Tuesday, July 31, 2007


One of the oddities of invention was that of the segway, this machine set to replace walking. One quote from an early reviewer, "We have to redesign the city" -- Sounded like a rave review at the time. And it may have been, however it's the kiss of death.

We can't redesign a city after the fact. They are stuck that way. They evolve slowly to meet needs, kludge together solutions, and are locked in place. Really, that line was the first sign of failure for the machine.

Shorter: OJ Simpson

"Since I'm not getting any money, that's not how I killed them."


Does love the sinner hate the sin, equate roughly to insult the beliefs but respect the person?

Required Reading

Talk Origins' list of Creationists Claims.

Even without needing responses, it's a great standalone read.

Humanist - News of the World

Humanist - I Disagree

Monday, July 30, 2007

Humanist - Rebranding

Humanist - The Answer

Part 1 / 4

Don't cheat, I plan on milking these for a couple days and running over to youtube and watching them all is cheating. You are my only reader (as far as I know, you don't even exist) and I demand loyalty.

My Reply to Greta Christina

Proud of myself enough to share.
My reply to Greta Christina

I firmly believe that one's morality has a direct correlation to how much of the Bible they ignore.

I cannot however agree with a few things you said. Primarily: "And I don't think there's any basis for saying that it is." -- I think there is. I think the most adherence to the Bible the more Christian (and consequentially the less moral) an individual is. The Bible is all a Christian really has to go on, I think the more they accept it lock stock and barrel the more Christian they are.

Now, your argument as to why literalists couldn't really accept all of the Bible was that there are contradictions. However, that isn't actually a great argument in this regard. One cannot accept contradictions as true, if they are sane. However, we are talking about Biblical literalists, and these individuals are not so limited as such.

Most Biblical literalists take Jesus at his word in Matthew 5:18, that the OT rules apply. And other such comments. There is a general idea of God is Love. For those people who cling to this idea, I suggest they read the Gospels. Jesus isn't much for turning the other cheek. When he saw people exchanging one type of money for another, he went home made a whip-like thing with pieces of sharp metal attached and returned, to physically attack people with it. Nothing about torn flesh exudes love.

Most of the moral bits, are the secular bits. The idea of loving society as much as self, or doing things to others as you would like them done to you. Those aren't religious reasonings, they are secular points. And they are points which predate Christianity.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

In the story of Ashley Smith, what the hell...

Drug and faith user Ashley Smith in 2005 managed to lie and use religion to convince murderer Brian Nichols to let her go before turning on him and calling the cops. Beyond the oddity of sharing one's faith and drugs with their hostage-taker she also has a five inch scar:

She writes that she asked Nichols if he wanted to see the danger of drugs and lifted up her tank top several inches to reveal a five-inch scar down the center of her torso — the aftermath of a car wreck caused by drug-induced psychosis. She says she let go of the steering wheel when she heard a voice saying, “Let go and let God.”

That's right, God told her to let go of the steering wheel and she did it. What a moron. Really, this is a "hero", an "angel" -- My goodness. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.


Christian nation? Why not white nation?

The argument goes that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation, by Christians for Christians and anybody who disagrees can just shut the fuck up. However, a lot of the founding father's were deists. They honestly had to be. They were going against the king, God's chosen ruler, and that's not something good Christians do. It was about half a dozen presidents before we hit a real Christian. However, if the logic still holds here, might I offer a stronger argument?

The United States was founded as a White Nation. All of the founding fathers have been white. All of the presidents have been white. Rather than demanding religious freedom for all religions in the constitution, which goes against the Christian Nation idea, it was rather clearly spelled out that the freedoms only extended to whites.

Why is it that this nation is a Christian nation, but not also an English-Speaking, White, Male nation? Certainly those who demand white supremacy quite often advocate Christian supremacy as well. Everything old is new again.

We are also seeing the exact same arguments recrafted from the ashes of the interracial marriage debates rehashed in the gay marriage debates. Oh, if God wanted the races to marry they would have put them on the same continents, and God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

It should also be noted, that since God has no logical foundations, one can just trot the character out as a walking fallacy. With a fallacy you can prove everything (which is why they are worthless). With faith, all things are possible. With God, all things are possible. So having your personal fallacy ready and willing, with built in taboo of criticism no less, one can provide an argument for indefensible bigotry.

If there are only religious arguments for something, then there are no good arguments for it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Erdős–Bacon number the stupidest metric ever.

