29 December, 2009
28 December, 2009
"While we have all the flaws concomitant with being children of chance, we also have an advantage: we're free. There is no cosmic fiddler. There is no domineering father in the sky who has a mission for us, who decreed at our birth that there is something we must do with our lives, who has slotted you into one specific role without your consent. You are not driven by an arbitrary external purpose, and you should find the idea of such a daily dictator of every detail of your existence abhorrent to an extreme.
It's a real mystery to me why anyone would find the deterministic slave-philosophy of Rick Warren at all appealing or consoling, especially since the evidence all says that it is wrong, as well. There must be something some people find pleasant in surrendering responsibility to an imaginary scapegoat.
Personally, I appreciate the fact that I'm a combination of traits, some lucky and some unlucky, that are mine and not the product of the whims of some puppetmaster. I'll make of them what I can and what I will, and who I am is my responsibility and to my credit or blame."
26 December, 2009
Atheists enjoy the holidays as much as anyone else. We don't observe the religious aspects, obviously; but we care about family and friends as much as anybody, and we are as happy to celebrate with them during a time of darkness and cold as much as anybody.I am having a very nice Holiday. I had a nice visit to my Grandfather's house where my sister, her family and parents were also visiting along with my daughters. We had a great time yesterday with Liz's sister and nephew and made a very nice dinner, and I have had a relaxing day at the airport with friends and at home with Liz. The days are dark and cloudy but the time with friends and family has been relaxing and rejuvenating.
25 December, 2009
At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail.
16 December, 2009
"Silence slowly prevails and then, from my bunk on the top row, I see and hear old Kuhn praying aloud, with his beret on his head, swaying backwards and forwards violently. Kuhn is thanking God because he has not been chosen.
Kuhn is out of his senses. Does he not see Beppo the Greek in the bunk next to him, Beppo who is twenty years old and is going to the gas-chamber the day after tomorrow and knows it and lies there looking fixedly at the light without saying anything and without even thinking anymore? Can Kuhn fail to realize that next time it will be his turn? Does Kuhn not understand that what has happened today is an abomination, which no propitiatory prayer, no pardon, no expiation by the guilty, which nothing at all in the power of man can ever clean again?
If I was God, I would spit at Kuhn’s prayer." - Primo Levi, Auschwitz survivor
“Frequent miraculous interventions would be at least as chaotic in the physical realm as they would be in interfering with human acts of free will.” - Francis Collins
And this same Collins shamelessly argues that God has fine-tuned the Universe, manufacturing, out of complete chaos, a Perfect Order of every molecule and every physical law in order to produce Mankind.
His God can shuffle galaxies at ease but is powerless to prevent cancer in children. And he worships this sh**head because he can make a frozen waterfall pretty.
He froze it in 3 strands as a special and personal “sign” that Christianity is true and delivered this sacred sign to the “humble” Collins himself. (Surely such signs take god’s time from the excision of cancerous cells in children.)"
I am finally understanding this free will crap. God gave us free will and won't interfere in the acts of men or of nature. Some such shit. God cares that I don't fly around the room but won't prevent me from killing a puppy? I have free will? Why can't I fly also? Killing a puppy is a physical act, why can't I fly? Francis Collins claims he found god when he came upon a waterfall one winter day frozen in three strands and is making these comments above quoted from his book. He was appointed by Obama to lead the NIH and was the director of the Human Genome Project which sequenced the human DNA. Incredible.
15 December, 2009
05 December, 2009
Having an open mind doesn't mean thinking all possibilities are equally likely. It means being willing to consider new ideas if the evidence supports them. And it means being willing to give up old ideas if the evidence is against them.
So to any believer who thinks atheists are close-minded, I want to ask you this:
What would convince you that you were mistaken?
Most atheists can answer that question."
02 December, 2009
Atheists have been “humble” for centuries (who was more humble than Spinoza?) and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s that crop of new atheist books that have finally created a climate in which atheists need not feel like pariahs. Like my confrères so maligned by Kristof, I think it’s time to try Mencken’s way:
The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.
True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.
28 November, 2009
25 November, 2009
“But there’s one way in which we should not be limited: imagination. As Einstein put it, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.””
19 November, 2009
In “celebration” of Darwin’s 150th anniversary of publication of “Origin of Species,” Ray Comfort (a Creationist), printed 100,000 copies of it to hand out at colleges. The kicker being it has a 50+ page introductory rant about how “Dawinism” is evil and wrong and what-not. He also didn’t print some key chapters.
The joker Comfort does his distribution a day earlier and at campuses that he didn't advertise where, one of them being San Jose State. Allena and I had talked about trying to get a copy of the book but it didn't look good. But then when I saw Comfort was executing a day early I sent her a message and after saying she hadn't seen any, she comes back with "I GOT ONE!" Pretty funny. She also was given a fake $1M bill with Obama on it called Jesus Money.
Allena posted her find at The Primate Diaries, I think she made the best picture of the bunch. Very clever and funny, unlike most of the boring head shots.
