Friday, November 30, 2007

Brain damaged boy, with false premises, and belief death doesn't matter is competent to make choices resulting in his death.

Go figure. Even with the belief that after you die you will live forever and ever in bliss and paradise rather than you will just be dead you are still fully appraised of your consequences? Will wonders never cease! (via Pharyngula)

Wii Communism!

There will not be enough Wiis in stores to meet demand for Christmas. They failed to build up any reserve over the summer (when sales typically drop) and at current can only meet demand for about half of what they need (even prior to the Christmas ramp up). This leads to a rarity in the market, but the price point is observed, why? They are honestly selling on eBay for 330 bucks whereas they sell in the store for 250 bucks.

The reality is the stores should price the Wiis at fair market value which is ~340 dollars, and keep ramping the price point up until they can't sell their product out completely and have none for the rest of the month. Why is it better to have an impossible to get product, long communist-style bread lines, and underground markets selling the product for closer to what it's worth (due to rarity)?

Don't get me wrong, I am all for universal health care, prisons (sans the pot smokers / different place for other drug addicts), cops, firemen, roads, electric, water, and pretty much any resource everybody needs. Because, if those things aren't owned by the people they will end up owning the people. However, a Wii? That's the last thing we need some stores setting up market regulation on. Really, the stores are being socialist with a game console, which though kicks some major ass, is a dirt obvious luxury.

Why are the stores giving a handout to slimy bastards who go in to a store and buy out their supplies of Wiis to resell them on eBay? Why? Wouldn't it be better to sell them for what they are worth and make it possible to get them? Sure, it might price poor people out of the market, however, they are poor... they can spend the money on something other than a video game system. Honestly, if I had gotten a Wii before Christmas last year, I would have been tempted to pack it up and resell it for the 500 bucks it was worth back then.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My second trollish response! WOOHOO!

I'm on a roll. I usually have to steal trolls from other sites and the dregs of the internet: obscure forums, creationist wikis, the Washington Post, or hidden in various nooks and crannies (filled with kooks and ninnies of course). But for the second time, I've managed to get a negative post on my blog. It brings tears to my eyes (not really).

Anonymous writes (in reply to my blog about Giuliani's debate response where he he accepts the bible to be figurative):

Yeah yeah yeah, like the frigging Democrats will do anything differently.

Different than equivocating about religion to suppose large amounts of the Bible are false without bothering to admit that it's all filled with lies? I didn't say the Democrats would do anything different, in fact, in this respect the Democrats do worse. They seem much less sincere with regards to religion, the reason they are getting my vote.

The leading candidates have already said they aren't getting out of Iraq.

True, they teeter about removing the last 5% after having removed all the major troops really early on. Frankly, yes I find that to be pathetic. However, I don't find the idea of a working surge or there forever to be at all amusing.

Thats why I believe the end is near, delivered by the nukes developed by atheistic scientists (Dawkins tells us most scientists are atheists.)

That doesn't follow. Simply because somebody says most scientists are atheists doesn't mean that most scientists are atheists, nor does it mean that the particular scientists involved in the Manhattan Project were atheists. That said, Dawkins is right as one can tell by surveys concerning religious faith within the NAS and Royal Society as well as general surveys to working scientists. Noting that the majority of top scientists 90% or so, are atheists doesn't preclude the idea that the Manhattan Project was staffed with atheists. That said, it was staffed pretty much with atheists, at least in this country. Due to lack of sharing and other secrets acts the atomic bomb has been reinvented a number of times.

The God Damn atheists are going to destroy the world.

How? With atomic bombs? By making atomic bombs and giving them to religionists? Because we have no morality? -- I guess I won't know. But, I can speak for myself. I I were running the country, I wouldn't use an atomic bomb even if atomic bombs were in route to destroy the country I was running. I would certainly claim I would, simply because the threat of retaliation is required for MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) to function, but even soon to be vaporized I wouldn't give the order due to moral restrictions against vaporizing folks. Secondly, why the hell would any atheist want to destroy the world? Really, this is the only life we get and it is precious.

I will die cursing them.

It's probably more likely that you won't. However you will die and be gone and that's it. Though the idea that not accepting the proposition that "God exists" is enough to warrant your curses. Personally I despise aSanta Clausists, they are neither Jolly and all they love is coal.

Davies Followup.

I know the point to shorters is to make a quick point that underlies the problem with something and move on. However, there is a neat little side note from the article below.

In science, a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue.

The problem with this neat separation into “non-overlapping magisteria,” as Stephen Jay Gould described science and religion, is that science has its own faith-based belief system.

The real difference there isn't that they are NOMA (Not Opposing Metaphysical Asininity) but rather they highlight the difference in the religious and non-religious epistemology. A different epistemology doesn't give you different insights into the world, it gives you a different criteria for truth. And the criteria from truth within religious epistemology has nothing to do with truth it has to do with believing things because somebody say so. Whereas scientific epistemology has to do with checking concepts against reality, stress-testing theories in nature and letting the chips fall where they may.

The article is wrong by equivocating faith with the belief that typical regularities in nature will remain regular. The real is the argument is a tu quoque, basically it's saying sure, we're faith-based and wrong but let me fiddle with the definition a bit and say you're faith-based too... so a plague on both your houses.

Which system do you believe is most conducive to accepting false beliefs?
Science: a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity.
Religion: having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue.

Shorter Paul Davies.

Shorter Paul Davies:
I don't understand the difference between trusting something won't suddenly do what it has never done and belief in the magically absurd without evidence or plausible justification.

Not literally true in every respect.

Giuliani: I believe it, but I do not believe it necessarily literally true in every respect. I think there are parts of the Bible that are interpretive. I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical. I think there are parts of the Bible that are, um, meant to be interpreted in a modern context. So, yes, I believe it. I think it's the greatest book ever written.

Ah, the biblical equivocation of metaphor.

Metaphors are figurative language and as such aren't considered true or false. Declaring the Bible to be metaphorical allows one to assert the truth of the book without defending it. Subsequently slipping back to the definition of true in the sense of reality after the calls to defend the Bible subside.

One gets to call the Bible true, without saying something crazy like the Bible is a crazy and nobody sane would believe that stuff. Or that sure you believe in Jesus but you don't believe in Adam and Eve, even though from the text it would appear Jesus believed in Adam and Eve and (according to original sin) Jesus died in order to clear the sin, because (according to Trinity) Jesus was unable to just forgive the grudge he was holding against all mankind without a little Sadomasochism. That's what we want in our first-century wish granting zombie Jews (who when properly telepathically give enough passion for issues will pull us into the sky and make us live in eternal bliss), we need one with bad problem solving skills! However, to say that the story of Adam and Eve is a metaphor just adds insult (some insults are true) to injury.

Jesus apparently, according to the story, is exactly like Christian martyrs*, in that, he died for a lie.

*not to suggest that there were many of these.

First Camp Quest.... Now Atheist Sunday School...

Camp Quest was bad enough now there are some atheist Sunday school classes in Palo Alto. They are coming for your their own children and teaching them vile evil magics like critical thinking! -- You know, you'd think if atheism were completely untenable there would be some kind of move against critical thinking, that there would be a push against taking the evidence to their logical conclusions, against reflection and analysis. Somehow I think it's telling that those things are not present in atheism and somehow overwhelmingly present in religions. It's almost as though one could not upon careful consideration of the evidence come to the religious positions expounded by religionists.

The best things to teach children if you want them to grow up to be good little atheists: Critical thinking and comparative religions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I don't think Evolution is at work with physical laws.

One tell-tale sign of evolution is the "wow that's brilliant" impression some evolved things have on us humans. Butterfly wings actually color based on small photonic crystals on the scales... wow that's brilliant.

The laws of physics? Gravity tugs spacetime, things keep moving, complexity breaks down, things tend to take the easy path, matter is high level energy, and they work together in pretty neat ways. There are interesting things to be sure. It is hard to look at a nebula the size a trillion suns and not be impressed, or ponder the idea that distance between galaxies is increasing but not moving away, or that when you consider the really really tiny things they kind of fuzz around... but there are no butterfly wings in space. Nothing that makes you say, "wow that's brilliant", planets traveling in ellipses how... quaint. It's huge and amazing! None of which suggests it's bootstrapping the successes of the past in order to fight against the slow breakdown of everything. Rather it just seems the universe has a lot of stuff to breakdown.

A clever reader might notice that I suggested what opponents to ID have suggested isn't the case, namely that you can see design in things. Though, not design but rather evolution, though I tend to lump them together. We can certainly tell when things are beyond the realm of just happening that way, and in the realm of complexity fighting tooth and nail against the 2nd law of thermodynamics (everything breaks down) whether it's our designs or the designs of nature, we have a great ability to spot such things (for evolutionary reasons I believe). The end results are the same, nothing in physics from particle physics to cosmology seems to trigger the part of my brain which says... that... that is a fantastic design.

The universe is not designed nor evolved. It just happened. I'll take it, no sense looking a gift horse in it's well-evolved mouth, but everything in physics seems to point toward the more simple with more complex interrelationships than we previous thought. I wouldn't be surprised to find out our universe consists of just one thing and it's opposite and everything we see or seem is but a novel interaction of varying degrees of this. In evolved systems it's always more roundabout, physical, complex, interesting, makeshift, macgyvered, and quirky than we previous thought and there are more and more exceptions to every rule. They are, in a very primal sense, two radically different beasts. One science is about things interacting in specific ways to the same effect, the other is about bootstrapping replicators having a field day either being the critter with the slightest edge, to edge out the competition, or edged out (edged even slightly if not out will be a moot point several generations later) for not happening on that next step forward.

Comment on Study.

One favorite blog of mine, which I should probably add to the blog roll and remove Eight Hour Lunch for not posting in a gazillion years. Is Yann Klimentidis' blog, who, though he lacks the ability to make science understanding and fun (much of science is already like that but it helps to make it relevant) makes up for it by putting out a lot more peer reviewed papers etc.

Well a recent peer reviewed study on the population genetics of Native Americans supports the standard "evidence-filled" claims that the Native Americans cam

My response:
Please remove that scientific peer reviewed study. It fails to conform to Mormon theology. You are obviously a racist bigot who hates people of faith judging by how that genetic analysis of individuals most closely provides evidence for the theory that Native Americans traveled across the land bridge of the Bering Strait from Siberia rather than the Mormon view that they took a boat from Israel when God flooded the world.

You are entitled to your opinion, but you shouldn't be go around undermining other people's world views just because the evidence doesn't support it.


Not that it's an entertaining problem, but disproving Mormonism is like shooting fish in a barrel. Frankly, in the 1800s make such predictions about the history of Native Americans and Native American culture, had they been right Mormonism would probably be pretty undeniable right now, because they were out there. That said, they were very very wrong. Again we have an attempt at falsifiabillity and again we have religion proving itself false.

Oh, and the study itself is pretty good. Confirms what we already knew or at the very least already suspected. Native Americans came across from Siberia and spread south.

Why do people laugh at creationists?

A worthwhile set of videos. Some of the responses are just snarky. I understand that creationists are just silly. One of the last about the water above sky and how it's nearly impossible to prop it up there is kind of odd. Frankly it seems that in geosync orbit you could have a bunch of water pretty easily floating there without needing to drop to earth. Though still, way too much water. Though that would be totally awesome to have. A bubble around a planet in geosync. The water above the sky refers to the Biblical firmament. Hovind (who made the claim) is right, according to the Bible the world is flat and there is water in the sky which leaks out when it rains (probably also explains the color of the sky). It is a rather silly claim, but only like 50% of Americans believe this crap so it's pretty much moot.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quote of the Day: Stephen Colbert

From I am American and So Can You:
And set some rules. Don't worry if the rule makes sense, the important thing is that it's a rule. Arbitrary rules teach kids discipline, if every rule made sense they wouldn't be learning respect for authority, they'd be learning logic.

-- Stephen Colbert.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Definition: Preacher

A preacher is a person who only works on sabbath, telling you to follow bizarre and arcane rules like, 'anybody who works on the sabbath should be stoned to death'.

79th Edition of Carnival of the Godless!

Latest CotG at Sexy Secularist!

Abiogenesis has a shoe to drop.

I'm always scoffing at IDiots and nutter creationists who think God poofed the universe into existence having themselves poofed God into existence for this specific purpose.

However, such experiences have given me the ability to spot arguments waiting to be made. A lot of the research into abiogenesis actually involves clay. It turns out to be a fantastic material for early abiotic evolving molecules. There's a shoe here just waiting to be dropped. Genesis says that God made man out of clay... abiogenesis suggest that life was formed out of clay. It's going to be one crappy crappy argument... but it's going to be made many many times.

Okay, back to figuring out how to bring about Stalinism. As an atheist, that's obviously where I'm going with all this 'question your preconceived notions', and 'ask for evidence for things before believing them' stuff. Because rational thinking is sure to bring about soviet state dogma. I just wish the religious hadn't figure this out so adeptly.

I am not a liar!

This post has zero one comments.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Irreducible complexity and computer code.

One of my hobbies is evolutionary algorithms. I try to run them on a few different things, for example solving for the Pythagorean theorem is my latest quest. I basically hand "organisms" two numbers and ask for the result. The organism which comes closest to approximating what the hypotenuse would be if those numbers were sides of a right triangle wins. The organisms take the code, try something and live or die based on their results. Due to rounding errors it works much better if you use smaller numbers such as below 100.

However, I have made them play poker by handing them all the information about the current hand and asking for an action, and they bust out and die and the better players are copied, mutated and put into the empty seat.

One of my earlier bots was simply a linear program. It was a bit slow so I tried some nice intelligent designing on the programming and coded the following.

Take value of starter one.
Add value of starter two.
Compare value to 15, fold if less, call if equal, raise if greater.

It would run for a few hours and the resulting code (after it took over the gene pool) was:

Take value of starter one.
Destroy information of what starter two is.
Compare value to 8, fold if less, call if equal, raise if greater.

Well, I had forgotten that I told the starters to sort, so the higher card was first followed by the lower card. This had the result of making considering only the lower card a viable strategy (one could make sure both starters were good rather than calling with A4 and other fairly rag hands). I was constantly pissed at the bot, I couldn't understand why it destroyed the information of what one of the two cards was. It literally blinded itself to this very important information. How the hell is that evolutionarily beneficial? Seriously, gouging out one of your eyes as an adaptation?

I was describing the problem to my brother and realized why it did what it did. It was irreducibly complex!

Each line in the original program is required for any functionality. If one doesn't consider the information of the first card, comparing the total to 15 results in a bot which always folds (highest card is 13, ace). Not considering the information of the second card has the same result; it can't make the minimal requirements. Adjusting the comparison number down any, made the player play too loosely and was driven extinct.

The bot used scaffolding to avoid this problem and get to the better program.

Take value of starter one.
Overwrite value of starter two with 7.
Add value of starter two.
Compare value to 15, fold if less, call if equal, raise if greater.

From this point it can simply adjust the values without dying off, getting low enough to drop the consideration of starter two without resulting in a lethal mutation. Freeing up the overwrite value to be whatever it wants to be.

The result is a program which gouges out its own eye to escape my poor programming. Leaving the destruction as a vestige (as no modification to the program actually needed consider the information) so it qualifies as junk code. It served no purpose, and hurt the future prospects of the organism, and seemed like the worst bit of code it could evolve. I stopped the program and started the damned thing over several times to nudge that bit of code away and tried to guide the evolutionary process... it failed every time. I was really getting upset with it. Herding cats is one thing, try herding genes. A vestige of reducing an irreducibly complex program, and I blessed them unaware!

Orgel's second law: Evolution is cleverer than you are.

Internet Regained!

After a month and a half, I have proper internet access again. Hell yes. Things are good, birds are chirping, frogs are croaking, the Japanese are producing the stem cell breakthroughs we should have produced, the sky is blue!

Life is good!

... life was good before, but now life is good AND I have internet.

Romulus and Remus' cave found. Proves entire story is exactly accurate.

Yeah, it turns out the founders of Rome actually existed, were actually suckled by a wolf, were actually gods, the proof: Romulus and Remus' cave was found!

Some scholars, such as Andrea Carandini believe in the historicity of Romulus. Why others doubt the historicity of characters with amazing deeds attributed to them with absolutely no shred of evidence that it's true, escapes me. I always thought the assumption was that such an individual existed be it Robin Hood, Jesus Christ, or even King Arthur himself.

As Plutarch notes:

Suddenly the sky was darkened, a thick cloud of storm and rain settled on the earth; the common people fled in affright, and were dispersed; and in this whirlwind Romulus disappeared, his body being never found either living or dead. A foul suspicion presently attached to the patricians, and rumors were current among the people as if that they, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus.

Romulus ascended bodily into heaven as the God Quirinus, joining Jupiter and Mars as part of the trinity Archaic Triad.

All of this is absolutely true. We know because they found the cave.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Argument from Desire.

The Argument from Desire, propounded by C.S. Lewis and others is a profoundly important argument for the existence of God. Now, see if you can detect a logical flaw.

If everybody wants something, it exists.
Everybody wants God to exist.
Therefore, God exists.

It seems about as coherent as Lunatic, Liar, or Lord.

Jesus was either a Lunatic, Liar, or Lord.
Jesus is Lord.
God exists.

Yeah! I just got my first creationist. I feel so special.

So, my blog finally hit paydirt. I received my first creationist comment.

In my post Well I'm stumped. Evolution must be a lie. I managed to hook a creationist.

I took a comment from Shalini's Scientia Natura: Evolution and Rationality (a blog worth a visit to be sure) about how, if we evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys (an argument so stupid even Answer in Genesis rolls its eyes). AiG discourages its use for the reason I encourage it: it's fish in a barrel.

She, unlike myself, has plenty of interesting comments as fodder. Until now:

Ronald L. Cote writes:
Tatarize, As a biologist with 20 years experience in applied science, I can assure you that evolution is , not only a lie but one of the greatest deceits in our history.

*DING* *DING* *DING* - We have a winner!

Not only is he a creationist, he pretends to be a biologist... with 20 years of experience in applied science. This could mean anything as far as creationist go. Mr. Cote could be a 15 year old boy, he could be a chemistry teacher, he could be a dentist. One of the few things he certainly is not is a biologist. If he actually were a biologist, that credential alone would make him pretty much a posterboy for creationism in general.

Being in computer science, I find it hard to conceive that the order and precision and sheer awesomeness doesn’t cause you pause that this couldn’t possibly be the result of random chance over time.

Well certainly there's a notable difference between:

for (int i = 0; i < 100; ) if (rand() % 10 != 0) exit(1);


for (int i = 0; i < 100; ) if (rand() % 10 == 0) i++;

You see, the first is going to move on to the next line once in googol tries! Literally, 1 in 10^100 However, do the limits of the seed number (starter input for a pseudorandom number / the input can only produce random numbers of the same number of bits as the seed number and the seed number doesn't have a googol's worth of bits) it is likely that it is impossible. What are the odds of the second one moving on to the next line? 1 in 1! It will only take a bit of time. There is nothing unlikely about evolution, in fact, the core of evolution is that it makes odds and chances moot and simply takes a while.

Being in computer science, and moreover considering my experience in evolutionary algorithms, I am less surprised than most that engineering projects can be accomplished by a blind, mindless process, knowing absolutely nothing about the world, and solving unfathomable complexity. One of the interesting properties of evolution is that complexity cannot phase it. Considering no variables it can manage to find a result which could only be found by considering thousands of variables. Failure, is not an option and only the best approximation of success will survive.

To me the most convincing aspect of evolution is not that monkeys still exist, but that , after unearthing countless millions of fossils to the point that museums are giving them away and that even ebay has 3,000 for sale, there still does not exist a comprehensive and true “fossil record”, that could, would and should give us an incontrovertible and foolproof record of species and how they changed getting from point A to their present form. Of course, no such thing exists but should if the hypothesis was sound.

Um. The fossil record is actually really good for most organisms. I'm not even sure what the is suppose to mean. You want all the fossils leading from man to our chimp ancestor? There's a pretty good set. We can trace a number of species pretty much step by step until they meet their common ancestor. For biological evolution the fossil record is fantastic evidence for evolution. The argument here seems to be that even though there are tons upon tons of fossils there aren't enough to satisfy his definition of "comprehensive"?

Additionally, the process of evolution is ,from all accounts ongoing. If so, why are we not able to observe plants and animals in varying stages of transitioning from something to something else.

Usually the generations are pretty small, but you can still see the effects. Humans have pretty good records for our changes in gene frequency, but the better results are the ones with the shorter population times. For example, over the 20 years this fellow claims to be a biologist (*eye roll*) we have seen TB transform from a serious infection to a multi-resistant and even extreme-drug resistant strains. You cannot fight TB with typical antibiotics. It has long since evolved resistances to those. In fact, there are some strains of TB which if you have them the government is right to lock you up and physically stop you from going about your day. As was the case of the lawyer who was diagnosed with TB and still flew to Italy and back. Luckily he turned out to have MDRTB rather than XRTB, and nobody caught it from him.

Also, I daresay the best and most effective way to finally wipe out malaria is to genetically alter a gene in mosquitoes making them immune. The immune mosquitoes by all accounts would be evolutionarily better off than others. The gene frequency of the malaria immunity would skyrocket and without altering the mosquitoes as a whole. We save millions of lives with evolution.

Surely, where there are millions of animals being physically observed , as in Africa, something must be in the process of change that would be evident. Again no such thing occurs.

You know in those nature videos when you see the lion kill the slow wilderbeast? Well, assuming there's any genetic aspect to make that one guy slower than the rest, guess what you just saw?

Asking us to observe evolution in megafauna is like asking us to observe atoms in a glass of water. You can do it, but you aren't going to see what you'd expect (the water would require some large molecules and brownian motion).

Instead, evolutionists feed the masses with cockamamy, inconsequential trivia usually clouded in carefully couched terms as “possible” explanations for proof of evolution.

Um. Mountains of evidence for evolution, aren't cockamamy hunches. Scientists are careful with their words, unlike creationists who proudly proclaim "God did it!" without reservation or a basic understanding about what they are discussing.

The whole theory is collapsing because it is a myth. If it were true, the weight of the evidence would be so overwhelming that there would be no cause for controversy!

There isn't any controversy. There's a couple idiots who think it contradicts their God. It does contradict their God. But, that doesn't actually make it false. Considering the great evidence for evolution and the complete and utter lack of evidence for their God... so much worse for their God. A mindless, powerful, amazing process made all life on this planet. Your God doesn't even have dominion over fungus. Not really sure what that God thing was suppose to do anyhow. We have everything covered, and where we don't we're at least trying.

As you state, a large measure of faith is essential to be a believer.

I was being sarcastic. The idea that a person has 'faith' in science just as one has faith in religion is absurd. The only things science requires is that ideas can be proven false, and new ideas (whether false or not) can be crafted. If we use our old ideas as the building blocks for new ideas, science will proceed along its path inevitably and unavoidably explaining as much as we can know about the universe. Whether some things are unknowable by science is unknowable, because we cannot know if we have the perfect solution; we only know that this solution is better than our previous solution. However, the comparison between a leap of belief taken to avoid a greater leap of non-belief, to the monumental leap of accepting the infinitely ridiculous, with no evidence, on a parent's order, is patently dishonest, grossly ignorant, or, perhaps, forgivably naïve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Obscure question of the day.

Why would one "Move 'Zig'"?

Awe! That's so cute... he actually thinks that's science!

Look! They are playing scientists like the big mean people who paid attention in school. It's so cute, and vaguely reminds me a cargo cult. They do all the things they think scientists do, in order to be taken seriously, but are completely wrong.

There were some tribes during WWII especially in the New Guinea area. Who believed that the westerners commanded Cargo to come out of the sky. They went out of their way to create everything perfectly to receive cargo down to the fake earphones, if the westerners did it, they replicated it. Cargo seems like a very useful thing to get, and certainly worth the effort.

Overwhelming Evidence (below) the great conspiracy, propping up a valid theory making it impossible for ID to gain a foothold (regardless that it's just sooooo obvious). Are preventing the world changing break through which is as follows:

“Dark energy, that drives the expansion of the universe, is one of the deepest and most exciting puzzles in modern science. We posit that dark energy is the field manifestation of the parent seed of the universe, just as the cosmic vacuum’s zero-point energy. They all originate from the cosmic seed’s biophoton emissions, which blackbody radiation provides a holographic biofield for the generation of the physical universe. Based on the fact that the biophotonic radiation emitted by DNA is coherent, we predict that the cosmic seed's biophotonic field or "dark energy" is equally coherent.”

You see, dark energy is the field manifestation of the parent seed of the universe and they all originate from the coherent biophotonic radiation emitted by DNA within the holographic biofield. Duh! Isn't that so cute? I mean look at all of those big science sounding words. We should expect that cargo any minute. Everything is perfect, the runway, the traffic tower, even down to the headphones and English sounding words being said into them. We saw those great visitors come and do all this and get cargo... we are perfecting it ourselves! Any moment the great cargo will come for our efforts. Few could do a better job sounding like those scientists who get all the accolades than this: "Blackbody radiation provides a holographic biofield for the generation of the physical universe!" It has background radiation from the big bang, a word stole from Star Trek, a word for life-field and also life-light, and a grand claim to explain the entire universe! That cargo is due any minute now!

“The elusive Higgs boson – so vital to the Standard Model of particle physics that it is dubbed “the God particle” – is identical with the genotype of the phenotype universe, and each human genome is its reproduction. Based on this identification we posit that mass-giving is life-giving because the elementary particles that come into contact with the cosmic seed's biofield or quantum vacuum receive their mass and property as a result of that interaction. “

The Higgs boson... so vital.... genotype, phenotype (scientists use those words)! The Higgs Boson is like the DNA of the universe and establishes the biofield and mass. So "mass-giving is life-giving" because of interactions with quantum vacuum and the cosmic seed's biofield (which as above we know to be come out of the cosmic parent seed's biofield established in the holographic biofield by the biophotonic radiation!


People say that unless you're science your ideas won't be accepted. Well, they have certainly taken their ideas and gone through the motions. They get kind of sad concerning this peer-reviewed thing. They keep trying to go through those motions too, but the mean people who review papers constantly, reject them. BUT IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE OTHER THINGS THAT GET ACCEPTED!

Just as Cargo cults miss the point of the actions and go through the motions of the actions, the ID proponents do the same. It isn't that sounding like science makes your ideas accepted, it is that actually doing science provides you with acceptable ideas. One could patter-on incoherently about coherent biophotonic radiation within the holographic biofield (giving even postmodernists a run for their money), or one can take a good look at the world and try to figure out how it actually works. As quizzlestick (the author of the article in question) notes:

If Kazmer were still laboring under the shackles of materialism would any of this have been possible? Of course not – these are the kinds of discoveries that can only come about when we first reject the rigid dogma of the philosophy behind atheism and Darwinism's only life-support.

He's right. When you are forced to conform your ideas about reality to the realm of reality it's like working with all but two of your hands tied behind your back. Only when you reject reality do such things come to light. The reason ID isn't accepted is because people restrict their ideas about reality to reality. What the hell is reality to dictate to us what is and isn't real! Allowing reality to dictate our lives rather than us to dictate reality is the real core difference between atheists and theists.

Update: I looked at the comments some more and the other work of this great almost breakthrough and you know what the "parent seed of the universe" is? This great Intelligent Design science breakthrough starting point? CHRIST! That's right Jesus Christ is the parent seed of the universe. No! ID isn't religious!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why no peer-reviewed papers from ID?

According to a post on Overwhelming Evidence,

Those of us who have spent hard years grappling with the finer points of Intelligent Design know that nothing could be further from the truth: There is no group I know who work harder to attempt to explain these difficult scientific topics than ourselves. We engage with all levels of society, and our findings are plainly true to anybody with an open mind. More importantly we are on the verge of some of the most important scientific discoveries in the entire history of science which could yield benefits to the whole of mankind were it not for a conspiracy of Darwinists who will stop at nothing to preserve the reputation of their absurd science.

Grappling with a plainly true theory? When ever somebody asks that you have an open mind, they are asking that you become credulous and invariably have a closed mind themselves.


Core Problem: Religious Epistemology

In the July/August issue of Skeptical Inquirer, Richard Carrier makes the point that the core issue concerning religion and atheism is that of religious epistemology.

The problem is religious epistemology. As long as we have that we will always have fallacious and ridiculous beliefs like creationism, biblical literalism, false beliefs about atheism, and so on. - Richard Carrier, Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 31, Issue 4, Page 66, July/August 2007

I must agree in the strongest terms. We tend to notice religion only when it does something stupid like oppose stem-cell research or evolution. We notice it when it gains political clout or when it uses said political clout to impede on our rights or to line their pockets with our tax dollars. However, these are all simply outgrowths of dogma and the reason why the religious believe dogma to be valid: faith.

If not for the belief that reality doesn't reflect what is real and actual, or that evidence is unneeded or that propositions are actually stronger without evidence, it would be impossible to prop up such endeavors. One cannot believe the universe is 6000 years old without faith, nor can one believe in 72 virgins in paradise after crashing a plane.

The problem with religions is they want different rules. They want to declare rather than determine. They want to announce rather than analyze. They want to believe rather than justify. Faith allows people to believe things which may be comforting. This isn't an argument for faith, simply a statement of its purpose. Faith has nothing to do with truth, because truth has nothing to do with comfort.

Preferring the lie, to an unwelcome truth, is the mark of a coward.

Welcome every truth.

Inventions to change the world.

Printable solar panels via Nanosolar. Nothing fancy nothing amazing, just pushed the technology to be easy and cheap to manufacture. They can manage to print it out for about $.3 a watt. Which is pretty much cheap enough to use as wall paper.

NuVinci CVT (continuous variable transmission) is a nifty little design to change gears without set gear levels. They are currently using the design for bikes. My brother would use it for a unicycle (a gear shift on one of those would be like magic). And it probably is going to have some great applications in wind turbines allowing them to maintain their power output without spinning so fast as to burn out or going so slow as to generate no power.

It doesn't exactly change everything, but it does make a number of things considerably better, smaller, and some things previously non-economical become economical. I think a car with a continuous transmission would be pretty awesome... and I bet it wouldn't blow out as quickly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Garcia is now the 8th most popular surname.

NYT article (requires Bugmenot) on the census results (via Pandagon) finds that Hispanic last names are ranked 8th (Garcia) and 9th (Rodrigues) as far as last names go that's pretty good. In other news, my surname ranks in the 500s... a very similar last name ranks in the mid 100s. *sigh*

I don't even know what's depressing about that.

1. Smith (881 occurrences per 100K people)
2. Johnson (688)
3. Williams (569)
4. Brown (512)
5. Jones (505)
6. Miller (418)
7. Davis (398)
8. Garcia (318)
9. Rodrigues (298)
10. Wilson (290)

Shorter Dinesh Dsouza

Shorter Dinesh Dsouza,

Atheists are fallaciously using reality to determine what is and isn't real.

Sure, but what will you replace it with?

Theology Non-Rule #24: Things need to be replaced when they are removed.

You can't stop doing heroin! What would you replace it with? People need heroin! It gives them comfort!

Admittedly, I don't have anything to replace that with.

Well I'm stumped. Evolution must be a lie.

One of the many knowledgeable replies to NOVA Judgment Day was as follows:

If evolution were true and man "evolved" from apes, why do we have apes and monkeys co-existing with man? Why have the apes not all turned into humans?

Well I'm stumped. That seems to be such a strong argument that I can't refute it. I'll continue to believe in evolution on faith because this argument has clearly destroyed any reasonable basis I could have had for evolution.

If you're a creationist or an intelligent design proponent or perhaps even an cdesign proponentsists, you should use this argument as often and as loudly as possible.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My complaint about Judgment Day.

The PBS Nova report on the Dover trial was quite well done and reportedly captured the entire affair really well. The defense was pathetic and the science prevailed regardless of how conservative the judge was. It was just a complete wash out.

One part annoyed me though. There were several teachers and people who opposed ID and as a consequence received some of that Christian tolerance (death threats, insults, attacks of every kind), they pointed out in several parts of the report that this was so very uncalled for because they were Christians and active in the church. The impression I got is that if they were atheists the threats, attacks and insults would have been called for. It is not okay to send death threats to Christians when they oppose Creationism dressed up in drag. And though, denying the antecedent doesn't make for a valid argument, it certainly does give the impression that attacking atheists is okay.

If (Christian) then death threats are not called for.

If one adds the premise:
If (~Christian) then death threats are *STILL* not called for.

Then one doesn't even have an argument. It boils down to "death threats are not called for" and pointing out that they are Christian.

It's okay, though, it doesn't sit well with me.

God grants Georgia prayers, then attacks some kids for giggle.

God granted the prayers of the Georgia governor by producing one inch of rain which will do nearly nothing for the extreme drought experienced by the region. I question why a state with access to ocean water and strong evidence of climate change isn't investing a lot of money in desalinization plants and rather is resorting to begging mythological characters.

Certainly this is evidence of God, in the same sense that if you believed elves caused it to rain, every time it rains you would see evidence of elves.

Also in the same news story in Tennessee, it turns out that storms knocked out a Baptist church sending glass into children's faces and them to the hospital to have secular doctors patch them up.

*Update: In case anybody was slightly impressed, note, the rain was forecast by scientists prior to the event of praying for rain (again). A cynic would note that he prayed for rain previously and this second call for rain came seemingly out of the blue, but just after the prediction of some rain was forecast, and that he just saw the forecast and quickly arranged a prayer for it in order to give credit to God... at least a cynic would say that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


In my odd exploits on the web, I run into the craziest theories. One of the comments on some front page, referenced via ERV, via the main page of the subpage she noted (on the topic of Judgment Day (Nova program)), was this nifty little ID article about how Darwinists tend to reference natural bridges as evidence against the idea of ID. Namely that you can create things which cannot, in fact, be built from the ground up like natural arches. The point to which is the suggestion that though this analogy completely destroys their case they should still insist that it means that a designer exists and also to counter with some pathetic argument about how the original bridge material was naturally deposited in the first place. A point which misses the point and is obvious in the first place.

In any event, the first comment to this post offers up a new theory of micro-geology. Just like one can divide up evolution into micro and macro evolution and suggest that though there's tons of evidence for them there is some difference and thus suggesting a different mechanism. Even though it's the same thing for longer. "I can see the logic of one small step in a short amount of time. But, many steps over a long period of time? YOU MUST BE KIDDING!"

Mainstream science insists that all of the geological structures we see today have come about by a combination of purely natural materialistic processes such as erosion, deposition, volcanism, tectonic movement and other such concepts. I do not think anybody can dispute that these processes exist, but can they account for every single structure known to science?

To answer the question, yes those processes exist... yes they account for every single structure known to geology.

I accept that these forces can subtly change geographical features in the same way that micro-evolution can subtly change the form of sucsessive generations of a life-form, but can purely natural processes create entirely novel structures, indeed has it been shown that every known geological structure has a natural origin?

Yes. Though, you are welcome to suggest that space aliens made the grand canyon or something, though the compelling evidence suggests long term erosion.

Of course not, and therefore it is begging the question to merely assume that only non-materialistic explainations apply to geological structures.

We have compelling theories as to how such structures formed. We understand the processes and can explain, not only how, when, where, and why the geological structures exists, but can make accurate predictions about them. Geology is one of those sciences where it's pretty much finished. There's still a lot to know, but there's no massive mysteries left. It's like chemistry where there's plenty to know but the core of the science is so rooted it's down to filling in a few blanks. (Any geologists or chemists are invited to take me to task.)

For example those who have seen the grand canyon find it outrageous that something so beautiful might have come about by these slow natural processes.

Why? Why is beauty evidence of something fast and unnatural? I've seen the grand canyon a number of times. My reaction: "Damn, that's a big canyon."

We all know that earthquakes, erosion and volcanoes (for example) are destructive process, in the same way that a genetic mutation is an act of destroying information (not creating it).

Exactly the same, in that they are not. Genetic mutation does create information in the classic sense. Most are neutral and throwaway, some are harmful and lead to a lesser heredity (for an extreme example by killing the organism) and a precious few provide an improvement and as a result are preserved. Ask yourself, if you could in any endeavor keep only those results which helped and cast off everything which didn't... would you end up better off? Now, if after more time would you end up even better off? In fact, the longer this process goes on the more and more improvements would be accrued, it doesn't take any thought, mind, brain, designer, it takes something to keep the good and cast off the not-so-good and a hell of a lot of time.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this argument of 'earthquakes are destructive and therefore can't make pretty things' is significantly stupider than the argument that mutations don't create information. In the latter the problem is just that the person making the argument is ignorant of evolution and making a breathtakingly stupid argument, whereas in the former the argument is simply sophistry, and anybody with two braincells can note that earthquakes just shake up a bunch of dirt (and/or water) and create a number of potentially beautiful results and calling them destructive is silly and based on a few thoughts by some silly apes who like to build things. Things which tend to fall down here and there. And there's another oddity, it's always the places we haven't built stuff to fall down which are "beautiful". Don't you think the world would be prettier without our buildings?

The nano-errosionists have never offered a valid explanation for how their dumb, unguided processes are able to create things of beauty.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And that beauty is such a give-away, a clue to where we should next be looking for design. If something in nature appears to be designed, has irreducible complexity and has specified complexity then it's pretty plain to anybody other than a self-denying evolutionist that it must be a designed object.

Specified complexity? When you make up something and get laughed out of the park, you shouldn't pretend it still works. Yeah, the problem is, nothing about geology seems designed. Really, for the most part, it's a bunch of dirt. Some parts are rather big, other parts are pretty neat looking, but when you look at the wings of a butterfly there is at least something that goes off in your head which says... pay attention to that... that is a good design.

I am reminded of Paley's argument. When you are walking and see a stone, you think to yourself that could have been there forever. However, when you are walking and see rather than a stone, a stone. The same argument doesn't apply. What is the difference between a stone and a stone. Why could one have simply formed by natural processes and the other one be clearly indicative of a designer. -- Wait, the argument seems to have developed another problem, though I can't quite put my finger on it.

Remember, the famous scientists at SETI use techniques comparable to ID's to detect design in radio signals. Why should we be afraid to do this for our planet?

Nobody is afraid of looking for the design in things. We just don't like idiots looking at things we have a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation for and screaming "GOD DID IT!" -- It's annoying and adds exactly nothing to our understanding of things. Also, it isn't an argument for anything it's a conclusion pulled out of your ass. What is this God thing? And why do you thing this thing is explained by such a thing?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

cdesign proponentsists

In the Dover case on intelligent design, one of the stunning bits of evidence was in an early transcript of On Pandas and People just after creationism was booted out by Supreme Court where every reference to Creationism was promptly find+replace into intelligent design and "creationists" into "design proponents". One of the references was replaced rather wrongly resulting in "cdesign proponentsists" -- a rare transitional form.

“Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”

However, where are the transitional forms between creationists and cdesign proponentsists? Where is the transitional form between cdesign proponentsists and design proponents?

For those of you who don't know what Intelligent Design is, it is the belief that the some life is just so complex that it must have been created by an Intelligent Designer (capitalized to show reverence to God) who might be a deity or space aliens but to stay within the law we aren't saying.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Parochial altruism and war.

According to a study published in Science, (see press release unless you magically have access), parochialism and altruism work hand in hand within non-altruistic groups.

The evolutionary reasoning for altruism is that helping one person for a small detriment to yourself as a group makes it more likely that you will be helped out at a later date. Being a good and moral person allows you to live in a world where you are surrounded by good and moral people. However, in a world where nobody is good and moral, being good and moral is disastrous. As Mal on Firefly put it in Our Dear Mrs. Reynolds, "If somebody tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back!" -- However, if nobody tries to kill you... you should never try to kill others. The best strategy is the strategy other people are using. If they are moral, be moral. If they are not, don't be moral. This however leads to an odd sort of chicken or the egg problem. Who are going to take the moral, less successful strategy enough to make it more successful for everybody involved?

Altruism—benefiting fellow group members at a cost to oneself—and parochialism—hostility toward individuals not of one’s own ethnic, racial, or other group—are common to human nature, but we don’t immediately think of them as working together hand in hand. In fact the unexpected combination of these two behaviors may have enabled the survival of each trait according to Bowles and Choi.

In a state of war, you are united against outside threats, xenophobic and altruistic.

Aggression consumes resources and risks death; altruism, particularly toward those with whom we have no direct relationship, has the effect of helping other genes advance at our expense. But parochial altruism could have evolved if parochialism promoted intergroup hostilities and the combination of altruism and parochialism contributed to the success of these conflicts.

So by promoting a sort of tribalism and intergroup warfare, rejection, fear, and non-cooperation between the groups, the intragroup altruism becomes much more likely to be returned to the benefit of everybody (within the group). If you can isolate your group with respect to other groups, you both need to work together in order to succeed in these conflicts and can work together due to the much greater assurance that your gesture will be reciprocated.

In a state of war, when xenophobic and altruistic, you can swing the optimal strategy strongly toward the altruistic side to the advantage of the entire group.

Without warfare a general altruism works quite well for all groups involved. In a world without any trusting capital where everybody is distrusting and altruism is too rare to make altruism a viable strategy. The best way to get to a state where altruism is the norm and killing people isn't a viable strategy is to form a small group and kill OTHER people.

From a state of nature, where the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short to a more peaceful altruistic world... the best path is via a small warring group where everyday is the day after 9/11. Where everybody is xenophobic and altruistic. Where you love your neighbor as yourself, but take slaves "of the strangers that do sojourn among you."

The best way to build up some trust within a group larger than your family is by forming a group, go around murdering other people, enslaving them and insuring xenophobia. This, oddly, leads to altruism. You keep people out and help people in, and can succeed in tough times and help in good times, and your entire group will be the better for it.

Eventually expanding this to the point where the group boundaries break down and altruism becomes more universalized. Although it might help if we were attacked by aliens.

Genocide, xenophobia, hate, religious bigotry, and god-justified wars may actually be the birth pains of universal altruism. We happy few, we band of brothers, we group of soldiers about to go off and kill... may be the seeds of societies like ours where killing people or stealing things is a very ill advised strategy.

(via Science and Reason, which has some points worth reading on the religion aspect of this.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Carnival of the Godless #79

CotG 79 is out at Aardvarchaeology.

Sir David Attenborough on atheism.

(via Richard

It's hard to argue on any of the points, and his points are very well done. He doesn't get carried down by any of these odd arguments against this or that or the other. He just states the facts and if you don't agree well then you are no longer a rational person. You are now disagreeing with the facts.

"Whom would Jesus vote for?" - What are you, stupid? Wait... yeah.

So there's a Nytimes article (bugmenot required) on the Evangelical Movement. I'm planning on reading it... I suppose, but there's an image:

Note the bumper sticker "Whom Would Jesus Vote For?" -- I'm astounded that anybody would try and and sound all grammatically correct using "whom" for a religious bumper sticker. Which is twice as odd in that it's wrong. "Who Would Jesus Vote For?" is correct. Jesus would vote for whom? For whom would Jesus vote? Who would Jesus vote for? If you vote the way Jesus votes, who would you vote for? For whom would you vote if you voted as Jesus would vote? -- 'Whom' is an object. 'Who' is a subject. Trying to sound all smart with the message made them wrong... go figure.

Whom cares?

Oh, and by the way Jesus is a Mexican name and most Latinos tend toward the Democrats.

Update: Hm. This is probably right.

Richard Carrier on Anthony Flew

Richard Carrier is one of the smartest people you'll ever hear about, though that has little to do with his blog post on Anthony Flew which is simply amazing. It makes you angry, saddened and amused at Flew and the vultures feeding from his corpse.

Sure I stabbed you in the face, but God forgave me.

I'm sorry you're still pissed about the stabbing in the face thing, but even though you're still steamed... God forgave me for it and it's over now. Also, God forgave that 20 bucks I borrowed too.

Theology Non-rule #37: Getting forgiveness from mythological characters rectifies something in reality.

Friday, November 9, 2007


It's geocentrism for the Milky Way. We may just be this one little clump of rock flinging around this massive ball of fusing gas in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way... but even with the trillions upon trillions of other stars and galaxies... ours is at the center of that!

According to CreationWiki:
Few creationists disagree that the Earth is in motion around the Sun, and our solar system in movement within the Milky Way galaxy. However, simply put, geocentrism is the belief in a universe-centered world.

Evidence, such as quantized redshift, offers strong support that the Milky Way exists at the center of the universe.

How simply put... geocentrism (earth centered) is the belief in a universe-centered world. Wait, a universe centered world. What the hell? That's not even vaguely coherent. And the term is "galacto-" not "universeo-". Shouldn't it be "simply put" as an Earth centered view, simply put, is a Milky Way centered view.

And what was the evidence for this? Oh, Quantized redshift... who could argue with that! Oh, I can, oh physicists, oh everybody who understands what a redshift is. Basically due to a nice little doppler shift (change in apparent frequency due to motion) (think of the change in the sound waves (pitch) an ambulance (ecnalubma) makes when it is coming toward you and going away from you) when galaxies or stars or whatnot are flying away from our galaxy they seem to be shifted more toward the red. Noticing this red shift is what has lead us to understand the universe is accelerating in its expansion. What does this have to do with the Milky Way being at the center of the universe? Nothing. In fact, there's no real reference points at all, we might as well be flying around in any direction.

I'm glad these Creationists have stepped away from silly ideas like Biblical geocentricism and concluded much more reasonable things like "screw you we are too special cuz quantized redshift says so!"

Blog readability is High School?

What a crock!

Apparently Agraphia got Genius so I checked mine to see and "high school". Sure, it clearly just does a find match ranking and perhaps a word length check (if you're lucky) to make up a fairly arbitrary ranking. But apparently I rank High School...

I feel like I'm being punished for making the material understandable... because what it is really saying that the blog is tightly wound and incoherent without mass appeal and what I am reading is that him is Genius and me is idiot. That's what I'm reading even if it ain't saying it. Screw this... antidisestablishmentarianism!

I will put a nix on this vexing problem, though I have no empirical evidence that circumlocutions provide even auxiliary benefit to one's rank on the aforementioned arbitrary blog metric. I am attempting to achieve possession of no liquid monetary possessions (as the idiom should read) via a vocabulary far exceeding the mundane vernacular of one's secondary education.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Coming Around...

The more I think about it, the more I tend to agree. We atheists aren't going to stop being atheists but we certainly have given up a lot of argument ground in order to have an argument at all. The religious position has no ground whatsoever so there's no real debate where the debate should actually take place.

Atheist has a lot of baggage for meaning nearly nothing, and in reality the lack of something.

Frankly, Sam's right. Arguing against atheism should be an incoherent concept rather than the best way to defend the faith. If they were asked to put up or shut up rather than allowed to constantly shift the burden of proof by attacking something which means doesn't believe. His wording is a little poor and raises some hackles... but he's right, atheists are in a much stronger position on every issue than we give ourselves credit for.

--- You have no evidence for this God character and it isn't a reasonable thing to believe.
------ We'll you're just an atheist!

What does that actually have to do with it? Why qualify it? Why justify it? Why defend it? Why not observe the truth as Sam put it so well in Letter To A Christian Nation, "Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs."

Religious people have honestly been using their cookie-cutter flawed knockdown arguments even without knowing the arguments presented to attack a 'lack of belief in God'... and their arguments never have the slightest bit to do with presenting evidence for a god or showing that it's the smallest bit rational to believe. -- We need to dam that hole.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I agree with Sam Harris. I disagree with Sam Harris.

Go figure.

Well, I finally got around to watching Sam Harris' AAI speech. It's been a while since I've had good internet. As is I am doing a P2P connection on the 802.11g with ICS running through a Verizon Wireless Internet on a PCMCIA card on a laptop. And I understand why his remarks manage to fly like bricks.

They reminded me of Nietzsche's arguments (explaining now). Nietzsche argued that morality was to protect the weak and religion was bullshit and faith nonsense thus what we should do it is throw it all out and make a world to give rise to the Übermensch. Now, what we have here is a coherency of premise which is hard to match. Morality IS to protect the weak! Religion IS complete hogwash! However, egotistical the conclusion it's still wrong. The idea that I am the biggest badass to ever walk the planet may be accepted in my mind without question and perhaps I should thusly support this great tear down of society to breed supermen and Nietzsche suggested. However, even if I were say, let's be conservative here, as strong as 50 men... I could be killed by 51 men. Furthermore, due to obvious advantages of team work I could probably be downed by like 20 men, perhaps 10 men, hell frankly one crafty women would be more than sufficient. The conclusion that I should want to tear down a system which protects the weak on the grounds that I am strong is about as coherent as I should want to prevent the rain because it rains on the unjust and I am a just fellow. The rain, it raineth on just but also on the unjust fellow (but chiefly on the just because, the unjust hath the just's umbrella). Society protects the strong as well as the weak, it is in our interest to protect the weak because, frankly, considering the groups everybody is quick to jump into... we are all weaker than some subset of all of society.

Now, Nietzsche's premise that we are abiding by a morality which supports the weak rather than the strong, and his desire to go to something more akin to a life Hobbes described as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" are complete nonsequiturs. As noteworthy and insightful as the observation is, the fact is we aren't the biggest badasses in the world. Groups of half-asses even bad half-asses are more than enough to take any individual down. This is enough to show the latter conclusions are flawed. We are social beings, because being social makes us collectively the biggest badasses ever. We usually tend to idolize rebels, but you know what else? We crush them too.

Similarly, Sam's observation that we have willingly stepped into a trap. That we have effectively allowed ourselves to be boxed into a place where rather than address our arguments people feel that they can simply address us is a huge tactical mistake. Rather than his typical pointed response, such as his clarion call for attacking the moderates who support religion with doublespeak writing a blank check for those religious fundamentalists who cash that check at the expense of good and moral people in the world, he calls for us to slither under rocks. Rather than rise up and refuse that frame, and not to allow atheism to be the subject of an argument on pathetically indefensible faiths he says we shouldn't call ourselves anything. We should just exist as good people in a screwed up world. We should fold our cards because our opponents have put us on a hand, when our opponents have no cards themselves. I'm sorry Sam but this part I simply cannot agree with, nor can your detractors.

Yes, 'atheist' is more of an adjective than a group title and Christians can no more provide substance to their claim that they telepathically communicate with a first-century wish-granting Jewish zombie by attacking my atheism as they could support the claim that they can fly by by attacking my mythicism, intactivism or Sci-fi fandom. I am an atheist. I do not believe in delusional deities anymore than I believe in fairies, goblins, or ghosts. And though I do not have a word for myself being a rational person in a country whose majority believes JFK was murdered in a massive conspiracy, I would not care if there were one. It would accurately describe me. We atheists need be more aware of this frame which boils down to a simple false dilemma and ad hom, but we need not throw the adjectives out with framejob!

Monday, November 5, 2007

So I'm Ill.. Again...

The chicken soup style illness managed to pave the way for a bucket and gingerale style illness. I personally blame the Bush administration. I'm not sure why but I certain dedicate everything coming out of me to him. Sorry to be so vulgar... I shouldn't talk about the Bush administration.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

200 solar crosses stolen.

Apparently a cemetery was robbed for about $8000 dollars worth of merchandise namely, 200 solar powered crosses. I am kind of disturbed by the idea of solar powered crosses. Sure, we can't manage to get death valley turned into a massive solar power plant but we can use photovoltaics to power up little symbols of a Roman torture device? What next? Are we going to use ground based radiotransmitters to beam the text of the Bible to outerspace? Are we going to use interferometric modulation to change the colors displayed on a Jesus statue to very effectively make him appear to bleed. Watches with built in GPS systems to track the current location and direction and calculate the direction of Mecca from any point on the planet? DNA scanner to detect the presence of pork in order to keep meals kosher?

The sunshine hits a solar cell and that charges a battery inside and at night the crosses are illuminated.

I love how they describe the technology like a two year old, and as if it all just happens that way. Sunshine hits things, charges thing, and the crosses happen to illuminate...

Just freaky. Well, now I'm off to use Google Map's collection of satellite images to find Noah's ark.

Definition: Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design - n. Fighting for God with a thesaurus. Eg. "Before Intelligent Design was invented Creationists thought a thesaurus was a dinosaur."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Phelps prediction.

I predict that Fred Phelps will appeal the civil judgment against him. I have it at $2.9 million, other people have $10.9 million. In either case Phelps is going to appeal and have it struck down in a heartbeat. He's going to counter sue for costs and win. This marine father who sued the church for protesting his son's funeral is going to be forced to go bankrupt for pushing this idiotic lawsuit.

Mark my words.

So I'm ill.

Apparently my nose refuses to stop producing that nose stuff save those times when it hardens and denies me access to my nose. I sneeze here and there in at more rapid rate than I previously would, I feel kind of crappy on top of that. And the only thing I have to fight the illness is Vitamin C, which has proven completely pointless in fighting advanced stage cancer, so what kind of effect could it have (apparently there's some remote chance that if I took it several days ago it might have done something) on the cold/flu whatever the hell this nonsense is.

Well, time to start washing my hand here and there (in order to prevent spread to others) (unless that is completely worthless too).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The pill costs strippers $150 a shift.

So oddly enough Geoffry Miller did a study to check if men could detect fertile women even without outward signs of estrus. The best place to do this (at least one with a very obvious metric for measuring such things) is a strip club. It is, evolutionarily, in women's best interests to to not advertise when they are fertile so that men will stay around. However, this isn't in men's reproductive interests, so an evolution arms race between non-advertising and detection comes about.

This theory is based on the idea that in evolutionary terms it benefits women to disguise when they are fertile so that their menfolk will stick around all the time. Otherwise, the theory goes, a man might go hunting for alternative mating opportunities at moments when he knew that his partner was infertile and thus that her infidelity could not result in children.

Well, it turns out that men are, not consciously, quite apt at this as the results showed a $150 dollar difference in earning potential while fertile.

The results support the idea that if evolution has favoured concealed ovulation in women, it has also favoured ovulation-detection in men. The average earnings per shift of women who were ovulating was $335. During menstruation (when they were infertile) that dropped to $185—about what women on the Pill made throughout the month.

Usually my point would be look at this neat evolutionary thing, or that it's odd that the Christian worldview is wrong once again as women and men wouldn't need estrus or any of this detection ability to sleep around if they are just to be married and have children as God intended (this was Austin Cline's point). Nope, I think it is rather interesting that strippers could net $150 more on average (during estrus) if they didn't use hormonal birth control.

$2.9 million in against Phelps. What crap!

I find Phelps entertaining, and I understand the theology pretty well. I think they are one of the most biblical Christian groups around, and obviously one of the most hated. Protesting funerals of dead soldiers with signs saying "Thank God for IEDs" or any number of rather disturbing signs. They believe that the War in Iraq is a punishment from God for homosexuality. Which frankly doesn't differ that much from those religious people who claimed that Katrina was punishment from God for homosexuality (though it missed the French Quarter), or Jerry Falwell claiming that 9/11 was because of homosexuality (the California wildfires have been attributed a couple times to gays). Really the only thing the Phelps have which these other groups lack is consistent faith that they are right. Other religious groups back-down at the first sign of hate... the Phelps double-down.

Well, one of the father's of a soldier killed in Iraq sued and won $2.9 million dollars from the Phelps family. This is bullshit. The Phelps broke no law in their protests, the father didn't see them at the event only later on the news, you shouldn't get money for sullied memories. Hopefully the Phelps (who are mostly lawyers) will get this overturned as the nonsense "I hate Phelps so much lets punish him for like three million dollars" crap it is.

Ofcourse nobody likes them they are immoral swine who follow the immoral actions suggested in the Bible. Anybody who does that needs to be shunned by a civilized society.

Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism.

A classic onion article from the past. They really need to store their archives properly for just text.

Harry Potter leads to Satanism.