Erdős was a Hungarian mathematician, who coauthored a lot of papers. A person's Erdős number is the collaborative distance between Erdős and the person in question. A person's Bacon number is the collaborative distance in film, which a person has between themselves and Keven Bacon. An Erdős–Bacon number is the sum of the two. However, since almost nobody has collaborated on a peer reviewed paper and worked as an actor, almost everybody has in infinite Erdős–Bacon number. Though, Danica McKellar and Natalie Portman are notable exceptions (each having collaborated on papers as undergrads at UCLA and Harvard respectively).

Still, dumbest metric ever. I suggest you run away from these kind of nonsensical things at several furlongs per fortnight.

Friday, July 27, 2007

... And that's when Edwards lost my support.

It isn't his religion, it's his lack of faith that really has pushed me away from support. He says that it would be wrong to to use faith beliefs to make any policy decision. That is obviously correct. But, doesn't that make him a liar or at the least dishonest? It would be like me saying, "I fully understand and completely believe in chemistry, but I would never use my chemistry beliefs to inform my political decision." -- So when some bill comes up asking to ban all chlorine from everything, I won't rely on my background in chemistry to say, 'hell no'. 'We need chlorine for water, PVC pipe, and salt'. I will not do such a thing. I will make my decision on fear mongering alone!"

No certainly there's a difference here. Chemistry is real, objective, and science and faith is nonsense. However, he shouldn't know that. In order to be honest, he should rely on his unsound beliefs to make unsound decisions, or he should not have those unsound beliefs to begin with. What good is the belief that Poinsettias are poisonous if you don't rush your child to the emergency room just to find out it's an urban legend. Would you have any support for somebody who believed that, but when their four year old ate Poinsettias told him to walk it off?

Heckles, hackles?

Apparently there's a difference between these two words. Odd. I guess it's enough to peek my interest. Reminds me of the day I learned that backround wasn't actually a word.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How can religions be wrong? I mean there's so many people who believe them.

Remember back when Saddam had vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction? Everybody believed it? The news was on and on about how reliable it was? How this was an absolute truth? Skepticism was condemned as evil and wanting us to be killed? Then this brought us to war. We invaded Iraq to disarm them of their weapons of mass destruction only to find out that there weren't any. This is pretty much religion.

You have a large number of people talking about something, without evidence, in the most absolute of terms. This is religion. Not believing this will lead to eternal hellfire and damnation. This is religion. This unsubstantiated belief lead to war and death and killing on no real grounds. This is religion. The media, the government, the apologists all happened to be lock step though without discussing it. This is religion. The bad intelligence summed up to be group think. This is religion. Once proven wrong the apologists start making silly excuses such as 'God needs faith', or 'the WMDs were taken to Syria'. This is religion.

Really, if you want evidence that you can get vast number of people to believe a lie on no evidence and get that evidence to lead to war... look no further than the cradle of civilization. The source and destination for that kind of nonsense.

As a funny little side, somebody on some TV show made the comment that everybody believed that Iraq had WMD, while my sister was visiting from Washington. We both sort of raised our hands to signify our exemption to that statement. Though that was mostly because I had read Alternet at the time and came across some great arguments that it was all poppycock prior to the war, and she was the one who highly recommended Alternet to the rest of the family.

And as a side objection to this looking back and blaming people for believing what they were told. It's not as blame worthy to tell somebody something and have them believe it, than it is blameworthy to tell somebody something which is false.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Idea of the Day: Multiple Choice Tests Without System Gaming

One of the oddities of multiple choice tests is that there is typically one and only one correct answer. So if you can determine that the other answers are wrong, or that some answer is wrong, you will do better on the test. However, this does not accurately measure a person's knowledge. One could in theory pass a test without knowing any of the correct answers, but a sufficiently large number of wrong answers. Secondly one can easily fail almost completely with still having some knowledge on the subject. I propose that tests should be designed without this requirement of one and only one correct answer. Here's an example:

1) 4 * 5 =
a) 12
b) 15
c) 30
d) 9

2) A banana is,
a) a fruit
b) a tree
c) a card game
d) a type of seat

3) The war of 1812 took place in,
a) 1811
b) 1812
c) 1814
d) 1816

This results in each question either bubbled or not bubbled being equal to a true or false test. So each question, rather than finding the best answer you answer four true or false questions about the given situation. Then it's a simply process of giving -.5 for each wrong answer and .5 for each correct answer.

Monday, July 23, 2007

NOMA: Taking away the bone.

A number of atheists today are quite flippant concerning Gould's principle of NOMA or Non-Overlapping MAgisteria or Not Opposing Metaphysical Asininity. However, there is a recent trend by authors such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to really object in the strongest terms to the idea. Many people argue that Gould was just placating theists by giving them something. "Mr. Religionist, you're not a complete idiot you just have a different way of knowing things. Science and religion are like parallel lines, or parallel planes of existence." One can almost see the logic in letting religion down easily. Throwing them a bone as it were. Well, now we want that bone back!

You're all morons. When we say that we just have different ways of knowing, we mean to say that there are right answers and wrong ones. And although there may be shades of gray, your answers are pitch black. They aren't correct enough to matter.

You weren't happy with playing different games, you had to make claims about stuff. Things exist, you know things, you have explanations, gays are evil, evolution is false. Well, sorry, you lose... and we're taking back the bone.

Nudity more dangerous than Bombs, because it causes the breakdown of morality...

The idea that nudity is more dangerous than bombs, seems on the surface a bit odd. But, consider the breakdown of morality within the animal kingdom as a result.

-- When one animal murders and eats another animal, both of these animals are nude!
-- When one lion forcibly mounts and rapes a lioness, shouldn't one note that that lioness was naked?

Do you think that lion would do such a thing if that lioness was dressed in a burka?

Bombing however is completely moral, as you can tell by the fact that all bomb makers are quite well adorned with clothing fully covering all the naughty bits.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Required Reading

The Courtier's Reply by PZ. Myers.

Top Gear crew has funny skit to drive through Alabama with slogans.

Almost like poking a snake as a funny joke then learning that that snake really is completely retarded and will actually hunt you down and kill you for no reason.

Yeah, run away before you get lynched.

Carnival of the Godless #71

Newest Carnival of the Godless on Aardvarchaeology.

Can vegans take communion?

Yes, because it's all pretend.

Required Reading

The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Swing Batter! And a thanks the Xanthir, FCD.

Way back in June I made a post on Pharyngula, it consisted of absolutely true statements.

The best way to get folks to swing is to lob a softball.

The following are absolutely true.
---- Mutation does not generate have a special method for generating useful information. In fact, in context of mutation it doesn't generate useful anything (useful is really a determination of natural selection, mutation just makes the information... selection figures out if it is useful).
---- Despite claims by evolutionists that you can't strongly evidence design by looking at something, you can. From computer programs to frogs, there are actually pretty clear indicators whether something is the product of design or not. I write code, and spend a lot of time working with evolutionary algorithms, and I can tell you the difference between the code is pretty much night and day. Designed things typically show a fairly uniform intelligence, things are modular (everything has it's place next to other related stuff), and they do not reproduce. Evolved solutions are either freakishly stupid or extremely intelligent with a rare shade of gray between, unrelated things not only don't have their own section but they latch onto each other is rather absurd ways, and they always reproduce. Sadly for the creationists however, this clearly suggests that frogs are evolved and computers programs are not. What little evidence we have to go by strongly suggests design for many non-living things and evolution for all living things.
---- I have never seen a half-man, half-monkey.
---- I don't think that human beings could have been formed by chance.
---- Irreducible complexity is actually a useful and definite state. Though trivial to evolve such situations and laughable to suggest that such things can't evolve. The actual state of being irreducibly complex isn't complete poppycock.

Swing batter!

I found it again today, just to see that a number of people had their hackles raised concerning my language. Which was oddly the point, but I never imagined it would do so well. Moreso, because I left so many asides in it as to why my statement was correct.

Looking down the comments it seems that Xanthir figured out that I was making accurate statements exactly as I claimed. Thanks. Good to know my comment wasn't completely misunderstood by everybody.

Science and Religion get along, so long as...

Religion never makes a positive claim about how the universe functions.
Religion never makes a claim about something existing.
Religion never proposes that anything interferes with or has any effect on anything in the universe.
Religion never claims to have answers to questions of how, what, when, where, or why.
Religion never claims to have, predict, or influence anything.
Religion never claims to be a way of knowing anything.

How to see the world as an atheist...

1) Go to a UFO convention.
2) Each time somebody says "believe" replace it in your head with "have/has strong evidence for".
3) Avoid getting pissed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sen. Vitter (R) oppressed for his family values.

If continuing to believe in and acknowledge those values causes some to attack me because of my past failings, well, so be it.

In a press conference after revelations that he frequented prostitutes, Vitter (R) made what is perhaps the stupid comment ever. That his continued support for family values inspires the attacks against his character. Sure, he was into diaper fetishism but really it's that combined with his strong upright moral values which makes for the bluntness of the attacks. So, if he did what he did but didn't say what he says, he wouldn't be attacked as a hypocrite right now. So really, isn't he being attacked for voicing his strong moral standpoints?

I'm going directly to the airport... and *NOT* stopping off at some whorehouses.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Plan B and the assumption of reduced implantation.

There's a random assumption that Plan B causes reduced implantation even though this effect has never been shown. As such the conclusion is that it causes abortion and thus is murder! However, beyond having no evidence, there's a reasonable idea that it might be less than just non-existent. The reverse might be true.

Progestational drugs, including levonorgestrel, are used therapeutically in assisted reproduction because they increase the rate of successful implantation and pregnancy.13 That observation a priori reduces the likelihood that Plan B interferes with implantation; it even raises the counterintuitive but undocumented possibility that Plan B used after ovulation might actually prevent the loss of at least some of the 40% of fertilized ova that ordinarily fail spontaneously to implant or to survive after implantation.

JAMA - Plan B and the politics of doubt

Catholic family so scared of Wiccan son they sent him to a priest to be molested.

I shit you not!

Well, they may have sent him to be cured by the priest or some such nonsense. But, in reality that isn't what happened. I just confused. Usually I'd be all over this story with wisecracks and interesting points. But, I think it was just too much. I think this story broke me.

Chimeras, shouldn't they have half a soul.

Catholic bishops, bishops in the only true Christian religion, have decided that half-animal half-human embryos have a full soul.

How human does the mix have to be to have a soul? If we move the gene for brown eyes into a chimp, does that chimp now have a soul? What if we just give them one of our genes that they already have? What % is needed to default to this full soul state?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Science is the Work of the Devil

Dr. Nick Lucifer a reclusive PhD in Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, and Comparative Religion, is a fellow at Cornell-Putnam University. He used to be religious and even lived in Heaven as an archangel, although now he quietly publishes papers in his fields and reads associated journals. Although usually rather reclusive nowadays. Old Nick has come forward to correct what he says is an error made by many of today's scientists:

"When I left Heaven, it was because of my love for science. The Bible, as many of us know, portrays events that did not occur, for the most part it is categorically false and scientifically bankrupt. I was not cast out of Heaven, this is false, I left willingly.

I was there from the beginning. Earth was already several billion years old when God showed up about 6000 years ago, with Me, Mike, Ralph, Uri, Gabe and a few of the other guys. Suddenly the old coot, starts spouting out stuff like, 'I created the Earth' and 'Life is my greatest achievement'. We sorta looked at each other and back at him. I was the only one to speak up.

Just for the record, those pillars of salt and all that smiting are nothing compared to how pissed the guy got when I told him 'Dude, we were here when you found this place.' He started yelling about how we were turning against him, and how he knew he should have ditched us a long time ago. Then Mike goes 'What, I saw him make it.' Ralph chimed in 'It was totally bad ass when he put that planet together.' I was flabbergasted.

Just because somebody says something doesn't make it frick'n true! Some basic scientific evidence would have proved my point, but they refused to hear any word of it. They didn't even bother to check that the Earth was the one moving around the Sun and not the other way around, in fact they later dubbed the Earth the center of the universe! After a while, I just gave up. It became too much for me. I resigned, and science quickly became my passion.

Now to the problem, say what you will about His followers today, but they are indeed correct in one respect: 'Science is the work of the devil'. I have only published a few minor papers, and I have yet to have a big find, and my goal of earning the Nobel Prize is still nothing more than a pipe dream. But still, Science is now my life's work.

I have been witness to some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in human history. Curing polio, the mastery of the atom, understanding the gene. All the while, He has been telling people what to think, and He's so fricking absentminded he forgets details here and there, and then those people get pissed and fight bloody wars over those different details. That's one of the things that attracted me to science first. If you tell the truth and understand the truth, you don't have to remember your story.

Although I have achieved many degrees in academia, I somehow can't remove the stigma placed on me by some 12th century smear campaign. Being given credit for everything 'evil', and having somebody else take credit for everything 'good', could casts anyone in a bad light. Some of the things said about me are almost too wrong for words; 'The Devil wants your Soul!', 'If you don't believe in God, the Devil will put in a fiery pit and burn you forever!,' and my personal favorite 'The Devil tempts you to do evil.'

1) First off, I have found no scientific evidence you even have a soul, secondly if it exists it would seemingly have no valid scientific value. Also, it would seem to be redundant as neuroscience is tracing down exactly what your brain does and there doesn't seem to be any left over functions.

2) Next, why would I ever punish you for not believing in God? It is doubtful any of you have met the guy. I have and believe me, he's a pompous jerk, but that's beside the point. Threats of eternal damnation are not examples of logical or reasonable thought which tend to be more my style. Furthermore, if I hated God why would I setup an institution to drive people towards Him? It would be like me saying 'If you don't believe in evolution, then the terrorists have already won.'

3) Finally, I don't tempt you to do evil. It would be a time-consuming activity and just keeping up-to-date on the science journals takes up most of my time. If I had to go around tempting folks to do evil all the time, I would never get any work done towards my Computer Science degree.

So next time somebody tosses around a statement like 'science is the work of the devil' take a step back and consider the facts before denying that it's true. We are scientists after all, and many of you may not be aware of my work. Please, ask before you speculate about what I do, responding without at least any information makes all scientists, including myself, look bad.

Thank you for your time, Dr. Nick Eugine Lucifer, PhD.

Lightning strikes graven image. Read nothing into it.

A lightning bolt flew from the sky and struck a large statue of Jesus and wrecked the statue. Read absolutely nothing into it. It was just lightning. Had rains drowned somebody, that's God's attack against people's tolerance of homosexuals. Had some metal rusted and dripped down, that's Jesus bleeding. But, lightning, pfft that just happens.

Been-a-dick, still-a-dick... Pope Benidict points out all non-catholics are non-Christians.

It's about time. Unless you're Catholic, you're going to hell.

Shirley Phelps-Roper / WBC and the defense of atheists...

More and more, I've run into atheists who support the Phelps family, not financially, politically, ethically, but to the extent we tend to support every religious view. And then some, truth be told, something refreshing about the Phelps family. Namely, honesty. There isn't an ounce of duplicity in anything they say, they say they believe the Bible and they do, they've read it cover to cover and believe everything therein. Their interpretations are, by and large, quite well grounded. I use to believe that perhaps they went a little too far and were going extra-biblical with their "God hate America" and "Thank God for IEDs" comments. However, after listening to the arguments behind them, I must admit that Noah's Ark and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah do at lend them a bit of leeway to make those arguments.

I'm not even sure that they are a hate group. Specifically they don't ever reference themselves. They only announce that "God hates Fags" and "God hates America" -- They never suggest anything of the sort themselves. They are non-violent and stay well within the confines of the law. Which is less than one can say about such great Christian establishments such as the KKK.

Other than cherrypicking there's nothing to attack the Phelps position with. That and the falseness of the Bible. The above video makes some guesses as to why some people might hate the Phelps so much, and I haven't anything better.

It also strikes a number of Christians as odd, that they believe America is doomed, and yet are wasting their time thanking God for bringing about this doom. Personally, I'm impressed by their resolve. They don't do it to convert people, they don't do it to save people, they don't even do it to warn people... they do it to thank and praise God for his judgment and primarily because the Bible tells them to do it.

Liberal pastor preaches fundamentalism, in a round about way...

The question is a straight forward one. Why is it accepted to defend one's bigotry against gays by referencing one's religion, while it is no longer accepted as a way to defend slavery or opposition to women's suffrage?

Really, he's arguing against cherry picking. He's arguing that you should take all of the Bible or none of the Bible. That if you no longer defend one type of bigotry with the Bible you should no longer be permitted to defend any type of bigotry with it. Well, I have to admit, that's a pretty good point. Lets either bring back slavery or give everybody equal rights regardless who they love.

On the Origin of Species: E-book.

For those odd characters who care about biological evolution and evolution in general enough to hear the Father of Evolution's words on the subject, directly... but not caring enough to read them with a well-formed eye (save that reversed ganglia), one can do so with their well-formed ear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Required Reading

Larry Niven, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, on the feasibility of the reproduction of Superman.

Monday, July 16, 2007

On the need for Nerd Porn...

The overlay is just pictures over the rant of Ernie Cline.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Water and Slaughter...

I propose a new plan to save the souls of the innocent. It does, admittedly, sound a little odd, but hear me out. Due to the corruption of our culture, one must realize that it is hard for a child growing up in today's culture to escape sin completely. However, it is well known that newborn infants have not known sin and are, at the time of their births slated for heaven. The solution should be obvious. We should baptize newly born infants into the Christian faith, then bash their heads in with a hammer.

I know that my plan of 'water and slaughter', may on the surface seem like splashing a bit of water on a kid then brutally murdering it. However, it is saving the souls of these poor infants. It might be even better to save them earlier. I assume one can baptize embryos if one has direct access.

We should thusly create massive batches of embryos, just enough so that they get their souls, baptize them and put them into the furnace.

Then there is the question of who will bell the cat? Certainly murder is a sin and whomever wields the hammer gets raped by Satan. Now, atheists are already damned but typically they have a moral compass which ignores the Bible. Abortion doctors only care about women and their health and most would oppose 4th trimester abortion. I don't think anybody has understood the brilliance of this plan since Andrea Yates sent her otherwise soon-to-be-damaged children on an express bus to heaven (as any Christian would freely admit). This is why, I nominate Andrea Yates. She is currently in prison, and firmly believes herself doomed to hell (hence the reason it wasn't a sacrifice for her to kill her children). She'd otherwise spend her life in prison, and we could certainly give her better accommodations and she could do a lot of good and spare the Fire to some innocents.

Romanian court case against God dismissed on grounds that there is no God.

In Romanian a court case against god was dismissed on the grounds that 1) God is above the law. And 2) God doesn't have an address. Really, the the obvious truth is that the court case was dropped because there is no God. If one filed suit against Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny the case would be dropped on the same grounds.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quote: Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbs.

"Its no use! Everybody gets good enemies except me."

The most important question ever?

Occasionally one hears that the question of God is the "most important question ever"! As if, the question of whether or not Sksiwldislfqpof exists is much less important. A skywizard's existence is somehow the most important question? As if elephants on Mars is more important of than what I should have for lunch. The question of "God's existence" is a stupid one. You have no good evidence, so the question is pretty well answered. And even if it wasn't, the lack of interaction with the world (that's the way to get no evidence), does imply mootness.

`The time has come,' the Walrus said,
`To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.'
-- Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter

I propose for consideration that the question of God's existence is at best only the third most important question, after "why the sea is boiling hot" and "whether pigs have wings".

Required Reading

Robert M. Price, By This Time He Stinketh, The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus (1997)

Muslim Apologetics

I have a theory that due to the lack of enlightenment thinking Muslim Apologetics are downright absurd. Within the intellectual centers of the west religious arguments evolve to side track the obvious objections to them for example if you look at the first cause argument, you'll notice some subtle difference with the older versions. Anything that exists, has a cause. The universe exists. Ergo, the universe has a cause. That cause is God. This has become "began to exist" rather than exists. And exists has become within spacetime (so that God excluded from spacetime can exist). The principle problem is that the premises are flawed, it commits the fallacy of composition, and any exemption for God could also let the universe slip through.

Also, there are attempts to shift this cause onto an Eternal Cause (this causeless God), a role tailor made for God as a planned loophole in the universe designed to allow God to slip through but ready made to close up and prevent the universe itself from slipping through this absurd hole. And even with proponents capitalizing the job description in deference to the eventual job holder (though they are certainly taking applications, they swear). They still don't answer anything, but it at least takes a couple thoughts to realize this.

It is this sort of evolutionary progress in apologetics which make much of Christian Apologetics in absurd nonsense but evolved beyond the point where a simple belly laugh is a sound refutation. Muslim Apologetics have developed in a bubble. In a sterilized room of faith-belief, and is extremely vulnerable to even the simplest of logics.

Proof of Purchase?

Proof? So if I club somebody and steal their Poweraid... and a cop comes around and asks, "Hey did you steal that Poweraid?" -- I can say "No, and I have proof that I purchased this!" And show him the bar code?

Perhaps strong evidence of purchase?

It is cold in some places... ergo global warming is a lie!

This is one of the oddest arguments I've seen. And it honestly strikes at the heart of the problem. It's simply exposes the ignorance of the issue itself. It snowed in my area of California for the first time in more than like 20 years last winter. I mean, several inches of snow in Southern California (not in mountains). This is a rather stunning departure from the standard climate. Hm.

1958 video on Global Warming. It's pretty good, the calculations are off by a lot. It would sink most of Florida, but a lot of that flood isn't going to happen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Ori and Religious Pluralism.

As an avid Stargate SG-1 fan and an atheist, there's a couple little fun cross sections. In a recent episode, Line In The Sand, had perhaps the weirdest combination of Sci-fi and Religious Pluralism. Tomin the faith-head quasi-husband to Vala, is moving up in the ranks of the Ori fleet. The Ori are ascended evil aliens which seek to take over the galaxy by gathering worshipers on the promise of an afterlife etc. However, while reading the Book of Origin, they took a lot of care to have the Prior (religious empowered guy) misinterpret the book.

That's right, the sacred book of evil ascended aliens with wishes to take over the universe (who actually exist (in the Stargate universe)) and to do evil... it simply *MUST* have been misinterpreted.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The need for a detailed plan.