17 November, 2009
The Don't Diss Darwin Institute: "Comfort's confused polemic, disguised as an informational Introduction but full of mistakes, half truths, untruths, muddled logic, old creationist arguments, misleadingly excerpted quotations, and ill-framed analogies — plus a good dose of fire and brimstone at the end — will do a severe disservice to anyone who takes it for an entryway to Darwin's great book."
15 November, 2009
Science, however, doesn’t claim to have The Truth. We simply have the best approach to reality that we can have, based on the available evidence. If we were to find fossil rabbits in the pre-Cambrian, then we would all have to backtrack on the phrase that forms the title of this blog. However, there comes a point at which the absence of contradictory evidence, and the overwhelming weight of supporting evidence, leads us to stop pussy-footing around. We abandon all that philosophical bet-hedging and simply state “evolution is true”. If the fossil rabbits ever turn up (don’t hold your breath), we’ll revisit the statement – as the French say, only imbeciles don’t change their minds."
11 November, 2009
01 November, 2009
31 October, 2009
27 October, 2009
26 October, 2009
16 October, 2009
08 October, 2009
30 September, 2009
I guess I better blaspheme if I am going to support International Blasphemy day.
· There is no god or allah
· There is no afterlife
· Mohammed was nobody special
· Jesus may not have even existed and at most was nobody special
· Moses was a bastard
· A cracker is a cracker, no matter what words are said over it.
· There is no hell to burn in.
29 September, 2009
"Irreverence is the champion of liberty." –Mark Twain
Free speech is the foundation on which all other liberties rest. Without having the right to express our opinions, however unpopular, those willing to use political clout, violence, and threats will stifle dissent, and we must all suffer the consequences of this. As George Bernard Shaw quipped, "Every great truth begins as a blasphemy."
"Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured, including by many atheists. But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that. Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long." – Richard Dawkins
27 September, 2009
-- Posted from my iTouch
25 September, 2009
In the wake of the death of Patrick Swayze, the alternative medicine quacks are speaking out, saying his death was caused not by his cancer but by his chemotherapy. “Why couldn’t they have built [Swayze] up nutritionally and gotten rid of the toxins?" Because that doesn’t work? Would that be a good reason?
“Antiscience advice like this from Mike Adams, Suzanne Somers, Jenny McCarthy, and others can and will lead to people dying if they act on it. These people are dispensing medical advice that is complete nonsense. Detoxifying the body won’t cure cancer, using herbs won’t cure cancer, aligning your chakras won’t cure cancer. If you have cancer, or know someone who has been diagnosed, please please please go to a board-certified and experienced doctor or oncologist. Don’t listen to celebrities, and don’t listen to alternative quacks.”
24 September, 2009
16 September, 2009
I like what this guy said... they feel left behind in science and modern life, good is bad news since the second coming hasn't come. How to deal with the Christian Crazies? Leave them behind waiting for their rapture. Move on without them. The problem is that the Republican party is bowing to them and can't seem to break away.
15 September, 2009
13 September, 2009
Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'
A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.
Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as "a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder". His "half-baked theory" directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to "atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering", the site stated.
The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as "a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying".
Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Specieswas published.
"That's what we're up against. In 2009. It's amazing," he said.
Amazing. Embarrassing. Outrageous. I have to write the distributors of the movie Religulous. Surely they would distribute it.
"It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There's still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It's quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.
"Charles Darwin is, I suppose, the hero of the film. But we tried to make the film in a very even-handed way. Darwin wasn't saying 'kill all religion', he never said such a thing, but he is a totem for people."
08 September, 2009
30 August, 2009
Evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. Evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past. Given that, in most cases, we don’t live long enough to watch evolution happening before our eyes, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective coming upon the scene of a crime after the event and making inferences. The aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime. Proof beyond reasonable doubt? Reasonable doubt? That is the understatement of all time.
I have to get this on my Amazon wish list... better yet, go get it at Bookshop Santa Cruz.
23 August, 2009
19 August, 2009
16 August, 2009
It takes reasonable debate to get there and there are some who are more into the politics and ratings than the debate. Right now the noise is drowning out the reasonable debate.
This country has been debating health care since Teddy Roosevelt. None of the ideas in the plan are new. Even the life counseling issue has been around for years and was initially brought up by a Republican. The only thing that has changed is that finally the American people elected a Congress with the power and will to do something. It is time to do it before the will is lost to politics again.
The system is broken. My 99 year old grandfather has excellent medical coverage because he has been smart about his finances and insurance and has had great medical advice by really good doctors. On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law died when the hospital sent her back home with some Maalox for chest pain. She has always had medical coverage issues, has always fought with the insurance companies, was her coverage a factor for why she died? I shouldn't even have to ask the question.
15 August, 2009
Calling the new atheists violent or strident serves EXACTLY the same function as calling an african-american “uppity”. We’re standing up for our views and being really insanely polite about it considering the effects of religion.
