Guest Columnist - Optimism in Evolution - Op-Ed - "When the dog days of summer come to an end, one thing we can be sure of is that the school year that follows will see more fights over the teaching of evolution and whether intelligent design, or even Biblical accounts of creation, have a place in America’s science classrooms.
In these arguments, evolution is treated as an abstract subject that deals with the age of the earth or how fish first flopped onto land. It’s discussed as though it were an optional, quaint and largely irrelevant part of biology. And a common consequence of the arguments is that evolution gets dropped from the curriculum entirely.
This is a travesty.
It is also dangerous."

08 August, 2008

Evolution Survey

To the best of your understanding, and in your own words, please explain what “evolution” means.

Evolution is the change in biological life over time to adapt to changing environments and competition. The pressures of competition and environment result in changes in a life form that are improvements and eventually results in new species. The changes themselves are very small and randomly generated in DNA coding errors, but natural selection ensures that only the beneficial changes generally get passed on into future generations. Branching can produce parallel paths that result in different species in the same families. Many branches die out. Evolution applies to all life, plant, microbial, mammals, birds, reptiles...

If you accept the theory of evolution, please explain in your own words why; or if you do not accept the theory of evolution, please explain in your own words why not.

I do accept the theory of evolution. I accept it because it explains to me the diversity of life currently and throughout history. It explains the dangers we face with disease and antibiotics, it explains where we are in biology and is beginning to help explain how and why we think, where our morals come from and give us a clue on how to coexist.

02 August, 2008

Young Eagles August 08

My Young Eagles for August. Couldn't get the little girl to fly but the others did fine. I asked Laura to ride again with the last boys so that I wasn't alone with them. Tim and Brent did fine anyway. I asked Laura to keep us informed how she does at E-R in Arizona. She is going to the Engineering school there.
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