Quote: William H. Gascoyne

"I’m not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers."

Prayers in Senate... an abomination!

Senate prayers (which shouldn't exist anyway) were disrupted because they were given by a Hindu rather than your typical Christian prayer. Oddly this caused a stir. As if Christians only want Christian prayers rather than morality and religion of all types in the public square. That would be rather hypocritical.

As a staunch defender of kowtowing to Christian will, I would like to volunteer my services of giving a Christian prayer in congress.

I telepathically beseech you, first-century, wish-granting Jewish zombie. May your death which satisfied your vendetta against us for something not of our doing also satisfy your bloodlust within this hallowed chamber. Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Invention of the Day

Robotic reversing vasectomies. The obvious fact is, one's testicular junk is just hanging there. It is, by far, the easiest method of birth control, you get at it and get at it once. However, even with plenty of access, the obvious plan is to cut the vas deferens. This isn't a good sounding idea for men (at least not all men). Surgical reversal is possible, though, expensive and not something you want to plan on having in advance.

This is where my invention comes in. Reversing vasectomies. Rather than cutting, why can't we use any other method of stopping something at A from getting to B? Clamping, removing, bridging, blocking, etc. I propose, for your favorable consideration, cyborg penis! Basically hook something to the vas deferens which prevents sperm from getting through, until you want it to. It wouldn't be hard to power something and switch the settings (perhaps even installing a password) through thin scrotal tissue. One could reverse their own vasectomies repeatedly. Turn it off with your wife, turn it on with your lover. Leave it off until you choose to have kids. Basically, it would be actual birth *control*. You could turn that sucker on and off at will.

This would have mass appeal. If you might sometime in the future want some kid, you could still get one while you sew your wild oats. It doesn't have the this is forever feel that snipping that cord does, and rather than breaking ones junk... it gives you awesome cyborg powers. It would be something men might want to have, just to have. Now that's an invention! The reduced number of unplanned pregnancies, simplicity in the realm of birth control, and easing the options for women (none of which are remotely as easy) are just little bonuses.

Rudy Giuliani is America's Mayor! He is a hero to the New York's firefighters and a certified terrorist killer...

... and nobody should say otherwise until after the primary.

Don't sink the leaky boats, until they are put into the race.

After, he's the nominee, then he's a dress-wearing hero killer who used your loved ones to fill pot holes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ad Homs and Fallacies.

There's an odd sort of idea that calling anybody a name is an ad hominem. However, a fallacy is saying, you are wrong because you are X. Rather, I sometimes go so far as saying "You are wrong AND you are X".

On rare occasions I call people names. On those occasions I don't do it to be mean, I do it to be accurate.

I love YouTube sometimes.

There's this guy who dresses up like a ninja and lays the smack down on evolution via Unicorns. I must admit. I am very impressed.

Evolution isn't dog eat dog.

Evolution is not dog eat dog, in fact, if you take a look at actual dogs you will notice that they are a pack species. They hunt in groups. They work together to the betterment of all and the betterment of each.

It is in the gene's best interests to support other members of the same species and quite likely the same family which should also share the same gene which encourages cooperation.

Economics are by and large evolutionary. A good idea is duplicated, and whatever makes the most money is the most likely to spread. Good ideas are spread, better services take over, etc. However, a lot of capitalism is the idea that prices and services will always be optimized for the consumer. However, that's not true. The prices and services will always be optimized toward profit. If that means colluding, it means colluding. If that means fixing prices to aid a political party in an attempt to prevent a reduction in profit, that is what it means. Lobbyists are a logical consequence and an impressive adaptation. To take control of the built in power structure is to control one's environment, an ability which in the terms of biological evolution, is nearly impossible to match.

The consumer isn't always right. The consumer is the enemy. The consumer is prey. However, it is in the best interest of the organism to convey this message, much as it is in the best interests of butterflies to, especially if tasty, to convey a message of poison. The general capitalistic idea is that optimally all the companies cannot collude with each other and thus, like the traveler's dilemma, progress toward the lowest possible value. And, much like the traveler's dilemma it just doesn't work in practice. One doesn't sacrifice potential wealth for the sake of rationality. It make look like it should be the optimal solution to deprive yourself of wealth (if you setup economies like giant traveler's dilemmas) but evolution isn't fooled.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Required Reading

Isaac Asimov's 1989 Essay The Relativity of Wrong.

One of the best explanations to how science works.

Those tricky bastards!

As every conspiracy theorist in the world knows the United States government was actively involved in the planning and execution of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (MIHOP). But, think for a moment, how tricky those bastards are... in order to start an unjustified war in Iraq they directly and clearly implicated Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq. That takes balls.

Scientology cures serious mental illness.

Okay, really it's gets a family killed because they swear that their crazy daughter didn't need help. The irony exceeds the tragedy.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

God Hates Lee Polikov!

Lee Polikov the County Attorney for Sarpy County filed several charges against Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Fred Phelps. While protesting the funeral of Nebraska Army National Guard Spc. William "Bill" Bailey she allowed (probably told him to) her son Jonah to stand on a US flag. She was charged with negligent child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, flag mutilation and disturbing the peace.

She is innocent of those charges. The government is completely out of line here. The Phelps aren't a hate group, they always pitch their message as God's message rather than their own, it is always "God Hates X" and never "I Hate X" (this is actually a pretty important line, as is the fact that they are non-violent). The law passed a year or so back banning protesting at a funeral is extremely unconstitutional (it bars one type of activity whereas other activities are fine). I don't think that the theological arguments they make are that flawed. One can, and they do, make a pretty good case Biblically speaking. If the Bible wasn't completely stupid and idiotic, unsubstantiated, and morally bankrupt... they might actually have a point.

If you really think that the Phelps children should be taken away, you must also conclude that we should steal Amish children as well. While we're at it, why don't we take away those poor home-schooled kids? We might also want to get our paws on Suri Cruise (although unlike the other two this might rally some support).

Really, they only thing I think they are doing wrong is believing the Bible is the word of God. They could be far more moral if they, rather than believing the entire book, would just cherry-pick the sane parts. One can, with a bit of work, make a religion out of parts of the Bible that one could show to their neighbors without too much embarrassment. Though, that does require a substantial amount of gutting. And personally, I don't think that there is much reason to keep the bathwater, if you already threw out the baby.

I tend to have more respect for the Phelps than I have for your average religious person.


Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Friday, July 6, 2007

Kent Hovind

Understanding creationism is certainly a worthwhile thing to do, if for no other reason than the entertainment value. However, since the first video is almost unwatchable (though worth it for the laugh), I've included the second video a stress reliever.

Ten years for making such stupid videos? He should have gotten longer for his support of this heterodox God idea. Where's a good stake burning when you need them. The state abhors blood too.

California during the hottest summer on record.

You got to love global warming. The rest of the week is set to be 100f+ (hot). And that's only because they can do weather predictions for only the rest of the week.

Well, at least it will sweat the disbelief out of some people easily fooled by transparent PR campaigns against science.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Blinky the Fish and Nuclear Power

As all of you know, from my never having mentioned it before, to all of nobody who reads this blog. I am a firm supporter of nuclear power (gay rights and abortion too... gotta keep up my liberal cred). I think that nuclear power is one of the best and most available methods of stopping greenhouse gas pollution within the near future (when we really need to do so in reality). Modern reactors are safe, and the older reactors (save a few Russian ones) weren't dangerous either. The latest generation are passively safe, which is to say that they cannot melt down. Moreover, we are currently using about 1% of our nuclear fuel before calling it nuclear waste and putting it away forever. If we recycled the fuel and burned off the plutonium, we could use our current nuclear reserves to power our country for the next several hundred years at least (probably in the thousands).

Whence Blinky?

A third eye is most likely not due to a genetic mutation such as could be introduced via nuclear radiation (nuclear power releases less radiation than coal burning power plants (by a lot)). Rather it is much more likely to be due to a developmental error where a second embryo is reabsorbed into the first causing a very minor chimerism/conjoined twins situation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Why don't Christians cite Wernher von Braun more often...

I understand why people cite that Newton quote (paraphrasing): "I'm too tired to bother to actually solve the N-body problem and develop perturbation theory and instead will force people to wait another century for Laplace, so I'm just going to say that God makes the planets stay in orbit."

But, why not Wernher von Braun? Here was a rather famous scientist who was unabashed about religion: "Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death."...*...

Sure, he was a nazi and a stupid one at that. Nature does know extinction. In fact, most species are extinct. The idea that because our matter isn't created or destroyed that we, as the complex organization of matter we are, are immortal is just stupid beyond belief (though apparently not beyond belief). I'd love to see this quite more often.

Romney is a Good Chrisitan. And nobody should say otherwise...

...until after the primaries.

Sure, the Book of Mormon is the like the anti-Koran. Reading the BoM made me laugh at so many places it was silly. Reading the Koran just made my eyes glaze over. There's certainly criticism there, but don't sink the leaky boat until it's the one they put in the race.