I am speaking out more face to face. I can't hide anymore. When religion comes up, I am no longer silent. Not stident or abusive. But my position is clear. I am atheist.
14 August, 2009
09 August, 2009
We reject muslim values because they are degrading and offensive.
The whole point of female consealment in Islamic society is that men are not expected to take responsibility for their sexual urges, so that any woman who is not covered up from head to toe is asking to be raped. The Burka therefore ligitimizes rape, it apologizes for rape, it justifies rape. (Are you listening feminists?) This makes it as offensive a public statement as a Klu Klux Klan uniform or a Nazi Swastika and should be treated with exactly same revulsion and contempt.
Muslim men must start treating women as equals, not as possessions.
This comes from Pat Condell's latest YouTube video. It doesn't mean a lot here in this coundry but in Europe, Islamic rights and sensibilities are in debate, appearently. It applies here in the sensibilities Christians demand of their religion, same crap, different problems. The teaching of evolution/creationism in schools, moral authority, abortion and conception. The discussions have been getting more heated and pointed. I hope the American people come to their senses sooner rather than later.
The rowdies at the town-hall meetings... I haven't been to one yet. But if they are denying people the right to speak and not participating in the discussion, then they don't have any right to wear any American flags or colors on their clothing. That is about as un-American as you can get. Liz and I want to try to get to a meeting one of these days. I want my congressperson to see I support HR 3200. I have already written to Eshoo that I do.
Limbaugh and Beck. How anyone can stand listening to either of them much less agree with them is a mystery to me. They are morons. No, not morons. Un-American fascists. Very scary people. More scary is that people listen to them.
Obama is blowing it I am afraid. Some kind of push for health care needs to be made. Simple for the simple minded. I wish they had pushed for a single payer plan and just skipped the "bi-partisan" effort. That turned out to be a mistake.
07 August, 2009
They have a Triceratops with a saddle.
If they didn't eat meat or kill, where did the leather come from? Whatever, I don't care what their explanation is.
Jennifer here has some good pictures:
More disturbing is the outright lying they do there in teaching this crap to kids. Kids are born gullible and wired to believe what their parents and elders tell them. To me, what they do to kids here is child abuse.
06 August, 2009
MOON: Movie Trailer - Celebrity bloopers here
This is one damn good movie! Classic science fiction at its best. A question is asked, what if. The answer is explored. Beautiful.
The music is also haunting, it is on my iPod now, I play it all the time! :-)
31 July, 2009
23 July, 2009
18 July, 2009
Millions of Americans do not trust in any god. I fail to understand why anyone would trust the god of the bible if there is one. If anything, it should be "In God we are wary" since it seems (if it existed) to be pretty cruel and cold.
As you know, this motto and the "under god" in the pledge was added out of fear of communism in the 1950's. "E Pluribus Unum" ("from many come one"), our original motto from Jefferson, Adams and Franklin is and should be our only motto.
I would be very interested in your support of a bill to rescind CON RES 131, or to at least stop it's funding from my taxes. The religious world is perfectly capable of paying for this themselves. But on the other hand... this whole issue is going to the Supreme Court if not stopped sooner, it will cost a whole lot more to install, if ever, than the $150,000 appropriated.
Thank you for your time.
09 July, 2009
04 July, 2009
Nobody hurt much anyway...
Somebody (to remain nameless, not me!) taxied their airplane into a Porche. The plane is totalled, the Porche is probably fine.
28 June, 2009
Said and I flew over to Moffett Field in Mountain View on Saturday to participate in the EAA Chapter 62 Young Eagles Rally there. 258+ kids were given airplane rides by 29 pilots in their planes. Many happy faces. EAA 62 did a great job and I have to thank AOPA insurance for their help getting the insurance paperwork out for several of the pilots to be able to fly at this event on short notice. It went well for me and those I talked to. The appreciation from the parents was pretty gratifying. I usually tell them it is my pleasure and probably the only meaningful use I have for my expensive hobby. Showing kids the world from above and that someone like them can fly an airplane is very meaningful.
21 June, 2009
17 June, 2009
But there are also some for whom I have no sympathy at all.
I have zero sympathy for intelligent people who stand before a grandiose monument to lies, an institution that is anti-scientific, anti-rational, and ultimately anti-human, in a place where children are being actively miseducated, an edifice dedicated to an abiding intellectual evil, and choose to complain about how those ghastly atheists are ruining everything.
Those people can just fuck off."
13 June, 2009
Origins the Series (currently 5 videos)
Foundational Falsehood of Creationism (currently 17 videos )
Why do people laugh at creationists? (currently 30 videos)
From Big Bang to Us — Made Easy (currently 14 videos)
Schools version of the Made Easy series (currently 8 videos)
Evidence FOR Evolution and Against Creationism (currently 32 videos)
Bias Bingo: How Cognitive Bias Generates Belief
Me VS God (currently 5 videos)
Why Young Earth Creationists Must DENY Gravity (currently 5 videos)
Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial